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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence referral guidelines prompting urgent two-week referrals were updated in 2015. Additional symptoms with a lower threshold of 3 per cent positive predictive values were integrated. This study aimed to examine whether current pan-London urgent referral guidelines for suspected head and neck cancer lead to efficient and accurate referrals by assessing frequency of presenting symptoms and risk factors, and examining their correlation with positive cancer diagnoses.
The risk factors and symptoms of 984 consecutive patients (over a six-month period in 2016) were collected retrospectively from urgent referral letters to University College London Hospital for suspected head and neck cancer.
Only 37 referrals (3.76 per cent) resulted in a head and neck cancer diagnosis. Four of the 23 recommended symptoms demonstrated statistically significant results. Nine of the 23 symptoms had a positive predictive value of over 3 per cent.
The findings indicate that the current referral guidelines are not effective at detecting patients with cancer. Detection rates have decreased from 10–15 per cent to 3.76 per cent. A review of the current head and neck cancer referral guidelines is recommended, along with further data collection for comparison.
Declining mortality following invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) has been observed concurrent with a reduced incidence due to effective pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. However, with IPD now increasing due to serotype replacement, we undertook a statistical analysis to estimate the trend in all-cause 30-day case fatality rate (CFR) in the North East of England (NEE) following IPD. Clinical, microbiological and demographic data were obtained for all laboratory-confirmed IPD cases (April 2006–March 2016) and the adjusted association between CFR and epidemiological year estimated using logistic regression. Of the 2510 episodes of IPD included in the analysis, 486 died within 30 days of IPD (CFR 19%). Increasing age, male sex, a diagnosis of septicaemia, being in ⩾1 clinical risk groups, alcohol abuse and individual serotypes were independently associated with increased CFR. A significant decline in CFR over time was observed following adjustment for these significant predictors (adjusted odds ratio 0.93, 95% confidence interval 0.89–0.98; P = 0.003). A small but significant decline in 30-day all-cause CFR following IPD has been observed in the NEE. Nonetheless, certain population groups remain at increased risk of dying following IPD. Despite the introduction of effective vaccines, further strategies to reduce the ongoing burden of mortality from IPD are needed.
Previous research has shown relatively diminished medial prefrontal cortex activation and heightened psychophysiological responses during the recollection of personal events in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the origin of these abnormalities is unknown. Twin studies provide the opportunity to determine whether such abnormalities reflect familial vulnerabilities, result from trauma exposure, or are acquired characteristics of PTSD.
In this case–control twin study, 26 male identical twin pairs (12 PTSD; 14 non-PTSD) discordant for PTSD and combat exposure recalled and imagined trauma-unrelated stressful and neutral life events using a standard script-driven imagery paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging and concurrent skin conductance measurement.
Diminished activation in the medial prefrontal cortex during Stressful v. Neutral script-driven imagery was observed in the individuals with PTSD, relative to other groups.
Diminished medial prefrontal cortex activation during Stressful v. Neutral script-driven imagery may be an acquired characteristic of PTSD. If replicated, this finding could be used prospectively to inform diagnosis and the assessment of treatment response.
We present low-frequency spectral energy distributions of 60 known radio pulsars observed with the Murchison Widefield Array telescope. We searched the GaLactic and Extragalactic All-sky Murchison Widefield Array survey images for 200-MHz continuum radio emission at the position of all pulsars in the Australia Telescope National Facility (ATNF) pulsar catalogue. For the 60 confirmed detections, we have measured flux densities in 20 × 8 MHz bands between 72 and 231 MHz. We compare our results to existing measurements and show that the Murchison Widefield Array flux densities are in good agreement.
Begonia albomaculata as circumscribed in the Flora of Ecuador and related publications is shown to be a misapplied name and represents an undescribed species. This is described as Begonia botryoides Moonlight & Tebbitt sp. nov., and is recorded from the Pichincha, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Napo, Cotopaxi, Azuay and El Oro provinces in Ecuador, and the Antioquia and Chocó departments of Colombia. The taxonomic study of this species prompted a re-evaluation of related species. It was subsequently found that the Central American material previously included in Begonia tiliifolia C.DC. is distinct from the type and other South American material of this species and represents an undescribed species. This is described as Begonia boreoharlingii Tebbitt & Moonlight sp. nov., and is recorded from the Limón province in Costa Rica, and the Bocas del Toro and Coclé provinces in Panama. Four species, Begonia tiliifolia C.DC., Begonia harlingii L.B.Sm. & Wassh., B. botryoides and B. boreoharlingii, are placed in the informally named Begonia tiliifolia group. A key, descriptions, illustrations and distribution maps are provided for the members of the Begonia tiliifolia group, and its sectional classification is discussed.
