To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Nut consumption is associated with a range of health benefits. The current study aimed to examine nut consumption in the 2011–2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey (NNPAS) and to investigate associations between nut intake, nutrient intake and anthropometric and blood pressure measurements.
Secondary analysis of the 2011–2012 NNPAS. Usual consumption of nuts in the 2011–2012 NNPAS was determined, and nut consumption was compared with population recommendations of 30 g nuts per day. The relationship between nut consumption and intakes of key nutrients, anthropometric outcomes (weight, BMI and waist circumference) and blood pressure was examined using linear regression for participants aged over 18 years.
Australians (2 years and older, n 12 153) participating in the representative 2011–2012 NNPAS.
Mean nut intake was 4·61 (95 % CI: 4·36, 4·86) g/d, with only 5·6 % of nut consumers consuming 30 g of nuts per day. Nut consumption was associated with significantly greater intakes of fibre, vitamin E, Fe, Mg and P. There was no association between nut consumption and body weight, BMI, waist circumference, or blood pressure.
Exploration of nut consumption in a representative sample of Australians identified that nut intake does not meet recommendations. Higher nut consumption was not adversely associated with higher body weight, aligning with the current evidence base. Given the current levels of nut consumption in Australia, strategies to increase nut intake to recommended levels are required.
An improved understanding of diagnostic and treatment practices for patients with rare primary mitochondrial disorders can support benchmarking against guidelines and establish priorities for evaluative research. We aimed to describe physician care for patients with mitochondrial diseases in Canada, including variation in care.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey of Canadian physicians involved in the diagnosis and/or ongoing care of patients with mitochondrial diseases. We used snowball sampling to identify potentially eligible participants, who were contacted by mail up to five times and invited to complete a questionnaire by mail or internet. The questionnaire addressed: personal experience in providing care for mitochondrial disorders; diagnostic and treatment practices; challenges in accessing tests or treatments; and views regarding research priorities.
We received 58 survey responses (52% response rate). Most respondents (83%) reported spending 20% or less of their clinical practice time caring for patients with mitochondrial disorders. We identified important variation in diagnostic care, although assessments frequently reported as diagnostically helpful (e.g., brain magnetic resonance imaging, MRI/MR spectroscopy) were also recommended in published guidelines. Approximately half (49%) of participants would recommend “mitochondrial cocktails” for all or most patients, but we identified variation in responses regarding specific vitamins and cofactors. A majority of physicians recommended studies on the development of effective therapies as the top research priority.
While Canadian physicians’ views about diagnostic care and disease management are aligned with published recommendations, important variations in care reflect persistent areas of uncertainty and a need for empirical evidence to support and update standard protocols.
The aggregation of neurocognitive deficits among the non-psychotic first-degree relatives of adult- and childhood-onset schizophrenia patients suggests that there may be a common etiology for these deficits in childhood- and adult-onset illness. However, there is considerable heterogeneity in the presentation of neurobiological abnormalities, and whether there are differences in the extent of familial transmission for specific domains of cognitive function has not been systematically addressed.
We employed variance components analysis, as implemented in SOLAR-Eclipse, to evaluate the evidence of familial transmission for empirically derived composite scores representing attention, working memory, verbal learning, verbal retention, and memory for faces. We contrast estimates for adult- and childhood-onset schizophrenia families and matched community control pedigrees, and compare our findings to previous reports based on analogous neurocognitive assessments.
We observed varying degrees of familial transmission; attention and working memory yielded comparable, significant estimates for adult-onset and community control pedigrees; verbal learning was significant for childhood-onset and community control pedigrees; and facial memory demonstrated significant familial transmission only for childhood-onset schizophrenia. Model-fitting analyses indicated significant differences in familiality between adult- and childhood-onset schizophrenia for attention, working memory, and verbal learning.
By comprehensively assessing a wide range of neurocognitive domains in adult- and childhood-onset schizophrenia families, we provide additional support for specific neurocognitive domains as schizophrenia endophenotypes. Whereas comparable estimates of familial transmission for certain dimensions of cognitive functioning support a shared etiology of adult- and childhood-onset neurocognitive function, observed differences may be taken as preliminary evidence of partially divergent multifactorial architectures.
