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Accurate prognostication is important for patients and their families to prepare for the end of life. Objective Prognostic Score (OPS) is an easy-to-use tool that does not require the clinicians’ prediction of survival (CPS), whereas Palliative Prognostic Score (PaP) needs CPS. Thus, inexperienced clinicians may hesitate to use PaP. We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of OPS compared with PaP in inpatients in palliative care units (PCUs) in three East Asian countries.
This study was a secondary analysis of a cross-cultural, multicenter cohort study. We enrolled inpatients with far-advanced cancer in PCUs in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan from 2017 to 2018. We calculated the area under the receiver operating characteristics (AUROC) curve to compare the accuracy of OPS and PaP.
A total of 1,628 inpatients in 33 PCUs in Japan and Korea were analyzed. OPS and PaP were calculated in 71.7% of the Japanese patients and 80.0% of the Korean patients. In Taiwan, PaP was calculated for 81.6% of the patients. The AUROC for 3-week survival was 0.74 for OPS in Japan, 0.68 for OPS in Korea, 0.80 for PaP in Japan, and 0.73 for PaP in Korea. The AUROC for 30-day survival was 0.70 for OPS in Japan, 0.71 for OPS in Korea, 0.79 for PaP in Japan, and 0.74 for PaP in Korea.
Significance of results
Both OPS and PaP showed good performance in Japan and Korea. Compared with PaP, OPS could be more useful for inexperienced physicians who hesitate to estimate CPS.
Oxidative stress causes several diseases and dysfunctions in cells, including oocytes. Clearly, oxidative stress influences oocyte quality during in vitro maturation and fertilization. Here we tested the ability of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to reduce reactive oxygen species (ROS) and improve mouse oocyte quality during in vitro culture. Treatment with 50 μM CoQ10 efficiently reduced ROS levels in oocytes cultured in vitro. The fertilizable form of an oocyte usually contains a cortical granule-free domain (CGFD). CoQ10 enhanced the ratio of CGFD–oocytes from 35% to 45%. However, the hardening of the zona pellucida in oocytes was not affected by CoQ10 treatment. The in vitro maturation capacity of oocytes, which was determined by the first polar body extrusion, was enhanced from 48.9% to 75.7% by the addition of CoQ10 to the culture medium. During the parthenogenesis process, the number of two-cell embryos was increased by CoQ10 from 43.5% to 67.3%. Additionally, treatment with CoQ10 increased the expression of Bcl2 and Sirt1 in cumulus cells. These results suggested that CoQ10 had a positive effect on ROS reduction, maturation rate and two-cell embryo formation in mouse oocyte culture.
A number of microorganisms were hypothesised as an aetiology of the Kawasaki disease. Unfortunately, no specific agent that provides reproducible evidence has yet been reported. We report two cases of extremely rare Kawasaki disease with tsutsugamushi disease. These case reports suggest that Kawasaki disease can rarely occur concurrently or immediately after a rickettsial illness such as tsutsugamushi disease.
Recent hospital fire incidents in South Korea have heightened the importance of patient evacuation. Moving patients from an intensive care unit (ICU) or emergency department (ED) setting is a challenge due to the complexity of moving acutely unwell patients who are reliant on invasive monitoring and organ support. Despite the importance of patient evacuation, the readiness of ICU and ED for urgent evacuation has not been assessed.
To enhance the readiness and competencies of workers from ICU and ED in the evacuation of patients during a simulated tabletop fire exercise.
A tabletop simulation exercise was developed by the Center for Disaster Relief, Training, and Research referencing the fire evacuation manual developed by the hospital’s ICU and ED. The scenario consisted of evacuating patients horizontally and vertically from each department. The participants’ actions were assessed using a checklist. A debriefing was completed after the exercise to discuss the gaps observed. A post-survey questionnaire was used to evaluate the exercise and assess the perception changes of the participants. All pre-to-post differences within subjects were analyzed with paired t-tests.
A total of 22 and 29 people participated in the exercise from ICU and ED, respectively. Knowledge and confidence improved post-exercise for both ICU and ED scenarios (p<0.05). Course satisfaction was 7.9 and 8.7, respectively for ICU and ED exercise. Correct performance rates for ICU and ED were 59% and 58%, respectively. Common gaps noted for both ICU and ED were wearing protective masks, patient hand-over communication, and preparation for resources.
