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The aim of the Avera Twin Register (ATR) is to establish a prospective longitudinal repository of twins, multiples, siblings and family members’ biological samples to study environmental and genetic influences on health and disease. Also, it is our intention to contribute to international genome-wide association study (GWAS) twin consortia when appropriate sample size is achieved within the ATR. The ATR is young compared with existing registers and continues to collect a longitudinal repository of biological specimens, survey data and health information. Data and biological specimens were originally collected via face-to-face appointments or the postal department and consisted of paper-informed consents and questionnaires. Enrollment of the ATR began on May 18, 2016 and is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a rural and frontier area in the Central United States with a regional population of approximately 880,000. The original target area for the ATR was South Dakota and the four surrounding states: Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and Nebraska. The ATR has found a need to expand that area based on twin and multiple siblings who live in various areas surrounding these states. A description of the state of the ATR today and its transition to online data collection and informed consent will be presented. The ATR collects longitudinal data on lifestyle, including diet and activity levels, aging, plus complex traits and diseases. All twins and multiples participating in the ATR are genotyped on the Illumina Global Screening Array and receive zygosity results.
Introduction: Simulation has assumed an integral role in the Canadian healthcare system with applications in quality improvement, systems development, and medical education. High quality simulation-based research (SBR) is required to ensure the effective and efficient use of this tool. This study sought to establish national SBR priorities and describe the barriers and facilitators of SBR in Emergency Medicine (EM) in Canada. Methods: Simulation leads (SLs) from all fourteen Canadian Departments or Divisions of EM associated with an adult FRCP-EM training program were invited to participate in three surveys and a final consensus meeting. The first survey documented active EM SBR projects. Rounds two and three established and ranked priorities for SBR and identified the perceived barriers and facilitators to SBR at each site. Surveys were completed by SLs at each participating institution, and priority research themes were reviewed by senior faculty for broad input and review. Results: Twenty SLs representing all 14 invited institutions participated in all three rounds of the study. 60 active SBR projects were identified, an average of 4.3 per institution (range 0-17). 49 priorities for SBR in Canada were defined and summarized into seven priority research themes. An additional theme was identified by the senior reviewing faculty. 41 barriers and 34 facilitators of SBR were identified and grouped by theme. Fourteen SLs representing 12 institutions attended the consensus meeting and vetted the final list of eight priority research themes for SBR in Canada: simulation in CBME, simulation for interdisciplinary and inter-professional learning, simulation for summative assessment, simulation for continuing professional development, national curricular development, best practices in simulation-based education, simulation-based education outcomes, and simulation as an investigative methodology. Conclusion: Conclusion: This study has summarized the current SBR activity in EM in Canada, as well as its perceived barriers and facilitators. We also provide a consensus on priority research themes in SBR in EM from the perspective of Canadian simulation leaders. This group of SLs has formed a national simulation-based research group which aims to address these identified priorities with multicenter collaborative studies.
We investigate the impact of misinformation about the contact structure on the ability to predict disease outbreaks. We base our study on 31 empirical temporal networks and tune the frequencies in errors in the node identities or time stamps of contacts. We find that for both these spreading scenarios, the maximal misprediction of both the outbreak size and time to extinction follows an stretched exponential convergence as a function of the error frequency. We furthermore determine the temporal-network structural factors influencing the parameters of this convergence.
Parapharyngeal abscess and mediastinitis are rare but very severe post-operative complications following an elective tonsillectomy. Parapharyngeal abscess as a complication to tonsilectomy is very seldom described in the literature and no cases in the paediatric population have been described.
This paper presents, to our knowledge, the first case of life-threatening parapharyngeal abscess and mediastinitis following elective adenotonsillectomy in an otherwise healthy, fully vaccinated 10-year-old girl.
Diagnosing parapharyngeal abscess and mediastinitis can be challenging, but should be suspected and ruled out in cases of post-operative odynophagia, fever, and/or neck swelling and thoracic pain. Diagnosis is made based on magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography findings. Prompt broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotic treatment and surgical drainage should be initiated. Other severe complications such as meningitis should also be considered.
