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We aimed to provide comprehensive estimates of laboratory-confirmed respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-associated hospitalisations. Between 2012 and 2015, active surveillance of acute respiratory infection (ARI) hospitalisations during winter seasons was used to estimate the seasonal incidence of laboratory-confirmed RSV hospitalisations in children aged <5 years in Auckland, New Zealand (NZ). Incidence rates were estimated by fine age group, ethnicity and socio-economic status (SES) strata. Additionally, RSV disease estimates determined through active surveillance were compared to rates estimated from hospital discharge codes. There were 5309 ARI hospitalisations among children during the study period, of which 3923 (73.9%) were tested for RSV and 1597 (40.7%) were RSV-positive. The seasonal incidence of RSV-associated ARI hospitalisations, once corrected for non-testing, was 6.1 (95% confidence intervals 5.8–6.4) per 1000 children <5 years old. The highest incidence was among children aged <3 months. Being of indigenous Māori or Pacific ethnicity or living in a neighbourhood with low SES independently increased the risk of an RSV-associated hospitalisation. RSV hospital discharge codes had a sensitivity of 71% for identifying laboratory-confirmed RSV cases. RSV infection is a leading cause of hospitalisation among children in NZ, with significant disparities by ethnicity and SES. Our findings highlight the need for effective RSV vaccines and therapies.
Advanced forecasting of space weather requires prediction of near-Earth solar-wind conditions on the basis of remote solar observations. This is typically achieved using numerical magnetohydrodynamic models initiated by photospheric magnetic field observations. The accuracy of such forecasts is being continually improved through better numerics, better determination of the boundary conditions and better representation of the underlying physical processes. Thus it is not unreasonable to conclude that simple, empirical solar-wind forecasts have been rendered obsolete. However, empirical models arguably have more to contribute now than ever before. In addition to providing quick, cheap, independent forecasts, simple empirical models aid in numerical model validation and verification, and add value to numerical model forecasts through parameterization, uncertainty estimation and ‘downscaling’ of sub-grid processes.
Background: Radiotherapy with procarbazine, lomustine, and vincristine improves overall survival (OS) in patients with 1p19q co-deleted anaplastic oligodendroglioma/anaplastic oligoastrocytoma. Methods: This retrospective analysis investigated outcomes in patients with 1p19q co-deleted/partially deleted oligodendroglioma, oligoastrocytoma, anaplastic oligodendroglioma, or anaplastic oligoastrocytoma. OS and progression-free survival (PFS) were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and prognostic factors using the Cox proportional hazard model. Results: A total of 106 patients (between December 1997 and December 2013) were included. Median age was 40 years (19-66), 58 were male (55%), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status was 0 in 80 patients (75%). 1p19q status was co-deleted in 66 (62%), incompletely co-deleted in 27 (25%), and 1p or 19q loss alone in four (4%) and nine (8%) patients, respectively. Isocitrate dehydrogenase-1 R132H mutation was found in 67 of 85 patients with sufficient material. Upfront treatment was given in 72 (68%) patients and temozolomide alone in 52 (49%). Median time to radiotherapy in 47 patients (44%) was 34.7 months and 41.2 months in 9 patients with co-deleted/incompletely co-deleted anaplastic oligodendroglioma/anaplastic oligoastrocytoma who received upfront temozolomide alone. Median OS was not reached and 5-year OS was 91% for all groups (median follow-up, 5.1 years). On multivariable analysis for all patients, receipt of therapy upfront versus none (p=0.04), PS 1 versus 0 (p<0.001) and 1p19q co-deletion/incomplete deletion versus 1p or 19q loss alone (p=0.005) were prognostic for PFS. Isocitrate dehydrogenase-1 status was not prognostic for PFS. Conclusions: With similar survival patterns in low-grade/anaplastic gliomas, molecular characteristics may be more important than histological grade. Longer follow-up and results of prospective trials are needed for definitive guidance on treatment of these patients.
We present the results of two 2.3 μm near-infrared (NIR) radial velocity (RV) surveys to detect exoplanets around 36 nearby and young M dwarfs. We use the CSHELL spectrograph (R ~ 46,000) at the NASA InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF), combined with an isotopic methane absorption gas cell for common optical path relative wavelength calibration. We have developed a sophisticated RV forward modeling code that accounts for fringing and other instrumental artifacts present in the spectra. With a spectral grasp of only 5 nm, we are able to reach long-term radial velocity dispersions of ~20–30 m s−1 on our survey targets.
