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Excess energy intake is recognised as a strong contributing factor to the global rise of being overweight and obese. The aim of this paper was to investigate if oral sensitivity to complex carbohydrate relates to ad libitum consumption of complex carbohydrate foods in a sample group of female adults. Participants’ ((n 51 females): age 23·0 (sd 0·6) years (range 20·0–41·0 years); excluding restrained eaters) sensitivity towards maltodextrin (oral complex carbohydrate) and glucose (sweet taste) was assessed by measuring detection threshold (DT) and suprathreshold intensity perception (ST). A crossover design was used to assess consumption of two different iso-energetic preload milkshakes and ad libitum milkshakes – (1) glucose-based milkshake, (2) maltodextrin-based milkshake. Ad libitum intake (primary outcome) and eating rate, liking, hunger, fullness and prospective consumption ratings were measured. Participants who were more sensitive towards complex carbohydrate (maltodextrin DT) consumed significantly more maltodextrin-based milkshake in comparison with less-sensitive participants (P = 0·01) and this was independent of liking. Participants who had higher liking for glucose-based milkshake consumed significantly more glucose-based milkshake in comparison with participants with lower hedonic ratings (P = 0·049). The results provide support regarding the role of the oral system sensitivity (potentially taste) to complex carbohydrate and the prospective to overconsume complex carbohydrate-based milkshake in a single sitting.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
Background: SMA is a neurodegenerative disease caused by biallelic deletion/mutation of the survival motor neuron (SMN1) gene. In the phase 1 trial (NCT02122952), SMN GRT onasemnogene abeparvovec (AVXS-101) improved outcomes of 15 symptomatic SMA1 patients (3 at a lower dose [cohort 1] and 12 at the proposed therapeutic dose [cohort 2]). This report describes long-term follow-up study design and data from the phase 1 study. Methods: Patients in the phase 1 study could rollover into a long-term follow-up study (NCT03421977). The primary objective is to collect long-term safety data (serious adverse events, hospitalizations, and adverse events of special interest). Annual follow-up will occur for 15 years. Additionally, patient record transfers from local clinician(s) will be requested. Safety assessments include medical history and record review, physical examination, clinical laboratory evaluation, and pulmonary assessments. Efficacy assessments include physical examination to assess developmental milestones. Results: As of September 27, 2018, the oldest patients are 59.2 (cohort 1) and 52.1 (cohort 2) months old and free of permanent ventilation. Preliminary data, including survival and developmental milestones, will be presented. Conclusions: Patients treated with a one-time dose of AVXS-101 continue to gain strength, develop, and achieve new milestones, demonstrating a long-term, durable response.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of a bone fracture targeted systemically administrable bone anabolic as a potential therapeutic for bone fracture repair. Currently all bone fracture repair therapeutic require local administration during surgery. However, the population that need the most assistance in repair bone fractures are not eligible for surgery. So, it was our goal to design an inject-able therapeutic to assist in bone fracture repair to reduce the invasiveness. The injectable nature of it allows for repair administration of the bone anabolic and for therapeutic effect throughout the entire bone fracture healing process. Targeting it to the bone fracture site reduces the toxicity and increases the efficacy. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: METHODS To achieve the above objective, a bone mineral-(hydroxyapatite-) targeting oligopeptide was conjugated to the non-signaling end of an engineered parathyroid hormone related protein fragment 1-46 with substitutions at Glu22,25, Leu23,28,31, Aib29, Lys26,30 (ePTHrP). The negatively charged oligopeptide has been shown to target raw hydroxyapatite with remarkable specificity, while the attached PTHrP has been demonstrated to induce sustained and accelerated bone growth under control of endogenous morphogenic regulatory factors. The conjugate’s specificity arises from the fact that raw hydroxyapatite is only exposed whenever a bone is fractured, surgically cut, grafted, or induced to undergo accelerated remodeling. The hydroxyapatite-targeted conjugate can therefore be administered systemically (i.e. without invasive surgery or localized injection) and still accumulate on the exposed hydroxyapatite at the fracture site where it accelerates the healing process Murine in vivo experiments were conducted on female Swiss Webster mice (10 per group). Femoral fractures were induced with a 3-point bending device and stabilized. Mice were dosed with 3 nmol/kg/d of targeted-ePTHrP, non-conjugated (free) ePTHrP, or saline. Following a 4-week study, fracture callus densities were measured using microCT. Canine in vivo experiments were conducted on 1-year-old male beagles. Beagles underwent a 10 mm bilateral ulnar ostectomy. Two dogs in the treatment group and Three dogs in the control group were dosed daily with either targeted-ePTHrP 0.5nmol/kg/d or saline respectively. Dogs were x-rayed weekly for the first 6 weeks and then every other week thereafter. One tailed ANOVA followed by Dunnett’s post-hoc test was used to establish significance. All animal experiments were conducted as described in approved IACUC protocols. P<0.05 was considered significant. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: RESULTS SECTION: In the murine studies we observed a marked increase in fracture callus size and a 2-fold increase in bone deposition was observed in the targeted-ePTHrP group over the saline group (P<0.01). A significant doubling in bone density was also observed. Targeted-ePTHrP group fractured femurs were able to achieve their pre-fracture strength as early as 3 weeks compared to 9 weeks in the saline mice representing a 66% reduction in healing time. In the canine studies, we observe a significantly higher closure of the ostectomy gap than saline controls (P<0.05). In addition, no significant differences in weight are observed in the treatment vs. saline controls. No significant difference between the control group and treatment groups was found in a histological investigation of the organs. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: DISCUSSION: Although attempts have been made in developing a systemically administered fracture therapeutic for fracture repair, i.e. teriparatide, to date, no such anabolics have been approved for this use. In these studies there is evidence that anabolic activity was occurring at the fracture site, but at a level that did not meet FDA required end-points.2 It is plausible that if sufficient drug were to be delivered to a fracture site then improved fracture repair would be possible. In previous studies, we demonstrated fracture specific accumulation bone anabolics can be achieved by modifying the drug with acidic oligopeptides.3 Here, by modifying a safe, clinically proven, parathyroid hormone receptor agonist with an acidic oligopeptide we observe improved bone deposition and strength in mice. Furthermore, when administered to canine critical sized defect ostectomies, a more relevant and difficult model, we observe improved ostectomy closure. CLINICAL RELEVANCE:: The ability to accelerate bone fracture repair is a fundamental need that has not been addressed by conventional methods. By targeting bone anabolic agents to bone fractures, we can deliver sufficient concentrations of anabolic agent to the fracture site to accelerate healing, thus avoiding surgery and any ectopic bone growth associated with locally-applied bone anabolic agents.
Current knowledge of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) colonisation in relation to epidemiological characteristics is incomplete. We conducted a cross-sectional study at an acute-care tertiary infectious diseases hospital of MRSA isolates identified through routine surveillance from January 2009 to December 2011. We randomly selected 205 MRSA isolates (119 inpatients) from 798 isolates (427 inpatients) for molecular profiling using multilocus sequence typing. Multilevel multinomial logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratio (OR) assessing the predilection of MRSA strains for anatomic sites, and associations of strains with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The most frequent sequence types (STs) were 239, 22 and 45. The proportion of ST22 increased over the sampling period, replacing ST239 as the dominant lineage. However, ST239 remained the most prevalent among HIV-seropositive individuals who were six times more likely to be colonised with this strain than non-HIV patients (adjusted OR (aOR) 6.44, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.94–21.36). ST45 was >24 times more likely to be associated with perianal colonisation than in the nares, axillae and groin sites (aOR 24.20, 95% CI 1.45–403.26). This study underlines the clonal replacement of MRSA in Singapore as previously reported but revealed, in addition, key strain differences between HIV-infected and non-infected individuals hospitalised in the same environment.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Introduction: Patients with concussion frequently present to the emergency department (ED). Studies of athletes and children indicate that concussion symptoms are often more severe and prolonged in females compared with males. To-date, study of sex-based concussion differences in general adult populations have been limited. This study examined sex-based differences in concussion outcomes. Methods: Adult (>17 years) patients presenting to one of three urban EDs in Edmonton, Alberta with Glasgow coma scale score 13 within 72 hours of a concussive event were recruited by on-site research assistants. Follow-up calls at 30 and 90 days post ED discharge captured extent of PCS using the Rivermead Post-Concussion questionnaire (RPQ), effect on daily living activities measured by the Rivermead Head Injury Questionnaire (RHIQ), and overall health-related quality of life using the 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12). Dichotomous and categorical variables were compared using Fishers exact test; continuous variables were compared using t-tests or Mann-Whitney tests, as appropriate. Results: Overall, 130/250 enrolled patients were female. The median age was 35 years; men trended towards being younger (median=32 years; IQR: 23, 45) than women (median=40 years; IQR: 22, 52). Compared to women, more men were single (56% vs 38% (p=0.007) and employed (82% vs 71% (p=0.055). Men and women experienced different injury mechanisms (p=0.007) with more women reporting injury due to a fall (44% vs 26%), while more men were injured at work (16% vs 7%) or due to an assault (11% vs. 3%). Men had a higher return to ED rate (13% vs. 5%; p=0.015). Women had higher RPQ scores at baseline (p<0.001) and 30-day follow-up (p=0.001); this difference was not significant by 90 days (p=0.099). While women reported on the RHIQ at 30 days that their injury affected their usual activities significantly more than men (Median=5, IQR: 0, 11 vs. median=0.5, IQR: 0.5, 7; p=0.004), both groups had similar scores on the SF-12 physical composite and mental composite scales at all three measurement points. Conclusion: In a general ED concussion population, demographic differences exist between men and women. Based on self-reported and objective outcomes, womens usual activities may be more affected by concussion and PCS than men. Further analysis of these differences is required in order to identify different treatment options and ensure adequate care and treatment of injury.
