ResearchPad - norway https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Sexual norms and the intention to use healthcare services related to female genital cutting: A qualitative study among Somali and Sudanese women in Norway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15732 Female Genital Cutting (FGC) is a traditionally meaningful practice in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. It is associated with a high risk of long-term physical and psychosexual health problems. Girls and women with FGC-related health problems need specialized healthcare services such as psychosexual counseling, deinfibulation, and clitoral reconstruction. Moreover, the need for psychosexual counseling increases in countries of immigration where FGC is not accepted and possibly stigmatized. In these countries, the practice loses its cultural meaning and girls and women with FGC are more likely to report psychosexual problems. In Norway, a country of immigration, psychosexual counseling is lacking. To decide whether to provide this and/or other services, it is important to explore the intention of the target population to use FGC-related healthcare services. That is as deinfibulation, an already available service, is underutilized. In this article, we explore whether girls and women with FGC intend to use FGC-related healthcare services, regardless of their availability in Norway.MethodsWe conducted 61 in-depth interviews with 26 Somali and Sudanese participants with FGC in Norway. We then validated our findings in three focus group discussions with additional 17 participants.FindingsWe found that most of our participants were positive towards psychosexual counseling and would use it if available. We also identified four cultural scenarios with different sets of sexual norms that centered on getting and/or staying married, and which largely influenced the participants’ intention to use FGC-related services. These cultural scenarios are the virgin, the passive-, the conditioned active-, and the equal- sexual partner scenarios. Participants with negative attitudes towards the use of almost all of the FGC-related healthcare services were influenced by a set of norms pertaining to virginity and passive sexual behavior. In contrast, participants with positive attitudes towards the use of all of these same services were influenced by another set of norms pertaining to sexual and gender equality. On the other hand, participants with positive attitudes towards the use of services that can help to improve their marital sexual lives, yet negative towards the use of premarital services were influenced by a third set of norms that combined norms from the two aforementioned sets of norms.ConclusionThe intention to use FGC-related healthcare services varies between and within the different ethnic groups. Moreover, the same girl or woman can have different attitudes towards the use of the different FGC-related healthcare services or even towards the same services at the different stages of her life. These insights could prove valuable for Norwegian and other policy-makers and healthcare professionals during the planning and/or delivery of FGC-related healthcare services. ]]> <![CDATA[Integrative taxonomy confirms three species of Coniocarpon (Arthoniaceae) in Norway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N74f06736-99fa-4e3f-a241-02ddba5eaa51
Abstract

We have studied the highly oceanic genus Coniocarpon in Norway. Our aim has been to delimit species of Coniocarpon in Norway based on an integrative taxonomic approach. The material studied comprises 120 specimens of Coniocarpon, obtained through recent collecting efforts (2017 and 2018) or received from major fungaria in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, as well as from private collectors. We have assessed (1) species delimitations and relationships based on Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses of three genetic markers (mtSSU, nucITS and RPB2), (2) morphology and anatomy using standard light microscopy, and (3) secondary lichen chemistry using high-performance thin-layer chromatography. The results show three genetically distinct lineages of Coniocarpon, representing C. cinnabarinum, C. fallax and C. cuspidans comb. nov. The latter was originally described as Arthonia cinnabarina f. cuspidans and is herein raised to species level. All three species are supported by morphological, anatomical and chemical data.

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<![CDATA[The fight to keep resistance at bay, epidemiology of carbapenemase producing organisms (CPOs), vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) and methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in Norway, 2006 - 2017]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8bad5eed0c48496f045

Introduction

Scandinavian countries have traditionally had a low prevalence of resistant organisms, but have in recent years experienced a change in their epidemiology. We aim to describe the epidemiology of carbapenemase-producing organisms (CPOs), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in Norway, measure the importance of infections contracted abroad, and assess the morbidity and mortality associated with these resistant bacteria in Norway.

Methods and materials

We used data from the Norwegian surveillance system for communicable diseases covering all findings of the selected resistant bacteria including both infections and colonisation, in the period 2006–2017. Annual trends were assessed using negative binomial regression. For MRSA, we were able to calculate the Morisita-Horn index and transmission numbers following importation in order to assess the effect this had on further domestic transmission.

