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Given the dynamic characteristic of an individual’s drinking behaviors, comprehensive consideration of alcohol consumption variation using repeated measures may improve insight into the nature of its association with blood pressure (BP) change. We examined the association between longitudinal alcohol consumption (trajectory and quantity) and changes in BP and pulse pressure (PP) among Korean aged ≥40 years living in rural areas. Totally, 1682 hypertension-free participants who completed all three health examinations (median, 5.3 years) were included. All three visits were used to determine the cumulative trajectory of and quantity of alcohol consumption and the latest two visits and the last visit were used for the recent trajectory and the most recent quantity of alcohol consumption, respectively. Changes in BP and PP from the baseline to the 3rd visit were used as outcome. In men, ≥30 ml/d cumulative average alcohol consumption was associated with the greatest increase in systolic BP (SBP) in both baseline outcome-unadjusted (2.9 mmHg, p-value = 0.032) and -adjusted models (3.6 mmHg, p-value = 0.001) and the given association for the most recent alcohol consumption was observed in the baseline outcome-adjusted model (3.9 mmHg, p-value = 0.003). For PP, similar associations were observed only in the baseline outcome-adjusted model. No meaningful associations in diastolic BP in men and any BP or PP in women existed. The quantity of alcohol consumption than the trajectory may be significantly related to raised SBP and a possible short-term influence of the most recent alcohol consumption may exist when baseline SBP adjusted in men.
Background: Mumps, a contagious disease, is transmissible by respiratory droplet particles and is preventable by vaccination. In South Korea, mandatory vaccination against mumps has markedly reduced its incidence. However, both the incidence and the number of reported cases of mumps have persistently increased in South Korea since 2007. Despite high vaccination rates, mumps outbreaks continue to occur, and many studies have been conducted on mumps seroprevalence in children and adolescents. In comparison, few reports have been published regarding mumps seroprevalence in healthcare workers (HCWs) in South Korea. Objective: We investigated the seroprevalence of HCWs in South Korea. Methods: This study was conducted at Asan Medical Center, a 2,705-bed tertiary-care hospital in Seoul, South Korea, with 8,329 HCWs. In 2018, we performed mumps antibody testing for HCWs. We administered MMR vaccination to all HCWs whose antibody test yielded equivocal or negative results. However, we did not repeat mumps antibody testing after MMR vaccination. Results: In total, 6,055 HCWs (73%) underwent mumps antibody testing. The overall mumps seropositivity rate was 87% (95% CI, 86%–87%). Seropositivity rates of all birth cohorts ranged from 72% to 92%. Mumps seropositivity rates were 88% in HCWs born before 1970, 87% in those born between 1970 and 1989, and 88% in those born between 1990 and 1995 (P = .59). Mumps seropositivity rates for both women and men HCWs were 87% (3,770 of 4,311 women and 1,517 of 1,744 men); the difference was not statistically significant (P = .62). The overall mumps seropositivity rate was 87%, which was above the herd immunity threshold of 75%–86%. Conclusions: Our results revealed that the overall mumps seropositivity rate in South Korean HCWs was above the herd immunity threshold. On the basis of this finding, we recommend that MMR vaccination after serologic testing may be a more reasonable approach than universal MMR vaccination alone in Korea.
