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Measurements of elastic wave velocities enable non-destructive estimation of the mechanical properties, elastic moduli and density of snow and firn. The variation of elastic moduli with porosity in dry snow and firn is modeled using a differential effective medium scheme modified to account for the critical porosity above which the bulk and shear moduli of the ice frame vanish. A comparison of predicted and measured elastic moduli indicates that the shear modulus of ice in snow is lower than that computed from single crystal elastic stiffnesses of ice. This may indicate that the bonds between snow particles are more deformable under shear than under compression. A partial alignment of ice crystals also may contribute. Good agreement between elastic stiffnesses of the ice frame obtained from elastic wave velocity measurements and the predictions of the theory is observed. The approach is simple and compact, and does not require the use of empirical fits to the data. Owing to its simplicity, this model may prove useful in a variety of potential applications such as construction on snow, interpretation of seismic measurements to monitor and locate avalanches and estimation of density within compacting snow deposited on glaciers and ice sheets.
Measured elastic stiffnesses of ice polycrystals decrease with increasing temperature due to a decrease in grain boundary stiffness with increasing temperature. In this paper, we represent grain boundaries as imperfectly bonded interfaces, across which traction is continuous, but displacement may be discontinuous. We express the additional compliance due to grain boundaries in terms of a second-rank and a fourth-rank tensor, which quantify the effect on elastic wave velocities of the orientation distribution as well as the normal and shear compliances of the grain boundaries. Measurement of the elastic stiffnesses allows determination of the components of these tensors. Application of the method to resonant ultrasound spectroscopy measurements made on ice polycrystals enables determination of the ratio BN/BS of the normal to shear compliance of the grain boundaries, which are found to be more compliant in shear than in compression. The ratio BN/BS is small at low temperatures, but increases as temperature increases, implying that the normal compliance increases relative to the shear compliance as temperature increases.
Eating less frequently is associated with increased obesity risk in older children but data are potentially confounded by reverse causation, where bigger children eat less often in an effort to control their weight. Longitudinal data, particularly in younger children, are scarce. We aimed to determine whether eating frequency (meals and snacks) at 2 years of age is associated with past, current or subsequent BMI.
Cohort analysis of a randomised controlled trial. Eating frequency at 2 years of age was estimated using 48 h diaries that recorded when each child ate meals and snacks (parent-defined) in five-minute blocks. Body length/height and weight were measured at 1, 2 and 3·5 years of age. Linear regression assessed associations between the number of eating occasions and BMI Z-score, before and after adjustment for potential confounding variables.
Prevention of Overweight in Infancy (POI) study, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Children (n 371) aged 1–3·5 years.
On average, children ate 5·5 (sd 1·2) times/d at 2 years of age, with most children (88–89 %) eating 4–7 times/d. Eating frequency at 2 years was not associated with current (difference in BMI Z-score per additional eating occasion; 95 % CI: −0·02; −0·10, 0·05) or subsequent change (0·02; −0·03, 0·06) in BMI. Similarly, BMI at age 1 year did not predict eating frequency at 2 years of age (difference in eating frequency per additional BMI Z-score unit; 95 % CI: −0·03; −0·19, 0·13).
Number of eating occasions per day was not associated with BMI in young children in the present study.
The 2012 West Nile virus (WNV) epidemic was the largest since 2003 and the North Texas region was the most heavily impacted. We conducted a serosurvey of blood donors from four counties in the Dallas–Fort Worth area to characterize the epidemic. Blood donor specimens collected in November 2012 were tested for WNV-specific antibodies. Donors positive for WNV-specific IgG, IgM, and neutralizing antibodies were considered to have been infected in 2012. This number was adjusted using a multi-step process that accounted for timing of IgM seroreversion determined from previous longitudinal studies of WNV-infected donors. Of 4971 donations screened, 139 (2·8%) were confirmed WNV IgG positive, and 69 (1·4%) had IgM indicating infection in 2012. After adjusting for timing of sampling and potential seroreversion, we estimated that 1·8% [95% confidence interval (CI) 1·5–2·2] of the adult population in the Dallas–Fort Worth area were infected during 2012. The resulting overall estimate for the ratio of infections to reported WNV neuroinvasive disease (WNND) cases was 238:1 (95% CI 192–290), with significantly increased risk of WNND in older age groups. These findings were very similar to previous estimates of infections per WNND case, indicating no change in virulence as WNV evolved into an endemic infection in the United States.
