Tuula Petäys

Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland

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Publications (11)111.6 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Subjects with atopic syndrome often perceive symptoms from various organs. A single drug that acts on all the syndrome's manifestations would be the ideal treatment. The role of montelukast, a cysteinyl-leukotriene receptor antagonist, is established in treating allergic rhinitis and asthma, but its ability to alleviate atopic symptoms outside the airways is controversial. Our aim was to assess if montelukast could be used to treat all the various symptoms seen in subjects with atopic syndrome. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study on the effect of montelukast in atopic syndrome was conducted during the 2007 pollen season. Forty-five pollen-sensitised subjects who had allergic symptoms from both the upper and lower airways and allergic symptoms outside the airways (conjunctivitis, oral symptoms, eczema and/or urticaria) were recruited. The primary outcome parameter was the allergic symptoms, which were assessed using a questionnaire. Secondary outcome parameters were lower-airway inflammation (exhaled nitric oxide) and the need for rescue medication (inhaled beta2-agonists and oral antihistamines). There were no differences between montelukast and placebo treatments in allergic symptoms, in exhaled NO concentration or in the need for oral antihistamines. The need for inhaled beta2-agonists was significantly lower during montelukast treatment. Montelukast was not effective in treating allergic symptoms outside the airways in subjects suffering from different manifestations of the atopic syndrome. Based on the current results, montelukast should not be recommended as a general drug to treat all the symptoms of atopic syndrome, but it should be considered as a drug for asthma and rhinitis.
    International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 02/2009; 149(2):150-3. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing evidence links chronic infections, especially burden of several infections, with increased risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). We studied joint immune response against two major periodontal pathogens and herpes simplex virus (HSV) in relation to established risk factors of CVD. Serum antibody levels to HSV, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis were determined by ELISA. The study included 1107 subjects, 734 from Finland and 373 from Russia. Combined antibody response to periodontal pathogens was associated inversely (OR, 95% CI) with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentration (beta = 0.35; 0.20, 0.60; P < 0.001) and directly with HSV antibody quartiles: compared with the first quartile, ORs (95% CI) for quartiles 2-4 were 1.43 (0.88-2.32), 1.74 (1.07-2.82), and 1.89 (1.18-3.02), respectively (P for trend <0.001), after adjusting for age, gender, area, education, smoking, BMI, alcohol, triglycerides, and number of teeth. In linear regression analysis, the 3-pathogen antibody score (comprising antibody levels against periodontal pathogens and HSV) was inversely associated with HDL cholesterol concentration (beta = -0.067/1 mmol/l; -0.235, -0.018; P < 0.05). HSV infection may promote infection by periodontal pathogens. Furthermore, the infectious burden comprising HSV and periodontitis may increase the risk for CVD by clearly decreasing HDL cholesterol concentrations.
    International Journal of Epidemiology 01/2007; 35(6):1486-94. · 6.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) was proposed as a marker of airway inflammation, but data about FENO in healthy children measured with standardized methods are so far limited. In order to assess the determinants of FENO in healthy children, we investigated a population-based sample of school-age children (n = 276) with a questionnaire, skin-prick tests, spirometry, and the measurement of FENO. The FENO of 114 nonatopic and nonsmoking children considered healthy were analyzed with stepwise multiple regression analysis, which showed significant associations with age, standing height, weight, and body surface area, but not with gender. Height was found to be the best independent variable for the regression equation for FENO, which on average showed an increase in the height range of 120-180 cm from 7 to 14 ppb. In the random sample of children, increased FENO was associated with atopy (odds ratio, 9.0; 95% confidence interval, 3.9-21.1; P < 0.0001), and significantly with allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis, but not with asthma. Respiratory symptom-free children with skin-prick test positivity had significantly higher FENO than healthy nonatopic subjects. We conclude that height is the best determinant of FENO in healthy children. Due to the strong effect of atopy, FENO data should not be interpreted without knowing the atopic status of the child. The present reference values of FENO may serve in clinical assessments for measuring airway inflammation in children.
