The invention relates to a web-like or sheet-like semi-finished product capable
of forming a polymeric foam composite material by heat treatment, which semi-finished
product is formed by a web-like or sheet-like fibrous material and a mixture comprising
curable resin and unexpanded thermoplastic particles of at least two different
qualities with mutually different expansion temperature introduced into the
fibrous material, wherein thermoplastic particles of at least one of said qualities
remain unexpanded in the semi-finished product. The invention also relates
to a polymeric foam composite material formed by such a semi-finished product.
Furthermore, the invention relates to methods for producing such a semi-finished
product and such a polymeric foam composite material.
Borgquist, Lars Axel
Objectives: To analyse how comorbidity among patients with back pain, depression and osteoarthritis influences healthcare costs per patient. A special focus was made on the distribution of costs for primary healthcare compared with specialist care, hospital care and drugs. Design: Population-based cross-sectional study. Setting: The County of Ostergotland, Sweden. Patients: Data on diagnoses and healthcare costs for all 266 354 individuals between 20 and 75 years of age, who were residents of the County of Ostergotland, Sweden, in the year 2006, were extracted from the local healthcare register and the national register of drug prescriptions. Main outcome measures: The effects of comorbidity on healthcare costs were estimated as interactions in regression models that also included age, sex, number of other health conditions and education. Results: The largest diagnosed group was back pain (11 178 patients) followed by depression (7412 patients) and osteoarthritis (5174 patients). The largest comorbidity subgroup was the combination of back pain and depression (772 patients), followed by the combination of back pain and osteoarthritis (527 patients) and the combination of depression and osteoarthritis (206 patients). For patients having both a depression diagnosis and a back pain diagnosis, there was a significant negative interaction effect on total healthcare costs. The average healthcare costs among patients with depression and back pain was SEK 11 806 lower for a patient with both diagnoses. In this comorbidity group, there were tendencies of a positive interaction for general practitioner visits and negative interactions for all other visits and hospital days. Small or no interactions at all were seen between depression diagnoses and osteoarthritis diagnoses. Conclusions: A small increase in primary healthcare visits in comorbid back pain and depression patients was accompanied with a substantial reduction in total healthcare costs and in hospital costs. Our results can be of value in analysing the cost effects of comorbidity and how the coordination of primary and secondary care may have an impact on healthcare costs.
Background: In most Western countries the growing gap between available resources and greater potential for medical treatment has brought evidence-based guidelines into focus. However, such guidelines are difficult to use when the evidence base is weak. Priority setting for frail elderly patients with heart disease illustrates this problem. We have outlined a tentative model for priority setting regarding frail elderly heart patients. The model takes cardiovascular risk, frailty, and comorbidity into account. Objective: Our aim is to validate the model's components. We want to evaluate the inter-rater reliability of the study experts' rankings regarding each of the model's categories. Methods: A confidential questionnaire study consisting of 15 authentic and validated cases was conducted to assess the views of purposefully selected cardiology experts (n = 58). They were asked to rank the cases regarding the need for coronary angiography using their individual clinical experience. The response rate was 71%. Responses were analysed with frequencies and descriptive statistics. The inter-rater reliability regarding the experts' rankings of the cases was estimated via an intra-class correlation test (ICC). Results: The cardiologists considered the clinical cases to be realistic. The intra-class correlation (two-way random, consistency, average measure) was 0.978 (95% CI 0.958-0.991), which denotes a very good inter-rater reliability on the group level. The model's components were considered relevant regarding complex cases of non-ST elevation myocardial infarction. Comorbidity was considered to be the most relevant component, frailty the second most relevant, followed by cardiovascular risk. Conclusions: A framework taking comorbidity, frailty, and cardiovascular risk into account could constitute a foundation for consensus-based guidelines for frail elderly heart patients. From a priority setting perspective, it is reasonable to believe that the framework is applicable to other groups of elderly patients with acute disease and complex needs.
