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The literature on socio-economic variations in the association between retirement timing and health is inconclusive and largely limited to the moderating role of occupation. By selecting the sample case of Mexico where a sizeable number of older adults have no or very little formal education, this study allows the moderating role of education to be tested properly. Drawing on panel data for 2,430 individuals age 50 and over from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) and combining propensity score matching models with fixed-effects regressions, this article investigates differences in the health effects of retirement timing between older adults with varying years of education. Subjective health is measured using a self-reported assessment of respondents’ overall health and physical health as a reverse count of doctor-diagnosed chronic diseases. The results indicate that early transitions into retirement are associated with worse health outcomes, but education fully compensates for the detrimental association with subjective and physical health, while adjusting for baseline health, demographics and socio-economic characteristics. In conclusion, formal education during childhood and adolescence is associated with a long-term protective effect on health. It attenuates negative health consequences of early retirement transitions. Policies and programmes promoting healthy and active ageing would benefit from considering the influence of formal education in shaping older adults’ health after the transition into retirement.
The overarching cultural context of the brain injury survivor, particularly that related to minority peoples with a history of colonisation and discrimination, has rarely been referred to in the research literature, despite profoundly influencing a person’s recovery journey in significant ways, including access to services. This study highlights issues faced by Australian Aboriginal traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors in terms of real-life consequences of the high incidence of TBI in this population, current treatment and long-term challenges.
A case study approach utilised qualitative interview and file review data related to five male Aboriginal TBI survivors diagnosed with acquired communication disorders. The five TBI survivors were from diverse areas of rural and remote Western Australia, aged between 19 and 48 years at the time of injury, with a range of severity.
Common themes included: significant long-term life changes; short-term and long-term dislocation from family and country as medical intervention and rehabilitation were undertaken away from the person’s rural/remote home; family adjustments to the TBI including permanent re-location to a metropolitan area to be with their family member in residential care; challenges related to lack of formal rehabilitation services in rural areas; poor communication channels; poor cultural security of services; and lack of consistent follow-up.
Discussion and Conclusion:
These case reports represent some of the first documented stories of Aboriginal Australian TBI survivors. They supplement available epidemiological data and highlight different contexts for Aboriginal people after TBI, contributing to an overall profile that is relevant for rehabilitation service planning.
Seroprevalence estimation using cross-sectional serosurveys can be challenging due to inadequate or unknown biological cut-off limits of detection. In recent years, diagnostic assay cut-offs, fixed assay cut-offs and more flexible approaches as mixture modelling have been proposed to classify biological quantitative measurements into a positive or negative status. Our objective was to estimate the prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies among drug users (DU) in France in 2011 using a biological test performed on dried blood spots (DBS) collected during a cross-sectional serosurvey. However, in 2011, we did not have a cut-off value for DBS. We could not use the values for serum or plasma, knowing that the DBS value was not necessarily the same. Accordingly, we used a method which consisted of applying a two-component mixture model with age-dependent mixing proportions using penalised splines. The component densities were assumed to be log-normally distributed and were estimated in a Bayesian framework. Anti-HCV prevalence among DU was estimated at 43.3% in France and increased with age. Our method allowed us to provide estimates of age-dependent prevalence using DBS without having a specified biological cut-off value.
Background: Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a children’s neuromuscular disorder. Although motor neuron loss is a major feature of the disease, we have identified fatty acid abnormalities in SMA patients and in preclinical animal models, suggesting metabolic perturbation is also an important component of SMA. Methods: Biochemical, histological, proteomic, and high resolution respirometry were used. Results: SMA patients are more susceptible to dyslipidemia than the average population as determined by a standard lipid profile in a cohort of 72 pediatric patients. As well, we observed a non-alcoholic liver disease phenotype in apreclinical mouse model. Denervation alone was not sufficient to induce liver steatosis, as a mouse model of ALS, did not develop fatty liver. Hyperglucagonemia in Smn2B/-mice could explain the hepatic steatosis by increasing plasma substrate availability via glycogen depletion and peripheral lipolysis. Proteomic analysis identified mitochondrion and lipid metabolism as major clusters. Alterations in mitochondrial function were revealed by high-resolution respirometry. Finally, low-fat diets led to increased survival in Smn2B/-mice. Conclusions: These results provide strong evidence for lipid metabolism defects in SMA. Further investigation will be required to establish the primary mechanism of these alterations and understand how they lead to additional co-morbidities in SMA patients.
Optimizing interfaces between photosynthetic natural photoconverters, like photosynthetic bacterial Reaction Centers (RCs) and electrode surfaces represents a challenge in the progress of bio-optoelectronic devices. The features of the surfaces may result detrimental for the tertiary and quaternary structures of the RC, even resulting in the denaturation of the enzyme. Functional surfaces possessing both confinement capability and conductive features able to preserve the conformation of the biomolecule and its bioelectronic behaviours are highly needed. In this work, the RC is adsorbed on diatomaceous silica and plasma treated hydrophobic silicon based materials. Both the materials are demonstrated to be able to preserve and enhance the RC photoconverting activity. In particular, we evaluate the functioning of isolated bacterial RC interacting with flat pSi electrode through two nanotextured interfaces designed to address the RC: a thin conductive silicon film nanotextured in pillars via plasma treatment, and a cast film of nanostructured dielectric biosilica obtained from diatomaceous earth. The characterization of these interfaces, together with the RC photocurrent production measurements, pave the way to new generation RC based bio-devices for photocurrent investigation.
