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One major challenge facing policy-makers is to design education and workplace training programs that are appropriately challenging. We review previous research that suggests that difficult training is better than easy training. However, surveys we conducted of students and of expert sport coaches showed that many prescribed easy rather than difficult training for those they coached. We analyzed the performance of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball teams in postseason tournaments to see whether the existing research, largely on individuals in short-term situations, would generalize to teams in the long run. Indeed, playing difficult nonconference (training) games modestly improved performance for NCAA teams in the postseason. Difficult training particularly benefitted teams that lost many nonconference games, and the effect of difficulty was positive within the range of difficulty NCAA teams actually encounter, making it clear that difficult training is superior. We suggest that our results can be generalized beyond sports, although with careful consideration of differences between NCAA basketball teams and other teams that may limit generalizability. These results suggest that policy-makers might consider amplifying the difficulty of team training exercises under certain conditions.
Over 80% of CTSA programs have a community advisory board (CAB). Little is known about how research discussed with CABs aligns with community priorities (bidirectionality). This program evaluation assessed researcher presentations from 2014 to 2018 to the CABs linked to our CTSA at all three sites (Minnesota, Arizona, and Florida) for relevance to local community needs identified in 2013 and/or 2016. From content analysis, of 65 presentations total, 41 (63%) addressed ≥1 local health needs (47% Minnesota, 60% Florida, and 80% Arizona). Cross-cutting topics were cancer/cancer prevention (physical activity/obesity/nutrition) and mental health. Results could help to prioritize health outcomes of community-engaged research efforts.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: Over 80% of CTSA programs have a community advisory board (CAB), an effective strategy to increase community engagement (CE) in research. Little is known about how the research discussed with CABs aligns with community priorities (i.e., bi-directionality). This program evaluation assessed the health topics presented by researchers to the CABs linked to our CE Program at all three Mayo Clinic sites (MN, AZ, and FL) for relevance to local community needs. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Two coders classified Mayo researcher presentations to our CABs from 2014-2018 for relevance to needs identified in the local 2013 and/or 2016 County Health Needs Assessments and specific topic(s); with high levels of agreement (Kappa=0.90). RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Overall, of the 65 presentations 41 (63%) addressed one or more local health needs (47% MN, 60% FL, 80% AZ). Cross-cutting health topics addressed at 2 sites were physical activity/obesity/nutrition and mental health. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: Findings were shared with our CABs to obtain input on future directions. The FL and AZ CABs are systematic in seeking out or initiating research projects that address local health needs, an approach the MN site is interested in adopting. Ultimately, it is important to demonstrate improved health outcomes with CTSA-based CE research strategies. Understanding community health needs and depth of researchers in those areas may help to focus priorities for demonstrating such outcomes.
Poor compliance of prescription medication is an ongoing public health crisis. Nearly half of patients do not take their medication as prescribed, harming their own health while also increasing public health care costs. Despite these detrimental consequences, prior research has struggled to establish cost-effective and scalable interventions to improve adherence rates. We suggest that one reason for the limited success of prior interventions is that they make the personal health costs of non-adherence insufficiently prominent, while a higher saliency of these costs may motivate patients to adhere more. In the current research, we test whether an intervention that makes the personal health costs of non-compliance more salient for patients will increase their medication adherence. To do so, we conducted a randomized controlled trial with 16,191 patients across 278 UK pharmacies over a 9-month time period and manipulated the perceived consequences of medication non-adherence. We find that patients who received a treatment highlighting the personal health costs of non-compliance were significantly more likely to adhere to their medication than three comparison groups (odds ratio = 1.84, 95% confidence interval = 1.37–2.47). Shifting patients’ focus to the personal health costs of non-compliance may thus offer a potentially cost-effective and scalable approach to improving medication adherence.
