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This case study examined the hypothesis that longer outdoor time results in normal vision and refractive status, using unique genetically informative kinships. The participants were the members of 29-year-old doubly exchanged monozygotic male twin pairs from Bogotá, Colombia, in South America. Comprehensive ophthalmological examinations, including uncorrected and corrected visual acuity, refraction and keratometry, and visual life history interviews were undertaken; all examinations were conducted by two ophthalmologists blind to the hypothesis, relatedness, and rearing status of the four participants. Normal uncorrected vision and refractive status were present in the two rural-raised, unrelated brothers, relative to their urban-raised counterparts. Uncorrected visual acuities were 20/160 and 20/200 for the city-raised twins and 20/20 and 20/30 for the country-raised twins. Premature birth, low birth weight, computer use, and reading time could not explain these differences. It was concluded that time spent outdoors appears to be a significant factor in the development of myopia, reinforcing extant findings via a novel experimental approach.
Introduction: 9-1-1 telecommunicators receive minimal education on agonal breathing, often resulting in unrecognized out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). We successfully piloted an educational intervention that significantly improved telecommunicators’ OHCA recognition and bystander CPR rates in Ottawa. We sought to better understand the operations of Canadian 9-1-1 communications centers (CC) in preparation for a multi-centre study of this intervention. Methods: We conducted a National survey of all Canadian CCs. Survey domains included information on organizational structure, dispatch system used, education curriculum, and performance monitoring. It was peer-reviewed, translated in French, pilot-tested, and distributed electronically using a modified Dillman method. We designated respondents in each CC before distribution and used targeted follow-up and small incentives to increase response rate. Respondents also described functioning of neighboring CCs if known. Results: We received information from 51/51 provincial and 1/25 territorial CCs, representing 99.7% of the Canadian population. CCs largely utilize the Medical Dispatch Priority System (MPDS) platform (93%), many are Province/Ministry regulated (50%) and most require a High School diploma as minimum entry level education (78%). Telecommunicators receive initial in-class training (median 1.3 months, IQR 0.3-1.9; range 0.1-2.2), often followed by a preceptorship (84.4%) (median 1.0 months, IQR 0.7-1.7; range 0.4-6.0). Educational curriculum includes information on agonal breathing in 41% of CC, without audio examples in 34%. Among responding CCs, over 39,000 suspected OHCA 9-1-1 calls are received annually. Few CCs maintain local performance statistics on OHCA recognition (25%), bystander CPR rates (25%) or survival rates (50%). Most (97%) expressed interest in future research collaborations. Conclusion: Most Canadian telecommunicators receive no or minimal education in recognizing agonal breathing. Further training and improved OHCA monitoring may assist recognition and enhance outcomes.
The Brazilian Household Food Insecurity Measurement Scale (EBIA) has eight general/adult items applied in all households and six additional items exclusively asked in households with children and/or adolescents (HHCA). Continuing an investigation programme on the adequacy of model-based cut-off points for EBIA, the present study aims to: (i) explore the capacity of properly stratifying HHCA according to food insecurity (FI) severity level by applying only the eight ‘generic’ items; and (ii) compare it against the fourteen-item scale.
Latent class factor analysis (LCFA) models were applied to the answers to the eight general/adult items to identify latent groups corresponding to FI levels and optimal group-separating cut-off points. Analyses involved a thorough classification agreement evaluation and were performed at the national level and by macro-regions.
Data derived from the cross-sectional Brazilian National Household Sample Survey of 2013.
A nationally representative sample of 116 543 households.
In all households and investigated domains, LCFA detected four distinct household food (in)security groups (food security and three levels of severity of FI) and the same set of cut-off points (1/2, 4/5 and 6/7). Misclassification in the aggregate data was 0·66 % in adult-only households and 1·06 % in HHCA. Comparison of the scale reduced to eight items with the ‘original’ fourteen-item scale demonstrated consistency in the classification. In HHCA, the agreement between both classifications was 96·2 %.
Results indicate the eight ‘generic’ items in HHCA can be reliably used when it is not possible to apply the fourteen-item scale.
