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To examine factors that influence decision-making, preferences, and plans related to advance care planning (ACP) and end-of-life care among persons with dementia and their caregivers, and examine how these may differ by race.
13 geographically dispersed Alzheimer’s Disease Centers across the United States.
431 racially diverse caregivers of persons with dementia.
Survey on “Care Planning for Individuals with Dementia.”
The respondents were knowledgeable about dementia and hospice care, indicated the person with dementia would want comfort care at the end stage of illness, and reported high levels of both legal ACP (e.g., living will; 87%) and informal ACP discussions (79%) for the person with dementia. However, notable racial differences were present. Relative to white persons with dementia, African American persons with dementia were reported to have a lower preference for comfort care (81% vs. 58%) and lower rates of completion of legal ACP (89% vs. 73%). Racial differences in ACP and care preferences were also reflected in geographic differences. Additionally, African American study partners had a lower level of knowledge about dementia and reported a greater influence of religious/spiritual beliefs on the desired types of medical treatments. Notably, all respondents indicated that more information about the stages of dementia and end-of-life health care options would be helpful.
Educational programs may be useful in reducing racial differences in attitudes towards ACP. These programs could focus on the clinical course of dementia and issues related to end-of-life care, including the importance of ACP.
Heavy alcohol use is pervasive and one of our most significant global health burdens. Early theories posited that certain alcohol response phenotypes, notably low sensitivity to alcohol (‘low-level response’) imparts risk for alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, other theories, and newer measures of subjective alcohol responses, have challenged that contention and argued that high sensitivity to some alcohol effects are equally important for AUD risk. This study presents results of a unique longitudinal study in 294 young adult non-dependent drinkers examined with alcohol and placebo testing in the laboratory at initial enrolment and repeated 5 years later, with regular follow-up intervals assessing AUD (trial registration: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00961792). Findings showed that alcohol sedation was negatively correlated with stimulation across the breath alcohol curve and at initial and re-examination testing. A higher rather than lower alcohol response phenotype was predictive of future AUD. The findings underscore a new understanding of factors increasing vulnerability to AUD.
Suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-harm (NSSH) are major public health concerns that affect millions of young people worldwide. Consequently, there is a strong need for up-to-date epidemiological data in this population.
To provide prevalence and trend estimates of suicidal thoughts and behaviours and NSSH thoughts and behaviour in university students.
Data are from a 2018 national health survey for higher education in Norway. A total of 50 054 full-time students (69.1% women) aged 18–35 years participated (response rate 31%). Suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and NSSH were assessed with three items drawn from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, and thoughts of NSSH were assessed with one item from the Child and Adolescent Self-Harm in Europe study.
Lifetime suicidal thoughts were reported by 21.0%, and 7.2% reported having such thoughts within the past year. In total, 4.2% reported a suicide attempt, of whom 0.4% reported attempting suicide within the past year. The prevalence of lifetime NSSH behaviour and thoughts was 19.6% and 22.6%, respectively. All four suicidal behaviour and NSSH variables were more common among students who were single, living alone and with a low annual income, as well as among immigrants. There was an increase in suicidal thoughts from 2010 (7.7%) to 2018 (11.4%), which was evident in both men and women.
The observed high and increasing prevalence of suicidal thoughts and NSSH among college and university students is alarming, underscoring the need for further research, preferably registry-linked studies, to confirm whether the reported prevalence is representative of the student population as a whole.
Veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is frequently used in patients with cardiac disease. We evaluated short-term outcomes and identified factors associated with hospital mortality in cardiac patients supported with veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.
A retrospective review of patients supported with veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation at a university-affiliated children’s hospital was performed.
A total of 253 patients with cardiac disease managed with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were identified; survival to discharge was 48%, which significantly improved from 39% in an earlier era (1995–2001) (p=0.01). Patients were categorised into surgical versus non-surgical groups on the basis of whether they had undergone cardiac surgery before or not, respectively. The most common indication for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation: 96 (51%) in the surgical group and 45 (68%) in the non-surgical group. In a multiple covariate analysis, single-ventricle physiology (p=0.01), duration of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (p<0.01), and length of hospital stay (p=0.03) were associated with hospital mortality. Weekend or night shift cannulation was associated with mortality in non-surgical patients (p=0.05).
