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Little is known about the prevalence of mental health outcomes in UK personnel at the end of the British involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
We examined the prevalence of mental disorders and alcohol misuse, whether this differed between serving and ex-serving regular personnel and by deployment status.
This is the third phase of a military cohort study (2014–2016; n = 8093). The sample was based on participants from previous phases (2004–2006 and 2007–2009) and a new randomly selected sample of those who had joined the UK armed forces since 2009.
The prevalence was 6.2% for probable post-traumatic stress disorder, 21.9% for common mental disorders and 10.0% for alcohol misuse. Deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan and a combat role during deployment were associated with significantly worse mental health outcomes and alcohol misuse in ex-serving regular personnel but not in currently serving regular personnel.
The findings highlight an increasing prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder and a lowering prevalence of alcohol misuse compared with our previous findings and stresses the importance of continued surveillance during service and beyond.
Declaration of interest:
All authors are based at King's College London which, for the purpose of this study and other military-related studies, receives funding from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). S.A.M.S., M.J., L.H., D.P., S.M. and R.J.R. salaries were totally or partially paid by the UK MoD. The UK MoD provides support to the Academic Department of Military Mental Health, and the salaries of N.J., N.G. and N.T.F. are covered totally or partly by this contribution. D.Mu. is employed by Combat Stress, a national UK charity that provides clinical mental health services to veterans. D.MacM. is the lead consultant for an NHS Veteran Mental Health Service. N.G. is the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Lead for Military and Veterans’ Health, a trustee of Walking with the Wounded, and an independent director at the Forces in Mind Trust; however, he was not directed by these organisations in any way in relation to his contribution to this paper. N.J. is a full-time member of the armed forces seconded to King's College London. N.T.F. reports grants from the US Department of Defense and the UK MoD, is a trustee (unpaid) of The Warrior Programme and an independent advisor to the Independent Group Advising on the Release of Data (IGARD). S.W. is a trustee (unpaid) of Combat Stress and Honorary Civilian Consultant Advisor in Psychiatry for the British Army (unpaid). S.W. is affiliated to the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Emergency Preparedness and Response at King's College London in partnership with Public Health England, in collaboration with the University of East Anglia and Newcastle University. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the National Health Service, the NIHR, the Department of Health, Public Health England or the UK MoD.
Prenatal maternal obesity has been linked to adverse childhood neuropsychiatric outcomes, including increased symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), internalizing and externalizing problems, affective disorders and neurodevelopmental problems but few studies have studied neuropsychiatric outcomes among offspring born to very severely obese women or assessed potential familial confounding by maternal psychological distress.
We evaluated neuropsychiatric symptoms in 112 children aged 3–5 years whose mothers had participated in a longitudinal study of obesity in pregnancy (50 very severe obesity, BMI ⩾40 kg/m2, obese class III and 62 lean, BMI 18.5–25 kg/m2). The mothers completed the Conners’ Hyperactivity Scale, Early Symptomatic Syndrome Eliciting Neurodevelopmental Clinical Examination Questionnaire (ESSENCE-Q), Child's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ), Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) to assess child neuropsychiatric symptoms. Covariates included child's sex, age, birthweight, gestational age, socioeconomic deprivation levels, maternal age, parity, smoking status during pregnancy, gestational diabetes and maternal concurrent symptoms of anxiety and depression assessed using State Anxiety of Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Index (STAI) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), respectively.
Children exposed to prenatal maternal very severe obesity had significantly higher scores in the Conners’ Hyperactivity Scale; ESSENCE-Q; total sleep problems in CSHQ; hyperactivity, conduct problems and total difficulties scales of the SDQ; higher externalizing and total problems, anxious/depressed, aggressive behaviour and other problem syndrome scores and higher DSM-oriented affective, anxiety and ADHD problems in CBCL. Prenatal maternal very severe obesity remained a significant predictor of child neuropsychiatric problems across multiple scales independent of demographic factors, prenatal factors and maternal concurrent symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Prenatal maternal very severe obesity is a strong predictor of increased neuropsychiatric problems in early childhood.
