Prostate cancer is a common disease in modern, developed societies and has a high incidence and mortality. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) has recently received much attention as a possible risk marker of prostate cancer development and prognosis. In the present article, we summarized findings from epidemiologic studies of the association between HDL-C and prostate cancer. Low HDL-C level was found to be a risk and prognostic factor of prostate cancer in several epidemiologic studies, although the overall linkage between HDL and prostate cancer has not been definitively established. The mechanisms for this association remain uncertain; however, limited data from experimental studies imply a possible role of HDL in the pathophysiology of prostate cancer. More epidemiologic research, in combination with experimental studies, is needed in this field.
Background: Understanding patterns of health service utilization can improve health care and increase use of health services. We examined patterns of health service utilization among residents of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Methods: A total of 500 adults were surveyed using paper-based questionnaires. The χ2 test and multiple logistic regression were used to identify associations between factors. Results: 44.1% of respondents had visited a physician during the previous 12 months. After controlling for determinants, the significant predictors of utilization of health service were attention to health examinations (OR = 3.6, CI: 1.93–6.76), being married (OR = 2.7, CI: 1.50–4.72), being satisfied with the overall cleanliness of the hospital (OR = 2.4, CI: 1.12–5.19), being a nonsmoker (OR = 2.2, CI: 1.21–3.98), having periodic physical examinations (OR = 2.2, CI: 1.25–3.71), not being a hospital patient during the previous 3 years (OR = 2.1, CI: 1.22–3.73), having proper documentation (OR = 1.9, CI: 1.10–3.43), having medical insurance (OR = 1.9, CI: 1.96–3.28), not wanting to receive information on food and nutrition (OR = 0.6, CI: 0.36–0.96), having more than 5 household members (OR = 0.5, CI: 0.50–0.85), low income (OR = 0.5, CI: 0.30–0.85), lack of concern for food and nutrition (OR = 0.5, CI: 0.28–0.84), self-medication during the past 12 months (OR = 0.4, CI: 0.24–0.69), and desire for treatment abroad (OR = 0.4, CI: 0.20–0.60). Conclusions: A number of health-related behaviors and sociodemographic factors were important predictors of health service utilization.
Background: Thigh circumference is associated with diabetes risk; however, the role of obesity as a potential effect modifier has not been well studied. Methods: We examined the association between thigh circumference and diabetes in a cross-sectional study of 384 612 Koreans aged 30 to 79 years. The association between diabetes and thigh circumference in relation to body mass index (BMI) was analyzed among 315 628 participants, using multivariate logistic regression. Thigh circumference was categorized into 9 percentile categories—namely, the 2.5th, 5th, 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th, 95th, and 97.5th percentiles—and the 50th percentile was used as the reference value for thigh circumference. Separate analyses were performed for men and women. Results: The association of thigh circumference with diabetes showed contradictory patterns before and after adjustment for BMI and waist circumference. Small thigh circumference was associated with greater risk of diabetes among men and women. This relationship was stronger among participants younger than 50 years, although age was not a significant effect modifier. BMI was a significant effect modifier among men with a BMI of less than 25 kg/m2. Among women, diabetes risk increased with smaller thigh circumference. Conclusions: Small thigh circumference was associated with diabetes, and this association was stronger among participants with a BMI of less than 25 kg/m2. Thigh circumference might be a useful diabetes marker in lean populations.
Background: Gastric cancer, the most common cancer in the world, is affected by some foods or food groups. We examined the relationship between dietary intake and stomach cancer risk in the Korean Multi-Center Cancer Cohort (KMCC). Methods: The KMCC included 19 688 Korean men and women who were enrolled from 1993 to 2004. Of those subjects, 9724 completed a brief 14-food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Through record linkage with the Korean Central Cancer Registry and National Death Certificate databases, we documented 166 gastric cancer cases as of December 31, 2008. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate relative risks (RRs) and 95% CIs. Results: Frequent intake of soybean/tofu was significantly associated with reduced risk of gastric cancer, after adjustment for age, sex, cigarette smoking, body mass index, alcohol consumption, and area of residence (P for trend = 0.036). We found a significant inverse association between soybean/tofu intake and gastric cancer risk among women (RR = 0.41, 95% CI: 0.22–0.78). Men with a high soybean/tofu intake had a lower risk of gastric cancer, but the reduction was not statistically significant (RR = 0.77, 95% CI: 0.52–1.13). There was no interaction between soybean/tofu intake and cigarette smoking in relation to gastric cancer risk (P for interaction = 0.268). Conclusions: Frequent soybean/tofu intake was associated with lower risk of gastric cancer.
