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Objective To examine the effect of surgeon sex on postoperative outcomes of patients undergoing common surgical procedures.Design Population based, retrospective, matched cohort study from 2007 to 2015.Setting Population based cohort of all patients treated in Ontario, Canada.Participants Patients undergoing one of 25 surgical procedures performed by a female surgeon were matched by patient age, patient sex, comorbidity, surgeon volume, surgeon age, and hospital to patients undergoing the same operation by a male surgeon.Interventions Sex of treating surgeon.Main outcome measure The primary outcome was a composite of death, readmission, and complications. We compared outcomes between groups using generalised estimating equations.Results 104 630 patients were treated by 3314 surgeons, 774 female and 2540 male. Before matching, patients treated by female doctors were more likely to be female and younger but had similar comorbidity, income, rurality, and year of surgery. After matching, the groups were comparable. Fewer patients treated by female surgeons died, were readmitted to hospital, or had complications within 30 days (5810 of 52 315, 11.1%, 95% confidence interval 10.9% to 11.4%) than those treated by male surgeons (6046 of 52 315, 11.6%, 11.3% to 11.8%; adjusted odds ratio 0.96, 0.92 to 0.99, P=0.02). Patients treated by female surgeons were less likely to die within 30 days (adjusted odds ratio 0.88; 0.79 to 0.99, P=0.04), but there was no significant difference in readmissions or complications. Stratified analyses by patient, physician, and hospital characteristics did not significant modify the effect of surgeon sex on outcome. A retrospective analysis showed no difference in outcomes by surgeon sex in patients who had emergency surgery, where patients do not usually choose their surgeon.Conclusions After accounting for patient, surgeon, and hospital characteristics, patients treated by female surgeons had a small but statistically significant decrease in 30 day mortality and similar surgical outcomes (length of stay, complications, and readmission), compared with those treated by male surgeons. These findings support the need for further examination of the surgical outcomes and mechanisms related to physicians and the underlying processes and patterns of care to improve mortality, complications, and readmissions for all patients.

Concepts: Male, Statistics, Hospital, Surgery, Statistical significance, Physician, Surgeon, American College of Surgeons


Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization – time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) sample preparation methods including the direct, on-plate formic acid, and ethanol/formic acid tube extraction were evaluated for their ability to render highly pathogenic organisms non-viable and safe for handling in a Biosafety Level-2 laboratory. Of these, the tube extraction procedure was the most successful, with none of the tested strains surviving this sample preparation method. Tube extracts from several agents of bioterrorism and their near neighbors were analyzed in an eight laboratory study to examine the utility of the Bruker Biotyper and Vitek MS MALDI-TOF MS systems and their IVD, research use only, and Security-Relevant databases, as applicable, to accurately identify these agents. Forty-six distinct strains of Bacillus anthracis, Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia pseudomallei, Clostridium botulinum, Brucella melitensis, Brucella abortus, Brucella suis, and Brucella canis were extracted and distributed to participating labs for analysis. A total of 35 near neighbor isolates were also analyzed.

Concepts: Bacteria, Mass spectrometry, Brucellosis, Burkholderia mallei, Burkholderia, Brucella, Burkholderia pseudomallei


The frequent instability of mandibular removable complete dentures affects patient Oral Health Related Quality of Life (OHRQoL). An innovative therapeutic strategy used to improve stability involves placing four symphyseal mini-implants. This study was aimed at assessing OHRQoL over time in subjects in which mini-implants were placed and exploring if certain parameters could predict the evolution of their OHRQoL. The OHRQoL of subjects with dentures was assessed using the Geriatric Oral Health Assessment Index (GOHAI) before (T0), 2-6 months (T1), twelve months (T2) and twenty-four or more months (T3) after mini-implant setting. Age, gender and chewing ability were tested as explanatory variables for the change in OHRQoL with time. Thirteen women and six men were included (mean age: 69 ± 10 years). After treatment, mean GOHAI scores at T1, T2 and T3 increased significantly (p < 0.001). The GOHAI-Add mean score was not affected by age or gender. Baseline chewing ability impacted the "functional" and "pain and discomfort" fields of the mean GOHAI scores (p < 0.05). The OHRQoL quickly improved after mini-implant placement in complete denture wearers and then stabilized over time. Baseline chewing ability can be used as a predictive parameter of OHRQoL.


The metabolic effects of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) remain contentious, and little evidence is available regarding their potential role in primary prevention of type 2 diabetes. We aimed to assess the associations of linoleic acid and arachidonic acid biomarkers with incident type 2 diabetes.

