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The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Functional gastrointestinal disorders including constipation affect up to 14 % of the world's population. Treatment is difficult and challenging resulting in a need for alternative safe and effective therapies. The present study investigated whether daily consumption of three gold-fleshed kiwifruit could alleviate constipation and improve gastrointestinal discomfort in mildly constipated individuals with and without pain. A total of thirty-two participants were enrolled in a 16-week randomised, single-blind, crossover study. Participants received either three ‘Zesy002’ kiwifruit or 14·75 g Metamucil® (5 g dietary fibre/d (a positive control)) for 4 weeks each with a 4-week washout between treatments. A 2-week washout period was included at the beginning and end of the study. Daily bowel habit diaries were kept throughout the study. The primary outcome measure was differences in the number of complete spontaneous bowel movements (CSBM). Secondary outcome measures were bowel movement frequency and stool form as well as digestive symptoms and comfort. The number of CSBM per week was significantly greater during daily consumption of three kiwifruit compared with the baseline (6·3 v. 3·3; P < 0·05) and the Metamucil® treatment (6·3 v. 4·5; P < 0·05). Stool consistency was also improved, with kiwifruit producing softer stools and less straining (P < 0·05). Gastrointestinal discomfort was also improved compared with baseline for abdominal pain, constipation and indigestion (P < 0·05) during the kiwifruit intervention and constipation during the Metamucil® intervention (P < 0·05). This randomised controlled trial demonstrates that daily consumption of three gold-fleshed kiwifruit is associated with a significant increase of two CSBM per week and reduction in gastrointestinal discomfort in mildly constipated adults.
Soldier operational performance is determined by their fitness, nutritional status, quality of rest/recovery, and remaining injury/illness free. Understanding large fluctuations in nutritional status during operations is critical to safeguarding health and well-being. There are limited data world-wide describing the effect of extreme climate change on nutrient profiles. This study investigated the effect of hot-dry deployments on vitamin D status (assessed from 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration) of young, male, military volunteers. Two data sets are presented (pilot study, n 37; main study, n 98), examining serum 25(OH)D concentrations before and during 6-month summer operational deployments to Afghanistan (March to October/November). Body mass, percentage of body fat, dietary intake and serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured. In addition, parathyroid hormone (PTH), adjusted Ca and albumin concentrations were measured in the main study to better understand 25(OH)D fluctuations. Body mass and fat mass (FM) losses were greater for early (pre- to mid-) deployment compared with late (mid- to post-) deployment (P<0·05). Dietary intake was well-maintained despite high rates of energy expenditure. A pronounced increase in 25(OH)D was observed between pre- (March) and mid-deployment (June) (pilot study: 51 (sd 20) v. 212 (sd 85) nmol/l, P<0·05; main study: 55 (sd 22) v. 167 (sd 71) nmol/l, P<0·05) and remained elevated post-deployment (October/November). In contrast, PTH was highest pre-deployment, decreasing thereafter (main study: 4·45 (sd 2·20) v. 3·79 (sd 1·50) pmol/l, P<0·05). The typical seasonal cycling of vitamin D appeared exaggerated in this active male population undertaking an arduous summer deployment. Further research is warranted, where such large seasonal vitamin D fluctuations may be detrimental to bone health in the longer-term.
Introduction: Early recognition of sepsis can improve patient outcomes yet recognition by paramedics is poor and research evaluating the use of prehospital screening tools is limited. Our objective was to evaluate the predictive validity of the Regional Paramedic Program for Eastern Ontario (RPPEO) prehospital sepsis notification tool to identify patients with sepsis and to describe and compare the characteristics of patients with an emergency department (ED) diagnosis of sepsis that are transported by paramedics. The RPPEO prehospital sepsis notification tool is comprised of 3 criteria: current infection, fever &/or history of fever and 2 or more signs of hypoperfusion (eg. SBP<90, HR 100, RR24, altered LOA). Methods: We performed a review of ambulance call records and in-hospital records over two 5-month periods between November 2014 February 2016. We enrolled a convenience sample of patients, assessed by primary and advanced care paramedics (ACPs), with a documented history of fever &/or documented fever of 38.3°C (101°F) that were transported to hospital. In-hospital management and outcomes were obtained and descriptive, t-tests, and chi-square analyses performed where appropriate. The RPPEO prehospital sepsis notification tool was compared to an ED diagnosis of sepsis. The predictive validity of the RPPEO tool was calculated (sensitivity, specificity, NPV, PPV). Results: 236 adult patients met the inclusion criteria with the following characteristics: mean age 65.2 yrs [range 18-101], male 48.7%, history of sepsis 2.1%, on antibiotics 23.3%, lowest mean systolic BP 125.9, treated by ACP 58.9%, prehospital temperature documented 32.6%. 34 (14.4%) had an ED diagnosis of sepsis. Patients with an ED diagnosis of sepsis, compared to those that did not, had a lower prehospital systolic BP (114.9 vs 127.8, p=0.003) and were more likely to have a prehospital shock index >1 (50.0% vs 21.4%, p=0.001). 44 (18.6%) patients met the RPPEO sepsis notification tool and of these, 27.3% (12/44) had an ED diagnosis of sepsis. We calculated the following predictive values of the RPPEO tool: sensitivity 35.3%, specificity 84.2%, NPV 88.5%, PPV 27.3%. Conclusion: The RPPEO prehospital sepsis notification tool demonstrated modest diagnostic accuracy. Further research is needed to improve accuracy and evaluate the impact on patient outcomes.