Structural equation modeling (SEM) is an important research tool, both for path-based model specification (common in the social sciences) and also for matrix-based models (in heavy use in behavior genetics). We developed umx to give more immediate access, relatively concise syntax and helpful defaults for users in these two broad disciplines. umx supports development, modification and comparison of models, as well as both graphical and tabular outputs. The second major focus of umx, behavior genetic models, is supported via functions implementing standard multigroup twin models. These functions support raw and covariance data, including joint ordinal data, and give solutions for ACE models, including support for covariates, common- and independent-pathway models, and gene × environment interaction models. A tutorial site and question forum are also available.
Vulnerability to depression can be measured in different ways. We here examine how genetic risk factors are inter-related for lifetime major depression (MD), self-report current depressive symptoms and the personality trait Neuroticism.
We obtained data from three population-based adult twin samples (Virginia n = 4672, Australia #1 n = 3598 and Australia #2 n = 1878) to which we fitted a common factor model where risk for ‘broadly defined depression’ was indexed by (i) lifetime MD assessed at personal interview, (ii) depressive symptoms, and (iii) neuroticism. We examined the proportion of genetic risk for MD deriving from the common factor v. specific to MD in each sample and then analyzed them jointly. Structural equation modeling was conducted in Mx.
The best fit models in all samples included additive genetic and unique environmental effects. The proportion of genetic effects unique to lifetime MD and not shared with the broad depression common factor in the three samples were estimated as 77, 61, and 65%, respectively. A cross-sample mega-analysis model fit well and estimated that 65% of the genetic risk for MD was unique.
A large proportion of genetic risk factors for lifetime MD was not, in the samples studied, captured by a common factor for broadly defined depression utilizing MD and self-report measures of current depressive symptoms and Neuroticism. The genetic substrate for MD may reflect neurobiological processes underlying the episodic nature of its cognitive, motor and neurovegetative manifestations, which are not well indexed by current depressive symptom and neuroticism.
Most studies underline the contribution of heritable factors for psychiatric disorders. However, heritability estimates depend on the population under study, diagnostic instruments, and study designs that each has its inherent assumptions, strengths, and biases. We aim to test the homogeneity in heritability estimates between two powerful, and state of the art study designs for eight psychiatric disorders.
We assessed heritability based on data of Swedish siblings (N = 4 408 646 full and maternal half-siblings), and based on summary data of eight samples with measured genotypes (N = 125 533 cases and 208 215 controls). All data were based on standard diagnostic criteria. Eight psychiatric disorders were studied: (1) alcohol dependence (AD), (2) anorexia nervosa, (3) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), (4) autism spectrum disorder, (5) bipolar disorder, (6) major depressive disorder, (7) obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and (8) schizophrenia.
Heritability estimates from sibling data varied from 0.30 for Major Depression to 0.80 for ADHD. The estimates based on the measured genotypes were lower, ranging from 0.10 for AD to 0.28 for OCD, but were significant, and correlated positively (0.19) with national sibling-based estimates. When removing OCD from the data the correlation increased to 0.50.
Given the unique character of each study design, the convergent findings for these eight psychiatric conditions suggest that heritability estimates are robust across different methods. The findings also highlight large differences in genetic and environmental influences between psychiatric disorders, providing future directions for etiological psychiatric research.
Understanding food choices made for meals in overweight and obese individuals may aid strategies for weight loss tailored to their eating habits. However, limited studies have explored food choices at meal occasions. The aim of this study was to identify the usual food choices for meals of overweight and obese volunteers for a weight-loss trial. A cross-sectional analysis was performed using screening diet history data from a 12-month weight-loss trial (the HealthTrack study). A descriptive data mining tool, the Apriori algorithm of association rules, was applied to identify food choices at meal occasions using a nested hierarchical food group classification system. Overall, 432 breakfasts, 428 lunches, 432 dinners and 433 others (meals) were identified from the intake data (n 433 participants). A total of 142 items of closely related food clusters were identified at three food group levels. At the first sub-food group level, bread emerged as central to food combinations at lunch, but unprocessed meat appeared for this at dinner. The dinner meal was characterised by more varieties of vegetables and of foods in general. The definitions of food groups played a pivotal role in identifying food choice patterns at main meals. Given the large number of foods available, having an understanding of eating patterns in which key foods drive overall meal content can help translate and develop novel dietary strategies for weight loss at the individual level.