There need to be exercises to recognize system gaps in place for hospital fire evacuation preparedness. Tabletop simulation exercises are ideal tools for this purpose. Although this was a short 90-minute exercise, this increased familiarity with the evacuation plan, tested the plan, and allowed for identification of gaps.
South Korea experienced Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in 2015. To mitigate the threat posed by MERS, the Ministry of Health and Center for Disease Control designated hospitals to be responsible for managing any suspected or confirmed infectious patient. These hospitals receive mandatory training in managing infectious patients, but many of the trainings lack practical skills practice and pandemic preparedness exercise.
To develop and evaluate a training course designed to train healthcare providers from designated hospitals to enhance their competencies in managing emerging infectious diseases and potential outbreaks.
A two-day course was developed by the Center for Disaster Relief, Training, and Research in collaboration with the Korea Health Promotion Institute using Kern’s 6-step approach. The course consisted of didactic lectures, technical skills training, tabletop simulation, and scenario-based simulation. Table-top simulation exercises consisted of cases involving a single infectious patient detected in the outpatient clinic and outbreak in the emergency department. Scenario-based simulation exercises involved managing a critically ill infectious patient in an isolated ward. A post-survey questionnaire was used to evaluate the course and assess the perception changes of the participants. All pre-to-post differences within subjects were analyzed with paired t-tests.
A total of 121 healthcare providers participated in three separate courses. The competencies for pandemic preparedness knowledge, skills, and attitude improved from pre- to post-course. The differences were all statistically significant (p<0.05). Overall course satisfaction in average for expectation, time, delivery method, and contents were 9.5, 9.2, 9.4, and 9.2, respectively.
There needs to be tests and exercises to recognize gaps of systems in place for pandemic preparedness. Simulation exercises are ideal tools for this purpose. Although this was only a two-day intensive course, this increased familiarity with workflows, tested the coordination of workflows between different disciplines and allowed the identification of gaps.
Mounting concern about economic preparation for later life combined with a growing number of grandparents providing grandchild care is fuelling increased interest in these topics in Korea. However, few studies have evaluated the relationship between providing care to grandchildren and economic behaviour. Guided by intergenerational exchange theory, this paper analyses the relationships between providing grandchild care and monetary compensation for care, and economic preparation for later life. Data come from a sub-sample of 2,599 grandmothers in the Korean Retirement and Income Study who have a grandchild under the age of ten, 279 of whom report providing regular care to grandchildren. Controlling for age, education, marital status and household income, the average amount of grandchild care provided per week is a significant negative predictor of economic preparation for later life among grandmothers. However, receiving financial compensation for providing grandchild care is not significantly related to economic preparation and did not mediate or moderate the relationship between amount of care provided and economic preparation. The implications of these findings and limitations of this study are also discussed.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are prevalent incident findings on brain MRI scans among elderly people and have been consistently implicated in cognitive dysfunction. However, differential roles of WMH by region in cognitive function are still unclear. The aim of this study was to ascertain the differential role of regional WMH in predicting progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to different subtypes of dementia.
Participants were recruited from the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS) study. A total of 622 participants with MCI diagnoses at baseline and follow-up evaluations were included for the analysis. Initial MRI scans were rated for WMH on a visual rating scale developed for the CREDOS. Differential effects of regional WMH in predicting incident dementia were evaluated using the Cox proportional hazards model.
Of the 622 participants with MCI at baseline, 139 patients (22.3%) converted to all-cause dementia over a median of 14.3 (range 6.0–36.5) months. Severe periventricular WMH (PWMH) predicted incident all-cause dementia (Hazard ratio (HR) 2.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.43) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) (HR 1.86; 95% CI 1.12–3.07). Subcortical vascular dementia (SVD) was predicted by both PWMH (HR 16.14; 95% CI 1.97–132.06) and DWMH (HR 8.77; 95% CI 1.77–43.49) in more severe form (≥ 10 mm).
WMH differentially predict dementia by region and severity. Our findings suggest that PWMH may play an independent role in the pathogenesis of dementia, especially in AD.
The present study was performed to investigate whether breast-feeding is associated with early pubertal development among children 7–9 years old in Korea.
Children were divided into those who did and did not receive breast-feeding for 6 months or longer in accordance with the recommendations of the WHO. Pubertal status was determined by clinical examination using Tanner staging.
Prospective observational study.
We conducted a follow-up study of children aged 7–9 years in 2011 who had taken part in the Ewha Birth & Growth Cohort study.
