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Based on a real-world collaboration with innovators in applying early health economic modeling, we aimed to offer practical steps that health technology assessment (HTA) researchers and innovators can follow and promote the usage of early HTA among research and development (R&D) communities.
The HTA researcher was approached by the innovator to carry out an early HTA ahead of the first clinical trial of the technology, a soft robotic sock for poststroke patients. Early health economic modeling was selected to understand the potential value of the technology and to help uncover the information gap. Threshold analysis was used to identify the target product profiles. Value-of-information analysis was conducted to understand the uncertainties and the need for further research.
Based on the expected price and clinical effectiveness by the innovator, the new technology was found to be cost-saving compared to the current practice. Risk reduction in deep vein thrombosis and ankle contracture, the incidence rate of ankle contracture, the compliance rate of the new technology, and utility scores were found to have high impacts on the value-for-money of the new technology. The value of information was low if the new technology can achieve the expected clinical effectiveness. A list of parameters was recommended for data collection in the impending clinical trial.
This work, based on a real-world collaboration, has illustrated that early health economic modeling can inform medical innovation development. We provided practical steps in order to achieve more efficient R&D investment in medical innovation moving forward.
Although maternal mental illnesses have been found to influence child health and development, little is known about the impact of maternal positive well-being on child health and development. Therefore, this longitudinal study investigated the effects of prenatal subjective well-being on birth outcomes and child development by considering the potential modifier effect of parity.
Pregnant women in early stages of pregnancy were recruited at five selected hospitals in Taipei, Taiwan, during their prenatal appointments since 2011. Self-reported evaluations were conducted at seven time points up to 2 years postpartum. Linear regression and generalized estimating equation models were used for examination.
Higher prenatal eudaimonic well-being was associated with longer gestational length (adjusted beta [aβ] = 0.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.03, 0.68) and higher birth weight (aβ = 124.71, 95% CI = 35.75, 213.66). Higher positive and negative affect were associated with longer gestational length (aβ = 0.38, 95% CI = 0.06, 0.70) and smaller birth weight (aβ = −93.51, 95% CI = −178.35, −8.67), respectively. For child’s outcomes, we found an association between higher prenatal eudaimonic well-being and decreased risks of suspected developmental delay, particularly for children of multiparous mothers (adjusted odds ratio = 0.18, 95% CI = 0.05, 0.70). Higher levels of prenatal depression and anxiety were significantly associated with increased risks of suspected developmental delay for children of primiparous mothers.
Positive prenatal maternal mental health may benefit birth outcomes and child development, particularly for children of multiparous mothers. Interventions for improving prenatal mental health may be beneficial for child development.
This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of high-frequency oscillation ventilation combined with intermittent mandatory ventilation in infants with acute respiratory distress syndrome after congenital heart surgery.
We retrospectively analysed the clinical data of 32 infants who were ventilated due to acute respiratory distress syndrome after congenital heart surgery between January, 2020 and January, 2022. We adopted high-frequency oscillation ventilation combined with intermittent mandatory ventilation as the rescue ventilation mode for infants who were failing conventional mechanical ventilation.
After rescue high-frequency oscillation ventilation combined with intermittent mandatory ventilation, the dynamic compliance (Cdyn), PaO2 and PaO2/FiO2 ratio of the infants improved compared with conventional mechanical ventilation (p < 0.05). Moreover, high-frequency oscillation ventilation combined with intermittent mandatory ventilation resulted in a significant decrease in arterial-alveolar oxygen difference (AaDO2), FiO2, and oxygenation index (p < 0.05). No significant effect on haemodynamic parameters was observed. Moreover, no serious complications occurred in the two groups.
Rescue high-frequency oscillation ventilation combined with intermittent mandatory ventilation significantly improved oxygenation in infants who failed conventional mechanical ventilation for acute respiratory distress syndrome after congenital heart surgery. Thus, this strategy is considered safe and feasible. However, further studies must be conducted to confirm the efficacy and safety of high-frequency oscillation ventilation combined with intermittent mandatory ventilation as a rescue perioperative respiratory support strategy for CHD.
The COVID-19 caused a world pandemic, posing a huge threat to global health. Widespread vaccination is the most effective way to control the pandemic. Vaccination with the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is currently underway. We aimed to determine the attitude of adolescents toward the third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
A structured questionnaire was administered between 16 August and 28 October 2021 among adolescents aged 12–17 years in three provinces of eastern region of China based on convenience sampling. The questionnaire was specifically developed to assess the adolescents’ attitude toward and willingness to accept a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In total, 94.3% (1742/1847) of the adolescents intended to accept the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Age between 15–17 years, no worry about vaccine safety, confidence for vaccine effectiveness, and supporting opinion from parents were independently associated with acceptance of the third dose (p < 0.05).
