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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, with its impact on our way of life, is affecting our experiences and mental health. Notably, individuals with mental disorders have been reported to have a higher risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2. Personality traits could represent an important determinant of preventative health behaviour and, therefore, the risk of contracting the virus.
We examined overlapping genetic underpinnings between major psychiatric disorders, personality traits and susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Linkage disequilibrium score regression was used to explore the genetic correlations of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) susceptibility with psychiatric disorders and personality traits based on data from the largest available respective genome-wide association studies (GWAS). In two cohorts (the PsyCourse (n = 1346) and the HeiDE (n = 3266) study), polygenic risk scores were used to analyse if a genetic association between, psychiatric disorders, personality traits and COVID-19 susceptibility exists in individual-level data.
We observed no significant genetic correlations of COVID-19 susceptibility with psychiatric disorders. For personality traits, there was a significant genetic correlation for COVID-19 susceptibility with extraversion (P = 1.47 × 10−5; genetic correlation 0.284). Yet, this was not reflected in individual-level data from the PsyCourse and HeiDE studies.
We identified no significant correlation between genetic risk factors for severe psychiatric disorders and genetic risk for COVID-19 susceptibility. Among the personality traits, extraversion showed evidence for a positive genetic association with COVID-19 susceptibility, in one but not in another setting. Overall, these findings highlight a complex contribution of genetic and non-genetic components in the interaction between COVID-19 susceptibility and personality traits or mental disorders.
The most common treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD) is antidepressant medication (ADM). Results are reported on frequency of ADM use, reasons for use, and perceived effectiveness of use in general population surveys across 20 countries.
Face-to-face interviews with community samples totaling n = 49 919 respondents in the World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys asked about ADM use anytime in the prior 12 months in conjunction with validated fully structured diagnostic interviews. Treatment questions were administered independently of diagnoses and asked of all respondents.
3.1% of respondents reported ADM use within the past 12 months. In high-income countries (HICs), depression (49.2%) and anxiety (36.4%) were the most common reasons for use. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), depression (38.4%) and sleep problems (31.9%) were the most common reasons for use. Prevalence of use was 2–4 times as high in HICs as LMICs across all examined diagnoses. Newer ADMs were proportionally used more often in HICs than LMICs. Across all conditions, ADMs were reported as very effective by 58.8% of users and somewhat effective by an additional 28.3% of users, with both proportions higher in LMICs than HICs. Neither ADM class nor reason for use was a significant predictor of perceived effectiveness.
ADMs are in widespread use and for a variety of conditions including but going beyond depression and anxiety. In a general population sample from multiple LMICs and HICs, ADMs were widely perceived to be either very or somewhat effective by the people who use them.
Studying phenotypic and genetic characteristics of age at onset (AAO) and polarity at onset (PAO) in bipolar disorder can provide new insights into disease pathology and facilitate the development of screening tools.
To examine the genetic architecture of AAO and PAO and their association with bipolar disorder disease characteristics.
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) and polygenic score (PGS) analyses of AAO (n = 12 977) and PAO (n = 6773) were conducted in patients with bipolar disorder from 34 cohorts and a replication sample (n = 2237). The association of onset with disease characteristics was investigated in two of these cohorts.
Earlier AAO was associated with a higher probability of psychotic symptoms, suicidality, lower educational attainment, not living together and fewer episodes. Depressive onset correlated with suicidality and manic onset correlated with delusions and manic episodes. Systematic differences in AAO between cohorts and continents of origin were observed. This was also reflected in single-nucleotide variant-based heritability estimates, with higher heritabilities for stricter onset definitions. Increased PGS for autism spectrum disorder (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), major depression (β = −0.34 years, s.e. = 0.08), schizophrenia (β = −0.39 years, s.e. = 0.08), and educational attainment (β = −0.31 years, s.e. = 0.08) were associated with an earlier AAO. The AAO GWAS identified one significant locus, but this finding did not replicate. Neither GWAS nor PGS analyses yielded significant associations with PAO.
AAO and PAO are associated with indicators of bipolar disorder severity. Individuals with an earlier onset show an increased polygenic liability for a broad spectrum of psychiatric traits. Systematic differences in AAO across cohorts, continents and phenotype definitions introduce significant heterogeneity, affecting analyses.
Existing research on psychological distress and mental health service utilization has focused on common types of solid tumor cancers, leaving significant gaps in our understanding of patients experiencing rare forms of hematologic cancers.
To examine distress, quality of life, and mental health service utilization among patients with aggressive, refractory B-cell lymphomas.
