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The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
We present a broad study of linear, clustered, noble gas puffs irradiated with the frequency doubled (527 nm) Titan laser at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Pure Ar, Kr, and Xe clustered gas puffs, as well as two mixed-gas puffs consisting of KrAr and XeKrAr gases, make up the targets. Characterization experiments to determine gas-puff density show that varying the experimental parameter gas-delay timing (the delay between gas puff initialization and laser-gas-puff interaction) provides a simple control over the gas-puff density. X-ray emission (>1.4 keV) is studied as a function of gas composition, density, and delay timing. Xe gas puffs produce the strongest peak radiation in the several keV spectral region. The emitted radiation was found to be anisotropic, with smaller X-ray flux observed in the direction perpendicular to both laser beam propagation and polarization directions. The degree of anisotropy is independent of gas target type but increases with photon energy. X-ray spectroscopic measurements estimate plasma parameters and highlight their difference with previous studies. Electron beams with energy in excess of 72 keV are present in the noble gas-puff plasmas and results indicate that Ar plays a key role in their production. A drastic increase in harder X-ray emissions (X-ray flash effect) and multi-MeV electron-beam generation from Xe gas-puff plasma occurred when the laser beam was focused on the front edge of the linear gas puff.
This study aimed to determine the relationship between laryngopharyngeal reflux and dietary modification.
A systematic review was conducted. The data sources for the study were PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library and Web of Science. Articles were independently extracted by two authors according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. The outcome focus was laryngopharyngeal reflux improvement through diet or dietary behaviour.
Of the 372 studies identified, 7 met our inclusion criteria. In these seven studies, laryngopharyngeal reflux symptoms improved following dietary modifications. However, the studies did not present the independent effect of each dietary factor on laryngopharyngeal reflux. Moreover, only one of the seven studies had a randomised controlled study design.
The reference studies of dietary modification for laryngopharyngeal reflux patients are not sufficient to provide recommendations.
During the summer of 2016, the Hawaii Department of Health responded to the second-largest domestic foodborne hepatitis A virus (HAV) outbreak in the post-vaccine era. The epidemiological investigation included case finding and investigation, sequencing of RNA positive clinical specimens, product trace-back and virologic testing and sequencing of HAV RNA from the product. Additionally, an online survey open to all Hawaii residents was conducted to estimate baseline commercial food consumption. We identified 292 confirmed HAV cases, of whom 11 (4%) were possible secondary cases. Seventy-four (25%) were hospitalised and there were two deaths. Among all cases, 94% reported eating at Oahu or Kauai Island branches of Restaurant Chain A, with 86% of those cases reporting raw scallop consumption. In contrast, a food consumption survey conducted during the outbreak indicated 25% of Oahu residents patronised Restaurant Chain A in the 7 weeks before the survey. Product trace-back revealed a single distributor that supplied scallops imported from the Philippines to Restaurant Chain A. Recovery, amplification and sequence comparison of HAV recovered from scallops revealed viral sequences matching those from case-patients. Removal of product from implicated restaurants and vaccination of those potentially exposed led to the cessation of the outbreak. This outbreak further highlights the need for improved imported food safety.
Although many mental health care systems provide care interventions that are not related to direct health care, little is known about the interfaces between the latter and core health care. ‘Core health care’ refers to services whose explicit aim is direct clinical treatment which is usually provided by health professionals, i.e., physicians, nurses, psychologists. ‘Other care’ is typically provided by other staff and includes accommodation, training, promotion of independence, employment support and social skills. In such a definition, ‘other care’ does not necessarily mean being funded or governed differently. The aims of the study were: (1) using a standard classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services and Directories in Europe for Long Term Care, DESDE-LTC) to identify ‘core health’ and ‘other care’ services provided to adults with mental health problems; and (2) to investigate the balance of care by analysing the types and characteristics of core health and other care services.
The study was conducted in eight selected local areas in eight European countries with different mental health systems. All publicly funded mental health services, regardless of the funding agency, for people over 18 years old were identified and coded. The availability, capacity and the workforce of the local mental health services were described using their functional main activity or ‘Main Types of Care’ (MTC) as the standard for international comparison, following the DESDE-LTC system.
