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To assess the differences in comorbid lifetime substance use (tobacco, alcohol and drug use) between eating disorder (ED) patients and healthy controls.
Participants were a consecutive series of 779 ED cases, who had been referred to specialised ED units in five European countries. The ED cases were compared to a balanced control group of 785 healthy individuals. Assessment: Participants completed the Substance Use Subscale of the Cross Cultural Questionnaire (CCQ), a measure of lifetime tobacco, alcohol and drug use. In the control group, also the GHQ-28, the SCID-I interview and the EAT-26 were used.
ED patients had higher lifetime consumption of tobacco and drugs (p <0.01). The only insignificant result was obtained for alcohol (OR= 1.29; δ =0.157; N.S.) and cannabis use (OR= 1.21; δ = 0.037, N.S.). Significant differences across ED sub diagnoses also emerged for all of the assessed variables (p<0.01), with the BN and AN-BP patients generally presenting the highest prevalence rates. The only exception was detected for alcohol consumption where EDNOS patients demonstrated the highest values (p=0.008). Only a few cultural differences between countries emerged (p<0.05).
Lifetime tobacco and drug use but not alcohol consumption are more prevalent in ED patients than healthy controls. While alcohol appears to be more common in EDNOS, smoking and drug use are more frequent in patients with bulimic symptomatology. The differential risk observed in patients with bulimic features might be related to differences in temperament or might be the result of increased sensitivity to reward.
To examine whether there is an association between individual and family eating patterns during childhood and early adolescence and the likelihood of developing an eating disorder (ED) later in life.
Participants were a consecutive series of 879 ED cases from five different European countries. The ED cases were compared to a control group of 785 healthy individuals. Assessment: Participants completed the Early Eating Environmental Subscale of the Cross-Cultural (Environmental) Questionnaire (CCQ), a retrospective measure, which has been developed to detect dimensions associated with EDs in different countries. In the control group, also the GHQ-28, the SCID-I interview and the EAT-26 were used.
Five individual CatPCA procedures revealed five predetermined dimensions which were labeled: 1.) food as individualization; 2.) control and rules about food; 3.) food as social glue; 4.) healthy eating and 5.) food neglect. Logistic regression analyses indicated that the domains with the strongest effects were: food used as individualization (p=0.001; OR=1.76) and control and rules about food (p=0.001; OR=1.76). Conversely, healthy eating was negatively related to a later ED (p=0.001; OR=0.629). The pattern of associated ED factors was found to very between countries. There was very little difference in early eating behavior on the subtypes of the ED.
The fragmentation of meals within the family and control and rules about food appears to be linked to the development of a subsequent ED. On the other hand mantaining a structured and balanced diet during infancy seems to protect from a later ED.
Identifying the transmission sources and reservoirs of Streptococcus pneumoniae (SP) is a long-standing question for pneumococcal epidemiology, transmission dynamics, and vaccine policy. Here we use serotype to identify SP transmission and examine acquisitions (in the same household, local community, and county, or of unidentified origin) in a longitudinal cohort of children and adults from the Navajo Nation and the White Mountain Apache American Indian Tribes. We found that adults acquire SP relatively more in the household than other age groups, and children 2–8 years old typically acquire in their own or surrounding communities. Age-specific transmission probability matrices show that transmissions within household were mostly seen from older to younger siblings. Outside the household, children most often transmit to other children in the same age group, showing age-assortative mixing behavior. We find toddlers and older children to be most involved in SP transmission and acquisition, indicating their role as key drivers of SP epidemiology. Although infants have high carriage prevalence, they do not play a central role in transmission of SP compared with toddlers and older children. Our results are relevant to inform alternative pneumococcal conjugate vaccine dosing strategies and analytic efforts to inform optimization of vaccine programs, as well as assessing the transmission dynamics of pathogens transmitted by close contact in general.
