Dermatoglyphic traits are formed under genetic control during early gestation and do not change through the entire life. A few studies have shown that dermatoglyphic traits were conservative in their evolution and were different between and within population groups. The objective of this study was to compare the variability of palm dermatoglyphs in three main populations i.e. Malay, Chinese, Indian and five sub-ethnic population of Negritos’ Orang Asli i.e. Bateq, Jahai, Kintak, Kensiu and Lanoh. We utilised fingerprints and palms of 390 healthy adult individuals, counted the total ridge for ten fingers
(TRC), a-b ridge counts (a-b RC) on palms, examined widening of the atd-angle, and classified the digital pattern configuration of arches, whorls, ulnar, and radial loops for all fingers. Variables obtained from both palm did not show any differences between males and females for all populations. TRC, a-b RC and atd-angle were the highest for Kensiu and were later on specially described to be in a group of its own by ANOVA and TUKEY test for TRC and a-b RC. The same test has put Chinese in a group of its own for atd-angle. Only a-b RC clearly separate Orang Asli populations from the three main races. Whorls and ulnar loops were the most predominant pattern in all groups. Malays and Chinese had similar distributional patterns for each ten fingers. Indian and Jahai similarly mimic each other, while Bateq has the reversal pattern distribution to them both. Kintak and Lanoh halfly mimics each other pattern and Kensiu had its own unique pattern. In conclusion, races, patterns, and pattern frequencies were related to each other and can be used to differentiate different races or Orang Asli
sub-ethnics. This study documents for the first time the comparative dermatoglyphic traits between Malaysian main races with Orang Asli populations show a list of informative variables that can be used to identify them as well as suggesting it’s used as a tool in tracing the etnohistorical background of populations.
Manifestations of vitamin deficiencies observed in 6,000 Tamil and 4,000 Malay children and young adults during a survey carried out by the Institute for Medical Research in the Federated Malay States included phrynoderma, Bitot spots
and angular stomatitis. They were more frequent in Tamils than in Malays. Phrynoderma and Bitot spots responded rapidly to administration of vitamin A or carotene, though in some patients with phrynoderma improvement was not attained unless also the protein intake was increased and vitamin B complex added. Angular stomatitis was benefited by administration of riboflavin or vitamin B complex. The clinical and histologie observations of phrynoderma in Tamils and Malays in Malaya were identical with those previously reported in Chinese, Ceylonese and southern Indians. A supplementary food ration, composed of soy beans, skim milk powder, dal and red palm oil, given to Tamil children on rubber estates not only increased the general state of health but led to a rapid regression of the manifestations of vitamin deficiencies.
The objective of the study was to investigate the associated factors of sleep quality and behavior among Malaysian tertiary students. The response rate to the questionnaire study was 41.0%. 1,118 students (M = 486, F = 632; mean age = 20.06 ± 1.53 years) were recruited from Universiti and Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman (Perak campuses) who completed a sleep quality and behavior questionnaire based on Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), Horne-Ostberg Morningness-Eveningness Scale (MES) and craving of high-calorie foods. Results showed that students had the following sleeping habits - bed time = 2.41 a.m. ± 3.35 hr, rise time = 9.00 a.m. ± 1.76 hr, sleep latency = 16.65 ± 14.30 min and sleep duration = 7.31 ± 1.45 hr. 32.9% of the students were defined as poor quality sleepers, 30.6% suffering excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and 81.6% were categorized as individuals with 'definitely eveningness', defined as people who are definitely most alert in the late evening hours and prefer to go to bed late. There were no significant gender differences in sleep quality, 'chronotype' and EDS. Although there was no association of sleep quality and EDS with cumulative Grade Point Average (cGPA) and class skipping, EDS was associated with the tendency to fall asleep in class. Body Mass Index (BMI) was not associated with total sleep, PSQI, ESS and MES scores. Meanwhile, high-calorie food craving was associated with sleep duration, PSQI and ESS, but not MES. In conclusion, poor sleep behavior among Malaysian tertiary students in this study was not associated with gender, academic performance and BMI, but was associated with craving of high-calorie foods instead.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is rare among people of Indian ethnicity. A short retrospective case review of clinical records of Indian patients diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma in a period of 5 years was conducted. Their slides were further subjected to EBV encoded RNA (EBER) - In- situ Hybridization (ISH). The histologic subtype was nonkeratinizing carcinoma in all 4 patients. All were Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) positive. We believe that the crucial factor responsible for nasopharyngeal carcinoma is genetics; either a genetic susceptibility among high risk groups or genetic resistance/immunity in low risk groups. Further genetic studies are required to look for somatic or inherited chromosomal mutations among the various risk populations.
