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Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
The increasing attention for global warming is likely to contribute to the introduction of policies or other incentives to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to livestock production, including dairy. The dairy sector is an important contributor to GHG emissions. Clinical mastitis (CM), an intramammary infection, results in reduced milk production and fertility, increases culling and mortality of cows and, therefore, has a negative impact on the efficiency (output/input) of milk production. This may increase GHG emissions per unit of product. Our objective was to estimate the impact of CM in dairy cows on GHG emissions of milk production for the Dutch situation. A dynamic stochastic simulation model was developed to simulate the dynamics and losses of CM for individual lactations. Cows receive a parity (1 to 5+), a milk production and a calving interval (CI). Based on the parity, cows have a risk of CM, with a maximum of three cases in a lactation. Pathogens causing CM were classified as gram-positive bacteria, gram-negative bacteria, or other. Based on the parity and pathogen combinations, cows had a reduced milk production, discarded milk, prolonged CI and a risk of removal (culling and mortality) that reduce productivity of dairy cows and therefore increase GHG emissions per unit of product. Using life cycle assessment, emissions of GHGs were estimated from cradle to farm gate for processes along the milk production chain that are affected by CM. Processes included were feed production, enteric fermentation, and manure management. Emissions of GHGs were expressed as kg CO2 equivalents per ton of fat-and-protein-corrected milk (kg CO2e/t FPCM). Emissions of cows with CM increased on average by 57.5 (6.2%) kg CO2e/t FPCM compared with cows without CM. This increase was caused by removal (39%), discarded milk (38%), reduced milk production (17%) and prolonged CI (6%). The GHG emissions increased by 48 kg CO2e/t FPCM for cows with one case of CM, by 69 kg CO2e/t FPCM for cows with two cases of CM and by 92 kg CO2e/t FPCM for cows with three cases of CM compared with cows without CM. Preventing CM can be an effective strategy for farmers to reduce GHG emissions and can contribute to sustainable development of the dairy sector, because this also can improve the income of farmers and the welfare of cows. The impact of CM on GHG emissions, however, will vary between farms due to environmental conditions and management practices.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
The mechanical response of modern alloys results from a complex interplay between existing microstructure and its evolution with time under stress. To unravel these processes, in situ approaches intrinsically have a critical advantage to explore the basic mechanisms involving dislocations, grain boundaries (GBs), and their interactions in real time. In this article, we discuss recent findings using in situ nanomechanical testing techniques and refined crystallographic analysis tools. Advancements in in situ nanomechanics not only include multiaxial loading conditions, which bring us closer to real-world applications, but also high strain-rate testing, which is critical to compare experiments and simulations. In particular, unraveling the details of GB-based mechanisms and related microstructural changes will facilitate significant breakthroughs in our understanding of the behavior of materials on macroscopic length scales.
A literature review was carried out to identify pre and perinatal characteristics associated with variation in Apgar scores in population-based studies. The parameters identified in the literature search were included in the classical twin design study to estimate effects of pre and perinatal factors shared and nonshared by twins and to test for a contribution of genetic factors in 1- and 5-min Apgar scores in a large sample of Dutch monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins. The sample included MZ and DZ twins (N = 5181 pairs) recruited by the Netherlands Twin Register shortly after birth, with data on prenatal characteristics and Apgar scores at first and/or fifth minutes. The ordinal regression and structural equation modeling were used to analyze the effects of characteristics identified in the literature review and to estimate genetic and nongenetic variance components. The literature review identified 63 papers. Consistent with the review, we observed statistically significant effects of birth order, zygosity and gestational age (GA) for 1- and 5-min Apgar scores of both twins. Apgar scores are higher in first-born versus second-born twins and DZ first-born versus MZ first-born twins. Birth weight had an effect on the 5-min Apgar of the first born. Fetal presentation and mode of delivery had different effects on Apgar scores of first- and second-born twins. Parental characteristics and chorionicity did not have significant main effects on Apgar scores. The MZ twins’ Apgar correlations equaled the DZ Apgar correlations. Our analyses suggest that individual differences in 1- and 5-min Apgar scores are attributable to shared and nonshared pre and perinatal factors, but not to genotypic factors of the newborns. The main predictors of Apgar scores are birth order, zygosity, GA, birth weight, mode of delivery and fetal presentation.
