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The DOHaD Society has passed its 10th birthday, so it seems an appropriate time to reflect on what has been achieved and the Society’s aspirations. At the 10th International Congress in Rotterdam in November 2017, Peter Gluckman (the Society’s first President) delivered a plenary lecture entitled ‘DOHaD – addressing the science-policy nexus: a reality check’; in opening the Congress, Mark Hanson (second, and outgoing President) not only highlighted the success of the Society but also the challenges it now faces in achieving impact for its work in the global health arena, that is beyond the research agenda; and in assuming the role of third President, Lucilla Poston highlighted the need for the Society to grasp opportunities to change healthcare policy, while persevering with basic research and well-planned intervention studies. In this review we summarize the points made in these three presentations and issue a call to action to the membership to take up the challenge of taking the Society’s work to the next level of translating science to policy.
This paper reviews the efficacy of a community psychosocial arts program focused on building mental health capacity within post-Ebola Liberia. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the outcome effects of two groups using pre- and post-treatment data. We hypothesized that there would be a difference in symptoms pre- and post-treatment, and the longer program would yield more significant results.
There was a total of 870 child participants. Of 40 sites, 24 were selected for a 5-month treatment (TG1) while the remaining 16 sites received 3 months of treatment (TG2). Paired t tests and a mixed-model analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to analyse pre- and post-psychological stress symptoms (PSS) for samples from both groups.
Separately, treatment group 1 (TG1) and treatment group 2's (TG2) paired t test yielded significant results (p < 0.001) for the decrease of PSS. The mixed-model ANOVA found that there were significant differences in total pre- and post-test PSS and a significant difference in PSS means over time.
Results indicated that there was a statistically significant decrease in reported symptoms in both treatment groups pre- to post-intervention and a significant difference in total symptoms over time. However, the findings do not indicate that the longer programming was statistically different compared to the shorter programming. The study presented had gaps in data, largely due to limits in research during the crisis. However, this paper provides a unique case study for challenges that can be faced for project evaluation in emergency settings.
This is a brief summary of the first workshop of “In Vivo XRF Measurements of Heavy Elements,” at the Denver Conference on Applications of X-Ray Analysis. In vivo x-ray fluorescence has been applied to medical applications since the 1960's, with much of the pioneering work being done in Sweden (1). First measurements were of iodine in the thyroid. Elements from iron to uranium have now been measured, at natural and elevated levels. Elevated levels occur either unintentionally through occupational or environmental exposure, or intentionally through medical administration. Examples of measurements are cadmium in kidney and liver, platinum in kidneys and tumors, mercury in the wrists and skulls of dentists, lead in various near-surface bones, copper in the eye and iron in skin. Nearly all measurements make use of either silicon or germanium detectors; radioisotopes and less frequently x-ray tubes are used for excitation.
X-ray microscopy is a field that has developed rapidly in recent years. Two different approaches have been used. Zone plates have been employed to produce focussed beams with sizes as low as 0.07 pm for x-ray energies below 1 keV. Images of biological materials and elemental maps for major and minor low Z have been produced using above and below absorption edge differences. At higher energies collimators and focussing mirrors have been used to make small diameter beams for excitation of characteristic K— or L-x rays of all elements in the periodic
The field of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) has grown considerably in recent decades and is receiving increasing recognition from health policymakers. Today, DOHaD research aims to offer a comprehensive perspective on health and disease that traces how different life experiences shape health and disease risks over the entire life course. This integrative perspective opens up distinct possibilities for improving health. At the same time, it raises questions regarding the specific social responsibilities of DOHaD as a field and about possible pathways to a socially just and scientifically robust implementation of DOHaD knowledge in society. In this article, we review the history and key characteristics of DOHaD as a field of scientific knowledge production. We argue that based on its key assumptions – that life circumstances, health and disease are closely linked on a molecular scale – DOHaD is an inherently political research field. When tracing how life environments affect health and disease, it is of utmost social and political importance to specify how DOHaD understands and frames these life environments, which aspects of life worlds are included and which excluded, and how research results are interpreted and translated into health recommendations at individual, societal and policy levels. We suggest a number of ways by which the DOHaD community can constructively and responsibly meet the demands that these inherent characteristics place on knowledge production and dissemination in the field.
Research is needed to identify the factors that explain the link between prior and future suicidality. This study evaluated possible mediators of the relationship between: (1) the severity of prior suicidality and (2) suicidal ideation severity at 3-month follow-up among a sample of high-risk military personnel.
US military service members referred to or seeking care for suicide risk (N = 624) completed self-report psychiatric domain measures and a clinician interview assessing prior suicidality severity at baseline. Three months later, participants completed a self-report measure of suicidal ideation severity. Three separate percentile bootstrap mediation models were used to examine psychiatric factors (i.e. alcohol abuse, anxiety sensitivity, hopelessness, insomnia, posttraumatic stress symptoms, suicidal ideation, and thwarted belongingness) as parallel mediators of the relationship between prior suicidality severity (specifically, suicidal ideation, suicide attempt, and overall suicidality – i.e. ideation/attempt severity combined) at baseline and suicidal ideation severity at follow-up.
