Levels of persistent organic pollutants (POP), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), are high in many Arctic top predators, including the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus). The aim of this study was to examine possible endocrine-disruptive effects of dietary POP exposure in male juvenile Arctic foxes in a controlled exposure experiment. The study was conducted using domesticated farmed blue foxes (Vulpes lagopus) as a model species. Two groups of newly weaned male foxes received a diet supplemented with either minke whale (Baleneoptera acutorostrata) blubber that was naturally contaminated with POP (exposed group, n?=?5 or 21), or pork (Sus scrofa) fat (control group, n?=?5 or 21). When the foxes were 6 mo old and had received the 2 diets for approximately 4 mo (147 d), effects of the dietary exposure to POP on plasma concentrations of testosterone (T), thyroid hormones (TH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), retinol (vitamin A), and tocopherol (viramin E) were examined. At sampling, the total body concentrations of 104 PCB congeners were 0.1 ± 0.03 µg/g lipid weight (l.w.; n?=?5 [mean ± standard deviation]) and 1.5 ± 0.17 µg/g l.w. (n?=?5) in the control and exposed groups, respectively. Plasma testosterone concentrations in the exposed male foxes were significantly lower than in the control males, being approximately 25% of that in the exposed foxes. There were no between-treatment differences for TH, TSH, retinol, or tocopherol. The results suggest that the high POP levels experienced by costal populations of Arctic foxes, such as in Svalbard and Iceland, may result in delayed masculine maturation during adolescence. Sex hormone disruption during puberty may thus have lifetime consequences on all aspects of reproductive function in adult male foxes.
OBJECTIVES: To test the hypothesis that the unexpectedly low prevalence of winter depression in Iceland is explained by Icelanders enjoying more daylight, during the winter months, than allocated to them by latitude.
METHODS: A conventional photometer was applied to measure illuminance on a horizontal surface at 64 degrees 8.8' N and 21 degrees 55.8' W every minute throughout the year. The illuminance thus measured was compared with computed illuminance, based on theoretical upper bounds.
RESULTS: Daylight availability proved to be, on average, 60% of the theoretical upper bounds derived using clear sky conditions. Snow cover did not, on average, cause a significant increase in daylight availability. Great variability was observed in illuminance from day to day, as well as within days.
CONCLUSIONS: Average daylight availability does not explain the lower than expected prevalence of winter depression in Iceland. The great variability in illuminance might, however, affect the expression of winter depression, as could daylight quality and genetic factors.
Changes in concentration of pollutants and pathogen distribution can vary among ecotypes (e.g. marine versus terrestrial food resources). This may have important implications for the animals that reside within them. We examined 1) canid pathogen presence in an endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population and 2) relative total mercury (THg) level as a function of ecotype ('coastal' or 'inland') for arctic foxes to test whether the presence of pathogens or heavy metal concentration correlate with population health. The Bering Sea populations on Bering and Mednyi Islands were compared to Icelandic arctic fox populations with respect to inland and coastal ecotypes. Serological and DNA based pathogen screening techniques were used to examine arctic foxes for pathogens. THg was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry from hair samples of historical and modern collected arctic foxes and samples from their prey species (hair and internal organs). Presence of pathogens did not correlate with population decline from Mednyi Island. However, THg concentration correlated strongly with ecotype and was reflected in the THg concentrations detected in available food sources in each ecotype. The highest concentration of THg was found in ecotypes where foxes depended on marine vertebrates for food. Exclusively inland ecotypes had low THg concentrations. The results suggest that absolute exposure to heavy metals may be less important than the feeding ecology and feeding opportunities of top predators such as arctic foxes which may in turn influence population health and stability. A higher risk to wildlife of heavy metal exposure correlates with feeding strategies that rely primarily on a marine based diet.
