European University of Madrid
Recent publications
In this paper, we analyze equity mutual funds from the main European countries using daily and monthly returns to determine whether the temporary frequency of the data produces changes in the identification of timing skills by fund managers that justifies the current trend in the finance literature of using daily returns instead of monthly observations for performance measurement purposes. In our analysis we employ data for 17 European countries from 1990 to 2020, we appreciate a greater significance in the results obtained when using daily returns, approximately 10% of funds show significantly positive market timing skills and the same proportion of funds show negative market timing across countries. In the present study, we show the usefulness of the increase in the temporal frequency of the observations as the use of daily data instead of monthly returns implies a greater significance in the results obtained. Our findings indicate that some mutual fund managers take advantage of the predictability of market returns explained in the finance literature. Thus, potential investors might try to identify the managers who have these timing skills to invest in their funds.
This study focused on inspecting the relationship between impulsivity traits, salivary dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) concentrations, and moderate alcohol consumption in healthy subjects. In previous studies, impulsivity has been related to alcohol consumption and androgens. Limited research has focused on the sulfated form of DHEA-S and alcohol consumption or impulsivity. Moderate alcohol consumption can increase DHEA-S levels. Effects of alcohol, impulsivity and androgens levels may depend on age and gender. The participants were 120 healthy men (Mage = 44.39; SD = 12.88). The results showed positive correlations between DHEA-S and alcohol consumption (r = 0.22; p < .01) and an impulsivity factor (r = 0.22; p < .01) controlling for age. Regression analysis showed a significant relationship between DHEA-S (p < .001), impulsivity factor and AUDIT (p < .05). Analyzing the two extreme impulsivity groups, an association is observed between DHEA-S with AUDIT scores (R² = 0.12; p < .05) in the high impulsivity group, but not in the low impulsivity one. It is therefore concluded that the effect of moderate alcohol consumption is cumulative and slightly associated with levels of impulsiveness and DHEA-S.
Background The World Health Organization (WHO) risk assessment algorithm for vertical transmission of HIV (VT) assumes the availability of maternal viral load (VL) result at delivery and early viral control 4 weeks after initiating antiretroviral treatment (ART). However, in many low-and-middle-income countries, VL is often unavailable and mothers’ ART adherence may be suboptimal. We evaluate the inclusion of the mothers’ self-reported adherence into the established WHO-algorithm to identify infants eligible for enhanced post-natal prophylaxis when mothers’ VL result is not available at delivery. Methods We used data from infants with perinatal HIV infection and their mothers enrolled from May-2018 to May-2020 in Mozambique, South Africa, and Mali. We retrospectively compared the performance of the WHO-algorithm with a modified algorithm which included mothers’ adherence as an additional factor. Infants were considered at high risk if born from mothers without a VL result in the 4 weeks before delivery and with adherence <90%. Results At delivery, 143/184(78%) women with HIV knew their status and were on ART. Only 17(12%) obtained a VL result within 4 weeks before delivery, and 13/17(76%) of them had VL ≥1000 copies/ml. From 126 women on ART without a recent VL result, 99(79%) had been on ART for over 4 weeks. 45/99(45%) women reported suboptimal (< 90%) adherence. A total of 81/184(44%) infants were classified as high risk of VT as per the WHO-algorithm. The modified algorithm including self-adherence disclosure identified 126/184(68%) high risk infants. Conclusions In the absence of a VL result, mothers’ self-reported adherence at delivery increases the number of identified infants eligible to receive enhanced post-natal prophylaxis.
This article analyzes cyber-communism and the feasibility of central planning from complexity theory. It first introduces the most known definitions of complexity in economics, namely computational and dynamic complexity. This enables to construct a complexity political economy from which then deal with cyber-communism. This political economy highlights the notion of cultivation, as a natural selection approach to established successful institutions and rules. In contrast to cultivation, the article presents the notion of control, which corresponds to traditional political economy, as the belief in the effective alteration of economic variables by a group of planners or policymakers. This work emphasizes some problems central planning faces: self-reference, noncomputability of optimal points, reflexivity, and less adaptive capacity. It concludes that cyber-communism conflicts with a complexity political economy based on cultivation, and that cyber-communist planning is not realistic, ultimately meaning that technology cannot allow and effective socialist planning.