Background: Measles is a highly contagious disease that is transmissible by airborne particles but is preventable by vaccination. South Korea has maintained a highly immunized adult population; however, small local outbreaks of measles continued to occur, and there have been some reports of pockets of underimmunity among the young adult population. It is important to know the seroepidemiology of healthcare workers (HCWs) for policy-making process, but data on the seroprevalence of measles in HCWs in South Korea are limited. Methods: We investigated the seroprevalence of HCWs at Asan Medical Center, a 2,705-bed tertiary-care hospital in Seoul, South Korea, with 8,329 HCWs. In 2014, after an outbreak of measles occurred in a university in Seoul, Asan Medical Center required measles IgG tests for all HCWs born in and after 1967 for point-prevalence surveillance. In addition, we have routinely performed measles antibody test for new HCWs since 2014. In 2018, antibody tests were administered to HCWs who were born before 1967 or who had taken a leave of absence in 2014. We provided MMR vaccination to all HCWs whose antibody tests yielded negative results. Results: In total, 7,411 HCWs (89%) underwent measles antibody tests from 2014 to 2018. The overall seropositivity was 73% (95% CI, 72%–74%); seroprevalence was 73% in HCWs born in of after 1967, whereas the seroprevalence in HCWs born before 1967 was 98%. The seroprevalence sharply decreased from 85% in the 1986 birth cohort to 42% in the 1995 birth cohort. Conclusions: In conclusion, the proportion of measles-susceptible individuals was substantially high in HCWs, especially in young adults. Because the impact of measles outbreak in healthcare facilities would be critical, a policy regarding routine serologic screening followed by measles vaccination or routine measles vaccination in healthcare facilities should be considered, especially for young Korean HCWs.
The aim of the present study was to compare selected obesity indicators with comprehensive health status.
The study employed a pooled cross-sectional design.
BMI, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and body fat percentage were considered as indirect obesity indicators. The Edmonton Obesity Staging System (EOSS) was used as a composite indicator to comprehensively reflect obesity-related co-morbidities. Cohen’s κ coefficient was used to evaluate inter-measurement agreement for obesity. Conformity of indirect obesity indicators to the EOSS was assessed based on percentage agreement (proportion classified as obese and severely unhealthy as a result of obesity among the total sample), sensitivity (proportion classified as obese among individuals severely unhealthy as a result of obesity) and specificity (proportion classified as non-obese among fairly healthy individuals). Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the sociodemographic factors most strongly associated with conformity.
The study included 17338 adults from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination survey conducted between July 2008 and May 2011.
Level of conformity to the EOSS was highest for WHtR (60·77 %) and lowest for BMI (35·96 %). WHtR and BMI had the highest sensitivity (53·7 %) and specificity (98·4 %), respectively. Predictability of conformity was lower among men for all indirect obesity indicators.
WHtR has the greatest potential to identify individuals at risk of health problems due to obesity. Individual demographic factors must be considered in selecting the most appropriate obesity measurement.
The National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke-Canadian Stroke Network (NINDS-CSN) 5-minute neuropsychology protocol consists of only verbal tasks, and is proposed as a brief screening method for vascular cognitive impairment. We evaluated its feasibility within two weeks after stroke and ability to predict the development of post-stroke dementia (PSD) at 3 months after stroke.
We prospectively enrolled subjects with ischemic stroke within seven days of symptom onset who were consecutively admitted to 12 university hospitals. Neuropsychological assessments using the NINDS-CSN 5-minute and 60-minute neuropsychology protocols were administered within two weeks and at 3 months after stroke onset, respectively. PSD was diagnosed with reference to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association statement, requiring deficits in at least two cognitive domains.
Of 620 patients, 512 (82.6%) were feasible for the NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol within two weeks after stroke. The incidence of PSD was 16.2% in 308 subjects who had completed follow-up at 3 months after stroke onset. The total score of the NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol differed significantly between those with and without PSD (4.0 ± 2.7, 7.4 ± 2.7, respectively; p < 0.01). A cut-off value of 6/7 showed reasonable discriminative power (sensitivity 0.82, specificity 0.67, AUC 0.74). The NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol score was a significant predictor for PSD (adjusted odds ratio 6.32, 95% CI 2.65–15.05).
The NINDS-CSN 5-minute protocol is feasible to evaluate cognitive functions in patients with acute ischemic stroke. It might be a useful screening method for early identification of high-risk groups for PSD.
