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We examined the quality of care provided to older persons with frailty in five Canadian provinces, using administrative health data. In each province, we identified two cohorts of older persons with frailty: decedents and living persons. Using decision rules, we considered individuals to be frail if they were long-term care residents, terminally ill, or met at least two of seven domains, which were based on frailty scales, geriatrician discussions, and health service utilization indicators. We assessed quality of care using selected quality indicators: decrease in length of hospital stay, decrease in the number of in-patient readmissions, decrease in the number of emergency department visits, increase in the level of family physician continuity of care, decrease in the use of mechanical ventilation, and decrease in the number of admissions to intensive care. Using regression analyses, we also found male sex and older age were associated with poorer quality of care in both cohorts. This study provides baseline data for evaluating future efforts to improve the quality of care provided to older persons with frailty.
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.
Human donor milk (DM) is Holder pasteurised (62·5°C, 30 min) to ensure its microbiological safety for infant consumption. In low-resource settings, flash heating is used to pasteurise milk. Although there is considerable interest in non-thermal alternatives (high hydrostatic pressure processing (HHP) and UVC irradiation) for pasteurisation, their effect on the fatty acid composition is not well understood. Of particular interest is the effect of pasteurisation on the generation of oxylipins. DM from eight mothers containing bacteria >5 × 107 colony-forming units/l was used. In a paired design, each pool of milk underwent four pasteurisation techniques: Holder; flash heating; UVC (250 nm, 25 min) and HHP (500 MPa, 8 min). Fatty acids were quantified by GC-flame ionisation detection and oxylipins derived from arachidonic acid; 18-carbon PUFA (α-linolenic acid, linoleic acid and γ-linolenic acid) and EPA/DHA were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem MS in aliquots of raw and processed milk. There were no significant changes to the composition of fatty acids following all pasteurisation techniques compared with raw milk. The n-6:n-3 ratio remained constant ranging from 6·4 to 6·6. Several arachidonic acid-derived oxylipins were highest post-UVC and elevated post-HHP compared with raw milk. Several oxylipins derived from 18-carbon PUFA (linoleic and α-linolenic acids) were elevated in UVC-treated milk. EPA/DHA-derived oxylipins were on average, unaffected by pasteurisation. Although some PUFA-derived oxylipins were increased following UVC and HHP, no method affected the fatty acid composition of human DM. Further research is needed to determine if varying levels of oxylipins in human DM as a result of processing can potentially mediate cellular signalling; proliferation and apoptosis, especially important for preterm infant development.
Beyond medical schools’ historical focus on pillar missions including clinical care, education, and research, several medical schools now include community engagement (CE) as a mission. However, most academic health systems (AHSs) lack the tools to provide metrics, evaluation, and standardization for quantifying progress and contributions of the CE mission. Several nationwide initiatives, such as that driven by the Institute of Medicine recommending advances in CE metrics at institutions receiving Clinical and Translational Science Awards, have encouraged the research and development of systematic metrics for CE, but more progress is needed. The CE components practical model provides a foundation for analyzing and evaluating different types of CE activities at AHSs through five components: research, education, community outreach and community service, policy and advocacy, and clinical care. At the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), an annual survey administered to faculty and staff assessed the types and number of CE activities from the prior year. Survey results were combined to create a CE report for departments across the institution and inform MCW leadership. Insights gathered from the survey have contributed to next steps in CE tracking and evaluation, including the development of a CE dashboard to track CE activities in real time. The dashboard provides resources for how individuals can advance the CE mission through their work and guide CE at the institutional level.
Social stratification is an important mechanism of human organization that helps to explain health differences between demographic groups commonly associated with socioeconomic gradients. Individuals, or group of individuals, with similar health profiles may have had different stratification experiences. This is particularly true as social stratification is a significant non-measurable source of systematic unobservable differences in both SES indicators and health statuses of disadvantage. The goal of the present study was to expand the bulk of research that has traditionally treated socioeconomic and demographic characteristics as independent, additive influences on health by examining data from the United States. It is hypothesized that variation in an index of multi-system physiological dysregulation – allostatic load – is associated with social differentiation factors, sorting individuals with similar demographic and socioeconomic characteristics into mutually exclusive econo-demographic classes. The data were from the Longitudinal and Biomarker samples of the national Study of Midlife Development in the US (MIDUS) conducted in 1995 and 2004/2006. Latent class analyses and regression analyses revealed that physiological dysregulation linked to socioeconomic variation among black people, females and older adults are associated with forces of stratification that confound socioeconomic and demographic indicators. In the United States, racial stratification of health is intrinsically related to the degree to which black people in general, and black females in particular, as a group, share an isolated status in society. Findings present evidence that disparities in health emerge from group-differentiation processes to the degree that individuals are distinctly exposed to the ecological, political, social, economic and historical contexts in which social stratification is ingrained. Given that health policies and programmes emanate from said legal and political environments, interventions should target the structural conditions that expose different subgroups to different stress risks in the first place.