It is necessary for governments and school administrators to raise adolescents’ and parents’ awareness of the benefits and safety of the third dose of vaccination, which should be effective to increase the vaccination coverage among adolescents.
The parasite Fasciola hepatica is an important zoonotic parasite. The development of an animal model of F. hepatica's life cycle is critical for studying the biological characteristics of the parasite in snails and mammals. Eggs of F. hepatica of bovine origin were cultured, and metacercariae were obtained after infection of Galba pervia snails. The life cycle system of F. hepatica was initiated in 2 different animals by orally infecting rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice with the metacercariae. The animals' survival after infection, parasite migration in the animals and pathological damage to the liver were observed. We discovered that rabbits died due to acute suppurative hepatitis 60–69 days after infection, and eggs were found in the feces on day 63 of infection. The liver of SD rats showed punctate lesions on day 3 of infection, and further changes occurred as the infection progressed. However, liver repair was observed at week 9. SD rats survived for more than a year after infection and continued the F. hepatica life cycle. The liver lesions in Kunming mice after infection were similar but more severe than those in SD rats. Death was observed on the 31st post-infection day. We discovered that while rabbits, SD rats and Kunming mice can all be used as animal models of F. hepatica, SD rats are more suitable experimental animals in terms of tolerance and pathological response.
The aim of this study was to explore the impact of polymorphism of PD-1 gene and its interaction with tea drinking on susceptibility to tuberculosis (TB). A total of 503 patients with TB and 494 controls were enrolled in this case–control study. Three single-nucleotide polymorphisms of PD-1 (rs7568402, rs2227982 and rs36084323) were genotyped and unconditional logistic regression analysis was used to identify the association between PD-1 polymorphism and TB, while marginal structural linear odds models were used to estimate the interactions. Genotypes GA (OR 1.434), AA (OR 1.891) and GA + AA (OR 1.493) at rs7568402 were more prevalent in the TB patients than in the controls (P < 0.05). The relative excess risk of interaction (RERI) between rs7568402 of PD-1 genes and tea drinking was −0.3856 (95% confidence interval −0.7920 to −0.0209, P < 0.05), which showed a negative interaction. However, the RERIs between tea drinking and both rs2227982 and rs36084323 of PD-1 genes were not statistically significant. Our data demonstrate that rs7568402 of PD-1 genes was associated with susceptibility to TB, and there was a significant negative interaction between rs7568402 and tea drinking. Therefore, preventive measures through promoting the consumption of tea should be emphasised in the high-risk populations.
The isolation of male and female gametes is an effective method to study the fertilization mechanisms of higher plants. An osmotic shock method was used to rupture pollen grains of Allium tuberosum Roxb and release the pollen contents, including generative cells, which were mass collected. The pollinated styles were cut following 3 h of in vivo growth, and cultured in medium for 6–8 h, during which time pollen tubes grew out of the cut end of the style. After pollen tubes were transferred into a solution containing 6% mannitol, tubes burst and released pairs of sperm cells. Ovules of A. tuberosum were incubated in an enzyme solution for 30 min, and then dissected to remove the integuments. Following transfer to a dissecting solution free of enzymes, each nucellus was cut in the middle, and squeezed gently on the micropylar end, resulting in the liberation of the egg, zygote and proembryo from ovules at selected stages. These cells can be used to explore fertilization and embryonic development using molecular biological methods for each cell type and development stage.
The aim of this study was to analyze the profile of chest injuries, oxygen therapy for respiratory failure, and the outcomes of victims after the Jiangsu tornado, which occurred on June 23, 2016 in Yancheng City, Jiangsu Province, China.
The clinical records of 144 patients referred to Yancheng City No.1 People’s Hospital from June 23 through June 25 were retrospectively investigated. Of those patients, 68 (47.2%) sustained major chest injuries. The demographic details, trauma history, details of injuries and Abbreviated Injury Scores (AIS), therapy for respiratory failure, surgical procedures, length of intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stay, and mortality were analyzed.
