134 research outputs found

    A National Study Exploring the Association Between Fluoride Levels and Dental Fluorosis

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    Importance: While the effects of fluoride on health have been widely researched, fewer high-quality studies examine the association of fluoride levels in water and dental fluorosis. Objective: To investigate the association between fluoride exposure from drinking water and dental fluorosis. Design, setting, and participants: This cross-sectional study used the 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data (January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2016). NHANES uses a complex sampling technique to develop nationally representative sample estimates of the US population that consists of interviews and physical assessments. Children and adolescents aged 6 to 15 years were included because NHANES contains their data for all 3 forms of fluoride measures: plasma fluoride levels, water levels of fluoride, and dietary fluoride supplementation. Data were analyzed from January 1 to April 30, 2023. Exposures: Water and plasma fluoride levels were measured by laboratory personnel. Dietary fluoride supplement data were self-reported. Main outcomes and measures: The Dean's Fluorosis Index was used to evaluate fluorosis status for each tooth. The dental fluorosis severity value was based on the second most affected tooth. Independent variables included plasma and water fluoride concentrations and dietary fluoride supplementation. An independent samples t test was used to compare fluoride exposures between groups, and Pearson correlation assessed the association between plasma and water fluoride levels. To assess whether fluoride exposures were associated with dental fluorosis, logistic regression analyses were conducted. Results: There were 1543 participants in the 2013-2014 NHANES cycle (weighted proportion male, 51.9%; mean [SD] age, 11.0 [2.7] years) and 1452 in the 2015-2016 cycle (weighted proportion male, 52.6%; mean [SD] age, 11.1 [2.8] years). A weighted 87.3% exhibited some degree of fluorosis in the 2013-2014 cycle and 68.2% in the 2015-2016 cycle. Higher fluoride levels in water and plasma were significantly associated with higher odds of dental fluorosis (adjusted odds ratios, 2.378 [95% CI, 2.372-2.383] in the 2013-2014 cycle and 1.568 [95% CI, 1.564-1.571] in the 2015-2016 cycle). Conclusions and relevance: The findings of this cross-sectional study suggest that exposure to higher concentrations of fluoride in water and having higher plasma levels of fluoride were associated with a greater risk of dental fluorosis. Further research can help policy makers develop policies that balance substantial caries prevention with the risk of dental fluorosis.</p

    E-cigarette Addiction and Harm perception: Does initiation flavor choice matter?

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    Introduction The 21st century was marked by a dramatic increase in adolescent e-cigarette use in the United States (US). The popularity of non-traditional flavor types, including fruit and pastry, is thought to contribute toward growing product use nationally, leading to a variety of federal and state regulations limiting the use of non-traditional flavors in the US. The relationship between flavor type and increased adolescent use suggests a possible link between flavor use and addiction and harm perception. This study assessed if the flavor type used when initiating e-cigarette use predicted addiction and harm perceptions. Methods The study utilized data from the multi-wave youth Population Assessment of Tobacco Health Study. It explored the impact initiating e-cigarette use with traditional versus non-traditional flavor types among cigarette users on the outcome variables: e-cigarette addiction and harm perception. Both e-cigarette addiction and harm perception were measured using self-report, Likert scale questionnaires. Descriptive statistics characterized the study variables and linear regression analyses performed to test whether flavor initiation type is associated with addiction and harm perception. Results The study sample consisted of 1,043 youth (weighted N = 1,873,617) aged 12 to 17 years who reported at least one instance of e-cigarette use. After adjusting for age, age of onset, sex, race and annual household income there was no statistically significant difference in addiction levels between those initiating with traditional versus non-traditional flavors (p = 0.294). Similarly, traditional versus non-traditional flavor initiation did not show a statistically significant difference in adolescent e-cigarette harm perceptions (p = 0.601). Conclusions Traditionally flavored e-cigarette initiation produces similar risk for addiction and harm perceptions as non-traditionally flavored initiation. These findings suggest that banning non-traditional flavors alone may be ineffective in curbing e-cigarette addiction and harm perception. Additional research is needed to better understand which e-cigarette product characteristics and behaviors may be associated with greater addiction and reduced harm perceptions

