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To determine patient-specific risk factors and clinical outcomes associated with contaminated blood cultures.
A single-center, retrospective case-control risk factor and clinical outcome analysis performed on inpatients with blood cultures collected in the emergency department, 2014–2018. Patients with contaminated blood cultures (cases) were compared to patients with negative blood cultures (controls).
A 509-bed tertiary-care university hospital.
Risk factors independently associated with blood-culture contamination were determined using multivariable logistic regression. The impacts of contamination on clinical outcomes were assessed using linear regression, logistic regression, and generalized linear model with γ log link.
Of 13,782 blood cultures, 1,504 (10.9%) true positives were excluded, leaving 1,012 (7.3%) cases and 11,266 (81.7%) controls. The following factors were independently associated with blood-culture contamination: increasing age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01–1.01), black race (aOR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.15–1.51), increased body mass index (BMI; aOR, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.00–1.02), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (aOR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.02–1.33), paralysis (aOR 1.64; 95% CI, 1.26–2.14) and sepsis plus shock (aOR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.07–1.49). After controlling for age, race, BMI, and sepsis, blood-culture contamination increased length of stay (LOS; β = 1.24 ± 0.24; P < .0001), length of antibiotic treatment (LOT; β = 1.01 ± 0.20; P < .001), hospital charges (β = 0.22 ± 0.03; P < .0001), acute kidney injury (AKI; aOR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.40–1.83), echocardiogram orders (aOR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.30–1.75) and in-hospital mortality (aOR, 1.69; 95% CI, 1.31–2.16).
These unique risk factors identify high-risk individuals for blood-culture contamination. After controlling for confounders, contamination significantly increased LOS, LOT, hospital charges, AKI, echocardiograms, and in-hospital mortality.
Stem cells give rise to the entirety of cells within an organ. Maintaining stem cell identity and coordinately regulating stem cell divisions is crucial for proper development. In plants, mobile proteins, such as WUSCHEL-RELATED HOMEOBOX 5 (WOX5) and SHORTROOT (SHR), regulate divisions in the root stem cell niche. However, how these proteins coordinately function to establish systemic behaviour is not well understood. We propose a non-cell autonomous role for WOX5 in the cortex endodermis initial (CEI) and identify a regulator, ANGUSTIFOLIA (AN3)/GRF-INTERACTING FACTOR 1, that coordinates CEI divisions. Here, we show with a multi-scale hybrid model integrating ordinary differential equations (ODEs) and agent-based modeling that quiescent center (QC) and CEI divisions have different dynamics. Specifically, by combining continuous models to describe regulatory networks and agent-based rules, we model systemic behaviour, which led us to predict cell-type-specific expression dynamics of SHR, SCARECROW, WOX5, AN3 and CYCLIND6;1, and experimentally validate CEI cell divisions. Conclusively, our results show an interdependency between CEI and QC divisions.
Food security status is a continuum ranging from high to very low food security. While marginal food security falls next to high food security on the spectrum, new quantitative research indicates marginal food security status is associated with negative health outcomes and poor academic performance among college students. Qualitative research focusing on college students experiencing marginal food security has not been conducted. The current study aims to qualitatively explore experiences of college students with marginal food security and to identify themes to better understand and provide context regarding how marginal food security impacts students.
Students were recruited for semi-structured interviews with questions designed to study the challenges associated with students’ food situations. All interviews were recorded and transcribed with themes identified via an inductive approach.
A large public university on the US west coast.
Thirty college students.
Key themes that emerged: purchasing cheap unhealthy foods, insufficient time to prepare and eat meals on a regular basis, stress and anxiety around the inability to eat healthy food and future health issues, self-perception of health when eating poorly along with physical symptoms and low academic motivation by not fully participating in their courses due to few healthy food options or missing meals.
Marginal food security can potentially diminish students’ health and their capacity to learn and succeed in their coursework. The results emphasise that students experiencing marginal food security should not be grouped with students experiencing high food security.
Transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is possible among symptom-free individuals. Patients are avoiding medically necessary healthcare visits for fear of becoming infected in the healthcare setting. We screened 489 symptom-free healthcare workers for SARS-CoV-2 and found no positive results, strongly suggesting that the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was <1%.
