50 years ago, on August 22, 1970, Hermann Knaus died in Graz in the Austrian region of Styria. About 100 years ago, he invented the method of natural birth control, the only method of family planning recognized by the Vatican.
This paper considers the problem of abortion in modern Russia. Using official statistics, we analyze the dynamics of abortion indicators since the early 1990s. On the basis of representative national sample surveys, we conclude that official statistics are complete and reliable. This in turn confirms the steady decline of abortions during the post-Soviet years.
A particularly rapid decline in abortions is seen among the youngest women. Modern teenagers have fewer abortions than their predecessors at this age. The current level of induced abortions in women under age 20 in Russia today is less than in France, Great Britain, Sweden, and a number of other developed countries of European culture.
The major differentiating factor for frequency of abortion is age. There are no clear correlations between the risks of abortion in Russia and such standard social characteristics as income, type of settlement and education. Despite the positive trend, Russia remains one of the countries with the highest abortion rates in the world.
The country’s turn to traditional values and the allegedly growing role of religion are inadequate mechanisms to reduce abortions. Government support is given not to proven, evidence-based measures like the promotion of family planning, sex education, etc., but to repression and restrictions. During the past 10-15 years, a number of restrictive amendments have been introduced into legislation. The authors indicate the counterproductive effects of these restrictions on abortion as an instrument of a pronatalist population policy.
A major side effect of carbamazepine (CBZ), a drug used to treat neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, is drowsiness, a state characterized by increased slow-wave oscillations with the emergence of sleep spindles in the electroencephalogram (EEG). We conducted cortical EEG and thalamic cellular recordings in freely moving or lightly anesthetized rats to explore the impact of CBZ within the intact corticothalamic (CT)–thalamocortical (TC) network, more specifically on CT 5–9-Hz and TC spindle (10–16-Hz) oscillations. Two to three successive 5–9-Hz waves were followed by a spindle in the cortical EEG. A single systemic injection of CBZ (20 mg/kg) induced a significant increase in the power of EEG 5–9-Hz oscillations and spindles. Intracellular recordings of glutamatergic TC neurons revealed 5–9-Hz depolarizing wave–hyperpolarizing wave sequences prolonged by robust, rhythmic spindle-frequency hyperpolarizing waves. This hybrid sequence occurred during a slow hyperpolarizing trough, and was at least 10 times more frequent under the CBZ condition than under the control condition. The hyperpolarizing waves reversed at approximately −70 mV, and became depolarizing when recorded with KCl-filled intracellular micropipettes, indicating that they were GABAA receptor-mediated potentials. In neurons of the GABAergic thalamic reticular nucleus, the principal source of TC GABAergic inputs, CBZ augmented both the number and the duration of sequences of rhythmic spindle-frequency bursts of action potentials. This indicates that these GABAergic neurons are responsible for the generation of at least the spindle-frequency hyperpolarizing waves in TC neurons. In conclusion, CBZ potentiates GABAA receptor-mediated TC spindle oscillations. Furthermore, we propose that CT 5–9-Hz waves can trigger TC spindles.
The adoption of new medical technologies often generates losses in efficiency associated with the excess or insufficient acquisition of new equipment, an inappropriate choice (in terms of economic and clinical parameters) of medical equipment, and its poor use. Russia is a good example for exploring the problem of the ineffective adoption of new medical technologies due to the massive public investment in new equipment for medical institutions in 2006–2013. This study examines the procurement of new technologies in Russian hospitals to find the main causes of inefficiency. The research strategy was based on in-depth semistructured interviews with representatives of prominent actors (regional health care authorities, hospital executives, senior physicians). The main result is that inefficiencies arise from the contradiction between hospitals’ and authorities’ motivation for acquiring new technologies: hospitals tend to adopt technologies which bring benefits to their department heads and physicians and minimize maintenance and servicing costs, while the authorities’ main concern is the initial cost of the technology.
