The aims of the present study were to assess the control of glycemia and other cardiovascular disease risk factors, and the association between age and these controls among older adults with type 2 diabetes in Malaysia.
Background: This study utilized a validated combination of a COPD Population Screener
(COPD-PS) questionnaire and a handheld spirometric device as a screening tool for patients at high risk of COPD, such as smokers. The study aimed to investigate and pilot the feasibility and application of this combined assessment, which we termed the “VitalQPlus”, as a screening tool for the early detection of COPD, especially in primary care settings.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study screening potentially undiagnosed COPD patients using a validated five-item COPD-PS questionnaire together with a handheld spirometric device. Patients were recruited from selected Malaysian government primary care health centers.
Results: Of the total of 83 final participants, only 24.1% (20/83) were recruited from Perak and Penang (peninsular Malaysia) compared to 75.9% (63/83) from Sabah (Borneo region). Our dual assessment approach identified 8.4% of the surveyed patients as having potentially undiagnosed COPD. When only the Vitalograph COPD-6 screening tool was used, 15.8% of patients were detected with a forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced expiratory volume in 6 seconds (FEV1/FEV6) ratio at <0.75, while 35.9% of patients were detected with the COPD-PS questionnaire. These findings suggested that this dual assessment approach has a greater chance of identifying potentially undiagnosed COPD patients compared to the Vitalograph COPD-6 or COPD-PS questionnaire when used alone. Our findings show that patients with more symptoms (scores of >=5) yielded twice the percentage of outcomes of FEV1/FEV6 <0.75 compared to patients with fewer COPD symptoms (scores <5).
Conclusion: With the availability of a simple screening questionnaire and the COPD-6, there is an opportunity easily to make patients more aware of their lung symptoms and to encourage the provision of early treatment. The proposed dual assessment approach, which we termed the VitalQPlus, may play a profound role in the early diagnosis of COPD, which is crucial in improving the clinical management of the disease.
Keywords: spirometry, pulmonary function test, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
BACKGROUND: Antibiotic overuse is driving the emergence of antibiotic resistance worldwide. Good data on prescribing behaviours of healthcare providers are needed to support antimicrobial stewardship initiatives. This study examined the differences in antibiotic prescribing rates of public and private primary care clinics in Malaysia.
METHODS: We used data from the National Medical Care Survey (NMCS), a nationwide cluster sample of Malaysian public and private primary care clinics in 2014. NMCS contained demographic, diagnoses and prescribing from 129 public clinics and 416 private clinics. We identified all encounters who were prescribed antibiotic and analyse the prescribing rate, types of antibiotics, and diagnoses that resulted in antibiotic.
RESULTS: Five thousand eight hundred ten encounters were prescribed antibiotics; antibiotic prescribing rate was 21.1 % (public clinics 6.8 %, private clinics 30.8 %). Antibiotic prescribing was higher in private clinics where they contributed almost 87 % of antibiotics prescribed in primary care. Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) was the most frequent diagnosis in patients receiving antibiotic therapy and accounted for 49.2 % of prescriptions. Of the patients diagnosed with URTI, 46.2 % received antibiotic treatment (public 16.8 %, private 57.7 %). Penicillins, cephalosporins and macrolides were the most commonly prescribed antibiotics and accounted for 30.7, 23.6 and 16.0 % of all antibiotics, respectively. More recently available broad-spectrum antibiotics such as azithromycin and quinolones were more frequently prescribed in private clinics.
CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotic prescribing rates are high in both public and private primary care settings in Malaysia, especially in the latter. This study provides evidence of excessive and inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for self-limiting conditions. These data highlights the needs for more concerted interventions targeting both prescribers and public. Improvement strategies should focus on reducing inappropriate prescribing.
As the population ages, the prevalence of hypertension also increases. Although primary care is usually the patient's first point of contact for healthcare, little is known about the management of hypertension among elderly patients at the primary care level. This study aimed to determine the antihypertensive prescription trend for elderly patients, the predictors of antihypertensive use and any inappropriate prescribing practices in both public and private primary care settings.
