Aging is a prominent topic in global health. The purpose of this report is to document progress in two of our research projects in Japan, which currently is the most aged society in the world. The Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES) is one of the largest nation-wide research projects on aging, with more than 100 000 participants in 2010 and 2013. One of the notable findings is that community participation is a significant determinant of older people’s health. We have also made progress in the development of the JAGES Health Equity Assessment and Response Tools (HEART), which is a management tool for developing age-friendly cities. This progress suggests that community perspective and management of health promotion in the communities are valuable and require further research.
The purpose of this health workforce plan is to provide guidance for the staffing of the Bolikhamxay. Province health services and the training of health service personnel to the year 2020. It must be stressed, however, that this plan is in its first iteration and does not provide all the solutions. Rather, it identifies issues that need to be further investigated and resolved at the local level. For example, the provincial health department (PHD) will need to further investigate the reasons for the significant variability in the utilization of services in different facilities and in the different ratios of staff in relation to the activities performed. The accuracy of the data must be validated and specific interventions must be determined. For Bolikhamxay, particular attention by PHD and district health authorities should be given to the following issues identified in the analysis: • Shortage of clinical staff, particularly in the age group 30 to 40 years old, to provide supervision, guidance, and support for junior staff in coming years; • The existence of health centers with less than minimum staffing level (<3), including a midwife and/or staff capable of properly addressing emergencies with particular reference to maternal and child health. • The median number of activities per staff per year is around 470 (Nakoun/Bolikhan), which means that, on average, a health worker will participate in fewer than two activities per day. The situation in some district hospitals and most health centers is even worse, with an annual average number of activities per staff of only 163, which means that, on average, one staff participates in one activity every 3 days, hardly enough to maintain skills and justify deployment. • This low level of staff activity raises questions about the need for further increase of staff supply to health centers and districts unless effective interventions are implemented to increase the demand and utilization of services in these facilities. • It is also necessary to document all relevant activities, including outreach activities and home visits, in order to give appropriate weight in the calculation of utilization and productivity. • Development of the provincial health workforce development plan requires validated human resources for health information and engagement of local health authorities, as well as strong collaboration with the national authorities and development partners, to ensure adequate support and resourcing.
Background: The increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in older adults has become a public health concern. We investigated the associations of total and domain-specific sedentary time with risk of type 2 diabetes in older adults. Methods: The sample comprised 1046 older people (aged ≥65 years). Analyses were performed using cross-sectional data collected via computer-assisted telephone-based interviews in 2014. Data on six self-reported domains of sedentary time (Measure of Older Adults’ Sedentary Time), type 2 diabetes status, and sociodemographic variables were included in the study. Binary logistic regression analysis was performed to calculate the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for total and individual sedentary behavior components and likelihood of type 2 diabetes. Results: A total of 17.5% of the participants reported type 2 diabetes. No significant associations were found between total sitting time and risk of type 2 diabetes, after controlling for confounding factors. After total sedentary behavior was stratified into six domains, only watching television for more than 2 hours per day was associated with higher odds of type 2 diabetes (OR 1.56; 95% CI, 1.10–2.21), but no significant associations were found between other domains of sedentary behavior (computer use, reading, socializing, transport, and hobbies) and risk of type 2 diabetes. Conclusions: These findings suggest that, among domain-specific sedentary behavior, excessive television viewing might increase the risk of type 2 diabetes among older adults more than other forms of sedentary behavior.
Background: Chronic stress may facilitate the development of metabolic diseases. Insulin resistance is present long before the clinical manifestations of individual metabolic abnormalities. To explore whether chronic stress is an independent risk factor of insulin resistance, we investigated the relationship between the stress system, selected parameters of energy homeostasis, and insulin resistance in a Chinese population. Methods: We recruited 766 workers employed at four companies in Beijing. The degree of insulin resistance was determined using the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). The highest quartile of HOMA-IR among all study subjects was further defined as insulin resistance in our study. The short standard version of the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ) was used to assess job-related psychosocial stress. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were calculated between cortisol level and HOMA-IR and components of metabolic syndrome, with stratification by gender. The relationship between cortisol and HOMA-IR independent of obesity was analyzed using a linear mixed model with company as a cluster unit. Results: The values of the two scales of COPSOQ, including “demands at work” and “insecurity at work”, were significantly associated with insulin resistance and cortisol concentration (P < 0.05). Cortisol was significantly positively correlated with glucose, HOMA-IR, and waist circumference in males and females (P < 0.05). After adjusting for potential confounders, cortisol was an independent positive predictor for HOMA-IR (P < 0.05). Conclusions: These findings showed that chronic stress was associated with insulin resistance and may contribute to the development of insulin resistance.
