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The explosive outbreak of COVID-19 led to a shortage of medical resources, including isolation rooms in hospitals, healthcare workers (HCWs) and personal protective equipment. Here, we constructed a new model, non-contact community treatment centres to monitor and quarantine asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic COVID-19 patients who recorded their own vital signs using a smartphone application. This new model in Korea is useful to overcome shortages of medical resources and to minimise the risk of infection transmission to HCWs.
Given the dynamic characteristic of an individual’s drinking behaviours, 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 third 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 = 0·032) and -adjusted models (3·6 mmHg, P = 0·001), and the given association for the most recent alcohol consumption was observed in the baseline outcome-adjusted model (3·9 mmHg, P = 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 rather 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 is adjusted in men.
Background: After the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in Korea in 2015, the government newly established the additional reimbursement for infection prevention to encourage infection control activities in the hospitals. The new policy was announced in December 2015 and was implemented in September 2016. We evaluated how infection control activities improved in hospitals after the change of government policy in Korea. Methods: Three cross-sectional surveys using the WHO Hand Hygiene Self-Assessment Framework (HHSAF) were conducted in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Using multivariable linear regression model including hospital characteristics, we analyzed the changes in total HHSAF scores according to the survey time. Results: In total, 32 hospitals participated in the survey in 2013, 52 in 2015, and 101 in 2017. The number of inpatient beds per infection control professionals decreased from 324 in 2013 to 303 in 2015 and 179 in 2017. Most hospitals were at intermediate or advanced levels of progress (90.6% in 2013, 86.6% in 2015, and 94.1% in 2017). In a multivariable linear regression model, the total HHSAF scores were significantly associated with hospital teaching status (β coefficient of major teaching hospital, 52.6; 95% CI, 8.9–96.4; P = .018), bed size (β coefficient of 100-bed increase, 5.1; 95% CI, 0.3–9.8; P = .038), and survey time (β coefficient of 2017 survey, 45.1; 95% CI, 19.3–70.9; P = .001). Conclusions: After the national policy implementation, the number of infection control professionals increased, and the promotion of hand hygiene activities was strengthened in Korean hospitals.
To propose a new anthropometric index that can be employed to better predict percent body fat (PBF) among young adults and to compare with current anthropometric indices.
All measurements were taken in a controlled laboratory setting in Seoul (South Korea), between 1 December 2015 and 30 June 2016.
Eighty-seven young adults (18–35 years) who underwent dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) were used for analysis. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to develop a body fat index (BFI) using simple demographic and anthropometric information. Correlations of DXA measured PBF (DXA_PBF) with previously developed anthropometric indices and the BFI were analysed. Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses were conducted to compare the ability of anthropometric indices to identify obese individuals.
BFI showed a strong correlation with DXA_PBF (r = 0·84), which was higher than the correlations of DXA_PBF with the traditional (waist circumference, r = 0·49; waist to height ratio, r = 0·68; BMI, r = 0·36) and alternate anthropometric indices (a body shape index, r = 0·47; body roundness index, r = 0·68; body adiposity index, r = 0·70). Moreover, the BFI showed higher accuracy at identifying obese individuals (area under the curve (AUC) = 0·91), compared with the other anthropometric indices (AUC = 0·71–0·86).
The BFI can accurately predict DXA_PBF in young adults, using simple demographic and anthropometric information that are commonly available in research and clinical settings. However, larger representative studies are required to build on our findings.
To investigate the impacts of depression screening, diagnosis and treatment on major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) in acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Prospective cohort study including a nested 24-week randomised clinical trial for treating depression was performed with 5–12 years after the index ACS. A total of 1152 patients recently hospitalised with ACS were recruited from 2006 to 2012, and were divided by depression screening and diagnosis at baseline and 24-week treatment allocation into five groups: 651 screening negative (N), 55 screening positive but no depressive disorder (S), 149 depressive disorder randomised to escitalopram (E), 151 depressive disorder randomised to placebo (P) and 146 depressive disorder receiving medical treatment only (M).
