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Few studies have been conducted to investigate the influence of recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) on the long-term prognosis of end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
A retrospective cohort study.
The largest regional hospital renowned for haemodialysis in northern Taiwan.
A total of 702 ESRD patients undergoing haemodialysis between 1993 and 2002 were evaluated.
The rate of overall use of rhEPO, vitamin D3 or Fe therapy was 62 %. The 10-year survival rate in patients with rhEPO supplementation was statistically more favourable than that in patients without rhEPO (hazard ratio (HR) = 0·38, 95 % CI 0·30, 0·47, P < 0·0001). Similar findings were noted for patients receiving vitamin D3 (HR = 0·36, 95 % CI 0·21, 0·64, P = 0.0004) and Fe (HR = 0·45, 95 % CI 0·33, 0·61, P < 0·0001). After adjusting for age, education and aetiology, the administration of rhEPO resulted in statistically significant improvements in long-term survival rate either with (HR = 0·30, 95 % CI 0·22, 0·42) or without (HR = 0·48, 95 % CI 0·38, 0·61) combined use of Fe or vitamin D3.
We demonstrated a reduction in long-term mortality related to supplementation therapy with rhEPO, vitamin D3 and Fe. The findings provide a justification for the administration of combined supplement therapy in patients undergoing haemodialysis.
Chewing betel-nuts (Areca catechu) is carcinogenic but the risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and liver cirrhosis (LC) is little considered. Worldwide 600 million people chew betel, including emigrants from palm-growing countries.
We aimed to assess the relationships and dose–response effects of betel chewing on LC and HCC risks, since habit cessation could reduce the increased risks of HCC and LC found in such communities.
Screening 60 326 subjects aged 30–79 years in a population-based study in Taiwan identified LC in 588 and HCC in 131 subjects. Demographic features, hepatitis B/C infections, other risk factors and betel chewing were noted. Multiple Cox regression models were used to assess independent relationships, interactions and synergisms between age, betel chewing and hepatitis B/C.
Betel chewing increased LC and HCC risk 4·25-fold (95 % CI 2·9, 6·2) in current chewers and 1·89-fold (95 % CI 1·13, 3·16) in ex-chewers v. never-chewers, with dose effects for quantity, duration and cumulative exposure in chewers. Subjects without hepatitis B/C infections had 5·0-fold (95 % CI 2·87, 9·03) increased risk of LC/HCC v. never-chewers, and betel chewing had an additive synergistic effect on hepatitis B/C-related risks. Risk reduction with betel habit cessation could exceed that expected from immunization programmes for hepatitis B and C.
Increased risks of cirrhosis and hepatocellular cancer were found in betel chewers free of hepatitis B/C infection, and these risks were synergistically additive to those of hepatitis B/C infections. Estimated risk reduction from effective anti-betel chewing programmes would be sizeable.
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