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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to significant strain on front-line healthcare workers.
In this multicentre study, we compared the psychological outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic in various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and identified factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes.
From 29 April to 4 June 2020, the study recruited healthcare workers from major healthcare institutions in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region. A self-administrated survey that collected information on prior medical conditions, presence of symptoms, and scores on the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and the Impact of Events Scale-Revised were used. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relating to COVID-19 was compared, and multivariable logistic regression identified independent factors associated with adverse psychological outcomes within each country.
A total of 1146 participants from India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam were studied. Despite having the lowest volume of cases, Vietnam displayed the highest prevalence of PTSD. In contrast, Singapore reported the highest case volume, but had a lower prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the multivariable analysis, we found that non-medically trained personnel, the presence of physical symptoms and presence of prior medical conditions were independent predictors across the participating countries.
This study highlights that the varied prevalence of psychological adversity among healthcare workers is independent of the burden of COVID-19 cases within each country. Early psychological interventions may be beneficial for the vulnerable groups of healthcare workers with presence of physical symptoms, prior medical conditions and those who are not medically trained.
Coated copper sulphate (CCS) could be used as a Cu supplement in cows. To investigate the influences of copper sulphate (CS) and CCS on milk performance, nutrient digestion and rumen fermentation, fifty Holstein dairy cows were arranged in a randomised block design to five groups: control, CS addition (7·5 mg Cu/kg DM from CS) or CCS addition (5, 7·5 and 10 mg Cu/kg DM from CCS, respectively). When comparing Cu source at equal inclusion rates (7·5 mg/kg DM), cows receiving CCS addition had higher yields of fat-corrected milk, milk fat and protein; digestibility of DM, organic matter (OM) and neutral-detergent fibre (NDF); ruminal total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration; activities of carboxymethyl cellulase, cellobiase, pectinase and α-amylase; populations of Ruminococcus albus, Ruminococcus flavefaciens and Fibrobacter succinogenes; and liver Cu content than cows receiving CS addition. Increasing CCS addition, DM intake was unchanged, yields of milk, milk fat and protein; feed efficiency; digestibility of DM, OM, NDF and acid-detergent fibre; ruminal total VFA concentration; acetate:propionate ratio; activity of cellulolytic enzyme; populations of total bacteria, protozoa and dominant cellulolytic bacteria; and concentrations of Cu in serum and liver increased linearly, but ruminal propionate percentage, ammonia-N concentration, α-amylase activity and populations of Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus decreased linearly. The results indicated that supplement of CS could be substituted with CCS and addition of CCS improved milk performance and nutrient digestion in dairy cows.
Schizotypy refers to schizophrenia-like traits below the clinical threshold in the general population. The pathological development of schizophrenia has been postulated to evolve from the initial coexistence of ‘brain disconnection’ and ‘brain connectivity compensation’ to ‘brain connectivity decompensation’.
In this study, we examined the brain connectivity changes associated with schizotypy by combining brain white matter structural connectivity, static and dynamic functional connectivity analysis of diffusion tensor imaging data and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. A total of 87 participants with a high level of schizotypal traits and 122 control participants completed the experiment. Group differences in whole-brain white matter structural connectivity probability, static mean functional connectivity strength, dynamic functional connectivity variability and stability among 264 brain sub-regions of interests were investigated.
We found that individuals with high schizotypy exhibited increased structural connectivity probability within the task control network and within the default mode network; increased variability and decreased stability of functional connectivity within the default mode network and between the auditory network and the subcortical network; and decreased static mean functional connectivity strength mainly associated with the sensorimotor network, the default mode network and the task control network.
These findings highlight the specific changes in brain connectivity associated with schizotypy and indicate that both decompensatory and compensatory changes in structural connectivity within the default mode network and the task control network in the context of whole-brain functional disconnection may be an important neurobiological correlate in individuals with high schizotypy.
