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We aimed to investigate the association between plasma retinol and incident cancer among Chinese hypertensive adults. We conducted a nested case–control study, including 231 patients with incident cancer and 231 matched controls during a median 4·5-year follow-up of the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial. There was a significant, inverse association between retinol levels and digestive system cancer (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·79; 95 % CI 0·69, 0·91). When compared with participants in the first quartile of retinol (< 52·3 μg/dl), a significantly lower cancer risk was found in participants in quartile 2–4 ( ≥ 52·3 μg/dl: OR 0·31; 95 % CI 0·13, 0·71). However, there was a U-shaped association between retinol levels and non-digestive system cancers where the risk of cancers decreased (although not significantly) with each increment of plasma retinol (per 10 μg/dl increases: OR 0·89; 95 % CI 0·60, 1·31) in participants with retinol < 68·2 μg/dl, and then increased significantly with retinol (per 10 μg/dl increase: OR 1·65; 95 % CI 1·12, 2·44) in participants with retinol ≥ 68·2 μg/dl. In conclusion, there was a significant inverse dose–response association between plasma retinol and the risk of digestive system cancers. However, a U-shaped association was observed between plasma retinol and the risk of non-digestive cancers (with a turning point approximately 68·2 μg/dl).
Energy chirp compensation of the electron bunch (e-bunch) in a laser wakefield accelerator, which is caused by the phase space rotation in the gradient wakefield, has been applied in many schemes for low energy spread e-bunch generation. We report the experimental observation of energy chirp compensation of the e-bunch in a nonlinear laser wakefield accelerator with a negligible beam loading effect. By adjusting the acceleration length using a wedge-roof block, the chirp compensation of the accelerated e-bunch was observed via an electron spectrometer. Apart from this, some significant parameters for the compensation process, such as the longitudinal dispersion and wakefield slope at the bunch position, were also estimated. A detailed comparison between experiment and simulation shows good agreement of the wakefield and bunch parameters. These results give a clear demonstration of the longitudinal characteristics of the wakefield in a plasma and the bunch dynamics, which are important for better control of a compact laser wakefield accelerator.
We sought to examine the potential modifiers in the association between long-term low-dose folic acid supplementation and the reduction of serum total homocysteine (tHcy) among hypertensive patients, using data from the China Stroke Primary Prevention Trial (CSPPT). This analysis included 16 867 participants who had complete data on tHcy measurements at both the baseline and exit visit. After a median treatment period of 4·5 years, folic acid treatment significantly reduced the tHcy levels by 1·6 μmol/l (95 % CI 1·4, 1·8). More importantly, after adjustment for baseline tHcy and other important covariates, a greater degree of tHcy reduction was observed in certain subgroups: males, the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677TT genotype, higher baseline tHcy levels (≥12·5 (median) v. <12·5 μmol/l), lower folate levels (<8·0 (median) v. ≥8·0 ng/ml), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 ml/min per 1·73 m2 (v. 60–<90 and ≥90 ml/min per 1·73 m2), ever smokers and concomitant use of diuretics (P for all interactions <0·05). The degree of tHcy reduction associated with long-term folic acid supplementation can be significantly affected by sex, MTHFR C677T genotypes, baseline folate, tHcy, eGFR levels and smoking status.