The impact of dietary organochlorine (OC) exposure on thyroid gland pathology was studied in farmed male Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus). The exposed group (n=16) was fed a diet based on wild minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) blubber as a main fat source in order to mimic the exposure to OC cocktails in the Artic environment. This resulted in an exposure of approximately 17 microg Sigma OC/kg day and a Sigma OC residue adipose tissue and liver concentration of 1700 and 4470 ng/gl.w., respectively, after 16 months of exposure. Control foxes (n=13) were fed a diet with pork (Sus scrofa) fat as a main fat source containing significantly lower OC concentrations. The food composition fed to the control and exposed group was standardized for nutrient contents. Four OC-related histopathological changes were found: (1) flat-epithelial-cell true thyroid cysts (TC) characterized by neutral content; (2) remnants of simple squamous epithelial-cell embryonic ducts containing neutral debris (EDN); (3) remnants of stratified squamous epithelial-cell embryonic ducts containing acid mucins often accompanied with debris of leukocyte inflammatory nature (EDM) and (4) disseminated thyroid C-cell hyperplasia (HPC). Of these, the prevalence of TC, EDN and HPC was significantly highest in the exposed group (chi(2) test: all p
Arctic seabirds are exposed to a wide range of halogenated organic contaminants (HOCs). Exposure occurs mainly through food intake, and many pollutants accumulate in lipid-rich tissues. Little is known about how HOCs are biotransformed in arctic seabirds. In this study, we characterized biotransformation enzymes in chicks of northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) and black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) from Kongsfjorden (Svalbard, Norway). Phase I and II enzymes were analyzed at the transcriptional, translational and activity levels. For gene expression patterns, quantitative polymerase chain reactions (qPCR), using gene-sequence primers, were performed. Protein levels were analyzed using immunochemical assays of western blot with commercially available antibodies. Liver samples were analyzed for phase I and II enzyme activities using a variety of substrates including ethoxyresorufin (cytochrome (CYP)1A1/1A2), pentoxyresorufin (CYP2B), methoxyresorufin (CYP1A), benzyloxyresorufin (CYP3A), testosterone (CYP3A/CYP2B), 1-chloro-2,4-nitrobenzene (CDNB) (glutathione S-transferase (GST)) and 4-nitrophenol (uridine diphosphate glucuronyltransferase (UDPGT)). In addition, the hydroxylated (OH-) polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were analyzed in the blood, liver and brain tissue, whereas the methylsulfone (MeSO(2)-) PCBs were analyzed in liver tissue. Results indicated the presence of phase I (CYP1A4/CYP1A5, CYP2B, and CYP3A) and phase II (GST and UDPGT) enzymes at the activity, protein and/or mRNA level in both species. Northern fulmar chicks had higher enzyme activity than black-legged kittiwake chicks. This in combination with the higher SigmaOH-PCB to parent PCB ratios suggests that northern fulmar chicks have a different biotransformation capacity than black-legged kittiwake chicks.
The populations of Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) residing in Lake Ellasjøen at Bjørnøya Island in the Norwegian Arctic (74° 30'N, 19° 00'E) possess substantially higher levels of organohalogenated compounds (strongly dominated by polychlorinated biphenyls, PCBs) than conspecifics residing in other, proximate lakes on the island. In the present study we sampled large (
To examine whether a healthy diet based on nutrient recommendations is associated with periodontal condition in smokers.
Daily smokers from the cross-sectional Health 2000 Survey (BRIF 8901) in Finland were analysed in two age groups (30-49 and 50-79 years, n = 704 and 267) and according to the level of oral hygiene. Periodontal condition was measured as the number of sextants with gingival bleeding and teeth with =4 mm deepened periodontal pockets. Information on nutrition was collected by a validated food frequency questionnaire and measured using the Baltic Sea Diet Score (BSDS) and the Recommended Finnish Diet Score (RFDS).
In the total study population, no association between the scores and periodontal condition was observed. Among 30- to 49-year-old participants with good oral hygiene, diet scores associated inversely with the number of teeth with deepened periodontal pockets (p = .078 (BSDS) and p = .027 (RFDS)).
In a representative sample of Finnish adults who smoke, a healthy diet was not associated with periodontal condition. Among a younger age group with good oral hygiene, a healthy diet associated with better periodontal condition. Age and oral hygiene appeared to modify the association between diet and periodontal condition.
To validate a picture book for estimation of food portion sizes using two approaches: (i) 'perception' of food portions by comparison with a series of food photos; and (ii) 'conceptualization and memory', using the same photos to estimate the amount of served food one hour after self-served food portions.
Each partner developed a country-specific picture book based on the so-called EPIC-Soft picture book. Representative and common photo series were chosen achieving approximately 25 % of the original picture book (n 23). Three portions from each photo series were randomly selected.
The study was performed within the Pilot study in the view of a Pan-European dietary survey - Adolescents, adults and elderly (PILOT-PANEU) project.
A sample of adolescents and adults was recruited in five countries: Bulgaria (n 103), Finland (n 34), Germany (n 69), Hungary (n 62) and Portugal (n 77).
