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A higher intake of foods rich in flavonoids such as quercetin can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Enzymatically modified isoquercitrin (EMIQ®) has a bioavailability 17-fold higher than quercetin aglycone and has shown potential cardiovascular disease moderating effects in animal studies. The present study aimed to determine if acute ingestion of EMIQ® improves endothelial function, blood pressure, and cognitive function in human volunteers at risk of cardiovascular disease. Twenty-five participants (12 males, 13 females) with at least one cardiovascular disease risk factor completed this randomized, controlled, crossover study. In a random order, participants were given EMIQ® (2 mg aglycone equivalent)/kg body weight or placebo alongside a standard breakfast meal. Endothelial function, assessed by flow mediated dilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery was measured before and 1.5 hrs after intervention. Blood pressure (BP), arterial stiffness, cognitive function, BP during cognitive stress and measures of quercetin metabolites, oxidative stress and markers of nitric oxide (NO) production were assessed post-intervention. After adjustment for pre-treatment measurements and treatment order, EMIQ® treatment resulted in a significantly higher FMD response compared to the placebo [0.60%, 95% CI: 0.03, 1.17 (p=0.04)]. Plasma concentrations of quercetin metabolites were significantly higher (p<0.001) after EMIQ® treatment compared to the placebo. No changes in blood pressure, arterial stiffness, cognitive function, or biochemical parameters were observed. In this human intervention study, the acute administration of EMIQ® significantly increased circulating quercetin metabolites and improved endothelial function. Further clinical trials are required to assess whether health benefits are associated with long-term EMIQ® consumption.
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.
Many countries face the challenge of an aging population. Development of suitable technologies to support frail elderly living in care homes, sheltered housing or at home remains a concern. Technology evaluation in real-life conditions is often lacking, and randomized controlled trials of ‘pre-designed’ technologies are expensive and fail to deliver. A novel alternative would be ‘living labs’-real-life test and experimentation environments where users and producers co-create innovations and large-scale data can be collected.
The goal of the living labs and Data Driven Research and Innovation (DDRI) Programme is to use data driven analytics and insights to support technology development for independent living, healthy aging and more cost-effective care. This involves a cluster of long-term residential care facilities providing 24/7 living lab settings, linked to an embedded innovation hub. DDRI also encompasses private vehicles (e.g. sensors in cars) to enable elderly to drive safely for longer. Collaborations have been established with Universities in England, Scotland and Ireland and with international industry partners.
Several projects are underway: (i) develop machine learning algorithm from non-intrusive sensor data to build a well-being representation for individual residents/citizens; (ii) evaluate innovative interventions for good sleep environment and nutritional support; and (iii) establish ethics framework to ensure that needs of residents, families and staff are embedded in design, communication, and evaluation of future DDRI projects. In addition, fifteen interdisciplinary doctoral fellowships are in place, six universities are working closely with individual living lab settings, and an innovation hub has been established in one care home for horizon-scanning and strategic technology selection and implementation.
Over the next five years, a national network of 20 residential living labs with over 1,500 participants will be established. Generation of new user-led technologies, blueprints for capture of individual data at significant scale, and ethical and organizational guidelines will be developed. Intelligent mobility via data capture/feedback in vehicles will be established.
Patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) with vaso-occlusive crises (VOC) often visit the emergency department (ED) for management of painful episodes. The primary objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the acceptability of a short-stay model for treatment of VOC in SCD outside of the ED in Toronto, Canada. Secondary objectives were to assess patient satisfaction of this model, barriers to its use and comparison of clinical outcomes to a historical control.
Adult SCD patients with symptoms of an uncomplicated VOC between October 2014 to July 2016 were managed according to best practice recommendations in a short-stay unit as an alternative to the local emergency room. Primary outcome of time to first analgesia, and secondary outcome of discharge rate were compared to a historical control at a local ED from 2009-2012. Satisfaction and barriers to use of the ambulatory care delivery model were assessed by patient survey.
