To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Introduction: Emergency care serves as an important health resource for First Nations (FN) persons. Previous reporting shows that FN persons visit emergency departments at almost double the rate of non-FN persons. Working collaboratively with FN partners, academic researchers and health authority staff, the objective of this study is to investigate FN emergency care patient visit statistics in Alberta over a five year period. Methods: Through a population-based retrospective cohort study for the period from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2017, patient demographics and emergency care visit characteristics for status FN patients in Alberta were analyzed and compared to non-FN statistics. Frequencies and percentages (%) describe patients and visits by categorical variables (e.g., Canadian Triage Acuity Scale (CTAS)). Means and standard deviations (medians and interquartile ranges (IQR)) describe continuous variables (e.g., distances) as appropriate for the data distribution. These descriptions are repeated for the FN and non-FN populations, separately. Results: The data set contains 11,686,288 emergency facility visits by 3,024,491 unique persons. FN people make up 4.8% of unique patients and 9.4% of emergency care visits. FN persons live further from emergency facilities than their non-FN counterparts (FN median 6 km, IQR 1-24; vs. non-FN median 4 km, IQR 2-8). FN visits arrive more often by ground ambulance (15.3% vs. 10%). FN visits are more commonly triaged as less acute (59% CTAS levels 4 and 5, compared to non-FN 50.4%). More FN visits end in leaving without completing treatment (6.7% vs. 3.6%). FN visits are more often in the evening – 4:01pm to 12:00am (43.6% vs. 38.1%). Conclusion: In a collaborative validation session, FN Elders and health directors contextualized emergency care presentation in evenings and receiving less acute triage scores as related to difficulties accessing primary care. They explained presentation in evenings, arrival by ambulance, and leaving without completing treatment in terms of issues accessing transport to and from emergency facilities. Many factors interact to determine FN patients’ emergency care visit characteristics and outcomes. Further research needs to separate the impact of FN identity from factors such as reasons for visiting emergency facilities, distance traveled to care, and the size of facility where care is provided.
Mechanistic models (MMs) have served as causal pathway analysis and ‘decision-support’ tools within animal production systems for decades. Such models quantitatively define how a biological system works based on causal relationships and use that cumulative biological knowledge to generate predictions and recommendations (in practice) and generate/evaluate hypotheses (in research). Their limitations revolve around obtaining sufficiently accurate inputs, user training and accuracy/precision of predictions on-farm. The new wave in digitalization technologies may negate some of these challenges. New data-driven (DD) modelling methods such as machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) examine patterns in data to produce accurate predictions (forecasting, classification of animals, etc.). The deluge of sensor data and new self-learning modelling techniques may address some of the limitations of traditional MM approaches – access to input data (e.g. sensors) and on-farm calibration. However, most of these new methods lack transparency in the reasoning behind predictions, in contrast to MM that have historically been used to translate knowledge into wisdom. The objective of this paper is to propose means to hybridize these two seemingly divergent methodologies to advance the models we use in animal production systems and support movement towards truly knowledge-based precision agriculture. In order to identify potential niches for models in animal production of the future, a cross-species (dairy, swine and poultry) examination of the current state of the art in MM and new DD methodologies (ML, DL analytics) is undertaken. We hypothesize that there are several ways via which synergy may be achieved to advance both our predictive capabilities and system understanding, being: (1) building and utilizing data streams (e.g. intake, rumination behaviour, rumen sensors, activity sensors, environmental sensors, cameras and near IR) to apply MM in real-time and/or with new resolution and capabilities; (2) hybridization of MM and DD approaches where, for example, a ML framework is augmented by MM-generated parameters or predicted outcomes and (3) hybridization of the MM and DD approaches, where biological bounds are placed on parameters within a MM framework, and the DD system parameterizes the MM for individual animals, farms or other such clusters of data. As animal systems modellers, we should expand our toolbox to explore new DD approaches and big data to find opportunities to increase understanding of biological systems, find new patterns in data and move the field towards intelligent, knowledge-based precision agriculture systems.
