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We develop a dynamic general equilibrium growth model, where households purchase final goods on cash or credit and have different capital and money endowments, to investigate whether inflation affects trends in income and consumption inequality. We show that, under a strong substitutability between cash and credit goods, inflation has a negative relationship with income inequality, but a U-shaped relationship with consumption inequality. The divergence between income and consumption inequality explains several recent empirical observations. This result has important policy implications, as consumption inequality better reflects the welfare distribution whereas income inequality fails to capture consumption disparities resulting from different consumption and asset distributions across households. In the growth model with heterogeneous households, there is a mixed relationship between growth and income inequality, confirming the existence of the Kuznets curve. The inflation-driven asset reallocation might also produce a Mundell–Tobin effect, enhancing growth.
Salmonella is a leading cause of foodborne outbreaks in Taiwan. On 27 April 2018, a salmonellosis outbreak among customers of a restaurant was reported to the Taiwan CDC. We investigated the outbreak to identify infection sources and prevent further transmission. We interviewed ill customers and their dining companions. We conducted a case-control study to identify foods associated with the illness. Case-patients were those who had diarrhoea within 72 h after eating at the restaurant during 16–27 April 2018. Specimens, food samples and environmental samples were collected and tested for enteric pathogens. Salmonella isolates were analysed with pulse-field gel electrophoresis and whole-genome sequencing. We inspected the restaurant sanitation and reviewed kitchen surveillance camera recordings. We identified 47 case-patients, including one decedent. Compared with 44 controls, case-patients were more likely to have had a French toast sandwich (OR: 102.4; 95% CI: 18.7–952.3). Salmonella Enteritidis isolates from 16 case-patients shared an indistinguishable genotype. Camera recordings revealed eggshell contamination, long holding time at room temperature and use of leftovers during implicated food preparation. Recommendations for restaurant egg-containing food preparation are to use pasteurised egg products and ensure a high enough cooking temperature and long enough cooking time to prevent Salmonella contamination.
To investigate the spatial distribution of self-harm incidence rates, their socioeconomic correlates and sex/age differences using data on self-harm presentations to emergency departments from The Manchester Self-Harm Project (2003–2013).
Smoothed standardised incidence ratios for index self-harm episodes (n = 14 771) and their associations with area-level socioeconomic factors across 258 small areas (median population size = 1470) in the City of Manchester municipality were estimated using Bayesian hierarchical models.
Higher numbers and rates of self-harm were found in the north, east and far southern zones of the city, in contrast to below average rates in the city centre and the inner city zone to the south of the centre. Males and females aged 10–24, 25–44 and 45–64 years showed similar geographical patterning of self-harm. In contrast, there was no clear pattern in the group aged 65 years and older. Fully adjusted analyses showed a positive association of self-harm rates with the percentage of the unemployed population, households privately renting, population with limiting long-term illness and lone-parent households, and a negative association with the percentage of ethnicity other than White British and travel distance to the nearest hospital emergency department. The area-level characteristics investigated explained a large proportion (four-fifths) of the variability in area self-harm rates. Most associations were restricted to those aged under 65 years and some associations (e.g. with unemployment) were present only in the youngest age group.
The findings have implications for allocating prevention and intervention resources targeted at high-risk groups in high incidence areas. Targets for area-based interventions might include tackling the causes and consequences of joblessness, better treatment of long-term illness and consideration of the accessibility of health services.
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.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is highly heterogeneous and can be classified as treatment-resistant depression (TRD) or antidepressant-responsive depression (non-TRD) based on patients' responses to antidepressant treatment. Methods for distinguishing between TRD and non-TRD are critical clinical concerns. Deficits of cortical inhibition (CI) have been reported to play an influential role in the pathophysiology of MDD. Whether TRD patients' CI is more impaired than that of non-TRD patients remains unclear.
Paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (ppTMS) was used to measure cortical inhibitory function including GABAA- and GABAB-receptor-related CI and cortical excitatory function including glutamate-receptor-related intracortical facilitation (ICF). We recruited 36 healthy controls (HC) and 36 patients with MDD (non-TRD, n = 16; TRD, n = 20). All participants received evaluations for depression severity and ppTMS examinations. Non-TRD patients received an additional ppTMS examination after 3 months of treatment with the SSRI escitalopram.
Patients with TRD exhibited reduced short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI), as shown by abnormally higher estimates, than those with non-TRD or HC (F = 11.030, p < 0.001; F = 10.309, p < 0.001, respectively). After an adequate trial of escitalopram treatment, the LICI of non-TRD reduced significantly (t = − 3.628, p < 0.001), whereas the ICF remained lower than that of HC and showed no difference from pretreatment non-TRD.
TRD was characterized by relatively reduced CI, including both GABAA- and GABAB-receptor-mediated neurons while non-TRD preserved partial CI. In non-TRD, SSRIs may mainly modulate GABAB-receptor-related LICI. Our findings revealed distinguishable features of CI in antidepressant-resistant and responsive major depression.
The modification of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) as fillers is very effective at improving the performance of polymers. A novel modification of HNTs through grafting dodecylamine onto their surfaces was conducted here. Owing to the improvement in dispersibility of HNTs in polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the mechanical properties and wear resistance (in particular) of the dodecylamine-modified HNT-filled PTFE composite were enhanced significantly.
Cellulitis is a common infection of the skin and soft tissue. Susceptibility to cellulitis is related to microorganism virulence, the host immunity status and environmental factors. This retrospective study from 2001 to 2013 investigated relationships between the monthly incidence rate of cellulitis and meteorological factors using data from the Taiwanese Health Insurance Dataset and the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau. Meteorological data included temperature, hours of sunshine, relative humidity, total rainfall and total number of rainy days. In otal, 195 841 patients were diagnosed with cellulitis and the incidence rate was strongly correlated with temperature (γS = 0.84, P < 0.001), total sunshine hours (γS = 0.65, P < 0.001) and total rainfall (γS = 0.53, P < 0.001). The incidence rate of cellulitis increased by 3.47/100 000 cases for every 1° elevation in environmental temperature. Our results may assist clinicians in educating the public of the increased risk of cellulitis during warm seasons and possible predisposing environmental factors for infection.
In order to improve the dispersibility of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) in polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the modification of HNT surfaces was studied with three types of modifiers (polymethyl methacrylate [PMMA], sodium dodecyl sulfate [SDS] and carboxylic acid). The modified HNTs were characterized by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and contact angle measurements. The HNTs were used to reinforce the mechanical properties of PTFE. The mechanical results indicated that the tensile strength of the modified HNT-filled PTFE nanocomposites (F-HNT/PTFE) improved to an acceptable degree and Young's modulus increased significantly. The tribological results showed that the wear rate of F-HNT/PTFE decreased by 21–82 and 9–40 times compared to pure PTFE and the pristine F-HNT/PTFE, respectively.
To determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium in dairy cattle in Guangdong Province, South China, 1440 fecal samples were collected from 10 farms and screened for Cryptosporidium with PCR. The overall prevalence of Cryptosporidium was 4.38% (63/1440), and the infection rates in preweaned calves, postweaned calves, heifers and adults were 6.4% (19/297), 6.19% (33/533), 1.48% (4/271) and 2.06% (7/339), respectively. Three Cryptosporidium species, Cryptosporidium andersoni (n = 33), Cryptosporidium bovis (n = 22) and Cryptosporidium ryanae (n = 8) were detected by DNA sequence analysis of the 63 positive samples, and C. andersoni was identified as the most common species on the dairy cattle farms. In preweaned calves, C. bovis was the most prevalent species (9/19, 47.4%). In contrast, C. andersoni was the predominant species (19/33, 57.6%) in postweaned calves and the only species found in heifers and adults. The zoonotic species Cryptosporidium parvum was not detected in this study. Twenty-four C. andersoni isolates were successfully classified into three multilocus sequence typing (MLST) subtypes. MLST subtype A4,A4,A4,A1 was the predominant subtype, and MLST subtype A2,A5,A2,A1, previously found in sheep, was detected in cattle for the first time. A linkage disequilibrium analysis showed that the C. andersoni isolates had a clonal genetic population structure. However, further molecular studies are required to better understand the epidemiology of Cryptosporidium in Guangdong.