In these European study areas, 822 MTCs were identified as providing core health care and 448 provided other types of care. Even though one-third of mental health services in the selected study areas provided interventions that were coded as ‘other care’, significant variation was found in the typology and characteristics of these services across the eight study areas.
The functional distinction between core health and other care overcomes the traditional division between ‘health’ and ‘social’ sectors based on governance and funding. The overall balance between core health and other care services varied significantly across the European sites. Mental health systems cannot be understood or planned without taking into account the availability and capacity of all services specifically available for this target population, including those outside the health sector.
Outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) programmes facilitate hospital discharge, but patients remain at risk of complications and consequent healthcare utilisation (HCU). Here we elucidated the incidence of and risk factors associated with HCU in OPAT patients. This was a retrospective, single-centre, case–control study of adult patients discharged on OPAT. Cases (n = 63) and controls (n = 126) were patients that did or did not utilise the healthcare system within 60 days. Characteristics associated with HCU in bivariate analysis (P ≤ 0.2) were included in a multivariable logistic regression model. Variables were retained in the final model if they were independently (P < 0.05) associated with 60-day HCU. Among all study patients, the mean age was 55 ± 16, 65% were men, and wound infection (22%) and cellulitis (14%) were common diagnoses. The cumulative incidence of 60-day unplanned HCU was 27% with a disproportionately higher incidence in the first 30 days (21%). A statin at discharge (adjusted odds ratios (aOR) 0.23, 95% confidence intervals (CIs) 0.09–0.57), number of prior admissions in past 12 months (aOR 1.48, 95% CIs 1.05–2.10), and a sepsis diagnosis (aOR 4.62, 95% CIs 1.23–17.3) were independently associated with HCU. HCU was most commonly due to non-infection related complications (44%) and worsening primary infection (31%). There are multiple risk factors for HCU in OPAT patients, and formal OPAT clinics may help to risk stratify and target the highest risk groups.
Haemodynamically unstable patients can experience potentially hazardous changes in vital signs related to the exchange of depleted syringes of epinephrine to full syringes. The purpose was to determine the measured effects of epinephrine syringe exchanges on the magnitude, duration, and frequency of haemodynamic disturbances in the hour after an exchange event (study) relative to the hours before (control).
Materials and methods
Beat-to-beat vital signs recorded every 2 seconds from bedside monitors for patients admitted to the paediatric cardiovascular ICU of Texas Children’s Hospital were collected between 1 January, 2013 and 30 June, 2015. Epinephrine syringe exchanges without dose/flow change were obtained from electronic records. Time, magnitude, and duration of changes in systolic blood pressure and heart rate were characterised using Matlab. Significant haemodynamic events were identified and compared with control data.
In all, 1042 syringe exchange events were found and 850 (81.6%) had uncorrupted data for analysis. A total of 744 (87.5%) exchanges had at least 1 associated haemodynamic perturbation including 2958 systolic blood pressure and 1747 heart-rate changes. Heart-rate perturbations occurred 37% before exchange and 63% after exchange, and 37% of systolic blood pressure perturbations happened before syringe exchange, whereas 63% occurred after syringe exchange with significant differences found in systolic blood pressure frequency (p<0.001), duration (p<0.001), and amplitude (p<0.001) compared with control data.
This novel data collection and signal processing analysis showed a significant increase in frequency, duration, and magnitude of systolic blood pressure perturbations surrounding epinephrine syringe exchange events.
There is a need of more quantitative standardised data to compare local Mental Health Systems (MHSs) across international jurisdictions. Problems related to terminological variability and commensurability in the evaluation of services hamper like-with-like comparisons and hinder the development of work in this area. This study was aimed to provide standard assessment and comparison of MHS in selected local areas in Europe, contributing to a better understanding of MHS and related allocation of resources at local level and to lessen the scarcity in standard service comparison in Europe. This study is part of the Seventh Framework programme REFINEMENT (Research on Financing Systems’ Effect on the Quality of Mental Health Care in Europe) project.
A total of eight study areas from European countries with different systems of care (Austria, England, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain) were analysed using a standard open-access classification system (Description and Evaluation of Services for Long Term Care in Europe, DESDE-LTC). All publicly funded services universally accessible to adults (≥18 years) with a psychiatric disorder were coded. Care availability, diversity and capacity were compared across these eight local MHS.
