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South Africa (SA) is a developing country with an ageing population. Adequate nutrition and physical activity (PA) protect against the loss of muscle mass and physical function, both of which are important components of sarcopenia. This study aimed to measure the prevalence of sarcopenia in older black SA women and investigate its associations with PA and protein intake.
Materials and Methods
Older black SA women (age, 68 (range; 60–85 years) n = 122) completed sociodemographic questionnaires, 24 h urine collection (estimate protein intake), venous blood (hs-C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and ferritin), functional tests (grip strength, 3 m timed-up-and-go (TUG), 10 m walk test) and PA monitoring (activPAL). Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry whole-body scans assessed fat and fat-free soft tissue mass (FFSTM).
According to the European Working group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP)2, 2.5% (n = 3) had confirmed sarcopenia of a low severity based on normal physical function. Of the total cohort, 9% (n = 11) had low grip strength, 22.1% (n = 27) had a low appendicular skeletal muscle index (ASMI), and no women had low TUG (s) or gait speed (m/s). Higher ASMI was associated with lower hs-CRP (p = 0.05; Rho = -0.209) and higher ferritin (Rho = 0.252; p = 0.019), grip strength (kg, Rho = 0.223; p = 0.015), and gait speed (m/s, Rho = 0.180; p = 0.050). Protein intake suggested intake of 41.8g/day/ or 0.51 g/kg of body mass/day. Higher total protein intake (g/24h), was associated with higher FFSTM (kg) and ASMI (p < 0.001). PA outcomes were not correlated with FFSTM or ASMI (p > 0.05), however, there was a strong positive correlation of TUG (s) and gait speed (m/s) with time spent: 1) stepping per day (min) and; 2) at a high cadence (> 100 steps/min) (all p < 0.01). Daily step count was 7137 ± 3233 (mean ± Standard deviation), with 97.9 ± 38.7 min of total time spent stepping and 12.6 ± 16.8 min spent stepping at a high cadence (> 100 steps/min). Of note, 13.9% (n = 17) of women were completing > 10,000 steps/day.
Based on the EWGSOP2 criteria, there is a low prevalence of sarcopenia in older black SA women, explained by the maintenance of strength and physical function that directly related to PA, especially that performed at higher intensities. In contrast, low muscle mass was relatively prevalent (22.1%) and was associated with low dietary protein and not PA. Notably, it may be important to review the cut-points of EWGSOP2 criteria to be specific to the older SA women from disadvantaged communities.
Osteoporosis was not a public health concern in black South African (SA) women, until recently when it was reported that the prevalence of vertebral fractures was 9.1% in black compared to 5.0% in white SA women. Accordingly, this study aimed to measure bone mineral density (BMD) of older black SA women and to investigate its association with risk factors for osteoporosis, including strength, muscle and fat mass, dietary intake and objectively measured physical activity (PA).
Methods and materials
Older black SA women (age, 68 (range; 60–85 years) n = 122) completed sociodemographic and quantitative food frequency questionnaires (QFFQ), fasting venous blood samples (25-hydroxycholecalciferol: Vitamin D-25), 24 h urine collection (estimate protein intake), grip strength and PA monitoring (activPAL). Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans of the hip (femoral neck and total) and lumbar spine determined BMD and whole-body scans for fat and fat-free soft tissue mass (FFSTM). WHO classifications were used to determine osteopenia (t-score -2.5 to -1), and osteoporosis (t-score < -2.5).
At the lumbar spine 34.4% of the women (n = 42) had osteopenia and 19.7% (n = 24) had osteoporosis. Osteopenia at the left femoral neck was 32% (n = 40) and osteoporosis was 13.1% (n = 16) of participants. The total left hip BMD indicated osteopenia in 27.9% (n = 34) and osteoporosis in 13.1% (n = 16) of participants. Multinomial regression revealed no differences in age (y) or frequency of falls in the past year between all groups (p = 0.727). Compared to those with normal BMD, participants with osteoporosis at the hip neck and lumbar spine were shorter, weighed less and had a lower body mass index (BMI) (all p < 0.05). When adjusted for height, the osteoporotic group (hip neck and lumbar spine) had lower trunk fat (% whole body), FFSTM (kg) and grip strength (kg), compared to those with normal BMD (p < 0.05). Only protein intake (g; 24 h urine analyses) was lower in women with osteoporosis (all sites) compared to those with normal BMD. Fat, carbohydrate and micronutrient intakes (relative to total daily energy intake), and vitamin D concentrations were not associated with BMD (all sites). Number of daily step count and stepping time (min) were inversely associated with BMI (p < 0.05), but not with BMD (all sites; p > 0.05).
