Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 222

Search results for: ABET

222 Genotypic and Allelic Distribution of Polymorphic Variants of Gene SLC47A1 Leu125Phe (rs77474263) and Gly64Asp (rs77630697) and Their Association to the Clinical Response to Metformin in Adult Pakistani T2DM Patients

Authors: Sadaf Moeez, Madiha Khalid, Zoya Khalid, Sania Shaheen, Sumbul Khalid

Abstract:

Background: Inter-individual variation in response to metformin, which has been considered as a first line therapy for T2DM treatment is considerable. In the current study, it was aimed to investigate the impact of two genetic variants Leu125Phe (rs77474263) and Gly64Asp (rs77630697) in gene SLC47A1 on the clinical efficacy of metformin in T2DM Pakistani patients. Methods: The study included 800 T2DM patients (400 metformin responders and 400 metformin non-responders) along with 400 ethnically matched healthy individuals. The genotypes were determined by allele-specific polymerase chain reaction. In-silico analysis was done to confirm the effect of the two SNPs on the structure of genes. Association was statistically determined using SPSS software. Results: Minor allele frequency for rs77474263 and rs77630697 was 0.13 and 0.12. For SLC47A1 rs77474263 the homozygotes of one mutant allele ‘T’ (CT) of rs77474263 variant were fewer in metformin responders than metformin non-responders (29.2% vs. 35.5 %). Likewise, the efficacy was further reduced (7.2% vs. 4.0 %) in homozygotes of two copies of ‘T’ allele (TT). Remarkably, T2DM cases with two copies of allele ‘C’ (CC) had 2.11 times more probability to respond towards metformin monotherapy. For SLC47A1 rs77630697 the homozygotes of one mutant allele ‘A’ (GA) of rs77630697 variant were fewer in metformin responders than metformin non-responders (33.5% vs. 43.0 %). Likewise, the efficacy was further reduced (8.5% vs. 4.5%) in homozygotes of two copies of ‘A’ allele (AA). Remarkably, T2DM cases with two copies of allele ‘G’ (GG) had 2.41 times more probability to respond towards metformin monotherapy. In-silico analysis revealed that these two variants affect the structure and stability of their corresponding proteins. Conclusion: The present data suggest that SLC47A1 Leu125Phe (rs77474263) and Gly64Asp (rs77630697) polymorphisms were associated with the therapeutic response of metformin in T2DM patients of Pakistan.

Keywords: Diabetes, T2DM, SLC47A1, Pakistan, polymorphism.

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221 Eating Habits of Children Aged 10-15 Years in Reference to Nutrition Status

Authors: M. Hetmańczyk, R. Polaniak, K. Brukało, E. Grochowska-Niedworok

Abstract:

Eating behaviours of people are determined by knowledge gained at different stages of life. Children’s diet is especially important. They have to eat meals regularly. Meals should consist of protein, carbohydrates and fat, and drinking the right amount of water. Mistakes in children’s diets affect their health and may lead to health issues such as diabetes, overweight, obesity or malnutrition. The aim of the study was to assess the eating habits among 10-15-year-old children. To achieve this aim, the study included children aged 10-15 years living in Silesia Province, Poland; the participants consisted of 52.08% girls and 47.92% boys. Authorial questionnaire contains 28 questions about eating habits. The results of 192 students were subjected to analysis. The results show that half of the surveyed students participated in physical activity every day. Most children ate 4-5 meals every day, but the breaks between them were too long (four and more hours). Children generally ate cooked meals. Most children ate first breakfast every day, but only one third of studied children ate a second breakfast daily, while 93.75% ate vegetables at least once a day, 94.79% ate fruit at least once a day, and 79.17% drink a daily glass of milk or more. The study found that the eating behaviours of the surveyed children were unsatisfying. While the children did not participate in physical activity often enough, girls took part slightly more often. Children eat second breakfast not often enough. Younger children (10-12 years old) are doing it more often than the older children (13-15 years old). Gender is not a determinant of the frequency of second breakfast consumption.

Keywords: Eating habits, children, diet, nutrition status.

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220 Linear Prediction System in Measuring Glucose Level in Blood

Authors: Intan Maisarah Abd Rahim, Herlina Abdul Rahim, Rashidah Ghazali

Abstract:

Diabetes is a medical condition that can lead to various diseases such as stroke, heart disease, blindness and obesity. In clinical practice, the concern of the diabetic patients towards the blood glucose examination is rather alarming as some of the individual describing it as something painful with pinprick and pinch. As for some patient with high level of glucose level, pricking the fingers multiple times a day with the conventional glucose meter for close monitoring can be tiresome, time consuming and painful. With these concerns, several non-invasive techniques were used by researchers in measuring the glucose level in blood, including ultrasonic sensor implementation, multisensory systems, absorbance of transmittance, bio-impedance, voltage intensity, and thermography. This paper is discussing the application of the near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy as a non-invasive method in measuring the glucose level and the implementation of the linear system identification model in predicting the output data for the NIR measurement. In this study, the wavelengths considered are at the 1450 nm and 1950 nm. Both of these wavelengths showed the most reliable information on the glucose presence in blood. Then, the linear Autoregressive Moving Average Exogenous model (ARMAX) model with both un-regularized and regularized methods was implemented in predicting the output result for the NIR measurement in order to investigate the practicality of the linear system in this study. However, the result showed only 50.11% accuracy obtained from the system which is far from the satisfying results that should be obtained.

Keywords: Diabetes, glucose level, linear, near-infrared (NIR), non-invasive, prediction system.

