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Social isolation and homebound statuses are possible risk factors for increased mortality among older adults. However, no study has addressed the impact of accumulation of these two factors on mortality. The aim of this study was to examine whether such accumulation increased the risk of all-cause mortality.
The analyzed sample was drawn from a mail survey of 1,023 older adults without instrumental activities of daily living disability. Participants were classified into four groups according to the frequency of both face-to-face and non-face-to-face interactions with others (social isolation and non-social isolation) and the frequency of going outdoors (homebound and non-homebound). Social isolation and homebound statuses were defined as having a social interaction less than once a week and going outdoors either every few days or less, respectively. All-cause mortality information during a six-year follow-up was obtained.
In total, 78 (7.6%) participants were both socially isolated and homebound. During the follow-up period, 65 participants died, with an overall mortality rate of 10.6 per 1000 person-years. Cox proportional hazards regression analyses demonstrated that older adults who were socially isolated and homebound showed a significantly higher risk of subsequent all-cause mortality compared with healthy adults who were neither socially isolated nor homebound, independent of potential covariates (aHR, 2.19; 95% CI: 1.04–4.63).
Our results suggest that the co-existence of social isolation and homebound statuses may synergistically increase risk of mortality. Both active and socially integrated lifestyle in later life might play a major role in maintaining a healthy status.
In 2011 the Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor census recorded a 22% drop in numbers from 2010, particularly at the known large coastal wintering sites. During this period, we discovered two new inland wintering sites for the species using satellite telemetry data, one located in China, where the individual followed the Yangtze river as far as Wuhan (500 km inland), and the other across the Vietnam-Cambodia border (70–200 km inland). Long periods of concentrated use of various freshwater habitats were in evidence for these two tagged individuals (China: 79 days, Vietnam/Cambodia: 91 Days) and in the latter case visual confirmation indicated a larger group of at least five individuals. The importance and potential of inland freshwater environments is highlighted towards the further conservation of the recovering population.
A technique of accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) has made it possible to directly measure radiocarbon ages of pottery by isolating organic materials sealed in the pottery when the pottery was formed. We analyzed the carbon contents and 14C ages for “black pottery” from the Philippines and “fiber pottery” from Japan using the relevant carbonaceous materials extracted from the pottery samples, i.e., adhered chaff or grass fibers that were incorporated in the pottery matrix, respectively. The carbon yield of the pottery sample varied largely depending on the pottery types, the preservation conditions, as well as the chemical pretreatment methods to purify carbonaceous materials for 14C dating. We will discuss criteria for sample selection of well-preserved pottery, and a modified method, instead of the standard alkali treatment, to obtain sufficient material for precise 14C dating.
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