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Healthcare personnel with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were interviewed to describe activities and practices in and outside the workplace. Among 2,625 healthcare personnel, workplace-related factors that may increase infection risk were more common among nursing-home personnel than hospital personnel, whereas selected factors outside the workplace were more common among hospital personnel.
We examined whether Research Domain Criteria (RDoC)-informed measures of prenatal stress predicted newborn neurobehavior and whether these effects differed by newborn sex. Multilevel, prenatal markers of prenatal stress were obtained from 162 pregnant women. Markers of the Negative Valence System included physiological functioning (respiratory sinus arrhythmia [RSA] and electrodermal [EDA] reactivity to a speech task, hair cortisol), self-reported stress (state anxiety, pregnancy-specific anxiety, daily stress, childhood trauma, economic hardship, and family resources), and interviewer-rated stress (episodic stress, chronic stress). Markers of the Arousal/Regulatory System included physiological functioning (baseline RSA, RSA, and EDA responses to infant cries) and self-reported affect intensity, urgency, emotion regulation strategies, and dispositional mindfulness. Newborns’ arousal and attention were assessed via the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Network Neurobehavioral Scale. Path analyses showed that high maternal episodic and daily stress, low economic hardship, few emotion regulation strategies, and high baseline RSA predicted female newborns’ low attention; maternal mindfulness predicted female newborns’ high arousal. As for male newborns, high episodic stress predicted low arousal, and high pregnancy-specific anxiety predicted high attention. Findings suggest that RDoC-informed markers of prenatal stress could aid detection of variance in newborn neurobehavioral outcomes within hours after birth. Implications for intergenerational transmission of risk for psychopathology are discussed.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been identified as an acute respiratory illness leading to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome. As the disease spread, demands on health care systems increased, specifically the need to expand hospital capacity. Alternative care hospitals (ACHs) have been used to mitigate these issues; however, establishing an ACH has many challenges. The goal of this session was to perform systems testing, using a simulation-based evaluation to identify areas in need of improvement.
Four simulation cases were designed to depict common and high acuity situations encountered in the ACH, using a high technology simulator and standardized patient. A multidisciplinary observer group was given debriefing forms listing the objectives, critical actions, and specific areas to focus their attention. These forms were compiled for data collection.
Logistical, operational, and patient safety issues were identified during the simulation and compiled into a simulation event report. Proposed solutions and protocol changes were made in response to the identified issues.
Simulation was successfully used for systems testing, supporting efforts to maximize patient care and provider safety in a rapidly developed ACH. The simulation event report identified operational deficiencies and safety concerns directly resulting in equipment modifications and protocol changes.
Typical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (tEPEC) infection is a major cause of diarrhoea and contributor to mortality in children <5 years old in developing countries. Data were analysed from the Global Enteric Multicenter Study examining children <5 years old seeking care for moderate-to-severe diarrhoea (MSD) in Kenya. Stool specimens were tested for enteric pathogens, including by multiplex polymerase chain reaction for gene targets of tEPEC. Demographic, clinical and anthropometric data were collected at enrolment and ~60-days later; multivariable logistic regressions were constructed. Of 1778 MSD cases enrolled from 2008 to 2012, 135 (7.6%) children tested positive for tEPEC. In a case-to-case comparison among MSD cases, tEPEC was independently associated with presentation at enrolment with a loss of skin turgor (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.08, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.37–3.17), and convulsions (aOR 2.83, 95% CI 1.12–7.14). At follow-up, infants with tEPEC compared to those without were associated with being underweight (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3–3.6) and wasted (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.3–4.6). Among MSD cases, tEPEC was associated with mortality (aOR 2.85, 95% CI 1.47–5.55). This study suggests that tEPEC contributes to morbidity and mortality in children. Interventions aimed at defining and reducing the burden of tEPEC and its sequelae should be urgently investigated, prioritised and implemented.
Gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars encode information about nuclear matter at extreme densities, inaccessible by laboratory experiments. The late inspiral is influenced by the presence of tides, which depend on the neutron star equation of state. Neutron star mergers are expected to often produce rapidly rotating remnant neutron stars that emit gravitational waves. These will provide clues to the extremely hot post-merger environment. This signature of nuclear matter in gravitational waves contains most information in the 2–4 kHz frequency band, which is outside of the most sensitive band of current detectors. We present the design concept and science case for a Neutron Star Extreme Matter Observatory (NEMO): a gravitational-wave interferometer optimised to study nuclear physics with merging neutron stars. The concept uses high-circulating laser power, quantum squeezing, and a detector topology specifically designed to achieve the high-frequency sensitivity necessary to probe nuclear matter using gravitational waves. Above 1 kHz, the proposed strain sensitivity is comparable to full third-generation detectors at a fraction of the cost. Such sensitivity changes expected event rates for detection of post-merger remnants from approximately one per few decades with two A+ detectors to a few per year and potentially allow for the first gravitational-wave observations of supernovae, isolated neutron stars, and other exotica.
The radiocarbon (14C) calibration curve so far contains annually resolved data only for a short period of time. With accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) matching the precision of decay counting, it is now possible to efficiently produce large datasets of annual resolution for calibration purposes using small amounts of wood. The radiocarbon intercomparison on single-year tree-ring samples presented here is the first to investigate specifically possible offsets between AMS laboratories at high precision. The results show that AMS laboratories are capable of measuring samples of Holocene age with an accuracy and precision that is comparable or even goes beyond what is possible with decay counting, even though they require a thousand times less wood. It also shows that not all AMS laboratories always produce results that are consistent with their stated uncertainties. The long-term benefits of studies of this kind are more accurate radiocarbon measurements with, in the future, better quantified uncertainties.
Introduction: For rhythm control of acute atrial flutter (AAFL) in the emergency department (ED), choices include initial drug therapy or initial electrical cardioversion (ECV). We compared the strategies of pharmacological cardioversion followed by ECV if necessary (Drug-Shock), and ECV alone (Shock Only). Methods: We conducted a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial (1:1 allocation) comparing two rhythm control strategies at 11 academic EDs. We included stable adult patients with AAFL, where onset of symptoms was <48 hours. Patients underwent central web-based randomization stratified by site. The Drug-Shock group received an infusion of procainamide (15mg/kg over 30 minutes) followed 30 minutes later, if necessary, by ECV at 200 joules x 3 shocks. The Shock Only group received an infusion of saline followed, if necessary, by ECV x 3 shocks. The primary outcome was conversion to sinus rhythm for ≥30 minutes at any time following onset of infusion. Patients were followed for 14 days. The primary outcome was evaluated on an intention-to-treat basis. Statistical significance was assessed using chi-squared tests and multivariable logistic regression. Results: We randomized 76 patients, and none was lost to follow-up. The Drug-Shock (N = 33) and Shock Only (N = 43) groups were similar for all characteristics including mean age (66.3 vs 63.4 yrs), duration of AAFL (30.1 vs 24.5 hrs), previous AAFL (72.7% vs 69.8%), median CHADS2 score (1 vs 1), and mean initial heart rate (128.9 vs 126.0 bpm). The Drug-Shock and Shock only groups were similar for the primary outcome of conversion (100% vs 93%; absolute difference 7.0%, 95% CI -0.6;14.6; P = 0.25). The multivariable analyses confirmed the similarity of the two strategies (P = 0.19). In the Drug-Shock group 21.2% of patients converted with the infusion. There were no statistically significant differences for time to conversion (84.2 vs 97.6 minutes), total ED length of stay (9.4 vs 7.5 hours), disposition home (100% vs 95.3%), and stroke within 14 days (0 vs 0). Premature discontinuation of infusion (usually for transient hypotension) was more common in the Drug-Shock group (9.1% vs 0.0%) but there were no serious adverse events. Conclusion: Both the Drug-Shock and Shock Only strategies were highly effective and safe in allowing AAFL patients to go home in sinus rhythm. IV procainamide alone was effective in only one fifth of patients, much less than for acute AF.
