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We evaluated adverse drug events (ADEs) by chart review in a random national sample of 428 veterans with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who received tocilizumab (n = 173 of 428). ADEs (median time, 5 days) occurred in 51 of 173 (29%) and included hepatoxicity (n = 29) and infection (n = 13). Concomitant medication discontinuation occurred in 22% of ADE patients; mortality was 39%.
Unemployment and being not in the labour force (NILF) are risk factors for suicide, but their association with self-harm is unclear, and there is continuing debate about the role of confounding by prior mental health conditions. We examine associations between employment status and self-harm and suicide in a prospective cohort, taking into account prior mental-health-related factors.
We used linked data from the New Zealand Integrated Data Infrastructure. The outcomes were chosen to be hospital presentation for self-harm and death by suicide. The exposure was employment status, defined as employed, unemployed, or NILF, measured at the 2013 Census. Confounders included demographic factors and mental health history (use of antidepressant medication, use of mental health services, and prior self-harm). Logistic regression was used to model effects. Analyses were stratified by gender.
For males, unemployment was associated with an increased risk of suicide [odds ratio (OR): 1.48, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.20–1.84] and self-harm (OR: 1.55, 95% CI: 1.45–1.68) after full adjustment for confounders. NILF was associated with an increased risk of self-harm (OR: 1.43, 95% CI: 1.32–1.55), but less of an association was seen with suicide (OR: 1.19, 95% CI: 0.94–1.49). For females, unemployment was associated with an increased risk of suicide (OR: 1.30, 95% CI: 0.93–1.80) and of self-harm (OR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.43–1.62), and NILF was associated with a similar increase in risk for suicide (OR: 1.31, 95% CI: 0.98–1.75) and self-harm (OR: 1.32, 95% CI: 1.26–1.40).
Exclusion from employment is associated with a considerably heightened risk of suicide and self-harm for both men and women, even among those without prior mental health problems.
A number of genomic conditions caused by copy number variants (CNVs) are associated with a high risk of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders (ND-CNVs). Although these patients also tend to have cognitive impairments, few studies have investigated the range of emotion and behaviour problems in young people with ND-CNVs using measures that are suitable for those with learning difficulties.
A total of 322 young people with 13 ND-CNVs across eight loci (mean age: 9.79 years, range: 6.02–17.91, 66.5% male) took part in the study. Primary carers completed the Developmental Behaviour Checklist (DBC).
Of the total, 69% of individuals with an ND-CNV screened positive for clinically significant difficulties. Young people from families with higher incomes (OR = 0.71, CI = 0.55–0.91, p = .008) were less likely to screen positive. The rate of difficulties differed depending on ND-CNV genotype (χ2 = 39.99, p < 0.001), with the lowest rate in young people with 22q11.2 deletion (45.7%) and the highest in those with 1q21.1 deletion (93.8%). Specific patterns of strengths and weaknesses were found for different ND-CNV genotypes. However, ND-CNV genotype explained no more than 9–16% of the variance, depending on DBC subdomain.
Emotion and behaviour problems are common in young people with ND-CNVs. The ND-CNV specific patterns we find can provide a basis for more tailored support. More research is needed to better understand the variation in emotion and behaviour problems not accounted for by genotype.
The present study aims to assess associations between parental depression and parental and child nutritional status and diets in Nepal.
A cross-sectional survey conducted from June to September 2017.
This monitoring survey was conducted in sixteen of forty-two Suaahara intervention districts spanning mountains, hills and plains in Nepal. Multi-stage cluster sampling was used to sample communities in this survey.
Women and men with a child 6–59 months of age were randomly selected (n 3158 mothers and children; n 826 fathers).
Overall, 36 % of mothers, 37 % of fathers and 55 % of children met minimum dietary diversity, indicating that they consumed foods from at least four of seven food groups (children) and at least five of ten food groups (adults) in the 24 h prior to the interview. The percentage of children stunted, wasted and underweight was 28, 11 and 23, respectively. Only 5 % of mothers and 3 % of fathers screened positive for moderate or severe depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9 score ≥ 10). In adjusted models, we found maternal depression was positively associated with maternal underweight (OR = 1·48, 95 % CI 1·01, 2·17). Maternal and paternal depression, however, were not associated with other indicators of anthropometric status or dietary diversity.