Although food from grazed animals is increasingly sought by consumers because of perceived animal welfare advantages, grazing systems provide the farmer and the animal with unique challenges. The system is dependent almost daily on the climate for feed supply, with the importation of large amounts of feed from off farm, and associated labour and mechanisation costs, sometimes reducing economic viability. Furthermore, the cow may have to walk long distances and be able to harvest feed efficiently in a highly competitive environment because of the need for high levels of pasture utilisation. She must, also, be: (1) highly fertile, with a requirement for pregnancy within ~80 days post-calving; (2) ‘easy care’, because of the need for the management of large herds with limited labour; (3) able to walk long distances; and (4) robust to changes in feed supply and quality, so that short-term nutritional insults do not unduly influence her production and reproduction cycles. These are very different and are in addition to demands placed on cows in housed systems offered pre-made mixed rations. Furthermore, additional demands in environmental sustainability and animal welfare, in conjunction with the need for greater system-level biological efficiency (i.e. ‘sustainable intensification’), will add to the ‘robustness’ requirements of cows in the future. Increasingly, there is evidence that certain genotypes of cows perform better or worse in grazing systems, indicating a genotype×environment interaction. This has led to the development of tailored breeding objectives within countries for important heritable traits to maximise the profitability and sustainability of their production system. To date, these breeding objectives have focussed on the more easily measured traits and those of highest relative economic importance. In the future, there will be greater emphasis on more difficult to measure traits that are important to the quality of life of the animal in each production system and to reduce the system’s environmental footprint.
The mental and physical health of individuals with a psychotic illness are typically poor. Access to psychosocial interventions is important but currently limited. Telephone-delivered interventions may assist. In the current systematic review, we aim to summarise and critically analyse evidence for telephone-delivered psychosocial interventions targeting key health priorities in adults with a psychotic disorder, including (i) relapse, (ii) adherence to psychiatric medication and/or (iii) modifiable cardiovascular disease risk behaviours.
Ten peer-reviewed and four grey literature databases were searched for English-language studies examining psychosocial telephone-delivered interventions targeting relapse, medication adherence and/or health behaviours in adults with a psychotic disorder. Study heterogeneity precluded meta-analyses.
Twenty trials [13 randomised controlled trials (RCTs)] were included, involving 2473 participants (relapse prevention = 867; medication adherence = 1273; and health behaviour = 333). Five of eight RCTs targeting relapse prevention and one of three targeting medication adherence reported at least 50% of outcomes in favour of the telephone-delivered intervention. The two health-behaviour RCTs found comparable levels of improvement across treatment conditions.
Although most interventions combined telephone and face-to-face delivery, there was evidence to support the benefit of entirely telephone-delivered interventions. Telephone interventions represent a potentially feasible and effective option for improving key health priorities among people with psychotic disorders. Further methodologically rigorous evaluations are warranted.
To characterize the multiple dimensions and benefits of the Mediterranean diet as a sustainable diet, in order to revitalize this intangible food heritage at the country level; and to develop a multidimensional framework – the Med Diet 4.0 – in which four sustainability benefits of the Mediterranean diet are presented in parallel: major health and nutrition benefits, low environmental impacts and richness in biodiversity, high sociocultural food values, and positive local economic returns.
A narrative review was applied at the country level to highlight the multiple sustainable benefits of the Mediterranean diet into a single multidimensional framework: the Med Diet 4.0.
We included studies published in English in peer-reviewed journals that contained data on the characterization of sustainable diets and of the Mediterranean diet. The methodological framework approach was finalized through a series of meetings, workshops and conferences where the framework was presented, discussed and ultimately refined.
The Med Diet 4.0 provides a conceptual multidimensional framework to characterize the Mediterranean diet as a sustainable diet model, by applying principles of sustainability to the Mediterranean diet.
By providing a broader understanding of the many sustainable benefits of the Mediterranean diet, the Med Diet 4.0 can contribute to the revitalization of the Mediterranean diet by improving its current perception not only as a healthy diet but also a sustainable lifestyle model, with country-specific and culturally appropriate variations. It also takes into account the identity and diversity of food cultures and systems, expressed within the notion of the Mediterranean diet, across the Mediterranean region and in other parts of the world. Further multidisciplinary studies are needed for the assessment of the sustainability of the Mediterranean diet to include these new dimensions.
