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Adolescence is a critical time point in the lifecourse. LifeLab is an educational intervention engaging adolescents in understanding Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) concepts and the impact of the early life environment on future health, benefitting both their long-term health and that of the next generation. We aimed to assess whether engaging adolescents with DOHaD concepts improves scientific literacy and whether engagement alone improves health behaviours.
Six schools were randomized, three to intervention and three to control. Outcome measures were changed in knowledge, and intended and actual behaviour in relation to diet and lifestyle. A total of 333 students completed baseline and follow-up questionnaires. At 12 months, intervention students showed greater understanding of DOHaD concepts. No sustained changes in behaviours were identified.
Adolescents’ engagement with DOHaD concepts can be improved and maintained over 12 months. Such engagement does not itself translate into behaviour change. The intervention has consequently been revised to include additional components beyond engagement alone.
Negative mood states are composed of symptoms of depression and anxiety, and by a third factor related to stress, tension and irritability. We sought to clarify the nature of the relationships between the factors by studying twin pairs.
A total of 503 monozygotic twin pairs completed the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS), an instrument that assesses symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress–tension. We applied a recently developed twin regression methodology – Inference about Causation from Examination of FAmiliaL CONfounding (ICE FALCON) – to test for evidence consistent with the existence of ‘causal’ influences between the DASS factors.
There was evidence consistent with the stress–tension factor having a causal influence on both the depression (p < 0.0001) and anxiety factors (p = 0.001), and for the depression factor having a causal influence on the anxiety factor (p < 0.001).
Our findings suggest a critical role for stress–tension in the structure of negative mood states, and that interventions that target it may be particularly effective in reducing depression and anxiety symptoms.
The amygdala and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sACC) are key brain regions for the generation of negative affect. In this longitudinal fMRI study of adolescents we investigated how amygdala–sACC connectivity was correlated with negative affectivity (NA) both cross-sectionally and longitudinally, and examined its relationship to the onset of first-episode depression.
Fifty-six adolescents who were part of a larger longitudinal study of adolescent development were included. They had no history of mental illness at the time of their baseline scan (mean age 16.5 years) and had a follow-up scan 2 years later (mean age 18.8 years). We used resting-state functional-connectivity MRI to investigate whether cross-sectional and change measures of amygdala–sACC connectivity were (i) correlated with NA and its change over time, and (ii) related to the onset of first-episode depression.
The magnitude of amygdala connectivity with sACC showed significant positive correlation with NA at both time-points. Further analysis confirmed that change in amygdala–sACC connectivity between assessments was correlated with change in NA. Eight participants developed a first episode of depression between the baseline and follow-up assessments: they showed increased amygdala–sACC connectivity at follow-up.
Amygdala–sACC connectivity is associated with NA in adolescence, with change in connectivity between these regions showing positive correlation with change in NA. Our observation that the onset of depression was associated with an increase in connectivity between the regions provides support for the neurobiological ‘scar’ hypothesis of depression.
Preterm birth confers risk for poor outcome, including mental health problems. Survival of extremely preterm (EP; <28 weeks' gestation) or extremely low birthweight (ELBW; <1000 g) infants increased in the 1990s but psychiatric outcomes in older adolescents born preterm since 1990 are not well documented. This study aimed to characterize mental health and personality traits in a prospective geographical cohort of adolescents born EP/ELBW in Victoria, Australia in 1991 and 1992.
At age 18 years, 215 EP/ELBW and 157 normal birthweight (>2499 g) control adolescents completed the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Disorders, Axis 1 Non-Patient version (SCID-I/NP), the Children's Interview for Psychiatric Syndromes (ChIPS) attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) module, and questionnaires assessing recent depression and anxiety symptoms and personality traits.
ADHD prevalence was significantly elevated in EP/ELBW adolescents compared with controls [15% v. 7%; odds ratio (OR) 2.67, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.08–6.58]. Aside from ADHD, however, EP/ELBW and control adolescents reported very similar outcomes, with other lifetime diagnoses identified in 23% of EP/ELBW and 21% of controls. These were predominantly mood and anxiety disorders (21% EP/ELBW, 20% controls). The groups did not differ in recent depression or anxiety symptoms assessed using questionnaires, and personality traits were also similar.
ADHD was more prevalent in EP/ELBW adolescents than controls, which is consistent with some, but not all, reports on preterm survivors born before the 1990s, and younger preterm children born in the 1990s. The high rates of anxiety and mood disorders were similar in both groups, and comparable with population-based estimates.
This literature review focuses on what matters to young adults when they access primary care services in the United Kingdom.
Patients’ access to and experience of primary care services differs across age groups. Existing research has largely focused on the needs and experiences of children, adolescents, and adults. There is some evidence to suggest the views of young adults (aged 18–25 years) that may differ from the views of other age groups, and research has not previously reported specifically on the views of this group of the population.
