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The current pandemic is defined by the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that can lead to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). How is SARS-CoV-2 transmitted? In this review, we use a global lens to examine the sociological contexts that are potentially and systematically involved in high rates of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, including lack of personal protective equipment, population density and confinement. Altogether, this review provides an in-depth conspectus of the current literature regarding how SARS-CoV-2 disproportionately impacts many minority communities. By contextualising and disambiguating transmission risks that are particularly prominent for disadvantaged populations, this review can assist public health efforts throughout and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
To elucidate mechanisms across family function, home environment and eating behaviours within sociocultural context among Hispanic youth.
Two models tested via path analysis (youth fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption; empty energy consumption) using data from the Study of Latino Youth (2011–2013).
Chicago, IL; Miami, FL; Bronx, NY; San Diego, CA.
Youth (8–16-year-olds), n 1466.
Youth ate 2·4 servings of FV per d and received 27 % of total energy from empty energies. Perceiving higher acculturative stress was indirectly associated with lower FV consumption via a pathway of low family function and family support for FV (β = −0·013, P < 0·001) and via lower family closeness and family support (β = −0·004, P = 0·004). Being >12-year-olds was indirectly associated with lower FV consumption via lower family closeness and family support (β = −0·006, P < 0·001). Household food security was indirectly associated with greater FV consumption via family closeness and family support (β = 0·005, P = 0·003). In contrast, perceiving higher acculturative stress was indirectly associated with higher empty energy consumption (via family closeness and family support: β = 0·003, P = 0·028 and via low family function and low family support: β = 0·008, P = 0·05). Being older was associated with higher consumption of empty energies via family closeness (related to family support: β = 0·04, P = 0·016; parenting strategies for eating: β = 0·002, P = 0·049).
Findings suggest pathways of influence across demographic and sociocultural context, family dynamics and home environment. The directionality of these associations needs confirmation using longitudinal data.
We present results from our ongoing monitoring programs aimed at identifying and understanding Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) in extreme flux and spectral states. Observations of AGN in extreme states can reveal the nature of the inner accretion flow, the physics of matter under strong gravity, and they provide insight on the properties of ionized absorbers and outflows launched near supermassive black holes (SMBHs). We present new results from our long-term monitoring of IC 3599, WPVS007, and Mrk 335, multi-wavelength follow-ups of the newly identified changing-look AGN HE 1136–2304, and UV–X-ray follow-ups of the binary SMBH candidate OJ 287 after its 2015 optical maximum, now in a new optical-X-ray–high-state.
The use of caffeine containing energy drinks has dramatically increased in the last few years, especially in the sport context because of its reported ergogenic effect. The ingestion of low to moderate doses of caffeinated energy drinks has been associated with adverse side effects such as insomnia or increased nervousness. The aim of the present study was to assess psycho-physiological changes and the prevalence of side effects resulting from the ingestion of 3 mg caffeine/kg body mass in the form of an energy drink. In a double-blind and placebo controlled experimental design, ninety experienced and low-caffeine-consuming athletes (fifty-three male and thirty-seven female) in two different sessions were provided with an energy drink that contained 3 mg/kg of caffeine or the same decaffeinated energy drink (placebo; 0 mg/kg). At 60 min after the ingestion of the energy drink, participants completed a training session. The effects of ingestion of these beverages on psycho-physiological variables during exercise and the rate of adverse side effects were measured using questionnaires. The caffeinated energy drink increased self-perceived muscle power during exercise compared with the placebo beverage (6·41 (sd 1·7) v. 5·66 (sd 1·51); P= 0·001). Moreover, the energy drink produced a higher prevalence of side effects such as insomnia (31·2 v. 10·4 %; P< 0·001), nervousness (13·2 v. 0 %; P= 0·002) and activeness (16·9 v. 3·9 %; P= 0·007) than the placebo energy drink. There were no sex differences in the incidence of side effects (P>0·05). The ingestion of an energy drink with 3 mg/kg of caffeine increased the prevalence of side effects. The presence of these side effects was similar between male and female participants.
