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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: There is an unmet need for blood-based biomarkers that can reliably detect MS disease activity. Serum Biomarkers of interest includ Neurofilament-light-chain (NfL), Glial-fibrillary-strocyte-protein(GFAP) and Tau. Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) is reserved for aggressive forms of MS and has been shown to halt detectable CNS inflammatory activity for prolonged periods. Significant pre-treatment tissue damage at followed by inflammatory disease abeyance should be reflected longitudinal sera collected from these patients. Methods: Sera were collected from 23 MS patients pre-treatment, and following BMT at 3, 6, 9 and 12-months in addition from 33 non-inflammatory neurological controls. Biomarker quantification was performed with SiMoA. Results: Pre-AHSCT levels of serum NfL and GFAP but not Tau were elevated compared to controls (p=0.0001), and NfL correlated with lesion-based disease activity (6-month-relapse, MRI-T2 and Gadolinium-enhancement). 3-months post-treatment, while NfL levels remained elevated, Tau/GFAP paradoxically increased (p=0.0023/0.0017). These increases at 3m correlated with MRI ‘pseudoatrophy’ at 6-months. NfL/Tau levels dropped to that of controls by 6-months (p=0.0036/0.0159). GFAP levels dropped progressively after 6-months although even at 12-months remained higher than controls (p=0.004). Conclusions: NfL was the closest correlate of MS disease activity and treatment response. Chemotherapy-related toxicity may account for transient increases in NfL, Tau and MRI brain atrophy post-BMT.
We investigated whether neurobehavioral markers of risk for emotion dysregulation were evident among newborns, as well as whether the identified markers were associated with prenatal exposure to maternal emotion dysregulation. Pregnant women (N = 162) reported on their emotion dysregulation prior to a laboratory assessment. The women were then invited to the laboratory to assess baseline respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and RSA in response to an infant cry. Newborns were assessed after birth via the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale. We identified two newborn neurobehavioral factors—arousal and attention—via exploratory factor analysis. Low arousal was characterized by less irritability, excitability, and motor agitation, while low attention was related to a lower threshold for auditory and visual stimulation, less sustained attention, and poorer visual tracking abilities. Pregnant women who reported higher levels of emotion dysregulation had newborns with low arousal levels and less attention. Larger decreases in maternal RSA in response to cry were also related to lower newborn arousal. We provide the first evidence that a woman's emotion dysregulation while pregnant is associated with risks for dysregulation in her newborn. Implications for intergenerational transmission of emotion dysregulation are discussed.
To determine the factors related to multiple ventilation tube insertions in children with otitis media with effusion.
A retrospective review was performed of 126 ears of 81 children aged less than 12 years who had undergone insertion of a Paparella type 1 ventilation tube for the first time between August 2012 and March 2018.
Mean age at the first operation was 4.0 ± 2.2 years, and the mean duration of otitis media with effusion before the first ventilation tube insertion was 5.4 ± 4.5 months. Among 126 ears, 80 (63.5 per cent) had a single ventilation tube insertion and 46 (36.5 per cent) had multiple insertions. On multivariate logistic regression, tympanic membrane retraction, serous middle-ear discharge, and early recurrence of otitis media with effusion were independent predictive factors of multiple ventilation tube insertions.
Tympanic membrane retraction, serous middle-ear discharge, and early recurrence of otitis media with effusion after the first tube extrusion are associated with multiple ventilation tube insertions.
A new ESCA (electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis) instrument has been developed to provide high sensitivity and efficient operation for laboratory analysis of composition and chemical bonding in very thin surface layers of solid samples. High sensitivity is achieved by means of the high-intensity, efficient X-ray source described by Davies and Herglotz at the 1968 Denver X-Ray Conference, in combination with the new electron energy analyzer described by Lee at the 1972 Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy. A sample chamber designed to provide for rapid introduction and replacement of samples has adequate facilities for various sample treatments and conditioning followed immediafely by ESCA analysis of the sample.
Examples of application are presented, demonstrating the sensitivity and resolution achievable with this instrument. Its usefulness in trace surface analysis is shown and some “chemical shifts” measured by the instrument are compared with those obtained by X-ray spectroscopy.
