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Few studies have evaluated the association between a healthful plant-based diet and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We followed 50 290 women in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS; 1992–2000) and 51 784 women in NHSII (1993–2001) for 8 years to investigate changes in plant-based diet quality in relation to changes in physical and mental HRQoL. Plant-based diet quality was assessed by three plant-based diet indices: overall plant-based diet index (PDI), healthful PDI (hPDI) and unhealthful PDI (uPDI). Physical and mental HRQoL were measured by physical component score (PCS) and mental component score (MCS) of the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey. Diet was assessed 2 years before the HRQoL measurements and both were updated every 4 years. The associations between 4-year changes in PDIs and HRQoL were evaluated. Each 10-point increase in PDI was associated with an improvement of 0·07 (95 % CI 0·01, 0·13) in PCS and 0·11 (95 % CI 0·05, 0·16) in MCS. A 10-point increase in hPDI was associated with an increment of 0·13 (95 % CI 0·08, 0·19) in PCS and 0·09 (95 % CI 0·03, 0·15) in MCS. Conversely, a 10-point increase in uPDI was associated with decreases in PCS and MCS (−0·07 (95 % CI −0·12, −0·02) and −0·10 (95 % CI −0·16, −0·05), respectively). Compared with a stable diet, an increase in hPDI was significantly associated with improvements in physical HRQoL in older women and with mental HRQoL in younger women. In conclusion, adherence to a healthful plant-based diet was modestly associated with improvements in both physical and mental dimensions of HRQoL.
Depression is a common mental disorder that substantially impairs a client's functioning. the aim of this study is to examine the predictive factors of quality of life (QOL) for depression from longitudinal perspectives. 237 outpatients with depression were recruited in the study. They were from a psychiatric outpatient clinic in northern Taiwan. All subjects were tested on the baseline and followed up twice during 3-year period. the average age of subjects was 47.1 years. Most subjects were female, married and lived with their spouses.Seventy subjects participated in both follow ups (T2 and T3). there were no significant differences on the demographic characteristics at T1 between the respondents (N = 70) and non-respondents (N = 167) except for gender. the subjects were tested on the WHOQOL-BREF-Taiwan version, occupational self assessment, mastery, social support and Center of Epidemiology Study-Depression Scale (CESD). the data were analyzed by mixed effect model using SAS computer program.The severity of depression could predict overall QOL, overall health and 13 items of QOL. the type of antidepressants had significant impact on the subjects’ QOL in 10 items. the occupational competence and sense of mastery predicted 13 items (50%) and 14 items (53.8%), respectively.In order to advance the treatment outcomes, the professionals should pay more attention on the enhancement of the sense of competence and mastery. We suggested that treatments should target at improving adaptive skills, lifestyle, and occupational competence.
Previous studies showed that persons with mental illness had poorer quality of life than persons with the other medical conditions. We developed a manualized treatment - Quality of Life Enhancement Program (QOLEP) based on literature review and clinical experiences. the contents of the program include 4 sessions of ‘occupational life scheduling’ and 4 sessions of ‘coping skills’ provided by an occupational therapist during a 4-week period (2 times/week) which each session lasts for one to two hours.
Twenty-one subjects were recruited from community mental health rehabilitation centers in northern Taiwan. They were randomly assigned to either treatment group (N=11) or control group (N=10). the subjects in the control group received general supportive therapy over the phone twice a week for 4 weeks. Both groups were evaluated at baseline and posttreatment. the mixed-effects linear model was applied to analyze the efficacy of the treatment.
The results showed that the subjects who participated in the QOLEP had significantly better physical QOL than that of control group (-9.66+4.24, p< .05). the suicidal ideation of the subjects for both groups decreased over time (2.64+3.16, p< .05). Most of the participants indicated that the activities were easily understood, helpful to them, and are willing to participate in the program again.
With the program developed based on concept of occupational engagement, we were able to demonstrate the efficacy of specific treatment on quality of life and used it as evidence to support future development in mental health area.
Attrition can pose significant barriers to treatment success of depression; its contributing factors and impacts on treatment outcome need further clarification. Current study aimed to describe patterns of treatment attrition, to examine associated demographic and clinical determinants and to test whether and how attrition affects outcome of depression in a national cohort of adults treated for depression.
