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Homeless and precariously housed individuals experience a high burden of comorbid illnesses, and excess mortality. Cross-sectional studies report a high rate of cognitive impairment. Long-term trajectories have not been well investigated in this group.
To longitudinally assess risks for premature and/or accelerated cognitive ageing, and the relationship with early mortality in homeless and precariously housed people.
This is a 9-year community-based study of 375 homeless and precariously housed individuals from Vancouver, Canada. Annual cognitive testing assessed verbal learning and memory, and inhibitory control. Linear mixed-effects models examined associations between clinical risk factors (traumatic brain injury, psychotic disorders, viral exposure, alcohol dependence) and cognitive change over 9 years. Cox regression models examined the association between cognition and mortality.
Traumatic brain injury and alcohol dependence were associated with decline in verbal memory. Inhibitory control declined, independent of risk factors and to a greater extent in those who died during the study. Better inhibitory control was associated with a 6.6% lower risk of mortality at study entry, with a 0.3% greater effect for each year of life. For each one-point increase in the Charlson Comorbidity Index score at study entry, the risk of mortality was 9.9% higher, and was consistent across age. Adjusting for comorbidities, inhibitory control remained a significant predictor of mortality.
Findings raise the possibility of a premature onset, and accelerated trajectory, of cognitive ageing in this group of homeless and precariously housed people. Traumatic brain injury, alcohol dependence and cognition could be treatment priorities.
Despite previous studies, glacier–lake interactions and future lake development in the Poiqu River basin, central Himalaya, are still not well understood. We mapped glacial lakes, glaciers, their frontal positions and ice flow from optical remote sensing data, and calculated glacier surface elevation change from digital terrain models. During 1964–2017, the total glacial-lake area increased by ~110%. Glaciers retreated with an average rate of ~1.4 km2 a−1 between 1975 and 2015. Based on rapid area expansion (>150%), and information from previous studies, eight lakes were considered to be potentially dangerous glacial lakes. Corresponding lake-terminating glaciers showed an overall retreat of 6.0 ± 1.4 to 26.6 ± 1.1 m a−1 and accompanying lake expansion. The regional mean glacier elevation change was −0.39 ± 0.13 m a−1 while the glaciers associated with the eight potentially dangerous lakes lowered by −0.71 ± 0.05 m a−1 from 1974 to 2017. The mean ice flow speed of these glaciers was ~10 m a−1 from 2013 to 2017; about double the mean for the entire study area. Analysis of these data along with climate observations suggests that ice melting and calving processes play the dominant role in driving lake enlargement. Modelling of future lake development shows where new lakes might emerge and existing lakes could expand with projected glacial recession.
To determine risk factors independent of length of stay (LOS) for Staphylococcus aureus acquisition in infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Retrospective matched case–case-control study.
Quaternary-care referral NICU at a large academic children’s hospital.
Infants admitted between January 2014 and March 2016 at a level IV NICU who acquired methicillin resistant (MRSA) or susceptible (MSSA) S. aureus were matched with controls by duration of exposure to determine risk factors for acquisition. A secondary post hoc analysis was performed on the entire cohort of at-risk infants for risk factors identified in the primary analysis to further quantify risk.
In total, 1,751 infants were admitted during the study period with 199 infants identified as having S. aureus prevalent on admission. There were 246 incident S. aureus acquisitions in the remaining at-risk infant cohort. On matched analysis, infants housed in a single-bed unit were associated with a significantly decreased risk of both MRSA (P=.03) and MSSA (P=.01) acquisition compared with infants housed in multibed pods. Across the entire cohort, pooled S. aureus acquisition was significantly lower in infants housed in single-bed units (hazard ratio,=0.46; confidence interval, 0.34–0.62).
NICU bed design is significantly associated with S. aureus acquisition in hospitalized infants independent of LOS.
Mounting an antibody response capable of discriminating amongst and appropriately targeting different parasites is crucial in host defence. However, cross-reactive antibodies that recognize (bind to) multiple parasite species are well documented. We aimed to determine if a higher inoculating dose of one species, and thus exposure to larger amounts of antigen over a longer period of time, would fine-tune responses to that species and reduce cross-reactivity. Using the Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi (Pcc)–Nippostrongylus brasiliensis (Nb) co-infection model in BALB/c mice, in which we previously documented cross-reactive antibodies, we manipulated the inoculating dose of Pcc across 4 orders of magnitude. We investigated antigen-specific and cross-reactive antibody responses against crude and defined recombinant antigens by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, Western blot and antibody depletion assays. Contrary to our hypothesis that increasing exposure to Pcc would reduce cross-reactivity to Nb, we found evidence for increased avidity of a subpopulation of antibodies that recognized shared antigens. Western blot indicated proteins of apparent monomer molecular mass 28 and 98 kDa in both Nb and Pcc antigen preparations and also an Nb protein of similar size to recombinant Pcc antigen, merozoite surface protein-119. The implications of antibodies binding antigen from such phylogenetically distinct parasites are discussed.
