An epidemiological cross-sectional study was undertaken to determine the endemicity of malaria among the Orang Asli population of Raub, Pahang. Malaria endemicity was measured in terms of the prevalence of parasitaemia and splenomegaly. A total of 520 Orang Asli were examined. The point prevalence of malaria was 24.2% (95% CI 20.7-25.1), with Plasmodium falciparum (67.5%) being the predominant species. Children < 12 years were at least 3.7 times more likely to be parasitaemic compared to those older. The prevalence of malaria among children 2-<10 years was 38.1% (95% CI 31.6-50.0). Spleen rate among children 2-<10 years old was 22.3% (95% CI 17.1-28.3). The average enlarged spleen size was 1.2. These findings classify the study area as being mesoendemic. Malaria control activities among the Orang Asli should focus on protecting vulnerable subgroups like young children. Measuring the level of malaria endemicity at regular intervals is fundamental in evaluating the effectiveness of malaria control programs.
A study was undertaken to assess the accuracy of the Omron HEM-907 blood pressure measuring device for use in community studies. A modified version of the British Hypertension Society (BHS) and American Association for the Advancement Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) protocol for measuring the accuracy of a blood pressure measuring device was used. A total of 104 subjects were recruited from two clinics. Observer-observer agreement for readings within the 5 mmHg was good; 80.8% and 84.6% of systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) agreement respectively. Of the two, the better observer-device agreement readings within the 5 mmHg were 66.4% and 50.0% for SBP and DBP respectively, giving an overall grade B. The mean differences and standard deviation of the differences were within < or =5 mmHg with a standard deviation (SD) of < or =8 mmHg. The Omron HEM-907 satisfied both the AAMI and BHS protocols for accuracy for a non-invasive blood pressure monitoring device using single observer readings.
Study site: Klinik Kesihatan Shah Alam, Selangor; Hypertension clinic, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Device: Standard device: mercury sphygmomanometer (brand?); test device: oscillometric automated electronic BP monitor (Omron HEM-907).
Giardiasis, a gastrointestinal disease caused by Giardia intestinalis is endemic in Malaysia. The prevalence rate has been reported to range from 1.4% to 11.1%. The present study was undertaken between 1992-1994 in three health districts in three states viz. Pahang, Negeri Sembilan and Selangor. Seven thousand five hundred and fifty seven (7557) primary school children between the ages of 6-12 years from the lower socio-economic groups were screened. The prevalence was 0.21%. The study suggests that improved water supply, toilet facilities and sanitation have lowered the prevalence of a waterborne disease in the areas surveyed.
Introduction: Hypercholesterolemia is an important modifiable risk factor for coronary heart disease. Lifestyle changes in diet and physical activity can improve cholesterol levels. This study aimed to compare the fruits and vegetables (FV) intake and physical activity (PA) between hypercholesterolemic adults and non- hypercholesterolemic adults in Malaysia, and to investigate factors associated with meeting the recommended levels of FV intake and PA in a hyper- cholesterolemic population. Methods: This study was based on 17,988 participants (response rate 98.7%) aged 18 years and above who responded to the hypercholesterolemia questionnaire in the 2011 Malaysian National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS), a cross-sectional study with two-stage stratified sampling design. Data were obtained by trained enumerators via face-to-face interviews and were analysed by descriptive analysis, chi-square test, and univariable and multivariable logistic regression. Results: Out of the total population assessed, 39.0% had hypercholesterolemia. The prevalence of consuming five or more servings of FV per day is low (7.8%) while 36.0% were physically inactive among the hypercholesterolemic adults. No significant differences were observed in FV intake and PA between hypercholesterolemic and non-hypercholesterolemic populations. Gender, age and educational levels were associated with FV intake and PA among hypercholesterolemic adults. Hypercholesterolemic adults who were underweight or obese were less likely to consume FV, while those who were former smokers and those who had diabetes and heart disease were less likely to be physically active. Conclusion: These findings are relevant for future health promotion strategies, suggesting that more intensive interventions are needed to increase FV intake and PA level in hypercholesterolemic population and in the general population.
