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Understanding place-based contributors to health requires geographically and culturally diverse study populations, but sharing location data is a significant challenge to multisite studies. Here, we describe a standardized and reproducible method to perform geospatial analyses for multisite studies. Using census tract-level information, we created software for geocoding and geospatial data linkage that was distributed to a consortium of birth cohorts located throughout the USA. Individual sites performed geospatial linkages and returned tract-level information for 8810 children to a central site for analyses. Our generalizable approach demonstrates the feasibility of geospatial analyses across study sites to promote collaborative translational research.
To use Internet search data to compare duration of compliance for various diets.
Using a passive surveillance digital epidemiological approach, we estimated the average duration of diet compliance by examining monthly Internet searches for recipes related to popular diets. We fit a mathematical model to these data to estimate the time spent on a diet by new January dieters (NJD) and to estimate the percentage of dieters dropping out during the American winter holiday season between Thanksgiving and the end of December.
Internet searches in the USA for recipes related to popular diets over a 15-year period from 2004 to 2019.
Individuals in the USA performing Internet searches for recipes related to popular diets.
All diets exhibited significant seasonality in recipe-related Internet searches, with sharp spikes every January followed by a decline in the number of searches and a further decline in the winter holiday season. The Paleo diet had the longest average compliance times among NJD (5.32 ± 0.68 weeks) and the lowest dropout during the winter holiday season (only 14 ± 3 % dropping out in December). The South Beach diet had the shortest compliance time among NJD (3.12 ± 0.64 weeks) and the highest dropout during the holiday season (33 ± 7 % dropping out in December).
The current study is the first of its kind to use passive surveillance data to compare the duration of adherence with different diets and underscores the potential usefulness of digital epidemiological approaches to understanding health behaviours.
We describe 14 yr of public data from the Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA), an ongoing project that is producing precise measurements of pulse times of arrival from 26 millisecond pulsars using the 64-m Parkes radio telescope with a cadence of approximately 3 weeks in three observing bands. A comprehensive description of the pulsar observing systems employed at the telescope since 2004 is provided, including the calibration methodology and an analysis of the stability of system components. We attempt to provide full accounting of the reduction from the raw measured Stokes parameters to pulse times of arrival to aid third parties in reproducing our results. This conversion is encapsulated in a processing pipeline designed to track provenance. Our data products include pulse times of arrival for each of the pulsars along with an initial set of pulsar parameters and noise models. The calibrated pulse profiles and timing template profiles are also available. These data represent almost 21 000 h of recorded data spanning over 14 yr. After accounting for processes that induce time-correlated noise, 22 of the pulsars have weighted root-mean-square timing residuals of
in at least one radio band. The data should allow end users to quickly undertake their own gravitational wave analyses, for example, without having to understand the intricacies of pulsar polarisation calibration or attain a mastery of radio frequency interference mitigation as is required when analysing raw data files.
We read with interest the recent editorial, “The Hennepin Ketamine Study,” by Dr. Samuel Stratton commenting on the research ethics, methodology, and the current public controversy surrounding this study.1 As researchers and investigators of this study, we strongly agree that prospective clinical research in the prehospital environment is necessary to advance the science of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and emergency medicine. We also agree that accomplishing this is challenging as the prehospital environment often encounters patient populations who cannot provide meaningful informed consent due to their emergent conditions. To ensure that fellow emergency medicine researchers understand the facts of our work so they may plan future studies, and to address some of the questions and concerns in Dr. Stratton’s editorial, the lay press, and in social media,2 we would like to call attention to some inaccuracies in Dr. Stratton’s editorial, and to the lay media stories on which it appears to be based.
