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Healthcare personnel with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were interviewed to describe activities and practices in and outside the workplace. Among 2,625 healthcare personnel, workplace-related factors that may increase infection risk were more common among nursing-home personnel than hospital personnel, whereas selected factors outside the workplace were more common among hospital personnel.
The emphasis on team science in clinical and translational research increases the importance of collaborative biostatisticians (CBs) in healthcare. Adequate training and development of CBs ensure appropriate conduct of robust and meaningful research and, therefore, should be considered as a high-priority focus for biostatistics groups. Comprehensive training enhances clinical and translational research by facilitating more productive and efficient collaborations. While many graduate programs in Biostatistics and Epidemiology include training in research collaboration, it is often limited in scope and duration. Therefore, additional training is often required once a CB is hired into a full-time position. This article presents a comprehensive CB training strategy that can be adapted to any collaborative biostatistics group. This strategy follows a roadmap of the biostatistics collaboration process, which is also presented. A TIE approach (Teach the necessary skills, monitor the Implementation of these skills, and Evaluate the proficiency of these skills) was developed to support the adoption of key principles. The training strategy also incorporates a “train the trainer” approach to enable CBs who have successfully completed training to train new staff or faculty.
Anxiety disorders and Cardiovascular (CV) diseases, among the most common disorders in Western World, are often comorbid. A chronic systemic inflammatory state might be a shared underlining pathophysiological mechanism.
To investigate the association between anxiety symptoms, CV risks factors and inflammatory markers in an outpatient sample.
Cross-sectional study. Inclusion criteria: outpatients aged ≥40 years, attending colonoscopy after positive faecal occult blood test, negative medical history for cancer. Collected data: blood pressure, glycaemia, lipid profile, waist circumference, BMI, PCR (C Reactive Protein), LPS (bacterial Lipopolysaccharide). Psychometric tests: HADS, TCI, IMSA, SF36. Statistical analysis performed with STATA13.
Fifty four patients enrolled (27 males, 27 females). Sixteen patients (30.19%) were positive for anxiety symptoms. Thirty-three patients (61.11%) had hypertension, 14 (25.93%) hyperglycaemia and 64.81% were overweight, with frank obesity (BMI≥ 30) in 11 subjects (20.37%). Anxiety symptoms were associated with low hematic HDL values (OR = 0.01; P = 0.01) and high concentration of triglycerides (OR = 0.023; P = 0.02) at the multiple regression model. At the univariate logistic analysis, anxiety was associated with LPS (OR = 1.06; P = 0.04).
Further evidence over the epidemiological link between common mental disorders and CV diseases was collected, with possible hints on pathophysiology and causative mechanisms related to inflammation. The importance of screening for anxiety and depression in medical populations is confirmed. Suggestions on future availability of screening tools based on inflammatory-related indicators should be the focus of future research.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Pro-inflammatory states of the large bowel have a multifactorial aetiology, including metabolism, atherogenesis, and psychological determinants. Inflammation plays a role in depressive and anxiety disorders, is tightly associated with early pro-atherogenetic alterations and metabolic dysregulation, and is also a key factor for the development of colorectal cancer.
To investigate the association between pro-atherogenetic factors, metabolic status, psychological assessment and presence of colorectal adenomas.
Case-control study, approved by the local Ethic Committee. Patients aged 40 or more and undergoing colonoscopy for positive faecal blood test and/or abdominal symptoms, with a negative history for neoplasia or inflammatory bowel diseases, were enrolled. For each patient the following data were collected: waist and hip circumferences, BMI, arterial pressure, fasten serum glycemia, current medications. Beside colonoscopy, carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) was assessed by means of echographic evaluation. Psychometric assessment included HADS, TCI, IMSA, SF-36. Statistics performed with SigmaPlot v.12 Platform.
