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Gut microbiota data obtained by DNA sequencing are not only complex because of the number of taxa that may be detected within human cohorts, but also compositional because characteristics of the microbiota are described in relative terms (e.g., “relative abundance” of particular bacterial taxa expressed as a proportion of the total abundance of taxa). Nutrition researchers often use standard principal component analysis (PCA) to derive dietary patterns from complex food data, enabling each participant's diet to be described in terms of the extent to which it fits their cohort's dietary patterns. However, compositional PCA methods are not commonly used to describe patterns of microbiota in the way that dietary patterns are used to describe diets. This approach would be useful for identifying microbiota patterns that are associated with diet and body composition. The aim of this study is to use compositional PCA to describe gut microbiota profiles in 5 year old children and explore associations between microbiota profiles, diet, body mass index (BMI) z-score, and fat mass index (FMI) z-score. This study uses a cross-sectional data for 319 children who provided a faecal sample at 5 year of age. Their primary caregiver completed a 123-item quantitative food frequency questionnaire validated for foods of relevance to the gut microbiota. Body composition was determined using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, and BMI and FMI z-scores calculated. Compositional PCA identified and described gut microbiota profiles at the genus level, and profiles were examined in relation to diet and body size. Three gut microbiota profiles were found. Profile 1 (positive loadings on Blautia and Bifidobacterium; negative loadings on Bacteroides) was not related to diet or body size. Profile 2 (positive loadings on Bacteroides; negative loadings on uncultured Christensenellaceae and Ruminococcaceae) was associated with a lower BMI z-score (r = -0.16, P = 0.003). Profile 3 (positive loadings on Faecalibacterium, Eubacterium and Roseburia) was associated with higher intakes of fibre (r = 0.15, P = 0.007); total (r = 0.15, P = 0.009), and insoluble (r = 0.13, P = 0.021) non-starch polysaccharides; protein (r = 0.12, P = 0.036); meat (r = 0.15, P = 0.010); and nuts, seeds and legumes (r = 0.11, P = 0.047). Further regression analyses found that profile 2 and profile 3 were independently associated with BMI z-score and diet respectively. We encourage fellow researchers to use compositional PCA as a method for identifying further links between the gut, diet and obesity, and for developing the next generation of research in which the impact on body composition of dietary interventions that modify the gut microbiota is determined.
In Baby-Led Weaning (BLW), infants are offered foods they can pick up and feed themselves from the start of complementary feeding. Infants who are fully BLW are not spoonfed at all by their parents, feeding themselves all their foods instead. The Baby-Led Introduction to SolidS (BLISS) study was a randomised controlled trial of the effect of a modified version of BLW5 on infant growth, iron status, and risk of choking, and provides an opportunity to investigate parents’ experiences of using a baby-led approach to infant feeding. Complementary feeding methods are usually chosen by parents, so it is important to ascertain whether parents find a baby-led method of introducing solids acceptable if they are assigned to follow it. This is both to determine whether it would be feasible to randomise them to follow BLW in future randomised controlled trials and because, if beneficial effects of BLW are shown, policy makers need to know whether parents would find it acceptable to follow BLW. The aim of this analysis was to determine the acceptability to parents of a baby-led approach to complementary feeding when their infant was 7 to 12 months of age. In total, 206 participants were randomised to Control (n = 101) or BLISS (n = 105) groups in the third trimester of pregnancy. When the infants were 7, 8, 9, and 12 months of age, questionnaires were administered to determine parents’ happiness and frustration with their feeding method, and attitudes regarding its convenience, mess, and expense. Food cost was estimated using supermarket prices linked to a 3-day weighed diet record collected at 7 months of age. Both groups reported high levels of happiness and convenience, but also reported finding complementary feeding very frustrating. There were two significant differences between the groups – the BLISS group reported less messiness, and were more likely to perceive their method as expensive. The actual food cost per day was not statistically significantly different between the two groups (NZ$1.70 for BLISS, NZ$1.90 for Controls). In conclusion, parents did not find a baby-led approach to introducing solids any less acceptable than control parents found standard infant feeding. It is, therefore, feasible to run studies where parents are randomised to follow a baby-led approach to complementary feeding and, should health advantages to BLW be identified, parents are likely to find BLW acceptable to follow.