Resonant soft x-ray scattering (RSoXS) leverages chemical specificity to characterize thin films but is limited near the nitrogen edge. The challenge is that commercially available x-ray transparent substrates are composed of Si3N4 and thereby absorb incident x-rays and generate incoherent fluorescence. To overcome this challenge, we designed and fabricated Al2O3 free-standing films for use as RSoXS windows. Al2O3 films offer higher x-ray transmittance and minimal fluorescence near the nitrogen edge. As an example, Al2O3 windows allow for nitrogen RSoXS of conjugated block copolymer thin films that reveal domain spacings, which are not apparent with commercially available Si3N4 substrates.
Psychotropic medication use and psychiatric symptoms during pregnancy each are associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in offspring. Commonly, studies considering medication effects do not adequately assess symptoms, nor evaluate children when the effects are believed to occur, the fetal period. This study examined maternal serotonin reuptake inhibitor and polypharmacy use in relation to serial assessments of five indices of fetal neurobehavior and Bayley Scales of Infant Development at 12 months in N = 161 socioeconomically advantaged, non-Hispanic White women with a shared risk phenotype, diagnosed major depressive disorder. On average fetuses showed the expected development over gestation. In contrast, infant average Bayley psychomotor and mental development scores were low (M = 84.10 and M = 89.92, range of normal limits 85–114) with rates of delay more than 2–3 times what would be expected based on this measure's normative data. Controlling for prenatal and postnatal depressive symptoms, prenatal medication effects on neurobehavioral development were largely undetected in the fetus and infant. Mental health care directed primarily at symptoms may not address the additional psychosocial needs of women parenting infants. Speculatively, prenatal serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure may act as a plasticity rather than risk factor, potentially enhancing receptivity to a nonoptimal postnatal environment in some mother–infant dyads.
Introduction: The cricothyroid membrane is used as a landmark for emergent surgical airway access. Ultrasound identification of the cricothyroid membrane is more accurate than landmarking by palpation. The objective of this study was to determine whether head of bed elevation affects the position of the cricothyroid membrane as identified by ultrasound. Methods: This was a prospective, observational study on a convenience sample of adult patients presenting to the emergency department. Participants underwent ultrasound scans by trained physicians at 0, 30 and 90 degrees head of bed elevation to identify the cricothyroid membrane. The cricothyroid membrane position identified at 0 degrees was used as a reference, and the change in position of the external landmark of the cricothyroid membrane with the patient at 30 and 90 degrees was measured. Additionally, the patients gender, age, body mass index (BMI) and Mallampati score were recorded for comparison. Linear mixed effects models with 95% confidence intervals were used to determine the effect of head of bed elevation, age, BMI and Mallampati score on the differences between measured distances. Results: One hundred and two patients were enrolled in the study. The average change in position from reference was statistically significant for both 30 degrees [2.72±0.77mm (p<0.01)] and 90 degrees [4.23±0.77mm (p<0.01)] head of bed elevation. The adjusted linear mixed effects model showed age greater than 70, BMI over 30 and higher Mallampati score were associated with greater change in distance between cricothyroid membrane landmarks. Conclusion: There was a statistically significant difference in the position of the cricothyroid membrane comparing 0 degrees to 30 and 90 degrees head of bed elevation. However, the relatively small differences suggest that this finding is not clinically relevant. Further study is required to evaluate if these differences impact the actual successful performance of cricothyrotomy.
