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There is compelling evidence for gradient effects of household income on school readiness. Potential mechanisms are described, yet the growth curve trajectory of maternal mental health in a child's early life has not been thoroughly investigated. We aimed to examine the relationships between household incomes, maternal mental health trajectories from antenatal to the postnatal period, and school readiness.
Prospective data from 505 mother–child dyads in a birth cohort in Singapore were used, including household income, repeated measures of maternal mental health from pregnancy to 2-years postpartum, and a range of child behavioural, socio-emotional and cognitive outcomes from 2 to 6 years of age. Antenatal mental health and its trajectory were tested as mediators in the latent growth curve models.
Household income was a robust predictor of antenatal maternal mental health and all child outcomes. Between children from the bottom and top household income quartiles, four dimensions of school readiness skills differed by a range of 0.52 (95% Cl: 0.23, 0.67) to 1.21 s.d. (95% CI: 1.02, 1.40). Thirty-eight percent of pregnant mothers in this cohort were found to have perinatal depressive and anxiety symptoms in the subclinical and clinical ranges. Poorer school readiness skills were found in children of these mothers when compared to those of mothers with little or no symptoms. After adjustment of unmeasured confounding on the indirect effect, antenatal maternal mental health provided a robust mediating path between household income and multiple school readiness outcomes (χ2 126.05, df 63, p < 0.001; RMSEA = 0.031, CFI = 0.980, SRMR = 0.034).
Pregnant mothers with mental health symptoms, particularly those from economically-challenged households, are potential targets for intervention to level the playing field of their children.
This study compared the plan dosimetry between the intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and field-in-field (FIF) technique for head-and-neck cancer using the Elekta Monaco treatment planning system (TPS).
Materials and methods:
A total of 20 head-and-neck cancer patients were selected in this study. IMRT and FIF plans for the patients were created on the Monaco TPS (ver. 5.11.02) using the 6-MV photon beam generated by the Elekta Synergy linear accelerator. The dose–volume histograms, maximum doses, minimum doses, mean doses of the target volumes and organs-at-risk (OARs), conformity index (CI), homogeneity index (HI) and monitor units (MUs) were determined for each IMRT and FIF plan. All IMRT plans passed the patient-specific quality assurance tests from the 2D diode array measurements (MatriXX Evolution System, IBA Dosimetry, Germany).
The results showed that the dose distribution to the target volumes of IMRT plans was better than FIF plans, while the dose (mean or max dose) to the OAR was significantly lower than FIF plan, respectively. IMRT and FIF resulted in planning target volume coverage with mean dose of 71·32 ± 0·76 and 73·12 ± 0·62 Gy, respectively, and HI values of 0·08 ± 0·01 (IMRT) and 0·19 ± 0·06 (FIF). The CI for IMRT was 0·98 ± 0·01 and FIF was 0·97 ± 0·01. For the spinal cord tolerance (maximum dose < 45 Gy), IMRT resulted in 39·85 ± 2·04 Gy compared to 41·37 ± 2·42 Gy for FIF. In addition, the mean doses to the parotid grand were 27·27 ± 7·48 and 48·68 ± 1·62 Gy for the IMRT and FIF plans, respectively. Significantly more MUs were required in IMRT plans than FIF plans (on average, 846 ± 100 MU in IMRT and 467 ± 41 MU in FIF).
It is concluded that the IMRT technique could provide a better plan dosimetry than the FIF technique for head-and-neck patients.
The air transport industry has seen a rapid growth since the early 1900s. Serving more than 180 cities in over 50 countries, Changi International Airport in Singapore has established itself as a major aviation hub in the Asia Pacific region, with an annual handling capacity of more than 44 million passengers. In recent years, it has been observed that a number of passengers are found to be in a mentally disturbed state at the Changi International Airport. Some of whom are unable to continue in their journey and have to be admitted for further evaluation. The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine the occurrence and the presentation of mental disorders requiring admission at an international airport.
A retrospective study was performed including patients who had been referred for psychiatric observation by the Changi International Airport to a tertiary hospital nearest the airport. The patients were studied in respect to the circumstance of admission, clinical presentation, management and how they continued on their journey.
Most of the patients admitted had a history of a major mental illness, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In-flight emergencies and serious incidents caused by psychiatric patients were fortunately uncommon.
As air travel becomes more prevalent, it is conceivable that there will be an increasing number of psychiatric patients taking a flight. Although most patients are able to travel uneventfully, there are still a small number of patients who have to be detained and stabilised at a hospital.
