• Added Value of Serum Hormone Measurements in Risk Prediction Models for Breast Cancer for Women Not Using Exogenous Hormones: Results from the EPIC Cohort.

      Hüsing, Anika; Fortner, Renée T; Kühn, Tilman; Overvad, Kim; Tjønneland, Anne; Olsen, Anja; Boutron-Ruault, Marie-Christine; Severi, Gianluca; Fournier, Agnes; Boeing, Heiner; Trichopoulou, Antonia; Benetou, Vassiliki; Orfanos, Philippos; Masala, Giovanna; Pala, Valeria; Tumino, Rosario; Fasanelli, Francesca; Panico, Salvatore; Bueno de Mesquita, H Bas; Peeters, Petra H; van Gills, Carla H; Quirós, J Ramón; Agudo, Antonio; Sánchez, Maria-Jose; Chirlaque, Maria-Dolores; Barricarte, Aurelio; Amiano, Pilar; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Travis, Ruth C; Dossus, Laure; Li, Kuanrong; Ferrari, Pietro; Merritt, Melissa A; Tzoulaki, Ioanna; Riboli, Elio; Kaaks, Rudolf (2017-08-01)
      Purpose: Circulating hormone concentrations are associated with breast cancer risk, with well-established associations for postmenopausal women. Biomarkers may represent minimally invasive measures to improve risk prediction models.Experimental Design: We evaluated improvements in discrimination gained by adding serum biomarker concentrations to risk estimates derived from risk prediction models developed by Gail and colleagues and Pfeiffer and colleagues using a nested case-control study within the EPIC cohort, including 1,217 breast cancer cases and 1,976 matched controls. Participants were pre- or postmenopausal at blood collection. Circulating sex steroids, prolactin, insulin-like growth factor (IGF) I, IGF-binding protein 3, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were evaluated using backward elimination separately in women pre- and postmenopausal at blood collection. Improvement in discrimination was evaluated as the change in concordance statistic (C-statistic) from a modified Gail or Pfeiffer risk score alone versus models, including the biomarkers and risk score. Internal validation with bootstrapping (1,000-fold) was used to adjust for overfitting.Results: Among women postmenopausal at blood collection, estradiol, testosterone, and SHBG were selected into the prediction models. For breast cancer overall, model discrimination after including biomarkers was 5.3 percentage points higher than the modified Gail model alone, and 3.4 percentage points higher than the Pfeiffer model alone, after accounting for overfitting. Discrimination was more markedly improved for estrogen receptor-positive disease (percentage point change in C-statistic: 7.2, Gail; 4.8, Pfeiffer). We observed no improvement in discrimination among women premenopausal at blood collection.Conclusions: Integration of hormone measurements in clinical risk prediction models may represent a strategy to improve breast cancer risk stratification. Clin Cancer Res; 23(15); 4181-9. ©2017 AACR.
    • Adherence to the WCRF/AICR Dietary Recommendations for Cancer Prevention and Risk of Cancer in Elderly from Europe and the United States: A Meta-Analysis within the CHANCES Project.

      Jankovic, Nicole; Geelen, Anouk; Winkels, Renate M; Mwungura, Blaise; Fedirko, Veronika; Jenab, Mazda; Illner, Anne K; Brenner, Hermann; Ordóñez-Mena, José M; Kiefte de Jong, Jessica C; Franco, Oscar H; Orfanos, Philippos; Trichopoulou, Antonia; Boffetta, Paolo; Agudo, Antonio; Peeters, Petra H; Tjønneland, Anne; Hallmans, Göran; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H Bas; Park, Yikyung; Feskens, Edith J; de Groot, Lisette C; Kampman, Ellen (2017)
      It is unknown whether dietary recommendations for cancer prevention are applicable to the elderly. We analyzed WCRF/AICR recommendations in cohorts of European and U.S. adults ages 60 years and above.
    • Adhering to a national surgical care bundle reduces the risk of surgical site infections.