Young people with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) are at high risk for neurodevelopmental disorders. Sleep problems may play a role in this risk but their prevalence, nature and links to psychopathology and cognitive function remain undescribed in this population.
Sleep problems, psychopathology, developmental coordination and cognitive function were assessed in 140 young people with 22q11.2DS (mean age = 10.1, s.d. = 2.46) and 65 unaffected sibling controls (mean age = 10.8, s.d.SD = 2.26). Primary carers completed questionnaires screening for the children's developmental coordination and autism spectrum disorder.
Sleep problems were identified in 60% of young people with 22q11.2DS compared to 23% of sibling controls (OR 5.00, p < 0.001). Two patterns best-described sleep problems in 22q11.2DS: restless sleep and insomnia. Restless sleep was linked to increased ADHD symptoms (OR 1.16, p < 0.001) and impaired executive function (OR 0.975, p = 0.013). Both patterns were associated with elevated symptoms of anxiety disorder (restless sleep: OR 1.10, p = 0.006 and insomnia: OR 1.07, p = 0.045) and developmental coordination disorder (OR 0.968, p = 0.0023, and OR 0.955, p = 0.009). The insomnia pattern was also linked to elevated conduct disorder symptoms (OR 1.53, p = 0.020).
Clinicians and carers should be aware that sleep problems are common in 22q11.2DS and index psychiatric risk, cognitive deficits and motor coordination problems. Future studies should explore the physiology of sleep and the links with the neurodevelopment in these young people.
Children of parents with mood and psychotic disorders are at elevated risk for a range of behavioral and emotional problems. However, as the usual reporter of psychopathology in children is the parent, reports of early problems in children of parents with mood and psychotic disorders may be biased by the parents' own experience of mental illness and their mental state.
Independent observers rated psychopathology using the Test Observation Form in 378 children and youth between the ages of 4 and 24 (mean = 11.01, s.d. = 4.40) who had a parent with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or no history of mood and psychotic disorders.
Observed attentional problems were elevated in offspring of parents with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia (effect sizes ranging between 0.31 and 0.56). Oppositional behavior and language/thought problems showed variable degrees of elevation (effect sizes 0.17 to 0.57) across the three high-risk groups, with the greatest difficulties observed in offspring of parents with bipolar disorder. Observed anxiety was increased in offspring of parents with major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder (effect sizes 0.19 and 0.25 respectively) but not in offspring of parents with schizophrenia.
Our results suggest that externalizing problems and cognitive and language difficulties may represent a general manifestation of familial risk for mood and psychotic disorders, while anxiety may be a specific marker of liability for mood disorders. Observer assessment may improve early identification of risk and selection of youth who may benefit from targeted prevention.
