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The empirical literature on the contributions of human capital investments to economic growth shows mixed results. While evidence from OECD countries demonstrates that human capital accumulation is associated with growth accelerations, the substantial efforts of developing countries to improve access to and quality of education, as a means for skill accumulation, did not translate into higher income per capita. In this Element, we propose a framework, building on the principles of 'growth diagnostics', to enable practitioners to determine whether human capital investments are a priority for a country's growth strategy. We then discuss and exemplify different tests to diagnose human capital in a place, drawing on the Harvard Growth Lab's experience in different development context, and discuss various policy options to address skill shortages.
The burden of depression is increasing worldwide, specifically in older adults. Unhealthy dietary patterns may partly explain this phenomenon. In the Spanish PREDIMED-Plus study, we explored (1) the cross-sectional association between the adherence to the Prime Diet Quality Score (PDQS), an a priori-defined high-quality food pattern, and the prevalence of depressive symptoms at baseline (cross-sectional analysis) and (2) the prospective association of baseline PDQS with changes in depressive symptomatology after 2 years of follow-up. After exclusions, we assessed 6612 participants in the cross-sectional analysis and 5523 participants in the prospective analysis. An energy-adjusted high-quality dietary score (PDQS) was assessed using a validated FFQ. The cross-sectional association between PDQS and the prevalence of depression or presence of depressive symptoms and the prospective changes in depressive symptoms were evaluated through multivariable regression models (logistic and linear models and mixed linear-effects models). PDQS was inversely associated with depressive status in the cross-sectional analysis. Participants in the highest quintile of PDQS (Q5) showed a significantly reduced odds of depression prevalence as compared to participants in the lowest quartile of PDQS (Q1) (OR (95 %) CI = 0·82 (0·68, 0·98))). The baseline prevalence of depression decreased across PDQS quintiles (Pfor trend = 0·015). A statistically significant association between PDQS and changes in depressive symptoms after 2-years follow-up was found (β (95 %) CI = −0·67 z-score (–1·17, −0·18). A higher PDQS was cross-sectionally related to a lower depressive status. Nevertheless, the null finding in our prospective analysis raises the possibility of reverse causality. Further prospective investigation is required to ascertain the association between PDQS and changes in depressive symptoms along time.
A history of childhood adversity is associated with psychotic disorder, with an increase in risk according to the number of exposures. However, it is not known why only some exposed individuals go on to develop psychosis. One possibility is pre-existing polygenic vulnerability. Here, we investigated, in the largest sample of first-episode psychosis (FEP) cases to date, whether childhood adversity and high polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia (SZ-PRS) combine synergistically to increase the risk of psychosis, over and above the effect of each alone.
We assigned a schizophrenia-polygenic risk score (SZ-PRS), calculated from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC2), to all participants in a sample of 384 FEP patients and 690 controls from the case–control component of the EU-GEI study. Only participants of European ancestry were included in the study. A history of childhood adversity was collected using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). Synergistic effects were estimated using the interaction contrast ratio (ICR) [odds ratio (OR)exposure and PRS − ORexposure − ORPRS + 1] with adjustment for potential confounders.
There was some evidence that the combined effect of childhood adversities and polygenic risk was greater than the sum of each alone, as indicated by an ICR greater than zero [i.e. ICR 1.28, 95% confidence interval (CI) −1.29 to 3.85]. Examining subtypes of childhood adversities, the strongest synergetic effect was observed for physical abuse (ICR 6.25, 95% CI −6.25 to 20.88).
Our findings suggest possible synergistic effects of genetic liability and childhood adversity experiences in the onset of FEP, but larger samples are needed to increase precision of estimates.
Human–wildlife interactions (HWIs) occur in many rural African communities, with potential impacts on livelihood vulnerability. High livelihood vulnerability may force communities to employ strategies that increase the risk of negative HWIs, yet the extent to which HWIs drive or are driven by vulnerability is unclear. We hypothesized that more vulnerable households are more likely to be exposed to wildlife and experience negative interactions. To test this hypothesis, we calculated the Livelihood Vulnerability Index (LVI) of rural households in and around Quirimbas National Park (north-eastern Mozambique) and assessed whether there is a link between livelihood vulnerability and HWIs. We found a two-way association between LVI and HWIs, with more vulnerable households indeed taking greater risks and encountering wildlife when fetching water from rivers, whereas less vulnerable households tended not to employ strategies likely to increase wildlife encounters. We also observed that HWIs exert a strong effect on livelihood vulnerability, suggesting that HWIs should be included as an exposure factor in vulnerability assessments for rural households. We recommend that livelihood strategies and community vulnerability should be considered when designing HWI mitigation schemes and implementing conservation measures.
The diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has improved with the search of novel antigens; however, their performance is limited when samples from VL/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-coinfected patients are tested. In this context, studies conducted to identify more suitable antigens to detect both VL and VL/HIC coinfection cases should be performed. In the current study, phage display was performed using serum samples from healthy subjects and VL, HIV-infected and VL/HIV-coinfected patients; aiming to identify novel phage-exposed epitopes to be evaluated with this diagnostic purpose. Nine non-repetitive and valid sequences were identified, synthetized and tested as peptides in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay experiments. Results showed that three (Pep2, Pep3 and Pep4) peptides showed excellent performance to diagnose VL and VL/HIV coinfection, with 100% sensitivity and specificity values. The other peptides showed sensitivity varying from 50.9 to 80.0%, as well as specificity ranging from 60.0 to 95.6%. Pep2, Pep3 and Pep4 also showed a potential prognostic effect, since specific serological reactivity was significantly decreased after patient treatment. Bioinformatics assays indicated that Leishmania trypanothione reductase protein was predicted to contain these three conformational epitopes. In conclusion, data suggest that Pep2, Pep3 and Pep4 could be tested for the diagnosis of VL and VL/HIV coinfection.
The spatial distribution of Neotropical birds at local scales is often associated with plant successional stages and unique microhabitats such as bamboo stands and treefall gaps. Only 15% of the Atlantic Forest remains, yet this habitat is home to more than 200 endemic birds. Understanding the distribution of bird species within the Atlantic Forest can improve the test of ecological hypotheses related to habitat use and habitat selection. This study analyses the distribution of birds among different types of relief (lowlands, ravines, hillsides, and hilltops) in 41 forest fragments of different sizes (1 to 384.5 ha) within the Atlantic Forest, south east Brazil. The presence and absence data were analysed with dynamic occupancy models to determine the influence of area and topography in the distribution of bird species. Of the 169 species detected, we were able to estimate an occupancy probability of 67. Among them, relief type was an important variable for 26 species (39%). Most species showed a preference for lowlands and ravines, and some showed an association of combinations of these two reliefs with hillsides and hilltops. These preferences might be related to distribution of preferred food, nesting microhabitats, and thermoregulation. For the endemic and threatened Atlantic Forest mountain birds, the ecological association with areas of relief is a strong, and previously unsuspected, spatial distribution pattern. Our results suggest that the ecology and distribution of birds in tropical forests across hilly regions could be better understood if topography is considered. This pattern should be better investigated among other taxa in tropical forests.
Eating Disorders are a frequent pathology, particularly among teenagers, a group characterized by its vulnerability and body dissatisfaction. Social networks (SN) can be a gateway to ED, mainly with Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia resources. Despite the aforementioned, SN can also be helpful for professionals, either as a tool of approach to vulnerable groups or as a way of interaction in patients already diagnosed.
To study the relationship between ED and SN, using the open access evidence available in Pubmed over the last 5 years.
A single-phase computerised search was carried out in Pubmed. The search terms were: (“Anorexia Nervosa”[Mesh] OR “Bulimia Nervosa”[Mesh] OR “Feeding and Eating Disorders”[Mesh] OR “Eating Disorders”[Tiab] OR “Eating Disorder”[Tiab] OR “Disorder, Eating”[Tiab] OR “Disorders, Eating”[Tiab] OR “Anorexia”[Tiab] OR “Bulimia”[Tiab]) AND (“blogging”[Mesh] OR “social media”[Mesh]). The filters applied were: “free Full Text” and publications for the last 5 years.
36.84% studied SN as a positive tool for ED. 47.37% revealed negative influence, only 44.44% focused on Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia. 15.79% provided both positive and negative arguments. The most studied SN were Twitter and Facebook.
Despite the known negative effect that SN can have on ED, they can also be used as a supportive recovery framework. They can be used to identify dangerous behaviours and intervene or as a prevention tool.
INTRODUCTION TikTok is a social network (SN) that allows users to share short videos about different issues. Since the COVID-19 lockdown, there has been an increase in Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia videos in this specific SN.
OBJECTIVES To know the main characteristics about Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia contents among TikTok users.
METHODS A search was carried out using uncontrolled language with the term “TCA” (ED in English). The study included only Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia resources in Spanish. Resources under the category “recovery” were excluded. A random sample of 16 TikTok was used, since it is enough to estimate, with a confidence of 95% and an accuracy of +/- 20 percentage units, a population percentage that is expected to be around 20%. The studied variables were images, type of resources, “challenges” and misspelled words.