Evidence on the association between maternal Hb concentration and preterm birth (PTB) risk is inconclusive. This paper aimed to explore whether women with anaemia or high Hb level before pregnancy would be at higher risk of PTB. We conducted a population-based cohort study with 2 722 274 women aged 20–49 years, who participated in National Free Pre-Pregnancy Checkups Project between 2013 and 2015 and delivered a singleton before 2016 in rural China. Logistic models were used to estimate OR and 95 % CI after adjusting for confounding variables. Restricted cubic spline models were applied to evaluate the dose–response relationships. A total of 192 819 (7·08 %) women had preterm deliveries. Compared with women with Hb of 110–149 g/l, the multivariable-adjusted OR for PTB was 1·19 (95 % CI 0·98, 1·44) for women with Hb<70 g/l, 1·01 (95 % CI 0·97, 1·03) for 70–99 g/l, 0·96 (95 % CI 0·95, 0·98) for 100–109 g/l, 1·04 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·06) for 150–159 g/l, 1·11 (95 % CI 1·05, 1·17) for 160–169 g/l and 1·19 (95 % CI 1·11, 1·27) for ≥170 g/l, respectively. The multivariable-adjusted OR for very PTB (VPTB) was 1·07 (95 % CI 1·03, 1·12) and 1·06 (95 % CI 1·01, 1·12) for women with Hb <110 and ≥150 g/l, compared with those with Hb of 110–149 g/l, respectively. Our study identified a U-shaped relationship between maternal preconception Hb concentration and PTB risk. Both preconception anaemia and high Hb level can significantly increase VPTB risk. Appropriate intervention for women with abnormal Hb levels before pregnancy is very necessary.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the joint associations of dietary pattern and television viewing with risk factors of CVD among urban adults in China. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among urban adults in Nanjing, China. Five dietary patterns were identified based on a FFQ. Television time was obtained from a standard questionnaire and further classified into two categories (≤7, >7 h/week). Multiple logistic regression was used to calculate the OR and 95 % CI for the separate and joint associations of dietary patterns and television viewing with CVD risk factors. Compared with other dietary patterns, participants who followed the healthy traditional pattern had a lower likelihood of abdominal obesity (AO) (OR 0·52; 95 % CI 0·41, 0·67). Participants watching television no more than 7 h/week presented a 19 and 21 % lower likelihood for hypertension (HT) and elevated total cholesterol (ETC) than those with television time >7 h/week. Individuals who had less television time and a healthy dietary pattern had a lower OR for the presence of AO (OR 0·48; 95 % CI 0·36, 0·65), HT (OR 0·71; 95 % CI 0·66, 0·77), ETC (OR 0·72; 95 % CI 0·57, 0·91) and elevated TAG (OR 0·76; 95 % CI 0·61, 0·95), compared with those who followed other dietary patterns and television time >7 h/week. In conclusion, both healthy traditional pattern and less television time are jointly associated with reduced levels of CVD risk factors. It has important public health implications regarding the precision prevention of CVD at population level.
Knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of the population regarding severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in endemic areas of Lu'an in China were assessed before and after an intervention programme. The pre-intervention phase was conducted using a sample of 425 participants from the 12 selected villages with the highest rates of endemic SFTS infection. A predesigned interview questionnaire was used to assess KAP. Subsequently, an intervention programme was designed and applied in the selected villages. KAP was re-assessed for each population in the selected villages using the same interview questionnaire. Following 2 months of the programme, 339 participants had completed the re-assessed survey. The impact of the intervention programme was evaluated using suitable statistical methods. A significant increase in the KAP and total KAP scores was noted following the intervention programme, whereas the proportion of correct knowledge, the positive attitudes and the effective practices toward SFTS of respondents increased significantly. The intervention programme was effective in improving KAP level of SFTS in populations that were resident in endemic areas.
This study aimed to investigate the effects of dietary live yeast (LY) supplementation on growth, intestinal permeability and immunological parameters of piglets challenged with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88 (ETEC). Piglets weaned at 21 d were allocated into three treatments with six pens and six piglets per pen, receiving the control diet (CON), diets supplemented with antibiotics plus zinc oxide (ANT–ZnO) and LY (Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain CNCM I-4407), respectively, for a period of 2 weeks. On day 8, thirty-six piglets were selected as control without ETEC (CON), CON–ETEC, ANT–ZnO–ETEC and LY–ETEC groups challenged with ETEC until day 10 for sample collections. Piglets fed ANT–ZnO diet had the highest average daily gain and average daily feed intake (P<0·05) during the 1st week, but ADG of piglets fed the ANT–ZnO diet was similar as piglets fed LY diet during the second week. Piglets with LY–ETEC or ANT–ZnO–ETEC had markedly lower diarrhoea score (P<0·05) than piglets with CON–ETEC during the 24 h after ETEC challenge. Relative to piglets with CON, the counts of E. coli, urinary ratio of lactulose to mannitol, plasma IL-6 concentration, mRNA abundances of innate immunity-related genes in ileum and mesenteric lymph node tissues were increased (P<0·05), whereas the villous height of jejunum and relative protein expression of ileum claudin-1 were decreased (P<0·05) in piglets with CON–ETEC; however, these parameters did not markedly change in piglets with LY–ETEC or ANT–ZnO–ETEC. In summary, dietary LY supplementation could alleviate the severity of diarrhoea in piglets with ETEC, which may be associated with the improved permeability, innate immunity and bacterial profile.
