Background: Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) is a common cause of perinatal mortality. It is believed to result from the interaction of several factors, including those related to the blood coagulation system. We performed genotyping and subgroup analyses to determine if the 4G/5G genotypes of the plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 gene (PAI-1) play a role in the pathogenesis of PIH, and to evaluate possible interactions of the PAI-1 polymorphisms with those of the angiotensinogen gene (AGT) and the endothelial nitric oxide synthase gene (NOS3). Methods: An association study of PAI-1 polymorphism, and subgroup analyses of common variants of AGT and NOS3, among 128 patients with PIH and 376 healthy pregnant controls. Results: No significant differences were found between the cases and controls in the frequencies of allele 4G or the 4G/4G genotype. In subgroup analyses, after adjustment for multiple comparison, a significant association with the AGT TT genotype was found among women with the PAI-1 4G/4G genotype, and an association with the NOS3 GA+AA genotype was found among women with the 5G/5G or 4G/5G genotypes. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that there are at least 2 pathways in the pathogenesis of severe PIH. However, with respect to early prediction and prevention of severe PIH, although the PAI-1 4G/4G genotype alone was not a risk factor for severe PIH, the fact that PAI-1 genotypes are associated with varying risks for severe PIH suggests that PAI-1 genotyping of pregnant women, in combination with other tests, may be useful in the development of individualized measures that may prevent severe PIH.
Background: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder in older people, and half of the world’s older population lives in Asia. However, the epidemiology of PD in Asian countries is poorly understood. This review assembles evidence on the prevalence and incidence of PD in Asian countries and identifies gaps in our present knowledge. Methods: A systematic search of studies published from 1965 to October 2008 was conducted using MEDLINE and EMBASE. The selection criteria were defined a priori. Prevalence and incidence were standardized to the WHO World Standard Population 2000. Twenty-one original studies were selected for the review. Two studies that described the ethnic origin of participants and contained Asian populations were also included in the analysis. Results: Excluding one study with questionably low prevalence and incidence, the remaining studies reported a standardized all-age prevalence of 51.3 to 176.9 per 100 000 in door-to-door surveys; prevalence in record-based studies ranged from 35.8 to 68.3 per 100 000. The standardized incidence rates were 8.7 per 100 000 person-years in door-to-door surveys and 6.7 to 8.3 per 100 000 person-years in record-based surveys. Conclusions: The prevalence of PD in Asian countries was slightly lower than that in Western countries. However, comparison of incidence was difficult because of the small number of studies. Varying methodologies, diagnostic criteria, and case-finding strategies contributed to the considerable variation in the reported prevalence and incidence of PD.
Background: In Asia, there has been no population-based epidemiological study using the K6, a 6-item instrument that assesses nonspecific psychological distress. Methods: Using cross-sectional data from 2006, we studied 43 716 (20 168 men and 23 548 women) community-dwelling people aged 40 years or older living in Japan. We examined the association between psychological distress and demographic, medical, lifestyle, and social factors by using the K6, with psychological distress defined as 13 or more points out of a total of 24 points. Results: The following variables were significantly associated with psychological distress among the population: female sex, young and old age, a history of serious disease (hypertension, diabetes mellitus, stroke, myocardial infarction, or cancer), current smoking, former alcohol drinking, low body mass index, shorter daily walking time, lack of social support (4 of 5 components), and lack of participation in community activities (4 of 5 components). Among men aged 40 to 64 years, only “lack of social support for consultation when in trouble” and a history of diabetes mellitus remained significant on multivariate analysis. Among men aged 65 years or older, age was not significantly associated with psychological distress, and the significant association with current smoking disappeared on multivariate analysis. Among women aged 40 to 64 years, a history of stroke was not associated with psychological distress. Among women aged 65 years or older, the significant association with current smoking disappeared on multivariate analysis. Conclusions: A number of factors were significantly associated with psychological distress, as assessed by the K6. These factors differed between men and women, and also between middle-aged and elderly people.
Objective: To investigate the effects of lifestyle factors on overweight among Japanese adolescents. Methods: We studied 5753 junior high school students (2842 boys and 2911 girls) aged 12 to 13 years. The students were residents of Toyama prefecture, Japan and completed a questionnaire about their height, weight, and lifestyle factors, in June and July 2002. Subjects with a body-mass index (BMI) higher than age- and sex-specific cut-off points were defined as obese. Parental overweight was defined as a BMI of 25 or higher. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine associations between lifestyle factors and overweight. Results: Skipping breakfast, eating quickly, excessive eating, physical inactivity, and long hours of TV watching were positively and significantly associated with overweight in both sexes. There was a negative association between snacking and overweight in girls (P < 0.001); no such association was found in boys (P > 0.05). Nighttime snacking was negatively associated with overweight in boys and girls (P < 0.05). Extended video game playing (≥2 hours; OR = 2.00, P = 0.012) and short sleep duration (<7 hours; OR = 1.81, P = 0.004) were significantly associated with overweight in girls only. The respective risks of overweight that derived from the subjects’ fathers and mothers were 2.0 and 2.5 times, respectively, in boys and 1.9 and 3.0 times in girls. Conclusions: Parental overweight, skipping breakfast, eating quickly, excessive eating, long hours of TV watching, long hours of video game playing, physical inactivity, and short sleep duration were associated with adolescent overweight. Furthermore, there were significant negative associations between adolescent overweight and snacking in girls and nighttime snacking in both sexes.