RESULTS In the sample, 68.75% of the profiles were created upon confinement, 56.25% had more than 500 followers and 68.75% had more than 3000 “likes”. 43.75% included more than 30% of ED advocacy content, 18.75% promoted challenges and 37.5% used misspelled words to avoid SN censorship.
CONCLUSIONS There has been a remarkable increase in ED-related content as a result of lockdown. In turn, the increasing number of users who are part of TikTok reveals that this is a SN that can be associated with ED advocacy.
Accurate assessment of age and growth of fish is essential to understand population dynamics, namely for age-structured stock assessment and for determining vital rates of fish (e.g. age at sexual maturity) and their relationship with environmental variability. To validate the daily deposition in the otoliths of European sardine (Sardina pilchardus) larvae, these were reared with a range of food densities translating into feeding rates extending from less than required for maintenance to saturated feeding levels. When exogenous feeding began, a high variability in the relationship between number of growth increments (GI) and elapsed days after hatching (dph) was observed, irrespective of the feeding treatment. GI counts using a light microscope were less than one per day for larvae <15 dph (ranging from 0.17–0.43 GI day−1) and similar for larvae reared with different food concentrations. The rate of GI count vs age was significantly higher for larvae older than 15 dph. GI count from 3–30 dph was lower than one per day (0.45–0.75 GI day−1 95% CI) for fed larvae 3–30 dph. Scanning electron microscopy confirmed the daily deposition of GI and revealed some increment widths around 0.2 μm, particularly during the first week post-hatch. Otoliths of wild sardine larvae exhibited narrow GI (<0.5 μm) comparable with reared larvae. This study demonstrates that during the first weeks after hatch the daily increment deposition is underestimated using traditional light microscopy, which must be taken into account in future works determining wild sardine larval growth.
A cumulative environmental exposure score for schizophrenia (exposome score for schizophrenia [ES-SCZ]) may provide potential utility for risk stratification and outcome prediction. Here, we investigated whether ES-SCZ was associated with functioning in patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, unaffected siblings, and healthy controls.
This cross-sectional sample consisted of 1,261 patients, 1,282 unaffected siblings, and 1,525 healthy controls. The Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale was used to assess functioning. ES-SCZ was calculated based on our previously validated method. The association between ES-SCZ and the GAF dimensions (symptom and disability) was analyzed by applying regression models in each group (patients, siblings, and controls). Additional models included polygenic risk score for schizophrenia (PRS-SCZ) as a covariate.
ES-SCZ was associated with the GAF dimensions in patients (symptom: B = −1.53, p-value = 0.001; disability: B = −1.44, p-value = 0.001), siblings (symptom: B = −3.07, p-value < 0.001; disability: B = −2.52, p-value < 0.001), and healthy controls (symptom: B = −1.50, p-value < 0.001; disability: B = −1.31, p-value < 0.001). The results remained the same after adjusting for PRS-SCZ. The degree of associations of ES-SCZ with both symptom and disability dimensions were higher in unaffected siblings than in patients and controls. By analyzing an independent dataset (the Genetic Risk and Outcome of Psychosis study), we replicated the results observed in the patient group.
Our findings suggest that ES-SCZ shows promise for enhancing risk prediction and stratification in research practice. From a clinical perspective, ES-SCZ may aid in efforts of clinical characterization, operationalizing transdiagnostic clinical staging models, and personalizing clinical management.
Perceived discrimination is associated with worse mental health. Few studies have assessed whether perceived discrimination (i) is associated with the risk of psychotic disorders and (ii) contributes to an increased risk among minority ethnic groups relative to the ethnic majority.
We used data from the European Network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions Work Package 2, a population-based case−control study of incident psychotic disorders in 17 catchment sites across six countries. We calculated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the associations between perceived discrimination and psychosis using mixed-effects logistic regression models. We used stratified and mediation analyses to explore differences for minority ethnic groups.
Reporting any perceived experience of major discrimination (e.g. unfair treatment by police, not getting hired) was higher in cases than controls (41.8% v. 34.2%). Pervasive experiences of discrimination (≥3 types) were also higher in cases than controls (11.3% v. 5.5%). In fully adjusted models, the odds of psychosis were 1.20 (95% CI 0.91–1.59) for any discrimination and 1.79 (95% CI 1.19–1.59) for pervasive discrimination compared with no discrimination. In stratified analyses, the magnitude of association for pervasive experiences of discrimination appeared stronger for minority ethnic groups (OR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.12–2.68) than the ethnic majority (OR = 1.42, 95% CI 0.65–3.10). In exploratory mediation analysis, pervasive discrimination minimally explained excess risk among minority ethnic groups (5.1%).
