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Response style and vulnerability to anger-induced eating in obese adults

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:45pm

Emotional eating appears to contribute to weight gain, but the characteristics that make one vulnerable to emotional eating remain unclear. The present study examined whether two negative affect response styles, rumination and distraction, influenced palatable food intake following an anger mood induction in normal weight and obese adults. We hypothesized that higher rumination and lower distraction would be associated with greater vulnerability to anger-induced eating, particularly among obese individuals. Sixty-one participants (74% female, mean age=34.6) underwent neutral and anger mood inductions in counterbalanced order. Directly following each mood induction, participants were provided with 2400 kcal of highly palatable snack foods in the context of a laboratory taste test. Results revealed that distraction influenced energy intake following the mood induction for obese but not normal weight individuals. Obese participants who reported greater use of distraction strategies consumed fewer calories than those reporting less use of distraction strategies. These findings were independent of subjective hunger levels, individual differences in mood responses and trait anger, and other factors. Rumination did not account for changes in energy intake among obese or normal weight participants. Among obese individuals, the tendency to utilize fewer negative affect distraction strategies appears to be associated with vulnerability to eating in response to anger. Future research should determine whether coping skills training can reduce emotional eating tendencies.

Time to abandon the notion of personal choice in dietary counseling for obesity

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:45pm

De-emphasizing the role of personal choice in dietary counseling for obesity would reduce stigma, but doing so carries the risk of undermining patients' perceived control over their weight loss success. The goal of this commentary is to help dietetics practitioners negotiate this dilemma by presenting a scientifically informed framework that views the personal choices relevant to obesity counseling in terms of three neurobehavioral processes. We argue that applying this framework in dietary counseling can both minimize patient stigma and preserve patients' sense of empowerment.

The current state of lifestyle intervention implementation research: where do we go next

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:45pm

Intensive lifestyle interventions are being adopted throughout the nation, and a growing body of research is identifying the settings, circumstances, and processes by which sustainable adoption occurs. Sustainability remains a challenge, although studies are providing important insights into the barriers as well as the playbook to overcoming them... The increasing magnitude of national initiatives and grassroot efforts to implement and disseminate lifestyle interventions over the past 10 years suggests forward movement toward widespread implementation.

Translation of the diabetes prevention program into a community mental health organization for individuals with severe mental illness: a case study

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:45pm

Individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) have significant health disparities. Wellness services embedded in community mental health organizations could lessen these disparities. This case study illustrates the integration of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) lifestyle intervention into a community mental health organization. The Diffusion of Innovations Theory was used as a model for integration, which included a collaboration between researchers and the organization and qualitative work, culminating in a small pilot of the DPP led by peer specialists to test the feasibility of the DPP in this setting. Fourteen individuals with SMI participated in the 19-week intervention. Three dropped out, but the remaining 11 demonstrated 92% attendance. Weight loss was minimal, but the participants reported benefit and showed continued interest in the intervention. The use of a peer-led DPP in a community mental health organization is feasible and warrants further investigation to demonstrate efficacy.

Can familial factors account for the association of body mass index with poor mental health in men or women

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:45pm

OBJECTIVE: This study examined if associations between body mass index (BMI) and mental and physical health were independent of genetic and familial factors.

METHOD: Data from 2831 twins (66% female) were used in an epidemiological co-twin control design with measures of BMI and mental and physical health outcomes. Generalized estimating equation regressions assessed relationships between BMI and health outcomes controlling for interdependency among twins and demographics. Within-pair regression analyses examined the association of BMI with health outcomes controlling for genetic and familial influences.

RESULTS: Adjusted analyses with individual twins found associations in women between BMI and perceived stress (P=.01) and depression (P=.002), and the link between BMI and depression (P=.03) was significant in men. All physical health outcomes were significantly related to BMI. Once genetic and familial factors were taken into account, mental health outcomes were no longer significantly associated with BMI. BMI in women remained related to ratings of physical health (P=.01) and body pain (P=.004), independent of genetic and familial influences.

CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that genetic and familial factors may account for the relationship between increased weight and poor mental health.