Material and methods
All adult patients prescribed with antidepressants for depression (n=216,557) in 2003 were identified from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. Based on individuals’ clinical visit and antidepressant prescription, three attrition types, i.e., non-attrition, returning attrition and non-returning attrition, and their demographic/disease characteristics were identified. The relationships between attrition type and remission outcome over an 18-month follow-up period were further explored.
Factors pertaining to disease characteristics (severity of depression, comorbidities, painful physical symptoms and past treatment history) and clinical practice (physician specialty and choice of antidepressants) were associated with attrition and remission outcome at 18-month follow-up. Patients remaining in treatment within the first three months were associated with higher odds of having sustained remission (OR=1.21; 99% CI: 1.16, 1.27) and lower odds of having relapses/recurrences (OR=0.20; 99% CI: 0.19, 0.21) over the 18-month period, compared to those returning attriters.
Early attrition has significant negative impacts on antidepressant treatment outcome; it hence needs to be minimized through shared decision-making, exchange of treatment preferences and proper patient-physician communication. Based on current understanding, further efforts to reduce early attrition are highly warranted.
Cricothyrotomy is an intervention performed to salvage “can't intubate, can't ventilate” situations. Studies have shown poor accuracy with landmarking the cricothyroid membrane, particularly in female patients by surgeons and anesthesiologists. This study examines the perceived versus actual success rate of landmarking the cricothyroid membrane by resident and staff emergency physicians using obese and non-obese models.
Five male and female volunteers were models. Each model was placed supine, and a point-of-care ultrasound expert landmarked the borders of each cricothyroid membrane; 20 residents and 15 staff emergency physicians were given one attempt to landmark five models. Overall accuracy and accuracy stratified by sex and obesity status were calculated.
Overall landmarking accuracy amongst all participants was 58% (SD 18%). A difference in accuracy was found for obese males (88%) versus obese females (40%) (difference = 48%, 95% CI = 30–65%, p < 0.0001), and non-obese males (77%) versus non-obese females (46%) (difference = 31%, 95% CI = 12–51%, p = 0.004). There was no association between perceived difficulty and success (correlation = 0.07, 95% CI = −0.081–0.214, p = 0.37). Confidence levels overall were higher amongst staff physicians (3.0) than residents (2.7) (difference = 0.3, 95% CI = 0.1–0.6, p = 0.02), but there was no correlation between confidence in an attempt and its success (p = 0.33).
We found that physicians demonstrate significantly lower accuracy when landmarking cricothyroid membranes of females. Emergency physicians were unable to predict their own accuracy while landmarking, which can potentially lead to increased failed attempts and a longer time to secure the airway. Improved training techniques may reduce failed attempts and improve the time to secure the airway.
Types of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) can differ greatly between countries, with greater consumption of sweetened tea in Asia. This study aimed to understand changes in SSB consumption by adolescents in Taiwan over 18 years and their association with demographic characteristics and clinical outcome. This study used survey data from the 1993–1996 and 2010–2011 Nutrition and Health Surveys in Taiwan. Participants were high school students aged 13 to 18 years. Data were weighted and analysed using SUDAAN 11.0 and SAS 9.4. Participants were asked about intake frequencies of SSB and were grouped into four different SSB intake groups based on the combination of high or low frequency (including moderate frequency) of intake of sweetened tea and soda/sports/energy drinks. Results indicated over 99 % of teens reported having at least one SSB in the past week. Smoking status was significantly associated with SSB intake types with high tea intake (high tea and low soda (HL) group, OR 7·56, P < 0·001; high tea and high soda (HH) group, OR 9·96, P < 0·001). After adjustment for potential confounders, adolescents in the low tea and high soda (LH) group (β = 0·05, P = 0·034) had significantly higher mean serum uric acid values. In conclusion, sugary tea remains the SSB of choice for Taiwanese adolescents. Those with a frequent intake of soda/sports/energy drinks had a higher chance of being hyperuricaemic.
