Background: The complex etiology of child growth failure and anemia—commonly used indicators of child undernutrition—involving proximate and distal risk factors at multiple levels is generally recognized. However, their independent and joint effects are often assessed with no clear conceptualization of inferential targets.
Methods: We utilized hierarchical linear modeling and a nationally representative sample of 139,116 children aged 6–59 months from India (2015–2016) to estimate the extent to which a comprehensive set of 27 covariates explained the within- and between-population variation in height-for-age, weight-for-age, weight-for-height, and hemoglobin level.
Results: Most of the variation in child anthropometry and hemoglobin measures was attributable to within-population differences (80–85%), whereas between-population differences (including communities, districts, and states) accounted for only 15–20%. The proximate and distal covariates explained 0.2–7.5% of within-population variation and 2.1–34.0% of between-population variation, depending on the indicator of interest. Substantial heterogeneity was observed in the magnitude of within-population variation, and the fraction explained, in child anthropometry and hemoglobin measures across the 36 states/union territories of India.
Conclusions: Policies and interventions aimed at reducing between-population inequalities in child undernutrition may require a different set of components than those concerned with within-population inequalities. Both are needed to promote the health of the general population, as well as that of high-risk children.
Background: Socioeconomic mobility affects health throughout the life course. However, it is not known whether there are gender differences in the association between life-course subjective socioeconomic status (SSS) mobility and mortality at older ages.
Methods: Participants were 16,690 community-dwelling adults aged 65–100 years in the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES). Baseline information including demographic characteristics, depression, and lifestyle factors were collected in 2010. Participants’ vital status was confirmed in 2013 via linkage to death records. We categorized life-course socioeconomic mobility into the following categories: ‘persistently high’, ‘downward mobility’, ‘upward mobility’, and ‘persistently low’. Cox proportional hazard modeling was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) for all-cause mortality.
Results: Mortality HRs for the ‘downward’ group were 1.37 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08–1.74) among men and 1.27 (95% CI, 0.94–1.71) among women in comparison with the ‘persistently high’ group. Compared to the ‘persistently low’ group, the HRs for the ‘upward’ group were 0.54 (95% CI, 0.35–0.83) among women and 0.91 (95% CI, 0.73–1.24) among men. Associations were not changed after adjusting for objective socioeconomic status but were attenuated by depression.
Conclusions: ‘Downward’ mobility was associated with mortality among men, but not among women. Depression appeared to mediate the association. A protective effect of upward mobility was observed among women but not among men.
Background: Physical activity can help to protect against cognitive decline in older adults. However, little is known about the potential combined relationships of time spent in sedentary behavior (SB), light-intensity physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) with indices of cognitive health. We examined the cross-sectional associations of objectively-determined sedentary and physically-active behaviors with an indicator of cognitive function decline (CFD) in older adults.
Methods: A randomly-recruited sample of 511 Japanese older adults (47% male; aged 65–84 years) wore a tri-axial accelerometer for 7 consecutive days in 2017. Cognitive function was assessed by interviewers using the Japanese version of Mini-Mental State Examination, with a score of ≤23 indicating CFD. Associations of sedentary and physically-active behaviors with CFD were examined using a compositional logistic regression analysis based on isometric log-ratio transformations of time use, adjusting for potential confounders.
Results: Forty one (9.4%) of the participants had an indication of CFD. Activity compositions differed significantly between CFD and normal cognitive function (NCF); the proportion of time spent in MVPA was 39.1% lower, relative to the overall mean composition in those with CFD, and was 5.3% higher in those with NCF. There was a significant beneficial association of having a higher proportion of MVPA relative to other activities with CFD. LPA and SB were not associated with CFD when models were corrected for time spent in all activity behaviors.
Conclusions: Larger relative contribution of MVPA was favorably associated with an indicator of CFD in older adults.
Background: Reproductive history has been addressed as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). We examined the relationship between reproductive history and CVD mortality in Japanese women.
Methods: We followed 53,836 women without previous CVD or cancer history from 1988–1990 to 2009 in a prospective cohort study. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of CVD mortality were estimated according to the number of deliveries and maternal age at first delivery.