Dietary assessment in older adults can be challenging. The Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing (NANA) method is a touch-screen computer-based food record that enables older adults to record their dietary intakes. The objective of the present study was to assess the relative validity of the NANA method for dietary assessment in older adults. For this purpose, three studies were conducted in which a total of ninety-four older adults (aged 65–89 years) used the NANA method of dietary assessment. On a separate occasion, participants completed a 4 d estimated food diary. Blood and 24 h urine samples were also collected from seventy-six of the volunteers for the analysis of biomarkers of nutrient intake. The results from all the three studies were combined, and nutrient intake data collected using the NANA method were compared against the 4 d estimated food diary and biomarkers of nutrient intake. Bland–Altman analysis showed a reasonable agreement between the dietary assessment methods for energy and macronutrient intake; however, there were small, but significant, differences for energy and protein intake, reflecting the tendency for the NANA method to record marginally lower energy intakes. Significant positive correlations were observed between urinary urea and dietary protein intake using both the NANA and the 4 d estimated food diary methods, and between plasma ascorbic acid and dietary vitamin C intake using the NANA method. The results demonstrate the feasibility of computer-based dietary assessment in older adults, and suggest that the NANA method is comparable to the 4 d estimated food diary, and could be used as an alternative to the food diary for the short-term assessment of an individual's dietary intake.
Within a longitudinal study of 1,005 adolescents, we investigated how exposure to childhood psychosocial adversities was associated with the emergence of depressive symptoms between 14 and 17 years of age. The cohort was classified into four empirically determined adversity subtypes for two age periods in childhood (0–5 and 6–11 years). One subtype reflects normative/optimal family environments (n = 692, 69%), while the other three subtypes reflect differential suboptimal family environments (aberrant parenting: n = 71, 7%; discordant: n = 185, 18%; and hazardous: n = 57, 6%). Parent-rated child temperament at 14 years and adolescent self-reported recent negative life events in early and late adolescence were included in models implementing path analysis. There were gender-differentiated associations between childhood adversity subtypes and adolescent depressive symptoms. The discordant and hazardous subtypes were associated with elevated depressive symptoms in both genders but the aberrant parenting subtype only so in girls. Across adolescence the associations between early childhood adversity and depressive symptoms diminished for boys but remained for girls. Emotional temperament was also associated with depressive symptoms in both genders, while proximal negative life events related to depressive symptoms in girls only. There may be neurodevelopmental factors that emerge in adolescence that reduce depressogenic symptoms in boys but increase such formation in girls.
Health-beneficial effects of adhering to a healthy Nordic diet index have been suggested. However, it has not been examined to what extent the included dietary components are exclusively related to the Nordic countries or if they are part of other European diets as well, suggesting a broader preventive potential. The present study describes the intake of seven a priori defined healthy food items (apples/pears, berries, cabbages, dark bread, shellfish, fish and root vegetables) across ten countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) and examines their consumption across Europe.
Cross-sectional study. A 24 h dietary recall was administered through a software program containing country-specific recipes. Sex-specific mean food intake was calculated for each centre/country, as well as percentage of overall food groups consumed as healthy Nordic food items. All analyses were weighted by day and season of data collection.
Multi-centre, European study.
Persons (n 36 970) aged 35–74 years, constituting a random sample of 519 978 EPIC participants.
The highest intakes of the included diet components were: cabbages and berries in Central Europe; apples/pears in Southern Europe; dark bread in Norway, Denmark and Greece; fish in Southern and Northern countries; shellfish in Spain; and root vegetables in Northern and Central Europe. Large inter-centre variation, however, existed in some countries.
Dark bread, root vegetables and fish are strongly related to a Nordic dietary tradition. Apples/pears, berries, cabbages, fish, shellfish and root vegetables are broadly consumed in Europe, and may thus be included in regional public health campaigns.
The 2011 earthquake that devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, led to the closure and evacuation of 7 residential care facilities and the partial evacuation of 2 more. Altogether, 516 elderly persons were evacuated. The emergent nature of the disaster was unexpected and largely unplanned for. This study explored the evacuees’ experiences and identified lessons learned for future disaster planning.
This qualitative study used a general inductive method. Semistructured interviews with evacuees were held in 4 centers throughout New Zealand. Their informal caregivers were also identified and interviewed. Answers were coded and grouped for key themes to provide lessons learned for future disaster planning.
We conducted 50 interviews with older people and 34 with informal caregivers. Key themes that emerged were resilience and factors that promoted resilience, including personal attitudes, life experiences, enhanced family support, and social supports. Areas of concern were (1) the mental health of evacuees: 36% reported some symptoms of anxiety, while 32.4% of caregivers reported some cognitive decline; and (2) communication difficulties during the evacuations.
Older people were remarkably resilient to the difficult events, and resilience was promoted by family and community support. Anxiety was reported by older people, while informal caregivers reported cognitive issues. Communication difficulties were a major concern.
