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In animal models, exposure to excess testosterone during gestation induces polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)-like reproductive and metabolic traits in female offspring, suggesting that the hyperandrogenemic intrauterine environment may have a role in the etiology of PCOS. Additionally, few studies have also addressed metabolic and reproductive outcomes in male offspring. In the present study, the intravenous glucose tolerance test (IGTT) was used to assess the insulin–glucose homeostasis at various ages during sexual development in male sheep born to testosterone-treated ewes. To further analyze the programming effect of testosterone on insulin–glucose homeostasis, indexes of insulin sensitivity were assessed in orchidectomized post-pubertal males born to testosterone-treated ewes (Torq-males) and orchidectomized post-puberal controls (Corq-males) before and 48 h after a testosterone injection. There was no difference in insulin sensitivity indexes between males born to testosterone-treated ewes (T-males) and control males born to control ewes (C-males) at 5, 10, 20 and 30 weeks of age, representing the infantile, early and late pre-pubertal, and early post-pubertal stage of sexual development, respectively. In orchidectomized males, basal levels of insulin and glucose were not different between both groups before and after the testosterone injection; however, Torq-males released more insulin before and after T challenge during the first 20 min of the test. Despite this, plasma glucose concentrations were not different in both groups during IVGTT, resulting in an insulin sensitivity index composite similar between groups. We concluded that the effect of prenatal exposure to excess testosterone may reprogram the pancreatic β-cells insulin release in ovine males, with effects more evident in castrated males versus intact males.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) certifies a suite of Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) to be used to evaluate specific aspects of the instrument performance of both X-ray and neutron powder diffractometers. This report describes SRM 640f, the seventh generation of this powder diffraction SRM, which is designed to be used primarily for calibrating powder diffractometers with respect to line position; it also can be used for the determination of the instrument profile function. It is certified with respect to the lattice parameter and consists of approximately 7.5 g of silicon powder prepared to minimize line broadening. A NIST-built diffractometer, incorporating many advanced design features, was used to certify the lattice parameter of the Si powder. Both statistical and systematic uncertainties have been assigned to yield a certified value for the lattice parameter at 22.5 °C of a = 0.5431144 ± 0.000008 nm.
Gender differences in psychosis have been investigated, and the results have contributed to a better understanding of the disease, but many questions are unanswered. In clinical terms, women and men with psychosis differ in terms of access to social support, tendency of substance abuse, level of functioning and symptom patterns. We aimed to investigate how gender differences at onset of psychosis develop during the first 5 years of treatment.
A total of 578 patients with a first-episode psychosis in the schizophrenia spectrum were included in the Danish OPUS trial – a randomized clinical trial comparing 2 years of intensive early-intervention programme with standard treatment. All patients were assessed with validated instruments at inclusion, and after 2 and 5 years. Data were analysed for significant gender differences.
Males have significantly higher levels of negative symptoms at all times, and are more likely to live alone and suffer from substance abuse. Females reach higher levels of social functioning at follow-up, and show a greater tendency to be employed or in education than males. Markedly more women than men live with children. More women than men reach a state of recovery and are more compliant with medication.
There are significant gender differences at 2- and 5-year follow-up in this large cohort of first-episode psychotic patients. Males and females show different symptomatology and different levels of social functioning.
Attachment and companionship are fundamental basic needs of human beings and contribute the feeling of security and social affiliation. It is assumed that dysfunctional attachment behaviour in people with Borderline Personality Disorder leads to difficulties in the interpersonal contact. Unsecure and especially disorganized manners of attachment seem to be frequently represented by mentally ill people. In this study the release of oxytocin according to attachment relevant situations was investigated and attachment representations of people with BPD have been analysed.
In order to determine attachment representations of healthy people and of people with BPD we used the validated ‘Adult Attachment Projective’/ ‘AAP’ by George, West and Pettem (1999). The projective contains eight contour drawings of attachment relevant situations. The participant should make up a story of each picture, which was evaluated by its coherence, its content and the used defence mechanisms. Attachment representations of 30 patients with BPD were surveyed. Furthermore we measured the release of oxytocin evoked by an activation of the attachment system via the ‘AAP’ in 10 healthy people. Therefor blood drawings were performed at four different points of time.
Here, we present pilot data on oxytocin measures induced via the ‘AAP’. We could detect a decrease of oxytocin in healthy people caused by an activation of the attachment system. Moreover attachment representations of patients with BPD will be presented and discussed. These preliminary data could lead to further studies on a possible dysregulation of the attachment- and the oxytocin system of people with BPD.
