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The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
It has been reported that foetal death follows a seasonal pattern. Influenza virus infection has been postulated as one possible contributor to this seasonal variation. This ecological study explored the temporal association between the influenza activity and the frequency of foetal death. Time series analysis was conducted using weekly influenza-like illness consultation proportions from the Danish sentinel surveillance system and weekly proportions of spontaneous abortions and stillbirths from hospital registers from 1994 to 2009. The association was examined in an autoregressive (AR) integrated (I) moving average (MA) model and subsequently analysed with cross-correlation functions. Our findings confirmed the well-known seasonality in influenza, but also seasonality in spontaneous abortion. No clear pattern of seasonality was found for stillbirths, although the analysis exposed dependency between observations. One final AR integrated MA model was identified for the influenza-like illness (ILI) series. We found no statistically significant relationship between weekly influenza-like illness consultation proportions and weekly spontaneous abortion proportions (five lags: P = 0.52; 11 lags: P = 0.91) or weekly stillbirths (five lags: P = 0.93; 11 lags: P = 0.40). Exposure to circulating influenza during pregnancy was not associated with rates of spontaneous abortions or stillbirths. Seasonal variations in spontaneous abortion were confirmed and this phenomenon needs further investigation.
Piglet mortality in outdoor production systems varies across the year, and a reason for this variation could be fluctuations in hut climate, as ambient temperature might influence piglet survival, both directly and indirectly. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to investigate the impact of farrowing hut climate and year variation on stillbirth and liveborn mortality. A large-scale observational study was conducted at five commercial organic pig-producing herds in Denmark from June 2015 to August 2016. Both year variation (F3,635=4.40, P=0.004) and farrowing hut temperature (F2,511=6.46, P=0.002) affected the rate of stillbirths. The risk of stillborn piglets was lowest in winter and during this season larger changes in hut temperature between day 1 prepartum and the day of farrowing increased the risk of stillbirths (F1,99=6.39, P=0.013). In addition, during the warm part of the year stillbirth rate increased at temperatures ⩾27°C. Year variation also affected liveborn mortality (F3,561=3.86, P=0.009) with a lower rate of liveborn deaths in spring. However, the hut climate did not influence liveborn deaths. Consequently, other factors than hut climate may explain the influence of year variation on liveborn mortality. These could be light differences causing seasonality in reproduction and lactation.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) are essential amino acids that are necessary for muscle mass maintenance. Little is known about the plasma concentrations of BCAA and the protein intake in relation to sarcopenia. We aimed to compare the non-fasting plasma concentrations of the BCAA and the dietary protein intake between sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic older adults. Norwegian older home-dwelling adults (≥70 years) were invited to a cross-sectional study with no other exclusion criteria than age. Sarcopenic subjects were defined by the diagnostic criteria by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People. Non-fasting plasma concentrations of eight amino acids were quantified using NMR spectroscopy. Protein intake was assessed using 2×24-h dietary recalls. In this study, ninety out of 417 subjects (22 %) were sarcopenic, and more women (32 %) than men (11 %) were sarcopenic (P<0·0001). Sex-adjusted non-fasting plasma concentrations of leucine and isoleucine, and the absolute intake of protein (g/d), were significantly lower among the sarcopenic subjects, when compared with non-sarcopenic subjects (P=0·003, P=0·026 and P=0·003, respectively). A similar protein intake was observed in the two groups when adjusted for body weight (BW) and sex (1·1 g protein/kg BW per d; P=0·50). We show that sarcopenia is associated with reduced non-fasting plasma concentration of the BCAA leucine and isoleucine, and lower absolute intake of protein. More studies are needed to clarify the clinical relevance of these findings, related to maintenance of muscle mass and prevention of sarcopenia.
