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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic requires urgent implementation of effective community-engaged strategies to enhance education, awareness, and inclusion of underserved communities in prevention, mitigation, and treatment efforts. The Texas Community-Engagement Alliance Consortium was established with support from the United States’ National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct community-engaged projects in selected geographic locations with a high proportion of medically underserved minority groups with a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 disease and hospitalizations. The purpose of this paper is to describe the development of the Consortium. The Consortium organized seven projects with focused activities to address COVID-19 clinical and vaccine trials in highly affected counties, as well as critical statewide efforts. Five Texas counties (Bexar, Dallas, Harris, Hidalgo, and Tarrant) were chosen by NIH because of high concentrations of underserved minority communities, existing community infrastructure, ongoing efforts against COVID-19, and disproportionate burden of COVID-19. Policies and practices can contribute to disparities in COVID-19 risk, morbidity, and mortality. Community engagement is an essential element for effective public health strategies in medically underserved minority areas. Working with partners, the Consortium will use community engagement strategies to address COVID-19 disparities.
This anthology surveys the ecological impacts of the First World War. Editors Richard P. Tucker, Tait Keller, J. R. McNeill, and Martin Schmidt bring together a list of experienced authors who explore the global interactions of states, armies, civilians, and the environment during the war. They show how the First World War ushered in enormous environmental changes, including the devastation of rural and urban environments, the consumption of strategic natural resources such as metals and petroleum, the impact of war on urban industry, and the disruption of agricultural landscapes leading to widespread famine. Taking a global perspective, Environmental Histories of the First World War presents the ecological consequences of the vast destructive power of the new weaponry and the close collaboration between militaries and civilian governments taking place during this time, showing how this war set trends for the rest of the century.
The association between cigarette smoking and psychosis remains unexplained, but could relate to causal effects in both directions, confounding by socioeconomic factors, such as ethnicity, or use of other substances, including cannabis. Few studies have evaluated the association between cigarettes and psychotic experiences (PEs) in diverse, inner-city populations, or relationships with number of cigarettes consumed.
We assessed associations and dose–response relationships between cigarette smoking and PEs in a cross-sectional survey of household residents (n = 1680) in South East London, using logistic regression to adjust for cannabis use, other illicit substances, and socioeconomic factors, including ethnicity.
We found association between any PEs and daily cigarette smoking, which remained following adjustment for age, gender, ethnicity, cannabis and use of illicit stimulant drugs (fully adjusted odds ratio 1.47, 95% confidence interval 1.01–2.15). Fully adjusted estimates for the association, and with number of PEs, increased with number of cigarettes smoked daily, implying a dose–response effect (p = 0.001 and <0.001, respectively). Odds of reporting any PEs in ex-smokers were similar to never-smokers.
In this diverse epidemiological sample, association between smoking and PEs was not explained by confounders such as cannabis or illicit drugs. Daily cigarette consumption showed a dose–response relationship with the odds of reporting PEs, and of reporting a greater number of PEs. There was no difference in odds of reporting PEs between ex-smokers and never-smokers, raising the possibility that the increase in PEs associated with smoking may be reversible.