    CMS: A web-based system for visualization and analysis of genome-wide methylation data of human cancers

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    DNA methylation of promoter CpG islands is associated with gene suppression, and its unique genome-wide profiles have been linked to tumor progression. Coupled with high-throughput sequencing technologies, it can now efficiently determine genome-wide methylation profiles in cancer cells. Also, experimental and computational technologies make it possible to find the functional relationship between cancer-specific methylation patterns and their clinicopathological parameters.Cancer methylome system (CMS) is a web-based database application designed for the visualization, comparison and statistical analysis of human cancer-specific DNA methylation. Methylation intensities were obtained from MBDCap-sequencing, pre-processed and stored in the database. 191 patient samples (169 tumor and 22 normal specimen) and 41 breast cancer cell-lines are deposited in the database, comprising about 6.6 billion uniquely mapped sequence reads. This provides comprehensive and genome-wide epigenetic portraits of human breast cancer and endometrial cancer to date. Two views are proposed for users to better understand methylation structure at the genomic level or systemic methylation alteration at the gene level. In addition, a variety of annotation tracks are provided to cover genomic information. CMS includes important analytic functions for interpretation of methylation data, such as the detection of differentially methylated regions, statistical calculation of global methylation intensities, multiple gene sets of biologically significant categories, interactivity with UCSC via custom-track data. We also present examples of discoveries utilizing the framework.CMS provides visualization and analytic functions for cancer methylome datasets. A comprehensive collection of datasets, a variety of embedded analytic functions and extensive applications with biological and translational significance make this system powerful and unique in cancer methylation research. CMS is freely accessible at: http://cbbiweb.uthscsa.edu/KMethylomes/

    Conserved Alternative Splicing and Expression Patterns of Arthropod N-Cadherin

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    Metazoan development requires complex mechanisms to generate cells with diverse function. Alternative splicing of pre-mRNA not only expands proteomic diversity but also provides a means to regulate tissue-specific molecular expression. The N-Cadherin gene in Drosophila contains three pairs of mutually-exclusive alternatively-spliced exons (MEs). However, no significant differences among the resulting protein isoforms have been successfully demonstrated in vivo. Furthermore, while the N-Cadherin gene products exhibit a complex spatiotemporal expression pattern within embryos, its underlying mechanisms and significance remain unknown. Here, we present results that suggest a critical role for alternative splicing in producing a crucial and reproducible complexity in the expression pattern of arthropod N-Cadherin. We demonstrate that the arthropod N-Cadherin gene has maintained the three sets of MEs for over 400 million years using in silico and in vivo approaches. Expression of isoforms derived from these MEs receives precise spatiotemporal control critical during development. Both Drosophila and Tribolium use ME-13a and ME-13b in “neural” and “mesodermal” splice variants, respectively. As proteins, either ME-13a- or ME-13b-containing isoform can cell-autonomously rescue the embryonic lethality caused by genetic loss of N-Cadherin. Ectopic muscle expression of either isoform beyond the time it normally ceases leads to paralysis and lethality. Together, our results offer an example of well-conserved alternative splicing increasing cellular diversity in metazoans

    Going it alone? North Korea’s adaptability as a small power in a changing world

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    This article uses small states scholarship to map North Korea’s evolution from a post-colonial small state to a system-influencing state due to its nuclear weapons programme. The framework allows for contributions to: (1) The DPRK literature which in some parts has suggested the future collapse of the state, (2) The small states literature that suggests they can only survive if they integrate larger political and/or economic units, (3) The mainstream IR literature and its dominant realist streak that considers great powers and their will as the main drivers in contemporary world politics

