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Surgical castration is a painful procedure that is routinely performed without pain relief on commercial pig (Sus scrofa domesticus) farms. Previous research has focused on quantifying piglet pain response through behaviours. However, to date, behavioural sampling methodologies used to quantify pain associated with castration have not been validated. Therefore, the objective of this study was to validate scan sampling methodologies (2-min, 3-min, 5-min, 10-min and 15-min intervals) to quantify piglet pain responses expressed by castrated piglets’ behaviour. A total of 39 Yorkshire-Landrace × Duroc male piglets (five days of age) were surgically castrated using a scalpel blade. Behaviour frequency and duration (scratching, spasms, stiffness, tail wagging and trembling) of each piglet were continuously collected for the first 15 min of the following hours relative to castration (-24, 1-8 and 24). To determine if the sampling interval accurately reflected true duration and frequency for each behaviour, as determined by continuous observation, criteria previously utilised from other behavioural validation studies were used: coefficient of determination above 0.9, slope not statistically different from one and intercept not statistically different from zero. No scan sampling interval provided accurate estimates for any behavioural indicators of pain. The results of this study suggest that continuous sampling is the most appropriate methodology to fully capture behaviour specific to pain associated with castration. Using validated behavioural methodologies in future research can assist in the development of objective, science-based protocols for managing pig pain.
Most Brazilians believe that racial and socioeconomic inequalities tend to overlap—in other words, blacks are poorer because they have less education and worse jobs. In the past few years, however, several quantitative studies have presented an interesting puzzle: racial inequalities are strongest among those at the top of the socioeconomic hierarchy. This article explores the “elitist profile” of racial discrimination through eighty in-depth interviews with black professionals in Rio de Janeiro. The results show that interviewees describe their trajectories of social mobility through mechanisms that involve both socioeconomic and racial exclusion. Their perceptions of injustice, however, are more directly related to experiences of racial discrimination. In narrating incidents of discrimination, interviewees stress the distinction and tensions between what we call generalized prejudice and particularized universalism.
The objective was to evaluate the fermentation profile, in vitro gas production and nutritional quality of pornunça (Manihot spp.) silages containing levels of condensed tannin (CT; 0, 4, 8 and 12% on dry matter (DM) basis), at five opening times (0, 3, 7, 14, 28 and 56 days). A completely randomized design in a 4 × 5 factorial arrangement was adopted, with four replications, totalling 80 experimental silos. The pH and NH3-N analyses were performed at all opening times of the silos. The other analyses were performed only with silages opened at 56 days of storage. There was an interaction effect between CT levels and silo opening times for pH and NH3-N. Tannin levels in pornunça silages after 56 days ensiling increased the pH and DM and reduced crude protein (CP) and neutral detergent fibre (NDF). There was a quadratic effect for NH3-N, acetic acid, butyric acid, gas losses, dry matter recovery (DMR), hemicellulose and acid detergent fibre. Inclusion of 4 and 8% CT in pornunça silage promotes a rapid decline in pH, being within the acceptable limit for adequate fermentation at 3 days of ensiling. Silages with 4% CT establish the pH at 28 days of opening the silos, with reduced NH3-N. Silages with 4% CT present higher concentrations of acetic and butyric acids and greater DMR. Inclusion of CT in pornunça silage after 56 days ensiling increases DM and reduces CP and NDF, directly affecting the in vitro degradability and reducing gas production.
Brazil has a high diversity of primates, but increasing anthropogenic pressures and climate change could influence forest cover in the country and cause future changes in the distribution of primate populations. Here we aim to assess the long-term suitability of habitats for the conservation of three threatened Brazilian primates (Alouatta belzebul, Sapajus flavius and Sapajus libidinosus) through (1) estimating their current and future distributions using species distribution models, (2) evaluating how much of the areas projected to be suitable is represented within protected areas and priority areas for biodiversity conservation, and (3) assessing the extent of remaining forest cover in areas predicted to be suitable for these species. We found that 88% of the suitable areas are outside protected areas and only 24% are located in areas with forest cover. Although not within protected areas, 27% of the climatically suitable areas are considered priority areas for conservation. Future projections, considering a severe climate change scenario, indicate that A. belzebul, S. flavius and S. libidinosus may lose up to 94, 98 and 54% of their suitable range, respectively. The establishment of primate populations and their long-term survival in these areas are at risk. Mitigation actions such as the implementation of new protected areas, forest restoration and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions will be essential for the conservation of Brazilian primates.