Among the portions of the corresponding photo series and depending on the type of food, from 18 % (cheese) to 96 % (ratatouille) of participants chose the correct portions. In the perception study, agreement between the portions shown and reported was substantial (intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC)=0·805) and the mean difference was very low. In the memory study, agreement between the served and reported portions was lower than in the perception study (ICC=0·536). Agreement also seemed to decrease as the appearance of food on the plate differed from food in the picture.
Overall, the picture series selected can be applied in future intake surveys to quantify foods similar to those depicted in the pictures.
The Canada Health Act 1984 (CHA) is considered foundational to Canada's publicly funded health care system (known as Medicare). The CHA provides for the federal transfer of funding to the provinces/territories, in exchange for provincial/territorial adherence to Medicare's key principles of universality; comprehensiveness; portability; accessibility; and, public administration. Medicare is a decentralized health care system, managed independently by Canada's 10 provincial and three territorial governments, allowing for regional adaptations to fit varying degrees of urbanity, remoteness and needs. The Act is silent on its relationship to the Indigenous health care system - what some have described as Canada's 14th health care system. The CHA has not kept pace with Indigenous self-government activities that have since spread across Canada. It has unfortunately crystallized the federal/provincial/territorial/Indigenous jurisdictional fragmentation that perpetuates health inequities and has failed to clarify these jurisdictions' obligations towards Indigenous peoples. As a result of these omissions, access to health services remains a concern for many Indigenous Canadians, resulting in poorer outcomes and premature mortality. In this paper, I argue that Medicare renewal must: make an explicit commitment to Indigenous health equity; clarify jurisdictional obligations; establish effective mechanisms for addressing areas of jurisdictional dispute and/or confusion; and explicitly recognize First Nations and Inuit health care services as integral yet distinct systems, that nevertheless must be welcomed to seamlessly work with provincial health care systems to ensure continuity of care.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a serious complication in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).
To study associations between relevant co-morbidities and CHF in patients with AF.
Study population included all adults (n=12,283) =45 years diagnosed with AF at 75 primary care centers in Sweden 2001-2007. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the associations between co-morbidities, and prevalent CHF. In a subsample (n=9424), (excluding patients with earlier CHF), Cox regression was used to estimate hazard ratios with 95% CIs for the association between co-morbidities, and a first hospital diagnosis of CHF, after adjustment for age and socio-economic factors.
During 5.4 years' follow-up (standard deviation 2.5), 2259 patients (24.0%; 1135 men, 21.8%, and 1124 women, 26.7%) were diagnosed with CHF. Patients with hypertension were less likely to have CHF, while a diagnosis of coronary heart disease, valvular heart disease, diabetes, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), was consistently associated with CHF among men and women. CHF was more common among women with depression. The relative fully adjusted risk of incident CHF was increased for the following diseases in men with AF: valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and diabetes; and for the following diseases in women: valvular heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and COPD. The corresponding risk was decreased among women for hypertension.
In this clinical setting we found hypertension to be associated with a decreased risk of CHF among women; valvular heart disease and diabetes to be associated with an increased risk of CHF in both sexes; and cardiomyopathy to be associated with an increased risk of CHF among men.
Atrophy and fatty infiltration of muscle with aging are associated with fractures and falls, however, their direct associations with muscle function are not well described. It was hypothesized that participants with lower quadriceps muscle attenuation, area, and greater intramuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) will exhibit slower rates of torque development (RTD) and lower peak knee extension torques.
Data from 4,842 participants (2,041 men, 2,801 women) from the Age Gene/Environment Susceptibility Reykjavik Study (mean age 76 ± 0.1 years) with complete thigh computed tomography and isometric knee testing. Regression models were adjusted for health, behavior, and comorbidities. Muscle attenuation was further adjusted for muscle area and IMAT; muscle area adjusted for IMAT and attenuation; and IMAT adjusted for muscle area and attenuation. Standardized betas (ß) indicate association effect sizes.
In the fully-adjusted models, attenuation (men ß = 0.06, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.11; women ß = 0.07, 95% CI: 0.03, 0.11) and muscle area (men ß = 0.13, 95% CI: 0.07, 0.19; women ß = 0.10, 95% CI: 0.06, 0.15) were associated with knee RTD. Attenuation (men ß = 0.12, 95% CI: 0.08, 0.16; women ß = 0.12, 95% CI: 0.09, 0.16) and muscle area (men ß = 0.38, 95% CI: 0.33, 0.43; women ß = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.29, 0.37) were associated with peak torque.
These data suggest that muscle attenuation and area are independently associated with RTD and peak torque; and that area and attenuation demonstrate similar contributions to RTD.
