• Raising awareness of anaerobic digestion in the UK - Views of key stakeholders

      Duruiheoma, Franklin I.; Burek, Cynthia V.; Bonwick, Graham A.; Alexander, Roy; University of Chester (Macrothink Institute, 31/12/2014)
      Meeting rising energy demand and sustainable development goals at the same time is a major challenge for policy makers in the 21st century. The situation is further stressed by a rising world population, climate change, natural disasters and food security concerns. Renewable energy technologies such as anaerobic digestion (AD) proffer one solution for policy makers to overcome some of the challenges to sustainable development. The technology has been widely adopted in some parts of Europe (e.g. Germany, Denmark, Austria and Sweden), the United States and also parts of Asia and Africa. However in the United Kingdom (UK), the technology is under-developed, as was recognised in its anaerobic digestion strategy and action plan of 2011. This study focused on identifying options for raising awareness of AD technology in the UK. 21 key stakeholders divided into groups according to their expertise, were interviewed to explore their views on the areas of focus in the UK strategy and action plan regarding raising awareness of the technology. The results revealed that aligning AD with sustainable development goals, community AD and localism, small AD plants, provision of an available market for AD products, building UK skills and diversifying biogas use from AD are positive options for raising awareness of AD in the UK. Challenges to these options and possible solutions to the challenges were also identified and discussed.
    • Recovery of high mountain Alpine lakes after the eradication of introduced brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis using non-chemical methods

      Tiberti, Rocco; Bogliani, Giuseppe; Brighenti, Stefano; Iacobuzio, Rocco; Liautaud, Kevin; Rolla, Matteo; von Hardenberg, Achaz; Bassano, Bruno; University of Pavia; Gran Paradiso National Park; University of Trento; Fondazione Edmund Mach; Swansea University; University of Chester (Springer, 31/10/2018)
      Fish stocking is a serious threat to originally fishless mountain lakes. We used non-chemical eradication methods (i.e. gillnetting and electrofishing) in four high mountain lakes in the Gran Paradiso National Park (Western Italian Alps) to eradicate alien brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis. Data of amphibians, macroinvertebrates, zooplankton, chlorophyll-a, nutrient concentrations, and water transparency were used as indicators of the recovery process. All treated lakes were returned to their original fishless condition in spite of their different sizes and habitat complexity, without permanent negative side-effects for native species. Several ecological indicators showed that many impacts of introduced fish can be reversed over a short time period following eradication. The present study adds to a still growing body of specialized literature on the recovery of habitats after the eradication of alien species and provides further evidence that physical eradication methods are effective and can be part of a more general strategy for the conservation of high mountain lake biota.
    • Roberts and Brodie’s Inner-City Sport: An undiscovered gem?

      Green, Ken; University of Chester (Routledge, 31/10/2013)
      It may seem strange in a book about exemplars of research offering a distinctive contribution to the study of sport to describe Roberts and Brodie’s Inner-City Sport as an undiscovered gem but that is, I think, how it should be viewed. This is not to say that the study and the book that emanated from it have been entirely overlooked but, rather, that the significance of Inner-City Sport has remained largely hidden from the eyes of those having most to learn from it; namely, the many students and practitioners of school physical education (PE), sports development and the like and, for that matter, academics in these fields. If I am correct in this assertion then the significance of Inner-City Sport cannot be measured, straightforwardly, in terms of its impact upon academic understanding, let alone professional practice. Instead, its significance lies in the impact it could have on students, academics and practitioners – specifically in terms of the light the study throws upon what might be termed the ‘recipe’ for becoming ‘locked-in’ to sport.
    • Assessment of strength and power responses to resistance exercise in young and middle-aged trained males