Different lifestyle patterns across Europe may influence plasma concentrations of B-vitamins and one-carbon metabolites and their relation to chronic disease. Comparison of published data on one-carbon metabolites in Western European regions is difficult due to differences in sampling procedures and analytical methods between studies. The present study aimed, to compare plasma concentrations of one-carbon metabolites in Western European regions with one laboratory performing all biochemical analyses. We performed the present study in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort among 5446 presumptively healthy individuals. Quantile regression was used to compare sex-specific median concentrations between Northern (Denmark and Sweden), Central (France, Germany, The Netherlands and United Kingdom) and Southern (Greece, Spain and Italy) European regions. The lowest folate concentrations were observed in Northern Europe (men, 10·4 nmol/l; women, 10·7 nmol/l) and highest concentrations in Central Europe. Cobalamin concentrations were slightly higher in Northern Europe (men, 330 pmol/l; women, 352 pmol/l) compared with Central and Southern Europe, but did not show a clear north–south gradient. Vitamin B2 concentrations were highest in Northern Europe (men, 22·2 nmol/l; women, 26·0 nmol/l) and decreased towards Southern Europe (Ptrend< 0·001). Vitamin B6 concentrations were highest in Central Europe in men (77·3 nmol/l) and highest in the North among women (70·4 nmol/l), with decreasing concentrations towards Southern Europe in women (Ptrend< 0·001). In men, concentrations of serine, glycine and sarcosine increased from the north to south. In women, sarcosine increased from Northern to Southern Europe. These findings may provide relevant information for the study of regional differences of chronic disease incidence in association with lifestyle.
In Chile, cow carcasses present the highest bruise prevalence compared with other cattle categories; however, the causes of the bruises are frequently unknown. In this study, 52 cull cows were transported to the slaughterhouse in three batches under identical transport conditions. A combination of direct observation and video analyses was used to determine moment, pre-slaughter stage and cause of potential bruising events during the period from loading on the farm until stunning at the slaughterhouse. After slaughter, number of bruises, location on the carcass and characteristics of the bruises were assessed. Seventy-eight bruises were observed on 37 carcasses. Fifty-two bruises were linked back to their causal event. Results showed that 46% of these bruises were a result of interactions between animal and facility, and most of them were inflicted in the stunning box, 27% of the bruises originated from animal–animal interactions and were mostly inflicted during lairage, another 27% was a result of human–animal interactions and were mostly inflicted during loading and unloading of animals. The percentages of potential bruising events resulting in a bruise were 43%, 9% and less than 1% for animal–facility, human–animal and animal–animal interactions, respectively. Most bruises on the back site were inflicted when the animal was in the stunning box (91.2%), whereas bruises on the pin site were mostly (75%) inflicted during loading at the farm. One may conclude that in relative short journeys (⩽4 h) directly from farm to the slaughterhouse and long lairage times (>12 h), most bruises are the result of circumstances at the slaughterhouse. A substantial amount of these bruises could be avoided by proper animal handling and adequate stunning facilities.
A greater adherence to the traditional Mediterranean (MED) diet is associated with a reduced risk of developing chronic diseases. This dietary pattern is based on higher consumption of plant products that are rich in flavonoids. We compared the total flavonoid dietary intakes, their food sources and various lifestyle factors between MED and non-MED countries participating in the EPIC study. Flavonoid intakes and their food sources for 35 628 subjects, aged 35–74 years and recruited between 1992 and 2000, in twenty-six study centres were estimated using standardised 24 h dietary recall software (EPIC-Soft®). An ad hoc food composition database on flavonoids was compiled using analytical data from the United States Department of Agriculture and Phenol-Explorer databases. Moreover, it was expanded to include using recipes, estimations of missing values and flavonoid retention factors. No significant differences in total flavonoid mean intake between non-MED countries (373·7 mg/d) and MED countries (370·2 mg/d) were observed. In the non-MED region, the main contributors were proanthocyanidins (48·2 %) and flavan-3-ol monomers (24·9 %) and the principal food sources were tea (25·7 %) and fruits (32·8 %). In the MED region, proanthocyanidins (59·0 %) were by far the most abundant contributor and fruits (55·1 %), wines (16·7 %) and tea (6·8 %) were the main food sources. The present study shows similar results for total dietary flavonoid intakes, but significant differences in flavonoid class intakes, food sources and some characteristics between MED and non-MED countries. These differences should be considered in studies about the relationships between flavonoid intake and chronic diseases.
