The urban-rural difference in cardiovascular risk factors and stroke mortality throughout Japan was examined in a cohort by using hierarchical data structure. The subjects were 9,309 men and women aged ≥ 30 years who were residents of 294 areas in 211 municipalities of Japan in 1980; they were followed up until 1999. The population sizes of the municipalities in which the aforementioned areas were located were used to distinguish between urban and rural areas. We applied multilevel modeling to take into account the hierarchical data structure of individuals (subjects) (level 1) nested within areas (level 2). Statistically significant differences were observed in the case of medium (30,000-300,000) and small (<30,000) municipality populations compared with large (≥300,000) municipality populations with regard to the following parameters: body mass index in men, serum total cholesterol in both men and women, and daily alcohol drinking in women. The values or frequencies of these cardiovascular risk factors were significantly higher in large populations. Meanwhile, age-adjusted odds ratios for stroke mortality in the areas in the medium and small municipalities compared with those in the areas in the large municipalities were 1.31 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.81-2.13) and 1.40 (95% CI 0.87-2.24) in men, and 1.32 (95% CI 0.79-2.20) and 1.62 (95% CI 0.99-2.65) in women, respectively. The results of multivariate analyses adjusted for age, body mass index, total cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, current smoking, and daily alcohol consumption did not change materially. In conclusion, stroke mortality tended to be higher in rural areas than in urban areas in Japan, especially among women.
Background: Previous reports indicated that the incidence rate of stroke was higher in Japan than in Western countries, but the converse was true in the case of myocardial infarction (MI). However, few population-based studies on the incidence rates of stroke and MI have been conducted in Japan. Methods: The Jichi Medical School (JMS) Cohort Study is a multicenter population-based cohort study that was conducted in 12 districts in Japan. Baseline data were collected between April 1992 and July 1995. We examined samples from 4,869 men and 7,519 women, whose mean ages were 55.2 and 55.3 years, respectively. The incidence of stroke, stroke subtypes, and MI were monitored. Results: The mean follow-up duration was 10.7 years. A total of 229 strokes and 64 MIs occurred in men, and 221 strokes and 28 MIs occurred in women. The age-adjusted incidence rates (per 100,000 person-years) of stroke were 332 and 221 and those of MI were 84 and 31 in men and women, respectively. In the case of both sexes, the incidence rates of stroke and MI were the highest in the group of subjects aged > 70 years. Conclusion: We reported current data on the incidence rates of stroke and MI in Japan. The incidence rate of stroke remains high, considerably higher than that of MI, in both men and women. The incidence rates of both stroke and MI were higher in men than in women.
Background: The vitamins and minerals that are deficient in the daily diet of a normal adult remain unknown. To answer this question, we conducted a population survey focusing on the relationship between dietary magnesium intake and serum magnesium level. Methods: The subjects were 62 individuals from Fukui Prefecture who participated in the 1998 National Nutrition Survey. The survey investigated the physical status, nutritional status, and dietary data of the subjects. Holidays and special occasions were avoided, and a day when people are most likely to be on an ordinary diet was selected as the survey date. Results: The mean (±standard deviation) daily magnesium intake was 322 (±132), 323 (±163), and 322 (±147) mg/day for men, women, and the entire group, respectively. The mean (±standard deviation) serum magnesium concentration was 20.69 (±2.83), 20.69 (±2.88), and 20.69 (±2.83) ppm for men, women, and the entire group, respectively. The distribution of serum magnesium concentration was normal. Dietary magnesium intake showed a log-normal distribution, which was then transformed by logarithmic conversion for examining the regression coefficients. The slope of the regression line between the serum magnesium concentration (Y ppm) and daily magnesium intake (X mg) was determined using the formula Y = 4.93 (log10X) + 8.49. The coefficient of correlation (r) was 0.29. A regression line (Y = 14.65X + 19.31) was observed between the daily intake of magnesium (Y mg) and serum magnesium concentration (X ppm). The coefficient of correlation was 0.28. Conclusion: The daily magnesium intake correlated with serum magnesium concentration, and a linear regression model between them was proposed.
