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Previous studies have shown that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet might contribute to managing risk factors of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), but evidence is limited. We examined the association of DASH diet score (DASH-DS) with NAFLD, as well as the intermediary effects of serum retinol-binding protein-4 (RBP4), serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), serum TAG, homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and BMI.
We performed a cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study. Dietary data and lifestyle factors were assessed by face-to-face interviews and the DASH-DS was then calculated. We assessed serum RBP4, hs-CRP and TAG and calculated HOMA-IR. The presence and degree of NAFLD were determined by abdominal sonography.
Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study participants, aged 40–75 years at baseline (n 3051).
After adjusting for potential covariates, we found an inverse association between DASH-DS and the presence of NAFLD (Ptrend = 0·009). The OR (95 % CI) of NAFLD for quintiles 2–5 were 0·78 (0·62, 0·98), 0·74 (0·59, 0·94), 0·69 (0·55, 0·86) and 0·77 (0·61, 0·97), respectively. Path analyses indicated that a higher DASH-DS was associated with lower serum RBP4, hs-CRP, TAG, HOMA-IR and BMI, which were positively associated with the degree of NAFLD.
Adherence to the DASH diet was independently associated with a marked lower prevalence of NAFLD in Chinese adults, especially in women and those without abdominal obesity, and might be mediated by reducing RBP4, hs-CRP, TAG, HOMA-IR and BMI.
Little is known about long-term employment outcomes for patients with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum (FES) disorders who received early intervention services.
We compared the 10-year employment trajectory of patients with FES who received early intervention services with those who received standard care. Factors differentiating the employment trajectories were explored.
Patients with FES (N = 145) who received early intervention services in Hong Kong between 1 July 2001 and 30 June 2002 were matched with those who entered standard care 1 year previously. We used hierarchical clustering analysis to explore the 10-year employment clusters for both groups. We used the mixed model test to compare cluster memberships and piecewise regression analysis to compare the employment trajectories of the two groups.
There were significantly more patients who received the early intervention service in the good employment cluster (early intervention: N = 98 [67.6%]; standard care: N = 76 [52.4%]; P = 0.009). In the poor employment cluster, there was a significant difference in the longitudinal pattern between early intervention and standard care for years 1–5 (P < 0.0001). The number of relapses during the first 3 years, months of full-time employment during the first year and years of education were significant in differentiating the clusters of the early intervention group.
Results suggest there was an overall long-term benefit of early intervention services on employment. However, the benefit was not sustained for all patients. Personalisation of the duration of the early intervention service with a focus on relapse prevention and early vocational reintegration should be considered for service enhancement.
Declaration of interests
No relevant conflicts of interests reported by C.L.M.H., Y.N.S., P.S., H.H.P. and K.K.Y. S.K.W.C., W.C.C. and E.H.M.L. report that they are members of the working group of the Early Assessment Service for Young People with Psychosis (EASY) programme of the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong. E.Y.H.C. is the convener of the working group of the EASY programme of the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong.
Bipolar disorder is a highly heritable mental illness that transmits intergeneratively. Previous studies supported that first-degree relatives (FDRs), such as parents, offspring, and siblings, of patients with bipolar disorder, had a higher risk of bipolar disorder. However, whether FDRs of bipolar patients have an increased risk of schizophrenia, major depressive disorder (MDD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains unclear.
Among the entire population in Taiwan, 87 639 patients with bipolar disorder and 188 290 FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were identified in our study. The relative risks (RRs) of major psychiatric disorders were assessed among FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder were more likely to have a higher risk of major psychiatric disorders, including bipolar disorder (RR 6.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 5.95–6.30), MDD (RR 2.89, 95% CI 2.82–2.96), schizophrenia (RR 2.64, 95% CI 2.55–2.73), ADHD (RR 2.21, 95% CI 2.13–2.30), and ASD (RR 2.10, 95% CI 1.92–2.29), than the total population did. These increased risks for major psychiatric disorders were consistent across different familial kinships, such as parents, offspring, siblings, and twins. A dose-dependent relationship was also found between risk of each major psychiatric disorder and numbers of bipolar patients.
