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Population ageing in China calls for evidence-based solutions, especially in terms of fulfilling long-term care needs among frail older adults. Respite services are identified as effective resources for alleviating care-giver burden and promoting the wellbeing of both older adults and their family care-givers. However, respite care is often under-used in China. This research aimed to examine factors associated with intention to use respite services among informal care-givers in Shanghai, mainland China. This study was part of the Longitudinal Study on Family Caregivers for Frail Older Adults in Shanghai. Pairs of older adults and their care-givers (N = 583) who successfully completed the 2013 and 2016 waves were included in the data analysis. Two logistic regression models were conducted, one with time-invariant and one with time-variant factors. The model with time-variant factors had greater explanatory power than the original Andersen model with time-invariant factors influencing intention to use respite services among care-givers. Care-givers had higher odds of intending to use respite services if they had higher care-giving burden, were caring elderly people who experienced care-giver transitions, or were caring for elderly people with increased function of ambulation or decreased function of feeding. The findings imply that change in functional health was a significant determinant of intention to use respite care. Relevant policy and service implications will be discussed.
The meat quality of chicken is an important factor affecting the consumer’s health. It was hypothesized that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) could be effectively deposited in chicken, by incorporating antioxidation of soybean isoflavone (SI), which led to improved quality of chicken meat for good health of human beings. Effects of partial or complete dietary substitution of lard (LA) with linseed oil (LO), with or without SI on growth performance, biochemical indicators, meat quality, fatty acid profiles, lipid-related health indicators and gene expression of breast muscle were examined in chickens. A total of 900 males were fed a corn–soybean meal diet supplemented with 4% LA, 2% LA + 2% LO and 4% LO and the latter two including 30 mg SI/kg (2% LA + 2% LO + SI and 4% LO + SI) from 29 to 66 days of age; each of the five dietary treatments included six replicates of 30 birds. Compared with the 4% LA diet, dietary 4% LO significantly increased the feed efficiency and had no negative effect on objective indices related to meat quality; LO significantly decreased plasma triglycerides and total cholesterol (TCH); abdominal fat percentage was significantly decreased in birds fed the 4% LO and 4% LO + SI diets. Chickens with LO diets resulted in higher contents of α-linolenic acid (C18:3n-3), EPA (C20:5n-3) and total n-3 PUFA, together with a lower content of palmitic acid (C16:0), lignoceric acid (C24:0), saturated fatty acids and n-6:n-3 ratio in breast muscle compared to 4% LA diet (P < 0.05); they also significantly decreased atherogenic index, thrombogenic index and increased the hypocholesterolemic to hypercholesterolemic ratio. Adding SI to the LO diets enhanced the contents of EPA and DHA (C22:6n-3), plasma total superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione (GSH)/oxidized glutathione and muscle GSH content, while decreased plasma total triglyceride and TCH and malondialdehyde content in plasma and breast muscle compared to its absence (P < 0.05). Expression in breast muscle of fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1), FADS2, elongase 2 (ELOVL2) and ELOVL5 genes were significantly higher with the LO diets including SI than with the 4% LA diet. Significant interactions existed between LO level and inclusion of SI on EPA and TCH contents. These findings indicate that diet supplemented with LO combined with SI is an effective alternative when optimizing the nutritional value of chicken meat for human consumers.
Flexibility is one of the important mechanical performance parameters of stent. The flexibility of tapered stents, especially self-expanding tapered stents, remains unknown. In this study, we developed a new selfexpanding tapered stent for tapered arteries and performed a numerical investigation of stent flexibility by using finite element method. The effect of stent design parameters, including taper and link space width, on stent flexibility was studied. The flexibility of the proposed stent was also compared with that of traditional cylindrical stents. Results show that the tapered stent is more flexible than the traditional cylindrical stent. Furthermore, the flexibility of the tapered stent increases with increasing stent taper and stent link space width. The increase in the stent link space width can contribute to the reduction in the peak stress. Therefore, tapered stents with high link space width will improve the stent flexibility. This work provides useful information for improvement of stent design and clinical selection.
