Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040
Volume 30, Issue 10
Displaying 1-9 of 9 articles from this issue
Original Article
  • Li-ping Xie, Wei-li Yan, Min Huang, Mei-rong Huang, Sun Chen, Guo-ying ...
    2020 Volume 30 Issue 10 Pages 429-435
    Published: October 05, 2020
    Released on J-STAGE: October 05, 2020
    Advance online publication: September 21, 2019

    Background: We sought to investigate epidemiologic features of Kawasaki disease (KD) in Shanghai from 2013 through 2017 and identify risk factors for coronary artery lesions (CAL).

    Methods: As in our previous three surveys, a set of questionnaires and diagnostic guidelines for KD were sent to 50 hospitals providing pediatric medical care in Shanghai. Medical records of KD patients diagnosed from January 2013 through December 2017 were retrospectively analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify risk factors for CAL.

    Results: A total of 4,452 cases were enrolled. Male-to-female ratio was 1.7:1. The incidence of KD was 68.8 to 107.3 per 100,000 children aged <5 years from 2013 to 2017. Age at onset ranged from 15 days to 14.0 years (median: 1.8 years). KD occurred more frequently in spring and summer. Of 4,325 patients (97.0%) receiving intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), 362 (8.4%) were resistant to initial IVIG. CAL occurred in 406 (9.1%) patients, including 118 (2.7%) with medium aneurysms and 31 (0.7%) with giant aneurysms. Recurrent cases were 60 (1.3%). No death was found in this survey. Higher platelet levels, lower albumin levels, male sex, incomplete KD, IVIG resistance, and receiving initial IVIG ≤4 days or >10 days, were independently associated with CAL.

    Conclusions: The incidence of KD in Shanghai had substantially increased while the proportion of CAL had substantially decreased as compared with our previous surveys. Higher platelet levels, lower albumin levels, male sex, incomplete KD, IVIG resistance, and receiving initial IVIG ≤4 days or >10 days, were risk factors for CAL.

    Download PDF (1104K)
  • Yukihiro Sato, Richard G. Watt, Yasuaki Saijo, Eiji Yoshioka, Ken Osak ...
    2020 Volume 30 Issue 10 Pages 436-441
    Published: October 05, 2020
    Released on J-STAGE: October 05, 2020
    Advance online publication: August 31, 2019
    Supplementary material

    Background: Levels of student loan debt have been increasing, but very little research has assessed if this is associated with poor health. The aim was to examine the association between student loans and psychological distress in Japan.

    Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional web-based self-administered questionnaire survey in 2017. The sample comprised of 4,149 respondents aged 20–34, with 3,170 graduates and 979 current university students. The independent variables were whether or not current students had student loans, and for graduates, the total amount of their student loan debt. The dependent variable was severe psychological distress assessed using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6; the cut-off point was 12/13). Covariates were demographic and parents’ socioeconomic variables. A Poisson regression analysis with a robust error variance was conducted to estimate prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Because there was a significant interaction between current student status and the status of borrowing student loans, stratified analyses were conducted.

    Results: The percentage of those with student loans was 33.8% among graduates and 35.2% among current university students. Among graduates, student loan debt was significantly associated with a high possibility of having severe psychological distress after adjusting for covariates (PR of ≥4 million yen, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.02–2.03). Among current university students, there was no significant association (PR of borrowing student loans, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.60–1.37).

    Conclusions: There was a significant association between student loan debt and psychological distress among graduates but not current university students.

    Download PDF (231K)
  • Tami Saito, Tuula Oksanen, Kokoro Shirai, Takeo Fujiwara, Jaana Pentti ...
    2020 Volume 30 Issue 10 Pages 442-449
    Published: October 05, 2020
    Released on J-STAGE: October 05, 2020
    Advance online publication: September 07, 2019
    Supplementary material

    Background: While marriage and education help maintain older adults’ health, their joint association with mortality remains unclear. This cross-national study examined the combined effect of marriage and education on the mortality of older Japanese and Finnish adults.

