Dietary intake and practices in the Hong Kong Chinese population.
OBJECTIVES: To examine dietary intake and practices of the adult Hong Kong Chinese population to provide a basis for future public health recommendations with regard to prevention of certain chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and osteoporosis. PARTICIPANTS: Age and sex stratified random sample of the Hong Kong Chinese population aged 25 to 74 years (500 men, 510 women). METHOD: A food frequency method over a one week period was used for nutrient quantification, and a separate questionnaire was used for assessment of dietary habits. Information was obtained by interview. RESULTS: Men had higher intakes of energy and higher nutrient density of vitamin D, monounsaturated fatty acids and cholesterol, but lower nutrient density of protein, many vitamins, calcium, iron, copper, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. There was an age related decrease in energy intake and other nutrients except for vitamin C, sodium, potassium, and percentage of total calorie from carbohydrate, which all increased with age. Approximately 50% of the population had a cholesterol intake of < or = 300 mg; 60% had a fat intake < or = 30% of total energy; and 85% had a percentage of energy from saturated fats < or = 10%; criteria considered desirable for cardiovascular health. Seventy eight per cent of the population had sodium intake values in the range shown to be associated with the age related rise in blood pressure with age. Mean calcium intake was lower than the FAO/WHO recommendations. The awareness of the value of wholemeal bread and polyunsaturated fat spreads was lower in this population compared with that in Australia. There was a marked difference in types of cooking oil compared with Singaporeans, the latter using more coconut/palm/mixed vegetable oils. CONCLUSION: Although the current intake pattern for cardiovascular health for fat, saturated fatty acid, and cholesterol fall within the recommended range for over 50% of the population, follow up surveys to monitor the pattern would be needed. Decreasing salt consumption, increasing calcium intake, and increasing the awareness of the health value of fibre may all be beneficial in the context of chronic disease prevention. (+info)
Randomised controlled trial of effect of feedback on general practitioners' prescribing in Australia.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect on general practitioners' prescribing of feedback on their levels of prescribing. DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial. SETTING: General practice in rural Australia. PARTICIPANTS: 2440 full time recognised general practitioners practising in non-urban areas. INTERVENTION: Two sets of graphical displays (6 months apart) of their prescribing rates for 2 years, relative to those of their peers, were posted to participants. Data were provided for five main drug groups and were accompanied by educational newsletters. The control group received no information on their prescribing. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prescribing rates in the intervention and control groups for the five main drug groups, total prescribing and potential substitute prescribing and ordering before and after the interventions. RESULTS: The intervention and control groups had similar baseline characteristics (age, sex, patient mix, practices). Median prescribing rates for the two groups were almost identical before and after the interventions. Any changes in prescribing observed in the intervention group were also seen in the control group. There was no evidence that feedback reduced the variability in prescribing nor did it differentially affect the very high or very low prescribers. CONCLUSIONS: The form of feedback evaluated here-mailed, unsolicited, centralised, government sponsored, and based on aggregate data-had no impact on the prescribing levels of general practitioners. (+info)
Preliminary report: symptoms associated with mobile phone use.
Mobile phone use is ubiquitous, although the alleged health effects of low level radio-frequency radiation (RFR) used in transmission are contentious. Following isolated reports of headache-like symptoms arising in some users, a survey has been conducted to characterize the symptoms sometimes associated with mobile phone usage. A notice of interest in cases was placed in a major medical journal and this was publicized by the media. Respondents were interviewed by telephone using a structured questionnaire. Forty respondents from diverse occupations described unpleasant sensations such as a burning feeling or a dull ache mainly occurring in the temporal, occipital or auricular areas. The symptoms often began minutes after beginning a call, but could come on later during the day. The symptoms usually ceased within an hour after the call, but could last until evening. Symptoms did not occur when using an ordinary handset, and were different from ordinary headaches. There were several reports suggestive of intra-cranial effects. Three respondents reported local symptoms associated with wearing their mobile phone on their belts. There was one cluster of cases in a workplace. Seventy-five per cent of cases were associated with digital mobile phones. Most of the respondents obtained relief by altering their patterns of telephone usage or type of phone. Cranial and other diverse symptoms may arise associated with mobile phone usage. Physicians and users alike should be alert to this. Further work is needed to determine the range of effects, their mechanism and the possible implications for safety limits of RFR. (+info)
Rider injury rates and emergency medical services at equestrian events.
