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Ayer — Noviembre 12th 2019Tus fuentes RSS

Pressure ulcer Cat. II‐IV incidence on the CuroCell S.A.M. PRO powered reactive air support surface in a high‐risk population: A multicentre cohort study in 12 Belgian nursing homes

Abstract

The primary objective was to study pressure ulcer (PU) category II‐IV (including suspected deep tissue injury and unstageable PUs) cumulative incidence and PU incidence density, in a 30day observation period, associated with the use of the CuroCell S.A.M. PRO powered reactive air support surface in nursing home residents at risk for PU development. Secondary objectives were to study (a) PU category I cumulative incidence and PU incidence density and (b) user (caregivers and residents) experiences and perceptions of comfort associated with the use of the support surface under study. A multicentre cohort study was set up in 37 care units of 12 Belgian nursing homes. The sample consisted of 191 residents at risk of PU development (Braden score ≤ 17). The cumulative PU incidence was 4.7% (n = 9). The PU incidence density was 1.7/1000 observation days (9 PU/5370 days). The experience and perceptions of comfort analysis revealed that the CuroCell S.A.M. PRO powered reactive air support surface was comfortable for daily use. The mode of action and the quietness of the pump function had a positive impact on sleep quality. Patient comfort and sleep quality are essential criteria in the selection of a support surface.

Innate immune molecule surfactant protein D attenuates sepsis‐induced acute kidney injury through modulating apoptosis and NFκB‐mediated inflammation

Abstract

The objective of this study is to investigate the mechanism whereby innate immune molecule surfactant protein D (SP‐D) attenuates sepsis‐induced acute kidney injury (AKI) through modulating apoptosis and nuclear factor kappa‐B (NFκB)‐mediated inflammation. In the present study, a mouse sepsis model was established by cecal ligation and puncture in SP‐D knockout (KO) mice and wild‐type (WT) mice. A sham‐operated group was included as the control. The experimental materials were extracted 6 and 24 hours postoperatively. The plasma levels of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF‐α) and MCP‐1 were determined by enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Apoptosis was measured by double staining with Annexin V/propidium iodide and flow cytometry. The levels of NFκB in renal tissues were measured by ELISA and Western blotting assay. Apoptosis was detected by TUNEL assays. There were no significant differences in plasma TNF‐α levels between the WT sham group and the KO sham group at 6 and 24 hours postoperatively (P < .05), but the levels of TNF‐α in the WT sepsis and KO sepsis groups were significantly higher than those in controls (P < .05). The levels of TNF‐α in the KO sepsis group were significantly higher than those of the WT sepsis group (P < .05). TNF‐α levels in the WT sepsis group and the KO sepsis group at 24 hours postoperatively were significantly higher than those at 6 hours postoperatively (P < .05). The levels of MCP‐1 in the WT sepsis group and the KO sepsis group at 6 and 24 hours postoperatively were significantly higher than those in the control group (P < .05), and MCP‐1 levels in the KO sepsis group were significantly higher than those in the WT sepsis group (P < .05). MCP‐1 levels in the WT sepsis group and the KO sepsis group at 24 hours postoperatively were significantly higher than those at 6 hours postoperatively (P < .05). The expression of SP‐D in WT kidneys was significantly lower at 6 and 24 hours postoperatively (P < .05). The number of TUNEL‐positive cells in the kidneys from septic SP‐D KO mice was significantly higher (P < .05). The levels of NFκB in septic mice were significantly increased at 6 and 24 hours after induction of sepsis compared with the sham‐operated group compared with those of septic SP‐D KO mice and WT mice (P < .05). Innate immune molecule SP‐D significantly decreased plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines in mice and attenuated sepsis‐induced AKI by inhibiting NFκB activity and apoptosis.