Feathers play a critical role in thermoregulation and directly influence poultry production. Poor feathering adversely affects living appearance and carcass quality, thus reducing profits. However, producers tend to ignore the importance of feather development and do not know the laws of feather growth and development. The objective of this study was to fit growth curves to describe the growth and development of feathers in yellow-feathered broilers during the embryonic and posthatching periods using different nonlinear functions (Gompertz, logistic and Bertalanffy). Feather mass and length were determined during the embryonic development and posthatching stages to identify which growth model most accurately described the feather growth pattern. The results showed that chick embryos began to grow feathers at approximately embryonic (E) day 10, and the feathers grew rapidly from E13 to E17. There was little change from E17 to the day of hatching (DOH). During the embryonic period, the Gompertz function (Y = 798.48e−203 431exp(−0.87t), Akaike’s information criterion (AIC) = −0.950 × 103, Bayesian information criterion (BIC) = −0.711 × 103 and mean square error (MSE) = 559.308) provided the best fit for the feather growth curve compared with the other two functions. After hatching, feather mass and length changed little from the DOH to day (D) 14, increased rapidly from D21 to D91 and then grew slowly after D91. The first stage of feather molting occurred from 2 to 3 weeks of age when the down feathers were mostly shed and replaced with juvenile feathers, and the second stage occurred at approximately 13 to 15 weeks of age. The three nonlinear functions could overall fit the feather growth curve well, but the Bertalanffy model (Y = 116.88 × (1−0.86e−0.02t)3, AIC = 1.065 × 105, BIC = 1.077 × 105 and MSE = 11.308) showed the highest degree of fit among the models. Therefore, the Gompertz model exhibited the best goodness of fit for the feather growth curve during the embryonic development, while the Bertalanffy model was the most suitable model due to its accurate ability to predict the growth and development of feathers during the growth period, which is an important commercial characteristic of yellow-feathered chickens.
The seasonality of individual influenza subtypes/lineages and the association of influenza epidemics with meteorological factors in the tropics/subtropics have not been well understood. The impact of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic on the prevalence of seasonal influenza virus remains to be explored. Using wavelet analysis, the periodicities of A/H3N2, seasonal A/H1N1, A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata were identified, respectively, in Panzhihua during 2006–2015. As a subtropical city in southwestern China, Panzhihua is the first industrial city in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The relationship between influenza epidemics and local climatic variables was examined based on regression models. The temporal distribution of influenza subtypes/lineages during the pre-pandemic (2006–2009), pandemic (2009) and post-pandemic (2010–2015) years was described and compared. A total of 6892 respiratory specimens were collected and 737 influenza viruses were isolated. A/H3N2 showed an annual cycle with a peak in summer–autumn, while A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata exhibited an annual cycle with a peak in winter–spring. Regression analyses demonstrated that relative humidity was positively associated with A/H3N2 activity while negatively associated with Victoria activity. Higher prevalence of A/H1N1pdm09 and Yamagata was driven by lower absolute humidity. The role of weather conditions in regulating influenza epidemics could be complicated since the diverse viral transmission modes and mechanism. Differences in seasonality and different associations with meteorological factors by influenza subtypes/lineages should be considered in epidemiological studies in the tropics/subtropics. The development of subtype- and lineage-specific prevention and control measures is of significant importance.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
The mirid bug Apolygus lucorum (Meyer-Dür) (Hemiptera: Miridae) is a major pest on cotton, fruit trees and other crops in China. A. lucorum adults often switch host plants in the agro-ecosystem, and such host-plant switching may promote more rapid population growth of A. lucorum. Here, we examined the population fitness of A. lucorum on different combinations of two plant foods [fresh maize kernels (Zea mays) and green bean pods (Phaseolus vulgaris)] in the laboratory when reared either individually or in groups. Our results suggested that, compared with A. lucorum nymphs reared on green bean alone, the survival rate, developmental rate, and adult weight significantly increased when they were fed fresh maize kernels for both rearing methods. Both two-plant combinations of foods (i.e., maize as nymphal food then green bean as adult food, and green bean as nymphal food then maize as adult food) generally prolonged adult longevity, improved female fecundity, and higher egg hatching rate compared with maize or green bean as food for both nymphs and adults. The combination of nymphs with maize and adults with green bean showed the highest population growth rate for both individual and group rearing of mirid bugs. Host food switching greatly promoted the population growth of A. lucorum, and suggests a new diet for laboratory rearing of A. lucorum.