      Koek, Mayke B G; Hopmans, Titia E M; Soetens, Loes C; Wille, Jan C; Geerlings, Suzanne E; Vos, Margreet C; van Benthem, Birgit H B; de Greeff, Sabine C (2017)
      In 2008, a bundle of care to prevent Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) was introduced in the Netherlands. The bundle consisted of four elements: antibiotic prophylaxis according to local guidelines, no hair removal, normothermia and 'hygiene discipline' in the operating room (i.e. number of door movements). Dutch hospitals were advised to implement the bundle and to measure the outcome. This study's goal was to assess how effective the bundle was in reducing SSI risk.
    • Air Pollution from Livestock Farms Is Associated with Airway Obstruction in Neighboring Residents.

      Borlée, Floor; Yzermans, C Joris; Aalders, Bernadette; Rooijackers, Jos; Krop, Esmeralda; Maassen, Catharina B M; Schellevis, François; Brunekreef, Bert; Heederik, Dick; Smit, Lidwien A M (2017-11-01)
      Livestock farm emissions may not only affect respiratory health of farmers but also of neighboring residents.
    • Antiviral susceptibility profile of influenza A viruses; keep an eye on immunocompromised patients under prolonged treatment.

      Kossyvakis, A; Mentis, A-F A; Tryfinopoulou, K; Pogka, V; Kalliaropoulos, A; Antalis, E; Lytras, T; Meijer, A; Tsiodras, S; Karakitsos, P; Mentis, A F (2017-02)
      There was an increase in severe and fatal influenza cases in Greece during the 2011-2015 post-pandemic period. To investigate causality, we determined neuraminidase (NA) inhibitor susceptibility and resistance-conferring NA and hemagglutinin (HA) mutations in circulating influenza type A viruses during the pandemic (2009-2010) and post-pandemic periods in Greece. One hundred thirty-four influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 and 95 influenza A(H3N2) viruses submitted to the National Influenza Reference Laboratory of Southern Greece were tested for susceptibility to oseltamivir and zanamivir. Antiviral resistance was assessed by neuraminidase sequence analysis, as well as the fluorescence-based 50 % inhibitory concentration (IC50) method. Five influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses (2.2 %) showed significantly reduced inhibition by oseltamivir (average IC50 300.60nM vs. 1.19nM) by Gaussian kernel density plot analysis. These viruses were isolated from immunocompromised patients and harbored the H275Y oseltamivir resistance-conferring NA substitution. All A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses were zanamivir-susceptible, and all A(H3N2) viruses were susceptible to both drugs. Oseltamivir-resistant viruses did not form a distinct cluster by phylogenetic analysis. Permissive mutations were detected in immunogenic and non immunogenic NA regions of both oseltamivir- resistant and susceptible viruses in the post-pandemic seasons. Several amino acid substitutions in the HA1 domain of the HA gene of post-pandemic viruses were identified. This study indicated low resistance to NAIs among tested influenza viruses. Antiviral resistance emerged only in immunocompromised patients under long-term oseltamivir treatment. Sequential sample testing in this vulnerable group of patients is recommended to characterise resistance or reinfection and viral evolution.
    • Appropriate antibiotic use reduces length of hospital stay.

      van den Bosch, Caroline M A; Hulscher, Marlies E J L; Akkermans, Reinier P; Wille, Jan; Geerlings, Suzanne E; Prins, Jan M (2017)
      To define appropriate antibiotic use in hospitalized adults treated for a bacterial infection, we previously developed and validated a set of six generic quality indicators (QIs) covering all steps in the process of antibiotic use. We assessed the association between appropriate antibiotic use, defined by these QIs, and length of hospital stay (LOS).
    • Associations between lifestyle and air pollution exposure: Potential for confounding in large administrative data cohorts.

