Browsing by Subject "BENEFITS"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-20 of 38
  • Päivinen, Marja; Keskinen, Kari; Putus, Tuula; Kujala, Urho M.; Kalliokoski, Pentti; Tikkanen, Heikki O. (2021)
    Background Respiratory symptoms are common in competitive swimmers. However, among these and in swimmers at other activity levels the swimming distance, the total spent time in swimming halls and their medical background varies. Our objectives were, first, to assess their medical histories and the associations with respiratory symptoms among swimmers in different activity groups and then second, to study the pulmonary function findings and related medications in competitive swimmers who exercise in swimming hall environments the most. Methods First, 1118 participants consisting of 133 competitive-, 734 fitness- and 251 occasional swimmers answered questionnaires concerning their medical background, their respiratory symptoms in connection to swimming distance and their amount of time spent in swimming halls. Secondly, in 130 competitive swimmers, pulmonary function was tested by spirometry and a specific questionnaire was used to assess respiratory symptoms, medical histories and prescribed medication. Results Respiratory symptoms were reported by 18% of the studied swimmers. Competitive swimmers had significantly more symptoms than fitness- and occasional swimmers. Naturally competitive swimmers swum more than 2000 m and stayed by the pool more than 90 min, longer than the other activity groups of swimmers. Spirometry testing showed airway obstruction in 15 swimmers, which was 12% of the 130 competitive swimmers. 21 of them, had physician-diagnosed asthma and 16 of these individuals had prescribed medication for it. Conclusions Competitive swimmers had the highest swimming hall exposure and reported significantly more respiratory symptoms. A high prevalence of airway obstruction findings in competitive swimmers with asthma and allergies suggests a need for future recommendations for regular testing and special medical care for competitive swimmers.
  • Di Masso, Andres; Williams, Daniel R.; Raymond, Christopher M.; Buchecker, Matthias; Degenhardt, Barbara; Devine-Wright, Patrick; Hertzog, Alice; Lewicka, Maria; Manzo, Lynne; Shahrad, Azadeh; Stedman, Richard; Verbrugge, Laura; von Wirth, Timo (2019)
    This paper develops a theoretical argument for how place attachments are forged and become dynamically linked to increasingly common mobility practices. First, we argue that mobilities, rather than negating the importance of place, shift our understanding of place and the habitual ways we relate to and bond with places as distinct from a conception of place attachment premised on fixity and stability. Second, we document how the body of research on place attachment has both reinforced and contested 'sedentaristic' assumptions criticized within the so-called 'mobilities turn' in the social sciences. Third, we present a conceptual framework, built around different modes of interrelation between fixity and flow, as a way to re-theorize, link and balance the various studies of place attachment that have grappled with mobility. Finally, we sketch out the main research implications of this framework for advancing our understanding of place attachment in a mobile world.
  • Lukasik, Karolina M.; Lehtonen, Minna; Soveri, Anna; Waris, Otto; Jylkkä, Jussi; Laine, Matti (2018)
    The bilingual executive advantage (BEA) hypothesis has attracted considerable research interest, but the findings are inconclusive. We addressed this issue in the domain of working memory (WM), as more complex WM tasks have been underrepresented in the previous literature. First, we compared early and late bilingual vs. monolingual WM performance. Second, we examined whether certain aspects of bilingual experience, such as language switching frequency, are related to bilinguals' WM scores. Our online sample included 485 participants. They filled in an extensive questionnaire including background factors such as bilingualism and second language (L2) use, and performed 10 isomorphic verbal and visuospatial WM tasks that yielded three WM composite scores (visuospatial WM, verbal WM, n-back). For verbal and visuospatial WM composites, the group comparisons did not support the BEA hypothesis. N-back analysis showed an advantage of late bilinguals over monolinguals and early bilinguals, while the latter two groups did not differ. This between-groups analysis was followed by a regression analysis relating features of bilingual experience to n-back performance, but the results were non-significant in both bilingual groups. In sum, group differences supporting the BEA hypothesis were limited only to the n-back composite, and this composite was not predicted by bilingualism-related features. Moreover, Bayesian analyses did not give consistent support for the BEA hypothesis. Possible reasons for the failure to find support for the BEA hypothesis are discussed.
