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Introduction: The goal of palliative care (PC) is to improve quality of life for both patients and families facing a life-limiting illness. Many individuals in need of PC present to the Emergency Department (ED) with symptomatic complaints. Therefore, the ED may be a good place to connect patients with PC teams. Unfortunately, a lack of communication between patients and medical teams may result in admission to hospital even if this no longer aligns with the goals of care. The aims of this study were to identify the proportion of ED patients with unmet PC needs and to determine if access to rapid outpatient PC follow-up could reduce unnecessary admissions. Methods: University Health Network (UHN) is an urban academic centre with EDs at two sites, Toronto General Hospital (TGH) and Toronto Western Hospital (TWH). A consecutively enrolled sample of 417 patients that presented to these EDs between July 1-August 14, 2018 was taken. ED nurses and physicians were asked to complete a content validated PC screening tool on all eligible patients. Patients were eligible for screening if they (1) were >18 years of age, (2) had been designated a level 2-5 according to the Canadian Triage and Acuity Score, and (3) had been triaged to the subacute or acute areas of the department. Results: Across both sites, 45% of patients screened had a life-limiting illness and 30% had unmet PC needs. Among those with unmet PC needs, 79% had no identifiable involvement with a PC team. TWH had fewer patients with a life-limiting illness compared to TGH (31% vs 57%), but higher rates of unmet PC needs (81% vs 59%, confidence interval for the difference: 8%-34%, p = .003) and less PC involvement (6% vs 24%, confidence interval for the difference: 4%-30%, p < .01). 73% of patients at UHN with unmet PC needs were likely to be admitted to hospital. In 14% (n = 17) of these cases, admissions were felt by physicians to have potentially been avoided if rapid PC follow-up was available. Conclusion: A high percentage of patients presenting to the EDs at UHN have life-limiting illnesses with unmet PC needs. A rapid access outpatient PC clinic, available for referral from the ED, may help to both connect patients with the resources they need and avoid admission to hospital.
Heavy alcohol use is pervasive and one of our most significant global health burdens. Early theories posited that certain alcohol response phenotypes, notably low sensitivity to alcohol (‘low-level response’) imparts risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, other theories, and newer measures of subjective alcohol responses, have challenged that contention and argued that high sensitivity to some alcohol effects are equally important for AUD risk. This study presents results of a unique longitudinal study in 294 young adult non-dependent drinkers examined with alcohol and placebo testing in the laboratory at initial enrolment and repeated 5 years later, with regular follow-up intervals assessing AUD (trial registration: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00961792). Findings showed that alcohol sedation was negatively correlated with stimulation across the breath alcohol curve and at initial and re-examination testing. A higher rather than lower alcohol response phenotype was predictive of future AUD. The findings underscore a new understanding of factors increasing vulnerability to AUD.
Evidence is mixed on e-cigarette's effectiveness as a tobacco cessation aid. Research suggests that e-cigarette users face greater barriers to quitting tobacco.
To examine the association between e-cigarette use and tobacco cessation outcomes among quitline callers.
We examined 2,204 callers who enrolled and completed 7-month follow-up surveys between April 2014 and January 2017. We examined the association between any e-cigarette use and tobacco cessation. We also evaluated these relationships by e-cigarette use patterns between enrollment and 7-month follow-up: sustained, adopted, discontinued, and non-use. We used multivariable logistic regression to control for caller characteristics, tobacco history, and program utilization.
Overall, 18% of callers reported using e-cigarettes at enrollment, follow-up, or both. Compared to non-users, e-cigarette users were more likely to be younger, non-Hispanic, and report a mental health condition. The adjusted odds of tobacco cessation were not statistically different for callers who used e-cigarettes compared to those who did not (adjusted odds ratios = 1.02, 95% confidence interval 0.79–1.32). Results were similar when examining cessation by patterns of e-cigarette use.
