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In the past 10–15 years, the government of China has made various efforts in tackling excessive antibiotics use. Yet, little is known about their effects at rural primary care settings. This study aimed to determine the impact of government policies and the COVID-19 pandemic on antibiotic prescribing practices at such settings utilizing data from separate studies carried out pre- and during the pandemic, in 2016 and 2021 in Anhui province, China, using identical sampling and survey approaches. Data on antibiotics prescribed, diagnosis, socio-demographic, etc., were obtained through non-participative observation and a structured exit survey. Data analysis comprised mainly descriptive comparisons of 1153 and 762 patients with respiratory infections recruited in 2016 and 2021, respectively. The overall antibiotics prescription rate decreased from 89.6% in 2016 to 69.1% in 2021, and the proportion of prescriptions for two or more classes of antibiotics was estimated as 35.9% in 2016 and 11.0% in 2021. There was a statistically significant decrease in the number of days from symptom onset to clinic visits between the year groups. In conclusion, measures to constrain excessive prescription of antibiotics have led to some improvements at the rural primary care level, and the COVID-19 pandemic has had varying effects on antibiotic use.
The Lancang-Mekong River Basin (LMRB) is Asia's most important transboundary river. The precipitation-dependent agriculture and the world's largest inland fishery in the basin feed more than 70 million people. Floods are the main natural disasters which pose a serious threat to the local agriculture and human life. In the future, climate change will affect the streamflow and lead to changes in flood events. Based on the GMDF and GCM data, the SPI and the VIC model were used to assess the impact of climate change on streamflow and flood events during the historical (1985–2016) and future periods (2020–2050) in the LMRB. The results show that the LMRB will become more humid in the future and annual precipitation will change from about -2 to 6 per cent under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. In the future, this basin should experience a higher flood risk, with more flood events and a relative increase in the flood peak and frequency reaching up to +15 and +58 per cent, respectively. This study contributes to improve our understanding of the role of climate change on streamflow and flood events and provides a scientific reference for the development of local water resources management in the LMRB.
For individual cultures, findings on regulating embryo density by changing the microdrop volume are contradictory. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between embryo density and the developmental outcome of day 3 embryos after adjusting covariates. In total, 1196 embryos from 206 couples who had undergone in vitro fertilization treatment were analyzed retrospectively. Three embryo densities were used routinely, i.e. one embryo in a drop (30 μl/embryo), two embryos in a drop (15 μl/embryo) and three embryos in a drop (10 μl/embryo). Embryo quality on day 3 was evaluated, both the cell number of day 3 embryos and the proportion of successful implantations served as endpoints. Maternal age, paternal age, antral follicles and level of anti-Müllerian hormone, type of infertility, controlled ovarian stimulation protocol, length of stimulation, number of retrieved oocytes, number of zygotes (two pronuclei) and insemination type were covariates and adjusted. After adjusting fully for all covariates, the cell number of day 3 embryos was significantly increased by 0.40 (95% CI 0.00, 0.79; P = 0.048) and 0.78 (95% CI 0.02, 1.54; P = 0.044) in the 15 μl/embryo and 10 μl/embryo group separately, compared with the 30 μl/embryo group. The proportions of implanted embryos were 42.1%, 48.7% and 0.0% in the 30 μl/embryo, 15 μl/embryo and 10 μl/embryo groups respectively. There was no statistical significance (P = 0.22) between the 30 μl/embryo group and the 15 μl/embryo group. After adjusting for confounders that were significant in univariate analysis, embryo density was still not associated with day 3 embryo implantation potential (P > 0.05). In a 30-μl microdrop, culturing embryos with an embryo density of both 15 and 10 μl/embryo increased the cell number of day 3 embryos, which did not benefit embryo implanting potential, compared with individual culture of 30 μl/embryo.
