Systemic arterial hypertension is the most important modifiable risk factor for all-cause morbidity and mortality worldwide and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Fewer than half of those with hypertension are aware of their condition, and many others are aware but not treated or inadequately treated, although successful treatment of hypertension reduces the global burden of disease and mortality. The aetiology of hypertension involves the complex interplay of environmental and pathophysiological factors that affect multiple systems, as well as genetic predisposition.
The evaluation of patients with hypertension includes accurate standardized blood pressure (BP) measurement, assessment of the patients’ predicted risk of atherosclerotic CVD and evidence of target-organ damage, and detection of secondary causes of hypertension and presence of comorbidities (such as CVD and kidney disease). Lifestyle changes, including dietary modifications and increased physical activity, are effective in lowering BP and preventing hypertension and its CVD sequelae.
Pharmacological therapy is very effective in lowering BP and in preventing CVD outcomes in most patients; first-line antihypertensive medications include angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, dihydropyridine calcium-channel blockers and thiazide diuretics.
Helicobacter pylori infection causes chronic gastritis, which can progress to severe gastroduodenal pathologies, including peptic ulcer, gastric cancer and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma. H. pylori is usually transmitted in childhood and persists for life if untreated. The infection affects around half of the population in the world but prevalence varies according to location and sanitation standards. H. pylori has unique properties to colonize gastric epithelium in an acidic environment.
The pathophysiology of H. pylori infection is dependent on complex bacterial virulence mechanisms and their interaction with the host immune system and environmental factors, resulting in distinct gastritis phenotypes that determine possible progression to different gastroduodenal pathologies. The causative role of H. pylori infection in gastric cancer development presents the opportunity for preventive screen-and-treat strategies. Invasive, endoscopy-based and non-invasive methods, including breath, stool and serological tests, are used in the diagnosis of H. pylori infection.
Their use depends on the specific individual patient history and local availability. H. pylori treatment consists of a strong acid suppressant in various combinations with antibiotics and/or bismuth. The dramatic increase in resistance to key antibiotics used in H. pylori eradication demands antibiotic susceptibility testing, surveillance of resistance and antibiotic stewardship.
In the past decades the incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) in people under the age of 50 years has increased, which is referred to as early-onset CRC or young-onset CRC (YO-CRC). YO-CRC is expected to account for 11% of colon cancers and 23% of rectal cancers by 2030. This trend is observed in different parts of the world and in both men and women. In 20% of patients with YO-CRC, a hereditary cancer syndrome is found as the underlying cause; however, in the majority of patients no genetic predisposition is present.
Beginning in the 1950s, major changes in lifestyle such as antibiotic use, low physical activity and obesity have affected the gut microbiome and may be an important factor in YO-CRC development. Owing to a lack of screening, patients with YO-CRC are often diagnosed with advanced-stage disease. Long-term treatment-related complications should be taken into account in these younger patients, making the more traditional sequential approaches of drug therapy not always the most appropriate option.
To better understand the underlying mechanism and define relationships between environmental factors and YO-CRC development, long-term prospective studies are needed with lifestyle data collected from childhood.
Binge eating disorder (BED) is characterized by regular binge eating episodes during which individuals ingest comparably large amounts of food and experience loss of control over their eating behaviour. The worldwide prevalence of BED for the years 2018–2020 is estimated to be 0.6–1.8% in adult women and 0.3–0.7% in adult men. BED is commonly associated with obesity and with somatic and mental health comorbidities. People with BED experience considerable burden and impairments in quality of life, and, at the same time, BED often goes undetected and untreated.
Adult-onset autoimmune diabetes encompasses a wide spectrum of heterogeneous genotypes and phenotypes, ranging from classic adult-onset type 1 diabetes mellitus to latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA)
The heterogeneity of LADA arises from its definition as being present in any adult with diabetes who does not require insulin and who is positive for any islet autoantibody, regardless of titre, number or epitope specificity
The heterogeneity of LADA manifests in different clinical phenotypes, ranging from prevalent insulin resistance to prevalent insulin deficiency, each of which might be associated with different autoimmune and metabolic markers
Although patients with LADA are leaner and have healthier lipid and blood pressure profiles, evidence shows that there is no difference in cardiovascular outcomes between these patients and those with type 2 diabetes mellitus