Open Access Short Research Article

Mental Illness and Medical Co-morbidity Using Automated Surveillance Data: BioSense 2008 – 2011

Achintya N. Dey, Anna Grigoryan, Soyoun Park, Stephen R. Benoit, Deborah Gould, Umed A. Ajani

Advances in Research, Page 455-459
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/13710

Background: Recent national surveys indicate that 5% of ambulatory care visits involved patients with mental disorder diagnosis.

Objective: The objective of this study is to demonstrate the use of automated surveillance data for describing the burden of co-morbidity among patients with mental illness.

Methods: We used Emergency Department (ED) visits data from over 650 non-federal hospitals that participated in BioSense from 2008-2011. The variables used in this descriptive analysis are age, gender, and syndromes as defined by BioSense program. The study included only ED visits from people of ≥ 18 years old and with the discharge diagnosis ICD-9-CM codes of mental illness (290 – 312). Co-morbidity was defined broadly as the co-occurrence of other medical condition among patients with mental illness in the same ED visit regardless of the chronological order. We used 89 syndromes as defined by BioSense to identify co-morbid conditions. The percentage was calculated as the number of ED visits with concomitant mental illness associated with co-morbidity divided by the total number of mental illness relevant visits.

Results: From 2008-2011, a total of 4.6 million ED visits (5.4%) reported mental illness out of 85.1 million visits. Among ED visits with concomitant mental illness, the most common co-morbid conditions were cardiovascular (37%), diabetes (11%), and asthma (7%). One third of the broad “other” category was related to chest and abdominal pain co-morbid conditions.

Conclusion: Prevalence and complexity of mental health and co-morbidity underscores the need to prevent, recognize, and address in a timely matter such a serious public health problem. Receiving information quickly using automated data allows local, state, and federal public health decision makers not only to provide timely situational awareness but also monitor healthcare utilization for chronic conditions. BioSense holds large amounts of data that can be utilized for national public health surveillance and practice. 


Open Access Policy Article

PM Najib’s Transformation Agenda in Transforming Malaysia into a High Income Nation

Lukman Thaib

Advances in Research, Page 391-403
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/11688

Malaysia is a country that since its independence has endeavoured to practice democratic governance. In line with this, it seeks to ensure that the Malaysian government is representative of the will of the people. To achieve this, there must be in place numerous mechanisms to ensure accountability and transparency while also ensuring that it has an ‘ear to the ground’ so to speak. The ruling UMNO coalition government has come under increasing public criticism for its failure to observe these fundamental features of a progressive democracy. Such public scepticism is perhaps best manifested in the National Front (BN)’s relatively poor performance in past elections. This development expedited reforms calling for effective leadership to guide such reforms. It is to this end that this paper is committed, namely to analysing the important role played by the Sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia, YAB Dato Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak towards outlining a clear vision of national development since taking office on 3 April 2009. For this, YAB Dato Sri Najib appears to have opted to pursue a transformational agenda while aptly adopting transformational leadership to ensure the cooperation of all citizens in Malaysia towards a common goal.


Open Access Original Research Article

Instrumental Analysis of Foods: Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry for Determination of Metals in Cereals and Fast Ion Chromatography Analysis for Minerals in Sport Drinks

Ronald Bartzatt, Conrad Martinez

Advances in Research, Page 357-365
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/13579

Aims: Foods are analyzed for their content for important reasons that include: Adherence to government regulations, nutritional labeling, authentication, inspection (for grading), safety, quality control and detection of adulterants.

Study Design: Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis of various commercial cereals was accomplished. Commercial drinks were analyzed by ion chromatography instruments.  

Place and Duration of Study: The investigation was carried out at the University of Nebraska, Omaha Nebraska from January 2014 to May 2014.

Methodology: Cereals were treated in strong acid to extract heavy metals. Following dilution steps, these extracts were injected into ICP-MS for analysis. Quantity of metals as well as isotope distribution was established. Commercial sports drinks were examined for clarification and injected into ion chromatography instruments for analysis for calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, phosphate, sulphate and fluoride. 

Results: (ICP-MS) analysis of various commercial cereals showed a content of chromium, nickel, copper, zinc and traces of lead. In general, zinc was found to be highest in content within the cereal products analyzed ranging from 2.951mg/kilogram to 90.56mg/kilogram (mean = 58.38mg/kilogram), followed by copper ranging from 1.218mg/kilogram to 4.395mg/kilogram (mean = 2.756mg/kilogram). This is followed in amounts (by average of all samples tested) by nickel, lead and chromium. Chromium, copper, nickel and zinc are considered human micronutrients. Sport drinks are consumed for their mineral content and enhancement of electrolytes. Various sports drinks analyzed showed both cation and anion minerals in their content, which included: sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfate, phosphate, chloride, fluoride and nitrate ions. 