  • Morrison, C. A.; Aunins, A.; Benko, Z.; Brotons, L.; Chodkiewicz, T.; Chylarecki, P.; Escandell, Jose M.; Eskildsen, D. P.; Gamero, A.; Herrando, S.; Jiguet, F.; Kålås, J. A.; Kamp, J.; Klvanova, A.; Kmecl, P.; Lehikoinen, A.; Lindström, Å.; Moshøj, C.; Noble, D. G.; Qien, I. J.; Paquet, J-Y; Reif, J.; Sattler, T.; Seaman, B. S.; Teufelbauer, N.; Trautmann, S.; van Turnhout, C. A. M.; Vorisek, P.; Butler, S. J. (2021)
    Birdsong has long connected humans to nature. Historical reconstructions using bird monitoring and song recordings collected by citizen scientists reveal that the soundscape of birdsong in North America and Europe is both quieter and less varied, mirroring declines in bird diversity and abundance. Natural sounds, and bird song in particular, play a key role in building and maintaining our connection with nature, but widespread declines in bird populations mean that the acoustic properties of natural soundscapes may be changing. Using data-driven reconstructions of soundscapes in lieu of historical recordings, here we quantify changes in soundscape characteristics at more than 200,000 sites across North America and Europe. We integrate citizen science bird monitoring data with recordings of individual species to reveal a pervasive loss of acoustic diversity and intensity of soundscapes across both continents over the past 25 years, driven by changes in species richness and abundance. These results suggest that one of the fundamental pathways through which humans engage with nature is in chronic decline, with potentially widespread implications for human health and well-being.
  • The CAPP2 Investigators; Burn, John; Sheth, Harsh; Elliott, Faye; Mecklin, Jukka-Pekka; Seppälä, Toni T.; Pylvänäinen, Kirsi; Bishop, D Timothy (2020)
    Background Lynch syndrome is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer and with a broader spectrum of cancers, especially endometrial cancer. In 2011, our group reported long-term cancer outcomes (mean follow-up 55.7 months [SD 31.4]) for participants with Lynch syndrome enrolled into a randomised trial of daily aspirin versus placebo. This report completes the planned 10-year follow-up to allow a longer-term assessment of the effect of taking regular aspirin in this high-risk population. Methods In the double-blind, randomised CAPP2 trial, 861 patients from 43 international centres worldwide (707 [82%] from Europe, 112 [13%] from Australasia, 38 [4%] from Africa, and four [ Findings Between January, 1999, and March, 2005, 937 eligible patients with Lynch syndrome, mean age 45 years, commenced treatment, of whom 861 agreed to be randomly assigned to the aspirin group or placebo; 427 (50%) participants received aspirin and 434 (50%) placebo. Participants were followed for a mean of 10 years approximating 8500 person-years. 40 (9%) of 427 participants who received aspirin developed colorectal cancer compared with 58 (13%) of 434 who received placebo. Intention-to-treat Cox proportional hazards analysis revealed a significantly reduced hazard ratio (HR) of 0.65 (95% CI 0.43-0.97; p= 0. 035) for aspirin versus placebo. Negative binomial regression to account for multiple primary events gave an incidence rate ratio of 0.58 (0.39-0.87; p=0.0085). Per-protocol analyses restricted to 509 who achieved 2 years' intervention gave an HR of 0 .56 (0 .34-0 .91; p=0 .019) and an incidence rate ratio of 0.50 (0.31-0.82; p=0.0057). Non-colorectal Lynch syndrome cancers were reported in 36 participants who received aspirin and 36 participants who received placebo. Intention-to-treat and per-protocol analyses showed no effect. For all Lynch syndrome cancers combined, the intention-to-treat analysis did not reach significance but per-protocol analysis showed significantly reduced overall risk for the aspirin group (HR=0.63, 0 .43-0 .92; p=0.018). Adverse events during the intervention phase between aspirin and placebo groups were similar, and no significant difference in compliance between intervention groups was observed for participants with complete intervention phase data; details reported previously. Interpretation The case for prevention of colorectal cancer with aspirin in Lynch syndrome is supported by our results. Copyright (C) 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Kyttä, Venla Vilhelmiina; Helenius, Juha; Tuomisto, Hanna (2021)