Concepts: Nutrition, Fatty acid, Fatty acids, Essential fatty acid, Omega-6 fatty acid, Linoleic acid, Arachidonic acid, Essential fatty acid interactions


The evolution of powered flight is a major innovation that has facilitated the success of insects. Previously, studies of birds, bats, and insects have detected molecular signatures of differing selection regimes in energy-related genes associated with flight evolution and/or loss. Here, using DNA sequences from more than 1000 nuclear and mitochondrial protein-coding genes obtained from insect transcriptomes, we conduct a broader exploration of which gene categories display positive and relaxed selection at the origin of flight as well as with multiple independent losses of flight. We detected a number of categories of nuclear genes more often under positive selection in the lineage leading to the winged insects (Pterygota), related to catabolic processes such as proteases, as well as splicing-related genes. Flight loss was associated with relaxed selection signatures in splicing genes, mirroring the results for flight evolution. Similar to previous studies of flight loss in various animal taxa, we observed consistently higher nonsynonymous-to-synonymous substitution ratios in mitochondrial genes of flightless lineages, indicative of relaxed selection in energy-related genes. While oxidative phosphorylation genes were not detected as being under selection with the origin of flight specifically, they were most often detected as being under positive selection in holometabolous (complete metamorphosis) insects as compared with other insect lineages. This study supports some convergence in gene-specific selection pressures associated with flight ability, and the exploratory analysis provided some new insights into gene categories potentially associated with the gain and loss of flight in insects.

Concepts: DNA, Evolution, Metabolism, Insect, Bat, Hymenoptera, Flying and gliding animals, Endopterygota


Recently, naturally occurring magnetite (Fe3O4) has emerged as a new material for sulfide control in sewers. However, unrefined magnetite could have high heavy metal contents (e.g. Cr, Zn, Ni, Sn, etc.) and the capacity to remove dissolved sulfide is reasonably limited due to relatively large particle sizes. To overcome the drawbacks of unrefined magnetite we used an electrochemical system with mild steel as sacrificial electrodes to in-situ generate high strength solutions of plate-like magnetite nanoparticles (MNP). MNP with a size range between 120 to 160 nm were electrochemically generated at 9.35±0.28 g Fe3O4-Fe/L, resulting in a Coulombic efficiency (CE) for iron oxidation of 93.5±2.8 %. The produced MNP were found to effectively reduce sulfide levels in sewage from 12.7±0.3 to 0.2±0.0 mg S/L at a sulfide-to-MNP ratio of 0.26 g S/g Fe3O4-Fe. Subsequently, MNP were continuously generated with polarity switching at stable cell voltage for 31 days at 4.53±0.35 g Fe3O4-Fe/L with a CE for iron oxidation of 92.4±7.2 %. The continuously produced MNP reduced sulfide at similar levels to around 0.2 mg S/L at a ratio of 0.28 g S/g Fe3O4-Fe.

Concepts: Iron, Hydrogen, Redox, Electrochemistry, Carbon, Zinc, Electrochemical cell, Electrolysis


Objectives To examine temporal trends in sex and age specific incidence of self harm in children and adolescents, clinical management patterns, and risk of cause specific mortality following an index self harm episode at a young age.Design Population based cohort study.Setting UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink-electronic health records from 647 general practices, with practice level deprivation measured ecologically using the index of multiple deprivation. Patients from eligible English practices were linked to hospital episode statistics (HES) and Office for National Statistics (ONS) mortality records.Participants For the descriptive analytical phases we examined data pertaining to 16 912 patients aged 10-19 who harmed themselves during 2001-14. For analysis of cause specific mortality following self harm, 8638 patients eligible for HES and ONS linkage were matched by age, sex, and general practice with up to 20 unaffected children and adolescents (n=170 274).Main outcome measures In the first phase, temporal trends in sex and age specific annual incidence were examined. In the second phase, clinical management was assessed according to the likelihood of referral to mental health services and psychotropic drug prescribing. In the third phase, relative risks of all cause mortality, unnatural death (including suicide and accidental death), and fatal acute alcohol or drug poisoning were estimated as hazard ratios derived from stratified Cox proportional hazards models for the self harm cohort versus the matched unaffected comparison cohort.Results The annual incidence of self harm was observed to increase in girls (37.4 per 10 000) compared with boys (12.3 per 10 000), and a sharp 68% increase occurred among girls aged 13-16, from 45.9 per 10 000 in 2011 to 77.0 per 10 000 in 2014. Referrals within 12 months of the index self harm episode were 23% less likely for young patients registered at the most socially deprived practices, even though incidences were considerably higher in these localities. Children and adolescents who harmed themselves were approximately nine times more likely to die unnaturally during follow-up, with especially noticeable increases in risks of suicide (deprivation adjusted hazard ratio 17.5, 95% confidence interval 7.6 to 40.5) and fatal acute alcohol or drug poisoning (34.3, 10.2 to 115.7).Conclusions Gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the recent apparent increase in the incidence of self harm among early-mid teenage girls, and coordinated initiatives to tackle health inequalities in the provision of services to distressed children and adolescents, represent urgent priorities for multiple public agencies.