BACKGROUND: Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) is a hypothalamic anorectic neuropeptide that controls feeding behaviour and body weight. The study objective was to investigate the association of the CART prepropeptide gene (CARTPT) rs2239670 variant with obesity and its related anthropometric indicators among patients of a Malaysian health clinic in Kampar, Perak, Malaysia.
METHODS: A total of 300 Malay/Peninsular Bumiputera, Chinese, and Indian subjects (115 males, 185 females; 163 non-obese, 137 obese) were recruited by convenience sampling, and anthropometric measurements, blood pressures, and pulse rate were taken. Genotyping was performed using AvaII polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism.
RESULTS: Genotyping revealed 203 (67.7%), 90 (30.0%), and 7 (2.3%) subjects with the GG, GA, and AA genotypes, respectively, with a minor allele (A) frequency of 0.17. No significant difference in the CARTPT rs2239670 genotype and allele distribution was found between obese and non-obese subjects, and logistic regression showed no association between the mutated genotypes (GA, AA) and allele (A) with obesity, even after adjusting for age, gender, and ethnicity. Furthermore, the measurements did not differ significantly between the genotypes and alleles. No significant difference in the genotype and allele distribution was found among genders, but they were significantly different among ethnicities (P = 0.030 and P = 0.019, respectively).
CONCLUSION: CARTPT rs2239670 is not a predictor for obesity among the Malaysian subjects in this study.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; anthropometry; cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript protein; genetic association study; obesity; single nucleotide polymorphism
Poor adherence to prescribed medications is a major cause for treatment failure, particularly in chronic diseases such as hypertension. This study was conducted to assess adherence to medications in patients undergoing hypertensive treatment in the Primary Health Clinics of the Ministry of Health in Malaysia. Factors affecting adherence to medications were studied, and the effect of nonadherence to blood pressure control was assessed.
This study aims to identify the patient-physician communication barriers in the primary healthcare setting in Pulau Penang, Malaysia. A cross-sectional study was designed to attain the objectives of the study. A self-developed 17-item study tool was used to explore respondent's perception about the barriers they have faced while communicating with physician. The reliability scale was applied and internal consistency of the study tool was estimated on the basis of Cronbach's alpha (α = 0.58). The data analysis was conducted using statistical package for social sciences students SPSS 13(®). Chi Square test was used to test the difference between proportions. A total of n = 69 patients responded to this survey. A higher participation was seen by the male respondents, 39 (56.5%). About 52 (76.5%) of the respondents were satisfied with the information provided by the physician. In an effort to identify the patient-physician barriers, a poor understanding among the patients and physician was revealed. 16 (23.5%) respondents disclosed lack of satisfaction from the information provided to them. Overall, it is seen that lack of physician-patient understanding was the main reason that result hindrance in the affective communication. Moreover, there is a possibility that a low level of health literacy among the patients and inability of the physician to affectively listen to patients may be the other factors that result in a deficient communication.
PURPOSE: TO DETERMINE: (i) the mammographic parenchymal patterns in Malaysian women and whether the breasts are dense on mammogram; (ii) the effect of age on breast density; (iii) the effect of parity on breast density; (iv) the difference in breast parenchymal patterns among the major races of women in Malaysia.
METHODS: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of 1,784 patients (981 Malays, 571 Chinese, 214 Indians and 18 others) who had undergone mammography during the 1-year study period. Majority of women (41.7%) were aged between 51 and 60 years and majority (43%) had 3-4 children. The Tabar classification (Pattern I - V) was used to evaluate breast parenchymal patterns on mammogram. Tabar Pattern I was further divided into 3 sub-groups (Pattern IA, IB, and IC). The different patterns were then grouped into dense (IB, IC, IV, V) and not dense (IA, II, III) breasts. The SPSS package was used for statistical analysis.
