(1/6426) Physician advice and individual behaviors about cardiovascular disease risk reduction--seven states and Puerto Rico, 1997.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) (e.g., heart disease and stroke) is the leading cause of death in the United States and accounted for 959,227 deaths in 1996. Strategies to reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke include lifestyle changes (e.g., eating fewer high-fat and high-cholesterol foods) and increasing physical activity. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that, as part of a preventive health examination, all primary-care providers counsel their patients about a healthy diet and regular physical activity. AHA also recommends low-dose aspirin use as a secondary preventive measure among persons with existing CVD. To determine the prevalence of physician counseling about cardiovascular health and changes in individual behaviors, CDC analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for seven states and Puerto Rico. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicate a lower prevalence of counseling and behavior change among persons without than with a history of heart disease or stroke.  (+info)

(2/6426) Hygiene behaviour in rural Nicaragua in relation to diarrhoea.

BACKGROUND: Childhood diarrhoea is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Nicaragua. Amongst the risk factors for its transmission are 'poor' hygiene practices. We investigated the effect of a large number of hygiene practices on diarrhoeal disease in children aged <2 years and validated the technique of direct observation of hygiene behaviour. METHODS: A prospective follow-up study was carried out in a rural zone of Nicaragua. From the database of a previously conducted case-control study on water and sanitation 172 families were recruited, half of which had experienced a higher than expected rate of diarrhoea in their children and the other half a lower rate. Hygiene behaviour was observed over two mornings and diarrhoea incidence was recorded with a calendar, filled out by the mother, and collected every week for 5 months. RESULTS: Of 46 'good' practices studied, 39 were associated with a lower risk of diarrhoea, five were unrelated and only for two a higher risk was observed. Washing of hands, domestic cleanliness (kitchen, living room, yard) and the use of a diaper/underclothes by the child had the strongest protective effect. Schooling (>3 years of primary school) and better economic position (possession of a radio) had a positive influence on general hygiene behaviour, education having a slightly stronger effect when a radio was present. Individual hygiene behaviour appeared to be highly variable in contrast with the consistent behaviour of the community as a whole. Feasible and appropriate indicators of hygiene behaviour were found to be domestic cleanliness and the use of a diaper or underclothes by the child. CONCLUSION: A consistent relationship between almost all hygiene practices and diarrhoea was detected, more schooling producing better hygiene behaviour. The high variability of hygiene behaviour at the individual level requires repeated observations (at least two) before and after the hygiene education in the event one wants to measure the impact of the campaign on the individual.  (+info)

(3/6426) Reliability of information on physical activity and other chronic disease risk factors among US women aged 40 years or older.

Data on chronic disease risk behaviors and related variables, including barriers to and attitudes toward physical activity, are lacking for women of some racial/ethnic groups. A test-retest study was conducted from July 1996 through June 1997 among US women (n = 199) aged 40 years or more who were white, black, American Indian/Alaska Native, or Hispanic. The sample was selected and interviews were conducted using a modified version of the methods of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. For behavioral risk factors such as physical inactivity, smoking, and low fruit and vegetable consumption, group prevalences were generally similar between interviews 1 and 2. However, kappa values for selected physical activity variables ranged from 0.26 to 0.51 and tended to be lower for black women. Discordance was low for variables on cigarette smoking and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (kappa = 0.64-0.92). Discordance was high (kappa = 0.33) for low consumption of fruits and vegetables. Additional variables for barriers to and access to exercise ranged widely across racial/ethnic groups and in terms of measures of agreement. These methods illustrate an efficient way to sample and assess the reliability of data collected from women of racial/ethnic minority groups.  (+info)

(4/6426) Women's interest in vaginal microbicides.

CONTEXT: Each year, an estimated 15 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV, occur in the United States. Women are not only at a disadvantage because of their biological and social susceptibility, but also because of the methods that are available for prevention. METHODS: A nationally representative sample of 1,000 women aged 18-44 in the continental United States who had had sex with a man in the last 12 months were interviewed by telephone. Analyses identified levels and predictors of women's worry about STDs and interest in vaginal microbicides, as well as their preferences regarding method characteristics. Numbers of potential U.S. microbicide users were estimated. RESULTS: An estimated 21.3 million U.S. women have some potential current interest in using a microbicidal product. Depending upon product specifications and cost, as many as 6.0 million women who are worried about getting an STD would be very interested in current use of a microbicide. These women are most likely to be unmarried and not cohabiting, of low income and less education, and black or Hispanic. They also are more likely to have visited a doctor for STD symptoms or to have reduced their sexual activity because of STDs, to have a partner who had had other partners in the past year, to have no steady partner or to have ever used condoms for STD prevention. CONCLUSIONS: A significant minority of women in the United States are worried about STDs and think they would use vaginal microbicides. The development, testing and marketing of such products should be expedited.  (+info)

(5/6426) Condom use and HIV risk behaviors among U.S. adults: data from a national survey.

