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To investigate whether an after-school nutrition education (ASNE) programme can improve the nutrition knowledge and healthy eating behaviour of adolescents from economically disadvantaged families.
One-group pretest and posttest design. Nutrition knowledge and dietary intake were collected using a questionnaire, and anthropometric measurements were measured before and after the intervention. Nine components of healthy eating behaviour were assessed with reference to the Dietary Guideline of Taiwan. Pretest and posttest differences were analysed using generalised estimating equations.
Three after-school programmes in central and southern Taiwan. The ASNE programme comprised three monthly 1-h sessions (20–30-min lecture and 30–40-min interaction).
A total of 153 adolescents aged 10–15 years from economically disadvantaged families (seventy-eight elementary students and seventy-five junior high school students).
Elementary and junior high school students’ nutrition knowledge scores (range 0–6) increased by 0·28 (+ 5·7 %, P = 0·02) and 0·30 points (+ 6·18 %, P = 0·02), respectively, but their fruit intake decreased by 0·36 serving/d (–22·9 %, P = 0·02) and 0·29 serving/d (–18·9 %, P = 0·03), respectively. Junior high school students’ mean snacking frequency and fried food intake dropped to 0·75 d/week (–21·3 %, P = 0·008) and 0·10 serving/d (–28·8 %, P = 0·01), respectively.
Short-term ASNE programmes can increase nutrition knowledge and reduce snacking frequency and fried food intake despite a decrease in fruit intake among adolescents from economically disadvantaged families.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is associated with a higher risk of burn injury than in the normal population. Nevertheless, the influence of methylphenidate (MPH) on the risk of burn injury remains unclear. This retrospective cohort study analysed the effect of MPH on the risk of burn injury in children with ADHD.
Data were from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). The sample comprised individuals younger than 18 years with a diagnosis of ADHD (n = 90 634) in Taiwan's NHIRD between January 1996 and December 2013. We examined the cumulative effect of MPH on burn injury risk using Cox proportional hazards models. We conducted a sensitivity analysis for immortal time bias using a time-dependent Cox model and within-patient comparisons using the self-controlled case series model.
Children with ADHD taking MPH had a reduced risk of burn injury, with a cumulative duration of treatment dose-related effect, compared with those not taking MPH. Compared with children with ADHD not taking MPH, the adjusted hazard ratio for burn injury was 0.70 in children taking MPH for <90 days (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.64–0.77) and 0.43 in children taking MPH for ≥90 days (95% CI 0.40–0.47), with a 50.8% preventable fraction. The negative association of MPH was replicated in age-stratified analysis using time-dependent Cox regression and self-controlled case series models.
This study showed that MPH treatment was associated with a lower risk of burn injury in a cumulative duration of treatment dose-related effect manner.
Maternal supraphysiological estradiol (E2) environment during pregnancy leads to adverse perinatal outcomes. However, the influence of oocyte exposure to high E2 levels on perinatal outcomes remains unknown. Thus, a retrospective cohort study was conducted to explore the effect of high E2 level induced by controlled ovarian stimulation (COH) on further outcomes after frozen embryo transfer (FET). The study included all FET cycles (n = 10,581) between 2014 and 2017. All cycles were categorized into three groups according to the E2 level on the day of the human Chorionic Gonadotropin trigger. Odds ratios (ORs) and their confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to evaluate the association between E2 level during COH and pregnancy outcomes and subsequent neonatal outcomes. From our findings, higher E2 level was associated with lower percentage of chemical pregnancy, clinical pregnancy, ongoing pregnancy, and live birth as well as increased frequency of early miscarriage. Preterm births were more common among singletons in women with higher E2 level during COH (aOR1 = 1.93, 95% CI: 1.22–3.06; aOR2 = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.33–3.06). Incidence of small for gestational age (SGA) was more common in both singletons (aOR1 = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.30–3.11; aOR2 = 2.51, 95% CI: 1.69–3.74) and multiples (aOR1 = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.03–2.45; aOR2 = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.05–3.84) among women with relatively higher E2 level. No association was found between high E2 level during COH and the percentage of macrosomia or large for gestational age. In summary, oocyte exposure to high E2 level during COH should be brought to our attention, since the pregnancy rate decreasing and the risk of preterm birth and SGA increasing following FET.
Apathy is a condition characterized by a lack of motivation that manifests in emotional, behavioral, and cognitive domains. Although previous studies have indicated that apathy is associated with frontal lesions, few studies have focused on the different subdomains of apathy, and no in vivo human biochemical data have been obtained to examine the neurochemical changes related to apathy in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Thus, we investigated the frontal neurochemical alterations related to apathy among patients with AD using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS).