The Colorado Twin Registry (CTR) is a population-based registry formed from birth and school records including twins born between 1968 and the present. Two previous reports on the CTR [Rhea et al., (2006). Twin Research and Human Genetics, 9, 941–949; Rhea et al., (2013).Twin Research and Human Genetics, 16, 351–357] covered developments in the CTR through 2012. This report briefly summarizes previously presented material on ascertainment and recruitment and the relationships between samples and studies, discusses developments since 2012 for four previously described twin samples, describes two new samples and their complementary studies and expands on two subjects briefly mentioned in the last report: a history of genotyping efforts involving CTR samples, and a survey of collaborations and consortia in which CTR twins have been included. The CTR remains an active resource for both ongoing, longitudinal research and the recruitment of new twin samples for newly identified research opportunities.
The Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry (MATR) is a population-based registry of more than 60,000 twins primarily born or living in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Researchers may utilize the MATR for administration of research services, including study recruitment, data or sample (e.g., DNA) collection, archival dataset creation, as well as data collection through mailed, phone or online surveys. In addition, the MATR houses the MATR Repository, with over 1700 DNA samples primarily from whole blood available for researchers interested in DNA genotyping. For over 40 years MATR twins have participated in research studies with investigators from a range of scientific disciplines and institutions. These studies, which have resulted in numerous publications, explored diverse topics, including substance use, smoking behaviors, developmental psychopathology, bullying, children’s health, cardiovascular disease, cancer, the human microbiome, epigenetics of aging, children of twins and sleep homeostasis. Researchers interested in utilizing twins are encouraged to contact the MATR to discuss potential research opportunities.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of mental disorders and a high incidence of morbidity, but if diagnosed and treated promptly individuals can benefit from full recovery. However, there are numerous problems at the healthcare interface (i.e. primary and secondary care) for eating disorders. It is important to examine these to facilitate appropriate, seamless treatment and improve access to specialist care.
To examine the current literature on the experiences and perspectives of those across healthcare interfaces for eating disorders, to include individuals with eating disorders, people close to or caring for those with eating disorders such as family and friends, and health professionals.
To identify relevant papers, a systematic search of electronic databases was conducted. Other methods, including hand-searching, scanning reference lists and internet resources were also used. Papers that met inclusion criteria were analysed using a systematic methodology and synthesised using an interpretative thematic approach.
Sixty-three papers met the inclusion criteria. The methodological quality was relatively good. The included papers were of both qualitative (n = 44) and quantitative studies (n = 24) and were from ten different countries. By synthesising the literature of these papers, three dominant themes were identified, with additional subthemes. These included: ‘the help-seeking process at primary care’; ‘expectations of care and appropriate referrals’ and ‘opposition and collaboration in the treatment of and recovery from eating disorders’.
This review identifies both facilitators and barriers in eating disorder healthcare, from the perspectives of those experiencing the interface first hand. The review provides recommendations for future research and practice.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
The need to use evidence in humanitarian settings is recognized, yet utilizing that evidence to make decisions about humanitarian response remains a challenge.
To identify how, when, and why decision makers in humanitarian response use scientific, peer-reviewed evidence to make decisions.
An online cross-sectional survey of fifteen open- and closed-ended questions on demographics, experience, and role in humanitarian response was developed by Evidence Aid (EA) and Karolinska Institutet (KI). The online survey was available on the EA website from August 2015 to October 2018. Participants were self-selected, recruited through social media channels and mailing lists of EA and KI. All respondents and responses were anonymized. Responses were analyzed with descriptive statistics and content analysis.
47 people responded, primarily working in Europe or North America with roles of humanitarian response director/manager, independent consultant, or policymaker. Personal assessment of the quality of information, trust in the source, and information that was contextually relevant or based on field experience were factors for deciding whether information should be considered evidence. Reasons for using evidence when making decisions included adhering to good practice to maximize impact and effectiveness of aid, reassurance that the right decisions were being made, personal or organizational values, and using evidence as a tool to protect beneficiaries and organizations from poor quality decisions and program content.
Using evidence for decision making was common practice during the process of designing implementing and evaluating humanitarian response content, yet reasons for use varied. The importance of evidence developed and validated from field experience and trust in the source reported by this sample suggests that strengthening collaborative efforts between decisionmakers and evidence generators could be one approach to improve evidence and evidence use in humanitarian response.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a global public health epidemic. Diet and lifestyle changes have been demonstrated as effective measures in managing T2DM and preventing or delaying the progression from prediabetes to diabetes, yet the relationship between diet, prediabetes and diabetes is still not entirely clear. The present study aimed to further elucidate the relationship between diet, diabetes and especially prediabetes. A total of 1542 participants of the cross-sectional, population-based Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) FF4 study (2013/2014) were included in this analysis. Dietary intake was derived using a method combining information from a FFQ and repeated 24-h food lists. Glucose tolerance status was assessed via oral glucose tolerance tests in all participants without a previous physician-confirmed diagnosis of T2DM, and was classified according to the 2003 American Diabetes Association criteria. Crude and fully adjusted multinomial logistic regression models were fitted to examine associations between diet and prediabetes, undetected diabetes mellitus (UDM) and prevalent T2DM. After adjusting for major covariates, fruit was significantly inversely and total meat, processed meat, sugar-sweetened beverages and moderate alcohol significantly associated with UDM and/or prevalent diabetes. Sex-specific analyses showed that in men, coffee was significantly inversely (OR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·67, 0·96) and heavy alcohol significantly (OR 1·84; 95 % CI 1·14, 2·95) associated with prediabetes. Our findings on diet and T2DM are consistent with current literature, while our results regarding coffee, heavy alcohol consumption and prediabetes highlight new possible targets for primary prevention of the derangement of glucose homeostasis.
