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Objectives: HCWs are recommended to wipe the computers with alcohol wipes before clinical use. Compliance assessment by direct observation is resource intensive. We used ATP measurement as a surrogate to assess the compliance to preutilization cleaning of computers. Methods: We conducted a pilot study to determine the median relative light unit (RLU) value reflective of preutilization cleaning of the computers. We identified values of <250, 250–500, and >500 RLU to reflect cleaned, probably cleaned, and not cleaned computers, respectively. Subsequently, we conducted a cross-sectional study of the computers in the inpatient wards in Tan Tock Seng Hospital and National Centre for Infectious Diseases. Using 3M Clean-Trace ATP swabs, we tested 5 computers in each ward: 2 computers on wheels, 2 from the nursing station, and 1 at the patients’ room entrance. All analyses were conducted using STATA version 15 software. Results: Between October 4 and 10, 2021, we collected 219 samples from 219 computers. Among them, 44 (20.1%) were cleaned, 49 (22.4%) were probably cleaned, and 126 (57.5%) computers were not cleaned. Higher compliance to computer cleaning was observed in COVID-19 wards [85 ATP samples; cleaned, 37 (43.5%); probably cleaned, 26 (30.6%); not cleaned, 22 (25.9%)] compared with non–COVID-19 wards [134 ATP samples; cleaned, 7 (5.2%); probably cleaned, 23 (17.2%); not cleaned, 104 (77.6%)]
(P < .01). No significant difference was observed in compliance with cleaning computers between the ICU [30 ATP samples; cleaned, 7 (23.3%); probably cleaned, 4 (13.3%); not cleaned, 19 (63.3%)] and general wards [189 ATP samples; cleaned, 37 (19.6%); probably cleaned, 45 (23.8%); not cleaned, 107 (56.6%)] (P = .47). Conclusions: ATP swab tests can be used as a surrogate marker to assess compliance to pre-utilization cleaning of computers. Enhanced awareness of environmental hygiene may explain the higher compliance to computer cleaning observed in COVID-19 wards.
Objectives: The use of handwashing sinks for activities other than hand hygiene (HH) is associated with higher rates of β-lactamase–producing Enterobacteriaceae. However, little has been published about the handwashing sink activities in Singapore hospitals. We explored the handwashing sink activities in a tertiary-care hospital in Singapore. Methods: Five trained shadow observers conducted this observational study between December 18 and 21, 2018 (6 hours per day: 07:00–09:00, 09:30–11:30, and 12:30–14:30) in acute-care general wards. We divided the handwashing sink activities by healthcare workers (HCWs) and non-HCWs (ie, visitors, caregivers, and relatives) and by HH- and non–HH-related activities. We used Stata version 15 software for the analysis. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the National Healthcare Group, Singapore (DSRB no. 2020/01257). Results: In total, 657 handwashing sink activities were recorded [HCWs, 475 (72.3%) and non-HCWs, 182 (27.7%)]. Of the 475 HCW handwashing sink activities, 451 (94.9%) were HH-related, 10 (2.1%) were for patient nutrition, 7 (1.5%) were for environmental care, 6 (1.3%) were for medical equipment cleaning, and 1 (0.2%) was patient personal-item cleaning. Of the 182 handwashing sink activities by non-HCWs, 117 (64.3%) were HH related, 30 (16.5%) were for patient nutrition, 21 (11.5%) were for personal hygiene, 14 (7.7%) were patient personal-item cleaning. The distribution of handwashing sink activities differed significantly (P < .01) between HCWs and non-HCWs. The odds of non–HH-related handwashing sink activities among non-HCWs was 10× higher than among HCWs (OR, 10.44; 95% CI, 5.98–18.23; P < .01). Conclusions: Handwashing sinks use for non–HH-related activities is higher among non-HCWs than HCWs. Further studies are needed to understand the impact of non-HH handwashing sink activities on nosocomial infections and ways to reduce them.
