Background: Inflammation is thought to be a risk factor for kidney disease. However, whether inflammatory status is either a cause or an outcome of chronic kidney disease remains controversial. We aimed to investigate the causal relationship between high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) using Mendelian randomization (MR) approaches.
Methods: A total of 10,521 participants of the Japan Multi-institutional Collaborative Cohort Study was analyzed in this study. We used two-sample MR approaches (the inverse-variance weighted (IVW), the weighted median (WM), and the MR-Egger method) to estimate the effect of genetically determined hs-CRP on kidney function. We selected four and three hs-CRP associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as two instrumental variables (IV): IVCRP and IVAsian, based on SNPs previously identified in European and Asian populations. IVCRP and IVAsian explained 3.4% and 3.9% of the variation in hs-CRP, respectively.
Results: Using the IVCRP, genetically determined hs-CRP was not significantly associated with eGFR in the IVW and the WM methods (estimate per 1 unit increase in ln(hs-CRP), 0.000; 95% confidence interval [CI], −0.019 to 0.020 and −0.003; 95% CI, −0.019 to 0.014, respectively). For IVAsian, we found similar results using the IVW and the WM methods (estimate, 0.005; 95% CI, −0.020 to 0.010 and −0.004; 95% CI, −0.020 to 0.012, respectively). The MR-Egger method also showed no causal relationships between hs-CRP and eGFR (IVCRP: −0.008; 95% CI, −0.058 to 0.042; IVAsian: 0.001; 95% CI, −0.036 to 0.036).
Conclusion: Our two-sample MR analyses with different IVs did not support a causal effect of hs-CRP on eGFR.
Background: The hippocampus is a brain structure important for memory and cognitive function. Physical activity may help prevent hippocampal atrophy. However, few studies have measured sedentary behavior (SB) and intensity-specific physical activity using an accelerometer. This study aimed to examine the cross-sectional associations of objectively-determined SB, light-intensity physical activity (LPA), and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) measured by an accelerometer with hippocampal volume among community-dwelling older adults using compositional data analysis (CoDa) approach.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was part of the Neuron to Environmental Impact across Generations (NEIGE) study. A randomly recruited sample of 485 Japanese older adults (47% male; aged 65–84 years) wore tri-axial accelerometers (Omron Healthcare) for 7 consecutive days in 2017. Hippocampal volume was measured with magnetic resonance imaging and the left and right hippocampal volumes were automatically segmented using FreeSurfer software. Associations of sedentary and physically active behaviors with hippocampal volume were examined with compositional linear regression analysis based on isometric log-ratio transformations of time use adjusted for potential confounding factors.
Results: The relative proportion of time spent in MVPA, compared to the other two activities, was significantly positively associated with right hippocampal volume (β: 57.1, P-value = 0.027). However, no association existed between higher proportions of MVPA and left hippocampal volume, or between proportions of SB or LPA with either left or right hippocampal volumes.
Conclusion: The proportion of time spent in MVPA, relative to the other two activities, was significantly positively associated with right hippocampal volume. MVPA may be beneficial for maintaining hippocampal volume.
Background: The proportion of overweight individuals living in the evacuation zone of Fukushima increased after the Great East Japan Earthquake. However, the change in the prevalence of abdominal obesity has not been reported. Lifestyle habits and changes in these habits after the disaster might have affected the onset of abdominal obesity; however, the association between the two is unclear.
Methods: This study evaluated 19,673 Japanese participants of the Fukushima Health Management Survey. We used data from general health check-ups conducted in 13 municipalities between 2008 and 2010. Follow-up examinations were performed from June 2011 to March 2013. Changes in the proportion of individuals with abdominal obesity before and after the disaster were compared. Then, lifestyle habits affecting these changes were assessed.
Results: We found that 34.2% and 36.6% of participants (P < 0.001), both evacuees (37.0% and 42.1% [P < 0.001]) and non-evacuees (32.8% and 34.0% [P < 0.001]), had abdominal obesity before and after the disaster, respectively. Abdominal obesity was positively associated with smoking cessation, snacking after dinner, and non-breakfast skipping after the disaster and alcohol drinking before and after the disaster (all P < 0.05). Smoking cessation was positively associated with abdominal obesity in both evacuees and non-evacuees and in both men and women (all P < 0.01).
Conclusion: The prevalence of abdominal obesity increased among residents in the area affected by nuclear disaster. It might be associated with not only lifestyle habits before the disaster but also changes in these habits after the disaster, especially smoking cessation.