Identify risk factors that could increase progression to severe disease and mortality in hospitalized SARS-CoV-2 patients in the Southeast US.
Design, Setting, and Participants
Multicenter, retrospective cohort including 502 adults hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and May 8, 2020 within one of 15 participating hospitals in 5 health systems across 5 states in the Southeast US.
The study objectives were to identify risk factors that could increase progression to hospital mortality and severe disease (defined as a composite of intensive care unit admission or requirement of mechanical ventilation) in hospitalized SARS-CoV-2 patients in the Southeast US.
A total of 502 patients were included, and the majority (476/502, 95%) had clinically evaluable outcomes. Hospital mortality was 16% (76/476), while 35% (177/502) required ICU admission, and 18% (91/502) required mechanical ventilation. By both univariate and adjusted multivariate analysis, hospital mortality was independently associated with age (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.03 for each decade increase, 95% CI 1.56-2.69), male sex (aOR 2.44, 95% CI: 1.34-4.59), and cardiovascular disease (aOR 2.16, 95% CI: 1.15-4.09). As with mortality, risk of severe disease was independently associated with age (aOR 1.17 for each decade increase, 95% CI: 1.00-1.37), male sex (aOR 2.34, 95% CI 1.54-3.60), and cardiovascular disease (aOR 1.77, 95% CI 1.09-2.85).
In an adjusted multivariate analysis, advanced age, male sex, and cardiovascular disease increased risk of severe disease and mortality in patients with COVID-19 in the Southeast US. In-hospital mortality risk doubled with each subsequent decade of life.
Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is an important human disease-causing parasite. In the USA, T. gondii infects >10% of the population, accrues economic losses of US$3.6 billion/year, and ranks as the second leading culprit of foodborne illness-related fatalities. We assessed toxoplasmosis risk among the Old Order Amish, a mostly homogenous population with a high prevalence of T. gondii seropositivity, using a questionnaire focusing on food consumption/preparation behaviours and environmental risk factors. Analyses were conducted using multiple logistic regression. Consuming raw meat, rare meat, or unpasteurised cow or goat milk products was associated with increased odds of seropositivity (unadjusted Odds Ratios: 2.192, 1.613, and 1.718 , respectively). In separate models by sex, consuming raw meat, or consuming unpasteurised cow or goat milk products, was associated with increased odds of seropositivity among women; washing hands after touching meat with decreased odds of seropositivity among women (adjusted OR (AOR): 0.462); and cleaning cat litterbox with increased odds of seropositivity among men (AOR: 5.241). This is the first study to assess associations between behavioural and environmental risk factors and T. gondii seropositivity in a US population with high seroprevalence for T. gondii. Our study emphasises the importance of proper food safety behaviours to avoid the risk of infection.
Head impact exposure (HIE) in youth football is a public health concern. The objective of this study was to determine if one season of HIE in youth football was related to cognitive changes.
Over 200 participants (ages 9–13) wore instrumented helmets for practices and games to measure the amount of HIE sustained over one season. Pre- and post-season neuropsychological tests were completed. Test score changes were calculated adjusting for practice effects and regression to the mean and used as the dependent variables. Regression models were calculated with HIE variables predicting neuropsychological test score changes.
For the full sample, a small effect was found with season average rotational values predicting changes in list-learning such that HIE was related to negative score change: standardized beta (β) = -.147, t(205) = -2.12, and p = .035. When analyzed by age clusters (9–10, 11–13) and adding participant weight to models, the R2 values increased. Splitting groups by weight (median split), found heavier members of the 9–10 cohort with significantly greater change than lighter members. Additionaly, significantly more participants had clinically meaningful negative changes: X2 = 10.343, p = .001.
These findings suggest that in the 9–10 age cluster, the average seasonal level of HIE had inverse, negative relationships with cognitive change over one season that was not found in the older group. The mediation effects of age and weight have not been explored previously and appear to contribute to the effects of HIE on cognition in youth football players.
Decontamination of N95 respirators is being used by clinicians in the face of a global shortage of these devices. Some treatments for decontamination, such as some vaporized hydrogen peroxide methods or ultraviolet methods, had no impact on respiratory performance, while other treatments resulted in substantial damage to masks.
