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Cover page of  Education and Life’s Simple 7: An evaluation of differential returns by sex, race, and childhood socioeconomic status

 Education and Life’s Simple 7: An evaluation of differential returns by sex, race, and childhood socioeconomic status


Few studies have examined whether the benefits of education for health differ across sociodemographic subgroups. We investigated whether educational attainment is associated with cardiovascular health, as measured by the Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) score, and whether the association differs by demographic characteristics. Data were obtained from the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke study (N=8,759 participants; mean age=63.8).

We used linear regression analyses with interactions by sex, race, childhood socioeconomic status (SES), and geography. Socially vulnerable groups (i.e., men from low childhood SES backgrounds, White people from low childhood SES backgrounds, Black people from low childhood SES backgrounds) benefitted less from each additional year of education than socially advantaged groups in predicting LS7 scores. However, we did not find evidence that differential returns extended to every group. Findings suggest that the inequalities present in the education system may further exacerbate the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged.

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Cover page of Determinants of Health Provider Advice for Tobacco Cessation and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake in Stanislaus and Madera Counties. A Patient Perspective Study.

Determinants of Health Provider Advice for Tobacco Cessation and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake in Stanislaus and Madera Counties. A Patient Perspective Study.


Background: Oral health is an essential aspect of overall health. A national epidemic of poor oral health outcomes exists among those living under poverty, the elderly and several minority groups. Tobacco use and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) are preventable risk factors that contribute to poor oral health. Dental providers are considered a primary line of defense to deliver tobacco cessation and SSB consumption interventions. This study seeks to examine the prevalence and predictors of receiving such interventions in the dental setting in two counties in California’s Central Valley.

Methods:  Data for 419 participants used in this cross-sectional study were collected throughout Madera and Stanislaus counties. Sociodemographic and dental health characteristics were used to examine their effect on the receipt of advice about tobacco cessation and the consumption of SSBs by a dental provider. A series of logistic regression models were constructed to define what characteristics influenced the odds of receipt of advice in such setting.

Results: Among the overall total of participants included in this analysis, 32% indicated the receipt of advice about tobacco cessation while 53% indicated the receipt of SSB advice by their dental health provider. Measures such as teeth appearance satisfaction, employment, and county of residence had significant effects on the odds of the receipt of tobacco cessation advice. While measures for perception of the importance of preventative visits to the dentist, dental appearance satisfaction, reason for dental visit, tooth flossing frequency, Denti-Cal insurance and being 65 years or older were significant in predicting the odds of receiving SSB consumption advice.

Conclusion:  There is a need of implementing system changes within the dental practice to ensure that all patients get tobacco and SSB related interventions.

Wolbachia in mosquitoes from the Central Valley of California, USA



Wolbachia bacteria are widely distributed throughout terrestrial arthropod species. These bacteria can manipulate reproduction and influence the vector competence of their hosts. Recently, Wolbachia have been integrated into vector control programmes for mosquito management. A number of supergroups and strains exist for Wolbachia, and they have yet to be characterized for many mosquito species. In this study, we examined Wolbachia prevalence and their phylogenetic relationship to other Wolbachia, using mosquitoes collected in Merced County in the Central Valley of California.


Adult mosquitoes were collected from 85 sites in Merced County, California in 2017 and 2018. Traditional and quantitative PCR were used to investigate the presence or absence and the density of Wolbachia, using Wolbachia-specific 16S rRNA and Wolbachia-surface protein (wsp) genes. The supergroup of Wolbachia was determined, and Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) by sequencing five housekeeping genes (coxA, gatB, ftsZ, hcpA and fbpA) was also used to determine Wolbachia supergroup as well as strain.


Over 7100 mosquitoes of 12 species were collected: Aedes melanimon, Ae. nigromaculis, Ae.vexans, Ae. aegypti, Culex pipiens, Cx. stigmatosoma, Cx. tarsalis, Anopheles franciscanus, An. freeborni, An. punctipennis, Culiseta incidens and Cs. inornata. Eight showed evidence of Wolbachia. To our knowledge, this study is the first to report detection of Wolbachia in five of these species (Ae. melanimon, Cx. stigmatosoma, Cx. tarsalis, Cs. incidens and Cs. inornata). Culex pipiens and Cx. stigmatosoma had a high frequency and density of Wolbachia infection, which grouped into supergroup B; Cs. inornata clustered with supergroup A. MLST comparisons identified Cx. pipiens and Cx. stigmatosoma as wPip strain type 9 supergroup B. Six species had moderate to low (< 14%) frequencies of Wolbachia. Four species were negative, Ae. nigromaculis, An. franciscanus, An. freeborni and Ae. aegypti.


New records of Wolbachia detection were found in mosquitoes from Merced County, California. Culex stigmatosoma and Cs. inornata were new records for Wolbachia supergroup B and A, respectively. Other species with Wolbachia occurred with low frequency and low density. Detection of Wolbachia in mosquitoes can be used to inform potential vector control applications. Future study of Wolbachia within Cx. stigmatosoma and Cs. inornata in California and through the range of these species could further explore Wolbachia infection in these two species.

Cover page of Preferences Regarding Kidney Donations from Deceased Donors: Evidence from a Discrete Choice Study among young adults.

Preferences Regarding Kidney Donations from Deceased Donors: Evidence from a Discrete Choice Study among young adults.



Introduction: The demand for organs currently far exceeds supply. Understanding individuals’ motivations for deciding whether to donate an organ from a deceased relative would guide outreach efforts.

Methods: Focus group participants and literature were used to identify attributes to create a discrete choice experiment (DCE). Participants (N=86 ages 18 to 31 [mean=20.5]) were presented with 16 choices sets and asked to choose whether they would agree to donate a deceased relative’s organs. The choices contained attributes of the recipient (age, kidney’s lifespan, reason for failure, impact if not transplanted), the deceased donor (donor’s wishes and relationship to decision maker), and monetary incentives (amount, payer, payee). Conditional logit analysis was used to estimate the model, and latent class analysis identified two distinct groups of respondents.

Results: The results suggest a strong preference for donating organs, with the age of the recipient, reason for recipient’s need, and impact of not receiving the organ emerging as important factors. The financial incentive was not important. Latent class analysis suggested the two groups: Respondents in Class 1 placed relatively more importance on the wishes of the donor and having a financial incentive, while those in Class 2 placed relatively more weight on the impact should the recipient not receive the organ. Membership is the groups was predicted by gender and reported risk aversion.

Conclusion: DCE proved to be a useful tool for evaluating important factors in organ donation. Future studies can expand with evaluation of a larger sample representative of general population.