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To trace past changes in flooding frequency, we investigated fluvial sediments in the middle reach of the Nakdong River, South Korea. Sediments with larger grain size, lower total organic carbon percentage, and depleted δ13C values in the recovered sediment cores were interpreted as periods of more frequent flooding. Patterns of decreased long-term flooding frequency and vegetation changes during the early to late Holocene were similar to the decreasing regional summer monsoon intensity. Multicentennial frequent flooding periods in the study area (2900–3400 cal yr BP, 3600–3900 cal yr BP, 4600–5300 cal yr BP, and 5800–6400 cal yr BP) corresponded to stronger El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) activity periods. Based on previous studies showing that high-frequency tropical typhoon-driven coastal inundation along the western coast of Japan during the middle to late Holocene was coupled with stronger ENSO activity, it is likely that the observed centennial-to-millennial-scale flood frequency change in South Korea was influenced mainly by changes in the genesis and tracks of tropical typhoons at centennial-to-millennial time scales. This suggests that the centennial-to-millennial-scale hydrologic changes in East Asia were linked to the remote atmospheric-oceanic circulation changes represented by an ENSO-like pattern.
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.
To trace the surficial responses of lowlands to past climate change, we investigated δ13C in total organic carbon (TOC), C/N ratios, magnetic susceptibility (MS), and silicon (Si) intensity (directly proportional to concentration) in wetland sediments collected from the Gimpo area of central Korea, covering 6600–4600 cal yr BP. Two organic layers with high TOC%, negatively depleted δ13CTOC values (− 27 to − 29‰), low MS values, and low Si intensities were found at 6200–5900 and 5200–4800 cal yr BP, respectively. These middle Holocene wet periods corresponded to relatively intensified summer monsoon and solar activity periods. The intervening dry period (5900–5200 cal yr BP) with high MS, high Si, and low TOC% corresponded to an intensified dust-activity interval and stronger winter monsoon. This multi-centennial climatic fluctuation of wet periods (6200–5900 cal yr BP and 5200–4800 cal yr BP) and an intervening dry period (5900–5200 cal yr BP) in central Korea was more synchronous with climate change in the arid inner part of China than with that in South China, suggesting possible strong high-latitude-driven climatic influences (e.g., North Atlantic cooling events) during the middle Holocene.
Some clinical studies have reported reduced peripheral glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) level in elderly patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). We verified whether a reduction in plasma GDNF level was associated with MDD.
Plasma GDNF level was measured in 23 healthy control subjects and 23 MDD patients before and after 6 weeks of treatment.
Plasma GDNF level in MDD patients at baseline did not differ from that in healthy controls. Plasma GDNF in MDD patients did not differ significantly from baseline to the end of treatment. GDNF level was significantly lower in recurrent-episode MDD patients than in first-episode patients before and after treatment.
Our findings revealed significantly lower plasma GDNF level in recurrent-episode MDD patients, although plasma GDNF levels in MDD patients and healthy controls did not differ significantly. The discrepancy between our study and previous studies might arise from differences in the recurrence of depression or the ages of the MDD patients.
Decreased hemoglobin levels increase the risk of developing dementia among the elderly. However, the underlying mechanisms that link decreased hemoglobin levels to incident dementia still remain unclear, possibly due to the fact that few studies have reported on the relationship between low hemoglobin levels and neuroimaging markers. We, therefore, investigated the relationships between decreased hemoglobin levels, cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD), and cortical atrophy in cognitively healthy women and men.
Cognitively normal women (n = 1,022) and men (n = 1,018) who underwent medical check-ups and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were enrolled at a health promotion center. We measured hemoglobin levels, white matter hyperintensities (WMH) scales, lacunes, and microbleeds. Cortical thickness was automatically measured using surface based methods. Multivariate regression analyses were performed after controlling for possible confounders.
Decreased hemoglobin levels were not associated with the presence of WMH, lacunes, or microbleeds in women and men. Among women, decreased hemoglobin levels were associated with decreased cortical thickness in the frontal (Estimates, 95% confidence interval, −0.007, (−0.013, −0.001)), temporal (−0.010, (−0.018, −0.002)), parietal (−0.009, (−0.015, −0.003)), and occipital regions (−0.011, (−0.019, −0.003)). Among men, however, no associations were observed between hemoglobin levels and cortical thickness.
Our findings suggested that decreased hemoglobin levels affected cortical atrophy, but not increased CSVD, among women, although the association is modest. Given the paucity of modifiable risk factors for age-related cognitive decline, our results have important public health implications.
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.
In this review paper, we introduce a self-phase controlled stimulated Brillouin scattering phase conjugate mirror (SC-SBS-PCM) and the Kumgang laser. The SC-SBS-PCM was proposed and demonstrated its success at the academic low power level,
. The Kumgang laser is under development to verify whether the SC-SBS-PCM is operable at the kW level. It is a 4 kW beam combination laser combining four 1 kW beams using the SC-SBS-PCM. If the Kumgang laser functions successfully, it will be the most important step towards a Dream laser, a hypothetical laser with unlimited power and a high repetition rate.
