Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 22 in total

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  1. Lim KG, Cheah WK
    Med J Malaysia, 2016 06;71(Suppl 1):20-28.
    PMID: 27801385 MyJurnal
    Seventy-three articles related to metabolic syndrome were found in a search through databases dedicated to indexing all literature with original data involving the Malaysian population between years 2000 and 2015. Metabolic syndrome affects 25 to 40% of adult population of Malaysia with the risk increasing with age. Obese children are also at risk. Indian ethnicity has the highest rates, followed by Malay and chinese. It was found that socioeconomics determinants such as living in urban areas, unemployment, lower income, lower education level and shift workers had higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is associated with other medical conditions like cardiovascular diseases, psychiatric disorders, erectile dysfunction, polycystic ovarian syndrome and colorectal cancer. Several biomarkers have been determined to be relevant to our local population but their usage in clinical setting needs further research. Literature into effectiveness of management of metabolic syndrome in Malaysia is lacking and the results were only modest. there are several diagnostic criteria available for metabolic syndrome internationally and their individual significant to our local population is not clear. It also makes it difficult to compare results between studies using different criteria. Finally, we could not identify any local study to look at the health economic burden of metabolic syndrome locally.
  2. Cheah WK, Ng KS, Marzilawati AR, Lum LC
    Med J Malaysia, 2014 Aug;69 Suppl A:59-67.
    PMID: 25417953 MyJurnal
    Dengue infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Malaysia. To date, much research on dengue infection conducted in Malaysia have been published. One hundred and sixty six articles related to dengue in Malaysia were found from a search through a database dedicated to indexing all original data relevant to medicine published between the years 2000-2013. Ninety articles with clinical relevance and future research implications were selected and reviewed. These papers showed evidence of an exponential increase in the disease epidemic and a varying pattern of prevalent dengue serotypes at different times. The early febrile phase of dengue infection consist of an undifferentiated fever. Clinical suspicion and ability to identify patients at risk of severe dengue infection is important. Treatment of dengue infection involves judicious use of volume expander and supportive care. Potential future research areas are discussed to narrow our current knowledge gaps on dengue infection.
  3. Tan F, Thai AC, Cheah WK, Mukherjee JJ
    South. Med. J., 2009 Oct;102(10):1068-70.
    PMID: 19738530 DOI: 10.1097/SMJ.0b013e3181b571e6
    A 45-year-old woman with poorly controlled hypertension and diabetes mellitus presented with left iliac fossa pain, constipation alternating with diarrhea, and weight loss. She had been diagnosed with idiopathic cardiomyopathy five years previously. Echocardiogram had shown a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of 35%; coronary angiogram was normal. Colonoscopy revealed sigmoid colitis with stenosis. Abdominal computed tomography revealed a 5 cm right adrenal tumor. Twenty-four hour urinary free catecholamines and fractionated metanephrine excretion values were elevated, confirming pheochromocytoma. Her colitis resolved after one month of adrenergic blockade. Repeat echocardiogram showed improvement of LVEF to 65%. After laparoscopic right adrenalectomy, the patient's hypertension resolved, and diabetic control improved. Timely management avoided further morbidity and potential mortality in our patient.
  4. Tamibmaniam J, Hussin N, Cheah WK, Ng KS, Muninathan P
    PLoS One, 2016;11(8):e0161696.
    PMID: 27551776 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0161696
    BACKGROUND: WHO's new classification in 2009: dengue with or without warning signs and severe dengue, has necessitated large numbers of admissions to hospitals of dengue patients which in turn has been imposing a huge economical and physical burden on many hospitals around the globe, particularly South East Asia and Malaysia where the disease has seen a rapid surge in numbers in recent years. Lack of a simple tool to differentiate mild from life threatening infection has led to unnecessary hospitalization of dengue patients.

    METHODS: We conducted a single-centre, retrospective study involving serologically confirmed dengue fever patients, admitted in a single ward, in Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Data was collected for 4 months from February to May 2014. Socio demography, co-morbidity, days of illness before admission, symptoms, warning signs, vital signs and laboratory result were all recorded. Descriptive statistics was tabulated and simple and multiple logistic regression analysis was done to determine significant risk factors associated with severe dengue.