Our study was the first study to support the familial coaggregation of bipolar disorder with other major psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, MDD, ADHD, and ASD, in a Taiwanese (non-Caucasian) population. Given the elevated risks of major psychiatric disorders, the public health government should pay more attention to the mental health of FDRs of patients with bipolar disorder.
Cognitive impairment is a core feature of schizophrenia and has been observed in both familial (FHR) and clinical high-risk (CHR) samples. Nonetheless, there is a paucity of research directly contrasting cognitive profiles in these two high-risk states and first-episode schizophrenia. This study aimed to compare cognitive functions in patients with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum disorder (FES), their unaffected siblings (FHR), CHR individuals and healthy controls.
A standardized battery of cognitive assessments was administered to 69 FES patients, 71 help-seeking CHR individuals without family history of psychotic disorder, 50 FHR participants and 68 controls. FES and CHR participants were recruited from territory-wide early intervention service for psychosis in Hong Kong. CHR status was ascertained using Comprehensive Assessment of At-Risk Mental State.
Among four groups, FES patients displayed the largest global cognitive impairment and had medium-to-large deficits across all cognitive tests relative to controls. CHR and FHR participants significantly underperformed in most cognitive tests than controls. Among various cognitive tests, digit symbol coding demonstrated the greatest magnitude of impairment in FES and CHR groups compared with controls. No significant difference between two high-risk groups was observed in global cognition and all individual cognitive tests except digit symbol coding which showed greater deficits in CHR than in FHR participants.
Clinical and familial risk groups experienced largely comparable cognitive impairment that was intermediate between FES and controls. Digit symbol coding may have the greatest discriminant capacity in distinguishing FES and CHR from healthy controls, and between two high-risk samples.
Dementia screening is a public health priority in Taiwan, where the prevalence of dementia is increasing because of an aging population. However, the reasons affect community-dwelling people to accept a referral to memory specialist clinic after dementia screening was still unclear. To investigate the feasibility, acceptability, sensitivity, and specificity of the ascertain dementia 8-item informant questionnaire (AD8) to screen for patients with cognitive impairments in Taiwan's primary healthcare system.
Researchers invited community-dwelling people whose age was above 50-year-old to attend the Memory Screening Project. AD8 was used to perform the informant interview with adult patients who were attending the Memory Screening Project in Taiwan. Individuals who scored ≥2 on the AD8 was suggested to accept referral for further cognitive performance evaluation tests, which included three validated dementia tests, i.e. the Mini-Mental Screening Examination (MMSE), the Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument (CASI), and the Clinical Dementia Rating (CDR).
Of the 102 participants who scored ≥2 on the AD8, only 25.5% attended the referral appointment. In participants who had achieved six or more years of education, AD8 scores were not significantly different between groups and could not differentiate between the non-dementia and patients with dementia in the receiver-operator characteristics curve analysis. In contrast, in those participants who had received less than six years of education, the AD8 scores significantly differentiated between non-dementia and patients with dementia (p = 0.03).
There was a low rate of attendance at a specialist memory clinic following referral after the AD8 interview. Higher levels of education facilitated individuals to make a decision to accept the recommended referral appointment, while the AD8 showed a higher rate of differentiation between individuals who had received an education of less than six years.
A passive evanescent mode half-mode substrate integrated waveguide (HMSIW) resonator loaded with a complementary split ring resonator (CSRR) is designed and fabricated for humidity sensing applications. The use of the CSRR which is etched on the top plane of the HMSIW can significantly reduce the size of the device. Without any sensing material, the sensor which has a compact size of 0.17λg × 0.17λg can provide high humidity sensitivity up to 5.82 MHz/%relative humidity (RH) at high RH region (>84.3%). The results indicate that the proposed structure is a promising candidate for radio and microwave humidity sensing applications.
Isolation of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB) from patients in the community has been increasingly observed. A prediction model for MDR-GNB colonization and infection risk stratification on hospital admission is needed to improve patient care.
A 2-stage, prospective study was performed with 995 and 998 emergency department patients enrolled, respectively. MDR-GNB colonization was defined as isolates resistant to 3 or more classes of antibiotics, identified in either the surveillance or early (≤48 hours) clinical cultures.