We report improvement in survival compared with an earlier era in cardiac patients supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Single-ventricle physiology continues to negatively impact survival, along with evidence of organ dysfunction during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, duration of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and length of stay.
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.
In 785 mother–child (50% male) pairs from a longitudinal epidemiological birth cohort, we investigated associations between inflammation-related epigenetic polygenic risk scores (i-ePGS), environmental exposures, cognitive function, and child and adolescent internalizing and externalizing problems. We examined prenatal and postnatal effects. For externalizing problems, one prenatal effect was found: i-ePGS at birth associated with higher externalizing problems (ages 7–15) indirectly through lower cognitive function (age 7). For internalizing problems, we identified two effects. For a prenatal effect, i-ePGS at birth associated with higher internalizing symptoms via continuity in i-ePGS at age 7. For a postnatal effect, higher postnatal adversity exposure (birth through age 7) associated with higher internalizing problems (ages 7–15) via higher i-ePGS (age 7). Hence, externalizing problems were related mainly to prenatal effects involving lower cognitive function, whereas internalizing problems appeared related to both prenatal and postnatal effects. The present study supports a link between i-ePGS and child and adolescent mental health.
There are few prevalence studies of suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-harm (NSSH).
We aimed to estimate the prevalence of thoughts of NSSH, suicidal thoughts, NSSH and suicide attempts among 18- to 34-year-olds in Scotland.
We interviewed a representative sample of young adults from across Scotland.
We interviewed 3508 young people; 11.3 and 16.2% reported a lifetime history of suicide attempts and NSSH, respectively. The first episode of NSSH tended to precede the first suicide attempt by about 2 years. Age at onset of NSSH and suicide attempt was younger in females. Earlier age at onset was associated with more frequent NSSH/suicide attempts. Women are significantly more likely to report NSSH and suicide attempts compared with men.
One in nine young people has attempted suicide and one in six has engaged in NSSH. Clinicians should be vigilant, as suicide attempts and NSSH are relatively common.
Early detection of karyotype abnormalities, including aneuploidy, could aid producers in identifying animals which, for example, would not be suitable candidate parents. Genome-wide genetic marker data in the form of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are now being routinely generated on animals. The objective of the present study was to describe the statistics that could be generated from the allele intensity values from such SNP data to diagnose karyotype abnormalities; of particular interest was whether detection of aneuploidy was possible with both commonly used genotyping platforms in agricultural species, namely the Applied BiosystemsTM AxiomTM and the Illumina platform. The hypothesis was tested using a case study of a set of dizygotic X-chromosome monosomy 53,X sheep twins. Genome-wide SNP data were available from the Illumina platform (11 082 autosomal and 191 X-chromosome SNPs) on 1848 male and 8954 female sheep and available from the AxiomTM platform (11 128 autosomal and 68 X-chromosome SNPs) on 383 female sheep. Genotype allele intensity values, either as their original raw values or transformed to logarithm intensity ratio (LRR), were used to accurately diagnose two dizygotic (i.e. fraternal) twin 53,X sheep, both of which received their single X chromosome from their sire. This is the first reported case of 53,X dizygotic twins in any species. Relative to the X-chromosome SNP genotype mean allele intensity values of normal females, the mean allele intensity value of SNP genotypes on the X chromosome of the two females monosomic for the X chromosome was 7.45 to 12.4 standard deviations less, and were easily detectable using either the AxiomTM or Illumina genotype platform; the next lowest mean allele intensity value of a female was 4.71 or 3.3 standard deviations less than the population mean depending on the platform used. Both 53,X females could also be detected based on the genotype LRR although this was more easily detectable when comparing the mean LRR of the X chromosome of each female to the mean LRR of their respective autosomes. On autopsy, the ovaries of the two sheep were small for their age and evidence of prior ovulation was not appreciated. In both sheep, the density of primordial follicles in the ovarian cortex was lower than normally found in ovine ovaries and primary follicle development was not observed. Mammary gland development was very limited. Results substantiate previous studies in other species that aneuploidy can be readily detected using SNP genotype allele intensity values generally already available, and the approach proposed in the present study was agnostic to genotype platform.