Cumulative MACE incidences over a median 8.4-year follow-up period were 29.6% in N, 43.6% in S, 40.9% in E, 53.6% in P and 59.6% in M. Compared to N, screening positive was associated with higher incidence of MACE [adjusted hazards ratio 2.15 (95% confidence interval 1.63–2.83)]. No differences were found between screening positive with and without a formal depressive disorder diagnosis. Of those screening positive, E was associated with a lower incidence of MACE than P and M. M had the worst outcomes even compared to P, despite significantly milder depressive symptoms at baseline.
Routine depression screening in patients with recent ACS and subsequent appropriate treatment of depression could improve long-term cardiac outcomes.
For decades, fructose intake has been recognised as an environmental risk for metabolic syndromes and diseases. Here we comprehensively examined the effects of fructose intake on mice liver transcriptomes. Fructose-supplemented water (34 %; w/v) was fed to both male and female C57BL/6N mice at their free will for 6 weeks, followed by hepatic transcriptomics analysis. Based on our criteria, differentially expressed genes (DEG) were selected and subjected to further computational analyses to predict key pathways and upstream regulator(s). Subsequently, predicted genes and pathways from the transcriptomics dataset were validated via quantitative RT-PCR analyses. As a result, we identified eighty-nine down-regulated and eighty-eight up-regulated mRNA in fructose-fed mice livers. These DEG were subjected to bioinformatics analysis tools in which DEG were mainly enriched in xenobiotic metabolic processes; further, in the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software, it was suggested that the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is an upstream regulator governing overall changes, while fructose suppresses the AhR signalling pathway. In our quantitative RT-PCR validation, we confirmed that fructose suppressed AhR signalling through modulating expressions of transcription factor (AhR nuclear translocator; Arnt) and upstream regulators (Ncor2, and Rb1). Altogether, we demonstrated that ad libitum fructose intake suppresses the canonical AhR signalling pathway in C57BL/6N mice liver. Based on our current observations, further studies are warranted, especially with regard to the effects of co-exposure to fructose on (1) other types of carcinogens and (2) inflammation-inducing agents (or even diets such as a high-fat diet), to find implications of fructose-induced AhR suppression.
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.
We trace Sn nanoparticles (NPs) produced from SnO2 nanotubes (NTs) during lithiation initialized by high energy e-beam irradiation. The growth dynamics of Sn NPs is visualized in liquid electrolytes by graphene liquid cell transmission electron microscopy. The observation reveals that Sn NPs grow on the surface of SnO2 NTs via coalescence and the final shape of agglomerated NPs is governed by surface energy of the Sn NPs and the interfacial energy between Sn NPs and SnO2 NTs. Our result will likely benefit more rational material design of the ideal interface for facile ion insertion.
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.
Family study can provide estimates of overall genetic influences on a particular trait because family relationships provide accurate measures of average genetic sharing. However, evidence of genetic contributions to skin phenotypes is limited, which may preclude genetic studies to identify genetic variants or to understand underlying molecular biology of skin traits. This study aimed to estimate genetic and environmental contributions to selected dermatologic phenotypes, that is, to melanin index, sebum secretion, and skin humidity level in a Korean twin-family cohort. We investigated more than 2,000 individuals from 486 families, including 388 monozygotic twin pairs and 82 dizygotic twin pairs. Variance component method was used to estimate genetic influences in terms of heritability. Heritability of skin melanin index, sebum secretion, and skin humidity (arm and cheek) were estimated to be 0.44 [95% CI 0.38–0.49], 0.21 [95% CI 0.16–0.26], 0.13 [95% CI 0.07–0.18], and 0.11 [95% CI 0.06–0.16] respectively, after adjusting for confounding factors. Our findings suggest that genetics play a major role on skin melanin index, but only mild roles on sebum secretion and humidity. Sebum secretion and skin humidity are controlled predominantly by environmental factors notably on shared environments among family members. We expect that our findings add insight to determinants of common dermatologic traits, and serve as a reference for biologic studies.