This study documents the COVID-19 disease-control measures enacted in rural China and examines the economic and social impacts of these measures. We conducted two rounds of surveys with 726 randomly selected village informants across seven provinces. Strict disease-control measures have been universally enforced and appear to have been successful in limiting disease transmission in rural communities. The infection rate in our sample was 0.001 per cent, a rate that is near the national average outside of Hubei province. None of the villages reported any COVID-19-related deaths. For a full month during the quarantine, the rate of employment of rural workers was essentially zero. Even after the quarantine measures were lifted, nearly 70 per cent of the villagers still were unable to work owing to workplace closures. Although action has been taken to mitigate the potential negative effects, these disease-control measures might have accelerated the inequality between rural and urban households in China.
Previous analyses of grey and white matter volumes have reported that schizophrenia is associated with structural changes. Deep learning is a data-driven approach that can capture highly compact hierarchical non-linear relationships among high-dimensional features, and therefore can facilitate the development of clinical tools for making a more accurate and earlier diagnosis of schizophrenia.
To identify consistent grey matter abnormalities in patients with schizophrenia, 662 people with schizophrenia and 613 healthy controls were recruited from eight centres across China, and the data from these independent sites were used to validate deep-learning classifiers.
We used a prospective image-based meta-analysis of whole-brain voxel-based morphometry. We also automatically differentiated patients with schizophrenia from healthy controls using combined grey matter, white matter and cerebrospinal fluid volumetric features, incorporated a deep neural network approach on an individual basis, and tested the generalisability of the classification models using independent validation sites.
We found that statistically reliable schizophrenia-related grey matter abnormalities primarily occurred in regions that included the superior temporal gyrus extending to the temporal pole, insular cortex, orbital and middle frontal cortices, middle cingulum and thalamus. Evaluated using leave-one-site-out cross-validation, the performance of the classification of schizophrenia achieved by our findings from eight independent research sites were: accuracy, 77.19–85.74%; sensitivity, 75.31–89.29% and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.797–0.909.
These results suggest that, by using deep-learning techniques, multidimensional neuroanatomical changes in schizophrenia are capable of robustly discriminating patients with schizophrenia from healthy controls, findings which could facilitate clinical diagnosis and treatment in schizophrenia.
Based on the development of telemedicine and the experience of using it during the COVID-19 epidemic, we aimed to explore its convenience and shortcomings to provide a reference for the further improvement of telemedicine.
Traditional healthcare has been significantly affected by the outbreak of COVID-19, which has increased fear in patients with chronic diseases and increased the difficulty of obtaining hospitalized treatment.
This is a conceptual article. The literature search is based on Pubmed, including articles published between January 2015 and December 2020. The purpose was to determine whether telemedicine is effective in the management of chronic diseases in the epidemic situation and to develop telemedicine and chronic disease management for long-term epidemic situations in the future.
Telemedicine has demonstrated its advantages during the COVID-19 epidemic and can provide diversified clinical care services for patients with chronic diseases; these services have played a vital role in epidemic prevention and control, greatly alleviated the shortage of medical resources, increased the utilization level of medical resources, and reduced the cross-infection risk during treatment in hospitals. Furthermore, the epidemic situation presents opportunities for the development of diagnosis and treatment methods via the internet and active health management modalities.
Manganese (Mn) oxides have been prevalent on Earth since before the Great Oxidation Event and the Mn cycle is one of the most important biogeochemical processes on the Earth's surface. In sunlit natural environments, the photochemistry of Mn oxides has been discovered to enable solar energy harvesting and conversion in both geological and biological systems. One of the most widespread Mn oxides is birnessite, which is a semiconducting layered mineral that actively drives Mn photochemical cycling in Nature. The oxygen-evolving centre in biological photosystem II (PSII) is also a Mn-cluster of Mn4CaO5, which transforms into a birnessite-like structure during the photocatalytic oxygen evolution process. This phenomenon draws the potential parallel of Mn-functioned photoreactions between the organic and inorganic world. The Mn photoredox cycling involves both the photo-oxidation of Mn(II) and the photoreductive dissolution of Mn(IV/III) oxides. In Nature, the occurrence of Mn(IV/III) photoreduction is usually accompanied with the oxidative degradation of natural organics. For Mn(II) oxidation into Mn oxides, mechanisms of biological catalysis mediated by microorganisms (such as Pseudomonas putida and Bacillus species) and abiotic photoreactions by semiconducting minerals or reactive oxygen species have both been proposed. In particular, anaerobic Mn(II) photo-oxidation processes have been demonstrated experimentally, which shed light on Mn oxide emergence before atmospheric oxygenation on Earth. This review provides a comprehensive and up-to-date elaboration of Mn oxide photoredox cycling in Nature, and gives brand-new insight into the photochemical properties of semiconducting Mn oxides widespread on the Earth's surface.