The comparison of MHS revealed more community-oriented delivery systems in the areas of England (Hampshire) and Southern European countries (Verona – Italy and Girona – Spain). Community-oriented systems with a higher proportion of hospital care were identified in Austria (Industrieviertel) and Scandinavian countries (Sør-Trøndelag in Norway and Helsinki-Uusimaa in Finland), while Loiret (France) was considered as a predominantly hospital-based system. The MHS in Suceava (Romania) was still in transition to community care.
There is a significant variation in care availability and capacity across MHS of local areas in Europe. This information is relevant for understanding the process of implementation of community-oriented mental health care in local areas. Standard comparison of care provision in local areas is important for context analysis and policy planning.
Neuroticism, a ‘Big Five’ personality trait, has been associated with sub-clinical traits of both autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The objective of the current study was to examine whether causal overlap between ASD and ADHD traits can be accounted for by genetic and environmental risk factors that are shared with neuroticism. We performed twin-based structural equation modeling using self-report data from 12 items of the Neo Five-Factor Inventory Neuroticism domain, 11 Social Responsiveness Scale items, and 12 Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale items obtained from 3,170 young adult Australian individual twins (1,081 complete pairs). Univariate analysis for neuroticism, ASD, and ADHD traits suggested that the most parsimonious models were those with additive genetic and unique environmental components, without sex limitation effects. Heritability of neuroticism, ASD, and ADHD traits, as measured by these methods, was moderate (between 40% and 45% for each respective trait). In a trivariate model, we observed moderate phenotypic (between 0.45 and 0.62), genetic (between 0.56 and 0.71), and unique environmental correlations (between 0.37and 0.55) among neuroticism, ASD, and ADHD traits, with the highest value for the shared genetic influence between neuroticism and self-reported ASD traits (rg = 0.71). Together, our results suggest that in young adults, genetic, and unique environmental risk factors indexed by neuroticism overlap with those that are shared by ASD and ADHD.
Noroviruses (NoVs) are major causal agents of acute gastroenteritis in humans. NoV GII.4 is the predominant genotype globally. However, uncommon and minor types of NoVs are consistently detected and some have been shown to dominate over GII.4. Therefore, the prevalence of dominant and uncommon NoVs makes the identification of these viruses important for the prediction and prevention of pandemics. In this study, the full-genome sequence of a NoV (strain JW) detected in Korea was extensively characterized. The full-length genome was 7510 nucleotides long, and phylogenetic analysis based on the whole-genome sequences, including open reading frame (ORF)1, ORF2, and ORF3, indicated that it belonged to the GII.21 genotype. Strain JW showed maximum identity with strain YO284; however, comparison of the amino acid sequence of ORF2, which functions as an antigen, showed substitutions in several amino acids. GII.21 is not a prevalent epidemiological agent of acute gastroenteritis in humans, but it is consistently found in gastroenteritis patients from several countries. The present study provides the first full-genome sequence analysis of NoV GII.21 isolated from a patient in Korea. Our findings provide not only valuable genome information but also data for epidemiology studies, epidemic prevention, and vaccine development strategies.
We present recent observation results of Sgr A* at millimeter obtained with VLBI arrays in Korea and Japan.
7 mm monitoring of Sgr A* is part of our AGN large project. The results at 7 epochs during 2013-2014, including high resolution maps, flux density and two-dimensional size measurements are presented. The source shows no significant variation in flux and structure related to the G2 encounter in 2014. According to recent MHD simulations by kawashima et al., flux and magnetic field energy can be expected to increase several years after the encounter; We will keep our monitoring in order to test this prediction.
Astrometric observations of Sgr A* were performed in 2015 at 7 and 3.5 millimeter simultaneously. Source-frequency phase referencing was applied and a combined ”core-shift” of Sgr A* and a nearby calibrator was measured. Future observations and analysis are necessary to determine the core-shift in each source.
To characterize meal patterns across ten European countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) calibration study.
Cross-sectional study utilizing dietary data collected through a standardized 24 h diet recall during 1995–2000. Eleven predefined intake occasions across a 24 h period were assessed during the interview. In the present descriptive report, meal patterns were analysed in terms of daily number of intake occasions, the proportion reporting each intake occasion and the energy contributions from each intake occasion.
