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To examine the psychological and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on patients with established anxiety disorders during a period of stringent mandated social restrictions.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 individuals attending the Galway-Roscommon Mental Health Services with an International Classification of Diseases diagnosis of an anxiety disorder to determine the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on anxiety and mood symptoms, social and occupational functioning and quality of life.
Twelve (40.0%) participants described COVID-19 restrictions as having a deleterious impact on their anxiety symptoms. Likert scale measurements noted that the greatest impact of COVID-19 related to social functioning (mean = 4.5, SD = 2.9), with a modest deleterious effect on anxiety symptoms noted (mean = 3.8, SD = 2.9). Clinician rated data noted that 8 (26.7%) participants had disimproved and 14 (46.7%) participants had improved since their previous clinical review, prior to commencement of COVID-19 restrictions. Conditions associated with no ‘trigger’, such as generalised anxiety disorder, demonstrated a non-significant increase in anxiety symptoms compared to conditions with a ‘trigger’, such as obsessive compulsive disorder. Psychiatric or physical comorbidity did not substantially impact on symptomatology secondary to COVID-19 mandated restrictions.
The psychological and social impact of COVID-19 restrictions on individuals with pre-existing anxiety disorders has been modest with only minimal increases in symptomatology or social impairment noted.
Background: Massive hemorrhage protocols (MHPs) streamline the complex logistics required for prompt care of the bleeding patient, but their uptake has been variable and few regions have a system to measure outcomes from these events. Aim Statement: We aim to implement a standardized MHP with uniform quality improvement (QI) metrics to increase uptake of evidence-based MHPs across 150-hospitals in Ontario between 2017 and 2021. Measures & Design: We performed ongoing PDSA cycles; 1) stakeholder analysis by surveying the Ontario Regional Blood Coordinating Network (ORBCoN), 2) problem characterization and Ishikawa analysis for key QI metrics based on areas of MHP variability in 150 Ontario hospitals using a web-based survey, 3) creation of a consensus MHP via a modified Delphi process, 4) problem characterization at ORBCoN for the design of a freely available toolkit for provincial implementation by expert working groups, 5) design of 8 key QI metrics by a modified Delphi process, and 6) identification of process measures for QI data collection by implementation metrics. Evaluation/Results: PDSA1-2; 150-hospitals were surveyed. 33% of hospitals lacked MHPs, mostly in smaller sites. Major areas for QI were related to activation criteria, hemostatic agents, protocolized hypothermia management, variable MHP naming, QI metrics and serial blood work requirements. PDSA3; 3 Delphi rounds were held to reach 100% expert consensus for 42 statements and 8 CQI metrics. Major areas for modification were protocol name, laboratory resuscitation targets, cooler configurations, and role of factor VIIa. PDSA4; adaptable toolkit is under development by the steering committee and expert working groups. Implementation is scheduled for Spring 2020. PDSA5; the 8 CQI metrics are: TXA administration < 1 h, RBC transfusion < 15 min, call to transfer for definitive care < 60 min, temp >35°C at end of protocol, Hgb kept between 60-110g/L, transition to group-specific RBC by 90 min, appropriate activation defined by ≥6 units RBC in the first 24 hours, and any blood component wastage. Discussion/Impact: MHP uptake, content, and tracking is variable. A standardized MHP that is adaptable to diverse settings decreases complexity, improves use of evidence-based practices, and provides a platform for continuous QI. PDSA6 will occur after implementation; we will complete an implementation survey, and design a pilot and feasibility study for prospective tracking of patient outcomes using existing prospectively collected inter-hospital and provincial databases.
Recent studies have identified DAAO as a probable susceptibility gene for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, little is known about how this gene may affect brain function to increase vulnerability to these disorders.
The present investigation examined the impact of DAAO genotype on brain function in patients with schizophrenia, patients with bipolar I disorder and healthy volunteers.
We tested the hypotheses that the high-risk variant of DAAO would be associated with altered prefrontal function and functional connectivity in schizophrenic and bipolar patients.
