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To achieve the elimination of the hepatitis C virus (HCV), sustained and sufficient levels of HCV testing is critical. The purpose of this study was to assess trends in testing and evaluate the effectiveness of strategies to diagnose people living with HCV. Data were from 12 primary care clinics in Victoria, Australia, that provide targeted services to people who inject drugs (PWID), alongside general health care. This ecological study spanned 2009–2019 and included analyses of trends in annual numbers of HCV antibody tests among individuals with no previous positive HCV antibody test recorded and annual test yield (positive HCV antibody tests/all HCV antibody tests). Generalised linear models estimated the association between count outcomes (HCV antibody tests and positive HCV antibody tests) and time, and χ2 test assessed the trend in test yield. A total of 44 889 HCV antibody tests were conducted 2009–2019; test numbers increased 6% annually on average [95% confidence interval (CI) 4–9]. Test yield declined from 2009 (21%) to 2019 (9%) (χ2P = <0.01). In more recent years (2013–2019) annual test yield remained relatively stable. Modest increases in HCV antibody testing and stable but high test yield within clinics delivering services to PWID highlights testing strategies are resulting in people are being diagnosed however further increases in the testing of people at risk of HCV or living with HCV may be needed to reach Australia's HCV elimination goals.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants including genetics, environmental data and imaging. An online mental health questionnaire was designed for UK Biobank participants to expand its potential.
Describe the development, implementation and results of this questionnaire.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting a patient group. Operational criteria were agreed for defining likely disorder and risk states, including lifetime depression, mania/hypomania, generalised anxiety disorder, unusual experiences and self-harm, and current post-traumatic stress and hazardous/harmful alcohol use.
A total of 157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Participants were aged 45–82 (53% were ≥65 years) and 57% women. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status. Lifetime depression was a common finding, with 24% (37 434) of participants meeting criteria and current hazardous/harmful alcohol use criteria were met by 21% (32 602), whereas other criteria were met by less than 8% of the participants. There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with a high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The UK Biobank questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed because of selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Online self-reported 24-h dietary recall systems promise increased feasibility of dietary assessment. Comparison against interviewer-led recalls established their convergent validity; however, reliability and criterion-validity information is lacking. The validity of energy intakes (EI) reported using Intake24, an online 24-h recall system, was assessed against concurrent measurement of total energy expenditure (TEE) using doubly labelled water in ninety-eight UK adults (40–65 years). Accuracy and precision of EI were assessed using correlation and Bland–Altman analysis. Test–retest reliability of energy and nutrient intakes was assessed using data from three further UK studies where participants (11–88 years) completed Intake24 at least four times; reliability was assessed using intra-class correlations (ICC). Compared with TEE, participants under-reported EI by 25 % (95 % limits of agreement −73 % to +68 %) in the first recall, 22 % (−61 % to +41 %) for average of first two, and 25 % (−60 % to +28 %) for first three recalls. Correlations between EI and TEE were 0·31 (first), 0·47 (first two) and 0·39 (first three recalls), respectively. ICC for a single recall was 0·35 for EI and ranged from 0·31 for Fe to 0·43 for non-milk extrinsic sugars (NMES). Considering pairs of recalls (first two v. third and fourth recalls), ICC was 0·52 for EI and ranged from 0·37 for fat to 0·63 for NMES. EI reported with Intake24 was moderately correlated with objectively measured TEE and underestimated on average to the same extent as seen with interviewer-led 24-h recalls and estimated weight food diaries. Online 24-h recall systems may offer low-cost, low-burden alternatives for collecting dietary information.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants that offers unique opportunities to investigate multiple diseases and risk factors.
An online mental health questionnaire completed by UK Biobank participants was expected to expand the potential for research into mental disorders.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting with a patient group regarding acceptability. Case definitions were defined using operational criteria for lifetime depression, mania, anxiety disorder, psychotic-like experiences and self-harm, as well as current post-traumatic stress and alcohol use disorders.
157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status than the general population across a range of indicators. Thirty-five per cent (55 750) of participants had at least one defined syndrome, of which lifetime depression was the most common at 24% (37 434). There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed owing to selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
Declaration of interest
G.B. received grants from the National Institute for Health Research during the study; and support from Illumina Ltd. and the European Commission outside the submitted work. B.C. received grants from the Scottish Executive Chief Scientist Office and from The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation during the study. C.S. received grants from the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust during the study, and is the Chief Scientist for UK Biobank. M.H. received grants from the Innovative Medicines Initiative via the RADAR-CNS programme and personal fees as an expert witness outside the submitted work.