    Pediatric Pulmonology 08/2006; 41(7):635-42. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Western lifestyle has consistently been associated with the current asthma and atopy epidemics. We examined the occurrence and risk factors of atopy among schoolchildren and their mothers in 2 geographically adjacent areas with fundamental differences in living conditions and lifestyles. A population-based study of 2 generations was carried out in eastern Finland and in western Russia. Randomly selected schoolchildren aged 7 to 16 years (367 in Finland and 446 in Russia) and their mothers (365 and 437, respectively) were enrolled. Data were obtained by using a modified International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire and by performing skin prick tests against 14 common airborne and food allergens. In children a 4-fold higher risk for atopy (> or =1 positive prick test result) was found in Finland compared with Russia. Sensitization rates in Finland were generally higher among children compared with those of their mothers, whereas in Russia the opposite trends emerged. Parental farming in early life (<1 year) in Finland (odds ratio [OR], 0.53; 95% CI, 0.28-0.99) and in Russia (OR, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.22-1.03) and currently in Finland (OR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.22-0.91) conferred protection against atopy. Having pets, dogs in Finland (OR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.35-0.95) and cats in Russia (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.24-0.80), in early life was also inversely associated with atopy. Atopy was several-fold more common in Finland compared with in Russia, and disparities in sensitization rates between the countries have further increased during these generations. The similarity of explanatory variables of atopy in both countries suggests that determinants of atopy are shared, at least in similar geoclimatic conditions.
    Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 01/2006; 117(1):151-7. · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Susceptibility to asthma depends on variation at an unknown number of genetic loci. To identify susceptibility genes on chromosome 7p, we adopted a hierarchical genotyping design, leading to the identification of a 133-kilobase risk-conferring segment containing two genes. One of these coded for an orphan G protein-coupled receptor named GPRA (G protein-coupled receptor for asthma susceptibility), which showed distinct distribution of protein isoforms between bronchial biopsies from healthy and asthmatic individuals. In three cohorts from Finland and Canada, single nucleotide polymorphism-tagged haplotypes associated with high serum immunoglobulin E or asthma. The murine ortholog of GPRA was up-regulated in a mouse model of ovalbumin-induced inflammation. Together, these data implicate GPRA in the pathogenesis of atopy and asthma.
    Science 05/2004; 304(5668):300-4. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Data concerning the determinants of sputum eosinophilia and bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR) in large cohorts of individuals with normal lung function are limited. Here, we assessed the occurrence of sputum eosinophilia and BHR and identified the risk factors for these variables in two populations living in North Karelia, Finland, and in Pitkäranta, the Republic of Karelia, Russia. These areas are geographically adjacent, but differ, however, fundamentally in major cultural, socioeconomical and lifestyle aspects. The study population comprised 790 Finns and 387 Russian, aged 25-54 years, who were randomly enrolled from the population registers. A methacholine challenge test to measure BHR was successfully performed in 581 (74%) Finns and 307 (79%) Russians with virtually normal lung function (FEV1 > 70% of predicted). Of these, induced sputum samples were obtained from 41% of the Finns and from 67% of the Russians. The proportion of current smokers was 27% among the former and 42% among the latter. Sputum eosinophilia was assessed using a semi-quantitative method, and total concentrations of sputum eosinophilic cationic protein (ECP) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) were measured using an immunoassay. Risk factors for BHR and sputum eosinophilia were identified with a regression analysis. The prevalence of sputum eosinophilia was 22% among the Finns and 19% among the Russians, and the respective figures for BHR were 14% and 13%. The median ECP concentration in sputum was significantly higher among the Russians as compared with the Finns (P<0.001), whereas for MPO, the difference did not achieve significance. Current smoking was significantly associated with both sputum eosinophilia and BHR in Russia (OR 3.1, 95% CI 1.2-7.6 for sputum eosinophilia, 2.8, 1.3-6.1 for BHR) and with BHR in Finland (2.1, 1.3-3.7). Atopy showed a tendency to be another risk factor for BHR in Finland (1.6, 0.98-2.6). In conclusion, sputum eosinophilia and BHR occurred commonly among the Finns and the Russians with normal lung function. Current smoking was significantly associated with BHR in both countries and additionally with sputum eosinophilia in Russia. Atopy was identified as a risk factor, albeit of borderline significance, for BHR in Finland only, suggesting that there may be differences in the aetiology and nature of BHR between the two countries.
    Respiratory Medicine 09/2003; 97(8):947-54. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chromosome 7p15-p14 showed genome-wide significant linkage to asthma related traits among the Finnish and French-Canadian families. As an essential step toward cloning the susceptibility gene, a detailed physical map of the region is needed. In this study we report a dense set of carefully tested, new microsatellite markers for fine mapping embedded in a continuous, easy-to-read, physical map of the region that includes the known genes and putative transcripts. Even though susceptibility genes for asthma are difficult to predict from a multitude of unknown genes mapped to the region, TCRG encoding the gamma-chain of the heterodimeric gamma/delta T cell receptor is a potential candidate. We present linkage and association results for TCRG in two independent Finnish family sets by using four highly polymorphic microsatellites spanning 169 kb across the locus. Linkage results confirmed our previous findings, but our study did not provide any evidence on behalf of a strong association of TCRG with either high serum total Immunoglobulin (IgE) level or asthma. Our results suggest that some other known or yet unidentified gene in the linkage region is the true asthma susceptibility gene.
