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It has been over 5 years since the last special issue of Twin Research and Human Genetics on ‘Twin Registries Worldwide: An Important Resource for Scientific Research’ was published. Much progress has been made in the broad field of twin research since that time, and the current special issue is a follow-up to update the scientific community about twin registries around the globe. The present article builds upon our 2013 Registry description by summarizing current information on the Washington State Twin Registry (WSTR), including history and construction methods, member characteristics, available data, and major research goals. We also provide a section with brief summaries of recently completed studies and discuss the future research directions of the WSTR. The Registry has grown in terms of size and scope since 2013; highlights include recruitment of youth pairs under 18 years of age, extensive geocoding work to develop environmental exposures that can be linked to survey and administrative health data such as death records, and expansion of a biobank with specimens collected for genotyping, DNA methylation, and microbiome based-studies.
Approximately 12% of U.S. adults have type 2 diabetes (T2D). Diagnosed T2D is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors including age and lifestyle. In adults 45 years and older, the Discordant Twin (DISCOTWIN) consortium of twin registries from Europe and Australia showed a moderate-to-high contribution of genetic factors of T2D with a pooled heritability of 72%. The purpose of this study was to investigate the contributions of genetic and environmental factors of T2D in twins 45 years and older in a U.S. twin cohort (Washington State Twin Registry, WSTR) and compare the estimates to the DISCOTWIN consortium. We also compared these estimates with twins under the age of 45. Data were obtained from 2692 monozygotic (MZ) and same-sex dizygotic (DZ) twin pairs over 45 and 4217 twin pairs under 45 who responded to the question ‘Has a doctor ever diagnosed you with (type 2) diabetes?’ Twin similarity was analyzed using both tetrachoric correlations and structural equation modeling. Overall, 9.4% of MZ and 14.7% of DZ twins over the age of 45 were discordant for T2D in the WSTR, compared to 5.1% of MZ and 8% of DZ twins in the DISCOTWIN consortium. Unlike the DISCOTWIN consortium in which heritability was 72%, heritability was only 52% in the WSTR. In twins under the age of 45, heritability did not contribute to the variance in T2D. In a U.S. sample of adult twins, environmental factors appear to be increasingly important in the development of T2D.
Objective: While individuals with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) are at increased risk for a variety of functional impairments and psychiatric disorders, including psychosis, not all individuals with 22q11DS experience negative outcomes. Efforts to further understand which childhood variables best predict adult functional outcomes are needed, especially those that investigate childhood executive functioning abilities. Methods: This longitudinal study followed 63 individuals with 22q11DS and 43 control participants over 9 years. Childhood executive functioning ability was assessed using both rater-based and performance-based measures and tested as predictors of young adult outcomes. Results: Childhood global executive functioning abilities and parent report of child executive functioning abilities were the most consistent predictors of young adult outcomes. The study group moderated the relationship between child executive functioning and young adult outcomes for several outcomes such that the relationships were stronger in the 22q11DS sample. Conclusion: Rater-based and performance-based measures of childhood executive functioning abilities predicted young adult outcomes in individuals with and without 22q11DS. Executive functioning could be a valuable target for treatment in children with 22q11DS for improving not only childhood functioning but also adult outcomes. (JINS, 2018, 24, 905–916)
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
The mode of occurrence of uraninite, pitchblende and coffinite at five localities in south-west England is described. Chemical and isotopic analyses of concentrates containing these minerals provide the following 206Pb/238U ages (My.): uraninite, South Crofty, Cornwall, 277 ± 10; uraninite, Geevor, Cornwall, 223 ± 5; pitcbblende-coffinite, King's Wood, Devon, 206 ± 5; pitchblende, Wheal Bray, Cornwall, 165 ± 4; pitchblende, South Terras, Cornwall, 474 ± 2; coffinite, Geevor, Cornwall, c. 45 (chemical analysis only). These results are compatible with geological and mineralogical evidence. Consideration of these and other results indicates that there were at least three periods of uranium mineralization in south-west England, at c. 290 My., c. 225 My., and c. 50 My. Other intermediate ages may also be valid but further work is required to substantiate these.