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure brain responses during a verbal fluency task in a total of 121 subjects comprising 40 patients with schizophrenia, 33 patients with bipolar I disorder and 48 healthy volunteers. We then used statistical parametric mapping (SPM) and psycho-physiological interaction (PPI) analyses to estimate the main effects of diagnostic group, the main effect of genotype and their interaction on brain activation and functional connectivity.
In schizophrenic patients relative to bipolar patients and controls, the high-risk variant of DAAO was associated with lower deactivation in the left precuneus and greater activation in the right calcarine and posterior cingulate gyrus during task performance. In addiction, these areas expressed altered functional connectivity with the rest of the brain in schizophrenic patients relative to bipolar patients and controls.
Our results suggest that genetic variation in DAAO has a significant impact on brain function and provide preliminary evidence for a disease-specific pattern of gene action in specific brain regions.
P300 wave anomalies correlate with genetic risk for schizophrenia and constitute a plausible endophenotype for the disease. The COMT gene is thought to influence cognitive performance and to be a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia. Unlike two previous studies, we found no significant influence of the COMT gene on P300 amplitude or latency in 189 individuals examined. The well-supported role of the COMT gene both in dopamine catabolism as well as in prefrontal cognition makes a strong theoretical case for the influence of COMT Val158Met polymorphism on P300 endophenotypes. However, the available neurophysiologic evidence suggests that any such association, if present, must be very subtle.
To examine the effect of a polymorphism in the Dopamine Transporter (DAT) gene on brain activation during executive function and, for the first time:
1. determine the extent to which this is altered in schizophrenia and
2. use a verbal fluency paradigm.
This is relevant since:
1. DAT plays a key role in the regulation of dopamine, which modulates cortical activation during cognitive tasks and
2. a disruption of dopamine function is a fundamental pathophysiological feature of schizophrenia.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure whole-brain responses during overt verbal fluency in 85 subjects: 44 healthy volunteers and 41 DSM-IV schizophrenia patients. Main effects of genotype and diagnostic group on activation and their interaction were estimated using an ANOVA in SPM5.
The 10-repeat allele of the 3'UTR VNTR was associated with greater activation than the 9-repeat allele in the left (Z=4.8; FWEp=0.005) and right (Z=4.2; FWEp=0.057) anterior insula and with decreased activation in the rostral anterior cingulate (Z=4.3 FWEp=0.04) during word generation (versus baseline). These effects were irrespective of diagnostic group but generally more marked in patients. There were also strong trends for groupxgenotype interactions in the left middle frontal gyrus and the left nucleus accumbens. Analysis was controlled for task performance, IQ, antipsychotic medication, psychopathology and demographics.
Cortical function during executive tasks is normally modulated by variation in the DAT gene, effect which is dependent on the brain region. DAT's effect may be altered in schizophrenia patients, which may reflect altered central dopamine function.
The heritability of the brain’s structure and function in schizophrenia remains elusive
To assess the influence of genetic and environmental factors on executive function in schizophrenia.
A twin-sibling study of 206 subjects; 163 twins, varying in their zygosity and concordance for schizophrenia, and 43 singletons from sibling clusters varying in their concordance for schizophrenia. We assessed performance and regional brain activation using functional magnetic resonance imaging, during a phonological verbal fluency task.
Patients and their unaffected relatives developed greater activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus, and greater deactivation in the middle temporal gyri bilaterally. These features were maximally evident in subjects with schizophrenia. When the analysis was restricted to the unaffected relatives and healthy controls, a similar pattern was evident. Heritability was greatest in the left hippocampus and the right middle temporal gyrus. Genetic modelling indicated a phenotypic correlation between schizophrenia and increased activity in the inferior frontal gyrus and reduced activity in the left middle temporal gyrus and left hippocampus, which appeared principally due to shared genetic effects.
Both schizophrenia and its familial vulnerability were associated with altered frontal, parahippocampal and temporal activation during verbal fluency. The altered left inferior frontal activity was particularly associated with schizophrenia, while altered left medial temporal and right middle temporal activity were more heritable. The latter was more intimately linked to the genetic risk for schizophrenia, and thus the better candidate intermediate phenotype.
