ResearchPad - birth https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Predictors of change of health workers’ knowledge and skills after the Helping Mothers Survive Bleeding after Birth (HMS BAB) in-facility training in Tanzania]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15768 Our study aimed to assess the effect of Helping Mothers Survive Bleeding after Birth on knowledge and skills of health workers and whether such effect varies by health workers characteristics.MethodsNested in a cluster-randomised trial to assess the effect of the training on health outcomes, we assessed changes in knowledge and simulated skills in 61 facilities. The assessments were done i) before, ii) immediately-after training session and iii) at 10-month follow-up for subset of health-workers of implementation facilities as defined by the trial. We used a self-administered questionnaire and Objective Structures Clinical Examinations to assess three skill sets: Active Management of Third Stage of Labour, removal of retained placenta and management of severe postpartum haemorrhage. We computed summary statistics and used the paired t-test to assess change of knowledge and skills immediately post-training and at 10-month follow-up. Linear regression was done to assess association of scores and health worker characteristics.ResultsOf the 636 health workers included, 606 (96.7%) and 591 (91.4%) completed the knowledge and skills assessments, respectively. Majority of the participants (68%) were nurse-midwives. Knowledge scores increased by 15 percentage-points from 77.5% to 93% (95% CI 14.3, 16.3, p-value <0.000), and skills scores by 47 percentage-points (95% CI 46.5, 49.2, p-value <0.000) from 37.5% to 83%. There was a 4.0% decline of skills at 10-month follow-up. The decline was higher in auxiliary staff (-11.8%) and least in nurse-midwives (-2.1%) p-value <0.001. Health workers who assisted less than 5 deliveries in the last month, those who never attended postpartum haemorrhage in-service training and profession experience >8 years were associated with lower mean skill change immediately post-training.ConclusionOur study supports the potential of the Helping Mothers Survive Bleeding after Birth training to increase knowledge and skills of postpartum haemorrhage among all professional groups. Auxiliary staff benefited most from the training but also showed higher skill decline at 10-month. Our study highlights the importance to disaggregate knowledge and skills by health workers characteristics. ]]> <![CDATA[Spatiotemporal trends and ecological determinants in maternal mortality ratios in 2,205 Chinese counties, 2010–2013: A Bayesian modelling analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14689 Information about the spatiotemporal trends of the maternal mortality ratio is helpful in the policymaking response to reducing the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in developing areas.The study can help the government to preassess the effects of policy if the corresponding magnitudes of influence of the underlying determinants can be quantified.The quantitative statistical results of national and subnational influencing effects and patterns can help the government to create policies with precision.What did the researchers do and find?We employed a Bayesian space–time model to explore the spatiotemporal trends of the MMR in 2,205 Chinese counties from 2010 to 2013 and used Bayesian multivariable regression and GeoDetector models to address 3 main ecological determinants of MMR.The major determinants of the MMR in China are medical intervention factors. The MMR will decrease by 1.787 (95% CI 1.424–2.142, p < 0.001) and 0.623 (95% CI 0.436–0.798, p < 0.001) per 100,000 live births when the proportion of hospital births and the proportion of 5 or more antenatal care visits increase by 1.0%.The major determinants for the MMR in the western and southwestern regions of China are per capita income and antenatal care, while in the eastern and southern coastal regions, it is per capita income.What do these results mean?Many countries, and particularly developing countries, may learn from China’s dramatic improvement in maternal survival rates.This progress has profited from long-term strategies to enhance delivery care in healthcare facilities and the provision of professional maternity care in large hospitals. There are, however, a variety of policy effects that have occurred in different areas due to regional heterogeneity.We have revealed the dominant factors and their corresponding influencing magnitudes at the national and subnational level, and this evidence may help China or other developing countries to preassess policy effects. ]]> <![CDATA[Cytokine signatures of <i>Plasmodium vivax</i> infection during pregnancy and delivery outcomes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14648 Cytokine and growth factor plasma concentrations were evaluated in women from five countries endemic for malaria vivax, at different moments and blood compartments during pregnancy. P. vivax infection during pregnancy was associated with a pro-inflammatory and TH1 response, together with an antiinflammatory response. Nevertheless, at delivery most associations between cytokines and infection were lost. Of note, CCL11/eotaxin, a chemokine not generally analyzed in malaria studies, presented a lower concentration in P. vivax-infected women and a protective association with hemoglobin levels at delivery. Moreover, IL-4 levels had a negative association with birth weight. Data suggest that a compensated inflammatory/antiinflammatory response in P. vivax infection during pregnancy might avoid poor delivery outcomes, while a predominance of TH2 responses may be detrimental for birth weight. Further research is warranted to unravel the role of CCL11 in malaria infection or exposure.