Twenty-one visits were recorded at the short-stay unit during the study period. Average time to first opiate dose was 23.5 minutes in the short-stay unit compared to 100.3 minutes in the ED (p<0.001). Discharge rate from the short-stay unit was 84.2%. Average patient satisfaction with this model of care was high (>4/5 on Likert scale) except for geographic accessibility (85% response rate, n=18).
This study demonstrated high patient satisfaction and acceptability of a short-stay model for treatment of uncomplicated VOC in adult SCD patients in Toronto, the first of its kind in Canada.
Arterial wall thickening, stimulated by low-grade systemic inflammation, underlies many cardiovascular events. As diet is a significant moderator of systemic inflammation, the dietary inflammatory index (DIITM) has recently been devised to assess the overall inflammatory potential of an individual’s diet. The primary objective of this study was to assess the association of the DII with common carotid artery–intima-media thickness (CCA–IMT) and carotid plaques. To substantiate the clinical importance of these findings we assessed the relationship of DII score with atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD)-related mortality, ischaemic cerebrovascular disease (CVA)-related mortality and ischaemic heart disease (IHD)-related mortality more. The study was conducted in Western Australian women aged over 70 years (n 1304). Dietary data derived from a validated FFQ (completed at baseline) were used to calculate a DII score for each individual. In multivariable-adjusted models, DII scores were associated with sub-clinical atherosclerosis: a 1 sd (2·13 units) higher DII score was associated with a 0·013-mm higher mean CCA–IMT (P=0·016) and a 0·016-mm higher maximum CCA–IMT (P=0·008), measured at 36 months. No relationship was seen between DII score and carotid plaque severity. There were 269 deaths during follow-up. High DII scores were positively associated with ASVD-related death (per sd, hazard ratio (HR): 1·36; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·60), CVA-related death (per sd, HR: 1·30; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·69) and IHD-related death (per sd, HR: 1·40; 95 % CI 1·13, 1·75). These results support the hypothesis that a pro-inflammatory diet increases systemic inflammation leading to development and progression of atherosclerosis and eventual ASVD-related death.
In this paper, we report progress on “Neighborhoods: our people, our places” an international study about how people living with dementia interact with their neighborhoods. The ideas of social health and citizenship are drawn upon to contextualize the data and make a case for recognizing and understanding the strengths and agency of people with dementia. In particular, we address the lived experience of the environment as a route to better understanding the capabilities, capacities, and competencies of people living with dementia. In doing this, our aim is to demonstrate the contribution of social engagement and environmental support to social health.
The study aims to “map” local spaces and networks across three field sites (Manchester, Central Scotland and Linkoping, Sweden). It employs a mix of qualitative and participatory approaches that include mobile and visual methods intended to create knowledge that will inform the design and piloting of a neighborhood-based intervention.
Our research shows that the neighborhood plays an active role in the lives of people with dementia, setting limits, and constraints but also offering significant opportunities, encompassing forms of help and support as yet rarely discussed in the field of dementia studies. The paper presents new and distinctive insights into the relationship between neighborhoods and everyday life for people with dementia that have important implications for the debate on social health and policy concerning dementia friendly communities.
We end by reflecting on the messages for policy and practice that are beginning to emerge from this on-going study.
Information about the health and economic impact of infections caused by vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) can inform investments in infection prevention and development of novel therapeutics.
To systematically review the incidence of VRE infection in the United States and the clinical and economic outcomes.
We searched various databases for US studies published from January 1, 2000, through June 8, 2015, that evaluated incidence, mortality, length of stay, discharge to a long-term care facility, readmission, recurrence, or costs attributable to VRE infections. We included multicenter studies that evaluated incidence and single-center and multicenter studies that evaluated outcomes. We kept studies that did not have a denominator or uninfected controls only if they assessed postinfection length of stay, costs, or recurrence. We performed meta-analysis to pool the mortality data.
