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The air gap technique (AGT) is an approach to radiation dose optimisation during fluoroscopy where an “air gap” is used in place of an anti-scatter grid to reduce scatter irradiation. The AGT is effective in adults but remains largely untested in children. Effects are expected to vary depending on patient size and the amount of scatter irradiation produced.
Fluoroscopy and cineangiography were performed using a Phillips Allura Fluoroscope on tissue simulation anthropomorphic phantoms representing a neonate, 5-year-old, and teenager. Monte Carlo simulations were then used to estimate effective radiation dose first using a standard recommended imaging approach and then repeated using the AGT. Objective image quality assessments were performed using an image quality phantom.
Effective radiation doses for the neonate and 5-year-old phantom increased consistently (2–92%) when the AGT was used compared to the standard recommended imaging approaches in which the anti-scatter grid is removed at baseline. In the teenage phantom, the AGT reduced effective doses by 5–59%, with greater dose reductions for imaging across the greater thoracic dimension of lateral projection. The AGT increased geometric magnification but with no detectable change in image blur or contrast differentiation.
The AGT is an effective approach for dose reduction in larger patients, particularly for lateral imaging. Compared to the current dose optimisation guidelines, the technique may be harmful in smaller children where scatter irradiation is minimal.
While echocardiographic parameters are used to quantify ventricular function in infants with single ventricle physiology, there are few data comparing these to invasive measurements. This study correlates echocardiographic measures of diastolic function with ventricular end-diastolic pressure in infants with single ventricle physiology prior to superior cavopulmonary anastomosis.
Data from 173 patients enrolled in the Pediatric Heart Network Infant Single Ventricle enalapril trial were analysed. Those with mixed ventricular types (n = 17) and one outlier (end-diastolic pressure = 32 mmHg) were excluded from the analysis, leaving a total sample size of 155 patients. Echocardiographic measurements were correlated to end-diastolic pressure using Spearman’s test.
Median age at echocardiogram was 4.6 (range 2.5–7.4) months. Median ventricular end-diastolic pressure was 7 (range 3–19) mmHg. Median time difference between the echocardiogram and catheterisation was 0 days (range −35 to 59 days). Examining the entire cohort of 155 patients, no echocardiographic diastolic function variable correlated with ventricular end-diastolic pressure. When the analysis was limited to the 86 patients who had similar sedation for both studies, the systolic:diastolic duration ratio had a significant but weak negative correlation with end-diastolic pressure (r = −0.3, p = 0.004). The remaining echocardiographic variables did not correlate with ventricular end-diastolic pressure.
In this cohort of infants with single ventricle physiology prior to superior cavopulmonary anastomosis, most conventional echocardiographic measures of diastolic function did not correlate with ventricular end-diastolic pressure at cardiac catheterisation. These limitations should be factored into the interpretation of quantitative echo data in this patient population.
Analysis of human remains and a copper band found in the center of a Late Archaic (ca. 5000–3000 cal BP) shell ring demonstrate an exchange network between the Great Lakes and the coastal southeast United States. Similarities in mortuary practices suggest that the movement of objects between these two regions was more direct and unmediated than archaeologists previously assumed based on “down-the-line” models of exchange. These findings challenge prevalent notions that view preagricultural Native American communities as relatively isolated from one another and suggest instead that wide social networks spanned much of North America thousands of years before the advent of domestication.
