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The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Background: Cervical sponylotic myelopathy (CSM) may present with neck and arm pain. This study investiagtes the change in neck/arm pain post-operatively in CSM. Methods: This ambispective study llocated 402 patients through the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network. Outcome measures were the visual analogue scales for neck and arm pain (VAS-NP and VAS-AP) and the neck disability index (NDI). The thresholds for minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were determined to be 2.6 and 4.1. Results: VAS-NP improved from mean of 5.6±2.9 to 3.8±2.7 at 12 months (P<0.001). VAS-AP improved from 5.8±2.9 to 3.5±3.0 at 12 months (P<0.001). The MCIDs for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were also reached at 12 months. Based on the NDI, patients were grouped into those with mild pain/no pain (33%) versus moderate/severe pain (67%). At 3 months, a significantly high proportion of patients with moderate/severe pain (45.8%) demonstrated an improvement into mild/no pain, whereas 27.2% with mild/no pain demonstrated worsening into moderate/severe pain (P <0.001). At 12 months, 17.4% with mild/no pain experienced worsening of their NDI (P<0.001). Conclusions: This study suggests that neck and arm pain responds to surgical decompression in patients with CSM and reaches the MCIDs for VAS-AP and VAS-NP at 12 months.
Does President Trump face domestic costs for foreign policy inconsistency? Will co-partisans and opposition-partisans equally punish Donald Trump for issuing flippant international threats and backing down? While the president said he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” without losing voters, the literature consistently shows that individuals, regardless of partisanship, disapprove of leaders who jeopardize the country’s reputation for credibility and resolve. Given the atypical nature of the Trump presidency, and the severe partisan polarization surrounding it, we investigate whether the logic of audience costs still applies in the Trump era. Using a unique experiment fielded during the 2016 presidential transition, we show that Republicans and Democrats impose equal audience costs on President Trump. And by varying the leader’s identity, between Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and “The President,” we demonstrate that the public adheres to a non-partisan logic in punishing leaders who renege on threats. Yet we also find Presidents Trump and Obama can reduce the magnitude of audience costs by justifying backing down as being “in America’s interest.” Even Democrats, despite their doubts of Donald Trump’s credibility, accept such justifications. Our findings encourage further exploration of partisan cues, leader-level attributes, and leader-level reputations.
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
To explore the prevalence and drivers of hospital-level variability in antibiotic utilization among hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients to inform antimicrobial stewardship initiatives.
Retrospective cohort study using data merged from the Pediatric Health Information System and the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research.
The study included 27 transplant centers in freestanding children’s hospitals.
The primary outcome was days of broad-spectrum antibiotic use in the interval from day of HCT through neutrophil engraftment. Hospital antibiotic utilization rates were reported as days of therapy (DOTs) per 1,000 neutropenic days. Negative binomial regression was used to estimate hospital utilization rates, adjusting for patient covariates including demographics, transplant characteristics, and severity of illness. To better quantify the magnitude of hospital variation and to explore hospital-level drivers in addition to patient-level drivers of variation, mixed-effects negative binomial models were also constructed.
Adjusted hospital rates of antipseudomonal antibiotic use varied from 436 to 1121 DOTs per 1,000 neutropenic days, and rates of broad-spectrum, gram-positive antibiotic use varied from 153 to 728 DOTs per 1,000 neutropenic days. We detected variability by hospital in choice of antipseudomonal agent (ie, cephalosporins, penicillins, and carbapenems), but gram-positive coverage was primarily driven by vancomycin use. Considerable center-level variability remained even after controlling for additional hospital-level factors. Antibiotic use was not strongly associated with days of significant illness or mortality.
Among a homogenous population of children undergoing HCT for acute leukemia, both the quantity and spectrum of antibiotic exposure in the immediate posttransplant period varied widely. Antimicrobial stewardship initiatives can apply these data to optimize the use of antibiotics in transplant patients.
Highly anomalous platinum-group element (PGE) concentrations in the podiform chromitites at the Cliff and Harold's Grave localities in the Shetland ophiolite complex have been well documented previously. The focus of this study is alluvial platinum-group minerals (PGM) located in small streams that drain from the PGE-rich chromitites. The placer PGM assemblage at Cliff is dominated by Pt-arsenides (64%) and Pd-antimonides (17%), with less irarsite–hollingworthite (11%) and minor Pd-sulfides, Pt–Pd–Cu and Pt–Fe alloys and laurite. Gold also occurs with the PGM. Alluvial PGM have average sizes of 20 µm × 60 µm, with sperrylite the largest grain identified at 110 µm in diameter, matching the range reported for the primary PGM in the source rocks. The placer assemblage contains more Pt-bearing and less Pd-bearing PGM compared with the rocks. The more resistant sperrylite and irarsite–hollingworthite grains which are often euhedral become more rounded further downstream whereas the less resistant Pd-antimonides which are commonly subhedral may become striated and etched. Less stable phases such as Pt- and Pd-oxides and other Ni-Cu-bearing phases located in the rocks (i.e. Ru-pentlandite, PtCu, Pd–Cu alloy) are absent in the placer assemblage. Also the scarce PGM (PdHg, Rh- and Ir-Sb) and Os in the rocks are absent. At Harold's Grave only three alluvial PGM (laurite, Ir, Os) and Au were recovered reflecting the limited release of IPGM from chromite grains in the rocks. In this cold climate with high rainfall, where erosion dominates over weathering, the PGM appear to have been derived directly from the erosion of the adjacent PGE-rich source rocks and there is little evidence of in situ growth of any newly formed PGM. Only the presence of dendritic pure Au and Pd-, Cu-bearing Au covers on the surface of primary minerals may indicate some local reprecipitation of these metals in the surficial conditions.
