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Somatic symptom disorders (SSD) and functional somatic syndromes (FSS) are often regarded as similar diagnostic constructs; however, whether they exhibit similar clinical outcomes, medical costs, and medication usage patterns has not been examined in nationwide data. Therefore, this study focused on analyzing SSD and four types of FSS (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, functional dyspepsia).
This population-based matched cohort study utilized Taiwan's National Health Insurance (NHI) claims database to investigate the impact of SSD/FSS. The study included 2 615 477 newly diagnosed patients with SSD/FSS and matched comparisons from the NHI beneficiary registry. Healthcare utilization, mortality, medical expenditure, and medication usage were assessed as outcome measures. Statistical analysis involved Cox regression models for hazard ratios, generalized linear models for comparing differences, and adjustment for covariates.
All SSD/FSS showed significantly higher adjusted hazard ratios for psychiatric hospitalization and all-cause hospitalization compared to the control group. All SSD/FSS exhibited significantly higher adjusted hazard ratios for suicide, and SSD was particularly high. All-cause mortality was significantly higher in all SSD/FSS. Medical costs were significantly higher for all SSD/FSS compared to controls. The usage duration of all psychiatric medications and analgesics was significantly higher in SSD/FSS compared to the control group.
All SSD/FSS shared similar clinical outcomes and medical costs. The high hazard ratio for suicide in SSD deserves clinical attention.
Longitudinal studies on the variations of phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of K. pneumoniae across two decades are rare. We aimed to determine the antimicrobial susceptibility and virulence factors for K. pneumoniae isolated from patients with bacteraemia or urinary tract infection (UTI) from 1999 to 2022. A total of 699 and 1,267 K. pneumoniae isolates were isolated from bacteraemia and UTI patients, respectively, and their susceptibility to twenty antibiotics was determined; PCR was used to identify capsular serotypes and virulence-associated genes. K64 and K1 serotypes were most frequently observed in UTI and bacteraemia, respectively, with an increasing frequency of K20, K47, and K64 observed in recent years. entB and wabG predominated across all isolates and serotypes; the least frequent virulence gene was htrA. Most isolates were susceptible to carbapenems, amikacin, tigecycline, and colistin, with the exception of K20, K47, and K64 where resistance was widespread. The highest average number of virulence genes was observed in K1, followed by K2, K20, and K5 isolates, which suggest their contribution to the high virulence of K1. In conclusion, we found that the distribution of antimicrobial susceptibility, virulence gene profiles, and capsular types of K. pneumoniae over two decades were associated with their clinical source.
Purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus L.) is a globally distributed noxious weed that poses a significant challenge for control due to its fast and efficient propagation through the tuber, which is the primary reproductive organ. Gibberellic acid (GA3) has proven to be crucial for tuberization in tuberous plants. Therefore, understanding the relationship between GA3 and tuber development and propagation of C. rotundus will provide valuable information for controlling this weed. This study shows that the GA3 content decreases with tuber development, which corresponds to lower expression of bioactive GA3 synthesis genes (CrGA20ox, two CrGA3ox genes) and two upregulated GA3 catabolism genes (CrGA2ox genes), indicating that GA3 is involved in tuber development. Simultaneously, the expression of two CrDELLA genes and CrGID1 declines with tuber growth and decreased GA3, and yeast two-hybrid assays confirm that the GA3 signaling is DELLA-dependent. Furthermore, exogenous application of GA3 markedly reduces the number and the width of tubers and represses the growth of the tuber chain, further confirming the negative impact that GA3 has on tuber development and propagation. Taken together, these results demonstrate that GA3 is involved in tuber development and regulated by the DELLA-dependent pathway in C. rotundus and plays a negative role in tuber development and propagation.
Randomized clinical trials (RCT) are the foundation for medical advances, but participant recruitment remains a persistent barrier to their success. This retrospective data analysis aims to (1) identify clinical trial features associated with successful participant recruitment measured by accrual percentage and (2) compare the characteristics of the RCTs by assessing the most and least successful recruitment, which are indicated by varying thresholds of accrual percentage such as ≥ 90% vs ≤ 10%, ≥ 80% vs ≤ 20%, and ≥ 70% vs ≤ 30%.
