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Catheter-associated urinary tract infections in 592 hospitals immediately declined after federal value-based incentive program implementation, but this was fully attributable to a concurrent surveillance case definition revision. Post revision, more hospitals had favorable standardized infection ratios, likely leading to artificial inflation of their performance scores unrelated to changes in patient safety.
Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) in infants and young children are less explored in Asian populations. The Growing in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) cohort study examined associations between SSB intakes at ages 18 months and 5 years with adiposity measures at age 6 years. We studied Singaporean infants/children with SSB intake assessed by food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) at ages 18 months (n=555) and 5 years (n=767). The median (interquartile range) for SSB intakes is 28(5.5-98) ml at age 18 months and 111 (57-198) ml at age 5 years. Associations between SSB intakes (100 ml/day increments and tertile categories) and adiposity measures (BMI standard deviation scores (s.d. unit), sum of skinfolds (SSFs)) and overweight/obesity status were examined using multivariable linear and Poisson regression models, respectively. After adjusting for confounders and additionally for energy intake, SSB intakes at age 18 months were not significantly associated with later adiposity measures and overweight/obesity outcomes. In contrast, at age 5 years, SSB intakes when modelled as 100ml/day increments were associated with higher BMI by 0.09 (95% CI: 0.02, 0.16) s.d. unit, higher SSF thickness by 0.68 (0.06, 1.44) mm, and increased risk for overweight/obesity by 1.2 times (1.07, 1.23) at age 6 years. Trends were consistent with SSB intakes modelled as categorical tertiles. In summary, SSB intake in young childhood is associated with higher risks of adiposity and risk for overweight/obesity. Public health policies working to reduce SSB consumption need to focus on prevention programs targeted at young children.
Better understanding of interplay among symptoms, cognition and functioning in first-episode psychosis (FEP) is crucial to promoting functional recovery. Network analysis is a promising data-driven approach to elucidating complex interactions among psychopathological variables in psychosis, but has not been applied in FEP.
This study employed network analysis to examine inter-relationships among a wide array of variables encompassing psychopathology, premorbid and onset characteristics, cognition, subjective quality-of-life and psychosocial functioning in 323 adult FEP patients in Hong Kong. Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO) combined with extended Bayesian information criterion (BIC) model selection was used for network construction. Importance of individual nodes in a generated network was quantified by centrality analyses.
Our results showed that amotivation played the most central role and had the strongest associations with other variables in the network, as indexed by node strength. Amotivation and diminished expression displayed differential relationships with other nodes, supporting the validity of two-factor negative symptom structure. Psychosocial functioning was most strongly connected with amotivation and was weakly linked to several other variables. Within cognitive domain, digit span demonstrated the highest centrality and was connected with most of the other cognitive variables. Exploratory analysis revealed no significant gender differences in network structure and global strength.
Our results suggest the pivotal role of amotivation in psychopathology network of FEP and indicate its critical association with psychosocial functioning. Further research is required to verify the clinical significance of diminished motivation on functional outcome in the early course of psychotic illness.
To understand the implications of archaeological site recording practices and associated inventories for studying Indigenous persistence after the arrival of Europeans, we examined the documentary record associated with nearly 900 archaeological sites in Marin County, California. Beginning with the first regional surveys conducted during the early 1900s and continuing into the present, the paper trail created by archaeologists reveals an enduring emphasis on precontact materials to the exclusion of more recent patterns of Indigenous occupation and land use. In assessing sites occupied by Indigenous people from the late sixteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries, we discuss how the use of multiple lines of evidence—including temporally diagnostic artifacts, chronometric dating techniques, and historical documentation—may help illuminate subtle but widespread patterns of Native presence that have been obscured by essentialist assumptions about Indigenous culture change. Our findings further reveal the shortcomings of traditional site recording systems, in which archaeologists typically categorize sites within the prehistoric-protohistoric-historic triad on the basis of commonsense decisions that conflate chronology with identity. Instead, we argue for recording practices that focus specifically on the calendric ages of occupation for any given site.
