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Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are the most common congenital malformations. Patients with CHD have a higher morbidity and mortality rate and are at greater risk for infectious diseases. The risk might even be higher if complex CHD occurs and if CHD is associated with additional co-morbidities. Therefore, immunisations in these children are essential.
Materials and Methods:
Individuals were recruited at the outpatient centre of the Department of Congenital Heart Defects and Pediatric Cardiology at the German Heart Center Munich in the time between February 2016 and February 2017. Included were children between 23 months and 17 years and a diagnosis of CHD. The vaccination certificate aimed to assess the immunization status.
In total, 657 children with CHD were included and analysed. Regarding primary immunisation, only 34 % (n = 221) of the children reached the complete vaccination status within the allowed catch-up time. Among these primary immunisation rates, vaccinations against Hepatitis B, Meningococci, Varicella and Pneumococci were found to have the lowest coverage with all being below 80%. The vaccination rate was partly influenced by the previously performed number of surgeries but not by the diagnosis of specific genetic diseases. At the age of school entry, the immunisation rate in children with CHD was also lower than in the comparable healthy population.
The vaccination coverage rate in children with CHD is lower than in comparable healthy children, although this is a vulnerable patient group. Further education of parents and treating physicians of children with CHD regarding vaccination is still needed.
It is clinically imperative to better understand the relationship between trauma, auditory hallucinations and dissociation. The personal narrative of trauma has enormous significance for each individual and is also important for the clinician, who must use this information to decide on a diagnosis and treatment approach.
To better understand whether dissociation contributes in a significant way to hallucinations in individuals with and without trauma histories.
Three groups of participants with auditory hallucinations were recruited, with diagnoses of: schizophrenia (without trauma) (n = 18), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, n = 27) and comorbid schizophrenia and PTSD (SCZ+PTSD), n = 26). Clinician-administered measures included the PTSD Symptoms Scale Interview (PSSI-5), the Clinician-Administered Dissociative States Scale (CADSS) and the Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales (PSYRATS).
Dissociative symptoms were significantly higher in participants with trauma histories (PTSD and SCZ+PTSD groups) and significantly correlated with hallucinations in trauma-exposed participants, but not in participants with schizophrenia (without trauma history). Hallucination severity was correlated with the CADSS amnesia subscale score, but depersonalisation and derealisation were not.
Dissociation may be a mechanism in trauma-exposed individuals who hear voices, but it does not explain all hallucinatory experiences. The SCZ+PTSD group were in an intermediary position between schizophrenia and PTSD on dissociative and hallucination measures. The PTSD and SCZ+PTSD groups experienced dissociative phenomena much more frequently than the schizophrenia group, with a significant trend towards the amnesia subtype of dissociation.
An increase in dietary fat intake - at the expense of dietary carbohydrate intake - may play an important role in the accumulation of adipose tissue at different sites and liver fat accumulation. Thus, the present study investigated the isocaloric substitution of dietary carbohydrates with fat, and its cross-sectional association with visceral adipose tissue (VAT), subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT), and hepatic fat content as determined by MRI.
Material and Methods:
Data from 283 participants (mean age 56.1 ± 9.0 years) from the KORA FF4 study study who underwent whole-body MRI were included. VAT, SAT, and total body fat were quantified by a volume-interpolated VIBE-T1w-Dixon MR sequence. Hepatic fat content was determined as the proton density fat-fraction (PDFF) derived from multiecho-T1w MR sequence. Habitual dietary intake was estimated by combining the information provided by repeated 24-h food lists and a food frequency questionnaire. Cross-sectional associations were analyzed using linear regressions.
Carbohydrate intake (in % of total energy intake (E%)) correlated significantly inversely with VAT (r = -0.34) and hepatic fat (r = -0,30), while fat intake (E%) correlated positively with hepatic fat content (r = 0.16). Replacing total carbohydrates with an isocaloric amount of total fat was significantly positively associated with VAT and hepatic fat, while there was no significant association with SAT. The multivariable adjusted β-coefficient for replacing 5 E% carbohydrates with total fat was 0.39 (95% CI: 0.02, 0.76) for VAT. An increase in total fat intake by 5% of total energy was associated with an increase in liver fat content by 24%. Dietary fiber intake was significantly inversely associated with VAT and hepatic lipid content.
