The purpose of this cross sectional study was to examine whether dog ownership increases the amount of the carer's physical activities and reduces cardiovascular risk. The amount of physical activities and risk factors for cardiovascular diseases were obtained from 1189 subjects (aging 24-88, 85.6% response rate) who agreed to participant in of the study at the time of medical check-up at Ogano Central Hospital. Ogano is a small town located in the mountainous area of Saitama Prefecture. We extracted 696 subjects (age 40-69) ; some were owners and the main carers of their dogs (dog owners) and the others had no pets (non-owners). As for the amount of physical activities, the dog owners had significantly higher energy expenditure of exercise and leisure time physical activities than those of non-owners for either sex. Accordingly, the dog owners had significantly higher physical activity level than non-owners for either sex. However, the prevalence rate of cardiovascular diseases risk factors was not significantly different between the two groups for either sex. We concluded that dog owners benefited from owing dogs in increasing their physical activities. However, no evidence was found from our subjects that dog ownership per se was associated with cardiovascular health status, probably because of the significant but small difference in the physical activities.
The purpose of this study is to find out an better screening protocol to identify female adolescents at risk for eating disturbances. We administered a newly-developed eating disturbance onset prediction test and the Eating Attitude Test-26 (the EAT-26) to 1061 Japanese female high school students at Time 1 (T1). EAT-26 was re-administered about 10 months later, designated as Time 2 (T2). Based on EAT-26 findings, students were classified into four eating behavior groups : onset-free group, recovered group, persistent group, and onset group. The normal groups at T1 (onset-free and onset groups) were extracted in Step 1, and the onset group was predicted from the extracted normal groups in Step 2. Useful items for Step 2 were investigated through the eating disturbance onset prediction test, and four items were selected. As a result, the correct discrimination rate in the onset group was obtained as 73.3%, and the negative predictive value was obtained as 98.3%. These results show that the protocol using the four items is useful in predicting the onset of eating disturbances among female high school students. False negative cases accounted for 1.2% of all students, thus, reduction of the false-negative rate by modification of measurement items may be needed.
This study, which conducts a research on the well-being of Japanese undergraduate students, has three aims. First, this study examines whether the Japanese version of the 13-item sense of coherence (SOC) scale (SOC13) and 11-item SOC scale (SOC11) possess the stability of factor structure. Second, it tries to establish the comprehensive undergraduates' well-being model that is predicted by SOC. Last, it examined whether the Japanese version of SOC13 and SOC11 predict established undergraduates' well-being in addition to examining stability of factor structure and level and changes of their SOC, and which scale is more useful in Japan, SOC11 or SOC13. To investigate these objectives, a follow-up survey was conducted based on a self-administered questionnaire that was given to 406 undergraduates at two universities in Tokyo. The first surveys were conducted on first and second year undergraduates in May and October 2000 (Time1) and second survey were September 2002 (Time2) ; valid responses were received from 281 students (valid response rate : 69.2%). Structural equation modeling revealed that SOC13 and SOC11 had a high stability of second-order factor structure, though there remained a need for minimal modifications. In Addition, an undergraduate's well-being model, which was controlled for gender, grade, and school, had a good model fit. In both SOC13 and SOC11, the SOC-level and SOC-change had a common, significant effect on the physical-mental well-being and psychosocial well-being of the subjects. However, common to both sides, the path coefficients from SOC-level and SOC-change, particularly SOC-level, to the psychosocial well-being were lower in comparison to physical-mental well-being though this model was modified in fractional part. SOC11 and SOC13 possessed nearly the same stability and influence in the physical-mental well-being and psychosocial well-being. We can assume that it is permissible to use the SOC13 or SOC11 and reserve judgment on SOC13 or SOC11. It will be necessary to compare the construct validity of SOC13 with that of SOC11 in other samples.