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Litter-dwelling arthropods play an important role in maintaining forest ecosystem function. This study was designed to understand seasonal variations and diversity of litter-dwelling adult beetles, one of the most diverse groups of arthropods. Sampling was conducted in mixed-wood forests of South Korea between March and December 2019, covering all seasons, including winter. We used a sifting method and a Berlese funnel to collect arthropods living in leaf litter and soil. We collected a total of 5820 invertebrates representing six orders, of which 1422 were beetles representing 24 families and minimum 141 species. Beetle species richness was highest in spring and lowest in summer based on rarefaction and extrapolation. However, beetle abundance was lowest in spring, but abundance was similar among the other seasons. Beetle assemblage composition was correlated significantly with soil surface and atmospheric temperature. The assemblage composition differed among seasons, except between spring and winter, which overlapped slightly. The combined sifting–Berlese funnel method showed great advantages for investigating the diversity of overwintering arthropods. Continued study of the relationship between arthropods and the leaf-litter environment is essential to understand this microecosystem and will increase the chance of discovering new beetle species.
Does single pregnancy adversely affect infant health? This is a challenging research question because there is selection in coresidence during pregnancy. We exploit quasi-natural variation in single pregnancy from the moment of conception to birth, arising from the reform of the marriageable age laws in Korea. The Korean birth certificate data are unique. They provide the information about the coresidence status in addition to the legal marital status. The coresidence start date allows us to identify the intensity of coresidence during pregnancy. We find that coresidence or legal marriage during pregnancy does not significantly affect birth outcomes.
The vitamin B group, including riboflavin, plays paramount roles in one-carbon metabolism (OCM), and disorders related to this pathway have been linked to cancer development. The variants of genes encoding OCM enzymes and the insufficiency of B vitamins could contribute to carcinogenesis. Very few observational studies have revealed a relationship between riboflavin and gastric cancer (GC), especially under conditions of modified genetic factors. We carried out a study examining the association of riboflavin intake and its interaction with MTRR (rs1532268) genetic variants with GC risk among 756 controls and 377 cases. The OR and 95 % CI were evaluated using unconditional logistic regression models. We observed protective effects of riboflavin intake against GC, particularly in the female subgroup (OR = 0·52, 95 % CI 0·28, 0·97, Ptrend = 0·031). In the MTRR (rs1532268) genotypes analysis, the dominant model showed that the effects of riboflavin differed between the CC and CT + TT genotypes. Compared with CC carriers, low riboflavin intake in T+ carriers was significantly associated with a 93 % higher GC risk (OR = 1·93, 95 % CI 1·09, 3·42, Pinteraction = 0·037). In general, higher riboflavin intake might help reduce the risk of GC in both CC and TC + TT carriers, particularly the T+ carriers, with marginal significance (OR = 0·54, 95 % CI 0·28, 1·02, Pinteraction = 0·037). Our study indicates a protective effect of riboflavin intake against GC. Those who carry at least one minor allele and have low riboflavin intake could modify this association to increase GC risk in the Korean population.
To investigate the impacts of depression screening, diagnosis and treatment on major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) in acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Prospective cohort study including a nested 24-week randomised clinical trial for treating depression was performed with 5–12 years after the index ACS. A total of 1152 patients recently hospitalised with ACS were recruited from 2006 to 2012, and were divided by depression screening and diagnosis at baseline and 24-week treatment allocation into five groups: 651 screening negative (N), 55 screening positive but no depressive disorder (S), 149 depressive disorder randomised to escitalopram (E), 151 depressive disorder randomised to placebo (P) and 146 depressive disorder receiving medical treatment only (M).
Cumulative MACE incidences over a median 8.4-year follow-up period were 29.6% in N, 43.6% in S, 40.9% in E, 53.6% in P and 59.6% in M. Compared to N, screening positive was associated with higher incidence of MACE [adjusted hazards ratio 2.15 (95% confidence interval 1.63–2.83)]. No differences were found between screening positive with and without a formal depressive disorder diagnosis. Of those screening positive, E was associated with a lower incidence of MACE than P and M. M had the worst outcomes even compared to P, despite significantly milder depressive symptoms at baseline.
Routine depression screening in patients with recent ACS and subsequent appropriate treatment of depression could improve long-term cardiac outcomes.
Depressive symptoms are common in bereaved caregivers; however, there have been few prospective studies using a structured interview. This study investigated the prevalence and preloss predictors of major depressive disorder (MDD) in bereaved caregivers of patients in a palliative care unit.
This prospective cohort study collected caregiver sociodemographic and psychological data before the death of a palliative care unit patient, including MDD, care-burden, coping style, and hopeful attitude. Postloss MDD was assessed 6 and 13 months after death, and a multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify its predictors.
Of 305 caregivers contacted, 92 participated in this study. The prevalence of preloss MDD was 21.8%; the prevalences of postloss MDD were 34.8% and 24.7% at 6 and 13 months, respectively. Preloss MDD predicted postloss MDD at 6 months (odds ratio [OR] = 5.38, 95% confidence interval [CI95%] = 1.29, 22.43); preloss nonhopeful attitude and unemployment status of caregivers predicted postloss MDD at 13 months (OR = 8.77, CI95% = 1.87, 41.13 and OR = 7.10, CI95% = 1.28, 39.36, respectively).