The disease caused by the influenza virus is a global public health problem due to its high rates of morbidity and mortality. Thus, analysis of the information generated by epidemiological surveillance systems has vital importance for health decision making. A retrospective analysis was performed using data generated by the four molecular diagnostic laboratories of the Mexican Social Security Institute between 2010 and 2016. Demographics, influenza positivity, seasonality, treatment choices and vaccination status analyses were performed for the vaccine according to its composition for each season. In all cases, both the different influenza subtypes and different age groups were considered separately. The circulation of A/H1N1pdm09 (48.7%), influenza A/H3N2 (21.1%), influenza B (12.6%), influenza A not subtyped (11%) and influenza A/H1N1 (6.6%) exhibited well-defined annual seasonality between November and March, and there were significant increases in the number of cases every 2 years. An inadequate use of oseltamivir was determined in 38% of cases, and the vaccination status in general varied between 12.1 and 18.5% depending on the season. Our results provide current information about influenza in Mexico and demonstrate the need to update both operational case definitions and medical practice guidelines to reduce the inappropriate use of antibiotics and antivirals.
We report four cases of Taenia saginata taeniasis in different urban communities of Aragua state, Venezuela. After subsequent treatment with praziquantel and a saline purge, adult tapeworms were collected from all four patients and demonstrated to be T. saginata by morphological and molecular characterization. The finding of T. saginata in four distinct and separate urban municipalities of the Aragua state indicates the pertinence of rigorous meat inspection, and the importance of establishing parasite prevalence in human and bovine Venezuelan populations.
Particular attention has been recently devoted to the development of biohybrid photoconverters based on the bacterial Reaction Center (RC) of Rhodobacter sphaeroides. This highly efficient photoenzyme has a conversion yield close to unit that makes it extremely appealing in the field of artificial photosynthesis. Isolated RCs suffer of a limited absorption cross-section in the visible spectral region that limits their applicative employment. Here we report the synthesis of two heptamethine cyanine molecules, whose photophysical properties make them potentially suitable as light harvesting antennas for the RC.
New therapeutic strategies have been established in chronic wound healing procedures, such as the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP). There is currently still uncertainty about the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and real safety of PRP in promoting chronic wound healing and what specific types of chronic wounds can benefit most from its use.
We conducted a systematic review of available scientific literature on the effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of PRP compared to placebo, standard care or alternative topical therapies for the treatment of chronic wounds in adults. Overall effect size was estimated through a meta-analysis. A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted using a Markov model which simulates the costs and health outcomes of individuals for a 5-year horizon, from the perspective of the Spanish National Health Service (NHS) for the PRP versus standard treatment in patients with diabetic foot ulcers. The effectiveness measure was quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). We ran extensive sensitivity analyses, including a probabilistic sensitivity analysis.
Sixteen RCTs and four observational studies were included for the effectiveness and safety meta-analysis. The primary outcome was the proportion of chronic wounds completely healed: 143 patients out of 334 (42.8 percent) were cured in the standard treatment arm and 251 patients out of 375 (66.9 percent) in the PRP arm, relative risk (RR) 1.68 (95% CI: 1.22–2.31). It was unclear whether there was a difference in the risk of infection (RR 0.53, 95% CI: 0.10–2.71) or adverse events (RR 1.05, 95% CI: 0.29–3.88) between PRP and standard care. Three studies were considered for the cost-effectiveness analysis. In the base case analysis, PRP led to higher QALYs and healthcare costs with an estimated incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of EUR 41,767 (USD 48,323)/QALY.
PRP treatment is more expensive and more effective than standard treatment. The estimated ICER is above the acceptability threshold in Spain.
Neoechinorhynchus is one of the most speciose genera of acanthocephalans, with approximately 116 described species. A recent study, aimed at establishing the genetic diversity of Neoechinorhynchus in Middle American freshwater fishes, validated nine species molecularly and morphologically and revealed the existence of 10 putative candidate species. Neoechinorhynchus golvani, a parasite commonly found in cichlids throughout Middle America with an allegedly large intraspecific morphological variability, was found to represent a species complex; species delimitation methods uncovered three additional genetic lineages. Here, we re-analyse the morphological and molecular data for N. golvani species complex infecting cichlids in that geographical area. A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was conducted particularly for the length of apical, middle and posterior hooks of the species/lineages of Neoechinorhynchus in cichlids, revealing morphological variation in the length of apical hooks for Lineage 8, although no morphological distinction was observed for Lineages 9 and 10. A new concatenated phylogenetic analysis of one mitochondrial and two ribosomal DNA genes was used to further corroborate the species delimitation among lineages; Neoechinorhynchus Lineage 8 was found to be morphologically and genetically distinct from its sister taxa, N. golvani and other two undescribed genetic lineages, and is formally described as a new species. Neoechinorhynchus costarricense n. sp. is described from the intestines of eight species of cichlids in Costa Rica. The new species is distinguished from the other species/lineages of Neoechinorhynchus in cichlids mainly by the size of the apical hooks of the proboscis.
