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To determine the relationship between falls and deficits in specific cognitive domains in older adults.
An analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) cohort.
United Kingdom community-based.
5197 community-dwelling older adults recruited to a prospective longitudinal cohort study.
Data on the occurrence of falls and number of falls, which occurred during a 12-month follow-up period, were assessed against the specific cognitive domains of memory, numeracy skills, and executive function. Binomial logistic regression was performed to evaluate the association between each cognitive domain and the dichotomous outcome of falls in the preceding 12 months using unadjusted and adjusted models.
Of the 5197 participants included in the analysis, 1308 (25%) reported a fall in the preceding 12 months. There was no significant association between the occurrence of a fall and specific forms of cognitive dysfunction after adjusting for self-reported hearing, self-reported eyesight, and functional performance. After adjustment, only orientation (odds ratio [OR]: 0.80; 95% confidence intervals [CI]: 0.65–0.98, p = 0.03) and verbal fluency (adjusted OR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.96–1.00; p = 0.05) remained significant for predicting recurrent falls.
The cognitive phenotype rather than cognitive impairment per se may predict future falls in those presenting with more than one fall.
Although food from grazed animals is increasingly sought by consumers because of perceived animal welfare advantages, grazing systems provide the farmer and the animal with unique challenges. The system is dependent almost daily on the climate for feed supply, with the importation of large amounts of feed from off farm, and associated labour and mechanisation costs, sometimes reducing economic viability. Furthermore, the cow may have to walk long distances and be able to harvest feed efficiently in a highly competitive environment because of the need for high levels of pasture utilisation. She must, also, be: (1) highly fertile, with a requirement for pregnancy within ~80 days post-calving; (2) ‘easy care’, because of the need for the management of large herds with limited labour; (3) able to walk long distances; and (4) robust to changes in feed supply and quality, so that short-term nutritional insults do not unduly influence her production and reproduction cycles. These are very different and are in addition to demands placed on cows in housed systems offered pre-made mixed rations. Furthermore, additional demands in environmental sustainability and animal welfare, in conjunction with the need for greater system-level biological efficiency (i.e. ‘sustainable intensification’), will add to the ‘robustness’ requirements of cows in the future. Increasingly, there is evidence that certain genotypes of cows perform better or worse in grazing systems, indicating a genotype×environment interaction. This has led to the development of tailored breeding objectives within countries for important heritable traits to maximise the profitability and sustainability of their production system. To date, these breeding objectives have focussed on the more easily measured traits and those of highest relative economic importance. In the future, there will be greater emphasis on more difficult to measure traits that are important to the quality of life of the animal in each production system and to reduce the system’s environmental footprint.
Most studies underline the contribution of heritable factors for psychiatric disorders. However, heritability estimates depend on the population under study, diagnostic instruments, and study designs that each has its inherent assumptions, strengths, and biases. We aim to test the homogeneity in heritability estimates between two powerful, and state of the art study designs for eight psychiatric disorders.
We assessed heritability based on data of Swedish siblings (N = 4 408 646 full and maternal half-siblings), and based on summary data of eight samples with measured genotypes (N = 125 533 cases and 208 215 controls). All data were based on standard diagnostic criteria. Eight psychiatric disorders were studied: (1) alcohol dependence (AD), (2) anorexia nervosa, (3) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), (4) autism spectrum disorder, (5) bipolar disorder, (6) major depressive disorder, (7) obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and (8) schizophrenia.
Heritability estimates from sibling data varied from 0.30 for Major Depression to 0.80 for ADHD. The estimates based on the measured genotypes were lower, ranging from 0.10 for AD to 0.28 for OCD, but were significant, and correlated positively (0.19) with national sibling-based estimates. When removing OCD from the data the correlation increased to 0.50.
Given the unique character of each study design, the convergent findings for these eight psychiatric conditions suggest that heritability estimates are robust across different methods. The findings also highlight large differences in genetic and environmental influences between psychiatric disorders, providing future directions for etiological psychiatric research.
DSM-5 includes two conceptualizations of personality disorders (PDs). The classification in Section II is identical to the one found in DSM-IV, and includes 10 categorical PDs. The Alternative Model (Section III) includes criteria for dimensional measures of maladaptive personality traits organized into five domains. The degree to which the two conceptualizations reflect the same etiological factors is not known.
We use data from a large population-based sample of adult twins from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health Twin Panel on interview-based DSM-IV PDs and a short self-report inventory that indexes the five domains of the DSM-5 Alternative Model plus a domain explicitly targeting compulsivity. Schizotypal, Paranoid, Antisocial, Borderline, Avoidant, and Obsessive-compulsive PDs were assessed at the same time as the maladaptive personality traits and 10 years previously. Schizoid, Histrionic, Narcissistic, and Dependent PDs were only assessed at the first interview. Biometric models were used to estimate overlap in genetic and environmental risk factors.