In middle-aged adults, substitution of carbohydrates with total fat was associated with a higher volume of VAT and an increase of hepatic fat, while whole-grain associated carbohydrates show inverse associations. If reproduced in prospective studies, such findings would strongly argue for limiting dietary fat intake.
Previous work in an Irish cross-sectional study in adults identified three metabolic subgroups (metabotypes) of individuals using k-means cluster analysis based on four fasting clinical standard parameters (triacylglycerols, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and glucose). We aimed to validate these metabotypes in another large population-based study. We assigned 2221 participants aged 38–88 years from the German Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) FF4 study (2013/2014) to the three metabotype clusters identified previously by minimizing the Euclidean distances. These clusters were characterized and compared with one another by metabolic characteristics as well as by cardiometabolic disease prevalence. Further, usual dietary intake of various foods/nutrients was estimated based on a food frequency questionnaire and multiple 24-hour food lists and was investigated across clusters. We identified three metabolically distinct clusters in the KORA FF4 study. Cluster 3 represented the group of participants with the most unfavorable metabolic characteristics (e.g. parameters of glucose and lipid metabolism, inflammatory markers), followed by clusters 2 and 1. Individuals in cluster 3 had the highest prevalence of metabolic diseases. Furthermore, they were characterized by the most unfavorable diet with significantly lowest intakes of vegetables, dairy products and fibers as well as significantly highest intakes of total, red and processed meat. Our finding of distinct metabolic subgroups in the KORA FF4 study suggest a successful validation of the metabotypes originally identified based on four commonly measured clinical parameters. Based on these metabotypes, targeted dietary recommendations may be developed for metabolic disease prevention.
The origin of malnutrition in older age is multifactorial and risk factors may vary according to health and living situation. The present study aimed to identify setting-specific risk profiles of malnutrition in older adults and to investigate the association of the number of individual risk factors with malnutrition.
Data of four cross-sectional studies were harmonized and uniformly analysed. Malnutrition was defined as BMI < 20 kg/m2 and/or weight loss of >3 kg in the previous 3–6 months. Associations between factors of six domains (demographics, health, mental function, physical function, dietary intake-related problems, dietary behaviour), the number of individual risk factors and malnutrition were analysed using logistic regression.
Community (CD), geriatric day hospital (GDH), home care (HC), nursing home (NH).
CD older adults (n 1073), GDH patients (n 180), HC receivers (n 335) and NH residents (n 197), all ≥65 years.
Malnutrition prevalence was lower in CD (11 %) than in the other settings (16–19 %). In the CD sample, poor appetite, difficulties with eating, respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases were associated with malnutrition; in GDH patients, poor appetite and respiratory diseases; in HC receivers, younger age, poor appetite and nausea; and in NH residents, older age and mobility limitations. In all settings the likelihood of malnutrition increased with the number of potential individual risk factors.
The study indicates a varying relevance of certain risk factors of malnutrition in different settings. However, the relationship of the number of individual risk factors with malnutrition in all settings implies comprehensive approaches to identify persons at risk of malnutrition early.
The late Miocene is a time of strong environmental change in SW Asia. Himalayan foreland stable isotope data show a shift in the dominant vegetation of the flood plains away from trees and shrubs towards more C4 grasslands at a time when oceanic upwelling increased along the Oman margin. We present integrated geochemical and colour spectral records from International Ocean Discovery Program Site U1456 in the eastern Arabian Sea to reconstruct changing chemical weathering and erosion, as well as relative humidity during this climatic transition. Increasing hematite/goethite ratios derived from spectral data are consistent with long-term drying after c. 7.7 Ma. Times of dry conditions are largely associated with weaker chemical alteration measured by K/Rb and reduced coarse clastic flux, constrained by Si/Al and Zr/Al. A temporary phase of increased humidity from 6.3 to 5.95 Ma shows a reversal to stronger weathering and erosion. Wetter conditions can result in both more and less alteration due to the nonlinear relationship between weathering rates, precipitation and sediment transport times. Trends in relative aridity do not follow existing palaeoceanographic records and are not apparently linked to changes in Tibetan or Himalayan elevation, but more closely correlate with global cooling. An apparent opposing trend in the humidity evolution in the Indus compared to southern China, as tracked by spectrally estimated hematite/goethite, likely reflects differences in the topography in the Indus compared to the Pearl River drainage basins, as well as the generally wetter climate in southern China.