    RESULTS: 657 patients with confirmed dengue were analysed, of which 59 (9.0%) had severe dengue. Overall, the commonest warning sign were vomiting (36.1%) and abdominal pain (32.1%). Previous co-morbid, vomiting, diarrhoea, pleural effusion, low systolic blood pressure, high haematocrit, low albumin and high urea were found as significant risk factors for severe dengue using simple logistic regression. However the significant risk factors for severe dengue with multiple logistic regressions were only vomiting, pleural effusion, and low systolic blood pressure. Using those 3 risk factors, we plotted an algorithm for predicting severe dengue. When compared to the classification of severe dengue based on the WHO criteria, the decision tree algorithm had a sensitivity of 0.81, specificity of 0.54, positive predictive value of 0.16 and negative predictive of 0.96.

    CONCLUSION: The decision tree algorithm proposed in this study showed high sensitivity and NPV in predicting patients with severe dengue that may warrant admission. This tool upon further validation study can be used to help clinicians decide on further managing a patient upon first encounter. It also will have a substantial impact on health resources as low risk patients can be managed as outpatients hence reserving the scarce hospital beds and medical resources for other patients in need.

    Study site: single ward, in Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  5. Cheah WK, Hor CP, Abdul Aziz Z, Looi I
    Med J Malaysia, 2016 Jun;71(Suppl 1):58-69.
    PMID: 27801388
    Over 100 articles related to stroke were found in a search through a database dedicated to indexing all literature with original data involving the Malaysian population between years 2000 and 2014. Stroke is emerging as a major public health problem. The development of the National Stroke Registry in the year 2009 aims to coordinate and improve stroke care, as well as to generate more data on various aspects of stroke in the country. Studies on predictors of survival after strokes have shown potential to improve the overall management of stroke, both during acute event and long term care. Stroke units were shown to be effective locally in stroke outcomes and prevention of stroke-related complications. The limited data looking at direct cost of stroke management suggests that the health economic burden in stroke management may be even higher. Innovative rehabilitation programmes including braincomputer interface technology were studied with encouraging results. Studies in traditional complementary medicine for strokes such as acupuncture, Urut Melayu and herbal medicine were still limited.
  6. Cheah WK, Ishikawa K, Othman R, Yeoh FY
    J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater, 2017 07;105(5):1232-1240.
    PMID: 26913694 DOI: 10.1002/jbm.b.33475
    Hemodialysis, one of the earliest artificial kidney systems, removes uremic toxins via diffusion through a semipermeable porous membrane into the dialysate fluid. Miniaturization of the present hemodialysis system into a portable and wearable device to maintain continuous removal of uremic toxins would require that the amount of dialysate used within a closed-system is greatly reduced. Diffused uremic toxins within a closed-system dialysate need to be removed to maintain the optimum concentration gradient for continuous uremic toxin removal by the dialyzer. In this dialysate regenerative system, adsorption of uremic toxins by nanoporous biomaterials is essential. Throughout the years of artificial kidney development, activated carbon has been identified as a potential adsorbent for uremic toxins. Adsorption of uremic toxins necessitates nanoporous biomaterials, especially activated carbon. Nanoporous biomaterials are also utilized in hemoperfusion for uremic toxin removal. Further miniaturization of artificial kidney system and improvements on uremic toxin adsorption capacity would require high performance nanoporous biomaterials which possess not only higher surface area, controlled pore size, but also designed architecture or structure and surface functional groups. This article reviews on various nanoporous biomaterials used in current artificial kidney systems and several emerging nanoporous biomaterials. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 105B: 1232-1240, 2017.
  7. Lim WS, Cheah WK, Ali N, Han HC, Anthony PV, Chan M, et al.
    Int Psychogeriatr, 2014 Apr;26(4):677-86.
    PMID: 24382159 DOI: 10.1017/S1041610213002445
    Recent studies that describe the multidimensionality of the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI) challenge the traditional dual-factor paradigm of personal and role strains (Whitlatch et al., 1991). These studies consistently reported a distinct dimension of worry about caregiver performance (WaP) comprising items 20 and 21.The present study aims to compare WaP against conventional ZBI domains in a predominantly Chinese multi-ethnic Asian population.
  8. Neelamegam M, Looi I, Cheah WK, Narayanan P, Hamid AM, Ong LM
    Prev Med, 2013;57 Suppl:S77-9.
    PMID: 23295169 DOI: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.12.022
    This community based incidence study aims to report the stroke incidence in the south-west region of the Penang Island.
  9. Woon YL, Hor CP, Hussin N, Zakaria A, Goh PP, Cheah WK
    PLoS Negl Trop Dis, 2016 05;10(5):e0004575.
    PMID: 27203726 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004575
    BACKGROUND: Dengue infection is the fastest spreading mosquito-borne viral disease, which affects people living in the tropical and subtropical countries. Malaysia had large dengue outbreaks in recent years. We aimed to study the demographics and clinical characteristics associated with dengue deaths in Malaysia.

    METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review on all dengue deaths that occurred nationwide between 1st January 2013 and 31st December 2014. Relevant data were extracted from mortality review reports and investigational forms. These cases were categorized into children (<15 years), adults (15-59 years) and elderly (≥60 years) to compare their clinical characteristics.

    RESULTS: A total of 322 dengue deaths were reviewed. Their mean age was 40.7±19.30 years, half were females and 72.5% were adults. The median durations of first medical contact, and hospitalization were 1 and 3 days, respectively. Diabetes and hypertension were common co-morbidities among adults and elderly. The most common warning signs reported were lethargy and vomiting, with lethargy (p = 0.038) being more common in children, while abdominal pain was observed more often in the adults (p = 0.040). But 22.4% did not have any warning signs. Only 34% were suspected of dengue illness at their initial presentation. More adults developed severe plasma leakage (p = 0.018). More than half (54%) suffered from multi-organ involvement, and 20.2% were free from any organ involvement. Dengue deaths occurred at the median of 3 days post-admission. Dengue shock syndrome (DSS) contributed to more than 70% of dengue deaths, followed by severe organ involvement (69%) and severe bleeding (29.7%).

    CONCLUSION: In Malaysia, dengue deaths occurred primarily in adult patients. DSS was the leading cause of death, regardless of age groups. The atypical presentation and dynamic progression of severe dengue in this cohort prompts early recognition and aggressive intervention to prevent deaths.

    TRIAL REGISTRATION: National Medical Research Registry (NMRR, NMRR-14-1374-23352).
  10. Ooi CH, Cheah WK, Sim YL, Pung SY, Yeoh FY
    J Environ Manage, 2017 Jul 15;197:199-205.
    PMID: 28384613 DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.03.083
    Urea removal is an important process in household wastewater purification and hemodialysis treatment. The efficiency of the urea removal can be improved by utilizing activated carbon fiber (ACF) for effective urea adsorption. In this study, ACF was prepared from oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) fiber via physicochemical activation using sulfuric acid as an activating reagent. Based on the FESEM result, ACF obtained after the carbonization and activation processes demonstrated uniform macropores with thick channel wall. ACF was found better prepared in 1.5:1 acid-to-EFB fiber ratio; where the pore size of ACF was analyzed as 1.2 nm in diameter with a predominant micropore volume of 0.39 cm(3) g(-1) and a BET surface area of 869 m(2) g(-1). The reaction kinetics of urea adsorption by the ACF was found to follow a pseudo-second order kinetic model. The equilibrium amount of urea adsorbed on ACF decreased from 877.907 to 134.098 mg g(-1) as the acid-to-fiber ratio increased from 0.75 to 4. During the adsorption process, the hydroxyl (OH) groups on ACF surface were ionized and became electronegatively charged due to the weak alkalinity of urea solution, causing ionic repulsion towards partially anionic urea. The ionic repulsion force between the electronegatively charged ACF surface and urea molecules became stronger when more OH functional groups appeared on ACF prepared at higher acid impregnation ratio. The results implied that EFB fiber based ACF can be used as an efficient adsorbent for the urea removal process.
  11. Tan WL, Soelar SA, Mohd Suan MA, Hussin N, Cheah WK, Verasahib K, et al.
    PMID: 27405126
    Leptospirosis is endemic in Southeast Asia, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Oceania. Malaysia was categorized as a probable endemic country without any available data. Thus, this study was conducted to determine incidence, case fatality rate and mortality rate of leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a notifiable disease in Malaysia since 2010 whereby probable or confirmed cases must be notified to relevant health district office. There were 3,665 and 4,457 probable and laboratory confirmed leptospirosis cases notified in 2012 and 2013, respectively. In the 2-year period, the most common age group of patients was 19 years old or less (23.3%) with male:female ratio of 2.61:1. Students consisted about 16.9% of patients, followed by agriculture-based or plantation workers (14.7%). Overall age-standardized incidence rate of leptospirosis in Malaysia for 2012 and 2013 was 29.02 per 100,000. Overall case fatality rate was 1.47% for 2-year period and overall age-standardized mortality rate was 0.45 per 100,000. Leptospirosis is an emerging public health concern in Malaysia and may pose a significant health impact and burden to the nation in the coming years if not well controlled.
  12. Chang CT, Ang JY, Islam MA, Chan HK, Cheah WK, Gan SH
    Pharmaceuticals (Basel), 2021 Feb 25;14(3).
    PMID: 33669084 DOI: 10.3390/ph14030187
    Drug-related problems (DRPs) in the elderly include polypharmacy, potentially inappropriate medications, nonadherence, and drug-related falls. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, the prevalence of DRPs and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among the Malaysian elderly was estimated. PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar databases were searched to identify studies published since their inception up to 24 August 2020. A random-effects model was used to generate the pooled prevalence of DRPs along with its corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI). The heterogeneity of the results was estimated using the I2 statistics, and Cochran's Q test and sensitivity analyses were performed to confirm the robustness of the results. We identified 526 studies, 23 of which were included in the meta-analysis. (n = 29,342). The pooled prevalence of DRPs among Malaysian elderly was as follows: (1) polypharmacy: 49.5% [95% CI: 20.5-78.6], (2) potentially inappropriate medications: 28.9% [95% CI: 25.4-32.3], (3) nonadherence to medications: 60.6% [95% CI: 50.2-70.9], and (4) medication-related falls 39.3% [95% CI: 0.0-80.8]. Approximately one in two Malaysian elderly used CAM. The prevalence of polypharmacy and potentially inappropriate medications among the Malaysian elderly population was high, calling for measures and evidence-based guidelines to ensure the safe medication use.
  13. Tan KC, Chang CT, Cheah WK, Vinayak CR, Chan HK
    Med J Malaysia, 2019 Jun;74(3):215-218.
    PMID: 31256176
    INTRODUCTION: This study was designed to determine the influence of bariatric surgery on changes in the body mass index (BMI), and the control of diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia among obese patients in Malaysia.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study undertaken at a public tertiary care centre in the state of Perak, Malaysia. Information of obese patients who underwent bariatric surgery was obtained from their medical records. The changes in the BMI, HbA1C, systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP), and lipid levels between three months before and after the surgery were assessed.

