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The objective of this study was to describe the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Nigeria with a view of generating evidence to enhance planning and response strategies. A national surveillance dataset between 27 February and 6 June 2020 was retrospectively analysed, with confirmatory testing for COVID-19 done by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The primary outcomes were cumulative incidence (CI) and case fatality (CF). A total of 40 926 persons (67% of total 60 839) had complete records of RT-PCR test across 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory, 12 289 (30.0%) of whom were confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of those confirmed cases, 3467 (28.2%) had complete records of clinical outcome (alive or dead), 342 (9.9%) of which died. The overall CI and CF were 5.6 per 100 000 population and 2.8%, respectively. The highest proportion of COVID-19 cases and deaths were recorded in persons aged 31–40 years (25.5%) and 61–70 years (26.6%), respectively; and males accounted for a higher proportion of confirmed cases (65.8%) and deaths (79.0%). Sixty-six per cent of confirmed COVID-19 cases were asymptomatic at diagnosis. In conclusion, this paper has provided an insight into the early epidemiology of COVID-19 in Nigeria, which could be useful for contextualising public health planning.
Ichthyosporean parasites (order Dermocystida) can cause morbidity and mortality in amphibians, but their ecology and epidemiology remain understudied. We investigated the prevalence, gross and histologic appearance, and molecular phylogeny of a novel dermocystid in the state-endangered silvery salamander (Ambystoma platineum) and the co-occurring, non-threatened small-mouthed salamander (Ambystoma texanum) from Illinois. Silvery salamanders (N = 610) were sampled at six ephemeral wetlands from 2016 to 2018. Beginning in 2017, 1–3 mm raised, white skin nodules were identified in 24 silvery salamanders and two small-mouthed salamanders from five wetlands (prevalence = 0–11.1%). Skin biopsy histology (N = 4) was consistent with dermocystid sporangia, and necropsies (N = 3) identified infrequent hepatic sporangia. Parasitic 18S rRNA sequences (N = 5) from both salamander species were identical, and phylogenetic analysis revealed a close relationship to Dermotheca viridescens. Dermocystids were not identified in museum specimens from the same wetlands (N = 125) dating back to 1973. This is the first report of Dermotheca sp. affecting caudates in the Midwestern United States. Future research is needed to determine the effects of this pathogen on individual and population health, and to assess whether this organism poses a threat to the conservation of ambystomatid salamanders.
To investigate whether amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) identified with visual memory tests conveys an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (risk-AD) and if the risk-AD differs from that associated with aMCI based on verbal memory tests.
4,771 participants aged 70.76 (SD = 6.74, 45.4% females) from five community-based studies, each a member of the international COSMIC consortium and from a different country, were classified as having normal cognition (NC) or one of visual, verbal, or combined (visual and verbal) aMCI using international criteria and followed for an average of 2.48 years. Hazard ratios (HR) and individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis analyzed the risk-AD with age, sex, education, single/multiple domain aMCI, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores as covariates.
All aMCI groups (n = 760) had a greater risk-AD than NC (n = 4,011; HR range = 3.66 – 9.25). The risk-AD was not different between visual (n = 208, 17 converters) and verbal aMCI (n = 449, 29 converters, HR = 1.70, 95%CI: 0.88, 3.27, p = 0.111). Combined aMCI (n = 103, 12 converters, HR = 2.34, 95%CI: 1.13, 4.84, p = 0.023) had a higher risk-AD than verbal aMCI. Age and MMSE scores were related to the risk-AD. The IPD meta-analyses replicated these results, though with slightly lower HR estimates (HR range = 3.68, 7.43) for aMCI vs. NC.
Although verbal aMCI was most common, a significant proportion of participants had visual-only or combined visual and verbal aMCI. Compared with verbal aMCI, the risk-AD was the same for visual aMCI and higher for combined aMCI. Our results highlight the importance of including both verbal and visual memory tests in neuropsychological assessments to more reliably identify aMCI.
To assess produce availability, quality and price in a large sample of food stores in low-income neighbourhoods in California.
Cross-sectional statewide survey.
Between 2011 and 2015, local health departments assessed store type, WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children)/SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) participation, produce availability, quality and price of selected items in stores in low-income neighbourhoods. Secondary data provided reference chain supermarket produce prices matched by county and month. t Tests and ANOVA examined differences by store type; regression models examined factors associated with price.
Large grocery stores (n 231), small markets (n 621) and convenience stores (n 622) in 225 neighbourhoods.