      Strak, Maciej; Janssen, Nicole; Beelen, Rob; Schmitz, Oliver; Karssenberg, Derek; Houthuijs, Danny; van den Brink, Carolien; Dijst, Martin; Brunekreef, Bert; Hoek, Gerard (2017)
      Cohorts based on administrative data have size advantages over individual cohorts in investigating air pollution risks, but often lack in-depth information on individual risk factors related to lifestyle. If there is a correlation between lifestyle and air pollution, omitted lifestyle variables may result in biased air pollution risk estimates. Correlations between lifestyle and air pollution can be induced by socio-economic status affecting both lifestyle and air pollution exposure.
    • Associations between lifestyle factors and an unhealthy diet.

      Fransen, Heidi P; Boer, Jolanda M A; Beulens, Joline W J; de Wit, G Ardine; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H Bas; Hoekstra, Jeljer; May, Anne M; Peeters, Petra H M (2017)
      : Unhealthy dietary patterns have been associated with other unhealthy lifestyle factors such as smoking and physical inactivity. Whether these associations are similar in high- and low-educated individuals is currently unknown.
    • Characterizing Adult Sleep Behavior Over 20 Years-The Population-Based Doetinchem Cohort Study.

      Zomers, Margot L; Hulsegge, Gerben; van Oostrom, Sandra H; Proper, Karin I; Verschuren, W M Monique; Picavet, H Susan J (2017-07-01)
      To describe sleep duration patterns of adults over a 20-year period; to compare sociodemographic, lifestyle, and health characteristics across these patterns; and to relate the patterns to sleep quality.
    • Chlamydia psittaci: a relevant cause of community-acquired pneumonia in two Dutch hospitals.

      Spoorenberg, S M C; Bos, W J W; van Hannen, E J; Dijkstra, F; Heddema, E R; van Velzen-Blad, H; Heijligenberg, R; Grutters, J C; de Jongh, B M (2016-02)
      Of all hospitalised community-acquired pneumonias (CAPs) only a few are known to be caused by Chlamydia psittaci. Most likely the reported incidence, ranging from of 0% to 2.1%, is an underestimation of the real incidence, since detection of psittacosis is frequently not incorporated in the routine microbiological diagnostics in CAP or serological methods are used.
    • Comparison of general obesity and measures of body fat distribution in older adults in relation to cancer risk: meta-analysis of individual participant data of seven prospective cohorts in Europe.

      Freisling, Heinz; Arnold, Melina; Soerjomataram, Isabelle; O'Doherty, Mark George; Ordóñez-Mena, José Manuel; Bamia, Christina; Kampman, Ellen; Leitzmann, Michael; Romieu, Isabelle; Kee, Frank; Tsilidis, Konstantinos; Tjønneland, Anne; Trichopoulou, Antonia; Boffetta, Paolo; Benetou, Vassiliki; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H B As; Huerta, José María; Brenner, Hermann; Wilsgaard, Tom; Jenab, Mazda (2017-05-23)
      We evaluated the associations of anthropometric indicators of general obesity (body mass index, BMI), an established risk factor of various cancer, and body fat distribution (waist circumference, WC; hip circumference, HC; and waist-to-hip ratio, WHR), which may better reflect metabolic complications of obesity, with total obesity-related and site-specific (colorectal and postmenopausal breast) cancer incidence.
    • Consumption of Fish Is Not Associated with Risk of Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study.