Fifty (22·8 %) of the total of 219 children were in early puberty, with the proportion being slightly higher for girls (24·1 %) than boys (21·4 %). Children who had entered early puberty were taller, weighed more and had a higher concentration of insulin-like growth factor 1. Moreover, the change in weight Z-score from birth to follow-up was significantly lower in children who were breast-fed than in those who were not (weight Z-score change: 0·32 (sd 1·59) v. 0·77 (sd 1·61), respectively, P=0·04). Comparison of breast-feeding by puberty status indicated a preventive association with early puberty in children who were breast-fed for 6 months or longer (OR=0·37; 95 % CI 0·18, 0·74). This association remained significant after adjustment for relevant covariates.
These results demonstrate a beneficial association between breast-feeding and early pubertal development, especially in those breast-fed for 6 months or longer. The study suggests that interventions would need to start early in life to prevent early pubertal development.
Adiponectin has been associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus and possibly fetal growth. Our aim was to assess the association between the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the adiponectin gene (ADIPOQ) and the birth sizes. We investigated four SNPs of ADIPOQ (rs182052, rs2241766, rs1501299, and rs266729) and birth height and weight in 237 healthy full-term neonates. The neonates with the rs182052 G allele had a greater birth weight (p = .043 in the dominant model) and a higher ponderal index (p = .028 in the additive model). The rs2241766 G allele was associated with a greater birth weight (p = .016 in the recessive model). In a logistic regression analysis, the homozygotes for the rs182052 G allele and those for the rs2241766 G allele showed a significant association with a greater birth weight above 90 percentile (OR 2.75, 95% CI 1.13–6.70 and OR 5.15, 95% CI 1.66–15.99, respectively). In conclusion, we found an association between rs182052 and rs2241766 and birth weight and ponderal index among healthy neonates and suggested that adiponectin might have some roles in fetal growth.
Symptomatic intracranial atherosclerosis (ICAS) is a dynamic disease that frequently progresses. Statins have been shown to have anti-atherosclerotic activity. We therefore investigated whether statins could prevent progression of ICAS.
This retrospective cohort study assessed 55 patients with acute ischemic stroke and symptomatic ICAS in the middle cerebral or basilar arteries as shown on magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), with follow-up MRA performed more than 1 year after the index stroke. Change in ICAS was classified as progressive, regressive, or stable. Baseline clinical characteristics and risk factor control during follow-up were assessed, and laboratory tests were performed at the time of follow-up MRA. The statin group was defined as patients regularly treated with statins for more than 75% of the follow-up period; the remaining patients were defined as the non-statin group.
At a median follow-up time of 21.8 months (range, 11.8-66.1 months), the statin group consisted of 26 (47.3%) patients and the non-statin group of 29 (52.7%). During follow-up, 6 (10.9%) patients progressed, 14 (25.5%) regressed, and 35 (63.6%) remained stable. Statin treatment was significantly associated with non-progression of ICAS (p=0.024). Two patients in the non-statin group had recurrent strokes. Border-zone infarcts were associated with progression of ICAS (3/6, 50%; p=0.007), whereas risk factors and inflammatory biomarkers were not related to progression.
Treatment with statins may prevent progression of symptomatic ICAS. Prospective randomized controlled trials are required to confirm that statins protect against such progression.
To compare the characteristics and risk factors for surgical site infections (SSIs) after total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in a nationwide survey, using shared case detection and recording systems.
Retrospective cohort study.
Twenty-six hospitals participating in the Korean Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (KONIS).
From 2006 to 2009, all patients undergoing THA and TKA in KONIS were enrolled.
SSI occurred in 161 (2.35%) of 6,848 cases (3,422 THAs and 3,426 TKAs). Pooled mean SSI rates were 1.69% and 2.82% for THA and TKA, respectively. Of the cases we examined, 42 (26%) were superficial-incisional SSIs and 119 (74%) were “severe” SSIs; of the latter, 24 (15%) were deep-incisional SSIs and 95 (59%) were organ/space SSIs. In multivariate analysis, a duration of preoperative hospital stay of greater than 3 days was a risk factor for total SSI after both THA and TKA. Diabetes mellitus, revision surgery, prolonged duration of surgery (above the 75th percentile), and the need for surgery due to trauma were independent risk factors for total and severe SSI after THA, while male sex and an operating room without artificial ventilation were independent risk factors for total and severe SSI after TKA. A large volume of surgeries (more than 10 procedures per month) protected against total and severe SSI, but only in patients who underwent TKA.