Studies have suggested that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of CVD and premature mortality in individuals with diabetes mellitus. However, history of alcohol consumption has hardly been taken into account. We investigated the association between current alcohol consumption and mortality in men and women with diabetes mellitus accounting for past alcohol consumption. Within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), a cohort was defined of 4797 participants with a confirmed diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. Men and women were assigned to categories of baseline and past alcohol consumption. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI for total mortality were estimated with multivariable Cox regression models, using light alcohol consumption (>0–6 g/d) as the reference category. Compared with light alcohol consumption, no relationship was observed between consumption of 6 g/d or more and total mortality. HR for >6–12 g/d was 0·89 (95 % CI 0·61, 1·30) in men and 0·86 (95 % CI 0·46, 1·60) in women. Adjustment for past alcohol consumption did not change the estimates substantially. In individuals who at baseline reported abstaining from alcohol, mortality rates were increased relative to light consumers: HR was 1·52 (95 % CI 0·99, 2·35) in men and 1·81 (95 % CI 1·04, 3·17) in women. The present study in diabetic individuals showed no association between current alcohol consumption >6 g/d and mortality risk compared with light consumption. The increased mortality risk among non-consumers appeared to be affected by their past alcohol consumption rather than their current abstinence.
Bruises in cattle develop after the application of force, and they provide evidence for sub-optimal animal welfare. The aim of this study was to describe the gross characteristics of bruises in cows arriving at the slaughterhouse directly from farms or through the livestock market. The number of bruises and their distribution on the carcass as well as their severity, shape, size and colour were assessed post mortem in a slaughterhouse in Chile. A total of 258 cow carcasses were evaluated, and a total of 846 bruises were found on 243 of the carcasses. Cows that had passed through a livestock market (M-carcasses) had in total 563 bruises (mean 3.8 bruises/carcass, s.d. 2.0), whereas cows transported directly from farms (F-carcasses) had in total 283 bruises (mean 2.5 bruises/carcass, s.d. 1.8). The backs of F-carcasses had twice as many bruises as M-carcasses (32.9% and 16.2%, respectively), whereas bruises in the rib area were more frequently observed in M-carcasses (13.1%) than in F-carcasses (8.1%). Superficial bruises (grade 1) were the most frequently observed (66.2% of all bruises). Regarding the size of the bruises, 64 (7.6%) were classified as large, 271 (32.0%) as medium and 511 (60.4%) as small. Irregularly shaped bruises were the most frequent (91.1%, n = 771), followed by linear (3.8%, n = 32), circular (3.1%, n = 26) and tramline-shaped bruises (1.9%, n = 16). The latter were noticed only in M-carcasses, which may indicate that these animals were beaten more frequently with sticks or other rod-shaped objects. Fresh, bright red-coloured bruises were found more frequently on all the animals (69.5% from farms and 70.5% from market) compared with bluish (29.7% and 29.3%, respectively) and yellow bruises (0.4% and 0.2%, respectively). The method of selling was significantly associated with the number of bruises on the carcass (P < 0.001) and the anatomical site (P < 0.05), but not with the severity, shape and colour of the bruises. Increased fat coverage reduced the severity of bruises (P < 0.001). This study shows that, in Chile, market animals have more bruises than those sourced directly from farms, and their distribution is different. More information about the causes of infliction may help reduce bruises and it may also improve their welfare. Further studies are required to elucidate whether the causes of the high bruising in the case of animals passing through markets are related only to extra handling (repeated loading, unloading, transportation, eventual mixing) or to the way of handling by personnel and inadequate design.