Substantial barriers to prenatal mental health screening exist. The primary objective of this randomized controlled trial is to evaluate the acceptability of computer tablet-based prenatal screening compared to paper-based screening. Secondary objectives are to compare the two screening modes on: (1) detection of depression/anxiety symptoms; (2) disclosure of symptoms; (3) factors associated with acceptability, and disclosure; (4) psychometric properties of the e-version of the tools; and (5) cost-effectiveness.
Pregnant women were recruited from maternity clinics in an urban Canadian city, and were eligible if they were: 1) able to speak/read English; 2) willing to have a diagnostic interview within 1 week. Allocation was by computer-generated randomization. Women in the intervention group completed screening on a computer tablet and those in the control group completed the same assessment in paper-based form. Intention-to-treat analyses compared groups on primary and secondary outcomes. Multivariable logistic regression will identify predictors of intervention acceptability and disclosure.
Preliminary Results – Recruitment was completed on December 8, 2014 (n=587). Mean age of women was 28.7 years (SD 4.7) with 96% partnered and 77% completing at least some post-secondary education. One-third (32.3%) had been treated previously for a mental health problem. Over 90% of women in the intervention and control groups indicated they found/would find computer-based screening acceptable and could fully disclose their concerns. No significant differences in mean depression or anxiety scores were found between groups. Additional results to be generated for presentation
Clinical and cost data will inform approaches to routine prenatal mental health screening.
Perinatal mental healthcare in Canada is characterized by under-diagnosis and under-treatment. Approaches to mental health screening can influence pregnant women’s uptake of treatment services.
To determine the acceptability of mental health screening in Canadian pregnant women.
This cross-sectional survey used the Barriers and Facilitators of Mental Health Screening Survey. The study included pregnant women who read/spoke English. The survey was administered via computer-tablet to women recruited from prenatal classes and maternity clinics in Alberta. Analyses included descriptive statistics and multivariable regression.
Respondents (n=459, 92% participation) were largely 25-34 years old (89%), Caucasian (83%), and partnered (95%). Almost two-thirds of women indicated they expected to be asked about mental health, with 35% reporting their provider asked. The majority (99.8%) indicated that they could be honest with their provider about their mental health if asked and 99.3% of those asked reported they were comfortable with screening. Women indicated a strong preference for routine screening, but identified sporadic assessment as threatening. Women were more likely to report screening as positive if: 1) they had been treated previously for depression/anxiety; or 2) they identified barriers to screening as: a) feeling worried that their concerns were unimportant to their provider; or b) feeling that their provider did not have time to talk about mental health. Women were less likely to report screening as positive if they expected their provider to ask about their mental health.
Findings confirm women’s acceptability of routine prenatal mental health assessment. Results will inform decision-making regarding routine perinatal mental healthcare.
To examine the rate of monitoring of metabolic syndrome and actual rates of metabolic syndrome in two patient cohorts [clozapine treatment and long-acting injectable (LAI) antipsychotic] who are reviewed on an equally regular basis (1–4 weekly) for administration of treatment.
Clinical and laboratory data are examined on 119 patients treated with clozapine and 116 patients treated with LAI antipsychotic medications to determine the rates of metabolic syndrome and evidence of monitoring for metabolic syndrome in the previous 6 months. Individuals with insufficient data from these cohorts were invited to attend for metabolic screening to determine actual rates of metabolic syndrome in these two cohorts of patients.
All metabolic parameters were monitored to a significantly greater extent in the clozapine cohort (>90%), compared to those treated with LAI antipsychotic medications (<50%) (blood pressure, weight, lipid and glucose levels; p < 0.001). Metabolic syndrome was present in 38.9% of those treated with clozapine compared to 31.1% of patients treated with LAI antipsychotic medications (X2 = 0.54, p = 0.46).
These findings suggest that a robust screening plan should be in place to monitor for metabolic syndrome in individuals treated with LAI antipsychotic medications. This screening should include measurement of body weight, waist circumference, fasting glucose, lipids and fasting insulin levels. Early recognition of abnormal metabolic parameters allows early intervention, therefore, improving long-term cardiovascular outcomes.
