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Apolipoprotein E (APOE) E4 is the main genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Due to the consistent association, there is interest as to whether E4 influences the risk of other neurodegenerative diseases. Further, there is a constant search for other genetic biomarkers contributing to these phenotypes, such as microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) haplotypes. Here, participants from the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative were genotyped to investigate whether the APOE E4 allele or MAPT H1 haplotype are associated with five neurodegenerative diseases: (1) AD and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), (2) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (3) frontotemporal dementia (FTD), (4) Parkinson’s disease, and (5) vascular cognitive impairment.
Genotypes were defined for their respective APOE allele and MAPT haplotype calls for each participant, and logistic regression analyses were performed to identify the associations with the presentations of neurodegenerative diseases.
Our work confirmed the association of the E4 allele with a dose-dependent increased presentation of AD, and an association between the E4 allele alone and MCI; however, the other four diseases were not associated with E4. Further, the APOE E2 allele was associated with decreased presentation of both AD and MCI. No associations were identified between MAPT haplotype and the neurodegenerative disease cohorts; but following subtyping of the FTD cohort, the H1 haplotype was significantly associated with progressive supranuclear palsy.
This is the first study to concurrently analyze the association of APOE isoforms and MAPT haplotypes with five neurodegenerative diseases using consistent enrollment criteria and broad phenotypic analysis.
There is growing interest in linking vitamin D deficiency with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The association between vitamin D deficiency during gestation, a critical period in neurodevelopment, and ASD is not well understood.
To determine the association between gestational vitamin D status and ASD.
Based on a birth cohort (n=4334), we examined the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD), assessed from both maternal mid-gestation sera and neonatal sera, and ASD (defined by clinical records; n=68 cases).
Individuals in the 25OHD-deficient group at mid-gestation had more than twofold increased risk of ASD (odds ratio (OR)=2.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09 to 5.07, P=0.03) compared with the sufficient group. The findings persisted in analyses including children of European ethnicity only.
Mid-gestational vitamin D deficiency was associated with an increased risk of ASD. Because gestational vitamin D deficiency is readily preventable with safe, inexpensive and readily available supplementation, this risk factor warrants closer scrutiny.
On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas. The ensuing unprecedented flooding throughout the Texas coastal region affected millions of individuals.1 The statewide response in Texas included the sheltering of thousands of individuals at considerable distances from their homes. The Dallas area established large-scale general population sheltering as the number of evacuees to the area began to amass. Historically, the Dallas area is one familiar with “mega-sheltering,” beginning with the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.2 Through continued efforts and development, the Dallas area had been readying a plan for the largest general population shelter in Texas. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:33–37)
Quantification of lean body mass and fat mass can provide important insight into epidemiological research. However, there is no consensus on generalisable anthropometric prediction equations to validly estimate body composition. We aimed to develop and validate practical anthropometric prediction equations for lean body mass, fat mass and percent fat in adults (men, n 7531; women, n 6534) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2006. Using a prediction sample, we predicted each of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA)-measured lean body mass, fat mass and percent fat based on different combinations of anthropometric measures. The proposed equations were validated using a validation sample and obesity-related biomarkers. The practical equation including age, race, height, weight and waist circumference had high predictive ability for lean body mass (men: R2=0·91, standard error of estimate (SEE)=2·6 kg; women: R2=0·85, SEE=2·4 kg) and fat mass (men: R2=0·90, SEE=2·6 kg; women: R2=0·93, SEE=2·4 kg). Waist circumference was a strong predictor in men only. Addition of other circumference and skinfold measures slightly improved the prediction model. For percent fat, R2 were generally lower but the trend in variation explained was similar. Our validation tests showed robust and consistent results with no evidence of substantial bias. Additional validation using biomarkers demonstrated comparable abilities to predict obesity-related biomarkers between direct DXA measurements and predicted scores. Moreover, predicted fat mass and percent fat had significantly stronger associations with obesity-related biomarkers than BMI did. Our findings suggest the potential application of the proposed equations in various epidemiological settings.
We analyzed birth order differences in means and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) in monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins from infancy to old age. The data were derived from the international CODATwins database. The total number of height and BMI measures from 0.5 to 79.5 years of age was 397,466. As expected, first-born twins had greater birth weight than second-born twins. With respect to height, first-born twins were slightly taller than second-born twins in childhood. After adjusting the results for birth weight, the birth order differences decreased and were no longer statistically significant. First-born twins had greater BMI than the second-born twins over childhood and adolescence. After adjusting the results for birth weight, birth order was still associated with BMI until 12 years of age. No interaction effect between birth order and zygosity was found. Only limited evidence was found that birth order influenced variances of height or BMI. The results were similar among boys and girls and also in MZ and DZ twins. Overall, the differences in height and BMI between first- and second-born twins were modest even in early childhood, while adjustment for birth weight reduced the birth order differences but did not remove them for BMI.