Ingham (2) has defined the following summation method. A series ∑ an will be called summable (I) to s if
where as usual [x] is the greatest integer ⩽ x. (An equivalent method was described somewhat earlier by Wintner (7), who called it “an Eratosthenian method“; however, the notation (I) and the name “Ingham summability” introduced by Hardy (1) seem to have become usual.)
Dr. Irving I. Gottesman was very creative in applying twin research designs to test hypotheses and predictions about human behavior. Two designs stand out among others: twins reared apart from birth and the twin-family study. I (NS) was inspired to incorporate both of these approaches into my own research programs at California State University, Fullerton. Gottesman's involvement and contributions to reared-apart twin research are described, followed by selected findings from the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart (MISTRA), the Fullerton Study of Chinese Twins Reared Apart (CTA), a case report on separated monozygotic (MZ) female twins from South Korea, and doubly exchanged MZ male twin pairs from Colombia, South America. Recent findings from an ongoing twin-family study of social closeness, and future directions, are also presented.
Introduction: Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (E-CPR) has been used successfully to increase survival in patients suffering from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). However, few OHCA patients can benefit from E-CPR since this procedure is only performed in dedicated centers. Prehospital triage systems have helped decrease mortality from other acute conditions, by directly transporting patients to dedicated centers, often bypassing primary care centers. Our study aimed to quantify the possible impact of a prehospital triage system on the proportion of E-CPR eligible patients transported to E-CPR centers. Methods: We used a registry of adult OHCA collected between 2010 and 2015 from the city of Montréal, Canada. Included patients were adults with non-traumatic witnessed OHCA refractory to 15 minutes of resuscitation. Using this cohort, we created 3 scenarios in which potential E-CPR candidates could be redirected to E-CPR centers. We used strict eligibility criteria in our first pair (e.g. age <60 years old, initial shockable rhythm), intermediate criteria in our second pair (e.g. age <65 years old, at least one shock given) and inclusive criteria in our third pair (e.g. age <70 years old, initial rhythm ≠ asystole). These 3 scenarios were compared to their counterpart in which patients would be transported to the closest hospital. The proportions of patients who would have been transported to an E-CPR centers were compared using McNemar’s test. To obtain a power of 99%, expecting 1% of discordant pairs and using a unilateral alpha of 0.83% (after Bonferroni correction), we needed to include at least 1000 patients. Results: A total of 3136 patients (2054 men and 982 women) with a mean age of 69 years (standard deviation 15) were included. In each simulation, prehospital redirection would have significantly increased the proportion of patients transported to an E-CPR center (pair 1: 1.3% vs 3.8%, p<0.001; pair 2: 2.6% vs 7.3%, p<0.001; pair 3: 7.6% vs 29.8%, p<0.001). Conclusion: In an urban setting, a prehospital triage system could triple the number of patients with refractory OHCA who would have an access to E-CPR. This implies that centers with E-CPR capability should prepare themselves accordingly for such a system to effectively improve survival following OHCA.
The present study investigates the twinning rates in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, during the years 2003–2014. The data were drawn from the Brazilian Health Department database of Sistema de Informações de Nascidos Vivos de São Paulo—SINASC (Live Births Information System of São Paulo). In general, more information is available on the incidence of twinning in developed countries than in developing ones. A total of 24,589 twin deliveries and 736 multiple deliveries were registered in 140 hospitals of São Paulo out of a total of 2,056,016 deliveries during the studied time period. The overall average rates of singleton, twin, and multiple births per 1,000 maternities (‰) were 987.43, 11.96 (dizygotic (DZ) rate was 7.15 and monozygotic (MZ) 4.42), and 0.36, respectively. We further regressed maternal age and historical time period on percentage of singleton, twin, and multiple birth rates. Our results indicated that maternal age strongly positively predicted twin and multiple birth rates, and negatively predicted singleton birth rates. The historical time period also positively, although weakly, predicted twin birth rates, and had no effect on singleton or multiple birth rates. Further, after applying Weinberg's differential method, we computed regressions separately for the estimated frequencies of DZ and MZ twin rates. DZ twinning was strongly positively predicted by maternal age and, to a smaller degree, by time period, while MZ twinning increased marginally only with higher maternal age. Factors such as increasing body mass index or air pollution can lead to the slight historical increase in DZ twinning rates. Importantly, consistent with previous cross-cultural and historical research, our results support the existence of an age-dependent physiological mechanism that leads to a strong increase in twinning and multiple births, but not singleton births, among mothers of higher age categories. From the ultimate perspective, twinning and multiple births in later age can lead to higher individual reproductive success near the end of the reproductive career of the mother.
