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Early replacement of a new central venous catheter (CVC) may pose a risk of persistent or recurrent infection in patients with a catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI). We evaluated the clinical impact of early CVC reinsertion after catheter removal in patients with CRBSIs.
We conducted a retrospective chart review of adult patients with confirmed CRBSIs in 2 tertiary-care hospitals over a 7-year period.
To treat their infections, 316 patients with CRBSIs underwent CVC removal. Among them, 130 (41.1%) underwent early CVC reinsertion (≤3 days after CVC removal), 39 (12.4%) underwent delayed reinsertion (>3 days), and 147 (46.5%) did not undergo CVC reinsertion. There were no differences in baseline characteristics among the 3 groups, except for nontunneled CVC, presence of septic shock, and reason for CVC reinsertion. The rate of persistent CRBSI in the early CVC reinsertion group (22.3%) was higher than that in the no CVC reinsertion group (7.5%; P = .002) but was similar to that in the delayed CVC reinsertion group (17.9%; P > .99). The other clinical outcomes did not differ among the 3 groups, including rates of 30-day mortality, complicated infection, and recurrence. After controlling for several confounding factors, early CVC reinsertion was not significantly associated with persistent CRBSI (OR, 1.59; P = .35) or 30-day mortality compared with delayed CVC reinsertion (OR, 0.81; P = .68).
Early CVC reinsertion in the setting of CRBSI may be safe. Replacement of a new CVC should not be delayed in patients who still require a CVC for ongoing management.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an important public health concern because of the high mortality rate of young people and a high proportion among the trauma. According to studies, patients visiting the emergency department (ED) with TBI comprise 1.4% of all ED patients.
The authors think that the characteristics of patients with TBI will vary according to the age group. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the clinical and social characteristics of patients with TBI visiting the ED by age group.
Trauma patients who conducted brain CT at the ED of Korean University Hospital (three hospitals) for 3 years from March 2013 to February 2016 were enrolled. Medical records were investigated retrospectively. The GCS scores were estimated at initial ED arrival. The primary outcome was to determine the characteristics of each age groups with gender, severity (by GSC score), trauma mechanism, and admission rate.
A total of 15,567 TBI patients received brain CT evaluation during the investigation period. Based on age, patients in their 50s were the most common (16.5%). Regarding the severity, the ratio of mild was higher in under patients under 9 (99.3%); the ratio of severe was higher for patients in their 20s (4.6%). In almost every age group, the male ratio of TBI was higher, except for females aged 70 or older. Under 19 years of age, the ambulance utilization rate was lower than any other age group. The most common injury mechanism was a collision, the next was a traffic accident, and in under 9, a fall was the most common. 70.1% of patients returned home after treatments.
Identifying the characteristics of patients with TBI visiting ED is fundamental. Therefore, it is necessary to continuously collect basic data on TBI among patients visiting the ED.
Periodontitis, or conventionally “Gum Disease,” is the infection and inflammation of gingival tissue, and is currently the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. One of the most effective treatments of periodontitis is guided bone regeneration (GBR); however, current GBR barrier membranes lack high biocompatibility and cell impermeability. The authors of this study evaluated the in vitro viability of previously synthesized Gelatin-Pluronic® F127 hybrid hydrogels as potential GBR barrier membranes through a novel three-partition test involving migration of fluorescent-dyed human dermal fibroblasts. Results showed that cells were unable to migrate across the Gelatin-Pluronic® F127 hybrid hydrogel barrier, whereas control setups with gelatin hydrogel barriers showed cell permeability. In addition, cytotoxicity tests were conducted with fibroblasts plated in both cell mediums that had been incubated while in contact hybrid gels and cell mediums suspended on the surface of hybrid gels during swelling procedures. Fluorescence cell plate readings showed similar cell viability across data from both tests, indicating that Gelatin-Pluronic® F127 hybrid hydrogels are not toxic to cells, and thus biocompatible.
Firefighters are routinely exposed to various traumatic events and often experience a range of trauma-related symptoms. Although these repeated traumatic exposures rarely progress to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder, firefighters are still considered to be a vulnerable population with regard to trauma.
To investigate how the human brain responds to or compensates for the repeated experience of traumatic stress.
We included 98 healthy firefighters with repeated traumatic experiences but without any diagnosis of mental illness and 98 non-firefighter healthy individuals without any history of trauma. Functional connectivity within the fear circuitry, which consists of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, insula, amygdala, hippocampus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), was examined using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Trauma-related symptoms were evaluated using the Impact of Event Scale – Revised.
