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Consensus guidelines recommend that children consume reduced-fat (0·1–2 %) cow’s milk at age 2 years to reduce the risk of obesity. Behaviours and perspectives of parents and physicians about cow’s milk fat for children are unknown. Objectives were to: (i) understand what cow’s milk fat recommendations physicians provide to 2-year-old children; (ii) assess the acceptability of reduced-fat v. whole cow’s milk in children’s diets by parents and physicians; and (iii) explore attitudes and perceptions about cow’s milk fat for children.
Online questionnaires and individual interviews were conducted. Questionnaire data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Interview transcripts were analysed using a general inductive approach and thematic analysis.
The TARGet Kids! practice-based research network in Toronto, Canada.
Questionnaire respondents included fifty parents and fifteen physicians; individual interviews were conducted with with fourteen parents and twelve physicians.
Physicians provided various milk fat recommendations for 2-year-old children. Parents also provided different cow’s milks: eighteen (36 %) provided whole milk and twenty-nine (58 %) provided reduced-fat milk. Analysis of qualitative interviews revealed three themes: (i) healthy eating behaviours, (ii) trustworthy nutrition information and (iii) importance of dietary fat for children.
Parents provide, and physicians recommend, a variety of cow’s milks for children and hold mixed interpretations of the role of cow’s milk fat in children’s diets. Clarity about its effect on child adiposity is needed to help make informed decisions about cow’s milk fat for children.
Upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) are the most common and costly condition of childhood. Low vitamin D levels have been hypothesized as a risk factor for URTI. The primary objective was to determine if serum vitamin D levels were associated with health-service utilization (HSU) for URTI including hospital admission, emergency department visits and outpatient sick visits. The secondary objectives were to determine whether oral vitamin D supplementation in pregnancy or childhood was associated with HSU for URTI.
Cohort study. HSU was determined by linking each child’s provincial health insurance number to health administrative databases. Multivariable quasi Poisson regression was used to evaluate the association between 25-hydroxyvitamin D, vitamin D supplementation and HSU for URTI.
Children participating in the TARGet Kids! network between 2008 and 2013.
Healthy children aged 0–5 years (n 4962) were included; 52 % were male and mean 25-hydroxyvitamin D was 84 nmol/l (range 11–355 nmol/l). There were 105 (2 %), 721 (15 %) and 3218 (65 %) children with at least one hospital admission, emergency department visit or outpatient sick visit for URTI, respectively. There were no statistically significant associations between 25-hydroxyvitamin D or vitamin D supplementation and HSU for URTI.
A clinically meaningful association between vitamin D (continuously and dichotomized at <50 and <75 nmol/l) and HSU for URTI was not identified. While vitamin D may have other benefits for health, reducing HSU for URTI does not appear to be one of them.
Timely recruitment of population controls in infectious disease outbreak investigations is challenging. We evaluated the timeliness and cost of using a market research panel as a sampling frame for recruiting controls in a case-control study during an outbreak of Salmonella Mikawasima in the UK in 2013. We deployed a web-survey by email to targeted members of a market research panel (panel controls) in parallel to the outbreak control team interviewing randomly selected public health staff by telephone and completing paper-based questionnaires (staff controls). Recruitment and completion of exposure history web-surveys for panel controls (n = 123) took 14 h compared to 15 days for staff controls (n = 82). The average staff-time cost per questionnaire for staff controls was £13·13 compared to an invoiced cost of £3·60 per panel control. Differences in the distribution of some exposures existed between these control groups but case-control studies using each group found that illness was associated with consumption of chicken outside of the home and chicken from local butchers. Recruiting market research panel controls offers time and resource savings. More rapid investigations would enable more prompt implementation of control measures. We recommend that this method of recruiting controls is considered in future investigations and assessed further to better understand strengths and limitations.
Fe-deficiency anaemia (IDA) occurs in 1–2 % of infants in developed countries, peaks at 1–3 years of age and is associated with later cognitive deficits. The objectives of the present study were to describe the characteristics of young children with severe IDA and examine modifiable risk factors in a developed-country setting.
Two prospective samples: a national surveillance programme sample and a regional longitudinal study sample.
Two samples of young children recruited from community-based health-care practices: a national sample with severe anaemia (Hb<80 g/l) due to Fe deficiency and a regional sample with non-anaemic Fe sufficiency.