    RESULTS: The patients (n=106) were mostly Malay (66.0%), had at least one comorbidity (61.3%), and had a mean age of 40.38±11.75 years. Following surgery, the BMI of the patients was found to reduce by 9.78±5.82kg/m2. For the patients who had diabetes (n=24) and hypertension (n=47), their mean HbA1C, SBP and DBP were also shown to reduce significantly by 2.02±2.13%, 17.19±16.97mmHg, and 11.45±12.63mmHg, respectively. Meanwhile, the mean total cholesterol, triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein levels of those who had dyslipidaemia (n=21) were, respectively, lowered by 0.91±1.18mmol/L, 0.69±1.11mmol/L and 0.47±0.52mmol/L.

    CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that in addition to weight reduction, bariatric surgery is helpful in improving the diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia control among obese patients. However, a large-scale trial with a control group is required to verify our findings.

  14. Chew SH, Looi I, Neoh KK, Ooi J, Cheah WK, Zariah AA
    Med J Malaysia, 2021 Jan;76(1):12-16.
    PMID: 33510102
    BACKGROUND: Thrombolytic therapy with intravenous alteplase is a well-established treatment for acute ischaemic stroke (AIS). However, in Malaysia, treatment prescription is often limited by the availability of neurologists. The objective was to compare the outcomes of acute stroke thrombolysis therapy prescribed by neurologists in the Seberang Jaya Hospital (SJH) and non-neurologists in the Taiping Hospital (TH).

    METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, all AIS patients who received thrombolytic therapy in SJH and TH between January 2012 and September 2019 were included. Clinical data was extracted from admission records. The outcomes assessed were the percentage of patients who achieved excellent functional outcome at 3 months (modified Rankin scale of 0 to 1), rates of symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage (SICH), and mortality.

    RESULTS: A total of 63 AIS patients who received thrombolytic therapy were included, of which 37 patients (58.7%) were treated in SJH. The median NIHSS on admission was 12 in SJH and 11.5 in TH. In all 21.6% of patients from SJH and 30.7% of patients from TH achieved favourable functional outcome at 3 months (p=0.412). There were no significant differences between the two centres in terms of the rates of SICH (10.8% in SJH and 3.8% in TH, p=0.314) and 3-month mortality (24.3% versus 12.5%, p=0.203).