Introduction: CAEP recently developed the acute atrial fibrillation (AF) and flutter (AFL) [AAFF] Best Practices Checklist to promote optimal care and guidance on cardioversion and rapid discharge of patients with AAFF. We sought to assess the impact of implementing the Checklist into large Canadian EDs. Methods: We conducted a pragmatic stepped-wedge cluster randomized trial in 11 large Canadian ED sites in five provinces, over 14 months. All hospitals started in the control period (usual care), and then crossed over to the intervention period in random sequence, one hospital per month. We enrolled consecutive, stable patients presenting with AAFF, where symptoms required ED management. Our intervention was informed by qualitative stakeholder interviews to identify perceived barriers and enablers for rapid discharge of AAFF patients. The many interventions included local champions, presentation of the Checklist to physicians in group sessions, an online training module, a smartphone app, and targeted audit and feedback. The primary outcome was length of stay in ED in minutes from time of arrival to time of disposition, and this was analyzed at the individual patient-level using linear mixed effects regression accounting for the stepped-wedge design. We estimated a sample size of 800 patients. Results: We enrolled 844 patients with none lost to follow-up. Those in the control (N = 316) and intervention periods (N = 528) were similar for all characteristics including mean age (61.2 vs 64.2 yrs), duration of AAFF (8.1 vs 7.7 hrs), AF (88.6% vs 82.9%), AFL (11.4% vs 17.1%), and mean initial heart rate (119.6 vs 119.9 bpm). Median lengths of stay for the control and intervention periods respectively were 413.0 vs. 354.0 minutes (P < 0.001). Comparing control to intervention, there was an increase in: use of antiarrhythmic drugs (37.4% vs 47.4%; P < 0.01), electrical cardioversion (45.1% vs 56.8%; P < 0.01), and discharge in sinus rhythm (75.3% vs. 86.7%; P < 0.001). There was a decrease in ED consultations to cardiology and medicine (49.7% vs 41.1%; P < 0.01), but a small but insignificant increase in anticoagulant prescriptions (39.6% vs 46.5%; P = 0.21). Conclusion: This multicenter implementation of the CAEP Best Practices Checklist led to a significant decrease in ED length of stay along with more ED cardioversions, fewer ED consultations, and more discharges in sinus rhythm. Widespread and rigorous adoption of the CAEP Checklist should lead to improved care of AAFF patients in all Canadian EDs.
Assess the sources of patients' knowledge of medication side effects and the effects of their knowledge on compliance with prescribed medication.
476 patients attending psychiatric services were randomly selected and asked to fill a questionnaire designed to assess parameters relevant to the objectives of the study.
Overall, 44% said they had learnt of side effects of their medication from multiple sources including doctors (52.31%), leaflets (54.2%), internet (14.29%), books (13.02%), chemist (11.34%), other patients (5.67%), friends/relatives (7.35%), self-help groups (2.94%) and other sources (4.2%). 8% said they were not aware of any side effects of the medicines they are taking presently.
13.44% of patients reported that they never find out about side effects of their medication before taking it for the first time with a high proportion of these being males (17.93%vs.10.69%, p = 0.0366). 46.2% reported that they have had concerns about taking medication because of their knowledge of side effects with females more likely to have such concerns than males (49.83% vs.40.76%, p = 0.0269). Finally, when asked if they would have taken the medicines prescribed for them now if they were told initially of all the side effects, 51.05% answered ‘more likely’, with a higher proportion of these being males (56.67% vs. 49.46%, p = 0.06)
Doctors and information leaflets are the leading sources of patients' knowledge about side effects of medication. The knowledge of side effects of medication has a potential to impact more on the compliance of female patients compared to males.
In cognitive models of adult psychosis, schematic beliefs about the self and others are important vulnerability and maintaining factors, and are therefore targets for psychological interventions. Schematic beliefs have not previously been investigated in children with distressing unusual, or psychotic-like, experiences (UEDs). The aim of this study was firstly to investigate whether a measure of schematic beliefs, originally designed for adults with psychosis, was suitable for children; and secondly, to examine the association of childhood schematic beliefs with internalising and externalising problems and with UEDs.