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<![CDATA[The Childbirth Experience Questionnaire (CEQ)—Validation of its use in a Danish-speaking population of new mothers stimulated with oxytocin during labour]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14579 When determining optimal treatment regimens, patient reported outcomes including satisfaction are increasingly appreciated. It is well established that the birth experience may affect the postnatal attachment to the newborn and the management of subsequent pregnancies and deliveries. As we have no robust validated Danish tool to evaluate the childbirth experience exists, we aimed to perform a transcultural adaptation of the Childbirth Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) to a Danish context.MethodsIn accordance with the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN), we translated the Swedish-CEQ to Danish. The Danish-CEQ was tested for content validity among 10 new mothers. In a population of women who have had their labour induced, we then assessed the electronic questionnaire for validity and reliability using factor analytical design, hypothesis testing, and internal consistency. Based on these data, we determined criterion and construct responsiveness in addition to floor and ceiling effects.ResultsThe content validation resulted in minor adjustments in two items. This improved the comprehensibility. The electronic questionnaire was completed by 377 of 495 women (76.2%). The original Swedish-CEQ was four-dimensional, however an exploratory factor analysis revealed a three-dimensional structure in our Danish population (Own capacity, Participation, and Professional support). Parous women, women who delivered vaginally, and women with a labour duration <12 hours had a higher score in each domain. The internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha) ranged between 0.75 and 0.89 and the ICC between 0.68–0.93. We found ceiling effects of 57.6% in the domain Professional support and of 25.5% in the domain Participation.ConclusionThis study offers transcultural adaptation of the Swedish-CEQ to a Danish context. The 3-dimensional Danish-CEQ demonstrates construct validity and reliability. Our results revealed significant ceiling effect especially in the domain Professional support, which needs to be acknowledged when considering implementing the Danish-CEQ into trials and clinical practice. ]]> <![CDATA[Associations between recent intimate partner violence and receipt and quality of perinatal health services in Uttar Pradesh]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14572 India suffers some of the highest maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the world. Intimate partner violence (IPV) can be a barrier to utilization of perinatal care, and has been associated with poor maternal and neonatal health outcomes. However, studies that assess the relationship between IPV and perinatal health care often focus solely on receipt of services, and not the quality of the services received.Methods and findingsData were collected in 2016–2017 from a representative sample of women (15-49yrs) in Uttar Pradesh, India who had given birth within the previous 12 months (N = 5020), including use of perinatal health services and past 12 months experiences of physical and sexual IPV. Multivariate logistic regression models assessed whether physical or sexual IPV were associated with perinatal health service utilization and quality.Reports of IPV were not associated with odds of receiving antenatal care or a health worker home visit during the third trimester, but physical IPV was associated with fewer diagnostic tests during antenatal visits (beta = -0.30), and fewer health topics covered during home visits (beta = -0.44). Recent physical and recent sexual IPV were both associated with decreased odds of institutional delivery (physical IPV AOR 0.65; sexual IPV AOR 0.61), and recent sexual IPV was associated with leaving a delivery facility earlier than recommended (AOR = 1.87). Neither form of IPV was associated with receipt of a postnatal home visit, but recent physical IPV was associated with fewer health topics discussed during such visits (beta = -0.26).ConclusionsIn this study, reduced quantity and quality of perinatal health care were associated with recent IPV experiences. In cases where IPV was not related to care receipt, IPV remained associated with diminished care quality. Additional study to understand the mechanisms underlying associations between IPV and care qualities is required to inform health services. ]]> <![CDATA[Associations of dog and cat ownership with wheezing and asthma in children: Pilot study of the Japan Environment and children's study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14570 No previous study has used repeated measures data to examine the associations of dog/cat ownership with wheezing and asthma prevalence among children. This prospective study used repeated measurers analysis to determine whether dog/cat ownership in childhood is an independent risk factor for wheezing and asthma, after adjustment for gestational, socio-economical, and demographical confounders confounders, in Japan.MethodsWe conducted a multicenter pilot study of the Japan Environment and Children's Study (JECS) during 2009–2010. Among 440 newborn infants enrolled, 410 (52.8% males) were evaluated for dog/cat ownership in the home and history of wheezing and