Hopelessness, specifically, and the total effect of all mediators, each significantly accounted for the relationship between prior suicidality severity and subsequent ideation severity across models. In the models with attempt severity and overall suicidality severity as predictors, thwarted belongingness was also a significant mediator.
Hopelessness, thwarted belongingness, and overall severity of psychiatric indices may explain the relationship between prior suicidality severity and future suicidal ideation severity among service members at elevated suicide risk. Research is needed to replicate these findings and examine other possible mediators.
We reviewed all patients who were supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and/or ventricular assist device at our institution in order to describe diagnostic characteristics and assess mortality.
A retrospective cohort study was performed including all patients supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and/or ventricular assist device from our first case (8 October, 1998) through 25 July, 2016. The primary outcome of interest was mortality, which was modelled by the Kaplan–Meier method.
A total of 223 patients underwent 241 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation runs. Median support time was 4.0 days, ranging from 0.04 to 55.8 days, with a mean of 6.4±7.0 days. Mean (±SD) age at initiation was 727.4 days (±146.9 days). Indications for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were stratified by primary indication: cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (n=175; 72.6%) or respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (n=66; 27.4%). The most frequent diagnosis for cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients was hypoplastic left heart syndrome or hypoplastic left heart syndrome-related malformation (n=55 patients with HLHS who underwent 64 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation runs). For respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, the most frequent diagnosis was congenital diaphragmatic hernia (n=22). A total of 24 patients underwent 26 ventricular assist device runs. Median support time was 7 days, ranging from 0 to 75 days, with a mean of 15.3±18.8 days. Mean age at initiation of ventricular assist device was 2530.8±660.2 days (6.93±1.81 years). Cardiomyopathy/myocarditis was the most frequent indication for ventricular assist device placement (n=14; 53.8%). Survival to discharge was 42.2% for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients and 54.2% for ventricular assist device patients. Kaplan–Meier 1-year survival was as follows: all patients, 41.0%; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients, 41.0%; and ventricular assist device patients, 43.2%. Kaplan–Meier 5-year survival was as follows: all patients, 39.7%; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients, 39.7%; and ventricular assist device patients, 43.2%.
This single-institutional 18-year review documents the differential probability of survival for various sub-groups of patients who require support with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or ventricular assist device. The indication for mechanical circulatory support, underlying diagnosis, age, and setting in which cannulation occurs may affect survival after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and ventricular assist device. The Kaplan–Meier analyses in this study demonstrate that patients who survive to hospital discharge have an excellent chance of longer-term survival.
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.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
In September 2015, an outbreak of Escherichia coli Phage Type 32 with an indistinguishable multi locus variable number tandem repeat analysis profile was identified in Scotland. Twelve cases were identified; nine primary cases, two secondary and one asymptomatic case. Extensive food history investigations identified venison products containing wild venison produced by a single food business operator as the most likely source of the outbreak. Of the nine primary cases, eight had consumed venison products, and one case had not eaten venison themselves but had handled and cooked raw venison in the household. This was the first reported outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) linked to venison products in the UK, and was also notable due to the implicated products being commercially produced and widely distributed. In contrast, previous venison outbreaks reported from other countries have tended to be smaller and related to individually prepared carcases. The outbreak has highlighted some important knowledge gaps in relation to STEC in venison that are currently been investigated via a number of research studies.
The study objective was to determine the prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus colonisation in the nares and oropharynx of healthy persons and identify any risk factors associated with such S. aureus colonisation. In total 263 participants (177 adults and 86 minors) comprising 95 families were enrolled in a year-long prospective cohort study from one urban and one rural county in eastern Iowa, USA, through local newspaper advertisements and email lists and through the Keokuk Rural Health Study. Potential risk factors including demographic factors, medical history, farming and healthcare exposure were assessed. Among the participants, 25.4% of adults and 36.1% minors carried S. aureus in their nares and 37.9% of adults carried it in their oropharynx. The overall prevalence was 44.1% among adults and 36.1% for minors. Having at least one positive environmental site for S. aureus in the family home was associated with colonisation (prevalence ratio: 1.34, 95% CI: 1.07–1.66). The sensitivity of the oropharyngeal cultures was greater than that of the nares cultures (86.1% compared with 58.2%, respectively). In conclusion, the nares and oropharynx are both important colonisation sites for healthy community members and the presence of S. aureus in the home environment is associated with an increased probability of colonisation.
Early life exposures affect health and disease across the life course and potentially across multiple generations. The Clinical and Translational Research Institutes (CTSIs) offer an opportunity to utilize and link existing databases to conduct lifespan research.
A survey with Lifespan Domain Taskforce expert input was created and distributed to lead lifespan researchers at each of the 64 CTSIs. The survey requested information regarding institutional databases related to early life exposure, child-maternal health, or lifespan research.
Of 64 CTSI, 88% provided information on a total of 130 databases. Approximately 59% (n=76/130) had an associated biorepository. Longitudinal data were available for 72% (n=93/130) of reported databases. Many of the biorepositories (n=44/76; 68%) have standard operating procedures that can be shared with other researchers.
