Cardiovascular risk prediction models based on classical risk factors identified in epidemiologic cohort studies are useful in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in individuals. This article briefly reviews aspects of cardiovascular risk prediction in the United States and efforts to evaluate novel risk factors. Even though many novel risk markers have been found to be associated with cardiovascular disease, few appear to improve risk prediction beyond the powerful, classical risk factors. A recent US consensus panel concluded that clinical measurement of certain novel markers for risk prediction was reasonable, namely, hemoglobin A1c (in all adults), microalbuminuria (in patients with hypertension or diabetes), and C-reactive protein, lipoprotein-associated phospholipase, coronary calcium, carotid intima-media thickness, and ankle/brachial index (in patients deemed to be at intermediate cardiovascular risk, based on traditional risk factors).
Background: Several epidemiologic studies have reported an inverse association between serum levels of carotenoids and cardiovascular disease risk. However, no studies have reported an association between serum carotenoids and N-terminal pro-brain-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in the general population. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we investigated whether serum carotenoids were associated with serum NT-proBNP in 1056 Japanese subjects (390 men, 666 women) who attended a health examination. Serum levels of carotenoids were separately determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. Serum NT-proBNP level was measured by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Results: Serum NT-proBNP was elevated (≥55 pg/ml) in 31.8% of men and 48.2% of women. Multivariate logistic regression analyses adjusted for confounding factors showed a significant association between the highest quartile of serum α-carotene and elevated NT-proBNP in men (odds ratio [OR] = 0.40, 95% CI = 0.19–0.82, P for trend = 0.005) and women (OR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.39–0.99, P for trend = 0.047). In women, moreover, elevated serum NT-proBNP was significantly associated with serum canthaxanthin (OR = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.36–0.90 for highest quartile, P for trend = 0.026) and β-cryptoxanthin (OR = 0.53, 95% CI = 0.32–0.85 for highest quartile, P for trend = 0.026), after adjusting for potential confounders. Conclusions: Higher levels of serum carotenoids were associated with lower risk of elevated serum NT-proBNP levels after adjusting for possible confounders, which suggests that a diet rich in carotenoids could help prevent cardiac overload in the Japanese population.
Background: Baseline information on physical activity is relevant to controlling the epidemic of chronic noncommunicable diseases occurring in many African countries. However, standardized data on physical activity are lacking in Nigeria. We assessed the prevalence of physical activity and its relationships with sociodemographic characteristics in a subnational sample of Nigerian adults. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among a representative sample of 934 adults (age, 20–82 years) living in metropolitan Maiduguri, Nigeria. Physical activity was measured using the validated Nigerian version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (Hausa IPAQ-SF). Using the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline, participants were classified as sufficiently active or insufficiently active. Sociodemographic correlates of sufficient physical activity were identified using multinomial logistic regression. Results: Overall, 68.6% of Nigerian adults were sufficiently active. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) in prevalence of physical activity between men (68.0%) and women (69.3%), but physical activity tended to decrease with increasing age category, especially among men. Physical activity prevalence was positively associated with being married (OR = 1.52, CI = 1.04–4.37) and blue collar work (OR = 2.19, CI = 1.16–4.12) and negatively associated with car ownership (OR = 0.38, CI = 0.17–0.86) and higher income (OR = 0.54, CI = 0.10–0.95). Conclusions: The prevalence of physical activity varied between sociodemographic subgroups of Nigerian adults; thus, public health policies and interventions based on ecologic models of health behaviors may be warranted in promoting physical activity in Nigeria.
Background: Information on within- and between-individual variation in energy and nutrient intake is critical for precisely estimating usual dietary intake; however, data from Japanese populations are limited. Methods: We used dietary records to examine within- and between-individual variation by age and sex in the intake of energy and 31 selected nutrients among Japanese adults. We also calculated the group size required to estimate mean intake for a group and number of days required both to rank individuals within a group and to assess an individual’s usual intake, all with appropriate arbitrary precision. A group of Japanese women (younger: 30–49 years, n = 58; older: 50–69 years, n = 63) and men (younger: 30–49 years, n = 54; older: 50–76 years, n = 67) completed dietary records for 4 nonconsecutive days in each season (16 days in total). Results: Coefficients of within-individual variation and between-individual variation were generally larger in the younger group than in the older group and in men as compared with women. The group size required to estimate a group’s mean intake, and number of days required to assess an individual’s usual intake, were generally larger for the younger group and for men. In general, a longer period was required to rank women and older adults. Conclusions: In a group of Japanese adults, coefficients of within-individual variation and between-individual variation, which were used to estimate the group size and number of records required for adequate dietary assessment, differed by age, sex, and nutrient.
