Background: This study aimed to examine the contextual effects of community-level social capital on the onset of depressive symptoms using a longitudinal study design.
Methods: We used questionnaire data from the 2010 and 2013 waves of the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study that included 14,465 men and 14,600 women aged over 65 years from 295 communities. We also used data of a three-wave panel (2006–2010–2013) to test the robustness of the findings (n = 7,424). Using sex-stratified multilevel logistic regression, we investigated the lagged associations between three scales of baseline community social capital and the development of depressive symptoms.
Results: Community civic participation was inversely associated with the onset of depressive symptoms (men: adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.88–0.99 and women: AOR 0.94; 95% CI, 0.88–0.997 per 1 standard deviation unit change in the score), while no such association was found in relation to the other two scales on social cohesion and reciprocity. This association was attenuated by the adjustment of individual responses to the civic participation component. Individual-level scores corresponding to all three community social capital components were significantly associated with lower risks for depressive symptoms. The results using the three-wave data set showed statistically less clear but similar associations.
Conclusions: Promoting environment and services enhancing to community group participation might help mitigate the impact of late-life depression in an aging society.
Background: Although meals that combine a staple food, main dish, and side dish (balanced meals) are recommended in Japan, the health effects of such meals are unclear. We investigated the association of frequency of eating balanced meals with frailty among community-dwelling older Japanese.
Methods: We analyzed data from 912 persons aged 65 years or older who participated in the Hatoyama Cohort Study or Kusatsu Longitudinal Study. The frequency of eating two or more balanced meals daily was self-reported as ≤1 day/week, 2 or 3 days/week, 4 or 5 days/week, and daily. Frailty was defined as the presence of at least three, and pre-frailty as the presence of one or two, of the following criteria: weight loss, muscle weakness, exhaustion, slowness, and low physical activity. Adjusted logistic regression was used to study associations of frequency of balanced-meal consumption with frailty (prefrailty and frailty combined) and frailty criteria.
Results: Participants reporting a frequency of balanced-meal consumption of ≤2 or 3 days/week had a higher prevalence of frailty (odds ratio [OR], 1.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21–2.64) than did those reporting a frequency of daily. Lower frequency of balanced-meal consumption was also associated with higher prevalences of weight loss (OR, 4.10; 95% CI, 1.90–8.85), exhaustion (OR, 6.35; 95% CI, 2.49–16.17), and low physical activity (OR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.22–3.01).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that more frequent twice daily consumption of meals with a staple food, main dish, and side dish decreases the risks of prefrailty and frailty.
Background: This study aimed to determine whether there are disparities in healthcare services utilization according to household income among people aged 75 years or older in Japan.
Methods: We used data on medical and long-term care (LTC) insurance claims and on LTC insurance premiums and needs levels for people aged 75 years or older in a suburban city. Data on people receiving public welfare were not available. Participants were categorized according to household income level using LTC insurance premiums data. The associations of low income with physician visit frequency, length of hospital stay (LOS), and medical and LTC expenditures were evaluated and adjusted for 5-year age groups and LTC needs level.
Results: The study analyzed 12,852 men and 18,020 women, among which 13.3% and 41.5%, respectively, were categorized as low income. Participants with low income for both genders were more likely to be functionally dependent. In the adjusted analyses, lower income was associated with fewer physician visits (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 0.90; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.87–0.92 for men and IRR 0.97; 95% CI, 0.95–0.99 for women), longer LOS (IRR 1.98; 95% CI, 1.54–2.56 and IRR 1.42; 95% CI, 1.20–1.67, respectively), and higher total expenditures (exp(β) 1.09; 95% CI, 1.01–1.18 and exp(β) 1.09; 95% CI, 1.05–1.14, respectively).
Conclusions: This study suggests that older people with lower income had fewer consultations with physicians but an increased use of inpatient services. The income categorization used in this study may be an appropriate proxy of socioeconomic status.