Data from the internal research registry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Aggregated Analysis of ClinicalTrials.gov were collected for 393 randomized interventional treatment studies closed to further enrollment. We compared two regularized linear regression and six tree-based machine learning models for accrual percentage (i.e., reported accrual to date divided by the target accrual) prediction. The outperforming model and Tree SHapley Additive exPlanations were used for feature importance analysis for participant recruitment. The identified features were compared between the two subgroups.
CatBoost regressor outperformed the others. Key features positively associated with recruitment success, as measured by accrual percentage, include government funding and compensation. Meanwhile, cancer research and non-conventional recruitment methods (e.g., websites) are negatively associated with recruitment success. Statistically significant subgroup differences (corrected p-value < .05) were found in 15 of the top 30 most important features.
This multi-source retrospective study highlighted key features influencing RCT participant recruitment, offering actionable steps for improvement, including flexible recruitment infrastructure and appropriate participant compensation.
We aimed to investigate child mortality, perinatal morbidities and congenital anomalies born by women with substance misuse during or before pregnancy (DP or BP).
Taiwan Birth Registration from 2004 to 2014 linking Integrated Illicit Drug Databases used to include substance misuse participates. Children born by mothers convicted of substance misuse DP or BP were the substance-exposed cohort. Two substance-unexposed comparison cohorts were established: one comparison cohort selected newborns from the rest of the population on a ratio of 1:1 and exact matched by the child’s gender, child’s birth year, mother’s birth year and child’s first use of the health insurance card; another comparison cohort matched newborns from exposed and unexposed mothers by their propensity scores calculated from logistic regression.
The exposure group included 1776 DP, 1776 BP and 3552 unexposed individuals in exact-matched cohorts. A fourfold increased risk of deaths in children born by mothers exposed to substance during pregnancy was found compared to unexposed group (hazard ratio [HR] = 4.54, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.07–9.97]. Further multivariate Cox regression models with adjustments and propensity matching substantially attenuated HRs on mortality in the substance-exposed cohort (aHR = 1.62, 95% CI: 1.10–2.39). Raised risks of perinatal morbidities and congenital anomalies were also found.
Increased risks of child mortality, perinatal morbidities or congenital anomalies were found in women with substance use during pregnancy. From estimates before and after adjustments, our results showed that having outpatient visits or medical utilizations during pregnancy were associated with substantially attenuated HRs on mortality in the substance-exposed cohort. Therefore, the excess mortality risk might be partially explained by the lack of relevant antenatal clinical care. Our finding may suggest that the importance of early identification, specific abstinence program and access to appropriate antenatal care might be helpful in reducing newborn mortality. Adequate prevention policies may be formulated.
We explored long-term employment status and income before and after depression diagnosis among men and women and at different working ages in Taiwan.
Data from 2006 to 2019 were obtained from the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). Individuals with newly diagnosed depressive disorder aged 15 to 64 years during the study period were identified. An equal number of individuals without depression were matched for their demographic and clinical characteristics. Employment outcomes included employment status, which was categorized into employed or unemployed, and annual income. Based on the occupation categories and monthly insurance salary recorded in the Registry for Beneficiaries of the NHIRD, a subject was defined as unemployed if he or she differed from the income earner or the occupation category was unemployed. Monthly income was defined as zero for unemployed subjects and proxied as monthly insurance salary for others. Annual income was the sum of monthly income in each observation year.
A total of 420,935 individuals with depressive disorder were included in the study, and an equal number of individuals with not diagnosed depression served as controls. Employment rate and income were lower in the depression group than in the control group before the year of diagnosis, with a difference of 5.7% in employment rate and USD 1,173 in annual income. This gap increased considerably after the year of diagnosis (7.3% in employment rate and USD 1,573 in annual incomes) and further widened in the subsequent years (8.1% in employment rate and USD 2,006 in annual incomes in the 5th following year). The drops in the employment rate and income caused by depression were more evident in men and older age groups than in women and younger age groups, respectively. However, the reduction in employment rate and income in the following years after the diagnosis was more considerable among younger age groups.
The effect of depression on employment status and income was significant during the year of diagnosis and continued afterwards. The effect on employment outcomes varied between genders and across all age groups.