To assess trends of mortality attributable to child and maternal undernutrition (CMU), overweight/obesity and dietary risks of non-communicable diseases (NCD) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) using data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study 2015.
For each risk factor, a systematic review of data was used to compute the exposure level and the effect size. A Bayesian hierarchical meta-regression analysis was used to estimate the exposure level of the risk factors by age, sex, geography and year. The burden of all-cause mortality attributable to CMU, fourteen dietary risk factors (eight diets, five nutrients and fibre intake) and overweight/obesity was estimated.
All age groups and both sexes.
In 2015, CMU, overweight/obesity and dietary risks of NCD accounted for 826204 (95 % uncertainty interval (UI) 737346, 923789), 266768 (95 % UI 189051, 353096) and 558578 (95 % UI 453433, 680197) deaths, respectively, representing 10·3 % (95 % UI 9·1, 11·6 %), 3·3 % (95 % UI 2·4, 4·4 %) and 7·0 % (95 % UI 5·8, 8·3 %) of all-cause mortality. While the age-standardized proportion of all-cause mortality accounted for by CMU decreased by 55·2 % between 1990 and 2015 in SSA, it increased by 63·3 and 17·2 % for overweight/obesity and dietary risks of NCD, respectively.
The increasing burden of diet- and obesity-related diseases and the reduction of mortality attributable to CMU indicate that SSA is undergoing a rapid nutritional transition. To tackle the impact in SSA, interventions and international development agendas should also target dietary risks associated with NCD and overweight/obesity.
Limited evidence exists to guide chest tube management following cardiac surgery in children. We assessed chest tube practice variation by surveying paediatric heart centres to prepare for a multi-site quality improvement project. We summarised management strategies highlighting variability in criteria for chest tube removal between and within centres. This lack of standardisation provides an opportunity for quality improvement.
Disordered eating (DE) is a widespread, serious problem. Efficacious prevention programs that can be delivered at-scale are needed.
A pragmatic randomized controlled trial of two online programs was conducted. Participants were young-adult women from Australia and New Zealand seeking to improve their body image. Media Smart-Targeted (MS-T) and Student Bodies (SB) were both 9-module interventions released weekly, whilst control participants received positive body image information. Primary [Eating Disorder Examination–Questionnaire (EDE-Q) Global], secondary (DE risk factors) and tertiary (DE) outcome measures were completed at baseline, post-program, 6- and 12-month follow-up.
Baseline was completed by 608 women (M age = 20.71 years); 33 were excluded leaving 575 randomized to: MS-T (N = 191); SB (N = 190) or control (N = 194). Only 66% of those randomized to MS-T or SB accessed the intervention and were included in analyses with controls; 78% of this sample completed measures subsequent to baseline. Primary intent-to-treat (ITT) analyses revealed no differences between groups, while measure completer analyses found MS-T had significantly lower EDE-Q Global than controls at 12-month follow-up. Secondary ITT analyses found MS-T participants reported significantly higher quality of life–mental relative to both SB and controls (6-month follow-up), while MS-T and controls had lower clinical impairment relative to SB (post-program). Amongst measure completers, MS-T scored significantly lower than controls and SB on 5 variables. Of those with baseline DE, MS-T participants were significantly less likely than controls to have DE at 12-month follow-up.
Given both programs were not therapist-moderated, MS-T has potential to achieve reductions in DE risk at low implementation costs.