A high prevalence of osteopenia and osteoporosis was evident at the lumbar spine and hip in older black SA women. This study highlights the importance of strength, body composition, and protein intake in maintaining BMD and preventing the development of osteoporosis in older women.
A national need is to prepare for and respond to accidental or intentional disasters categorized as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE). These incidents require specific subject-matter expertise, yet have commonalities. We identify 7 core elements comprising CBRNE science that require integration for effective preparedness planning and public health and medical response and recovery. These core elements are (1) basic and clinical sciences, (2) modeling and systems management, (3) planning, (4) response and incident management, (5) recovery and resilience, (6) lessons learned, and (7) continuous improvement. A key feature is the ability of relevant subject matter experts to integrate information into response operations. We propose the CBRNE medical operations science support expert as a professional who (1) understands that CBRNE incidents require an integrated systems approach, (2) understands the key functions and contributions of CBRNE science practitioners, (3) helps direct strategic and tactical CBRNE planning and responses through first-hand experience, and (4) provides advice to senior decision-makers managing response activities. Recognition of both CBRNE science as a distinct competency and the establishment of the CBRNE medical operations science support expert informs the public of the enormous progress made, broadcasts opportunities for new talent, and enhances the sophistication and analytic expertise of senior managers planning for and responding to CBRNE incidents.
We argue that understanding of autism can be strengthened by increasing involvement of autistic individuals as researchers and by exploring cascading impacts of early sensory, perceptual, attentional, and motor atypicalities on social and communicative developmental trajectories. Participatory action research that includes diverse participants or researchers may help combat stigma while expanding research foci to better address autistic people's needs.
Legionnaires’ disease (LD) incidence in the USA has quadrupled since 2000. Health departments must detect LD outbreaks quickly to identify and remediate sources. We tested the performance of a system to prospectively detect simulated LD outbreaks in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA. We generated three simulated LD outbreaks based on published outbreaks. After verifying no significant clusters existed in surveillance data during 2014–2016, we embedded simulated outbreak-associated cases into 2016, assigning simulated residences and report dates. We mimicked daily analyses in 2016 using the prospective space-time permutation scan statistic to detect clusters of ⩽30 and ⩽180 days using 365-day and 730-day baseline periods, respectively. We used recurrence interval (RI) thresholds of ⩾20, ⩾100 and ⩾365 days to define significant signals. We calculated sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values for daily analyses, separately for each embedded outbreak. Two large, simulated cooling tower-associated outbreaks were detected. As the RI threshold was increased, sensitivity and negative predictive value decreased, while positive predictive value and specificity increased. A small, simulated potable water-associated outbreak was not detected. Use of a RI threshold of ⩾100 days minimised time-to-detection while maximizing positive predictive value. Health departments should consider using this system to detect community-acquired LD outbreaks.
Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and viral hepatitis is associated with high morbidity and mortality in the absence of clinical management, making identification of these cases crucial. We examined characteristics of HIV and viral hepatitis coinfections by using surveillance data from 15 US states and two cities. Each jurisdiction used an automated deterministic matching method to link surveillance data for persons with reported acute and chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, to persons reported with HIV infection. Of the 504 398 persons living with diagnosed HIV infection at the end of 2014, 2.0% were coinfected with HBV and 6.7% were coinfected with HCV. Of the 269 884 persons ever reported with HBV, 5.2% were reported with HIV. Of the 1 093 050 persons ever reported with HCV, 4.3% were reported with HIV. A greater proportion of persons coinfected with HIV and HBV were males and blacks/African Americans, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Persons who inject drugs represented a greater proportion of those coinfected with HIV and HCV, compared with those with HIV monoinfection. Matching HIV and viral hepatitis surveillance data highlights epidemiological characteristics of persons coinfected and can be used to routinely monitor health status and guide state and national public health interventions.
Water cultures were significantly more sensitive than concurrently collected swab cultures (n=2,147 each) in detecting Legionella pneumophila within a Veterans Affairs healthcare system. Sensitivity for water versus swab cultures was 90% versus 30% overall, 83% versus 48% during a nosocomial Legionnaires’ disease outbreak, and 93% versus 22% post outbreak.
