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The incidence of preterm birth (PTB), delivery before 37 completed weeks of gestation, is rising in most countries. Several recent small clinical trials of myo-inositol supplementation in pregnancy, which were primarily aimed at preventing gestational diabetes, have suggested an effect on reducing the incidence of PTB as a secondary outcome, highlighting the potential role of myo-inositol as a preventive agent. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms by which myo-inositol might be able to do so remain unknown; these may occur through directly influencing the onset and progress of labour, or by suppressing stimuli that trigger or promote labour. This paper presents hypotheses outlining the potential role of uteroplacental myo-inositol in human parturition and explains possible underlying molecular mechanisms by which myo-inositol might modulate the uteroplacental environment and inhibit preterm labour-onset. We suggest that a physiological decline in uteroplacental inositol levels to a critical threshold with advancing gestation, in concert with an increasingly pro-inflammatory uteroplacental environment, permits spontaneous membrane rupture and labour-onset. A higher uteroplacental inositol level, potentially promoted by maternal myo-inositol supplementation, might affect lipid metabolism, eicosanoid production, and secretion of pro-inflammatory chemocytokines, that overall dampen the pro-labour uteroplacental environment responsible for labour-onset and progress, thus, reducing the risk of PTB. Understanding how and when inositol may act to reduce PTB risk would facilitate the design of future clinical trials of maternal myo-inositol supplementation and definitively address the efficacy of myo-inositol prophylaxis against PTB.
Disease-related malnutrition is prevalent among older adults; therefore, identifying the modifiable risk factors in the diet is essential for the prevention and management of disease-related malnutrition. The present study examined the cross-sectional association between dietary patterns and malnutrition in Chinese community-dwelling older adults aged ≥65 years in Hong Kong. Dietary patterns, including Diet Quality Index International (DQI-I), Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), the Mediterranean Diet Score, ‘vegetable–fruit’ pattern, ‘snack–drink–milk product’ pattern and ‘meat–fish’ pattern, were estimated and generated from a validated food frequency questionnaire. Malnutrition was classified according to the modified Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition (GLIM) criteria based on two phenotypic components (low body mass index and reduced muscle mass) and one aetiologic component (inflammation/disease burden). The association between the tertile or level of adherence of each dietary pattern and modified GLIM criteria was analysed using adjusted binary logistic regression models. Data of 3694 participants were available (49 % men). Malnutrition was present in 397 participants (10⋅7 %). In men, a higher DQI-I score, a higher ‘vegetable–fruit’ pattern score and a lower ‘meat–fish’ pattern score were associated with a lower risk of malnutrition. In women, higher adherence to the DASH diet was associated with a lower risk of malnutrition. After the Bonferroni correction, the association remained statistically significant only in men for the DQI-I score. To conclude, a higher DQI-I score was associated with a lower risk of malnutrition in Chinese older men. Nutritional strategies for the prevention and management of malnutrition could potentially be targeted on dietary quality.
Despite its efficacy in treating comorbid insomnia and depression, cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) is limited in its accessibility and, in many countries, cultural compatibility. Smartphone-based treatment is a low-cost, convenient alternative modality. This study evaluated a self-help smartphone-based CBT-I in alleviating major depression and insomnia.
A parallel-group randomized, waitlist-controlled trial was conducted with 320 adults with major depression and insomnia. Participants were randomized to receive either a 6-week CBT-I via a smartphone application, proACT-S, or waitlist condition. The primary outcomes included depression severity, insomnia severity, and sleep quality. The secondary outcomes included anxiety severity, subjective health, and acceptability of treatment. Assessments were administered at baseline, post-intervention (week 6) follow-up, and week 12 follow-up. The waitlist group received treatment after the week 6 follow-up.
Intention to treat analysis was conducted with multilevel modeling. In all but one model, the interaction between treatment condition and time at week 6 follow-up was significant. Compared with the waitlist group, the treatment group had lower levels of depression [Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D): Cohen's d = 0.86, 95% CI (−10.11 to −5.37)], insomnia [Insomnia Severity Index (ISI): Cohen's d = 1.00, 95% CI (−5.93 to −3.53)], and anxiety [Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale – Anxiety subscale (HADS-A): Cohen's d = 0.83, 95% CI (−3.75 to −1.96)]. They also had better sleep quality [Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI): Cohen's d = 0.91, 95% CI (−3.34 to −1.83)]. No differences across any measures were found at week 12, after the waitlist control group received the treatment.
proACT-S is an efficacious sleep-focused self-help treatment for major depression and insomnia.