      Twist, Craig; Lamb, Kevin; Fernandes, John (University of Chester, 31/08/2018)
      Little is known about the muscle function capabilities of trained middle-aged males and how they differ to younger counterparts. Accordingly, the overall aim of the research documented in this thesis was to compare the acute muscle function responses to resistance exercise in middle-aged and young resistance trained males. The first study (Chapter 3) examined the intra- and inter-day reliability of an ecologically valid device (FitroDyne rotary encoder) for measuring upper and lower-body muscle function during three popular multi-jointed resistance training exercises (bench press, squat, and bent-over-row), and confirmed that it was capable of detecting moderate changes in muscle function across a range of submaximal loads. In the second study (Chapter 4) the load-velocity and load-power relationships were investigated during the same exercises among 20 young (age 21.0 ± 1.6 y) and 20 middle-aged (age 42.6 ± 6.7 y) resistance trained males, and it emerged that, despite their regular training, the middle-aged males were unable to achieve velocities at low external loads and peak powers at all external loads as high as the young males across a range of external resistances. Study three (Chapter 5) proceeded to compare the internal (heart rate (HR), OMNI-ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and sRPE) and external (peak velocity and power and volume load) loads experienced during high volume squatting exercise, and the fatigue responses among nine young (age 22.3 ± 1.7 years) and nine middle-aged (age 39.9 ± 6.2 years) resistance trained males. The findings highlighted that internal, but not certain markers of external (peak power and volume load), load responses can be monitored during exercise in a like manner between these age groups. Moreover, compared to young resistance trained males, middle-aged males can expect greater decrements in peak power after lower-limb resistance exercise. In the final study (Chapter 6), the time-course of recovery in nine trained young (age 22.3 ± 1.7 years) and nine trained (39.9 ± 6.2 years) and nine untrained (44.4 ± 6.3 years) middle-aged males after high volume lower-body resistance (muscle damaging) exercise was investigated. Of practical importance, it emerged that compared to the young males, the trained middle-aged males experienced greater symptoms of muscle damage and an impaired recovery profile, the implication of which is the need for trained middle-aged males to adopt strategies to enhance their recovery. Furthermore, both middle-aged groups experienced similar symptoms of muscle-damage, albeit the untrained group demonstrated greater losses in peak power at low and high external loads. For the first time, the current research has determined that middle-aged males, despite regular resistance training, are subject to losses in peak velocity and power output across a range external loads, compared to young males. When undergoing lower-body resistance training to ameliorate these decrements, applied practitioners can use internal load markers and peak velocity, but not peak power or volume load, to monitor trained young and middle-aged males alike. Furthermore, the muscle damage response (24 to 72 h), and losses in peak power (0 to 72 h), after lower-body resistance exercise are greater in trained middle-aged than young males. Consequently, future research should seek to corroborate these observations in upper-body exercise and determine the effectiveness of strategies (e.g. nutritional intake) to enhance recovery in middle-aged males.
    • Geoconservation and geodiversity: What? Who? Where? - and why should I care?

      Nicholls, Keith H.; Burek, Cynthia V.; University of Chester (Institute of Civil Engineering Publishing, 31/08/2015)
      Whilst "geoconservation" is a relatively new sub-discipline in academic geology and earth science departments, this presentation argues that an appreciation of our 'geodiversity' is an important but often overlooked element of the background to development work. For practising engineering geologists or geotechnical engineers, taking up a role in one of the formal geoconservation bodies (be it a local geoconservation group, a Trust or a Geopark) can be a useful networking tool, can offer increased geological awareness and be a source of beneficial continuing Professional development (CPD)). However, the value of geoconservation needs to be brought to a wider audience, since at the moment threats to elements of geological natural heritage are only addressed when important geological landscapes are threatened by development (such as have been seen at Siccar Point and at Wenlock Edge in recent months). Because geodiversity is only rarely fully considered in the planning process, it can be difficult to differentiate between genuine local concern, and irrational "Nimbyism". It is time that those of us working in the geotechnical industry who have backgrounds in geology, drive forward an agenda that establishes our geological heritage as a cause for consern alongside ecology and archaeology. Failure to do so reflects badly on us as individuals and as an industry.
    • Survey of reproduction and calf rearing in Asian and African elephants in European zoos

