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Between 21 November and 22 December 2020, a SARS-CoV-2 community testing pilot took place in the South Wales Valleys. We conducted a case-control study in adults taking part in the pilot using an anonymous online questionnaire. Social, demographic and behavioural factors were compared in people with a positive lateral flow test (cases) and a sample of negatives (controls). A total of 199 cases and 2621 controls completed a questionnaire (response rates: 27.1 and 37.6% respectively). Following adjustment, cases were more likely to work in the hospitality sector (aOR 3.39, 95% CI 1.43–8.03), social care (aOR 2.63, 1.22–5.67) or healthcare (aOR 2.31, 1.29–4.13), live with someone self-isolating due to contact with a case (aOR 3.07, 2.03–4.62), visit a pub (aOR 2.87, 1.11–7.37) and smoke or vape (aOR 1.54, 1.02–2.32). In this community, and at this point in the epidemic, reducing transmission from a household contact who is self-isolating would have the biggest public health impact (population-attributable fraction: 0.2). As restrictions on social mixing are relaxed, hospitality venues will become of greater public health importance, and those working in this sector should be adequately protected. Smoking or vaping may be an important modifiable risk factor.
Unnecessarily delayed discharges from hospital of older people living with frailty can have negative consequences for their health and add significant costs to health services. We report on an ethnographic study at two English hospitals and their respective health and social care systems where we followed 37 patient journeys. The study aim was to understand why delays occur. Our findings indicate that working practices in the study hospitals may have inadvertently contributed to delays. While many pieces of patients’ clinical and social information were collected, recorded and accessed in different ways by different professionals, to facilitate a discharge, these pieces needed to be re-found, integrated and re-constructed. A key component of this process was information related to patients’ social, family and functional background. This was often missing, not accessed or perceived to be of low value compared to other more readily available clinical information. Patients’ re-construction was thus often incomplete, or insufficient to reduce the clinical and prognostic uncertainty associated with frailty and to manage risks inherent in older people's discharge. Where this key component was present and integrated into decision-making in multi-disciplinary team working, uncertainty and risk were managed more constructively and sometimes avoided an escalation of care needs.
To describe strategies used to recruit and retain young adults in nutrition, physical activity and/or obesity intervention studies, and quantify the success and efficiency of these strategies.
A systematic review was conducted. The search included six electronic databases to identify randomised controlled trials (RCT) published up to 6 December 2019 that evaluated nutrition, physical activity and/or obesity interventions in young adults (17–35 years). Recruitment was considered successful if the pre-determined sample size goal was met. Retention was considered acceptable if ≥80 % retained for ≤6-month follow-up or ≥70 % for >6-month follow-up.
From 21 582 manuscripts identified, 107 RCT were included. Universities were the most common recruitment setting used in eighty-four studies (79 %). Less than half (46 %) of the studies provided sufficient information to evaluate whether individual recruitment strategies met sample size goals, with 77 % successfully achieving recruitment targets. Reporting for retention was slightly better with 69 % of studies providing sufficient information to determine whether individual retention strategies achieved adequate retention rates. Of these, 65 % had adequate retention.
This review highlights poor reporting of recruitment and retention information across trials. Findings may not be applicable outside a university setting. Guidance on how to improve reporting practices to optimise recruitment and retention strategies within young adults could assist researchers in improving outcomes.
Subglacial hydrological systems require innovative technological solutions to access and observe. Wireless sensor platforms can be used to collect and return data, but their performance in deep and fast-moving ice requires quantification. We report experimental results from Cryoegg: a spherical probe that can be deployed into a borehole or moulin and transit through the subglacial hydrological system. The probe measures temperature, pressure and electrical conductivity in situ and returns all data wirelessly via a radio link. We demonstrate Cryoegg's utility in studying englacial channels and moulins, including in situ salt dilution gauging. Cryoegg uses VHF radio to transmit data to a surface receiving array. We demonstrate transmission through up to 1.3 km of cold ice – a significant improvement on the previous design. The wireless transmission uses Wireless M-Bus on 169 MHz; we present a simple radio link budget model for its performance in cold ice and experimentally confirm its validity. Cryoegg has also been tested successfully in temperate ice. The battery capacity should allow measurements to be made every 2 h for more than a year. Future iterations of the radio system will enable Cryoegg to transmit data through up to 2.5 km of ice.
