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The Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS) is the first large-area survey to be conducted with the full 36-antenna Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. RACS will provide a shallow model of the ASKAP sky that will aid the calibration of future deep ASKAP surveys. RACS will cover the whole sky visible from the ASKAP site in Western Australia and will cover the full ASKAP band of 700–1800 MHz. The RACS images are generally deeper than the existing NRAO VLA Sky Survey and Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey radio surveys and have better spatial resolution. All RACS survey products will be public, including radio images (with
15 arcsec resolution) and catalogues of about three million source components with spectral index and polarisation information. In this paper, we present a description of the RACS survey and the first data release of 903 images covering the sky south of declination
made over a 288-MHz band centred at 887.5 MHz.
This case report shares the story of a family who sought care elsewhere after their daughter was denied cardiac surgery in their home state because she had trisomy 18. This case report recommends case-by-case assessment of cardiac surgical interventions for children with trisomy 13 or 18 as informed by review of goals, assessment of comorbidities, and literature-informed practice. Coordinated care planning and interdisciplinary communication are relevant in cardiac surgical considerations for children with these underlying genetic conditions.
Individuals with schizophrenia are at higher risk of physical illnesses, which are a major contributor to their 20-year reduced life expectancy. It is currently unknown what causes the increased risk of physical illness in schizophrenia.
To link genetic data from a clinically ascertained sample of individuals with schizophrenia to anonymised National Health Service (NHS) records. To assess (a) rates of physical illness in those with schizophrenia, and (b) whether physical illness in schizophrenia is associated with genetic liability.
We linked genetic data from a clinically ascertained sample of individuals with schizophrenia (Cardiff Cognition in Schizophrenia participants, n = 896) to anonymised NHS records held in the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) databank. Physical illnesses were defined from the General Practice Database and Patient Episode Database for Wales. Genetic liability for schizophrenia was indexed by (a) rare copy number variants (CNVs), and (b) polygenic risk scores.
Individuals with schizophrenia in SAIL had increased rates of epilepsy (standardised rate ratio (SRR) = 5.34), intellectual disability (SRR = 3.11), type 2 diabetes (SRR = 2.45), congenital disorders (SRR = 1.77), ischaemic heart disease (SRR = 1.57) and smoking (SRR = 1.44) in comparison with the general SAIL population. In those with schizophrenia, carrier status for schizophrenia-associated CNVs and neurodevelopmental disorder-associated CNVs was associated with height (P = 0.015–0.017), with carriers being 7.5–7.7 cm shorter than non-carriers. We did not find evidence that the increased rates of poor physical health outcomes in schizophrenia were associated with genetic liability for the disorder.
This study demonstrates the value of and potential for linking genetic data from clinically ascertained research studies to anonymised health records. The increased risk for physical illness in schizophrenia is not caused by genetic liability for the disorder.
In order to maximize the utility of future studies of trilobite ontogeny, we propose a set of standard practices that relate to the collection, nomenclature, description, depiction, and interpretation of ontogenetic series inferred from articulated specimens belonging to individual species. In some cases, these suggestions may also apply to ontogenetic studies of other fossilized taxa.
Total anomalous pulmonary venous connection is a rare congenital heart defect. We report an infant with a mixed form of supracardiac TAPVC, in whom all pulmonary veins, except the right upper, entered a pulmonary venous confluence that is connected to a vertical vein and drained into the superior vena caval–right atrial junction. Several segmental right upper pulmonary veins entered the superior vena cava, superior to the entry of the vertical vein. Surgical repair consisted of the Warden procedure combined with direct anastomosis of the vertical vein to the left atrium. Separate pulmonary venous drainage pathways decreased the risk of post-operative pulmonary venous obstruction. Our patient had an uneventful post-operative course and encouraging 2-month follow-up echocardiography. Careful follow-up is warranted to detect post-operative complications, including obstruction of the pulmonary venous and cavoatrial anastomoses.
