503 research outputs found

    Association of coronary artery calcification and serum gamma-glutamyl transferase in Korean

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    a b s t r a c t Background and objective: Elevated serum gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) has been known to be associated with the cardiovascular disease. However, there is a lack of researches on direct examination of relevance between serum GGT and coronary artery calcification (CAC). Accordingly, the aim of this study was to investigate the association between serum GGT levels and the prevalence of CAC in Korean. Methods: The study population consisted of 14,439 male and female adults without coronary artery disease, who were conducted health examination from January 2010 to December 2010. The prevalence of CAC in relation to the quartile groups of serum GGT levels and odds ratio and 95% CI of CAC were analyzed using multiple logistic regression model. Results: The prevalence of CAC increased with increasing GGT quartile (4.6%, 8.7%, 11.8% and 14.7% in the lowest, second, third, highest GGT quartiles, respectively; p < 0.001). In the logistic regression analysis adjusted for multiple variables, odds ratio (95% CI) for the prevalence of CAC comparing the 1st GGT quartile to the 4th quartile were 2.43 (1.94e3.05) for all subjects, 1.49 (1.21e1.85) for men and 1.33 (0.62e2.87) for women. Conclusion: Elevated serum GGT levels were independently associated with the prevalence of CAC. Physicians and health care providers should be observant regarding future development of coronary artery disease among people with increasing concentration of serum GGT

    Clinical significance of B cell-activating factor (BAFF) and a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) in acute graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

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    proliferation. We evaluated the correlation between serum concentration of BAFF or APRIL and severity of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). METHODS: Fifteen patients who received allogeneic hematopoietic stem transplantation for leukemia and developed acute GVHD were enrolled. We determined serum concentrations of BAFF and APRIL at the onset of the first clinical manifestation of GVHD by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS: Nine patients had grade 2 acute GVHD, and 6 had grade 3-4 acute GVHD. The BAFF serum concentration was higher in patients with grade 3-4 acute GVHD (1,093.42 in grade 2 vs. 2,171.99 pg/mL in grade 3-4), although the difference was not significant (P=0.077). However, the ratio of BAFF serum concentration to absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) (BAFF/ALC) was significantly higher in patients with grade 3-4 acute GVHD (P=0.045). The APRIL serum concentration and APRIL/ALC ratio showed similar results (P=0.077 and P=0.013, respectively). CONCLUSION: Patients with grade 3-4 acute GVHD had higher BAFF/ALC and APRIL/ALC ratios than patients with grade 2 acute GVHD. These findings suggest that B cells might play an important role in the development of acute GVHD, and that the BAFF and APRIL concentrations in serum might be significant predictive factors for estimating the severity of acute GVHD. Their clinical significance should be further evaluated in a larger patient populationope

    RECIPE: How to Integrate ChatGPT into EFL Writing Education

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    The integration of generative AI in the field of education is actively being explored. In particular, ChatGPT has garnered significant interest, offering an opportunity to examine its effectiveness in English as a foreign language (EFL) education. To address this need, we present a novel learning platform called RECIPE (Revising an Essay with ChatGPT on an Interactive Platform for EFL learners). Our platform features two types of prompts that facilitate conversations between ChatGPT and students: (1) a hidden prompt for ChatGPT to take an EFL teacher role and (2) an open prompt for students to initiate a dialogue with a self-written summary of what they have learned. We deployed this platform for 213 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in EFL writing courses and seven instructors. For this study, we collect students' interaction data from RECIPE, including students' perceptions and usage of the platform, and user scenarios are examined with the data. We also conduct a focus group interview with six students and an individual interview with one EFL instructor to explore design opportunities for leveraging generative AI models in the field of EFL education

