915 research outputs found

    Mothers’ experiences of a lifestyle intervention for weight reduction 12 months after gestational diabetes mellitus: qualitative findings from the PAIGE2 study

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    The standardised pooled prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) globally is approximately 14 %, a reflection of increasing rates of obesity in women of childbearing age. Lifestyle interventions to reduce GDM and subsequent type 2 diabetes (T2D) have been deemed a research priority but are challenging to perform and have variable success rates. The PAIGE2 study was a pragmatic lifestyle randomised controlled trial for women with GDM and body mass index ≥25 kg/m2, which began during pregnancy and continued for one year postnatally. The primary outcome was weight loss 12 months postnatally compared with mothers receiving standard maternity care. Qualitative results are presented from end of study focus groups conducted amongst intervention mothers to gather feedback and determine acceptability of the PAIGE2 intervention. In total, 19 mothers participated in five virtual focus groups. Content analysis explored general study experience, longer term changes to lifestyle and suggested improvements of intervention components including monthly phone calls, motivational text messages, Fitbit experience, Slimming World, and study contact timings. Overall, most mothers found the individual PAIGE2 intervention components enjoyable, although opinions differed as to which were the most effective. Several mothers claimed the intervention helped them make long-term changes to their behaviours. A common suggested improvement was the establishment of a local group where mothers could share their experiences. In conclusion, most mothers deemed the intervention acceptable, and felt that with minor enhancements, it could be utilised as an effective tool to support weight loss after pregnancy and reduce future risk of obesity and T2D.<br/

    Interactions between the lipidome and genetic and environmental factors in autism

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    Autism omics research has historically been reductionist and diagnosis centric, with little attention paid to common co-occurring conditions (for example, sleep and feeding disorders) and the complex interplay between molecular profiles and neurodevelopment, genetics, environmental factors and health. Here we explored the plasma lipidome (783 lipid species) in 765 children (485 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)) within the Australian Autism Biobank. We identified lipids associated with ASD diagnosis (n = 8), sleep disturbances (n = 20) and cognitive function (n = 8) and found that long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids may causally contribute to sleep disturbances mediated by the FADS gene cluster. We explored the interplay of environmental factors with neurodevelopment and the lipidome, finding that sleep disturbances and unhealthy diet have a convergent lipidome profile (with potential mediation by the microbiome) that is also independently associated with poorer adaptive function. In contrast, ASD lipidome differences were accounted for by dietary differences and sleep disturbances. We identified a large chr19p13.2 copy number variant genetic deletion spanning the LDLR gene and two high-confidence ASD genes (ELAVL3 and SMARCA4) in one child with an ASD diagnosis and widespread low-density lipoprotein-related lipidome derangements. Lipidomics captures the complexity of neurodevelopment, as well as the biological effects of conditions that commonly affect quality of life among autistic people.</p

    Presence of Testa and Shell Maintains Oil Stability in Almond and Canarium Nuts

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    (1) Background: The oil stability of tree nuts during storage can be influenced by storage conditions such as temperature, humidity, and moisture concentration. However, few studies have assessed how the presence of testa and shell affects the oil stability of tree nuts during storage. We aimed to determine how storage conditions affect oil stability in almond and canarium, in particular, the presence of testa and storage time of nut-in-shell (NIS). (2) Methods: We measured peroxide value (PV), free fatty acid (FFA) and hexanal concentrations of almond and canarium (blanched vs. kernel-in-testa) stored at 45 °C for 24 days. We also measured PV, FFA and fatty acid composition of canarium samples at days 0 and 140 stored as NIS under ambient conditions. (3) Results: The presence of testa in almond and canarium decreased hexanal and PV concentrations at day 24 of incubation. Canarium PV and FFA concentrations increased over 140 days of storage in the shell compared to day 0. However, both PV and FFA concentrations remained within the acceptable threshold during storage. No changes in fatty acid composition were found during NIS storage. (4) Conclusions: Testa and shell could act as a natural coating, slowing down oxidation rates. Hence, long-term storage on nuts in testa or nuts in shell are recommended for tree nuts

    Rapid assessment of soil carbon and nutrients following application of organic amendments