This SHEA white paper identifies knowledge gaps and challenges in healthcare epidemiology research related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a focus on core principles of healthcare epidemiology. These gaps, revealed during the worst phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, are described in 10 sections: epidemiology, outbreak investigation, surveillance, isolation precaution practices, personal protective equipment (PPE), environmental contamination and disinfection, drug and supply shortages, antimicrobial stewardship, healthcare personnel (HCP) occupational safety, and return to work policies. Each section highlights three critical healthcare epidemiology research questions with detailed description provided in supplementary materials. This research agenda calls for translational studies from laboratory-based basic science research to well-designed, large-scale studies and health outcomes research. Research gaps and challenges related to nursing homes and social disparities are included. Collaborations across various disciplines, expertise and across diverse geographic locations will be critical.
Little is known about who would benefit from Internet-based personalised nutrition (PN) interventions. This study aimed to evaluate the characteristics of participants who achieved greatest improvements (i.e. benefit) in diet, adiposity and biomarkers following an Internet-based PN intervention. Adults (n 1607) from seven European countries were recruited into a 6-month, randomised controlled trial (Food4Me) and randomised to receive conventional dietary advice (control) or PN advice. Information on dietary intake, adiposity, physical activity (PA), blood biomarkers and participant characteristics was collected at baseline and month 6. Benefit from the intervention was defined as ≥5 % change in the primary outcome (Healthy Eating Index) and secondary outcomes (waist circumference and BMI, PA, sedentary time and plasma concentrations of cholesterol, carotenoids and omega-3 index) at month 6. For our primary outcome, benefit from the intervention was greater in older participants, women and participants with lower HEI scores at baseline. Benefit was greater for individuals reporting greater self-efficacy for ‘sticking to healthful foods’ and who ‘felt weird if [they] didn’t eat healthily’. Participants benefited more if they reported wanting to improve their health and well-being. The characteristics of individuals benefiting did not differ by other demographic, health-related, anthropometric or genotypic characteristics. Findings were similar for secondary outcomes. These findings have implications for the design of more effective future PN intervention studies and for tailored nutritional advice in public health and clinical settings.
We present a model for hydrodynamic + N-body simulations of star cluster formation and evolution using AMUSE. Our model includes gas dynamics, star formation in regions of dense gas, stellar evolution and a galactic tidal spiral potential, thus incorporating most of the processes that play a role in the evolution of star clusters.
We test our model on initial conditions of two colliding molecular clouds as well as a section of a spiral arm from a previous galaxy simulation.
We present Phantom, a fast, parallel, modular, and low-memory smoothed particle hydrodynamics and magnetohydrodynamics code developed over the last decade for astrophysical applications in three dimensions. The code has been developed with a focus on stellar, galactic, planetary, and high energy astrophysics, and has already been used widely for studies of accretion discs and turbulence, from the birth of planets to how black holes accrete. Here we describe and test the core algorithms as well as modules for magnetohydrodynamics, self-gravity, sink particles, dust–gas mixtures, H2 chemistry, physical viscosity, external forces including numerous galactic potentials, Lense–Thirring precession, Poynting–Robertson drag, and stochastic turbulent driving. Phantom is hereby made publicly available.
Depression is a prevalent long-term condition that is associated with substantial resource use. Telehealth may offer a cost-effective means of supporting the management of people with depression.
To investigate the cost-effectiveness of a telehealth intervention (‘Healthlines’) for patients with depression.
A prospective patient-level economic evaluation conducted alongside a randomised controlled trial. Patients were recruited through primary care, and the intervention was delivered via a telehealth service. Participants with a confirmed diagnosis of depression and PHQ-9 score ≥10 were recruited from 43 English general practices. A series of up to 10 scripted, theory-led, telephone encounters with health information advisers supported participants to effect a behaviour change, use online resources, optimise medication and improve adherence. The intervention was delivered alongside usual care and was designed to support rather than duplicate primary care. Cost-effectiveness from a combined health and social care perspective was measured by net monetary benefit at the end of 12 months of follow-up, calculated from incremental cost and incremental quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Cost–consequence analysis included cost of lost productivity, participant out-of-pocket expenditure and the clinical outcome.