Diet may play an important role in breast cancer recurrence or survival, and therefore assessment of long-term diet among breast cancer survivors is important in breast cancer survivorship research. Given that the diet of breast cancer survivors may differ from that of the general population, the use of a FFQ specific to this group may be needed. The objective of this study was to develop a FFQ for breast cancer survivors, the most commonly used tool to measure long-term dietary patterns in nutritional epidemiological studies. We collected information on the foods and amounts of foods consumed using 3-d dietary records from a total of 192 women who had been diagnosed with stage I–III breast cancers and had undergone breast cancer surgery at least 6 months before the baseline study. A total of 1254 foods and dishes consumed were re-grouped by the similarity of the main ingredients and/or serving units, and several dishes commonly consumed among the Korean population were added. After we performed contribution analyses and variability analyses to detect between-person variation for selected nutrients, we listed a total of 123 foods and dishes for the FFQ specific to breast cancer survivors. Our breast cancer survivor-specific FFQ can be used to estimate long-term dietary intake and to examine its association with breast cancer prognosis in epidemiological studies of breast cancer in Korea.
Feasibility of multiwavelength Raman spectroscopy was studied as a potential
in-line monitoring technique for grain size distribution in channel poly-Si used
in three dimensional stacked NAND (3D NAND) Flash memory devices. Various
channel poly-Si materials in 3D-NAND Flash memory devices, converted from
chemical vapor deposition (CVD) grown a-Si, were characterized using
non-contact, multiwavelength Raman spectroscopy and high resolution
cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (HRXTEM). The Raman
characterization results were compared with HRXTEM images. The correlation
between the grain size distribution characterized by multiwavelength Raman
spectroscopy and “on current” (ION) of 3D NAND
Flash memory devices was investigated. Good correlation between these techniques
was seen. Multiwavelength Raman spectroscopy is very promising as a
non-destructive in-line monitoring technique for grain size distribution in
channel poly-Si used in 3D NAND Flash memory devices.
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.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to predict the potential impact of the introduction of implantation of polyurethane scaffold for the treatment of partial meniscal lesions in the South Korean healthcare system.
Methods: The horizon scanning process was used to select a target technology and assess its potential impacts on patients and the Korean healthcare system. We identified and filtered research-phase health technologies that are not listed yet in Korean, but appear promising. After a process of prioritization, we chose the implantation of polyurethane scaffolds as a target technology. Then, through the procedures of assessment and peer review, we analyzed current evidence and its predicted potential impacts.
Results: There were eight studies included in the review: one prospective cohort and seven case-series studies. Six revealed significant improvements in function and pain relief. Of the six studies, which reported safety endpoints, four stated no major postoperative complications related to scaffold, and two reported adverse events and serious adverse events such as pain, joint swelling, et cetera. We also included the potential impact of this technology based on the experts’ consultation. They all agreed that it would satisfy the diverse needs of patients and fulfill clinical needs. However, the majority of related clinical studies were based on short-term follow-up observations without any validation process involving comparison with control groups.
Conclusions: Through a horizon scanning activity, we found that the implantation of polyurethane scaffolds is a promising technology to resolve articular cartilage defects; however, long-term evidence with comparison groups for safety and effectiveness is required.
The thickness dependence of the electrical stability under monotonic and cyclic tensile loading is investigated for Cu films on polymer substrates. As for monotonic tensile deformation, thicker films show better stability than thinner films due to their higher ductility and the larger capability of strain accommodation. For the fatigue resistance, however, a more complex behavior was observed depending on the amount of the applied strain. For low strain amplitude in the high cycle fatigue (HCF) regime, thinner films exhibit longer fatigue life because the larger strength of thinner films suppresses dislocation movement and damage nucleation. However, for high strain amplitudes in the low cycle fatigue (LCF) regime, the fatigue life for thinner films is drastically reduced compared to thicker films. It is shown that fatigue coefficients in the LCF regime can be obtained when applying the Coffin–Manson relationship.
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.