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Young people are most vulnerable to suicidal behaviours but least likely to seek help. A more elaborate study of the intrinsic and extrinsic correlates of suicidal ideation and behaviours particularly amid ongoing population-level stressors and the identification of less stigmatising markers in representative youth populations is essential.
Participants (n = 2540, aged 15–25) were consecutively recruited from an ongoing large-scale household-based epidemiological youth mental health study in Hong Kong between September 2019 and 2021. Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt were assessed, alongside suicide-related rumination, hopelessness and neuroticism, personal and population-level stressors, family functioning, cognitive ability, lifetime non-suicidal self-harm, 12-month major depressive disorder (MDD), and alcohol use.
The 12-month prevalence of suicidal ideation, ideation-only (no plan or attempt), plan, and attempt was 20.0, 15.4, 4.6, and 1.3%, respectively. Importantly, multivariable logistic regression findings revealed that suicide-related rumination was the only factor associated with all four suicidal outcomes (all p < 0.01). Among those with suicidal ideation (two-stage approach), intrinsic factors, including suicide-related rumination, poorer cognitive ability, and 12-month MDE, were specifically associated with suicide plan, while extrinsic factors, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) stressors, poorer family functioning, and personal life stressors, as well as non-suicidal self-harm, were specifically associated with suicide attempt.
Suicide-related rumination, population-level COVID-19 stressors, and poorer family functioning may be important less-stigmatising markers for youth suicidal risks. The respective roles played by not only intrinsic but also extrinsic factors in suicide plan and attempt using a two-stage approach should be considered in future preventative intervention work.
Contrasting the well-described effects of early intervention (EI) services for youth-onset psychosis, the potential benefits of the intervention for adult-onset psychosis are uncertain. This paper aims to examine the effectiveness of EI on functioning and symptomatic improvement in adult-onset psychosis, and the optimal duration of the intervention.
360 psychosis patients aged 26–55 years were randomized to receive either standard care (SC, n = 120), or case management for two (2-year EI, n = 120) or 4 years (4-year EI, n = 120) in a 4-year rater-masked, parallel-group, superiority, randomized controlled trial of treatment effectiveness (Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00919620). Primary (i.e. social and occupational functioning) and secondary outcomes (i.e. positive and negative symptoms, and quality of life) were assessed at baseline, 6-month, and yearly for 4 years.
Compared with SC, patients with 4-year EI had better Role Functioning Scale (RFS) immediate [interaction estimate = 0.008, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.001–0.014, p = 0.02] and extended social network (interaction estimate = 0.011, 95% CI = 0.004–0.018, p = 0.003) scores. Specifically, these improvements were observed in the first 2 years. Compared with the 2-year EI group, the 4-year EI group had better RFS total (p = 0.01), immediate (p = 0.01), and extended social network (p = 0.05) scores at the fourth year. Meanwhile, the 4-year (p = 0.02) and 2-year EI (p = 0.004) group had less severe symptoms than the SC group at the first year.
Specialized EI treatment for psychosis patients aged 26–55 should be provided for at least the initial 2 years of illness. Further treatment up to 4 years confers little benefits in this age range over the course of the study.
Oceanic island ecosystems contain a disproportionate number of Earth’s terrestrial species, many of them endemic or indigenous to only one or a few islands. Consequently, the importance of islands in the quest to protect terrestrial biodiversity has been increasingly recognized and included in global environmental agreements. Nevertheless, oceanic island ecosystems remain extremely vulnerable to anthropogenic disturbance and its impacts, particularly in terms of the uncontrolled spread of introduced species, so-called biological invasions, leading to substantial biodiversity loss and fundamental changes in ecosystem functioning and structure. The South Pacific region is a hotspot of biodiversity but also has the world’s highest concentration of invasive alien plant species. Although the issue of biological invasions has been increasingly acknowledged by local governments and international agreements, invasive alien species are often not monitored properly on Pacific islands. Furthermore, knowledge of the potential impact of invasive alien species regularly does not result in on-the-ground action, adding to the growing extinction threat. This inaction persists despite international and national efforts for sustainable use and nature conservation of terrestrial biodiversity in the region’s Small Island Developing States. We illustrate this problem with two relatively recent biological invaders in Fiji: the ivory cane palm (Pinanga coronata) and the green iguana (Iguana iguana). We use these examples to examine the potential consequences of continuing inaction, despite awareness in relevant government departments, for native forest biodiversity and human livelihoods. Through an examination of the institutional background, we discuss steps towards good governance and sustainable development of terrestrial biodiversity in the Small Island Developing States of the tropical South Pacific, where on-the-ground action to control, eradicate, and prevent invasive alien species is desperately needed.