The target adopted by world leaders of significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 was not met but this stimulated a new suite of biodiversity targets for 2020 adopted by the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in October 2010. Indicators will be essential for monitoring progress towards these targets and the CBD will be defining a suite of relevant indicators, building on those developed for the 2010 target. Here we argue that explicitly linked sets of indicators offer a more useful framework than do individual indicators because the former are easier to understand, communicate and interpret to guide policy. A Response-Pressure-State-Benefit framework for structuring and linking indicators facilitates an understanding of the relationships between policy actions, anthropogenic threats, the status of biodiversity and the benefits that people derive from it. Such an approach is appropriate at global, regional, national and local scales but for many systems it is easier to demonstrate causal linkages and use them to aid decision making at national and local scales. We outline examples of linked indicator sets for humid tropical forests and marine fisheries as illustrations of the concept and conclude that much work remains to be done in developing both the indicators and the causal links between them.
The proposed mechanism for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) offers significant potential for conserving forests to reduce negative impacts of climate change. Tanzania is one of nine pilot countries for the United Nations REDD Programme, receives significant funding from the Norwegian, Finnish and German governments and is a participant in the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. In combination, these interventions aim to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, provide an income to rural communities and conserve biodiversity. The establishment of the UN-REDD Programme in Tanzania illustrates real-world challenges in a developing country. These include currently inadequate baseline forestry data sets (needed to calculate reference emission levels), inadequate government capacity and insufficient experience of implementing REDD+-type measures at operational levels. Additionally, for REDD+ to succeed, current users of forest resources must adopt new practices, including the equitable sharing of benefits that accrue from REDD+ implementation. These challenges are being addressed by combined donor support to implement a national forest inventory, remote sensing of forest cover, enhanced capacity for measuring, reporting and verification, and pilot projects to test REDD+ implementation linked to the existing Participatory Forest Management Programme. Our conclusion is that even in a country with considerable donor support, progressive forest policies, laws and regulations, an extensive network of managed forests and increasingly developed locally-based forest management approaches, implementing REDD+ presents many challenges. These are being met by coordinated, genuine partnerships between government, non-government and community-based agencies.
A series of visual–acoustic surveys were carried out in the Mediterranean Sea between 2003 and 2007 from RV ‘Song of the Whale’. Almost 21,000 km of trackline were surveyed between the longitudes of 14°W and 36°E with an emphasis on regions with low survey effort. Survey tracklines were designed to provide even coverage probability with random start points. Ten cetacean species were positively identified (sperm whale, fin whale, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, long-finned pilot whale, Risso's dolphin, common bottlenose dolphin, rough-toothed dolphin, striped dolphin and short-beaked common dolphin). Several of these species, plus sei whale and harbour porpoise, were also encountered in the Atlantic contiguous area (the entrance waters of the Mediterranean between the Iberian Peninsula and north-west Morocco). These surveys expand and clarify the known distributions of cetaceans within the Mediterranean basin. New species documented from Libyan waters include sperm whale, striped dolphin and rough-toothed dolphin. False killer whales and rough-toothed dolphins were documented for the first time off Cyprus. Live harbour porpoises were seen for the first time on Morocco's Atlantic seaboard. It is suggested that the status of rough-toothed dolphins in the Mediterranean be revised from visitor to regular species. Substantial new information on encounter rates is now available for the planning of a basin-wide systematic survey of cetaceans within the Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic waters.
To explore relationships between different styles of working and measures of occupational pressure in consultant psychiatrists. A random sample of 500 consultant psychiatrists were sent a questionnaire about working patterns and lifestyle factors, with other sections using validated tools (such as the 12-item General Health Questionnaire; GHQ).
There were 185 useable questionnaires returned (an adjusted response rate of 39%). Significant relationships were identified between job content and GHQ and burnout scores, indicating that occupational pressures are rendering some consultant posts ‘problem posts', leading to problematic levels of psychological distress among some consultants.
Although consultant psychiatrists are more satisfied than not with their jobs, steps need to be taken to address the causes of ‘problem posts', to reduce attrition in the most pressured individuals.
Previous research suggests that social workers experience high levels of
stress and burnout but most remain committed to their work.
To examine the prevalence of stress and burnout, and job satisfaction
among mental health social workers (MHSWs) and the factors responsible
A postal survey incorporating the General Health Questionnaire, Maslach
Burnout Inventory, Karasek Job Content Questionnaire and a job
satisfaction measure was sent to 610 MHSWs in England and Wales.
Eligible respondents (n=237) reported high levels of
stress and emotional exhaustion and low levels of job satisfaction; 111
(47%) showed significant symptomatology and distress, which is twice the
level reported by similar surveys of psychiatrists. Feeling undervalued
at work, excessive job demands, limited latitude in decision-making, and
unhappiness about the place of MHSWs in modern services contributed to
the poor job satisfaction and most aspects of burnout. Those who had
approved social worker status had greater dissatisfaction.
Stress may exacerbate recruitment and retention problems. Employers must
recognise the demands placed upon MHSWs and value their contribution to
mental health services.