Ho JD, Cole JB, Klein LR, Olives TD, Driver BE, Moore JC, Nystrom PC, Arens AM, Simpson NS, Hick JL, Chavez RA, Lynch WL, Miner JR. The Hennepin Ketamine Study investigators’ reply. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2019;34(2):111–113
BACKGROUND: IGTS is a rare phenomenon of paradoxical germ cell tumor (GCT) growth during or following treatment despite normalization of tumor markers. We sought to evaluate the frequency, clinical characteristics and outcome of IGTS in patients in 21 North-American and Australian institutions. METHODS: Patients with IGTS diagnosed from 2000-2017 were retrospectively evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 739 GCT diagnoses, IGTS was identified in 33 patients (4.5%). IGTS occurred in 9/191 (4.7%) mixed-malignant GCTs, 4/22 (18.2%) immature teratomas (ITs), 3/472 (0.6%) germinomas/germinomas with mature teratoma, and in 17 secreting non-biopsied tumours. Median age at GCT diagnosis was 10.9 years (range 1.8-19.4). Male gender (84%) and pineal location (88%) predominated. Of 27 patients with elevated markers, median serum AFP and Beta-HCG were 70 ng/mL (range 9.2-932) and 44 IU/L (range 4.2-493), respectively. IGTS occurred at a median time of 2 months (range 0.5-32) from diagnosis, during chemotherapy in 85%, radiation in 3%, and after treatment completion in 12%. Surgical resection was attempted in all, leading to gross total resection in 76%. Most patients (79%) resumed GCT chemotherapy/radiation after surgery. At a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range 0.3-12), all but 2 patients are alive (1 succumbed to progressive disease, 1 to malignant transformation of GCT). CONCLUSION: IGTS occurred in less than 5% of patients with GCT and most commonly after initiation of chemotherapy. IGTS was more common in patients with IT-only on biopsy than with mixed-malignant GCT. Surgical resection is a principal treatment modality. Survival outcomes for patients who developed IGTS are favourable.
Salmonella causes an estimated 1·2 million illnesses annually in the USA. Salmonella enterica serotype Javiana (serotype Javiana) is the fourth most common serotype isolated from humans, with the majority of illnesses occurring in southeastern states. The percentage of wetland cover by wetland type and the average incidence rates of serotype Javiana infection in selected counties of the Foodborne Disease Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) were examined. This analysis explored the relationship between wetland environments and incidence in order to assess whether regional differences in environmental habitats may be associated with observed variations in incidence. Findings suggest that environmental habitats may support reservoirs or contribute to the persistence of serotype Javiana, and may frequently contribute to the transmission of infection compared with other Salmonella serotypes.
Hospital use of chlorhexidine (CHX) containing antiseptics to decrease nosocomial infections may promote CHX resistance among pathogenic organisms. Nosocomial bloodstream-infecting Staphylococcus aureus isolates from before and after adoption of hospital-wide CHX bathing were tested for CHX susceptibility, and no decreased susceptibility or resistance-promoting genes were discovered.
As poultry consumption continues to increase worldwide, and as the United States accounts for about one-third of all poultry exports globally, understanding factors leading to poultry-associated foodborne outbreaks in the United States has important implications for food safety. We analysed outbreaks reported to the United States’ Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System from 1998 to 2012 in which the implicated food or ingredient could be assigned to one food category. Of 1114 outbreaks, poultry was associated with 279 (25%), accounting for the highest number of outbreaks, illnesses, and hospitalizations, and the second highest number of deaths. Of the 149 poultry-associated outbreaks caused by a confirmed pathogen, Salmonella enterica (43%) and Clostridium perfringens (26%) were the most common pathogens. Restaurants were the most commonly reported location of food preparation (37% of poultry-associated outbreaks), followed by private homes (25%), and catering facilities (13%). The most commonly reported factors contributing to poultry-associated outbreaks were food-handling errors (64%) and inadequate cooking (53%). Effective measures to reduce poultry contamination, promote safe food-handling practices, and ensure food handlers do not work while ill could reduce poultry-associated outbreaks and illnesses.
Salmonella enterica causes an estimated 1 million domestically acquired foodborne illnesses annually. Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (SE) is among the top three serovars of reported cases of Salmonella. We examined trends in SE foodborne outbreaks from 1973 to 2009 using Joinpoint and Poisson regression. The annual number of SE outbreaks increased sharply in the 1970s and 1980s but declined significantly after 1990. Over the study period, SE outbreaks were most frequently attributed to foods containing eggs. The average rate of SE outbreaks attributed to egg-containing foods reported by states began to decline significantly after 1990, and the proportion of SE outbreaks attributed to egg-containing foods began declining after 1997. Our results suggest that interventions initiated in the 1990s to decrease SE contamination of shell eggs may have been integral to preventing SE outbreaks.