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219 Perception of Predictive Confounders for the Prevalence of Hypertension among Iraqi Population: A Pilot Study

Authors: Zahraa Albasry, Hadeel D. Najim, Anmar Al-Taie

Abstract:

Background: Hypertension is considered as one of the most important causes of cardiovascular complications and one of the leading causes of worldwide mortality. Identifying the potential risk factors associated with this medical health problem plays an important role in minimizing its incidence and related complications. The objective of this study is to explore the prevalence of receptor sensitivity regarding assess and understand the perception of specific predictive confounding factors on the prevalence of hypertension (HT) among a sample of Iraqi population in Baghdad, Iraq. Materials and Methods: A randomized cross sectional study was carried out on 100 adult subjects during their visit to the outpatient clinic at a certain sector of Baghdad Province, Iraq. Demographic, clinical and health records alongside specific screening and laboratory tests of the participants were collected and analyzed to detect the potential of confounding factors on the prevalence of HT. Results: 63% of the study participants suffered from HT, most of them were female patients (P < 0.005). Patients aged between 41-50 years old significantly suffered from HT than other age groups (63.5%, P < 0.001). 88.9% of the participants were obese (P < 0.001) and 47.6% had diabetes with HT. Positive family history and sedentary lifestyle were significantly higher among all hypertensive groups (P < 0.05). High salt and fatty food intake was significantly found among patients suffered from isolated systolic hypertension (ISHT) (P < 0.05). A significant positive correlation between packed cell volume (PCV) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) (r = 0.353, P = 0.048) found among normotensive participants. Among hypertensive patients, a positive significant correlation found between triglycerides (TG) and both SBP (r = 0.484, P = 0.031) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (r = 0.463, P = 0.040), while low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-c) showed a positive significant correlation with DBP (r = 0.443, P = 0.021). Conclusion: The prevalence of HT among Iraqi populations is of major concern. Further consideration is required to detect the impact of potential risk factors and to minimize blood pressure (BP) elevation and reduce the risk of other cardiovascular complications later in life.

Keywords: Correlation, hypertension, Iraq, risk factors.

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218 The Application of a Neural Network in the Reworking of Accu-Chek to Wrist Bands to Monitor Blood Glucose in the Human Body

Authors: J. K Adedeji, O. H Olowomofe, C. O Alo, S.T Ijatuyi

Abstract:

The issue of high blood sugar level, the effects of which might end up as diabetes mellitus, is now becoming a rampant cardiovascular disorder in our community. In recent times, a lack of awareness among most people makes this disease a silent killer. The situation calls for urgency, hence the need to design a device that serves as a monitoring tool such as a wrist watch to give an alert of the danger a head of time to those living with high blood glucose, as well as to introduce a mechanism for checks and balances. The neural network architecture assumed 8-15-10 configuration with eight neurons at the input stage including a bias, 15 neurons at the hidden layer at the processing stage, and 10 neurons at the output stage indicating likely symptoms cases. The inputs are formed using the exclusive OR (XOR), with the expectation of getting an XOR output as the threshold value for diabetic symptom cases. The neural algorithm is coded in Java language with 1000 epoch runs to bring the errors into the barest minimum. The internal circuitry of the device comprises the compatible hardware requirement that matches the nature of each of the input neurons. The light emitting diodes (LED) of red, green, and yellow colors are used as the output for the neural network to show pattern recognition for severe cases, pre-hypertensive cases and normal without the traces of diabetes mellitus. The research concluded that neural network is an efficient Accu-Chek design tool for the proper monitoring of high glucose levels than the conventional methods of carrying out blood test.

Keywords: Accu-Chek, diabetes, neural network, pattern recognition.

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217 The Links between Brain Insulin Resistance and Alzheimer’s Disease

Authors: Negar Khezri, Golnaz Yaghoubnezhadzanganeh, Amirreza Attarzadeh

Abstract:

Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are two main health problems influencing millions of people in the world. Neuron loss and synaptic impairment that interfere with cognition and memory cause for the behavioral indications of AD. While it is now accepted that insulin has central neuromodulatory purpose, it was contemplated for many years that brain is insusceptible to insulin, involving its function in memory and learning, which are impaired in AD. The common characteristics of both AD and T2D are impaired insulin signaling, oxidative stress, the excitation of inflammatory pathways and unqualified glucose metabolism. This review summarizes how the recognition of these mechanisms may lead to the development of alternative therapeutic approaches. Here we summarize how the recognition of these mechanisms may lead to the development of alternative therapeutic approaches.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, insulin resistance, neurodegenerative.

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216 Exploring the Safety of Sodium Glucose Co-Transporter-2 Inhibitors at the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, UAE

Authors: Raad Nari, Maura Moriaty, Maha T. Barakat

Abstract:

Introduction: Sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are a new class of oral anti-diabetic drugs with a unique mechanism of action. They are used to improve glycaemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes by enhancing urinary glucose excretion. In the UAE, there has been certainly an increased use of these medications. As with any new medication, there are safety considerations related to their use in patients with type two diabetes. A retrospective study was conducted at the three main centres of the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre. Methodology: All patients in electronic database (Diamond) from October 2014 to October 2017 were included with a minimum of six months usage of sodium glucose co-transporter inhibitors that comprise canagliflozin, dapagliflozin and empagliflozin. There were 15 paired sample biochemical and clinical correlations. The analysis was done at the start of the study, three months and six months apart. SPSS version 24 was used for this study. Conclusion: This study of sodium glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors used showed significant reductions in weight, glycated haemoglobin A1C, systolic and diastolic blood pressures. As the case with systematic reviews, there were similar changes in liver enzymes, raised total cholesterol, low density lipopoptein and high density lipoprotein. There was slight improvement in estimated glomerular filtration rate too. Our analysis also showed that they increased in the incidence of urinary tract symptoms and incidence of urinary tract infections.

Keywords: SGLT2 inhibitors dapagliflozin empagliflozin canagliflozin, adverse effects, amputation diabetic ketoacidosis DKA, urinary tract infection.

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215 A Motion Dictionary to Real-Time Recognition of Sign Language Alphabet Using Dynamic Time Warping and Artificial Neural Network

Authors: Marcio Leal, Marta Villamil

Abstract:

Computacional recognition of sign languages aims to allow a greater social and digital inclusion of deaf people through interpretation of their language by computer. This article presents a model of recognition of two of global parameters from sign languages; hand configurations and hand movements. Hand motion is captured through an infrared technology and its joints are built into a virtual three-dimensional space. A Multilayer Perceptron Neural Network (MLP) was used to classify hand configurations and Dynamic Time Warping (DWT) recognizes hand motion. Beyond of the method of sign recognition, we provide a dataset of hand configurations and motion capture built with help of fluent professionals in sign languages. Despite this technology can be used to translate any sign from any signs dictionary, Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) was used as case study. Finally, the model presented in this paper achieved a recognition rate of 80.4%.

