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As the systems that people depend on are increasingly strained by the coronavirus disease–2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, public health impacts are manifesting in different ways beyond morbidity and mortality for elderly populations. Loneliness is already a chief public health concern that is being made worse by COVID-19. Agencies should recognize the prevalence of loneliness among elderly populations and the impacts that their interventions have on loneliness. This letter describes several ways that loneliness can be addressed to build resilience for elderly populations as part of the public health response to COVID-19.
Introduction: Hyperkalemia is a common electrolyte disturbance associated with morbidity and mortality. Commonly used therapies for hyperkalemia include IV calcium, sodium bicarbonate, insulin, beta-adrenergic agents, ion-exchange resins, diuretics and hemodialysis. This study aims to evaluate which treatments are more commonly used to treat hyperkalemia and to examine factors which influence those clinical decisions. Methods: This is a retrospective chart review of all cases of hyperkalemia encountered in 2017 at a Canadian adult ED. Potassium values were classified as mild (5.5 - 6.5 mEq/L), moderate (>6.5 - 7.5 mEq/L) and severe (>7.5 mEq/L). Treatment choices were then recorded and matched to hemodynamic stability, degree of hyperkalemia and ECG findings. More statistical methods to test correlation between treatment and specific variables will be performed over the next 2 months, including logistic regression to highlight potential determinants of treatment and Chi-square tests to verify randomness and to construct 95% confidence intervals. Results: 1867 ED visits were identified, of which 479 met the inclusion criteria. 89.1% of hyperkalemia cases were mild, 8.2% were moderate, and 2.7% were severe. IV insulin was used in 22.1% of cases, followed by Kayexalate in 20.5%, sodium bicarbonate in 12.3%, IV calcium in 9.4%, frusemide in 7.3%, salbutamol in 2.7%, and dialysis in 1.9%. Moderate and severe hyperkalemia were associated with higher use of insulin (79.5% and 64.3% respectively), IV calcium (41% and 64.3% respectively), sodium bicarbonate (56.4% and 85.7% respectively). Bradycardia was associated with higher insulin and IV calcium use (46.7% and 33.3% respectively). Hypotension was associated with a similar increase in use of insulin and IV calcium (34.2% and 23.7% respectively). There were only 15 cases of cardiac arrest in which sodium bicarbonate and IV calcium were more frequently used (80% and 60% respectively). Conclusion: This study demonstrates variability in the ED management of hyperkalemia. We found that Insulin and Kayexalate were the 2 most common interventions, with degree of hyperkalemia, bradycardia and hypotension influencing rates of treatment. Overuse of kayexalate for emergent treatment of hyperkalemia is evident despite weak supporting evidence. Paradoxically, beta adrenergic agents were underutilized despite their rapid effect and safer profile. The development of a widely accepted guideline may help narrow the differences in practice and potentially improve outcomes.
Introduction: CAEP recently developed the acute atrial fibrillation (AF) and flutter (AFL) [AAFF] Best Practices Checklist to promote optimal care and guidance on cardioversion and rapid discharge of patients with AAFF. We sought to assess the impact of implementing the Checklist into large Canadian EDs. Methods: We conducted a pragmatic stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial in 11 large Canadian ED sites in five provinces, over 14 months. All hospitals started in the control period (usual care), and then crossed over to the intervention period in random sequence, one hospital per month. We enrolled consecutive, stable patients presenting with AAFF, where symptoms required ED management. Our intervention was informed by qualitative stakeholder interviews to identify perceived barriers and enablers for rapid discharge of AAFF patients. The many interventions included local champions, presentation of the Checklist to physicians in group sessions, an online training module, a smartphone app, and targeted audit and feedback. The primary outcome was length of stay in ED in minutes from time of arrival to time of disposition, and this was analyzed at the individual patient-level using linear mixed effects regression accounting for the stepped-wedge design. We estimated a sample size of 800 patients. Results: We enrolled 844 patients with none lost to follow-up. Those in the control (N = 316) and intervention periods (N = 528) were similar for all characteristics including mean age (61.2 vs 64.2 yrs), duration of AAFF (8.1 vs 7.7 hrs), AF (88.6% vs 82.9%), AFL (11.4% vs 17.1%), and mean initial heart rate (119.6 vs 119.9 bpm). Median lengths of stay for the control and intervention periods respectively were 413.0 vs. 354.0 minutes (P < 0.001). Comparing control to intervention, there was an increase in: use of antiarrhythmic drugs (37.4% vs 47.4%; P < 0.01), electrical cardioversion (45.1% vs 56.8%; P < 0.01), and discharge in sinus rhythm (75.3% vs. 86.7%; P < 0.001). There was a decrease in ED consultations to cardiology and medicine (49.7% vs 41.1%; P < 0.01), but a small but insignificant increase in anticoagulant prescriptions (39.6% vs 46.5%; P = 0.21). Conclusion: This multicenter implementation of the CAEP Best Practices Checklist led to a significant decrease in ED length of stay along with more ED cardioversions, fewer ED consultations, and more discharges in sinus rhythm. Widespread and rigorous adoption of the CAEP Checklist should lead to improved care of AAFF patients in all Canadian EDs.