Initiation of statin therapy as primary prevention particularly in those with mildly elevated cardiovascular disease risk factors is still being debated. The 2013 ACC/AHA blood cholesterol guideline recommends initiation of statin by estimating the 10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk using the new pooled cohort risk score. This paper examines the use of the pooled cohort risk score and compares it to actual use of statins in daily clinical practice in a primary care setting.
Study site: primary care clinic of University Malaya Medical Centre
BACKGROUND: The Pooled Cohort Risk Equation was introduced by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) 2013 in their Blood Cholesterol Guideline to estimate the 10-year atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk. However, absence of Asian ethnicity in the contemporary cohorts and limited studies to examine the use of the risk score limit the applicability of the equation in an Asian population. This study examines the validity of the pooled cohort risk score in a primary care setting and compares the cardiovascular risk using both the pooled cohort risk score and the Framingham General Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) risk score.
METHODS: This is a 10-year retrospective cohort study of randomly selected patients aged 40-79 years. Baseline demographic data, co-morbidities and cardiovascular (CV) risk parameters were captured from patient records in 1998. Pooled cohort risk score and Framingham General CVD risk score for each patient were computed. All ASCVD events (nonfatal myocardial infarction, coronary heart disease (CHD) death, fatal and nonfatal stroke) occurring from 1998-2007 were recorded.
RESULTS: A total of 922 patients were studied. In 1998, mean age was 57.5 ± 8.8 years with 66.7% female. There were 47% diabetic patients and 59.9% patients receiving anti-hypertensive treatment. More than 98% of patients with pooled cohort risk score ≥7.5% had FRS >10%. A total of 45 CVD events occurred, 22 (7.2%) in males and 23 (3.7%) in females. The median pooled cohort risk score for the population was 10.1 (IQR 4.7-20.6) while the actual ASCVD events that occurred was 4.9% (45/922). Our study showed moderate discrimination with AUC of 0.63. There was good calibration with Hosmer-Lemeshow test χ2 = 12.6, P = 0.12.
CONCLUSIONS: The pooled cohort risk score appears to overestimate CV risk but this apparent over-prediction could be a result of treatment. In the absence of a validated score in an untreated population, the pooled cohort risk score appears to be appropriate for use in a primary care setting.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate Malaysian patients' satisfaction levels and asthma control with Symbicort SMART® in the primary care setting.
METHOD: This is a cross-sectional, multicentre study involving adult patients with persistent asthma who were prescribed only Symbicort SMART in the preceding one month prior to recruitment. Patients' satisfaction with Symbicort SMART and asthma control were evaluated using the self-administered Satisfaction with Asthma Treatment Questionnaire (SATQ) and the Asthma Control Test (ACT).
RESULTS: Asthma was controlled (ACT score >20) in 189 (83%) of 228 patients. The mean overall SATQ score for patients with controlled asthma was 5.65 indicating a high satisfaction level, which was positively correlated with high ACT scores. There were differences in asthma control based on ethnicity, number of unscheduled visits and treatment compliance.
CONCLUSIONS: Symbicort SMART resulted in a high satisfaction level and asthma control among Malaysian patients treated in the primary care setting and it is an effective and appealing treatment for asthmatic patients.
Study site: General practice clinics, Malaysia
Patients with resistant hypertension are subjected to a higher risk of getting stroke, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure and renal failure. However, the exact prevalence of resistant hypertension in treated hypertensive patients in Malaysia is not known. This paper examines the prevalence and determinants of resistant hypertension in a sample of hypertensive patients.
Study site: Primary care clinic, Universiti Malaya Medical Centre
PURPOSE: This study was conducted to assess the agreement and differences between cervical self-sampling with a Kato device (KSSD) and gynecologist sampling for Pap cytology and human papillomavirus DNA (HPV DNA) detection.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Women underwent self-sampling followed by gynecologist sampling during screening at two primary health clinics. Pap cytology of cervical specimens was evaluated for specimen adequacy, presence of endocervical cells or transformation zone cells and cytological interpretation for cells abnormalities. Cervical specimens were also extracted and tested for HPV DNA detection. Positive HPV smears underwent gene sequencing and HPV genotyping by referring to the online NCBI gene bank. Results were compared between samplings by Kappa agreement and McNemar test.