Baby boomers who rent are often overlooked as an important sub-group. We aimed to assess the chronic conditions, risk factors, socio-economic factors and other health-related factors associated with renting in private or public housing. Data from telephone interviews conducted each month in South Australia between 2010 and 2015 were combined. Prevalence estimates were assessed for each risk factor and chronic condition by housing status. The association between housing status and variables of interest were analysed using logistic regression models adjusting for multiple covariates (age, gender, income, smoking, physical activity, area and year of data collection). Overall, 17.4 per cent of the 16,687 baby boomers interviewed were renting, either privately or using government-subsided housing. The health profile of renters (both private and public) was poorer overall, with renters more likely to have all of the chronic conditions and ten risk factors assessed. For public renters the relationships were maintained even after controlling for socio-economic and risk factor variables for all chronic diseases except osteoporosis. This research has provided empirical evidence of the considerable differences in health, socio-economic indicators and risk factors between baby boomers who rent and those who own, or are buying, their own homes.
This study aimed to examine the association between meal-specific food patterns and incident hyperglycaemia in a Chinese adult population. Adults aged 20 years and older (n 1056) were followed from 2002 to 2007. Dietary data were collected using a 3-d food record and meal-specific (breakfast, lunch and dinner) food patterns were independently described by factor analysis based on the consumption of thirty-five food groups at each eating occasion. Each food pattern score was recoded as quartiles. Hyperglycaemia was defined as fasting plasma glucose >5·6 mmol/l at baseline and follow-up. The associated between food patterns and incident hyperglycaemia was assessed by logistic regression. During the follow-up, 125 new cases of hyperglycaemia were identified. Traditional (wheat) breakfast was inversely associated with incident hyperglycaemia, whereas traditional (rice, vegetable and pork) lunch and dinner were positively associated with the risk of incident hyperglycaemia, even after adjustment for a number of covariates including glycaemic load, carbohydrate intake and BMI. Incident hyperglycaemia occurred in 15·9, 13·6, 11·7, 6·1 % across quartiles of traditional breakfast; and 5·3, 9·1, 15·9, 17·1 % of the quartiles of traditional lunch pattern. The adjusted OR for hyperglycaemia was 0·67 (95 % CI 0·48, 0·92), 1·83 (95 % CI 1·32, 2·53) and 1·39 (95 % CI 1·04, 1·86) for 1 sd increase of traditional breakfast, lunch and dinner pattern factor score, respectively. A traditional wheat-based breakfast is associated with a decreased risk of hyperglycaemia. A rice-based traditional lunch and dinner is associated with an increased risk of hyperglycaemia in Chinese adults.
Objectives: This study examined whether children with distinct brain disorders show different profiles of strengths and weaknesses in executive functions, and differ from children without brain disorder. Methods: Participants were children with traumatic brain injury (N=82; 8–13 years of age), arterial ischemic stroke (N=36; 6–16 years of age), and brain tumor (N=74; 9–18 years of age), each with a corresponding matched comparison group consisting of children with orthopedic injury (N=61), asthma (N=15), and classmates without medical illness (N=68), respectively. Shifting, inhibition, and working memory were assessed, respectively, using three Test of Everyday Attention: Children’s Version (TEA-Ch) subtests: Creature Counting, Walk-Don’t-Walk, and Code Transmission. Comparison groups did not differ in TEA-Ch performance and were merged into a single control group. Profile analysis was used to examine group differences in TEA-Ch subtest scaled scores after controlling for maternal education and age. Results: As a whole, children with brain disorder performed more poorly than controls on measures of executive function. Relative to controls, the three brain injury groups showed significantly different profiles of executive functions. Importantly, post hoc tests revealed that performance on TEA-Ch subtests differed among the brain disorder groups. Conclusions: Results suggest that different childhood brain disorders result in distinct patterns of executive function deficits that differ from children without brain disorder. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed. (JINS, 2017, 23, 529–538)
The objective of this investigation was to examine the health impact of and medical response to a mass casualty chemical incident caused by a vinyl chloride release.
Key staff at area hospitals were interviewed about communication during the response, the number of patients treated and care required, and lessons learned. Clinical information related to the incident and medical history were abstracted from hospital charts.
Hospital interviews identified a desire for more thorough and timely incident-specific information and an under-utilization of regionally available resources. Two hundred fifty-six hospital visits (96.2%) were at the facility closest to the site of the derailment. Of 237 initial visits at which the patient was examined by a physician, 231 patients (97.5%) were treated in the emergency department (ED) and 6 patients (2.5%) were admitted; 5 admitted patients (83.3%) had preexisting medical conditions. Thirteen of 14 asymptomatic ED patients were children under the age of 10 years. One hundred forty-five patients (62.8%) discharged from the ED were diagnosed solely with exposure to vinyl chloride.