The firefighter group had greater functional connectivity between the insula and several regions of the fear circuitry including the bilateral amygdalae, bilateral hippocampi and vmPFC as compared with healthy individuals. In the firefighter group, stronger insula–amygdala connectivity was associated with greater severity of trauma-related symptoms (β = 0.36, P = 0.005), whereas higher insula–vmPFC connectivity was related to milder symptoms in response to repeated trauma (β = −0.28, P = 0.01).
The current findings suggest an active involvement of insular functional connectivity in response to repeated traumatic stress. Functional connectivity of the insula in relation to the amygdala and vmPFC may be potential pathways that underlie the risk for and resilience to repeated traumatic stress, respectively.
The study of extremely metal-poor (EMP; [Fe/H] <−3.0) and ultra metal-poor (UMP; [Fe/H] <−4.0) stars is crucial for better understanding first-star nucleosynthesis and constraining the initial mass function in the early Universe. However, UMP stars discovered in the past 25 years only number ~25. A few recent theoretical studies have pointed out that there is likely to exist large numbers of EMP and UMP stars in the periphery of the Galactic halo, at distances exceeding 30-50 kpc. We present identifications of several new EMP/UMP stars and introduce a survey to expedite discovering hundreds to thousands of EMP/UMP stars in the outermost halo (as well as in the local volume) over the next few years, which could revolutionize chemical-evolution studies of the Galaxy.
There is growing evidence that, among the various subclasses of carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP) stars, the outer halo of the Milky Way exhibits a higher frequency of CEMP-no stars (those having no over-abundances of heavy neutron-capture elements) compared with the CEMP-s stars (those with over-enhancements of the s-process elements), while the inner halo shows a higher frequency of CEMP-s stars. We map out fractions of CEMP-no and CEMP-s stars in the inner- and outer-halo populations, separated by their spatial distribution of carbonicity ([C/Fe]), a so-called “carbonicity map”, based on a sample of over 100,000 main-sequence turnoff stars with available spectroscopy from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The CEMP-no and CEMP-s objects are classified by different levels of absolute carbon abundances for our sample, A(C). We also present kinematic and orbital characteristics of these subclasses for each population. The contrast appearing in these characteristics provides critical constraints on the assembly history of the two primary stellar components of the Galactic halo.
We present the derived kinematic characteristics of low-α thin-disk and high-α thick-disk stars in the Milky Way, investigated with a sample of about 32,000 G- and K-type dwarfs from the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (SEGUE). Based on the level of α-element enhancement as a function of [Fe/H], we separate our sample into thin- and thick-disk stars and then derive mean velocities, velocity dispersions, and velocity gradients for the U, V, and W velocity components, respectively, as well as the orbital eccentricity distribution. There are notable gradients in the V velocity over [Fe/H] in both populations: −23 km s−1 dex−1 for the thin disk and +44 km s−1 dex−1 for the thick disk. The velocity dispersion of the thick disk decreases with increasing [Fe/H], while the velocity dispersion gradient over [Fe/H] for the thin disk is almost flat for all velocity components, except for the W velocity dispersion of the metal-poor thin-disk stars. The eccentricity distribution exhibits a peak at a higher value, and is more symmetric as [α/Fe] increases, implying that complex formation mechanisms may be involved. Our results can be used to constrain several proposed disk-formation scenarios of the Milky Way and other large spirals.
To trace past changes in flooding frequency, we investigated fluvial sediments in the middle reach of the Nakdong River, South Korea. Sediments with larger grain size, lower total organic carbon percentage, and depleted δ13C values in the recovered sediment cores were interpreted as periods of more frequent flooding. Patterns of decreased long-term flooding frequency and vegetation changes during the early to late Holocene were similar to the decreasing regional summer monsoon intensity. Multicentennial frequent flooding periods in the study area (2900–3400 cal yr BP, 3600–3900 cal yr BP, 4600–5300 cal yr BP, and 5800–6400 cal yr BP) corresponded to stronger El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) activity periods. Based on previous studies showing that high-frequency tropical typhoon-driven coastal inundation along the western coast of Japan during the middle to late Holocene was coupled with stronger ENSO activity, it is likely that the observed centennial-to-millennial-scale flood frequency change in South Korea was influenced mainly by changes in the genesis and tracks of tropical typhoons at centennial-to-millennial time scales. This suggests that the centennial-to-millennial-scale hydrologic changes in East Asia were linked to the remote atmospheric-oceanic circulation changes represented by an ENSO-like pattern.
