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Given the rapid increase in prescription and illicit drug poisoning deaths in the 50+ age group, we examined precipitating/risk factors and toxicology results associated with poisoning deaths classified as suicides compared to intent-undetermined death (UnD) among decedents aged 50+.
Data were from the 2005–2015 US National Violent Death Reporting System (N = 15,453). χ2 tests and multinomial logistic regression models were used to compare three groups of decedents: suicide decedent who left a suicide note, suicide decedent who did not leave a note, and UnD cases.
Compared to suicide decedents without a note (37.7% of the sample), those with a note (29.4%) were more likely to have been depressed and had physical health problems and other life stressors, while UnD cases (32.9%) were less likely to have had mental health problems and other life stressors but more likely to have had substance use and health problems. UnD cases were also more likely to be opioid (RRR = 2.65, 95% CI = 2.42–2.90) and cocaine (RRR = 2.59, 95% CI = 2.09–3.21) positive but less likely to be antidepressant positive. Blacks were more than twice as likely as non-Hispanic Whites to be UnDs. Results from separate regression models in the highest UnD states (Maryland and Utah) and in states other than Maryland/Utah were similar.
Many UnDs may be more correctly classified as unintentional overdose deaths. Along with more accurate determination processes for intent/manner of death, substance use treatment and approaches to curbing opioid and other drug use problems are needed to prevent intentional and unintentional poisoning deaths.
Thermal plasma wind tunnels with power of 0.4 MW and 2.4 MW have been constructed at Chonbuk National University (CBNU) in Korea. This facility is capable of producing a heat flux greater than 10 MW/m2, a level that is relevant for testing thermal protection materials that are used for re-entry vehicles in space transportation. A segmented arc plasma torch was adopted as a plasma source; this was designed to have high thermal efficiency and long life, and to produce a supersonic plasma flow with enthalpy greater than 10 MJ/kg. We investigated the characteristics of the supersonic plasma flow using intrusive and non-intrusive diagnostic systems. Ablation characteristics of potential thermal protection materials such as carbon/carbon composites and graphite were investigated with the plasma wind tunnel. Cracks and pores in the materials accelerated the erosion. For carbon/carbon composites, the pores grew and the cracks which occurred at the interfaces between the carbon fibres and the matrix propagated, while for the graphite, the erosion started at the pores and peeled off the surface.
Given growing numbers of older adults with mental and substance use disorders (MSUDs), this study examined the association between ten types of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and lifetime MSUDs among those aged 50+.
Data (N = 14,738 for the 50+ age group) came from the 2012 to 2013 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Using multivariable binary logistic regression analyses, we examined relationships between ten ACEs and six lifetime MSUDs (major depressive disorder (MDD) and anxiety, post-traumatic stress, alcohol use, drug use, and nicotine use disorders). Gender differences were examined using tests of interaction effects and gender-separate logistic regression models.
Of the sample, 53.2% of women and 50.0% of men reported at least one ACE. For both genders, parental/other adult's substance abuse was the most prevalent (22.6%), followed by physical abuse, and emotional neglect. Child abuse and neglect and parental/other adult's mental illness and substance abuse had small but consistently significant associations with MSUDs (e.g., odds ratio = 1.28, 95% CI = 1.12–1.46 for parental/other adult's substance misuse and MDD). Although the relationship between total number of ACEs and MSUDs was cumulative for both men and women, the associations of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, and parental separation/divorce with MSUDs were stronger among men.
This study underscores the significant yet modest association between ACEs and lifetime MSUDs in late life. More research is needed to investigate why ACEs seem to have greater effects on older men and to discern the sources of gender differences in ACEs’ effects.
Despite growing numbers of older-adult illicit drug users, research on this topic is rare. This study examined the relationship between marijuana and/or other illicit drug use and major depressive episode (MDE) and serious suicidal thoughts among those aged 50+ years in the USA.
The public use files of the 2008 to 2012 US National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) provided data on 29,634 individuals aged 50+ years. Logistic regression analysis was used to test hypothesized associations between past-year marijuana and/or other illicit drug use and MDE and serious suicidal thoughts.
