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A consensus workshop on low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) was held in November 2018 where seventeen experts (the panel) discussed three themes identified as key to the science and policy of LCS: (1) weight management and glucose control; (2) consumption, safety and perception; (3) nutrition policy. The aims were to identify the reliable facts on LCS, suggest research gaps and propose future actions. The panel agreed that the safety of LCS is demonstrated by a substantial body of evidence reviewed by regulatory experts and current levels of consumption, even for high users, are within agreed safety margins. However, better risk communication is needed. More emphasis is required on the role of LCS in helping individuals reduce their sugar and energy intake, which is a public health priority. Based on reviews of clinical evidence to date, the panel concluded that LCS can be beneficial for weight management when they are used to replace sugar in products consumed in the diet (without energy substitution). The available evidence suggests no grounds for concerns about adverse effects of LCS on sweet preference, appetite or glucose control; indeed, LCS may improve diabetic control and dietary compliance. Regarding effects on the human gut microbiota, data are limited and do not provide adequate evidence that LCS affect gut health at doses relevant to human use. The panel identified research priorities, including collation of the totality of evidence on LCS and body weight control, monitoring and modelling of LCS intakes, impacts on sugar reduction and diet quality and developing effective communication strategies to foster informed choice. There is also a need to reconcile policy discrepancies between organisations and reduce regulatory hurdles that impede low-energy product development and reformulation.
The volume of amniotic fluid, for which nomograms exist , is the result of a balance between its production and removal. Amniotic fluid production largely reflects fetal urine production, but includes respiratory tract and oral secretions. Amniotic fluid removal relies on fetal swallowing. Fluid dynamics across the membranes are the third component of this balance. In current clinical practice a surrogate estimate for amniotic volume is made by 2-dimensional ultrasound-derived measurements of vertical cord-free liquor pools, either by amniotic fluid index (AFI) – a cumulative measurement of vertical pools made within 4 quadrants of the uterus – or by the measurement of the single deepest vertical pocket (DVP) within the uterus. Increased production or decreased removal will result in the development of polyhydramnios. The converse will result in development of oligohydramnios. The importance of these abnormalities of amniotic fluid volume is that they are a marker for fetal pathology. Their significance in isolation is limited, as are indications for their manipulation.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has acknowledged the value of waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) as an indicator for ‘early health risk’. We used recent UK data to explore whether classification based on WHtR identifies more adults at cardiometabolic risk than the ‘matrix’ based on BMI and waist circumference, currently used for screening. Data from the Health Survey for England (4112 adults aged 18+ years) were used to identify cardiometabolic risk, indicated by raised glycated Hb, dyslipidaemia and hypertension. HbA1c, total/HDL-cholesterol and systolic blood pressure (BP) were more strongly associated with WHtR than the ‘matrix’. In logistic regression models for HbA1c ≥ 48 mmol/mol, total/HDL-cholesterol > 4 and hypertension (BP > 140/90 mmHg or on medication), WHtR had a higher predictive value than the ‘matrix’. AUC was significantly greater for WHtR than the ‘matrix’ for raised HbA1c and hypertension. Of adults with raised HbA1c, 15 % would be judged as ‘no increased risk’ using the ‘matrix’ in contrast to 3 % using WHtR < 0·5. For hypertension, comparative values were 23 and 9 %, and for total/HDL-cholesterol > 4, 26 and 13 %. Nearly one-third of the ‘no increased risk’ group in the ‘matrix’ had WHtR ≥ 0·5 and hence could be underdiagnosed for cardiometabolic risk. WHtR has the potential to be a better indicator of cardiometabolic risks associated with central obesity than the current NICE ‘matrix’. The cut-off WHtR 0·5 in early screening translates to a simple message, ‘your waist should be less than half your height’, that allows individuals to be aware of their health risks.
For simplicity’s sake, standard population genetic models of host–parasite coevolution often exclude ecological and epidemiological detail. In particular, they assume that each host is exposed to a single infectious propagule, regardless of the parasite’s prevalence. On the other hand, standard epidemiological models usually assume that all hosts are equally susceptible to infection. Here, we summarise models in which we relax these simplifying assumptions, thereby allowing for feedbacks between evolution, ecology, and epidemiology. One major result from these models is that, under certain general conditions, a parasite’s potential for disease spread (R0) decreases as genetic diversity for resistance increases in the host population. Moreover, R0 can increase if we allow the parasite population to track common host genotypes. Feedbacks between ecology and evolution mean that as a common genotype comes to dominate the host population, the parasite population adapts to preferentially infect this genotype, increasing the prevalence of infection and the mean number of parasite exposures per host. We further connect these findings to the major evolutionary hypothesis that coevolving parasites can favour sexual reproduction.