Objectives: In healthcare facilities, environmental reservoirs of CPE are associated with CPE outbreaks. In the newly built NCID building, we studied the introduction of CPE in the aqueous environment. Methods: We sampled the aqueous environments (ie, sink, sink strainer, and shower drain-trap with Copan E-swabs and sink P-trap water) of 4 NCID wards (ie, 2 multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) wards and 2 non-MDRO wards). Two sampling cycles (cycle 1, June–July 2019 and cycle 2, September–November 2019) were conducted in all 4 wards. Cycle 3 (November 2020) was conducted in 1 non-MDRO ward to investigate CPE colonization from previous cycles. Enterobacterales were identified using MALDI-TOF MS and underwent phenotypic (mCIM and eCIM) and confirmatory PCR tests for CPE. Results: We collected 448, 636, and 96 samples in cycles 1, 2, and 3, respectively. MDRO and non-MDRO wards were operational for 1 and 7 months during the first sampling cycle. The CPE prevalence rates in MDRO wards were 1.67% (95% CI, 0.46% – 4.21%) in cycle 1 and 1.76% (95% CI, 0.65% – 3.80%) in cycle 2. In the aqueous environments in MDRO wards, multiple species were detected (cycle 1: 2 K. pneumoniae, 1 E. coli, and 1 S. marcescens; cycle 2: 5 K. pneumoniae and 1 R. planticola), and multiple genotypes were detected (cycle 1: 3 blaOXA48; cycle 2: 5 blaOXA48 and 1 blaKPC). The CPE prevalence in non-MDRO wards was 1.92% (95% CI, 0.53%–4.85%) in cycle 1. The prevalence rate increased by 5.51% (95% CI, 1.99%–9.03%) to 7.43% (95% CI, 4.72%–11.04%; P = .006) in cycle 2, and by another 2.98% (95% CI, −3.82% to 9.79%) to 10.42% (95% CI, 5.11% – 18.3%; P = .353) in cycle 3. Only blaOXA48 S. marcescens were detected in all cycles (except 1 blaOXA48 K. pneumoniae in cycle 2) in the non-MDRO ward. Conclusions: CPE established rapidly in the aqueous environment of NCID wards, more so in MDRO wards than non-MDRO wards. Longitudinal studies to understand the further expansion of the CPE colonization and its impact on patients are needed.
Objectives: The increase in carbapenemase-producing organism (CPO) transmission among hospitalized patients is a growing concern. Studies investigating the transmission of CPO to epidemiologically linked contacts are scarce. We conducted an interim subgroup analysis of the ongoing multicenter household transmission of CPO in Singapore (CaPES-C) study to identify the acquisition rate of CPO among epidemiologically linked contacts of hospitalized CPO patients. Methods: This multicenter prospective cohort study was conducted between January and December 2021. We recruited CPO-positive patients and their epidemiologically linked contacts. Stool samples were collected from the patients at baseline, day 3, day 7, and at weeks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 24, 36, and 48. Additionally, a sample was collected at the time of discharge from the hospital. Xpert Carba-R test was used to detect CPO genotypes in the stool samples. In this interim analysis, we calculated the acquisition rate of CPO among the epidemiologically linked hospital contacts of CPO positive patients using Stata version 15 software. Results: We recruited 22 (56.4%) CPO-positive index patients [blaNDM, n = 7 (31.8%); blaIMP, n = 3 (13.6%); blaOXA-48, n = 10 (45.5%), others, n = 2 (9.1%)] and 14 (35.9%) epidemiologically linked hospital contacts. The median age of CPO-positive patients was 72.5 years (IQR, 62–82) and 15 (68.2%) were female. The median age for the epidemiologically linked contacts was 82.5 years (IQR, 70–85) and 4 (28.6%) were female. After 1,082 patient days, 2 (14.3%) epidemiologically linked contacts tested positive for CPO giving an acquisition rate of 1.85 per 1,000 patient days (95% CI, 0.46 – 7.39). One of these participants acquired a concordant genotype (blaOXA-48) at day 7 and the other acquired a discordant genotype (CPO positive index, blaIMP; epidemiologically linked contact, blaNDM) at week 12 of follow-up. Conclusions: This small interim analysis revealed a high conversion rate among epidemiologically linked hospital contacts. A larger study is needed to understand the influence of genotypes, hospital environment, and human behavior on the transmission of CPO in hospitals.
