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Shifts in the maternal gut microbiota have been implicated in the development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Understanding the interaction between gut microbiota and host glucose metabolism will provide a new target of prediction and treatment. In this nested case-control study, we aimed to investigate the causal effects of gut microbiota from GDM patients on the glucose metabolism of germ-free (GF) mice. Stool and peripheral blood samples, as well as clinical information, were collected from 45 GDM patients and 45 healthy controls (matched by age and prepregnancy body mass index (BMI)) in the first and second trimester. Gut microbiota profiles were explored by next-generation sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, and inflammatory factors in peripheral blood were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Fecal samples from GDM and non-GDM donors were transferred to GF mice. The gut microbiota of women with GDM showed reduced richness, specifically decreased Bacteroides and Akkermansia, as well as increased Faecalibacterium. The relative abundance of Akkermansia was negatively associated with blood glucose levels, and the relative abundance of Faecalibacterium was positively related to inflammatory factor concentrations. The transfer of fecal microbiota from GDM and non-GDM donors to GF mice resulted in different gut microbiota colonization patterns, and hyperglycemia was induced in mice that received GDM donor microbiota. These results suggested that the shifting pattern of gut microbiota in GDM patients contributed to disease pathogenesis.
This study aimed to identify clinical features for prognosing mortality risk using machine-learning methods in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). A retrospective study of the inpatients with COVID-19 admitted from 15 January to 15 March 2020 in Wuhan is reported. The data of symptoms, comorbidity, demographic, vital sign, CT scans results and laboratory test results on admission were collected. Machine-learning methods (Random Forest and XGboost) were used to rank clinical features for mortality risk. Multivariate logistic regression models were applied to identify clinical features with statistical significance. The predictors of mortality were lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), C-reactive protein (CRP) and age based on 500 bootstrapped samples. A multivariate logistic regression model was formed to predict mortality 292 in-sample patients with area under the receiver operating characteristics (AUROC) of 0.9521, which was better than CURB-65 (AUROC of 0.8501) and the machine-learning-based model (AUROC of 0.4530). An out-sample data set of 13 patients was further tested to show our model (AUROC of 0.6061) was also better than CURB-65 (AUROC of 0.4608) and the machine-learning-based model (AUROC of 0.2292). LDH, CRP and age can be used to identify severe patients with COVID-19 on hospital admission.
Cruciferous vegetables contain high levels of glucosinolates (GSL) and isothiocyanates (ITC). ITC are known to induce glutathione S-transferases (GST) and thus exert their anticarcinogenic effects. This study explored the combined effects of cruciferous vegetable, GSL and ITC intake and GST polymorphisms on breast cancer risk. A total of 737 breast cancer cases and 756 controls were recruited into this case–control study. OR and 95 % CI were assessed by multivariable logistic regression. Higher cruciferous vegetable, GSL and ITC intakes were inversely associated with breast cancer risk, with adjusted OR of 0·48 (95 % CI 0·35, 0·65), 0·54 (95 % CI 0·40, 0·74) and 0·62 (95 % CI 0·45, 0·84), respectively. Compared with women carrying the GSTP1 rs1695 wild AA genotype and high cruciferous vegetable, GSL or ITC intake, carriers of the AA genotype with low cruciferous vegetable, GSL and ITC intake had greater risk of breast cancer, with adjusted OR of 1·43 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·87), 1·34 (95 % CI 1·02, 1·75) and 1·37 (95 % CI 1·05, 1·80), respectively. Persons with the GSTM1-null genotype and lower intake of cruciferous vegetables, GSL and ITC had higher risk of breast cancer than those with the GSTM1-present genotype and higher intake, with OR of 1·42 (95 % CI 1·04, 1·95), 1·43 (95 % CI 1·05, 1·96) and 1·45 (95 % CI 1·06, 1·98), respectively. Among women possessing the GSTT1-present genotype, low intake of cruciferous vegetables, GSL or ITC was associated with higher risk of breast cancer. But these interactions were non-significant. This study indicated that there were no significant interactions between cruciferous vegetable, GSL or ITC intake and GST polymorphisms on breast cancer risk.