Several life-threatening diseases of the kidney have their origins in mutational events that occur during embryonic development. In this study, we investigate the role of the Wolffian duct (WD), the earliest embryonic epithelial progenitor of renal tubules, in the etiology of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). ADPKD is associated with a germline mutation of one of the two Pkd1 alleles. For the disease to occur, a second event that disrupts the expression of the other inherited Pkd1 allele must occur. We postulated that this secondary event can occur in the pronephric WD. Using Cre-Lox recombination, mice with WD-specific deletion of one or both Pkd1 alleles were generated. Homozygous Pkd1-targeted deletion in WD-derived tissues resulted in mice with large cystic kidneys and serologic evidence of renal failure. In contrast, heterozygous deletion of Pkd1 in the WD led to kidneys that were phenotypically indistinguishable from control in the early postnatal period. High-throughput sequencing, however, revealed underlying gene and microRNA (miRNA) changes in these heterozygous mutant kidneys that suggest a strong predisposition toward developing ADPKD. Bioinformatic analysis of this data demonstrated an upregulation of several miRNAs that have been previously associated with PKD; pathway analysis further demonstrated that the differentially expressed genes in the heterozygous mutant kidneys were overrepresented in signaling pathways associated with maintenance and function of the renal tubular epithelium. These results suggest that the WD may be an early epithelial target for the genetic or molecular signals that can lead to cyst formation in ADPKD.
In this study, the pull-in phenomenon of a Nano-actuator is investigated employing a nonlocal Bernoulli-Euler beam model with clamped-clamped conditions. The model accounts for viscous damping, residual stresses, the van der Waals (vdW) force and electrostatic forces with nonlocal effects. The hybrid differential transformation/finite difference method (HDTFDM) is used to analyze the nonlocal effects on a graphene sheet nanobeam, which is electrostatically actuated under the influence of the coupling effect, the von Kármán nonlinear strains and the fringing field effect. The pull-in voltage as calculated by the presented model deviates by no more than 0.29% from previous literature, verifying the validity of the HDTFDM. Furthermore, the nonlocal nonlinear behavior of the electrostatically actuated nanobeam is investigated, and the effects of viscous damping, residual stresses, and length-gap ratio are examined in detail. Overall, the results reveal that small scale effects significantly influence the characteristics of the graphene sheet nanobeam actuator.
The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
One of the main goals in biogeochemistry is to explore the global relationships between organisms and chemical elements in different ecosystems. A diversity of analytical techniques based on chemical-physical or molecular biological procedures are available to explore different organisms and their abiotic and biotic interactions in a variety of ecosystems. Even though many of these modern analytical techniques are irreplaceable in today´s research, most of them can only provide indirect results because they are built on a “black-box” approach, where the biological species in an ecosystem or a geological environment are disrupted for extraction of nucleic acids, proteins, etc. Essential biological information, such as the morphology of specific species, their location, distribution, association with other organisms in their natural environment, and individual activities and functions, is therefore lost. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) helps retrieve this information without either cultivation or extraction of cell components, and can therefore provide a quick and useful complement to different “black-box”-based approaches. FISH is based on fluorescently labeled gene probes with a unique nucleotide composition designed to match specific genes in different cellular species. Thus, different biological species can be identified simultaneously with different gene probes labeled with different fluorochromes in their natural environment. The technique has undergone extensive development with around 30 variations for different applications. FISH is evaluated either by microscopy (e.g., fluorescence microscopy, Raman micro spectroscopy, Nano-SIMS), or by nonmicroscope-based methods, such as flow cytometry, microarray technology, or molecular biological methods such as proteomics. This chapter will serve as a guide for sample preparation, selection of appropriate FISH protocols, evaluation and design of gene probes, and evaluation of FISH experiments.
To assess whether disparities in energy consumption and insufficient energy intake in India have changed over time across socio-economic status (SES).
This cross-sectional, population-based survey study examines the relationship between several SES indicators (i.e. wealth, education, caste, occupation) and energy consumption in India at two time points almost 20 years apart. Household food intake in the last 30 d was assessed in 1993–94 and in 2011–12. Average dietary energy intake per person in the household (e.g. kilocalories) and whether the household consumed less than 80 % of the recommended energy intake (i.e. insufficient energy intake) were calculated. Linear and relative risk regression models were used to estimate the relationship between SES and average energy consumed per day per person and the relative risk of consuming an insufficient amount of energy.
Rural and urban areas across India.
A nationally representative sample of households.
