Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Cross-sectional data


While experimental and observational studies suggest that sugar intake is associated with the development of type 2 diabetes, independent of its role in obesity, it is unclear whether alterations in sugar intake can account for differences in diabetes prevalence among overall populations. Using econometric models of repeated cross-sectional data on diabetes and nutritional components of food from 175 countries, we found that every 150 kcal/person/day increase in sugar availability (about one can of soda/day) was associated with increased diabetes prevalence by 1.1% (p <0.001) after testing for potential selection biases and controlling for other food types (including fibers, meats, fruits, oils, cereals), total calories, overweight and obesity, period-effects, and several socioeconomic variables such as aging, urbanization and income. No other food types yielded significant individual associations with diabetes prevalence after controlling for obesity and other confounders. The impact of sugar on diabetes was independent of sedentary behavior and alcohol use, and the effect was modified but not confounded by obesity or overweight. Duration and degree of sugar exposure correlated significantly with diabetes prevalence in a dose-dependent manner, while declines in sugar exposure correlated with significant subsequent declines in diabetes rates independently of other socioeconomic, dietary and obesity prevalence changes. Differences in sugar availability statistically explain variations in diabetes prevalence rates at a population level that are not explained by physical activity, overweight or obesity.

Concepts: Scientific method, Nutrition, Insulin, Obesity, Econometrics, Overweight, Cross-sectional data, Panel data


Psychosocial job stressors, such as low control and high demands, have been found to influence the health and wellbeing of doctors. However, past research in this area has relied on cross-sectional data, which limits causal inferences about the influence of psychosocial job stressors on health. In this study, we examine this relationship longitudinally while also assessing whether the relationship between psychosocial job stressors and health is modified by gender.

Concepts: Medicine, Health, Physician, Pediatrics, Medical school, Health science, Specialty, Cross-sectional data


Research on poverty in the United States has largely consisted of examining cross-sectional levels of absolute poverty. In this analysis, we focus on understanding relative poverty within a life course context. Specifically, we analyze the likelihood of individuals falling below the 20th percentile and the 10th percentile of the income distribution between the ages of 25 and 60. A series of life tables are constructed using the nationally representative Panel Study of Income Dynamics data set. This includes panel data from 1968 through 2011. Results indicate that the prevalence of relative poverty is quite high. Consequently, between the ages of 25 to 60, 61.8 percent of the population will experience a year below the 20th percentile, and 42.1 percent will experience a year below the 10th percentile. Characteristics associated with experiencing these levels of poverty include those who are younger, nonwhite, female, not married, with 12 years or less of education, or who have a work disability.

Concepts: United States, Econometrics, Statistical data types, Cross-sectional data, Poverty threshold, Panel data, Panel Study of Income Dynamics, German Socio-Economic Panel


Occupational sitting time in white-collar workers represents a prominent contributor to overall daily sitting time, which is associated with various health risks. Workplace interventions intending to reduce sitting time during work typically focus on replacing sitting with standing. The aim was to investigate and compare actual and desired proportions of time spent sitting, standing, walking, and doing physically demanding tasks at work reported by desk-based workers. Cross-sectional data were collected from German desk-based workers (n = 614; 53.3% men; 40.9 ± 13.5 years). All were interviewed about their self-reported actual and desired level of sitting, standing, walking and physically demanding tasks at work.

Concepts: Employment, Cross-sectional data


Urbanization is a potential threat to mental health and well-being. Cross-sectional evidence suggests that living closer to urban green spaces, such as parks, is associated with lower mental distress. However, earlier research was unable to control for time-invariant heterogeneity (e.g., personality) and focused on indicators of poor psychological health. The current research advances the field by using panel data from over 10,000 individuals to explore the relation between urban green space and well-being (indexed by ratings of life satisfaction) and between urban green space and mental distress (indexed by General Health Questionnaire scores) for the same people over time. Controlling for individual and regional covariates, we found that, on average, individuals have both lower mental distress and higher well-being when living in urban areas with more green space. Although effects at the individual level were small, the potential cumulative benefit at the community level highlights the importance of policies to protect and promote urban green spaces for well-being.

