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(1/143) Preliminary development of a new individualised questionnaire measuring quality of life in older men with age-related hormonal decline: the A-RHDQoL.

BACKGROUND: There is increasing interest in hormone replacement therapy to improve health and quality of life (QoL) of older men with age-related decline in hormone levels. This paper reports the preliminary development and evaluation of the psychometric properties of a new individualised questionnaire, the A-RHDQoL, measuring perceived impact of age-related hormonal decline on QoL of older men. A-RHDQoL design was based on the HDQoL for people with growth hormone (GH) deficiency and the ADDQoL (for diabetes). METHODS: Internal consistency reliability and some aspects of validity of the A-RHDQoL were investigated in a cross-sectional survey of 128 older men (age range: 64 - 80 yrs), being screened for inclusion in a trial of GH and testosterone (T) replacement, and who completed the A-RHDQoL once. Respondents rated personally applicable life domains for importance and impact of their hormonal decline. A single overview item measured present QoL. Serum levels of Insulin-like Growth Factor-I and total T were measured. RESULTS: Of the 24 A-RHDQoL domains, 21 were rated as relevant and important for older men. All domains were perceived as negatively impacted by hormonal decline. The most negatively impacted domains were: memory (-4.54 +/- 3.02), energy (-4.44 +/- 2.49), sex life (-4.34 +/- 3.08) and physical stamina (-4.29 +/- 2.41), (maximum range -9 to +9). The shorter 21-domain A-RHDQoL had high internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha coefficient = 0.935, N = 103) and applicable domains could be weighted and summed into an overall Average Weighted Impact score. The questionnaire was acceptable to the majority of respondents and content validity was good. The single overview item measuring present QoL correlated significantly with total T levels [r = 0.26, p <0.01, N = 114]. CONCLUSION: The new 21-item A-RHDQoL is an individualised questionnaire measuring perceived impact of age-related hormonal decline on the QoL of older men. The internal consistency reliability and content validity of the A-RHDQoL are established, but the measure is at an early stage of its development and its sensitivity to change and other psychometric properties need now to be evaluated in clinical trials of hormone replacement in older men.  (+info)

(2/143) The Aging Males' Symptoms (AMS) scale: review of its methodological characteristics.

BACKGROUND: The current paper reviews data from different sources to get a closer impression on the psychometric and other methodological characteristics of the Aging Males' Symptoms (AMS) scale gathered recently. The scale was designed and standardized as self-administered scale to (a) to assess symptoms of aging (independent from those which are disease-related) between groups of males under different conditions, (b) to evaluate the severity of symptoms over time, and (c) to measure changes pre- and post androgen replacement therapy. The scale is in widespread use (14 languages). METHOD: Original data from different studies in many countries were centrally analysed to evaluate reliability and validity of the AMS. RESULTS: Reliability measures (consistency and test-retest stability) were found to be good across countries, although the sample size was sometimes small. VALIDITY: The internal structure of the AMS in healthy and androgen deficient males, and across countries was sufficiently similar to conclude that the scale really measures the same phenomenon. The sub-scores and total score correlations were high (0.8-0.9) but lower among the sub-scales (0.5-0.7). This however suggests that the subscales are not fully independent. The comparison with other scales for aging males or screening instruments for androgen deficiency showed sufficiently good correlations, illustrating a good criterion-oriented validity. The same is true for the comparison with the generic quality-of-life scale SF36 where also high correlation coefficients have been shown. Methodological analyses of a treatment study of symptomatic males with testosterone demonstrated the ability of the AMS scale to measure treatment effect, irrespective of the severity of complaints before therapy. It was also shown that the AMS result can predict the independently generated (physician's) opinion about the individual treatment effect. CONCLUSION: The currently available methodological evidence points towards a high quality of the AMS scale to measure and to compare HRQoL of aging males over time or before/after treatment, it suggests a high reliability and high validity as far as the process of construct validation could be pressed ahead yet. But certainly more data will become available, particularly from ongoing clinical studies.  (+info)

(3/143) Do adults who believe in periodic health examinations receive more clinical preventive services?

BACKGROUND: Individuals who have periodic health examinations ("check-ups") with physicians even if they feel well have higher rates of screening and other preventive services than individuals who only see physicians when ill. This study assessed whether individuals' beliefs about the advisability of periodic health examinations contribute to the likelihood that they receive recommended clinical preventive services. METHODS: This study used data from a 2002-2003 telephone survey of adults in 150 rural counties in 8 states of the U.S. southeast. Weighted Chi-square and logistic regression analyses were used to assess associations between attitudes towards periodic health examinations and the receipt of preventative services. RESULTS: Of the 4879 respondents, 37% were African American, and 43% had annual household incomes of less than $25,000. A total of 8.5% (n=374) did not endorse periodic health examinations. Not endorsing periodic examinations was more common among subjects who were male, younger, white and had no health insurance. Compared to those who endorsed periodic examinations, persons who did not were less likely to have had a periodic examination (42% versus 80%, p<0.001) or mammogram (28% versus 60%, p<0.001) in the previous year, a Pap smear in past 3 years (74% versus 90%, p<0.001), a cholesterol check in the last 5 years (56% versus 81%, p<0.001) or to ever have had endoscopic screening (28% versus 48%, p<0.001). These rate differences remained after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics. CONCLUSION: People's beliefs about the value of periodic health examinations are associated with the likelihood that they receive recommended preventative services. Understanding individuals' beliefs about health, disease prevention and the role of physicians in prevention could lead to improved targeted interventions aimed at increasing uptake of preventative services.  (+info)