Anxiety disorders are common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and associated with social–communication impairment and repetitive behavior symptoms. The neurobiology of anxiety in ASD is unknown, but amygdala dysfunction has been implicated in both ASD and anxiety disorders. Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we compared amygdala–prefrontal and amygdala–striatal connections across three demographically matched groups studied in the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange (ABIDE): ASD with a comorbid anxiety disorder (N = 25; ASD + Anxiety), ASD without a comorbid disorder (N = 68; ASD-NoAnx), and typically developing controls (N = 139; TD). Relative to ASD-NoAnx and TD controls, ASD + Anxiety individuals had decreased connectivity between the amygdala and dorsal/rostral anterior cingulate cortex (dACC/rACC). The functional connectivity of these connections was not affected in ASD-NoAnx, and amygdala connectivity with ventral ACC/medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) circuits was not different in ASD + Anxiety or ASD-NoAnx relative to TD. Decreased amygdala–dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC)/rACC connectivity was associated with more severe social impairment in ASD + Anxiety; amygdala–striatal connectivity was associated with restricted, repetitive behavior (RRB) symptom severity in ASD-NoAnx individuals. These findings suggest comorbid anxiety in ASD is associated with disrupted emotion-monitoring processes supported by amygdala–dACC/mPFC pathways, whereas emotion regulation systems involving amygdala–ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) are relatively spared. Our results highlight the importance of accounting for comorbid anxiety for parsing ASD neurobiological heterogeneity.
Background: Studies on the effectiveness of hospital-based interventions often measure hospital-onset infections as the outcome of interest. However, hospital-associated infections may manifest after patient discharge (classified as hospital-associated community-onset, HACO), and the epidemiology may vary by antibiotic resistance (AR) profile. We examined the epidemiology and trends of HACO infections of AR and non–antibiotic-resistant (non-AR) bacteria. Methods: We included clinical community-onset (CO) cultures (obtained sooner than or on day 3 of hospitalization) yielding the bacterial species of interest among hospitalized patients in 260 hospitals in the Premier Healthcare Database from 2012 to 2017. HACO infections were defined as CO cultures in a patient who had a previous hospitalization in the same hospital within 30 days. We examined methicillin resistance among Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin resistance among Enterococcus spp (VRE), carbapenem resistance among Enterobacteriaceae (E. coli, Klebsiella spp, and Enterobacter spp) (CRE), extended-spectrum cephalosporin resistance suggestive of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production in Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem resistance among Acinetobacter spp (CRAsp), and carbapenem resistance among Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPA). We described the proportion of CO infections that were HACO, the proportion of HACO infections from sterile sites, overall HACO rates, and annual trends for sensitive and resistant phenotypes. Generalized estimating equation regression models that accounted for hospital-level clustering were used to estimate annual trends controlling for hospital characteristics and month of discharge. Results: The rate of HACO infections by pathogen ranged from 0.78 to 38.76 per 10,000 hospitalizations; 7%–34% were sterile site infections (Table 1). For each bacterial pathogen, a significantly higher proportion of AR CO infections had a previous hospitalization compared to non-AR CO infections (all χ2, P < .05). The annual trends for AR and non-AR HACO infections between 2012 and 2017 were significantly decreasing for most pathogens, except ESBL HACO infections. Conclusions: Even when using a definition limited to readmission to the same hospital, HACO infections occur commonly with differing rates by pathogen and antibiotic resistance profile. Although these rates are decreasing for most of the pathogens studied, improving surveillance and identifying prevention strategies for these infections are necessary to further reduce the burden of hospital-associated infections.
Background: In recent years, the historic declines in the incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections (BSIs) in the United States have slowed. We examined trends in the incidence of community-onset (CO) MRSA BSIs among hospitalized persons with and without substance-use diagnoses. Methods: Using data from >200 US hospitals reporting to the Premier Healthcare Database (PHD) during 2012–2017, we conducted a retrospective study among hospitalized persons aged ≥18 years. MRSA BSIs with substance use were defined as hospitalizations having both a blood culture positive for MRSA and at least 1 International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) or ICD-10-CM diagnostic code for substance use including opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, or other substances (excluding cannabis, alcohol, and nicotine). MRSA BSIs were considered community onset when a positive blood culture was collected within 3 days of admission. We assessed annual trends and described characteristics of CO MRSA BSI hospitalizations, stratified by substance use. Results: Of 20,049 MRSA BSIs from 2012 to 2017, 17,634 (88%) were CO. Overall, MRSA BSI incidence decreased 7%, from 178.5 to 166.2 per 100,000 hospitalizations during the study period; However, CO MRSA BSI rates remained stable (152.7 to 149.9 per 100,000 hospitalizations). Among CO MRSA BSIs, 1,838 (10%) were BSIs with substance-use diagnoses; the incidence of CO MRSA BSIs with substance use increased 236% (from 8.2 to 27.6 per 100,000 hospitalizations) and represented a greater proportion of the CO MRSA rate over the study period (Fig. 1). The incidence of CO MRSA BSIs without substance use decreased 15% (from 144.5 to 122.4 per 100,000 hospitalizations). Patients with CO MRSA BSIs with substance use were younger (median, 40 vs 65 years), more likely to be female (50% vs 40%), white (79% vs 69%), and to leave against medical advice (15% vs 1%). Among patients not leaving against medical advice, CO BSI patients with substance-use diagnoses had longer lengths of stay (median, 11 vs 9 days), lower in-hospital mortality (9% vs 14%), and higher hospitalization costs (median, $22,912 vs $17,468) compared to patients without substance-use diagnoses. Conclusions: Although the overall CO MRSA BSI rate remained unchanged from 2012 to 2017, infections with substance use diagnoses increased >3-fold, and infections without substance use diagnoses decreased. These data suggest that the emergence of MRSA associated with substance-use diagnoses threatens potential progress in reducing the incidence of CO MRSA infections. Additional strategies may be needed to prevent MRSA BSI in patients with substance-use diagnoses, and to maintain national progress in the reduction of MRSA infections overall.