The majority of CTSI databases and biorepositories focusing on child-maternal health and lifespan research could be leveraged for lifespan research, increased generalizability and enhanced multi-institutional research in the United States.
We evaluated the spatial heterogeneity of historical carbon accumulation rates in a forested, ombrotrophic bog in Minnesota to aid understanding of responses to an ongoing decade-long warming manipulation. Eighteen peat cores indicated that the bog has been accumulating carbon for over 11,000 years, to yield 176±40 kg C m−2 to 225±58 cm of peat depth. Estimated peat basal ages ranged from 5100 to 11,100 cal BP. The long-term apparent rate of carbon accumulation over the entire peat profile was 22±2 kg C m−2 yr−1. Plot location within the study area did not affect carbon accumulation rates, but estimated basal ages were younger in profiles from plots closer to the bog lagg and farther from the bog outlet. In addition, carbon accumulation varied considerably over time. Early Holocene net carbon accumulation rates were 30±6 g C m−2 yr−1. Around 3300 calendar BP, net carbon accumulation rates dropped to 15±8 g C m−2 yr−1 until the last century when net accumulation rates increased again to 74±57 g C m−2 yr−1. During this period of low accumulation, regional droughts may have lowered the water table, allowing for enhanced aerobic decomposition and making the bog more susceptible to fire. These results suggest that experimental warming treatments, as well as a future warmer climate may reduce net carbon accumulation in peat in this and other southern boreal peatlands. Furthermore, our we caution against historical interpretations extrapolated from one or a few peat cores.
Our primary objective was to understand the barriers and facilitators associated with the implementation of high-quality clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) for depression and anxiety in patients with dementia or Parkinson’s disease (PD). We conducted focus groups or interviews with participants experiencing dementia or PD, their caregivers, and physicians in Calgary, Alberta, and applied the theoretical domains framework and behaviour change wheel to guide data collection and perform a framework analysis. Thirty-three physicians and seven PD patients/caregivers participated. We report barriers and facilitators to the implementation of guideline recommendations for diagnosis, management, and the use of the guidelines. An overarching theme was the lack of evidence for depression or anxiety disorders in dementia or PD, which was prominent for anxiety versus depression. Patients noted difficulties with communicating symptoms and accessing services. Although guidelines are available, physicians have difficulty implementing certain recommendations due primarily to a lack of evidence regarding efficacy.
Erect veldtgrass (Ehrharta erecta Lam.) is an invasive grass actively spreading in California that is capable of invading multiple habitats. Our objective is to contribute to a better understanding of the ecology, impacts, and potential for control of E. erecta in order to guide management practices. In a mixed-evergreen forest in Santa Cruz County, we measured impacts of E. erecta on native plant species richness and abundance in an observational comparison across 11 sites. Strikingly, we measured nearly four times greater total vegetation cover in plots invaded by E. erecta. However, native plants were not significantly less abundant in invaded plots than in reference plots, and native cover was not significantly predicted by E. erecta cover within invaded plots. We did, however, find evidence of change in community composition in response to E. erecta abundance. Our findings demonstrate that native species can persist in the presence of E. erecta, although the long-term impacts on populations of the perennial plants that dominate this forest understory are still unknown.
We also compared the effectiveness of mechanical (hand pulling with volunteers) and chemical (glyphosate) management methods. Twenty-two months following management treatments, we found substantial reductions in E. erecta using both mechanical and herbicide treatments, but herbicide application also produced greater reductions in native species cover and species richness. Transplanting native yerba buena [Clinopodium douglasii (Benth.) Kuntze] into management plots following treatment did not slow regrowth of E. erecta. It did, however, increase total native plant percent cover in herbicide and pull treatments, although largely by increasing C. douglasii cover. Effective management is possible using either manual or chemical removal methods; the optimal method may depend on the availability of manual labor and the sensitivity of the habitat to non-target effects on native plants.
This study aims to investigate the climate–malaria associations in nine cities selected from malaria high-risk areas in China. Daily reports of malaria cases in Anhui, Henan, and Yunnan Provinces for 2005–2012 were obtained from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Generalized estimating equation models were used to quantify the city-specific climate–malaria associations. Multivariate random-effects meta-regression analyses were used to pool the city-specific effects. An inverted-U-shaped curve relationship was observed between temperatures, average relative humidity, and malaria. A 1 °C increase of maximum temperature (Tmax) resulted in 6·7% (95% CI 4·6–8·8%) to 15·8% (95% CI 14·1–17·4%) increase of malaria, with corresponding lags ranging from 7 to 45 days. For minimum temperature (Tmin), the effect estimates peaked at lag 0 to 40 days, ranging from 5·3% (95% CI 4·4–6·2%) to 17·9% (95% CI 15·6–20·1%). Malaria is more sensitive to Tmin in cool climates and Tmax in warm climates. The duration of lag effect in a cool climate zone is longer than that in a warm climate zone. Lagged effects did not vanish after an epidemic season but waned gradually in the following 2–3 warm seasons. A warming climate may potentially increase the risk of malaria resurgence in China.