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Metabolically healthy obesity refers to a subset of obese people with a normal metabolic profile. We aimed to explore the association between metabolically healthy and obesity status and risk of hypertension among Chinese adults from The Rural Chinese Cohort Study. This prospective cohort study enrolled 9137 Chinese adults without hypertension, type 2 diabetes, or treatment for lipid abnormality at baseline (2007-2008) and followed up during 2013-2014. Modified Poisson regression models were used to examine the risk of hypertension by different metabolically healthy and obesity status, estimating relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). During 6 years of follow-up, we identified 1734 new hypertension cases (721 men). After adjusting for age, sex, smoking, and other confounding factors, risk of hypertension was increased with metabolically healthy general obesity (MHGO) defined by body mass index (RR 1.75, 95% CI 1.02–3.00) and metabolically healthy abdominal obesity (MHAO) defined by waist circumference (RR 1.51, 95% CI 1.12–2.04) as compared with metabolically healthy non-obesity. The associations between metabolically healthy and obesity status and hypertension outcome were consistent after stratifying by sex, age, smoking, alcohol drinking, and physical activity. Both MHGO and MHAO were associated with increased risk of hypertension. Obesity control programs should be implemented to prevent or delay the development of hypertension in rural China.
Maternal one-carbon metabolism during pregnancy is crucial for fetal development and programming by DNA methylation. However, evidence on one-carbon biomarkers other than folate is lacking. We, therefore, investigated whether maternal plasma methyl donors, that is, choline, betaine and methionine, are associated with birth outcomes. Blood samples were obtained from 115 women during gestation (median 26·3 weeks, 90 % range 22·7–33·0 weeks). Plasma choline, betaine, methionine and dimethylglycine were measured using HPLC-tandem MS. Multivariate linear and logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between plasma biomarkers and birth weight, birth length, the risk of small-for-gestational-age and large-for-gestational-age (LGA). Higher level of maternal betaine was associated with lower birth weight (–130·3 (95 % CI –244·8, –15·9) per 1 sd increment for log-transformed betaine). Higher maternal methionine was associated with lower risk of LGA, and adjusted OR, with 95 % CI for 1 sd increase in methionine concentration was 0·44 (95 % CI 0·21, 0·89). Stratified analyses according to infant sex or maternal plasma homocysteine status showed that reduction in birth weight in relation to maternal betaine was only limited to male infants or to who had higher maternal homocysteine status (≥5·1 µmol/l). Higher maternal betaine status was associated with reduced birth weight. Maternal methionine was inversely associated with LGA risk. These findings are needed to be replicated in future larger studies.
Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) observations contain various errors, the separation and measurement of which is a popular research topic. Multipath effect on code measurements is investigated through the multipath combination, but carrier multipath error is small, and it is difficult to distinguish from other errors, such as hardware delay, carrier noise and satellite inherent biases. However, as the number of frequency points increases during the rapid development of GNSSs, it is possible to analyse the abovementioned errors in detail. Triple-frequency combination can be used to eliminate the first order ionospheric error, and a quad-frequency combination has one degree of freedom, which may be used to minimise carrier error effects. For this reason, an optimum method has been developed for multi-frequency GNSS code-multipath combination measurements, which has been verified by exploiting BeiDou System (BDS), three frequency data from an International GNSS Service (IGS) station and a city canyon as well as actual sampled quad-frequency data. By comparative analysis, we found that the fluctuations of an optimum triple-frequency combination are smaller than that of the non-optimum combination, which decreases the influence of inherent errors and biases on carrier phase. At the same time, second-order ionospheric error can be effectively eliminated as well. This provides a new code-multipath combination measurement optimisation methodology for future multi-frequency BDS and other GNSSs.
