Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 46707

Medical and Health Sciences

Incidence of Cancer in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease
Background: Alzheimer`s disease (AD) I: creases with age and is characterized by the premature progressive loss of neuronal cell. In contrast, cancer cells have inappropriate cell proliferation and resistance to cell death. Objective: We evaluated the association between cancer and AD and also examined the specific types of cancer. Patients and Methods/Material and Methods: This retrospective, nationwide, longitudinal study used National Health Insurance Service – Senior cohort (NHIS-Senior) 2002-2013, which was released by the KNHIS in 2016, comprising 550,000 random subjects who were selected from over than 60. The study included a cohort of 4,408 patients who were first diagnoses as AD between 2003 and 2005. To match each dementia patient, 19,150 subjects were selected from the database by Propensity Score Matching. Results: We enrolled 4,790 patients for analysis in this cohort and the prevalence of AD was higher in female (19.29%) than in male (17.71%). A higher prevalence of AD was observed in the 70-84 year age group and in the higher income status group. A total of 540 cancers occurred within the observation interval. Overall cancer was less frequent in those with AD (12.25%) than in the control (18.46%), with HR 0.704 (95% Confidence Intervals (CIs)=0.0.64-0.775, p-Value < 0.0001). Conclusion: Our data showed a decreased incidence of overall cancers in patients with AD similar to previous studies. Patients with AD had a significantly decreased risk of colon & rectum, lung and stomach cancer. This finding lower than but consistent with Western countries. We need further investigation of genetic evidence linking AD to cancer.
Non-Communicable Diseases: Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Risk Factors among Secondary School Students in Sharjah, UAE
Background: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become an alarming health problem across the globe. The risk of developing those diseases begins in childhood and develops gradually under the influence of risk factors including obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cigarette smoking and decreased physical activity. Therefore, this study aims to determine the level of knowledge, attitudes, and practices of the risk factors of lifestyle induced chronic diseases (non-communicable diseases) among secondary school students in Sharjah city. Methods: Five hundred and ninety-one school children, from grades 10 to 12, formed the study sample, using the multistage stratified cluster sampling method. Four governmental schools were chosen, for each gender. Data was collected through a pretested, close-ended questionnaire consisting of five sections; demographics, physical activity, diet, smoking and sleeping patterns. Frequencies and descriptive statistics were used to analyze data through SPSS 23. Results: The data showed 64.6% of students had low knowledge of risk factors of non-communicable diseases. Concerning physical activity, 58.2 % were physically inactive and females being less active than males. More than 2/3 of students didn’t fulfill the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables (75.9%). 8% reported to be smokers with cigarettes being the most encountered tobacco product. Conclusion: Our study has demonstrated a low level of knowledge and practices yet, positive attitudes towards risk factors of chronic diseases. We recommend implementation of thorough awareness campaigns through public health education about the risk factors of non-communicable diseases.
Early Intervention with Swallowing Exercises Helps in Radiation Induced Dysphagia of Post-Surgery Carcinoma Tongue Patients
Early Intervention with Swallowing Exercises Helps in radiation Induced Dysphagia of post Surgery Carcinoma Tongue Patients Mohua Chatterjee, Sudhir Nair, Sanjay Talole Abstract— Introduction: Oral cancer comprises 30% of all cancer types in India and tongue is one of the common places of lesion. Patients with tongue cancer often needs surgery followed by radiation therapy. Radiation induced dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing is a common complication in patients. Methodology: 26 patients diagnosed with CA tongue and received radiation were treated with swallowing exercises, neck exercises and tongue exercises. The outcome was measured by American Speech -Language- Hearing Association National Outcome Measurement System (ASHA-NOMS) at baseline and after 6 weeks of intervention. Results: It was found that all the patients who received swallowing therapy had significant improvement of level in ASHA NOMS scale. There was an increase in average score by 2.73(sd 1.45) after the intervention which was statistically significant (P< 0.001). Conclusion: Early intervention of swallowing exercises is effective in reducing dysphagia of carcinoma tongue patients. Keywords—Dysphagia, Tongue Carcinoma, Swallowing Exercises, ASHA -NOMS
Knowledge and Attitude towards Helicobacter Pylori: Awareness about Health Impacts of H. Pylori Gastric Ulcer and Its Carcinogenic Potential among Adults in Sharjah
H. pylori bacterium is a known underlying agent for gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and gastric cancer and is believed to infect half of the world’s population. Even with the ubiquity of H. pylori bacterium, there is lack of knowledge regarding its modes of transmission, associated diseases, carcinogenic effect and means of prevention; especially in the UAE. A cross sectional study of 500 participants, of which 58% (n= 289) of the respondents were female, and 42% (n=210) were male, was conducted in Sharjah to assess the knowledge, and explore the attitudes and practices among UAE residents towards Helicobacter Pylori and its associated PUD as well as its carcinogenic nature. A structured self-administered questionnaire was distributed to the target population to establish their demographic background and selected aspects of their lifestyle. General knowledge about H. Pylori was poor, only 24.6% stated they have heard of H. pylori. Attitudes towards prevention and practices were relatively poor as well. Subjects who suffered from severe symptoms (ALARM symptoms) had significantly lower habit scores than those with mild and moderate symptoms (p=0.0078**). To the authours’ knowledge, no previous studies were conducted in the United Arab Emirates regarding the epidemiology of the infection to detect the extent of H. Pylori’s impact on the public health. The results of this study can be used to draw conclusions about the average knowledge of the UAE population regarding H. pylori. It can also be a starting point to devise new education programs and campaigns that raise awareness of this health issue which could be easily avoided with early diagnosis and antibiotic treatment.
Salon-Associated Infections: Customer’s Knowledge and Practice Measures
Background: Human being uses salon for a variety of purposes, from trimming of hair and shaving to a range of beauty treatments such as manicure and pedicure. Salon activities involve use of several instruments including scissors, scalpels and razors, materials such as soaps, solutions, creams and gels on human skin and body. Besides, salon customers also use chair, bed and many other common shared utensils and appliances. These salons related activities create a suitable environment for the transmission of several diseases and pathogens including hepatitis B and C, scabies, tuberculosis, staphylococcus and MRSA etc. The transmission of these pathogens can be prevented by maintenance of adequate hygiene and standard preventive measures. Aim: To assess the customer’s level of knowledge about salon-acquired infections and practices taken to prevent their transmission. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 500 participants across the Emirates. Moreover, self-administered questionnaires (in English and Arabic) were distributed through convenience sampling methods between February and April 2017. Results: The study included 500 participants of which 250 were females. The mean age of the study population was 33 years (SD=4.77). The participants were from several nationalities including 325 Arabs (Non-GCC) (66.2%), 108 Non-Arabs (22%), and 59 Arabs (GCC) (11.8%). The majority of the participants 421 (84.4%) had required knowledge about salon-associated infections with a mean knowledge score of 6/10 (60%). However, when it comes down to preventive practices, only 73 of the 500 participants (14.6%) did carry their own equipment. Thus, there was insufficient correlation between the level of knowledge and preventive practices (p=0.139) of salon-associated infections. Conclusion: People’s knowledge about the salon-associated infections among UAE residents was good, but only a small number practically took the required preventative measures towards this issue. Therefore, a public awareness program is recommended to enhance the deficiencies in knowledge and practices to prevent salon-acquired infections among the users. Up to our knowledge, this is the first study of this kind in the UAE targeting the salon customers about this important issue.