Over the past decade, a growing interest has developed on the archaeology, palaeontology, and palaeoenvironments of the Arabian Peninsula. It is now clear that hominins repeatedly dispersed into Arabia, notably during pluvial interglacial periods when much of the peninsula was characterised by a semiarid grassland environment. During the intervening glacial phases, however, grasslands were replaced with arid and hyperarid deserts. These millennial-scale climatic fluctuations have subjected bones and fossils to a dramatic suite of environmental conditions, affecting their fossilisation and preservation. Yet, as relatively few palaeontological assemblages have been reported from the Pleistocene of Arabia, our understanding of the preservational pathways that skeletal elements can take in these types of environments is lacking. Here, we report the first widespread taxonomic and taphonomic assessment of Arabian fossil deposits. Novel fossil fauna are described and overall the fauna are consistent with a well-watered semiarid grassland environment. Likewise, the taphonomic results suggest that bones were deposited under more humid conditions than present in the region today. However, fossils often exhibit significant attrition, obscuring and fragmenting most finds. These are likely tied to wind abrasion, insolation, and salt weathering following fossilisation and exhumation, processes particularly prevalent in desert environments.
Starting university is an important time with respect to dietary changes. This study reports a novel approach to assessing student diet by utilising student-level food transaction data to explore dietary patterns. First-year students living in catered accommodation at the University of Leeds (UK) received pre-credited food cards for use in university catering facilities. Food card transaction data were obtained for semester 1, 2016 and linked with student age and sex. k-Means cluster analysis was applied to the transaction data to identify clusters of food purchasing behaviours. Differences in demographic and behavioural characteristics across clusters were examined using χ2 tests. The semester was divided into three time periods to explore longitudinal changes in purchasing patterns. Seven dietary clusters were identified: ‘Vegetarian’, ‘Omnivores’, ‘Dieters’, ‘Dish of the Day’, ‘Grab-and-Go’, ‘Carb Lovers’ and ‘Snackers’. There were statistically significant differences in sex (P < 0·001), with women dominating the Vegetarian and Dieters, age (P = 0·003), with over 20s representing a high proportion of the Omnivores and time of day of transactions (P < 0·001), with Dieters and Snackers purchasing least at breakfast. Many students (n 474, 60·4 %) changed dietary cluster across the semester. This study demonstrates that transactional data present a feasible method for dietary assessment, collecting detailed dietary information over time and at scale, while eliminating participant burden and possible bias from self-selection, observation and attrition. It revealed that student diets are complex and that simplistic measures of diet, focusing on narrow food groups in isolation, are unlikely to adequately capture dietary behaviours.
Advances in immunohistochemistry have spearheaded major developments in our understanding and classification of sinonasal tumours. In the last decade, several new distinct histopathological entities of sinonasal cancer have been characterised.
This review aims to provide a clinical update of the major emerging subtypes for the ENT surgeon and an overview of the management strategies available for this heterogeneous group of pathologies.
Although rare, knowledge of sinonasal neoplasm subtypes has implications for prognosis, treatment strategies and the development of novel therapeutic targets.