Understanding the extent of aerosol-based transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is important for tailoring interventions for control of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Multiple studies have reported the detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in air samples, but only one study has successfully recovered viable virus, although it is limited by its small sample size.
We aimed to determine the extent of shedding of viable SARS-CoV-2 in respiratory aerosols from COVID-19 patients.
In this observational air sampling study, air samples from airborne-infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) and a community isolation facility (CIF) housing COVID-19 patients were collected using a water vapor condensation method into liquid collection media. Samples were tested for presence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), and qRT-PCR-positive samples were tested for viability using viral culture.
Samples from 6 (50%) of the 12 sampling cycles in hospital rooms were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA, including aerosols ranging from <1 µm to >4 µm in diameter. Of 9 samples from the CIF, 1 was positive via qRT-PCR. Viral RNA concentrations ranged from 179 to 2,738 ORF1ab gene copies per cubic meter of air. Virus cultures were negative after 4 blind passages.
Although SARS-CoV-2 is readily captured in aerosols, virus culture remains challenging despite optimized sampling methodologies to preserve virus viability. Further studies on aerosol-based transmission and control of SARS-CoV-2 are needed.
This study assesses the prevalence of childhood undernutrition from 2001 to 2016 and estimate projections of undernutrition for 2016–2030 in Nepal.
The study used data from four rounds of a cross-sectional survey of Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted in 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016. Descriptive analyses were conducted to calculate prevalence, binary logistic regression was used to test the significance of trends over time and autoregressive integrated moving average model was used to forecast the prevalence of childhood undernutrition.
The children and household member datasets from four NDHS were merged to assess the trends of childhood undernutrition in Nepal.
A total of 16 613 children (8399 male and 8214 female) under 5 years of age were selected for anthropometric measurements using a stratified cluster random sampling method.
Overall results show a decline in prevalence of stunting from 57·2 % to 35·8 % (P < 0·001), underweight from 42·7 % to 27 % (P < 0·001) and wasting from 11·2 % to 9·7 % (P < 0·05) from 2001 to 2016. However, different population subgroups have a higher prevalence of undernutrition than national average. Further, the analyses show that the prevalence of stunting will decline to 14·3 % and wasting to 8·4 % by 2030.
A remarkable decrease in the prevalence of stunting and underweight has been observed over the last 15 years. Nepal is likely to achieve the nutritional targets for stunting but not for wasting by 2030. Given large subpopulation variations, further improvement in undernutrition require more specific, targeted and localised programmes.
We aimed to examine whether baseline neutrophil counts affected the risk of new-onset proteinuria in hypertensive patients, and, if so, whether folic acid treatment is particularly effective in proteinuria prevention in such a setting. A total of 8208 eligible participants without proteinuria at baseline were analysed from the renal substudy of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial. Participants were randomised to receive a double-blind daily treatment of 10 mg of enalapril and 0·8 mg of folic acid (n 4101) or 10 mg of enalapril only (n 4107). The primary outcome was new-onset proteinuria, defined as a urine dipstick reading of ≥1+ at the exit visit. The mean age of the participants was 59·5 (sd, 7·4) years, 3088 (37·6 %) of the participants were male. The median treatment duration was 4·4 years. In the enalapril-only group, a significantly higher risk of new-onset proteinuria was found among participants with higher neutrophil counts (quintile 5; ≥4·8 × 109/l, OR 1·44; 95 % CI 1·00, 2·06), compared with those in quintiles 1–4. For those with enalapril and folic acid treatment, compared with the enalapril-only group, the new-onset proteinuria risk was reduced from 5·2 to 2·8 % (OR 0·49; 95 % CI 0·29, 0·82) among participants with higher neutrophil counts (≥4·8 × 109/l), whereas there was no significant effect among those with neutrophil counts <4·8 × 109/l. In summary, among hypertensive patients, those with higher neutrophil counts had increased risk of new-onset proteinuria, and this risk was reduced by 51 % with folic acid treatment.