Nearly 6% of the 50+ years age group reported past-year marijuana and/or other illicit drug use. Compared to non-users of any illicit drug, the odds of past-year MDE among those who used marijuana only, other illicit drugs only, and marijuana and other illicit drugs were 1.54 (95% CI = 1.17–2.03), 2.75 (95% CI = 1.75–4.33), and 2.12 (95% CI = 1.45–3.09), respectively. Those who used marijuana and other drugs also had higher odds (2.44, 95% CI = 1.58–3.77) of suicidal thoughts than non-users of any illicit drug. However, among users of any illicit drug, no difference was found among users of marijuana only, marijuana and other illicit drugs, and other illicit drugs only. Among marijuana users, marijuana use frequency was a significant correlate of suicidal thoughts only among those with MDE.
Health and mental health (MH) service providers should pay close attention to the potential reciprocal effects of marijuana and other illicit drug use and MDE and suicidal thoughts among late middle-aged and older adults.
The role of routine intra-operative parathyroid hormone monitoring for sporadic primary hyperparathyroidism is contentious. Satisfactory results can be achieved in high-volume centres. The results of low-volume hospitals are rarely studied.
A retrospective, non-comparative study was conducted. From November 2002 to October 2012, 105 patients with clinically sporadic primary hyperparathyroidism underwent focused parathyroidectomy without intra-operative parathyroid hormone monitoring. Single adenoma was localised on pre-operative ultrasonography or sestamibi scan. The cure rate, surgical complication rate and pathology findings were evaluated.
Most of the operations (63.8 per cent) were performed under local anaesthesia. All but two patients (98.1 per cent) were cured after surgery. There was only one case of double adenomas. No recurrent hyperparathyroidism was observed after a mean follow up of 56.9 months. Surgical complications comprised two cases (1.9 per cent) of transient vocal fold palsy and one case (1.0 per cent) of permanent vocal fold palsy. Seven patients (6.7 per cent) suffered temporary hypocalcaemia.
Satisfactory results of focused parathyroidectomy without routine intra-operative parathyroid hormone monitoring for appropriately selected primary hyperparathyroidism cases can be attained in a low-volume hospital.
We introduce a sensing element, “Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (MIP),” which created by “Molecular Imprinted Technique.” However, the sensitivity of MIP’s based bio-sensors limits for practical applications due to the low sensitivity. To achieve a high sensitivity of MIP’s based sensors, the synthesis of “high affinity receptor or binding sites,” such as “monoclonal particles” is a key objective. In previous studies, affinity distribution plots indicated that “high affinity binding sites” were obtained when the number of binding sites per particle decreased. It means that smaller particles are expected to have higher affinity binding sites compared to larger particles. The result motivated us to produce small-sized MIP’s particles for the achievement of higher sensitivity. Microfluidic Synthesis has taken a great attention to synthesize small particles. However, the microfluidic synthesis gave us a difficulty, especially collections of MIP’s particles from the surface of PDMS-based microchannels due to a sticking problem. Thus, we employed a new approach, which can collect MIP’s particles without any sticking problem from the surface of the reactor. It is a photopatterned MIP’s system generated on the glass surface. We prepared a photomask with micro-sized patterns and then fabricate MIP’s particles on a glass surface by photopolymerization. Uniform MIP’s patterns were printed on the glass surface. The interface between the glass surface and the MIP’s pattern was observed by SEM. Micro-sized MIP’s particles were collected from the glass surface by scratching off the photocured MIP’s patterns.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) is a space observatory for optical follow-ups of
gamma ray bursts (GRBs), aiming to explore the first 60 seconds of GRBs optical emission.
UFFO is utilized to catch early optical emissions from GRBs within few sec after trigger
using a Gimbal mirror which redirects the optical path rather than slewing entire
spacecraft. We have developed a 15 cm two-axis Gimbal mirror stage for the UFFO-Pathfinder
which is going to be on board the Lomonosov satellite which is to be launched in 2013. The
stage is designed for fast and accurate motion with given budgets of 3 kg of mass and 3
Watt of power. By employing stepping motors, the slewing mirror can rotate faster than 15
deg/sec so that objects in the UFFO coverage (60 deg × 60 deg) can be targeted in
~1 sec. The obtained targeting resolution is better 2 arcmin using a close-loop
control with high precision rotary encoder. In this presentation, we will discuss details
of design, manufacturing, space qualification tests, as well as performance tests.