Advances in technology enabled the development of a web-based, pictorial FFQ to collect parent-report dietary intakes of 7-year-old children in the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes study. This study aimed to compare intakes estimated from a paper-FFQ and a web-FFQ and examine the relative validity of both FFQ against 3-d diet records (3DDR). Ninety-two mothers reported food intakes of their 7-year-old child on a paper-FFQ, a web-FFQ and a 3DDR. A usability questionnaire collected participants’ feedback on the web-FFQ. Correlations and agreement in energy, nutrients and food groups intakes between the dietary assessments were evaluated using Pearson’s correlation, Lin’s concordance, Bland–Altman plots, Cohen’s κ and tertile classification. The paper- and web-FFQ had good correlations (≥ 0·50) and acceptable-good agreement (Lin’s concordance ≥ 0·30; Cohen’s κ ≥ 0·41; ≥ 50 % correct and ≤ 10 % misclassification into same or extreme tertiles). Compared with 3DDR, both FFQ showed poor agreement (< 0·30) in assessing absolute intakes except micronutrients (web-FFQ had acceptable-good agreement), but showed acceptable-good ability to classify children into tertiles (κ ≥ 0·21; ≥ 40 % and ≤ 15 % correct or misclassification). Bland–Altman plots suggest good agreement between web-FFQ and 3DDR in assessing micronutrients and several food groups. The web-FFQ was well-received, and majority (81 %) preferred the web-FFQ over the paper-FFQ. The newly developed web-FFQ produced intake estimates comparable to the paper-FFQ, has acceptable-good agreement with 3DDR in assessing absolute micronutrients intakes and has acceptable-good ability to classify children according to categories of intakes. The positive acceptance of the web-FFQ makes it a feasible tool for future dietary data collection.
Maladaptive offspring emotion regulation has been identified as one pathway linking maternal and child psychological well-being in school-aged children. Whether such a pathway is present earlier in life still remains unclear. The present study investigated the role of preschoolers’ emotion reactivity and regulation in the association between maternal psychological distress and child internalizing and externalizing problems. Children’s emotion reactivity and regulation were assessed through both observed behavior and physiology. At 42 months of age, children (n = 251; 128 girls) completed a fear induction task during which their heart-rate variability was assessed and their behavior was monitored, and maternal self-reports on depressive mood and anxiety were collected. At 48 months mothers and fathers reported on their children’s internalizing and externalizing problems. Higher maternal depressive mood was associated with lower child fear-related reactivity and regulation, as indexed by heart-rate variability. The latter mediated the association between higher maternal depressive mood and higher preschoolers’ externalizing problems. Overall, our findings support the role of preschoolers’ emotion reactivity and regulation in the relationship between maternal psychological distress and children’s socio-emotional difficulties. This role may also depend on the discrete emotion to which children react or seek to regulate as, here, we only assessed fear-related reactivity and regulation.