Investigators have suggested a link between birth weight and both hand and lumbar spine osteoarthritis (OA). In this study, we sought to extend these observations by investigating relationships between growth in early life, and clinical and radiological diagnoses of OA at the hand, knee and hip, among participants from the Hertfordshire Cohort Study. Data were available for 222 men and 222 women. Clinical OA was defined based on American College of Rheumatology criteria. Radiographs were taken of the knees and hips, and graded for the presence of osteophytes and overall Kellgren and Lawrence (KL) score. Lower weight at year one was associated with higher rates of clinical hand OA (OR 1.396, 95% CI 1.05, 1.85, P=0.021). Individuals with lower birth weights were more likely to have hip osteophytes (OR 1.512, 95% CI 1.14, 2.00, P=0.004) and this remained robust after adjustment for confounders. Furthermore, a low weight at one year was also associated with a higher osteophyte number in the lateral compartment of the knee, after adjustment for confounders (OR 1.388, 95% CI 1.01, 1.91, P=0.043). We have found further evidence of a relationship between early life factors and adult OA. These findings accord with previous studies.
It has been suggested that in addition to genetic factors, fetal and post-natal growth influence cognition in early adulthood. However, most studies have been in developed populations, so it is unclear if the same findings would be seen in other, less developed, settings, and have used testing tools not applicable to an Australia Aboriginal population. This study investigated the relationships between cognitive function in early adulthood and birth weight and contemporary height. Simple reaction time (SRT), choice reaction time (CRT) and working memory (WM) were assessed using the CogState battery. A significant association was seen between birth weight and SRT in early adulthood, but not with the other two cognitive measures. Urban dwellers had significantly shorter SRT and CRT than their remote counterparts. Contemporary body mass index and maternal age were associated with CRT. Only fetal growth restriction was associated with WM, with greater WM in those with restricted growth. No associations were seen with contemporary height. These results suggest that fetal growth may be more important than the factors influencing post-natal growth in terms of cognition in early adulthood in this population, but that the associations may be inconsistent between cognitive outcomes. Further research is required to identify whether similar associations are seen in other, similar, populations and to assess why differences in cognitive outcome measures are seen.
Transfer of sufficient immunoglobulin G (IgG) to the neonatal calf via colostrum is vital to provide the calf with immunological protection and resistance against disease. The objective of the present study was to determine the factors associated with both colostral IgG concentration and colostral weight in Irish dairy cows. Fresh colostrum samples were collected from 704 dairy cows of varying breed and parity from four Irish research farms between January and December 2011; colostral weight was recorded and the IgG concentration was determined using an ELISA method. The mean IgG concentration in the colostrum was 112 g/l (s.d. = 51 g/l) and ranged from 13 to 256 g/l. In total, 96% of the samples in this study contained >50 g/l IgG, which is considered to be indicative of high-quality colostrum. Mean colostral weight was 6.7 kg (s.d. = 3.6 kg) with a range of 0.1 to 24 kg. Factors associated with both colostral IgG concentration and colostral weight were determined using a fixed effects multiple regression model. Parity, time interval from calving to next milking, month of calving, colostral weight and herd were all independently associated with IgG concentration. IgG concentration decreased (P < 0.01) by 1.7 (s.e. = 0.6) g/l per kg increase in the colostral weight. Older parity cows, cows that had a shorter time interval from calving to milking, and cows that calved earlier in spring or in the autumn produced colostrum with higher IgG concentration. Parity (P < 0.001), time interval from calving to milking (P < 0.01), weight of the calf at birth (P < 0.05), colostral IgG concentration (P < 0.01) and herd were all independently associated with colostral weight at the first milking. Younger parity cows, cows milked earlier post-calving, and cows with lighter calves produced less colostrum. In general, colostrum quality of cows in this study was higher than in many previous studies; possible reasons include use of a relatively low-yielding cow type that produces low weight of colostrum, short calving to colostrum collection interval and grass-based nutritional management. The results of this study indicate that colostral IgG concentration can be maximised by reducing the time interval between calving and collection of colostrum.