Results

The incidence rates (per 100,000 personyears) of the three groups of resistant bacteria have increased during the period. In 2017 the incidence rates were 0.82 for CPOs, 7.09 for VRE and 43.8 for MRSA. 81% of CPO cases were diagnosed in hospitals, but 73% were infected abroad. Most VRE cases were infected in Norwegian hospitals, 85% were associated with hospitals outbreaks. MRSA was predominantly diagnosed in the community, only 21% were diagnosed in hospitals. Of all MRSA cases, 35% were infected in other countries. Most MRSA spa-types were not identified again after introduction, resulting in a transmission of MRSA equivalent to a mean of 0.30 persons infected from each spa-type identified (range: 0–22). The proportion of infections among all notified cases within each diagnose was 44% for MRSA, 9% for VRE and 45% for CPOs. Among persons notified with bacteraemia, the 30 days all-cause mortality were 20%, 16% and 50% for MRSA, VRE and CPOs respectively.

Discussion

The incidence rates of CPOs, VRE and MRSA in Norway are low, but increasing. The continuing increase of notified resistant bacteria highlights the need for a revision of existing infection prevention and control guidelines.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence and correlates of self-reported disordered eating: A cross-sectional study among 90 592 middle-aged Norwegian women]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217bbd5eed0c48479449a

Disordered eating (DE) is extensively studied among adolescents and young women. However, there is growing evidence that DE as well as the clinical eating disorders may occur at any age from childhood to advanced years. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and correlates of DE in a representative sample of middle-aged women from Norway. The study included 90 592 women (median age: 55 years) from the Norwegian Women and Cancer study who responded to a questionnaire between the years 2002–2005. Correlates of self-reported DE were assessed by logistic regression analyses. The overall period prevalence of DE between 2002–2005 was 0.28 (95% confidence interval 0.25–0.31) %, and was highest among women ≥ 66 years: 0.65 (0.60–0.70) %. DE was strongly associated with depression (Odds ratio [OR] 3.34 [95% confidence interval 2.53–4.41]), being unemployed (OR 1.78 [1.32–2.40]) and single (OR 1.66 [1.25–2.20]). Women with DE were more likely to report low energy intake (OR 1.41 [1.08–1.86]) and were less likely to be moderately physically active (OR 0.67 [0.47–0.95]). Using the largest study sample in the literature, the present findings confirm smaller studies showing that DE do occur in women in mid-life and older age as well. Our results contribute to address a somewhat under-communicated community health problem that needs attention in terms of age-specific treatment and prevention.

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<![CDATA[Cardiorespiratory fitness data from 18,189 participants who underwent treadmill cardiopulmonary exercise testing in a Brazilian population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5a8d5eed0c484ca6ff7

Purpose

Cardiorespiratory fitness is inversely associated with a high risk of cardiovascular disease, all-cause mortality, and mortality attributable to various cancers. It is often estimated indirectly using mathematical formulas for estimating oxygen uptake. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing, especially oxygen uptake, represents the “gold standard” for assessing exercise capacity. The purpose of this report was to develop reference standards for exercise capacity by establishing cardiorespiratory fitness values derived from cardiopulmonary exercise testing in a Brazilian population. We focused on oxygen uptake standards and compared the maximal oxygen uptake [mLO2·kg-1·min-1] values with those in the existing literature.

Methods

A database was constructed using reports from cardiopulmonary exercise testing performed at Fleury laboratory. The final cohort included 18,189 individuals considered to be free of structural heart disease. Percentiles of maximal oxygen uptake for men and women were determined for six age groups between 7 and 84 years. We compared the values with existing reference data from patients from Norway and the United States.

Results

There were significant differences in maximal oxygen uptake between sexes and across the age groups. In our cohort, the 50th percentile maximal oxygen uptake values for men and women decreased from 44.7 and 36.3 mLO2·kg-1·min-1 to 28.4 and 22.3 mLO2·kg-1·min-1 for patients aged 20–29 years to patients aged 60–69 years, respectively. For each age group, both Norwegian men and women had greater cardiorespiratory fitness than cohorts in the United States and Brazil.

Conclusion

To our knowledge, our analysis represents the largest reference data for cardiorespiratory fitness based on treadmill cardiopulmonary exercise testing. Our findings provide reference values of maximal oxygen uptake measurements from treadmill tests in Brazilian populations that are more accurate than previous standard values based on workload-derived estimations. This data may also add information to the global data used for the interpretation of cardiorespiratory fitness.

