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The aim of the present study was to compare the rate of preterm birth (PTB) and growth from birth to 18 years between twins conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) and twins conceived by spontaneous conception (SC) in mainland China. The retrospective cohort study included 1164 twins resulting from IVF and 25,654 twins conceived spontaneously, of which 494 from IVF and 6338 from SC were opposite-sex twins. PTB and low birth weight (LBW), and growth, including length/height and weight, were compared between the two groups at five stages: infancy (0 year), toddler period (1–2 years), preschool (3–5 years), primary or elementary school (6–11 years), and adolescence (10–18 years). Few statistically significant differences were found for LBW and growth between the two groups after adjusting for PTB and other confounders. Twins born by IVF faced an increased risk of PTB compared with those born by SC (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 8.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] [3.19, 21.13], p < .001 in all twins and aOR 10.12, 95% CI [2.32, 44.04], p = .002 in opposite-sex twins). Twins born by IVF experienced a similar growth at five stages (0–18 years old) when compared with those born by SC. PTB risk, however, is significantly higher for twins conceived by IVF than those conceived by SC.
Chronic inflammation exerts pleiotropic effects in the etiology and progression of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Glucosamine is widely used in many countries and may have anti-inflammatory properties. We aimed to prospectively evaluate the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD risk and explore whether such association could be modified by smoking in the UK Biobank cohort, which recruited more than half a million participants aged 40–69 years from across the UK between 2006 and 2010. Cox proportional hazards models with adjustment for potential confounding factors were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) as well as 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for the risk of incident COPD. During a median follow-up of 8.96 years (interquartile range 8.29 to 9.53 years), 9016 new-onset events of COPD were documented. We found that regular use of glucosamine was associated with a significantly lower risk of incident COPD with multivariable adjusted HR of 0.80 (95% CI, 0.75 to 0.85; P<0.001). When subgroup analyses were performed by smoking status, the adjusted HRs for the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD were 0.84 (0.73 to 0.96), 0.84 (0.77 to 0.92), and 0.71 (0.62 to 0.80) among never smokers, former smokers and current smokers, respectively. No significant interaction was observed between glucosamine use and smoking status (P for interaction=0.078). Incident COPD could be reduced by 14% to 84% through a combination of regular glucosamine use and smoking cessation
Prolonged sitting in a fixed or constrained position exposes aircraft passengers to long-term static loading of their bodies, which has deleterious effects on passengers’ comfort throughout the duration of the flight. The previous studies focused primarily on office and driving sitting postures and few studies, however, focused on the sitting postures of passengers in aircraft. Consequently, the aim of the present study is to detect and recognize the sitting postures of aircraft passengers in relation to sitting discomfort. A total of 24 subjects were recruited for the experiment, which lasted for 2 h. Furthermore, a total of 489 sitting postures were extracted and the pressure data between subjects and seat was collected from the experiment. After the detection of sitting postures, eight types of sitting postures were classified based on key parts (trunk, back, and legs) of the human bodies. Thereafter, the eight types of sitting postures were recognized with the aid of pressure data of seat pan and backrest employing several machine learning methods. The best classification rate of 89.26% was obtained from the support vector machine (SVM) with radial basis function (RBF) kernel. The detection and recognition of the eight types of sitting postures of aircraft passengers in this study provided an insight into aircraft passengers’ discomfort and seat design.