RESULTS: Majority (59%) of Malaysian women had dense breasts (Pattern IB 29%, IC 20%, IV 5%, and V 5%) and 41% did not have dense breasts (Pattern IA 28%, II 6%, and III 7%). Age and parity were inversely related to breast density (p < 0.0001). Chinese women (65.7%) had the highest percentage of dense breasts (p = 0.69, odds ratio = 1.22), followed by the Indians (57.2%) and the Malays (50.5%).
CONCLUSION: Majority of women had dense breasts but Pattern IV, which has been associated with increased risk of breast cancer, was seen in only 5% of the women. The breast density reduced steadily with increasing age and parity. There was no statistically significant difference in breast density in the three main races.
KEYWORDS: Mammography; breast density; breast parenchymal patterns
In view of the alarming increase in the incidence of diabetes mellitus in Malaysia, we conducted a study to assess the awareness of complications of diabetes among the diabetics attending the peripheral clinics in Melaka. The study period was from January 2007 to December 2007. 351 patients were included in the study. 79.8% were aware of the complications of diabetes mellitus and 87.2% were aware that diabetes can affect the eyes. However, only 50% of the patients underwent an ophthalmological evaluation. Although awareness was good, the motivation to undergo the assessment was poor.
Study site: Klinik Kesihatan Peringgit, Klinik Kommunity Ayer Keroh, Melaka, Malaysia
OBJECTIVES: To compare the morbidity patterns in public and private primary care clinics; determine patients' reasons for encounter (RFE) and diagnoses using the ICPC-2, and compare ten commonest diagnoses and RFEs.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study on randomly selected clinics was conducted nationwide. Doctors completed the Patient Encounter Record (PER) for systematically selected encounters for a week.
RESULTS: Response rate was 82.0% (public clinic) and 33% (private clinic) with 4262 encounters and 7280 RFE. Overall, the three commonest disease categories encountered were respiratory (37.2%), general and unspecified (29.5%), and cardiovascular diseases (22.2%). Public and private clinics handled 27% versus 50% acute cases and 20.0% versus 3.1% chronic cases i.e. 33.7 and 5.6 chronic diseases per 100 RFE respectively.
CONCLUSION: Doctors in public clinics saw more chronic and complex diseases as well as pregnancy related complaints and follow-up cases while in private clinics more acute and minor illnesses were seen. Health services should be integrated and support given to co-manage chronic diseases in both sectors.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; Primary practice; delivery of health care; morbidity pattern; reasons for encounter
Minor ailments like sore throat, fever, cough and diarrhea can be relieved with over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as paracetamol or other traditional remedies, without seeking for consultation from general practitioners. Parents usually take the responsibility to come up with some kind of treatment for their children.
The Malaysian National Cancer Registry (NCR) report for the period 2003-2005 shows an incidence of stomach cancer of 2.2 for Malay, 11.3 for Chinese and 11.9 for Indian males per 100,000 population. Malay (1.3), Chinese (7.2) and Indian (7.2) women have rates lower than men. Malays in Peninsular Malaysia have five times less stomach cancer than Chinese and Indians. This racial difference is more marked than that noted in the Singapore cancer registry. Regional data from Kelantan has an even lower rate for Malays there (1.5 for males and 0.9 for females per 100,000 population). The incidence of Helicobacter pylori infection, a known risk factor for stomach cancer, is low among Malays.
OBJECTIVE: The natural history of asymptomatic (silent) gallstones has been inadequately studied. Existing information derives from studies based on oral cholecystography or relatively small sample sizes. We planned a retrospective cohort study in subjects with gallstones to determine conversion rates from asymptomatic to symptomatic.
METHODS: We extracted data from computerised databases of one government hospital and two private clinics in Malaysia. Files were scrutinised to ensure that criteria for asymptomatic gallstones were fulfilled. Patients were called on telephone, further questioned to confirm that the gallstones at detection were truly asymptomatic, and asked about symptoms that were consistent with previously defined criteria for biliary colic. Appropriate ethical clearances were taken.
