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After the last damaging earthquake in 2012, an anti-seismic reinforcement project of the cathedral of Modena was designed giving us the opportunity to investigate and date the building materials. Radiocarbon (14C), optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), and thermoluminescence (TL) dating techniques were performed on the vaults with the aim to (1) clarify the construction timing, (2) define the history of the restorations, and (3) explore the possible correlation of the main restoration works to the earthquake chronology deduced from the historic catalog. Preliminary results show that medieval older bricks were reused for most of the original construction. Only lime and non-gypsum mortar was used for the original construction in the 15th century and for later repair of damage caused by earthquakes in the 16th and 17th centuries. Gypsum mortar was used for later repair in the 18th century. The results show much stronger damage due to earthquakes than previously thought.
Chronic inflammation is associated with disease risk and mortality in the general population. Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is a stable marker of chronic inflammation, and a higher serum-concentration of suPAR is found in individuals with an unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking. This article investigates the association between suPAR and dietary quality measured with the dietary quality score (DQS). The DQS is an index of the overall quality of an individual’s dietary habits assessed through a self-administered FFQ. Furthermore, this article investigates the association of both suPAR and the DQS with CVD risk and mortality in the general Danish population. We analysed 5347 individuals aged 30–60 years from the Danish Inter99 study cohort. Multiple linear regression analyses showed a linear inverse association between the DQS and suPAR (P=0·0005). Cox regression analyses showed an 18 (95 % CI 9, 26) % increase in the risk of death from any cause with each 1 ng/ml increase in suPAR. We found no significant association between the DQS and the mortality (hazard ratio: 1·16, 95 % CI 0·79, 1·69). All analyses were adjusted for demographics and lifestyle factors. The association between the DQS and suPAR on the one hand and suPAR and mortality on the other supports the argument that low dietary quality may constitute a health risk through its influence on chronic inflammation. Future research should examine whether suPAR is modifiable through changes in dietary habits.
The Arizona Department of Health Services identified unusually high levels of influenza activity and severe complications during the 2015–2016 influenza season leading to concerns about potential increased disease severity compared with prior seasons. We estimated state-level burden and severity to compare across three seasons using multiple data sources for community-level illness, hospitalisation and death. Severity ratios were calculated as the number of hospitalisations or deaths per community case. Community influenza-like illness rates, hospitalisation rates and mortality rates in 2015–2016 were higher than the previous two seasons. However, ratios of severe disease to community illness were similar. Arizona experienced overall increased disease burden in 2015–2016, but not increased severity compared with prior seasons. Timely estimates of state-specific burden and severity are potentially feasible and may provide important information during seemingly unusual influenza seasons or pandemic situations.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: To investigate the prognostic value of left ventricular mitral annular longitudinal displacement (LD) measured with color tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) in a large population suffering from acute coronary syndrome (ACS). METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: In total, 501 ACS patients underwent an echocardiography within 9 days after a percutaneous coronary intervention. Regional LD was obtained from the 6 mitral annular regions with TDI and GLD was calculated as an average. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: During a median follow-up time of 4.4 years 46 ACS patients suffered CVD. Mean value of GLD in the population was 8.11mm (±2.4). GLD and LD obtained from the inferior wall remained significant independent predictors after multivariate adjustment for clinical parameters, GLD (HR: 1.43, 95% CI: 1.12–1.82, p=0.014, per 1mm decrease), inferior LD (HR: 1.38, 95% CI: 1.14–1.66, p=0.001). Furthermore, inferior wall LD was the primary source of prognostic information in GLD since only inferior LD remained significant when both measures were included in the same model: GLD (HR: 0.95, 95% CI: 0.64–1.40, p=0.781); inferior LD (HR: 1.60, 95% CI: 1.15–2.22, p=0.005). Of all walls, only inferior wall LD remained as an independent predictor after multivariate adjustment. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: GLD provides independent prognostic information in ACS patients over and beyond all conventional echocardiographic measures. Regional inferior LD was the primary source of prognostic information gained from GLD. GLD proved to be a better predictor of cardiovascular events than conventional echocardiographic measures. This could lead to better risk stratification in the clinical setting and open up for earlier intervention in high-risk individuals.
Mental stress is associated with higher mortality, but it remains controversial whether the association is causal or a consequence of a higher physical disease burden in those with a high mental stress load. Understanding causality is important when developing targeted interventions. We aimed to estimate the effect of mental stress on mortality by performing a ‘natural’ experiment using spousal bereavement as a disease-independent mental stressor.