To investigate whether low vitamin D status was related to insulin resistance (IR) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG) in Korean adolescents, after adjusting for total body fat mass (FM).
A cross-sectional study.
Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNAHNES) 2009–2010.
In total, 1466 participants (769 males) aged 10–19 years were assessed for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels, for FM by whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and for IR by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) after an 8 h fast.
Age-, sex-, season- and physical-activity-adjusted regression models showed that serum 25(OH)D levels were significantly related to markers of adiposity (P = 0·016 for FM (g), P = 0·023 for FM (%) and P = 0·035 for fat mass index). When the participants were stratified into three 25(OH)D categories (<37·5 nmol/l (n 553), 37·5 to < 50 nmol/l (n 543) and ≥ 50 nmol/l (n 370)), significantly decreasing trends were observed for fasting insulin (all P < 0·001), HOMA-IR (all P < 0·001) and the odds ratios for IFG (all P for trend < 0·05) from the lowest to the highest 25(OH)D category, after adjustments for age, sex, physical activity and all markers of adiposity. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, the likelihood of participants in the lowest serum 25(OH)D category having IFG was 2·96–3·15 compared with those in the highest 25(OH)D category (all P < 0·05).
There was a significant inverse relationship between vitamin D status and IR and the risk of IFG, independent of adiposity, in Korean adolescents.
We investigate the size-dependent carrier dynamics and activation energy in cadmium telluride/zinc telluride (CdTe/ZnTe) quantum dots (QDs) grown on silicon (Si) substrates. Photoluminescence (PL) spectra show that the excitonic peak corresponding to transitions from the ground electronic subband to the ground heavy-hole band in CdTe/ZnTe QDs shifts to a lower energy level with increasing CdTe thickness, owing to an increase in the size of the CdTe QDs. Time-resolved PL measurements performed to study the carrier dynamics reveal a longer exciton lifetime for CdTe/ZnTe QDs with increasing CdTe thickness on account of the reduction of the exciton oscillator strength resulting from a strong built-in electric field in the larger QDs. The activation energy of the electrons confined in the CdTe/ZnTe QDs, as obtained from the temperature-dependent PL spectra, increases with increasing CdTe thickness. These results indicate that the carrier dynamics and activation energy of CdTe/ZnTe QDs are affected by the size of the CdTe QDs.
To evaluate the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and predictors for low vitamin D status in Korean adolescents living between latitudes 33° and 39°N.
A descriptive cross-sectional study.
Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008–2009.
A total of 1510 healthy adolescents aged 12–18 years (806 male, mean age 14·7 years) participated. Possible predictors for low vitamin D status (log-transformed 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations) were evaluated.
The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D<20 ng/ml) was 89·1 % in spring, 53·7 % in summer, 63·9 % in autumn and 90·5 % in winter. Winter season, older age, higher education level reached, being female, being obese, a lack of vitamin D supplementation, lower milk consumption (0–<200 ml/d) and a lack of physical activity were unadjusted predictors (all P < 0·05). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that winter season (P < 0·001), higher education level (P < 0·001) and a lack of vitamin D supplementation (P = 0·012) were independent predictors for low vitamin D status. The modifying effect of season on the association between vitamin D supplement use and vitamin D status was significant (P < 0·001).
Vitamin D deficiency was highly prevalent in Korean adolescents, especially those in higher school grades. Vitamin D supplementation may contribute to maintain a better vitamin D status with lower seasonal variation. Further studies are required to determine optimal vitamin D intakes to maintain sufficient vitamin D status for Korean adolescents.
Late Pleistocene carbon isotope (δ13C) records from a paleolithic sedimentary sequence collected from Baeki, Hongcheon, central Korea, show long-term changes with superimposed short-term isotopic excursions. The δ13C value of the sedimentary organic matter, a proxy for past vegetation change, varied from − 26‰ to − 23‰ for the period between 30 and 90 ka, with a long-term variation similar to insolation changes. High-amplitude (− 1‰ to approximately − 1.5‰) fluctuations superimposed on the long-term changes in the δ13C values decreased during stronger summer monsoon intervals but increased during the weakened summer monsoon. This millennial-scale pattern is generally similar to Greenland Dansgaard–Oeschger (D–O) cycles. The possible connection between the Hongcheon area, Korea and high latitudes may be explained by atmospheric circulation changing in response to the D–O oscillations in the Northern Hemisphere.
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.