Maternal and paternal depression, measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, were not associated with dietary diversity or anthropometric status of fathers or children in Nepal, whereas depressed mothers were at increased risk of being underweight. Additional studies are needed to further assess relationships between mental health and nutritional outcomes.
Although there is growing interest in mental health problems in university students there is limited understanding of the scope of need and determinants to inform intervention efforts.
To longitudinally examine the extent and persistence of mental health symptoms and the importance of psychosocial and lifestyle factors for student mental health and academic outcomes.
Undergraduates at a Canadian university were invited to complete electronic surveys at entry and completion of their first year. The baseline survey measured important distal and proximal risk factors and the follow-up assessed mental health and well-being. Surveys were linked to academic grades. Multivariable models of risk factors and mental health and academic outcomes were fit and adjusted for confounders.
In 1530 students surveyed at entry to university 28% and 33% screened positive for clinically significant depressive and anxiety symptoms respectively, which increased to 36% and 39% at the completion of first year. Over the academic year, 14% of students reported suicidal thoughts and 1.6% suicide attempts. Moreover, there was persistence and overlap in these mental health outcomes. Modifiable psychosocial and lifestyle factors at entry were associated with positive screens for mental health outcomes at completion of first year, while anxiety and depressive symptoms were associated with lower grades and university well-being.
Clinically significant mental health symptoms are common and persistent among first-year university students and have a negative impact on academic performance and well-being. A comprehensive mental health strategy that includes a whole university approach to prevention and targeted early-intervention measures and associated research is justified.
Craving in negative emotional situations (negative craving) is commonly associated with relapse and heavy alcohol use. Elevated dynorphin levels were associated with negative emotions, while variations in the OPRK1 and PDYN genes encoding OPRK1 receptor and dynorphins were associated with alcohol dependence.
To investigate potential overlap in the genetic factors underlying, negative craving and alcohol dependence.
Examine the association of the negative craving and genetic variation in the OPRK1 and PDYN genes.
13 PDYN and 10 OPRK1 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), including those previously reported to be associated with alcohol dependence were genotyped in 196 alcohol dependent subjects. The raw scores of the negative subscale of Inventory of Drug Taking Situations (IDTS) were utilized as a quantitative measure of negative craving. Logistic regression models were used to test for associations after controlling for age and gender.
Gene-level haplotype testing demonstrated significant association of negative craving with variation in PDYN (p < 0.05) but not OPRK1 gene. The rs2281285 - rs199794 haplotype showed significant association (p = 0.0236) with negative craving, while rs2235749 - rs10485703 haplotype showed marginally significant association (p = 0.055). This replicates previous findings of association between these haplotypes and alcohol dependence. Negative craving was also associated with PDYN rs2281285 variant (p = 0.012) with estimated effect size of 6.95 (SE = 2.75). This new association finding was not significant after correction for multiple testing (p = 0.18).
Our findings support association of PDYN sequence variation with negative craving in alcohol dependent subjects. Future studies should investigate functional mechanisms of this association.
We recently identified association between GRIN2B rs2058878 variant and abstinence length in acamprosate-treated alcoholics (Karpyak et al. 2014). Here we present results of additional analyses exploring associations in the same sample (225 alcoholics treated with acamprosate for three months) at the gene and gene-set levels, for 12 genes involved in glycine signaling, 4 genes involved in glutamate reuptake, synthesis and degradation and 7 genes encoding NMDA receptor subunits.
After adjustment for relevant covariates, gene-level tests were performed using principal components (PC) analysis. Gene-set analyses were performed using the PC-Gamma approach with varying soft truncation threshold (STT) for the Gamma method for combining gene-level p-values.
Shorter abstinence was associated with increased intensity of alcohol craving and lower number of days between last drink and initiation of acamprosate treatment. After adjustment for covariates, we observed nominally significant association of abstinence length with variation in the AMT (p=0.024), GRIN3A (p=0.016) and SHMT2 (p=0.039) genes, and marginally significant evidence for association with the GRIN2B (p=0.067) and GLRB (p=0.060) genes. At the gene-set level, association of abstinence length with variation in the glycine pathway was nominally significant (p=0.042 with STT=0.37). Marginal evidence of association with abstinence length was also observed for variation in the NMDA-receptor subunits (p<0.1 for STT<0.15).