We followed a population-based matched cohort, including all individuals in Denmark bereaved in 1997–2014, for 17 years. Prospectively recorded register data were obtained for civil and vital status, 39 mental and physical diagnoses, and socioeconomic factors.
In total, 389 316 bereaved individuals were identified and 137 247 died during follow-up. Bereaved individuals had higher all-cause mortality than non-bereaved references in the entire study period. The relative mortality in the bereaved individuals was highest shortly after the loss (adjusted hazard ratio (aHR), first month: 2.50, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.37–2.63; aHR, 6–12 months: 1.38, 95% CI 1.34–1.42). The excess mortality rate associated with bereavement rose with increasing number of physical diseases (1.33 v. 7.00 excess death per 1000 person-months for individuals with 0 v. ⩾3 physical conditions during the first month) and was exacerbated by the presence of mental illness. The excess mortality among bereaved individuals was primarily due to death from natural causes.
Bereavement was associated with increased short-term and long-term mortality, even after adjustment for morbidities, which suggests that mental stress may play a causal role in excess mortality.
One case of hospital-acquired listeriosis was linked to milkshakes produced in a commercial-grade shake freezer machine. This machine was found to be contaminated with a strain of Listeria monocytogenes epidemiologically and molecularly linked to a contaminated pasteurized, dairy-based ice cream product at the same hospital a year earlier, despite repeated cleaning and sanitizing. Healthcare facilities should be aware of the potential for prolonged Listeria contamination of food service equipment. In addition, healthcare providers should consider counselling persons who have an increased risk for Listeria infections regarding foods that have caused Listeria infections. The prevalence of persistent Listeria contamination of commercial-grade milkshake machines in healthcare facilities and the risk associated with serving dairy-based ice cream products to hospitalized patients at increased risk for invasive L. monocytogenes infections should be further evaluated.
Universal screening for postpartum depression is recommended in many countries. Knowledge of whether the disclosure of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period differs across cultures could improve detection and provide new insights into the pathogenesis. Moreover, it is a necessary step to evaluate the universal use of screening instruments in research and clinical practice. In the current study we sought to assess whether the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the most widely used screening tool for postpartum depression, measures the same underlying construct across cultural groups in a large international dataset.
Ordinal regression and measurement invariance were used to explore the association between culture, operationalized as education, ethnicity/race and continent, and endorsement of depressive symptoms using the EPDS on 8209 new mothers from Europe and the USA.
Education, but not ethnicity/race, influenced the reporting of postpartum depression [difference between robust comparative fit indexes (∆*CFI) < 0.01]. The structure of EPDS responses significantly differed between Europe and the USA (∆*CFI > 0.01), but not between European countries (∆*CFI < 0.01).
Investigators and clinicians should be aware of the potential differences in expression of phenotype of postpartum depression that women of different educational backgrounds may manifest. The increasing cultural heterogeneity of societies together with the tendency towards globalization requires a culturally sensitive approach to patients, research and policies, that takes into account, beyond rhetoric, the context of a person's experiences and the context in which the research is conducted.
The loss of a close relative is one of the most stressful life events. In pregnancy, this experience has been associated with a higher risk of fetal death and under-five mortality, but little is known about potential effects on long-term mortality in offspring. We examined the association between prenatal maternal bereavement and mortality in a cohort of 5.3 million children followed until up to 37 years of age.
The population-based cohort study included 5 253 508 live singleton births in Denmark (1973–2004) and Sweden (1973–2006). Children born to mothers who lost a child, spouse, sibling, or parent during or 1 year before pregnancy were categorized as exposed.
Prenatal maternal bereavement was associated with a 10% increased all-cause mortality risk in offspring [mortality rate ratio (MRR) 1.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03–1.18]. The association was the most pronounced for children of mothers who lost a child/spouse (MRR 1.28, 95% CI 1.14–1.44) and was stronger during the first 10 years of life. Prenatal maternal bereavement may have stronger effects on natural causes of death in offspring, including infectious/parasitic disease (MRR 1.86, 95% CI 1.07–3.23), endocrine/nutritional/metabolic diseases (MRR 3.23, 95% CI 2.02–5.17), diseases of nervous system (MRR 3.36, 95% CI 2.47–4.58), and congenital malformations (MRR 1.39, 95% CI 1.08–1.80). No excess mortality risk in offspring was observed for unnatural causes of death.
Prenatal maternal bereavement was associated with an increased long-term mortality risk in offspring, particularly for selected natural causes of diseases and medical conditions. Our results support the fetal programming hypothesis that prenatal stress may contribute to ill health from physical diseases later in life.