The numerical approach of Lee et al. [Trans. Korean Soc. Mech. Eng., A28, 816–825 (2004)] to spherical indentation technique for property evaluation of hyperelastic rubber is enhanced. The Yeoh model is adopted as the constitutive form of rubber material because it can express well large deformation and cover various deformation modes with a simple form. We first determine the friction coefficient between a rubber specimen and a spherical indenter in a practical viewpoint and perform finite element simulations for a deeper indentation depth than that selected by Lee et al. [Trans. Korean Soc. Mech. Eng., A28, 816–825 (2004)]. An optimal data acquisition spot is selected, which features sufficiently large strain energy density and negligible frictional effect. We improve then two normalized functions mapping an indentation load–displacement curve onto a strain energy density–invariant curve, the latter of which gives the Yeoh model constants. The enhanced spherical indentation approach successfully produces the rubber material properties with an average error of less than 5%. The validity of our developed approach is verified by experimental evaluation of material properties with three kinds of rubber materials.
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 oocyte is known from recent studies in the mouse, cow, sheep and human to be a central regulator of follicular cell function. However, in the pig, little information is known about the regulation of cumulus expansion by oocyte-secreted factors and oocyte quality. We investigated the possible effects of oocyte-secreted factors during in vitro maturation on cumulus expansion and on porcine oocytes as judged by subsequent embryonic development after parthenogenetic activation. Cumulus–oocyte complexes (COC) from antral follicles of pig ovaries collected from a local abattoir were divided into control and treatment groups and were cultured in tissue culture medium 199 supplemented with follicle-stimulating hormone. Treatment groups consisted of increasing numbers of denuded oocytes (DO) co-cultured with COC (at ratios of COC to DO of 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4 and 1:5). After incubation for 44 h, cumulus expansion and maturation rates were assessed and oocytes were activated parthenogenetically. Cumulus expansion in the 1 COC:4 DO and 1 COC:5 DO groups was low and altered because full dispersion of the outer layer did not occur. Cell viability was not affected, as measured by the automated cell counter, but scanning electron microscopy revealed only a scanty extracellular matrix. Blastocyst rate was significantly higher in the 1 COC:4 DO (34.4%) and in the 1 COC:5 DO (34.9%) groups (p < 0.05) when compared with other groups. Maturation rate, cleavage rate and total cell number showed no significant difference between control and treatment groups. Amplification by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed up-regulation of growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) in the cumulus cells in the 1 COC:4 DO group at 44 h. We conclude that denuded porcine oocytes could improve the maturation of COC as evidenced by increased blastocyst development in the 1 COC:4 DO, even though cumulus expansion was poor. This improvement could be a result of the GDF9 up-regulation.
Intra-uterine growth retardation has been linked to the development of type 2 diabetes in later life. Mitochondrial changes have been suggested as a link between fetal malnutrition and adult insulin resistance. Taurine has been implicated in this process. We investigated whether protein malnutrition in early life alters mitochondria of the pancreatic islets in adulthood, and whether taurine supplementation restores these changes. Male offspring of rats fed a control diet, a low-protein diet or a low-protein diet supplemented with taurine during pregnancy and lactation were weaned onto the control diet. In each group, at 20 weeks of age, intravenous glucose tolerance tests, euglycaemic–hyperinsulinaemic clamp studies, morphometric analysis of the pancreatic islets and ultra-structural analysis of the mitochondria of the β-cells were performed. The expressions of cytochrome c oxidase (COX) I and mitochondrial respiratory chain complex II were also measured. Fetal protein-malnourished rats showed decreased pancreatic islet mass and reduced insulin-secretory responses to a glucose load. These rats also showed reduced mitochondrial DNA-encoded COX I gene expression in the islets. Electron microscopic examination showed abnormal mitochondrial shapes in the β-cells of fetal protein-malnourished rats. Taurine supplementation to the low-protein diet restored all these changes. Our findings indicate that a maternal protein-restriction diet causes long-lasting mitochondrial changes that may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes later in life. The lack of taurine may be a key causative factor for these dysfunctional mitochondrial changes.
This paper presents the experimental results of selective Si epitaxial growth from 650 °C to 700 °C on (100) silicon wafers with oxide patterns using reduced pressure chemical vapor deposition with the SiH4-HCl-H2 gas system. In addition, an HCl etching process is introduced and the conditions of the deposition and etching processes are addressed to sustain the selectivity. As a result, we noted that the addition of HCl serves not only to reduce the growth rate on bare Si, but also to suppress the nucleation on SiO2. In these experiments it has been also observed that the Si layer was grown to 3 nm while sustaining the selectivity. Moreover, further introduction of the HCl etching process following the deposition allowed a 50 nm-thick film to sustain the selectivity for twenty periods.
A new excimer laser annealing method is proposed in order to produce the poly-Si film with low defect density and large grain, by combining the selective Si ionimplantation and excimer laser annealing. Selective Si ion-implantation is employed to form artificial nucleation seeds in a-Si film prior to excimer laser annealing in order to increase the nucleation probability. The grain boundary location in poly-Si film has been controlled through implantation mask, and the grain size around micrometer order is obtained without any other process. TEM result shows that grain boundary is controlled according to mask pattern and the crystallinity of the poly-Si film is improved.