The role of Th1/Th2 cell chemokine expression in hypertrophic scar

Abstract

The aim of this study was to study the role of Th1/Th2 cell‐associated chemokines in the formation of hypertrophic scars in rabbit ears. Twenty‐six New Zealand white rabbits were used to establish the hypertrophic scar model of rabbit ear and the normal scar model of rabbit's back. Two rabbits were sacrificed on days 0 and 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, 56, and 63 after operation. The specimens were stained with haematoxylin‐eosin (HE). Scar elevation index (SEI) was used to detect the expression of 10 chemokines related to Th1/Th2 cells in both scar formation expressions. Real‐time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results showed that two chemokines (CXCL10, CXCL12) were highly expressed during the formation of normal scar, and there was almost no expression during the formation of hypertrophic scar (*P < 0.05). The chemokines (CCL2, CCL3, CCL4, CCL5, CCL7, CCL13, CX3CL1) were almost non‐expressed in the formation of normal scars but were expressed for a long time in the formation of hypertrophic scars. The four chemokines, CCL2, CCL4, CCL5, and CX3CL1, maintained a long‐term high expression level during the formation of hypertrophic scars (P < 0.01). There were also three chemokines (CCL14, CCL19, CCL21) that were almost undetectable in normal scarring, but there was transiently low‐level expression (P < 0.05) only during the peak proliferative phase in proliferative scarring. Th1/Th2 cell‐associated chemokines are different in the type, quantity and expression, and maintenance time of rabbit ear hypertrophic scars.

Factors influencing the local cure rate of hidradenitis suppurativa following wide local excision

Abstract

Wide local excision is the gold standard and only potential curative therapy for recalcitrant hidradenitis suppurativa. However, high recurrence rates persist even post‐surgery with little known on the influencing factors for remission. We evaluated the effect of patient, disease, and operative factors on local cure rate of moderate to severe hidradenitis following wide local excision. We performed a retrospective chart review for all patients who had undergone surgical excision of hidradenitis at a university hospital from 2012 to 2018. We identified 79 patients with a total of 220 operative sites. The majority were obese (mean body mass index [BMI] 32.5), female (71%), African‐American (84%), and had a mean age of 31 years. A quarter of operative sites experienced a recurrence (n = 56). Patients who achieved remission had a significantly lower number of affected regions than those who experienced a recurrence (2.3 vs 3.6, P = .0023). Additionally, recurrence rate differed significantly between body locations (P = .0440). Smoking, BMI, Hurley grade, closure method, and excision size did not influence local cure rate. Surgical excision remains a worthy management option for hidradenitis patients with three quarters achieving remission after a single operation. Number of affected regions and location of hidradenitis may play a factor in recurrence.

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Molecular characterisation of genital human papillomavirus among women in Southwestern, Nigeria

by Yewande T. Nejo, David O. Olaleye, Georgina N. Odaibo

Background

Persistent infections with high-risk genital Human papillomavirus (HPV) especially types 16 and 18, are associated with cervical cancer. However, distribution of HPV types varies greatly across geographical regions and the available vaccines target only few types. This study was designed to determine the HPV types circulating in Southwestern Nigeria, thereby providing necessary information for effective control of the virus.

Methods

Endocervical swab samples were collected from a total of 295 consenting women attending routine cervical cancer screening, STI clinics and community-based outreach programme. Viral DNA was extracted from the samples and the consensus region of the HPV DNA was amplified by PCR using GP-E6/E7 primers. Type-specific nested multiplex PCR and Sanger sequencing were used to genotype the HPV isolates.

Results

In this study, 51 (17.3%) individuals were positive for HPV DNA using consensus primers that target the E6/E7 genes but only 48 (16.3%) were genotyped. A total of 15 HPV types (HPV-6, 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 42, 43, 44, 52, 58, 66, 74, 81, 86) were detected, with HPV-31 being the most predominant (32.8%), followed by HPV-35 (17.2%) and HPV-16 (15.5%). Two rare HPV types; 74 and 86 were also detected. The HPV-74 isolate had three nucleotide (CCT) insertions at E7 gene that translated into amino acid proline. Highest nucleotide substitutions (n = 32) were found in HPV-44 genotype. Among positive individuals, 20.8% had dual infections and 86.2% had High-risk HPV types.

Conclusions

Multiple Human papillomavirus types co-circulated in the study. Most of the circulating Human papillomavirus are high-risk type with type 31 being the most predominant. Although the implication of HPV-74 with proline insertion detected for the first time is unknown, it may have effect on the transformation potential of the virus. Polyvalent HPV vaccine will be more effective for the infection control in Nigeria.

Institutional differences in USMLE Step 1 and 2 CK performance: Cross-sectional study of 89 US allopathic medical schools

by Jesse Burk-Rafel, Ricardo W. Pulido, Yousef Elfanagely, Joseph C. Kolars

Introduction

The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) are important for trainee medical knowledge assessment and licensure, medical school program assessment, and residency program applicant screening. Little is known about how USMLE performance varies between institutions. This observational study attempts to identify institutions with above-predicted USMLE performance, which may indicate educational programs successful at promoting students’ medical knowledge.