Halloysite nanotubes (HNTs)/polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) nanocomposites were prepared by the cold compression moulding method. The effects of addition of HNTs (HNTs ‘filling’) on the performances of PTFE were explored using X-ray diffraction, Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and thermogravimetric analysis which showed that HNTs were well dispersed in the PTFE matrix by means of physical mixing at lower contents of 2–5 wt.%; the introduction of HNTs into PTFE could improve the heat stability of the PTFE. Furthermore, the mechanical and tribological performances of the nanocomposites were measured to examine the filling effect. The tensile strength of the HNTs/PTFE nanocomposites at 2–5 wt.% HNTs content increased by ~3.5% while their wear rates decreased by 55–90% relative to pure PTFE, clear proof of the filling effect of HNTs with a high aspect ratio.
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.
We present the case of a 2-year-old boy with progressive left-sided weakness and a cranial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan showing a lesion with a cystic component in the right thalamus and basal ganglia. The lesion was subtotally resected and diagnosed as a pilocytic astrocytoma by histopathology. Tumor seeding along the surgical tract was seen on MRI 16 days and 10 weeks after surgery. The patient received vincristine and carboplatin, and MRI performed 4 months after chemotherapy revealed no additional or residual lesions. This case illustrated that a World Health Organization grade I astrocytoma could disseminate along the surgical tract.
Objective: To study the relationship of Nε-(carboxymethyl)-lysine level (CML)
with microstructure changes of white matter (WM), and cognitive impairment
in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and to discuss the
potential mechanism underlying T2DM-associated cognitive impairment. Methods: The study was performed in T2DM patients (n=22) with disease course
≥5 years and age ranging from 65 to 75 years old. A control group consisted
of 25 sex- and age-matched healthy volunteers. Fractional anisotropy (FA) of
several WM regions was analyzed by diffusion tensor imaging scan. Plasma CML
levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and cognitive
function was assessed by Mini-Mental State Examination and Montreal
cognitive assessment (MoCA). Results: The total Mini-Mental State Examination score in the patient group
(25.72±3.13) was significantly lower than the control group (28.16±2.45)
(p<0.05). In addition, the total MoCA score in the patient group
(22.15±3.56) was significantly lower than the control group 25.63±4.12)
(p<0.01). In the patient group, FA values were significantly decreased in
the corpus callosum, cingulate fasciculus, inferior fronto-occipital
fasciculus, parietal WM, hippocampus, and temporal lobes relative to
corresponding regions of healthy controls (p<0.05). Plasma CML level was
negatively correlated with average FA values in the global brain (r=−0.58,
p<0.01) and MoCA scores (r=−0.47, p<0.05). Conclusions: In T2DM, WM microstructure changes occur in older patients, and
elevations in CML may play a role in the development of cognitive
This paper presents a robust reliability analysis method for systems of multimodular redundant (MMR) controllers using the method of partitioning and parallel processing of a Markov chain (PPMC). A Markov chain is formulated to represent the N distinct states of the MMR controllers. Such a Markov chain has N2 directed edges, and each edge corresponds to a transition probability between a pair of start and end states. Because N can be easily increased substantially, the system reliability analysis may require large computational resources, such as the central processing unit usage and memory occupation. By the PPMC, a Markov chain's transition probability matrix can be partitioned and reordered, such that the system reliability can be evaluated through only the diagonal submatrices of the transition probability matrix. In addition, calculations regarding the submatrices are independent of each other and thus can be conducted in parallel to assure the efficiency. The simulation results show that, compared with the sequential method applied to an intact Markov chain, the proposed PPMC can improve the performance and produce allowable accuracy for the reliability analysis on large-scale systems of MMR controllers.