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<![CDATA[Health complaints among adolescents in Norway: A twenty-year perspective on trends]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa570d5eed0c484ca453d

Purpose

Examine time trends in health complaints among adolescents in Norway between 1994 and 2014 and among population subgroups, e.g., age and gender, as well as their interactions.

Methods

Norwegian data on 11-16-year-olds were drawn from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey (HBSC) and analyzed for 1994 (n = 4,952), 1998 (n = 5,026), 2002 (n = 5,023), 2006 (n = 4,711), 2010 (n = 4,342) and 2014 (n = 3,422). Design adjusted linear regression that accounts for clustering effects was used to examine mean scores of two subscales of the HBSC-symptom checklist: psychological and somatic health complaints.

Results

Psychological and somatic health complaints among adolescents in Norway followed somewhat different trajectories, but the mean scores of both types of health complaints appeared to increase during the 20-year period. For psychological health complaints, there was a three-way interaction between age, gender and time, indicating that increasing trends in health complaints depended on both age and gender, in which older adolescent girls had a greater increase over time relative to younger adolescents and boys.

Conclusions

Findings from this study, together with earlier findings, suggest that there has been an increasing trend in health complaints among adolescents in Norway from 1994 to 2014, especially among older adolescent girls. Future research should examine if trends in health complaints also depend on gender and age in other contexts. This will help the planning and implementation of tailored and effective interventions.

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<![CDATA[Novel Type of Chronic Wasting Disease Detected in Moose (Alces alces), Norway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1686c0d5eed0c484444867

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) persists in cervid populations of North America and in 2016 was detected for the first time in Europe in a wild reindeer in Norway. We report the detection of CWD in 3 moose (Alces alces) in Norway, identified through a large scale surveillance program. The cases occurred in 13–14-year-old female moose, and we detected an abnormal form of prion protein (PrPSc) in the brain but not in lymphoid tissues. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the moose shared the same neuropathologic phenotype, characterized by mostly intraneuronal deposition of PrPSc. This pattern differed from that observed in reindeer and has not been previously reported in CWD-infected cervids. Moreover, Western blot revealed a PrPSc type distinguishable from previous CWD cases and from known ruminant prion diseases in Europe, with the possible exception of sheep CH1641. These findings suggest that these cases in moose represent a novel type of CWD.

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<![CDATA[Harvest Pressure on Coastal Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) from Recreational Fishing Relative to Commercial Fishing Assessed from Tag-Recovery Data]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9bab0ee8fa60ba3ce9

Marine recreational fishing is a popular outdoor activity. However, knowledge about the magnitude of recreational catches relative to commercial catches in coastal fisheries is generally sparse. Coastal Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) is a target species for recreational fishers in the North Atlantic. In Norway, recreational fishers are allowed to use a variety of traps and nets as well as long-line and rod and line when fishing for cod. From 2005 to 2013, 9729 cod (mean size: 40 cm, range: 15–93 cm) were tagged and released in coastal Skagerrak, southeast Norway. Both high-reward (NOK 500) and low-reward tags (NOK 50) were used in this study. Because some harvested fish (even those posting high-reward tags) may go unreported by fishers, reporting rates were estimated from mark-recovery models that incorporate detection parameters in their structure, in addition to survival and mortality estimates. During 2005 to 2013, a total of 1707 tagged cod were recovered and reported by fishers. We estimate the overall annual survival to be 33% (SE 1.5). Recreational rod and line fishing were responsible for 33.7% (SE 2.4) of total mortality, followed by commercial fisheries (15.1% SE 0.8) and recreational fixed gear (6.8% SE 0.4). Natural mortality was 44.4% (SE 2.5) of total mortality. Our findings suggest that recreational fishing—rod and line fishing in particular—is responsible for a substantial part of fishing mortality exerted on coastal cod in southern Norway.

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<![CDATA[The range of the mange: Spatiotemporal patterns of sarcoptic mange in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) as revealed by camera trapping]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdca15

Sarcoptic mange is a widely distributed disease that affects numerous mammalian species. We used camera traps to investigate the apparent prevalence and spatiotemporal dynamics of sarcoptic mange in a red fox population in southeastern Norway. We monitored red foxes for five years using 305 camera traps distributed across an 18000 km2 area. A total of 6581 fox events were examined to visually identify mange compatible lesions. We investigated factors associated with the occurrence of mange by using logistic models within a Bayesian framework, whereas the spatiotemporal dynamics of the disease were analysed with space-time scan statistics. The apparent prevalence of the disease fluctuated over the study period with a mean of 3.15% and credible interval [1.25, 6.37], and our best logistic model explaining the presence of red foxes with mange-compatible lesions included time since the beginning of the study and the interaction between distance to settlement and season as explanatory variables. The scan analyses detected several potential clusters of the disease that varied in persistence and size, and the locations in the cluster with the highest probability were closer to human settlements than the other survey locations. Our results indicate that red foxes in an advanced stage of the disease are most likely found closer to human settlements during periods of low wild prey availability (winter). We discuss different potential causes. Furthermore, the disease appears to follow a pattern of small localized outbreaks rather than sporadic isolated events.