asthma in five follow-up questionnaire surveys (until age 6 years). Dog/cat ownership during follow-up period was categorized into four groups: 7.6% were long-term dog/cat owners, 5.9% were toddler-age owners, 5.9% were preschool-age owners, and 80.7% were never owners.ResultsThe prevalence of wheezing during follow-up period increased from 20.8% to 35.4% and the prevalence of asthma increased from 1.3% to 16.3%. A fitted logistic generalized estimating equation models including important confounders showed no significant associations of the interaction between dog and/or cat ownership and follow-up time with the risks of wheezing and asthma. However, the risks of wheezing and asthma were slightly lower for long-term and toddler-age dog/cat owners than for preschool-age and never owners.ConclusionsThe present findings suggest that dog and cat ownership from toddler-age does not increase the risks of wheezing and asthma compared with never owners among Japanese children. ]]> <![CDATA[Left powerless: A qualitative social media content analysis of the Dutch #breakthesilence campaign on negative and traumatic experiences of labour and birth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13813 Disrespect and abuse during labour and birth are increasingly reported all over the world. In 2016, a Dutch client organization initiated an online campaign, #genoeggezwegen (#breakthesilence) which encouraged women to share negative and traumatic maternity care experiences. This study aimed (1) to determine what types of disrespect and abuse were described in #genoeggezwegen and (2) to gain a more detailed understanding of these experiences.MethodsA qualitative social media content analysis was carried out in two phases. (1) A deductive coding procedure was carried out to identify types of disrespect and abuse, using Bohren et al.’s existing typology of mistreatment during childbirth. (2) A separate, inductive coding procedure was performed to gain further understanding of the data.Results438 #genoeggezwegen stories were included. Based on the typology of mistreatment during childbirth, it was found that situations of ineffective communication, loss of autonomy and lack of informed consent and confidentiality were most often described. The inductive analysis revealed five major themes: ‘‘lack of informed consent”; ‘‘not being taken seriously and not being listened to”; ‘‘lack of compassion”; ‘‘use of force”; and ‘‘short and long term consequences”. “Left powerless” was identified as an overarching theme that occurred throughout all five main themes.ConclusionThis study gives insight into the negative and traumatic maternity care experiences of Dutch women participating in the #genoeggezwegen campaign. This may indicate that disrespect and abuse during labour and birth do happen in the Netherlands, although the current study gives no insight into prevalence. The findings of this study may increase awareness amongst maternity care providers and the community of the existence of disrespect and abuse in Dutch maternity care, and encourage joint effort on improving care both individually and systemically/institutionally. ]]> <![CDATA[Ultrasound prediction of Zika virus-associated congenital injury using the profile of fetal growth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13878 Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-transmitted flavivirus, recently linked to microcephaly and central nervous system anomalies following infection in pregnancy. Striking findings of disproportionate growth with a smaller than expected head relative to body length have been observed more commonly among fetuses with exposure to ZIKV in utero compared to pregnancies without ZIKV infection regardless of other signs of congenital infection including microcephaly. This study’s objective was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of femur-sparing profile of intrauterine growth restriction for the identification of ZIKV-associated congenital injuries on postnatal testing. A retrospective cohort study of pregnant women with possible or confirmed ZIKV infection between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2017 were included. Subjects were excluded if no prenatal ultrasound was available. A femur-sparing profile of growth restriction determined using INTERGROWTH-21st sonographic standard for head circumference to femur length (HC: FL). Congenital injuries were determined postnatally by imaging, comprehensive eye exam and standard newborn hearing screen. A total of 111 pregnant women diagnosed with ZIKV infection underwent fetal ultrasound and 95 neonates had complete postnatal evaluation. Prenatal microcephaly was detected in 5% of fetuses (6/111). Postnatal testing detected ZIKV-associated congenital injuries in 25% of neonates (24/95). A HC: FL Z-score ≤ -1.3 had a 52% specificity (95% CI 41–63%), 82% negative predictive value (NPV, 95% CI 73–88%) for the detection of ZIKV-associated congenital injuries in the neonatal period. A more stringent threshold with a Z-score ≤ -2 was associated with a 90% specificity (95% CI 81–95%), 81% NPV (95% CI 77–85%). Excluding cases of fetal microcephaly, HC: FL (Z-score ≤ -2) demonstrated a similar specificity (89%, 95% CI 81–95%) with superior NPV (87%, 95% CI 84–90%). The sonographic recognition of a normally proportioned fetus may be useful prenatally to exclude a wider spectrum of ZIKV-associated congenital injuries detected postnatally.