Storey, Robert F.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of ticagrelor versus clopidogrel on health-related quality of life in the PLATelet inhibition and patient Outcomes (PLATO) trial. Background: The PLATO trial showed that ticagrelor was superior to clopidogrel for the prevention of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke in a broad population of patients with acute coronary syndromes. Methods: HRQOL in the PLATO study was measured at hospital discharge, 6-month visit, and end of treatment (anticipated at 12 months) by using the EuroQol five-dimensional (EQ-5D) questionnaire. All patients who had an EQ-5D questionnaire assessment at discharge from the index hospitalization (n = 15,212) were included in the study. Patients who died prior to the end-of-treatment visit were assigned an EQ-5D questionnaire value of 0. Results: The EQ-5D questionnaire value at discharge among 7631 patients assigned to ticagrelor was 0.847 and among 7581 patients assigned to clopidogrel was 0.846 (P = 0.71). At 12 months, the mean EQ-5D questionnaire value was 0.840 for ticagrelor and 0.832 for clopidogrel (P = 0.046). Excluding patients who died resulted in mean EQ-5D questionnaire values of 0.864 among ticagrelor patients and 0.863 among clopidogrel patients (P = 0.69). Conclusions: In patients hospitalized with acute coronary syndromes with or without ST-segment elevation, treatment with ticagrelor was associated with a lower mortality but otherwise no difference in quality of life relative to treatment with clopidogrel. The improved survival and reduction in cardiovascular events with ticagrelor are therefore obtained with no loss in quality of life.
The Ni-Ru and Al-Ni-Ru systems are assessed with a combined CALPHAD and ab initio approach. Particular attention is paid to the possible existence of a miscibility gap in the B2 phase. Both face-centered cubic and body-centered cubic ordering are analyzed within the compound energy formalism. Ab initio calculations for the B2 phase show a similar trend as calorimetric measurements but the magnitude is much smaller. It is found that the calorimetric measurements cannot be reconciled with any reasonable phase diagram, whereas the ab initio results can. From the parameters obtained, isothermal sections in reasonable agreement with experimental phase diagrams are calculated. We have concluded that there is no miscibility gap in the B2 phase at 1273 K and higher temperatures. (C) 2008 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ursolic acid (UA) is a pentacyclic triterpenoid, with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Sphingomyelin (SM) hydrolysis generates lipid messengers regulating cell survival. Earlier studies showed that UA has anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects on HT29 cells, accompanied by a rapid increase in alkaline sphingomyelinase (Alk-SMase) activity. This study examines the effect of orally administered UA on the formation of aberrant crypt foci (ACF) and intestinal SMase activity in azoxymethane (AOM)-treated rats. Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into eight groups, receiving AOM or vehicle, and fed normal diet or pellets containing 0.11% UA in the initiation or promotion/progression phase. The formation of ACF in the colon and the activities of three types of mucosal SMase were examined. UA significantly reduced the incidence of ACF containing three or more crypts in the initiation group, but had no significant effect in the promotion/progression group. AOM reduced mucosal Alk-SMase activity, and the inhibitory effects could not be prevented by UA. However, in both AOM-treated and normal rats, UA increased the activity of colonic neutral SMase markedly and that of acid SMase activity mildly. These results indicate that UA has chemopreventive effects in the initiation phase of colon cancer associated with changes in SM metabolism.
Background There is a growing body of evidence on the relevance of using frailty measures also in a cardiovascular context. The estimated time to death is crucial in clinical decision-making in cardiology. However, data on the importance of frailty in long-term mortality are very scarce. The aim of the study was to assess the prognostic value of frailty on mortality at long-term follow-up of more than 5 years in patients 75 years or older hospitalised for non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction. We hypothesised that frailty is independently associated with long-term mortality. Design This was a prospective, observational study conducted at three centres. Methods and results Frailty was assessed according to the Canadian Study of Health and Aging clinical frailty scale (CFS). Of 307 patients, 149 (48.5%) were considered frail according to the study instrument (degree 5-7 on the scale). The long-term all-cause mortality of more than 5 years (median 6.7 years) was significantly higher among frail patients (128, 85.9%) than non-frail patients (85, 53.8%), (P < 0.001). In Cox regression analysis, frailty was independently associated with mortality from the index hospital admission to the end of follow-up (hazard ratio 2.06, 95% confidence interval 1.51-2.81; P < 0.001) together with age (P < 0.001), ejection fraction (P =3D 0.012) and Charlson comorbidity index (P =3D 0.018). Conclusions In elderly non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction patients, frailty was independently associated with all-cause mortality at long-term follow-up of more than 6 years. The combined use of frailty and comorbidity may be the ultimate risk prediction concept in the context of cardiovascular patients with complex needs.