Produce in most large groceries was rated high quality (97 % of fruits, 98 % of vegetables), but not in convenience stores (25 % fruits, 14 % vegetables). Small markets and convenience stores participating in WIC and/or SNAP had better produce availability, variety and quality than non-participating stores. Produce prices across store types were, on average, higher than reference prices from matched chain supermarkets (27 % higher in large groceries, 37 % higher in small markets, 102 % higher in convenience stores). Price was significantly inversely associated with produce variety, adjusting for quality, store type, and SNAP and WIC participation.
The study finds that fresh produce is more expensive in low-income neighbourhoods and that convenience stores offer more expensive, poorer-quality produce than other stores. Variety is associated with price and most limited in convenience stores, suggesting more work is needed to determine how convenience stores can provide low-income consumers with access to affordable, high-quality produce. WIC and SNAP can contribute to the solution.
Many women experience both vasomotor menopausal symptoms (VMS) and depressed mood at midlife, but little is known regarding the prospective bi-directional relationships between VMS and depressed mood and the role of sleep difficulties in both directions.
A pooled analysis was conducted using data from 21 312 women (median: 50 years, interquartile range 49−51) in eight studies from the InterLACE consortium. The degree of VMS, sleep difficulties, and depressed mood was self-reported and categorised as never, rarely, sometimes, and often (if reporting frequency) or never, mild, moderate, and severe (if reporting severity). Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the bi-directional associations adjusted for within-study correlation.
At baseline, the prevalence of VMS (40%, range 13–62%) and depressed mood (26%, 8–41%) varied substantially across studies, and a strong dose-dependent association between VMS and likelihood of depressed mood was found. Over 3 years of follow-up, women with often/severe VMS at baseline were more likely to have subsequent depressed mood compared with those without VMS (odds ratios (OR) 1.56, 1.27–1.92). Women with often/severe depressed mood at baseline were also more likely to have subsequent VMS than those without depressed mood (OR 1.89, 1.47–2.44). With further adjustment for the degree of sleep difficulties at baseline, the OR of having a subsequent depressed mood associated with often/severe VMS was attenuated and no longer significant (OR 1.13, 0.90–1.40). Conversely, often/severe depressed mood remained significantly associated with subsequent VMS (OR 1.80, 1.38–2.34).
Difficulty in sleeping largely explained the relationship between VMS and subsequent depressed mood, but it had little impact on the relationship between depressed mood and subsequent VMS.
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17ck (IAU label AT2017gfo) by 14 Australian telescopes and partner observatories as part of Australian-based and Australian-led research programs. We report early- to late-time multi-wavelength observations, including optical imaging and spectroscopy, mid-infrared imaging, radio imaging, and searches for fast radio bursts. Our optical spectra reveal that the transient source emission cooled from approximately 6 400 K to 2 100 K over a 7-d period and produced no significant optical emission lines. The spectral profiles, cooling rate, and photometric light curves are consistent with the expected outburst and subsequent processes of a binary neutron star merger. Star formation in the host galaxy probably ceased at least a Gyr ago, although there is evidence for a galaxy merger. Binary pulsars with short (100 Myr) decay times are therefore unlikely progenitors, but pulsars like PSR B1534+12 with its 2.7 Gyr coalescence time could produce such a merger. The displacement (~2.2 kpc) of the binary star system from the centre of the main galaxy is not unusual for stars in the host galaxy or stars originating in the merging galaxy, and therefore any constraints on the kick velocity imparted to the progenitor are poor.
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.
There is currently little literature pertaining to levothyroxine overdose apart from minor or accidental overdoses in the pediatric population. In particular, there is little information available on how to confidently differentiate levothyroxine overdose from endogenous causes of thyrotoxicosis when there is no history available at the time of assessment.
We report a levothyroxine (15,800 mcg) and citalopram (2,460 mg) overdose in a 55-year-old woman presenting with seizure and tachycardia in which the diagnosis was not initially suspected. Clinical data, including a long history of treated hypothyroidism and lack of a goiter; and biochemical findings, such as an incompletely suppressed thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level, despite a markedly elevated free thyroxine level (FT4), a normal sex hormone-binding globulin level at baseline, and an undetectable thyroglobulin, supported the diagnosis of thyrotoxicosis due to a massive exogenous thyroid hormone overdose. Treatment was given to decrease free triiodothyronine (FT3) conversion and increase thyroid hormone clearance with dexamethasone and cholestyramine. The patient made a full recovery.
Levothyroxine overdose can result in subtle symptoms and signs clinically, even when in massive quantities. This can make diagnosis challenging. Biochemical features, such as the pattern of thyroid hormone elevation and thyroglobulin levels, help differentiate exogenous thyroid hormone overdose from endogenous causes of thyrotoxicosis.