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<![CDATA[New estimates of the Zika virus epidemic attack rate in Northeastern Brazil from 2015 to 2016: A modelling analysis based on Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) surveillance data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7754 The mandatory reporting of the Zika virus (ZIKV) disease began region-wide in February 2016, and it is believed that ZIKV cases could have been highly under-reported before that. Given the Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is relatively well reported, the GBS surveillance data has the potential to act as a reasonably reliable proxy for inferring the true ZIKV epidemics. We developed a mathematical model incorporating weather effects to study the ZIKV-GBS epidemics and estimated the key epidemiological parameters. It was found that the attack rate of ZIKV was likely to be lower than 33% over the two epidemic waves. The risk rate from symptomatic ZIKV case to develop GBS was estimated to be approximately 0.0061%. The analysis suggests that it would be difficult for another ZIKV outbreak to appear in Northeastern Brazil in the near future.

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<![CDATA[Antibiotic use for Australian Aboriginal children in three remote Northern Territory communities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N999fa4e6-a15c-456a-862e-2e1ce88316a9

Objective

To describe antibiotic prescription rates for Australian Aboriginal children aged <2 years living in three remote Northern Territory communities.

Design

A retrospective cohort study using electronic health records.

Setting

Three primary health care centres located in the Katherine East region.

Participants

Consent was obtained from 149 mothers to extract data from 196 child records. There were 124 children born between January 2010 and July 2014 who resided in one of the three chosen communities and had electronic health records for their first two years of life.

Main outcome measures

Antibiotic prescription rates, factors associated with antibiotic prescription and factors associated with appropriate antibiotic prescription.

Results

There were 5,675 Primary Health Care (PHC) encounters for 124 children (median 41, IQR 25.5, 64). Of the 5,675 PHC encounters, 1,542 (27%) recorded at least one infection (total 1,777) and 1,330 (23%) had at least one antibiotic prescription recorded (total 1,468). Children had a median five (IQR 2, 9) prescriptions in both their first and second year of life, with a prescription rate of 5.99/person year (95% CI 5.35, 6.63). Acute otitis media was the most common infection (683 records, 38%) and Amoxycillin was the most commonly prescribed antibiotic (797 prescriptions, 54%). Of the 1,468 recorded prescriptions, 398 (27%) had no infection recorded and 116 (8%) with an infection recorded were not aligned with local treatment guidelines.

Conclusion

Prescription rates for Australian Aboriginal children in these communities are significantly higher than that reported nationally for non-Aboriginal Australians. Prescriptions predominantly aligned with treatment guidelines in this setting where there is a high burden of infectious disease.

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<![CDATA[Variation in plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 and D3 in normal pregnancy with gestational age, sampling season, and complications: A longitudinal cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ndf1a2733-e0b1-4fc7-90ad-b2bfa4368f5f

Introduction

Low levels of vitamin D in pregnancy have been associated with the risk of a variety of pregnancy outcomes. Few studies have investigated vitamin D concentrations throughout pregnancy in healthy women, and most guidelines recommend high vitamin D levels. In the present study, we investigated 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in healthy Caucasian Danish women in relation to season, gestational age and possible vitamin D-linked complications.

Materials and methods

Eight hundred and one healthy Caucasian Danish women with an expected normal pregnancy were recruited among 2147 women attending first trimester screening. Seven blood samplings were planned throughout the pregnancy and delivery period. The 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 (25(OH)D2) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) concentrations were measured by LC-MS/MS and total 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) were calculated.