The postnatal period is the most dangerous phase of life and survival depends on the neonate behaving appropriately from birth. Consequently, many aspects of neonate behaviour are often near to being fully formed at birth. However, experience will often be required to shape the expression of the behaviour and improve its effectiveness. The immediate problems facing the neonate will be related to the overall reproductive strategy of the species. In pigs, sibling rivalry will be critical in establishing and maintaining fidelity to a teat, and this early conflict is probably most important for survival. The teat order that succeeds this early rivalry is probably not, however, the result of competition over the most productive teats but because of certain intrinsic advantages of teat fidelity that maximize growth. In sheep the need to quickly follow and solicit sucking only from the dam makes learning to recognise the mother a priority. Recent results suggest that the ability of the neonate lamb to recognize its mother has been under-estimated and that failure of lambs to recognise their mothers can make a significant contribution to mortality rates. Survival in any species is, however, not simply a matter of appropriate neonate behaviour but may depend critically on the quality of the interaction between the mother and offspring. It is difficult to determine the end of the neonate period given the often protracted nature of weaning. As weaning progresses there is a shift to bonding with siblings and peers and to an extent these relationships take over some of the social functions of the mother-infant relationship such as avoidance of predators. Lastly, experiences gained during the neonate period can have long-term effects on behaviour such as diet selection, social preferences and responses to fear with important implications for farmed livestock.
Suicidal behaviour is the end result of the complex relation between many factors which are biological, psychological and environmental in nature. Network analysis is a novel method that may help us better understand the complex association between different factors.
To examine the relationship between suicidal symptoms as assessed by the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation and future suicidal behaviour in patients admitted to hospital following a suicide attempt, using network analysis.
Secondary analysis was conducted on previously collected data from a sample of 366 patients who were admitted to a Scottish hospital following a suicide attempt. Network models were estimated to visualise and test the association between baseline symptom network structure and suicidal behaviour at 15-month follow-up.
Network analysis showed that the desire for an active attempt was found to be the most central, strongly related suicide symptom. Of the 19 suicide symptoms that were assessed at baseline, 10 symptoms were directly related to repeat suicidal behaviour. When comparing baseline network structure of repeaters (n=94) with the network of non-repeaters (n=272), no significant differences were found.
Network analysis can help us better understand suicidal behaviour by visualising the complex relation between relevant symptoms and by indicating which symptoms are most central within the network. These insights have theoretical implications as well as informing the assessment and treatment of suicidal behaviour.
Fish-hooks discovered among grave goods associated with an adult female burial at the Tron Bon Lei rockshelter on the island of Alor in Indonesia are the first of their kind from a Pleistocene mortuary context in Southeast Asia. Many of the hooks are of a circular rotating design. Parallels found in various other prehistoric contexts around the globe indicate widespread cultural convergence. The association of the fish-hooks with a human burial, combined with the lack of alternative protein sources on the island, suggest that fishing was an important part of the cosmology of this community. The Tron Bon Lei burial represents the earliest-known example of a culture for whom fishing was clearly an important activity among both the living and the dead.
Coastal ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to alien invasions. Regular, standardized, targeted monitoring of coastal areas helps to detect the arrival of non-native species early, identify sites most vulnerable to invasion, and assess potential for further spread. This study quantified the spread and changes in distribution of non-native oyster, Crassostrea gigas, populations around the coast of Ireland. In total 37 sites were surveyed, in areas which either currently or previously harboured cultivated C. gigas, for the presence and abundance of ‘wild’ C. gigas. Wild populations were identified at 20 sites and at four additional sites C. gigas was observed as recently discarded from aquaculture activity. Five of the invaded sites were identified as being highly suitable for a population expansion based on their current population status. Importantly, we also identified individuals of C. gigas and native European oysters, Ostrea edulis, co-occurring within the same shore at five sites. This is the first record to our knowledge of such co-occurrence within Europe. This evidence of co-existing oyster species raises concerns regarding the potential impact of C. gigas on recovering O. edulis populations. In Ireland, however, C. gigas does not typically spread extensively from introduction points, and although self-containing populations exist, they are currently sustained at a much lower density than those observed in other regions such as the Wadden Sea or French Atlantic coasts. We suggest, therefore, that to protect native oyster populations, C. gigas should be eradicated where co-occurring with O. edulis and recommend continuous monitoring of invaded sites.
