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To evaluate the impact of a vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) screening policy change on the incidence of healthcare-associated (HA)-VRE bacteremia in an endemic hospital setting.
A quasi-experimental before-and-after study.
A 1,989-bed tertiary-care referral center in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Since May 2010, our hospital has diminished VRE screening for admitted patients transferred from other healthcare facilities. We assessed the impact of this policy change on the incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia using segmented autoregression analysis of interrupted time series from January 2006 to December 2014 at the hospital and unit levels. In addition, we compared the molecular characteristics of VRE blood isolates collected before and after the screening policy change using multilocus sequence typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
After the VRE screening policy change, the incidence of hospital-wide HA-VRE bacteremia increased, although no significant changes of level or slope were observed. In addition, a significant slope change in the incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia (change in slope, 0.007; 95% CI, 0.001–0.013; P = .02) was observed in the hemato-oncology department. Molecular analysis revealed that various VRE sequence types appeared after the policy change and that clonally related strains became more predominant (increasing from 26.1% to 59.3%).
The incidence of HA-VRE bacteremia increased significantly after VRE screening policy change, and this increase was mainly driven by high-risk patient populations. When planning VRE control programs in hospitals, different approaches that consider risk for severe VRE infection in patients may be required.
The longitudinal relationship between depression and the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is uncertain. We examined: (a) the association between depressive symptoms and incident hepatic steatosis (HS), both with and without liver fibrosis; and (b) the influence of obesity on this association.
A cohort of 142 005 Korean adults with neither HS nor excessive alcohol consumption at baseline were followed for up to 8.9 years. The validated Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression score (CES-D) was assessed at baseline, and subjects were categorised as non-depressed (a CES-D < 8, reference) or depression (CES-D ⩾ 16). HS was diagnosed by ultrasonography. Liver fibrosis was assessed by the fibrosis-4 index (FIB-4). Parametric proportional hazards models were used to estimate the adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
During a median follow-up of 4.0 years, 27 810 people with incident HS and 134 with incident HS plus high FIB-4 were identified. Compared with the non-depressed category, the aHR (95% CIs) for incident HS was 1.24 (1.15–1.34) for CES-D ⩾ 16 among obese individuals, and 1.00 (0.95–1.05) for CES-D ⩾ 16 among non-obese individuals (p for interaction with obesity <0.001). The aHR (95% CIs) for developing HS plus high FIB-4 was 3.41 (1.33–8.74) for CES-D ⩾ 16 among obese individuals, and 1.22 (0.60–2.47) for CES-D ⩾ 16 among non-obese individuals (p for interaction = 0.201).
Depression was associated with an increased risk of incident HS and HS plus high probability of advanced fibrosis, especially among obese individuals.
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.
This study aimed to investigate associations among spirituality, coping strategies, quality of life (QOL), and the effects of depression and anxiety thereon in cancer patients.
In total, 237 cancer patients referred to a psycho-oncology clinic at a university hospital in Korea were enrolled. After identifying predictors of patient QOL in a stepwise regression model, we developed a hypothetical path model wherein interpersonal coping was considered as a mediating variable between spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL and wherein depression and anxiety affected each of these three variables.
The direct effect of spirituality (meaning/peace) on QOL was 36.7%. In an indirect model, interpersonal coping significantly mediated the relationship between spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL. Depression exerted the largest negative effect on spirituality (meaning/peace), interpersonal coping, and QOL. Anxiety had negative effects on spirituality (meaning/peace) and QOL, but a positive effect on interpersonal coping.
Significance of results
Interpersonal coping strategies work as a partial mediator of the relationship between meaning/peace subscales of spirituality and QOL. Effective management of depression may help in achieving better outcomes associated therewith. Greater attention and efforts to improve social connectedness and meaning of life in spiritual well-being may improve the QOL of cancer patients.