    The globally growing demand to produce more food with fewer inputs, less energy, and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions challenges current agricultural practices. Recycled fertilizers made of various side streams and types of biomass have been developed mainly to improve nutrient recycling in food systems. However, the knowledge of the impacts of different recycled fertilizers on GHG emissions and energy use is lacking. There is also a need for developing environmental assessment methods for quantifying the impacts of recycling processes, particularly in terms of choosing reasonable methods for co-product allocation. The aims of this study were to address the above mentioned research gaps by i) assessing energy use and GHG emissions of various recycled fertilizers, ii) comparing the recycled fertilizers with mineral fertilizers, and iii) comparing the impacts of using different co-product allocation methods for the recycled fertilizers. Attributional Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was used for estimating energy use and GHG emissions of recycled fertilizers, including ammonium sulfate, biogas digestate, and meat and bone meal, using kg of nitrogen in the fertilizers as a functional unit. In addition, the energy use and GHG emissions of oat production when using the recycled and mineral fertilizers were quantified. The data were obtained from field experiments, LCA databases, published literature, and fertilizer companies. The life-cycle energy consumption and GHG emissions of recycled fertilizers were found to be lower than that of mineral fertilizer, but also differences between recycled fertilizer products were notable. The biggest differences between fertilizers occurred in manufacturing and transportation. However, this conclusion is highly sensitive to several decisions, such as data sources and LCA methods used. Handling the raw materials of recycled fertilizers as by-products instead of residues adds burdens from primary production to fertilizers. Also handling the materials as waste increases the impacts due to burdens from the recycling process. Since the raw materials of fertilizers have only little economic value, applying economic allocation results to significantly lower impacts than mass allocation. Consequential LCA studies would be needed to improve the understanding of the wider impacts of recycled fertilizers, e.g. considering the benefits of avoided waste management processes. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Holma, Maija; Lindroos, Marko; Romakkaniemi, Atso; Oinonen, Soile (2019)
  • Di Minin, Enrico; Clements, Hayley Susan; Correia, Ricardo A.; Cortes Capano, Gonzalo; Fink, Christoph; Haukka, Anna; Hausmann, Anna; Kulkarni, Ritwik; Bradshaw, Corey (2021)
    The widespread activity of recreational hunting is proposed as a means of conserving nature and supporting livelihoods. However, recreational hunting-especially trophy hunting-has come under increasing scrutiny based on ethical concerns and the arguments that it can threaten species and fail to contribute meaningfully to local livelihoods. We provide an overview of the peer-reviewed literature on recreational hunting of terrestrial birds and mammals between 1953 and 2020 (> 1,000 papers). The most-studied species are large mammals from North America, Europe, and Africa. While there is extensive research on species' ecology to inform sustainable hunting practices, there is comparably little research on the role of local perceptions and institutions in determining socioeconomic and conservation outcomes. Evidence is lacking to answer the pressing questions of where and how hunting contributes to just and sustainable conservation efforts. We outline an agenda to build this evidence base through research that recognizes diverse social-ecological contexts.
  • Rowlett, J.; Karlsson, C. J.; Nursultanov, M. (2022)
    How does the composition of a collection of individuals affect its outcome in competition with other collections of individuals? Assuming that individuals can be different, we develop a model to interpolate between individual-level interactions and collective-level consequences. Rooted in theoretical mathematics, the model is not constrained to any specific context. Potential applications include research, education, sports, politics, ecology, agriculture, algorithms and finance. Our first main contribution is a game theoretic model that interpolates between the internal composition of an ensemble of individuals and the repercussions for the ensemble as a whole in competition with others. The second main contribution is the rigorous identification of all equilibrium points and strategies. These equilibria suggest a mechanistic underpinning for biological and physical systems to tend towards increasing diversity due to the strength it imparts to the system in competition with others.
