To update the European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation (EuroSCORE) risk model. A dedicated website collected prospective risk and outcome data on 22 381 consecutive patients undergoing major cardiac surgery in 154 hospitals in 43 countries over a 12-week period (May-July 2010). Completeness and accuracy were validated during data collection using mandatory field entry, error and range checks and after data collection using summary feedback confirmation by responsible officers and multiple logic checks. Information was obtained on existing EuroSCORE risk factors and additional factors proven to influence risk from research conducted since the original model. The primary outcome was mortality at the base hospital. Secondary outcomes were mortality at 30 and 90 days. The data set was divided into a developmental subset for logistic regression modelling and a validation subset for model testing. A logistic risk model (EuroSCORE II) was then constructed and tested. Compared with the original 1995 EuroSCORE database (in brackets), the mean age was up at 64.7 (62.5) with 31% females (28%). More patients had New York Heart Association class IV, extracardiac arteriopathy, renal and pulmonary dysfunction. Overall mortality was 3.9% (4.6%). When applied to the current data, the old risk models overpredicted mortality (actual: 3.9%; additive predicted: 5.8%; logistic predicted: 7.57%). EuroSCORE II was well calibrated on testing in the validation data subset of 5553 patients (actual mortality: 4.18%; predicted: 3.95%). Very good discrimination was maintained with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.8095. Cardiac surgical mortality has significantly reduced in the last 15 years despite older and sicker patients. EuroSCORE II is better calibrated than the original model yet preserves powerful discrimination. It is proposed for the future assessment of cardiac surgical risk.
Face recognition is of major social importance and involves highly selective brain regions thought to be organized in a distributed functional network. However, the exact architecture of interconnections between these regions remains unknown. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify face-responsive regions in 22 participants and then employed diffusion tensor imaging with probabilistic tractography to establish the white-matter pathways between these functionally defined regions. We identified strong white-matter connections between the occipital face area (OFA) and fusiform face area (FFA), with a significant right-hemisphere predominance. We found no evidence for direct anatomical connections between FFA and superior temporal sulcus (STS) or between OFA and STS, contrary to predictions based on current cognitive models. Instead, our findings point to segregated processing along a ventral extrastriate visual pathway to OFA-FFA and another more dorsal system connected to STS and frontoparietal areas. In addition, early occipital areas were found to have direct connections to the amygdala, which might underlie a rapid recruitment of limbic brain areas by visual inputs bypassing more elaborate extrastriate cortical processing. These results unveil the structural neural architecture of the human face recognition system and provide new insights on how distributed face-responsive areas may work together.
Hundreds of papers and factors attempt to explain the cross-section of expected returns. Given this extensive data mining, it does not make sense to use the usual criteria for establishing significance. Which hurdle should be used for current research? Our paper introduces a new multiple testing framework and provides historical cutoffs from the first empirical tests in 1967 to today. A new factor needs to clear a much higher hurdle, with a t-statistic greater than 3.0. We argue that most claimed research findings in financial economics are likely false.
The network architecture of functional connectivity within the human brain connectome is poorly understood at the voxel level. Here, using resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 1003 healthy adults, we investigate a broad array of network centrality measures to provide novel insights into connectivity within the whole-brain functional network (i.e., the functional connectome). We first assemble and visualize the voxel-wise (4 mm) functional connectome as a functional network. We then demonstrate that each centrality measure captures different aspects of connectivity, highlighting the importance of considering both global and local connectivity properties of the functional connectome. Beyond "detecting functional hubs," we treat centrality as measures of functional connectivity within the brain connectome and demonstrate their reliability and phenotypic correlates (i.e., age and sex). Specifically, our analyses reveal age-related decreases in degree centrality, but not eigenvector centrality, within precuneus and posterior cingulate regions. This implies that while local or (direct) connectivity decreases with age, connections with hub-like regions within the brain remain stable with age at a global level. In sum, these findings demonstrate the nonredundancy of various centrality measures and raise questions regarding their underlying physiological mechanisms that may be relevant to the study of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders.