The response of soil microbial communities to soil quality changes is a sensitive indicator of soil ecosystem health. The current work investigated soil microbial communities under different fertilization treatments in a 31-year experiment using the phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) profile method. The experiment consisted of five fertilization treatments: without fertilizer input (CK), chemical fertilizer alone (MF), rice (Oryza sativa L.) straw residue and chemical fertilizer (RF), low manure rate and chemical fertilizer (LOM), and high manure rate and chemical fertilizer (HOM). Soil samples were collected from the plough layer and results indicated that the content of PLFAs were increased in all fertilization treatments compared with the control. The iC15:0 fatty acids increased significantly in MF treatment but decreased in RF, LOM and HOM, while aC15:0 fatty acids increased in these three treatments. Principal component (PC) analysis was conducted to determine factors defining soil microbial community structure using the 21 PLFAs detected in all treatments: the first and second PCs explained 89.8% of the total variance. All unsaturated and cyclopropyl PLFAs except C12:0 and C15:0 were highly weighted on the first PC. The first and second PC also explained 87.1% of the total variance among all fertilization treatments. There was no difference in the first and second PC between RF and HOM treatments. The results indicated that long-term combined application of straw residue or organic manure with chemical fertilizer practices improved soil microbial community structure more than the mineral fertilizer treatment in double-cropped paddy fields in Southern China.
Taihu pig breeds are the most prolific breeds of swine in the world, and they also have superior economic traits, including high resistance to disease, superior meat quality, high resistance to crude feed and a docile temperament. The formation of these phenotypic characteristics is largely a result of long-term artificial or natural selection. Therefore, exploring selection signatures in the genomes of the Taihu pigs will help us to identify porcine genes related to productivity traits, disease and behaviour. In this study, we used both intra-population (Relative Extend Haplotype Homozygosity Test (REHH)) and inter-population (the Cross-Population Extend Haplotype Homozygosity Test (XPEHH); F-STATISTICS, FST) methods to detect genomic regions that might be under selection process in Taihu pig breeds. As a result, we found 282 (REHH) and 112 (XPEHH) selection signature candidate regions corresponding to 159.78 Mb (6.15%) and 62.29 Mb (2.40%) genomic regions, respectively. Further investigations of the selection candidate regions revealed that many genes under these genomic regions were related to reproductive traits (such as the TLR9 gene), coat colour (such as the KIT gene) and fat metabolism (such as the CPT1A and MAML3 genes). Furthermore, gene enrichment analyses showed that genes under the selection candidate regions were significantly over-represented in pathways related to diseases, such as autoimmune thyroid and asthma diseases. In conclusion, several candidate genes potentially under positive selection were involved in characteristics of Taihu pig. These results will further allow us to better understand the mechanisms of selection in pig breeding.
In this study, a micromechanics model has been proposed for predicting the effects of particle size and aggregation on elastic properties of nanocomposites, and the interphase between the particle and matrix is also taken into account. Inherent characteristics of nanoparticle, such as small size and high surface area ratio, make nanoparticle in a state of unstable energy and easy to agglomerate in matrix. The analytical expressions for the effective elastic modulus of nanocomposites are derived, which can consider the effect of particle agglomeration. The dispersion state or degree of agglomeration of nanoparticle and the thickness and stiffness of interphase are known to have a significant influence on nanocomposites. The results show that the increase of particle radius and agglomeration volume fractions reduces the elastic stiffness of nanocomposites. Moreover, the composite reinforcement can be improved by increases of interphase thickness and stiffness.
It is difficult to control Holotrichia parallela Motschulsky with chemical insecticides due to the larvae's soil-living habit, thus the pest has caused great economic losses in agriculture. In addition, uridine diphosphate-glycosyltransferases (UGTs) catalyze the glycosylation process of a variety of small lipophilic molecules with sugars to produce water-soluble glycosides, and play multiple roles in detoxification, endobiotic modulation, and sequestration in an insect. Some UGTs were found specifically expressed in antennae of Drosophila melanogaster and Spodoptera littoralis, and glucurono-conjugated odorants could not elicit any olfactory signals, suggesting that the UGTs may play roles in odorant inactivation by biotransformation. In the current study, we performed a genome-wide analysis of the candidate UGT family in the dark black chafer, H. parallela. Based on a UGT gene signature and the similarity of these genes to UGT homologs from other organisms, 20 putative H. parallela UGT genes were identified. Bioinformatics analysis was used to predict sequence and structural features of H. parallela UGT proteins, and revealed important domains and residues involved in sugar donor binding and catalysis by comparison with human UGT2B7. Phylogenetic analysis of these 20 UGT protein sequences revealed eight major groups, including both order-specific and conserved groups, which are common to more than one order. Of these 20 UGT genes, HparUGT1265-1, HparUGT3119, and HparUGT8312 were highly (>100-fold change) expressed in antennae, suggesting a possible role in olfactory tissue, and most likely in odorant inactivation and olfactory processing. The remaining UGT genes were expressed in all tissues (head, thorax, abdomen, leg, and wing), indicating that these UGTs likely have different biological functions. This study provides the fundamental basis for determining the function of UGTs in a highly specialized olfactory organ, the H. parallela antenna.