This paper examines retirement saving policy for independent – or contingent – workers, a growing segment of the workforce. Because few of these workers are covered by employer-sponsored retirement plans, they often do not benefit from payroll deduction, employer matching contributions, automatic enrollment, and other provisions that encourage retirement saving. Better use of fintech, judicious changes to tax policy, and expanded Automatic IRAs would help independent workers save for retirement. In addition, we propose the creation of retirement saving accounts that attach to the worker as a supplement to, and possible replacement for, the current system of employer-sponsored accounts.
A wide variety of methods are available to assess dietary intake, each one with different strengths and weaknesses. Researchers face multiple challenges when diet and nutrition need to be accurately assessed, particularly in the selection of the most appropriate dietary assessment method for their study. The goal of the current collaborative work is to present a collection of available resources for dietary assessment implementation.
As a follow-up to the 9th International Conference on Diet and Physical Activity Methods held in 2015, developers of dietary assessment toolkits agreed to collaborate in the preparation of the present paper, which provides an overview of each toolkit. The toolkits presented include: the Diet, Anthropometry and Physical Activity Measurement Toolkit (DAPA; UK); the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Dietary Assessment Primer (USA); the Nutritools website (UK); the Australasian Child and Adolescent Obesity Research Network (ACAORN) method selector (Australia); and the Danone Dietary Assessment Toolkit (DanoneDAT; France). An at-a-glance summary of features and comparison of the toolkits is provided.
The present review contains general background on dietary assessment, along with a summary of each of the included toolkits, a feature comparison table and direct links to each toolkit, all of which are freely available online.
This overview of dietary assessment toolkits provides comprehensive information to aid users in the selection and implementation of the most appropriate dietary assessment method, or combination of methods, with the goal of collecting the highest-quality dietary data possible.
Swan Point in central Alaska contains the oldest recognized human occupation in Alaska (Cultural Zone 4b [CZ4b]), dating to circa 14,000 cal BP. This component consists of a microblade and burin industry with clear technological ties to the Siberian Upper Paleolithic Diuktai Culture. Through the systematic use of the Yubetsu method for the production of microblades, Swan Point is technologically more similar to Siberian microblade sites than to later-age (Denali complex) microblade sites in Alaska. The Yubetsu method is the hallmark of the Diuktai Culture, and in Alaska, Swan Point CZ4b is the only component with systematic production of microblades using the Yubetsu method. Other late Pleistocene and Holocene microblade sites in Alaska have an industry based on Campus-style, conical, or tabular microblade cores. Analysis of the collection furthers our understanding of how CZ4b relates to previous Siberian Diuktai-related assemblages and to later Alaskan Denali-related sites. We interpret the CZ4b component as representing a brief single event that has major cultural and technological implications for the early colonization process of North America.
The association between lifestyle and survival after colorectal cancer has received limited attention. The female sex hormone, oestrogen, has been associated with lower colorectal cancer risk and mortality after colorectal cancer. Phyto-oestrogens are plant compounds with structure similar to oestrogen, and the main sources in Western populations are plant lignans. We investigated the association between the main lignan metabolite, enterolactone and survival after colorectal cancer among participants in the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort. Prediagnosis plasma samples and lifestyle data, and clinical data from time of diagnosis from 416 women and 537 men diagnosed with colorectal cancer were used. Enterolactone was measured in plasma using a liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) method. Participants were followed from date of diagnosis until death or end of follow-up. During this time, 210 women and 325 men died (170 women and 215 men died due to colorectal cancer). The Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI. Enterolactone concentrations were associated with lower colorectal cancer-specific mortality among women (HRper doubling: 0·88, 95 % CI 0·80, 0·97, P=0·0123). For men, on the contrary, enterolactone concentrations were associated with higher colorectal cancer-specific mortality (HRper doubling: 1·10, 95 % CI 1·01, 1·21, P=0·0379). The use of antibiotics affects enterolactone production, and the associations between higher enterolactone and lower colorectal cancer-specific mortality were more pronounced among women who did not use antibiotics (analysis on a subset). Our results suggest that enterolactone is associated with lower risk of mortality among women, but the opposite association was found among men.