Uteroplacental insufficiency and poor postnatal nutrition impair adult glucose tolerance and insulin secretion in male rat offspring, which can be partially ameliorated by improving postnatal nutrition. Uteroplacental insufficiency was induced in the WKY rat on day 18 of pregnancy (Restricted) compared to sham-operated Controls. Pups were then cross-fostered onto Control or Restricted mothers one day after birth resulting in: (Pup-on-Mother) Control-on-Control, Control-on-Restricted, Restricted-on-Control and Restricted-on-Restricted. Endocrine pancreatic morphology and markers of intrinsic β-cell function and glucose homeostasis were assessed in male offspring at 6 months. Pancreatic and hepatic gene expression was quantified at postnatal day 7 and 6 months. Restricted pups were born 10–15% lighter than Controls and remained lighter at 6 months. Relative islet and β-cell mass were 51–65% lower in Restricted-on-Restricted compared to Controls at 6 months. Non-fasting plasma C-reactive protein levels were also increased, suggestive of an inflammatory response. Overall, the average number of islets, small islets and proportion of β-cells per islet correlated positively with birth weight. Intrinsic β-cell function, estimated by insulin secretion relative to β-cell mass, was unaffected by Restriction, suggesting that the in vivo functional deficit was attributable to reduced mass, not function. Importantly, these deficits were ameliorated when lactational nutrition was normalized in Restricted-on-Control offspring, who also showed increased pancreatic Igf1r, Pdx1 and Vegf mRNA expression at 7 days compared to Control-on-Control and Restricted-on-Restricted. This highlights lactation as a critical period for intervention following prenatal restraint, whereby deficits in endocrine pancreatic mass and associated impaired in vivo insulin secretion can be ameliorated.
Studies suggest a paucity of and lack of prioritisation in mental health research from low- and middle-income (LAMI) countries.
To investigate research priorities in mental health among researchers and other stakeholders in LAMI countries.
We used a two-stage design that included identification, through literature searches and snowball technique, of researchers and stakeholders in 114 countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean; and a mail survey on priorities in research.
The study identified broad agreement between researchers and stakeholders and across regions regarding research priorities. Epidemiology (burden and risk factors), health systems and social science ranked highest for type of research. Depression/anxiety, substance use disorders and psychoses; and children and adolescents, women, and people exposed to violence/trauma were prioritised among the disorders and population groups respectively. Important criteria for prioritising research were burden of disease, social justice, and availability of funds. Stakeholder groups differed in the importance they gave to the personal interest of researchers as a criterion for prioritising research. Researchers' and stakeholders' priorities were consistent with burden of disease estimates, however suicide was underprioritised compared with its burden. Researchers' and stakeholders' priorities were also largely congruent with the researchers' projects.
The results of this first ever conducted survey of researchers and stakeholders regarding research priorities in mental health suggest that it should be possible to develop consensus at regional and international levels regarding the research agenda that is necessary to support health system objectives in LAMI countries.
Studies of bruises, as detected on carcasses at the slaughterhouse, may provide useful information about the traumatic situations the animals endure during the pre-slaughter period. In this paper, we review scientific data on the prevalence, risk factors and estimation of the age of bruises in beef cattle. Risk factors such as animal characteristics, transport conditions, stocking density, livestock auction and handling of the animals are discussed. Investigation of the age of bruises could provide information on when in the meat chain bruises occur and, could help to pinpoint where preventive measures should be taken, from the stage of collecting the animals on the farm until slaughter. We review the methods available to assess the age of the bruises; data on human forensic research are also included. The feasibility to identify traumatic episodes during the pre-slaughter period, in order to improve animal welfare is discussed.
Zinc oxide is a versatile II-VI naturally n-type semiconductor that exhibits piezoelectric properties. By controlling the growth kinetics during a simple carbothermal reduction process a wide range of 1D nanostructures such as nanowires, nanobelts, and nanotetrapods have been synthesized. The driving force for the nanostructure growth is the Zn vapour supersaturation and supply rate which, if known, can be used to predict and explain the type of crystal structure that results. A model which attempts to determine the Zn vapour concentration as a function of position in the growth furnace is described. A numerical simulation package, COMSOL, was used to simultaneously model the effects of fluid flow, diffusion and heat transfer in a tube furnace made specifically for ZnO nanostructure growth. Parameters such as the temperature, pressure, and flow rate are used as inputs to the model to show the effect that each one has on the Zn concentration profile. An experimental parametric study of ZnO nanostructure growth was also conducted and compared to the model predictions for the Zn concentration in the tube.
