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Radiocarbon (14C) ages cannot provide absolutely dated chronologies for archaeological or paleoenvironmental studies directly but must be converted to calendar age equivalents using a calibration curve compensating for fluctuations in atmospheric 14C concentration. Although calibration curves are constructed from independently dated archives, they invariably require revision as new data become available and our understanding of the Earth system improves. In this volume the international 14C calibration curves for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, as well as for the ocean surface layer, have been updated to include a wealth of new data and extended to 55,000 cal BP. Based on tree rings, IntCal20 now extends as a fully atmospheric record to ca. 13,900 cal BP. For the older part of the timescale, IntCal20 comprises statistically integrated evidence from floating tree-ring chronologies, lacustrine and marine sediments, speleothems, and corals. We utilized improved evaluation of the timescales and location variable 14C offsets from the atmosphere (reservoir age, dead carbon fraction) for each dataset. New statistical methods have refined the structure of the calibration curves while maintaining a robust treatment of uncertainties in the 14C ages, the calendar ages and other corrections. The inclusion of modeled marine reservoir ages derived from a three-dimensional ocean circulation model has allowed us to apply more appropriate reservoir corrections to the marine 14C data rather than the previous use of constant regional offsets from the atmosphere. Here we provide an overview of the new and revised datasets and the associated methods used for the construction of the IntCal20 curve and explore potential regional offsets for tree-ring data. We discuss the main differences with respect to the previous calibration curve, IntCal13, and some of the implications for archaeology and geosciences ranging from the recent past to the time of the extinction of the Neanderthals.
Natural disasters often damage or destroy the protective public health service infrastructure (PHI) required to maintain the health and well-being of people with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). This interruption increases the risk of an acute exacerbation or complication, potentially leading to a worse long-term prognosis or even death. Disaster-related exacerbations of NCDs will continue, if not increase, due to an increasing prevalence and sustained rise in the frequency and intensity of disasters, along with rapid unsustainable urbanization in flood plains and storm-prone coastal zones. Despite this, the focus of disaster and health systems preparedness and response remains on communicable diseases, even when the actual risk of disease outbreaks post-disaster is low, particularly in developed countries. There is now an urgent need to expand preparedness and response beyond communicable diseases to include people with NCDs.
The developing evidence-base describing the risk of disaster-related exacerbation of NCDs does not incorporate the perspectives, concerns, and challenges of people actually living with the conditions. To help address this gap, this research explored the key influences on patient ability to successfully manage their NCD after a natural disaster.
A survey of people with NCDs in Queensland, Australia collected data on demographics, disease, disaster experience, and primary concern post-disaster. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests with a Bonferroni-adjustment were used to analyze data.
There were 118 responses to the survey. Key influences on the ability to self-manage post-disaster were access to medication, medical services, water, treatment and care, power, and food. Managing disease-specific symptoms associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental health, and respiratory diseases were primary concerns following a disaster. Stress and anxiety, loss of sleep, weakness or fatigue, and shortness of breath were common concerns for all patients with NCDs. Those dependent on care from others were most worried about shortness of breath and slow healing sores. Accessing medication and medical services were priorities for all patients post-disaster.
The key influences on successful self-management post-disaster for people with NCDs must be reflected in disaster plans and strategies. Achieving this will reduce exacerbations or complications of disease and decrease demand for emergency health care post-disaster.
Disasters can damage the essential public health infrastructure and social protection systems required for vulnerable populations. This contributes to indirect mortality and morbidity as high as 70–90%, primarily due to an exacerbation of life-threatening conditions and chronic diseases. Despite this, the traditional focus of public health systems has been on communicable diseases. To address this challenge, disaster and health planners require access to repeatable and measurable methods to rank and prioritize the needs of people with life-threatening and chronic diseases before, during, and after a disaster.
Propose a repeatable and measurable method for ranking and prioritizing the needs of people with life-threatening and chronic diseases before, during, and after a disaster.
The research began with identifying the risk disasters pose to people with life-threatening and chronic diseases. The data gathered was then used to develop indicators and explore the use of DisasterAWARE™ (All-hazard Warnings, Analysis, and Risk Evaluation) to rank and prioritize the needs before, during, and after a disaster.
