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Lipoprotein(a) as a risk factor in a cohort of hospitalised cardiovascular patients : A retrospective clinical routine data analysis
David Šuran, Tadej Završnik, Peter Kokol, Marko Kokol, Andreja Sinkovič, Franjo Naji, Jernej Završnik, Helena Blažun Vošner, Vojko Kanič, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Lipoprotein(a) (Lp(a)) is a well-recognised risk factor for ischemic heart disease (IHD) and calcific aortic valve stenosis (AVS). Methods: A retrospective observational study of Lp(a) levels (mg/dL) in patients hospitalised for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in our clinical routine was performed. The Lp(a)-associated risk of hospitalisation for IHD, AVS, and concomitant IHD/AVS versus other non-ischemic CVDs (oCVD group) was assessed by means of logistic regression. Results: In total of 11,767 adult patients, the association with Lp(a) was strongest in the IHD/AVS group (eβ = 1.010, p < 0.001), followed by the IHD (eβ = 1.008, p < 0.001) and AVS group (eβ = 1.004, p < 0.001). With increasing Lp(a) levels, the risk of IHD hospitalisation was higher compared with oCVD in women across all ages and in men aged ≤75 years. The risk of AVS hospitalisation was higher only in women aged ≤75 years (eβ = 1.010 in age < 60 years, eβ = 1.005 in age 60–75 years, p < 0.05). Conclusions: The Lp(a)-associated risk was highest for concomitant IHD/AVS hospitalisations. The differential impact of sex and age was most pronounced in the AVS group with an increased risk only in women aged ≤75 years.
Keywords: acute myocardial infarction, aortic valve stenosis, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, cardiovascular risk, ischemic heart disease, lipoprotein(a), postmenopausal women
Published in DKUM: 12.06.2024; Views: 40; Downloads: 0
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Research trends in motivation and weight loss : a bibliometric-based review
Uroš Železnik, Peter Kokol, Jasmina Starc, Danica Železnik, Jernej Završnik, Helena Blažun Vošner, 2023, review article

Abstract: Obesity is a complex disease that, like COVID-19, has reached pandemic proportions. Consequently, it has become a rapidly growing scientific field, represented by an extensive body of research publications. Therefore, the aim of this study was to present the research trends in the scientific literature on motivation and weight loss. Because traditional knowledge synthesis approaches are not appropriate for analyzing large corpora of research evidence, we utilized a novel knowledge synthesis approach called synthetic knowledge synthesis (SKS) to generate new holistic insights into obesity research focusing on motivation. SKS is a triangulation of bibliometric analysis, bibliometric mapping, and content analysis. Using it, we analyzed the corpus of publications retrieved from the Scopus database, using the search string TITLE-ABS-KEY((obesity or overweight) and “weight loss” and motiv*) in titles, keywords, and abstracts, without any additional inclusion or exclusion criteria. The search resulted in a corpus of 2301 publications. The United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Australia were the most productive countries. Four themes emerged, namely, weight loss and weight-loss maintenance through motivational interventions, lifestyle changes supported by smart ICT, maintaining sustainable weight with a healthier lifestyle, and weight management on the level of primary healthcare and bariatric surgery. Further, we established that the volume of research literature is growing, as is the scope of the research. However, we observed a regional concentration of research and its funding in developed countries and almost nonexistent research cooperation between developed and less-developed countries.
Keywords: obesity, weight loss, motivation, synthetic knowledge synthesis, bibliometrics, content analysis
Published in DKUM: 05.06.2024; Views: 62; Downloads: 4
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Age-related changes in lipid and glucose levels associated with drug use and mortality : an observational study
Rene Markovič, Vladimir Grubelnik, Helena Blažun Vošner, Peter Kokol, Matej Završnik, Karmen Janša, Marjeta Zupet, Jernej Završnik, Marko Marhl, 2022, original scientific article