Patients (n = 26) with B-cell lymphomas that relapsed after first- or second-line treatment completed self-report measures of distress (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) and quality of life (Short-Form Health Survey, SF-12). Patients also reported whether they had utilized mental health treatment since their cancer diagnosis.
Approximately 42% (n = 11) of patients reported elevated levels of psychological distress. Of patients with elevated distress, only one quarter (27.2%; n = 3) received mental health treatment, while more than half did not receive mental health treatment (54.5%; n = 6), and 18.1% (n = 2) did not want treatment. Patients with elevated distress reported lower mental quality of life than patients without elevated distress [F (1, 25) = 15.32, p = 0.001].
Significance of the results
A significant proportion of patients with advanced, progressive, B-cell lymphomas may experience elevated levels of distress. Yet, few of these distressed patients receive mental health treatment. Findings highlight the need to better identify and address barriers to mental health service utilization among patients with B-cell lymphoma, including among distressed patients who decline treatment.
Dairy goat farming is an important sector of the agricultural industry in Greece, with an annual total milk production exceeding 450 000 l and accounting for over 25% of all goat milk produced in the European Union; this milk is used mainly for cheese production. Despite the importance of goat milk for the agricultural sector in Greece, no systematic countrywide investigations in the bulk-tank milk of goats in Greece have been reported. Objectives were to investigate somatic cell counts (SCC) and total bacterial counts (TBC) in raw bulk-tank milk of goat herds in Greece, study factors influencing SCC and TBC therein and evaluate their possible associations with milk content. Throughout Greece, 119 dairy goat herds were visited for milk sampling for somatic cell counting, microbiological examination and composition measurement. Geometric mean SCC and TBC were 0.838 × 106 cells ml−1 and 581 × 103 cfu ml−1, respectively. Multivariable analyses revealed annual frequency of check-ups of milking system and total milk quantity per goat (among 53 variables) to be significant for increased SCC; no factor emerged (among 58 variables) to be significant for increased TBC. Negative correlation of SCC with total protein was found; mean total protein content in the bulk-tank milk in herds with SCC >0.75 × 106 cells ml−1 was 5.1% lower and in herds with SCC >1.5 × 106 cells ml−1, it was 7.8% lower.
It is estimated that approximately half of adults, older than 65 years of age, have been prescribed potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs). This study’s objective was to determine the prevalence of PIM use among older patients. Two retrospective chart reviews were performed on 200 and 164 older patients who underwent comprehensive geriatric assessments (CGAs) at outpatient geriatrics clinics at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital (Glenrose) in 2012–13 and at the Misericordia Community Hospital (Misericordia) in 2016–17, respectively. Outcome measures included demographics; prevalence of PIM use; common PIMs used; whether PIM use was addressed, and if so, how; and total number of oral medications. At the Glenrose, the prevalence of PIM use was 45 per cent (90/200). Of the 90 patients who had used PIMs, 46.7 per cent (42/90) had at least one of their medications stopped or modified. At the Misericordia, the prevalence of PIM use was 57.3 per cent (94/164). Of the 94 patients who used PIMs, 47.9 per cent (45/94) had at least one of their medications stopped or modified. These results suggest that an increased awareness of PIM among physicians is needed to further decrease PIM use.
To understand the timing of deglaciation of the northernmost marine-terminating glaciers of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet (CIS), we obtained 26 10Be surface-exposure ages from glacially scoured bedrock surfaces in Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska. We sampled six elevation transects between sea level and 620 m and spanning a distance of 14 to 70 km along ice flow paths. Most transect age–elevation patterns could not be explained by a simple model of thinning ice; the patterns provide evidence for lingering ice cover and possible inheritance. A reliable set of 20 ages ranges between 17.4 ± 2.0 and 11.6 ± 2.8 ka and indicates ice receded from northwestern PWS around 14.3 ± 1.6 ka, thinned at a rate of ~120–160 m/ka, and retreated from sea-level sites at 12.9 ± 1.1 ka at a rate of 20 m/yr. The retreat rate likely slowed as glaciers retreated into northern PWS. These results are consistent with the growing body of reported deglacial constraints on collapse of ice sheets along the Alaska margin indicating collapse of the CIS soon after 17 ka. These data are consistent with paleotemperature data indicating that a warming North Pacific Ocean caused catastrophic collapse of this part of the CIS.
Adolescent mental health difficulties are increasing over time. However, it is not known whether their adulthood health and socio-economic sequelae are changing over time.
