2,097 research outputs found

    Effects of economic crises on population health outcomes in Latin America, 1981-2010: an ecological study

    Get PDF
    OBJECTIVES: The relative health effects of changes in unemployment, inflation and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita on population health have not been assessed. We aimed to determine the effect of changes in these economic measures on mortality metrics across Latin America. DESIGN: Ecological study. SETTING: Latin America (21 countries), 1981–2010. OUTCOME MEASURES: Uses multivariate regression analysis to assess the effects of changes in unemployment, inflation and GDP per capita on 5 mortality indicators across 21 countries in Latin America, 1981–2010. Country-specific differences in healthcare infrastructure, population structure and population size were controlled for. RESULTS: Between 1981 and 2010, a 1% rise in unemployment was associated with statistically significant deteriorations (p<0.05) in 5 population health outcomes, with largest deteriorations in 1–5 years of age and male adult mortality rates (1.14 and 0.53 rises per 1000 deaths respectively). A 1% rise in inflation rate was associated with significant deteriorations (p<0.05) in 4 population health outcomes, with the largest deterioration in male adult mortality rate (0.0033 rise per 1000 deaths). Lag analysis showed that 5 years after rises in unemployment and inflation, significant deteriorations (p<0.05) occurred in 3 and 5 mortality metrics, respectively. A 1% rise in GDP per capita was associated with no significant deteriorations in population health outcomes either in the short or long term. β coefficient comparisons indicated that the effect of unemployment increases was substantially greater than that of changes in GDP per capita or inflation. CONCLUSIONS: Rises in unemployment and inflation are associated with long-lasting deteriorations in several population health outcomes. Unemployment exerted much larger effects on health than inflation. In contrast, changes in GDP per capita had almost no association with the explored health outcomes. Contrary to neoclassical development economics, policymakers should prioritise amelioration of unemployment if population health outcomes are to be optimised

    Assessing early memories of threat and subordination: Confirmatory factor analyisis of the early life experiences scale for adolescents.

    Get PDF
    The Early Life Experiences Scale (ELES) is a self-report questionnaire that assesses personal feelings of perceived threat and submissiveness in interactions within family. This paper presents the adaptation and validation of the ELES in Portuguese language for adolescents. The sample was composed of 771 adolescents from community schools with ages between 13 and 18 years old. Along with ELES, participants also answered the Early Memories of Warmth and Safeness Scale and the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule for Children and Adolescents. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed to test the factor structure of the ELES and results confirm a three-factor structure, composed by Threat, Submissiveness and Unvalued dimensions. These emotional memories focused on perceived threat, submissiveness and unvalued seem to have a distinct nature. The scale also showed adequate internal consistency, good test-retest reliability and convergent validity with measures of positive emotional memories, positive and negative affect. There were sex differences for threat subscale and age differences for submissiveness subscale. Overall, these findings suggest that the ELES in its Portuguese version for adolescents may be a useful tool for research, educational and clinical contexts with school-aged adolescents

    Imaging Oxygen Distribution in Marine Sediments. The Importance of Bioturbation and Sediment Heterogeneity

    Get PDF
    The influence of sediment oxygen heterogeneity, due to bioturbation, on diffusive oxygen flux was investigated. Laboratory experiments were carried out with 3 macrobenthic species presenting different bioturbation behaviour patterns:the polychaetes Nereis diversicolor and Nereis virens, both constructing ventilated galleries in the sediment column, and the gastropod Cyclope neritea, a burrowing species which does not build any structure. Oxygen two-dimensional distribution in sediments was quantified by means of the optical planar optode technique. Diffusive oxygen fluxes (mean and integrated) and a variability index were calculated on the captured oxygen images. All species increased sediment oxygen heterogeneity compared to the controls without animals. This was particularly noticeable with the polychaetes because of the construction of more or less complex burrows. Integrated diffusive oxygen flux increased with oxygen heterogeneity due to the production of interface available for solute exchanges between overlying water and sediments. This work shows that sediment heterogeneity is an important feature of the control of oxygen exchanges at the sediment–water interface