When measured concurrently, there was 100% genetic overlap between the maladaptive trait domains and Paranoid, Schizotypal, Antisocial, Borderline, and Avoidant PDs. For OCPD, 43% of the genetic variance was shared with the domains. Genetic correlations between the individual domains and PDs ranged from +0.21 to +0.91.
The pathological personality trait domains, which are part of the Alternative Model for classification of PDs in DSM-5 Section III, appears to tap, at an aggregate level, the same genetic risk factors as the DSM-5 Section II classification for most of the PDs.
Government transparency is widely promoted, yet little is known about transparency’s effects. Survey experiments reported here, made on the streets of Lima, Peru, investigate a simple question: what are the effects of government-sponsored transparency websites, and the information revealed by those efforts, on attitudes about the Peruvian political system? Like many developing countries, Peru lacks much system support, making it more difficult to improve governance and democracy; transparency itself has little impact on political attitudes. However, some dimensions of the information provided by transparency matter: endorsement by a credible third party or framing that associates comparatively good community well-being with government performance. These conditions substantively increase Peruvians’ approval of the national political community, the regime’s performance, institutions, and local government.
To investigate relationships between mortality and circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D3) and 25-hydroxyergocalciferol (25(OH)D2).
Case–cohort study within the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (MCCS). We measured 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 in archived dried blood spots by LC–MS/MS. Cox regression was used to estimate mortality hazard ratios (HR), with adjustment for confounders.
The MCCS included 29 206 participants, who at recruitment in 1990–1994 were aged 40–69 years, had dried blood spots collected and no history of cancer. For the present study we selected participants who died by 31 December 2007 (n 2410) and a random sample (sub-cohort, n 2996).
The HR per 25 nmol/l increment in concentration of 25(OH)D and 25(OH)D3 were 0·86 (95 % CI 0·78, 0·96; P=0·007) and 0·85 (95 % CI 0·77, 0·95; P=0·003), respectively. Of 5108 participants, sixty-three (1·2 %) had detectable 25(OH)D2; their mean 25(OH)D concentration was 11·9 (95 % CI 7·3, 16·6) nmol/l higher (P<0·001). The HR for detectable 25(OH)D2 was 1·80 (95 % CI 1·09, 2·97; P=0·023); for those with detectable 25(OH)D2, the HR per 25 nmol/l increment in 25(OH)D was 1·06 (95 % CI 0·87, 1·29; P interaction=0·02). HR were similar for participants who reported being in good, very good or excellent health four years after recruitment.
Total 25(OH)D and 25(OH)D3 concentrations were inversely associated with mortality. The finding that the inverse association for 25(OH)D was restricted to those with no detectable 25(OH)D2 requires confirmation in populations with higher exposure to ergocalciferol.
C band backscatter parameters contain information about the upper snowpack/firn in the dry snow zone. The wide incidence angle diversity of the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) gives unprecedented characterisation of backscatter anisotropy, revealing the backscatter response to climatic forcing. The A (isotropic component) and M2 (bi-sinusoidal azimuth anisotropy) parameters are investigated here, in conjunction with data from atmospheric and snowpack models, to identify the backscatter response to surface forcing parameters (wind speed and persistence, precipitation, surface temperature, density and grain size). The long-term mean A parameter is successfully recreated with a regression using these drivers, indicating strong links between the A parameter and precipitation on long timescales. While the ASCAT time series is too short to determine which factors drive observed trends, factors influencing the seasonal and short timescale variability are revealed. On these timescales, A strongly responds to the propagation of surface temperature cycles/anomalies downward through the firn, via direct modulation of the dielectric constant. The influence of precipitation on A is small at shorter timescales. The M2 parameter is controlled by wind speed and persistence, through modification of monodirectionally-aligned surface roughness. This variability indicates that throughout much of coastal Antarctica, a microwave ‘snapshot’ is generally not representative of longer-term conditions.
To compare two front-of-pack nutrition labelling systems for the assessment of packaged foods and drinks with Australian Dietary Guidelines.
A cross-sectional nutrient profiling assessment. Food and drink products (n 20 225) were categorised into scoring levels using criteria for the Institute of Medicine (IOM) three-star system and the five-star Australian Health Star Rating (HSR). The effectiveness of these systems to categorise foods in accordance with Australian Dietary Guidelines was explored.
The study was conducted in Australia, using a comprehensive food database.
Packaged food and drink products (n 20 225) available in Australia.