Sunlight is the most environmental friendly energy source available on Earth; many efforts devoted to design artificial photoconversion systems are ongoing, nevertheless they are still expensive and poorly efficient. Photoconversion devices made with organic-biological hybrids, or biohybrids, based on the photosynthetic reaction center (RC) have been introduced. In these systems, the photoenzyme is garnished with artificial antennas to enhance the photoactivity of the RC. Here we present a newly synthesized heptamethine cyanine dye that fulfills requisites to act as efficient RC light harvesting antenna.
The complex life cycle of Trichinella spiralis includes the migration of newborn larvae through the bloodstream to their encystment in muscle. The parasite establishes an intimate contact with the erythrocytes of the host both during the migration of the newborn larvae and when encysting, as this parasite causes intense vascularization in the muscle cell. The goal of this work was to study the effects of various concentrations of T. spiralis muscle larvae (ML) on erythrocyte membranes. The treatment was performed by incubating human erythrocytes with equal volume of different concentrations of ML for 30 minutes, with controlled agitation (37°C). The control erythrocytes (with no contact with the larvae) were incubated in the same way with an equal volume of physiological solution. To evaluate the alterations to the erythrocytes by the action of the larvae and in the respective controls, an Erythrocyte Rheometer and a Digital Image Analysis technique were used. The results indicated that when the larval concentration was higher, the aggregation and erythrocyte membrane alterations were also higher. Also, the erythrocyte deformability index and the erythrocyte elasticity increased. The values of isolated cell coefficient varied from 0.51 in the treatment with 100 larvae/ml to 0.91 in the incubation with 1000 larvae/ml. This experiment shows that T. spiralis muscle larvae affect significantly the red blood cell aggregation and the erythrocyte viscoelastic properties.
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites identified as being globally important for the conservation of bird populations on the basis of an internationally agreed set of criteria. We present the first review of the development and spread of the IBA concept since it was launched by BirdLife International (then ICBP) in 1979 and examine some of the characteristics of the resulting inventory. Over 13,000 global and regional IBAs have so far been identified and documented in terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems in almost all of the world’s countries and territories, making this the largest global network of sites of significance for biodiversity. IBAs have been identified using standardised, data-driven criteria that have been developed and applied at global and regional levels. These criteria capture multiple dimensions of a site’s significance for avian biodiversity and relate to populations of globally threatened species (68.6% of the 10,746 IBAs that meet global criteria), restricted-range species (25.4%), biome-restricted species (27.5%) and congregatory species (50.3%); many global IBAs (52.7%) trigger two or more of these criteria. IBAs range in size from < 1 km2 to over 300,000 km2 and have an approximately log-normal size distribution (median = 125.0 km2, mean = 1,202.6 km2). They cover approximately 6.7% of the terrestrial, 1.6% of the marine and 3.1% of the total surface area of the Earth. The launch in 2016 of the KBA Global Standard, which aims to identify, document and conserve sites that contribute to the global persistence of wider biodiversity, and whose criteria for site identification build on those developed for IBAs, is a logical evolution of the IBA concept. The role of IBAs in conservation planning, policy and practice is reviewed elsewhere. Future technical priorities for the IBA initiative include completion of the global inventory, particularly in the marine environment, keeping the dataset up to date, and improving the systematic monitoring of these sites.
Children of alcoholics (COAs) are at risk for elevated internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Yet, little is known about the familial and behavioral adjustments of COAs following parental separation. Using an ecological–transactional framework, we examined how multiple risk factors contributed to the formation of different alcoholic family structures and how living in heterogeneous family structures affected COAs’ behavioral problems. The Michigan Longitudinal Study, a multiwave study on initially intact alcoholic and control families with preschool-age children (n = 503), was used to evaluate outcomes of offspring, when families either remained intact or were separated when the child was aged 12–14. Alcoholic families who later transitioned into stepfamilies were characterized with higher paternal antisociality, marital aggression, and serious family crises than alcoholic families that remained intact. COAs in stepfamilies (but not in single-parent families) exhibited higher levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms in preadolescence compared with those in alcoholic intact families, in part because of elevated behavioral risk at age 3. Structural equation modeling indicated that the aggregated risk of stepfamily residence directly related to COAs’ internalizing and indirectly related to COAs’ externalizing problems, partially mediated by family stressors. Findings suggest targeting COAs in separated families for early intervention.
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.