Studies suggest that alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders have distinct genetic backgrounds.
We examined whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) for consumption and problem subscales of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C, AUDIT-P) in the UK Biobank (UKB; N = 121 630) correlate with alcohol outcomes in four independent samples: an ascertained cohort, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA; N = 6850), and population-based cohorts: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; N = 5911), Generation Scotland (GS; N = 17 461), and an independent subset of UKB (N = 245 947). Regression models and survival analyses tested whether the PRS were associated with the alcohol-related outcomes.
In COGA, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with alcohol dependence, AUD symptom count, maximum drinks (R2 = 0.47–0.68%, p = 2.0 × 10−8–1.0 × 10−10), and increased likelihood of onset of alcohol dependence (hazard ratio = 1.15, p = 4.7 × 10−8); AUDIT-C PRS was not an independent predictor of any phenotype. In ALSPAC, the AUDIT-C PRS was associated with alcohol dependence (R2 = 0.96%, p = 4.8 × 10−6). In GS, AUDIT-C PRS was a better predictor of weekly alcohol use (R2 = 0.27%, p = 5.5 × 10−11), while AUDIT-P PRS was more associated with problem drinking (R2 = 0.40%, p = 9.0 × 10−7). Lastly, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with ICD-based alcohol-related disorders in the UKB subset (R2 = 0.18%, p < 2.0 × 10−16).
AUDIT-P PRS was associated with a range of alcohol-related phenotypes across population-based and ascertained cohorts, while AUDIT-C PRS showed less utility in the ascertained cohort. We show that AUDIT-P is genetically correlated with both use and misuse and demonstrate the influence of ascertainment schemes on PRS analyses.
Tomasello argues in the target article that a sense of moral obligation emerges from the creation of a collaborative “we” motivating us to fulfill our cooperative duties. We suggest that “we” takes many forms, entailing different obligations, depending on the type (and underlying functions) of the relationship(s) in question. We sketch a framework of such types, functions, and obligations to guide future research in our commentary.
A developing application of laser-driven currents is the generation of magnetic fields of picosecond–nanosecond duration with magnitudes exceeding
. Single-loop and helical coil targets can direct laser-driven discharge currents along wires to generate spatially uniform, quasi-static magnetic fields on the millimetre scale. Here, we present proton deflectometry across two axes of a single-loop coil ranging from 1 to 2 mm in diameter. Comparison with proton tracking simulations shows that measured magnetic fields are the result of kiloampere currents in the coil and electric charges distributed around the coil target. Using this dual-axis platform for proton deflectometry, robust measurements can be made of the evolution of magnetic fields in a capacitor coil target.
Your author took to heart the editors’ exhortation to understand international humanitarian law (IHL) ‘in its broadest sense (including most notably the jus in bello, humanitarian law, human rights in armed conflict and weapons control)’. What follows, outlining chronologically a series of actions by Pacific peoples and governments, fits roughly into these fields, often straddling them. Driving all the initiatives are the twin threats of other peoples’ conflicts and nuclear radiation to present and future generations of island-dwellers.
Positive symptoms are a useful predictor of aggression in schizophrenia. Although a similar pattern of abnormal brain structures related to both positive symptoms and aggression has been reported, this observation has not yet been confirmed in a single sample.
To study the association between positive symptoms and aggression in schizophrenia on a neurobiological level, a prospective meta-analytic approach was employed to analyze harmonized structural neuroimaging data from 10 research centers worldwide. We analyzed brain MRI scans from 902 individuals with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia and 952 healthy controls.
The result identified a widespread cortical thickness reduction in schizophrenia compared to their controls. Two separate meta-regression analyses revealed that a common pattern of reduced cortical gray matter thickness within the left lateral temporal lobe and right midcingulate cortex was significantly associated with both positive symptoms and aggression.
These findings suggested that positive symptoms such as formal thought disorder and auditory misperception, combined with cognitive impairments reflecting difficulties in deploying an adaptive control toward perceived threats, could escalate the likelihood of aggression in schizophrenia.
