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Nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 among immunocompromised hosts can have a serious impact on COVID-19 severity, underlying disease progression and SARS-CoV-2 transmission to other patients and healthcare workers within hospitals. We experienced a nosocomial outbreak of COVID-19 in the setting of a daycare unit for paediatric and young adult cancer patients. Between 9 and 18 November 2020, 473 individuals (181 patients, 247 caregivers/siblings and 45 staff members) were exposed to the index case, who was a nursing staff. Among them, three patients and four caregivers were infected. Two 5-year-old cancer patients with COVID-19 were not severely ill, but a 25-year-old cancer patient showed prolonged shedding of SARS-CoV-2 RNA for at least 12 weeks, which probably infected his mother at home approximately 7–8 weeks after the initial diagnosis. Except for this case, no secondary transmission was observed from the confirmed cases in either the hospital or the community. To conclude, in the day care setting of immunocompromised children and young adults, the rate of in-hospital transmission of SARS-CoV-2 was 1.6% when applying the stringent policy of infection prevention and control, including universal mask application and rapid and extensive contact investigation. Severely immunocompromised children/young adults with COVID-19 would have to be carefully managed after the mandatory isolation period while keeping the possibility of prolonged shedding of live virus in mind.
There are growing concerns about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of older adults. We examined the effect of the pandemic on the risk of depression in older adults.
We analyzed data from the prospective cohort study of Korean older adults, which has been followed every 2 years. Among the 2308 participants who completed both the third and the fourth follow-up assessments, 58.4% completed their fourth follow-up before the outbreak of COVID-19 and the rest completed it during the pandemic. We conducted face-to-face diagnostic interviews using Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview and used Geriatric Depression Scale. We performed generalized estimating equations and logistic regression analyses.
The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with increased depressive symptoms in older adults [b (standard error) = 0.42 (0.20), p = 0.040] and a doubling of the risk for incident depressive disorder even in euthymic older adults without a history of depression (odds ratio = 2.44, 95% confidence interval 1.18–5.02, p = 0.016). Less social activities, which was associated with the risk of depressive disorder before the pandemic, was not associated with the risk of depressive disorder during the pandemic. However, less family gatherings, which was not associated with the risk of depressive disorder before the pandemic, was associated with the doubled risk of depressive disorder during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly influences the risk of late-life depression in the community. Older adults with a lack of family gatherings may be particularly vulnerable.
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.
Network approach has been applied to a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. The aim of the present study was to identify network structures of remitters and non-remitters in patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP) at baseline and the 6-month follow-up.
Participants (n = 252) from the Korean Early Psychosis Study (KEPS) were enrolled. They were classified as remitters or non-remitters using Andreasen's criteria. We estimated network structure with 10 symptoms (three symptoms from the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, one depressive symptom, and six symptoms related to schema and rumination) as nodes using a Gaussian graphical model. Global and local network metrics were compared within and between the networks over time.
Global network metrics did not differ between the remitters and non-remitters at baseline or 6 months. However, the network structure and nodal strengths associated with positive-self and positive-others scores changed significantly in the remitters over time. Unique central symptoms for remitters and non-remitters were cognitive brooding and negative-self, respectively. The correlation stability coefficients for nodal strength were within the acceptable range.
Our findings indicate that network structure and some nodal strengths were more flexible in remitters. Negative-self could be an important target for therapeutic intervention.
A suboptimal diet and nutritional deficiencies can have important influences on health with significant impact among older adults. This study aims to assess the presence of suboptimal dietary intake among older Americans and identify risk and protective factors influencing diet quality.
Cross-sectional secondary analysis.
A nationally representative sample of 5614 community-dwelling older adults over age 54 in the Health and Retirement Study – Health Care and Nutrition Survey.
Overall, only 10·7 % of respondents had a good quality diet (Healthy Eating Index score 81 and above); the majority had diets considered poor or needing improvement. Less than 50 % of respondents met dietary guidelines and nutritional goals for most individual food groups and nutrients. Respondents with low socio-economic status, fewer psychosocial resources and those who had limited access to healthy food outlets were more likely to have a diet of suboptimal quality.