Growth patterns are known to differ between breastfed and formula-fed infants, but little is known about the relative impact of maternal smoking in pregnancy v. feeding mode on growth trajectory in infancy. We conducted a secondary analysis of a trial, the Tolerance of Infant Goat Milk Formula and Growth Assessment trial involving 290 healthy infants, to examine whether smoking in pregnancy modified the association between feeding mode and body composition of infants. Fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) were estimated at 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12 months of age using bioimpedance spectroscopy. Formula-fed infants (n 190) had a higher mean FFM at 4 months (mean difference (MD) 160 g, 95 % CI 50·4, 269·5 g, P < 0·05)) and 6 months (MD 179 g, 95 % CI 41·5, 316·9 g, P < 0·05) compared with the breastfed infants (n 100). Sub-group analysis of breastfed v. formula-fed infants by maternal smoking status in pregnancy showed that there were no differences in the FM and FFM between the breastfed and formula-fed infants whose mothers did not smoke in pregnancy. Formula-fed infants whose mothers smoked in pregnancy were smaller at birth and had a lower FM% and higher FFM% at 1 month compared with infants of non-smoking mothers regardless of feeding mode, but the differences were not significant at other time points. Adequately powered prospective studies with an appropriate design are warranted to better understand the relative impact of maternal smoking, feeding practice and the growth trajectory of infants.
Antibiotic-resistant organism (ARO) colonization rates in skilled nursing facilities (NFs) are high; hand hygiene is crucial to interrupt transmission. We aimed to determine factors associated with hand hygiene adherence in NFs and to assess rates of ARO acquisition among healthcare personnel (HCP).
HCP were observed during routine care at 6 NFs. We recorded hand hygiene adherence, glove use, activities, and time in room. HCP hands were cultured before and after patient care; patients and high-touch surfaces were cultured. HCP activities were categorized as high-versus low-risk for self-contamination. Multivariable regression was performed to identify predictors of hand hygiene adherence.
We recorded 385 HCP observations and paired them with cultures performed before and after patient care. Hand hygiene adherence occurred in 96 of 352 observations (27.3%) before patient care and 165 of 358 observations (46.1%) after patient care. Gloves were worn in 169 of 376 observations (44.9%). Higher adherence was associated with glove use before patient care (odds ratio [OR], 2.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.44–4.54) and after patient care (OR, 3.11; 95% CI, 1.77–5.48). Compared with nurses, certified nurse assistants had lower hand hygiene adherence (OR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.15–0.67) before patient care and physical/occupational therapists (OR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.11–0.44) after patient care. Hand hygiene varied by activity performed and time in the room. HCP hands were contaminated with AROs in 35 of 385 cultures of hands before patient care (0.9%) and 22 of 350 cultures of hands after patient care (6.3%).
Hand hygiene adherence in NFs remain low; it is influenced by job title, type of care activity, and glove use. Hand hygiene programs should incorporate these unique care and staffing factors to reduce ARO transmission.
In her book The Myth of Sacred Prostitution in Antiquity (Cambridge, 2008), Stephanie Budin compiles and analyses an impressive array of literary sources which describe, or have been interpreted as describing, several practices that modern scholars have collectively and variously called sacred, ritual, cultic or temple prostitution. In general, as Budin explains, ‘[s]acred prostitution is the sale of a person's body for sexual purposes where some portion (if not all) of the money or goods received for this transaction belongs to a deity … usually Aphrodite’. Three major subtypes include ‘once-in-a-lifetime prostitution and/or sale of virginity in honor of a goddess’, activity that ‘involves women (and men?) who are professional prostitutes and who are owned by a deity or a deity's sanctuary’, and ‘a temporary type of sacred prostitution, where the women (and men?) are either prostitutes for a limited period of time before being married, or only prostitute themselves during certain rituals’.
To report an outbreak of measles with epidemiological link between Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and a hospital.
Epidemiological investigations, patients’ measles serology, and phylogenetic analysis of the hemagglutinin (H) and nucleoprotein (N) genes of measles virus isolates were conducted.
