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Sierra Leone is the country with highest maternal mortality and infections are the underlying cause in 11% of maternal deaths, but the real burden remains unknown. This study aims to determine the incidence and risk factors of surgical site infection (SSI) post-caesarean section (CS) in women admitted to Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) in Freetown, Sierra Leone. A prospective case–control (1:3 ratio) study was implemented from 1 May 2018 to 30 April 2019 and 11 women presenting with suspected or confirmed infection post-CS were screened for inclusion as a case. For each case, three patients undergoing CS on the same day and admitted to the same ward, but not presenting with SSI, were selected as controls. The post-CS infection rate was 10.9%. Two hundred and fifty-four clinically confirmed cases were enrolled and matched with 762 control patients. By multivariable analysis, the risk factors for SSI were: being single (odds ratio (OR) 1.48, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.36–1.66), low education level (OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.55–1.84), previous CS (OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.10–1.52), presenting with premature membranes rupture (OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.18–1.88), a long decision–incision time (OR 2.08, 95% CI 1.74–2.24) and a high missing post-CS antibiotic doses rate (OR 2.52, 95% CI 2.10–2.85).
Habitat loss and fragmentation are major threats to biodiversity worldwide, and little is known about their effects on bats in Africa. We investigated effects of forest fragmentation on bat assemblages at Kakamega Forest, western Kenya, examining captures at edge and interior locations in three forest fragments (Buyangu, 3950 ha; Kisere, 400 ha; and Malava, 100 ha) varying in forest area and human-use regimes. Basal area, canopy cover, tree density and intensity of human use were used as predictors of bat abundance and species richness. A total of 3456 mist-net hours and 3168 harp-trap hours resulted in the capture of 4983 bats representing 26 species, eight families and four foraging ensembles (frugivores, forest-interior insectivores, forest-edge insectivores and open-space insectivores). Frugivores were frequently captured at the edges of the larger, better-protected forests, but also in the interior of the smaller, more open fragment. Forest-interior insectivores and narrow-space foragers predominated in the interiors of larger fragments but avoided the smallest one. Forest specialists showed positive associations with forest variables (canopy cover, basal area and tree density), whereas frugivores responded positively to the human-use indicators. On these bases, specialist species appear to be especially vulnerable to forest fragmentation.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
Determining infectious cross-transmission events in healthcare settings involves manual surveillance of case clusters by infection control personnel, followed by strain typing of clinical/environmental isolates suspected in said clusters. Recent advances in genomic sequencing and cloud computing now allow for the rapid molecular typing of infecting isolates.
To facilitate rapid recognition of transmission clusters, we aimed to assess infection control surveillance using whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of microbial pathogens to identify cross-transmission events for epidemiologic review.
Clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae were obtained prospectively at an academic medical center, from September 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017. Isolate genomes were sequenced, followed by single-nucleotide variant analysis; a cloud-computing platform was used for whole-genome sequence analysis and cluster identification.
Most strains of the 4 studied pathogens were unrelated, and 34 potential transmission clusters were present. The characteristics of the potential clusters were complex and likely not identifiable by traditional surveillance alone. Notably, only 1 cluster had been suspected by routine manual surveillance.
Our work supports the assertion that integration of genomic and clinical epidemiologic data can augment infection control surveillance for both the identification of cross-transmission events and the inclusion of missed and exclusion of misidentified outbreaks (ie, false alarms). The integration of clinical data is essential to prioritize suspect clusters for investigation, and for existing infections, a timely review of both the clinical and WGS results can hold promise to reduce HAIs. A richer understanding of cross-transmission events within healthcare settings will require the expansion of current surveillance approaches.