Conotruncal heart defects are considered to be one of the most common types of birth defect worldwide. Genetic disturbances in folate metabolism such as Thymidylate synthase may increase risk for conotruncal heart defects. We evaluated two common Thymidylate synthase polymorphisms, including the 28 bp tandem repeat in the promoter enhancer region of the 5′-untranslated region and the 6 bp deletion in the 3′-untranslated region, as risk factors of conotruncal heart defects including various subtypes of malformations, in a total of 193 mothers with conotruncal heart defect in offspring and 234 healthy controls in the Chinese population. Logistic regression analyses revealed that mothers who were homozygotes with deletion (−/−) had a 1.8-fold (odds ratio: 1.8; 95% confidence interval: 1.0–3.0, p = 0.040) increased risk for conotruncal heart defect in offspring, respectively, when compared with mothers carrying the wild type (+/+) genotype. Consistently, individuals carrying the genotype −/− of the Thymidylate synthase 6 bp deletion also had higher plasma homocysteine levels compared to the mothers carrying the genotype +/+ in the control and conotruncal heart defect groups (p = 0.006 and p = 0.004, respectively). However, our results showed that Thymidylate synthase 28 bp tandem repeat polymorphism was not associated with risk for conotruncal heart defect and plasma homocysteine level. In conclusion, our data suggest that the maternal Thymidylate synthase 6 bp deletion polymorphism might be associated with plasma homocysteine level and risk for conotruncal heart defect in offspring.
This study quantified the fatty acid profile with emphasis on the stereo-specifically numbered (sn) 2 positional distribution in TAG and the composition of main phospholipids at different lactation stages. Colostrum milk (n 70), transitional milk (n 96) and mature milk (n 82) were obtained longitudinally from healthy lactating women in Shanghai. During lactation, total fatty acid content increased, with SFA dominating in fatty acid profile. A high ratio of n-6:n-3 PUFA was observed as 11:1 over lactation due to the abundance of linoleic acid in Chinese human milk. As the main SFA, palmitic acid showed absolute sn-2 selectivity, while oleic acid, linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid, the main unsaturated fatty acids, were primarily esterified at the sn-1 and sn-3 positions. Nervonic acid and C22 PUFA including DHA were more enriched in colostrum with an sn-2 positional preference. A total of three dominant phospholipids (phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylcholine (PC) and sphingomyelin (SM)) were analysed in the collected samples, and each showed a decline in amount over lactation. PC was the dominant compound followed by SM and PE. With prolonged breast-feeding time, percentage of PE in total phospholipids remained constant, but PC decreased, and SM increased. Results from this study indicated a lipid profile different from Western reports and may aid the development of future infant formula more suitable for Chinese babies.
The pathophysiology of cognitive impairment in patients with the major depressive disorder (MDD) may involve neuroinflammation mediated by cytokines.
The aim of this study was to examine the serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels, sustained attention, and their association in patients with MDD.
Thirty patients with MDD and 30 healthy controls were enrolled in this case-control study. Sustained attention was measured using the Rapid Visual Information Processing (RVP) task in the Cambridge Neuropsychological Tests Automated Battery. The serum IL-6 levels of all subjects were assessed by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.
There were significant differences in the log10RVP total hits, log10RVP total misses, and log10RVP mean latency between patients with MDD and healthy controls (F = 6.04, p = 0.017; F = 19.77, p < 0.0001; F = 14.42, p < 0.0001, respectively). The serum levels of Log10IL-6 were significantly higher in patients with MDD than in healthy controls (F = 192.27, p < 0.0001). The log10IL-6 levels were also positively correlated with the log10RVP mean latency in patients with MDD (r = 0.45, p = 0.013). A further stepwise multivariate regression analysis indicated that the log10IL-6 levels were significantly associated with the log10RVP mean latency in patients with MDD (β = 0.31, t = 2.41, p = 0.025).
Our data suggested that increased IL-6 levels were associated with the psychopathology of MDD, and that abnormal IL-6 levels were implicated in the impairment of sustained attention in patients with MDD.
Measurement of mean population Na and K intakes typically uses laboratory-based assays, which can add significant logistical burden and costs. A valid field-based measurement method would be a significant advance. In the current study, we used 24 h urine samples to compare estimates of Na, K and Na:K ratio based upon assays done using the field-based Horiba twin meter v. laboratory-based methods.
The performance of the Horiba twin meter was determined by comparing field-based estimates of mean Na and K against those obtained using laboratory-based methods. The reported 95 % limits of agreement of Bland–Altman plots were calculated based on a regression approach for non-uniform differences.
The 24 h urine samples were collected as part of an ongoing study being done in rural China.
One hundred and sixty-six complete 24 h urine samples were qualified for estimating 24 h urinary Na and K excretion.
Mean Na and K excretion were estimated as 170·4 and 37·4 mmol/d, respectively, using the meter-based assays; and 193·4 and 43·8 mmol/d, respectively, using the laboratory-based assays. There was excellent relative reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient) for both Na (0·986) and K (0·986). Bland–Altman plots showed moderate-to-good agreement between the two methods.