Apathy was assessed through the Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES). 1H MRS was performed to measure neurochemical metabolite levels in the anterior cingulate region and right orbitofrontal region. Associations between neurochemical metabolites and the total score and subscores of each domain of the AES were analyzed.
Altogether, 36 patients completed the study. Patients with lower N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratios (NAA/Cr) in the anterior cingulate region demonstrated higher total apathy scores (β = −0.56, p = 0.003) with adjustments for age, gender, educational level, dementia severity, and depression severity. In a further analysis, a lower NAA/Cr in the anterior cingulate region was associated with all subdomains of apathy, including cognition (β = −0.43, p = 0.028), behavior (β = −0.55, p = 0.002), and emotion (β = −0.50, p = 0.005). No statistically significant associations were discovered in the right orbitofrontal region.
Our results suggest that apathy, in each of its cognitive, behavioral, or emotional subdomains is associated with brain neurochemical alterations in the anterior cingulate region. Abnormal neuronal integrity over the anterior cingulate cortex may exhibit a central role in causing all aspects of apathy in patients with AD.
A novel radio frequency identification tag antenna is composed of a resonant open-slot exciter and a dipole-type ground radiator. For a conjugate match to the Alien Higgs-4 chip impedance of 8−j149 Ω at 925 MHz, a quarter wavelength open-slot resonator embedded at the center of the dipole-type ground plane (130 × 18 mm2) was investigated and fabricated. Simple size adjustments and various loaded inductor of the open-slot resonator allow for easy control of the tag antenna resistance and inductive reactance, from which the chip impedance requirement can be easily obtained. The read range of the prototype antenna attached on a foam in the free space can reach more than 9 m, which has been tested for a radio frequency identification reader with 4.0-W of effective isotropic radiated power. Measurement data are in good agreement with simulation results.
A higher intake of fruits and vegetables (F&V) compared with animal-derived foods is associated with lower risks of all-cause-, cancer- and CVD-related mortalities. However, the association between consumption patterns and medical costs remains unclear. The effects of various food group costs on medical service utilisation and costs were investigated. The study cohort was recruited through the Elderly Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan between 1999 and 2000 and followed-up for 8 years until 2006. It comprised free-living elderly participants who provided a 24-h dietary recall. Daily energy-adjusted food group costs were estimated. Annual medical service utilisation and costs for 1445 participants aged 65–79 years were calculated from the National Health Insurance claim data. Generalised linear models were used to appraise the associations between the food group costs and medical service utilisation and costs. Older adults with the highest F&V cost tertile had significantly fewer hospital days (30 %) and total medical costs (19 %), whereas those in the highest animal-derived group had a higher number of hospital days (28 %) and costs (83 %) as well as total medical costs (38 %). Participants in the high F&V and low animal-derived cost groups had the shortest annual hospitalisation stays (5·78 d) and lowest costs (NT$38 600) as well as the lowest total medical costs (NT$75 800), a mean annual saving of NT$45 200/person. Older adults who spend more on F&V and less on animal-derived foods have a reduced medical-care system burden. This provides opportunities for nutritionally related healthcare system investment strategies.
Obesity and hyperlipidaemia increase the risk of CVD. Some strains of probiotics have been suggested to have potential applications in cardiovascular health by lowering serum LDL-cholesterol. In this work, high-fat diet-induced hyperlipidaemia in hamsters was treated with different doses (5×108 and 2·5×109 cells/kg per d) of heat-killed Lactobacillus reuteri GMNL-263 (Lr263) by oral gavage for 8 weeks. The serum lipid profile analysis showed that LDL-cholesterol and plasma malondialdehyde (P-MDA) were reduced in the GMNL-263 5×108 cells/kg per d treatment group. Total cholesterol and P-MDA were reduced in the GMNL-263 2·5×109 cells/kg per d treatment group. In terms of heart function, the GMNL-263 2·5×109 cells/kg per d treatments improved the ejection fraction from 85·71 to 91·81 % and fractional shortening from 46·93 to 57·92 % in the high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts. Moreover, the GMNL-263-treated, high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts exhibited reduced Fas-induced myocardial apoptosis and a reactivated IGF1R/PI3K/Akt cell survival pathway. Interestingly, the GMNL-263 treatments also enhanced the heat-shock protein 27 expression in a dose-dependent manner, but the mechanism for this increase remains unclear. In conclusion, supplementary heat-killed L. reuteri GMNL-263 can slightly reduce serum cholesterol. The anti-hyperlipidaemia effects of GMNL-263 may reactivate the IGF1R/PI3K/Akt cell survival pathway and reduce Fas-induced myocardial apoptosis in high-fat diet-fed hamster hearts.