Abstract: Background: The pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus is complex and still unclear in some details. The main feature of diabetes mellitus is high serum glucose, and the question arises of whether there are other statistically observable dysregulations in laboratory measurements before the state of hyperglycemia becomes severe. In the present study, we aim to examine glucose and lipid profiles in the context of age, sex, medication use, and mortality. Methods: We conducted an observational study by analyzing laboratory data from 506,083 anonymized laboratory tests from 63,606 different patients performed by a regional laboratory in Slovenia between 2008 and 2019. Laboratory data-based results were evaluated in the context of medication use and mortality. The medication use database contains anonymized records of 1,632,441 patients from 2013 to 2018, and mortality data were obtained for the entire Slovenian population. Results: We show that the highest percentage of the population with elevated glucose levels occurs approximately 20 years later than the highest percentage with lipid dysregulation. Remarkably, two distinct inflection points were observed in these laboratory results. The first inflection point occurs at ages 55 to 59 years, corresponding to the greatest increase in medication use, and the second coincides with the sharp increase in mortality at ages 75 to 79 years. Conclusions: Our results suggest that medications and mortality are important factors affecting population statistics and must be considered when studying metabolic disorders such as dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia using laboratory data.
Keywords: diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hematological data, aging
Published in DKUM: 21.05.2024; Views: 110; Downloads: 1
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Agile Machine Learning Model Development Using Data Canyons in Medicine : A Step towards Explainable Artificial Intelligence and Flexible Expert-Based Model Improvement
Bojan Žlahtič, Jernej Završnik, Helena Blažun Vošner, Peter Kokol, David Šuran, Tadej Završnik, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Over the past few decades, machine learning has emerged as a valuable tool in the field of medicine, driven by the accumulation of vast amounts of medical data and the imperative to harness this data for the betterment of humanity. However, many of the prevailing machine learning algorithms in use today are characterized as black-box models, lacking transparency in their decision-making processes and are often devoid of clear visualization capabilities. The transparency of these machine learning models impedes medical experts from effectively leveraging them due to the high-stakes nature of their decisions. Consequently, the need for explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) that aims to address the demand for transparency in the decision-making mechanisms of black-box algorithms has arisen. Alternatively, employing white-box algorithms can empower medical experts by allowing them to contribute their knowledge to the decision-making process and obtain a clear and transparent output. This approach offers an opportunity to personalize machine learning models through an agile process. A novel white-box machine learning algorithm known as Data canyons was employed as a transparent and robust foundation for the proposed solution. By providing medical experts with a web framework where their expertise is transferred to a machine learning model and enabling the utilization of this process in an agile manner, a symbiotic relationship is fostered between the domains of medical expertise and machine learning. The flexibility to manipulate the output machine learning model and visually validate it, even without expertise in machine learning, establishes a crucial link between these two expert domains.
Keywords: XAI, explainable artificial intelligence, data canyons, machine learning, transparency, agile development, white-box model
Published in DKUM: 14.03.2024; Views: 214; Downloads: 19
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Discrepancies among Scopus, Web of Science, and PubMed coverage of funding information in medical journal articles
Peter Kokol, Helena Blažun Vošner, original scientific article

Abstract: Objective: The overall aim of the present study was to compare the coverage of existing research funding information for articles indexed in Scopus, Web of Science, and PubMed databases. Methods: The numbers of articles with funding information published in 2015 were identified in the three selected databases and compared using bibliometric analysis of a sample of twenty-eight prestigious medical journals. Results: Frequency analysis of the number of articles with funding information showed statistically significant differences between Scopus, Web of Science, and PubMed databases. The largest proportion of articles with funding information was found in Web of Science (29.0%), followed by PubMed (14.6%) and Scopus (7.7%). Conclusion: The results show that coverage of funding information differs significantly among Scopus, Web of Science, and PubMed databases in a sample of the same medical journals. Moreover, we found that, currently, funding data in PubMed is more difficult to obtain and analyze compared with that in the other two databases.
Keywords: journal as topics, medicine, research funding, bibliometrics, funding acknowledgment, funding patterns
Published in DKUM: 24.10.2018; Views: 1376; Downloads: 439
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Lower correlation between biceps femoris contraction time and maximal running speed in children than in adults : a longitudinal study in 9- to 14-year old children
Jernej Završnik, Rado Pišot, Tadeja Volmut, Katja Koren, Helena Blažun Vošner, Peter Kokol, Janez Vošner, Boštjan Šimunič, 2016, original scientific article