There is limited data on the dietary patterns of 5-year-old children in Asia. The study examined childhood dietary patterns and their maternal and child correlates in a multi-ethnic Asian cohort. Based on caregiver-reported 1-month quantitative FFQ of 777 children from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes cohort, cluster analysis identified two mutually exclusive clusters. Children in the ‘Unhealthy’ cluster (43·9 %) consumed more fries, processed meat, biscuits and ice cream, and less fish, fruits and vegetables compared with those in the ‘Healthy’ cluster (56·1 %). Children with mothers of lower educational attainment had twice the odds of being assigned to the ‘Unhealthy’ cluster (adjusted OR (95 % CI) = 2·19 (95 % CI 1·49–3·24)). Children of Malay and Indian ethnicities had higher odds of being assigned to the ‘Unhealthy’ cluster (adjusted OR = 25·46 (95 % CI 15·40, 42·10) and 4·03 (95 % CI 2·68–6·06), respectively), relative to Chinese ethnicity. In conclusion, this study identified two dietary patterns in children, labelled as the ‘Unhealthy’ and ‘Healthy’ clusters. Mothers’ educational attainment and ethnicity were two correlates that were associated with the children’s assignments to the clusters. These findings can assist in informing health promotion programmes targeted at Asian children.
ABSTRACT IMPACT: This poster will demonstrate how a community issue from a CTSI Community Advisory Board member organization initiated a collaborative, community-engaged project to identify priority areas of concern and culturally appropriate mitigation strategies. OBJECTIVES/GOALS: Little is known about the health and psychosocial impact of construction on older adults living near construction sites. We applied a mixed methods approach to identify evidence-based strategies to mitigate community prioritized health and psychosocial concerns related to long-term construction on older adults in NYC’s Manhattan Chinatown. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: In Chinatown, where approximately 20% of its residents are seniors, many are poor, have a disability, and experience ambulatory difficulties. We used a mixed methods approach including: 1) a high level scoping review of the published literature on the health impact of long-term construction for older adults; 2) key informant interviews with stakeholders; and 3) a two-part community-engaged modified Delphi process to identify priority topic areas related to construction and older adults and evidence-informed, culturally-relevant mitigation strategies. Using priority areas identified through the modified Delphi process, we conducted a literature review on the health and psychosocial impact of construction on older adults. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: We identified five priority topics: construction site emissions; noise; outdoor nocturnal lighting; neighborhood changes; and relocation. Long-term construction is associated with environmental and psychosocial consequences with greater negative impacts on vulnerable populations. Current NYC mitigation policies are based on general population and need revisions to consider impacts for the most vulnerable, e.g. older adults and children, to mitigate adverse health outcomes. Findings were shared with City Council members and resulted in enacting specific recommended mitigation strategies, e.g. double paned windows, etc. Seniors are highly susceptible to the effects of air pollution, noise, and environmental changes, with exposure associated with higher morbidity, mortality, and social isolation. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF FINDINGS: Long-term construction may pose serious health implications for seniors residing near construction sites. Standards and guidelines for the general population may not protect them. Community-driven coalitions, like community-academic partnerships, can successfully advance community priorities and inform strategies to protect the elderly.
To identify a posteriori dietary patterns among women planning pregnancy and assess the reproducibility of these patterns in a subsample using two dietary assessment methods.
A semi-quantitative FFQ was administered to women enrolled in the Singapore PREconception Study of long-Term maternal and child Outcomes study. Dietary patterns from the FFQ were identified using exploratory factor analysis (EFA). In a subsample of women (n 289), 3-d food diaries (3DFD) were also completed and analysed. Reproducibility of the identified patterns was assessed using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in the subsample, and goodness of fit of the CFA models was examined using several fit indices. Subsequently, EFA was conducted in the subsample and dietary patterns of the FFQ and the 3DFD were compared.
1007 women planning pregnancy (18–45 years).
Three dietary patterns were identified from the FFQ: the ‘Fish, Poultry/Meat and Noodles’ pattern was characterised by higher intakes of fish, poultry/meat and noodles in soup; ‘Fast Food and Sweetened Beverages’ pattern was characterised by higher intakes of fast food, sweetened beverages and fried snacks; ‘Bread, Legumes and Dairy’ pattern was characterised by higher intakes of buns/ethnic breads, nuts/legumes and dairy products. The comparative fit indices from the CFA models were 0·79 and 0·34 for the FFQ and 3DFD of the subsample, respectively. In the subsample, three similar patterns were identified in the FFQ while only two for the 3DFD.
