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Perceived purpose in life (PIL) has been linked to a broad range of adverse physical, mental, and cognitive outcomes. However, limited research has examined factors associated with PIL that can be targeted in prevention and treatment efforts in aging populations at heightened risk of adverse outcomes. Using data from predominantly older US veterans, we sought to identify important correlates of PIL.
Cross-sectional data were analyzed from the 2019–2020 National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study, which surveyed a nationally representative sample of 4069 US military veterans (Mage = 62.2). Elastic net and relative importance analyses were conducted to evaluate sociodemographic, military, health, and psychosocial variables that were strongly associated with PIL.
Of the 39 variables entered into an elastic net analysis, 10 were identified as significant correlates of PIL. In order of magnitude, these were resilience (18.7% relative variance explained [RVE]), optimism (12.1%), depressive symptoms (11.3%), community integration (10.7%), gratitude (10.2%), loneliness (9.8%), received social support (8.6%), conscientiousness (8.5%), openness to experience (5.4%), and intrinsic religiosity (4.7%).
Several modifiable psychosocial factors emerged as significant correlates of PIL in US military veterans. Interventions designed to target these factors may help increase PIL and mitigate risk for adverse health outcomes in this population.
Among nursing home outbreaks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with ≥3 breakthrough infections when the predominant severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variant circulating was the SARS-CoV-2 δ (delta) variant, fully vaccinated residents were 28% less likely to be infected than were unvaccinated residents. Once infected, they had approximately half the risk for all-cause hospitalization and all-cause death compared with unvaccinated infected residents.
Although twins often participate in medical research, few clinical trials are conducted entirely in twin populations. The purpose of this review is to demonstrate the substantial benefits and address the key challenges of conducting clinical trials in twin populations, or ‘twin-only trials’. We consider the unique design, analysis, recruitment and ethical issues that arise in such trials. In particular, we describe the different approaches available for randomizing twin pairs, highlight the similarity or correlation that exists between outcomes of twins, and discuss the impact of this correlation on sample size calculations and statistical analysis methods for estimating treatment effects. We also consider the role of both monozygotic and dizygotic twins for studying variation in outcomes, the factors that may affect recruitment of twins, and the ethics of conducting trials entirely in twin populations. The advantages and disadvantages of conducting twin-only trials are also discussed. Finally, we recommend that twin-only trials should be considered more often.
Evaluate the difference in antibiotic prescribing between various levels of resident training or attending types.
Observational, retrospective study.
Tertiary-care, academic medical center in Madison, Wisconsin.
We measured antibiotic utilization from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2018, in our general medicine (GM) and hospitalist services. The GM1 service is staffed by outpatient internal medicine physicians, the GM2 service is staffed by geriatricians and hospitalists, and the GM3 service is staffed by only hospitalists. The GMA service is led by junior resident physicians, and the GMB service is led by senior resident physicians. We measured utilization using days of therapy (DOT) per 1,000 patient days (PD). In a secondary analysis based on antibiotic spectrum, we used average DOT per 1,000 PD.
Teaching services prescribed more antibiotics than nonteaching services (671.6 vs 575.2 DOT per 1,000 PD; P < .0001). Junior resident–led services used more antibiotics than senior resident–led services (740.9 vs 510.0 DOT per 1,000 PD; P < .0001). Overall, antibiotic prescribing was numerically similar between various attending physician backgrounds. A secondary analysis showed that GM services prescribed more broad-spectrum, anti-MRSA, and anti-pseudomonal antibiotics than the hospitalist services. GM junior resident–led services prescribed more broad-spectrum, anti-MRSA, and antipseudomonal therapy compared to their senior counterparts.
Antibiotics were prescribed at a significantly higher rate in services associated with trainees than those without. Services led by a junior resident physician prescribed antibiotics at a significantly higher rate than services led by a senior resident. Interventions to reduce unnecessary antibiotic exposure should be targeted toward resident physicians, especially junior trainees.
Short-term survival after paediatric cardiac surgery has improved significantly over the past 20 years and increasing attention is being given to measuring and reducing incidence of morbidities following surgery. How to best use routinely collected data to share morbidity information constitutes a challenge for clinical teams interested in analysing their outcomes for quality improvement. We aimed to develop a tool facilitating this process in the context of monitoring morbidities following paediatric cardiac surgery, as part of a prospective multi-centre research study in the United Kingdom.