One of the major challenges in Asia is the impact of diseases in the aging population. Dementia is a common and disabling disorder in the elderly which has gained growing public health relevance. The Asian populations in developing countries have been known to report a lower prevalence of dementia, partially influenced by their cultural background and traditional societal roles for the elderly. We aim to investigate how living in a developed country with a strong Asian cultural background, influence perceptions on dementia.
We invited in-patients of a tertiary hospital, with no previously diagnosed cognitive impairment, to complete an anonymous, self-filled questionnaire about their perceptions of dementia, societal trends and the current role of elderly in Singapore.
Majority of respondents had strong traditional values and felt a duty of care for elderly within their family. Societal norms still suggests that our elderly would more likely give up position of authority and property for younger members of the family. Our elderly also became significantly less active in society after retirement.
With the rapid development of our society and trend towards nuclear families, the resultant possibility of higher carer stress and pressure for residential placement facilities are likely to grow.
Adherence problems are an inherent issue with any bio-psycho-social-spiritual prescription for any disease or behvaioural entity. It is all the more important in a patient with severe mental illness like Schizophrenia with limited insight. In several countries various interventions have been studied to address adherence problems in psychosis. Such as compliance therapy, family and psycho educational interventions, telephonic prompting and also legislative measures like Community Treatment Orders (CTO) have to date shown inconsistent and only modest benefits. Incentives based interventions have been tested for both preventive measures and also for adherence problems in chronic diseases. The Institute of Mental Health, Singapore has implemented a Pilot Supervision Programme (PSP) that incentivise patient engagement through quarterly vouchers as well as minimising barriers to accessing service by waiving off certain treatment fees whilst also offering them intensive intervention for one year. Our Pilot Programme, that focused on high risk patients with diagnosis of severe mental illness needing involuntary admission with history of either prolonged or repeated admissions, has begun recruiting patients since October 2012. The comparison was done between pre and post intervention phase. Total of 58 patients (95% suffering from schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder) accepted into the treatment programme and of that nearly half of them have completed 6 months interventions. The results are promising with more than 50% improvemnt in length of stay, number of admissions and psychiatric emergency room visits, making significant impact on our high risk patients with severe mental illness.
Subcutaneous adipose tissue (scAT) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) play a significant role in obesity-associated systemic low-grade inflammation. High-fat diet (HFD) is known to induce inflammatory changes in both scAT and PBMC. However, the time course of the effect of HFD on these systems is still unknown. The aim of the present study was to determine the time course of the effect of HFD on PBMC and scAT. New Zealand white rabbits were fed HFD for 5 or 10 weeks (i.e. HFD-5 and HFD-10) or regular chow (i.e. control (CNT)-5 and CNT-10). Thereafter, metabolic and inflammatory parameters of PBMC and scAT were quantified. HFD induced hyperfattyacidaemia in HFD-5 and HFD-10 groups, with the development of insulin resistance in HFD-10, while no changes were observed in scAT lipid metabolism and inflammatory status. HFD activated the inflammatory pathways in PBMC of HFD-5 group and induced modified autophagy in that of HFD-10. The rate of fat oxidation in PBMC was directly associated with the expression of inflammatory markers and tended to inversely associate with autophagosome formation markers in PBMC. HFD affected systemic substrate metabolism, and the metabolic, inflammatory and autophagy pathways in PBMC in the absence of metabolic and inflammatory changes in scAT. Dietary approaches or interventions to avert HFD-induced changes in PBMC could be essential to prevent metabolic and inflammatory complications of obesity and promote healthier living.
An outbreak of gastroenteritis affected 453 attendees (attack rate 28·5%) of six separate events held at a hotel in Singapore. Active case detection, case-control studies, hygiene inspections and microbial analysis of food, environmental and stool samples were conducted to determine the aetiology of the outbreak and the modes of transmission. The only commonality was the food, crockery and cutlery provided and/or handled by the hotel's Chinese banquet kitchen. Stool specimens from 34 cases and 15 food handlers were positive for norovirus genogroup II. The putative index case was one of eight norovirus-positive food handlers who had worked while they were symptomatic. Several food samples and remnants tested positive for Escherichia coli or high faecal coliforms, aerobic plate counts and/or total coliforms, indicating poor food hygiene. This large common-source outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis was caused by the consumption of contaminated food and/or contact with contaminated crockery or cutlery provided or handled by the hotel's Chinese banquet kitchen.
