Ebolavirus disease (EVD) is a severe contagious disease in humans, and health care workers (HCW) are at risk of infection when caring for EVD patients. This paper highlights the epidemiologic profile of EVD and its impact on the health care workforce in Africa. A documentary study was conducted which consisted of a review of available literature regarding the epidemiology of EVD, occupational EVD (OEVD), and work safety issues in Sub-Saharan Africa; the literature findings are enriched by field experiences from the authors. EVD outbreaks have already caused 30,500 cases in humans of whom 12,933 died (as of September 9, 2015), and the number of infected HCW has dramatically increased. All eight HCW infected during the 2014 outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo died, whereas during the recent West African EVD epidemic more than 890 HCW were infected, with a case fatality rate of 57%. Occupational exposure to blood and other body fluids due to inadequate use of personal protective equipment and needle stick or sharp injuries are among factors that contribute to the occurrence of OEVD. Prevention of OEVD should be one of the top priorities in EVD outbreak preparedness and management, and research should be conducted to elucidate occupational and other factors that expose HCW to EVD. In addition to regularly training HCW to be adequately prepared to care for patients with EVD, it is critical to strengthen the general health care system and improve occupational safety in medical settings of countries at risk.
Background: Data for earthquake-related alterations in physique among young children in developed countries is lacking. The Great East Japan Earthquake caused severe damage in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures in northeastern Japan.
Methods: We retrospectively obtained anthropometric measurements in nursery school from 40,046 (cohort 1, historical control) and 53,492 (cohort 2) children aged 3.5–4.5 years without overweight in October 2008, and in October 2010, respectively. At the time of the earthquake in March, 2011, children in cohort 1 had already graduated from nursery school; however, children in cohort 2 were still enrolled in nursery school at this time. We compared the onset of overweight at 1 year after the baseline between children enrolled in their school located in one of the three target prefectures versus those in other prefectures using a logistic regression model, with adjustment for sex, age, history of disease, and obesity index at baseline. Overweight was defined as an obesity index of >+15%, which was calculated as (weight minus sex- and height-specific standard weight)/sex- and height-specific standard weight.
Results: The odds ratio (OR) for the onset of overweight in the three target prefectures was significant in cohort 2 (OR 1.25; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01–1.55) but not in cohort 1. When the two cohort were pooled (n = 93,538), the OR of the interaction term for school location × cohort was significant (OR 1.56; 95% CI, 1.09–2.23).
Conclusions: Incident overweight in young children was significantly more common in the three prefectures affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake than in other prefectures after the disaster.
Background: The aim of the present study was to determine the extent of malnutrition in patients waiting for a liver transplant. The agreement among the methods of nutritional assessment and their diagnostic validity were evaluated.
Methods: Patients on the waiting list for liver transplantation (n = 110) were studied. The variables were: body mass index, analytical parameters, liver disease etiology, and complications. Liver dysfunction was evaluated using the Child–Pugh Scale. Nutritional state was studied using the Controlling Nutritional Status (CONUT), the Spanish Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (SENPE) criteria, the Nutritional Risk Index (NRI), the Prognostic Nutritional Index (PNI-O), and the Subjective Global Assessment (SGA). Agreement was determined using the Kappa index. Area under receiver operator characteristic curves (AUCs), the Youden index (J), and likelihood ratios were computed.
Results: Malnutrition varied depending on the method of evaluation. The highest value was detected using the CONUT (90.9%) and the lowest using the SGA (50.9%). The pairwise agreement among the methods ranged from K = 0.041 to K = 0.826, with an overall agreement of each criteria with the remaining methods between K = 0.093 and K = 0.364. PNI-O was the method with the highest overall agreement. Taking this level of agreement into account, we chose the PNI-O as a benchmark method of comparison. The highest positive likelihood ratio for the diagnosis of malnutrition was obtained from the Nutritional Risk Index (13.56).
Conclusions: Malnutrition prevalence is high and prevalence estimates vary according the method used, with low concordance among methods. PNI-O and NRI are the most consistent methods to identify malnutrition in these patients.
Background: Validation of recorded data is a prerequisite for studies that utilize administrative databases. The present study evaluated the validity of diagnoses and procedure records in the Japanese Diagnosis Procedure Combination (DPC) data, along with laboratory test results in the newly-introduced Standardized Structured Medical Record Information Exchange (SS-MIX) data.
Methods: Between November 2015 and February 2016, we conducted chart reviews of 315 patients hospitalized between April 2014 and March 2015 in four middle-sized acute-care hospitals in Shizuoka, Kochi, Fukuoka, and Saga Prefectures and used them as reference standards. The sensitivity and specificity of DPC data in identifying 16 diseases and 10 common procedures were identified. The accuracy of SS-MIX data for 13 laboratory test results was also examined.
Results: The specificity of diagnoses in the DPC data exceeded 96%, while the sensitivity was below 50% for seven diseases and variable across diseases. When limited to primary diagnoses, the sensitivity and specificity were 78.9% and 93.2%, respectively. The sensitivity of procedure records exceeded 90% for six procedures, and the specificity exceeded 90% for nine procedures. Agreement between the SS-MIX data and the chart reviews was above 95% for all 13 items.