Survey-Based Pilot Investigation to Establish Meaningful Education Links in the Gambia
Educational links between teaching hospitals and universities can provide visits with great impact for both sides. As a visitor, one is responsible for the content, respecting current practice while offering guidance from a completely different perspective. There is little documented guidance for establishing links with universities in developing countries and providing meaningful teaching and exchange programmes. An initial contact retrieved one response with regards to written curriculum. The otolaryngology department from a Swansea teaching hospital visited a university in the Gambia. A consultant and clinical fellow visited with medical students to deliver lectures, clinical skills and informal teaching such as bedside and small group teaching. Students who had participated in teaching provided by the visiting university were asked to give feedback. This information was collated and used to evaluate the impact, and to guide future visits, including thinking of establishing a curriculum tailored to the West Africa region. The students felt they gained the most from informal sessions such as bedside teaching and felt that more practical experience on real patients and pathology would be most beneficial to them. Given that internet is poor, they also suggested a video library for their reference. Many of them look forward to visiting Swansea and are interested in the differences in practice and technologies. The findings are limited to little previous literature and student feedback. Student feedback sparked further questions and careful contemplation. There is great scope for introducing a range of teaching resources but it is important to avoid assumptions and imposition of a western curriculum and education system, a larger sample is needed with input from lecturers and curriculum writers in leading universities. In conclusion, more literature and guidance needs to be established for future visitors contemplating an educational link.
Effectiveness of the Community Health Assist Scheme in Reducing Market Failure in Singapore’s Healthcare Sector
This study addresses the research question: How effective has the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) been in reducing market failure in Singapore’s healthcare sector? The CHAS policy, introduced in 2012 in Singapore, aims to improve accessibility and affordability of healthcare by offering subsidies to low and middle-income groups and elderly individuals for general practice consultations and healthcare. The investigation was undertaken by acquiring and analysing primary and secondary research data from 3 main sources, including handwritten survey responses of 334 individuals who were valid CHAS subsidy recipients (CHAS cardholders) from 5 different locations in Singapore, interview responses from two established general practitioner doctors with working knowledge of the scheme, and information from literature available online. Survey responses were analysed to determine how CHAS has affected the affordability and consumption of healthcare, and other benefits or drawbacks for CHAS users. The interview responses were used to explain the benefits of healthcare consumption and provide different perspectives on the impacts of CHAS on the various parties involved. Online sources provided useful information on changes in healthcare consumerism and Singapore’s government policies. The study revealed that CHAS has been largely effective in reducing market failure as the subsidies granted to consumers have improved the consumption of healthcare. This has allowed for the external benefits of healthcare consumption to be realized, thus reducing market failure. However, the study also revealed that CHAS cannot be fully effective in reducing market failure as the scope of CHAS prevents healthcare consumption from fully reaching the socially optimal level. Hence, the study concluded that CHAS has been effective to a large extent in reducing market failure in Singapore’s healthcare sector, albeit with some benefits to third parties yet to be realised. There are certain elements of the investigation, which may limit the validity of the conclusion, such as the means used to determine the socially optimal level of healthcare consumption, and the survey sample size.
An Analytical Study on the Effect of Chronic Liver Disease Severity and Etiology on Lipid Profiles
Background and Aims: The liver is integral to lipid metabolism, and a compromise in its function leads to perturbations in these pathways. In this study, we hope to determine the correlation between CLD severity and its effect on lipid parameters. We also look at the etiology-specific effects on lipid levels. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of 250 patients with cirrhosis compared to 250 healthy age and sex-matched controls. Severity assessment of CLD using MELD and Child-Pugh scores was performed and etiological details collected. A questionnaire was used to obtain patient demographic details and lastly, a fasting lipid profile (Total, LDL, HDL cholesterol, Triglycerides and VLDL) was obtained. Results: All components of the lipid profile declined linearly with increasing severity of CLD as determined by MELD and Child-Pugh scores. Lipid levels were clearly lower in CLD patients as compared to healthy controls. Interestingly, preliminary analysis indicated that CLD of different etiologies had differential effects on Lipid profiles. This aspect is under further analysis. Conclusion: All components of the lipid profile were definitely lower in CLD patients as compared to controls and demonstrated an inverse correlation with increasing severity. The utilization of this parameter as a prognosticating aid requires further study. Additionally, preliminary analysis indicates that various CLD etiologies appear to have specific effects on the lipid profile – a finding under further analysis.
Attitudes, Knowledge and Perceptions towards Cervical Cancer Messages among Female University Students
Cervical cancer remains a major public health problem in developing countries, especially in Africa. Effective cervical cancer prevention communication requires identification of behaviors, attitudes and increasing awareness of a given population; thus this study focused on investigating awareness, attitudes, and behavior among female university students towards cervical cancer messages. The study objectives sought to investigate the communication behavior of young adults towards cervical cancer, to understand female students recognition of cervical cancer as a problem, to identify the frames related to cervical cancer and their impact towards audience communication and participation behaviors, to identify the factors that influence behavioral intentions and level of involvement towards cervical cancer services and to make recommendations on how to improve cervical cancer communication towards female university students. The researcher obtained data using semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions targeting 90 respondents. The semi-structured in-depth interviews were carried out through one-on-one discussions basis using a set of prepared questions among 53 respondents. All interviews were audio-tape recorded. Each interview was directly typed into Microsoft Word. 4 focus group discussions were conducted with a total of 37 respondents; 2 female only groups with 10 respondents in one and 9 respondents in another, 1 mixed with 12 participants 5 of whom were male, and 1 male only group with 6 participants. The key findings show that the participants preferred to receive and access cervical cancer information from doctors although they were mainly receiving information from the radio. In regards to the type of public the respondents represent, majority of the respondents were non-publics in the sense that they did not have knowledge about cervical cancer, had low levels of involvement and had high constraint recognition their cervical cancer knowledge levels. The researcher identified the most salient audience frames among female university students towards cervical cancer and these included; death, loss, and fear. These frames did not necessarily make cervical cancer an issue of concern among the female university students but rather an issue they distanced themselves from as they did not perceive it as a risk. The study also identified the constraints respondents face in responding to cervical cancer campaign calls-to-action which included; stigma, lack of knowledge and access to services as well as lack of recommendation from doctors. In regards to sex differences, females had more knowledge about cervical cancer than the males. In conclusion the study highlights the importance of interpersonal communication in risk or health communication with a focus on health providers proactively sharing cervical cancer prevention information with their patients. Health provider’s involvement in cervical cancer is very important in influencing behavior and compliance of cervical cancer calls-to-action. The study also provides recommendations for designing effective cervical cancer campaigns that will positively impact on the audience such as packaging cervical cancer messages that also target the males as a way of increasing their involvement and more campaigns to increase awareness of cervical cancer as well as designing positive framed messages to counter the negative audience frames towards cervical cancer.
