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The purpose of this study was to analyse the clinical characteristics of patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) PCR re-positivity after recovering from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Patients (n = 1391) from Guangzhou, China, who had recovered from COVID-19 were recruited between 7 September 2021 and 11 March 2022. Data on epidemiology, symptoms, laboratory test results and treatment were analysed. In this study, 42.7% of recovered patients had re-positive result. Most re-positive patients were asymptomatic, did not have severe comorbidities, and were not contagious. The re-positivity rate was 39%, 46%, 11% and 25% in patients who had received inactivated, mRNA, adenovirus vector and recombinant subunit vaccines, respectively. Seven independent risk factors for testing re-positive were identified, and a predictive model was constructed using these variables. The predictors of re-positivity were COVID-19 vaccination status, previous SARs-CoV-12 infection prior to the most recent episode, renal function, SARS-CoV-2 IgG and IgM antibody levels and white blood cell count. The predictive model could benefit the control of the spread of COVID-19.
Chronic inflammation exerts pleiotropic effects in the aetiology 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 (HR) as well as 95 % CI for the risk of incident COPD. During a median follow-up of 8·96 years (interquartile range 8·29–9·53 years), 9016 new-onset events of COPD were documented. We found that the 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, 0·85; P < 0·001). When subgroup analyses were performed by smoking status, the adjusted HR for the association of regular glucosamine use with incident COPD were 0·84 (0·73, 0·96), 0·84 (0·77, 0·92) and 0·71 (0·62, 0·80) among never smokers, former smokers and current smokers, respectively. No significant interaction was observed between glucosamine use and smoking status (Pfor interaction = 0·078). Incident COPD could be reduced by 14 % to 84 % through a combination of regular glucosamine use and smoking cessation.
Compared with the general population, individuals with schizophrenia have a higher risk of periodontal disease, which can potentially reduce their life expectancy. However, evidence for the early development of periodontal disease in schizophrenia is scant. The current study investigated risk factors for periodontal disease in patients newly diagnosed with schizophrenia.
We identified a population-based cohort of patients in Taiwan with newly diagnosed schizophrenia who developed periodontal disease within 1 year of their schizophrenia diagnosis. Treatment with antipsychotics and other medications was categorised according to medication type and duration, and the association between medication use and the treated periodontal disease was assessed through logistic regression.
Among 3610 patients with newly diagnosed schizophrenia, 2373 (65.7%) had an incidence of treated periodontal disease during the 1-year follow-up. Female sex (adjusted odds ratios [OR] 1.40; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20–1.63); young age (adjusted OR 0.99; 95% CI 0.98–0.99); a 2-year history of periodontal disease (adjusted OR 2.45; 95% CI 1.84–3.26); high income level (adjusted OR 2.24; 95% CI 1.64–3.06) and exposure to first-generation (adjusted OR 1.89; 95% CI 1.54–2.32) and secondary-generation (adjusted OR 1.33; 95% CI 1.11–1.58) antipsychotics, anticholinergics (adjusted OR 1.24; 95% CI 1.03–1.50) and antihypertensives (adjusted OR 1.91; 95% CI 1.64–2.23) were independent risk factors for periodontal disease. Hyposalivation – an adverse effect of first-generation antipsychotics (FGAs) (adjusted OR 2.00; 95% CI 1.63–2.45), anticholinergics (adjusted OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.05–1.53) and antihypertensives (adjusted OR 1.90; 95% CI 1.63–2.22) – was associated with increased risk of periodontal disease. Therefore, hypersalivation due to FGA use (adjusted OR 0.72; 95% CI 0.59–0.88) was considered a protective factor.
The current study highlights that early prevention of periodontal disease in individuals with schizophrenia is crucial. Along with paying more attention to the development of periodontal disease, assessing oral health regularly, helping with oral hygiene, and lowering consumption of sugary drinks and tobacco, emphasis should also be given by physicians to reduce the prescription of antipsychotics to the extent possible under efficacious pharmacotherapy for schizophrenia.
On February 6, 2018, a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck Hualien, a county of East Taiwan. Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, the only tertiary hospital in East Taiwan, activated the mass casualty incident (MCI) call and received 144 patients that night. Our operation did not perform satisfactorily despite regular MCI drills. Thus, a new strategy to cope with the increasing frequency of disaster-related MCIs was developed.
To facilitate the management of disaster-related MCIs, we developed a novel Disaster Response System which includes a triage system combining Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (START) and Five-Level Taiwan Triage and Acuity Scale (TTAS), a novel registration system for MCIs, and anonymous patient identification and reporting system.
We begin the triage with the START method and then shift to the TTAS. The new registration system only needs the patient’s gender, age, and triage category. Patients are then assigned to different treatment areas accordingly. Further dispositions are applied after initial stabilization management. To identify the anonymous disaster victims, we take photographs of victims after clean-up and display them on an electronic bulletin with the patient list to the families in our emergency department. Real-time casualty statistics are collected automatically and synchronized to the governmental administrative system.
This novel Disaster Response System reduces the time from patient arrival to definite treatment and disposition in a simulated mass casualty incident exercise. The victim identification bulletin provides clear information to those who are seeking their family, and thus, avoids the chaos of the scene.
From the experience of the earthquake-related MCI, we found that inadequate training causes time mis-triage and treatment delays. Our Disaster Response System facilitates the workflow with an easily practiced algorithm, reveals on-time and easily accessible information to the public, and altogether improves our MCI management.
On February 6, 2018, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck Hualien, Taiwan. Over 150 patients crammed into the emergency department of nearby hospitals within two hours. Mass casualty incident (MCI) management was activated. During the recovery phase, little attention was paid to the mental health of hospital staff.
To analyze the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among healthcare providers (HCPs) and explore the possible risk factors.