Methods

Self-reported institution-level data was tabulated from publicly available US News and World Report and Association of American Medical Colleges publications for 131 US allopathic medical schools from 2012–2014. Bivariate and multiple linear regression were performed. The primary outcome was institutional mean USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 CK scores outside a 95% prediction interval (≥2 standard deviations above or below predicted) based on multiple regression accounting for students’ prior academic performance.

Results

Eighty-nine US medical schools (54 public, 35 private) reported complete USMLE scores over the three-year study period, representing over 39,000 examinees. Institutional mean grade point average (GPA) and Medical College Admission Test score (MCAT) achieved an adjusted R2 of 72% for Step 1 (standardized βMCAT 0.7, βGPA 0.2) and 41% for Step 2 CK (standardized βMCAT 0.5, βGPA 0.3) in multiple regression. Using this regression model, 5 institutions were identified with above-predicted institutional USMLE performance, while 3 institutions had below-predicted performance.

Conclusions

This exploratory study identified several US allopathic medical schools with significant above- or below-predicted USMLE performance. Although limited by self-reported data, the findings raise questions about inter-institutional USMLE performance parity, and thus, educational parity. Additional work is needed to determine the etiology and robustness of the observed performance differences.

Carvedilol improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in treatment of adrenergic overdrive in high fat diet-induced obesity in mice

by Linh V. Nguyen, Quang V. Ta, Thao B. Dang, Phu H. Nguyen, Thach Nguyen, Thi Van Huyen Pham, Trang HT. Nguyen, Stephen Baker, Trung Le Tran, Dong Joo Yang, Ki Woo Kim, Khanh V. Doan

Catecholamine excess reflecting an adrenergic overdrive of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) has been proposed to link to hyperleptinemia in obesity and may contribute to the development of metabolic disorders. However, relationship between the catecholamine level and plasma leptin in obesity has not yet been investigated. Moreover, whether pharmacological blockade of the adrenergic overdrive in obesity by the third-generation beta-blocker agents such as carvedilol could help to prevent metabolic disorders is controversial and remains to be determined. Using the high fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mouse model, we found that basal plasma norepinephrine, the principal catecholamine as an index of SNS activity, was persistently elevated and highly correlated with plasma leptin concentration during obesity development. Targeting the adrenergic overdrive from this chronic norepinephrine excess in HFD-induced obesity with carvedilol, a third-generation beta-blocker with vasodilating action, blunted the HFD-induced hepatic glucose over-production by suppressing the induction of gluconeogenic enzymes, and enhanced the muscular insulin signaling pathway. Furthermore, carvedilol treatment in HFD-induced obese mice decreased the enlargement of white adipose tissue and improved the glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity without affecting body weight and blood glucose levels. Our results suggested that catecholamine excess in obesity might directly link to the hyperleptinemic condition and the therapeutic targeting of chronic adrenergic overdrive in obesity with carvedilol might be helpful to attenuate obesity-related metabolic disorders.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is an early predictor of metabolic diseases in a metabolically healthy population

by Seokhun Yang, Soongu Kwak, Jeong-Hoon Lee, Shinae Kang, Seung-Pyo Lee

Aims

The relationship between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and incident metabolic syndrome in metabolically healthy subjects is unknown. We aimed to investigate whether nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a predictor of future metabolic syndrome in metabolically healthy subjects.

Materials and methods

Subjects who underwent health evaluation at least twice between 2009 and 2015 from the National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort in South Korea were included. Patients without obesity who had no metabolic syndrome components were finally analyzed (n = 28,880). The definition of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease was based on both the hepatic steatosis and fatty liver indices. The incidence of metabolic syndrome, prediabetes/type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia was compared between the subjects with and without nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

Results

The presence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease was associated with a higher risk of incident metabolic syndrome, prediabetes/type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia in the entire cohort (metabolic syndrome: adjusted hazard ratio, 2.10; 95% confidence interval, 1.18–3.71; prediabetes/type 2 diabetes: adjusted hazard ratio, 1.42; 95% confidence interval, 1.06–1.90; hypertension: adjusted hazard ratio, 2.36; 95% confidence interval, 1.35–4.12; dyslipidemia: adjusted hazard ratio, 1.49; 95% confidence interval, 1.07–2.06). A similar finding was observed in the age-, sex-, smoking status-, and body mass index-based 1:5 propensity score-matched cohort of 1,092 subjects (metabolic syndrome: adjusted hazard ratio, 3.56; 95% confidence interval, 1.79–7.07; prediabetes/type 2 diabetes: adjusted hazard ratio, 1.97; 95% confidence interval, 1.04–3.73; hypertension: adjusted hazard ratio, 2.57; 95% confidence interval, 1.35–4.88; dyslipidemia: adjusted hazard ratio, 1.61; 95% confidence interval, 1.12–2.32).