The effect of gamma radiation in vacuum on the isothermal crystallization kinetics of syndiotactic polystyrene (sPS) was investigated via differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and x-ray diffraction (XRD). Amorphous sPS samples were irradiated in vacuum, heated to 310 °C, cooled down to crystallization temperatures (Tcs) from 220 to 260 °C, and annealed for different times. Upon reheating, overlapping endothermic melting peaks depicted the various crystallization forms, α, β, and β′. The endotherms were resolved using Gaussian functions relating enthalpy changes to the endothermic envelope. Isothermal crystallization kinetic data were analyzed using Avrami's model with Gaussian functions. The extent of crystallization of β and β′ forms increased with increasing crystallization time and temperature, while that of α form decreased. Crystallization half-time followed a modified Arrhenius equation. Crystallization activation energies for the β and β′ forms of sPS increased with increasing radiation doses. The results are compared to those of air irradiated sPS reported in the literature.
During 1997–2012 we conducted a nationwide camera-trapping survey and assessed the availability of prey and habitat for the clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa in Taiwan. We surveyed 1,249 camera-trap sites over 113,636 camera-trap days, from the seashore to an altitude of 3,796 m and covering various types of vegetation. No clouded leopards were photographed during 128,394 camera-trap days, including at 209 sites in other studies, confirming the presumed extinction of clouded leopards in Taiwan. Assessment of the prey base revealed altitudinal distribution patterns of prey species and prey biomass. Areas at lower altitudes and with less human encroachment and hunting supported a higher prey biomass and more of the typical prey species of clouded leopards. Habitat analysis revealed 8,523 km2 of suitable habitat but this was reduced to 6,734 km2 when adjacent areas of human encroachment were subtracted. In the absence of hunting and large mammalian carnivores the major prey of clouded leopards in Taiwan, such as Formosan macaques Macaca cyclopis, Reeves's muntjacs Muntiacus reevesi, Formosan serow Capricornis swinhoei and sambar Rusa unicolor, could become over-abundant. Thus, it is important to address the cascading effect of the disappearance of top-down predator control. Our assessment indicated that, with proper regulation of hunting, habitat restoration and corridor improvement, it may be possible to reintroduce the clouded leopard.
Unawareness of deficits is common and is associated with poor outcomes in Alzheimer's disease (AD); however, little is known about correlated neurobiochemical changes.
Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to examine neurobiochemical correlates of unawareness of deficits as assessed by the Dementia Deficit Scale in 36 patients with AD. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy spectra were acquired from the anterior cingulate area and right orbitofrontal area. Concentrations of N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), total creatine, and other neurometabolites were calculated.
Nineteen (52.8%) participants had relative unawareness of deficits. This condition was negatively correlated with NAA/creatine in the anterior cingulate area (β = −0.36, p = 0.025) and positively correlated with NAA/creatine in the right orbitofrontal area (β = 0.41, p = 0.009) after controlling for dementia severity.
These findings suggest unawareness of deficits in AD was associated with the altered neurochemical metabolites in the anterior cingulate area and right orbitofrontal area. However, the two areas might have opposite neuronal functions in unawareness of deficits.
Isothermal crystallization kinetics of gamma-irradiated syndiotactic polystyrene (sPS) has been investigated by differential scanning calorimetry. Amorphous sPS samples were irradiated in air with gamma ray at various doses from 0 to 800 kGy, at a rate of 30 kGy/h, and melt-crystallized at different temperatures and times. Kinetics parameters were determined using Avrami's model with Gaussian functions and a modified Arrhenius equation. Isothermally crystallized sPS irradiated in air with gamma ray exhibited multiple endothermic melting peaks corresponding to various crystalline forms, and the radiation dose had a strong effect on their melting enthalpies, crystallinities, and crystallization kinetic parameters. The amount of the α-crystalline form increased with increasing crystallization time and those of the β- and β′ forms had an opposite trend. Both crystallization half time and crystallization activation energy of the α form in gamma-irradiated sPS increased with increasing radiation dose.
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are rapidly emerging in hospitals in the United States and are posing a significant threat. To better understand the transmission dynamics and the acquisition of resistant strains, a thorough analysis of epidemiologic and molecular characteristics was performed.
CRE isolated at Detroit Medical Center were analyzed from September 2008 to September 2009. blaKPC genes were investigated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR (rep-PCR) was used to determine genetic similarity among strains. Epidemiologic and outcomes analyses were performed.