The process of adjustment to disability and illness among people with chronic illness and disabilities (CID) impacts on motivation for rehabilitation illness self-management, and psychological well-being. It involves a complex interplay of biopsychosocial factors, and was seldom examined in the Chinese context.
Identify the predictors of mental well-being of people with from a set of variables including illness and social support, functional abilities, coping strategies, resilience. Examine how these factors interact in determining psychosocial adaptation and mental well-being by structural equations modelling (SEM).
We conducted a survey of people with CID, who were recruited from community-rehabilitation settings and self-help groups (N = 244). The research questionnaire collected basic demographic information, illness-related variables (e.g. pain, fatigue, functional limitations), and RIDI), social support, measures of resilience, coping, psychosocial ad as predictors, and mental well-being.
Of General Linear Model (GLM) revealed that males have better adaptation than females. Resilience, social coping, & active problem solving are significant predictors of adaptation (Table 1), while age, breathing, pain, resilience, avoidance coping, are predictors of maladaptation (Table 2). A SEM was tested to examine the interaction among the predictors and outcome of adaptation and mental well-being (Figure 1), and the model fit was fair (CFI = 0.89; RMSEA = 0.09)
The results indicated that there are gender differences in adaptation. While all the hypothesized groups of variables contributed to mental well-being of people with CID. Resilience, illness variables, and some forms of coping are closely linked to adaptation and maladaptation.
While the sociolinguistic variable is often deemed the carrier of social meaning, recent work reveals that the strength of social meaning can interact with linguistic environments. This study provides additional evidence that the same sets of variants can index drastically different social meanings across linguistic environments. Specifically, we present two cases of linguistic stylization in Taiwanese singer Jay Chou's performance in different genres: the ‘Chinese Flavor’ ballad and hip hop. Focusing on two socially salient variables in Mandarin—rhotacization and retroflex sibilants—we argue that while in both cases, Chou adopts variants associated with standard and mainland Mandarin, they index different social meanings. The conforming linguistic use in the ‘Chinese Flavor’ ballad indexes a sense of tradition, whereas the hypercorrected forms in the hip-hop song construct an unconventional stance. The study also addresses the connections between linguistic and non-linguistic stylizations and calls for more research on the multimodal construction of style. (Social meaning, linguistic constraint, multimodal, high performance, Mandarin)*
Iron deficiency (ID) in early life is associated with morbidities. Most fetal iron required for infant growth is acquired in the third trimester from maternal iron store. However, how prenatal iron level affects ferritin level in early infancy remains controversial. This study aimed to examine the associations between maternal ferritin levels and cord blood serum ferritin (CBSF) and to compare the ferritin levels between different feeding practices in early infancy. Healthy Chinese mothers with uncomplicated pregnancy and their infants were followed up at 3 months post-delivery for questionnaire completion and infant blood collection. Infants who were predominantly breastfed and those who were predominantly formula fed were included in this analysis. Serum ferritin levels were measured in maternal blood samples collected upon delivery, cord blood and infant blood samples at 3 months of age. Ninety-seven mother–baby dyads were included. Maternal ID is common (56 %) while the CBSF levels were significantly higher than maternal ferritin levels. Only three infants (3 %) had ID at 3 months of age. There were no significant correlations between maternal ferritin levels with CBSF (r 0·168, P = 0·108) nor with infant ferritin levels at 3 months of age (r 0·023, P = 0·828). Infant ferritin levels at 3 months were significantly and independently associated with CBSF (P = 0·007) and birth weight (P < 0·001) after adjusting for maternal age, parity, maternal education, infant sex and feeding practice. In conclusion, maternal ID was common upon delivery. However, maternal ferritin levels were not significantly associated with CBSF concentrations nor infant ferritin concentrations at 3 months of age.