Conclusions

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is an early predictor of metabolic dysfunction even in metabolically healthy populations.

Voluntary medical male circumcision for HIV prevention among adolescents in Kenya: Unintended consequences of pursuing service-delivery targets

by Adam Gilbertson, Barrack Ongili, Frederick S. Odongo, Denise D. Hallfors, Stuart Rennie, Daniel Kwaro, Winnie K. Luseno

Introduction

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) provides significant reductions in the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission. Since 2007, VMMC has been a key component of the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’s (PEPFAR) strategy to mitigate the HIV epidemic in countries with high HIV prevalence and low circumcision rates. To ensure intended effects, PEPFAR sets ambitious annual circumcision targets and provides funding to implementation partners to deliver local VMMC services. In Kenya to date, 1.9 million males have been circumcised; in 2017, 60% of circumcisions were among 10-14-year-olds. We conducted a qualitative field study to learn more about VMMC program implementation in Kenya.

Methods and results

The study setting was a region in Kenya with high HIV prevalence and low male circumcision rates. From March 2017 through April 2018, we carried out in-depth interviews with 29 VMMC stakeholders, including “mobilizers”, HIV counselors, clinical providers, schoolteachers, and policy professionals. Additionally, we undertook observation sessions at 14 VMMC clinics while services were provided and observed mobilization activities at 13 community venues including, two schools, four public marketplaces, two fishing villages, and five inland villages. Analysis of interview transcripts and observation field notes revealed multiple unintended consequences linked to the pursuit of targets. Ebbs and flows in the availability of school-age youths together with the drive to meet targets may result in increased burdens on clinics, long waits for care, potentially misleading mobilization practices, and deviations from the standard of care.

Conclusion

Our findings indicate shortcomings in the quality of procedures in VMMC programs in a low-resource setting, and more importantly, that the pursuit of ambitious public health targets may lead to compromised service delivery and protocol adherence. There is a need to develop improved or alternative systems to balance the goal of increasing service uptake with the responsible conduct of VMMC.

One simple claudication question as first step in Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) screening: A meta-analysis of the association with reduced Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) in 27,945 subjects

by Arne Georg Kieback, Christine Espinola-Klein, Claudia Lamina, Susanne Moebus, Daniel Tiller, Roberto Lorbeer, Andreas Schulz, Christa Meisinger, Daniel Medenwald, Raimund Erbel, Alexander Kluttig, Philipp S. Wild, Florian Kronenberg, Knut Kröger, Till Ittermann, Marcus Dörr

Purpose and methods

A meta-analysis using data from seven German population-based cohorts was performed by the German Epidemiological consortium of Peripheral Arterial Disease (GEPArD) to investigate whether one question about claudication is more efficient for PAD screening than established questionnaires. Claudication was defined on the basis of the answer to one question asking for pain in the leg during normal walking. This simple question was compared with established questionnaires, including the Edinburgh questionnaire. The associations of claudication with continuous ABI values and decreased ABI were analyzed by linear and logistic regression analysis, respectively. The results of the studies were pooled in a random effect meta-analysis, which included data from 27,945 individuals (14,052 women, age range 20–84 years).

Results

Meta-analysis revealed a significant negative association between claudication and ABI, which was stronger in men (β = -0.07; 95%CI -0.10, -0.04) than in women (β = -0.02; 95%CI -0.02, -0.01). Likewise, the presence of claudication symptoms was related to an increased odds of a decreased ABI in both men (Odds ratio = 5.40; 95%CI 4.20, 6.96) and women (Odds ratio = 1.99; 95%CI 1.58, 2.51).

Conclusions

Asking only one question about claudication was able to identify many individuals with a high likelihood of a reduced ABI with markedly higher sensitivity and only slightly reduced specificity compared to more complex questionnaires. At least in men, this question should be established as first screening step.

Psychological and physiological effects of applying self-control to the mobile phone

by David M. Markowitz, Jeffrey T. Hancock, Jeremy N. Bailenson, Byron Reeves

This preregistered study examined the psychological and physiological consequences of exercising self-control with the mobile phone. A total of 125 participants were randomly assigned to sit in an unadorned room for six minutes and either (a) use their mobile phone, (b) sit alone with no phone, or (c) sit with their device but resist using it. Consistent with prior work, participants self-reported more concentration difficulty and more mind wandering with no device present compared to using the phone. Resisting the phone led to greater perceived concentration abilities than sitting without the device (not having external stimulation). Failing to replicate prior work, however, participants without external stimulation did not rate the experience as less enjoyable or more boring than having something to do. We also observed that skin conductance data were consistent across conditions for the first three-minutes of the experiment, after which participants who resisted the phone were less aroused than those who were without the phone. We discuss how the findings contribute to our understanding of exercising self-control with mobile media and how psychological consequences, such as increased mind wandering and focusing challenges, relate to periods of idleness or free thinking.