We examined functional outcomes and quality of life of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) with integrated fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy boost (FSRT) for brain metastases treatment. Methods Eighty seven people with 1-3 brain metastases were enrolled on this Phase II trial of WBRT (30Gy/10)+simultaneous FSRT, (60Gy/10). Results Mean (Min-Max) baseline KPS, Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) and FACT-BR quality of life were 83 (70-100), 28 (21-30) and 143 (98-153). Lower baseline MMSE (but not KPS or FACT-Br) was associated with worse survival after adjusting for age, number of metastases, primary and extra-cranial disease status. Crude rates of deterioration (>10 points decrease from baseline for KPS and FACT-Br, MMSE fall to<27) ranged from 26-38% for KPS, 32-59% for FACT-Br and 0-16%for MMSE depending on the time-point assessed with higher rates generally noted at earlier time points (<6months post-treatment). Using a linear mixed models analysis, significant declines from baseline were noted for KPS and FACT-Br (largest effects at 6 weeks to 3 months) with no significant change in MMSE. Conclusions The effects on function and quality of life of this integrated treatment of WBRT+simultaneous FSRT were similar to other published series combining WBRT+SRS.
Studies for spin parameters and shapes of asteroids provide us with important information about the interior structure of asteroids and the physical processes they have undergone. A large sample of basic physical parameters can help us also understand the evolution of asteroids. There is scarce information for slowly-rotating larger asteroids because more effort is required for observing them. Because of this, we have established an international collaboration to study slowly-rotating asteroids. As the first step of this project, we have observed asteroids (168) Sibylla and (346) Hermentaria in 2014 and 2015 using several telescopes located in China, Chile, and U.S.A. Combining previous photometric data with our new data, we have performed preliminary analyses and obtained spin parameters and shapes with their uncertainties for these two slowly-rotating asteroids for the first time, using the convex inversion method and the virtual photometry Monte Carlo method. A pair of pole solutions for (168) Sibylla are found around (4.3°, 53.5°) and (183.5°, 52.6°) with a period of 47.0000 h. We have found that the shape of Sibylla resembles an oblate spheroid. For (346) Hermentaria, we have also found a pair of pole solutions around (134.5°, 16.7°) and (321.5°, 14.5°) with comparable rms-values with a spin period of about 17.79000 h, and a shape resembling a prolate spheroid.
To assess the effectiveness of infection control preparedness for human infection with influenza A H7N9 in Hong Kong.
A descriptive study of responses to the emergence of influenza A H7N9.
A university-affiliated teaching hospital.
Healthcare workers (HCWs) with unprotected exposure (not wearing N95 respirator during aerosol-generating procedure) to a patient with influenza A H7N9.
A bundle approach including active and enhanced surveillance, early airborne infection isolation, rapid molecular diagnostic testing, and extensive contact tracing for HCWs with unprotected exposure was implemented. Seventy HCWs with unprotected exposure to an index case were interviewed especially regarding their patient care activities.
From April 1, 2013, through May 31, 2014, a total of 126 (0.08%) of 163,456 admitted patients were tested for the H7 gene by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction per protocol. Two confirmed cases were identified. Seventy (53.8%) of 130 HCWs had unprotected exposure to an index case, whereas 41 (58.6%) and 58 (82.9%) of 70 HCWs wore surgical masks and practiced hand hygiene after patient care, respectively. Sixteen (22.9%) of 70 HCWs were involved in high-risk patient contacts. More HCWs with high-risk patient contacts received oseltamivir prophylaxis (P=0.088) and significantly more had paired sera collected for H7 antibody testing (P<0.001). Ten (14.3%) of 70 HCWs developed influenza-like illness during medical surveillance, but none had positive results by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Paired sera was available from 33 of 70 HCWs with unprotected exposure, and none showed seroconversion against H7N9.
Despite the delay in airborne precautions implementation, no patient-to-HCW transmission of influenza A H7N9 was demonstrated.