Dietary patterns from the FFQ are reproducible within this cohort, providing a basis for future investigations on diet and health outcomes.
From a conditional adaptation vantage point, early life caregiving adversity likely enhances aspects of cognition needed to manage interpersonal threats. Yet, research examining early life care and offspring cognition predominantly relies upon experiments including affectively neutral stimuli, with findings generally interpreted as “early-life caregiving adversity is, de facto, ‘bad’ for cognitive performance.” Here, in a Southeast Asian sample, we examined observed maternal sensitivity in infancy and cognitive performance 3 years later as preschoolers took part in three tasks, each involving both a socioemotional (SE) and non-socioemotional (NSE) version: relational memory (n = 236), cognitive flexibility (n = 203), and inhibitory control (n = 255). Results indicate the relation between early life caregiving adversity and memory performance significantly differs (Wald test = 7.67, (1), P = 0.006) depending on the SE versus NSE context, with maternal sensitivity in infancy highly predictive of worse memory for SE stimuli, and amongst girls, also predictive of better memory when NSE stimuli are used. Results concerning inhibitory control, as well as cognitive flexibility in girls, also tentatively suggest the importance of considering the SE nature of stimuli when assessing relations between the caregiving environment and cognitive performance. As not all approaches to missing data yielded similar results, implications for statistical approaches are elaborated. We conclude by considering how an adaptation-to-context framework approach may aid in designing pedagogical strategies and well-being interventions that harness pre-existing cognitive strengths.
It is important to understand the temporal trend of the paediatric severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral load to estimate the transmission potential of children in schools and communities. We determined the differences in SARS-CoV-2 viral load dynamics between nasopharyngeal samples of infected asymptomatic and symptomatic children. Serial cycle threshold values of SARS-CoV-2 from the nasopharynx of a cohort of infected children were collected for analysis. Among 17 infected children, 10 (58.8%) were symptomatic. Symptomatic children, when compared to asymptomatic children, had higher viral loads (mean cycle threshold on day 7 of illness 28.6 vs. 36.7, P = 0.02). Peak SARS-CoV-2 viral loads occurred around day 2 of illness in infected children. Although we were unable to directly demonstrate infectivity, the detection of significant amount of virus in the upper airway of asymptomatic children suggest that they have the potential to shed and transmit SARS-CoV-2. Our study highlights the importance of contact tracing and screening for SARS-CoV-2 in children with epidemiological risk factors regardless of their symptom status, in order to improve containment of the virus in the community, including educational settings.
Pro-vitamin A carotenoids namely α-, β-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin have potential roles in neurocognitive development, but current literature on these carotenoids mainly focused on preventing cognitive decline in the elderly. This study examined the associations of maternal plasma pro-vitamin A carotenoids concentrations with offspring cognitive development up to 54 months in the GUSTO mother-offspring cohort study.
Materials and Methods
Maternal plasma pro-vitamin A carotenoids concentrations at delivery were determined by ultra-performance liquid chromatography. At age 24 months, the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (BSID-III) was used to assess children's development for the following domains: cognitive, receptive and expressive language, and fine and gross motor. At age 54 months, the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT-2) was used to assess children's verbal and non-verbal intelligence. Associations of maternal pro-vitamin A carotenoids with offspring cognitive development at each time point were examined in 419 mother-offspring pairs using linear regressions adjusted for confounders (e.g. maternal demographics, antenatal mental health and breastfeeding duration).