Efforts to remove identified barriers that put older adults at risk for poor nutrition and to provide resources that increase access to healthy food should be made to encourage healthy eating and enhance diet quality.
We calculated the human resources required for an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) in Korean hospitals.
Multicenter retrospective study.
Eight Korean hospitals ranging in size from 295 to 1,337 beds.
The time required for performing ASP activities for all hospitalized patients under antibiotic therapy was estimated and converted into hours per week. The actual time spent on patient reviews of each ASP activity was measured with a small number of cases, then the total time was estimated by applying the determined times to a larger number of cases. Full-time equivalents (FTEs) were measured according to labor laws in Korea (52 hours per week).
In total, 225 cases were reviewed to measure time spent on patient reviews. The median time spent per patient review for ASP activities ranged from 10 to 16 minutes. The total time spent on the review for all hospitalized patients was estimated using the observed number of ASP activities for 1,534 patients who underwent antibiotic therapy on surveillance days. The most commonly observed ASP activity was ‘review of surgical prophylactic antibiotics’ (32.7%), followed by ‘appropriate antibiotics recommendations for patients with suspected infection without a proven site of infection but without causative pathogens’ (28.6%). The personnel requirement was calculated as 1.20 FTEs (interquartile range [IQR], 1.02–1.38) per 100 beds and 2.28 FTEs (IQR, 1.93–2.62) per 100 patients who underwent antibiotic therapy, respectively.
The estimated time required for human resources performing extensive ASP activities on all hospitalized patients undergoing antibiotic therapy in Korean hospitals was ~1.20 FTEs (IQR, 1.02–1.38) per 100 beds.
The 14C peak in AD 775 (M12) has been measured and confirmed globally in several studies since it was first measured in annual tree rings by Miyake et al. (2012). However, M12 data measurements in early- and latewood are limited. This paper presents the Δ14C values in early- and latewood from AD 762–776 Zelkova serrata tree rings from Bangu-dong, Ulsan, South Korea (35°33′N, 129°20′E). The results indicate no early rise in Δ14C values in the latewood of AD 774 in this sample located at mid-latitude. A comparison of the results of this and previous studies suggests latitude dependence (Büntgen et al. 2018); that is, the early rise of Δ14C in AD 774 was not observed at mid-latitudes in South Korea but was observed at high latitudes in Finland. The half-oxidation time of 14C was estimated from a detailed analysis of a small bomb peak in AD 1962. Based on the half-oxidation time, the Δ14C rise in the latewood, but not in the earlywood, of AD 774 in Finland, and the absence of a Δ14C rise in both the early- and latewood of AD 774 in South Korea, the 14C spike was estimated to have been produced from late April to mid-June in AD 774.
We recently reported an association between TAAR6 (trace amine associated receptor 6 gene) variations and schizophrenia (SZ). We now report an association of a set of TAAR6 variations and clinical presentation and outcome in a sample of 240 SZ Korean patients. Patients were selected by a Structured Clinical Interview, DSM-IV Axis I disorders – Clinical Version (SCID-CV). Other psychiatric or neurologic disorders, as well as medical diseases, were exclusion criteria. To assess symptom severity, patients were administered the CGI scale and the PANSS at baseline and at the moment of discharge, 1 month later on average. TAAR6 variations rs6903874, rs7452939, rs8192625 and rs4305745 were investigated; rs6903874, rs7452939 and rs8192625 entered the statistical investigation after LD analysis. Rs8192625 G/G homozygosis was found to be significantly associated both with a worse clinical presentation at PANSS total and positive scores and with a shorter period of illness before hospitalization. No haplotype significant findings were found. The present study stands for a role of the TAAR6 in the clinical presentation of SZ. Moreover, our results show that this genetic effect may be counteracted by a correct treatment. Haplotype analysis was not informative in our sample, probably also because of the incomplete SNPs' coverage of the gene we performed. Further studies in this direction are warranted.