  • Spjuth, Ola; Karlsson, Andreas; Clements, Mark; Humphreys, Keith; Ivansson, Emma; Dowling, Jim; Eklund, Martin; Jauhiainen, Alexandra; Czene, Kamila; Gronberg, Henrik; Sparen, Par; Wiklund, Fredrik; Cheddad, Abbas; Palsdottir, Porgerodur; Rantalainen, Mattias; Abrahamsson, Linda; Laure, Erwin; Litton, Jan-Eric; Palmgren, Juni (2017)
    Objective: We provide an e-Science perspective on the workflow from risk factor discovery and classification of disease to evaluation of personalized intervention programs. As case studies, we use personalized prostate and breast cancer screenings. Materials and Methods: We describe an e-Science initiative in Sweden, e-Science for Cancer Prevention and Control (eCPC), which supports biomarker discovery and offers decision support for personalized intervention strategies. The generic eCPC contribution is a workflow with 4 nodes applied iteratively, and the concept of e-Science signifies systematic use of tools from the mathematical, statistical, data, and computer sciences. Results: The eCPC workflow is illustrated through 2 case studies. For prostate cancer, an in-house personalized screening tool, the Stockholm-3 model (S3M), is presented as an alternative to prostate-specific antigen testing alone. S3M is evaluated in a trial setting and plans for rollout in the population are discussed. For breast cancer, new biomarkers based on breast density and molecular profiles are developed and the US multicenter Women Informed to Screen Depending on Measures (WISDOM) trial is referred to for evaluation. While current eCPC data management uses a traditional data warehouse model, we discuss eCPC-developed features of a coherent data integration platform. Discussion and Conclusion: E-Science tools are a key part of an evidence-based process for personalized medicine. This paper provides a structured workflow from data and models to evaluation of new personalized intervention strategies. The importance of multidisciplinary collaboration is emphasized. Importantly, the generic concepts of the suggested eCPC workflow are transferrable to other disease domains, although each disease will require tailored solutions.
  • Rantalaiho, Vappu; Korpela, Markku; Laasonen, Leena; Kautiainen, Hannu; Jarvenpaa, Salme; Hannonen, Pekka; Leirisalo-Repo, Marjatta; Blafield, Harri; Puolakka, Kari; Karjalainen, Anna; Mottonen, Timo; FIN-RACo Trial Grp (2010)
  • Montano, Simone; Dehnert, Inga; Seveso, Davide; Maggioni, Davide; Montalbetti, Enrico; Strona, Giovanni; Siena, Federica; Amir, Hana; Antoine, Athina; Marino-Ramirez, Camila; Saponari, Luca; Shah, Nirmal J.; Azcarate Molina, Ruben; Alegria Ortega, Angela; Galli, Paolo; Montoya-Maya, Phanor H. (2022)
    Coral restoration initiatives are gaining significant momentum in a global effort to enhance the recovery of degraded coral reefs. However, the implementation and upkeep of coral nurseries are particularly demanding, so that unforeseen breaks in maintenance operations might jeopardize well-established projects. In the last 2 years, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary yet prolonged abandonment of several coral gardening infrastructures worldwide, including remote localities. Here we provide a first assessment of the potential impacts of monitoring and maintenance breakdown in a suite of coral restoration projects (based on floating rope nurseries) in Colombia, Seychelles, and Maldives. Our study comprises nine nurseries from six locations, hosting a total of 3,554 fragments belonging to three coral genera, that were left unsupervised for a period spanning from 29 to 61 weeks. Floating nursery structures experienced various levels of damage, and total fragment survival spanned from 40 to 95% among projects, with Pocillopora showing the highest survival rate in all locations present. Overall, our study shows that, under certain conditions, abandoned coral nurseries can remain functional for several months without suffering critical failure from biofouling and hydrodynamism. Still, even where gardening infrastructures were only marginally affected, the unavoidable interruptions in data collection have slowed down ongoing project progress, diminishing previous investments and reducing future funding opportunities. These results highlight the need to increase the resilience and self-sufficiency of coral restoration projects, so that the next global lockdown will not further shrink the increasing efforts to prevent coral reefs from disappearing.
  • Barreto, Philipe de Souto; Maltais, Lois; Rosendahl, Erik; Vellas, Bruno; Bourdel-Marchasson, Isabelle; Lamb, Sarah E.; Pitkälä, Kaisu; Rolland, Yves (2021)
    Background: To study the effects of exercise on falls, fractures, hospitalizations, and death in people with dementia. Method: We conducted an individual-level patient data meta-analysis of 7 randomized controlled trials (RCTs). We looked for studies from the reference list of previous systematic reviews and undertook an electronic search for articles published between 2013 and 2019 in Ageline, CENTRAL, PsycINFO, PubMed, and SportsDiscus. Main (binary) outcome measures were the risk of mortality, hospitalization, faller, multiple faller, injurious faller, and fractures. Secondary (count) outcomes were the incident rates of hospitalizations, falls, and injurious falls. Results: From the 1314 participants, 771 were allocated to the exercise group and 543 to the control group. The number of cases regarding the main outcome measures in exercisers and controls were, respectively: 45 (5.8%) and 31 (5.7%) deaths; 102 (14.4%) and 65 (13.4%) participants hospitalized; 221 (34.4%) and 175 (41.3%) had at least 1 fall; 128 (20.2%) and 92 (21.7%) had multiple falls; 78 (24.8%) and 92 (29.3%) had injurious falls; and 19 (2.9%) and 15 (3.5%) had suffered a fracture. Two-step meta-analysis found no effects of exercise on any outcome. One-step meta-analysis found exercise reduced the risk of falls (odds ratio 0.75; 95% CI: 0.57-0.99). Exploratory analysis showed exercise decreased the rate of incident falls in participants with the lowest functional ability (incident rate ratio 0.48; 95% CI: 0.30-0.79). Conclusions: Although the 2-step meta-analysis suggests exercise does not have an effect on the outcomes, 1-step meta-analysis suggested that exercise may reduce fall risk. Data from further high-quality RCTs are still needed.