Each individual in the population has a distinct maximum growth potential, and the growth curve may vary depending on the response to nutrient intake, growth phase and variability among animals. The present study aimed to (1) model weight gain (WG) response to methionine+cystine (Met+Cys) supply using different mathematical functions, (2) identify functions that better fit the growth responses of pullets, (3) determine the Met+Cys requirements that maximize WG based on breeding standards and (4) partition the Met+Cys requirements for WG and maintenance. Three trials were performed using 1448 laying-type pullets. We adopted a completely randomized design with eight treatments and six replicates. The first trial (2 to 6 weeks, P1) used 15 pullets per experimental unit. The second and third trials (8 to 12 weeks, P2; 14 to 18 weeks, P3) were used eight pullets per replicate. The Met+Cys levels were obtained using a dilution technique. The mathematical functions used to describe WG responses to Met+Cys intake were broken line, broken line with curvilinear ascendancy, Michaelis–Menten, saturation kinetics and three logistic and three exponential models. Models were selected using the Bayesian information criterion and evaluated by residual analysis. It was possible to model the responses using the studied functions. The best functions were obtained by logistic and sigmoidal models in P1 and P2, and with the broken line by the curvilinear ascendancy model in P3. The Met+Cys intake that determined the maximum potential for WG (WGmax) in P1, P2 and P3 were 313, 381 and 318 mg/day, respectively. The Met+Cys requirements for WG were 20, 22 and 27 mg/g, and for maintenance were 214, 53 and 30 mg/kgBW0.75 for P1, P2 and P3, respectively.
Nutrient requirements in cattle are dependent on physiological stage, breed and environmental conditions. In Holstein × Gyr crossbred dairy heifers, the lack of data remains a limiting factor for estimating energy and protein requirements. Thus, we aimed to estimate the energy and protein requirements of Holstein × Gyr crossbred heifers raised under tropical conditions. Twenty-two crossbred (½ Holstein × ½ Gyr) heifers with an average initial BW of 102.2 ± 3.4 kg and 3 to 4 months of age were used. To estimate requirements, the comparative slaughter technique was used: four animals were assigned to the reference group, slaughtered at the beginning of the experiment to estimate the initial empty BW (EBW) and composition of the animals that remained in the experiment. The remaining animals were randomized into three treatments based on targeted rates of BW gain: high (1.0 kg/day), low (0.5 kg/day) and close to maintenance (0.1 kg/day). At the end of the experiment, all animals were slaughtered to determine EBW, empty body gain (EBG) and body energy and protein contents. The linear regression parameters were estimated using PROC MIXED of SAS (version 9.4). Estimates of the parameters of non-linear regressions were adjusted through PROC NLIN of SAS using the Gauss–Newton method for parameter fit. The net requirements of energy for maintenance (NEm) and metabolizable energy for maintenance (MEm) were 0.303 and 0.469 MJ/EBW0.75 per day, respectively. The efficiency of use of MEm was 64.5%. The estimated equation to predict the net energy requirement for gain (NEg) was: NEg (MJ/day) = 0.299 × EBW0.75 × EBG0.601. The efficiency of use of ME for gain (kg) was 30.7%. The requirement of metabolizable protein for maintenance was 3.52 g/EBW0.75 per day. The equation to predict net protein requirement for gain (NPg) was: NPg (g/day) = 243.65 × EBW−0.091 × EBG. The efficiency of use of metabolizable protein for gain (k) was 50.8%. We observed noteworthy differences when comparing to ME and protein requirements of Holstein × Gyr crossbred heifers with other systems. In addition, we also observed differences in estimates for NEm, NEg, NPg, kg and k. Therefore, we propose that the equations generated in the present study should be used to estimate energy and protein requirements for Holstein × Gyr crossbred dairy heifers raised in tropical conditions in the post-weaning phase up to 185 kg of BW.