Besides affective instability and identity diffusion, disturbances in social interactions are a core symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Interpersonal problems in BPD have been suggested to be associated with oxytocin dysregulation. To directly address this hypothesis, we investigated oxytocin plasma levels during a social exclusion (ostracism) paradigm in female BPD patients.
Twenty-two female BPD patients (diagnosed according to DSM-IV) and twenty-one healthy controls matched for gender, age, and education underwent repeated neuroendocrine measurements in a standardized laboratory setting during the Cyberball paradigm, a virtual balltossing game that evokes a social exclusion situation. Emotional reactions were assessed and oxytocin and cortisol levels measured at baseline and 5, 15, and 40 min after Cyberball.
After social exclusion, oxytocin plasma levels were lower in BPD patients than in healthy controls, whereas cortisol levels did not differ between groups. BPD patients showed distinct differences in emotion regulation compared to healthy participants and reacted to social exclusion with an increase of other-focused negative emotions, particularly anger and contempt.
Our pilot study suggests that the oxytocin system shows a differential response to social exclusion in BPD patients compared to healthy controls. This difference may be related to the high rejection sensitivity of BPD patients and their difficulties in resolving social conflict.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) certifies a suite of Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) to evaluate specific aspects of instrument performance of both X-ray and neutron powder diffractometers. This report describes SRM 660c, the fourth generation of this powder diffraction SRM, which is used primarily for calibrating powder diffractometers with respect to line position and line shape for the determination of the instrument profile function (IPF). It is certified with respect to lattice parameter and consists of approximately 6 g of lanthanum hexaboride (LaB6) powder. So that this SRM would be applicable for the neutron diffraction community, the powder was prepared from an isotopically enriched 11B precursor material. The microstructure of the LaB6 powder was engineered specifically to yield a crystallite size above that where size broadening is typically observed and to minimize the crystallographic defects that lead to strain broadening. A NIST-built diffractometer, incorporating many advanced design features, was used to certify the lattice parameter of the LaB6 powder. Both Type A, statistical, and Type B, systematic, uncertainties have been assigned to yield a certified value for the lattice parameter at 22.5 °C of a = 0.415 682 6 ± 0.000 008 nm (95% confidence).
Meta-analyses of epidemiological data report that adults who carry a common polymorphism, the MTHFR 677C→T, in the gene encoding the folate-metabolising enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) have a 40% increased risk of CVD and an 87% increased risk of hypertension. Riboflavin (vitamin B2), in its co-enzymatic form flavin adenine nucleotide (FAD), is required as a co-factor by MTHFR and previous trials in hypertensive patients have shown a blood pressure lowering response to riboflavin supplementation that is specific to individuals homozygous for this polymorphism (TT genotype). Low folate status is commonly reported in adults with the TT genotype however the effect of this genetic variant on riboflavin status has not previously been investigated. The aim of this study, therefore, was to investigate dietary intake and biomarker status of riboflavin by MTHFR genotype in Irish adults using data from the National Adult Nutrition Survey (2008–2010) (www.iuna.net).
It was found that 12% of the population had the TT genotype. As expected, there was no significant difference in riboflavin intake across the genotype (CC, CT or TT) groups. Similarly, no significant genotype differences in riboflavin status (EGRac) were observed (1.36 vs 1.37 vs 1.38 respectively). Overall, 61% of the total population had EGRac values > 1.3, indicative of low/deficient status with no significant difference observed between the genotype groups (60%,61% and 61%, respectively).
These data suggest that riboflavin status is not influenced by the C677T polymorphism in MTHFR in this cohort of nationally representative Irish adults. Further research is needed to see the impact of riboflavin status on blood pressure across the genotype groups in this nationally representative cohort of Irish adults.
Breakfast is often referred to as ‘the most important meal of the day’ and is consumed after the longest postprandial fast (an overnight fast). Breakfast consumption has been positively linked to many health benefits and has been shown in many studies to be associated with a better diet quality. The aim of this study was to characterise breakfast in Irish adults and to investigate the contribution of breakfast to overall daily nutrient intake.
