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There is compelling evidence for gradient effects of household income on school readiness. Potential mechanisms are described, yet the growth curve trajectory of maternal mental health in a child's early life has not been thoroughly investigated. We aimed to examine the relationships between household incomes, maternal mental health trajectories from antenatal to the postnatal period, and school readiness.
Prospective data from 505 mother–child dyads in a birth cohort in Singapore were used, including household income, repeated measures of maternal mental health from pregnancy to 2-years postpartum, and a range of child behavioural, socio-emotional and cognitive outcomes from 2 to 6 years of age. Antenatal mental health and its trajectory were tested as mediators in the latent growth curve models.
Household income was a robust predictor of antenatal maternal mental health and all child outcomes. Between children from the bottom and top household income quartiles, four dimensions of school readiness skills differed by a range of 0.52 (95% Cl: 0.23, 0.67) to 1.21 s.d. (95% CI: 1.02, 1.40). Thirty-eight percent of pregnant mothers in this cohort were found to have perinatal depressive and anxiety symptoms in the subclinical and clinical ranges. Poorer school readiness skills were found in children of these mothers when compared to those of mothers with little or no symptoms. After adjustment of unmeasured confounding on the indirect effect, antenatal maternal mental health provided a robust mediating path between household income and multiple school readiness outcomes (χ2 126.05, df 63, p < 0.001; RMSEA = 0.031, CFI = 0.980, SRMR = 0.034).
Pregnant mothers with mental health symptoms, particularly those from economically-challenged households, are potential targets for intervention to level the playing field of their children.
Introduction: Ureteral colic is a common painful disorder. Early surgical intervention is an attractive management option but existing evidence does not clarify which patients benefit. Based on lack of evidence, current national specialty guidelines provide conflicting recommendations regarding who is a candidate for early intervention. We compared treatment failure rates in patients receiving early intervention to those in patients offered spontaneous passage to identify subgroups that benefit from early intervention. Methods: We used administrative data and structured chart review to study consecutive patients attending one of nine hospitals in two provinces with an index emergency department (ED) visit and a confirmed 2.0-9.9 mm ureteral stone. We described patient, stone and treatment variables, and used multivariable regression to identify factors associated with treatment failure, defined as the need for rescue intervention or hospitalization within 60 days. Our secondary outcome was ED revisit rate. Results: Overall, 1168 (37.9%) of 3081 eligible patients underwent early intervention. Patients with small stones <5mm experienced more treatment failures (31.5% v. 9.9%) and more ED revisits (38.5% v. 19.7%) with early intervention than with spontaneous passage. Patients with large stones ≥7.0mm experienced fewer treatment failures (34.7% v. 58.6%) and similar ED revisit rates with early intervention. Patients with intermediate-sized 5.0-6.9mm stones had fewer treatment failures with intervention (37.4% v. 55.5%), but only if stones were in the proximal or middle ureter. Conclusion: This study clarifies stone characteristics that identify patients likely to benefit from early intervention. We recommend low-risk patients with uncomplicated stones <5mm generally undergo initial trial of spontaneous passage, while high-risk patients with proximal or middle stones >5mm, or any stone >7mm, be offered early intervention.
Introduction: The optimal initial management approach for ureteral colic is unclear. Guidelines recommend spontaneous passage for most patients, but early stone intervention may rapidly terminate acute episodes. We compared 60-day treatment failure rates in matched patients undergoing early intervention versus spontaneous passage. Methods: We used administrative data and structured chart review to study all emergency department (ED) patients at nine Canadian hospitals who had an index ureteral colic visit and a computed tomography (CT) confirmed 2.0-9.9 mm stone during 2014. Using Cox Proportional Hazards models, we assessed 60-day treatment failure, defined as hospitalization or rescue intervention, in patients undergoing early intervention compared to propensity-score matched controls undergoing trial of spontaneous passage. Results: From 3,081 eligible patients, mean age 51 years and 70% male, we matched 577 patients in each group (total 1154). Control and intervention cohorts were balanced on all parameters and propensity scores, which reflect the conditional probability a patient would undergo early intervention, were similarly distributed. In the time to event analysis, 21.8% in both groups experienced the composite primary outcome of treatment failure (difference = 0%; 95% CI, -4.8 to 4.8%). Early intervention patients required more ED revisits (36.1% v. 25.5%; difference 10.6%; 95% CI 5.3 to 15.9%) and more 60-day hospitalizations (20.1% v. 12.8%). The strongest predictors of adverse outcome were stone size, proximal or middle stone location, and ED length of stay. Conclusion: If applied broadly to patients with 2.0-9.9mm ureteral stones, an early interventional approach was associated with similar rates of treatment failure, but more hospitalizations and emergency revisits. Research clarifying subgroups most likely to benefit will facilitate better targeting of early intervention, potentially reducing patient morbidity and improving system utilization.