Medical practitioners conceptualize depression in different ways, which adds to the challenges of its diagnosis and treatment, as well as research in the palliative care setting. Psychiatric assessment is often considered the “gold standard” for diagnosis, therefore how psychiatrists conceptualize depression in this setting is pertinent. Our study aimed to investigate this issue.
Psychiatrists working in palliative care in Australia were individually interviewed using a semistructured approach. Nine participants were interviewed to reach data saturation. Interview transcripts were analyzed for themes.
Three overarching themes were identified: (1) depression means different things; (2) depression is conceptualized using different models; and (3) depression is the same concept within and outside of the palliative care setting. Participants explicitly articulated the heterogeneous nature of depression and described a different breadths of concepts, ranging from a narrow construct of a depressive illness to a broader one that encompassed depressive symptoms and emotions. However, depressive illness was a consistent concept, and participants considered this in terms of phenotypic subtypes. Participants used three models (spectral, dichotomous, and mixed) to relate various depressive presentations.
Significance of Results:
Psychiatrists did not subscribe to a unitary model of depression but understood it as a heterogeneous concept comprised of depressive illness and other less clearly defined depressive presentations. Given the influence of psychiatric opinion in the area of depression, these findings may serve as a platform for further discussions to refine the concepts of depression in the palliative care setting, which in turn may improve diagnostic and treatment outcomes.
Determine the prevalence and relatedness of Staphylococcus aureus anterior nares colonization in individuals with community-associated staphylococcal skin and soft-tissue infection (SSTI)
US Army soldiers undergoing infantry training.
Trainees who developed SSTI from May 2010 to January 2012.
Participants underwent anterior nares culture at the time of presentation for purulent SSTI. We determined the prevalence of S. aureus nasal colonization and strain relatedness between colonizing and clinical isolates with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).
We enrolled 1,203 SSTI participants, of whom 508 had culture-confirmed S. aureus SSTI. Overall, 70% (357/508) were colonized with S. aureus. Phenotypically, concordant colonization was more common with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA; 56%; 122/218) than methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) SSTI (41%; 118/290; P < .01). With PFGE, 48% (121 of 254) of clinical-colonizing pairs were indistinguishable, and concordant colonization was more common with MRSA (53%; 92/173) than MSSA SSTI (36%; 29/81; P < .01). Restricting analysis to concomitant MRSA-MRSA or MSSA-MSSA pairs, 92% (92/100) of MRSA SSTI were indistinguishable, and 40% (29/72) MSSA SSTI were indistinguishable (P < .01). All 92 MRSA pairs were USA300.
On the phenotypic level, concordant anterior nares colonization with incident staphylococcal SSTI is more common in MSSA than MRSA; however, the opposite is observed when accounting for molecular typing, and MRSA SSTI displays greater concordance. USA300 was responsible for strain concordance with MRSA SSTI. Studies are needed to examine the roles of nasal and extra-nasal carriage, colonization preceding infection, and increased virulence in the pathogenesis of MRSA SSTI.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01105767.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(10):1251–1256
This article considers points of connection and coherence between and among the Rome I Regulation, the Rome II Regulation, and Regulation 1215, and relevant predecessor instruments. The degree of consistency in aim, design and detail of conflict of laws rules is examined, vertically (between/among consecutive instruments) and horizontally (across cognate instruments). Symbiosis between instruments is explored, as is the interrelationship between choice of court and choice of law. Disadvantaged parties, and the cohesiveness of their treatment under the Regulations, receive particular attention.
This article reviews the principles of magnetic field-directed self-assembly (MFDSA) of magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs), along with recent studies that advance the fundamental understanding and potential capabilities of MNP MFDSA. This technology could eventually find application in manufacturing novel materials and components for biomedicine, energy, optics, functional composites, and microfluidics. In MFDSA, an externally applied field drives the assembly of MNPs. Uniform fields can create complex chains of MNPs, while inhomogeneous fields (such as those created by permanent magnets) apply attractive forces to MNPs that pull them toward the region of strongest field strength. Thus, MNPs can be self-organized as well as directed into user-designed patterns by controlling the external field arrangement. Because of its biocompatibility, nanoscale resolution, and low cost, MFDSA is a highly versatile technique that could enable high volume nanomanufacturing of MNPs into complex, finished materials.
