ResearchPad - age-groups https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Newborn body composition after maternal bariatric surgery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13862 In pregnancy after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), there is increased risk of low birthweight in the offspring. The present study examined how offspring body composition was affected by RYGB.Material and methodsMother-newborn dyads, where the mothers had undergone RYGB were included. Main outcome measure was neonatal body composition. Neonatal body composition was assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanning (DXA) within 48 hours after birth. In a statistical model offspring born after RYGB were compared with a reference material of offspring and analyses were made to estimate the effect of maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI), gestational weight gain, parity, gestational age at birth and newborn sex on newborn body composition. Analyses were made to estimate the impact of maternal weight loss before pregnancy and of other effects of bariatric surgery respectively. The study was performed at a university hospital between October 2012 and December 2013.ResultsWe included 25 mother-newborn dyads where the mothers had undergone RYGB and compared them to a reference material of 311 mother-newborn dyads with comparable pre-pregnancy BMI. Offspring born by mothers after RYGB had lower birthweight (335g, p<0.001), fat-free mass (268g, p<0.001) and fat% (2.8%, p<0.001) compared with reference material. Only 2% of the average reduction in newborn fat free mass could be attributed to maternal pre-pregnancy weight loss whereas other effects of RYGB accounted for 98%. Regarding reduction in fat mass 52% was attributed to weight loss and 47% to other effects of surgery.ConclusionOffspring born after maternal bariatric surgery, had lower birthweight, fat-free mass and fat percentage when compared with a reference material. RYGB itself and not the pre-pregnancy weight loss seems to have had the greatest impact on fetal growth. ]]> <![CDATA[Impacts of host gender on <i>Schistosoma mansoni</i> risk in rural Uganda—A mixed-methods approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13851 Globally, over 230 million people are infected with schistosomiasis, an infectious disease caused by parasitic helminths. Humans can get infected when they contact water which contains Schistosoma parasites. Although the disease can be treated with a drug, people get rapidly reinfected in certain high-transmission settings. Drug treatment alone may not be sufficient to eliminate this disease and additional interventions such as health promotion or improvements in water and sanitation need to be scaled up. To provide recommendations to these control programmes we carried out interdisciplinary research in Eastern Uganda to understand the influence of gender on schistosomiasis risk. We found that the water contact behaviour of boys and girls is quite similar, and we did not see differences in reinfection or genetic diversity of the parasite between boys and girls. Differences in water contact between genders is greater in adults, and further research is required for these individuals. In this setting, infection rates are high in school-aged children and there are no differences between genders. These results emphasise improved control efforts for all school-aged children in communities like these. Our interdisciplinary approach provided complementary findings. Such an integrated approach can therefore have more power to meaningfully inform policy on schistosomiasis control.

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<![CDATA[Psychological symptoms and quality of life after repeated exposure to earthquake: A cohort study in Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13809 In 2005, a random sample of 200 people were assessed in Camerino, Italy, eight years after an earthquake. Psychological symptom levels were low and only one person had current Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In 2016 a new earthquake occurred in Camerino. The study aims to assess the impact of the second exposure in the same cohort. A longitudinal study was conducted, 130 participants were re-interviewed between July and December 2017. Psychological symptoms were self-rated on the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and the Global Severity Index (GSI) was analysed. Post-traumatic stress symptoms were self-rated on the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R). Subjective quality of life (SQOL) was assessed on the Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life (MANSA). Mean scores of GSI and IES-R were significantly higher than in 2005 (p<0.01 and p<0.001), whilst SQOL remained almost unchanged (p = 0.163). In 2017, 16.9% of the sample had reached the PTSD threshold whilst in 2005 only the 0.5% had reached it. Despite low symptom levels several years after an earthquake, people can show psychological distress after a new exposure, whilst average quality of life levels are not affected.