Continuous emergency response planning might facilitate communication and better distribution of patient surge across hospitals. Individuals with multiple medical conditions and parents and caretakers of children may serve as target groups for risk communication following acute chemical releases. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:538–544)
Anaemia is prevalent in developing countries and is commonly Fe deficiency related. We aimed to assess the association between Fe status, Fe intake and mortality among Chinese adults. We prospectively studied 8291 adults aged 20–98 years with a mean follow-up of 9·9 years. All participants were measured for Hb at baseline in 2002. Food intake, measured by 3-d weighed food record (n 2832), and fasting serum ferritin were measured. We documented 491 deaths (including 192 CVD and 165 cancer deaths) during 81 527 person-years of follow-up. There was a U-shaped association between Hb levels and all-cause mortality. Compared with the second quartile of Hb (121 g/l), the first (105) and fourth quartile (144) had hazard ratios (HR) of 2·29 (95 % CI 1·51, 3·48) and 2·31 (95 % CI 1·46, 3·64) for all-cause mortality in women. In men, compared with third quartile of Hb (143 g/l), first (122) and fourth quartiles (154) had 61 and 65 % increased risk of all-cause mortality. Anaemia was associated with an increased risk of all-cause and CVD mortality in men but not in women after adjusting for potential confounders. Low and high Fe intake as percentage of Chinese recommended nutrient intake (RNI) were positively associated with all-cause mortality in women but not in men. In women, across quartiles of relative Fe intake, HR for all-cause mortality were 2·55 (95 % CI 0·99, 6·57), 1·00, 3·12 (95 % CI 1·35, 7·18) and 2·78 (95 % CI 1·02, 7·58). Both low and high Hb levels are related to increased risk of all-cause mortality. Both low and high intake of Fe as percentage of RNI was positively associated with mortality in women.
Eating less frequently is associated with increased obesity risk in older children but data are potentially confounded by reverse causation, where bigger children eat less often in an effort to control their weight. Longitudinal data, particularly in younger children, are scarce. We aimed to determine whether eating frequency (meals and snacks) at 2 years of age is associated with past, current or subsequent BMI.
Cohort analysis of a randomised controlled trial. Eating frequency at 2 years of age was estimated using 48 h diaries that recorded when each child ate meals and snacks (parent-defined) in five-minute blocks. Body length/height and weight were measured at 1, 2 and 3·5 years of age. Linear regression assessed associations between the number of eating occasions and BMI Z-score, before and after adjustment for potential confounding variables.
Prevention of Overweight in Infancy (POI) study, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Children (n 371) aged 1–3·5 years.
On average, children ate 5·5 (sd 1·2) times/d at 2 years of age, with most children (88–89 %) eating 4–7 times/d. Eating frequency at 2 years was not associated with current (difference in BMI Z-score per additional eating occasion; 95 % CI: −0·02; −0·10, 0·05) or subsequent change (0·02; −0·03, 0·06) in BMI. Similarly, BMI at age 1 year did not predict eating frequency at 2 years of age (difference in eating frequency per additional BMI Z-score unit; 95 % CI: −0·03; −0·19, 0·13).
Number of eating occasions per day was not associated with BMI in young children in the present study.
Articles in this timely Special Section represent an important milestone in the developmental science on children and youth involved in political violence and armed conflict. With millions of children worldwide affected by past and present wars and conflicts, there is an urgent and growing need for research to inform efforts to understand, prevent, and mitigate the possible harm of such violence to individual children, families, communities, and societies, for present as well as future generations. The four programs of research highlighted in this Special Section illustrate key advances and challenges in contemporary development research on young people growing up in the midst or aftermath of political violence. These studies are longitudinal, methodologically sophisticated, and grounded in socioecological systems models that align well with current models of risk and resilience in developmental psychopathology. These studies collectively mark a critically important shift to process-focused research that holds great promise for translational applications. Nonetheless, given the scope of the international crisis of children and youth affected by political violence and its sequelae, there is an urgent global need for greater mobilization of resources to support translational science and effective evidence-based action.
This article reports on a qualitative research study that explored the perspectives and lived experiences of children in a range of New Zealand rural environments. Thirty-six children, aged between 6 and 11 years, were interviewed about living in the country and also contributed artwork and photographs. They came from four specific rural locations, ranging from ‘rural with high urban influence’ to ‘highly rural/remote’. Children expressed positive views about aspects of rural living, such as opportunities for being outdoors and participating in social relationships, confirming a positive discourse of the rural idyll. Their accounts highlighted children's agency under complex and sometimes challenging conditions. Children also, however, experienced some aspects of rural life as dull, dangerous or difficult. The complex and nuanced constructions of rural childhood uncovered in this study point to the critical importance of consulting with children in order to understand their experiences and best meet the needs of rural children and families.