63 HCPs in the emergency department of the single tertiary hospital near the epicenter were included. The Chinese version of the Davidson Trauma Scale (DTS-C) was used to evaluate the prevalence of PTSD. Questionnaires were sent to explore the possible contributing factors.
The average age of the HCPs was 32.7 years (30.3 years for nurses; 40.4 years for physicians). The prevalence of PTSD was 3.2% eight months after the incident. The mean DTS-C score was 8.9/136. Nurses had a higher score than physicians (10.8 and 4.7). HCPs with 6-10 years working experience had the highest score (14.2), while those with less than 3 years experience had the lowest (4.8).
We found HCPs had a lower prevalence of PTSD compared with earthquake survivors (Chou 2007), and physicians had longer working years and lower DTS-C scores. The professional training may help HCPs going through psychological impacts during the disaster. HCPs with 6-10 years of experience in the emergency department were found to have a higher risk of developing PTSD. Most of them were taking the responsibility of a team leader during the MCI, which may cause significant stress to these staff. Adequate training regarding MCI management could help to relieve tension and frustration, hoping to prevent the development of PTSD. Based on our study, PTSD among HCPs is an ignored issue, and we should follow-up HCPs’ psychological condition in the future.
In this paper, the recent studies of laboratory astrophysics with strong magnetic fields in China have been reviewed. On the Shenguang-II laser facility of the National Laboratory on High-Power Lasers and Physics, a laser-driven strong magnetic field up to 200 T has been achieved. The experiment was performed to model the interaction of solar wind with dayside magnetosphere. Also the low beta plasma magnetic reconnection (MR) has been studied. Theoretically, the model has been developed to deal with the atomic structures and processes in strong magnetic field. Also the study of shock wave generation in the magnetized counter-streaming plasmas is introduced.
It is common for patients to experience positive and negative psychological changes (e.g., posttraumatic growth or demoralization) after being diagnosed with cancer. Although demoralization and posttraumatic growth are both related to meaning-making, little attention has been paid to the associations among these concepts. The current study investigated the relationship between demoralization, posttraumatic growth, and meaning-making (focusing on sense-making and benefit-finding during the experience of illness) in cancer patients.
Some 200 cancer patients (with lung cancer, lymphoma, or leukemia) at the MacKay Memorial Hospital in New Taipei completed the Demoralization Scale–Mandarin Version (DS–MV), the Chinese Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (CPTGI), and a self-designed questionnaire for assessing sense-making and benefit-finding.
Demoralization was negatively correlated with posttraumatic growth, sense-making, benefit-finding, and time-since-diagnosis. Multiple regression analysis showed that meaning-making had different effects on demoralization and posttraumatic growth. The interactions of sense-making with either benefit-finding or time-since-diagnosis significantly predicted demoralization. Individuals with relatively higher sense-making and benefit-finding or shorter time-since-diagnosis experienced less demoralization.
Significance of Results:
The suffering of cancer may turn on the psychological process of demoralization, posttraumatic growth, and meaning-making in patients. Cancer patients who evidenced higher posttraumatic growth experienced less demoralization. Trying to identify positive changes in the experience of cancer may be a powerful way to increase posttraumatic growth. As time goes by, patients experienced less demoralization. Facilitating sense-making can have similar effects. Cancer patients with less benefit-finding experience higher demoralization, but sense-making buffers this effect.
A general least-squares technique for X-ray diffraction line broadening analysis has been developed. The technique can be used to determine single, double, and triple line broadening effects caused by small particle sizes, microstrain, stacking faults, or all three presented in a closed-packed hexagonal nanomaterial. The technique was applied to characterize the microstructure of β-Ni(OH)2, a negative electrode material in nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. Double line broadening effects caused by both small crystallite sizes and stacking faults in β-Ni(OH)2 were detected and analyzed. Triple line broadening effects caused simultaneously by small crystallite sizes, microstrain, and stacking faults were detected in β-Ni(OH)2 after activation and charge-discharge cycle tests. The triple line broadening effects were found to be selective and most pronounced for diffraction lines with h−k=3n±1. The broadening effects were larger when l=even, but smaller when l=odd. The shape and the average size of the crystallites, microstrain, and stacking fault probability in β-Ni(OH)2 changed dramatically after activation and charge-discharge cycles. The method was also applied to characterize and investigate the microstructure of nano ZnO materials. Results indicate that no selective broadening appears in the XRD patterns of the nano ZnO materials. The average crystallite sizes were different slightly, and the stacking fault probabilities differed significantly with different dopants.
Total body fat mass (TBFM) and total body lean mass (TBLM) are the major components of the human body. Although these highly correlated phenotypic traits are frequently used to characterize obesity, the specific shared genetic factors that influence both traits remain largely unknown. Our study was aimed at identifying common quantitative trait loci (QTLs) contributing to both TBFM and TBLM. We performed a whole genome-linkage scan study in a large sample of 3255 subjects from 420 Caucasian pedigrees. Bivariate linkage analysis was carried out in both the entire sample and gender-specific subsamples. Several potentially important genomic regions that may harbour QTLs important for TBFM and TBLM were identified. For example, 20p12-11 achieved a LOD score of 2·04 in the entire sample and, in the male subsample, two genomic regions, 20p12 (LOD=2·08) and 3p26-25 (LOD=1·92), showed suggestive linkage. In addition, two-point linkage analyses for chromosome X showed suggestive linkages on Xp22 in the entire sample (LOD=2·14) and significant linkage on Xp22 in the female subsample (LOD=3·05). Complete pleiotropy was suggested for 20p12 and 3p26-25 in males. Our results suggest that QTLs on chromosomes 20p12, 3p26-25 and Xp22 may jointly influence TBFM and TBLM. Further fine mapping and gene identification studies for these pleiotropic effects are needed.
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