Displaying all 15 publications

  1. Baharom N, Shamsul Azhar S, Rotina AB
    Medicine & Health, 2016;11(2):257-266.
    The uses of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) among patients with chronic diseases are becoming increasingly popular. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted in 45 government health clinics across Negeri Sembilan. Respondents at diabetes clinics were selected via systematic random sampling and interviewed using structured questionnaire. CAM usage was divided into three groups; CAM use for diabetes (CAM-DM), CAM use for general health (CAM-G) and Non CAM user. The prevalent use of CAM among type II diabetes mellitus patients in Negeri Sembilan was 58.5% (CAM-DM: 40.6% and CAM-G: 17.9%). For CAM-DM group, bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) was the most popular CAM consumed to help control diabetes, while supplement milk was the most popular choice for the CAM-G group. In conclusion, the use of CAM among type II diabetes mellitus patients in Negeri Sembilan was common. Natural products are the main choice of CAM modality used to help with the management of diabetes. Majority of CAM users never informed their healthcare providers about their CAM use.
    Study site: 45 klinik kesihatan, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia
  2. Baharom N, Hassan MR, Ali N, Shah SA
    PMID: 22853701 DOI: 10.1186/1747-597X-7-32
    BACKGROUND: Methadone Maintenance Therapy (MMT) is one of the popular choices for drug substitution therapy and is fairly new in Malaysia. Aside from its role in harm reduction against HIV infection, MMT programme may potentially enhances clients' quality of life. This study aims to identify the impact of MMT programme on clients' quality of life after 6 months in treatment and to explore factors that may be associated with changes in their quality of life.
    METHODS: In this retrospective report review, 122 subjects from 2 government MMT clinics were selected from the district of Tampin, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. The raw score from the WHO Quality of Life questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF), at baseline and 6 months after therapy were collected and converted to 0-100 scale form to give quality of life scores for four domains; physical, psychological, social relationships and environment. Other variables of interest were socio-demography, age when joining MMT programme, age and duration of illicit drug use, HIV and Hepatitis C status, and the Opiate Treatment Index (OTI) score on drug use, sexual and social aspect at the baseline. Statistical analysis used the SPSS version 16.
    RESULTS: There was significant improvement in all four domains of quality of life, after 6 months of MMT. The largest improvement was for psychological domain (mean score difference 15.54 ± 20.81). Multivariable linear regression analysis showed that, for the physical domain, there was no significant predictor. For both the psychological and social domains, having tertiary education is a significant predictor for improvement in both aspects of quality of life. Negative HIV status is associated with improvement for the environment domain.
    CONCLUSIONS: There was a significant short term improvement in the quality of life of MMT clients who stayed in the programme for at least 6 months in the district of Tampin, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.
    Study site: MMT clinic, Tampin, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.
  3. Shukor MY, Baharom NA, Masdor NA, Abdullah MP, Shamaan NA, Jamal JA, et al.
    J Environ Biol, 2009 Jan;30(1):17-22.
    PMID: 20112858
    A new inhibitive heavy metals determination method using trypsin has been developed. The enzyme was assayed using the casein-Coomassie-dye-binding method. In the absence of inhibitors, casein was hydrolysed to completion and the Coomassie-dye was unable to stain the protein and the solution became brown. In the presence of metals, the hydrolysis of casein was inhibited and the solution remained blue. The bioassay was able to detect zinc and mercury with IC50 (concentration causing 50% inhibition) values of 5.78 and 16.38 mg l(-1) respectively. The limits of detection (LOD), for zinc and mercury were 0.06 mg l(-1) (0.05-0.07, 95% confidence interval) and 1.06 mg l(-1) (1.017-1.102, 95% confidence interval), respectively. The limits of quantitation (LOQ) for zinc and mercury were 0.61 mg l(-1) (0.51-0.74 at a 95% confidence interval) and 1.35 mg l(-1) (1.29-1.40 at a 95% confidence interval), respectively. The IC50 value for zinc was much higher than the IC50 values for papain and Rainbow trout, but was within the range of Daphnia magna and Microtox. The IC50 value for zinc was only lower than those for immobilized urease. Other toxic heavy metals, such as lead, silver arsenic, copper and cadmium, did not inhibit the enzyme at 20 mg l(-1). Using this assay we managed to detect elevated zinc concentrations in several environmental samples. Pesticides, such as carbaryl, flucythrinate, metolachlor glyphosate, diuron, diazinon, endosulfan sulphate, atrazine, coumaphos, imidacloprid, dicamba and paraquat, showed no effect on the activity of trypsin relative to control (One-way ANOVA, F(12,26)= 0.3527, p> 0.05). Of the 17 xenobiotics tested, only (sodium dodecyl sulphate) SDS gave positive interference with 150% activity higher than that of the control at 0.25% (v/v).