Sixty-seven children aged 8–14 years, with emotional and behavioural difficulties, completed measures of UEDs, internalising (depression and anxiety), and externalising (conduct and hyperactivity-inattention) problems, together with the Brief Core Schema Scales (BCSS).
The BCSS was readily completed by participants, and scale psychometric properties were good. Children tended to view themselves and others positively. Internalising and externalising problems and UEDs were all associated with negative schematic beliefs; effect sizes were small to medium.
Schematic beliefs in young people can be measured using the BCSS, and negative schematic beliefs are associated with childhood psychopathology and with UEDs. Schematic beliefs may therefore form a useful target in psychological interventions for young people with UEDs.
The Genomics Used to Improve DEpresssion Decisions (GUIDED) trial assessed outcomes associated with combinatorial pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Analyses used the 17-item Hamilton Depression (HAM-D17) rating scale; however, studies demonstrate that the abbreviated, core depression symptom-focused, HAM-D6 rating scale may have greater sensitivity toward detecting differences between treatment and placebo. However, the sensitivity of HAM-D6 has not been tested for two active treatment arms. Here, we evaluated the sensitivity of the HAM-D6 scale, relative to the HAM-D17 scale, when assessing outcomes for actively treated patients in the GUIDED trial.
Outpatients (N=1,298) diagnosed with MDD and an inadequate treatment response to >1 psychotropic medication were randomized into treatment as usual (TAU) or combinatorial PGx-guided (guided-care) arms. Combinatorial PGx testing was performed on all patients, though test reports were only available to the guided-care arm. All patients and raters were blinded to study arm until after week 8. Medications on the combinatorial PGx test report were categorized based on the level of predicted gene-drug interactions: ‘use as directed’, ‘moderate gene-drug interactions’, or ‘significant gene-drug interactions.’ Patient outcomes were assessed by arm at week 8 using HAM-D6 and HAM-D17 rating scales, including symptom improvement (percent change in scale), response (≥50% decrease in scale), and remission (HAM-D6 ≤4 and HAM-D17 ≤7).
At week 8, the guided-care arm demonstrated statistically significant symptom improvement over TAU using HAM-D6 scale (Δ=4.4%, p=0.023), but not using the HAM-D17 scale (Δ=3.2%, p=0.069). The response rate increased significantly for guided-care compared with TAU using both HAM-D6 (Δ=7.0%, p=0.004) and HAM-D17 (Δ=6.3%, p=0.007). Remission rates were also significantly greater for guided-care versus TAU using both scales (HAM-D6 Δ=4.6%, p=0.031; HAM-D17 Δ=5.5%, p=0.005). Patients taking medication(s) predicted to have gene-drug interactions at baseline showed further increased benefit over TAU at week 8 using HAM-D6 for symptom improvement (Δ=7.3%, p=0.004) response (Δ=10.0%, p=0.001) and remission (Δ=7.9%, p=0.005). Comparatively, the magnitude of the differences in outcomes between arms at week 8 was lower using HAM-D17 (symptom improvement Δ=5.0%, p=0.029; response Δ=8.0%, p=0.008; remission Δ=7.5%, p=0.003).
Combinatorial PGx-guided care achieved significantly better patient outcomes compared with TAU when assessed using the HAM-D6 scale. These findings suggest that the HAM-D6 scale is better suited than is the HAM-D17 for evaluating change in randomized, controlled trials comparing active treatment arms.
Although widely used in cardiology, relation of heart failure biomarkers to cardiac haemodynamics in patients with CHD (and in particular with pulmonary insufficiency undergoing pulmonary valve replacement) remains unclear. We hypothesised that the cardiac function biomarkers N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2, and galectin-3 would have significant associations to right ventricular haemodynamic derangements.
Consecutive patients ( n = 16) undergoing cardiac catheterisation for transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement were studied. NT-proBNP, soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2, and galectin-3 levels were measured using a multiplex enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay from a pre-intervention blood sample obtained after sheath placement. Spearman correlation was used to identify significant correlations (p ≤ 0.05) of biomarkers with baseline cardiac haemodynamics. Cardiac MRI data (indexed right ventricular and left ventricular end-diastolic volumes and ejection fraction) prior to device placement were also compared to biomarker levels.
