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Information on the Omega-3 Index (O3I) in the United Kingdom (UK) is scarce. The UK-Biobank (UKBB) contains data on total plasma n3-PUFA% and DHA% measured by NMR. The aim of our study was to create an equation to estimate the O3I (eO3I) from these data. We first performed an inter-laboratory experiment with 250 random blood samples in which the O3I was measured in erythrocytes by GC, and total n3 % and DHA% were measured in plasma by NMR. The best predictor of eO3I included both DHA% and a derived metric, the total n3 %–DHA%. Together these explained 65 % of the variability (r = 0·832, P < 0·0001). We then estimated the O3I in 117 108 UKBB subjects and correlated it with demographic and lifestyle variables in multivariable-adjusted models. The mean eO3I was 5·58 % (sd 2·35 %) in this UKBB cohort. Several predictors were significantly correlated with eO3I (all P < 0·0001). In general order of impact and with directionality (–, inverse and +, direct): oily-fish consumption (+), fish oil supplement use (+), female sex (+), older age (+), alcohol use (+), smoking (–), higher waist circumference and BMI (–), lower socioeconomic status and less education (–). Only 20·5 % of eO3I variability could be explained by predictors investigated, and oily fish consumption accounted for 7·0 % of that. With the availability of the eO3I in the UKBB cohort, we will be in a position to link risk for a variety of diseases with this commonly used and well-documented marker of n3-PUFA biostatus.
Many male prisoners have significant mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. High proportions struggle with homelessness and substance misuse.
This study aims to evaluate whether the Engager intervention improves mental health outcomes following release.
The design is a parallel randomised superiority trial that was conducted in the North West and South West of England (ISRCTN11707331). Men serving a prison sentence of 2 years or less were individually allocated 1:1 to either the intervention (Engager plus usual care) or usual care alone. Engager included psychological and practical support in prison, on release and for 3–5 months in the community. The primary outcome was the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation Outcome Measure (CORE-OM), 6 months after release. Primary analysis compared groups based on intention-to-treat (ITT).
In total, 280 men were randomised out of the 396 who were potentially eligible and agreed to participate; 105 did not meet the mental health inclusion criteria. There was no mean difference in the ITT complete case analysis between groups (92 in each arm) for change in the CORE-OM score (1.1, 95% CI –1.1 to 3.2, P = 0.325) or secondary analyses. There were no consistent clinically significant between-group differences for secondary outcomes. Full delivery was not achieved, with 77% (108/140) receiving community-based contact.
Engager is the first trial of a collaborative care intervention adapted for prison leavers. The intervention was not shown to be effective using standard outcome measures. Further testing of different support strategies for prison with mental health problems is needed.
Gatherings where people are eating and drinking can increase the risk of getting and spreading SARS-CoV-2 among people who are not fully vaccinated; prevention strategies like wearing masks and physical distancing continue to be important for some groups. We conducted an online survey to characterise fall/winter 2020–2021 holiday gatherings, decisions to attend and prevention strategies employed during and before gatherings. We determined associations between practicing prevention strategies, demographics and COVID-19 experience. Among 502 respondents, one-third attended in person holiday gatherings; 73% wore masks and 84% practiced physical distancing, but less did so always (29% and 23%, respectively). Younger adults were 44% more likely to attend gatherings than adults ≥35 years. Younger adults (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) 1.53, 95% CI 1.19–1.97), persons who did not experience COVID-19 themselves or have relatives/close friends experience severe COVID-19 (aPR 1.56, 95% CI 1.18–2.07), and non-Hispanic White persons (aPR 1.57, 95% CI 1.13–2.18) were more likely to not always wear masks in public during the 2 weeks before gatherings. Public health messaging emphasizing consistent application of COVID-19 prevention strategies is important to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
Violence and aggression are a major concern in acute inpatient psychiatric wards. Hard outcome data on the impact of service change are scarce. This poster presents the outcomes of service changes designed to improve the acute ward environment and patient experience.
Aims and objectives
To implement changes to the delivery of acute inpatient psychiatric services and to measure the outcome of these changes in objective verifiable form.
Significant changes were introduced to an acute psychiatric inpatient service. These included introducing a dedicated inpatient psychiatrist “hospitalist”, replacing weekly ward rounds with daily multidisciplinary care and discharge planning meetings and promoting increased roles for nursing staff in decision-making and patient contact. Outcomes measured included routinely recorded incidents of violence with and without injury, use of restraint for medication and use of constant nursing observation. The control group was a similar service in the same hospital subject to the same general policies and admitting patients demographically comparable, but that did not at the time undergo the interventions implemented in the trial service. All data was recorded by staff who were unaware of this study or even that any analysis of the data would occur.