Agitation is the most evident symptom in an acute manic episode. It can be defined as excessive motor or verbal activity that can degenerate into aggressive behaviour. Both aripiprazole and asenapine are indicated for the treatment of agitation in patients with manic episode.
To retrospectively evaluate the acute effects of drug therapy on psychomotor agitation rated with the PANSS-EC, the change in manic symptoms through the YMRS, the QoL with the SF-36v2 and the cardiometabolic effects of the new oral APS.
We administered the following tests to 13 patients with DBI at T0 (baseline), T1 (after 1 week), T2 (after 4 weeks), T3 (after 12 weeks) and T4 (after 24 weeks): PANSS-EC, YMRS, SF-36v2, CGI-BD, CGI-S, HAM-D, BPRS. We also considered weight, height, BMI, ECG and complete blood count.
Patients recruitment and statistical analyses are still in progress. Our preliminary results suggest that there is not a marked difference between the two drugs. We highlighted that there has been a noticeable decrease in results at PANSS as well as at YMRS from T0 to T4 and patients showed an improvement in QoL. Only one patient treated with asenapine showed an increase in the results of HAM-D.
Results suggest the efficacy of the two new APS but further recruitment and data collection are needed to better understand their impact on agitation and QoL, including the metabolic profile, with the aim to help clinicians to make a more accurate choice of drug for each specific patient.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Clozapine is the most effective antipsychotic medication, but it has the highest propensity for metabolic side effects. A clozapine clinic was established within an early intervention for psychosis service to facilitate the timely commencement of clozapine and to manage the associated adverse effects. This study describes the changes in the weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and blood pressure after 6 months in young people commenced on clozapine.
This was a prospective cohort study of all young people, aged 15–24 years, commenced on clozapine within an early intervention service in Melbourne, Australia, between 01.04.2016 and 30.06.2018. Continuous data were analyzed with paired t-test and categorical with Wilcoxon signed-rank test.
Twenty-six young people received 6 months of treatment with clozapine, of whom the mean age was 19.8 years (s.d. ±3.1) and 66.7% were male. After 6 months, the mean weight gain was 5.1 kg (s.d. ±10.1 kg) and over half (53.8%) gained clinically significant weight. The proportion of young people classified as either overweight or obese rose from 69.2% to 88.5% (p = 0.006). The proportion of young people with a waist circumference above the recommended parameters increased from 57.9% to 78.9% (p = 0.008). Hypertension was present in 30%, and after 6 months, 45% had hypertension (p = 0.64). Metformin was prescribed to 34.6%, typically to those with the greatest and most rapid weight gain.
Among young people with treatment resistant psychosis, clozapine is associated with significant metabolic side effects in the early stages of commencement. More interventions aimed at attenuating this weight gain are needed.
The current study evaluated growth performance and digestion responses of finishing bulls fed diets containing 825 g/kg flint maize [dry matter (DM) basis] ground to medium (1.66 mm; MG) or coarse particle sizes (2.12 mm; CG), with added monensin (26 mg/kg; DM basis; MON) or a blend of essential oils (BEO) + exogenous α-amylase (AM; 90 mg/kg + 560 mg/kg commercial product, respectively, DM basis). In Expt 1, 256 Nellore bulls were blocked by initial body weight (BW) (360 ± 11.7 kg) and assigned to 48 pens in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. Effect of a maize particle size × feed additive interaction was not detected for final BW, DM intake (DMI), average daily gain (ADG) and feed efficiency. The DMI was greater for bulls fed BEO + AM v. MON. Final BW and ADG tended to be greater for bulls fed CG than MG maize. An interaction was detected for hot carcass weight which was 11 kg heavier for bulls fed BEO + AM v. MON in diets containing CG, but not MG particle size. In Expt 2, four ruminally cannulated Nellore steers were offered the same treatments as Expt 1, in a 4 × 4 Latin Square design. Intake of most nutrients was greater for steers fed CG than steers fed MG maize. In summary, feeding bulls CG maize increased growth performance and carcass characteristics compared with MG. The combination of BEO + AM resulted in heavier carcass weights compared with MON supplementation when included in diets containing CG maize.