Early nutrition and growth have been found to be important early exposures for later development. Studies of crude growth in terms of weight and length/height, however, cannot elucidate how body composition (BC) might mediate associations between nutrition and later development. In this study, we aimed to examine the relation between fat mass (FM) or fat-free mass (FFM) tissues at birth and their accretion during early infancy, and later developmental progression. In a birth cohort from Ethiopia, 455 children who have BC measurement at birth and 416 who have standardised rate of BC growth during infancy were followed up for outcome variable, and were included in the statistical analysis. The study sample was restricted to mothers living in Jimma town who gave birth to a term baby with a birth weight ≥1500 g and no evident congenital anomalies. The relationship between the exposure and outcome variables was examined using linear-mixed regression model. The finding revealed that FFM at birth was positively associated with global developmental progression from 1 to 5 years (β=1·75; 95 % CI 0·11, 3·39) and from 4 to 5 years (β=1·34; 95 % CI 0·23, 2·44) in the adjusted model. Furthermore, the rate of postnatal FFM tissue accretion was positively associated with development at 1 year of age (β=0·50; 95 % CI 0·01, 0·99). Neither fetal nor postnatal FM showed a significant association. In conclusion, fetal, rather than postnatal, FFM tissue accretion was associated with developmental progression. Intervention studies are needed to assess whether nutrition interventions increasing FFM also increase cognitive development.
Assessing the relationship between antimicrobial usage (AMU) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) requires the accurate and precise utilisation of register data. Therefore, validation of register-based data is essential for evaluating the quality and, subsequently, the internal validity of studies based on the data.
In this study, different smoothing methods for Veterinary Medicine Statistic Program database (VetStat)-records were validated by comparing these with farm-records. Comparison between measurements included accuracy as; completeness and correctness, and precision as; a relative difference of the error, correlation with Fisher's z transformation and reliability coefficient. The most valid methods of those examined were then used in re-analyses of the abundance of AMR genes in 10 finisher batches from a previous study.
Improved accuracy was found when detailed smoothing methods were applied. Although the precision also increased, the effect was not as pronounced, as the usage estimate of all smoothing methods deviated moderately compared with the farm-registrations. Applying the most valid methods to the 10 finisher batches increased estimates of statistical model fit for aminoglycosides, lincosamides, tetracyclines and decreased estimates of statistical model fit for macrolides. The estimates of statistical model fit for sulfonamides and broad-spectrum penicillins remained the same.
Through refined data transformation, VetStat-records can be used to calculate a daily amount of AMU per pig reflecting the true usage accurately and moderately precisely, which is the foundation for calculating lifetime AMU.
Studies of the association between pre-deployment cognitive ability and post-deployment post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have shown mixed results.
To study the inflence of pre-deployment cognitive ability on PTSD symptoms 6–8 months post-deployment in a large population while controlling for pre-deployment education and deployment-related variables.
Study linking prospective pre-deployment conscription board data with post-deployment self-reported data in 9695 Danish Army personnel deployed to different war zones in 1997–2013. The association between pre-deployment cognitive ability and post-deployment PTSD was investigated using repeated-measure logistic regression models. Two models with cognitive ability score as the main exposure variable were created (model 1 and model 2). Model 1 was only adjusted for pre-deployment variables, while model 2 was adjusted for both pre-deployment and deployment-related variables.
When including only variables recorded pre-deployment (cognitive ability score and educational level) and gender (model 1), all variables predicted post-deployment PTSD. When deployment-related variables were added (model 2), this was no longer the case for cognitive ability score. However, when educational level was removed from the model adjusted for deployment-related variables, the association between cognitive ability and post-deployment PTSD became significant.
Pre-deployment lower cognitive ability did not predict post-deployment PTSD independently of educational level after adjustment for deployment-related variables.
Anthropogenic disturbance often results in the proliferation of native species of particular groups that leads to biotic homogenization. Leaf-cutting ants are an example of such winner organisms in tropical rain forests, but their response to disturbance in dry forests is poorly known. We investigated Atta colony density in areas of tropical dry forest in Brazil with different distance to roads and vegetation cover. Atta colonies were surveyed in 59 belt transects of 300 × 20 m, covering a total area of 35.4 ha. We found 224 Atta colonies, 131 of which were active and belonged to Atta opaciceps (87 colonies, 2.45 ha−1), A. sexdens (35 colonies, 0.98 ha−1) and A. laevigata (9 colonies, 0.25 ha−1). The density of active colonies sharply decreased from 15 ± 2.92 ha−1 in the 50-m zone along roads to only 2.55 ± 1.65 ha−1 at distances up to 300 m. The reverse pattern was observed for inactive colonies. Active Atta colonies preferentially occur in areas with low vegetation cover, while inactive colonies prefer areas with high vegetation cover. We demonstrate for the first time that anthropogenic disturbances promote the proliferation of leaf-cutting ants in dry forest in Brazil, which may affect plant regeneration via herbivory and ecosystem engineering as demonstrated for rain forests.
