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Numerous studies have demonstrated that genetic and environmental factors interact to influence alcohol problems. Yet prior research has primarily focused on samples of European descent and little is known about gene–environment interactions in relation to alcohol problems in non-European populations. In this study, we examined whether and how genetic risk for alcohol problems and peer deviance and interpersonal traumatic events independently and interactively influence trajectories of alcohol use disorder symptoms in a sample of African American students across the college years (N = 1,119; Mage = 18.44 years). Data were drawn from the Spit for Science study where participants completed multiple online surveys throughout college and provided a saliva sample for genotyping. Multilevel growth curve analyses indicated that alcohol dependence genome-wide polygenic risk scores did not predict trajectory of alcohol use disorder symptoms, while family history of alcohol problems was associated with alcohol use disorder symptoms at the start of college but not with the rate of change in symptoms over time. Peer deviance and interpersonal traumatic events were associated with more alcohol use disorder symptoms across college years. Neither alcohol dependence genome-wide polygenic risk scores nor family history of alcohol problems moderated the effects of these environmental risk factors on alcohol use disorder symptoms. Our findings indicated that peer deviance and experience of interpersonal traumatic events are salient risk factors that elevate risk for alcohol problems among African American college students. Family history of alcohol problems could be a useful indicator of genetic risk for alcohol problems. Gene identification efforts with much larger samples of African descent are needed to better characterize genetic risk for alcohol use disorders, in order to better understand gene–environment interaction processes in this understudied population.
Genetic predispositions play an important role in the development of internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Understanding the mechanisms through which genetic risk unfolds to influence these developmental outcomes is critical for developing prevention and intervention efforts, capturing key elements of Irv's research agenda and scientific legacy. In this study, we examined the role of parenting and personality in mediating the effect of genetic risk on adolescents’ major depressive disorder and conduct disorder symptoms. Longitudinal data were drawn from a sample of 709 European American adolescents and their mothers from the Collaborative Studies on Genetics of Alcoholism. Results from multivariate path analysis indicated that adolescents’ depressive symptoms genome-wide polygenic scores (DS_GPS) predicted lower parental knowledge, which in turn was associated with more subsequent major depressive disorder and conduct disorder symptoms. Adolescents’ DS_GPS also had indirect effects on these outcomes via personality, with a mediating effect via agreeableness but not via other dimensions of personality. Findings revealed that the pattern of associations was similar across adolescent gender. Our findings emphasize the important role of evocative gene–environment correlation processes and intermediate phenotypes in the pathways of risk from genetic predispositions to complex adolescent outcomes.
One of Irving I. Gottesman's many contributions to behavior genetics, and part of his enduring legacy, was his introduction of the term ‘endophenotype’ to the field of psychiatry. Gottesman argued that focusing on endophenotypes, rather than complex heterogeneous clinical diagnoses, could help elucidate disease etiology. Although a different strategy for gene identification ultimately proved successful (that of amassing extremely large sample sizes in order to overcome the ‘noise’ of heterogeneity and have sufficient power to find genes of very small effect), the endophenotype concept continues to make a meaningful contribution to the field. The endophenotype concept forced the field to move beyond a simple disease model of finding genes ‘for’ psychiatric outcomes, and reminded us that genes are quite distal from complex behavioral outcomes and disorders. Endophenotypes called our attention to the steps along that pathway. In that process, the concept of endophenotypes evolved and expanded to include discussion of the role that other intermediary traits and psychological processes play in the development and genetic etiology of psychiatric and substance use disorders. As large-scale consortia continues to identify genes and generate genome-wide polygenic scores that are associated with behavioral outcomes, the next important step will be to characterize the pathways and mechanisms by which genetic risk unfolds. This essential step of mapping risk from genes to behavior is an evolution that follows naturally from the endophenotype concept, and could ultimately translate into improved prevention and intervention for individuals who are pre-disposed to mental health challenges.
Identifying genetic relationships between complex traits in emerging adulthood can provide useful etiological insights into risk for psychopathology. College-age individuals are under-represented in genomic analyses thus far, and the majority of work has focused on the clinical disorder or cognitive abilities rather than normal-range behavioral outcomes.