A “stone in the pond” strategy is a practical approach to investigating large-scale nosocomial tuberculosis (TB) exposures. Here, we describe such a risk-stratified approach to contact tracing after a TB exposure that occurred over 5 months in a pediatric inpatient ward in a country with a moderate TB burden.
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.
While a long history of experimental data shows that aerial thermal images can reveal a wide range of both surface and subsurface archaeological features, technological hurdles have largely prevented more widespread use of this promising prospecting method. However, recent advances in the sophistication of thermal cameras, the reliability of commercial drones, and the growing power of photogrammetric software packages are revolutionizing archaeologists' ability to collect, process, and analyze aerial thermal imagery. This paper provides an overview of the theory behind aerial thermography in archaeology, as well as a discussion of an emerging set of methods developed by the authors for undertaking successful surveys. Summarizing investigations at archaeological sites in North America, the Mediterranean, and the Near East, our results illustrate some contexts in which aerial thermography is very effective, as well as cases in which ground cover, soil composition, or the depth and character of archaeological features present challenges. In addition, we highlight novel approaches for filtering out noise caused by vegetation, as well as methods for improving feature visibility using radiometric thermal imagery.
Select units in the military have improved combat medic training by integrating their functions into routine clinical care activities with measurable improvements in battlefield care. This level of integration is currently limited to special operations units. It is unknown if regular Army units and combat medics can emulate these successes. The goal of this project was to determine whether US Army combat medics can be integrated into routine emergency department (ED) clinical care, specifically medication administration.
This was a quality assurance project that monitored training of combat medics to administer parenteral medications and to ensure patient safety. Combat medics were provided training that included direct supervision during medication administration. Once proficiency was demonstrated, combat medics would prepare the medications under direct supervision, followed by indirect supervision during administration. As part of the quality assurance and safety processes, combat medics were required to document all medication administrations, supervising provider, and unexpected adverse events. Additional quality assurance follow-up occurred via complete chart review by the project lead.
During the project period, the combat medics administered the following medications: ketamine (n=13), morphine (n=8), ketorolac (n=7), fentanyl (n=5), ondansetron (n=4), and other (n=6). No adverse events or patient safety events were reported by the combat medics or discovered during the quality assurance process.
In this limited case series, combat medics safely administered parenteral medications under indirect provider supervision. Future research is needed to further develop this training model for both the military and civilian setting.
SchauerSG, CunninghamCW, FisherAD, DeLorenzoRA. A Pilot Project Demonstrating that Combat Medics Can Safely Administer Parenteral Medications in the Emergency Department. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(6):679–681.
Exclusive breast-feeding (EBF) provides optimal nutrition for infants and mothers. The practice of EBF while adhering to antiretroviral medication decreases the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV from approximately 25 % to less than 5 %. Thus the WHO recommends EBF for the first 6 months among HIV-infected women living in resource-limited settings; however, EBF rates remain low. In the present study our aim was to design and implement a pilot intervention promoting EBF among HIV-infected women.
The Information–Motivation–Behavioural Skills (IMB) model was applied in a brief motivational interviewing counselling session that was tested in a small randomized controlled trial.
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, at two comparable rural public health service clinics.
Sixty-eight HIV-infected women in their third trimester were enrolled and completed baseline interviews between June and August 2014. Those randomized to the intervention arm received the IMB-based pilot intervention directly following baseline interviews. Follow-up interviews occurred at 6 weeks postpartum.
While not significantly different between trial arms, high rates of intention and practice of EBF at 6-week follow-up were reported. Findings showed high levels of self-efficacy being significantly predictive of breast-feeding initiation and duration regardless of intervention arm.
Future research must account for breast-feeding self-efficacy on sustaining breast-feeding behaviour and leverage strategies to enhance self-efficacy in supportive interventions. Supporting breast-feeding behaviour through programmes that include both individual-level and multi-systems components targeting the role of health-care providers, family and community may create environments that value and support EBF behaviour.