    CONCLUSION: The 3-month functional outcomes and complication rates of stroke thrombolysis in hospitals with or without neurologists are not significantly different. Thus non-neurologist hospitals may be able to provide thrombolysis service to AIS patients safely and effectively.

  15. Chua KW, Muthuvadivelu S, Abdul Rani R, Ong SC, Hussin N, Cheah WK
    Curr Ther Res Clin Exp, 2021;95:100641.
    PMID: 34539939 DOI: 10.1016/j.curtheres.2021.100641
    Background: In Malaysia, knowledge regarding the clinical efficacy of tenecteplase (TNK), a fibrin-specific tissue-plasminogen activator, is limited.

    Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness and tolerability of TNK in patients with ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction in a secondary referral Malaysian hospital.

    Methods: This was a single-center retrospective case series based on the medical records of patients with ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction admitted to the cardiac care unit between January 2016 and May 2019. Data regarding the mortality status and date of death were collected from the database of the National Registration Department of Malaysia.

    Results: Data for 30 patients with ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction, who received weight-adjusted doses of TNK, were analyzed. The patients' mean (SD) age was 62 (14) years, and 77% were men. The median time to treatment was 265 minutes (interquartile range = 228-660 minutes), and the clinical success rate of thrombolysis was 79%. The overall all-cause in-hospital mortality rate was 33%. The 1-year survival rates were higher in patients achieving a time to treatment ≤360 minutes (P = 0.03), with a trend toward greater survival in this group at 30 days. Similarly, a trend toward lower in-hospital all-cause mortality was observed in this group (21% vs 50%; P = 0.12). Only 1 patient (3%), who had a HAS-BLED score based on hypertension, abnormal liver/renal function, stroke history, bleeding history or predisposition, labile international normalized ratio, old age, drug/alcohol use of 5, developed major bleeding that required blood transfusion. No cases of ischemic stroke, nonmajor bleeding, in-hospital reinfarction, or TNK-induced allergic reaction were identified.

    Conclusions: We hypothesized that the mortality-related outcomes of TNK in patients with ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction were influenced by TTT, with TTT ≤360 minutes indicating a better prognosis than TTT >360 minutes. TNK-induced bleeding-related complications were minimal in low-risk patients. Further local studies are needed to compare TNK's profile with that of streptokinase, which is a common agent currently used in clinical practice in Malaysian public hospitals. (Curr Ther Res Clin Exp. 2021; 82:XXX-XXX).

  16. Ambigapathy S, Rajahram GS, Shamsudin UK, Khoo EM, Cheah WK, Peariasamy KM, et al.
    Malays Fam Physician, 2020;15(1):2-5.
    PMID: 32284798
    The COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve with the number of cases increasing in Malaysia, placing a significant burden on general practitioners (GPs) to assess and manage suspected cases. GPs must be well equipped with knowledge to set up their clinics, use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) appropriately, adopt standard protocols on triaging and referrals, as well as educate patients about PPE. The correct use of PPE will help GPs balance between personal safety and appropriate levels of public concern.
  17. See KC, Liew SM, Ng DCE, Chew EL, Khoo EM, Sam CH, et al.
    Int J Infect Dis, 2020 May;94:125-127.
    PMID: 32304822 DOI: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.03.049
    OBJECTIVE: This is a brief report of 4 paediatric cases of COVID-19 infection in Malaysia BACKGROUND: COVID-19, a coronavirus, first detected in Wuhan, China has now spread rapidly to over 60 countries and territories around the world, infecting more than 85000 individuals. As the case count amongst children is low, there is need to report COVID-19 in children to better understand the virus and the disease.

    CASES: In Malaysia, until end of February 2020, there were four COVID-19 paediatric cases with ages ranging from 20 months to 11 years. All four cases were likely to have contracted the virus in China. The children had no symptoms or mild flu-like illness. The cases were managed symptomatically. None required antiviral therapy.

    DISCUSSION: There were 2 major issues regarding the care of infected children. Firstly, the quarantine of an infected child with a parent who tested negative was an ethical dilemma. Secondly, oropharyngeal and nasal swabs in children were at risk of false negative results. These issues have implications for infection control. Consequently, there is a need for clearer guidelines for child quarantine and testing methods in the management of COVID-19 in children.

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