      Hartley, Matt; Stanley, Christina R.; University of Chester (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, 31/07/2016)
      Acyclicity, conception failure, abortion, stillbirth, dystocia, infanticide and neonatal mortality have all been reported as causes of reproductive failure in zoo elephants. These events are often reported as single case reports or in specific studies focused on a particular stage in the reproductive process. In North America wider surveys of reproduction in the zoo elephant population have been completed and repeated to provide data over a number of years. This study is the largest and most comprehensive study of reproduction in the European zoo elephant population to date. Two questionnaires collected data from throughout the reproductive process from assessing cyclicity to independence of the calf at 5 years old. Information was collected regarding 189 birth events. Many causative and contributing factors such as obesity, infectious disease, husbandry, facilities, stress, behaviour, herd size and social grouping have been proposed. The importance of these was assessed and where possible association identified using statistical analysis. In African elephants, this study found that age, obesity, reproductive pathology and dominance, identified as important risk factors for failure to conceive in the American zoo elephant population were of low importance. The most significant cause in Europe was lack of access to a compatible bull. In Asian elephants reproductive failure was much less common but when it did occur age and reproductive pathologies were significant factors as found in previous studies. Previous studies have found that age, obesity and infanticide were considered as the most important risk factors in the period from birth to rearing. In this survey it was found that herd stability and compatibility, allomothering or maternal experience and management at parturition can significantly influence reproductive success. Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes virus was confirmed as the biggest cause of calf mortality. This work provides evidence to support changes to elephant management in European zoos in order to encourage development of social and affiliative herd behaviours and improve reproductive success.
    • Inequalities in dental health: An ecological analysis of the interaction between the effects of water fluoridation and social deprivation on tooth decay in children living in England

      Tocque, Karen; Kennedy, Lynne; University of Chester; KT Intelligence CIC (Academic Journals, 31/07/2015)
      Oral health in England has improved considerably in recent years but continues to show a strong inequalities gradient. This study was aimed at investigating variations in dental decay and elation to social deprivation and local water fluoridation. An ecological analysis using the 2007 and 2008 National Dental Epidemiology Programme survey of 5 year old children in England. Postcode of residence was mapped to census lower super output area (LSOA). LSOAs were assigned a national deprivation quintile and a fluoridation category based upon therapeutic level of 1 mg/L. Multiple logistic regression was applied to determine independent influences on tooth decay. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to investigate interactions between fluoridation and deprivation on the mean levels of dental caries. Analysis is based on 142,030 clinical dental examinations, representing 25% of estimated population of 5 year olds in England. Overall, 31% of children had at least one decayed missing or filled tooth (dmft). Multiple logistic regression showed that children living in the most deprived areas were three times more likely to experience tooth decay than those living in affluent areas; whereas children living in fluoridated areas were 1.5 times less likely to have dmft than those living in non-fluoridated areas. Therefore, although both are independently significant, living in the most deprived quintile of social deprivation doubled the impact on the likelihood of dental decay compared to non-fluoridation. ANCOVA showed a strong gradient of increasing mean dmft with increasing social deprivation in both water-fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas, with 3 times more dental decay in more deprived areas than in more affluent areas. In all deprivation quintiles, children living in fluoridated areas have significantly (p < 0.001) lower mean dmft than those living in equivalent deprivation with no water fluoridation. Fluoridated drinking water may moderate dental caries; however, socioeconomic deprivation has a stronger influence on dental decay than local fluoridation of water.
    • The development of vegetarian omega-3 oil in water nanoemulsions suitable for integration into functional food products

      Lane, Katie E.; Li, Weili; Smith, Christopher J.; Derbyshire, Emma J.; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester (Elsevier, 31/03/2016)
      Global trends show that habitual omega-3 intakes are short of recommended guidelines, particularly among vegetarians and vegans. The potential health implications of low long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCω3PUFA) intakes coupled with concerns about sustainability of fish stocks call for innovative approaches to provide food based solutions to this problem. Nanoemulsions are systems with extremely small droplet sizes that could provide a solution while improving the bioavailability of LCω3PUFA. Oil in water nanoemulsion systems were successfully created using ultrasound with oil loads of up to 50% (w/w) using vegetarian LCω3PUFA oils (flaxseed and algae). Nanoemulsions of 50% (w/w) with mean droplet size measurements of 192 (flaxseed) and 182 nm (algae) using combinations of the emulsifiers Tween 40 and lecithin were prepared. This technique could be applied to create vegetarian LCω3PUFA nanoemulsions suitable for integration into enriched functional food products with the potential to increase LCω3PUFA intake and bioavailability
    • The discriminant validity of standardised testing battery and its ability to differentiate anthropometric and physical characteristics between youth, academy and senior professional rugby league players