Background: It is unclear whether either neighborhood collective efficacy or school collective efficacy is associated with adolescent alcohol use. This study aimed to examine the relative contributions of collective efficacy, both in school and in the neighborhood contexts, to alcohol use among Japanese adolescents.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in public high schools across Okinawa and Ibaraki Prefectures in Japan in 2016. The study participants consisted of 3,291 students in grades 10 through 12 cross-nested in 51 schools and 107 neighborhoods. Alcohol use was measured as current alcohol drinking, which was defined as self-reported drinking on at least 1 day in the past 30 days. Collective efficacy was measured using scales of social cohesion and informal social control in school and the neighborhood. Contextual-level collective efficacy was measured using aggregated school-level and neighborhood-level individual responses, respectively. We used non-hierarchical multilevel models to fit the cross-nested data.
Results: Significant variation in alcohol use was shown between schools but not between neighborhoods. After adjusting for covariates, school collective efficacy at individual- and contextual-levels was protectively associated with alcohol drinking (odds ratio [OR] for the increase of one standard deviation from the mean 0.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63–0.82 and OR 0.61; 95% CI, 0.49–0.75, respectively), whereas neighborhood collective efficacy at individual- and contextual-levels was not associated with alcohol consumption.
Conclusion: The school-level associations of collective efficacy with adolescent alcohol use may have the greater impact than the neighborhood-level associations. Adolescent drinking prevention efforts should include enhancing school collective efficacy.
Background: Although the majority of survivors of the huge Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami evacuated to two types of temporary housings, prefabricated housing and rented housing, health effects of these different environments were unclear. We examined whether prevalent social participation in prefabricated housing brought larger health benefits than in rented housing using the largest health survey data of the disaster survivors.
Methods: This cross-sectional study used a 2012 survey by the Miyagi Prefectural Government, in which almost all of evacuees were targeted (response rate: 61.6%). Self-rated health (SRH) and psychological distress measured via K6 score were the dependent variables, and social participation was the independent variable. Odds ratios of the social participation on health variables were estimated using logistic regression models. To assess the contribution of social participation, the population attributable fraction (PAF) was estimated.
Results: The participants lived in prefabricated and rented housing numbered 19,726 and 28,270, respectively. Participants in prefabricated housing had poorer SRH and K6 than those in rented housing. The proportions of participants engaging in social participation of prefabricated and rented housing were 38.2% and 15.4%, respectively. The absence of social participation was significantly associated with poor SRH and K6 among participants in both housing types. The PAFs of social participation with good SRH were 39.5% in prefabricated housing and 14.4% in rented housing. For K6, the PAFs were 47.1% and 19.5% in prefabricated and rented housing, respectively.
Conclusion: Compared to the residents in rented housing, residents in prefabricated housing had more frequent opportunities for social participation, which was associated with larger health benefits.
Objective: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the fourth most common site for cancer death in the Republic of Korea. The aim of this study was to describe the trends of colorectal cancer mortality by region.
Methods: CRC mortality trends in Republic of Korea were described by region using a Joinpoint regression model in both sexes. The annual percent changes (APCs) were calculated for each segment. Visualization of the changes in mortality rate of colorectal cancer death rates by 16 geographic areas in both sexes between 2000–2004 and 2009–2013 were also conducted.
Results: CRC mortality rates of men showed decreasing trend after increase in Daegu, Gyeongsangnam-do, and Chungcheongbuk-do between 2000 and 2013 based on the joinpoint model, while Gwangju, Jeollabuk-do, Jeollanam-do, and Gyeongsangbuk-do showed increase in CRC mortality during the same period. For women, CRC mortality of Seoul, Incheon, Daejeon, and Gyeongsangnam-do started to decrease in 2005, 2003, 2007, and 2006, respectively. The mortality rate for CRC in the eastern regions, which had relatively low rates of CRC among men in 2000 through 2004, reached a level similar to that in the northwestern regions of 2009 through 2013, while the highest CRC mortality rates in women was observed in Chungcheongbuk-do.
Conclusions: Reduction in CRC mortality varied across 16 metropolitan cities and provinces in men, and the visualization pattern showed that the east side of South Korea had the least progress in mortality reduction.