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Elastic language is a phenomenon in linguistics that refers to how we stretch the meanings of words, depending on the context in which they are used – for example many, about 20, perhaps, could be. This study looks specifically at elastic language in the fields of medicine and healthcare, showing how it is used to serve both the patient's and the professional's needs. It explores the pragmatics and metapragmatics of elasticity in the delivery of online medical information as a way of avoiding miscommunication. Based on data from Chinese and English sources, it takes a cross-cultural perspective, to present an account of harmony and disharmony between professional medical websites and their users. Adding exciting new dimensions to the fields of health communication and pragmatics, it is essential reading for scholars and advanced students in semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis and interactional linguistics, as well as professionals involved in healthcare and communication.
To assess the role of dietary creatine on myofiber characteristics and protein synthesis in muscle, we fed grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus, initial body weight: 88.47 ± 1.44 g) creatine-supplemented diets (1.84, 5.91, 8.48, and 15.44 g/kg diet) for 8 weeks. Creatine supplementation did not affect growth performance, but significantly increased creatine contents in muscle and liver. At 8.48 g/kg, creatine decreased the activities of alanine transaminase and aspartate aminotransferase in serum, and improved hardness and chewiness of muscle due to shorter myofiber mean diameter, higher myofiber density and the frequencies of the diameters of class I and III and collagen content, longer sarcomere length, and upregulated mRNA levels of slow myosin heavy chains. Creatine supplementation upregulated the mRNA expressions of myogenic regulatory factors. The 8.48 g/kg creatine-supplemented diet significantly increased the contents of protein, total amino acids (AAs), essential AAs, and free flavor AAs in muscle, the protein levels of insulin-like growth factor I, myogenic differentiation antigen, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactlvator-1α in muscle, and stimulated the phosphorylation of target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway in muscle. In summary, 8.48 mg/kg creatine improved fish health and skeletal muscle growth, and increased hardness and protein synthesis in muscle of grass carp by affecting myofiber characteristics and the TOR signaling pathway. A second-order regression model revealed that the optimal dietary creatine supplementation of grass carp ranges between 8.48 and 12.04 g/kg.
What determines public support for trade liberalization? Scholars of international political economy have generally focused on the effects of openness on employment via individuals’ skill level, sector, or occupation. Recent developments in trade economics suggest that the characteristics of individual citizens’ employing firms may also shape their attitudes on trade policy. In this paper, using under-explored survey data combining trade opinion with measures of employer productivity (from the 2008 Japanese General Social Survey), we present evidence that employees of more productive, more globalized firms are much more supportive of trade openness than employees of less productive, domestically oriented firms, even when accounting for skill level and sectoral and occupational characteristics. Moreover, we find evidence that the effects of these characteristics described in the literature are conditioned by globalized firm employment. Last, we find that the effect of globalized firm employment is conditioned by employees’ relative position within their firms. Those who are more likely to benefit directly from firm success—such as permanent employees and managers—hold the most pro-trade preferences. These findings suggest that economic interests affect individual policy preferences in more nuanced ways than previously recognized.
Predictive models for near-wall velocity and temperature fluctuations in compressible wall-bounded turbulence are developed in the present study based on the model proposed by Marusic et al. (Science, vol. 329 (5988), 2010, pp. 193–196), which incorporates the superposition and amplitude modulation effects of the large-scale motions in the outer region on near-wall turbulence. The density variation is involved in the predictive model for velocity fluctuations to achieve Mach number independence. The predictive model for temperature fluctuations is derived to keep its consistency with the strong Reynolds analogy, in which the modulation effect is supposed to be cast as the quadratic function of the large-scale velocity fluctuations. An algebraic method is proposed to directly determine the modulation coefficients and extract the universal signals. A direct numerical simulation (DNS) of turbulent channel flow at the friction Reynolds number of $1170$ and bulk Mach number of $2.88$ is carried out for parameter calibration and validations. The variances and joint probability density functions of the predicted velocity and temperature fluctuations agree well with the DNS results.
In, essentially, all species where meiotic crossovers (COs) have been studied, they occur preferentially in open chromatin, typically near gene promoters and to a lesser extent, at the end of genes. Here, in the case of Arabidopsis thaliana, we unveil further trends arising when one considers contextual information, namely summarised epigenetic status, gene or intergenic region size, and degree of divergence between homologs. For instance, we find that intergenic recombination rate is reduced if those regions are less than 1.5 kb in size. Furthermore, we propose that the presence of single nucleotide polymorphisms enhances the rate of CO formation compared to when homologous sequences are identical, in agreement with previous works comparing rates in adjacent homozygous and heterozygous blocks. Lastly, by integrating these different effects, we produce a quantitative and predictive model of the recombination landscape that reproduces much of the experimental variation.
