Background: We aimed to report the prevalence and correlates of high-risk alcohol consumption and types of alcoholic beverages.
Methods: The baseline data of the Health Examinees-Gem (HEXA-G) study participants, including 43,927 men and 85,897 women enrolled from 2005 through 2013, were used for analysis. Joinpoint regression was performed to estimate trends in the age-standardized prevalence of alcohol consumption. Associations of demographic and behavioral factors, perceived health-related effects, social relationships, and the diagnostic history of diseases with alcohol consumption were assessed using multinomial logistic regression.
Results: The prevalence of alcohol consumption remained higher in men during the study period and increased in women. The amount of alcohol consumed has increased in women, especially that from beer and makgeolli, a traditional Korean fermented rice wine. Older participants were less likely to be high-risk drinkers (men and women who drink more than 40 or 20 g/day of alcohol, respectively) and drink Soju, a distilled liquor, and beer, and more likely to drink makgeolli. Educational level was negatively associated with high-risk drinking. However, it was positively associated with the consumption of strong spirits and wine. Smoking was associated with high-risk drinking and the consumption of soju and strong spirits. Engaging in regular exercise and having stress were associated with drinking all types of beverages except for soju.
Conclusions: Sex-specific trends in alcohol consumption were influenced by demographic, behavioral, and perceived health-related factors. The findings will help improve the understanding of alcohol-related problems and provide evidence for establishing country-specific policies and campaigns in Korea.
Background: The trend of association between overweight and high serum total cholesterol (TC) among the elderly is unclear. In addition, there is little evidence of risk of underweight for high TC. Therefore, we examined the trend of association of overweight or underweight with high TC among Japanese elderly people using nationwide population-based data.
Methods: Data of the National Survey on Circulatory Disorders and National Health and Nutrition Survey for 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010 were used in the analysis. High TC was defined as 220 mg/dL and above. For participants aged ≥50 years, sex-specific odds ratios (ORs) of overweight or underweight compared with normal body mass index participants for high TC were calculated using a logistic regression model adjusted for age, smoking, drinking, exercise, food, and treatment of hyperlipidemia.
Results: A total of 5,734, 4,673, 5,059, and 2,105 participants enrolled in these surveys in 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010, respectively. Although overweight was positively and significantly associated with high TC in 1980, the association has gradually weakened since (ORs in 1980 and 2010 were 2.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.83–3.24 and 0.92; 95% CI, 0.66–1.27 among men and 1.43; 95% CI, 1.18–1.72 and 1.08; 95% CI, 0.81–1.44 among women, respectively). While underweight was inversely and significantly associated with high TC in 1980, the association also gradually weakened among women (ORs in 1980 and 2010 were 0.28; 95% CI, 0.12–0.60 and 0.37; 95% CI, 0.10–1.28 among men and 0.39; 95% CI, 0.26–0.57 and 0.96; 95% CI, 0.58–1.57 among women, respectively).
Conclusions: These findings provide evidence that high TC prevention efforts must expand the target to not only overweight but also to normal and underweight people.
Background: Simple physical fitness test can be a useful potential predictor of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). We examined the association between performances on simple physical fitness tests and the incidence of T2DM.
Methods: This longitudinal study was conducted in 21,802 nondiabetic Japanese (6,649 women) aged 20 to 92 years, who underwent all physical fitness tests at baseline (April 2001 to March 2002). From April 2001 to March 2008, physical fitness tests, including grip strength, vertical jump, single-leg balance with eyes closed, forward bending, whole-body reaction time, and supine legs-up, were performed every year. Participants had physical fitness tests at least two times during the period. T2DM was also annually determined based on fasting blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, and self-reported diabetes during the period. Discrete-time logit models were used to examine the influence of the serial level of each physical fitness test on the incidence of T2DM.
Results: During the entire study period, 972 participants developed diabetes. Lower relative grip strength (grip strength/body weight) and single-leg balance performance were associated with a higher incidence of T2DM. For relative grip strength, as compared with the fourth quartile group, the odds ratios for other groups ranged from 1.16 to 1.56 (P for trend < 0.001). For single-leg balance, the odds ratios ranged from 1.03 to 1.49 (P for trend < 0.001).
Conclusion: The performance of a simple single-leg balance test as well as that of a grip strength test were negatively associated with the risk of T2DM among Japanese.