Postglacial emergence curves are used to infer mantle rheology, delimit ice extent, and test models of the solid Earth response to changing ice and water loads. Such curves are rarely produced by direct dating of land emergence; rather, most rely on the presence of radiocarbon-datable organic material and inferences made between the age of sedimentary deposits and landforms indicative of former sea level. Here, we demonstrate a new approach, 10Be dating, to determine rates of postglacial land emergence in two different settings. In southern Greenland (Narsarsuaq/Igaliku), we date directly the exposure, as relative sea level fell, of gravel beaches and rocky outcrops allowing determination of rapid, post–Younger Dryas emergence. In western Greenland (Kangerlussuaq), we constrain Holocene isostatic response by dating the sequential stripping of terrace sediment driven by land-surface uplift, relative sea-level fall, and resulting fluvial incision. The technique we employ provides high temporal and elevation resolution important for quantifying rapid emergence immediately after deglaciation and less rapid uplift during the middle Holocene. 10Be-constrained emergence curves can improve knowledge of relative sea-level change by dating land emergence along rocky coasts, at elevations and locations where radiocarbon-datable sediments are not present, and without the lag time needed for organic material to accumulate.
Exercise and physical training are known to affect gastrointestinal function and digestibility in horses and can lead to inaccurate estimates of nutrient and energy digestibility when markers are used. The effect of exercise on apparent nutrient digestibility and faecal recoveries of ADL and TiO2 was studied in six Welsh pony geldings subjected to either a low- (LI) or high-intensity (HI) exercise regime according to a cross-over design. Ponies performing LI exercise were walked once per day for 45 min in a horse walker (5 km/h) for 47 consecutive days. Ponies submitted to HI exercise were gradually trained for the same 47 days according a standardized protocol. Throughout the experiment, the ponies received a fixed level of feed and the daily rations consisted of 4.7 kg DM of grass hay and 0.95 kg DM of concentrate. The diet was supplemented with minerals, vitamins and TiO2 (3.0 g Ti/day). Total tract digestibility of DM, organic matter (OM), CP, crude fat, NDF, ADF, starch, sugar and energy was determined with the total faeces collection (TFC) method. In addition, DM and OM digestibility was estimated using internal ADL and the externally supplemented Ti as markers. Urine was collected on the final 2 days of each experimental period. Exercise did not affect apparent digestibility of CP, crude fat, starch and sugar. Digestibility of DM (DMD), OM (OMD), ADF and NDF tended to be lower and DE was decreased when ponies received the HI exercise regime. For all treatments combined, mean faecal recoveries of ADL and Ti were 87.8±1.7% and 99.3±1.7%, respectively. Ti was not detected in the urine, indicating that intestinal integrity was maintained with exercise. Dry matter digestibility estimated with the TFC, ADL and Ti for ponies subjected to LI exercise were 66.3%, 60.3% and 64.8%, respectively, while DMD for HI ponies were 64.2%, 60.3% and 65.2%, respectively. In conclusion, physical exercise has an influence on the GE digestibility of the feed in ponies provided with equivalent levels of feed intake. In addition, the two markers used for estimating apparent DMD and OMD indicate that externally supplemented Ti is a suitable marker to determine digestibility of nutrients in horses performing exercise unlike dietary ADL.
Simulation models are used widely in pharmacology, epidemiology and health economics (HEs). However, there have been no attempts to incorporate models from these disciplines into a single integrated model. Accordingly, we explored this linkage to evaluate the epidemiological and economic impact of oseltamivir dose optimisation in supporting pandemic influenza planning in the USA. An HE decision analytic model was linked to a pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) – dynamic transmission model simulating the impact of pandemic influenza with low virulence and low transmissibility and, high virulence and high transmissibility. The cost-utility analysis was from the payer and societal perspectives, comparing oseltamivir 75 and 150 mg twice daily (BID) to no treatment over a 1-year time horizon. Model parameters were derived from published studies. Outcomes were measured as cost per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained. Sensitivity analyses were performed to examine the integrated model's robustness. Under both pandemic scenarios, compared to no treatment, the use of oseltamivir 75 or 150 mg BID led to a significant reduction of influenza episodes and influenza-related deaths, translating to substantial savings of QALYs. Overall drug costs were offset by the reduction of both direct and indirect costs, making these two interventions cost-saving from both perspectives. The results were sensitive to the proportion of inpatient presentation at the emergency visit and patients’ quality of life. Integrating PK/PD–EPI/HE models is achievable. Whilst further refinement of this novel linkage model to more closely mimic the reality is needed, the current study has generated useful insights to support influenza pandemic planning.
