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During pregnancy, changes occur to influence the maternal gut microbiome, and potentially the fetal microbiome. Diet has been shown to impact the gut microbiome. Little research has been conducted examining diet during pregnancy with respect to the gut microbiome. To meet inclusion criteria, dietary analyses must have been conducted as part of the primary aim. The primary outcome was the composition of the gut microbiome (infant or maternal), as assessed using culture-independent sequencing techniques. This review identified seven studies for inclusion, five examining the maternal gut microbiome and two examining the fetal gut microbiome. Microbial data were attained through analysis of stool samples by 16S rRNA gene-based microbiota assessment. Studies found an association between the maternal diet and gut microbiome. High-fat diets (% fat of total energy), fat-soluble vitamins (mg/day) and fibre (g/day) were the most significant nutrients associated with the gut microbiota composition of both neonates and mothers. High-fat diets were significantly associated with a reduction in microbial diversity. High-fat diets may reduce microbial diversity, while fibre intake may be positively associated with microbial diversity. The results of this review must be interpreted with caution. The number of studies was low, and the risk of observational bias and heterogeneity across the studies must be considered. However, these results show promise for dietary intervention and microbial manipulation in order to favour an increase of health-associated taxa in the gut of the mother and her offspring.
Maternal nutrition during pregnancy is a modifiable risk factor for health. Heterogeneity in outcome reporting in studies evaluating nutrition in pregnancy limits their comparability and is a barrier for high quality evidence synthesis. A core outcome set (COS) is set of outcomes, which are agreed by consensus, to be a minimum standard to report within an area of research. The CoRe Outcomes in Women's and Newborn health (CROWN) initiative is an international initiative which supports the development of COSs for Women and Newborn health research. To date, there is no COS which specifically addresses the issues with outcome reporting in research on nutrition in pregnancy. Therefore, we present a study protocol for the development of a COS for maternal nutrition research in pregnancy.
The COS is registered with the Core Outcomes for Measurement of Effectiveness Trials (COMET) registry. A systematic review will be conducted following PRISMA guidelines to identify studies evaluating maternal nutrition during pregnancy. Outcomes will be extracted from eligible studies and cataloged using the taxonomy of the COMET initiative. We will make efforts to supplement our findings with outcomes from other sources, including qualitative interviews with mothers. Secondly, a modified Delphi survey will be conducted with international stakeholders including healthcare professionals, researchers and mothers. Participants will be presented with the list of outcomes from step one and invited to rank the importance of including each outcome in the final COS using a 9-point Likert scale. We will complete descriptive statistics and in a second round of the survey, participants will receive feedback on their individual scores from round one, along with the average score each stakeholder group provided for each outcome. Based on this, participants will have the opportunity to change their scoring and will be encouraged to give a rationale for their final choice. Lastly, a face-face consensus meeting will be held with representatives from all stakeholder groups to finalise the COS.
We will identify the outcomes reported in maternal nutrition research. We will also determine the outcomes which are important to pregnant women and if these are missing from the literature. A final COS for nutrition research in pregnancy will be developed.
This COS will support the harmonisation of outcome selection and reporting in maternal nutrition research which is necessary for high quality evidence synthesis to support clinical practice and the nutritional care of pregnant women.
The foetal programming hypothesis posits that optimising early life factors e.g. maternal diets can help avert the burden of adverse childhood outcomes e.g. childhood obesity. To improve applicability to public health messaging, we investigated whether maternal whole diet quality and inflammatory potential influence childhood adiposity in a large consortium.
We harmonized and pooled individual participant data from up to 8,769 mother-child pairs in 7 European mother-offspring cohorts. Maternal early-, late-, and whole-pregnancy dietary quality and inflammatory potential were assessed with Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and energy-adjusted Dietary Inflammatory Index (E-DII), respectively. Primary outcome was childhood overweight and obesity (OWOB), defined as age- and sex-specific body-mass-index-z score (BMIz) > 85th percentile based on WHO growth standard. Secondary outcomes were sum-of-skinfold-thickness (SST), fat-mass-index (FMI) and fat-free-mass-index (FFMI) in available cohorts. Outcomes were assessed in early- [mean (SD) age: 2.8 (0.3) y], mid- [6.2 (0.6) y], and late-childhood [10.6 (1.2) y]. We used multivariable regression analyses to assess the associations of maternal E-DII and DASH with offspring adiposity outcomes in cohort-specific analyses, with subsequent random-effects meta-analyses. Analyses were adjusted for maternal age, pre-pregnancy BMI, parity, lifestyle factors, energy intake, educational attainment, offspring age and sex.