We developed a prototype software tool to analyse and present data about morbidities associated with cardiac surgery in children. We used an iterative process, involving engagement with potential users, tool design and implementation, and feedback collection. Graphical data displays were based on the use of icons and graphs designed in collaboration with clinicians.
Our tool enables automatic creation of graphical summaries, displayed as a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, from a spreadsheet containing patient-level data about specified cardiac surgery morbidities. Data summaries include numbers/percentages of cases with morbidities reported, co-occurrences of different morbidities, and time series of each complication over a time window.
Our work was characterised by a very high level of interaction with potential users of the tool, enabling us to promptly account for feedback and suggestions from clinicians and data managers. The United Kingdom centres involved in the project received the tool positively, and several expressed their interest in using it as part of their routine practice.
Hemiparasitic plants obtain water and solutes from their hosts, but much remains to be learned about these transfers. We used a forest girdling experiment to investigate how leaf gas exchange, carbon and nitrogen cycling in the root hemiparasite Melampyrum lineare Desr. responded to disturbance and changes in physiology of potential host trees. By preventing belowground C allocation by 35% of the canopy, girdling decreased the starch and soluble sugar contents of bulk forest floor fine roots. Photosynthetic rates of M. lineare were statistically significantly lower in the girdled plot, but their hypothesized drivers (foliar N, stomatal conductance and transpiration) had no statistically significant differences between girdled and non-girdled plots. However, M. lineare in the girdled plot had higher foliar C concentrations and Δ14C than in the control plot, suggesting possible photosynthetic down-regulation in the girdled plot due to influx of older (e.g., host-derived) C into the leaves of M. lineare. Within the girdled plot (but not the control plot), M. lineare foliar C concentrations were positively correlated with foliar Δ14C and δ15N, suggesting that M. lineare may respond to changes in both C and N biogeochemistry during the decline of dominant canopy species.
Depression and obesity are highly prevalent, and major impacts on public health frequently co-occur. Recently, we reported that having depression moderates the effect of the FTO gene, suggesting its implication in the association between depression and obesity.
To confirm these findings by investigating the FTO polymorphism rs9939609 in new cohorts, and subsequently in a meta-analysis.
The sample consists of 6902 individuals with depression and 6799 controls from three replication cohorts and two original discovery cohorts. Linear regression models were performed to test for association between rs9939609 and body mass index (BMI), and for the interaction between rs9939609 and depression status for an effect on BMI. Fixed and random effects meta-analyses were performed using METASOFT.
In the replication cohorts, we observed a significant interaction between FTO, BMI and depression with fixed effects meta-analysis (β=0.12, P = 2.7 × 10−4) and with the Han/Eskin random effects method (P = 1.4 × 10−7) but not with traditional random effects (β = 0.1, P = 0.35). When combined with the discovery cohorts, random effects meta-analysis also supports the interaction (β = 0.12, P = 0.027) being highly significant based on the Han/Eskin model (P = 6.9 × 10−8). On average, carriers of the risk allele who have depression have a 2.2% higher BMI for each risk allele, over and above the main effect of FTO.
This meta-analysis provides additional support for a significant interaction between FTO, depression and BMI, indicating that depression increases the effect of FTO on BMI. The findings provide a useful starting point in understanding the biological mechanism involved in the association between obesity and depression.
Emotions and emotional feelings arise through the integrated processing of bodily sensations, environmental events, thoughts and recollections, and they shape new learning, facilitate decision-making, and guide behavior. Mood and affect have been defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) according to the durations of the emotions and emotional feelings comprising them. The development of functionally impairing pervasive and sustained disturbances of emotion and emotional feelings suggests a mood disorder such as major depression, dysthymia, mania, hypomania, or cyclothymia. Functionally impairing moment-to-moment disturbances of emotional expression and experience are disorders of affect. This category of clinical conditions includes disorders of affective excess such as pathological laughing and crying, pathological euphoria, essential crying, witzelsucht, and affective lability. The phenomenologies of emotional generation, expression, experience, and control reflect their putative neurobiologies. MacLean applied the principles of evolutionary neurobiology to the description of the limbic system and its function.