Changes in cardiac autonomic regulation, expressed by increased sympathetic activity and decreased heart rate variability, have an important relationship with the onset of lethal cardiac phenomena. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the cardiac autonomic behaviour in young people according to their level of physical activity. Through the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, 55 healthy young non-smokers with no history of previous diseases and whose parents did not suffer from metabolic syndrome were assessed and divided into groups: sedentary (n=12), insufficiently active (n=16), active (n=14), and very active (n=13). We collected respiratory rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure at rest, and body mass index. Subjects remained supine at rest, and without mental stress for 15 minutes in a controlled environment. Using a cardiofrequency meter (Polar® RS800CX), data were analysed in the time domain, frequency domain, and detrended fluctuation analysis. For the sedentary group, the mean RR and rMSSD were significantly lower, and the insufficiently active group showed higher means, but significantly only for rMSSD. The insufficiently active group showed in the detrended fluctuation analysis that α2 was significantly lower compared with the sedentary, active, and very active groups. We conclude that young, healthy, sedentary individuals present an increased heart rate and that insufficiently active individuals present a decreased fractal correlation and increased parasympathetic activity.
Infection with Eimeria sp. results in the activation of multiple facets of the host immune system; the use of phytogenics can modulate the inflammatory response and improve the performance of the challenged animal. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a commercial blend of cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) and castor oil on the immune response of broilers challenged with coccidiosis. A total of 864 one-day-old male chicks (Cobb 500) were randomly distributed into six treatment groups (8 pens/treatment and 18 chicks/pen) in a three-by-two factorial design with three additives: control (non-additive), 100 ppm of monensin or 0.15% CNSL–castor oil. Challenge status was determined twice at 14 days of age. Unchallenged birds were inoculated by gavage with oocysts sporulated with Eimeria tenella, Eimeria acervulina and Eimeria maxima. Although the positive control (non-additive and challenged) and CNSL–castor oil treatment groups exhibited similar variation in weight gain (ΔBWG) compared to unchallenged birds fed without additives, the variation observed in birds fed diets containing CNSL–castor oil was associated with a higher maintenance requirement and not feed efficiency. In the second week after infection, ΔBWG of the CNSL–castor oil treatment group did not significantly change compared to the other treatment groups. At days 7 and 14 post-challenge, there was a higher excretion of oocysts in the control group, whereas the CNSL–castor oil and monensin groups did not differ. The CNSL–castor oil group exhibited increased gene expression of interferon (IFN), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), while the control group exhibited increased expression of cyclooxygenase (COX) and IL-1. The heterophils/lymphocyte ratio was low for the monensin treatment group. The unchallenged birds that received monensin treatment presented higher gene expression of IFN, COX and IL-1 compared to the other treatments, while the CNSL–castor oil group exhibited reduced gene expression, except for TNF. The commercial blend of cashew nut liquid and castor oil modulated the inflammatory response against Eimeria spp. In the absence of the parasite, there was no stimulation of genes involved in the inflammatory response, demonstrating that the blend is an effective tool in specifically modulating the immune system of birds afflicted with coccidiosis.
