ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0029.v1
Online: 4 June 2020 (08:03:48 CEST)
On the 9th March 2020, the first patient with COVID-19 was admitted to ICU in the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, Wales. We prospectively recorded the rate of ICU admissions of 52 patients with COVID-19 over 60 days, focusing on the epidemiology of ethnicity and deprivation. Patients were 65% (34 of 52) male and had a median (IQR) age of 55 (48-62) years. Prevalent comorbidities included obesity (52%); diabetes (33%), and asthma (23%). COVID-19 hospital and ICU inpatient numbers peaked on days 23 and 39, respectively – a lag of 16 days. The ICU mortality rate was 33% (17 of 52). Black, Asian and Minority Ethnics (BAME) population represented 35% of ICU COVID-19 admissions (18 of 52) and 35% of deaths (6 of 17). Within the BAME group, 72% (13 of 18) were found to reside in geographical areas representing the 20% most deprived in Wales, versus 27% of Caucasians (9 of 33). Less than 5% of the population within the hospital catchment area are of BAME descent, yet they represent a disproportionately high proportion of patients with ICU admission and mortality suffering from COVID-19. The interplay between ethnicity and deprivation, which is complex, may be a factor in our findings. This in turn could be related to an increased prevalence of co-morbidities; higher community exposure; or genetic polymorphisms.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0333.v1
Online: 25 December 2019 (03:27:36 CET)
In recent years, many molecular and environmental factors have been studied to understand how synaptic plasticity is modulated. Sleep, as an evolutionary conserved biological function, has shown to be a critical player for the consolidation and filtering of synaptic circuitry underlying memory traces. Although sleep disturbances do not alter normal memory consolidation, they may reflect fundamental circuit malfunctions that can play a significant role in exacerbating diseases, such as autism and Alzheimer’s disease. Very recently, scientists sought to answer part of this enigma and they identified p75 neurotrophic receptor (p75NTR) as a critical player in mediating impairments in hippocampal-dependent associative plasticity upon sleep deprivation. This paper will review the role of the p75NTR, critically discuss the impact and implications of this research as the bridge for sleep research and neurological diseases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0258.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Other Keywords: prostate cancer; androgen deprivation therapy; exercise; adherence
Online: 27 April 2022 (10:43:52 CEST)
Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer treatment is associated with adverse physiological changes, however exercise can improve outcomes. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to determine exercise intervention adherence, and its effects on physiological outcomes in men diagnosed with prostate cancer undergoing ADT. Uniquely, this review incorporates a meta-aggregation of qualitative data, providing perspectives from the men’s experiences. A systematic review and meta-analysis were completed following PRISMA Guidelines. Databases (CINAHL, Cochrane, PubMed) were searched for studies using “prostate cancer”, “exercise intervention”, and “androgen deprivation therapy”. Quantitative randomised controlled trials describing adherence to exercise interventions were selected, with qualitative articles selected based on descriptions of experiences around participation. Subgroup meta-analyses of adherence, exercise mode, and intervention duration were completed for quality of life, aerobic fitness, fatigue, and strength. Articles (n=64) articles were identified, with 29 (n=23 quantitative; n=6 qualitative) articles from 25 studies included. Exercise had no effects (p<0.05) on quality of life and fatigue. Significant effects (all p<0.05) were observed for aerobic fitness, and upper- and lower-body strength. Adherence to exercise-based interventions was 80.38%, with improvements observed in aerobic fitness and strength. Subgroup analysis revealed exercise adherence impacted fatigue and strength, with greater improvements observed in programs >12-weeks.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0521.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: SDG11; urban; deprivation; informal settlement; poverty; mapping
Online: 23 February 2021 (14:31:37 CET)