RESULTS: 213 (112 males) patients fulfilled the criteria for asymptomatic gallstones and could be contacted. 23 (10.8%) developed pain after an average follow up interval of 4.02 years (range 0.1-11 years). Conversion rates from asymptomatic to symptomatic gallstones were high in the first two years of follow up, averaging 4.03±0.965 per year. Over time the conversion rates slowed, and by year 10 the annual conversion rate averaged only 1.38±0.29. Conversion rates were much higher for females compared to males (F:M hazard ratio 3.23, SE 1.54, p>z 0.014). The lifetime risks for conversion approached 6.15% for males, and 22.1% for females.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, asymptomatic gallstones are much more likely to convert to symptomatic in females than in males. Males in whom asymptomatic stones are discovered should be advised conservative treatment. Surgery may be preferable to conservative management if the subject is a young female.
m radiology records of Hospital
Study site: Computerised database, Hospital Selayang, Selangor; private clinics, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
BACKGROUND: Patients presenting with chronic cough pose a common diagnostic dilemma during routine consultations at public primary care clinics in Malaysia. To date, there has been little attempt at designing a standardized model or algorithm to facilitate an accurate diagnosis of chronic cough. This study proposes a clinical method to detect the causes of chronic cough in a primary care setting in Malaysia.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 117 patients aged above 18 at an urban primary care clinic were tracked over a span of 5 months to diagnose the cause of chronic cough. A therapeutic-diagnostic method was employed to help identify the causes of chronic cough. Subsequently, the demographic details of patients, the prevalence of the different causes of chronic cough and the relationship between history and diagnosis were analyzed statistically.
RESULTS: Chronic cough had a slightly higher male preponderance (51.3% vs. 48.7%). Patients within the 'above 60' age category had the highest frequency of chronic cough. The most common cause of chronic cough was post-infectious cough (n = 42, 35.9%), followed closely by angiotensin-converting enzyme-inhibitor related cough (n = 14, 12%). Majority of patients had the symptom of phlegm production (n = 41, 54%). 33 patients (29.2%) had recent upper respiratory tract infection (<2 weeks ago) prior to the diagnosis of chronic cough. There were poor association between symptoms and the various entities comprising chronic cough. The exceptions were the following associations: (1) Bronchial asthma and itchiness of throat (P = 0021), (2) gastroesophageal reflux disease and heartburn (P < 0.001), (3) upper airway cough syndrome and running nose (P = 0.016) and (4) pulmonary tuberculosis and absence of weight loss (P = 0.004).
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that the effectiveness of a therapeutic-diagnostic technique in the diagnosis of chronic cough. Consistent with previous studies, there was poor association between most symptoms and the causes of chronic cough. A study involving a larger primary care population is required to confirm the findings found in this analysis.
KEYWORDS: Angiotensin-converting enzyme-I related cough; chronic cough; post-infectious cough; primary care; therapeutic-diagnostic evaluation
Purpose: To develop and validate the English version of the Satisfaction Questionnaire for Osteoporosis Prevention (SQOP) in Malaysia.
Methods: The SQOP was modified from the Osteoporosis Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire and developed based on literature review and patient interviews. Face and content validity were established via an expert panel. The SQOP consists of two sections: clinical services and types of counseling. There were 23 items in total, each with a five-point Likert-type response. Satisfaction score was calculated by converting the total score to a percentage. A higher score indicates higher satisfaction. English speaking, non-osteoporotic, postmenopausal women aged 50 years were included in the study. Participants were randomized to either the control or intervention group. Intervention participants were provided counseling, whereas control participants received none. Participants answered the SQOP at baseline and 2 weeks later.
Results: A total of 140 participants were recruited (control group: n=70; intervention group: n=70). No significant differences were found in any demographic aspects. Exploratory factor analysis extracted seven domains. Cronbach’s α for the domains ranged from 0.531–0.812. All 23 items were highly correlated using Spearman’s correlation coefficient 0.469–0.996 (P<0.05), with no significant change in the control group’s overall test–retest scores, indicating that the
SQOP achieved stable reliability. The intervention group had a higher score than the control group (87.91±5.99 versus 61.87±8.76; P<0.05), indicating that they were more satisfied than control participants. Flesch reading ease was 62.9.
Conclusion: The SQOP was found to be a valid and reliable instrument for assessing patients’ satisfaction towards an osteoporosis screening and prevention service in Malaysia.
Keywords: patient satisfaction, randomized controlled trial, postmenopausal women, screening
Study site: primary care clinic, tertiary hospital, Malaysia