This study examined a sample of emerging adults 18–22 years of age (N = 5947) to construct an atlas of polygenic risk for 33 traits predicting relevant phenotypic outcomes. Twenty-eight hypotheses were tested based on the previous literature on samples of European ancestry, and the availability of rich assessment data allowed for polygenic predictions across 55 psychological and medical phenotypes.
Polygenic risk for schizophrenia (SZ) in emerging adults predicted anxiety, depression, nicotine use, trauma, and family history of psychological disorders. Polygenic risk for neuroticism predicted anxiety, depression, phobia, panic, neuroticism, and was correlated with polygenic risk for cardiovascular disease.
These results demonstrate the extensive impact of genetic risk for SZ, neuroticism, and major depression on a range of health outcomes in early adulthood. Minimal cross-ancestry replication of these phenomic patterns of polygenic influence underscores the need for more genome-wide association studies of non-European populations.
The current study used data from two longitudinal samples to test whether self-regulation, depressive symptoms, and aggression/antisociality were mediators in the relation between a polygenic score indexing serotonin (5-HT) functioning and alcohol use in adolescence. The results from an independent genome-wide association study of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid in the cerebrospinal fluid were used to create 5-HT polygenic risk scores. Adolescents and/or parents reported on adolescents’ self-regulation (Time 1), depressive symptoms (Time 2), aggression/antisociality (Time 2), and alcohol use (Time 3). The results showed that 5-HT polygenic risk did not predict self-regulation. However, adolescents with higher levels of 5-HT polygenic risk showed greater depression and aggression/antisociality. Adolescents’ aggression/antisociality mediated the relation between 5-HT polygenic risk and later alcohol use. Deficits in self-regulation also predicted depression and aggression/antisociality, and indirectly predicted alcohol use through aggression/antisociality. Pathways to alcohol use were especially salient for males from families with low parental education in one of the two samples. The results provide insights into the longitudinal mechanisms underlying the relation between 5-HT functioning and alcohol use (i.e., earlier aggression/antisociality). There was no evidence that genetically based variation in 5-HT functioning predisposed individuals to deficits in self-regulation. Genetically based variation in 5-HT functioning and self-regulation might be separate, transdiagnostic risk factors for several types of psychopathology.
Early maturation, indexed by pubertal development (PD), has been associated with earlier initiation and greater frequency of adolescent substance use, but this relationship may be biased by confounding factors and effects that change across development. Using a population-based Finnish twin sample (N = 3,632 individuals), we conducted twin modeling and multilevel structural equation modeling of the relationship between PD and substance use at ages 12–22. Shared environmental factors contributed to early PD and heavier substance use for females. Biological father absence was associated with early PD for boys but not girls, and did not account for the relationship between PD and substance use. The association between early PD and heavier substance use was partially due to between-family confounds, although early PD appeared to qualitatively alter long-term trajectories for some substances (nicotine), but not others (alcohol). Mediation by peer and parental factors did not explain this relationship within families. However, higher peer substance use and lower parental monitoring were themselves associated with heavier substance use, strengthening the existing evidence for these factors as targets for prevention/intervention efforts. Early maturation was not supported as a robust determinant of alcohol use trajectories in adolescence and young adulthood, but may require longer term follow-up. Subtle effects of early PD on nicotine and illicit drug use trajectories throughout adolescence and adulthood merit further investigation.
Comorbidity of internalizing and externalizing problems and its risk and protective factors have not been well incorporated into developmental research, especially among racial minority youth from high-poverty neighborhoods. The present study identified a latent comorbid factor as well as specific factors underlying internalizing and externalizing problems among 592 African American adolescents living in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods (291 male; M age = 15.9 years, SD = 1.43 years). Stressful life events and racial discrimination were associated with higher comorbid problems, whereas stressful life events and exposure to violence were associated with higher specific externalizing problems. Collective efficacy was associated with both lower specific externalizing problems and lower comorbid problems. Moreover, high collective efficacy buffered the risk effects of stressful life events and racial discrimination on comorbid problems. Our results demonstrated the advantages of latent variable modeling to understanding comorbidity by articulating impacts of risk factors on comorbid and specific components underlying internalizing and externalizing problems. They also highlighted the protective effect of collective efficacy in mitigating risks for these problems. Broadly, these findings call for more studies on comorbidities in developmental psychopathology among youth from diverse sociocultural backgrounds.