Risk factors for SSI after arthroplasty differ according to the site of the arthroplasty. Therefore, clinicians should take into account the site of arthroplasty in the analysis of SSI and the development of strategies for reducing SSI.
To evaluate the risk factors for surgical site infection (SSI) after gastric surgery in patients in Korea.
A nationwide prospective multicenter study.
Twenty university-affiliated hospitals in Korea.
The Korean Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (KONIS), a Web-based system, was developed. Patients in 20 Korean hospitals from 2007 to 2009 were prospectively monitored for SSI for up to 30 days after gastric surgery. Demographic data, hospital characteristics, and potential perioperative risk factors were collected and analyzed, using multivariate logistic regression models.
Of the 4,238 case patients monitored, 64.9% (2,752) were male, and mean age (±SD) was 58.8 (±12.3) years. The SSI rates were 2.92, 6.45, and 10.87 per 100 operations for the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance system risk index categories of 0, 1, and 2 or 3, respectively. The majority (69.4%) of the SSIs observed were organ or space SSIs. The most frequently isolated microorganisms were Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Male sex (odds ratio [OR], 1.67 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–2.58]), increased operation time (1.20 [1.07–1.34] per 1-hour increase), reoperation (7.27 [3.68–14.38]), combined multiple procedures (1.79 [1.13–2.83]), prophylactic administration of the first antibiotic dose after skin incision (3.00 [1.09–8.23]), and prolonged duration (≥7 days) of surgical antibiotic prophylaxis (SAP; 2.70 [1.26–5.64]) were independently associated with increased risk of SSI.
Male sex, inappropriate SAP, and operation-related variables are independent risk factors for SSI after gastric surgery.
The present study was carried out to evaluate the microstructures and mechanical properties of severely deformed Ni-30Cr alloy. Cross-roll rolling (CRR) as severe plastic deformation (SPD) process was introduced and Ni-30Cr alloy sheets were cold rolled to a 90% thickness reduction and subsequently annealed at 700 °C for 30 min so as to obtain the recrystallized microstructure. For the analysis of grain boundary character distributions (GBCDs), electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD) technique was introduced. CRR on Ni-30Cr alloy was effective to enhance the grain refinement through heat treatment; consequently, average grain size was significantly reduced from 33 μm in initial material to 0.6 μm in CRR processed material. This grain refinement directly affected the mechanical properties improvement, in which yield and tensile strengths were significantly increased than those of initial material. In this study, we systematically discussed the grain refinement, accompanying with increase in mechanical properties, in terms of the effective strain imposed by CRR, comparing with conventional rolling (CR).
We investigated microstructures, compositional distributions, and electrical properties of dielectric CaCu3Ti4O12 (CCTO) thin films deposited on Pt/TiO2/SiO2/Si substrates from 700 to 800 °C by pulsed laser deposition. With increasing the deposition temperature from 700 to 750 °C, the dielectric constants (εr) of CCTO films were greatly enhanced from ∼300 to ∼2000 at 10 kHz, respectively. However, the εr values of CCTO films were gradually decreased above 750 °C, which was surely attributable to the formation of a TiO2-rich dead layer at the interface between CCTO and Pt electrode. Compositional analyses by Auger electron spectroscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, and electron energy loss spectroscopy revealed that the TiO2-rich dead layer became thicker because of severe Cu diffusion from CCTO films to Pt electrode. The leakage current behaviors of CCTO films are in good agreement with Poole–Frenkel conduction mechanism, where both the TiO2-rich dead layer and rutile TiO2 nanocrystalline particles are considered to play a role of charge trapping centers.
The effects of tannic acid (TA) supplementation (0·02 %, wt/wt) were compared with the effects of clofibrate (CF) supplementation (0·02 %, wt/wt) in apo E-deficient (apo E− / −) mice fed a AIN-76 semi-synthetic diet (normal diet) over 20 weeks. The mice were monitored for the modulation of hepatic mRNA expression and the activities of lipid-regulating enzymes. Both TA and CF supplementation lowered hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) activity and prevented atherosclerotic lesion formation in comparison with the control group. Hepatic carnitine palmitoyl transferase and β-oxidation activities were significantly higher in the TA and CF groups than in the control group. Both CF and TA supplementation resulted in significant decreases in hepatic HMGR mRNA levels in association with its enzyme activity. However, in contrast to CF supplementation, TA supplementation seemed to decrease the accumulation of hepatic lipids in the apo E− / − mice without increasing liver weight. These results suggest that the overall effect of TA is more desirable than CF for the alleviation of hepatic lipogenesis and atherogenesis in apo E− / − mice.
