Comparing Antonovsky's sense of coherence scale across three UK post-industrial cities.
ABSTRACT: High levels of 'excess' mortality (ie, that seemingly not explained by deprivation) have been shown for Scotland compared to England and Wales and, especially, for its largest city, Glasgow, compared to the similarly deprived English cities of Liverpool and Manchester. It has been suggested that this excess may be related to differences in 'Sense of Coherence' (SoC) between the populations. The aim of this study was to ascertain whether levels of SoC differed between these cities and whether, therefore, this could be a plausible explanation for the 'excess'.Three post-industrial UK cities: Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester.A representative sample of more than 3700 adults (over 1200 in each city).SoC was measured using Antonovsky's 13-item scale (SOC-13). Multivariate linear regression was used to compare SoC between the cities while controlling for characteristics (age, gender, SES etc) of the samples. Additional modelling explored whether differences in SoC moderated city differences in levels of self-assessed health (SAH).SoC was higher, not lower, among the Glasgow sample. Fully adjusted mean SoC scores for residents of Liverpool and Manchester were, respectively, 5.1 (-5.1 (95% CI -6.0 to -4.1)) and 8.1 (-8.1 (-9.1 to -7.2)) lower than those in Glasgow. The additional modelling confirmed the relationship between SoC and SAH: a 1 unit increase in SoC predicted approximately 3% lower likelihood of reporting bad/very bad health (OR=0.97 (95% CI 0.96 to 0.98)): given the slightly worse SAH in Glasgow, this resulted in slightly lower odds of reporting bad/very bad health for the Liverpool and Manchester samples compared to Glasgow.The reasons for the high levels of 'excess' mortality seen in Scotland and particularly Glasgow remain unclear. However, on the basis of these analyses, it appears unlikely that a low SoC provides any explanation.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:It has been proposed that part of the explanation for higher mortality in Scotland compared with England and Wales, and Glasgow compared with other UK cities, relates to greater ethnic diversity in England and Wales. We sought to assess the extent to which this excess was attenuated by adjusting for ethnicity. We additionally explored the role of country of birth in any observed differences. SETTING:Scotland and England and Wales; Glasgow and Manchester. PARTICIPANTS:We used the Scottish Longitudinal Study and the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study of England and Wales (2001-2010). Participants (362 491 in total) were aged 35-74 years at baseline. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES:Risk of all-cause mortality between 35 and 74 years old in Scotland and England and Wales, and in Glasgow and Manchester, adjusting for age, gender, socioeconomic position (SEP), ethnicity and country of birth. RESULTS:18% of the Manchester sample was non-White compared with 3% in Glasgow (England and Wales: 10.4%; Scotland: 1.2%). The mortality incidence rate ratio was 1.33 (95% CI 1.13 to 1.56) in Glasgow compared with Manchester. This reduced to 1.25 (1.07 to 1.47) adjusting for SEP, and to 1.20 (1.02 to 1.42) adjusting for ethnicity and country of birth. For Scotland versus England and Wales, the corresponding figures were 18% higher mortality, reducing to 10%, and then 7%. Non-Whites born outside the UK had lower mortality. In the Scottish samples only, non-Whites born in the UK had significantly higher mortality than Whites born in the UK. CONCLUSIONS:The research supports the hypothesis that ethnic diversity and migration from outside UK play a role in explaining Scottish excess mortality. In Glasgow especially, however, a large excess remains: thus, previously articulated policy implications (addressing poverty, vulnerability and inequality) still apply.
Project description:People make a city, making each city as unique as the combination of its inhabitants. However, some cities are similar and some cities are inimitable. We examine the social structure of 10 different cities using Twitter data. Each city is decomposed to its communities. We show that in many cases one city can be thought of as an amalgamation of communities from another city. For example, we find the social network of Manchester is very similar to the social network of a virtual city of the same size, where the virtual city is composed of communities from the Bristol network. However, we cannot create Bristol from Manchester since Bristol contains communities with a social structure that are not present in Manchester. Some cities, such as Leeds, are outliers. That is, Leeds contains a particularly wide range of communities, meaning we cannot build a similar city from communities outside of Leeds. Comparing communities from different cities, and building virtual cities that are comparable to real cities, is a novel approach to understand social networks. This has implications when using social media to inform or advise residents of a city.