A qualitative research synthesis of contextual factors contributing to female overweight and obesity over the life course in sub-Saharan Africa

by Ifeoma D. Ozodiegwu, Mary Ann Littleton, Christian Nwabueze, Oluwaseun Famojuro, Megan Quinn, Richard Wallace, Hadii M. Mamudu

Objective

Adult women are disproportionately affected by overweight and obesity in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Existing evidence on the sociocultural context remains unconsolidated. In this qualitative research synthesis, we aggregate research literature on contextual factors that potentially predispose adult women and adolescent girls to overweight and obesity to inform research, policies and programs over the life course.

Methods

PubMed, CINAHL, PsychInfo, ProQuest Central, EMBASE, and Web of Science were searched to locate qualitative research articles conducted in SSA countries beginning in the year 2000. After assessment for eligibility and critical appraisal, 17 studies were included in the synthesis. Textual data and quotes were synthesized using meta-aggregation methods proposed by the Joanna Briggs Institute.

Results

The synthesized studies were conducted in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Botswana. The three overarching themes across these studies were body size and shape ideals, barriers to healthy eating, and barriers to physical activity, with cultural and social factors as cross-cutting influences within the major themes. Culturally, the supposedly ideal African woman was expected to be overweight or obese, and voluptuous, and this was associated with their identity. Although being overweight or obese was not acceptable to adolescent girls, they desired to be voluptuous. Healthy food choices among women and adolescent girls were hampered by several factors including affordability of nutritious foods and peer victimization. Both adult women and adolescent girls experienced ageism as a barrier to physical activity.

Significance

This is the first qualitative research synthesis to amplify the voices of women and girls in SSA countries highlighting the challenges they face in maintaining a healthy body weight. Sociocultural, institutional and peer-related factors were powerful forces shaping body size preferences, food choices and participation in physical activity. Our study findings provide insights for the design of contextually appropriate obesity prevention interventions and lay the foundation for further research studies.

Occurrence and multilocus genotyping of <i>Giardia duodenalis</i> from post-weaned dairy calves in Sichuan province, China

by Jiaming Dan, Xueping Zhang, Zhihua Ren, Liqin Wang, Suizhong Cao, Liuhong Shen, Junliang Deng, Zhicai Zuo, Shumin Yu, Ya Wang, Xiaoping Ma, Haifeng Liu, Ziyao Zhou, Yanchun Hu, Hualin Fu, Changliang He, Yi Geng, Xiaobin Gu, Guangneng Peng, Zhijun Zhong

Giardia duodenalis is a zoonotic parasitic protist and poses a threat to human and animal health. This study investigated the occurrence of G. duodenalis infection in post-weaned calves from Sichuan province, China. Faecal samples were collected from a total of 306 post-weaned calves (3–12 months old) from 10 farms, including 4 intensive feeding farms and 6 free-ranging farms. The overall infection rate of G. duodenalis was 41.2% (126/306) based on the PCR results at any of the three genetic loci: beta-giardin (bg), triose-phosphate isomerase (tpi) and glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) genes. Giardia duodenalis assemblages E (n = 115, 91.3%), A (n = 3, 2.4%), and A mixed with E (n = 8, 6.3%) were identified among the 126 positive specimens. Multilocus sequence typing of G. duodenalis revealed 34 assemblage E multilocus genotypes (MLGs), 1 assemblage A MLG and 7 mixed assemblage (A and E) MLGs. The eBURST data showed a high degree of genetic diversity within assemblage E MLGs. The phylogenetic tree revealed that MLG E3 was the primary MLG subtype in Sichuan province and also the most widely distributed in China.

