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Anaemia is a public health problem in Ghana. We sought to identify factors associated with haemoglobin concentration (Hb) and anaemia among school-attending adolescents. We analysed data from 2948 adolescent girls and 609 boys (10–19 years) selected from 115 schools from regions of Ghana as a secondary analysis of baseline surveys conducted at two time-points. We measured Hb, malaria from capillary blood, anthropometry and used a modified food frequency questionnaire to assess diet. Multivariable linear and Poisson regression models were used to identify predictors of Hb and anaemia. The prevalence of anaemia, malaria and geophagy were 24, 25, and 24 %, respectively, among girls and 13, 27 and 6 %, respectively, among boys. Girls engaging in geophagy had a 53 % higher adjusted prevalence of anaemia and 0⋅39 g/dl lower Hb. There were similar results among those who tested positive for malaria (+52 % anaemia; −0⋅42 g/dl Hb). Among girls, lower anaemia prevalence and higher Hb were associated with consumption of foods rich in haeme iron (−22 %; +0⋅18 g/dl), consumption of iron-fortified cereal/beverages consumed with citrus (−50 %; +0⋅37 g/dl) and being overweight (−22 %; +0⋅22 g/dl). Age was positively associated with anaemia among girls, but negatively associated among boys. Boys who tested positive for malaria had 0⋅31 g/dl lower Hb. Boys who were overweight or had obesity and consumed flour products were also more likely to be anaemic (119 and 56 %, respectively). Factors associated with Hb and anaemia may inform anaemia reduction interventions among school-going adolescents and suggest the need to tailor them uniquely for boys and girls.
Diet has a major influence on the composition and metabolic output of the gut microbiome. Higher-protein diets are often recommended for older consumers; however, the effect of high-protein diets on the gut microbiota and faecal volatile organic compounds (VOC) of elderly participants is unknown. The purpose of the study was to establish if the faecal microbiota composition and VOC in older men are different after a diet containing the recommended dietary intake (RDA) of protein compared with a diet containing twice the RDA (2RDA). Healthy males (74⋅2 (sd 3⋅6) years; n 28) were randomised to consume the RDA of protein (0⋅8 g protein/kg body weight per d) or 2RDA, for 10 weeks. Dietary protein was provided via whole foods rather than supplementation or fortification. The diets were matched for dietary fibre from fruit and vegetables. Faecal samples were collected pre- and post-intervention for microbiota profiling by 16S ribosomal RNA amplicon sequencing and VOC analysis by head space/solid-phase microextraction/GC-MS. After correcting for multiple comparisons, no significant differences in the abundance of faecal microbiota or VOC associated with protein fermentation were evident between the RDA and 2RDA diets. Therefore, in the present study, a twofold difference in dietary protein intake did not alter gut microbiota or VOC indicative of altered protein fermentation.
Transportation industries are the centrepoint for some remarkable transformations driven by technology development and innovation. However, we have seen limited advances on methods to address reliability and resilience challenges emerging with increasingly complex systems and environments. This paper presents the outcomes of an European Reliability Research Roadmapping workshop, collating the views of automotive, aerospace and defence industries to identify current reliability challenges and research gaps and to define directions for future research and skills development.
The current study was undertaken to identify the sources of tolerance to bruchid in cowpea, by screening a set of germplasm accessions as a source for natural resistance. A total of 103 diverse accessions of cowpea were evaluated for resistance to Callosobruchus maculatus Fab. under no-choice artificial infestation conditions. Significant differences among the cowpea accessions were observed for oviposition, adult emergence, exit holes and per cent seed weight loss (PSWL) caused by the bruchid infestation. The accessions showed variation in physical seed parameters viz., colour, shape, testa texture, length, width and seed hardness. Among the seed biochemical parameters studied, per cent sugar content ranged from 0.322 (IC330950) to 1.493 (IC249137), and per cent phenol content ranged from 0.0326 (EC390261) to 1.081 (EC528423). Correlation studies indicated that PSWL had significant positive correlation (r = 0.335) with exit holes, oviposition (r = 0.219), adult emergence (r = 0.534) and seed roundness (r = 0.219). Adult emergence had a significant negative correlation with seed hardness (r = −0.332). Correlation with biochemical parameters indicated that PSWL had a significant positive correlation (r = 0.231) with sugar content and a significant negative correlation with phenol content (r = −0.219). None of the accessions were found to be immune to bruchid infestation. However, out of studied accessions, EC528425 and EC528387 were identified as resistant based on PSWL and moderately resistant based on adult emergence. These resistance sources of cowpea germplasm can be used as potential donors for development of bruchid tolerant/resistant cultivars.