Participants (N = 31 349) are from two prospective national birth cohort studies: 1958 National Child Development Study (n = 16 091) and the 1970 British Cohort Study (n = 15 258). Adolescent mental health was operationalised both as traditional internalising and externalising factors and a hierarchical bi-factor. Associations between adolescent psychopathology and age 42 health and wellbeing (mental health, general health, life satisfaction), social (cohabitation, voting behaviour) and economic (education and employment) outcomes are estimated using linear and logistic multivariable regressions across cohorts, controlling for a wide range of early life potential confounding factors.
The prevalence of adolescent mental health difficulties increased and their associations with midlife health, wellbeing, social and economic outcomes became more severe or remained similar between those born in 1958 and 1970. For instance, a stronger association with adolescent mental health difficulties was found for those born in 1970 for midlife psychological distress [odds ratio (OR) 1970 = 1.82 (1.65–1.99), OR 1958 = 1.60 (1.43–1.79)], cohabitation [OR 1970 = 0.64 (0.59–0.70), OR 1958 = 0.79 (0.72–0.87)], and professional occupations [OR 1970 = 0.75 (0.67–0.84), OR 1958 = 1.05 (0.88–1.24)]. The associations of externalising symptoms with later outcomes were mainly explained by their shared variance with internalising symptoms.
The widening of mental health-based inequalities in midlife outcomes further supports the need to recognise that secular increases in adolescent mental health symptoms is a public health challenge with measurable negative consequences through the life-course. Increased public health efforts to minimise adverse outcomes are needed.
Promulgating a continuum model of mental health and mental illness has been proposed as a way to reduce stigma by decreasing notions of differentness. This systematic review and meta-analysis examines whether continuum beliefs are associated with lower stigma, and whether continuum interventions reduce stigma.
Following a pre-defined protocol (PROSPERO: CRD42019123606), we searched three electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, and PsycINFO) yielding 6726 studies. After screening, we included 33 studies covering continuum beliefs, mental illness, and stigma. Of these, 13 studies were included in meta-analysis.
Continuum beliefs are consistently associated with lower stigma. Interventions were effective at manipulating continuum beliefs but differ in their effects on stigmatising attitudes.
We discuss whether and to what extent attitudes towards people with mental illness can be improved by providing information on a mental health-mental illness continuum. It appeared to be relevant whether interventions promoted a feeling of ‘us’ and a process of identification with the person with mental illness. We discuss implications for the design of future interventions.
Colleges and universities around the world engaged diverse strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Baylor University, a community of ˜22,700 individuals, was 1 of the institutions which resumed and sustained operations. The key strategy was establishment of multidisciplinary teams to develop mitigation strategies and priority areas for action. This population-based team approach along with implementation of a “Swiss Cheese” risk mitigation model allowed small clusters to be rapidly addressed through testing, surveillance, tracing, isolation, and quarantine. These efforts were supported by health protocols including face coverings, social distancing, and compliance monitoring. As a result, activities were sustained from August 1 to December 8, 2020. There were 62,970 COVID-19 tests conducted with 1435 people testing positive for a positivity rate of 2.28%. A total of 1670 COVID-19 cases were identified with 235 self-reports. The mean number of tests per week was 3500 with approximately 80 of these positive (11/d). More than 60 student tracers were trained with over 120 personnel available to contact trace, at a ratio of 1 per 400 university members. The successes and lessons learned provide a framework and pathway for similar institutions to mitigate the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and sustain operations during a global pandemic.
ABSTRACT IMPACT: Use of this novel murine model of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and C. difficile infection (CDI) will aid in developing new clinical approaches to predict, diagnose, and treat CDI in the IBD population. OBJECTIVES/GOALS: IBD is associated with intestinal inflammation and alterations of the gut microbiota, both of which can diminish colonization resistance to C. difficile. Here, we sought to determine if IBD is sufficient to render mice susceptible to C. difficile colonization and infection in the absence of other perturbations, such as antibiotic treatment. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: C57BL/6 IL-10-/- mice were colonized with Helicobacter hepaticus to trigger colonic inflammation akin to human IBD. Control mice, not colonized with H. hepaticus, were pretreated with the antibiotic cefoperazone to render the gut microbiota susceptible to CDI. Mice were then gavaged with spores of the toxigenic C. difficile strain VPI 10463 and monitored for C. difficile colonization and disease. The fecal microbiota at the time of C. difficile exposure was profiled by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and analyzed using mothur. Statistical analyses were performed using R. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Mice with IBD harbored significantly distinct intestinal microbial communities compared to non-IBD controls at the time of C. difficile spore exposure (14 days post-IBD trigger). Mice with IBD were susceptible to persistent C. difficile colonization, while genetically identical non-IBD controls were resistant to C. difficile colonization. Concomitant IBD and CDI was associated with significantly worse clinical and intestinal disease than unaccompanied IBD. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF FINDINGS: Patients with IBD who develop concurrent CDI experience increased morbidity and mortality. These studies in a novel mouse model of IBD and CDI emphasize the dual importance of host responses and alterations of the gut microbiota in susceptibility to C. difficile colonization and infection in the setting of IBD.