To identify factors influencing successful international travel among patients with psychotic illness.
Eight individuals participated in a semi-structured interview of 15–20-minute duration with a clinician in relation to their recent experience of international travel. Clinical files were reviewed and a case series was compiled.
Four individuals engaged in international travel without any adverse effects. Four other individuals experienced significant psychotic and/or affective symptoms while travelling. Treatment non-adherence, a lack of awareness of how to obtain support and limited or no pre-travel planning were noted in these individuals.
Pre-travel counselling, treatment adherence, provision of information packages relating to their mental illness and having contact details of their treating mental health team increase the likelihood of successful international travel in patients with psychotic illness. Travelling with a companion may reduce fear of relapse.
Breakfast cereals are widely consumed in Ireland with over 80% of adults choosing ready-to-eat cereals or porridge. In terms of healthy eating, breakfast cereals are considered a nutritious choice and are not expected to contribute significantly to daily salt intakes. Since 2003, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland has coordinated a salt reduction programme to achieve voluntary reduction by the food industry in the salt content of processed foods available in Ireland. This study aims to examine whether salt levels of breakfast cereals are decreasing due to reformulation practices.
A random selection of breakfast cereals on the Irish market were sampled using the following categories: rice-based, bran-based, cornflake-type, biscuit-based, multigrain, muesli and no added salt/low salt varieties in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 (muesli and no added salt/low salt varieties were not sampled again in 2015) (n687). Samples were analysed for sodium content using atomic emission spectrophotometry and converted to salt (g) per 100 g of the food product by multiplying by 2.54. Results were analysed using IBM SPSS (version 25). As data was not normally distributed, median values (minimum and maximum) were investigated across breakfast cereal categories at the different time-points. Differences between the time-points were assessed using Krusal-Wallis test and Mann-Whitney U tests.
In 2003, salt levels were found to be highest in cornflake-type cereals and lowest in no added salt/low salt cereals (2.02 g (0.20–2.31) and 0.01 g (0.0–0.03) per 100 g respectively). The salt content of rice-based, bran-based, cornflake-type, biscuit-based and multigrain varieties significantly decreased (up to 65% in cornflake-type cereals) until 2011. No further reduction was achieved for rice-based, bran-based and cornflake-type varieties in 2015 and a significant increase in salt was observed for biscuit-based (p = 0.001) and multigrain products (p = 0.007). Between 2003 and 2011, no reduction in salt levels was observed for muesli or no added salt/low salt products.
This study revealed there has been a significant reduction in the salt content of breakfast cereals since 2003 – an important finding considering breakfast cereals are recommended for healthy eating. However, this work also shows that continuous salt monitoring is necessary to ensure this reduction in breakfast cereals is maintained. Future FSAI reformulation work will examine a range of nutrients in food products as the food industry have committed to achieve a gradual reduction in fat, saturated fat and sugar, as well as salt, as part of the National Obesity Policy and Action Plan.
Over half of the Irish population is overweight or obese. The Obesity Policy and Action Plan 2016–2025 will set reformulation targets for fat, saturated fat and sugar in Ireland and review progress. In 2016, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland undertook a cross-sectional market scan of yoghurts to evaluate the energy, fat, saturated fat and sugar content based solely on declared nutrition labels. The aims of this 2018 study were to verify the accuracy of declared nutrition information on yoghurts and to confirm the suitability of declared nutrition labels for energy, fat, saturated fat and sugar reformulation monitoring.
Yoghurts identified in the 2016 market scan (n578) were weighted based on categorisation of manufacturer type (branded, own brand), product category (natural, flavoured and luxury) and declared nutrition content. Samples (n200) were randomly selected from these weighted groups and tested by a laboratory accredited for energy, fat, saturated fat, and sugar analysis. Data was analysed using IBM SPSS (version25). As data was not normally distributed, median values were investigated for declared and tested energy, fat, saturated fat and sugar content using Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test and Spearman Rank-Order Correlation.