System to Classify Three States of People Requiring Care by Using Support Vector Machine for Monitoring Unconstrained Activities of Daily Living
People who require care are increasing in number in many developed countries, and long-term monitoring is required to ensure nursing care of different levels. Long-term monitoring by caregivers means more nursing time. Nursing time can be freed up by automatic monitoring of activities of daily living (ADL). In this work, we aim to develop an ADL monitoring system based on microwave Doppler sensors that capture the unconstrained movements of humans. The microwave Doppler sensor neither is a physical burden nor invades privacy. In this paper, as a first step to perform ADL monitoring, we propose a system that classifies an object’s three states: ‘absence,’ ‘resting,’ and ‘moving’. Our proposed system has a learning phase and a training phase. In the learning phase, a certain amount of ‘moving’ data, ‘resting’ data, and ‘absence’ data are measured as training datasets. A microwave Doppler sensor outputs two signals, an in-phase signal (signal I) and a quadrature signal (signal Q). Let t, k, and f be continuous time, discrete time, and frequency. First, analog signals I(t) and Q(t) are converted to digital signals I(k) and Q(k). The time domain and frequency domain features are obtained from each training datasets. As the time domain feature of signal I, the summation of square of I(k) is calculated. As the frequency domain feature of signal I, using the discrete Fourier transform (DFT), the frequency characteristics of I(k) are calculated as FI(f). Next, we divide the summation of FI(f) from 0.2Hz to 0.8Hz by the summation of other frequency bands. Similarly, same signal processing is applied to the signal Q, and we obtained the time and frequency features. Using a support vector machine (SVM) with four types of features, we develop two hyperplanes. The first hyperplane classifies ‘presence,’ which can be further classified as ‘moving’ or ‘resting,’ and ‘absence.’ The second hyperplane classifies ‘moving’ or ‘resting’. In the estimation phase, the unknown data is converted to feature vectors. First, the SVM classifies the state of data as ‘presence’ or ‘absence.’ If the state is classified as ‘presence,’ the system then classifies the state under ‘resting’ or ‘moving’. To validate our proposed system, we conducted an experiment with 11 subjects. A microwave Doppler sensor, IPS154, was set at a height of 2.3 m from the floor. In this area covered by the sensor, ‘moving’, ‘resting’, and ‘absence’ were measured with a 100 Hz sampling frequency in 30 s. As ‘moving’, we asked the subjects to walk at least 10 s. The subjects could start to walk whenever they want within the measuring time. As ‘resting’, we measured subjects who were seated on a chair within the measuring range. Both of ‘Moving’ and ‘Resting’ were measured in 25 trials for each subject. As ‘absence’, we measured nobody in the experimental area in 550 trials. Thus, in total, 275 ‘moving’ data, 275 ‘resting’ data, and 550 ‘absence’ data were obtained. The kernel in the SVM was set to ‘rbf’. As the results of leave-one-subject-manner, an accuracy of the system was 0.99.
Role of Dedicated Medical Social Worker in Fund Mobilisation and Economic Evaluation in Ovarian Cancer: Experience from a Tertiary Referral Centre in Eastern India
Background: Tata Medical Centre (TMC), Kolkata is a major cancer referral centre in Eastern India and neighbouring countries providing state of the art facilities; however, it is a non-profit organisation with patients requiring to pay at subsidised rates. Although a system for social assessment and applying for governmental/ non-governmental (NGO) funds is in place, access is challenging. Amongst gynaecological cancers (GC), ovarian cancer (OC) is associated with the highest treatment cost; majority of which is required at the beginning when complex surgery is performed and funding arrangements cannot be made in time. We therefore appointed a dedicated Medical Social Worker (MSW) in 2016, supported by NGO for GC patients in order to assist patients/family members to access/avail these funds more readily and assist in economic evaluation for both direct and opportunity costs. Objectives: To reflect on our experience and challenges in collecting data on economic evaluation of cancer patients and compare success rates in achieving fund mobilization after introduction of MSW. Methods: A Retrospective survey. Patients with OC and their relatives were seen by the MSW during the initial outpatients department visit and followed though till discharge from the hospital and during follow-up visits. Assistance was provided in preparing the essential documents/paperwork/contacts for the funding agencies including both governmental (Chief-Minister/Prime-Minister/President) and NGO sources. In addition, a detailed questionnaire was filled up for economic assessment of direct/opportunity costs during the entire treatment and 12 months follow up period which forms a part of the study called HEPTROC (Health economic evaluation of primary treatment for ovarian cancer) developed in collaboration with economics departments of Universities. Results: In 2015, 102 patients were operated for OC; only 16 patients (15.68 %) had availed funding of a total sum of INR 1640000 through the hospital system for social assessment. Following challenges were faced by majority of the relatives: 1. Gathering important documents/proper contact details for governmental funding bodies and difficulty in following up the current status 3. Late arrival of funds. In contrast in 2016, 104 OC patients underwent surgery; the direct cost of treatment was significantly higher (median, INR 300000- 400000) compared to other GCs (n=274). 98/104 (94.23%) OC patients could be helped to apply for funds and 90/104(86.56%) patients received funding amounting to a total of INR 10897000. There has been a tenfold increase in funds mobilized in 2016 after the introduction of dedicated MSW in GC. So far, in 2017 (till June), 46/54(85.18%) OC patients applied for funds and 37/54(68.51%) patients have received funding. In a qualitative survey, all patients appreciated the role of the MSW who subsequently became the key worker for patient follow up and the chief portal for patient reported outcome monitoring. Data collection quality for the HEPTROC study was improved when questionnaires were administered by the MSW compared to researchers. Conclusion: Introduction of cancer specific MSW can expedite the availability of funds required for cancer patients and it can positively impact on patient satisfaction and outcome reporting. The economic assessment will influence fund allocation and decision for policymaking in ovarian cancer. Acknowledgement: Jivdaya Foundation Dallas, Texas.
Relationships of Functional Status and Subjective Health Status among Stable Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patients Residing in the Community
Background and objectives: In 2011, the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) recommendations proposed a multidimensional assessment of patients’ conditions that included both functional parameters and patient-reported outcomes, with the aim to provide a comprehensive assessment of the disease, thus meeting both the needs of the patient and the role of the physician. However, few studies have evaluated patient-reported outcomes as well as objective functional assessments among individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in clinical practice in Korea. This study was undertaken to explore the relationship between functional status assessed by the 6-minute walking distance (MWD) test and subjective health status reported by stable patients with COPD residing in community. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted with 118 stable COPD patients aged 69.4 years old and selected by a convenient sampling from an outpatient department of pulmonology in a tertiaryhospitals. The 6-MWD test was conducted according to standardized instructions. Participants also completed a constructed questionnaire including general characteristics, smoking history, dyspnea by modified medical research council (mMRC) scale, and health status by COPD assessment test (CAT). Anthropometric measurements were performed for body mass index (BMI). Medical records were reviewed to obtain disease-related characteristics including duration of the disease and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1). Data were analyzed using PASW statistics 20.0. Results: Mean FEV1% of participants was 63.51% and mean 6-MWD and CAT scores were 297.54m and 17.7, respectively. The 6-MWD and CAT showed significant negative correlations (r= -.280, p=.002); FEV1 and CAT did as well correlations (r= -.347, p < .001). Conclusions: Findings suggest that the better functional status an individual with COPD has, the better subjective health status is, and provide the support for using patient-reported outcomes along with functional parameters to facilitate comprehensive assessment of COPD patients in real clinical practices.