High consumption of refined grains, particularly white rice, has been reported to be associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. Therefore, in the present study, we evaluated the association between rice and noodle consumption and markers of glucose homeostasis, inflammation and dyslipidaemia in an Asian population. We carried out a population-based cross-sectional study in 2728 Singaporean Chinese men and women aged between 24 and 92 years. Rice and noodle intake was assessed using a validated FFQ and studied in relation to glycaemic (fasting glucose, glycated Hb, homeostasis model assessment (HOMA) index for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and HOMA index for β-cell function (HOMA-β)), inflammatory (plasma adiponectin and C-reactive protein (CRP)) and lipid (fasting TAG and HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C)) markers. We used multiple linear regression analyses with adjustment for total energy intake and sociodemographic, anthropometric (BMI and waist:hip ratio) and lifestyle factors. Higher rice consumption was found to be associated with higher fasting glucose concentrations (0·81 % higher values per portion increment; 95 % CI 0·09, 1·54) and HOMA-IR (4·62 %; 95 % CI 1·29, 8·07). Higher noodle consumption was also found to be significantly associated with higher fasting glucose concentrations (1·67 %; 95 % CI 0·44, 2·92), HOMA-IR (6·17 %; 95 % CI 0·49, 12·16) and fasting TAG concentrations (9·17 %; 95 % CI 3·44, 15·22). No significant association was observed between rice and noodle consumption and adiponectin, CRP and HDL-C concentrations or HOMA-β in the fully adjusted model. These results suggest that high consumption of rice and noodles may contribute to hyperglycaemia through greater insulin resistance and that this relationship is independent of adiposity and systemic inflammation.
The challenges associated with meeting 20nm technology requirements for better Cu CMP process uniformity and lower defectivity have been studied. Required improvements in uniformity were obtained through platen process optimization along with evaluation & selection of specific Cu slurries and pads and their performance reported. The principal factors influencing defect formation, including Cu barrier metallurgy, interconnect pattern density and process queue times were studied. Specific new post CMP clean chemistries were evaluated to assess their capability to suppress defect formation and their performance reported. The trade off between uniformity and defect suppression as a function slurry, pad and post Cu CMP clean chemistry is described.
Systemic right ventricular systolic dysfunction is common late after atrial switch surgery for transposition of the great arteries. Total isovolumic time is the time that the ventricle is neither ejecting nor filling and is calculated without relying on geometric assumptions. We assessed resting total isovolumic time in this population and its relationship to exercise capacity.
A total of 40 adult patients with transposition of the great arteries after atrial switch – and 10 healthy controls – underwent transthoracic echocardiography and cardiopulmonary exercise testing from January, 2006 to January, 2009. Resting total isovolumic time was measured in seconds per minute: 60 minus total ejection time plus total filling time.
The mean age was 31.6 plus or minus 7.6 years, and 38.0% were men. There were 16 patients (40%) who had more than or equal to moderate systolic dysfunction of the right ventricle. Intra- and inter-observer agreement was good for total isovolumic time, which was significantly prolonged in patients compared with controls (12.0 plus or minus 3.9 seconds per minute versus 6.0 plus or minus 1.8 seconds per minute, p-value less than 0.001) and correlated significantly with peak oxygen consumption (r equals minus 0.63, p-value less than 0.001). The correlation strengthened (r equals minus 0.73, p-value less than 0.001) after excluding seven patients with exercise-induced cyanosis. No relationship was found between exercise capacity and right ventricular ejection fraction or long-axis amplitude.
Resting isovolumic time is prolonged after atrial switch for patients with transposition of the great arteries. It is highly reproducible and relates well to exercise capacity.
The aim of tympanoplasty graft preparation is to stiffen the fascia or perichondrium and thereby to optimise ease of manipulation. We report 39 cases utilising a novel technique in which the graft is prepared in ear drops containing polyethylene glycol, flumetasone pivalate (0.02 per cent) and clioquinol (1 per cent). This technique is useful in reducing the risk of desiccation if placement is delayed, and may pose less risk of infection and mechanical damage than alternative methods.
Postprandial hypotension may be influenced by the digestion of fat. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the hypothesis that products of fat digestion mediate the hypotensive response to fat. In part A of the study, nine healthy older subjects were studied on three separate occasions in randomised order. Blood pressure, heart rate (HR), plasma TAG and gastric emptying were measured following the ingestion of equivolaemic drinks: (1) 300 ml of high-fat drink (88 % fat); (2) fat drink mixed with 120 mg orlistat (lipase inhibitor); (3) water (control). In part B of the study, ten healthy older subjects were studied on two separate occasions. Blood pressure, HR, plasma TAG and superior mesenteric artery flow were measured during 90 min intraduodenal infusions of 10 % intralipid (2·7 ml/min), with and without 120 mg orlistat. Oral fat ingestion was associated with decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressures (both P = 0·0001) that were greater when orlistat was co-administered (both P < 0·05), and an increase in HR (P = 0·0001) that was inhibited by orlistat co-administration (P < 0·03). Gastric emptying was slowed by oral fat digestion, and orlistat administration inhibited this slowing (P < 0·04). Intraduodenal fat infusion was not associated with changes in blood pressure but increased HR (P < 0·0001), an effect attenuated by orlistat (P < 0·05). In conclusion, orlistat potentiates the hypotensive response to oral fat in older adults, possibly as a result of faster gastric emptying of fat. The results do not support a role for fat digestion in lowering blood pressure.
