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Open Access Publications from the University of California

This series is automatically populated with publications deposited by UC Berkeley Department of Anthropology researchers in accordance with the University of California’s open access policies. For more information see Open Access Policy Deposits and the UC Publication Management System.

Pulse wave velocity in South African women and children: comparison between the Mobil-O-Graph and SphygmoCor XCEL devices.

(2022)

Background

Carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) is the gold-standard noninvasive measure of arterial stiffness. Data comparing tonometry-based devices such as the SphygmoCor XCEL to simpler brachial-cuff-based estimates of PWV, such as from the Mobil-O-Graph in African populations are sparse. We therefore aimed to compare PWV measured by the Mobil-O-Graph and the SphygmoCor XCEL device in a sample of South African women and children.

Methods

Women (n = 85) 29 years [interquartile range (IQR): 29-69] and their children/grandchildren (n = 27) 7 years (IQR: 4-11) were recruited for PWV measurement with Mobil-O-Graph and SphygmoCor XCEL on the same day. Wilcoxon signed-rank test, regression analysis, spearman correlation and Bland-Altman plots were used for PWV comparison between devices.

Results

For adults, the SphygmoCor XCEL device had a significantly higher PWV (7.3 m/s, IQR: 6.4-8.5) compared with the Mobil-O-Graph (5.9 m/s, IQR: 5.0-8.1, P = 0.001) with a correlation coefficient of 0.809 (P ≤ 0.001). Bland--Altman analysis indicated an acceptable level of agreement but significant bias (mean difference PWV: 0.90 ± 1.02 m/s; limits of agreement: -1.10 to 2.90). The odds of having a PWV difference more than 1 m/s decreased with a higher age [odds ratio (OR): 0.95, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 0.92-0.98] and increased with greater height (OR: 1.10, 95% CI = 1.01-1.21, P = 0.03) in multivariable analysis. In children, the Bland-Altman indicated an excellent level of agreement (-0.03 ± 0.63 m/s; limits of agreement: -1.26 to 1.21), but no correlation was found (rs = 0.08, P = 0.71).

Conclusion

Particularly in younger and taller women, the Mobil-O-Graph significantly underestimated PWV compared with the SphygmoCor. Although no correlation was found between the two devices for children, further research is required due to the small sample size. Furthermore, the clinical value of both methods in young African populations requires further investigation.

Social vulnerability, parity and food insecurity in urban South African young women: the healthy life trajectories initiative (HeLTI) study.

(2021)

Social vulnerability indices (SVI) can predict communities' vulnerability and resilience to public health threats such as drought, food insecurity or infectious diseases. Parity has yet to be investigated as an indicator of social vulnerability in young women. We adapted an SVI score, previously used by the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC), and calculated SVI for young urban South African women (n = 1584; median age 21.6, IQR 3.6 years). Social vulnerability was more frequently observed in women with children and increased as parity increased. Furthermore, young women classified as socially vulnerable were 2.84 times (95% CI 2.10-3.70; p < 0.001) more likely to report household food insecurity. We collected this information in 2018-2019, prior to the current global COVID-19 pandemic. With South Africa having declared a National State of Disaster in March 2020, early indicators suggest that this group of women have indeed been disproportionally affected, supporting the utility of such measures to inform disaster relief efforts.

Cover page of Why Singapore Trumps Iceland, Journal of Cultural Economy, 12 May 2015

Why Singapore Trumps Iceland, Journal of Cultural Economy, 12 May 2015

(2021)

The article explores how an NIH (National Institute of Health) policy of racialization-as-inclusion in research informs the building of Asian DNA databases at Biopolis, an emerging biomedical hub in Singapore. Citing variability in DNA and populations in the Asian region, Singaporean biostatisticians challenge DeCode Genetics of Iceland as an exemplary model of genomic research. They claim that genetic traits among populations in Asia that are relatively new to medical genomics -- and being gathered "in the wild" -- gain value from being calculated and databased. The infrastructure deploys the ethnic heuristic in different registers. First, the network of ethnicity becomes a supple membrane coextensive with the network of genetic data points. Second, ethnicity is rendered an immutable mobile that circulates databases beyond tiny Singapore, making the infrastructure at once situated, flexible, and expansive. Third, the ethnic signifier carries affective value that enhances a sense of what is at stake in the building, mobilization and implications of such Asian databases. In short the origami-like folding together of multiple, flowable and perfomative data points shapes a unilateral topological space of biomedical "Asia."

Adverse childhood experiences and adult cardiometabolic risk factors and disease outcomes: Cross-sectional, population-based study of adults in rural Uganda.

(2021)

Background

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) pose a major threat to public health in sub-Saharan African communities, where the burden of these classes of illnesses is expected to double by 2030. Growing research suggests that past developmental experiences and early life conditions may also elevate CVD risk throughout the life course. Greater childhood stress and adversity are consistently associated with a range of adult CVDs and associated risk factors, yet little research exists on the long-term effects of early life stress on adult physical health outcomes, especially CVD risk, in sub-Saharan African contexts. This study aims to evaluate the associations between adverse childhood experiences and adult cardiometabolic risk factors and health outcomes in a population-based study of adults living in Mbarara, a rural region of southwestern Uganda.

Methods

Data come from an ongoing, whole-population social network cohort study of adults living in the eight villages of Nyakabare Parish, Mbarara. A modified version of the Adverse Childhood Experiences-International Questionnaire (ACEs) assessed past exposure to physical, emotional, and sexual adversity. Participants also took part in a health fair where medical histories on cardiometabolic risk factors and cardiovascular diseases were gathered. Multiple logistic regression models estimated the associations between ACEs and cardiometabolic risk factors and health outcomes.

Results

Data were available on 545 adults. The average number of ACEs was 4.9 out of a possible 16. The cumulative number of ACEs were associated with having a history of heart attack and/or heart failure (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.11, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.999-1.234, P = 0.051), but the estimated association was not statistically significant. ACEs did not have statistically significant associations with any others measures of adult cardiometabolic risk and CVD.

Conclusions

Adverse childhood experiences are not associated with a range of adult cardiometabolic risk factors and health outcomes in this sample of rural Ugandan adults. Further research in this sample is necessary to identify the pathways that may motivate these null relationship and possibly protect against adverse cardiometabolic and cardiovascular health outcomes.