Indoor tanning and tanning dependence in young people after a diagnosis of basal cell carcinoma

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:45pm

Individuals who have had basal cell carcinoma (BCC) are at high risk of subsequent BCCs and melanoma. Indoor tanning is an established risk factor for BCC, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. As such, continuing to tan indoors after a BCC diagnosis may elevate one’s risk for future skin cancers. Skin cancer survivors have sun protection behaviors that are similar to those of the general population, but little is known about their indoor tanning behavior. Notably, research suggests that some individuals develop tanning dependence, analogous to substance dependence,which could be related to continued indoor tanning. To understand better the patterns of and reasons for indoor tanning after BCC diagnosis, we assessed indoor tanning and symptoms of tanning dependence in people who had received at least 1 BCC diagnosis before age 40 years.

How behavioral science can advance digital health

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:45pm

The field of behavioral science has produced myriad data on health behavior change strategies and leveraged such data into effective human-delivered interventions to improve health. Unfortunately, the impact of traditional health behavior change interventions has been heavily constrained by patient and provider burden, limited ability to measure and intervene upon behavior in real time, variable adherence, low rates of implementation, and poor third-party coverage. Digital health technologies, including mobile phones, sensors, and online social networks, by being available in real time, are being explored as tools to increase our understanding of health behavior and to enhance the impact of behavioral interventions. The recent explosion of industry attention to the development of novel health technologies is exciting but has far outpaced research. This Special Section of Translational Behavioral Medicine, Smartphones, Sensors, and Social Networks: A New Age of Health Behavior Change features a collection of studies that leverage health technologies to measure, change, and/or understand health behavior. We propose five key areas in which behavioral science can improve the impact of digital health technologies on public health. First, research is needed to identify which health technologies actually impact behavior and health outcomes. Second, we need to understand how online social networks can be leveraged to impact health behavior on a large scale. Third, a team science approach is needed in the developmental process of health technologies. Fourth, behavioral scientists should identify how a balance can be struck between the fast pace of innovation and the much slower pace of research. Fifth, behavioral scientists have an integral role in informing the development of health technologies and facilitating the movement of health technologies into the healthcare system.

Evidence-based strategies in weight-loss mobile apps

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:45pm

BACKGROUND: Physicians have limited time for weight-loss counseling, and there is a lack of resources to which they can refer patients for assistance with weight loss. Weight-loss mobile applications (apps) have the potential to be a helpful tool, but the extent to which they include the behavioral strategies included in evidence-based interventions is unknown.

PURPOSE: The primary aims of the study were to determine the degree to which commercial weight-loss mobile apps include the behavioral strategies included in evidence-based weight-loss interventions, and to identify features that enhance behavioral strategies via technology.

METHODS: Thirty weight-loss mobile apps, available on iPhone and/or Android platforms, were coded for whether they included any of 20 behavioral strategies derived from an evidence-based weight-loss program (i.e., Diabetes Prevention Program). Data on available apps were collected in January 2012; data were analyzed in June 2012.

RESULTS: The apps included on average 18.83% (SD=13.24; range=0%-65%) of the 20 strategies. Seven of the strategies were not found in any app. The most common technology-enhanced features were barcode scanners (56.7%) and a social network (46.7%).

CONCLUSIONS: Weight-loss mobile apps typically included only a minority of the behavioral strategies found in evidence-based weight-loss interventions. Behavioral strategies that help improve motivation, reduce stress, and assist with problem solving were missing across apps. Inclusion of additional strategies could make apps more helpful to users who have motivational challenges.

Education, income, and incident heart failure in post-menopausal women: the Women's Health Initiative Hormone Therapy Trials

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:45pm

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study is to estimate the effect of education and income on incident heart failure (HF) hospitalization among post-menopausal women.

BACKGROUND: Investigations of socioeconomic status have focused on outcomes after HF diagnosis, not associations with incident HF. We used data from the Women's Health Initiative Hormone Trials to examine the association between socioeconomic status levels and incident HF hospitalization.

METHODS: We included 26,160 healthy, post-menopausal women. Education and income were self-reported. Analysis of variance, chi-square tests, and proportional hazards models were used for statistical analysis, with adjustment for demographics, comorbid conditions, behavioral factors, and hormone and dietary modification assignments.

RESULTS: Women with household incomes $50,000 a year (16.7/10,000 person-years; p < 0.01). Women with less than a high school education had higher HF hospitalization incidence (51.2/10,000 person-years) than college graduates and above (25.5/10,000 person-years; p < 0.01). In multivariable analyses, women with the lowest income levels had 56% higher risk (hazard ratio: 1.56, 95% confidence interval: 1.19 to 2.04) than the highest income women; women with the least amount of education had 21% higher risk for incident HF hospitalization (hazard ratio: 1.21, 95% confidence interval: 0.90 to 1.62) than the most educated women.

