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The present study aimed to examine the availability and price of healthier compared with less healthy foods by geography, store category and store type for convenience stores, and by store size for grocery stores in Nova Scotia.
A cross-sectional study that examined differences in the overall availability and price of healthier compared to less healthy foods in grocery and convenience stores in Nova Scotia. The Nova Scotia Consumer Food Environment project was part of a larger initiative of the Nova Scotia government (Department of Health and Wellness) to assess the food and beverage environment in Nova Scotia in 2015/16.
Four geographic zones (Nova Scotia Health Authority Management Zones) in Nova Scotia, Canada.
A sample of forty-seven grocery stores and fifty-nine convenience stores were selected from a list of 210 grocery stores and 758 convenience stores in Nova Scotia to ensure geographic and store type representation in our sample.
Findings indicate that rurality had a significant effect on food availability as measured by the Nutrition Environment Measures Surveys (NEMS) score (P < 0·01); there was a higher availability of healthy foods in rural compared to urban areas for convenience stores but not grocery stores. Healthier foods were also more available in chain stores compared to independent stores (P < 0·01) and in large stores compared to small and medium stores (P < 0·001 and P < 0·01, respectively).
The availability of and accessibility to less healthy foods in Nova Scotia food environment suggests that there is a need for government policy action to support a food environment that contributes to healthier diets.
Frascati international research criteria for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are controversial; some investigators have argued that Frascati criteria are too liberal, resulting in a high false positive rate. Meyer et al. recommended more conservative revisions to HAND criteria, including exploring other commonly used methodologies for neurocognitive impairment (NCI) in HIV including the global deficit score (GDS). This study compares NCI classifications by Frascati, Meyer, and GDS methods, in relation to neuroimaging markers of brain integrity in HIV.
Two hundred forty-one people living with HIV (PLWH) without current substance use disorder or severe (confounding) comorbid conditions underwent comprehensive neurocognitive testing and brain structural magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Participants were classified using Frascati criteria versus Meyer criteria: concordant unimpaired [Frascati(Un)/Meyer(Un)], concordant impaired [Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Imp)], or discordant [Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Un)] which were impaired via Frascati criteria but unimpaired via Meyer criteria. To investigate the GDS versus Meyer criteria, the same groupings were utilized using GDS criteria instead of Frascati criteria.
When examining Frascati versus Meyer criteria, discordant Frascati(Imp)/Meyer(Un) individuals had less cortical gray matter, greater sulcal cerebrospinal fluid volume, and greater evidence of neuroinflammation (i.e., choline) than concordant Frascati(Un)/Meyer(Un) individuals. GDS versus Meyer comparisons indicated that discordant GDS(Imp)/Meyer(Un) individuals had less cortical gray matter and lower levels of energy metabolism (i.e., creatine) than concordant GDS(Un)/Meyer(Un) individuals. In both sets of analyses, the discordant group did not differ from the concordant impaired group on any neuroimaging measure.
The Meyer criteria failed to capture a substantial portion of PLWH with brain abnormalities. These findings support continued use of Frascati or GDS criteria to detect HIV-associated CNS dysfunction.
To assess the validity of multivariable models for predicting risk of surgical site infection (SSI) after colorectal surgery based on routinely collected data in national surveillance networks.
Retrospective analysis performed on 3 validation cohorts.
Colorectal surgery patients in Switzerland, France, and England, 2007–2017.
We determined calibration and discrimination (ie, area under the curve, AUC) of the COLA (contamination class, obesity, laparoscopy, American Society of Anesthesiologists [ASA]) multivariable risk model and the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) multivariable risk model in each cohort. A new score was constructed based on multivariable analysis of the Swiss cohort following colorectal surgery, then based on colon and rectal surgery separately.