Prior meta-analyses have suggested superior efficacy of venlafaxine compared to SSRIs. In this meta-analysis we compared the efficacy of venlafaxine and SSRIs in patients with MDD classified according to baseline severity
Data from 31 venlafaxine studies were pooled and remission rates defined as <8 on the HAM-D17- score were analyzed. Subjects were divided into two groups based on their baseline HAM-D-17 total score ≥30 / < 30. Fisher's exact test was used to compare the treatment effects on the remission rates for each subgroup. All of the analyses were based on intent-to-treat patients, LOCF and completer analysis were performed using standardized measurements.
5836 patients with a baseline HAM-D17 <30 could be identified. The LOCF analysis revealed, that the OR is 1.31 (95%CI 1.18, 1.46), p<0.001 and the NNT is 16, whereas the completer analysis revealed, that the OR is 1.25 (95%CI 1.09, 1.43), p=0.001 and the NNT is 16. Remission data for 656 patients with a baseline HAM-D17 >30 were available. The LOCF analysis revealed, that the OR is 1.55 (95%CI 1.10, 2.18), p=0.015 and the NNT is 11, whereas the completer analysis revealed, that the OR is 1.93 (95%CI 1.25, 2.97), p=0.003 and the NNT is 7.
This analysis demonstrates that venlafaxine is superior to SSRIs in both the mild/moderate and severe depression in achieving remission. However, the magnitude of superiority was higher in the subgroup of patients with a baseline HAM-D17 >30 suggesting a pronounced clinical benefit for the treatment of severely depressed patients.
White matter abnormalities have been repeatedly reported in both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BD) diseases from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) studies respectively, while the empirical evidences about the diagnostic specificity of white matter abnormalities in these disorders are still limited.
25 patients with paranoid schizophrenia and 18 patients with bipolar mania were recruited from the in-patient unit of the Mental Health Centre, West China Hospital, China.
Patients were diagnosed according to the criteria of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Version IV (DSM- IV). 30 healthy controls were recruited from the community by means of leaflets distributed throughout Chengdu city.
This study sought to investigate the alterations in fractional anisotropy (FA) in white matter throughout the entire brain of patients from Chengdu, China with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar mania.
Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was used to assess white matter integrity in patients with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar mania, as well as in normal controls. The differences in FA were measured by use of voxel-based analysis.
Reduced FA was found in the left posterior corona radiate (PCR) in patients with bipolar mania and paranoid schizophrenia compared to the controls. Patients with bipolar mania also showed a significant reduction in FA in right posterior corona radiate and in right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR).
Common abnormalities in the left PCR might imply an overlap in white matter pathology of both diseases and might be related to the shared risk factors for both disorders.
This pooled analysis compared the efficacy of venlafaxine extended-release (XR) versus placebo in the treatment of social anxiety disorder (SAD).
Data were pooled from 5 randomized studies of patients with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) SAD (N=1459) who were treated with venlafaxine XR 75 mg/d to 225 mg/d or placebo for 12 weeks (4 studies) or 28 weeks (1 study). Response and remission rates were calculated for the overall sample, as well as stratified by gender and level of physical symptom severity at baseline. Response was defined as a score of 1 or 2 on the Clinical Global Impressions–Improvement (CGI-I) scale. Remission was defined as a total score of <30 on the Leibowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS).
At baseline the mean LSAS score was 88.1 and 86.6 for the venlafaxine and placebo arms, respectively. Overall response rates at week 12 were 55% for venlafaxine XR and 33% for placebo (P<0.0001); remission rates were 25% and 12%, respectively (P<0.0001). Among patients with less severe physical symptoms, response rates were 52% and 32% for venlafaxine XR and placebo, respectively (P<0.0001); remission rates were 27% and 14%, respectively (P<0.0001). Response rates among patients with more severe physical symptoms were 56% for venlafaxine XR and 33% for placebo (P<0.0001); remission rates were 24% and 11%, respectively (P<0.0001).