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<![CDATA[Mortality estimates by age and sex among persons living with HIV after ART initiation in Zambia using electronic medical records supplemented with tracing a sample of lost patients: A cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13858 Despite many studies demonstrating differences in HIV-related outcomes between men and women on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa, few studies use a probability sample that would enable them to offer regionally representative estimates.Many studies taken from routine service delivery settings are unable to account for outcomes among individuals lost to follow-up, which may threaten the validity of estimates comparing mortality in men and women.Furthermore, whether differences in survival between men and women vary across other important sociodemographic characteristics (such as age) remains underexplored.What did the researchers do and find?We used a multistage sampling approach to enumerate an analysis population of HIV-positive patients visiting public health facilities in 4 provinces in Zambia (Lusaka, Southern, Eastern, and Western).We estimated the association between sex and mortality overall and by age, adjusting for other sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.Of 49,129 adults newly initiating ART, the mortality rate was almost twice as high in men compared to women.Analysis of age-by-sex interactions revealed particularly elevated mortality among young males (as compared to females of the same age). While mortality rates appeared to fall with age among men, mortality rates rose with age among women, and by 50 years of age, women had a 2–3 times higher rate of death compared to women under 30.What do these findings mean?Among adults living with HIV in Zambia, men on average experience greater mortality compared to women, but this difference varies markedly by age, even after adjustment for other sociodemographic and clinical characteristics (e.g., baseline level of immunosuppression).Additional means of engaging and supporting younger men in HIV care is urgently needed and may include improved access to self-testing, use of financial incentives, and male-friendly services that feature flexible hours, an integrated multi-disease care model, and reduced visit frequency.Rising mortality associated with age in women greater than would be expected in the general population suggests that health services targeting women of reproductive age may be in part responsible for good clinical outcomes in younger women, but also highlights the need for specific programs to engage older women in care. ]]> <![CDATA[The association between national income and adult obesity prevalence: Empirical insights into temporal patterns and moderators of the association using 40 years of data across 147 countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13857 At a country level, population obesity prevalence is often associated with economic affluence, reflecting a potential adverse outcome concomitant with economic growth. We estimated the pattern and strength of the empirically observed relationship between national income and adult obesity prevalence, and the moderating role of countries’ macro-environments on this relationship.MethodsWe assembled data on national obesity prevalence, income and a range of variables that characterize macro-environments related to 147 countries from multiple international organizations and databases. We used a Bayesian hierarchical model to estimate the relationship (elasticities) between national income (using Gross Domestic Product Per Capita, GDPPC) and adult obesity prevalence, and the moderating effects of five different dimensions (globalization orientation, demographic characteristics, economic environment, labor market characteristics, and strength of health policies) of countries’ macro-environments on the income elasticities. Using the latest (2019–2024) available national income growth projections from the International Monetary Fund, we forecast future global trends in obesity prevalence.FindingsOver the 40-years 1975–2014, adult obesity prevalence increased at a declining rate with GDPPC across the 147 countries. The mean income elasticity estimates were 1.23 (95% credible interval 1.04–1.42) for males and 1.01 (0.82–1.18) for females. The elasticities were positively associated with the extent of political globalization and negatively associated with urbanization and share of agriculture in the national GDP. Income based projections indicate that obesity prevalence would continue to grow at an average annual rate of 2.47% across the studied countries during 2019–2024.ConclusionsPopulation obesity prevalence exhibits a positive relationship with national income and there is no evidence that the relationship, while weakening, actually turns negative at higher income levels (“obesity Kuznets curve”). Based on current trends, global obesity prevalence will continue to increase during 2019–2024, with the rate of growth higher in low- and middle-income countries. As most people currently live in low- and middle-income countries with rising incomes, our findings underscore the urgent societal imperatives for effective policy initiatives, especially those that target the concomitant “nutrition transition” process with economic affluence, to break or at least further weaken the positive relationship of population obesity prevalence with national income. ]]> <![CDATA[The effect of monetary incentive on survey response for vulnerable children and youths: A randomized controlled trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13807 In surveys non-responders may introduce bias and lower the validity of the studies. Ways to increase response rates are therefore important. The purpose of the study was to investigate if an unconditional monetary incentive can increase the response rate for vulnerable children and youths in a postal questionnaire survey.MethodsThe study was designed as a randomized controlled trial. The study population consisted of 262 children and youth who participated in an established intervention study aimed at creating networks for different groups of vulnerable children and youths. The mean age of the participants was 16.7 years (range 11–28) and 67.9% were female. The questionnaire was adapted to three different age groups and covered different aspects of the participants’ life situation, including the dimensions from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). In the follow-up survey, participants were randomly allocated to two groups that either received a €15 voucher for a supermarket together with the questionnaire or only received the questionnaire. We used Poisson regression to estimate the differences in response rate (Rate Ratio RR) between the intervention group and the control group.ResultsThe response rate was 75.5% in the intervention group and 42.9% in the control group. The response rate in the intervention group was significantly higher than in the control group when adjusting for age and gender (Rate Ratio, RR 1.73; 95% CI 1.38–2.17). We did not find any significant differences in scales scores between the two groups for the five scales of the SDQ. In stratified analyses, we found the effect of the incentive to be higher for males (RR 2.81; 95% CI 1.61–4.91) than for females (1.43; 95% CI 1.12–1.84).ConclusionsMonetary incentives can increase the response rate for vulnerable children and youths in surveys.Trial registrationThe trial was retrospectively registered at ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01741675. ]]> <![CDATA[Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the trail-making test in older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13819 The trail-making test (TMT) is a popular neuropsychological test, which is used extensively to measure cognitive impairment associated with neurodegenerative disorders in older adults. Behavioural performance on the TMT has been investigated in older populations, but there is limited research on task-related brain activity in older adults. The current study administered a naturalistic version of the TMT to a healthy older-aged population in an MRI environment using a novel, MRI-compatible tablet. Functional MRI was conducted during task completion, allowing characterization of the brain activity associated with the TMT. Performance on the TMT was evaluated using number of errors and seconds per completion of each link. Results are reported for 36 cognitively healthy older adults between the ages of 52 and 85. Task-related activation was observed in extensive regions of the bilateral frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes as well as key motor areas. Increased age was associated with reduced brain activity and worse task performance. Specifically, older age was correlated with decreased task-related activity in the bilateral occipital, temporal and parietal lobes. These results suggest that healthy older aging significantly affects brain function during the TMT, which consequently may result in performance decrements. The current study reveals the brain activation patterns underlying TMT performance in a healthy older aging population, which functions as an important, clinically-relevant control to compare to pathological aging in future investigations.