The relationship between dementia diagnosis and everyday action (e.g.,
meal preparation, grooming) is not well understood. This study examines
differences between individuals diagnosed with vascular dementia (VaD;
n = 25) versus Alzheimer's disease (AD; n
= 23) on the Naturalistic Action Test (NAT; Schwartz et
al., 2003), a performance-based measure that includes three tasks
of increasing complexity. The percentage of task steps accomplished,
number of errors, and performance times were recorded for each task. While
the groups did not differ in dementia severity or overall impairment on
the NAT, the VaD group committed more errors (3.3 vs. 1.6,
p = 02). The VaD group also accomplished significantly fewer
steps when salient distractor objects were present (74.0% vs.
91.3%, p < .01). Correlations between NAT variables and
neuropsychological tests suggest the executive control deficits associated
with VaD may contribute to specific action difficulties, such as
distractor interference and inefficient, error-prone action on complex
tasks. In AD, everyday action may be negatively influenced by episodic
memory failures. Thus, dementia diagnosis has relevance to everyday
function. (JINS, 2006, 12, 45–53.)
Background. Utilizing a prospectively designed community sample, we set out to estimate the rate of newly-incident suicidal ideation and attempts (non-fatal suicide behaviour) in a community sample, to evaluate antecedent sociodemographic characteristics and psychiatric disorders, and to assess use of mental health services in relation to non-fatal suicide behaviour.
Method. Prospectively-gathered data was utilized from 3481 continuing participants in the 13-year follow-up of the Baltimore sample of the NIMH Epidemiologic Catchment Area survey interviewed in 1981, 1982 and 1993/6.
Results. The incidence of suicide attempts was estimated at 148·8 per 100000 person-years and ideation at 419·9 per 100000 person-years. Persons in the youngest age group, in the lowest socio-economic status, and previously married persons were at increased risk for non-fatal suicide behaviour during the follow-up interval. Persons who reported suicidal ideation at baseline were more likely to report having attempted suicide at follow-up (RR = 6·09, 95% CI 2·58–14·36). Psychiatric disorders, especially depression and substance abuse, were associated with new-onset of non-fatal suicidal behaviour. While persons who reported newly-incident suicidal behaviour were more likely to report use of mental health services, few said that suicidal ideation or attempts were the reason for the visits.
Conclusions. Suicidal ideation is a common and important antecedent to suicide attempts and deserves more attention in community and general medical settings.
Education is correlated with cognitive status assessment. Concern for test bias has led to questions of equivalent construct validity across education groups. Following the work of previous researchers, we submitted Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) responses to external validation analyses. Subjects were older participants in the Epidemiologic Catchment Area study (age 50-98). Little evidence for test bias against those with low education was found. The correlation of MMSE scores and age was equivalent across high-and low-education groups (−.29 vs. −.27, p = .48), as was the correlation of MMSE scores and activities of daily living (ADL) functioning (−.23 vs. −.27, p = .42). The MMSE displayed significantly higher internal consistency reliability in the low-education group (.75 vs .72, p = .04). The MMSE did not predict functional decline over 1 year or mortality over 13 years differently by level of educational attainment. Evidence for sex bias was found. The MMSE was more highly correlated with age among women than among men (−.28 vs. −.21, p < .001). The MMSE was more highly correlated with ADL impairment among women than among men (−.30 vs. −.17, p = .01). The MMSE predicted mortality differently according to participant sex (p = 0.53). The lack of evidence for bias provides little support to proposals to adjust MMSE scores according to level of education.
Background. Fatigue is a common, non-specific, subjective symptom associated with several medical and psychiatric illnesses. The purpose of this investigation was to explore further the epidemiology of unexplained fatigue in the general population and the relationship between fatigue and depression.
Methods. The design was a prospective population-based study. Subjects included community-dwelling adults who were participants of the Baltimore sample of the Epidemiologic Catchment Area Program in 1981 and who were reinterviewed 13 years later. Lay interviewers using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule interviewed subjects.