The UFFO (Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory) is a GRB detector on board the Lomonosov
satellite, to be launched in 2013. The GRB trigger is provided by an X-ray detector,
called UBAT (UFFO Burst Alarm & Trigger Telescope), which detects X-rays from the GRB
and then triggers to determine the direction of the GRB and then alerts the Slewing Mirror
Telescope (SMT) to turn in the direction of the GRB and record the optical photon fluxes.
This report details the calibration of the two components: the MAPMTs and the YSO crystals
and simulations of the UBAT. The results shows that this design can observe a GRB within a
field of view of ±35° and can trigger in a time scale as short as 0.2 – 1.0 s
after the appearance of a GRB X-ray spike.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO), which will be launched onboard the
Lomonosov spacecraft, contains two crucial instruments: UFFO Burst
Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) for detection and localization of Gamma-Ray Bursts
(GRBs) and the fast-response Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) designed for the observation
of the prompt optical/UV counterparts. Here we discuss the in-space calibrations of the
UBAT detector and SMT telescope. After the launch, the observations of the standard X-ray
sources such as pulsar in Crab nebula will provide data for necessary calibrations of
UBAT. Several standard stars will be used for the photometric calibration of SMT. The
celestial X-ray sources, e.g. X-ray binaries with bright optical sources
in their close angular vicinity will serve for the cross-calibration of UBAT and SMT.
The Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO) Pathfinder for Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) consists
of two telescopes. The UFFO Burst Alert & Trigger Telescope (UBAT) handles the
detection and localization of GRBs, and the Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) conducts the
measurement of the UV/optical afterglow. UBAT is equipped with an X-ray detector, analog
and digital signal readout electronics that detects X-rays from GRBs and determines the
location. SMT is equipped with a stepping motor and the associated electronics to rotate
the slewing mirror targeting the GRBs identified by UBAT. First the slewing mirror points
to a GRB, then SMT obtains the optical image of the GRB using the intensified CCD and its
readout electronics. The UFFO Data Acquisition system (UDAQ) is responsible for the
overall function and operation of the observatory and the communication with the satellite
main processor. In this paper we present the design and implementation of the electronics
of UBAT and SMT as well as the architecture and implementation of UDAQ.
GaN films have been grown atop Si-terminated 3C-SiC intermediate layer on Si(111) substrates using low pressure metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (LP-MOCVD). The SiC intermediate layer was grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) using tetramethylsilane (TMS) as the single source precursor. The Si terminated SiC surface was obtained by immediately flow of SiH4 gas after growth of SiC film. LP-MOCVD growth of GaN on 3C-SiC/Si(111) was carried out with trimethylgallium (TMG) and NH3. Single crystalline hexagonal GaN layers can be grown on Si terminated SiC intermediate layer using an AlN or GaN buffer layer. Compared with GaN layers grown using a GaN buffer layer, the crystal qualities of GaN films with AlN buffer layers are extremely improved. The GaN films were characterized by x-ray diffraction (XRD), photoluminescence (PL) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Full width at half maximum (FWHM) of double crystal x-ray diffraction (DCXD) rocking curve for GaN (0002) on 3C-SiC/Si(111) was 890 arcsec. PL near band edge emission peak position and FWHM at room temperature are 3.38 eV and 79.35 meV, respectively.
A total of 245 patients with confirmed 2009 H1N1 influenza were admitted to the intensive-care units of 28 hospitals (South Korea). Their mean age was 55·3 years with 68·6% aged >50 years, and 54·7% male. Nine were obese and three were pregnant. One or more comorbidities were present in 83·7%, and nosocomial acquisition occurred in 14·3%. In total, 107 (43·7%) patients received corticosteroids and 66·1% required mechanical ventilation. Eighty (32·7%) patients died within 30 days after onset of symptoms and 99 (40·4%) within 90 days. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the clinician's decision to prescribe corticosteroids, older age, Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score and nosocomial bacterial pneumonia were independent risk factors for 90-day mortality. In contrast with Western countries, critical illness in Korea in relation to 2009 H1N1 was most common in older patients with chronic comorbidities; nosocomial acquisition occurred occasionally but disease in obese or pregnant patients was uncommon.