Background: Screening or diagnosis for the elderly with dementia in rural regions might be delayed and underestimated due to limited utilization of healthcare resources. This study aimed to evaluate the disparities of prevalence and risk factors of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia between urban and rural residence.
Methods: In this nationwide door-to-door survey, 10,432 participants aged 65 years and more were selected through computerized random sampling from all administrative districts in Taiwan and were assessed using an in-person interview. We calculated the prevalence of MCI and dementia, with their risk factors examined using multivariable logistic regression.
Results: The prevalence of dementia in rural, suburban, and urban areas among the elderly was 8.69% (95% CI, 8.68–8.69), 6.63% (95% CI, 6.62–6.63), and 4.46% (95% CI, 4.46–4.47), respectively. A similar rural-suburban-urban gradient relationship on the dementia prevalence was observed in any age and sex group. The rural:urban ratio was higher in women than in men for both MCI and dementia. Urbanization remained to be an independent factor for both MCI and dementia after adjustment for age, gender, education, lifestyle, and health status. The beneficial effects of exercise on dementia were more evident in rural areas than in urban ones.
Conclusion: Significantly higher prevalence of MCI and dementia were found in rural areas than in urban ones, especially for women. The odds of risk factors for MCI and dementia varied by urbanization status. Focus on the rural-urban inequality and the modification of associated factors specifically for different urbanization levels are needed.
Background: Increases in human mobility have been linked to rises in novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission. The pandemic era in Japan has been characterized by changes in inter-prefectural mobility across state of emergency (SOE) declarations and travel campaigns, but they have yet to be characterized.
Methods: Using Yahoo Japan mobility data extracted from the smartphones of more than 10 million Japanese residents, we calculated the monthly number of inter-prefectural travel instances, stratified by residential prefecture and destination prefecture. We then used this adjacency matrix to calculate two network connectedness metrics, closeness centrality and effective distance, that reliably predict disease transmission.
Results: Inter-prefectural mobility and network connectedness decreased most considerably during the first SOE, but this decrease dampened with each successive SOE. Mobility and network connectedness increased during the Go To Travel campaign. Travel volume between distant prefectures decreased more than travel between prefectures with geographic proximity. Closeness centrality was found to be negatively correlated with the rate of COVID-19 infection across prefectures, with the strength of this association increasing in tandem with the infection rate. Changes in effective distance were more visible among geographically isolated prefectures (Hokkaido and Okinawa) than among metropolitan, central prefectures (Tokyo, Aichi, Osaka, and Fukuoka).
Conclusion: The magnitude of reductions in human mobility decreased with each subsequent state of emergency, consistent with pandemic fatigue. The association between network connectedness and rates of COVID-19 infection remained visible throughout the entirety of the pandemic period, suggesting that inter-prefectural mobility may have contributed to disease spread.
Background: The Free/Low-Cost Medical Care Program (FLCMC) can subsidize the payment (exempt/lower) in designated institutions in Japan. Given that poverty is a multidimensional concept including social isolation, the FLCMC applicants may need social support over and above financial aid to improve their quality of life. However, there was no data to discuss what services should be provided and to whom. Hence, we aimed to describe the changes in health-related quality of life scores among users of the FLCMC, with respect to their socioeconomic backgrounds.
Methods: This cohort study included patients who newly used FLCMC from July 2018 to April 2019. We used patients’ social work records, obtained at baseline, and self-report questionnaires on the Medical Outcomes Study 8 Items Short Form Health Survey (SF-8), measured both at baseline and 6 months after the application. We used the change in physical and mental health component summary scores (PCS-8 and MCS-8, respectively) as outcome variables.
Results: Multiple linear regression analyses, adjusting for age, sex, healthcare institute, and baseline PCS-8 and MCS-8, showed that lower income was associated with an increase in PCS-8 (coef. −0.09; 95% CI, −0.15 to, −0.03) and MCS-8 (coef. −0.04; 95% CI, −0.11, to 0.03). Living alone (versus living with someone) was potentially associated with a decrease in both PCS-8 (coef. −1.58; 95% CI, −7.26 to 4.09) and MCS-8 (coef. −3.62; 95% CI, −9.19 to 1.95).
Conclusion: Among patients using FLCMC, those who live alone may need additional support. Further study testing the generalizability of the findings is required.