Results and conclusions
Violent incidents in the intervention ward dropped by 34% per patient (p=< 0.02) whilst increasing by 3% in the control ward; restraints decreased by 28% (p=ns) whilst increasing by 12% in the control ward; with an overall reduction in constant observation. The intervention was highly effective in reducing violent incidents.
Studies have shown that the reduction in serum TAG concentrations with long-chain n-3 fatty acid supplementation is highly variable among individuals. The objectives of the present study were to compare the proportions of individuals whose TAG concentrations lowered after high-dose DHA and EPA, and to identify the predictors of response to both modalities. In a double-blind, controlled, crossover study, 154 men and women were randomised to three supplemented phases of 10 weeks each: (1) 2·7 g/d of DHA, (2) 2·7 g/d of EPA and (3) 3 g/d of maize oil, separated by 9-week washouts. As secondary analyses, the mean intra-individual variation in TAG was calculated using the standard deviation from the mean of four off-treatment samples. The response remained within the intra-individual variation (±0·25 mmol/l) in 47 and 57 % of participants after DHA and EPA, respectively. Although there was a greater proportion of participants with a reduction >0·25 mmol/l after DHA than after EPA (45 υ. 32 %; P < 0·001), the mean TAG reduction was comparable between groups (–0·59 (sem 0·04) υ. –0·57 (sem 0·05) mmol/l). Participants with a reduction >0·25 mmol/l after both DHA and EPA had higher non-HDL-cholesterol, TAG and insulin concentrations compared with other responders at baseline (all P < 0·05). In conclusion, supplementation with 2·7 g/d DHA or EPA had no meaningful effect on TAG concentrations in a large proportion of individuals with normal mean TAG concentrations at baseline. Although DHA lowered TAG in a greater proportion of individuals compared with EPA, the magnitude of TAG lowering among them was similar.
The incidence of deep neck space abscesses, which can result in significant morbidity and mortality, is rising. The aetiology is thought to be dental. However, this study suggests a reduction in tonsillectomies may be associated with the rise.
In a retrospective cohort study, patients were identified by a clinical code within one hospital over 10 years. Evidence of preceding infection source, management, lifestyle risks, comorbidities and demographics were extracted.
Fifty-two patients were included: 23 (44 per cent) had concurrent or recent tonsillitis; 11 (21 per cent) had poor dental hygiene; 22 (42 per cent) were smokers; and 9 (17 per cent) had diabetes. The incidence of deep neck space abscess cases increased from 1 in 2006, to 15 in 2015 (correlation value 0.9; p = 0.00019).
The incidence of deep neck space abscess cases is increasing. Risk factors include tonsillitis, smoking and dental infection. This paper adds to the growing evidence that deep neck space abscesses are increasingly related to tonsillitis, and questions whether the threshold for tonsillectomy has been raised too high.
The purpose of this review is to consider the effects of the long-chain n-3 fatty acids found in marine foods, EPA and DHA, on risk for CVD, particularly fatal outcomes. It will examine both epidemiological and randomised controlled trial findings. The former studies usually examine associations between the dietary intake or the blood levels of EPA + DHA and CVD outcomes or, on occasion, total mortality. For example, our studies in the Framingham Heart Study and in the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study have demonstrated significant inverse relations between erythrocyte EPA + DHA levels (i.e. the Omega-3 Index) and total mortality. Recent data from the Cardiovascular Health Study reported the same relations between plasma phospholipid n-3 levels and overall healthy ageing. As regards randomised trials, studies in the 1990s and early 2000s were generally supportive of a cardiovascular benefit for fish oils (which contain EPA + DHA), but later trials were generally not able to duplicate these findings, at least for total CVD events. However, when restricted to effects on risk for fatal events, meta-analyses have shown consistent benefits for n-3 treatment. Taken together, the evidence is strong for a cardioprotective effect of EPA + DHA, especially when consumed in sufficient amounts to raise blood levels into healthy ranges. Establishing target EPA + DHA intakes to reduce risk for cardiovascular death is a high priority.