A global, monthly snow depth data set has been generated from weather satellite (Nimbus 7) observations using passive microwave remote-sensing techniques. In this paper we analyzed five years of data, 1980–1984, to compute the snow-load excitation of the annual wobble of the Earth's rotation axis. A uniform sea-level decrease has been assumed in order to conserve water mass. The result shows dominant seasonal cycles. The prograde component of the annual excitation is Ψ+ = (5.0 milliarcsec, −110*) and the retrograde component Ψ− = (5.0 milliarcsec, −31*). These computed values are compared with previous groundwater estimates, as well as the inferred values from ILS and LAGEOS polar motion measurements. The importance of accurate data is stressed and future plans proposed.
Clozapine is an atypical antipsychotic agent used primarily in the management of treatment-resistant schizophrenia. Previous studies have demonstrated clozapine’s superior efficacy over other antipsychotic medications in treating this population of patients. The aim of this study was to assess if the number of hospital admissions and days spent in hospital reduced with the initiation of clozapine, compared with when the same sample of patients were prescribed other antipsychotics prior to clozapine initiation.
A mirror-image study design was adopted. In this case the intervention under study was the initiation of clozapine. Information was collected retrospectively from the charts of patients attending the University Hospital Galway clozapine clinic. The number of admissions and number of hospital days were collected for each patient over the 3 years before and after clozapine initiation. Wilcoxon’s signed-rank test was used to test for statistical significance.
The total sample size comprised of 62 patients, of which the majority were male (74.2%) and had a diagnosis of schizophrenia (82.3%). The mean dose of clozapine was 417 mg, and mean age of the sample was 38 years. Mean number of hospital admissions reduced from 2.8 to 0.8 (p<0.0001) following initiation of clozapine. Mean number of days spent in hospital reduced from 116.4 to 17.1 (p<0.0001).
After initiation of clozapine treatment, patients experience a substantial reduction in number of hospital admissions and number of days spent in hospital when compared with a similar period prior to clozapine initiation.
Upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) are the most common and costly condition of childhood. Low vitamin D levels have been hypothesized as a risk factor for URTI. The primary objective was to determine if serum vitamin D levels were associated with health-service utilization (HSU) for URTI including hospital admission, emergency department visits and outpatient sick visits. The secondary objectives were to determine whether oral vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy or childhood was associated with HSU for URTI.
Cohort study. HSU was determined by linking each child’s provincial health insurance number to health administrative databases. Multivariable quasi Poisson regression was used to evaluate the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D, vitamin D supplementation and HSU for URTI.
Children participating in the TARGet Kids! network between 2008 and 2013.
Healthy children aged 0–5 years (n 4962) were included; 52 % were male and mean 25-hydroxyvitamin D was 84 nmol/l (range 11–355 nmol/l). There were 105 (2 %), 721 (15 %) and 3218 (65 %) children with at least one hospital admission, emergency department visit or outpatient sick visit for URTI, respectively. There were no statistically significant associations between 25-hydroxyvitamin D or vitamin D supplementation and HSU for URTI.
A clinically meaningful association between vitamin D (continuously and dichotomized at <50 and <75 nmol/l) and HSU for URTI was not identified. While vitamin D may have other benefits for health, reducing HSU for URTI does not appear to be one of them.
Core-collapse supernova explosions are driven by a central engine that converts a small fraction of the gravitational binding energy released during core collapse to outgoing kinetic energy. The suspected mode for this energy conversion is the neutrino mechanism, where a fraction of the neutrinos emitted from the newly formed protoneutron star are absorbed by and heat the matter behind the supernova shock. Accurate neutrino-matter interaction terms are crucial for simulating these explosions. In this proceedings for IAUS 331, SN 1987A, 30 years later, we explore several corrections to the neutrino-nucleon scattering opacity and demonstrate the effect on the dynamics of the core-collapse supernova central engine via two dimensional neutrino-radiation-hydrodynamics simulations. Our results reveal that the explosion properties are sensitive to corrections to the neutral-current scattering cross section at the 10-20% level, but only for densities at or above ~1012 g cm−3.