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There is a great deal of variability in estimates of the lifetime medical care cost externality of obesity, partly due to a lack of transparency in the methodology behind these cost models. Several important factors must be considered in producing the best possible estimate, including age-related weight gain, differential life expectancy, identifiability, and cost model selection. In particular, age-related weight gain represents an important new component to recent cost estimates. Without accounting for age-related weight gain, a study relies on the untenable assumption that people remain the same weight throughout their lives, leading to a fundamental misunderstanding of the evolution and development of the obesity crisis. This study seeks to inform future researchers on the best methods and data available both to estimate age-related weight gain and to accurately and consistently estimate obesity’s lifetime external medical care costs. This should help both to create a more standardized approach to cost estimation as well as encourage more transparency between all parties interested in the question of obesity’s lifetime cost and, ultimately, evaluating the benefits and costs of interventions targeting obesity at various points in the life course.
Given the aging population of people with HIV (PWH), along with increasing rates of binge drinking among both PWH and the general older adult population, this study examined the independent and interactive effects of HIV, binge drinking, and age on neurocognition.
Participants were 146 drinkers stratified by HIV and binge drinking status (i.e., ≥4 drinks for women and ≥5 drinks for men within approximately 2 h): HIV+/Binge+ (n = 30), HIV−/Binge+ (n = 23), HIV+/Binge− (n = 55), HIV−/Binge− (n = 38). All participants completed a comprehensive neuropsychological battery measuring demographically-corrected global and domain-specific neurocognitive T scores. ANCOVA models examined independent and interactive effects of HIV and binge drinking on neurocognitive outcomes, adjusting for overall alcohol consumption, lifetime substance use, sex, and age. Subsequent multiple linear regressions examined whether HIV/Binge group moderated the relationship between age and neurocognition.
HIV+/Binge+ participants had worse global neurocognition, processing speed, delayed recall, and working memory than HIV−/Binge− participants (p’s < .05). While there were significant main effects of HIV and binge drinking, their interaction did not predict any of those neurocognitive outcomes (p’s > .05). Significant interactions between age and HIV/Binge group showed that HIV+/Binge+ participants demonstrated steeper negative relationships between age and neurocognitive outcomes of learning, delayed recall, and motor skills compared to HIV−/Binge− participants (p’s < .05).
Results showed adverse additive effects of HIV and binge drinking on neurocognitive functioning, with older adults demonstrating the most vulnerability to these effects. Findings support the need for interventions to reduce binge drinking, especially among older PWH.
Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid, ASA) is inexpensive and is established in preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and colorectal adenomas. Omega-3 (n3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have also shown benefit in preventing CVD. The combination could be an effective preventative measure in patients with such diseases. ASA and n3 PUFA reduced the risk of CVD in ASA resistant or diabetic patients. EPA and DHA deficient patients also benefited the most from n3 PUFA supplementation. Synergistic effects between ASA and EPA and DHA are “V-shaped” such that optimal ASA efficacy is dependent on EPA and DHA concentrations in blood. In colorectal adenomas, ASA (300 mg/d) and EPA reduced adenoma burden in a location and subtype specific manner. Low doses of ASA (75-100 mg/d) were used in CVD prevention; however ultra-low doses (30 mg/d) can also reduce thrombosis. EPA to DHA ratio is also important with regards to efficacy. DHA is more effective in reducing blood pressure and modulating systemic inflammation, however high dose EPA can lower CVD events in high-risk individuals. Although current literature has yet to examine ASA and DHA in preventing CVD, such combination warrants further investigation. To increase adherence to ASA and n3 PUFA supplementation, combination dosage form may be required to improve outcomes.
The objectives of this study were to develop and refine EMPOWER (Enhancing and Mobilizing the POtential for Wellness and Resilience), a brief manualized cognitive-behavioral, acceptance-based intervention for surrogate decision-makers of critically ill patients and to evaluate its preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and promise in improving surrogates’ mental health and patient outcomes.
Part 1 involved obtaining qualitative stakeholder feedback from 5 bereaved surrogates and 10 critical care and mental health clinicians. Stakeholders were provided with the manual and prompted for feedback on its content, format, and language. Feedback was organized and incorporated into the manual, which was then re-circulated until consensus. In Part 2, surrogates of critically ill patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) reporting moderate anxiety or close attachment were enrolled in an open trial of EMPOWER. Surrogates completed six, 15–20 min modules, totaling 1.5–2 h. Surrogates were administered measures of peritraumatic distress, experiential avoidance, prolonged grief, distress tolerance, anxiety, and depression at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and at 1-month and 3-month follow-up assessments.