Insomnia treatment using an internet-based cognitive–behavioural therapy
for insomnia (CBT-I) program reduces depression symptoms, anxiety
symptoms and suicidal ideation. However, the speed, longevity and
consistency of these effects are unknown.
To test the following: whether the efficacy of online CBT-I was sustained
over 18 months; how rapidly the effects of CBT-I emerged; evidence for
distinct trajectories of change in depressive symptoms; and predictors of
A randomised controlled trial compared the 6-week Sleep Healthy Using the
Internet (SHUTi) CBT-I program to an attention control program. Adults
(N=1149) with clinical insomnia and subclinical
depression symptoms were recruited online from the Australian
Depression, anxiety and insomnia decreased significantly by week 4 of the
intervention period and remained significantly lower relative to control
for >18 months (between-group Cohen's d=0.63, 0.47,
0.55, respectively, at 18 months). Effects on suicidal ideation were only
short term. Two depression trajectories were identified using growth
mixture models: improving (95%) and stable/deteriorating (5%) symptoms.
More severe baseline depression, younger age and limited comfort with the
internet were associated with reduced odds of improvement.
Online CBT-I produced rapid and long-term symptom reduction in people
with subclinical depressive symptoms, although the initial effect on
suicidal ideation was not sustained.
The use of underground geological repositories, such as in radioactive waste disposal (RWD) and in carbon capture (widely known as Carbon Capture and Storage; CCS), constitutes a key environmental priority for the 21st century. Based on the identification of key scientific questions relating to the geophysics, geochemistry and geobiology of geodisposal of wastes, this paper describes the possibility of technology transfer from high-technology areas of the space exploration sector, including astrobiology, planetary sciences, astronomy, and also particle and nuclear physics, into geodisposal. Synergies exist between high technology used in the space sector and in the characterization of underground environments such as repositories, because of common objectives with respect to instrument miniaturization, low power requirements, durability under extreme conditions (in temperature and mechanical loads) and operation in remote or otherwise difficult to access environments.
The safe operating area (SOA) of InGaP/GaAs heterojunction bipolar transistors has been studied using two-dimensional Technology Computer-Aided Design (TCAD) tool. Comprehensive physical models, including hydrodynamic transport-based impact ionization and self-heating models were implemented. The simulations for two DC modes (constant Ib and Vb modes) captured all the SOA features observed in measurements and some failure mechanisms were revealed for the first time by TCAD simulations. The simulated results are also in agreement with analytical modeling. The simulation not only gives us insight to the detailed failure mechanisms, but also provides guidance for the design of devices with better ruggedness and improved SOA performances.
This article concerns application of cathodoluminescence (CL) spectroscopy to volcanic quartz and its utility in assessing variation in trace quantities of Ti within individual crystals. CL spectroscopy provides useful details of intragrain compositional variability and structure but generally limited quantitative information on element abundances. Microbeam analysis can provide such information but is time-consuming and costly, particularly if large numbers of analyses are required. To maximize advantages of both approaches, natural and synthetic quartz crystals were studied using high-resolution hyperspectral CL imaging (1.2–5.0 eV range) combined with analysis via laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS). Spectral intensities can be deconvolved into three principal contributions (1.93, 2.19, and 2.72 eV), for which intensity of the latter peak was found to correlate directly with Ti concentration. Quantitative maps of Ti variation can be produced by calibration of the CL spectral data against relatively few analytical points. Such maps provide useful information concerning intragrain zoning or heterogeneity of Ti contents with the sensitivity of LA-ICPMS analysis and spatial resolution of electron microprobe analysis.
The last part of SpS5 dealt with the circumstellar environment. Structures are indeed found around several types of massive stars, such as blue and red supergiants, as well as WRs and LBVs. As shown in the last years, the potential of IR for their study is twofold: first, IR can help discover many previously unknown nebulae, leading to the identification of new massive stars as their progenitors; second, IR can help characterize the nebular features. Current and new IR facilities thus pave the way to a better understanding of the feedback from massive stars.