Historically, alloy development with better radiation performance has been focused on traditional alloys with one or two principal element(s) and minor alloying elements, where enhanced radiation resistance depends on microstructural or nanoscale features to mitigate displacement damage. In sharp contrast to traditional alloys, recent advances of single-phase concentrated solid solution alloys (SP-CSAs) have opened up new frontiers in materials research. In these alloys, a random arrangement of multiple elemental species on a crystalline lattice results in disordered local chemical environments and unique site-to-site lattice distortions. Based on closely integrated computational and experimental studies using a novel set of SP-CSAs in a face-centered cubic structure, we have explicitly demonstrated that increasing chemical disorder can lead to a substantial reduction in electron mean free paths, as well as electrical and thermal conductivity, which results in slower heat dissipation in SP-CSAs. The chemical disorder also has a significant impact on defect evolution under ion irradiation. Considerable improvement in radiation resistance is observed with increasing chemical disorder at electronic and atomic levels. The insights into defect dynamics may provide a basis for understanding elemental effects on evolution of radiation damage in irradiated materials and may inspire new design principles of radiation-tolerant structural alloys for advanced energy systems.
Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) due to Staphylococcus aureus have become increasingly common in the outpatient setting; however, risk factors for differentiating methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) SSTIs are needed to better inform antibiotic treatment decisions. We performed a case-case-control study within 14 primary-care clinics in South Texas from 2007 to 2015. Overall, 325 patients [S. aureus SSTI cases (case group 1, n = 175); MRSA SSTI cases (case group 2, n = 115); MSSA SSTI cases (case group 3, n = 60); uninfected control group (control, n = 150)] were evaluated. Each case group was compared to the control group, and then qualitatively contrasted to identify unique risk factors associated with S. aureus, MRSA, and MSSA SSTIs. Overall, prior SSTIs [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 7·60, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3·31–17·45], male gender (aOR 1·74, 95% CI 1·06–2·85), and absence of healthcare occupation status (aOR 0·14, 95% CI 0·03–0·68) were independently associated with S. aureus SSTIs. The only unique risk factor for community-associated (CA)-MRSA SSTIs was a high body weight (⩾110 kg) (aOR 2·03, 95% CI 1·01–4·09).
Maternal stress during pregnancy may increase the risk of preterm delivery (PD), but the associations between stress and subtypes of PD are not clear. We investigated maternal loss of a close relative and risks of very and moderately PD (<32 and 32–36 weeks, respectively) and spontaneous and medically indicated PD.
We studied 4 940 764 live singleton births in Denmark (1978–2008) and Sweden (1973–2006). We retrieved information on death of women's family members (children, partner, siblings, parents), birth outcomes and maternal characteristics from nationwide registries.
Overall, the death of a close family member the year before pregnancy or in the first 36 weeks of pregnancy was associated with a 7% increased risk of PD [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04–1.10]. The highest hazard ratios (HR) for PD were found for death of an older child [HR (95% CI) 1.20 (1.10–1.31)] and for death of a partner [HR (95% CI) 1.31 (1.03–1.66)]. These losses were associated with higher risks of very preterm [HR (95% CI) 1.61 (1.29–2.01) and 2.07 (1.15–3.74), respectively] than of moderately preterm [HR (95% CI) 1.14 (1.03–1.26) and 1.22 (0.94–1.58), respectively] delivery. There were no substantial differences in the association between death of a child or partner and the risk of spontaneous v. medically indicated PD.
Death of a close family member the year before or during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of PD, especially very PD. Possible mechanisms include both spontaneous and medically indicated preterm birth.
Maternal stress during pregnancy is associated with a modestly increased risk of fetal growth restriction and pre-eclampsia. Since placental abruption shares similar pathophysiological mechanisms and risk factors with fetal growth restriction and pre-eclampsia, we hypothesized that maternal stress may be implicated in abruption risk. We investigated the association between maternal bereavement during pregnancy and placental abruption.
We studied singleton births in Denmark (1978–2008) and Sweden (1973–2006) (n = 5 103 272). In nationwide registries, we obtained data on death of women's close family members (older children, siblings, parents, and partners), abruption and potential confounders.
A total of 30 312 (6/1000) pregnancies in the cohort were diagnosed with placental abruption. Among normotensive women, death of a child the year before or during pregnancy was associated with a 54% increased odds of abruption [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.30–1.82]; the increased odds were restricted to women who lost a child the year before or during the first trimester in pregnancy. In the group with chronic hypertension, death of a child the year before or in the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with eight-fold increased odds of abruption (odds ratio 8.17, 95% CI 3.17–21.10). Death of other relatives was not associated with abruption risk.