Study name: National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-2011)
This study describes the prevalence of selected cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors screened in patients 30 years and above attending a health centre in Cheras, Selangor. The study involved 3772 patients screened from March 2002 to June 2008. Risk factors screened included blood pressure, height, weight, serum total cholesterol, random blood sugar levels and smoking status. Majority of respondents were between 40 and 49 years of age (58.1%), males (64.7%) and ethnic Malays (74.4%). About two thirds (62.6%) were found to be overweight or obese, two fifths (40.2%) had hypercholesterolemia, a third (34.2%) had hypertension and 31.6% were smokers at some time. Overall 87% and 60% had at least one and two CVD risk factors respectively. Prevalence of four of the five risk factors screened was highest among the Malay middle aged men and lowest among the Chinese. Thus a substantial proportion of middle aged men were at high risk of CVD. Our findings show the need for ongoing monitoring of CVD risk factors and implementation of effective preventive strategies.
Assistant environmental health officers (AEHO) are health care providers (HCPs) who act as enforcers, educators and trusted role models for the public. This is the first study to explore smoking behaviour and attitudes toward tobacco control among future HCPs. Almost 30% of AEHO trainees did not know the role of AEHOs in counselling smokers to stop smoking, but 91% agreed they should not smoke before advising others not to do so. The majority agreed that tobacco control regulations may be used as a means of reducing the prevalence of smoking. Future AEHOs had positive attitudes toward tobacco regulations but lacked understanding of their responsibility in tobacco control measures.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that injury will be the second leading cause of morbidity of disease burden worldwide by the year 2020. We conducted a community-based survey to determine the prevalence of recent illness and injury, in Malaysia. The survey was a cross sectional population-based household survey conducted using face to face interviews. The information was on self-reported recent illness and injury (SRRII) over the previous 2 weeks. This study was conducted during April - August 2006 and as a part of the third National Health and Morbidity Survey of Malaysia. A total of 56,710 respondents were interviewed with a response rate of 98.2% (55,660/56,710). The overall prevalence of combined SRRII was 23.6%; for injuries the prevalence was 3.1%. The groups with the highest SRRII were children 0-5 years old (31.2%), males (24.3%), Indians (26.9%), those with secondary education level (22.9%), those earning RM 1,000/ month (25.0%) and rural dwellers (25.5%). Age, sex, ethnicity, and locality were significantly associated with SRRII while monthly household income and educational level were marginally associated. On multivariate analysis, age, gender, race, ethnicity, education, income and locality were significantly associated with SRRII. The most common reported recent illness was related to the respiratory system (42.0%). The information obtained from this survey is useful to policy makers in the Ministry of Health to review and strengthen existing health programs.
Study name: National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-2006)
We present the results and conclusions of an observational prospective cohort design study using self-administered questionnaires to determine correlation between psychosocial factors and cancer outcome among 80 consecutive newly diagnosed treatment naïve cancer subjects who were being referred to the Oncology Clinic, Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Subjects were recruited over a period of 43 weeks from October 2000 till July 2001. Follow-up assessments were carried out at 6-months and 12 to 26 months later. The prediction of survival time was performed by the Cox Regression Analysis method with adjustments for biological and psychosocial risk factors. It was noted that depression (p = 0.001), stage 4 cancer disease (p = 0.016), neurological (p = 0.032), gastrointestinal tract (p = 0.04), head and neck (p = 0.011), gynaecological (p = 0.005) and bone and soft tissue (p = 0.030) malignancies were independent and statistically significant prognostic factor of survival during the study period. It was further shown than depressed patients were found to have almost four fold greater risk of dying than non-depressed patients and patients with stage 4 cancer illness have a five fold greater risk of dying than patients with stage 1 disease. Furthermore, based on tumour types subjects with neurological, gynaecological, head and neck, bone and soft tissue and gastro intestinal tract malignancies were found to have approximately thirty-six, twenty-five, twenty-two, sixteen and seven fold greater risk of dying respectively when compared to subjects with genitourinary cancers. This study further affirms the need for health care providers to be aware of the psychological aspects of the cancer patient and provide appropriate therapy so as to ensure that this group of individuals would have enhanced survival rates.