Project description:A multiresistant strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is widespread among cystic fibrosis (CF) patients attending clinics in Liverpool, United Kingdom. Suppression subtractive hybridization was used to identify sequences present in the Liverpool CF epidemic strain but absent from strain PAO1. Using dot blot and PCR amplification assays, the prevalence of such sequences among a panel of CF isolates was determined. Several sequences were found only in the Liverpool epidemic strain. Some sequences were present in the Liverpool epidemic strain and in a minority of other isolates, including sequences with homology to genes implicated in O6 serotype and siderophore production. The Liverpool epidemic strain and 81% of nonepidemic isolates contained a sequence identified as part of the PAGI-1 genomic island. Other strains implicated in epidemic spread, which were from Manchester, United Kingdom, and Melbourne, Australia, were also screened. None of the sequences identified was present in the Manchester strain. However, one of two Melbourne strains contained some of the sequences found in the Liverpool epidemic strain. All isolates implicated in epidemic spread and 76% of sporadic isolates contained the exoS gene. A sequence present in all isolates of the Liverpool epidemic strain was used to develop a diagnostic PCR test for identification of the strain from colonies or directly from sputum samples.
Project description:A more comprehensive understanding of hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission dynamics could facilitate public health initiatives to reduce the prevalence of HCV in people who inject drugs. We aimed to determine how HCV sequences entered and spread throughout Scotland and to identify transmission hot spots. A Scottish data set with embedded demographic data was created by sequencing the NS5B of 125 genotype 1a (Gt1a) samples and 166 Gt3a samples and analyzed alongside sequences from public databases. Applying Bayesian inference methods, we reconstructed the global origin and local spatiotemporal dissemination of HCV in Scotland. Scottish sequences mainly formed discrete clusters interspersed between sequences from the rest of the world; the most recent common ancestors of these clusters dated to 1942 to 1952 (Gt1a) and 1926 to 1942 (Gt3a), coincident with global diversification and distribution. Extant Scottish sequences originated in Edinburgh (Gt1a) and Glasgow (Gt3a) in the 1970s, but both genotypes spread from Glasgow to other regions. The dominant Gt1a strain differed between Edinburgh (cluster 2 [C2]), Glasgow (C3), and Aberdeen (C4), whereas significant Gt3a strain specificity occurred only in Aberdeen. Specific clusters initially formed separate transmission zones in Glasgow that subsequently overlapped, occasioning city-wide cocirculation. Transmission hot spots were detected with 45% of samples from patients residing in just 9 of Glasgow's 57 postcode districts. HCV was introduced into Scotland in the 1940s, concomitant with its worldwide dispersal likely arising from global-scale historical events. Cluster-specific transmission hubs were identified in Glasgow, the key Scottish city implicated in HCV dissemination. This fine-scale spatiotemporal reconstruction improves understanding of HCV transmission dynamics in Scotland.HCV is a major health burden and the leading cause of hepatocellular carcinoma. Public health needle exchange and "treatment as prevention" strategies targeting HCV are designed to reduce prevalence of the virus in people who inject drugs (PWID), potentially mitigating the future burden of HCV-associated liver disease. Understanding HCV transmission dynamics could increase the effectiveness of such public health initiatives by identifying and targeting regions playing a central role in virus dispersal. In this study, we examined HCV transmission in Scotland by analyzing the genetic relatedness of strains from PWID alongside data inferring the year individuals became infected and residential information at a geographically finer-scale resolution than in previous studies. Clusters of Scotland-specific strains were identified with regional specificity, and mapping the spread of HCV allowed the identification of key areas central to HCV transmission in Scotland. This research provides a basis for identifying HCV transmission hot spots.