The industrialisation of Western food systems has reduced the regular consumption of lacto-fermented vegetables (LFV). Consuming LFV may exert health benefits through the alteration of the gut microbiome, but the mechanisms involved remain unclear. To start understanding the possible benefits of LFV, we compared faecal microbial diversity and composition, as well as dietary habits between individuals who regularly consume LFV (n = 23) and those who do not (n = 24). We utilised microbial DNA amplicon sequencing (16S rRNA and ITS2) and untargeted metabolomics (LC–MS) to analyse stool samples. Study participants also provided three consecutive days of dietary data. Results show minor effects on microbiome composition; with the enrichment of a few microorganisms potentially associated with vegetable ferments, such as Leuconostoc mesenteroides and Rhodotorula mucilaginosa (P < 0.05), in LFV consumers. However, LFV consumption had greater effects on the faecal metabolome, with higher abundances of butyrate, acetate, and valerate (P < 0.05) and significantly greater metabolome diversity (P < 0.001). Overall, the observations of minor changes in the faecal microbiome and greater effects on the faecal metabolome from LFV consumption warrant further investigations on the health significance of LFV as regular components of the daily diet in humans.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of deaths globally. Mortality and incidence of CVDs are significantly higher in people with mood disorders. About 81.1% of CVD patients were reported with comorbidities in 2019, where the second most common comorbidity was due to major depressive disorder (MDD). This study, therefore, aimed to evaluate the genetic correlation between CVDs and mood disorders by using data from the UK Biobank towards understanding the influence of genetic factors on the comorbidity due to CVDs and mood disorders.
The UK Biobank database provides genetic and health information from half a million adults, aged 40–69 years, recruited between 2006 and 2010. A total of 117,925 participants and 6,128,294 variants were included for analysis after applying exclusion criteria and quality control steps. This study focused on two CVD phenotypes, two mood disorders and 12 cardiometabolic-related traits to conduct association studies.
The results indicated a significant positive genetic correlation between CVDs and overall mood disorders and MDD specifically, showing substantial genetic overlap. Genetic correlation between CVDs and bipolar disorder was not significant. Furthermore, significant genetic correlation between mood disorders and cardiometabolic traits was also reported.
The results of this study can be used to understand that CVDs and mood disorders share a great deal of genetic liability in individuals of European ancestry.
With the use of springs, a method to balance the constant forces in arbitrary directions on a planar serial manipulator is developed in this study. Gravity balancing has been discussed a lot in the past. However, manipulators usually bear forces from various directions rather than only a fixed one as gravity. For instance, an industrial manipulator would bear forces from everywhere during the working process. Therefore, a method to balance these forces in arbitrary directions with springs is proposed. Based on the representation of energy, spring energy is the function of springs’ attachment points. Two spring systems with different attachment angles are needed to balance respectively forces in arbitrary directions and gravity. The spring installations of the above systems on 3-DoF manipulators are proposed. Finally, a resistive force-balanced manipulator with/without gravity balance in the grinding process is shown. In sum, this paper for the first time develops the balancing method for forces in arbitrary directions, expanding the spring balance theory to a broader application.
Objectives: Central-line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) has been the leading cause of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in the intensive care unit (ICU) setting. Previous studies have shown that a care bundle is effective in reducing CLABSI rates; however, the data on long-term sustainability and cost savings of bundled care are limited. Methods: From January 2011 to December 2020, a prospective surveillance was performed to monitor CLABSI at a university hospital in northern Taiwan. To reduce the CLABSI rate, a hospital-wide bundled care program for CLABSI prevention was implemented in 2013. We evaluated the long-term effect of the care bundle on CLABSI incidence and length of stay in the ICU. Results: During the study period, the overall CLABSI incidence decreased from 8.22 per 1,000 catheter days before the care bundle was implemented to 6.33 per 1,000 catheter days in 2020 (P for trend <.01). The most common pathogens causing CLABSI were gut organisms (1,420 of 2,363, 60.1%), followed by environmental organisms (734 of 2,363, 31.1%) and skin organisms (177 of 2,363, 7.5%). The decreasing trend was statistically significant in the incidence of CLABSI caused by skin organisms (P for trend < .01), but not in the incidence of CLABSI caused by environmental organisms (P for trend = .86) or gut organisms (P for trend = .06). In the multivariable analysis, implementation of this care bundle was independently associated with a decrease in the CLABSI rate (RR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.66–0.88). Compared with patients without CLABSI, patients with CLABSI had a longer average ICU length of stay (27 vs 17 days). Conclusions: A sustainable reduction in the incidence of CLABSI caused by common commensals could be achieved through a cost-saving bundled care program.