Nosocomial outbreaks of norovirus infection pose a great challenge to the infection control team.
Between November 1, 2009, and February 28, 2010, strategic infection control measures were implemented in a hospital network. In addition to timely staff education and promotion of directly observed hand hygiene, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction for norovirus was performed as an added test by the microbiology laboratory for all fecal specimens irrespective of the request for testing. Laboratory-confirmed cases were followed up by the infection control team for timely intervention. The incidence of hospital-acquired norovirus infection per 1,000 potentially infectious patient-days was compared with the corresponding period in the preceding 12 months, and the incidence in the other 6 hospital networks in Hong Kong was chosen as the concurrent control. Phylogenetic analysis of norovirus isolates was performed.
Of the 988 patients who were tested, 242 (25%) were positive for norovirus; 114 (47%) of those 242 patients had norovirus detected by our added test. Compared with the corresponding period in the preceding 12 months, the incidence of hospital-acquired norovirus infection decreased from 131 to 16 cases per 1,000 potentially infectious patient-days (P < .001 ), although the number of hospital-acquired infections was low in both the study period (n = 8) and the historical control periods (n = 11). The incidence of hospital-acquired norovirus infection in our hospital network (0.03 cases per 1,000 patient-days) was significantly lower than that of the concurrent control (0.06 cases per 1,000 patient-days) (P = .015). Forty-three (93%) of 46 norovirus isolates sequenced belonged to the genogroup II.4 variant.
Strategic infection control measures with an added test maybe useful in controlling nosocomial transmission of norovirus.
We investigated cerebral structural connectivity and its relationship to symptoms in never-medicated individuals with first-onset schizophrenia using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).
We recruited subjects with first episode DSM-IV schizophrenia who had never been exposed to antipsychotic medication (n=34) and age-matched healthy volunteers (n=32). All subjects received DTI and structural magnetic resonance imaging scans. Patients' symptoms were assessed on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Voxel-based analysis was performed to investigate brain regions where fractional anisotropy (FA) values significantly correlated with symptom scores.
In patients with first-episode schizophrenia, positive symptoms correlated positively with FA scores in white matter associated with the right frontal lobe, left anterior cingulate gyrus, left superior temporal gyrus, right middle temporal gyrus, right middle cingulate gyrus, and left cuneus. Importantly, FA in each of these regions was lower in patients than controls, but patients with more positive symptoms had FA values closer to controls. We found no significant correlations between FA and negative symptoms.
The newly-diagnosed, neuroleptic-naive patients had lower FA scores in the brain compared with controls. There was positive correlation between FA scores and positive symptoms scores in frontotemporal tracts, including left fronto-occipital fasciculus and left inferior longitudinal fasciculus. This implies that white matter dysintegrity is already present in the pre-treatment phase and that FA is likely to decrease after clinical treatment or symptom remission.
The purpose of the study was to test the moderating influence of two risk factors, maternal depression and socio-economic status (SES), on the association between authoritarian and permissive parenting styles and child obesity.
Correlational, cross-sectional study. Parenting style was measured with the Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire (PSDQ). Maternal depression was measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). BMI-for-age percentile was used to categorize children by weight status (children with BMI-for-age ≥95th percentile were classified as obese). SES was computed from parent education and occupational status using the four-factor Hollingshead index.
Rural public schools in a mid-western state in the USA.
One hundred and seventy-six mothers of first-grade children (ninety-one boys, eighty-five girls) enrolled in rural public schools.
Both maternal depression and SES were found to moderate the permissive parenting style/child obesity association, but not the authoritarian/child obesity association. For depressed mothers, but not for non-depressed mothers, more permissive parenting was predictive of child obesity. Similarly more permissive parenting was predictive of child obesity among higher SES mothers, but not for lower SES mothers.
Maternal depression and SES interact with permissive parenting style to predict child obesity. Future research should examine the relationship among these variables using a longitudinal design.