The mobile screening test system for screening mild cognitive impairment (mSTS-MCI) was developed for clinical use. However, the clinical usefulness of mSTS-MCI to detect elderly with MCI from those who are cognitively healthy has yet to be validated. Moreover, the comparability between this system and traditional screening tests for MCI has not been evaluated.
The purpose of this study was to examine the validity and reliability of the mSTS-MCI and confirm the cut-off scores to detect MCI.
The data were collected from 107 healthy elderly people and 74 elderly people with MCI. Concurrent validity was examined using the Korean version of Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA-K) as a gold standard test, and test–retest reliability was investigated using 30 of the study participants at four-week intervals. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value (NPV) were confirmed through Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis, and the cut-off scores for elderly people with MCI were identified.
Concurrent validity showed statistically significant correlations between the mSTS-MCI and MoCA-K and test–rests reliability indicated high correlation. As a result of screening predictability, the mSTS-MCI had a higher NPV than the MoCA-K.
The mSTS-MCI was identified as a system with a high degree of validity and reliability. In addition, the mSTS-MCI showed high screening predictability, indicating it can be used in the clinical field as a screening test system for mild cognitive impairment.
Our aim was to examine the prevalence, correlates, and association of depressive and anxiety disorders with quality of life (QoL) and such other outcomes as the need for psychosocial services in cancer patients.
A total of 400 patients participated in a multicenter survey involving five cancer centers located throughout Korea. The Short-Form Health Survey, the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory, the Mini-Mental Adjustment to Cancer (MINI-MAC), and Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview were administered.
The prevalence rates for depressive and anxiety disorders were 16 and 17.1%, respectively. Younger age and poor Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, and all physical symptoms, as well as helplessness/hopelessness, anxious preoccupation (AP), and cognitive avoidance (CA) on the MINI-MAC were found to be significantly related to depressive disorder (DD) in a univariate logistic regression analysis. Metastases, the symptoms of disturbed sleep, dry mouth, and numbness or tingling, as well as AP and CA were significantly correlated with anxiety disorder (AD) in the univariate analysis. In the multivariate analyses, only AP was significant for AD (odds ratio = 2.94, p < 0.001), while none reached statistical significance for DD. Psychiatric comorbidity status had a detrimental effect on various dimensions of QoL. Patients with DD or AD reported a significantly higher need for professional psychosocial services.
Significance of results:
Given the substantial prevalence and pervasive impact of DD and AD on various aspects of QoL, its assessment and care should be integrated as a regular part of oncological care throughout the cancer continuum.
New ionic conjugated polyelectrolyte complex films based on poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene):sulfonated poly(diphenylacetylene) (PEDOT:SPDPA) are electrochemically formed on indium thin oxide substrates using a potentiostatic method, and their physical properties are evaluated using various analytical tools. Depending on a constant applied voltage, the surface morphological features and electrochemically doped states are different due to the conformational structure related to the oxidation state in the PEDOT growth process and concomitant SPDPA doping state in the films. For the purpose of use as a hole injection layer in organic light-emitting diodes, a well-known configuration (ITP/PEDOT:SPDPA/TPD/Alq3/LiF/Al) is adopted to investigate the optoelectronic properties.
We describe the case of a young man with bilateral coronary artery to left ventricular fistula, which was drained via a single, common channel. The anomaly was incidentally detected with coronary CT angiography.