Evidence has suggested that emotional dysregulation is a transdiagnostic feature in schizophrenia and major affective disorders. However, the relationship between emotional dysregulation and appetite hormone disturbance remains unknown in nonobese adolescents with first-episode schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder.
In total, 22 adolescents with schizophrenia; 31 with bipolar disorder; 33 with major depressive disorder; and 41 healthy age-, sex-, and body mass index (BMI)/BMI percentile-matched controls were enrolled for assessing levels of appetite hormones, namely leptin, ghrelin, insulin, and adiponectin. Emotional regulation symptoms were measured using the parent-reported Child Behavior Checklist―Dysregulation Profile.
Adolescents with first-episode schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder exhibited greater emotional dysregulation symptoms than the control group (P = .037). Adolescents with bipolar disorder demonstrated higher log-transformed levels of insulin (P = .029) and lower log-transformed levels of leptin (P = .018) compared with the control group. BMI (P < .05) and log-transformed ghrelin levels (P = .028) were positively correlated with emotional dysregulation symptoms.
Emotional dysregulation and appetite hormone disturbance may occur in the early stage of severe mental disorders. Further studies are required to clarify the unidirectional or bidirectional association of emotional dysregulation with BMI/BMI percentile and appetite hormones among patients with severe mental disorder.
We study how channel width variations influence the dynamics of free-surface granular flows. For this purpose, we extend a continuum model framework to granular flows passing through channels that narrow or widen. Our theory uses a linearized approximation to an established dense granular flow rheology and a Coulomb friction law to model interaction between flow and sidewalls. We test the theoretical predictions using two novel 40 cm-diameter drums (convex and concave) filled halfway with 2 mm diameter particles rotated at rates in which the shear layer remains shallow and dense. We apply particle tracking velocimetry to enable quantitative comparisons between experimental data and theoretical predictions. We find that our experimental kinematics and energy profiles largely agree with the theoretical predictions. In general, flows through narrowing channels are faster and deeper than flows through widening channels. The influence of width variations grows with increasing flow speed, and the form of the rate dependence changes fundamentally as the regime changes from one in which kinetic energy is dissipated locally to one in which it is advected downstream. For both regimes, theoretical scaling analysis leads us to experimentally validated power laws, in which the exponent depends on the flow regime, and the multiplicative coefficient depends on channel geometry alone. Finally, we discuss how the differences between theoretical predictions and experimental data may be useful for improving our understanding of flows through non-uniform channels.
This study examined the effects of compassion-based intervention on mental health in cancer patients by using systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
Eleven bibliographic databases were searched from their earliest data available date up to March 1, 2022. The databases were PubMed, CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, WOS, Cochrane, Embase, Scopus, ProQuest Dissertations, Airiti Library, and the National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan.
Ten studies from 2015 to 2021 were included with a total of 771 cancer patients. Most were targeted at women with breast cancer. Brief compassion-based interventions of approximately 30 minutes were conducted by audio file, paper, and web-based self-guided writing prompts. Most were conducted after the completion of active treatment. Anxiety was the most measured outcome. Constructive compassion-based interventions with 4- to 12-week sessions were conducted by a trained facilitator. Most were conducted for patients who had undergone treatment, and depression was the most measured outcome. The meta-analysis indicated that compassion-based interventions had a significant effect of reducing depression and increasing self-compassion. Moderation analysis indicated that constructive intervention showed more benefits of increased self-compassion than brief intervention. Both face-to-face and non-face-to-face web-delivered formats had benefits for increasing self-compassion compared with the control condition.
Significance of results
Compassion-based interventions might provide an effective strategy for improving self-compassion and depression among patients with breast cancer. Suggestions for further research and health-care providers follow.
We obtained 24 air samples in 8 general wards temporarily converted into negative-pressure wards admitting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) omicron variant BA.2.2 in Hong Kong. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in 19 (79.2%) of 24 samples despite enhanced indoor air dilution. It is difficult to prevent airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in hospitals.