Abstract: Biceps femoris is a major propulsor muscle in sprinting and its contraction time negatively correlates to the running speeds of adults. Our aim was to compare age and gender-related correlations between vastus lateralis and biceps femoris contraction times and running speeds during a longitudinal study of 9- to 14-year old children. On a yearly basis we conducted vastus lateralis and biceps femoris tensiomyographic measurements of muscle contraction time and maximal running speeds measured during 7 meter sprints with flying starts using photocells in 107 children (53 boys). Vastus lateralis contraction time was not correlated with the running speed. However, biceps femoris contraction time was negatively correlated with the running speed only in boys after the age of 12.9 years (Pearson r ranges from -0.391 to -0.426; p < 0.002). It was concluded that biceps femoris contraction time is far less correlated with running speed than in adult athletes (Pearson r = -0.60); however, the correlation is gender and age-specific. It seems that the knee flexor and hip extensor, biceps femoris, is not as yet the major determinant of running speed in 9- to 14-year old children at that age.
Keywords: skeletal muscles, biceps femoris, vastus lateralis, tensiomyography, pediatrics
Published in DKUM: 21.07.2017; Views: 2263; Downloads: 135
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Citation context and impact of 'sleeping beauties' in paediatric research
Jernej Završnik, Peter Kokol, Stefano Del Torso, Helena Blažun Vošner, 2016, review article

Abstract: Objectives: ‘Sleeping beauties’, i.e. publications that are not cited for a long while, present interesting findings in science. This study analysed the citation trends of sleeping beauties in paediatric research. Methods: The study used bibliometric software to analyse the papers citing sleeping beauties in paediatric research, to understand the context in which paediatric sleeping beauties were finally cited and the impact of these sleeping beauties on paediatric research. Results: Two paediatric sleeping beauties, addressing medical homes and the transition from paediatric to adult health care, respectively, awakened in response to organizational needs. Both presented novel concepts of paediatric service organization that became important because of an increased need for optimization of services. Conclusion: All sleeping beauties bring new knowledge that becomes important only after several years. Paediatric sleeping beauties exhibited unique characteristics; however, their presence in paediatric research shows that knowledge acquisition in paediatrics resembles that in other disciplines.
Keywords: sleeping beauties, bilbliometrics, citation analysis, pediatrics, paediatrics, publications, research
Published in DKUM: 13.07.2017; Views: 1257; Downloads: 374
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Biomechanical characteristics of skeletal muscles and associations between running speed and contraction time in 8- to 13-year-old children
Jernej Završnik, Rado Pišot, Boštjan Šimunič, Peter Kokol, Helena Blažun Vošner, 2017, original scientific article

Abstract: Objective: To investigate associations between running speeds and contraction times in 8- to 13-year-old children. Method: This longitudinal study analyzed tensiomyographic measurements of vastus lateralis and biceps femoris muscles’ contraction times and maximum running speeds in 107 children (53 boys, 54 girls). Data were evaluated using multiple correspondence analysis. Results: A gender difference existed between the vastus lateralis contraction times and running speeds. The running speed was less dependent on vastus lateralis contraction times in boys than in girls. Analysis of biceps femoris contraction times and running speeds revealed that running speeds of boys were much more structurally associated with contraction times than those of girls, for whom the association seemed chaotic. Conclusion: Joint category plots showed that contraction times of biceps femoris were associated much more closely with running speed than those of the vastus lateralis muscle. These results provide insight into a new dimension of children’s development.
Keywords: children, tensiomyography, running speed, contraction time, skelet muscle, motor development
Published in DKUM: 13.07.2017; Views: 1397; Downloads: 385
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