Low- and middle-income country cities face unprecedented urbanization and growth in slums. Gridded population data in small grid squares (e.g., 100x100m) derived from demographic and spatial data are a promising source of current population estimates, but face limitations in slums due to the dynamic nature of this population as well as modelling assumptions. The efficacy of using gridded population data in slum areas remains a question mark especially in the context of UN SDG indicator development. In this study, we use field-referenced boundaries and population counts from Slum Dwellers International (SDI) in Lagos (Nigeria), Port Harcourt (Nigeria), and Nairobi (Kenya) to assess the accuracy of nine gridded population datasets in slums. We also use a modelled map of all slums in Lagos to assess use of gridded population dataset for SDG11.1.1 (percent of population living in deprived areas). We found that all gridded population estimates vastly under-estimated population counts in populous slums, and the calculation of SDG11.1.1 in Lagos was impossibly low; gridded population datasets estimated that just 1-3% of the Lagos population lived in slums, compared to 56% using the UN-Habitat approach. We outline specific steps that might be taken to improve each gridded population dataset in deprived urban areas. While gridded population estimates are not yet sufficiently accurate to estimate SDG11.1.1, we are optimistic that some datasets could be following updates to their modelling approaches.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0187.v1
Online: 8 February 2021 (11:04:18 CET)
Objective: To investigate the association between deprivation and COVID-19 outcomes in Italy during pre-lockdown, lockdown and post-lockdown periods.Design: Retrospective cohort study.Setting: All municipalities in Italy with less than 50,000 population.Participants: 38,534,169 citizens and 222,875 COVID-19 cases reported to the Italian epidemiological surveillance were assigned to quintiles based on the deprivation index of their municipality of residence.Interventions: The COVID-19 pandemic during pre-lockdown, lockdown and post-lockdown from the 20th of February to the 15th of October of 2020.Main outcome measures: Multilevel negative binomial regression models, adjusting for age, sex, population-density and region of residence were conducted to evaluate the association between deprivation and COVID-19 incidence, case-hospitalisation rate and case-fatality. The association measure was the rate ratio.Results: During pre-lockdown, lockdown and post-lockdown, the incidence rate ratios (IRR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) in the most deprived quintile with respect to the least deprived quintile were 1.17 (95% CI 0.98 to 1.41), 1.14 (1.03 to 1.27) and 1.47 (1.32 to 1.63), respectively. In those three periods, the case-hospitalization IRR were 0.68 (0.51 to 0.92), 0.89 (0.72 to 1.11) and 0.99 (0.81 to 1.22) and the case-fatality IRR were 0.92 (0.75 to 1.13), 0.95 (0.85 to 1.07) and 1.02 (0.73 to 1.41), respectively.Conclusions: During lockdown and post-lockdown, but not during pre-lockdown, a higher incidence of cases was observed in the most deprived municipalities compared with the least deprived ones. No differences in case-hospitalisation and case-fatality according to deprivation were observed in any period under study.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0434.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: fast food; neighbourhood; deprivation; overweight; obesity; adolesence; confounding
Online: 24 September 2021 (12:51:26 CEST)
The aim of our study is to utilise longitudinal and representative national data to explore the extent that the association between the fast food environment and overweight in adolescents is confounded by neighbourhood deprivation. Longitudinal data from the Millennium Cohort Study for England were obtained for waves 5 (ages 11/12; 2011/12; n=13,469) and 6 (ages 14/15; 2014/15; n=11,884). Our outcome variable was overweight/obesity defined using age and sex-specific International Obesity Task Force cut points. Individuals were linked, based on their residential location, to data on the density of fast food outlets and neighbourhood deprivation. Structural Equation Models were used to model associations at both ages and explicitly test for confounding. While we found some evidence for an association between the number of fast food outlets and overweight, any associations disappeared following accounting for the confounding nature of neighbourhood deprivation. Neighbourhood deprivation was consistently associated to overweight, with adolescents who resided in deprived areas more likely to be overweight. Results were largely consistent depending on different methodological decisions. Our findings suggest that policy efforts should prioritise focusing on tackling the social determinants of excess body mass which will be more effective than interventions aimed at the built environment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0510.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: LMIC; urban; deprivation; informal settlement; poverty; Global South
Online: 22 July 2021 (09:15:06 CEST)