Earlier studies have explored post-identification experiences of male BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, but more detailed knowledge of both their experiences and effects of identification as a carrier on their lives is required to improve genetic counseling. Thus, the aim of this study was to acquire deeper and broader insights into their experiences. Qualitative data were collected from theme-based interviews with 31 men carrying BRCA1/2 mutations in Finland, and analyzed using inductive content analysis. Three categories of the participants' responses to identification as BRCA1/2 mutation carriers were identified (personal, offspring-related and related to other relatives), mainly concerning issues associated with cancer, hereditary transmission of their mutations, and life decisions. Although there were many neutral responses regarding the issues, there were also strong emotional reactions and cancer worries. Identification as a carrier also had several effects on participants' lifestyles, including adoption of healthier and disease-preventing behavior, and social well-being, such as family planning and attitudes to life. The results provide detailed information about several aspects of male BRCA1/2 mutation carriers' experiences, which could be used to develop a tentative model of tailored genetic counseling for them.
The role of dairy fat for the risk of stroke is not yet clear. Adipose tissue reflects long-term fatty acid intake and metabolism. We, therefore, investigated associations for percentages of adipose tissue fatty acids, for which dairy products are a major source (12:0, 14:0, 14:1 cis-9, 15:0, 17:0, 18:1 trans-11 and 18:2 cis-9, trans-11), with incident total stroke and stroke subtypes.
We conducted a case-cohort study within the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health cohort, including all incident stroke cases (n?=?2108) and a random sample of the total cohort (n?=?3186). The fatty acid composition of adipose tissue biopsies was determined by gas chromatography and specific fatty acids were expressed as percentage of total fatty acids. Stroke cases were identified in the Danish National Patient Registry and the diagnoses were individually verified.
We recorded 2108 stroke cases of which 1745 were ischemic, 249 were intracerebral hemorrhages and 102 were subarachnoid hemorrhages. We observed a lower rate of ischemic stroke for a higher adipose tissue percentage of 12:0, 14:0, 15:0, 17:0, 18:1 trans-11 and 18:2 cis-9, trans-11. Adipose tissue percentages of 15:0 and 18:1 trans-11 were also inversely associated with intracerebral hemorrhage, whereas no associations between the adipose tissue fatty acids and subarachnoid hemorrhage were observed. No associations between 14:1 cis-9 and ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke were found.
Our results suggest that a larger percentage in adipose tissue of fatty acids for which dairy products are a major source is associated with a lower rate of ischemic stroke.
Light is a major cue for nearly all life on Earth. However, most of our knowledge concerning the importance of light is based on organisms' response to light during daytime, including the dusk and dawn phase. When it is dark, light is most often considered as pollution, with increasing appreciation of its negative ecological effects. Using an Autonomous Surface Vehicle fitted with a hyperspectral irradiance sensor and an acoustic profiler, we detected and quantified the behavior of zooplankton in an unpolluted light environment in the high Arctic polar night and compared the results with that from a light-polluted environment close to our research vessels. First, in environments free of light pollution, the zooplankton community is intimately connected to the ambient light regime and performs synchronized diel vertical migrations in the upper 30 m despite the sun never rising above the horizon. Second, the vast majority of the pelagic community exhibits a strong light-escape response in the presence of artificial light, observed down to 100 m. We conclude that artificial light from traditional sampling platforms affects the zooplankton community to a degree where it is impossible to examine its abundance and natural rhythms within the upper 100 m. This study underscores the need to adjust sampling platforms, particularly in dim-light conditions, to capture relevant physical and biological data for ecological studies. It also highlights a previously unchartered susceptibility to light pollution in a region destined to see significant changes in light climate due to a reduced ice cover and an increased anthropogenic activity.
To examine the potential association between serum 25(OH) vitamin D and the performance on the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) including the sub-components; five repeated chair stands test, 4 meters walk test and balance in older mobility-limited community-dwelling men and women.
A cross sectional study was performed in American and Swedish subjects who were examined for potential participation in a combined exercise and nutrition intervention trial. Logistic regression analysis and linear regression analyses were performed to evaluate the association for 25(OH)D with the overall score on the SBBP, chair stand, gait speed and balance.
Community-dwelling (mean age 77.6 ± 5.3 years) mobility limited American (n=494) and Swedish (n=116) females (59%) and males.
The SPPB (0-12 points) includes chair stand (s), gait speed (m/s) and a balance test. Mobility limitation i.e., SPPB score = 9 was an inclusion criterion. A blood sample was obtained to measure serum 25(OH)vitamin D concentrations.