Computed tomography (CT) is an important tool in clinical diagnostic imaging enabling three-dimensional anatomic imaging at high spatial resolution with short scan times. However, X-ray attenuation differences in physiological fluids and soft tissues are relatively small, requiring the use of contrast agents to achieve sufficient imaging contrast. Recent advances in energy-sensitive X-ray detectors have made spectral (color) CT commercially feasible by unmixing the energy-dependent attenuation profile of different materials and will potentially enable molecular imaging in CT. In order to leverage these capabilities for diagnostic imaging, we are developing a spectral library of nanoparticle contrast agents with K-shell absorption edges spaced at least 10 keV apart. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the ability of spectral CT to simultaneously detect up to three different contrast agents and unmixed their signals to create color images. Gadolinium oxide (Gd), hafnium oxide (Hf) and gold (Au) were chosen due to exhibiting K-edges spaced 10-20 keV apart. Core-shell nanoparticles of each composition were synthesized by various methods to have a core diameter of 15-20 nm and were coated with a silica shell at least 2-4 nm in thickness to create a common platform for surface functionalization. The contrast agents were imaged in a soft tissue equivalent phantom using source-side method for spectral CT imaging. The source-side approach utilized monochromatic synchrotron radiation at the Argonne National Laboratory which, while not clinically applicable, served as a gold standard due to providing the highest spectral resolution. The nanoparticles designed for this study have broad applications in biomedical imaging due to their modular assembly, potential for enabling multi-modal detection, and surface functionalization with biomolecules (e.g., antibodies, peptides or enzymes) for active targeting.
The WAIS (West Antarctic Ice Sheet) Divide deep ice core was recently completed to a total depth of 3405 m, ending 50 m above the bed. Investigation of the visual stratigraphy and grain characteristics indicates that the ice column at the drilling location is undisturbed by any large-scale overturning or discontinuity. The climate record developed from this core is therefore likely to be continuous and robust. Measured grain-growth rates, recrystallization characteristics, and grain-size response at climate transitions fit within current understanding. Significant impurity control on grain size is indicated from correlation analysis between impurity loading and grain size. Bubble-number densities and bubble sizes and shapes are presented through the full extent of the bubbly ice. Where bubble elongation is observed, the direction of elongation is preferentially parallel to the trace of the basal (0001) plane. Preferred crystallographic orientation of grains is present in the shallowest samples measured, and increases with depth, progressing to a vertical-girdle pattern that tightens to a vertical single-maximum fabric. This single-maximum fabric switches into multiple maxima as the grain size increases rapidly in the deepest, warmest ice. A strong dependence of the fabric on the impurity-mediated grain size is apparent in the deepest samples.
Depressive symptoms are prominent psychopathological features of Huntington's disease (HD), making a negative impact on social functioning and well-being.
We compared the frequencies of a history of depression, previous suicide attempts and current subthreshold depression between 61 early-stage HD participants and 40 matched controls. The HD group was then split based on the overall HD group's median Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-depression score into a group of 30 non-depressed participants (mean 0.8, s.d. = 0.7) and a group of 31 participants with subthreshold depressive symptoms (mean 7.3, s.d. = 3.5) to explore the neuroanatomy underlying subthreshold depressive symptoms in HD using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).
Frequencies of history of depression, previous suicide attempts or current subthreshold depressive symptoms were higher in HD than in controls. The severity of current depressive symptoms was also higher in HD, but not associated with the severity of HD motor signs or disease burden. Compared with the non-depressed HD group DTI revealed lower fractional anisotropy (FA) values in the frontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, insula and cerebellum of the HD group with subthreshold depressive symptoms. In contrast, VBM measures were similar in both HD groups. A history of depression, the severity of HD motor signs or disease burden did not correlate with FA values of these regions.