Methods to stimulate appetite in the sick or elderly remains a challenge with few safe therapeutic options. Ghrelin is an orexigenic hormone, increasing appetite and subsequent food intake. It has received considerable attention as a therapeutic target to stimulate food intake in patients with anorexia. The identification of food-grade bioactives with proven orexigenic effects would mark significant progress in the treatment of disease-related malnutrition. This study therefore investigated the effects of two milk-derived ghrelinergic peptides on appetite and energy intake in healthy humans.
A single-blind, placebo-controlled, 3-arm (placebo, casein bioactive MF1145 and whey bioactive UL-2-141) cross-over trial was conducted in healthy male volunteers. Participants received 26 mg/kg of both the bioactives and placebo. The main outcome measures were energy & protein intake from a set breakfast and ad libitum lunch and subjective appetite sensations as assessed by visual analogue scale (VAS). Basal and postprandial levels of active ghrelin (AG) were measured. Dietary intakes were analysed using Nutritics software. Statistical analyses were performed in R.
Overall, 22 male participants (mean age 27 years) were included, average BMI was 24.6 kg/m2, (19.8 to 30.2 kg/m2). Mean energy and protein intakes at lunch when treated with placebo were 1343 kcal (95% CI: 1215–1471 kcal) and 74 g (95% CI: 66–81 g), respectively. Energy and protein intakes were not significantly different from placebo for either treatment (p = 0.918, p = 0.319 for UL-2-141 and p = 0.889, p = 0.959 for MF1145, respectively). Similarly, appetite, hunger and satiety responses on VAS were not significantly different from placebo for either treatment. AG peak post-lunch on placebo was 653 pg/ml (95% CI: 511–794 pg/ml). Treatment with UL-2-141 resulted in 139 pg/ml reduction in post-prandial AG compared to placebo and treatment with MF1145 resulted in 114 pg/ml reduction compared to placebo. This pattern was significant for both treatments (p = 0.021 and p = 0.045, respectively) however when controlling for fasting-AG, the pattern was no longer significant (p = 0.590 and p = 0.877 respectively). Pre-prandial AG peaks were not significantly different across treatments.
While these peptides have previously demonstrated ghrelinergic effects in rats, no effect on appetite or food intake in humans was identified by this study. This may be attributable to the small sample size or low dose. However, since healthy adults are often not in tune with their own physiological hunger, they may not respond strongly to simple physiological modulators and repeating the study in subjects with established anorexia may be prudent.
A 2018 workshop on the White Mountain Apache Tribe lands in Arizona examined ways to enhance investigations into cultural property crime (CPC) through applications of rapidly evolving methods from archaeological science. CPC (also looting, graverobbing) refers to unauthorized damage, removal, or trafficking in materials possessing blends of communal, aesthetic, and scientific values. The Fort Apache workshop integrated four generally partitioned domains of CPC expertise: (1) theories of perpetrators’ motivations and methods; (2) recommended practice in sustaining public and community opposition to CPC; (3) tactics and strategies for documenting, investigating, and prosecuting CPC; and (4) forensic sedimentology—uses of biophysical sciences to link sediments from implicated persons and objects to crime scenes. Forensic sedimentology served as the touchstone for dialogues among experts in criminology, archaeological sciences, law enforcement, and heritage stewardship. Field visits to CPC crime scenes and workshop deliberations identified pathways toward integrating CPC theory and practice with forensic sedimentology’s potent battery of analytic methods.
Potential routes to the formation of urea were investigated using electronic structure methods. The most likely pathways involve either the reaction of the formamide and amine radicals or involve protonated isocyanic acid as a starting point.
Radio galaxies of intermediate power dominate the radio-power injection in the Universe as a whole, due to the break in the radio luminosity function, and so are of special interest. The population spans FR I, FR II, and hybrid morphologies, resides in a full range of environmental richness, and sources of all ages are amenable to study. We describe structures and interactions, with emphasis on sources with deep high-resolution Chandra X-ray data. As compared with low-power sources there is evidence that the physics changes, and the work done in driving shocks can exceed that in evacuating cavities. A range of morphologies and phenomena is identified.
Boyer & Petersen (B&P) argue that folk-economic beliefs are widespread – shaped by evolved cognitive systems – and they offer exemplar beliefs to illustrate their thesis. In this commentary, we highlight evidence of substantial variation in one of these exemplars: beliefs about immigration. Contra claims by B&P, we argue that the balance of this evidence suggests the “folk” may actually hold positive beliefs about the economic impact of immigration.