Breakfast was consumed on at least one recording day by 99% of participants with an uptake of 93% of potential breakfast occasions. The mean (SD) energy intake at breakfast was 365 (162) kcal, contributing on average 19% to overall daily energy intake. Energy intake from breakfast comprised of 56% carbohydrate, 14% fat and 29% protein. The most frequently consumed foods at breakfast included breakfast cereals, white/brown/wholemeal breads and rolls, butters and fat spreads, jams and marmalades, fruits, eggs, yogurts and some meats. The most frequently consumed beverages included teas, coffees, ‘fruit juices & smoothies’, waters and milk (in teas/coffees, with cereals and as a beverage). The contribution of breakfast to total daily nutrient intakes was 25% for carbohydrate, 16% for fat and 16% for protein. Breakfast also contributed to total daily intakes of dietary fibre (22%), total sugars (28%), saturated fat (18%), B-vitamins (20–32%), vitamins C (23%), D (24%), E (19%) calcium (28%), iron (26%) and sodium (18%).
Breakfast was widely consumed among Irish adults and was typically a nutrient dense meal which contributed significantly to total dietary intakes of a number of important macro- and micro- nutrients but also contributed to total sugars and relatively small proportions of total fat, saturated fat, and sodium.
A diet rich in plant-based foods with fewer animal products may offer improved health and environmental benefits. There is little consensus on the definition for a plant-based diet in the literature with some defining it as one rich in vegetables, legumes, fruits, wholegrains, nuts and seeds, excluding animal foods and with heavy restrictions on processed foods. Other definitions make no reference to the inclusion/exclusion of processed foods and refer only to the exclusion of all animal foods from the total diet. This study aimed to examine the nutritional quality of the Irish diet using each of these plant-based diet definitions.
The plant-based component of the diet provided 309 ± 214kcal/d (1.3 ± 0.9MJ/d) comprising of 68% carbohydrate, 20% fat and 12% protein. Mean intakes of saturated fat and free sugars from the plant-based component of the diet were 5% of energy (%E) and 1%E, respectively. Mean intakes of dietary fibre and sodium were 70g/10MJ and 1855mg/10MJ, respectively.
Allowing for inclusion of processed foods, mean energy intake from the total diet excluding all animal foods was 1051 ± 411kcal/d (4.4 ± 1.7MJ/d) comprising of 66% carbohydrate, 23% fat and 10% protein. Mean intakes of saturated fat and free sugars were 7%E and 14%E, respectively. Mean intakes of dietary fibre and sodium were 40g/10MJ and 2642mg/10MJ, respectively.
Overall, the macronutrient profile of the plant-based component of the diet and the total diet excluding animal foods were similar. However, the plant-based component of the diet was of higher nutritional quality; providing lower intakes of saturated fat, free sugar and sodium and higher intakes of dietary fibre compared to the total diet excluding animal foods. This study highlights the variability in nutritional quality between different definitions of plant based-diets.
Dietary iron requirements are higher among women of child-bearing age (WCBA) to replenish blood loss during menses, to prevent iron deficiency anaemia and to support a healthy foetus during pregnancy. Low intakes of iron have previously been reported among WCBA in Ireland and across Europe and data from European countries have shown that there is evidence of anaemia and low iron stores in this population group. The aim of this study was to investigate the dietary patterns influencing iron intakes in WCBA (18–50 years) in Ireland.
The difference in iron intakes between the high and low intake groups (25 v 6.7mg/d) was 18.3mg/d. Nutritional supplements and ready-to–eat breakfast cereals (RTEBC) (commonly fortified with iron) accounted for 58 and 20% of the difference in intakes between the high and low intake group, respectively. The contribution of nutritional supplements to the difference in iron intakes can be explained by the proportion of users in the high vs low intake group (27% vs < 1%). The contribution of RTEBC to the difference in iron intakes can be explained by both a higher proportion of those in the high vs low intake group consuming RTEBC and those in the high intake group having a higher mean daily intake of RTEBC (78% vs 36%; 32g/d vs 7g/d).
Most of the difference in iron intake between high and low consumers is attributable to nutritional supplement use and the patterns of consumption of fortified RTEBC. These findings will aid in the development of strategies to improve iron intakes in WCBA in Ireland.
Low intakes and suboptimal status of vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12, folate and calcium have been reported in older adults across Europe. Dietary strategies to improve micronutrient intakes and status could include food fortification (mandatory or voluntary) and/or the use of nutritional supplements. This study aims to examine the impact of fortified food consumption and nutritional supplement use on nutrient intakes and nutritional status of vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12, dietary folate equivalents (DFE) and calcium in older Irish adults.