A more pro-inflammatory maternal diet, indicated by higher E-DII, was associated with a higher risk of offspring late-childhood OWOB [pooled-OR (95% CI) comparing highest vs. lowest E-DII quartiles: 1.22 (1.01,1.47) for whole-pregnancy and 1.38 (1.05,1.83) for early-pregnancy; both P < 0.05]. Moreover, higher late-pregnancy E-DII was associated with higher mid-childhood FMI [pooled-β (95% CI): 0.11 (0.003,0.22) kg/m2; P < 0.05]; trending association was observed for whole-pregnancy E-DII [0.12 (-0.01,0.25) kg/m2; P = 0.07]. A higher maternal dietary quality, indicated by higher DASH score, showed a trending inverse association with late-childhood OWOB (pooled-OR (95% CI) comparing highest vs. lowest DASH quartiles: 0.58 (0.32,1.02; P = 0.06). Higher early-pregnancy DASH was associated with lower late-childhood SST [pooled-β (95% CI): -1.9 (-3.6,-0.1) cm; P < 0.05] and tended to be associated with lower late-childhood FMI [-0.34 (-0.71,0.04) kg/m2; P = 0.08]. Higher whole-pregnancy DASH tended to associate with lower early-childhood SST [-0.33 (-0.72,0.06) cm; P = 0.10]. Results were similar when modelling DASH and E-DII continuously.
Analysis of pooled data suggests that pro-inflammatory, low-quality maternal antenatal diets may influence offspring body composition and obesity risk, especially during mid- or late-childhood. Due to variation of data availability at each timepoint, our results should be interpreted with caution. Because most associations were observed at mid-childhood or later, future studies will benefit from a longer follow-up.
There is a substantial body of literature on the use of probiotics in humans. Mostly, this literature examines the use of specific probiotics for treating various acute and chronic health conditions and diseases, (gastrointestinal conditions, respiratory illnesses, metabolic disorders, and atopic diseases) in both adults and children. The sex of the populations in these studies tends to be mixed, while studies that focus on female participants are largely restricted to pregnant populations. It is well established that pre-pregnancy is an important time-point over the life-course, where improvements to the health of the woman may also benefit potential future pregnancies. Furthermore, the route of delivering the probiotic intervention may differ across studies. These modes of delivery include capsules, powdered sachets, yoghurt foods, and fermented milk drinks. There is uncertainty as to the confounding effect of this variability. The objective of this review is to identify the evidence for the effects of probiotic interventions, administered as capsules, on metabolic and immune markers in healthy women of reproductive age.
Materials and Methods
The data sources selected were PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Web of Science. A grey literature search using controlled vocabulary was performed. PRISMA guidelines were followed, and the Cochrane risk of bias tool was used. Publications were considered for inclusion if they were in English and reported the results of a randomised-controlled trial.
Four papers were identified with review relevant outcomes. The reported findings from the included studies did not provide conclusive evidence for the effect of probiotic capsule supplementation in healthy, non-pregnant women.
Sources of variability are multifaceted in this area. Functional differences occur at the strain level, lowering the specificity of the effects of various bacterial strains across different studies. These factors may reduce the external validity of results across such studies. It is imperative that an evidence base be established in this cohort. This can be achieved with prospectively registered, randomised-controlled trials of sufficient sample size and statistical power.
The early fetal environment during pregnancy is extremely important and research indicates that weight at birth can have crucial impacts for the individual's health later in life. With rates of childhood obesity estimated to be as high as 21% in some European countries, it is vital that early risk factors are identified so that interventions can be developed. We aimed to investigate if children born macrosomic (birth weight > 4kg) remained larger than normal birth weight babies up to 5 years of age.