Background: Chronic infection with hepatitis B (HBV) is a known risk factor for increased mortality from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and chronic liver disease (CLD). However, the specific effects of chronic HBV infection on life expectancy have not been adequately studied. Taiwan is endemic for HBV infection, and thus provides sufficient information for such estimates. Methods: Population mortality statistics, combined with data on the contribution of HBV to HCC and CLD deaths, were used to model carrier mortality by sex and e antigen status. An abridged life table was used to calculate carrier life expectancy. Results: Among both males and females, those who are e antigen-positive are more likely to die from HCC than from CLD. When e antigen status remains positive, absolute liver mortality rates climb significantly after age 40 years. CLD is a proportionally higher threat for e antigen-negative females than for other subgroups. Males have higher liver-related mortality at all ages. A small decrease in life expectancy, from 82.0 to 80.1 years, was found for female noncarriers versus female carriers; a larger discrepancy was observed for males—from 76.2 to 71.8 years. In comparison to noncarriers, the lifetime relative risk of mortality is 1.35 for male carriers and 1.16 for female carriers. Conclusions: These results indicate that chronic HBV infection results in significant liver-related mortality; however, carriers retain a satisfactory life expectancy.
Background: Child development integrates several interdependent domains, but few studies have attempted to identify the common factors that contribute to these different domains of development in infancy. The aim of the present study was to identify the factors that contribute to several domains of developmental attainment in 9-month-old infants. Methods: We used data from the Japan Children’s Study, a prospective cohort study underway in Japan since 2005. Mothers completed questionnaires about their children’s temperament, coparenting behaviors, maternal parenting stress, and parenting behavior. The Kinder infant development scale was used to evaluate child development outcomes. Results: A total of 270 children were included in this analysis. After adjusting for the children’s birth weight, gestational age, temperament, and other family environmental variables, multiple logistic regression analyses showed that greater maternal cognitive stimulation was associated with the development of receptive language, expressive language, social relationships, and feeding. Results also suggest that early supportive coparenting helped to promote development in manipulation, receptive language, and social relationships. Maternal parenting stress was stable between the infant ages of 4 and 9 months and was negatively correlated with scores for coparenting and maternal stimulation, which suggests an indirect effect of maternal parenting stress on child outcomes. Conclusions: Supportive coparenting and maternal cognitive stimulation were the most important contributors to most domains of child development. Our findings suggest that educational interventions targeting young families would help parents establish and maintain an environment of successful coparenting and cognitive stimulation as their children grow.
Background: Although the relation between day-to-day temperature change and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality is well established, it is unknown whether temperature variation within 1 day, ie, diurnal temperature range (DTR), is an independent risk factor for acute CHD death. Methods: We used time-series and case-crossover approaches to assess the relation between DTR and daily CHD mortality between 2001 and 2004 in Shanghai, China. Specifically, we used exposures averaged over periods varying from 1 to 5 days to assess the effects of DTR on CHD mortality. We estimated the percent increase in the number of daily deaths related to CHD that were associated with DTR, after adjustment for daily meteorologic conditions (temperature and relative humidity) and levels of outdoor air pollutants. Results: Both time-series and case-crossover analyses showed that DTR was significantly associated with the number of daily deaths related to CHD. A 1 °C increase in 2-day lagged DTR corresponded to a 2.46% (95% CI, 1.76% to 3.16%) increase in CHD mortality on time-series analysis, a 3.21% (95% CI, 2.23% to 4.19%) increase on unidirectional case-crossover analysis, and a 2.13% (95% CI, 1.04% to 3.22%) increase on bidirectional case-crossover analysis. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that DTR is an independent risk factor for acute CHD death.
Background: Suboptimal health status (SHS) is characterized by ambiguous health complaints, general weakness, and lack of vitality, and has become a new public health challenge in China. It is believed to be a subclinical, reversible stage of chronic disease. Studies of intervention and prognosis for SHS are expected to become increasingly important. Consequently, a reliable and valid instrument to assess SHS is essential. We developed and evaluated a questionnaire for measuring SHS in urban Chinese. Methods: Focus group discussions and a literature review provided the basis for the development of the questionnaire. Questionnaire validity and reliability were evaluated in a small pilot study and in a larger cross-sectional study of 3000 individuals. Analyses included tests for reliability and internal consistency, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and tests for discriminative ability and convergent validity. Results: The final questionnaire included 25 items on SHS (SHSQ-25), and encompassed 5 subscales: fatigue, the cardiovascular system, the digestive tract, the immune system, and mental status. Overall, 2799 of 3000 participants completed the questionnaire (93.3%). Test-retest reliability coefficients of individual items ranged from 0.89 to 0.98. Item-subscale correlations ranged from 0.51 to 0.72, and Cronbach’s α was 0.70 or higher for all subscales. Factor analysis established 5 distinct domains, as conceptualized in our model. One-way ANOVA showed statistically significant differences in scale scores between 3 occupation groups; these included total scores and subscores (P < 0.01). The correlation between the SHS scores and experienced stress was statistically significant (r = 0.57, P < 0.001). Conclusions: The SHSQ-25 is a reliable and valid instrument for measuring sub-health status in urban Chinese.
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