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One of the most important political and economic challenges facing Europe and elsewhere is the ageing of societies. Must ageing populations create conflict between generations and crisis for health systems? Our answer is no. The problem is not so much demographic change as the political and policy challenge of creating fair, sustainable and effective policies for people of all ages. This book, based on a large European Observatory study, uses new evidence to challenge some of the myths surrounding ageing and its effects on economies and health systems. Cataclysmic views of population ageing are often based on stereotypes and anecdotes unsupported by evidence. How we address ageing societies is a choice. Societies can choose policies that benefit people of all ages, promoting equity both within and between generations, and political coalitions can be built to support such policies. This title is available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
Host–microbial co-metabolism products are being increasingly recognised to play important roles in physiological processes. However, studies undertaking a comprehensive approach to consider host–microbial metabolic relationships remain scarce. Metabolomic analysis yielding detailed information regarding metabolites found in a given biological compartment holds promise for such an approach. This work aimed to explore the associations between host plasma metabolomic signatures and gut microbiota composition in healthy adults of the Milieu Intérieur study. For 846 subjects, gut microbiota composition was profiled through sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene in stools. Metabolomic signatures were generated through proton NMR analysis of plasma. The associations between metabolomic variables and α- and β-diversity indexes and relative taxa abundances were tested using multi-adjusted partial Spearman correlations, permutational ANOVA and multivariate associations with linear models, respectively. A multiple testing correction was applied (Benjamini–Hochberg, 10 % false discovery rate). Microbial richness was negatively associated with lipid-related signals and positively associated with amino acids, choline, creatinine, glucose and citrate (−0·133 ≤ Spearman’s ρ ≤ 0·126). Specific associations between metabolomic signals and abundances of taxa were detected (twenty-five at the genus level and nineteen at the species level): notably, numerous associations were observed for creatinine (positively associated with eleven species and negatively associated with Faecalibacterium prausnitzii). This large-scale population-based study highlights metabolites associated with gut microbial features and provides new insights into the understanding of complex host–gut microbiota metabolic relationships. In particular, our results support the implication of a ‘gut–kidney axis’. More studies providing a detailed exploration of these complex interactions and their implications for host health are needed.
Maternal antenatal depression strongly influences child mental health but with considerable inter-individual variation that is, in part, linked to genotype. The challenge is to effectively capture the genotypic influence. We outline a novel approach to describe genomic susceptibility to maternal antenatal depression focusing on child emotional/behavioral difficulties. Two cohorts provided measures of maternal depression, child genetic variation, and child mental health symptoms. We constructed a conventional polygenic risk score (PRS) for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (PRSADHD) that significantly moderated the association between maternal antenatal depression and internalizing problems at 60 months (p = 2.94 × 10−4, R2 = .18). We then constructed an interaction PRS (xPRS) based on a subset of those single nucleotide polymorphisms from the PRSADHD that most accounted for the moderation of the association between maternal antenatal depression and child outcome. The interaction between maternal antenatal depression and this xPRS accounted for a larger proportion of the variance in child emotional/behavioral problems than models based on any PRSADHD (p = 5.50 × 10−9, R2 = .27), with similar findings in the replication cohort. The xPRS was significantly enriched for genes involved in neuronal development and synaptic function. Our study illustrates a novel approach to the study of genotypic moderation on the impact of maternal antenatal depression on child mental health and highlights the utility of the xPRS approach. These findings advance our understanding of individual differences in the developmental origins of mental health.
Impairment in reciprocal social behavior (RSB), an essential component of early social competence, clinically defines autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the behavioral and genetic architecture of RSB in toddlerhood, when ASD first emerges, has not been fully characterized. We analyzed data from a quantitative video-referenced rating of RSB (vrRSB) in two toddler samples: a community-based volunteer research registry (n = 1,563) and an ethnically diverse, longitudinal twin sample ascertained from two state birth registries (n = 714). Variation in RSB was continuously distributed, temporally stable, significantly associated with ASD risk at age 18 months, and only modestly explained by sociodemographic and medical factors (r2 = 9.4%). Five latent RSB factors were identified and corresponded to aspects of social communication or restricted repetitive behaviors, the two core ASD symptom domains. Quantitative genetic analyses indicated substantial heritability for all factors at age 24 months (h2 ≥ .61). Genetic influences strongly overlapped across all factors, with a social motivation factor showing evidence of newly-emerging genetic influences between the ages of 18 and 24 months. RSB constitutes a heritable, trait-like competency whose factorial and genetic structure is generalized across diverse populations, demonstrating its role as an early, enduring dimension of inherited variation in human social behavior. Substantially overlapping RSB domains, measurable when core ASD features arise and consolidate, may serve as markers of specific pathways to autism and anchors to inform determinants of autism's heterogeneity.
