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Early changes in biomarker levels probably occur before bloodstream infection (BSI) is diagnosed. However, this issue has not been fully addressed. We aimed at evaluating the kinetics of C-reactive protein (CRP) and plasma albumin (PA) in the 30 days before community-acquired (CA) BSI diagnosis. From a population-based BSI database we identified 658 patients with at least one measurement of CRP or PA from day −30 (D–30) through day −1 (D–1) before the day of CA-BSI (D0) and a measurement of the same biomarker at D0 or D1. Amongst these, 502 had both CRP and PA measurements which fitted these criteria. CRP and PA concentrations began to change inversely some days before CA-BSI diagnosis, CRP increasing by day −3.1 and PA decreasing by day −1.3. From D–30 to D–4, CRP kinetics (expressed as slopes – rate of concentration change per day) was −1.5 mg/l/day. From D–3 to D1, the CRP slope increased to 36.3 mg/l/day. For albumin, the slope between D–30 to D–2 was 0.1 g/l/day and changed to −1.8 g/l/day between D–1 and D1. We showed that biomarker levels begin to change some days before the CA-BSI diagnosis, CRP 3.1 days and PA 1.3 days before.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
The present study explores the relationship between neuroactive hormones and religious commitment. We hypothesised that religious commitment is mediated by neuropeptide Y and oxytocin. These neurohormones have a well-established role in general well-being, anxiety regulation, stress-resilience, social affiliation and spirituality.
Sixty healthy women (median age 21) participated in the study and completed the Religious Commitment Inventory and other psychometric surveys. Blood was sampled from each participant and serum levels of neuropeptide Y were measured using radioimmunoassay. Oxytocin, stress and sex hormones were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Correlations were tested using non-parametric statistical methods.
We found a positive correlation between serum neuropeptide Y levels and religious commitment, but not between oxytocin and religious commitment.
The present study provides preliminary evidence that neuropeptide Y is a biological correlate of religious commitment.
Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) is a single measure of overall psychosocial impairment caused by mental factors, constituting Axis V of the Diagnostic and Statistical manual of Mental disorders, third and fourth versions. Despite its widespread use, several challenges and shortcomings have been discussed the last three decades. The current article describes some of the more serious challenges of the GAF manual, and presents a revised version more in accordance with the nature of this clinical construct. Some crucial aspects of the understanding of GAF and general guidelines for scoring are also discussed.
Recent studies of attitudes toward economic inequality suggest that most people around the world prefer very low levels of inequality, despite well-known trends toward greater inequality within many countries. Even within countries, people across the political spectrum are said to be in remarkable agreement about the ideal level of economic inequality. Using survey data from 40 countries and a novel survey experiment in the United States, we show that this apparent agreement is illusory. When relying on a widely used cross-national survey measure of Ideal Pay Ratios, preferred levels of inequality are heavily influenced by two well-documented sources of perceptual distortion: the anchoring effect and ratio bias. These effects are substantial and many times larger than the influence of fundamental political predispositions. As a result, these cross-national survey measures tapping preferences regarding economic inequality produce misleading conclusions about desired levels of inequality.
Community-acquired bacteraemia patients (n = 2472), Denmark, 2000–2008. Albumin, C-reactive protein (CRP) and haemoglobin (Hb) measured 2000–2010. We assessed daily mean levels of albumin, CRP and Hb from 30 days before to 30 days after bacteraemia and correlations between albumin vs. CRP and albumin vs. Hb. In linear regression models, we evaluated the contribution of CRP, Hb, chronic and acute variables to the albumin level variations. The mean albumin level (33.6 g/l) was steady before day 1, declined to 29.3 g/l on day 1 with little increase afterward. The mean CRP increased from day −5, peaked on day 1 and declined thereafter. The mean Hb level was fairly constant during days −30/30. Albumin was inversely (R range, − 0.18/–0.47, P < 10−4) correlated with the CRP level and positively (R = 0.17–0.46, P < 10−4) correlated with the HB level. In most models, CRP was the first variable that contributed to the albumin variations, 34–70% of the full model. The sudden decrease of albumin levels, without sudden fluctuations of CRP or Hb, indicated that hypoalbuminaemia was a marker of trans-capillary leakage.