Background: Antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) have traditionally focused on inpatient prescribing, but they are now mandated to involve ambulatory settings. We developed and tested an educational tool in resident physicians to empower outpatient providers to perform self-reflection stewardship (SRS) to improve their antibiotic use. Results of the first SRS workshop are reported. Methods: A 90-minute SRS workshop focusing on the evaluation and management of sinusitis in ambulatory care was developed for PGY 2-3 internal medicine residents. Participants received a 15-minute didactic on the evaluation and management of adults with sinusitis, including typical microbiology, differentiation of bacterial sinusitis, and guideline recommendations on antibiotic treatment. In a computer lab, participants were instructed how to review charts of patients they had treated with antibiotics for sinusitis during the past year using the SlicerDicer application in Epic. Over 1 hour, they worked in pairs to complete and discuss a self-reflection inventory for 5 patients from each of their respective reviews. They evaluated pertinent history, comorbidities, presenting symptoms and signs, diagnostic testing performed, and a self-assessment of the subsequent antibiotic prescribing, including appropriateness of using an antibiotic, antibiotic choice and duration. In addition, they reflected on potential patient and prescriber challenges. Residents then identified common themes and developed a personal improvement plan for antibiotic prescribing for sinusitis. The last 15 minutes were spent debriefing with ASP faculty on reasons for overprescription of antibiotics for URIs and individual improvement plans. Residents completed workshop evaluations using a Likert scale and open-ended comments. Results: In total, 26 residents participated. All (100%) agreed or strongly agreed that the SRS workshop improved their understanding of how to obtain data on their own practice habits. Moreover, 23 (88%) agreed or strongly agreed that the workshop improved their understanding of when to prescribe antibiotics and how to practice antibiotic stewardship in the outpatient setting. Also, 20 participants (77%) agreed or strongly agreed that the SRS workshop helped them gain insight into reasons why they might overprescribe antibiotics in the outpatient setting. Furthermore, 25 (96%) agreed or strongly agreed that the SRS workshop helped them identify at least 1 way they could improve their antibiotic prescribing in the outpatient setting. Conclusions: The SRS workshop was well received by residents and offers a tool to empower primary care resident physicians to access their own antibiotic prescribing data, perform a structured self-reflection, and enhance their understanding of antibiotic stewardship in the ambulatory setting. SRS is a potential tool to improve ambulatory antibiotic use.
Background: Shared Healthcare Intervention to Eliminate Life-threatening Dissemination of MDROs in Orange County, California (SHIELD OC) was a CDC-funded regional decolonization intervention from April 2017 through July 2019 involving 38 hospitals, nursing homes (NHs), and long-term acute-care hospitals (LTACHs) to reduce MDROs. Decolonization in NH and LTACHs consisted of universal antiseptic bathing with chlorhexidine (CHG) for routine bathing and showering plus nasal iodophor decolonization (Monday through Friday, twice daily every other week). Hospitals used universal CHG in ICUs and provided daily CHG and nasal iodophor to patients in contact precautions. We sought to evaluate whether decolonization reduced hospitalization and associated healthcare costs due to infections among residents of NHs participating in SHIELD compared to nonparticipating NHs. Methods: Medicaid insurer data covering NH residents in Orange County were used to calculate hospitalization rates due to a primary diagnosis of infection (counts per member quarter), hospital bed days/member-quarter, and expenditures/member quarter from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2019. We used a time-series design and a segmented regression analysis to evaluate changes attributable to the SHIELD OC intervention among participating and nonparticipating NHs. Results: Across the SHIELD OC intervention period, intervention NHs experienced a 44% decrease in hospitalization rates, a 43% decrease in hospital bed days, and a 53% decrease in Medicaid expenditures when comparing the last quarter of the intervention to the baseline period (Fig. 1). These data translated to a significant downward slope, with a reduction of 4% per quarter in hospital admissions due to infection (P < .001), a reduction of 7% per quarter in hospitalization days due to infection (P < .001), and a reduction of 9% per quarter in Medicaid expenditures (P = .019) per NH resident. Conclusions: The universal CHG bathing and nasal decolonization intervention adopted by NHs in the SHIELD OC collaborative resulted in large, meaningful reductions in hospitalization events, hospitalization days, and healthcare expenditures among Medicaid-insured NH residents. The findings led CalOptima, the Medicaid provider in Orange County, California, to launch an NH incentive program that provides dedicated training and covers the cost of CHG and nasal iodophor for OC NHs that enroll.
