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Background: Inequities are seen in many health-related outcomes, and systemic and structural factors result in inequitable care based on social determinants of health (SDOH). However, whether disparities exist specifically in healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) based on these factors has not been well described. Furthermore, there are no national standards on whether information related to equity and SDOH should be included in HAI surveillance and how such information could be used. Methods: We surveyed US members of the SHEA Research Network (SRN), a consortium of healthcare facilities with leaders interested in healthcare epidemiology and infection prevention, via an online REDCap survey from October to December 2021. Results: Of the 68 eligible US SRN facilities, 28 (41%) responded. Among them, 27 institutions provide direct patient care and were analyzed. Of these 27 facilities, 8 (30%) collected data regarding variables related to equity including language for care, race or ethnicity, insurance status, and other. Of these faclilities, 38% are collecting but not otherwise using this information; other facilities use this information for a variety of reporting and intervention purposes (Fig. 2). Only 3 facilities (11%) analyzed whether disparities exist in any HAI rates. The most common barrier to collecting SDOH information is that facilities have not considered doing this work (Fig. 3). Of the 15 facilities not yet undertaking such work, 10 (67%) were interested in doing so. Specific recommendations about how to operationalize such collection are needed (Table 1). Conclusions: Most institutions in this sample are not collecting data that would allow for assessment of disparities in the rates of HAIs; however, there is interest in doing so. A minority of early adopter facilities are assessing whether disparities exist and are designing interventions. National guidance can play a key role in standardizing the collection of this information and translating early findings to identify and subsequently improve disparities within HAIs.
Flavonoids have shown anti-hypertensive and anti-atherosclerotic properties: the impact of habitual flavonoid intake on vascular function, central haemodynamics and arterial stiffness may be important. We investigated the relationship between habitual flavonoid consumption and measures of central blood pressure and arterial stiffness. We performed cross-sectional analysis of 381 non-smoking healthy older adults (mean age 66·0 (sd 4·1) years; BMI, 26·4 (sd 4·41) kg/m2; 41 % male) recruited as part of the Australian Research Council Longevity Intervention study. Flavonoid intake (i.e. flavonols, flavones, flavanones, anthocyanins, isoflavones, flavan-3-ol monomers, proanthocyanidins, theaflavins/thearubigins and total consumption) was estimated from FFQ using the US Department of Agriculture food composition databases. Measures of central haemodynamics and arterial stiffness included systolic blood pressure (cSBP), diastolic blood pressure (cDBP), mean arterial pressure (cMAP) and augmentation index (cAIx). After adjusting for demographic and lifestyle confounders, each sd/d higher intake of anthocyanins ((sd 44·3) mg/d) was associated with significantly lower cDBP (−1·56 mmHg, 95 % CI −2·65, −0·48) and cMAP (−1·62 mmHg, 95 % CI −2·82, −0·41). Similarly, each sd/d higher intake of flavanones ((sd 19·5) mg/d) was associated with ~1 % lower cAIx (−0·93 %, 95 % CI −1·77, −0·09). These associations remained signiﬁcant after additional adjustment for (1) a dietary quality score and (2) other major nutrients that may affect blood pressure or arterial stiffness (i.e. Na, K, Ca, Mg, n-3, total protein and fibre). This study suggests a possible benefit of dietary anthocyanin and flavanone intake on central haemodynamics and arterial stiffness; these findings require corroboration in further research.
A novel paediatric disease, multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, has emerged during the 2019 coronavirus disease pandemic.
To describe the short-term evolution of cardiac complications and associated risk factors in patients with multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children.
Retrospective single-centre study of confirmed multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children treated from 29 March, 2020 to 1 September, 2020. Cardiac complications during the acute phase were defined as decreased systolic function, coronary artery abnormalities, pericardial effusion, or mitral and/or tricuspid valve regurgitation. Patients with or without cardiac complications were compared with chi-square, Fisher’s exact, and Wilcoxon rank sum.