      Zamora-Ros, Raul; Castañeda, Jazmín; Rinaldi, Sabina; Cayssials, Valerie; Slimani, Nadia; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Tsilidis, Konstantinos K; Boutron-Ruault, Marie-Christine; Overvad, Kim; Eriksen, Anne K; Tjønneland, Anne; Kühn, Tilman; Katzke, Verena; Boeing, Heiner; Trichopoulou, Antonia; La Vecchia, Carlo; Kotanidou, Anastasia; Palli, Domenico; Grioni, Sara; Mattiello, Amalia; Tumino, Rosario; Sciannameo, Veronica; Lund, Eiliv; Merino, Susana; Salamanca-Fernández, Elena; Amiano, Pilar; Huerta, José María; Barricarte, Aurelio; Ericson, Ulrika; Almquist, Martin; Hennings, Joakim; Sandström, Maria; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H Bas; Peeters, Petra H; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Wareham, Nicholas J; Schmidt, Julie A; Cross, Amanda J; Riboli, Elio; Scalbert, Augustin; Romieu, Isabelle; Agudo, Antonio; Franceschi, Silvia (2017)
      Background: Differentiated thyroid cancer (TC) is the most common endocrine cancer. Fish can be an important source of iodine and other micronutrients and contaminants that may affect the thyroid gland and TC risk.Objective: We prospectively evaluated the relations between the consumption of total fish and different fish types and shellfish and TC risk in the EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition) study.Methods: EPIC is a cohort of >500,000 men and women, mostly aged 35-70 y, who were recruited in 10 European countries. After a mean follow-up of 14 y, 748 primary differentiated TC cases were diagnosed; 666 were in women and 601 were papillary TC. Data on intakes of lean fish, fatty fish, fish products, and shellfish were collected by using country-specific validated dietary questionnaires at recruitment. Multivariable Cox regression was used to calculate HRs and 95% CIs adjusted for many potential confounders, including dietary and nondietary factors.Results: No significant association was observed between total fish consumption and differentiated TC risk for the highest compared with the lowest quartile (HR: 1.03; 95% CI: 0.81, 1.32; P-trend = 0.67). Likewise, no significant association was observed with the intake of any specific type of fish, fish product, or shellfish. No significant heterogeneity was found by TC subtype (papillary or follicular tumors), by sex, or between countries with low and high TC incidence.Conclusion: This large study shows that the intake of fish and shellfish was not associated with differentiated TC risk in Europe, a region in which iodine deficiency or excess is rare.
    • Consumption of fruits, vegetables and fruit juices and differentiated thyroid carcinoma risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.

      Zamora-Ros, Raul; Béraud, Virginie; Franceschi, Silvia; Cayssials, Valerie; Tsilidis, Konstantinos K; Boutron-Ruault, Marie-Christine; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Overvad, Kim; Tjønneland, Anne; Eriksen, Anne K; Bonnet, Fabrice; Affret, Aurélie; Katzke, Verena; Kühn, Tilman; Boeing, Heiner; Trichopoulou, Antonia; Valanou, Elisavet; Karakatsani, Anna; Masala, Giovanna; Grioni, Sara; Santucci de Magistris, Maria; Tumino, Rosario; Ricceri, Fulvio; Skeie, Guri; Parr, Christine L; Merino, Susana; Salamanca-Fernández, Elena; Chirlaque, Maria-Dolores; Ardanaz, Eva; Amiano, Pilar; Almquist, Martin; Drake, Isabel; Hennings, Joakim; Sandström, Maria; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H B As; Peeters, Petra H; Khaw, Kay-Thee; Wareham, Nicholas J; Schmidt, Julie A; Perez-Cornago, Aurora; Aune, Dagfinn; Riboli, Elio; Slimani, Nadia; Scalbert, Augustin; Romieu, Isabelle; Agudo, Antonio; Rinaldi, Sabina (2018-02-01)
      Fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake is considered as probably protective against overall cancer risk, but results in previous studies are not consistent for thyroid cancer (TC). The purpose of this study is to examine the association between the consumption of fruits, vegetables, fruit juices and differentiated thyroid cancer risk within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. The EPIC study is a cohort including over half a million participants, recruited between 1991 and 2000. During a mean follow-up of 14 years, 748 incident first primary differentiated TC cases were identified. F&V and fruit juice intakes were assessed through validated country-specific dietary questionnaires. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox regression models adjusted for potential confounding factors. Comparing the highest versus lowest quartile of intake, differentiated TC risk was not associated with intakes of total F&V (HR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.68-1.15; p-trend = 0.44), vegetables (HR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.69-1.14; p-trend = 0.56), or fruit (HR: 1.00; 95% CI: 0.79-1.26; p-trend = 0.64). No significant association was observed with any individual type of vegetable or fruit. However, there was a positive borderline trend with fruit juice intake (HR: 1.23; 95% CI: 0.98-1.53; p-trend = 0.06). This study did not find any significant association between F&V intakes and differentiated TC risk; however a positive trend with fruit juice intake was observed, possibly related to its high sugar content.
    • Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) prevalence in associated populations of humans and small ruminants in The Gambia.