Materials and Methods:
This is a longitudinal follow-up of 387 five-year-old children (53% born with macrosomia, 47% normal birth weight) born into the ROLO randomised control trial in the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin (ISRCTN54392969). Birth weight was previously recorded then at 6 months, 2 years, and 5 years of age child height, weight, anthropometric and skinfold measurements were collected. Body Mass Index (kg/m2) and centiles were calculated. Student t-tests and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to compare the two groups with multiple linear regression modelling to control for confounders.
Children with a birth weight > 4 kg had consistently higher weights, lengths, and BMI centiles, along with increased head and chest circumferences, compared to normal birth weight children from 6 months up to 5 years of age (p < 0.05). After controlling for child sex, intervention group, smoking during pregnancy, maternal education status, and maternal BMI, children with macrosomia were 0.61 kg heavier than non-macrosomic infants at 5 years of age (95% CI: 0.04–1.18, p < 0.05).
Children born with a high birth weight remain heavier and larger into childhood. These individuals are at a higher risk of obesity which highlights the need for monitoring and potential interventions, both during pregnancy and in infancy, to curb the current childhood obesity crisis.
An improved understanding of diagnostic and treatment practices for patients with rare primary mitochondrial disorders can support benchmarking against guidelines and establish priorities for evaluative research. We aimed to describe physician care for patients with mitochondrial diseases in Canada, including variation in care.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey of Canadian physicians involved in the diagnosis and/or ongoing care of patients with mitochondrial diseases. We used snowball sampling to identify potentially eligible participants, who were contacted by mail up to five times and invited to complete a questionnaire by mail or internet. The questionnaire addressed: personal experience in providing care for mitochondrial disorders; diagnostic and treatment practices; challenges in accessing tests or treatments; and views regarding research priorities.
We received 58 survey responses (52% response rate). Most respondents (83%) reported spending 20% or less of their clinical practice time caring for patients with mitochondrial disorders. We identified important variation in diagnostic care, although assessments frequently reported as diagnostically helpful (e.g., brain magnetic resonance imaging, MRI/MR spectroscopy) were also recommended in published guidelines. Approximately half (49%) of participants would recommend “mitochondrial cocktails” for all or most patients, but we identified variation in responses regarding specific vitamins and cofactors. A majority of physicians recommended studies on the development of effective therapies as the top research priority.
While Canadian physicians’ views about diagnostic care and disease management are aligned with published recommendations, important variations in care reflect persistent areas of uncertainty and a need for empirical evidence to support and update standard protocols.
Background: Cerebellar atrophy is characterized by loss of cerebellar tissue, with evidence on brain imaging of enlarged interfolial spaces compared to the foliae. Genetic ataxias associated with cerebellar atrophy are a heterogeneous group of disorders. We investigated the prevalence in Canada and the diagnostic yield of whole exome sequencing (WES) for this group of conditions. Methods: Between 2011 and 2017, WES was performed in 91 participants with cerebellar atrophy as part of one of two national research programs, Finding of Rare Genetic Disease Genes (FORGE) or Enhanced Care for Rare Genetic Diseases in Canada (Care4Rare). Results: A genetic diagnosis was established in 58% of cases (53/91). Pathogenic variants were found in 24 known genes, providing a diagnosis for 46/53 participants (87%), and in four novel genes, accounting for 7/53 cases (13%). 38/91 cases (42%) remained unsolved. The most common diagnoses were channelopathies in 12/53 patients (23%) and mitochondrial disorders in 9/53 (17%). Inheritance was autosomal recessive in the majority of cases. Additional clinical findings provided useful clues to some of the diagnoses. Conclusions: This is the first report on the prevalence of genetic ataxias associated with cerebellar atrophy in Canada, and the utility of WES for this group of conditions.
Our principle objective was to examine the personal and professional impact of service user (SU) suicide on mental health professionals (MHPs). We also wished to explore putative demographic or clinical factors relating to SUs or MPHs that could influence the impact of SU suicide for MHPs and explore factors MHPs report as helpful in reducing distress following SU suicide.