The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) is an open access telescope dedicated to studying the low-frequency (80–300 MHz) southern sky. Since beginning operations in mid-2013, the MWA has opened a new observational window in the southern hemisphere enabling many science areas. The driving science objectives of the original design were to observe 21 cm radiation from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR), explore the radio time domain, perform Galactic and extragalactic surveys, and monitor solar, heliospheric, and ionospheric phenomena. All together
programs recorded 20 000 h producing 146 papers to date. In 2016, the telescope underwent a major upgrade resulting in alternating compact and extended configurations. Other upgrades, including digital back-ends and a rapid-response triggering system, have been developed since the original array was commissioned. In this paper, we review the major results from the prior operation of the MWA and then discuss the new science paths enabled by the improved capabilities. We group these science opportunities by the four original science themes but also include ideas for directions outside these categories.
Neonates are at high risk of bleeding after open-heart surgery. We sought to determine pre-operative and intra-operative risk factors for increased bleeding after neonatal open-heart surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of neonates (0–30 days old) who underwent open-heart surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass from January, 2009, to March, 2013. Cardiac diagnosis; demographic and surgical data; and blood products, haemostatic agents, and anti-thrombotic agents administered before, during, and within 24 hours after surgery were abstracted from the electronic health record and anaesthesia records. The outcome of interest was chest tube output (in ml/kg body weight) within 24 hours. Relationships between chest tube output and putative associated factors were evaluated by unadjusted and adjusted linear regression.
The cohort consisted of 107 neonates, of whom 79% had a Society of Thoracic Surgeons-European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (STAT) Mortality Category of 4 or 5. Median chest tube output was 37 ml/kg (range 9–655 ml/kg). Age, African-American race, and longer durations of surgery and cardiopulmonary bypass each had statistically significant associations with increased chest tube output in unadjusted analyses. In multivariable analysis, African-American race retained an independent, statistically significant association with increased chest tube output; the geometric mean of chest tube output among African-American neonates was 71% higher than that of Caucasians (95% confidence interval, 29–125%; p = 0.001).
Among neonates with CHD undergoing open-heart surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass, African-American race is independently associated with greater chest tube output over the first 24 hours post-operatively.
Meta-analyses suggest that clinical psychopathology is preceded by dimensional behavioral and cognitive phenotypes such as psychotic experiences, executive functioning, working memory and affective dysregulation that are determined by the interplay between genetic and nongenetic factors contributing to the severity of psychopathology. The liability to mental ill health can be psychometrically measured using experimental paradigms that assess neurocognitive processes such as salience attribution, sensitivity to social defeat and reward sensitivity. Here, we describe the TwinssCan, a longitudinal general population twin cohort, which comprises 1202 individuals (796 adolescent/young adult twins, 43 siblings and 363 parents) at baseline. The TwinssCan is part of the European Network of National Networks studying Gene-Environment Interactions in Schizophrenia project and recruited from the East Flanders Prospective Twin Survey. The main objective of this project is to understand psychopathology by evaluating the contribution of genetic and nongenetic factors on subclinical expressions of dimensional phenotypes at a young age before the onset of disorder and their association with neurocognitive processes, such as salience attribution, sensitivity to social defeat and reward sensitivity.
Psychotic experiences (PEs) may be associated with injuries, but studies focusing specifically on low- and middle-income countries (LAMICs) are scarce. Thus, the current study examined the link between injuries and PEs in a large number of LAMICs.
Cross-sectional data were used from 242 952 individuals in 48 LAMICs that were collected during the World Health Survey in 2002–2004 to examine the association between traffic-related and other (non-traffic-related) forms of injury and PEs. Multivariable logistic regression analysis and meta-analysis were used to examine associations while controlling for a variety of covariates including depression.