CONCLUSIONS: Lower income is associated with an increased incidence of HF hospitalization among healthy, post-menopausal women, whereas multivariable adjustment attenuated the association of education with incident HF. Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Antidepressant use and risk of incident cardiovascular morbidity and mortality among postmenopausal women in the Women's Health Initiative study

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:45pm

BACKGROUND: Antidepressants are commonly prescribed medications, but their effect on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality remains unclear.

METHODS: Prospective cohort study of 136 293 community-dwelling postmenopausal women in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI). Women taking no antidepressants at study entry and who had at least 1 follow-up visit were included. Cardiovascular morbidity and all-cause mortality for women with new antidepressant use at follow-up (n = 5496) were compared with those characteristics for women taking no antidepressants at follow-up (mean follow-up, 5.9 years).

RESULTS: Antidepressant use was not associated with coronary heart disease (CHD). Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use was associated with increased stroke risk (hazard ratio [HR],1.45, [95% CI, 1.08-1.97]) and all-cause mortality (HR,1.32 [95% CI, 1.10-1.59]). Annualized rates per 1000 person-years of stroke with no antidepressant use and SSRI use were 2.99 and 4.16, respectively, and death rates were 7.79 and 12.77. Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) use was associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality (HR,1.67 [95% CI, 1.33-2.09]; annualized rate, 14.14 deaths per 1000 person-years). There were no significant differences between SSRI and TCA use in risk of any outcomes. In analyses by stroke type, SSRI use was associated with incident hemorrhagic stroke (HR, 2.12 [95% CI, 1.10-4.07]) and fatal stroke (HR, 2.10 [95% CI, 1.15-3.81]).

CONCLUSIONS: In postmenopausal women, there were no significant differences between SSRI and TCA use in risk of CHD, stroke, or mortality. Antidepressants were not associated with risk of CHD. Tricyclic antidepressants and SSRIs may be associated with increased risk of mortality, and SSRIs with increased risk of hemorrhagic and fatal stroke, although absolute event risks are low. These findings must be weighed against quality of life and established risks of cardiovascular disease and mortality associated with untreated depression.

Development and validation of worksite weight-related social norms surveys

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:45pm

OBJECTIVE: To describe the development of measures of worksite descriptive social norms for weight loss, physical activity, and eating behaviors.

METHODS: Three surveys were tested in 844 public high school employees. Factor analysis, Cronbach alpha, and tests of association with other worksite social contextual measures and behaviors were performed.

RESULTS: Each survey demonstrated high internal consistency and was associated with measures of social support and behaviors. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the reliability of the weight-loss and eating-behavior norms surveys, but not the physical-activity norms survey.

CONCLUSIONS: The weight-loss and eating norms surveys are reliable, valid measures.

Roles and strategies of state organizations related to school-based physical education and physical activity policies

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:45pm

School-based physical education (PE) and physical activity (PA) policies can improve PA levels of students and promote health. Studies of policy implementation, communication, monitoring, enforcement, and evaluation are lacking. To describe how states implement, communicate, monitor, enforce, and evaluate key school-based PE and PA policies, researchers interviewed 24 key informants from state-level organizations in 9 states, including representatives from state departments of health and education, state boards of education, and advocacy/professional organizations. These states educate 27% of the US student population. Key informants described their organizations' roles in addressing 14 school-based PE and PA state laws and regulations identified by the Bridging the Gap research program and the National Cancer Institute's Classification of Laws Associated with School Students (C.L.A.S.S.) system. On average, states had 4 of 14 school-based PE and PA laws and regulations, and more than one-half of respondents reported different policies in practice besides the "on the books" laws. Respondents more often reported roles implementing and communicating policies compared with monitoring, enforcing, and evaluating them. Implementation and communication strategies used included training, technical assistance, and written communication of policy to local education agency administrators and teachers. State-level organizations have varying roles in addressing school-based PE and PA policies. Opportunities exist to focus state-level efforts on compliance with existing laws and regulations and evaluation of their impact.