Introduction: Variation in image ordering exists across Alberta emergency departments (EDs). Evidence-based, pocket-sized knowledge dissemination tools were developed for two conditions (acute asthma [AA] and benign headache [BHA]) for which imaging (chest x-ray [CXR] and computed tomography [CT], respectively) has limited utility. This study explored tool acceptability among ED patients and emergency physicians (EPs). Methods: Tool feedback was provided by EPs, via online survey, and adult patients with AA and BHA via in-person survey. EPs qualitative interviews further explored communication tools. Preliminary descriptive analyses of survey responses and content analysis of interview data were conducted. Results: Overall, 55 EPs (55/192; 29%) and 38 consecutive patients participated in the AA study; 73 EPs (73/192; 38%) and 160 patients participated in the BHA study. In both studies, approximately 50% of EPs felt comfortable using the tool; however, they suggested including radiation risk details and imaging indications and removing references to imaging variation and health system cost. In the BHA study, EPs opposed the four Choosing Wisely® campaign questions fearing they would increase imaging expectations. In both conditions, most patients ( >90%) understood the content and 68% felt the information applied to them. Less than half (AA:45%; BHA: 38%) agreed that they now knew more about when a patient should have imaging workup done. Following tool review, 71% of AA and 50% of BHA patients stated they would discuss their imaging needs with their ED care provider today or during a future presentation. Both patient groups suggested including: additional imaging details (i.e., indications, risk, clinical utility), removing imaging overuse references, and including instructions that encourage patients to ask their EP questions. EP interviews (n = 12) identified preferences for personalized and interactive tools. Tensions were perceived around ED time pressure as well as remuneration schemes that fail to prioritize patient conversation. Tool centralization, easy access, and connection with outpatient support were also key themes. Conclusion: Both patients and EPs provided valuable information on how to improve ED knowledge dissemination tools, using two chronic conditions to demonstrate how these changes would improve tool utility. Implementing these recommendations, and considering preferences of EPs and patients, may improve future tool uptake and impact.
The second year of life is a period of nutritional vulnerability. We aimed to investigate the dietary patterns and nutrient intakes from 1 to 2 years of age during the 12-month follow-up period of the Growing Up Milk – Lite (GUMLi) trial. The GUMLi trial was a multi-centre, double-blinded, randomised controlled trial of 160 healthy 1-year-old children in Auckland, New Zealand and Brisbane, Australia. Dietary intakes were collected at baseline, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post-randomisation, using a validated FFQ. Dietary patterns were identified using principal component analysis of the frequency of food item consumption per d. The effect of the intervention on dietary patterns and intake of eleven nutrients over the duration of the trial were investigated using random effects mixed models. A total of three dietary patterns were identified at baseline: ‘junk/snack foods’, ‘healthy/guideline foods’ and ‘breast milk/formula’. A significant group difference was observed in ‘breast milk/formula’ dietary pattern z scores at 12 months post-randomisation, where those in the GUMLi group loaded more positively on this pattern, suggesting more frequent consumption of breast milk. No difference was seen in the other two dietary patterns. Significant intervention effects were seen on nutrient intake between the GUMLi (intervention) and cows’ milk (control) groups, with lower protein and vitamin B12, and higher Fe, vitamin D, vitamin C and Zn intake in the GUMLi (intervention) group. The consumption of GUMLi did not affect dietary patterns, however, GUMLi participants had lower protein intake and higher Fe, vitamins D and C and Zn intake at 2 years of age.
To examine the feasibility of using social media to assess the consumer nutrition environment by comparing sentiment expressed in Yelp reviews with information obtained from a direct observation audit instrument for grocery stores.
Trained raters used the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey in Stores (NEMS-S) in 100 grocery stores from July 2015 to March 2016. Yelp reviews were available for sixty-nine of these stores and were retrieved in February 2017 using the Yelp Application Program Interface. A sentiment analysis was conducted to quantify the perceptions of the consumer nutrition environment in the review text. Pearson correlation coefficients (ρ) were used to compare NEMS-S scores with Yelp review text on food availability, quality, price and shopping experience.
Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Yelp reviews contained more comments about food availability and the overall shopping experience than food price and food quality. Negative sentiment about food prices in Yelp review text and the number of dollar signs on Yelp were positively correlated with observed food prices in stores (ρ=0·413 and 0·462, respectively). Stores with greater food availability were rated as more expensive on Yelp. Other aspects of the food store environment (e.g. overall quality and shopping experience) were captured only in Yelp.
While Yelp cannot replace in-person audits for collecting detailed information on the availability, quality and cost of specific food items, Yelp holds promise as a cost-effective means to gather information on the overall cost, quality and experience of food stores, which may be relevant for nutrition outcomes.