    Exploring the Category and Use Cases on Digital Therapeutic Methodologies

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    Objectives As the Fourth Industrial Revolution advances, there is a growing interest in digital technology. In particular, the use of digital therapeutics (DTx) in healthcare is anticipated to reduce medical expenses. However, analytical research on DTx is still insufficient to fuel momentum for future DTx development. The purpose of this article is to analyze representative cases of different types of DTx from around the world and to propose a classification system. Methods In this exploratory study examining DTx interaction types and representative cases, we conducted a literature review and selected seven interaction types that were utilized in a large number of cases. Then, we evaluated the specific characteristics of each DTx mechanism by reviewing the relevant literature, analyzing their indications and treatment components. A representative case for each mechanism was provided. Results Cognitive behavioral therapy, distraction therapy, graded exposure therapy, reminiscence therapy, art therapy, therapeutic exercise, and gamification are the seven categories of DTx interaction types. Illustrative examples of each variety are provided. Conclusions Efforts from both the government and private sector are crucial for success, as standardization can decrease both the expense and the time required for government-led DTx development. The private sector should partner with medical facilities to stimulate potential demand, carry out clinical research, and produce scholarly evidence

    Relationships of walking activity with depressed mood and suicidal ideation among the middle-aged Korean population: a nationwide cross-sectional study

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    IntroductionThe suicide rate of middle-aged adults has increased rapidly, which is a significant public health concern. A depressed mood and suicidal ideation are significant risk factors for suicide, and non-pharmacological interventions such as exercise therapy have been suggested as potential treatments. Walking is a feasible and accessible form of exercise therapy for middle-aged adults.MethodsWe conducted a study based on the Seventh Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2016–2018) data of 6,886 general middle-aged adults in South Korea to investigate the relationships of walking exercise with depressed mood and suicidal ideation. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to adjust for confounding variables. Sampling weights were applied to obtain estimates for the general Korean population.ResultsParticipants who walked ≥5 days per week had a significantly lower odds ratio (OR) for depressed mood [OR = 0.625, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.424–0.921, p = 0.018] and suicidal ideation (OR = 0.252, 95% CI: 0.125–0.507, p < 0.001) compared to those who never walked, regardless of the duration of exercise. The same results were obtained for males after stratifying the data by sex and suicidal ideation was associated with walking in females.ConclusionRegular walking exercise was associated with diminished mental health problems in middle-aged adults. Light walks may serve as a useful starting point for patients with serious mental health issues, such as suicidal ideation

    Risk factors for and clinical outcomes of carbapenem non-susceptible gram negative bacilli bacteremia in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia

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    Background Carbapenem is frequently used when gram negative bacilli (GNB) bacteremia is detected especially in neutropenic patients. Consequently, appropriate treatment could be delayed in GNB bacteremia cases involving organisms which are not susceptible to carbapenem (carba-NS), resulting in a poor clinical outcomes. Here, we explored risk factors for carba-NS GNB bacteremia and its clinical outcomes in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) that underwent chemotherapy. Methods We reviewed all GNB bacteremia cases that occurred during induction or consolidation chemotherapy, over a 15-year period, in a tertiary-care hospital. Results Among 489 GNB bacteremia cases from 324 patients, 45 (9.2%) were carba-NS and 444 (90.8%) were carbapenem susceptible GNB. Independent risk factors for carba-NS GNB bacteremia were: carbapenem use at bacteremia onset (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 91.2; 95% confidence interval [95%CI]: 29.3–284.1; P < 0.001); isolation of carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (aOR: 19.4, 95%CI: 3.4–112.5; P = 0.001) in the prior year; and days from chemotherapy to GNB bacteremia (aOR: 1.1 per day, 95%CI: 1.1–1.2; P < 0.001). Carba-NS bacteremia was independently associated with in-hospital mortality (aOR: 6.6, 95%CI: 3.0–14.8; P < 0.001). Conslusion Carba-NS organisms should be considered for antibiotic selection in AML patients having these risk factors

    Structure-Based Rational Design of a Toll-like Receptor 4 (TLR4) Decoy Receptor with High Binding Affinity for a Target Protein

