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Major depressive disorder and neuroticism (Neu) share a large genetic basis. We sought to determine whether this shared basis could be decomposed to identify genetic factors that are specific to depression.
We analysed summary statistics from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of depression (from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, 23andMe and UK Biobank) and compared them with GWAS of Neu (from UK Biobank). First, we used a pairwise GWAS analysis to classify variants as associated with only depression, with only Neu or with both. Second, we estimated partial genetic correlations to test whether the depression's genetic link with other phenotypes was explained by shared overlap with Neu.
We found evidence that most genomic regions (25/37) associated with depression are likely to be shared with Neu. The overlapping common genetic variance of depression and Neu was genetically correlated primarily with psychiatric disorders. We found that the genetic contributions to depression, that were not shared with Neu, were positively correlated with metabolic phenotypes and cardiovascular disease, and negatively correlated with the personality trait conscientiousness. After removing shared genetic overlap with Neu, depression still had a specific association with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, coronary artery disease and age of first birth. Independent of depression, Neu had specific genetic correlates in ulcerative colitis, pubertal growth, anorexia and education.
Our findings demonstrate that, while genetic risk factors for depression are largely shared with Neu, there are also non-Neu-related features of depression that may be useful for further patient or phenotypic stratification.
Two Category 5 storms, Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria, hit the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) within 13 days of each other in September 2017. These storms caused catastrophic damage across the territory, including widespread loss of power, destruction of homes, and devastation of critical infrastructure. During large scale disasters such as Hurricanes Irma and Maria, public health surveillance is an important tool to track emerging illnesses and injuries, identify at-risk populations, and assess the effectiveness of response efforts. The USVI Department of Health (DoH) partnered with shelter staff volunteers to monitor the health of the sheltered population and help guide response efforts.
Shelter volunteers collect data on the American Red Cross Aggregate Morbidity Report form that tallies the number of client visits at a shelter’s health services every 24 hours. Morbidity data were collected at all 5 shelters on St. Thomas and St. Croix between September and October 2017. This article describes the health surveillance data collected in response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, 1130 health-related client visits were reported, accounting for 1655 reasons for the visits (each client may have more than 1 reason for a single visit). Only 1 shelter reported data daily. Over half of visits (51.2%) were for health care management; 17.7% for acute illnesses, which include respiratory conditions, gastrointestinal symptoms, and pain; 14.6% for exacerbation of chronic disease; 9.8% for mental health; and 6.7% for injury. Shelter volunteers treated many clients within the shelters; however, reporting of the disposition (eg, referred to physician, pharmacist) was often missed (78.1%).
Shelter surveillance is an efficient means of quickly identifying and characterizing health issues and concerns in sheltered populations following disasters, allowing for the development of evidence-based strategies to address identified needs. When incorporated into broader surveillance strategies using multiple data sources, shelter data can enable disaster epidemiologists to paint a more comprehensive picture of community health, thereby planning and responding to health issues both within and outside of shelters. The findings from this report illustrated that managing chronic conditions presented a more notable resource demand than acute injuries and illnesses. Although there remains room for improvement because reporting was inconsistent throughout the response, the capacity of shelter staff to address the health needs of shelter residents and the ability to monitor the health needs in the sheltered population were critical resources for the USVI DoH overwhelmed by the disaster. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:38-43)
Two category 5 storms hit the US Virgin Islands (USVI) within 13 days of each other in September 2017. This caused an almost complete loss of power and devastated critical infrastructure such as the hospitals and airports
The USVI Department of Health conducted 2 response Community Assessments for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPERs) in November 2017 and a recovery CASPER in February 2018. CASPER is a 2-stage cluster sampling method designed to provide household-based information about a community’s needs in a timely, inexpensive, and representative manner.
Almost 70% of homes were damaged or destroyed, 81.2% of homes still needed repair, and 10.4% of respondents felt their home was unsafe to live in approximately 5 months after the storms. Eighteen percent of individual respondents indicated that their mental health was “not good” for 14 or more days in the past month, a significant increase from 2016.
The CASPERs helped characterize the status and needs of residents after the devastating hurricanes and illustrate the evolving needs of the community and the progression of the recovery process. CASPER findings were shared with response and recovery partners to promote data-driven recovery efforts, improve the efficiency of the current response and recovery efforts, and strengthen emergency preparedness in USVI. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:53-62)
Canadian hospitals were made aware of the risk of Mycobacterium chimaera infection associated with heater-cooler units (HCUs) through alerts issued by the US food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In response, most hospitals conducted retrospective reviews for infections, informed exposed patients, and initiated a requirement for informed consent with HCU use.
Given the important health benefits of physical activity (PA) and the higher risk for physical inactivity in people with anxiety, and the high prevalence of anxiety and low PA among the elderly, there is a need for research to investigate what factors influence PA participation among anxious older individuals. We investigated PA correlates among community-dwelling adults aged ≥ 65 years with anxiety symptoms in six low- and middle-income countries.