The paper analyzes the impact of nighttime alcohol trade restrictions in regions of Russia on the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Evaluation has been carried out based on the regional Rosstat data and individual data of the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey by the HSE for 2009–2010. Econometric analysis has revealed a positive correlation between the amount of consumed alcohol and the duration of the allowed time for alcohol sales in the region. In addition, it has been found that night restrictions are more efficient than morning restrictions in the context of a decrease in alcohol consumption. The obtained results indicate the expediency of further tightening of the restrictive policy.
Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for death and disability, but its overall association with health remains complex given the possible protective effects of moderate alcohol consumption on some conditions. With our comprehensive approach to health accounting within the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016, we generated improved estimates of alcohol use and alcohol-attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 195 locations from 1990 to 2016, for both sexes and for 5-year age groups between the ages of 15 years and 95 years and older.
Using 694 data sources of individual and population-level alcohol consumption, along with 592 prospective and retrospective studies on the risk of alcohol use, we produced estimates of the prevalence of current drinking, abstention, the distribution of alcohol consumption among current drinkers in standard drinks daily (defined as 10 g of pure ethyl alcohol), and alcohol-attributable deaths and DALYs. We made several methodological improvements compared with previous estimates: first, we adjusted alcohol sales estimates to take into account tourist and unrecorded consumption; second, we did a new meta-analysis of relative risks for 23 health outcomes associated with alcohol use; and third, we developed a new method to quantify the level of alcohol consumption that minimises the overall risk to individual health.
Globally, alcohol use was the seventh leading risk factor for both deaths and DALYs in 2016, accounting for 2·2% (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 1·5–3·0) of age-standardised female deaths and 6·8% (5·8–8·0) of age-standardised male deaths. Among the population aged 15–49 years, alcohol use was the leading risk factor globally in 2016, with 3·8% (95% UI 3·2–4·3) of female deaths and 12·2% (10·8–13·6) of male deaths attributable to alcohol use. For the population aged 15–49 years, female attributable DALYs were 2·3% (95% UI 2·0–2·6) and male attributable DALYs were 8·9% (7·8–9·9). The three leading causes of attributable deaths in this age group were tuberculosis (1·4% [95% UI 1·0–1·7] of total deaths), road injuries (1·2% [0·7–1·9]), and self-harm (1·1% [0·6–1·5]). For populations aged 50 years and older, cancers accounted for a large proportion of total alcohol-attributable deaths in 2016, constituting 27·1% (95% UI 21·2–33·3) of total alcohol-attributable female deaths and 18·9% (15·3–22·6) of male deaths. The level of alcohol consumption that minimised harm across health outcomes was zero (95% UI 0·0–0·8) standard drinks per week.
Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss. We found that the risk of all-cause mortality, and of cancers specifically, rises with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimises health loss is zero. These results suggest that alcohol control policies might need to be revised worldwide, refocusing on efforts to lower overall population-level consumption.
Background: We present a method for reclassifying external causes of death categorized as “event of undetermined intent” (EUIs) into non-transport accidents, suicides, or homicides. In nations like Russia and the UK the absolute number of EUIs is large, the EUI death rate is high, or EUIs comprise a non-trivial proportion of all deaths due to external causes. Overuse of this category may result in (1) substantially underestimating the mortality rate of deaths due to specific external causes and (2) threats to the validity of studies of the patterns and causes of external deaths and of evaluations of the impact of interventions meant to reduce them.
Methods: We employ available characteristics about the deceased and the event to estimate the most likely cause of death using multinomial logistic regression. We use the set of known non-transport accidents, suicides, and homicides to calculate an mlogit-based linear score and an estimated classification probability (ECP). This ECP is applied to EUIs, with varying levels of minimal classification probability. We also present an optional second step that employs a population-level adjustment to reclassify deaths that remain undetermined (the proportion of which varies based on the minimal classification probability). We illustrate our method by applying it to Russia. Between 2000 and 2011, 521,000 Russian deaths (15 % percent of all deaths from external causes) were categorized as EUIs. We used data from anonymized micro-data on the ~3 million deaths from external causes. Our reclassification model used 10 decedent and event characteristics from the computerized death records.