While group housing (GH) is mandatory in the European Union for the greater part of pregnancy, single housing in farrowing crates (FCs) during lactation that restrict sows in most of their natural behaviour patterns is still practised on a large scale. Research is urgently needed to develop alternative farrowing systems that improve sows’ welfare. Therefore, sows in three different farrowing systems – pens with FC, loose housing (LH) pens and GH for six sows – were compared regarding the level of skin injuries and their active and resting behaviour. A skin injury score was assessed for 15 body parts of 102 sows in six batches on 3 days (days 1, 14 and 34). In total, the active and resting behaviour of 77 sows in six batches was examined on 3 days (days 18, 25 and 32) between 0700 h and 1900 h by means of a scan sampling method. The suckling behaviour and the level of cross-suckling were analysed in GH by means of direct observation in four batches during three 4-h sampling periods (days 17, 24 and 31). No significant differences were found in total skin injuries when the sows entered the systems (day 1), but GH sows showed significantly higher total skin injuries compared to FC and LH sows in the middle (day 14) and at the end (day 34) of the lactation period. A significant difference between FC and LH sows was never seen. Differences were found for the proportion of different body postures between the three systems. The odds for lying in lateral recumbency versus standing and sitting versus standing were significantly higher for FC and LH sows compared to GH sows. Additionally, sows were significantly more likely to be standing as opposed to lying in lateral recumbency as the lactation period progressed. Cross-suckling was a frequent behaviour in GH, seen in 35.0% of all successful suckling bouts. However, only an average of 0.56 piglets per successful suckling bout was observed cross-suckling, suggesting only a few piglets were engaged in cross-suckling. In conclusion, the skin injury score was only moderately increased in GH compared to FC and LH and comparable to pregnant group-housed sows, both free farrowing systems seemed to be an environmental enrichment for lactating sows and good management cannot prevent the occurrence of cross-suckling in a GH system, but can probably reduce it.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
Objectives: Research has shown that analyzing intrusion errors generated on verbal learning and memory measures is helpful for distinguishing between the memory disorders associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurological disorders, including Huntington’s disease (HD). Moreover, preliminary evidence suggests that certain clinical populations may be prone to exhibit different types of intrusion errors. Methods: We examined the prevalence of two new California Verbal Learning Test-3 (CVLT-3) intrusion subtypes – across-trial novel intrusions and across/within trial repeated intrusions – in individuals with AD or HD. We hypothesized that the encoding/storage impairment associated with medial-temporal involvement in AD would result in a greater number of novel intrusions on the delayed recall trials of the CVLT-3, whereas the executive dysfunction associated with subcortical-frontal involvement in HD would result in a greater number of repeated intrusions across trials. Results: The AD group generated significantly more across-trial novel intrusions than across/within trial repeated intrusions on the delayed cued-recall trials, whereas the HD group showed the opposite pattern on the delayed free-recall trials. Conclusions: These new intrusion subtypes, combined with traditional memory analyses (e.g., recall versus recognition performance), promise to enhance our ability to distinguish between the memory disorders associated with primarily medial-temporal versus subcortical-frontal involvement.
Introduction: Acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) is a common presentation to emergency departments (ED). Of these patients, 35-45% receive a blood transfusion. Guidelines for blood transfusion in UGIB have been well established, and recommend a hemoglobin (Hb) level below 70 g/L as the transfusion target in a stable patient. There is no consensus on a transfusion threshold for unstable UGIB. There is limited data regarding physician practices in the ED. The aim of our study is to determine the appropriateness, by expert consensus, of blood transfusions in UGIB in a tertiary care hospital ED. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patients presenting with UGIB to the University of Alberta Hospital ED in 2016. These patients were then screened for blood transfusions. Data were obtained from the patient records. Chart derived data were verified with records obtained from the blood bank. For each patient, the history, vitals, Glasgow Blatchford Score (GBS), relevant labs, and record of blood transfusions were collected and organized into a case summary. Each patient summary was presented individually to a panel of three expert clinicians (2 Gastroenterology, 1 Emergency Medicine), who then decided on the appropriateness of each blood transfusion by consensus. Results: Blood transfusions (data available 395/400) were given to 51% (202/395) of patients presenting with UGIB. Of these, 86% (174/202) were judged to be appropriate. Of the 395 patients, 34% (135/395) had a Hb of <70 g/L. Of these, 93% (126/135) were transfused, and all of these were considered appropriate. 18% (70/395) had a Hb between 71-80. 74% (52/70) of these patients were given blood, and 79% (41/52) were considered appropriate. 13% (50/395) of the patients had a Hb between 81-90, with 28% (14/50) receiving a transfusion. Of these, 36% (5/14) were deemed to be appropriate. 35% (140/395) of patients had a Hb of >90. 7% (10/140) of these received blood. 20% (2/10) were considered appropriate. Conclusion: The panel of expert clinicians judged 86% of the blood transfusions to be appropriate. All transfusions under the recommended guideline of 70 g/L were considered appropriate. In addition, the majority of transfusions above a Hb of 70 g/L were considered appropriate, but 37% were not. Further studies evaluating the feasibility of current guideline recommendations in an ED setting are required. Educational interventions should be created to reduce inappropriate blood transfusions above a Hb 70 g/L.