Results: During the follow-up, 2,982 CVD-related deaths were identified. There was U-shaped association between the number of deliveries and risk of CVD mortality with reference to three deliveries, although the excess risk of CVD mortality associated with ≥5 deliveries was of borderline statistical significance. The corresponding multivariable HRs were 1.33 (95% CI, 1.12–1.58) and 1.11 (95% CI, 0.99–1.24). In addition, higher CVD mortality was associated with maternal age ≥28 years at first delivery than maternal age of 24–27 years at first delivery. The multivariable HRs were 1.22 (95% CI, 1.10–1.36) for 28–31 years at first delivery and 1.26 (95% CI, 1.04–1.52) for ≥32 years at first delivery. Moreover, among women with ≥3 deliveries, maternal age ≥28 years at first delivery was associated with 1.2- to 1.5-fold increased CVD mortality.
Conclusion: The number of deliveries showed a U-shaped association with risk of CVD mortality. Higher maternal age at first delivery was associated with an increased risk of CVD mortality, and excessive risk in women aged ≥28 years at first delivery was noted in those with ≥3 deliveries.
Background: The objective was to evaluate the effects of personal characteristics on the validation of self-reported type 2 diabetes among Chinese adults in urban Shanghai.
Methods: During 2015 through 2016, 4,322 participants were recruited in this validation study. We considered the criteria of diabetes verification to use the laboratory assays of fasting plasma glucose (FPG), glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), or self-reported use of diabetic medication.
Results: When taking diabetic medication or FPG ≥7.0 mmol/L was as identified diabetes, the measurements of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and Kappa value of self-reported diabetes were 72.0%, 99.2%, 95.1%, 93.9%, and 0.78, respectively. If an additional HbA1c test was used for 708 subjects (aged <65 years), slightly lower values of sensitivity, NPV, and Kappa were observed. More potential diabetes cases were found compared to only using FPG. Subjects who were female, older, or had a family history of diabetes had sensitivity over 75% and excellent Kappa over 0.8, while the sensitivity and Kappa of opposite groups had poorer values. Specificity, PPV, and NPV were similar among groups with different demographic or disease characteristics. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes was 19.3% in the study (14.1% diagnosed diabetes, 5.2% undiagnosed diabetes). About 26.2% of subjects were pre-diabetic. Additional HbA1c test indicated an increased prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes and pre-diabetes.
Conclusions: Findings support self-reported diabetes is sufficiently valid to be used in large-scale, population-based epidemiologic studies. Participants with different characteristics may have different indicators in terms of validation, such as age, gender, and family history of diabetes in first-degree relatives.
Background: This longitudinal study aimed to examine the changes in psychological distress of the general public from the early to community-transmission phases of the COVID-19 pandemic and to investigate the factors related to these changes.
Methods: An internet-based survey of 2,400 Japanese people was conducted in two phases: early phase (baseline survey: February 25–27, 2020) and community-transmission phase (follow-up survey: April 1–6, 2020). The presence of severe psychological distress (SPD) was measured using the Kessler’s Six-scale Psychological Distress Scale. The difference of SPD percentages between the two phases was examined. Mixed-effects ordinal logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the factors associated with the change of SPD status between the two phases.
Results: Surveys for both phases had 2,078 valid respondents (49.3% men; average age, 50.3 years). In the two surveys, individuals with SPD were 9.3% and 11.3%, respectively, demonstrating a significant increase between the two phases (P = 0.005). Significantly higher likelihood to develop SPD were observed among those in lower (ie, 18,600–37,200 United States dollars [USD], odds ratio [OR] 1.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10–3.46) and the lowest income category (ie, <18,600 USD, OR 2.12; 95% CI, 1.16–3.86). Furthermore, those with respiratory diseases were more likely to develop SPD (OR 2.56; 95% CI, 1.51–4.34).
Conclusions: From the early to community-transmission phases of COVID-19, psychological distress increased among the Japanese. Recommendations include implementing mental health measures together with protective measures against COVID-19 infection, prioritizing low-income people and those with underlying diseases.