Project description:Public injecting of recreational drugs has been documented in a number of cities worldwide and was a key risk factor in a HIV outbreak in Glasgow, Scotland during 2015. We investigated the characteristics and health needs of people involved in this practice and explored stakeholder attitudes to new harm reduction interventions.We used a tripartite health needs assessment framework, comprising epidemiological, comparative, and corporate approaches. We undertook an analysis of local and national secondary data sources on drug use; a series of rapid literature reviews; and an engagement exercise with people currently injecting in public places, people in recovery from injecting drug use, and staff from relevant health and social services.Between 400 and 500 individuals are estimated to regularly inject in public places in Glasgow city centre: most experience a combination of profound social vulnerabilities. Priority health needs comprise addictions care; prevention and treatment of blood-borne viruses; other injecting-related infections and injuries; and overdose and drug-related death. Among people with lived experience and staff from relevant health and social care services, there was widespread - though not unanimous - support for the introduction of safer injecting facilities and heroin-assisted treatment services.The environment and context in which drug consumption occurs is a key determinant of harm, and is inextricably linked to upstream social factors. Public injecting therefore requires a multifaceted response. Though evidence-based interventions exist, their implementation internationally is variable: understanding the attitudes of key stakeholders provides important insights into local facilitators and barriers. Following this study, Glasgow plans to establish the world's first co-located safer injecting facility and heroin-assisted treatment service.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Previously improving life expectancy and all-cause mortality in the UK has stalled since the early 2010s. National analyses have demonstrated changes in mortality rates for most age groups and causes of death, and with deprived populations most affected. The aims here were to establish whether similar changes have occurred across different parts of the UK (countries, cities), and to examine cause-specific trends in more detail. DESIGN:Population-based trend analysis. PARTICIPANTS/SETTING:Whole populations of countries and selected cities of the UK. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES:European age-standardised mortality rates (calculated by cause of death, country, city, year (1981-2017), age group, sex and-for all countries and Scottish cities-deprivation quintiles); changes in rates between 5-year periods; summary measures of both relative (relative index of inequality) and absolute (slope index of inequality) inequalities. RESULTS:Changes in mortality from around 2011/2013 were observed throughout the UK for all adult age groups. For example, all-age female rates decreased by approximately 4%-6% during the 1980s and 1990s, approximately 7%-9% during the 2000s, but by <1% between 2011/2013 and 2015/2017. Equivalent figures for men were 4%-7%, 8%-12%?and 1%-3%,?respectively. This later period saw increased mortality among the most deprived populations, something observed in all countries and cities analysed, and for most causes of death: absolute and relative inequalities therefore increased. Although similar trends were seen across all parts of the UK, particular issues apply in Scotland, for example, higher and increasing drug-related mortality (with the highest rates observed in Dundee and Glasgow). CONCLUSIONS:The study presents further evidence of changing mortality in the UK. The timing, geography and socioeconomic gradients associated with the changes appear to support suggestions that they may result, at least in part, from UK Government 'austerity' measures which have disproportionately affected the poorest.
