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To test the hypothesis that cognitive impairment in older adults is associated with all-cause mortality risk and the risk increases when the degree of cognitive impairment augments; and then, if this association is confirmed, to report the population-attributable fraction (PAF) of mortality due to cognitive impairment.
A representative random community sample of individuals aged over 55 was interviewed, and 4557 subjects remaining alive at the end of the first year of follow-up were included in the analysis. Instruments used in the assessment included the Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE), the History and Aetiology Schedule (HAS) and the Geriatric Mental State (GMS)-AGECAT. For the standardised degree of cognitive impairment Perneczky et al's MMSE criteria were applied. Mortality information was obtained from the official population registry. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard models were used to test the association between MMSE degrees of cognitive impairment and mortality risk. We also estimated the PAF of mortality due to specific MMSE stages.
Cognitive impairment was associated with mortality risk, the risk increasing in parallel with the degree of cognitive impairment (Hazard ratio, HR: 1.18 in the ‘mild’ degree of impairment; HR: 1.29 in the ‘moderate’ degree; and HR: 2.08 in the ‘severe’ degree). The PAF of mortality due to severe cognitive impairment was 3.49%.
A gradient of increased mortality-risk associated with severity of cognitive impairment was observed. The results support the claim that routine assessment of cognitive function in older adults should be considered in clinical practice.
Polymerization occurring during fluorocarbon plasma treatment as a potential
method for pore sealing was investigated. CHF3 was used as a
reactant gas to expedite the rate of polymerization due to the presence of
hydrogen and the low C/F ratio. The reactor pressure was varied from 30mTorr
to 90mTorr to change the number of neutrals that act as the polymerizing
species. The films were exposed to the plasma for times of 1min, 3min, and 5
min to observe the penetration depth of neutrals and the thickness of
modified layer as a function of time. Dielectric constants were measured
before and after plasma treatment. The film morphology was investigated by
scanning electron microscopy before and after plasma treatment and a
featureless surface morphology was observed at 90mTorr on a 56% porosity
film. After plasma treatment, the average pore neck size decreases which may
help reduce metal precursor penetration during metallization.
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