Background: Many studies have focused on disease causality, but few of them deal with health-promoting factors. Thus, we examined the effect of having a sense of purpose in life (ikigai) on mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Methods: In 1988, we conducted a prospective cohort study of 2,959 Japanese subjects, ranging in age from 40 to 74 years, and followed them till the end of 2003. The level of their sense of purpose in life was evaluated by a self-administered questionnaire. After excluding those with a history of heart disease, stroke, or malignant tumor, 1,618 subjects (832 men and 786 women) who had completed the questionnaire were used in the analyses with Cox's proportional hazards model. Results: During the average 13.3 years of follow up, 249 deaths (172 men and 77 women) occurred as a result of all causes: 32 from heart disease, 31 from stroke, 63 from CVD, and 104 from malignant tumors. The adjusted hazard ratios for death in men with a strong sense of purpose in life, as compared with those with a low sense of purpose, were 0.28 (95% confidence interval: 0.10-0.84) for stroke, 0.56 (0.28-1.10) for CVD, and 0.62 (0.45-0.86) as a result of all causes. In women, no significant relationship was found between having a sense of purpose in life and mortality; this was possibly because the smaller number of deaths reduced the statistical significance. Conclusion: We found that in men, having a sense of purpose in life affected the risk of death as a result of all causes, stroke, and CVD.
Background: Diabetes mellitus has been reported to be a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), and higher risk of CVD among women than that among men has been observed in many studies. Further, the association of diabetes with increasing risk of cancer has also been reported. Well-designed studies conducted among men and women in the general Japanese population remain scarce. Methods: Our cohort consisted of 13355 men and 15724 women residing in Takayama, Japan, in 1992. At the baseline, the subjects reported diabetes in a questionnaire. Any deaths occurring in the cohort until 1999 were noted by using data from the Office of the National Vital Statistics. The risk of mortality was separately assessed for men and women by using a Cox proportional hazard model after adjusting for age; smoking status; body mass index (BMI); physical activity; years of education; history of hypertension; and intake of total energy, vegetables, fat, and alcohol. Results: Diabetes significantly increased the risk of mortality from all causes [hazard ratio (HR): 1.35, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11-1.64] and from coronary heart disease (CHD) (HR: 2.96, 95% CI: 1.59-5.50) among men, and that from all causes (HR: 1.74, 95% CI: 1.34-2.26) and cancer (HR: 1.88, 95% CI: 1.16-3.05) among women. Diabetes was not significantly associated with mortality from CHD among women. Conclusion: The findings suggest that diabetes increases the risk of mortality from CVD among men and that from cancer among women. The absence of increased risk of mortality from CHD among women may suggest a particular pattern in the Japanese population.
Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a strongly emerging problem in developing countries. The documentation and prediction of CVD patterns are important for policy makers if actions are to be taken to curb this problem. We aimed to document the current CVD patterns in Malawi, and associate these patterns to the theory of epidemiologic transition as a means of predicting future CVD patterns. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the data recorded in the register of the cardiac clinic in Mzuzu Central Hospital-the only cardiac clinic run by a cardiologist in Malawi-from 2001 through 2005. The findings were interpreted in the context of the epidemiologic transition theory. Results: Out of the 3908 new Malawian patients included in the 5-y period register, 34% had valvular heart disease (mainly rheumatic heart disease (RHD)); 24%, hypertensive heart disease; 19%, cardiomyopathies; and 14%, pericardial diseases. The other CVD patterns included congenital heart disease and arrhythmias, each representing 4% of the registered patients. Among the 1% comprising other CVD patterns, 3 cases were documented to have coronary heart disease, all of which happened in 2005. Conclusion: Malawi is in the stage of receding pandemics, which is characterized by CVD patterns predominated by RHD, cardiomyopathies, and hypertensive heart disease. However, continuous observation is required to detect signs of emerging "degenerative-related" CVD patterns, which is another stage in the epidemiologic transition.
Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice. Since only limited data on the Chinese population, which is the largest in the world, is available, we conducted an epidemiological study on the prevalence and risk factors of AF in mainland China. Methods: This population-based study conducted by cluster sampling comprised 29079 participants forming 14 cohorts from 13 provinces across China, where the population was nearly 1 billion. Every participant underwent electrocardiogram and physical examinations and responded to the interviewer-led questionnaire(s). Univariate and multiple statistical analyses were conducted to explore the relationship between AF prevalence and risk factors. Results: The age-standardized prevalence of AF in China (≥30 y) was 0.65%, and it increased with age. Men showed a higher prevalence of AF than women (0.91% [age-standardized, 0.66%] vs. 0.65% [0.63%], P = 0.013); several significant risk factors (age, hyperthyroidism, coronary heart disease, and rheumatic heart disease) were identified for AF in the general population. Stroke prevalence was much higher in AF patients than in non-AF people (12.95% vs. 2.28%, P < 0.001). AF was confirmed to be a significant independent risk factor for stroke prevalence in the studied population (OR = 2.776, [1.814, 4.248], P < 0.001). We found that AF patients received poor treatment (2.7%, warfarin; 39.7%, aspirin). Discussion: This study conducted on a large sample size demonstrates that AF prevalence in mainland China is slightly lower than that in Western countries and similar to that in Asian areas, and confirms that AF is a serious public health problem in China. We identified several potential risk factors, but their associations with AF still need to be further studied.