Of the 68 patients, 41 (60.3%) were female and 27 (39.7%) were male. The average age of the injured patients was 57.1 years. Forty-six patients (67.6%) suffered from polytrauma. The mean thoracic AIS of the victims was calculated as 2.85 (SD = 0.76). Rib fracture was the most common chest injury, noted in 56 patients (82.4%). Pulmonary contusion was the next most frequent injury, occurring in 12 patients (17.7%). Ten patients with severe chest trauma were admitted to ICU. The median ICU stay was 11.7 (SD = 8.5) days. Five patients required intubation and ventilation, one patient was treated with noninvasive positive pressure ventilation (NPPV), and four patients were treated with high-flow nasal cannula (HFNC). Three patients died during hospitalization. The hospital mortality was 4.41%.
Chest trauma was a common type of injury after tornado. The most frequent thoracic injuries were rib fractures and pulmonary contusion. Severe chest trauma is usually associated with a high incidence of respiratory support requirements and a long length of stay in the ICU. Early initiation of appropriate oxygen therapy was vital to restoring normal respiratory function and saving lives. Going forward, HFNC might be an effective and well-tolerated therapeutic addition to the management of acute respiratory failure in chest trauma.
As a wide-reaching institutional reform, China's fiscal decentralization was launched in the early 1980s to encourage provincial economic growth by granting more financial autonomy to provincial governments. In this paper, the impact of fiscal decentralization on China's environmental quality is investigated both theoretically and empirically. A neoclassical model is developed based on the primary characteristics of China's fiscal decentralization. Using provincial panel data for the period 1995-2015, a two-equation regression model is employed to empirically verify the three propositions of the theoretical model: (1) there exists an inverted-U shaped relationship between fiscal decentralization and GDP per capita; (2) fiscal decentralization is positively related to GDP per capita at the steady state; (3) there is an inverted-U shaped Environmental Kuznets Curve relationship between pollution emissions and economic growth.
Several studies have suggested that higher carotenoid levels may be beneficial for atherosclerosis patients, but few studies have examined this relationship in the Chinese population. This cross-sectional study examined the association between the levels of carotenoids in diet and serum and carotid intima–media thickness (IMT) in Chinese adults aged 50–75 years in Guangzhou, China. Dietary intake was assessed using a FFQ. HPLC was used to assay the serum concentrations of α-carotene, β-carotene, lutein+zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin and lycopene. The IMT at the common carotid artery (CCA) and bifurcation of the carotid artery was measured by B-mode ultrasound. A total of 3707 and 2947 participants were included in the analyses of dietary and serum carotenoids. After adjustment for demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle factors, all the serum carotenoids levels except lycopene were found to be inversely associated with the IMT at the CCA and bifurcation (Ptrend<0·001 to 0·013) in both men and women. The absolute mean differences in the IMT between the subjects in the extreme quartiles of serum carotenoid levels were 0·034 mm (α-carotene), 0·037 mm (β-carotene), 0·032 mm (lutein+zeaxanthin), 0·030 mm (β-cryptoxanthin), 0·015 mm (lycopene) and 0·035 mm (total carotenoids) at the CCA; the corresponding values were 0·025, 0·053 0·043, 0·050, 0·011 and 0·042 mm at the bifurcation. The favourable associations were also observed between dietary carotenoids (except lycopene) and the CCA IMT. In conclusion, elevated carotenoid levels in diet and serum are associated with lower carotid IMT values (particular at the CCA) in Chinese adults.
In traditional antenna design, metal components are not placed in the central part of the antenna as they change the characteristics of near field radiation. However, we show that placing a metal ring in the centre of the strip lines, which connect the ends of folded high-frequency dipoles, does not damage the performance of the feed. Instead it significantly improves the voltage standing wave ratio of the feed whilst other performance indicators are not compromised. Thus, our findings show an excellent way of improving the wide band feed. Based on this foundation, a new circularly polarised feed for operation between 0.4 to 2 GHz is introduced for the Chinese Spectral Radioheliograph in this paper. The issue of a feed impedance matching network is investigated. By optimising the impedance matching, the performance of the feed is enhanced with respect to the previous realisations of the Eleven feed. The simulation and experimental results show that the gain of the feed is about 10 dBi, and the VSWR is less than 2:1. In addition, the feed has a low axial ratio, fixed phase centre location, and constant beam width in the range of 0.4 to 2 GHz.
A novel radio frequency identification tag antenna is composed of a resonant open-slot exciter and a dipole-type ground radiator. For a conjugate match to the Alien Higgs-4 chip impedance of 8−j149 Ω at 925 MHz, a quarter wavelength open-slot resonator embedded at the center of the dipole-type ground plane (130 × 18 mm2) was investigated and fabricated. Simple size adjustments and various loaded inductor of the open-slot resonator allow for easy control of the tag antenna resistance and inductive reactance, from which the chip impedance requirement can be easily obtained. The read range of the prototype antenna attached on a foam in the free space can reach more than 9 m, which has been tested for a radio frequency identification reader with 4.0-W of effective isotropic radiated power. Measurement data are in good agreement with simulation results.