Of the tested yoghurts, 3% (n6), 5% (n9) and 19% (n31) were outside the recommended European Commission (EC) labelling tolerance for fat, saturated fat and sugar, respectively. Tested nutrient content was consistently lower than declared. There was a statistically significant difference in declared vs. tested energy (87kcal vs. 84kcal p = 0.03), fat (2.7 g vs. 2.5 g p < 0.001), and sugar (9.9 g vs. 8.7 g p < 0.001) content per 100 g yoghurt. Declared vs. tested sugar content per 100 g yoghurt was statistically significant across all yoghurt types, including natural (4.8 g vs. 3.4 g p < 0.001), flavoured (9.7 g vs. 8.6 g p < 0.001) and luxury (15 g vs. 13.6 g p = 0.002). There was a statistically significant difference between declared vs. tested fat (2.8 g vs. 2.5 g p < 0.001) and saturated fat (1.9 g vs.1.6 g p = 0.017) content of own brand yoghurts per 100 g. There was a positive correlation between energy content and portion size (r = .2,p < 0.01).
There was a high level of agreement between declared vs. tested fat and saturated fat content of yoghurts, but a lower level of agreement between declared vs. tested sugar content of yoghurts. This indicates that declared nutrition labels are suitable for reformulation monitoring of fat and saturated fat, but may not be suitable for sugar. This finding will be further investigated and tested in future work planned for nutrition label verification of other food categories.
We investigated a large multistate outbreak that occurred in the United States in 2015–2016. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback studies were conducted to determine the source of the infections. We identified 907 case-patients from 40 states with illness onset dates ranging from July 3, 2015 to March 2, 2016. Sixty-three percent of case-patients reported consuming cucumbers in the week before illness onset. Ten illness sub-clusters linked to events or purchase locations were identified. All sub-clusters investigated received cucumbers from a single distributor which were sourced from a single grower in Mexico. Seventy-five cucumber samples were collected, 19 of which yielded the outbreak strain. Whole genome sequencing performed on 154 clinical isolates and 19 cucumber samples indicated that the sequenced isolates were closely related genetically to one another. This was the largest US foodborne disease outbreak in the last ten years and the third largest in the past 20 years. This was at least the fifth multistate outbreak caused by contaminated cucumbers since 2010. The outbreak is noteworthy because a recall was issued only 17 days after the outbreak was identified, which allowed for the removal of the contaminated cucumbers still available in commerce, unlike previous cucumber associated outbreaks. The rapid identification and response of multiple public health agencies resulted in preventing this from becoming an even larger outbreak.
An Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) programme aims to engage patients in early assessment and phase-specific interventions which are the key elements of the Irish National Clinical Programme for psychosis. This study aims to describe and review the EIP programme offered by Cork’s North Lee Mental Health Services over a 5-year period.
A retrospective descriptive study design was adopted to describe and review the EIP programme, patient demographics and treatments offered in the service over a 5-year period.
A total of 139 patients were accepted into the programme over the 5-year period. The mean age of onset was 30 years (median = 28, SD = 9.9), and the mean duration of untreated psychosis was 8 months (median = 2.5, SD = 15.3). Two-thirds of patients were single on initial assessment, had a history of substance misuse and were unemployed. The majority of the cohort engaged with the keyworkers and occupational therapy but did not complete the full psychological or family programmes offered. Hospital admission was required for 12% of the cohort.
Patients experiencing their first episode of psychosis can successfully be treated in the community with appropriate professional and family support. However, deficiencies were noted in physical health monitoring, as well as in the availability and engagement with family and psychological therapies. Properly resourced early interventions in psychosis teams are necessary to deliver services at internationally recognised standards.