This talk discussed the basics of gravito-inertial asteroseismology as recently developed for stars born with a convective core. Photometric space missions originally built for exoplanet hunting, notably Kepler, have opened up the low-frequency regime of stellar oscillations and revealed a larger diversity in variability than anticipated prior to the era of high-precision space photometry. The talk explained the basics of forward seismic modelling based on gravito-inertial modes, which probe the deep stellar interior. It described how a hierarchical fitting approach allows us to derive the near-core rotation period, the amount and shape of convective core overshooting, and the level of chemical mixing in the radiative envelope for stars born with a convective core and burning hydrogen in their core. A summary of the current status, covering the mass range 1.4 ≲ M ≲ 5 M⊙, is provided here through references to numerous recent papers.
Piglet mortality is a major problem in organic pig production affecting both farm economy and animal welfare. Knowledge is scarce on the risk factors of piglet mortality in Danish commercial organic pig production. The objectives of this study were to evaluate season, litter size, parity, sow body condition and stillborn littermates as risk factors for early piglet mortality and crushing of liveborn piglets from parturition until castration at day 3 to 5 postpartum (pp). The study was conducted over a 1-year period in nine commercial Danish organic pig herds practicing outdoor farrowing all year round. Data included recordings on 3393 farrowings with 50 284 liveborn piglets of which 14.8% died before castration. A subset of the dead piglets were collected and necropsied to identify crushed piglets. The average number of liveborn piglets per litter was 14.8 (SD=3.7) and the average time from parturition until castration was 4.1 (SD=1.7) days. A negative binomial regression analysis was used to model the effect of the predictive variables on the early piglet mortality accounting for different time periods from parturition to castration. An increase in maternal body condition score (BCS) and parity significantly increased the risk of dying between parturition and castration. Early mortality was found to be lowest during spring (March to May) and highest during summer (June to August). Being born into a litter with one or more stillborn littermates increased the risk of early mortality. The risk factors for crushing of piglets were evaluated using a logistic analysis. A significant effect of parity and litter size was found where the odds of at least one piglet in a litter with mortality was diagnosed as crushed increased with increasing parity and litter size. In conclusion, being born during summer (June to August), high parity and maternal BCS and stillborn littermates were found to be risk factors for piglet mortality between parturition and castration. In addition, parity and increasing litter size were found to be risk factors for crushing of piglets in litters with mortality.
Politically relevant numbers often have very limited effects on the policy attitudes of ordinary citizens, which make the widespread use of numbers by politicians somewhat puzzling. This paper argues that politicians’ numerical rhetoric may function as a voter heuristic and that the use of numbers by politicians therefore has a positive impact on voters’ perceptions of these politicians. A survey experiment confirms that even when numbers do little to move voters’ policy positions, numbers do have the effect of making politicians appear more competent. As a consequence, numerical rhetoric can in some cases increase electoral support for a politician.
Numerous factors influence late-life depressive symptoms in adults, many not thoroughly characterized. We addressed whether genetic and environmental influences on depressive symptoms differed by age, sex, and physical illness.
The analysis sample included 24 436 twins aged 40–90 years drawn from the Interplay of Genes and Environment across Multiple Studies (IGEMS) Consortium. Biometric analyses tested age, sex, and physical illness moderation of genetic and environmental variance in depressive symptoms.
Women reported greater depressive symptoms than men. After age 60, there was an accelerating increase in depressive symptom scores with age, but this did not appreciably affect genetic and environmental variances. Overlap in genetic influences between physical illness and depressive symptoms was greater in men than in women. Additionally, in men extent of overlap was greater with worse physical illness (the genetic correlation ranged from near 0.00 for the least physical illness to nearly 0.60 with physical illness 2 s.d. above the mean). For men and women, the same environmental factors that influenced depressive symptoms also influenced physical illness.
Findings suggested that genetic factors play a larger part in the association between depressive symptoms and physical illness for men than for women. For both sexes, across all ages, physical illness may similarly trigger social and health limitations that contribute to depressive symptoms.
In traditional electron/ion laboratory plasmas, the system size
is much larger than both the plasma skin depth
and the Debye length
. In current and planned efforts to create electron/positron plasmas in the laboratory, this is not necessarily the case. A low-temperature, low-density system may have
; a high-density, thermally relativistic system may have
. Here we consider the question of what plasma physics phenomena are accessible (and/or diagnostically exploitable) in these different regimes and how this depends on magnetization. While particularly relevant to ongoing pair plasma creation experiments, the transition from single-particle behaviour to collective, ‘plasma’ effects – and how the criterion for that threshold is different for different phenomena – is an important but often neglected topic in electron/ion systems as well.