We hypothesized that children receiving medium-chain triglyceride ketogenic diet (MCTKD) experience similar seizure reduction despite lower ketosis compared with classic ketogenic diet (CKD). Children initiating CKD or MCTKD were enrolled in a prospective observational study. Forty-five children completed 6 months of KD (n = 17 MCTKD, n = 28 CKD). The proportion achieving ≥50% seizure reduction was 71% CKD group and 59% MCTKD group; ≥90% reduction was 32% and 36% in CKD and MCTKD groups, respectively. CKD had higher urine ketones (≥8 mmol/L: 79% vs. 36%, p = 0.005). Children receiving MCTKD experience similar seizure control to CKD despite lower urine ketone measures.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), underscoring the urgent need for simple, efficient, and inexpensive methods to decontaminate masks and respirators exposed to severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We hypothesized that methylene blue (MB) photochemical treatment, which has various clinical applications, could decontaminate PPE contaminated with coronavirus.
The 2 arms of the study included (1) PPE inoculation with coronaviruses followed by MB with light (MBL) decontamination treatment and (2) PPE treatment with MBL for 5 cycles of decontamination to determine maintenance of PPE performance.
MBL treatment was used to inactivate coronaviruses on 3 N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) and 2 medical mask models. We inoculated FFR and medical mask materials with 3 coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and we treated them with 10 µM MB and exposed them to 50,000 lux of white light or 12,500 lux of red light for 30 minutes. In parallel, integrity was assessed after 5 cycles of decontamination using multiple US and international test methods, and the process was compared with the FDA-authorized vaporized hydrogen peroxide plus ozone (VHP+O3) decontamination method.
Overall, MBL robustly and consistently inactivated all 3 coronaviruses with 99.8% to >99.9% virus inactivation across all FFRs and medical masks tested. FFR and medical mask integrity was maintained after 5 cycles of MBL treatment, whereas 1 FFR model failed after 5 cycles of VHP+O3.
MBL treatment decontaminated respirators and masks by inactivating 3 tested coronaviruses without compromising integrity through 5 cycles of decontamination. MBL decontamination is effective, is low cost, and does not require specialized equipment, making it applicable in low- to high-resource settings.
Several recent reports have raised concern that infected coworkers may be an important source of severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) acquisition by healthcare personnel. In a suspected outbreak among emergency department personnel, sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 confirmed transmission among coworkers. The suspected 6-person outbreak included 2 distinct transmission clusters and 1 unrelated infection.
This paper describes a computational investigation of multimode instability growth and multimaterial mixing induced by multiple shock waves in a high-energy-density (HED) environment, where pressures exceed 1 Mbar. The simulations are based on a series of experiments performed at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and designed as an HED analogue of non-HED shock-tube studies of the Richtmyer–Meshkov instability and turbulent mixing. A three-dimensional computational modelling framework is presented. It treats many complications absent from canonical non-HED shock-tube flows, including distinct ion and free-electron internal energies, non-ideal equations of state, radiation transport and plasma-state mass diffusivities, viscosities and thermal conductivities. The simulations are tuned to the available NIF data, and traditional statistical quantities of turbulence are analysed. Integrated measures of turbulent kinetic energy and enstrophy both increase by over an order of magnitude due to reshock. Large contributions to enstrophy production during reshock are seen from both the baroclinic source and enstrophy–dilatation terms, highlighting the significance of fluid compressibility in the HED regime. Dimensional analysis reveals that Reynolds numbers and diffusive Péclet numbers in the HED flow are similar to those in a canonical non-HED analogue, but conductive Péclet numbers are much smaller in the HED flow due to efficient thermal conduction by free electrons. It is shown that the mechanism of electron thermal conduction significantly softens local spanwise gradients of both temperature and density, which causes a minor but non-negligible decrease in enstrophy production and small-scale mixing relative to a flow without this mechanism.
To identify a posteriori dietary patterns among women planning pregnancy and assess the reproducibility of these patterns in a subsample using two dietary assessment methods.
A semi-quantitative FFQ was administered to women enrolled in the Singapore PREconception Study of long-Term maternal and child Outcomes study. Dietary patterns from the FFQ were identified using exploratory factor analysis (EFA). In a subsample of women (n 289), 3-d food diaries (3DFD) were also completed and analysed. Reproducibility of the identified patterns was assessed using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in the subsample, and goodness of fit of the CFA models was examined using several fit indices. Subsequently, EFA was conducted in the subsample and dietary patterns of the FFQ and the 3DFD were compared.