The association between dietary Fe intake and diabetes risk remains inconsistent. We aimed to explore the association between dietary Fe intake and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) risk in middle-aged and older adults in urban China. This study used data from the Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study, an on-going community-based prospective cohort study. Participants were recruited from 2008 to 2013 in Guangzhou community. A total of 2696 participants aged 40–75 years without T2DM at baseline were included in data analyses, with a median of 5·6 (interquartile range 4·1–5·9) years of follow-up. T2DM was identified by self-reported diagnosis, fasting glucose ≥ 7·0 mmol/l or glycosylated Hb ≥ 6·5 %. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI. We ascertained 205 incident T2DM cases during 13 476 person-years. The adjusted HR for T2DM risk in the fourth quartile of haem Fe intake was 1·92 (95 % CI 1·07, 3·46; Ptrend = 0·010), compared with the first quartile intake. These significant associations were found in haem Fe intake from total meat (HR 2·74; 95 % CI 1·22, 6·15; Ptrend = 0·011) and haem Fe intake from red meat (HR 1·86; 95 % CI 1·01, 3·44; Ptrend = 0·034), but not haem Fe intake from processed meat, poultry or fish/shellfish. The association between dietary intake of total Fe or non-haem Fe with T2DM risk had no significance. Our findings suggested that higher dietary intake of haem Fe (especially from red meat), but not total Fe or non-haem Fe, was associated with greater T2DM risk in middle-aged and older adults.
The risk of environmental contamination by severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the intensive care unit (ICU) is unclear. We evaluated the extent of environmental contamination in the ICU and correlated this with patient and disease factors, including the impact of different ventilatory modalities.
In this observational study, surface environmental samples collected from ICU patient rooms and common areas were tested for SARS-CoV-2 by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Select samples from the common area were tested by cell culture. Clinical data were collected and correlated to the presence of environmental contamination. Results were compared to historical data from a previous study in general wards.
In total, 200 samples from 20 patient rooms and 75 samples from common areas and the staff pantry were tested. The results showed that 14 rooms had at least 1 site contaminated, with an overall contamination rate of 14% (28 of 200 samples). Environmental contamination was not associated with day of illness, ventilatory mode, aerosol-generating procedures, or viral load. The frequency of environmental contamination was lower in the ICU than in general ward rooms. Eight samples from the common area were positive, though all were negative on cell culture.
Environmental contamination in the ICU was lower than in the general wards. The use of mechanical ventilation or high-flow nasal oxygen was not associated with greater surface contamination, supporting their use and safety from an infection control perspective. Transmission risk via environmental surfaces in the ICUs is likely to be low. Nonetheless, infection control practices should be strictly reinforced, and transmission risk via droplet or airborne spread remains.
Neuroimaging characteristics have demonstrated disrupted functional organization in schizophrenia (SZ), involving large-scale networks within grey matter (GM). However, previous studies have ignored the role of white matter (WM) in supporting brain function.
Using resting-state functional MRI and graph theoretical approaches, we investigated global topological disruptions of large-scale WM and GM networks in 93 SZ patients and 122 controls. Six global properties [clustering coefficient (Cp), shortest path length (Lp), local efficiency (Eloc), small-worldness (σ), hierarchy (β) and synchronization (S) and three nodal metrics [nodal degree (Knodal), nodal efficiency (Enodal) and nodal betweenness (Bnodal)] were utilized to quantify the topological organization in both WM and GM networks.