EPA and DHA are required for normal cell function and can also induce health benefits. Oily fish are the main source of EPA and DHA for human consumption. However, food choices and concerns about the sustainability of marine fish stocks limit the effectiveness of dietary recommendations for EPA + DHA intakes. Seed oils from transgenic plants that contain EPA + DHA are a potential alternative source of EPA and DHA. The present study investigated whether dietary supplementation with transgenic Camelina sativa seed oil (CSO) that contained EPA and DHA was as effective as fish oil (FO) in increasing EPA and DHA concentrations when consumed as a dietary supplement in a blinded crossover study. Healthy men and women (n 31; age 53 (range 20–74) years) were randomised to consume 450 mg/d EPA + DHA provided either as either CSO or FO for 8 weeks, followed by 6 weeks washout and then switched to consuming the other test oil. Fasting venous blood samples were collected at the start and end of each supplementation period. Consuming the test oils significantly (P < 0·05) increased EPA and DHA concentrations in plasma TAG, phosphatidylcholine and cholesteryl esters. There were no significant differences between test oils in the increments of EPA and DHA. There was no significant difference between test oils in the increase in the proportion of erythrocyte EPA + DHA (CSO, 12 %; P < 0·0001 and FO, 8 %; P = 0·02). Together, these findings show that consuming CSO is as effective as FO for increasing EPA and DHA concentrations in humans.
Traditionally, health technology assessment (HTA) focuses on assessing the impact of pharmaceutical technologies on health and care. Resources are scarce and policy makers aim to achieve effective, accessible health care. eHealth innovations are increasingly more integrated in all healthcare domains. However, how eHealth is assessed prior to its implementation in care practices is unclear. To support evidence-informed policy making, this study aimed to identify frameworks and methods for assessing eHealth's impact on health care.
The scientific literature in five bibliographical databases was systematically reviewed. Articles were included if the study was conducted in a clinical setting, used an HTA framework and assessed an eHealth service. A systematic qualitative narrative approach was applied for analysis and reporting.
Twenty-one HTA frameworks were identified in twenty-three articles. All frameworks addressed outcomes related to the technical performance and functionalities of eHealth service under assessment. The majority also addressed costs (n = 19), clinical outcomes (n = 14), organizational (n = 15) and system level aspects (n = 13). Most frameworks can be classified as dimensional (n = 13), followed by staged (n = 3), hybrid (n = 3), and business modeling frameworks (n = 2). Six frameworks specified assessment outcomes and methods.
HTA frameworks are available for a-priori impact assessment of eHealth services. The frameworks vary in assessment outcomes, methods, and specificity. Demonstrated applicability in practice is limited. Recommendations include standardization of: (i) reporting characteristics of eHealth services, and (ii) specifying assessment outcomes and methods following a stepped-approach tailored to the functional characteristics of eHealth services. Standardization might improve the quality and comparability of eHTA assessments.
The EQ-5D is a generic questionnaire generating a health profile and a single index score for health-related quality of life. This study aimed to analyse the discriminative ability and validity of the EQ-5D in patients with schizophrenic, schizotypal or delusional disorders.
Subjects and methods
One hundred sixty-six patients with schizophrenic, schizotypal or delusional disorders (ICD-10 F2) completed the EQ-5D. Measures of quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF), utility (TTO), subjective (SCL-90R) and objective (PANSS, CGI-S) psychopathology, and functioning (GAF, GARF, SOFAS, HoNOS) provided comparison. Discriminative ability was analysed by assessing frequency distributions of EQ-5D scores. Validity of the EQ-5D self-classifier was analysed by assessing differences in related other scores grouped by response levels of EQ-5D items. Validity of the visual analogue scale (EQ VAS) and the EQ-5D index (UK social tariff) was analysed by assessing their correlation with all other scores.
Seventy-nine percent of respondents reported problems in at least one of the EQ-5D dimensions (anxiety/depression 57%, usual activities 45%, pain/discomfort 44%, self-care 29%, mobility 22%). The mean EQ VAS score/EQ-5D index was 65.7/0.71. The four most frequently reported EQ-5D health states covered 45% of all respondents. For almost all EQ-5D dimensions, different response levels were associated with significantly different scores of measures used for comparison. Correlation of EQ VAS score and EQ-5D index were largest with scores of subjective measures (SCL-90R: −0.50 and −0.73; WHOQOL mental subscore 0.62 and 0.58; always P < 0.001).