Increased intestinal permeability (IP) can lead to compromised health. Limited in vivo IP research has been conducted in chickens. The objectives of the current study were to develop a model of increased IP utilizing lipopolysaccharide (LPS Escherichia coli O55:B5) and to evaluate IP changes using the lactulose, mannitol and rhamnose (LMR) sugar permeability test. In addition, fluorescein isothiocyanate dextran (FITC-d), d-lactate, zonula occludens (ZO-1) and diamine oxidase (DAO) permeability tests were employed. Male Ross chickens were reared until day 14 on the floor in an animal care facility and then transferred to individual cages in three separate experiments. In each of experiments 1 and 2, 36 chicks were randomly allocated to receive either saline (control) or LPS (n=18/group). Lactulose, mannitol and rhamnose sugar concentration in blood was measured at 0, 30, 60, 90, 120 and 180 min in experiment 1, at 60, 90 and 120 min in experiment 2 and at 90 min in experiment 3 (n=16/group). Lipopolysaccharide was injected intraperitoneally at doses of 0.5, 1 and 1 mg/kg BW in experiments 1, 2 and 3, respectively, on days 16, 18 and 20, whereas control received sterile saline. On day 21, only birds in experiments 1 and 2 were fasted for 19.5 h. Chicks were orally gavaged with the LMR sugars (0.25 gL, 0.05 gM, 0.05 gR/bird) followed by blood collection (from the brachial vein) as per time point for each experiment. Only in experiment 3, were birds given an additional oral gavage of FITC-d (2.2 mg/ml per bird) 60 min after the first gavage. Plasma d-lactate, ZO-1 and DAO concentrations were also determined by ELISA in experiment 3 (n=10). Administration of LPS did not affect IP as measured by the LMR sugar test compared with control. This was also confirmed by FITC-d and DAO levels in experiment 3 (P>0.05). The plasma levels of d-lactate were decreased (P<0.05). Plasma levels of ZO-1 were increased in the third experiment only and did not change in the first two experiments. Lipopolysaccharide at doses of 0.5 and 1 mg/kg did not increase IP in this model system. In conclusion, the LMR sugar can be detected in blood 90 min after the oral gavage. Further studies are needed for the applicability of LMR sugars tests.
Differences by ethnic group in STI diagnosis rates have long been recognized in England. We investigated whether these may be explained by ethnic disparities in socioeconomic deprivation (SED). Data on all diagnoses made in sexual health clinics in England in 2013 were obtained from the mandatory STI surveillance system. Poisson regression was used to calculate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of STIs, by ethnicity, with and without adjustment for index of multiple deprivation (IMD) a measure of area-level deprivation. Unadjusted IRRs (95% confidence intervals) were highest for gonorrhoea [8·18 (7·77–8·61) and 5·76 (5·28–6·29)] and genital herpes [4·24 (3·99–4·51) and 3·58 (3·23–3·98)] for people of black Caribbean and non-Caribbean/non-African black ethnicity and IRRs were highest for syphilis [8·76 (7·97–9·63)] and genital warts [2·23 (2·17–2·29)] for people of non-British/non-Irish white ethnicity compared to white British ethnicity. After adjustment for IMD, IRRs for gonorrhoea [5·76 (5·47–6·07)] and genital herpes [3·73 (3·50–3·97)] declined but remained highest for black Caribbeans and IRRs for syphilis [7·35 (6·68–8·09)] and genital warts [2·10 (2·04–2·16)] declined but remained highest for non-British/non-Irish white compared to white British. In England, ethnic disparities in STI diagnosis rates are partially explained by SED, but behavioural and contextual factors likely contribute. Clinic and community-based interventions should involve social peer networks to ensure they are targeted and culturally sensitive.