Animal sterols, plant sterols and bile acids in stool samples have been suggested as biomarkers of dietary intake. It is still unknown whether they also reflect long-term habitual dietary intake and can be used in aetiological research. In a subgroup of the Cooperative Health Research in the Augsburg Region (KORA FF4) study, habitual dietary intake was estimated based on repeated 24-h food list and a FFQ. Stool samples were collected according to a standard operating procedure and those meeting the quality criteria were extracted and analysed by means of a metabolomics technique. The present study is based on data from 513 men and 495 women with a mean age of 60 and 58 years, respectively, for which faecal animal and plant sterols and bile acids concentrations and dietary intake data were available. In adjusted regression models, the associations between food intake and log-normalised metabolite concentrations were analysed. Bonferroni correction was used to account for multiple testing. In this population-based sample, associations between habitual dietary intake and faecal concentrations of animal sterols were identified, while the impact of usual diet on bile acids was limited. A habitual diet high in ‘fruits’ and ‘nuts and seeds’ is associated with lower animal faecal sterols concentrations, whereas a diet high in ‘meat and meat products’ is positively related to faecal concentrations of animal sterols. A positive association between glycocholate and fruit consumption was found. Further studies are necessary for evaluation of faecal animal sterols as biomarkers of diet. The findings need to be confirmed in other populations with diverse dietary habits.
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common monogenic kidney disease and is caused by heterozygous germ-line mutations in either PKD1 (85%) or PKD2 (15%). It is characterised by the formation of numerous fluid-filled renal cysts and leads to adult-onset kidney failure in ~50% of patients by 60 years. Kidney cysts in ADPKD are focal and sporadic, arising from the clonal proliferation of collecting-duct principal cells, but in only 1–2% of nephrons for reasons that are not clear. Previous studies have demonstrated that further postnatal reductions in PKD1 (or PKD2) dose are required for kidney cyst formation, but the exact triggering factors are not clear. A growing body of evidence suggests that DNA damage, and activation of the DNA damage response pathway, are altered in ciliopathies. The aims of this review are to: (i) analyse the evidence linking DNA damage and renal cyst formation in ADPKD; (ii) evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of biomarkers to assess DNA damage in ADPKD and finally, (iii) evaluate the potential effects of current clinical treatments on modifying DNA damage in ADPKD. These studies will address the significance of DNA damage and may lead to a new therapeutic approach in ADPKD.
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 analyse the scope and content of the nutrition pledge announced by Lidl.
We applied the approach recommended by the private-sector module of the INFORMAS (International Network for Food and Obesity Research, Monitoring and Action Support) food environment monitoring framework and qualitative content analysis to Lidl’s nutrition pledge.
The nutrition pledge of Lidl, Europe’s largest food retailer.
Lidl pledges to reduce the average sales-weighted content of added sugar and added salt in its own-brand products by 20 % until 2025, using 2015 as a baseline, starting in Germany. Moreover, it vows to reduce the saturated and trans-fatty acid contents of its own-brand products, without specifying targets or timelines. To achieve these targets, it pledges to apply a number of approaches, including reformulation, promotion of healthier products, reduction of package and portion sizes, and provision of nutrition information and education. Strengths of Lidl’s pledge are its extensive scope, the quantification of some targets, and its partially evidence-based approach to the selection of targets and interventions. Key limitations include the vagueness of many targets, a lack of transparency and the absence of independent monitoring and evaluation.
Lidl’s pledge, while commendable for its scope, does not meet current best practice guidelines. Given their current limitations, industry initiatives of this kind are likely to fall short of what is needed to improve population-level nutrition.
