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Ji Eun Jun, Mira Kang, Sang-Man Jin, Kyunga Kim, You-Cheol Hwang, In-Kyung Jeong, and Jae Hyeon Kim

Objective

We aimed to investigate the interaction of reduced skeletal muscle mass and abdominal obesity on coronary artery calcification (CAC).

Design and methods

A total of 19 728 adults free of cardiovascular disease (CVD) who contemporaneously underwent cardiac tomography and bioelectrical impedance analysis were enrolled in a cross-sectional and longitudinal cohort. Skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) was calculated using the following formula: SMI (%) = total appendicular muscle mass (kg)/body weight (kg) × 100 according to sex. CAC presence or incidence was defined as CAC score > 0, and CAC progression was defined as √CAC score (follow-up) – √CAC score (baseline)>2.5. Pre-sarcopenia was defined as SMI ≤ −1.0 s.d. of the sex-specific mean of a young reference group. Abdominal obesity was defined as waist circumference ≥ 90 cm for men and ≥85 cm for women. All individuals were further classified into four groups: normal, abdominal obesity alone, pre-sarcopenia alone, and pre-sarcopenic obesity.

Results

Individuals with pre-sarcopenic obesity showed the highest adjusted odds ratio (AOR) for CAC presence (AOR 2.16, 95% CI : 1.98–2.36, P < 0.001) as well as total CAC incidence and progression (adjusted hazard ratio: 1.54, 95% CI: 1.37–1.75, P < 0.001), compared with normal individuals. Pre-sarcopenic obesity significantly increased CAC incidence and progression compared to either pre-sarcopenia or abdominal obesity alone.

Conclusion

Pre-sarcopenia and abdominal obesity together were significantly associated with a higher CAC presence and increased risk of CAC incidence and progression, independent of traditional CVD risk factors.

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Layla Damen, Lionne N Grootjen, Stephany H Donze, Laura C G de Graaff, Janielle A E M van der Velden, and Anita C S Hokken-Koelega

Objective

In children with Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS), growth hormone (GH) treatment has positive effects on bone mineral density (BMD). Two 1-year studies did not show a difference between GH or placebo on BMD in young adults with PWS. However, there are no studies investigating BMD during longer-term GH treatment in young adults with PWS.

Design

Open-label, a prospective study in 43 young adults with PWS.

Methods

BMD of the total body (BMDTBSDS) and lumbar spine (BMADLSSDS) measured by DXA.

Results

In the total group, estimated mean (95% CI) of BMDTB remained similar during 3 years of GH, being −0.76 (−1.11 to −0.41) SDS at start and −0.90 (−1.27 to −0.54) SDS after 3 years (P = 0.11), as did BMADLS, being −0.36 (−0.72 to 0.01) SDS and −0.46 (−0.77 to −0.16) SDS, respectively (P = 0.16). In men, there was a significant decrease in BMDTBSDS during 3 years of GH, while BMADLSSDS remained similar. In women, both BMDTBSDS and BMADLSSDS remained similar. BMDTBSDS was associated with female sex, lean body mass and age. The majority of patients received sex steroid replacement therapy (SSRT).

Conclusions

During 3 years of combined GH and SSRT treatment, BMD remained stable in the normal range in young adults with PWS. However, men showed a decline in BMDTBSDS, probably due to insufficient SSRT. We recommended to continue GH treatment in young adults with PWS and to start SSRT during adolescence unless puberty progresses normally.

Open access

Marcus Quinkler, Robert D Murray, Pinggao Zhang, Claudio Marelli, Robert Petermann, Andrea M Isidori, Bertil Ekman, and the EU-AIR Investigators

Objective

This study aimed to characterize the clinical and biochemical features of patients with primary (PAI) and secondary (SAI) adrenal insufficiency who developed adrenal crises (ACs) and estimate the incidence of ACs in these patients.

Design

Retrospective case-control analysis of the European Adrenal Insufficiency Registry (EU-AIR; NCT01661387).

Methods

Two thousand six hundred and ninety-four patients with AI (1054 PAI; 1640 SAI) enrolled in EU-AIR. Patients who developed ≥ 1 AC were matchd 1:3 with patients without ACs for age, sex and AI type. Data were collected at baseline and follow-up (mean ± s.d.: PAI 3.2 ± 1.7 years; SAI 2.9 ± 1.7 years).

Results

One hundred and forty-eight out of 2694 patients (5.5%; n  = 84 PAI; n  = 64 SAI) had an AC during the study: 6.53 (PAI) and 3.17 (SAI) ACs/100 patient-years. Of patients who experienced an AC, 16% (PAI) and 9.4% (SAI) experienced ≥ 1 AC/year. The incidence of adverse events, infectious intercurrent illnesses and infectious serious adverse events were higher in patients with ACs than without ACs. No differences were observed in BMI, HbA1c, blood pressure and frequencies of diabetes mellitus or hypertension between subgroups (PAI and SAI, with and without ACs). At baseline, PAI patients with AC had higher serum potassium (4.3 ± 0.5 vs 4.2 ± 0.4 mmol/L; P = 0.03) and lower sodium (138.5 ± 3.4 vs 139.7 ± 2.9 mmol/L; P = 0.004) than patients without AC. At last observation, SAI patients with AC had higher hydrocortisone doses than patients without AC (11.9 ± 5.1 vs 10.1 ± 2.9 mg/m2; P < 0.001).

