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Concept: Poland


This study assessed changes in levels of ever use, perceptions of harm from e-cigarettes and sociodemographic correlates of use among European Union (EU) adults during 2012-2014, as well as determinants of current use in 2014.

Concepts: European Union, United Kingdom, Member State of the European Union, Slovakia, Malta, Treaty of Lisbon, Poland


To shed more light on the processes leading to crystallization of a Slavic identity, we investigated variability of complete mitochondrial genomes belonging to haplogroups H5 and H6 (63 mtDNA genomes) from the populations of Eastern and Western Slavs, including new samples of Poles, Ukrainians and Czechs presented here. Molecular dating implies formation of H5 approximately 11.5-16 thousand years ago (kya) in the areas of southern Europe. Within ancient haplogroup H6, dated at around 15-28 kya, there is a subhaplogroup H6c, which probably survived the last glaciation in Europe and has undergone expansion only 3-4 kya, together with the ancestors of some European groups, including the Slavs, because H6c has been detected in Czechs, Poles and Slovaks. Detailed analysis of complete mtDNAs allowed us to identify a number of lineages that seem specific for Central and Eastern Europe (H5a1f, H5a2, H5a1r, H5a1s, H5b4, H5e1a, H5u1, some subbranches of H5a1a and H6a1a9). Some of them could possibly be traced back to at least ∼4 kya, which indicates that some of the ancestors of today’s Slavs (Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Ukrainians and Russians) inhabited areas of Central and Eastern Europe much earlier than it was estimated on the basis of archaeological and historical data. We also sequenced entire mitochondrial genomes of several non-European lineages (A, C, D, G, L) found in contemporary populations of Poland and Ukraine. The analysis of these haplogroups confirms the presence of Siberian (C5c1, A8a1) and Ashkenazi-specific (L2a1l2a) mtDNA lineages in Slavic populations. Moreover, we were able to pinpoint some lineages which could possibly reflect the relatively recent contacts of Slavs with nomadic Altaic peoples (C4a1a, G2a, D5a2a1a1).

Concepts: Slovakia, Ukraine, Austria, Ethnic groups in Europe, Poland, Belarus, Slavic peoples, West Slavs


Ethnic Belarusians make up more than 80% of the nine and half million people inhabiting the Republic of Belarus. Belarusians together with Ukrainians and Russians represent the East Slavic linguistic group, largest both in numbers and territory, inhabiting East Europe alongside Baltic-, Finno-Permic- and Turkic-speaking people. Till date, only a limited number of low resolution genetic studies have been performed on this population. Therefore, with the phylogeographic analysis of 565 Y-chromosomes and 267 mitochondrial DNAs from six well covered geographic sub-regions of Belarus we strove to complement the existing genetic profile of eastern Europeans. Our results reveal that around 80% of the paternal Belarusian gene pool is composed of R1a, I2a and N1c Y-chromosome haplogroups - a profile which is very similar to the two other eastern European populations - Ukrainians and Russians. The maternal Belarusian gene pool encompasses a full range of West Eurasian haplogroups and agrees well with the genetic structure of central-east European populations. Our data attest that latitudinal gradients characterize the variation of the uniparentally transmitted gene pools of modern Belarusians. In particular, the Y-chromosome reflects movements of people in central-east Europe, starting probably as early as the beginning of the Holocene. Furthermore, the matrilineal legacy of Belarusians retains two rare mitochondrial DNA haplogroups, N1a3 and N3, whose phylogeographies were explored in detail after de novo sequencing of 20 and 13 complete mitogenomes, respectively, from all over Eurasia. Our phylogeographic analyses reveal that two mitochondrial DNA lineages, N3 and N1a3, both of Middle Eastern origin, might mark distinct events of matrilineal gene flow to Europe: during the mid-Holocene period and around the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, respectively.