Background: Computer-assisted cognitive behavioral therapy (CCBT) programs for childhood anxiety are being developed, although research about factors that contribute to implementation of CCBT in community mental health centers (CMHC) is limited. Aim: The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to explore consumers’ and providers’ perceptions of utilizing a CCBT for childhood anxiety in CMHC in an effort to identify factors that may impact implementation of CCBT in CMHC. Method: Focus groups and interviews occurred with 7 parents, 6 children, 3 therapists, 3 project coordinators and 3 administrators who had participated in CCBT for childhood anxiety. Surveys of treatment satisfaction and treatment barriers were administered to consumers. Results: Results suggest that both consumers and providers were highly receptive to participation in and implementation of CCBT in CMHC. Implementation themes included positive receptiveness, factors related to therapists, treatment components, applicability of treatment, treatment content, initial implementation challenges, resources, dedicated staff, support, outreach, opportunities with the CMHC, payment, and treatment availability. Conclusion: As studies continue to demonstrate the effectiveness of CCBT for childhood anxiety, research needs to continue to examine factors that contribute to the successful implementation of such treatments in CMHC.
Research on the experiences, coping mechanisms, and impact of death and dying on the lives of palliative medicine specialists is limited. Most research focuses on the multidisciplinary team or on nurses who work with the dying. Fewer studies consider medical professionals trained in palliative medicine. This study aimed to explore the experiences, coping mechanisms, and impact of death and dying on palliative medicine specialists when dealing with their patients at the end of life.
A qualitative research approach guided the study, one-on-one interview data were analyzed thematically. A purposeful sampling technique was employed for participant recruitment. Seven palliative medicine specialists practicing in one city participated in open-ended, in-depth interviews.
The analysis of participants' accounts identified three distinct themes. These were Being with the dying, Being affected by death, and dying and Adjusting to the impact of death and dying.
Significance of results:
This study further contributes to the understanding of the impact of death and dying on professionals who care for dying patients and their families. Despite the stressors and the potential for burnout and compassion fatigue, these participants employed strategies that enhanced meaning-making and emphasized the rewards of their work. However, the consequences of work stressors cannot be underestimated in the practice of palliative care.
We examined associations between access to food venues (farmers’ markets and supermarkets), shopping patterns, fruit and vegetable consumption and health indicators among women of reproductive age in eastern North Carolina, USA.
Access to food venues was measured using a Geographic Information System incorporating distance, seasonality and business hours, to quantify access to farmers’ markets. Produce consumption was assessed by self-report of eating five or more fruits and vegetables daily. BMI and blood pressure were assessed by clinical measurements. Poisson regression with robust variance was used for dichotomous outcomes and multiple linear regression was used for continuous outcomes. As the study occurred in a university town and university students are likely to have different shopping patterns from non-students, we stratified analyses by student status.
Eastern North Carolina.
Low-income women of reproductive age (18–44 years) with valid address information accessing family planning services at a local health department (n 400).
Over a quarter reported ever shopping at farmers’ markets (114/400). A larger percentage of women who shopped at farmers’ markets consumed five or more fruits and vegetables daily (42·1 %) than those who did not (24·0 %; P < 0·001). The mean objectively measured distance to the farmers’ markets where women reported shopping was 11·4 (sd 9·0) km (7·1 (sd 5·6) miles), while the mean distance to the farmers’ market closest to the residence was 4·0 (sd 3·7) km (2·5 (sd 2·3) miles).
Among non-students, those who shopped at farmers’ markets were more likely to consume five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Future research should further explore potential health benefits of farmers’ markets.
Criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) consider impairment in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) as exclusionary, but cross-sectional studies suggest that some high-level functional deficits are present in MCI. This longitudinal study examines informant-rated IADL in MCI, compared with cognitively normal (CN) older individuals, and explores whether functional abilities, particularly those with high cognitive demand, are predictors of MCI and dementia over a 2-year period in individuals who were CN at baseline.
A sample of 602 non-demented community dwelling individuals (375 CN and 227 with MCI) aged 70–90 years underwent baseline and 24-month assessments that included cognitive and medical assessments and an interview with a knowledgeable informant on functional abilities with the Bayer Activities of Daily Living Scale.
Significantly more deficits in informant-reported IADL with high cognitive demand were present in MCI compared with CN individuals at baseline and 2-year follow-up. Functional ability in CN individuals at baseline, particularly in activities with high cognitive demand, predicted MCI and dementia at follow-up. Difficulties with highly cognitively demanding activities specifically predicted amnestic MCI but not non-amnestic MCI whereas those with low cognitive demand did not predict MCI or dementia. Age, depressive symptoms, cardiovascular risk factors and the sex of the informant did not contribute to the prediction.
IADL are affected in individuals with MCI, and IADL with a high cognitive demand show impairment predating the diagnosis of MCI. Subtle cognitive impairment is therefore likely to be a major hidden burden in society.