Given the capacity of ruminants to modify diet selection based on metabolic needs, we hypothesised that, when given a choice, lambs experiencing a vitamin E deficiency would consume more of a vitamin E-enriched feed than lambs not deficient in vitamin E. Fifty-six Dohne Merino lambs were divided into two groups and fed either a vitamin E-deficient diet over 40 days to induce low plasma vitamin E or a vitamin E-enriched diet to induce high plasma vitamin E. The lambs were then offered a choice of vitamin E-enriched and vitamin E-deficient pellets. For half of the animals, the enriched diet was paired with strawberry flavour and the deficient diet was paired with orange flavour, while the reverse pairings were offered to the others. Lamb preference for the diets was measured daily for the following 15 days. There was a three-way interaction between the high and low vitamin E treatment groups×vitamin E content and type of flavour in the feed×time (days). The lambs preferred pellets flavoured with strawberry but this preference changed to orange flavour in vitamin E-deficient lambs if the orange flavour was paired with high vitamin E. Lambs without a deficiency continued to prefer strawberry-flavoured pellets, regardless of the vitamin E concentrations in the pellets. It is possible that self-learning contributed to the low vitamin E group of lambs changing preference to orange flavour in order to consume more vitamin E, presumably to remediate the deficiency.
We mapped the distribution of 6 cm H2CO (110→111) absorption against the HII regions DR21 and W58 with an angular resolution of 6″8 (RA) and a velocity resolution of 0.73 km s-1. The Westerbork SRT was used with the newly completed 5120 channel digital line receiver. With all 14 telescopes, a maximum baseline of 1440 m, both linear polarizations and a bandwidth per channel of 10 kHz the rms noise in the channel maps was about 7 K. The goal of this work is to measure scale sizes of H2CO in molecular clouds near HII regions and to study the kinematics of the clouds in the molecular line.
Both maternal obesity and disordered mood have adverse effects on pregnancy outcome. We hypothesized that maternal very severe obesity (SO) is associated with increased anxiety and depression (A&D) symptoms during pregnancy, with adverse effects on gestational weight gain (GWG), postpartum mood and postpartum weight retention (PPWR) and explored any mediation by circulating glucocorticoids.
We measured A&D symptoms with validated questionnaires at weeks 17 and 28 of pregnancy and 3 months postpartum in 135 lean [body mass index (BMI) ⩽25 kg/m2] and 222 SO (BMI ⩾40 kg/m2) pregnant women. Fasting serum cortisol was measured by radioimmunoassay; GWG and PPWR were recorded.
A&D symptoms were higher in the SO group during pregnancy and postpartum despite adjusting for multiple confounders including previous mental health diagnosis (p < 0.05), and were non-linearly correlated with total GWG (anxiety R2 = 0.06, p = 0.037; depression R2 = 0.09, p = 0.001). In the SO group only, increased maternal anxiety (β = 0.33, p = 0.03) and depression (β = 0.19, p = 0.04) symptoms at week 17 of pregnancy were associated with increased PPWR, independent of total GWG and breastfeeding. Anxiety symptoms at week 28 of pregnancy, but not depression, were non-linearly correlated with serum cortisol level at week 36 of pregnancy (R2 = 0.06, p = 0.02). Cortisol did not mediate the link between A&D symptoms and GWG.
Maternal SO was associated with increased A&D symptoms, and with adverse effects on GWG and PPWR independent of circulating glucocorticoids. Strategies to optimize GWG and postpartum weight management in SO women should include assessment and management of maternal mood in early pregnancy.
In the last ten years, the scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) has become capable of forming electron probes of atomic dimensions making possible a new approach to high-resolution electron microscopy, Z-contrast imaging. Formed by mapping the intensity of high-angle scattered electrons as the probe is scanned across the specimen, the Z-contrast image represents a direct map of the specimen scattering power at atomic resolution. It is an incoherent image, and can be directly interpreted in terms of atomic columns. High angle scattering comes predominantly from the atomic nuclei, so the scattering cross section depends on atomic number (Z) squared. Z-contrast microscopy can therefore be used to study compositional ordering and segregation at the atomic scale. Here we present three examples of ordering: first, ferroelectric materials, second, III-V semiconductor alloys, and finally, cooperative segregation at a semiconductor grain boundary, where a combination of Z-contrast imaging with first principles theory provides a complete atomic-scale view of the sites and configurations of the segregant atoms.