Loss of a child the year before or in the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of abruption, especially among women with chronic hypertension. Studies are needed to investigate the effect of less severe, but more frequent, sources of stress on placental abruption risk.
PILOT (the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope) is a proposed 2.5-m optical/infrared telescope to be located at Dome C on the Antarctic plateau. The atmospheric conditions at Dome C deliver a high sensitivity, high photometric precision, wide-field, high spatial resolution, and high-cadence imaging capability to the PILOT telescope. These capabilities enable a unique scientific potential for PILOT, which is addressed in this series of papers. The current paper presents a series of projects dealing with the nearby Universe that have been identified as key science drivers for the PILOT facility. Several projects are proposed that examine stellar populations in nearby galaxies and stellar clusters in order to gain insight into the formation and evolution processes of galaxies and stars. A series of projects will investigate the molecular phase of the Galaxy and explore the ecology of star formation, and investigate the formation processes of stellar and planetary systems. Three projects in the field of exoplanet science are proposed: a search for free-floating low-mass planets and dwarfs, a program of follow-up observations of gravitational microlensing events, and a study of infrared light-curves for previously discovered exoplanets. Three projects are also proposed in the field of planetary and space science: optical and near-infrared studies aimed at characterising planetary atmospheres, a study of coronal mass ejections from the Sun, and a monitoring program searching for small-scale Low Earth Orbit satellite debris items.
PILOT (the Pathfinder for an International Large Optical Telescope) is a proposed 2.5-m optical/infrared telescope to be located at Dome C on the Antarctic plateau. Conditions at Dome C are known to be exceptional for astronomy. The seeing (above ∼30 m height), coherence time, and isoplanatic angle are all twice as good as at typical mid-latitude sites, while the water-vapour column, and the atmosphere and telescope thermal emission are all an order of magnitude better. These conditions enable a unique scientific capability for PILOT, which is addressed in this series of papers. The current paper presents an overview of the optical and instrumentation suite for PILOT and its expected performance, a summary of the key science goals and observational approach for the facility, a discussion of the synergies between the science goals for PILOT and other telescopes, and a discussion of the future of Antarctic astronomy. Paper II and Paper III present details of the science projects divided, respectively, between the distant Universe (i.e. studies of first light, and the assembly and evolution of structure) and the nearby Universe (i.e. studies of Local Group galaxies, the Milky Way, and the Solar System).
To evaluate the use of inpatient pharmacy and administrative data to detect surgical site infections (SSIs) following hysterectomy and colorectal and vascular surgery.
Retrospective cohort study.
Five hospitals affiliated with academic medical centers.
Adults who underwent abdominal or vaginal hysterectomy, colorectal surgery, or vascular surgery procedures between July 1, 2003, and June 30, 2005.
We reviewed the medical records of weighted, random samples drawn from 3,079 abdominal and vaginal hysterectomy, 4,748 colorectal surgery, and 3,332 vascular surgery procedures. We compared routine surveillance with screening of inpatient pharmacy data and diagnosis codes and then performed medical record review to confirm SSI status.
Medical records from 823 hysterectomy, 736 colorectal surgery, and 680 vascular surgery procedures were reviewed. SSI rates determined by antimicrobial- and/or diagnosis code-based screening followed by medical record review (enhanced surveillance) were substantially higher than rates determined by routine surveillance (4.3% [95% confidence interval, 3.6%—5.1%] vs 2.7% for hysterectomies, 7.1% [95% confidence interval, 6.7%–8.2%] vs 2.0% for colorectal procedures, and 2.3% [95% confidence interval, 1.9%–2.9%] vs 1.4% for vascular procedures). Enhanced surveillance had substantially higher sensitivity than did routine surveillance to detect SSI (92% vs 59% for hysterectomies, 88% vs 22% for colorectal procedures, and 72% vs 43% for vascular procedures). A review of medical records confirmed SSI for 31% of hysterectomies, 20% of colorectal procedures, and 31% of vascular procedures that met the enhanced screening criteria.