This research found people at greatest risk are those with underlying cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, unstable diabetes, renal diseases, and those undergoing cancer treatment. A sustainable method to help address this problem is to expand the use of DisasterAWARE™ (All-hazard Warnings, Analysis, and Risk Evaluation) to rank and prioritize needs at national and sub-national levels.
DisasterAWARE™ has been successfully applied to the assessment and prioritization of disaster risk and humanitarian assistance needs in Southeast Asia (ASEAN, Viet Nam), Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua), South America (Peru), and the Caribbean (Jamaica, Dominican Republic). Using the indicators developed through this research, this proven methodology can be seamlessly and easily translated to rank and prioritize the needs of people with life-threatening and chronic diseases before, during, and after a disaster.
Natural disasters often damage the public health infrastructure required to maintain the wellbeing of people with noncommunicable diseases. This increases the risk of an acute exacerbation or complications, potentially leading to a worse long-term prognosis or even death. Disaster-related exacerbations of noncommunicable diseases will continue, if not increase, due to an increasing disease prevalence, sustained rise in the frequency and intensity of disasters, and rapid unsustainable urbanization in disaster-prone areas. However, the traditional focus of public health and disaster systems remains on communicable diseases, despite a low risk. There is now an urgent need to expand the public health response to include noncommunicable diseases.
To explore the key influences on patient ability to successfully manage their noncommunicable disease after a natural disaster.
A survey of people with noncommunicable diseases in Queensland, Australia, collected data on demographics, disease/condition, disaster experience, and primary concern post-disaster. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests with Bonferroni-adjustment were used to analyze data.
There were 118 responses to the survey. Key influences on the ability to self-manage post-disaster were access to medication, medical services, water, treatment and care, power, and food. Managing disease-specific symptoms associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental health, and respiratory diseases were primary concerns following a disaster. Stress and anxiety, loss of sleep, weakness or fatigue and shortness of breath were common concerns for all noncommunicable diseases. Those dependent on care from others were most worried about shortness of breath and slow healing sores. Accessing medication and medical services were priorities for all patients post-disaster.
The key influences on successful self-management post disaster for people with noncommunicable diseases must be reflected in disaster plans and strategies. Achieving this will reduce exacerbations or complications of disease and decrease demand for emergency health care post-disaster.
Replacing a portion of a glucose challenge with whole eggs (EGG) or egg whites (WHITE) was shown to protect against glucose-induced impairments in vascular function. We hypothesised in the present study that previously observed vasoprotection following co-ingestion of EGG or WHITE with glucose was attributed to limiting postprandial hyperglycaemia-induced oxidative stress that improves NO∙ bioavailability. Prediabetic men completed a randomised, cross-over study in which they ingested isoenergetic meals containing 100 g glucose (GLU), or 75 g glucose with 1·5 EGG, seven WHITE or two egg yolks (YOLK). At 30 min intervals for 3 h, we assessed plasma NO∙ metabolites, the lipid peroxidation biomarker malondialdehyde, antioxidants, arginine and its methylated metabolites (asymmetric dimethylarginine and symmetric dimethylarginine), tetrahydrobiopterin redox status, vasoconstrictors and inflammatory markers. Compared with GLU, malondialdehyde was lower and NO∙ metabolites were greater in EGG and WHITE, but YOLK was not different from GLU. Malondialdehyde was inversely correlated with NO∙ metabolites and vascular function, whereas NO∙ metabolites were positively correlated with vascular function. Compared with GLU, arginine was greater, but asymmetric and symmetric dimethylarginine and angiotensin-II were lower in all egg-based meals. Antioxidants, tetrahydrobiopterin redox status and inflammatory markers did not differ among treatments. Thus, while each egg-based meal improved arginine metabolism, only EGG and WHITE limited lipid peroxidation. This suggests that vasoprotection mediated by EGG and WHITE likely occurs in an NO∙-dependent manner by improving arginine metabolism and attenuating oxidative stress that otherwise limit NO∙ biosynthesis and bioavailability to the vascular endothelium.