    Methods: Data on 22,415 Japanese and 11,993 Finnish adults, aged 65–74 years, were obtained from the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study of 2010–2012 and the Finnish Public Sector Study of 2008–2009 and 2012–2013. We followed up on respondents’ survival status for 5 years using public records. Marital status, educational level, and other variables in both datasets were harmonized.

    Results: The Cox proportional hazards model showed that unmarried men had a higher mortality risk than married men in both countries (hazard ratio [HR] 1.47; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21–1.79 for Japanese and HR 1.94; 95% CI, 1.29–2.91 for Finnish); no such difference was observed in women. The highest mortality risk was observed in unmarried men with tertiary education in both Japan (HR 1.85; 95% CI, 1.21–2.83) and Finland (HR 2.21; 95% CI, 1.26–3.89), when adjusted for baseline age, health-related behaviors, and illnesses.

    Conclusions: Our findings showed similarity in the combined effect of marriage and education between Japan and Finland, differing from observations in countries with more apparent socioeconomic health disparities. Further studies should examine the reasons for the excessive mortality risk in highly educated, unmarried men in both countries and consider whether selection bias led to underestimation of the true risk in unmarried older adults with lower education.

    Download PDF (1281K)
  • Makiko Sampei, Tsuguhiko Kato, Aurelie Piedvache, Naho Morisaki, Junko ...
    2020 Volume 30 Issue 10 Pages 450-456
    Published: October 05, 2020
    Released on J-STAGE: October 05, 2020
    Advance online publication: September 14, 2019
    Supplementary material

    Background: Unintentional injury is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among young children in developed countries. In this national study, we examined the role of municipality-level safety checklist implementation for reducing risky child-safety-related parental behaviors.

    Methods: Nationwide data were collected to evaluate the impact of the Healthy Parents and Children 21 initiative of the Japanese government. Questionnaires related to safety checklist implementation were administered to a random sample of municipal offices and to parents at the child’s routine 1.5-year health exam on parental behaviors related to child safety. Adjusting for municipality and individual-level variables, multilevel analysis was used to examine the relationship between municipality checklist implementation (4-month health exam) and six child-safety-related parental behaviors at the 1.5-year health exam.

    Results: Families (n = 23,394) across 371 municipalities in Japan were included in this study; 5.6% of municipalities implemented a child safety intervention. Living in a municipality with a checklist intervention was associated with reduction in certain risk behaviors (not keeping tobacco/ashtray and candy out of the reach of infants, not using a car seat, not having a lock on bathing room door). However, after additionally taking into account municipality-level residual effects, only the “tobacco” behavior showed association with municipality of residence (Interval odds ratio, 0.25–0.94) and others were weak in the context of other potential municipality-level influences.

    Conclusions: A municipality-level intervention taking a checklist-based approach at the 4-month health exam in Japan appears to promote certain child safety behaviors in parents with children around 1.5 years of age.

    Download PDF (327K)
  • Mengying Wang, Isao Muraki, Keyang Liu, Kokoro Shirai, Akiko Tamakoshi ...
    2020 Volume 30 Issue 10 Pages 457-463
    Published: October 05, 2020
    Released on J-STAGE: October 05, 2020
    Advance online publication: December 14, 2019
    Supplementary material

    Background: Little evidence is available about the association between diabetes and respiratory disease mortality among Japanese populations. We aimed to explore the association between diabetes and the risk of respiratory diseases mortality through a nationwide prospective study in Japan.

    Methods: We followed 95,056 participants (39,925 men and 55,131 women) for a median 17.1 years. The information about diabetes status, sociodemographic characteristics, and lifestyles was collected at baseline. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of mortality from respiratory diseases associated with baseline diabetes status.