Prior work has robustly suggested that social processes in the neighborhood (i.e. informal social control, social cohesion, norms) influence child conduct problems (CP) and related outcomes, but has yet to consider how these community-level influences interact with individual-level genetic risk for CP. The current study sought to do just this, evaluating neighborhood-level social processes as etiologic moderators of child CP for the first time.
We made use of two nested samples of child and adolescent twins within the Michigan State University Twin Registry (MSUTR): 5649 families who participated in in the Michigan Twins Project (MTP) and 1013 families who participated in the Twin Study of Behavioral and Emotional Development (TBED-C). The neighborhood social processes of informal social control, social cohesion, and norms were assessed using neighborhood sampling techniques, in which residents of each twin family's neighborhood reported on the social processes in their neighborhood. Standard biometric GxE analyses evaluated the extent to which they moderated the etiology of CP.
The ‘no moderation’ model provided the best fit to the data in nearly all cases, arguing against neighborhood social processes as etiologic moderators of youth CP.
The neighborhood social processes evaluated here do not appear to exert their effects on child CP via etiologic moderation. The documented links between neighborhood social processes and child CP are thus likely to reflect a different etiologic process. Possibilities include environmental main effects of neighborhood social processes on child CP, or genotype-environment correlations.
The diurnal feeding patterns of dairy cows affects the 24 h robot utilisation of pasture-based automatic milking systems (AMS). A decline in robot utilisation between 2400 and 0600 h currently occurs in pasture-based AMS, as cow feeding activity is greatly reduced during this time. Here, we investigate the effect of a temporal variation in feed quality and quantity on cow feeding behaviour between 2400 and 0600 h as a potential tool to increase voluntary cow trafficking in an AMS at night. The day was allocated into four equal feeding periods (0600 to 1200, 1200 to 1800, 1800 to 2400 and 2400 to 0600 h). Lucerne hay cubes (CP = 19.1%, water soluble carbohydrate = 3.8%) and oat, ryegrass and clover hay cubes with 20% molasses (CP = 11.8%, water soluble carbohydrate = 10.7%) were offered as the ‘standard’ and ‘preferred’ (preference determined previously) feed types, respectively. The four treatments were (1) standard feed offered ad libitum (AL) throughout 24 h; (2) as per AL, with preferred feed replacing standard feed between 2400 and 0600 h (AL + P); (3) standard feed offered at a restricted rate, with quantity varying between each feeding period (20:10:30:60%, respectively) as a proportion of the (previously) measured daily ad libitum intake (VA); (4) as per VA, with preferred feed replacing standard feed between 2400 and 0600 h (VA + P). Eight non-lactating dairy cows were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. During each experimental period, treatment cows were fed for 7 days, including 3 days habituation and 4 days data collection. Total daily intake was approximately 8% greater (P < 0.001) for the AL and AL + P treatments (23.1 and 22.9 kg DM/cow) as compared with the VA and VA + P treatments (21.6 and 20.9 kg DM/cow). The AL + P and VA treatments had 21% and 90% greater (P < 0.001) dry matter intake (DMI) between 2400 and 0600 h, respectively, compared with the AL treatment. In contrast, the VA + P treatment had similar DMI to the VA treatment. Our experiment shows ability to increase cow feeding activity at night by varying feed type and quantity, though it is possible that a penalty to total DMI may occur using VA. Further research is required to determine if the implementation of variable feed allocation on pasture-based AMS farms is likely to improve milking robot utilisation by increasing cow feeding activity at night.
Overweight and obesity may increase risk of disease progression in men with prostate cancer, but there have been few studies of weight loss interventions in this patient group. In this study overweight or obese men treated for prostate cancer were randomised to a self-help diet and activity intervention with telephone-based dietitian support or a wait-list mini-intervention group. The intervention group had an initial group meeting, a supporting letter from their urological consultant, three telephone dietitian consultations at 4-week intervals, a pedometer and access to web-based diet and physical activity resources. At 12 weeks, men in both groups were given digital scales for providing follow-up weight measurements, and the wait-list group received a mini-intervention of the supporting letter, a pedometer and access to the web-based resources. Sixty-two men were randomised; fifty-four completed baseline and 12-week measurements, and fifty-one and twenty-seven provided measurements at 6 and 12 months, respectively. In a repeated-measures model, mean difference in weight change between groups (wait-list mini-intervention minus intervention) at 12 weeks was −2·13 (95 % CI −3·44, −0·82) kg (P = 0·002). At 12 months the corresponding value was −2·43 (95 % CI −4·50, −0·37) kg (P = 0·022). Mean difference in global quality of life score change between groups at 12 weeks was 12·3 (95 % CI 4·93, 19·7) (P = 0·002); at 12 months there were no significant differences between groups. Results suggest the potential of self-help diet and physical activity intervention with trained support for modest but sustained weight loss in this patient group.