Discussion and conclusion
The EQ-5D showed a moderate ceiling effect and seems to be reasonably valid in this patient group.
To quantify and compare the resource consumption and direct costs of medical mental health care of patients suffering from schizophrenia in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.
In the European Cohort Study of Schizophrenia, a naturalistic two-year follow-up study, patients were recruited in France (N = 288), Germany (N = 618), and the United Kingdom (N = 302). Data about the use of services and medication were collected. Unit cost data were obtained and transformed into United States Dollar Purchasing Power Parities (USD-PPP). Mean service use and costs were estimated using between-effects regression models.
In the French/German/UK sample estimated means for a six-month period were respectively 5.7, 7.5 and 6.4 inpatient days, and 11.0, 1.3, and 0.7 day-clinic days. After controlling for age, sex, number of former hospitalizations and psychopathology (CGI score), mean costs were 3700/2815/3352 USD-PPP.
Service use and estimated costs varied considerably between countries. The greatest differences were related to day-clinic use. The use of services was not consistently higher in one country than in the others. Estimated costs did not necessarily reflect the quantity of service use, since unit costs for individual types of service varied considerably between countries.
We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
The objective of this family-based whole exome sequencing (WES) is to examine genetic variants of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Korean population.
The probands with ASD and their biological parents were recruited in this study. We ascertained diagnosis based on DSM-5™ criteria, using Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and Autism Diagnostic Interview–Revised. We selected probands with typical phenotypes of ASD both in social interaction/communication and repetitive behaviour/limited interest domains, with intellectual disability (IQ < 70), for attaining homogeneity of the phenotypes. First, we performed WES minimum 50× for 13 probands and high-coverage pooled sequencing for their parents. We performed additional WES for 38 trio families, at least 100× depth. De novo mutations were confirmed by Sanger sequencing. All the sequence reads were mapped onto the human reference genome (hg19 without Y chromosome). Bioinformatics analyses were performed by BWA-MEM, Picard, GATK, and snpEff for variant annotation. We selected de novo mutation candidates from probands, which are neither detected in two pooled samples nor both parents.
Fifty-one subjects with ASD (5 females, 40∼175 months, mean IQ 42) and their families were included in this study. We discovered 109 de novo variants from 46 families. Twenty-nine variants are expected to be amino acid changing, potentially causing deleterious effects. We assume CELSR3, MYH1, ATXN1, IDUA, NFKB1, and C4A/C4B may have adverse effect on central nerve system.
We observed novel de novo variants which are assumed to contribute to development of ASD with typical phenotypes and low intelligence in WES study.
Disclosure of interest
This work has been supported by Healthcare Technology R&D project (No: A120029) by Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea.
Single-molecule localization microscopy (SMLM) is a family of super-resolution microscopy techniques based on localizing clusters of detected photons that are emitted by single molecules. The localization procedure is based on careful statistical analysis of long image sequences to derive the nanometer positions of the molecules. By introducing additional optics, such as cylindrical lenses in the optical system, SMLM techniques have been extended to 3D super-resolution imaging. This adds a calibration step, thereby further complicating the data analysis. Here we present Huygens Localizer, a well-supported user-friendly package that carries out these tasks quickly by offloading carefully designed 2D and 3D analysis and visualization procedures to massively parallel graphical processors (GPUs).