Jatropha curcas L. is a potential bioenergy crop but has a lack of improved cultivars with high yields and oil content. Therefore, increasing our understanding of J. curcas germplasm is important for designing breeding strategies. This study was performed to investigate the genetic diversity and population structure of Indonesian J. curcas populations from six different islands. To construct a reference, we de novo assembled the scaffolds (N50 = 355.5 kb) using 182 Gb Illumina HiSeq sequencing data from Thai J. curcas variety Chai Nat. Genetic diversity analysis among 52 Indonesian J. curcas accessions was conducted based on yield traits and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers detected by mapping genotyping-by-sequencing reads from Indonesian population to Chai Nat scaffolds. Strong variation in yield traits was detected among accessions. Using J. integerrima as an outgroup, 13,916 SNPs were detected. Among J. curcas accessions, including accessions from other countries (Thailand, the Philippines and China), 856 SNPs were detected, but only 297 SNPs were detected among Indonesian J. curcas populations, representing low genetic diversity. Through phylogenetic and structural analysis, the populations were clustered into two major groups. Group one consists of populations from Bangka and Sulawesi in the northern part of Indonesia, which are located at a distance of 1572.59 km. Group two contains populations from islands in the southern part: Java, Lombok-Sumbawa, Flores and Timor. These results indicate that introduction of diverse J. curcas germplasms is necessary for the improvement of the genetic variation in the Indonesian collections.
To evaluate the appropriateness of the screening strategy for healthcare personnel (HCP) during a hospital-associated Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak, we performed a serologic investigation in 189 rRT-PCR–negative HCP exposed and assigned to MERS patients. Although 20%–25% of HCP experienced MERS-like symptoms, none of them showed seroconversion by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT).
Background: Patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) on clinics who subsequently turn out to have normal dopamine transporter images have been referred to as scans without evidence of dopaminergic deficits (SWEDDs) patients. Cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction has frequently been reported in PD. In this study, we determined the similarities and differences in cardiac autonomic dysfunction between SWEDDs and PD patients. This study investigated whether 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (24-hour ABPM) can help identify possible cases with SWEDDs. Methods: We enrolled 28 SWEDDs patients, 46 patients with PD, and 30 healthy controls. To evaluate cardiac autonomic function, 24-hour ABPM was performed on all subjects. Cardiac metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scintigraphy was performed on the SWEDDs and PD subjects. Results: The percentage nocturnal decline in blood pressure differed significantly among SWEDDs patients, PD patients, and controls (p<0.05). In addition to the abnormal nocturnal BP, regulation (nondipping and reverse dipping) was significantly higher in SWEDDs and PD subjects than in the control subjects (p<0.05). There was no significant correlation between the % nocturnal blood pressure reduction and parameters of cardiac MIBG uptake ratio. However, orthostatic hypotension was significant correlated with the nocturnal blood pressure dip (%), nocturnal blood pressure patterns, and the cardiac MIBG uptake ratio (early and late) in combined SWEDDs and PD subjects. Conclusions: Pathologic nocturnal blood pressure regulation and nocturnal hypertension, known characteristics of PD, are also present in SWEDDs. Moreover, cardiac sympathetic denervation should not be attributed to cardiac autonomic dysfunction in SWEDDs patients. As with PD patients, the SWEDDs patients studied here tended to have cardiac autonomic dysfunction.
FFQ comprising food items, intake frequency categories and portion sizes have been used in large-scale observational studies to assess long-term dietary exposure. Although gender is an important influence on food choice and portion size, gender differences are not often analysed during FFQ development. This study investigated whether gender differences were considered sufficiently when developing FFQ, which affects the results of validation studies. A PubMed search using combinations of ‘FFQ’, ‘Food Frequency Questionnaire’, ‘Validation’ and ‘Validity’ identified 246 validation studies available in English, published between January 1983 and May 2014, which included healthy male and female adults. The development process of the 196 FFQ used in the 246 validation studies was examined. Of these, twenty-one FFQ (10·7 %) considered gender during item selection or portion size determination, and were therefore classified as gender specific (GS), but 175 (89·3 %) did not consider gender, and were classified as ‘not gender specific (NGS)’. When the ratios between intake levels obtained using the FFQ and a reference method for energy and seven nutrients were compared between the GS group and the NGS group, more significant differences were observed in women than in men (four v. one nutrient). Intake of three nutrients was significantly underestimated in both sexes in the GS group. In the NGS group, nutrient intakes were significantly overestimated more often in women than in men (four v. one). These results indicate that not considering gender in FFQ development causes greater inaccuracy in dietary intake assessment in women than in men. Results of nutritional epidemiological studies should be re-evaluated for their validity, especially if the studies used NGS-FFQ.