Background: Although genetic epidemiologic research has added an element of individualization to epidemiologic research, there is neither agreement nor much discussion on whether donors of genetic samples should be offered an opportunity to receive individualized results regarding their genetic susceptibility to disease. Little is known regarding donors' preferences for future disclosure of individual results. The purpose of this study is to investigate the actual preferences of such donors with regard to receiving individual results, to explore the factors related to their decision, and then to discuss ethical issues regarding the disclosure of results. Methods: Participants (n = 1857) of an ongoing Japanese population-based genetic cohort study in Takashima, Shiga, in 2003, were asked at entry about their preferences with regard being recontacted by researchers in the future and whether they wanted to receive reports on their individual genetic results if genetic problems relevant to their health are discovered for which efficacious interventions might be available. Results: Most of the donors wished to be recontacted and receive reports, but some did not want any reports. Those who were younger, former/current drinkers, or had at least 1 parent who had had cancer were more likely to want the results, while those who had at least 1 sibling with a medical history of cancer were less likely to want the results. Conclusion: We observed a high level of positive preference for future disclosure of individual genetic results, which is in line with the professional views on the ethics of this issue. A well-considered procedure for ascertaining donors' preferences for receiving the results of the research is required from an ethical perspective.
Background: This community-based study conducted in Kinmen aimed to discover whether screening for diabetic retinopathy (DR) among Chinese with type 2 diabetes was economically feasible and clinically effective. Methods: A total of 971 community-dwelling adults previously diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1991-1993 underwent DR screening in 1999-2002 by a panel of ophthalmologists, who used on-site indirect ophthalmoscopy and 45-degree color fundus retinal photographs. Economic evaluation included estimates for cost effectiveness and the cost utility of screening for DR. Results: For each DR case, screening efficacy and utility decreased, while cost increased with the length of the screening interval. The cost per sight year gained in the annual screening, biennial screening, 3-year screening, 4-year screening, 5-year screening, and control groups were New Taiwan dollars (NT$) 20962, NT$ 24990, NT$ 30847, NT$ 37435, NT$ 44449, and NT$ 83411, respectively. The cost per quality-adjusted life year gained by the annual screening, biennial screening, 3-year screening, 4-year screening, 5-year screening, and control groups were NT$ 21924, NT$ 25319, NT$ 30098, NT$ 35106, NT$ 40037, and NT$ 61542, respectively. Threshold values indicate that the screening programs are highly sensitive to screening cost in the plausible range. Conclusion: Screening for DR is both medically and economically worthwhile. Annual screening for DR among Chinese with type 2 diabetes should be conducted. Prevention programs aimed at improving eye care for patients with type 2 diabetes result in both substantial federal budgetary savings and highly cost-effective health care.
Background: Accumulating evidence suggests that social support is an important factor with regard to maternal psychological distress. The associations between the contextual factors in terms of social support and the risk of maternal psychological distress have not been adequately studied in Japan. The objective of this study was to examine the association of the presence of advisors on child rearing with maternal anxiety and depressive symptoms among Japanese women at 2 time points after childbirth. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire that included items regarding the conditions of child rearing and a scale to estimate psychological distress was delivered to 2657 mothers when their infants were 3-4 months and 9-10 months old in 2004-2005. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted for the statistical analyses. Results: From the multivariate odds ratio, an environment with a few close advisors on child rearing was associated with the risks of maternal anxiety and depressive symptoms at 3-4 months and 9-10 months. The presence of few professional advisors on child rearing was also related to the risk of maternal depressive symptoms at the 2 time periods. The companionship of other child-rearing individuals was related to depressive symptoms at 9-10 months. Conclusion: An environment without advisors on child rearing was associated with maternal psychological distress. A similarity between the observations at the 2 time points was that the presence of personal and professional advisors was related to maternal anxiety and/or depressive symptoms. It was noted that the need for other child-rearing companions increases as the child grows older.
On page 111, the second line of the left column, the values of '42.4, 42.1 and 46.1 years' in women should be '42.5, 42.8 and 46.1 years' On page 115, the forth line of the left column, the value of '43.2' should be '42.4' On page 115, the sixth line of the left column, the value of '42.4' should be '42.5' On page 115, the lowest line of the left column, the value of '43.1' should be '42.8' On page 115, the first line of the right column, the value of '46.8' should be '46.1'