  4. Shukor MY, Masdor N, Baharom NA, Jamal JA, Abdullah MP, Shamaan NA, et al.
    Appl Biochem Biotechnol, 2008 Mar;144(3):283-91.
    PMID: 18556817
    A heavy-metal assay has been developed using bromelain, a protease. The enzyme is assayed using casein as a substrate with Coomassie dye to track completion of hydrolysis of casein. In the absence of inhibitors, casein is hydrolysed to completion, and the solution is brown. In the presence of metal ions such as Hg2+ and Cu2+, the hydrolysis of casein is inhibited, and the solution remains blue. Exclusion of sulfhydryl protective agent and ethylenediaminetetraacetic in the original assay improved sensitivity to heavy metals several fold. The assay is sensitive to Hg2+ and Cu2+, exhibiting a dose-response curve with an IC50 of 0.15 mg 1(-1) for Hg2+ and a one-phase binding curve with an IC50 of 0.23 mg 1(-1) for Cu2+. The IC50 value for Hg2+ is found to be lower to several other assays such as immobilized urease and papain assay, whilst the IC50 value for Cu2+ is lower than immobilized urease, 15-min Microtox, and rainbow trout.
  5. Hassan MR, Shah SA, Ghazi HF, Mohd Mujar NM, Samsuri MF, Baharom N
    Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 2015;16(9):4031-5.
    PMID: 25987081
    BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is one of the most feared diseases among women and it could induce the development of psychological disorders like anxiety and depression. An assessment was here performed of the status and to determine contributory factors.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among breast cancer patients at University Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Center (UKMMC), Kuala Lumpur. A total of 205 patients who were diagnosed between 2007 until 2010 were interviewed using the questionnaires of Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HADS). The associated factors investigated concerned socio-demographics, socio economic background and the cancer status. Descriptive analysis, chi-squared tests and logistic regression were used for the statistical test analysis.

    RESULTS: The prevalence of anxiety was 31.7% (n=65 ) and of depression was 22.0% (n=45) among the breast cancer patients. Age group (p= 0.032), monthly income (p=0.015) and number of visits per month (p=0.007) were significantly associated with anxiety. For depression, marital status (p=0.012), accompanying person (p=0.041), financial support (p-0.007) and felt burden (p=0.038) were significantly associated. In binary logistic regression, those in the younger age group were low monthly income were 2 times more likely to be associated with anxiety. Having less financial support and being single were 3 and 4 times more likely to be associated with depression.

    CONCLUSIONS: In management of breast cancer patients, more care or support should be given to the young and low socio economic status as they are at high risk of anxiety and depression.

  6. Mohamed Nor N, Ross H, Thinng WBK, Abdul Ghani J, Hassan N, Baharom N
    Introduction: In respond to the World Health Assembly global NCD target of 30% reduction in the prevalence of adult tobacco use by 2025, Malaysian government called for lowering its smoking prevalence to 15% by 2025. In addition, moving towards the endgame target of less than 5% smoking prevalence in 2045. Methods: Malaysia Abridged SimSmoke model, a simulation model uses specific policy parameters, the most recent smoking prevalence, and population size for Malaysia is developed to estimates and access the impact of MPOWER policies in achieving the targets. Results: The 15% prevalence rate in 2025 can be achieved if the Malaysian government increase tobacco excise tax to 72% of the retail price, implement and enforce comprehensive smoke-free air policies, ban all forms of advertising/promotions and run intensive mass media campaigns. Such approach would reduce the number of smokers by about 2.6 million, averting almost 1.3 million premature deaths in the long term. The tobacco endgame target of less than 5% smoking prevalence by 2045 is achievable if the excise tax is further increased to 86.5% of the retail price while all other tobacco control policies are kept at the enhanced level. Conclusions: Both the targeted smoking prevalence are a realistic proposition if the proposed measures are fully implemented. It requires a whole government approach with the MOH as a leading agency driving the process. It is important to monitor both the compliance with the new measures and smoking prevalence to make sure that Malaysia is on track in achieving its targets.
  7. Rashid MR, Nor Aripin KN, Syed Mohideen FB, Baharom N, Omar K, Md Taujuddin NMS, et al.
    J Nutr Metab, 2019;2019:3176018.