Recent studies have suggested an association between vitamin D and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); however, some results are subject to debate. This study was carried out to evaluate the correlation between NAFLD and vitamin D in men and women in East China. The data were obtained from a cross-sectional study that focused on the health and metabolic status of adults in sixteen areas of East China. According to ultrasonic assessments, the patients were divided into normal and NAFLD groups. Demographic characteristics and biochemical measurements were obtained. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to explore the association. In total, 5066 subjects were enrolled, and 2193 (43·3 %) were diagnosed with NAFLD; 84·56 % of the subjects showed vitamin D deficiency. Subjects with high vitamin D levels had a lower prevalence of NAFLD, particularly male subjects. Within the highest quartile of vitamin D levels, the prevalence of NAFLD was 40·8 %, whereas the lowest quartile of vitamin D levels showed a prevalence of 62·2 %, which was unchanged in women across the vitamin D levels. Binary logistic analysis showed that decreased vitamin D levels were associated with an increased risk of NAFLD (OR 1·54; 95 % CI 1·26, 1·88). This study suggests that vitamin D levels are significantly associated with NAFLD and that vitamin D acts as an independent factor for NAFLD prevalence, particularly in males in East China. Vitamin D interventional treatment might be a new target for controlling NAFLD; elucidating the mechanism requires further research.
Obesity and hyperlipidaemia increase the risk of CVD. Some strains of probiotics have been suggested to have potential applications in cardiovascular health by lowering serum LDL-cholesterol. In this work, high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidaemia in hamsters was treated with different doses (5×108 and 2·5×109 cells/kg per d) of heat-killed Lactobacillus reuteri GMNL-263 (Lr263) by oral gavage for 8 weeks. The serum lipid profile analysis showed that LDL-cholesterol and plasma malondialdehyde (P-MDA) were reduced in the GMNL-263 5×108 cells/kg per d treatment group. Total cholesterol and P-MDA were reduced in the GMNL-263 2·5×109 cells/kg per d treatment group. In terms of heart function, the GMNL-263 2·5×109 cells/kg per d treatments improved the ejection fraction from 85·71 to 91·81 % and fractional shortening from 46·93 to 57·92 % in the high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts. Moreover, the GMNL-263-treated, high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts exhibited reduced Fas-induced myocardial apoptosis and a reactivated IGF1R/PI3K/Akt cell survival pathway. Interestingly, the GMNL-263 treatments also enhanced the heat-shock protein 27 expression in a dose-dependent manner, but the mechanism for this increase remains unclear. In conclusion, supplementary heat-killed L. reuteri GMNL-263 can slightly reduce serum cholesterol. The anti-hyperlipidaemia effects of GMNL-263 may reactivate the IGF1R/PI3K/Akt cell survival pathway and reduce Fas-induced myocardial apoptosis in high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts.
The Chinese Spectral Radioheliograph is an aperture-synthesis telescope observing the Sun in ultra wide bandwidth on the ground. It contains two arrays Chinese Spectral Radioheliograph-I and Chinese Spectral Radioheliograph-II from 0.4 to 15 GHz. In order to obtain ultra wide-band performance, the cascaded folded dipoles are used in this feed. At the same time, in order to get circularly polarised signals coming from the Sun, a wide-band 90° hybrid is added in the output ports of the feed. This feed has characteristics of about 10 dBi gain, less than 1.5 voltage standing wave ratio. It also has characteristics with low axial ratio, fixed phase centre location, and constant beam width in operating frequencies. Through cross-correlating all combinations of two orthogonal polarisations at each antenna, the polarisation state of the waves is measured and give a differential instrumental delay between two data channels. The relationship between the own polarisation degree of the Sun and the observed polarisation degree is also measured for cross-polarised delay in observing the Sun in this paper.
Titanium oxide photoelectrodes have been used for water splitting for a few decades, but have low solar-to-hydrogen efficiencies. Perovskite halides (e.g., CH3NH3PbI3) have recently emerged as an efficient light absorber system. We try to combine the two materials to create new photoelectrodes to achieve a higher efficiency for hydrogen production. The photoelectrodes are investigated for water-splitting hydrogen production under Xe light irradiation by photoelectrochemical (PEC) reaction. Since perovskite halides are favorable light harvesters under UV and visible light irradiation, the composite films of titania and perovskite halide would achieve efficient water splitting. The hydrogen production rate using the composite films is higher than that using anatase TiO2 electrode. However, the composite films are not stable in water under light irradiation and the perovskite halide gradually decomposes into lead halide.