Study site: Oncology clinic, Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM)
Acute diarrhoea is a major health problem in many parts of the world, contributing to about 1.8 million deaths globally. The objectives of the study were to assess the incidence, determinants, and severity of acute diarrhoea in the population. A nation-wide cross-sectional survey involving about 57,000 respondents was conducted via face-to-face interview among eligible respondents of all ages. An acute diarrhoeal episode was defined as having three or more episodes of loose stools in any 24-hour period within the past four weeks before the interview. The severity was measured by duration of acute diarrhoea and associated symptoms. The variables tested as determinants were age, sex, ethnicity, the highest educational level, total monthly household income, and locality. Univariate, bivariate and multivariate procedures meant for complex study design were used in the analyses. The four-week incidence of acute diarrhoea was 5% [95% confidence interval (CI) 4.8-5.2]. The incidence of acute diarrhoea among the estimated population was the highest among young adults aged 20-29 years, Other Bumiputras (the pre-dominant ethnic group in East Malaysia), those with tertiary-level of education, those earning a monthly household income of less than RM 400, and rural dwellers. Only age, ethnicity, the highest level of education attained, and locality were significantly associated with acute diarrhoea in bivariate analysis. In multivariate analysis, these four variables were found to be the determinants of acute diarrhoea. Sex and monthly household income were excluded from the model. The mean duration of acute diarrhoea was 2.0 days (standard deviation 1.3). Forty-six percent of the respondents reported stomach cramps as an associated symptom. The findings revealed that acute diarrhoea is still a major public-health concern in Malaysia and grossly under-notified. There is a need for intensification of public-health intervention efforts to reduce the incidence of acute diarrhoea while improving surveillance and notification of the disease.
The third National Health Morbidity Survey was conducted in 2006 on a nationally representative sample of population in Malaysia in order to obtain community-based data and information on the prevalence of chronic illness. Of 57,500 eligible respondents 56710 (98.6%) participated in the study. Estimated overall prevalence of chronic illness in the Malaysian population within a recall period of one year was 15.5% (95% CI 15.1% - 15.9%). Chronic illness was reported significantly higher among the females, 16.8% (16.3 - 17.3). The most common chronic illness was hypertension (7.9%, 7.6 - 8.2), followed by diabetes mellitus (4.0%, 3.8 - 4.2) and highest reported by the Indians (19.7%, 18.4 - 21.0). Among the respondents who had sought treatment for chronic illness from government health facilities, Malays (65.8%) and those with monthly household income of less than RM400 (76.6%) were the highest. Chinese (44.5%) and those with household income of RM5000 and above (54.3%) were the highest groups who sought treatment from the private health facilities. Most of the respondents reported mild illness was the main reason for not seeking treatment for their chronic illness. It is hoped that the results of this survey will help the Ministry of Health Malaysia to enhance health programmes and planning resource allocation in order to improve health status of the population.
Study name: National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-2006)
Diabetes mellitus is an important cardiovascular risk factor. The objective of this study was to provide population-based estimates on the prevalence, awareness, treatment and control rate of diabetes among the older persons in Malaysia. Analysis of secondary data from a cross-sectional national population-based survey was done, which was conducted in 2011 throughout Malaysia. A total of 2764 respondents (15.5%) were older persons. The overall prevalence of diabetes among older persons was 34.4% in which 65.2% were aware of their diabetes status. Out of those who were aware, 87.5% had been treated. Only 21.8% of those treated had their diabetes controlled. The results of multiple logistic regression showed that the factors associated with higher awareness rates were women, Indians and higher income groups; factors associated with higher treatment rates were urban residents and those who were married and widow/widower/ divorcee. There was a high overall prevalence, awareness and treatment rate of diabetes among older persons in Malaysia but with suboptimal control rate.
Study name: National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-2011)
INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors for female sexual desire disorder (FSDD) among healthcare personnel at selected healthcare facilities in Malaysia.
METHODS: Two hundred and one female healthcare workers from three large tertiary hospitals were selected by stratified random sampling to participate in this cross-sectional study. Validated questionnaires were used to assess depression, anxiety, and sexual function in women and erectile dysfunction (ED) in their partners.
RESULTS: The prevalence of FSDD was 18.9%. Women with low sexual desire were more likely to have higher educational attainment (OR = 3.06; 95% CI; 1.22-7.66), lower frequency of sexual intercourse (OR = 12.81; 95% CI; 4.43-37.83), two or more children (OR = 3.05; 95% CI; 1.02-9.09), duration of marriage of 20 years or more (OR = 2.62; 95% CI; 1.27-5.40), and a spouse with ED (OR = 2.86; 95% CI; 1.08-7.56).
DISCUSSION: FSDD is common among female healthcare personnel in Malaysia, affecting nearly one in five women. The implication of low sexual desire is important in terms of contributing to a meaningful sexual relationship, and indirectly affects the quality of life of the healthcare personnel.