1007 women planning pregnancy (18–45 years).
Three dietary patterns were identified from the FFQ: the ‘Fish, Poultry/Meat and Noodles’ pattern was characterised by higher intakes of fish, poultry/meat and noodles in soup; ‘Fast Food and Sweetened Beverages’ pattern was characterised by higher intakes of fast food, sweetened beverages and fried snacks; ‘Bread, Legumes and Dairy’ pattern was characterised by higher intakes of buns/ethnic breads, nuts/legumes and dairy products. The comparative fit indices from the CFA models were 0·79 and 0·34 for the FFQ and 3DFD of the subsample, respectively. In the subsample, three similar patterns were identified in the FFQ while only two for the 3DFD.
Dietary patterns from the FFQ are reproducible within this cohort, providing a basis for future investigations on diet and health outcomes.
Bipolar disorder is associated with premature mortality, but evidence is mostly derived from Western countries. There has been no research evaluating shortened lifespan in bipolar disorder using life-years lost (LYLs), which is a recently developed mortality metric taking into account illness onset for life expectancy estimation. The current study aimed to examine the extent of premature mortality in bipolar disorder patients relative to the general population in Hong Kong (HK) in terms of standardised mortality ratio (SMR) and excess LYLs, and changes of mortality rate over time.
This population-based cohort study investigated excess mortality in 12 556 bipolar disorder patients between 2008 and 2018, by estimating all-cause and cause-specific SMRs, and LYLs. Trends in annual SMRs over the 11-year study period were assessed. Study data were retrieved from a territory-wide medical-record database of HK public healthcare services.
Patients had higher all-cause [SMR: 2.60 (95% CI: 2.45–2.76)], natural-cause [SMR: 1.90 (95% CI: 1.76–2.05)] and unnatural-cause [SMR: 8.63 (95% CI: 7.34–10.03)] mortality rates than the general population. Respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases and cancers accounted for the majority of deaths. Men and women with bipolar disorder had 6.78 (95% CI: 6.00–7.84) years and 7.35 (95% CI: 6.75–8.06) years of excess LYLs, respectively. The overall mortality gap remained similar over time, albeit slightly improved in men with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is associated with increased premature mortality and substantially reduced lifespan in a predominantly Chinese population, with excess deaths mainly attributed to natural causes. Persistent mortality gap underscores an urgent need for targeted interventions to improve physical health of patients with bipolar disorder.
The mental health of slum residents is under-researched globally, and depression is a significant source of worldwide morbidity. Brazil's large slum-dwelling population is often considered part of a general urban-poor demographic. This study aims to identify the prevalence and distribution of depression in Brazil and compare mental health inequalities between slum and non-slum populations.
Data were obtained from Brazil's 2019 National Health Survey. Slum residence was defined based on the UN-Habitat definition for slums and estimated from survey responses. Doctor-diagnosed depression, Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)-screened depression and presence of undiagnosed depression (PHQ-9-screened depression in the absence of a doctor's diagnosis) were analysed as primary outcomes, alongside depressive symptom severity as a secondary outcome. Prevalence estimates for all outcomes were calculated. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to investigate the association of socioeconomic characteristics, including slum residence, with primary outcomes. Depressive symptom severity was analysed using generalised ordinal logistic regression.
Nationally, the prevalence of doctor diagnosed, PHQ-9 screened and undiagnosed depression were 9.9% (95% confidence interval (CI): 9.5–10.3), 10.8% (95% CI: 10.4–11.2) and 6.9% (95% CI: 6.6–7.2), respectively. Slum residents exhibited lower levels of doctor-diagnosed depression than non-slum urban residents (8.6%; 95% CI: 7.9–9.3 v. 10.7%; 95% CI: 10.2–11.2), while reporting similar levels of PHQ-9-screened depression (11.3%; 95% CI: 10.4–12.1 v. 11.3%; 95% CI: 10.8–11.8). In adjusted regression models, slum residence was associated with a lower likelihood of doctor diagnosed (adjusted odds ratio (adjusted OR): 0.87; 95% CI: 0.77–0.97) and PHQ-9-screened depression (adjusted OR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.78–0.97). Slum residents showed a greater likelihood of reporting less severe depressive symptoms. There were significant ethnic/racial disparities in the likelihood of reporting doctor-diagnosed depression. Black individuals were less likely to report doctor-diagnosed depression (adjusted OR: 0.66; 95% CI: 0.57–0.75) than white individuals. A similar pattern was observed in Mixed Black (adjusted OR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.66–0.79) and other (adjusted OR: 0.63; 95% CI: 0.45–0.88) ethnic/racial groups. Slum residents self-reporting a diagnosis of one or more chronic non-communicable diseases had greater odds of exhibiting all three primary depression outcomes.