China and the US are two contrasting countries in terms of functional disability and long-term care. China is experiencing declining family support for long-term care and developing private long-term care insurance. The US has a more developed public aged care system and private long-term care insurance market than China. Changes in the demand for long-term care are driven by the levels, trends and uncertainty in mortality and functional disability. To understand the future potential demand for long-term care, we compare mortality and functional disability experiences in China and the US, using a multi-state latent factor intensity model with time trends and systematic uncertainty in transition rates. We estimate the model with the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) and the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data. The estimation results show that if trends continue, both countries will experience longevity improvement with morbidity compression and a declining proportion of the older population with functional disability. Although the elderly Chinese have a shorter estimated life expectancy, they are expected to spend a smaller proportion of their future lifetime functionally disabled than the elderly Americans. Systematic uncertainty is shown to be significant in future trends in disability rates and our model estimates higher uncertainty in trends for the Chinese elderly, especially for urban residents.
Given the rapid reductions in human mortality observed over recent decades and the uncertainty associated with their future evolution, there have been a large number of mortality projection models proposed by actuaries and demographers in recent years. Many of these, however, suffer from being overly complex, thereby producing spurious forecasts, particularly over long horizons and for small, noisy data sets. In this paper, we exploit statistical learning tools, namely group regularisation and cross-validation, to provide a robust framework to construct discrete-time mortality models by automatically selecting the most appropriate functions to best describe and forecast particular data sets. Most importantly, this approach produces bespoke models using a trade-off between complexity (to draw as much insight as possible from limited data sets) and parsimony (to prevent over-fitting to noise), with this trade-off designed to have specific regard to the forecasting horizon of interest. This is illustrated using both empirical data from the Human Mortality Database and simulated data, using code that has been made available within a user-friendly open-source R package StMoMo.
To conduct a pilot study implementing combined genomic and epidemiologic surveillance for hospital-acquired multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) to predict transmission between patients and to estimate the local burden of MDRO transmission.
Pilot prospective multicenter surveillance study.
The study was conducted in 8 university hospitals (2,800 beds total) in Melbourne, Australia (population 4.8 million), including 4 acute-care, 1 specialist cancer care, and 3 subacute-care hospitals.
All clinical and screening isolates from hospital inpatients (April 24 to June 18, 2017) were collected for 6 MDROs: vanA VRE, MRSA, ESBL Escherichia coli (ESBL-Ec) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (ESBL-Kp), and carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (CRPa) and Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAb). Isolates were analyzed and reported as routine by hospital laboratories, underwent whole-genome sequencing at the central laboratory, and were analyzed using open-source bioinformatic tools. MDRO burden and transmission were assessed using combined genomic and epidemiologic data.
In total, 408 isolates were collected from 358 patients; 47.5% were screening isolates. ESBL-Ec was most common (52.5%), then MRSA (21.6%), vanA VRE (15.7%), and ESBL-Kp (7.6%). Most MDROs (88.3%) were isolated from patients with recent healthcare exposure.
Combining genomics and epidemiology identified that at least 27.1% of MDROs were likely acquired in a hospital; most of these transmission events would not have been detected without genomics. The highest proportion of transmission occurred with vanA VRE (88.4% of patients).
Genomic and epidemiologic data from multiple institutions can feasibly be combined prospectively, providing substantial insights into the burden and distribution of MDROs, including in-hospital transmission. This analysis enables infection control teams to target interventions more effectively.
XRF maps of a uranium ore sample have been analyzed using software that allows the graphical spatial correlations of all detected elements to be measured. The association of uranium with arsenic, nickel and cesium was explored; all showed unique finely-granular microscopic patterns that could be used to assist the recovery of uranium and rare earths.