CONTEXT: How much condom use among U.S. adults varies by type of partner or by risk behavior is unclear. Knowledge of such differentials would aid in evaluating the progress being made toward goals for levels of condom use as part of the Healthy People 2000 initiative. METHODS: Data were analyzed from the 1996 National Household Survey of Drug Abuse, an annual household-based probability sample of the noninstitutionalized population aged 12 and older that measures the use of illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The personal behaviors module included 25 questions covering sexual activity in the past year, frequency of condom use in the past year, circumstances of the last sexual encounter and HIV testing. RESULTS: Sixty-two percent of adults reported using a condom at last intercourse outside of an ongoing relationship, while only 19% reported using condoms when the most recent intercourse occurred within a steady relationship. Within ongoing relationships, condom use was highest among respondents who were younger, black, of lower income and from large metropolitan areas. Forty percent of unmarried adults used a condom at last sex, compared with the health objective of 50% for the year 2000. Forty percent of injecting drug users used condoms at last intercourse, compared with the 60% condom use objective for high-risk individuals. Significantly, persons at increased risk for HIV because of their sexual behavior or drug use were not more likely to use condoms than were persons not at increased risk; only 22% used condoms during last intercourse within an ongoing relationship. CONCLUSIONS: Substantial progress has been made toward national goals for increasing condom use. The rates of condom use by individuals at high risk of HIV need to be increased, however, particularly condom use with a steady partner.  (+info)

(6/6426) Follow-up care in general practice of patients with myocardial infarction or angina pectoris: initial results of the SHIP trial. Southampton Heart Integrated Care Project.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to assess the effectiveness of a nurse-led programme to ensure that follow-up care is provided in general practice after hospital diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI) or angina pectoris. METHODS: We conducted a randomized controlled trial with stratified random allocation of practices to intervention and control groups within all 67 practices in Southampton and South-West Hampshire, England. The subjects were 422 adult patients with a MI and 175 patients with a new diagnosis of angina recruited during hospital admission or chest pain clinic attendance between April 1995 and September 1996. Intervention involved a programme of secondary preventive care led by specialist liaison nurses in which we sought to improve communication between hospital and general practice and to encourage general practice nurses to provide structured follow-up. The main outcome measures were: extent of general practice follow-up; attendance for cardiac rehabilitation; medication prescribed at hospital discharge; self-reported smoking, diet and exercise; and symptoms of chest pain and shortness of breath. Follow-ups of 90.1 % of subjects at 1 month and 80.6% at 4 months were carried out. RESULTS: Median attendance for nurse follow-up in the 4 months following diagnosis was 3 (IQR 2-5) in intervention practices and 0 (IQR 0-1) in control practices; the median number of visits to a doctor was the same in both groups. At hospital discharge, levels of prescribing of preventive medication were low in both intervention and control groups: aspirin 77 versus 74% (P = 0.32), cholesterol lowering agents 9 versus 10% (P = 0.8). Conversely, 1 month after diagnosis, the vast majority of patients in both groups reported healthy lifestyles: 90 versus 84% reported eating healthy food (P = 0.53); 73 versus 67% taking regular exercise (P = 0.13); 89 versus 92% not smoking (P = 0.77). Take up of cardiac rehabilitation was 37% in the intervention group and 22% in the control group (P = 0.001); the median number of sessions attended was also higher (5 versus 3 out of 6). CONCLUSIONS: The intervention of a liaison nurse is effective in ensuring that general practice nurses follow-up patients after hospital discharge. It does not alter the number of follow-up visits made by the patient to the doctor. Levels of prescribing and reported changes in behaviour at hospital discharge indicate that the main tasks facing practice nurses during follow-up are to help patients to sustain changes in behaviour, to encourage doctors to prescribe appropriate medication and to encourage patients to adhere to medication while returning to an active life. These are very different tasks to those traditionally undertaken by practice nurses in relation to primary prevention, where the emphasis has been on identifying risk and motivating change. Assessment of the effectiveness of practice nurses in undertaking these new tasks requires a longer follow-up.  (+info)

(7/6426) Socioeconomic and behavioral factors leading to acquired bacterial resistance to antibiotics in developing countries.

In developing countries, acquired bacterial resistance to antimicrobial agents is common in isolates from healthy persons and from persons with community-acquired infections. Complex socioeconomic and behavioral factors associated with antibiotic resistance, particularly regarding diarrheal and respiratory pathogens, in developing tropical countries, include misuse of antibiotics by health professionals, unskilled practitioners, and laypersons; poor drug quality; unhygienic conditions accounting for spread of resistant bacteria; and inadequate surveillance.  (+info)

(8/6426) Exercise clinical trials in cancer prevention research: a call to action.

The experimental study design can yield valuable information in measuring the association between physical activity and occurrence of cancers. Randomized clinical exercise trials can provide insight into the avenues through which physical activity might affect cancer development and can provide experience with diffusing an exercise intervention into certain populations. This report describes the potential utility of the randomized clinical trial design in providing answers about bias, mechanisms, behavior change, and dose-response in defining the causal pathway between physical activity and cancer. The challenges and limitations of exercise clinical trial are discussed. The research experience in cardiovascular disease and exercise is used as a model for developing a research agenda to explore the potential role of physical activity as a cancer-prevention modality. We recommend that a series of small clinical trials of exercise interventions be conducted to measure exercise change effects on biomarkers for cancer risk, to learn about exercise behavior change in individuals at risk for cancer, and to serve as feasibility studies for larger randomized controlled trials of cancer and precursor end points and for community intervention studies.  (+info)