• Associations of autozygosity with a broad range of human phenotypes

      Clark, D.W.; Okada, Y.; Moore, K.H.S.; Mason, D.; Pirastu, N.; Gandin, I.; Mattsson, H.; Barnes, C.L.K.; Lin, K.; Zhao, J.H.; et al. (2019-10)
      In many species, the offspring of related parents suffer reduced reproductive success, a phenomenon known as inbreeding depression. In humans, the importance of this effect has remained unclear, partly because reproduction between close relatives is both rare and frequently associated with confounding social factors. Here, using genomic inbreeding coefficients (FROH) for >1.4 million individuals, we show that FROH is significantly associated (p < 0.0005) with apparently deleterious changes in 32 out of 100 traits analysed. These changes are associated with runs of homozygosity (ROH), but not with common variant homozygosity, suggesting that genetic variants associated with inbreeding depression are predominantly rare. The effect on fertility is striking: FROH equivalent to the offspring of first cousins is associated with a 55% decrease [95% CI 44–66%] in the odds of having children. Finally, the effects of FROH are confirmed within full-sibling pairs, where the variation in FROH is independent of all environmental confounding.
    • Stressors and coping mechanisms of family care-givers of older relatives living with long-term conditions in mainland China: A scoping review of the evidence

      Bífárìn, Oládayò, O.; Quinn, Catherine; Breen, Liz; Wu, C.; Ke, M.; Yu, L.; Oyebode, Jan R. (Cambridge University Press, 2021)
      As the ageing population in China continues to grow, more people will be living with long-term health conditions and require support from family care-givers. This scoping review therefore aims to explore sources of stress and coping mechanisms adopted by care-givers of older relatives living with long-term conditions in mainland China. Literature searches were conducted in English (CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO and SCOPUS) and Chinese (CNKI, WANFANG DATA, CQVIP and CBM) databases between October and November 2019. The searches focused on the stressors and coping mechanisms utilised by family care-givers residing in the community. Narrative synthesis was used to identify themes within the data. Forty-six papers were included: 20 papers from English and 26 from Chinese databases. Six themes captured stressors: care-giving time (N = 22), financial resources (N = 17), role and personal strains (N = 42), preparedness (N = 4), social roles (N = 10) and lack of adequate formal support (N = 22); and one theme captured coping (N = 14). Unmet needs of care-givers of older relatives in mainland China were found to be extensive. Only a few studies had attempted to explore the causal link between stressors, coping and the influence of culture. Findings underscore the significance of adequately capturing intricacies around care-givers’ unmet needs, rather than generalising on the basis of culture. Qualitative studies are critical to providing a better understanding of the relationship between stressors, coping and resources afforded to care-givers by their cultural environment. Having such understanding is crucial to inform the development of competent care, which promotes self-efficacy and self-actualisation in care-givers in mainland China.