Introduction: Unnecessary care is an increasingly commonly used term in medicine. Previous survey research suggests that definitions of unnecessary care vary within and among professional and patient groups. This research explores how emergency physicians and administrators understand the term unnecessary care. Methods: Site chiefs and emergency physicians in an Alberta region were recruited through email and online surveys respectively for a qualitative study. One hour one-on-one in-depth interviews explored understandings of unnecessary care within the emergency department (ED) context. Interview transcripts underwent thematic analysis. Results: Five physicians and seven site chiefs completed interviews. Two key themes emerged. First, interviewees conceptualized unnecessary care as inappropriate or non-urgent presentations. This patient-centric view raised non-urgent ED presentations as a health system problem with complex components, including: lack of public knowledge of healthcare resources, shrinking comfort and scope of community providers and patient willingness to utilize other resources. Despite concerns over non-urgent visits, interviewees expressed that these patients still need to be seen, assessed and managed. The second conceptualization focused on over-investigation (and to lesser extent, treatment). This physician-centric conceptualization identified issues around: variation in physician risk tolerance, established decision rules with the allowable miss rates, patient expectation for testing or physician feeling that the patient was owed something or that patient would not accept their diagnosis/treatment without testing. Additionally, interviewees described patient characteristics that may initiate more aggressive investigation (e.g., patient reliability, follow-up care access, etc.). An overarching concern about the connection between unnecessary care and wasted resources was identified. Additionally, interviewees emphasized that patient conversations are outside the scope of unnecessary care despite their possible implications for limited time resources. Conclusion: A range of concepts surrounding unnecessary care in the ED were identified. Further exploring nuances of these conceptualizations may inform and improve the effectiveness of campaigns seeking to improve efficiency in practice and reduce inappropriate care. Additionally, this work provides an impetus for developing clearer concepts of care within the ED.
Recent findings highlight that there are prenatal risks for affective disorders that are mediated by glucocorticoid mechanisms, and may be specific to females. There is also evidence of sex differences in prenatal programming mechanisms and developmental psychopathology, whereby effects are in opposite directions in males and females. As birth weight is a risk for affective disorders, we sought to investigate whether maternal prenatal cortisol may have sex-specific effects on fetal growth. Participants were 241 mothers selected from the Wirral Child Health and Development Study (WCHADS) cohort (n=1233) using a psychosocial risk stratifier, so that responses could be weighted back to the general population. Mothers provided saliva samples, which were assayed for cortisol, at home over 2 days at 32 weeks gestation (on waking, 30-min post-waking and during the evening). Measures of infant birth weight (corrected for gestational age) were taken from hospital records. General population estimates of associations between variables were obtained using inverse probability weights. Maternal log of the area under the curve cortisol predicted infant birth weight in a sex-dependent manner (interaction term P=0.029). There was a positive and statistically significant association between prenatal cortisol in males, and a negative association in females that was not statistically significant. A sex interaction in the same direction was evident when using the waking (P=0.015), and 30-min post-waking (P=0.013) cortisol, but not the evening measure. There was no interaction between prenatal cortisol and sex to predict gestational age. Our findings add to an emerging literature that suggests that there may be sex-specific mechanisms that underpin fetal programming.
Research into the gut microbiota of human infants is necessary in order to better understand how inter-species interactions and ecological succession shape the diversity of the gut microbiota, and in turn, how the specific composition of the gut microbiota impacts on host health both during infancy and in later years. Blastocystis is a ubiquitous intestinal protist that has been linked to a number of intestinal and extra-intestinal diseases. However, emerging data show that asymptomatic carriage is common and that Blastocystis is prevalent in the healthy adult gut microbiota. Nonetheless, little is known about the prevalence and diversity of this microorganism in the healthy infant gut, including when and how individuals become colonized by Blastocystis. Here, we surveyed the prevalence and diversity of Blastocystis in an infant population (n = 59) from an industrialized country (Ireland) using Blastocystis-specific primers at three or more time-points up to 24 months old. Only three infants were positive for Blastocystis (prevalence = 5%) and this was only noted for samples collected at month 24. This rate is comparatively low relative to previously reported prevalence rates in the contemporaneous adult population. These data suggest that infants in Westernized countries that are successfully colonized by Blastocystis most likely acquire this microorganism via horizontal transfer.