Introduction: Upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB) is a common presentation to the emergency department (ED). Early endoscopy within 24 hours has been shown to reduce re-bleeding rates and lower mortality. However, low-risk patients can often be managed through outpatient follow-up. The aim of this study was to compare the timing and appropriateness of endoscopy and proton pump inhibitor (PPI) use in a tertiary care ED setting for low- and high-risk patients determined using the Glasgow Blatchford Score (GBS). Methods: Retrospective chart review was conducted to examine the management of patients presenting with an UGIB in 2016 to the University of Alberta Hospital ED. TANDEM and Emergency Department Information System (EDIS) databases were used to identify patients using specific ICD-10 codes and the CEDIS presenting complaints of vomiting blood or blood in stool/melena. Patients with GBS 0-3 were categorized as low-risk and those with GBS > 3 were considered high-risk with appropriateness of and time to endoscopy, disposition of patient at 24 hours, and use of PPIs determined for each group. Results: A total of 400 patients were included. A total of 319/400 patients (80%) underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). EGD was performed within 24 hours in 37% of patients (29/78) with GBS 0 to 3 and in 77% (248/322) with GBS greater than 3. Of the remaining high-risk patients, 11% (36/322) underwent EGD after 24 hours and 12% (38/322) did not undergo EGD. The endoscopic diagnoses were peptic ulcer disease (PUD) in 41% of patients (130/319), esophagitis in 18% (56/319), and varices in 14% (45/319). PPIs (data available 375/400) were administered (mainly intravenously) to 93% (279/300) of high-risk and 79% (59/75) of low-risk patients. Data on patient disposition showed 60/322 (19%) high-risk patients were discharged from the ED within 24 hours and only 31/60 (52%) of these underwent EGD before discharge. Of 29 low-risk patients undergoing EGD within 24 hours, 9 (31%) were admitted, 17 (59%) were discharged from ED, and 3 (10%) were kept for observation in the ED greater than 24 hours. Of low-risk patients, 76% (59/78) were discharged from the ED within 24 hours. Conclusion: A majority of patients presenting with UGIB appropriately received endoscopy within 24 hours. 19% of high-risk patients were discharged from the ED. Earlier discharge for low-risk patients can be improved as only 76% of low-risk patients were discharged from the ED within 24 hours. As expected, PPI use was high in these patients.
CVD and associated metabolic diseases are linked to chronic inflammation, which can be modified by diet. The objective of the present study was to determine whether there is a difference in inflammatory markers, blood metabolic and lipid panels and lymphocyte gene expression in response to a high-fat dairy food challenge with or without milk fat globule membrane (MFGM). Participants consumed a dairy product-based meal containing whipping cream (WC) high in saturated fat with or without the addition of MFGM, following a 12 h fasting blood draw. Inflammatory markers including IL-6 and C-reactive protein, lipid and metabolic panels and lymphocyte gene expression fold changes were measured using multiplex assays, clinical laboratory services and TaqMan real-time RT-PCR, respectively. Fold changes in gene expression were determined using the Pfaffl method. Response variables were converted into incremental AUC, tested for differences, and corrected for multiple comparisons. The postprandial insulin response was significantly lower following the meal containing MFGM (P < 0·01). The gene encoding soluble epoxide hydrolase (EPHX2) was shown to be more up-regulated in the absence of MFGM (P = 0·009). Secondary analyses showed that participants with higher baseline cholesterol:HDL-cholesterol ratio (Chol:HDL) had a greater reduction in gene expression of cluster of differentiation 14 (CD14) and lymphotoxin β receptor (LTBR) with the WC+MFGM meal. The protein and lipid composition of MFGM is thought to be anti-inflammatory. These exploratory analyses suggest that addition of MFGM to a high-saturated fat meal modifies postprandial insulin response and offers a protective role for those individuals with higher baseline Chol:HDL.