In Danish organic pig production, one-third of total born piglets die before weaning, and stillbirth has previously crudely been estimated to account for 27% of the total preweaning mortality. The objective of this study was to evaluate season, litter size, parity and body condition of the sow as risk factors for stillbirth in nine commercial Danish organic pig herds. The study was conducted over a 1-year period, and the data included registrations on 5170 farrowings with 82 906 total born piglets. The average number of total born piglets per litter was 16.0, and the number of stillborn piglets per litter was 1.1. A significant effect of season was seen with an odds ratio for stillbirth of 1.15 during summer (May to August) compared with the remaining part of the year. A non-linear effect of litter size was seen where an increase in litter size from 11 to 16 resulted in an odds ratio of stillbirth of 1.11. An increase in litter size from 16 to 21 resulted in an odds ratio of stillbirth of 1.45. A significant interaction between body condition and parity was present. In first parity sows, an increase in body condition score from 2 (thin) to 3 (moderate) and from 3 to 4 (fat) increased the probability of stillbirth with an odds ratio of 1.23 and 1.36, respectively. In sows with parity above 4, an increase in body condition score from 2 to 3 and from 3 to 4 decreases the probability of stillbirth with an odds ratio of 0.68 and 0.79, respectively. In conclusion, increasing litter size and being born during the summer months of May to August were found to be risk factors for stillbirth. Furthermore, an interaction between body condition and parity showed that thin sows with parity above 4 had a substantially increased risk of stillbirth compared with normal and fat sows with parity above 4. In contrast, for parity 1 sows risk of stillbirth was increased in fat sows.
Leptospirosis is the most widespread zoonosis in humans worldwide. In the United States, widespread detection of antibodies to leptospirosis have been identified in feral swine (Sus scrofa) with the highest detection of serovars, Bratislava, Icterohaemorrhagiae, and Pomona. Over the past few years, feral swine populations have expanded their geographical range and distribution in the United States with reports in at least 39 of 50 states. Since feral swine serve as reservoirs for serovars that can infect humans, it is important to understand the risk of transmission. In order to learn more about the probability that feral swine shed infectious leptospires, we collected kidneys and paired serum when possible from 677 feral swine in 124 counties of 29 states. These counties had previously been identified as antibody positive for Leptospira interrogans serovars Bratislava, Canicola, Grippotyphosa, Hardjo, Icterohaemorrhagiae or Pomona. Although exposure to these same six serovars of leptospirosis continued to be high (53% overall) in the counties we sampled, we detected leptospiral DNA in only 3·4% of feral swine kidneys tested. Based on these results, it appears that although feral swine can serve as a source of infection to humans, especially in those who are more likely to encounter them directly such as wildlife biologists, veterinarians, and hunters, the risk may be relatively low. However, further studies to examine the relationship between leptospiral shedding in the urine and kidneys in addition to culturing the organism are recommended in order to better understand the risk associated with feral swine.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is moderately heritable, however genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for MDD, as well as for related continuous outcomes, have not shown consistent results. Attempts to elucidate the genetic basis of MDD may be hindered by heterogeneity in diagnosis. The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale provides a widely used tool for measuring depressive symptoms clustered in four different domains which can be combined together into a total score but also can be analysed as separate symptom domains.
We performed a meta-analysis of GWAS of the CES-D symptom clusters. We recruited 12 cohorts with the 20- or 10-item CES-D scale (32 528 persons).
One single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs713224, located near the brain-expressed melatonin receptor (MTNR1A) gene, was associated with the somatic complaints domain of depression symptoms, with borderline genome-wide significance (pdiscovery = 3.82 × 10−8). The SNP was analysed in an additional five cohorts comprising the replication sample (6813 persons). However, the association was not consistent among the replication sample (pdiscovery+replication = 1.10 × 10−6) with evidence of heterogeneity.
Despite the effort to harmonize the phenotypes across cohorts and participants, our study is still underpowered to detect consistent association for depression, even by means of symptom classification. On the contrary, the SNP-based heritability and co-heritability estimation results suggest that a very minor part of the variation could be captured by GWAS, explaining the reason of sparse findings.