Our findings suggest association of abstinence length in acamprosate-treated alcoholics with variation in the glycine signaling pathway and genes encoding NMDA receptor subunits. Investigation of the mechanisms underlying these associations and their usefulness for individualized treatment selection should follow.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is common among older adults, even with dietary intakes well in excess of current recommendations. Severe clinical B12 deficiency (i.e. pernicious anaemia) leads to irreversible neurological damage, but once diagnosed, can be treated effectively with B12 injections. A much more common cause of low vitamin B12 status in older adults is food-bound malabsorption owing to atrophic gastritis. This in turn leads to reduced gastric acid secretion, thus limiting B12 absorption from food (given the essential role of gastric acid in releasing B12 from food proteins). Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs reduce gastric acid secretion, similar to atrophic gastritis, thus there is a concern that these medications may lead to vitamin B12 malabsorption. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate biomarker status of vitamin B12 in relation to atrophic gastritis and PPI usage. Data were accessed from The Trinity Ulster Department of Agriculture (TUDA) Ageing Cohort Study, a cross-sectional study of community-dwelling adults (n 5186, ≥ 60 years) recruited across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (2008–2012). TUDA participants were classified into 3 groups; ‘healthy’ controls, atrophic gastritis and PPI users. Vitamin B12 status was assessed using a total of four biomarkers: serum total B12; serum holotranscobalamin, holoTC; plasma methylmalonic acid, MMA; plasma homocysteine. Atrophic gastritis was identified using pepsinogen analysis (via ELISA), with a pepsinogen I : II ratio of < 3 considered indicative of atrophic gastritis. Based on results from all four biomarkers, participants with atrophic gastritis were found to have significantly lower B12 status compared to healthy controls: e.g. mean (95% CI) serum total vitamin B12, 188 (156, 218) pmol/L vs. 262 (252, 272) pmol/L P < 0.001; holoTC, 46.0 (38.1, 53.8) pmol/L vs. 60.3 (57.8, 62.8) pmol/L P < 0.001; plasma MMA, 0.65 (0.52, 0.78) μmol/L vs. 0.37 (0.32, 0.42) μmol/L P = 0.001. No differences in B12 biomarker concentrations were observed between PPI users and healthy controls. Regular consumption of fortified foods (i.e. ≥ 5 portions per week) compared to non-regular consumption (i.e. 0–4 portions per week) impacted positively on B12 biomarker status in all participants. This effect however appeared insufficient to restore normal vitamin B12 status in those with atrophic gastritis. These results show that older adults with atrophic gastritis have significantly lower vitamin B12 biomarker status, particularly in those who did not regularly consume fortified foods. Further investigations of the effect of atrophic gastritis and PPI usage on B12 status are warranted.
The prevalence and impact of motor coordination difficulties in children with copy number variants associated with neurodevelopmental disorders (ND-CNVs) remains unknown. This study aims to advance understanding of motor coordination difficulties in children with ND-CNVs and establish relationships between intelligence quotient (IQ) and psychopathology.
169 children with an ND-CNV (67% male, median age = 8.88 years, range 6.02–14.81) and 72 closest-in-age unaffected siblings (controls; 55% male, median age = 10.41 years, s.d. = 3.04, range 5.89–14.75) were assessed with the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire, alongside psychiatric interviews and standardised assessments of IQ.
The children with ND-CNVs had poorer coordination ability (b = 28.98, p < 0.001) and 91% of children with an ND-CNV screened positive for suspected developmental coordination disorder, compared to 19% of controls (OR = 42.53, p < 0.001). There was no difference in coordination ability between ND-CNV genotypes (F = 1.47, p = 0.184). Poorer coordination in children with ND-CNV was associated with more attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (β = −0.18, p = 0.021) and autism spectrum disorder trait (β = −0.46, p < 0.001) symptoms, along with lower full-scale (ß = 0.21, p = 0.011), performance (β = −0.20, p = 0.015) and verbal IQ (β = 0.17, p = 0.036). Mediation analysis indicated that coordination ability was a full mediator of anxiety symptoms (69% mediated, p = 0.012), and a partial mediator of ADHD (51%, p = 0.001) and autism spectrum disorder trait symptoms (66%, p < 0.001) as well as full scale IQ (40%, p = 0.002), performance IQ (40%, p = 0.005) and verbal IQ (38%, p = 0.006) scores.
The findings indicate that poor motor coordination is highly prevalent and closely linked to risk of mental health disorder and lower intellectual function in children with ND-CNVs. Future research should explore whether early interventions for poor coordination ability could ameliorate neurodevelopmental risk.