Factors affecting quality of life (QOL) ratings for people with dementia (PWD) have been well studied, but few studies have examined the effect of residence on PWD- and caregiver-rated QOL for PWDs. We designed this study to determine the factors related to PWD- and caregiver-rated QOL in dementia as well as factors related to the discrepancy in these ratings.
For this cross-sectional study, we analyzed data from a convenience sample of 106 PWD-family caregiver dyads (58 community-dwelling dyads and 48 nursing-home dyads). PWDs’ data included socio-demographic variables, QOL (assessed by the Quality of Life-Alzheimer's Disease [QOL-AD] scale), cognition, dementia severity, depression, comorbidities, and quality of the dyadic relationship. Caregivers’ data included socio-demographic variables, depressive symptoms, and mutuality of the dyadic relationship.
QOL-AD scores were lower when rated by caregivers than by PWDs. The key factors positively related to both PWD- and caregiver-rated QOL for PWDs were fewer PWD depressive symptoms and higher quality of the PWD-caregiver relationship. The key factors related to the discrepancy in PWD- and caregiver-rated QOL in dementia were PWD residence in a nursing home and lower dementia severity, as well as higher caregiver depression, being an adult child caregiver, and lower caregiver-PWD mutuality.
Caregiver-rated QOL for PWDs and the discrepancy in rated QOL were significantly associated with PWD residence. If caregiver-rated QOL is needed, the effect of residence of PWD should be taken into consideration. Caregivers’ depressive status and mutuality with PWD must be also carefully assessed.
The association between serum carotenoids and the metabolic syndrome (MetS) remains uncertain, and little is known about this relationship in the Chinese population. The present study examined the association between serum carotenoid concentrations and the MetS in Chinese adults. We conducted a community-based cross-sectional study in which 2148 subjects (1547 women and 601 men) aged 50–75 years were recruited in urban Guangzhou, China. Dietary data and other covariates were collected during face-to-face interviews. Blood pressure, waist circumference, blood lipids, glucose and serum carotenoids (α-, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene and lutein/zeaxanthin) were examined. We found dose–response inverse relationships between individual serum carotenoid concentrations and total carotenoids and the prevalence of the MetS after adjusting for potential confounders (P for trend < 0·001). The OR of the MetS for the highest (v. lowest) quartile were 0·31 (95 % CI 0·20, 0·47) for α-carotene, 0·23 (95 % CI 0·15, 0·36) for β-carotene, 0·44 (95 % CI 0·29, 0·67) for β-cryptoxanthin, 0·39 (95 % CI 0·26, 0·58) for lycopene, 0·28 (95 % CI 0·18, 0·44) for lutein+zeaxanthin and 0·19 (95 % CI 0·12, 0·30) for total carotenoids. Higher concentrations of each individual carotenoid and total carotenoids were significantly associated with a decrease in the number of abnormal MetS components (P for trend < 0·001–0·023). Higher serum carotenoid levels were associated with a lower prevalence of the MetS and fewer abnormal MetS components in middle-aged and elderly Chinese adults.
A new ultra-high frequency radio frequency identification (RFID) tag antenna, which is comprised a U-shaped tuning stub and a dipole radiator for different permittivity surfaces is investigated, fabricated, and measured. For a conjugate match to the NXP G2XM chip impedance of 29–j137 at 915 MHz, a dipole tag antenna with U-shaped stubconnected to dipole arms was designed. Simple size adjustments of the U-shaped tuning stub and dipole radiator of the antenna allow for easy control of the antenna resistance and inductive reactance, from which the chip impedance requirement may be readily satisfied. The read range of the prototype antenna attached on a different permittivity surfaces (εr = 1–4) can reach more than 4.5 m, which has been tested for an RFID reader with 4.0 W of effective isotropic radiated power. The antenna structure consists of two dipole load bars and two loop electrically connected. The design offers more choice of freedom to tune the input impedance of the proposed antenna. Measurement data are presented which are in good agreement with simulation results. The design is suitable for mounting on all kinds of objects. The fabricated tag sensitivity of −3 dBm, read range of 7 m on the x–z and y–z planes, and the measured orientation radiation patterns were obtained in the desired frequency band.