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  1. Ahmad N, Awaluddin SM, Ismail H, Samad R, NikAbdRashid N
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2014 Sep;26(5 Suppl):44S-52S.
    PMID: 25070693 DOI: 10.1177/1010539514544700
    This study aimed to identify risk and protective factors associated with sexual activity among Malaysian adolescents. Data from the World Health Organization Global School-based Student Health Survey 2012 were analyzed. A total of 23 645 students aged 12 to 17 years responded using self-administered validated questionnaire. The overall prevalence of reported ever-had sex was 8.3%. Logistic regression analysis revealed that ever-had sex was positively significantly associated with ever-used drugs (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 7.71; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 6.51-9.13), and to a lesser extent, ever-smoked (aOR = 1.83; 95% CI = 1.62-2.07) and ever-consumed alcohol (aOR = 1.33; 95% CI = 1.15-2.53). Protective factors against ever-had sex were having a close friend (aOR = 0.63; 95% CI = 0.50-0.81), parental bonding (aOR = 0.72; 95% CI = 0.65-0.81), supportive peers (aOR = 0.77; 95% CI = 0.69-0.86), and parental connectedness (aOR = 0.88; 95% CI = 0.78-0.99). Although the prevalence of sexual activity among school-going adolescents in Malaysia is relatively low, identifying the risk and protective factors is crucial toward developing an integrated multiple approach to preventing sexual-related problems.
    Study name: Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS)
  2. Abd Razak MA, Ahmad NA, Abd Aziz FA, Jamaluddin R, Sidik SM, Awaluddin SM, et al.
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2019 11;31(8_suppl):30S-37S.
    PMID: 31402682 DOI: 10.1177/1010539519867796
    Limited evidence on the association of being bullied with depression among adolescents was found in Malaysia. This study aimed to determine the association of being bullied and depression among Malaysian school-going adolescents. Data from the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2017, a cross-sectional study conducted from March to May 2017, was analyzed using descriptive and multiple logistic regression analysis. A validated tool, the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-21 was used to categorize those with moderate or higher levels of depressive symptoms as having depression. A total of 27 399 school-going adolescents participated and 18.3% were found depressed. Adolescents of Indian ethnicity (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.02, P < .001), those with parents living apart (aOR = 1.41, P < .001), and those who were being bullied (aOR = 2.98, P < .001) were more likely to have depression. This study demonstrated the association between being bullied and having depression. Comprehensive preventive strategies should be implemented taking into consideration the findings from this study.
  3. Awaluddin SM, Ibrahim Wong N, Rodzlan Hasani WS, Omar MA, Mohd Yusoff MF, Nik Abd Rashid NR, et al.
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2019 11;31(8_suppl):8S-17S.
    PMID: 31226891 DOI: 10.1177/1010539519854884
    Health risk behaviors and mental health problems are associated with morbidity and premature mortality among adolescents. Understanding the magnitude of the problem may improve adolescent health status. The Adolescent Health Survey was conducted to collect data on health risk behaviors among Malaysian school-going adolescents using self-administered questionnaires. A 2-stage stratified cluster sampling design was used and samplings weights were calculated to ensure representativeness to the general population. A total of 27 497 out of 30 823 school-going adolescents completed the questionnaires, yielded an 89.2% overall response rate. The methodology was robust to ensure valid estimation on the prevalence of health problems among Malaysian school-going adolescents.
  4. Yusof M, Awaluddin SM, Omar M, Ahmad NA, Abdul Aziz FA, Jamaluddin R, et al.
    J Environ Public Health, 2018;2018:1803025.
    PMID: 29853924 DOI: 10.1155/2018/1803025
    Introduction: Anaemia is common among the elderly, yet it remains an underresearched clinical condition. This study investigates ethnic differences in prevalence of anaemia and identifies potential factors associated with anaemia in the elderly.
    Methods: Data from the National Health & Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2015 conducted by Ministry of Health was analyzed. Haemoglobin levels were measured using point-of-care testing, HemoCue® Hb 201+ System©, from consenting individuals. Demographic information and other clinical information were obtained through a structured questionnaire. Descriptive and multivariate analyses were conducted and significant results were presented as adjusted odds ratio.