In spring 2008, an influenza A subtype H3N2 outbreak occurred in a long stay psycho-geriatric ward and two wards in the intellectual disability services (IDS), part of a large psychiatric hospital. The attack rate in the index ward was 90% (18/20) for patients and 35% (7/20) for staff. It was 14% (1/7) and 17% (2/12) in the affected IDS wards for patients and 0% (0/20) and 4% (1/25) for staff. Many of the laboratory-confirmed cases did not have a fever >38 °C, a typical sign of influenza. Control measures included oseltamivir treatment for cases and prophylaxis for contacts, standard and droplet infection control precautions, active surveillance for early detection and isolation of potential cases. As a result, the outbreak did not spread throughout the hospital. Although the staff vaccination rate (10%) prior to the outbreak was low, we observed a much lower vaccine effectiveness rate in the patients (11%) than in the staff (100%) in the index ward. Vaccination of residents and staff of such facilities remains the key influenza prevention strategy.
Depression is common among chronically ill patients and their relatives. In this article, we investigated the prevalence of depression among relatives of cancer patients in Jordan, and studied the relation between several socio-demographic, disease- and treatment-related factors, together with the occurrence of depression among those relatives.
A cross-sectional survey study was conducted at a major university hospital in Jordan. Relatives of cancer patients were interviewed for socio-demographic information, and medical records were checked for information about disease and treatment of patient. Psychological status of the relative was assessed using the Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale (HADS).
The prevalence of depression in our sample was 81.9%. Age and degree of relatedness were significantly correlated with the occurrence of depression among relatives of cancer patients. Significant correlations were also detected between depression among patient's relatives and the stage of the disease. Positive predictive factors for depression included relatives being middle aged, close relatedness, patients being in advanced disease stage, and on chemotherapy or undergoing surgery for cancer treatment.
Significance of results:
Depression is prevalent among relatives of cancer patients. Therefore, more attention is needed to detect changes in the psychological state of vulnerable relatives of cancer patients, in an effort to reduce the occurrence of depression.
Symptoms of anxiety and depression are common in older people, but the relative importance of factors operating in early and later life in influencing risk is unclear, particularly in the case of anxiety.
We used data from five cohorts in the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) collaborative research programme: the Aberdeen Birth Cohort 1936, the Caerphilly Prospective Study, the Hertfordshire Ageing Study, the Hertfordshire Cohort Study and the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921. We used logistic regression to examine the relationship between factors from early and later life and risk of anxiety or depression, defined as scores of 8 or more on the subscales of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and meta-analysis to obtain an overall estimate of the effect of each.
Greater neuroticism, poorer cognitive or physical function, greater disability and taking more medications were associated in cross-sectional analyses with an increased overall likelihood of anxiety or depression. Associations between lower social class, either in childhood or currently, history of heart disease, stroke or diabetes and increased risk of anxiety or depression were attenuated and no longer statistically significant after adjustment for potential confounding or mediating variables. There was no association between birth weight and anxiety or depression in later life.
Anxiety and depression in later life are both strongly linked to personality, cognitive and physical function, disability and state of health, measured concurrently. Possible mechanisms that might underlie these associations are discussed.