Conclusions

These results demonstrate that concomitant diseases and cardiovascular risk factors do not feature in the risk profile of AC; however, patients with AC had a higher incidence of infectious events.

Open access

Dina B Stensen, Lars Småbrekke, Karina Olsen, Guri Grimnes, Christopher Sivert Nielsen, Johanna U E Sollid, Gunnar Skov Simonsen, Bjørg Almås, and Anne-Sofie Furberg

Free access

Saskia le Cessie, Rolf H H Groenwold, and Olaf M Dekkers

There are different ways to quantify the relation between two or more continuous variables. Some researchers use correlation coefficients; others will apply regression methods such as linear regression. In this paper, we show that the choice between correlation and regression is not purely a statistical one but largely depends on the research aims. Importantly, one should always inspect the data before using either of the two methods.

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Francesca Castiello and Carmen Freire

Background

Numerous modern non-persistent pesticides have demonstrated estrogenic/anti-androgenic activity and have been classified as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). Processes involved in puberty development are vulnerable to EDCs, such as compounds that interfere with the metabolism or activity of sex steroids.

Objective

To conduct a systematic review of epidemiological studies on the relationship between early-life exposure to non-persistent pesticides and puberty timing and/or sexual maturation in girls and boys.

Methods

A systematic search was carried out using MEDLINE and SCOPUS databases, including original articles published up to November 2020.

Results

Thirteen studies were selected after excluding non-original and non-human studies. Exposure to different types of pesticides has been associated with altered puberty timing in girls and/or boys in eight studies. In utero exposure to atrazine has been related to earlier age of menarche in girls; exposure to organophosphate (OP) pesticides has been related to delayed sexual development in boys and girls; childhood pyrethroid exposure has been associated with pubertal delay in girls and pubertal advancement in boys; and prenatal/childhood exposure to multiple pesticides has been linked to earlier puberty onset in girls and pubertal delay in boys.

Conclusions

Most of the reviewed studies describe a relationship between pesticide exposure and changes in the age of puberty onset or sex hormone levels, although the quality of the evidence is generally low. Further well-designed longitudinal studies are warranted on specific classes of pesticides and on possible interactions between different types of compounds.

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Dirk Alexander Wittekind, Markus Scholz, Jürgen Kratzsch, Markus Löffler, Katrin Horn, Holger Kirsten, Veronica Witte, Arno Villringer, and Michael Kluge

Objective

Ghrelin is an orexigenic peptide hormone involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis, food intake and glucose metabolism. Serum levels increase anticipating a meal and fall afterwards. Underlying genetic mechanisms of the ghrelin secretion are unknown.

Methods

Total serum ghrelin was measured in 1501 subjects selected from the population-based LIFE-ADULT-sample after an overnight fast. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed. Gene-based expression association analyses (transcriptome-wide association study (TWAS)) are statistical tests associating genetically predicted expression to a certain trait and were done using MetaXcan.

Results

In the GWAS, three loci reached genome-wide significance: the WW-domain containing the oxidoreductase-gene (WWOX; P = 1.80E-10) on chromosome 16q23.3-24.1 (SNP: rs76823993); the contactin-associated protein-like 2 gene (CNTNAP2; P = 9.0E-9) on chromosome 7q35-q36 (SNP: rs192092592) and the ghrelin And obestatin prepropeptide gene (GHRL; P = 2.72E-8) on chromosome 3p25.3 (SNP: rs143729751). In the TWAS, the three genes where the expression was strongest associated with serum ghrelin levels was the ribosomal protein L36 (RPL36; P = 1.3E-06, FDR = 0.011, positively correlated), AP1B1 (P = 1.1E-5, FDR = 0.048, negatively correlated) and the GDNF family receptor alpha like (GFRAL), receptor of the anorexigenic growth differentiation factor-15 (GDF15), (P = 1.8E-05, FDR = 0.15, also negatively correlated).

Conclusions

The three genome-wide significant genetic loci from the GWA and the genes identified in the TWA are functionally plausible and should initiate further research.