  • Halmesvaara, Otto; Harjunen, Ville Johannes; Aulbach, Matthias; Ravaja, Niklas (2020)
    According to a socio-functional perspective on emotions, displaying shame with averted gaze and a slumped posture following a norm violation signals that the person is ready to conform to the group’s moral standards, which in turn protects the person from social isolation and punishment. Although the assumption is intuitive, direct empirical evidence for it remains surprisingly limited and the mediating social-psychological mechanisms are poorly understood. Therefore, three experimental studies were conducted to investigate the social function of nonverbal displays of shame in the context of everyday norm violations. In Study 1, participants evaluated ten different expressions of emotion in regard to their affective valence, arousal, dominance, as well as social meaning in the context of norm violations. Displays of shame and sadness were seen as the most similar expressions with respect to the three affective dimensions and were perceived to communicate the perpetrator’s understanding of the group’s moral standards most effectively. In Study 2, participants read vignettes concerning norm violations and afterward saw a photograph of the perpetrator displaying nonverbal shame, sadness or a neutral expression. Perpetrators’ displays of shame and sadness increased perceived moral sense and amplified the observers’ willingness to cooperate with the perpetrators. However, neither display weakened the observer’s willingness to punish the perpetrator. In Study 3, the perpetrator was shown to display shame, sadness, anger or a neutral expression after getting caught at mild or severe norm violation. The results replicated previous findings but revealed also that the social effects of shame and sadness displays on punitive and cooperative intentions were mediated by different social appraisals. For example, display of shame uniquely reduced punitive intentions by increasing the perpetrator’s perceived moral sense, whereas expressions of both shame and sadness evoked empathy in the observers, which in turn reduced the punitive intentions. These results give support to the assumption that nonverbal shame displays serve a unique social function in preventing moral punishment and social exclusion. However, this support is only partial as the social functions of displaying shame are largely parallel to those of expressing sadness in the situation.
  • Kahn, Michal; Korhonen, Topi; Leinonen, Leena; Martinmaki, Kaisu; Kuula, Liisa; Pesonen, Anu-Katriina; Gradisar, Michael (2021)
    Professional and colloquial sleep hygiene guidelines advise against evening physical activity, despite meta-analyses of laboratory studies concluding that evening exercise does not impair sleep. This study is the first to investigate the association between objectively measured evening physical activity and sleep within a real-world big-data sample. A total of 153,154 nights from 12,638 individuals aged 18-60 years (M = 40.1 SD = 10.1; 44.5% female) were analyzed. Nighttime sleep and minutes of physical activity were assessed using Polar wearable devices for 14 consecutive days. Thirty minutes or more of moderate-to-near maximal physical activity during the 3 h before sleep onset were recorded in 12.4% of evenings, and were more frequent on weekdays than weekends (13.3 vs. 10.2% respectively, p < 0.001). Linear mixed modeling revealed that sleep efficiency was not significantly associated with evening physical activity, and that sleep duration was 3.4 min longer on average on nights following evenings in which participants engaged in 30 min or more of moderate-intense physical activity. Effects were found for sleep timing metrics, as evening physical activity was linked with earlier sleep onset and offset times (-13.7 and -9.3 min, respectively). Overall, these effects were greater- but still very small- on weekdays compared to weekends. The present study provides further evidence for the lack of meaningful links between sleep duration or quality and physical activity in the hours preceding sleep. Taken together with recent meta-analytic findings, these findings suggest that changes in public health recommendations are warranted regarding evening physical activity and its relation to sleep.