Information on morbidity burden of seasonal influenza in China is limited. A multiplier model was used to estimate the incidence and number of outpatient visits for seasonal influenza by age group for the 2015–2016 season in Beijing, the capital of China, based on reported numbers of influenza-like illness consultations and proportions of positive cases from influenza surveillance systems in Beijing, general consultation rates and other parameters from previous studies, surveys and surveillance systems. An estimated total of 1 190 200 (95% confidence interval (CI) 830 400–1 549 900) cases of influenza virus infections occurred in Beijing, 2015–2016 season, with an attack rate of 5·5% (95% CI 3·9–7·2%). These infections resulted in an estimated 468 280 (95% CI 70 700–606 800) outpatient visits, with an attack rate of 2·2% (95% CI 0·3–2·8%). The attack rate of influenza virus infections was highest among children aged 0–4 years (31·9% (95% CI 21·9–41·9%)), followed by children aged 5–14 years (18·7% (95% CI 12·9–24·5%)). Our study demonstrated a substantial influenza-related morbidity in Beijing, China, especially among the preschool- and school-aged children. This suggests that development or modification of seasonal influenza targeted vaccination strategies need to recognize that incidence is highest in children.
Mycobacterial diseases are prevalent in cancer and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, especially those receiving tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitor (TNFi). However, the impact of cancer development on the risk of mycobacterial diseases among RA patients is unknown. Data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database were used to conduct a retrospective study to assess the occurrence of mycobacterial diseases in RA patients developing cancer (cancer-positive), those using TNFi (TNFi-exposure), those with cancer and using TNFi (cancer-TNFi-comb), and those without cancer and not using TNFi (cancer-TNFi-free). Cancer and TNFi exposure were time-dependent, and independent risk factors of mycobacterial diseases were assessed by Cox regression. Among 1344 RA patients diagnosed during 2000–2013, 68 (5·1%) developed cancer before their end points. The incidence rates of mycobacterial diseases in the cancer-positive (n = 56), TNFi-exposure (n = 290), cancer-TNFi-comb (n = 12), and cancer-TNFi-free (n = 986) subgroups were 6·7, 2·0, 7·6, and 1·3 per 1000 person-years, respectively. As compared with the cancer-TNFi-free group, the risk for mycobacterial diseases increased for the TNFi-exposure group (adjusted HR = 3·6, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1·1–11·5, P = 0·032) and remained high for cancer-positive (adjusted HR = 14·6, 95% CI 3·3–63·7, P < 0·001) after adjustment. This study suggested that cancer development increased the risk of mycobacterial diseases in RA patients, and risk assessment for this subgroup should be considered.
This cross-sectional study aimed to examine and compare prevalence and correlates of whole blood Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) DNA between HIV-positive and HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM). Five hundred and four HIV-positive MSM and 504 age-matched HIV-negative MSM were recruited from an HIV counseling and testing clinic in Shanghai, China from November 2014 to November 2015 and were administered with a face-to-face questionnaire interview. Whole blood EBV DNA was tested by nested polymerase chain reaction assays on EBNA-1, EBNA-2, and LMP-1 genes. The prevalence of whole blood EBV DNA was 56·0% (95% CI 51·7–60·3%) among HIV-positive MSM and 26·0% (95% CI 22·4–30·0%) among HIV-negative MSM. Whole blood EBV DNA positivity was significantly associated with HIV infection (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 3·43, 95% CI 2·58–4·57) and frequent intake of pickled, smoked, or salty food (aOR 1·71, 95% CI 1·02–2·86) in the whole sample, and with <200 cells/μl CD4 cell counts (aOR 1·79, 95% CI 1·05–3·05) and pickled, smoked, or salty food intake (aOR 3·14, 95% CI 1·39–7·08) in HIV-positive group. HIV-infected MSM are at higher risk of active EBV replication than HIV-uninfected MSM, underscoring needs of surveillance and research on EBV-related carcinogenesis in this population.