To study the effect of nanotwins on thermal stability, a comprehensive characterization study was performed on two types of ultrafine grained (UFG) copper samples, with and without nanotwins. The two samples were sequentially heat-treated at elevated temperatures, and the grain size, grain boundary character, and texture were characterized after each heat treatment. The as-prepared nanotwinned (nt) copper foil had an average columnar grain size of ∼700 nm with a high density of coherent twin boundaries (CTBs) (twin thickness, ∼40 nm), which remained stable up to 300 °C. In contrast, the other UFG sample had few CTBs, and rapid grain growth was observed at 200 °C. The thermal stability of nt copper is discussed with respect to the presence of the low energy nanotwins, triple junctions between the twins and columnar grains, texture and grain growth.
The automated external defibrillator (AED) is a tool that contributes to survival with mixed outcomes. This review assesses the effectiveness of the AED, consistencies and variations among studies, and how varying outcomes can be resolved.
A worksheet for the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) 2010 science review focused on hospital survival in AED programs was the foundation of the articles reviewed. Articles identified in the search covering a broader range of topics were added. All articles were read by at least two authors; consensus discussions resolved differences.
AED use developed sequentially. Use of AEDs by emergency medical technicians (EMTs) compared to manual defibrillators showed equal or superior survival. AED use was extended to trained responders likely to be near victims, such as fire/rescue, police, airline attendants, and casino security guards, with improvement in all venues but not all programs. Broad public access initiatives demonstrated increased survival despite low rates of AED use. Home AED programs have not improved survival; in-hospital trials have had mixed results. Successful programs have placed devices in high-risk sites, maintained the AEDs, recruited a team with a duty to respond, and conducted ongoing assessment of the program.
The AED can affect survival among patients with sudden ventricular fibrillation (VF). Components of AED programs that affect outcome include the operator, location, the emergency response system, ongoing maintenance and evaluation. Comparing outcomes is complicated by variations in definitions of populations and variables. The effect of AEDs on individuals can be dramatic, but the effect on populations is limited.
StokesNA, ScapigliatiA, TrammellAR, ParishDC. The Effect of the AED and AED Programs on Survival of Individuals, Groups and Populations. Prehosp Disaster Med.2012;27(5):1–6.
Few studies have focused on the mental health consequences of indirect exposure to disasters caused by naturally occurring hazards. The present study assessed indirect exposure to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti among Haitian-Americans now living in Miami; these subjects had no direct exposure to the earthquake, but retained their cultural identity, language, and connection to family and friends in Haiti.
Two months following the earthquake a sample of Haitian-Americans was surveyed inquiring about: (1) their psychological reactions to the quake; (2) types of exposures experienced by their family members and friends in Haiti; and (3) symptom levels of (a) major depression, (b) generalized anxiety disorder, (c) complicated grief, (d) mental health status, and (e) physical health status.
Haitian-Americans living in Miami experienced a broad spectrum of indirect exposures to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. These exposures were strongly associated with psychological distress, trauma-related mental health consequences, and diminished health status. Most notable was the multiplicity of indirect exposures to the on-scene experiences of multiple family members and friends in Haiti.
Consideration should be given to the psychological impact and needs for support among indirectly-exposed populations with strong affiliation to directly-impacted victims.
Shultz JM, Besser A, Kelly F, Allen A, Schmitz S, Hausmann V, Marcelin LH, Neria Y. Psychological consequences of indirect exposure to disaster due to the Haiti earthquake. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27(4):1-10.
Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), which is caused primarily by the Canadian methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus-10 (CMRSA-10) strain (also known as the USA300 strain) has emerged rapidly in the United States and is now emerging in Canada. We assessed the prevalence, risk factors, microbiological characteristics and outcomes of CA-MRSA in patients with purulent skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) presenting to emergency departments (EDs) in the Greater Toronto Area.
Patients with Staphylococcus aureus SSTIs who presented to 7 EDs between Mar. 1 and Jun. 30, 2007, were eligible for inclusion in this study. Antimicrobial susceptibilities and molecular characteristics of MRSA strains were identified. Demographic, risk factor and clinical data were collected through telephone interviews.
MRSA was isolated from 58 (19%) of 299 eligible patients. CMRSA-10 was identified at 6 of the 7 study sites and accounted for 29 (50%) of all cases of MRSA. Telephone interviews were completed for 161 of the eligible patients. Individuals with CMRSA-10 were younger (median 34 v. 63 yr, p = 0.002), less likely to report recent antibiotic use (22% v. 67%, p = 0.046) or health care–related risk factors (33% v. 72%, p = 0.097) and more likely to report community-related risk factors (56% v. 6%, p = 0.008) than patients with other MRSA strains. CMRSA-10 SSTIs were treated with incision and drainage (1 patient), antibiotic therapy (3 patients) or both (5 patients), and all resolved. CMRSA-10 isolates were susceptible to clindamycin, tetracycline and trimethoprimsulfamethoxazole.
CA-MRSA is a significant cause of SSTIs in the Greater Toronto Area, and can affect patients without known community-related risk factors. The changing epidemiology of CA-MRSA necessitates further surveillance to inform prevention strategies and empiric treatment guidelines.
The Working Group FITS (WG-FITS) is the international control authority for the Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) data format. The WG-FITS was formed in 1988 by a formal resolution of the IAU XX General Assembly in Baltimore (MD, USA), 1988, to maintain the existing FITS standards and to approve future extensions to FITS.