To evaluate the appropriateness of the screening strategy for healthcare personnel (HCP) during a hospital-associated Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak, we performed a serologic investigation in 189 rRT-PCR–negative HCP exposed and assigned to MERS patients. Although 20%–25% of HCP experienced MERS-like symptoms, none of them showed seroconversion by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT).
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.
Existing literature suggests that mental health literacy is positively associated with mental health services utilization. Despite an aging population that faces significant mental health concerns in Korea, the role of mental health literacy on mental health services utilization is not known among older adults in Korea. This study aimed to (1) identify whether mental health literacy mediates the association between population characteristics and mental health services utilization and (2) identify an optimal path model for mental health services utilization among Korean older adults.
Using a cross-sectional survey with a quota sampling strategy, we collected and analyzed responses from 596 community-dwelling individuals ages 65 years and older. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to estimate the effect of mental health literacy as a mediator.
When controlling for other relevant covariates in the optimal path model, mental health literacy mediated the relationships between three socio-demographic factors (education, general literacy, and health status) and mental health services utilization. The model fit index shows that the SEM fits very well (CFI = 0.92, NFI = 0.90, RMSEA = 0.07).
Efforts to improve mental health literacy through community-based education programs may need to particularly target Korean older adults with the relevant socio-demographic characteristics to enhance their utilization of appropriate mental health services.
Among domesticated traits, pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) caused by the early breakage of dormancy leads to severe economic losses. Therefore, regulating PHS is important for cereal crop improvement against changes in climate. In this study, we surveyed naturally occurring variations in seed germination in diverse rice germplasm for the available resources of this trait, and investigated the changes of abscisic acid (ABA) levels during grain development by the distinguished PHS-resistant groups. We discovered wide variations in germination among the 205 rice accessions examined and found that 90 accessions are resistant (germination <20%) to PHS. Tropical and subtropical accessions, which are subjected to long wet periods, are more resistant to PHS than the other accessions. We detected an increase in germination of detached seeds from the panicle compared with intact seeds in panicle at harvesting time. This might be attributed to a weakening of the mechanical barrier that prevents water imbibition and radical emergence. ABA levels were maximal at 10 d after flowering and decreased thereafter. Interestingly, PHS-susceptible accessions maintained higher or similar ABA levels compared with PHS-resistant accessions, suggesting that the key factors for seed dormancy and its breakage are ABA perception and signal transduction rather than total ABA content. The diversity of germination ability detected in this study could be sustainably used for crop improvement and to help unveil the genetic and physiological basis of this quantitative trait.
Large surveys and follow-up spectroscopic studies in the past few decades have been providing chemical abundance data for a growing number of very metal-poor ([Fe/H] <−2) stars. Most of them are red giants or main-sequence turn-off stars having masses near 0.8 solar masses. Lower mass stars with extremely low metallicity ([Fe/H] <−3) are yet to be explored. Our high-resolution spectroscopic study for very metal-poor stars found with SDSS has identified four cool main-sequence stars with [Fe/H] <−2.5 among 137 objects (Aoki et al. 2013). The effective temperatures of these stars are 4500–5000 K, corresponding to a mass of around 0.5 solar masses. Our standard analysis of the high-resolution spectra based on 1D-LTE model atmospheres has obtained self-consistent chemical abundances for these objects, assuming small values of micro-turbulent velocities compared with giants and turn-off stars. The low temperature of the atmospheres of these objects enables us to measure their detailed chemical abundances. Interestingly, two of the four stars have extreme chemical-abundance patterns: one has the largest excesses of heavy neutron-capture elements associated with the r-process abundance pattern known to date (Aoki et al. 2010), and the other exhibits low abundances of the α-elements and odd-Z elements, suggested to be signatures of the yields of very massive stars (> 100 solar masses; Aoki et al. 2014). Although the sample size is still small, these results indicate the potential of very low-mass stars as probes to study the early stages of the Milky Way's halo formation.
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
To trace the surficial responses of lowlands to past climate change, we investigated δ13C in total organic carbon (TOC), C/N ratios, magnetic susceptibility (MS), and silicon (Si) intensity (directly proportional to concentration) in wetland sediments collected from the Gimpo area of central Korea, covering 6600–4600 cal yr BP. Two organic layers with high TOC%, negatively depleted δ13CTOC values (− 27 to − 29‰), low MS values, and low Si intensities were found at 6200–5900 and 5200–4800 cal yr BP, respectively. These middle Holocene wet periods corresponded to relatively intensified summer monsoon and solar activity periods. The intervening dry period (5900–5200 cal yr BP) with high MS, high Si, and low TOC% corresponded to an intensified dust-activity interval and stronger winter monsoon. This multi-centennial climatic fluctuation of wet periods (6200–5900 cal yr BP and 5200–4800 cal yr BP) and an intervening dry period (5900–5200 cal yr BP) in central Korea was more synchronous with climate change in the arid inner part of China than with that in South China, suggesting possible strong high-latitude-driven climatic influences (e.g., North Atlantic cooling events) during the middle Holocene.