As part of further investigations into three linked haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) cases in Wales and England, 21 rats from a breeding colony in Cherwell, and three rats from a household in Cheltenham were screened for hantavirus. Hantavirus RNA was detected in either the lungs and/or kidney of 17/21 (81%) of the Cherwell rats tested, higher than previously detected by blood testing alone (7/21, 33%), and in the kidneys of all three Cheltenham rats. The partial L gene sequences obtained from 10 of the Cherwell rats and the three Cheltenham rats were identical to each other and the previously reported UK Cherwell strain. Seoul hantavirus (SEOV) RNA was detected in the heart, kidney, lung, salivary gland and spleen (but not in the liver) of an individual rat from the Cherwell colony suspected of being the source of SEOV. Serum from 20/20 of the Cherwell rats and two associated HFRS cases had high levels of SEOV-specific antibodies (by virus neutralisation). The high prevalence of SEOV in both sites and the moderately severe disease in the pet rat owners suggest that SEOV in pet rats poses a greater public health risk than previously considered.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Cardiometabolic diseases exhibit changes in lipid biology, which is important as lipids have critical roles in membrane architecture, signalling, hormone synthesis, homoeostasis and metabolism. However, Developmental Origins of Health and Disease studies of cardiometabolic disease rarely include analysis of lipids. This short review highlights some examples of lipid pathology and then explores the technology available for analysing lipids, focussing on the need to develop imaging modalities for intracellular lipids. Analytical methods for studying interactions between the complex endocrine and intracellular signalling pathways that regulate lipid metabolism have been critical in expanding our understanding of how cardiometabolic diseases develop in association with obesity and dietary factors. Biochemical methods can be used to generate detailed lipid profiles to establish links between lifestyle factors and metabolic signalling pathways and determine how changes in specific lipid subtypes in plasma and homogenized tissue are associated with disease progression. New imaging modalities enable the specific visualization of intracellular lipid traffic and distribution in situ. These techniques provide a dynamic picture of the interactions between lipid storage, mobilization and signalling, which operate during normal cell function and are altered in many important diseases. The development of methods for imaging intracellular lipids can provide a dynamic real-time picture of how lipids are involved in complex signalling and other cell biology pathways; and how they ultimately regulate metabolic function/homoeostasis during early development. Some imaging modalities have the potential to be adapted for in vivo applications, and may enable the direct visualization of progression of pathogenesis of cardiometabolic disease after poor growth in early life.
To describe the investigation and control of a cluster of Serratia marcescens bacteremia in a 505-bed tertiary-care center.
Cluster cases were defined as all patients with S. marcescens bacteremia between March 2 and April 7, 2014, who were found to have identical or related blood isolates determined by molecular typing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Cases were compared using bivariate analysis with controls admitted at the same time and to the same service as the cases, in a 4:1 ratio.
In total, 6 patients developed S. marcescens bacteremia within 48 hours after admission within the above period. Of these, 5 patients had identical Serratia isolates determined by molecular typing, and were included in a case-control study. Exposure to the post-anesthesia care unit was a risk factor identified in bivariate analysis. Evidence of tampered opioid-containing syringes on several hospital units was discovered soon after the initial cluster case presented, and a full narcotic diversion investigation was conducted. A nurse working in the post-anesthesia care unit was identified as the employee responsible for the drug diversion and was epidemiologically linked to all 5 patients in the cluster. No further cases were identified once the implicated employee’s job was terminated.
Illicit drug use by healthcare workers remains an important mechanism for the development of bloodstream infections in hospitalized patients. Active mechanisms and systems should remain in place to prevent, detect, and control narcotic drug diversions and associated patient harm in the healthcare setting.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to describe cognitive, academic, and psychosocial outcomes after an incident demyelinating event (acquired demyelinating syndromes, ADS) in childhood and to investigate the contribution of brain lesions and confirmed MS diagnosis on outcome. Methods: Thirty-six patients with ADS (mean age=12.2 years, SD=2.7, range: 7–16 years) underwent brain MRI scans at presentation and at 6-months follow-up. T2-weighted lesions on MRI were assessed using a binary classification. At 6-months follow-up, patients underwent neuropsychological evaluation and were compared with 42 healthy controls. Results: Cognitive, academic, and behavioral outcomes did not differ between the patients with ADS and controls. Three of 36 patients (8.3%) were identified with cognitive impairment, as determined by performance falling ≤1.5 SD below normative values on more than four independent tests in the battery. Poor performance on a visuomotor integration task was most common, observed among 6/32 patients, but this did not differ significantly from controls. Twelve of 36 patients received a diagnosis of MS within 3 years post-ADS. Patients with MS did not differ from children with monophasic ADS in terms of cognitive performance at the 6-months follow-up. Fatigue symptoms were reported in 50% of patients, irrespective of MS diagnosis. Presence of brain lesions at onset and 6 months post-incident demyelinating event did not associate with cognitive outcome. Conclusions: Children with ADS experience a favorable short-term neurocognitive outcome, even those confirmed to have MS. Longitudinal evaluations of children with monophasic ADS and MS are required to determine the possibility of late-emerging sequelae and their time course. (JINS, 2016, 22, 1050–1060)