Five studies provided incidence data and 13 studies evaluated outcomes or costs. The incidence of VRE infections increased in Atlanta and Detroit but did not increase in national samples. Compared with uninfected controls, VRE infection was associated with increased mortality (pooled odds ratio, 2.55), longer length of stay (3-4.6 days longer or 1.4 times longer), increased risk of discharge to a long-term care facility (2.8- to 6.5-fold) or readmission (2.9-fold), and higher costs ($9,949 higher or 1.6-fold more).
VRE infection is associated with large attributable burdens, including excess mortality, prolonged in-hospital stay, and increased treatment costs. Multicenter studies that use suitable controls and adjust for time at risk or confounders are needed to estimate the burden of VRE infections.
by commuting homeomorphisms of a compact metric space, Lind introduced a dynamical zeta function that generalizes the dynamical zeta function of a single transformation. In this article, we investigate this function when
is generated by continuous automorphisms of a compact abelian zero-dimensional group. We address Lind’s conjecture concerning the existence of a natural boundary for the zeta function and prove this for two significant classes of actions, including both zero entropy and positive entropy examples. The finer structure of the periodic point counting function is also examined and, in the zero entropy case, we show how this may be severely restricted for subgroups of prime index in
. We also consider a related open problem concerning the appearance of a natural boundary for the dynamical zeta function of a single automorphism, giving further weight to the Pólya–Carlson dichotomy proposed by Bell and the authors.
The criminal justice system of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England has been likened to a corridor of connected rooms or stage sets. At each stage in the judicial process—from detection and apprehension through to trial, sentencing, and punishment—decisions were made that might remove the accused from the system entirely, or propel that person further along the process into a number of possible outcomes. That decision making (including the identity of the decision makers and the criteria upon which their decisions were based) has been the subject of much historical study. Less attention has been given to the individual experiences—the singular journeys—of the accused through this labyrinthine process. This is in large part because of the inherent evidential and methodological difficulties of reconstructing judicial pathways and the wider criminal lives of offenders. As Tim Hitchcock and Robert Shoemaker note, the archives of criminal justice were created to manage the bureaucracy of prosecution and punishment, not to reveal the criminal's navigation of that system. Tracing an individual offender's journey through the judicial process (and that person's life beyond) therefore entails piecing together fragments spread almost randomly across hundreds of thousands of pages.
Our objective was to estimate the per-infection and cumulative mortality and cost burden of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in the United States using data from published studies.
We identified studies that estimated the excess cost, length of stay (LOS), or mortality attributable to MDR Acinetobacter HAIs. We generated estimates of the cost per HAI using 3 methods: (1) overall cost estimates, (2) multiplying LOS estimates by a cost per inpatient-day ($4,350) from the payer perspective, and (3) multiplying LOS estimates by a cost per inpatient-day from the hospital ($2,030) perspective. We deflated our estimates for time-dependent bias using an adjustment factor derived from studies that estimated attributable LOS using both time-fixed methods and either multistate models (70.4% decrease) or matching patients with and without HAIs using the timing of infection (47.4% decrease). Finally, we used the incidence rate of MDR Acinetobacter HAIs to generate cumulative incidence, cost, and mortality associated with these infections.
Our estimates of the cost per infection were $129,917 (method 1), $72,025 (method 2), and $33,510 (method 3). The pooled relative risk of mortality was 4.51 (95% CI, 1.10–32.65), which yielded a mortality rate of 10.6% (95% CI, 2.5%–29.4%). With an incidence rate of 0.141 (95% CI, 0.136–0.161) per 1,000 patient-days at risk, we estimated an annual cumulative incidence of 12,524 (95% CI, 11,509–13,625) in the United States.
The estimates presented here are relevant to understanding the expenditures and lives that could be saved by preventing MDR Acinetobacter HAIs.