Red Supergiant Stars (RSGs) are important probes of stellar and chemical evolution in star-forming environments. They represent the brightest near-IR stellar components of external galaxies and probe the most recent stellar population to provide robust, independent abundance estimates. The Local Group dwarf irregular galaxy, NGC6822, is a reasonably isolated galaxy with an interesting structure and turbulent history. Using RSGs as chemical abundance probes, we estimate metallicities in the central region of NGC6822, finding a suggestion of a metallicity gradient (in broad agreement with nebular tracers), however, this requires further study for confirmation. With intermediate resolution Multi-object spectroscopy (from e.g. KMOS, EMIR, MOSFIRE) combined with state-of-the-art stellar model atmospheres, we demonstrate how RSGs can be used to estimate stellar abundances in external galaxies. In this context, we compare stellar and nebular abundance tracers in NGC 6822 and by combining stellar and nebular tracers we estimate an abundance gradient of −0.18 ± 0.05 dex/kpc.
To identify, using a novel enhanced method of recovery, environmental sites where spores of Clostridium difficile persist despite cleaning and hydrogen peroxide aerial decontamination.
Tertiary referral center teaching hospital.
In total, 16 sites representing high-frequency contact or difficult-to-clean surfaces in a single-isolation room or bed area in patient bed bays were sampled before and after terminal or hydrogen peroxide disinfection using a sponge swab. In some rooms, individual sites were not present (eg, there were no en-suite rooms in the ICU). Swab contents were homogenized, concentrated by membrane-filtration, and plated onto selective media. Results of C. difficile sampling were used to focus cleaning.
Over 1 year, 2,529 sites from 146 rooms and 44 bays were sampled. Clostridium difficile was found on 131 of 572 surfaces (22.9%) before terminal cleaning, on 105 of 959 surfaces (10.6%) after terminal cleaning, and on 43 of 967 surfaces (4.4%) after hydrogen peroxide disinfection. Clostridium difficile persisted most frequently on floor corners (97 of 334; 29.0%) after disinfection. Between the first and third quarters, we observed a significant decrease in the number of positive sites (25 of 390 vs 6 of 256). However, no similar change in the number of isolates before terminal cleaning was observed.
Persistence of C. difficile in the clinical environment was widespread. Although feedback of results did not improve the efficacy of manual disinfection, numbers of C. difficile following hydrogen peroxide gradually declined.
Strongyloidiasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by the roundworm Strongyloides stercoralis affecting 30–100 million people worldwide. Many Southeast-Asian countries report a high prevalence of S. stercoralis infection, but there are little data from Vietnam. Here, we evaluated the seroprevalence of S. stercoralis related to geography, sex and age in Vietnam through serological testing of anonymized sera. Sera (n = 1710, 1340 adults and 270 children) from an anonymized age-stratified serum bank from four regions in Vietnam between 2012 and 2013 were tested using a commercial Strongyloides ratti immunoglobulin G ELISA. Seroreactivity was found in 29·1% (390/1340) of adults and 5·5% (15/270) of children. Male adults were more frequently seroreactive than females (33·3% vs. 24·9%, P = 0·001). The rural central highlands had the highest seroprevalence (42·4% of adults). Seroreactivity in the other regions was 29·9% (Hue) and 26·0% and 18·2% in the large urban centres of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, respectively. We conclude that seroprevalence of S. stercoralis was high in the Vietnamese adult population, especially in rural areas.
We provide a qualitative analysis of a system of nonlinear differential equations that model the spread of alcoholism through a population. Alcoholism is viewed as an infectious disease and the model treats it within a sir framework. The model exhibits two generic types of steady-state diagram. The first of these is qualitatively the same as the steady-state diagram in the standard sir model. The second exhibits a backwards transcritical bifurcation. As a consequence of this, there is a region of bistability in which a population of problem drinkers can be sustained, even when the reproduction number is less than one. We obtain a succinct formula for this scenario when the transition between these two cases occurs.
The current study investigates potential pathways from socio-economic status (SES) to BMI in the adult population, considering psychological domains of eating behaviour (restrained eating, uncontrolled eating, emotional eating) as potential mediators stratified for sex.
Data were derived from the population-based cross-sectional LIFE-Adult-Study. Parallel-mediation models were conducted to obtain the total, direct and indirect effects of psychological eating behaviour domains on the association between SES and BMI for men and for women.
We studied 5935 participants aged 18 to 79 years.
Uncontrolled eating mediated the association between SES and BMI in men only and restrained eating in both men and women. Emotional eating did not act as mediator in this relationship. The total effect of eating behaviour domains on the association between SES and BMI was estimated as β=−0·03 (se 0·02; 95 % CI −0·062, −0·003) in men and β=−0·18 (se 0·02; 95 % CI −0·217, −0·138) in women.