Venlafaxine XR is effective in the treatment of SAD, regardless of gender or severity of physical symptoms.
To assess the efficacy of desvenlafaxine succinate (DVS) treatment in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
Seven randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, short-term studies were pooled to evaluate the efficacy of DVS in MDD. Adult outpatients with DSM-IV MDD were enrolled in all studies. Eligible patients were randomly assigned to DVS (n=1186) at doses of 100–400 mg/d, or placebo (n=797) for 8 weeks. The 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D17) was the primary efficacy variable. Other efficacy variables were the Clinical Global Impressions scale (CGI), HAM-D6, Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), Covi Anxiety scale, Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS), WHO-5 Well-Being Index, and the Visual Analog Scale–Pain Intensity (VAS-PI). A mixed-effect model for repeated measures (MMRM) analysis was used to analyze continuous variables. Logistic regression was used to analyze response and remission rates.
An adjusted mean difference of –2.8 points on HAM-D17 total score at end point for DVS vs placebo (95% confidence limits: –2.2, –3.4; P<0.001) was demonstrated. Response and remission rates were significantly elevated for DVS-treated patients compared with placebo (P<0.001) across rating scales (HAM-D17, MADRS, and CGI). For other secondary measures at end point, including the CGI, HAM-D6, MADRS, Covi, SDS, WHO-5, and VAS-PI, significant differences from placebo were also observed. No additional benefit was observed for DVS doses above 100 mg/d in analyses of fixed-dose studies.
DVS was efficacious in treating MDD based on standard depression rating scales and measures of anxiety, global severity/improvement, functioning, well being, and pain.
To analyze baseline scores on individual items of the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D17) in depressed outpatients by age groups approximating menopausal status.
This post-hoc, pooled analysis was conducted with populations from 7 double-blind, placebo-controlled desvenlafaxine succinate (DVS) trials in patients with major depressive disorder. The age groups, chosen as a proxy for pre-, peri-, and postmenopausal status, respectively, were 18-39, 40-55, and >55 years of age. Data from male patients were used to differentiate effects due to menopausal status from those related to age. Analysis of variance with Bonferroni adjustments was used to compare differences in baseline scores on individual HAM-D17 items.
A total of 1203 women (18-39 years [n=525]; 40-55 years [n=513]; >55 [n=165]) and 780 men (18-39 years [n=321]; 40-55 years [n=354]; >55 [n=105]) were included in this analysis. When analyzing these data by gender, women had significantly higher scores on HAM-D17 total (P=0.002), anxiety (P<0.001) and retardation subscales (P<0.001), and the somatic–anxiety (P<0.001), genital (P<0.001), and hypochondriasis (P=0.007) items. A significant age effect was observed for the HAM-D17 insomnia scale (P=0.004), and guilt (P<0.001), all insomnia items (P≤0.001), somatic–general (P<0.001), genital (P=0.019), and hypochondriasis (P≤0.001) individual items. An age effect among women was observed on the guilt (P=0.017), all insomnia items (P<0.05), somatic–general (P=0.022), and hypochondriasis (P=0.001) items.
Women in age groups approximating peri- and postmenopausal status had significantly higher baseline scores than younger women for the hypochondriasis, insomnia–middle and insomnia–late items of the HAM-D17.
In this meta-analysis we compared the effects of venlafaxine and SSRIs on work activity in MDD patients classified according to baseline severity
Data from the work and activity item 7 of the HAMD17 of 31 pooled studies comparing venlafaxine with SSRIs were used. Subjects were divided into two groups based on their baseline HAMD17 total score ≥30/< 30.Score distributions and the proportions of patients achieving full work functionality were summarized for both LOCF and Completers at week 8. Fisher's exact test was used to compare the treatment effects..