    Results: A total of 3794 participants aged 60 years and older responded to the anaemia module with a response rate of 93.7%. 64.0% of respondents were of Malay ethnicity, 21.6% were Chinese, 6.1% were Indians, and 8.3% were of other ethnicities. The overall prevalence of anaemia among older people was 35.3%. The highest prevalence of anaemia was found among respondents of Indian ethnicity (45.5%). The Indian (aOR: 1.72; 95% CI 1.26-2.34) and Malay (aOR: 1.25; 95% CI 1.04-1.49) ethnic groups were more likely to be anaemic in comparison to those of Chinese ethnicity. Anaemia in older people was also associated with increasing age, history of hospital admission, and the presence of diabetes mellitus.
    Conclusion: Anaemia in the elderly is associated with Indian and Malay ethnicities, increasing age, hospitalization, and diabetes. Our study has identified important information on a common condition which will guide and assist future studies in reducing the burden of anaemia.
    Study name: National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-2015)
  5. Che Salleh N, Mohamad Anuar MF, Abdullah NA, Yaw SL, Ibrahim Wong N, Teck Pei T, et al.
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2019 11;31(8_suppl):97S-104S.
    PMID: 31640393 DOI: 10.1177/1010539519880998
    This cross-sectional national survey aimed to determine the prevalence of oral and hand hygiene practices as well as associations between sociodemographic characteristics and oral and hygiene practice among adolescents aged 13 to 17 years during the past 30 days. A validated self-administered bilingual questionnaire adapted from the Malaysian Global School Health Survey with computer-scanable answer sheets was distributed to 30 823 adolescents attending government secondary schools in Malaysia; and 89.2% responded to the questionnaire given. More than 80% (87.1%; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 86.24-87.96) of the adolescents reported that they had brushed their teeth at least twice daily and had always washed their hands after using the toilet (86.6%; 95% CI = 85.85-87.36). The odds of adolescents who brushed their teeth at least 2 times daily and washed their hands after using the toilet was significantly associated with sociodemographic characteristics. This study highlights the need to further improve the effectiveness of current oral health promotion programs with consideration for sociodemographic characteristics.
  6. Awaluddin SM, Ismail N, Yasin SM, Zakaria Y, Mohamed Zainudin N, Kusnin F, et al.
    Front Public Health, 2020;8:577407.
    PMID: 33384977 DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.577407
    Introduction: The trends of tuberculosis (TB) treatment success rate among children in Malaysia plateaued at 90% from 2014 to 2017. Malaysia sets a higher treatment success target of 95% to be achieved in line with an affordable, accessible, and holistic approach in managing TB among children. Objective: This study aims to explore the parents' experiences and perspectives toward achieving treatment success among children who were diagnosed with TB in two districts in Selangor state, Malaysia. Methods: The study was conducted using phenomenology study design via an in-depth interview of 15 mothers who were purposively sampled from the list of pediatric TB cases in the MyTB version 2.1 database in Klang and Petaling Districts of Selangor state. The R-based qualitative data analysis package of R version 0.2-8 was used to perform the thematic analysis. Results: Two main themes were identified from this study. The first theme was trust toward the healthcare services with the subthemes of acceptance, self-efficacy, holistic care, and perceived benefits. The second theme was the motivation to take or continue medication. The subthemes were support from family, healthcare workers' (HCWs') support, the convenience of healthcare services, community support, personal strength, and child's character. Conclusion: TB treatment success for children can be achieved when parents develop trust in healthcare services and have strong motivational factors to remain steadfast in achieving a successful treatment goal. Psychosocial support should be provided to the primary caregiver who faced any difficulty, while good relationships between parents and HCWs should be maintained. These results will inform the TB program managers to strengthen the holistic approach and identify the motivational factors among parents of children with TB disease.
  7. Awaluddin SM, Ismail N, Zakaria Y, Yasin SM, Razali A, Mutalip MHA, et al.
    BMC Public Health, 2020 Dec 10;20(1):1903.
    PMID: 33302908 DOI: 10.1186/s12889-020-10005-y
    BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) among children remains a significant public health problem in many parts of the world. The objective of this study was to describe the characteristics of TB patients and to determine the predictors of treatment success among children in Malaysia.

    METHODS: Secondary data from MyTB version 2.1, a national database, were analysed using R version 3.6.1. Descriptive analysis and multivariable logistic regression were conducted to identify treatment success and its determinants.

