Soaring and non-soaring bats of the family pteropodidae (flying foxes, Pteropus spp.): wing morphology and flight performance.
On oceanic islands, some large diurnal megachiropteran bat species (flying foxes; Pteropus spp.) frequently use thermal or slope soaring during foraging flights to save energy. We compared the flight morphology and gliding/soaring performance of soaring versus non-soaring Pteropus species, one pair on American Samoa and one pair on the Comoro Islands, and two other soaring/flap-gliding species and one non-soaring species. We predicted that the soaring species should have a lower body mass, longer wings and, hence, lower wing loadings than those species that use mainly flapping flight. This would give a lower sinking speed during gliding, a higher glide ratio, and enable the bats to make tighter turns with lower sinking speeds than in the non-soaring species. We theoretically calculated the gliding and circling performances of both the soaring and non-soaring species. Our results show that there are tendencies towards longer wings and lower wing loadings in relation to body size in the gliding/soaring flying foxes than in the non-soaring ones. In the species-pair comparison of the soaring and non-soaring species on American Samoa and the Comoro Islands, the soarers on both islands turn out to have lower wing loadings than their non-soaring partners in spite of opposite size differences among the pairs. These characteristics are in accordance with our hypothesis on morphological adaptations. Most differences are, however, only significant at a level of P<0.1, which may be due to the small sample size, but overlap also occurs. Therefore, we must conclude that wing morphology does not seem to be a limiting factor preventing the non-soarers from soaring. Instead, diurnality in the soaring species seems to be the ultimate determinant of soaring behaviour. The morphological differences cause visible differences in soaring and gliding performance. The glider/soarers turn out to have lower minimum sinking speeds, lower best glide speeds and smaller turning radii than the non-soarers. When the wing measurements and soaring performance are normalized to a body mass of 0.5 kg for all species, the minimum sinking speed becomes significantly lower (P<0.05) in the three soaring and the one flap-gliding species (0.63 m s(-)(1)) than in the three non-soaring species (0.69 m s(-)(1)). Interestingly, the zones in the diagrams for the glide polars and circling envelopes of these similar-sized bats become displaced for the glider/soarers versus the non-soarers. The glide polars overlap slightly only at the gliding speeds appropriate for these bats, whereas the circling envelopes do not overlap at the appropriate bank angles and turning radii. This points towards adaptations for better gliding/soaring performance in the soaring and gliding species. (+info)
Predictors of papanicolaou smear use among american samoan women.
To explore the rate and predictors of Papanicolaou (Pap) smear use among American Samoans, we conducted a survey of 986 randomly selected adult, self-identified Samoan women in American Samoa (n = 323), Hawaii (n = 325), and Los Angeles (n = 338). Only 46% of the women reported having a Pap smears within the past 3 years. These women were more likely than others to reside in Hawaii (odds ratio [OR], 1.7), be less than 40 years of age (OR, 2.2), be married (OR, 1.9), have more than 12 years of formal education (OR, 2.1), have an income of more than $20,000 per year (OR, 1.6), have health insurance (OR, 1.6), and have higher acculturation levels (OR, 1.9). Knowledge and attitudes about cervical cancer did not predict Pap smear screening. It is likely that the low rate of Pap smear screening contributes to the high site-specific incidence of cervical cancer among American Samoan women. (+info)
Hepatitis C virus infection in Samoa and American Samoa.
Little is known about the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Pacific islands. In this study, serum specimens collected in 1985 and 2002 among the general populations of Samoa and American Samoa were tested for antibody to HCV by a third-generation enzyme immunoassay and a recombinant immunoblot assay. Of the 3,466 specimens tested, 8 (0.2%; 95% confidence interval = 0.07-0.4%) were positive for antibody to HCV. Prevalence did not vary by location or demographic characteristic. Thus, HCV is present in the Samoas but at a low prevalence. (+info)
Legacy of the Pacific Islander cancer control network.
