OBJECTIVES: To investigate the trends and characteristics of pethidine prescriptions and users in Taiwan from 2002 to 2007. METHOD: All pethidine users (n = 3,301,136) in Taiwan from 2002 to 2007 were linked to National Health Insurance claims to identify pethidine prescriptions. We examined the trends in pethidine user prevalence and the proportion of pethidine prescriptions according to health care characteristics. A logistic regression model was used to compare patient demographics and health care characteristics associated with pethidine prescriptions between 2002 and 2007. RESULTS: Despite the decline in the number of pethidine users and prescriptions over the six-year period, more than half a million people were prescribed pethidine annually. In fact, an increasing proportion of pethidine prescriptions were observed in clinics, outpatient settings, and patients who had both operations and cancer diagnoses. Pethidine prescriptions were mostly associated with a non-operation status without a cancer diagnosis (>60%). However, approximately 10% of the total pethidine prescriptions were found in patients with a cancer diagnosis but no operation. Compared to those in 2002, pethidine prescriptions in 2007 were more likely to be found in people 80 years or older, rural residents, patients from clinics, outpatient settings and operation patients with cancer diagnoses. CONCLUSIONS: A population-based survey in Taiwan demonstrated decreasing consumption of pethidine from 2002 to 2007; however, an increased proportion of prescriptions in certain health care settings was observed. In addition, 10% of the pethidine prescriptions were for cancer patients without operations. These cases need further evaluation for the determination of appropriate pethidine use.
OBJECTIVE: To report the incidence and recurrence of acute otitis media (AOM) in Taiwan's pediatric population. METHODS: Information from children (aged <= 12 years) with a diagnosis of AOM was retrieved from the 2006 National Healthcare Insurance claims database. We calculated the cumulative incidence rate and the incidence density rate of recurrent AOM within one year after the initial diagnosis in 2006. We used a multivariate logistic regression model to assess the predictors for recurrence of AOM. RESULTS: The annual incidence rate of AOM was estimated to be 64.5 cases per 1,000 children. The overall one-year cumulative incidence rate of recurrence was 33.1%, and the incidence density rate was 33.5 cases per 100 personyears, with the highest figure (41.2 cases per 100 person-years) noted for children aged 0-2 years. Recurrence was significantly associated with age, gender, place of treatment, and physician specialty. CONCLUSION: AOM remains a major threat to children's health in Taiwan. Male children and very young children require more aggressive preventive strategies to reduce the risk of recurrence.
Plant wastes present a high cellulose content, which is an ideal organic material for composting. Five strains of thermophiles from processed Brassica waste were isolated, and the hydrolytic activity on various cellulosic biomass substrata and their temperature profiles were determined. 16S rRNA sequencing identified these strains as Thermoactinomyces and Bacillus spp. Maximal cellulase activity corresponded to 2.3 U mL-1 of enzyme. The application of these strains on Brassica rapa residues demonstrates increased total nitrogen content). TA-3, a Thermoactinomycetes sp. strain, performs best among all inoculants, increasing the nitrogen content from 0.74 to 0.91%, and decreasing the carbon content from 15.4 to 12.2%, showing its high efficiency and bioactivity during compositing.
Resíduos vegetais apresentam alta concentração de celulose, que é um material orgânico ideal para preparação de composto. Cinco linhagens de termófilos foram isoladas de resíduos processados de Brassica e a atividade hidrolítica em vários substratos contendo celulose e seus padrões de temperatura foram determinados. O seqüenciamento de rRNA 16S permitiu a identificação dessas isolados como Thermoactinomyces e Bacillus spp. A atividade máxima de celulase foi determinada como de 2,3 U mL-1 de enzima. O uso dessas linhagens em resíduos de Brassica rapa resultou em um aumento total do conteúdo de nitrogênio. TA-3, uma linhagem de Thermoactinomycetes sp., apresentou melhor desempenho entre os inoculantes, aumentando o conteúdo de nitrogênio de 0,74 para 0,91%, e diminuindo o conteúdo de carbono de 15,4 para 12,2%, mostrando sua alta eficiência e bioatividade durante a compostagem.