The use of roman numerals for stellar populations represents a classification approach to galaxy formation which is now well behind us. Nevertheless, the concept of a pristine generation of stars, followed by a protogalactic era, and finally the mainstream stellar population is a plausible starting point for testing our physical understanding of early star formation. This will be observationally driven as never before in the coming decade. In this paper, we search out observational tests of an idealised coeval and homogeneous distribution of population II stars. We examine the spatial distribution of quasars, globular clusters, and the integrated free electron density of the intergalactic medium, in order to test the assumption of homogeneity. Any real inhomogeneity implies a population II that is not coeval.
Pressure ridges impact the mass, energy and momentum budgets of the sea-ice cover and present an obstacle to transportation through ice-infested waters. Quantifying ridge characteristics is important for understanding total sea-ice mass and for improving the representation of sea-ice dynamics in high-resolution models. Multi-sensor measurements collected during annual Operation IceBridge (OIB) airborne surveys of the Arctic provide new opportunities to assess the sea ice at the end of winter. We present a new methodology to derive ridge sail height from high-resolution OIB Digital Mapping System (DMS) visible imagery. We assess the efficacy of the methodology by mapping the full sail height distribution along 12 pressure ridges in the western and central Arctic. Comparisons against coincident Airborne Topographic Mapper (ATM) elevation anomalies are used to demonstrate the methodology and evaluate DMS-derived sail heights. Sail heights and elevation anomalies were correlated at 0.81 or above. On average mean and maximum sail height agreed with ATM elevation to within 0.11 and 0.49 m, respectively. Of the ridges mapped, mean sail height ranged from 0.99 to 2.16 m, while maximum sail height ranged from 2.1 to 4.8 m. DMS also delivered higher sampling along ridge crests than coincident ATM data.
Fine resolution topographic data derived from methods such as Structure from Motion (SfM) and Multi-View Stereo (MVS) have the potential to provide detailed observations of geomorphological change, but have thus far been limited by the logistical constraints of conducting repeat surveys in the field. Here, we present the results from an automated time-lapse camera array, deployed around an ice-marginal lake on the western margin of the Greenland ice sheet. Fifteen cameras acquired imagery three-times per day over a 426 day period, yielding a dataset of ~19 000 images. From these data we derived 18 point clouds of the ice-margin across a range of seasons and successfully identified calving events (ranging from 234 to 1475 m2 in area and 815–8725 m3 in volume) induced by ice cliff undercutting at the waterline and the collapse of spalling flakes. Low ambient light levels, locally reflective surfaces and the large survey range hindered analysis of smaller scale ice-margin dynamics. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that an integrated SfM-MVS and time-lapse approach can be employed to generate long-term 3-D topographic datasets and thus quantify ice-margin dynamics at a fine spatio-temporal scale. This approach provides a template for future studies of geomorphological change.
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.
Measurements of glacier ice cliff evolution are sparse, but where they do exist, they indicate that such areas of exposed ice contribute a disproportionate amount of melt to the glacier ablation budget. We used Structure from Motion photogrammetry with Multi-View Stereo to derive 3-D point clouds for nine ice cliffs on Khumbu Glacier, Nepal (in November 2015, May 2016 and October 2016). By differencing these clouds, we could quantify the magnitude, seasonality and spatial variability of ice cliff retreat. Mean retreat rates of 0.30–1.49 cm d−1 were observed during the winter interval (November 2015–May 2016) and 0.74–5.18 cm d−1 were observed during the summer (May 2016–October 2016). Four ice cliffs, which all featured supraglacial ponds, persisted over the full study period. In contrast, ice cliffs without a pond or with a steep back-slope degraded over the same period. The rate of thermo-erosional undercutting was over double that of subaerial retreat. Overall, 3-D topographic differencing allowed an improved process-based understanding of cliff evolution and cliff-pond coupling, which will become increasingly important for monitoring and modelling the evolution of thinning debris-covered glaciers.
Significant intra-annual variability in flow rates of tidewater-terminating Arctic glaciers has been observed in recent years. These changes may result from oceanic and/or atmospheric forcing through (1) perturbations at the terminus, such as enhanced submarine melt and changes in sea-ice buttressing, or (2) increased surface melt, in response to atmospheric warming, reaching the bed and promoting glacier slip. We examine the influence of these processes on Belcher Glacier, a large fast-flowing tidewater outlet of the Devon Island ice cap in the Canadian Arctic. A hydrologically-coupled higher-order ice flow model is used to estimate changes in glacier flow speed as a result of changes in sea-ice buttressing and hydrologically-driven melt-season dynamics. Daily run-off from five sub-catchments over the 2008 and 2009 melt seasons provides meltwater forcing for the model simulations. Model results are compared with remotely-sensed and in situ ice-surface velocity measurements. Sea-ice effects are found to have a minor influence on glacier flow speed relative to that of meltwater drainage, which is clearly implicated in short-term velocity variations during the melt season. We find that threshold drainage is essential in determining the timing of these short-lived accelerations.