Concepts: Europe, Eastern Europe, Ukraine, Russia, Soviet Union, Poland, Latvia, Belarus


The risk of psychological disorders influencing the health of workers increases in accordance with growing requirements on employees across various professions. This study aimed to compare approaches to the burnout syndrome in European countries. A questionnaire focusing on stress-related occupational diseases was distributed to national experts of 28 European Union countries. A total of 23 countries responded. In 9 countries (Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia and Sweden) burnout syndrome may be acknowledged as an occupational disease. Latvia has burnout syndrome explicitly included on the List of ODs. Compensation for burnout syndrome has been awarded in Denmark, France, Latvia, Portugal and Sweden.Only in 39% of the countries a possibility to acknowledge burnout syndrome as an occupational disease exists, with most of compensated cases only occurring in recent years. New systems to collect data on suspected cases have been developed reflecting the growing recognition of the impact of the psychosocial work environment. In agreement with the EU legislation, all EU countries in the study have an action plan to prevent stress at the workplace.

Concepts: European Union, United Kingdom, Sweden, Europe, Slovakia, Estonia, NATO, Poland


The transition from hunting and gathering to farming involved profound cultural and technological changes. In Western and Central Europe, these changes occurred rapidly and synchronously after the arrival of early farmers of Anatolian origin [1-3], who largely replaced the local Mesolithic hunter-gatherers [1, 4-6]. Further east, in the Baltic region, the transition was gradual, with little or no genetic input from incoming farmers [7]. Here we use ancient DNA to investigate the relationship between hunter-gatherers and farmers in the Lower Danube basin, a geographically intermediate area that is characterized by a rapid Neolithic transition but also by the presence of archaeological evidence that points to cultural exchange, and thus possible admixture, between hunter-gatherers and farmers. We recovered four human paleogenomes (1.1× to 4.1× coverage) from Romania spanning a time transect between 8.8 thousand years ago (kya) and 5.4 kya and supplemented them with two Mesolithic genomes (1.7× and 5.3×) from Spain to provide further context on the genetic background of Mesolithic Europe. Our results show major Western hunter-gatherer (WHG) ancestry in a Romanian Eneolithic sample with a minor, but sizeable, contribution from Anatolian farmers, suggesting multiple admixture events between hunter-gatherers and farmers. Dietary stable-isotope analysis of this sample suggests a mixed terrestrial/aquatic diet. Our results provide support for complex interactions among hunter-gatherers and farmers in the Danube basin, demonstrating that in some regions, demic and cultural diffusion were not mutually exclusive, but merely the ends of a continuum for the process of Neolithization.

Concepts: Germany, Serbia, Neolithic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Danube, Moldova


The Neolithic transition was a dynamic time in European prehistory of cultural, social, and technological change. Although this period has been well explored in central Europe using ancient nuclear DNA [1, 2], its genetic impact on northern and eastern parts of this continent has not been as extensively studied. To broaden our understanding of the Neolithic transition across Europe, we analyzed eight ancient genomes: six samples (four to ∼1- to 4-fold coverage) from a 3,500 year temporal transect (∼8,300-4,800 calibrated years before present) through the Baltic region dating from the Mesolithic to the Late Neolithic and two samples spanning the Mesolithic-Neolithic boundary from the Dnieper Rapids region of Ukraine. We find evidence that some hunter-gatherer ancestry persisted across the Neolithic transition in both regions. However, we also find signals consistent with influxes of non-local people, most likely from northern Eurasia and the Pontic Steppe. During the Late Neolithic, this Steppe-related impact coincides with the proposed emergence of Indo-European languages in the Baltic region [3, 4]. These influences are distinct from the early farmer admixture that transformed the genetic landscape of central Europe, suggesting that changes associated with the Neolithic package in the Baltic were not driven by the same Anatolian-sourced genetic exchange.

