Vitamin D status in different subgroups of British Asians.
To assess the effect of religious dietary practices and social customs on the vitamin D status of Asian immigrants, we kept records of the dietary intake and time spent out of doors of 81 Ugandan Asian men, women, and girls (9-19 years old). Sera were analysed for 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25-OHD3), and 28% of the subjects were found to have levels below the lower limit of normal. The (vegetarian) Hindus had the lowest dietary intakes, least time out of doors, and lowest serum 25-OHD3. The Goan (Roman Catholic) Asians, despite more pigmentation, had 25-OHD3 levels similar to those found among indigenous British people and had the most satisfactory vitamin D intakes. Among Asians, whose exposure to sunlight may be limited, dietary vitamin D becomes the major determinant of serum 25-OHD3. (+info)
How patients perceive the role of hospital chaplains: a preliminary exploration.
OBJECTIVE: An exploratory study of the attitudes of hospital patients to the service provided by hospital chaplains. DESIGN: Questionnaire study of hospital inpatients in December 1992. SETTING: One large teaching hospital in London. PATIENTS: 180 hospital inpatients in 14 different general wards, 168 (93%) of whom agreed to take part. MAIN MEASURES: Attitudes to chaplains and their role contained in 12 questions developed during a pilot study on hospital inpatients (16) and staff (14) and their relation to patients' age, sex, length of hospital stay, and religious beliefs, according to Kendall rank order correlations. RESULTS: Of 168(93%) respondents, 72(43%) were women; mean age of patients was 63.1 (SD 16.8) years. Forty five (27%) were inpatients of three days or less and 22(13%) for one month or more. 136(81%) were Christian; 17(10%) atheist, agnostic, or had no religion; and 15(9%) were of other religions. In general, patients showed positive attitudes towards the role of hospital chaplains and to the services they provided. The correlation analysis showed that there was a significant tendency for older patients, those who had been inpatients for longer, and those with religious beliefs to be more sympathetic to the role of hospital chaplains. CONCLUSIONS: Hospital chaplains provide a service which is appreciated by patients. This study provides a simple instrument for assessing patients' attitudes to chaplains. (+info)
Changes at the high end of risk in cigarette smoking among US high school seniors, 1976-1995.
OBJECTIVES: This study identified high school seniors at low, moderate and high risk for cigarette use to examine changes in the prevalence of daily smoking within risk groups from 1976 to 1995. METHODS: Data were taken from the Monitoring the Future Projects national surveys of high school seniors. Risk classification was based on grade point average, truancy, nights out per week, and religious commitment. Logistic regression models were used to estimate trends for all seniors and separately for White (n = 244,221), African American (n = 41,005), and Hispanic (n = 18,457) made and female subgroups. RESULTS: Risk group distribution (low = 45%, moderate = 30%, high = 25%) changed little over time. Between 1976 and 1990, greater absolute declines in smoking occurred among high-risk students (17 percentage points) than among low-risk students (6 percentage points). Particularly large declines occurred among high-risk African Americans and Hispanics. Smoking increased in all risk groups in the 1990s. CONCLUSIONS: Among high school seniors, a large part of the overall change in smoking occurred among high-risk youth. Policies and programs to reduce smoking among youth must have broad appeal, especially to those at the higher end of the risk spectrum. (+info)
Fruit and vegetable consumption and prevention of cancer: the Black Churches United for Better Health project.
OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the effects of the Black Churches United for Better Health project on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among rural African American church members in North Carolina. METHODS: Ten counties comprising 50 churches were pair matched and randomly assigned to either intervention or delayed intervention (no program until after the follow-up survey) conditions. A multicomponent intervention was conducted over approximately 20 months. A total of 2519 adults (77.3% response rate) completed both the baseline and 2-year follow-up interviews. RESULTS: The 2 study groups consumed similar amounts of fruits and vegetables at baseline. AT the 2-year follow-up, the intervention group consumed 0.85 (SE = 0.12) servings more than the delayed intervention group (P < .0001). The largest increases were observed among people 66 years or older (1 serving), those with education beyond high school (0.92 servings), those widowed or divorced (0.96 servings), and those attending church frequently (1.3 servings). The last improvement occurred among those aged 18 to 37 years and those who were single. CONCLUSIONS: The project was a successful model for achieving dietary change among rural African Americans. (+info)
Association between illegal drugs and weapon carrying in young people in Scotland: schools' survey.
