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To determine the effectiveness of a workplace wellness programme intervention in improving participants’ behaviour towards choosing a healthy diet and the correlation with health indicators.
A retrospective cohort study.
Wellness programme in the Midwest, USA.
Employees (n 12 636) who participated in a wellness programme for three consecutive years during years 2004 to 2013 and who completed web-based health risk questionnaires. The wellness programme included annual health screening, laboratory measures, health risk questionnaire and personalized health-care programme. Participants’ food group intakes, BMI and health indicators were compared between the first and last year of participation. McNemar’s non-parametric test was used for paired nominal data. Pearson correlations were computed for paired food and health indicator measurements. Correlations between dietary intake and BMI, cholesterol and TAG were computed using Pearson correlations and McNemar’s test.
There were negative correlations between intakes of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, healthy eating pattern and health outcome indicators such as BMI and TAG levels. Additionally, the percentage of employees who increased their consumption of fruits (16·88 v. 12·08 %, P<0·001), vegetables (15·20 v. 11·44 %, P<0·001) and dark green leafy vegetables (12·03 v. 7·27 %, P 0·001) was significantly higher than the percentage of participants who decreased their intake of these food groups during the third-year follow-up.
The wellness programme improved some health indicator parameters and had a positive impact on increasing participants’ intakes of fruits, vegetables and whole grains at the third year of follow-up.
We study the effect of corporate cultural similarity on merger decisions and outcomes. Using the similarity in firms’ corporate social responsibility characteristics to proxy for cultural similarity, we find that culturally similar firms are more likely to merge. Moreover, these mergers are associated with greater synergies, superior long-run operating performance, and fewer write-offs of goodwill. Our evidence is consistent with the notion that cultural similarity eases post-deal integration. Our results contribute to the literature on the determinants of merger success, provide new evidence on the impact of corporate culture, and offer a new approach to defining firms’ cultural similarity.
Good education requires student experiences that deliver lessons about practice as well as theory and that encourage students to work for the public good—especially in the operation of democratic institutions (Dewey 1923; Dewy 1938). We report on an evaluation of the pedagogical value of a research project involving 23 colleges and universities across the country. Faculty trained and supervised students who observed polling places in the 2016 General Election. Our findings indicate that this was a valuable learning experience in both the short and long terms. Students found their experiences to be valuable and reported learning generally and specifically related to course material. Postelection, they also felt more knowledgeable about election science topics, voting behavior, and research methods. Students reported interest in participating in similar research in the future, would recommend other students to do so, and expressed interest in more learning and research about the topics central to their experience. Our results suggest that participants appreciated the importance of elections and their study. Collectively, the participating students are engaged and efficacious—essential qualities of citizens in a democracy.
Little is known about the combined use of benzodiazepines and antidepressants in older psychiatric patients. This study examined the prescription pattern of concurrent benzodiazepines in older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia, and explored its demographic and clinical correlates.
The data of 955 older adults with any type of psychiatric disorders were extracted from the database of the Research on Asian Psychotropic Prescription Patterns for Antidepressants (REAP-AD) project. Demographic and clinical characteristics were recorded using a standardized protocol and data collection procedure. Both univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed.
The proportion of benzodiazepine and antidepressant combination in this cohort was 44.3%. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that higher doses of antidepressants, younger age (<65 years), inpatients, public hospital, major comorbid medical conditions, antidepressant types, and country/territory were significantly associated with more frequent co-prescription of benzodiazepines and antidepressants.
Nearly, half of the older adults treated with antidepressants in Asia are prescribed concurrent benzodiazepines. Given the potentially adverse effects of benzodiazepines, the rationale of benzodiazepines and antidepressants co-prescription needs to be revisited.
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 neuropsychological origins of negative syndrome of schizophrenia remain elusive. Evidence from behavioural studies, which utilised emotion-inducing pictures to elicit motivated behaviour generally reported that that schizophrenia patients experienced similar affective experience as healthy individuals but failed to translate emotional salience to motivated behaviour, a phenomenon called emotion–behaviour decoupling. However, a few studies have examined emotion–behaviour decoupling in non-psychotic high-risk populations, who are relatively unaffected by medication effects.