A cross sectional study was conducted to examine the nature of insight in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder as well as compare it between the two disorders. Forty patients with schizophrenia and forty patients with bipolar disorder matched on age, age of onset of illness and duration of illness, were recruited consecutively from the outpatient clinic of a psychiatric hospital. The patients had to be clinically stable on follow-up treatment for at least three months. Insight was measured using Schedule for Assessment of Insight- Extended Version (SAI-E) and Scale of Unawareness of Mental Disorders (SUMD). Both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder had modest level of insight as measured on both the instruments. There was no qualitative difference in insight between the two disorders. However, patients with bipolar disorder had significantly better awareness of illness than patients with schizophrenia. This was evident on both the instruments that showed significant concordance on the items of insight for both the disorders.
This paper reviews our experience of potassium titanyl phosphate (KTP) laser in transcanal totally endoscopic cholesteatoma surgery.
A prospective cohort study was conducted in a tertiary referral centre, involving a consecutive series of children with cholesteatoma who underwent totally endoscopic cholesteatoma surgery with a KTP laser.
The patients’ mean age was 10.5 years (range, 1.8–18 years). A KTP laser was used in 70 of the 83 cases (84 per cent). The laser was not used in 13 ‘clean’ cases, in which disease was removed more easily. Residual disease was detected in five cases (6 per cent), of which the KTP laser had been used in four (5 per cent). No complications were associated with KTP laser use.
The combination of KTP laser use with endoscopic visualisation is effective for minimising the risk of residual disease using a minimally invasive surgical approach. The thin, semi-flexible fibre carrier of the KTP laser is ideally suited to work alongside the endoscope within the narrow confines of the ear canal.
To assess the effect of tranexamic acid in head and neck surgical procedures.
A prospective, double-blind and randomised, parallel group, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted. Ninety-two patients undergoing various head and neck surgical procedures were randomised. Subjects received seven infusions of coded drugs (tranexamic acid or normal saline) starting at the time of skin closure. Haematological, biochemical, blood loss and other parameters were observed by the staff, who were blinded to patients’ group allocation (case or control).
Patients were analysed on the basis of type of surgery. Fifty patients who had undergone surgical procedures, including total thyroidectomy, total parotidectomy, and various neck dissections with or without primary tumour excision, were included in the first group. The second group comprised 41 patients who had undergone hemithyroidectomy, lobectomy or superficial parotidectomy. There was no statistical difference in blood parameters between both groups. There was a reduction in post-operative drain volume, but this was not significant.
Although this prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial found a reduction in post-operative drain volume in tranexamic acid groups, the difference was not statistically significant between the various head and neck surgical procedure groups.
Background: Biallelic variants in POLR1C are associated with POLR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3-HLD), or 4H leukodystrophy (Hypomyelination, Hypodontia, Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism), and Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS). The clinical spectrum of POLR3-HLD caused by variants in this gene has not been described. Methods: A cross-sectional observational study involving 25 centers worldwide was conducted between 2016 and 2018. The clinical, radiologic and molecular features of 23 unreported and previously reported cases of POLR3-HLD caused by POLR1C variants were reviewed. Results: Most participants presented between birth and age 6 years with motor difficulties. Neurological deterioration was seen during childhood, suggesting a more severe phenotype than previously described. The dental, ocular and endocrine features often seen in POLR3-HLD were not invariably present. Five patients (22%) had a combination of hypomyelinating leukodystrophy and abnormal craniofacial development, including one individual with clear TCS features. Several cases did not exhibit all the typical radiologic characteristics of POLR3-HLD. A total of 29 different pathogenic variants in POLR1C were identified, including 13 new disease-causing variants. Conclusions: Based on the largest cohort of patients to date, these results suggest novel characteristics of POLR1C-related disorder, with a spectrum of clinical involvement characterized by hypomyelinating leukodystrophy with or without abnormal craniofacial development reminiscent of TCS.
Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is widely used for the treatment of stage-I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patient-specific motion correlated with 4DCT could be essential for hypofractionated SBRT. All patients undergoing SBRT do not require motion management during the dose delivery. The objective of this study was to evaluate which patient may benefit from Gated SBRT.