Children with severe IDA (n 201, mean Hb 55·1 g/l) experienced substantial morbidity (including developmental delay, heart failure, cerebral thrombosis) and health-care utilization (including a 42 % hospitalization rate). Compared with children with Fe sufficiency (n 597, mean Hb 122·4 g/l), children with severe IDA consumed a larger volume of cow’s milk daily (median 1065 ml v. 500 ml, P<0·001) and were more likely to be using a bottle during the day (78 % v. 43 %, OR=6·0; 95 % CI 4·0, 8·9) and also in bed (60 % v. 21 %, OR=6·5; 95 % CI 4·4, 9·5).
Severe IDA is associated with substantial morbidity and may be preventable. Three potentially modifiable feeding practices are associated with IDA: (i) cow’s milk consumption greater than 500 ml/d; (ii) daytime bottle use beyond 12 months of age; and (iii) bottle use in bed. These feeding practices should be highlighted in future recommendations for public health and primary-care practitioners.
The association between vitamin D and wheezing in early childhood is unclear. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the association between vitamin D exposure, during both pregnancy and childhood, and early childhood wheezing. Secondary objectives were to evaluate the associations between vitamin D exposures and asthma and wheezing severity. We conducted a cohort study of children (0–5 years) recruited from 2008 to 2013 through the TARGet Kids! primary-care research network. Vitamin D exposures included maternal vitamin D supplement use during pregnancy, child vitamin D supplementation and children’s 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations. The outcomes measured were parent-reported childhood wheezing, diagnosed asthma and wheezing severity. Vitamin D supplement and wheezing data were available for 2478 children, and blood samples were available for 1275 children. Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) were estimated using logistic regression adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index, birth weight, outdoor play, breastfeeding duration, daycare status, parental smoking and family history of asthma. Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy was associated with lower odds of childhood wheezing (aOR=0.65; 95% CI: 0.46–0.93). In early childhood, neither 25(OH)D (aOR per 10 nmol/l=1.01; 95% CI: 0.96–1.06) nor vitamin D supplementation (aOR=1.00; 95% CI: 0.81–1.23) was associated with wheezing. No significant associations were observed with diagnosed asthma or wheezing severity. Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy was associated with reduced odds of wheezing, but child vitamin D supplementation and childhood 25(OH)D were not associated with reduced wheezing. The timing of exposure may be important in understanding the association between vitamin D and childhood wheezing.
To determine if children aged 1–6 years from non-Western immigrant families have lower serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels than children from Western-born families and examine which factors influence this relationship.
Healthy children (n 1540) recruited through the TARGet Kids! practice-based research network. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations of non-Western immigrants were compared with those of children from Western-born families. Children from non-Western immigrant families were defined as those born, or their parents were born, outside a Western country. Univariate and multiple linear regression analyses were used to identify factors which might influence this relationship.
Median age was 36 months, 51 % were male, 86 % had ‘light’ skin pigmentation, 55 % took vitamin D supplements, mean cow's milk intake was 1·8 cups/d and 27 % were non-Western immigrants. Median serum 25(OH)D concentration was 83 nmol/l, with 5 % having 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/l. Univariable analysis revealed that non-Western immigrant children had serum 25(OH)D lower by 4 (95 % CI 1·3, 8·0) nmol/l (P = 0·006) and increased odds of 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/l (OR = 1·9; 95 % CI 1·3, 2·9). After adjustment for known vitamin D determinants the observed difference attenuated to 0·04 (95 % CI −4·8, 4·8) nmol/l (P = 0·99), with higher cow's milk intake (P < 0·0001), vitamin D supplementation (P < 0·0001), summer season (P = 0·008) and increased age (P = 0·04) being statistically significant covariates. Vitamin D supplementation was the strongest explanatory factor of the observed difference.
There is an association between non-Western immigration and lower 25(OH)D in early childhood. This difference appears related to known vitamin D determinants, primarily vitamin D supplementation, representing opportunities for intervention.
There are no evidence-based treatments for severe and enduring anorexia nervosa (SE-AN). This study evaluated the relative efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-AN) and specialist supportive clinical management (SSCM) for adults with SE-AN.
Sixty-three participants with a diagnosis of AN, who had at least a 7-year illness history, were treated in a multi-site randomized controlled trial (RCT). During 30 out-patient visits spread over 8 months, they received either CBT-AN or SSCM, both modified for SE-AN. Participants were assessed at baseline, end of treatment (EOT), and at 6- and 12-month post-treatment follow-ups. The main outcome measures were quality of life, mood disorder symptoms and social adjustment. Weight, eating disorder (ED) psychopathology, motivation for change and health-care burden were secondary outcomes.