Concepts: Psychology, City, Urban area, Developed environments, Urbanization, Cross-sectional data, Village, Panel data


Despite a large body of empirical literature on sexual satisfaction, its development over the course of a relationship is still unclear. Only a small number of studies, most of which have relied on cross-sectional data of convenience samples, have explicitly focused on relationship duration, and empirical evidence is mixed. We analyzed how sexual satisfaction changes over the course of a relationship using three waves of the German Family Panel study (pairfam). We concentrated our analyses on young and middle-aged heterosexual individuals in committed relationships (N = 2,814) and applied fixed effects regression models, which have the advantage of estimations based on changes within individuals over time. We found a positive development of sexual satisfaction in the first year of a relationship, followed by a steady decline. This pattern persisted even when controlling for the frequency of intercourse, although the effects were, in part, mediated by intercourse frequency. We explained the non-linear effect of relationship duration on sexual satisfaction with an initial learning effect regarding partner-specific sexual skills, which is then outweighed by a decline in passion at later stages of a relationship. Moreover, we found significant effects for the control variables of health status, intimacy in couple communication, and conflict style, as expected. In contrast to past research, however, cohabitation and marriage were not found to play a role for sexual satisfaction in our data. Further research is required to deepen the understanding of the reasons why sexual satisfaction changes with relationship duration.

Concepts: Scientific method, Effect, Econometrics, Research, Empirical research, Cross-sectional data, The Advantage, Panel data


Existing estimates of sociodemographic disparities in chronic pain in the United States are based on cross-sectional data, often treat pain as a binary construct, and rarely test for nonresponse or other types of bias. This study uses 7 biennial waves of national data from the Health and Retirement Study (1998-2010; n = 19,776) to describe long-term pain disparities among older (age 51+) American adults. It also investigates whether pain severity, reporting heterogeneity, survey nonresponse, and/or mortality selection might bias estimates of social disparities in pain. In the process, the article clarifies whether 2 unexpected patterns observed cross-sectionally-plateauing of pain above age 60, and lower pain among racial/ethnic minorities-are genuine or artefactual. Findings show high prevalence of chronic pain: 27.3% at baseline, increasing to 36.6% thereafter. Multivariate latent growth curve models reveal extremely large disparities in pain by sex, education, and wealth, which manifest primarily as differences in intercept. Net of these variables, there is no racial/ethnic minority disadvantage in pain scores, and indeed a black advantage vis-à-vis whites. Pain levels are predictive of subsequent death, even a decade in the future. No evidence of pain-related survey attrition is found, but surveys not accounting for pain severity and reporting heterogeneity are likely to underestimate socioeconomic disparities in pain. The lack of minority disadvantage (net of socioeconomic status) appears genuine. However, the age-related plateauing of pain observed cross-sectionally is not replicated longitudinally, and seems partially attributable to mortality selection, as well as to rising pain levels by birth cohort.

Concepts: Scientific method, Cohort study, Longitudinal study, Epidemiology, Cross-sectional study, United States, Sociology, Cross-sectional data


Sleep can serve as both cause and consequence of individuals' everyday experiences. We built upon prior studies of the correlates of sleep, which have relied primarily on cross-sectional data, to examine the antecedents and consequences of sleep using a daily diary design. Specifically, we assessed the temporal sequence between nightly sleep and daily psychosocial stressors. Parents employed in a US information technology company (n = 102) completed eight consecutive daily diaries at both baseline and 1 year later. In telephone interviews each evening, participants reported on the previous night’s sleep hours, sleep quality and sleep latency. They also reported daily work-to-family conflict and time inadequacy (i.e. perceptions of not having enough time) for their child and for themselves to engage in exercise. Multi-level models testing lagged and non-lagged effects simultaneously revealed that sleep hours and sleep quality were associated with next-day consequences of work-to-family conflict and time inadequacy, whereas psychosocial stressors as antecedents did not predict sleep hours or quality that night. For sleep latency, the opposite temporal order emerged: on days with more work-to-family conflict or time inadequacy for child and self than usual, participants reported longer sleep latencies than usual. An exception to this otherwise consistent pattern was that time inadequacy for child also preceded shorter sleep hours and poorer sleep quality that night. The results highlight the utility of a daily diary design for capturing the temporal sequences linking sleep and psychosocial stressors.

Concepts: Sleep, Sequence, Cross-sectional data, Diary, Temporal logic, Daily, Nightly


To compare sensitivity of high-risk HPV (hrHPV) and genotype detection in self-collected morning (U1) and later (U2) urine samples, brush-based self-samples (SS) and physician-taken smears (PTS) for detecting CIN2+ in a colposcopic referral population.

Concepts: Detection theory, Cross-sectional data, Smear campaign


To identify smaller geographic and region-specific evidence to inform population health planning for overweight and obesity.

Concepts: Nutrition, Demography, Cross-sectional data