Results: Results show that during this period about 14 % of non-transport accidents, 13 % of suicides, and 33 % of homicides were officially categorized as EUIs. Our findings also suggest that 2011 levels of non-transport accidents and suicides would have been about 24 % higher and of homicide about 82 % higher than that reported by official vital statistics data.
Conclusions: Overuse of the external cause of death classification “event of undetermined intent” may indicate questionable quality of mortality data on external causes of death. This can have wide-ranging implications for families, medical professionals, the justice system, researchers, and policymakers. With our classification probability set as equal to or higher than 0.75, we were able to reclassify about two-thirds of EUI deaths in our sample. Our optional additional step allowed us to redistribute the remaining unclassified EUIs. Our method can be applied to data from any nation or sub-national population in which the EUI category is employed.
The study examined the smokers’ non-compliance rates in indoor public places in Russia and the sociodemographic factors associated with non-compliance.
Univariate analysis and logistic regression models were performed using cross-sectional data from a representative sample of Russian adults (N = 4006).
27.2% of Russian smokers did not comply with smoke-free bans. Non-compliance was attributed to sociodemographic characteristics of smokers, mainly to the number of cigarettes smoked per day, regular alcohol consumption, being aged between 15 and 34 years, being in the highest income group and living in an urban area. Neither the sex, nor the family status of smokers exerted a statistically significant affiliation with non-compliance. Higher rates of non-compliance were observed in restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs, common domestic premises of apartment buildings and indoor workplaces. Violations on public transport, in governmental buildings, health and sport facilities, colleges and universities were less common.
There is a need to revise the methods of enforcement with respect to sociodemographic characteristics of smokers associated with non-compliance in public places where violations are widespread.
Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) represent almost half the world's population, and all five national governments recently committed to work nationally, regionally, and globally to ensure that universal health coverage (UHC) is achieved. This analysis reviews national efforts to achieve UHC. With a broad range of health indicators, life expectancy (ranging from 53 years to 73 years), and mortality rate in children younger than 5 years (ranging from 10·3 to 44·6 deaths per 1000 livebirths), a review of progress in each of the BRICS countries shows that each has some way to go before achieving UHC. The BRICS countries show substantial, and often similar, challenges in moving towards UHC. On the basis of a review of each country, the most pressing problems are: raising insufficient public spending; stewarding mixed private and public health systems; ensuring equity; meeting the demands for more human resources; managing changing demographics and disease burdens; and addressing the social determinants of health. Increases in public funding can be used to show how BRICS health ministries could accelerate progress to achieve UHC. Although all the BRICS countries have devoted increased resources to health, the biggest increase has been in China, which was probably facilitated by China's rapid economic growth. However, the BRICS country with the second highest economic growth, India, has had the least improvement in public funding for health. Future research to understand such different levels of prioritisation of the health sector in these countries could be useful. Similarly, the role of strategic purchasing in working with powerful private sectors, the effect of federal structures, and the implications of investment in primary health care as a foundation for UHC could be explored. These issues could serve as the basis on which BRICS countries focus their efforts to share ideas and strategies.