Inhibiting food reward: delay discounting, food reward sensitivity, and palatable food intake in overweight and obese women

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 4:45pm

Overeating is believed to result when the appetitive motivation to consume palatable food exceeds an individual's capacity for inhibitory control of eating. This hypothesis was supported in recent studies involving predominantly normal weight women, but has not been tested in obese populations. The current study tested the interaction between food reward sensitivity and inhibitory control in predicting palatable food intake among energy-replete overweight and obese women (N = 62). Sensitivity to palatable food reward was measured with the Power of Food Scale. Inhibitory control was assessed with a computerized choice task that captures the tendency to discount large delayed rewards relative to smaller immediate rewards. Participants completed an eating in the absence of hunger protocol in which homeostatic energy needs were eliminated with a bland preload of plain oatmeal, followed by a bogus laboratory taste test of palatable and bland snacks. The interaction between food reward sensitivity and inhibitory control was a significant predictor of palatable food intake in regression analyses controlling for BMI and the amount of preload consumed. Probing this interaction indicated that higher food reward sensitivity predicted greater palatable food intake at low levels of inhibitory control, but was not associated with intake at high levels of inhibitory control. As expected, no associations were found in a similar regression analysis predicting intake of bland foods. Findings support a neurobehavioral model of eating behavior in which sensitivity to palatable food reward drives overeating only when accompanied by insufficient inhibitory control. Strengthening inhibitory control could enhance weight management programs.

Clinical characteristics and outcomes of acute coronary syndrome patients with left anterior hemiblock

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 11:57am

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to study the relationships between left anterior hemiblock (LAHB) and the patient characteristics, management, and clinical outcomes in the setting of acute coronary syndromes (ACS).

METHODS: Admission ECGs of patients enrolled in the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) ECG substudy, and the Canadian ACS Registry I, were analysed independently at a blinded core laboratory. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the independent associations between LAHB on the admission ECG and in-hospital and 6-month mortality.

RESULTS: Of the 11 820 eligible ACS patients, 692 (5.9%) patients had LAHB. The presence of LAHB on admission was associated with older age, male sex, prior myocardial infarction, prior heart failure, worse Killip class, higher creatinine level, and higher GRACE risk score (all p<0.01). Patients with LAHB less frequently underwent cardiac catheterisation, coronary revascularisation or reperfusion therapy (all p<0.05). The LAHB group had higher in-hospital (6.9% vs 3.9%, p<0.001) and 6-month mortality (12.5% vs 7.7%, p<0.001). However, after adjusting for the known predictors of mortality in the GRACE risk models, LAHB was not independently associated with in-hospital death (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.52, p=0.70), or death at 6 months (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.34, p=0.99).

CONCLUSIONS: Across the broad spectrum of ACS, LAHB was associated with significant comorbidities, high-risk clinical features on presentation, and worse unadjusted outcomes. However, LAHB was not an independent predictor of in-hospital and 6-month mortality and did not carry incremental prognostic value beyond the known prognosticators in the GRACE risk models.

GRACE score predicts heart failure admission following acute coronary syndrome

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 11:57am

BACKGROUND: Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a common and preventable complication of acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Nevertheless, ACS risk scores have not been shown to predict CHF risk. We investigated whether the at-discharge Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) score predicts heart failure admission following ACS.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Five-year mortality and hospitalization data were obtained for patients admitted with ACS from June 1999 to September 2009 to a single centre of the GRACE registry. CHF was defined as any admission assigned WHO International Classification of Diseases 10 diagnostic code I50. The hazard ratio (HR) for CHF according to GRACE score was estimated in Cox models adjusting for age, gender and the presence of CHF on index admission. Among 1,956 patients, CHF was recorded on index admission in 141 patients (7%), and 243 (12%) were admitted with CHF over 3.8 median years of follow-up. Compared to the lowest quintile, patients in the highest GRACE score quintile had more CHF admissions (116 vs 17) and a shorter time to first admission (1.2 vs 2.0 years, HR 9.87, 95% CI 5.93-16.43). Per standard deviation increment in GRACE score, the instantaneous risk was more than two-fold higher (HR 2.28; 95% CI 2.02-2.57), including after adjustment for CHF on index admission, age and gender (HR 2.49; 95% CI 2.06-3.02). The C-statistic for CHF admission at 1-year was 0.74 (95% CI 0.70-0.79).

CONCLUSIONS: The GRACE score predicts CHF admission, and may therefore be used to target ACS patients at high risk of CHF with clinical monitoring and therapies.

Patient's views on depression care in obstetric settings: how do they compare to the views of perinatal health care professionals

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 1:25pm

OBJECTIVES: The objectives were to examine patients' perspectives on patient-, provider- and systems-level barriers and facilitators to addressing perinatal depression in outpatient obstetric settings. We also compare the views of patients and perinatal health care professionals.