Conclusion: ICP-MS and ion chromatography are versatile approaches for analysis of food nutrient value and metals content. ICP-MS can track the absorption of heavy metals into commercial cereals. Ion chromatography can identify adulterants in sport drinks.


Open Access Original Research Article

Determinants of Stock Market Development in Nigeria: A Cointegration Approach

Peter E. Ayunku, Lyndon M. Etale

Advances in Research, Page 366-373
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/12912

This study examined the determinants of stock market development for the period of 1977-2010.  The study further investigated the long run and short run relationship between the variables, using ex-post facto research design and the utilization of Johansen Co-integration and Error Correction Model (ECM) approach. The empirical result indicates that market capitalization, credit to private sector and exchange rates are all important determinants of stock market development both in the long run and short run in Nigeria as these variables have positive effect and thus stimulate economic growth in Nigeria while inflation and saving rate had negative impact on stock market development in Nigeria. These results as they stand have some policy implications and it therefore follows that to achieve accelerated stock market development and economic growth in Nigeria, monetary authorities should effectively moderate and control the inflation and savings rate so as to sustain macroeconomic stability. This study therefore recommended amongst others that policy makers should be concerned with stock market liquidity, given that market capitalization is a strong indicator of stock market development in Nigeria.

Open Access Original Research Article

A Hybrid Concurrency Control Strategy for Mobile Database Systems

Salman Abdul Moiz

Advances in Research, Page 374-381
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/12406

The inherent limitations of mobile database systems makes concurrency control an important problem. Several pessimistic and optimistic strategies for achieving concurrency control in mobile database systems are presented in literature. The pessimistic strategies achieve concurrency however they face the problem of blocking, whereas the optimistic strategies may not always keep the data consistent. The conflict resolution strategies may result in starvation of some of the mobile requests. This paper presents a hybrid concurrency control strategy by using the good properties of both pessimistic and optimistic approaches. The results specify that the proposed strategy performs better as compared to both pessimistic and optimistic strategies and reduces the starvation of transaction requests of various mobile devices.


Open Access Original Research Article

Reminiscence Processes Using Mashups Dedicated to the Design of Lifelogging System

Yu- Wei Chen, Yee Ming Chen, Yi Jen Peng, Wan- Jung Leu

Advances in Research, Page 382-390
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/11588

Aims: The research study is about designing and developing digital reminiscence systems that can be used by people with early-stage dementia as aiding memory tools.

Methodology: The design of a lifelogging system that captures photos, timeline and spatial information to facilitate the extraction of a salient summary consisting of good cues from the lifelog. The lifelogs mashup the selected cues for review in a way that can be utilized for memory and reminiscence support as well as strengthen the bond between a person with dementia and his family.

Results: In a field trial, we study how four different types of cues, namely visual, spatial, temporal and social context, trigger memories of recent events and resulted in better memory retention.

Conclusion: The preliminary results indicate that the system provided more opportunities for caregiver interaction for people with dementia, as their reminiscence processes are encouraged and that the communication with their surroundings increases in quality of life.


Open Access Original Research Article

Assessing Respiratory Inflammation among Children Living Near to Non-sanitary Landfill Using Interleukin-6 (IL-6)

Sharifah Norkhadijah S. Ismail, Muhammad S. Othman, Dora E. Jamaluddin, Sarva M. Praveena, Ho Y. Bin, Emilia Z. Abidin, Aini Syuhaida A. Wahab, A. Haryati

Advances in Research, Page 404-416
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/14478

Aims: To determine the respiratory inflammation among children living near to non-sanitary municipal solid waste landfill area and the concentration of Interleukin-6 cytokine.

Study Design: A cross-sectional comparative study design.

Place and Duration of Study: Sample: Pajam, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, between September 2013 and April 2014.

Methodology: A total of 72 children were randomly selected based on the inclusive and exclusive criteria. A set of pre-tested questionnaires were utilized to obtain socio-demographic information and to predict health risk faced by the respondents. Saliva samples of the respondents were collected and analyzed using Human Interleukin-6 (IL-6) Platinum ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) kit.