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<![CDATA[Towards universal coverage for nutrition services in children under five years—A descriptive analysis of the capacity of level one hospitals to provide nutrition services in five provinces of Zambia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7846 Malnutrition continues to be a major public health challenge in Zambia. To effectively address this, health systems must be well strengthened to deliver an effective continuum of care. This paper examines health systems issues and services in relation to nutritional support to children under five years, in order to identify gaps and propose interventions towards universal coverage of essential nutrition services.MethodsThis analysis utilized data from a cross sectional mixed-methods study on factors associated with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in under-five children to assess health facility nutrition services on offer at select level-one hospitals in five out of ten provinces in Zambia. Stata version 13 was used for analysis. We conducted univariate analysis to assess nutrition services offered, functionality of equipment and tools, availability of human resource and human resource development, and availability of drugs used for assessment and management of nutrition-related health outcomes.ResultsWe found large variations in the level of nutrition services on offer across districts and provinces. Eighty-eight percent of all the hospitals sampled provided group nutrition counseling and 92% of the hospitals in our sample offered individual nutrition counseling to their clients. Overall, the existence of referral and counter-referral systems between the Community Based Volunteers and hospitals were the lowest among all services assessed at 48% and 58% respectively. We also found inadequate numbers of human resource across all cadres with an exception of nutritionists as recommended by the Ministry of Health.ConclusionsThis study has revealed a number of gaps in the health system and health service delivery that requires to be addressed; most notably, a lack of tools, policies and guidelines, drugs and health specialists to help care for malnourished infants and children. Our findings also reveal inadequate referral systems between the community and health facilities in the management of severe acute malnutrition. Achieving universal coverage for nutrition services in Zambia will require a lot more attention to the health systems issues found in this study. ]]> <![CDATA[A descriptive cross sectional study comparing barriers and determinants of physical activity of Sri Lankan middle aged and older adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7830 Benefits of physical activities are numerous. Barriers for physical exercise may differ among middle aged and older adults. Therefore, identifying and comparing the barriers for participating in regular physical exercises among middle aged and older adults will be useful in designing age specific physical exercise programmes.MethodsThis descriptive cross sectional study was carried out among 206 Sri Lankan adults in the age range of 40–84 years in the Colombo North region of Sri Lanka using culturally validated questionnaires to determine and compare the barriers and factors associated with regular physical activity participation. Majority were males (56%) and 54% were < 60 years. People in the age range of 40–59 years were considered as middle age and ≥ 60 years as older adults. Bivariate analysis and multivariate analysis was carried out to determine the significant factors that are associated with regular physical activity participation.ResultsLack of free time (52%), feeling too lazy (26%) and bad weather (29%) were the main barriers for the participants. In < 60 years, high level of income (p = 0.008) and in ≥ 60 years, being a male (p = 0.016), having a high level of education (P = 0.002) and a high BMI (p = 0.002) had a significant negative association with the level of physical activities.ConclusionsContrary to findings from surveys in several developed countries, this study showed that having a high level of education and being a male were strongly related with lack of physical activity participation. ]]> <![CDATA[Is postural dysfunction related to sarcopenia? A population-based study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7695 Postural dysfunction is one of the most common community health symptoms and frequent chief complaints in hospitals. Sarcopenia is a syndrome characterized by degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass, muscle quality, and muscle strength, and is the main contributor to musculoskeletal impairment in the elderly. Previous studies reported that loss of muscle mass is associated with a loss of diverse functional abilities. Meanwhile, there have been limited studies concerning postural dysfunction among older adults with sarcopenia. Although sarcopenia is primarily a disease of the elderly, its development may be associated with conditions that are not exclusively seen in older persons. Also, recent studies recognize that sarcopenia may begin to develop earlier in life. The objective of this paper was to investigate the association between the prevalence of sarcopenia and postural dysfunction in a wide age range of adults using data from a nationally representative cohort study in Korea. Korean National Health & Nutrition Exhibition Survey V (KNHANES V, 2010–2012) data from the fifth cross-sectional survey of the South Korean population performed by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare were used. Appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM)/height (ht)2 was used to define sarcopenia, and the Modified Romberg test using a foam pad (“foam balance test”) was performed to evaluate postural dysfunction. ASM/ht2 was lower in women and significantly decreased with age in men. Subjects with sarcopenia were significantly more likely to fail the foam balance test, regardless of sex and age. Regression analysis showed a significant relationship between sarcopenia and postural dysfunction (OR: 2.544, 95% CI: 1.683–3.846, p<0.001). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that sarcopenia (OR: 1.747, 95% CI: 1.120–2.720, p = 0.014) and age (OR: 1.131, 95% CI: 1.105–1.158, p<0.001) are independent risk factors for postural instability. In middle age subjects, the adjusted OR for sarcopenia was 3.344 (95% CI: 1.350–8.285) (p = 0.009). The prevalence of postural dysfunction is higher in sarcopenia patients, independent of sex and age.