Background: H5N2 avian influenza virus infection of humans has not been reported thus far. The first H5N2 avian influenza infection of poultry in Japan occurred in Ibaraki. Methods: The subjects were workers at 35 chicken farms in Ibaraki Prefecture, where the H5N2 virus or antibody was isolated from chickens. None of the subjects exhibited influenza symptoms. The H5N2-neutralizing antibody titers of the first and second paired sera samples were compared. To investigate the possible factors for this increase, the H5N2-neutralizing antibody titer (1:40 or more) was calculated for the second samples. A logistic regression analysis was performed to examine the association of these factors with H5N2-neutralizing antibody positivity. Results: We performed Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranked test on data collected from 257 subjects, and determined that the H5N2 antibody titers of the second paired sera samples were significantly higher than those of the first samples (P < 0.001). The H5N2 antibody titers of paired sera of 13 subjects without a history of seasonal influenza vaccination within the previous 12 months increased 4-fold or more. The percentage of antibody positivity was 32% for subjects with a history of seasonal influenza vaccination (28% of all subjects) and 13% for those without a history of the same. The adjusted odds ratio of H5N2-neutralizing antibody positivity was 4.6 (95% confidence interval: 1.6-13.7) for those aged over 40 and 3.1 (95% confidence interval: 1.6-6.1) for those with a history of seasonal influenza vaccination within the previous 12 months. Conclusion: The results suggest that this may have been the first avian influenza H5N2 infection of poultry to affect humans. A history of seasonal influenza vaccination might be associated with H5N2-neutralizing antibody positivity.
Background: The most recent epidemiologic features of Kawasaki disease are unknown. Methods: The 19th nationwide survey of the disease was conducted in 2007, targeting patients who were affected by this disease in 2005 and 2006. All pediatric departments in hospitals with 100 or more beds and pediatric hospitals were asked to report all Kawasaki disease patients during the 2 survey years. Results: From 1543 departments and hospitals, a total of 20475 patients (10041 in 2005 and 10434 in 2006) were reported. There were 11892 male patients and 8583 female patients. The average annual incidence rate was 184.6 per 100000 children aged 0-4 years. The number of patients and the incidence rate have increased significantly during the past 12 years. The age-specific incidence rate was distributed monomodally with a peak at 6-8 months of age. The prevalence of cardiac lesions in the acute phase of the disease and of cardiac sequelae were higher among infants and old patients. Conclusion: The number of patients with Kawasaki disease and its incidence rate in Japan are continuously increasing.
Background: In order to clarify the alcohol consumption status of pregnant women in Japan and the characteristics of pregnant women who abstained from alcohol after their pregnancy had been confirmed, a nationwide questionnaire-based study of alcohol consumption behavior was performed. We also examined the factors associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy and abstention after the confirmation of pregnancy. Methods: After random sampling, 260 institutions participated in the survey; these were selected from a list of survey points fixed by the Japan Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The study was conducted on pregnant women with confirmed pregnancies by using self-administered anonymous questionnaires during the period from February 1 through 14, 2002. Results: Alcohol consumption during pregnancy was reported in 11.1% of the study participants, and abstention after the confirmation of pregnancy, in 76.9%. Significant associations were recognized between higher education and both alcohol consumption during pregnancy and abstention after pregnancy confirmation. Furthermore, alcohol consumption was significantly associated with parity, smoking, and shorter sleep duration, whereas abstention was significantly associated with less frequent alcohol consumption and knowledge regarding the risk of alcohol consumption. Conclusion: The results clarified the factors associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy and abstention after the confirmation of pregnancy in Japan.
Background: There are no strong and consistent predictors of dietary habits although some associations have been shown with psychological factors. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationships between the rationality and anti-emotionality (R/A) personality and dietary consumption in a Japanese community. Methods: The Takayama study is a community-based cohort study on diet and cancer in Gifu, Japan, and was initiated on September 1, 1992. Cross-sectional analyses were conducted on dietary and lifestyle data. The consumption of 169 food and beverage items was measured along with portion size by using a food frequency questionnaire. Questions regarding the R/A-personality scale and lifestyle habits were included in the questionnaire. The participants were 28077 adults (13082 males and 14995 females) aged 35 years and over. Results: Both males and females with high R/A-personality scores (i.e., high degree of rational thought and emotional repression) consumed more soy products, green and yellow vegetables, other vegetables, and seaweed than the other participants. Males with high R/A-personality scores drank fewer alcoholic beverages, and females with high scores were found to snack less on sweet and salty foods than the other participants. Males with high R/A-personality scores showed higher consumption of meat and dairy products, and females with high scores showed higher consumption of fish, shellfish, and eggs than those with low R/A-personality scores. Conclusion: The R/A-personality scale may differentiate dietary habits in males and females in a Japanese community.
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