Public health communication is an essential component of public health activities to protect and promote the health of all people in all communities. However, research is scarce on how to communicate public health issues effectively to the Japanese population. In this article, I outline the concept of public health communication, present our study findings, and discuss future challenges to developing public health communication programs. More studies are required to establish evidence-based practical guidelines on public health communication in Japan.
Objectives: Recently, attention has been paid to the impact of cigarette smoking on skeletal muscles, as its underlying pathophysiological mechanism has been gradually elucidated. In this study, we aimed to examine whether cigarette smoking is associated with muscle mass reduction and low muscle strength in elderly men.
Methods: The study participants comprised 417 community-dwelling elderly men (aged 73±6 years) without severe glucose intolerance, chronic kidney disease, or liver disease. Bioelectrical impedance analysis was performed to estimate appendicular skeletal muscle mass (ASM), which was normalized for height (ASM index, kg/m2). Handgrip strength (HGS) was measured using a Smedley grip dynamometer. Cumulative smoking exposure level during a lifetime was expressed in pack-years, which is a product of the average number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day and smoking duration in years.
Results: When the participants were stratified on the basis of cumulative smoking exposure (<10 pack-years, 10–39 pack-years, ≥40 pack-years), the ASM index and HGS progressively decreased with increasing exposure level (P for trend <0.01). In multiple regression analysis, heavy smoking (defined as ≥40 pack-years) was found to be a significant determinant of the ASM index and HGS, independent of potential confounding factors. Among former smokers, the subgroup that quit smoking for ≥20 years had a significantly higher ASM index and HGS than the subgroup that quit smoking for <10 years. The duration of smoking cessation was significantly associated with the ASM index and HGS, even after adjusting for cumulative smoking exposure.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that cigarette smoking contributes to the loss of muscle mass and function in elderly men and that smoking cessation could reverse the impact of cigarette smoking on skeletal muscles.
Objective: The purpose of this study is to clarify the factors related to attitudes toward responses to a stress survey in the Stress Check Program, which is used to screen for workers with high psychosocial stress at the workplace.
Methods: An anonymous self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted on 1,800 regular staff member of a financial industry (valid response rate: 72.0%). The questionnaire items were the brief job stress questionnaire (BJSQ), the sense of coherence (SOC-13), the Japanese version of the Utrecht work engagement scale (UWES-J), attitudes toward responses to the stress survey, and the concerns of subjects regarding the stress check program.
Results: The stress in interpersonal relationships at the workplace in the BJSQ, “concerns about leaking results to the company”, “concerns about receiving persistent calls for an interview”, and “concerns about a disadvantageous treatment by the company” were positively related to ‘writing general truths’, whereas the support from the boss in the BJSQ and the subscales of SOC-13 were negatively related to ‘writing general truths’. The stress in interpersonal relationships at the workplace and “concerns about receiving persistent calls for an interview” were positively related to ‘writing falsehoods’, but the “dedication” in UWES-J was negatively related to ‘writing falsehoods’.
Conclusions: To obtain authentic answers in the stress survey, it is important (1) to smooth relationships at the workplace, (2) to devise operation systems such as an interview guidance, and (3) to provide support that enhances the ability of workers to cope with stress and work engagement.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to clarify the relationship of the annual transition of implementation of nonsmoking at eating and drinking establishments with indices of population/household and economy/labor by prefecture.
Methods: The prefectural rates of eating and drinking establishments implementing nonsmoking (hereafter, nonsmoking rate) were computed in a year using the data from “Tabelog®”. Forty-seven prefectures were classified by hierarchical cluster analysis into “prefecture clusters” 1 to 5 in descending order of the median of nonsmoking rates. The indices of population/household (e.g., percentage of the population aged 65 years and over and percentage of nuclear family household) and economy/labor (e.g., prefectural income per capita and percentage of construction and mining workers) were classified by hierarchical cluster analysis into 11 “index clusters”, and the representative index in each index cluster was extracted from the results of the Jonckheere-Terpstra test. An ordinal logistic regression analysis was performed using the numbers 1 to 5 of prefecture clusters as dependent variables and the indices representing the index clusters as independent variables.
Results: The percentage of the population aged 65 years and over and the percentage of construction and mining workers were positively related to the order of prefectural clusters.
