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Our current ecological crises compel us not only to understand how contemporary media shapes our conceptions of human relationships with the environment, but also to examine the historical genealogies of such perspectives. Written during the onset of the Little Ice Age in Britain, Middle English romances provide a fascinating window into the worldviews of popular vernacular literature (and its audiences) at the close of the Middle Ages. Andrew M. Richmond shows how literary conventions of romances shaped and were in turn influenced by contemporary perspectives on the natural world. These popular texts also reveal widespread concern regarding the damaging effects of human actions and climate change. The natural world was a constant presence in the writing, thoughts, and lives of the audiences and authors of medieval English romance – and these close readings reveal that our environmental concerns go back further in our history and culture than we think.
To synthesise evidence of urban dietary behaviours (macronutrients, types of foods, dietary diversity and dietary practices) in two African countries in relation to postulated changes in the context of nutrition transition.
Systematic review and meta-analyses, including six online databases and grey literature, 1971–2018 (Protocol CRD42017067718).
Urban Ghana and Kenya.
Population-based studies of healthy adolescents and adults.
The forty-seven included studies encompassed 20 726 individuals plus 6526 households. Macronutrients were within WHO-recommended ranges: mean energy intake was 1867 kcal/d (95 % CI 1764, 1969) and the proportions of macronutrients were carbohydrate 61·2 % (58·4, 64·0), fat 25·3 % (22·8, 28·0) and protein 13·7 % (12·3, 15·1). The proportion of population consuming fruit and vegetables was 51·6 %; unhealthy foods, 29·4 %; and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), 39·9 %. Two-thirds (68·8 %) consumed animal-source proteins. Dietary diversity scores were within the mid-range. Meal patterns were structured (typically three meals per day), with evidence lacking on snacking or eating out.
Population-level diets fell within WHO macronutrient recommendations, were relatively diverse with structured meal patterns, but some indications of nutrition transition were apparent. The proportion of population consuming fruit and vegetables was low compared to healthy-eating recommendations, and consumption of SSBs was widespread. A paucity of evidence from 1971 to 2010 precluded a longitudinal analysis of nutrition transition. Evidence from these two countries indicates which aspects of dietary behaviours may be contributing to increasing overweight/obesity, namely a low proportion of population consuming fruit and vegetables and widespread consumption of SSBs. These are potential targets for promoting healthier diets.
The Single Ventricle Reconstruction Trial randomised neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome to a shunt strategy but otherwise retained standard of care. We aimed to describe centre-level practice variation at Fontan completion.
Centre-level data are reported as median or median frequency across all centres and range of medians or frequencies across centres. Classification and regression tree analysis assessed the association of centre-level factors with length of stay and percentage of patients with prolonged pleural effusion (>7 days).
The median Fontan age (14 centres, 320 patients) was 3.1 years (range from 1.7 to 3.9), and the weight-for-age z-score was −0.56 (−1.35 + 0.44). Extra-cardiac Fontans were performed in 79% (4–100%) of patients at the 13 centres performing this procedure; lateral tunnels were performed in 32% (3–100%) at the 11 centres performing it. Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (nine centres) ranged from 6 to 100%. Major complications occurred in 17% (7–33%). The length of stay was 9.5 days (9–12); 15% (6–33%) had prolonged pleural effusion. Centres with fewer patients (<6%) with prolonged pleural effusion and fewer (<41%) complications had a shorter length of stay (<10 days; sensitivity 1.0; specificity 0.71; area under the curve 0.96). Avoiding deep hypothermic circulatory arrest and higher weight-for-age z-score were associated with a lower percentage of patients with prolonged effusions (<9.5%; sensitivity 1.0; specificity = 0.86; area under the curve 0.98).
Fontan perioperative practices varied widely among study centres. Strategies to decrease the duration of pleural effusion and minimise complications may decrease the length of stay. Further research regarding deep hypothermic circulatory arrest is needed to understand its association with prolonged pleural effusion.
Prior research has documented shared heritable contributions to non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicidal ideation (SI) as well as NSSI and suicide attempt (SA). In addition, trauma exposure has been implicated in risk for NSSI and suicide. Genetically informative studies are needed to determine common sources of liability to all three self-injurious thoughts and behaviors, and to clarify the nature of their associations with traumatic experiences.
Multivariate biometric modeling was conducted using data from 9526 twins [59% female, mean age = 31.7 years (range 24–42)] from two cohorts of the Australian Twin Registry, some of whom also participated in the Childhood Trauma Study and the Nicotine Addiction Genetics Project.
The prevalences of high-risk trauma exposure (HRT), NSSI, SI, and SA were 24.4, 5.6, 27.1, and 4.6%, respectively. All phenotypes were moderately to highly correlated. Genetic influences on self-injurious thoughts and behaviors and HRT were significant and highly correlated among men [rG = 0.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) (0.37–0.81)] and women [rG = 0.56 (0.49–0.63)]. Unique environmental influences were modestly correlated in women [rE = 0.23 (0.01–0.45)], suggesting that high-risk trauma may confer some direct risk for self-injurious thoughts and behaviors among females.
Individuals engaging in NSSI are at increased risk for suicide, and common heritable factors contribute to these associations. Preventing trauma exposure may help to mitigate risk for self-harm and suicide, either directly or indirectly via reductions in liability to psychopathology more broadly. In addition, targeting pre-existing vulnerability factors could significantly reduce risk for life-threatening behaviors among those who have experienced trauma.