Risk Factors Associated with Outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis in Kano State- Nigeria, March-May 2017
Introduction: Nigeria has recorded outbreaks of meningitis in the past, being in the meningitis belt. A multi-state outbreak of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) from Neisseria meningitides occurred in 2017 involving 24 states, and Kano State reported its first two confirmed CSM cases on 22nd March, 2017. We conducted the outbreak investigation to characterize the outbreak, determine its associated risk factors and institute appropriate control measures. Method: We conducted an unmatched Case-control study with ratio 1:2. A case was defined as any person with sudden onset of fever (>38.5˚C rectal or 38.0˚C axillary) and one of the following: neck stiffness, altered consciousness or bulging fontanelle in toddlers while a control was defined as any person who resides around the case such as family members, caregivers, neighbors, and healthcare personnel. We reviewed and validated line list and conducted active case search in health facilities and neighboring communities. Descriptive, bivariate, stratified and multivariate analysis were performed. Laboratory confirmation was by Latex agglutination and/or Culture. Results: We recruited 48 cases with median age of 11 years (1 month – 65 years), attack rate was 2.4/100,000 population with case fatality rate of 8%; 34 of 44 local government areas were affected.On stratification, age was found to be a confounder. Independent factors associated with the outbreak were age (Adjusted Odds Ratio, AOR =6.58; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) =2.85-15.180, history of Vaccination (AOR=0.37; 95% CI=0.13-0.99) and history of travel (AOR=10.16; (1.99-51.85). Laboratory results showed 22 positive cases for Neisseria meningitides types C and A/Y. Conclusion: Major risk factors associated with this outbreak were age (>14years), not being vaccinated and history of travel. We sensitized communities and strengthened case management. We recommended immediate reactive vaccination and enhanced surveillance in bordering communities.
The Effect of Visfatin on Pregnant Mouse Myometrial Contractility in vitro
Obesity is a worldwide disorder influencing women’s health and childbearing. There is a close relation between obesity and pregnancy related complications. Dyslipidemia and adipokine dysregulation are core environmental changes that may mechanistically link these complications with obesity in pregnant women. We have previously found that visfatin has a relaxant effect on mouse, rat and human myometrial contractility. We hypothesised that visfatin inhibits mouse myometrial contractility through the NAD+ pathway. This study was designed to examine the mechanism of action of visfatin on myometrial contractility. To examine the NAD+ pathway, FK866 which is a potent inhibitor of NAD+ biosynthesis was used. Methods: Myometrial strips from term pregnant mice were dissected, superfused with physiological saline and the effects of visfatin (10nM) on oxytocin-induced contractions (0.5nM) alone and after the infusion of FK866 (10uM) were studied. After regular contractions were established, contractility was examined for control (100%) and test response at 37 °C for 10 min each. Results: FK866 was found to inhibit the effect of visfatin on myometrial contractility (the AUC increased from 89±2% of control, P=0.0009 for visfatin alone to 97±4% of control, P>0.05 for visfatin combined with FK866, n=8). In conclusion, NAD+ pathway appears to be involved in the mechanism of action of visfatin on mouse myometrium. This could have a role in making new targets to prevent obesity-related complications.
Bacteriophage-Delivered Peptide Vaccine Capable of Inducing Immediate and Strong IgG Antibody Production
M13 phage induced a strong primary IgG response, which is dependent on MyD88 signaling in mice, by simply administering them in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) without any inflammatory adjuvant materials. Recently, we have demonstrated that M13 phage that displayed less than a few copies of amyloid ß 42 (Aß42)-mimotope peptide at the N-terminus of g3p induced a significant level of Aß42-specific IgG antibodies in mice when it was injected subcutaneously by PBS solution without adjuvant. These results suggest promising features of M13 phage displaying a given epitope-inserted g8p in place of g3p for a vaccine vehicle because g8p expresses about 2700 molecules while g3p displays three to five molecules per phage particle. In this study, to test immunological properties of recombinant phage, we constructed M13 phage displaying the sequence of 1-15 region of Aß42 (Aß1-15) on their g3p and g8p, and compare their immunogenicity in mice. When mice were immunized s.c. with M13 phage displaying Aß1-15 at the N-terminus of g3p, IgG response against Aß42 was observed in two weeks after the secondary injection. In the case of M13 phage displaying Aß1-15 at the N-terminus of g8p, single dose injection of this recombinant phage into mice caused a strong Aß-specific IgG antibody production. The binding antisera to Aß42 are inhibited by the pre-incubation with Aß peptide (aa1-15) in a dose dependent manner. Therefore, it is clear that recombinant phage displaying peptides fused to g8p molecules is highly immunogenic and capable of inducing IgG antibody with the fine specificity for the displayed peptide. Those findings can be applied to a construction of a rapid peptide vaccine development system. We have developed a phagemid vector that conveniently transfers peptide genes from N-terminus of g3p to N-terminus of g8p. Peptides that react strongly to antisera are enriched from peptide-g3p fusion phage display library. The concentrated peptide genes can easily be converted to a peptide-g8p fusion phage display library as a vaccine library, and phage clones representing vaccine effect in animals can be isolated with next screening systems. As phage can be used as the target epitope-displaying nanoparticle for vaccine by simply administering PBS solution without any inflammatory adjuvant materials, peptide-displaying filamentous bacteriophages may provide the tools to focus the induction of immediate and strong IgG antibody responses to the targeted Ig-binding epitopes, suggesting a novel application of not only a cocktail of various epitope-displaying phage as bacteriophage vaccines but also rapid developing systems for peptide vaccines.
Role of Endotherapy vs Surgery in the Management of Traumatic Pancreatic Injury: A Tertiary Center Experience
Introduction: Pancreatic injury remains a complicated condition requiring an individualized case by case approach to management. In this study, we aim to analyze the varied presentations and treatment outcomes of traumatic pancreatic injury in a tertiary care center. Methods: All consecutive patients hospitalized at our center with traumatic pancreatic injury between 2013 and 2017 were included. The American Association for Surgery of Trauma (AAST) classification was used to stratify patients into five grades of severity. Outcome parameters were then analyzed based on the treatment modality employed. Results: Of the 35 patients analyzed, 26 had an underlying blunt trauma with the remaining nine presenting due to penetrating injury. Overall in-hospital mortality was 28%. 19 of these patients underwent exploratory laparotomy with the remaining 16 managed nonoperatively. Nine patients had a severe injury ( > grade 3) – of which four underwent endotherapy, three had stents placed and one underwent an endoscopic pseudocyst drainage. Among those managed nonoperatively, three underwent a radiological drainage procedure. Conclusion: Mortality rates were clearly higher in patients managed operatively. This is likely a result of significantly higher degrees of major associated non-pancreatic injuries and not just a reflection of surgical morbidity. Despite this, surgical management remains the mainstay of therapy, especially in higher grades of pancreatic injury. However we would like to emphasize that endoscopic intervention definitely remains the preferred treatment modality when the clinical setting permits. This is especially applicable in cases of main pancreatic duct injury with ascites as well as pseudocysts.
