(1/1776) 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)

(2/1776) Lead exposure in the lead-acid storage battery manufacturing and PVC compounding industries.

This study was conducted as part of the Human Exposure Assessment Location (HEAL) Project which comes under the United Nations Environment Programme/World Health Organisation (UNEP/WHO) Global environmental Monitoring System (GEMS). The objective of the study was to evaluate workers' exposure to lead in industries with the highest exposure. All subjects were interviewed about their occupational and smoking histories, the use of personal protective equipment and personal hygiene. The contribution of a dietary source of lead intake from specified foods known to contain lead locally and personal air sampling for lead were assessed. A total of 61 workers from two PVC compounding and 50 workers from two lead acid battery manufacturing plants were studied together with 111 matched controls. In the PVC compounding plants the mean lead-in-air level was 0.0357 mg/m3, with the highest levels occurring during the pouring and mixing operations. This was lower than the mean lead-in-air level of 0.0886 mg/m3 in the lead battery manufacturing plants where the highest exposure was in the loading of lead ingots into milling machines. Workers in lead battery manufacturing had significantly higher mean blood lead than the PVC workers (means, 32.51 and 23.91 mcg/100 ml respectively), but there was poor correlation with lead-in-air levels. Among the lead workers, the Malays had significantly higher blood lead levels than the Chinese (mean blood levels were 33.03 and 25.35 mcg/100 ml respectively) although there was no significant difference between the two ethnic groups in the control group. There were no significant differences between the exposed and control group in terms of dietary intake of specified local foods known to contain lead. However, Malays consumed significantly more fish than the Chinese did. There were no ethnic differences in the hours of overtime work, number of years of exposure, usage of gloves and respirators and smoking habits. Among the Malays, 94.3% eat with their hands compared with 9.2% of the Chinese. Workers who ate with bare hands at least once a week had higher blood lead levels after adjusting for lead-in-air levels (mean blood lead was 30.2 and 26.4 mcg/100 ml respectively). The study indicated that the higher blood lead levels observed in the Malay workers might have been due to their higher exposure and eating with bare hands.  (+info)

(3/1776) Incidence of eyelid cancers in Singapore from 1968 to 1995.

AIM: To describe the epidemiological characteristics of patients with eyelid malignancies seen in all hospitals in Singapore from 1968 to 1995. METHOD: The Singapore Cancer Registry has been collecting epidemiological data of all cancers seen in Singapore since 1968. The data of all cases of Singapore residents with eyelid cancers diagnosed from 1968 to 1995 (ICD-9, sites 172.1 and 173.1) were retrieved for analysis. RESULTS: There were 162 male patients (49.8%) and 163 females (50.2%). The median age at diagnosis was 63 years in males and 66 years in females. The average annual age standardised incidence rate among male Singapore residents was 6.5 per million and 5.5 per million among female Singapore residents. Between 1993 and 1995, the average annual rate for females was 6.8 per million, compared with 3.1 per million between 1968 and 1972. The most common cancer was basal cell carcinoma (84.0%), followed by sebaceous adenocarcinoma (10.2%) and squamous cell carcinoma (3.4%). CONCLUSION: The annual age standardised incidence for male residents has remained relatively stable. The incidence for female residents has shown a steady increase over the past 28 years. The incidence for males is generally higher than that for females. These expanded epidemiological characteristics may serve to provide a foundation to monitor future disease patterns and to promote further research into the aetiology of these cancers.  (+info)

(4/1776) Outbreak of Hendra-like virus--Malaysia and Singapore, 1998-1999.