RESULTS: For Pap specimen adequacy, KSSD showed 100% agreement with gynecologist sampling but had only 32.3% agreement for presence of endocervical cells. Both sampling showed 100% agreement with only 1 case detected HSIL favouring CIN2 for cytology result. HPV DNA detection showed 86.2%agreement (K=0.64, 95% CI 0.524-0.756, p=0.001) between samplings. KSSD and gynaecologist sampling identified high risk HPV in 17.3% and 23.9% respectively (p= 0.014).
CONCLUSION: The self-sampling using Kato device can serve as a tool in Pap cytology and HPV DNA detection in low resource settings in Malaysia. Self-sampling devices such as KSSD can be used as an alternative technique to gynaecologist sampling for cervical cancer screening among rural populations in Malaysia.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Early diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in primary care settings is difficult to achieve chiefly due to lack of availability of spirometry. This study estimated the prevalence of airflow limitation among chronic smokers using a handheld spirometer in this setting.
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study performed on consecutive patients who were ≥40 years old with ≥10 pack-years smoking history. Face-to-face interviews were carried out to obtain demographic data and relevant information. Handheld spirometry was performed according to a standard protocol using the COPd-6 device (Model 4000, Vitalograph, Ennis, Ireland) in addition to standard spirometry. Airflow limitation was defined as ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1 )/forced expiratory volume in 6 s <0.75 (COPd-6) or FEV1 /forced vital capacity <0.7. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to determine predictors of airflow limitation.
RESULTS: A total of 416 patients were recruited with mean age of 53 years old. The prevalence of airflow limitation was 10.6% (n = 44) with COPd-6 versus 6% as gauged using standard spirometry. Risk factors for airflow limitation were age >65 years (odds ratio (OR) 3.732 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.100-1.280), a history of 'bad health' (OR 2.524, 95% CI: 1.037-6.142) and low to normal body mass index (OR 2.914, 95% CI: 1.191-7.190).
CONCLUSIONS: In a primary care setting, handheld spirometry (COPd-6) found a prevalence of airflow limitation of ∼10% in smokers. Patients were older, not overweight and had an ill-defined history of health problems.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; prevalence; primary care; smoke
Aims: To explore how health care professionals (HCPs) assess patients when initiating insulintherapy in type 2 diabetes.
Methods: Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were conducted with 41 healthcare professionals in Malaysia in 2010–2011. A semi-structured topic guide was used for theinterview. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using the Nvivo9 softwarebased on a thematic approach.
Results: HCPs were less likely to initiate insulin therapy in patients who were older, withirregular dietary patterns and poor financial status. They also assessed patients’ knowl-edge, views and misconceptions of insulin. However, there was a variation in how doctors assessed patients’ comorbidities before starting insulin therapy. Medical officers were more likely to initiate insulin therapy in patients with comorbidities and complications, whereas family medicine specialists were more cautious. In addition, most HCPs considered patients’ psychosocial status, including self-care ability, social support and quality of life.
Conclusions: HCPs’ assessment of patients’ need to start insulin therapy depends on their perception rather than objective evaluation of patients’ background, knowledge, perception and abilities. The background and the type of practice of HCPs influence their assessment.
BACKGROUND: Women of reproductive age are a group of particular concern as diabetes may affect their pregnancy outcome as well as long-term morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to compare the clinical profiles and glycemic control of reproductive and non-reproductive age women with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in primary care settings, and to determine the associated factors of poor glycemic control in the reproductive age group women.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study using cases reported by public primary care clinics to the Adult Diabetes Control and Management registry from 1st January to 31st December 2009. All Malaysian women aged 18 years old and above and diagnosed with T2D for at least 1 year were included in the analysis. The target for glycemic control (HbA1c < 6.5%) is in accordance to the recommended national guidelines. Both univariate and multivariate approaches of logistic regression were applied to determine whether reproductive age women have an association with poor glycemic control.