Materials and methods
Treatment planning of 20 patients of stage-I NSCLC was analysed. Conventional and 4DCT scans were taken. Internal target volume as well as planning target volume (ITV and PTV) were determined in the CT data sets. PTVall phases created using 4DCT data sets and PTV15mm created using conventional CT data were compared. Also, ITVall phases were compared with ITV created from maximum intensity projections (ITVMIP). Suitability of patients for motion management-based treatment delivery was also evaluated.
The average ITVMIP to ITVall phases ratio is 1·06 indicating good agreement between them. Based on the ratio of intensity projections, 9 out of 17 patients were found suitable for our existing gated treatment.
4D CT is the main requirement in SBRT to identify the patients who can benefit from motion management during the dose delivery.
Background: The role of extent of surgical resection (EOR) on clinical outcomes in patients with low-grade glioma requires further examination. Methods: We systematically searched MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library for studies published between January 1, 1990 and January 5, 2018 on predefined patient outcomes regarding different EOR of low-grade glioma. Results: Our literature search yielded 60 studies including 13,289 patients. Pooled estimates of overall survival showed an increase from 3.79 years (95% CI, 2.37–5.22) in the biopsy group to 6.68 years (95% CI, 4.19–9.16) in STR to 10.65 years (95% CI, 6.78–14.52) in GTR. When compared to STR, GTR prolonged progression-free survival by 2.08 years (95% CI, 0.26–3.89; P=0.025). Pooled estimates of seizure control showed an improvement from 47.8% (95% CI, 26.7–69.6) with biopsy to 54.2% (95% CI, 48.7–59.6) with STR to 81.0% (95% CI, 74.6–86.2) with GTR. Compared to STR, GTR delayed malignant transformation (RR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.20–0.93; P=0.032), without increasing postoperative mortality (RR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.07–1.97; P=0.250) or morbidity (RR, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.65–2.28; P=0.540). Conclusions: Among patients with low grade gliomas, higher degrees of safe EOR, were associated with longer overall and progression-free survival, better seizure control, and delayed malignant transformation, without increased mortality or morbidity.
Agriculture in the Central Himalayan Region depends on the availability of suitable germplasm as well as natural conditions. Due to extreme weather conditions, food and nutrition security is a major issue for communities inhabiting these remote and inaccessible areas. Millets are common crops grown in these areas. Foxtail millet (Setaria italica (L.) P. Beauv) is an important crop and forms a considerable part of the diet in this region. The aim of the present study was to explore, collect, conserve and evaluate the untapped genetic diversity of foxtail millet at the molecular level and discover variability in their nutritional traits. A total of 30 accessions having unique traits of agronomic importance were collected and molecular profiling was performed. A total of 63 alleles were generated with an average of 2.52 alleles per locus and average expected heterozygosity of 0.37 ± 0.231. Significant genetic variability was revealed through the genetic differentiation (Fst) and gene flow (Nm) values. Structure-based analysis divided whole germplasm into three sub-groups. Rich variability was found in nutritional traits such as dietary fibre in husked grains, carbohydrate, protein, lysine and thiamine content. The collected germplasm may be useful for developing nutritionally rich and agronomically beneficial varieties of foxtail millet and also designing strategies for utilization of unexploited genetic diversity for food and nutrition security in this and other similar agro-ecological regions.
The merits of solar coronal at metric-wavelength (MW) radio have long been recognised (e.g. Pick and Vilmer, 2008). High-fidelity solar radio imaging at these frequencies has however remained challenging. On the one hand, dealing with the small spectral and temporal scales of variation in solar radio emission requires a data product capable of tracking the emission simultaneously across time, frequency and morphology. The Fourier imaging nature of interferometry, on the other hand, severely limits the instrumental ability to gather sufficient information to do this with the required fidelity and resolution. Benefiting from the enormous advances in technology the new generation of instruments, like the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA; Tingay et al. (2013), Bowman et al. (2013)), represent a quantum leap in our ability to gather data suitable for radio solar physics.