Preliminary results are available for 18 patients (male/female 8/10) Mean age 62.6 ± 8.4. Ten patients had at least one adenoma, 8 patients had no lesions. The following differences were noticeable: HADS-depression (mean ± SD) adenoma vs. no-adenoma: 4.9 ± 3.2 vs. 1.7 ± 1.8 (P < .01); IMT median value adenoma vs. no-adenoma: 793 vs. 638 micrometers (P = .04); Body weight (mean ± SD) adenoma vs. no-adenoma: 66.4 ± 8.7 kg vs. 80.9 ± 15.3 kg (P = .03); waist circumference (mean ± SD) adenoma vs. no-adenoma: 105.2 ± 13.4 cm vs. 89.5 ± 4.7 cm (P < .01).
Preliminary data from PNEI-MO Research Group support the relation between systemic inflammation, psychological status and development of precancerous colorectal cancer lesions. Depression seems associated with the presence of colorectal adenomas.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Growing evidence has been collected over the complex, intertwined pathophysiological connection among subclinical cardiovascular (CV) disease, i.e. atherosclerosis, systemic low pro-inflammatory states and psychiatric disorders/symptomatology (anxiety, depression), with controversial results.
Aim of this study was to investigate the possible link between subclinical CV risk factors (atherosclerosis), depressive symptoms, and inflammation.
Cross-sectional study. Inclusion criteria: outpatients aged ≥40 years, attending colonoscopy after positive faecal occult blood test, negative medical history for cancer. Collected data: blood pressure, glycaemia, lipid profile, waist circumference, BMI, PCR (C reactive protein), LPS (bacterial lipopolysaccharide), ultrasound carotid intima-media thickness (c-IMT). Psychometric tests: HADS, TCI, IMSA, SF36. Statistical analysis performed with STATA13.
The 54 patients enrolled were equally distributed by gender. CV risk factors were common in the study population, with 33 patients (61.11%) with hypertension, 14 (25.93%) with hyperglycaemia, 20 (37.4%) with hypertriglyceridemia, 19 (35.19%) with low HDL and 64.81% with overweight. High levels of PCR were found in 24 subjects (44.44%). Right c-IMT was increased in 26.41% of the sample, and 11.32% had an atheromatous plaque. Left c-IMT was increased in 24.53% of patients, with a plaque in 7.55% of them. Clinically relevant depressive symptoms were found in the 18.87% of the sample and were statistically significantly associated with PCR (OR = 28.63; P = 0.01).
Evidence contributing to the so-called “inflammation theory” of depression and supporting the association between mood and CV disorders was here collected, supporting the need for a multidisciplinary approach to the diagnosis and treatment of such conditions, assuming a clinically-translated PNEI (psycho-neuro-endocrino-immunological) perspective.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Bessel-beam launchers are promising and established technologies for focusing applications at microwaves. Their use in time-domain leads to the definition of a new class of devices, namely, the X-wave launchers. In this work, we discuss the focusing features of such devices with a specific interest at millimeter waves. The spatial resolutions of such systems are described under a rigorous mathematical framework to derive novel operating conditions for designing X-wave launchers. These criteria might be particularly appealing for specific millimeter-wave applications. In particular, it is shown that an electrically large aperture is not strictly required, as it seemed from previous works. However, the use of an electrically small aperture would demand a considerably wideband capability. The various discussions presented here provide useful information for the design of X-wave launchers. This aspect is finally shown with reference to the practical design of two different X-wave launchers.