Aortic stenosis (AS) is associated with left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy and heart failure (HF). There is a lack of therapies able to prevent/revert AS-induced HF. Beta3 adrenergic receptor (β3AR) signaling is beneficial in several forms of HF. Here, we studied the potential beneficial effect of β3AR overexpression on AS-induced HF. Selective β3AR stimulation had a positive inotropic effect. Transgenic mice constitutively overexpressing human β3AR in the heart (c-hβ3tg) were protected from the development of HF in response to induced AS, and against cardiomyocyte mitochondrial dysfunction (fragmented mitochondria with remodeled cristae and metabolic reprogramming featuring altered substrate use). Similar beneficial effects were observed in wild-type mice inoculated with adeno-associated virus (AAV9) inducing cardiac-specific overexpression of human β3AR before AS induction. Moreover, AAV9-hβ3AR injection into wild-type mice at late disease stages, when cardiac hypertrophy and metabolic reprogramming are already advanced, reversed the HF phenotype and restored balanced mitochondrial dynamics, demonstrating the potential of gene-therapy-mediated β3AR overexpression in AS. Mice with cardiac specific ablation of Yme1l (cYKO), characterized by fragmented mitochondria, showed an increased mortality upon AS challenge. AAV9-hβ3AR injection in these mice before AS induction reverted the fragmented mitochondria phenotype and rescued them from death. In conclusion, our results step out that β3AR overexpression might have translational potential as a therapeutic strategy in AS–induced HF.
Background The aim of this study is to investigate the attitudes and beliefs of Spanish physiotherapists towards the diagnosis and management of low back pain (LBP). A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted according to STROBE guidelines from December 18, 2021, to May 2022. An online survey was developed based on Pain Attitudes and Beliefs Scale for Physiotherapists (PABS-PT), a reliable and validated self-administered instrument developed to assess the strength of two possible treatment orientations of physiotherapists towards the diagnosis and management of LBP. Respondents were selected through a non-probabilistic convenience sampling technique, and the selection criteria were (1) active physiotherapists with no restrictions on gender and length of service, (2) physical therapists who have worked in both public and private environments, and (3) physiotherapists who have been officially registered with no restriction on the place of practice in Spain. Survey data was obtained and analyzed using the SPSS Statistic 28 (IBM®) statistical software. Results Three hundred eighty-one questionnaires were finally included (F; n =151, M; n =230). In relation to the diagnosis, the respondents indicated that the tissue damage was sufficient to explain widespread and lasting pain, but rather that it was due to psychological factors. In addition, for those surveyed, the diagnosis should not focus exclusively on imaging tests but on clinical symptoms and signs. However, the weak relationship between objective damage and perceived pain intensity, as well as the weak relationship between posture and the development or worsening of LBP, did not seem to be clear to physiotherapists. From the point of view of treatment, we can indicate that professionals are committed to maintaining adequate and individualized physical activity as a first-line treatment in pain management. Conclusions Most physiotherapists in Spain have up-to-date knowledge of the biopsychosocial model of pain care. However, regarding attitudes and beliefs towards LBP, there are still contents and behaviors based on spine protective paradigms that are not conducive to active pain management.
Objective: Patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) develop high muscle weakness. The objective of this study was to analyze the physical fitness of post-COVID-19 patients and its relationship with dyspnea and health-related quality of life (HrQoL). Methods: This observational, retrospective, cross-sectional study was conducted between October and November 2021 in the Universidad Europea de Madrid (Spain), with 32 post-COVID-19 patients aged 63.2 (14.1) years. Muscle strength, aerobic capacity, maximal respiratory mouth pressures, dyspnea, and HrQoL were analyzed 6-12 months after discharge for COVID-19. To analyze the relationship between continuous variables, Spearman's correlation test and Pearson's correlation test were performed. Results: The participants had a mean handgrip strength of 22.1 (9.0) kg and very poor HrQoL. Negative moderate correlations were found between handgrip strength and length of hospital and intensive care unit stay (r=-0.37; p=0.002). In addition, muscle strength was negatively correlated with dyspnea (r=-0.37; p=0.008) and HrQoL, and moderate-large negative correlations were found between dyspnea and HrQoL. Conclusion: Higher handgrip strength was associated with lower COVID-19 severity and less sequelae. Therefore, either the patients with severe COVID-19 suffered greater muscle breakdown, or higher muscle strength acted as a mitigating factor for the disease. It is suggested that post-COVID-19 rehabilitation programs should focus on increasing muscle strength. Also, adequate physical fitness could mitigate the physical and mental post-COVID-19 sequelae.