Project description:Negative early years and childhood experiences (EYCE), including socio-economic circumstances, parental health and parenting style, are associated with poor health outcomes both in childhood and adulthood. It has also been proposed that EYCE were historically worse in Scottish areas, especially Glasgow and the Clyde Valley, compared to elsewhere in the UK and that this variation can provide a partial explanation for the excess of ill health and mortality observed among those Scottish populations.Multiple logistic regression analysis was applied to two large, representative, British birth cohorts (the NCDS58 and the BCS70), to test the independent association of area of residence at ages 7 and 5 with risk of behavioural problems, respiratory problems and reading/vocabulary problems at the same age. Cohort members resident in Scotland were compared with those who were resident in England, while those resident in Glasgow and the Clyde Valley were compared with those resident in Merseyside and Greater Manchester.After adjustment for a range of relevant variables, the risk of adverse childhood outcomes was found to be either no different, or lower, in the Scottish areas. At a national level, the study reinforces the combined association of socio-economic circumstances, parental health (especially maternal mental health) and parenting with child health outcomes.Based on these samples, the study does not support the hypothesis that EYCE were worse in Scotland and Glasgow and the Clyde Valley. It seems, therefore (based on these data), less likely that the roots of the excess mortality observed in the Scottish areas can be explained by these factors.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is a highly complex disease with very high mortality and morbidity. About one-third of SAH patients suffer from systemic infections, predominantly pneumonia, that can contribute to excess mortality after SAH. Immunodepression is probably the most important mechanism leading to infections. Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is a master regulator of immunodepression, but it is still not clear if systemic IL-10 levels contribute to immunodepression, occurrence of infections and clinical outcome after SAH. METHODS:This explorative study included 76 patients with SAH admitted to our neurointensive care unit within 24 h after ictus. A group of 24 patients without any known intracranial pathology were included as controls. Peripheral venous blood was withdrawn on day 1 and day 7 after SAH. Serum was isolated by centrifugation and stored at -80 °C until analysis. Serum IL-10 levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA). Patient characteristics, post-SAH complications and clinical outcome at discharge were retrieved from patients' record files. RESULTS:Serum IL-10 levels were significantly higher on day 1 and day 7 in SAH patients compared to controls. Serum IL-10 levels were significantly higher on day 7 in patients who developed any kind of infection, cerebral vasospasm (CVS) or chronic hydrocephalus. Serum IL-10 levels were significantly higher in SAH patients discharged with poor clinical outcome (modified Rankin Scale (mRS) 3-6 or Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) 1-3). CONCLUSION:Serum IL-10 might be an additional useful parameter along with other biomarkers to predict post-SAH infections.
Project description:The rapid expansion of impervious surface areas (ISA) threatens soil organic carbon (SOC) pools in urbanized areas globally. The paucity of field observations on SOC under ISA (SOCISA), especially in dryland areas has limited our ability to assess the ecological impacts of ISA expansion. Based on systematically measured SOCISA (0-80 cm depth) of a dryland city, and land-use and land-cover change data derived from remotely sensed data, we investigated the magnitude and vertical/horizontal patterns of SOCISA and mapped the impact of ISA expansion on SOC storage. The mean SOCISA in the city was 5.36 ± 0.51 kg C m(-2), lower than that observed in humid cities but much higher than that assumed in many regional carbon assessments. SOCISA decreased linearly as the soil depth or the horizontal distance from the open area increased. SOCISA accounted for over half of the city's SOC stock, which decreased by 16% (primarily in the converted croplands) because of ISA expansion from 1990 to 2010. The impacts of the ISA expansion varied spatially, depending on the land- use and converted land-cover type.
Project description:All-cause mortality in the population<65 years is 30% higher in Glasgow than in equally deprived Liverpool and Manchester. We investigated a hypothesis that low vitamin D in this population may be associated with premature mortality via a systematic review and meta-analysis.Medline, EMBASE, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library and grey literature sources were searched until February 2012 for relevant studies. Summary statistics were combined in an age-stratified meta-analysis.Nine studies were included in the meta-analysis, representing 24,297 participants, 5,324 of whom died during follow-up. The pooled hazard ratio for low compared to high vitamin D demonstrated a significant inverse association (HR 1.19, 95% CI 1.12-1.27) between vitamin D levels and all-cause mortality after adjustment for available confounders. In an age-stratified meta-analysis, the hazard ratio for older participants was 1.25 (95% CI 1.14-1.36) and for younger participants 1.12 (95% CI 1.01-1.24).Low vitamin D status is inversely associated with all-cause mortality but the risk is higher amongst older individuals and the relationship is prone to residual confounding. Further studies investigating the association between vitamin D deficiency and all-cause mortality in younger adults with adjustment for all important confounders (or using randomised trials of supplementation) are required to clarify this relationship.