During September 29, 1998-April 4, 1999, 229 cases of febrile encephalitis (111 [48%] fatal) were reported to the Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH). During March 13-19, 1999, nine cases of similar encephalitic illnesses (one fatal) and two cases of respiratory illness occurred among abattoir workers in Singapore. Tissue culture isolation identified a previously unknown infectious agent from ill patients. This report summarizes the preliminary epidemiologic and laboratory investigations of these cases, which indicate that a previously unrecognized paramyxovirus related to, but distinct from, the Australian Hendra virus is associated with this outbreak.  (+info)

(5/1776) Prevalence of diabetes and ethnic differences in cardiovascular risk factors. The 1992 Singapore National Health Survey.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the 1992 Singapore National Health Survey was to determine the current distribution of major noncommunicable diseases and their risk factors, including the prevalence of diabetes and dyslipidemia, in Singapore. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A combination of disproportionate stratified sampling and systematic sampling were used to select the sample for the survey. The final number of respondents was 3,568, giving a response rate of 72.6%. All subjects fasted for 10 h and were given a 75-g glucose load, except those known to have diabetes. Blood was taken before and 2 h after the glucose load. Diagnosis of diabetes was based on 2-h glucose alone. RESULTS: The age-standardized prevalence of diabetes in Singapore residents aged 18-69 years was 8.4%, with more than half (58.5%) previously undiagnosed. Prevalence of diabetes was high across all three ethnic groups. The prevalence of impaired glucose tolerance was 16.1%, that of hypertension was 6.5%, and 19.0% were regular smokers. The total cholesterol (mean +/- SD) of nondiabetic Singaporeans was 5.18 +/- 1.02 mmol/l; 47.9% had cholesterol > 5.2 mmol/l, while 15.4% had levels > 6.3 mmol/l. Mean LDL cholesterol was 3.31 +/- 0.89 mmol/l; HDL cholesterol was 1.30 +/- 0.32 mmol/l, and triglyceride was 1.23 +/- 0.82 mmol/l. CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of diabetes was high across all three ethnic groups. Ethnic differences in prevalence of diabetes, insulin resistance, central obesity, hypertension, smoking, and lipid profile could explain the differential coronary heart disease rates in the three major ethnic groups in Singapore.  (+info)

(6/1776) Isolate resistance of Blastocystis hominis to metronidazole.

Isolates of Blastocystis hominis from infected immigrant workers from Indonesia, Bangladesh and infected individuals from Singapore and Malaysia were assessed for growth pattern and degree of resistance to different concentrations of metronidazole. Viability of the cells was assessed using eosin-brillian cresyl blue which stained viable cells green and nonviable cells red. The Bangladeshi and Singaporean isolates were nonviable even at the lowest concentration of 0.01 mg/ml, whereas 40% of the initial inoculum of parasites from the Indonesian isolate at day one were still viable in cultures with 1.0 mg/ml metronidazole. The study shows that isolates of B. hominis of different geographical origin have different levels of resistance to metronidazole. The search for more effective drugs to eliminate th parasite appears inevitable, especially since surviving parasites from metronidazole cultures show greater ability to multiply in subcultures than controls.  (+info)

(7/1776) Update: outbreak of Nipah virus--Malaysia and Singapore, 1999.

During March 1999, health officials in Malaysia and Singapore, in collaboration with Australian researchers and CDC, investigated reports of febrile encephalitic and respiratory illnesses among workers who had exposure to pigs. A previously unrecognized paramyxovirus (formerly known as Hendra-like virus), now called Nipah virus, was implicated by laboratory testing in many of these cases. Febrile encephalitis continues to be reported in Malaysia but has decreased coincident with mass culling of pigs in outbreak areas. No new cases of febrile illness associated with Nipah virus infection have been identified in Singapore since March 19, 1999, when abattoirs were closed. This report summarizes interim findings from ongoing epidemiologic and laboratory investigations in Malaysia and Singapore.  (+info)

(8/1776) Contribution of kasA analysis to detection of isoniazid-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Singapore.

Genotypic analysis of resistance to isoniazid (INH) in Mycobacterium tuberculosis is complex due to the various genes potentially involved. Mutations in ketoacyl acyl carrier protein synthase (encoded by kasA) were present in 16 of 160 (10%) INH-resistant isolates (R121K [n = 1], G269S [n = 3], G312S [n = 11], G387D [n = 1]). However, G312S was also present in 6 of 32 (19%) susceptible strains. kasA analysis contributed marginally to the performance of INH genotypic testing in Singapore. The significance of kasA polymorphisms in INH resistance should be carefully established.  (+info)