Background: Based on data obtained from hospitals in the city of Belo Horizonte (population ~3,000,000), we evaluated relevant factors such as death, age, duration of surgery, potential for contamination and surgical site infection, plastic surgery, and craniotomy. The possibility of predicting surgical site infection (SSI) was then analyzed using pattern recognition algorithms based on MLP (multilayer perceptron). Methods: Data were collected by the hospital infection control committees (CCIHs) in hospitals in Belo Horizonte between 2016 and 2018. The noisy records were filtered, and the occurrences were analyzed. Finally, the predictive power of SSI of 5 types MLP was evaluated experimentally: momentum, backpropagation standard, weight decay, resilient propagation, and quick propagation. The model used 3, 5, 7, and 10 neurons in the occult layer and with resamples varied the number of records for testing (65% and 75%) and for validation (35% and 25%). Comparisons were made by measuring the AUC (area under the curve (range, 0–1). Results: From 1,096 records of craniotomy, 289 were usable for analysis. Moreover, 16% died; averaged age was 56 years (range, 40–65); mean time of surgery was 186 minutes (range, 95–250 minutes); the number of hospitalizations ranged from 1 (90.6%) to 8 (0.3%). Contamination among these cases was rated as follows: 2.7% contaminated, 23.5% potentially contaminated, 72.3% clean. The SSI rate reached 4%. The prediction process in AUCs ranged from 0.7 to 0.994. In plastic surgery, from 3,693 records, 1,099 were intact, with only 1 case of SSI and no deaths. The average age for plastic surgery was 41 years (range, 16–91); the average time of surgery was 218.5 minutes (range, 19–580 minutes); the number of hospitalizations ranged from 1 (77.4%) to 6 times (0.001%). Contamination among these cases was rated as follows: 27.90% potential contamination, 1.67% contaminated, and 0.84% infected. The prediction process ranged in AUCs from 0.2 to 0.4. Conclusions: We identified a high noise index in both surgeries due to subjectivity at the time of data collection. The profiles of each surgery in the statistical analyses were different, which was reflected in the analyzed structures. The MLP for craniotomy surgery demonstrated relevant predictive power and can guide intelligent monitoring software (available in www.sacihweb.com). However, for plastic surgeries, MLPs need more SSI samples to optimize outcomes. To optimize data collection and to enable other hospitals to use the SSI prediction tool, a mobile application was developed.
Due to urbanisation in China, about 7.74 million older people have migrated to urban centres, where their adult children reside and work, to care for their grandchildren. While older migrants may benefit from family reunion and mutual support, empirical studies have identified challenges to adaptation, integration and mental health. Employing a systematic literature review approach, this paper examines recent empirical studies on the mental health of older migrants migrating along with adult children in China, focusing on mental health and wellbeing outcomes and determinants and directions for social work interventions. It identifies directions for considering diversity in conceptualisations of mental health and in theoretical perspectives to enrich understanding of the experiences of Chinese older migrants migrating along with adult children and potential interventions.
Glacial retreat in response to warming climates in the arid Xinjiang region of northwestern China directly impacts downstream water resources available for local communities. We used high-resolution satellite imagery from 1969 to 2014 to delineate spatial changes in 54 active glaciers in the upper Kaidu River Basin in the Tian Shan as well as their past expanses during the Little Ice Age (LIA). We manually delineated their boundaries based on the interpretation of glacial, geomorphic and topographic features. From the total glacier surface area, we estimated glacier volume and mass. From 1969 to 2014, glacier area decreased by 10.1 ± 1.0 km2 (relative loss of 34.2 ± 3.5%) and mass by 1.025 ± 0.108 Gt (relative loss of 43 ± 4.6%). From the LIA maximum (est. 1586 CE) to 1969, relative losses were less (25.7 ± 4.3% area loss and 33.1 ± 5.7% mass loss). Our results indicate that glacier recession is accelerating over time and that the glaciers are currently losing over 1.5 times more relative area than elsewhere in the Tian Shan. Using linear and non-linear projections, we estimate that these glaciers may disappear between 2050 and 2150 CE if climatic warming continues at the same pace.
The objective of this study was to examine the experience and expression of anger in eating disorders (EDs) including bulimia nervosa purging (BN-P) and anorexia nervosa restrictive (AN-R) subtypes, impulsive disorders such as pathological gambling (PG), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and a non psychiatric healthy control group.
The sample comprised 80 female SODs individuals (20 BN-P, 21 AN-R, 19 PG, 21 TOC) consecutively admitted to our Department and 21 healthy controls. Patients were diagnosed according to DSM-IV-R criteria. We administered the State-Trait Anger Expression Inventory-2 (STAXI-2). in the control group, the GHQ-28 was also employed.