A Prospective Cohort Study Investigating Factors Associated with Quality of Life during Medical Internship
Background: Medical interns’ quality of life (QOL) and mental health are related to healthcare quality. Previous studies have investigated the major depression during medical internship, but to our knowledge, interns’ QOL has not been well studied. Herein we designed this prospective, longitudinal study to examine medial interns’ QOL and its associates. Material and Method: The study recruited 295 medical interns (age: 25.3±2.1, male: 68.1%) from all the 11 medical colleges in Taiwan during the 2012-2013 academic years. We investigated medical interns’ QOL by World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment (WHOQOL) and 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) before and every three months during their internship. We also investigated their demographic data, work hours and job content questionnaire. We used generalized estimation equation to delineate the change of WHOQOL and PHQ-9 scores during internship. We used multivariate regression analysis to examine the associated factors of QOL. Result: WHOQOL score significantly decreased during internship (baseline: 60.0±9.7, 53.7±9.3 at three months, then remained at 55 after six months). PHQ-9 score increased from 4.4±4.0 at baseline to 7.1±5.3 at three months and did not significantly change thereafter. Interns in internal medicine (P=.001) and surgery (P=.011) had lower WHOQOL scores compared to those in other departments. Additionally, longer work hours (P=.003), more monthly duty days (P=.018), taking responsibility for new patients after 24-hour of continuous duty (P < .001) and higher total score of Job Content Questionnaire were associated with lower WHOQOL score. On the contrary, interns that averaged at least one 24-hour period off per week during the previous 3 months reported a significant increase WHOQOL score during internship (P=.003). Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first nationwide study to address medical interns’ QOL in Taiwan. Our findings revealed interns’ QOL significantly decreased during internship. We also identified both quality and quantity of heavy workloads associated with the decreased QOL.
Prevalence and Risk Factors of Cardiovascular Diseases among Bangladeshi Adults: Findings from a Cross Sectional Study
Aim: Although cardiovascular diseases (CVD) has already been recognized as a major cause of death in developed countries, its prevalence is rising in developing countries as well, and engendering a challenge for the health sector. Bangladesh has experienced an epidemiological transition from communicable to non-communicable diseases over the last few decades. So, the rising prevalence of CVD and its risk factors are imposing a major problem for the country. We aimed to examine the prevalence of CVDs and socioeconomic and lifestyle factors related to it from a population-based survey. Methods: The data used for this study were collected as a part of a large-scale cross-sectional study conducted to explore the overall health status of children, mothers and senior citizens of Bangladesh. Multistage cluster random sampling procedure was applied by considering unions as clusters and households as the primary sampling unit to select a total of 11,428 households for the base survey. Present analysis encompassed 12338 respondents of ≥ 35 years, selected from both rural areas and urban slums of the country. Socio-economic, demographic and lifestyle information were obtained through individual by a face-to-face interview which was noted in ODK platform. And height, weight, blood pressure and glycosuria were measured using standardized methods. Chi-square test, Univariate modified Poisson regression model, and multivariate modified Poisson regression model were done using STATA software (version 13.0) for analysis. Results: Overall, the prevalence of CVD was 4.51%, of which 1.78% had stroke and 3.17% suffered from heart diseases. Male had higher prevalence of stroke (2.20%) than their counterparts (1.37%). Notably, thirty percent of respondents had high blood pressure and 5% population had diabetes and more than half of the population was pre-hypertensive. Additionally, 20% were overweight, 77% were smoker or consumed smokeless tobacco and 28% of respondents were physically inactive. Eighty-two percent of respondents took extra salt while eating and 29% of respondents had deprived sleep. Furthermore, the prevalence of risk factor of CVD varied according to gender. Women had a higher prevalence of overweight, obesity and diabetes. Women were also less physically active compared to men and took more extra salt. Smoking was lower in women compared to men. Moreover, women slept less compared to their counterpart. After adjusting confounders in modified Poisson regression model, age, gender, occupation, wealth quintile, BMI, extra salt intake, daily sleep, tiredness, diabetes, and hypertension remained as risk factors for CVD. Conclusion: The prevalence of CVD is significant in Bangladesh, and there is an evidence of rising trend for its risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes especially in older population, women and high-income groups. Therefore, in this current epidemiological transition, immediate public health intervention is warranted to address the overwhelming CVD risk.
Analysis of Subordination: The Reproductive Sphere
Reproduction is a complex term in a setting where it is continuously being shaped by epistemological shifts in knowledge. It denotes not just fertility, birth and childcare related practices but also the ideas that shape those practices. These ideas and practices figure into understandings of social and cultural renewal. Patriarchy continues to be a dominating force in the formation of these ideas and practices. Contemporary times are characterized by the resurgence of the whims of patriarchal politics in delineating the margins of women’s health care. This has further emboldened the struggle for reproductive rights on the global stage. The paper examines the subordination of the right to bodily autonomy of women within the ambit of their reproductive rights. Reproductive rights are recognized human rights and women’s rights. Why these rights of women face stiff opposition is established, as is the structure that creates hurdles to their enjoyment. The negotiation of this structure in the everyday life through women’s agency is also established. The reproductive sphere includes not just the process of reproduction but also social reproduction- domestic work, spheres of production and reproduction, population and birth (control) issues.
Comparison of Two Anesthetic Methods during Interventional Neuroradiology Procedure: Propofol versus Sevoflurane Using Patient State Index
Background: Interventional neuroradiology (INR) has been a rapidly growing and evolving neurosurgical part during the past few decades. Sevoflurane and propofol are both suitable anesthetics for INR procedure. Monitoring of depth of anesthesia is being used very widely. SEDLine™ monitor, a 4-channel processed EEG monitor, uses a proprietary algorithm to analyze the raw EEG signal and displays the Patient State Index (PSI) values. There are only a fewer studies examining the PSI in the neuro-anesthesia. We aimed to investigate the difference of PSI values and hemodynamic variables between sevoflurane and propofol anesthesia during INR procedure. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of patients who scheduled to undergo embolization of non-ruptured intracranial aneurysm by a single operator from May 2013 to December 2014, retrospectively. Sixty-five patients were categorized into two groups; sevoflurane (n = 33) vs propofol (n = 32) group. The PSI values, hemodynamic variables, and the use of hemodynamic drugs were analyzed. Results: Significant differences were seen between PSI values obtained during different perioperative stages in both two groups (P < 0.0001). The PSI values of propofol group were lower than that of sevoflurane group during INR procedure (P < 0.01). The patients in propofol group had more prolonged time of extubation and more phenylephrine requirement than sevoflurane group (p < 0.05). Anti-hypertensive drug was more administered to the patients during extubation in sevoflurane group (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The PSI can detect depth of anesthesia and changes of concentration of anesthetics during INR procedure. Extubation was faster in sevoflurane group, but smooth recovery was shown in propofol group.