    Antimicrobial resistance among migrants in Europe: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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    BACKGROUND: Rates of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are rising globally and there is concern that increased migration is contributing to the burden of antibiotic resistance in Europe. However, the effect of migration on the burden of AMR in Europe has not yet been comprehensively examined. Therefore, we did a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify and synthesise data for AMR carriage or infection in migrants to Europe to examine differences in patterns of AMR across migrant groups and in different settings. METHODS: For this systematic review and meta-analysis, we searched MEDLINE, Embase, PubMed, and Scopus with no language restrictions from Jan 1, 2000, to Jan 18, 2017, for primary data from observational studies reporting antibacterial resistance in common bacterial pathogens among migrants to 21 European Union-15 and European Economic Area countries. To be eligible for inclusion, studies had to report data on carriage or infection with laboratory-confirmed antibiotic-resistant organisms in migrant populations. We extracted data from eligible studies and assessed quality using piloted, standardised forms. We did not examine drug resistance in tuberculosis and excluded articles solely reporting on this parameter. We also excluded articles in which migrant status was determined by ethnicity, country of birth of participants' parents, or was not defined, and articles in which data were not disaggregated by migrant status. Outcomes were carriage of or infection with antibiotic-resistant organisms. We used random-effects models to calculate the pooled prevalence of each outcome. The study protocol is registered with PROSPERO, number CRD42016043681. FINDINGS: We identified 2274 articles, of which 23 observational studies reporting on antibiotic resistance in 2319 migrants were included. The pooled prevalence of any AMR carriage or AMR infection in migrants was 25·4% (95% CI 19·1-31·8; I2 =98%), including meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (7·8%, 4·8-10·7; I2 =92%) and antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (27·2%, 17·6-36·8; I2 =94%). The pooled prevalence of any AMR carriage or infection was higher in refugees and asylum seekers (33·0%, 18·3-47·6; I2 =98%) than in other migrant groups (6·6%, 1·8-11·3; I2 =92%). The pooled prevalence of antibiotic-resistant organisms was slightly higher in high-migrant community settings (33·1%, 11·1-55·1; I2 =96%) than in migrants in hospitals (24·3%, 16·1-32·6; I2 =98%). We did not find evidence of high rates of transmission of AMR from migrant to host populations. INTERPRETATION: Migrants are exposed to conditions favouring the emergence of drug resistance during transit and in host countries in Europe. Increased antibiotic resistance among refugees and asylum seekers and in high-migrant community settings (such as refugee camps and detention facilities) highlights the need for improved living conditions, access to health care, and initiatives to facilitate detection of and appropriate high-quality treatment for antibiotic-resistant infections during transit and in host countries. Protocols for the prevention and control of infection and for antibiotic surveillance need to be integrated in all aspects of health care, which should be accessible for all migrant groups, and should target determinants of AMR before, during, and after migration. FUNDING: UK National Institute for Health Research Imperial Biomedical Research Centre, Imperial College Healthcare Charity, the Wellcome Trust, and UK National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare-associated Infections and Antimictobial Resistance at Imperial College London

    Age at first birth in women is genetically associated with increased risk of schizophrenia

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    Prof. Paunio on PGC:n jäsenPrevious studies have shown an increased risk for mental health problems in children born to both younger and older parents compared to children of average-aged parents. We previously used a novel design to reveal a latent mechanism of genetic association between schizophrenia and age at first birth in women (AFB). Here, we use independent data from the UK Biobank (N = 38,892) to replicate the finding of an association between predicted genetic risk of schizophrenia and AFB in women, and to estimate the genetic correlation between schizophrenia and AFB in women stratified into younger and older groups. We find evidence for an association between predicted genetic risk of schizophrenia and AFB in women (P-value = 1.12E-05), and we show genetic heterogeneity between younger and older AFB groups (P-value = 3.45E-03). The genetic correlation between schizophrenia and AFB in the younger AFB group is -0.16 (SE = 0.04) while that between schizophrenia and AFB in the older AFB group is 0.14 (SE = 0.08). Our results suggest that early, and perhaps also late, age at first birth in women is associated with increased genetic risk for schizophrenia in the UK Biobank sample. These findings contribute new insights into factors contributing to the complex bio-social risk architecture underpinning the association between parental age and offspring mental health.Peer reviewe
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