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<![CDATA[30-year trends in major cardiovascular risk factors in the Czech population, Czech MONICA and Czech post-MONICA, 1985 – 2016/17]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7657 Compared with Western Europe, the decline in cardiovascular (CV) mortality has been delayed in former communist countries in Europe, including the Czech Republic. We have assessed longitudinal trends in major CV risk factors in the Czech Republic from 1985 to 2016/17, covering the transition from the totalitarian regime to democracy.MethodsThere were 7 independent cross-sectional surveys for major CV risk factors conducted in the Czech Republic in the same 6 country districts within the WHO MONICA Project (1985, 1988, 1992) and the Czech post-MONICA study (1997/98, 2000/01, 2007/08 and 2016/2017), including a total of 7,606 males and 8,050 females. The population samples were randomly selected (1%, aged 25–64 years).ResultsOver the period of 31/32 years, there was a significant decrease in the prevalence of smoking in males (from 45.0% to 23.9%; p < 0.001) and no change in females. BMI increased only in males. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly in both genders, while the prevalence of hypertension declined only in females. Awareness of hypertension, the proportion of individuals treated by antihypertensive drugs and consequently hypertension control improved in both genders. A substantial decrease in total cholesterol was seen in both sexes (males: from 6.21 ± 1.29 to 5.30 ± 1.05 mmol/L; p < 0.001; females: from 6.18 ± 1.26 to 5.31 ± 1.00 mmol/L; p < 0.001).ConclusionsThe significant improvement in most CV risk factors between 1985 and 2016/17 substantially contributed to the remarkable decrease in CV mortality in the Czech Republic. ]]> <![CDATA[Managing possible serious bacterial infection of young infants where referral is not possible: Lessons from the early implementation experience in Kushtia District learning laboratory, Bangladesh]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7649 Serious infections account for 25% of global newborn deaths annually, most in low-resource settings where hospital-based treatment is not accessible or feasible. In Bangladesh, one-third of neonatal deaths are attributable to serious infection; in 2014, the government adopted new policy for outpatient management of danger signs indicating possible serious bacterial infections (PSBI) when referral was not possible. We conducted implementation research to understand what it takes for a district health team to implement quality outpatient PSBI management per national guidelines.MethodsPSBI management was introduced as part of the Comprehensive Newborn Care Package in 2015. The study piloted this package through government health systems with limited partner support to inform scale-up efforts. Data collection included facility register reviews for cases seen at primary level facilities; facility readiness and provider knowledge and skills assessments; household surveys capturing caregiver knowledge of newborn danger signs and care-seeking for newborn illness; and follow-up case tracking, capturing treatment adherence and outcomes. Analysis consisted of descriptive statistics.ResultsOver the 15-month implementation period, 1432 young infants received care, of which 649 (45%) were classified as PSBI. Estimated coverage of care-seeking increased from 22% to 42% during the implementation period. Although facility readiness and providers’ skills increased, providers’ adherence to guidelines was not optimal. Among locally managed PSBI cases, 75% completed the oral antibiotic course and 15% received the fourth day follow-up. Care-seeking remained high among private providers (95%), predominantly village health doctors (over 80%).ConclusionsFacility readiness, including health care provider knowledge and skills were strengthened; future efforts should focus on improving provider adherence to guidelines. Social and behavior change strategies targeting families and communities should explore shifting care-seeking from private, possibly less-qualified providers. Strategies to improve private sector management of PSBI cases and improved linkages between private and public sector providers could be explored. ]]> <![CDATA[Emotional facial perception development in 7, 9 and 11 year-old children: The emergence of a silent eye-tracked emotional other-race effect]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7635 The present study examined emotional facial perception (happy and angry) in 7, 9 and 11-year-old children from Caucasian and multicultural environments with an offset task for two ethnic groups of faces (Asian and Caucasian). In this task, participants were required to respond to a dynamic facial expression video when they believed that the first emotion presented had disappeared. Moreover, using an eye-tracker, we evaluated the ocular behavior pattern used to process these different faces. The analyses of reaction times do not show an emotional other-race effect (i.e., a facility in discriminating own-race faces over to other-race ones) in Caucasian children for Caucasian vs. Asian faces through offset times, but an effect of emotional face appeared in the oldest children. Furthermore, an eye-tracked ocular emotion and race-effect relative to processing strategies is observed and evolves between age 7 and 11. This study strengthens the interest in advancing an eye-tracking study in developmental and emotional processing studies, showing that even a “silent” effect should be detected and shrewdly analyzed through an objective means.