Determining infectious cross-transmission events in healthcare settings involves manual surveillance of case clusters by infection control personnel, followed by strain typing of clinical/environmental isolates suspected in said clusters. Recent advances in genomic sequencing and cloud computing now allow for the rapid molecular typing of infecting isolates.
To facilitate rapid recognition of transmission clusters, we aimed to assess infection control surveillance using whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of microbial pathogens to identify cross-transmission events for epidemiologic review.
Clinical isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae were obtained prospectively at an academic medical center, from September 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017. Isolate genomes were sequenced, followed by single-nucleotide variant analysis; a cloud-computing platform was used for whole-genome sequence analysis and cluster identification.
Most strains of the 4 studied pathogens were unrelated, and 34 potential transmission clusters were present. The characteristics of the potential clusters were complex and likely not identifiable by traditional surveillance alone. Notably, only 1 cluster had been suspected by routine manual surveillance.
Our work supports the assertion that integration of genomic and clinical epidemiologic data can augment infection control surveillance for both the identification of cross-transmission events and the inclusion of missed and exclusion of misidentified outbreaks (ie, false alarms). The integration of clinical data is essential to prioritize suspect clusters for investigation, and for existing infections, a timely review of both the clinical and WGS results can hold promise to reduce HAIs. A richer understanding of cross-transmission events within healthcare settings will require the expansion of current surveillance approaches.
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are usually asymptomatic for decades, thus targeted screening can prevent liver disease by timely diagnosis and linkage to care. More robust estimates of chronic HBV and HCV infections in the general population and risk groups are needed. Using a modified workbook method, the total number of ever chronically infected individuals in the Netherlands in 2016 was determined using population size and prevalence estimates from studies in the general and high-risk population. The estimated 2016 chronic HBV infection prevalence is 0.34% (low 0.22%, high 0.47%), corresponding to approximately 49 000 (low 31 000, high 66 000) HBV-infected individuals aged 15 years and older. The estimated ever-chronic HCV infection prevalence is 0.16% (low 0.06%, high 0.27%), corresponding to approximately 23 000 (low 8000, high 38 000) ever-chronic HCV-infected individuals. The prevalence of chronic HBV and HCV infections in the Netherlands is low. First-generation migrants account for most infections with 81% and 60% of chronic HBV and HCV infections, respectively. However, about one-fifth of HCV infections is found in the general population at low risk. This method can serve as an example for countries in need of more accurate prevalence estimates, to help the design and evaluation of prevention and control policies.
Blood pressure (BP) tracks from childhood to adulthood, and early BP trajectories predict cardiovascular disease risk later in life. Excess postnatal weight gain is associated with vascular changes early in life. However, to what extent it is associated with children’s BP is largely unknown. In 853 healthy 5-year-old children of the Wheezing-Illnesses-Study-Leidsche-Rijn (WHISTLER) birth cohort, systolic (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) were measured, and z scores of individual weight gain rates adjusted for length gain rates were calculated using at least two weight and length measurements from birth until 3 months of age. Linear regression analyses were conducted to investigate the association between weight gain rates adjusted for length gain rates and BP adjusted for sex and ethnicity. Each standard deviation increase in weight gain rates adjusted for length gain rates was associated with 0.9 mmHg (95% CI 0.3, 1.5) higher sitting SBP after adjustment for confounders. Particularly in children in the lowest birth size decile, high excess weight gain was associated with higher sitting SBP values compared to children with low weight gain rates adjusted for length gain rates. BMI and visceral adipose tissue partly explained the association between excess weight gain and sitting SBP (β 0.5 mmHg, 95% CI −0.3, 1.3). Weight gain rates adjusted for length gain rates were not associated with supine SBP or DBP. Children with excess weight gain, properly adjusted for length gain, in the first three months of life, particularly those with a small birth size, showed higher sitting systolic BP at the age of 5 years.