Background. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals may be at increased risk of age-associated noncommunicable comorbidities (AANCCs). Methods. Cross-sectional analyses of AANCC prevalence (including cardiovascular, metabolic, pulmonary, renal, bone, and malignant disease) and risk factors in a prospective cohort study of HIV type 1-infected individuals and HIV-uninfected controls, who were aged >= 45 years and comparable regarding most lifestyle and demographic factors. Results. HIV-infected participants (n = 540) had a significantly higher mean number of AANCCs than controls (n = 524) (1.3 [SD, 1.14] vs 1.0 [SD, 0.95]; P = 400 mg/24 hours) were each also associated with a higher risk of AANCCs. Conclusions. All AANCCs were numerically more prevalent, with peripheral arterial, cardiovascular disease, and impaired renal function significantly so, among HIV-infected participants compared with HIV-uninfected controls. Besides recognized cardiovascular risk factors, HIV infection and longer time spent with severe immunodeficiency increased the risk of a higher composite AANCC burden. There was a less pronounced contribution from residual inflammation, immune activation, and prior high-dose ritonavir use.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and disease are important causes of morbidity and mortality in transplant recipients. For the purpose of developing consistent reporting of CMV outcomes in clinical trials, definitions of CMV infection and disease were developed and most recently published in 2002. Since then, there have been major developments in its diagnosis and management. Therefore, the CMV Drug Development Forum consisting of scientists, clinicians, regulators, and industry representatives has produced an updated version incorporating recent knowledge with the aimto support clinical research and drug development. The main changes compared to previous definitions are the introduction of a "probable disease" category and to incorporate quantitative nucleic acid testing in some end-organ disease categories. As the field evolves, the need for updates of these definitions is clear, and collaborative efforts between scientists, regulators, and industry can provide a platform for this work.
We present an economic model of systemic risk in which undercapitalization of the financial sector as a whole is assumed to harm the real economy, leading to a systemic risk externality. Each financial institution's contribution to systemic risk can be measured as its systemic expected shortfall (SES), that is, its propensity to be undercapitalized when the system as a whole is undercapitalized. SES increases in the institution's leverage and its marginal expected shortfall (MES), that is, its losses in the tail of the system's loss distribution. We demonstrate empirically the ability of components of SES to predict emerging systemic risk during the financial crisis of 2007-2009.
An international panel of experts prepared an evidenced-based guideline for vaccination of immunocompromised adults and children. These guidelines are intended for use by primary care and subspecialty providers who care for immunocompromised patients. Evidence was often limited. Areas that warrant future investigation are highlighted.
The after-effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) are highly variable between individuals. Because different populations of cortical neurons are stimulated more easily or are more excitable in different people at different times, the variability may not be due to differences between individuals in the plasticity of cortical synapses, but may instead be due to individual differences in the recruitment of cortical neurons. In this study, we examined the effects of rTMS in 56 healthy volunteers. The responses to excitatory and inhibitory theta burst stimulation (TBS) protocols were highly variable between individuals. Surprisingly, the TBS effect was highly correlated with the latency of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) evoked by TMS pulses that induced an anterior-posterior (AP) directed current across the central sulcus. Finally, we devised a new plasticity protocol using closely timed pairs of oppositely directed TMS current pulses across the central sulcus. Again, the after-effects were related to the latency of MEPs evoked by AP current. Our results are consistent with the idea that variation in response to rTMS plasticity probing protocols is strongly influenced by which interneuron networks are recruited by the TMS pulse.
Background. Reports of acute hepatitis C in young persons in the United States have increased. We examined data from national surveillance and supplemental case follow-up at selected jurisdictions to describe the US epidemiology of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among young persons (aged <= 30 years). Methods. We examined trends in incidence of acute hepatitis C among young persons reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during 2006-2012 by state, county, and urbanicity. Sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics of HCV-infected young persons newly reported from 2011 to 2012 were analyzed from case interviews and provider follow-up at 6 jurisdictions. Results. From 2006 to 2012, reported incidence of acute hepatitis C increased significantly in young persons-13% annually in nonurban counties (P = .003) vs 5% annually in urban counties (P = .028). Thirty (88%) of 34 reporting states observed higher incidence in 2012 than 2006, most noticeably in nonurban counties east of the Mississippi River. Of 1202 newly reported HCV-infected young persons, 52% were female and 85% were white. In 635 interviews, 75% of respondents reported injection drug use. Of respondents reporting drug use, 75% had abused prescription opioids, with first use on average 2.0 years before heroin. Conclusions. These data indicate an emerging US epidemic of HCV infection among young nonurban persons of predominantly white race. Reported incidence was higher in 2012 than 2006 in at least 30 states, with largest increases in nonurban counties east of the Mississippi River. Prescription opioid abuse at an early age was commonly reported and should be a focus for medical and public health intervention.