Q fever (Coxiella burnetii) is a zoonotic disease of increasing public health importance. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of, and risk factors associated with, exposure to C. burnetii in cattle in the Republic of Ireland. Bulk-tank milk samples from 290 dairy herds and 1659 sera from 332 dairy and beef herds, randomly sampled, were tested by indirect ELISA to detect antibodies to C. burnetii. In total, 37·9% of bulk-milk sample herds and 1·8% of sera (from 6·9% of herds) were antibody positive. Of risk factors tested using logistic regression analysis, only large herd size (bulk-milk analysis) and dairy breed (serum analysis) significantly increased the odds of being positive for antibodies to C. burnetii. Herds with positive milk or serum samples were randomly distributed throughout the Republic of Ireland and no clustering was observed. The use of an ELISA to test bulk-milk samples collected by randomized stratified sampling is a cost-effective method by which national herd prevalence can be estimated by active surveillance.
Background: The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) is widely used but evaluation of its psychometric properties has produced equivocal results. Little is known about its structure in non-clinical samples of older people.
Methods: We used data from four cohorts in the HALCyon collaborative research program into healthy aging: the Caerphilly Prospective Study, the Hertfordshire Ageing Study, the Hertfordshire Cohort Study, and the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921. We used exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis with multi-group comparisons to establish the structure of the HADS and test for factorial invariance between samples.
Results: Exploratory factor analysis showed a bi-dimensional structure (anxiety and depression) of the scale in men and women in each cohort. We tested a hypothesized three-factor model but high correlations between two of the factors made a two-factor model more psychologically plausible. Multi-group confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the sizes of the respective item loadings on the two factors were effectively identical in men and women from the same cohort. There was more variation between cohorts, particularly those from different parts of the U.K. and in whom the HADS was administered differently. Differences in social-class distribution accounted for part of this variation.
Conclusions: Scoring the HADS as two subscales of anxiety and depression is appropriate in non-clinical populations of older men and women. However, there were differences between cohorts in the way that individual items were linked with the constructs of anxiety and depression, perhaps due to differences in sociocultural factors and/or in the administration of the scale.
We investigated factors associated with persistence of different Salmonella serovars in buildings housing laying hens in Great Britain using survival analysis. A total of 264 incidents of Salmonella detection occurring between July 1998 and August 2007 in 152 houses were recorded. For incidents involving Salmonella Enteritidis (SE), both the rodent score of the house and the type of house were positively associated with persistence. For non-SE serovars, only the type of house was associated with persistence. Persistence of SE in the houses was longest (>15 months) in step-cage and cage-scraper houses when high levels of rodents were present, and lowest in non-cage and cage-belt houses. We estimated that 42% (95% CI 23·3–63·1) of SE incidents may be cleared during the lay period, and this was related to elimination of rodents from the houses. From January 2009, EU legislation will ban the sale of fresh eggs from SE-positive and S. Typhimurium-positive flocks over their remaining lifespan. If infection is eliminated from such flocks, they would cease to represent a public health risk.
An abattoir survey was undertaken to determine the prevalence of foodborne zoonotic organisms colonizing cattle, sheep and pigs at slaughter in Great Britain. The study ran for 12 months from January 2003, involved 93 abattoirs and collected 7703 intestinal samples. The design was similar to two previous abattoir surveys undertaken in 1999–2000 allowing comparisons. Samples were examined for VTEC O157, Salmonella, thermophilic Campylobacter and Yersinia enterocolitica. The prevalence of VTEC O157 faecal carriage was 4·7% in cattle, 0·7% in sheep and 0·3% in pigs. A significant decrease in sheep was detected from the previous survey (1·7%). Salmonella carriage was 1·4% in cattle, a significant increase from the previous survey of 0·2%. In sheep, faecal carriage was 1·1% a significant increase from the previous survey (0·1%). In pigs, carriage was 23·4%, consistent with the previous study. Thermophilic Campylobacter spp. were isolated from 54·6% of cattle, 43·8% of sheep and 69·3% of pigs. Y. enterocolitica was isolated from 4·5% of cattle, 8·0% of sheep and 10·2% of pigs.
