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To assess differences in cognition functions and gross brain structure in children seven years after an episode of severe acute malnutrition (SAM), compared with other Malawian children.
Prospective longitudinal cohort assessing school grade achieved and results of five computer-based (CANTAB) tests, covering three cognitive domains. A subset underwent brain MRI scans which were reviewed using a standardized checklist of gross abnormalities and compared with a reference population of Malawian children.
Children discharged from SAM treatment in 2006 and 2007 (n 320; median age 9·3 years) were compared with controls: siblings closest in age to the SAM survivors and age/sex-matched community children.
SAM survivors were significantly more likely to be in a lower grade at school than controls (adjusted OR = 0·4; 95 % CI 0·3, 0·6; P < 0·0001) and had consistently poorer scores in all CANTAB cognitive tests. Adjusting for HIV and socio-economic status diminished statistically significant differences. There were no significant differences in odds of brain abnormalities and sinusitis between SAM survivors (n 49) and reference children (OR = 1·11; 95 % CI 0·61, 2·03; P = 0·73).
Despite apparent preservation in gross brain structure, persistent impaired school achievement is likely to be detrimental to individual attainment and economic well-being. Understanding the multifactorial causes of lower school achievement is therefore needed to design interventions for SAM survivors to thrive in adulthood. The cognitive and potential economic implications of SAM need further emphasis to better advocate for SAM prevention and early treatment.
The evolutionary-aided design process is a method to find solutions to design and optimisation problems. Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) are applied to search for optimal solutions from a solution space that evolves over several generations. EAs have found applications in many areas of robotics. This paper covers the efforts to determine body morphology of robots through evolution and body morphology with the controller of robots or similar creatures through co-evolution. The works are reviewed from the perspective of how different algorithms are applied and includes a brief explanation of how they are implemented.
Code phase Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning performance is often described by the Geometric or Position Dilution of Precision (GDOP or PDOP), functions of the number of satellites employed in the solution and their geometry. This paper develops lower bounds to both metrics solely as functions of the number of satellites, effectively removing the added complexity caused by their locations in the sky, to allow users to assess how well their receivers are performing with respect to the best possible performance. Such bounds will be useful as receivers sub-select from the plethora of satellites available with multiple GNSS constellations. The bounds are initially developed for one constellation assuming that the satellites are at or above the horizon. Satellite constellations that essentially achieve the bounds are discussed, again with value toward the problem of satellite selection. The bounds are then extended to a non-zero mask angle and to multiple constellations.
Immigrants and their children who return to their country of origin to visit friends and relatives (VFR) are at increased risk of acquiring infectious diseases compared to other travellers. VFR travel is an important disease control issue, as one quarter of Australia's population are foreign-born and one quarter of departing Australian international travellers are visiting friends and relatives. We conducted a 1-year prospective enhanced surveillance study in New South Wales and Victoria, Australia to determine the contribution of VFR travel to notifiable diseases associated with travel, including typhoid, paratyphoid, measles, hepatitis A, hepatitis E, malaria and chikungunya. Additional data on characteristics of international travel were collected. Recent international travel was reported by 180/222 (81%) enhanced surveillance cases, including all malaria, chikungunya and paratyphoid cases. The majority of cases who acquired infections during travel were immigrant Australians (96, 53%) or their Australian-born children (43, 24%). VFR travel was reported by 117 (65%) travel-associated cases, highest for typhoid (31/32, 97%). Cases of children (aged <18 years) (86%) were more frequently VFR travellers compared to adult travellers (57%, P < 0·001). VFR travel is an important contributor to imported disease in Australia. Communicable disease control strategies targeting these travellers, such as targeted health promotion, are likely to impact importation of these travel-related infections.
A number of socio-economic, biological and lifestyle characteristics change with advancing age and place very old adults at increased risk of micronutrient deficiencies. The aim of this study was to assess vitamin and mineral intakes and respective food sources in 793 75-year-olds (302 men and 491 women) in the North-East of England, participating in the Newcastle 85+ Study. Micronutrient intakes were estimated using a multiple-pass recall tool (2×24 h recalls). Determinants of micronutrient intake were assessed with multinomial logistic regression. Median vitamin D, Ca and Mg intakes were 2·0 (interquartile range (IQR) 1·2–6·5) µg/d, 731 (IQR 554–916) mg/d and 215 (IQR 166–266) mg/d, respectively. Fe intake was 8·7 (IQR 6·7–11·6) mg/d, and Se intake was 39·0 (IQR 27·3–55·5) µg/d. Cereals and cereal products were the top contributors to intakes of folate (31·5 %), Fe (49·2 %) and Se (46·7 %) and the second highest contributors to intakes of vitamin D (23·8 %), Ca (27·5 %) and K (15·8 %). More than 95 % (n 756) of the participants had vitamin D intakes below the UK’s Reference Nutrient Intake (10 µg/d). In all, >20 % of the participants were below the Lower Reference Nutrient Intake for Mg (n 175), K (n 238) and Se (n 418) (comparisons with dietary reference values (DRV) do not include supplements). As most DRV are not age specific and have been extrapolated from younger populations, results should be interpreted with caution. Participants with higher education, from higher social class and who were more physically active had more nutrient-dense diets. More studies are needed to inform the development of age-specific DRV for micronutrients for the very old.