Environmental samples were collected from 100 hospital rooms, 32 noncontact rooms, and 68 contact isolation rooms. We isolated 202 and 1,830 MRSA colonies in noncontact and contact isolation rooms, respectively. The study identified MRSA isolates in hospital rooms of patients without colonization or infection with MRSA.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(12):1472–1475
To observe patient care across hemodialysis facilities enrolled in the National Opportunity to Improve Infection Control in ESRD (end-stage renal disease) (NOTICE) project in order to evaluate adherence to evidence-based practices aimed at prevention of infection.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS
Thirty-four hemodialysis facilities were randomly selected from among 772 facilities in 4 end-stage renal disease participating networks. Facility selection was stratified on dialysis organization affiliation, size, socioeconomic status, and urban/rural status.
Trained infection control evaluators used an infection control worksheet to observe 73 distinct infection control practices at the hemodialysis facilities, from October 1, 2011, through January 31, 2012.
There was considerable variation in infection control practices across enrolled facilities. Overall adherence to recommended practices was 68% (range, 45%–92%) across all facilities. Overall adherence to expected hand hygiene practice was 72% (range, 10%–100%). Compliance to hand hygiene before and after procedures was high; however, during procedures hand hygiene compliance averaged 58%. Use of chlorhexidine as the specific agent for exit site care was 19% overall but varied from 0% to 35% by facility type. The 8 checklists varied in the frequency of perfect performance from 0% for meeting every item on the checklist for disinfection practices to 22% on the arteriovenous access practices at initiation.
Our findings suggest that there are many areas for improvement in hand hygiene and other infection prevention practices in end-stage renal disease. These NOTICE project findings will help inform the development of a larger quality improvement initiative at dialysis facilities.
Objectives: Health technology reassessment and disinvestment can be difficult due to uncertainties regarding available evidence. Pathology testing to investigate cobalamin (vitamin B12) deficiency is a strong case in point. We conducted a 3-month economic evaluation of five strategies for diagnosing and treating cobalamin deficiency in adult patients hypothetically presenting with new unexplained fatigue in the primary care setting. The first consultation per patient was considered. Screening tests other than serum cobalamin were not included.
Methods: A cost-effectiveness analysis was undertaken using a decision tree to represent the diagnostic / treatment pathways, with relevant cost and utility scores assigned to different stages in the evaluation process. Input parameter values were estimated from published evidence, supplemented by expert opinion, with sensitivity analysis undertaken to represent parameter uncertainty.
Results: Ordering serum vitamin B12 to assess cobalamin deficiency among patients with unexplained fatigue was not cost-effective in any patient population, irrespective of pretest prevalence of this deficiency. For patients with a pretest prevalence above 1 percent, treating all with oral vitamin B12 supplements without testing was most cost-effective, whereas watchful waiting with symptoms monitoring was most cost-effective for patients with lower pretest prevalence probabilities.
Conclusions: Substantial evidence gaps exist for parameter estimation: questionable cobalamin deficiency levels in the fatigued; debatable treatment methods; unknown natural history of the condition. Despite this, we reveal a robust path for disinvestment decision making in the face of a paradox between the evidence required to inform disinvestment compared with its paucity in informing initial funding decisions.
We present the results of an approximately 6 100 deg2 104–196 MHz radio sky survey performed with the Murchison Widefield Array during instrument commissioning between 2012 September and 2012 December: the MWACS. The data were taken as meridian drift scans with two different 32-antenna sub-arrays that were available during the commissioning period. The survey covers approximately 20.5 h < RA < 8.5 h, − 58° < Dec < −14°over three frequency bands centred on 119, 150 and 180 MHz, with image resolutions of 6–3 arcmin. The catalogue has 3 arcmin angular resolution and a typical noise level of 40 mJy beam− 1, with reduced sensitivity near the field boundaries and bright sources. We describe the data reduction strategy, based upon mosaicked snapshots, flux density calibration, and source-finding method. We present a catalogue of flux density and spectral index measurements for 14 110 sources, extracted from the mosaic, 1 247 of which are sub-components of complexes of sources.