Results

A total of 3304 samples from 694 women were available for 25(OH)D measurements. The mean (25th-75th percentiles) concentrations of 25(OH)D, 25(OH)D3, and 25(OH)D2 were 54.6 (38.8–68.6) nmol/L, 52.2 (36.4–66.4) nmol/L, and 2.4 (2.2–2.2) nmol/L, respectively. Season was the strongest predictor of 25(OH)D concentration, with the lowest values observed in winter and spring, where only 42% and 41% of samples, respectively, were above 50 nmol/L. Nearly all women had values below the suggested optimal level of 75 nmol/L, independent of season. 25(OH)D peaked at gestational weeks 21–34. Plasma 25(OH)D2 levels were low in all seasons. Women with complications during pregnancy had higher 25(OH)D (estimated difference 9.8 nmol/L, standard error 2.7, p<0.001) than did women without complications, and women giving birth vaginally had lower 25(OH)D than did those delivering via elective (10.0 nmol/L, standard error 2.1, p<0.001) or emergency cesarean section (6.8 nmol/L, standard error 2.2, p<0.001).

Conclusion

The 25(OH)D concentrations vary with both season and gestational age. Healthy women had lower 25(OH)D concentrations than recommended, without an association with an increased risk of pregnancy complications. Guidelines for vitamin D in pregnancy may require revision.

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<![CDATA[High prevalence of caesarean birth among mothers delivered at health facilities in Bahir Dar city, Amhara region, Ethiopia. A comparative study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc10b7a7b-4e34-4c06-9bc7-b9eb28d75615

Objective

The study aimed to assess and compare the prevalence of caesarean birth and associated factors among women gave birth at public and private health facilities in Bahir Dar city, Amhara region, Ethiopia.

Methods

An institution-based comparative cross-sectional study design was conducted from March1-April 15, 2019 at health facility provide emergency obstetrics service in Bahir Dar city. Study participants 724(362 for each public and private facility) were recruited using a systematic random sampling technique. Structured interview administered questionnaires and chart review checklist were used to collect data. The data were entered into Epi info version 7.2 and analyzed using SPSS version 23.0 software. A binary logistic regression model was fitted and an adjusted odds ration with 95% CI was used to determine the presence and strength of association between independent variables and cesarean birth.

Results

The response rate was 98.3% and 97.2% for public and private health facilities respectively. The prevalence of caesarean birth in private health facilities was 198 (56.3%) (95%CI: 50.9, 61.4) and in public health facilities was 98 (27.5%) (95%CI: 22.8, 32.2). Overall prevalence of caesarean birth was 296 (41.8%) (95%CI: 38.4, 45.5). Breech presentation (AOR = 3.64; 95%CI:1.49, 8.89), urban residence (AOR = 6.54; 95%CI:2.59, 16.48) and being referred (AOR = 2.44; 95%CI:1.46, 4.08) were variables significantly associated with caesarean birth among public facilities whereas age between 15–24 (AOR = 0.20, 95% CI; 0.07, 0.52), government employe (AOR = 2.28; 95%CI: 1.39,3.75), self-employed (AOR = 3.73; 95%CI:1.15,8.59), para one (AOR = 6.79; 95%CI:2.02, 22.79), para two (AOR = 3.88; 95% CI:1.15,13.08), and wealth index being highest level of wealth asset AOR = 5.39; 95%CI:1.08, 26.8) in private health facility associated with caesarean birth.

Conclusions

We concluded that there is high prevalence of caesarean birth both in private and public facility. There is a statistically significant difference in the prevalence of caesarean birth in public and private health facilities.

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<![CDATA[Would you like to participate in this trial? The practice of informed consent in intrapartum research in the last 30 years]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na45ec8a9-d35b-4ecd-a654-0f10371697fd

Background

Informed consent is the cornerstone of the ethical conduct and protection of the rights and wellbeing of participants in clinical research. Therefore, it is important to identify the most appropriate moments for the participants to be informed and to give consent, so that they are able to make a responsible and autonomous decision. However, the optimal timing of consent in clinical research during the intrapartum period remains controversial, and currently, there is no clear guidance.

Objective

We aimed to describe practices of informed consent in intrapartum care clinical research in the last three decades, as reported in uterotonics for postpartum haemorrhage prevention trials.