In this study, we examined the nature and extent of emotion–behaviour decoupling in in three independent samples (65 schizophrenia patients v. 63 controls; 40 unaffected relatives v. 45 controls; and 32 individuals with social anhedonia v. 32 controls). We administered an experimental task to examine their affective experience and its coupling with behaviour, using emotion-inducing slides, and allowed participants to alter stimulus exposure using button-pressing to seek pleasure or avoid aversion.
Schizophrenia patients reported similar affective experiences as their controls, while their unaffected relatives and individuals with high levels of social anhedonia exhibited attenuated affective experiences, in particular in the arousal aspect. Compared with their respective control groups, all of the three groups showed emotion–behaviour decoupling.
Our findings support that both genetically and behaviourally high-risk groups exhibit emotion–behaviour decoupling. The familial association apparently supports its role as a putative trait marker for schizophrenia.
In South Korea, the resurgence of mumps was noted primarily among school-aged children and adolescents since 2000. We analyzed spatial patterns in mumps incidence to give an indication to the geographical risk. We used National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System data from 2001 to 2015, classifying into three periods according to the level of endemicity. A geographic-weighted regression analysis was performed to find demographic predictors of mumps incidence according to district level. We assessed the association between the total population size, population density, percentage of children (age 0–19 years), timely vaccination rate of measles–mumps–rubella vaccines and the higher incidence rate of mumps. During low endemic periods, there were sporadic regional distributions of outbreak in the central and northern part of the country. During intermediate endemic periods, the increase of incidence was noted across the country. During high endemic period, a nationwide high incidence of mumps was noted especially concentrated in southwestern regions. A clear pattern for the mumps cluster shown through global spatial autocorrelation analysis from 2004 to 2015. The ‘non-timely vaccination coverage’ (P = 0·002), and ‘proportion of children population’ (P < 0·001) were the predictors for high mumps incidence in district levels. Our study indicates that the rate of mumps incidence according to geographic regions vary by population proportion and neighboring regions, and timeliness of vaccination, suggesting the importance of community-level surveillance and improving of timely vaccination.
We have observed Hɪ emission and radio continuum emission from the compact group of galaxies HCG 95 with the Very Large Array (VLA)1. Two continuum sources coincide in with galaxies in this group: HCG 95 B (3.9 mJy) and HCG95C (6 mJy). Hɪ emission and absorption was detected in galaxy HCG 95 C. In addition we detected two so far unknown dwarf galaxies by their Hɪ emission within 3.5 arcmin of the group center. We did not detect galaxy b (with ç = 8000 kms−1 it is obviously a foreground object) and galaxy d — an edge-on Sc galaxy. This group definitely is Hɪ deficient compared with the average Hɪ content expected for spiral galaxies of the same luminosity and type. The first-ranked elliptical galaxy HCG 95 A might be responsible for the observed Hɪ deficiency in this group.
We report on electronic properties of water-filled fullerenes [H2O(n)@C60, H2O(n)@C180, and H2O(n)@C240] under mechanical deformation using density functional theory. Under a point load, energy gap change of empty and water-filled fullerenes is investigated. For C60 and H2O(n)@C60, the energy gap decreases as the tensile strain increases. For H2O(n)@C60, under compression, the energy gap decreases monotonously while for C60, it first decreases and then increases. Similar behavior is observed for other empty (C180 and C240) and water-filled [H2O(n)@C180 and H2O(n)@C240] fullerenes. The energy gap decrease of water-filled fullerenes is due to the increased interaction between water and carbon wall under deformation.
