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Given the dynamic characteristic of an individual’s drinking behaviors, comprehensive consideration of alcohol consumption variation using repeated measures may improve insight into the nature of its association with blood pressure (BP) change. We examined the association between longitudinal alcohol consumption (trajectory and quantity) and changes in BP and pulse pressure (PP) among Korean aged ≥40 years living in rural areas. Totally, 1682 hypertension-free participants who completed all three health examinations (median, 5.3 years) were included. All three visits were used to determine the cumulative trajectory of and quantity of alcohol consumption and the latest two visits and the last visit were used for the recent trajectory and the most recent quantity of alcohol consumption, respectively. Changes in BP and PP from the baseline to the 3rd visit were used as outcome. In men, ≥30 ml/d cumulative average alcohol consumption was associated with the greatest increase in systolic BP (SBP) in both baseline outcome-unadjusted (2.9 mmHg, p-value = 0.032) and -adjusted models (3.6 mmHg, p-value = 0.001) and the given association for the most recent alcohol consumption was observed in the baseline outcome-adjusted model (3.9 mmHg, p-value = 0.003). For PP, similar associations were observed only in the baseline outcome-adjusted model. No meaningful associations in diastolic BP in men and any BP or PP in women existed. The quantity of alcohol consumption than the trajectory may be significantly related to raised SBP and a possible short-term influence of the most recent alcohol consumption may exist when baseline SBP adjusted in men.
Background: After the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in Korea in 2015, the government newly established the additional reimbursement for infection prevention to encourage infection control activities in the hospitals. The new policy was announced in December 2015 and was implemented in September 2016. We evaluated how infection control activities improved in hospitals after the change of government policy in Korea. Methods: Three cross-sectional surveys using the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HHSAF) were conducted in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Using multivariable linear regression model including hospital characteristics, we analyzed the changes in total HHSAF scores according to the survey time. Results: In total, 32 hospitals participated in the survey in 2013, 52 in 2015, and 101 in 2017. The number of inpatient beds per infection control professionals decreased from 324 in 2013 to 303 in 2015 and 179 in 2017. Most hospitals were at intermediate or advanced levels of progress (90.6% in 2013, 86.6% in 2015, and 94.1% in 2017). In a multivariable linear regression model, the total HHSAF scores were significantly associated with hospital teaching status (β coefficient of major teaching hospital, 52.6; 95% CI, 8.9–96.4; P = .018), bed size (β coefficient of 100-bed increase, 5.1; 95% CI, 0.3–9.8; P = .038), and survey time (β coefficient of 2017 survey, 45.1; 95% CI, 19.3–70.9; P = .001). Conclusions: After the national policy implementation, the number of infection control professionals increased, and the promotion of hand hygiene activities was strengthened in Korean hospitals.
We report our experience with an emergency room (ER) shutdown related to an accidental exposure to a patient with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who had not been isolated.
A 635-bed, tertiary-care hospital in Daegu, South Korea.
To prevent nosocomial transmission of the disease, we subsequently isolated patients with suspected symptoms, relevant radiographic findings, or epidemiology. Severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assays (RT-PCR) were performed for most patients requiring hospitalization. A universal mask policy and comprehensive use of personal protective equipment (PPE) were implemented. We analyzed effects of these interventions.
From the pre-shutdown period (February 10–25, 2020) to the post-shutdown period (February 28 to March 16, 2020), the mean hourly turnaround time decreased from 23:31 ±6:43 hours to 9:27 ±3:41 hours (P < .001). As a result, the proportion of the patients tested increased from 5.8% (N=1,037) to 64.6% (N=690) (P < .001) and the average number of tests per day increased from 3.8±4.3 to 24.7±5.0 (P < .001). All 23 patients with COVID-19 in the post-shutdown period were isolated in the ER without any problematic accidental exposure or nosocomial transmission. After the shutdown, several metrics increased. The median duration of stay in the ER among hospitalized patients increased from 4:30 hours (interquartile range [IQR], 2:17–9:48) to 14:33 hours (IQR, 6:55–24:50) (P < .001). Rates of intensive care unit admissions increased from 1.4% to 2.9% (P = .023), and mortality increased from 0.9% to 3.0% (P = .001).