At the network level, both WM and GM networks exhibited reductions in Eloc, Cp and S in SZ. The SZ group showed reduced σ and β only for the WM network. Furthermore, the Cp, Eloc and S of the WM network were negatively correlated with negative symptoms in SZ. At the nodal level, the SZ showed nodal disturbances in the corpus callosum, optic radiation, posterior corona radiata and tempo-occipital WM tracts. For GM, the SZ manifested increased nodal centralities in frontoparietal regions and decreased nodal centralities in temporal regions.
These findings provide the first evidence for abnormal global topological properties in SZ from the perspective of a substantial whole brain, including GM and WM. Nodal centralities enhance GM areas, along with a reduction in adjacent WM, suggest that WM functional alterations may be compensated for adjacent GM impairments in SZ.
A Na-montmorillonite (Na-MMT) was activated with HNO3 (20 wt.%) solution at various temperatures and times to obtain acid-activated MMT (Acid-MMT). Zinc (4 wt.%) was supported on Acid-MMT via the impregnation method using Zn(NO3)2⋅6H2O as a precursor. The catalytic performance of the Zn/Acid-MMT for the aromatization of heptane was investigated. The amount and distribution of acidity of Acid-MMT, which could be adjusted by changing the acid activation time and temperature, significantly affected the heptane conversion and aromatics content. As a result, an efficient Zn/Acid-MMT catalyst for the aromatization reaction was obtained by optimizing the acid-treatment conditions of Na-MMT.
During previous pandemic outbreaks, medical staff have reported high levels of psychological distress. The aim of the current study was to report a snapshot of the psychological impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and its correlated factors on medical staff in Guangdong, China.
On the 2nd and 3rd February 2020, soon after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we surveyed medical staff at four hospitals in Guangdong, China, to collect demographic characteristics, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-14), and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) scores.
Complete responses were received from 1045 medical staff. Respondents were divided into high- and low-risk groups according to their working environment of contacting with potential or confirmed COVID-19 cases. The proportion of staff with anxiety (55.4% v. 43.0%, p < 0.001) or depression (43.6% v. 36.8%, p = 0.028) was significantly higher in the high-risk group than the low-risk group. The percentage of staff with severe anxiety was similar in the two groups. Doctors were more susceptible to moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms. The high-risk group had higher levels of clinical insomnia (13.5% v. 8.5%, p = 0.011) and were more likely to be in the upper quartile for stress symptoms (24.7% v. 19.3%, p = 0.037) than the low-risk group. Additionally, work experience negatively correlated with insomnia symptoms.
It is important for hospitals and authorities to protect both the physical and psychological health of medical staff during times of pandemic, even those with a low exposure risk.
A higher dietary intake or serum concentration of betaine has been associated with greater lean body mass in middle-aged and older adults. However, it remains unknown whether betaine intake is associated with age-related loss of skeletal muscle mass (SMM). We assessed the association between dietary betaine intake and relative changes in SMM after 3 years in middle-aged adults. A total of 1242 participants aged 41–60 years from the Guangzhou Nutrition and Health Study 2011–2013 and 2014–2017 with body composition measurements by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry were included. A face-to-face questionnaire was used to collect general baseline information. After adjustment for potential confounders, multiple linear regression found that energy-adjusted dietary betaine intake was significantly and positively associated with relative changes (i.e. percentage loss or increase) in SMM of legs, limbs and appendicular skeletal mass index (ASMI) over 3 years of follow-up (β 0·322 (se 0·157), 0·309 (se 0·142) and 0·303 (se 0·145), respectively; P < 0·05). The ANCOVA models revealed that participants in the highest betaine tertile had significantly less loss in SMM of limbs and ASMI and more increase in SMM of legs over 3 years of follow-up, compared with those in the bottom betaine tertile (all Ptrend < 0·05). In conclusion, our findings suggest that elevated higher dietary betaine intake may be associated with less loss of SMM of legs, limbs and ASMI in middle-aged adults.