    Recent changes of water discharge and sediment load in the Yellow River basin, China

    Get PDF
    The Yellow River basin contributes approximately 6% of the sediment load from all river systems globally, and the annual runoff directly supports 12% of the Chinese population. As a result, describing and understanding recent variations of water discharge and sediment load under global change scenarios are of considerable importance. The present study considers the annual hydrologic series of the water discharge and sediment load of the Yellow River basin obtained from 15 gauging stations (10 mainstream, 5 tributaries). The Mann-Kendall test method was adopted to detect both gradual and abrupt change of hydrological series since the 1950s. With the exception of the area draining to the Upper Tangnaihai station, results indicate that both water discharge and sediment load have decreased significantly (p&lt;0.05). The declining trend is greater with distance downstream, and drainage area has a significant positive effect on the rate of decline. It is suggested that the abrupt change of the water discharge from the late 1980s to the early 1990s arose from human extraction, and that the abrupt change in sediment load was linked to disturbance from reservoir construction.Geography, PhysicalGeosciences, MultidisciplinarySCI(E)43ARTICLE4541-5613

    The Western English Channel contains a persistent microbial seed bank

    Get PDF
    Robust seasonal dynamics in microbial community composition have previously been observed in the English Channel L4 marine observatory. These could be explained either by seasonal changes in the taxa present at the L4 site, or by the continuous modulation of abundance of taxa within a persistent microbial community. To test these competing hypotheses, deep sequencing of 16S rRNA from one randomly selected time point to a depth of 10 729 927 reads was compared with an existing taxonomic survey data covering 6 years. When compared against the 6-year survey of 72 shallow sequenced time points, the deep sequenced time point maintained 95.4% of the combined shallow OTUs. Additionally, on average, 99.75%±0.06 (mean±s.d.) of the operational taxonomic units found in each shallow sequenced sample were also found in the single deep sequenced sample. This suggests that the vast majority of taxa identified in this ecosystem are always present, but just in different proportions that are predictable. Thus observed changes in community composition are actually variations in the relative abundance of taxa, not, as was previously believed, demonstrating extinction and recolonization of taxa in the ecosystem through time

    Mathematical modelling of polyamine metabolism in bloodstream-form trypanosoma brucei: An application to drug target identification

    Get PDF
    © 2013 Gu et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are creditedThis article has been made available through the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund.We present the first computational kinetic model of polyamine metabolism in bloodstream-form Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of human African trypanosomiasis. We systematically extracted the polyamine pathway from the complete metabolic network while still maintaining the predictive capability of the pathway. The kinetic model is constructed on the basis of information gleaned from the experimental biology literature and defined as a set of ordinary differential equations. We applied Michaelis-Menten kinetics featuring regulatory factors to describe enzymatic activities that are well defined. Uncharacterised enzyme kinetics were approximated and justified with available physiological properties of the system. Optimisation-based dynamic simulations were performed to train the model with experimental data and inconsistent predictions prompted an iterative procedure of model refinement. Good agreement between simulation results and measured data reported in various experimental conditions shows that the model has good applicability in spite of there being gaps in the required data. With this kinetic model, the relative importance of the individual pathway enzymes was assessed. We observed that, at low-to-moderate levels of inhibition, enzymes catalysing reactions of de novo AdoMet (MAT) and ornithine production (OrnPt) have more efficient inhibitory effect on total trypanothione content in comparison to other enzymes in the pathway. In our model, prozyme and TSHSyn (the production catalyst of total trypanothione) were also found to exhibit potent control on total trypanothione content but only when they were strongly inhibited. Different chemotherapeutic strategies against T. brucei were investigated using this model and interruption of polyamine synthesis via joint inhibition of MAT or OrnPt together with other polyamine enzymes was identified as an optimal therapeutic strategy.The work was carried out under a PhD programme partly funded by Prof. Ray Welland, School of Computing Science, University of Glasgo