A mixed-method questionnaire with quantitative and thematic analysis was utilised.
Quantitative data indicated SU suicide was associated with personal and professional distress with sadness (79.5%), shock (74.5%) and surprise (68.7%) particularly evident with these phenomena lasting less than a year for more than 90% of MHPs. MHPs also reported guilt, reduced self-confidence and a fear of negative publicity. Thematic analysis indicated that some MHPs had greater expertise when addressing SU suicidal ideation and in supporting colleagues after experiencing a SU suicide. Only 17.7% of MHPs were offered formal support following SU suicide.
SU suicide impacts MHPs personally and professionally in both a positive and negative fashion. A culture and clear pathway of formal support for MHPs to ascertain the most appropriate individualised support dependent on the distress they experience following SU suicide would be optimal.
Infant protein intake has been associated with child growth, however, research on maternal protein intake during pregnancy is limited. Insulin-like growth factors (IGF) play a role in early fetal development and maternal protein intake may influence child body composition via IGF-1. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of maternal protein intake throughout pregnancy on cord blood IGF-1 and child body composition from birth to 5 years of age. Analysis was carried out on 570 mother–child dyads from the Randomised cOntrol trial of LOw glycaemic index diet study. Protein intake was recorded using 3-d food diaries in each trimester of pregnancy and protein intake per kg of maternal weight (g/d per kg) was calculated. Cord blood IGF-1 was measured at birth. Infant anthropometry was measured at birth, 6 months, 2 and 5 years of age. Mixed modelling, linear regression, and mediation analysis were carried out. Birth weight centiles were positively associated with early-pregnancy protein intake (g/d per kg), while weight centiles from 6 months to 5 years were negatively associated (B=−21·6, P<0·05). These associations were not mediated by IGF-1. Our findings suggest that high protein intake in early-pregnancy may exert an in utero effect on offspring body composition with a higher weight initially at birth but slower growth rates into childhood. Further research is needed to elucidate the exact mechanisms by which dietary protein modulates fetal growth.
To determine if response to a low glycaemic index (GI) dietary intervention, measured by changes in dietary intake and gestational weight gain, differed across women of varying socio-economic status (SES).
Secondary data analysis of the ROLO randomised control trial. The intervention consisted of a two-hour low-GI dietary education session in early pregnancy. Change in GI was measured using 3 d food diaries pre- and post-intervention. Gestational weight gain was categorised as per the 2009 Institute of Medicine guidelines. SES was measured using education and neighbourhood deprivation.
The National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.
Women (n 625) recruited to the ROLO randomised control trial.
The intervention significantly reduced GI and excess gestational weight gain (EGWG) among women with third level education residing in both disadvantaged (GI, mean (sd), intervention v. control: −3·30 (5·15) v. −0·32 (4·22), P=0·024; EGWG, n (%), intervention v. control: 7 (33·6) v. 22 (67·9); P=0·022) and advantaged areas (GI: −1·13 (3·88) v. 0·06 (3·75), P=0·020; EGWG: 41 (34·1) v. 58 (52·6); P=0·006). Neither GI nor gestational weight gain differed between the intervention and control group among women with less than third level education, regardless of neighbourhood deprivation.
A single dietary education session was not effective in reducing GI or gestational weight gain among less educated women. Multifaceted, appropriate and practical approaches are required in pregnancy interventions to improve pregnancy outcomes for less educated women.
Cochlear implants have enabled an improved quality of life for many patients with deafness. Implant extrusion and skin flap necrosis are the most common complications associated with implant use. We report our management of patients presenting with complications as a result of cochlear implant insertion. The goal of surgery was to achieve a stable, healed wound for use as a cochlear device implantation site.
Methods and results:
We describe a series of patients presenting with skin flap necrosis and/or extrusion of their cochlear implant. The reconstructive options employed are discussed.
Surgeons should be aware of the reconstructive options available in such circumstances, and should choose appropriate management depending on the clinical situation, in order to optimise the functional result for the patient.