Little is known about the bioavailability of isoflavones in children. Previous studies have shown that children excrete more isoflavone in urine compared with adults. Thus we examined the relationship between usual dietary isoflavone intake and the urinary excretion of isoflavonoids in Korean girls of pubertal age. Twelve girls each were selected from the lowest and the highest quartiles of isoflavone intake among 252 Korean girls aged 8–11 years. Age, BMI and sexual maturation stage were matched between the two groups. Dietary intakes for 3 d by diet record and overnight urine samples were collected at baseline and at 6 and 12 months. Total and individual isoflavone (daidzein, genistein and glycitein) intakes were calculated from diet records. The parent isoflavone compounds (daidzein, genistein and glycitein) and their metabolites (equol, O-desmethylangolensin (O-DMA), dihydrodaidzein and dihydrogenistein) present in the urine samples were analysed using liquid chromatography–MS. Intake levels of total and individual isoflavone compounds were significantly higher in the high isoflavone (HI) group than the levels in the low isoflavone (LI) group (P < 0·05). Urinary excretion of all isoflavone parent compounds was significantly higher in the HI group than in the LI group (P < 0·0001). Among isoflavone metabolites, only O-DMA and total metabolites were significantly different (P < 0·05). Total isoflavone intake was highly correlated with the urinary excretion of total parent compounds (r 0·68; P < 0·01), parent compounds plus their metabolites (r 0·66–0·69; P < 0·01) and total isoflavonoids (r 0·72; P < 0·0001). In conclusion, overnight urinary excretion of total isoflavonoids is a reliable biomarker of usual isoflavone intake in Korean girls of pubertal age.
Decision making in an emotionally conflicting situation is important in social life. We aimed to address the similarity and disparity of neural correlates involved in processing ambivalent stimuli in patients with schizophrenia and patients with depression. Behavioral task-related hemodynamic responses were measured using [15O]H2O positron emission tomography (PET) in 12 patients with schizophrenia and 12 patients with depression. The task was a modified word-stem completion task, which was designed to evoke ambivalence in forced and non-forced choice conditions. The prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum were found to show increased activity in the healthy control group. In the schizophrenia group, activity in these two regions was negligible. In the depression group, the pattern of activity was altered and a functional compensatory recruitment of the inferior parietal regions was suggested. The prefrontal cortex seems to be associated with the cognitive control to resolve the conflict toward the ambivalent stimuli, whereas the cerebellum reflects the sustained working memory to search for compromise alternatives. The deficit of cerebellar activation in the schizophrenia group might underlie the inability to search and consider compromising responses for conflict resolution. (JINS, 2009, 15, 990–1001.)
The aim of the present study was to investigate whether ethanol extracts of Psoralea corylifolia L. (PCE) and its active component protect against bone loss in ovariectomised rats. We screened oestrogenic activities of the main extract fractions using in vitro assays and identified bakuchiol as the most active oestrogenic component by HPLC and LC/MS, and then demonstrated that bakuchiol had strong binding affinity for oestrogen receptor (ER) α. Seventy female Sprague–Dawley rats were assigned to either a sham-operated group (n 10) or an ovariectomised group (n 60). The ovariectomised group was subdivided into six groups, each containing ten rats: vehicle group, two bakuchiol-treated groups (dose of 15 mg/kg per d or 30 mg/kg per d; ten rats for each group), two PCE-supplemented groups (0·25 % or 0·5 % extracts of diets; ten rats for each group) and a 17β-oestradiol (E2)-treated group (20 μg/kg per d). We recorded weight and feed intake every week, and killed all animals after 6 weeks. Blood was collected, and the uterus, kidneys and livers were removed. Bakuchiol has a three-fold higher binding affinity for ERα than for ERβ. Bakuchiol and PCE treatments had no uterotrophic activity even though they demonstrated oestrogenic activity in the in vitro assays. Bakuchiol and PCE treatments reduced postmenopausal bone loss by increasing alkaline phosphatase, Ca concentrations, serum E2 concentration and bone mineral density, and by decreasing the inorganic P level. The present study indicated that bakuchiol and PCE treatments could protect against bone loss.