    RESULTS: In total, 3630 cases of TB cases were registered among children in Malaysia between 2013 and 2017. The overall treatment success rate was 87.1% in 2013 and plateaued between 90.1 and 91.4% from 2014 to 2017. TB treatment success was positively associated with being a Malaysian citizen (aOR = 3.43; 95% CI = 2.47, 4.75), being a child with BCG scars (aOR = 1.93; 95% CI = 1.39, 2.68), and being in the older age group (aOR = 1.06; 95% CI = 1.03, 1.09). Having HIV co-infection (aOR = 0.31; 95% CI = 0.16, 0.63), undergoing treatment in public hospitals (aOR = 0.38; 95% CI =0.25, 0.58), having chest X-ray findings of advanced lesion (aOR = 0.48; 95% CI = 0.33, 0.69), having EPTB (aOR = 0.58; 95% CI = 0.41, 0.82) and having sputum-positive PTB (aOR = 0.58; 95% CI = 0.43, 0.79) were negatively associated with TB treatment success among children.

    CONCLUSIONS: The overall success rate of treatment among children with TB in Malaysia has achieved the target of 90% since 2014 and remained plateaued until 2017. The socio-demographic characteristics of children, place of treatment, and TB disease profile were associated with the likelihood of TB treatment success among children. The treatment success rate can be increased by strengthening contact tracing activities and promoting early identification targeting the youngest children and non-Malaysian children.

  8. Awaluddin SM, Shahein NA, Che Abdul Rahim N, Mohd Zaki NA, Nasaruddin NH, Saminathan TA, et al.
    PMID: 34682667 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph182010922
    This study aimed to determine the prevalence of anemia and factors associated with anemia among men in Malaysia. The researchers used data from the 2019 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS). The hemoglobin levels of men aged 15 years and above who gave their consent was measured using the HemoCue® Hb 201+ System©. The majority of them (87.2%) were men aged 15-59 years, referred to as the younger age group in this study. The prevalence of anemia among men was 12.6% (95% confidence interval (CI): 10.9, 14.5). The prevalence was higher among older men (30.7%; 95% CI: 26.6, 35.1) than younger men (10.0%; 95% CI: 8.2, 12.2). Anemia among men was associated with older age (adjusted odds ratios (aOR) = 3.1; 95% CI: 2.1, 4.4) and those with diabetes (aOR = 1.5; 95% CI: 1.2, 2.1) via a logistic regression analysis. In conclusion, older men were more affected by anemia than younger men in this study. Anemia among older men in Malaysia is at the level of moderate to severe public health significance. The likelihood of developing anemia is increased among older men with diabetes compared to older men without diabetes. These often-overlooked issues among men need to be detected and treated early in order to prevent complications and improve their quality of life.
  9. Rodzlan Hasani WS, Miaw Yn JL, Saminathan TA, Robert Lourdes TG, Ramly R, Abd Hamid HA, et al.
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2019 11;31(8_suppl):48S-56S.
    PMID: 31347375 DOI: 10.1177/1010539519865053
    This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of illicit drug use and its associated factors among male adolescents in Malaysia. Data of 13 135 adolescents were extracted from the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2017, a cross-sectional survey among school-going adolescents in Malaysia aged between 13 and 17 years, using a 2-stage stratified cluster sampling. A complex sample design analysis and multiple logistic regression analysis were applied. The overall prevalence of lifetime illicit drug use among male adolescents was 6.6%. The multivariable model showed that illicit drug use among male adolescents were associated with younger age, rural school area, marital status of parent, current smoker, ever having sex, truancy, involved in physical fight, and lack of peer support. The findings from this study can assist community and relevant authorities in their efforts to combat illicit drug usage among adolescents using intervention programs that diminishes risk factors and enhances the protective factors.
  10. Abdul Aziz FA, Abd Razak MA, Ahmad NA, Awaluddin SM, Lodz NA, Sooryanarayana R, et al.
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2019 11;31(8_suppl):73S-79S.