RESULTS: Data from a total of 30,427 women were analyzed and 21.8% (6,622) were of reproductive age. There were 12.5% of reproductive age women and 18.0% of non-reproductive age women that achieved glycemic control. Reproductive age group women were associated with poorer glycemic control (OR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.2-1.8). The risk factors associated with poor glycemic control in the reproductive age women were being of Malay and Indian race, longer duration of diabetes, patients on anti-diabetic agents, and those who had not achieved the target total cholesterol and triglycerides.
CONCLUSION: Women with T2D have poor glycemic control, but being of reproductive age was associated with even poorer control. Health care providers need to pay more attention to this group of patients especially for those with risk factors. More aggressive therapeutic strategies to improve their cardiometabolic control and pregnancy outcome are warranted.
Uncontrolled blood pressure (BP) is a significant contributor of morbidity and even mortality in type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients. This study was done to determine the significant determinants of uncontrolled blood pressure in T2D patients in Malaysia.
Numerous studies with compelling evidence had shown a clear relationship between dyslipidaemia and cardiovascular (CV) events in patients with diabetes mellitus. This was an observational study based on secondary data from the online registry database Adult Diabetes Control and Management (ADCM) looking into the determinants of uncontrolled dyslipidaemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Independent predictors were identified using multivariate logistic regression. A total of 303 centres (289 health clinics, 14 hospitals) contributed a total of 70,889 patients (1972 or 2.8% patients were from hospital). About thirty eight percent were reported to have dyslipidaemia. There were 40.7% patients on lipid-lowering agents and of those above age 40 years old, only 38.1% of them were on a statin. Malay ethnicity and younger age groups (<50 years old) were two major determinants of uncontrolled LDL-C, TG and HDL-C. Female gender and uncontrolled blood pressure were determinants of uncontrolled LDL-C, and poor glycaemic control was related independently to high TG. This study has highlighted the suboptimal management of diabetic dyslipidaemia in Malaysia. Pharmacological treatment of dyslipidaemia could be more effective. Healthcare stakeholders in this country, especially in the primary care, have to recognize these shortfalls and take immediate remedial measures.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the health related quality of life and its predictive factors among older people with non-communicable diseases attending primary care clinics.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
SETTING: Three public primary care clinics in a district in Selangor, Malaysia.
PARTICIPANTS: Registered patients aged 55 years and above.
MEASUREMENTS: A face-to-face interview was conducted using a validated questionnaire of Medical Outcome Study 36-item short form health survey (SF-36). The outcome measure was the health related quality of life (HRQoL) and other factors measured were socio demography, physical activity, social support (Duke-UNC Functional Social Support Questionnaire), and presence of non-communicable diseases.
RESULTS: A total of 347 participants had non-communicable diseases which included hypertension (41.8%), type 2 diabetes (33.7%), asthma (4.8%), hyperlipidaemia (1.7%), coronary heart disease (1.2%), and osteoarthritis (0.2%). Age ≥ 65 years old (OR =2.23; 95%CI=1.42, 3.50), single (OR=1.75; 95%CI=1.06,2.90), presence of co-morbid condition (OR=1.66; 95%CI=1.06, 2.61), and poorer social support (OR=2.11; 95%CI=1.27, 3.51; p=0.002) were significant predictors of poorer physical component of HRQoL . In predicting lower mental health component of HRQoL, the significant predictors were women (OR=2.28; 95%CI=1.44, 3.62), Indian ethnicity (OR=1.86; 95%CI=1.08, 3.21) and poorer social support (OR=2.71; 95%CI=1.63, 4.51). No interactions existed between these predictors.
CONCLUSION: Older people with non-communicable diseases were susceptible to lower health related quality of life. Increasing age, single, presence of co-morbid conditions, and poorer social support were predictors of lower physical health component of HRQoL. While the older women, Indian ethnicity and poorer social support reported lower mental health component of HRQoL.