The transition from defined benefit to defined contribution (DC) pension schemes has increased the interest in target annuitization funds that aim to fund a minimum level of retirement income. Prior literature has studied the optimal investment strategies for DC funds that provide minimum guarantees, but far less attention has been given to portfolio insurance strategies for DC pension funds focusing on retirement income targets. We evaluate the performance of option-based and constant proportion portfolio insurance strategies for a DC fund that targets a minimum level of inflation-protected annuity income at retirement. We show how the portfolio allocation to an equity fund varies depending on the member’s age upon joining the fund, displaying a downward trend through time for members joining the fund before ages in the mid-30s. We demonstrate how both portfolio insurance strategies provide strong protection against downside equity risk in financing a minimum level of retirement income. The option-based strategy generally leads to higher accumulated savings at retirement, whereas the constant proportion strategy provides better downside risk protection robust to equity market jumps/volatilities.
We evaluated a cohort of 35 children diagnosed with long QT syndrome, catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy with regard to physical and psychosocial well-being.
Material and Methods:
Patients wore an accelerometer to record their time involved in moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity and completed the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory and the Pediatric Cardiac Quality of Life Inventory. Parents were also asked to describe if their child had changed their physical activity because of their diagnosis and how difficult and upsetting it was for the child to adapt to the physical activity recommendations.
Patients were involved in less moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity per day (35 min/day versus 55 min/day) and had lower Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory total health scores (79 versus 84) compared to normative data. Overall, 51% of the cohort modified their physical activity in some way because of their diagnosis and changing physical activity was associated with lower Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory and Pediatric Cardiac Quality of Life Inventory scores.
Our cohort was involved in less moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity and had lower Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory total health scores compared to normative paediatric data. Modifying one’s physical activity was associated with worse health-related quality of life scores, highlighting a vulnerable sub-group of children. These findings are useful for families and healthcare professionals caring for children who are adjusting to a new cardiac diagnosis of an inherited arrhythmia or cardiomyopathy.
When Hurricane Harvey landed along the Texas coast on August 25, 2017, it caused massive flooding and damage and displaced tens of thousands of residents of Harris County, Texas. Between August 29 and September 23, Harris County, along with community partners, operated a megashelter at NRG Center, which housed 3365 residents at its peak. Harris County Public Health conducted comprehensive public health surveillance and response at NRG, which comprised disease identification through daily medical record reviews, nightly “cot-to-cot” resident health surveys, and epidemiological consultations; messaging and communications; and implementation of control measures including stringent isolation and hygiene practices, vaccinations, and treatment. Despite the lengthy operation at the densely populated shelter, an early seasonal influenza A (H3) outbreak of 20 cases was quickly identified and confined. Influenza outbreaks in large evacuation shelters after a disaster pose a significant threat to populations already experiencing severe stressors. A holistic surveillance and response model, which consists of coordinated partnerships with onsite agencies, in-time epidemiological consultations, predesigned survey tools, trained staff, enhanced isolation and hygiene practices, and sufficient vaccines, is essential for effective disease identification and control. The lessons learned and successes achieved from this outbreak may serve for future disaster response settings. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:97-101)
Objectives: Careful characterization of how functional decline co-evolves with cognitive decline in older adults has yet to be well described. Most models of neurodegenerative disease postulate that cognitive decline predates and potentially leads to declines in everyday functional abilities; however, there is mounting evidence that subtle decline in instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) may be detectable in older individuals who are still cognitively normal. Methods: The present study examines how the relationship between change in cognition and change in IADLs are best characterized among older adults who participated in the ACTIVE trial. Neuropsychological and IADL data were analyzed for 2802 older adults who were cognitively normal at study baseline and followed for up to 10 years. Results: Findings demonstrate that subtle, self-perceived difficulties in performing IADLs preceded and predicted subsequent declines on cognitive tests of memory, reasoning, and speed of processing. Conclusions: Findings are consistent with a growing body of literature suggesting that subjective changes in everyday abilities can be associated with more precipitous decline on objective cognitive measures and the development of mild cognitive impairment and dementia. (JINS, 2018, 24, 104–112)