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This paper presents a comparative study on three types of slim coil structures used as a three-dimensional (3-D) receiver in a wireless power transfer system with a planar transmitter coil. The mutual coupling values and their variations between the receiver structures and the transmitter coil are compared under different distances and angular orientations with respect to the transmitter coil. The merits of performance are related to the consistency of the mutual coupling values under different orientations in a range of distances from the transmitter coil. The practical results show that slim 3-D receiver coil structures can be compatible with a planar transmitter coil with reasonably high-mutual coupling.
Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) by infants and young children are less explored in Asian populations. The Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes cohort study examined associations between SSB intake at 18 months and 5 years of age, with adiposity measures at 6 years of age. We studied Singaporean infants/children with SSB intake assessed by FFQ at 18 months of age (n 555) and 5 years of age (n 767). The median for SSB intakes is 28 (interquartile range 5·5–98) ml at 18 months of age and 111 (interquartile range 57–198) ml at 5 years of age. Association between SSB intake (100 ml/d increments and tertile categories) and adiposity measures (BMI standard deviation scores (sd units), sum of skinfolds (SSF)) and overweight/obesity status were examined using multivariable linear and Poisson regression models, respectively. After adjusting for confounders and additionally for energy intake, SSB intake at age 18 months were not significantly associated with later adiposity measures and overweight/obesity outcomes. In contrast, at age 5 years, SSB intake when modelled as 100 ml/d increments were associated with higher BMI by 0·09 (95 % CI 0·02, 0·16) sd units, higher SSF thickness by 0·68 (95 % CI 0·06, 1·44) mm and increased risk of overweight/obesity by 1·2 (95 % CI 1·07, 1·23) times at age 6 years. Trends were consistent with SSB intake modelled as categorical tertiles. In summary, SSB intake in young childhood is associated with higher risks of adiposity and overweight/obesity. Public health policies working to reduce SSB consumption need to focus on prevention programmes targeted at young children.
Evidence on long-term influences of maternal vitamin B12 deficiency or concentrations on infant cognition is limited. We examined associations between maternal plasma vitamin B12 and cognitive development in 24-month-old infants. Maternal plasma vitamin B12 concentrations were measured at 26–28 weeks’ gestation; infant cognitive development was assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-III at 24 months, for 443 mother–infant pairs from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes cohort. Linear regressions adjusted for key confounders examined associations of maternal vitamin B12 with cognitive, receptive and expressive language, fine and gross motor subscales. Co-occurrence of maternal vitamin B12 with folate or vitamin B6 insufficiencies on child’s cognition was explored. Average maternal plasma vitamin B12 concentrations was 220·5 ± 80·5 pmol/l; 15 % and 41 % of mothers were vitamin B12 deficient (<148 pmol/l) and insufficient (148–220·9 pmol/l), respectively. Infants of mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency had 0·42 (95 % CI −0·70, −0·14) sd lower cognitive scores, compared with infants of mothers with sufficient vitamin B12. Co-occurrence of maternal vitamins B12 and B6 insufficiencies was associated with 0·37 (95 % CI −0·69, −0·06) sd lower cognitive scores in infants compared with infants of mothers sufficient in both vitamins. No significant associations were observed with other subscales. Study findings suggest the possible need to ensure adequate vitamin B12 during pregnancy. The impact of co-occurrence of maternal B-vitamins insufficiencies on early cognitive development warrants further investigation.
Dietary intake of toddlers has been of growing interest due to its long-term consequences on health. However, previous works have focused largely on Caucasian populations and less is known about Asian toddlers. We aimed to validate a semi-quantitative FFQ designed to assess dietary intakes of 18-month-old toddlers in a multi-ethnic Asian cohort.
An FFQ of ninety-four food items, identified based on food records of 12-month-old GUSTO children, the Southampton Women’s Survey 12 Month Infancy Questionnaire and inputs from paediatric dietitians, was filled out two weeks before the 18th-month clinic visit. As the reference method, two non-consecutive 24 h recalls (24HR) were administered during and two weeks after the clinic visit. FFQ nutrient intakes were validated against averaged 24HR nutrient intakes, using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, Spearman’s rank-order correlation, cross-classification and the Bland–Altman method.