Objectives: Prior research has identified numerous genetic (including sex), education, health, and lifestyle factors that predict cognitive decline. Traditional model selection approaches (e.g., backward or stepwise selection) attempt to find one model that best fits the observed data, risking interpretations that only the selected predictors are important. In reality, several predictor combinations may fit similarly well but result in different conclusions (e.g., about size and significance of parameter estimates). In this study, we describe an alternative method, Information-Theoretic (IT) model averaging, and apply it to characterize a set of complex interactions in a longitudinal study on cognitive decline. Methods: Here, we used longitudinal cognitive data from 1256 late–middle aged adults from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention study to examine the effects of sex, apolipoprotein E (APOE) ɛ4 allele (non-modifiable factors), and literacy achievement (modifiable) on cognitive decline. For each outcome, we applied IT model averaging to a set of models with different combinations of interactions among sex, APOE, literacy, and age. Results: For a list-learning test, model-averaged results showed better performance for women versus men, with faster decline among men; increased literacy was associated with better performance, particularly among men. APOE had less of an association with cognitive performance in this age range (∼40–70 years). Conclusions: These results illustrate the utility of the IT approach and point to literacy as a potential modifier of cognitive decline. Whether the protective effect of literacy is due to educational attainment or intrinsic verbal intellectual ability is the topic of ongoing work. (JINS, 2019, 25, 119–133)
Objectives: A major challenge in cognitive aging is differentiating preclinical disease-related cognitive decline from changes associated with normal aging. Neuropsychological test authors typically publish single time-point norms, referred to here as unconditional reference values. However, detecting significant change requires longitudinal, or conditional reference values, created by modeling cognition as a function of prior performance. Our objectives were to create, depict, and examine preliminary validity of unconditional and conditional reference values for ages 40–75 years on neuropsychological tests. Method: We used quantile regression to create growth-curve–like models of performance on tests of memory and executive function using participants from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention. Unconditional and conditional models accounted for age, sex, education, and verbal ability/literacy; conditional models also included past performance on and number of prior exposures to the test. Models were then used to estimate individuals’ unconditional and conditional percentile ranks for each test. We examined how low performance on each test (operationalized as <7th percentile) related to consensus-conference–determined cognitive statuses and subjective impairment. Results: Participants with low performance were more likely to receive an abnormal cognitive diagnosis at the current visit (but not later visits). Low performance was also linked to subjective and informant reports of worsening memory function. Conclusions: The percentile-based methods and single-test results described here show potential for detecting troublesome within-person cognitive change. Development of reference values for additional cognitive measures, investigation of alternative thresholds for abnormality (including multi-test criteria), and validation in samples with more clinical endpoints are needed. (JINS, 2019, 25, 1–14)
The low-mass end of the initial mass function remains poorly understood. In this mass range, very low-mass stars, brown dwarfs, and massive planets are able to form through a variety of physical processes. Here, we study the long-term evolution of disk-fragmented systems around low-mass stars, for the epoch up to 10 Myr (the typical lifetime of an embedded cluster) and up to 10 Gyr (the age of the Milky Way). We carry out N-body simulations to study the decay of disk-fragmented systems and the resulting end products. Our simulations indicate rapid decay and frequent physical collisions during the first 10 Myr. We find that disk fragmentation provides a viable mechanism for explaining hierarchical triple systems, the brown dwarf desert, single and binary brown dwarfs, and very low-mass binary systems in the solar neighbourhood.
The earliest phases of star formation are characterised by intense mass accretion from the circumstellar disk to the central star. One group of young stellar objects, the FU Orionis-type stars exhibit accretion rate peaks accompanied by bright eruptions. The occurance of these outbursts might solve the luminosity problem of protostars, play a key role in accumulating the final star mass, and have a significant effect on the parameters of the envelope and the disk. In the framework of the Structured Accretion Disks ERC project, we are conducting a systematic investigation of these sources with millimeter interferometry to examine whether they represent normal young stars in exceptional times or they are unusual objects. Our results show that FU Orionis-type stars can be similar to both Class I and Class II systems and may be in a special evolutionary phase between the two classes with their infall-driven episodic eruptions being the main driving force of the transition.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
The Working Party has produced this report in order to prompt readers to engage at an early stage in InsurTech projects, through considering (i) the full range of risks associated with InsurTech developments, (ii) the lifecycle of an InsurTech venture and how any risk considerations may vary over this lifecycle and (iii) the extent to which InsurTech ventures align with risk strategy and risk appetite.
The report contains practical guidance for actuaries, risk professionals, insurance companies and their Boards on these considerations, and can be used to facilitate appropriate questioning, to help ensure that InsurTech-related business decisions are fully cognisant of the risk management issues and to help ensure the success of projects.
The Working Party developed this guidance having carried out an industry survey on a number of risk management topics relating to InsurTech, as well as having carried out interviews with a number of relevant senior stakeholders across the insurance industry, in order to better understand current sentiment and how risk management plays a part when considering opportunities in InsurTech. The Working Party views on the findings from these activities are summarised in the report.
Burn patients are particularly vulnerable to infection, and an estimated half of all burn deaths are due to infections. This study explored risk factors for healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in adult burn patients.
Retrospective cohort study.
Tertiary-care burn center.
Adults (≥18 years old) admitted with burn injury for at least 2 days between 2004 and 2013.