In fully adjusted analyses, any injury [odds ratio (OR) 2.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.85–2.31], traffic injury (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.53–2.21) and other injury (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.84–2.37) were associated with higher odds for PEs. Results from a country-wise analysis showed that any injury was associated with significantly increased odds for PEs in 39 countries with the overall pooled OR estimated by meta-analysis being 2.46 (95% CI 2.22–2.74) with a moderate level of between-country heterogeneity (I2 = 56.3%). Similar results were observed across all country income levels (low, lower-middle and upper-middle).
Different types of injury are associated with PEs in LAMICs. Improving mental health systems and trauma capacity in LAMICs may be important for preventing injury-related negative mental health outcomes.
The science of studying diamond inclusions for understanding Earth history has developed significantly over the past decades, with new instrumentation and techniques applied to diamond sample archives revealing the stories contained within diamond inclusions. This chapter reviews what diamonds can tell us about the deep carbon cycle over the course of Earth’s history. It reviews how the geochemistry of diamonds and their inclusions inform us about the deep carbon cycle, the origin of the diamonds in Earth’s mantle, and the evolution of diamonds through time.
The Danish Twin Registry (DTR) was established in the 1950s, when twins born from 1870 to 1910 were ascertained, and has since been extended to include twins from birth cohorts until 2009. The DTR currently comprises of more than 175,000 twins from the 140 birth cohorts. This makes the DTR the oldest nationwide twin register and among the largest in the world. The combination of data from several surveys, including biological samples and repeated measurements on the same individuals, and data from Danish national registers provides a unique resource for a wide range of twin studies. This article provides an updated overview of the data in the DTR: First, we provide a summary of the establishment of the register, the different ascertainment methods and the twins included; then follows an overview of major surveys conducted in the DTR since 1994 and a description of the DTR biobank, including a description of the molecular data created so far; finally, a short description is given of the linkage to Danish national registers at Statistics Denmark and some recent examples of studies using the various data resources in the DTR are highlighted.
Nordic twin studies have played a critical role in understanding cancer etiology and elucidating the nature of familial effects on site-specific cancers. The NorTwinCan consortium is a collaborative effort that capitalizes on unique research advantages made possible through the Nordic system of registries. It was constructed by linking the population-based twin registries of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden to their country-specific national cancer and cause-of-death registries. These linkages enable the twins to be followed many decades for cancer incidence and mortality. To date, two major linkages have been conducted: NorTwinCan I in 2011–2012 and NorTwinCan II in 2018. Overall, there are 315,413 eligible twins, 57,236 incident cancer cases and 58 years of follow-up, on average. In the initial phases of our work, NorTwinCan established the world’s most comprehensive twin database for studying cancer, developed novel analytical approaches tailored to address specific research considerations within the context of the Nordic data and leveraged these models and data in research publications that provide the most accurate estimates of heritability and familial risk of cancers reported in the literature to date. Our findings indicate an excess familial risk for nearly all cancers and demonstrate that the incidence of cancer among twins mirrors the rate in the general population. They also revealed that twin concordance for cancer most often manifests across, rather than within, cancer sites, and we are currently focusing on the analysis of these cross-cancer associations.