    Augmented Lung Inflammation Protects against Influenza A Pneumonia

    Get PDF
    Influenza pneumonia causes high mortality every year, and pandemic episodes kill millions of people. Influenza-related mortality has been variously ascribed to an ineffective host response that fails to limit viral replication, an excessive host inflammatory response that results in lung injury and impairment of gas exchange, or to bacterial superinfection. We sought to determine whether lung inflammation promoted or impaired host survival in influenza pneumonia.To distinguish among these possible causes of influenza-related death, we induced robust lung inflammation by exposing mice to an aerosolized bacterial lysate prior to challenge with live virus. The treatment induced expression of the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid 8- and 40-fold greater, respectively, than that caused by lethal influenza infection. Yet, this augmented inflammation was associated with striking resistance to host mortality (0% vs 90% survival, p = 0.0001) and reduced viral titers (p = 0.004). Bacterial superinfection of virus infected lungs was not observed. When mice were repeatedly exposed to the bacterial lysate, as would be clinically desirable during an influenza epidemic, there was no tachyphylaxis of the induced viral resistance. When the bacterial lysate was administered after the viral challenge, there was still some mortality benefit, and when ribavirin was added to the aerosolized bacterial lysate, host survival was synergistically improved (0% vs 93.3% survival, p<0.0001).Together, these data indicate that innate immune resistance to influenza can be effectively stimulated, and suggest that ineffective rather than excessive inflammation is the major cause of mortality in influenza pneumonia

    Time spent with cats is never wasted: Lessons learned from feline acromegalic cardiomyopathy, a naturally occurring animal model of the human disease

    Get PDF
    <div><p>Background</p><p>In humans, acromegaly due to a pituitary somatotrophic adenoma is a recognized cause of increased left ventricular (LV) mass. Acromegalic cardiomyopathy is incompletely understood, and represents a major cause of morbidity and mortality. We describe the clinical, echocardiographic and histopathologic features of naturally occurring feline acromegalic cardiomyopathy, an emerging disease among domestic cats.</p><p>Methods</p><p>Cats with confirmed hypersomatotropism (IGF-1>1000ng/ml and pituitary mass; n = 67) were prospectively recruited, as were two control groups: diabetics (IGF-1<800ng/ml; n = 24) and healthy cats without known endocrinopathy or cardiovascular disease (n = 16). Echocardiography was performed in all cases, including after hypersomatotropism treatment where applicable. Additionally, tissue samples from deceased cats with hypersomatotropism, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and age-matched controls (n = 21 each) were collected and systematically histopathologically reviewed and compared.</p><p>Results</p><p>By echocardiography, cats with hypersomatotropism had a greater maximum LV wall thickness (6.5mm, 4.1–10.1mm) than diabetic (5.9mm, 4.2–9.1mm; Mann Whitney, p<0.001) or control cats (5.2mm, 4.1–6.5mm; Mann Whitney, p<0.001). Left atrial diameter was also greater in cats with hypersomatotropism (16.6mm, 13.0–29.5mm) than in diabetic (15.4mm, 11.2–20.3mm; Mann Whitney, p<0.001) and control cats (14.0mm, 12.6–17.4mm; Mann Whitney, p<0.001). After hypophysectomy and normalization of IGF-1 concentration (n = 20), echocardiographic changes proved mostly reversible. As in humans, histopathology of the feline acromegalic heart was dominated by myocyte hypertrophy with interstitial fibrosis and minimal myofiber disarray.</p><p>Conclusions</p><p>These results demonstrate cats could be considered a naturally occurring model of acromegalic cardiomyopathy, and as such help elucidate mechanisms driving cardiovascular remodeling in this disease.</p></div
    corecore