HAIs were determined in real-time by infection preventionists using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate the direct effect of each risk factor on time to HAI, with inverse probability of censor weights to address potentially informative censoring. Effect measure modification by burn size was also assessed.
Overall, 4,426 patients met inclusion criteria, and 349 (7.9%) patients had at least 1 HAI within 60 days of admission. Compared to <5% total body surface area (TBSA), patients with 5%–10% TBSA were almost 3 times as likely to acquire an HAI (hazard ratio [HR], 2.92; 95% CI, 1.63–5.23); patients with 10%–20% TBSA were >6 times as likely to acquire an HAI (HR, 6.38; 95% CI, 3.64–11.17); and patients with >20% TBSA were >10 times as likely to acquire an HAI (HR, 10.33; 95% CI, 5.74–18.60). Patients with inhalational injury were 1.5 times as likely to acquire an HAI (HR, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.17–2.22). The effect of inhalational injury (P=.09) appeared to be larger among patients with ≤20% TBSA.
Larger burns and inhalational injury were associated with increased incidence of HAIs. Future research should use these risk factors to identify potential interventions.
Elevated body mass index (BMI) is associated with increased multi-morbidity and mortality. The investigation of the relationship between BMI and brain organization has the potential to provide new insights relevant to clinical and policy strategies for weight control. Here, we quantified the effect of BMI on the functional connectivity of the Default-Mode (DMN), Central Executive (CEN), Sensorimotor (SMN) and Visual (VN) networks in 496 healthy individuals that were studied as part of the Human Connectome Project. We found that elevated BMI was associated with disrupted functional integration of sensory-guided (SMN, VN) with internally controlled (DMN, CEN) networks, implicating increased attention to sensory stimuli as a possible mechanism underpinning overeating and weight gain. Our results suggest that weight control strategies should expand to include wider societal policies that incorporate modifications to eating environments and to the visual presentation and branding of food products.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
The existence of a frontotemporal dementia phenocopy (phFTD) syndrome remains controversial. Opinions differ on whether the phenocopy presentation represents the neuropsychological manifestation of a mid-life decompensation in vulnerable pre-morbid personalities or an indolent prodrome of behavioral-variant FTD (bvFTD). Literature on this topic is sparse and clinicians and patients have little guidance around prognosis and management.
To describe the demographic, neuropsychological and biomarker profiles of a case series of phFTD patients, attending the memory clinic and review relevant literature.
Retrospective review of all cases diagnosed with phFTD.
Eleven cases were identified (male = 9, female = 2). Mean age 55.8 years. Subjective complaints comprised memory and language difficulties. Collateral reports described apathy, aggression, impulsivity, disinhibition, hyperorality. Function was relatively preserved though motivation or supervision for higher-level tasks was sometimes required. All had non-neurodegenerative MRI and PET scans. Neuropsychological test (NPT) findings predominantly showed executive dysfunction and fluency impairment. A total of 3/11 had non-amnestic memory impairment. Follow-up imaging and NPT were invariably unchanged; 1/11 had a pre-morbid psychiatric diagnosis; 5/11 had unusual personality traits pre-morbidly. Major psychosocial stressors were documented in 7/11. Management consisted of psychosocial interventions to support function and interpersonal relationships.
The literature describes the phFTD syndrome as predominantly affecting males though we include 2 females who meet the criteria. In keeping with our findings, personality traits and psychosocial stressors may be more common in phFTD than bvFTD. More severe symptoms, memory impairment at presentation and C9ORF72 gene mutation may predict eventual progression. Those who do not progress have minimal long-term functional impairment though behavioral symptoms persist.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
This chapter will equip readers with the information required to screen and assess arsonists effectively using a number of modalities. The appropriate tools are presented and discussed, along with the evidence base underlying them. The focus of the discussion is on risk assessment, recidivism and dangerousness. In particular, these issues are discussed with reference to mental health and psychiatric patients as arsonists. The terms ‘arson’ and ‘firesetting’ will be used interchangeably throughout this chapter; the term ‘arson’ is commonly acknowledged to have a legal definition, while firesetting describes the behaviour itself.