Contrasting the well-described effects of early intervention (EI) services for youth-onset psychosis, the potential benefits of the intervention for adult-onset psychosis are uncertain. This paper aims to examine the effectiveness of EI on functioning and symptomatic improvement in adult-onset psychosis, and the optimal duration of the intervention.
360 psychosis patients aged 26–55 years were randomized to receive either standard care (SC, n = 120), or case management for two (2-year EI, n = 120) or 4 years (4-year EI, n = 120) in a 4-year rater-masked, parallel-group, superiority, randomized controlled trial of treatment effectiveness (Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00919620). Primary (i.e. social and occupational functioning) and secondary outcomes (i.e. positive and negative symptoms, and quality of life) were assessed at baseline, 6-month, and yearly for 4 years.
Compared with SC, patients with 4-year EI had better Role Functioning Scale (RFS) immediate [interaction estimate = 0.008, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.001–0.014, p = 0.02] and extended social network (interaction estimate = 0.011, 95% CI = 0.004–0.018, p = 0.003) scores. Specifically, these improvements were observed in the first 2 years. Compared with the 2-year EI group, the 4-year EI group had better RFS total (p = 0.01), immediate (p = 0.01), and extended social network (p = 0.05) scores at the fourth year. Meanwhile, the 4-year (p = 0.02) and 2-year EI (p = 0.004) group had less severe symptoms than the SC group at the first year.
Specialized EI treatment for psychosis patients aged 26–55 should be provided for at least the initial 2 years of illness. Further treatment up to 4 years confers little benefits in this age range over the course of the study.
Little is known about the effects of physical exercise on sleep-dependent consolidation of procedural memory in individuals with schizophrenia. We conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to assess the effectiveness of physical exercise in improving this cognitive function in schizophrenia.
A three-arm parallel open-labeled RCT took place in a university hospital. Participants were randomized and allocated into either the high-intensity-interval-training group (HIIT), aerobic-endurance exercise group (AE), or psychoeducation group for 12 weeks, with three sessions per week. Seventy-nine individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorder were contacted and screened for their eligibility. A total of 51 were successfully recruited in the study. The primary outcome was sleep-dependent procedural memory consolidation performance as measured by the finger-tapping motor sequence task (MST). Assessments were conducted during baseline and follow-up on week 12.
The MST performance scored significantly higher in the HIIT (n = 17) compared to the psychoeducation group (n = 18) after the week 12 intervention (p < 0.001). The performance differences between the AE (n = 16) and the psychoeducation (p = 0.057), and between the AE and the HIIT (p = 0.999) were not significant. Yet, both HIIT (p < 0.0001) and AE (p < 0.05) showed significant within-group post-intervention improvement.
Our results show that HIIT and AE were effective at reverting the defective sleep-dependent procedural memory consolidation in individuals with schizophrenia. Moreover, HIIT had a more distinctive effect compared to the control group. These findings suggest that HIIT may be a more effective treatment to improve sleep-dependent memory functions in individuals with schizophrenia than AE alone.
The effect of vitamin D (VD) on the risk of preeclampsia (PE) is uncertain. Few of previous studies focused on the relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk. Therefore, we conducted this 1:1 matched case–control study to explore the association of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk in Chinese pregnant women. A total of 440 pairs of participants were recruited during March 2016 to June 2019. Dietary information was obtained using a seventy-eight-item semi-quantitative FFQ. Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 were measured by liquid chromatography–tandem MS. Multivariate conditional logistic regression was used to estimate OR and 95 % CI. Restricted cubic splines (RCS) were plotted to evaluate the dose–response relationship of dietary VD intake and serum VD concentrations with PE risk. Compared with the lowest quartile, the OR of the highest quartile were 0·45 (95 % CI 0·29, 0·71, Ptrend = 0·001) for VD dietary intake and 0·26 (95 % CI 0·11, 0·60, Ptrend = 0·003) for serum levels after adjusting for confounders. In addition, the RCS analysis suggested a reverse J-shaped relationship between dietary VD intake and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). A similar association was also found between serum concentrations of total 25(OH)D and PE risk (P-nonlinearity = 0·02). In conclusion, this study provides evidence that higher dietary intake and serum levels of VD are associated with the lower risk of PE in Chinese pregnant women.
