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The introduction of agriculture is known to have profoundly affected the ecological complexion of landscapes. In this study, a rapid transition from C3 to C4 vegetation is inferred from a shift to higher stable carbon (13C/12C) isotope ratios of soils and sediments in the Benoué River Valley and upland Fali Mountains in northern Cameroon. Landscape change is viewed from the perspective of two settlement mounds and adjacent floodplains, as well as a rock terrace agricultural field dating from 1100 cal yr BP to the recent past (<400 cal yr BP). Nitrogen (15N/14N) isotope ratios and soil micromorphology demonstrate variable uses of land adjacent to the mound sites. These results indicate that Early Iron Age settlement practices involved exploitation of C3 plants on soils with low δ15N values, indicating wetter soils. Conversely, from the Late Iron Age (>700 cal yr BP) until recent times, high soil and sediment δ13C and δ15N values reflect more C4 biomass and anthropogenic organic matter in open, dry environments. The results suggest that Iron Age settlement practices profoundly changed landscapes in this part of West Africa through land clearance and/or utilization of C4 plants.
To determine the factors related to multiple ventilation tube insertions in children with otitis media with effusion.
A retrospective review was performed of 126 ears of 81 children aged less than 12 years who had undergone insertion of a Paparella type 1 ventilation tube for the first time between August 2012 and March 2018.
Mean age at the first operation was 4.0 ± 2.2 years, and the mean duration of otitis media with effusion before the first ventilation tube insertion was 5.4 ± 4.5 months. Among 126 ears, 80 (63.5 per cent) had a single ventilation tube insertion and 46 (36.5 per cent) had multiple insertions. On multivariate logistic regression, tympanic membrane retraction, serous middle-ear discharge, and early recurrence of otitis media with effusion were independent predictive factors of multiple ventilation tube insertions.
Tympanic membrane retraction, serous middle-ear discharge, and early recurrence of otitis media with effusion after the first tube extrusion are associated with multiple ventilation tube insertions.
This project compares the degree of tracheal collapse determined by rigid and flexible bronchoscopy in paediatric patients with tracheomalacia.
A total of nine patients with tracheomalacia underwent both rigid and flexible video bronchoscopy. All patients were breathing spontaneously. Cross-sectional images of the airway were processed using the ImageJ program and analysed via colour histogram mode technique in order to delineate the luminal area. Paired t-tests (conducted using Stata software version 13.0) quantified differences between rigid and flexible bronchoscopes regarding the ratios of luminal pixels at maximum airway collapse to expansion. Correlation between both techniques in terms of airway collapse to expansion ratios was determined by calculating the Pearson correlation coefficient (R).
The difference in ratios of maximum collapse to expansion between rigid and flexible bronchoscopy was not statistically significant (p = 0.4656) and was positively correlated (R = 0.523).
The ratios suggest that rigid and flexible bronchoscopy are equally efficacious in assessing tracheomalacia severity, and may be used interchangeably in a clinical setting.
It has not been well established whether dietary folate intake reduces the risk of diabetes development. We aimed to clarify the prospective association between dietary folate intake and type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk among 7333 Korean adults aged 40 years or older who were included in the Multi-Rural Communities Cohort. Dietary folate intake was estimated from all 106 food items listed on a FFQ, not including folate intake from supplements. Two different measurements of dietary folate intake were used: the baseline consumption and the average consumption from baseline until just before the end of follow-up. The association between folate intake and T2D risk was determined through a modified Poisson regression model with a robust error estimator controlling for potential confounders. For 29 745 person years, 319 cases of diabetes were ascertained. In multivariable analyses, dietary folate intake was inversely associated with risk of T2D for women, not for men. For women, the incidence rate ratio of diabetes in the third tertile compared with the first tertile was 0·57 (95 % CI 0·38–0·87, Pfor trend=0·0085) in the baseline consumption model and 0·64 (95 % CI 0·43–0·95, Pfor trend=0·0244) in the average consumption model. These inverse associations was found in both normal fasting blood glucose group and impaired fasting glucose group among women. Among non-users of multinutrients and vitamin supplements, the significant inverse association remained. Thus, higher dietary intake of folate is prospectively associated with lower risk of diabetes for women.
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether significant difference exists on radiation dose delivered to organs at risks in megavoltage computed tomography (MVCT) verification using three predefined scanning modes, namely fine (2 mm), normal (4 mm) and coarse (6 mm). This will provide information for the imaging protocol of tomotherapy for the left breast.