When using bifunctional core@shell catalysts, the stability of both the shell and core–shell interface is crucial for catalytic applications. In the present study, we elucidate the stability of a CuO/ZnO/Al2O3@ZSM-5 core@shell material, used for one-stage synthesis of dimethyl ether from synthesis gas. The catalyst stability was studied in a hierarchical manner by complementary environmental transmission electron microscopy (ETEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and in situ hard X-ray ptychography with a specially designed in situ cell. Both reductive activation and reoxidation were applied. The core–shell interface was found to be stable during reducing and oxidizing treatment at 250°C as observed by ETEM and in situ X-ray ptychography, although strong changes occurred in the core on a 10 nm scale due to the reduction of copper oxide to metallic copper particles. At 350°C, in situ X-ray ptychography indicated the occurrence of structural changes also on the µm scale, i.e. the core material and parts of the shell undergo restructuring. Nevertheless, the crucial core–shell interface required for full bifunctionality appeared to remain stable. This study demonstrates the potential of these correlative in situ microscopy techniques for hierarchically designed catalysts.
The stellar occultation technique is a powerful tool to study distant small solar system bodies. Currently, around 2 500 trans-neptunian objects (TNOs) and Centaurs are known. With the astrometry from Gaia and large surveys like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), accurate predictions of occultation events will be available to tens of thousands of TNOs and Centaurs and boost the knowledge of the outer solar system.
Malaria elimination is on global agendas following successful transmission reductions. Nevertheless moving from low to zero transmission is challenging. South Africa has an elimination target of 2018, which may or may not be realised in its hypoendemic areas.
The Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance System has monitored population health in north-eastern South Africa since 1992. Malaria deaths were analysed against individual factors, socioeconomic status, labour migration and weather over a 21-year period, eliciting trends over time and associations with covariates.
Of 13 251 registered deaths over 1.58 million person-years, 1.2% were attributed to malaria. Malaria mortality rates increased from 1992 to 2013, while mean daily maximum temperature rose by 1.5 °C. Travel to endemic Mozambique became easier, and malaria mortality increased in higher socioeconomic groups. Overall, malaria mortality was significantly associated with age, socioeconomic status, labour migration and employment, yearly rainfall and higher rainfall/temperature shortly before death.
Malaria persists as a small but important cause of death in this semi-rural South African population. Detailed longitudinal population data were crucial for these analyses. The findings highlight practical political, socioeconomic and environmental difficulties that may also be encountered elsewhere in moving from low-transmission scenarios to malaria elimination.
Patients with psychosis display the so-called ‘Jumping to Conclusions’ bias (JTC) – a tendency for hasty decision-making in probabilistic reasoning tasks. So far, only a few studies have evaluated the JTC bias in ‘at-risk mental state’ (ARMS) patients, specifically in ARMS samples fulfilling ‘ultra-high risk’ (UHR) criteria, thus not allowing for comparisons between different ARMS subgroups.
In the framework of the PREVENT (secondary prevention of schizophrenia) study, a JTC task was applied to 188 patients either fulfilling UHR criteria or presenting with cognitive basic symptoms (BS). Similar data were available for 30 healthy control participants matched for age, gender, education and premorbid verbal intelligence. ARMS patients were identified by the Structured Interview for Prodromal Symptoms (SIPS) and the Schizophrenia Proneness Instrument – Adult Version (SPI-A).
The mean number of draws to decision (DTD) significantly differed between ARM -subgroups: UHR patients made significantly less draws to make a decision than ARMS patients with only cognitive BS. Furthermore, UHR patients tended to fulfil behavioural criteria for JTC more often than BS patients. In a secondary analysis, ARMS patients were much hastier in their decision-making than controls. In patients, DTD was moderately associated with positive and negative symptoms as well as disorganization and excitement.
Our data indicate an enhanced JTC bias in the UHR group compared to ARMS patients with only cognitive BS. This underscores the importance of reasoning deficits within cognitive theories of the developing psychosis. Interactions with the liability to psychotic transitions and therapeutic interventions should be unravelled in longitudinal studies.