The article employs a general equilibrium model to describe Italy's response to commodity and factor market integration during the expansion of the Roman Empire. This novel approach constructs a comprehensive story of the Italian economy that corroborates established developments and sheds light on controversial and unanswered questions. The success of the model supports arguments that Romans were rational economic actors and that the Roman economy was a well-integrated market system.
Non-attendance at out-patient clinics is a seemingly intractable problem, estimated to cost £65 (€97) per incident. This results in under-utilisation of resources and prolonged waiting lists. In an effort to reduce out-patient clinic non-attendance, our ENT department, in conjunction with the information and communication technology department, instigated the use of a mobile telephone short message service (‘text’) reminder, to be sent out to each patient three days prior to their out-patient clinic appointment.
To audit non-attendance rates at ENT out-patient clinics following the introduction of a text reminder system.
Non-attendance at our institution's ENT out-patient clinics was audited, following introduction of a text message reminder system in August 2003. Rates of non-attendance were compared for the text message reminder group and a historical control group.
Before the introduction of the text message reminder system, the mean rate of non-attendance was 33.6 per cent. Following the introduction of the system, the mean rate of non-attendance reduced to 22 per cent.
Sending text message reminders is a simple and cost-effective way to improve non-attendance at ENT out-patient clinics.
The objective of this study was to determine the intracranial, cardiovascular and respiratory changes induced by conversion to high-frequency oscillator ventilation from conventional mechanical ventilation at increasing airway pressures.
In this study, 11 anaesthetized sheep had invasive cardiovascular and intracranial monitors placed. Lung injury was induced by saline lavage and head injury was induced by inflation of an intracranial balloon catheter. All animals were sequentially converted from conventional mechanical ventilation to high-frequency oscillator ventilation at target mean airway pressures of 16, 22, 28, 34 and 40 cm H2O. The mean airway pressure was achieved by adjusting positive end expiratory pressure while on conventional mechanical ventilation, and continuous distending pressures while on high-frequency oscillator ventilation. Cerebral lactate production, oxygen consumption and venous oximetry were measured and analysed in relation to changes in transcranial Doppler flow velocity. Transcranial Doppler profiles together with other physiological parameters were measured at each airway pressure.
Cerebral perfusion pressure was significantly lower during high-frequency oscillator ventilation than during conventional mechanical ventilation (CMV: 45, 34, 22, 6, 9 mmHg vs. HFOV: 33, 20, 19, 5, 5 mmHg at airway pressures mentioned above, P = 0.02). Intracranial pressure and cerebrovascular resistance increased with increasing intrathoracic pressures (P = 0.001). Cerebral metabolic indices demonstrated an initial increase in anaerobic metabolism followed by a decrease in cerebral oxygen consumption progressing to cerebral infarction as intrathoracic pressures were further increased in a stepwise fashion. Arterial PaCO2 increased significantly after converting from conventional mechanical ventilation to high-frequency oscillator ventilation (P = 0.001). However, no difference was observed between conventional mechanical ventilation and high-frequency oscillator ventilation when intracranial pressure, metabolic and transcranial Doppler indices were compared at equivalent mean airway pressures.
The use of high positive end expiratory pressure with conventional mechanical ventilation or high continuous distending pressure with high-frequency oscillator ventilation increased intracranial pressure and adversely affected cerebral metabolic indices in this ovine model. Transcranial Doppler is a useful adjunct to intracranial pressure and intracranial venous saturation monitoring when major changes in ventilation strategy are adopted.
To test the hypothesis of an association between schizophrenia and coeliac disease, the sera of 380 chronic schizophrenic in-patients in two mental hospitals in the West of Ireland have been screened for the presence of reticulin antibodies. Antibodies were found in 26 patients. Twenty-one of these patients were further studied by proximal duodenal mucosal biopsy. None of the biopsies showed the morphological and histological features found in untreated coeliac disease. The incidence of reticulin antibodies in schizophrenic patients and controls is similar. The findings of this study lead to the rejection of the hypothesis of a positive genetic relationship between schizophrenia and coeliac disease.
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