Conclusions: To promote implementation of nonsmoking in eating and drinking establishments in prefectures especially in those with larger numbers of elderly people and construction and mining workers, it is important to inform the persons in charge that implementation of nonsmoking does not affect the number of customers.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to clearly identify the relationships among health literacy, social determinants of health, health behaviors, menopausal symptoms, lifestyle-related diseases, and depression in healthy menopausal women.
Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a questionnaire among menopausal women (45 to 60 years of age) who visited a facility offering various medical checkups to receive a specific medical checkup.
Logistic regression was used to analyze the association of health literacy and social determinants of health with health behaviors for 162 subjects adjusted for age. Moreover, the association of several factors (health literacy, social determinants of health, and health behaviors) with menopausal symptoms, borderline zones for lifestyle-related diseases, and depression was also analyzed in the same way.
Results: It was shown that educational history was associated with smoking habit with an age-adjusted odds ratio OR of 3.23 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.103–9.443). It was shown that health literacy was associated with smoking habit, age-adjusted OR 4.07 (95% CI: 1.337–12.388), menopausal symptoms, age-adjusted OR 2.48 (95% CI: 1.177–5.235), and depression, age-adjusted OR 6.24 (95% CI: 2.421–16.092).
Conclusion: It was found that poor health literacy was associated with smoking habit and the severity of menopausal symptoms and depression.
Objectives: Traffic noise exposure is associated with adverse health effects such as environmental sleep disorder, ischaemic heart disease (IHD), stroke and diabetes. The health risks posed by traffic noise were estimated to be quite high in European countries. However, in Japan, no estimation has ever been conducted. In the present study, we estimated the health risk posed by road traffic noise in Japan.
Methods: We estimated the risks of environmental sleep disorder (high sleep disturbance) and IHD caused by road traffic noise in Japan as of 2015 on the basis of existing noise-exposure estimates, vital statistics of deaths, and patient survey with exposure–response relationships proposed by the Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region issued in 2018. We employed old information on noise exposure in 1994 because it is the only information currently available in Japan. We also estimated the health risks of noise exposure levels that were equivalent to the Japanese environmental quality standards.
Results: The estimated numbers of patients with environmental sleep disorder and IHD caused by road traffic noise were approximately 1,200,000 and 9,000, respectively. The estimated number of mortalities from IHD was approximately 1,700. The noise exposure level equivalent to the Japanese noise standards caused a lifetime mortality rate of more than 10−2, which was extremely high as an environmental health risk.
Conclusions: As in European countries, road traffic noise was one of the most important environmental risk factors in Japan. However, the current Japanese noise standards are insufficient for the protection of public health.
Objectives: To identify the complex factors associated with anemia and overweight/obesity in pregnant Nepali women.
Methods: This study was conducted with 609 pregnant women who visited the Western Regional Hospital in Pokhara, Nepal, for maternal health checkups. We assessed their nutritional status on the basis of their responses to a questionnaire (socio-economic, demographic and health information using the Nepali version of the 14-item Health Literacy Scale), hemoglobin levels and body mass index (BMI). Data were analyzed and adjusted for confounding factors by binomial logistic regression analysis; this aided in identifying factors associated with anemia and overweight/obesity.
Results: The significant factor contributing to anemia is a low BMI (p=0.005, aOR=7.930, 95% CI=1.857, 33.870), followed by maternal age in the teens (p=0.000, aOR=3.018, 95% CI=1.852, 4.919). The significant factors contributing to overweight/obesity are household income, excluding the poorest (p=0.004, aOR=2.975, 95% CI=1.404, 6.303), followed by the presence of a nuclear family (p=0.000, aOR =2.156, 95% CI=1.493, 3.112). Functional literacy (p=0.005, aOR=1.045, 95% CI=1.013, 1.077) increases the risk of overweight/obesity, but critical literacy (p=0.009, aOR=0.819, 95% CI=0.705, 0.951) is a factor that buffers its onset.
Conclusions: The association of malnutrition with anemia and overweight/obesity has been confirmed in pregnant Nepali women, indicating the urgent need for new supports and improvements to nutrition. Nutrition education should be designed to take into consideration reproductive generation, as well as families with low health literacy.