KEYWORDS: Malaysia; healthcare personnel; prevalence; risk factor; sexual desire disorder
Two methods of identifying smokers with high nicotine dependence, the heaviness of smoking index (HSI) and number of cigarettes per day (CPD) were compared with the Fagerstrom test for nicotine dependence (FTND). The HSI, CPD and the FTND were administered to 316 adult Malaysian male, daily smokers aged between 25-64 years old in the Malaysian NCD Surveillance-1 Survey using a two-stage stratified random sampling of enumeration blocks and living quarters, via an interview based on a validated questionnaire. The cut-off point for classification of high nicotine dependence on the HSI was a score of four or higher, and for the heavy smoking category, smoking more than 20 cigarettes per day. Classification using each method was compared with classification by the FTND (score of six or more) as the reference standard. Sensitivity, specificity and kappa statistics for concordance between both measures and the FTND were evaluated. The HSI gave a similar prevalence rate of high nicotine dependence as the FTND. There was substantial agreement between the HSI and the FTND (kappa=0.63.), with moderate sensitivity (69.8%) and high specificity (92.5%). However, prevalence of high nicotine dependence using the CPD was 7% lower than the FTND. The heavy smoking category also showed fair agreement with the FTND (kappa=0.45) and moderate sensitivity (67.0%), but specificity was high (86.9%). The findings indicate that the HSI can be used as an alternative to the FTND in screening for high nicotine dependence among daily smokers in large population-based studies, while CPD may not be a suitable alternative to the FTND.
Polio vaccination rates remain low in certain regions of Malaysia. The Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur (FTKL) reported coverage of only 29.3% in 2005 and 61.2% in 2006, despite a Department of Health campaign to provide free three-round immunizations. The estimated numbers of live births used to calculate these rates may have artificially lowered the reported coverage percentages.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence and risk factors of female sexual dysfunction (FSD) among healthcare personnel in selected healthcare facilities in Malaysia.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study carried out at three large healthcare facilities that were selected by convenience sampling. Within each facility, stratified random sampling was used to select suitable candidates to participate in the study (n=201). Validated questionnaires were used to assess depression, anxiety, sexual function in women and erectile dysfunction (ED) in their partners.
RESULTS: The prevalence of FSD was 5.5%. Women with sexual dysfunction were more likely to be married longer (OR=4.08; 95% CI; 1.15-4.50), had lower frequency of sexual intercourse (OR=5.00; 95% C; 1.05-23.76) and had a spouse with ED (OR=24.35; 95% CI; 4.55-130.37). Multivariate analysis showed that ED was the strongest predictor for FSD (AOR=27.30; 95% CI; 4.706-159.08).
CONCLUSION: One in eighteen female healthcare personnel suffered from FSD and presence of ED in the partner strongly impacted her sexual function, negatively. The findings highlight the importance of including the male partner in clinical assessment of FSD.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the relationship between BMI and risk of CVD mortality and all-cause mortality among Malaysian adults.
DESIGN: Population-based, retrospective cohort study. Participants were followed up for 5 years from 2006 to 2010. Mortality data were obtained via record linkages with the Malaysian National Registration Department. Multiple Cox regression was applied to compare risk of CVD and all-cause mortality between BMI categories adjusting for age, gender and ethnicity. Models were generated for all participants, all participants the first 2 years of follow-up, healthy participants, healthy never smokers, never smokers, current smokers and former smokers.
SETTING: All fourteen states in Malaysia.
SUBJECTS: Malaysian adults (n 32 839) aged 18 years or above from the third National Health and Morbidity Survey.
RESULTS: Total follow-up time was 153 814 person-years with 1035 deaths from all causes and 225 deaths from CVD. Underweight (BMI<18·5 kg/m2) was associated with a significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality, while obesity (BMI ≥30·0 kg/m2) was associated with a heightened risk of CVD mortality. Overweight (BMI=25·0-29·9 kg/m2) was inversely associated with risk of all-cause mortality. Underweight was significantly associated with all-cause mortality in all models except for current smokers. Overweight was inversely associated with all-cause mortality in all participants. Although a positive trend was observed between BMI and CVD mortality in all participants, a significant association was observed only for severe obesity (BMI≥35·0 kg/m2).
CONCLUSIONS: Underweight was associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality and obesity with increased risk of CVD mortality. Therefore, maintaining a normal BMI through leading an active lifestyle and healthy dietary habits should continue to be promoted.
Study name: National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-2006)