Comorbidity of internalizing and externalizing problems and its risk and protective factors have not been well incorporated into developmental research, especially among racial minority youth from high-poverty neighborhoods. The present study identified a latent comorbid factor as well as specific factors underlying internalizing and externalizing problems among 592 African American adolescents living in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods (291 male; M age = 15.9 years, SD = 1.43 years). Stressful life events and racial discrimination were associated with higher comorbid problems, whereas stressful life events and exposure to violence were associated with higher specific externalizing problems. Collective efficacy was associated with both lower specific externalizing problems and lower comorbid problems. Moreover, high collective efficacy buffered the risk effects of stressful life events and racial discrimination on comorbid problems. Our results demonstrated the advantages of latent variable modeling to understanding comorbidity by articulating impacts of risk factors on comorbid and specific components underlying internalizing and externalizing problems. They also highlighted the protective effect of collective efficacy in mitigating risks for these problems. These findings broadly call for more studies on comorbidities in developmental psychopathology among youth from diverse sociocultural backgrounds.
To evaluate the impact of multidrug-resistant gram-negative rod (MDR-GNR) infections on mortality and healthcare resource utilization in community hospitals.
Two matched case-control analyses.
Six community hospitals participating in the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network from January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2012.
Adult patients admitted to study hospitals during the study period.
Patients with MDR-GNR bloodstream and urinary tract infections were compared with 2 groups: (1) patients with infections due to nonMDR-GNR and (2) control patients representative of the nonpsychiatric, non-obstetric hospitalized population. Four outcomes were assessed: mortality, direct cost of hospitalization, length of stay, and 30-day readmission rates. Multivariable regression models were created to estimate the effect of MDR status on each outcome measure.
No mortality difference was seen in either analysis. Patients with MDR-GNR infections had 2.03 higher odds of 30-day readmission compared with patients with nonMDR-GNR infections (95% CI, 1.04–3.97, P=.04). There was no difference in hospital direct costs between patients with MDR-GNR infections and patients with nonMDR-GNR infections. Hospitalizations for patients with MDR-GNR infections cost $5,320.03 more (95% CI, $2,366.02–$8,274.05, P<.001) and resulted in 3.40 extra hospital days (95% CI, 1.41–5.40, P<.001) than hospitalizations for control patients.
Our study provides novel data regarding the clinical and financial impact of MDR gram-negative bacterial infections in community hospitals. There was no difference in mortality between patients with MDR-GNR infections and patients with nonMDR-GNR infections or control patients.
Placental vascular anastomoses in twins lead to a shared circulation and may subsequently enable the development of severe complications such as twin–twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) and twin anemia–polycythemia sequence (TAPS). The presence of vascular anastomoses has frequently and systematically been studied in monochorionic (MC) placentas, but only rarely in dichorionic (DC) placentas. The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of vascular anastomoses and evaluate the sharing discordance in MC and DC placentas. All consecutive placentas of MC and DC twins delivered at the Leiden University Medical Center (the Netherlands) and Medical University of Warsaw (Poland) from 2012 to 2015 were routinely injected with colored dye and included in the study. We excluded twin pregnancies treated with fetoscopic laser surgery. A total of 258 placentas were analyzed in this study, including 134 MC placentas and 124 DC placentas. Vascular anastomoses were present in 99% (133/134) of MC placentas and 0% of DC placentas (p < .01). Placental share discordance between MC twins was significantly larger compared to DC twins, 19.8 (interquartile range [IQR] 8.1–33.3) and 10.8 (IQR 6.2–19.0), respectively (p < .01). Vascular anastomoses associated complications occurred in 16% (22/134) MC twins. Our findings show that vascular anastomoses are almost ubiquitous in MC placentas, but non-existent in DC placentas. In addition, unequal placental sharing appears to be more common in MC than in DC placentas.
To describe the epidemiology of complex surgical site infection (SSI) following commonly performed surgical procedures in community hospitals and to characterize trends of SSI prevalence rates over time for MRSA and other common pathogens
We prospectively collected SSI data at 29 community hospitals in the southeastern United States from 2008 through 2012. We determined the overall prevalence rates of SSI for commonly performed procedures during this 5-year study period. For each year of the study, we then calculated prevalence rates of SSI stratified by causative organism. We created log-binomial regression models to analyze trends of SSI prevalence over time for all pathogens combined and specifically for MRSA.