Sexual diversity in the world of sport has not been widely researched in the Spanish context. Studies on national and international sexual diversity tend to leave out transgender issues and intersexuality. The new framework of action of the International Olympic Committee in 2021 advocates for integration and non-discrimination based on gender identity and sex variations in sport. We analyzed attitudes toward sexual diversity in sport among a sample of PASS university students using the Scale of Attitudes Toward Sexual Diversity Among Athletes and the statistical package R. Each item was subjected to frequency analysis and the results were displayed in contingency tables. The sample comprised 610 students from three Spanish universities (68.85% male and 31.15% female, with a mean age of 21.72 years; SD = 4.12). Of the four factors analyzed, the lowest levels of rejection were Cognitive Attitudes (96.72%) and Attitudes Toward Transgression (86.89%). One of the most important variables was gender, with women showing greater tolerance toward sexual diversity in sport than men.
The aim of the present research was to analyse modifications in the autonomic stress response of Physiotherapy students undergoing a 12-scenario Objective Structured Clinical Evaluation (OSCE). A total of 86 last year students of the Physiotherapy bachelor’s degree (27.29 years (SD = 6.66); 36 females and 50 males) randomly assigned were monitored during the complete OSCE to measure heart rate variability (HRV) in temporal, frequency, and non-linear domains. The HRV analysed showed a large anticipatory stress response of students maintained during the entire evaluation. The stress response varied regarding OSCE station complexity and demands and the highest sympathetic response was not found in higher emotional scenarios. The autonomic modulation monitoring allows teachers to design OSCE scenarios more adapted to the students, limiting the effect of the stress response to allow a better performance.
Context: The performance of sprints during male soccer matches usually is slow medium paced, where the soleus and gastrocnemius (ankle plantar flexors) play a very important role. As in male soccer, soleus injuries should be considered in female soccer; but the scientific evidence is very limited in this case. Design: Pilot clinical trial study. Objective: To determine whether adding an ultrasound-guided percutaneous needle electrolysis (US-guided PNE) technique to a specific exercise program improved perceived pain at stretching and at palpation, ankle dorsiflexion range of motion, muscle fatigue, and sport performance in women soccer players with soleus injury. Methods: This pilot study recruited 20 female players with chronic soleus injury (type 1, characterized by hypoechoic image) who were assigned to one of 2 groups: an experimental group (exercise program + US-guided PNE; n = 10) or a control group (exercise program + sham stimulation; n = 10). Pain intensity, dorsiflexion range of motion, knee-flexion heel raise test, curve sprint test, and the global rating of change scale were analyzed at baseline and after treatment (4 wk) and there was no further follow-up. Results: Pain intensity at palpation and at stretching, dorsiflexion range of motion, and heel raise test values showed significant improvements (P < .05) between pretreatment and posttreatment for both groups, however, no significant differences were observed between groups. Curve sprint tests did not show significant differences between pretreatment and posttreatment for either group or between groups. However, the percentage of changes always revealed better values in favor of the PNE group. Both groups showed good player satisfaction with the therapies. Conclusion: The application of the US-guided PNE combined with a specific exercise program may cause clinical benefits in the treatment of female soccer players with soleus injury.