Materials and methods
Organ doses were measured using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD-100) placed within a female Rando phantom for MVCT imaging. Kruskal–Wallis test was conducted with p<0·05 to evaluate the significant difference between the three MVCT scanning modes.
Statistically significant difference existed in organ absorbed dose between different scan mode selections (p<0·001). Relative to the normal scan selection (4 mm), the absorbed dose to the organs of interests can be scaled down by 0·7 and scaled up by 2·1 for coarse (6 mm) and fine scans (2 mm) respectively.
Optimisation of imaging protocols is of paramount importance to keep the radiation exposure ‘as low as reasonably achievable’. The recommendation of undergoing daily coarse mode for MVCT verification in breast tomotherapy not only mitigates the radiation exposure to normal tissues, but also trims the scan-acquisition time.
We report on the astrometric registration of VLBI images of the SiO and H2O masers in OH 231.8+4.2, the iconic Proto-Planetary Nebula also known as the Calabash nebula, using the KVN and Source/Frequency Phase Referencing. This, for the first time, robustly confirms the alignment of the SiO masers, close to the AGB star, which drives the bi-lobe structure with the water masers in the out-flow.
A new approach is proposed to analyze Bremsstrahlung X-rays that are emitted from laser-produced plasmas (LPP) and are measured by a stack type spectrometer. This new method is based on a spectral tomographic reconstruction concept with the variational principle for optimization, without referring to the electron energy distribution of a plasma. This approach is applied to the analysis of some experimental data obtained at a few major laser facilities to demonstrate the applicability of the method. Slope temperatures of X-rays from LPP are determined with a two-temperature model, showing different spectral characteristics of X-rays depending on laser properties used in the experiments.
Almost nothing is known about the potential negative effects of Internet-based psychological treatments for depression. This study aims at investigating deterioration and its moderators within randomized trials on Internet-based guided self-help for adult depression, using an individual patient data meta-analyses (IPDMA) approach.
Studies were identified through systematic searches (PubMed, PsycINFO, EMBASE, Cochrane Library). Deterioration in participants was defined as a significant symptom increase according to the reliable change index (i.e. 7.68 points in the CES-D; 7.63 points in the BDI). Two-step IPDMA procedures, with a random-effects model were used to pool data.
A total of 18 studies (21 comparisons, 2079 participants) contributed data to the analysis. The risk for a reliable deterioration from baseline to post-treatment was significantly lower in the intervention v. control conditions (3.36 v. 7.60; relative risk 0.47, 95% confidence interval 0.29–0.75). Education moderated effects on deterioration, with patients with low education displaying a higher risk for deterioration than patients with higher education. Deterioration rates for patients with low education did not differ statistically significantly between intervention and control groups. The benefit–risk ratio for patients with low education indicated that 9.38 patients achieve a treatment response for each patient experiencing a symptom deterioration.
Internet-based guided self-help is associated with a mean reduced risk for a symptom deterioration compared to controls. Treatment and symptom progress of patients with low education should be closely monitored, as some patients might face an increased risk for symptom deterioration. Future studies should examine predictors of deterioration in patients with low education.
The popularity of cognitive remediation (CR) interventions for individuals with psychosis is in part based on the well-established link between cognition and functioning and the assumption that by targeting cognition, function can improve. While numerous trials have reported CR's efficacy, it is still not considered an evidence-based treatment. Importantly, little is known about the mechanisms through which it may affect functioning.
In this study, we evaluated CR's proximal and distal effects, and examined potential mechanisms. A total of 75 individuals with psychotic disorders were randomized to a combination of strategy-based and drill-and-practice CR or wait-list control, with assessments of training task performance, neurocognition, functional capacity, symptoms and functioning conducted at baseline, end of the 2-month intervention, and 2-month follow-up.
Compared with treatment as usual, CR was associated with large post-training improvements on training tasks targeting attention, visuospatial memory, and verbal learning and memory, with persisting group differences at the 2-month follow-up. These generalized to mostly large improvements on neuropsychological measures targeting visuospatial memory, verbal learning and memory, delayed verbal memory and verbal working memory. While there were no CR-associated improvements on measures of functional capacity, symptoms, or a self-report measure of independent living skills, there was an effect on an interviewer-rated measure of functioning (Quality of Life Scale), which appeared primarily driven by the Intrapsychic Foundations subscale. Finally, for those randomized to CR, there were significant, medium-sized correlations between training task improvement, neuropsychological improvement and functioning measures.