The findings regarding the associations between red meat, fish and poultry consumption, and the metabolic syndrome (Mets) have been inconclusive, and evidence from Chinese populations is scarce. A cross-sectional study was performed to investigate the associations between red meat, fish and poultry consumption, and the prevalence of the Mets and its components among the residents of Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, China. A total of 4424 participants were eligible for the analysis. A logistic regression model was used to estimate the OR and 95 % CI for the prevalence of the Mets and its components according to red meat, fish and poultry consumption. In addition, the data of our cross-sectional study were meta-analysed under a random effects model along with those of published observational studies to generate the summary relative risks (RR) of the associations between the highest v. lowest categories of red meat, fish and poultry consumption and the Mets and its components. In the cross-sectional study, the multivariable-adjusted OR for the highest v. lowest quartiles of consumption was 1·23 (95 % CI 1·02, 1·48) for red meat, 0·83 (95 % CI 0·72, 0·97) for fish and 0·93 (95 % CI 0·74, 1·18) for poultry. In the meta-analysis, the pooled RR for the highest v. lowest categories of consumption was 1·20 (95 % CI 1·06, 1·35) for red meat, 0·88 (95 % CI 0·81, 0·96) for fish and 0·97 (95 % CI 0·85, 1·10) for poultry. The findings of both cross-sectional studies and meta-analyses indicated that the association between fish consumption and the Mets may be partly driven by the inverse association of fish consumption with elevated TAG and reduced HDL-cholesterol and, to a lesser extent, fasting plasma glucose. No clear pattern of associations was observed between red meat or poultry consumption and the components of the Mets. The current findings add weight to the evidence that the Mets may be positively associated with red meat consumption, inversely associated with fish consumption and neutrally associated with poultry consumption.
China has become a leading source of outward foreign direct investment (FDI), and the Chinese state exercises a unique degree of influence over its firms. We explore the patterns of political influence over FDI using a comprehensive firm-level data set on Chinese outward FDI from 2000 to 2013. Using six country-level measures of affinity for China, we find that state-owned and globally diversified firms appear to conform most closely to official guidance. Official investment directives and state visits link investments to state policies; Taiwan recognition and Dalai Lama meetings anchor our political interpretations; and UN General Assembly voting and temporary UN Security Council membership suggest that this intervention may be systematic. The results are robust to country, year, and sector fixed effects, and most do not hold for private or small firms. The results suggest that China uses FDI by prominent state-owned enterprises as an instrument to promote its foreign policy.
Type D personality and depression are the independent psychological risk factors for adverse outcomes in cardiovascular patients. The aim of this study was to examine the combined effect of Type D personality and depression on clinical outcomes in patients suffering from acute myocardial infarction (AMI).
This prospective cohort study included 3568 patients diagnosed with AMI between February 2017 and September 2018. Type D personality and depression were assessed at baseline, while the major adverse cardiac event (MACE) rate (cardiac death, recurrent non-fatal myocardial infarction, revascularization, and stroke) and in-stent restenosis (ISR) rate were analyzed after a 2-year follow-up period.
A total of 437 patients developed MACEs and 185 had ISR during the follow-up period. The Type D (+) depression (+) and Type D (+) depression (−) groups had a higher risk of MACE [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.74–6.07] (95% CI 1.25–2.96) and ISR (95% CI 3.09–8.28) (95% CI 1.85–6.22). Analysis of Type D and depression as continuous variables indicated that the main effect of Type D, depression and their combined effect were significantly associated with MACE and ISR. Moreover, Type D (+) depression (+) and Type D (+) depression (−) emerged as significant risk factors for MACE and ISR in males, while only Type D (+) depression (+) was associated with MACE and ISR in female patients.
These findings suggest that patients complicated with depression and Type D personality are at a higher risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Individual assessments of Type D personality and depression, and comprehensive interventions are required.
The relationship between SFA consumption and the risk of overweight/obesity remains unclear. Epidemiological evidence is lacking among Chinese population. This study aimed to investigate the association between individual dietary SFA intake and the risk of overweight/obesity in Chinese adults. Data from 8465 adults with BMI < 24 kg/m2 at entry in the China Health and Nutrition Survey (1989–2011) were analysed. Three-day 24-h dietary records were used to collect dietary data. Cox proportional hazards regression models were constructed to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI for the risk of developing overweight or obesity. A total of 3171 incident cases of overweight/obesity were identified (1649 for women and 1522 for men) during a median of 11 years of follow-up. Compared with the lowest category, the intake of total SFA (TSFA) showed no significant association with the risk of overweight/obesity. However, an increased risk of overweight/obesity was observed with a higher intake of medium chain SFA (MCSFA) (Ptrend = 0·004), especially decanoic acid (10:0) (HR was 1·25 (95 % CI 1·10, 1·42) comparing the highest category with the reference group; Ptrend < 0·001), whereas an inverse relationship was observed for hexanoic acid (6:0) consumption; compared with non-consumers, 6:0 intake was associated with 32 % lower risk of overweight/obesity (HR: 0·68 (95 % CI 0·56, 0·84); Ptrend < 0·001). Overall, the intake of subtypes of MCSFA but not TSFA was associated with the risk of overweight/obesity. Increasing hexanoic acid (6:0) and limiting decanoic acid (10:0) consumption may be protective for overweight/obesity among Chinese population.
