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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A preliminary analysis of a sample of more than hundred stars, used as radial-velocity standards and followed with the CORAVEL spectrographs over 1 to 2 decades, is presented. Stars with intrinsic variability or orbital motions are pointed out.
In women, the risk for non-communicable diseases increases after menopause. We aimed to identify major dietary patterns and study their associations with nutrient intake, sociodemographic factors and risk factors for non-communicable diseases among women aged 50–69 years.
A cross-sectional study. Food intake was recorded by a 253-item FFQ. Dietary patterns were identified using principal component analysis. The associations between the dietary patterns and nutrients were described by Pearson’s correlation coefficients and multiple regression analysis was used to examine the associations between the dietary patterns and age, education, BMI, physical activity and smoking.
The Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening Programme.
Women (n 6298) aged 50–69 years.
Three dietary patterns were identified: ‘Prudent’, ‘Western’ and ‘Continental’. Adherence to the ‘Prudent’ pattern was related to older age, higher education, higher BMI, more physical activity (Ptrend<0·001) and being a non-smoker (P<0·001). Adherence to the ‘Western’ pattern was related to older age, lower education, higher BMI, less physical activity (0·001≤Ptrend≤0·006) and lower alcohol intake (r =−0·28). Adherence to the ‘Continental’ pattern was related to younger age, higher education, higher BMI, less physical activity, (Ptrend<0·001), being a smoker (P<0·001) and higher alcohol intake (r=0·36).
Three distinct dietary patterns were identified. High adherence to a ‘Prudent’ pattern was associated with a healthy lifestyle, while high adherence to a ‘Western’ or ‘Continental’ pattern was associated with an unhealthy lifestyle. These findings are valuable knowledge for health authorities when forming strategies to promote a healthier lifestyle among women.
Several studies have investigated the effects of fish oil (FO) on infant growth, but little is known about the effects of FO and sex on insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), the main regulator of growth in childhood. We explored whether FO v. sunflower oil (SO) supplementation from 9 to 18 months of age affected IGF-1 and its binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) and whether the potential effects were sex specific. Danish infants (n 115) were randomly allocated to 5 ml/d FO (1·2 g/d n-3 long-chain PUFA (n-3 LCPUFA)) or SO. We measured growth, IGF-1, IGFBP-3 and erythrocyte EPA, a biomarker of n-3 LCPUFA intake and status, at 9 and 18 months. Erythrocyte EPA increased strongly with FO compared with SO (P<0·001). There were no effects of FO compared with SO on IGF-1 in the total population, but a sex×group interaction (P=0·02). Baseline-adjusted IGF-1 at 18 months was 11·1 µg/l (95 % CI 0·4, 21·8; P=0·04) higher after FO compared with SO supplementation among boys only. The sex×group interaction was borderline significant in the model of IGFBP-3 (P=0·09), with lower IGFBP-3 with FO compared with SO among girls only (P=0·03). The results were supported by sex-specific dose–response associations between changes in erythrocyte EPA and changes in IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 (both P<0·03). Moreover, IGF-1 was sex specifically associated with BMI and length. In conclusion, FO compared with SO resulted in higher IGF-1 among boys and lower IGFBP-3 among girls. The potential long-term implications for growth and body composition should be investigated further.
Cognitive dysfunction is common in major depressive disorder (MDD) and a critical determinant of health outcome. Anhedonia is a criterion item toward the diagnosis of a major depressive episode (MDE) and a well-characterized domain in MDD. We sought to determine the extent to which variability in self-reported cognitive function correlates with anhedonia.
A post hoc analysis was conducted using data from (N=369) participants with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)-defined diagnosis of MDD who were enrolled in the International Mood Disorders Collaborative Project (IMDCP) between January 2008 and July 2013. The IMDCP is a collaborative research platform at the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, and the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Measures of cognitive function, anhedonia, and depression severity were analyzed using linear regression equations.