NT-proBNP and soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2 were significantly correlated (p < 0.01) with baseline mean right atrial pressure and right ventricular end-diastolic pressure. Only NT-proBNP was significantly correlated with age. Galectin-3 did not have significant associations in this cohort. Cardiac MRI measures of right ventricular function and volume were not correlated to biomarker levels or right heart haemodynamics.
NT-proBNP and soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2, biomarkers of myocardial strain, significantly correlated to invasive pressure haemodynamics in transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement patients. Serial determination of soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2, as it was not associated with age, may be superior to serial measurement of NT-proBNP as an indicator for timing of pulmonary valve replacement.
We have observed the G23 field of the Galaxy AndMass Assembly (GAMA) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in its commissioning phase to validate the performance of the telescope and to characterise the detected galaxy populations. This observation covers ~48 deg2 with synthesised beam of 32.7 arcsec by 17.8 arcsec at 936MHz, and ~39 deg2 with synthesised beam of 15.8 arcsec by 12.0 arcsec at 1320MHz. At both frequencies, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) noise is ~0.1 mJy/beam. We combine these radio observations with the GAMA galaxy data, which includes spectroscopy of galaxies that are i-band selected with a magnitude limit of 19.2. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) infrared (IR) photometry is used to determine which galaxies host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). In properties including source counts, mass distributions, and IR versus radio luminosity relation, the ASKAP-detected radio sources behave as expected. Radio galaxies have higher stellar mass and luminosity in IR, optical, and UV than other galaxies. We apply optical and IR AGN diagnostics and find that they disagree for ~30% of the galaxies in our sample. We suggest possible causes for the disagreement. Some cases can be explained by optical extinction of the AGN, but for more than half of the cases we do not find a clear explanation. Radio sources aremore likely (~6%) to have an AGN than radio quiet galaxies (~1%), but the majority of AGN are not detected in radio at this sensitivity.
To evaluate the association between novel pre- and post-operative biomarker levels and 30-day unplanned readmission or mortality after paediatric congenital heart surgery.
Children aged 18 years or younger undergoing congenital heart surgery (n = 162) at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 2010 to 2014 were enrolled in the prospective cohort. Collected novel pre- and post-operative biomarkers include soluble suppression of tumorgenicity 2, galectin-3, N-terminal prohormone of brain natriuretic peptide, and glial fibrillary acidic protein. A model based on clinical variables from the Society of Thoracic Surgery database was developed and evaluated against two augmented models.
Unplanned readmission or mortality within 30 days of cardiac surgery occurred among 21 (13%) children. The clinical model augmented with pre-operative biomarkers demonstrated a statistically significant improvement over the clinical model alone with a receiver-operating characteristics curve of 0.754 (95% confidence interval: 0.65–0.86) compared to 0.617 (95% confidence interval: 0.47–0.76; p-value: 0.012). The clinical model augmented with pre- and post-operative biomarkers demonstrated a significant improvement over the clinical model alone, with a receiver-operating characteristics curve of 0.802 (95% confidence interval: 0.72–0.89; p-value: 0.003).
Novel biomarkers add significant predictive value when assessing the likelihood of unplanned readmission or mortality after paediatric congenital heart surgery. Further exploration of the utility of these novel biomarkers during the pre- or post-operative period to identify early risk of mortality or readmission will aid in determining the clinical utility and application of these biomarkers into routine risk assessment.