Problematic accidental exposure and nosocomial transmission of COVID-19 can be successfully prevented through active isolation and surveillance policies and comprehensive PPE use despite longer ER stays and the presence of more severely ill patients during a severe COVID-19 outbreak.
Here, we present an overview of how a tertiary hospital responded to maintain necessary activities and protect patients and staff from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
Gil Medical Center, a tertiary hospital in Incheon, has operated a special response team since January 21, 2020. All visitors were assessed for body temperature and respiratory symptoms, and screened for recent overseas travel. Suspected COVID-19 patients were taken to a screening clinic. All febrile patients with or without respiratory symptoms were taken to a respiratory safety clinic. An isolation ward, which consisted of 10 negative-pressure rooms, was used to treat confirmed cases. More than 120 beds were prepared for the outbreak, and patients with pneumonia were preemptively isolated.
By May 5, 480 960 visitors were assessed at the control station, 3350 patients visited the triage center, and 1794 were treated in the respiratory safety clinic. Seventeen confirmed cases were admitted to the negative isolation ward, and 350 patients with pneumonia were preemptively isolated. A total of 2977 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) polymerase chain reaction tests were performed.
While tertiary hospitals play an important role in treating both COVID-19 patients and non-COVID-19 patients, hospital staff have to protect themselves from unexpected in-hospital transmission. A multifaceted response must be undertaken to protect tertiary hospitals and their staff during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is an important medicinal herb and has long been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of several diseases worldwide. Understanding the genetic diversity within Glycyrrhiza species is important for the efficient conservation of these medicinal herbs. In this study, we have developed 20 polymorphic chloroplast microsatellite (cpSSR) markers using the chloroplast genome of G. lepidota. The cpSSR markers were tested on a total of 27 Glycyrrhiza individual plants. The number of alleles per locus ranged from two to eight among the Glycyrrhiza accessions. Overall, the Shannon index (I) for each cpSSR ranged from 0.315 to 1.694, the diversity indices (h) were 0.140–0.793 and the unbiased diversity indices (uh) were 0.145–0.825. In addition, the cpSSR markers were successfully divided and classified the 27 Glycyrrhiza individuals into four groups. The cpSSR markers developed in this study could be used in the assessment of genetic diversity and rapid identification of Glycyrrhiza species.
Given its diverse disease courses and symptom presentations, multiple phenotype dimensions with different biological underpinnings are expected with bipolar disorders (BPs). In this study, we aimed to identify lifetime BP psychopathology dimensions. We also explored the differing associations with bipolar I (BP-I) and bipolar II (BP-II) disorders.
We included a total of 307 subjects with BPs in the analysis. For the factor analysis, we chose six variables related to clinical courses, 29 indicators covering lifetime symptoms of mood episodes, and 6 specific comorbid conditions. To determine the relationships among the identified phenotypic dimensions and their effects on differentiating BP subtypes, we applied structural equation modeling.
We selected a six-factor solution through scree plot, Velicer's minimum average partial test, and face validity evaluations; the six factors were cyclicity, depression, atypical vegetative symptoms, elation, psychotic/irritable mania, and comorbidity. In the path analysis, five factors excluding atypical vegetative symptoms were associated with one another. Cyclicity, depression, and comorbidity had positive associations, and they correlated negatively with psychotic/irritable mania; elation showed positive correlations with cyclicity and psychotic/irritable mania. Depression, cyclicity, and comorbidity were stronger in BP-II than in BP-I, and they contributed significantly to the distinction between the two disorders.
We identified six phenotype dimensions; in addition to symptom features of manic and depressive episodes, various comorbidities and high cyclicity constructed separate dimensions. Except for atypical vegetative symptoms, all factors showed a complex interdependency and played roles in discriminating BP-II from BP-I.