Sarcopenic obesity is regarded as a risk factor for the progression and development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Since male sex is a risk factor for NAFLD and skeletal muscle mass markedly varies between the sexes, we examined whether sex influences the association between appendicular skeletal muscle mass to visceral fat area ratio (SVR), that is, an index of skeletal muscle mass combined with abdominal obesity, and the histological severity of NAFLD. The SVR was measured by bioelectrical impedance in a cohort of 613 (M/F = 443/170) Chinese middle-aged individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD. Multivariable logistic regression and subgroup analyses were used to test the association between SVR and the severity of NAFLD (i.e. non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) or NASH with the presence of any stage of liver fibrosis). NASH was identified by a NAFLD activity score ≥5, with a minimum score of 1 for each of its categories. The presence of fibrosis was classified as having a histological stage ≥1. The SVR was inversely associated with NASH in men (adjusted OR 0·62; 95 % CI 0·42, 0·92, P = 0·017 for NASH, adjusted OR 0·65; 95 % CI 0·43, 0·99, P = 0·043 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis), but not in women (1·47 (95 % CI 0·76, 2·83), P = 0·25 for NASH, and 1·45 (95 % CI 0·74, 2·83), P = 0·28 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis). There was a significant interaction for sex and SVR (Pinteraction = 0·017 for NASH and Pinteraction = 0·033 for NASH with the presence of fibrosis). Our findings show that lower skeletal muscle mass combined with abdominal obesity is strongly associated with the presence of NASH only in men.
To investigate potential risk factors for mild behavioral impairment (MBI) among non-demented geriatrics.
Population-based, cross-sectional survey.
Taiwan Alzheimer Disease Association (TADA) Database.
Participants were selected by multistage random sampling of all Taiwan counties. They received in-person interviews between December 2011 and March 2013.
Demographic data, lifestyle and habits, medical comorbidities, cognitive status measured by the Taiwanese Mini-Mental Status Examination (TMSE) and presence of MCI of the participants were collected. Subjects were distributed to the MBI and non-MBI groups. These factors had been evaluated for their effects on MBI in the univariate and multivariable logistic regression models.
In total, 6,196 non-demented participants aged 65 years or older, including 409 MBI and 5,787 non-MBI participants, were recruited. After adjustment for age, sex, education, body mass index, lifestyle and habits, medical comorbidities, and MCI, good sleep was associated with lower risk of MBI (OR 0.09, 95% CI 0.07 – 0.12). Low body weight (OR 2.01, 95% CI 1.21–3.33), low-to-medium education (OR 1.40, 95%CI 1.06–1.85; OR 2.32, 95% CI 1.67–3.21), medical comorbidities of hypertension (OR 1.56, 95% CI 1.25–1.95), hyperlipidemia (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.00–1.67), cancer (OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.37–3.06) were significantly associated with increased MBI risk. MCI neither increased nor decreased risk of MBI (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.76–1.32).
Good sleep was associated with lower MBI risk. Underweight, lower education, medical comorbidities of cancer, hypertension, hyperlipidemia were predictive of MBI.
Engineered biomaterials provide unique functions to overcome the bottlenecks seen in biomedicine. Hence, a technique for rapid and routine tests of collagen is required, in which the test items commonly include molecular weight, crosslinking degree, purity, and sterilization induced structural change. Among them, the crosslinking degree mainly influences collagen properties. In this study, second harmonic generation (SHG) and coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy are used in combination to explore the collagen structure at molecular and macromolecular scales. These measured parameters are applied for the classification and quantification among the different collagen scaffolds, which were verified by other conventional methods. It is demonstrated that the crosslinking status can be analyzed from SHG images and presented as the coherency of collagen organization that is correlated with the mechanical properties. Also, the comparative analyses of SHG signal and relative CARS signal of amide III band at 1,240 cm−1 to δCH2 band at 1,450 cm−1 of these samples provide information regarding the variation of the molecular structure during a crosslinking process, thus serving as nonlinear optical signatures to indicate a successful crosslinking.
Anticipatory pleasure deficits are closely correlated with negative symptoms in schizophrenia, and may be found in both clinical and subclinical populations along the psychosis continuum. Prospection, which is an important component of anticipatory pleasure, is impaired in individuals with social anhedonia (SocAnh). In this study, we examined the neural correlates of envisioning positive future events in individuals with SocAnh.
Forty-nine individuals with SocAnh and 33 matched controls were recruited to undergo functional MRI scanning, during which they were instructed to simulate positive or neutral future episodes according to cue words. Two stages of prospection were distinguished: construction and elaboration.