We examined risk factors associated with the intestinal acquisition of antimicrobial-resistant extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) and development of community-acquired urinary tract infection (UTI) in a case-control study of young women across Canada. A total of 399 women were recruited; 164 women had a UTI caused by E. coli resistant to ⩾1 antimicrobial classes and 98 had a UTI caused by E. coli resistant to ⩾3 antimicrobial classes. After adjustment for age, student health service (region of Canada) and either prior antibiotic use or UTI history, consumption of processed or ground chicken, cooked or raw shellfish, street foods and any organic fruit; as well as, contact with chickens, dogs and pet treats; and travel to Asia, were associated with an increased risk of UTI caused by antimicrobial resistant E. coli. A decreased risk of antimicrobial resistant UTI was associated with consumption of apples, nectarines, peppers, fresh herbs, peanuts and cooked beef. Drug-resistant UTI linked to foodborne and environmental exposures may be a significant public health concern and understanding the risk factors for intestinal acquisition of existing or newly emerging lineages of drug-resistant ExPEC is important for epidemiology, antimicrobial stewardship and prevention efforts.
I would be remiss if I did not begin by admitting my sheer delight to see organizational scientists (e.g., Hall, Hall, & Perry, 2016; Ruggs et al., 2016) taking a greater interest in broader societal social issues like these. In 2007, when I was the chair of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology's (SIOP's) Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA), I devoted part of a column in The Industrial–Organizational Psychologist to discussing what I perceived to be a law enforcement racial injustice perpetrated against several adolescents in Louisiana known as the “Jena Six” (Avery, 2007). The issue at hand in that case was the impact of race after an arrest was made. The media reports of the case at that time compelled many to believe that its handling by law enforcement and the criminal justice system had been influenced adversely by the racial composition of the White plaintiff and Black defendants. Like Ruggs et al., I felt then and continue to believe that we, as industrial–organizational (I-O) psychologists, could be doing more to redress societal injustice. I also commend them on the multifaceted nature of their discussion and appreciate that they highlighted a number of ways in which our existing knowledge base is, and future research products could be, pertinent to what's happening all too often between police and the minority communities they are intended to serve and protect.
Background: The etiology and treatment of pulsatile tinnitus is difficult and there are different causes for it. To our knowledge, an obstruction of the transverse sinus due to tentorial meningioma has not been reported. Methods: A 66 year old female presented a year ago with a sudden onset of a hissing sound in her ear which has persisted since. Neurologically she was intact. She was seen by otolaryngology who identified no cause for her tinnitus. A CT scan and MRI showed a tentorial meningioma on the right side with partial obstruction of the transverse sinus with evidence of partial chronic thrombus. Results: Removal of the meningioma with decompression of the transverse sinus resulted in immediate disappearance of the pulsatile tinnitus. Conclusions: This report can be added to the etiology of the difficult entity of pulsatile tinnitus particularly as it relates to its management.
Background: The occurrence of familial brain tumours, particularly gliomas, hemangioblastomas in Von Hippel Lindau and other endocrine neoplasia, is well documented in the literature. On the other hand, familial pineal tumours are extremely rare and only a handful of cases have been reported. Methods and Results: Two female siblings presented at ages 12 and 15 with histories of progressive headaches. Neurological examination in each was completely normal. Magnetic Resonance Imaging confirmed the presence of cystic and solid lobulated pineal lesions with mild enhancement, consistent with pineocytoma, in both girls. Follow-up for 15 years in the first sibling and 4 years in the second showed no evolution in radiological or clinical manifestations. No active treatments have been carried out. Conclusion: The occurrence of familial pineal lesions raises the possibility of a close relationship between heredity and oncogenicity, and should be further explored.
We surveyed infection prevention programs in 16 hospitals for hospital-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci, extended-spectrum β-lactamase, and multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter acquisition, as well as hospital-associated MRSA bacteremia and Clostridium difficile infection based on defining events as occurring >2 days versus >3 days after admission. The former resulted in significantly higher median rates, ranging from 6.76% to 45.07% higher
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(11):1417–1420
To estimate and compare the impact on healthcare costs of 3 alternative strategies for reducing bloodstream infections in the intensive care unit (ICU): methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nares screening and isolation, targeted decolonization (ie, screening, isolation, and decolonization of MRSA carriers or infections), and universal decolonization (ie, no screening and decolonization of all ICU patients).
Cost analysis using decision modeling.
We developed a decision-analysis model to estimate the health care costs of targeted decolonization and universal decolonization strategies compared with a strategy of MRSA nares screening and isolation. Effectiveness estimates were derived from a recent randomized trial of the 3 strategies, and cost estimates were derived from the literature.
In the base case, universal decolonization was the dominant strategy and was estimated to have both lower intervention costs and lower total ICU costs than either screening and isolation or targeted decolonization. Compared with screening and isolation, universal decolonization was estimated to save $171,000 and prevent 9 additional bloodstream infections for every 1,000 ICU admissions. The dominance of universal decolonization persisted under a wide range of cost and effectiveness assumptions.
