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Concept: Prediction interval


The global epidemic of obesity and physical inactivity may have detrimental implications for young people’s cognitive function and academic achievement. This prospective study investigated whether childhood motor function predicts later academic achievement via physical activity, fitness, and obesity. The study sample included 8,061 children from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986, which contains data about parent-reported motor function at age 8 y and self-reported physical activity, predicted cardiorespiratory fitness (cycle ergometer test), obesity (body weight and height), and academic achievement (grades) at age 16 y. Structural equation models with unstandardized (B) and standardized (β) coefficients were used to test whether, and to what extent, physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and obesity at age 16 mediated the association between childhood motor function and adolescents' academic achievement. Physical activity was associated with a higher grade-point average, and obesity was associated with a lower grade-point average in adolescence. Furthermore, compromised motor function in childhood had a negative indirect effect on adolescents' academic achievement via physical inactivity (B = -0.023, 95% confidence interval = -0.031, -0.015) and obesity (B = -0.025, 95% confidence interval = -0.039, -0.011), but not via cardiorespiratory fitness. These results suggest that physical activity and obesity may mediate the association between childhood motor function and adolescents' academic achievement. Compromised motor function in childhood may represent an important factor driving the effects of obesity and physical inactivity on academic underachievement.

Concepts: Obesity, Overweight, Interval finite element, Adolescence, Confidence interval, Prediction interval, Physical fitness, Structural equation modeling


Background: Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is relatively common and disabling. Over 8000 patients attend adult services each year, yet little is known about the outcome of patients attending NHS services. AIM: Investigate the outcome of patients with CFS and what factors predict outcome. DESIGN: Longitudinal patient cohort. METHODS: We used data from six CFS/ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) specialist services to measure changes in fatigue (Chalder Fatigue Scale), physical function (SF-36), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) and pain (visual analogue pain rating scale) between clinical assessment and 8-20 months of follow-up. We used multivariable linear regression to investigate baseline factors associated with outcomes at follow-up.Results: Baseline data obtained at clinical assessment were available for 1643 patients, of whom 834 (51%) had complete follow-up data. There were improvements in fatigue [mean difference from assessment to outcome: -6.8; 95% confidence interval (CI) -7.4 to -6.2; P < 0.001]; physical function (4.4; 95% CI 3.0-5.8; P < 0.001), anxiety (-0.6; 95% CI -0.9 to -0.3; P < 0.001), depression (-1.6; 95% CI -1.9 to -1.4; P < 0.001) and pain (-5.3; 95% CI -7.0 to -3.6; P < 0.001). Worse fatigue, physical function and pain at clinical assessment predicted a worse outcome for fatigue at follow-up. Older age, increased pain and physical function at assessment were associated with poorer physical function at follow-up. CONCLUSION: Patients who attend NHS specialist CFS/ME services can expect similar improvements in fatigue, anxiety and depression to participants receiving cognitive behavioural therapy and graded exercise therapy in a recent trial, but are likely to experience less improvement in physical function. Outcomes were predicted by fatigue, disability and pain at assessment.

Concepts: Psychology, Clinical psychology, Fibromyalgia, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Fatigue, Prediction interval, Major depressive disorder, Chronic fatigue syndrome


Abstract. In developing countries, safe piped drinking water is generally unavailable, and bottled water is unaffordable for most people. Purchasing drinking water from community-scale decentralized water treatment and refill kiosks (referred to as isi ulang depots in Indonesia) is becoming a common alternative. This study investigates the association between diarrhea risk and community-scale water treatment and refill kiosk. We monitored daily diarrhea status and water source for 1,000 children 1-4 years of age in Jakarta, Indonesia, for up to 5 months. Among children in an urban slum, rate of diarrhea/1,000 child-days varied significantly by primary water source: 8.13 for tap water, 3.60 for bottled water, and 3.97 for water kiosks. In multivariable Poisson regression analysis, diarrhea risk remained significantly lower among water kiosk users (adjusted rate ratio [RR] = 0.49, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.29-0.83) and bottled water users (adjusted RR = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.21-0.97), compared with tap water users. In a peri-urban area, where few people purchased from water kiosk (N = 28, 6% of total population), diarrhea rates were lower overall: 2.44 for well water, 1.90 for bottled water, and 2.54 for water kiosks. There were no significant differences in diarrhea risk for water kiosk users or bottled water users compared with well water users. Purchasing water from low-cost water kiosks is associated with a reduction in diarrhea risk similar to that found for bottled water.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Water purification, Prediction interval, Bottled water, Water quality, Drinking water, Poisson regression, Tap water