Results: The PM10 concentration for the exposed group was higher than the unexposed group with the mean ± standard deviation (SD) of 152.31±31.07 μg/m3 and 87.77±30.77 μg/m3 respectively. The mean ± SD of the Interleukin-6 for the exposed group was slightly higher than the unexposed group with the mean ± SD of 6.34±1.95 pg/ml and 5.77±1.08 pg/ml respectively. The most common symptoms reported was sneezing and sore throat. There was no significant correlation between PM10 concentration and IL-6 in this study.

Conclusion: The findings exhibit that there was no association between Interleukin-6 and PM10 concentration of the respondent. However, there are likely potential adverse health impacts arising from particulates exposure among exposed children in this study. Respondents are advised to have a medical check-up in order to determine respiratory health status thus elimination the risks of acquiring respiratory inflammation.


Open Access Original Research Article

Facial Changes during the Pronunciation of Velar and Palatal Consonants in IR Images

Chandroop Gupta, Sandeep Kaushal, Jang Bahadur Singh, Parveen Lehana

Advances in Research, Page 417-426
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/12236

Speech is one of the most complex non stationary signals and is also the easiest way of communication between human beings. Speech signals can be exaggerated by the behavior and emotions of speakers. Facial expression can be recognized through electromyography (EMG) signals. These signals from specific facial muscles are recorded for speech recognition and system automation. The human face is an area for displaying different emotions. The temperature distribution on facial muscles can be captured through R camera, which may be regarded as texture features of images. In this research work five male subjects were taken and their corresponding IR images at the instant of utterance of velar and palatal consonants were captured and their average distances were calculated. The analysis of the results showed that the average of difference images were more speaker dependent as compared to speech content. The average distances of palatal consonants are relatively more as compared to velar consonants.


Open Access Original Research Article

Groin Opening Effect on Shoreline

M. Balah, G. Elsaeed, A. Eldegwy, M. Hasan

Advances in Research, Page 427-444
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/13379

An actual scale model of a groin was designed and constructed to investigate the impact of the gap width on the shoreline changes in the close vicinity of the groin. The Surface water Modeling System (SMS) model has been used to simulate the wave hydrodynamics around the groin for about 5 years to study the impact of the proposed groin on the shoreline and wave conditions at various time steps. The model has been calibrated and validated against the collected and measured field data. The dominant wave/current conditions along the North-West coast of Egypt have been considered for various possible configurations of the semi-open groin to identify the appropriate design. Wind and wave data of the El-Dekhila port Meteorological Station (EMS) have been adopted for the period 2010-2014.

The results and analysis provide general guidelines for the use of groins with a clear opening in coastal resorts that can be applied to a wide range of wave climates. It has also been found that a groin with a clear opening can help to provide safe swimming conditions with minimum impact on the shoreline if groins were properly studied. Wide gap spacing and permeable groins generally reduce the shoreline changes. It is found that the maximum erosion and accretion depths are almost equal in case of S>0.15 Lg for the cases investigated (Lg is the groin length, S is the gap width). The effective length on the up-drift side is much more than that on the down-drift for the cases investigated in this work. The up-drift is affected up to twice the length of the groin in case of no gap and the length is about 1.1 Lg in case of gap width equaling 0.15 Lg. The variation of the effective length on the down-drift varies slowly as the gap width varies. The effective length varied from 1.2 to 1.1 as S/Lg varies from 0 to 0.15. It is noteworthy that the variation of the effective length is nearly linear with the gap width in this study.


Open Access Original Research Article

Relationships between Mild/Severe Knee Joint Pain and Fall Risk Assessment Items in Elderly Females

Hiroki Sugiura, Shinichi Demura, Kenji Takahashi

Advances in Research, Page 445-454
DOI: 10.9734/AIR/2015/14362

Aims: This study aimed to examine differences in corresponding rates of fall risk survey items among 3 groups of elderly females categorized on the basis of knee pain.

Methodology: Total of 392 subjects completed the fall risk survey, which comprised 50 items representing 5 risk factors: “symptoms of falling,” “disease and physical symptoms,” “environment,” “behavior and character” and “physical function.”

Results: The corresponding rates for items related to physical function factor tended to be significantly higher in the severe knee pain group than in the no and mild knee pain groups. However, the corresponding rates for items related to frequency of motion in the behavioral and character factors category were significantly higher in the no and mild knee pain groups than in the severe knee pain group. The corresponding rates of items related to environmental factors and behavioral and character factors tended to be higher in the severe knee pain group.

Conclusion: The severe knee pain group exhibited higher corresponding rates in several fall risk items compared with the other 2 groups. The fall risk items related to frequency of motion in the behavioral and character factors category showed a tendency to be low in the groups with no or mild pain.