In 1997, three ice cores were recovered from Dasuopu glacier on the northern slope of the central Himalaya. the first core, 159.9 m long, was drilled at 7000ma.s.l. down the flowline from the top of the col. the second core, 149.2m long, was drilled on the col at 7200ma.s.l. the third core, 167.7 m long, was also drilled on the col at 7200ma.s.l., 100 maway from the second core. the present paper discusses the δ18O and methane results reconstructed for the past 1000 years based on the second core. the δ18O can be interpreted as an air-temperature signal. the methane concentration is mainly representative of atmospheric methane concentration. Both δ18O and methane records show an obvious increasing trend in the past 1000 years. Methane concentration in the record is similar to the fluctuations of δ18O, decreasing during cold periods and increasing during warm periods. the Little Ice Age was well recorded in the core by both δ18O and methane. the coldest period appeared in the late 18th century, accompanied by a decrease in methane concentration. the abrupt methane-concentration increase starting after the 18th century is no doubt due to anthropogenic input. the observed methane-concentration decrease during World Wars I and II clearly demonstrates the importance of the anthropogenic input to atmospheric methane concentration if further measurements prove that it is a true atmospheric signal.
In order to apportion the dust sources of mountain glaciers in western China, the Sr-Nd isotopic compositions of insoluble particles were determined in snow samples collected from 13 sites. The combined plot of 87Sr/86Sr and εNd(0) demonstrates a distinctive geographic pattern over western China, which can be classified into three regions from north to south. Samples from the Altai mountains show the lowest 87Sr/86Sr ratio and the highest εNd(0) value, similar to the data of deserts in the north of China such as the Gurbantunggut desert. Samples from the southern Tibetan Plateau (TP) and Himalaya show the highest 87Sr/86Sr and lowest εNd(0) values, resembling the local and regional dust sources found in the southern TP and Himalaya-India region. Samples from the Tien Shan and northern Tibetan Plateau exhibit intermediate 87Sr/86Sr and εNd(0) values, similar to the data reported for the northern margin of the TP (NM_TP). However, three sampling sites, JMYZ (Jiemayangzong) located in the Himalaya and ZD (Zadang) and YL (Yulong) located in the southeast TP, presented distinctive Sr-Nd isotopic signatures typical of the NM_TP, suggesting potential long-range and high-altitude dust transport across the TP.
Glacier surface melting can be described using energy-balance models. We conducted a surface energy budget experiment to quantify surface energy fluxes and to identify factors affecting glacial melt in the ablation zone of Laohugou glacier No. 12, western Qilian mountains. The surface energy budget was calculated based on data from an automatic weather station, and turbulent fluxes calculated using the bulk-aerodynamic approach were corrected using measurements from an eddy-covariance system. Simulated mass balances were validated by stake observations. Net shortwave radiation was the primary component of the surface energy balance (126Wm–2), followed by sensible heat flux. Net longwave radiation (–45Wm–2) and latent heat flux (–12.8 Wm–2) represented heat sinks. The bulk-aerodynamic method underestimated sensible and latent heat fluxes by 3.4 and 1.2 W m–2, respectively. The simulated total mass balance of –1703mmw.e. exceeded the observed total by 90 mm w.e. Daily positive accumulated temperature and low albedo were the main factors accelerating glacier melt. An uncertainty assessment showed that mass balance was very sensitive to albedo and varied by 36% when albedo changed by 0.1.
Spark plasma sintering (SPS) is adopted to fabricate transparent AlON ceramics at 1350–1500 °C under 40 MPa, using a bimodal γ-AlON powder synthesized by the carbothermal reduction and nitridation method. After holding 10 min, high density samples are obtained, and their optical transmittance is investigated over the wavelength range of 1330–6000 nm. Despite the samples SPS-processed at 1350 °C indicate the presence of three-phases: γ-AlON, α-Al2O3, and h-AlN, they show high infrared transparency, i.e., the maximum transmittance for 1.2 mm thick specimens is up to 77.3% at ∼3900 nm. Also, the processed samples exhibit high hardness of 17.81 GPa. The high infrared transmittance should be mainly attributed to high density and rationally controlled grain size distribution, and the high hardness is apparently caused by a small grain size.