    PMID: 30863635 DOI: 10.1155/2019/3176018
    Background: Impaired fasting glucose (IFG) poses a higher risk of diabetes. Honey has been reported to improve metabolic abnormalities including lowering hyperglycemia. This study is sought at determining the effect of Malaysian Kelulut honey (KH) on fasting glucose levels and metabolic parameters in IFG patients.
    Methods: This quasi-experimental intervention study of 30-day duration was conducted among 60 adult patients with IFG. They were allocated into taking 30 g/day KH group (experimental group, n=30) and not taking KH group (control group, n=30). Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure (BP), fasting glucose, and lipid profile levels (total cholesterol, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein, and low-density lipoprotein) were measured before and after treatment.
    Results: There was no significant difference in all measured variables at day 30 compared to day 1 within both groups. Similarly, all measured variables neither at day 1 nor at day 30 had shown a statistically significant difference between the groups.
    Conclusions: Daily intake of 30 g KH for 30 days resulted in insignificant effect on fasting glucose, fasting lipid profiles, and other metabolic parameters in patients with IFG. Further studies that employ longer study duration are needed to ascertain the finding.
    Study site: Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) Specialist Centre, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia, and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
  8. Tiong V, Hassandarvish P, Bakar SA, Mohamed NA, Wan Sulaiman WS, Baharom N, et al.
    Sci Rep, 2021 10 15;11(1):20502.
    PMID: 34654867 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-99866-w
    The COVID-19 is difficult to contain due to its high transmissibility rate and a long incubation period of 5 to 14 days. Moreover, more than half of the infected patients were young and asymptomatic. Virus transmission through asymptomatic patients is a major challenge to disease containment. Due to limited treatment options, preventive measures play major role in controlling the disease spread. Gargling with antiseptic formulation may have potential role in eliminating the virus in the throat. Four commercially available mouthwash/gargle formulations were tested for virucidal activity against SARS-CoV-2 in both clean (0.3 g/l BSA) and dirty (0.3 g/l BSA + 3 mL/L human erythrocytes) conditions at time points 30 and 60 s. The virus was isolated and propagated in Vero E6 cells. The cytotoxicity of the products to the Vero E6 was evaluated by kill time assay based on the European Standard EN14476:2013/FprA1:2015 protocol. Virus titres were calculated as 50% tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50/mL) using the Spearman-Karber method. A reduction in virus titer of 4 log10 corresponds to an inactivation of ≥ 99.99%. Formulations with cetylperidinium chloride, chlorhexidine and hexitidine achieved > 4 log10 reduction in viral titres when exposed within 30 s under both clean and dirty conditions. Thymol formulations achieved only 0.5 log10 reduction in viral titres. In addition, salt water was not proven effective. Gargle formulations with cetylperidinium chloride, chlorhexidine and hexetidine have great potential in reducing SAR-CoV-2 at the source of entry into the body, thus minimizing risk of transmission of COVID-19.
  9. Abdul Rashid MR, Syed Mohamad SN, Tajjudin AIA, Roslan N, Jaffar A, Mohideen FBS, et al.
    PMID: 36901486 DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20054476
    This study aimed to explore the socio-demographic characteristics, mental health status, and perceived causes of pandemic fatigue with COVID-19 pandemic fatigue among the general population of Malaysia. The data was collected online during the transition from the COVID-19 pandemic phase to the endemic phase in Malaysia from 1 to 30 April 2022. Sociodemographic data, Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21), perceived causes of pandemic fatigue, and the Fatigue Assessment Scale (FAS) were included in the survey. The chi-square test and a simple logistic regression analysis were used to identify predictors of pandemic fatigue. The completed survey (N = 775) included individuals aged 18 years or above [mean 31.98 (SD = 12.16)] from all states in Malaysia. Pandemic fatigue prevalence was 54.2%. Severe to extremely severe depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms were detected in 11.2%, 14.9%, and 9.1% of the participants, respectively. Younger age, non-Malay ethnicity, living alone, and higher income categories were significantly higher in the fatigued group. Higher DASS-21 scores on all domains were associated with higher FAS scores. Meanwhile, high scores for perceived tiredness from complying with the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), perceived risk of infection from COVID-19, perceived hardship due to the pandemic, perceived public complacency during the pandemic, and perceived changes due to the pandemic were associated with a higher FAS score. This study provides valuable information for policymakers and mental health professionals worldwide on pandemic fatigue and its associated factors, including mental health status in Malaysia.