Significance of results
Approximately 35% of caregivers suffered from MDD at 6 months postloss, but the prevalence of MDD decreased to about 25% at 13 months. Preloss MDD significantly predicted postloss MDD at 6 months, whereas hopeful attitude and unemployment at baseline were significantly associated with postloss MDD at 13 months.
Cronobacter sakazakii is a life-threatening foodborne pathogen found in powdered infant formula and dairy products. Kefir is a dairy probiotic product and its antimicrobial activity against C. sakazakii was reported in our previous study. To identify key microorganisms that mediate growth suppression, we tested the antimicrobial activity of culture supernatants derived from lactic acid bacteria found in kefir. Lactobacillus kefiri DH5, L. kefiranofaciens DH101, and Bifidobacterium longum 720 (a commercial probiotic strain that served as a positive control) all significantly inhibited the growth of C. sakazakii ATCC 29544, delaying the initiation of exponential growth from 3 to 9 h in the nutrient broth. Among them, L. kefiri DH5 exerted the strongest antimicrobial effects against C. sakazakii, showing bactericidal effect at the addition of 300 µl of supernatant in 1 ml of nutrient broth. Interestingly, the supernatant of L. kefiri DH5 has higher pH and lower titrable acidity than that of L. kefiranofaciens DH101, suggesting metabolites produced by heterofermentation of L. kefiri acted more effectively to antagonise the growth of C. sakazakii. In addition, the supernatant of L. kefiri DH5 induced the leakage of cytoplasmic materials including nucleic acid and proteins, suggesting L. kefiri DH5 disrupted the cellular membrane integrity of C. sakazakii. Considering that pH neutralisation reduced the L. kefiri-dependent growth suppression, it is inferred that this activity is mainly due to organic acids produced during the fermentation process.
We trace Sn nanoparticles (NPs) produced from SnO2 nanotubes (NTs) during lithiation initialized by high energy e-beam irradiation. The growth dynamics of Sn NPs is visualized in liquid electrolytes by graphene liquid cell transmission electron microscopy. The observation reveals that Sn NPs grow on the surface of SnO2 NTs via coalescence and the final shape of agglomerated NPs is governed by surface energy of the Sn NPs and the interfacial energy between Sn NPs and SnO2 NTs. Our result will likely benefit more rational material design of the ideal interface for facile ion insertion.
This study aimed to describe the levels of social engagement and to examine the relationship between the nursing home scale groups and social engagement in nursing homes in South Korea.
A total of 314 residents were randomly selected from rosters provided by 10 nursing homes located in three metropolitan areas in South Korea. The outcome variable was social engagement measured by the Revised Index of Social Engagement (RISE), and the key independent variable was the nursing home scale (small, medium, and large). Individual factors (age, gender, activities of daily living and cognitive function, and depressive symptoms) and organizational factors (location, ownership, and staffing levels) were controlled in the model as covariates. Multilevel logistic regression was used in this study.
About half of the residents (46%) in this study were not socially engaged in the nursing home (RISE=0) where they resided. Controlling for individual- and organizational-level factors, the nursing home facility size was a significant factor to predict the likelihood of residents’ social engagement, with that the residents in large-scale nursing homes being less likely to be socially engaged than those in medium-scale nursing homes (odds ratio = 0.457; p-value = 0.005).
This study supports evidence from previous studies that smaller-scale nursing homes are likely to provide more person-centered care compared to larger-scale nursing homes. Subsequent quality studies are needed to examine how the mechanisms for how smaller-scale nursing homes can enhance residents’ social engagement in terms of care delivery processes.
According to most prospective studies, being underweight (BMI<18·5 kg/m2) is associated with significantly higher mortality than being of normal weight, especially among smokers. We aimed to explore in a generally lean population whether being underweight is significantly associated with increased all-cause mortality.
Prospective cohort study.
Korea Medical Insurance Corporation study with 14 years of follow-up.
After excluding deaths within the first 5 years of follow-up (1993–1997) to minimize reverse causation and excluding participants without information about smoking and health status, 94 133 men and 48 496 women aged 35–59 years in 1990 were included.
We documented 5411 (5·7 %) deaths in men and 762 (1·6 %) in women. Among never smokers, hazard ratios (HR) for underweight individuals were not significantly higher than those for normal-weight individuals (BMI=18·5–22·9 kg/m2): HR=0·87 (95 % CI 0·41, 1·84, P=0·72) for underweight men and HR=1·12 (95 % CI 0·76, 1·65, P=0·58) for underweight women. Among ex-smokers, HR=0·86 (95 % CI 0·38, 1·93, P=0·72) for underweight men and HR=3·77 (95 % CI 0·42, 32·29, P=0·24) for underweight women. Among current smokers, HR=1·60 (95 % CI 1·28, 2·01, P<0·001) for underweight men and HR=2·07 (95 % CI 0·43, 9·94, P=0·36) for underweight women.
The present study does not support that being underweight per se is associated with increased all-cause mortality in Korean men and women.