The Dark Energy Survey is undertaking an observational programme imaging 1/4 of the southern hemisphere sky with unprecedented photometric accuracy. In the process of observing millions of faint stars and galaxies to constrain the parameters of the dark energy equation of state, the Dark Energy Survey will obtain pre-discovery images of the regions surrounding an estimated 100 gamma-ray bursts over 5 yr. Once gamma-ray bursts are detected by, e.g., the Swift satellite, the DES data will be extremely useful for follow-up observations by the transient astronomy community. We describe a recently-commissioned suite of software that listens continuously for automated notices of gamma-ray burst activity, collates information from archival DES data, and disseminates relevant data products back to the community in near-real-time. Of particular importance are the opportunities that non-public DES data provide for relative photometry of the optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, as well as for identifying key characteristics (e.g., photometric redshifts) of potential gamma-ray burst host galaxies. We provide the functional details of the DESAlert software, and its data products, and we show sample results from the application of DESAlert to numerous previously detected gamma-ray bursts, including the possible identification of several heretofore unknown gamma-ray burst hosts.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
This paper describes the system architecture of a newly constructed radio telescope – the Boolardy engineering test array, which is a prototype of the Australian square kilometre array pathfinder telescope. Phased array feed technology is used to form multiple simultaneous beams per antenna, providing astronomers with unprecedented survey speed. The test array described here is a six-antenna interferometer, fitted with prototype signal processing hardware capable of forming at least nine dual-polarisation beams simultaneously, allowing several square degrees to be imaged in a single pointed observation. The main purpose of the test array is to develop beamforming and wide-field calibration methods for use with the full telescope, but it will also be capable of limited early science demonstrations.
Polyaniline–Zinc oxide nano-composite material was prepared by chemical polymerization of aniline with ZnO nano-particles doping. Surface Pressure-Area (π-A) isotherms of Polyaniline (PANi) and Polyaniline–Zinc oxide nano-composite shows phase transformations of monolayer during compression process. Multiple isotherms indicate that the monolayer of the composite material can retain its configuration during compression-expansion cycles. The structural, topographical and electrical properties of these deposited Langmuir Blodgett films were studied and characterized by UV-Visible spectroscopy (UV), Atomic force microscopy (AFM), Conductive Atomic force microscopy (C-AFM) respectively. For detailed investigations of the LB film properties, Conductive AFM is used to measure the I-V relationship of a surface of Langmuir Blodgett (LB) films of Polyaniline and Polyaniline–Zinc oxide nano-composite. The contact size of the AFM cantilever tip can be as small as a few nanometers, so, the local variation of the electrical property, which is unseen in the macroscopic level, can be observed by the I-V curve. A current ranging up to 3 nA and 20 nA have been observed in the case of PANi and PANi-ZnO nano-composite LB film, respectively. Conductive data images of the ITO substrate, PANi and PANi-ZnO nano-composite LB film on the ITO substrate obtained with an applied bias voltage of 4V showed that the distribution of current on the whole surface is almost uniform and very less inhomogeneities have been observed in the surface conductance of the PANi and PANi-ZnO nano-composite LB film.
Light management in a photovoltaic device is much about efficient light harvesting by increasing internal reflection and absorption. Structured architectures aids in enhancing internal reflection hence higher light absorption. Various techniques have been employed to fabricate these structures. In this work, organic photoactive materials were electrosprayed, utilizing a high voltage electric field to charge a droplet suspended through a nozzle, at various solution concentrations. Various process parameters like applied voltage, flow rate, tip to collector distance were optimized to obtain hierarchical structures. Morphological and optical properties of these optimized structures were analyzed to get interesting pattern with enhancement in surface area and light absorption. These structures were further evaluated in photovoltaic device architecture.
The Millimetre Astronomy Legacy Team 90 GHz (MALT90) survey aims to characterise the physical and chemical evolution of high-mass star-forming clumps. Exploiting the unique broad frequency range and on-the-fly mapping capabilities of the Australia Telescope National Facility Mopra 22 m single-dish telescope1, MALT90 has obtained 3′ × 3′ maps towards ~2 000 dense molecular clumps identified in the ATLASGAL 870 μm Galactic plane survey. The clumps were selected to host the early stages of high-mass star formation and to span the complete range in their evolutionary states (from prestellar, to protostellar, and on to
regions and photodissociation regions). Because MALT90 mapped 16 lines simultaneously with excellent spatial (38 arcsec) and spectral (0.11 km s−1) resolution, the data reveal a wealth of information about the clumps’ morphologies, chemistry, and kinematics. In this paper we outline the survey strategy, observing mode, data reduction procedure, and highlight some early science results. All MALT90 raw and processed data products are available to the community. With its unprecedented large sample of clumps, MALT90 is the largest survey of its type ever conducted and an excellent resource for identifying interesting candidates for high-resolution studies with ALMA.