The groundwork for the Pacific Islander cancer control network (PICCN) began in the early 1990s with a study of the cancer control needs of American Samoans. The necessity for similar studies among other Pacific Islander populations led to the development of PICCN. The project's principal objectives were to increase cancer awareness and to enhance cancer control research among American Samoans, Tongans, and Chamorros. PICCN was organized around a steering committee and 6 community advisory boards, 2 from each of the targeted populations. Membership included community leaders, cancer control experts, and various academic and technical organizations involved with cancer control. Through this infrastructure, the investigators developed new culturally sensitive cancer education materials and distributed them in a culturally appropriate manner. They also initiated a cancer control research training program, educated Pacific Islander students in this field, and conducted pilot research projects. PICCN conducted nearly 200 cancer awareness activities in its 6 study sites and developed cancer educational materials on prostate, colorectal, lung, breast, and cervical cancer and tobacco control in the Samoan, Tongan, and Chamorro languages. PICCN trained 9 students who conducted 7 pilot research projects designed to answer important questions regarding the cancer control needs of Pacific Islanders and to inform interventions targeting those needs. The legacy of PICCN lies in its advancement of improving cancer control among Pacific Islanders and setting the stage for interventions that will help to eliminate cancer-related health disparities. Cancer 2006. (c) 2006 American Cancer Society. (+info)
Impact of five annual rounds of mass drug administration with diethylcarbamazine and albendazole on Wuchereria bancrofti infection in American Samoa.
American Samoa began a territory-wide mass drug administration (MDA) program with diethylcarbamazine and albendazole in 2000 after baseline surveys indicated that 16.5% of 2,989 residents were infected with Wuchereria bancrofti based on tests for circulating filarial antigen. Follow-up surveys were conducted in 2001, 2003, and 2006, using convenience samples of residents of sentinel villages. Antigenemia prevalence in 2001 (11.5%) and 2003 (13.5%) showed no change. After the 2003 sentinel assessment, improvements were made in the social mobilization and drug distribution strategies. In 2006, after a total of 5 years of MDA and 3 years of improved MDA participation, the antigenemia prevalence dropped from 11.5% (2001) to 0.95% (2006) (P < 0.0001). In 2006, antigenemia prevalence was greater in males (1.5%) than females (0.4%) (P = 0.04). The decline in antigenemia prevalence shows the effectiveness of MDA and changes made in social mobilization and drug distribution. (+info)
Living with Ma'i Suka: individual, familial, cultural, and environmental stress among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and their caregivers in American Samoa.
INTRODUCTION: The U.S. territory of American Samoa has a disproportionate number of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus compared with neighboring Samoa and the U.S. mainland. The purpose of this research was to study perceptions of diabetes among people with type 2 diabetes in American Samoa in order to design culturally appropriate interventions to prevent and manage diabetes effectively. METHODS: Seven focus groups were held with 64 participants at a primary health care facility and a nearby workplace in American Samoa. These focus groups were conducted in the Samoan language and explored perceptions of diabetes, including its meaning, etiology, and the illness experience. Participants were people with diabetes at the health care facility and their family caregivers. RESULTS: Our systematic analysis of the translated transcripts showed that American Samoans with type 2 diabetes experienced individual, familial, cultural, and environmental stress. They also associated environmental and familial stressors with the worsening of symptoms and increases in blood glucose levels. Although participants believed that stress within the family worsened diabetes symptoms, family members figured prominently as primary caregivers. CONCLUSION: Interventions aimed at improving diabetes management in American Samoa should emphasize family involvement coupled with education and methods to reduce caregiver burden, given the chronic, lifelong nature of diabetes. (+info)
Applying novel genome-wide linkage strategies to search for loci influencing type 2 diabetes and adult height in American Samoa.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a common complex phenotype that by the year 2010 is predicted to affect 221 million people globally. In the present study we performed a genome-wide linkage scan using the allele-sharing statistic Sall implemented in Allegro and a novel two-dimensional genome-wide strategy implemented in Merloc that searches for pairwise interaction between genetic markers located on different chromosomes linked to T2DM. In addition, we used a robust score statistic from the newly developed QTL-ALL software to search for linkage to variation in adult height. The strategies were applied to a study sample consisting of 238 sib-pairs affected with T2DM from American Samoa. We did not detect any genome-wide significant susceptibility loci for T2DM. However, our two-dimensional linkage investigation detected several loci pairs of interest, including 11q22 and 21q21, 9q21 and 11q22, 1p22-p21 and 4p15, and 4p15 and 15q11-q14, with a two-loci maximum LOD score (MLS) greater than 2.00. Most detected individual loci have previously been identified as susceptibility loci for diabetes-related traits. Our two-dimensional linkage results may facilitate the selection of potential candidate genes and molecular pathways for further diabetes studies because these results, besides providing candidate loci, also demonstrate that polygenic effects may play an important role in T2DM. Linkage was detected (p value of 0.005) for variation in adult height on chromosome 9q31, which was reported previously in other populations. Our finding suggests that the 9q31 region may be a strong quantitative trait locus for adult height, which is likely to be of importance across populations. (+info)
Adiponectin and type 2 diabetes in Samoan adults.