The volume fraction of water related to myelin (fmy) is a promising MRI index for in vivo assessment of brain myelination, that can be derived from multi-component analysis of T1 and T2 relaxometry signals. However, existing quantification methods require rather long acquisition and/or post-processing times, making implementation difficult both in research studies on healthy unsedated children and in clinical examinations. The goal of this work was to propose a novel strategy for fmy quantification within acceptable acquisition andpost-processing times. Our approach is based on a 3-compartment model (myelin-related water, intra/extra-cellular water and unrestricted water), and uses calibrated values of inherent relaxation times (T1c and T2c) for each compartment c. Calibration was first performed on adult relaxometry datasets (N = 3) acquired with large numbers of inversion times (TI) and echo times (TE), using an original combination of a region contraction approach and a non-negative least-square (NNLS) algorithm. This strategy was compared with voxel-wise fitting, and showed robust estimation of T1c and T2c. The accuracy of fmy calculations depending on multiple factors was investigated using simulated data. In the testing stage, our strategy enabled fast fmy mapping, based on relaxometry datasets acquired with reduced TI and TE numbers (acquisition <6 min), and analyzed with NNLS algorithm (post-processing <5min). In adults (N = 13, mean age 22.4±1.6 years), fmy maps showed variability across white matter regions, in agreement with previous studies. In healthy infants (N = 18, aged 3 to 34 weeks), asynchronous changes in fmy values were demonstrated across bundles, confirming the well-known progression of myelination.
-We study an epidemic propagation between M popuilation centra. The novelty of the model lies in the explicit analysis of the dynamics of host (remaining nin the same cemtre) and guest (migrated from another centre) population separately.
Research on existing drugs often discovers novel mechanisms of their action and leads to the expansion of their therapeutic scope and subsequent remarketing. The Wnt signaling pathway is of the immediate therapeutic relevance, as it plays critical roles in cancer development and progression. However, drugs which disrupt this pathway are unavailable despite the high demand. Here we report an attempt to identify antagonists of the Wnt-FZD interaction among the library of the FDA-approved drugs. We performed an in silico screening which brought up several potential antagonists of the ligand-receptor interaction. 14 of these substances were tested using the TopFlash luciferase reporter assay and four of them identified as active and specific inhibitors of the Wnt3a-induced signaling. However, further analysis through GTP-binding and beta-catenin stabilization assays showed that the compounds do not target the Wnt-FZD pair, but inhibit the signaling at downstream levels. We further describe the previously unknown inhibitory activity of an anti-leprosy drug clofazimine in the Wnt pathway and provide data demonstrating its efficiency in suppressing growth of Wnt-dependent triple-negative breast cancer cells. These data provide a basis for further investigations of the efficiency of clofazimine in treatment of Wnt-dependent cancers. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Recovery after stroke relates tightly to the white matter integrity. Currently, the main methodology for non-invasive white matter integrity assessment is diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI), a state-of-the-art approach which is, however, prone to multiple limitations. Using DW-MRI, it was demonstrated that many pathways including corticospinal tract (CST) and corpus callosum contribute to structural brain reserve after stroke, but only a few of these tracts were found to be useful in the clinical practice. The most widely known measure is an asymmetry of the fractional anisotropy (FA) in CST at the level of the internal capsule, which could be used for predicting motor recovery in acute stroke. Recently, a new complementary motor component of the structural reserve, the so-called alternate motor fibers (AMFs), was proposed for motor recovery prognosis in stroke patients, and it was even reported to correlate with the effect of the transcranial direct current stimulation in chronic stroke. Here, we would like to point out a possible additional sensory interpretation of the AMF that appears plausible after taking into account technical limitations of DW-MRI approach, which may potentially give rise to different interpretations of the same results.