A few epidemiological data are available assessing the associations of intakes of sodium (Na) and potassium (K) with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We aimed to examine the associations of dietary intake of Na and K with the prevalence of ultrasound-diagnosed NAFLD. We performed a cross-sectional study of 100 177 participants (46 596 men and 53 581 women) who underwent a health screening examination and completed a FFQ at the Kangbuk Samsung Hospital Total Healthcare Centers, South Korea, between 2011 and 2013. NAFLD was defined by ultrasonographic detection of fatty liver in the absence of excessive alcohol intake or other known causes of liver disease. The proportion of NAFLD was 35·6 % for men and 9·8 % for women. Increasing prevalence of NAFLD was observed with increasing Na intake. The multivariable-adjusted prevalence ratios (PR) of NAFLD comparing the highest with the lowest quintile of energy-adjusted Na intake were 1·25 (95 % CI 1·18, 1·32; Ptrend<0·001) in men and 1·32 (95 % CI 1·18, 1·47; Ptrend <0·001) in women. However, when we additionally adjusted for body fat percentage, the association became attenuated; the corresponding PR of NAFLD were 1·15 (95 % CI 1·09, 1·21) in men and 1·06 (95 % CI 0·95, 1·17) in women. No inverse association was observed for energy-adjusted K intake. Our findings suggest that higher Na intake is associated with a greater prevalence of NAFLD in young and middle-aged asymptomatic adults, which might be partly mediated by adiposity.
A total of 27 accessions from ten Vicia species were investigated for flavonoid contents, total polyphenol contents, and DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) and ABTS [2,2′-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline 6-sulfonic acid)] free radical-scavenging activities. The results revealed that NAC17 (V. monantha) and NAC14 (V. hyrcanica) had the highest total flavonoid content (1.42 ± 0.09 mg/g) and total polyphenol content [124.2 ± 0.5 μg/gallic acid equivalents (GAE) mg], respectively. Among four flavonoids, naringenin was detected at high concentrations in Vicia species. The DPPH and ABTS assays showed values in the range of 57.2 (IC50) (NAC13, V. faba) to 6530.0 (IC50) (NAC24, V. sativa subsp. nigra) and 19.1 μg/Trolox mg (NAC7, V. cracca) to 253.4 μg/Trolox mg (NAC13, V. faba), respectively. Among ten Vicia species, V. monantha and V. hyrcanica had the highest flavonoid content (1.31 ± 0.09 mg/g) and total polyphenol content (116.5 ± 2.0 μg/GAE mg), respectively. The highest antioxidant activity was detected in V. faba. These results will expand the flavonoid database and provide valuable information on Vicia species for the development of functional foods or feed-additive resources.
Decreased hemoglobin levels increase the risk of developing dementia among the elderly. However, the underlying mechanisms that link decreased hemoglobin levels to incident dementia still remain unclear, possibly due to the fact that few studies have reported on the relationship between low hemoglobin levels and neuroimaging markers. We, therefore, investigated the relationships between decreased hemoglobin levels, cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD), and cortical atrophy in cognitively healthy women and men.
Cognitively normal women (n = 1,022) and men (n = 1,018) who underwent medical check-ups and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were enrolled at a health promotion center. We measured hemoglobin levels, white matter hyperintensities (WMH) scales, lacunes, and microbleeds. Cortical thickness was automatically measured using surface based methods. Multivariate regression analyses were performed after controlling for possible confounders.
Decreased hemoglobin levels were not associated with the presence of WMH, lacunes, or microbleeds in women and men. Among women, decreased hemoglobin levels were associated with decreased cortical thickness in the frontal (Estimates, 95% confidence interval, −0.007, (−0.013, −0.001)), temporal (−0.010, (−0.018, −0.002)), parietal (−0.009, (−0.015, −0.003)), and occipital regions (−0.011, (−0.019, −0.003)). Among men, however, no associations were observed between hemoglobin levels and cortical thickness.
Our findings suggested that decreased hemoglobin levels affected cortical atrophy, but not increased CSVD, among women, although the association is modest. Given the paucity of modifiable risk factors for age-related cognitive decline, our results have important public health implications.