  • Räsänen, Minna; Renkonen-Sinisalo, Laura; Mustonen, Harri; Lepistö, Anna (2019)
    Background Neoadjuvant short-course radiotherapy is used to reduce local recurrences in stage III rectal cancer. Radiotherapy is not harmless, and meticulous total mesorectal excision surgery alone has been reported to result in low local recurrence rate in favorable stage III tumors. The aim was to evaluate the effect of short-course (5 x 5 Gy) radiotherapy on the local recurrence risk in patients with pT3N1-2 rectal cancer. Materials and methods This was a retrospective study with 151 consecutive pT3N1-2M0 rectal cancer patients operated on at Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland, during January 2005 to June 2014. Short-course radiotherapy was given to 94 patients, and 57 patients were operated on without neoadjuvant radiotherapy. The main outcome measurement was the effect of radiotherapy on local recurrence. Also, the risk factors for local recurrence were analyzed. Results Local recurrence occurred in a total 17 of 151 (11.3%) patients, 8 of 57 (14.0%) in surgery only group compared with 9 of 94 (9.6%) in radiotherapy plus surgery group (p = 0.44). In univariate Cox regression analysis, the risk factors for local recurrence were tumor location under 6 cm from the anal verge (p = 0.01), involved lateral margin (p <0.001), tumor perforation (p <0.001), and mucinous histology (p = 0.006). In multivariate analysis, risk factors were tumor location under 6 cm from anal verge (p = 0.03) and involved lateral margin (p = 0.002). Conclusion Neoadjuvant short-course radiotherapy did not affect the local recurrence risk of pT3N1-2M0 rectal cancer. Further studies with larger patient number are needed to evaluate the role of short-course radiotherapy in different T3 subgroups (3a-c) as well as in N1 and N2 cancers in separate.
  • Santangeli, Andrea; Girardello, Marco; Buechley, Evan; Eklund, Johanna; Phipps, Louis (2019)
    The Global South harbors a large share of imperiled biodiversity. Effective research and conservation in the Global South are negatively affected by weak or turbulent socio-political contexts, such as poor governance and/or high violence levels. There is a need to understand how priorities for research and conservation relate to different levels of violence and governance, in order to highlight opportunities and challenges for biodiversity conservation. We explore the spatial overlap between density of violence and raptor research and conservation priorities, and unveil the effect of considering governance and violence when prioritizing areas for raptor research and conservation. Raptors are a group of species potentially highly affected by violence that may lead to proliferation of firearms and uncontrolled wildlife resource extraction. We found low spatial correlation between raptor research and conservation priorities and violence in the Global South. Exceptions are represented by distinct areas of high or increasing violence and that are important for raptors, such as the central African Rift Valley and west Yemen. We also highlight emerging potential opportunities, such as coastal West Africa, where violence is decreasing. Overall, while we show that governance and violence only marginally affected the distribution of raptor priority areas, results also highlight spatio-temporal dynamics in violence and governance that should be considered when navigating the research-implementation space in the Global South. In these regions it is crucial to focus on societal issues to reduce social and economic inequalities, stabilize unsafe regions and promote community-led initiatives that would mutually benefit people and wildlife.
  • Galante, Laura; Lahdenperä, Mirkka; Rautava, Samuli; Pentti, Jaana; Ollila, Helena; Tarro, Saija; Vahtera, Jussi; Gonzales-Inca, Carlos; Kivimäki, Mika; Lummaa, Virpi; Lagström, Hanna (2022)
    Background Many environmental factors are known to hinder breastfeeding, yet the role of the family living environment in this regard is still poorly understood. Objectives We used data from a large cohort to identify associations between neighborhood characteristics and breastfeeding behavior. Methods Our observational study included 11,038 children (0-2 years) from the Southwest Finland Birth Cohort. Participant information was obtained from the Medical Birth Register and municipal follow-up clinics. Neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage, greenness, and population density were measured for a period of 5 years prior to childbirth within the residential neighborhood on a 250 x 250-m grid. Any breastfeeding and breastfeeding at 6 months were the primary outcomes. Binary logistic regression models were adjusted for maternal health and socioeconomic factors. Results Adjusted analyses suggest that mothers living in less populated areas were less likely to display any breastfeeding (OR: 0.46; 95% CI: 0.36, 0.59) and breastfeeding at 6 months (OR: 0.37; 95% CI: 0.34, 0.40). Mothers living in highly disadvantaged neighborhoods were less likely to display any breastfeeding if the neighborhood was less populated (OR: 0.54; 95% CI: 0.30, 0.95) but more likely to breastfeed at 6 months if the neighborhood was highly populated (OR: 3.74; 95% CI: 1.92, 7.29). Low greenness was associated with higher likelihood of any breastfeeding (OR: 3.82; 95% CI: 1.53, 9.55) and breastfeeding at 6 months (OR: 4.41; 95% CI: 3.44, 5). Conclusions Our results suggest that neighborhood characteristics are associated with breastfeeding behavior in Finland. Unravelling breastfeeding decisions linked to the living environment could help identify interventions that will allow the appropriate support for all mothers and infants across different environmental challenges.