Disclosures: Gabrielle M. Gussin, University of California, Irvine, Stryker (Sage Products): Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Clorox: Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Medline: Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Xttrium: Conducting studies in which contributed antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes.
Technology and interest for use of automated hand hygiene monitoring systems (AHHMS) as a tool to help improve healthcare personnel hand hygiene has been advancing for the last decade. Emerging evidence indicates that the use of AHHMS plus complementary strategies improves hand hygiene (HH) performance rates and outcomes (eg, healthcare-associated infections). The WHO HH guideline “Multimodal Strategy” teaches the importance of multiple components as necessary to build and sustain HH compliance. Few published data compare the impact of different complementary behavioral strategies in combination with AHHMS on results. Methods: We utilized data from 1 AHHMS that records alcohol-based hand rub and soap dispensing and room entries and exits to provide group HH performance rates. Data were collected from 58 units in 10 hospitals in North America from July 2014 through August 2019. Hospitals were stratified into 4 categories based on their approach to hospital-initiated unit-level interventions and AHHMS vendor support (Table 1). Baseline data were defined for each unit as the initial 1–2 months of execution, before complementary strategies were initiated. Statistical analysis was performed on the annual number of dispenses and opportunities with a mixed-effects Poisson regression with random effects for facility, unit and year and fixed effects for intervention type and unit type. Interactions were not included in the model based on interaction plots and significance tests. Poisson assumptions were verified with Pearson residual plots. Results: HH performance rates overall and compared to the baseline are shown in Table 2. More than 8 million opportunities were achieved in all 58 units combined. An intervention strategy with multiple complementary components (ie, clinical support provided by the AHHMS vendor plus hospital-initiated unit level interventions) yielded significantly better HH performance than all other categories (>20% increase, P < .00001). Somewhat surprisingly, vendor clinical support or hospital-initiated, unit-level interventions alone with the AHHMS yielded a slight decrease in HH performance relative to AHHMS only (P < .00001). Conclusions: AHHMS is a useful tool in understanding HH performance and identifying unit-based initiatives that need attention. Implementation of an AHHMS by itself or with limited complementary behavior-change strategies does not drive improvement. Support provided by the vendor and hospital-initiated, complementary strategies were not sufficient additions to the AHHMS individually, but in combination they resulted in the greatest improvements in HH performance. These findings illustrate the value of a partnership between the hospital and the AHHMS vendor.
Funding: GOJO Industries, Inc., provided support for this study.
Disclosures: James W. Arbogast, Lori D. Moore and Megan DiGiorgio report salary from GOJO Industries.