Median (IQR) maternal plasma concentrations (mg/L) were: α-carotene 0.052 (0.032–0.081), β-carotene 0.189 (0.134–0.286), and β-cryptoxanthin 0.199 (0.123–0.304). In 24 months old infants, higher maternal β-cryptoxanthin (per SD increment) were associated with higher scores in most of BSID-III domains: cognitive [β 0.18, (0.08, 0.28) SD], receptive language [β 0.17 (0.07, 0.27) SD], fine motor [β 0.16 (0.06, 0.27) SD], and gross motor [β 0.16 (0.06, 0.27) SD]. Additionally, a 1-SD increment in maternal β-carotene concentrations were associated with 0.16 SD higher scores in BSID-III cognitive domain (95%: 0.04, 0.28), which was attenuated after adjusting for breastfeeding duration. No significant associations were observed between maternal α-carotene concentrations and BSID-III in children at 24 months of age, or between maternal pro-vitamin A carotenoids and KBIT-2 in children at 54 months of age.
Our study provides novel data suggesting a role of maternal pro-vitamin A carotenoids, especially β-cryptoxanthin, in offspring early cognitive development. This adds support to the importance of consuming sufficient amounts of red- and orange-coloured fruit and vegetables (rich sources of β-cryptoxanthin and β-carotene) during pregnancy. Further studies are required in other mother-offspring cohort with larger sample sizes, and intervention trials to confirm an effect of pro-vitamin A carotenoids on neurocognitive development.
Recent evidence suggests that synchronizing eating-fasting schedules with body's circadian rhythms or day-night cycles is important for metabolic health. Besides food quantity and quality, food timing may contribute to weight regulation. However, it is unclear if this factor during pregnancy can influence maternal weight retention after childbirth. Using data from a prospective cohort, the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) study, we examined the associations of maternal circadian eating pattern and diet quality in pregnancy with substantial postpartum weight retention (PPWR) at 18 months. We assessed 687 pregnant women for their circadian eating pattern (night-eating, night-fasting and eating episodes) and diet quality (Healthy Eating Index) based on information derived from 24-h dietary recall at 26–28 weeks’ gestation. Night-eating was defined as > 50% of total energy intake during 1900–0659 h; night-fasting duration was determined based on the longest fasting interval between consumption of a calorie-containing food or beverage during 1900–0659 h; eating episodes were defined as events that provided ≥ 210 kJ with time intervals between eating episodes of ≥ 15 min; diet quality was ascertained using the Healthy Eating Index which measures adherence to the Singapore dietary guidelines for pregnant women. PPWR was calculated by subtracting the weight at the first antenatal clinic visit from weight at 18-month postpartum. Substantial PPWR was defined as weight retention of 5 kg or more. Adjusting for maternal age, ethnicity, education, parity, night shift, mood, body mass index and total energy intake, multivariable binary logistic regression analysis was performed to estimate odds ratio (OR) of substantial PPWR in relation to circadian eating pattern and diet quality. Of 687 women, 110 (16%) had substantial PPWR. After confounders adjustment, night-eating (OR 1.95; 95% confidence interval 1.05, 3.62) and lower diet quality (1.91; 1.17, 3.10) were independently associated with higher odds of substantial PPWR. No associations with substantial PPWR were observed for night-fasting duration and number of eating episodes. During pregnancy, women with higher caloric consumption at night and lower diet quality had a greater likelihood of substantial PPWR. These findings suggest that aligning eating time with day-night cycles and adherence to dietary guidelines during pregnancy may help to alleviate overweight and obesity risk in postpartum life. There is a possibility that these eating patterns persist beyond pregnancy and pose implications for long-term obesity development. Further investigation on this area is required.
Although psychological distress is highly prevalent, palliative cancer patients are mostly too lethargic to undergo many sessions of the conventional psychotherapy.
The study aims to develop a brief, quick and easy to administer psychological intervention for rapid reduction of distress in palliative care patients.
In phase I, an expert panel of multidisciplinary team was formed. The theory of mindfulness-based intervention was simplified into a 5-minute mindful breathing technique that can be learnt and practiced by palliative care patients.