The interfacial behaviour of surfactant-laden drops squeezing through tight constrictions in a uniform far-field flow is modelled with respect to capillary number, drop-to-medium viscosity ratio and surfactant contamination. The surfactant is treated as insoluble and non-diffusive, and drop surface tension is related to surfactant concentration by a linear equation of state. The constriction is formed by three solid spheres held rigidly in space. A characteristic aspect of this confined and contaminated multiphase system is the rapid development of steep surfactant-concentration gradients during the onset of drop squeezing. The interplay between two physical effects of surfactant, namely the greater interface deformability due to decreased surface tension and interface immobilization due to Marangoni stresses, results in particularly rich drop-squeezing dynamics. A three-dimensional boundary-integral algorithm is used to describe drop hydrodynamics, and accurate treatment of close squeezing and trapped states is enabled by advanced singularity subtraction techniques. Surfactant transport and hydrodynamics are coupled via the surface convection equation (or convection–diffusion equation, if artificial diffusion is included), the interfacial stress balance and a solid-particle contribution based on the Hebeker representation. For extreme conditions, such as drop-to-medium viscosity ratios significantly less than unity, it is found that upwind-biased methods are the only stable approaches for modelling surfactant transport. Two distinct schemes, upwind finite volume and flow-biased least squares, are found to provide results in close agreement, indicating negligible numerical diffusion. Surfactant transport is enhanced by low drop-to-medium viscosity ratios, at which extremely sharp concentration gradients form during various stages of the squeezing process. The presence of surfactant, even at low degrees of contamination, significantly decreases the critical capillary number for droplet trapping, due to the accumulation of surfactant at the downwind pole of the drop and its subsequent elongation. Increasing the degree of contamination significantly affects surface mobility and further decreases the critical capillary number as well as drop squeezing times, up to a threshold above which the addition of surfactant negligibly affects squeezing dynamics.
On many Australian commercial pig farms, groups of growing pigs are mass-medicated through their drinking water with selected antimicrobials for short periods to manage herd health. However, delivery of medication in drinking water cannot be assumed to deliver an equal dose to all animals in a group. There is substantial between-animal variability in systemic exposure to an antimicrobial (i.e. the antimicrobial concentration in plasma), resulting in under-dosing or over-dosing of many pigs. Three sources of this between-animal variability during a water medication dosing event are differences in: (1) concentration of the active constituent of the antimicrobial product in water available to pigs at drinking appliances in each pen over time, (2) medicated water consumption patterns of pigs in each pen over time, and (3) pharmacokinetics (i.e. oral bioavailability, volume of distribution and clearance between pigs and within pigs over time). It is essential that factors operating on each farm that influence the range of systemic exposures of pigs to an antimicrobial are factored into antimicrobial administration regimens to reduce under-dosing and over-dosing.
Medical residents are an important group for antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) to target with interventions aimed at improving antibiotic prescribing. In this study, we compared antimicrobial prescribing practices of 2 academic medical teams receiving different ASP training approaches along with a hospitalist control group.
Retrospective cohort study comparing guideline-concordant antibiotic prescribing for 3 common infections among a family medicine (FM) resident service, an internal medicine (IM) resident service, and hospitalists.
Community teaching hospital.
Adult patients admitted between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017, with a discharge diagnosis of pneumonia, cellulitis, and urinary tract infections were reviewed.
All 3 medical teams received identical baseline ASP education and daily antibiotic prescribing audit with feedback via clinical pharmacists. The FM resident service received an additional layer of targeted ASP intervention that included biweekly stewardship-focused rounds with an ASP physician and clinical pharmacist leadership. Guideline-concordant prescribing was assessed based on the institution’s ASP guidelines.
Of 1,572 patients, 295 (18.8%) were eligible for inclusion (FM, 96; IM, 69; hospitalist, 130). The percentage of patients receiving guideline-concordant antibiotic selection empirically was similar between groups for all diagnoses (FM, 87.5%; IM, 87%; hospitalist, 83.8%; P = .702). No differences were observed in appropriate definitive antibiotic selection among groups (FM, 92.4%; IM, 89.1%; hospitalist, 89.9%; P = .746). The FM resident service was more likely to prescribe a guideline-concordant duration of therapy across all diagnoses (FM, 74%; IM, 56.5%; hospitalist, 44.6%; P < .001).
Adding dedicated stewardship-focused rounds into the graduate medical curriculum demonstrated increased guideline adherence specifically to duration of therapy recommendations.
Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a pathogenic nematode and the cause of neuroangiostrongyliasis, an eosinophilic meningitis more commonly known as rat lungworm disease. Transmission is thought to be primarily due to ingestion of infective third stage larvae (L3) in gastropods, on produce, or in contaminated water. The gold standard to determine the effects of physical and chemical treatments on the infectivity of A. cantonensis L3 larvae is to infect rodents with treated L3 larvae and monitor for infection, but animal studies are laborious and expensive and also raise ethical concerns. This study demonstrates propidium iodide (PI) to be a reliable marker of parasite death and loss of infective potential without adversely affecting the development and future reproduction of live A. cantonensis larvae. PI staining allows evaluation of the efficacy of test substances in vitro, an improvement upon the use of lack of motility as an indicator of death. Some potential applications of this assay include determining the effectiveness of various anthelmintics, vegetable washes, electromagnetic radiation and other treatments intended to kill larvae in the prevention and treatment of neuroangiostrongyliasis.
The present study investigated the ability of the Multilingual Naming Test (MINT), a picture naming test recently added to the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center’s (NACC) Uniform Data Set neuropsychological test battery, to detect naming impairment (i.e., dysnomia) across stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Data from the initial administration of the MINT were obtained on NACC participants who were cognitively normal (N = 3,981) or diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (N = 852) or dementia (N = 1,148) with presumed etiology of AD. Dementia severity was rated using the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR) scale.
Cross-sectional multiple regression analyses revealed significant effects of diagnostic group, sex, education, age, and race on naming scores. Planned comparisons collapsing across age and education groups revealed significant group differences in naming scores across levels of dementia severity. ROC curve analyses showed good diagnostic accuracy of MINT scores for distinguishing cognitively normal controls from AD dementia, but not from MCI. Within the cognitively normal group, there was a robust interaction between age and education such that naming scores exhibited the most precipitous drop across age groups for the least educated participants. Additionally, education effects were stronger in African-Americans than in Whites (a race-by-education interaction), and race effects were stronger in older than in younger age groups (a race-by-age interaction).
The MINT successfully detects naming deficits at different levels of cognitive impairment in patients with MCI or AD dementia, but comparison to age, sex, race, and education-corrected norms to determine impairment is essential.
Background: Chronic intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is used to treat refractory myasthenia gravis (MG). This subgroup analysis evaluated response to eculizumab in patients receiving chronic IVIg before entry to REGAIN, a phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of eculizumab in anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive refractory generalized MG. Methods: IVIg was only permitted during REGAIN as rescue therapy; previously treated patients underwent a 4-week washout before randomization. Patients included in this analysis had received chronic IVIg ≥4 times in 1 year, with ≥1 dose within 6 months before REGAIN entry. Exacerbations and MG status changes were assessed. Results: Eighteen patients were evaluated; four experienced exacerbations (eculizumab-treated, 1/9; placebo-treated, 3/9). Clinically relevant improvements were larger with eculizumab than placebo, respectively (mean change, standard deviation [SD]: MG Activities of Daily Living score [MG-ADL], -5.3 [4.0] vs -2.1 [2.8]; Quantitative MG score [QMG], -4.1 [6.1] vs -1.3 [3.5]). More patients receiving eculizumab (7/9) had clinically meaningful responses (MG-ADL ≥3 and/or QMG ≥5 points) than those receiving placebo (3/9). Eculizumab safety was consistent with previous reports. Interim data from the open-label extension of REGAIN will be presented. Conclusions: In patients previously receiving chronic IVIg, eculizumab showed a trend toward meaningful clinical improvements and fewer exacerbations compared with placebo. (NCT01997229, NCT02301624).