Background: Microbiology data are utilized to quantify epidemiology and trends in pathogens, antimicrobial resistance, and bloodstream infections. Understanding variability and trends in rates of hospital-level blood culture utilization may be important for interpreting these findings. Methods: We used clinical microbiology results and discharge data to identify monthly blood culture rates from US hospitals participating in the Premier Healthcare Database during 2012–2017. We included all discharges from months where a hospital reported at least 1 blood culture with microbiology and antimicrobial susceptibility results. Blood cultures drawn on or before day 3 were defined as admission cultures (ACs); blood cultures collected after day 3 were defined as a postadmission cultures (PACs). The AC rate was defined as the proportion of all hospitalizations with an AC. The PAC rate was defined as the number of days with a PAC among all patient days. Generalized estimating equation regression models that accounted for hospital-level clustering with an exchangeable correlation matrix were used to measure associations of monthly rates with hospital bed size, teaching status, urban–rural designation, region, month, and year. The AC rates were modeled using logistic regression, and the PAC rates were modeled using a Poisson distribution. Results: We included 11.7 million hospitalizations from 259 hospitals, accounting for nearly 52 million patient days. The median annual hospital-level AC rate was 27.1%, with interhospital variation ranging from 21.1% (quartile 1) to 35.2% (quartile 3) (Fig. 1). Multivariable models revealed no significant trends over time (P = .74), but statistically significant associations between AC rates with month (P < .001) and region (P = .003), associations with teaching status (P = .063), and urban-rural designation (P = .083) approached statistical significance. There was no association with bed size (P = .38). The median annual hospital-level PAC rate was 11.1 per 1,000 patient days, and interhospital variability ranged from 7.6 (quartile 1) to 15.2 (quartile 3) (Fig. 2). Multivariable models of PAC rates showed no significant trends over time (P = .12). We found associations between PAC rates with month (P = .016), bed size (P = .030), and teaching status (P = .040). PAC rates were not associated with urban–rural designation (P = .52) or region (P = .29). Conclusions: Blood culture utilization rates in this large cohort of hospitals were unchanged between 2012 and 2017, though substantial interhospital variability was detected. Although both AC and PAC rates vary by time of year and potentially by teaching status, AC rates vary by geographic characteristics whereas PAC rates vary by bed size. These factors are important to consider when comparing rates of bloodstream infections by hospital.
Background: The Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction Program (HACRP) is a pay-for-performance Medicare program that promotes reducing patient harm, particularly healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). We examined the association between infection-control–related activities and the number of penalties a hospital received between fiscal years 2015 and 2018. Methods: We used logistic regression with ordered categories to assess infection control resource use and the number of penalties, an ordered categorical dependent variable with 5 categories ranging from 0 to 4, as of 2018. Data sources included National Healthcare Safety Network, American Hospital Association Annual Survey, Medicare Impact and Cost Report files, and Data.Medicare.gov. We excluded hospitals lacking data to calculate any HACRP score or component score for HAI and hospitals missing observations for model variables (301 hospitals). We assessed the following model variables: teaching hospital status, infection preventionists (IP) per 1,000 beds, surveillance hours per week per bed, other infection control activities per week per bed, nurse-to-bed ratio, housekeeping expenditure per 10,000 beds, nursing position vacancies per bed, bed size, electronic health record (EHR) implementation, number of skilled nursing beds, rural or urban location, and Medicare patient case-mix (cmi_quartiles). Results: In our model, negative logit model point estimates indicated that increased values of the variable are associated with a lower odds of having a higher number of penalties. The final data set consisted of 3,004 US hospitals. Lower penalties were significantly associated with higher IP-to-bed ratio. Although the point estimates were <1, an association between lower penalties and higher nurse-to-bed ratios or electronic health records was not demonstrated (Table 1). Conclusions: Our results suggest that after controlling for selected hospital structural factors, incremental resources related to infection control have a protective association with HCARP penalties.
We sought to assess the effectiveness of clozapine augmentation with Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) (C+ECT) in patients with clozapine-resistant schizophrenia.
We conducted a retrospective review of electronic health records to identify patients treated with C+ECT. We determined the response to C+ECT and the rate of rehospitalisation over the year following treatment with C+ECT.
Forty-two patients were treated with C+ECT over a 10-year period. The mean age of the patients at initiation of ECT was 46.3 (SD = 8.2) years (range 27–62 years). The mean number of ECTs given was 10.6 (SD = 5.3) (range 3–25) with the majority receiving twice weekly ECT. Seventy-six per cent of patients (n = 32) showed a Clinical Global Impression-Improvement (CGI-I) score of ≤3 (at least minimally improved) following C+ECT. The mean number of ECT treatments was 10.6 (SD = 5.3) (range 3–25) with the majority receiving twice weekly ECT. Sixty-four per cent of patients experienced no adverse events. Response to C+ECT was not associated with gender, age, duration of illness or duration of clozapine treatment. Seventy-five per cent of responders remained out of hospital over the course of 1-year follow-up, while 70% of those with no response to C+ECT were not admitted to hospital. Three patients received maintenance ECT, one of whom was rehospitalised.
This study lends support to emerging evidence for the effectiveness of C+ECT in clozapine-resistant schizophrenia. These results are consistent with the results of a meta-analysis and the only randomised controlled trial (RCT) of this intervention. Further RCTs are required before this treatment can be confidently recommended.