An improved understanding of the solar corona is crucial for making progress on long-standing problems like coronal heating and the origin of the solar wind. Metrewave radio emissions arise in the coronal regions and form a unique diagnostic probe of this, otherwise hard to study region. The background radio emission at these wavelengths comes from the slowly varying thermal free-free emission and on it are superposed a variety of nonthermal emissions arising from a range of plasma emission processes. The latter are coherent in nature and hence lead to a much larger observational contrast, as compared to that in EUV or X-ray, for emissions involving similar energetics. One of the prevalent hypotheses for explaining coronal heating is based on the presence of an energetically weak population of ‘nanoflares’ (Parker 1988). A necessary requirement for nanoflares based coronal heating to be effective is that their occurrence rate slopes must be <-2 (Hudson 1991). There is hence a lot of interest in studies of weak nonthermal emissions. Existing studies in EUV and X-ray bands have detected ‘microflares’ with slopes >-2 (e.g. Hannah et al. 2011). Some of the weak meterwave emissions detected are, however, believed to correspond to energies in the ‘picoflare’ range (Ramesh et al. 2013). It is hence, very interesting to study weak nonthermal emissions at metric wavelengths.
Mental health and wellbeing, including addressing impacts of historical trauma and substance use among young people, has been identified as a key priority by Indigenous communities and leaders across Canada and globally. Yet, research to understand mental health among young Indigenous people who have used drugs is limited.
To examine longitudinal risk and strengths-based factors associated with psychological distress among young Indigenous people who use drugs.
The Cedar Project is an ongoing cohort study involving young Indigenous people who use drugs in Vancouver, Prince George, and Chase, British Columbia, Canada. This study included participants who completed the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, returned for follow-up between 2010 and 2012, and completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Adjusted linear mixed-effects models estimated effects of study variables on changes in area T-scores of psychological distress.
Of 202 eligible participants, 53% were women and the mean age was 28 years. Among men, childhood maltreatment (emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, physical neglect), any drug use, blackouts from drinking, and sex work were associated with increased distress. Among women, childhood maltreatment (emotional abuse, physical abuse, physical neglect), blackouts from drinking, and sexual assault were associated with increased distress, while having attempted to quit using drugs was associated with reduced distress. Marginal associations were observed between speaking their traditional language and living by traditional culture with lower distress among men.
Culturally safe mental wellness interventions are urgently needed to address childhood trauma and harmful coping strategies that exacerbate distress among young Indigenous people who use drugs.
To determine whether antimicrobial-impregnated textiles decrease the acquisition of pathogens by healthcare provider (HCP) clothing.
We completed a 3-arm randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of 2 types of antimicrobial-impregnated clothing compared to standard HCP clothing. Cultures were obtained from each nurse participant, the healthcare environment, and patients during each shift. The primary outcome was the change in total contamination on nurse scrubs, measured as the sum of colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria.
PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING
Nurses working in medical and surgical ICUs in a 936-bed tertiary-care hospital.
Nurse subjects wore standard cotton-polyester surgical scrubs (control), scrubs that contained a complex element compound with a silver-alloy embedded in its fibers (Scrub 1), or scrubs impregnated with an organosilane-based quaternary ammonium and a hydrophobic fluoroacrylate copolymer emulsion (Scrub 2). Nurse participants were blinded to scrub type and randomly participated in all 3 arms during 3 consecutive 12-hour shifts in the intensive care unit.
In total, 40 nurses were enrolled and completed 3 shifts. Analyses of 2,919 cultures from the environment and 2,185 from HCP clothing showed that scrub type was not associated with a change in HCP clothing contamination (P=.70). Mean difference estimates were 0.118 for the Scrub 1 arm (95% confidence interval [CI], −0.206 to 0.441; P=.48) and 0.009 for the Scrub 2 rm (95% CI, −0.323 to 0.342; P=.96) compared to the control. HCP became newly contaminated with important pathogens during 19 of the 120 shifts (16%).
Antimicrobial-impregnated scrubs were not effective at reducing HCP contamination. However, the environment is an important source of HCP clothing contamination.
To describe our experience and provide guidelines for maximum safe balloon sizes according to age in children undergoing balloon dilatation.
A retrospective review was conducted of children undergoing balloon dilatation for subglottic stenosis in a paediatric tertiary unit between May 2006 and February 2016.
A total of 166 patients underwent balloon dilatation. Mean ( ± standard deviation) patient age was 4.5 ± 3.99 years. The median balloon size was 8 mm, the median balloon inflation pressure was 10 atm, and the mean balloon inflation time was 65.1 ± 18.6 seconds. No significant unexpected events occurred. The Pearson correlation co-efficient for the relationship between patient age and balloon size was 0.85 (p = 0.001), suggesting a strongly positive correlation.