The integration of behavioral health services into primary care has led to enhanced use of brief screening measures to identify mental health problems. Although useful, such instruments are largely symptom based and diagnosis specific. This narrow focus can potentially limit the identification of broader social or relational distress in patients that affect medical outcomes, as well as present feasibility challenges using a multi-measure approach in identifying mental health comorbidities.
This exploratory study of adult primary care patients compared an ultra-brief, and widely used measure of global distress across life functioning, the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS), with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9 and PHQ-2).
Correlations between the ORS and the PHQ-9 and PHQ-2 indicated agreement between the measures in classifying patients, and the ORS identified significantly more patients in the clinical range.
Although results are preliminary, the ORS may cast a wider net in identifying patients with significant distress in primary care.
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.
The effects of dietary carbohydrate and fat on feline health are not well understood. The effects of feeding diets moderately high in fat (HF; n 10; 30 % fat, 26 % carbohydrate as fed) or carbohydrate (HC; n 10; 11 % fat, 47 % carbohydrate), for 84 d, were investigated in healthy, adult cats (3·5 (sd 0·5) years). Data on indirect calorimetry, blood biomarkers, activity, play and cognition were collected at baseline, and at intervals throughout the study. Body composition was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at baseline and on day 85. There were no significant main effects of diet on body weight and composition. When data were analysed over study day within diet, cats fed HF diets experienced a significant increase in body fat (P = 0·001) and body weight (P = 0·043) in contrast to cats consuming the HC diet that experienced no change in body fat or body weight (P = 0·762) throughout the study. Overall, energy expenditure was similar between diets (P = 0·356 (fasted), P = 0·086 (postprandial)) and respiratory quotient declined with exposure to the HF diet and increased with exposure to the HC diet (P < 0·001; fasted and postprandial). There was no difference in insulin sensitivity as an overall effect of diet (P = 0·266). Activity declined from baseline with exposure to both diets (HC: P = 0·002; HF: P = 0·01) but was not different between diets (P = 0·247). There was no effect of diet on play (P = 0·387) and cats consuming either the HF or HC diet did not successfully learn the cognitive test. Overall, cats adapt to dietary macronutrient content, and the implications of feeding HC and HF diets on risk for adiposity as driven by metabolic and behavioural mechanisms are discussed.
Satellite altimetric time series allow high-precision monitoring of ice-sheet mass balance. Understanding elevation changes in these regions is important because outlet glaciers along ice-sheet margins are critical in controlling flow of inland ice. Here we discuss a new airborne altimetry dataset collected as part of the ICECAP (International Collaborative Exploration of the Cryosphere by Airborne Profiling) project over East Antarctica. Using the ALAMO (Airborne Laser Altimeter with Mapping Optics) system of a scanning photon-counting lidar combined with a laser altimeter, we extend the 2003–09 surface elevation record of NASA’s ICESat satellite, by determining cross-track slope and thus independently correcting for ICESat’s cross-track pointing errors. In areas of high slope, cross-track errors result in measured elevation change that combines surface slope and the actual Δz/Δt signal. Slope corrections are particularly important in coastal ice streams, which often exhibit both rapidly changing elevations and high surface slopes. As a test case (assuming that surface slopes do not change significantly) we observe a lack of ice dynamic change at Cook Ice Shelf, while significant thinning occurred at Totten and Denman Glaciers during 2003–09.
Understanding the nutritional demands on serving military personnel is critical to inform training schedules and dietary provision. Troops deployed to Afghanistan face austere living and working environments. Observations from the military and those reported in the British and US media indicated possible physical degradation of personnel deployed to Afghanistan. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the changes in body composition and nutritional status of military personnel deployed to Afghanistan and how these were related to physical fitness. In a cohort of British Royal Marines (n 249) deployed to Afghanistan for 6 months, body size and body composition were estimated from body mass, height, girth and skinfold measurements. Energy intake (EI) was estimated from food diaries and energy expenditure measured using the doubly labelled water method in a representative subgroup. Strength and aerobic fitness were assessed. The mean body mass of volunteers decreased over the first half of the deployment ( − 4·6 (sd 3·7) %), predominately reflecting fat loss. Body mass partially recovered (mean +2·2 (sd 2·9) %) between the mid- and post-deployment periods (P< 0·05). Daily EI (mean 10 590 (sd 3339) kJ) was significantly lower than the estimated daily energy expenditure (mean 15 167 (sd 1883) kJ) measured in a subgroup of volunteers. However, despite the body mass loss, aerobic fitness and strength were well maintained. Nutritional provision for British military personnel in Afghanistan appeared sufficient to maintain physical capability and micronutrient status, but providing appropriate nutrition in harsh operational environments must remain a priority.