Very old people (referred to as those aged 85 years and over) are the fastest growing age segment of many Western societies owing to the steady rise of life expectancy and decrease in later life mortality. In the UK, there are now more than 1·5 million very old people (2·5 % of total population) and the number is projected to rise to 3·3 million or 5 % over the next 20 years. Reduced mobility and independence, financial constraints, higher rates of hospitalisation, chronic diseases and disabilities, changes in body composition, taste perception, digestion and absorption of food all potentially influence either nutrient intake or needs at this stage of life. The nutritional needs of the very old have been identified as a research priority by the British Nutrition Foundation's Task Force report, Healthy Ageing: The Role of Nutrition and Lifestyle. However, very little is known about the dietary habits and nutritional status of the very old. The Newcastle 85+ study, a cohort of more than 1000 85-year olds from the North East of England and the Life and Living in Advanced Age study (New Zealand), a bicultural cohort study of advanced ageing of more than 900 participants from the Bay of Plenty and Rotorua regions of New Zealand are two unique cohort studies of ageing, which aim to assess the spectrum of health in the very old as well as examine the associations of health trajectories and outcomes with biological, clinical and social factors as each cohort ages. The nutrition domain included in both studies will help to fill the evidence gap by identifying eating patterns, and measures of nutritional status associated with better, or worse, health and wellbeing. This review will explore some of this ongoing work.
Food and nutrient intake data are scarce in very old adults (85 years and older) – one of the fastest growing age segments of Western societies, including the UK. Our primary objective was to assess energy and macronutrient intakes and respective food sources in 793 85-year-olds (302 men and 491 women) living in North-East England and participating in the Newcastle 85+ cohort Study. Dietary information was collected using a repeated multiple-pass recall (2×24 h recalls). Energy, macronutrient and NSP intakes were estimated, and the contribution (%) of food groups to nutrient intake was calculated. The median energy intake was 6·65 (interquartile ranges (IQR) 5·49–8·16) MJ/d – 46·8 % was from carbohydrates, 36·8 % from fats and 15·7 % from proteins. NSP intake was 10·2 g/d (IQR 7·3–13·7). NSP intake was higher in non-institutionalised, more educated, from higher social class and more physically active 85-year-olds. Cereals and cereal products were the top contributors to intakes of energy and most macronutrients (carbohydrates, non-milk extrinsic sugars, NSP and fat), followed by meat and meat products. The median intakes of energy and NSP were much lower than the estimated average requirement for energy (9·6 MJ/d for men and 7·7 MJ/d for women) and the dietary reference value (DRV) for NSP (≥18 g/d). The median SFA intake was higher than the DRV (≤11 % of dietary energy). This study highlights the paucity of data on dietary intake and the uncertainties about DRV for this age group.
To assess the acceptability and adherence to daily doses of lipid-based nutrient supplement (LNS) among children and micronutrient powder (MNP) among children and pregnant and lactating women.
Household interviews and sachet counting were conducted to measure acceptability and adherence, 15 and 30 d after product distribution. Qualitative information on product acceptability was collected using focus group discussions.
LNS was distributed to 123 children aged 6–35 months (LNS-C), and MNP to 112 children aged 36–59 months (MNP-C) and 119 pregnant or lactating women (MNP-W).
At the end of the test 98·4 % of LNS-C, 90·4 % of MNP-C and 75·5 % of MNP-W participants reported that they liked the product (P<0·05). Other measures of acceptability did not differ. Median consumption of sachets was highest in the LNS-C group (P<0·001). ‘Good’ adherence to the daily regimen (consumption of 75–125 % of recommended dose) was 89·1 % in the LNS-C, compared with 57·0 % in the MNP-C and 65·8 % in the MNP-W groups (P<0·001). Qualitative findings supported the quantitative measures and guided selection of local product names, packaging designs, distribution mechanisms, and the design of the information campaign in the subsequent programme scale-up.
Acceptability, consumption and adherence were higher in participants receiving LNS compared with MNP. However, both products were found to be suitable when compared with predefined acceptability criteria. Acceptability studies are feasible and important in emergency nutrition programmes when the use of novel special nutritional products is considered.