      Dobbin, Nicholas; Moss, Samantha L.; Highton, Jamie; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (Human Kinetics, 31/01/2019)
      Purpose: To assess a standardised testing battery’s ability to differentiate anthropometric and physical qualities between youth, academy and senior rugby league players, and determine the discriminant validity of the battery. Methods: A total of 729 rugby league players from multiple clubs within England categorised as youth (n = 235), academy (n = 362) and senior (n = 132) players completed a standardised testing battery that included the assessment of anthropometric and physical characteristics during preseason. Data was analysed using magnitude-based inferences and discriminant analysis. Results: Academy players were most likely taller and heavier than youth players (effect size (ES) = 0.64 to 1.21), with possibly to most likely superior CMJ, medicine ball throw and prone Yo-Yo IR1 performance (ES = 0.23 to 1.00). Senior players were likely to most likely taller and heavier (ES = 0.32 to 1.84), with possibly to most likely superior 10 and 20 m sprint times, CMJ, CoD, medicine ball throw and prone Yo-Yo IR1 compared to youth and academy (ES = -0.60 to 2.06). The magnitude of difference appeared to be influenced by playing position. For the most part, the battery possessed discriminant validity with an accuracy of 72.2%. Conclusion: The standardised testing battery differentiates anthropometric and physical qualities of youth, academy and senior players as a group and, in most instances, within positional groups. Furthermore, the battery is able to discriminate between playing standards with good accuracy and might be included in future assessments and rugby league talent identification.
    • Interleukin-17 Expression in the Barrett’s Metaplasia-Dysplasia-Adenocarcinoma Sequence

      Bannister, Jim R.; Khan, Abdul L.; Eccleston, David W.; Deol-Poonia, Ranjeev K.; Hughes, Stephen F.; University of Chester; Aintree University Hospital (Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 30/12/2012)
      Introduction. This pilot study evaluated the expression of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17 along the Barrett’s metaplasia-dysplasia-adenocarcinoma sequence by establishing the expression levels of IL-17 in columnar epithelium, intestinal metaplastic cells, and dysplastic/glandular neoplastic cells. Immunohistochemical techniques were used to examine the accumulation of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17 in forty () formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded oesophageal archived specimens across a range of endoscopic diagnostic categories, and a highly significant difference was found, where , in IL-17 expression (Kruskall Wallis and Mann-Whitney ) between all the cell types examined. There was also a strong positive correlation (Spearman's rank correlation) between disease progression and IL-17 expression (, , ), IL-17 expression was absent or absent/weak in columnar epithelium, weak to moderate in columnar metaplastic cells, and moderate to strong in dysplastic/neoplastic cells, which demonstrated that the elevation of IL-17 expression occurs in the progression of the disease. Understanding the differential expression of IL-17 between benign and malignant tissue potentially has a significant diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic value. Ultimately, this selective biomarker may be employed in routine clinical practice for the screening of oesophageal adenocarcinoma.
    • Modulation of Innate and Adaptive Immune Responses by Arabinoxylans

      Fadel, Abdulmannan; Plunkett, Andrew; Li, Weili; Ashworth, Jason J.; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Chester; Al-Baha University; Al-Ahliyya Amman University; Universiti Putra Malaysia; Istanbul Universitesi (Wiley, 30/11/2017)
      Humans are exposed to harmful pathogens and a wide range of noxious substances every day.The immune system reacts to, and destroys, these pathogens and harmful substances. The immunesystem is composed of innate and adaptive immunity, which liaise to protect the host and maintainhealth. Foods, especially cereals, have been reported to modulate the immune response.Arabinoxylans are nonstarch polysaccharides that have been shown to possess immune-modulatory activities. This review article discusses the fundamentals of the immune system andprovides an overview of the immunomodulatory potential of arabinoxylans in conjunction withtheir structural characteristics and proposed similarities with lipopolysaccharides
    • Attitudes of general hospital staff towards patients who self-harm in South India: A cross-sectional study

