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Cognitive deficits may be characteristic for only a subgroup of first-episode psychosis (FEP) and the link with clinical and functional outcomes is less profound than previously thought. This study aimed to identify cognitive subgroups in a large sample of FEP using a clustering approach with healthy controls as a reference group, subsequently linking cognitive subgroups to clinical and functional outcomes.
204 FEP patients were included. Hierarchical cluster analysis was performed using baseline brief assessment of cognition in schizophrenia (BACS). Cognitive subgroups were compared to 40 controls and linked to longitudinal clinical and functional outcomes (PANSS, GAF, self-reported WHODAS 2.0) up to 12-month follow-up.
Three distinct cognitive clusters emerged: relative to controls, we found one cluster with preserved cognition (n = 76), one moderately impaired cluster (n = 74) and one severely impaired cluster (n = 54). Patients with severely impaired cognition had more severe clinical symptoms at baseline, 6- and 12-month follow-up as compared to patients with preserved cognition. General functioning (GAF) in the severely impaired cluster was significantly lower than in those with preserved cognition at baseline and showed trend-level effects at 6- and 12-month follow-up. No significant differences in self-reported functional outcome (WHODAS 2.0) were present.
Current results demonstrate the existence of three distinct cognitive subgroups, corresponding with clinical outcome at baseline, 6- and 12-month follow-up. Importantly, the cognitively preserved subgroup was larger than the severely impaired group. Early identification of discrete cognitive profiles can offer valuable information about the clinical outcome but may not be relevant in predicting self-reported functional outcomes.
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.
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.
Adult schistosomes live in the blood vessels and cannot easily be sampled from humans, so archived miracidia larvae hatched from eggs expelled in feces or urine are commonly used for population genetic studies. Large collections of archived miracidia on FTA cards are now available through the Schistosomiasis Collection at the Natural History Museum (SCAN). Here we describe protocols for whole genome amplification of Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosome haematobium miracidia from these cards, as well as real time PCR quantification of amplified schistosome DNA. We used microgram quantities of DNA obtained for exome capture and sequencing of single miracidia, generating dense polymorphism data across the exome. These methods will facilitate the transition from population genetics, using limited numbers of markers to population genomics using genome-wide marker information, maximising the value of collections such as SCAN.
I is an important mineral for health, required for the production of key thyroid hormones, which are essential for cellular metabolism, growth and physical development. Hence, adequate I is crucial at all stages of life, but imperative during pregnancy for fetal brain development and during a child’s early life for neurodevelopment. Within Ireland, limited information exists on population I intakes and status. Therefore, the purposes of the present analysis were to estimate dietary I intakes and to analyse urinary iodine (UI) status using the cross-sectional National Adult Nutrition Survey 2008–2010 and the most recent Irish Total Diet Study. Median I intakes in the total population (n 1106) were adequate with only 26 % of the population being classified as below the estimated average requirement (EAR). Milk consumption was the major source of I in the diet, contributing 45 % to total intake. Likewise, median UI concentrations (107 µg/l) indicated ‘optimal’ I nutrition according to the WHO cut-off points. In our cohort, 77 % of women of childbearing age (18–50 years) did not meet the EAR recommendation set for pregnant women. Although I is deemed to be sufficient in the majority of adult populations resident in Ireland, any changes to the current dairy practices could significantly impact intake and status. Continued monitoring should be of priority to ensure that all subgroups of the population are I sufficient.
Types of melter feed materials affect glass production rates. This study focuses on the effects of alumina sources on melting behavior of high-alumina high-level-waste melter feeds containing different alumina sources, namely, gibbsite, boehmite, and corundum. The heat flow from the glass melt to the cold cap, a floating layer of the reacting feed, is partially hindered by a foam layer at the bottom of the cold cap. Volume expansion tests and thermoanalytical methods revealed that a slow-melting feed with corundum foamed extensively, whereas a fast-melting feed with boehmite had a low reaction heat and produced less stable foam. The foam thickness, a critical factor for the rate of melting, estimated using the relationship between the heat conductivity and foam porosity was in reasonable agreement with experimental observation.
Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
Imbalances in dietary fat intakes are linked to several chronic diseases. This study describes dietary intakes and food sources of fat and fatty acids in 1051 Irish adults (aged 18–90 years), using data from the 2011 national food consumption survey, the National Adult Nutrition Survey. It also compares current intakes for 18–64-year-olds with those reported in the last such survey in 2001, the North/South Ireland Food Consumption Survey. Dietary fat intakes were estimated using data from 4-d semi-weighed (2011) and 7-d estimated (2001) food diaries. In 2011, intakes for 18–64-year-olds were as follows: total fat, 34·1 (sd 6·1) % total energy (%TE); SFA, 13·3 (sd 3·3) %TE; MUFA, 12·5 (sd 2·6) %TE; PUFA, 6·1 (sd 2·2) %TE; and trans-fat, 0·511 (sd 0·282) %TE. Apart from MUFA, intakes decreased (P<0·001) compared with 2001. There was no statistically significant difference in intakes of EPA and DHA by 18–64-year-olds in 2011 (269·0 (sd 515·0) mg/d) and 2001 (279·1 (sd 497·5) mg/d). In 2011, adults aged >65 years had the highest intakes of SFA; however, intakes were typically higher than UK-recommended values for all groups. In contrast, intakes of long-chain n-3 fatty acids were lowest in younger age groups. Intakes of trans-fat were well within UK-recommended levels. Although there have been some improvements in the profile of intakes since 2001, imbalances persist in the quantity and quality of dietary fat consumed by Irish adults, most notably for total and SFA and for younger age groups for long-chain n-3 fatty acids.
Africa is experiencing a rapid increase in adult obesity and associated cardiometabolic diseases (CMDs). The H3Africa AWI-Gen Collaborative Centre was established to examine genomic and environmental factors that influence body composition, body fat distribution and CMD risk, with the aim to provide insights towards effective treatment and intervention strategies. It provides a research platform of over 10 500 participants, 40–60 years old, from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Following a process that involved community engagement, training of project staff and participant informed consent, participants were administered detailed questionnaires, anthropometric measurements were taken and biospecimens collected. This generated a wealth of demographic, health history, environmental, behavioural and biomarker data. The H3Africa SNP array will be used for genome-wide association studies. AWI-Gen is building capacity to perform large epidemiological, genomic and epigenomic studies across several African counties and strives to become a valuable resource for research collaborations in Africa.
Obesity is a serious public health issue, the prevalence of which is increasing globally. The present study aimed to investigate trends in overweight and obesity in Irish adults between 1990 and 2011.
Anthropometric data from three Irish national food consumption surveys were used to calculate trends in BMI, waist circumference and waist:hip ratio.
Three cross-sectional food consumption surveys: the Irish National Nutrition Survey (1990), the North/South Ireland Food Consumption Survey (2001) and the National Adult Nutrition Survey (2011).
A collective sample of free-living Irish adults (n 3125), aged 18–64 years.
There were significant increases in mean weight, height and BMI from 1990 to 2011. Significant increments were also reported in waist and hip circumferences and waist:hip ratio between 2001 and 2011, with concurrent increases in the proportion of individuals at risk of developing CVD, particularly females aged 18–35 years. In 2011, 23·4 % of the Irish population was classified as obese; with the mean BMI increasing by 1·1 kg/m2 between 1990 and 2001 and by 0·6 kg/m2 between 2001 and 2011.
The present paper characterises obesity levels in Irish adults from 1990 to 2011. Absolute levels of overweight and obesity have increased between these time points. Of concern is the increase in the proportion of young women classified as at risk of CVD, using waist circumference and waist:hip ratio. Effective prevention strategies are needed to avoid further increases.
Childhood obesity is an issue of public health concern globally. This review reports on levels of overweight and obesity in Irish children and examines some aspects of their diet and lifestyle proposed to promote or protect against increasing body fatness in children. While there is still some debate with regard to the most appropriate cut-off points to use when assessing body fatness in children, approximately one in five Irish children (aged 2–17 years) have been classified as overweight (including obese) according to two generally accepted approaches. Furthermore, comparison with previous data has shown an increase in mean body weight and BMI over time. On examining dietary patterns for Irish children, there was a noticeable transition from a less energy dense diet in pre-school children to a more energy dense diet in older children and teenagers, associated with a change to less favourable dietary intakes for fibre, fat, fruit and vegetables, confectionery and snacks and sugar-sweetened beverages as children got older. A significant proportion of school-aged children and teenagers reported watching more than 2 h television per day (35 % on school-days and 65 % on week-ends) compared with 13 % of pre-school children. For children aged 5–12 years, eating out of the home contributed just 9 % of energy intake but food eaten from outside the home was shown to contribute a higher proportion of energy from fat and to be less fibre-dense than food prepared at home. Improvements in dietary lifestyle are needed to control increasing levels of overweight and obesity in children in Ireland.