    European Journal of HumanGenetics 11/2002; 10(10):658-65. · 4.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is growing evidence to show that atopic diseases are more common in Western Europe than in the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe. The aim of this study was to assess whether a similar difference exists between the most eastern province of Finland and a neighboring western district of Russia. A random sample of 25- to 54-year-old subjects was taken from the population registers in the North Karelia Province in eastern Finland and from the Pitkäranta district across the border in the western part of Russia. Participants filled out a questionnaire on atopic and allergic symptoms and participated in a clinical study, which included skin prick tests with 11 airborne allergens and IgE measurements. Self-reported hay fever, allergic eye symptoms, atopic eczema, and asthma were much more common in Finland than in Russia. In Finland 34.2% and in Russia 21.8% had at least one positive skin prick test reaction. In Finland 21.5% but in Russia only 15.8% had at least one elevated allergen-specific IgE value of the 5 values measured. From 6% to 47% of the differences in self-reported symptoms between the countries were explained by atopy, as measured by means of skin prick testing or specific IgE values. A major difference in clinical allergic diseases and signs of symptoms was observed between the 2 geographically adjacent areas. This suggests that the difference in clinical allergy and atopic disposition is related to the differences in lifestyle and environmental factors.
    Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 05/2002; 109(4):643-8. · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prolonged cough is a common problem in patients seen in general practice. Using a simple method of sputum induction and processing of sputum samples, we determined whether eosinophilic airway inflammation could be a cause of undiagnosed prolonged cough. Eighty-two patients who had had cough for more than 1 month were enrolled into the study, in six primary healthcare centres. Patients with known pulmonary disease, including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or who were known to have another cause of cough, or to have recently suffered from a respiratory infection, were excluded. Fifty-three healthy individuals served as controls. Sputum was induced by inhalation of 3% saline. Inflammatory cells in smears were studied semi-quantitatively. Concentrations of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), eosinophil peroxidase (EPO), myeloperoxidase (MPO) and human neutrophilic lipocalin (HNL) were determined. Sputum induction proved safe and adequate samples were obtained from 91%. Sputum eosinophilia (eosinophils accounting for more than 5% of all cells in smears) was present in 14 patients with prolonged cough (19%) but in no healthy individual (P=0.001). Five of the 14 individuals (36%) who exhibited sputum eosinophilia appeared to have asthma, while nine of the 14 (64%) did not. Concentrations of ECP and EPO were higher in patients with prolonged cough than in healthy individuals (P=0.02 for ECP; 0.005 for EPO). We conclude that eosinophilic airway inflammation is a fairly common cause of prolonged cough, even in patients not suffering from asthma or COPD, or in whom no other cause of cough is known to be present. Induced sputum samples obtained in health centres can be studied in a central laboratory. Detection of eosinophilic airway inflammation could aid the decision regarding treatment.
    Respiratory Medicine 02/2002; 96(1):52-8. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The genetics of asthma and atopy have been difficult to determine because these diseases are genetically heterogeneous and modified by environment. The pedigrees in our study (n=86) originate in eastern central Finland (Kainuu province). According to census records, this region had only 200 households (2,000 inhabitants) in the mid sixteenth to mid seventeenth centuries. The current population of 100,000 represents the expansion of these founders within the past 400 years. Because this population is relatively homogeneous, we hypothesized that the molecular genetic mechanisms underlying asthma might also have reduced heterogeneity and therefore be easier to dissect than in mixed populations. A recent twin family study supported a strong genetic component for asthma in Finland. We carried out a genome-wide scan for susceptibility loci in asthma in the Kainuu subpopulation. We identified two regions of suggestive linkage and studied them further with higher-density mapping. We obtained evidence for linkage in a 20-cM region of chromosome 7p14-p15 for three phenotypes: asthma, a high level of immunoglobulin E (IgE; atopy) and the combination of the phenotypes. The strongest linkage was seen for high serum IgE (non-parametric linkage (NPL) score 3.9, P=0.0001), exceeding the threshold for genome-wide significance based on simulations. We also observed linkage between this locus and asthma or atopy in two independent data sets.
    Nature Genetics 06/2001; 28(1):87-91. · 35.21 Impact Factor
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