Results. Number of somatization symptoms and history of a dysphoric episode at baseline were the two strongest predictors of both new onset of fatigue as well as recurrent/chronic fatigue over the 13-year follow-up interval. In addition, individuals who reported a history of unexplained fatigue at baseline as well as during the follow-up, were at markedly increased risk for new onset major depression as compared to those who never reported such fatigue, (RR = 28·4, 95% CI) (11·7, 68·0). Similarly, respondents who developed new fatigue or had remitted fatigue after 1981 were also at increased risk for developing major depression.
Conclusions. Somatization was the strongest predictor of both new and chronic fatigue with unknown cause. In addition, fatigue was both predictive and a consequence of the depression syndrome.
Gas exchange, leaf carbon isotope discrimination, growth, yield and beverage quality were evaluated for two Coffea arabica cultivars (Catuai and Mundo Novo), grafted on to C. canephora and C. congensis progenies growing in open fields. During the years 1994 to 1997, grafting resulted in an average increase in bean yield of 151 and 89% for Catuai and Mundo Novo respectively. As analysed by sensory analyses and by the ratio between the mono-isomers and di-isomers of caffeoylquinic acid, beverage quality of the C. arabica was not altered by grafting. Shoot growth was significantly greater in grafted plants, showing an increase of 52% in total leaf area compared with the non-grafted plants. Under conditions of water excess in the soil there was little difference in the transpiration and stomatal conductance rates between the grafted and non-grafted plants, but the net photosynthesis was higher in grafted plants. With an accentuated water deficit in the soil in the dry period, the grafted plants showed significantly higher transpiration and stomatal conductance rates than the non-grafted plants, and similar values to those of C. canephora. Carbon isotope discrimination was greater in the grafted plants, suggesting greater root hydraulic conductance. The results suggest that the better performance of the grafted plants during the dry period was due to the greater capacity of the root system of C. canephora to provide water to the shoot thereby maintaining greater gas exchange in the leaves and consequently a greater carbon gain.
Background. Little work has been published on the internal structure of the Mini-Mental State
Examination (MMSE), one of the most widely used instruments for grading cognitive status in
clinical settings and field research.
Methods. MMSE responses from a sample of older adults (50–98 years) in five US sites (N = 8556)
Results. A five-factor solution was found to be most appropriate. The first factor (concentration)
had large loadings with serial sevens and spell world backwards items. The second factor (language
and praxis) had large loadings with naming, follow command and praxis items. The third factor
(orientation) had loadings with orientation to time and place items. The fourth factor (memory) had
large loadings with delayed recall items and the fifth (attention) had large loadings with immediate
Conclusions. We found that the MMSE is essentially unidimensional; nevertheless, evidence was
revealed suggesting that the MMSE is a multidimensional assessment instrument. Dimensions
revealed in this sample correspond directly to MMSE sections articulated by the developers of the
instrument. These findings have not been reported in previous factor analyses of the MMSE. The
findings support the construct validity of the MMSE as a measure of cognitive mental state among
community dwelling older adults.
Silicification and illitization due to diagenesis result in the modification of porosity and permeability in many North Sea reservoirs, including Greater Alwyn. A good estimation of the mineral composition is required as input/output data for geochemical modelling modes intended to reproduce these effects. Using sedimentological studies to determine laterally equivalent facies, three facies were chosen. ‘Initial states’ for modelling were thus defined as the present-day composition of less-evolved laterally-equivalent facies, ‘final states’ as the present-day composition in the most evolved part of the basin. Precise actual mineral compositions were calculated using a reconciliation program, DATREC. Average compositions calculated for each facies in each field provided data useful in constraining input/output values used in modelling, and gave insights into depositional variation. Arithmetic tests assuming isochemical transformations, constraining the chemical compositions of ‘initial states’ to fit actual mineralogical compositions of ‘final states’, were run using this software. They show that, from an arithmetical point of view, if the assumption of equivalent facies holds, isochemical reactions can occur in some, but not in all facies, thereby demonstrating the importance of checking equivalence of facies and diagenesis hypotheses by quantitative calculations.