5836 patients with a baseline HAMD17 <30 were identified. The OR for all subjects achieving full work functionality is 1.22 (95%CI 1.08, 1.36), p<0.001 for LOCF and 1.19 (95%CI 1.04, 1.38), p=0.015 for completers. The OR for subjects with work impairment at baseline is 1.17 (95%CI 1.02, 1.35), p=0.029 for LOCF and 1.13 (95%CI 0.95, 1.35), p=0.18 for completers. 656 patients with a baseline HAMD17 >30 were identified. The OR for all subjects achieving full work functionality is 1.80 (95%CI 1.24, 2.63), p=0.002 for LOCF and 1.64 (95%CI 1.05, 2.58), p=0.032 for completers. The OR for subjects with work impairment at baseline is 1.93 (95%CI 1.30, 2.87), p=0.001 for LOCF and 1.81 (95%CI 1.12, 2.92), p=0.017 for completers.
This analysis demonstrates that venlafaxine is superior to SSRIs in improving work functionality in both mild/moderate and even more pronounced in severe depression. These results emphasize the impact of the treatment with venlafaxine on patients returning to normal social life.
To evaluate functioning, well being, and pain outcomes with desvenlafaxine succinate (DVS) treatment in depressed men and women of different age groups.
Data from the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS), 5-item World Health Organization Well-Being Index (WHO-5), and Visual Analog Scale–Pain Intensity (VAS-PI) were pooled from 6 double-blind, placebo-controlled, 8-week DVS trials conducted in outpatients with major depressive disorder (MDD). Patients were divided into 3 age groups. The 18-39 and >55 years of age groups were chosen as proxies for pre- and postmenopausal status; the age group of 40-55 years, which was likely to include perimenopausal women, was also evaluated. Male patients were similarly grouped to differentiate effects of menopausal status from age on treatment response.
Patients were randomized to receive DVS 100-400mg (N=1048; 18-39 years [n=451]; 40-55 years [n=457]; >55 [n=140]) or placebo (N=718; 18-39 years [n=306]; 40-55 years [n=310]; >55 [n=102]). The final SDS, WHO-5, and VAS-PI overall pain change from baseline for the total population were significantly greater in the DVS vs the placebo group (P<0.001). Mean differences (adjusted ANCOVA) from placebo in women were: SDS: 18-39: –2.1, 40-55: –2.1, >55: –3.2; WHO-5: 18-39: +1.1, 40-55: +1.8, >55: +3.3; VAS-PI 18-39: –1.4, 40-55: –5.2, >55: –9.1. In men, results were consistent across age groups studied (SDS: 18-39: –2.9, 40-55: –3.4, >55: +2.6; WHO-5: 18-39: +1.5, 40-55: +2.4, >55: –0.3; VAS-PI 18-39: –3.0, 40-55: –7.7, >55: +2.0).
DVS improves functional outcomes and pain symptoms in depressed men and women across the age groups studied.
Although the deviations of brain volume deficits in sporadic and familial first-episode schizophrenia patients (FEP) had been presented, the difference of brain asymmetries remained unidentified.
To assess the potential differences of volumetric asymmetries of gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) between groups.
To find out the different injury alteration of sporadic FEP and familial FEP.
42 sporadic and 30 familiar drug-naïve FEP with and 72 matched normal controls (NC) were recruited. Participants were assessed with neuropsychological tests and scanned by a 3.0T MRI to obtain T1-weighted and DTI images. Lateralization distribution maps of GM and WM volume were generated by employing optimized voxel-based morphometry. The asymmetries were analyzed by comparing calculating Laterality Index (LI) voxel by voxel.
