Thyroid diseases are common in women, including at the time of pregnancies. Many typical features of hyperthyroidism are common in normal pregnancies and this may delay or mask the diagnosis. Uncontrolled thyrotoxicosis increases the rate of miscarriage, intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), premature labour and perinatal mortality. Multi-disciplinary efforts are required to achieve optimal control of thyrotoxicosis. Anti-thyroid drugs are safe and should be used with the lowest possible doses. Radioiodine treatment is contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation. Indications of surgery include: compression symptoms, thyroid malignancy, non-compliance to medications or when the patient develop drugs side effects. Keywords: Hyperthyroidism, pregnancy
Introduction. The aim of this study is to determine pregnant women's knowledge regarding AIDS and to identify factors affecting their knowledge This information would provide some baseline data in designing health education measures for this target group.
Methods. A face-to-face interview was carried out on one-hundred pregnant women attending an urban antenatal clinic in Malaysia between October and November 1999.
Results. The mean age of the women was 27.8 years old (SD = 5.0, range 20 - 40 years). In general, these women had good knowledge of HIV and AIDS. More than 80% of them were aware of the main modes of HIV transmission. However, only half knew that HIV could be transmitted through breastfeeding. Sixty percent of women had the misconception that the virus could be acquired through blood donation. There was a lack of knowledge regarding the symptoms and the progression of AIDS. More than 90% of the women knew that AIDS is incurable. Three quarters of them were aware that early treatment can slow down the progression of the disease, but only 16% knew that maternal HIV transmission can be reduced by treatment. Good knowledge was positively correlated with higher level of education (p<0.05).
Discussion. Although health education programs in Malaysia have succeeded in educating pregnant women regarding AIDS in general, certain important information is still not being disseminated. Future health education should formulate targeted strategies to overcome this problem.
MeSH terms: Adult; Ambulatory Care Facilities; Breast Feeding; China/ethnology; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Humans; India/ethnology; Malaysia/ethnology; Maternal-Child Health Centers; Outpatients; Pregnancy; Prenatal Care; Primary Health Care; Women; HIV Infections; Knowledge
A study was conducted at the Outpatient Department (OPD) of Ipoh Hospital, an urban public primary healthcare facility, over a weekend, to determine the profile of patients attending the clinic, the reasons for encounter and the reasons for choosing after hours medical care. The data from this study would be useful in determining the need for and formulating a policy for after hours medical care at urban primary health care facilities in the country. The study showed there was a low proportion of acute illness in the weekend clinic. A total of 17% of the patients had an acute illness and a further 8% had aggravation of an existing illness. This group of patients requires access to weekend medical services. The main reason for choosing after hours care was social, that is the convenience of an off-day from work or school. Several options can be explored to provide after hours care, including volunteer government doctors or private general practitioners running the service. Another option is to direct public patients during the weekends to private general practitioners in their locality who will be subsidized. The cost of providing after hours care is expected to be higher. Misuse of services may have to be considered as the study showed 5 % of the patients were not ill during the encounter.
MeSH terms: Ambulatory Care Facilities; Cross-Sectional Studies; Hospitals, General; Humans; Malaysia; Outpatients; Primary Health Care
Current asthma treatment is directed by severity of symptoms and lung function. In Malaysia, spirometry is not widely available and therefore not used in most medical consultations. In 163 asthmatic patients mean (95% CI) age: 41 (38-44) yrs; 29% male; 32% Malays, 32% Chinese, 34% Indians] who were being followed up in a State Hospital medical outpatient clinic and a large urban-based health clinic, we studied the effect on Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) disease severity classification and the appropriateness of currently prescribed treatment when forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was considered together with symptom severity. We showed that 52% of the patients were upgraded to a higher severity classification and 71% of the patients were 'under-treated'. If based on 'symptoms alone' to assess severity, 39% of the patients were still 'under-treated'. We concluded that the disease severity in many asthmatic patients might have been underestimated and therefore not adequately treated, because spirometry was not available or used to assess asthma severity. The use of spirometry should be advocated more widely among clinicians treating asthma in Malaysia. Keywords: Asthma severity, spirometry, symptoms, Malaysia, under-treatment
Significant changes have occurred in relation to how chronic asthma is being treated. Emphasis has now shifted from viewing asthma as a condition of smooth muscle dysfunction to one of chronic inflammation. As such, anti-inflammatory therapy forming the cornerstone of treatment represents the first important milestone in the evolution of asthma treatment. For this purpose, inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) is by far the most effective anti-inflammatory therapy. Another important milestone is the recognition of the superiority of adding long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA) to ICS over escalating ICS dose alone or other forms of add-on therapies in treating asthmatic patients not responding to regular ICS alone. The effectiveness of adding LABA to ICS in treating asthma logically led to combining the two drugs into one single inhaler (salmeterol/fluticasone and budesonide/formoterol) that has the attractiveness of being user-friendly and ensuring that ICS is not missed out. The unique property of formoterol that allows for repetitive flexible dosing paved way to the concept of using Symbicort for both regular maintenance dosing and as required rescue medication. This revolutionary approach has been recently shown to provide improved asthma outcome, achieved at an overall lower or at least comparable corticosteroid intake, and may represent another evolutionary step in the treatment strategy of chronic asthma. Keywords: Asthma treatment, airway inflammation, corticosteroid, long-acting beta2-agonist
Emotional disorders are common human emotional states that include anxiety, depression, social impairment and somatic symptoms. Emotional disorders are common in the community and therefore an important issue in primary care practice. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of emotional disorders among adults at a rural primary care clinic in Malaysia and to identify the associated factors. A cross-sectional study was conducted at Klinik Kesihatan Sungai Mati, Muar, Johor from 1st November to 31st December 1998. A self-administered 30-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-30) was used to screen for emotional disorders. Out of 414 patients seen during the study period, 368 fulfilled the selection criteria and agreed to participate in the study (response rate 88.9%). The prevalence of emotional disorders among the adult patients in this study was 15.2%. Factors such as age, race, gender, marital status, education level and employment were analyzed for association with emotional disorders. However, none of these factors were found to be significantly associated with emotional disorders in this study.
MeSH terms: Adult; Ambulatory Care Facilities; Cross-Sectional Studies; Depression; Humans; Malaysia; Outpatients; Primary Health Care; Prevalence; Sex Distribution
Aim: Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is a potentially life-threatening, iatrogenic complication of assisted reproduction and has been associated with poor in vitro fertilization outcome. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the pregnancy rate and outcome following severe OHSS, at a single center over a three-year period. Methods: The incidence of severe OHSS at the IVF Center, National University of Singapore, in Singapore, was 4% (48 cases over 1200 cycles) during the period of 1997-2000. The present retrospective study compared 48 cases of severe OHSS to 144 age-matched, contemporaneous controls without OHSS. Results: The total gonadotropin required for severe OHSS group was found to be lower than for that of controls (2664.06 ± 768.29 IU vs 3349.58 ± 2003.73 IU), although duration of stimulation was similar. The OHSS group was associated with a fivefold increase (OR 5.293, 95% CI: 2.116-13.238) in pregnancy rate compared to controls (87.5% vs 56.9%; P 0.05) and miscarriage rates (14% vs 7.3%; P > 0.05) between the groups. Conclusion: Severe OHSS at our center were mostly late onset. The pregnancy rate was significantly higher, but multiple pregnancy and miscarriage rates were not significantly increased when compared to the age-matched contemporaneous controls. (Reprod Med Biol 2005; 4: 207-211).