A total of 369 adults with DSM-IV-TR–defined MDD were included in this analysis. Self-rated cognitive impairment [ie, as measured by the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS)] was significantly correlated with a proxy measure of anhedonia (r=0.131, p=0.012). Moreover, total depression symptom severity, as measured by the total Montgomery–Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) score, was also significantly correlated with self-rated measures of cognitive dysfunction (r=0.147, p=0.005). The association between anhedonia and self-rated cognitive dysfunction remained significant after adjusting for illness severity (r=0.162, p=0.007).
These preliminary results provide empirical data for the testable hypothesis that anhedonia and self-reported cognitive function in MDD are correlated yet dissociable domains. The foregoing observation supports the hypothesis of overlapping yet discrete neurobiological substrates for these domains.
Access to drinking water is essential for animal welfare, but it is unclear if temporary water restriction during the night represents a welfare problem. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of various durations of nightly restriction of water on thirst in loose housed lactating sows from day 10 to 28 of lactation. A total of 48 sows were deprived of water for either 0 h (n=12; control), 3 h (n=12; 0500 to 0800 h), 6 h (n=12; 0200 to 0800 h) or 12 h (n=12; 2000 to 0800 h). Control sows consumed 22% of their water intake during the night (2000 to 0800 h), whereas water consumption during this time was reduced to 13%, 7% and 0% in sows restricted for 3, 6 and 12 h. With increased duration of nightly water restriction a reduced latency to drink (26.8, 18.0, 5.3 and 6.7 min for 0, 3, 6 and 12 h sows; P<0.001) and an increased water intake during the 1st hour after water became accessible (2.1, 3.4, 4.7 and 5.6 l for 0, 3, 6 and 12 h sows; P<0.001) was seen. During the last 30 min before water became accessible more sows deprived of water investigated (0%, 50%, 75%,and 50% of 0, 3, 6 and 12 h sows; P<0.01) or forcefully manipulated (0%, 17%, 50% and 33% of 0, 3, 6 and 12 h sows; P<0.05) the water trough, suggesting frustration and a negative experience of thirst. When all signs of imminent water access were provided, but access was delayed by 25 min, a tendency for more of the sows deprived of water for 6 and 12 h to interact forcefully with the water trough was seen (22%, 18%, 42% and 67% of 0, 3, 6 and 12 h sows; P=0.09). Duration of water restriction did not affect water consumption on a 24-h basis, nursing behaviour or performance. In conclusion, behavioural indicators of thirst increased with increasing duration of nightly water restriction in lactating sows.
A number of studies have examined dietary patterns in various populations. However, to study to what extent such patterns capture meaningful differences in consumption of foods is of interest. In the present study, we identified important dietary patterns in Norwegian postmenopausal women (age 50–69 years, n 361), and evaluated these patterns by examining their associations with plasma carotenoids. Diet was assessed by a 253-item FFQ. These 253 food items were categorised into forty-six food groups, and dietary patterns were identified using principal component analysis. We used the partial correlation coefficient (radj) and multiple linear regression analysis to examine the associations between the dietary patterns and the plasma carotenoids α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein, lycopene and zeaxanthin. Overall, four dietary patterns were identified: the ‘Western’; ‘Vegetarian’; ‘Continental’; ‘High-protein’. The ‘Western’ dietary pattern scores were significantly inversely correlated with plasma lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene and total carotenoids ( − 0·25 ≤ radj≤ − 0·13). The ‘Vegetarian’ dietary pattern scores were significantly positively correlated with all the plasma carotenoids (0·15 ≤ radj≤ 0·24). The ‘Continental’ dietary pattern scores were significantly inversely correlated with plasma lutein and α-carotene (radj= − 0·13). No significant association between the ‘High-protein’ dietary pattern scores and the plasma carotenoids was found. In conclusion, the healthy dietary pattern, the ‘Vegetarian’ pattern, is associated with a more favourable profile of the plasma carotenoids than our unhealthy dietary patterns, the ‘Western’ and ‘Continental’ patterns.