Among rural households, there was a positive association between SES and energy intake across all four SES indicators during both survey years. Similar results were seen for energy insufficiency vis-à-vis recommended energy intake levels. Among urban households, wealth was associated with energy intake and insufficiency at both time points, but there was no educational patterning of energy insufficiency in 2011–12.
Results suggest little overall change in the SES patterning of energy consumption and percentage of households with insufficient energy intake from 1993–94 to 2011–12 in India. Policies in India need to improve energy intake among low-SES households, particularly in rural areas.
The objectives of this paper are to: (1) identify contextual factors such as policy that impacted the implementation of community-based primary health care (CBPHC) innovations among 12 Canadian research teams and (2) describe strategies used by the teams to address contextual factors influencing implementation of CBPHC innovations. In primary care settings, consideration of contextual factors when implementing change has been recognized as critically important to success. However, contextual factors are rarely recorded, analyzed or considered when implementing change. The lack of consideration of contextual factors has negative implications not only for successfully implementing primary health care (PHC) innovations, but also for their sustainability and scalability. For this evaluation, data collection was conducted using self-administered questionnaires and follow-up telephone interviews with team representatives. We used a combination of directed and conventional content analysis approaches to analyze the questionnaire and interview data. Representatives from all 12 teams completed the questionnaire and 11 teams participated in the interviews; 40 individuals participated in this evaluation. Four themes representing contextual factors that impacted the implementation of CBPHC innovations were identified: (I) diversity of jurisdictions (II) complexity of interactions and collaborations (III) policy, and (IV) the multifaceted nature of PHC. The teams used six strategies to address these contextual factors including: (1) conduct an environmental scan at the beginning (2) maintaining engagement among partners and stakeholders by encouraging open and inclusive communication; (3) contextualizing the innovation for different settings; (4) anticipating and addressing changes, delays, and the need for additional resources; (5) fostering a culture of research and innovation among partners and stakeholders; and (6) ensuring information about the innovation is widely available. Implementing CBPHC innovations across jurisdictions is complex and involves navigating through multiple contextual factors. Awareness of the dynamic nature of context should be considered when implementing innovations.
We used multivariable analyses to assess whether meeting core elements was associated with antibiotic utilization. Compliance with 7 elements versus not doing so was associated with higher use of broad-spectrum agents for community-acquired infections [days of therapy per 1,000 patient days: 155 (39) vs 133 (29), P = .02] and anti-methicillin-resistant S. aureus agents [days of therapy per 1,000 patient days: 145 (37) vs 124 (30), P = .03].
Scholars and observers worry that Congress has lost its capacity to perform its functions in the American political system. Drawing on an array of data on Congress’s activities and processes along with in-depth interviews with long-serving lawmakers and high-level staffers, we take stock of how changes to internal processes have affected Congress’s institutional capacities. In doing so, we make two interrelated arguments. First, we argue that Congress can take transformative action whether the legislative process is centralized and leadership-led or whether it is decentralized and committee-led. Second, we argue that Congress is better able than in previous eras to engage in conflict-clarifying representation in order to express and educate the public on the positions of the parties. We conclude that changes to congressional processes in recent years should be viewed as adaptations to the challenges of contemporary lawmaking. These adaptations help preserve Congress’s institutional capacity, but they have undoubtedly had negative consequences for open deliberation and individual member input into legislation.
Background: There is an unmet need for blood-based biomarkers that can reliably detect MS disease activity. Serum Biomarkers of interest includ Neurofilament-light-chain (NfL), Glial-fibrillary-strocyte-protein(GFAP) and Tau. Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) is reserved for aggressive forms of MS and has been shown to halt detectable CNS inflammatory activity for prolonged periods. Significant pre-treatment tissue damage at followed by inflammatory disease abeyance should be reflected longitudinal sera collected from these patients. Methods: Sera were collected from 23 MS patients pre-treatment, and following BMT at 3, 6, 9 and 12-months in addition from 33 non-inflammatory neurological controls. Biomarker quantification was performed with SiMoA. Results: Pre-AHSCT levels of serum NfL and GFAP but not Tau were elevated compared to controls (p=0.0001), and NfL correlated with lesion-based disease activity (6-month-relapse, MRI-T2 and Gadolinium-enhancement). 3-months post-treatment, while NfL levels remained elevated, Tau/GFAP paradoxically increased (p=0.0023/0.0017). These increases at 3m correlated with MRI ‘pseudoatrophy’ at 6-months. NfL/Tau levels dropped to that of controls by 6-months (p=0.0036/0.0159). GFAP levels dropped progressively after 6-months although even at 12-months remained higher than controls (p=0.004). Conclusions: NfL was the closest correlate of MS disease activity and treatment response. Chemotherapy-related toxicity may account for transient increases in NfL, Tau and MRI brain atrophy post-BMT.