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    Repeat proteins are increasingly attracting much attention as alternative scaffolds to immunoglobulin antibodies due to their unique structural features. Nonetheless, engineering interaction interface and understanding molecular basis for affinity maturation of repeat proteins still remain a challenge. Here, we present a structure-based rational design of a repeat protein with high binding affinity for a target protein. As a model repeat protein, a Toll-like receptor4 (TLR4) decoy receptor composed of leucine-rich repeat (LRR) modules was used, and its interaction interface was rationally engineered to increase the binding affinity for myeloid differentiation protein 2 (MD2). Based on the complex crystal structure of the decoy receptor with MD2, we first designed single amino acid substitutions in the decoy receptor, and obtained three variants showing a binding affinity (KD) one-order of magnitude higher than the wild-type decoy receptor. The interacting modes and contributions of individual residues were elucidated by analyzing the crystal structures of the single variants. To further increase the binding affinity, single positive mutations were combined, and two double mutants were shown to have about 3000- and 565-fold higher binding affinities than the wild-type decoy receptor. Molecular dynamics simulations and energetic analysis indicate that an additive effect by two mutations occurring at nearby modules was the major contributor to the remarkable increase in the binding affinities

    Impact of insulin therapy on the mortality of acute heart failure patients with diabetes mellitus

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    Background Patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) have a higher prevalence of heart failure (HF) than those without it. Approximately 40 % of HF patients have DM and they tend to have poorer outcomes than those without DM. This study evaluated the impact of insulin therapy on mortality among acute HF patients. Methods A total of 1740 patients from the Korean Acute Heart Failure registry with DM were included in this study. The risk of all-cause mortality according to insulin therapy was assessed using the Cox proportional hazard models with inverse probability of treatment weighting to balance the clinical characteristics (pretreatment covariates) between the groups. Results DM patients had been treated with either oral hypoglycemic agents (OHAs) alone (n = 620), insulin alone (n = 682), or insulin combined with OHAs (n = 438). The insulin alone group was associated with an increased mortality risk compared with the OHA alone group (HR = 1.41, 95 % CI 1.21–1.66]). Insulin therapy combined with OHAs also showed an increased mortality risk (HR = 1.29, 95 % CI 1.14–1.46) compared with the OHA alone group. Insulin therapy was consistently associated with increased mortality risk, regardless of the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) or HF etiology. A significant increase in mortality was observed in patients with good glycemic control (HbA1c < 7.0 %) receiving insulin, whereas there was no significant association in patients with poor glycemic control (HbA1c ≥ 7.0%). Conclusions Insulin therapy was found to be associated with increased mortality compared to OHAs. The insulin therapy was harmful especially in patients with low HbA1c levels which may suggest the necessity of specific management strategies and blood sugar targets when using insulin in patients with HF.This study was supported by the Research of Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010-E63003-00, 2011-E63002-00, 2012-E63005-00, 2013E63003-00, 2013-E63003-01, 2013-E63003-02, and 2016-ER6303-00

    Current status of ultrasonography in national cancer surveillance program for hepatocellular carcinoma in South Korea: a large-scale multicenter study

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    Background/Aim Abdominal ultrasonography (USG) is recommended as a surveillance test for high-risk groups for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study aimed to analyze the current status of the national cancer surveillance program for HCC in South Korea and investigate the effects of patient-, physician-, and machine-related factors on HCC detection sensitivity. Methods This multicenter retrospective cohort study collected surveillance USG data from the high-risk group for HCC (liver cirrhosis or chronic hepatitis B or C >40 years of age) at eight South Korean tertiary hospitals in 2017. Results In 2017, 45 experienced hepatologists or radiologists performed 8,512 USG examinations. The physicians had a mean 15.0±8.3 years of experience; more hepatologists (61.4%) than radiologists (38.6%) participated. Each USG scan took a mean 12.2±3.4 minutes. The HCC detection rate by surveillance USG was 0.3% (n=23). Over 27 months of follow-up, an additional 135 patients (0.7%) developed new HCC. The patients were classified into three groups based on timing of HCC diagnosis since the 1st surveillance USG, and no significant intergroup difference in HCC characteristics was noted. HCC detection was significantly associated with patient-related factors, such as old age and advanced fibrosis, but not with physician- or machine-related factors. Conclusions This is the first study of the current status of USG as a surveillance method for HCC at tertiary hospitals in South Korea. It is necessary to develop quality indicators and quality assessment procedures for USG to improve the detection rate of HCC