A robust biomedical informatics infrastructure is essential for academic health centers engaged in translational research. There are no templates for what such an infrastructure encompasses or how it is funded. An informatics workgroup within the Clinical and Translational Science Awards network conducted an analysis to identify the scope, governance, and funding of this infrastructure. After we identified the essential components of an informatics infrastructure, we surveyed informatics leaders at network institutions about the governance and sustainability of the different components. Results from 42 survey respondents showed significant variations in governance and sustainability; however, some trends also emerged. Core informatics components such as electronic data capture systems, electronic health records data repositories, and related tools had mixed models of funding including, fee-for-service, extramural grants, and institutional support. Several key components such as regulatory systems (e.g., electronic Institutional Review Board [IRB] systems, grants, and contracts), security systems, data warehouses, and clinical trials management systems were overwhelmingly supported as institutional infrastructure. The findings highlighted in this report are worth noting for academic health centers and funding agencies involved in planning current and future informatics infrastructure, which provides the foundation for a robust, data-driven clinical and translational research program.
Whether monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins differ from each other in a variety of phenotypes is important for genetic twin modeling and for inferences made from twin studies in general. We analyzed whether there were differences in individual, maternal and paternal education between MZ and DZ twins in a large pooled dataset. Information was gathered on individual education for 218,362 adult twins from 27 twin cohorts (53% females; 39% MZ twins), and on maternal and paternal education for 147,315 and 143,056 twins respectively, from 28 twin cohorts (52% females; 38% MZ twins). Together, we had information on individual or parental education from 42 twin cohorts representing 19 countries. The original education classifications were transformed to education years and analyzed using linear regression models. Overall, MZ males had 0.26 (95% CI [0.21, 0.31]) years and MZ females 0.17 (95% CI [0.12, 0.21]) years longer education than DZ twins. The zygosity difference became smaller in more recent birth cohorts for both males and females. Parental education was somewhat longer for fathers of DZ twins in cohorts born in 1990–1999 (0.16 years, 95% CI [0.08, 0.25]) and 2000 or later (0.11 years, 95% CI [0.00, 0.22]), compared with fathers of MZ twins. The results show that the years of both individual and parental education are largely similar in MZ and DZ twins. We suggest that the socio-economic differences between MZ and DZ twins are so small that inferences based upon genetic modeling of twin data are not affected.
Risk adjustment is needed to fairly compare central-line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates between hospitals. Until 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) methodology adjusted CLABSI rates only by type of intensive care unit (ICU). The 2017 CDC models also adjust for hospital size and medical school affiliation. We hypothesized that risk adjustment would be improved by including patient demographics and comorbidities from electronically available hospital discharge codes.
Using a cohort design across 22 hospitals, we analyzed data from ICU patients admitted between January 2012 and December 2013. Demographics and International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Edition, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) discharge codes were obtained for each patient, and CLABSIs were identified by trained infection preventionists. Models adjusting only for ICU type and for ICU type plus patient case mix were built and compared using discrimination and standardized infection ratio (SIR). Hospitals were ranked by SIR for each model to examine and compare the changes in rank.
Overall, 85,849 ICU patients were analyzed and 162 (0.2%) developed CLABSI. The significant variables added to the ICU model were coagulopathy, paralysis, renal failure, malnutrition, and age. The C statistics were 0.55 (95% CI, 0.51–0.59) for the ICU-type model and 0.64 (95% CI, 0.60–0.69) for the ICU-type plus patient case-mix model. When the hospitals were ranked by adjusted SIRs, 10 hospitals (45%) changed rank when comorbidity was added to the ICU-type model.
Our risk-adjustment model for CLABSI using electronically available comorbidities demonstrated better discrimination than did the CDC model. The CDC should strongly consider comorbidity-based risk adjustment to more accurately compare CLABSI rates across hospitals.
As biomarkers of dietary intake or disease risk factor, n-3 fatty acid (FA) can be measured in plasma phospholipids (PL), total lipids (TL) or erythrocytes. However, the numeric relationships between n-3 FA in these lipid pools are not clear. Our goal was to derive conversion ratios for plasma and erythrocyte n-3 FA. Potential studies were identified through systematic literature search in PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library of Systematic reviews (1950 to October 2014). In all, fifty-six studies reporting n-3 in healthy individuals were included, of which thirty-four articles reported plasma PL and erythrocytes, and twenty-two reported plasma TL and erythrocytes. Meta-regressions were performed to quantify the ratio between plasma and erythrocyte n-3 FA weight percentages, controlling for covariates including age, sex and study design. The conversion ratios from plasma PL to erythrocytes for EPA, DHA, DPA and total n-3 PUFA are 0·75, 1·16, 2·32 and 1·22; the corresponding conversion ratios from plasma TL to erythrocytes are 1·00, 2·10, 3·85 and 2·08, respectively. The conversion ratios were validated using reported values from the literature and measured data from fifty individuals. The relative error of the predicted results were within 10 % of the mean reported values except for EPA, and the individual measured data except for DPA, in plasma TL. The conversion ratios between plasma PL and erythrocytes were more stable compared with plasma TL. Such conversion ratios will be useful for nutritionists or public health professionals to assess FA profiles of different populations using data collected with different methodologies.