Exposure Assessment for Worker Exposed to Heavy Metals during Road Marking Operations
The present study was conducted to characterize exposure concentrations, concentrations deposited on the different respiratory regions and resultant health risks associated with heavy metal exposures for road marking workers. Road marking workers of three similar exposure groups (SEGs) were selected, including the paint pouring worker, marking worker, and preparing worker. Personal exposure samples were collected using an inhalable dust sampler (IOM), and the involved particle size distribution samples were estimated using an eight-stage Marple personal cascade impactor during five working days. In total, 25 IOM samples and 20 Marple samples were collected. All collected samples were analyzed for their heavy metal contents using the ICP/MS. The resultant heavy metal particle size distributions were also used to estimate the fractions of particle deposited on the head airways (Chead), tracheobronchial (Cthorac) and alveolar regions (Cresp) of the exposed workers. In addition, Pb and Cr were selected to estimate the incremental cancer risk, and Zn, Ti, and Mo were selected to estimate the corresponding non-cancer risk in the present study. Results show that three heavy metals, including Pb, Cr, and Ti, were found with the highest concentrations for the SEG of the paint pouring worker (=0.585 ± 2.98, 0.307 ± 1.71, 0.902 ± 2.99 μg/m³, respectively). For the fraction of heavy metal particle deposited on the respiratory tract, both alveolar and head regions were found with the highest values (=23-43% and 39-61%, respectively). For both SEGs of the paint pouring and marking, 51% of Cr, 59-61% of Zn, and 48-51% of Ti were found to be deposited on the alveolar region, and 41-43% of Pb was deposited on the head region. Finally, the incremental cancer risk for the SEGs of the paint pouring, marking, and preparing were found as 1.91×10⁻⁴, 4.93×10⁻⁵, and 3.90×10⁻⁵, respectively. In addition, the estimated non-cancer risk for the above three SEGs was found to be consistently less than unity. In conclusion, though the estimated non-cancer risk was less than unity, all resultant incremental cancer risk was greater than 10⁻⁵ indicating the abatement of workers’ exposure is necessary. It is suggested that strategies, including placing on the molten kettle, substitution the currently used paints for less heavy metal containing paints, and wearing fume protecting personal protective equipment can be considered in the future from reducing the worker’s exposure aspect.
Long-Term Exposure, Health Risk, and Loss of Quality-Adjusted Life Expectancy Assessments for Vinyl Chloride Monomer Workers
The vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) has been classified as group 1 (human) carcinogen by the IARC. Workers exposed to VCM are known associated with the development of the liver cancer and hence might cause economical and health losses. Particularly, for those work for the petrochemical industry have been seriously concerned in the environmental and occupational health field. Considering assessing workers’ health risks and their resultant economical and health losses requires the establishment of long-term VCM exposure data for any similar exposure group (SEG) of interest, the development of suitable technologies has become an urgent and important issue. In the present study, VCM exposures for petrochemical industry workers were determined firstly based on the database of the 'Workplace Environmental Monitoring Information Systems (WEMIS)' provided by Taiwan OSHA. Considering the existence of miss data, the reconstruction of historical exposure techniques were then used for completing the long-term exposure data for SEGs with routine operations. For SEGs with non-routine operations, exposure modeling techniques, together with their time/activity records, were adopted for determining their long-term exposure concentrations. The Bayesian decision analysis (BDA) was adopted for conducting exposure and health risk assessments for any given SEG in the petrochemical industry. The resultant excessive cancer risk was then used to determine the corresponding loss of quality-adjusted life expectancy (QALE). Results show that low average concentrations can be found for SEGs with routine operations (e.g., VCM rectification 0.0973 ppm, polymerization 0.306 ppm, reaction tank 0.33 ppm, VCM recovery 1.4 ppm, control room 0.14 ppm, VCM storage tanks 0.095 ppm and wastewater treatment 0.390 ppm), and the above values were much lower than that of the permissible exposure limit (PEL; 3 ppm) of VCM promulgated in Taiwan. For non-routine workers, though their high exposure concentrations, their low exposure time and frequencies result in low corresponding health risks. Through the consideration of exposure assessment results, health risk assessment results, and QALE results simultaneously, it is concluded that the proposed method was useful for prioritizing SEGs for conducting exposure abatement measurements. Particularly, the obtained QALE results further indicate the importance of reducing workers’ VCM exposures, though their exposures were low as in comparison with the PEL and the acceptable health risk.
The Survey of Sexual Health and Pornography among Divorce-Asking Women in West Azerbaijan-Iran: A Cross-Sectional Study
Introduction: Divorce is both a personal and a social issue. Nowadays, due to various factors such as rapid social, economical, and cultural changes, the family structure has undergone many rough changes, out of 3 marriages 2 of them lead to divorce. One of the factors affecting the incidence of divorce and relationship problems between couples is the sexual and marital behaviors. There are several different reasons to suspect that pornography might affect divorce in either a positive or a negative way. Therefore this study evaluated the sexual health of divorce-asking in Urmia, Iran. Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study and was conducted on 71 married women of Urmia, Iran in 2016. Participants were applicants of divorce (referred to divorce center) who were selected by using convenient sampling method. Data gathering tool included the scales for measuring demographic, sexual health (sexual satisfaction and function), and researcher made pornography questions. Data were analyzed based on the SPSS 16 software. P-values less than 0.05 were considered significant. Results: Investigation of demographic features showed that age average of studied samples was 28.98 ± 7.44, with a marriage duration average 8.12 ± 6.53 years (min 1 year/ max 28 years). Most of their education was at diploma (45.1%). 69 % of the women declared their income and expenditure as equal. Nearly 42% of women and 59% of their partner had watched sexual pornography clips. 45.5% of participants reported that they compared own sexual relationship with sexual pornography clips. In the other hand, sexual satisfaction total score was 51.50 ± 17.92. The mean total sexual function score was 16.62 ± 10.58. According to these findings, most of women were experienced sexual dissatisfaction and dysfunction. Conclusions: The results of the study indicated that who had low sexual satisfaction score, had higher rate of watching pornography clips. Based on current study, paying attention to family education and counseling programs especially in the sexual field will be more fruitful.