Background: Considerable evidence from twin and adoption studies indicates that genetic and shared environmental factors play a role in the initiation of smoking behavior. Although twin and adoption designs are powerful to detect genetic and environmental influences, they do not provide information on the processes of assortative mating and parent–offspring transmission and their contribution to the variability explained by genetic and/or environmental factors. Methods: We examined the role of genetic and environmental factors in individual differences for smoking initiation (SI) using an extended kinship design. This design allows the simultaneous testing of additive and non-additive genetic, shared and individual-specific environmental factors, as well as sex differences in the expression of genes and environment in the presence of assortative mating and combined genetic and cultural transmission, while also estimating the regression of the prevalence of SI on age. A dichotomous lifetime ‘ever’ smoking measure was obtained from twins and relatives in the ‘Virginia 30,000’ sample and the ‘Australian 25,000’. Results: Results demonstrate that both genetic and environmental factors play a significant role in the liability to SI. Major influences on individual differences appeared to be additive genetic and unique environmental effects, with smaller contributions from assortative mating, shared sibling environment, twin environment, cultural transmission, and resulting genotype-environment covariance. Age regression of the prevalence of SI was significant. The finding of negative cultural transmission without dominance led us to investigate more closely two possible mechanisms for the lower parent–offspring correlations compared to the sibling and DZ twin correlations in subsets of the data: (1) age × gene interaction, and (2) social homogamy. Neither of the mechanism provided a significantly better explanation of the data. Conclusions: This study showed significant heritability, partly due to assortment, and significant effects of primarily non-parental shared environment on liability to SI.
Drinking alcohol is a normal behavior in many societies, and prior studies have demonstrated it has both genetic and environmental sources of variation. Using two very large samples of twins and their first-degree relatives (Australia ≈ 20,000 individuals from 8,019 families; Virginia ≈ 23,000 from 6,042 families), we examine whether there are differences: (1) in the genetic and environmental factors that influence four interrelated drinking behaviors (quantity, frequency, age of initiation, and number of drinks in the last week), (2) between the twin-only design and the extended twin design, and (3) the Australian and Virginia samples. We find that while drinking behaviors are interrelated, there are substantial differences in the genetic and environmental architectures across phenotypes. Specifically, drinking quantity, frequency, and number of drinks in the past week have large broad genetic variance components, and smaller but significant environmental variance components, while age of onset is driven exclusively by environmental factors. Further, the twin-only design and the extended twin design come to similar conclusions regarding broad-sense heritability and environmental transmission, but the extended twin models provide a more nuanced perspective. Finally, we find a high level of similarity between the Australian and Virginian samples, especially for the genetic factors. The observed differences, when present, tend to be at the environmental level. Implications for the extended twin model and future directions are discussed.
Propagation of a strong incident shock through a bed of particles results in complex wave dynamics such as a reflected shock, a transmitted shock, and highly unsteady flow inside the particle bed. In this paper we present three-dimensional numerical simulations of shock propagation in air over a random bed of particles. We assume the flow is inviscid and governed by the Euler equations of gas dynamics. Simulations are carried out by varying the volume fraction of the particle bed at a fixed shock Mach number. We compute the unsteady inviscid streamwise and transverse drag coefficients as a function of time for each particle in the random bed for different volume fractions. We show that (i) there are significant variations in the peak drag for the particles in the bed, (ii) the mean peak drag as a function of streamwise distance through the bed decreases with a slope that increases as the volume fraction increases, and (iii) the deviation from the mean peak drag does not correlate with local volume fraction. We also present the local Mach number and pressure contours for the different volume fractions to explain the various observed complex physical mechanisms occurring during the shock–particle interactions. Since the shock interaction with the random bed of particles leads to transmitted and reflected waves, we compute the average flow properties to characterize the strength of the transmitted and reflected shock waves and quantify the energy dissipation inside the particle bed. Finally, to better understand the complex wave dynamics in a random bed, we consider a simpler approximation of a planar shock propagating in a duct with a sudden area change. We obtain Riemann solutions to this problem, which are used to compare with fully resolved numerical simulations.