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<![CDATA[Genetic Structure in the Northern Range Margins of Common Ash, Fraxinus excelsior L.]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1dab0ee8fa60b7d735

During post glacial colonization, loss of genetic diversity due to leading edge effects may be attenuated in forest trees because of their prolonged juvenile phase, allowing many migrants to reach the colonizing front before populations become reproductive. The northern range margins of temperate tree taxa in Europe are particularly suitable to study the genetic processes that follow colonization because they have been little affected by northern refugia. Here we examined how post glacial range dynamics have shaped the genetic structure of common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) in its northern range compared to its central range in Europe. We used four chloroplast and six nuclear microsatellites to screen 42 populations (1099 trees), half of which corresponded to newly sampled populations in the northern range and half of which represented reference populations from the central range obtained from previously studies. We found that northern range populations of common ash have the same chloroplast haplotypes as south-eastern European populations, suggesting that colonization of the northern range took place along a single migration route, a result confirmed by the structure at the nuclear microsatellites. Along this route, diversity strongly decreased only in the northern range, concomitantly with increasing population differentiation and complex population substructures, a pattern consistent with a leading edge colonization model. Our study highlights that while diversity is maintained in the central range of common ash due to broad colonizing fronts and high levels of gene flow, it profoundly decreases in the northern range, where colonization was unidirectional and probably involved repeated founder events and population fluctuations. Currently, common ash is threatened by ash dieback, and our results on northern populations will be valuable for developing gene conservation strategies.

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<![CDATA[Geographical trends of PFAS in cod livers along the Norwegian coast]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60bdff46

The level of perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) was determined in North East Arctic cod (Gadus morhua) liver samples from 15 Norwegian fjords and harbors. Five harbors in the eastern part of Norway, six harbors in the western part and four harbours in the northern part. A total of 200 samples were analyzed for 16 PFAS. Determination of PFAS were carried out by LC-MS/MS following sample clean up by solid phase extraction and ultracentrifugation. The predominating PFAS was PFOS, which was found to be higher than the level of quantification (1.5 μg kg-1 wet weight) in 72% of the samples. The highest level of PFOS found was 21.8 μg kg-1 wet weight in a sample from Kragerø in the eastern part of Norway. A significantly higher level of PFOS was found in the eastern fjords and harbors compared to fjords and harbors in the western and northern part of Norway. Within the northern fjords and harbors elevated PFOS levels were found in Narvik, which may indicate a local source there. Variations in PFOS of the cod livers thus reflect differences in levels of pollution between the areas.

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<![CDATA[Cross-Breeding Is Inevitable to Conserve the Highly Inbred Population of Puffin Hunter: The Norwegian Lundehund]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcf00

The Norwegian Lundehund is a highly endangered native dog breed. Low fertility and high frequency predisposition to intestinal disorder imply inbreeding depression. We assessed the genetic diversity of the Lundehund population from pedigree data and evaluated the potential of optimal contribution selection and cross-breeding in the long-term management of the Lundehund population. The current Norwegian Lundehund population is highly inbred and has lost 38.8% of the genetic diversity in the base population. Effective population size estimates varied between 13 and 82 depending on the method used. Optimal contribution selection alone facilitates no improvement in the current situation in the Lundehund due to the extremely high relatedness of the whole population. Addition of (replacement with) 10 breeding candidates of foreign breed to 30 Lundehund breeders reduced the parental additive genetic relationship by 40–42% (48–53%). Immediate actions are needed to increase the genetic diversity in the current Lundehund population. The only option to secure the conservation of this rare breed is to introduce individuals from foreign breeds as breeding candidates.