Increasing litter size has led to introduction of so-called nurse sows in several EU countries. A nurse sow is a sow receiving piglets after having weaned her own piglets and thereby experiencing an extended lactation. In order to analyse whether nurse sows have more welfare problems than non-nurse sows a cross-sectional study was conducted in 57 sow herds in Denmark. Clinical observations were made on nurse and non-nurse sows and their litters. The clinical observations were dichotomized and the effect of being a nurse sow was analysed based on eight parameters: thin (body condition score<2.5), swollen bursae on legs, dew claw wounds, vulva lesions, poor hygiene, poor skin condition, shoulder lesions and cuts and wounds on the udder. Explanatory variables included in the eight models were: nurse sow (yes=1/no=0), age of piglets (weeks old, 1 to 7), parity (1 to 8+) and all first order interactions between these three variables. The effect of using nurse sows on piglet welfare was analysed with five models. The outcomes were: huddling, poor hygiene, lameness, snout cuts and carpal abrasions. The explanatory variables included in the five models were: nurse sow (yes=1/no=0), age of piglets (weeks old, 1 to 7), parity (1 to 8+) and all first order interactions between these three variables. Herd identity was included as a random factor in all models. The nurse sows had a significantly higher risk of swollen bursae on legs (P=0.038) and udder wounds (P=0.001). No differences in risk of being thin or having shoulder lesions were found. Foster litters had significantly higher risk of being dirty (P=0.026) and getting carpal abrasions (P=0.024) than non-foster litters. There was a tendency for higher lameness in foster litters than in non-foster litters (P=0.052). The results show that nurse sows and their piglets to some extent experience more welfare problems than non-nurse sows with piglets at a similar age.
As feral swine continue to expand their geographical range and distribution across the United States, their involvement in crop damage, livestock predation, and pathogen transmission is likely to increase. Despite the relatively recent discovery of feral swine involvement in the aetiology of a variety of pathogens, their propensity to transmit and carry a wide variety of pathogens is disconcerting. We examined sera from 2055 feral swine for antibody presence to six serovars of Leptospira that can also infect humans, livestock or domestic animals. About 13% of all samples tested positive for at least one serovar, suggesting that Leptospira infection is common in feral swine. Further studies to identify the proportion of actively infected animals are needed to more fully understand the risk they pose.
Hypothermia is a major cause of mortality in neonatal pigs. Infrared (IR) thermography is a promising non-invasive method to assess thermal status, but has not been evaluated for use on neonatal pigs from birth. The aim of this study was to evaluate the application of IR thermography as a non-invasive tool to estimate body temperature and assess the thermal status in newborn pigs by (1) estimating the relationship between surface temperature and rectal temperature (RT) in neonatal pigs; and (2) estimating the influence of air temperature (AT), birth weight and the time from birth on the relationship between surface temperature and RT. The method was evaluated on the basis of 1695 thermograms and 915 RTs on 91 neonatal pigs born in loose farrowing pens with floor heating at 34°C, and three different ATs (15°C, 20°C and 25°C). Full-body thermograms of the back and the side of the pigs and RT were acquired at 11 sampling times between birth and 48 h after birth. The maximum (IRmax), minimum, average of the full body and ear minimum IR surface temperatures were derived from the thermograms. IRmax had the highest correlation with RT (0.82) and was therefore used in the statistical analysis. The relation of RT by IRmax depended on time at: 0 h (slope: 0.20°C, P<0.001), 0.25 h (slope: 0.42°C, P<0.01), and 0.5 and 1 h after birth (slope: 0.68°C, P<0.001). After the 1st hour (1.5 to 48 h) the relation of RT by IRmax was no longer affected by time (slope: 0.63°C, P<0.001). The agreement between RT and IRmax was improved (P<0.001) after the 1st hour (RT−IRmax 0 to 1 h: 2.02 (1.44)°C; 1.5 to 48 h: 0.95 (0.85)°C). IRmax below 30°C was indicative of piglets having RT<32°C (91.3%). The location of IRmax was identified predominantly at the base of the ears (27/50), other sites in the region of the head (12/50) and the axilla area (8/50). There was a small but significant effect of the angle as IRmax_side–IRmax_back: mean 0.20°C (P<0.001). On the basis of the low difference between IRmax from back and side view thermograms, and the location of IRmax, the angle seems less important and thus the method has the potential to be used without the need for manual restraint of the pigs. On the basis of the results of this study, we propose that IRmax temperature from full-body thermograms has implication as a valid tool to assess the thermal status in neonatal piglets but not as an identical substitute for RT.