      Kumar, Narendra; Rajendra, Rajagopal; Majgi, Sumanth M.; Krishna, Murali; Keenan, Paul; Jones, Steven; University of Chester (Medknow, 30/11/2016)
      Background: There is growing global interest into the attitudes and clinical management of persons who deliberately self-harm. People who self-harm experience many problems and typically have many needs related to management of their psychological wellbeing. A positive attitude amongst general hospital staff should prevail with people who self-harm. The principal purpose was to determine student staff attitudes towards patients who self-harmed from a professional and cultural perspective, which might influence patient treatment following hospital admission. The focus concentrated upon staff knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding self-harm. Methods: A cross sectional survey of the hospital staff using a validated questionnaire was carried out. This paper reports on interdisciplinary staff from two large general hospitals in Mysuru, South India (n=773). Results: Findings suggest that within a general hospital setting there is wide variation in staff attitudes and knowledge levels related to self-harm. Whilst there is attitudinal evidence for staff attitudes, this study investigates interprofessional differences in an attempt to progress treatment approaches to a vulnerable societal group. Very few staff had any training in assessment of self harm survivors. Conclusion: There is an urgent need for training general hospital staff in self harm assessment and prevention in south India. The results allow a series of recommendations for educational and skills initiatives before progressing to patient assessment and treatment projects and opens potential for cross cultural comparison studies. In addition, interventions must focus on current resources and contexts to move the evidence base and approaches to patient care forward.
    • Antioxidant and genoprotective activity of selected cucurbitaceae seed extracts and LC–ESIMS/MS identification of phenolic components

      Yasir, Muhammad; Sultana, Bushra; Nigam, Poonam S.; Owusu-Apenten, Richard K.; University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan; University of California; Ulster University (Elsevier, 30/11/2015)
      Cucurbitaceae are one of most widely used plant species for human food but lesser known members have not been examined for bioactive components. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the antioxidant and genoprotective activities from three cucurbitaceae seeds extracts and to identify phenolic components by LC–ESIMS/MS analysis. From the results, the yield of seeds extract was 20–41% (w/w) and samples had 16–40% total phenols as gallic acid equivalents (GAE). Compared with methanol solvent, using acidified methanol led to increased extraction yield by 1.4 to 10-fold, higher phenolic content (149.5 ± 1.2 to 396.4 ± 1.9 mg GAE/g), higher DPPH radical quenching and enhanced enoprotective activity using the pBR322 plasmid assay. LC–ESI-MS/MS analysis led to identification of 14–17 components, based on authentic standards and comparison with literature reports, as mainly phenolic acids and esters, flavonol glycosides. This may be the first mass spectrometric profiling of polyphenol components from cucurbitaceae seeds.
    • A community-based, bionic leg rehabilitation program for patients with chronic stroke: clinical trial protocol

      Wright, Amy; Stone, Keeron; Lambrick, Danielle; Fryer, Simon; Stoner, Lee; Tasker, Edward; Jobson, Simon; Smith, Grace; Batten, John; Batey, Jo; et al. (Elsevier, 30/10/2017)
      Stroke is a major global health problem whereby many survivors have unmet needs concerning mobility during recovery. As such, the use of robotic assisted devices (i.e., a bionic leg) within a community-setting may be an important adjunct to normal physiotherapy in chronic stroke survivors. This study will be a dual-centre, randomized, parallel group clinical trial to investigate the impact of a community based, training program using a bionic leg on biomechanical, cardiovascular and functional outcomes in stroke survivors. Following a baseline assessment which will assess gait, postural sway, vascular health (blood pressure, arterial stiffness) and functional outcomes (6-minute walk), participants will be randomized to a 10-week program group, incorporating either: i) physiotherapy plus community-based bionic leg training program, ii) physiotherapy only, or iii) usual care control. The training program will involve participants engaging in a minimum of 1 hour per day of bionic leg activities at home. Follow up assessment, identical to baseline, will occur after 10-weeks, 3 and 12 months post intervention. Given the practical implications of the study, the clinical significance of using the bionic leg will be assessed for each outcome variable. The potential improvements in gait, balance, vascular health and functional status may have a meaningful impact on patients’ quality of life. The integration of robotic devices within home-based rehabilitation programs may prove to be a cost effective, practical and beneficial resource for stroke survivors.
    • Thermal niche predicts recent changes in range size for bird species