Clinical deficiency of the B-vitamin riboflavin (vitamin B2) is largely confined to developing countries; however accumulating evidence indicates that suboptimal riboflavin status is a widespread problem across the developed world. Few international data are available on riboflavin status as measured by the functional biomarker, erythrocyte glutathione reductase activation coefficient, considered to be the gold standard index. One important role of riboflavin in the form of flavin dinucleotide is as a co-factor for the folate-metabolising enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). Homozygosity for the common C677T polymorphism in MTHFR, affecting over 10 % of the UK and Irish populations and up to 32 % of other populations worldwide, has been associated with an increased risk of CVD, and more recently with hypertension. This review will explore available studies reporting riboflavin status worldwide, the interaction of riboflavin with the MTHFR C677T polymorphism and the potential role of riboflavin in personalised nutrition. Evidence is accumulating for a novel role of riboflavin as an important modulator of blood pressure (BP) specifically in individuals with the MTHFR 677TT genotype, with results from a number of recent randomised controlled trials demonstrating that riboflavin supplementation can significantly reduce systolic BP by 5–13 mmHg in these genetically at risk adults. Studies are however required to investigate the BP-lowering effect of riboflavin in different populations and in response to doses higher than 1·6 mg/d. Furthermore, work focusing on the translation of this research to health professionals and patients is also required.
A Psychomotor DANCe Therapy INtervention (DANCIN) using Latin Ballroom (Danzón) in care homes has previously been shown to enhance well-being for both residents with dementia and staff. The aim of this study was to understand the effect of this approach on the mood and behavior of individual people living with mild to moderate dementia.
A multiple-baseline single-case study across two care homes and one nursing home with 3–6 weeks baseline, 12-weeks DANCIN (30 minutes/twice-weekly sessions), and 12-weeks follow-up was conducted. Seventeen items from the Dementia Mood Assessment Scale (DMAS) outcome measure were adapted with input from senior staff to match participants’ behavior and mood symptoms. Daily monitoring diaries were collected from trained staff on reporting individualized items for ten residents. Data were analyzed, using a non-parametric statistical method known as Percentage of All Non-Overlapping Data (PAND) which provides Phi effect size (ES). Medication use, falls, and life events were registered.
Seven residents participated throughout DANCIN whilst three became observers owing to health deterioration. One participant showed adverse effects in three DMAS items. Nine participants, dancers and observers, showed a small to medium magnitude of change (PAND) in 21 DMAS items, indicating a decrease in the frequency of behavior and mood indices which were regarded as problematic; eight items showed no change.
Despite methodological challenges, the DANCIN model has the potential to facilitate and sustain behavior change and improve mood (e.g. decrease irritability, increase self-esteem) of the residents living with dementia. The study was conducted in two care homes and one nursing home, strengthening the interventions’ validity. Findings suggest DANCIN is appropriate for a larger controlled feasibility study.
We have assembled a new sample of some of the most FIR-luminous galaxies in the Universe and have imaged them in 1.1 mm dust emission and measured their redshifts 1 < z < 4 via CO emission lines using the 32-m Large Millimeter Telescope / Gran Telescopio Milimétrico (LMT/GTM). Our sample of 31 submm galaxies (SMGs), culled from the Planck and Herschel all-sky surveys, includes 14 of the 21 most luminous galaxies known, with LFIR > 1014L⊙ and SFR > 104M⊙/yr. These extreme inferred luminosities – and multiple / extended 1.1 mm images – imply that most or all are strongly gravitationally lensed, with typical magnification μ ~ 10 × . The gravitational lensing provides two significant benefits: (1) it boosts the S/N, and (2) it allows investigation of star formation and gas processes on sub-kpc scales.
Seasonal respiratory infections place an increased burden on health services annually. We used a sentinel emergency department syndromic surveillance system to understand the factors driving respiratory attendances at emergency departments (EDs) in England. Trends in different respiratory indicators were observed to peak at different points during winter, with further variation observed in the distribution of attendances by age. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed acute respiratory infection and bronchitis/bronchiolitis ED attendances in patients aged 1–4 years were particularly sensitive indicators for increasing respiratory syncytial virus activity. Using near real-time surveillance of respiratory ED attendances may provide early warning of increased winter pressures in EDs, particularly driven by seasonal pathogens. This surveillance may provide additional intelligence about different categories of attendance, highlighting pressures in particular age groups, thereby aiding planning and preparation to respond to acute changes in EDs, and thus the health service in general.