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<![CDATA[Science deserves to be judged by its contents, not by its wrapping: Revisiting Seglen's work on journal impact and research evaluation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc183

The scientific foundation for the criticism on the use of the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) in evaluations of individual researchers and their publications was laid between 1989 and 1997 in a series of articles by Per O. Seglen. His basic work has since influenced initiatives such as the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), the Leiden Manifesto for research metrics, and The Metric Tide review on the role of metrics in research assessment and management. Seglen studied the publications of only 16 senior biomedical scientists. We investigate whether Seglen’s main findings still hold when using the same methods for a much larger group of Norwegian biomedical scientists with more than 18,000 publications. Our results support and add new insights to Seglen’s basic work.

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<![CDATA[Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) Antidepressants in Pregnancy and Congenital Anomalies: Analysis of Linked Databases in Wales, Norway and Funen, Denmark]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da06ab0ee8fa60b75e5d

Background

Hypothesised associations between in utero exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and congenital anomalies, particularly congenital heart defects (CHD), remain controversial. We investigated the putative teratogenicity of SSRI prescription in the 91 days either side of first day of last menstrual period (LMP).

Methods and Findings

Three population-based EUROCAT congenital anomaly registries- Norway (2004–2010), Wales (2000–2010) and Funen, Denmark (2000–2010)—were linked to the electronic healthcare databases holding prospectively collected prescription information for all pregnancies in the timeframes available. We included 519,117 deliveries, including foetuses terminated for congenital anomalies, with data covering pregnancy and the preceding quarter, including 462,641 with data covering pregnancy and one year either side. For SSRI exposures 91 days either side of LMP, separately and together, odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (ORs, 95%CI) for all major anomalies were estimated. We also explored: pausing or discontinuing SSRIs preconception, confounding, high dose regimens, and, in Wales, diagnosis of depression. Results were combined in meta-analyses. SSRI prescription 91 days either side of LMP was associated with increased prevalence of severe congenital heart defects (CHD) (as defined by EUROCAT guide 1.3, 2005) (34/12,962 [0.26%] vs. 865/506,155 [0.17%] OR 1.50, 1.06–2.11), and the composite adverse outcome of 'anomaly or stillbirth' (473/12962, 3.65% vs. 15829/506,155, 3.13%, OR 1.13, 1.03–1.24). The increased prevalence of all major anomalies combined did not reach statistical significance (3.09% [400/12,962] vs. 2.67% [13,536/506,155] OR 1.09, 0.99–1.21). Adjusting for socio-economic status left ORs largely unchanged. The prevalence of anomalies and severe CHD was reduced when SSRI prescriptions were stopped or paused preconception, and increased when >1 prescription was recorded, but differences were not statistically significant. The dose-response relationship between severe CHD and SSRI dose (meta-regression OR 1.49, 1.12–1.97) was consistent with SSRI-exposure related risk. Analyses in Wales suggested no associations between anomalies and diagnosed depression.

Conclusion

The additional absolute risk of teratogenesis associated with SSRIs, if causal, is small. However, the high prevalence of SSRI use augments its public health importance, justifying modifications to preconception care.

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<![CDATA[Penetration and Effectiveness of Micronized Copper in Refractory Wood Species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0aab0ee8fa60b776c2

The North American wood decking market mostly relies on easily treatable Southern yellow pine (SYP), which is being impregnated with micronized copper (MC) wood preservatives since 2006. These formulations are composed of copper (Cu) carbonate particles (CuCO3·Cu(OH)2), with sizes ranging from 1 nm to 250 μm, according to manufacturers. MC-treated SYP wood is protected against decay by solubilized Cu2+ ions and unreacted CuCO3·Cu(OH)2 particles that successively release Cu2+ ions (reservoir effect). The wood species used for the European wood decking market differ from the North American SYP. One of the most common species is Norway spruce wood, which is poorly treatable i.e. refractory due to the anatomical properties, like pore size and structure, and chemical composition, like pit membrane components or presence of wood extractives. Therefore, MC formulations may not suitable for refractory wood species common in the European market, despite their good performance in SYP. We evaluated the penetration effectiveness of MC azole (MCA) in easily treatable Scots pine and in refractory Norway spruce wood. We assessed the effectiveness against the Cu-tolerant wood-destroying fungus Rhodonia placenta. Our findings show that MCA cannot easily penetrate refractory wood species and could not confirm the presence of a reservoir effect.