Methods

This is a secondary analysis of the studies included in the Cochrane review entitled “Uterotonic agents for preventing postpartum haemorrhage: a network meta-analysis” published in 2018. All the reports included in the Cochrane network meta-analysis were eligible for inclusion in this analysis, except for those reported in languages other than English, French or Spanish. We extracted and synthesized data on the time each of the components of the informed consent process occurred.

Results

We assessed data from 192 studies, out of 196 studies included in the Cochrane review. The majority of studies (59.9%, 115 studies) reported that women were informed about the study, without specifying the timing. When reported, most studies informed women at admission to the facility for childbirth. Most of the studies reported that consent was sought, but only 59.9% reported the timing, which in most of the cases, was at admission for childbirth. Among these, 32 studies obtained consent in the active phase of labour, 17 in the latent phase and in 10 studies the labour status was unknown. Women were consented antenatally in 6 studies and in 8 studies the consent was obtained indistinctly during antenatal care or at admission. Most of the studies did not specified who was the person who sought the informed consent.

Conclusion

Practices of informed consent in trials on use of uterotonics for prevention of postpartum haemorrhage showed variability and substandard reporting. Informed consent sought at admission for childbirth was the most frequent approach implemented in these trials.

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<![CDATA[Micro-RNA signatures in monozygotic twins discordant for congenital heart defects]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N5a7c737e-22cf-4de0-b5e8-861cb3f8f58f

Background

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs regulating gene expression post-transcriptionally. Recent studies demonstrated that miRNAs are involved in the development of congenital heart defects (CHD). In this study, we aimed at identifying the specific patterns of miRNAs in blood of monozygotic twin pairs discordant for CHD and to assess whether miRNAs might be involved in the development or reflect the consequences of CHD.

Methods

miRNA microarray analysis and Real-Time Quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) were employed to determine the miRNA abundance level from 12 monozygotic twins discordant for CHD and their non-CHD co-twins (n = 12). Enrichment analyses of altered miRNAs were performed using bioinformatics tools.

Results

Compared with non-CHD co-twins, profiling analysis indicated 34 miRNAs with a significant difference in abundance level (p<0.05, fold change ≥ 1.3), of which 11 miRNAs were up-regulated and 23 miRNAs were down-regulated. Seven miRNAs were validated with RT-qPCR including miR-511-3p, miR-1306-5p, miR-421, miR-4707-3p, miR-4732-3p, miR-5189-3p, and miR-890, and the results were consistent with microarray analysis. Five miRNAs namely miR-511-3p, miR-1306-5p, miR-4732-3p, miR-5189-3p, and miR-890 were found to be significantly up-regulated in twins < 10 years old. Bioinformatics analysis showed that the 7 validated miRNAs were involved in phosphatidylinositol signaling, gap junction signaling, and adrenergic signaling in cardiomyocytes.

Conclusions

Our data show deregulated miRNA abundance levels in the peripheral blood of monozygotic twins discordant for CHD, and identify new candidates for further analysis, which may contribute to understanding the development of CHD in the future. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that the target genes of these miRNAs are likely involved in signaling and communication of cardiomyocytes.

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<![CDATA[Risk of infection in the first year of life in preterm children: An Austrian observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne8c917d2-c06e-4527-bc81-08b9487488ae

Newborns, especially preterm infants, have an immature immune system, which, in combination with the required medical interventions necessary for keeping the neonate alive may lead to an increased risk of infection. Even after reaching stability and adapting to the environment, preterm infants have adverse prognoses regarding infections and long-term outcomes compared to their full-term counterparts. The objective of this study was to research differences in the number and severity of infections between preterm and full-term infants during their first year of life. To answer this question, a monocentric prospective study was conducted in a pediatric practice in Vienna, including 71 full-term infants and 72 preterm infants who were observed during their first year of life regarding occurring infections. In respective samples, there was a significantly higher total number of infections in preterm (mean 6.01 ± 3.90) compared to full-term infants (3.85 ± 1.72) during the observation period of one year. Particularly the count of respiratory and severe infections was considerably higher in preterm infants. Otorhinolaryngeal infections were the most frequent of all types of infections in both groups. The pregnancy period, number of siblings, and length of the postnatal hospital stay, were observed as significantly influencing factors which affected the total number of infections. The group of early term infants (37+0 weeks to 38+6) was not significantly different to late term babies (>39+0). The acquired knowledge about the increased risk of infections should lead to a more extensive care for preterm infants, with the objective of reducing the rates of complications, morbidity and mortality in this vulnerable age group in the future.