Using the IOM three-star system, the majority (55 %) of products scored the minimum 0 points and 25·5 % scored the maximum 3 points. Using HSR criteria, the greatest proportion of products (15·2 %) scored three-and-a-half stars from a possible five and 12·5 % received the lowest rating of a half-star. Very few products (4·1 %) scored five stars. Products considered core foods and drinks in Australian Dietary Guidelines received higher scores than discretionary foods in all food categories for both labelling systems (all P<0·05; Mann–Whitney U test), with the exception of fish products using IOM three-star criteria (P=0·603). The largest discrepancies in median score between the two systems were for the food categories edible oils, convenience foods and dairy.
Both the IOM three-star and Australian HSR front-of-pack labelling systems rated packaged foods and drinks broadly in line with Australian Dietary Guidelines by assigning core foods higher ratings and discretionary foods lower ratings.
Observational studies have suggested that 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels are associated with inflammatory markers. Most trials reporting significant associations between vitamin D intake and inflammatory markers used specific patient groups. Thus, we aimed to determine the effect of supplementary vitamin D using secondary data from a population-based, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial (Pilot D-Health trial 2010/0423). Participants were 60- to 84-year-old residents of one of the four eastern states of Australia. They were randomly selected from the electoral roll and were randomised to one of three trial arms: placebo (n 214), 750 μg (n 215) or 1500 μg (n 215) vitamin D3, each taken once per month for 12 months. Post-intervention blood samples for the analysis of C-reactive protein (CRP), IL-6, IL-10, leptin and adiponectin levels were available for 613 participants. Associations between intervention group and biomarker levels were evaluated using quantile regression. There were no statistically significant differences in distributions of CRP, leptin, adiponectin, leptin:adiponectin ratio or IL-10 levels between the placebo group and either supplemented group. The 75th percentile IL-6 level was 2·8 pg/ml higher (95 % CI 0·4, 5·8 pg/ml) in the 1500 μg group than in the placebo group (75th percentiles:11·0 v. 8·2 pg/ml), with a somewhat smaller, non-significant difference in 75th percentiles between the 750 μg and placebo groups. Despite large differences in serum 25(OH)D levels between the three groups after 12 months of supplementation, we found little evidence of an effect of vitamin D supplementation on cytokine or adipokine levels, with the possible exception of IL-6.
Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and borderline personality disorder (BPD) share genetic and environmental risk factors. Little is known about the temporal stability of these etiological factors in adulthood.
DSM-IV criteria for ASPD and BPD were assessed using structured interviews in 2282 Norwegian twins in early adulthood and again approximately 10 years later. Longitudinal biometric models were used to analyze the number of endorsed criteria.
The mean criterion count for ASPD and BPD decreased 40% and 28%, respectively, from early to middle adulthood. Rank-order stability was 0.58 for ASPD and 0.45 for BPD. The best-fitting longitudinal twin model included only genetic and individual-specific environmental factors. Genetic effects, both those shared by ASPD and BPD, and those specific to each disorder remained completely stable. The unique environmental effects, however, changed substantially, with a correlation across time of 0.19 for the shared effects, and 0.39 and 0.15, respectively, for those specific to ASPD and BPD. Genetic effects accounted for 71% and 72% of the stability over time for ASPD and BPD, respectively. The genetic and environmental correlations between ASPD and BPD were 0.73, and 0.43, respectively, at both time points.
ASPD and BPD traits were moderately stable from early to middle adulthood, mostly due to genetic risk factors which did not change over the 10-year assessment period. Environmental risk factors were mostly transient, and appear to be the main source of phenotypic change. Genetic liability factors were, to a large extent, shared by ASPD and BPD.
Key pathophysiology of sickle cell anaemia includes compensatory erythropoiesis, vascular injury and chronic inflammation, which divert amino acids from tissue deposition for growth/weight gain and muscle formation. We hypothesised that sickle mice maintained on an isoenergetic diet with a high percentage of energy derived from protein (35 %), as opposed to a standard diet with 20 % of energy derived from protein, would improve body composition, bone mass and grip strength. Male Berkeley transgenic sickle mice (S; n 8–12) were fed either 20 % (S20) or 35 % (S35) diets for 3 months. Grip strength (BIOSEB meter) and body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan) were measured. After 3 months, control mice had the highest bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) (P < 0·005). S35 mice had the largest increase in grip strength. A two-way ANOVA of change in grip strength (P = 0·043) attributed this difference to genotype (P = 0·025) and a trend in type of diet (P = 0·067). l-Arginine (l-Arg) supplementation of the 20 % diet was explored, as a possible mechanism for improvement obtained with the 35 % diet. Townes transgenic sickle mice (TS; n 6–9) received 0·8, 1·6, 3·2 or 6·4 % l-Arg based on the same protocol and outcome measures used for the S mice. TS mice fed 1·6 % l-Arg for 3 months (TS1.6) had the highest weight gain, BMD, BMC and lean body mass compared with other groups. TS3.2 mice showed significantly more improvement in grip strength than TS0·8 and TS1.6 mice (P < 0·05). In conclusion, the high-protein diet improved body composition and grip strength. Outcomes observed with TS1.6 and TS3.2 mice, respectively, confirm the hypothesis and reveal l-Arg as part of the mechanism.