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<![CDATA[Respiratory response to temperature of three populations of Aurelia aurita polyps in northern Europe]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60bdfe4b

The benthic life stage (polyp or scyphistoma) of the bloom-forming jellyfish, Aurelia aurita (Linnaeus, 1759), also known as the moon jellyfish, contributes to the seasonal occurrence and abundance of medusa blooms via asexual reproduction. A. aurita is widely distributed in coastal areas in northern Europe, and one of the most studied jellyfish species. While the physiology of the visible medusa is largely understood, understanding of the physiology of the perennial benthic life-stage is scarce. To measure the physiological tolerance of A. aurita, the scyphistoma’s temperature sensitivity across its distributional range was investigated. Respiration rates of polyps from three northern European locations exposed to 11 temperatures between 2 and 22°C were measured. There was a significant difference in respiration rate among the three polyp populations, which may reflect on differences in their thermal tolerance window. A critical temperature was reached at 14°C with the metabolic rate decreasing below and above that temperature. This pattern was less pronounced in the Norwegian population but polyps were able to survive, at least temporarily, those temperatures exceeding their natural range. While polyps collected from northern Norway, with a narrow environmental thermal window, displayed a low baseline metabolism with a Q10 value of 1.2, polyps from southern England and Scotland had Q10 values of 1.6 and 2.5, respectively. Differences in polyps’ respiration rates across their distributional range suggest that populations have evolved adaptations to local environmental thermal conditions.

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<![CDATA[COMplementary Primer ASymmetric PCR (COMPAS-PCR) Applied to the Identification of Salmo salar, Salmo trutta and Their Hybrids]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf7ab0ee8fa60bc3475

Avoiding complementarity between primers when designing a PCR assay constitutes a central rule strongly anchored in the mind of the molecular scientist. 3’-complementarity will extend the primers during PCR elongation using one another as template, consequently disabling further possible involvement in traditional target amplification. However, a 5’-complementarity will leave the primers unchanged during PCR cycles, albeit sequestered to one another, therefore also suppressing target amplification. We show that 5’-complementarity between primers may be exploited in a new PCR method called COMplementary-Primer-Asymmetric (COMPAS)-PCR, using asymmetric primer concentrations to achieve target PCR amplification. Moreover, such a design may paradoxically reduce spurious non-target amplification by actively sequestering the limiting primer. The general principles were demonstrated using 5S rDNA direct repeats as target sequences to design a species-specific assay for identifying Salmo salar and Salmo trutta using almost fully complementary primers overlapping the same target sequence. Specificity was enhanced by using 3’-penultimate point mutations and the assay was further developed to enable identification of S. salar x S. trutta hybrids by High Resolution Melt analysis in a 35 min one-tube assay. This small paradigm shift, using highly complementary primers for PCR, should help develop robust assays that previously would not be considered.

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<![CDATA[Hepatitis C Treatment Uptake among Patients Who Have Received Opioid Substitution Treatment: A Population-Based Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae5ab0ee8fa60bbd56d

Background and Aims

There is limited data on hepatitis C (HCV) treatment uptake among people who inject drugs including individuals receiving opioid substitution treatment (OST). We aimed to calculate cumulative HCV treatment uptake, estimate annual treatment rates, and identify factors associated with HCV treatment among individuals who have received OST in Norway.

Methods

This observational study was based on linked data from The Norwegian Prescription Database and The Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases between 2004 and 2013. Both registries have national coverage. From a total of 9919 individuals who had been dispensed OST (methadone, buprenorphine or buprenorphine-naloxone), we included 3755 individuals who had been notified with HCV infection. In this population, dispensions of HCV treatment (pegylated interferon and ribavirin), benzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and antipsychotics were studied.

Results

Among 3755 OST patients notified with HCV infection, 539 (14%) had received HCV treatment during the study period. Annual HCV treatment rates during OST ranged between 1.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.7–2.2) in 2005 and 2.6% (95% CI 1.9–3.5) in 2008 with no significant changes over time. HCV treatment uptake was not associated with age or gender, but associated with duration of active OST (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.11 per year; 95% CI 1.07–1.15), high (> 80%) OST continuity (aOR 1.62; 95% CI 1.17–2.25), and heavy benzodiazepine use (aOR 0.65; 95% CI 0.49–0.87).

Conclusions

Cumulative HCV treatment uptake among OST patients notified with HCV infection in Norway between 2004 and 2013 was 14%. Annual treatment rates during OST remained unchanged below 3% per year. High continuity of OST over time and absence of heavy benzodiazepine use predicted HCV treatment uptake. Increased awareness for HCV among OST patients is needed as tolerable and efficient directly acting antiviral treatment is being introduced.