Higher fruit intake is associated with lower risk of all-cause and disease-specific mortality. However, data on individual fruits are limited, and the generalisability of these findings to the elderly remains uncertain. The objective of this study was to examine the association of apple intake with all-cause and disease-specific mortality over 15 years in a cohort of women aged over 70 years. Secondary analyses explored relationships of other fruits with mortality outcomes. Usual fruit intake was assessed in 1456 women using a FFQ. Incidence of all-cause and disease-specific mortality over 15 years was determined through the Western Australian Hospital Morbidity Data system. Cox regression was used to determine the hazard ratios (HR) for mortality. During 15 years of follow-up, 607 (41·7 %) women died from any cause. In the multivariable-adjusted analysis, the HR for all-cause mortality was 0·89 (95 % CI 0·81, 0·97) per sd (53 g/d) increase in apple intake, HR 0·80 (95 % CI 0·65, 0·98) for consumption of 5–100 g/d and HR 0·65 (95 % CI 0·48, 0·89) for consumption of >100 g/d (an apple a day), compared with apple intake of <5 g/d (Pfor trend=0·03). Our analysis also found that higher apple intake was associated with lower risk for cancer mortality, and that higher total fruit and banana intakes were associated lower risk of CVD mortality (P<0·05). Our results support the view that regular apple consumption may contribute to lower risk of mortality.
Having ascended the water-powered cliff railway that takes us from the carpark up to the main site we stand on the cantilevered deck of the upper station looking out across the hills and autumn colours of the wooded Dulas valley below us. The branches on the silver birches are whipped by a cold wind blowing in from the Dovey estuary as we turn to walk across the old slate workings that are now the site of one of the best known eco-centres in Europe. Later, having been given a guided tour of the site, we retire to our self-catering cabins where we split and stack the wood that will later keep us warm. The annual Gobal Futures fieldweek at the Centre for Alternative Technology has come round again.
In the later eighteenth century, two schemes were introduced in Parliament for extending the practice of handing over the bodies of executed offenders to anatomists for dissection. Both measures were motivated by the needs of the field of anatomy, including the improvement of surgical skill, the development of medical teaching in the provinces, and public anatomical demonstrations. Yet both failed to pass into law due to concerns about the possibly damaging effects in terms of criminal justice. Through a detailed analysis of the origins and progress of these two parliamentary measures—a moment when the competing claims of anatomy and criminal justice vied for supremacy over the criminal corpse—the article sheds light on judicial attitudes to dissection as a method of punishment and adds to our understanding of the reasons why, in the nineteenth century, the dread of dissection would come to fall upon the dead poor rather than executed offenders.
High blood pressure (BP) variability, which may be an important determinant of hypertensive end-organ damage, is emerging as an important predictor of cardiovascular health. Dietary antioxidants can influence BP, but their effects on variability are yet to be investigated. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of vitamin E, vitamin C and polyphenols on the rate of daytime and night-time ambulatory BP variation. To assess these effects, two randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials were performed. In the first trial (vitamin E), fifty-eight individuals with type 2 diabetes were given 500 mg/d of RRR-α-tocopherol, 500 mg/d of mixed tocopherols or placebo for 6 weeks. In the second trial (vitamin C–polyphenols), sixty-nine treated hypertensive individuals were given 500 mg/d of vitamin C, 1000 mg/d of grape-seed polyphenols, both vitamin C and polyphenols, or neither (placebo) for 6 weeks. At baseline and at the end of the 6-week intervention, 24 h ambulatory BP and rate of measurement-to-measurement BP variation were assessed. Compared with placebo, treatment with α-tocopherol, mixed tocopherols, vitamin C and polyphenols did not significantly alter the rate of daytime or night-time systolic BP, diastolic BP or pulse pressure variation (P>0·05). Treatment with the vitamin C and polyphenol combination resulted in higher BP variation: the rate of night-time systolic BP variation (P= 0·022) and pulse pressure variation (P= 0·0036) were higher and the rate of daytime systolic BP variation was higher (P= 0·056). Vitamin E, vitamin C or grape-seed polyphenols did not significantly alter the rate of BP variation. However, the increase in the rate of BP variation suggests that the combination of high doses of vitamin C and polyphenols could be detrimental to treated hypertensive individuals.