  10. Ling JMY, Hasani WSR, Mohd Yusoff MF, Abd Hamid HA, Lim KH, Tee GH, et al.
    Held at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. 3rd-5th September 2019
    Introduction: Smoking kills 5 million people a year and it is known to cause several types of cancer and chronic diseases. Majority of smokers started smoking during adolescence and therefore preventing tobacco use among adolescents is critical to prevent them from future smoking. Our study aims to investigate the prevalence of current cigarette smoking and its associated factors among male adolescents in Malaysia.
    Methods: Data was obtained from the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS): Adolescent Health Survey (AHS) 2017 which was a cross-sectional study. A two-stage stratified cluster sampling design was used to select a nationally representative sample of school-going adolescents in Malaysia. Data collection was conducted using a validated self-administered questionnaire. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to identify the associated factors of current cigarette smoking among male adolescents in Malaysia.
    Results: Approximately one-fifth (22.4%) of male adolescents were current cigarette smokers. Male adolescents who aged 16-17 years, from rural schools, those whose parents were widowed/ divorced/ separated, those who had either one or both parents/guardians who used tobacco product, those who were current illicit drug users and current alcohol users were more likely to be current cigarette smokers.
    Conclusion: A substantial percentage of Malaysian male adolescents were current cigarette smokers. Anti-smoking campaigns and tobacco prevention initiatives should be targeted at adolescents at risk to prevent them from becoming cigarette smokers.
    Study name: National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-2017)
  11. Ho BK, Mohamad Haniki NM, Jamalludin AR, Samsul D, Mira K, Norny Syafinaz AR, et al.
    Malays Fam Physician, 2019;14(2):10-17.
    PMID: 31827730
    Introduction: Electronic cigarettes (ECs) are new devices that have been accepted widely by both smokers and non-smokers. However, the evidence on EC used in Malaysia is scarce. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of EC use and the socio-demographic and smoking characteristics associated with current EC use among Malaysian current and ex-smokers.

    Methods: This was a sub-analysis of data from a cross-sectional, national-population- based EC study conducted from May to June in 2016 in Malaysia. A detailed description of the sampling methods can be found in the National E-cigarette Survey (NECS) 2016 report. Briefly, data were obtained from 1396 individuals who had ever been smokers, i.e., 957 (68.6%) current smokers and 439 (31.4%) ex-smokers.

    Results: Current EC use was found predominantly among current smokers (8.0%) as compared with ex-smokers (4.3%). Among current smokers, the main reasons given for smoking ECs were wanting to try it (44.7%), followed by intention to quit tobacco smoking (15.8%) and to reduce tobacco smoking (10.5%). Using multiple logistic regression analysis, we found that among current smokers, current EC users were more likely to be younger, i.e., 18-44 years (aOR= 4.83, 95% CI= 1.97-11.86, p=0.001), urban residents (aOR= 1.89, 95% CI= 1.15-3.11, p=0.012), single/ divorced/ widowed (aOR= 2.11, 95% CI= 1.24-3.61, p=0.006) and students (aOR= 2.25, 95% CI= 1.01-5.01, p=0.048). Among exsmokers, only younger respondents (18-44 years old) was reported as being more likely to be current EC users (aOR= 3.81, 95% CI= 1.14-12.76, p=0.030).

    Conclusion: This study showed that currently using and ever having used ECs were more prevalent among current smokers. The reasons given for initiating EC use among current smokers were mainly wanting to try it, followed by intention to quit and to reduce tobacco smoking. Current EC use appears to be common among current smokers who are younger, urban residents, single/divorced/widowed and students. Therefore, EC cessation intervention strategies and policies should target these high-prevalence groups.
  12. Ling MYJ, Rodzlan Hasani WS, Mohd Yusoff MF, Abd Hamid HA, Lim KH, Tee GH, et al.
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2019 11;31(8_suppl):80S-87S.
    PMID: 31537102 DOI: 10.1177/1010539519874948
    Smoking is a learned behavior during adolescence, and it is found predominantly among male adolescents in Malaysia. Our study aimed to investigate the prevalence and predictive factors of current cigarette smoking among school-going male adolescents in Malaysia. Data were derived from the National Health and Morbidity Survey: Adolescent Health Survey 2017, a cross-sectional study that utilized a 2-stage stratified cluster sampling to select a nationally representative sample of school-going adolescents in Malaysia (n = 27 497). Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with current cigarette smoking among male adolescents in Malaysia. Male adolescents aged 16 to 17 years (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.55; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.41-1.70), current illicit drug users (AOR = 8.14; 95% CI = 6.37-10.41), current alcohol users (AOR = 1.92; 95% CI = 1.65-2.23), those from rural schools (AOR = 1.60; 95% CI = 1.46-1.76), those whose parents were widowed/divorced/separated (AOR = 1.37; 95% CI = 1.21-1.55), and those whose parents/guardians were tobacco product users (AOR = 3.47; 95% CI = 2.33-5.16) were more likely to be current cigarette smokers. Tobacco control strategies should be aimed at both adolescents at risk and at promoting parental smoking cessation.