Background: We investigated the association of 10 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) with obesity and the additional role of gene–gene interaction. Methods: Participants were recruited within the framework of the Prevention of Multiple Metabolic Disorders and MS in Jiangsu Province cohort population survey of an urban community in China. In total, 820 subjects (513 nonobese adults, 307 obese adults) were randomly selected, and no individuals were consanguineous. Ten SNPs (rs135539, rs4253778, rs1800206, rs2016520, rs9794, rs10865710, rs1805192, rs709158, rs3856806, and rs4684847) were genotyped and analyzed. Results: After covariate adjustment, minor alleles of rs2016520 in PPARδ and rs10865170 in PPARγ were associated with lower BMI (P < 0.01 for all). Generalized multifactor dimensionality reduction analysis showed significant gene–gene interaction among rs2016520, rs9794, and rs10865170 in 3-dimensional models (P = 0.0010); prediction accuracy was 0.6011 and cross-validation consistency was 9/10. It also showed significant gene–gene interaction between rs2016520 and rs10865170 in all 2-dimensional models (P = 0.0010); prediction accuracy was 0.6072 and cross-validation consistency was 9/10. Conclusions: rs2016520 and rs10865170 were associated with lower obesity risk. In addition, interaction was identified among rs2016520, rs9794, and rs10865170 in obesity.
Background: In Japan, introduction of severe drunk-driving penalties and a lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in June 2002 was followed by a substantial reduction in fatal alcohol-related crashes. However, previous research suggests that this reduction started before the legal amendments. The causes of the decrease have not been studied in detail. Methods: Monthly police data on fatal road traffic crashes from January 1995 to August 2006 were analyzed using a joinpoint regression model to identify change-points in the trends of the proportion of drunk-driving among drivers primarily responsible for fatal crashes. We analyzed the data by BAC level (≥0.5 or <0.5 mg/ml), then conducted analyses stratified by vehicle type (car or motorcycle) and age group (<45 or ≥45 years) only for the proportion of those with a BAC of 0.5 mg/ml or higher. Results: Among all drivers, the proportion of those with a BAC of 0.5 mg/ml or higher and those with a BAC greater than 0 but less than 0.5 mg/ml showed a change-point from increase to decrease in February 2000 and in May 2002, respectively. The proportion of those with a BAC of 0.5 mg/ml or higher showed a change-point from increase to decrease in October 1999 among car drivers and in April 2000 among drivers younger than 45 years. There was no change-point among motorcyclists. A change-point from no trend to a decrease in January 2002 was observed among those 45 years or older. Conclusions: The change-point identified around the end of 1999 to the start of 2000 suggests that a high-profile fatal crash in November 1999, which drew media attention and provoked public debate, triggered subsequent changes in drunk-driving behavior.
Background: In this cohort study, we investigated whether a diagnosis of herpes zoster (HZ) was associated with a higher risk of subsequent cancer as compared with the Taiwanese general population. Methods: Data were obtained from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. In total, 38 743 patients who were aged 50 years or older and had received ambulatory care for HZ between 1997 and 2006 were identified as the study cohort; 116 229 age- and sex-matched patients without HZ were included as the comparison cohort. We used Cox proportional hazards regression models to estimate the hazard ratios (HRs) for subsequent cancer, after controlling for potential confounders. Results: The HR for subsequent cancer varied according to time since HZ diagnosis. The HR was 1.58 (95% CI, 1.38–1.80) within the first year, 1.30 (95% CI, 1.15–1.46) between 1 and 2 years, 1.10 (95% CI, 0.98–1.24) between 2 and 3 years, 1.02 (95% CI, 0.91–1.15) between 3 and 4 years, and 1.08 (95% CI, 0.96–1.21) between 4 and 5 years. The risk of subsequent cancer, particularly lung cancer, was significantly higher during the first 2 years after initial diagnosis of HZ. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that an HZ diagnosis is a marker of occult malignancy, particularly in lung cancer. The HRs for cancer decreased gradually over time and were no longer significant after 2 years of follow-up, which indicates that the association between HZ and cancer is likely due to detection bias.