Part 1 resulted in changes to the EMPOWER manual, including reducing jargon, improving navigability, making EMPOWER applicable for a range of illness scenarios, rearranging the modules, and adding further instructions and psychoeducation. Part 2 findings suggested that EMPOWER is feasible, with 100% of participants completing all modules. The acceptability of EMPOWER appeared strong, with high ratings of effectiveness and helpfulness (M = 8/10). Results showed immediate post-intervention improvements in anxiety (d = −0.41), peritraumatic distress (d = −0.24), and experiential avoidance (d = −0.23). At the 3-month follow-up assessments, surrogates exhibited improvements in prolonged grief symptoms (d = −0.94), depression (d = −0.23), anxiety (d = −0.29), and experiential avoidance (d = −0.30).
Significance of results
Preliminary data suggest that EMPOWER is feasible, acceptable, and associated with notable improvements in psychological symptoms among surrogates. Future research should examine EMPOWER with a larger sample in a randomized controlled trial.
The Mesoproterozoic is an important era for the development of eukaryotic organisms in oceans. The earliest unambiguous eukaryotic microfossils are reported in late Paleoproterozoic shales from China and Australia. During the Mesoproterozoic, eukaryotes diversified in taxonomy, metabolism, and ecology, with the advent of eukaryotic photosynthesis, osmotrophy, multicellularity, and predation. Despite these biological innovations, their fossil record is scarce before the late Mesoproterozoic. Here, we document an assemblage of organic-walled microfossils from the 1590–1270 Ma Dismal Lakes Group in Canada. The assemblage comprises 25 taxa, including 11 morphospecies identified as eukaryotes, a relatively high diversity for this period. We also report one new species, Dictyosphaera smaugi new species, and one unnamed taxon. The diversity of eukaryotic forms in this succession is comparable to slightly older assemblages from China and is higher than worldwide contemporaneous assemblages and supports the hypothesis of an earlier diversification of eukaryotes in the Mesoproterozoic.
Recent cannabis exposure has been associated with lower rates of neurocognitive impairment in people with HIV (PWH). Cannabis’s anti-inflammatory properties may underlie this relationship by reducing chronic neuroinflammation in PWH. This study examined relations between cannabis use and inflammatory biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma, and cognitive correlates of these biomarkers within a community-based sample of PWH.
263 individuals were categorized into four groups: HIV− non-cannabis users (n = 65), HIV+ non-cannabis users (n = 105), HIV+ moderate cannabis users (n = 62), and HIV+ daily cannabis users (n = 31). Differences in pro-inflammatory biomarkers (IL-6, MCP-1/CCL2, IP-10/CXCL10, sCD14, sTNFR-II, TNF-α) by study group were determined by Kruskal–Wallis tests. Multivariable linear regressions examined relationships between biomarkers and seven cognitive domains, adjusting for age, sex/gender, race, education, and current CD4 count.
HIV+ daily cannabis users showed lower MCP-1 and IP-10 levels in CSF compared to HIV+ non-cannabis users (p = .015; p = .039) and were similar to HIV− non-cannabis users. Plasma biomarkers showed no differences by cannabis use. Among PWH, lower CSF MCP-1 and lower CSF IP-10 were associated with better learning performance (all ps < .05).
Current daily cannabis use was associated with lower levels of pro-inflammatory chemokines implicated in HIV pathogenesis and these chemokines were linked to the cognitive domain of learning which is commonly impaired in PWH. Cannabinoid-related reductions of MCP-1 and IP-10, if confirmed, suggest a role for medicinal cannabis in the mitigation of persistent inflammation and cognitive impacts of HIV.
Ventilator-capable skilled nursing facilities (vSNFs) are critical to the epidemiology and control of antibiotic-resistant organisms. During an infection prevention intervention to control carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE), we conducted a qualitative study to characterize vSNF healthcare personnel beliefs and experiences regarding infection control measures.
A qualitative study involving semistructured interviews.
One vSNF in the Chicago, Illinois, metropolitan region.
The study included 17 healthcare personnel representing management, nursing, and nursing assistants.
We used face-to-face, semistructured interviews to measure healthcare personnel experiences with infection control measures at the midpoint of a 2-year quality improvement project.
Healthcare personnel characterized their facility as a home-like environment, yet they recognized that it is a setting where germs were ‘invisible’ and potentially ‘threatening.’ Healthcare personnel described elaborate self-protection measures to avoid acquisition or transfer of germs to their own household. Healthcare personnel were motivated to implement infection control measures to protect residents, but many identified structural barriers such as understaffing and time constraints, and some reported persistent preference for soap and water.
Healthcare personnel in vSNFs, from management to frontline staff, understood germ theory and the significance of multidrug-resistant organism transmission. However, their ability to implement infection control measures was hampered by resource limitations and mixed beliefs regarding the effectiveness of infection control measures. Self-protection from acquiring multidrug-resistant organisms was a strong motivator for healthcare personnel both outside and inside the workplace, and it could explain variation in adherence to infection control measures such as a higher hand hygiene adherence after resident care than before resident care.