      Scridel, D.; Bogliani, G.; Pedrini, P.; Iemma, A.; von Hardenberg, Achaz; Brambilla, M.; Museo delle Scienze, Trento; University of Pavia, University of Chester, Fondzione Lombardia per l'Ambiente (Inter-Research Science Center (IR), 30/08/2017)
      Species’ distributions are strongly affected by climate, and climate change is affecting species and populations. Thermal niches are widely used as proxies for estimating thermal sensitivity of species, and have been frequently related to community composition, population trends and latitudinal/elevational shifts in distribution. To our knowledge, no work has yet explored the relationship between thermal niche and change in range size (changes in the number of occupied spatial units over time) in birds. In this study, we related a 30 yr change in range size to species thermal index (STI: average temperature at occurrence sites) and to other factors (i.e. birds’ associated habitats, body mass, hunting status) potentially affecting bird populations/range size. We analysed trends of breeding bird range in Italy for a suite of poorly studied cold-adapted animals potentially sensitive to global warming, and for a related group of control species taxonomically similar and with comparable mass but mainly occurring at lower/warmer sites. We found a strong positive correlation between change in range size and STI, confirming that recent climatic warming has favoured species of warmer climates and adversely affected species occupying colder areas. A model including STI and birds’ associated habitats was not so strongly supported, with forest species performing better than alpine open habitat and agricultural ones. In line with previous works highlighting effects of recent climate change on community composition, species’ population trends and poleward/upward distributional shifts, we found STI to be the most important predictor of change in range size variation in breeding birds.
    • Autologous chondrocyte implantation-derived synovial fluids display distinct responder and non-responder proteomic profiles

      Hulme, Charlotte H.; Wilson, Emma L.; Peffers, Mandy J.; Roberts, Sally; Simpson, Deborah M.; Richardson, James B.; Gallacher, Pete; Wright, Karina T.; Keele University; Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital; University of Chester; University of Liverpool (BioMed Central, 30/06/2017)
      Background Autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) can be used in the treatment of focal cartilage injuries to prevent the onset of osteoarthritis (OA). However, we are yet to understand fully why some individuals do not respond well to this intervention. Identification of a reliable and accurate biomarker panel that can predict which patients are likely to respond well to ACI is needed in order to assign the patient to the most appropriate therapy. This study aimed to compare the baseline and mid-treatment proteomic profiles of synovial fluids (SFs) obtained from responders and non-responders to ACI. Methods SFs were derived from 14 ACI responders (mean Lysholm improvement of 33 (17–54)) and 13 non-responders (mean Lysholm decrease of 14 (4–46)) at the two stages of surgery (cartilage harvest and chondrocyte implantation). Label-free proteome profiling of dynamically compressed SFs was used to identify predictive markers of ACI success or failure and to investigate the biological pathways involved in the clinical response to ACI. Results Only 1 protein displayed a ≥2.0-fold differential abundance in the preclinical SF of ACI responders versus non-responders. However, there is a marked difference between these two groups with regard to their proteome shift in response to cartilage harvest, with 24 and 92 proteins showing ≥2.0-fold differential abundance between Stages I and II in responders and non-responders, respectively. Proteomic data has been uploaded to ProteomeXchange (identifier: PXD005220). We have validated two biologically relevant protein changes associated with this response, demonstrating that matrix metalloproteinase 1 was prominently elevated and S100 calcium binding protein A13 was reduced in response to cartilage harvest in non-responders. Conclusions The differential proteomic response to cartilage harvest noted in responders versus non-responders is completely novel. Our analyses suggest several pathways which appear to be altered in non-responders that are worthy of further investigation to elucidate the mechanisms of ACI failure. These protein changes highlight many putative biomarkers that may have potential for prediction of ACI treatment success.
    • Even better by disease