Inflammation is a central mechanism in metabolic disorders associated with morbidity and mortality and dietary factors can modulate inflammation. We aimed to prospectively investigate the association between an empirically developed, food-based dietary inflammatory pattern (EDIP) score and the risk of overall and cause-specific mortality, using data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2014. EDIP score was derived by entering thirty-nine predefined commonly consumed food groups into the reduced rank regression models followed by stepwise linear regression, which was most predictive of two plasma inflammation biomarkers including C-reactive protein and leucocyte count among 25 500 US adults. This score was further validated in a testing set of 9466 adults. Deaths from baseline until 31 December 2015 were identified through record linkage to the National Death Index. During a median follow-up of 7·8 years among 40 074 participants, we documented 4904 deaths. Compared with participants in the lowest quintile of EDIP score, those in the highest quintile had a higher risk of overall death (hazard ratio (HR) = 1·19, 95 % CI 1·08, 1·32, Ptrend = 0·002), and deaths from cancer (HR = 1·41, 95 % CI 1·14, 1·74, Ptrend = 0·017) and CVD (HR = 1·22, 95 % CI 0·98, 1·53, Ptrend = 0·211). When stratified by age, the association of EDIP with overall mortality was stronger among individuals under 65 years of age (Pinteraction = 0·001). Diets with a higher inflammatory potential were associated with increased risk of overall and cancer-specific mortality. Interventions to reduce the adverse effect of pro-inflammatory diets may potentially promote health and longevity.
In this paper, we present an electrically driven childlike android named ibuki equipped with a wheeled mobility unit that enables it to move in a real environment. Since the unit includes a vertical oscillation mechanism, the android can replicate the movements of the human center of mass and can express human-like upper-body movements even when moving by wheels. Moreover, providing 46 degrees of freedom enables it to perform various human-like physical expressions. The development of ibuki, as well as the implementation and testing of several functions, is described. Finally, we discuss the potential advantages and future research direction of a childlike mobile android.
Users in a social network are usually confronted with decision-making under uncertain network states. While there are some works in the social learning literature on how to construct belief in an uncertain network state, few studies have focused on integrating learning with decision-making for the scenario in which users are uncertain about the network state and their decisions influence each other. Moreover, the population in a social network can be dynamic since users may arrive at or leave the network at any time, which makes the problem even more challenging. In this chapter, we introduce a dynamic Chinese restaurant game to study how a user in a dynamic social network learns about the uncertain network state and makes optimal decisions by taking into account not only the immediate utility, but also subsequent users’ influence. We introduce a Bayesian learning-based method for users to learn the network state and discuss a multidimensional Markov decision process-based approach for users to make optimal decisions. Finally, we apply the dynamic Chinese restaurant game to cognitive radio networks and use simulations to verify the effectiveness of the scheme.
While peer-to-peer (P2P) video streaming systems have achieved promising results, they introduce a large number of unnecessary traverse links, leading to substantial network inefficiency. To address this problem, we discuss how to enable cooperation among “group peers,” which are geographically neighboring peers with large intragroup upload and download bandwidths. Considering the peers’ selfish nature, we formulate the cooperative streaming problem as an evolutionary game and introduce, for every peer, the evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS). Moreover, we discuss a simple and distributed learning algorithm for the peers to converge to the ESSs. With the discussed algorithm, each peer decides whether to be an agent who downloads data from the peers outside the group or a free-rider who downloads data from the agents by simply tossing a coin, where the probability of the coin showing a head is learned from the peer’s own past payoff history. Simulation results show that compared to the traditional noncooperative P2P schemes, the discussed cooperative scheme achieves much better performance in terms of social welfare, probability of real-time streaming, and video quality.