Thirty-nine children with median (interquartile range) age 7.8 (3.6–12.7) years were included. Nineteen (49%) patients developed cardiac complications including systolic dysfunction (33%), valvular regurgitation (31%), coronary artery abnormalities (18%), and pericardial effusion (5%). At the time of the most recent follow-up, at a median (interquartile range) of 49 (26–61) days, cardiac complications resolved in 16/19 (84%) patients. Two patients had persistent mild systolic dysfunction and one patient had persistent coronary artery abnormality. Children with cardiac complications were more likely to have higher N-terminal B-type natriuretic peptide (p = 0.01), higher white blood cell count (p = 0.01), higher neutrophil count (p = 0.02), severe lymphopenia (p = 0.05), use of milrinone (p = 0.03), and intensive care requirement (p = 0.04).
Patients with multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children had a high rate of cardiac complications in the acute phase, with associated inflammatory markers. Although cardiac complications resolved in 84% of patients, further long-term studies are needed to assess if the cardiac abnormalities (transient or persistent) are associated with major cardiac events.
Our study examined whether the early-onset depression phenotype among young adults (probands) is associated with the metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components, and if MetS characterizes unaffected but high-risk siblings of probands.
We studied three groups of young adults (Mage = 25 years, s.d. = 3.84 years): probands with histories of childhood onset depression – i.e. early-onset phenotype – (n = 293), their unaffected siblings (high-risk siblings, n = 273), and healthy controls (n = 171). Participants completed a full psychiatric interview, physical and laboratory assessments, and self-rating scales. MetS was defined using the criteria of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (2001).
Early-onset depression phenotype and being a high-risk sibling were associated with higher MetS composite scores relative to that of controls, but did not differ from one another. With regard to MetS components: Probands and siblings had similarly larger waist circumference and lower HDL than did controls, while siblings and controls had lower triglyceride levels than did probands but did not differ from one another. Groups did not differ on glucose levels and SBP.
Our study extends the literature on the association between MetS and depression and underscores the importance of depression phenotypes: failure to account for the clinical heterogeneity of depression may partly underlie the inconsistent findings regarding its relation to MetS. The results also suggest that, in depression-prone populations, MetS may predate and possibly function as a risk factor for eventual depression.
In 2020 a group of U.S. healthcare leaders formed the National Organization to Prevent Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia (NOHAP) to issue a call to action to address non–ventilator-associated hospital-acquired pneumonia (NVHAP). NVHAP is one of the most common and morbid healthcare-associated infections, but it is not tracked, reported, or actively prevented by most hospitals. This national call to action includes (1) launching a national healthcare conversation about NVHAP prevention; (2) adding NVHAP prevention measures to education for patients, healthcare professionals, and students; (3) challenging healthcare systems and insurers to implement and support NVHAP prevention; and (4) encouraging researchers to develop new strategies for NVHAP surveillance and prevention. The purpose of this document is to outline research needs to support the NVHAP call to action. Primary needs include the development of better models to estimate the economic cost of NVHAP, to elucidate the pathophysiology of NVHAP and identify the most promising pathways for prevention, to develop objective and efficient surveillance methods to track NVHAP, to rigorously test the impact of prevention strategies proposed to prevent NVHAP, and to identify the policy levers that will best engage hospitals in NVHAP surveillance and prevention. A joint task force developed this document including stakeholders from the Veterans’ Health Administration (VHA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Joint Commission, the American Dental Association, the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, Oral Health Nursing Education and Practice (OHNEP), Teaching Oral-Systemic Health (TOSH), industry partners and academia.
Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) allows for imaging, diffraction, and spectroscopy of materials on length scales ranging from microns to atoms. By using a high-speed, direct electron detector, it is now possible to record a full two-dimensional (2D) image of the diffracted electron beam at each probe position, typically a 2D grid of probe positions. These 4D-STEM datasets are rich in information, including signatures of the local structure, orientation, deformation, electromagnetic fields, and other sample-dependent properties. However, extracting this information requires complex analysis pipelines that include data wrangling, calibration, analysis, and visualization, all while maintaining robustness against imaging distortions and artifacts. In this paper, we present py4DSTEM, an analysis toolkit for measuring material properties from 4D-STEM datasets, written in the Python language and released with an open-source license. We describe the algorithmic steps for dataset calibration and various 4D-STEM property measurements in detail and present results from several experimental datasets. We also implement a simple and universal file format appropriate for electron microscopy data in py4DSTEM, which uses the open-source HDF5 standard. We hope this tool will benefit the research community and help improve the standards for data and computational methods in electron microscopy, and we invite the community to contribute to this ongoing project.