METHOD: Four 90-min focus groups were conducted with women 3-36 months after delivery (n=27) who experienced symptoms of perinatal depression, anxiety or emotional distress. Focus groups were transcribed, and resulting data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach.

RESULTS: Barriers to addressing perinatal depression included fear of stigma and loss of parental rights, negative experiences with perinatal health care providers and lack of depression management knowledge/skills among professionals. Facilitators included psychoeducation, peer support and training for professionals.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients perceive many multilevel barriers to treatment that are similar to those found in our previous similar study of perinatal health care professionals' perspectives. However, patients and professionals do differ in their perceptions of one another. Interventions would need to close these gaps and include an empathic screening and referral process that facilitates discussion of mental health concerns. Interventions should leverage strategies identified by both patients and professionals, including empowering both via education, resources and access to varied mental health care options.

The potential of adeno-associated viral vectors for gene delivery to muscle tissue

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 1:25pm

INTRODUCTION: Muscle-directed gene therapy is rapidly gaining attention primarily because muscle is an easily accessible target tissue and is also associated with various severe genetic disorders. Localized and systemic delivery of recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors of several serotypes results in very efficient transduction of skeletal and cardiac muscles, which has been achieved in both small and large animals, as well as in humans. Muscle is the target tissue in gene therapy for many muscular dystrophy diseases, and may also be exploited as a biofactory to produce secretory factors for systemic disorders. Current limitations of using rAAVs for muscle gene transfer include vector size restriction, potential safety concerns such as off-target toxicity and the immunological barrier composing of pre-existing neutralizing antibodies and CD8(+) T-cell response against AAV capsid in humans.

AREAS COVERED: In this article, we will discuss basic AAV vector biology and its application in muscle-directed gene delivery, as well as potential strategies to overcome the aforementioned limitations of rAAV for further clinical application.

EXPERT OPINION: Delivering therapeutic genes to large muscle mass in humans is arguably the most urgent unmet demand in treating diseases affecting muscle tissues throughout the whole body. Muscle-directed, rAAV-mediated gene transfer for expressing antibodies is a promising strategy to combat deadly infectious diseases. Developing strategies to circumvent the immune response following rAAV administration in humans will facilitate clinical application.

Electronic medical record: research tool for pancreatic cancer

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 1:25pm

BACKGROUND: A novel data warehouse based on automated retrieval from an institutional health care information system (HIS) was made available to be compared with a traditional prospectively maintained surgical database.

METHODS: A newly established institutional data warehouse at a single-institution academic medical center autopopulated by HIS was queried for International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) diagnosis codes for pancreatic neoplasm. Patients with ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes for pancreatic neoplasm were captured. A parallel query was performed using a prospective database populated by manual entry. Duplicated patients and those unique to either data set were identified. All patients were manually reviewed to determine the accuracy of diagnosis.

RESULTS: A total of 1107 patients were identified from the HIS-linked data set with pancreatic neoplasm from 1999-2009. Of these, 254 (22.9%) patients were also captured by the surgical database, whereas 853 (77.1%) patients were only in the HIS-linked data set. Manual review of the HIS-only group demonstrated that 45.0% of patients were without identifiable pancreatic pathology, suggesting erroneous capture, whereas 36.3% of patients were consistent with pancreatic neoplasm and 18.7% with other pancreatic pathology. Of the 394 patients identified by the surgical database, 254 (64.5%) patients were captured by HIS, whereas 140 (35.5%) patients were not. Manual review of patients only captured by the surgical database demonstrated 85.9% with pancreatic neoplasm and 14.1% with other pancreatic pathology. Finally, review of the 254 patient overlap demonstrated that 80.3% of patients had pancreatic neoplasm and 19.7% had other pancreatic pathology.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that cautious interpretation of administrative data rely only on ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes and clinical correlation through previously validated mechanisms.

Individual and composite study endpoints: separating the wheat from the chaff

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 1:25pm

We provide an overview of the individual and combined clinical endpoints and patient-reported outcomes typically used in clinical trials and prospective epidemiological investigations. We discuss the strengths and limitations associated with the utilization of aggregated study endpoints and surrogate measures of important clinical endpoints and patient-centered outcomes. We hope that the points raised in this overview will lead to the collection of clinically rich, relevant, measurable, and cost-efficient study outcomes.