Background: Studies have shown that rural residents face disadvantages concerning medical access and socio-economic conditions. However, the social determinants of health among older people in rural areas are still unclear. The Neuron to Environmental Impact across Generations (NEIGE) study investigated the social determinants of health among older rural adults.
Methods: A survey was conducted among the older residents of Tokamachi City, Japan. We randomly selected study participants (N = 1,346) from four stratified groups by age (65–74 and 75–84 years) and residential area (Tokamachi center [downtown] and Matsunoyama [mountain]). The survey collected data on socio-economic status, lifestyle, health, and neighborhood environment. Blood and urine sampling were also conducted, and physical activity was assessed. Magnetic resonance brain imaging (MRI) and Apo-E gene were also examined in the analysis.
Results: In total, 527 people participated in the NEIGE study (participation rate: 39.2%). The average age of the participants was 73.5 (standard deviation, 5.6) years, and 47.3% were male. No differences in demographics were found between downtown and mountain residents, except for educational attainment, which was lower among mountain residents. Lifestyles were similar, except for the higher percentage of everyday drinkers (33.3–35.3%) in the mountain area. Concerning physical health, muscle mass, grip strength, and measured physical activity were significantly higher among mountain residents. However, gait speed and balance were better among downtown residents.
Conclusion: The findings of the NEIGE study will help elucidate the social determinants of health in older rural adults in Japan, and emphasize the different outcomes between downtown and mountain areas.
Background: While a growing body of research suggests a protective role of healthy lifestyle against depression, evidence from prospective studies is scarce. We constructed a healthy lifestyle index (HLI) and examined its prospective association with depressive symptoms in a Japanese working population.
Methods: Participants were 917 employees (19–68 years old) who were free from depressive symptoms at baseline in 2012–2013 and attended the 3-year follow-up survey. The HLI (range: 0–7 points) was constructed by assigning 1 point to each healthy lifestyle factor, namely, (1) normal body mass index (18.5–24.9 kg/m2), (2) non-smoking, (3) no or moderate alcohol intake (≤23 g ethanol/day), (4) adequate physical activity (≥7.5 metabolic equivalent-hours/week), (5) high vegetable intake (≥350 g/day), (6) high fruit intake (≥200 g/day), and (7) adequate sleep duration (6–8.9 hours/day), which was categorized into three groups (low: 0–2 points; middle: 3–4 points; and high: 5–7 points). Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.
Results: A total of 155 incident cases (17.0%) of depressive symptoms were identified at the follow-up survey. Compared with the low HLI group, multivariable-adjusted odds ratios of depressive symptoms were 0.74 (95% confidence interval, 0.48–1.15) and 0.55 (95% confidence interval, 0.31–0.99) for the middle and high HLI groups, respectively (P-trend = 0.041).
Conclusion: The present study suggests the importance of adherence to multiple healthy lifestyle factors in prevention of depressive symptoms.
Background: Maternal smoking during pregnancy is a major risk for adverse perinatal outcomes, as well as children’s health status. Thus, it is important to describe maternal smoking status during pregnancy and child-rearing to devise better intervention strategies. However, there have been no longitudinal studies to describe the status. Thus, in this study, we aimed to describe maternal smoking status during pregnancy and child-rearing based on population-based maternal and child health information. Moreover, we explored the factors associated with maternal smoking relapse after delivery.
Methods: We performed a survey of 1,220 mothers in a Japanese rural area who responded to a questionnaire upon registration of their pregnancies. When their children received health checkups at 4, 18, and 36 months of age, maternal smoking status was also surveyed. We then performed multiple logistic regression analysis to explore factors associated with maternal smoking relapse after delivery.
Results: Ultimately, the total number of mothers with data available for longitudinal analysis was 727 (59.6%). At the time of pregnancy registration, there were 74 current smokers (10.2%) and 176 former smokers (24.2%). Among them, 59 (33.5%) relapsed after delivery. Under 28 years of maternal age at pregnancy registration (OR 2.6; 95% CI, 1.2–5.4) was associated with maternal smoking relapse after delivery.
Conclusions: Longitudinal analyses showed that about 60% of mothers who smoked before and after delivery failed smoking cessation. In addition, younger mothers were significantly likely to relapse smoking after delivery.
Background: After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, a preliminary ultrasound-based screening for thyroid cancer was conducted to establish a baseline for subsequent evaluations. In this survey, we assessed the relationship between the proportion of non-examinees and characteristics of the target populations.
Methods: After summarizing a regional difference of non-examinees among the population of 359,200 (primary evaluation) and 2,246 (confirmatory testing) individuals who were living in Fukushima Prefecture on March 11, 2011, we estimated odds ratios (ORs) for each characteristic, including age, sex, area of residence, and moving after the accident, based on the proportion of non-examinees for the primary examination and the confirmatory testing, using a multivariate logistic regression model.
Results: The dataset included 64,117 non-examinees (primary evaluation) and 194 (confirmatory testing). The logistic regression result indicated that girls were not likely to be non-examinees compared to boys, with adjusted OR of 0.80 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78–0.81) for the primary evaluation. Odds were lowest for children 6–10 years old (OR 0.26; 95% CI, 0.25–0.27), and higher for those 11–15 years old (OR 1.28; 95% CI, 1.25–1.32) and over 16 years old (OR 5.30; 95% CI, 5.16–5.43) when compared to children 0–5 years old. Individuals residing in the western part of the prefecture showed higher ORs. There was a higher proportion of non-examinees among those who moved after the accident compared to those who did not in the primary evaluation (OR 1.72; 95% CI, 1.64–1.79).
Conclusions: In addition to demographic characteristics, a change of residence could be a potential factor that influenced the proportion of non-examinees. Our results will help proper interpretation of reports and prospective management of the survey.
Background: The association of alcohol drinking with bladder cancer risk remains unclear in East Asian populations. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) enzyme oxidizes alcohol-metabolized carcinogenic acetaldehyde into acetate. It is well known that the inactive ALDH2 carriers, specific to East Asian populations, have an increased risk of several cancer types because of increased exposure to acetaldehyde after alcohol consumption. The aim of this study was to examine the association between alcohol drinking and bladder cancer risk using data from ten population-based prospective cohort studies in Japan, where approximately 40% of the population has inactive ALDH2 enzyme.
Methods: We analyzed 340,497 Japanese participants with average follow-up of 13.4 years. The association between alcohol drinking and bladder cancer risk was evaluated using Cox regression models within each study, and random-effects models were used to estimate pooled hazard ratios (HRs) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results: During 4,729,071 person-years, 936 men and 325 women were newly diagnosed with bladder cancer. Our results showed no evidence of significant association between alcohol drinking and bladder cancer risk even among men who consumed alcohol of ≥69 g/week, with HR of 1.02 (95% CI, 0.79–1.33). The null result was observed consistently among women.
Conclusions: Our findings do not support an association between alcohol drinking and bladder cancer risk in the Japanese, at least without consideration of the polymorphisms of alcohol-metabolizing enzymes.