The Last Glacial–Interglacial Transition (LGIT; 15,000–11,000 cal BP) was characterized by complex spatiotemporal patterns of climate change, with numerous studies requiring accurate chronological control to decipher leads from lags in global paleoclimatic, paleoenvironmental, and archaeological records. However, close scrutiny of the few available tree-ring chronologies and radiocarbon-dated sequences composing the IntCal13 14C calibration curve indicates significant weakness in 14C calibration across key periods of the LGIT. Here, we present a decadally resolved atmospheric 14C record derived from New Zealand kauri spanning the Lateglacial from ~13,100–11,365 cal BP. Two floating kauri 14C time series, curve-matched to IntCal13, serve as a 14C backbone through the Younger Dryas. The floating Northern Hemisphere (NH) 14C data sets derived from the YD-B and Central European Lateglacial Master tree-ring series are matched against the new kauri data, forming a robust NH 14C time series to ~14,200 cal BP. Our results show that IntCal13 is questionable from ~12,200–11,900 cal BP and the ~10,400 BP 14C plateau is approximately 5 decades too short. The new kauri record and repositioned NH pine 14C series offer a refinement of the international 14C calibration curves IntCal13 and SHCal13, providing increased confidence in the correlation of global paleorecords.
The study aim was to undertake a qualitative research literature review to analyze available databases to define, describe, and categorize public health infrastructure (PHI) priorities for tropical cyclone, flood, storm, tornado, and tsunami-related disasters.
Five electronic publication databases were searched to define, describe, or categorize PHI and discuss tropical cyclone, flood, storm, tornado, and tsunami-related disasters and their impact on PHI. The data were analyzed through aggregation of individual articles to create an overall data description. The data were grouped into PHI themes, which were then prioritized on the basis of degree of interdependency.
Sixty-seven relevant articles were identified. PHI was categorized into 13 themes with a total of 158 descriptors. The highest priority PHI identified was workforce. This was followed by water, sanitation, equipment, communication, physical structure, power, governance, prevention, supplies, service, transport, and surveillance.
This review identified workforce as the most important of the 13 thematic areas related to PHI and disasters. If its functionality fails, workforce has the greatest impact on the performance of health services. If addressed post-disaster, the remaining forms of PHI will then be progressively addressed. These findings are a step toward providing an evidence base to inform PHI priorities in the disaster setting. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:598–610)
Traditionally, post disaster response activities have focused on immediate trauma and communicable diseases. In developed countries such as Australia, the post disaster risk for communicable disease is low. However, a “disease transition” is now recognized at the population level where noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are increasingly documented as a post disaster issue. This potentially places an extra burden on health care resources and may have implications for disaster-management systems. With increasing likelihood of major disasters for all sectors of global society, there is a need to ensure that health systems, including public health infrastructure (PHI), can respond properly.
There is limited peer-reviewed literature on the impact of disasters on NCDs. Research is required to better determine both the impact of NCDs post disaster and their impact on PHI and disaster-management systems.
A literature review was used to collect and analyze data on the impact of the index case event, Australia's Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi (STC Yasi), on PHI and the management of NCDs. The findings were compared with data from other world cyclone events. The databases searched were MEDLINE, CINAHL, Google Scholar, and Google. The date range for the STC Yasi search was January 26, 2011 through May 2, 2013. No time limits were applied to the search from other cyclone events. The variables compared were tropical cyclones and their impacts on PHI and NCDs. The outcome of interest was to identify if there were trends across similar world events and to determine if this could be extrapolated for future crises.
This research showed a tropical cyclone (including a hurricane and typhoon) can impact PHI, for instance, equipment (oxygen, syringes, and medications), services (treatment and care), and clean water availability/access that would impact both the treatment and management of NCDs. The comparison between STC Yasi and worldwide tropical cyclones found the challenges faced were linked closely. These relate to communication, equipment and services, evacuation, medication, planning, and water supplies.
This research demonstrated that a negative trend pattern existed between the impact of STC Yasi and other similar world cyclone events on PHI and the management of NCDs. This research provides an insight for disaster planners to address concerns of people with NCDs. While further research is needed, this study provides an understanding of areas for improvement, specifically enhancing protective PHI and the development of strategies for maintaining treatment and alternative care options, such as maintaining safe water for dialysis patients.
RyanBJ, FranklinRC, BurkleFMJr, WattK, AitkenP, SmithEC, LeggatP. Analyzing the Impact of Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi on Public Health Infrastructure and the Management of Noncommunicable Diseases. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2015;30(1):1-10.