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<![CDATA[Incidence and determinants of Implanon discontinuation: Findings from a prospective cohort study in three health zones in Kinshasa, DRC]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7634 Kinshasa is Africa's third largest city and one of the continent’s most rapidly growing urban areas. PMA2020 data showed that Kinshasa has a modern contraceptive prevalence of 26.5% among married women in 2018. In Kinshasa’s method mix, the contraceptive implant recently became the dominant method among contraceptive users married and in union. This study provides insight into patterns of implant use in a high-fertility setting by evaluating the 24-month continuation rate for Implanon NXT and identifying the characteristics associated with discontinuation.MethodologyThis community-based, prospective cohort study followed 531 Implanon users aged 18–49 years at 6, 12 and 24 months. The following information was collected: socio-demographic characteristics, Method Information Index (MII) and contraceptive history. The main outcome variable for this study was implant discontinuation. The incidence rate of discontinuation is presented as events per 1000 person/months (p-m), from the date of enrolment. The Cox proportional hazards modelling was used to measure predictors of discontinuation.ResultsA total of 9158.13 p-m were available for analysis, with an overall incidence rate of 9.06 (95% CI: 9.04–9.08) removals per 1000 p-m. Of nine possible co-variates tested, the likelihood of discontinuation was higher among women who lived in military camps, had less than three children, never used injectables or implants in the past, had experienced heavy/prolonged bleeding, and whose MII score was less than 3.ConclusionIn addition to four client characteristics that predicted discontinuation, we identified one programmatic factor: quality of counseling as measured by the Method Information Index. Community providers in similar contexts should pay more attention to clients having less than three children, new adopters, and to clients living military camps as underserved population, where clients have less access to health facilities. More targeted counselling and follow-up is needed, especially on bleeding patterns. ]]> <![CDATA[Life expectancy and survival analysis of patients with diabetes compared to the non diabetic population in Bulgaria]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7723 To evaluate the expected life expectancy in patients with diabetes in Bulgaria and to compare it to the expected life expectancy of the non-diabetic population in the country.MethodsIt is a retrospective observational population study on individuals diagnosed with diabetes, compared to the non-diabetic population in Bulgaria for the period 2012–2015. Data from the national diabetes register and national statistical institute were used to construct life-tables with probability of survival with t-test and Chi Square test. Confounder analysis was done by age, sex, and type of diabetes. All-cause mortality and deaths in diabetic patients were analyzed. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were constructed for each age group and a log-rank analysis was conducted.ResultsAverage life expectancy in the non-diabetic population, patients with Type 1 DM and with Type 2 DM is 74.8; 70.96 and 75.19 years, respectively. For 2012–2015 the mortality in the non-diabetic population remained constant and lower (average—1.48%) compared to type-1 DM (5.25%) and Type-2 (4.27%). Relative risk of death in diabetics was higher overall (12%), after the age of 70 before which the relative risk was higher for the non-diabetic population. This was observed as a trend in all analyzed years.ConclusionPatients with type 2 DM have a longer life-expectancy than patients with type-1 DM and overall Diabetics life expectancy equals that of the non-diabetic population, which could suggest improved disease control and its associated complications in Bulgaria. Male diabetics show slightly longer life expectancy than their counterparts in the non-diabetic population, by a marginal gain of 0.6 years for the entire observed period. Life expectancy in diabetic women increased by 1.3 years, which was not observed in the non-diabetic population. Prevalence of diabetes was higher for women. Improved diabetes control may explain this gain in life; however other studies are needed to confirm this. ]]> <![CDATA[Gender norms and mass deworming program access in Comé, Benin: A qualitative assessment of gender-associated opportunities and challenges to achieving high mass drug administration coverage]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0cbc3c85-9c5e-43fe-983c-4afc7d1b8db3