The discovery of the ancient city of Loulan in Xinjiang, China, at the beginning of the 20th century was of great significance for understanding the evolution of culture and civilization in Inner Asia. However, due to the lack of systematic chronological studies, the history of this ancient city remains unclear, particularly the date of its construction and abandonment. Here, we present the results of the first systematic radiocarbon (14C) dating carried out on artifacts from ancient Loulan. Our results show that human activity began as early as 350 cal BC, flourished during the interval from the 1st to 4th centuries AD, and completely disappeared around 600 AD. Most of the buildings in the city were constructed during the Eastern Han Dynasty rather than in Wei/Jin Dynasty, as previously indicated by excavated documents and letters (Hedin 1898; Xiao 2006). The development and flourishing of Loulan coincided with the interval of high ice accumulation and meltwater supply from surrounding mountains. The city began to decline and was finally abandoned following an abrupt decrease in ice accumulation and meltwater supply (Yao et al. 1996; Lauterbach et al. 2014), suggesting that natural climate change was the major factor responsible for the abandonment of Loulan.
Henan was the site of development for several ancient cultures during the Holocene. In this study, black carbon (BC) in the Holocene sediment is compared with known climatic changes and cultural events to provide information concerning the link between fire, climatic changes, and human activity in Xiangcheng. Prior to 8000 cal yr BP, the occurrence of fires was low under cold and dry climatic conditions. The BC content in 8000–1000calyrBP indicates a gradual increase in fire, with two peak values at 7500calyrBP and 3500 cal yr BP. The first peak correlates to the development of the Peiligang culture, and the second peak correlates to the development of wet and warm climate conditions along with the appearance of the Xia–Shang dynasties. Increases in fire activity could therefore be attributed to climate change and the development of human civilization in the region. Another sharp increase in fires around 1000calyrBP was consistent with a sharp increase in population during the Tang dynasty.
As a disconnection syndrome, schizophrenia has shown impaired resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC); however, the OFC is a rather heterogeneous region and the rsFC changes in the OFC subregions remain unknown.
A total of 98 schizophrenia patients and 102 healthy controls underwent resting-state functional MRI using a sensitivity-encoded spiral-in imaging sequence (SENSE-SPIRAL) to reduce susceptibility-induced signal loss and distortion. The OFC subregions were defined according to a previous parcellation study that divided the OFC into the anterior (OFCa), medial (OFCm), posterior (OFCp), intermediate (OFCi), and lateral (OFCl) subregions. The rsFC was compared using two-way repeated-measures ANOVA.
Whether or not global signal regression, compared with healthy controls, schizophrenia patients consistently exhibited decreased rsFC between the left OFCi and the left middle temporal gyrus and the right middle frontal gyrus (MFG), between the right OFCi and the right MFG and the left inferior frontal gyrus, between the right OFCm and the middle cingulate cortex and the left Rolandic operculum. These rsFC changes still remained significant even after cortical atrophy correction.
These findings suggest a selective functional disconnection of the OFC subregions in schizophrenia, and provide more precise information about the functional disconnections of the OFC in this disorder.
Previous studies have thoroughly investigated the prevalence and risk factors for completed suicide. In marked contrast is the lack of a better understanding of attempted suicide in the elderly. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly and examine the associated factors.
Using a multi-stage cluster sampling approach, a cross-sectional survey of 8,399 elderly house-dwelling residents was conducted in Shanghai, China.
The two-week prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly was 0.75%. In the bivariate analysis, having no caregivers, depressive, anxiety, sad, fear, obsessive-compulsive and anger symptom, and lower scores on the Barthel Index of Activities of Daily Living and the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale were significantly associated with an increased risk of attempted suicide in the elderly. In the multivariate analysis, sad and fear symptoms were significantly and independently associated with a higher risk of attempted suicide in the elderly.
The two-week prevalence of attempted suicide in the elderly is relatively high when compared with the annualized or lifetime prevalence reported in China and foreign settings. Elderly individuals with certain mental symptoms should be targeted for suicide prevention and provided with timely mental health support.
