Background: The Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey (WURSS) is a self-administered questionnaire developed in the United States to evaluate the severity of the common cold and its reliability has been validated. We developed a Korean language version of this questionnaire by using a sequential forward and backward translation approach. The purpose of this study was to validate the Korean version of the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey (WURSS-K) in Korean patients with common cold. Methods: This multicenter prospective study enrolled 107 participants who were diagnosed with common cold and consented to participate in the study. The WURSS-K includes 1 global illness severity item, 32 symptom-based items, 10 functional quality-of-life (QOL) items, and 1 item assessing global change. The SF-8 was used as an external comparator. Results: The participants were 54 women and 53 men aged 18 to 42 years. The WURSS-K showed good reliability in 10 domains, with Cronbach’s alphas ranging from 0.67 to 0.96 (mean: 0.84). Comparison of the reliability coefficients of the WURSS-K and WURSS yielded a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.71 (P = 0.02). Validity of the WURSS-K was evaluated by comparing it with the SF-8, which yielded a Pearson correlation coefficient of −0.267 (P < 0.001). The Guyatt’s responsiveness index of the WURSS-K ranged from 0.13 to 0.46, and the correlation coefficient with the WURSS was 0.534 (P < 0.001), indicating that there was close correlation between the WURSS-K and WURSS. Conclusions: The WURSS-K is a reliable, valid, and responsive disease-specific questionnaire for assessing symptoms and QOL in Korean patients with common cold.
Objectives: Data on secular trends in adolescent obesity and dyslipidemia are limited. Data on obesity status collected during 3 surveys were used to evaluate these trends in obesity and dyslipidemia among Tehranian adolescents and to assess the likelihood of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Methods: We analyzed data for adolescents (age 10 to 19 years) from 3 cross-sectional surveys of the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study: 1999–2001 (n = 3010, 47.2% males), 2002–2005 (n = 1107, 48.4% males), and 2006–2008 (n = 1090, 46.6% males). Overweight and abdominal obesity were defined using Iranian body mass index (BMI) percentiles, International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) criteria, and Iranian waist circumference (WC) charts. Hypertension was defined by using the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s recommended cut points, and dyslipidemia was defined according to the recent recommendations of the American Heart Association. Results: The overall adjusted prevalences of “at risk for overweight” and overweight changed from 13% and 8% (using Iranian cutoffs), respectively, and 14.8% and 4.7% (using IOTF criteria) in 1999–2001 to 19% and 15% (Iranian cutoffs) and 23.0% and 9.2% (IOTF criteria) in 2006–2008 (P < 0.01 for all comparisons). The prevalence of abdominal obesity increased in males from 14.5% in 1999–2001 to 33.3% in 2006–2008 (P < 0.001). Almost half the adolescents had low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in the 3 surveys. In all surveys, as BMI and WC increased, multivariate age- and sex-adjusted odds ratios of low HDL-C and high triglyceride levels significantly increased. Overweight was associated with a greater likelihood of these risk factors, as compared with increased WC. Conclusions: Overweight and abdominal obesity are increasing in Tehranian adolescents, and these increases are accompanied by abnormalities in levels of serum triglyceride and HDL-C.
Background: B vitamins, including vitamin B6, are coenzymes that are important for DNA integrity and stability. Deficiencies in B vitamins may promote tumor carcinogenesis. Methods: We examined the association of dietary vitamin B6 intake with overall breast cancer risk and breast cancers stratified by hormone receptor status. This case-control study included 391 breast cancer cases and 782 control subjects enrolled at the Tri-Service General Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan. Energy-adjusted intake of vitamin B6 was derived from a food frequency questionnaire. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression. Results: As compared with women in the lowest tertile, the multivariate-adjusted ORs for breast cancer among women in the second and highest tertiles of vitamin B6 intake were 0.78 (95% CI, 0.64–2.52) and 0.64 (0.26–0.92), respectively. In addition, higher vitamin B6 intake was associated with a significantly lower risk of developing ER-negative breast tumors. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that higher intake of vitamin B6 is associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk, particularly ER-negative tumors.
Objective: To examine the association between socioeconomic status (SES), self-rated health (SRH), and mortality separately by race-ethnicity in a nationally representative sample of US adults. Methods: We analyzed data from 16 716 adult women and men who were followed up for mortality for up to 12 years as part of the third National Health and Nutrition Examination survey (NHANES III). Poverty-income ratio (PIR) and education were assessed as measures of SES. All-cause mortality (n = 2850) was recorded from the NHANES III linked mortality file. Results: Lower PIR was associated with mortality after adjustment for lifestyle, clinical risk factors, and SRH in all racial-ethnic groups (P-trend <0.005). In contrast, after adjusting for lifestyle and clinical risk factors, lower education was not associated with all-cause mortality in non-Hispanic whites (P-trend = 0.16), whereas the association remained significant after adjustment for SRH and lifestyle and clinical risk factors in other race-ethnicities (P-trend = 0.005; P-interaction between education categories and race-ethnicity was 0.02). Conclusions: Our results suggest that lower PIR was associated with mortality in all racial-ethnic groups. In contrast, lower education was significantly associated with mortality only in racial-ethnic groups other than non-Hispanic whites. Our results indicate that, beyond lifestyle and clinical risk factors, adjusting for SRH resulted in only a modest change in the association of SES and mortality.