We describe here the parallels in astronomy and earth science datasets, their analyses, and the opportunities for methodology transfer from astroinformatics to geoinformatics. Using example of hydrology, we emphasize how meta-data and ontologies are crucial in such an undertaking. Using the infrastructure being designed for EarthCube - the Virtual Observatory for the earth sciences - we discuss essential steps for better transfer of tools and techniques in the future e.g. domain adaptation. Finally we point out that it is never a one-way process and there is enough for astroinformatics to learn from geoinformatics as well.
Repeat rectal chlamydia infection is common in men who have sex with men (MSM) following treatment with 1 g azithromycin. This study describes the association between organism load and repeat rectal chlamydia infection, genovar distribution, and efficacy of azithromycin in asymptomatic MSM. Stored rectal chlamydia-positive samples from MSM were analysed for organism load and genotyped to assist differentiation between reinfection and treatment failure. Included men had follow-up tests within 100 days of index infection. Lymphogranuloma venereum and proctitis diagnosed symptomatically were excluded. Factors associated with repeat infection, treatment failure and reinfection were investigated. In total, 227 MSM were included – 64 with repeat infections [28·2%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 22·4–34·5]. Repeat positivity was associated with increased pre-treatment organism load [odds ratio (OR) 1·7, 95% CI 1·4–2·2]. Of 64 repeat infections, 29 (12·8%, 95% CI 8·7–17·8) were treatment failures and 35 (15·4%, 95% CI 11·0–20·8) were reinfections, 11 (17·2%, 95% CI 8·9–28·7) of which were definite reinfections. Treatment failure and reinfection were both associated with increased load (OR 2·0, 95% CI 1·4–2·7 and 1·6, 95% CI 1·2–2·2, respectively). The most prevalent genovars were G, D and J. Treatment efficacy for 1 g azithromycin was 83·6% (95% CI 77·2–88·8). Repeat positivity was associated with high pre-treatment organism load. Randomized controlled trials are urgently needed to evaluate azithromycin's efficacy and whether extended doses can overcome rectal infections with high organism load.
Several outbreaks of hepatitis A in men who have sex with men (MSM) were reported in the 1980s and 1990s in Australia and other countries. An effective hepatitis A virus (HAV) vaccine has been available in Australia since 1994 and is recommended for high-risk groups including MSM. No outbreaks of hepatitis A in Australian MSM have been reported since 1996. In this study, we aimed to estimate HAV transmissibility in MSM populations in order to inform targets for vaccine coverage in such populations. We used mathematical models of HAV transmission in a MSM population to estimate the basic reproduction number (R0) and the probability of an HAV epidemic occurring as a function of the immune proportion. We estimated a plausible range for R0 of 1·71–3·67 for HAV in MSM and that sustained epidemics cannot occur once the proportion immune to HAV is greater than ~70%. To our knowledge this is the first estimate of R0 and the critical population immunity threshold for HAV transmission in MSM. As HAV is no longer endemic in Australia or in most other developed countries, vaccination is the only means of maintaining population immunity >70%. Our findings provide impetus to promote HAV vaccination in high-risk groups such as MSM.
In the United States alone, ∼14,000 children are hospitalised annually with acute heart failure. The science and art of caring for these patients continues to evolve. The International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute was held on February 4 and 5, 2015. The 2015 International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute was funded through the Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program Endowment, a philanthropic collaboration between All Children’s Hospital and the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida (USF). Sponsored by All Children’s Hospital Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program, the International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit assembled leaders in clinical and scientific disciplines related to paediatric heart failure and created a multi-disciplinary “think-tank”. The purpose of this manuscript is to summarise the lessons from the 2015 International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute, to describe the “state of the art” of the treatment of paediatric cardiac failure, and to discuss future directions for research in the domain of paediatric cardiac failure.
Iron oxides resulting from the corrosion of large quantities of steel that are planned to be installed throughout a deep geological disposal facility (GDF) are expected to be one of the key surfaces of interest for controlling radionuclide behaviour under disposal conditions. Over the lengthy timescales associated with a GDF, the system is expected to become anoxic so that reduced Fe(II) phases will dominate. Batch experiments have therefore been completed in order to investigate how a model reduced Fe-oxide surface (wüstite, Fe1–xO) alters as a function of exposure to aqueous solutions with compositions representative of conditions expected within a GDF. Additional experiments were performed to constrain the effect that highly alkaline solutions (up to pH 13) have on the adsorption behaviour of the uranyl (UO22+) ion onto the surfaces of both wüstite and portlandite [Ca(OH)2; representative of the expected cementitious phases]. Surface co-ordination chemistry and speciation were determined by ex situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements (both X-ray absorption near-edge structure analysis (XANES) and extended X-ray absorption fine structure analysis (EXAFS)). Diffraction, elemental analysis and XANES showed that the bulk solid composition and Fe oxidation state remained relatively unaltered over the time frame of these experiments (120 h), although under alkaline conditions possible surface hydroxylation is observed, due presumably to the formation of surface hydroxyl complexes. The surface morphology, however, is altered significantly with a large degree of roughening and an observed decrease in the average particle size. Reduction of U(VI) to U(IV) occurs during adsorption in almost all cases and this is interpreted to indicate that wüstite may be an effective reductant of U during surface adsorption. This work also shows that increasing the carbonate concentration in reactant solutions dramatically decreases the adsorption coefficients for U on both wüstite and portlandite, consistent with U speciation and surface reactivity determined in other studies. Finally, the EXAFS results include new details about exactly how U bonds to this metal oxide surface.
The Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) will give us an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the transient sky at radio wavelengths. In this paper we present VAST, an ASKAP survey for Variables and Slow Transients. VAST will exploit the wide-field survey capabilities of ASKAP to enable the discovery and investigation of variable and transient phenomena from the local to the cosmological, including flare stars, intermittent pulsars, X-ray binaries, magnetars, extreme scattering events, interstellar scintillation, radio supernovae, and orphan afterglows of gamma-ray bursts. In addition, it will allow us to probe unexplored regions of parameter space where new classes of transient sources may be detected. In this paper we review the known radio transient and variable populations and the current results from blind radio surveys. We outline a comprehensive program based on a multi-tiered survey strategy to characterise the radio transient sky through detection and monitoring of transient and variable sources on the ASKAP imaging timescales of 5 s and greater. We also present an analysis of the expected source populations that we will be able to detect with VAST.
The solar cells employed in low to medium (50 to 200 suns) concentration photovoltaic (CPV) are usually mono-crystalline silicon. Laser Groove Buried Contacts (LGBC) are preferred to screen printing in these cells due to the high currents generated in the system. In this paper, we report on the use of Coherence Correlation Interferometry (CCI) to accurately measure the width and depth of the laser-ablated grooves. In addition, the technique is also used to measure the surface roughness at the bottom of the trenches, since this can determine the success of the subsequent plating process, and at the top surface to optimize the debris control and obtain clean surfaces and well-shaped groove edges. The laser ablation process was also optimized to obtain the groove aspect ratio and surface quality required. Process parameters to be controlled include laser power, pulse energy, stage speed and focal length. The CCI technique is capable of providing all the groove and surface metrology required for this process optimization.
CdTe and CdS are emerging as the most promising materials for thin film photovoltaics in the quest of the achievement of grid parity. The major challenge for the advancement of grid parity is the achievement of high quality at the same time as low fabrication cost. The present paper reports the results of the new deposition technique, Pulsed Plasma Deposition (PPD), for the growth of the CdTe layers on CdS/ZnO/quartz and quartz substrates. The PPD method allows to deposit at low temperature. The optical band gap of deposited layers is 1.50 eV, in perfect accord with the value reported in the literature for the crystalline cubic phase of the CdTe.
The films are highly crystalline with a predominant cubic phase, a random orientation of the grains of the film and have an extremely low surface roughness of 4.6±0.7 nm r.m.s.. The low roughness, compared to traditional thermal deposition methods (close space sublimation and vapour transport) permits the reduction of the active absorber and n-type semiconductor layers resulting in a dramatic reduction of material usage and the relative deposition issues like safety, deposition rate and ultimately cost
Iron minerals influence the environmental redox behaviour and mobility of metals including the long-lived radionuclide technetium. Technetium is highly mobile in its oxidized form pertechnetate (Tc(VII)O4–), however, when it is reduced to Tc(IV) it immobilizes readily via precipitation or sorption. In low concentration tracer experiments, and in higher concentration XAS experiments, pertechnetate was added to samples of biogenic and abiotically synthesized Fe(II)-bearing minerals (bio-magnetite, bio-vivianite, bio-siderite and an abiotically precipitated Fe(II) gel). Each mineral scavenged different quantities of Tc(VII) from solution with essentially complete removal in Fe(II)-gel and bio-magnetite systems and with 84±4% removal onto bio-siderite and 68±5% removal onto bio-vivianite over 45 days. In select, higher concentration, Tc XAS experiments, XANES spectra showed reductive precipitation to Tc(IV) in all samples. Furthermore, EXAFS spectra for bio-siderite, bio-vivianite and Fe(II)-gel showed that Tc(IV) was present as short range ordered hydrous Tc(IV)O2-like phases in the minerals and for some systems suggested possible incorporation in an octahedral coordination environment. Low concentration reoxidation experiments with air-, and in the case of the Fe(II) gel, nitrate-oxidation of the Tc(IV)-labelled samples resulted in only partial remobilization of Tc. Upon exposure to air, the Tc bound to the Fe-minerals was resistant to oxidative remobilization with a maximum of ∼15% Tc remobilized in the bio-vivianite system after 45 days of air exposure. Nitrate mediated oxidation of Fe(II)-gel inoculated with a stable consortium of nitrate-reducing, Fe(II)-oxidizing bacteria showed only 3.8±0.4% remobilization of reduced Tc(IV), again highlighting the recalcitrance of Tc(IV) to oxidative remobilization in Fe-bearing systems. The resultant XANES spectra of the reoxidized minerals showed Tc(IV)-like spectra in the reoxidized Fe-phases. Overall, this study highlights the role that Fe-bearing biogenic mineral phases have in controlling reductive scavenging of Tc(VII) to hydrous TcO2-like phases onto a range of Fe(II)-bearing minerals. In addition, it suggests that on reoxidation of these phases, Fe-bound Tc(IV) may be octahedrally coordinated and is largely recalcitrant to reoxidation over medium-term timescales. This has implications when considering remediation approaches and in predictions of the long-term fate of Tc in the nuclear legacy.