To enhance the performance evaluation of Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) hubs, we examined the utility of advanced bibliometric measures that go beyond simple publication counts to demonstrate the impact of translational research output.
The sampled data included North Carolina Translational and Clinical Science Institute (NC TraCS)-supported publications produced between September 2008 and March 2017. We adopted advanced bibliometric measures and a state-of-the-art bibliometric network analysis tool to assess research productivity, citation impact, the scope of research collaboration, and the clusters of research topics.
Totally, 754 NC TraCS-supported publications generated over 24,000 citation counts by April 2017 with an average of 33 cites per article. NC TraCS-supported research papers received more than twice as many cites per year as the average National Institute of Health-funded research publications from the same field and time. We identified the top productive researchers and their networks within the CTSA hub. Findings demonstrated the impact of NC TraCS in facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations within the CTSA hub and across the CTSA consortium and connecting researchers with right peers and organizations.
Both improved bibliometrics measures and bibliometric network analysis can bring new perspectives to CTSA evaluation via citation influence and the scope of research collaborations.
Findings for the roles of dairy products, Ca and vitamin D on ovarian cancer risk remain controversial. We aimed to assess these associations by using an updated meta-analysis. Five electronic databases (e.g. PubMed and Embase) were searched from inception to 24 December 2019. Pooled relative risks (RR) with 95 % CI were calculated. A total of twenty-nine case–control or cohort studies were included. For comparisons of the highest v. lowest intakes, higher whole milk intake was associated with increased ovarian cancer risk (RR 1·35; 95 % CI 1·15, 1·59), whereas decreased risks were observed for higher intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·73, 0·96), dietary Ca (RR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·60, 0·84) and dietary vitamin D (RR 0·80; 95 % CI 0·67, 0·95). Additionally, for every 100 g/d increment, increased ovarian cancer risks were found for total dairy products (RR 1·03; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·04) and for whole milk (RR 1·07; 95 % CI 1·03, 1·11); however, decreased risks were found for 100 g/d increased intakes of low-fat milk (RR 0·95; 95 % CI 0·91, 0·99), cheese (RR 0·87; 95 % CI 0·76, 0·98), dietary Ca (RR 0·96; 95 % CI 0·95, 0·98), total Ca (RR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·97, 0·99), dietary vitamin D (RR 0·92; 95 % CI 0·87, 0·97) and increased levels of circulating vitamin D (RR 0·84; 95 % CI 0·72, 0·97). These results show that whole milk intake might contribute to a higher ovarian cancer risk, whereas low-fat milk, dietary Ca and dietary vitamin D might reduce the risk.
Although higher dietary intake of MUFA has been shown to improve glycaemic control and lipid profiles, whether MUFA consumption from different sources is linked to the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) remains unclear. We aimed to prospectively assess the associations of plant-derived MUFA (P-MUFA) and animal-derived MUFA (A-MUFA) intakes with T2D risk in a nationwide oriental cohort. Overall, 15 022 Chinese adults, aged ≥20 years, from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS 1997–2011) were prospectively followed up for a median of 14 years. Consumption of MUFA from plant and animal sources was assessed using 3-d 24-h recalls in each survey, and the cumulative average of intake was calculated. Multivariable-adjusted Cox models were constructed to estimate the hazard ratios (HR) of T2D according to quartiles of MUFA intake. P-MUFA were mainly consumed from cooked vegetable oils, fried bread sticks and rice, while A-MUFA were mainly consumed from pork, lard and eggs. Intake of P-MUFA was associated with a higher risk of T2D (HRQ4 v. Q1 1·50 (95 % CI 1·18, 1·90); Ptrend = 0·0013), whereas A-MUFA showed no significant association (HRQ4 v. Q1 0·84 (95 % CI 0·59, 1·20); Ptrend = 0·30). When further considering the cooking method of food sources, consumption of P-MUFA from fried foods was positively associated with T2D risk (HRQ4 v. Q1 1·60 (95 % CI 1·26, 2·02); Ptrend = 0·0006), whereas non-fried P-MUFA were not associated. Intake of MUFA from fried plant-based foods may elevate T2D risk among the Chinese population.