A new closed cell is presented for in situ X-ray ptychography which allows studies under gas flow and at elevated temperature. In order to gain complementary information by transmission and scanning electron microscopy, the cell makes use of a Protochips E-chipTM which contains a small, thin electron transparent window and allows heating. Two gold-based systems, 50 nm gold particles and nanoporous gold as a relevant catalyst sample, were used for studying the feasibility of the cell. Measurements showing a resolution around 40 nm have been achieved under a flow of synthetic air and during heating up to temperatures of 933 K. An elevated temperature exhibited little influence on image quality and resolution. With this study, the potential of in situ hard X-ray ptychography for investigating annealing processes of real catalyst samples is demonstrated. Furthermore, the possibility to use the same sample holder for ex situ electron microscopy before and after the in situ study underlines the unique possibilities available with this combination of electron microscopy and X-ray microscopy on the same sample.
Africa is experiencing a rapid increase in adult obesity and associated cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs). The H3Africa AWI-Gen Collaborative Centre was established to examine genomic and environmental factors that influence body composition, body fat distribution and CMD risk, with the aim to provide insights towards effective treatment and intervention strategies. It provides a research platform of over 10 500 participants, 40–60 years old, from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Following a process that involved community engagement, training of project staff and participant informed consent, participants were administered detailed questionnaires, anthropometric measurements were taken and biospecimens collected. This generated a wealth of demographic, health history, environmental, behavioural and biomarker data. The H3Africa SNP array will be used for genome-wide association studies. AWI-Gen is building capacity to perform large epidemiological, genomic and epigenomic studies across several African counties and strives to become a valuable resource for research collaborations in Africa.
Feedback provided by relativistic jets may be effective in shaping the galaxy luminosity function. The quenching mode (quasar mode) at redshifts ~2-3 potentially disperses gas in star-forming galaxies. The maintenance mode (radio mode) heats the gas in galaxy clusters counteracting cooling flows. A number of authors have examined the effect of relativistic jets in dispersing clouds in the kpc-scale inhomogeneous interstellar medium of evolving galaxies. We have also investigated a particular case of maintenance-mode feedback in our simulation of the iconic radio galaxy / cooling flow cluster Hydra A. Modelling of the knots produced by the jets in the inner 10 kpc provides an estimate of 0.8 – 0.9 c for the velocities of the jets in agreement with other velocity estimates for FR1 jets. The addition of jet precession provides realistic simulations of the morphology of the Hydra A radio source and raises interesting questions as to the role of black hole and disk precession, in general, in galaxy formation.
We aimed to assess whether the characteristics of influenza-like illness (ILI) cases in the general population were similar during the seasonal and pandemic A(H1N1)pdm09 influenza periods. We conducted a study using a general population database, which included demographic (sex, age) and clinical (underlying medical conditions, influenza vaccination status) information on more than 80 000 subjects. We assessed the most important predictors of ILI during each season by using multiple logistic regression. We descriptively compared whether they were similar during different seasons. The model, including all demographic and clinical characteristics, showed that age ⩾60 years decreased the odds for ILI by 52% and 81% during the seasonal and A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic periods, respectively. Being vaccinated decreased the odds of ILI for seasonal influenza by 32%, while suffering from the comorbidities other than lung or cardiovascular diseases doubled the odds of ILI during the A(H1N1)pdm09 pandemic.
As physical activity may modify the effect of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele on the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD) dementia, we tested for such a gene–environment interaction in a sample of general practice patients aged ⩾75 years.
Data were derived from follow-up waves I–IV of the longitudinal German study on Ageing, Cognition and Dementia in Primary Care Patients (AgeCoDe). The Kaplan–Meier survival method was used to estimate dementia- and AD-free survival times. Multivariable Cox regression was used to assess individual associations of APOE ε4 and physical activity with risk for dementia and AD, controlling for covariates. We tested for gene–environment interaction by calculating three indices of additive interaction.