In phase II, the efficacy of 5-minute mindful breathing was investigated in a pilot test that comprised of nine palliative cancer patients and eleven care takers.
In Phase III, the efficacy of 5-minute mindful breathing was further examined in a non-blinded, randomized controlled trial (RCT) that included 60 cancer patients under palliative care. Apart from perceived distress, physiological measures were assessed.
The effect of 5-minute mindful breathing in rapidly reducing distress among palliative care patients was confirmed in both the pilot test (Tan et al., 2015) and RCT (Ng et al., 2016). The finding was further supported by the significant physiological changes associated with distress reduction such as decreased breathing rate, blood pressure, pulse rate, galvanic skin and increased skin surface temperature (Ng et al., 2016) with the 5-minute mindful breathing.
The 5-minute mindful breathing is a quick and easy to administer intervention that is useful for reducing acute suffering or distress in palliative care patients.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Maternal and child health are intrinsically linked. With accumulating evidence over the past two decades supporting the developmental origins of health and diseases hypothesis, it is now widely recognised that nutrition in the first 1000 d sets the foundation for long-term health. Maternal diet before, during and after pregnancy can influence the developmental pathways of the fetus and lead to health consequences later in life. While maternal and infant mortality rates have declined significantly in the past two decades, the growing burden of obesity and chronic non-communicable diseases in women of reproductive age and children is on a rapid rise worldwide, in developed and developing countries. A key contributory factor is malnutrition, which is a consequence of consuming poor quality diets. Suboptimal macronutrient balance and micronutrient inadequacies can lead to undesirable maternal body composition and metabolism, in turn influencing the health of the mother and leading to longer-term metabolic and cognitive health consequences in the infant. The GUSTO (Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes) study, a mother–offspring multi-ethnic cohort study in Singapore, has contributed to this body of evidence over the past 10 years. This review will illustrate how nutritional epidemiological research through a birth cohort has illuminated the importance and urgency of maternal and child nutrition and health in a modern, industrialised setting. It underscores the importance of a number of critical nutrients during pregnancy, in combination with healthy dietary patterns and appropriate meal timing, for optimal maternal and child health.
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) by infants and young children are less explored in Asian populations. The Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes cohort study examined associations between SSB intake at 18 months and 5 years of age, with adiposity measures at 6 years of age. We studied Singaporean infants/children with SSB intake assessed by FFQ at 18 months of age (n 555) and 5 years of age (n 767). The median for SSB intakes is 28 (interquartile range 5·5–98) ml at 18 months of age and 111 (interquartile range 57–198) ml at 5 years of age. Association between SSB intake (100 ml/d increments and tertile categories) and adiposity measures (BMI standard deviation scores (sd units), sum of skinfolds (SSF)) and overweight/obesity status were examined using multivariable linear and Poisson regression models, respectively. After adjusting for confounders and additionally for energy intake, SSB intake at age 18 months were not significantly associated with later adiposity measures and overweight/obesity outcomes. In contrast, at age 5 years, SSB intake when modelled as 100 ml/d increments were associated with higher BMI by 0·09 (95 % CI 0·02, 0·16) sd units, higher SSF thickness by 0·68 (95 % CI 0·06, 1·44) mm and increased risk of overweight/obesity by 1·2 (95 % CI 1·07, 1·23) times at age 6 years. Trends were consistent with SSB intake modelled as categorical tertiles. In summary, SSB intake in young childhood is associated with higher risks of adiposity and overweight/obesity. Public health policies working to reduce SSB consumption need to focus on prevention programmes targeted at young children.
This paper presents a comparative study on three types of slim coil structures used as a three-dimensional (3-D) receiver in a wireless power transfer system with a planar transmitter coil. The mutual coupling values and their variations between the receiver structures and the transmitter coil are compared under different distances and angular orientations with respect to the transmitter coil. The merits of performance are related to the consistency of the mutual coupling values under different orientations in a range of distances from the transmitter coil. The practical results show that slim 3-D receiver coil structures can be compatible with a planar transmitter coil with reasonably high-mutual coupling.
