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The effectiveness of community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnerships to address health inequities is well documented. CBPR integrates knowledge and perspectives of diverse communities throughout the research process, following principles that emphasize trust, power sharing, co-learning, and mutual benefits. However, institutions and funders seldom provide the time and resources needed for the critical stage of equitable partnership formation and development.
Since 2011, the Detroit Urban Research Center, collaborating with other entities, has promoted the development of new community–academic research partnerships through two grant programs that combine seed funding with capacity building support from community and academic instructors/mentors experienced in CBPR. Process and outcomes were evaluated using mixed methods.
From 2011 to 2021, 50 partnerships received grants ranging from $2,500 to $30,000, totaling $605,000. Outcomes included equitable partnership infrastructure and processes, innovative pilot research, translation of findings to interventions and policy change, dissemination to multiple audiences, new proposals and projects, and sustained community–academic research partnerships. All partnerships continued beyond the program; over half secured additional funding.
Keys to success included participation as community–academic teams, dedicated time for partnership/relationship development, workshops to develop equity-based skills, relationships, and projects, expert community–academic instructor guidance, and connection to additional resources. Findings demonstrate that small amounts of seed funding for newly forming community–academic partnerships, paired with capacity building support, can provide essential time and resources needed to develop diverse, inclusive, equity-focused CBPR partnerships. Building such support into funding initiatives and through academic institutions can enhance impact and sustainability of translational research toward advancing health equity.
Clarifying the relationship between depression symptoms and cardiometabolic and related health could clarify risk factors and treatment targets. The objective of this study was to assess whether depression symptoms in midlife are associated with the subsequent onset of cardiometabolic health problems.
The study sample comprised 787 male twin veterans with polygenic risk score data who participated in the Harvard Twin Study of Substance Abuse (‘baseline’) and the longitudinal Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging (‘follow-up’). Depression symptoms were assessed at baseline [mean age 41.42 years (s.d. = 2.34)] using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule, Version III, Revised. The onset of eight cardiometabolic conditions (atrial fibrillation, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, myocardial infarction, sleep apnea, and stroke) was assessed via self-reported doctor diagnosis at follow-up [mean age 67.59 years (s.d. = 2.41)].
Total depression symptoms were longitudinally associated with incident diabetes (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.07–1.57), erectile dysfunction (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.10–1.59), hypercholesterolemia (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.04–1.53), and sleep apnea (OR 1.40, 95% CI 1.13–1.74) over 27 years after controlling for age, alcohol consumption, smoking, body mass index, C-reactive protein, and polygenic risk for specific health conditions. In sensitivity analyses that excluded somatic depression symptoms, only the association with sleep apnea remained significant (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.09–1.60).
A history of depression symptoms by early midlife is associated with an elevated risk for subsequent development of several self-reported health conditions. When isolated, non-somatic depression symptoms are associated with incident self-reported sleep apnea. Depression symptom history may be a predictor or marker of cardiometabolic risk over decades.
Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with poorer cognitive function in older adults. Although understudied in middle-aged adults, the relationship between alcohol and cognition may also be influenced by genetics such as the apolipoprotein (ApoE) ε4 allele, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. We examined the relationship between alcohol consumption, ApoE genotype, and cognition in middle-aged adults and hypothesized that light and/or moderate drinkers (≤2 drinks per day) would show better cognitive performance than heavy drinkers or non-drinkers. Additionally, we hypothesized that the association between alcohol use and cognitive function would differ by ApoE genotype (ε4+ vs. ε4−).
Participants were 1266 men from the Vietnam Era Twin Study of Aging (VETSA; M age = 56; range 51–60) who completed a neuropsychological battery assessing seven cognitive abilities: general cognitive ability (GCA), episodic memory, processing speed, executive function, abstract reasoning, verbal fluency, and visuospatial ability. Alcohol consumption was categorized into five groups: never, former, light, moderate, and heavy.
In fully adjusted models, there was no significant main effect of alcohol consumption on cognitive functions. However, there was a significant interaction between alcohol consumption and ApoE ε4 status for GCA and episodic memory, such that the relationship of alcohol consumption and cognition was stronger in ε4 carriers. The ε4+ heavy drinking subgroup had the poorest GCA and episodic memory.
Presence of the ε4 allele may increase vulnerability to the deleterious effects of heavy alcohol consumption. Beneficial effects of light or moderate alcohol consumption were not observed.
To investigate the relative importance of 10 attributes identified in prior studies as essential for effective disaster medical responders and leaders.
Emergency and disaster medical response personnel (N=220) ranked 10 categories of disaster worker attributes in order of their importance in contributing to the effectiveness of disaster responders and leaders.