Performance-based managed entry agreements (PB-MEAs) might allow patient access to new medicines, but practical hurdles make competent authorities for pricing and reimbursement (CAPR) reluctant to implement PB-MEAs. We explored if the feasibility of PB-MEAs might improve by better aligning regulatory postauthorization requirements with the data generation of PB-MEAs and by active collaboration and data sharing. Reviewers from seven CAPRs provided structured assessments of the information available at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) Web site on regulatory postauthorization requirements for fifteen recently authorized products. The reviewers judged to what extent regulatory postauthorization studies could help implement PB-MEAs by addressing uncertainty gaps. Study domains assessed were: patient population, intervention, comparators, outcomes, time horizon, anticipated data quality, and anticipated robustness of analysis. Reviewers shared general comments about PB-MEAs for each product and on cooperation with other CAPRs. Reviewers rated regulatory postauthorization requirements at least partly helpful for most products and across domains except the comparator domain. One quarter of responses indicated that public information provided by the EMA was insufficient to support the implementation of PB-MEAs. Few PB-MEAs were in place for these products, but the potential for implementation of PB-MEAs or collaboration across CAPRs was seen as more favorable. Responses helped delineate a set of conditions where PB-MEAs may help reduce uncertainty. In conclusion, PB-MEAs are not a preferred option for CAPRs, but we identified conditions where PB-MEAs might be worth considering. The complexities of implementing PB-MEAs remain a hurdle, but collaboration across silos and more transparency on postauthorization studies could help overcome some barriers.
Little is known about how best to implement infection prevention and control programs in low-resource settings. The quality improvement approach using plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles provides a framework for data-driven infection prevention and control implementation. We used quality improvement techniques and training to improve infection prevention and control practices in 2 model hospitals in Kenya. Methods: The 2 hospitals were chosen by the Kenya Ministry of Health for capacity building on infection prevention and control. At each site, the project team (the University of Washington International Training for Education and Training in Health, Ministry of Health, and Centers for Disease Control) conducted infection prevention and control training to infection prevention and control committee members. Infection prevention and control quality improvement activities were introduced in a staggered manner, focusing on hand hygiene and waste management practices. For hand hygiene, the project team’s technical assistance focused on facility hand hygiene infrastructure, hand hygiene practice adherence, hand hygiene supply quantification, and monitoring and evaluation using WHO hand hygiene audit tools. Waste management technical assistance focused on availability of policy, guidelines, equipment and supplies, waste segregation, waste quantification, and monitoring and evaluation using a data collection tool customized based on previously published tools. Regular interactive video conference sessions between the project team and the sites that included didactic sessions and sharing of data provided ongoing mentorship and feedback on quality improvement implementation, data interpretation, and data use. Results: Hand hygiene data collection began in April 2018. In hospital A, hand hygiene compliance increased from a baseline of 3% to 51% over 9 months. In Hospital B, hand hygiene compliance rates increased from 23% at baseline to 44% after 9 months. Waste management data collection began in November 2018. At hospital A, waste segregation compliance scores increased from 73% at baseline to 80% over 6 months, whereas hospital B, waste segregation compliance went from 44% to 80% over 6 months. Conclusions: A quality improvement approach appears to be a feasible means of infection prevention and control program strengthening in low resource settings.
The Inaccessible Island Rail Atlantisia rogersi, the world’s smallest extant flightless bird, is endemic to Inaccessible Island, a 14-km2 uninhabited island in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, central South Atlantic Ocean. Rail populations are notoriously hard to survey and the rugged topography of Inaccessible Island makes a survey particularly challenging. Fortunately, Inaccessible Island Rails are very vocal, because their secretive behaviour means birds are hard to observe in the dense vegetation. We assessed the distribution of rails across Inaccessible Island using playbacks at 350 point-count sites in October–November 2018. Rail calls were heard at 98% of sites and we estimate the rail population to be in the order of 10,300 birds (95% CI 9,100–12,200), based on estimated rail densities in the six main habitats. Historic population estimates were reasonably crude and thus not suitable for inferring population trends, but the population appears to be stable and we recommend the species’ status remains as ‘Vulnerable’. The accidental introduction of alien mammals poses the greatest threat to the survival of the Inaccessible Island Rail and the removal of house mouse Mus musculus and ship rat Rattus rattus from neighbouring Tristan da Cunha Island would greatly reduce the risk of such a catastrophe.