A total of 3,988 complex SSIs occurred following 532,694 procedures (prevalence rate, 0.7 infections per 100 procedures). SSIs occurred most frequently after small bowel surgery, peripheral vascular bypass surgery, and colon surgery. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common pathogen. The prevalence rate of SSI decreased from 0.76 infections per 100 procedures in 2008 to 0.69 infections per 100 procedures in 2012 (prevalence rate ratio [PRR], 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.82–1.00). A more substantial decrease in MRSA SSI (PRR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.54–0.89) was largely responsible for this overall trend.
The prevalence of MRSA SSI decreased from 2008 to 2012 in our network of community hospitals. This decrease in MRSA SSI prevalence led to an overall decrease in SSI prevalence over the study period.
To determine whether daily chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing of intensive care unit (ICU) patients leads to a decrease in hospital-acquired infections (HAIs), particularly infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE).
Interrupted time series analysis.
The study included 33 community hospitals participating in the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network from January 2008 through December 2013.
All ICU patients at study hospitals during the study period.
Of the 33 hospitals, 17 hospitals implemented CHG bathing during the study period, and 16 hospitals that did not perform CHG bathing served as controls. Primary pre-specified outcomes included ICU central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), primary bloodstream infections (BSI), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). MRSA and VRE HAIs were also evaluated.
Chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing was associated with a significant downward trend in incidence rates of ICU CLABSI (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.96; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.93–0.99), ICU primary BSI (IRR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94–0.99), VRE CLABSIs (IRR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.97–0.98), and all combined VRE infections (IRR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93–1.00). No significant trend in MRSA infection incidence rates was identified prior to or following the implementation of CHG bathing.
In this multicenter, real-world analysis of the impact of CHG bathing, hospitals that implemented CHG bathing attained a decrease in ICU CLABSIs, ICU primary BSIs, and VRE CLABSIs. CHG bathing did not affect rates of specific or overall infections due to MRSA. Our findings support daily CHG bathing of ICU patients.
To determine the association (1) between shorter operative duration and surgical site infection (SSI) and (2) between surgeon median operative duration and SSI risk among first-time hip and knee arthroplasties.
Retrospective cohort study
A total of 43 community hospitals located in the southeastern United States.
Adults who developed SSIs according to National Healthcare Safety Network criteria within 365 days of first-time knee or hip arthroplasties performed between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2012.
Log-binomial regression models estimated the association (1) between operative duration and SSI outcome and (2) between surgeon median operative duration and SSI outcome. Hip and knee arthroplasties were evaluated in separate models. Each model was adjusted for American Society of Anesthesiology score and patient age.
A total of 25,531 hip arthroplasties and 42,187 knee arthroplasties were included in the study. The risk of SSI in knee arthroplasties with an operative duration shorter than the 25th percentile was 0.40 times the risk of SSI in knee arthroplasties with an operative duration between the 25th and 75th percentile (risk ratio [RR], 0.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.38–0.56; P<.01). Short operative duration did not demonstrate significant association with SSI for hip arthroplasties (RR, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.79–1.37; P=.36). Knee arthroplasty surgeons with shorter median operative durations had a lower risk of SSI than surgeons with typical median operative durations (RR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.43–0.64; P<.01).
Short operative durations were not associated with a higher SSI risk for knee or hip arthroplasty procedures in our analysis.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(12):1431–1436
The purpose of this study was to address two methodological issues that have called into question whether previously reported gene–environment interaction (GxE) effects for adolescent alcohol use are ‘real’. These issues are (1) the potential correlation between the environmental moderator and the outcome across twins and (2) non-linear transformations of the behavioral outcome. Three environments that have been previously studied (peer deviance, parental knowledge, and potentially stressful life events) were examined here. For each moderator (peer deviance, parental knowledge, and potentially stressful life events), a series of models was fit to both a raw and transformed measure of monthly adolescent alcohol use in a sample that included 825 dizygotic (DZ) and 803 monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs. The results showed that the moderating effect of peer deviance was robust to transformation, and that although the significance of moderating effects of parental knowledge and potentially stressful life events were dependent on the scale of the adolescent alcohol use outcome, the overall results were consistent across transformation. In addition, the findings did not vary across statistical models. The consistency of the peer deviance results and the shift of the parental knowledge and potentially stressful life events results between trending and significant, shed some light on why previous findings for certain moderators have been inconsistent and emphasize the importance of considering both methodological issues and previous findings when conducting and interpreting GxE analyses.