We revisit the input–output mass budget of the high-elevation region of the Greenland ice sheet evaluated by the Program for Arctic Regional Climate Assessment (PARCA). Our revised reference period (1961–90) mass balance of 54±48 Gt a–1 is substantially greater than the 0±21 Gt a–1 assessed by PARCA, but consistent with a recent, fully independent, input–output estimate of high-elevation mass balance (41±61 Gt a–1). Together these estimates infer a reference period high-elevation specific mass balance of 4.8±5.4 cm w.e. a–1. The probability density function (PDF) associated with this combined input–output estimate infers an 81% likelihood of high-elevation specific mass balance being positive (>0 cm w.e. a–1) during the reference period, and a 70% likelihood that specific balance was >2 cm w.e. a–1. Given that reference period accumulation is characteristic of centurial and millennial means, and that in situ mass-balance observations exhibit a dependence on surface slope rather than surface mass balance, we suggest that millennial-scale ice dynamics are the primary driver of subtle reference period high-elevation mass gain. Failure to acknowledge subtle reference period dynamic mass gain can result in underestimating recent dynamic mass loss by ~17%, and recent total Greenland mass loss by ~7%.
Infectious diarrhoea is a worldwide problem in newborns. Optimal bacterial colonisation may enhance gut maturation and protect against pathogenic bacteria after birth. We hypothesised that lactic acid bacteria (LAB) administration prevents pathogen-induced diarrhoea in formula-fed newborns. Newborn caesarean-delivered, colostrum-deprived term piglets on parenteral nutrition for the first 15 h, were used as models for sensitive newborn infants. A commercially available probiotic strain, Lactobacillus paracasei F19 (LAP, 2·6×108 colony-forming units (CFU)/kg per d) and a novel LAB isolate, Pediococcus pentosaceus (PEP, 1·3×1010 CFU/kg per d), were administered for 5 d with or without inoculation of the porcine pathogen, Escherichia coli F18 (F18, 1010 CFU/d). This resulted in six treatment groups: Controls (n 9), LAP (n 10), PEP (n 10), F18 (n 10), F18–LAP (n 10) and F18–PEP (n 10). The pathogen challenge increased diarrhoea and density of F18 in the intestinal mucosa (P<0·05). LAB supplementation further increased the diarrhoea score, relative to F18 alone (P<0·01). Intestinal structure and permeability were similar among groups, whereas brush border enzymes were affected in variable intestinal regions with decreased activities in most cases after F18 and LAB inoculation. Bacterial density in colon mucosa increased after F18 inoculation (P<0·05) but was unaffected by LAB supplementation. In colon contents, acetic and butyric acids were increased by PEP (P<0·05). The LAB used in this study failed to reduce E. coli-induced diarrhoea in sensitive newborn pigs. In vulnerable newborns there may be a delicate balance among bacterial composition and load, diet and the host. Caution may be required when administering LAB to compromised newborns suffering from enteric infections.
Physically based projections of the Greenland ice sheet contribution to future sea-level change are subject to uncertainties of the atmospheric and oceanic climatic forcing and to the formulations within the ice flow model itself. Here a higher-order, three-dimensional thermomechanical ice flow model is used, initialized to the present-day geometry. The forcing comes from a high-resolution regional climate model and from a flowline model applied to four individual marine-terminated glaciers, and results are subsequently extended to the entire ice sheet. The experiments span the next 200 years and consider climate scenario SRES A1B. The surface mass-balance (SMB) scheme is taken either from a regional climate model or from a positive-degree-day (PDD) model using temperature and precipitation anomalies from the underlying climate models. Our model results show that outlet glacier dynamics only account for 6–18% of the sea-level contribution after 200 years, confirming earlier findings that stress the dominant effect of SMB changes. Furthermore, interaction between SMB and ice discharge limits the importance of outlet glacier dynamics with increasing atmospheric forcing. Forcing from the regional climate model produces a 14–31 % higher sea-level contribution compared to a PDD model run with the same parameters as for IPCC AR4.
