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This paper aims to test two types of legislative shirking in a new democracy, South Korea. Using the lame-duck sessions of the Korean National Assembly, we test whether a legislator shirks in voting participation and in voting decisions. We weave two competing motivations of legislative shirking in voting participation – that to secure more leisure time and that to utilize the last, valuable voting opportunity – into a synthetic hypothesis and test it with two-part hurdle models. To test a shirking in voting participation hypothesis, we analyze legislators’ choices on bills that are supposedly related to the interests of constituents or political parties. Empirical results strongly support our shirking in voting participation claims, while only partial evidence is found on shirking in voting decisions. The findings suggest that, besides the trade-off between labor and leisure, some legislators deem the lame-duck sessions an opportunity to express their own preferences unconstrained.
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.
Historically, patient access processes of new and innovative medical devices including in-vitro diagnostics are made in the sequence of regulatory approval, new Health Technology Assessment (nHTA) approval, reimbursement coverage and coding finally reaching the pricing approval stage in South Korea. Although the individual patient access process has its own distinct objective and perspective, there are still opportunities for the authorities or agencies in charge to streamline their processes by working together to promote earlier patient access of new and innovative medical devices to patients without impacting their own decision making.
This research examined and analyzed the current policies about: patient access processes with a holistic viewpoint, industry-wide survey about patient access practices; case studies of two innovative medical devices for patient access in South Korea and also proposed new or alternative programs which can contribute to patient access harmonization efforts with a holistic approach.
Historically, health authorities play defensive strategies by delaying the adoption of new and innovative medical devices and implementing certain periods (that is, 2 to 5 years) for a patient's out-of-pocket payment scheme. It is well illustrated with the statistic that only twenty-nine percent of new and innovative medical technologies which have successfully gone through the nHTA process were determined for reimbursement coverage in the past 7 years.
The survey by the medical device industry to determine the patient access lead-time of innovative medical devices with a holistic perspective indicated significantly delayed patient access even considerabley exceeding the legally required decision-making lead time. The in-depth case studies with two innovative devices indicated the disadvantageous patient access processes to the innovator in terms of both final approval timing and the price level.
The concurrent review process for reimbursement coverage decision making for medical procedures, medical devices and reimbursement coverage payment guidelines committed within the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service shall be created. New programs to deal with uncertainty in reimbursement coverage decision making shall be considered such as coverage with evidence development, performance-based risk-sharing arrangement, multi-criteria decision analysis and economic evaluation.
Adequate facepiece fit of N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) is crucial for optimal protection against airborne pathogens. The quantitative fit test (QNFT) pass rates of the 4 N95 FFR models commonly used in Korea were below 50%. Male sex was identified as a single independent predictive factor for QNFT pass.
It has not been well established whether dietary folate intake reduces the risk of diabetes development. We aimed to clarify the prospective association between dietary folate intake and type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk among 7333 Korean adults aged 40 years or older who were included in the Multi-Rural Communities Cohort. Dietary folate intake was estimated from all 106 food items listed on a FFQ, not including folate intake from supplements. Two different measurements of dietary folate intake were used: the baseline consumption and the average consumption from baseline until just before the end of follow-up. The association between folate intake and T2D risk was determined through a modified Poisson regression model with a robust error estimator controlling for potential confounders. For 29 745 person years, 319 cases of diabetes were ascertained. In multivariable analyses, dietary folate intake was inversely associated with risk of T2D for women, not for men. For women, the incidence rate ratio of diabetes in the third tertile compared with the first tertile was 0·57 (95 % CI 0·38–0·87, Pfor trend=0·0085) in the baseline consumption model and 0·64 (95 % CI 0·43–0·95, Pfor trend=0·0244) in the average consumption model. These inverse associations was found in both normal fasting blood glucose group and impaired fasting glucose group among women. Among non-users of multinutrients and vitamin supplements, the significant inverse association remained. Thus, higher dietary intake of folate is prospectively associated with lower risk of diabetes for women.
Allicin (AL) regulates the cellular redox, proliferation, viability, and cell cycle of different cells against extracellular-derived stress. This study investigated the effects of allicin treatment on porcine oocyte maturation and developmental competence. Porcine oocytes were cultured in medium supplemented with 0 (control), 0.01, 0.1, 1, 10 or 100 μM AL, respectively, during in vitro maturation (IVM). The rate of polar body emission was higher in the 0.1 AL-treated group (74.5% ± 2.3%) than in the control (68.0% ± 2.6%) (P < 0.1). After parthenogenetic activation, the rates of cleavage and blastocyst formation were significantly higher in the 0.1 AL-treated group than in the control (P < 0.05). The reactive oxygen species level at metaphase II did not significantly differ among all groups. In matured oocytes, the expression of both BAK and CASP3, and BIRC5 was significantly lower and higher, respectively, in the 0.1 AL-treated group than in the control. Similarly, the expression of BMP15 and CCNB1, and the activity of phospho-p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), significantly increased. These results indicate that supplementation of oocyte maturation medium with allicin during IVM improves the maturation of oocytes and the subsequent developmental competence of porcine oocytes.