People living in slums and other deprived areas in low- and middle-income country (LMIC) cities are under-represented in censuses, and subsequently in "top-down" gridded population estimates. Modelled gridded population data are a unique source of disaggregated population information to calculate local development indicators such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This study evaluates if, and how, WorldPop-Global (WPG) -Unconstrained and -Constrained “top-down” datasets might be improved in a simulated realistic LMIC urban population by incorporating slum profile population counts into model training. We found that the WPG-Unconstrained model with or without slum training data grossly underestimated population in urban deprived areas while grossly overestimating population in rural areas. SDG 11.1.1, the percent of population living in slums, for example, was estimated to be 20% or less compared to a "true" value of 29.5%. The WPG-Constrained model, which included building auxiliary datasets, far more accurately estimated the population in all grid cells (including rural areas), and the inclusion of slum training data further improved estimates such that SDG 11.1.1 was estimated at 27.1% and 27.0%, respectively. Inclusion of building metrics and slum training data in “top-down” gridded population models can substantially improve grid cell-level accuracy in both urban and rural areas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0344.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: diet quality; neighborhood deprivation; Japanese areal deprivation index; neighborhood socioeconomic status; hazard ratios; mortality; Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top; well-balanced diet; early death
Online: 31 July 2019 (04:26:11 CEST)
Individuals residing in more deprived areas have a lower diet quality. While several studies have shown that individuals with a lower diet quality have a higher mortality risk, a low quality diet might also lead to poor health in highly deprived areas. We aimed to examine the association between deprivation within an area and all-cause mortality risk according to diet quality. Methods: We conducted a population-based prospective study on 27994 men and 33273 women aged 45–75 years. Neighborhood deprivation was assessed using the Japanese areal deprivation index (ADI). Dietary intakes were assessed using a validated 147-item food frequency questionnaire. Subsequently, Japanese Food Guide Spinning Top scores were calculated. Hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of mortality were calculated according to tertiles of ADI by diet quality score. Results: Individuals residing in the most deprived area had the lowest dietary scores. During the 16.7-year follow-up, compared to individuals with a high quality diet residing in the least deprived area, individuals with a low quality diet had a higher risk of mortality according to increment of ADI (P trend = 0.02); the multivariate adjusted HR (95% CI) was 1.07 (1.00-1.15), 1.15 (1.07-1.24), and 1.18 (1.08-1.29) in those residing in the lowest through the highest third of ADI, respectively. However, individuals with a high quality diet had no significant association between ADI and mortality (P trend =0.87). Conclusion: A well-balanced diet may prevent early death associated with neighborhood socioeconomic status among those residing in highly deprived areas.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0215.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Behavioral Neuroscience Keywords: endocanabinoid system; sleep deprivation; animal models; psychosis-like symptoms; drug development
Online: 14 April 2020 (06:28:23 CEST)
The interaction between endocannabinoid (eCB) system with in key brain structures such as hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex and sleep deprivation (SD)-induced psychosis has been less studied. The present hypothesis revolves around the question whether altered chemical dynamics within the eCB system with the resultant impact on cannabinoid receptors in key cortical hubs would impact SD-induced psychosis-like symptoms. Having this investigated research is expected to pave the path towards identifying newer drug targets namely for schizophrenia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0228.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Myopia; monocular form deprivation (MFD); inflammation; Fallopia Japonica (FJ); Prunella Vulgaris (PV)
Online: 9 July 2021 (15:21:52 CEST)