Objective To determine the safety of direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) use compared with warfarin use for the treatment of venous thromboembolism.Design Retrospective matched cohort study conducted between 1 January 2009 and 31 March 2016.Setting Community based, using healthcare data from six jurisdictions in Canada and the United States.Participants 59 525 adults (12 489 DOAC users; 47 036 warfarin users) with a new diagnosis of venous thromboembolism and a prescription for a DOAC or warfarin within 30 days of diagnosis.Main outcome measures Outcomes included hospital admission or emergency department visit for major bleeding and all cause mortality within 90 days after starting treatment. Propensity score matching and shared frailty models were used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios of the outcomes comparing DOACs with warfarin. Analyses were conducted independently at each site, with meta-analytical methods used to estimate pooled hazard ratios across sites.Results Of the 59 525 participants, 1967 (3.3%) had a major bleed and 1029 (1.7%) died over a mean follow-up of 85.2 days. The risk of major bleeding was similar for DOAC compared with warfarin use (pooled hazard ratio 0.92, 95% confidence interval 0.82 to 1.03), with the overall direction of the association favouring DOAC use. No difference was found in the risk of death (pooled hazard ratio 0.99, 0.84 to 1.16) for DOACs compared with warfarin use. There was no evidence of heterogeneity across centres, between patients with and without chronic kidney disease, across age groups, or between male and female patients.Conclusions In this analysis of adults with incident venous thromboembolism, treatment with DOACs, compared with warfarin, was not associated with an increased risk of major bleeding or all cause mortality in the first 90 days of treatment.Trial registration Clinical trials NCT02833987.


Objective To compare initial brain computed tomography (CT) scans with follow-up CT scans at one year in children with congenital Zika syndrome, focusing on cerebral calcifications.Design Case series study.Setting Barão de Lucena Hospital, Pernambuco state, Brazil.Participants 37 children with probable or confirmed congenital Zika syndrome during the microcephaly outbreak in 2015 who underwent brain CT shortly after birth and at one year follow-up.Main outcome measure Differences in cerebral calcification patterns between initial and follow-up scans.Results 37 children were evaluated. All presented cerebral calcifications on the initial scan, predominantly at cortical-white matter junction. At follow-up the calcifications had diminished in number, size, or density, or a combination in 34 of the children (92%, 95% confidence interval 79% to 97%), were no longer visible in one child, and remained unchanged in two children. No child showed an increase in calcifications. The calcifications at the cortical-white matter junction which were no longer visible at follow-up occurred predominately in the parietal and occipital lobes. These imaging changes were not associated with any clear clinical improvements.Conclusion The detection of cerebral calcifications should not be considered a major criterion for late diagnosis of congenital Zika syndrome, nor should the absence of calcifications be used to exclude the diagnosis.

Concepts: Medical imaging, Tomographic reconstruction, Human brain, Cerebrum, Functional neuroimaging


The development of large-scale datasets requires new means to display and disseminate research studies to large audiences. Knowledge of protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks has become a principle interest of many groups within the field of proteomics. At the confluence of technologies, such as cross-linking mass spectrometry, yeast two-hybrid, protein co-fractionation, and affinity purification mass spectrometry (AP-MS), detection of protein-protein interactions can uncover novel biological inferences at a high-throughput. Thus, new platforms to provide community access to large datasets are necessary. To this end we have developed a web application that enables exploration and dissemination of the continually BioPlex interaction network. BioPlex is a large scale interactome dataset based on AP-MS of baits from the human ORFeome. To date the latest release of the BioPlex dataset contains 56,553 interactions from 5891 AP-MS experiments. To improve community access to this vast compendium of interactions we developed BioPlex Display, which integrates individual protein querying, access to empirical data, and on-the-fly annotation of networks within an easy-to-use, mobile web application. BioPlex Display enables rapid acquisition of data from BioPlex and development of hypotheses based on protein interactions.