Adolescent risk for self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (STBs) involves disturbance across multiple systems (e.g., affective valence, arousal regulatory, cognitive and social processes). However, research integrating information across these systems is lacking. Utilizing a multiple-levels-of-analysis approach, this person-centered study identified psychobiological stress response profiles and linked them to cognitive processes, interpersonal behaviors, and STBs. At baseline, adolescent girls (N = 241, Mage = 14.68 years, Range = 12–17) at risk for STBs completed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), questionnaires, and STB interviews. Positive affect (PA), negative affect (NA), and salivary cortisol (SC) were assessed before and after the TSST. STBs were assessed again during 3, 6, and 9 month follow-up interviews. Multitrajectory modeling of girls’ PA, NA, and SC revealed four profiles, which were compared on cognitive and behavioral correlates as well as STB outcomes. Relative to normative, girls in the affective distress, hyperresponsive, and hyporesponsive subgroups were more likely to report negative cognitive style (all three groups) and excessive reassurance seeking (hyporesponsive only) at baseline, as well as nonsuicidal self-injury (all three groups) and suicidal ideation and attempt (hyporesponsive only) at follow-up. Girls’ close friendship characteristics moderated several profile–STB links. A synthesis of the findings is presented alongside implications for person-centered tailoring of intervention efforts.
Host–microbial co-metabolism products are being increasingly recognised to play important roles in physiological processes. However, studies undertaking a comprehensive approach to consider host–microbial metabolic relationships remain scarce. Metabolomic analysis yielding detailed information regarding metabolites found in a given biological compartment holds promise for such an approach. This work aimed to explore the associations between host plasma metabolomic signatures and gut microbiota composition in healthy adults of the Milieu Intérieur study. For 846 subjects, gut microbiota composition was profiled through sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene in stools. Metabolomic signatures were generated through proton NMR analysis of plasma. The associations between metabolomic variables and α- and β-diversity indexes and relative taxa abundances were tested using multi-adjusted partial Spearman correlations, permutational ANOVA and multivariate associations with linear models, respectively. A multiple testing correction was applied (Benjamini–Hochberg, 10 % false discovery rate). Microbial richness was negatively associated with lipid-related signals and positively associated with amino acids, choline, creatinine, glucose and citrate (−0·133 ≤ Spearman’s ρ ≤ 0·126). Specific associations between metabolomic signals and abundances of taxa were detected (twenty-five at the genus level and nineteen at the species level): notably, numerous associations were observed for creatinine (positively associated with eleven species and negatively associated with Faecalibacterium prausnitzii). This large-scale population-based study highlights metabolites associated with gut microbial features and provides new insights into the understanding of complex host–gut microbiota metabolic relationships. In particular, our results support the implication of a ‘gut–kidney axis’. More studies providing a detailed exploration of these complex interactions and their implications for host health are needed.
The menopausal transition (MT) poses an increased risk for major depression (MD), but not for all women. Current and past stress are toxic risk factors for depression throughout life. The MT may be a time of increased sensitivity to stress, especially among women with a lifetime history of major depressive disorder (MDD). We evaluated whether women who experienced childhood maltreatment (CM) or current stressful events or ongoing problems were at increased risk for MD during the MT.
At the Pittsburgh site of the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation, 333 midlife women were interviewed approximately annually over 15 years with the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnosis of DSM-IV Axis I Disorders and provided health and psychosocial data including the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Repeated measures logistic regression analyses were conducted separately for women with and without lifetime MDD at study entry.
Among women with lifetime MDD, CM, but not current stress, interacted with menopausal status to increase the risk for MD during postmenopause (ORs ranged from 2.71 to 8.04). All stressors were associated with increased odds of MD. Among women without lifetime MDD, current stress was related to risk for MD, but the effect did not vary by menopausal status.
Women with MDD prior to midlife and who experienced CM were at greatest risk for MD after the MT. Women without prior MDD were at increased risk for MD during peri- and postmenopause. Healthcare providers should monitor women at risk for MD even after the MT.
To develop a pediatric research agenda focused on pediatric healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial stewardship topics that will yield the highest impact on child health.
The study included 26 geographically diverse adult and pediatric infectious diseases clinicians with expertise in healthcare-associated infection prevention and/or antimicrobial stewardship (topic identification and ranking of priorities), as well as members of the Division of Healthcare Quality and Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (topic identification).