Substantial inequalities characterise the distribution of depression in Brazil including in slum settings. People living in slums may have lower diagnosed rates of depression than non-slum urban residents. Understanding the mechanisms behind the discrepancy in depression diagnosis between slum and non-slum populations is important to inform health policy in Brazil, including in addressing potential gaps in access to mental healthcare.
Brief measurements of the subjective experience of stress with good predictive capability are important in a range of community mental health and research settings. The potential for large-scale implementation of such a measure for screening may facilitate early risk detection and intervention opportunities. Few such measures however have been developed and validated in epidemiological and longitudinal community samples. We designed a new single-item measure of the subjective level of stress (SLS-1) and tested its validity and ability to predict long-term mental health outcomes of up to 12 months through two separate studies.
We first examined the content and face validity of the SLS-1 with a panel consisting of mental health experts and laypersons. Two studies were conducted to examine its validity and predictive utility. In study 1, we tested the convergent and divergent validity as well as incremental validity of the SLS-1 in a large epidemiological sample of young people in Hong Kong (n = 1445). In study 2, in a consecutively recruited longitudinal community sample of young people (n = 258), we first performed the same procedures as in study 1 to ensure replicability of the findings. We then examined in this longitudinal sample the utility of the SLS-1 in predicting long-term depressive, anxiety and stress outcomes assessed at 3 months and 6 months (n = 182) and at 12 months (n = 84).
The SLS-1 demonstrated good content and face validity. Findings from the two studies showed that SLS-1 was moderately to strongly correlated with a range of mental health outcomes, including depressive, anxiety, stress and distress symptoms. We also demonstrated its ability to explain the variance explained in symptoms beyond other known personal and psychological factors. Using the longitudinal sample in study 2, we further showed the significant predictive capability of the SLS-1 for long-term symptom outcomes for up to 12 months even when accounting for demographic characteristics.
The findings altogether support the validity and predictive utility of the SLS-1 as a brief measure of stress with strong indications of both concurrent and long-term mental health outcomes. Given the value of brief measures of mental health risks at a population level, the SLS-1 may have potential for use as an early screening tool to inform early preventative intervention work.
We examined the association of generational status and age at immigration with later life cognitive outcomes in a diverse sample of Latinos and Asian Americans.
Baseline data were obtained from the Kaiser Healthy Aging and Diverse Life Experiences (KHANDLE) study, and a prospective cohort is initiated in 2017.
Older adults in Northern California.
Our cohort consisted of Asians (n = 411) and Latinos (n = 340) who were on average 76 years old (SD = 6.8).
We used multivariable linear regression models to estimate associations between generational status and age at immigration (collapsed into one five-level variable) with measures of verbal episodic memory, semantic memory, and executive function, adjusting for age, gender, race and ethnicity, and own- and parental education.
Generational status and age at immigration were associated with cognitive outcomes in a graded manner. Compared to third-generation or higher immigrants, first-generation immigration in adulthood was associated with lower semantic memory (β = −0.96; 95% CI: −1.12, −0.81) than immigration in adolescence (β = −0.68; 95% CI: −0.96, −0.41) or childhood (β = −0.28; 95% CI: −0.49, −0.06). Moreover, immigration in adulthood was associated with lower executive function (β = −0.63; 95% CI: −0.78, −0.48) than immigration in adolescence (β = −0.49; 95% CI: −0.75, −0.23). Similarly, compared to third-generation individuals, first-generation immigrants had lower executive functioning scores.
Our study supports the notion that sociocontextual influences in early life impact later life cognitive scores. Longitudinal studies are needed to further clarify how immigration characteristics affect cognitive decline.