Restricted growth in utero and accelerated postnatal growth (APG) in the postnatal period have been associated with the development of overweight, obesity and an increased cardiovascular risk in childhood. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the influence of prenatal and perinatal conditions on APG and to evaluate the influence of this APG on different cardiovascular risk factors such as body mass index (BMI), body fat mass index (FMI), blood pressure (BP) and arterial wall stiffness [carotid to femoral pulse wave velocity (cf-PWV)]. All measurements were performed in 355 children (185 boys and 170 girls; 8–11 years). Data on mother weight before and during pregnancy, gestational age (weeks), birth weight (g) and breastfeeding of children were obtained through interviews with families. Children who presented APG were born of mothers with lower BMIs before pregnancy and who gained less weight during the second trimester of pregnancy. They also have a lower gestational age and birth weight, a shorter duration of breastfeeding and a longer duration of artificial feeding (AF). Later in childhood, they had higher values of cf-PWV, BMI, FMI and higher prevalence of hypertension. Low maternal gestational weight gain, inadequate fetal development (low birth weight, shorter gestational age) and reduced breastfeeding duration favor APG. Infants with such APG had higher values of cf-PWV, BP, BMI and FMI later in childhood, along with a higher risk of hypertension and obesity. The interaction between APG and a longer duration of AF had a negative effect on cf-PWV (arterial stiffness) and FMI.
Effective integrated weed management in agricultural landscapes depends on the ability to identify and manage processes that drive weed dynamics. The current study reports the effects of grazing management and crop rotation strategies on the seedbank and emerged weed flora in an integrated crop-livestock system (ICLS) experiment during a 12-year period under no-tillage in sub-tropical southern Brazil. During winter, Italian ryegrass cover crops were grazed by sheep: grazing management treatments included two stocking methods (continuous and rotational) and two forage allowances (10 and 20 kg of herbage dry matter available per 100 kg animal live weight). During summer, the crop rotation treatments involved either soybean-maize or soybean-soybean in succession with winter-grazed cover crops. The treatments were part of a factorial randomized complete block design. Treatment effects were evaluated on the weed seedbank and emerged weed flora populations during winter-grazed cover crop and summer crop growth as well as during the harvest phase. The current results demonstrate that crop rotation and grazing management exhibited interactive effects on the determination of weed outcomes in an ICLS. However, overall, compared with moderate forage allowance, high forage allowance during the winter-grazed cover crop caused lower emerged weed flora in subsequent crops (20% reduction during crop growth and 90% reduction at crop harvest) and 48% reduction in seedbank size. High forage allowance promoted more residue from winter-grazed cover crop biomass, which remained during the summer crop phases and probably resulted in a physical barrier to weed emergence.
This is the first report on the development and characterization of eight monoclonal antibodies (MABs) generated against whole- and membrane-enriched tachyzoite extracts of the apicomplexan parasite Besnoitia besnoiti. Confocal laser scanning immunofluorescence microscopy was used to localize respective epitopes in B. besnoiti tachyzoites along the lytic cycle. A pattern compatible with dense granule staining was observed with MABs 2.A.12, 2.F.3 and 2.G.4, which could be confirmed by immunogold electron microscopy for MABs 2.A.12 and 2.F.3. In particular, MABs 2.F.3 and 2.G.4 were secreted during early invasion, proliferation and egress phases. MABs 3.10.8 and 5.5.11 labelled the tachyzoite surface, whilst MABs 1.17.8, 8.9.2 and 2.G.A recognized the apical tip, which is reminiscent for microneme localization. Besides, the epitopes recognized by the latter two (MABs 8.9.2 and 2.G.A) exhibited a redistribution from the anterior part across the parasite surface towards the posterior end during invasion. Most MABs developed were genus-specific. Indeed, the MABs cross-reacted neither with T. gondii nor with N. caninum tachyzoites. In summary, we have generated MABs that will be useful to study the key processes in the lytic cycle of the parasite and with additional promising diagnostic value. However, the molecular identity of the antigens recognized remains to be elucidated.