Accurate measurement of herbage intake rate is critical to advance knowledge of the ecology of grazing ruminants. This experiment tested the integration of behavioral and acoustic measurements of chewing and biting to estimate herbage dry matter intake (DMI) in dairy cows offered micro-swards of contrasting plant structure. Micro-swards constructed with plastic pots were offered to three lactating Holstein cows (608±24.9 kg of BW) in individual grazing sessions (n=48). Treatments were a factorial combination of two forage species (alfalfa and fescue) and two plant heights (tall=25±3.8 cm and short=12±1.9 cm) and were offered on a gradient of increasing herbage mass (10 to 30 pots) and number of bites (~10 to 40 bites). During each grazing session, sounds of biting and chewing were recorded with a wireless microphone placed on the cows’ foreheads and a digital video camera to allow synchronized audio and video recordings. Dry matter intake rate was higher in tall alfalfa than in the other three treatments (32±1.6 v. 19±1.2 g/min). A high proportion of jaw movements in every grazing session (23 to 36%) were compound jaw movements (chew-bites) that appeared to be a key component of chewing and biting efficiency and of the ability of cows to regulate intake rate. Dry matter intake was accurately predicted based on easily observable behavioral and acoustic variables. Chewing sound energy measured as energy flux density (EFD) was linearly related to DMI, with 74% of EFD variation explained by DMI. Total chewing EFD, number of chew-bites and plant height (tall v. short) were the most important predictors of DMI. The best model explained 91% of the variation in DMI with a coefficient of variation of 17%. Ingestive sounds integrate valuable information to remotely monitor feeding behavior and predict DMI in grazing cows.
Escherichia coli O157 are zoonotic bacteria for which cattle are an important reservoir. Prevalence estimates for E. coli O157 in British cattle for human consumption are over 10 years old. A new baseline is needed to inform current human health risk. The British E. coli O157 in Cattle Study (BECS) ran between September 2014 and November 2015 on 270 farms across Scotland and England & Wales. This is the first study to be conducted contemporaneously across Great Britain, thus enabling comparison between Scotland and England & Wales. Herd-level prevalence estimates for E. coli O157 did not differ significantly for Scotland (0·236, 95% CI 0·166–0·325) and England & Wales (0·213, 95% CI 0·156–0·283) (P = 0·65). The majority of isolates were verocytotoxin positive. A higher proportion of samples from Scotland were in the super-shedder category, though there was no difference between the surveys in the likelihood of a positive farm having at least one super-shedder sample. E. coli O157 continues to be common in British beef cattle, reaffirming public health policy that contact with cattle and their environments is a potential infection source.
TW Hydrae is a very young and nearby association with about 30 known members which is an excellent target for studies on stellar evolution since several of its members present a particular interest (planetary system, brown dwarfs, etc.). With the new data from TGAS and the Gaia DR1 eventually combined with others astrometric data we intend to improve our kinematic knowledge of this association.
In a recent study, we derived individual distances for a sample of pre-main sequence stars that define the comoving association of young stars in the Lupus star-forming region. Here, we use these new distances to investigate the mass and age distributions of Lupus T Tauri stars and derive the average disk lifetime in the Lupus association based on an empirical disk model.
We report on the analysis of virtual powder-diffraction patterns from serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) data collected at an X-ray free-electron laser. Different approaches to binning and normalizing these patterns are discussed with respect to the microstructural characteristics which each highlights. Analysis of SFX data from a powder of Pr0.5Ca0.5MnO3 in this way finds evidence of other trace phases in its microstructure which was not detectable in a standard powder-diffraction measurement. Furthermore, a comparison between two virtual powder pattern integration strategies is shown to yield different diffraction peak broadening, indicating sensitivity to different types of microstrain. This paper is a first step in developing new data analysis methods for microstructure characterization from serial crystallography data.
We evaluated the concordance between assemblages of Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera to verify if they respond similarly to environmental gradients in the basin of Suiá-Missu river in Mato Grosso, central Brazil. We tested the predictions that: (i) the distributional pattern of mayfly and caddisfly larvae is concordant along the spatial and (ii) environmental variation along the basin, and if (iii) taxa are concordant between themselves along the seasons and with the environmental gradients disregarding the seasons of the year. We found a concordance between species composition of mayfly and caddisfly in fall-water and rainy period, when analyzed separately by each season. The concordance between environmental variables and the two taxa analyzed separately also was concordant, but only on the fall-water season. Finally, we found congruence when both analyzed groups disregarded the temporal effect, but it was less representative than when we consider the seasons variation. Our results suggest that the hydrological cycle could be a driver of changes in species composition of mayflies and caddisflies.