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (30/04/1997)
    • Standards and core components for cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation; BACPR

      Cowie, A; Buckley, John P.; Doherty, Patrick; Furze, Gill; Hayward, Jo; Jones, Jennifer; Speck, Linda; Dalal, Hayes; Mills, Joseph; University Centre Shrewsbury (BMJ, 30/01/2019)
      In 2017, the British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation published its official document detailing standards and core components for cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation. Building on the success of previous editions of this document (published in 2007 and 2012), the 2017 update aims to further emphasise to commissioners, clinicians, politicians and the public the importance of robust, quality indicators of cardiac rehabilitation (CR) service delivery. Otherwise, its overall aim remains consistent with the previous publications—to provide a precedent on which all effective cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation programmes are based and a framework for use in assessment of variation in service delivery quality. In this 2017 edition, the previously described seven standards and core components have both been revised to six, with a greater focus on measurable clinical outcomes, audit and certification. The principles within the updated document underpin the six-stage pathway of care for CR, and reflect the extensive evidence base now available within the field. To help improve current services, close collaboration between commissioners and CR providers is advocated, with use of the CR costing tool in financial planning of programmes. The document specifies how quality assurance can be facilitated through local audit, and advocates routine upload of individual-level data to the annual British Heart Foundation National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation, and application for national certification ensuring attainment of a minimum quality standard. Although developed for the UK, these standards and core components may be applicable to other countries.
    • Vitamin D and cardiometabolic disease risk: A RCT and cross-sectional study

      Mushtaq, Sohail; Hughes, Stephen F.; Agbalalah, Tari (University of Chester, 30/01/2017)
      Given the strong evidence for a beneficial role of vitamin D in diabetes and CVD pathogenesis, and the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D supplementation has been advocated for the prevention of cardiometabolic disease. To provide information on the effects of 5,000IU (125µg) vitamin D3 on cardiometabolic risk, a double blind, RCT in a cohort of overweight and obese UK adult males with plasma 25(OH)D concentration < 75nmol/L for a duration of 8 weeks was conducted. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first RCT to investigate the effect of 5,000IU (125µg) vitamin D3 on cardiometabolic markers in vitamin D insufficient, non-hypertensive and non-diabetic overweight and obese adult males.
    • Patterns of behaviour, group structure and reproductive status predict levels of glucocorticoid metabolites in zoo-housed ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta.

      Smith, Tessa E.; McCusker, Cara; Stevens, Jeroen M. G.; Elwood, Robert W.; University of Chester; Queens University of Belfast; Centre for Research and Conservation, Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp, Belguim (Karger Publishing, 30/01/2016)
      In ring-tailed lemurs, Lemur catta, the factors modulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity differ between wild and semi-free-ranging populations. Here we assess factors modulating HPA activity in ring-tailed lemurs housed in a third environment: the zoo. First we validate an enzyme immunoassay to quantify levels of glucocorticoid (GC) metabolites in the faeces of L. catta. We determine the nature of the female-female dominance hierarchies within each group by computing David’s scores and examining these in relation to faecal GC (fGC). Relationships between female age and fGC are assessed to evaluate potential age-related confounds. The associations between fGC, numbers of males in a group and reproductive status are explored. Finally, we investigate the value of 7 behaviours in predicting levels of fGC. The study revealed stable linear dominance hierarchies in females within each group. The number of males in a social group together with reproductive status, but not age, influenced fGC. The 7 behavioural variables accounted for 68% of the variance in fGC. The amounts of time an animal spent locomoting and in the inside enclosure were both negative predictors of fGC. The study highlights the flexibility and adaptability of the HPA system in ring-tailed lemurs.