Objective To investigate the association between lifetime breast feeding, exclusive breast feeding, postpartum amenorrhea, and incidence of endometriosis among parous women.Design Prospective cohort study.Setting Nurses' Health Study II, 1989-2011.Participants 72 394women who reported having one or more pregnancies that lasted at least six months, 3296 of whom had laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis. For each pregnancy, women reported duration of total breast feeding, exclusive breast feeding, and postpartum amenorrhea. Main outcome measures Incident self reported laparoscopically confirmed endometriosis (96% concordance with medical record) in parous women. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for diagnosis of endometriosis.Results Duration of total and exclusive breast feeding was significantly associated with decreased risk of endometriosis. Among women who reported a lifetime total length of breast feeding of less than one month, there were 453 endometriosis cases/100 000 person years compared with 184 cases/100 000 person years in women who reported a lifetime total of ≥36 months of breast feeding. For every additional three months of total breast feeding per pregnancy, women experienced an 8% lower risk of endometriosis (hazard ratio 0.92, 95% confidence interval 0.90 to 0.94; P<0.001 for trend) and a 14% lower risk for every additional three months of exclusive breast feeding per pregnancy (0.86, 0.81 to 0.90; P<0.001 for trend). Women who breastfed for ≥36 months in total across their reproductive lifetime had a 40% reduced risk of endometriosis compared with women who never breast fed (0.60, 0.50 to 0.72). The protective association with breast feeding was strongest among women who gave birth within the past five years (P=0.04 for interaction). The association with total breast feeding and exclusive breast feeding on endometriosis was partially influenced by postpartum amenorrhea (% mediated was 34% (95% confidence interval 15% to 59%) for total breast feeding and 57% (27% to 82%) for exclusive breast feeding).Conclusion Among women who experienced at least one pregnancy that lasted at least six months, breast feeding was inversely associated with risk of incident endometriosis. This association was partially, but not fully, influenced by postpartum amenorrhea, suggesting that breast feeding could influence the risk of endometriosis both through amenorrhea and other mechanisms. Given the chronic and incurable nature of endometriosis, breast feeding should be further investigated as an important modifiable behavior to mitigate risk for pregnant women.

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Infant, Proportional hazards models, Prolactin, Breastfeeding, Prediction interval, Breast milk


Background Patients with noninfectious uveitis are at risk for long-term complications of uncontrolled inflammation, as well as for the adverse effects of long-term glucocorticoid therapy. We conducted a trial to assess the efficacy and safety of adalimumab as a glucocorticoid-sparing agent for the treatment of noninfectious uveitis. Methods This multinational phase 3 trial involved adults who had active noninfectious intermediate uveitis, posterior uveitis, or panuveitis despite having received prednisone treatment for 2 or more weeks. Investigators and patients were unaware of the study-group assignments. Patients were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive adalimumab (a loading dose of 80 mg followed by a dose of 40 mg every 2 weeks) or matched placebo. All patients received a mandatory prednisone burst followed by tapering of prednisone over the course of 15 weeks. The primary efficacy end point was the time to treatment failure occurring at or after week 6. Treatment failure was a multicomponent outcome that was based on assessment of new inflammatory lesions, best corrected visual acuity, anterior chamber cell grade, and vitreous haze grade. Nine ranked secondary efficacy end points were assessed, and adverse events were reported. Results The median time to treatment failure was 24 weeks in the adalimumab group and 13 weeks in the placebo group. Among the 217 patients in the intention-to-treat population, those receiving adalimumab were less likely than those in the placebo group to have treatment failure (hazard ratio, 0.50; 95% confidence interval, 0.36 to 0.70; P<0.001). Outcomes with regard to three secondary end points (change in anterior chamber cell grade, change in vitreous haze grade, and change in best corrected visual acuity) were significantly better in the adalimumab group than in the placebo group. Adverse events and serious adverse events were reported more frequently among patients who received adalimumab (1052.4 vs. 971.7 adverse events and 28.8 vs. 13.6 serious adverse events per 100 person-years). Conclusions In our trial, adalimumab was found to be associated with a lower risk of uveitic flare or visual impairment and with more adverse events and serious adverse events than was placebo. (Funded by AbbVie; VISUAL I number, NCT01138657 .).