Ninety-two unique patient CRE isolates were recovered. Sixty-eight strains (74%) were Klebsiella pneumoniae, 7 were Klebsiella oxytoca, 15 were Enterobacter species, and 2 were Escherichia coli. Fifteen isolates (16%) were resistant to Colistin, 14 (16%) were resistant to tigecycline, and 2 were resistant to all antimicrobials tested. The mean ± standard deviation age of patients was 63 ± 2 years. Sixty patients (68%) were admitted to the hospital from long-term care facilities. Only 70% of patients received effective antimicrobial therapy when infection was suspected, with a mean time to appropriate therapy of 120 ± 23 hours following sample culturing. The mean length of hospitalization after sample culturing was 18.6 ± 2.5 days. Of 57 inpatients, 18 (32%) died in the hospital. Independent predictors for mortality were intensive care unit stay (odds ratio [OR], 15.8; P = .003) and co-colonization with CRE and either Acinetobacter baumannii or Pseudomonas aeruginosa (OR, 17.2; P = .006). Among K. pneumoniae CRE, rep-PCR revealed 2 genetically related strains that comprised 70% and 20% of isolates, respectively.
In this large U.S. cohort of patients with CRE infection, which reflects the modern continuum of medical care, co-colonization with CRE and A. baumannii or P. aeruginosa was associated with increased mortality. Two predominant clones of K. pneumoniae accounted for the majority of cases of CRE infection.
An electron-beam accelerator based on spiral water pulse forming line which consists of a primary storage capacitor system, an air core spiral strip transformer, a spiral pulse forming line of water dielectric, and a field-emission diode, is described. The experimental results showed that the diode voltage is more than 500 kV, the electron beam current of diode is about 24 kA, and the pulse duration is about 200 ns. The main parameters of the accelerator were calculated theoretically. The distributions for electrical field in the pulse forming line were obtained by the simulations. In addition, the process of the accelerator charging a spiral pulse forming line was simulated through the Pspice software to get the waveforms of charging voltage of pulse forming line, the diode voltage and diode current of accelerator. The theoretical and simulated results agree with the experimental results. This accelerator is very compact and works stably and reliably.
Barium strontium titanate (Ba0.7Sr0.3TiO3, BST) ceramics prepared by a reaction-sintering process were investigated. The mixture of raw materials of stoichiometric Ba0.7Sr0.3TiO3 was pressed and sintered into ceramics without any calcination stage involved. Perovskite BST ceramics were obtained after sintered at 1330–1370°C for 2–6 h. For 6 h soak time, a density value 5.68g/cm3 (99.8% of the theoretic value) was obtained at 1350°C sintering. Grains of sizes between 2μm and 15μm were formed after 1330–1370°C sintering for 2–6 h. A diffused ferroelectric-paraelectric transition was observed in pellets sintered at 1330°C for 2 h and disappeared at a longer soak time or a higher sintering temperature.
We have developed a fabrication procedure for growing photonic crystals in the lithographic defined microchannels, which enables easy integration with other planar optical components. This technique is based on the directed evaporation induced self-assembly of nanoparticles in the microchannels. Substrates with pre-patterned microchannels (30-100 μm wide) were dipped into solution of nanoparticles for several days. By controlling the evaporation rate, the meniscus contacting the microchannels will undergo evaporation-induced self-assembly. The capillary forces cause nanospheres to crystallize within the microchannels forming colloidal photonic crystals in the microchannels. Two types of colloidal particles, polystyrene and silica, have been employed to fabricate colloidal photonic crystals in the microchannels. Both types of colloidal particles were found to form large-area well-ordered colloidal single crystals in the microchannels. The optical reflection spectra from the (111) surfaces of the colloidal crystals formed by various sizes of nanoparticles have been measured. And the measured reflection peaks agree with the photonic bandgap calculated by the plane wave expansion method.
Formation mechanisms of perovskite Pb(Ni1/3Nb2/3)O3 (PNN) in the reaction-sintering process were investigated. Only the reflections of raw materials were detected at 400°C. For pellets heated to 500°C, pyrochlore phase Pb2Nb2O7 (P2N2) are found. Cubic Pb3Nb4O13 (P3N4) pyrochlore phase formed and became the main phase in pellets heated to 600°C. After being heated to 800°C, Pb3Nb2O8 (P3N2) pyrochlore phase formed in the pellets. As the pellets were heated to 900°C, the peak of NiNb2O6 columbite phase appeared. In pellets heated to 950°C, the weak peaks of PNN perovskite phase appeared. This means the perovskite phase formed at a temperature between 900°C and 950°C. As the pellets were heated to 1000°C, a large amount of PNN was formed and became dominant. The PbO, NiNb2O6 and Pb3Nb2O8 phases disappeared. The P3N4 content increased with temperature in pellets heated to 1050–1200°C. For pellets heated to 1250°C, the P3N4 content decreased significantly.
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