  • Kuusalo, Laura; Puolakka, Kari; Kautiainen, Hannu; Karjalainen, Anna; Malmi, Timo; Yli-Kerttula, Timo; Leirisalo-Repo, Marjatta; Rantalaiho, Vappu; NEO-RACo Study Grp (2017)
    Identifying prognostic factors for remission in early rheumatoid arthritis (ERA) patients is of key clinical importance. We studied patient-reported outcomes (PROs) as predictors of remission in a clinical trial. We randomized 99 untreated ERA patients to receive remission-targeted treatment with three disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and prednisolone for 24 months, and infliximab or placebo for the initial 6 months. At baseline, we measured following PROs: eight Short Form 36 questionnaire (SF-36) dimensions, patient's global assessment [PGA, visual analogue scale (VAS)], Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), and pain VAS. We used multivariable-adjusted regression models to identify PROs that independently predicted modified American College of Rheumatology remission at 2 years. Follow-up data at 2 years were available for 93 patients (92%), and 58 patients (62%) were in remission. At baseline, patients who achieved remission had higher radiological score (p = 0.04), lower tender joint count (p = 0.001), lower PGA (p = 0.005) and physician's global assessment (p = 0.019), lower HAQ (p = 0.016), less morning stiffness (p = 0.009), and significantly higher scores in seven out of eight SF-36 dimensions compared with patients who did not. In multivariable models that included all PROs, remission was associated with SF-36 dimensions higher vitality (odds ratio 2.01; 95% confidence interval 1.19-3.39) and better emotional role functioning (odds ratio 1.64; 95% confidence interval 1.01-2.68). PGA, pain VAS, HAQ, and other SF-36 dimensions were not associated with remission. We conclude that self-reported vitality and better emotional role functioning are among the most important PROs for the prediction of remission in ERA.
  • Brink, Christiaan W.; Santangeli, Andrea; Amar, Arjun; Wolter, Kerri; Tate, Gareth; Kruger, Sonja; Tucker, Andrew S.; Thomson, Robert L. (2020)
    Under the current African vulture crisis, supplementary feeding sites (SFS), which provide carrion resources, have become a popular conservation tool to address vulture declines. In South Africa, this practice is unregulated and the context in which SFS operate and their adherence to best management practices is currently unknown. In this study, we conducted a survey with SFS managers regarding the management of their SFS to evaluate potential conservation implications of different practices. Half of the SFS surveyed were associated with livestock farming. Overall, most managers (84%) perceived some benefit from running an SFS, largely attributed to cleaning services provided by vultures. Over half of the managers perceived no disadvantages from running SFS. We found a positive correlation between numbers of vultures seen at SFS and the amount of food provided there. Despite unintentional and intentional poisoning being identified by experts as the most critical threats to vultures in Southern Africa, only 47 and 24% of managers, respectively, listed these as potential threats to vultures, highlighting limited understanding of current vulture conservation issues. Most managers (85%) vetted carcasses for provisioning suitability based on whether they had been treated with veterinary drugs, but relatively few managers (10%) did the same for lead (Pb) contamination. Only 30% of managers considered threats to vultures when they decided on a location for their SFS. Overall, this study unveils that at many SFS, safety conditions are not met and vultures may be exposed to risks, such as the ingestion of toxic substances (e.g., Pb) or electrocution by energy infrastructure. To minimize unintended negative consequences from SFS, it will be essential to increase the interaction between SFS managers and conservation practitioners, to increase the flow of information on best management practices and enforce stringent and clear guidelines that minimize any risks to vultures.