Antibiotics are overprescribed for acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs). Guidelines provide criteria to determine which patients should receive antibiotics. We assessed congruence between documentation of ARI diagnostic and treatment practices with guideline recommendations, treatment appropriateness, and outcomes.
A multicenter quality improvement evaluation was conducted in 28 Veterans Affairs facilities. We included visits for pharyngitis, rhinosinusitis, bronchitis, and upper respiratory tract infections (URI-NOS) that occurred during the 2015–2016 winter season. A manual record review identified complicated cases, which were excluded. Data were extracted for visits meeting criteria, followed by analysis of practice patterns, guideline congruence, and outcomes.
Of 5,740 visits, 4,305 met our inclusion criteria: pharyngitis (n = 558), rhinosinusitis (n = 715), bronchitis (n = 1,155), URI-NOS (n = 1,475), or mixed diagnoses (>1 ARI diagnosis) (n = 402). Antibiotics were prescribed in 68% of visits: pharyngitis (69%), rhinosinusitis (89%), bronchitis (86%), URI-NOS (37%), and mixed diagnosis (86%). Streptococcal diagnostic testing was performed in 33% of pharyngitis visits; group A Streptococcus was identified in 3% of visits. Streptococcal tests were ordered less frequently for patients who received antibiotics (28%) than those who did not receive antibiotics 44%; P < .01). Although 68% of visits for rhinosinusitis had documentation of symptoms, only 32% met diagnostic criteria for antibiotics. Overall, 39% of patients with uncomplicated ARIs received appropriate antibiotic management. The proportion of 30-day return visits for ARI care was similar for appropriate (11%) or inappropriate (10%) antibiotic management (P = .22).
Antibiotics were prescribed in most uncomplicated ARI visits, indicating substantial overuse. Practice was frequently discordant with guideline diagnostic and treatment recommendations.
Although most hospitals report very high levels of hand hygiene compliance (HHC), the accuracy of these overtly observed rates is questionable due to the Hawthorne effect and other sources of bias. In the study, we aimed (1) to compare HHC rates estimated using the standard audit method of overt observation by a known observer and a new audit method that employed a rapid (<15 minutes) “secret shopper” method and (2) to pilot test a novel feedback tool.
Quality improvement project using a quasi-experimental stepped-wedge design.
This study was conducted in 5 acute-care hospitals (17 wards, 5 intensive care units) in the Midwestern United States.
Sites recruited a hand hygiene observer from outside the acute-care units to rapidly and covertly observe entry and exit HHC during the study period, October 2016–September 2017. After 3 months of observations, sites received a monthly feedback tool that communicated HHC information from the new audit method.
The absolute difference in HHC estimates between the standard and new audit methods was ~30%. No significant differences in HHC were detected between the baseline and feedback phases (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.84–1.01), but the standard audit method had significantly higher estimates than the new audit method (OR, 9.83; 95% CI, 8.82–10.95).
HHC estimates obtained using the new audit method were substantially lower than estimates obtained using the standard audit method, suggesting that the rapid, secret-shopper method is less subject to bias. Providing feedback using HHC from the new audit method did not seem to impact HHC behaviors.
In recent years, ethnoarchaeology and the use of ethnographic analogy have come under increasing criticism. Analogy seems necessary because, as post-industrial academics, archaeologists worry that they do not possess the knowledge necessary to interpret archaeological materials directly and thus must consult with coeval ‘premodern’ peoples to develop interpretive baselines. In this paper, we draw attention to a form of scholarly enquiry – 19th-century Bible customs books – that faced a similar challenge and used methodologies that parallel archaeology's use of ethnoarchaeological data. These were books written by missionaries who lived in Palestine for extended periods of time and studied Palestinian life to make sense of obscure elements of the biblical text, believing that life there had remained fundamentally unchanged for the past three thousand years. Using the Bible customs books as a kind of ‘cautionary tale’ typical of ethnoarchaeology, we argue that a consideration of this literature brings into focus some of the challenges faced by archaeologists’ use of analogy. Specifically, Bible customs books expose significant issues in how relations are conceptualized between archaeologists, others and ancients, and show how a strict empirical focus in ethnographic research can insulate key assumptions from critical scrutiny.