The Korean VLBI Network (KVN) is a unique millimeter VLBI system which is consisted of three 21 m telescopes with relatively short baselines. We present the preliminary results of simultaneous monitoring observations of the 22.2 GHz H2O and 43.1/42.8/86.2/129.3 GHz SiO masers based on the KVN Key Science Project (KSP). We obtained the astrometrically registered maps of the H2O and SiO masers toward nine evolved stars using the source frequency phase referencing method (SFPR). The SFPR maps of the H2O and SiO masers enabled us to investigate the spatial structure and kinematics from the SiO to H2O maser regions including the development of an outward motion from the ring-like or elliptical structures of SiO masers to the asymmetric structures of the 22.2 GHz H2O maser features. In particular, the 86.2/129.3 GHz SiO (v=1, J=2–1 and J=3–2) masers were clearly imaged toward several objects for the first time. The SiO v=1, J=3–2 maser shows different distributions compared to those of the SiO v=1, 2, J=1–0 and v=1, J=2–1 masers implying a different physical condition.
Our objective was to evaluate long-term altered appearance, distress, and body image in posttreatment breast cancer patients and compare them with those of patients undergoing active treatment and with general population controls.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey between May and December of 2010. We studied 138 breast cancer patients undergoing active treatment and 128 posttreatment patients from 23 Korean hospitals and 315 age- and area-matched subjects drawn from the general population. Breast, hair, and skin changes, distress, and body image were assessed using visual analogue scales and the EORTC BR–23. Average levels of distress were compared across groups, and linear regression was utilized to identify the factors associated with body image.
Compared to active-treatment patients, posttreatment patients reported similar breast changes (6.6 vs. 6.2), hair loss (7.7 vs. 6.7), and skin changes (5.8 vs. 5.4), and both groups had significantly more severe changes than those of the general population controls (p < 0.01). For a similar level of altered appearance, however, breast cancer patients experienced significantly higher levels of distress than the general population. In multivariate analysis, patients with high altered appearance distress reported significantly poorer body image (–20.7, CI95% = –28.3 to –13.1) than patients with low distress.
Significance of results:
Posttreatment breast cancer patients experienced similar levels of altered appearance, distress, and body-image disturbance relative to patients undergoing active treatment but significantly higher distress and poorer body image than members of the general population. Healthcare professionals should acknowledge the possible long-term effects of altered appearance among breast cancer survivors and help them to manage the associated distress and psychological consequences.
The aim of this study is to develop predictive models to predict organ at risk (OAR) complication level, classification of OAR dose-volume and combination of this function with our in-house developed treatment decision support system.
Materials and methods
We analysed the support vector machine and decision tree algorithm for predicting OAR complication level and toxicity in order to integrate this function into our in-house radiation treatment planning decision support system. A total of 12 TomoTherapyTM treatment plans for prostate cancer were established, and a hundred modelled plans were generated to analyse the toxicity prediction for bladder and rectum.
The toxicity prediction algorithm analysis showed 91·0% accuracy in the training process. A scatter plot for bladder and rectum was obtained by 100 modelled plans and classification result derived. OAR complication level was analysed and risk factor for 25% bladder and 50% rectum was detected by decision tree. Therefore, it was shown that complication prediction of patients using big data-based clinical information is possible.
We verified the accuracy of the tested algorithm using prostate cancer cases. Side effects can be minimised by applying this predictive modelling algorithm with the planning decision support system for patient-specific radiotherapy planning.
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.
A few epidemiological data are available assessing the associations of intakes of sodium (Na) and potassium (K) with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We aimed to examine the associations of dietary intake of Na and K with the prevalence of ultrasound-diagnosed NAFLD. We performed a cross-sectional study of 100 177 participants (46 596 men and 53 581 women) who underwent a health screening examination and completed a FFQ at the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital Total Healthcare Centers, South Korea, between 2011 and 2013. NAFLD was defined by ultrasonographic detection of fatty liver in the absence of excessive alcohol intake or other known causes of liver disease. The proportion of NAFLD was 35·6 % for men and 9·8 % for women. Increasing prevalence of NAFLD was observed with increasing Na intake. The multivariable-adjusted prevalence ratios (PR) of NAFLD comparing the highest with the lowest quintile of energy-adjusted Na intake were 1·25 (95 % CI 1·18, 1·32; Ptrend<0·001) in men and 1·32 (95 % CI 1·18, 1·47; Ptrend <0·001) in women. However, when we additionally adjusted for body fat percentage, the association became attenuated; the corresponding PR of NAFLD were 1·15 (95 % CI 1·09, 1·21) in men and 1·06 (95 % CI 0·95, 1·17) in women. No inverse association was observed for energy-adjusted K intake. Our findings suggest that higher Na intake is associated with a greater prevalence of NAFLD in young and middle-aged asymptomatic adults, which might be partly mediated by adiposity.
