PLOS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  1. Antenatal care utilisation and receipt of its components in Nigeria: Assessing disparities between rural and urban areas—A nationwide population-based study

    by Emmanuel O. Adewuyi, Asa Auta, Mary I. Adewuyi, Aaron Akpu Philip, Victory Olutuase, Yun Zhao, Vishnu Khanal

    Introduction

    Antenatal care (ANC) is crucial for positive pregnancy outcomes, but it is underutilised in Nigeria, suggesting unmet needs, and potentially contributing to the country’s high burden of maternal and neonatal mortalities. This study comprehensively assesses ANC utilisation and receipt of its components in Nigeria, focusing on disparities between rural and urban areas.

    Methods

    We used the data disaggregation approach to analyse the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2018. We estimated ANC utilisation, assessed the receipt of ANC components, and identified factors associated with eight or more (≥ 8) ANC contacts nationally and across rural and urban residences.

    Results

    Nationwide, only 20.3% of women had ≥ 8 ANC contacts, with a significant disparity (P < 0.001) between urban (35.5%) and rural (10.4%) areas in Nigeria. The North-East region had the lowest ANC utilisation nationally (3.7%) and in urban areas (3.0%), while the North-West had the lowest in rural areas (2.7%). Nationally, 69% of mothers received iron supplements, 70% had tetanus injections, and 16% received medicines for intestinal parasites, with urban residents having higher proportions across all ANC components. Maternal and husband education, health insurance, and maternal autonomy were associated with increased ANC odds at the national, rural, and urban residences. However, differences exist, with all ethnicities having higher ANC odds than the Hausa/Fulanis in urban areas and the Yorubas demonstrating greater odds than other ethnicities in rural settings. Internet use was significant only in the national context, watching television only in urban settings, while maternal working status, wealth, birth type, religion, and radio listenership were significant in rural areas.

    Conclusion

    Our study reveals significant disparities in ANC utilisation and components across Nigeria, with rural residents, particularly in northern regions, as well as socioeconomically disadvantaged and teenage mothers facing notable challenges. A multifaceted approach prioritising the interplay of intersectional factors like geography, socioeconomic status, education, religion, ethnicity, and gender dynamics is essential. Key strategies should include targeted interventions to promote educational opportunities, expand health insurance coverage, leverage internet and context-specific media, and foster socioeconomic empowerment, with priority for underserved populations.

  2. An optimised protocol for the detection of lipofuscin, a versatile and quantifiable marker of cellular senescence

    by Camilla S. A. Davan-Wetton, Trinidad Montero-Melendez

    Lipofuscin is a yellow-brown pigment typically found in the lysosomes that contains a mixture of molecules including lipids, metals and misfolded proteins. The use of Sudan black B to detect lipofuscin accumulation, a well described marker of cellular senescence and ageing, was first described in 2013 by Georgakopoulou, et al. Here, we provide an optimisation of the original protocol. Firstly, we adjusted the staining methodology for increased ease of use on cultured cells. Secondly, we show that Sudan black B-stained lipofuscin emits strong fluorescence in the far-red channel making it suitable for fluorescence microscopy detection and quantification. Moreover, we also demonstrate that this optimised protocol can be utilised in conjunction with standard immunofluorescence staining techniques, making possible the simultaneous detection of lipofuscin and other cellular proteins of interest, like additional markers of senescence. This is a significant advantage over the most commonly used method for senescence detection, based on beta galactosidase enzymatic activity. We therefore believe that these findings and the provided optimised protocol will represent a useful tool for the scientific community in the field of cellular senescence.
  3. A qualitative investigation of dental internships in Saudi Arabia: Exploring the experiences of dental interns

    by Mohammed Mahmoud Sarhan, Maram Ali M. Alwadi, Saleha Ali Alzahrani, Saad Mahrous Hasubah, Reem Hussain Alhammad, Ali Muhammed Alhussain, Leen Ahmed Qarras, Shadan Hani Sharbib

    Background

    For dental graduates, internships are a vital transitional phase that gives them the invaluable opportunity to close the gap between their academic studies and the reality of professional dentistry. Research on dental internships remains limited and most of the existing studies focus on the clinical aspects of dental internships with little attention given to dental interns’ experiences overall. This study aims to bridge this gap in the literature by gaining an in-depth understanding of Saudi dental graduates’ range of experiences as dental interns.