The Effect of Melatonin on Acute Liver Injury: Implication to Shift Work Related Sleep Deprivation
Shift work sleep disorder is a common problem in industrialized world. It is a type of circadian rhythmic sleep disorders characterized by insomnia and sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep in workers may lead to poor health conditions such as hepatic dysfunction. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland to alleviate insomnia. Moreover, it is a powerful antioxidant and may prevent acute liver injury. Therefore, workers take in melatonin to deal with sleep-related health is an important issue. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of melatonin on an acute hepatic injury model sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (SOS) in mice. Male C57BL/6 mice were injected with a single dose (500 mg/kg) of monocrotaline (MCT) to induce SOS. Melatonin (1, 3, 10 and 30 mg/kg) was injected 1 h before MCT treatment. After 24 h of MCT treatment, mice were sacrificed. The blood and liver were collected. Organ damage was evaluated by serum biochemistry, hematology analyzer, and histological examination. Low doses of melatonin (1 and 3 mg/kg) had no protective effect on SOS. However, high doses (10 and 30 mg/kg) exacerbated SOS. In addition, it not only increased serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT), glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) and extended liver damage indicated by histological examination but also decreased platelet levels, lymphocyte ratio, and glutathione level; it had no effect on malondialdehyde and nitric oxide level in SOS mice. To conclude, melatonin may exacerbate MCT-induced SOS in mice. Furthermore, melatonin might have a synergistic action with SOS. Usage of melatonin for insomnia by people working in long shift must be cautioned; it might cause acute hepatic injury.
Long-Term Exposure Assessments for Cooking Workers Exposed to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Aldehydes Containing in Cooking Fumes
Cooking fumes are known containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and aldehydes, and some of them have been proven carcinogenic or possibly carcinogenic to humans. Considering their chronic health effects, long-term exposure data is required for assessing cooking workers’ lifetime health risks. Previous exposure assessment studies, due to both time and cost constraints, mostly were based on the cross-sectional data. Therefore, establishing a long-term exposure data has become an important issue for conducting health risk assessment for cooking workers. An approach was proposed in this study. Here, the generation rates of both PAHs and aldehydes from a cooking process were determined by placing a sampling train exactly under the under the exhaust fan under the both the total enclosure condition and normal operating condition, respectively. Subtracting the concentration collected by the former (representing the total emitted concentration) from that of the latter (representing the hood collected concentration), the fugitive emitted concentration was determined. The above data was further converted to determine the generation rates based on the flow rates specified for the exhaust fan. The determinations of the above generation rates were conducted in a testing chamber with a selected cooking process (deep-frying chicken nuggets under 3 L peanut oil at 200°C). The sampling train installed under the exhaust fan consisted respectively an IOM inhalable sampler with a glass fiber filter for collecting particle-phase PAHs, followed by a XAD-2 tube for gas-phase PAHs. The above was also used to sample aldehydes, however, installed with a filter pre-coated with DNPH, and followed by a 2,4-DNPH-cartridge for collecting particle-phase and gas-phase aldehydes, respectively. PAHs and aldehydes samples were analyzed by GC/MS-MS (Agilent 7890B), and HPLC-UV (HITACHI L-7100), respectively. The obtained generation rates of both PAHs and aldehydes were applied to the near-field/ far-field exposure model to estimate the exposures of cooks (the estimated near-field concentration), and helpers (the estimated far-field concentration). For validating purposes, both PAHs and aldehydes samplings were conducted simultaneously using the same sampling train at both near-field and far-field sites of the testing chamber. The sampling results, together with the use of the mixed-effect model, were used to calibrate the estimated near-field/ far-field exposures. In the present study, the obtained emission rates were further converted to emission factor of both PAHs and aldehydes according to the amount of food oil consumed. Applying the long-term food oil consumption records, the emission rates for both PAHs and aldehydes were determined, and the long-term exposure databanks for cooks (the estimated near-field concentration), and helpers (the estimated far-field concentration) were then determined. Results show that the proposed approach was adequate to determine the generation rates of both PAHs and aldehydes under various fan exhaust flow rate conditions. The estimated near-field/ far-field exposures, though were significantly different from that obtained from the field, can be calibrated using the mixed effect model. Finally, the established long-term data bank could provide a useful basis for conducting long-term exposure assessments for cooking workers exposed to PAHs and aldehydes.
The Effect of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and Lumbar Stabilization Exercises on Muscle Strength and Muscle Endurance in Patients with Lumbar Disc Hernia
The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of lumbar stabilisation and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) training on muscle strength and muscle endurance. The participants were 64 people between the ages of 15-69 (53.04 ± 14.59), who were graded protrusion and bulging lumbar herniation according to 'Macnab Classification'. The participants were divided into four groups as each group had 16 participants: lumbar stabilisation training, PNF training, physical therapy and control groups. Sociodemographic features were recorded. Then their muscle strength tests (by isokinetic dynamometer (Cybex 770 Norm Lumex Inc, Ronkonkoma, NY, USA) were recorded. Before and after applications; visual analogue scale (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index were applied by a physical therapist. The participants in lumbar stabilisation group performed 45 minutes, 5 days in a week for 4 weeks strength training with a physical therapist observation. The participants in PNF group performed 5 days in a week for 4 weeks with pelvic patterns of PNF by a physiotherapist. The participants in physical therapy group underwent Hotpack, Tens, and Ultrasound therapy 5 days in a week for 4 weeks. The participants in control group didn’t take any training programme. After 4 weeks, the evaluations were repeated. There were significant increases in muscle strength and muscle endurance in lumbar stabilization training group. Also in pain intensity at rest and during activity in this group and in Oswestry disability index of patients, there were significant improvements(p < 0.05). In PNF training group likewise, there were significant improvements in muscle strength, muscle endurance, pain intensity at rest and with activity and in Oswestry disability index (p < 0.05). But improvements in the Lumbar Stabilization group was better than PNF Group. We found significant differences only in pain intensity at rest and with activity and in Oswestry disability index (p < 0.05) in the patients in Physical Therapy group. We think that appropriate physiotherapy and rehabilitation program which will be prepared for patients, to protect the waist circumference of patients with low muscle strength and low muscle endurance will increase muscle strength and muscle endurance. And it is expected that will reduce pain and will provide advances toward correcting functional disability of the patients.
Non-Linear Transformation of Bulk Acoustic Waves at Oblique Incidence on Plane Solid Boundary
The transformation of two types of acoustic waves can occur on a flat interface between two solids at oblique incidence of longitudinal and shear bulk acoustic waves (BAW). This paper presents the results of experimental studies of the properties of reflection and propagation of longitudinal wave and generation of second and third longitudinal and shear harmonics of BAW at oblique incidence of longitudinal BAW on a flat rough boundary between two solids. The experimental sample was a rectangular isosceles pyramid made of D16 aluminum alloy with the plane parallel bases cylinder made of D16 aluminum alloy pressed to the base. The piezoelectric lithium niobate transducer with a resonance frequency of 5 MHz was secured to one face of the pyramid to generate a longitudinal wave. Longitudinal waves emitted by this transducer felt at an angle of 45° to the interface between two solids and reflected at the same angle. On the opposite face of the pyramid, and on the flat side of the cylinder was attached longitudinal transducer with resonance frequency of 10 MHz or the shear transducer with resonance frequency of 15 MHz. These transducers also effectively received signal at a frequency of 5 MHz. In the spectrum of the transmitted and reflected BAW was observed shear and longitudinal waves at a frequency of 5 MHz, as well as longitudinal harmonic at a frequency harmonic of 10 MHz and a shear harmonic at frequency of 15 MHz. The effect of reversing changing of external pressure applied to the rough interface between two solids on the value of the first and higher harmonics of the BAW at oblique incidence on the interface of the longitudinal BAW was experimentally investigated. In the spectrum of the reflected signal from the interface, there was a decrease of amplitudes of the first harmonics of the signal, and non-monotonic dependence of the second and third harmonics of shear wave with an increase of the static pressure applied to the interface. In the spectrum of the transmitted signal growth of the first longitudinal and shear harmonic amplitude and non-monotonic dependence - first increase and then decrease in the amplitude of the second and third longitudinal shear harmonic with increasing external static pressure was observed. These dependencies were hysteresis at reversing changing of external pressure. When pressure applied to the border increased, acoustic contact between the surfaces improves. This increases the energy of the transmitted elastic wave and decreases the energy of the reflected wave. The second longitudinal acoustic harmonics generation was associated with the Hertz nonlinearity on the interface of two pressed rough surfaces, the generation of the third harmonic was caused by shear hysteresis nonlinearity due to dry friction on a rough interface. This study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (project №14-22-00042).