Keywords: Sign language recognition, computer vision, infrared, artificial neural network, dynamic time warping.

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214 Multivariate Assessment of Mathematics Test Scores of Students in Qatar

Authors: Ali Rashash Alzahrani, Elizabeth Stojanovski

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Data on various aspects of education are collected at the institutional and government level regularly. In Australia, for example, students at various levels of schooling undertake examinations in numeracy and literacy as part of NAPLAN testing, enabling longitudinal assessment of such data as well as comparisons between schools and states within Australia. Another source of educational data collected internationally is via the PISA study which collects data from several countries when students are approximately 15 years of age and enables comparisons in the performance of science, mathematics and English between countries as well as ranking of countries based on performance in these standardised tests. As well as student and school outcomes based on the tests taken as part of the PISA study, there is a wealth of other data collected in the study including parental demographics data and data related to teaching strategies used by educators. Overall, an abundance of educational data is available which has the potential to be used to help improve educational attainment and teaching of content in order to improve learning outcomes. A multivariate assessment of such data enables multiple variables to be considered simultaneously and will be used in the present study to help develop profiles of students based on performance in mathematics using data obtained from the PISA study.

Keywords: Cluster analysis, education, mathematics, profiles.

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213 Bayesian Meta-Analysis to Account for Heterogeneity in Studies Relating Life Events to Disease

Authors: Elizabeth Stojanovski

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Associations between life events and various forms of cancers have been identified. The purpose of a recent random-effects meta-analysis was to identify studies that examined the association between adverse events associated with changes to financial status including decreased income and breast cancer risk. The same association was studied in four separate studies which displayed traits that were not consistent between studies such as the study design, location, and time frame. It was of interest to pool information from various studies to help identify characteristics that differentiated study results. Two random-effects Bayesian meta-analysis models are proposed to combine the reported estimates of the described studies. The proposed models allow major sources of variation to be taken into account, including study level characteristics, between study variance and within study variance, and illustrate the ease with which uncertainty can be incorporated using a hierarchical Bayesian modelling approach.

Keywords: Random-effects, meta-analysis, Bayesian, variation.

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212 A Sociolinguistic Study of the Outcomes of Arabic-French Contact in the Algerian Dialect Tlemcen Speech Community as a Case Study

Authors: R. Rahmoun-Mrabet

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It is acknowledged that our style of speaking changes according to a wide range of variables such as gender, setting, the age of both the addresser and the addressee, the conversation topic, and the aim of the interaction. These differences in style are noticeable in monolingual and multilingual speech communities. Yet, they are more observable in speech communities where two or more codes coexist. The linguistic situation in Algeria reflects a state of bilingualism because of the coexistence of Arabic and French. Nevertheless, like all Arab countries, it is characterized by diglossia i.e. the concomitance of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and Algerian Arabic (AA), the former standing for the ‘high variety’ and the latter for the ‘low variety’. The two varieties are derived from the same source but are used to fulfil distinct functions that is, MSA is used in the domains of religion, literature, education and formal settings. AA, on the other hand, is used in informal settings, in everyday speech. French has strongly affected the Algerian language and culture because of the historical background of Algeria, thus, what can easily be noticed in Algeria is that everyday speech is characterized by code-switching from dialectal Arabic and French or by the use of borrowings. Tamazight is also very present in many regions of Algeria and is the mother tongue of many Algerians. Yet, it is not used in the west of Algeria, where the study has been conducted. The present work, which was directed in the speech community of Tlemcen-Algeria, aims at depicting some of the outcomes of the contact of Arabic with French such as code-switching, borrowing and interference. The question that has been asked is whether Algerians are aware of their use of borrowings or not. Three steps are followed in this research; the first one is to depict the sociolinguistic situation in Algeria and to describe the linguistic characteristics of the dialect of Tlemcen, which are specific to this city. The second one is concerned with data collection. Data have been collected from 57 informants who were given questionnaires and who have then been classified according to their age, gender and level of education. Information has also been collected through observation, and note taking. The third step is devoted to analysis. The results obtained reveal that most Algerians are aware of their use of borrowings. The present work clarifies how words are borrowed from French, and then adapted to Arabic. It also illustrates the way in which singular words inflect into plural. The results expose the main characteristics of borrowing as opposed to code-switching. The study also clarifies how interference occurs at the level of nouns, verbs and adjectives.

Keywords: Bilingualism, borrowing, code-switching, interference, language contact.

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211 Blood Glucose Level Measurement from Breath Analysis

Authors: Tayyab Hassan, Talha Rehman, Qasim Abdul Aziz, Ahmad Salman

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The constant monitoring of blood glucose level is necessary for maintaining health of patients and to alert medical specialists to take preemptive measures before the onset of any complication as a result of diabetes. The current clinical monitoring of blood glucose uses invasive methods repeatedly which are uncomfortable and may result in infections in diabetic patients. Several attempts have been made to develop non-invasive techniques for blood glucose measurement. In this regard, the existing methods are not reliable and are less accurate. Other approaches claiming high accuracy have not been tested on extended dataset, and thus, results are not statistically significant. It is a well-known fact that acetone concentration in breath has a direct relation with blood glucose level. In this paper, we have developed the first of its kind, reliable and high accuracy breath analyzer for non-invasive blood glucose measurement. The acetone concentration in breath was measured using MQ 138 sensor in the samples collected from local hospitals in Pakistan involving one hundred patients. The blood glucose levels of these patients are determined using conventional invasive clinical method. We propose a linear regression classifier that is trained to map breath acetone level to the collected blood glucose level achieving high accuracy.

Keywords: Blood glucose level, breath acetone concentration, diabetes, linear regression.