    Methods

    To achieve the research objective, this study adopted a qualitative approach. Using purposive and snowball sampling, the study recruited 23 dental interns from Riyadh Province, Saudi Arabia, who had completed at least nine months of their internship. Data was gathered across three months via diaries and virtual semi-structured interviews based on participants’ preferences. The data was then analysed thematically using an inductive analytical strategy.

    Results

    The data analysis revealed three major themes and four sub-themes regarding the experiences of dental interns. The core three themes were “activities”, “autonomy” and “transitioning to a balanced life” whereby interns have the time and freedom to explore their interests, rekindle their social lives and focus on self-care, resulting in a better work-life balance.

    Conclusion

    This study suggests that dental interns will benefit from the retention and strengthening of key internship activities such as research, community work and clinical rotations. Additionally, the experiences of dental interns can be improved by encouraging interns to progress in their clinical training with a high level of autonomy. Also, due to the limited research in this area, further studies are required to improve our understanding of the lived experiences of dental interns and dental internships in general.

  4. Spatiotemporal information enhanced multi-feature short-term traffic flow prediction

    by Deqi Huang, Jiajia He, Yating Tu, Zikuang Ye, Lirong Xie

    Accurately predicting traffic flow is crucial for optimizing traffic conditions, reducing congestion, and improving travel efficiency. To explore spatiotemporal characteristics of traffic flow in depth, this study proposes the MFSTBiSGAT model. The MFSTBiSGAT model leverages graph attention networks to extract dynamic spatial features from complex road networks, and utilizes bidirectional long short-term memory networks to capture temporal correlations from both past and future time perspectives. Additionally, spatial and temporal information enhancement layers are employed to comprehensively capture traffic flow patterns. The model aims to directly extract original temporal features from traffic flow data, and utilizes the Spearman function to extract hidden spatial matrices of road networks for deeper insights into spatiotemporal characteristics. Historical traffic speed and lane occupancy data are integrated into the prediction model to reduce forecasting errors and enhance robustness. Experimental results on two real-world traffic datasets demonstrate that MFSTBiSGAT successfully extracts and captures spatiotemporal correlations in traffic networks, significantly improving prediction accuracy.
  5. Long-term outcomes after revascularization in chronic total and non-total occluded coronary arteries: A regionwide cohort study

    by Emil Nielsen Holck, Lars Jakobsen, Naja Stausholm Winther, Lone Juul-Hune Mogensen, Evald Høj Christiansen

    Background

    Understanding the prognostic impact of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in chronic total occlusion (CTO) is crucial for patient management. Previous studies have primarily been studying prognostic impact of successful versus unsuccessful CTO PCI. This study investigated the prognostic impact of successful and unsuccessful percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) of chronic total occluded coronary arteries (CTO) with non-CTO PCI as reference.

    Methods

    Patients treated with PCI from 2009 to 2019 in the Central Region of Denmark were included in a population-based cohort study. We compared successful and unsuccessful CTO PCI with non-CTO PCI. Exclusion criteria was myocardial infarction within 30 days. Primary outcome was difference in a composite major adverse cardio- and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) encompassing all-cause death, any myocardial infarction, stroke, hospitalization for heart failure or revascularization tracked via nationwide registries.

    Results

    Of 21,141 screened patients, 10,638 were enrolled: 9,065 underwent non-CTO PCI, 1,300 had successful CTO PCI, and 273 had unsuccessful CTO PCI. Median follow-up time was 5.9 [3.5;9.0] years and 4,750 MACCEs were recorded. Compared to non-CTO PCI, the adjusted MACCE rate for successful CTO PCI was equivalent (Hazard Ratio (HR): 0.98, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.90–1.07, p = 0.71). In contrast, unsuccessful CTO PCI was associated with a higher MACCE rate (HR: 1.22, 95% CI: 1.04–1.43, p<0.01). HR was adjusted for age, body-mass index, previous revascularization, smoking, kidney disease, two or three-vessel disease, left ventricular ejection fraction, diabetes and comorbidities.

    Conclusions

    The pre-specified hypothesis was accepted. Successful CTO PCI was associated with equivalent long-term outcomes as non-CTO PCI, and unsuccessful CTO PCI was identified as a high-risk group associated to worse outcomes.

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