The World Health Organization’s Neglected Tropical Disease Roadmap has accelerated progress towards eliminating select neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). This momentum has catalyzed research to determine the feasibility of interrupting transmission of soil-transmitted helminths (STH) using community-wide mass drug administration (MDA). This study aims to identify potential gender-specific facilitators and barriers to accessing and participating in community-wide STH MDA, with the goal of ensuring programs are equitable and maximize the probability of interrupting STH transmission. This research was conducted prior to the launch of community-wide MDA for STH in Comé, Benin. A total of 10 focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted separately among 40 men, 38 women, and 15 community drug distributors (CDDs). Salient themes included: both men and women believe that community-wide MDA would reduce the financial burden associated with self-treatment, particularly for low income adults. Community members believe MDA should be packaged alongside water, sanitation, and other health services. Women feel past community-wide programs have been disorganized and are concerned these distributions will be similar. Women also expressed interest in increased engagement in the implementation of future community-based public health programs. Men often did not perceive themselves to be at great risk for STH infection and did not express a high demand for treatment. Finally, the barriers discussed by CDDs generally did not align with gender-specific concerns, but rather represented concerns shared by both genders. A door-to-door distribution strategy for STH MDA is preferred by women in this study, as this platform empowers women to participate as health decision makers for their family. In addition, involving women in planning and implementation of community-wide programs may help to increase treatment coverage and compliance.

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<![CDATA[Fingerprint evidence for the division of labour and learning pottery-making at Early Bronze Age Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath, Israel]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5152a5b5-1b3f-41e8-b706-9ccd50f6a496

The organization of craft production has long been a marker for broader social, economic and political changes that accompanied urbanism. The identity of producers who comprised production groups, communities, or workshops is out of reach using conventional archaeological data. There has been some success using epidermal prints on artefacts to identify the age and sex of producers. However, forensic research indicates that a combination of ridge breadth and ridge density would best identify the age and sex of individuals. To this end, we combine mean ridge breadth (MRB) and mean ridge density (MRD) to distinguish the age and sex of 112 fingerprints on Early Bronze Age (EB) III pottery from the early urban neighbourhood at Tell eṣ-Ṣâfi/Gath, Israel, dating to a 100 year time span. Our analysis accounts for the shrinkage of calcareous fabrics used to make six type of vessels, applies a modified version of the Kamp et al. regression equation to the MRB for each individual print, and infers sex by correlating MRD data to appropriate modern reference populations. When the results are combined, our analyses indicate that most fingerprints were made by adult and young males and the remainder by adult and young females. Children’s prints are in evidence but only occur on handles. Multiple prints of different age and sex on the same vessels suggest they were impressed during the training of young potters. Production appears dominated by adult and young males working alone, together, and in cooperation with adult and/or young females. Vessels with prints exclusively by females of any age are rare. This male dominant cooperative labour pattern contrasts recent studies showing that adult women primarily made Neolithic figurines in Anatolia, and more females than males were making pottery prior to the rise of city-states in northern Mesopotamia.