Hypoxia inhibits TNF-α-induced TSLP expression in keratinocytes

by Naoyuki Tashiro, Ryosuke Segawa, Ryozo Tobita, Sanki Asakawa, Natsumi Mizuno, Masahiro Hiratsuka, Noriyasu Hirasawa

The expression of thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), a cytokine which greatly contributes to the induction of type I allergy, is upregulated in chronic inflammation such as atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. As hypoxia in the epidermis is important for maintaining skin homeostasis, we examined the regulation of TSLP expression by hypoxic conditions in normal skin epithelial tissues. TNF-α-induced expression of TSLP in human keratinocyte HaCaT and in mouse keratinocyte PAM212 cell lines were inhibited under hypoxic condition (1% O2), although the mRNA expressions of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8, MCP-1, and VEGF-A were not inhibited. Hypoxia-mimicking conditions, which include NiCl2, CoCl2, and DMOG, an inhibitor of 2-oxoglutarate-dependent enzymes, also selectively inhibited TNF-α-induced TSLP expression. These results suggested that inactivation of prolyl hydroxylase by hypoxia and hypoxia-mimicking conditions is involved in the repression of TNF-α-induced TSLP expression. Interestingly, the inhibition of TSLP production by hypoxic treatment was significantly reversed by treatment with the HIF-2α antagonist but not with the HIF-1α inhibitor. DMOG-induced inhibition of TSLP promoter activity was dependent on the -71 to +185 bp promoter region, suggesting that the binding of HIF-2 to hypoxia response element (HRE) in this region repressed the TSLP expression. These results indicated that hypoxia and hypoxia-mimicking conditions inhibited TSLP expression via HIF-2 and HRE-dependent mechanisms. Therefore, PHD and HIF-2α could be a new strategy for treatment of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Studying expressions of loneliness in individuals using twitter: an observational study

Por: Guntuku · S. C. · Schneider · R. · Pelullo · A. · Young · J. · Wong · V. · Ungar · L. · Polsky · D. · Volpp · K. G. · Merchant · R.
Objectives

Loneliness is a major public health problem and an estimated 17% of adults aged 18–70 in the USA reported being lonely. We sought to characterise the (online) lives of people who mention the words ‘lonely’ or ‘alone’ in their Twitter timeline and correlate their posts with predictors of mental health.

Setting and design

From approximately 400 million tweets collected from Twitter in Pennsylvania, USA, between 2012 and 2016, we identified users whose Twitter posts contained the words ‘lonely’ or ‘alone’ and compared them to a control group matched by age, gender and period of posting. Using natural-language processing, we characterised the topics and diurnal patterns of users’ posts, their association with linguistic markers of mental health and if language can predict manifestations of loneliness. The statistical analysis, data synthesis and model creation were conducted in 2018–2019.

Primary outcome measures

We evaluated counts of language features in the users with posts including the words lonely or alone compared with the control group. These language features were measured by (a) open-vocabulary topics, (b) Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC) lexicon, (c) linguistic markers of anger, depression and anxiety, and (d) temporal patterns and number of drug words. Using machine learning, we also evaluated if expressions of loneliness can be predicted in users’ timelines, measured by area under curve (AUC).

Results

Twitter timelines of users (n=6202) with posts including the words lonely or alone were found to include themes about difficult interpersonal relationships, psychosomatic symptoms, substance use, wanting change, unhealthy eating and having troubles with sleep. Their posts were also associated with linguistic markers of anger, depression and anxiety. A random forest model predicted expressions of loneliness online with an AUC of 0.86.

Conclusions

Users’ Twitter timelines with the words lonely or alone often include psychosocial features and can potentially have associations with how individuals express and experience loneliness. This can inform low-resource online assessment for high-risk individuals experiencing loneliness and interventions focused on addressing morbidities in this condition.

Yoga and Cardiovascular Health Trial (YACHT): a UK-based randomised mechanistic study of a yoga intervention plus usual care versus usual care alone following an acute coronary event

Por: Tillin · T. · Tuson · C. · Sowa · B. · Chattopadhyay · K. · Sattar · N. · Welsh · P. · Roberts · I. · Ebrahim · S. · Kinra · S. · Hughes · A. · Chaturvedi · N.
Objective

To determine the effects of yoga practice on subclinical cardiovascular measures, risk factors and neuro-endocrine pathways in patients undergoing cardiac rehabilitation (CR) following acute coronary events.

Design

3-month, two-arm (yoga +usual care vs usual care alone) parallel randomised mechanistic study.

Setting

One general hospital and two primary care CR centres in London. Assessments were conducted at Imperial College London.

Participants

80 participants, aged 35–80 years (68% men, 60% South Asian) referred to CR programmes 2012–2014.

Intervention

A certified yoga teacher conducted yoga classes which included exercises in stretching, breathing, healing imagery and deep relaxation. It was pre-specified that at least 18 yoga classes were attended for inclusion in analysis. Participants and partners in both groups were invited to attend weekly a 6- to 12-week local standard UK National Health Service CR programme.