Personality may predispose family caregivers to experience caregiving differently in similar situations and influence the outcomes of caregiving. A limited body of research has examined the role of some personality traits for health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among family caregivers of persons with dementia (PWD) in relation to burden and depression.
Data from a large clinic-based national study in South Korea, the Caregivers of Alzheimer's Disease Research (CARE), were analyzed (N = 476). Path analysis was performed to explore the association between family caregivers’ personality traits and HRQoL. With depression and burden as mediating factors, direct and indirect associations between five personality traits and HRQoL of family caregivers were examined.
Results demonstrated the mediating role of caregiver burden and depression in linking two personality traits (neuroticism and extraversion) and HRQoL. Neuroticism and extraversion directly and indirectly influenced the mental HRQoL of caregivers. Neuroticism and extraversion only indirectly influenced their physical HRQoL. Neuroticism increased the caregiver's depression, whereas extraversion decreased it. Neuroticism only was mediated by burden to influence depression and mental and physical HRQoL.
Personality traits can influence caregiving outcomes and be viewed as an individual resource of the caregiver. A family caregiver's personality characteristics need to be assessed for tailoring support programs to get the optimal benefits from caregiver interventions.
The Sewol ferry disaster is one of the most tragic events in Korea’s modern history. Among the 476 people on board, which included Danwon High School students (324) and teachers (14), 304 passengers died in the disaster (295 recovered corpses and 9 missing) and 172 survived. Of the rescued survivors, 72 were attending Danwon High School, located in Ansan City, and residing in a residence nearby. Because the students were young, emotionally susceptible adolescents, both the government and the parents requested the students be grouped together at a single hospital capable of appropriate psychiatric care. Korea University Ansan Hospital was the logical choice, as the only third-tier university-grade hospital with the necessary faculty and facilities within the residential area of the families of the students. We report the experiences and the lessons learned from the processes of preparing for and managing the surviving young students as a community-based hospital. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:389–393)
This paper reports the results of tree-ring dating and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) wiggle-matching for wooden Buddhist statues stored at the Eungjindang Hall of Neunggasa Temple, South Korea. Among 23 statues, 10 were successfully dated by tree rings. The cutting date of logs used for the statues was determined as some time between late fall 1684 and early spring 1685 when the bark ring (AD 1684) completed latewood formation. The 95.4% confidence interval of a radiocarbon date (cal AD 1688–1713, 2 σ), which was obtained by wiggle-matching 7 samples of a statue, is similar to the dendro-date (AD 1684). A historical document recorded that the statues in the Eungjindang of Neunggasa were dedicated in July 1685. The dendro-date and written record indicate that Eungjindang statues were made within 3–8 months after log cutting. This seems rather short if we consider the period required for natural drying to avoid defects such as cracking and crooking.
To examine the hypothesis that the association between vitamin D deficiency and depressive symptoms is dependent upon total cholesterol level in a representative national sample of the South Korean population.
This was a population-based cross-sectional study.
The Fifth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES V, 2010–2012).
We included 7198 adults aged 20–88 years.
The incidence of depressive symptoms in individuals with vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D<20 ng/ml) was 1·54-fold (95 % CI 1·20, 1·98) greater than in individuals without vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D ≥20 ng/ml). The relationship was stronger in individuals with normal-to-borderline serum total cholesterol (serum total cholesterol<240 mg/dl; OR=1·60; 95 % CI 1·23, 2·08) and non-significant in individuals with high serum total cholesterol (OR=0·97; 95 % CI 0·52, 1·81) after adjustment for confounding variables (age, sex, BMI, alcohol consumption, smoking status, regular exercise, income level, education level, marital status, changes in body weight, perceived body shape, season of examination date and cholesterol profiles).
The association between vitamin D deficiency and depressive symptoms was weakened by high serum total cholesterol status. These findings suggest that both vitamin D and total cholesterol are important targets for the prevention and treatment of depression.
The YSTAR program is a general sky survey looking for variability. The main equipments are three 0.5-m telescopes. These telescopes have fast F/2 optics covering nearly 3.5 square degree field onto a 2K CCD. They also have very fast slew capability, which exceeds 10 degrees per second. These two factors make them most suitable for rapid target acquisition and wide-field surveys of various kinds. Our primary objective is to identify and monitor variable stars down to 18th R-magnitude, and our observing mode allows the same data set to be also useful in identifying asteroids. Our first telescope has just begun regular automated operation, and the second telescope will be installed in South Africa within this year to provide coverage of the southern sky.
It is unclear how brain reserve interacts with gender and apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) genotype, and how this influences the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The association between intracranial volume (ICV) and progression to AD in subjects with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and differences according to gender and APOE4 genotype, was investigated.
Data from subjects initially diagnosed with MCI and at least two visits were downloaded from the ADNI database. Those who progressed to AD were defined as converters. The longitudinal influence of ICV was determined by survival analysis. The time of conversion from MCI to AD was set as a fiducial point, as all converters would be at a similar disease stage then, and longitudinal trajectories of brain atrophy and cognitive decline around that point were compared using linear mixed models.