The aim of this study was to investigate the combined effect of n-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA, at an EPA:DHA ratio of 150:500) and phytosterol esters (PS) on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients. We conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Ninety-six NAFLD subjects were randomly assigned to the following groups: the PS group (receiving 3·3 g/d PS); the FO group (receiving 450 mg EPA + 1500 mg DHA/d); the PS + FO combination group (receiving 3·3 g/d PS and 450 mg EPA + 1500 mg DHA/d) and the PO group (a placebo group). The baseline clinical characteristics of the four groups were similar. The primary outcome was liver:spleen attenuation ratio (L:S ratio). The percentage increase in liver–spleen attenuation (≤1) in the PS + FO group was 36 % (P = 0·083), higher than those in the other three groups (PS group, 11 %, P = 0·519; FO group, 18 %, P = 0·071; PO group, 15 %, P = 0·436). Compared with baseline, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) was significantly decreased in the three study groups at the end of the trial (PS, P = 0·000; FO, P = 0·002; PS + FO, P = 0·001) and TNF-α was significantly decreased in the FO group (P = 0·036), PS + FO group (P = 0·005) and PO group (P = 0·032) at the end of the intervention. Notably, TGF-β was reduced significantly more in the PS + FO group than in the PO group (P = 0·032). The TAG and total cholesterol levels of the PS + FO group were reduced by 11·57 and 9·55 %, respectively. In conclusion, co-supplementation of PS and EPA + DHA could increase the effectiveness of treatment for hepatic steatosis.
The present study investigated the effects of Porphyra yezoensis enzyme degradation extract (PYEDE) on the brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases due to oxidative stress. We used in vitro antioxidant systems to verify the antioxidant potential of PYEDE. The results indicated that the PYEDE alleviated weight loss and organ atrophy, reduced the levels of lipid peroxidation and protein carbonylation and elevated reduced glutathione (GSH) content in the serum and brains of the d-galactose-induced ageing model mice. The PYEDE also renewed the glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), superoxide dismutase and total antioxidant capability activities, down-regulated the inducible nitric oxide synthase activity and nitric oxide levels, normalised the hippocampal neurons and modulated multiple neurotransmitter systems by inhibiting the activities of acetylcholinesterase and monoamine oxidase in the up-regulation of acetylcholine, dopamine and noradrenaline levels. Overall, the PYEDE is a promising supplement for the alleviation of oxidative stress and age-associated brain diseases.
A compact wideband out-of-phase power divider (PD) with improved isolation performance is proposed. This divider is formed by connecting an additional stub for isolation to output ports of a traditional Marchand balun with a defected ground structure (DGS) been used. To verify the design, a prototype divider is fabricated and tested. The measured results validate the 53.86% band-width centered at 3.43 GHz with more than 15 dB return loss at all ports, more than 17 dB isolation, respectively.
A kind of novel Ni–P gradient coating/stannate conversion film was deposited on AZ91D magnesium alloy (AZ91D alloy) by an integrative method involved stannate conversion and electroless plating. The results indicated that using sodium hypophosphite concentrations varied as 5, 10, 22, 46, and 60 g/L in the bath, the electroless Ni–P gradient coating with typical cell morphologies was successfully prepared, and the structures transited from crystalline → microcrystalline → amorphous were obtained as increasing P content from 3.31 to 12.58 wt%. Furthermore, the corrosion morphologies, polarization curves, and the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy result indicated that the corrosion resistance of AZ91D alloy substrate was significantly improved and the corrosion resistance of Ni–P gradient coating was superior than that of stannate conversion film, which might be attributed to the gradient structure and rising P content with unique function.