To reliably determine the main physical parameters (masses and ages) of young stars, we must know their distances. While the average distance to nearby star-forming regions (<300 pc) is often known, the distances to individual stars are usually unknown. Individual distances to members of young moving groups can be derived from their radial velocities and proper motions using the convergent-point strategy. We investigate the kinematic properties of the Lupus moving group with the primary objective of deriving individual distances to all group members.
We have conducted a program of trigonometric distance measurements to 13 members of the TW Hydrae Association (TWA), which will enable us (through back-tracking methods) to derive a convincing estimate of the age of the association, independent of stellar evolutionary models. With age, distance, and luminosity known for an ensemble of TWA stars and brown dwarfs, models of early stellar evolution (which are still uncertain for young ages and substellar masses) will then be constrained by observations over a wide range of masses (0.025 to 0.7 M⊙).
This work evaluated if an in vitro test, with the combined power of the statistical evaluation of spermatozoa and zona pellucida (ZP) competitive binding ability and a rapid method for accessory sperm counts, could predict the bull fertility. Ten Holstein Friesian bulls of known field fertility (five of high and five of low fertility) were selected. An in vitro heterospermic insemination approach, based on differential staining, was tested on 45 possible pairs of bulls (two batches per bull). Motility and quality (abnormalities and membrane status) seminal characteristics and estimated relative conception rates (ERCR) highlighted only one association between membrane integrity and ERCR (p = 0.007). Differences in ZP binding allowed us to rank bulls into two categories based on low and high binding ability. For eight bulls, this classification reflected the ERCR. Differences between batches were reported for two bulls, in which the effect of heterospermic insemination (the number of sperm binding to ZP from different bulls not in a 1:1 ratio) showed a significant bull-related effect (p < 0.001) in the first batch and no effect (p > 0.05) in the second batch for both bulls. Reduction of the number of oocytes per assay from 25 to 5 had no effect (p > 0.5) on the bulls’ ranking. Our results suggest that in vitro competitive binding is a promising approach for estimating bull fertility and support concepts for further implementation, e.g. drastic reduction of oocyte number in a single pair assay and larger scale testing for batches.
For perioperative volume therapy in infants and young children, human albumin has frequently been the colloid of choice. Recently, HES 130/0.4 (6% hydroxyethyl starch, Voluven®; Fresenius Kabi, Bad Homburg, Germany) was developed, which demonstrated improved pharmacokinetics and a favourable safety profile in adults compared with hydroxyethyl starch products with a less rapid metabolization.
Our prospective, controlled, randomized, open, multicentre pilot study was designed to obtain data on the effects of HES 130/0.4 compared with human albumin 5% with regard to haemodynamics in children <2 yr scheduled for elective non-cardiac surgery.
A total of 81 patients were treated. Comparable amounts of both study solutions (16.0 mL kg−1 hydroxyethyl starch 130/0.4 vs. 16.9 mL kg−1 human albumin 5%) as well as add-on crystalloids were used until 4–6 h postoperatively. No differences were detected between the two treatment groups regarding perioperative stabilization of haemodynamics, coagulation parameters, blood gas analyses or other laboratory values. Blood loss was 96 ± 143 mL for hydroxyethyl starch and 145 ± 290 mL for human albumin (P > 0.05). There were no relevant differences in the amount of red blood cells, fresh frozen plasma or platelet concentrates in both treatment groups. Median length of ICU stay was 3.5 days (range 1–57 days, mean ± SD 7.6 ± 11.5 days) in the hydroxyethyl starch group and 6.0 days (range 1–71 days; mean ± SD 9.1 ± 14.2 days) in the human albumin group. There was no difference for hospital stay (median: 12 days for both groups).
Both HES 130/0.4 and human albumin 5% were effective for haemodynamic stabilization in non-cardiac surgery of young infants with no adverse impact on coagulation or other safety parameters in our study population.