Reduced activation at the caudate and the precuneus when prospecting positive (v. neutral) future events was observed in individuals with SocAnh. Furthermore, compared with controls, increased functional connectivity between the caudate and the inferior occipital gyrus during positive (v. neutral) prospection was found in individuals with SocAnh. Both groups exhibited a similar pattern of brain activation for the construction v. elaboration contrast, regardless of the emotional context.
Our results provide further evidence on the neural mechanism of anticipatory pleasure deficits in subclinical individuals with SocAnh and suggest that altered cortico-striatal circuit may play a role in anticipatory pleasure deficits in these individuals.
Based on a cohort from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS), we aimed to evaluate the relationship between sleep duration and the incidence of cognitive impairment among older Chinese adults.
We conducted a prospective analysis based on 3692 participants from the CLHLS at baseline (in 2011), and as a 3-year follow-up (till 2014), 531 participants (14.4%) had cognitive impairment, which was defined as a Mini-Mental State Examination score <24. Sleep duration was classified into three groups: short (≤5 hours/day), normal (>5 but <10 hours), and long (≥10 hours/day). A logistic regression model was used to examine the association between baseline sleep duration and cognitive impairment after adjusting for sociodemographic data, living habits, and health conditions.
Five hundred sixty-two participants (15.2%) were in the short-duration group, and 608 participants (16.5%) were in the long-duration group. After adjusting for multiple potential confounders, compared with normal sleep duration, long sleep duration was associated with the incidence of cognitive impairment (OR = 1.309, 95% CI: 1.019–1.683), especially among men (OR = 1.527, 95% CI: 1.041–2.240) and those having a primary and above education level (OR = 1.559, 95% CI: 1.029–2.361). No significant association was observed between short sleep duration and cognitive impairment (OR = 0.860, 95% CI: 0.646–1.145).
Excessive sleep may increase the risk of cognitive impairment in older individuals. It may be a suggestive sign of early neurodegeneration and may be a useful clinical tool to identify those at a higher risk of progressing to cognitive impairment.
Previous studies have reported inverse associations between certain healthy lifestyle factors and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), but limited evidence showed the synergistic effect of those lifestyles. This study examined the relationship of a combination of lifestyles, expressed as Healthy Lifestyle Score (HLS), with NAFLD.
A community-based cross-sectional study. Questionnaires and body assessments were used to collect data on the six-item HLS (ranging from 0 to 6, where higher scores indicate better health). The HLS consists of non-smoking (no active or passive smoking), normal BMI (18·5–23·9 kg/m2), physical activity (moderate or vigorous physical activity ≥ 150 min/week), healthy diet pattern, good sleep (no insomnia or <6 months) and no anxiety (Self-rating Anxiety Scale < 50), one point each. NAFLD was diagnosed by ultrasonography.
Two thousand nine hundred and eighty-one participants aged 40–75 years.
The overall prevalence of NAFLD was 50·8 %. After adjusting for potential covariates, HLS was associated with lower presence of NAFLD. The OR of NAFLD for subjects with higher HLS (3, 4, 5–6 v. 0–1 points) were 0·68 (95 % CI 0·51, 0·91), 0·58 (95 % CI 0·43, 0·78) and 0·35 (95 % CI 0·25, 0·51), respectively (P-values < 0·05). Among the six items, BMI and physical activity were the strongest contributors. Sensitivity analyses showed that the association was more significant after weighting the HLS. The beneficial association remained after excluding any one of the six components or replacing BMI with waist circumference.
Higher HLS was associated with lower presence of NAFLD, suggesting that a healthy lifestyle pattern might be beneficial to liver health.
The objective of this study was to analyze differences in birth weight and overweight/obesity in a Shanghai twin cohort. We also wanted to study their association and explore possible risk factors for the discordance of overweight/obesity within twins. This was an internal case–control study designed for twins. The 2012 Shanghai Twin Registration System baseline survey data of a total of 3417 twin pairs were statistically analyzed using SPSS22 software. Results show that the body mass index (BMI) of the Shanghai twin population increased with age. Twins with a high birth weight had a higher BMI and a higher rate of overweight and obesity; 0- to 6-year-old twins, male twins and dizygotic (DZ) twins had higher rates of overweight/obesity than other groups. The greater the discordant birth weight rate of twins, the more obvious the difference in BMI (p < .05). There was a significant difference in overweight/obesity between twins with a relative difference of birth weight ≥15% in DZ twins (p < .05). DZ twins, male twins and 0- to 6-year-old twins were more likely to be discordant in overweight/obese than others. The discordant birth weight within twins was not a risk factor for discordant overweight/obesity. However, attention should be paid to childhood obesity, and appropriate interventions should be made at the appropriate time. Genetics may play an important role in the occurrence and development of overweight/obesity. In conclusion, discordant growth and development in the uterus early in life may not lead to discordant weight development in the future.