Background: Several lines of evidence indicate an important role for vitamin D in the prevention of a range of diseases. Blood vitamin D levels show clear seasonal variation; however, data on the determinants of vitamin D status for each season are limited. We investigated the association between lifestyle and serum vitamin D concentration by season in Japanese workers. Methods: Subjects were 312 men and 217 women aged 21 to 67 years who worked in municipal offices in Northern Kyushu, Japan and participated in a periodic checkup in July or November. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to examine the association between serum 25-hydroxivitamin D concentrations and lifestyle factors for each season. Results: Mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration was 27.4 ng/ml (68.4 nmol/L) and 21.4 ng/ml (53.4 nmol/L) for workers surveyed in July and November, respectively (P < 0.001); the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/ml) was 9.3% and 46.7%, respectively (P < 0.001). In November, dietary vitamin D intake (in both sexes) and nonsmoking and physical activity (in men) were significantly associated with higher concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D. In summer, fish/shellfish intake was associated with higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in women. Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency is common in Japanese workers during seasons with limited sunlight. The lifestyle correlates of favorable vitamin D status in November were physical activity, dietary vitamin D intake, and nonsmoking.
Background: Low birthweight should be identified early, even in developing countries where birthweight cannot be easily measured due to the absence of scales and trained staff. This meta-analysis evaluated and compared the use of other anthropometric measurements at birth to predict low birthweight. Methods: All studies of medium to high quality (Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies score ≥8) published in English were included. Bivariate random-effects meta-analysis and hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic curves were used. Results: A total of 69 studies evaluated foot length or the circumference of the chest, (mid-upper) arm, or thigh (n = 8, 25, 30, and 6, respectively). Chest circumference and arm circumference had areas under the curve >0.9 (0.95 for both), pooled positive likelihood ratios >5 (8.7 and 10.3, respectively), and negative likelihood ratios <0.2 (0.13 and 0.17, respectively); thigh circumference and foot length were less accurate. There was no substantial difference between chest and arm circumference with respect to pooled sensitivity (0.88 vs. 0.84, P = 0.505), specificity (0.90 vs. 0.92, P = 0.565), or diagnostic odds ratio (67 vs. 60, P = 0.552). However, as compared with arm circumference, chest circumference showed greater clustering of observations on the hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic curve and narrower 95% confidence and prediction regions. Conclusions: Chest circumference and arm circumference have similarly high, although not confirmative, accuracy in predicting low birthweight; however, chest circumference appears to be more precise.
Background: We examined the long-term effects of home-based bench-stepping exercise training on total healthcare expenditure (TOHEX) and number of outpatient visits (NOVIS) in elderly adults. Methods: A total of 189 elderly Japanese (age 73 ± 4 years) participated in this study. They were randomly assigned to either an exercise or control group. TOHEX, NOVIS, and outpatient expenditure (OPEX) were evaluated every 6 months from 1 year before the start to the end of the intervention period, as well as 1 year after the end of the intervention. The exercise group was encouraged to perform home-based bench-stepping exercise training on most, and preferably all, days of the week for 18 months. Results: The exercise group showed significant increases in lactate threshold as compared with pre-intervention values. There were no significant differences in TOHEX, OPEX, or NOVIS between the exercise and control groups 1 year before the start of the intervention, and the values remained similar during the first 12 months of the intervention period. However, at 18 months, TOHEX, NOVIS, and OPEX were significantly lower in the exercise group than in the control group (TOHEX: 170 007 ± 192 072 vs. 294 705 ± 432 314 yen, P = 0.008; NOVIS: 19.2 ± 26.3 vs. 28.2 ± 32.1 days, P = 0.012; OPEX: 132 973 ± 132 016 vs. 187 799 ± 158 167 yen, P = 0.005). Conclusions: The data indicate that a long-term home-based bench-stepping exercise program can reduce healthcare expenditure in elderly Japanese.