The perinatal environment has a major influence on long-term health and disease risk. Preterm birth alters early-life environment and is associated with altered metabolic function in adulthood. Whether preterm birth per se or the early nutritional interventions used to support growth in preterm infants underpins this association is unknown. Lambs born preterm, following dexamethasone induction of labour, or spontaneously at term were randomised to receive nutrient supplementation, analogous to the milk fortifier used clinically or water as a control for the first 2 weeks after birth. Thereafter, nutrition was not different between groups. Growth was monitored, and the glucose–insulin axis function was assessed in juvenile (4 months) and adult life (14 months). Early nutrition influenced adult metabolic function and body composition to a greater extent than preterm birth. In supplemented females, arginine-stimulated insulin secretion was increased in preterm but reduced in term-born juveniles compared with controls (repeated-measures ANOVA P<0·01). In supplemented preterm males, adult weight, ponderal index (PI) and fasting insulin concentrations were elevated compared with preterm controls (weight, 75 (sem 3) v. 69 (sem 2) kg; PI, 48·0 (sem 2·1) v. 43·7 (sem 1·7) kg/m3; fasting insulin, 0·19 (sem 0·02) v. 0·10 (sem 0·02) ng/ml). Conversely, supplemented term-born males had reduced adult weight, PI and fasting insulin concentrations compared with term-born controls (weight, 64 (sem 2) v. 70 (sem 2) kg; PI, 44·4 (sem 1·8) v. 48·2 (sem 1·7) kg/m3; fasting insulin, 0·09 (sem 0·02) v. 0·14 (sem 0·02) ng/ml; all group×supplement interactions P<0·05). Adult metabolic health may reflect both gestational age at birth and early nutrition. Human studies are urgently needed to investigate the adult sex-specific health implications of neonatal nutritional strategies.
A recent outbreak of Q fever was linked to an intensive goat and sheep dairy farm in Victoria, Australia, 2012-2014. Seventeen employees and one family member were confirmed with Q fever over a 28-month period, including two culture-positive cases. The outbreak investigation and management involved a One Health approach with representation from human, animal, environmental and public health. Seroprevalence in non-pregnant milking goats was 15% [95% confidence interval (CI) 7–27]; active infection was confirmed by positive quantitative PCR on several animal specimens. Genotyping of Coxiella burnetii DNA obtained from goat and human specimens was identical by two typing methods. A number of farming practices probably contributed to the outbreak, with similar precipitating factors to the Netherlands outbreak, 2007-2012. Compared to workers in a high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filtered factory, administrative staff in an unfiltered adjoining office and those regularly handling goats and kids had 5·49 (95% CI 1·29–23·4) and 5·65 (95% CI 1·09–29·3) times the risk of infection, respectively; suggesting factory workers were protected from windborne spread of organisms. Reduction in the incidence of human cases was achieved through an intensive human vaccination programme plus environmental and biosecurity interventions. Subsequent non-occupational acquisition of Q fever in the spouse of an employee, indicates that infection remains endemic in the goat herd, and remains a challenge to manage without source control.
Serum and erythrocyte (RBC) total folate are indicators of folate status. No nationally representative population data exist for folate forms. We measured the serum folate forms (5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-methylTHF), unmetabolised folic acid (UMFA), non-methyl folate (sum of tetrahydrofolate (THF), 5-formyltetrahydrofolate (5-formylTHF), 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate (5,10-methenylTHF)) and MeFox (5-methylTHF oxidation product)) by HPLC–MS/MS and RBC total folate by microbiologic assay in US population ≥ 1 year (n approximately 7500) participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011–2. Data analysis for serum total folate was conducted including and excluding MeFox. Concentrations (geometric mean; detection rate) of 5-methylTHF (37·5 nmol/l; 100 %), UMFA (1·21 nmol/l; 99·9 %), MeFox (1·53 nmol/l; 98·8 %), and THF (1·01 nmol/l; 85·2 %) were mostly detectable. 5-FormylTHF (3·6 %) and 5,10-methenylTHF (4·4 %) were rarely detected. The biggest contributor to serum total folate was 5-methylTHF (86·7 %); UMFA (4·0 %), non-methyl folate (4·7 %) and MeFox (4·5 %) contributed smaller amounts. Age was positively related to MeFox, but showed a U-shaped pattern for other folates. We generally noted sex and race/ethnic biomarker differences and weak (Spearman's r< 0·4) but significant (P< 0·05) correlations with physiological and lifestyle variables. Fasting, kidney function, smoking and alcohol intake showed negative associations. BMI and body surface area showed positive associations with MeFox but negative associations with other folates. All biomarkers showed significantly higher concentrations with recent folic acid-containing dietary supplement use. These first-time population data for serum folate forms generally show similar associations with demographic, physiological and lifestyle variables as serum total folate. Patterns observed for MeFox may suggest altered folate metabolism dependent on biological characteristics.