A total of 609 participants were randomised – 307 to receive the Healthlines intervention plus usual care and 302 to receive usual care alone. Forty-five per cent of participants had missing quality of life data, 41% had missing cost data and 51% of participants had missing data on either cost or utility, or both. Multiple imputation was used for the base-case analysis. The intervention was associated with incremental mean per-patient National Health Service/personal social services cost of £168 (95% CI £43 to £294) and an incremental QALY gain of 0.001 (95% CI −0.023 to 0.026). The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio was £132 630. Net monetary benefit at a cost-effectiveness threshold of £20 000 was –£143 (95% CI –£164 to –£122) and the probability of the intervention being cost-effective at this threshold value was 0.30. Productivity costs were higher in the intervention arm, but out-of-pocket expenses were lower.
The Healthlines service was acceptable to patients as a means of condition management, and response to treatment after 4 months was higher for participants randomised to the intervention. However, the positive average intervention effect size was modest, and incremental costs were high relative to a small incremental QALY gain at 12 months. The intervention is not likely to be cost-effective in its current form.
Germplasm of common beans from the Mesoamerican gene pool races: Durango, Jalisco, Mesoamerica and Guatemala have highest genetic variation for the crop's improvement. The objective was to assign 50 common bean germplasm in Uganda into its gene pool races based on analyses of population structure. Secondly, to estimate heritability and effects of genotype × environment (GXE) interaction on common bean agronomic and yield traits in space and time. Sample genomic DNA was amplified in 2011 with 22 Simple sequence repeat markers (SSRs) and alleles separated using capillary electrophoresis. Field evaluations were conducted in 2010 and 2011 at NaCRRI and 2015 at CIAT – Kawanda. Multivariate analyses of SSRs data identified four subgroups within the germplasm: K4.1–K4.4, with corresponding Wrights fixation indices (FST) as 0.1829 for K4.1, 0.1585 for K4.4, 0.1579 for K4.2 and least for K4.3 at 0.0678. Gene pool race admixtures in the population (14%) were notable and attributed to gene flow. Four superior parents currently used in improving resistance to major diseases grouped as; Jalisco for MLB49-89A; Mesoamerica for MCM5001 and G2333; Durango for MEXICO 54. Heritability values for yield traits estimated using phenotypic data from above fixed parents, was above 0.81. Season and location had significant effect (P < 0.05) on numbers of: flower buds per inflorescence, pod formation and weight of 100 seeds. The findings will improve understanding of co-evolutionary relationships between bean hosts and pathogens for better disease management and will broaden the germplasm base for improving other tropical production constraints.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
To address the gap in qualitative research examining patients' experiences of ward rounds. In-depth interviews were conducted with five in-patients on an acute mental health ward. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.
Data were organised into three first-order themes, positioned within an overarching theme relating to patients' perceptions of the use of power and control within ward rounds.
Systemic factors may make it difficult to facilitate ward rounds in a manner which leaves patients feeling fully empowered or in control, but there are practical measures to address these issues, drawn from participants' accounts.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Although interest in integrating agriculture into the urban landscape in the USA is increasing rapidly, there is a shortage of guidance for agricultural production in this context as well as a unique set of significant biophysical constraints. A common constraint is not being able to grow directly in the soil, making raised-bed gardening a necessity. Subirrigated planters (SIPs) are a style of raised bed with a subsoil reservoir that provides aeration and allows growers to irrigate below the soil where water is pulled up via capillary action. This bed design has vocal advocates; anecdotally, growers find them to be high yielding, water efficient and easier to maintain than standard raised beds. Given their apparent promise, there is interest in promoting SIPs and in utilizing them in larger-scale urban gardening operations but no rigorous tests compare these beds relative to standard raised beds. At one location and for one season, we compared yields for three crops: cayenne pepper (Capsicum annuum), sungold cherry tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) and lacinato kale (Brassica oleracea), crop quality and labor input for two styles of SIPs, as well as a sack garden, a variation of a SIP that does not require lightweight soil, with two conventional raised beds (one with a compost and topsoil mix and one with the soilless growing medium ideal for container gardening). Results from our first year of data indicate that both the SIP beds and the conventional beds with the soilless growing medium were more productive overall than conventional raised beds with topsoil and compost (P<0.01). Tomato production in the SIP without the root barrier was greater than both the conventional bed with the compost and topsoil mix (P<0.01) and the conventional bed with the soilless growing medium (P<0.05). The majority of the higher-cost beds had a positive revenue stream in the first summer season; given these results, investing in SIPs or in soil appropriate for raised beds appears to be worth the higher initial cost.