BACKGROUND: Horse riding is a hazardous pastime, with a number of studies documenting high rates of injury and death among horse riders in general. This study focuses on the injury experience of cross country event riders, a high risk subset of horse riders. METHOD: Injury data were collected at a series of 35 equestrian events in South Australia from 1990 to 1998. RESULTS: Injury rates were found to be especially high among event riders, with frequent falls, injuries, and even deaths. The highest injury rates were among the riders competing at the highest levels. CONCLUSION: There is a need for skilled emergency medical services at equestrian events. (+info)
Changing epidemiology of hepatitis A in the 1990s in Sydney, Australia.
Surveillance of hepatitis A in residents of Eastern Sydney Health Area identified substantial epidemics in homosexual males in 1991-2 with a peak rate of 520 per 100,000 recorded in males aged 25-29 years, and again in 1995-6, with a peak rate of 405 per 100,000 per year in males aged 30-34 years. During 1994-5 an epidemic was detected among disadvantaged youth associated with injecting drug use; peak rates of 200 per 100,000 per year were reported in males aged 25-29 years and of 64 per 100,000 per year among females aged 20-24 years. The epidemiology of hepatitis A in these inner suburbs of Sydney is characterized by very few childhood cases and recurrent epidemics among homosexual men. Identified risk groups need to be targeted with appropriate messages regarding the importance of hygiene and vaccination in preventing hepatitis A. However, poor access to health services among disadvantaged youth and a constant influx of young homosexual males into these inner suburbs present major challenges to hepatitis A control. (+info)
A comparative analysis of surveyors from six hospital accreditation programmes and a consideration of the related management issues.
PURPOSE: To gather data on how accreditors manage surveyors, to compare these data and to offer them to the accreditors for improvement and to the scientific community for knowledge of the accreditation process and reinforcement of the credibility of these processes. DATA SOURCE: The data were gathered with the aid of a questionnaire sent to all accreditors participating in the study. RESULTS: An important finding in this comparative study is the different contractual relationships that exist between the accreditors and their surveyors. CONCLUSION: Surveyors around the world share many common features in terms of careers, training, work history and expectations. These similarities probably arise from the objectives of the accreditors who try to provide a developmental process to their clients rather than an 'inspection'. (+info)
Biodiversity of Lactococcus garvieae strains isolated from fish in Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Lactococcus garvieae (junior synonym, Enterococcus seriolicida) is a major pathogen of fish, producing fatal septicemia among fish species living in very diverse environments. The phenotypic traits of L. garvieae strains collected from three different continents (Asia, Europe, and Australia) indicated phenotypic heterogeneity. On the basis of the acidification of D-tagatose and sucrose, three biotypes were defined. DNA relatedness values and a specific PCR assay showed that all the biotypes belonged to the same genospecies, L. garvieae. All of the L. garvieae strains were serotyped as Lancefield group N. Ribotyping proved that one clone was found both in Japan, where it probably originated, and in Italy, where it was probably imported. PCR of environmental samples did not reveal the source of the contamination of the fish in Italy. Specific clones (ribotypes) were found in outbreaks in Spain and in Italy. The L. garvieae reference strain, isolated in the United Kingdom from a cow, belonged to a unique ribotype. L. garvieae is a rising zoonotic agent. The biotyping scheme, the ribotyping analysis, and the PCR assay described in this work allowed the proper identification of L. garvieae and the description of the origin and of the source of contamination of strains involved in outbreaks or in sporadic cases. (+info)
Mutations in the nebulin gene associated with autosomal recessive nemaline myopathy.
The congenital nemaline myopathies are rare hereditary muscle disorders characterized by the presence in the muscle fibers of nemaline bodies consisting of proteins derived from the Z disc and thin filament. In a single large Australian family with an autosomal dominant form of nemaline myopathy, the disease is caused by a mutation in the alpha-tropomyosin gene TPM3. The typical form of nemaline myopathy is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait, the locus of which we previously assigned to chromosome 2q21.2-q22. We show here that mutations in the nebulin gene located within this region are associated with the disease. The nebulin protein is a giant protein found in the thin filaments of striated muscle. A variety of nebulin isoforms are thought to contribute to the molecular diversity of Z discs. We have studied the 3' end of the 20. 8-kb cDNA encoding the Z disc part of the 800-kDa protein and describe six disease-associated mutations in patients from five families of different ethnic origins. In two families with consanguineous parents, the patients were homozygous for point mutations. In one family with nonconsanguineous parents, the affected siblings were compound heterozygotes for two different mutations, and in two further families with one detected mutation each, haplotypes are compatible with compound heterozygosity. Immunofluorescence studies with antibodies specific to the C-terminal region of nebulin indicate that the mutations may cause protein truncation possibly associated with loss of fiber-type diversity, which may be relevant to disease pathogenesis. (+info)