Mental health consumers/survivors developed consumer-run services (CRSs) as alternatives to disempowering professionally run services that limited participant self-determination. The objective of the CRS is to promote recovery outcomes, not to cure or prevent mental illness. Recovery outcomes pave the way to a satisfying life as defined by the individual consumer despite repetitive episodes of disorder. Recovery is a way of life, which through empowerment, hope, self-efficacy, minimisation of self-stigma, and improved social integration, may offer a path to functional improvement that may lead to a better way to manage distress and minimise the impact of illness episodes. ‘Nothing about us without us’ is the defining objective of the process activity that defines self-help. It is the giving of agency to participants. Without such process there is a real question as to whether an organisation is a legitimate CRS or simply a non-governmental organisation run by a person who claims lived experience. In considering the effectiveness of CRSs, fidelity should be defined by the extent to which the organisation's process conveys agency. Unidirectional helping often does for people what they can do for themselves, stealing agency. The consequence of the lack of fidelity in CRSs to the origins of the self-help movement has been a general finding in multisite studies of no or little difference in outcomes attributable to the consumer service. This, from the perspective of the research summarised herein, results in the mixing of programmatic efforts, some of which enhance outcomes as they are true mutual assistance programmes and some of which degrade outcomes as they are unidirectional, hierarchical, staff-directed helping efforts making false claims to providing agency. The later CRS interventions may provoke disappointment and additional failure. The indiscriminate combining of studies produces the average: no effect.
To study the effect of discontinuation of systematic surveillance for vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and contact isolation of colonized patients on the incidence of VRE bacteremia
A hematology-oncology unit with high prevalence of VRE colonization characterized by predominantly sporadic molecular epidemiology
Inpatients with hematologic malignancies and recipients of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
The incidence of VRE bacteremia was measured prospectively during 2 different 3-year time periods; the first during active VRE surveillance and contact precautions and the second after discontinuation of these policies. We assessed the collateral impact of this policy change on the incidence of bacteremia due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile infection even though we maintained contact precautions for these organisms. Incidence of infectious events was measured as number of events per 1,000 patients days per month. Time series analysis was used to evaluate trends.
The incidence of VRE bacteremia remained stable after discontinuation of VRE surveillance and contact precautions. The incidence of MRSA bacteremia and Clostridium difficile infection for which we continued contact precautions also remained stable. Aggregated antibiotic utilization and nursing hours per patient days were similar between the 2 study periods.
Active surveillance and contact precautions for VRE colonization did not appear to prevent VRE bacteremia in patients with hematologic malignancies and recipients of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation with high prevalence of VRE characterized by predominantly sporadic molecular epidemiology.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(4):398–403
A recent outbreak of Q fever was linked to an intensive goat and sheep dairy farm in Victoria, Australia, 2012-2014. Seventeen employees and one family member were confirmed with Q fever over a 28-month period, including two culture-positive cases. The outbreak investigation and management involved a One Health approach with representation from human, animal, environmental and public health. Seroprevalence in non-pregnant milking goats was 15% [95% confidence interval (CI) 7–27]; active infection was confirmed by positive quantitative PCR on several animal specimens. Genotyping of Coxiella burnetii DNA obtained from goat and human specimens was identical by two typing methods. A number of farming practices probably contributed to the outbreak, with similar precipitating factors to the Netherlands outbreak, 2007-2012. Compared to workers in a high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filtered factory, administrative staff in an unfiltered adjoining office and those regularly handling goats and kids had 5·49 (95% CI 1·29–23·4) and 5·65 (95% CI 1·09–29·3) times the risk of infection, respectively; suggesting factory workers were protected from windborne spread of organisms. Reduction in the incidence of human cases was achieved through an intensive human vaccination programme plus environmental and biosecurity interventions. Subsequent non-occupational acquisition of Q fever in the spouse of an employee, indicates that infection remains endemic in the goat herd, and remains a challenge to manage without source control.