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of using different floor types to accommodate growing and finishing beef cattle on lameness. In all, 80 dairy origin bulls were blocked according to live weight and breed into 20 groups, and randomly allocated within groups to one of four treatments. The floor types studied were fully slatted flooring throughout the entire experimental period (CS); fully slatted flooring covered with rubber strips throughout the entire experimental period (RS); fully slatted flooring during the growing period and then moved to a solid floor covered with straw bedding during the finishing period (CS-S) and fully slatted flooring during the growing period and then moved to fully slatted flooring covered with rubber strips during the finishing period (CS-RS). The total duration of the study was 204 days. The first 101 days was defined as the growing period, with the remainder of the study defined as the finishing period. During the growing period, there was a tendency for bulls accommodated on CS to have a higher locomotion score compared with those accommodated on RS (P=0.059). However, floor type had no significant effect on locomotion score during the finishing period. There was also no significant effect of floor type on digital dermatitis during both the growing or finishing period. Floor type had no significant effect on swelling at the leg joints at the end of the finishing period. Bulls accommodated on RS had the least probability of bruised soles during both the growing and finishing period (P<0.01). Growing bulls accommodated on CS had significantly greater front heel height net growth compared with those accommodated on RS (P<0.05). However, bulls accommodated on RS had a tendency to have greater front toe net growth compared with those accommodated on CS (P=0.087). Finishing bulls accommodated on CS-RS had the greatest front toe net growth (P<0.001). Heel height net growth was greatest in bulls accommodated on CS-S (P<0.001). Floor type had no significant effect on mean maximum hoof temperature during the growing period. Finishing bulls accommodated on CS-S had a significantly lower mean maximum hoof temperature compared with those accommodated on any other floor type (P<0.001). The study concluded that rubber flooring is a suitable alternative to fully slatted flooring, reducing the prevalence of bruised soles. Despite greater toe net growth in bulls accommodated on rubber flooring, there was no effect of floor type on locomotion score, suggesting that increased toe net growth does not adversely affect walking ability. In addition, although mean maximum hoof temperature was lowest in bulls accommodated on straw bedding, there was no evidence to suggest this is indicative of improved hoof health.
Evidence on the intergenerational continuity of intimate partner violence (IPV) suggests small to moderate associations between childhood exposure and young adult IPV involvement, suggesting an indirect effects model. Yet, few prospective studies have formally tested meditational mechanisms. The current study tested a prospective (over 9 years) moderated-mediational model in which adolescent psychopathology symptoms (i.e., internalizing, externalizing, and combined) mediated the association between exposure to IPV in middle childhood and young adult IPV perpetration. In a more novel contribution, we controlled for proximal young adult partner and relationship characteristics. The sample consisted of n = 205 participants, who were, on average, assessed for exposure to parent IPV at age 12.30 years, adolescent psychopathology symptoms at age 15.77 years, and young adult IPV at 21.30 years of age. Data suggest a small, significant direct path from IPV exposure to young adult perpetration, mediated only through adolescent externalizing. Gender moderation analyses reveal differences in sensitivity to exposure across developmental periods; for males, effects of exposure were intensified during the transition to adolescence, whereas for females, effects were amplified during the transition to adulthood. In both cases, the mediational role of psychopathology symptoms was no longer significant once partner antisocial behavior was modeled. Findings have important implications for both theory and timing of risk conveyance.
Little is known about the association of cortical Aβ with depression and anxiety among cognitively normal (CN) elderly persons.