We examined functional outcomes and quality of life of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) with integrated fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy boost (FSRT) for brain metastases treatment. Methods Eighty seven people with 1-3 brain metastases were enrolled on this Phase II trial of WBRT (30Gy/10)+simultaneous FSRT, (60Gy/10). Results Mean (Min-Max) baseline KPS, Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) and FACT-BR quality of life were 83 (70-100), 28 (21-30) and 143 (98-153). Lower baseline MMSE (but not KPS or FACT-Br) was associated with worse survival after adjusting for age, number of metastases, primary and extra-cranial disease status. Crude rates of deterioration (>10 points decrease from baseline for KPS and FACT-Br, MMSE fall to<27) ranged from 26-38% for KPS, 32-59% for FACT-Br and 0-16%for MMSE depending on the time-point assessed with higher rates generally noted at earlier time points (<6months post-treatment). Using a linear mixed models analysis, significant declines from baseline were noted for KPS and FACT-Br (largest effects at 6 weeks to 3 months) with no significant change in MMSE. Conclusions The effects on function and quality of life of this integrated treatment of WBRT+simultaneous FSRT were similar to other published series combining WBRT+SRS.
Objectives: Treatments for childhood brain tumors (BT) confer substantial risks to neurological development and contribute to neuropsychological deficits in young adulthood. Evidence suggests that individuals who experience more significant neurological insult may lack insight into their neurocognitive limitations. The present study compared survivor, mother, and performance-based estimates of executive functioning (EF), and their associations with treatment intensity history in a subsample of young adult survivors of childhood BTs. Methods: Thirty-four survivors (52.9% female), aged 18 to 30 years (M=23.5; SD=3.4), 16.1 years post-diagnosis (SD=5.9), were administered self-report and performance-based EF measures. Mothers also rated survivor EF skills. Survivors were classified by treatment intensity history into Minimal, Average/Moderate, or Intensive/Most-Intensive groups. Discrepancies among survivor, mother, and performance-based EF estimates were compared. Results: Survivor-reported and performance-based measures were not correlated, although significant associations were found between mother-reported and performance measures. Survivors in the Intensive/Most-Intensive treatment group evidenced the greatest score discrepancies, reporting less executive dysfunction relative to mother-reported F(2,31)=7.81, p<.01, and performance-based measures F(14,50)=2.54, p<.05. Conversely, survivors in the Minimal treatment group reported greater EF difficulties relative to mothers t(8)=2.82, p<.05, but not performance-based estimates (ps>.05). Conclusions: There may be a lack of agreement among survivor, mother, and performance-based estimates of EF skills in young adult survivors of childhood BT, and these discrepancies may be associated with treatment intensity history. Neuropsychologists should use a multi-method, multi-reporter approach to assessment of EF in this population. Providers also should be aware of these discrepancies as they may be a barrier to intervention efforts. (JINS, 2016, 22, 900–910)
With serpent’s tongue, that dares the sentence hiss?1
—Day K. Lee, Universalist minister, 1841
Recent academic use of the word “evangelical” in American history has been surprisingly static. Drawing upon scholars of “evangelicalism,” historians have been tied to an “essentialist,” or doctrinal, definition of evangelicalism that stretches unbroken from the early eighteenth century to the present. Such ahistorical readings, however, obscure a far more interesting and complex reality. This essay argues that from the Protestant Reformation through the early twentieth century, to be “evangelical” was most often a Protestant-inflected way of being in the world, which at times could have multiple, changing, and contested doctrinal associations. It was a flexible and dynamic idiom, intended to communicate a relative biblical authenticity by those who wielded it. In particular, this essay seeks to recover three overlooked dimensions of the use of the word “evangelical”: first, the firmly Protestant and even anti-Catholic implication of the term that spanned the history of Protestantism from the 1520s to the twentieth century; second, the relative authenticity, “true-Christian” usage, which contained within it a strong “primitivist” impulse with reference to New Testament Christianity; and third, the contested nature of the word, particularly in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when “evangelical” identity supposedly started to become more recognizable.
Apathy has been reported as a possible adverse effect of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS). We investigated the prevalence and severity of apathy in 22 patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who underwent STN-DBS, as well as the effects of apathy on quality of life (QOL).
All patients were assessed with the Lille Apathy Rating Scale (LARS), the Apathy Scale (AS), and the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire and were compared to a control group of 38 patients on pharmacotherapy alone.
There were no significant differences in the prevalence or severity of apathy between patients who had undergone STN-DBS and those on pharmacotherapy alone. Significant correlations were observed between poorer QOL and degree of apathy, as measured by the LARS (p<0.001) and the AS (p=0.021). PD-related disability also correlated with both apathy ratings (p<0.001 and p=0.017, respectively).
Our findings suggest that STN-DBS is not necessarily associated with apathy in the PD population; however, more severe apathy appears to be associated with a higher level of disability due to PD and worse QOL, but no other clinico-demographic characteristics.