There is increasing evidence of a relationship between underweight or obesity and dementia risk. Several studies have investigated the relationship between body weight and brain atrophy, a pathological change preceding dementia, but their results are inconsistent. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and cortical atrophy among cognitively normal participants.
We recruited cognitively normal participants (n = 1,111) who underwent medical checkups and detailed neurologic screening, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the health screening visits between September 2008 and December 2011. The main outcome was cortical thickness measured using MRI. The number of subjects with five BMI groups in men/women was 9/9, 148/258, 185/128, 149/111, and 64/50 in underweight, normal, overweight, mild obesity, and moderate to severe obesity, respectively. Linear and non-linear relationships between BMI and cortical thickness were examined using multiple linear regression analysis and generalized additive models after adjustment for potential confounders.
Among men, underweight participants showed significant cortical thinning in the frontal and temporal regions compared to normal weight participants, while overweight and mildly obese participants had greater cortical thicknesses in the frontal region and the frontal, temporal, and occipital regions, respectively. However, cortical thickness in each brain region was not significantly different in normal weight and moderate to severe obesity groups. Among women, the association between BMI and cortical thickness was not statistically significant.
Our findings suggested that underweight might be an important risk factor for pathological changes in the brain, while overweight or mild obesity may be inversely associated with cortical atrophy in cognitively normal elderly males.
Epidemiological studies have reported that higher education (HE) is associated with a reduced risk of incident Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, after the clinical onset of AD, patients with HE levels show more rapid cognitive decline than patients with lower education (LE) levels. Although education level and cognition have been linked, there have been few longitudinal studies investigating the relationship between education level and cortical decline in patients with AD. The aim of this study was to compare the topography of cortical atrophy longitudinally between AD patients with HE (HE-AD) and AD patients with LE (LE-AD).
We prospectively recruited 36 patients with early-stage AD and 14 normal controls. The patients were classified into two groups according to educational level, 23 HE-AD (>9 years) and 13 LE-AD (≤9 years).
As AD progressed over the 5-year longitudinal follow-ups, the HE-AD showed a significant group-by-time interaction in the right dorsolateral frontal and precuneus, and the left parahippocampal regions compared to the LE-AD.
Our study reveals that the preliminary longitudinal effect of HE accelerates cortical atrophy in AD patients over time, which underlines the importance of education level for predicting prognosis.
This study examined changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and quality of care (QoC) as perceived by terminally ill cancer patients and a stratified set of HRQoL or QoC factors that are most likely to influence survival at the end of life (EoL).
We administered questionnaires to 619 consecutive patients immediately after they were diagnosed with terminal cancer by physicians at 11 university hospitals and at the National Cancer Center in Korea. Subjects were followed up over 161.2 person-years until their deaths. We measured HRQoL using the core 30-item European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire, and QoC using the Quality Care Questionnaire–End of Life (QCQ–EoL). We evaluated changes in HRQoL and QoC issues during the first three months after enrollment, performing sensitivity analysis by using data generated via four methods (complete case analysis, available case analysis, the last observation carried forward, and multiple imputation).
Emotional and cognitive functioning decreased significantly over time, while dyspnea, constipation, and pain increased significantly. Dignity-conserving care, care by healthcare professionals, family relationships, and QCQ–EoL total score decreased significantly. Global QoL, appetite loss, and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status (ECOG–PS) scores were significantly associated with survival.
Significance of results:
Future standardization of palliative care should be focused on assessment of these deteriorated types of quality. Accurate estimates of the length of life remaining for terminally ill cancer patients by such EoL-enhancing factors as global QoL, appetite loss, and ECOG–PS are needed to help patients experience a dignified and comfortable death.
This study aimed to investigate the influences of age, education, and gender on the two total scores (TS-I and TS-II) of the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease Neuropsychological assessment battery (CERAD-NP) and to provide normative information based on an analysis for a large number of elderly persons with a wide range of educational levels.