Given the concerns regarding the adverse health outcomes associated with weight gain and metabolic syndrome in relation to use of second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs), we aimed in this study to explore whether the increase in the use of SGAs would have any impacts on the trend of excess mortality in people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BPD).
Two nationwide samples of individuals with schizophrenia and BPD were identified in Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database in 2003 and in 2008, respectively. Age- and gender-standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated for each of the 3-year observation periods. The SMRs were compared between the calendar year cohorts, by disease group, and by causes of death.
The mortality gap for people with schizophrenia decreased slightly, revealing an SMR of 3.40 (95% CI 3.30–3.50) for the 2003 cohort and 3.14 (3.06–3.23) for the 2008 cohort. The mortality gap for BPD individuals remained relatively stable with only those aged 15–44 years having an SMR rising significantly from 7.04 (6.38–7.76) to 9.10 (8.44–9.79). Additionally, in this group of BPD patients aged 15–44 years, the natural-cause-SMR increased from 5.65 (4.93–6.44) to 7.16 (6.46–7.91).
Compared with the general population, the gap in the excess mortality for people with schizophrenia reduced slightly. However, the over 200% difference between the cohorts in the excess mortality for BPD individuals aged 15–44 years could be a warning sign. Future research to further examine the related factors underlying those changes is warranted.
Elderly individuals with tuberculosis (TB) are more likely to have a non-specific clinical presentation of TB and high mortality. However, factors associated with mortality in elderly TB patients have not been extensively studied. This retrospective cohort study aimed to identify factors associated with death among elderly Taiwanese with TB. All elderly patients with TB from 2006 to 2014 in Taipei, Taiwan, were included in a study. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify the factors associated with death in elderly TB patients. The mean age of the 5011 patients was 79·7 years; 74·1% were men; 32·7% had mortality during the study follow-up period. After controlling for potential confounders, age ⩾75 years (reference: 65–74 years), male sex, end-stage renal disease (ESRD), malignancy, acid-fast bacilli-smear positivity, TB-culture positivity, pleural effusion on chest radiograph and notification by an ordinary ward or intensive care unit were associated with a higher risk of all-cause death; while high school, and university or higher education, cavity on chest radiograph and directly observed therapy were associated with a lower risk of all-cause death. This study found that the proportion of death among elderly patients with TB in Taipei, Taiwan, was high. To improve TB treatment outcomes, future control programmes should particularly target individuals with comorbidities (e.g. ESRD and malignancy) and those with a lower socio-economic status (e.g. not educated).
Pudong White (PW) pigs are distributed in the Taihu region of China and are characterized by their completely white coats. A heated debate concerning this genetic resource and its relationship to Taihu and western pig breeds has arisen, due to the white coat of the animals. To determine whether PW is a unique genetic resource, we performed a detailed assessment of the genetic relationships among PW, six breeds from the Taihu population and three western pig breeds, based on whole-genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data. A total of 68 102 SNPs were identified in the genomes of the tested populations by next-generation sequencing technology, of which, 64 were determined as the potentially specific to PW breed. The genetic distance between PW pigs and the Taihu population was shorter than that between PW and western breeds. The genetic distance within the PW population was small and neighbour-joining tree analysis revealed that all PW individuals clustered into a separated group, indicating a close genetic relationship among PW individuals which may result from a small effective population size (Ne) and inbreeding. The results of both principal component analysis and evaluation using fastSTRUCTURE demonstrated that PW was clearly differentiated from other breeds. Together, these results indicate that PW is a distinctive genetic resource with a unique genetic structure separate from other Taihu and western pig breeds. Furthermore, this genome-wide comprehensive survey of the relationships among PW, Taihu and western pig breeds, demonstrates the rationality of the current breed classification of PW. The results also provide evidence about the unique genetic resource of PW, based on genome-wide genetic markers. These data will improve our understanding of the genetic structure and current state of PW breed, and facilitate the development of a national project for the conservation and utilization of these pigs.