We included 40,813 patients who had undergone elective or emergency colorectal surgery to validate the COLA score, 45,216 patients to validate the NHSN colon and rectal surgery risk models, and 46,320 patients in the construction of a new predictive model. The COLA score’s predictive ability was poor, with AUC values of 0.64 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63–0.65), 0.62 (95% CI, 0.58–0.67), 0.60 (95% CI, 0.58–0.61) in the Swiss, French, and English cohorts, respectively. The NHSN colon-specific model (AUC, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.61–0.62) and the rectal surgery–specific model (AUC, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.53–0.61) showed limited predictive ability. The new predictive score showed poor predictive accuracy for colorectal surgery overall (AUC, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.64–0.66), for colon surgery (AUC, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.65–0.66), and for rectal surgery (AUC, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.60–0.66).
Models based on routinely collected data in SSI surveillance networks poorly predict individual risk of SSI following colorectal surgery. Further models that include other more predictive variables could be developed and validated.
Diversity and inclusion in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields is a global issue. The challenging issues facing the world relating to STEM diversity cross national borders and require leveraging the talents of diverse constituents.1 Active international efforts at inclusive talent development are being undertaken to empower persons from groups historically underrepresented in STEM communities.2,3 The US National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) reports that in the United States, African Americans are one of the most underrepresented minority groups in engineering relative to their population. This is in spite of a great deal of progress in “growing African American scientists, engineers, and technologists since the Howard University School of Engineering opened in 1910.”4 The number of African Americans in engineering at all degree levels is not representative of their percentage in the US population. Table I shows a sampling of 2016 data from a National Science Foundation (NSF) survey of doctoral recipients in engineering.5 Figure 1 illustrates a snapshot of African American representation in US colleges of engineering. These statistics show that African Americans remain underrepresented relative to US demographics.6–8
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with variable risk of suicide and prevalence of suicide attempt (SA). The present study aimed to assess the prevalence of SA and associated sociodemographic and clinical features in a large international sample of OCD patients.
A total of 425 OCD outpatients, recruited through the International College of Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders (ICOCS) network, were assessed and categorized in groups with or without a history of SA, and their sociodemographic and clinical features compared through Pearson’s chi-squared and t tests. Logistic regression was performed to assess the impact of the collected data on the SA variable.
14.6% of our sample reported at least one SA during their lifetime. Patients with an SA had significantly higher rates of comorbid psychiatric disorders (60 vs. 17%, p<0.001; particularly tic disorder), medical disorders (51 vs. 15%, p<0.001), and previous hospitalizations (62 vs. 11%, p<0.001) than patients with no history of SA. With respect to geographical differences, European and South African patients showed significantly higher rates of SA history (40 and 39%, respectively) compared to North American and Middle-Eastern individuals (13 and 8%, respectively) (χ2=11.4, p<0.001). The logistic regression did not show any statistically significant predictor of SA among selected independent variables.
Our international study found a history of SA prevalence of ~15% in OCD patients, with higher rates of psychiatric and medical comorbidities and previous hospitalizations in patients with a previous SA. Along with potential geographical influences, the presence of the abovementioned features should recommend additional caution in the assessment of suicide risk in OCD patients.
Genome-wide association analysis on monozygotic twin-pairs offers a route to discovery of gene–environment interactions through testing for variability loci associated with sensitivity to individual environment/lifestyle. We present a genome-wide scan of loci associated with intra-pair differences in serum lipid and apolipoprotein levels. We report data for 1,720 monozygotic female twin-pairs from GenomEUtwin project with 2.5 million SNPs, imputed or genotyped, and measured serum lipid fractions for both twins. We found one locus associated with intra-pair differences in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, rs2483058 in an intron of SRGAP2, where twins carrying the C allele are more sensitive to environmental factors (P = 3.98 × 10−8). We followed up the association in further genotyped monozygotic twins (N = 1,261), which showed a moderate association for the variant (P = 0.200, same direction of an effect). In addition, we report a new association on the level of apolipoprotein A-II (P = 4.03 × 10−8).