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210 The Role of Chemerin and Myostatin after Physical Activity

Authors: M. J. Pourvaghar, M. E. Bahram

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Obesity and overweight is one of the most common metabolic disorders in industrialized countries and in developing countries. One consequence of pathological obesity is cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Chemerin is an adipocyne that plays a role in the regulation of the adipocyte function and the metabolism of glucose in the liver and musculoskeletal system. Most likely, chemerin is involved in obesity-related disorders such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Aerobic exercises reduce the level of chemerin and cause macrophage penetration into fat cells and inflammatory factors. Several efforts have been made to clarify the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hypertrophy and muscular atrophy. Myostatin, a new member of the TGF-β family, is a transforming growth factor β that its expression negatively regulates the growth of the skeletal muscle; and the increase of this hormone has been observed in conditions of muscular atrophy. While in response to muscle overload, its levels decrease after the atrophy period, TGF-β is the most important cytokine in the development of skeletal muscle. Myostatin plays an important role in muscle control, and animal and human studies show a negative role of myostatin in the growth of skeletal muscle. Separation of myostatin from Golgi begins on the ninth day of the onset period and continues until birth at all times of muscle growth. Higher levels of myostatin are found in obese people. Resistance training for 10 weeks could reduce levels of plasma myostatin.

Keywords: Chemerin, myostatin, obesity, physical activity.

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209 Improved Blood Glucose-Insulin Monitoring with Dual-Layer Predictive Control Design

Authors: Vahid Nademi

Abstract:

In response to widely used wearable medical devices equipped with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and insulin pump, the advanced control methods are still demanding to get the full benefit of these devices. Unlike costly clinical trials, implementing effective insulin-glucose control strategies can provide significant contributions to the patients suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes. This study deals with a key role of two-layer insulin-glucose regulator based on model-predictive-control (MPC) scheme so that the patient’s predicted glucose profile is in compliance with the insulin level injected through insulin pump automatically. It is achieved by iterative optimization algorithm which is called an integrated perturbation analysis and sequential quadratic programming (IPA-SQP) solver for handling uncertainties due to unexpected variations in glucose-insulin values and body’s characteristics. The feasibility evaluation of the discussed control approach is also studied by means of numerical simulations of two case scenarios via measured data. The obtained results are presented to verify the superior and reliable performance of the proposed control scheme with no negative impact on patient safety.

Keywords: Blood glucose monitoring, insulin pump, optimization, predictive control, diabetes disease.

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208 Distances over Incomplete Diabetes and Breast Cancer Data Based on Bhattacharyya Distance

Authors: Loai AbdAllah, Mahmoud Kaiyal

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Missing values in real-world datasets are a common problem. Many algorithms were developed to deal with this problem, most of them replace the missing values with a fixed value that was computed based on the observed values. In our work, we used a distance function based on Bhattacharyya distance to measure the distance between objects with missing values. Bhattacharyya distance, which measures the similarity of two probability distributions. The proposed distance distinguishes between known and unknown values. Where the distance between two known values is the Mahalanobis distance. When, on the other hand, one of them is missing the distance is computed based on the distribution of the known values, for the coordinate that contains the missing value. This method was integrated with Wikaya, a digital health company developing a platform that helps to improve prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. In order for Wikaya’s recommendation system to work distance between users need to be measured. Since there are missing values in the collected data, there is a need to develop a distance function distances between incomplete users profiles. To evaluate the accuracy of the proposed distance function in reflecting the actual similarity between different objects, when some of them contain missing values, we integrated it within the framework of k nearest neighbors (kNN) classifier, since its computation is based only on the similarity between objects. To validate this, we ran the algorithm over diabetes and breast cancer datasets, standard benchmark datasets from the UCI repository. Our experiments show that kNN classifier using our proposed distance function outperforms the kNN using other existing methods.

Keywords: Missing values, distance metric, Bhattacharyya distance.

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207 A Dataset of Program Educational Objectives Mapped to ABET Outcomes: Data Cleansing, Exploratory Data Analysis and Modeling

Authors: Addin Osman, Anwar Ali Yahya, Mohammed Basit Kamal

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Datasets or collections are becoming important assets by themselves and now they can be accepted as a primary intellectual output of a research. The quality and usage of the datasets depend mainly on the context under which they have been collected, processed, analyzed, validated, and interpreted. This paper aims to present a collection of program educational objectives mapped to student’s outcomes collected from self-study reports prepared by 32 engineering programs accredited by ABET. The manual mapping (classification) of this data is a notoriously tedious, time consuming process. In addition, it requires experts in the area, which are mostly not available. It has been shown the operational settings under which the collection has been produced. The collection has been cleansed, preprocessed, some features have been selected and preliminary exploratory data analysis has been performed so as to illustrate the properties and usefulness of the collection. At the end, the collection has been benchmarked using nine of the most widely used supervised multiclass classification techniques (Binary Relevance, Label Powerset, Classifier Chains, Pruned Sets, Random k-label sets, Ensemble of Classifier Chains, Ensemble of Pruned Sets, Multi-Label k-Nearest Neighbors and Back-Propagation Multi-Label Learning). The techniques have been compared to each other using five well-known measurements (Accuracy, Hamming Loss, Micro-F, Macro-F, and Macro-F). The Ensemble of Classifier Chains and Ensemble of Pruned Sets have achieved encouraging performance compared to other experimented multi-label classification methods. The Classifier Chains method has shown the worst performance. To recap, the benchmark has achieved promising results by utilizing preliminary exploratory data analysis performed on the collection, proposing new trends for research and providing a baseline for future studies.

Keywords: Benchmark collection, program educational objectives, student outcomes, ABET, Accreditation, machine learning, supervised multiclass classification, text mining.