A score-assigned MDR-GNB colonization prediction model was developed and validated using clinical and microbiological data from 995 patients enrolled in the first stage of the study; 122 of these patients (12.3%) were MDR-GNB colonized. We identified 5 independent predictors: age>70 years (odds ratio [OR], 1.84 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.06–3.17]; 1 point), assigned point value in the model), residence in a long-term-care facility (OR, 3.64 [95% CI, 1.57–8.43); 3 points), history of cerebrovascular accidents (OR, 2.23 [95% CI, 1.24–4.01]; 2 points), hospitalization within 1 month (OR, 2.63 [95% CI, 1.39–4.96]; 2 points), and recent antibiotic exposure (OR, 2.18 [95% CI, 1.16–4.11]; 2 points). The model displayed good discrimination in the derivation and validation sets (area under ROC curve, 0.75 and 0.80, respectively) with the best cutoffs of<4 and ≥4 points for low- and high-risk MDR-GNB colonization, respectively. When applied to 998 patients in the second stage of the study, the model successfully stratified the risk of MDR-GNB infection during hospitalization between low- and high-risk groups (probability, 0.02 vs 0.12, respectively; log-rank test, P<.001).
A model was developed to optimize both the decision to initiate antimicrobial therapy and the infection control interventions to mitigate threats from MDR-GNB.
Evidence indicates that the positive effects of 2-year early intervention services for psychosis are not maintained after service withdrawal. Optimal duration of early intervention in sustaining initial improved outcomes remains to be determined.
To examine the sustainability of the positive effects of an extended, 3-year, early intervention programme for patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP) after transition to standard care.
A total of 160 patients, who had received a 2-year early intervention programme for FEP, were enrolled to a 12-month randomised-controlled trial (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01202357) comparing a 1-year extension of the early intervention (3-year specialised treatment) with step-down care (2-year specialised treatment). Participants were followed up and reassessed 2 and 3 years after inclusion to the trial.
There were no significant differences between the treatment groups in outcomes on functioning, symptom severity and service use during the post-trial follow-up period.
The therapeutic benefits achieved by the extended, 3-year early intervention were not sustainable after termination of the specialised service.
The prevalence of CHD has been well described worldwide except in Tibet. This study aimed to illustrate the prevalence and composition of CHD in Tibetan children according to altitude.
Methods and results
In the first part, we prospectively recruited 7088 unselected Tibetan children (4–17 years) from south-west Tibet. The total prevalence of CHD increased from 4.6/1000 below 4200 m to 13.4/1000 above 4700 m, with a female-to-male ratio of 1.3:3.1. The total prevalence and female prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus increased more than 10-fold. Females living above 4700 m had exceptionally high prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus (14.9/1000). The prevalence of atrial septal defect was comparable among different altitudes (3.3–3.8/1000). The prevalence of ventricular septal defect was 1.3/1000 below 4700 m, and no cases were found above this altitude. In the second part, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical data of 383 CHD children in Tibet and 73 children at lower altitudes. The percentage of isolated ventricular septal defect decreased from 54.8 to 3.1%, and the percentage of isolated patent ductus arteriosus increased from 8.2 to 68.4% with elevation. Children living below 4200 m (10.4–13.7%) had a larger proportion of complex CHD than those above this altitude (2.0–3.1%). Of the 20 Tibetan children with complex CHD, 14 (70.0%) lived below 4200 m.
A wide variation in CHD prevalence and composition existed in Tibetan children among different altitudes.
Anxiety disorders are prevalent yet under-recognized in late life. We examined the prevalence of anxiety disorders in a representative sample of community dwelling older adults in Hong Kong.
Data on 1,158 non-demented respondents aged 60–75 years were extracted from the Hong Kong Mental Morbidity survey (HKMMS). Anxiety was assessed with the revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R).