In the study, 1,987 community-dwelling healthy volunteers (620 males and 1,367 females; 50–90 years of age; and zero to 25 years of education) were included. People with serious neurological, medical, and psychiatric disorders (including dementia) were excluded. All participants underwent the CERAD-NP assessment. TS-I was generated by summing raw scores from the CERAD-NP subtests, excluding Mini-Mental State Examination and Constructional Praxis (CP) recall subtests. TS-II was calculated by adding CP recall score to TS-I.
Both TS-I and TS-II were significantly influenced by demographic variables. Education accounted for the greatest proportion of score variance. Interaction effect between age and gender was found. Based on the results obtained, normative data of the CERAD-NP total scores were stratified by age (six overlapping tables), education (four strata), and gender.
The normative information will be very useful for better interpretation of the CERAD-NP total scores in various clinical and research settings and for comparing individuals’ performance of the battery across countries.
Social support programs for dementia caregivers were widely used in order to reduce care burden. We investigated which types of social supports can reduce psychological and non-psychological burdens of dementia caregivers, and explored the mechanism of those social supports.
We evaluated 731 community-dwelling dementia patients and their caregivers from the National Survey of Dementia Care in South Korea. We investigated the five types of social supports (emotional support, informational support, tangible support, positive social interaction, affectionate support) using the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey in each caregiver. The mechanisms of specific types of social support on psychological/non-psychological burden were examined using path analysis.
Positive social interaction and affectionate support reduced psychological burden via direct and indirect paths. Tangible support reduced the non-psychological burden via direct and indirect paths. Informational support and emotional support were not helpful for reducing psychological or non-psychological burden. A maximum of 20% of psychological burden could be relieved by positive social interaction and 10.3% of that could be reduced by affectionate support. Tangible support was associated with a 15.1% maximal improvement in non-psychological burden.
In order to reduce caregiver burden in dementia effectively, psychosocial interventions should be tailored to target type of caregiver burden.
Genetic variation in wild soybean (Glycine soja Sieb. and Zucc.) is a valuable resource for crop improvement efforts. Soybean is believed to have originated from China, Korea, and Japan, but little is known about the diversity or evolution of Korean wild soybean. Therefore, in this study, we evaluated the genetic diversity and population structure of 733 G. soja accessions collected in Korea using 21 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. The SSR loci produced 539 alleles (25.7 per locus) with a mean genetic diversity of 0.882 in these accessions. Rare alleles, those with a frequency of less than 5%, represented 75% of the total number. This collection was divided into two populations based on the principal coordinate analysis. Accessions from population 1 were distributed throughout the country, whereas most of the accessions from population 2 were distributed on the western side of the Taebaek and Sobaek mountains. The Korean G. soja collection evaluated in this study should provide useful background information for allele mining approach and breeding programmes to introgress alleles into the cultivated soybean (G. max (L). Merr.) from wild soybean.
The RDA Genebank at the National Agrobiodiversity Center (NAAS, RDA, Republic of Korea) has conserved about 182,000 accessions in 1777 species and is working at preserving agricultural genetic resources for the conservation and sustainable utilization of genetic diversity. The detection of genetic variability in conserved resources is important for germplasm management, but the molecular evaluation tools providing genetic information are insufficient for underutilized crops, unlike those for major crops. In this regard, the Korean National Agrobiodiversity Center has been developing microsatellite markers for several underutilized crops. We designed 3640 primer pairs flanking simple sequence repeat (SSR) motifs for 6310 SSR clones in 21 crop species. Polymorphic loci were revealed in each species (7–36), and the mean ratio of polymorphic loci to all the loci tested was 12%. The average allele number was 5.1 (2.8–10.3) and the expected heterozygosity 0.51 (0.31–0.74). Some SSRs were transferable to closely related species, such as within the genera Fagopyrum and Allium. These SSR markers might be used for studying the genetic diversity of conserved underutilized crops.