Main outcome measures

(i) Estimated left ventricular filling pressure (E/e'), (ii) distance walked, fatigue and breathlessness in a 6 min walk test, (iii) blood pressure, heart rate and estimated peak VO2 following a 3 min step-test. Effects on the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis, autonomic function, body fat, blood lipids and glucose, stress and general health were also explored.

Results

25 participants in the yoga + usual care group and 35 participants in the usual care group completed the study. Following the 3-month intervention period, E/e' was not improved by yoga (E/e': between-group difference: yoga minus usual care:–0.40 (–1.38, 0.58). Exercise testing and secondary outcomes also showed no benefits of yoga.

Conclusions

In this small UK-based randomised mechanistic study, with 60 completing participants (of whom 25 were in the yoga + usual care group), we found no discernible improvement associated with the addition of a structured 3-month yoga intervention to usual CR care in key cardiovascular and neuroendocrine measures shown to be responsive to yoga in previous mechanistic studies.

Trial registration number

NCT01597960; Pre-results.

Prevalence and service assessment of cataract in Tibetan areas of Sichuan Province, China: population-based study

Por: Jiachu · D. · Jin · L. · Jiang · F. · Luo · L. · Zheng · H. · Ji · D. · Yang · J. · Yongcuo · N. · Huang · W. · Yi · J. · Bright · T. · Yip · J. L. · Xiao · B.
Objectives

To assess the prevalence of visual impairment (VI) and blindness (BL) due to cataract and cataract surgical outcomes in remote dispersed and high-altitude Tibetan areas of China.

Design and setting

A cross-sectional study was conducted among people aged 50 and above in Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Kandze (TAPK), China, in 2017. The Rapid Assessment of Avoidable Blindness protocol was followed.

Participants

Of 5000 eligible participants, 4764 were examined (response rate 95.3%).

Primary and secondary outcome measures

Cataract VI was defined as lens opacity at visual acuity (VA) levels of

Results

The estimated prevalence of cataract BL was 0.61% (95% CI 0.42 to 0.87). With best corrected VA, the estimated prevalence of SVI from cataract was 0.86% (95% CI 0.63 to 1.17); MVI was 2.39% (95% CI 2.00 to 2.87) and EVI was 5.21% (95% CI 4.61 to 5.87). Women in TAPK had a significantly higher prevalence of cataract BL (0.82%, 95% CI 0.54 to 2.15) than men (0.34%, 95% CI 0.16 to 0.70). Women had lower cataract surgical coverage (CSC) by eyes (60.8%, 95% CI 55.5 to 65.8) compared with men (70.1%; 95% CI 63.7 to 75.7). The prevalence of cataract BL was higher among Tibetan (2.28%; 95% CI 1.98 to 2.62) than Han Chinese (1.01%%; 95% CI 0.54% to 1.87%). Overall CSC by person with BL (by better eye) was 82.0% (95% CI 75.2 to 87.6). Among cataract-operated participants, 71.2% had VA equal to or better than 6/18.

Conclusions

The study detected a low prevalence of VI and BL due to cataract with high CSC in the study area compared with many other places in China. Further actions should be taken to improve cataract surgical outcome.

What is clinician presence? A qualitative interview study comparing physician and non-physician insights about practices of human connection

Por: Brown-Johnson · C. · Schwartz · R. · Maitra · A. · Haverfield · M. C. · Tierney · A. · Shaw · J. G. · Zionts · D. L. · Safaeinili · N. · Thadaney Israni · S. · Verghese · A. · Zulman · D. M.
Objective

We sought to investigate the concept and practices of ‘clinician presence’, exploring how physicians and professionals create connection, engage in interpersonal interaction, and build trust with individuals across different circumstances and contexts.

Design

In 2017–2018, we conducted qualitative semistructured interviews with 10 physicians and 30 non-medical professionals from the fields of protective services, business, management, education, art/design/entertainment, social services, and legal/personal services.

Setting

Physicians were recruited from primary care clinics in an academic medical centre, a Veterans Affairs clinic, and a federally qualified health centre.

Participants

Participants were 55% men and 45% women; 40% were non-white.

Results

Qualitative analyses yielded a definition of presence as a purposeful practice of awareness, focus, and attention with the intent to understand and connect with individuals/patients. For both medical and non-medical professionals, creating presence requires managing and considering time and environmental factors; for physicians in particular, this includes managing and integrating technology. Listening was described as central to creating the state of being present. Within a clinic, presence might manifest as a physician listening without interrupting, focusing intentionally on the patient, taking brief re-centering breaks throughout a clinic day, and informing patients when attention must be redirected to administrative or technological demands.