During the 2014–2016 Ebola outbreak, health services in Liberia collapsed. Health care facilities could not support effective infection prevention and control (IPC) practices to prevent Ebola virus disease (EVD) transmission necessitating their closure. This report describes the process by which health services and infrastructure were recovered in the public hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. The authors conducted an assessment of the existing capacity for health care provision, including qualitative interviews with community members, record reviews in Ebola treatment units, and phone calls to health facilities. Assessment information was used to determine necessary actions to re-establish services, including building and environmental renovations, acquiring IPC supplies, changing health care practices, hiring additional staff, developing and using an EVD screening tool, and implementing psychosocial supports. On-site monitoring was continued for 2 years to assess what changes were sustained. Described in the report are 2 cases that highlight the challenge of safely re-establishing services with only a symptom-based screening tool and no laboratory tests available on-site. Despite fears among the public, health workers, and the international community, the actions taken enabled basic health care services to be provided during EVD transmission and led to sustainable improvements. This experience suggests that providing routine medical needs helps limit the morbidity and mortality during times of disease outbreak. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;13:767–773)
Sulphoraphane originates from glucoraphanin in broccoli and is associated with anti-cancer effects. A preclinical study suggested that daily consumption of broccoli may increase the production of sulphoraphane and sulphoraphane metabolites available for absorption. The objective of this study was to determine whether daily broccoli consumption alters the absorption and metabolism of isothiocyanates derived from broccoli glucosinolates. We conducted a randomised cross-over human study (n 18) balanced for BMI and glutathione S-transferase μ 1 (GSTM1) genotype in which subjects consumed a control diet with no broccoli (NB) for 16 d or the same diet with 200 g of cooked broccoli and 20 g of raw daikon radish daily for 15 d (daily broccoli, DB) and 100 g of broccoli and 10 g of daikon radish on day 16. On day 17, all subjects consumed a meal of 200 g of broccoli and 20 g of daikon radish. Plasma and urine were collected for 24 h and analysed for sulphoraphane and metabolites of sulphoraphane and erucin by triple quadrupole tandem MS. For subjects with BMI >26 kg/m2 (median), plasma AUC and urinary excretion rates of total metabolites were higher on the NB diet than on the DB diet, whereas for subjects with BMI <26 kg/m2, plasma AUC and urinary excretion rates were higher on the DB diet than on the NB diet. Daily consumption of broccoli interacted with BMI but not GSTM1 genotype to affect plasma concentrations and urinary excretion of glucosinolate-derived compounds believed to confer protection against cancer. This trial was registered as NCT02346812.
The seventh-century AD switch from gold to silver currencies transformed the socio-economic landscape of North-west Europe. The source of silver, however, has proven elusive. Recent research, integrating ice-core data from the Colle Gnifetti drill site in the Swiss Alps, geoarchaeological records and numismatic and historical data, has provided new evidence for this transformation. Annual ice-core resolution data are combined with lead pollution analysis to demonstrate that significant new silver mining facilitated the change to silver coinage, and dates the introduction of such coinage to c. AD 660. Archaeological evidence and atmospheric modelling of lead pollution locates the probable source of the silver to mines at Melle, in France.