Compared to the healthy control group, elevated Trait Anger scores were revealed for the BN-P (p< .011) and OCD (p< .003) groups. in addition, the OCD group scored higher on this scale than the PG patients (p< .039). as regards to State Anger, higher scores were uncovered for the OCD patients than for the control group (p< .017). Finally, when Anger Expression was assessed, higher scores were found for the OCD (p< .001) and BN (p< .001) individuals when compared to healthy controls. in addition, compared to AN-R, the BN-P and OCD exhibited higher scores on this scale (p< .001 and p< .037, respectively).
Our results indicate that, OCD and BN-P patients may have inadequate anger expressions and deficits in coping with anger and frustration when compared to a healthy control group. Conversely, no significant differences were revealed between AN-R, PG and controls. Finally, some differences across diagnoses were also obtained.
Emerging evidence suggests that the consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF) plays a role in the development of chronic diseases, but evidence of their influence in children is limited. Our objective was to study longitudinal trends of UPF intake and determine their impact on blood lipids in young children. The present study was a follow-up of a randomised field trial of children (n 308) from Porto Alegre, Brazil. Dietary intake was collected using two 24-h recalls at 3 and 6 years of age, and consumption of UPF was classified according to the NOVA system, a food classification based on the extent and purpose of industrial food processing. At age 6 years, blood tests were performed to measure lipid profile. Contribution of UPF to total energy intake increased by 10 % during the follow-up period, from 43·4 % at 3 years to 47·7 % at 6 years of age. Linear regression models showed that children in the highest tertile of UPF consumption at age 3 years had higher levels of total cholesterol (TC; β 0·22 mmol/l; 95 % CI 0·04, 0·39) and TAG at age 6 years (β 0·11 mmol/l, 95 % CI 0·01, 0·20) compared with those in the lowest tertile. A positive dose–response was observed for an absolute increment of 10 % of UPF on TC (β 0·07 mmol/l, 95 % CI 0·00, 0·14) and TAG (β 0·04 mmol/l, 95 % CI 0·01, 0·07). Based on our data, consumption of UPF increased significantly over time and was associated with higher blood lipid levels in children from a low-income community. Our findings highlight the need for effective strategies to minimise the consumption of UPF in early life.
For children with normal hearing (NH), early communication skills predict vocabulary, a precursor to grammar. Growth in early communication skills of infants with cochlear implants (CIs) was investigated using the Early Communication Indicator (ECI), a play-based observation measure. Multilevel linear growth modelling on data from six ECI sessions held at three-monthly intervals revealed significant growth overall, with a non-significant slower growth rate than that of children with NH (comparison age centred at 18 months). Analyses of gesture use and of nonword vocalisations revealed the CI group used significantly more of each, with more rapid growth. In contrast, the CI group used significantly fewer single words and multiword utterances, and with slower growth. Maternal education and time to achieve consistent CI use impacted significantly on growth for the CI sample. The results indicate that progression to vocabulary by young CI users can be supported by encouraging their use of prelinguistic communication.
Diet modifies the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), and inconclusive evidence suggests that yogurt may protect against CRC. We analysed the data collected from two separate colonoscopy-based case–control studies. The Tennessee Colorectal Polyp Study (TCPS) and Johns Hopkins Biofilm Study included 5446 and 1061 participants, respectively, diagnosed with hyperplastic polyp (HP), sessile serrated polyp, adenomatous polyp (AP) or without any polyps. Multinomial logistic regression models were used to derive OR and 95 % CI to evaluate comparisons between cases and polyp-free controls and case–case comparisons between different polyp types. We evaluated the association between frequency of yogurt intake and probiotic use with the diagnosis of colorectal polyps. In the TCPS, daily yogurt intake v. no/rare intake was associated with decreased odds of HP (OR 0·54; 95 % CI 0·31, 0·95) and weekly yogurt intake was associated with decreased odds of AP among women (OR 0·73; 95 % CI 0·55, 0·98). In the Biofilm Study, both weekly yogurt intake and probiotic use were associated with a non-significant reduction in odds of overall AP (OR 0·75; 95 % CI 0·54, 1·04) and (OR 0·72; 95 % CI 0·49, 1·06) in comparison with no use, respectively. In summary, yogurt intake may be associated with decreased odds of HP and AP and probiotic use may be associated with decreased odds of AP. Further prospective studies are needed to verify these associations.
Lithium (Li) is the gold standard treatment for bipolar disorder (BD). However, its mechanisms of action remain unknown but include neurotrophic effects. We here investigated the influence of Li on cortical and local grey matter (GM) volumes in a large international sample of patients with BD and healthy controls (HC).
We analyzed high-resolution T1-weighted structural magnetic resonance imaging scans of 271 patients with BD type I (120 undergoing Li) and 316 HC. Cortical and local GM volumes were compared using voxel-wise approaches with voxel-based morphometry and SIENAX using FSL. We used multiple linear regression models to test the influence of Li on cortical and local GM volumes, taking into account potential confounding factors such as a history of alcohol misuse.