Using a modified Delphi approach, expert recommendations were generated through an iterative process for identifying pediatric research priorities in healthcare associated infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship. The multistep, 7-month process included a literature review, interactive teleconferences, web-based surveys, and 2 in-person meetings.
A final list of 12 high-priority research topics were generated in the 2 domains. High-priority healthcare-associated infection topics included judicious testing for Clostridioides difficile infection, chlorhexidine (CHG) bathing, measuring and preventing hospital-onset bloodstream infection rates, surgical site infection prevention, surveillance and prevention of multidrug resistant gram-negative rod infections. Antimicrobial stewardship topics included β-lactam allergy de-labeling, judicious use of perioperative antibiotics, intravenous to oral conversion of antimicrobial therapy, developing a patient-level “harm index” for antibiotic exposure, and benchmarking and or peer comparison of antibiotic use for common inpatient conditions.
We identified 6 healthcare-associated infection topics and 6 antimicrobial stewardship topics as potentially high-impact targets for pediatric research.
Background: Chlorhexidine bathing reduces bacterial skin colonization and prevents infections in specific patient populations. As chlorhexidine use becomes more widespread, concerns about bacterial tolerance to chlorhexidine have increased; however, testing for chlorhexidine minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) is challenging. We adapted a broth microdilution (BMD) method to determine whether chlorhexidine MICs changed over time among 4 important healthcare-associated pathogens. Methods: Antibiotic-resistant bacterial isolates (Staphylococcus aureus from 2005 to 2019 and Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Enterobacter cloacae complex from 2011 to 2019) were collected through Emerging Infections Program surveillance in 2 sites (Georgia and Tennessee) or through public health reporting in 1 site (Orange County, California). A convenience sample of isolates were collected from facilities with varying amounts of chlorhexidine use. We performed BMD testing using laboratory-developed panels with chlorhexidine digluconate concentrations ranging from 0.125 to 64 μg/mL. After successfully establishing reproducibility with quality control organisms, 3 laboratories performed MIC testing. For each organism, epidemiological cutoff values (ECVs) were established using ECOFFinder. Results: Among 538 isolates tested (129 S. aureus, 158 E. coli, 142 K. pneumoniae, and 109 E. cloacae complex), S. aureus, E. coli, K. pneumoniae, and E. cloacae complex ECVs were 8, 4, 64, and 64 µg/mL, respectively (Table 1). Moreover, 14 isolates had an MIC above the ECV (12 E. coli and 2 E. cloacae complex). The MIC50 of each species is reported over time (Table 2). Conclusions: Using an adapted BMD method, we found that chlorhexidine MICs did not increase over time among a limited sample of S. aureus, E. coli, K. pneumoniae, and E. cloacae complex isolates. Although these results are reassuring, continued surveillance for elevated chlorhexidine MICs in isolates from patients with well-characterized chlorhexidine exposure is needed as chlorhexidine use increases.
Subgenual cingulate cortex (SCC) responses to self-blaming emotion-evoking stimuli were previously found in individuals prone to self-blame with and without a history of major depressive disorder (MDD). This suggested SCC activation reflects self-blaming emotions such as guilt, which are central to models of MDD vulnerability.
Here, we re-examined these hypotheses in an independent larger sample. A total of 109 medication-free participants (70 with remitted MDD and 39 healthy controls) underwent fMRI whilst judging self- and other-blaming emotion-evoking statements. They also completed validated questionnaires of proneness to self-blaming emotions including those related to internal (autonomy) and external (sociotropy) evaluation, which were subjected to factor analysis.
An interaction between group (remitted MDD v. Control) and condition (self- v. other-blame) was observed in the right SCC (BA24). This was due to higher SCC signal for self-blame in remitted MDD and higher other-blame-selective activation in Control participants. Across the whole sample, extracted SCC activation cluster averages for self- v. other-blame were predicted by a regression model which included the reliable components derived from our factor analysis of measures of proneness to self-blaming emotions. Interestingly, this prediction was solely driven by autonomy/self-criticism, and adaptive guilt factors, with no effect of sociotropy/dependency.
Despite confirming the prediction of SCC activation in self-blame-prone individuals and those vulnerable to MDD, our results suggest that SCC activation reflects blame irrespective of where it is directed rather than selective for self. We speculate that self-critical individuals have more extended SCC representations for blame in the context of self-agency.