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206 Trust Management for an Authentication System in Ubiquitous Computing

Authors: Malika Yaici, Anis Oussayah, Mohamed Ahmed Takerrabet

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Security of context-aware ubiquitous systems is paramount, and authentication plays an important aspect in cloud computing and ubiquitous computing. Trust management has been identified as vital component for establishing and maintaining successful relational exchanges between trading partners in cloud and ubiquitous systems. Establishing trust is the way to build good relationship with both client and provider which positive activates will increase trust level, otherwise destroy trust immediately. We propose a new context-aware authentication system using a trust management system between client and server, and between servers, a trust which induces partnership, thus to a close cooperation between these servers. We defined the rules (algorithms), as well as the formulas to manage and calculate the trusting degrees depending on context, in order to uniquely authenticate a user, thus a single sign-on, and to provide him better services.

Keywords: Ubiquitous computing, context-awareness, authentication, trust management.

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205 A Construction Management Tool: Determining a Project Schedule Typical Behaviors Using Cluster Analysis

Authors: Natalia Rudeli, Elisabeth Viles, Adrian Santilli

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Delays in the construction industry are a global phenomenon. Many construction projects experience extensive delays exceeding the initially estimated completion time. The main purpose of this study is to identify construction projects typical behaviors in order to develop a prognosis and management tool. Being able to know a construction projects schedule tendency will enable evidence-based decision-making to allow resolutions to be made before delays occur. This study presents an innovative approach that uses Cluster Analysis Method to support predictions during Earned Value Analyses. A clustering analysis was used to predict future scheduling, Earned Value Management (EVM), and Earned Schedule (ES) principal Indexes behaviors in construction projects. The analysis was made using a database with 90 different construction projects. It was validated with additional data extracted from literature and with another 15 contrasting projects. For all projects, planned and executed schedules were collected and the EVM and ES principal indexes were calculated. A complete linkage classification method was used. In this way, the cluster analysis made considers that the distance (or similarity) between two clusters must be measured by its most disparate elements, i.e. that the distance is given by the maximum span among its components. Finally, through the use of EVM and ES Indexes and Tukey and Fisher Pairwise Comparisons, the statistical dissimilarity was verified and four clusters were obtained. It can be said that construction projects show an average delay of 35% of its planned completion time. Furthermore, four typical behaviors were found and for each of the obtained clusters, the interim milestones and the necessary rhythms of construction were identified. In general, detected typical behaviors are: (1) Projects that perform a 5% of work advance in the first two tenths and maintain a constant rhythm until completion (greater than 10% for each remaining tenth), being able to finish on the initially estimated time. (2) Projects that start with an adequate construction rate but suffer minor delays culminating with a total delay of almost 27% of the planned time. (3) Projects which start with a performance below the planned rate and end up with an average delay of 64%, and (4) projects that begin with a poor performance, suffer great delays and end up with an average delay of a 120% of the planned completion time. The obtained clusters compose a tool to identify the behavior of new construction projects by comparing their current work performance to the validated database, thus allowing the correction of initial estimations towards more accurate completion schedules.

Keywords: Cluster analysis, construction management, earned value, schedule.

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204 An Indispensable Parameter in Lipid Ratios to Discriminate between Morbid Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome in Children: High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol

Authors: Orkide Donma, Mustafa M. Donma

Abstract:

Obesity is a low-grade inflammatory disease and may lead to health problems such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes. It is also associated with important risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. This requires the detailed evaluation of obesity, particularly in children. The aim of this study is to enlighten the potential associations between lipid ratios and obesity indices and to introduce those with discriminating features among children with obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS). A total of 408 children (aged between six and eighteen years) participated in the scope of the study. Informed consent forms were taken from the participants and their parents. Ethical Committee approval was obtained. Anthropometric measurements such as weight, height as well as waist, hip, head, neck circumferences and body fat mass were taken. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure values were recorded. Body mass index (BMI), diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II (D2 index), waist-to-hip, head-to-neck ratios were calculated. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLChol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLChol) analyses were performed in blood samples drawn from 110 children with normal body weight, 164 morbid obese (MO) children and 134 children with MetS. Age- and sex-adjusted BMI percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization were used to classify groups; normal body weight, MO and MetS. 15th-to-85th percentiles were used to define normal body weight children. Children, whose values were above the 99th percentile, were described as MO. MetS criteria were defined. Data were evaluated statistically by SPSS Version 20. The degree of statistical significance was accepted as p≤0.05. Mean±standard deviation values of BMI for normal body weight children, MO children and those with MetS were 15.7±1.1, 27.1±3.8 and 29.1±5.3 kg/m2, respectively. Corresponding values for the D2 index were calculated as 3.4±0.9, 14.3±4.9 and 16.4±6.7. Both BMI and D2 index were capable of discriminating the groups from one another (p≤0.01). As far as other obesity indices were considered, waist-to hip and head-to-neck ratios did not exhibit any statistically significant difference between MO and MetS groups (p≥0.05). Diagnostic obesity notation model assessment index-II was correlated with the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio in normal body weight and MO (r=0.413, p≤0.01 and r=0.261, (p≤0.05, respectively). Total cholesterol-to-HDL-C and LDL-C-to-HDL-C showed statistically significant differences between normal body weight and MO as well as MO and MetS (p≤0.05). The only group in which these two ratios were significantly correlated with waist-to-hip ratio was MetS group (r=0.332 and r=0.334, p≤0.01, respectively). Lack of correlation between the D2 index and the triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio was another important finding in MetS group. In this study, parameters and ratios, whose associations were defined previously with increased cardiovascular risk or cardiac death have been evaluated along with obesity indices in children with morbid obesity and MetS. Their profiles during childhood have been investigated. Aside from the nature of the correlation between the D2 index and triglycerides-to-HDL-C ratio, total cholesterol-to-HDL-C as well as LDL-C-to- HDL-C ratios along with their correlations with waist-to-hip ratio showed that the combination of obesity-related parameters predicts better than one parameter and appears to be helpful for discriminating MO children from MetS group.

Keywords: Children, lipid ratios, metabolic syndrome, obesity indices.