Patients taking Li had greater cortical GM volume than patients without. Patients undergoing Li had greater regional GM volumes in the right middle frontal gyrus, the right anterior cingulate gyrus, and the left fusiform gyrus in comparison with patients not taking Li.
Our results in a large multicentric sample support the hypothesis that Li could exert neurotrophic and neuroprotective effects limiting pathological GM atrophy in key brain regions associated with BD.
Facial fluctuating asymmetry (FA), presumably a proxy measure of developmental instability, has been proposed to inversely relate to vocal attractiveness, which may convey information on heritable fitness benefits. Using an improved method of measuring facial FA, we sought to replicate two recent studies that showed an inverse correlation of facial FA with vocal attractiveness. In two samples of men (N = 165) and women (N = 157), we investigated the association of automatically measured facial FA based on 3D face scans with male and female observer-rated attractiveness of voice recordings. No significant associations were found for men or women, also when controlling for facial attractiveness, age, and body mass index. Equivalence tests show that effect sizes were significantly smaller than previous meta-analytic effects, providing robust evidence against a link of facial FA with vocal attractiveness. Thus, our study contradicts earlier findings that vocal attractiveness may signal genetic quality in humans via an association with FA.
Optimism is associated with reduced cardiovascular disease risk; however, few prospective studies have considered optimism in relation to hypertension risk specifically. We investigated whether optimism was associated with a lower risk of developing hypertension in U.S. service members, who are more likely to develop high blood pressure early in life. We also evaluated race/ethnicity, sex and age as potential effect modifiers of these associations.
Participants were 103 486 hypertension-free U.S. Army active-duty soldiers (mean age 28.96 years, 61.76% White, 20.04% Black, 11.01% Hispanic, 4.09% Asian, and 3.10% others). We assessed optimism, sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions, health behaviours and depression status at baseline (2009–2010) via self-report and administrative records, and ascertained incident hypertension over follow-up (2010–2014) from electronic health records and health assessments. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), and adjusted models for a broad range of relevant covariates.
Over a mean follow-up of 3.51 years, 15 052 incident hypertension cases occurred. The highest v. lowest optimism levels were associated with a 22% reduced risk of developing hypertension, after adjusting for all covariates including baseline blood pressure (HR = 0.78; 95% CI = 0.74–0.83). The difference in hypertension risk between the highest v. lowest optimism was also maintained when we excluded soldiers with hypertension in the first two years of follow-up and, separately, when we excluded soldiers with prehypertension at baseline. A dose–response relationship was evident with higher optimism associated with a lower relative risk (p < 0.001). Higher optimism was consistently associated with a lower risk of developing hypertension across sex, age and most race/ethnicity categories.
In a diverse cohort of initially healthy male and female service members particularly vulnerable to developing hypertension, higher optimism levels were associated with reduced hypertension risk independently of sociodemographic and health factors, a particularly notable finding given the young and healthy population. Results suggest optimism is a health asset and a potential target for public health interventions.
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.
Since our last report on the voluntary Hungarian Twin Registry (HTR) in 2012, the number of pairs or multiplets included increased from 310 to 1044. Efforts to turn the registry into a population-based one are on the way. Nearly 128,000 twins living in Hungary (98,500 adults) will be mailed information on how to register on the new HTR website. Twins will be asked to invite their spouses and immediate family members. Meanwhile, strong cooperation through exchange programs has been developed with other foreign twin registries. Current research focuses on radiogenomics, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, gut microbiome as well as basic molecular research and yielded new awards and further publications.
The effectiveness of many widely used conservation interventions is poorly understood because of a lack of high-quality impact evaluations. Randomized control trials (RCTs), in which experimental units are randomly allocated to treatment or control groups, offer an intuitive way to calculate the impact of an intervention by establishing a reliable counterfactual scenario. As many conservation interventions depend on changing people's behaviour, conservation impact evaluation can learn a great deal from RCTs in fields such as development economics, where RCTs have become widely used but are controversial. We build on relevant literature from other fields to discuss how RCTs, despite their potential, are just one of a number of ways to evaluate impact, are not feasible in all circumstances, and how factors such as spillover between units and behavioural effects must be considered in their design. We offer guidance and a set of criteria for deciding when RCTs may be an appropriate approach for evaluating conservation interventions, and factors to consider to ensure an RCT is of high quality. We illustrate this with examples from one of the few concluded RCTs of a large-scale conservation intervention: an incentive-based conservation programme in the Bolivian Andes. We argue that conservation should aim to avoid a rerun of the polarized debate surrounding the use of RCTs in other fields. Randomized control trials will not be feasible or appropriate in many circumstances, but if used carefully they can be useful and could become a more widely used tool for the evaluation of conservation impact.