This suggests a complex, multifactorial relationship between CR, and cognitive and functional change.
Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of dietary supplementation of bacteriophage cocktail, probiotics and a combination of these two supplements on performance and gut health of weanling pigs. In Experiment 1, 150 weaned piglets were randomly allotted to three treatments on the basis of BW. The dietary treatments included a basal diet supplemented with 0 (control), 1.0 and 1.5 g/kg bacteriophage cocktail. Pigs fed 1.0 and 1.5 g/kg bacteriophage product had greater (P<0.05) average daily gain (ADG), apparent total tract digestibility of dry matter from day 22 to 35, ileal Lactobacillus spp., villus height (duodenum and jejunum), and fewer coliforms (ileum) and Clostridium spp. (ileum). In Experiment 2, 200 weaned piglets were randomly allotted to four treatments. Dietary treatments included basal diet, basal diet supplemented with 3.0 g/kg fermented probiotic product (P), 1.0 g/kg bacteriophage cocktail (B) and combination of 1.0 g/kg bacteriophage cocktail and 3.0 g/kg fermented probiotic product. Pigs fed bacteriophage cocktail diets had greater (P<0.05) overall ADG, gain to feed ratio (G : F), fecal score from day 8 to day 21, and pigs fed bacteriophage cocktail diets had fewer coliforms (ileum) Clostridium spp. (ileum and cecum). Probiotics significantly increased G : F, colonization of Lactobacillus spp. in ileum. At day 35, bacteriophage treatment group showed greater (P<0.05) villus height of the duodenum, but a deeper crypt in duodenum. The present results indicate that the bacteriophage cocktail had a potential to enhance the performance and gut health of weanling pigs, however their combination with probiotics did not show an interaction.
Δ14C values of leaves of deciduous trees provide a means to map the regional-scale fossil fuel ratio in the atmosphere. We collected a batch of ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba Linnaeus, a deciduous tree) leaf samples from across Korea in the month of July in both 2010 and 2011 to obtain the regional distribution of Δ14C. The Δ14C values of the samples were measured using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM). The average of the Δ14C values from clean air sites in Korea in 2011 measured slightly lower than the average of Δ14C values in 2010. Distribution maps of Δ14C of 2011 and 2010 in Korea were made based on a series of Δ14C values of ginkgo leaf samples from Korea using the Geostatistical and Spatial analyst tools in ESRI's ArcMap software. The distribution maps of Δ14C showed that Δ14C values in the western part of Korea are lower than those in the eastern part of Korea. This is because the western part of Korea is densely populated and contains many industrial complexes, and also because westerly winds from China, containing CO2 from fossil fuel use, blow into Korea. We compared the distribution maps of 2010 and 2011 and tried to find traces of the Fukushima power plant accident in Japan.
Atomic-scale characterization of interfaces in ceramic materials is needed in order to fully understand their electronic, ionic, mechanical, magnetic, and optical properties. The latest development of laser-assisted atom probe tomography (APT), as well as new specimen preparation methods, have opened the realm of ceramics for structural and chemical characterization with high sensitivity and nearly atomic spatial resolution. This article reviews recent APT investigations of interfaces in thin nitride films and thermally grown oxides: TiAlN layers and oxide scales on alumina- and chromia-formers and Zr alloys. The selected examples highlight the role of interfaces in the decomposition of films and in transport processes.
Nitrate and nitrite are probable human carcinogens when ingested under conditions that increase the formation of N-nitroso compounds. There have been limited efforts to develop US databases of dietary nitrate and nitrite for standard FFQ. Here we describe the development of a dietary nitrate and nitrite database and its calibration.
We analysed data from a calibration study of 1942 members of the NIH–AARP (NIH–AARP, National Institutes of Health–AARP) Diet and Health Study who reported all foods and beverages consumed on the preceding day in two non-consecutive 24 h dietary recalls (24HR) and completed an FFQ. Based on a literature review, we developed a database of nitrate and nitrite contents for foods reported on these 24HR and for food category line items on the FFQ. We calculated daily nitrate and nitrite intakes for both instruments, and used a measurement error model to compute correlation coefficients and attenuation factors for the FFQ-based intake estimates using 24HR-based values as reference data.