Na and K intake estimations were moderately underestimated using assays based upon the Horiba twin meter. Compared with standard laboratory-based methods, the portable device was more practical and convenient.
This study aimed to determine the effects of supplementing the diet of adult Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus with phosphatidylcholine (PC) on growth performance, body composition, fatty acid composition and gene expression. Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia fish with an initial body weight of 83·1 (sd 2·9) g were divided into six groups. Each group was hand-fed a semi-purified diet containing 1·7 (control diet), 4·0, 6·5, 11·5, 21·3 or 41·0 g PC/kg diet for 68 d. Supplemental PC improved the feed efficiency rate, which was highest in the 11·5 g PC/kg diet. Weight gain and specific growth rate were unaffected. Dietary PC increased PC content in the liver and decreased crude fat content in the liver, viscera and body. SFA and MUFA increased and PUFA decreased in muscle with increasing dietary PC. Cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 and secreted phospholipase A2 mRNA expression were up-regulated in the brain and heart in PC-supplemented fish. PC reduced fatty acid synthase mRNA expression in the liver and visceral tissue but increased expression in muscle. Hormone-sensitive lipase and lipoprotein lipase expression increased in the liver with increasing dietary PC. Growth hormone mRNA expression was reduced in the brain and insulin-like growth factor-1 mRNA expression in liver reduced with PC above 6·5 g/kg. Our results demonstrate that dietary supplementation with PC improves feed efficiency and reduces liver fat in adult Nile tilapia, without increasing weight gain, representing a novel dietary approach to reduce feed requirements and improve the health of Nile tilapia.
Violators of cooperation norms may be informally punished by their peers. How such norm enforcement is judged by others can be regarded as a meta-norm (i.e., a second-order norm). We examined whether meta-norms about peer punishment vary across cultures by having students in eight countries judge animations in which an agent who over-harvested a common resource was punished either by a single peer or by the entire peer group. Whether the punishment was retributive or restorative varied between two studies, and findings were largely consistent across these two types of punishment. Across all countries, punishment was judged as more appropriate when implemented by the entire peer group than by an individual. Differences between countries were revealed in judgments of punishers vs. non-punishers. Specifically, appraisals of punishers were relatively negative in three Western countries and Japan, and more neutral in Pakistan, UAE, Russia, and China, consistent with the influence of individualism, power distance, and/or indulgence. Our studies constitute a first step in mapping how meta-norms vary around the globe, demonstrating both cultural universals and cultural differences.
Al, Mn, Rb, Sr, Ba, Cs, Bi and Sb were measured at various depth intervals of a 41.6 m firn/ ice core drilled at an elevation of 7010 m near the top of Muztagh Ata glacier, east Pamirs (38˚17’ N, 75˚06’ E), central Asia. These data, spanning the mid-1950s to 2000, were obtained by analyzing 101 sections using a sector-field double-focusing inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) instrument. This study provides the first time series for these metals from central Asia. Concentrations are 11.7–329 ng mL−1 for Al, 0.33–42.7 ng mL−1 for Mn, 0.42–17.8 ng mL−1 for Sr, 0.04–1.4 ng mL−1 for Rb, 0.18–10.4 ng mL−1 for Ba, 2–167 pg mL−1 for Cs, 2–51 pg mL−1 for Sb and 1–31 pg mL−1 for Bi. Large variations in metal concentrations were found during the study period. Pronounced increases in concentrations were observed for Sb and Bi from the mid-1960s to the beginning of the 1990s, suggesting increased anthropogenic sources of Sb and Bi in central Asia during the same period. However, the decrease of Sb and Bi concentrations during the mid- to late 1990s reflects a reduction in anthropogenic activities in central Asia.
The volume distribution of atmospheric dust particles (microparticles) of 1–30 μm diameter in Muztagata, Dunde, Dasuopu and Everest ice cores from the Tibetan Plateau was measured and fitted as a log-normal function in order to characterize their basic size properties. Our results reveal that whether the volume distribution fits the log-normal function or not largely depends on the dust concentration and the specific dust-storm event but is independent of physiographical location and season. Our results show only high-concentration samples obey the log-normal distribution in volume, with mode sizes ranging from 3 to 161 μm. The log-normal distribution was largely attributed to the mid-sized particles between 3 and 15 μm, which contribute most (>70%) of the total volume. The volume size distribution characteristics for mineral dust particles from ice cores reveal that the coarse particles might be common in the upper-level troposphere over the Tibetan Plateau. These dust size features are useful to advance our understanding of dust effects on climate, and provide clues to better characterize atmospheric dynamics over the Tibetan Plateau that will help to improve the current models.
