To clarify Japanese university students' attitude toward suicide and to relate it with their views on life and death, a questionnaire survey was conducted for 1, 366 students of University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa Prefecture in 1992 The major findings were as follows.1. The subjects who had thought about suicide (called "suicide awareness" group) accounted for 6.3% ; compared between the students from Okinawa and those from other prefectures this rate was significantly higher in the latter (p<0.01).2. The suicide awareness group thought about death earlier in their lives and had more positive attitude toward death such as "release from suffering, " "beautiful" and "peaceful" than other two groups.3. The association between attitude toward suicide and consciousness about death in the homeland was recognized by the suicide awareness group (a half of the students) more than by other two groups (p<0.001) and the suicide awareness group showed higher proportions in justification of suicide (p<0.001) and in courageous behavior for suicide (p<0.05).4. Compared with other two groups, the suicide awareness group had a higher proportion in positive feeling on the effect of religion on death (p<0.001) and a lower proportion in belief of metempsychosis (remigration of souls) (p<0.001).5. Regarding the association with terminal situation, the suicide awareness group showed a higher proportion in recognition of cerebral death as human death (p<0.001) and differed from other two groups in desired place at death and desired treatment in the terminal period.
The concentrations of sodium and potassium in udon (traditional Japanese noodle) soup were assessed to clarify the geographical differences, since, according to annual report of the National Nutrition Survey, Japan, the mean daily salt intake has been high in Tohoku and Kanto chihos or provinces and in prefectures along the Japan Sea. Six hundred and forty noodle (359 kake-udon and 281 zaru-udon) soup samples were collected from udon and/or soba restaurants located in 198 cities or towns in 45 kens (prefectures) except for Hokkaido and Okinawa in Japan. The mean sodium concentrations of kake-udon soup samples was the highest in Shimane, Ishikawa, and Niigata kens, and the lowest in Hyogo, Osaka and Shiga kens. Using the classification by the National Nutrition Survey, the samples from both Kinki I chiho (Kyoto, Osaka and Hyogo kens) and Kinki II chiho (Nara, Wakayama and Shiga kens) had significantly lower sodium con-centration than those from Hokuriku, Chugoku and South Kanto chihos; the samples from Kinki I chiho had significantly lower sodium concentration than those from Tohoku and North Kanto. The mean sodium concentration of kake-udon soup samples from the areas along Seto-naikai (Okayama, Hiroshima, and south Yamaguchi kens) of Chugoku chiho was significantly lower than that from the areas along Japan Sea (Tottori, Shimane, and north Yamaguchi kens). The mean sodium concentration of kake-udon soup samples from West Japan was significantly lower than that from East Japan. The mean sodium concentration of zaru-udon soup samples from Kinki chiho (Kinki I and Kinki II) was significantly lower than that of the samples from the other eight chihos. In contrast, the potassium concentrations of kake- and zaru-udon soup samples showed no significant difference. In short, the mean sodium concentrations of kake-udon soup samples were the lowest in Kinki chiho, the next lowest in areas along the Seto-naikai of Chugoku chiho, Shikoku ana Kyushu chihos, and the highest in Kanto, Hokuriku and Tohoku chihos. The mean sodium concentration of zaru-udon soup was also the lowest in Kinki chiho, with smaller regional differences. A significant positive correlation (r = 0.676) was found between the mean sodium concentration of kake-udon soup samples and that of zaru-udon soup samples from 10 chihos. A significant positive correlation (r = 0.620) was observed between the mean sodium concentration of kake-udon soups and the mean daily salt intake estimated by the National Nutrition Survey in Japan across 11 chihos. It was shown that the habit of seasoning could determine the regional difference of daily salt intake, reflecting the local populations' preference for salty taste.
The purpose of the present study was to search for the historical concerns of doping and the social recognition on it for the last 50 years by the contents analysis of articles in the Asahi Shinbun, one of the leading newspapers in Japan. The following results were obtained. 1. The first article on doping, concerning the death of a Danish cyclist in the Rome Olympic Games due to the use of roniacol of vasodilator as a stimulant, appeared in 1960. 2. The volume of the articles about doping increased from the beginning of the 1970s, reflecting increase of the social interest in doping, represented by the introduction of a doping control test in that time. 3. The marked increase in the volume of articles about doping was observed in 1988, when the scandal of Ben Johnson occurred; in this year, the volume reached 802.3 column ? centimeters and 88.1% of them treated his scandal. 4. The highest volume of the articles, i.e. 1, 352.1 column ? centimeters, among the 50 years was observed in 1994. This volume was equivalent to 5 pages of newspaper. Compared with the volume of articles about AIDS in the same newspaper in 1990 and 1991(Hirata et al., 1995), that of doping was 79.1% and 113.0% respectively, implying that doping was socially concerned to the same extent which AIDS was. 5. The comparison of the volume of articles of doping by the categorized pages revealed that 91.2% were treated in the sports pages. It is recommended that the newspapers deal with more articles about doping, focusing on the morals and the side-effects in other pages than sports pages.
In order to evaluate the applicability of waist circumference as a health indicator, this study examined the relationships between anthropometric measures and their ratios and hematological parameters, i.e. total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) and glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (GPT), and blood pressure for 456 males aged 2064, who were employees of a private company in Tokyo; the anthropometric measures included waist circumference, stature, weight and subcutaneous skinfold thickness. There were three major findings. First, the correlation coefficients of the waist circumference and thewaist/stature ratio (WSR) with TC, TG and blood pressure were higher than those of the bodymass index (BMI). Second, discriminant analysis determined that the waist circumference andthe WSR were significant variables. Third, the relationships between either of the waist circumference or the WSR and the proportion of the subjects with health problems and the total number of health problems, showed a J-shape pattern. These results suggent that the waist circumference and the WSR are useful indicators, and, in particular, the waist circumference is a useful indicator for individual health for everyday care.