Background: Stimulation frequency has been considered a crucial determinant of efficacy in deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS at frequencies over 250Hz is not currently employed and consensus in the field suggests that higher frequencies are not clinically effective. With the recent demonstration of clinically effective ultra-high frequency (UHF) spinal cord stimulation at 10kHz we tested whether UHF stimulation could also be clinically useful in movement disorder patients with DBS. Methods: We studied the effects of conventional (130Hz) and UHF stimulation in five patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) with STN DBS and in one patient with essential tremor (ET) with VIM DBS. We compared the clinical benefit and adverse effects of stimulation at various amplitudes either intraoperatively or postoperatively with the electrodes externalized. Results: Motor performance improved in all six patients with UHF DBS. 10kHz stimulation at amplitudes ≥3.0mA appeared to be as effective as 130Hz in improving motor symptoms (46.2% vs 53.5% motor score reduction, p=0.110, N=90 trials). Interestingly, 10kHz stimulation resulted in fewer stimulation-induced paresthesiae and speech adverse effects than 130Hz stimulation. Conclusions: Our results indicate that DBS at 10kHz produces clinical benefits while possibly reducing stimulation-induced adverse effects in patients with movement disorders.
We present an account of why we decided to retract a paper. We discovered a lack of adherence to conventional trials registration, execution, interpretation and reporting, and consequently, with the authors, needed to correct the scientific record. We set out our responses in general to strengthen research integrity.
Declaration of interest
K.S.B. is Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Psychiatry. W.L., K.R.K. and S.M.L. are members of the senior editorial committee and the research integrity committee for the journal. In the past three years, S.M.L. has received research support from Janssen and Lundbeck, and personal support from Janssen, Otsuka and Sunovion.
Introduction: It is recommended that seniors consulting to the Emergency Department (ED) undergo a comprehensive geriatric screening, which is difficult for most EDs. Patient self-assessment using electronic tablet could be an interesting solution to this issue. However, the acceptability of self-assessment by older ED patients remains unknown. Assessing acceptability is a fundamental step in evaluating new interventions. The main objective of this project is to compare the acceptability of older patient self-assessment in the ED to that of a standard assessment made by a professional, according to seniors and their caregivers. Methods: Design: This randomized crossover design cohort study took place between May and July 2018. Participants: 1) Patients aged ≥65 years consulting to the ED, 2) their caregiver, when present. Measurements: Patients performed self-assessment of their frailty, cognitive and functional status using an electronic tablet. Acceptability was measured using the Treatment Acceptability and Preferences (TAP) questionnaires. Analyses: Descriptive analyses were performed for sociodemographic variables. Scores were adjusted for confounding variables using multivariate linear regression. Thematic content analysis was performed by two independent analysts for qualitative data collected in the TAP's open-ended question. Results: A total of 67 patients were included in this study. Mean age was 75.5 ± 8.0 and 55.2% of participants were women. Adjusted mean TAP scores for RA evaluation and patient self-assessment were 2.36 and 2.20, respectively. We found no difference between the two types of evaluations (p = 0.0831). When patients are stratified by age groups, patients aged 85 and over (n = 11) showed a difference between the TAPs scores, 2.27 for RA evaluation and 1.72 for patient self-assessment (p = 0.0053). Our qualitative data shows that this might be attributed to the use of technology, rather than to the self-assessment itself. Data from 9 caregivers showed a 2.42 mean TAP score for RA evaluation and 2.44 for self-assessment. However, this relatively small sample size prevented us to perform statistical tests. Conclusion: Our results show that older patients find self-assessment in the ED using an electronic tablet just as acceptable as a standard evaluation by a professional.