Qualitative fit testing is a popular method of ensuring the fit of sealing face masks such as N95 and FFP3 masks. Increased demand due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to shortages in testing equipment and has forced many institutions to abandon fit testing. Three key materials are required for qualitative fit testing: the test solution, nebulizer, and testing hood. Accessible alternatives to the testing solution have been studied. This exploratory qualitative study evaluates alternatives to the nebulizer and hoods for performing qualitative fit testing.
Four devices were trialed to replace the test kit nebulizer. Two enclosures were tested for their ability to replace the test hood. Three researchers evaluated promising replacements under multiple mask fit conditions to assess functionality and accuracy.
The aroma diffuser and smaller enclosures allowed participants to perform qualitative fit tests quickly and with high accuracy.
Aroma diffusers show significant promise in their ability to allow individuals to quickly, easily, and inexpensively perform qualitative fit testing. Our findings indicate that aroma diffusers and homemade testing hoods may allow for qualitative fit testing when conventional apparatus is unavailable. Additional research is needed to evaluate the safety and reliability of these devices.
For DSM – 5, the American Psychiatric Association Board of Trustees established a robust vetting and review process that included two review committees that did not exist in the development of prior DSMs, the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) and the Clinical and Public Health Committee (CPHC). The CPHC was created as a body that could independently review the clinical and public health merits of various proposals that would fall outside of the strictly defined scientific process.
This article describes the principles and issues which led to the creation of the CPHC, the composition and vetting of the committee, and the processes developed by the committee – including the use of external reviewers.
Outcomes of some of the more involved CPHC deliberations, specifically, decisions concerning elements of diagnoses for major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorder, catatonia, and substance use disorders, are described. The Committee's extensive reviews and its recommendations regarding Personality Disorders are also discussed.
On the basis of our experiences, the CPHC membership unanimously believes that external review processes to evaluate and respond to Work Group proposals is essential for future DSM efforts. The Committee also recommends that separate SRC and CPHC committees be appointed to assess proposals for scientific merit and for clinical and public health utility and impact.
Affective polarization – partisans’ dislike and distrust of those from the other party – has reached historically high levels in the United States. While numerous studies estimate its effect on apolitical outcomes (e.g., dating and economic transactions), we know much less about its effects on political beliefs. We argue that those who exhibit high levels of affective polarization politicize ostensibly apolitical issues and actors. An experiment focused on responses to COVID-19 that relies on pre-pandemic, exogenous measures of affective polarization supports our expectations. Partisans who harbor high levels of animus towards the other party do not differentiate the “United States’” response to COVID-19 from that of the Trump administration. Less affectively polarized partisans, in contrast, do not politicize evaluations of the country’s response. Our results provide evidence of how affective polarization, apart from partisanship itself, shapes substantive beliefs. Affective polarization has political consequences and political beliefs stem, in part, from partisan animus.
Across the globe, there has been a marked increase in longevity, but significant inequalities remain. These are exacerbated by inadequate access to proper nutrition and health care services and to reliable information to make the decisions related to nutrition and health care. Many in economically developing as well as developed societies are plagued with the double-burden of energy excess and undernutrition. This has resulted in mental and physical deterioration, increased non-communicable disease rates, lost productivity, increased medical costs and reduced quality of life. While adequate nutrition is fundamental to good health at all stages of the life course, the impact of diet on prolonging good quality of life during ageing remains unclear. For progress to continue, there is need for new and/or innovative approaches to promoting health as individuals age, as well as qualitative and quantitative biomarkers and other accepted tools that can measure improvements in physiological integrity throughout life. A framework for progress has been proposed by the World Health Organization in their Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health. Here, we focused on the impact of nutrition within this framework, which takes a broad, person-centred emphasis on healthy ageing, stressing the need to better understand each individual's intrinsic capacity, their functional abilities at various life stages, and the impact of their mental, and physical health, as well as the environments they inhabit.
Angiostrongylus cantonensis has been found in Florida, USA, from the panhandle in the north to Miami and surrounding areas in the southern parts of the state, in both definitive and intermediate hosts in a limited studies completed in 2015. Additional studies have identified this parasite in a variety of intermediate hosts, both native and non-native gastropod species, with new host species recorded. Many areas in Florida with higher A. cantonensis prevalence were those with a high human population density, which suggests it is a matter of time before human infections occur in Florida. Case reports in the state currently involve non-human primates and include a gibbon and orangutan in Miami. Here, we report the current status of A. cantonensis in the state, as well as the infection in a capuchin monkey and presumptive infection in a red ruffed lemur in Gainesville, Florida.