Cross-sectional data from the World Health Organization's Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health were analyzed. PA level was assessed by the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire. 980 participants with anxiety (mean age 73.3 years; 62.4% females) were grouped into those who do and do not (low PA) meet the 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous PA per week recommendation. Associations between PA and the correlates were examined using multivariable logistic regressions.
The prevalence of low PA was 44.9% (95% CI = 39.2–50.7%). Older age, male gender, less consumption of alcohol, mild cognitive impairment, pain, a wide range of somatic co-morbidities, slow gait, weak grip strength, poor self-rated health, and lower levels of social cohesion were identified as significant positive correlates of low PA.
Our data illustrate that a number of sociodemographic and health factors are associated with PA levels among older people with symptoms of anxiety. The promotion of social cohesion may increase the efficacy of public health initiatives, while from a clinical perspective, somatic co-morbidities, cognitive impairment, pain, muscle strength, and slow gait need to be considered.
Sarah Cavanagh, Clinical Psychologist and Manager at the Australian Psychological Society (APS).,
Jo Cole, Clinical Psychologist with 20 years experience in perinatal, infant, child and adolescent mental health, and mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention.,
Judy Kynaston, General Manager of KidsMatter Early Childhood at Early Childhood Australia (ECA).,
Kim-Michelle Gilson, Research Fellow within the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program at the University of Melbourne, Australia.,
Elise Davis, Associate Director, Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program at the University of Melbourne, Australia.,
Gavin Hazel, Program Leader at the Hunter Institute of Mental Health, Newcastle, Australia where he focuses on the development, implementation and evaluation of evidence-informed resources, practices, and professional education.
The authors would like to acknowledge the contribution of Jo Cole, who contributed to the ideas and writing that appeared in a similar chapter in the first edition of this book. While the chapter in this second edition has been updated and revised from the first edition, we acknowledge Jo's earlier contributions that appear here.
Early childhood is a critical time for children's brain development. The experiences children are exposed to shape brain development and the skills and capacities developed during this time provide the foundation for lifelong learning and mental health and wellbeing. While children's primary caregivers and the family environment have the most significant impact on children's early development, children learn within the context of all their relationships and, increasingly, children experience significant relationships with early childhood educators. The number of children attending an early childhood education and care (ECEC) service is growing in Australia, as is the amount of time each child spends in the service. This provides an opportunity to influence ECEC services and educator knowledge and skills to support positive social and emotional development and good mental health. Educators can build the ‘social and emotional capacities of infants and children by supporting predictably available, adequately sensitive and responsive care giving’ (Australian Association for Infant Mental Health and Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth, 2013, p. 3). Educators who are consistently engaged with children and families, can also assist in preventing or mitigating the consequences of mental health problems by buffering young children from serious threats to their wellbeing (National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, 2007).
ECEC sector reform in Australia has led to a National Quality Framework (NQF), which is the result of an agreement between state and Commonwealth governments, to improve the quality of early childhood education and care. This Framework comprises the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) (Council of Australian Government (COAG), 2009) and National Quality Standard (NQS) (Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), 2013), and applies to most long day care, family day care, and preschools/ kindergartens in Australia. Quality in early childhood education has been shown to lead to better outcomes in learning, health and wellbeing for children.
The translation of discoveries to drugs, devices, and behavioral interventions requires well-prepared study teams. Execution of clinical trials remains suboptimal due to varied quality in design, execution, analysis, and reporting. A critical impediment is inconsistent, or even absent, competency-based training for clinical trial personnel.
In 2014, the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) funded the project, Enhancing Clinical Research Professionals’ Training and Qualifications (ECRPTQ), aimed at addressing this deficit. The goal was to ensure all personnel are competent to execute clinical trials. A phased structure was utilized.
This paper focuses on training recommendations in Good Clinical Practice (GCP). Leveraging input from all Clinical and Translational Science Award hubs, the following was recommended to NCATS: all investigators and study coordinators executing a clinical trial should understand GCP principles and undergo training every 3 years, with the training method meeting the minimum criteria identified by the International Conference on Harmonisation GCP.
We anticipate that industry sponsors will acknowledge such training, eliminating redundant training requests. We proposed metrics to be tracked that required further study. A separate task force was composed to define recommendations for metrics to be reported to NCATS.
Training for the clinical research workforce does not sufficiently prepare workers for today’s scientific complexity; deficiencies may be ameliorated with training. The Enhancing Clinical Research Professionals’ Training and Qualifications developed competency standards for principal investigators and clinical research coordinators.
Clinical and Translational Science Awards representatives refined competency statements. Working groups developed assessments, identified training, and highlighted gaps.
Forty-eight competency statements in 8 domains were developed.
Training is primarily investigator focused with few programs for clinical research coordinators. Lack of training is felt in new technologies and data management. There are no standardized assessments of competence.
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.