Recent studies suggest that sand can serve as a vehicle for exposure of humans to pathogens at beach sites, resulting in increased health risks. Sampling for microorganisms in sand should therefore be considered for inclusion in regulatory programmes aimed at protecting recreational beach users from infectious disease. Here, we review the literature on pathogen levels in beach sand, and their potential for affecting human health. In an effort to provide specific recommendations for sand sampling programmes, we outline published guidelines for beach monitoring programmes, which are currently focused exclusively on measuring microbial levels in water. We also provide background on spatial distribution and temporal characteristics of microbes in sand, as these factors influence sampling programmes. First steps toward establishing a sand sampling programme include identifying appropriate beach sites and use of initial sanitary assessments to refine site selection. A tiered approach is recommended for monitoring. This approach would include the analysis of samples from many sites for faecal indicator organisms and other conventional analytes, while testing for specific pathogens and unconventional indicators is reserved for high-risk sites. Given the diversity of microbes found in sand, studies are urgently needed to identify the most significant aetiological agent of disease and to relate microbial measurements in sand to human health risk.
Optical biosensor for monitoring proteolytic activity is constructed by DNA-directed immobilization of enzymes onto porous Silicon nanostructures. This sensor configuration allows both protease recycling and easy surface regeneration for subsequent biosensing analysis by means of mild dehybridization conditions. We demonstrate real-time analysis of minute quantities of proteases paving the way for substrate profiling and the identification of cleavage sites. The biosensor is compatible with common proteomic methods and allows for a successful downstream mass spectrometry analysis of the reaction products.
Although post-weaning mortality (PWM) in pig farming is mainly due to the effect of pathogens, farm type or swine management are also directly or indirectly involved. In this work, we used null models and the partial least squares approach (PLS) to structural equation modelling, also known as PLS path modelling (PLS-PM), to explore whether farm type, swine management and pathogens, including porcine circovirus type 2, swine influenza virus, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and Aujeszky's disease virus, directly or indirectly influenced PWM in 42 Spanish indoor pig farms. The null model analysis revealed that contact with multiple combinations of viruses could occur by chance. On the other hand, PLS-PM showed that farm characteristics do not influence virus infections, and thus neither farm type nor associated management practices shaped PWM due to pathogens. Accordingly, preventive programmes aimed at controlling PWM in intensive farming should prioritize the control of major pig pathogens.
The official introduction of the psychiatric diagnosis of personality disorders (PDs) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) began in 1952 with the publication of the first edition (American Psychiatric Association, 1952). DSM-I contained 12 main types of PDs with a total description for all types in only two paragraphs. In the following DSM-II (American Psychiatric Association, 1968), just 10 specific types of PDs were described, including a very brief general definition of PDs. The DSM-III (American Psychiatric Association, 1980) included a significant paradigm shift from the medical model by incorporating the design of a multi-axial approach, in which the combinations of symptoms of more than five primary axes were used to describe the pathological state and formulate the diagnosis. Notably, the PDs were placed on a separate axis (Axis II) to distinguish their long-standing nature from the more episodic clinical disorders placed on Axis I. PDs were recognized as important formal diagnoses and included a more comprehensive listing of polythetic diagnostic criteria for each specific PD.
Improving health through better nutrition of the population may contribute to enhanced efficiency and sustainability of healthcare systems. A recent expert meeting investigated in detail a number of methodological aspects related to the discipline of nutrition economics. The role of nutrition in health maintenance and in the prevention of non-communicable diseases is now generally recognised. However, the main scope of those seeking to contain healthcare expenditures tends to focus on the management of existing chronic diseases. Identifying additional relevant dimensions to measure and the context of use will become increasingly important in selecting and developing outcome measurements for nutrition interventions. The translation of nutrition-related research data into public health guidance raises the challenging issue of carrying out more pragmatic trials in many areas where these would generate the most useful evidence for health policy decision-making. Nutrition exemplifies all the types of interventions and policy which need evaluating across the health field. There is a need to start actively engaging key stakeholders in order to collect data and to widen health technology assessment approaches for achieving a policy shift from evidence-based medicine to evidence-based decision-making in the field of nutrition.