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<![CDATA[Dynamics of leukocyte telomere length in pregnant women living with HIV, and HIV-negative pregnant women: A longitudinal observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897779d5eed0c4847d2db4

Background

HIV-mediated inflammation and immune activation can accelerate telomere attrition. In addition, antiretrovirals can inhibit telomerase, possibly shortening telomeres. We examined the longitudinal dynamics of leukocyte telomere length (LTL) during pregnancy in a unique cohort of women living with HIV (WLWH) treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), and HIV-negative control women.

Methods

Blood was collected at three visits during pregnancy, at 13–23, >23–30, and >30–40 weeks of gestation, and for WLWH only, at 6 weeks post-partum. LTL was measured by qPCR and both cross-sectional and longitudinal (MANOVA) models were used to examine possible predictors of LTL among participants who attended all three visits during pregnancy.

Results

Among WLWH (n = 64) and HIV-negative women (n = 41), within participant LTL were correlated throughout pregnancy (p<0.001). LTL was shorter among WLWH at first visit, but this difference waned by the second visit. WLWH who discontinued cART post-partum experienced a decrease in LTL. Longitudinally, LTL was similar in both groups and increased as gestation progressed, a change that was more pronounced among women under 35 years. Among WLWH, both smoking throughout pregnancy (p = 0.04) and receiving a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor-based regimen (p = 0.03) were independently associated with shorter LTL.

Conclusions

LTL increases as pregnancy progresses; the reasons for this are unknown but may relate to changes in blood volume, hormones, and/or cell subset distribution. While our observations need confirmation in an independent cohort, our data suggest that although some cART regimens may influence LTL, being on cART appears overall protective and that stopping cART post-partum may negatively impact LTL. The effect of smoking on LTL is clearly negative, stressing the importance of smoking cessation.

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<![CDATA[Implementing the INTERGROWTH-21st gestational dating and fetal and newborn growth standards in peri-urban Nairobi, Kenya: Provider experiences, uptake and clinical decision-making]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1980d5eed0c484b4d7dd

Background

Perinatal and newborn complications are major risk factors for unfavorable fetal and neonatal outcomes. Gestational dating and growth monitoring can be instrumental in the identification and management of high-risk pregnancies and births. The INTERGROWTH-21st Project developed the first global standards for gestational dating and fetal and newborn growth monitoring, supplying a toolkit for clinicians. This study aimed to assess the feasibility and acceptability of the first known implementation study of these standards in a low resource setting.

Methods

The study was performed in two 12-month phases from March 2016 to March 2018 at Jacaranda Health, a private maternity hospital in peri-urban Nairobi, Kenya. In-depth interviews, focus group discussions and a provider survey were utilized to evaluate providers’ experiences during implementation. Client chart data, for pregnant women attending antenatal care and/or delivering at Jacaranda Health along with their newborns, were captured to assess uptake and effect of the standards on clinical decision-making.

Results

Facility-level support and provider buy-in proved to be critical factors driving the success of implementing the standards. However, additional support was needed to strengthen capacity to conduct and interpret ultrasounds and maintain motivation among providers. We observed a significant increase in the uptake of obstetric ultrasounds, particularly gestational dating, during the implementation of the standards. Although no significant changes were detected in the identification of high-risk pregnancies, referrals and deliveries by Cesarean section during implementation, we did observe a significant reduction in inductions for post-date. No significant barriers were reported regarding the use of the newborn standards. Over 80% of providers advocated for the standards to remain in place with some enhancements related mainly to training, advocacy and procurement.

Conclusions

The findings are timely with increasing global adoption of the standards and the challenging and multi-faceted nature of translating new, evidence-based guidelines into routine clinical practice.