In 2003, the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (UNESCO ICH Convention) formalized provision for forms of heritage not solely rooted in the material world. This expanded the scope and accessibility of cultural heritage rights for communities and groups. To much commentary and critique, the United Kingdom (UK) infamously decided not to ratify the UNESCO ICH Convention. This article examines the implications of the UK’s decision not to ratify the Convention for the cultural heritage and human rights of an asylum-seeking group in Glasgow, Scotland, namely, the Glasgow Bajuni campaigners, members of a minority Somali clan. Based on participatory ethnographic fieldwork with the group and analysis of their asylum cases, this article makes two observations: first, that the UK’s absence from the Convention establishes a precedent in which other state actors (that is, immigration authorities) are emboldened to advance skepticism over matters involving intangible cultural heritage and, second, that despite this, limitations in current provisions in the UNESCO ICH Convention would provide the group with little additional protection than they currently have. Developing these observations, we critique current UK approaches to intangible cultural heritage as complicit in the maintenance of hierarchies and the border. Finally, we consider the extent to which the current provisions of the UNESCO ICH Convention might be improved to include migrant and asylum-seeking groups.
To describe community representation in Nepal’s Health Facility Operation and Management Committees (HFMCs) and the degree of influence of community representatives in the HFMC decision-making processes.
Community participation has been recognised as one of the key components for the successful implementation of primary health care (PHC) strategies, following the 1978 Declaration of Alma-Ata. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), HFMCs are now widely considered as a mechanism to increase community participation in health through community representation. There is some research examining the implementation process, impact and factors affecting the effectiveness of HFMCs. Despite the documented evidence of the importance of factors such as adequate representation, links with wider community, and decision-making power, there is limited evidence about the nature of community representation and degree of decision making within HFMCs in the PHC setting, particularly in LMICs.
Qualitative interviews with 39 key informants were held to explore different aspects of community representation in HFMCs, and the influence of the HFMC on health facility decision-making processes. In addition, a facility audit at 22 facilities and review of HFMC meeting minutes at six health facilities were conducted.
There were Dalit (a marginalised caste) and Janajati (an ethnic group) representations in 77% and 100% of the committees, respectively. Likewise, there were at least two female members in each committee. However, the HFMC member selection process and decision making within the committees were influenced by powerful elites. The degree of participation through HFMCs appeared to be at the ‘Manipulation’ and ‘Informing’ stage of Arnstein’s ladder of participation. In conclusion, despite representation of the community on HFMCs, the depth of participation seems low. There is a need to ensure a democratic selection process of committee members; and to expand the depth of participation.
The goal of the present study was to use a methodology that accurately and reliably describes the availability, price and quality of healthy foods at both the store and community levels using the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey in Stores (NEMS-S), to propose a spatial methodology for integrating these store and community data into measures for defining objective food access.
Two hundred and sixty-five retail food stores in and within 2 miles (3·2 km) of Flint, Michigan, USA, were mapped using ArcGIS mapping software.
A survey based on the validated NEMS-S was conducted at each retail food store. Scores were assigned to each store based on a modified version of the NEMS-S scoring system and linked to the mapped locations of stores. Neighbourhood characteristics (race and socio-economic distress) were appended to each store. Finally, spatial and kernel density analyses were run on the mapped store scores to obtain healthy food density metrics.
Regression analyses revealed that neighbourhoods with higher socio-economic distress had significantly lower dairy sub-scores compared with their lower-distress counterparts (β coefficient=−1·3; P=0·04). Additionally, supermarkets were present only in neighbourhoods with <60 % African-American population and low socio-economic distress. Two areas in Flint had an overall NEMS-S score of 0.
By identifying areas with poor access to healthy foods via a validated metric, this research can be used help local government and organizations target interventions to high-need areas. Furthermore, the methodology used for the survey and the mapping exercise can be replicated in other cities to provide comparable results.