Piglet birth weight and within-litter birth weight variation are important for piglet survival and growth. Pre-mating diets may improve IGF-1 and follicle development during the weaning-to-oestrus interval (WEI) and subsequent piglet birth weight. The objective of this study was to modulate IGF-1 concentration during late lactation and the WEI of young sows by using specific pre-mating diets supplemented with microfibrillated cellulose (MF), l-carnitine (LC) or l-arginine (AR). A further objective was to investigate the relationship between IGF-1 and subsequent follicle development and oestrus and ovulation characteristics. In total, 56 first-parity and 20 second-parity sows in three consecutive batches were used for this experiment. Sows received daily either wheat (CON) or wheat plus MF, LC or AR at one of two supplementation levels (low and high) during last week of lactation and WEI. From weaning onwards, follicle and corpus luteum (CL) diameters were repeatedly measured with ultrasound. Blood samples were collected during the WEI for IGF-1 and on day 21 of pregnancy for progesterone analyses, respectively. Insulin-like growth factor-1 concentration, follicle diameter, oestrus and ovulation characteristics and CL diameter were not affected by pre-mating diets. Low IGF-1 class (≤156 ng/ml, N = 22) sows had smaller follicles at weaning (3.5 v. 3.8 mm, P < 0.05) and a longer weaning-to-ovulation interval (147.2 v. 129.8 h, P < 0.05) than high IGF-1 class sows. In first-parity sows, high loin muscle depth (LM) loss sows (≥8%, N = 28) had lower IGF-1 concentrations at weaning (167 v. 214 ng/ml, P < 0.05) compared to low LM loss sows (<8%, N = 28). However, after weaning, IGF-1 concentrations increased and did not differ between high LM loss and low LM loss sows. In conclusion, the different supplemented compounds in pre-mating diets did not improve IGF-1 concentrations around weaning in young sows. Furthermore, high body condition loss caused lower IGF-1 concentrations at weaning, but these levels rapidly recovered after weaning and were related to follicle development and the interval from weaning to ovulation.
To investigate the association between parity and the risk of incident dementia in women.
We pooled baseline and follow-up data for community-dwelling women aged 60 or older from six population-based, prospective cohort studies from four European and two Asian countries. We investigated the association between parity and incident dementia using Cox proportional hazards regression models adjusted for age, educational level, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and cohort, with additional analysis by dementia subtype (Alzheimer dementia (AD) and non-Alzheimer dementia (NAD)).
Of 9756 women dementia-free at baseline, 7010 completed one or more follow-up assessments. The mean follow-up duration was 5.4 ± 3.1 years and dementia developed in 550 participants. The number of parities was associated with the risk of incident dementia (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.02–1.13). Grand multiparity (five or more parities) increased the risk of dementia by 30% compared to 1–4 parities (HR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.02–1.67). The risk of NAD increased by 12% for every parity (HR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.02–1.23) and by 60% for grand multiparity (HR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.00–2.55), but the risk of AD was not significantly associated with parity.
Grand multiparity is a significant risk factor for dementia in women. This may have particularly important implications for women in low and middle-income countries where the fertility rate and prevalence of grand multiparity are high.
In China, one percent of the richest population holds more than one-third of the wealth, while the poorest 25% shares no more than two percent of the total. The country’s rapid economic development has resulted in increasing socio-economic disparities, and a rapidly deteriorating environment. This puts the Chinese citizens, especially the most vulnerable and deprived socio-economic status (SES) groups, at high risks of environmental inequality (EI). In most SES-based EI studies conducted in China, household wealth has often been overlooked, though it potentially serves a good economic indicator to capture the socio-economic effect of environmental change in China. Nevertheless, existing SES databases in China are of low spatial resolution and are insufficient to support fine-grained EI studies at the intra-city level in China. The core research challenge is to develop a representative household wealth proxy in high-spatial resolution for China. This study highlights the research gaps and proposes a new household wealth proxy, which integrates both fine-grained data/features such as daytime satellite imagery and easily accessible wealth indicators such as house prices. We also capitalize on everyday economic activity data retrieved from personal mobile phones and online transaction/social platforms in the composition of our wealth proxy to achieve a higher accuracy in estimating household wealth at fine-grained resolution via machine learning. Finally, we summarize the challenges in improving both the quality and the availability of Chinese socio-economic datasets, while protecting personal privacy and information security during the data collection process for household wealth proxy development in China.