The literature was reviewed to identify the views and priorities of young UK adults regarding primary healthcare provision, and furthermore, to identify those related topics that would benefit from further research. Relevant academic publications and grey literature published from 2000 onwards was reviewed and synthesised. We identified and reported emerging themes that were of importance to young adults in respect of the UK primary care provision. A total of 19 papers met our inclusion criteria.
Young adults access primary care services less frequently than other age groups; this may be because of their experience of primary care throughout childhood and adolescence. Five aspects of primary care provision emerged as being of importance to young adults – the accessibility and availability of services, the confidentiality of health-related information, issues relating to communication with healthcare professionals, continuity of care, and behaviours and attitudes expressed towards young adults by healthcare professionals.
There is a lack of focus of current research on the expectations, needs, and primary healthcare experiences of young adults. Young adults may hold views that are distinct from other age groups. Further research is needed to better understand the needs of a young adult population as their needs may impact the future use of services.
To determine whether improper high-level disinfection practices during endoscopy procedures resulted in bloodborne viral infection transmission.
Retrospective cohort study.
Four Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs).
Veterans who underwent colonoscopy and laryngoscopy (ear, nose, and throat [ENT]) procedures from 2003 to 2009.
Patients were identified through electronic health record searches and serotested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis B virus (HBV). Newly discovered case patients were linked to a potential source with known identical infection, whose procedure occurred no more than 1 day prior to the case patient's procedure. Viral genetic testing was performed for case/proximate pairs to determine relatedness.
Of 10,737 veterans who underwent endoscopy at 4 VAMCs, 9,879 patients agreed to viral testing. Of these, 90 patients were newly diagnosed with 1 or more viral bloodborne pathogens (BBPs). There were no case/proximate pairings found for patients with either HIV or HBV; 24 HCV case/proximate pairings were found, of which 7 case patients and 8 proximate patients had sufficient viral load for further genetic testing. Only 2 of these cases, both of whom underwent laryngoscopy, and their 4 proximates agreed to further testing. None of the 4 remaining proximate patients who underwent colonoscopy agreed to further testing. Mean genetic distance between the 2 case patients and 4 proximate patients ranged from 13.5% to 19.1%.
Our investigation revealed that exposure to improperly reprocessed ENT endoscopes did not result in viral transmission in those patients who had viral genetic analysis performed. Any potential transmission of BBPs from colonoscopy remains unknown.
Cigarette smoking is strongly associated with mental illness but the causal direction of the association is uncertain. We investigated the causal relationship between smoking and symptoms of anxiety and depression in the Norwegian HUNT study using the rs1051730 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) variant located in the nicotine acetylcholine receptor gene cluster on chromosome 15 as an instrumental variable for smoking phenotypes. Among smokers, this SNP is robustly associated with smoking quantity and nicotine dependence.
In total, 53 601 participants were genotyped for the rs1051730 SNP and provided information on smoking habits and symptoms of anxiety and depression using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).
Self-reported smoking was positively associated with the prevalence of both anxiety and depression, and the measured polymorphism was positively associated with being a current smoker and the number of cigarettes smoked in current smokers. In the sample as a whole, risk of anxiety increased with each affected T allele [odds ratio (OR) 1.06, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02–1.09, p = 0.002] but there was no association with depression (p = 0.31). However, we found no clear association of the polymorphism with either anxiety (OR 1.03, 95% CI 0.97–1.09, p = 0.34) or depression (OR 1.02, 95% CI 0.95–1.09, p = 0.62) among smokers.
As there was no association of the smoking-related rs1051730 SNP with anxiety and depression among smokers, the results suggest that smoking is not a cause of anxiety and depression.
Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a potentially lethal pathogen which has been responsible for several outbreaks of milk-borne illness in recent years. The objective of this study was to evaluate the survival and metabolic activity (indexed by bioluminescence) of a chromosomally lux-marked strain of Esch. coli O157:H7 in raw, pasteurized and microfiltered pasteurized milk at 4 and 20°C for up to 14 d. Results showed that the population of Esch. coli O157:H7 and its metabolic activity decreased in all samples during storage at 4°C, with no significant differences in numbers observed between the different milk types; but metabolic activity was significantly higher (P<0·05) in the microfiltered pasteurized milk than that in raw milk. At 20°C, Esch. coli O157:H7 counts and cell activity peaked at day 2, and then declined progressively. At 20°C, survival and metabolic activity were significantly lower in raw milk compared with pasteurized milk. We conclude that storage temperature is more important in regulating the survival of Esch. coli O157 in contaminated milk than its origin/pre-treatment conditions.