In total, 29 HKIA staff of diverse ranks and working locations were infected with measles within 1 month. Significantly fewer affected staff had history of travel than non–HKIA-related measles patients [10 of 29 (34.5%) vs 28 of 35 (80%); P < .01]. Of 9 airport staff who could recall detailed exposure history, 6 (66.7%) had visited self-service food premises at HKIA during the incubation period, where food trays, as observed during the epidemiological field investigation, were not washed after use. Furthermore, 1 airport baggage handler who was admitted to hospital A before rash onset infected 2 healthcare workers (HCWs) known to have 2 doses of MMR vaccination with positive measles IgG and lower viral loads in respiratory specimens. Infections in these 2 HCWs warranted contact tracing of another 168 persons (97 patients and 71 HCWs). Phylogenetic comparison of H and N gene sequences confirmed the clonality of outbreak strains.
Despite good herd immunity with overall seroprevalence of >95% against measles, major outbreaks of measles occurred among HKIA staff having daily contact with many international pssengers. Lessons from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and measles outbreaks suggested that an airport can be a strategic epidemic center. Pre-exanthem transmission of measles from airport staff to HCWs with secondary vaccine failure poses a grave challenge to hospital infection control.
Many institutions evaluate applications for local seed funding by recruiting peer reviewers from their own institutional community. Smaller institutions, however, often face difficulty locating qualified local reviewers who are not in conflict with the proposal. As a larger pool of reviewers may be accessed through a cross-institutional collaborative process, nine Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) hubs formed a consortium in 2016 to facilitate reviewer exchanges. Data were collected to evaluate the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of the consortium.
The CTSA External Reviewer Exchange Consortium (CEREC) has been supported by a custom-built web-based application that facilitates the process and tracks the efficiency and productivity of the exchange.
All nine of the original CEREC members remain actively engaged in the exchange. Between January 2017 and May 2019, CEREC supported the review process for 23 individual calls for proposals. Out of the 412 reviews requested, 368 were received, for a fulfillment ratio of 89.3%. The yield on reviewer invitations has remained consistently high, with approximately one-third of invitations being accepted, and of the reviewers who agreed to provide a review, 88.3% submitted a complete review. Surveys of reviewers and pilot program administrators indicate high satisfaction with the process.
These data indicate that a reviewer exchange consortium is feasible, adds value to participating partners, and is sustainable over time.
A pair of anonymous rhetorical exercises in Greek, dating perhaps to the eleventh century, contain a refutation and a confirmation of the myth of Ganymede, in which the young Trojan shepherd is abducted by Zeus in the form of an eagle to live with him in heaven. This article analyses the opposing arguments about divinity and sexuality in the two exercises, argues that they contain a unique aetiological account of the violet, and situates them in the reception history of Ganymede.
This paper examines the containment and covering of people and objects in burials throughout later prehistory in Britain. Recent analyses of grave assemblages with exceptionally well-preserved organic remains have revealed some of the particular roles played by covers in funerary contexts. Beyond these spectacular examples, however, the objects involved in covering and containing have largely been overlooked. Many of the ‘motley crew’ of pots and stones used to wrap, cover, and contain bodies (and objects) were discarded or destroyed by antiquarian investigators in their quest for more immediately dazzling items. Organic containers and covers – bags, coffins, shrouds, blankets – are rarely preserved. Our study brings together the diverse and often elusive objects that played a part in covering and containing prehistoric burials, including items that directly enclosed bodies and objects, and those that potentially pinned together (now mostly absent) organic wraps. Overall, we contend, wrapping, covering, and containing were significantly more prevalent in prehistoric funerary practices than has previously been recognised.
Falls are a major health concern in older adults. Falls lead to mortality, immobility and high costs to social and health care services. Early detection and classification of falls is imperative for timely and appropriate medical aid response. Traditional machine learning models have been explored for fall classification. While newly developed deep learning techniques have the ability to potentially extract high-level features from raw sensor data providing high accuracy and robustness to variations in sensor position, orientation and diversity of work environments that may skew traditional classification models. However, frequently used deep learning models like Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) are computationally intensive. To the best of our knowledge, we present the first instance of a Hybrid Multichannel Random Neural Network (HMCRNN) architecture for fall detection and classification. The proposed architecture provides the highest accuracy of 92.23% with dropout regularization, compared to other deep learning implementations. The performance of the proposed technique is approximately comparable to a CNN yet requires only half the computation cost of the CNN-based implementation. Furthermore, the proposed HMCRNN architecture provides 34.12% improvement in accuracy on average than a Multilayer Perceptron.