This study demonstrated that balloon dilatation is a safe procedure for airway stenosis. The results suggest using a balloon diameter that is equal to the outer diameter of the age-appropriate endotracheal tube +1 mm for the larynx and subglottis and +2 mm for the trachea.
In low- and middle-income countries, mental health training often includes sending few generalist clinicians to specialist-led programs for several weeks. Our objective is to develop and test a video-assisted training model addressing the shortcomings of traditional programs that affect scalability: failing to train all clinicians, disrupting clinical services, and depending on specialists.
We implemented the program -video lectures and on-site skills training- for all clinicians at a rural Nepali hospital. We used Wilcoxon signed-rank tests to evaluate pre- and post-test change in knowledge (diagnostic criteria, differential diagnosis, and appropriate treatment). We used a series of ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ questions to assess attitudes about mental illness, and utilized exact McNemar's test to analyze the proportions of participants who held a specific belief before and after the training. We assessed acceptability and feasibility through key informant interviews and structured feedback.
For each topic except depression, there was a statistically significant increase (Δ) in median scores on knowledge questionnaires: Acute Stress Reaction (Δ = 20, p = 0.03), Depression (Δ = 11, p = 0.12), Grief (Δ = 40, p < 0.01), Psychosis (Δ = 22, p = 0.01), and post-traumatic stress disorder (Δ = 20, p = 0.01). The training received high ratings; key informants shared examples and views about the training's positive impact and complementary nature of the program's components.
Video lectures and on-site skills training can address the limitations of a conventional training model while being acceptable, feasible, and impactful toward improving knowledge and attitudes of the participants.
The State of Qatar experienced a sandstorm on the night of April 1, 2015, lasting approximately 12 hours, with winds of more than 100 km/h and average particulate matter of approximately 10 μm in diameter. The emergency department (ED) of the main tertiary hospital in Qatar managed 62% of the total emergency calls and those of higher triage order. The peak load of patients during the event manifested approximately 6 hours after the onset. The Major Emergency Command Centre of the hospital ensured the department was maximally organized in terms of disaster management, and established protocols were brought into action. Multiple timely meetings were convened in efforts to effectively execute plans that included rapid emergency medical services handover time, resourcing staff, maximizing bed space, preventing dust entry in the ED, bypassing certain administrative processes, canceling day-surgeries that did not affect inpatient morbidity, and procuring additional respiratory equipment. Patients arrived mainly with exacerbations of asthma and respiratory distress, ophthalmic emergencies, and vehicular trauma; surprisingly, the incidence of pedestrian injuries did not vary. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:227–238)
This study aimed to assess the utility of onlay pectoralis major myofascial flap in preventing pharyngocutaneous fistula following salvage total laryngectomy.
A retrospective analysis was performed of 172 patients who underwent salvage laryngectomy for recurrent carcinoma of the larynx or hypopharynx between 1999 and 2014. One hundred and ten patients underwent primary closure and 62 patients had pectoralis major myofascial flap onlay.
The overall pharyngocutaneous fistula rate was 43 per cent, and was similar in both groups (primary closure group, 43.6 per cent; onlay flap group, 41.9 per cent; p = 0.8). Fistulae in the onlay flap group healed faster: the median and mean fistula duration were 37 and 55 days, respectively, in the primary closure group and 20 and 25 days, respectively, in the onlay flap group (p = 0.008).
Use of an onlay pectoralis major myofascial flap did not decrease the pharyngocutaneous fistula rate, although fistula duration was shortened. A well-designed randomised-controlled trial is needed to establish parameters for its routine use in clinical practice.
The binary X-ray source GX 1 + 4 was observed during a balloon flight in 1986, November. The source was in a relatively high intensity state. Time analysis of the data shows that the pulsation period was 111.8 ± 1.0 s indicating that one or more episodes of spin-down occurred between 1980 and 1986. Folded pulse profiles are very broad with an indication of a notch at the peak. Evidence has been found for a correlation between hard X-ray intensity and phase of the proposed 304 day orbital period. The time averaged intensity since 1980 is an order of magnitude lower than during the 1970’s. A survey of the post 1980 data shows that several reversals of the period derivative have occurred. Spin-up at the rates typical of the 1970’s has been followed by a dramatic spin-down episode with dP/dt>2.4 × 10−7 s/s.