Weed competition, especially within the crop row, limits the productivity and profitability of organic crop production. Abrasive weeding, a mechanical alternative to hand weeding, uses air-propelled grits to control small weed seedlings growing within the crop row. Recent research has demonstrated the successful use of abrasive weeding to reduce weed competition and increase yields in organic maize (Zea mays), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and green and red pepper crops (Capsicum annuum), but the profitability of this weed control tactic has not been assessed. Our objective was to determine the profitability of abrasive weeding using empirical yield data from three previously published studies, a range of crop prices and revenues, and a range of costs for wages, grit applicator ownership, tractor use, abrasive grits, and fuel. Results suggest that abrasive weeding was not profitable in organic maize production, and may reduce net income by US$223–3537 ha−1 compared with inter-row cultivation alone for weed control. The cost of abrasive weeding in maize was largely dependent on the cost of abrasive grits and the cost to own a four-row grit applicator (US$736–2105 yr−1). However, abrasive weeding was less expensive than hand weeding, especially as the scale of production increased. Abrasive weeding was profitable in tomato and pepper crops and increased net mean income by US$12,251–33,265 ha−1. However, abrasive weeding was not 100% effective and hand weeding for weed-free conditions was always the most profitable approach to in-row weed management in vegetable crops. The profit potential of the hand-weeded, weed-free treatments demonstrates the importance of weed control in high-value specialty crops–even those grown in plastic mulch film. Despite the profit potential for hand weeding observed here, labor is increasingly difficult to source, retain and afford, and abrasive weeding offers a mechanical alternative with 66% less labor required. Further research is needed to improve the efficacy of abrasive weeding and to reduce the cost of abrasive grits and application.
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.
As of 2015, the percentage of the unemployed who are long-term unemployed remains at levels unseen in the US in over six decades. A well-established literature associates long-term unemployment with a variety of social ills, including poverty, increased risk of physical and mental health problems, and deteriorating emotional well-being. This chapter describes the nature and scope of long-term unemployment in the United States and its impact on individuals and families. It also focuses on the issue of mental health and explores the causal relationship between long-term unemployment and mental health as well as the most promising solutions to the mental health challenges raised by long-term unemployment. The final section of the chapter focuses on the challenges that arise when long-term unemployed workers internalize the stigma of unemployment and blame themselves for their labor market difficulties, and it considers possible causes of and solutions to such self-blame.
Surgical site infections (SSIs) following colorectal surgery (CRS) are among the most common healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Reduction in colorectal SSI rates is an important goal for surgical quality improvement.
To examine rates of SSI in patients with and without cancer and to identify potential predictors of SSI risk following CRS
American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) data files for 2011–2013 from a sample of 12 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) member institutions were combined. Pooled SSI rates for colorectal procedures were calculated and risk was evaluated. The independent importance of potential risk factors was assessed using logistic regression.
Of 22 invited NCCN centers, 11 participated (50%). Colorectal procedures were selected by principal procedure current procedural technology (CPT) code. Cancer was defined by International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes.
The primary outcome of interest was 30-day SSI rate.
A total of 652 SSIs (11.06%) were reported among 5,893 CRSs. Risk of SSI was similar for patients with and without cancer. Among CRS patients with underlying cancer, disseminated cancer (SSI rate, 17.5%; odds ratio [OR], 1.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.23–2.26; P=.001), ASA score ≥3 (OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.09–1.83; P=.001), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.06–2.53; P=.02), and longer duration of procedure were associated with development of SSI.
Patients with disseminated cancer are at a higher risk for developing SSI. ASA score >3, COPD, and longer duration of surgery predict SSI risk. Disseminated cancer should be further evaluated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in generating risk-adjusted outcomes.
The western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region has experienced a statistically significant warming trend during the past half-century. In addition, a statistically significant anticorrelation between air temperatures and sea-ice extent, as determined from satellite passive-microwave data during the past two decades, has been observed for this region. Consistent with this strong coupling, sea-ice extent in the WAP area has trended down during this period of satellite observations. Further, much of the variability in both air temperature and sea ice in the WAP region has been shown to be influenced by contrasting maritime (warm, moist) and continental (cold, dry) climate regimes. As part of the Palmer Long Term Ecological Research program, the ecological influence of these trends and variability is being studied, and effects have already been demonstrated at all trophic levels. Here we extend earlier observations to include the past decade and focus on the annual cycles of air temperature and sea-ice extent for the past few years, with the aim of placing these recent observations within the context of changes seen in the longer-term records. The more recent years have seen an increasing maritime influence in the WAP region, with corresponding effects on the marine ecosystem.