    Results: We identified 2,838 deaths from total respiratory diseases (1,759 respiratory infection, 432 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and 647 other respiratory diseases). The association between diabetes and total respiratory disease mortality was statistically significant among women (HR 1.81; 95% CI, 1.39–2.37) but of borderline statistical significance in men (P for interaction <0.01). Besides, there were significant associations between diabetes and mortality from respiratory infection among both men and women (HR 1.39; 95% CI, 1.10–1.76 and HR 2.30; 95% CI, 1.71–3.11, respectively; P for interaction <0.001). However, we failed to detect any statistically significant association between diabetes and COPD mortality. Moreover, the subgroup analysis revealed that the association between diabetes and total respiratory disease mortality was stronger in never smokers when compared with ever smokers (P for interaction = 0.02).

    Conclusions: Significant association was observed between diabetes and the risk of total respiratory disease mortality, in particular from respiratory infection. Prevention and control of respiratory diseases, especially respiratory infection, should be paid more attention among people with diabetes in clinical and public health practice.

    Download PDF (225K)
  • Sachiko Baba, Ehab S. Eshak, Kokoro Shirai, Takeo Fujiwara, Yui Yamaok ...
    2020 Volume 30 Issue 10 Pages 464-473
    Published: October 05, 2020
    Released on J-STAGE: October 05, 2020
    Advance online publication: November 02, 2019

    Background: Spanking can cause adverse psychological development and biological functional changes in children. However, spanking is widely used by parents in Japan. This study explored the risk factors for family member’s spanking of 3.5-year-old children using nationwide population data in Japan.

    Methods: Surveys were administered to family members in Japan who had a child in 2001 (first cohort) or in 2010 (second cohort), and the data when their child was 0.5, 1.5, and 3.5 years old were used. We used multivariate binary and ordinal logistic regression analyses to examine the associations between risk factors and spanking children at 3.5 years of age, which was subcategorized into frequencies of never, sometimes, and always spanking, presented with odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

    Results: Among 70,450 families, 62.8% and 7.9% sometimes and always spanked their children, respectively. Children in the second cohort were spanked less frequently compared with those in the first cohort, and fathers who responded to the questionnaire spanked children less frequently than mothers who responded. Identified associated factors for spanking were male child, presence of siblings of the child, not living in a two-parent household, not living in a three-generation household, younger parents, parents with lower education, no outside work or unstable work, and lower family income.

    Conclusions: We found a high prevalence of spanking and its associated factors. Approaching those with lower socioeconomic factors and promoting fathers’ involvement in parenting may be important public health strategies for reducing and preventing spanking.

    Download PDF (253K)
  • Bingfeng Han, Tianshuo Zhao, Bei Liu, Hanyu Liu, Hui Zheng, Yongmei Wa ...
    2020 Volume 30 Issue 10 Pages 474-482
    Published: October 05, 2020
    Released on J-STAGE: October 05, 2020
    Advance online publication: August 22, 2020
    Supplementary material

    Background: The COVID-19 has spread to more than 200 countries and territories. But less is known about the knowledge, protection behavior and anxiety regarding the outbreak among the general population.

    Methods: A cross-sectional, population-based online survey was conducted in China and abroad from January 28 to February 1, 2020. Socio-demographic information was collected and knowledge scores, practice scores, anxiety scores and perceived risk were calculated. General linear model and binary logistic regression were used to identify possible associations.

    Results: We included 9,764 individuals in this study, and 156 (1.6%) were from Hubei Province. The average knowledge score was 4.7 (standard deviation, 1.0) (scored on a 6-point scale); 96.1% maintained hand hygiene, and 90.3% of participants had varying levels of anxiety. People in Hubei Province were the most anxious, followed by those in Beijing and Shanghai. People who had experienced risk behaviors did not pay more attention to wearing masks and hand hygiene.

    Conclusions: The public had high awareness on knowledge of COVID-19 outbreak, and a high proportion of people practiced good hand hygiene behavior. Many people claimed anxiety, especially in heavily affected areas during pandemic, suggesting the importance of closing the gap between risk awareness and good practice and conduct psychological counseling to public and patients.

    Download PDF (2736K)
Letter to the Editor