Formation of patterned metal and semiconductor (e.g. silicon) nanowires is achieved using anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) templates with porous structures of different heights resulting from an initial step difference made by etching the aluminum (Al) thin film with a photoresist developer prior to the anodization process. This approach allows for the growth of vertically aligned nanowire arrays on a metal substrate, instead of an oriented semiconductor substrate, using an electroplating or a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. The vertically aligned metal and semiconductor nanowires defined on a metal substrate could be applied to the realization of vertical 3D transistors, field emission devices, or nano-micro sensors for biological applications.
To evaluate seasonal variation in the rate of surgical site infections (SSI) following commonly performed surgical procedures.
Retrospective cohort study.
We analyzed 6 years (January 1, 2007, through December 31, 2012) of data from the 15 most commonly performed procedures in 20 hospitals in the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network. We defined summer as July through September. First, we performed 3 separate Poisson regression analyses (unadjusted, multivariable, and polynomial) to estimate prevalence rates and prevalence rate ratios of SSI following procedures performed in summer versus nonsummer months. Then, we stratified our results to obtain estimates based on procedure type and organism type. Finally, we performed a sensitivity analysis to test the robustness of our findings.
We identified 4,543 SSI following 441,428 surgical procedures (overall prevalence rate, 1.03/100 procedures). The rate of SSI was significantly higher during the summer compared with the remainder of the year (1.11/100 procedures vs 1.00/100 procedures; prevalence rate ratio, 1.11 [95% CI, 1.04–1.19]; P=.002). Stratum-specific SSI calculations revealed higher SSI rates during the summer for both spinal (P=.03) and nonspinal (P=.004) procedures and revealed higher rates during the summer for SSI due to either gram-positive cocci (P=.006) or gram-negative bacilli (P=.004). Multivariable regression analysis and sensitivity analyses confirmed our findings.
The rate of SSI following commonly performed surgical procedures was higher during the summer compared with the remainder of the year. Summer SSI rates remained elevated after stratification by organism and spinal versus nonspinal surgery, and rates did not change after controlling for other known SSI risk factors.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(9):1011–1016
We conducted a developmental analysis of genetic moderation of the effect of the Fast Track intervention on adult externalizing psychopathology. The Fast Track intervention enrolled 891 children at high risk to develop externalizing behavior problems when they were in kindergarten. Half of the enrolled children were randomly assigned to receive 10 years of treatment, with a range of services and resources provided to the children and their families, and the other half to usual care (controls). We previously showed that the effect of the Fast Track intervention on participants' risk of externalizing psychopathology at age 25 years was moderated by a variant in the glucocorticoid receptor gene. Children who carried copies of the A allele of the single nucleotide polymorphism rs10482672 had the highest risk of externalizing psychopathology if they were in the control arm of the trial and the lowest risk of externalizing psychopathology if they were in the treatment arm. In this study, we test a developmental hypothesis about the origins of this for better and for worse Gene × Intervention interaction (G × I): that the observed G × I effect on adult psychopathology is mediated by the proximal impact of intervention on childhood externalizing problems and adolescent substance use and delinquency. We analyzed longitudinal data tracking the 270 European American children in the Fast Track randomized control trial with available genetic information (129 intervention children, 141 control group peers, 69% male) from kindergarten through age 25 years. Results show that the same pattern of for better and for worse susceptibility to intervention observed at the age 25 follow-up was evident already during childhood. At the elementary school follow-ups and at the middle/high school follow-ups, rs10482672 predicted better adjustment among children receiving the Fast Track intervention and worse adjustment among children in the control condition. In turn, these proximal G × I effects early in development mediated the ultimate G × I effect on externalizing psychopathology at age 25 years. We discuss the contribution of these findings to the growing literature on genetic susceptibility to environmental intervention.