In a survey of 471 patients, we collected self-reported weight and height data and asked about self-perceptions of provider support toward weight loss and other weight management concerns. Multivariable analysis found that respondents with higher body mass index (BMI) were more likely to report that a physician had told them that they were overweight (OR=3.49, 95% CI 2.06–5.89, P<0.001). However, this conversation was less likely to change their personal view of their weight (OR=0.62 per 5 kg/m2, 95% CI 0.45–0.86, P=0.004), or motivate them to lose weight (OR=0.67 per 5 kg/m2, 95% CI 0.50–0.91, P=0.009). Higher BMI was associated with higher weight-loss goals (P<0.001), while anticipated time to achieve those goals was increased (P<0.001). Physician involvement in weight management was important, but the patients’ needs and experiences differed by BMI. Approaches to addressing barriers and identifying resources for weight management should be tailored to individuals by considering BMI.
Deficits in social cognition may be among the most profound and disabling sequelae of paediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI); however, the neuroanatomical correlates of longitudinal outcomes in this domain remain unexplored. This study aimed to characterize social cognitive outcomes longitudinally after paediatric TBI, and to evaluate the use of sub-acute diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to predict these outcomes.
The sample included 52 children with mild complex-severe TBI who were assessed on cognitive theory of mind (ToM), pragmatic language and affective ToM at 6- and 24-months post-injury. For comparison, 43 typically developing controls (TDCs) of similar age and sex were recruited. DTI data were acquired sub-acutely (mean = 5.5 weeks post-injury) in a subset of 65 children (TBI = 35; TDC = 30) to evaluate longitudinal prospective relationships between white matter microstructure assessed using Tract-Based Spatial Statistics and social cognitive outcomes.
Whole brain voxel-wise analysis revealed significantly higher mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD) and radial diffusivity (RD) in the sub-acute TBI group compared with TDC, with differences observed predominantly in the splenium of the corpus callosum (sCC), sagittal stratum (SS), dorsal cingulum (DC), uncinate fasciculus (UF) and middle and superior cerebellar peduncles (MCP & SCP, respectively). Relative to TDCs, children with TBI showed poorer cognitive ToM, affective ToM and pragmatic language at 6-months post-insult, and those deficits were related to abnormal diffusivity of the sCC, SS, DC, UF, MCP and SCP. Moreover, children with TBI showed poorer affective ToM and pragmatic language at 24-months post-injury, and those outcomes were predicted by sub-acute alterations in diffusivity of the DC and MCP.
Abnormal microstructure within frontal-temporal, limbic and cerebro-cerebellar white matter may be a risk factor for long-term social difficulties observed in children with TBI. DTI may have potential to unlock early prognostic markers of long-term social outcomes.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often associated with attention allocation and emotional regulation difficulties, but the brain dynamics underlying these deficits are unknown. The emotional Stroop task (EST) is an ideal means to monitor these difficulties, because participants are asked to attend to non-emotional aspects of the stimuli. In this study, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) and the EST to monitor attention allocation and emotional regulation during the processing of emotionally charged stimuli in combat veterans with and without PTSD.
A total of 31 veterans with PTSD and 20 without PTSD performed the EST during MEG. Three categories of stimuli were used, including combat-related, generally threatening and neutral words. MEG data were imaged in the time-frequency domain and the network dynamics were probed for differences in processing threatening and non-threatening words.
Behaviorally, veterans with PTSD were significantly slower in responding to combat-related relative to neutral and generally threatening words. Veterans without PTSD exhibited no significant differences in responding to the three different word types. Neurophysiologically, we found a significant three-way interaction between group, word type and time period across multiple brain regions. Follow-up testing indicated stronger theta-frequency (4–8 Hz) responses in the right ventral prefrontal (0.4–0.8 s) and superior temporal cortices (0.6–0.8 s) of veterans without PTSD compared with those with PTSD during the processing of combat-related words.
Our data indicated that veterans with PTSD exhibited deficits in attention allocation and emotional regulation when processing trauma cues, while those without PTSD were able to regulate emotion by directing attention away from threat.