We report on the formation of highly flexible and transparent TiO2/Ag/ITO multilayer films deposited on polyethylene terephthalate substrates. The optical and electrical properties of the multilayer films were investigated as a function of oxide thickness. The transmission window gradually shifted toward lower energies with increasing oxide thickness. The TiO2 (40 nm)/Ag (18 nm)/ITO (40 nm) films gave the transmittance of 93.1% at 560 nm. The relationship between transmittance and oxide thickness was simulated using the scattering matrix method to understand high transmittance. As the oxide thickness increased from 20 to 50 nm, the carrier concentration gradually decreased from 1.08 × 1022 to 6.66 × 1021 cm−3, while the sheet resistance varied from 5.8 to 6.1 Ω/sq. Haacke's figure of merit reached a maximum at 40 nm and then decreased with increasing oxide thickness. The change in resistance for the 60 nm-thick ITO single film rapidly increased with increasing bending cycles, while that of the TiO2/Ag/ITO (40 nm/18 nm/40 nm) film remained virtually unchanged during the bending test.
Caregiver burden is a complex and multidimensional construct. Although previous studies have explored numerous factors associated with caregiver burden, these factors have not been identified with a large population-based sample in a theory-based multidimensional way. This study explores multidimensional determinants associated with family caregiver burden to determine the main contributors of caregiver burden in Alzheimer's disease (AD) using a large community dataset.
A retrospective secondary data analysis was conducted on 1,133 patients with AD and 1,133 primary caregivers who were registered in a metropolitan city dementia center in South Korea. The patient data included socio-demographic and disease profiles. The caregiver data consisted of socio-demographic and caregiving profiles.
The study results identified that dementia-related factors were the most significant factors, representing 25.6% of caregiver burden and were followed by caregiving-related factors explaining caregiver burden significantly. Behavioral problems and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) dependency of the patient, spousal relationship, hours of caregiving, and the number of diseases associated with the caregiver were found to be significant individual variables.
It is vital to develop a service and support program with a greater emphasis on the behavioral problems and IADL deficiency of patients with AD as well as on improving the competence ability of caregivers to deal with such difficulties.
The present study was performed to investigate whether breast-feeding is associated with early pubertal development among children 7–9 years old in Korea.
Children were divided into those who did and did not receive breast-feeding for 6 months or longer in accordance with the recommendations of the WHO. Pubertal status was determined by clinical examination using Tanner staging.
Prospective observational study.
We conducted a follow-up study of children aged 7–9 years in 2011 who had taken part in the Ewha Birth & Growth Cohort study.
Fifty (22·8 %) of the total of 219 children were in early puberty, with the proportion being slightly higher for girls (24·1 %) than boys (21·4 %). Children who had entered early puberty were taller, weighed more and had a higher concentration of insulin-like growth factor 1. Moreover, the change in weight Z-score from birth to follow-up was significantly lower in children who were breast-fed than in those who were not (weight Z-score change: 0·32 (sd 1·59) v. 0·77 (sd 1·61), respectively, P=0·04). Comparison of breast-feeding by puberty status indicated a preventive association with early puberty in children who were breast-fed for 6 months or longer (OR=0·37; 95 % CI 0·18, 0·74). This association remained significant after adjustment for relevant covariates.
These results demonstrate a beneficial association between breast-feeding and early pubertal development, especially in those breast-fed for 6 months or longer. The study suggests that interventions would need to start early in life to prevent early pubertal development.
Thin-film solid-oxide fuel cells (TF-SOFCs) fabricated using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) processing techniques not only help lower the cell operating temperature but also provide a convenient platform for studying cathodic losses. Utilizing these platforms, cathode kinetics can be enhanced dramatically by engineering the microstructure of the cathode/electrolyte interface by increasing the surface grain-boundary density. Nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy studies have shown that oxygen exchange at electrolyte surface grain boundaries is facilitated by a high population of oxide-ion vacancies segregating preferentially to the grain boundaries. Furthermore, three-dimensional structuring of TF-SOFCs enabled by various lithography methods also helps increase the active surface area and enhance the surface exchange reaction. Although their practical prospects are yet to be verified, MEMS-based TF-SOFC platforms hold the potential to provide high-performance for low-temperature SOFC applications.