All three groups showed similar overall brain torque. Familiar FEP have more regional extensive GM asymmetry brain lesions compared to sporadic FEP. There was no shared regional lesion between two groups. LIGM and LIWM in right superior temporal were negatively correlated. Significant negative correlations were also found between LIGM of left superior parietal lobule and LIWM of right superior parietal lobule, and between LIGM of right inferior parietal lobule and LIWM of left inferior parietal lobule. The asymmetry in distinct brain regions were related to cognitive deficits especially in the domains of language and memory.
The two patient groups had different alteration in injuries of brain asymmetry. Familiar FEP has more GM extensive asymmetry brain region, which may correlate with their high genetic burdens.
Finding the prediction factors for the risks of post-stroke depression (PSD) is important to stroke survivors. However, most existing studies focused only on general clinical data, which limited the predictive ability. To improve the predictive ability, this study proposed a comprehensive PSD risk prediction model with social psychological factors, neurological, cognitive functional factors and general clinical factors.
The study recruited 188 stroke patients. Patients were diagnosed by DSM-IV criteria. Predictors were collected within a week after stroke. Boosted regression trees (BRT) was used to classify these predictors, and then a predictive model was constructed based on the selected predictors. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to determine the performance of the predictive model .
The risk prediction model was constructed with 6 factors: Body Mass Index (BMI), cerebral infraction history (CI), Social Support Rating Scale (SSRS), Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Neuroticism (EPQ-N), factor 1 of the 20 items Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-F1) and Snaith-Hamilton-Pleasure Scale (SHARPS). In the contribution of risk prediction factors, social psychological factors was more than 0.60. ROC curve of prediction model was 0.826 (p<0.001; 95% CI) and the accuracy of prediction was 0.81 (p<0.001). Transforming the prediction model to a tree diagram, it was convenient to clinic operation.
A PSD risk prediction model with good prediction performance was constructed to achieve diagnose concisely and clearly. The social psychological factors play an important role for diagnosing PSD in the early period.
The fatty acid composition of chicken’s meat is largely influenced by dietary lipids, which are often used as supplements to increase dietary caloric density. The underlying key metabolites and pathways influenced by dietary oils remain poorly known in chickens. The objective of this study was to explore the underlying metabolic mechanisms of how diets supplemented with mixed or a single oil with distinct fatty acid composition influence the fatty acid profile in breast muscle of Qingyuan chickens. Birds were fed a corn-soybean meal diet supplemented with either soybean oil (control, CON) or equal amounts of mixed edible oils (MEO; soybean oil : lard : fish oil : coconut oil = 1 : 1 : 0.5 : 0.5) from 1 to 120 days of age. Growth performance and fatty acid composition of muscle lipids were analysed. LC-MS was applied to investigate the effects of CON v. MEO diets on lipid-related metabolites in the muscle of chickens at day 120. Compared with the CON diet, chickens fed the MEO diet had a lower feed conversion ratio (P < 0.05), higher proportions of lauric acid (C12:0), myristic acid (C14:0), palmitoleic acid (C16:1n-7), oleic acid (C18:1n-9), EPA (C20:5n-3) and DHA (C22:6n-3), and a lower linoleic acid (C18:2n-6) content in breast muscle (P < 0.05). Muscle metabolome profiling showed that the most differentially abundant metabolites are phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholines (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamines (PE), which enriched the glycerophospholipid metabolism (P < 0.05). These key differentially abundant metabolites – PC (14:0/20:4), PC (18:1/14:1), PC (18:0/14:1), PC (18:0/18:4), PC (20:0/18:4), PE (22:0/P-16:0), PE (24:0/20:5), PE (22:2/P-18:1), PE (24:0/18:4) – were closely associated with the contents of C12:0, C14:0, DHA and C18:2n-6 in muscle lipids (P < 0.05). The content of glutathione metabolite was higher with MEO than CON diet (P < 0.05). Based on these results, it can be concluded that the diet supplemented with MEO reduced the feed conversion ratio, enriched the content of n-3 fatty acids and modified the related metabolites (including PC, PE and glutathione) in breast muscle of chickens.