OBJECTIVES/SPECIFIC AIMS: To establish an effective team of researchers working towards developing and validating prognostic models employing use of image analyses and other numerical metadata to better understand pediatric undernutrition, and to learn how different approaches can be brought together collaboratively and efficiently. METHODS/STUDY POPULATION: Over the past 18 months we have established a transdisciplinary team spanning three countries and the Schools of Medicine, Engineering, Data Science and Global Health. We first identified two team leaders specifically a pediatric physician scientist (SS) and a data scientist/engineer (DB). The leaders worked together to recruit team members, with the understanding that different ideas are encouraged and will be used collaboratively to tackle the problem of pediatric undernutrition. The final data analytic and interpretative core team consisted of four data science students, two PhD students, an undergraduate biology major, a recent medical graduate, and a PhD research scientist. Additional collaborative members included faculty from Biomedical Engineering, the School of Medicine (Pediatrics and Pathology) along with international Global Health faculty from Pakistan and Zambia. We learned early on that it was important to understand what each of the member’s motivation for contributing to the project was along with aligning that motivation with the overall goals of the team. This made us help prioritize team member tasks and streamline ideas. We also incorporated a mechanism of weekly (monthly/bimonthly for global partners) meetings with informal oral presentations which consisted of each member’s current progress, thoughts and concerns, and next experimental goals. This method enabled team leaders to have a 3600 mechanism of feedback. Overall, we assessed the effectiveness of our team by two mechanisms: 1) ongoing team member feedback, including team leaders, and 2) progress of the research project. RESULTS/ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Our feedback has shown that on initial development of the team there was hesitance in communication due to the background diversity of our various member along with different cultural/social expectations. We used ice-breaking methods such as dedicated time for brief introductions, career directions, and life goals for each team member. We subsequently found that with the exception of one, all other team members noted our working environment professional and conducive to productivity. We also learnt from our method of ongoing constant feedback that at times, due to the complexity of different disciplines, some information was lost due to the difference in educational backgrounds. We have now employed new methods to relay information more effectively, with the use of not just sharing literature but also by explaining the content. The progress of our research project has varied over the past 4-6 months. There was a steep learning curve for almost every member, for example all the data science students had never studied anything related to medicine during their education, including minimal if none exposure to the ethics of medical research. Conversely, team members with medical/biology backgrounds had minimal prior exposure to computational modeling, computer engineering and the verbage of communicating mathematical algorithms. While this may have slowed our progress we learned that by asking questions and engaging every member it was easier to delegate tasks effectively. Once our team reached an overall understanding of each member’s goals there was a steady progress in the project, with new results and new methods of analysis being tested every week. DISCUSSION/SIGNIFICANCE OF IMPACT: We expect that our on-going collaboration will result in the development of new and novel modalities to understand and diagnose pediatric undernutrition, and can be used as a model to tackle several other problems. As with many team science projects, credit and authorship are challenges that we are outlining creative strategies for as suggested by International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and other literature.
Adverse pregnancy outcomes including prematurity and low birth weight (LBW) have been associated with life-long chronic disease risk for the infant. Stress during pregnancy increases the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes. Many studies have reported the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Indigenous populations and a smaller number of studies have measured rates of stress and depression in these populations. This study sought to examine the potential association between stress during pregnancy and the rate of adverse pregnancy outcomes in Australian Indigenous women residing in rural and remote communities in New South Wales. This study found a higher rate of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety symptoms during pregnancy than the general population. There was also a higher incidence of prematurity and LBW deliveries. Unfortunately, missing post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive symptomatology data impeded the examination of associations of interest. This was largely due to the highly sensitive nature of the issues under investigation, and the need to ensure adequate levels of trust between Indigenous women and research staff before disclosure and recording of sensitive research data. We were unable to demonstrate a significant association between the level of stress and the incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes at this stage. We recommend this longitudinal study continue until complete data sets are available. Future research in this area should ensure prioritization of building trust in participants and overestimating sample size to ensure no undue pressure is placed upon an already stressed participant.