There are differences across ethno-cultural groups in the degree of somatization among patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Studies showed that the attribution style of somatic symptoms is an important predictor of health outcome in depressed patients. Aims: The aims of this study were to investigate associations of psychologizing, normalizing and somatizing attribution styles as measured by the Symptom Interpretation Questionnaire (SIQ) in Turkish patients with MDD. Methods: Ninety patients who were diagnosed with a major depressive episode using a semi-structured interview were administered the SIQ to assess attribution styles, each of which was regressed on age, gender, educational level, depressive symptom severity, tendency for somatosensory amplification, current somatic symptoms and alexithymia. Results: Scores on somatizing, psychologizing and normalizing attribution …
BACKGROUND: World mapping is an important tool to visualize stroke burden and its trends in various regions and countries. OBJECTIVES: To show geographic patterns of incidence, prevalence, mortality, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and years lived with disability (YLDs) and their trends for ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke in the world for 1990-2013. METHODOLOGY: Stroke incidence, prevalence, mortality, DALYs and YLDs were estimated following the general approach of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2010 with several important improvements in methods. Data were updated for mortality (through April 2014) and stroke incidence, prevalence, case fatality and severity through 2013. Death was estimated using an ensemble modeling approach. A new software package, DisMod-MR 2.0, was used as part of a custom modeling process to estimate YLDs. All rates were age-standardized to new GBD estimates of global population. All estimates have been computed with 95% uncertainty intervals. RESULTS: Age-standardized incidence, mortality, prevalence and DALYs/YLDs declined over the period from 1990 to 2013. However, the absolute number of people affected by stroke has substantially increased across all countries in the world over the same time period, suggesting that the global stroke burden continues to increase. There were significant geographical (country and regional) differences in stroke burden in the world, with the majority of the burden borne by low- and middle-income countries. CONCLUSIONS: Global burden of stroke has continued to increase in spite of dramatic declines in age-standardized incidence, prevalence, mortality rates and disability. Population growth and aging have played an important role in the observed increase in stroke burden.
Previous research indicates that, under explicit instructions to listen to spoken stimuli or in speech-oriented behavioural tasks, the brain's responses to senseless pseudowords are larger than those to meaningful words; the reverse is true in non-attended conditions. These differential responses could be used as a tool to trace linguistic processes in the brain and their interaction with attention. However, as previous studies relied on explicit instructions to attend or ignore the stimuli, a technique for automatic attention modulation (i.e., not dependent on explicit instruction) would be more advantageous, especially when cooperation with instructions may not be guaranteed (e.g., neurological patients, children etc). Here we present a novel paradigm in which the stimulus context automatically draws attention to speech. In a non-attend passive auditory oddball sequence, rare words and pseudowords were presented among frequent non-speech tones of variable frequency and length. The low percentage of spoken stimuli guarantees an involuntary attention switch to them. The speech stimuli, in turn, could be disambiguated as words or pseudowords only in their end, at the last phoneme, after the attention switch would have already occurred. Our results confirmed that this paradigm can indeed be used to induce automatic shifts of attention to spoken input. At ~250ms after the stimulus onset, a P3a-like neuromagnetic deflection was registered to spoken (but not tone) stimuli indicating an involuntary attention shift. Later, after the word-pseudoword divergence point, we found a larger oddball response to pseudowords than words, best explained by neural processes of lexical search facilitated through increased attention. Furthermore, we demonstrate a breakdown of this orderly pattern of neurocognitive processes as a result of sleep deprivation. The new paradigm may thus be an efficient way to assess language comprehension processes and their dynamic interaction with those of attention allocation. It does it in an automatic and task-free fashion, indicating its potential benefit for assessing uncooperative clinical populations.
Although schizophrenia was previously associated with affected spatial neuronal synchronization, surprisingly little is known about the temporal dynamics of neuronal oscillations in this disease. However, given that the coordination of neuronal processes in time represents an essential aspect of practically all cognitive operations, it might be strongly affected in patients with schizophrenia. In the present study we aimed at quantifying long-range temporal correlations (LRTC) in patients (18 with schizophrenia; 3 with schizoaffective disorder) and 28 healthy control subjects matched for age and gender. Ongoing neuronal oscillations were recorded with multi-channel EEG at rest condition. LRTC in the range 5-50s were analyzed with Detrended Fluctuation Analysis. The amplitude of neuronal oscillations in alpha and beta frequency ranges did not differ between patients and control subjects. However, LRTC were strongly attenuated in patients with schizophrenia in both alpha and beta frequency ranges. Moreover, the cross-frequency correlation between LRTC belonging to alpha and beta oscillations was stronger for patients than healthy controls, indicating that similar neurophysiological processes affect neuronal dynamics in both frequency ranges. We believe that the attenuation of LRTC is most likely due to the increased variability in neuronal activity, which was previously hypothesized to underlie an excessive switching between the neuronal states in patients with schizophrenia. Attenuated LRTC might allow for more random associations between neuronal activations, which in turn might relate to the occurrence of thought disorders in schizophrenia.