      Bok, Jeroen; Hogerwerf, Lenny; Germeraad, Eveline A; Roest, Hendrik I J; Faye-Joof, Tisbeh; Jeng, Momodou; Nwakanma, Davis; Secka, Arss; Stegeman, Arjan; Goossens, Bart; Wegmüller, Rita; van der Sande, Marianne A B; van der Hoek, Wim; Secka, Ousman (2017)
      To simultaneously estimate the prevalence of antibodies against Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) among adults and small ruminants, and C. burnetii shedding prevalence among small ruminants in households in the Kiang West district of The Gambia, and to assess associated risk factors.
    • Decreased, but still sufficient, iodine intake of children and adults in the Netherlands.

      Verkaik-Kloosterman, Janneke; Buurma-Rethans, Elly J M; Dekkers, Arnold L M; van Rossum, Caroline T M (2017-04)
      Sufficient I intake is important for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, which play an important role in normal growth and development. Our aim was to estimate habitual I intake for the Dutch population and the risk of inadequate or excessive intakes. Further, we aimed to provide an insight into the dietary sources of I and the association with socio-demographic factors. Data from the Dutch National Food Consumption Survey 2007-2010 (n 3819; 7-69 years), and from the Dutch food and supplement composition tables were used to estimate habitual I intake with a calculation model. Contribution of food groups to I intake were computed and multiple linear regression was used to examine associations of intakes with socio-demographic factors. A total of ≤2 % of the population had an intake below the estimated average requirement or above the upper level. The main sources of I were bread containing iodised salt (39 %), dairy products (14 %) and non-alcoholic drinks (6 %). I intake (natural sources only, excluding iodised salt and supplements) was positively associated with (parental) education, which could at least partly be attributed to a higher consumption of dairy products. Among children, the consumption of bread, often containing iodised bakery salt, was positively associated with parental education. The I intake of the Dutch population (7-69 years) seems adequate, although it has decreased since the period before 2008. With the current effort to reduce salt intake and changing dietary patterns (i.e. less bread, more organic foods) it is important to keep a close track on the I status, important sources and potential risk groups.
    • Distribution of serotypes and patterns of antimicrobial resistance among commensal Streptococcus pneumoniae in nine European countries.

      Yahiaoui, Rachid Y; Bootsma, Hester J; den Heijer, Casper D J; Pluister, Gerlinde N; John Paget, W; Spreeuwenberg, Peter; Trzcinski, Krzysztof; Stobberingh, Ellen E (2018-08-29)
      Streptococcus pneumoniae is a commensal of the human upper respiratory tract and a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. This paper presents the distribution of serotypes and antimicrobial resistance in commensal S. pneumoniae strains cultured from healthy carriers older than four years of age in nine European countries.
    • Do pancreatic cancer and chronic pancreatitis share the same genetic risk factors? A PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium investigation.