(4/143) Influence of socio-economic and lifestyle factors on overweight and nutrition-related diseases among Tunisian migrants versus non-migrant Tunisians and French.

BACKGROUND: Migrant studies in France revealed that Mediterranean migrant men have lower mortality and morbidity than local-born populations for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). We studied overweight and NCDs among Tunisian migrants compared to the population of the host country and to the population of their country of origin. We also studied the potential influence of socio-economic and lifestyle factors on differential health status. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was conducted to compare Tunisian migrant men with two non-migrant male groups: local-born French and Tunisians living in Tunisia, using frequency matching. We performed quota sampling (n = 147) based on age and place of residence. We used embedded logistic regression models to test socio-economic and lifestyle factors as potential mediators for the effect of migration on overweight, hypertension and reported morbidity (hypercholesterolemia, type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases (CVD)). RESULTS: Migrants were less overweight than French (OR = 0.53 [0.33-0.84]) and had less diabetes and CVD than Tunisians (0.18 [0.06-0.54] and 0.25 [0.07-0.88]). Prevalence of hypertension (grade-1 and -2) and prevalence of hypercholesterolemia were significantly lower among migrants than among French (respectively 0.06 [0.03-0.14]; 0.04 [0.01-0.15]; 0.11 [0.04-0.34]) and Tunisians (respectively OR = 0.07 [0.03-0.18]; OR = 0.06 [0.02-0.20]; OR = 0.23 [0.08-0.63]). The effect of migration on overweight was mediated by alcohol consumption. Healthcare utilisation, smoking and physical activity were mediators for the effect of migration on diabetes. The effect of migration on CVD was mediated by healthcare utilisation and energy intake. No obvious mediating effect was found for hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. CONCLUSION: Our study clearly shows that lifestyle (smoking) and cultural background (alcohol) are involved in the observed protective effect of migration.  (+info)

(5/143) Changes in body mass index by age, gender, and socio-economic status among a cohort of Norwegian men and women (1990-2001).

BACKGROUND: Consistent with global trends, the prevalence of obesity is increasing among Norwegian adults. This study aimed to investigate individual trends in BMI (kg/m2) by age, gender, and socio-economic status over an 11-year period. METHODS: A cohort of 1169 adults (n = 581 men; n = 588 women) self-reported BMI during a general health interview twice administered in two regions in Norway. RESULTS: Average BMI increased significantly from 23.7 (SD = 3.4) to 25.4 (SD = 3.8), with equivalent increases for both genders. Proportion of obesity (BMI > or = 30) increased from 4% to 11% for women and 5% to 13% for men. Of those already classified as overweight or obese in 1990, 68% had gained additional weight 10 years later, by an average increase of 2.6 BMI units. The greatest amount of weight gain occurred for the youngest adults (aged 20-29 years). Age-adjusted general linear models revealed that in 1990, women with a lower level of education had a significantly greater BMI than more educated women. In both 1990 and 2001, rural men with the highest level of household income had a greater BMI than rural men earning less income. Weight gain occurred across all education and income brackets, with no differential associations between SES strata and changes in BMI for either gender or region. CONCLUSION: Results demonstrated significant yet gender-equivalent increases in BMI over an 11-year period within this cohort of Norwegian adults. Whereas socio-economic status exerted minimal influence on changes in BMI over time, young adulthood appeared to be a critical time period at which accelerated weight gain occurred.  (+info)

(6/143) Primary DNA damage and genetic polymorphisms for CYP1A1, EPHX and GSTM1 in workers at a graphite electrode manufacturing plant.