The genetic and environmental impacts on correlations between hearing and cognitive functions have not been well studied. Cognitive function was evaluated by the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Hearing function was assessed by audiometric pure-tone hearing thresholds at different frequencies, including 0.5 kHz, 1 kHz, 2 kHz, 4 kHz, 8 kHz, and 12.5 kHz, with the lower hearing thresholds indicating better hearing function. Cognitive and hearing functions were measured on 379 complete twin pairs (240 monozygotic and 139 dizygotic pairs) with a median age of 50 years (range: 40–80 years). Bivariate twin models were fitted to quantify the genetic and environmental components of the correlations between hearing and cognitive functions. The analysis showed significantly high genetic correlation between 2 kHz of hearing and cognition (rG = −1.00, 95% CI [−1.00, −0.46]) and moderate genetic correlation between 4 kHz of hearing and cognition (rG = −0.62, 95% CI [−1.00, −0.14]). We found no significant genetic correlations between low as well as high frequencies of hearing and cognition. Low to moderate common and unique environmental correlations were shown between low frequencies of hearing and cognition (−0.13 to −0.39) and the common environmental correlation between 8 kHz, one of the high frequencies of hearing, and cognition (−0.22). The middle frequencies of hearing and cognitive functions may have a shared genetic basis. Low frequencies of hearing and cognition may share similar common and unique environmental factors. At 8 kHz, the high frequency of hearing and cognition may share similar common environment. This twin study detected a significant genetic and environmental basis in the phenotype correlation between cognition and hearing, which differed across frequencies.
The origin and characteristics of near-microcoulomb multi-MeV electrons accelerated by short pulse lasers interacting with near-critical density plasma in self-formed channels are studied using three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. According to the analysis on interaction phenomena and electron dynamics, the dominant mechanism turns out to be direct laser acceleration, which ensures the outstanding energy coupling. Additionally, self-channeling is found to be a decisive factor for the acceleration performance, as electrons obtain ultra-high energy through betatron resonance inside the channels. In our findings, by using a relativistic short laser pulse and near-critical plasma, a large amount of energetic electrons can be generated, presenting a promising and accessible route to ultraintense, high-spatial-resolution radiation pulses.
Stable isotopes are a primary tool for inferring past temperature changes and atmospheric moisture variability from ice cores. A 33 m ice core representing the period 1850–2004 was retrieved from the Tanggula Mountains, central Tibetan Plateau (5743 m a.s.l.), in August 2005. Annual average stable isotope (δ18O, δD) values generally increase during the period, while the second-order parameter of deuterium excess (d-excess) generally decreases. High annual average d-excess values (18.2‰) throughout the ice core suggest a significant contribution of continental recycled moisture. d-excess values shift from relatively higher values during 1850–1940 to lower values since the 1940s. Annual isotope values and reconstructed accumulation are compared with climate indices, local station temperature records and northern India monsoon precipitation. Significant correlation is observed between δ18O and the Southern Oscillation, NINO3.4 and Dipole Mode indices. Annual average d-excess values revealed a significant negative correlation with the Dipole Mode index. Results suggest a relatively greater contribution of westerly-dominated continental moisture prior to the 1940s and an increase in the contribution of moisture evaporated under more humid conditions since the 1940s.
Reliable distances to Galactic Supernova remnants (SNRs) are essential to constrain parameters that reveal the evolutional process of SNRs. We carry out a project to measure SNRs’ distances in the first quadrant of the Galaxy. In this project, red clump stars (RCS) are used as standard candle to build the optical extinction (AV)-(D) distance relation in each direction of extinction-known SNRs. Here, G5.7-0.01, G54.1+0.3 and G78.2+2.1 are taken as typical examples. We obtain the distance of 3−0.3+0.4 kpc for G5.7-0.01, the lower limit of 5.8 kpc for G54.1+0.3, the upper limit of 2 kpc for G5.7-0.01. The results are consistent with distances from kinematic measurements. Hence, we highlight the RCS method can independently trace the distance to the SNRs.