Thirty-one participants were randomized to CBT-AN and 32 to SSCM with a retention rate of 85% achieved at the end of the study. At EOT and follow-up, both groups showed significant improvement. There were no differences between treatment groups at EOT. At the 6-month follow-up, CBT-AN participants had higher scores on the Weissman Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS; p = 0.038) and at 12 months they had lower Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) global scores (p = 0.004) and higher readiness for recovery (p = 0.013) compared to SSCM.
Patients with SE-AN can make meaningful improvements with both therapies. Both treatments were acceptable and high retention rates at follow-up were achieved. Between-group differences at follow-up were consistent with the nature of the treatments given.
Two different atmospheric pressure microplasma systems are discussed and used for the synthesis and surface engineering of a range of nanomaterials. Specifically a gas-phase approach from vaporized tetramethylsilane has been used to synthesize silicon carbide nanoparticles with diameters below 10 nm. A different microplasma system that interfaces with a liquid solution has then been used for the synthesis of surfactant-free electrically stabilized gold nanoparticles with varying size. A similar microplasma-liquid system has been finally successfully used to tailor surface properties of silicon nanoparticles and to reduce graphene oxide into graphene. The synthesis and surface engineering mechanisms are also discussed.
To identify child and parental factors associated with screen time in 3-year-old children.
Participants were recruited from a large primary-care paediatric group practice in Toronto, Canada.
Healthy 3-year-old children were included. A questionnaire was completed by their parents on screen time. Descriptive statistics and linear regression models were used to assess associations between child screen time and selected factors. Multivariable models included factors from the univariate analysis with P < 0·1. Estimated effects and 95 % CI are reported.
A total of 157 children were enrolled (91 % recruitment). The mean screen time per weekday was 104 min (similar for weekend day). In all, 10 % of children had a television (TV) in their bedroom; 59 % consumed at least one meal while watching TV; and 81 % of parents had household rules about screen time. Controlling for maternal education and age, eating lunch and dinner in front of the screen and mother being employed were associated with an increase in child weekday screen time of 96 (95 % CI 30, 192), 42 (95 % CI 12, 90) and 36 (95 % CI 6, 72) min/d, respectively. Eating lunch in front of the screen and an increase of 1 h of parental screen time were associated with an increase of 78 (95 % CI 36, 132) and 12 (95 % CI 6, 18) min/d in child weekend screen time. Family rules decreased child weekend screen time by 30 (95 % CI 6, 54) min/d.
Interventions that include these important parental factors should be evaluated for their effectiveness in reducing screen time.
Artificial chick shelters might improve productivity of beach-nesting birds threatened by anthropogenic disturbance. We investigated the efficacy of three different chick shelter designs against four criteria: accessibility to chicks over time, thermal insulation, conspicuousness to beach-goers, and practicality (cost and ease of transport). One design (‘A-frame’) was selected because it offered the greatest thermal insulation, was the least conspicuous, most cost effective, and performed equally well in terms of accessibility. We deployed these artificial shelters on Hooded Plover Thinornis rubricollis territories where broods were present (n = 11), and compared the behaviour and survival rate of chicks to that at control sites (n = 10). We were unable to discern any difference in the behaviour of broods when artificial shelters were available. However, the survival rate of chicks to fledging was 71.8% higher where an artificial shelter was provided (n = 21 broods). This was validated by analysing data from a larger sample of broods monitored as part of an active volunteer-based management programme; shelters conferred a 42.8% increase in survival to fledging (n = 81 broods). Thus, artificial shelters have the potential to increase survival rates of threatened shorebird chicks, though the mechanisms through which survival is increased require further investigation.
The UK was one of few European countries to document a substantial wave of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza in summer 2009. The First Few Hundred (FF100) project ran from April–June 2009 gathering information on early laboratory-confirmed cases across the UK. In total, 392 confirmed cases were followed up. Children were predominantly affected (median age 15 years, IQR 10–27). Symptoms were mild and similar to seasonal influenza, with the exception of diarrhoea, which was reported by 27%. Eleven per cent of all cases had an underlying medical condition, similar to the general population. The majority (92%) were treated with antiviral drugs with 12% reporting adverse effects, mainly nausea and other gastrointestinal complaints. Duration of illness was significantly shorter when antivirals were given within 48 h of onset (median 5 vs. 9 days, P=0·01). No patients died, although 14 were hospitalized, of whom three required mechanical ventilation. The FF100 identified key clinical and epidemiological characteristics of infection with this novel virus in near real-time.