A strategy of universal decolonization for patients admitted to the ICU would both reduce bloodstream infections and likely reduce healthcare costs compared with strategies of MRSA nares screening and isolation or screening and isolation coupled with targeted decolonization.
To determine rates of blood culture contamination comparing 3 strategies to prevent intensive care unit (ICU) infections: screening and isolation, targeted decolonization, and universal decolonization.
Pragmatic cluster-randomized trial.
Forty-three hospitals with 74 ICUs; 42 of 43 were community hospitals.
Patients admitted to adult ICUs from July 1, 2009, to September 30, 2011.
After a 6-month baseline period, hospitals were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 strategies, with all participating adult ICUs in a given hospital assigned to the same strategy. Arm 1 implemented methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) nares screening and isolation, arm 2 targeted decolonization (screening, isolation, and decolonization of MRSA carriers), and arm 3 conducted no screening but universal decolonization of all patients with mupirocin and chlorhexidine (CHG) bathing. Blood culture contamination rates in the intervention period were compared to the baseline period across all 3 arms.
During the 6-month baseline period, 7,926 blood cultures were collected from 3,399 unique patients: 1,099 sets in arm 1, 928 in arm 2, and 1,372 in arm 3. During the 18-month intervention period, 22,761 blood cultures were collected from 9,878 unique patients: 3,055 sets in arm 1, 3,213 in arm 2, and 3,610 in arm 3. Among all individual draws, for arms 1,2, and 3, the contamination rates were 4.1%, 3.9%, and 3.8% for the baseline period and 3.3%, 3.2%, and 2.4% for the intervention period, respectively. When we evaluated sets of blood cultures rather than individual draws, the contamination rate in arm 1 (screening and isolation) was 9.8% (N = 108 sets) in the baseline period and 7.5% (N = 228) in the intervention period. For arm 2 (targeted decolonization), the baseline rate was 8.4% (N = 78) compared to 7.5% (N = 241) in the intervention period. Arm 3 (universal decolonization) had the greatest decrease in contamination rate, with a decrease from 8.7% (N = 119) contaminated blood cultures during the baseline period to 5.1% (N = 184) during the intervention period. Logistic regression models demonstrated a significant difference across the arms when comparing the reduction in contamination between baseline and intervention periods in both unadjusted (P = .02) and adjusted (P = .02) analyses. Arm 3 resulted in the greatest reduction in blood culture contamination rates, with an unadjusted odds ratio (OR) of 0.56 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.044-0.71) and an adjusted OR of 0.55 (95% CI, 0.43-0.71).
In this large cluster-randomized trial, we demonstrated that universal decolonization with CHG bathing resulted in a significant reduction in blood culture contamination.
The accurate description of the properties of the Lyman-α forest is a spectacular success of the Cold Dark Matter theory of cosmological structure formation. After a brief review of early models, it is shown how numerical simulations have demonstrated the Lyman-α forest emerges from the cosmic web in the quasi-linear regime of overdensity. The quasi-linear nature of the structures allows accurate modeling, providing constraints on cosmological models over a unique range of scales and enabling the Lyman-α forest to serve as a bridge to the more complex problem of galaxy formation.
Implementation of contact precautions in nursing homes to prevent methicillm-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission could cost time and effort and may have wide-ranging effects throughout multiple health facilities. Computational modeling could forecast the potential effects and guide policy making.
All hospitals and nursing homes in Orange County, California.
Our simulation model compared the following 3 contact precaution strategies: (1) no contact precautions applied to any nursing home residents, (2) contact precautions applied to those with clinically apparent MRSA infections, and (3) contact precautions applied to all known MRSA carriers as determined by MRSA screening performed by hospitals.
Our model demonstrated that contact precautions for patients with clinically apparent MRSA infections in nursing homes resulted in a median 0.4% (range, 0%–1.6%) relative decrease in MRSA prevalence in nursing homes (with 50% adherence) but had no effect on hospital MRSA prevalence, even 5 years after initiation. Implementation of contact precautions (with 50% adherence) in nursing homes for all known MRSA carriers was associated with a median 14.2% (range, 2.1%–21.8%) relative decrease in MRSA prevalence in nursing homes and a 2.3% decrease (range, 0%–7.1%) in hospitals 1 year after implementation. Benefits accrued over time and increased with increasing compliance.
Our modeling study demonstrated the substantial benefits of extending contact precautions in nursing homes from just those residents with clinically apparent infection to all MRSA carriers, which suggests the benefits of hospitals and nursing homes sharing and coordinating information on MRSA surveillance and carriage status.