The sense of bitter taste is critical for chickens to acquire and select feeds. It is important to understand the roles and mechanisms of bitter taste transduction in chickens. Denatonium is extensively used as a bitter taste receptor agonist to activate bitter taste receptors in recent studies. The objective of this study was to investigate the physiological effects and the potential molecular mechanisms of dietary exposure to a strong bitter taste receptor agonist on the jejunal epithelial cells of yellow-feathered chickens. A total of 240 yellow-feathered chickens were divided into four treatments receiving a normal diet (Control), a low-dose denatonium treatment (Control + 5 mg/kg denatonium), a middle-dose denatonium treatment (Control + 20 mg/kg denatonium) and a high-dose denatonium treatment (Control + 100 mg/kg denatonium) for 56 days, respectively. The results showed that dietary denatonium reduced (P < 0.05) the growth performance of chickens. High-dose denatonium damaged the morphology of the jejunal epithelium and decreased (P < 0.05) the activities of Ca2+-ATPase, sucrase and maltase after 56 days of exposure. Meanwhile, high-dose denatonium increased (P < 0.05) mRNA expressions of bitter taste receptors, which resulted in enhanced apoptosis in jejunal epithelial cells after 56 days of exposure. Furthermore, middle-dose and high-dose denatonium exhibited increased (P < 0.05) mRNA level of claudin 2 and decreased (P < 0.05) mRNA level of occludin after 28 days of exposure. Only high-dose denatonium decreased (P < 0.05) mRNA level of occludin after 56 days of exposure. In conclusion, denatonium manifested deleterious effects on the jejunum of chickens in a dose–effect manner via damaging the morphology of the jejunal epithelium, and inducing apoptosis associated with bitter taste receptors. Our data suggest that bitter-tasting feed additives may have side effects on the growth and development of intestines in chickens.
The co-occurrence of hepatic cystic echinococcosis (CE) and alveolar echinococcosis (AE) is extremely rare. Here, we present the clinical manifestations and treatment outcomes of three cases with co-occurring CE and AE in the liver. Computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging and 18FFluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography-CT were used for preoperative diagnosis. Specimens were taken intraoperatively and sent for pathological studies to confirm the coexistence of CE and AE by laminated membrane, daughter cysts or germinal layer and infiltration structure. Albendazole was prescribed after operation for 12 months. All patients were completely recovered and showed no recurrence at last follow-up. Therefore, surgical intervention and postoperative application of albendazole are recommended for patients with concurrence of hepatic AE and CE.
Sodium and chloride are the key factors maintaining normal osmotic pressure (OSM) and volume of the extracellular fluid, and influencing the acid–base balance of body fluids. The experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary Na+ and Cl− level on growth performance, excreta moisture, blood biochemical parameters, intestinal Na+–glucose transporter 1 (SGLT1) messenger RNA (mRNA), and Na+–H+ exchanger 2 (NHE2) mRNA, and to estimate the optimal dietary sodium and chlorine level for yellow-feathered chickens from 22 to 42days. A total of 900 22-day-old Lingnan yellow-feathered male chickens were randomly allotted to five treatments, each of which included six replicates of 30 chickens per floor pen. The basal control diet was based on corn and soybean meal (without added NaCl and NaHCO3). Treatments 2 to 5 consisted of the basal diet supplemented with equal weights of Na+ and Cl−, constituting 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3% and 0.4% of the diets. Supplemental dietary Na+ and Cl− improved the growth performance (P<0.05). Average daily gain (ADG) showed a quadratic broken-line regression to increasing dietary Na+ and Cl− (R2=0.979, P<0.001), and reached a plateau at 0.1%. Supplemental Na+ and Cl− increased (P<0.05) serum Na+ and OSM in serum and showed a quadratic broken-line regression (R2=0.997, P=0.004) at 0.11%. However, supplemental Na+ and Cl− decreased (P<0.05) serum levels of K+, glucose (GLU) and triglyceride. Higher levels of Na+and Cl− decreased duodenal NHE2 transcripts (P<0.05), but had no effect on ileal SGLT1 transcripts. The activity of Na+ /K+-ATPase in the duodenum decreased (P<0.05) with higher levels of dietary Na+ and Cl−. In conclusion, the optimal dietary Na+ and Cl− requirements for yellow-feathered chickens in the grower phase, from 22 to 42 days of age, to optimize ADG, serum Na+, OSM, K+ and GLU were 0.10%, 0.11%, 0.11%,0.17% and 0.16%, respectively, by regression analysis.