In Cameroon, there is a national programme engaged in the control of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis. In certain locations, the programme is transitioning from morbidity control towards local interruption of parasite transmission. The volcanic crater lake villages of Barombi Mbo and Barombi Kotto are well-known transmission foci and are excellent context-specific locations to assess appropriate disease control interventions. Most recently they have served as exemplars of expanded access to deworming medications and increased environmental surveillance. In this paper, we review infection dynamics through time, beginning with data from 1953, and comment on the short- and long-term success of disease control. We show how intensification of local control is needed to push towards elimination and that further environmental surveillance, with targeted snail control, is needed to consolidate gains in preventive chemotherapy as well as empower local communities to take ownership of interventions.
Previous reports investigating adiposity and cognitive function in the population allude to a negative association, although the relationship in older adults is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of adiposity (BMI and waist:hip ratio (WHR)) with cognitive function in community-dwelling older adults (≥60 years). Participants included 5186 adults from the Trinity Ulster Department of Agriculture ageing cohort study. Neuropsychological assessment measures included the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB) and Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS). Multi-variable linear regression models were used to assess the association between adiposity and cognitive function adjusting for insulin resistance, inflammation and cerebrovascular disease. The mean ages were 80·3 (sd 6·7), 71·0 (sd 7·3) and 70·2 (sd 6·3) years on the cognitive, bone and hypertensive cohorts, respectively. In the cognitive cohort, BMI was positively associated with immediate and delay memory, visuospatial/constructional ability, language and MMSE, and negatively with FAB (log-transformed), whereas WHR was negatively associated with attention. In the bone cohort, BMI was not associated with any cognitive domain, whereas WHR was negatively associated with visuospatial/constructional ability, attention and MMSE. In the hypertensive cohort, BMI was not associated with any cognitive domain, whereas WHR was negatively associated with immediate and delayed memory, visuospatial/constructional ability, language and MMSE and positively with FAB (log-transformed). In the cognitive and bone cohorts, the association of WHR and attention disappeared by further controlling for C-reactive protein and HbA1C. In this study of older adults, central adiposity was a stronger predictor of poor cognitive performance than BMI. Older adults could benefit from targeted public health strategies aimed at reducing obesity and obeseogenic risk factors to avoid/prevent/slow cognitive dysfunction.
Structured, empirically supported psychological interventions are lacking for patients who require organ transplantation. This stage IA psychotherapy development project developed and tested the feasibility, acceptability, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of an 8-week group cognitive behavioral stress management intervention adapted for patients with end-stage liver disease awaiting liver transplantation.
Twenty-nine English-speaking United Network for Organ Sharing–registered patients with end-stage liver disease from a single transplantation center enrolled in 8-week, group cognitive-behavioral liver stress management and relaxation training intervention adapted for patients with end-stage liver disease. Patients completed pre- and postintervention surveys that included the Beck Depression Inventory II and the Beck Anxiety Inventory. Feasibility, acceptability, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy were assessed.
Attendance rate was 69.40%. The intervention was rated as “good” to “excellent” by 100% of participants who completed the postintervention survey in teaching them new skills to relax and to cope with stress, and by 94.12% of participants in helping them feel supported while waiting for a liver transplant. No adverse events were recorded over the course of treatment. Attrition was 13.79%. Anxious and depressive symptoms were not statistically different after the intervention.
Significance of results
The liver stress management and relaxation training intervention is feasible, acceptable, and tolerable to end-stage liver disease patients within a transplant clinic setting. Anxious and depressive symptoms remained stable postintervention. Randomized controlled trials are needed to study the intervention's effectiveness in this population.
The aim of this study was to investigate how innovation is defined with respect to new medicines.
MEDLINE, Embase, and EconLit databases were searched for articles published between January 1, 2010 and May 25, 2016 that described a relevant definition of innovation. Identified definitions were analyzed by mapping the concepts described onto a set of ten dimensions of innovation.
In total, thirty-six articles were included, and described a total of twenty-five different definitions of innovation. The most commonly occurring dimension was therapeutic benefit, with novelty and the availability of existing treatments the second and third most common dimensions. Overall, there was little agreement in the published literature on what characteristics of new medicines constitute rewardable innovation.
Alignment across countries and among regulators, health technology assessment bodies and payers would help manufacturers define research policies that can drive innovation, but may be challenging, as judgements about what aspects of innovation should be rewarded vary among stakeholders, and depend on political and societal factors.