Current subthreshold depressive symptoms in early HD are associated with microstructural changes – without concomitant brain volume loss – in brain regions known to be involved in major depressive disorder, but not those typically associated with HD pathology.
Common sources of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 infection have been identified by investigating outbreaks and by case-control studies of sporadic infections. We conducted an analysis to attribute STEC O157 infections ascertained in 1996 and 1999 by the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) to sources. Multivariable models from two case-control studies conducted in FoodNet and outbreak investigations that occurred during the study years were used to calculate the annual number of infections attributable to six sources. Using the results of the outbreak investigations alone, 27% and 15% of infections were attributed to a source in 1996 and 1999, respectively. Combining information from both data sources, 65% of infections in 1996 and 34% of infections in 1999 were attributed. The results suggest that methods to incorporate data from multiple surveillance systems and over several years are needed to improve estimation of the number of illnesses attributable to exposure sources.
A ‘pulsar timing array’ (PTA), in which observations of a large sample of pulsars spread across the celestial sphere are combined, allows investigation of ‘global’ phenomena such as a background of gravitational waves or instabilities in atomic timescales that produce correlated timing residuals in the pulsars of the array. The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array (PPTA) is an implementation of the PTA concept based on observations with the Parkes 64-m radio telescope. A sample of 20 ms pulsars is being observed at three radio-frequency bands, 50 cm (~700 MHz), 20 cm (~1400 MHz), and 10 cm (~3100 MHz), with observations at intervals of two to three weeks. Regular observations commenced in early 2005. This paper describes the systems used for the PPTA observations and data processing, including calibration and timing analysis. The strategy behind the choice of pulsars, observing parameters, and analysis methods is discussed. Results are presented for PPTA data in the three bands taken between 2005 March and 2011 March. For 10 of the 20 pulsars, rms timing residuals are less than 1 μs for the best band after fitting for pulse frequency and its first time derivative. Significant ‘red’ timing noise is detected in about half of the sample. We discuss the implications of these results on future projects including the International Pulsar Timing Array and a PTA based on the Square Kilometre Array. We also present an ‘extended PPTA’ data set that combines PPTA data with earlier Parkes timing data for these pulsars.
The potential for direct transmission of type A influenza viruses from wild waterfowl to humans is undefined. This study estimated exposure of hunters to avian influenza virus (AIV) resulting from direct contact with potentially infected waterfowl in Georgia (GA), Louisiana (LA) and Minnesota (MN), and demonstrated variation in the risk of exposure to AIV by hunting location and time. Hunting begins earlier in MN, starting in October, and later in GA and LA, usually starting in November. In addition, the numbers of hunters and birds harvested varies considerably in each state, with LA hosting the largest harvest in the USA Temporal effects resulted in variation of the exposure risk per hunter-day, with a higher risk associated with the earlier months of the hunting season. Exposure risk in locations varied due to AIV prevalence during each hunting season, average bird harvest per hunter-day, and ratio of juveniles/adult birds harvested (higher risk associated with higher ratios). Population risk is discussed based on the exposure risk and number of active hunters in each state per month. The risk of human exposure to AIV was also shown to be temporally distinct from the time of greatest risk of human influenza A infection during circulation of seasonal human influenza viruses, making recombination events due to co-infection unlikely.
We examined reported outbreaks of foodborne shigellosis in the USA from 1998 to 2008 and summarized demographic and epidemiological characteristics of 120 confirmed outbreaks resulting in 6208 illnesses. Most reported foodborne shigellosis outbreaks (n = 70, 58%) and outbreak-associated illnesses (n = 3383, 54%) were restaurant-associated. The largest outbreaks were associated with commercially prepared foods distributed in multiple states and foods prepared in institutional settings. Foods commonly consumed raw were implicated in 29 (24%) outbreaks and infected food handlers in 28 (23%) outbreaks. Most outbreaks (n = 86, 72%) were caused by Shigella sonnei. Targeted efforts to reduce contamination during food handling at multiple points in the food processing and distribution system, including food preparation in restaurants and institutional settings, could prevent many foodborne disease outbreaks and outbreak-related illnesses including those due to Shigella.