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<![CDATA[Renal injury after uninephrectomy in male and female intrauterine growth-restricted aged rats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acce7d5eed0c48499029e

Epidemiological studies report an inverse association between birth weight and risk for kidney disease that may differ between males and females, but studies investigating this association are limited. This study tested the hypothesis that male intrauterine growth-restricted offspring in a model of low birth weight induced by placental insufficiency in the rat exhibit enhanced renal injury in response to a persistent secondary renal insult while female growth-restricted offspring are protected. For this study, control offspring from sham-operated dams and growth-restricted offspring from reduced uterine perfusion dams underwent uninephrectomy or a sham procedure at 18 months of age. One month later, urinary markers of renal injury, renal function, and histological damage were measured. Results were analyzed using 2-way ANOVA. Male and female offspring were assessed separately. Proteinuria and urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin were significantly elevated in male growth-restricted offspring exposed to uninephrectomy when compared to male uninephrectomized control. Urinary kidney injury marker-1 was elevated in male uninephrectomized growth-restricted offspring relative to male sham growth-restricted but not to male uninephrectomized controls. Likewise, urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin was elevated in female uninephrectomized growth-restricted offspring but only when compared to female sham growth-restricted offspring. Markers of renal function including glomerular filtration rate and serum creatinine were impaired after uninephrectomy in female offspring regardless of birth weight. Histological parameters did not differ between control and growth-restricted offspring. Collectively, these studies suggest that both male and female growth-restricted offspring demonstrate susceptibility to renal injury following uninephrectomy; however, only male growth-restricted offspring exhibited an increase in renal markers of injury in response to uninephrectomy relative to same-sex control counterparts. These findings further suggest that urinary excretion of protein, kidney injury marker-1, and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin may be early markers of kidney injury in growth-restricted offspring exposed to a secondary renal insult such as reduction in renal mass.

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<![CDATA[Furin, a transcriptional target of NKX2-5, has an essential role in heart development and function]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897793d5eed0c4847d307a

The homeodomain transcription factor NKX2-5 is known to be essential for both normal heart development and for heart function. But little is yet known about the identities of its downstream effectors or their function during differentiation of cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs). We have used transgenic analysis and CRISPR-mediated ablation to identify a cardiac enhancer of the Furin gene. The Furin gene, encoding a proprotein convertase, is directly repressed by NKX2-5. Deletion of Furin in CPCs is embryonic lethal, with mutant hearts showing a range of abnormalities in the outflow tract. Those defects are associated with a reduction in proliferation and premature differentiation of the CPCs. Deletion of Furin in differentiated cardiomyocytes results in viable adult mutant mice showing an elongation of the PR interval, a phenotype that is consistent with the phenotype of mice and human mutant for Nkx2-5. Our results show that Furin mediate some aspects of Nkx2-5 function in the heart.

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<![CDATA[Prescription medication use during pregnancies that resulted in births and abortions (2001-2013): A retrospective population-based study in a Canadian population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897711d5eed0c4847d23a9

We aimed to describe medication use in pregnancies that resulted in births and abortions, as well as use after a pregnancy-related visit to characterize the receipt of medication after knowledge of pregnancy. Abortions included both spontaneous and induced abortions. Rates of medication use among women with a pregnancy outcome (2001–2013) were described using the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. Use was determined as ≥ 1 prescription filled during pregnancies that resulted in births (livebirth/stillbirth) and abortions. Rates were calculated at any time during pregnancy and after a pregnancy-related visit. Rates were additionally characterized by risk in pregnancy using Briggs classification (2017). Of 174,848 birth pregnancies, overall 64.9% filled ≥ 1 prescription during pregnancy (a significant increase from 62.3% to 68.8% from 2001–2013, p<0.0001); 55.4% filled ≥ 1 prescription after a pregnancy-related visit. Of 71,967 abortions, 44.7% filled ≥ 1 prescription (a significant increase from 42.6% to 46.8% from 2001–2013, p<0.0001). Only 3.7% of birth pregnancies had at least one prescription for a contraindicated medication (according to Briggs classification), whereas 10.8% of abortions filled a prescription for a contraindicated medication. The most common drugs used in pregnancy were amoxicillin, doxylamine, codeine combinations, nitrofurantoin, cephalexin, salbutamol and ranitidine. Fewer women filled prescriptions for undesirable medications according to Briggs classification during pregnancy after a pregnancy-related visit.

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