Demand for organic meat is partially driven by consumer perceptions that organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic foods. However, there have been no systematic reviews comparing specifically the nutrient content of organic and conventionally produced meat. In this study, we report results of a meta-analysis based on sixty-seven published studies comparing the composition of organic and non-organic meat products. For many nutritionally relevant compounds (e.g. minerals, antioxidants and most individual fatty acids (FA)), the evidence base was too weak for meaningful meta-analyses. However, significant differences in FA profiles were detected when data from all livestock species were pooled. Concentrations of SFA and MUFA were similar or slightly lower, respectively, in organic compared with conventional meat. Larger differences were detected for total PUFA and n-3 PUFA, which were an estimated 23 (95 % CI 11, 35) % and 47 (95 % CI 10, 84) % higher in organic meat, respectively. However, for these and many other composition parameters, for which meta-analyses found significant differences, heterogeneity was high, and this could be explained by differences between animal species/meat types. Evidence from controlled experimental studies indicates that the high grazing/forage-based diets prescribed under organic farming standards may be the main reason for differences in FA profiles. Further studies are required to enable meta-analyses for a wider range of parameters (e.g. antioxidant, vitamin and mineral concentrations) and to improve both precision and consistency of results for FA profiles for all species. Potential impacts of composition differences on human health are discussed.
Demand for organic milk is partially driven by consumer perceptions that it is more nutritious. However, there is still considerable uncertainty over whether the use of organic production standards affects milk quality. Here we report results of meta-analyses based on 170 published studies comparing the nutrient content of organic and conventional bovine milk. There were no significant differences in total SFA and MUFA concentrations between organic and conventional milk. However, concentrations of total PUFA and n-3 PUFA were significantly higher in organic milk, by an estimated 7 (95 % CI −1, 15) % and 56 (95 % CI 38, 74) %, respectively. Concentrations of α-linolenic acid (ALA), very long-chain n-3 fatty acids (EPA+DPA+DHA) and conjugated linoleic acid were also significantly higher in organic milk, by an 69 (95 % CI 53, 84) %, 57 (95 % CI 27, 87) % and 41 (95 % CI 14, 68) %, respectively. As there were no significant differences in total n-6 PUFA and linoleic acid (LA) concentrations, the n-6:n-3 and LA:ALA ratios were lower in organic milk, by an estimated 71 (95 % CI −122, −20) % and 93 (95 % CI −116, −70) %. It is concluded that organic bovine milk has a more desirable fatty acid composition than conventional milk. Meta-analyses also showed that organic milk has significantly higher α-tocopherol and Fe, but lower I and Se concentrations. Redundancy analysis of data from a large cross-European milk quality survey indicates that the higher grazing/conserved forage intakes in organic systems were the main reason for milk composition differences.
There is an increasing interest in pasture-based dairy systems in Europe, mainly because of increasing production costs for intensive dairying. Milk is a matrix of compounds that influence nutritional and manufacturing properties, many dependent on husbandry linked to pasture-based systems (increase in pasture intake, forage : concentrate ratio, clover inclusion in swards/silages and use of alternative dairy breeds). The present study investigated the impact of three grazing-based dairy systems with contrasting feeding intensity or reliance on pasture intakes (conventional high-intensity, low pasture intake [CH], organic medium-intensity, medium pasture intake [OM], conventional low-intensity, high pasture intake [CL]) on milk fatty acid (FA) profiles, protein composition and α-tocopherol and antioxidants concentrations. The proportion of animals of alternative breeds (e.g. Jersey) and crossbred cows in the herd increased with decreasing production intensity (CH < OM < CL). Milk constituents known to be beneficial for human health, such as vaccenic acid, rumenic acid, monounsaturated FA, polyunsaturated FA, antioxidants and caseins, were elevated with decreasing production intensity (CH < OM < CL), while less desirable saturated FA were lower, although not all differences between OM and CL were significant. Omega-3 FA were maximized under OM practices, primarily as a result of higher clover intake. Increases in pasture intake may explain the higher concentrations of desirable FA while increased use of crossbreed cows is likely to be responsible for higher total protein and casein content of milk; a combination of these two factors may explain increased antioxidant levels. The higher concentrations of vaccenic acid, rumenic acid, omega-3 FA, lutein, zeaxanthin, protein and casein in OM and CL milk were found over most sampling months and in both years, reinforcing the higher nutritional quality and manufacturing properties associated with milk from these systems. A switch to pasture-based dairy products would increase the intake of milk's beneficial compounds and reduce consumption of less desirable saturated FA.
This study determined the risk of respiratory infection associated with high-risk procedures (HRPs) performed by healthcare workers (HCWs) in high-risk settings. We prospectively studied 481 hospital HCWs in China, documented risk factors for infection, including performing HRPs, measured new infections, and analysed whether HRPs predicted infection. Infection outcomes were clinical respiratory infection (CRI), laboratory-confirmed viral or bacterial infection, and an influenza infection. About 12% (56/481) of the study participants performed at least one HRP, the most common being airway suctioning (7·7%, 37/481). HCWs who performed a HRP were at significantly higher risk of developing CRI and laboratory-confirmed infection [adjusted relative risk 2·9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·42–5·87 and 2·9, 95% CI 1·37–6·22, respectively]. Performing a HRP resulted in a threefold increase in the risk of respiratory infections. This is the first time the risk has been prospectively quantified in HCWs, providing data to inform occupational health and safety policies.