Visual hallucination (VH) is a common psychotic symptom in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and may be a significant predictor of cognitive impairment (CI) in such patients.
This study aimed to investigate the pattern of glucose metabolism of VH and the relationship between VH and CI in PD.
We studied 28 PD patients, including 15 with VH (PD-VH) and 13 without VH (PD-NVH). Of the 15 PD-VH patients, 8 patients had cognitive impairment (PD-VHCI) whereas 7 did not (PD-VHNCI). All patients underwent [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ([18F] FDG PET) followed by statistical parametric mapping (SPM) analyses.
Compared to the patients with PDNVH, PD-VHNCI patients showed glucose hypometabolism in the inferior and middle temporal cortices, fusiform gyri, and frontal areas, suggesting the involvement of the ventral visual pathway. Compared to the patients with PDNVH, PD-VHCI patients showed glucose hypometabolism in the temporoparietal association cortices with scattered frontal areas.
Dysfunction of ventral visual pathway involving the temporal lobe may play a key role in VH development in PD patients. The evolving distribution from the ventral visual pathway to more extensive posterior cortices in PD-VHCI patients suggests that VH may be a prodromal symptom occurring prior to CI in PD patients.
Sources of variation in nutrient intake have been examined for Western diets, but little is known about the sources of variation and their differences by age and sex among Koreans. We examined sources of variation in nutrient intake and calculated the number of days needed to estimate usual intake using 12 d of dietary records (DR). To this end, four 3 d DR including two weekdays and one weekend day were collected throughout four seasons of 1 year from 178 male and 236 female adults aged 20–65 years residing in Seoul, Korea. The sources of variation were estimated using the random-effects model, and the variation ratio (within-individual:between-individual) was calculated to determine a desirable number of days. Variations attributable to the day of the week, recording sequence and seasonality were generally small, although the degree of variation differed by sex and age (20–45 years and 46–65 years). The correlation coefficient between the true intake and the observed intake (r) increased with additional DR days, reaching 0·7 at 3–4 d and 0·8 at 6–7 d. However, the degree of increase became attenuated with additional days: r increased by 13·0–26·9 % from 2 to 4 d, by 6·5–16·4 % from 4 to 7 d and by 4·0–11·6 % from 7 to 12 d for energy and fifteen nutrients. In conclusion, the present study suggests that the day of the week, recording sequence and seasonality minimally contribute to the variation in nutrient intake. To measure Korean usual dietary intake using open-ended dietary instruments, 3–4 d may be needed to achieve modest precision (r>0·7) and 6–7 d for high precision (r>0·8).
Background: Highly educated participants with normal cognition show lower incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD) than poorly educated participants, whereas longitudinal studies involving AD have reported that higher education is associated with more rapid cognitive decline. We aimed to evaluate whether highly educated amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) participants show more rapid cognitive decline than those with lower levels of education.
Methods: A total of 249 aMCI patients enrolled from 31 memory clinics using the standard assessment and diagnostic processes were followed with neuropsychological evaluation (duration 17.2 ± 8.8 months). According to baseline performances on memory tests, participants were divided into early-stage aMCI (−1.5 to −1.0 standard deviation (SD)) and late-stage aMCI (below −1.5 SD) groups. Risk of AD conversion and changes in neuropsychological performances according to the level of education were evaluated.
Results: Sixty-two patients converted to AD over a mean follow-up of 1.43 years. The risk of AD conversion was higher in late-stage aMCI than early-stage aMCI. Cox proportional hazard models showed that aMCI participants, and late-stage aMCI participants in particular, with higher levels of education had a higher risk of AD conversion than those with lower levels of education. Late-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed faster cognitive decline in language, memory, and Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR-SOB) scores. On the contrary, early-stage aMCI participants with higher education showed slower cognitive decline in MMSE and CDR-SOB scores.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the protective effects of education against cognitive decline remain in early-stage aMCI and disappear in late-stage aMCI.