We conducted a cross-sectional study derived from the population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Aging in Olmsted County, Minnesota; involving CN persons aged ≥ 60 years that underwent PiB-PET scans and completed Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Cognitive diagnosis was made by an expert consensus panel. Participants were classified as having abnormal (≥1.4; PiB+) or normal PiB-PET (<1.4; PiB−) using a global cortical to cerebellar ratio. Multi-variable logistic regression analyses were performed to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) after adjusting for age and sex.
Of 1,038 CN participants (53.1% males), 379 were PiB+. Each one point symptom increase in the BDI (OR = 1.03; 1.00–1.06) and BAI (OR = 1.04; 1.01–1.08) was associated with increased odds of PiB-PET+. The number of participants with BDI > 13 (clinical depression) was greater in the PiB-PET+ than PiB-PET- group but the difference was not significant (OR = 1.42; 0.83–2.43). Similarly, the number of participants with BAI > 10 (clinical anxiety) was greater in the PiB-PET+ than PiB-PET− group but the difference was not significant (OR = 1.77; 0.97–3.22).
As expected, depression and anxiety levels were low in this community-dwelling sample, which likely reduced our statistical power. However, we observed an informative albeit weak association between increased BDI and BAI scores and elevated cortical amyloid deposition. This observation needs to be tested in a longitudinal cohort study.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of using different floor types to accommodate growing and finishing beef cattle on their performance, cleanliness, carcass characteristics and meat quality. In total, 80 dairy origin young bulls (mean initial live weight 224 kg (SD=28.4 kg)) were divided into 20 blocks with four animals each according to live weight. The total duration of the experimental period was 204 days. The first 101 days was defined as the growing period, with the remainder of the study defined as the finishing period. Cattle were randomly assigned within blocks to one of four floor type treatments, which included fully slatted flooring throughout the entire experimental period (CS); fully slatted flooring covered with rubber strips throughout the entire experimental period (RS); fully slatted flooring during the growing period and moved to a solid floor covered with straw bedding during the finishing period (CS-S) and fully slatted flooring during the growing period and moved to fully slatted flooring covered with rubber strips during the finishing period (CS-RS). Bulls were offered ad libitum grass silage supplemented with concentrates during the growing period. During the finishing period, bulls were offered concentrates supplemented with chopped barley straw. There was no significant effect of floor type on total dry matter intake (DMI), feed conversion ratio, daily live weight gain or back fat depth during the growing and finishing periods. Compared with bulls accommodated on CS, RS and CS-RS, bulls accommodated on CS-S had a significantly lower straw DMI (P<0.01). Although bulls accommodated on CS and CS-S were significantly dirtier compared with those accommodated on RS and CS-RS on days 50 (P<0.05) and 151 (P<0.01), there was no effect of floor type on the cleanliness of bulls at the end of the growing and finishing periods. There was also no significant effect of floor type on carcass characteristics or meat quality. However, bulls accommodated on CS-S had a tendency for less channel, cod and kidney fat (P=0.084) compared with those accommodated on CS, RS and CS-RS. Overall, floor type had no effect on the performance, cleanliness, carcass characteristics or meat quality of growing or finishing beef cattle.
Risk adjustment is needed to fairly compare central-line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates between hospitals. Until 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) methodology adjusted CLABSI rates only by type of intensive care unit (ICU). The 2017 CDC models also adjust for hospital size and medical school affiliation. We hypothesized that risk adjustment would be improved by including patient demographics and comorbidities from electronically available hospital discharge codes.
Using a cohort design across 22 hospitals, we analyzed data from ICU patients admitted between January 2012 and December 2013. Demographics and International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Edition, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) discharge codes were obtained for each patient, and CLABSIs were identified by trained infection preventionists. Models adjusting only for ICU type and for ICU type plus patient case mix were built and compared using discrimination and standardized infection ratio (SIR). Hospitals were ranked by SIR for each model to examine and compare the changes in rank.
Overall, 85,849 ICU patients were analyzed and 162 (0.2%) developed CLABSI. The significant variables added to the ICU model were coagulopathy, paralysis, renal failure, malnutrition, and age. The C statistics were 0.55 (95% CI, 0.51–0.59) for the ICU-type model and 0.64 (95% CI, 0.60–0.69) for the ICU-type plus patient case-mix model. When the hospitals were ranked by adjusted SIRs, 10 hospitals (45%) changed rank when comorbidity was added to the ICU-type model.
Our risk-adjustment model for CLABSI using electronically available comorbidities demonstrated better discrimination than did the CDC model. The CDC should strongly consider comorbidity-based risk adjustment to more accurately compare CLABSI rates across hospitals.