Introduction: Alberta has one of the highest rates of domestic violence (DV) in the country. Emergency departments (EDs) and urgent care centres (UCCs) are significant points of opportunity to screen for DV and intervene. In Alberta, the Calgary Zone began a universal education and direct inquiry program for DV in EDs and UCCs for patients > = 14 years in 2003. The Calgary model is unique in that (a) it provides universal education in addition to screening and (b) screening is truly universal as it includes all age groups and genders. While considering expanding this model provincially, we engaged in the GRADE Adolopment process, to achieve multi-stakeholder consensus on a provincial approach to DV screening, as herewith described. Methods: Using GRADE, we synthesized and rated the quality of evidence on DV screening and presented it to an expert panel of stakeholders from the community, EDs, and Alberta Health Services. There was moderate certainty evidence that screening improved DV identification in antenatal clinics, maternal health services and EDs. There was no evidence of harm and low certainty evidence of improvement in patient-important outcomes. As per Adolopment, the expert panel reviewed the evidence in the context of: a) values and preferences b) benefits and harms, and c) acceptability, feasibility, and resource implications. Results: The panel came to a unanimous decision to conditionally recommend universal screening, i.e., screening all adults above 14 years of age in EDs and UCCs. By conditional, the panel noted that EDs and UCCs must have support resources in place for patients who screen positive to realize the full benefit of screening and avoid harm. The panel deemed universal screening to be a logistically easier recommendation, compared to training healthcare professionals to screen certain subpopulations or assess for specific symptoms associated with DV. The panel noted that despite absence of evidence that screening would impact patient-important outcomes, there was evidence that effective interventions following a positive screen could positively impact these outcomes. The panel stressed the importance of evidence creation in the context of absence of evidence. Conclusion: A GRADE Adolopment process achieved consensus on provincial expansion of an ED-based DV screening program. Moving forward, we plan to gather evidence on patient-important outcomes and understudied subpopulations (i.e. men and the elderly).
The majority of paediatric Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI) are community-associated (CA), but few data exist regarding associated risk factors. We conducted a case–control study to evaluate CA-CDI risk factors in young children. Participants were enrolled from eight US sites during October 2014–February 2016. Case-patients were defined as children aged 1–5 years with a positive C. difficile specimen collected as an outpatient or ⩽3 days of hospital admission, who had no healthcare facility admission in the prior 12 weeks and no history of CDI. Each case-patient was matched to one control. Caregivers were interviewed regarding relevant exposures. Multivariable conditional logistic regression was performed. Of 68 pairs, 44.1% were female. More case-patients than controls had a comorbidity (33.3% vs. 12.1%; P = 0.01); recent higher-risk outpatient exposures (34.9% vs. 17.7%; P = 0.03); recent antibiotic use (54.4% vs. 19.4%; P < 0.0001); or recent exposure to a household member with diarrhoea (41.3% vs. 21.5%; P = 0.04). In multivariable analysis, antibiotic exposure in the preceding 12 weeks was significantly associated with CA-CDI (adjusted matched odds ratio, 6.25; 95% CI 2.18–17.96). Improved antibiotic prescribing might reduce CA-CDI in this population. Further evaluation of the potential role of outpatient healthcare and household exposures in C. difficile transmission is needed.
Objectives: The current study used a mixed-method design to qualitatively examine parents’ definitions of resilience and factors they believed optimized their child’s early outcome following neonatal brain injury. This was followed by quantitative analyses of early developmental and mental health outcomes and their relation to salient biopsychosocial factors. Methods: Participants were parents of children diagnosed with neonatal brain injury due to stroke or hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (N=51; age range of children 18 months to 8 years). The Parent Experiences Questionnaire (PEQ) was used to qualitatively analyze parents’ open-ended responses about their child’s early experiences and outcome. The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Scales of Independent Behaviour Early Developmental Form (SIB-ED) parent ratings were used to measure child resilience from a quantitative perspective, identifying “at-risk” and “resilient” children using standard cutoffs. “Resilient” and “at-risk” children were compared on biopsychosocial variables using univariate t tests and chi-square analyses. Results: Parents provided five unique definitions of their child’s positive outcomes, and many children demonstrated resilience based on parent perspectives and quantitative definitions. Supporting factors included close medical follow-up, early intervention, and intrinsic factors within the child and parent. Group comparisons of “resilient” and “at-risk” children highlighted the importance of parent mental health across these early developmental and mental health outcomes. Conclusions: Many children were described as resilient during the early years by parents using qualitative and quantitative approaches. Findings highlighted the importance of parent well-being in promoting optimal early outcomes. (JINS, 2019, 25, 390–402.)