Large ICV increased the risk of conversion to AD in males (HR: 4.24, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.17–15.40) and APOE4 non-carriers (HR: 10.00, 95% CI: 1.34–74.53), but not in females or APOE4 carriers. Cognitive decline and brain atrophy progressed at a faster rate in males with large ICV than in those with small ICV during the two years before and after the time of conversion.
Large ICV increased the risk of conversion to AD in males and APOE4 non-carriers with MCI. This may be due to its influence on disease trajectory, which shortens the duration of the MCI stage. A longitudinal model of progression trajectory is proposed.
The diagnostic relevance of subjective memory complaints (SMCs) in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) remains to be unresolved. The aim of this study is to determine clinical correlates of SMCs in MCI. Furthermore, we examined whether there are the differences due to different aspects of complaints (i.e. prospective memory (PM) versus retrospective memory (RM) complaints).
We examined the cross-sectional associations between SMCs and depressive symptoms, instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), and cognitive measures in sixty-six individuals with MCI (mean age: 65.7 ± 8.01 years). The criteria for MCI included SMCs, objective cognitive impairment, normal general cognitive function, largely intact functional activities, and absence of dementia. SMCs were assessed using the Prospective and Retrospective Memory Questionnaire (PRMQ), which contains 16 items describing everyday memory failure of both PM and RM.
SMC severity (i.e. PRMQ total score) was associated with stronger depressive symptoms and worse IADL performance. SMCs were not related to cognitive measures. For PM and RM subscores, both depressive symptoms and IADL were related to the PRMQ-PM and -RM scores. The main contributors to these PM and RM scores were depressive symptoms and IADL impairment, respectively.
This study suggests that SMCs are more associated with depressive symptoms and IADL problems than with cognitive performance in individuals with MCI. Furthermore, while PM and RM complaints are related to both depressive symptoms and IADL, the differences between these main contributors suggest that RM complaints based on IADL could be more associated with the organically driven pathological features of MCI.
To examine the association of food insufficiency with dietary intake and eating and health behaviours.
A cross-sectional study.
Data were obtained from a secondary source, the Fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2010–2012).
The sample size consisted of 15 603 adults over 19 years of age (8898 households).
Significant differences in socio-economic factors were observed according to food insufficiency level (P<0·05), but BMI was similar among groups. Regarding macronutrients, lower protein intake and higher carbohydrate intake were found in the severely food-insufficient group, but we found no association with fat intake. Regarding micronutrients, Ca, Fe, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin niacin and vitamin C intakes were negatively associated with food insufficiency level (Ptrend<0·05). Consumption of different food groups, such as meat, fish, eggs and beans, vegetables and fruits, was significantly lower as food insufficiency level decreased after controlling for all possible variables; food group consumption also differed by sex. Overall eating and health behaviours were poorer in the mildly and severely food-insufficient groups, who received more food assistance but less nutritional education.
Our results showed that dietary intake as well as eating and health behaviours are adversely associated with food insufficiency. These findings suggest that specific strategies to help food-insufficient individuals should be developed in order to improve their dietary quality and health status.
Cerebral white matter hyperintensities (WMH) are prevalent incident findings on brain MRI scans among elderly people and have been consistently implicated in cognitive dysfunction. However, differential roles of WMH by region in cognitive function are still unclear. The aim of this study was to ascertain the differential role of regional WMH in predicting progression from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to different subtypes of dementia.
Participants were recruited from the Clinical Research Center for Dementia of South Korea (CREDOS) study. A total of 622 participants with MCI diagnoses at baseline and follow-up evaluations were included for the analysis. Initial MRI scans were rated for WMH on a visual rating scale developed for the CREDOS. Differential effects of regional WMH in predicting incident dementia were evaluated using the Cox proportional hazards model.
Of the 622 participants with MCI at baseline, 139 patients (22.3%) converted to all-cause dementia over a median of 14.3 (range 6.0–36.5) months. Severe periventricular WMH (PWMH) predicted incident all-cause dementia (Hazard ratio (HR) 2.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.43–3.43) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) (HR 1.86; 95% CI 1.12–3.07). Subcortical vascular dementia (SVD) was predicted by both PWMH (HR 16.14; 95% CI 1.97–132.06) and DWMH (HR 8.77; 95% CI 1.77–43.49) in more severe form (≥ 10 mm).
WMH differentially predict dementia by region and severity. Our findings suggest that PWMH may play an independent role in the pathogenesis of dementia, especially in AD.
During the past decade, carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) has emerged and spread across the world.1 The major carbapenemase enzymes currently being reported are KPC, NDM-1, VIM, IMP, and OXA.2 Because carbapenemase can be effectively transmitted via mobile genetic elements, and current therapeutic options for CPE infections are extremely limited, CPE may be one of the most serious contemporary threats to public health. However, very little is known about the characteristics of CPE carriage during hospitalization. The aims of this study were to investigate the clearance rate of CPE carriage and determine the number of consecutive negative cultures required to confirm CPE clearance. We also examined CPE transmission among hospitalized patients.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(11):1361–1362