Our findings do not indicate a strong overall mediation effect of the eating behaviour domains restrained eating, uncontrolled eating and emotional eating on the association between SES and BMI. Further research on other pathways of this association is strongly recommended. Importantly, our findings indicate that, independent from one’s social position, focusing on psychological aspects in weight reduction might be a promising approach.
To examine the interaction between waist circumference (WC) and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) level in their associations with serum lipids.
Cross-sectional study. The associations of serum 25(OH)D with total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol (HDL-C), LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), LDL-C:HDL-C and TAG were examined using multiple linear regression. Effect modification by WC was assessed through cross-product interaction terms between 25(OH)D and WC categories (abdominal overweight, 80–<88 cm in females/94–<102 cm in males; abdominal obesity, ≥88 cm in females/≥102 cm in males).
The US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey waves 2001–2006.
Non-pregnant fasting participants (n 4342) aged ≥20 years.
Lower 25(OH)D levels were significantly associated with lower HDL-C levels as well as with higher LDL-C:HDL-C and TAG levels in abdominally obese participants, but not in abdominally overweight or normal-waist participants. In contrast, lower 25(OH)D levels were associated with lower levels of total cholesterol and LDL-C in abdominally overweight and normal-waist participants only, but this association was only partly significant. However, a significant difference in the association between 25(OH)D and the lipids according to WC category was found only for LDL-C:HDL-C (P for interaction=0·02).
Our results from this large, cross-sectional sample suggest that the association between lower 25(OH)D levels and an unfavourable lipid profile is stronger in individuals with abdominal obesity than in those with abdominal overweight or a normal WC.
As ageing is associated with changes in body composition, BMI may not be the appropriate obesity measure for older adults. To date, little is known about associations between obesity measures and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Thus, we aimed to compare different obesity measures in their association with HRQoL and self-rated physical constitution (SRPC) in older adults.
Seven obesity measures (BMI, waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio, waist-to-height ratio, fat mass percentage based on bioelectrical impedance analysis, hypertriglyceridaemic waist (HTGW) and sarcopenic obesity) were assessed at baseline in 2009. HRQoL, using the EQ-5D questionnaire, and SRPC, using one single question, were collected at baseline and at the 3-year follow-up in 2012. Linear and logistic regression analyses were used to examine the associations between the obesity measures and both outcomes. Model comparisons were conducted by area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve, R2, Akaike and Schwarz Bayesian information criteria.
KORA-Age study in Southern Germany (2009–2012).
Older adults (n 883; aged ≥65 years).
Nearly all obesity measures were significantly inversely associated with both outcomes in cross-sectional analyses. Concerning HRQoL, the WC model explained most of the variance and had the best model adaption, followed by the BMI model. Regarding SRPC, the HTGW and BMI models were best as rated by model quality criteria, followed closely by the WC model. Longitudinal analyses showed no significant associations.
These results suggest that, with regard to HRQoL/SRPC, simple anthropometric measures are sufficient to determine obesity in older adults in medical practice.
The difficulties in conducting palliative care research have been widely acknowledged. In order to generate the evidence needed to underpin palliative care provision, collaborative research is considered essential. Prior to formalizing the development of a research network for the state of Victoria, Australia, a preliminary study was undertaken to ascertain interest and recommendations for the design of such a collaboration.
Three data-collection strategies were used: a cross-sectional questionnaire, interviews, and workshops. The questionnaire was completed by multidisciplinary palliative care specialists from across the state (n = 61); interviews were conducted with senior clinicians and academics (n = 21) followed by two stakeholder workshops (n = 29). The questionnaire was constructed specifically for this study, measuring involvement of and perceptions of palliative care research.
Both the interview and the questionnaire data demonstrated strong support for a palliative care research network and aided in establishing a research agenda. The stakeholder workshops assisted with strategies for the formation of the Palliative Care Research Network Victoria (PCRNV) and guided the development of the mission and strategic plan.
Significance of results:
The research and efforts to date to establish the PCRNV are encouraging and provide optimism for the evolution of palliative care research in Australia. The international implications are highlighted.