We calculated hospital-onset methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (HO-MRSA) rates for Orange County, California, hospitals using survey and state data. Numerators were variably defined as HO-MRSA occurring more than 48 hours (37%), more than 2 days (30%), and more than 3 days (33%) postadmission. Survey-reported denominators differed from state-reported patient-days. Numerator and denominator choices substantially impacted HO-MRSA rates.
Hospitalized patients are at increased risk for acquisition of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). As hospital length of stay shortens, hospital-acquired MRSA events may be more likely to be detected after discharge.
We assessed the impact of attributing MRSA cases discovered within 30 days after discharge to the most recent hospitalization and identified patient characteristics associated with MRSA detection after discharge.
Retrospective cohort study.
Twenty-seven acute care hospitals in Orange County, California.
Adult acute care admissions (2002–2007).
Using a countywide hospital data set containing diagnostic codes with present-on-admission (POA) indicators, we identified the first admission with a MRSA code for each patient. This incident MRSA admission was defined as predischarge-detected (pre-DD) hospital-onset MRSA (HO-MRSA) when MRSA was not POA. If MRSA was POA and a prior admission occurred within 30 days, this prior admission was assigned postdischarge-detected (post-DD) HO-MRSA. We evaluated the impact of including post-DD HO-MRSA in the calculation of hospital HO-MRSA incidence using signed-rank tests and reviewed changes in hospital rankings. We conducted multivariate comparisons of patient characteristics of pre-DD versus post-DD HO-MRSA patients.
Among 1,217,253 at-risk hospitalizations, the inclusion of post-DD HO-MRSA tripled the median hospital HO-MRSA incidence, from 12.2 to 35.7 cases per 10,000 at-risk admissions (P<.0001). Hospital ranking changed substantially when including post-DD HO-MRSA. Patients with shorter stays were more likely to have post-DD MRSA.
On the basis of administrative claims data, the inclusion of post-DD HO-MRSA significantly increased the estimated HO-MRSA incidence and altered hospital rankings. This finding underscores the limitations of single-facility data when deriving HO-MRSA incidence and rank.
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is associated with hospitalization and may cause readmission following admission for any reason. We aimed to measure the incidence of readmissions due to CDI.
Retrospective cohort study.
Adult inpatients in Orange County, California, who presented with new-onset CDI within 12 weeks of discharge.
We assessed mandatory 2000–2007 hospital discharge data for trends in hospital-associated CDI (HA-CDI) incidence, with and without inclusion of postdischarge CDI (PD-CDI) events resulting in rehospitalization within 12 weeks of discharge. We measured the effect of including PD-CDI events on hospital-specific CDI incidence, a mandatory reporting measure in California, and on relative hospital ranks by CDI incidence.
From 2000 to 2007, countywide hospital-onset CDI (HO-CDI) incidence increased from 15 per 10,000 to 22 per 10,000 admissions. When including PD-CDI events, HA-CDI incidence doubled (29 per 10,000 in 2000 and 52 per 10,000 in 2007). Overall, including PD-CDI events resulted in significantly higher hospital-specific CDI incidence, although hospitals had disproportionate amounts of HA-CDI occurring postdischarge. This resulted in substantial shifts in some hospitals' rankings by CDI incidence. In multivariate models, both HO and PD-CDI were associated with increasing age, higher length of stay, and select comorbidities. Race and Hispanic ethnicity were predictive of PD-CDI but not HO-CDI.
PD-CDI events associated with rehospitalization are increasingly common. The majority of HA-CDI cases may be occurring postdischarge, raising important questions about both accurate reporting and effective prevention strategies. Some risk factors for PD-CDI may be different than those for HO-CDI, allowing additional identification of high-risk groups before discharge.
Since hospitals in a region often share patients, an outbreak of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in one hospital could affect other hospitals.
Using extensive data collected from Orange County (OC), California, we developed a detailed agent-based model to represent patient movement among all OC hospitals. Experiments simulated MRSA outbreaks in various wards, institutions, and regions. Sensitivity analysis varied lengths of stay, intraward transmission coefficients (β), MRSA loss rate, probability of patient transfer or readmission, and time to readmission.
Each simulated outbreak eventually affected all of the hospitals in the network, with effects depending on the outbreak size and location. Increasing MRSA prevalence at a single hospital (from 5% to 15%) resulted in a 2.9% average increase in relative prevalence at all other hospitals (ranging from no effect to 46.4%). Single-hospital intensive care unit outbreaks (modeled increase from 5% to 15%) caused a 1.4% average relative increase in all other OC hospitals (ranging from no effect to 12.7%).
MRSA outbreaks may rarely be confined to a single hospital but instead may affect all of the hospitals in a region. This suggests that prevention and control strategies and policies should account for the interconnectedness of health care facilities.