Background: The effect of recovery from obesity on cardiovascular risk factors is not well understood in Japanese children. Methods: We analyzed follow-up data from the Iwata city population-based study of schoolchildren in Japan. The Iwata Board of Education conducted health screenings of children aged 10 and 14 years. A total of 914 children aged 10 years (451 boys and 463 girls, 87.1% of all children in the city in 1997) were followed until 14 years of age and classified by pattern of obesity as Normal, Recovered, Worsened, or Persistent. Results: Of the 914 children, 111 (12%) were obese at 10 years of age. Of those children, 44 (40%) were no longer obese at 14 years (ie, Recovered). At follow-up, Recovered boys had the greatest decrease in non-HDL cholesterol (mean ± SE, −21.3 ± 3.6 mg/dL) among the 4 groups, and Recovered girls had a significantly lower level of non-HDL cholesterol (Recovered, 107.1 ± 5.4 mg/dL vs. Persistent, 126.1 ± 4.5 mg/dL). The Recovered boys also had a significantly higher level of HDL cholesterol at age 14 (Recovered, 67.2 ± 2.7 mg/dL vs. Persistent, 53.3 ± 2.1 mg/dL). In the Recovered group, 68% of children who were dyslipidemic at baseline had normal cholesterol levels at age 14. The recovery rate from dyslipidemia was significantly higher in the Recovered group (cumulative incidence rate ratio, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.4–4.7) as compared with the Persistent group. Conclusions: Dyslipidemia was reversed in children who recovered from obesity. Our findings suggest that reducing obesity is beneficial to the health of Japanese schoolchildren.
Background: We assessed the effects of smoking and smoking cessation on life expectancy and active life expectancy among persons aged 55 years or older in Beijing. Methods: This study included 1593 men and 1664 women who participated in the Beijing Longitudinal Study of Aging, which commenced in 1992 and had 4 survey waves up to year 2000. An abridged life table was used to estimate life expectancy, in which age-specific mortality and age-specific disability rates were adjusted by using a discrete-time hazard model to control confounders. Results: The mean ages (SD) for men and women were 70.1 (9.25) and 70.2 (8.72) years, respectively; mortality and disability rates during follow-up were 34.7% and 8.0%, respectively. In both sexes, never smokers had the highest life expectancy and active life expectancy across ages, as compared with current and former smokers. Current heavy smokers had a shorter life expectancy and a shorter active life expectancy than light smokers. Among former smokers, male long-term quitters had a longer life expectancy and longer active life expectancy than short-term quitters, but this was not the case in women. Conclusions: Older adults remain at higher risk of mortality and morbidity from smoking and can expect to live a longer and healthier life after smoking cessation.
Background: The Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions of the People on Health and Welfare (CSLC) is a major source of health data in Japan. The CSLC is not strictly based on probabilistic sampling, but instead uses an equal allocation of sample clusters to yield equal standard errors of estimates across prefectures. This study compared the performance of this sample design in measuring population health with that of an alternative probabilistic sampling approach. Methods: A simulation analysis was conducted using hypothetical population data (n = 34 262 865) from which 1000 sample datasets were randomly drawn using 2 sampling methods, namely, a conventional stratified random sampling of a constant number of clusters and an alternative 2-stage cluster sampling of households with probability proportional to size. The root mean squared error was used to measure the accuracy of estimated means of a continuous variable and proportions of its dichotomized variable. Results: The alternative method reduced the variability of estimates in the total population and by strata. It improved further with an increased number of sample clusters in conjunction with a reduced sampling rate of households from selected clusters. Conclusions: The alternative sample design increased the overall accuracy of population estimates of continuous and dichotomous variables from the CSLC. These benefits should be carefully weighed against the costs incurred in traveling to additional clusters in large prefectures. Further simulation research is necessary to investigate the performance of sampling designs for nominal and ordinal response variables.
Background: We investigated the perceptions and practices regarding tobacco intervention among nurses, as improvement of such practices is important for the management of patients who smoke. Methods: Self-administered questionnaires were delivered by hospital administrative sections for nursing staff to 2676 nurses who were working in 3 cancer hospitals and 3 general hospitals. Of these, 2215 (82.8%) responded. Results: Most nurses strongly agreed that cancer patients who had preoperative or early-clinical-stage cancer but continued to smoke should be offered a tobacco use intervention. In contrast, they felt less need to provide tobacco use intervention to patients with incurable cancer who smoked. Most nurses felt that although they assessed and documented the tobacco status of cancer patients, they were not successful in providing cessation advice, assessing patient readiness to quit, and providing individualized information on the harmful effects of tobacco use. In multivariate analysis, nurses who received instruction on smoking cessation programs during nursing school were more likely to give cessation advice (odds ratio, 1.61; 95% confidence interval, 1.15–2.26), assess readiness to quit (1.73, 1.09–2.75), and offer individualized explanations of the harmful effects of tobacco (1.94, 1.39–2.69), as compared with nurses who had not received such instruction. Conclusions: The perceptions of Japanese nurses regarding tobacco intervention for cancer patients differed greatly by patient treatment status and prognosis. The findings highlight the importance of offering appropriate instruction on smoking cessation to students in nursing schools in Japan.
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