OBJECTIVES: To identify the type and extent of weapons being carried among young people in Scotland, and to determine the relation between use of illegal drugs and weapon carrying. DESIGN: Questionnaire school survey. SETTING: Independent schools in central Scotland and schools in Lanarkshire and Perth and Kinross. PARTICIPANTS: 3121 students aged 11 to 16 in 20 schools. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Self completion questionnaire reporting history of drug use and weapon carrying. RESULTS: Overall, 34.1% of males and 8. 6% of females reported having carried a weapon (P<0.0001), ranging from 29.2% of boys aged 11-13 (classes S1 to S2) to 39.3% of boys aged 13-15 (S3 to S4). These values are higher than those in a recent survey of young people in England. Weapon carrying in Lanarkshire was 70% higher for males than in the rural area of Perth and Kinross. Both males and females who had taken drugs were more likely to carry weapons (63.5% of male drug users versus 20.5% of non-users and 22.8% of female drug users versus 3.7% of non-users; both P<0.0001). The proportions of males carrying weapons who used none, one, two, three or four, or five or more illegal drugs were 21%, 52%, 68%, 74%, and 92% respectively. A similar trend was found among females. CONCLUSIONS: Better information is needed on the nature and extent of weapon carrying by young people in the United Kingdom, and better educational campaigns are needed warning of the dangers of carrying weapons. (+info)
Death--whose decision? Euthanasia and the terminally ill.
In Australia and Oregon, USA, legislation to permit statutory sanctioned physician-assisted dying was enacted. However, opponents, many of whom held strong religious views, were successful with repeal in Australia. Similar opposition in Oregon was formidable, but ultimately lost in a 60-40% vote reaffirming physician-assisted dying. This paper examines the human dilemma which arises when technological advances in end-of-life medicine conflict with traditional and religious sanctity-of-life values. Society places high value on personal autonomy, particularly in the United States. We compare the potential for inherent contradictions and arbitrary decisions where patient autonomy is either permitted or forbidden. The broader implications for human experience resulting from new legislation in both Australia and Oregon are discussed. We conclude that allowing autonomy for the terminally ill, within circumscribed options, results in fewer ethical contradictions and greater preservation of dignity. (+info)
Diabetes in the Old Order Amish: characterization and heritability analysis of the Amish Family Diabetes Study.
OBJECTIVE: The Old Order Amish (OOA) are a genetically well-defined closed Caucasian founder population. The Amish Family Diabetes Study was initiated to identify susceptibility genes for type 2 diabetes. This article describes the genetic epidemiology of type 2 diabetes and related traits in this unique population. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The study cohort comprised Amish probands with diabetes who were diagnosed between 35 and 65 years of age and their extended adult family members. We recruited 953 adults who represented 45 multigenerational families. Phenotypic characterization included anthropometry, blood pressure, diabetes status, lipid profile, and leptin levels. RESULTS: The mean age of study participants was 46 years, and the mean BMI was 26.9 kg/m2. Subjects with type 2 diabetes were older, more obese, and had higher insulin levels. The prevalence of diabetes in the OOA was approximately half that of the Caucasian individuals who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (95% CI 0.23-0.84). The prevalence of diabetes in the siblings of the diabetic probands was 26.5% compared with a prevalence of 7.0% in spouses (lambdaS = 3.28, 95% CI 1.58-6.80). The heritability of diabetes-related quantitative traits was substantial (13-70% for obesity-related traits, 10-42% for glucose levels, and 11-24% for insulin levels during the oral glucose tolerance test; P = 0.01 to <0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Type 2 diabetes in the Amish has similar phenotypic features to that of the overall Caucasian population, although the prevalence in the Amish community is lower than that of the Caucasian population. There is significant familial clustering of type 2 diabetes and related traits. This unique family collection will be an excellent resource for investigating the genetic underpinnings of type 2 diabetes. (+info)
Do doctors pay attention to the religious beliefs of their patients? A survey amongst Dutch GPs.
BACKGROUND: Patients' religious beliefs can offer support at times of illness and disease. Therefore religious beliefs of patients are important in doctor-patient interaction. OBJECTIVE: To assess to what extent GPs pay attention to religious beliefs of patients in their daily work. METHODS: A postal questionnaire was sent to 120 GPs. The questionnaire consisted of five clusters of items with precoded Likert-scale answer categories related to several clinical situations. RESULTS: Response rate was 72% (n = 87). Upon registration in the practice, 16% of the GPs paid attention to the religious beliefs of patients, while in situations concerning end-of-life decisions like terminal illness or requests for euthanasia most GPs pay attention to religious beliefs of patients (79%). In general GPs brought up in Protestant families tend to pay more attention to religious beliefs of patients than GPs with a Catholic background (65% vs 36%; 95% CI 5-51) and Protestant GPs pay more attention to these aspects than Catholic GPs (81% vs 47%; 95% CI 5-63). CONCLUSIONS: Most GPs tend to pay attention to religion when their medical possibilities in patient care come to an end. GPs and trainees might be conscious of these aspects in patient management. Since most GPs are familiar just with Western religions, the increasing number of non-Western religious denominations might have consequences for patient care in general practitioners' work. (+info)