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<![CDATA[Trends in Food Habits and Their Relation to Socioeconomic Status among Nordic Adolescents 2001/2002-2009/2010]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab4ab0ee8fa60bac596

Background

In the Nordic countries, substantial policy and intervention efforts have been made to increase adolescents' consumption of fruit and vegetables and to reduce their intake of sweets and soft drinks. Some initiatives have been formulated in a Nordic collaboration and implemented at national level. In recent years, social inequalities in food habits have been attracted particular governmental interest and several initiatives addressing the socioeconomic gradient in food habits have been highlighted. However, few internationally published studies have evaluated how trends in adolescents' food habits develop in the context of Nordic nutrition policy, or have compared differences between the Nordic countries.

Methods

The study was based on Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish cross-sectional data from the international Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC) study, collected via three nationally representative and comparable questionnaire surveys in 2001/2002, 2005/2006 and 2009/2010. Food habits were identified by students' consumption of fruit, vegetables, sweets and sugar sweetened soft drink. Socioeconomic status (SES) was measured with the Family Affluence Scale (FAS). Multilevel logistic regression was used to analyze the data.

Results

Trends in fruit consumption developed differently across countries, characterized by an increase in Denmark and Norway and more stable trends in Sweden and Finland. Vegetable consumption increased particularly in Denmark and to a lesser extent in Norway, whereas Sweden and Finland displayed stable trends. Decreased trends were observed for sweet and soft drink consumption and were similar in Norway, Sweden and Finland. Sweet consumption decreased across all survey years, whereas soft drink consumption decreased between 2001/2002–2005/2006 and was stable thereafter. Denmark displayed an increase between 2001/2002–2005/2006 followed by a similar decrease between 2005/2006–2009/2010 for both sweet and soft drink consumption. Socioeconomic inequalities in fruit and vegetable consumption were observed in all countries, with no cross-country differences, and no changes over time. Small but not significant cross-country variation was identified for SES inequalities in sweet consumption. Reduced SES inequalities were observed in Sweden between 2005/2006 and 2009/2010. SES was not associated with soft drink consumption in this study population, with the exception of Denmark for the survey year 2009/2010.

Conclusion

Different trends resulted in increased country differences in food habits during the time of observations. In survey year 2009/2010, Danish students reported a higher intake of fruit and vegetable consumption than their counterparts in the other Nordic countries. Finnish students reported the lowest frequency of sweets and soft drink consumption. Despite the positive dietary trends documented in the present study, the majority of Nordic adolescents are far from meeting national dietary recommendations. Our findings underline the need for more comprehensive initiatives targeting young people's food habits as well as a more deliberate and focused action to close gaps in social inequalities that affect food choices.

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<![CDATA[Social Network Type and Long-Term Condition Management Support: A Cross-Sectional Study in Six European Countries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3dab0ee8fa60bd59e1

Background

Network types and characteristics have been linked to the capacity of inter-personal environments to mobilise and share resources. The aim of this paper is to examine personal network types in relation to long-term condition management in order to identify the properties of network types most likely to provide support for those with a long-term condition.

Method

A cross-sectional observational survey of people with type 2 diabetes using interviews and questionnaires was conducted between April and October 2013 in six European countries: Greece, Spain, Bulgaria, Norway, United Kingdom, and Netherlands. 1862 people with predominantly lower socio-economic status were recruited from each country. We used k-means clustering analysis to derive the network types, and one-way analysis of variance and multivariate logistic regression analysis to explore the relationship between network type socio-economic characteristics, self-management monitoring and skills, well-being, and network member work.

Results

Five network types of people with long-term conditions were identified: restricted, minimal family, family, weak ties, and diverse. Restricted network types represented those with the poorest self-management skills and were associated with limited support from social network members. Restricted networks were associated with poor indicators across self-management capacity, network support, and well-being. Diverse networks were associated with more enhanced self-management skills amongst those with a long-term condition and high level of emotional support. It was the three network types which had a large number of network members (diverse, weak ties, and family) where healthcare utilisation was most likely to correspond to existing health needs.

Discussion

Our findings suggest that type of increased social involvement is linked to greater self-management capacity and potentially lower formal health care costs indicating that diverse networks constitute the optimal network type as a policy in terms of the design of LTCM interventions and building support for people with LTCs.

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