One hundred and thirty-seven respondents (11.9%, 95% CI = 10–13.7%) had common mental disorders with a CIS-R score of 12 or above. 8% (95% CI = 6.5–9.6%) had anxiety, 2.2% (95% CI = 1.3–3%) had an anxiety disorder comorbid with depressive disorder, and 1.7% (95% CI = 1–2.5%) had depression. Anxious individuals were more likely to be females (χ2 = 25.3, p < 0.001), had higher chronic physical burden (t = −9.3, p < 0.001), lower SF-12 physical functioning score (t = 9.2, p < 0.001), and poorer delayed recall (t = 2.3, p = 0.022). The risk of anxiety was higher for females (OR 2.8, 95% C.I. 1.7–4.6, p < 0.001) and those with physical illnesses (OR 1.4, 95% C.I. 1.3–1.6, p < 0.001). The risk of anxiety disorders increased in those with disorders of cardiovascular (OR 1.9, 95% C.I. 1.2–2.9, p = 0.003), musculoskeletal (OR 2.0, 95% C.I. 1.5–2.7, p < 0.001), and genitourinary system (OR 2.0, 95% C.I. 1.3–3.2, p = 0.002).
The prevalence of anxiety disorders in Hong Kong older population was 8%. Female gender and those with poor physical health were at a greater risk of developing anxiety disorders. Our findings also suggested potential risk for early sign of memory impairment in cognitively healthy individuals with anxiety disorders.
A novel radio frequency identification tag antenna is composed of a resonant open-slot exciter and a dipole-type ground radiator. For a conjugate match to the Alien Higgs-4 chip impedance of 8−j149 Ω at 925 MHz, a quarter wavelength open-slot resonator embedded at the center of the dipole-type ground plane (130 × 18 mm2) was investigated and fabricated. Simple size adjustments and various loaded inductor of the open-slot resonator allow for easy control of the tag antenna resistance and inductive reactance, from which the chip impedance requirement can be easily obtained. The read range of the prototype antenna attached on a foam in the free space can reach more than 9 m, which has been tested for a radio frequency identification reader with 4.0-W of effective isotropic radiated power. Measurement data are in good agreement with simulation results.
Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating a continuous core from Lake Gun Nur, northern Mongolia, shows a period between 10 and 8 ka BP that could not be dated accurately. Further dating on alkali-insoluble residue and humic acid from the same samples in the Gun Nur core suggest that this AMS 14C date anomaly is neither analytical nor material related. We hypothesize that the 14C anomaly may be derived from increasing production rates of 14C caused by diminished solar activity, a low 14CO2/14CO ratio in the atmosphere, or an unstable 14C flux in the lower atmosphere caused by changing geomagnetic field strength. Our results imply that the 14C data used for 14C age calibration cannot correct the age-depth regression between 8 and 10 ka BP to fit the age-depth model along with other time intervals.
This study modified the surfaces of three kinds of TiNi-based shape memory alloys (SMAs) by dry electrical discharge machining (EDM) in nitrogen (N2) and acetylene (C2H2) gas mixture. The effects of composition of the dielectric medium and work-piece on the machining performance and surface characteristics were investigated. Increasing the ratio of acetylene gas in gas mixture was beneficial for improving the material removal rate (MRR). However, adding a large amount of acetylene gas resulted in unstable discharge. A recast layer, comprising nitrides and carbides, which well adhered on the EDMed surface exhibited high hardness. Among Ti50Ni50, Ti50Ni49.5Cr0.5, and Ti40.5Ni49.5Zr10 SMA as a work-piece, Ti40.5Ni49.5Zr10 SMA has the lowest MRR owing to it possessed the highest melting temperature and thermal conductivity. The recast layer on Ti40.5Ni49.5Zr10 SMA, comprising zirconium nitride, exhibited the highest hardness and adhesion among all the SMAs. However, the high-hardness recast layer deteriorated the shape recovery of the SMA.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Psychiatric patients are particularly susceptible to heat stroke. Therefore, awareness and preventive measures of heat stroke are important for both clinicians and patients.
A 49-year-old man with schizophrenia, who was under maintenance treatment with olanzapine 20 mg/day, trihexyphenidyl 4 mg/day, and trazodone 50 mg/day, suffered from heat stroke in a heat wave and required intensive care. He recovered with the medical treatment provided.
Several factors could have contributed to the impaired thermoregulation and the occurrence of heat stroke in this case: schizophrenia, the psychotropic regimen, and lack of preventive measures. Possible differential diagnoses of heat stroke in this case include infection, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and serotonin syndrome.
Heat stroke can occur during the maintenance treatment of olanzapine, trihexyphenidyl, and trazodone for schizophrenia. Clinicians should be proactive to reduce the risk of heat stroke in psychiatric patients.