Until now, data have not been available to elucidate the genetic and environmental sources of comorbidity between all 10 DSM-IV personality disorders (PDs) and cocaine use. Our aim was to determine which PD traits are linked phenotypically and genetically to cocaine use. Cross-sectional data were obtained in a face-to-face interview between 1999 and 2004. Subjects were 1,419 twins (µage = 28.2 years, range = 19–36) from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health Twin Panel, with complete lifetime cocaine use and criteria for all 10 DSM-IV PDs. Stepwise multiple and Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) regressions were used to identify PDs related to cocaine use. Twin models were fitted to estimate genetic and environmental associations between the PD traits and cocaine use. In the multiple regression, antisocial (OR = 4.24, 95% CI [2.66, 6.86]) and borderline (OR = 2.19, 95% CI [1.35, 3.57]) PD traits were significant predictors of cocaine use. In the LASSO regression, antisocial, borderline, and histrionic were significant predictors of cocaine use. Antisocial and borderline PD traits each explained 72% and 25% of the total genetic risks in cocaine use, respectively. Genetic risks in histrionic PD were not significantly related to cocaine use. Importantly, after removing criteria referencing substance use, antisocial PD explained 65% of the total genetic variance in cocaine use, whereas borderline explained only 4%. Among PD traits, antisocial is the strongest correlate of cocaine use, for which the association is driven largely by common genetic risks.
Simulation models have been used to investigate the impact of hand hygiene on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission within the healthcare setting, but they have been limited by their ability to accurately model complex patient–provider interactions.
Using a network-based modeling approach, we created a simulated neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) representing the potential for per-hour infant–infant MRSA transmission via the healthcare worker resulting in subsequent colonization. The starting prevalence of MRSA colonized infants varied from 2% to 8%. Hand hygiene ranged from 0% (none) to 100% (theoretical maximum), with an expected effectiveness of 88% inferred from literature.
Based on empiric care provided within a 1-hour period, the mean number of infant–infant MRSA transmissible opportunities per hour was 1.3. Compared to no hand hygiene and averaged across all initial colonization states, colonization was reduced by approximately 29%, 51%, 67%, 80%, and 86% for the respective levels of hygiene: 24%, 48%, 68%, 88%, and 100%. Preterm infants had a 61% increase in MRSA colonization, and mechanically ventilated infants had a 27% increase.
Even under optimal hygiene conditions, horizontal transmission of MRSA is possible. Additional prevention paradigms should focus on the most acute patients because they are at greatest risk.
We introduce the optimizer CSOLNP, which is a C++ implementation of the R package RSOLNP (Ghalanos & Theussl, 2012, Rsolnp: General non-linear optimization using augmented Lagrange multiplier method. R package version, 1) alongside some improvements. CSOLNP solves non-linearly constrained optimization problems using a Sequential Quadratic Programming (SQP) algorithm. CSOLNP, NPSOL (a very popular implementation of SQP method in FORTRAN (Gill et al., 1986, User's guide for NPSOL (version 4.0): A Fortran package for nonlinear programming (No. SOL-86-2). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Systems Optimization Laboratory), and SLSQP (another SQP implementation available as part of the NLOPT collection (Johnson, 2014, The NLopt nonlinear-optimization package. Retrieved from http://ab-initio.mit.edu/nlopt)) are three optimizers available in OpenMx package. These optimizers are compared in terms of runtimes, final objective values, and memory consumption. A Monte Carlo analysis of the performance of the optimizers was performed on ordinal and continuous models with five variables and one or two factors. While the relative difference between the objective values is less than 0.5%, CSOLNP is in general faster than NPSOL and SLSQP for ordinal analysis. As for continuous data, none of the optimizers performs consistently faster than the others. In terms of memory usage, we used Valgrind's heap profiler tool, called Massif, on one-factor threshold models. CSOLNP and NPSOL consume the same amount of memory, while SLSQP uses 71 MB more memory than the other two optimizers.
DSM-5 includes two conceptualizations of personality disorders (PDs). The classification in Section II is identical to the one found in DSM-IV, and includes 10 categorical PDs. The Alternative Model (Section III) includes criteria for dimensional measures of maladaptive personality traits organized into five domains. The degree to which the two conceptualizations reflect the same etiological factors is not known.
We use data from a large population-based sample of adult twins from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health Twin Panel on interview-based DSM-IV PDs and a short self-report inventory that indexes the five domains of the DSM-5 Alternative Model plus a domain explicitly targeting compulsivity. Schizotypal, Paranoid, Antisocial, Borderline, Avoidant, and Obsessive-compulsive PDs were assessed at the same time as the maladaptive personality traits and 10 years previously. Schizoid, Histrionic, Narcissistic, and Dependent PDs were only assessed at the first interview. Biometric models were used to estimate overlap in genetic and environmental risk factors.