Schizophrenia is a longstanding condition and most patients experience multiple relapse in the course of the condition. High expressed emotion (HEE) has been found to be a predictor of relapse. This meta-analysis and meta-regression examined the association of global EE and relapse specifically focusing on timing of relapse and EE domains.
Random-effects model was used to pool the effect estimates. Multiple random-effects meta-regression was used to compute the moderator analysis. Putative effect moderators including culture, EE measurements, age, length of condition and study quality were included.
Thirty-three prospective cohort studies comprising 2284 patients were included in the descriptive review and 30 studies were included for meta-analysis and meta-regression. Findings revealed that global HEE significantly predicted more on early relapse (⩽12 months) [OR 4.87 (95% CI 3.22–7.36)] than that on late relapse (>12 months) [OR 2.13 (95% CI 1.36–3.35)]. Higher level of critical comments (CC) significantly predicted relapse [OR 2.22 (95% CI 1.16–4.26)], whereas higher level of warmth significantly protected patients from relapse [OR 0.35 (95% CI 0.15–0.85)]. None of the moderators included significantly change the results.
These findings indicate that there is a dynamic interaction between EE-relapse association with time, and CC and warmth are the two important EE domains to influence relapse among patients with schizophrenia. Results also confirmed the foci of family interventions on reducing CC and improving warmth in relationship.
To determine if specific dietary patterns are associated with breast cancer (BC) risk in Chinese women.
Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed to identify generic dietary patterns based on daily food-frequency data.
The Chinese Wuxi Exposure and Breast Cancer Study (2013–2014).
A population-based case–control study (695 cases, 804 controls).
Four dietary patterns were identified, Prudent, Chinese traditional, Western and Picky; the proportion in the controls and cases was 0·30/0·32/0·16/0·23 and 0·29/0·26/0·11/0·33, respectively. Women in Picky class were characterised by higher extreme probabilities of non-consumption of specific foods, the highest probabilities of consumption of pickled foods and the lowest probabilities of consumption of cereals, soya foods and nuts. Compared with Prudent class, Picky class was associated with a higher risk (OR = 1·42, 95 % CI 1·06, 1·90), while the relevant association was only in post- (OR = 1·44, 95 % CI 1·01, 2·05) but not in premenopausal women. The Western class characterised by high-protein, high-fat and high-sugar foods, and the Chinese traditional class characterised by typical consumption of soya foods and white meat over red meat, both of them showed no difference in BC risk compared with Prudent class did.
LCA captures the heterogeneity of individuals embedded in the population and could be a useful approach in the study of dietary pattern and disease. Our results indicated that the Picky class might have a positive association with the risk of BC.
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REMs) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off this mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimensional particle-in-cell (2D-PIC) simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapidly expanding. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and the corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selectively adjusting of the corresponding spectra.
Singapore's health system generates similar levels of health outcomes as does Sweden's but for only 4.4% rather than 11.0% of gross domestic product, with Singapore's resulting health sector savings being re-directed to help fund both long-term care and retirement pensions for its elderly citizens. This paper contrasts the framework of financial risk-sharing and the configuration and management of health service providers in these two high-income, small-population countries. Two main institutional distinctions emerge from this country case comparison: (1) Key differences exist in the practical configuration of solidarity for payment of health care services, reflecting differing cultural roots and social expectations, which in turn carry substantial implications for financing long-term care and pensions. (2) Differing arrangements exist in the organization of health service institutions, in particular balancing public as against private sector responsibilities for owning, operating and managing these two countries' respective hospitals. These different structural characteristics generate fundamental differences in health sector financial and delivery outcomes in one developed country in Far East Asia as compared with a well-respected tax-funded health system in Western Europe. In the post-COVID era, as Western European policymakers find themselves forced to adjust their publicly funded health systems to (further) reductions in economic growth rates and overall tax receipts, and as the cost of the information revolution continues to rise while efforts to fund better coordinated social and home care services for growing numbers of chronically ill elderly remain inadequate, this two-country case comparison highlights a series of health system design questions that could potentially provide alternative health sector financing and service delivery strategies.