Last month, on the 29th of March, the annual scientific meeting of The Maastricht Study took place at The Maastricht School of Management in Maastricht. Researchers from all departments came together and a selection of the newest study results was presented. The program was very diverse which made it a unique meeting.
Prof. Albert Scherpbier, Dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, opened the meeting where after an update of the study was given by Prof. Coen Stehouwer. Laura Vergoossen, PhD students of the radiology department presented her results regarding prediabetes, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and white matter connectivity alterations. Results of her study showed that T2DM and prediabetes were associated with a structural network reduction. In both prediabetes and T2DM connections disappeared in the inter-hemisphere, in T2DM connections also disappeared intra-hemisphere. Aside of this intrinsic network, reorganization took place in the remaining network.
Eveline Jansen, psychiatrist within Mondriaan mental health care and PhD student of the Psychiatry and Neuropsychology department, showed results of her study in which she investigated independent associations of multiple biomarkers of low-grade inflammation (LGI) and endothelial dysfunction (ED) with incident and course of depressive symptoms over 2 years of follow-up. Higher levels LGI and ED were associated with incident depressive symptoms. Furthermore, ED was associated with a chronic course of depressive symptoms and LGI with a single depressive episode.
Dr. Yannick Nielen, who completed his PhD studies within the department of Clinical Epidemiology, presented the results of his study in which he investigated the association of T2DM with self-reported knee pain, and clinical knee osteoarthritis (OA). T2DM patients were more likely to experience knee pain or have knee OA. This was mainly associated with overweight rather than a metabolic effect. Results also showed that T2DM patients with knee OA did not experience knee pain differently than knee OA patients without T2DM.
After the break the meeting continued with an interesting presentation from Dorijn Hertroijs, PhD student within the department of Health Services Research, about differences in the biopsychosocial profile of patients with T2DM by level of glycaemic control and health related quality of life. Results of her study showed that insufficient glycaemic control, particularly in combination with low health related quality of life, was associated with a generally less positive biopsychosocial profile, e.g. lower self-efficacy, lower mean equivalent income, lower education and higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease. This might assume a need to learn more about self-perceived care needs and preferences of different patient subgroups to provide patient-centered care.
Luca Janssen, who is finishing her Master studies in the field of Health Technology Assessment, presented her results regarding the economic impact of T2DM. The purpose of her study was to give insight in diabetes in economic terms and improve (good) policy decision making. She found that having diabetes significantly increased societal costs. No significant difference in total societal costs was found between participant without diabetes and those with pre-diabetes. Furthermore, she concluded that having diabetes and complications of diabetes negatively affected quality of life.
Data of the Paris Prospective Study 3 and The Maastricht Study were combined in the study of Dr. Thomas van Sloten in which he investigated arterial stiffness and incident depressive symptoms. Results of the Paris Prospective Study 3 showed that carotid artery stiffness was associated with incident depressive symptoms. Results of The Maastricht Study were in same direction although not significant.
Keynote speaker, Prof. Michel Dumontier, finished the meeting with an interesting presentation about analyzing partitioned FAIR health data responsibility. FAIR stands for findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. He spoke about the collaboration between The Maastricht Study, the Institute for Data Science and CBS. This project aim to set up technological infrastructure to link data from the Maastricht Study to data from CBS, also taking into account the privacy and legal issues.