The development of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) from large animal species has become an important model for therapeutic cloning using ESCs derived by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). However, poor embryo quality and blastocyst formation have been major limitations for derivation of cloned ESCs (ntESCs). In this study, we have tried to overcome these problems by treating these cells with histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) and aggregating porcine embryos. First, cloned embryos were treated with Scriptaid to confirm the effect of HDACi on cloned embryo quality. The Scriptaid-treated blastocysts showed significantly higher total cell numbers (29.50 ± 2.10) than non-treated blastocysts (22.29 ± 1.50, P < 0.05). Next, cloned embryo quality and blastocyst formation were analyzed in aggregates. Three zona-free, reconstructed, four-cell-stage SCNT embryos were injected into the empty zona of hatched parthenogenetic (PA) blastocysts. Blastocyst formation and total cell number of cloned blastocysts increased significantly for all aggregates (76.4% and 83.18 ± 8.33) compared with non-aggregates (25.5% and 27.11 ± 1.67, P < 0.05). Finally, aggregated blastocysts were cultured on a feeder layer to examine the efficiency of porcine ES-like cell derivation. Aggregated blastocysts showed a higher primary colony formation rate than non-aggregated cloned blastocysts (17.6 ± 12.3% vs. 2.2 ± 1.35%, respectively, P < 0.05). In addition, derived ES-like cells showed typical characters of ESCs. In conclusion, the aggregation of porcine SCNT embryos at the four-cell stage could be a useful technique for improving the development rate and quality of porcine-cloned blastocysts and the derivation efficiency of porcine ntESCs.
To examine the hypothesis that the association between vitamin D deficiency and depressive symptoms is dependent upon total cholesterol level in a representative national sample of the South Korean population.
This was a population-based cross-sectional study.
The Fifth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES V, 2010–2012).
We included 7198 adults aged 20–88 years.
The incidence of depressive symptoms in individuals with vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D<20 ng/ml) was 1·54-fold (95 % CI 1·20, 1·98) greater than in individuals without vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D ≥20 ng/ml). The relationship was stronger in individuals with normal-to-borderline serum total cholesterol (serum total cholesterol<240 mg/dl; OR=1·60; 95 % CI 1·23, 2·08) and non-significant in individuals with high serum total cholesterol (OR=0·97; 95 % CI 0·52, 1·81) after adjustment for confounding variables (age, sex, BMI, alcohol consumption, smoking status, regular exercise, income level, education level, marital status, changes in body weight, perceived body shape, season of examination date and cholesterol profiles).
The association between vitamin D deficiency and depressive symptoms was weakened by high serum total cholesterol status. These findings suggest that both vitamin D and total cholesterol are important targets for the prevention and treatment of depression.
During the past decade, carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) has emerged and spread across the world.1 The major carbapenemase enzymes currently being reported are KPC, NDM-1, VIM, IMP, and OXA.2 Because carbapenemase can be effectively transmitted via mobile genetic elements, and current therapeutic options for CPE infections are extremely limited, CPE may be one of the most serious contemporary threats to public health. However, very little is known about the characteristics of CPE carriage during hospitalization. The aims of this study were to investigate the clearance rate of CPE carriage and determine the number of consecutive negative cultures required to confirm CPE clearance. We also examined CPE transmission among hospitalized patients.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1361–1362
Psychological health is an important issue after disasters. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of psychological symptoms among 993 residents of Taean District in South Korea after the Hebei Spirit oil spill and to examine determinants of vulnerability in residents’ psychological symptoms.
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress (PTS), depression, suicidal ideation, and anxiety were assessed by questionnaires, and the responses were analyzed by using the survey analysis considering the sampling frame.