On 29 April 2009, an imported case of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection was detected in a London school. As further cases, pupils and staff members were identified, school closure and mass prophylaxis were implemented. An observational descriptive study was conducted to provide an insight into the clinical presentation and transmission dynamics in this setting. Between 15 April and 15 May 2009, 91 symptomatic cases were identified: 33 were confirmed positive for pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus infection; 57 were tested negative; in one the results were unavailable. Transmission occurred first within the school, and subsequently outside. Attack rates were 2% in pupils (15% in the 11–12 years age group) and 17% in household contacts. The predominant symptoms were fever (97%), respiratory symptoms (91%), and sore throat (79%). Limited spread in the school may have been due to a combination of school closure and mass prophylaxis. However, transmission continued through household contacts to other schools.
Surveys of arbovirus activity in Fiji were conducted over a 10-year period from December 1959 to December 1969. No arboviruses were isolated from over 200,000 mosquitoes, 9000 ticks, or 575 serum samples. Eight thousand human and 1117 bird, bat and animal sera were tested for haemagglutination-inhibiting arbovirus antibody using a variety of group A, group B and Bunyamwera group antigens. Only a small number of low-titre reactions were found among the non-human sera, but 14% of all human sera were found to contain Group B antibody. The antibody prevalence increased with increasing age, from less than 1 % for persons born since 1950, to 70% for persons born before 1900. The age differences in prevalence could be used to estimate the time and size of previous epidemics. Differences were found in antibody prevalence between the sexes, between ethnic groups and between persons from different regions. These differences could be explained in terms of climate, location and custom.
Historical and serological evidence both suggest that all the antibody detected was due to past exposure to dengue virus. The very high proportion of the population with no dengue antibody makes Fiji a high-risk area for a further dengue epidemic. Dengue virus is known to be active in the Pacific and South-East Asia.
Natural Cryptosporidium infections in pigs are widespread but generally apathogenic. This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of zoonotic Cryptosporidium spp. in piggeries in Ireland, where the drinking water supply is particularly vulnerable to contamination with zoonotic species. Overall, infections were detected in 39 out of 342 animals (11·4%), with highest infection rates among weaners (15%) and sows (13·3%). Twenty-nine positive samples were genotyped based on SSU rRNA sequence analysis. Infections with Cryptosporidium parvum, the most important zoonotic species were rare and are likely to be of greater concern to animal handlers than suppliers of drinking water. In addition to C. parvum, Cryptosporidium suis, Cryptosporidium pig genotype II, Cryptosporidium muris and a previously undescribed genotype were identified. ABI-profiles indicated the presence of different alleles in at least 40% of all genotyped isolates. This was confirmed in 3 isolates by cloning of the PCR products. Since chronic mixed infections appear to be quite common in pigs they could be considered as models for mixed infections in immunocompromised humans.
Salmonella is one of the most common causes of foodborne infection in Europe with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) being the most commonly identified serovar. The predominant phage type for S. Enteritidis is phage type (PT) 4, although PT 8 has increased in incidence. Within these phage types, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) provides a method of further subdivision. The international project, Salm-gene, was established in 2001 to develop a database of PFGE profiles within nine European countries and to establish criteria for real-time pattern recognition. It uses DNA fingerprints of salmonellas to investigate outbreaks and to evaluate trends and emerging issues of foodborne infection within Europe. The Salm-gene database contains details of about 11 700 S. Enteritidis isolates, demonstrating more than 65 unique PFGE profiles. The clonal nature of S. Enteritidis is evidenced by the high similarity and distribution of PFGE profiles. Over 56% (6603/11 716) of the submitted isolates of several different phage types were profile SENTXB.0001, although this profile is most closely associated with PT 4. The next most common profiles, SENTXB.0002 and SENTXB.0005, were closely associated with PT 8 and PT 21 respectively. Studies to investigate the relationship of profile types with outbreaks and possible vehicles of infection suggest that the incidence of PFGE profile SENTXB.0002, and thus PT 8, in some countries may be due to importation of foods or food production animals from Eastern Europe, where PT 8 is amongst the most frequently identified phage types. Collation of subtyping data, especially in the commonly recognized phage types, is necessary in order to evaluate trends and emerging issues in salmonella infection.