We have investigated the nonthermal bioplasma sources and their characteristics as well as their interactions with biological cells. The electron temperature and plasma density are measured to be about 1.5 eV and 3×1012 cm-3 , respectively, for the direct palsma jet under Ar gas flow. The hydroxyl radical density has also been investigated and measured to be maximum value of about 3 ×1015 cm-3 and 8 ×1014 cm-3 in the direct plasma jet and dielectric barrier discharge bioplasma, respectively, by the ultraviolet optical absorption spectroscopy. Herein, we have investigated the basic interactions of these nonthermal bioplasma with the living organisms in morphological and biomolecular aspects. We found that the secondary electron emision coefficient of the biological surface has been drastically increased by atmospheric bioplasma, which indicates the biological surface to be oxidized especially by the hydroxyl (OH) radical species. In order to elucidate the basic mechanisms for the cell shrinking and apoptosis leading to a cell death by the nonthermal bioplasma, the cell membrane potential has been estimated based on the ROS density as well as cell capacitances. It is also found that the molecular electron energy band structure in the biological cells have been shifted closer toward the vacuum surface and accordingly their central energy of molecular band becomes small by the nonthermal bioplasma due to cell oxidation caused by OH radicals.
Chronic disease patients are at high risk of developing serious influenza-related complications. This study investigated the prevalence of seasonal influenza vaccination (IV) and associated factors in such patients. A random sample of 704 Chinese adults with chronic disease was anonymously interviewed by telephone; 35·8% of them had ever taken up IV and 22·7% did so during the last flu season. The most frequently mentioned facilitator was recommendation made by a healthcare worker (HCW). Knowledge that IV is required annually, perceived severe health impacts of influenza, and recommendation made by a HCW were positively associated with previous IV and intention to take up IV in the next year, while perceived side-effects was inversely associated with previous IV and intention to take up IV. The coverage of IV in this study population was low. HCWs should clarify IV-related health beliefs in chronic disease patients and actively advise them to take up IV.
The incidence and severity of Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) have increased in Western countries. However, there are limited data regarding the epidemiology of CDI in Eastern countries. This nationwide study was conducted in 17 hospitals to determine temporal trends in CDI incidence (from 2004 to 2008) in South Korea. The total incidence of CDI in Korea was 1·7 cases/1000 adult admissions in 2004, and 2·7/1000 cases in 2008 (P = 0·028). When analysing the clinical features of 1367 CDI patients diagnosed in 2008, oral metronidazole was effective as a first-line treatment for CDI (61·9%). Relapse rate was 8·9% and complicated CDI was only observed in 3·6%. The incidence of CDI increased significantly in Korea from 2004 to 2008. Although the clinical features were milder than in Western countries, the increasing burden of CDI needs ongoing surveillance systems.
Background: The Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (CERAD-NAB) offers information on the clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and gives a profile of cognitive functioning. This study explores the effects of age, education and gender on participants' performance on eight subtests in the Chinese-Cantonese version of the CERAD-NAB.
Methods: The original English version of the CERAD-NAB was translated and content-validated into a Chinese-Cantonese version to suit the Hong Kong Chinese population. The battery was administered to 187 healthy volunteers aged 60 to 94 years. Participants were excluded if they had neurological, medical or psychiatric disorders (including dementia). Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses were performed to assess the relative contribution of the demographic variables to the scores on each subtest.
Results: The Cantonese version of CERAD-NAB was shown to have good content validity and excellent inter-rater reliability. Stepwise multiple regression analyses revealed that performances on seven and four out of eight subtests in the CERAD-NAB were significantly influenced by education level and age, respectively. Age and education had significant effects on participants' performance on many tests. Gender also showed a significant effect on one subtest.
Conclusions: The preliminary data will serve as an initial phase for clinical interpretation of the CERAD-NAB for Cantonese-speaking Chinese elders.