We described levels of habitual physical activity and physical capacity in HIV patients initiating antiretroviral treatment in Ethiopia and assessed the role of HIV and nutritional indicators on these outcomes. Physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) and activity levels were measured with combined heart rate and movement sensors. Physical capacity was assessed by grip strength, sleeping heart rate and heart rate economy. Grip strength data was also available from a sex- and age-matched HIV-negative reference group. Median PAEE was 27·9 (interquartile range 17·4–39·8) kJ/kg per day and mean±s.d. grip strength was 23·6 ± 6·7 kg. Advanced HIV disease predicted reduced levels of both physical activity and capacity; e.g. each unit viral load [log(1+copies/ml)] was associated with –15% PAEE (P < 0·001) and –1·0 kg grip strength (P < 0·001). Grip strength was 4·2 kg lower in patients compared to HIV-negative individuals (P < 0·001). Low body mass index (BMI) predicted poor physical activity and capacity independently of HIV status, e.g. BMI <16 was associated with −42% PAEE (P < 0·001) and −6·8 kg grip strength (P < 0·001) compared to BMI ⩾18·5. The study shows that advanced HIV and malnutrition are associated with considerably lower levels of physical activity and capacity in patients at initiation of antiretroviral treatment.
Maternal infection in pregnancy is a known risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcome, and a number of zoonotic pathogens may constitute a risk to pregnant women and their fetuses. With animal contact as a proxy for the risk of zoonotic infection, this study aimed to evaluate pregnancy outcome in women with self-reported occupational or domestic contact with livestock compared to pregnant women without such contact. The Danish National Birth Cohort collected information on pregnancy outcome from 100 418 pregnant women (1996–2002) from which three study populations with occupational and/or domestic exposure to livestock and a reference group of women with no animal contact was sampled. Outcome measures were miscarriage, very preterm birth (before gestational week 32), preterm birth (before 37 gestational weeks), small for gestational age (SGA), and perinatal death. Adverse reproductive outcomes were assessed in four different exposure groups of women with occupational or domestic exposure to livestock with no association found between exposure to livestock and miscarriage, preterm birth, SGA or perinatal death. These findings should diminish general occupational health concerns for pregnant women with exposures to a range of different farm animals.
We assessed the role of tuberculosis (TB) disease and HIV infection on the level of physical activity. A combined heart rate and movement sensor was used to assess habitual physical activity in TB patients and non-TB controls. The association between sputum-negative TB, sputum-positive TB, HIV and physical activity estimates were assessed in multivariable linear regression models adjusted for age, sex, haemoglobin and alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP). Sputum-positive [eB 0·43, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0·29–0·64] and sputum-negative (eB 0·67, 95% CI 0·47–0·94) TB as well as HIV infection (eB 0·59, 95% CI 0·46–0·75) were associated with reduced activity compared to controls. Anaemia accounted for a substantial part of the effects of HIV, while elevated AGP primarily mediated the TB effect. The level of physical activity is highly influenced by TB and HIV, and mainly mediated through anaemia of infection and associated with elevated acute phase response.
Vitamin A supplementation (VAS) at birth was not associated with improved survival in a randomised, placebo-controlled trial in Guinea-Bissau. However, a negative sex-differential effect, which became evident after diphtheria–tetanus–pertussis (DTP) vaccination, was noted; among girls who had received DTP, VAS at birth was associated with two-fold higher mortality than placebo. The objective of the present study was to investigate the immunological effects of VAS at birth within a subgroup of participants in the randomised trial. Guided by the mortality results, we further explored whether VAS had a differential effect according to sex and DTP status. At 6 weeks after randomisation and supplementation, we measured differential leucocyte counts and TNF-α, interferon-γ, IL-10, IL-13 and IL-5 production in a whole-blood culture assay. A total of 471 children were included. VAS compared with placebo at birth was associated with a higher proportion of monocytes (relative risk ratio 1·26, 95 % CI 1·07, 1·49, P= 0·04), while spontaneous TNF-α production was lower in the VAS group (geometric mean ratio 0·54, 95 % CI, 0·37, 0·78, P= 0·001). Stratified analysis showed that VAS was associated with lower TNF-α and IL-10 production for girls without DTP and boys with DTP, resulting in significant three-way interactions between VAS, sex and DTP vaccination status (P= 0·03 and P= 0·04, respectively) for spontaneous TNF-α and IL-10 production. The results substantiate the potential role of VAS as an immunomodulatory intervention, which has different effects depending on concomitant health interventions and the sex of the recipient.