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    Regular and routine soil analysis is vital to properly understand agricultural soil evolution and sustainably manage nutrient applications over time. Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is a fast-emerging technology and has shown potential to rapidly detect soil nutrient levels. However, it remains unknown to what extent processing soil samples and applying organic amendments, such as biochar, to soil will affect HSI model prediction accuracy and reliability. This study aimed to: 1) compare prediction accuracy of models developed using images of sieved and ground soils; and 2) assess prediciton reliability for samples where biochar had been applied. Specifically, we developed partial least squares regression (PLSR) models to predict soil total carbon (TC), nitrogen (TN), water extractable phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and sodium (Na) using pooled data collected over six years. Additionally, prediction reliability using best-fit models for samples with nil biochar were compared to samples where biochar was applied. Best-fit PLSR models were developed using images of ground soils and improved prediction of TN (R2p from 0.78 to 0.84; ratio of performance deviation (RPD) from 1.74 to 2.37) and Na (R2p from 0.78 to 0.83; RPD from 1.97 to 2.23) compared with using images of sieved soils. In general, prediction accuracy of TC, TN, P and Na was influenced by processing by grinding, whereas this was not the case for K. Images of ground soils predicted reference values more accurately due to reduced particle size and light scattering, resulting in increased mean reflectance and sample homogeneity. Biochar addition to individual samples did not impede prediction reliability in the external test dataset. Reliable TN and Na prediction occurred in 79.4% and 84.3% of samples containing biochar, and 73.7% and 78.4% with no biochar, respectively. Therefore, hyperspectral imaging represents a promising tool to rapidly predict nutrients in agricultural systems where organic amendments and biochar have been applied

    Experience of induction of labour:a cross-sectional postnatal survey of women at UK maternity units

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    OBJECTIVES: This study explored women's views and experiences of key elements of the induction of labour (IOL) process, including at home or in hospital cervical ripening (CR). DESIGN: A questionnaire-based postnatal survey undertaken as part of the CHOICE Study process evaluation. The questionnaire was administered online and included fixed response and free-text options. SETTING: National Health Service maternity units in the UK. PARTICIPANTS: 309 women who had an IOL. OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome measure was experience of IOL. Few women returned home during CR, meaning that statistical comparison between those who experienced home-based and hospital-based CR was not possible. Findings are reported as descriptive statistics with content analysis of women's comments providing context. RESULTS: Information to support choice and understand what to expect about IOL is often inadequate or unavailable. Having IOL can create anxiety and remove options for birth that women had hoped would enhance their experience. Although it can provide a more comfortable environment, home CR is not always an acceptable solution. Women described maternity care negatively impacted by staffing shortages; delays to care sometimes led to unsafe situations. Women who had a positive experience of IOL described supportive interaction with staff as a significant contribution to that. CONCLUSIONS: Women do not experience IOL as a benign and consequence free intervention. There is urgent need for research to better target IOL and optimise safety and experience for women and their babies. Relatively few women were offered CR at home and further research is needed on this experience

    PCSK6 and Survival in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

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    Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a devastating disease characterized by limited treatment options and high mortality. A better understanding of the molecular drivers of IPF progression is needed. Objectives: To identify and validate molecular determinants of IPF survival. Methods: A staged genome-wide association study was performed using paired genomic and survival data. Stage I cases were drawn from centers across the United States and Europe and stage II cases from Vanderbilt University. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to identify gene variants associated with differential transplantation-free survival (TFS). Stage I variants with nominal significance (P < 5 x 10(-5)) were advanced for stage II testing and meta-analyzed to identify those reaching genome-wide significance (P < 5 x 10(-8)). Downstream analyses were performed for genes and proteins associated with variants reaching genome-wide significance. Measurements and Main Results: After quality controls, 1,481 stage I cases and 397 stage II cases were included in the analysis. After filtering, 9,075,629 variants were tested in stage I, with 158 meeting advancement criteria. Four variants associated with TFS with consistent effect direction were identified in stage II, including one in an intron of PCSK6 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 6) reaching genome-wide significance (hazard ratio, 4.11 [95% confidence interval, 2.54-6.67]; P = 9.45 x 10(-9)). PCSK6 protein was highly expressed in IPF lung parenchyma. PCSK6 lung staining intensity, peripheral blood gene expression, and plasma concentration were associated with reduced TFS. Conclusions: We identified four novel variants associated with IPF survival, including one in PCSK6 that reached genome-wide significance. Downstream analyses suggested that PCSK6 protein plays a potentially important role in IPF progression