A geochemical and biostratigraphic approach has been applied to investigate the spatial and stratigraphic variability of Palaeogene sandstones from key wells in Taranaki Basin, New Zealand. Chronostratigraphic control is predominantly based on miospore zonation, while differences in the composition of Paleocene and Eocene sandstones are supported by geochemical evidence. Stratigraphic changes are manifested by a significant decrease in Na2O across the New Zealand miospore PM3b/MH1 early Eocene zonal boundary, at approximately 53.5 Ma. The change in Na2O is associated with a decrease in baseline concentrations of many other major (MnO, CaO, TiO2) and trace elements, and is interpreted to reflect a significant change in sandstone maturity. Paleocene sandstones are characterized by abundant plagioclase (albite and locally Na–Ca plagioclase), significant biotite and a range of heavy minerals, while Eocene sandstones are typically quartzose, with K-feldspar dominant over plagioclase, low mica contents and rare heavy minerals comprising a resistant suite. This change could reflect a change in provenance from local plutonic basement during the Paleocene Epoch to relatively quartz- and K-feldspar-rich granitic sources during Eocene time. However, significant quartz enrichment of Eocene sediment was also likely due to transportation reworking/winnowing along the palaeoshoreface and enhanced chemical weathering, driven in part by long-term global warming associated with the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum. The broad-ranging changes in major-element composition overprint local variations in sediment provenance, which are only detectable from the immobile trace-element geochemistry.
Currently, there is limited knowledge on the impact of father-only sessions or parenting programs supporting impending fatherhood. This research explored an antenatal dads program aimed at fathers to assess the benefits of such interventions.
Literature regarding parenting programs and early childhood education initiatives, especially those aimed at children and families in disadvantaged circumstance, have been demonstrated to act as a buffer to poorer health and lifestyle outcomes in later life.
A qualitative research approach was used to explore the experiences of 16 fathers and 6 staff of a community-based parenting program with sessions focusing on fatherhood.
Four main themes were identified from the data regarding the experiences of groups engaged with the Antenatal Dads and First Year Families program. The first theme ‘Knowledge and Capacity Building’ stated that the information provided in the program helped fathers to be better informed and prepared for their impending fatherhood. The second theme was ‘Mental Health Awareness’ and identified the importance of raising awareness of depression and suicide in fathers, including where and how to get help. The third theme was ‘Soft-Entry’ and highlighted how the attendance at one service helped participants to learn about additional services through word of mouth and targeted promotion. The final theme was ‘Feeling Connected’, which helped fathers to feel more connected with the process of childbirth and development including playing and engaging with their children. Overall, the fathers found that the male-only sessions assisted them by supporting frank discussions on fatherhood. Additionally, the study helped identify the advantages of fathers meeting other fathers through attendance in the program, or even other couples in similar situations that helped fathers to feel less lonely regarding their situation.
An improved understanding of diagnostic and treatment practices for patients with rare primary mitochondrial disorders can support benchmarking against guidelines and establish priorities for evaluative research. We aimed to describe physician care for patients with mitochondrial diseases in Canada, including variation in care.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey of Canadian physicians involved in the diagnosis and/or ongoing care of patients with mitochondrial diseases. We used snowball sampling to identify potentially eligible participants, who were contacted by mail up to five times and invited to complete a questionnaire by mail or internet. The questionnaire addressed: personal experience in providing care for mitochondrial disorders; diagnostic and treatment practices; challenges in accessing tests or treatments; and views regarding research priorities.
We received 58 survey responses (52% response rate). Most respondents (83%) reported spending 20% or less of their clinical practice time caring for patients with mitochondrial disorders. We identified important variation in diagnostic care, although assessments frequently reported as diagnostically helpful (e.g., brain magnetic resonance imaging, MRI/MR spectroscopy) were also recommended in published guidelines. Approximately half (49%) of participants would recommend “mitochondrial cocktails” for all or most patients, but we identified variation in responses regarding specific vitamins and cofactors. A majority of physicians recommended studies on the development of effective therapies as the top research priority.
While Canadian physicians’ views about diagnostic care and disease management are aligned with published recommendations, important variations in care reflect persistent areas of uncertainty and a need for empirical evidence to support and update standard protocols.