Concepts: Therapeutic effect, Pharmacology, Clinical trial, Assessment, Glucocorticoid, Ophthalmology, Prediction interval, Uveitis


Objectives. We examined the relationship between levels of household firearm ownership, as measured directly and by a proxy-the percentage of suicides committed with a firearm-and age-adjusted firearm homicide rates at the state level. Methods. We conducted a negative binomial regression analysis of panel data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web-Based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting Systems database on gun ownership and firearm homicide rates across all 50 states during 1981 to 2010. We determined fixed effects for year, accounted for clustering within states with generalized estimating equations, and controlled for potential state-level confounders. Results. Gun ownership was a significant predictor of firearm homicide rates (incidence rate ratio = 1.009; 95% confidence interval = 1.004, 1.014). This model indicated that for each percentage point increase in gun ownership, the firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9%. Conclusions. We observed a robust correlation between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm homicide rates. Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print September 12, 2013: e1-e8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2013.301409).

Concepts: Regression analysis, Epidemiology, Statistics, United States, Econometrics, U.S. state, Prediction interval, Statistical terminology


The chronic effects of repetitive head impacts (RHI) on the development of neuroinflammation and its relationship to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) are unknown. Here we set out to determine the relationship between RHI exposure, neuroinflammation, and the development of hyperphosphorylated tau (ptau) pathology and dementia risk in CTE. We studied a cohort of 66 deceased American football athletes from the Boston University-Veteran’s Affairs-Concussion Legacy Foundation Brain Bank as well as 16 non-athlete controls. Subjects with a neurodegenerative disease other than CTE were excluded. Counts of total and activated microglia, astrocytes, and ptau pathology were performed in the dorsolateral frontal cortex (DLF). Binary logistic and simultaneous equation regression models were used to test associations between RHI exposure, microglia, ptau pathology, and dementia. Duration of RHI exposure and the development and severity of CTE were associated with reactive microglial morphology and increased numbers of CD68 immunoreactive microglia in the DLF. A simultaneous equation regression model demonstrated that RHI exposure had a significant direct effect on CD68 cell density (p < 0.0001) and ptau pathology (p < 0.0001) independent of age at death. The effect of RHI on ptau pathology was partially mediated through increased CD68 positive cell density. A binary logistic regression demonstrated that a diagnosis of dementia was significantly predicted by CD68 cell density (OR = 1.010, p = 0.011) independent of age (OR = 1.055, p = 0.007), but this effect disappeared when ptau pathology was included in the model. In conclusion, RHI is associated with chronic activation of microglia, which may partially mediate the effect of RHI on the development of ptau pathology and dementia in CTE. Inflammatory molecules may be important diagnostic or predictive biomarkers as well as promising therapeutic targets in CTE.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Linear regression, Prediction, Neurology, Frontal lobe, Prediction interval, Microglia


Background Data from studies in nonhuman primates suggest that the triple monoclonal antibody cocktail ZMapp is a promising immune-based treatment for Ebola virus disease (EVD). Methods Beginning in March 2015, we conducted a randomized, controlled trial of ZMapp plus the current standard of care as compared with the current standard of care alone in patients with EVD that was diagnosed in West Africa by polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) assay. Eligible patients of any age were randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive either the current standard of care or the current standard of care plus three intravenous infusions of ZMapp (50 mg per kilogram of body weight, administered every third day). Patients were stratified according to baseline PCR cycle-threshold value for the virus (≤22 vs. >22) and country of enrollment. Oral favipiravir was part of the current standard of care in Guinea. The primary end point was mortality at 28 days. Results A total of 72 patients were enrolled at sites in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and the United States. Of the 71 patients who could be evaluated, 21 died, representing an overall case fatality rate of 30%. Death occurred in 13 of 35 patients (37%) who received the current standard of care alone and in 8 of 36 patients (22%) who received the current standard of care plus ZMapp. The observed posterior probability that ZMapp plus the current standard of care was superior to the current standard of care alone was 91.2%, falling short of the prespecified threshold of 97.5%. Frequentist analyses yielded similar results (absolute difference in mortality with ZMapp, -15 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, -36 to 7). Baseline viral load was strongly predictive of both mortality and duration of hospitalization in all age groups. Conclusions In this randomized, controlled trial of a putative therapeutic agent for EVD, although the estimated effect of ZMapp appeared to be beneficial, the result did not meet the prespecified statistical threshold for efficacy. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; PREVAIL II number, NCT02363322 .).