Background: Cervical sponylotic myelopathy (CSM) may present with neck and arm pain. This study investiagtes the change in neck/arm pain post-operatively in CSM. Methods: This ambispective study llocated 402 patients through the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network. Outcome measures were the visual analogue scales for neck and arm pain (VAS-NP and VAS-AP) and the neck disability index (NDI). The thresholds for minimum clinically important differences (MCIDs) for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were determined to be 2.6 and 4.1. Results: VAS-NP improved from mean of 5.6±2.9 to 3.8±2.7 at 12 months (P<0.001). VAS-AP improved from 5.8±2.9 to 3.5±3.0 at 12 months (P<0.001). The MCIDs for VAS-NP and VAS-AP were also reached at 12 months. Based on the NDI, patients were grouped into those with mild pain/no pain (33%) versus moderate/severe pain (67%). At 3 months, a significantly high proportion of patients with moderate/severe pain (45.8%) demonstrated an improvement into mild/no pain, whereas 27.2% with mild/no pain demonstrated worsening into moderate/severe pain (P <0.001). At 12 months, 17.4% with mild/no pain experienced worsening of their NDI (P<0.001). Conclusions: This study suggests that neck and arm pain responds to surgical decompression in patients with CSM and reaches the MCIDs for VAS-AP and VAS-NP at 12 months.
Background: Patients with anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive (AChR+) generalized myasthenia gravis (MG) unresponsive to conventional treatment experience greater disease burden than responsive patients. This is partly due to exacerbations, which may result in significant healthcare resource utilization. Eculizumab is well tolerated and gives clinically meaningful benefits in these patients. We evaluated the effect of long-term eculizumab treatment on exacerbations, hospitalizations and rescue therapy in the REGAIN study and its open-label extension. Methods: Exacerbations were defined as clinical worsening/deterioration, MG crises or rescue therapy usage; pre-study exacerbations/hospitalizations were defined from patient records. Event rates adjusted for patient-years were calculated for all patients in the pre-study year, patients receiving placebo during REGAIN, and patients receiving eculizumab during REGAIN and its open-label extension (median exposure, 27.5 months [range, 22 days–42.8 months]); rates were compared using a Poisson regression model. Results: Eculizumab treatment reduced exacerbations by 65% (p=0.0057), hospitalizations by 71% (p=0.0316) and rescue therapy use by 66% (p=0.0072) versus placebo. Eculizumab treatment reduced exacerbations by 74% and hospitalizations by 83% (both p<0.0001) versus the pre-study year. Conclusions: Long-term eculizumab treatment reduces disease burden and healthcare resource utilization, demonstrating continuing improvements in clinical endpoints that lead to additional meaningful outcomes for patients with AChR+ generalized MG. (NCT01997229, NCT02301624).
The role that vitamin D plays in pulmonary function remains uncertain. Epidemiological studies reported mixed findings for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)–pulmonary function association. We conducted the largest cross-sectional meta-analysis of the 25(OH)D–pulmonary function association to date, based on nine European ancestry (EA) cohorts (n 22 838) and five African ancestry (AA) cohorts (n 4290) in the Cohorts for Heart and Aging Research in Genomic Epidemiology Consortium. Data were analysed using linear models by cohort and ancestry. Effect modification by smoking status (current/former/never) was tested. Results were combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Mean serum 25(OH)D was 68 (sd 29) nmol/l for EA and 49 (sd 21) nmol/l for AA. For each 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, forced expiratory volume in the 1st second (FEV1) was higher by 1·1 ml in EA (95 % CI 0·9, 1·3; P<0·0001) and 1·8 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·5; P<0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·06), and forced vital capacity (FVC) was higher by 1·3 ml in EA (95 % CI 1·0, 1·6; P<0·0001) and 1·5 ml (95 % CI 0·8, 2·3; P=0·0001) in AA (Prace difference=0·56). Among EA, the 25(OH)D–FVC association was stronger in smokers: per 1 nmol/l higher 25(OH)D, FVC was higher by 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·1, 2·3) for current smokers and 1·7 ml (95 % CI 1·2, 2·1) for former smokers, compared with 0·8 ml (95 % CI 0·4, 1·2) for never smokers. In summary, the 25(OH)D associations with FEV1 and FVC were positive in both ancestries. In EA, a stronger association was observed for smokers compared with never smokers, which supports the importance of vitamin D in vulnerable populations.