Rats with a normal birth weight (NBW) or intra-uterine growth retardation (IUGR) were fed basic diets (NBW and IUGR groups) or basic diets supplemented with curcumin (NC and IC groups) from 6 to 12 weeks. The body weight of IUGR rats was lower (P<0·05) than that of the controls. Rats with IUGR showed higher (P<0·05) concentrations of TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6; higher (P<0·05) activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in their serum; and increased (P<0·05) concentrations of malondialdehyde (MDA), protein carbonyl (PC) and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHDG) in the liver compared with the NBW rats. The livers of IUGR rats exhibited a lower (P<0·05) superoxide dismutase activity and decreased (P<0·05) metabolic efficiency of the hepatic glutathione redox cycle compared with those of the NBW rats. In response to dietary curcumin supplementation, concentrations of inflammatory cytokines and activities of AST and ALT in the serum and MDA, PC and 8-OHDG in the liver were lower (P<0·05), and the hepatic glutathione redox cycle in the liver was improved (P<0·05) in the IC group than in the IUGR group. These results were associated with lower (P<0·05) phosphorylated levels of the NF-κB pathway and Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) and higher (P<0·05) mRNA expression of genes involved in the nuclear factor, erythroid 2-like 2 (Nfe2l2)/antioxidant response element (ARE) pathway in the liver of the IC rats than that of the IUGR rats. Maternal undernutrition decreased birth weight and led to inflammation, oxidative damage and injury in rats. Curcumin appeared to be beneficial in preventing IUGR-induced inflammation, oxidative damage and injury by activating the expression of the NF-κB, JAK/STAT and Nfe2l2/ARE pathways in the liver.
Although previous studies have investigated the association of cruciferous vegetable consumption with breast cancer risk, few studies focused on the association between bioactive components in cruciferous vegetables, glucosinolates (GSL) and isothiocyanates (ITC), and breast cancer risk. This study aimed to examine the association between consumption of cruciferous vegetables and breast cancer risk according to GSL and ITC contents in a Chinese population. A total of 1485 cases and 1506 controls were recruited into this case–control study from June 2007 to March 2017. Consumption of cruciferous vegetables was assessed using a validated FFQ. Dietary GSL and ITC were computed by using two food composition databases linking GSL and ITC contents in cruciferous vegetables with responses to the FFQ. The OR and 95 % CI were assessed by unconditional logistic regression after adjusting for the potential confounders. Significant inverse associations were found between consumption of cruciferous vegetables, GSL and ITC and breast cancer risk. The adjusted OR comparing the highest with the lowest quartile were 0·51 (95 % CI 0·41, 0·63) for cruciferous vegetables, 0·54 (95 % CI 0·44, 0·67) for GSL and 0·62 (95 % CI 0·50, 0·76) for ITC, respectively. These inverse associations were also observed in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Subgroup analysis by hormone receptor status found inverse associations between cruciferous vegetables, GSL and ITC and both hormone-receptor-positive or hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer. This study indicated that consumption of cruciferous vegetables, GSL and ITC was inversely associated with breast cancer risk among Chinese women.
Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) is considered as a promising heterogeneous catalyst for photocatalytic H2 evolution from water under visible light illustration, and its photocatalytic performance could be controlled through its texture and optical/electronic properties. Herein, we present a facile one-step heating method for the synthesis of B/P/F doped g-C3N4 photocatalysts (BCN, PCN, and FCN). The prepared photocatalysts were characterized by XRD, SEM, UV-vis absorption, FTIR, BET, XPS, PL, and photocurrent measurement. The results show that the B/P/F doping increased the interplanar stacking distance of g-C3N4, enlarged the optical absorption range, and improved the photocatalytic activity of H2 evolution. FCN exhibits the highest photocatalytic activity, followed by BCN, and PCN that has the lowest performance. This work studies the doping effects of the nonmetal elements on the photocatalytic activities, the electronic structures as well as the band gaps of g-C3N4, to provide a feasible modification pathway to design and synthesize highly efficient photocatalysts.
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.
Previous studies have demonstrated adverse mental health effects of Pb exposure. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between consumption of preserved egg (PE), a high-Pb-containing food and depressive symptoms among adults in China. A sample of 25 213 adults (mean age 41·4 (sd 11·8) years; males, 53·9 %) in Tianjin, China, was studied in a cross-sectional analysis. Dietary intake including PE was assessed using a valid self-administered FFQ. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS). The association was estimated by OR using logistic regression models adjusted for multiple confounders. The prevalence of elevated depressive symptoms was 6·6 % (SDS≥50). Compared with the least frequent PE consumption (<once/week), multivariable adjusted OR for elevated depressive symptoms were 1·52 (95 % CI 1·28, 1·81), 2·24 (95 % CI 1·76, 2·81) and 3·31 (95 % CI 2·52, 4·30) for consumption of once, 2–3 times and ≥4 times/week, respectively (Pfor trend<0·0001), indicating a clear dose–response relationship. The results suggested that higher consumption of PE was strongly associated with depressive symptoms among adults in China. These findings underscore the need to consider dietary Pb exposure as a risk factor for psychological distress.