Selection programs have enabled broiler chickens to gain muscle mass without similar enlargement of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems that are essential for thermoregulatory efficiency. Meat-type chickens cope with high ambient temperature by reducing feed intake and growth during chronic and moderate heat exposure. In case of acute heat exposure, a dramatic increase in morbidity and mortality can occur. In order to alleviate heat stress in the long term, research has recently focused on early thermal manipulation. Aimed at stimulation of long-term thermotolerance, the thermal manipulation of embryos is a method based on fine tuning of incubation conditions, taking into account the level and duration of increases in temperature and relative humidity during a critical period of embryogenesis. The consequences of thermal manipulation on the performance and meat quality of broiler chickens have been explored to ensure the potential application of this strategy. The physiological basis of the method is the induction of epigenetic and metabolic mechanisms that control body temperature in the long term. Early thermal manipulation can enhance poultry resistance to environmental changes without much effect on growth performance. This review presents the main strategies of early heat exposure and the physiological concepts on which these methods were based. The cellular mechanisms potentially underlying the adaptive response are discussed as well as the potential interest of thermal manipulation of embryos for poultry production.
Transfer of sufficient immunoglobulin G (IgG) to the neonatal calf via colostrum is vital to provide the calf with immunological protection and resistance against disease. The objective of the present study was to determine the factors associated with both colostral IgG concentration and colostral weight in Irish dairy cows. Fresh colostrum samples were collected from 704 dairy cows of varying breed and parity from four Irish research farms between January and December 2011; colostral weight was recorded and the IgG concentration was determined using an ELISA method. The mean IgG concentration in the colostrum was 112 g/l (s.d. = 51 g/l) and ranged from 13 to 256 g/l. In total, 96% of the samples in this study contained >50 g/l IgG, which is considered to be indicative of high-quality colostrum. Mean colostral weight was 6.7 kg (s.d. = 3.6 kg) with a range of 0.1 to 24 kg. Factors associated with both colostral IgG concentration and colostral weight were determined using a fixed effects multiple regression model. Parity, time interval from calving to next milking, month of calving, colostral weight and herd were all independently associated with IgG concentration. IgG concentration decreased (P < 0.01) by 1.7 (s.e. = 0.6) g/l per kg increase in the colostral weight. Older parity cows, cows that had a shorter time interval from calving to milking, and cows that calved earlier in spring or in the autumn produced colostrum with higher IgG concentration. Parity (P < 0.001), time interval from calving to milking (P < 0.01), weight of the calf at birth (P < 0.05), colostral IgG concentration (P < 0.01) and herd were all independently associated with colostral weight at the first milking. Younger parity cows, cows milked earlier post-calving, and cows with lighter calves produced less colostrum. In general, colostrum quality of cows in this study was higher than in many previous studies; possible reasons include use of a relatively low-yielding cow type that produces low weight of colostrum, short calving to colostrum collection interval and grass-based nutritional management. The results of this study indicate that colostral IgG concentration can be maximised by reducing the time interval between calving and collection of colostrum.
Approximately 10% of all babies worldwide are born preterm, and preterm birth is the leading cause of perinatal mortality in developed countries. Although preterm birth is associated with adverse short- and long-term health outcomes, it is not yet clear whether this relationship is causal. Rather, there is evidence that reduced foetal growth, preterm birth and the long-term health effects of both of these may all arise from a suboptimal intrauterine environment. Further, most infants born preterm also experience suboptimal postnatal growth, with potential adverse effects on long-term health and development. A number of interventions are used widely in the neonatal period to optimise postnatal growth and development. These commonly include supplementation with macronutrients and/or micronutrients, all of which have potential short-term risks and benefits for the preterm infant, whereas the long-term health consequences are largely unknown. Importantly, more rapid postnatal growth trajectory (and the interventions required to achieve this) may result in improved neurological outcomes at the expense of increased cardiovascular risk in later life.