Despite more studies being carried out to know the impacts associated with plastic debris and much effort being spent on marine ecosystems, the impacts of plastics on terrestrial and freshwater species remain largely unknown. Here, we explored the presence of anthropogenic materials in nests of two wader species, the gull-billed tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) and the black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus), breeding on the inland salt lakes in the “La Mancha Húmeda” Biosphere Reserve, Central Spain. We revealed the presence of anthropogenic debris, mainly macroplastics (>5 mm), in 2.4% and 12.5% of the sampled nests of the gull-billed tern and the black-winged stilt, respectively. The fragments found in nests ranged from 8 mm to 257 mm for the gull-billed tern and from 7 mm to 19 mm for the black-winged stilt. This debris showed no clear pattern of color or size and probably originated both in the agricultural activities in the surroundings and domestic refuse. Although we did not detect any pernicious impacts on adults or chicks (e.g., entangled, injured, or dead individuals), the presence of plastics and other human waste directly placed in nests located in a protected area should warn us about the ubiquity of these pollutants, and the endocrine and immunological effects, among others, that may reduce the recruitment of new animals to the population should be assessed.
Abstract Background Viral diseases might jeopardize the health of wildlife. Chile lacks health surveillance programs that allow for defining preventive measures to tackle such diseases. Aim: The objective of this study was to determine the occurrence and the genetic diversity of pestivirus, herpesvirus and adenovirus in Pudus from Chile. Methods Blood samples from wild (n = 34) and captive (n = 32) Pudus were collected between 2011 and 2019 and analyzed through consensus PCR. To assess differences between the prevalence of viral agents between captive and wild populations a Mann-Whitney U-test was performed. Results All the samples were negative to pestivirus and adenovirus. Herpesvirus was confirmed in four captive, and one wild Pudu. All four zoo animals shared the same sequence for both polymerase and glycoprotein genes. Both sequences shared a 100% identity with caprine herpesvirus-2, classifying them in the same cluster as the Macavirus group. In turn, novel sequences of the polymerase and glycoprotein B genes were obtained from the wild Pudu. Conclusions Our study reports the first evidence of CpHV-2 infection in Chile and South American ungulate populations. Further research will be necessary to assess the pathogenicity of CpHV-2 in this species. It is also urgently recommended that molecular, serological and pathological screening should be conducted in Chilean wild and captive Pudus to understand the impact of the herpesvirus on their populations.
The aim of this study was to determine the optimum dimensions of a radiographic plate to allow correct visualization of dental tissues and correct fit in the oral cavity of children with deciduous dentition. A quasi-experimental clinical study was carried out in children of both sexes aged between 3 and 5 years. The study variables were the complete visualization of the dental structures, the surveillance of ischemia on soft tissues, stimulation of the gag reflex, and acceptance of the radiographic plate by the pediatric patient through a validated visual analogue scale that measures anxiety. The data obtained were subjected to a descriptive and comparative statistical analysis carried out for both study phases. A total of 80 children participated in the study. The optimal dimensions obtained for the radiographic plate were 19.5 mm in height and 27.3 mm in width. Visualization of the dental tissues during both phases was not statistically significant (p = 0.412). However, there were statistically significant differences regarding the presence of ischemia, gag reflex, and child rejection (p < 0.001). A smaller radiographic plate allows correct visualization of the coronal dental tissues without causing rejection, ischemia, or gag reflex in patients in the deciduous dentition.
Background Prevention and treatment of peristomal skin problems should be a priority for nurses caring for ostomates, even when the assessment of lesions must be done remotely. Objective To measure the level of agreement on assessment, diagnosis and care indications for peristomal skin lesions using remote imaging among nurses in Spain. Design Prospective observational multicentre study to assess the diagnostic validity and inter‐ and intraobserver agreement between nurses in peristomal skin lesions. Data were collected between March and October 2019. Settings and Participants The research sample consisted of a group of 39 nurses with expertise in the care of ostomates. Methods A panel of experts established a list of 24 common signs/findings, 15 diagnostic options and 35 treatment approaches for peristomal skin lesions. Three expert stoma therapy nurses compiled the clinical cases, which they described thoroughly and documented with photographs. The 39 participating nurses evaluated the cases in two rounds to measure inter and intraobserver agreement. Results A high or very high level of agreement (κ > 0.61) was observed for the following signs: encrustation, nodules, mucocutaneous separation and varicose veins; for the following diagnoses: mucocutaneous dehiscence, allergic contact dermatitis, encrustation and varicose veins (caput medusae); for the following treatments: recommending a diet rich in vitamin C/blueberries, applying acetic acid dressings, applying cold and topical tacrolimus treatment. Conclusions The most easily identifiable lesions were those most prevalent and with visible signs. There was a lower level of agreement in identifying lesions for which photographs required additional information (laboratory data, description of signs and symptoms, type of diet and level of self‐care). It is important to train nurses caring for ostomates to correctly describe ostomy‐related lesions, which is important for nursing records, continuity of care and telehealth care.