The increased global incidence of myopia requires the establishment of therapeutic approaches. Previous studies have suggested that inflammation plays an important role in the development and progression of myopia. We used human retinal pigment epithelial cell to study the molecular mechanisms on how FJE and PVE lowering the inflammation of the eye. The effect of FJE and PVE in MFD induced hamster model and explore the role of inflammation cytokines in myopia. Expression levels of IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α were upregulated in retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells treated with IL-6 and TNF-α. FJ extract (FJE) + PV extract (PVE) reduced IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α expression in RPE cells. Furthermore, FJE and PVE inhibited inflammation by attenuating the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (AKT), and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B (NF-κB) pathway. In addition, we report two resveratrol + ursolic acid compounds from FJ and PV and their inhibitory activities against IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α expression levels in RPE cells treated with IL-6 and TNF-α. FJE, PVE, and FJE + PVE were applied to MFD hamsters and their axial length was measured after 21 days. The axial length showed statistically significant differences between phosphate-buffered saline- and FJE-, PVE-, and FJE + PVE-treated MFD eyes. FJE + PVE suppressed expressions of IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α. They also inhibited myopia-related transforming growth factor-beta (TGF)-β1, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, and NF-κB expression while increasing type Ⅰ collagen expression. Overall, these results suggest that FJE + PVE may have a therapeutic effect on myopia and be used as a potential treatment option.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0024.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: early life stress; maternal deprivation; immune system; natural killer cells; NK cells
Online: 1 April 2021 (14:01:19 CEST)
Early Life Adversity (ELA) is closely associated with the risk for developing diseases later in life, such as autoimmune diseases, type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In humans, early parental separation, physical and sexual abuse or low social-economic status during childhood are known to have great impact on brain development, in the hormonal system and immune responses. Maternal deprivation (MD), the closest animal model available to the human situation, is known to similarly induce long lasting behavioural effects, to cause changes in the HPA axis and to have an impact in the immune system. Even though the immune responses to potential pathogens after early stress have been somehow documented, the mechanisms by which they occur are still not fully understood. Here, we have demonstrated that maternal separation, in both humans and rats, significantly affects the sensitivity of the immune system in adulthood. Particularly, NK cells’ profile and response to target cell lines are significantly changed after childhood adversity. These immune cells in rats are not only less cytotoxic towards YAC-1 cells, but also show a clear increase in the expression of maturation markers after 3h of maternal separation. Similarly, individuals who suffered from ELA display significant changes in the cytotoxic profile of NK cells together with decreased degranulation capacity. Altogether, these results lead us to conclude that one of the key mechanisms by which the immune system becomes impaired after ELA might be due to a shift on the senescent state of the cells, specifically NK cells. Elucidation of such a mechanism highlights the importance of ELA prevention and how NK targeted immunotherapy might help attenuating ELA consequences.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0484.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: nature exposure; nature deprivation; health disparities; wellbeing; built environment; urban health interventions
Online: 21 December 2020 (09:00:48 CET)
Shelter-in-place aimed at slowing COVID-19 transmission has altered nature accessibility patterns, creating quasi-experimental conditions to assess if retracted nature contact and perceived nature deprivation influences physical and emotional wellbeing. We measure through survey methods how pandemic mandates limiting personal movement and outdoor nature access effect self-assessed nature exposure, perceived nature deprivation, and subsequent flourishing as measured by the Harvard Flourishing Index. Results indicate that perceived nature deprivation strongly associates with neighborhood nature contact, time in nature and access to municipal nature during the pandemic, after controlling for shelter-in-place mandates, job status, household composition, and sociodemographic variables. Our hypothesis that individuals with strong perceived nature deprivation under COVID-19 leads to diminished wellbeing proved true. Interaction models of flourishing showed positive modification of nature affinity with age and qualitative modification of nature deprivation with race. Our results demonstrate the potential of local nature contact to support individual wellbeing in a background context of emotional distress and social isolation, important in guiding public health policies beyond pandemics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0009.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: co-expression network, water deprivation, drought, systems biology, network centrality, computational simulation, Arabidopsis, transcriptional regulation