Robust superhydrophobic surfaces can improve the performance of various applications. Considerable research has focused on developing superhydrophobic surfaces, but in these studies, superhydrophobicity was attained using polymeric materials, which deteriorate under harsh environments. Recently, it has been shown that rare-earth oxide ceramics are hydrophobic and since they are ceramics, they withstand harsh environments including high temperature. Here we fabricate a superhydrophobic surface by texturing a ceria pellet using laser ablation. We demonstrate water repellency by showing an impinging water droplet bouncing off the surface. This study extends the possibility of producing robust superhydrophobic ceramics using accessible techniques for industrial applications.
Prosthetic heart valves have been widely used to replace diseased or defective native heart valves. Flow through bileaflet mechanical heart valves (BMHVs) have previously demonstrated complex phenomena in the vicinity of the valve owing to the presence of two rigid leaflets. This study aims to accurately capture the complex flow dynamics for pulsatile flow through a 23 mm St Jude Medical (SJM) Regent™ BMHV. The lattice-Boltzmann method (LBM) is used to simulate pulsatile flow through the valve with the inclusion of reverse leakage flow at very high spatiotemporal resolution that can capture fine details in the pulsatile BMHV flow field. For higher-Reynolds-number flows, this high spatiotemporal resolution captures features that have not been observed in previous coarse resolution studies. In addition, the simulations are able to capture with detail the features of leaflet closing and the asymmetric b-datum leakage jet during mid-diastole. Novel flow physics are visualized and discussed along with quantification of turbulent features of this flow, which is made possible by this parallelized numerical method.
Previous clinical, in vitro experimental and in silico simulation studies have shown the complex dynamics of flow through prosthetic heart valves. In the case of bileaflet mechanical heart valves (BMHVs), complex flow phenomena are observed due to the presence of two rigid leaflets. A numerical method for this type of study must be able to accurately simulate pulsatile flow through BMHVs with the inclusion of leaflet motion and high-Reynolds-number flow modelling. Consequently, this study aims at validating a numerical method that captures the flow dynamics for pulsatile flow through a BMHV. A
St. Jude Medical (SJM) Regent™ valve is selected for use in both the experiments and numerical simulations. The entropic lattice-Boltzmann method is used to simulate pulsatile flow through the valve with the inclusion of reverse leakage flow, while prescribing the flowrate and leaflet motion from experimental data. The numerical simulations are compared against experimental digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV) results from a previous study for validation. The numerical method is shown to match well with the experimental results quantitatively as well as qualitatively. Simulations are performed with efficient parallel processing at very high spatiotemporal resolution that can capture the finest details in the pulsatile BMHV flow field. This study validates the lattice-Boltzmann method as suitable for simulating pulsatile, high-Reynolds-number flows through prosthetic devices for use in future research.
The Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) is the UV/optical telescope of UFFO-pathfinder. The
SMT optical system is a Ritchey-Chrétien (RC) telescope of 100 mm diameter pointed by
means of a gimbal-mounted flat mirror in front of the telescope. The RC telescope has a
17 × 17arcmin2 in Field of View and 4.3 arcsec resolution (full width half
maximum of the point spread function) The beam-steering mirror enables the SMT to access a
35 × 35degree region and point and settle within 1 sec. All mirrors were fabricated to
about 0.02 wavelengths RMS in wave front error (WFE) and 84.7% average reflectivity over
200 nm ~ 650 nm. The RC telescope was aligned to 0.05 wavelengths RMS in WFE (test
wavelength 632.8 nm). In this paper, the technical details of the RC telescope and slewing
mirror system assembly, integration, and testing are given shortly, and performance tests
of the full SMT optical system are reported.
We investigated particle acceleration and shock structure associated with an unmagnetized
relativistic jet propagating into an unmagnetized plasma. Strong magnetic fields generated
in the trailing shock contribute to the electrons transverse deflection and acceleration.
We have calculated, self-consistently, the radiation from electrons accelerated in these
turbulent magnetic fields. We found that the synthetic spectra depend on the bulk Lorentz
factor of the jet, its temperature and strength of the generated magnetic fields. We have
also investigated accelerated electrons in strong magnetic fields generated by kinetic
shear (Kelvin-Helmholtz) instabilities. The calculated properties of the emerging
radiation will guide our understanding of the complex time evolution and/or spectral
structure in gamma-ray bursts, relativistic jets in general, and supernova remnants.