Tenuisvalvae notata (Mulsant) (Coccinellidae) is a predatory ladybird beetle native to South America. It specializes in mealybugs prey (Pseudococcidae), but relatively little is known about its ecology. In contrast, the ladybird beetle Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant (Coccinellidae) is indigenous to Australia and has been introduced to many countries worldwide including Brazil for biological control of mealybugs. The potential impacts of these introductions to native coccinellids have rarely been considered. The software CLIMEX estimated the climate suitability for both species as reflected in the Ecoclimatic Index (EI). Much of South America, Africa, and Australia can be considered climatically suitable for both species, but in most cases, the climate is considerably more favorable for C. montrouzieri than T. notata, especially in South America. The CLIMEX model also suggests seasonal differences in growth conditions (e.g. rainfall and temperature) that could affect the phenology of both species. These models suggest that few locations in South America would be expected to provide T. notata climatic refugia from C. montrouzieri. Although other ecological factors will also be important, such as prey availability, this analysis suggests a strong potential for displacement of a native coccinellid throughout most of its range as a consequence of the invasion by an alien competitor.
Dicamba residues in sprayers are difficult to remove and may interact with subsequent herbicides, including contact herbicides labeled for use in soybean. Without proper tank cleanout, applicators treating dicamba-resistant and non–dicamba resistant crops are at risk of contaminating the spray solution with dicamba residue from previous applications. Experiments were conducted in Fayetteville, AR, in 2018 and 2019, with the first experiment evaluating consequences of dicamba tank contamination with contact herbicides and the second experiment addressing the impact of dicamba exposure on a glufosinate-resistant soybean cultivar relative to a contact herbicide application. Experiments for tank contamination and timing of dicamba exposure were designed as a three-factor and a two-factor randomized complete block with four replications, respectively, considering site-year as a fixed effect in each experiment. Dicamba at 0, 0.056, 0.56, and 5.6 g ae ha−1 was applied alone, with glufosinate, with acifluorfen, or with glufosinate plus acifluorfen to V3 soybean. Dicamba applied in combination with contact herbicides exacerbated visible auxin symptomology over dicamba alone at 21 and 28 d after treatment (DAT), while dicamba at 5.6 g ae ha−1 reduced soybean height. Injury and height reductions caused by dicamba mixtures with contact herbicides did not reduce grain yield. In the second experiment, dicamba was applied at 2.8 g ae ha−1 at VC, V1, V2, and V3 and at 3, 7, and 10 d after a glufosinate application to V3 soybean (DATV3). Greater soybean injury was observed when dicamba exposure followed a glufosinate application than when dicamba preceded glufosinate or was applied in a mixture with glufosinate, with yield reductions resulting from 7 and 10 DATV3 dicamba applications. Dicamba exposure in the presence of contact herbicides resulted in increased auxin symptomology and can be intensified if soybean are exposed to dicamba following a contact herbicide application.
The Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access (SALSA) Project accessed Mercer Subglacial Lake using environmentally clean hot-water drilling to examine interactions among ice, water, sediment, rock, microbes and carbon reservoirs within the lake water column and underlying sediments. A ~0.4 m diameter borehole was melted through 1087 m of ice and maintained over ~10 days, allowing observation of ice properties and collection of water and sediment with various tools. Over this period, SALSA collected: 60 L of lake water and 10 L of deep borehole water; microbes >0.2 μm in diameter from in situ filtration of ~100 L of lake water; 10 multicores 0.32–0.49 m long; 1.0 and 1.76 m long gravity cores; three conductivity–temperature–depth profiles of borehole and lake water; five discrete depth current meter measurements in the lake and images of ice, the lake water–ice interface and lake sediments. Temperature and conductivity data showed the hydrodynamic character of water mixing between the borehole and lake after entry. Models simulating melting of the ~6 m thick basal accreted ice layer imply that debris fall-out through the ~15 m water column to the lake sediments from borehole melting had little effect on the stratigraphy of surficial sediment cores.
We examined the impact of microbiological results from respiratory samples on choice of antibiotic therapy in patients treated for hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) or ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP).
Four-year retrospective study.
Veterans’ Health Administration (VHA).
VHA patients hospitalized with HAP or VAP and with respiratory cultures between October 1, 2014, and September 30, 2018.
We compared patients with positive and negative respiratory culture results, assessing changes in antibiotic class and Antibiotic Spectrum Index (ASI) from the day of sample collection (day 0) through day 7.
