Background: Prompt treatment affects prognosis and survival after acute myocardial infarction (AMI) onset. This study evaluated the awareness of early symptoms of AMI and knowledge of appropriate responses on symptom occurrence, along with related factors. Methods: Participants’ knowledge of the early symptoms of and responses to AMI onset were investigated using a random digit dialing survey. We included 9600 residents of 16 metropolitan cities and provinces in Korea. Results: The proportions of respondents who were aware of early symptoms of AMI ranged from 32.9% (arm or shoulder pain) to 79.1% (chest pain and discomfort). Of the respondents, 67.0% would call an ambulance if someone showed signs of AMI, 88.7% knew ≥1 symptom, 10.9% knew all five symptoms, and 3.1% had excellent knowledge (correct identification of all five AMI symptoms, not answering “Yes” to the trap question, and correctly identifying calling an ambulance as the appropriate response when someone is exhibiting AMI symptoms). The odds ratio (OR) for having excellent knowledge was significantly higher for those who graduated college or higher (OR 3.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.09–10.76) than for those with less than a primary school education, as well as for subjects with AMI advertisement exposure (OR 1.49; 95% CI, 1.10–2.02) and with knowledge of AMI (OR 1.63; 95% CI, 1.16–2.27). The 60- to 79-year-old group had significantly lower OR for excellent knowledge than the 20- to 39-year-old group (OR 0.53; 95% CI, 0.28–0.99). Conclusions: Awareness of AMI symptoms and the appropriate action to take after symptom onset in South Korea was poor. Therefore, educational and promotional strategies to increase the overall awareness in the general public, especially in the elderly and those with low education levels, are needed.
Background: The associations of bowel movement frequency and laxative use with cardiovascular disease (CVD) are unclear. Methods: A total of 72 014 subjects (29 668 men and 42 346 women) aged 40 to 79 years, without a history of CVD or cancer, completed a lifestyle questionnaire at baseline between 1988 and 1990 that included information on bowel movement frequency (daily, every 2–3 days, or once every 4 or more days) and laxative use (yes or no), and were followed-up until 2009. Results: During the subjects’ 1 165 569 person-years of follow-up, we documented 977 deaths from coronary heart disease (561 men and 416 women), 2024 from total stroke (1028 men and 996 women), 1127 from ischemic stroke (606 men and 521 women), and 828 from hemorrhagic stroke (388 men and 440 women). The prevalence of CVD risk factors, such as diabetes, stress, depression, and physical inactivity, was higher in laxative users and in those with a lower frequency of bowel movements. The multivariable HRs (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) of laxative users were as follows: 1.56 (95% CI, 1.21–2.03) for coronary heart disease and 1.37 (95% CI, 1.07–1.76) for ischemic stroke in men, and 1.27 (95% CI, 1.08–1.49) for total stroke, and 1.45 (95% CI, 1.17–1.79) for ischemic stroke in women. Similar results were observed even after the exclusion of deaths that occurred early in the follow-up period. A significant association between bowel movement frequency and mortality from CVD was not observed. Conclusions: Constipation could be a marker of exposure to CVD risk factors, and laxative use could be a risk factor for mortality from coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke.
Background: Seasonal variation and regional heterogeneity have been observed in the estimated effect of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) mass on mortality. Differences in the chemical compositions of PM2.5 may cause this variation. We investigated the association of the daily concentration of PM2.5 components with mortality in Nagoya, Japan. Methods: We combined daily mortality counts for all residents aged 65 years and older with concentration data for PM2.5 mass and components in Nagoya from April 2003 to December 2007. A time-stratified case-crossover design was used to examine the association of daily mortality with PM2.5 mass and each component (chloride, nitrate, sulfate, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, ammonium, elemental carbon [EC], and organic carbon [OC]). Results: We found a stronger association between mortality and PM2.5 mass in transitional seasons. In analysis for each PM2.5 component, sulfate, nitrate, chloride, ammonium, potassium, EC, and OC were significantly associated with mortality in a single-pollutant model. In a multi-pollutant model, an interquartile range increase in the concentration of sulfate was marginally associated with an increase in all-cause mortality of 2.1% (95% confidence interval, −0.1 to 4.4). Conclusions: These findings suggest that some specific PM components have a more hazardous effect than others and contribute to seasonal variation in the health effects of PM2.5.
Background: We hypothesized that higher body mass index (BMI) was associated with increased prevalence of paranasal sinus disease and examined the hypothesis in Japanese adults. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study including 1350 Japanese adults aged 40 years or more who participated in a health check-up program focusing on brain diseases and metabolic syndrome. Participants were divided into quartiles of BMI levels. Paranasal sinus disease was confirmed by a head MRI scan. The association between BMI and paranasal sinus disease was examined using logistic regression analysis, which was adjusted for age, sex, waist:hip ratio, hemoglobin A1c, systolic blood pressure, smoking status, alcohol intake, and white blood cell count. Results: Of the 1350 participants, 151 (11.2%) had paranasal sinus disease. In relation to those in the lowest quartile of BMI, the odds ratios of having the disease among those in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quartiles of BMI were 1.89 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03–3.48), 2.26 (95% CI, 1.20–4.23) and 2.26 (95% CI, 1.14–4.51), respectively. When BMI was analysed as a continuous variable, an increase of one unit in BMI was significantly associated with increased odds of having the disease, with an OR of 1.08 (95% CI, 1.01–1.16). Conclusions: The present study suggests that patients with higher BMI are more likely to have paranasal sinus disease.
Background: In recent years, several genomic regions have been robustly associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) in different genome-wide association studies (GWASs) conducted mainly in people of European descent. These kinds of data are lacking in African populations, even though heart diseases are a major cause of premature death and disability. Methods: Here, 384 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the top four CAD risk regions (1p13, 1q41, 9p21, and 10q11) were genotyped in 274 case-control samples from Morocco and Tunisia, with the aim of analyzing for the first time if the associations found in European populations were transferable to North Africans. Results: The results indicate that, as in Europe, these four genetic regions are also important for CAD risk in North Africa. However, the individual SNPs associated with CAD in Africa are different from those identified in Europe in most cases (1p13, 1q41, and 9p21). Moreover, the seven risk variants identified in North Africans are efficient in discriminating between cases and controls in North African populations, but not in European populations. Conclusions: This study indicates a disparity in markers associated to CAD susceptibility between North Africans and Europeans that may be related to population differences in the chromosomal architecture of these risk regions.
Background: While it is assumed that dialysis patients in Japan have a higher prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AF) than the general population, the magnitude of this difference is not known. Methods: Standardized prevalence ratios (SPRs) for AF in dialysis patients (n = 1510) were calculated compared to data from the general population (n = 26 454) living in the same area. Results: The prevalences of AF were 3.8% and 1.6% in dialysis patients and the general population, respectively. In male subjects, these respective values were 4.9% and 3.3%, and in female subjects they were 1.6% and 0.6%. The SPRs for AF were 2.53 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.88–3.19) in all dialysis patients, 1.80 (95% CI, 1.30–2.29) in male dialysis patients, and 2.13 (95% CI, 0.66–3.61) in female dialysis patients. Conclusions: The prevalence of AF in dialysis patients was twice that in the population-based controls. Since AF strongly contributes to a higher risk of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity in the general population, further longitudinal studies should be conducted regarding the risk of several outcomes attributable to AF among Japanese dialysis patients.