At the end of 2013, China reported a countrywide outbreak of measles. From January to May 2014, we investigated the clinical and immunological features of the cases of the outbreak admitted to our hospital. In this study, all 112 inpatients with clinically diagnosed measles were recruited from the 302 Military Hospital of China. The virus was isolated from throat swabs from these patients, and cytokine profiles were examined. By detecting the measles virus of 30 of the 112 patients, we found that this measles outbreak was of the H1 genotype, which is the major strain in China. The rates of complications, specifically pneumonia and liver injury, differed significantly in patients aged <8 months, 8 months to 18 years, and >18 years: pneumonia was more common in children, while liver injury was more common in adults. Pneumonia was a significant independent risk factor affecting measles duration. Compared to healthy subjects, measles patients had fewer CD4+IL-17+, CD4+IFN-γ+, and CD8+IFN-γ+ cells in both the acute and recovery phases. In contrast, measles patients in the acute phase had more CD8+IL-22+ cells than those in recovery or healthy subjects. We recommend that future studies focus on the age-related distribution of pneumonia and liver injury as measles-related complications as well as the association between immunological markers and measles prognosis.
Owing to the difficulty in obtaining mammary gland tissue from lactating animals, it is difficult to test the expression levels of genes in mammary gland. The aim of the current study was to identify if milk fat globule (MFG) in buffalo milk was an alternative to mammary gland (MG) and milk somatic cell (MSC) for gene expression analysis. Six buffalos in late lactation were selected to collect MFG and MSC, and then MG was obtained by surgery. MFG was stained with acridine orange to successfully visualise RNA and several cytoplasmic crescents in MFG. The total RNA in MFG was successfully isolated and the integrity was assessed by agarose gel electrophoresis. We analysed the cellular components in MFG, MG and MSC through testing the expression of cell-specific genes by qRT-PCR. The results showed that adipocyte-specific gene (AdipoQ) and leucocyte-specific genes (CD43, CSF1 and IL1α) in MFG were not detected, whereas epithelial cell marker genes (Keratin 8 and Keratin 18) in MFG were higher than in MSC and lower than in MG, fibroblast marker gene (vimentin) in MFG was significantly lower than in MG and MSC, milk protein genes (LALBA, BLG and CSN2) and milk fat synthesis-related genes (ACC, BTN1A1, FABP3 and FAS) in MFG were higher than in MG and MSC. In conclusion, the total RNA in MFG mainly derives from mammary epithelial cells and can be used to study the functional gene expression of mammary epithelial cells.
Legionnaires’ disease (LD) is a globally distributed systemic infectious disease. The burden of LD in many regions is still unclear, especially in Asian countries including China. A survey of Legionella infection using real-time PCR and nested sequence-based typing (SBT) was performed in two hospitals in Shanghai, China. A total of 265 bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) specimens were collected from hospital A between January 2012 and December 2013, and 359 sputum specimens were collected from hospital B throughout 2012. A total of 71 specimens were positive for Legionella according to real-time PCR focusing on the 5S rRNA gene. Seventy of these specimens were identified as Legionella pneumophila as a result of real-time PCR amplification of the dotA gene. Results of nested SBT revealed high genetic polymorphism in these L. pneumophila and ST1 was the predominant sequence type. These data revealed that the burden of LD in China is much greater than that recognized previously, and real-time PCR may be a suitable monitoring technology for LD in large sample surveys in regions lacking the economic and technical resources to perform other methods, such as urinary antigen tests and culture methods.
In this paper, a DG (Discontinuous Galerkin) method which has been widely employed in CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) is used to solve the two-dimensional time-domain Maxwell’s equations for complex geometries on unstructured mesh. The element interfaces on solid boundary are treated in both curved way and straight way. Numerical tests are performed for both benchmark problems and complex cases with varying orders on a series of grids, where the high-order convergence in accuracy can be observed. Both the curved and the straight solid boundary implementation can give accurate RCS (Radar Cross-Section) results with sufficiently small mesh size, but the curved solid boundary implementation can significantly improve the accuracy when using relatively large mesh size. More importantly, this CFD-based high-order DG method for the Maxwell’s equations is very suitable for complex geometries.