      Campa, Daniele; Pastore, Manuela; Capurso, Gabriele; Hackert, Thilo; Di Leo, Milena; Izbicki, Jakob R; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Gioffreda, Domenica; Kupcinskas, Juozas; Pasquali, Claudio; Macinga, Peter; Kaaks, Rudolf; Stigliano, Serena; Peeters, Petra H; Key, Timothy J; Talar-Wojnarowska, Renata; Vodicka, Pavel; Valente, Roberto; Vashist, Yogesh K; Salvia, Roberto; Papaconstantinou, Ioannis; Shimizu, Yasuhiro; Valsuani, Chiara; Zambon, Carlo Federico; Gazouli, Maria; Valantiene, Irena; Niesen, Willem; Mohelnikova-Duchonova, Beatrice; Hara, Kazuo; Soucek, Pavel; Malecka-Panas, Ewa; Bueno-de-Mesquita, H B As; Johnson, Theron; Brenner, Herman; Tavano, Francesca; Fogar, Paola; Ito, Hidemi; Sperti, Cosimo; Butterbach, Katja; Latiano, Anna; Andriulli, Angelo; Cavestro, Giulia Martina; Busch, Olivier R C; Dijk, Frederike; Greenhalf, William; Matsuo, Keitaro; Lombardo, Carlo; Strobel, Oliver; König, Anna-Katharina; Cuk, Katarina; Strothmann, Hendrik; Katzke, Verena; Cantore, Maurizio; Mambrini, Andrea; Oliverius, Martin; Pezzilli, Raffaele; Landi, Stefano; Canzian, Federico (2018-01-15)
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a very aggressive tumor with a five-year survival of less than 6%. Chronic pancreatitis (CP), an inflammatory process in of the pancreas, is a strong risk factor for PDAC. Several genetic polymorphisms have been discovered as susceptibility loci for both CP and PDAC. Since CP and PDAC share a consistent number of epidemiologic risk factors, the aim of this study was to investigate whether specific CP risk loci also contribute to PDAC susceptibility. We selected five common SNPs (rs11988997, rs379742, rs10273639, rs2995271 and rs12688220) that were identified as susceptibility markers for CP and analyzed them in 2,914 PDAC cases, 356 CP cases and 5,596 controls retrospectively collected in the context of the international PANDoRA consortium. We found a weak association between the minor allele of the PRSS1-PRSS2-rs10273639 and an increased risk of developing PDAC (ORhomozygous  = 1.19, 95% CI 1.02-1.38, p = 0.023). Additionally all the SNPs confirmed statistically significant associations with risk of developing CP, the strongest being PRSS1-PRSS2-rs10273639 (ORheterozygous  = 0.51, 95% CI 0.39-0.67, p = 1.10 × 10-6 ) and MORC4-rs 12837024 (ORhomozygous  = 2.07 (1.55-2.77, ptrend  = 0.7 × 10-11 ). Taken together, the results from our study do not support variants rs11988997, rs379742, rs10273639, rs2995271 and rs12688220 as strong predictors of PDAC risk, but further support the role of these SNPs in CP susceptibility. Our study suggests that CP and PDAC probably do not share genetic susceptibility, at least in terms of high frequency variants.
    • Does a better adherence to dietary guidelines reduce mortality risk and environmental impact in the Dutch sub-cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition?