The consumption of fortified foods and/or use of nutritional supplements increased mean intakes of vitamin D (3.6 to 6.9μg/d), riboflavin (1.6 to 2.3mg/d), vitamin B12 (4.5 to 6.0μg/d), DFE (228 to 408μg/d) and calcium (784 to 947mg/d) in older Irish adults and reduced the prevalence of inadequate intakes of these micronutrients by up to 40%. Furthermore, consumers of fortified foods and/or nutritional supplements had improved biomarker status and reduced prevalence of low/deficient status for vitamin D (62 vs 16%), riboflavin (65 vs 11%), vitamin B12 (8 vs 0%) and folate (serum folate:18 vs 0%; red blood cell folate: 0% across all groups) when compared to non-consumers.
This study has shown that fortified foods and/or nutritional supplements represent an opportunity to improve intakes and status of key micronutrients in older adults. The data presented in this study will serve to inform the development and implementation of updated dietary recommendations for older adults in Ireland.
To apply a dietary modelling approach to investigate the impact of substituting beef intakes with three types of alternative fatty acid (FA) composition of beef on population dietary fat intakes.
Cross-sectional, national food consumption survey – the National Adult Nutrition Survey (NANS). The fat content of the beef-containing food codes (n 52) and recipes (n 99) were updated with FA composition data from beef from animals receiving one of three ruminant dietary interventions: grass-fed (GRASS), grass finished on grass silage and concentrates (GSC) or concentrate-fed (CONC). Mean daily fat intakes, adherence to dietary guidelines and the impact of altering beef FA composition on dietary fat sources were characterised.
Beef consumers (n 1044) aged 18–90 years.
Grass-based feeding practices improved dietary intakes of a number of individual FA, wherein myristic acid (C14 : 0) and palmitic acid (C16 : 0) were decreased, with an increase in conjugated linoleic acid (C18 : 2c9,t11) and trans-vaccenic acid (C18 : 1t11; P < 0·05). Improved adherence with dietary recommendations for total fat (98·5 %), SFA (57·4 %) and PUFA (98·8 %) was observed in the grass-fed beef scenario (P < 0·001). Trans-fat intakes were increased significantly in the grass-fed beef scenario (P < 0·001).
To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to characterise the impact of grass-fed beef consumption at population level. The study suggests that habitual consumption of grass-fed beef may have potential as a public health strategy to improve dietary fat quality.
Evidence suggests that low birth weight and fetal exposure to extreme maternal undernutrition is associated with cardiovascular disease in adulthood. Hyperemesis gravidarum, a clinical entity characterized by severe nausea and excess vomiting leading to a suboptimal maternal nutritional status during early pregnancy, is associated with an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Several studies also showed that different measures related to hyperemesis gravidarum, such as maternal daily vomiting or severe weight loss, are associated with increased risks of adverse fetal pregnancy outcomes. Not much is known about long-term offspring consequences of maternal hyperemesis gravidarum and related measures during pregnancy. We examined the associations of maternal daily vomiting during early pregnancy, as a measure related to hyperemesis gravidarum, with childhood cardiovascular risk factors.
In a population-based prospective cohort study from early pregnancy onwards among 4,769 mothers and their children in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, we measured childhood body mass index, total fat mass percentage, android/gynoid fat mass ratio, preperitoneal fat mass area, blood pressure, lipids, and insulin levels. We used multiple regression analyses to assess the associations of maternal vomiting during early pregnancy with childhood cardiovascular outcomes.
Compared with the children of mothers without daily vomiting during early pregnancy, the children of mothers with daily vomiting during early pregnancy had a higher childhood total body fat mass (difference 0.12 standard deviation score [SDS]; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.03–0.20), android/gynoid fat mass ratio (difference 0.13 SDS; 95% CI 0.04–0.23), and preperitoneal fat mass area (difference 0.10 SDS; 95% CI 0–0.20). These associations were not explained by birth characteristics but partly explained by higher infant growth. Maternal daily vomiting during early pregnancy was not associated with childhood blood pressure, lipids, and insulin levels.
Maternal daily vomiting during early pregnancy is associated with higher childhood total body fat mass and abdominal fat mass levels, but not with other cardiovascular risk factors. Further studies are needed to replicate these findings, to explore the underlying mechanisms and to assess the long-term consequences.