Soldier operational performance is determined by their fitness, nutritional status, quality of rest/recovery, and remaining injury/illness free. Understanding large fluctuations in nutritional status during operations is critical to safeguarding health and well-being. There are limited data world-wide describing the effect of extreme climate change on nutrient profiles. This study investigated the effect of hot-dry deployments on vitamin D status (assessed from 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration) of young, male, military volunteers. Two data sets are presented (pilot study, n 37; main study, n 98), examining serum 25(OH)D concentrations before and during 6-month summer operational deployments to Afghanistan (March to October/November). Body mass, percentage of body fat, dietary intake and serum 25(OH)D concentrations were measured. In addition, parathyroid hormone (PTH), adjusted Ca and albumin concentrations were measured in the main study to better understand 25(OH)D fluctuations. Body mass and fat mass (FM) losses were greater for early (pre- to mid-) deployment compared with late (mid- to post-) deployment (P<0·05). Dietary intake was well-maintained despite high rates of energy expenditure. A pronounced increase in 25(OH)D was observed between pre- (March) and mid-deployment (June) (pilot study: 51 (sd 20) v. 212 (sd 85) nmol/l, P<0·05; main study: 55 (sd 22) v. 167 (sd 71) nmol/l, P<0·05) and remained elevated post-deployment (October/November). In contrast, PTH was highest pre-deployment, decreasing thereafter (main study: 4·45 (sd 2·20) v. 3·79 (sd 1·50) pmol/l, P<0·05). The typical seasonal cycling of vitamin D appeared exaggerated in this active male population undertaking an arduous summer deployment. Further research is warranted, where such large seasonal vitamin D fluctuations may be detrimental to bone health in the longer-term.
Suicide is a major global health concern. Bhutanese refugees resettled in the USA are disproportionately affected by suicide, yet little research has been conducted to identify factors contributing to this vulnerability. This study aims to investigate the issue of suicide of Bhutanese refugee communities via an in-depth qualitative, social-ecological approach.
Focus groups were conducted with 83 Bhutanese refugees (adults and children), to explore the perceived causes, and risk and protective factors for suicide, at individual, family, community, and societal levels. Audio recordings were translated and transcribed, and inductive thematic analysis conducted.
Themes identified can be situated across all levels of the social-ecological model. Individual thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are only fully understood when considering past experiences, and stressors at other levels of an individual's social ecology. Shifting dynamics and conflict within the family are pervasive and challenging. Within the community, there is a high prevalence of suicide, yet major barriers to communicating with others about distress and suicidality. At the societal level, difficulties relating to acculturation, citizenship, employment and finances, language, and literacy are influential. Two themes cut across several levels of the ecosystem: loss; and isolation, exclusion, and loneliness.
This study extends on existing research and highlights the necessity for future intervention models of suicide to move beyond an individual focus, and consider factors at all levels of refugees’ social-ecology. Simply focusing treatment at the individual level is not sufficient. Researchers and practitioners should strive for community-driven, culturally relevant, socio-ecological approaches for prevention and treatment.
Childhood obesity rates are higher among Indigenous compared with non-Indigenous Australian children. It has been hypothesized that early-life influences beginning with the intrauterine environment predict the development of obesity in the offspring. The aim of this paper was to assess, in 227 mother–child dyads from the Gomeroi gaaynggal cohort, associations between prematurity, Gestation Related-Optimal Weight (GROW) centiles, maternal adiposity (percentage body fat, visceral fat area), maternal non-fasting plasma glucose levels (measured at mean gestational age of 23.1 weeks) and offspring BMI and adiposity (abdominal circumference, subscapular skinfold thickness) in early childhood (mean age 23.4 months). Maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations were positively associated with infant birth weight (P=0.005) and GROW customized birth weight centiles (P=0.008). There was a significant association between maternal percentage body fat (P=0.02) and visceral fat area (P=0.00) with infant body weight in early childhood. Body mass index (BMI) in early childhood was significantly higher in offspring born preterm compared with those born at term (P=0.03). GROW customized birth weight centiles was significantly associated with body weight (P=0.01), BMI (P=0.007) and abdominal circumference (P=0.039) at early childhood. Our findings suggest that being born preterm, large for gestational age or exposed to an obesogenic intrauterine environment and higher maternal non-fasting plasma glucose concentrations are associated with increased obesity risk in early childhood. Future strategies should aim to reduce the prevalence of overweight/obesity in women of child-bearing age and emphasize the importance of optimal glycemia during pregnancy, particularly in Indigenous women.