Covering an area of 177,000 hectares, the region known within Belize as the Chiquibul Forest comprises the country's largest forest reserve and includes the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, the Chiquibul National Park and the Caracol Archaeological Reserve. Based on 7047 herbarium and live collections, a checklist of 1355 species of vascular plant is presented for this area, of which 87 species are believed to be new records for the country. Of the 41 species of plant known to be endemic to Belize, four have been recorded within the Chiquibul, and 12 species are listed in The World Conservation Union (IUCN) 2006 Red List of Threatened Species. Although the Chiquibul Forest has been relatively well collected, there are geographical biases in botanical sampling which have focused historically primarily on the limestone forests of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. A brief review of the collecting history of the Chiquibul is provided, and recommendations are given on where future collecting efforts may best be focused. The Chiquibul Forest is shown to be a significant regional centre of plant diversity and an important component of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.
In September 2000, haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) was diagnosed in a 10-month-old child with a prodromal history of vomiting and diarrhoea (non-bloody). Investigation revealed that a self-limiting gastrointestinal illness (mean duration 48 h) had occurred among immediate and extended family in the 2 weeks prior to the child's admission. The epidemiology of the illness suggested person-to-person spread. Five children (close family contacts) had E. coli O26 verocytotoxin (VT1 and VT2) isolated from stools. Stool culture and serology from the index case were negative for shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) organisms. Control measures in accordance with the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS), verocytotoxogenic organisms (VTEC) guidelines were applied to prevent further spread among the extended family and contacts. Despite detailed food and environmental exposure histories, the source of the illness was not identified. This incident highlights the importance of investigation of cases of post-diarrhoeal HUS, for potential shiga toxin E. coli aetiology.
In May 2000, public health authorities in Dublin, Ireland, identified a cluster of unexplained severe illness among injecting drug users (IDUs). Similar clusters were also reported in Scotland and England. Concurrent investigations were undertaken to identify the aetiology and source of the illnesses. In Dublin, 22 IDUs were identified with injection-site inflammation resulting in hospitalization or death; eight (36%) died. Common clinical findings among patients with severe systemic symptoms included leukaemoid reaction and cardiogenic shock. Seventeen (77%) patients reported injecting heroin intramuscularly in the 2 weeks before illness. Of 11 patients with adequate specimens available for testing, two (18%) were positive by 16S rDNA PCR for Clostridium novyi. Clinical and laboratory findings suggested that histotoxic Clostridia caused a subset of infections in these related clusters. Empiric treatment for infections among IDUs was optimized for anaerobic organisms, and outreach led to increased enrolment in methadone treatment in Dublin. Many unique legal, medical, and public health challenges were encountered during the investigation of this outbreak.
A potential control strategy for nematode infection in sheep is the implementation of a breeding programme to select for genes associated with resistance. The Texel breed is more resistant to gastrointestinal nematode infection than the Suffolk breed, based on faecal egg count, and this difference should enable the identification of some of the genes responsible for resistance. The objective of this study was to determine if variation at the ovine MHC-DRB1 locus was associated with variation in faecal egg count in Suffolk and Texel sheep. Ovar-DRB1 alleles and faecal egg count were determined for Texel (n=105) and Suffolk (n=71) lambs. Eight Ovar-DRB1 alleles, including 1 previously unknown allele, were identified in the Texel breed by sequence-base-typing. Seven Ovar-DRB1 alleles were identified in the Suffolk breed. Two Ovar-DRB1 alleles were common to both breeds, but were among the least frequent in the Suffolk population. In the Suffolk breed 1 Ovar-DRB1 allele was associated with a decrease in faecal egg count and 2 alleles with an increase in faecal egg count. This locus accounted for 14% of the natural variation in faecal egg count in Suffolks. There was no evidence for an association between Ovar-DRB1 alleles and faecal egg count in the Texel breed and the Ovar-DRB1 locus accounted for only 3% of the phenotypic variation in faecal egg count. These results suggest that the Ovar-DRB1 gene plays an important role in resistance to nematode infection in the Suffolk breed. The difference in faecal egg counts between these breeds may be attributable in part to the different allele profile at the Ovar-DRB1 locus.