Among the study subjects, the symptom prevalences of PTS, depression, suicidal ideation, and anxiety were 19.5%, 22.0%, 2.3%, and 4.2%, respectively, and symptoms were higher in people who were female, were older, were less educated, and had lower family income. People with fishery or related occupations compared to those with unrelated livelihoods and people residing in the vicinity of the oil band in the contaminated coastline showed additively increased symptom risks of PTS. Risk of suicidal ideation was predominantly increased in people with fishery or related occupations compared with those with unrelated livelihoods.
Social supports, including compensation for income loss and community mental health programs, and longer follow-up studies are needed for residents in the communities affected by the Hebei Spirit oil spill. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:51-58)
We introduce a sensing element, “Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (MIP),” which created by “Molecular Imprinted Technique.” However, the sensitivity of MIP’s based bio-sensors limits for practical applications due to the low sensitivity. To achieve a high sensitivity of MIP’s based sensors, the synthesis of “high affinity receptor or binding sites,” such as “monoclonal particles” is a key objective. In previous studies, affinity distribution plots indicated that “high affinity binding sites” were obtained when the number of binding sites per particle decreased. It means that smaller particles are expected to have higher affinity binding sites compared to larger particles. The result motivated us to produce small-sized MIP’s particles for the achievement of higher sensitivity. Microfluidic Synthesis has taken a great attention to synthesize small particles. However, the microfluidic synthesis gave us a difficulty, especially collections of MIP’s particles from the surface of PDMS-based microchannels due to a sticking problem. Thus, we employed a new approach, which can collect MIP’s particles without any sticking problem from the surface of the reactor. It is a photopatterned MIP’s system generated on the glass surface. We prepared a photomask with micro-sized patterns and then fabricate MIP’s particles on a glass surface by photopolymerization. Uniform MIP’s patterns were printed on the glass surface. The interface between the glass surface and the MIP’s pattern was observed by SEM. Micro-sized MIP’s particles were collected from the glass surface by scratching off the photocured MIP’s patterns.
This study aimed to investigate the influences of age, education, and gender on the two total scores (TS-I and TS-II) of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological assessment battery (CERAD-NP) and to provide normative information based on an analysis for a large number of elderly persons with a wide range of educational levels.
In the study, 1,987 community-dwelling healthy volunteers (620 males and 1,367 females; 50–90 years of age; and zero to 25 years of education) were included. People with serious neurological, medical, and psychiatric disorders (including dementia) were excluded. All participants underwent the CERAD-NP assessment. TS-I was generated by summing raw scores from the CERAD-NP subtests, excluding Mini-Mental State Examination and Constructional Praxis (CP) recall subtests. TS-II was calculated by adding CP recall score to TS-I.
Both TS-I and TS-II were significantly influenced by demographic variables. Education accounted for the greatest proportion of score variance. Interaction effect between age and gender was found. Based on the results obtained, normative data of the CERAD-NP total scores were stratified by age (six overlapping tables), education (four strata), and gender.
The normative information will be very useful for better interpretation of the CERAD-NP total scores in various clinical and research settings and for comparing individuals’ performance of the battery across countries.
Dynamic recrystallization (DRX) of 99.9999% aluminum single crystal at room temperature was examined under frictionless deformation mode. To exclude the self-heating of the specimen due to applied high strain, a microcrack that localizes the stress at a very small region was intentionally introduced by controlled local necking. For the in situ observation of DRX, a specially designed in situ microdeformation device was positioned inside an electron backscattered diffraction system chamber. Recrystallized grains showed relatively random texture and preferred growth direction. The subgrains with low-angle grain boundaries formed by dynamic recovery transformed into small grains with high-angle grain boundaries, acting as nuclei for discontinuous dynamic recrystallization and growing by further deformation. The DRX in pure aluminum can take place under frictionless tensile deformation conditions at room temperature, and the stress localization and high purity are key issues for the DRX of aluminum at room temperature.
Quantum dots (QDs) have inspired researchers to develop innovative optoelectronics applications, and especially the current advances in light-emitting diode (LED) displays have attained production level technology. The most challenging issues in developing practical QD displays are the design of highly efficient and stable nanostructures and control of the interfaces between the nanostructures and device components. This article highlights applications of both color-converting and current-driven QD-LEDs, with emphasis on the synthesis of materials specifically tailored for display applications and fabrication techniques that improve device performance, such as cross-linking and transfer-printing of nanocrystal thin films.