Structural brain measures are employed as endophenotypes in the search for schizophrenia susceptibility genes. We analyzed two independent structural imaging datasets with voxel-based morphometry and with source-based morphometry, a multivariate, independent components analysis, to determine the stability and heritability of regional gray matter concentration abnormalities in schizophrenia. The samples comprised 209 and 102 patients with schizophrenia and 208 and 96 healthy volunteers, respectively. The second sample additionally included non-ill siblings of participants with and without schizophrenia. A standard voxel-based analysis showed reproducible regional gray matter deficits in the affected participants compared with unrelated, unaffected controls in both datasets: patients showed significant gray matter concentration deficits in cortical frontal, temporal, and insular lobes. Source-based morphometry (SBM) was applied to the gray matter images of the entire sample to determine the effects of diagnosis on networks of covarying structures. The SBM analysis extracted 24 significant sets of covarying regions (components). Four of these components showed significantly lower gray matter concentrations in patients (p < .05). We determined the familiality of the observed SBM components based on 66 sibling pairs (25 discordant for schizophrenia). Two components, one including the medial frontal, insular, inferior frontal, and temporal lobes, and the other including the posterior occipital lobe, showed significant familiality (p < .05). We conclude that structural brain deficits in schizophrenia are replicable, and that SBM can extract unique familial and likely heritable components. SBM provides a useful data reduction technique that can provide measures that may serve as endophenotypes for schizophrenia.
To study the molecular epidemiology of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) colonization and to identify modifiable risk factors among patients with hematologic malignancies.
A hematology-oncology unit with high prevalence of VRE colonization.
Patients with hematologic malignancies and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients admitted to the hospital.
Patients underwent weekly surveillance by means of perianal swabs for VRE colonization and, if colonized, were placed in contact isolation. We studied the molecular epidemiology in fecal and blood isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis over a 1-year period. We performed a retrospective case-control study over a 3-year period. Cases were defined as patients colonized by VRE, and controls were defined as patients negative for VRE colonization. Case patients and control patients were matched by admitting service and length of observation time.
Molecular genotyping demonstrated the primarily polyclonal nature of VRE isolates. Colonization occurred at a median of 14 days. Colonized patients were characterized by longer hospital admissions. Previous use of ceftazidime was associated with VRE colonization (P < .001), while use of intravenous vancomycin and antibiotics with anaerobic activity did not emerge as a risk factor. There was no association with neutropenia or presence of colonic mucosal disruption, and severity of illness was similar in both groups.
Molecular studies showed that in the majority of VRE-colonized patients the strains were unique, arguing that VRE acquisition was sporadic rather than resulting from a common source of transmission. Patient-specific factors, including prior antibiotic exposure, rather than breaches in infection control likely predict for risk of fecal VRE colonization.
High resolution electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy were used to determine the distribution of intergranular films and microvoids in Synroc C. Diffraction contrast derived from these films, which were 1–3 nm thick, showed then to be ill-defined crystallographically, and they may be described as glassy. Pores were usually several micrometers in extent and occurred principally in rutile-rich areas. The chemical composition of these structural features was obtained using analytical transmission electron microscopy, secondary ion mass spectrometry, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning Auger microscopy. Within intergranular films, elemental enhancement of cesium, sodium, potassium and aluminium, and possibly silicon and molybdenum was observed. Enhancement of cesium, sodium, phosphorous, aluminium and silicon was found at triple points. Fracture faces preferentially expose grain boundaries, and dissolution of these surfaces proceeds rapidly at ambient temperatures. During the fabrication of Synroc C, microvoids trap cesium vapour, and after cooling this condenses onto pore surfaces. Recognition of the (simulated) waste species which segregate at grain boundaries and pores, permitted the reinterpretation of published leach data for monolithic and crushed Synroc C.