Background: Practical criteria for the use of serum pepsinogen (PG) values in diagnosing Helicobacter pylori infection have not yet been determined.
Methods: The results of gastric endoscopies, H. pylori infection tests, and PG values were retrospectively reviewed. Subjects were assigned to groups, including never-infected (with neither infection nor gastric mucosal atrophy), infected (with atrophy or findings indicating infection in endoscopy and positive infection tests except for antibody tests), and ex-infected (with gastric mucosal atrophy and negative infection tests, except for antibody tests). The optimal criteria with combined use of the PG II concentrations and the PG I/PG II ratio were investigated separately for PG measurements obtained with the chemiluminescent magnetic particle immunoassay (CLIA) and latex agglutination (LA) methods, such that the specificity was greater than 70% and the sensitivity was no less than 95% among the never-infected and infected subjects. Similar analyses were performed by combining the data from ex-infected and infected subjects.
Results: For the CLIA (LA) method, the optimal criterion among 349 (397) never-infected and 748 (863) infected subjects was a PG II value of at least 10 (12) ng/mL or a PG I/PG II ratio no more than 5.0 (4.0), which produced 96.3% (95.1%) sensitivity and 82.8% (72.8%) specificity. When 172 (236) ex-infected subjects were included, the optimal criterion was the same, and the sensitivity was 89.1% (86.9%).
Conclusions: The above criteria may be practical for clinical use, and PG tests using these criteria might prevent unnecessary endoscopic examinations for never-infected subjects.
Background: The different profiles of e-cigarette users in different age groups have seldom been investigated, particularly in populations facing a high prevalence of cigarette smoking. This study aims to examine the prevalence and correlates of e-cigarette use separately for adolescents and adults in nationally representative samples in Taiwan.
Methods: Among 17,837 participants in the 2014 National Survey of Substance Use in Taiwan, 4445 were aged 12 to 17 years and 13,392 were aged 18 to 64 years. Individuals’ lifetime tobacco use was divided into four groups: non-use, exclusive e-cigarette use, exclusive cigarette use, and dual use. Questions on sociodemographic features, use and problematic use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, and psychosocial distress, among others, were administered using a computer-assisted self-interview on tablet computers.
Results: Among lifetime users of e-cigarette (2.2% for adults and 0.8% for adolescents), 4.5% for adults and 36.6% for adolescents were exclusive e-cigarette users. From use of exclusive e-cigarettes to use of exclusive cigarettes to dual use, those usage groups were related to an increasing trend of adjusted odds ratios for use of other psychoactive substances, particularly problematic use of alcohol or drugs, and with more depressive symptoms. Two correlates were specific to e-cigarette use: alcohol use had stronger relationships with e-cigarette use among adolescents, and younger adults (18–34) were more likely to try e-cigarettes compared to older adults.
Conclusions: These results provide essential information regarding e-cigarette use in the general population, and future prevention strategies should account for its specific correlates in young people.
Background: Low red blood cell folate concentrations during early pregnancy might cause neural tube defects. However, the association between folate concentrations and birth defects of other neural crest cell-derived organs remains unknown. We investigated the associations between birth defects and first-trimester serum folate concentrations in a birth-cohort study in Japan.
Methods: In total, 14,896 women who were prior to 13 weeks of gestation were enrolled from 2003 through 2012. Birth defect information was obtained from medical records and questionnaires. The association between folate levels in the first trimester and birth defects categorized as ICD-10 cord defects and neural crest cell-derived organ defects was examined. The crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) per log-transformed folate concentration were calculated using logistic regression.
Results: Blood samples were obtained at a mean of 10.8 weeks of gestation. Median serum folate level was 16.5 (interquartile range, 13.4–21.5) nmol/L, and the deficiency level (less than 6.8 nmol/L) was 0.7%. There were 358 infants with birth defects. The adjusted odds ratio for any birth defect, ventricular septal defects, and cleft lip was 0.99 (95% CI, 0.74–1.32), 0.63 (95% CI, 0.30–1.33), and 4.10 (95% CI, 0.96–17.58), respectively. There were no significant associations between first-trimester maternal serum folate and the risk of birth defects.
Conclusions: We were unable to demonstrate a relationship between maternal serum folate in the first trimester and birth defects. Potential confounding factors may have influenced our results.