EPA and DHA are important components of cell membranes. Since humans have limited ability for EPA and DHA synthesis, these must be obtained from the diet, primarily from oily fish. Dietary EPA and DHA intakes are constrained by the size of fish stocks and by food choice. Seed oil from transgenic plants that synthesise EPA and DHA represents a potential alternative source of these fatty acids, but this has not been tested in humans. We hypothesised that incorporation of EPA and DHA into blood lipids from transgenic Camelina sativa seed oil (CSO) is equivalent to that from fish oil. Healthy men and women (18–30 years or 50–65 years) consumed 450 mg EPA + DHA from either CSO or commercial blended fish oil (BFO) in test meals in a double-blind, postprandial cross-over trial. There were no significant differences between test oils or sexes in EPA and DHA incorporation into plasma TAG, phosphatidylcholine or NEFA over 8 h. There were no significant differences between test oils, age groups or sexes in postprandial VLDL, LDL or HDL sizes or concentrations. There were no significant differences between test oils in postprandial plasma TNFα, IL 6 or 10, or soluble intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 concentrations in younger participants. These findings show that incorporation into blood lipids of EPA and DHA consumed as CSO was equivalent to BFO and that such transgenic plant oils are a suitable dietary source of EPA and DHA in humans.
Norovirus, a major cause of gastroenteritis in people of all ages worldwide, was first reported in South Korea in 1999. The most common causal agents of pediatric acute gastroenteritis are norovirus and rotavirus. While vaccination has reduced the pediatric rotavirus infection rate, norovirus vaccines have not been developed. Therefore, prediction and prevention of norovirus are very important. Norovirus is divided into genogroups GI–GVII, with GII.4 being the most prevalent. However, in 2012–2013, GII.17 showed a higher incidence than GII.4 and a novel variant, GII.P17-GII.17, appeared. In this study, 204 stool samples collected in 2013–2014 were screened by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction; 11 GI (5.39%) and 45 GII (22.06%) noroviruses were identified. GI.4, GI.5, GII.4, GII.6 and GII.17 were detected. The whole genomes of the three norovirus GII.17 were sequenced. The whole genome of GII.17 consists of three open reading frames of 5109, 1623 and 780 bp. Compared with 20 GII.17 strains isolated in other countries, we observed numerous changes in the protruding P2 domain of VP1 in the Korean GII.17 viruses. Our study provided genome information that might aid in epidemic prevention, epidemiology studies and vaccine development.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) plays an important role in the development of major depressive disorder (MDD). The aim of this study was to examine whether CM severity and type are associated with MDD-related brain alterations, and how they interact with sex and age.
Within the ENIGMA-MDD network, severity and subtypes of CM using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were assessed and structural magnetic resonance imaging data from patients with MDD and healthy controls were analyzed in a mega-analysis comprising a total of 3872 participants aged between 13 and 89 years. Cortical thickness and surface area were extracted at each site using FreeSurfer.
CM severity was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the banks of the superior temporal sulcus and supramarginal gyrus as well as with reduced surface area of the middle temporal lobe. Participants reporting both childhood neglect and abuse had a lower cortical thickness in the inferior parietal lobe, middle temporal lobe, and precuneus compared to participants not exposed to CM. In males only, regardless of diagnosis, CM severity was associated with higher cortical thickness of the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. Finally, a significant interaction between CM and age in predicting thickness was seen across several prefrontal, temporal, and temporo-parietal regions.
Severity and type of CM may impact cortical thickness and surface area. Importantly, CM may influence age-dependent brain maturation, particularly in regions related to the default mode network, perception, and theory of mind.
Guangxi, a province in southwestern China, has the second highest reported number of HIV/AIDS cases in China. This study aimed to develop an accurate and effective model to describe the tendency of HIV and to predict its incidence in Guangxi. HIV incidence data of Guangxi from 2005 to 2016 were obtained from the database of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network models, autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) models, generalised regression neural network (GRNN) models and exponential smoothing (ES) were used to fit the incidence data. Data from 2015 and 2016 were used to validate the most suitable models. The model performances were evaluated by evaluating metrics, including mean square error (MSE), root mean square error, mean absolute error and mean absolute percentage error. The LSTM model had the lowest MSE when the N value (time step) was 12. The most appropriate ARIMA models for incidence in 2015 and 2016 were ARIMA (1, 1, 2) (0, 1, 2)12 and ARIMA (2, 1, 0) (1, 1, 2)12, respectively. The accuracy of GRNN and ES models in forecasting HIV incidence in Guangxi was relatively poor. Four performance metrics of the LSTM model were all lower than the ARIMA, GRNN and ES models. The LSTM model was more effective than other time-series models and is important for the monitoring and control of local HIV epidemics.