A substantial proportion of persons with mental disorders seek treatment from complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professionals. However, data on how CAM contacts vary across countries, mental disorders and their severity, and health care settings is largely lacking. The aim was therefore to investigate the prevalence of contacts with CAM providers in a large cross-national sample of persons with 12-month mental disorders.
In the World Mental Health Surveys, the Composite International Diagnostic Interview was administered to determine the presence of past 12 month mental disorders in 138 801 participants aged 18–100 derived from representative general population samples. Participants were recruited between 2001 and 2012. Rates of self-reported CAM contacts for each of the 28 surveys across 25 countries and 12 mental disorder groups were calculated for all persons with past 12-month mental disorders. Mental disorders were grouped into mood disorders, anxiety disorders or behavioural disorders, and further divided by severity levels. Satisfaction with conventional care was also compared with CAM contact satisfaction.
An estimated 3.6% (standard error 0.2%) of persons with a past 12-month mental disorder reported a CAM contact, which was two times higher in high-income countries (4.6%; standard error 0.3%) than in low- and middle-income countries (2.3%; standard error 0.2%). CAM contacts were largely comparable for different disorder types, but particularly high in persons receiving conventional care (8.6–17.8%). CAM contacts increased with increasing mental disorder severity. Among persons receiving specialist mental health care, CAM contacts were reported by 14.0% for severe mood disorders, 16.2% for severe anxiety disorders and 22.5% for severe behavioural disorders. Satisfaction with care was comparable with respect to CAM contacts (78.3%) and conventional care (75.6%) in persons that received both.
CAM contacts are common in persons with severe mental disorders, in high-income countries, and in persons receiving conventional care. Our findings support the notion of CAM as largely complementary but are in contrast to suggestions that this concerns person with only mild, transient complaints. There was no indication that persons were less satisfied by CAM visits than by receiving conventional care. We encourage health care professionals in conventional settings to openly discuss the care patients are receiving, whether conventional or not, and their reasons for doing so.
The treatment gap between the number of people with mental disorders and the number treated represents a major public health challenge. We examine this gap by socio-economic status (SES; indicated by family income and respondent education) and service sector in a cross-national analysis of community epidemiological survey data.
Data come from 16 753 respondents with 12-month DSM-IV disorders from community surveys in 25 countries in the WHO World Mental Health Survey Initiative. DSM-IV anxiety, mood, or substance disorders and treatment of these disorders were assessed with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
Only 13.7% of 12-month DSM-IV/CIDI cases in lower-middle-income countries, 22.0% in upper-middle-income countries, and 36.8% in high-income countries received treatment. Highest-SES respondents were somewhat more likely to receive treatment, but this was true mostly for specialty mental health treatment, where the association was positive with education (highest treatment among respondents with the highest education and a weak association of education with treatment among other respondents) but non-monotonic with income (somewhat lower treatment rates among middle-income respondents and equivalent among those with high and low incomes).
The modest, but nonetheless stronger, an association of education than income with treatment raises questions about a financial barriers interpretation of the inverse association of SES with treatment, although future within-country analyses that consider contextual factors might document other important specifications. While beyond the scope of this report, such an expanded analysis could have important implications for designing interventions aimed at increasing mental disorder treatment among socio-economically disadvantaged people.
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.
Little is known about Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in Asia. The aims of our study were to explore (i) the prevalence, risk factors and molecular epidemiology of CDI and colonization in a tertiary academic hospital in North-Eastern Peninsular Malaysia; (ii) the rate of carriage of C. difficile among the elderly in the region; (iii) the awareness level of this infection among the hospital staffs and students. For stool samples collected from hospital inpatients with diarrhea (n = 76) and healthy community members (n = 138), C. difficile antigen and toxins were tested by enzyme immunoassay. Stool samples were subsequently analyzed by culture and molecular detection of toxin genes, and PCR ribotyping of isolates. To examine awareness among hospital staff and students, participants were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire. For the hospital and community studies, the prevalence of non-toxigenic C. difficile colonization was 16% and 2%, respectively. The prevalence of CDI among hospital inpatients with diarrhea was 13%. Out of 22 C. difficile strains from hospital inpatients, the toxigenic ribotypes 043 and 017 were most common (both 14%). In univariate analysis, C. difficile colonization in hospital inpatients was significantly associated with greater duration of hospitalization and use of penicillin (both P < 0·05). Absence of these factors was a possible reason for low colonization in the community. Only 3% of 154 respondents answered all questions correctly in the awareness survey. C. difficile colonization is prevalent in a Malaysian hospital setting but not in the elderly community with little or no contact with hospitals. Awareness of CDI is alarmingly poor.