An indexed offset distance of the tricuspid septal leaflet ⩾8 mm/m2 is a quantitative criterion for the diagnosis of Ebstein’s anomaly. The purpose of this study was to investigate the validity of this criterion for the discrimination of Ebstein’s anomaly from pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum in neonatal patients. A total of 122 neonatal patients, 56 with Ebstein’s anomaly and 66 with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum, were enrolled. Diagnosis of each anomaly was based on typical morphologic features. Echocardiographic variables, including the offset distance of the tricuspid septal leaflet, were measured via an offline analysis of images recorded before 1 month of age. The offset distance of the tricuspid septal leaflet was indexed by the body surface area, and the indexed offset distances in the Ebstein’s anomaly and pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum groups were 34.2 mm/m2 (7.1–119.1 mm/m2) and 7.2 mm/m2 (0.0–25.6 mm/m2), respectively. The indexed offset distance was ⩾8 mm/m2 in 29 (43.9%) of the patients with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum; clinical and echocardiographic characteristics were comparable between these 29 patients and the remaining 37 patients with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum. When an indexed offset distance ⩾8 mm/m2 was applied as a cut-off for the diagnosis of Ebstein’s anomaly, the sensitivity was 0.963 and the specificity was 0.561. In conclusion, indexed offset distance ⩾8 mm/m2 cannot be used as a cut-off for the diagnosis of complicated Ebstein’s anomaly in neonatal patients with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum.
Adzuki bean (Vigna angularis [Willd.] Ohwi & H. Ohashi) is one of the most important legume crops cultivated in East Asia and northern South Asia. Despite its agronomic importance, the lack of available sequence information has made it difficult to improve important agronomic traits. In the present study, we performed de novo assembly of transcript sequences produced by short-read sequencing to construct 59,860 full-length protein-coding sequences in adzuki bean. These genes were subjected to a BLASTP search to identify putative homologues of the 84 Arabidopsis genes involved in the circadian clock and photoperiodic flowering pathway. A large proportion of these Arabidopsis genes were found to be conserved in adzuki bean. However, there were no homologues of six genes including FLOWER LOCUS D (FD) and LEAFY (LFY). Furthermore, the phylogenetic relationships of 25 highly homologous matches to CONSTANS (CO) or CONSTANS-LIKE (COL) of Arabidopsis indicated the lack of a CO orthologue in adzuki bean. FLOWER LOCUS T (FT) and its homologues were found to have two homologous counterparts in adzuki bean. This study provides primary genetic resources that may be useful for producing adzuki bean with improved flowering and fruiting performance in response to environmental changes.
This study aimed to assess the prevalence, incidence, and persistence of suicidal ideation (SI), and to investigate the psychosocial factors associated with these.
A total of 1,204 community dwelling elderly adults aged 65 years or older were evaluated at baseline, 909 (75%) of whom were followed two years later. The presence of SI was identified using the questions from the community version of the Geriatric Mental State (GMS) diagnostic schedule (GMS B3) at both baseline and follow-up interviews. Baseline measures included demographic status, years of education, rural/urban residence, accommodation, past and current occupation, monthly income, marital status, stressful life events, social support deficits, number of physical illnesses, severity of pain, physical activity, disability, depressive symptoms, anxiety, insomnia, cognitive function, alcohol consumption, and smoking.
Baseline SI prevalence, follow-up incidence (SI rate at follow-up of 805 elderly subjects who did not have SI at baseline), and persistence (SI rate at follow-up of 104 elderly subjects who had SI at baseline) were 11.5%, 9.6%, and 36.5%, respectively. Baseline SI was independently associated with no current employment, lower monthly income, stressful life events, more severe pain, presence of disability, depressive symptoms, and smoking. Incident SI was independently predicted by baseline unmarried status, social support deficit, severe pain, presence of depressive symptoms, and smoking. Persistent SI was independently predicted by baseline stressful life events and depressive symptoms.
Depressive symptoms were independently associated with prevalent, incident, and persistent SI, but other predictors varied according to incidence and persistence outcomes.
To investigate whether low vitamin D status was related to insulin resistance (IR) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG) in Korean adolescents, after adjusting for total body fat mass (FM).
A cross-sectional study.
Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNAHNES) 2009–2010.
In total, 1466 participants (769 males) aged 10–19 years were assessed for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels, for FM by whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and for IR by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) after an 8 h fast.
Age-, sex-, season- and physical-activity-adjusted regression models showed that serum 25(OH)D levels were significantly related to markers of adiposity (P = 0·016 for FM (g), P = 0·023 for FM (%) and P = 0·035 for fat mass index). When the participants were stratified into three 25(OH)D categories (<37·5 nmol/l (n 553), 37·5 to < 50 nmol/l (n 543) and ≥ 50 nmol/l (n 370)), significantly decreasing trends were observed for fasting insulin (all P < 0·001), HOMA-IR (all P < 0·001) and the odds ratios for IFG (all P for trend < 0·05) from the lowest to the highest 25(OH)D category, after adjustments for age, sex, physical activity and all markers of adiposity. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, the likelihood of participants in the lowest serum 25(OH)D category having IFG was 2·96–3·15 compared with those in the highest 25(OH)D category (all P < 0·05).
There was a significant inverse relationship between vitamin D status and IR and the risk of IFG, independent of adiposity, in Korean adolescents.
We have carried out simultaneous 22 GHz H2O and 44 GHz Class I CH3OH maser line surveys of more than 1500 intermediate- and high-mass YSOs in the Galaxy using newly-constructed KVN 21-m telescopes. As the central (proto)stars evolve, the detection rates of the two masers rapidly decrease for intermediate-mass YSOs while the rates increase for high-mass YSOs. These results suggest that the occurrence of the two masers is closely related both to the evolutionary stage of the central objects and to the circumstellar environments. CH3OH masers always have very similar velocities (<10 km s−1) to the natal dense cores, whereas H2O masers often have significantly different velocities. The isotropic luminosities of both masers are well correlated with the bolometric luminosities of the central (proto)stars.
We investigated the pressure dependence of the inductive coupled plasma (ICP) oxidation on the electrical characteristics of the thin oxide films. Activation energies and electron temperatures with different pressures were estimated. To demonstrate the pressure effect on the plasma oxide quality, simple N type metal-oxide-semiconductor (NMOS) transistors were fabricated and investigated in a few electrical properties. At higher pressure than 200mTorr, plasma oxide has a slightly higher on-current and a lower interfacial trap density. The on-current gain seems to be related to the field mobility increase and the lower defective interface to the electron temperature during oxidation.
The hydrophobicity of poly Si is reported to introduce different polishing behavior with careful control of post CMP cleaning process. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of poly Si wettability on its CMP behavior. The adhesion force of polymeric particle on the poly Si wafer surfaces was measured in the KOH solution (pH 11) as a function of solution A concentration. Adhesion force decreased and saturated as a function of concentration of solution A. The change of surface wettability affects not only the polishing rates but also the level of contamination on wafer because the interactions between particles and substrates are dependent on the wettability of the surface. Also, hydrophobic poly Si surfaces attracted much more pad particles with water marks than hydrophilic
The adhesion force of pad and alumina were experimentally and theoretically investigated in slurry solutions of different pHs. The isoelectric point (IEP) of pad particles was measured to be around pH 3. The wafer surfaces showed negative zeta potentials in the investigated pH ranges with exception of FSG and Ta. Cu and Ta showed higher interaction forces than dielectric materials. The lowest adhesion force was measured between pad particle and wafer surfaces in a slurry solution of pH 11. The magnitude of adhesion force of pad particles was lower than alumina particles.
In this study, the effect of BTA on polishing behavior was investigated as functions of H2O2, slurry pH and abrasive particles. The addition of BTA effectively prevented Cu from etching by forming the passivation layer of Cu-BTA regardless of pH and H2O2 concentration in slurry. A thinner passivation layer was grown on Cu in BTA added slurry solutions with a higher contact angle of 60°. The dynamic etch rate, the removal rate with abrasive free slurry, also decreased when BTA was added in slurry at pH 2, 4 and 6. The removal rate of Cu was strongly dependent on types of abrasive particles in slurry. The larger hardness of slurry abrasive particles, the higher removal rates of Cu. The reduction of removal rates in BTA added slurry was determined by the competition between chemical dissolution rate and mechanical abrasion rate.