Globally, human immune deficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) continues to be a major public health issue. With improved survival, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS is increasing, with over 2 million among pregnant women. Investigating adverse pregnant outcomes of HIV-infected population and associated factors are of great importance to maternal and infant health. A cross-sectional data collected from hospital delivery records of 4397 mother–infant pairs in southwestern China were analysed. Adverse pregnant outcomes (including low birthweight/preterm delivery/low Apgar score) and maternal HIV status and other characteristics were measured. Two hundred thirteen (4.9%) mothers were HIV positive; maternal HIV infection, rural residence and pregnancy history were associated with all three indicators of adverse pregnancy outcomes. This research suggested that maternal population have high prevalence in HIV infection in this region. HIV-infected women had higher risks of experiencing adverse pregnancy outcomes. Rural residence predisposes adverse pregnancy outcomes. Findings of this study suggest social and medical support for maternal-infant care needed in this region, selectively towards rural areas and HIV-positive mothers.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
Vessel flexure can be triggered naturally by surgical operation, heart pulsation and body movement. It may affect the mechanical behavior of the stent and the existence of a stent may in turn cause vessel injury. In the present study, the finite element method is employed to study the interaction between stent and vessel during vessel flexure. Two- and four-link stents made of stainless steel 316L and magnesium alloy WE43 are considered. Results indicate that longitudinal deformation of the stent can be caused by vessel flexure, and the higher levels of stress exist in the link struts. The existence of the stent could induce significant stress concentration and straightened deformation on vessel wall in the course of vessel flexure. Stents with more links or made of harder materials show greater anti-deformation capability, thus inducing a more severe stress concentration and straightened deformation on the vessel wall. The bending direction also affects the mechanical performance of the vessel-stent system. The results obtained could provide useful information for better stent designs and clinical decisions.
To investigate the effects of soybean isoflavone (SI) on immunity in infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV)-infected broilers, chicks were fed the same basal diet supplemented with 0 (non-infected control), 0 (infected control), 10, 20 or 40 mg/kg SI for 44 days. At 21 days old, chickens were inoculated with bursal infectious dose causing 50% morbidity of the IBDV BC 6/85 strain by the eye-drop and nasal route (except for non-infected controls). Results showed that, over 1–23 days post-infection (dpi), there was a significant interaction between SI supplementation level and time: high-level SI supplementation increased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, CD4+ to CD8+ ratio, serum concentrations of IgA, IgM and IgG, and IBDV antibody titres. Except for serum IgA and IgM, these variables increased over time with far higher values at 23 dpi than earlier. Compared with non-infected controls, IBDV inoculation decreased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation at 3 dpi, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes, and serum IgG, IgM concentration at 23 dpi, and increased IBDV antibody titres at 7, 15 and 23 dpi. Supplemental SI quadratically increased peripheral T lymphocyte proliferation, CD4+ to CD8+ ratio and serum IgA concentration at 3 dpi, percentages of CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes at 3 and 23 dpi, and serum IgM concentration and IBDV antibody titres at 23 dpi. These results indicate that dietary SI improved cellular and humoral immunity of IBDV-infected birds and may enhance resistance of Yellow-feathered broilers to infectious diseases.