Concepts: Microbiology, Prediction interval, Ebola, Viral hemorrhagic fever, Malaise, Crab-eating Macaque, Sierra Leone, Western Red Colobus


Previous literature indicates that pre-diagnostic diabetes and blood glucose levels are inversely related to glioma risk. To replicate these findings and determine whether they could be attributed to excess glucose consumption by the preclinical tumour, we used data from the Apolipoprotein MOrtality RISk (AMORIS) (n = 528,580) and the Metabolic syndrome and Cancer project (Me-Can) cohorts (n = 269,365). We identified individuals who were followed for a maximum of 15 years after their first blood glucose test until glioma diagnosis, death, emigration or the end of follow-up. Hazard ratios (HRs), 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and their interactions with time were estimated using Cox time-dependent regression. As expected, pre-diagnostic blood glucose levels were inversely related to glioma risk (AMORIS, P trend = 0.002; Me-Can, P trend = 0.04) and pre-diagnostic diabetes (AMORIS, HR = 0.30, 95% CI 0.17 to 0.53). During the year before diagnosis, blood glucose was inversely associated with glioma in the AMORIS (HR = 0.78, 95% CI 0.66 to 0.93) but not the Me-Can cohort (HR = 0.99, 95% CI 0.63 to 1.56). This AMORIS result is consistent with our hypothesis that excess glucose consumption by the preclinical tumour accounts for the inverse association between blood glucose and glioma. We discuss additional hypothetical mechanisms that may explain our paradoxical findings.

Concepts: Scientific method, Nutrition, Diabetes mellitus, Blood sugar, Glucose tolerance test, Prediction interval, Blood tests, Hyperglycemia


Objective To assess the relation between invasive dental procedures and infective endocarditis associated with oral streptococci among people with prosthetic heart valves.Design Nationwide population based cohort and a case crossover study.Setting French national health insurance administrative data linked with the national hospital discharge database.Participants All adults aged more than 18 years, living in France, with medical procedure codes for positioning or replacement of prosthetic heart valves between July 2008 and July 2014.Main outcome measures Oral streptococcal infective endocarditis was identified using primary discharge diagnosis codes. In the cohort study, Poisson regression models were performed to estimate the rate of oral streptococcal infective endocarditis during the three month period after invasive dental procedures compared with non-exposure periods. In the case crossover study, conditional logistic regression models calculated the odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals comparing exposure to invasive dental procedures during the three month period preceding oral streptococcal infective endocarditis (case period) with three earlier control periods.Results The cohort included 138 876 adults with prosthetic heart valves (285 034 person years); 69 303 (49.9%) underwent at least one dental procedure. Among the 396 615 dental procedures performed, 103 463 (26.0%) were invasive and therefore presented an indication for antibiotic prophylaxis, which was performed in 52 280 (50.1%). With a median follow-up of 1.7 years, 267 people developed infective endocarditis associated with oral streptococci (incidence rate 93.7 per 100 000 person years, 95% confidence interval 82.4 to 104.9). Compared with non-exposure periods, no statistically significant increased rate of oral streptococcal infective endocarditis was observed during the three months after an invasive dental procedure (relative rate 1.25, 95% confidence interval 0.82 to 1.82; P=0.26) and after an invasive dental procedure without antibiotic prophylaxis (1.57, 0.90 to 2.53; P=0.08). In the case crossover analysis, exposure to invasive dental procedures was more frequent during case periods than during matched control periods (5.1% v 3.2%; odds ratio 1.66, 95% confidence interval 1.05 to 2.63; P=0.03).Conclusion Invasive dental procedures may contribute to the development of infective endocarditis in adults with prosthetic heart valves.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Epidemiology, Statistics, Relative risk, Statistical hypothesis testing, Normal distribution, Prediction interval