While child poverty is a significant risk factor for poor mental health, the developmental pathways involved with these associations are poorly understood. To advance knowledge about these important linkages, the present study examined the developmental sequelae of childhood exposure to poverty in a multiyear longitudinal study. Here, we focused on exposure to poverty, neurobiological circuitry connected to emotion dysregulation, later exposure to stressful life events, and symptoms of psychopathology. We grounded our work in a biopsychosocial perspective, with a specific interest in “stress sensitization” and emotion dysregulation. Motivated by past work, we first tested whether exposure to poverty was related to changes in the resting-state coupling between two brain structures centrally involved with emotion processing and regulation (the amygdala and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex; vmPFC). As predicted, we found lower household income at age 10 was related to lower resting-state coupling between these areas at age 15. We then tested if variations in amygdala–vmPFC connectivity interacted with more contemporaneous stressors to predict challenges with mental health at age 16. In line with past reports showing risk for poor mental health is greatest in those exposed to early and then later, more contemporaneous stress, we predicted and found that lower vmPFC–amygdala coupling in the context of greater contemporaneous stress was related to higher levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms. We believe these important interactions between neurobiology and life history are an additional vantage point for understanding risk and resiliency, and suggest avenues for prediction of psychopathology related to early life challenge.
We assessed the impact of an embedded electronic medical record decision-support matrix (Cerner software system) for the reduction of hospital-onset Clostridioides difficile. A critical review of 3,124 patients highlighted excessive testing frequency in an academic medical center and demonstrated the impact of decision support following a testing fidelity algorithm.
The conventional dependency ratio based on cohort-invariant cutoff points could overstate the true burden of population aging. Using optimal cohort-varying years of schooling and retirement age in a life-cycle model, we propose a modified definition of dependency ratio. We compare the proposed economic-demographic dependency ratio (EDDR) with the conventional definition and find that the conventional dependency ratio of the USA is projected to increase by 0.105 from 2010 to 2060, which is an over-projection of 86% when compared with the projected increase of 0.015 in the EDDR over the same period. Sensitivity analysis suggests that our finding is quite robust to reasonable changes in parameter values (except for one parameter), and the magnitude of over-projection ranges mainly from 0.079 to 0.102 (i.e., 75% to 97%). We follow the well-established Lee–Carter model to forecast stochastic mortality and employ the method of expanding duration to decompose the sources of over-projection.
We investigated the impact of discontinuation of contact precautions for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus infected or colonized patients on central-line associated bloodstream infection rates at an academic children’s hospital. Discontinuation of contact precautions with a bundled horizontal infection prevention platform resulted in no adverse impact on CLABSI rates.
The Research Domain Criteria initiative was launched by the US National Institute of Mental Health to establish a multi-level framework for understanding psychological constructs relevant to human psychiatric disorders, and identified ‘effort valuation/willingness to work’ as a clinically useful construct worthy of further study. This construct encompasses the processes by which the cost(s) of obtaining an outcome are calculated, and the tendency to overcome response costs to obtain a reinforcer. The current study aims to examine effort valuation as a correlate of psychopathology in children and adults, and the moderating effects of sex on this relationship.
Participants were 1215 children aged 6–12 and their parents (n = 1044). All participants completed the Effort Expenditure for Rewards Task as a measure of effort expenditure. Child psychopathology was measured via the Child Behavior Checklist, while adult psychopathology was measured via the Adult Self Report. Additionally, the Social Adjustment Inventory for Children and Adolescents and Injury Behavior Checklist were used to examine child social impairments/problem behaviors.
In children, significant interactions between reward sensitivity and sex were observed in association with anxiety and thought problems, specifically at low reward sensitivity levels. In adults, main effects of effort expenditure were seen in drug and alcohol abuse, where higher effort was associated with higher degrees of abuse.
These results establish effort valuation as a relevant psychological construct for understanding psychopathology, but with different profiles of associated psychopathology across sex in children and adults.
Hong Kong and Macau’s legal systems were based on that of Britain and Portugal respectively before their handover to China. In 1997 and 1999 respectively, new constitutional instruments known as Basic Laws drafted and adopted by the Chinese Central Authorities came into force in Hong Kong and Macau. The texts of the two Basic Laws, both enacted to implement the Chinese project of “One Country, Two Systems”, were very similar.
After the handover, courts in both jurisdictions have engaged in constitutional review and have developed some kind of proportionality analysis in evaluating the validity of legislative and administrative acts against the provisions of the Basic Law. This chapter explores the ‘visible’ and ‘invisible’ bases of constitutional judicial review in post-colonial Hong Kong and Macau. It compares the practices of such review in these two Special Administrative Regions of China, and demonstrates that the differences are largely attributable to the ‘invisible’, rather than the ‘visible’, basis of constitutional review, and that such ‘invisible’ basis is to a significant extent determined by the different legal traditions of the two former colonies, and probably to some extent also shaped by the values of and choices made by the judicial elites of the two territories.