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<![CDATA[‘In search of lost time’: Identifying the causative role of cumulative competition load and competition time-loss in professional tennis using a structural nested mean model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4f3da08e-598e-44d5-a4f3-a2c64fcebd1f

Injury prevention is critical to the achievement of peak performance in elite sport. For professional tennis players, the topic of injury prevention has gained even greater importance in recent years as multiple of the best male players have been sidelined owing to injury. Identifying potential causative factors of injury is essential for the development of effective prevention strategies, yet such research is hampered by incomplete data, the complexity of injury etiology, and observational study biases. The present study attempts to address these challenges by focusing on competition load and time-loss to competition—a completely observable risk factor and outcome—and using a structural nested mean model (SNMM) to identify the potential causal role of cumulative competition load on the risk of time-loss. Using inverse probability of treatment weights to balance exposure histories with respect to player ability, past injury, and consecutive competition weeks at each time point; the SNMM analysis of 389 professional male players and 55,773 weeks of competition found that total load significantly increases the risk of time-loss (HR = 1.05 per 1,000 games of additional load 95% CI 1.01-1.10) and this effect becomes magnified with age. Standard regression showed a protective effect of load, highlighting the value of more robust causal methods in the study of dynamic exposures and injury in sport and the need for further applications of these methods for understanding how time-loss and injuries of elite athletes might be prevented in the future.

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<![CDATA[Age-related transcriptional modules and TF-miRNA-mRNA interactions in neonatal and infant human thymus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne5173bb6-5611-4e9c-b8d8-f6fe9062bcd6

The human thymus suffers a transient neonatal involution, recovers and then starts a process of decline between the 1st and 2nd years of life. Age-related morphological changes in thymus were extensively investigated, but the genomic mechanisms underlying this process remain largely unknown. Through Weighted Gene Co-expression Network Analysis (WGCNA) and TF-miRNA-mRNA integrative analysis we studied the transcriptome of neonate and infant thymic tissues grouped by age: 0–30 days (A); 31days-6 months (B); 7–12 months (C); 13–18 months (D); 19-31months (E). Age-related transcriptional modules, hubs and high gene significance (HGS) genes were identified, as well as TF-miRNA-hub/HGS co-expression correlations. Three transcriptional modules were correlated with A and/or E groups. Hubs were mostly related to cellular/metabolic processes; few were differentially expressed (DE) or related to T-cell development. Inversely, HGS genes in groups A and E were mostly DE. In A (neonate) one third of the hyper-expressed HGS genes were related to T-cell development, against one-twentieth in E, what may correlate with the early neonatal depletion and recovery of thymic T-cell populations. This genomic mechanism is tightly regulated by TF-miRNA-hub/HGS interactions that differentially govern cellular and molecular processes involved in the functioning of the neonate thymus and in the beginning of thymic decline.

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<![CDATA[Tsinghua facial expression database – A database of facial expressions in Chinese young and older women and men: Development and validation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf679a1e8-67cb-47b3-95b4-f3d293b80761

Perception of facial identity and emotional expressions is fundamental to social interactions. Recently, interest in age associated changes in the processing of faces has grown rapidly. Due to the lack of older faces stimuli, most previous age-comparative studies only used young faces stimuli, which might cause own-age advantage. None of the existing Eastern face stimuli databases contain face images of different age groups (e.g. older adult faces). In this study, a database that comprises images of 110 Chinese young and older adults displaying eight facial emotional expressions (Neutral, Happiness, Anger, Disgust, Surprise, Fear, Content, and Sadness) was constructed. To validate this database, each image was rated on the basis of perceived facial expressions, perceived emotional intensity, and perceived age by two different age groups. Results have shown an overall 79.08% correct identification rate in the validation. Access to the freely available database can be requested by emailing the corresponding authors.

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