      Biesbroek, Sander; Verschuren, W M Monique; Boer, Jolanda M A; van de Kamp, Mirjam E; van der Schouw, Yvonne T; Geelen, Anouk; Looman, Moniek; Temme, Elisabeth H M (2017-07)
      Guidelines for a healthy diet aim to decrease the risk of chronic diseases. It is unclear as to what extent a healthy diet is also an environmentally friendly diet. In the Dutch sub-cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, the diet was assessed with a 178-item FFQ of 40 011 participants aged 20-70 years between 1993 and 1997. The WHO's Healthy Diet Indicator (HDI), the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) score and the Dutch Healthy Diet index 2015 (DHD15-index) were investigated in relation to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, land use and all-cause mortality risk. GHG emissions were associated with HDI scores (-3·7 % per sd increase (95 % CI -3·4, -4·0) for men and -1·9 % (95 % CI -0·4, -3·4) for women), with DASH scores in women only (1·1 % per sd increase, 95 % CI 0·9, 1·3) and with DHD15-index scores (-2·5 % per sd increase (95 % CI -2·2, -2·8) for men and -2·0 % (95 % CI -1·9, -2·2) for women). For all indices, higher scores were associated with less land use (ranging from -1·3 to -3·1 %). Mortality risk decreased with increasing scores for all indices. Per sd increase of the indices, hazard ratios for mortality ranged from 0·88 (95 % CI 0·82, 0·95) to 0·96 (95 % CI 0·92, 0·99). Our results showed that adhering to the WHO and Dutch dietary guidelines will lower the risk of all-cause mortality and moderately lower the environmental impact. The DASH diet was associated with lower mortality and land use, but because of high dairy product consumption in the Netherlands it was also associated with higher GHG emissions.
    • Does the Health Impact of Exposure to Neighbourhood Green Space Differ between Population Groups? An Explorative Study in Four European Cities.

      Ruijsbroek, Annemarie; Droomers, Mariël; Kruize, Hanneke; van Kempen, Elise; Gidlow, Christopher J; Hurst, Gemma; Andrusaityte, Sandra; Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark J; Maas, Jolanda; Hardyns, Wim; Stronks, Karien; Groenewegen, Peter P (2017-06-08)
      It has been suggested that certain residents, such as those with a low socioeconomic status, the elderly, and women, may benefit more from the presence of neighbourhood green space than others. We tested this hypothesis for age, gender, educational level, and employment status in four European cities. Data were collected in Barcelona (Spain; n = 1002), Kaunas (Lithuania; n = 989), Doetinchem (The Netherlands; n = 847), and Stoke-on-Trent (UK; n = 933) as part of the EU-funded PHENOTYPE project. Surveys were used to measure mental and general health, individual characteristics, and perceived neighbourhood green space. Additionally, we used audit data about neighbourhood green space. In Barcelona, there were positive associations between neighbourhood green space and general health among low-educated residents. In the other cities and for the other population groups, there was little evidence that the association between health and neighbourhood green space differed between population groups. Overall, our study does not support the assumption that the elderly, women, and residents who are not employed full-time benefit more from neighbourhood green space than others. Only in the highly urbanised city of Barcelona did the low-educated group benefit from neighbourhood green spaces. Perhaps neighbourhood green spaces are more important for the health of low-educated residents in particularly highly urbanised areas.
    • Estimation of age-specific rates of reactivation and immune boosting of the varicella zoster virus.

      Marinelli, Isabella; van Lier, Alies; de Melker, Hester; Pugliese, Andrea; van Boven, Michiel (2017)
      Studies into the impact of vaccination against the varicella zoster virus (VZV) have increasingly focused on herpes zoster (HZ), which is believed to be increasing in vaccinated populations with decreasing infection pressure. This idea can be traced back to Hope-Simpson's hypothesis, in which a person's immune status determines the likelihood that he/she will develop HZ. Immunity decreases over time, and can be boosted by contact with a person experiencing varicella (exogenous boosting) or by a reactivation attempt of the virus (endogenous boosting). Here we use transmission models to estimate age-specific rates of reactivation and immune boosting, exogenous as well as endogenous, using zoster incidence data from the Netherlands (2002-2011, n=7026). The boosting and reactivation rates are estimated with splines, enabling these quantities to be optimally informed by the data. The analyses show that models with high levels of exogenous boosting and estimated or zero endogenous boosting, constant rate of loss of immunity, and reactivation rate increasing with age (to more than 5% per year in the elderly) give the best fit to the data. Estimates of the rates of immune boosting and reactivation are strongly correlated. This has important implications as these parameters determine the fraction of the population with waned immunity. We conclude that independent evidence on rates of immune boosting and reactivation in persons with waned immunity are needed to robustly predict the impact of varicella vaccination on the incidence of HZ.