    PMID: 31353928 DOI: 10.1177/1010539519862161
    Various factors contribute to suicidal attempt. This study aims to determine the relationship between suicidal attempt and its associated factors among school-going adolescents in Malaysia. Data from the National Health and Morbidity 2017 survey were analyzed. This survey was implemented as a nationwide school-based survey targeting adolescents 13 to 17 years old. Descriptive and multiple logistic regression analysis was done using SPSS version 20. A total of 27 399 adolescents participated in this survey. The prevalence of suicidal attempt was 6.9% (95% confidence interval = 6.2-7.7). Multivariate analysis found that the odds of suicidal attempt among adolescent with depression is 4.3 (adjusted odds ratio = 4.3; 95% confidence interval = 3.9-4.8). Other significant factors are young adolescent, non-Malay ethnicities especially Indian, adolescent with parents living apart, and those without peer support and parental connectedness. A holistic approach for the planning of preventative strategies and public health policies should be made according to these risk factors.
    Study name: National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-2017)
  11. Awaluddin SM, Ahmad FH, Jeevananthan C, Ganapathy SS, Sooryanarayana R, Mohamad Anuar MF, et al.
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2019 Nov;31(8_suppl):65S-72S.
    PMID: 31522523 DOI: 10.1177/1010539519872662
    Serious injury due to motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) significantly contributes to the adolescents' health status. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of nonfatal injury due to MVAs and its associated factors among Malaysian school-going adolescents. Nationally representative samples were selected via 2-stage stratified cluster sampling. Data was collected using a validated self-administered questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the associations between the variables. A total of 1088 out of 27 497 adolescents reported that they had sustained serious injury due to MVAs with a prevalence of 4.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.7-4.5). Serious injury due to MVAs among adolescents was positively associated with being current cigarette smokers (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.5; 95% CI = 2.2-2.9), followed by Malay ethnicity (aOR = 2.4; 95% CI = 1.9-3.0), current drug users (aOR = 2.3; 95% CI = 1.9-3.0), boys (aOR = 2.1; 95% CI = 1.8-2.4), Indian ethnicity (aOR = 1.8; 95% CI = 1.2-2.5), and those who were in upper secondary school (aOR = 1.3; 95% CI = 1.2-1.5). Targeted intervention and curbing substance use among boys may reduce the morbidities from MVAs and its resulting complications.
  12. Saminathan TA, Ganapathy SS, Sooryanarayana R, Hasim MHB, Mohd Anuar MF, Ahmad FH, et al.
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2019 11;31(8_suppl):88S-96S.
    PMID: 31680535 DOI: 10.1177/1010539519883139
    We assessed the current situation of physical abuse among adolescents at home in Malaysia. A total of 27 497 school-going adolescents answered a self-administered questionnaire during the Malaysian National Health and Morbidity Survey 2017. A complex sampling analysis was applied to identify factors associated with physical abuse among adolescents using multivariate logistic regression analysis. The prevalence of physical abuse at home among students was 11.8%. Our result shows that adolescents aged 13 years had significantly higher odds of such abuse, with odds decreasing as the adolescents age. Girls and adolescents from Indian ethnicity (minority ethnic group) had higher odds of such abuse. Other associated factors were mental health problems, substance abuse, and problems at school. Physical abuse among adolescents at home should be countered with appropriate measures.
  13. Ying Ying C, Awaluddin SM, Kuang Kuay L, Siew Man C, Baharudin A, Miaw Yn L, et al.
    PMID: 33383635 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18010168
    Internet addiction (IA) among adolescents is an issue of growing concern with adverse effects on adolescents' health and social functioning. This study aims to determine the prevalence of IA among school-going adolescents in Malaysia and its associated factors-specifically, lifestyle factors. A nationwide cross-sectional school-based health survey was conducted in 2017 among 27,497 students from 212 randomly selected secondary schools. Information regarding sociodemography, lifestyle, and internet use was obtained using a self-administered questionnaire. IA was measured using the Malay Version of Internet Addiction Test (MVIAT). The prevalence of internet addiction was 29.0%. A multivariable logistic analysis revealed that inadequate fruit and vegetable intakes, consumed carbonated soft drinks at least once a day, consumed fast food at least three days/week, sedentary behavior, current E-cigarette users, and ever/current alcohol drinkers were lifestyle factors significantly associated with IA. Adolescents from urban schools, of higher school grade, and those whose parents are married but living apart were also found to have a greater risk for internet addiction. A positive association was found between IA with unhealthy dietary and lifestyle behaviors among adolescents. The modification of lifestyle factors needs to be considered while developing strategies and interventions for awareness-raising and prevention of IA among adolescents.
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