Numerous early intervention services targeting young people with
psychosis have been established, based on the premise that reducing
treatment delay and providing intensive treatment in the initial phase of
psychosis can improve long-term outcome.
To establish the effect of extending a specialised early intervention
treatment for first-episode psychosis by 1 year.
A randomised, single-blind controlled trial (NCT01202357) compared a
1-year extension of specialised early intervention with step-down care in
patients who had all received a 2-year intensive early intervention
programme for first-episode psychosis.
Patients receiving an additional year of specialised intervention had
better outcomes in functioning, negative and depressive symptoms and
treatment default rate than those managed by step-down psychiatric
Extending the period of specialised early intervention is clinically
desirable but may not be feasible in lower-income countries.
Previous studies have found that social cohesion and trust (SCT) were associated with psychological well-being and physical health. In this study, we investigated the associations between SCT and mental and physical health among community-dwelling elderly in a town in southern Taiwan.
The study population consisted of 149 community-dwelling elderly aged 65 years and older (68 men, 81 women; mean age, 75.4 ± 6.1 years) residing in the town of Dashe in southern Taiwan. Activities of daily living (ADL), SCT, depression, subjective quality of life (QOL), current medical status, past medical history, and health behaviors were assessed in face-to-face interviews. Objective neurobehavioral functions were assessed using the timed up & go (TUG) test, functional reach test, and handgrip test.
Scores for ADL and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) were significantly correlated with SCT, and SCT was significantly correlated with all subjective QOL items. In addition, a strong correlation was observed between SCT and relationship with friends. Values for SCT (median ≥ 20) were significantly associated with both subjective sense of health (median ≥ 68) and subjective happiness (median ≥ 73) after adjusting for age, sex, and ADL.
SCT is an important variable that influences self-rated health and happiness, independently of ADL, age, and sex. When assessing geriatric psychological function, SCT should be examined more carefully, given its association with subjective sense of health and happiness, depression, and physical function.
A novel allergy biosensor is designed and fabricated by using thin film bulk acoustic resonator (TFBAR) devices with shear mode ZnO piezoelectric thin films. To fabricate TFBAR devices, the off-axis RF magnetron sputtering method for the growth of piezoelectric ZnO piezoelectric thin films is adopted. The influences of the relative distance and sputtering parameters are investigated. In this report, the piezoelectric ZnO thin films with tilting angle are set by controlling the deposition parameters. The properties of the shear mode ZnO thin films are investigated by X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The frequency response is measured using an HP8720 network analyzer with a CASCADE probe station. The resonance frequency of the shear mode is 796.75 MHz. The sensitivity of the shear mode is calculated to be 462.5 kHz·cm2/ng.
Asians and Pacific Islanders have higher circulating serum ferritin (SF) compared with Caucasians but the clinical significance of this is unclear. There is a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in Taiwanese Indigenous than Han Chinese. Genetically, Indigenous are related to Austronesians and account for 2 % of Taiwan's population. We tested the hypothesis that accumulation of Fe in the body contributes to the ethnic/racial disparities in MetS in Taiwan.
A population-based, cross-sectional study.
National Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan and Penghu Island.
A total of 2638 healthy adults aged ≥19 years. Three ethnic groups were included.
Han Chinese and Indigenous people had comparable levels of SF. Austronesia origin was independently associated with MetS (OR = 2·61, 95 % CI 2·02, 3·36). After multiple adjustments, the odds for MetS (OR = 2·49, 95 % CI 1·15, 5·28) was significantly higher among Indigenous people in the highest SF tertile compared with those in the lowest tertile. Hakka and Penghu Islanders yielded the lowest risks (OR = 1·08, 95 % CI 0·44, 2·65 and OR = 1·21, 95 % CI 0·52, 2·78, respectively). Indigenous people in the highest SF tertile had increased risk for abnormal levels of fasting glucose (OR = 2·34, 95 % CI 1·27, 4·29), TAG (OR = 1·94, 95 % CI 1·11, 3·39) and HDL-cholesterol (OR = 2·10, 95 % CI 1·18, 3·73) than those in the lowest SF tertile.
Our results raise the possibility that ethnic/racial differences in body Fe store susceptibility may contribute to racial and geographic disparities in MetS.