No clear association of 25(OH)D with SPPB scores was detected either when 25(OH)D was assessed as a continuous variable or when categorized according to serum concentrations of
To assess temporal trends in 1-year healthcare costs and outcome of intensive care for traumatic brain injury in Finland.
Retrospective observational cohort study.
Multicenter study including four tertiary ICUs.
Three thousand fifty-one adult patients (= 18 yr) with significant traumatic brain injury treated in a tertiary ICU during 2003-2013.
Total 1-year healthcare costs included the index hospitalization costs, rehabilitation unit costs, and social security reimbursements. All costs are reported as 2013 U.S. dollars ($). Outcomes were 1-year mortality and permanent disability. Multivariate regression models, adjusting for case-mix, were used to assess temporal trends in costs and outcome in predefined Glasgow Coma Scale (3-8, 9-12, and 13-15) and age (18-40, 41-64, and = 65 yr) subgroups. Overall 1-year survival was 76% (n = 2,304), and of 1-year survivors, 37% (n = 850) were permanently disabled. Mean unadjusted 1-year healthcare cost was $39,809 (95% CI, $38,144-$41,473) per patient. Adjusted healthcare costs decreased only in the Glasgow Coma Scale 13-15 and 65 years and older subgroups, due to lower rehabilitation costs. Adjusted 1-year mortality did not change in any subgroup (p
Predator-mediated apparent competition is an indirect negative interaction between two prey species mediated by a shared predator. Quantifying such indirect ecosystem effects is methodologically challenging but important for understanding ecosystem functioning. Still, there are few examples of apparent competition from pelagic marine environments. Using state-space statistical modeling, we here provide evidence for apparent competition between two dominant zooplankton groups in a large marine ecosystem, i.e., krill and copepods in the Barents Sea. This effect is mediated by a positive association between krill biomass and survival of the main planktivorous fish in the Barents Sea, capelin Mallotus villosus, and a negative association between capelin and copepod biomasses. The biomass of Atlantic krill species is expected to increase in the Barents Sea due to ongoing climate change, thereby potentially negatively affecting copepods through apparent competition. By demonstrating and quantifying apparent competition in a large marine ecosystem, our study paves the way for more realistic projections of indirect ecosystem effects of climate change and harvesting.
Based on second generation sequencing (MiSeq platform, Illumina), we determined the genetic diversity of T4-like bacteriophages of the family Myoviridae by analysing fragments of the major capsid protein gene g23 in the plankton of Lake Baikal. The sampling depth in our study was significantly higher than in those obtained by the Sanger method before. We obtained 33 701 sequences of the g23 gene fragments, 141 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of which were identified. 86 OTUs (60.9%) had the closest relatives from lakes Bourget and Annecy, and 28 OTUs (19.8%) had the highest identity with the Baikal g23 clones, which had been previously identified in the northern and southern basins of the lake by the Sanger method. The remaining OTUs were similar to the clones from other ecosystems. We showed a high genetic diversity of T4-type bacteriophages and a genetic difference with the phage communities from other ecosystems.
Initial plant establishment is one of the most critical phases in ecosystem development, where an early suite of physical (environmental filtering), biological (seed limitation, species interactions) and stochastic factors may affect successional trajectories and rates. While functional traits are commonly used to study processes that influence plant community assembly in late successional communities, few studies have applied them to primary succession. The objective here was to determine the importance of these factors in shaping early plant community assembly on a glacial outwash plain, Skeiðarársandur, in SE Iceland using a trait based approach. We used data on vascular plant assemblages at two different spatial scales (community and neighborhood) sampled in 2005 and 2012, and compiled a dataset on seven functional traits linked to species dispersal abilities, establishment, and persistence for all species within these assemblages. Trait-based null model analyses were used to determine the processes that influenced plant community assembly from the regional species pool into local communities, and to determine if the importance of these processes in community assembly was dependent on local environment or changed with time. On the community scale, for most traits, random processes dominated the assembly from the regional species pool. However, in some communities, there was evidence of non-random assembly in relation to traits linked to species dispersal abilities, persistence, and establishment. On the neighborhood scale, assembly was mostly random. The relative importance of different processes varied spatially and temporally and the variation was linked to local soil conditions. While stochasticity dominated assembly patterns of our early successional communities, there was evidence of both seed limitation and environmental filtering. Our results indicated that as soil conditions improved, environmental constraints on assembly became weaker and the assembly became more dependent on species availability.