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203 Complementing Assessment Processes with Standardized Tests: A Work in Progress

Authors: Amparo Camacho

Abstract:

ABET accredited programs must assess the development of student learning outcomes (SOs) in engineering programs. Different institutions implement different strategies for this assessment, and they are usually designed “in house.” This paper presents a proposal for including standardized tests to complement the ABET assessment model in an engineering college made up of six distinct engineering programs. The engineering college formulated a model of quality assurance in education to be implemented throughout the six engineering programs to regularly assess and evaluate the achievement of SOs in each program offered. The model uses diverse techniques and sources of data to assess student performance and to implement actions of improvement based on the results of this assessment. The model is called “Assessment Process Model” and it includes SOs A through K, as defined by ABET. SOs can be divided into two categories: “hard skills” and “professional skills” (soft skills). The first includes abilities, such as: applying knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering and designing and conducting experiments, as well as analyzing and interpreting data. The second category, “professional skills”, includes communicating effectively, and understanding professional and ethnical responsibility. Within the Assessment Process Model, various tools were used to assess SOs, related to both “hard” as well as “soft” skills. The assessment tools designed included: rubrics, surveys, questionnaires, and portfolios. In addition to these instruments, the Engineering College decided to use tools that systematically gather consistent quantitative data. For this reason, an in-house exam was designed and implemented, based on the curriculum of each program. Even though this exam was administered during various academic periods, it is not currently considered standardized. In 2017, the Engineering College included three standardized tests: one to assess mathematical and scientific reasoning and two more to assess reading and writing abilities. With these exams, the college hopes to obtain complementary information that can help better measure the development of both hard and soft skills of students in the different engineering programs. In the first semester of 2017, the three exams were given to three sample groups of students from the six different engineering programs. Students in the sample groups were either from the first, fifth, and tenth semester cohorts. At the time of submission of this paper, the engineering college has descriptive statistical data and is working with various statisticians to have a more in-depth and detailed analysis of the sample group of students’ achievement on the three exams. The overall objective of including standardized exams in the assessment model is to identify more precisely the least developed SOs in order to define and implement educational strategies necessary for students to achieve them in each engineering program.

Keywords: Assessment, hard skills, soft skills, standardized tests.

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202 Biological Hotspots in the Galápagos Islands: Exploring Seasonal Trends of Ocean Climate Drivers to Monitor Algal Blooms

Authors: Emily Kislik, Gabriel Mantilla Saltos, Gladys Torres, Mercy Borbor-Córdova

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The Galápagos Marine Reserve (GMR) is an internationally-recognized region of consistent upwelling events, high productivity, and rich biodiversity. Despite its high-nutrient, low-chlorophyll condition, the archipelago has experienced phytoplankton blooms, especially in the western section between Isabela and Fernandina Islands. However, little is known about how climate variability will affect future phytoplankton standing stock in the Galápagos, and no consistent protocols currently exist to quantify phytoplankton biomass, identify species, or monitor for potential harmful algal blooms (HABs) within the archipelago. This analysis investigates physical, chemical, and biological oceanic variables that contribute to algal blooms within the GMR, using 4 km Aqua MODIS satellite imagery and 0.125-degree wind stress data from January 2003 to December 2016. Furthermore, this study analyzes chlorophyll-a concentrations at varying spatial scales— within the greater archipelago, as well as within five smaller bioregions based on species biodiversity in the GMR. Seasonal and interannual trend analyses, correlations, and hotspot identification were performed. Results demonstrate that chlorophyll-a is expressed in two seasons throughout the year in the GMR, most frequently in September and March, with a notable hotspot in the Elizabeth Bay bioregion. Interannual chlorophyll-a trend analyses revealed highest peaks in 2003, 2007, 2013, and 2016, and variables that correlate highly with chlorophyll-a include surface temperature and particulate organic carbon. This study recommends future in situ sampling locations for phytoplankton monitoring, including the Elizabeth Bay bioregion. Conclusions from this study contribute to the knowledge of oceanic drivers that catalyze primary productivity and consequently affect species biodiversity within the GMR. Additionally, this research can inform policy and decision-making strategies for species conservation and management within bioregions of the Galápagos.

Keywords: Bioregions, ecological monitoring, phytoplankton, remote sensing.

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201 Multi-Layer Perceptron and Radial Basis Function Neural Network Models for Classification of Diabetic Retinopathy Disease Using Video-Oculography Signals

Authors: Ceren Kaya, Okan Erkaymaz, Orhan Ayar, Mahmut Özer

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Diabetes Mellitus (Diabetes) is a disease based on insulin hormone disorders and causes high blood glucose. Clinical findings determine that diabetes can be diagnosed by electrophysiological signals obtained from the vital organs. 'Diabetic Retinopathy' is one of the most common eye diseases resulting on diabetes and it is the leading cause of vision loss due to structural alteration of the retinal layer vessels. In this study, features of horizontal and vertical Video-Oculography (VOG) signals have been used to classify non-proliferative and proliferative diabetic retinopathy disease. Twenty-five features are acquired by using discrete wavelet transform with VOG signals which are taken from 21 subjects. Two models, based on multi-layer perceptron and radial basis function, are recommended in the diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy. The proposed models also can detect level of the disease. We show comparative classification performance of the proposed models. Our results show that proposed the RBF model (100%) results in better classification performance than the MLP model (94%).

Keywords: Diabetic retinopathy, discrete wavelet transform, multi-layer perceptron, radial basis function, video-oculography.

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200 Causal Modeling of the Glucose-Insulin System in Type-I Diabetic Patients

Authors: J. Fernandez, N. Aguilar, R. Fernandez de Canete, J. C. Ramos-Diaz

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In this paper, a simulation model of the glucose-insulin system for a patient undergoing diabetes Type 1 is developed by using a causal modeling approach under system dynamics. The OpenModelica simulation environment has been employed to build the so called causal model, while the glucose-insulin model parameters were adjusted to fit recorded mean data of a diabetic patient database. Model results under different conditions of a three-meal glucose and exogenous insulin ingestion patterns have been obtained. This simulation model can be useful to evaluate glucose-insulin performance in several circumstances, including insulin infusion algorithms in open-loop and decision support systems in closed-loop.