FFQ-based median nitrate intake was 68·9 and 74·1 mg/d, and nitrite intake was 1·3 and 1·0 mg/d, in men and women, respectively. These values were similar to 24HR-based intake estimates. Energy-adjusted correlation coefficients between FFQ- and 24HR-based values for men and women respectively were 0·59 and 0·57 for nitrate and 0·59 and 0·58 for nitrite; energy-adjusted attenuation factors were 0·59 and 0·57 for nitrate and 0·47 and 0·38 for nitrite.
The performance of the FFQ in assessing dietary nitrate and nitrite intakes is comparable to that for many other macro- and micronutrients.
Antibiotic treatment for asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) is prevalent but often contrary to published guidelines.
To evaluate risk factors for treatment of ASB.
Retrospective observational study.
A tertiary academic hospital, county hospital, and community hospital.
Hospitalized adults with bacteriuria.
Patients without documented symptoms of urinary tract infection per Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) criteria were classified as ASB. We examined ASB treatment risk factors as well as broad-spectrum antibiotic usage and quantified diagnostic concordance between IDSA and National Healthcare Safety Network criteria.
Among 300 patients with bacteriuria, ASB was present in 71% by IDSA criteria. By National Healthcare Safety Network criteria, 71% of patients had ASB; within-patient diagnostic concordance with IDSA was moderate (kappa, 0.52). After excluding those given antibiotics for nonurinary indications, antibiotics were given to 38% (62/164) with ASB. Factors significantly associated with ASB treatment were elevated urine white cell count (65 vs 24 white blood cells per high-powered field, P<.01), hospital identity (hospital C vs A, odds ratio, 0.34 [95% CI, 0.14–0.80], P =.01), presence of leukocyte esterase (5.48 [2.35–12.79], P<.01), presence of nitrites (2.45 [1.11–5.41], P=.03), and Escherichia coli on culture (2.4 [1.2–4.7], P=.01). Of patients treated for ASB, broad-spectrum antibiotics were used in 84%.
ASB treatment was prevalent across settings and contributed to broad-spectrum antibiotic use. Associating abnormal urinalysis results with the need for antibiotic treatment regardless of symptoms may drive unnecessary antibiotic use.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(3):319–326
People living with HIV (PLWH) experience greater psychological distress than the general population. Evidence from high-incomes countries suggests that psychological interventions for PLWH can improve mental health symptoms, quality of life, and HIV care engagement. However, little is known about the effectiveness of mental health interventions for PLWH in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where the large majority of PLWH reside. This systematized review aims to synthesize findings from mental health intervention trials with PLWH in LMICs to inform the delivery of mental health services in these settings. A systematic search strategy was undertaken to identify peer-reviewed published papers of intervention trials addressing negative psychological states or disorders (e.g. depression, anxiety) among PLWH in LMIC settings. Search results were assessed against pre-established inclusion and exclusion criteria. Data from papers meeting criteria were extracted for synthesis. Twenty-six papers, published between 2000 and 2014, describing 22 unique interventions were identified. Trials were implemented in sub-Saharan Africa (n = 13), Asia (n = 7), and the Middle East (n = 2), and addressed mental health using a variety of approaches, including cognitive-behavioral (n = 18), family-level (n = 2), and pharmacological (n = 2) treatments. Four randomized controlled trials reported significant intervention effects in mental health outcomes, and 11 preliminary studies demonstrated promising findings. Among the limited mental health intervention trials with PLWH in LMICs, few demonstrated efficacy. Mental health interventions for PLWH in LMICs must be further developed and adapted for resource-limited settings to improve effectiveness.
In February 2012, an outbreak of gastroenteritis was reported in school A; a successive outbreak was reported at school B. A retrospective cohort study conducted in school A showed that seasoned green seaweed with radishes (relative risk 7·9, 95% confidence interval 1·1–56·2) was significantly associated with illness. Similarly, a case-control study of students at school B showed that cases were 5·1 (95% confidence interval 1·1–24·8) times more likely to have eaten seasoned green seaweed with pears. Multiple norovirus genotypes were detected in samples from students in schools A and B. Norovirus GII.6 isolated from schools A and B were phylogenetically indistinguishable. Green seaweed was supplied by company X, and norovirus GII.4 was isolated from samples of green seaweed. Green seaweed was assumed to be linked to these outbreaks. To our knowledge, this is the first reported norovirus outbreak associated with green seaweed.