E-cigarette use was not associated with tobacco cessation. This suggests that e-cigarette use may neither facilitate nor deter tobacco cessation among quitline callers. Future research should continue exploring how e-cigarette use affects quitting.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
To date, Ireland has been a leading light in the provision of youth mental health services. However, cognisant of the efforts of governmental and non-governmental agencies working in youth mental health, there is much to be done. Barriers into care as well as discontinuity of care across the spectrum of services remain key challenges. This editorial provides guidance for the next stage of development in youth mental care and support that will require significant national engagement and resource investment.
Early detection of karyotype abnormalities, including aneuploidy, could aid producers in identifying animals which, for example, would not be suitable candidate parents. Genome-wide genetic marker data in the form of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are now being routinely generated on animals. The objective of the present study was to describe the statistics that could be generated from the allele intensity values from such SNP data to diagnose karyotype abnormalities; of particular interest was whether detection of aneuploidy was possible with both commonly used genotyping platforms in agricultural species, namely the Applied BiosystemsTM AxiomTM and the Illumina platform. The hypothesis was tested using a case study of a set of dizygotic X-chromosome monosomy 53,X sheep twins. Genome-wide SNP data were available from the Illumina platform (11 082 autosomal and 191 X-chromosome SNPs) on 1848 male and 8954 female sheep and available from the AxiomTM platform (11 128 autosomal and 68 X-chromosome SNPs) on 383 female sheep. Genotype allele intensity values, either as their original raw values or transformed to logarithm intensity ratio (LRR), were used to accurately diagnose two dizygotic (i.e. fraternal) twin 53,X sheep, both of which received their single X chromosome from their sire. This is the first reported case of 53,X dizygotic twins in any species. Relative to the X-chromosome SNP genotype mean allele intensity values of normal females, the mean allele intensity value of SNP genotypes on the X chromosome of the two females monosomic for the X chromosome was 7.45 to 12.4 standard deviations less, and were easily detectable using either the AxiomTM or Illumina genotype platform; the next lowest mean allele intensity value of a female was 4.71 or 3.3 standard deviations less than the population mean depending on the platform used. Both 53,X females could also be detected based on the genotype LRR although this was more easily detectable when comparing the mean LRR of the X chromosome of each female to the mean LRR of their respective autosomes. On autopsy, the ovaries of the two sheep were small for their age and evidence of prior ovulation was not appreciated. In both sheep, the density of primordial follicles in the ovarian cortex was lower than normally found in ovine ovaries and primary follicle development was not observed. Mammary gland development was very limited. Results substantiate previous studies in other species that aneuploidy can be readily detected using SNP genotype allele intensity values generally already available, and the approach proposed in the present study was agnostic to genotype platform.
The Galway Astronomical Stokes Polarimeter (GASP) is a high time resolution, full-Stokes imaging polarimeter which utilises a Fresnel rhomb prism as a beam-splitter and quarter wave retarder. The ability to perform optical photometry and polarimetry at high frame rates enables more detailed studies of a multitude of compact objects including; optical pulsars, magnetars and Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). We present a brief discussion of the instruments’ current capabilities and hardware design. GASP is currently configured with two Electron Multiplying Charge-Coupled Devices (EMCCDs), which offer sub-millisecond frame readout speeds over a defined region of interest on the sensor. We will report results from an observational campaign at the William Herschel Telescope (WHT) in December, 2015. During this campaign GASP was used to study the Crab Pulsar, V404 Cygni and polarisation standards. As a subset of our analysis we have identified a significant contribution from the Interstellar Medium (ISM) and the interaction of a varying polarised source with the ISM, the subsequent conversion of linearly polarised light to circular, and its dependence on the angle of the source emission electric field orientation. Further to the presentation of results we will discuss future observational work, which is planned for September 2017 and subsequent improvements to increase the temporal resolution of the detectors.
Several large submerged ice masses are described from along western McMurdo Sound, Antarctica. The most important discovery is that Cape Chocolate and the adjacent island that form Salmon Bay are large, grounded ice masses mounted with morainal sediment. Both features are probably remnants of a past expansion of the Ross Ice Shelf. As such, their strata and potential temporal markers may help to unravel the glacial geological chronology of McMurdo Sound. The island was connected to Cape Chocolate during the early British Antarctic expeditions and split away between 1908 and 1956. Large sections of the Ross Ice Shelf have broken out along western McMurdo Sound several times since 1908. Ice walls grounded in shallow water were only observed near large receding ice masses. The location of these walls also corresponds to the recent calving pattern of the Ross Ice Shelf.
Upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) are the most common and costly condition of childhood. Low vitamin D levels have been hypothesized as a risk factor for URTI. The primary objective was to determine if serum vitamin D levels were associated with health-service utilization (HSU) for URTI including hospital admission, emergency department visits and outpatient sick visits. The secondary objectives were to determine whether oral vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy or childhood was associated with HSU for URTI.
Cohort study. HSU was determined by linking each child’s provincial health insurance number to health administrative databases. Multivariable quasi Poisson regression was used to evaluate the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D, vitamin D supplementation and HSU for URTI.
Children participating in the TARGet Kids! network between 2008 and 2013.
Healthy children aged 0–5 years (n 4962) were included; 52 % were male and mean 25-hydroxyvitamin D was 84 nmol/l (range 11–355 nmol/l). There were 105 (2 %), 721 (15 %) and 3218 (65 %) children with at least one hospital admission, emergency department visit or outpatient sick visit for URTI, respectively. There were no statistically significant associations between 25-hydroxyvitamin D or vitamin D supplementation and HSU for URTI.
A clinically meaningful association between vitamin D (continuously and dichotomized at <50 and <75 nmol/l) and HSU for URTI was not identified. While vitamin D may have other benefits for health, reducing HSU for URTI does not appear to be one of them.
Introduction: Patients presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) may require clarification of their goals of care (GOC) to ensure they receive treatments aligned with their values. However, these discussions can be difficult to conduct for multiple reasons, including lack of time in a busy ED, competing priorities and a limited relationship with the patient. Few studies have examined the perceived challenges faced by Emergency Physicians in conducting GOC discussions. This study sought to contextualize and discern the barriers and facilitators to having these conversations as reported by Emergency physicians. Methods: An interdisciplinary team of Emergency Medicine, Palliative Care and Internal Medicine providers developed an online survey comprised of multiple choice, Likert-scale and open-ended questions to explore four domains of GOC discussions: training; communication; environment; and personal beliefs. Invitations and scheduled reminders were sent to 275 ED physicians at six academic sites in a Canadian urban centre, including 49 EM residents. Results: 105 (46%) staff physicians and 23 (47%) residents responded with similar representation from all sites. Differences were reported in the frequency of GOC discussions: 59% of staff physicians conduct several per month whereas 65% of residents conduct less than one per month. Most agreed that GOC discussions are within their scope of practice (92%), they feel comfortable (96%), and are adequately trained (73%) to have them; however, 66% reported difficulty initiating GOC discussions. 73% believed that admitting services should conduct GOC discussions, yet acuity was noted in the comments as a major determinant with initiating GOC discussions by ED physicians. Main barriers identified were lack of time, chaotic environment, lack of advanced directives and the inability to reach substitute decision makers. 54% of respondents indicated that the availability of 24-hour Palliative Care consults would facilitate GOC discussions in the ED. Conclusion: Emergency physicians are prepared to conduct goals of care discussions, but often believe they should instead be conducted by the patient’s admitting service. Multiple perceived barriers to goals of care discussion in the ED were identified, and a majority of respondents felt that the availability of Palliative Care in the ED may facilitate these discussions.
A measles outbreak occurred in a school in a small town in the South East of Ireland in September–November 2013. Most (and all early) cases had one dose of the measles-mumps- rubella (MMR) vaccination. All suspected cases were followed up, in order to advise on sampling and provide public health advice to them and their contacts. MMR vaccination control measures were instituted in the town. These included early second MMR in primary schools and childcare facilities, bringing forward the planned school MMR catch-up programme, early first MMR dose for children aged 6–12 months and targeted advice to unvaccinated children. There were 20 cases (17 confirmed) of measles associated with the outbreak. Fifteen cases occurred in the index school, with four in pre-school-age children (<4 years) who had clear epidemiological links with children at the school. This was a well-circumscribed outbreak occurring, unusually, in a well-vaccinated population. The outbreak came late to the attention of Department of Public Health staff but prompt action, once notified, and institution of control measures resulted in quick termination of the outbreak and prevention of cases in a neighbouring city.