The straight-line run is the most frequent action in soccer goal scoring situations, and it deserves considerable attention. The objective of this study was to evaluate the neuromuscular fatigue produced by an independent repeat sprint ability (RSA) test, a countermovement jump (CMJ) and a hamstring test (HT) in elite female soccer players. Twenty-four elite female soccer players participated in the study. The evaluation protocol included hamstring and CMJ tests before an RSA test (6 × 40 m 30 s rest), and hamstring and CMJ post-tests. Significant differences were found between pre-post HT measurements in the maximum angulation of the right leg (p = 0.012 Effect Size (ES) = 0.27), and the maximum velocity was higher in the left leg after RSA (p = 0.023 ES = 0.34). CMJ height after RSA was significantly lower than before the RSA test (p < 0.001 ES = 0.40). The sprint total time (SprintTT) and percentage difference (%Dif) increased throughout the RSA (p < 0.001, and ES = 0.648 and ES = 0.515, respectively). In elite female soccer players, it seems that the fatigue induced by an RSA test can be assessed through the loss of CMJ height and the different performance variables extracted from the RSA itself (e.g., Sprint TT , Ideal Sprint). These findings could contribute to better performance management and injury prevention for elite female soccer players.
Ambient noise tomography (ANT) has proved to be efficient in resolving crustal structures for different purposes. Despite the numerous studies carried out in Gran Canaria in the past for purposes of geothermal exploration, ANT had never been used before on this island. We applied this technique to understand Gran Canaria island’s shallow structure, determining the 3-D S-wave velocity model of the island and focusing on its implications for geothermal exploration. We used data from 30 seismic stations installed between October 2019 and February 2020. Our findings revealed five relevant velocity anomalies helpful in understanding the island’s geology and its geothermal potential. In particular, we identified two high-velocity anomalies in the central part of the island aligned with the primary northwest–southeast structural trends of Gran Canaria. We interpret them as evidence of intrusive volcanic bodies emplaced during the early stages of the island’s geological history. We also identified three low-velocity zones located in different parts of the island. We maintain that these anomalies could be associated with porous and highly fractured materials produced during the more recent volcanic episodes. In addition, we observed a spatial correlation of anomalies in the electric conductivity identified in previous studies and strong lateral gradients in our S-wave velocity model. We interpret them as evidence of hydrothermal circulation and thermal anomalies in correspondence of lateral contacts between different geological units and/or faults.
Beach handball is a sport that has seen an increase in the number of players in the last decade. The aim of the study was to evaluate the basic measures of body composition, maturation, performance outcomes and the adherence to the Mediterranean diet of professional beach handball players, as a function of category (junior vs. senior) and playing positions. Thirty-six professional beach handball players participated in the study: 18 seniors (age: 25.0 ± 5.19) and 18 juniors (age: 16.7 ± 0.46); Each player's body composition and different sports performance variables were analysed using the CMJ test, the Abalakov test, the Yo-Yo Test IR1 and the handgrip test. The Mediter-ranean diet Adherence was analysed using the KIDMED questionnaire. Significant differences are observed for all performance variables, with the values of senior players being higher in all cases (p < 0.005). Moreover, the adherence to the Mediterranean diet is moderate. Positive correlations were observed between the CMJ and weight (p = 0.012) and the CMJ and the BMI (p = 0.003). The same was observed for the Abalakov test, with p = 0.004 for weight and p = 0.001 for the BMI. Regarding the dynamometry, it positively correlates with the height (p = 0.002), the sitting height (p = 0.008), wingspan (p < 0.001) and weight (p = 0.011). The opposite occurred with the Yo-Yo Test and the KIDMED variables. Conclusions: One aspect to improve, as a key performance factor, would be the adherence to the Mediterranean diet for both categories. Players with a better adherence, achieved better results in the performance tests.