Korean pine is an economically essential afforestation species limited by the unreasonable collection of cones, indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides and pest damage. This study aimed to determine whether spraying bacterial or fungal solutions affected insect pests, cone development, and the seed quality of Korean pine Pinus koraiensis Sieb. et Zucc. The experiment was conducted in a forest plantation in Linkou County (Heilongjiang, China) in 2019. Four fungal strains and one bacterial strain were applied during the flowering phase of Korean pine. The results after a year and a half of study indicated that a high concentration of Bacillus thuringiensis 223176 promoted cone development, increased seed weight, and reduced the proportion of damaged cones. Under this treatment, there were 15.873% damaged cones; the seed weight reached 0.829 g, and there were 82.738% fully developed cones. Trees treated with the second most effective strain, Beauveria bassiana 122077, had 30.556% damaged cones and an average seed weight of 0.810 g. Leucanicillium antillanum 01 performed the worst in this study. The seed weight was only 0.775 g, and the damaged and fully developed cones were 52.444 and 41.773%, respectively. In summary, spraying bacterial or fungal solutions during the flowering stage of Korean pine positively impacted seed quality and effectively decreased damage by the lepidopteran species that feed on the cones and seeds in this study.
This study assesses governments' long-term non-pharmaceutical interventions upon the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in East Asia. It advances the literature towards a better understanding of when and which control measures are effective. We (1) provide time-varying case fatality ratios and focus on the elderly's mortality and case fatality ratios, (2) measure the correlations between daily new cases (daily new deaths) and each index based on multiple domestic pandemic waves and (3) examine the lead–lag relationship between daily new cases (daily new deaths) and each index via the cross-correlation functions on the pre-whitened series. Our results show that the interventions reduce COVID-19 infections for some periods before the period of the Omicron variant. Moreover, there is no COVID-19 policy lag in Taiwan between daily new confirmed cases and each index. As of March 2022, the case fatality ratios of the elderly group in Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea are 4.69%, 4.72% and 1.48%, respectively, while the case fatality ratio of the elderly group in Taiwan is 25.01%. A government's COVID-19 vaccination distribution and prioritisation policies are pivotal for the elderly group to reduce the number of deaths. Immunising this specific group as best as possible should undoubtedly be a top priority.
Air dispersal of respiratory viruses other than SARS-CoV-2 has not been systematically reported. The incidence and factors associated with air dispersal of respiratory viruses are largely unknown.
We performed air sampling by collecting 72,000 L of air over 6 hours for pediatric and adolescent patients infected with parainfluenza virus 3 (PIF3), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus, and adenovirus. The patients were singly or 2-patient cohort isolated in airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) from December 3, 2021, to January 26, 2022. The viral load in nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPA) and air samples were measured. Factors associated with air dispersal were investigated and analyzed.
Of 20 singly isolated patients with median age of 30 months (range, 3 months–15 years), 7 (35%) had air dispersal of the viruses compatible with their NPA results. These included 4 (40%) of 10 PIF3-infected patients, 2 (66%) of 3 RSV-infected patients, and 1 (50%) of 2 adenovirus-infected patients. The mean viral load in their room air sample was 1.58×103 copies/mL. Compared with 13 patients (65%) without air dispersal, these 7 patients had a significantly higher mean viral load in their NPA specimens (6.15×107 copies/mL vs 1.61×105 copies/mL; P < .001). Another 14 patients were placed in cohorts as 7 pairs infected with the same virus (PIF3, 2 pairs; RSV, 3 pairs; rhinovirus, 1 pair; and adenovirus, 1 pair) in double-bed AIIRs, all of which had air dispersal. The mean room air viral load in 2-patient cohorts was significantly higher than in rooms of singly isolated patients (1.02×104 copies/mL vs 1.58×103 copies/mL; P = .020).
Air dispersal of common respiratory viruses may have infection prevention and public health implications.
When designing programs to assist the poor, it is important to recognize who is most in need of government assistance. Although measures of poverty are often based on income alone, poverty measures based on both income and assets provide greater precision in the analysis of this group since accumulated assets can be liquidated to compensate for temporary shortfalls in income. The current study used the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (2007–2017) to analyze associations between different facets of poverty dynamics (i.e. poverty entry and exit) and its determinants. We explored differences in results based on whether poverty was measured by income alone, or income plus assets. The Cox proportional hazard regression was used to examine how demographic characteristics predicted poverty entry and poverty exit. Results indicated factors predicting poverty entry were not identical to those predicting difficulty of exiting poverty. Also, the risk of poverty entry and exit differed based on whether poverty was measured by income alone, or income plus assets. Thus, using income plus assets provides new perspectives into poverty dynamics which past research, based on income alone, did not provide. These new insights can be used to inform decisions about policies for poverty prevention and alleviation.