A study was conducted at primary healthcare level in the Melaka Tengah district of Malaysia to determine whether hypertension in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus were managed according to guidelines.
Achieving glycaemic goals in diabetics has always been a problem, especially in a developing country with inadequate facilities such as in Sarawak in Malaysia. There are no reported studies on the control of diabetes mellitus in a diabetic clinic in the primary health care setting in Sarawak. This paper describes the profile of 1031 patients treated in Klinik Kesihatan Tanah Puteh Health Centre. The mean age was 59 years, the mean BMI 27 kg/m2. There was a female preponderance and mainly type-2 diabetes. Mean HbA1c was 7.4%. Glycaemic control was optimal in 28% (HbA1c <6.5%), fair in 34% (HbA1c 6.5-7.5%) and poor in 38% (HbA1c >7.5%). Reasonable glycaemic control can be achieved in the primary health care setting in Sarawak.
Study site: Klinik Kesihatan Tanah Puteh, Sarawak, Malaysia
Smoking deception is often ignored, but is important in health care. In this trial it was assessed at both study entry and outcome. At study entry, 1,044 males at a primary care clinic were asked smoking status and tested for breath carbon monoxide (CO). Of self-reported non-smokers, 57/402 (14%) were actually smokers, as were 59/251 (24%) of self-reported ex-smokers. The self-reported smokers (n=387) entered a randomized, controlled trial where the intervention comprised four questions on knowledge and beliefs about smoking, standardized verbal advice against smoking, and a leaflet. At follow-up, subjects were also questioned about beliefs. Follow-up was difficult, but 191/387 (49%) attended at three or six months. Of 27 who claimed to have quit, 6 (22%) were deceivers and 21 were confirmed quitters. Cessation did not differ between intervention and control groups. Overall confirmed cessation at six months was 16/387 (4.1 %). Confirmed quitters were significantly lighter smokers than deceivers and still smokers. There were non-significant trends between the outcome groups whereby deceivers had least knowledge and most lay beliefs, and quitters had most knowledge and fewest lay beliefs. The lay beliefs may prevent some smokers from quitting.
Study site: open-access outpatients
clinic (KPM) attached to the teaching hospital
(HUSM) of Universiti Sains Malaysia
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the attitudes and acceptability of self-administered cervicovaginal sampling compared with conventional physician-acquired Papanicolaou (Pap) smear among multiethnic Malaysian women.
METHOD: A cross-sectional study was carried out via interviewer-administered surveys from August 2013 through August 2015 at five government-run, urban health clinics in the state of Selangor. Subjects were participants from an ongoing community-based human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence study who answered a standard questionnaire before and after self-sampling. The cervicovaginal self-sampling for HPV genotyping was performed using a simple brush ('Just for Me'; Preventive Oncology International, Hong Kong). Detailed data on sociodemographics, previous Pap smear experience, and attitudes towards self-administered cervicovaginal sampling were collected and analysed. Acceptability was inferred using a five-item Likert scale that included six different subjective descriptives: experience, difficulty, convenience, embarrassment, discomfort or pain, and confidence in collecting one's own sample.
RESULTS: Of the 839 participants, 47.9% were Malays, followed by 30.8% Indians, 18.8% Chinese and 2.5% from other ethnicities. The median age of the participants was 38 years (IQR 30-48). Some 68.2% of participants indicated a preference for self-sampling over the Pap test, with 95% indicating willingness to follow-up a positive result at the hospital. Age, ethnicity and previous Pap test experience were significant independent factors associated with preference for self-sampling. The older the individual, the less likely they were to prefer self-sampling (adjusted OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.90 to 0.98). The Chinese were less likely to prefer self-sampling (72.6%) than the Malays (85.1%) (adjusted OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.98, p=0.004). Participants who had never undergone a Pap smear were also more likely to prefer self-sampling (88.5%) than women who had undergone a previous Pap (80.9%) (adjusted OR 0.06, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.87).
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, urban Malaysian women from multiethnic backgrounds found self-sampling to be an acceptable alternative to Pap smear.