Iodine deficiency is present in certain groups of the UK population, notably in pregnant women; this is of concern as iodine is required for fetal brain development. UK milk is rich in iodine and is the principal dietary iodine source. UK sales of milk-alternative drinks are increasing but data are lacking on their iodine content. As consumers may replace iodine-rich milk with milk-alternative drinks, we aimed to measure the iodine concentration of those available in the UK. Using inductively coupled plasma-MS, we determined the iodine concentration of seven types of milk-alternative drink (soya, almond, coconut, oat, rice, hazelnut and hemp) by analysing forty-seven products purchased in November/December 2015. For comparison, winter samples of conventional (n 5) and organic (n 5) cows’ milk were included. The median iodine concentration of all of the unfortified milk-alternative drinks (n 44) was low, at 7·3 μg/kg, just 1·7 % of our value for winter conventional cows’ milk (median 438 μg/kg). One brand (not the market leader), fortified its soya, oat and rice drinks with iodine and those drinks had a higher iodine concentration than unfortified drinks, at 280, 287 and 266 μg/kg, respectively. The iodine concentration of organic milk (median 324 μg/kg) was lower than that of conventional milk. Although many milk-alternative drinks are fortified with Ca, at the time of this study, just three of forty-seven drinks were fortified with iodine. Individuals who consume milk-alternative drinks that are not fortified with iodine in place of cows’ milk may be at risk of iodine deficiency unless they consume alternative dietary iodine sources.
Terrestrial gastropods are problematical for radiocarbon (14C) measurement because they tend to incorporate carbon from ancient sources as a result of their dietary behavior. The 14C ecology of the pulmonate land snail, Helix melanostoma in Cyrenaica, northeastern Libya, was investigated as part of a wider study on the potential of using terrestrial mollusk shell for 14C dating of archaeological deposits. H. melanostoma was selected out of the species available in the region as it has the most predictable 14C ecology and also had a ubiquitous presence within the local archaeology. The ecological observations indicate that H. melanostoma has a very homogenous 14C ecology with consistent variations in F14C across sample sites controlled by availability of dietary vegetation. The majority of dated specimens from non-urbanized sample locations have only a small old-carbon effect, weighted mean of 476±48 14C yr, with between ~1% and 9% of dietary F14C from non-organic carbonate sources. Observed instabilities in the 14C ecology can all be attributed to the results of intense human activity not present before the Roman Period. Therefore, H. melanostoma and species with similar ecological behavior are suitable for 14C dating of archaeological and geological deposits with the use of a suitable offset.
We present the first quantitative attempt at reconciling the source and emplacement of granite erratics in Beacon Valley. The erratics are enigmatic because granite does not crop out in the valley and its nearest subaerial exposure is at least 10 km downstream to the east of the valley. Detailed mapping of the valley shows three types of granite erratics, which are not present in equal amounts and do not show spatial patterns. Pb isotopic and elemental compositions of the erratics eliminate the Metschel Tillite as a source and indicate they derive from the Dry Valley plutons. Our limited study tentatively ties the erratics to suites of plutons, but it does not allow a direct tie of the erratics to specific plutons because of i) the geochemical variability of the plutons and ii) the limited number of erratics that were analysed. Published data suggest the erratics provide evidence of wet-based glaciation, which covered the Dry Valleys and much of Antarctica during the mid-Miocene. Our paper also explains the problems associated with the emplacement of these erratics and the age of the massive ice in Beacon Valley.
Disentangling the responses of insects to variations in their thermal environment is central to our understanding of the evolution of temperature-dependent performance in these species. Here, we report results of experiments examining the effects of high (upper lethal temperature = ULT) and low (lower lethal temperature = LLT) temperature and exposure time on the survival of larvae and adults of a multivoltine, nocturnal moth species, Pareuchaetes insulata, a biological control agent whose impact on an invasive weed, Chromolaena odorata has been variable in South Africa. The influence of temperature and acclimation on locomotion performance of the moth was also investigated. Temperature and duration of exposure significantly affected survival of both adults and larvae of P. insulata with more extreme temperatures and/or longer durations proving to be more lethal. Third instar larvae and adults are both freeze intolerant and had LT50 of −5.9 and −4.7°C, respectively, after a 2 h exposure. Although cold acclimation was beneficial to the nocturnal larvae, temperatures below 10°C significantly reduce their locomotion activities. The average daily minimum temperatures in the coldest months at three locations in South Africa are over 5°C lower than those of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, where P. insulata was originally collected. Our results suggest that lethal high or low temperatures at short timescales are trivial in explaining the variable performance of P. insulata, but reduced locomotion at sub-lethal temperatures may be an important driver of the population dynamics of the biocontrol agent (especially in winter months) and may consequently explain the low population levels of the moth because of possible reduced feeding by larvae during night-time low temperatures.