Data from the Singapore Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) mother–offspring birth cohort.
Toddlers (n 188) aged 18 months.
Absolute nutrient intakes from the FFQ were significantly higher than from the 24HR, except for vitamin A. After energy adjustments, r range was 0·56–0·78 (macronutrients) and 0·40–0·54 (micronutrients). De-attenuation increased r to 0·58–0·96 and 0·45–0·65 for macro- and micronutrients, respectively. Of participants, ≥82·4 % (macronutrients) and ≥77·7 % (micronutrients) were classified in the same and adjacent quartiles. No clear systematic increase in intake differences with increasing mean intake was observed in Bland–Altman plots.
This FFQ can provide a satisfactory assessment of toddlers’ energy-adjusted nutrient intakes, as well as accurately rank them in a group.
In this paper, we carry out an investigation on modelling basis risk and measuring risk reduction in a longevity hedge constructed by index-based longevity swaps. We derive the fitting procedures of the M7-M5 and common age effect+Cohorts models and define the level of longevity risk reduction. Based on a wide range of hedging scenarios of pension plans, we find that the risk reduction levels are often around 50%–80% for a large plan, while the risk reduction estimates are usually smaller than 50% for a small plan. Moreover, index-based hedging looks more effective under a more precise hedging scheme. We also perform a detailed sensitivity analysis on the hedging results. The most important modelling features are the behaviour of simulated future variability, portfolio size, speed of reaching coherence, data size and characteristics, simulation method, and mortality structural changes.
Food group guideline adherence is vital to prevent obesity and diabetes. Various studies have demonstrated that environmental variables influence food intake behaviour. In the present study we examined the effect of a portion design plate with food group portion guidelines demarcated by coloured lines (ETE Plate™). A two-group quasi-experimental design was used to measure proportions of carbohydrate, vegetable and protein portions and user experience in a hospital staff lounge setting in Singapore. Lunch was served on the portion design plate before 12.15 hours. For comparison, a normal plate (without markings) was used after 12.15 hours. Changes in proportions of food groups from 2 months before the introduction of the design plate were analysed in a stratified sample at baseline (859 subjects, all on normal plates) to 1, 3 and 6 months after (in all 1016 subjects on the design plate, 968 subjects on the control plate). A total of 151 participants were asked about their experiences and opinions. Between-group comparisons were performed using t tests. Among those served on the portion design plate at 6 months after its introduction, the proportion of vegetables was 4·71 % (P < 0·001) higher and that of carbohydrates 2·83 % (P < 0·001) lower relative to the baseline. No significant change was found for proteins (−1·85 %). Over 6 months, we observed different change patterns between the different food group proportions. While participants were positive about the portion design plate, they did not think it would influence their personal behaviour. A portion design plate might stimulate food group guideline adherence among hospital staff and beyond.
Little is known about the combined use of benzodiazepines and antidepressants in older psychiatric patients. This study examined the prescription pattern of concurrent benzodiazepines in older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia, and explored its demographic and clinical correlates.
The data of 955 older adults with any type of psychiatric disorders were extracted from the database of the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants (REAP-AD) project. Demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded using a standardized protocol and data collection procedure. Both univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.
The proportion of benzodiazepine and antidepressant combination in this cohort was 44.3%. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that higher doses of antidepressants, younger age (<65 years), inpatients, public hospital, major comorbid medical conditions, antidepressant types, and country/territory were significantly associated with more frequent co-prescription of benzodiazepines and antidepressants.
Nearly, half of the older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia are prescribed concurrent benzodiazepines. Given the potentially adverse effects of benzodiazepines, the rationale of benzodiazepines and antidepressants co-prescription needs to be revisited.
Fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) full-mutation expansion causes fragile X syndrome. Trans-generational fragile X syndrome transmission can be avoided by preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). We describe a robust PGD strategy that can be applied to virtually any couple at risk of transmitting fragile X syndrome. This novel strategy utilises whole-genome amplification, followed by triplet-primed polymerase chain reaction (TP-PCR) for robust detection of expanded FMR1 alleles, in parallel with linked multi-marker haplotype analysis of 13 highly polymorphic microsatellite markers located within 1 Mb of the FMR1 CGG repeat, and the AMELX/Y dimorphism for gender identification. The assay was optimised and validated on single lymphoblasts isolated from fragile X reference cell lines, and applied to a simulated PGD case and a clinical in vitro fertilisation (IVF)-PGD case. In the simulated PGD case, definitive diagnosis of the expected results was achieved for all ‘embryos’. In the clinical IVF-PGD case, delivery of a healthy baby girl was achieved after transfer of an expansion-negative blastocyst. FMR1 TP-PCR reliably detects presence of expansion mutations and obviates reliance on informative normal alleles for determining expansion status in female embryos. Together with multi-marker haplotyping and gender determination, misdiagnosis and diagnostic ambiguity due to allele dropout is minimised, and couple-specific assay customisation can be avoided.
Faster eating rates are associated with increased energy intake, but little is known about the relationship between children’s eating rate, food intake and adiposity. We examined whether children who eat faster consume more energy and whether this is associated with higher weight status and adiposity. We hypothesised that eating rate mediates the relationship between child weight and ad libitum energy intake. Children (n 386) from the Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes cohort participated in a video-recorded ad libitum lunch at 4·5 years to measure acute energy intake. Videos were coded for three eating-behaviours (bites, chews and swallows) to derive a measure of eating rate (g/min). BMI and anthropometric indices of adiposity were measured. A subset of children underwent MRI scanning (n 153) to measure abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adiposity. Children above/below the median eating rate were categorised as slower and faster eaters, and compared across body composition measures. There was a strong positive relationship between eating rate and energy intake (r 0·61, P<0·001) and a positive linear relationship between eating rate and children’s BMI status. Faster eaters consumed 75 % more energy content than slower eating children (Δ548 kJ (Δ131 kcal); 95 % CI 107·6, 154·4, P<0·001), and had higher whole-body (P<0·05) and subcutaneous abdominal adiposity (Δ118·3 cc; 95 % CI 24·0, 212·7, P=0·014). Mediation analysis showed that eating rate mediates the link between child weight and energy intake during a meal (b 13·59; 95 % CI 7·48, 21·83). Children who ate faster had higher energy intake, and this was associated with increased BMI z-score and adiposity.
Patients with early cognitive impairment (ECI) face the prospect of progressive cognitive decline that impairs their ability to make decisions on financial and personal matters. Advance care planning (ACP) is a process that facilitates decision making on future care and often includes identifying a proxy decision maker. This prospective study explores factors related to completion or non-completion of ACP in patients with ECI.
Patients with ECI (n = 158, Mage = 76.2 ± 7.25 years) at a memory clinic received psycho-education and counseling on the importance of ACP and followed-up longitudinally for up to 12 months to ascertain if ACP had been completed. Univariate and logistic regression were used to analyze factors related to completion and non-completion of ACP.
Seventy-seven patients (48.7%) were initially willing to consider ACP after the counseling and psycho-educational session but only 17 (11.0%) eventually completed ACP. On logistic regression, patients who were single were 8.9 times more likely to complete ACP than those who were married (p = 0.007). Among those initially willing to consider ACP, factors impeding completion of ACP included patient (48.0%), process (31.0%), and family factors (21.0%).
As unmarried patients may not have immediate family members to depend on to make decisions, they may perceive ACP to be more important and relevant. Understanding the barriers to ACP completion can facilitate targeted interventions to improve the uptake of ACP.
In this paper, we revisit the determination of optimal relativities under the linear form of relativities that is more viable in designing a commercial bonus-malus system. We derive the analytical formulae for the optimal linear relativities subject to a financial balanced inequality constraint. We also numerically investigate the impact of different a priori risk classification towards the effectiveness of transition rules. Our results show that the a priori risk segmentation is not a sensitive factor for the effectiveness of transition rules. Furthermore, relative to the general relativities, we find that the restriction of linear relativities only produces a small amount of deterioration towards the numerical value of the optimised objective function.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
We consider the problem of the robust stability of a class of uncertain T–S fuzzy neutral systems with time delay under time-varying parametric uncertainties using the Lyapunov–Krasovskii approach, where the parametric uncertainty is assumed to be norm bounded. By choosing a new Lyapunov–Krasovskii function, we are able to propose less conservative robust stability criteria in terms of linear matrix inequalities (LMIs) such that the uncertain T–S fuzzy neutral system under consideration remains asymptotically stable. The reduced conservatism of the proposed stability criterion compared with recently reported results is attributed to our using the Jensen inequality. The obtained results can also reduce the computational complexity.