The process of assessing firesetters is tricky but perhaps not for the reason one might think initially. Firesetters are not especially distinct across many variables when compared with other types of offender. While they share more commonalities with property offenders than with violent offenders (Quinsey et al, 2006), the typical profile of an arsonist reveals a similar pattern of social and economic disadvantage to most criminals (Hurley & Monahan, 1969; Tennent et al, 1971; O'sullivan & Kelleher, 1987; Barnett & Spitzer, 1994; Puri et al, 1995). However, unlike with some other types of offender (notably sex and violent offenders), the psychology of arsonists has not been the subject of extensive exploration, although interest is certainly growing. One of the consequences of this lack of attention is that arson-specific assessment protocols have not yet been fully developed. Work is progressing it seems more rapidly in the area of juvenile assessment (McEwan et al, in press; Fritzon et al, 2011) than in adult assessment (Gannon & Pina, 2010), but there remains a lack of empirical testing of any proposed protocols. The general principles of forensic mental health assessments are adequately addressed elsewhere (see Heilbrun et al, 2009). Accordingly, this chapter addresses those instruments currently available which may be useful for arson risk assessment. A key focus of the discussion is on exploring for inclusion in assessments aspects of risk of arson recidivism and level of harm, as well as issues relevant for assessing arsonists before treatment.
The chapter makes some of the same assumptions that have been criticised elsewhere. Specifically, in discussing the issue of assessment of firesetters we are treating the population as a homogeneous group.
Meals high in SFA, particularly palmitate, are associated with postprandial inflammation and insulin resistance. Milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) has anti-inflammatory properties that may attenuate the negative effects of SFA-rich meals. Our objective was to examine the postprandial metabolic and inflammatory response to a high-fat meal composed of palm oil (PO) compared with PO with an added dairy fraction rich in MFGM (PO+MFGM) in overweight and obese men and women (n 36) in a randomised, double-blinded, cross-over trial. Participants consumed two isoenergetic high-fat meals composed of a smoothie enriched with PO with v. without a cream-derived complex milk lipid fraction ( dairy fraction rich in MFGM) separated by a washout of 1–2 weeks. Serum cytokines, adhesion molecules, cortisol and markers of inflammation were measured at fasting, and at 1, 3 and 6 h postprandially. Glucose, insulin and lipid profiles were analysed in plasma. Consumption of the PO + MFGM v. PO meal resulted in lower total cholesterol (P = 0·021), LDL-cholesterol (P = 0·046), soluble intracellular adhesion molecule (P = 0·005) and insulin (P = 0·005) incremental AUC, and increased IL-10 (P = 0·013). Individuals with high baseline C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations (≥3 mg/l, n 17) had higher (P = 0·030) insulin at 1 h after the PO meal than individuals with CRP concentrations <3 mg/l (n 19). The addition of MFGM attenuated this difference between CRP groups. The addition of a dairy fraction rich in MFGM attenuated the negative effects of a high-SFA meal by reducing postprandial cholesterol, inflammatory markers and insulin response in overweight and obese individuals, particularly in those with elevated CRP.
Dietary recommendations suggest decreased consumption of SFA to minimise CVD risk; however, not all foods rich in SFA are equivalent. To evaluate the effects of SFA in a dairy food matrix, as Cheddar cheese, v. SFA from a vegan-alternative test meal on postprandial inflammatory markers, a randomised controlled cross-over trial was conducted in twenty overweight or obese adults with metabolic abnormalities. Individuals consumed two isoenergetic high-fat mixed meals separated by a 1- to 2-week washout period. Serum was collected at baseline, and at 1, 3 and 6 h postprandially and analysed for inflammatory markers (IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-17, IL-18, TNFα, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1)), acute-phase proteins C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum amyloid-A (SAA), cellular adhesion molecules and blood lipids, glucose and insulin. Following both high-fat test meals, postprandial TAG concentrations rose steadily (P < 0·05) without a decrease by 6 h. The incremental AUC (iAUC) for CRP was significantly lower (P < 0·05) in response to the cheese compared with the vegan-alternative test meal. A treatment effect was not observed for any other inflammatory markers; however, for both test meals, multiple markers significantly changed from baseline over the 6 h postprandial period (IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, TNFα, MCP-1, SAA). Saturated fat in the form of a cheese matrix reduced the iAUC for CRP compared with a vegan-alternative test meal during the postprandial 6 h period. The study is registered at clinicaltrials.gov under NCT01803633.
Accretion of gas from the cosmic web to galaxy halos and ultimately their disks is a prediction of modern cosmological models but is rarely observed directly or at the full rate expected from star formation. Here we illustrate possible large-scale cosmic HI accretion onto the nearby dwarf starburst galaxy IC10, observed with the VLA and GBT. We also suggest that cosmic accretion is the origin of sharp metallicity drops in the starburst regions of other dwarf galaxies, as observed with the 10-m GTC. Finally, we question the importance of cosmic accretion in normal dwarf irregulars, for which a recent study of their far-outer regions sees no need for, or evidence of, continuing gas buildup.