Experimental Studies of the Reverse Load-Unloading Effect on the Mechanical, Linear and Nonlinear Elastic Properties of n-AMg6/C60 Nanocomposite
The paper presents the results of an experimental study of the effect of reverse mechanical load-unloading on the mechanical, linear, and nonlinear elastic properties of n-AMg6/C60 nanocomposite. Samples for experimental studies of n-AMg6/C60 nanocomposite were obtained by grinding AMg6 polycrystalline alloy in a planetary mill with 0.3 wt % of C60 fullerite in an argon atmosphere. The resulting product consisted of 200-500-micron agglomerates of nanoparticles. X-ray coherent scattering (CSL) method has shown that the average nanoparticle size is 40-60 nm. The resulting preform was extruded at high temperature. Modifications of C60 fullerite interferes the process of recrystallization at grain boundaries. In the samples of n-AMg6/C60 nanocomposite, the load curve is measured: the dependence of the mechanical stress σ on the strain of the sample ε under its multi-cycle load-unloading process till its destruction. The hysteresis dependence σ = σ(ε) was observed, and insignificant residual strain ε < 0.005 were recorded. At σ≈500 MPa and ε≈0.025, the sample was destroyed. The destruction of the sample was fragile. Microhardness was measured before and after destruction of the sample. It was found that the loading-unloading process led to an increase in its microhardness. The effect of the reversible mechanical stress on the linear and nonlinear elastic properties of the n-AMg6/C60 nanocomposite was studied experimentally by ultrasonic method on the automated complex Ritec RAM-5000 SNAP SYSTEM. In the n-AMg6/C60 nanocomposite, the velocities of the longitudinal and shear bulk waves were measured with the pulse method, and all the second-order elasticity coefficients and their dependence on the magnitude of the reversible mechanical stress applied to the sample were calculated. Studies of nonlinear elastic properties of the n-AMg6/C60 nanocomposite at reversible load-unloading of the sample were carried out with the spectral method. At arbitrary values of the strain of the sample (up to its breakage), the dependence of the amplitude of the second longitudinal acoustic harmonic at a frequency of 2f = 10MHz on the amplitude of the first harmonic at a frequency f = 5MHz of the acoustic wave is measured. Based on the results of these measurements, the values of the nonlinear acoustic parameter in the n-AMg6/C60 nanocomposite sample at different mechanical stress were determined. The obtained results can be used in solid-state physics, materials science, for development of new techniques for nondestructive testing of structural materials using methods of nonlinear acoustic diagnostics. This study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (project №14-22-00042).
The Perspective of Health Care Professionals of Pediatric Palliative Care
Background: Pediatric palliative care has been increasing, and the number of studies has focused on the age at which pediatric patient can be notified their terminal illness, pediatric advanced care planning (ACP) and palliative care. However, there is a lack of research on health professionals’ perception. Aim: We aimed to investigate the perceptions of healthcare professionals about appropriate age disclosing terminal illness, awareness of ACP, and the relationship between ACP knowledge and the preference for palliative care for children. Methods: We administered nationwide questionnaires to 928 physicians from the 12 hospitals and the Korean Medical Association and 1,241 individuals of the general Korean population. We asked about the age at which the pediatric patients could be notified of their terminal illness, by 4 groups; 4 years old or older, 12 years old or older, 15 years old or older, or not. In addition, we surveyed the questionnaires about the knowledge of ACP of the medical staff, the preference of the pediatric hospice palliative care, aggressive treatment, and life-sustaining treatment preference. Results: In the appropriate age disclosing terminal illness, there were more respondents in the physicians than in the general population who thought that it was possible even at a younger age. Palliative care preference in pediatric patients who were expected to expire within months was higher when health care professionals had knowledge of ACPs compared to those without knowledge. The same results were obtained when deaths were expected within weeks or days. The age of the terminal status notification, the health care professionals who thought to be available at a lower age have a higher preference for palliative care and has less preference for aggressive treatment and life-sustaining treatment. Conclusion: Despite the importance of pediatric palliative care, our study confirmed that there is a difference in the preference of the health care professionals for pediatric palliative care according to the ACP knowledge of the medical staff or the appropriate age disclosing terminal illness. Future research should focus on strategies for inducing changes in perceptions of health care professionals and identifying other obstacles for the pediatric palliative care.
Determinants of Teenage Pregnancy: The Case of School Adolescents of Arba Minch Town, Southern Ethiopia
Background: Teenage pregnancy has long been a worldwide social, economic and educational concern for the developed, developing and underdeveloped countries. Studies on adolescent sexuality and pregnancy are very limited in our country. Therefore, this study aims at assessing the prevalence of teenage pregnancy and its determinants among school adolescents of Arba Minch town. Methods: Institution- based, cross-sectional study was conducted from 20-30 March 2014. Systematic sampling technique was used to select a total of 578 students from four schools of the town. Data were collected by trained data collectors using a pre-tested, self-administered structured questionnaire. The analysis was made using the software SPSS version 20.0 statistical packages. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify the predictors of teenage pregnancy. Results: The prevalence of teenage pregnancy among school adolescents of Arba Minch town was 7.7%. Being grade11(AOR=4.6;95%CI:1.4,9.3) and grade12 student (AOR=5.8;95% CI:1.3,14.4), not knowing the correct time to take emergency contraceptives(AOR=3.3;95%CI:1.4,7.4), substance use(AOR=3.1;95%CI:1.1,8.8), living with either of biological parents (AOR=3.3;95%CI:1.1,8.7) and poor parent-daughter interaction (AOR=3.1;95%CI:1.1,8.7) were found to be significant predictors of teenage pregnancy. Conclusion: This study revealed a high level of teenage pregnancy among school adolescents of Arba Minch town. A significant number of adolescent female school students were at risk of facing the challenges of teenage pregnancy in the study area. School-based reproductive health education and strong parent-daughter relationships should be strengthened.