The Saemangeum tidal flat, an important staging site for migratory shorebirds that travel the East Asian-Australasian (EAA) Flyway, was isolated from the eastern Yellow Sea in 2006 as part of a large-scale reclamation project. To gain a better understanding of the impacts that this reclamation has had on the long-distance migratory shorebirds that use the EAA Flyway, we examined the number of shorebirds visiting Saemangeum and three adjacent sites in the Geum Estuary (Yubu Island, the Janghang coastline, and the Geum River Channel) during the spring and fall prior to, and after, completion of the reclamation (2004–2013). A total of 48 shorebird species, including one Critically Endangered, three Endangered, and nine Near Threatened species, were observed over this period. Peak numbers of shorebirds recorded at sites in Saemangeum and the Geum Estuary following completion of the project were 74% below those recorded in 2004 and 2005, the years prior to reclamation activity. In Saemangeum, shorebird abundance declined by approximately 95% and 97.3% during the northward and southward migrations, respectively, as a result of reclamation. Although shorebird populations in the Geum Estuary increased by 5% and 20% during the northwards and southward migrations, respectively, these increases failed to offset the reduction in shorebird abundance in Saemangeum; overall, shorebird abundance at Saemangeum and the three adjacent sites in the Geum Estuary markedly declined over the reclamation period. Given the more favourable conditions of adjacent areas, sites in Saemangeum and the Geum Estuary no longer provide the habitat conditions necessary for long-distance migratory shorebirds. In order to improve habitat for staging migratory birds, we suggest that measures such as the conversion of an abandoned salt farm for use as roosting sites, the construction of artificial barriers to prevent human disturbance, and re-opening of the river-banks to facilitate water flow be implemented.
The National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke-Canadian Stroke Network (NINDS-CSN) 5-minute neuropsychology protocol consists of only verbal tasks, and is proposed as a brief screening method for vascular cognitive impairment. We evaluated its feasibility within two weeks after stroke and ability to predict the development of post-stroke dementia (PSD) at 3 months after stroke.
We prospectively enrolled subjects with ischemic stroke within seven days of symptom onset who were consecutively admitted to 12 university hospitals. Neuropsychological assessments using the NINDS-CSN 5-minute and 60-minute neuropsychology protocols were administered within two weeks and at 3 months after stroke onset, respectively. PSD was diagnosed with reference to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association statement, requiring deficits in at least two cognitive domains.
Of 620 patients, 512 (82.6%) were feasible for the NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol within two weeks after stroke. The incidence of PSD was 16.2% in 308 subjects who had completed follow-up at 3 months after stroke onset. The total score of the NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol differed significantly between those with and without PSD (4.0 ± 2.7, 7.4 ± 2.7, respectively; p < 0.01). A cut-off value of 6/7 showed reasonable discriminative power (sensitivity 0.82, specificity 0.67, AUC 0.74). The NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol score was a significant predictor for PSD (adjusted odds ratio 6.32, 95% CI 2.65–15.05).
The NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol is feasible to evaluate cognitive functions in patients with acute ischemic stroke. It might be a useful screening method for early identification of high-risk groups for PSD.
A life-threatening cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)-related injury can cause recurrent arrest after return of circulation. Such injuries are difficult to identify during resuscitation, and their contribution to failed resuscitation can be missed given the limitations of conventional CPR. Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR), increasingly being considered for selected patients with potentially reversible etiology of arrest, may identify previously occult CPR-related injuries by restoring arterial pressure and flow. Herein, we describe two cases of severe CPR-related injuries contributing to recurrent arrest. Each case had ECPR implemented within 60 minutes of the start of CPR. After the presumed cardiac etiology had been addressed with percutaneous coronary intervention, life-threatening cardiovascular injuries with recurrent arrest were noted, and resuscitative thoracotomy was performed under ECPR. One patient survived to hospital discharge.
ECPR may provide an opportunity to identify and correct severe resuscitation-related injuries causing recurrent arrest. Chest compression depth >6 cm, especially in older women, may contribute to these injuries.
Steel coils coated with Zn–Mg alloy containing high Mg content develop dark rust when exposed to an extremely limited amount of aqueous environment. To understand the nature of the dark rust and its formation mechanism, the steel is evaluated by the immersion test and high temperature–humidity test followed by critical evaluation with transmission electron microscopy for cross-sectional observation, field-emission scanning electron microscopy for surface morphology observation, Auger electron spectroscopy and glow discharge spectroscopy for identification of chemical composition as a function of depth. The results indicate that the dark rust is formed by precipitation of Mg-based corrosion product on the outermost surface when the steel is exposed to aqueous environment at high temperature. This is due mainly to preferential dissolution of Mg phases by the galvanic action with MgZn2 and Mg2Zn11 composed of the coating layer, and easy precipitation of Mg2+ ion in a form of Mg(OH)2 in a limited volume of the condensed water film on the surface.
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.