Attributes of disaster medical leaders and responders were rank ordered, and the rankings differed for leaders and responders. For leaders, problem-solving/decision-making and communication skills were the highest ranked, whereas teamwork/interpersonal skills and calm/cool were the highest ranked for responders.
The 10 previously identified attributes of effective disaster medical responders and leaders include personal characteristics and general skills in addition to knowledge of incident command and disaster medicine. The differences in rank orders of attributes for leaders and responders suggest that when applying these attributes in personnel recruitment, selection, and training, the proper emphasis and priority given to each attribute may vary by role. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:700–703)
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.
In North America, terrestrial records of biodiversity and climate change that span Marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (MIS) 5 are rare. Where found, they provide insight into how the coupling of the ocean–atmosphere system is manifested in biotic and environmental records and how the biosphere responds to climate change. In 2010–2011, construction at Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado (USA) revealed a nearly continuous, lacustrine/wetland sedimentary sequence that preserved evidence of past plant communities between ~140 and 55 ka, including all of MIS 5. At an elevation of 2705 m, the Ziegler Reservoir fossil site also contained thousands of well-preserved bones of late Pleistocene megafauna, including mastodons, mammoths, ground sloths, horses, camels, deer, bison, black bear, coyotes, and bighorn sheep. In addition, the site contained more than 26,000 bones from at least 30 species of small animals including salamanders, otters, muskrats, minks, rabbits, beavers, frogs, lizards, snakes, fish, and birds. The combination of macro- and micro-vertebrates, invertebrates, terrestrial and aquatic plant macrofossils, a detailed pollen record, and a robust, directly dated stratigraphic framework shows that high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado are climatically sensitive and varied dramatically throughout MIS 5.
To identify key attributes of effective disaster/mass casualty first responders and leaders, thereby informing the ongoing development of a capable disaster health workforce.
We surveyed emergency response practitioners attending a conference session, the EMS State of the Science: A Gathering of Eagles. We used open-ended questions to ask participants to describe key characteristics of successful disaster/mass casualty first responders and leaders.
Of the 140 session attendees, 132 (94%) participated in the survey. All responses were categorized by using a previously developed framework. The most frequently mentioned characteristics were related to incident command/disaster knowledge, teamwork/interpersonal skills, performing one’s role, and cognitive abilities. Other identified characteristics were related to communication skills, adaptability/flexibility, problem solving/decision-making, staying calm and cool under stress, personal character, and overall knowledge.
The survey findings support our prior focus group conclusion that important characteristics of disaster responders and leaders are not limited to the knowledge and skills typically included in disaster training. Further research should examine the extent to which these characteristics are consistently associated with actual effective performance of disaster response personnel and determine how best to incorporate these attributes into competency models, processes, and tools for the development of an effective disaster response workforce. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;page 1 of 4)
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.
Large numbers of evacuees arrived in Dallas, Texas, from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita just 3 weeks apart in 2005 and from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike just 3 weeks apart again in 2008. The Dallas community needed to locate, organize, and manage the response to provide shelter and health care with locally available resources. With each successive hurricane, disaster response leaders applied many lessons learned from prior operations to become more efficient and effective in the provision of services. Mental health services proved to be an essential component. From these experiences, a set of operating guidelines for large evacuee shelter mental health services in Dallas was developed, with involvement of key stakeholders. A generic description of the processes and procedures used in Dallas that highlights the important concepts, key considerations, and organizational steps was then created for potential adaptation by other communities. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:423–429)
We must begin with names. ‘Tony Edwards’ is the person to whom this volume is dedicated, but it is not a name that everyone will immediately recognize, particularly those who know him only from his published work, for he has made himself known in public, from the first, as A. S. G. Edwards. When he began his career, this was the manner in which most scholars, most men at least, named themselves. Fashions have changed, and given names, one, two, or more, are now almost universal. But Tony has held on tenaciously to his initials, perhaps because he has three of them. We do not believe that he did so in any spirit of emulation of or desire to align himself with ‘Edwards A. S. G.’, the Edwards Active Strain Gauge well known to Google, an advanced form of technical engineering equipment which guarantees the vacuum conditions needed for the manufacture of certain precision instruments, such as aircraft engine turbine blades. It seems strangely apt as an analogous form of ‘A. S. G.’, whether one thinks of the ‘active strain’ involved as what he exerts upon himself or upon other people. The analogy fails, of course, when one comes to the creation of vacuum, where it works back to front, for Tony's work has essentially been to fill the vacuum that once existed in the study of manuscript history.