Twenty-seven centres across ten European countries.
Women (64 %) and men (36 %) aged 35–74 years (n 36 020).
Pronounced differences in meal patterns emerged both across centres within the same country and across different countries, with a trend for fewer intake occasions per day in Mediterranean countries compared with central and northern Europe. Differences were also found for daily energy intake provided by lunch, with 38–43 % for women and 41–45 % for men within Mediterranean countries compared with 16–27 % for women and 20–26 % for men in central and northern European countries. Likewise, a south–north gradient was found for daily energy intake from snacks, with 13–20 % (women) and 10–17 % (men) in Mediterranean countries compared with 24–34 % (women) and 23–35 % (men) in central/northern Europe.
We found distinct differences in meal patterns with marked diversity for intake frequency and lunch and snack consumption between Mediterranean and central/northern European countries. Monitoring of meal patterns across various cultures and populations could provide critical context to the research efforts to characterize relationships between dietary intake and health.
Plasmas are ubiquitous in nature, surround our local geospace environment, and permeate the universe. Plasma phenomena in space give rise to energetic particles, the aurora, solar flares and coronal mass ejections, as well as many energetic phenomena in interstellar space. Although plasmas can be studied in laboratory settings, it is often difficult, if not impossible, to replicate the conditions (density, temperature, magnetic and electric fields, etc.) of space. Single-point space missions too numerous to list have described many properties of near-Earth and heliospheric plasmas as measured both in situ and remotely (see http://www.nasa.gov/missions/#.U1mcVmeweRY for a list of NASA-related missions). However, a full description of our plasma environment requires three-dimensional spatial measurements. Cluster is the first, and until data begin flowing from the Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission (MMS), the only mission designed to describe the three-dimensional spatial structure of plasma phenomena in geospace. In this paper, we concentrate on some of the many plasma phenomena that have been studied using data from Cluster. To date, there have been more than 2000 refereed papers published using Cluster data but in this paper we will, of necessity, refer to only a small fraction of the published work. We have focused on a few basic plasma phenomena, but, for example, have not dealt with most of the vast body of work describing dynamical phenomena in Earth's magnetosphere, including the dynamics of current sheets in Earth's magnetotail and the morphology of the dayside high latitude cusp. Several review articles and special publications are available that describe aspects of that research in detail and interested readers are referred to them (see for example, Escoubet et al. 2005Multiscale Coupling of Sun-Earth Processes, p. 459, Keith et al. 2005Sur. Geophys.26, 307–339, Paschmann et al. 2005Outer Magnetospheric Boundaries: Cluster Results, Space Sciences Series of ISSI. Berlin: Springer, Goldstein et al. 2006Adv. Space Res.38, 21–36, Taylor et al. 2010The Cluster Mission: Space Plasma in Three Dimensions, Springer, pp. 309–330 and Escoubet et al. 2013Ann. Geophys.31, 1045–1059).
A synthetic cubic pyrochlore, Gd2Ti2O7 (Fd3̅m) irradiated with swift heavy ions is compared with a compositionally-related composition La2Ti2O7 (P21), which has a monoclinic, layered, perovskite-type structure. Irradiation experiments were performed at the GSI Helmholtz Center with 181Ta ions and 129Xe ions at specific energies of 11MeV/amu. At these energies the ions pass entirely through the sample thickness of ∼ 40 μm. Angle-dispersive synchrotron powder x-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements were completed and an increasing ion-induced amorphization with increasing ion fluence was for both phases. The ion track cross-sections for the radiation-induced crystalline-to-amorphous transformation, as determined from the evolution of the integrated peak intensities as a function of fluence, reveal that La2Ti2O7 (track diameter, d ∼ 7.2 nm with 181Ta and 5.1 nm with 129Xe) is more susceptible to amorphization than Gd2Ti2O7 (d ∼ 6.2 nm with 181Ta and 4.6 nm with 129Xe). The radiation response of the two titanate compounds can be understood in the context of their different structures and cation ionic radius ratios rA/rB, where the susceptibility of radiation of titanate pyrochlores is proportionate with this radius ratio. The higher electronic linear energy loss of the 181Ta ions as compared with 129Xe ions leads to a consistent increase of volume amorphized per ion in both materials, which manifests as a larger track diameter.