Several hundred visible and thermal infrared satellite images of Antarctica’s southeast Amundsen Sea from 1986 to 2011, combined with aerial observations in 2009, show a strong inverse relation between prominent curvilinear surface depressions and the underlying basal morphology of the outer Pine Island Glacier ice shelf. Shipboard measurements near the calving front reveal positive temperature, salinity and current anomalies indicative of melt-laden, deep-water outflows near and above the larger channel termini. These buoyant plumes rise to the surface and are expressed as small polynyas in the sea ice and thermal signatures in the open water. The warm upwellings also trace the cyclonic surface circulation in Pine Island Bay. The satellite coverage suggests changing modes of ocean/ice interactions, dominated by leads along the ice shelf through 1999, fast ice and polynyas from 2000 to 2007, and larger areas of open water since 2008.
We report the discovery in the Greenland ice sheet of a discrete layer of free nanodiamonds (NDs) in very high abundances, implying most likely either an unprecedented influx of extraterrestrial (ET) material or a cosmic impact event that occurred after the last glacial episode. From that layer, we extracted n-diamonds and hexagonal diamonds (lonsdaleite), an accepted ET impact indicator, at abundances of up to about 5×106 times background levels in adjacent younger and older ice. The NDs in the concentrated layer are rounded, suggesting they most likely formed during a cosmic impact through some process similar to carbon-vapor deposition or high-explosive detonation. This morphology has not been reported previously in cosmic material, but has been observed in terrestrial impact material. This is the first highly enriched, discrete layer of NDs observed in glacial ice anywhere, and its presence indicates that ice caps are important archives of ET events of varying magnitudes. Using a preliminary ice chronology based on oxygen isotopes and dust stratigraphy, the ND-rich layer appears to be coeval with ND abundance peaks reported at numerous North American sites in a sedimentary layer, the Younger Dryas boundary layer (YDB), dating to 12.9 ± 0.1 ka. However, more investigation is needed to confirm this association.
Meal skipping is a relatively common behaviour during adolescence. As peer influence increases during adolescence, friendship groups may play a role in determining eating patterns such as meal skipping. The current study examined cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between perceived friends’ support of healthy eating and breakfast and lunch skipping among adolescents.
Survey of intrapersonal, social and environmental factors that may influence eating patterns at baseline (2004/05) and follow-up (2006/07).
Thirty-seven secondary schools in Victoria, Australia.
Sample of 1785 students aged 12–15 years at baseline.
Adolescents who reported that their friends sometimes or often ate healthy foods with them were less likely (adjusted OR; 95 % CI) to skip breakfast (sometimes: 0·71; 0·57, 0·90; often: 0·54; 0·38, 0·76) or lunch (sometimes: 0·61; 0·41, 0·89; often: 0·59; 0·37, 0·94) at baseline than those who reported their friends never or rarely displayed this behaviour. Although this variable was associated with lunch skipping at follow-up, there was no evidence of an association with breakfast skipping at follow-up. There was no evidence of an association between perceived encouragement of healthy eating, and an inconsistent relationship between perceived discouragement of junk food consumption, and meal skipping.
Friends eating healthy foods together may serve to reduce meal skipping during early adolescence, possibly due to the influence of directly observable behaviour and shared beliefs held by those in the same friendship group. Verbal encouragement or discouragement from friends may be less impactful an influence on meal skipping (than directly observable behaviours) in adolescents.
Ice cores provide a robust reconstruction of past climate. However, development of timescales by annual-layer counting, essential to detailed climate reconstruction and interpretation, on ice cores collected at low-accumulation sites or in regions of compressed ice, is problematic due to closely spaced layers. Ice-core analysis by laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) provides sub-millimeter-scale sampling resolution (on the order of 100 μm in this study) and the low detection limits (ng L−1) necessary to measure the chemical constituents preserved in ice cores. We present a newly developed cryocell that can hold a 1 m long section of ice core, and an alternative strategy for calibration. Using ice-core samples from central Greenland, we demonstrate the repeatability of multiple ablation passes, highlight the improved sampling resolution, verify the calibration technique and identify annual layers in the chemical profile in a deep section of an ice core where annual layers have not previously been identified using chemistry. In addition, using sections of cores from the Swiss/Italian Alps we illustrate the relationship between Ca, Na and Fe and particle concentration and conductivity, and validate the LA-ICP-MS Ca profile through a direct comparison with continuous flow analysis results.