Pervasive experiences of discrimination are associated with slightly increased odds of psychotic disorders and may minimally help explain excess risk for minority ethnic groups.
Psychosis rates are higher among some migrant groups. We hypothesized that psychosis in migrants is associated with cumulative social disadvantage during different phases of migration.
We used data from the EUropean Network of National Schizophrenia Networks studying Gene-Environment Interactions (EU-GEI) case–control study. We defined a set of three indicators of social disadvantage for each phase: pre-migration, migration and post-migration. We examined whether social disadvantage in the pre- and post-migration phases, migration adversities, and mismatch between achievements and expectations differed between first-generation migrants with first-episode psychosis and healthy first-generation migrants, and tested whether this accounted for differences in odds of psychosis in multivariable logistic regression models.
In total, 249 cases and 219 controls were assessed. Pre-migration (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.06–2.44, p = 0.027) and post-migration social disadvantages (OR 1.89, 95% CI 1.02–3.51, p = 0.044), along with expectations/achievements mismatch (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.03–1.26, p = 0.014) were all significantly associated with psychosis. Migration adversities (OR 1.18, 95% CI 0.672–2.06, p = 0.568) were not significantly related to the outcome. Finally, we found a dose–response effect between the number of adversities across all phases and odds of psychosis (⩾6: OR 14.09, 95% CI 2.06–96.47, p = 0.007).
The cumulative effect of social disadvantages before, during and after migration was associated with increased odds of psychosis in migrants, independently of ethnicity or length of stay in the country of arrival. Public health initiatives that address the social disadvantages that many migrants face during the whole migration process and post-migration psychological support may reduce the excess of psychosis in migrants.
The efficacy is measured for a public health intervention related to community-based planning for population protection measures (PPMs; ie, shelter-in-place and evacuation).
This is a mixed (qualitative and quantitative) prospective study of intervention efficacy, measured in terms of usability related to effectiveness, efficiency, satisfaction, and degree of community engagement.
Two municipalities in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are included.
Community members consisting of individuals; traditional leaders; federal, territorial, and municipal emergency managers; municipal mayors; National Guard; territorial departments of education, health, housing, public works, and transportation; health care; police; Emergency Medical Services; faith-based organizations; nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); and the private sector.
The intervention included four community convenings: one for risk communication; two for plan-writing; and one tabletop exercise (TTX). This study analyzed data collected from the project work plan; participant rosters; participant surveys; workshop outputs; and focus group interviews.
Main Outcome Measures:
Efficacy was measured in terms of ISO 9241-11, an international standard for usability that includes effectiveness, efficiency, user satisfaction, and “freedom from risk” among users. Degree of engagement was considered an indicator of “freedom from risk,” measurable through workshop attendance.
Two separate communities drafted and exercised ~60-page-long population protection plans, each within 14.5 hours. Plan-writing workshops completed 100% of plan objectives and activities. Efficiency rates were nearly the same in both communities. Interviews and surveys indicated high degrees of community satisfaction. Engagement was consistent among community members and variable among governmental officials.
Frontline communities have successfully demonstrated the ability to understand the environmental health hazards in their own community; rapidly write consensus-based plans for PPMs; participate in an objective-based TTX; and perform these activities in a bi-lingual setting. This intervention appears to be efficacious for public use in the rapid development of community-based PPMs.
There is evidence that environmental and genetic risk factors for schizophrenia spectrum disorders are transdiagnostic and mediated in part through a generic pathway of affective dysregulation.
We analysed to what degree the impact of schizophrenia polygenic risk (PRS-SZ) and childhood adversity (CA) on psychosis outcomes was contingent on co-presence of affective dysregulation, defined as significant depressive symptoms, in (i) NEMESIS-2 (n = 6646), a representative general population sample, interviewed four times over nine years and (ii) EUGEI (n = 4068) a sample of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, the siblings of these patients and controls.