In 2013, New York State mandated that, during influenza season, unvaccinated healthcare personnel (HCP) wear a surgical mask in areas where patients are typically present. We found that this mandate was associated with increased HCP vaccination and decreased HCP visits to the hospital Workforce Health and Safety Department with respiratory illnesses and laboratory-confirmed influenza.
We estimated the heritabilities (h2) and genetic and phenotypic correlations among individual and groups of fatty acids, as well as their correlations with six important carcass and meat-quality traits in Korean Hanwoo cattle. Meat samples were collected from the longissimus dorsi muscles of 1000 Hanwoo steers that were 30-month-old (progeny of 85 proven Hanwoo bulls) to determine intramuscular fatty acid profiles. Phenotypic data on carcass weight (CWT), eye muscle area (EMA), back fat thickness (BFT), marbling score (MS), Warner–Bratzler shear force (WBSF) and intramuscular fat content (IMF) were also investigated using this half-sib population. Variance and covari.ance components were estimated using restricted maximum likelihood procedures under univariate and pairwise bivariate animal models. Oleic acid (C18:1n-9) was the most abundant fatty acid, accounting for 50.69% of all investigated fatty acids, followed by palmitic (C16:0; 27.33%) and stearic acid (C18:0; 10.96%). The contents of saturated fatty acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were 41.64%, 56.24% and 2.10%, respectively, and the MUFA/SFA ratio, PUFA/SFA ratio, desaturation index (DI) and elongation index (EI) were 1.36, 0.05, 0.59 and 0.66, respectively. The h2 estimates for individual fatty acids ranged from very low to high (0.03±0.14 to 0.63±0.14). The h2 estimates for SFAs, MUFAs, PUFAs, DI and EI were 0.53±0.14, 0.49±0.14, 0.23±0.10, 0.51±0.13 and 0.53±0.13, respectively. The genetic and phenotypic correlations among individual fatty acids and fatty acid classes varied widely (−0.99 to 0.99). Notably, C18:1n-9 had favourable (negative) genetic correlations with two detrimental fatty acids, C14:0 (−0.76) and C16:0 (−0.92). Genetic correlations of individual and group fatty acids with CWT, EMA, BFT, MS, WBSF and IMF ranged from low to moderate (both positive and negative) with the exception of low-concentration PUFAs. Low or near-zero phenotypic correlations reflected potential non-genetic contributions. This study provides insights on genetic variability and correlations among intramuscular fatty acids as well as correlations between fatty acids and carcass and meat-quality traits, which could be used in Hanwoo breeding programmes to improve fatty acid compositions in meat.
This study aimed to identify the effect of lateral neck dissection on voice change in thyroidectomised patients.
Medical records from 264 patients who underwent thyroidectomy with (n = 65) or without (n = 199) lateral neck dissection were reviewed. Clinical and voice evaluation data were compared between the two groups.
Patients who underwent surgery that included lateral neck dissection had lower fundamental frequencies and speaking fundamental frequencies. They also had a higher incidence of asymmetric mucosal wave and vocal fold oedema on videostroboscopy during the first month after surgery, with the incidence of vocal fold oedema remaining significantly higher at three months. Self-assessed voice quality scores were significantly higher in lateral neck dissection patients at both one and three months after surgery.
In thyroidectomised patients, lateral neck dissection lowers the vocal pitch in the initial period after surgery and induces vocal fold oedema that persists for several months. Although most objective parameters improved within a month, subjective symptoms lasted for longer.