Concepts: Europe, Estonia, Ukraine, Neolithic, Russia, Stone Age, Poland, Latvia


Does surviving genocidal experiences, like the Holocaust, lead to shorter life-expectancy? Such an effect is conceivable given that most survivors not only suffered psychosocial trauma but also malnutrition, restriction in hygienic and sanitary facilities, and lack of preventive medical and health services, with potentially damaging effects for later health and life-expectancy. We explored whether genocidal survivors have a higher risk to die younger than comparisons without such background. This is the first population-based retrospective cohort study of the Holocaust, based on the entire population of immigrants from Poland to Israel (N = 55,220), 4-20 years old when the World War II started (1939), immigrating to Israel either between 1945 and 1950 (Holocaust group) or before 1939 (comparison group; not exposed to the Holocaust). Hazard of death - a long-term outcome of surviving genocidal trauma - was derived from the population-wide official data base of the National Insurance Institute of Israel. Cox regression yielded a significant hazard ratio (HR = 0.935, CI (95%) = 0.910-0.960), suggesting that the risk of death was reduced by 6.5 months for Holocaust survivors compared to non-Holocaust comparisons. The lower hazard was most substantial in males who were aged 10-15 (HR = 0.900, CI (95%) = 0.842-0.962, i.e., reduced by 10 months) or 16-20 years at the onset of the Holocaust (HR = 0.820, CI (95%) = 0.782-0.859, i.e., reduced by18 months). We found that against all odds genocidal survivors were likely to live longer. We suggest two explanations: Differential mortality during the Holocaust and “Posttraumatic Growth” associated with protective factors in Holocaust survivors or in their environment after World War II.

Concepts: Cohort study, Population, Germany, World War II, Nazi Germany, Poland, World War I, The Holocaust


This article describes evidence for contact and exchange among Mesolithic communities in Poland and Scandinavia, based on the interdisciplinary analysis of an ornamented bâton percé from Gołębiewo site 47 (Central Poland). Typological and chronological-cultural analyses show the artefact to be most likely produced in the North European Plain, during the Boreal period. Carbon-14 dating confirms the antiquity of the artefact. Ancient DNA analysis shows the artefact to be of Rangifer tarandus antler. Following this species designation, a dispersion analysis of Early-Holocene reindeer remains in Europe was conducted, showing this species to exist only in northern Scandinavia and north-western Russia in this period. Therefore, the bâton from Gołębiewo constitutes the youngest reindeer remains in the European Plain and south-western Scandinavia known to date. An attempt was made to determine the biogeographic region from which the antler used to produce the artefact originates from. To this end, comprehensive δ18O, δ13C and δ15N isotope analyses were performed. North Karelia and South Lapland were determined as the most probable regions in terms of isotopic data, results which correspond to the known distribution range of Rangifer tarandus at this time. In light of these finds, the likelihood of contact between Scandinavia and Central Europe in Early Holocene is evaluated. The bâton percé from Gołębiewo is likely key evidence for long-distance exchange during the Boreal period.

Concepts: Sweden, Estonia, Western Europe, Central Europe, Finland, Holocene, Poland, Northern Europe


While numerous ancient human DNA datasets from across Europe have been published till date, modern-day Poland in particular, remains uninvestigated. Besides application in the reconstruction of continent-wide human history, data from this region would also contribute towards our understanding of the history of the Slavs, whose origin is hypothesized to be in East or Central Europe. Here, we present the first population-scale ancient human DNA study from the region of modern-day Poland by establishing mitochondrial DNA profiles for 23 samples dated to 200 BC - 500 AD (Roman Iron Age) and for 20 samples dated to 1000-1400 AD (Medieval Age). Our results show that mitochondrial DNA sequences from both periods belong to haplogroups that are characteristic of contemporary West Eurasia. Haplotype sharing analysis indicates that majority of the ancient haplotypes are widespread in some modern Europeans, including Poles. Notably, the Roman Iron Age samples share more rare haplotypes with Central and Northeast Europeans, whereas the Medieval Age samples share more rare haplotypes with East-Central and South-East Europeans, primarily Slavic populations. Our data demonstrates genetic continuity of certain matrilineages (H5a1 and N1a1a2) in the area of present-day Poland from at least the Roman Iron Age until present. As such, the maternal gene pool of present-day Poles, Czechs and Slovaks, categorized as Western Slavs, is likely to have descended from inhabitants of East-Central Europe during the Roman Iron Age.

Concepts: DNA, Europe, Western Europe, Central Europe, Ethnic groups in Europe, Poland, Slavic peoples, West Slavs


The European Union (EU) is a confederation of 27 member states, the institutions of which work according to negotiated decisions. The EU has implemented similar legislation and a common market, and has adopted the same currency in most of its member states. Although financing health systems is a responsibility of the national governments, the EU has enacted the Charter of Fundamental Rights to standardize public health policies. However, for historical reasons, health policy and health expenditure is not uniform across the 27 EU member states (EU-27).

Concepts: European Union, United Kingdom, Member State of the European Union, Slovakia, Malta, Treaty of Lisbon, Poland, European Economic Area