Antimicrobial- and diagnosis code-based screening may be a useful method for enhancing and streamlining SSI surveillance for a variety of surgical procedures, including those procedures targeted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) may be a reservoir for Staphylococcus aureus transmission to patients. We examined whether HCW status is associated with S. aureus nasal carriage and population structure (spa types) in 1302 women (334 HCWs) and 977 men (71 HCWs) aged 30–69 years participating in the population-based Tromsø Study in 2007–2008. Multivariable logistic regression models were used. While no methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) was isolated, overall, 26·2% of HCWs and 26·0% of non-HCWs were S. aureus nasal carriers. For women overall and women residing with children, the odds ratios for nasal carriage were 1·54 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1·09–2·19] and 1·86 (95% CI 1·14–3·04), respectively, in HCWs compared to non-HCWs. Moreover, HCWs vs. non-HCWs had a 2·17 and 3·16 times higher risk of spa types t012 and t015, respectively. This supports the view that HCWs have an increased risk of S. aureus nasal carriage depending on gender, family status and spa type.
To evaluate the use of routinely collected electronic health data in Medicare claims to identify surgical site infections (SSIs) following hip arthroplasty, knee arthroplasty, and vascular surgery.
Retrospective cohort study.
Four academic hospitals that perform prospective SSI surveillance.
We developed lists of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, and Current Procedural Terminology diagnosis and procedure codes to identify potential SSIs. We then screened for these codes in Medicare claims submitted by each hospital on patients older than 65 years of age who had undergone 1 of the study procedures during 2007. Each site reviewed medical records of patients identified by either claims codes or traditional infection control surveillance to confirm SSI using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ National Healthcare Safety Network criteria. We assessed the performance of both methods against all chart-confirmed SSIs identified by either method.
Claims-based surveillance detected 1.8–4.7-fold more SSIs than traditional surveillance, including detection of all previously identified cases. For hip and vascular surgery, there was a 5-fold and 1.6-fold increase in detection of deep and organ/space infections, respectively, with no increased detection of deep and organ/space infections following knee surgery. Use of claims to trigger chart review led to confirmation of SSI in 1 out of 3 charts for hip arthroplasty, 1 out of 5 charts for knee arthroplasty, and 1 out of 2 charts for vascular surgery.
Claims-based SSI surveillance markedly increased the number of SSIs detected following hip arthroplasty, knee arthroplasty, and vascular surgery. It deserves consideration as a more effective approach to target chart reviews for identifying SSIs.
In April 2009, 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) (hereafter, pH1N1) virus was identified in California, which caused widespread illness throughout the United States. We evaluated pH1N1 transmission among exposed healthcare personnel (HCP) and assessed the use and effectiveness of personal protective equipment (PPE) early in the outbreak.
Two hospitals and 1 outpatient clinic in Southern California during March 28-April 24, 2009.
Sixty-three HCP exposed to 6 of the first 8 cases of laboratory-confirmed pH1N1 in the United States.
Baseline and follow-up questionnaires were used to collect demographic, epidemiologic, and clinical data. Paired serum samples were obtained to test for pH1N1-specific antibodies by microneutralization and hemagglutination-inhibition assays. Serology results were compared with HCP work setting, role, and self-reported PPE use.
Possible healthcare-associated pH1N1 transmission was identified in 9 (14%) of 63 exposed HCP; 6 (67%) of 9 seropositive HCP had asymptomatic infection. The highest attack rates occurred among outpatient HCP (6/19 [32%]) and among allied health staff (eg, technicians; 8/33 [24%]). Use of mask or N95 respirator was associated with remaining seronegative (P = .047). Adherence to PPE recommendations for preventing transmission of influenza virus and other respiratory pathogens was inadequate, particularly in outpatient settings.
pH1N1 transmission likely occurred in healthcare settings early in the pandemic associated with inadequate PPE use. Organizational support for a comprehensive approach to infectious hazards, including infection prevention training for inpatient- and outpatient-based HCP, is essential to improve HCP and patient safety.
A total of 111 clinical and environmental O1, O139 and non-O1/O139 Vibrio cholerae strains isolated between 1978 and 2008 from different geographical areas were typed using a combination of methods: antibiotic susceptibility, biochemical test, serogroup, serotype, biotype, sequences containing variable numbers of tandem repeats (VNTRs) and virulence genes ctxA and tcpA amplification. As a result of the performed typing work, the strains were organized into four clusters: cluster A1 included clinical O1 Ogawa and O139 serogroup strains (ctxA+ and tcpA+); cluster A2 included clinical non-O1/O139 strains (ctxA− and tcpA−), as well as environmental O1 Inaba and non-O1/O139 strains (ctxA− and tcpA−/tcpA+); cluster B1 contained two clinical O1 strains and environmental non-O1/O139 strains (ctxA− and tcpA+/tcpA−); cluster B2 contained clinical O1 Inaba and Ogawa strains (ctxA+ and tcpA+). The results of this work illustrate the advantage of combining several typing methods to discriminate between clinical and environmental V. cholerae strains.