To address the hotly debated question of motor system involvement in language comprehension, we recorded neuromagnetic responses elicited in the human brain by unattended action-related spoken verbs and nouns and scrutinized their timecourse and neuroanatomical substrates. We found that already very early on, from ∼80 ms after disambiguation point when the words could be identified from the available acoustic information, both verbs and nouns produced characteristic somatotopic activations in the motor strip, with words related to different body parts activating the corresponding body representations. Strikingly, along with this category-specific activation, we observed suppression of motor-cortex activation by competitor words with incompatible semantics, documenting operation of the neurophysiological principles of lateral/surround inhibition in neural word processing. The extremely early onset of these activations and deactivations, their emergence in the absence of attention, and their similar presence for words of different lexical classes strongly suggest automatic involvement of motor-specific circuits in the perception of action-related language.
Russia has consistently been among those countries with a high level of alcohol intake and, according to the WHO, the most dangerous model of consumption. Recently, the government turned to more radical instruments of anti-alcohol policy. In 2010, 72 of 83 Russian regions had adopted a ban on all alcoholic beverages, except beer, during various night hours, although 11 regions had not. Using this case as a natural experiment we aim to determine how these new temporal restrictions influence alcohol consumption. We use official statistical data on regional alcohol sales provided by Rosstat and micro-data from the RLMS-HSE survey. Two methods are combined: descriptive analysis of per capita alcohol sales at the regional level and regression analysis of pure spirit consumption at the individual level, controlling for various socioeconomic factors, including sales bans.
We revealed a significant positive correlation between the amount of alcohol consumed and the number of hours of allowed alcohol sales when other factors were controlled. The results gained from analyzing the micro-data were confirmed using the regional sales information. In terms of drinking reduction, sales restrictions in the evening hours seem more efficient than restrictions in the morning hours. Temporal sales bans do not increase beer or home-distilled alcohol consumption. Temporal bans on alcohol sales in Russian regions have the potential to reduce consumption levels. These findings indicate a need for a further reduction in sales hours in the regions where heavy drinking is especially widespread.
Russia has a large HIV epidemic, but medical care engagement is low. Eighty HIV-positive persons in St. Petersburg completed in-depth interviews to identify barriers and facilitators of medical HIV care engagement. The most commonly-reported barriers involved difficulties accessing care providers, dissatisfaction with the quality of services, and negative attitudes of provider staff. Other barriers included not having illness symptoms, life stresses, low value placed on health, internalized stigma and wanting to hide one's HIV status, fears of learning about one's true health status, and substance abuse. Care facilitators were feeling responsible for one's health and one's family, care-related support from other HIV-positive persons, and the onset of health decline and fear of death. Substance use remission facilitated care engagement, as did good communication from providers and trust in one's doctor. Interventions are needed in Russia to address HIV care infrastructural barriers and integrate HIV, substance abuse, care, and psychosocial services.
Our aim is to model the frequency of certain behavioral acts, especially those that are likely to transmit communicable diseases between persons. We develop a generalized linear model based on the beta prime distribution to model the responses to a survey question of the form, “When was the last time that you engaged in this behavior?” Intuitively, individuals reporting more recent events are more likely to have greater frequency of the risky behavior. The beta prime distribution is especially suited to this application because of its long tail. We adjust for length-biased sampling. We show how to use this distribution as the basis of a linear regression model that accounts for differences in demographic and psychological characteristics of the respondents. We discuss estimation of parameters, residuals, tests for heterogeneity of these parameters, and jackknife measures of influence. The methods are applied to a survey of alcohol abuse use among individuals who are at high risk for spreading HIV and other communicable diseases in a study conducted in St. Petersburg, Russia.