The impact of PRS-SZ on psychosis showed significant dependence on co-presence of affective dysregulation in NEMESIS-2 [relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI): 1.01, p = 0.037] and in EUGEI (RERI = 3.39, p = 0.048). This was particularly evident for delusional ideation (NEMESIS-2: RERI = 1.74, p = 0.003; EUGEI: RERI = 4.16, p = 0.019) and not for hallucinatory experiences (NEMESIS-2: RERI = 0.65, p = 0.284; EUGEI: −0.37, p = 0.547). A similar and stronger pattern of results was evident for CA (RERI delusions and hallucinations: NEMESIS-2: 3.02, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 6.44, p < 0.001; RERI delusional ideation: NEMESIS-2: 3.79, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 5.43, p = 0.001; RERI hallucinatory experiences: NEMESIS-2: 2.46, p < 0.001; EUGEI: 0.54, p = 0.465).
The results, and internal replication, suggest that the effects of known genetic and non-genetic risk factors for psychosis are mediated in part through an affective pathway, from which early states of delusional meaning may arise.
This study attempted to replicate whether a bias in probabilistic reasoning, or ‘jumping to conclusions’(JTC) bias is associated with being a sibling of a patient with schizophrenia spectrum disorder; and if so, whether this association is contingent on subthreshold delusional ideation.
Data were derived from the EUGEI project, a 25-centre, 15-country effort to study psychosis spectrum disorder. The current analyses included 1261 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder, 1282 siblings of patients and 1525 healthy comparison subjects, recruited in Spain (five centres), Turkey (three centres) and Serbia (one centre). The beads task was used to assess JTC bias. Lifetime experience of delusional ideation and hallucinatory experiences was assessed using the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences. General cognitive abilities were taken into account in the analyses.
JTC bias was positively associated not only with patient status but also with sibling status [adjusted relative risk (aRR) ratio : 4.23 CI 95% 3.46–5.17 for siblings and aRR: 5.07 CI 95% 4.13–6.23 for patients]. The association between JTC bias and sibling status was stronger in those with higher levels of delusional ideation (aRR interaction in siblings: 3.77 CI 95% 1.67–8.51, and in patients: 2.15 CI 95% 0.94–4.92). The association between JTC bias and sibling status was not stronger in those with higher levels of hallucinatory experiences.
These findings replicate earlier findings that JTC bias is associated with familial liability for psychosis and that this is contingent on the degree of delusional ideation but not hallucinations.
To assess whether higher adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) was associated with lower consumption of ultra-processed foods (UPF) and lower free sugar intake.
Cross-sectional analysis of baseline information among participants in the SENDO project, a Spanish paediatric cohort. Dietary information was collected through a semi-quantitative FFQ. Food items were classified according to the NOVA classification. Adherence to the MedDiet was evaluated through the KIDMED index.
Three hundred eight-six children (52 % boys) with a mean age of 5·3 years old (sd 1·0) were included in the analysis.
74·4 % of the children had moderate adherence to the MedDiet (mean KIDMED score: 5·9 points; sd 1·7) and overall, 32·2 % of the total energy intake came from UPF. Each two additional points in the KIDMED score was associated with 3·1 % (95 % CI 2·1, 4·0) lower energy intake from UPF. Compared to those with low adherence to the MedDiet, children with medium and high adherence reported 5·0 % (95 % CI 2·2, 7·7) and 8·5 % (95 % CI 5·2, 11·9) lower energy intake from UPF, respectively. We also found that 71·6 % of the variability in free sugar intake was explained by the variability in UPF consumption.
Adherence to the traditional MedDiet was inversely associated with energy intake from UPF. Furthermore, most of the variability in free sugar intake was explained by the variability of UPF consumption. Public health strategies are needed to strengthen the adherence to the MedDiet in pre-schoolers while regulating the production, marketing and advertising of UPF.
In recent years the availability of geolocation data has increased considerably and can be found in various portable devices such as smartphones. These devices are intended for navigation in general, but can be used to carry out topographical surveys that do not require high accuracy of the surveyed data. To verify the applicability and accuracy of these devices we conducted the topographic survey in an area of approximately 5 ha using a GPS with RTK technology as reference, a Commercial Navigation Receiver (RNC) and a popular brand smartphone with the mobile applications C7 GPS Data and GPS Essentials previously installed. The GPS RNC showed the best planimetric results and the Smartphone with C7 GPS Data obtained the best result altimetric. None of the receivers analyzed showed high accuracy in results obtained. However, they can be used for tasks where high precision is not required.
Failure to adjust doses may contribute to adverse events. We evaluated the effectiveness of providing the estimated glomerular filtration rate on appropriateness of dosing for antimicrobials. The approach increased appropriateness of dosing from 33.9% to 41.4% (P < .001). Nudging prescription behavior can boost strategies for adequate antimicrobial prescription.