Background: This study’s aim was to clarify the relationship of having hobbies and a purpose in life (PIL; in Japanese, ikigai) with mortality and a decline in the activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental ADL (IADL) among the community-dwelling elderly. Methods: Prospective observational data from residents aged ≥65 years who were at increased risk for death (n = 1853) and developing a decline in ADL (n = 1254) and IADL (n = 1162) were analyzed. Cox proportional hazard models were used for mortality analysis of data from February 2011 to November 2014. ADL and IADL were evaluated using the Barthel Index and the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology Index of Competence, respectively. ADL and IADL were assessed at baseline and follow-up and were evaluated using logistic regression models. Fully adjusted models included terms for age, gender, BMI, income, alcohol intake, smoking history, number of chronic diseases, cognitive function, and depression. Results: During the follow-up of eligible participants, 248 had died, 119 saw a decline in ADL, and 178 saw a decline in IADL. In fully adjusted models, having neither hobbies nor PIL was significantly associated with an increased risk of mortality (hazard ratio 2.08; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.47–2.94), decline in ADL (odds ratio 2.74; 95% CI, 1.44–5.21), and decline in IADL (odds ratio 1.89; 95% CI, 1.01–3.55) compared to having both hobbies and PIL. Conclusions: Although effect modifications by cognitive functioning and depression cannot be ruled out, our findings suggest that having hobbies and PIL may extend not only longevity, but also healthy life expectancy among community-dwelling older adults.
Background: There has been no large nationwide population-based study to examine the effects of maternal smoking status during pregnancy on birth weight that simultaneously controlled for clinical information, socioeconomic status, and maternal weight. Thus, this study aimed to determine the association between maternal smoking status during pregnancy and birth weight, while taking these confounding factors into consideration. Methods: This study examined the first-year fixed dataset from a large nationwide birth cohort study that commenced in 2011. The dataset consisted of information on 9369 singleton infants born before December 31, 2011. Children were divided into 4 groups for statistical analysis: those born to mothers who did not smoke (NS), who quit smoking before pregnancy, who quit smoking during early pregnancy, and who smoked (SM). Multiple linear regression models were conducted for each sex to examine the association between maternal smoking status during early pregnancy and fetal growth. Birth weight was estimated using the least-squares method after controlling for covariates. Results: After controlling for potential confounding factors, maternal smoking status during pregnancy was significantly associated with birth weight. There was a significant difference in birth weight between NS and SM for both male and female infants (male infants, 3096.2 g [NS] vs 2959.8 g [SM], P < 0.001; female infants, 3018.2 g [NS] vs 2893.7 g [SM], P < 0.001). Conclusions: Using data from a large nationwide birth cohort study in Japan, we have shown that maternal smoking during pregnancy may reduce birth weight by 125–136 g.
Background: This cross-sectional study evaluated the association between unhealthy lifestyle behaviors and the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in middle-aged and older men. Methods: The subjects included 445 men without a history of cardiovascular disease, stroke, or dialysis treatment, who were not taking medications. Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors were evaluated using a standardized self-administered questionnaire and were defined as follows: 1) lack of habitual moderate exercise, 2) lack of daily physical activity, 3) slow walking speed, 4) fast eating speed, 5) late-night dinner, 6) bedtime snacking, and 7) skipping breakfast. The participants were divided into four categories, which were classified into quartile distributions based on the number of unhealthy lifestyle behaviors (0–1, 2, 3, and ≥4 unhealthy behaviors). Results: According to a multivariate analysis, the odds ratio (OR) for CKD (defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 and/or proteinuria) was found to be significantly higher in the ≥4 group than in the 0–1 group (OR 4.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.51–14.40). Moreover, subjects’ lack of habitual moderate exercise (OR 3.06; 95% CI, 1.13–8.32) and presence of late-night dinner (OR 2.84; 95% CI, 1.40–5.75) and bedtime snacking behaviors (OR 2.87; 95% CI, 1.27–6.45) were found to be significantly associated with the prevalence of CKD. Conclusions: These results suggest that an accumulation of unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, especially those related to lack of habitual moderate exercise and presence of late-night dinner and bedtime snacking may be associated with the prevalence of CKD.
Background: To determine the change in refractive error and the incidence of myopia among school-aged children in the Yongchuan District of Chongqing City, Western China. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional survey was initially conducted in 2006 among 3070 children aged 6 to 15 years. A longitudinal follow-up study was then conducted 5 years later between November 2011 and March 2012. Refractive error was measured under cycloplegia with autorefraction. Age, sex, and baseline refractive error were evaluated as risk factors for progression of refractive error and incidence of myopia. Results: Longitudinal data were available for 1858 children (60.5%). The cumulative mean change in refractive error was −2.21 (standard deviation [SD], 1.87) diopters (D) for the entire study population, with an annual progression of refraction in a myopic direction of −0.43 D. Myopic progression of refractive error was associated with younger age, female sex, and higher myopic or hyperopic refractive error at baseline. The cumulative incidence of myopia, defined as a spherical equivalent refractive error of −0.50 D or more, among initial emmetropes and hyperopes was 54.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 45.2%–63.5%), with an annual incidence of 10.6% (95% CI, 8.7%–13.1%). Myopia was found more likely to happen in female and older children. Conclusions: In Western China, both myopic progression and incidence of myopia were higher than those of children from most other locations in China and from the European Caucasian population. Compared with a previous study in China, there was a relative increase in annual myopia progression and annual myopia incidence, a finding which is consistent with the increasing trend on prevalence of myopia in China.