Conclusions

Clinician presence involves learning to step back, pause, and be prepared to receive a patient’s story. Building on strategies from physicians and non-medical professionals, clinician presence is best enacted through purposeful intention to connect, conscious navigation of time, and proactive management of technology and the environment to focus attention on the patient. Everyday practice or ritual supporting these strategies could support physician self-care as well as physician-patient connection.

Prevalence and correlates of alcohol and tobacco use among key populations in Togo in 2017: a cross-sectional study

Por: Bitty-Anderson · A. M. · Gbeasor-Komlanvi · F. A. · Johnson · P. · Sewu · E. K. · Dagnra · C. A. · Salou · M. · Blatome · T. J. · Jaquet · A. · Coffie · P. A. · Ekouevi · D. K.
Objectives

The aim of this study was to estimate alcohol and tobacco use prevalence and their correlates among female sex workers (FSW), men who have sex with men (MSM) and drug users (DU) in Togo.

Design, setting and participants

A cross-sectional bio-behavioural study was conducted among 2115 MSM, FSW and DU in 2017 using a respondent-driven sampling method, in the eight biggest towns of Togo. Selection criteria for the MSM were being male and having had oral or anal intercourse with a man in the previous 12 months; for FSW, being a female and having exchanged sex for money in the previous 12 months; and for DU, consuming heroin, cocaine or hashish for MSM, FSW and DU, respectively. All participants had to be at least 18 years old and residing in the territory for the past 3 months.

Results

The prevalence of alcohol consumption, hazardous/harmful consumption and binge drinking was 64.8%, 38.4% and 45.5%, respectively. Current tobacco use was reported by 30.6% of participants and HIV prevalence was estimated at 12.5%. DU were more likely to engage in binge drinking compared with other key populations (adjusted odds ratio (aOR)=2.0; 95% CI 1.4 to 2.8; p=0.001). Participants who were identified as having hazardous/harmful alcohol consumption had almost three times the odds of tobacco consumption than those with no risky consumption (aOR=2.6; 95% CI 2.0 to 3.4; p=0.001). Hazardous/harmful alcohol consumption was three times more likely among participants with severe psychological distress compared with those with no psychological distress (aOR=3.3, 95% CI 2.2 to 5.1; p=0.001).

Conclusion

Findings from this study demonstrate the need for the integration of mental health and substance abuse reduction interventions into HIV prevention programme, particularly those geared towards key populations.

Barriers to cervical cancer screening and acceptability of HPV self-testing: a cross-sectional comparison between ethnic groups in Southern Thailand

Por: Gottschlich · A. · Nuntadusit · T. · Zarins · K. R. · Hada · M. · Chooson · N. · Bilheem · S. · Navakanitworakul · R. · Nittayaboon · K. · Virani · S. · Rozek · L. · Sriplung · H. · Meza · R.
Background

Cervical cancer rates are higher in low-resourced countries than high, partly due to lower rates of screening. Incidence in Thailand is nearly three times higher than in the USA (16.2 vs 6.5 age-standardised incidence), even with Thailand’s universal health coverage, which includes screening, suggesting that alternative methods are needed to reduce the burden. We investigated barriers to screening, as well as acceptability of self-collection human papillomavirus (HPV) testing as a primary form of cervical cancer screening among Buddhist and Muslim communities in Southern Thailand.

Methods

267 women from the Buddhist district of Ranot and Muslim district of Na Thawi, Songkhla were recruited to complete a survey assessing knowledge and risk factors of HPV and cervical cancer. Participants were offered an HPV self-collection test with a follow-up survey assessing acceptability. Samples were processed at Prince of Songkhla University and results were returned to participants.

Results

267 women participated in the study (132 Buddhist, 135 Muslim), 264 (99%) self-collecting. 98% reported comfort and ease, and 70% preferred it to doctor-facilitated cytology. The main predictor of prior screening was religion (92% Buddhist vs 73% Muslim reporting prior Pap). After adjustment with multivariate logistic models, Muslim women had an OR of prior Pap of 0.30 compared with Buddhist (95% CI: 0.12 to 0.66).

Conclusions

Self-collection HPV testing was highly acceptable across religious groups, suggesting that it could be beneficial for cervical cancer reduction in this region. Focus should be put into educating women from all backgrounds about the importance of screening to further improve screening rates among Thai women.

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