A cross-sectional study was conducted on 116 male pre-cast construction workers in Sipitang, Sabah to evaluate the association between Ergonomic Risk Level exposure and their working performances for 6 months (June to November 2014). Initially, a structured interview using a modified-Standardized Nordic Questionnaire was conducted on each study subject to determine the prevalence of Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs). The results showed that 93 out of 116 subjects (80.17%) complained of experiencing ache, pain or body discomfort during and after work with high percentage of MSDs prevalence affecting the wrist (78.5%), shoulder (73.1%), and lower leg (71.0%) regions of the body. Pictures and videos of workers performing their routine tasks were analyzed using Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA) tool to generate individual Ergonomic Risk Level classification. The results showed that all subjects were exposed to Medium (56.90%), High (29.31%) and Very High (13.79%) level of Ergonomic Risk. Pearson Correlation and One-way ANOVA test was conducted to determine the association between Ergonomic Risk Level and the subjects’ individual working performances. The results indicated that there was a significant negative association between Ergonomic Risk Level and the workers' performances in terms of tendency to work overtime (p
Isolates of Fusarium were discovered in peat soil samples collected from peat swamp forest, waterlogged peat soil, and peat soil from oil palm plantations. Morphological characteristics were used to tentatively identify the isolates, and species confirmation was based on the sequence of translation elongation factor-1α (TEF-1α) and phylogenetic analysis. Based on the closest match of Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) searches against the GenBank and Fusarium-ID databases, five Fusarium species were identified, namely F. oxysporum (60%), F. solani (23%), F. proliferatum (14%), F. semitectum (1%), and F. verticillioides (1%). From a neighbour-joining tree of combined TEF-1α and β-tubulin sequences, isolates from the same species were clustered in the same clade, though intraspecies variations were observed from the phylogenetic analysis. The Fusarium species isolated in the present study are soil inhabitants and are widely distributed worldwide. These species can act as saprophytes and decomposers as well as plant pathogens. The presence of Fusarium species in peat soils suggested that peat soils could be a reservoir of plant pathogens, as well-known plant pathogenic species such F. oxysporum, F. solani, F. proliferatum, and F. verticillioides were identified. The results of the present study provide knowledge on the survival and distribution of Fusarium species.
PURPOSE: Asthma is a global health problem, and asthma prevalence in Asia is increasing. The REcognise Asthma and LInk to Symptoms and Experience Asia study assessed patients' perception of asthma control and attitudes toward treatment in an accessible, real-life adult Asian population.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: An online survey of 2,467 patients with asthma from eight Asian countries/regions, aged 18-50 years, showed greater than or equal to two prescriptions in previous 2 years and access to social media. Patients were asked about their asthma symptoms, exacerbations and treatment type, views and perceptions of asthma control, attitudes toward asthma management, and sources of asthma information.
RESULTS: Patients had a mean age of 34.2 (±7.4) years and were diagnosed with asthma for 12.5 (±9.7) years. Half had the Global Initiative for Asthma-defined uncontrolled asthma. During the previous year, 38% of patients visited the emergency department, 33% were hospitalized, and 73% had greater than or equal to one course of oral corticosteroids. About 90% of patients felt that their asthma was under control, 82% considered their condition as not serious, and 59% were concerned about their condition. In all, 66% of patients viewed asthma control as managing attacks and 24% saw it as an absence of or minimal symptoms. About 14% of patients who correctly identified their controller inhalers had controlled asthma compared to 6% who could not.
CONCLUSION: Patients consistently overestimated their level of asthma control contrary to what their symptoms suggest. They perceived control as management of exacerbations, reflective of a crisis-oriented mind-set. Interventions can leverage on patients' trust in health care providers and desire for self-management via a new language to generate a paradigm shift toward symptom control and preventive care.
KEYWORDS: asthma control; attitudes; perception
OBJECTIVE: There are few studies on fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and respiratory symptoms among adults in tropical areas. The aim was to study associations between FeNO and selected personal factors, respiratory symptoms, allergies, office characteristics and indoor office exposures among office workers (n = 460) from a university in Malaysia.
METHODS: Information on health was collected by a questionnaire, skin prick test and FeNO measurement. Temperature, relative air humidity, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide were measured in the offices. Settled dust was vacuumed in the offices and analyzed for endotoxin, (1,3)-β-glucan and house dust mites allergens, namely Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p 1) and Dermatophagoides farinae (Der f 1). Two-level linear mixed models and multiple logistic regression were used to analyze the associations.
RESULTS: One-fourth (25.9%) of the office workers had elevated FeNO level (≥ 25 ppb) and 61.5% had HDM, cat, seafood or pollen allergy. Male gender (p < 0.001), current smoking (p = 0.037), height (p < 0.001) and atopy (p < 0.001) were associated with FeNO. The amount of vacuumed dust was associated with FeNO among atopic subjects (p = 0.009). Asthma and rhinitis symptoms were associated with FeNO (p < 0.05), especially among atopic subjects. In particular, a combination of atopy and elevated FeNO were associated with doctor-diagnosed asthma (p < 0.001), rhinitis (p < 0.001) and airway symptoms last 12 months (p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Gender, smoking, height and atopy are important risk factors for elevated FeNO levels. A combination of allergy testing and FeNO measurement could be useful in respiratory illness epidemiology studies and patient investigations in tropical areas.
KEYWORDS: Adults; Malaysia; allergy; office; respiratory symptoms; rhinitis; tropical areas
Concentration activities of (210)Pb and (210)Po in the PM10 were determined to discuss their distribution and chemical behavior in relation to meteorological parameters especially in air mass transport during monsoon events. Marine aerosol samples were collected between January 2009 and December 2010 at the coastal region of Mersing, which is located in the southern South China Sea and is about 160 km northeast of Johor Bahru, as part of the atmosphere-ocean interaction program in Malaysia. About 47 PM10 samples were collected using the Sierra-Andersen model 1200 PM10 sampler over a 2-year sampling campaign between January 2009 and December 2010. Samples were processed using acid digestion sequential extraction techniques to analyze various fractions such as Fe and Mn oxides, organic matter, and residual fractions. While, (210)Pb and (210)Po activities were measured with the Gross Alpha/Beta Counting System model XLB-5 Tennelec® Series 5 and the Alpha Spectrometry (model Alpha Analyst Spectroscopy system with a silicon-surface barrier detector), respectively. The distribution activities of (210)Pb and (210)Po in the PM10 samples were varied from 162 to 881 μBq/m(3) with mean value of 347 ± 170 μBq/m(3) and from 85 to 1009 μBq/m(3) with mean value of 318 ± 202 μBq/m(3), respectively. The analysis showed that (210)Po activity in our samples lies in a border and higher range than global distribution values due to contributions from external sources injected to the atmosphere. The speciation of (210)Pb and (210)Po in marine aerosol corresponds to transboundary haze; e.g., biomass burning especially forest fires and long-range air mass transport of terrestrial dust has enriched concentrations of particle mass in the local atmosphere. The monsoon seems to play an important role in transporting terrestrial dust from Indo-China and northern Asia especially during the northeast monsoon, as well as biogenic pollutants originating from Sumatra and the southern ASEAN region during southwest monsoon events.