Background: Recent studies have shown that use of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors may decrease pneumonia risk in various populations. We investigated the effect of ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) on pneumonia hospitalization in the general population of Taiwan. Methods: We conducted a case-crossover study using the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database for the year 2005. Data from patients hospitalized for the first time for pneumonia during 1997–2007 were analyzed. The case period was defined as the 30 days before admission; the periods 90 to 120 days and 180 to 210 days before admission were used as control periods. Prescribing status of ACE inhibitors and ARBs during the 3 periods was assessed for each patient. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) for pneumonia associated with use of ACE inhibitors and ARBs. Results: We identified 10 990 cases of hospitalization for new pneumonia. After adjustment for time-variant confounding factors, pneumonia was not associated with use of ACEI or ARBS: the ORs were 0.99 (95% CI, 0.81–1.21) and 0.96 (0.72–1.28), respectively. No association was seen for cumulative defined daily doses (DDDs), as compared with nonusers, for 0 to 30, 31 to 60, or more than 60 DDDs. The results were found to be robust in sensitivity analysis. Conclusions: Neither the use nor cumulative dose of ACE inhibitors or ARBs was associated with pneumonia among the Taiwanese general population.
Background: Waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) has been shown to be a useful screening tool for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease (CVD). We investigated the association of WHtR with CVD incidence by age group. Methods: We conducted a 13.0-year cohort study of Japanese adults (2600 men and 2888 women) with no history of CVD. WHtR was calculated as waist circumference (cm) (WC) divided by height (cm). We stratified participants by sex and age group (30–49, 50–69, ≥70 years). Using the Cox proportional hazards model, we calculated hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for CVD in relation to WHtR quartile for participants aged 50 to 69 years and 70 years or older. Results: Men aged 50 to 69 years in the highest quartile had significantly increased risks of CVD and coronary heart disease as compared with the lowest quartile; the HRs (95% CI) were 1.82 (1.13–2.92) and 2.42 (1.15–5.12), respectively. Women aged 50 to 69 years in the highest quartile had a significantly increased risk of stroke (HR, 2.43; 95% CI, 1.01–5.85). No significant results were observed in men or women aged 70 years or older. The likelihood ratio test showed that the predictive value of WHtR was greater than that of WC among men aged 50 to 69 years. Conclusions: The association between WHtR and CVD risk differed among age groups. WHtR was useful in identifying middle-aged Japanese at higher risk of CVD and was a better predictor than WC of CVD, especially in men.
Background: Mercury is a neurotoxin, and limited prenatal exposure to it can affect long-term child neurodevelopment. However, results of epidemiologic studies of such exposure have been inconsistent. We examined the association of prenatal mercury exposure from maternal fish consumption with child neurodevelopment in northern Italy. Methods: A population-based cohort of 606 children and their mothers was studied from pregnancy to age 18 months. Mercury levels were measured in maternal hair and blood during pregnancy and in umbilical cord blood and breast milk. Levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were measured in maternal serum. Maternal and child intakes of fish were assessed by using a food frequency questionnaire. The Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (BSID-III) was used to evaluate child neurodevelopment. Multivariate linear regression was used to examine the association of mercury exposure with BSID-III scores, after controlling for maternal fish intake, PUFAs during pregnancy, and several other confounders. Results: Mean weekly fish intake during pregnancy was less than 2 servings. Mercury concentrations in biological samples were low (mean, 1061 ng/g in hair) and moderately correlated with fish intake, particularly of carnivorous species. Maternal ω-3 PUFA concentrations were poorly correlated with fish intake. Maternal intelligence quotient (IQ) and child intake of fish were significantly associated with neurodevelopment scores. In multivariate models, the level of Hg exposure was not associated with neurodevelopmental performance at 18 months. Conclusions: In this Italian population, neurodevelopment at 18 months was associated with child intake of fresh fish and maternal IQ rather than with mercury exposure. The expected beneficial effect of maternal fish intake (from maternal ω-3 PUFAs) was not found.