Resilience thinking – an approach for understanding and managing change – is increasingly central to climate change adaptation law and policy. Yet the influence of adaptation law and policy on the distribution of climate impacts is often overlooked in studies of socio-ecological resilience to climate change. This article demonstrates how environmental justice scholarship helps to address this gap in the literature relating to adaptation law and resilience. Drawing on existing literature, the article identifies four principles to promote resilience and justice through climate adaptation laws. Climate adaptation laws must (i) prepare for, and respond to, change; (ii) address the distributive effects of climate change and adaptation; (iii) promote participation in adaptation processes; and (iv) cross sectors and scales. Each criterion can be implemented in part through existing legal processes, but might also be further supported by incremental law reform. Developing both resilience and justice dimensions will enhance the effectiveness of adaptation laws in addressing climate impacts.
Due to differences in the circulation of influenza viruses, distribution and antigenic drift of A subtypes and B lineages, and susceptibility to infection in the population, the incidence of symptomatic influenza infection can vary widely between seasons and age-groups. Our goal was to estimate the symptomatic infection incidence in the Netherlands for the six seasons 2011/2012 through 2016/2017, using Bayesian evidence synthesis methodology to combine season-specific sentinel surveillance data on influenza-like illness (ILI), virus detections in sampled ILI cases and data on healthcare-seeking behaviour. Estimated age-aggregated incidence was 6.5 per 1000 persons (95% uncertainty interval (UI): 4.7–9.0) for season 2011/2012, 36.7 (95% UI: 31.2–42.8) for 2012/2013, 9.1 (95% UI: 6.3–12.9) for 2013/2014, 41.1 (95% UI: 35.0–47.7) for 2014/2015, 39.4 (95% UI: 33.4–46.1) for 2015/2016 and 27.8 (95% UI: 22.7–33.7) for season 2016/2017. Incidence varied substantially between age-groups (highest for the age-group <5 years: 23 to 47/1000, but relatively low for 65+ years: 2 to 34/1000 over the six seasons). Integration of all relevant data sources within an evidence synthesis framework has allowed the estimation – with appropriately quantified uncertainty – of the incidence of symptomatic influenza virus infection. These estimates provide valuable insight into the variation in influenza epidemics across seasons, by virus subtype and lineage, and between age-groups.
Replacing a portion of a glucose challenge with whole eggs (EGG) or egg whites (WHITE) was shown to protect against glucose-induced impairments in vascular function. We hypothesised in the present study that previously observed vasoprotection following co-ingestion of EGG or WHITE with glucose was attributed to limiting postprandial hyperglycaemia-induced oxidative stress that improves NO∙ bioavailability. Prediabetic men completed a randomised, cross-over study in which they ingested isoenergetic meals containing 100 g glucose (GLU), or 75 g glucose with 1·5 EGG, seven WHITE or two egg yolks (YOLK). At 30 min intervals for 3 h, we assessed plasma NO∙ metabolites, the lipid peroxidation biomarker malondialdehyde, antioxidants, arginine and its methylated metabolites (asymmetric dimethylarginine and symmetric dimethylarginine), tetrahydrobiopterin redox status, vasoconstrictors and inflammatory markers. Compared with GLU, malondialdehyde was lower and NO∙ metabolites were greater in EGG and WHITE, but YOLK was not different from GLU. Malondialdehyde was inversely correlated with NO∙ metabolites and vascular function, whereas NO∙ metabolites were positively correlated with vascular function. Compared with GLU, arginine was greater, but asymmetric and symmetric dimethylarginine and angiotensin-II were lower in all egg-based meals. Antioxidants, tetrahydrobiopterin redox status and inflammatory markers did not differ among treatments. Thus, while each egg-based meal improved arginine metabolism, only EGG and WHITE limited lipid peroxidation. This suggests that vasoprotection mediated by EGG and WHITE likely occurs in an NO∙-dependent manner by improving arginine metabolism and attenuating oxidative stress that otherwise limit NO∙ biosynthesis and bioavailability to the vascular endothelium.