Imprinting control regions (ICRs) play a fundamental role in establishing and maintaining the non-random monoallelic expression of certain genes, via common regulatory elements such as non-coding RNAs and differentially methylated regions (DMRs) of DNA. We recently surveyed DNA methylation levels within four ICRs (H19-ICR, IGF2-DMR, KvDMR, and NESPAS-ICR) in whole-blood genomic DNA from 128 monozygotic (MZ) and 128 dizygotic (DZ) human twin pairs. Our analyses revealed high individual variation and intra-domain covariation in methylation levels across CpGs and emphasized the interaction between epigenetic variation and the underlying genetic sequence in a parent-of-origin fashion. Here, we extend our analysis to conduct two genome-wide screenings of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) underlying either intra-domain covariation or parent-of-origin-dependent association with methylation status at individual CpG sites located within ICRs. Although genome-wide significance was not surpassed due to sample size limitations, the most significantly associated SNPs found through multiple-trait genome-wide association (MQFAM) included the previously described rs10732516, which is located in the vicinity of the H19-ICR. Similarly, we identified an association between rs965808 and methylation status within the NESPAS-ICR. This SNP is positioned within an intronic region of the overlapping genes GNAS and GNAS-AS1, which are imprinted genes regulated by the NESPAS-ICR. Sixteen other SNPs located in regions apart from the analyzed regions displayed suggestive association with intra-domain methylation. Additionally, we identified 13 SNPs displaying parent-of-origin association with individual methylation sites through family-based association testing. In this exploratory study, we show the value and feasibility of using alternative GWAS approaches in the study of the interaction between epigenetic state and genetic sequence within imprinting regulatory domains. Despite the relatively small sample size, we identified a number of SNPs displaying suggestive association either in a domain-wide or in a parent-of-origin fashion. Nevertheless, these associations will require future experimental validation or replication in larger and independent samples.
Spectroscopic observations of transiting exoplanets have provided the first indications of their atmospheric structure and composition. Optimal estimation retrievals have been successfully applied to solar system planets to determine the temperature, composition and aerosol properties of their atmospheres, and have recently been applied to exoplanets. We show the effectiveness of the technique when combined with simulated observations from the proposed space telescope EChO, and also discuss the difficulty of constraining a complex system with sparse data and large uncertainties, using the super-Earth GJ 1214b as an example.
Despite gradual understanding of the multidimensional health consequences
of betel-quid chewing, information on the effects of dependent use is
To investigate the 12-month prevalence patterns of betel-quid dependence
in six Asian populations and the impact of this dependence on oral
potentially malignant disorders (OPMD).
A multistage random sample of 8922 participants was recruited from
Taiwan, mainland China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Participants were evaluated for betel-quid dependency using DSM-IV and
ICD-10 criteria and assessed clinically for oral mucosal lesions.
The 12-month prevalence of dependence was 2.8-39.2% across the six Asian
samples, and 20.9-99.6% of those who chewed betel-quid were betel-quid
dependent. Men dominated the prevalence among the east Asian samples and
women dominated the prevalence in south-east Asian samples. ‘Time spent
chewing’ and ‘craving’ were the central dependence domains endorsed by
the Chinese and southern/south-east Asian samples respectively, whereas
the Nepalese samples endorsed ‘tolerance’ and ‘withdrawal’. Dependency
was linked to age, gender, schooling years, drinking, smoking,
tobacco-added betel-quid use and environmental accessibility of
betel-quid. Compared with non-users, those with betel-quid dependency had
higher pre-neoplastic risks (adjusted odds ratios 8.0-51.3) than people
with non-dependent betel-quid use (adjusted odds ratio 4.5-5.9) in the
six Asian populations.
By elucidating differences in domain-level symptoms of betel-quid
dependency and individual and environmental factors, this study draws
attention to the population-level psychiatric problems of betel-quid
chewing that undermine health consequences for OPMD in six Asian