Keywords: Causal modeling, diabetes, glucose-insulin system, diabetes, causal modeling, OpenModelica software.

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199 The Effects of Three Months of HIIT on Plasma Adiponectin on Overweight College Men

Authors: M. J. Pourvaghar, M. E. Bahram, M. Sayyah, Sh. Khoshemehry

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Adiponectin is a cytokine secreted by the adipose tissue that functions as an anti-inflammatory, antiathrogenic and anti-diabetic substance. Its density is inversely correlated with body mass index. The purpose of this research was to examine the effect of 12 weeks of high intensity interval training (HIIT) with the level of serum adiponectin and some selected adiposity markers in overweight and fat college students. This was a clinical research in which 24 students with BMI between 25 kg/m2 to 30 kg/m2. The sample was purposefully selected and then randomly assigned into two groups of experimental (age =22.7±1.5 yr.; weight = 85.8±3.18 kg and height =178.7±3.29 cm) and control (age =23.1±1.1 yr.; weight = 79.1±2.4 kg and height =181.3±4.6 cm), respectively. The experimental group participated in an aerobic exercise program for 12 weeks, three sessions per weeks at a high intensity between 85% to 95% of maximum heart rate (considering the over load principle). Prior and after the termination of exercise protocol, the level of serum adiponectin, BMI, waist to hip ratio, and body fat percentages were calculated. The data were analyzed by using SPSS: PC 16.0 and statistical procedure such as ANCOVA, was used. The results indicated that 12 weeks of intensive interval training led to the increase of serum adiponectin level and decrease of body weight, body fat percent, body mass index and waist to hip ratio (P < 0.05). Based on the results of this research, it may be concluded that participation in intensive interval training for 12 weeks is a non-invasive treatment to increase the adiponectin level while decreasing some of the anthropometric indices associated with obesity or being overweight.

Keywords: Adiponectin, interval, intensive, overweight, training.

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198 Comparison of Statins Dose Intensity on HbA1c Control in Outpatients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Prospective Cohort Study

Authors: Mohamed A. Hammad, Dzul Azri Mohamed Noor, Syed Azhar Syed Sulaiman, Ahmed A. Khamis, Abeer Kharshid, Nor Azizah Aziz

Abstract:

The effect of statins dose intensity (SDI) on glycemic control in patients with existing diabetes is unclear. Also, there are many contradictory findings were reported in the literature; thus, it is limiting the possibility to draw conclusions. This project was designed to compare the effect of SDI on glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c%) control in outpatients with Type 2 diabetes in the endocrine clinic at Hospital Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, between July 2015 and August 2016. A prospective cohort study was conducted, where records of 345 patients with Type 2 diabetes (Moderate-SDI group 289 patients and high-SDI cohort 56 patients) were reviewed to identify demographics and laboratory tests. The target of glycemic control (HbA1c < 7% for patient < 65 years, and < 8% for patient ≥ 65 years) was estimated, and the results were presented as descriptive statistics. From 289 moderate-SDI cohorts with a mean age of 57.3 ± 12.4 years, only 86 (29.8%) cases were shown to have controlled glycemia, while there were 203 (70.2%) cases with uncontrolled glycemia with confidence interval (CI) of 95% (6.2–10.8). On the other hand, the high-SDI group of 56 patients with Type 2 diabetes with a mean age 57.7±12.4 years is distributed among 11 (19.6%) patients with controlled diabetes, and 45 (80.4%) of them had uncontrolled glycemia, CI: 95% (7.1–11.9). The study has demonstrated that the relative risk (RR) of uncontrolled glycemia in patients with Type 2 diabetes that used high-SDI is 1.15, and the excessive relative risk (ERR) is 15%. The absolute risk (AR) is 10.2%, and the number needed to harm (NNH) is 10. Outpatients with Type 2 diabetes who use high-SDI of statin have a higher risk of uncontrolled glycemia than outpatients who had been treated with a moderate-SDI.

Keywords: Cohort study, diabetes control, dose intensity, HbA1c, Malaysia, statin, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, uncontrolled glycemia.

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197 The Effect of Physical Activity and Responses of Leptin

Authors: Sh. Khoshemehry, M. J. Pourvaghar, M. E. Bahram

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In modern life, daily physical activity is relatively reduced, which is why the incidence of some diseases associated with overweight and obesity, such as hypertension, diabetes and other chronic illnesses, even in young people are observed. Obesity and overweight is one of the most common metabolic disorders in industrialized countries and in developing countries. One consequence of pathological obesity is cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. In the past, it was believed that adipose tissue was ineffective and served only for storing triglycerides. In this review article, it was tried to refer to the esteemed scientific sources about physical activity and responses of leptin.

Keywords: Disease, leptin, obesity, physical activity.

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196 An Analysis of the Five Most Used Numerals and a Proposal for the Adoption of a Universally Acceptable Numeral (UAN)

Authors: Mufutau Ayinla Abdul-Yakeen

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An analysis of the five most used numerals and a proposal for the adoption of a Universally Acceptable Numerals (UAN), came up as a result of the researchers inquisitiveses of the need for a set of numerals that is universally accepted. The researcher sought for the meaning of the first letter, “Nun”, “ن”, of the first verse of Suratul-Kalam (Chapter of the Pen), the Sixty-Eighth Chapter of the Holy Qur'an. It was observed that there was no universally accepted, economical, explainable, linkable and consistent set of numerals used by all scientists up till the moment of making this enquiry. As a theoretical paper, explanatory method is used to review five of the most used numerals (Tally Marks, Roman Figure, Hindu-Arabic, Arabic, and Chinese) and the urgent need for a universally accepted, economical, explainable, linkable and consistent set of numerals arises. The study discovers: ., I, \, _, L, U, =, C, O, 9, and 1.; to be used as numeral 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 respectively; as a set of universally acceptable, economical, explainable, linkable, sustainable, convertible and consistent set of numerals that originates from Islam. They can be called Islameconumerals or UAN. With UAN, everything dropped, written, drawn and/or scribbled has meaning(s) as postulated by the first verse of Qur'an 68 and everyone can easily document all figures within the shortest period. It is suggested that there should be a discipline called Numeralnomics (Study of optimum utilization of Numerals) and everybody should start using the UAN, now, in order in know their strengths and weaknesses so as to suggest a better and acceptable set of numerals for the interested readers. Similarly study can be conducted for the alphabets.