Understanding the genetic and environmental contributions to measures of brain structure such as surface area and cortical thickness is important for a better understanding of the nature of brain-behavior relationships and changes due to development or disease. Continuous spatial maps of genetic influences on these structural features can contribute to our understanding of regional patterns of heritability, since it remains to be seen whether genetic contributions to brain structure respect the boundaries of any traditional parcellation approaches. Using data from magnetic resonance imaging scans collected on a large sample of monozygotic and dizygotic twins in the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging, we created maps of the heritability of areal expansion (a vertex-based area measure) and cortical thickness and examined the degree to which these maps were affected by adjustment for total surface area and mean cortical thickness. We also compared the approach of estimating regional heritability based on the average heritability of vertices within the region to the more traditional region-of-interest (ROI)-based approach. The results suggested high heritability across the cortex for areal expansion and, to a slightly lesser degree, for cortical thickness. There was a great deal of genetic overlap between global and regional measures for surface area, so maps of region-specific genetic influences on surface area revealed more modest heritabilities. There was greater inter-regional variability in heritabilities when calculated using the traditional ROI-based approach compared to summarizing vertex-by-vertex heritabilities within regions. Discrepancies between the approaches were greatest in small regions and tended to be larger for surface area than for cortical thickness measures. Implications regarding brain phenotypes for future genetic association studies are discussed.
Composing Apartheid is the first book ever to chart the musical world of a notorious period in world history, apartheid South Africa. It explores how music was produced through, and was productive of, key features of apartheid’s social and political topography, as well as how music and musicians contested and even helped to conquer apartheid. The collection of essays is intentionally broad, and the contributors include historians, sociologists and anthropologists, as well as ethnomusicologists, music theorists and historical musicologists. The essays focus on a variety of music (jazz, music in the Western art tradition, popular music) and on major composers (such as Kevin Volans) and works (Handel’s Messiah). Musical institutions and previously little-researched performers (such as the African National Congress’s troupe-in-exile, Amandla) are explored. The writers move well beyond their subject matter, intervening in debates on race, historiography, and postcolonial epistemologies and pedagogies.
The intent of the CRISP education and outreach effort is to use materials science as a vehicle for enhancing the scientific literacy and knowledge of kindergarten through post-graduate level students. A challenging part of our mission has been inspiring students to take the next step and consider further study (or a career) in the field of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). The CRISP educational programs were developed through a partnership between Yale University, Southern Connecticut State University and the urban school district of New Haven, CT. An overview of the methods and results of both formal and informal educational program components will be presented for years one and two of the CRISP MRSEC. This paper will focus on two CRISP programs: 1) MRSEC Initiative for Multidisciplinary Education & Research (MIMER) and 2) “Exploring Materials Science” mobile kits. The evaluation data indicates that the approach used in developing these educational programs is important. Specifically, the impact of these programs is influenced by the students' ability to relate the acquired knowledge to real life applications and technologies. In particular, emphasizing career opportunities rather than just presenting content-based programs is a key element to increasing interest towards further study in Materials Science and Engineering.
This article presents preliminary findings on an investigation into the differences in communicative performance across varying speaking conditions, of an individual with a cognitive–linguistic impairment following traumatic brain injury (TBI). The article compares the communicative exchanges of an individual in a conversation with a therapist, a conversational dyad with a peer with TBI, and in a communication group task where they were interacting with other participants with TBI. The speaking conditions studied included an unstructured chat, the participant requesting information and the participant giving information. Results showed that the person with TBI responded to differences in communication partner and speaker role. He was best able to give information in the unstructured chat with the clinician and the information giving session in the group. Requesting was maximally facilitated in the information request condition with the clinician. Qualitatively, however, the most equal interactions occurred with the peer, with evidence of the person with TBI engaging in typical conversational strategies such as establishing common ground to facilitate topic development and co-constructing the discourse topics. These strategies did not occur in the clinician or group interactions, possibly due to power imbalance in the former and impaired cognitive–linguistic ability in the latter situation. Implications for clinical decision making regarding intervention strategies for patients with cognitive–communication deficits are discussed.