BACKGROUND: The results of a cross-sectional study aimed to evaluate whether genetic polymorphisms (biomarkers of susceptibility) for CYP1A1, EPHX and GSTM1 genes that affect polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) activation and detoxification might influence the extent of primary DNA damage (biomarker of biologically effective dose) in PAH exposed workers are presented. PAH-exposure of the study populations was assessed by determining the concentration of 1-hydroxypyrene (1OHP) in urine samples (biomarker of exposure dose). METHODS: The exposed group consisted of workers (n = 109) at a graphite electrode manufacturing plant, occupationally exposed to PAH. Urinary 1OHP was measured by HPLC. Primary DNA damage was evaluated by the alkaline comet assay in peripheral blood leukocytes. Genetic polymorphisms for CYP1A1, EPHX and GSTM1 were determined by PCR or PCR/RFLP analysis. RESULTS: 1OHP and primary DNA damage were significantly higher in electrode workers compared to reference subjects. Moreover, categorization of subjects as normal or outlier highlighted an increased genotoxic risk OR = 2.59 (CI95% 1.32-5.05) associated to exposure to PAH. Polymorphisms in EPHX exons 3 and 4 was associated to higher urinary concentrations of 1OHP, whereas none of the genotypes analyzed (CYP1A1, EPHX, and GSTM1) had any significant influence on primary DNA damage as evaluated by the comet assay. CONCLUSION: The outcomes of the present study show that molecular epidemiology approaches (i.e. cross-sectional studies of genotoxicity biomarkers) can play a role in identifying common genetic risk factors, also attempting to associate the effects with measured exposure data. Moreover, categorization of subjects as normal or outlier allowed the evaluation of the association between occupational exposure to PAH and DNA damage highlighting an increased genotoxic risk.  (+info)

(7/143) Perceptions of the neighbourhood environment and self rated health: a multilevel analysis of the Caerphilly Health and Social Needs Study.

BACKGROUND: In this study we examined whether (1) the neighbourhood aspects of access to amenities, neighbourhood quality, neighbourhood disorder, and neighbourhood social cohesion are associated with people's self rated health, (2) these health effects reflect differences in socio-demographic composition and/or neighbourhood deprivation, and (3) the associations with the different aspects of the neighbourhood environment vary between men and women. METHODS: Data from the cross-sectional Caerphilly Health and Social Needs Survey were analysed using multilevel modelling, with individuals nested within enumeration districts. In this study we used the responses of people under 75 years of age (n = 10,892). The response rate of this subgroup was 62.3%. All individual responses were geo-referenced to the 325 census enumeration districts of Caerphilly county borough. RESULTS: The neighbourhood attributes of poor access to amenities, poor neighbourhood quality, neighbourhood disorder, lack of social cohesion, and neighbourhood deprivation were associated with the reporting of poor health. These effects were attenuated when controlling for individual and collective socio-economic status. Lack of social cohesion significantly increased the odds of women reporting poor health, but did not increase the odds of men reporting poor health. In contrast, unemployment significantly affected men's health, but not women's health. CONCLUSION: This study shows that different aspects of the neighbourhood environment are associated with people's self rated health, which may partly reflect the health impacts of neighbourhood socio-economic status. The findings further suggest that the social environment is more important for women's health, but that individual socio-economic status is more important for men's health.  (+info)

(8/143) All-cause mortality and risk factors in a cohort of retired military male veterans, Xi'an, China: an 18-year follow up study.

BACKGROUND: Risk factors of all-cause mortality have not been reported in Chinese retired military veterans. The objective of the study was to examine the risk factors and proportional mortality in a Chinese retired military male cohort. METHODS: A total of 1268 retired military men aged 55 or older were examined physically and interviewed using a standard questionnaire in 1987. The cohort was followed up every two years and the study censored date was June30, 2005 with a follow-up of up to 18 years. Death certificates were obtained from hospitals and verified by two senior doctors. Data were entered (double entry) by Foxbase, and analysis was carried out by SAS for Windows 8.2. Multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression model was used to compute hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). RESULTS: The total person-years of follow-up was 18766.28. Of the initial cohort of 1268 men, 491 had died, 748 were alive and 29 were lost to follow up. Adjusted mortality (adjusted for age, blood pressure, body mass index, cholesterol, triglycerides, alcohol, exercise, and existing disease) was 2,616 per 100,000 person years. The proportional mortality of cancer, vascular disease and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) were 39.71%, 28.10% and 16.90% respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that age, cigarettes per day, systolic blood pressure, triglyceride, family history of diseases (hypertension, stroke and cancer), existing diseases (stroke, diabetes and cancer), body mass index, and age of starting smoking were associated with all-cause mortality, HR (95%CI) was1.083(1.062-1.104), 1.026(1.013-1.039), 1.009(1.003-1.015), 1.002(1.001-1.003), 1.330(1.005-1.759), 1.330(1.005-1.759), 1.444(1.103-1.890), 2.237(1.244-4.022), 1.462(1.042-2.051), 2.079(1.051-4.115), 0.963(0.931-0.996)and 0.988(0.978-0.999)respectively. Compared with never-smokers, current smokers had increased risks of total mortality [HR 1.369(1.083-1.731)], CHD [HR 1.805 (1.022-3.188)], and lung cancer [HR 2.939 (1.311-6.585)]. CONCLUSION: The three leading causes of diseases were cancer, CHD and stroke, and COPD. Aging, cigarette smoking, high systolic blood pressure, high triglyceride, family history of cancer, hypertension and stroke, existing cases recovering from stroke, diabetes and cancer, underweight, younger age of smoking were risk factors for all-cause mortality. Quitting cigarette smoking, maintaining normal blood pressure, triglyceride and weight are effect control strategies to prevent premature mortality in this military cohort.  (+info)