Between October 1, 2014, and September 30, 2018, we identified 5,086 patients with HAP/VAP: 2,952 with positive culture results and 2,134 with negative culture results. All-cause 30-day mortality was 21% for both groups. The mean time from respiratory sample receipt in the laboratory to final respiratory culture result was longer for those with positive (2.9 ± 1.3 days) compared to negative results (2.5 ± 1.3 days; P < .001). The most common pathogens were Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Vancomycin and β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitors were the most commonly prescribed agents. The decrease in the median ASI from 13 to 8 between days 0 and 6 was similar among patients with positive and negative respiratory cultures. Patients with negative cultures were more likely to be off antibiotics from day 3 onward.
The results of respiratory cultures had only a small influence on antibiotics used during the treatment of HAP/VAP. The decrease in ASI for both groups suggests the integration of antibiotic stewardship principles, including de-escalation, into the care of patients with HAP/VAP.
We present stable isotope and osteological data from human remains at Paloma, Chilca I, La Yerba III, and Morro I that offer new evidence for diet, lifestyle, and habitual mobility in the first villages that proliferated along the arid Pacific coast of South America (ca. 6000 cal BP). The data not only reaffirm the dietary primacy of marine protein for this period but also show evidence at Paloma of direct access interactions between the coast and highlands, as well as habitual mobility in some parts of society. By locating themselves at the confluence of diverse coastal and terrestrial habitats, the inhabitants of these early villages were able to broaden their use of resources through rounds of seasonal mobility, while simultaneously increasing residential sedentism. Yet they paid little substantial health penalty for their settled lifestyles, as reflected in their osteological markers of stature and stress, compared with their agriculturalist successors even up to five millennia later. Contrasting data for the north coast of Chile indicate locally contingent differences. Considering these data in a wider chronological context contributes to understanding how increasing sedentism and population density laid the foundations here for the emergence of Late Preceramic social complexity.
Definition of disorder subtypes may facilitate precision treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We aimed to identify PTSD subtypes and evaluate their associations with genetic risk factors, types of stress exposures, comorbidity, and course of PTSD.
Data came from a prospective study of three U.S. Army Brigade Combat Teams that deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. Soldiers with probable PTSD (PTSD Checklist for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition ≥31) at three months postdeployment comprised the sample (N = 423) for latent profile analysis using Gaussian mixture modeling and PTSD symptom ratings as indicators. PTSD profiles were compared on polygenic risk scores (derived from external genomewide association study summary statistics), experiences during deployment, comorbidity at three months postdeployment, and persistence of PTSD at nine months postdeployment.
Latent profile analysis revealed profiles characterized by prominent intrusions, avoidance, and hyperarousal (threat-reactivity profile; n = 129), anhedonia and negative affect (dysphoric profile; n = 195), and high levels of all PTSD symptoms (high-symptom profile; n = 99). The threat-reactivity profile had the most combat exposure and the least comorbidity. The dysphoric profile had the highest polygenic risk for major depression, and more personal life stress and co-occurring major depression than the threat-reactivity profile. The high-symptom profile had the highest rates of concurrent mental disorders and persistence of PTSD.
Genetic and trauma-related factors likely contribute to PTSD heterogeneity, which can be parsed into subtypes that differ in symptom expression, comorbidity, and course. Future studies should evaluate whether PTSD typology modifies treatment response and should clarify distinctions between the dysphoric profile and depressive disorders.
Balloon valvuloplasty and surgical aortic valvotomy have been the treatment mainstays for congenital aortic stenosis in children. Choice of intervention often differs depending upon centre bias with limited relevant, comparative literature.
This study aims to provide an unbiased, contemporary matched comparison of these balloon and surgical approaches.
Retrospective analysis of patients with congenital aortic valve stenosis who underwent balloon valvuloplasty (Queensland Children’s Hospital, Brisbane) or surgical valvotomy (Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne) between 2005 and 2016. Patients were excluded if pre-intervention assessment indicated ineligibility to either group. Propensity score matching was performed based on age, weight, and valve morphology.
Sixty-five balloon patients and seventy-seven surgical patients were included. Overall, the groups were well matched with 18 neonates/25 infants in the balloon group and 17 neonates/28 infants in the surgical group. Median age at balloon was 92 days (range 2 days – 18.8 years) compared to 167 days (range 0 days – 18.1 years) for surgery (rank-sum p = 0.08). Mean follow-up was 5.3 years. There was one late balloon death and two early surgical deaths due to left ventricular failure. There was no significant difference in freedom from reintervention at latest follow-up (69% in the balloon group and 70% in the surgical group, p = 1.0).
Contemporary analysis of balloon aortic valvuloplasty and surgical aortic valvotomy shows no difference in overall reintervention rates in the medium term. Balloon valvuloplasty performs well across all age groups, achieving delay or avoidance of surgical intervention.