Observation of the ion source generated background has been an area of focus during our routine analytical work. It is noted that the results of very-low-ratio samples are dependent upon the particular procedures for measurement using the present-day Cs+ sputter ion sources. When measured without excessive Cs+ fluxes and without interleafing with other higher-ratio samples and references, the accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) sensitivity can be somewhat improved. In some cases, it appears possible to assess old radiocarbon (14C) samples to beyond the long-standing 60 kyr limit. A number of observational studies are made for the sole purpose of minimizing the final contamination to the rare isotopes that is generated within the ion source.
The cognitive process of worry, which keeps negative thoughts in mind and elaborates the content, contributes to the occurrence of many mental health disorders. Our principal aim was to develop a straightforward measure of general problematic worry suitable for research and clinical treatment. Our secondary aim was to develop a measure of problematic worry specifically concerning paranoid fears.
An item pool concerning worry in the past month was evaluated in 250 non-clinical individuals and 50 patients with psychosis in a worry treatment trial. Exploratory factor analysis and item response theory (IRT) informed the selection of scale items. IRT analyses were repeated with the scales administered to 273 non-clinical individuals, 79 patients with psychosis and 93 patients with social anxiety disorder. Other clinical measures were administered to assess concurrent validity. Test-retest reliability was assessed with 75 participants. Sensitivity to change was assessed with 43 patients with psychosis.
A 10-item general worry scale (Dunn Worry Questionnaire; DWQ) and a five-item paranoia worry scale (Paranoia Worries Questionnaire; PWQ) were developed. All items were highly discriminative (DWQ a = 1.98–5.03; PWQ a = 4.10–10.7), indicating small increases in latent worry lead to a high probability of item endorsement. The DWQ was highly informative across a wide range of the worry distribution, whilst the PWQ had greatest precision at clinical levels of paranoia worry. The scales demonstrated excellent internal reliability, test-retest reliability, concurrent validity and sensitivity to change.
The new measures of general problematic worry and worry about paranoid fears have excellent psychometric properties.
Despite established clinical associations among major depression (MD), alcohol dependence (AD), and alcohol consumption (AC), the nature of the causal relationship between them is not completely understood. We leveraged genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) and UK Biobank to test for the presence of shared genetic mechanisms and causal relationships among MD, AD, and AC.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression and Mendelian randomization (MR) were performed using genome-wide data from the PGC (MD: 135 458 cases and 344 901 controls; AD: 10 206 cases and 28 480 controls) and UK Biobank (AC-frequency: 438 308 individuals; AC-quantity: 307 098 individuals).
Positive genetic correlation was observed between MD and AD (rgMD−AD = + 0.47, P = 6.6 × 10−10). AC-quantity showed positive genetic correlation with both AD (rgAD−AC quantity = + 0.75, P = 1.8 × 10−14) and MD (rgMD−AC quantity = + 0.14, P = 2.9 × 10−7), while there was negative correlation of AC-frequency with MD (rgMD−AC frequency = −0.17, P = 1.5 × 10−10) and a non-significant result with AD. MR analyses confirmed the presence of pleiotropy among these four traits. However, the MD-AD results reflect a mediated-pleiotropy mechanism (i.e. causal relationship) with an effect of MD on AD (beta = 0.28, P = 1.29 × 10−6). There was no evidence for reverse causation.
This study supports a causal role for genetic liability of MD on AD based on genetic datasets including thousands of individuals. Understanding mechanisms underlying MD-AD comorbidity addresses important public health concerns and has the potential to facilitate prevention and intervention efforts.