Taphonomic factors may significantly alter faunal assemblages at varying scales. An exceptional record of late Holocene (<4000 yr old) mammal faunas establishes a firm baseline to investigate the effects of scale on taphonomy. Our sample contains 73 sites within four contiguous states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, USA) that transect a strong modern and late Holocene environmental gradient, the prairie–forest ecotone. We performed detrended correspondence (DCA) and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analyses. Both DCA and NMDS analyses of the data sets produced virtually the same results, and both failed to reveal the known ecological gradient within each state. However, both DCA and NMDS analyses of the unfiltered multistate data set across the entire gradient clearly reflect an environmental, rather than taphonomic, signal. DCA tended to provide better separation of some clusters than did NMDS in most of the analyses. We conclude that a robust mammal data set collected across a strong environmental gradient will document species turnover without the removal of taphonomic factors. In other words, taphonomy exhibits varying scale-dependent effects.
Background: Despite the global impact of bipolar disorder (BD), treatment success is limited. Challenges include syndromal and subsyndromal mood instability, comorbid anxiety, and uncertainty around mechanisms to target. The Oxford Mood Action Psychology Programme (OxMAPP) offered a novel approach within a cognitive behavioural framework, via mental imagery-focused cognitive therapy (ImCT). Aims: This clinical audit evaluated referral rates, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction with the OxMAPP service. Method: Eleven outpatients with BD received ImCT in addition to standard psychiatric care. Mood data were collected weekly from 6 months pre-treatment to 6 months post-treatment via routine mood monitoring. Anxiety was measured weekly from start of treatment until 1 month post-treatment. Patient feedback was provided via questionnaire. Results: Referral and treatment uptake rates indicated acceptability to referrers and patients. From pre- to post-treatment, there was (i) a significant reduction in the duration of depressive episode relapses, and (ii) a non-significant trend towards a reduction in the number of episodes, with small to medium effect size. There was a large effect size for the reduction in weekly anxiety symptoms from assessment to 1 month follow-up. Patient feedback indicated high levels of satisfaction with ImCT, and underscored the importance of the mental imagery focus. Conclusions: This clinical audit provides preliminary evidence that ImCT can help improve depressive and anxiety symptoms in BD as part of integrated clinical care, with high patient satisfaction and acceptability. Formal assessment designs are needed to further test the feasibility and efficacy of the new ImCT treatment on anxiety and mood instability.
Textual data are plagued by underreporting bias. For example, news sources often fail to report human rights violations. Cook et al. propose a multi-source estimator to gauge, and to account for, the underreporting of state repression events within human codings of news texts produced by the Agence France-Presse and Associated Press. We evaluate this estimator with Monte Carlo experiments, and then use it to compare the prevalence and seriousness of underreporting when comparable texts are machine coded and recorded in the World-Integrated Crisis Early Warning System dataset. We replicate Cook et al.’s investigation of human-coded state repression events with our machine-coded events, and validate both models against an external measure of human rights protections in Africa. We then use the Cook et al. estimator to gauge the seriousness and prevalence of underreporting in machine and human-coded event data on human rights violations in Colombia. We find in both applications that machine-coded data are as valid as human-coded data.
This study aims to develop a typology of generic meeting places based on social contact and mixing of relevance for infectious disease transmission. Data were collected by means of a contact diary survey conducted on a representative sample of the Swedish population. The typology is derived from a cluster analysis accounting for four dimensions associated with transmission risk: visit propensity and its characteristics in terms of duration, number of other persons present and likelihood of physical contact. In the analysis, we also study demographic, socio-economic and geographical differences in the propensity of visiting meeting places. The typology identifies the family venue, the fixed activity site, the family vehicle, the trading plaza and the social network hub as generic meeting places. The meeting place typology represents a spatially explicit account of social contact and mixing relevant to infectious disease modelling, where the social context of the outbreak can be highlighted in light of the actual infectious disease.
Salmonella is a leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness. We report the collaborative investigative efforts of US and Canadian public health officials during the 2013–2014 international outbreak of multiple Salmonella serotype infections linked to sprouted chia seed powder. The investigation included open-ended interviews of ill persons, traceback, product testing, facility inspections, and trace forward. Ninety-four persons infected with outbreak strains from 16 states and four provinces were identified; 21% were hospitalized and none died. Fifty-four (96%) of 56 persons who consumed chia seed powder, reported 13 different brands that traced back to a single Canadian firm, distributed by four US and eight Canadian companies. Laboratory testing yielded outbreak strains from leftover and intact product. Contaminated product was recalled. Although chia seed powder is a novel outbreak vehicle, sprouted seeds are recognized as an important cause of foodborne illness; firms should follow available guidance to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination during sprouting.