In 2006, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke-Canadian Stroke Network (NINDS-CSN) Vascular Cognitive Impairment Harmonization Standards recommended a 5-Minute Protocol as a brief screening instrument for vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). We report demographically adjusted norms for the 5-Minute Protocol and its relation to other measures of cognitive function and cerebrovascular risk factors. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of 7199 stroke-free adults in the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study on the NINDS-CSN 5-Minute Protocol score. Total scores on the 5-Minute Protocol were inversely correlated with age and positively correlated with years of education, and performance on the Six-Item Screener, Word List Learning, and Animal Fluency (all p-values <.001). Higher cerebrovascular risk on the Framingham Stroke Risk Profile (FSRP) was associated with lower total 5-Minute Protocol scores (p <.001). The 5-Minute Protocol also differentiated between participants with and without confirmed stroke and with and without stroke symptom histories (p <.001). The NINDS-CSN 5-Minute Protocol is a brief, easily administered screening measure that is sensitive to cerebrovascular risk and offers a valid method of screening for cognitive impairment in populations at risk for VCI. (JINS, 2014, 20, 1–12)
The Geriatric Anxiety Scale (GAS; Segal et al. (Segal, D. L., June, A., Payne, M., Coolidge, F. L. and Yochim, B. (2010). Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 24, 709–714. doi:10.1016/j.janxdis.2010.05.002) is a self-report measure of anxiety that was designed to address unique issues associated with anxiety assessment in older adults. This study is the first to use item response theory (IRT) to examine the psychometric properties of a measure of anxiety in older adults.
A large sample of older adults (n = 581; mean age = 72.32 years, SD = 7.64 years, range = 60 to 96 years; 64% women; 88% European American) completed the GAS. IRT properties were examined. The presence of differential item functioning (DIF) or measurement bias by age and sex was assessed, and a ten-item short form of the GAS (called the GAS-10) was created.
All GAS items had discrimination parameters of 1.07 or greater. Items from the somatic subscale tended to have lower discrimination parameters than items on the cognitive or affective subscales. Two items were flagged for DIF, but the impact of the DIF was negligible. Women scored significantly higher than men on the GAS and its subscales. Participants in the young-old group (60 to 79 years old) scored significantly higher on the cognitive subscale than participants in the old-old group (80 years old and older).
Results from the IRT analyses indicated that the GAS and GAS-10 have strong psychometric properties among older adults. We conclude by discussing implications and future research directions.
The treatment of hunger strikers is always contentious, chaotic and complex. The management is particularly difficult for health professionals as it raises unprecedented clinical, ethical, moral, humanitarian, and legal questions. There are never any easy answers. The current situation of prisoners from the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars currently at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center in Cuba demands unprecedented transparency, accountability and multilevel coordination to ensure that the rights of the strikers are properly met. There are scant references available in the scientific literature on the emergency management of these tragedies. This historical perspective documents the complex issues faced by emergency physicians in Hong Kong surrounding refugee camp asylum seekers from Vietnam in 1994 and is offered as a useful adjunct in understanding the complex issues faced by emergency health providers and managers.
BurkleFMJr., ChanJTS, YeungRSD. Hunger Strikers: Historical Perspectives from the Emergency Management of Refugee Camp Asylum Seekers. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013:28(6);1-5.
Background: The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease (CERAD) set of tests is frequently used for tracking cognition longitudinally in both clinical and research settings. Repeated cognitive assessments are an important component in measuring such changes; however, practice effects and attrition bias may obscure significant clinical change over time. The current study sought to examine the presence and magnitude of practice effects and the role of attrition bias in a sample of cognitively normal older men enrolled in a prevention trial.
Method: Participants were grouped according to whether they completed five years of follow-up (n = 182) or less (n = 126). Practice effects were examined in these participants as a whole (n = 308) and by group.
Results: Findings indicate that moderate practice effects exist in both groups on the CERAD T-score and that attrition bias likely does not play a contributing role in improved scores over time.
Conclusion: The current study provides additional evidence and support for previous findings that repeated cognitive assessment results in rising test scores in longitudinally collected data and demonstrates that these findings are unlikely to be due to attrition.