To determine the extent age, sex and co-infection affect morbidity in people infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), we performed a population-based study linking HCV notifications in New South Wales, Australia with their hospital (July 2000 to June 2006), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV notification, and death records. Poisson models were used to calculate hospitalization rate ratios (RRs) for all-cause, illicit drug and liver-related admissions. Co-infection RRs were used to estimate attributable risk (AR). The 86 501 people notified with HCV contributed 422 761 person-years of observation; 0·8% had HIV, 3·7% HBV, and 0·04% had both. RRs for males were equal to or lower than for females in younger ages, but higher in older ages (P for interaction ⩽0·013). HBV/HIV co-infection resulted in ARs of over 70% for liver disease and 30–60% otherwise. However, at the cohort level the impact was minimal (population ARs 1·3–8·7%). Our findings highlight the importance and success of public health measures, such as needle and syringe exchange programmes, which have helped to minimize the prevalence of co-infection in Australia. The findings also suggest that the age of study participants needs to be considered whenever the burden of HCV-related morbidity is reported by sex. The results are likely to be representative of patterns in hospital-related morbidity for the entire HCV-infected population in Australia and the ARs generalizable to other developed countries.
We investigated cerebral structural connectivity and its relationship to symptoms in never-medicated individuals with first-onset schizophrenia using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).
We recruited subjects with first episode DSM-IV schizophrenia who had never been exposed to antipsychotic medication (n=34) and age-matched healthy volunteers (n=32). All subjects received DTI and structural magnetic resonance imaging scans. Patients' symptoms were assessed on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Voxel-based analysis was performed to investigate brain regions where fractional anisotropy (FA) values significantly correlated with symptom scores.
In patients with first-episode schizophrenia, positive symptoms correlated positively with FA scores in white matter associated with the right frontal lobe, left anterior cingulate gyrus, left superior temporal gyrus, right middle temporal gyrus, right middle cingulate gyrus, and left cuneus. Importantly, FA in each of these regions was lower in patients than controls, but patients with more positive symptoms had FA values closer to controls. We found no significant correlations between FA and negative symptoms.
The newly-diagnosed, neuroleptic-naive patients had lower FA scores in the brain compared with controls. There was positive correlation between FA scores and positive symptoms scores in frontotemporal tracts, including left fronto-occipital fasciculus and left inferior longitudinal fasciculus. This implies that white matter dysintegrity is already present in the pre-treatment phase and that FA is likely to decrease after clinical treatment or symptom remission.
We and others have reported that patients experiencing their first episode of psychosis already have significant structural brain abnormalities. Antipsychotics seem to reverse subcortical volume deficits after months of treatment. However, the early impact of medication on brain morphology is not known.
Forty-eight individuals in their first episode of psychosis underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scanning. Twenty-six were antipsychotic naive and 22 were newly treated with antipsychotic medication for a median period of 3 weeks. In each group, 80% of subjects received a diagnosis of schizophrenia. The two groups were balanced for age, sex, handedness, ethnicity, height, years of education, paternal socio-economic status (SES) and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) score. Group differences in whole-brain grey matter were compared voxel by voxel, using Brain Activation and Morphological Mapping (BAMM) software. We also conducted testing of group differences with region-of-interest (ROI) measurements of the caudate nucleus.
Relative to the untreated group, those receiving antipsychotic medication for 3–4 weeks had significantly greater grey-matter volumes in the bilateral caudate and cingulate gyri, extending to the left medial frontal gyrus. ROI analysis confirmed that, in treated patients, the right and left caudate nuclei were significantly larger by 10% (p<0.039, two-tailed) and 9% (p<0.048, two-tailed) respectively.
Early striatal grey-matter enlargement may occur within the first 3–4 weeks of antipsychotic treatment. Possible reasons for putative striatal hypertrophy and its implications are discussed.