International jurists pride themselves on keeping busy, and between permanent tribunal seats, ad hoc arbitral appointments, speaking engagements, writing, and teaching (among other activities), many do keep their calendars full.
Review findings on the role of dietary patterns in preventing depression are inconsistent, possibly due to variation in assessment of dietary exposure and depression. We studied the association between dietary patterns and depressive symptoms in six population-based cohorts and meta-analysed the findings using a standardised approach that defined dietary exposure, depression assessment and covariates.
Included were cross-sectional data from 23 026 participants in six cohorts: InCHIANTI (Italy), LASA, NESDA, HELIUS (the Netherlands), ALSWH (Australia) and Whitehall II (UK). Analysis of incidence was based on three cohorts with repeated measures of depressive symptoms at 5–6 years of follow-up in 10 721 participants: Whitehall II, InCHIANTI, ALSWH. Three a priori dietary patterns, Mediterranean diet score (MDS), Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI-2010), and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet were investigated in relation to depressive symptoms. Analyses at the cohort-level adjusted for a fixed set of confounders, meta-analysis used a random-effects model.
Cross-sectional and prospective analyses showed statistically significant inverse associations of the three dietary patterns with depressive symptoms (continuous and dichotomous). In cross-sectional analysis, the association of diet with depressive symptoms using a cut-off yielded an adjusted OR of 0.87 (95% confidence interval 0.84–0.91) for MDS, 0.93 (0.88–0.98) for AHEI-2010, and 0.94 (0.87–1.01) for DASH. Similar associations were observed prospectively: 0.88 (0.80–0.96) for MDS; 0.95 (0.84–1.06) for AHEI-2010; 0.90 (0.84–0.97) for DASH.
Population-scale observational evidence indicates that adults following a healthy dietary pattern have fewer depressive symptoms and lower risk of developing depressive symptoms.
Childhood obesity is a global issue. Excessive weight gain in early pregnancy is independently associated with obesity in the next generation. Given the uptake of e-health, our primary aim was to pilot the feasibility of an e-health intervention, starting in the first trimester, to promote healthy lifestyle and prevent excess weight gain in early pregnancy. Methods: Women were recruited between 8 and 11 weeks gestation and randomised to the intervention or routine antenatal care. The intervention involved an e-health program providing diet, physical activity and well-being advice over 12 weeks.
Women (n = 57, 43.9% overweight/obese) were recruited at 9.38 ± 1.12 (control) and 9.06 ± 1.29 (intervention) weeks’ gestation, mainly from obstetric private practices (81.2%). Retention was 73.7% for the 12-week intervention, 64.9% at birth and 55.8% at 3 months after birth.
No difference in gestational weight gain or birth size was detected. Overall treatment effect showed a mean increase in score ranking the perceived confidence of dietary change (1.2 ± 0.46, p = 0.009) and score ranking readiness to exercise (1.21 ± 0.51, p = 0.016) over the intervention. At 3 months, infants weighed less in the intervention group (5405 versus 6193 g, p = 0.008) and had a lower ponderal index (25.5 ± 3.0 versus 28.8 ± 4.0 kg/m3) compared with the control group.
Conclusion and Discussion:
A lifestyle intervention starting in the first-trimester pregnancy utilising e-health mode of delivery is feasible. Future studies need strategies to target recruitment of participants of lower socio-economic status and ensure maximal blinding. Larger trials (using technology and focused on early pregnancy) are needed to confirm if decreased infant adiposity is maintained.
Dogs harbor numerous zoonotic pathogens, many of which are controlled through vaccination programs. The delivery of these programs can be difficult where resources are limited. We developed a dynamic model to estimate vaccination coverage and cost-per-dog vaccinated. The model considers the main factors that affect vaccination programs: dog demographics, effectiveness of strategies, efficacy of interventions and cost. The model was evaluated on data from 18 vaccination programs representing eight countries. Sensitivity analysis was performed for dog confinement and vaccination strategies. The average difference between modelled vaccination coverage and field data was 3.8% (2.3%–5.3%). Central point vaccination was the most cost-effective vaccination strategy when >88% of the dog population was confined. More active methods of vaccination, such as door-to-door or capture-vaccinate-release, achieved higher vaccination coverage in free-roaming dog populations but were more costly. This open-access tool can aid in planning more efficient vaccination campaigns in countries with limited resources.