Background: We used Mendelian randomization analysis to investigate the causal relationship between maternal homocysteine level, as represented by maternal methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T genotype, with the birth weight of offspring. Methods: We recruited women at 24 to 28 weeks’ gestation who visited Ewha Womans University Hospital for prenatal care during the period from August 2001 to December 2003. A total of 473 newborns with a gestational age of at least 37 weeks were analyzed in this study. We excluded twin births and children of women with a history of gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, or chronic renal disease. The association of maternal homocysteine concentration with the birth weight of infants was analyzed using 2-stage regression. Results: MTHFR C677T genotype showed a dose–response association with homocysteine concentration for each additional T allele (Ptrend < 0.01). Birth weight decreased from 120 to 130 grams as maternal homocysteine level increased, while controlling for confounding factors; however, the association was of marginal significance (P = 0.06). Conclusions: Our results suggest an adverse relationship between maternal homocysteine level and birth weight. A reduction in homocysteine levels might positively affect birth outcomes.
Background: During the year after the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, the health conditions and lifestyles of survivors were extensively surveyed. We examined the relationship between living conditions and dietary pattern among survivors. Methods: A total of 10 466 survivors aged 18 years or older (25% of the population of that age in the area) participated in a survey of Iwate Prefecture. The average frequency of daily consumption of 8 food groups was determined by questionnaire. After excluding staple foods, which were consumed 3 times a day by 85% of participants, factor analysis was performed on 7 food groups among 9789 people (3795 men, 5994 women). Results: Factor analysis identified 2 dietary patterns—prudent and meat. The prudent dietary pattern is characterized by high intakes of fish and shellfish, soybean products, vegetables, fruit, and dairy products and was more evident among older participants and women. The meat dietary pattern is characterized by high intakes of meat and eggs and was more evident among younger participants and men. Age-adjusted multiple logistic regression analyses showed that male and female current smokers and men and women living in difficult conditions were likely to have a lower prudent dietary pattern score; male current smokers and male daily alcohol drinkers were likely to have a higher meat dietary pattern score. Conclusions: During the year after the earthquake, the prudent dietary pattern was associated with better living conditions among survivors, whereas the meat dietary pattern was not.
Background: Concern over the health risks of sedentary behavior has highlighted the need to examine factors associated with screen-based (television/computer) sedentary behavior. The present study examined the association of screen-based sedentary behavior with body weight and sociodemographic attributes among Japanese adults. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional study enrolled 1034 Japanese adults aged 40 to 69 years who lived in 2 Japanese cities. Sociodemographic variables, height, weight, and time spent on screen-based sedentary behavior were collected by self-administered questionnaire. Differences in screen time in relation to body mass index and weight gain since age 20 years were assessed by the Mann-Whitney U test. Independent associations of each variable with screen time were examined by forced-entry logistic regression analyses. Results: Mean (SD) age and median (interquartile range) duration of screen time per week were 55.6 (8.4) years and 832.0 (368.8–1263.1) minutes, respectively, for men, and 55.3 (8.4) years and 852.6 (426.0–1307.5) minutes, respectively, for women. Screen time among participants with weight gain was longer than among those with a weight gain of less than 10 kg (P = 0.08). Unmarried and unemployed participants had longer screen times. Participants aged 40 to 49 years were less likely than older age groups to spend time on screen-based sedentary behavior during leisure hours. Conclusions: The present findings imply that strategies are necessary to discourage screen-based sedentary behavior among all demographic groups, especially among adults who are elderly, unmarried, or unemployed.
Background: Glucocorticoid is an important regulator of energy homeostasis. Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene polymorphisms that contribute to variability in glucocorticoid sensitivity have been identified. We explored the associations of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the GR gene with traditional cardiovascular risk factors in the Chinese Han population. Methods: We recruited 762 consecutive adults who underwent a regular physical examination at Beijing Xuanwu Hospital. Blood pressure, glucose, lipid levels (total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol and triglycerides), body mass index (BMI), and waist-to-hip ratio were measured. Fourteen tag SNPs and 5 functional SNPs were selected and genotyped using the high-throughput Sequenom genotyping platform. Differences between genotypes/alleles for each SNP were adjusted for sex and age and tested using a general linear model procedure. Various models of inheritance, including additive, dominant, and recessive, were tested. Results: Among the 19 SNPs examined, 5 markers were associated with cardiovascular risk factors. The rs41423247 GG genotype and the rs7701443 AA genotype were associated with higher BMI and systolic blood pressure (P < 0.0004), and the rs17209251 GG genotype was associated with higher systolic blood pressure (P < 0.0004). Lower systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol were observed among rs10052957 A allele carriers (P < 0.0004), and lower plasma glucose and LDL-cholesterol concentrations were observed among rs2963156 TT carriers (P < 0.0004). Conclusions: Polymorphism of the GR gene was associated with cardiovascular risk factors and may contribute to susceptibility to cardiovascular disease.