This article discusses the importance of residence capacity – an
individual's mental capacity to decide where they should live – and suggests
how it should be assessed. People with dementia or intellectual
disabilities, as well as those with other mental disorders, are sometimes
required to make this decision. Assessments of capacity must be conducted
with considerable care, given the implications for the individual and for
their human rights. The assessment must be objective and functional: the
assessor must be able specifically to demonstrate a lack of decision-making
ability. Yet assessments of capacity still require evaluative decisions to
be made. We suggest some basic information that should be conveyed to the
person faced by the prospect of a change of residence where there is a doubt
We have mapped cold atomic gas in 21cm line H i self-absorption (HISA) at arcminute resolution over more than 90% of the Milky Way's disk. To probe the formation of H2 clouds, we have compared our HISA distribution with CO J = 1-0 line emission. Few HISA features in the outer Galaxy have CO at the same position and velocity, while most inner-Galaxy HISA has overlapping CO. But many apparent inner-Galaxy HISA-CO associations can be explained as chance superpositions, so most inner-Galaxy HISA may also be CO-free. Since standard equilibrium cloud models cannot explain the very cold H i in many HISA features without molecules being present, these clouds may instead have significant CO-dark H2.
Citizen science monitoring programmes are making increasingly important contributions to wildlife conservation, often at spatial and temporal scales unachievable by individual or teams of researchers. They are particularly valuable in estimating population trends and management impacts, and thus informing effective conservation decisions for declining species. The quality and potential biases of citizen science data are of concern, however, and appropriate experimental design and analysis are needed to ensure that the maximum scientific value is extracted. We investigated these issues in a citizen science survey of the Endangered Carnaby's black-cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris. Since 2010, citizen scientists have conducted synchronized annual counts of Carnaby's black-cockatoo at roost sites to estimate the population trend. Survey effort was substantial, with c. 150 sites surveyed by > 260 volunteers each year. Relatively few sites were occupied, however, and only 42 (16%) of the 265 sites surveyed in total accounted for 95% of all observations. Many sites were empty and survey effort was often inconsistent. Taking these issues into account, analysis showed a statistically significant decline in roost occupancy rate and a non-significant decline in the mean size of roosting flocks, with an estimated overall trend of 14% decline per annum in the number of roosting birds. We highlight three important issues for citizen science monitoring programmes: the need to maintain regular surveys of sample sites to avoid patchy data, use an appropriate model that accounts for variable survey effort, high frequency of zero counts, and sampling site turnover, and incorporate information on site characteristics to help explain variation.
We examine the roles of actuaries in UK life offices, along with trends, challenges to and opportunities for actuaries. We carry out an analysis of senior roles in life offices, a questionnaire survey and interviews with relevant senior personnel. We find that actuaries occupy many important roles in life offices and are regarded as having good industry knowledge and technical skills, especially in financial modelling. There are fewer executive directors and more non-executive directors of life offices who are actuaries compared with the position in 1990. A higher proportion of reserved roles is outsourced to consultants than was the case in 1990. Only a small number of Actuarial Function Holders are directors. Actuaries are more siloed than was the case in the past, although actuaries are well represented in the finance and risk functions of many offices. Although actuarial work in connection with the preparation for Solvency II will decline, there will be important ongoing requirements for actuaries following Solvency II implementation. We also see opportunities for actuaries in four areas: in risk management, in financial analysis and management based on Solvency II and international financial reporting standards, in connection with “big data”, and in product development and the customer proposition. There are implications for the examination syllabus, continuing professional development and research.
There is little information on the association of the APOEe4 allele and AD risk in African populations. In previous analyses from the Indianapolis-Ibadan dementia project, we have reported that APOE ε4 increased the risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) in African Americans but not in Yoruba. This study represents a replication of this earlier work using enriched cohorts and extending the analysis to include cognitive decline.
In this longitudinal study of two community dwelling cohorts of elderly Yoruba and African Americans, APOE genotyping was conducted from blood samples taken on or before 2001 (1,871 African Americans & 2,200 Yoruba). Mean follow up time was 8.5 years for African Americans and 8.8 years for Yoruba. The effects of heterozygosity or homozygosity of ε4 and of the possession of e4 on time to incident AD and on cognitive decline were determined using Cox's proportional hazards regression and mixed effects models.
After adjusting for covariates, one or two copies of the APOE ε4 allele were significant risk factors for incident AD (p < 0.0001) and cognitive decline in the African-American population (p < 0001). In the Yoruba, only homozygosity for APOE ε4 was a significant risk factor for AD (p = 0.0002) but not for cognitive decline (p = 0.2346), however, possession of an e4 allele was significant for both incident AD (p = 0.0489) and cognitive decline (p = 0.0425).
In this large longitudinal comparative study, APOE ε4 had a significant, but weaker, effect on incident AD and on cognitive decline in Yoruba than in African Americans. The reasons for these differences remain unclear.