This study integrated the investment model and attachment theory to examine: (1) whether the link between friendship attachment and commitment would be mediated by relationship features of satisfaction, quality of alternatives, and investment size; and (2) whether these mediation processes would function at the intrapersonal (actor) and interpersonal (partner) levels. The sample included 120 pairs of same-sex friends (78 pairs of women). Data were analysed with the Actor-Partner Interdependence Mediation Model (APIMeM). Mediated actor effects suggest that individuals high in attachment avoidance are less satisfied with and invest less in their current friendship; these in turn, lead them to show less commitment. Furthermore, individuals high in attachment anxiety invest more in their current friendship, which in turn leads to higher commitment. Mediated partner effects suggest that individuals high in attachment avoidance have a friend who feels less satisfied with, invests less, and shows low commitment in their current friendship. The current study demonstrated that a dyadic design is useful in illustrating the dynamics of commitment between close friends.
To examine changes in food consumption during pregnancy and the postpartum period in women of major Asian ethnic groups.
Using interviewer-administered questionnaires, we assessed changes in food consumption during pregnancy (26–28 weeks’ gestation) and the postpartum period (3 weeks after delivery) as compared with the usual pre-pregnancy diet.
Pregnant women (n 1027) of Chinese, Malay and Indian ethnicity (mean age 30·4 (sd 5·2) years) who participated in the Growing Up in Singapore Towards healthy Outcomes (GUSTO) study.
During pregnancy, participants tended to increase their consumption of milk, fruit and vegetables and decrease their consumption of tea, coffee, soft drinks and seafood (all P < 0·001). Most participants reported adherence to traditional restrictions (‘confinement’) during the early postpartum period (Chinese: 94·8 %, Malay: 91·6 %, Indian: 79·6 %). During the postpartum period, participants tended to increase their consumption of fish and milk-based drinks and decrease their consumption of noodles, seafood, and chocolates and sweets (all P < 0·001). Ethnic differences in food consumption were pronounced during the postpartum period. For example, most Chinese participants (87·2 %) increased their ginger consumption during the postpartum period as compared with smaller percentages of Malays (31·8 %) and Indians (40·8 %; P for ethnic difference <0·001). Similar ethnic differences were observed for cooking wine/alcohol, herbs and spices, and herbal tea consumption.
Marked changes in food consumption that reflect both modern dietary recommendations and the persistence of traditional beliefs were observed in Singaporean women during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Traditional beliefs should be considered in interventions to improve dietary intakes during these periods.
Background: Cost of informal care constitutes an important component of total dementia care cost. It also reflects resource utilization by patients and caregivers. We aim to quantify the informal cost of care for mild to moderate dementia patients.
Methods: We recruited 165 patient–caregiver dyads with mild to moderate dementia. Informal care burden was assessed using the Resource Utilization in Dementia (RUD)-Lite instrument. A generalized linear model was fitted for association between cost of informal care and cognitive impairment, taking into account patient demographics, disease factors, and use of paid domestic help. Marginal estimates were obtained from the model for the purpose of illustration and discussion.
Results: Total hours of informal care by primary caregiver doubled in moderate dementia patients, with 57.9% having paid domestic help to assist in care. Functional factors and use of paid domestic help were significantly associated with informal care costs. Costs were consistently higher for patients without paid domestic help for mild- and moderate dementia.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the informal care costs of caring for mild–moderate dementia patients in Singapore, with the unique cost savings provided by live-in paid domestic help, and potentially may aid policy-makers in allocation of resources and support to caregivers.
To report an unusual case of a primary mastoid cyst (congenital or developmental) in a patient without otological symptoms.
Case report and review of the English language literature.
Primary mastoid cyst is a newly reported and very rare pathological entity. Mastoid cysts usually occur secondary to chronic infection, inflammation or trauma. Review of the medical literature highlights the rarity of this condition.
This report describes the experience gained by the diagnosis and management of this patient. It emphasises the importance of clinical vigilance so that proper treatment may be instituted in a timely manner.