We present some Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations for supernova remnants (SNRs), which hints the thicknesses of SNRs’ shells are likely related to the density and density distribution of surrounding interstellar medium (ISM). The simulations show clear formation and evolution of reverse shocks. In addition, we find that stellar winds can blow a bubble around the progenitor stars then lead to weaker radio emission at the center of SNRs.
Genetic and environmental influences on predictors of decline in daily functioning, including forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), handgrip, and five-times-sit-to-stand test (FTSST), have not been addressed in the aging Chinese population. We performed classical twin modeling on FEV1, FVC, handgrip, and FTSST in 379 twin pairs (240 MZ and 139 DZ) with median age of 50 years (40–80 years). Data were analyzed by fitting univariate and bivariate twin models to estimate the genetic and environmental influences on these measures of physical function. Heritability was moderate for FEV1, handgrip, and FTSST (55–60%) but insignificant for FVC. Only FVC showed moderate control, with shared environmental factors accounting for about 50% of the total variance. In contrast, all measures of pulmonary function and muscle strength showed modest influences from the unique environment (40–50%). Bivariate analysis showed highly positive genetic correlations between FEV1 and FVC (rG = 1.00), and moderately negative genetic correlations between FTSST and FEV1 (rG = −0.33) and FVC (rG = −0.42). FEV1 and FVC, as well as FEV1 and handgrip, displayed high common environmental correlations (rC = 1.00), and there were moderate correlations between FVC and handgrip (rC = 0.44). FEV1 and FVC showed high unique environmental correlations (rE = 0.76) and low correlations between handgrip and FEV1 (rE = 0.17), FVC (rE = 0.14), and FTSST (rE = −0.13) with positive or negative direction. We conclude that genetic factors contribute significantly to the individual differences in common indicators of daily functioning (FEV1, handgrip, and FTSST). FEV1 and FVC were genetically and environmentally correlated. Pulmonary function and FTSST may share similar sets of genes but in the negative direction. Pulmonary function and muscle strength may have a shared environmental background.
Although the correlation between cognition and physical function has been well studied in the general population, the genetic and environmental nature of the correlation has been rarely investigated. We conducted a classical twin analysis on cognitive and physical function, including forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), forced vital capacity (FVC), handgrip strength, five-times-sit-to-stand test (FTSST), near visual acuity, and number of teeth lost in 379 complete twin pairs. Bivariate twin models were fitted to estimate the genetic and environmental correlation between physical and cognitive function. Bivariate analysis showed mildly positively genetic correlations between cognition and FEV1, rG = 0.23 [95% CI: 0.03, 0.62], as well as FVC, rG = 0.35 [95% CI: 0.06, 1.00]. We found that FTSST and cognition presented very high common environmental correlation, rC = -1.00 [95% CI: -1.00, -0.57], and low but significant unique environmental correlation, rE = -0.11 [95% CI: -0.22, -0.01], all in the negative direction. Meanwhile, near visual acuity and cognition also showed unique environmental correlation, rE = 0.16 [95% CI: 0.03, 0.27]. We found no significantly genetic correlation for cognition with handgrip strength, FTSST, near visual acuity, and number of teeth lost. Cognitive function was genetically related to pulmonary function. The FTSST and cognition shared almost the same common environmental factors but only part of the unique environmental factors, both with negative correlation. In contrast, near visual acuity and cognition may positively share part of the unique environmental factors.
First-principles calculations are performed to investigate the structural, elastic, and thermodynamic properties of Ni3SnP, Ni2SnP, Ni10SnP3, and Ni2P (here, Ni2P is used for comparison with Ni2SnP). Through calculation, the three ternary Ni–Sn–P intermetallics are all thermodynamic stable but Ni3SnP is elastically unstable. Ni2SnP has the largest degree of elastic anisotropy and is more brittle than Ni2P while Ni10SnP3 is close to be isotropic. The Debye temperature together with the Cahill’s model and Clark’s model are used to investigate the thermal conductivity of the compounds. The Debye temperature follows the sequence of Ni10SnP3 > Ni2SnP > Ni2P. Based on the Clark’s model, the minimum thermal conductivity is ranked as Ni10SnP3 > Ni2P > Ni2SnP which means the heat transfer property of Ni2SnP is lower than Ni2P when the temperature is higher than Debye temperature. The electronic density of states is analyzed. The origin of the elastic anisotropy of Ni2SnP is investigated.