Evidence on long-term influences of maternal vitamin B12 deficiency or concentrations on infant cognition is limited. We examined associations between maternal plasma vitamin B12 and cognitive development in 24-month-old infants. Maternal plasma vitamin B12 concentrations were measured at 26–28 weeks’ gestation; infant cognitive development was assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III at 24 months, for 443 mother–infant pairs from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes cohort. Linear regressions adjusted for key confounders examined associations of maternal vitamin B12 with cognitive, receptive and expressive language, fine and gross motor subscales. Co-occurrence of maternal vitamin B12 with folate or vitamin B6 insufficiencies on child’s cognition was explored. Average maternal plasma vitamin B12 concentrations was 220·5 ± 80·5 pmol/l; 15 % and 41 % of mothers were vitamin B12 deficient (<148 pmol/l) and insufficient (148–220·9 pmol/l), respectively. Infants of mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency had 0·42 (95 % CI −0·70, −0·14) sd lower cognitive scores, compared with infants of mothers with sufficient vitamin B12. Co-occurrence of maternal vitamins B12 and B6 insufficiencies was associated with 0·37 (95 % CI −0·69, −0·06) sd lower cognitive scores in infants compared with infants of mothers sufficient in both vitamins. No significant associations were observed with other subscales. Study findings suggest the possible need to ensure adequate vitamin B12 during pregnancy. The impact of co-occurrence of maternal B-vitamins insufficiencies on early cognitive development warrants further investigation.
Dietary intake of toddlers has been of growing interest due to its long-term consequences on health. However, previous works have focused largely on Caucasian populations and less is known about Asian toddlers. We aimed to validate a semi-quantitative FFQ designed to assess dietary intakes of 18-month-old toddlers in a multi-ethnic Asian cohort.
An FFQ of ninety-four food items, identified based on food records of 12-month-old GUSTO children, the Southampton Women’s Survey 12 Month Infancy Questionnaire and inputs from paediatric dietitians, was filled out two weeks before the 18th-month clinic visit. As the reference method, two non-consecutive 24 h recalls (24HR) were administered during and two weeks after the clinic visit. FFQ nutrient intakes were validated against averaged 24HR nutrient intakes, using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, Spearman’s rank-order correlation, cross-classification and the Bland–Altman method.
Data from the Singapore Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) mother–offspring birth cohort.
Toddlers (n 188) aged 18 months.
Absolute nutrient intakes from the FFQ were significantly higher than from the 24HR, except for vitamin A. After energy adjustments, r range was 0·56–0·78 (macronutrients) and 0·40–0·54 (micronutrients). De-attenuation increased r to 0·58–0·96 and 0·45–0·65 for macro- and micronutrients, respectively. Of participants, ≥82·4 % (macronutrients) and ≥77·7 % (micronutrients) were classified in the same and adjacent quartiles. No clear systematic increase in intake differences with increasing mean intake was observed in Bland–Altman plots.
This FFQ can provide a satisfactory assessment of toddlers’ energy-adjusted nutrient intakes, as well as accurately rank them in a group.
In this paper, we carry out an investigation on modelling basis risk and measuring risk reduction in a longevity hedge constructed by index-based longevity swaps. We derive the fitting procedures of the M7-M5 and common age effect+Cohorts models and define the level of longevity risk reduction. Based on a wide range of hedging scenarios of pension plans, we find that the risk reduction levels are often around 50%–80% for a large plan, while the risk reduction estimates are usually smaller than 50% for a small plan. Moreover, index-based hedging looks more effective under a more precise hedging scheme. We also perform a detailed sensitivity analysis on the hedging results. The most important modelling features are the behaviour of simulated future variability, portfolio size, speed of reaching coherence, data size and characteristics, simulation method, and mortality structural changes.