The relation between self-esteem and smoking, drinking and drug use in Japanese high school students was examined. A total of 2506 first- and second- (tenth and eleventh) grade high school students in seven prefectures completed a self-report questionnaire designed to assess their smoking, drinking and drug-use behavior and future intention to smoke, drink alcohol and use drugs. We verified the reliability and validity of assessing self-esteem using a Japanese language version of Rosenberg's Self-esteem Scale. In males, self-esteem was significantly and negatively related to smoking behavior, and those who did not intend to smoke in the future had significantly higher self-esteem scores than those who intended to smoke. In male experimental smokers, those who did not intend to smoke in the future had significantly higher self-esteem scores than those who intended to smoke. On the other hand, no relation was found between female high school students' self-esteem and smoking behavior and intention to smoke. Nor was any relation found in the self-esteem of both genders and drinking and drug-use behavior and intended future drinking and drug use. The results of this study indicate that high self-esteem and education to raise self-esteem is important in preventing smoking in male high school students in Japan.
Underutilization of governmental medical facilities for child delivery, high risks in home delivery, and inappropriate weaning and breastfeeding practices related to child malnutrition are problems in maternal and child health in Bangladesh. We conducted five sessions of group interview to elucidate practices and preference about child delivery and breastfeeding in Dhamrai county, Dhaka district. Twenty-five women; 6 pregnant women, 4 mothers, 5 traditional birth attendants (TBAs), 4 family welfare assistants (FWAs), and 6 nurses, participated in the sessions. Interviews were conducted in Dhamrai Health Complex, which has a county hospital . Most of child deliveries in the area took place at home, and were attended mostly by TBAs . Recurrent training for TBAs, however, was not available in the county . Wishes to have child delivery in the county hospital existed but limited. Nurses in the county hospital were busy with medical treatment, and didn't have enough time for antenatal and postnatal care and consultation . The mothers interviewed gave colostrum to their babies and did exclusive breastfeeding in the first 5 months. Timings to start weaning and contents of weaning food, however, seemed not appropriate. Periodical check of children's weight was not popular in the area. FWAs are responsible for these activities. But, they mainly concentrated on family planning and immunization . Training of TBAs, FWAs, and nurses to improve their skills and services, monitoring of their activities, and collaboration and communication among them were needed for further improvement of maternal and child health in Bangladesh.
Little information is available concerning the sex differences in the effects of BMI on blood pressure. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of BMI on blood pressure, focusing on the sex differences. Seven sets of cross-sectional data were obtained from annual health examinations (1994 through 2000) for residents aged 40 and older living in Tsunagi area, a small village in southern part of Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. Although age-adjusted mean BP levels and prevalence of hypertension were higher in the higher levels of BMI in both sexes, the significance of obesity (BMI≥25), as a strong predictor of hypertension, was more evident in women than in men. The risks of hypertension among women were substantially lower in less than 25 of BMI than in 25 or greater BMI, but this was not the case for men. For men, weight control for preventing hypertension should be taken into account even below 25 of BMI over weight level. This trend remined stable and consistent through all survey years. These data in dicate that obesity as a predictor of hypertension should have different standards between men and women, which is very important for determinations of clinical diagnosis and reducing incidence of associated metabolic diseases.