Open access

Angela K Lucas-Herald, Jillian Bryce, Andreas Kyriakou, Marie Lindhardt Ljubicic, Wiebke Arlt, Laura Audi, Antonio Balsamo, Federico Baronio, Silvano Bertelloni, Markus Bettendorf, Antonia Brooke, Hedi L Claahsen van der Grinten, Justin H Davies, Gloria Hermann, Liat de Vries, Ieuan A Hughes, Rieko Tadokoro-Cuccaro, Feyza Darendeliler, Sukran Poyrazoglu, Mona Ellaithi, Olcay Evliyaoglu, Simone Fica, Lavinia Nedelea, Aneta Gawlik, Evgenia Globa, Nataliya Zelinska, Tulay Guran, Ayla Güven, Sabine E Hannema, Olaf Hiort, Paul-Martin Holterhus, Violeta Iotova, Vilhelm Mladenov, Vandana Jain, Rajni Sharma, Farida Jennane, Colin Johnston, Gil Guerra Junior, Daniel Konrad, Odile Gaisl, Nils Krone, Ruth Krone, Katherine Lachlan, Dejun Li, Corina Lichiardopol, Lidka Lisa, Renata Markosyan, Inas Mazen, Klaus Mohnike, Marek Niedziela, Anna Nordenstrom, Rodolfo Rey, Mars Skaeil, Lloyd J W Tack, Jeremy Tomlinson, Naomi Weintrob, Martine Cools, and S Faisal Ahmed

Objectives

To determine trends in clinical practice for individuals with DSD requiring gonadectomy.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Methods

Information regarding age at gonadectomy according to diagnosis; reported sex; time of presentation to specialist centre; and location of centre from cases reported to the International DSD Registry and who were over 16 years old in January 2019.

Results

Data regarding gonadectomy were available in 668 (88%) individuals from 44 centres. Of these, 248 (37%) (median age (range) 24 (17, 75) years) were male and 420 (63%) (median age (range) 26 (16, 86) years) were female. Gonadectomy was reported from 36 centres in 351/668 cases (53%). Females were more likely to undergo gonadectomy (n = 311, P < 0.0001). The indication for gonadectomy was reported in 268 (76%). The most common indication was mitigation of tumour risk in 172 (64%). Variations in the practice of gonadectomy were observed; of the 351 cases from 36 centres, 17 (5%) at 9 centres had undergone gonadectomy before their first presentation to the specialist centre. Median age at gonadectomy of cases from high-income countries and low-/middle-income countries (LMIC) was 13.0 years (0.1, 68) years and 16.5 years (1, 28), respectively (P < 0.0001) with the likelihood of long-term retention of gonads being higher in LMIC countries.

Conclusions

The likelihood of gonadectomy depends on the underlying diagnosis, sex of rearing and the geographical setting. Clinical benchmarks, which can be studied across all forms of DSD will allow a better understanding of the variation in the practice of gonadectomy.

Free access

Satu Seppä, Tanja Kuiri-Hänninen, Elina Holopainen, and Raimo Voutilainen

Puberty is the period of transition from childhood to adulthood characterized by the attainment of adult height and body composition, accrual of bone strength and the acquisition of secondary sexual characteristics, psychosocial maturation and reproductive capacity. In girls, menarche is a late marker of puberty. Primary amenorrhea is defined as the absence of menarche in ≥ 15-year-old females with developed secondary sexual characteristics and normal growth or in ≥13-year-old females without signs of pubertal development. Furthermore, evaluation for primary amenorrhea should be considered in the absence of menarche 3 years after thelarche (start of breast development) or 5 years after thelarche, if that occurred before the age of 10 years. A variety of disorders in the hypothalamus–pituitary–ovarian axis can lead to primary amenorrhea with delayed, arrested or normal pubertal development. Etiologies can be categorized as hypothalamic or pituitary disorders causing hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, gonadal disorders causing hypergonadotropic hypogonadism, disorders of other endocrine glands, and congenital utero–vaginal anomalies. This article gives a comprehensive review of the etiologies, diagnostics and management of primary amenorrhea from the perspective of pediatric endocrinologists and gynecologists. The goals of treatment vary depending on both the etiology and the patient; with timely etiological diagnostics fertility may be attained even in those situations where no curable treatment exists.

Free access

Mirella Hage, Clément Janot, Sylvie Salenave, Philippe Chanson, and Peter Kamenický

To gain more insight on the pathogenesis of somatotroph pituitary adenomas, recent studies have focused on a subgroup of patients with acromegaly displaying a paradoxical growth hormone (GH) response during oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The paradoxical rise of GH after oral glucose intake occurs in about one-third of acromegaly patients and has been pathogenetically linked, by analogy to glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP)-dependent Cushing's syndrome, to the ectopic expression of GIP receptor (GIPR) in somatotroph adenoma cells. GIPR-expressing adenomas are negative for activating GNAS gene mutations and display distinct cytogenetic and DNA methylation profiles, highlighting their unique molecular pathogenesis. Acromegaly patients with a paradoxical GH response pattern seem to display higher insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentrations and harbour smaller adenomas that are more often of the densely granulated phenotype. They seem also to show a better response to somatostatin receptor ligands. In addition, persistent paradoxical GH response after surgery may be a biological marker of the residual disease postoperatively. Targeted therapy to antagonize GIP receptor on GIPR-expressing somatotroph adenomas could be a new treatment approach for acromegaly patients with a paradoxical pattern of GH response to OGTT.