While cluster A personality disorders (PDs) have been shown to be moderately heritable, we know little about the temporal stability of these genetic risk factors.
Paranoid PD (PPD) and schizotypal PD (STPD) were assessed using the Structured Interview for DSM-IV Personality in 2793 young adult twins from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health Twin Panel at wave 1 and 2282 twins on average 10 years later at wave 2. Using the program Mx, we fitted a longitudinal latent factor model using the number of endorsed criteria for PPD and STPD.
The stability over time of the criteria counts for PPD and STPD, estimated as polychoric correlations, were +0.34 and +0.40, respectively. The best-fit longitudinal model included only additive genetic and individual-specific environmental factors with parameter estimates constrained to equality across the two waves. The cross-wave genetic and individual-specific environmental correlations for a latent cluster A factor were estimated to equal +1.00 and +0.13, respectively. The cross-time correlations for genetic and environmental effects specific to the individual PDs were estimated at +1.00 and +0.16–0.20, respectively. We found that 68% and 71% of the temporal stability of PPD and STPD derived, respectively, from the effect of genetic factors.
Shared genetic risk factors for two of the cluster A PDs are highly stable in adults over a 10-year period while environmental risk factors are relatively transient. Over two-thirds of the long-term stability of the common cluster A PD liability can be attributed to genetic influences.
We sought to explain seasonality and other aspects of Campylobacter jejuni epidemiology by integrating population genetic and epidemiological analysis in a large 3-year longitudinal, two-centre, population-based study. Epidemiological information was collected for 1505 isolates, which were multilocus sequence-typed. Analyses compared pathogen population structure between areas, over time, and between clinical presentations. Pooled analysis was performed with published international datasets. Subtype association with virulence was not observed. UK sites had nearly identical C. jejuni populations. A clade formed by ST45 and ST283 clonal complexes showed a summer peak. This clade was common in a Finnish dataset but not in New Zealand and Australian collections, countries with less marked seasonality. The UK, New Zealand and Australian collections were otherwise similar. These findings map to known in-vitro differences of this clade. This identifies a target for studies to elucidate the drivers of the summer peak in human C. jejuni infection.
We studied a cross-sectional sample of the population of Kech, a small rural town in Pakistan to determine the prevalence and risk factors for hepatitis C infection. The prevalence of hepatitis C was 110 out of 2000 persons (5·5%, 95% confidence interval 4·5–6·5). Higher rates were identified in males. Independent risk factors identified were age ⩾75 years, being a healthcare worker, and injecting drug use. There was a high prevalence of many potential routes of transmission of bloodborne viruses and most people reported at least one potential risk factor.
The rate-limiting step in the recovery of the photoreceptor light response is the hydrolysis of GTP by transducin, a reaction that is accelerated by the RGS9–Gβ5 complex, and its membrane anchor, R9AP. Similar complexes, including RGS7, RGS11, and Gβ5, are found in retinal ON-bipolar cell dendrites. Here, we present evidence that R9AP is also expressed in the dendritic tips of ON-bipolar cells. Immunofluorescent staining for R9AP revealed a punctate pattern of labeling in the outer plexiform layer, where it colocalized with mGluR6. In photoreceptors, R9AP is required for proteolytic stability of the entire regulator of G protein signaling complex, and we found that genetic deletion of R9AP also results in a marked reduction in the levels of RGS11 and Gβ5 in the bipolar cell dendrites; the level of RGS7 was unaffected, suggesting the presence of another interaction partner to stabilize RGS7. To determine the effect of R9AP deletion on the response kinetics of ON-bipolar cells, we compared the electroretinogram (ERG) between wild-type and R9AP-deficient mice. The ERG b-wave, reflecting ON-bipolar cell activity, was delayed and larger in the R9AP-deficient mice. Our data indicate that R9AP is required for stable expression of RGS11–Gβ5 in ON-bipolar cell dendrites. Furthermore, they suggest that the RGS11–Gβ5–R9AP complex accelerates the initial ON-bipolar cell response to light.