This article explores the contexts, processes and motivations behind the administration of sedatives (minor tranquilisers) in the time around perinatal loss. Using a mixed methods design, an online survey of 796 women and 13 narrative interviews were conducted. The participants had experienced a stillbirth or termination of pregnancy from 16 weeks or a neonatal death in Spanish hospitals. The quantitative (univariate and CHAID decision-tree) and qualitative (narrative-linguistic) analysis found that sedative administration was pervasive across care contexts and appears to be naturalised despite contradicting practice recommendations. Sedative administration was associated with emotional control and avoidance of loss, lack of accompaniment and on occasion with managing disruptive patients. Lack of informed consent was very common, with little explanation of side-effects prior to administration. In the participants’ narratives, health professionals tended to construct sedatives as benign, but for some women the effects were counterproductive to loss and grief and related to persistent regrets about decisions. The study concludes that, in the context of perinatal loss, sedative administration was highly integrated into the fabric of medicalised care. As a socio-political and cultural practice underscored by gender-based care dynamics, there seems to be an imbalance between benefit and risk to women’s welfare.
Over the last few years, the addition of small amounts of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to construction materials has become of great interest, since it enhances some of the mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of the cement. In this sense, single-walled and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs and MWCNTs, respectively) can be incorporated into cement to achieve the above-mentioned improved features. Thus, the current study presents the results of the addition of SWCNTs and MWCNTs on the microstructure and the physical properties of the cement paste. Density was measured through He pycnometry and the mass change was studied by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The microstructure and the phases were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Finally, the electrical conductivity for different CNT concentrations was measured, and an exponential increase of the conductivity with concentration was observed. This last result opens the possibility for these materials to be used in a high variety of fields, such as space intelligent systems with novel electrical and electronic applications.
Several studies involving students have been developed with the objective to analyse the influence of different factors on academic performance. Nevertheless, all these studies were focused on stress and sympathetic modulation response instead of contemplating other physiological parameters that may affect academic performance. The aim of the present study was to analyse body composition, cardiovascular, sleep habits and physical activity factors related to the academic performance of university students. Two hundred and sixty-one students with bachelor’s degrees in physical activity and sports science participated in the present study (age: 22.49 ± 3.84 years; weight: 73.94 ± 11.4 kg; height: 176.28 ± 7.68 cm; 87.7% males). Participants were divided into two groups according to their academic performance: low academic performance group (LAPG) and high academic performance group (HAPG). Body composition, blood pressure, physical activity and sleep habits were measured, and maximum oxygen uptake was estimated by the Cooper’s 12 min run test. The results show that students with a high academic performance presented a higher VO2 max than the LAPG (LAPG = 40.32 ± 6.07; HAPG = 47.91 ± 6.89 mL/kg/min; p < 0.001), as well as lower diastolic blood pressure (LAPG = 72.44 ± 14.27; HAPG = 67.48 ± 13.50 mmHg; p < 0.01) and insomnia levels caused by breathing problems (LAPG = 0.37 ± 0.8; HAPG = 0.13 ± 0.42 a.u.; p = 0.046). Therefore, we found a relevant association between academic performance and VO2 max, diastolic blood pressure, and insomnia caused by breathing problems. These results highlight the importance of applying different programmes that may improve these factors, especially those related to physical activity and sleep habits in order to improve academic achievement.
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David Sanz-Rosa
  • School of Biomedical Sciences. Dept Medicine
Jonathan Esteve
  • Center for Research in Sport and Physical Activity
Rocio Gonzalez-Soltero
  • Department of Medicine
Vicente Javier Clemente-Suárez
  • Department of Sport Science
Fernando Blanco
  • Department of Business
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