Conclusion: The validity of diagnoses and procedure records in the DPC data and laboratory results in the SS-MIX data was high in general, supporting their use in future studies.
Background: Improving the dietary habits of children is important to decrease the future burden of noncommunicable diseases. While various food education programs have been implemented worldwide, evaluation of nutrition knowledge is difficult, even at baseline. Further, the relationship between nutrition knowledge and dietary intake has not been clarified in non-western countries.
Methods: After developing nutrition knowledge questionnaires for Japanese primary school children and adults, we examined whether higher nutrition knowledge of children and their guardians was associated with better dietary intake in children. A total of 1210 children in four public primary schools and 319 guardians were included in this cross-sectional study.
Results: Nutrition knowledge questionnaires were developed for children in lower and higher grades and adults. Higher nutrition knowledge of the children was significantly associated with higher vegetable intake (p for trend = 0.024 for boys and <0.0001 for girls in lower grades, <0.0001 for boys and 0.020 for girls in higher grades). Higher nutrition knowledge of the guardians was also associated with higher vegetable intake, except for boys in higher grades. The relationship between guardians' nutrition knowledge and intake of staple foods and fruits in children differed by children's sex.
Conclusions: We developed nutrition knowledge questionnaires for Japanese children and adults and identified a relationship between higher nutrition knowledge and healthier dietary habits. The child's own nutrition knowledge of dietary intake might be as important as that of the guardian for some foods. Sex differences in the effect of nutrition knowledge should receive greater attention in food education.
Background: The Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines are the most widely used guidelines on gestational weight gain; however, accumulation of evidence that body composition in Asians differs from other races has brought concern regarding whether their direct application is appropriate. We aimed to study to what extent optimal gestational weight gain among women in Japan differs by pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and to compare estimated optimal gestational weight gain to current Japanese and Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations.
Methods: We retrospectively studied 104,070 singleton pregnancies among nulliparous women in 2005–2011 using the Japanese national perinatal network database. In five pre-pregnancy BMI sub-groups (17.0–18.4, 18.5–19.9, 20–22.9, 23–24.9, and 25–27.4 kg/m2), we estimated the association of the rate of gestational weight gain with pregnancy outcomes (fetal growth, preterm delivery, and delivery complications) using multivariate regression.
Results: Weight gain rate associated with the lowest risk of adverse outcomes decreased with increasing BMI (12.2 kg, 10.9 kg, 9.9 kg, 7.7 kg, and 4.3 kg/40 weeks) for the five BMI categories as described above, respectively. Current Japanese guidelines were lower than optimal gains, with the lowest risk of adverse outcomes for women with BMI below 18.5 kg/m2, and current IOM recommendations were higher than optimal gains for women with BMI over 23 kg/m2.
Conclusion: Optimal weight gain during pregnancy varies largely by pre-pregnancy BMI, and defining those with BMI over 23 kg/m2 as overweight, as proposed by the World Health Organization, may be useful when applying current IOM recommendations to Japanese guidelines.
Background: Overweight and obesity have been shown to be risk factors for a range of non-communicable diseases, especially cardio-metabolic conditions, worldwide. But less is known about the effects of weight change on adults' overall health and wellbeing, particularly in transitional low- and middle-income countries. This study aimed to assess the relationship between 8-year weight change and measures of self-assessed health among Thai adults.
Methods: Data were collected from Thai adults aged 25–40 years (n = 27,003) enrolled in the Thai cohort Study and surveyed in 2005, 2009, and 2013. We used self-reported weight and height measurements at baseline and 2013, as well as three standard health questions regarding overall health, energy, and emotion asked at the two time points, to investigate the effects of weight change on health.
Results: Between 2005 and 2013, 6.0% of participants lost more than 5% of their baseline weight; 38.5% were stable (<5% loss to 5% gain); 23.0% slightly gained weight (>5%–10%); 22.8% gained moderate weight (>10%–20%); and 9.4% had heavy weight gain (>20%). Moderate (>10%–20%) and heavy weight gain (>20%) were both associated with an increased risk of reporting ‘poor or very poor‘ overall health in 2013 among participants who had a normal body mass index (BMI) (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13–1.71 and AOR 1.44; 95% CI, 1.09–1.90, respectively), were overweight (AOR 1.53; 955 CI, 1.01–2.29 and AOR 1.82; 95% CI, 1.04–3.19, respectively) or had obesity (AOR 2.47; 95% CI, 1.74–3.51 and AOR 3.20; 95% CI, 2.00–5.16, respectively) in 2005. Weight gain of over 20% also had a negative impact on energy level among cohort members with a normal BMI in 2005 (AOR 1.36; 95% CI, 1.11–1.65) and among participants with obesity in 2005 (AOR 1.93; 95% CI, 1.38–2.71). For those who were underweight, had a normal BMI, or had obesity at baseline, weight loss of more than 5% was associated with reporting emotional problems. Excessive weight gain adversely impacted participants who were underweight or had obesity at baseline.
Conclusion: Our study found that weight change, in particular weight gain, was associated with negative health outcomes, and this effect appeared to increase at higher levels of body size. The present findings may be useful to promote weight maintenance and healthy lifestyles.