We use resonance Raman scattering (RRS) and electroreflection (ER) measurements to profile the the composition and strain variations in laterally composition-modulated (CM) GaP/InP short-period superlattices (SPS's). The ER spectra of a GaP2.2/InP2.0 SPS give the fundamental band-gap energy at 1.69±0.05eV, which is about 210 meV lower than the band gap energy of a GaInP random alloy with the same overall composition. The RRS measurements reveal strong dependences of the phonon spectrum on the polarization and the excitation energy. In RRS spectra measured with the polarization of both excitation and scattered photons along the composition modulation direction, the GaP-like longitudinal optical (LO) phonon redshifts by 4.0±0.5 cm−1 near the resonance with the fundamental energy gap. On the other hand, when the polarizations are orthogonal to the composition modulation, the LO phonons redshift as much as 16 cm−1 at low excitation energies. A comparison of the experimental data with a model calculation gives the average In composition in the In-rich region as 0.70±0.02, and the average Ga composition in the Ga-rich region as 0.68±0.02. Our result also indicates that there are small volumes (less than 1% volume fraction) with very high In mole fraction.
The microstructure of lateral composition modulation in InAs/AlAs superlattices grown by MBE on InP is examined. The use of x-ray diffraction, TEM, AFM, and STEM to characterize the modulations is discussed. Combining the information from these techniques gives increased insight into the phenomenon and how to manipulate it. Diffraction measures the intensity of modulation and its wavelength, and is used to identify growth conditions giving strong modulation. The TEM and STEM analyses indicate that local compositions are modulated by as much as 0.38 InAs mole fraction. Plan-view images show that modulated structures consists of short (≳0.2 μm) In-rich wires with a 2D organization in a (001) growth plane. However, growth on miscut substrates can produce a single modulation along the miscut direction with much longer wires (≲0.4 μm), as desired for potential applications. Photoluminescence studies demonstrate that the modulation has large effects on the bandgap energy of the superlattice.
The nature and origin of lateral composition modulations in (AlAs)m(InAs)n short-period strained-layer superlattices grown by molecular beam epitaxy on InP substrates have been investigated by x-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Strong modulations were observed for growth temperatures between ≈ 540 and 560° C. The maximum strength of modulations was found for SPS samples with InAs mole fraction x (= n/(n+m)) close to ≈ 0.50 and when n ≈ m ≈ 2. The modulations were suppressed at both high and low values of x. For x > 0.52 (global compression), the modulations were along the <100> directions in the (001) growth plane. For x < 0.52 (global tension), the modulations were along the two <310> directions rotated ≈ ±27° from  in the growth plane. The remarkably constant wavelength of the modulations, between ≈ 20–30 nm, and the different modulation directions observed, suggest that the origin of the modulations is due to surface roughening associated with the high misfit between the individual SPS layers and the InP substrate. Highly uniform unidirectional modulations have been grown by control of the InAs mole fraction and growth on suitably offcut substrates, which show great promise for application in device structures.
The optical properties of quantum wires (QWRs) grown using lateral composition modulation (LCM) were studied by photoluminescence (PL) measurement as a function cryostat temperature (Tcr). 3 stacked arrays of QWRs were formed by sequential growth of ∼ 180 Å-thick LCM layers (lateral period: ∼ 90 Å) induced by (InP)1/(GaP)1 short-period superlattices, and 200 Å-thick InGaP spacers at the growth temperature of 490 °C. The formation of QWRs was confirmed by a transmission electron microscopy measurement. By the analysis of the dependence of PL intensity and peak energy of the QWRs on Tcr, the origin of higher energy peak (H) and lower energy peak (L) were investigated. While behavior of the H peak is similar to that of an ordered InGaP, the L peak shows the insensitivity of PL peak energy to Tcr. This is attributed to compensation of the bandgap by competition of strain in the QWR region and indicates the L peak is related to the QWRs. Strong dependence of the L peak on the position of polarizer also supports this. Additionally, the PL peak intensity of the L peak has the maximum value not at the lowest Tcr (10 K) but at 50 K, while the H peak decrease continuously as T increases. We introduced the idea of compensation of the thermal expansion coefficient to explain this phenomenon.
Amorphous SiGe/SiO2 multilayers with controlled thickness in the range of nanometers have been deposited by LPCVD at low temperature in a single multistep run. Continuous and discontinuous layers have been deposited. No intermixing between the SiGe and SiO2 layers has been observed. As-deposited and crystallized multilayers have been characterized by Raman spectroscopy, Cathodoluminescence and TEM. The luminescence emission is more intense in the discontinuous layers than in the continuous ones.