Among the randomly selected sample of 6619 patients, 3327 (50.3%) individuals participated in the study at baseline and 2810 (42.5%) at follow-up I. Of the 2492 patients without dementia included at follow-up I, 278 developed dementia (184 AD) over the subsequent follow-up interval of 4.5 years. The presence of the APOE ε4 allele significantly increased and higher physical activity significantly decreased risk for dementia and AD. The co-presence of APOE ε4 with low physical activity was associated with higher risk for dementia and AD and shorter dementia- and AD-free survival time than the presence of APOE ε4 or low physical activity alone. Indices of interaction indicated no significant interaction between low physical activity and the APOE ε4 allele for general dementia risk, but a possible additive interaction for AD risk.
Physical activity even in late life may be effective in reducing conversion to dementia and AD or in delaying the onset of clinical manifestations. APOE ε4 carriers may particularly benefit from increasing physical activity with regard to their risk for AD.
Whether late-onset depression is a risk factor for or a prodrome of dementia remains unclear. We investigated the impact of depressive symptoms and early- v. late-onset depression on subsequent dementia in a cohort of elderly general-practitioner patients (n = 2663, mean age = 81.2 years).
Risk for subsequent dementia was estimated over three follow-ups (each 18 months apart) depending on history of depression, particularly age of depression onset, and current depressive symptoms using proportional hazard models. We also examined the additive prediction of incident dementia by depression beyond cognitive impairment.
An increase of dementia risk for higher age cut-offs of late-onset depression was found. In analyses controlling for age, sex, education, and apolipoprotein E4 genotype, we found that very late-onset depression (aged ⩾70 years) and current depressive symptoms separately predicted all-cause dementia. Combined very late-onset depression with current depressive symptoms was specifically predictive for later Alzheimer's disease (AD; adjusted hazard ratio 5.48, 95% confidence interval 2.41–12.46, p < 0.001). This association was still significant after controlling for cognitive measures, but further analyses suggested that it was mediated by subjective memory impairment with worries.
Depression might be a prodrome of AD but not of dementia of other aetiology as very late-onset depression in combination with current depressive symptoms, possibly emerging as a consequence of subjectively perceived worrisome cognitive deterioration, was most predictive. As depression parameters and subjective memory impairment predicted AD independently of objective cognition, clinicians should take this into account.
With modern undulators generating light of an arbitrary polarization state, experiments exploiting this feature in the soft X-ray region are becoming increasingly widespread. Circularly polarized light in the soft X-ray region is of particular interest to investigate of magnetic metals such as Fe, Co and Ni, and the rare earths. A versatile multilayer polarimeter has been designed and developed to characterize the polarization state of the soft X-ray beam. A W/B4C multilayer transmission phase retarder and reflection analyser has been used for polarimetry measurements on the beamline (I06) at Diamond Light Source. The design details of the polarimeter and preliminary polarimetry results are presented.
A series of simulation experiments was conducted to determine how estimates of the latent and infectious periods, number of neighbours (contacts) and population size impact on the predicted magnitude and distribution of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks in white-tailed deer in southern Texas. Outbreaks were simulated using a previously developed and applied susceptible–latent–infected–recovered geographic automata model. There were substantial differences in the estimated predicted number of deer and locations infected, based on the model parameters used (3779–119 879 deer infected and 227–6526 locations affected). There were also substantial differences in the spatial risk of infection based on the model parameters used. The predicted spread of FMD was found to be most sensitive to the assumed latent period and the assumed number of contacts. How these parameters are estimated is likely to be critical in studies on the impact of FMD spread in situations in which wildlife reservoirs might potentially exist.
The effect of conventional process parameters on the deposition of μc-Si:H solar cells is reviewed. Then, an approach to solar cell optimization is presented in which hidden, internal parameters are adjusted rather than conventional, external process parameters. The investigation focuses on deposition at low H2 dilution ratio and low total gas flow. A hidden parameter is identified through time resolved optical emission spectroscopy on SiH emission: Transient depletion of the SiH4 source gas leads to uncontrolled deposition conditions during the first 90 s after plasma ignition. There hardly is any effect on plasma properties and deposited film properties for the remainder of deposition after the transient depletion phase. As demonstrator a 9.5 % efficient single junction μc-Si:H solar cell was deposited from a pure SiH4 flow. A reinterpretation of the role of H2 dilution is discussed.