When measured concurrently, there was 100% genetic overlap between the maladaptive trait domains and Paranoid, Schizotypal, Antisocial, Borderline, and Avoidant PDs. For OCPD, 43% of the genetic variance was shared with the domains. Genetic correlations between the individual domains and PDs ranged from +0.21 to +0.91.
The pathological personality trait domains, which are part of the Alternative Model for classification of PDs in DSM-5 Section III, appears to tap, at an aggregate level, the same genetic risk factors as the DSM-5 Section II classification for most of the PDs.
Sequence-based association studies are at a critical inflexion point with the increasing availability of exome-sequencing data. A popular test of association is the sequence kernel association test (SKAT). Weights are embedded within SKAT to reflect the hypothesized contribution of the variants to the trait variance. Because the true weights are generally unknown, and so are subject to misspecification, we examined the efficiency of a data-driven weighting scheme. We propose the use of a set of theoretically defensible weighting schemes, of which, we assume, the one that gives the largest test statistic is likely to capture best the allele frequency–functional effect relationship. We show that the use of alternative weights obviates the need to impose arbitrary frequency thresholds. As both the score test and the likelihood ratio test (LRT) may be used in this context, and may differ in power, we characterize the behavior of both tests. The two tests have equal power, if the weights in the set included weights resembling the correct ones. However, if the weights are badly specified, the LRT shows superior power (due to its robustness to misspecification). With this data-driven weighting procedure the LRT detected significant signal in genes located in regions already confirmed as associated with schizophrenia — the PRRC2A (p = 1.020e-06) and the VARS2 (p = 2.383e-06) — in the Swedish schizophrenia case-control cohort of 11,040 individuals with exome-sequencing data. The score test is currently preferred for its computational efficiency and power. Indeed, assuming correct specification, in some circumstances, the score test is the most powerful test. However, LRT has the advantageous properties of being generally more robust and more powerful under weight misspecification. This is an important result given that, arguably, misspecified models are likely to be the rule rather than the exception in weighting-based approaches.
Government transparency is widely promoted, yet little is known about transparency’s effects. Survey experiments reported here, made on the streets of Lima, Peru, investigate a simple question: what are the effects of government-sponsored transparency websites, and the information revealed by those efforts, on attitudes about the Peruvian political system? Like many developing countries, Peru lacks much system support, making it more difficult to improve governance and democracy; transparency itself has little impact on political attitudes. However, some dimensions of the information provided by transparency matter: endorsement by a credible third party or framing that associates comparatively good community well-being with government performance. These conditions substantively increase Peruvians’ approval of the national political community, the regime’s performance, institutions, and local government.
Occupancy has been associated with risk for healthcare-associated infections, yet its definition varies widely. Occupancy can be modeled as a function of census, acuity of the patient care unit, staffing ratio, or some combination. This article discusses the appropriate parameterization of these measures and how to interpret their impact.
Recent trends favoring organic and sustainable turfgrass management practices have led to an increased desire for biologically based alternatives to traditional synthetic herbicides. Thaxtomin A, produced by the bacterium Streptomyces scabies, has been reported to have PRE efficacy on broadleaf weeds, but efficacy of thaxtomin A on annual grassy weeds and safety to newly seeded cool-season turfgrasses have not been reported. Field experiments were conducted to evaluate PRE efficacy of thaxtomin A on smooth crabgrass and annual bluegrass. Monthly applications of thaxtomin A from April to July controlled smooth crabgrass through July but did not provide season-long control equivalent to an industry standard PRE herbicide. An initial application of thaxtomin A at 380 g ai ha−1 followed by two applications at 190 or 380 g ha−1 at 4-wk intervals provided season-long annual bluegrass control similar to an industry standard PRE herbicide. At 380 g ha−1, thaxtomin A reduced tall fescue and perennial ryegrass cover when applied 1 wk before seeding, at seeding, or 1 wk after seeding but was safe at other application timings. Up to three applications of thaxtomin A at 380 g ha−1 at 4-wk intervals did not reduce perennial ryegrass cover. Applications to creeping bentgrass resulted in unacceptable turfgrass injury. These results suggest that thaxtomin A can suppress annual grassy weeds in tall fescue or perennial ryegrass turf when applied at least 2 wk before or after seeding. Furthermore, repeated applications of thaxtomin A can provide effective PRE control of annual bluegrass during overseeded perennial ryegrass establishment.