The surveillance of Clostridium difficile (CD) in Denmark consists of laboratory based data from Departments of Clinical Microbiology (DCMs) sent to the National Registry of Enteric Pathogens (NREP). We validated a new surveillance system for CD based on the Danish Microbiology Database (MiBa). MiBa automatically collects microbiological test results from all Danish DCMs. We built an algorithm to identify positive test results for CD recorded in MiBa. A CD case was defined as a person with a positive culture for CD or PCR detection of toxin A and/or B and/or binary toxin. We compared CD cases identified through the MiBa-based surveillance with those reported to NREP and locally in five DCMs representing different Danish regions. During 2010–2014, NREP reported 13 896 CD cases, and the MiBa-based surveillance 21 252 CD cases. There was a 99·9% concordance between the local datasets and the MiBa-based surveillance. Surveillance based on MiBa was superior to the current surveillance system, and the findings show that the number of CD cases in Denmark hitherto has been under-reported. There were only minor differences between local data and the MiBa-based surveillance, showing the completeness and validity of CD data in MiBa. This nationwide electronic system can greatly strengthen surveillance and research in various applications.
The objectives were to present three approaches for calculating antimicrobial (AM) use in pigs that take into account the rearing period and rearing site, and to study the association between these measurements and phenotypical resistance and abundance of resistance genes in faeces samples from 10 finisher batches. The AM use was calculated relative to the rearing period of the batches as (i) ‘Finisher Unit Exposure’ at unit level, (ii) ‘Lifetime Exposure’ at batch level and (iii) ‘Herd Exposure’ at herd level. A significant effect on the occurrence of tetracycline resistance measured by cultivation was identified for Lifetime Exposure for the AM class: tetracycline. Furthermore, for Lifetime Exposure for the AM classes: macrolide, broad-spectrum penicillin, sulfonamide and tetracycline use as well as Herd Unit Exposure for the AM classes: aminoglycoside, lincosamide and tetracycline use, a significant effect was observed on the occurrence of genes coding for the AM resistance classes: aminoglycoside, lincosamide, macrolide, β-lactam, sulfonamide and tetracycline. No effect was observed for Finisher Unit Exposure. Overall, the study shows that Lifetime Exposure is an efficient measurement of AM use in finisher batches, and has a significant effect on the occurrence of resistance, measured either by cultivation or metagenomics.
We propose a new two-phase method for reconstruction of blurred images corrupted by impulse noise. In the first phase, we use a noise detector to identify the pixels that are contaminated by noise, and then, in the second phase, we reconstruct the noisy pixels by solving an equality constrained total variation minimization problem that preserves the exact values of the noise-free pixels. For images that are only corrupted by impulse noise (i.e., not blurred) we apply the semismooth Newton's method to a reduced problem, and if the images are also blurred, we solve the equality constrained reconstruction problem using a first-order primal-dual algorithm. The proposed model improves the computational efficiency (in the denoising case) and has the advantage of being regularization parameter-free. Our numerical results suggest that the method is competitive in terms of its restoration capabilities with respect to the other two-phase methods.