Background: Brain tumors present unique challenges to patient and family quality of life (QOL). Cognitive dysfunction is common and functionally limiting, with no established treatments. These studies evaluate feasibility and preliminary efficacy of behavioral interventions developed for neuro-oncology patients. Study 1: A randomized controlled trial (N=25 primary brain tumor patients) compared an adapted version of Goal Management Training (GMT, a neuroscience-based integration of mindfulness and strategy training) and a newly-designed supportive psychoeducational intervention (Brain Health Program, BHP) to standard of care. Each intervention comprised 8 individual sessions and at-home practice between sessions. GMT patients’ executive functions improved immediately (p=.077, d=1.13), with maintenance at 4-month follow-up (p=.046, d=1.09). Both intervention groups reported improvements in everyday cognitive functioning immediately (p=.049; d’s GMT=0.43, BHP=0.79) and at follow-up (p=.001; d’s GMT=0.22, BHP=1.01). BHP patients also reported improved mood (p’s=.026 & .012, d’s=0.61 & 0.62). Study 2: Following a needs assessment about cognitive concerns and QOL in brain metastases patients (N=109) and caregivers (N=31), we developed a novel, brief (3 sessions + homework) Cognitive Support Program to provide education and strategy-training in key areas of concern: executive functions, memory, and communication. Options include caregiver co-training, and in-person or web-based delivery. Preliminary data from a pilot trial in progress demonstrate objective and subjective improvements. Conclusions: Cognitive rehabilitation may be a feasible and effective option for primary or metastatic brain tumor patients, addressing a need that is largely unmet in standard cancer care. Further development and larger trials appear warranted, with capacity for remote delivery recommended.
Because of their large potential for agricultural, industrial and medicinal applications, nanomaterials have been the focus of much research during the past few decades. Nanoclays are natural nanomaterials that occur in the clay fraction of soil, among which montmorillonite and allophane are the most important species. Montmorillonite is a crystalline hydrous phyllosilicate (layer silicate). Organically-modified montmorillonites or ‘organoclays’, formed by intercalation of quaternary ammonium cations, have long been used as rheological modifiers and additives in paints, inks, greases and cosmetics and as carriers and delivery systems for the controlled release of drugs. Perhaps the largest single usage of organoclays over recent years has been in the manufacture of polymer-clay nanocomposites. These organic–inorganic hybrid materials show superior mechanical, thermal and gas-barrier properties. Organoclays are also useful in pollution control and water treatment. Allophane is a non-crystalline aluminosilicate derived from the weathering of volcanic ash. A large proportion of the agricultural land in Chile is covered by volcanic soils,the clay fraction of which is dominated by allophane. Consisting of nanosize (3.5–5.0 nm) hollow spherules, allophane is a suitable support material for enzyme immobilization. Allophane is also effective at adsorbing phenolic compounds and colour from kraft mill effluents and phosphate from water and wastewater.
Sexual assault is a global concern with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), one of the common sequelae. Early intervention can help prevent PTSD, making identification of those at high risk for the disorder a priority. Lack of representative sampling of both sexual assault survivors and sexual assaults in prior studies might have reduced the ability to develop accurate prediction models for early identification of high-risk sexual assault survivors.
Data come from 12 face-to-face, cross-sectional surveys of community-dwelling adults conducted in 11 countries. Analysis was based on the data from the 411 women from these surveys for whom sexual assault was the randomly selected lifetime traumatic event (TE). Seven classes of predictors were assessed: socio-demographics, characteristics of the assault, the respondent's retrospective perception that she could have prevented the assault, other prior lifetime TEs, exposure to childhood family adversities and prior mental disorders.
Prevalence of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV) PTSD associated with randomly selected sexual assaults was 20.2%. PTSD was more common for repeated than single-occurrence victimization and positively associated with prior TEs and childhood adversities. Respondent's perception that she could have prevented the assault interacted with history of mental disorder such that it reduced odds of PTSD, but only among women without prior disorders (odds ratio 0.2, 95% confidence interval 0.1–0.9). The final model estimated that 40.3% of women with PTSD would be found among the 10% with the highest predicted risk.
Whether counterfactual preventability cognitions are adaptive may depend on mental health history. Predictive modelling may be useful in targeting high-risk women for preventive interventions.