This paper presents our experience on delayed-onset haematoma formation after cochlear implantation, a topic which has not been well discussed in the literature.
Retrospective case review study.
Five children who had undergone cochlear implant surgery at 1.5 to 4 years of age (median, 2.5 years) were studied. The haematoma episodes occurred 2–12 years (median, 6 years) after cochlear implantation. Two patients had recurrent episodes. Two of the seven haematoma episodes were managed by needle aspiration alone, four by incision and drainage alone, and one by both needle aspiration and incision and drainage. Other than one patient with coagulopathy, there were no obvious predisposing factors, including trauma.
The majority of delayed-onset haematomas occurred without obvious predisposing factors. Needle aspiration can differentiate a haematoma from an abscess or cerebrospinal fluid leakage, and it provides an effective immediate therapeutic solution. However, aseptic techniques are emphasised to minimise the chances of an uncomplicated haematoma converting into a septic one.
Assaultive violence events are associated with increased risk for adverse psychiatric outcomes, including post-traumatic stress (PTS), depression, and generalized anxiety. Prior research has indicated that economic, legal, and social stressors that could follow assaultive events may explain the increased risk for adverse psychiatric outcomes, yet longitudinal studies have not adequately examined this pathway. In the current study, we aimed to address this limitation.
Participants (N = 1360) were part of a longitudinal population-based study of adults living in Detroit. At three waves, participants indicated their exposure to assaultive violence and economic, legal, and social stressors, and completed inventories of PTS, depression, and generalized anxiety. Longitudinal mediation models were used to test the hypothesized pathway from assaultive violence to each psychiatric outcome.
The hypothesized models evidenced good fit with the data and, in each, the paths from Wave 1 (W1) assaultive violence to W2 stressors, and from W2 stressors to W3 symptoms were significant (range of Standardized Estimates: 0.09–0.15, all p < 0.01). Additionally, the indirect paths from W1 assaultive violence to W3 symptoms were significant (range of Standardized Estimates: 0.01–0.02, all p < 0.05).
The findings illustrate that the economic, legal, and social stressors that could follow assaultive violence increase risk for a range of psychiatric symptoms. Although future research is needed, the results suggest that investment in interventions that prevent and mitigate assaultive violence survivors’ exposure to such stressors may be an effective way to prevent mental illness in the aftermath of violent assaults.
To assess the impact of farm management on herd fertility, a survey of 105 beef farms in Northern Ireland was conducted to establish the relationship between management variables and fertility. Each herd's average calving interval (CI) and the proportion of cows with a CI > 450 days (extended calving interval, ECI) was calculated to establish herd fertility. The relationship between each response variable (CI and proportion ECI) and each explanatory variable (respondents’ answers to questionnaire) was examined using univariate linear regression analyses. All response variables found to be associated with the explanatory variables were modelled against each group in turn using a fully automated multivariate stepwise regression algorithm employing the method of forward selection with backward elimination. The optimum 365-day CI and a proportion of 0 cows per hundred calved ECI targets were not widely attained in the current study. The distribution of CI and proportion ECI in the current study suggests more realistic targets would be a 379-day CI and 5 cows per hundred calved with ECI in commercial beef breeding herds. Six management factors were found to be associated with herd fertility: herd vaccination, bull selection, fertility management, breeding female management, perception of extension service (rural education provided by the government) and record keeping. It was found that respondents who vaccinated cows had a reduction of 5 cows per hundred calved in the proportion of cows with ECI, and as the number of vaccines administered to a cow increased, the CI decreased. Regular vaccination of breeding bulls was associated with a 9-day reduction in CI. Bull selection strategy had several associations with herd fertility; most notable was that respondents who used visual selection rather than estimated breeding values (EBVs) to select bulls were found to have a 15-day longer CI and 7 cows per hundred calved higher proportion of cows with ECI. For each 0·01 increase in the proportion of cows served by artificial insemination, CI increased by 0·16 days. Respondents who rated their beef breeding herd fertility as ‘very good’ had lower ECI and CI than those who rated beef breeding herd fertility as poor or satisfactory. Condition scoring of cows at weaning lowered ECI by 5 cows per hundred calved. Those who perceived the extension service to be very useful had the lowest CI and lowest ECI. Respondents who did not keep a record of CI to assess herd fertility had an 11-day longer CI and 6 cows per hundred calved higher proportion ECI than those who did not. In conclusion, the survey found a number of important variables linked to improved fertility including selecting sires based on EBVs and using a robust vaccination programme.