In this systematic review, we summarized change in Salmonella prevalence and/or quantity associated with pathogen reduction treatments (washes, sprays, steam) on pork carcasses or skin-on carcass parts in comparative designs (natural or artificial contamination).
In January 2015, CAB Abstracts (1910–2015), SCI and CPCI–Science (1900–2015), Medline® and Medline® In-Process (1946–2015) (OVIDSP), Science.gov, and Safe Pork (1996–2012) were searched with no language or publication type restrictions. Reference lists of 24 review articles were checked. Two independent reviewers screened 4001 titles/abstracts and assessed 122 full-text articles for eligibility. Only English-language records were extracted.
Fourteen studies (5 in commercial abattoirs) were extracted and risk of bias was assessed by two reviewers independently. Risk of bias due to systematic error was moderate; a major source of bias was the potential differential recovery of Salmonella from treated carcasses due to knowledge of the intervention. The most consistently observed association was a positive effect of acid washes on categorical measures of Salmonella; however, this was based on individual results, not a summary effect measure.
There was no strong evidence that any one intervention protocol (acid temperature, acid concentration, water temperature) was clearly superior to others for Salmonella control.
Infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) is a common and important disease of calves. Without effective vaccines, antibiotic therapy is often implemented to minimize the impact of IBK. This review updates a previously published systematic review regarding comparative efficacy for antibiotic treatments of IBK. Available years of Centre for Biosciences and Agriculture International and MEDLINE databases were searched, including non-English results. Also searched were the American Association of Bovine Practitioners and World Buiatrics Congress conference proceedings from 1996 to 2016, reviews since 2013, reference lists from relevant trials, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration New Animal Drug Application summaries. Eligible studies assessed antibiotic treatment of naturally-occurring IBK in calves randomly allocated to group at the individual level. Outcomes of interest were clinical score, healing time, unhealed ulcer risk, and ulcer surface area. A mixed-effects model comparing active drug with placebo was employed for all outcomes. Heterogeneity was assessed visually and using Cochran's Q-test. Thirteen trials assessing nine treatments were included. Compared with placebo, most antibiotic treatments were effective. There was evidence that the treatment effect differed by day of outcome measurement. Visually, the largest differences were observed 7–14 days post-treatment. These results indicate improved IBK healing with many antibiotics and suggest the need for randomized trials comparing different antibiotic treatments.
Background: The Canadian GILENYA® Go ProgramTM provides education and support to people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis during fingolimod treatment. Methods: Data were collected and analyzed from the time of the first individual enrolled in March 2011 to March 31, 2014. Individuals were excluded if they withdrew from the program prior to receiving the first dose, or had not completed the first dose observation (FDO) at the time of data cut-off. Reports of adverse effects were validated with a database of adverse events reported to Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. Results: A total of 2,399 individuals had completed FDO at the end of the three-year observation period. Mean age was 41.2 years; 75.2% were female. The most recent prior therapies reported were interferon-β agents (50.2%), glatiramer acetate (31.1%), natalizumab (14.2%), no prior therapy (3.3%), and other agent (1.1%). Reasons for switching to fingolimod were lack of efficacy (34.9%), side effects (34.6%), and dissatisfaction with injections/infusion (30.4%). Continuation rates with fingolimod at 12, 24 and 30 months were 80.7%, 76.6% and 76.0%, respectively. The discontinuation rate due to reported lack of efficacy during the three-year period was 1.3%. There was 94.4% adherence to the scheduled ophthalmic examination. Conclusions: The GILENYA® Go ProgramTM captures data for virtually all fingolimod-treated patients in Canada, enabling the evaluation of fingolimod use in routine practice. Ongoing patient support and reminders to take the medication, in conjunction with physicians’ and/or patients’ perception of the efficacy and tolerability of fingolimod, resulted in a high rate of continuation during longer-term therapy.