Although there is robust evidence linking childhood adversities (CAs) and an increased risk for psychotic experiences (PEs), little is known about whether these associations vary across the life-course and whether mental disorders that emerge prior to PEs explain these associations.
We assessed CAs, PEs and DSM-IV mental disorders in 23 998 adults in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. Discrete-time survival analysis was used to investigate the associations between CAs and PEs, and the influence of mental disorders on these associations using multivariate logistic models.
Exposure to CAs was common, and those who experienced any CAs had increased odds of later PEs [odds ratio (OR) 2.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.9–2.6]. CAs reflecting maladaptive family functioning (MFF), including abuse, neglect, and parent maladjustment, exhibited the strongest associations with PE onset in all life-course stages. Sexual abuse exhibited a strong association with PE onset during childhood (OR 8.5, 95% CI 3.6–20.2), whereas Other CA types were associated with PE onset in adolescence. Associations of other CAs with PEs disappeared in adolescence after adjustment for prior-onset mental disorders. The population attributable risk proportion (PARP) for PEs associated with all CAs was 31% (24% for MFF).
Exposure to CAs is associated with PE onset throughout the life-course, although sexual abuse is most strongly associated with childhood-onset PEs. The presence of mental disorders prior to the onset of PEs does not fully explain these associations. The large PARPs suggest that preventing CAs could lead to a meaningful reduction in PEs in the population.
Research on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following natural and human-made disasters has been undertaken for more than three decades. Although PTSD prevalence estimates vary widely, most are in the 20–40% range in disaster-focused studies but considerably lower (3–5%) in the few general population epidemiological surveys that evaluated disaster-related PTSD as part of a broader clinical assessment. The World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys provide an opportunity to examine disaster-related PTSD in representative general population surveys across a much wider range of sites than in previous studies.
Although disaster-related PTSD was evaluated in 18 WMH surveys, only six in high-income countries had enough respondents for a risk factor analysis. Predictors considered were socio-demographics, disaster characteristics, and pre-disaster vulnerability factors (childhood family adversities, prior traumatic experiences, and prior mental disorders).
Disaster-related PTSD prevalence was 0.0–3.8% among adult (ages 18+) WMH respondents and was significantly related to high education, serious injury or death of someone close, forced displacement from home, and pre-existing vulnerabilities (prior childhood family adversities, other traumas, and mental disorders). Of PTSD cases 44.5% were among the 5% of respondents classified by the model as having highest PTSD risk.
Disaster-related PTSD is uncommon in high-income WMH countries. Risk factors are consistent with prior research: severity of exposure, history of prior stress exposure, and pre-existing mental disorders. The high concentration of PTSD among respondents with high predicted risk in our model supports the focus of screening assessments that identify disaster survivors most in need of preventive interventions.
Considerable research has documented that exposure to traumatic events has negative effects on physical and mental health. Much less research has examined the predictors of traumatic event exposure. Increased understanding of risk factors for exposure to traumatic events could be of considerable value in targeting preventive interventions and anticipating service needs.
General population surveys in 24 countries with a combined sample of 68 894 adult respondents across six continents assessed exposure to 29 traumatic event types. Differences in prevalence were examined with cross-tabulations. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted to determine whether traumatic event types clustered into interpretable factors. Survival analysis was carried out to examine associations of sociodemographic characteristics and prior traumatic events with subsequent exposure.
Over 70% of respondents reported a traumatic event; 30.5% were exposed to four or more. Five types – witnessing death or serious injury, the unexpected death of a loved one, being mugged, being in a life-threatening automobile accident, and experiencing a life-threatening illness or injury – accounted for over half of all exposures. Exposure varied by country, sociodemographics and history of prior traumatic events. Being married was the most consistent protective factor. Exposure to interpersonal violence had the strongest associations with subsequent traumatic events.
Given the near ubiquity of exposure, limited resources may best be dedicated to those that are more likely to be further exposed such as victims of interpersonal violence. Identifying mechanisms that account for the associations of prior interpersonal violence with subsequent trauma is critical to develop interventions to prevent revictimization.