DHA from diet or endogenous synthesis has been proposed to affect infant development, however, results are inconclusive. In this study, we aim to verify previously observed fatty acid desaturase gene cluster (FADS) SNP-specific associations with erythrocyte DHA status in 9-month-old children and sex-specific association with developmental outcomes. The study was performed in 166 children (55 % boys) of obese mothers. Erythrocyte fatty acid composition was analysed in blood-samples obtained at 9 months of age, and developmental outcomes assessed by the Ages and Stages Questionnaire at 3 years. Erythrocyte DHA level ranged from 4·4 to 9·9 % of fatty acids, but did not show any association with FADS SNP or other potential determinants. Regression analysis showed associations between erythrocyte DHA and scores for personal–social skills (β 1·8 (95 % CI 0·3, 3·3), P=0·019) and problem solving (β 3·4 (95 % CI 1·2, 5·6), P=0·003). A tendency was observed for an association in opposite direction between minor alleles (G-variant) of rs1535 and rs174575 and personal–social skills (P=0·062 and 0·068, respectively), which became significant when the SNP were combined based on their previously observed effect on erythrocyte DHA at 9 months of age (β 2·6 (95 % CI 0·01, 5·1), P=0·011). Sex–SNP interaction was indicated for rs174575 genotype on fine motor scores (P=0·016), due to higher scores among minor allele carrying girls (P=0·043), whereas no effect was seen among boys. In conclusion, DHA-increasing FADS SNP and erythrocyte DHA status were consistently associated with improved personal–social skills in this small cohort of children of obese mothers irrespective of sex, but the sample was too small to verify potential sex-specific effects.
Glacier surface mass-balance measurements on Greenland started more than a century ago, but no compilation exists of the observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. Such data could be used in the evaluation of modelled surface mass balance, or to document changes in glacier melt independently from model output. Here, we present a comprehensive database of Greenland glacier surface mass-balance observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. The database spans the 123 a from 1892 to 2015, contains a total of ~3000 measurements from 46 sites, and is openly accessible through the PROMICE web portal (http://www.promice.dk). For each measurement we provide X, Y and Z coordinates, starting and ending dates as well as quality flags. We give sources for each entry and for all metadata. Two thirds of the data were collected from grey literature and unpublished archive documents. Roughly 60% of the measurements were performed by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS, previously GGU). The data cover all regions of Greenland except for the southernmost part of the east coast, but also emphasize the importance of long-term time series of which there are only two exceeding 20 a. We use the data to analyse uncertainties in point measurements of surface mass balance, as well as to estimate surface mass-balance profiles for most regions of Greenland.
Several new AMS 14C dates on shells from the Fossvogur sea sediments in southern Iceland are reported. Up till now, researchers have assumed that the Fossvogur sediments formed during the last interglacial period (Eem), some 100,000 years ago. However, a recent 14C determination from this location yielded an age of ca 11,000 yr. Because of the importance of these sediments for the Quaternary chronology of Iceland, further sampling for 14C dating was subsequently initiated. The present results on several shell samples collected from the Fossvogur layers strongly indicate that these sediments were formed during the warm Allerød period toward the end of the last glaciation.
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate whether under-reporting of energy intake affects derived dietary patterns and the association between dietary patterns and self-reported chronic disease. Diets of 6204 women aged 50–69 years participating in the Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening Program were assessed using a 253-item FFQ. We identified dietary patterns using principal component analysis. According to the revised Goldberg cut-off method, women with a ratio of reported energy intake:estimated BMR<1·10 were classified as low energy reporters (n 1133, 18 %). We examined the associations between dietary patterns and self-reported chronic diseases by log-binomial regression, and the results are presented as prevalence ratios (PR) and CI. ‘Prudent’, ‘Western’ and ‘Continental’ dietary patterns were identified among all reporters and plausible reporters. The PR expressing the associations between the ‘Western’ and ‘Prudent’ dietary pattern scores and self-reported chronic diseases were consistently highest among plausible reporters except for joint/muscle/skeletal disorders. The largest difference in PR among plausible v. all reporters was found for the association between the ‘Prudent’ pattern and diabetes (PR for highest v. lowest tertile: PRall reporters 2·16; 95 % CI 1·50, 3·13; Ptrend<0·001; PRplausible reporters 2·86; 95 % CI 1·81, 4·51; Ptrend<0·001). In conclusion, our results suggest that under-reporting can result in systematic error that can affect the association between dietary pattern and disease. In studies of dietary patterns, investigators ought to consider reporting effect estimates both for all individuals and for plausible reporters.
We summarize the current status of our latest generation of model atmospheres for pulsating asymptotic giant branch stars, discussing effects of non-grey radiative transfer, dust grain properties and drift between gas and dust on the atmospheric structures and wind characteristics. In addition, we give an overview of the resulting synthetic spectra and how they compare with observations.