To determine which comorbid conditions are considered causally related to central-line associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) and surgical-site infection (SSI) based on expert consensus.
Using the Delphi method, we administered an iterative, 2-round survey to 9 infectious disease and infection control experts from the United States.
Based on our selection of components from the Charlson and Elixhauser comorbidity indices, 35 different comorbid conditions were rated from 1 (not at all related) to 5 (strongly related) by each expert separately for CLABSI and SSI, based on perceived relatedness to the outcome. To assign expert consensus on causal relatedness for each comorbid condition, all 3 of the following criteria had to be met at the end of the second round: (1) a majority (>50%) of experts rating the condition at 3 (somewhat related) or higher, (2) interquartile range (IQR)≤1, and (3) standard deviation (SD)≤1.
From round 1 to round 2, the IQR and SD, respectively, decreased for ratings of 21 of 35 (60%) and 33 of 35 (94%) comorbid conditions for CLABSI, and for 17 of 35 (49%) and 32 of 35 (91%) comorbid conditions for SSI, suggesting improvement in consensus among this group of experts. At the end of round 2, 13 of 35 (37%) and 17 of 35 (49%) comorbid conditions were perceived as causally related to CLABSI and SSI, respectively.
Our results have produced a list of comorbid conditions that should be analyzed as risk factors for and further explored for risk adjustment of CLABSI and SSI.
Essential fatty acids (EFA) are PUFA that are metabolised to long-chain PUFA and are important for brain development and cognitive function. The objective of this study was to determine the association between whole-blood EFA and cognitive function in Tanzanian children. A total of 325 2–6-year-old children attempted the dimensional change card sort (DCCS) tasks to assess executive function. Blood samples were collected for fatty acid (FA) analysis by GC. Associations between executive function and FA levels were assessed by regression. Among the 130 4–6-year-old children who attempted the DCCS tasks, whole-blood levels of linoleic acid were positively associated with executive function, whereas whole-blood levels of α-linolenic acid and nervonic acid were inversely associated with executive function. A full model including all twenty-five FA explained 38 % of the variation in executive function, whereas a reduced model including only the EFA (α-linolenic acid and linoleic acid), DHA and EPA explained 25 % of the variation in executive function. Children who had sufficient whole-blood levels of EFA were 3·8 times more likely to successfully complete all DCCS tasks compared with children with insufficient EFA. These results suggest that whole-blood FA levels are associated with cognitive abilities. Intervention trials that include assessment of whole-blood FA levels are required to determine the relationships between intake, blood levels and executive function in Tanzanian children.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
The 2013 multistate outbreaks contributed to the largest annual number of reported US cases of cyclosporiasis since 1997. In this paper we focus on investigations in Texas. We defined an outbreak-associated case as laboratory-confirmed cyclosporiasis in a person with illness onset between 1 June and 31 August 2013, with no history of international travel in the previous 14 days. Epidemiological, environmental, and traceback investigations were conducted. Of the 631 cases reported in the multistate outbreaks, Texas reported the greatest number of cases, 270 (43%). More than 70 clusters were identified in Texas, four of which were further investigated. One restaurant-associated cluster of 25 case-patients was selected for a case-control study. Consumption of cilantro was most strongly associated with illness on meal date-matched analysis (matched odds ratio 19·8, 95% confidence interval 4·0–∞). All case-patients in the other three clusters investigated also ate cilantro. Traceback investigations converged on three suppliers in Puebla, Mexico. Cilantro was the vehicle of infection in the four clusters investigated; the temporal association of these clusters with the large overall increase in cyclosporiasis cases in Texas suggests cilantro was the vehicle of infection for many other cases. However, the paucity of epidemiological and traceback information does not allow for a conclusive determination; moreover, molecular epidemiological tools for cyclosporiasis that could provide more definitive linkage between case clusters are needed.
The oxidation of nickel powder under a controlled gas and temperature environment was studied using synchrotron-based full-field transmission X-ray microscopy. The use of this technique allowed for the reaction to be imaged in situ at 55 nm resolution. The setup was designed to fit in the limited working distance of the microscope and to provide the gas and temperature environments analogous to solid oxide fuel cell operating conditions. Chemical conversion from nickel to nickel oxide was confirmed using X-ray absorption near-edge structure. Using an unreacted core model, the reaction rate as a function of temperature and activation energy were calculated. This method can be applied to study many other chemical reactions requiring similar environmental conditions.