Background: Many studies of adolescent health-related behaviors have assessed the effects of gender and parental socioeconomic position (SEP) but not their mutual modification. We investigated socioeconomic differences in health-related behaviors among Slovak adolescents and the potential modification of those differences by gender. Methods: Data were collected in 2006 (n = 3547; 49.4% boys; mean [SD] age, 14.3 [0.6] years; response rate, 93.5%). The sample comprised students in the eighth and ninth grades of randomly selected elementary schools in Slovakia. Gender-specific prevalence rates for 9 types of health-related behaviors, including nutritional behavior, physical activity and substance use, were calculated for 3 socioeconomic groups, which were defined by the highest educational level attained by both parents. Gender differences in socioeconomic gradients for health-related behaviors were tested. Results: Socioeconomic differences were found in nutritional behavior, physical activity, and smoking. Adolescents with lower parental education behaved less healthily. The largest relative socioeconomic difference was no daily vegetable consumption among girls (90.3% of those with high SEP vs 95.2% of those with middle SEP; odds ratio, 2.33). Regarding no daily fruit consumption, differences among girls were 1.51 times and 1.92 times as large as those among boys for children with medium and low SEP, respectively, as compared with those with high SEP. Conclusions: Socioeconomic differences in health-related behavior were small, especially for nutritional behavior and physical activity. Interventions that aim to improve health-related behaviors among adolescents with lower SEP should focus on these 2 behaviors, particularly on healthy nutrition in girls with low SEP.
Background: We investigated the association of baseline body mass index (BMI) and weight change since age 20 years with liver cancer mortality among Japanese. Methods: The data were obtained from the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study for Evaluation of Cancer Risk (JACC Study). A total of 31 018 Japanese men and 41 455 Japanese women aged 40 to 79 years who had no history of cancer were followed from 1988 through 2009. Results: During a median 19-year follow-up, 527 deaths from liver cancer (338 men, 189 women) were documented. There was no association between baseline BMI and liver cancer mortality among men or men with history of liver disease. Men without history of liver disease had multivariable hazard ratios (HR) of 1.95 (95%CI, 1.07–3.54) for BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2 and 1.65 (1.05–2.60) for BMI of 25 kg/m2 or higher, as compared with a BMI of 21.0 to 22.9 kg/m2. BMI was positively associated with liver cancer mortality among women and women with history of liver disease. Weight change since age 20 years was positively associated with liver cancer mortality among women regardless of history of liver disease. Women with history of liver disease had a multivariable HRs of 1.96 (1.05–3.66) for weight gain of 5.0 to 9.9 kg and 2.31 (1.18–4.49) for weight gain of 10 kg or more, as compared with weight change of −4.9 to 4.9 kg. Conclusions: Both underweight (BMI <18.5 kg/m2) and overweight (BMI ≥25 kg/m2) among men without history of liver disease, and weight gain after age 20 (weight change ≥5 kg) among women with history of liver disease, were associated with increased mortality from liver cancer.
The Japan Collaborative Cohort Study for Evaluation of Cancer Risk (JACC Study) was established in the late 1980s to evaluate the risk impact of lifestyle factors and levels of serum components on human health. During the 20-year follow-up period, the results of the study have been published in almost 200 original articles in peer-reviewed English-language journals. However, continued follow-up of the study subjects became difficult because of the retirements of principal researchers, city mergers throughout Japan in the year 2000, and reduced funding. Thus, we decided to terminate the JACC Study follow-up at the end of 2009. As a final point of interest, we reviewed the population registry information of survivors. A total of 207 (0.19%) subjects were ineligible, leaving 110 585 eligible participants (46 395 men and 64 190 women). Moreover, errors in coding date of birth and sex were found in 356 (0.32%) and 59 (0.05%) cases, respectively, during routine follow-up and final review. Although such errors were unexpected, their impact is believed to be negligible because of the small numbers relative to the large total study population. Here, we describe the final cohort profile at the end of the JACC Study along with selected characteristics of the participants and their status at the final follow-up. Although follow-up of the JACC Study participants is finished, we will continue to analyze and publish study results.