  13. Lim KH, Heng PP, Nik Mohamed MH, Teh CH, Mohd Yusoff MF, Ling JMY, et al.
    Asia Pac J Public Health, 2019 10;31(7_suppl):22S-31S.
    PMID: 31802718 DOI: 10.1177/1010539519874944
    Smoking cessation significantly reduces risk of smoking-related diseases and mortality. This study aims to determine the prevalence and factors associated with attempts to quit and smoking cessation among adult current smokers in Malaysia. Data from the National E-Cigarette Survey 2016 were analyzed. Forty nine percent of current smokers had attempted to quit at least once in the past 12 months and 31.4% of the respondents were former smokers. Multivariable analysis revealed that current smokers with low nicotine addiction and aged below 45 years were more likely to attempt to quit smoking. Being married, older age group, and having tertiary education were significantly associated with smoking cessation. Only half of the current smokers ever attempted to quit smoking and only a third of smokers quit. Stronger tobacco control policies are needed in Malaysia to encourage more smokers to quit smoking. Improved access to cessation support for underprivileged smokers is also needed.
  14. Lim KH, Teh CH, Nik Mohamed MH, Pan S, Ling MY, Mohd Yusoff MF, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2018 01 08;8(1):e017203.
    PMID: 29317411 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017203
    OBJECTIVES: Secondhand smoke (SHS) has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Therefore, the aims of the paper are to assess SHS exposure among non-smoking adults in Malaysia attending various smoking-restricted and non-restricted public areas according to the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations (CTPR) as well as its relationship with various sociodemographic variables.
    DESIGN: Data were extracted from a cross-sectional study, the Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS) 2011 which involved 3269 non-smokers in Malaysia. Data was obtained through face-to-face interviews using a validated pre-tested questionnaire. Factors associated with exposure to SHS were identified via multivariable analysis.
    RESULTS: The study revealed that almost two-thirds of respondents were exposed to SHS in at least one public area in the past 1 month, with a significantly higher exposure among males (70.6%), those with higher educational attainment (81.4%) and higher income (quintile 1%-73.9%). Besides, the exposure to SHS was almost four times higher in non-restricted areas compared with restricted areas under the CTPR (81.9% vs 22.9). Multivariable analysis revealed that males and younger adults at non-restricted areas were more likely to be exposed to SHS while no significant associated factors of SHS exposure was observed in restricted areas.
    CONCLUSIONS: The study revealed the prevalence of SHS exposure was higher among Malaysian adults. Although smoke-free laws offer protection to non-smokers from exposure to SHS, enforcement activities in restricted areas should be enhanced to ensure strict public abidance. In addition, legislation of restricted areas should also be extended to greatly reduce the SHS exposure among non-smokers in Malaysia.
    Study name: Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS-2011)
  15. Wee LH, Galvan JAA, Patil SS, Madhavan P, Mahalingam D, Yeong CH, et al.
    Healthcare (Basel), 2023 Jul 08;11(14).
    PMID: 37510421 DOI: 10.3390/healthcare11141980
    The prevalence of vaping worldwide is showing an upward trend. This study aimed to determine the factors associated with motivation to quit vaping among vapers in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, through a cross-sectional, purposive sampling study. Respondents were required to complete a questionnaire consisting of vapers' sociodemographic questions, habitual behavioral pattern questions, the e-Fagerström Test of Nicotine Dependence, the Glover-Nilsson Smoking Behavioral Dependence Questionnaire, perception questions, motivation to quit questions, and withdrawal symptom questions. A total of 311 vapers participated in this study. The majority of the vapers were male (84.6%), younger (18-25 years) (55.3%), and with monthly income less than RM 4000 (USD 868; 83.9%). The level of motivation to quit vaping was found to have a significant association with the perception of vaping being as satisfying as cigarette smoking (p = 0.006) and mild to very strong nicotine dependence (p = 0.001). Participants who recorded moderate and strong habitual vaping behaviors had lower odds of having high motivation to quit vaping compared to those recording slight habitual behaviors (OR = 0.279, 95%CI(0.110-0.708), p = 0.007 and OR = 0.185, 95%CI(0.052-0.654), p = 0.009, respectively). Factors associated with higher motivation to quit vaping could be explored to gain better understanding of how to increase their motivation level for future quit attempts.
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