In this paper, the optimal safety loading that the reinsurer should set in the reinsurance pricing is studied, which is novel in the literature. It is first assumed that the insurer will choose the form of the reinsurance contract by following the results derived in Cai et al. Different optimality criteria from the reinsurer’s perspective are then studied, such as maximising the expectation of the profit, maximising the utility of the profit and minimising the value-at-risk of the reinsurer’s total loss. By applying the concept of comonotonicity, the problem in which the reinsurer is facing two risks with unknown dependency structure is also solved. Closed-form solutions are obtained when the underlying losses are zero-modified exponentially distributed. Finally, numerical examples are provided to illustrate the results derived.
Three gravity cores (LZK1, ZKA4, and CSJA6) from the incised Yangtze paleo-valley comprise a thick sequence of the post-glacial deposit. Nineteen genera (26 species) of the benthic foraminifers are described from these cores, with detailed down-core foraminiferal variations to investigate their paleoenvironmental implications. Three foraminiferal assemblages are recognized for the lower, middle, and upper parts of the cores respectively. The lower part is dominated by Ammonia beccarii var. and Florilus decorus with lower abundance and diversity. In the middle part, the foraminifers are abundant and diverse, dominated by both Ammonia beccarii var. and Elphidium advenum. Cavarotalia annectens, Pararotalia nipponica, and porcellaneous benthic foraminiferal forms are always present, sometimes abundant. The upper part is characterized by the Ammonia beccarii-Elphidium magellanicum assemblage, except for the Core ZKA4, which is barren of foraminifers in this interval. AMS 14C dates and foraminiferal assemblages both confirm that the transgression-regression sequence in these cores belongs to the “Ammonia transgression” during the Holocene. In addition to documenting the post-glacial sea-level fluctuations, the benthic foraminifers also reflect a warmer climate during the early–middle Holocene. The foraminiferal differences among the three cores can be used to interpret the influence of seawater during the post-glacial sea-level fluctuations. The area in the vicinity of Core ZKA4 was affected by marine water only during the middle Holocene, which was much shorter than the areas of the other cores.
Previous studies have supported the theory that there is a positive association between ferritin and carotid atherosclerosis in Western people. Diet plays an important role in determining serum ferritin concentration. Asian dietary patterns are different from Western dietary patterns, implying that there may be a difference in the association of ferritin with carotid atherosclerosis between Asian and Western people. However, few studies focus on the association between ferritin and carotid atherosclerosis among Asians. The aim of this study was to investigate how serum ferritin levels are associated with carotid atherosclerosis in an Asian adult population. A cross-sectional assessment was performed in 8302 adults in Tianjin, China. Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and plaques were assessed using ultrasonography, and serum ferritin was measured using the protein chip-chemiluminescence method. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between quartiles of serum ferritin concentration and carotid atherosclerosis. In the present study, the overall prevalence of IMT and carotid plaques in participants is 29·2 and 22·7 %, respectively. In women, after adjustments for potentially confounding factors, the OR of IMT and carotid plaques by increasing serum ferritin quartiles were 1·00, 1·39 (95 % CI 0·98–1·99), 1·39 (95 % CI 0·99–1·97), 1·81 (95 % CI 1·30–2·55) (Pfor trend<0·001) and 1·00, 1·24 (95 % CI 0·89–1·73), 1·18 (95 % CI 0·85–1·65), 1·59 (95 % CI 1·15–2·20) (Pfor trend<0·01), respectively. However, no association was found between serum ferritin and carotid atherosclerosis in men. The study demonstrated that increased serum ferritin levels are independently associated with IMT and carotid plaques in Asian women but not in Asian men.