Online: 1 July 2022 (08:15:36 CEST)
Drought is one of the most serious abiotic stressors in the environment, restricting agricultural production by reducing plant growth, development, and productivity. To investigate such a complex and multifaceted stressor and its effects on the plants, a systems biology-based approach is necessitated, entailing the generation of co-expression networks, identification of highly-priority transcription factors (TFs) dynamic mathematical modeling, and computational simulations. Here, we studied a high-resolution drought transcriptome of Arabidopsis. We revealed distinct temporal transcriptional signatures and demonstrated the involvement of specific biological pathways. Generation of a large-scale co-expression network followed by network centrality analyses identified 117 TFs that possess critical properties of hubs, bottlenecks, and high clustering coefficients nodes. Dynamic transcriptional regulatory modeling on integrated TF-target and transcriptome datasets uncovered major transcriptional events during the course of drought stress. Mathematical transcriptional simulations allowed us to ascertain the activation status of major TFs as well as the transcriptional intensity and amplitude of their target genes. Finally, we validated our predictions by providing experimental evidence of gene expression under drought stress for a set of four TFs and their major target genes using qRT-PCR. Taken together, we provided a systems-level perspective on the dynamic transcriptional regulation during drought stress in Arabidopsis and uncovered numerous novel TFs that can potentially be used in future genetic crop engineering programs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0169.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: COVID-19; social inequalities; deprivation index; incidence rate; restrictive public health measures; local spread; GEE model
Online: 9 August 2022 (04:02:12 CEST)
The aim of this study was to investigate the spatio-temporal association between socio-economic deprivation and the incidence of COVID-19 and how this association changes through the seasons and due to the existence of restrictive public health measures. A retrospective observational study was conducted among COVID-19 cases that occurred in the Apulia region from 29 February 2020 to 31 December 2021, dividing the period into four phases with different levels of restrictions. A generalized estimating equations model was applied to test the independent effect of deprivation on the incidence rate of COVID-19, taking into account age, sex, and regional incidence rate as possible confounding effects and covariates such as season and levels of restrictions as possible modifying effects. The highest incidence rate was in areas with a Very High deprivation Index (DI) in winter (107.2 for 100,000 ab. ± 7.5), while in autumn, the highest Rate Ratio (RR) was estimated between Very High vs. Low DI (3.83, p<.001). During total lockdown, no RR between areas with different levels of DI was significant, while during soft lockdown, areas with Very High DI were more at risk than all other areas. The effects of social inequalities on incidence rate of COVID-19 change in as-sociation with the seasons and restrictions on public health. Disadvantaged areas showed a higher incidence rate of COVID-19 in the cold seasons and in the phases of soft lockdown.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0256.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: workplace health promotion; sleep quality; sleep hygiene; sleepiness; safety; insomnia; sleep deprivation; accidents; near miss; police
Online: 12 October 2020 (16:27:57 CEST)
A workplace sleep health promotion program was implemented in an Italian police unit from 2016 to 2017. Of the 242 police officers in the unit, 218 (90%) agreed to take part in the program. A crossover trial was made in which the police officers were divided into two groups that performed sleep health promotion activities in the first and second year, respectively. The first group of officers showed significant sleep improvements at the end of the first year, while the second group had similar or worse parameters than at baseline. At follow-up, a significant improvement in the quantity and quality of sleep was reported in both groups. Sleep improvements at follow-up were associated with a marked reduction in the frequency of accidents at work and near-misses. All sleep parameters showed a significant association with injuries and near-misses in univariate logistic regression analyses. Before the intervention, sleepiness was the best predictor of injuries (aOR 1.220; CI95% 1.044-1.426) and near-misses (aOR 1.382; CI95% 1.182-1.615). At follow-up, when sleep conditions had improved, insomnia symptoms were the most significant predictors of work accidents (aOR 13.358; CI95% 2.353-75.818). Sleep health promotion can be useful in police officers.