Keywords: Islameconumerals, economical, Universally Acceptable Numerals (UAN), numeralnomics.

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195 Ethnic Andean Concepts of Health and Illness in the Post-Colombian World and Its Relevance Today

Authors: Elizabeth J. Currie, Fernando Ortega Perez

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—‘MEDICINE’ is a new project funded under the EC Horizon 2020 Marie-Sklodowska Curie Actions, to determine concepts of health and healing from a culturally specific indigenous context, using a framework of interdisciplinary methods which integrates archaeological-historical, ethnographic and modern health sciences approaches. The study will generate new theoretical and methodological approaches to model how peoples survive and adapt their traditional belief systems in a context of alien cultural impacts. In the immediate wake of the conquest of Peru by invading Spanish armies and ideology, native Andeans responded by forming the Taki Onkoy millenarian movement, which rejected European philosophical and ontological teachings, claiming “you make us sick”. The study explores how people’s experience of their world and their health beliefs within it, is fundamentally shaped by their inherent beliefs about the nature of being and identity in relation to the wider cosmos. Cultural and health belief systems and related rituals or behaviors sustain a people’s sense of identity, wellbeing and integrity. In the event of dislocation and persecution these may change into devolved forms, which eventually inter-relate with ‘modern’ biomedical systems of health in as yet unidentified ways. The development of new conceptual frameworks that model this process will greatly expand our understanding of how people survive and adapt in response to cultural trauma. It will also demonstrate the continuing role, relevance and use of TM in present-day indigenous communities. Studies will first be made of relevant pre-Colombian material culture, and then of early colonial period ethnohistorical texts which document the health beliefs and ritual practices still employed by indigenous Andean societies at the advent of the 17th century Jesuit campaigns of persecution - ‘Extirpación de las Idolatrías’. Core beliefs drawn from these baseline studies will then be used to construct a questionnaire about current health beliefs and practices to be taken into the study population of indigenous Quechua peoples in the northern Andean region of Ecuador. Their current systems of knowledge and medicine have evolved within complex historical contexts of both the conquest by invading Inca armies in the late 15th century, followed a generation later by Spain, into new forms. A new model will be developed of contemporary  Andean concepts of health, illness and healing demonstrating  the way these have changed through time. With this, a ‘policy tool’ will be constructed as a bridhging facility into contemporary global scenarios relevant to other Indigenous, First Nations, and migrant peoples to provide a means through which their traditional health beliefs and current needs may be more appropriately understood and met. This paper presents findings from the first analytical phases of the work based upon the study of the literature and the archaeological records. The study offers a novel perspective and methods in the development policies sensitive to indigenous and minority people’s health needs.

Keywords: Andean ethnomedicine, andean health beliefs, health beliefs models, traditional medicine.

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194 Integrating Geographic Information into Diabetes Disease Management

Authors: Tsu-Yun Chiu, Tsung-Hsueh Lu, Tain-Junn Cheng

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Background: Traditional chronic disease management did not pay attention to effects of geographic factors on the compliance of treatment regime, which resulted in geographic inequality in outcomes of chronic disease management. This study aims to examine the geographic distribution and clustering of quality indicators of diabetes care. Method: We first extracted address, demographic information and quality of care indicators (number of visits, complications, prescription and laboratory records) of patients with diabetes for 2014 from medical information system in a medical center in Tainan City, Taiwan, and the patients’ addresses were transformed into district- and village-level data. We then compared the differences of geographic distribution and clustering of quality of care indicators between districts and villages. Despite the descriptive results, rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated for indices of care in order to compare the quality of diabetes care among different areas. Results: A total of 23,588 patients with diabetes were extracted from the hospital data system; whereas 12,716 patients’ information and medical records were included to the following analysis. More than half of the subjects in this study were male and between 60-79 years old. Furthermore, the quality of diabetes care did indeed vary by geographical levels. Thru the smaller level, we could point out clustered areas more specifically. Fuguo Village (of Yongkang District) and Zhiyi Village (of Sinhua District) were found to be “hotspots” for nephropathy and cerebrovascular disease; while Wangliau Village and Erwang Village (of Yongkang District) would be “coldspots” for lowest proportion of ≥80% compliance to blood lipids examination. On the other hand, Yuping Village (in Anping District) was the area with the lowest proportion of ≥80% compliance to all laboratory examination. Conclusion: In spite of examining the geographic distribution, calculating rate ratios and their 95% CI could also be a useful and consistent method to test the association. This information is useful for health planners, diabetes case managers and other affiliate practitioners to organize care resources to the areas most needed.

Keywords: Geocoding, chronic disease management, quality of diabetes care, rate ratio.

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193 Public-Public Partnership and Tourism Development Strategy: The Case of Municipality of Gazi Baba in Macedonia

Authors: Dejan Metodijeski, Elizabeta Mitreva, Nako Taskov, Oliver Filiposki

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Tourism development strategies are an important link in the tourism policy that is used to make its management better and easier. A public-public partnership (PUP) is a partnership between two or more public authorities or between a public authority and any non-profit organization with the goal of providing services and facilities or transferring technical skills. The paper presents this kind of partnership between two public authorities in Macedonia, the Municipality of Gazi Baba on one hand, and the University of Goce Delcev on the other. The main idea of this partnership is the development of a tourism strategy for the Municipality of Gazi Baba by the University on one side, and on the other, the construction of a mini park in the court of the University by the Municipality. This paper presents the causes and analyzes the procedures relating to this partnership and the methodology of the tourism development strategy. It contains a relevant literature review related to PUPs and tourism development strategy. The results and benefits of this partnership are presented with figures.

Keywords: Public-public partnership, tourism development strategy, municipality of Gazi Baba, Macedonia.

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