Displaying all 11 publications

  1. Tam CL, Foo YC, Lee TH
    East Asian Arch Psychiatry, 2011 Jun;21(2):73-8.
    PMID: 21838210
    Objectives: To examine gender differences in mental health and perceived social support, relationship between parents’ income and mental health, and differences in mental health across education levels.
    Methods: A total of 303 students aged 16 to 26 years were recruited from Selangor, Malaysia. The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and General Health Questionnaire were used to measure the level of perceived social support and the mental health status. Demographic data, including education level and parents’ income, were also obtained.
    Results: Females perceived significantly higher levels f overall social support than males (t = –2.7; p < 0.05). However, there were no significant differences in mental health status between males and females (t = –1.8; p > 0.05), as well as mental health status among different parental income groups (χ2 = 5.0; p > 0.05) and the education levels of the subjects (χ2 = 0.7; p > 0.05). A more favourable mental health status of the subjects was associated with higher parental incomes (r = –0.1; p < 0.05).
    Conclusions: There were gender differences for perceived social support, but not for mental health status in older adolescents and young adults. There was also a relationship between parental income and an individual’s mental health status, but mental health was not related to their education level.
    Key words: Mental health; Social class; Social support
  2. Lee TH, Wani WA, Koay YS, Kavita S, Tan ETT, Shreaz S
    Food Res. Int., 2017 10;100(Pt 1):14-27.
    PMID: 28873672 DOI: 10.1016/j.foodres.2017.07.036
    Edible bird's nest (EBN) is an expensive animal bioproduct due to its reputation as a food and delicacy with diverse medicinal properties. One kilogram of EBN costs ~$6000 in China. EBN and its products are consumed in mostly Asian countries such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, making up almost 1/3 of world population. The rapid growth in EBN consumption has led to a big rise in the trade scale of its global market. Presently, various fake materials such as tremella fungus, pork skin, karaya gum, fish swimming bladder, jelly, agar, monosodium glutamate and egg white are used to adulterate EBNs for earning extra profits. Adulterated or fake EBN may be hazardous to the consumers. Thus, it is necessary to identify of the adulterants. Several sophisticated techniques based on genetics, immunochemistry, spectroscopy, chromatography and gel electrophoresis have been used for the detection of various types of adulterants in EBN. This article describes the recent advances in the authentication methods for EBN. Different genetic, immunochemical, spectroscopic and analytical methods such as genetics (DNA) based techniques, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, Fourier transform infrared and Raman spectroscopic techniques, and chromatographic and gel electrophoretic methods have been discussed. Besides, significance of the reported methods that might pertain them to applications in EBN industry has been described. Finally, efforts have been made to discuss the challenges and future perspectives of the authentication methods for EBN.
  3. Chua KH, Lee TH, Nagandran K, Md Yahaya NH, Lee CT, Tjih ET, et al.
    PMID: 23339380 DOI: 10.1186/1472-6882-13-19
    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that results in the destruction of cartilage. Edible Bird's Nest (EBN) extract contains important components, which can reduce the progression of osteoarthritis and helps in the regeneration of the cartilage. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of EBN extract on the catabolic and anabolic activities of the human articular chondrocytes (HACs) isolated from the knee joint of patients with OA.
  4. Chua LS, Amin NA, Neo JC, Lee TH, Lee CT, Sarmidi MR, et al.
    PMID: 22119436 DOI: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2011.11.002
    A number of three LC-MS/MS hybrid systems (QTof, TripleTof and QTrap) has been used to profile small metabolites (m/z 100-1000) and to detect the targeted metabolites such as quassinoids, alkaloids, triterpene and biphenylneolignans from the aqueous extracts of Eurycoma longifolia. The metabolite profiles of small molecules showed four significant clusters in the principle component analysis for the aqueous extracts of E. longifolia, which had been collected from different geographical terrains (Perak and Pahang) and processed at different extraction temperatures (35°C and 100°C). A small peptide of leucine (m/z 679) and a new hydroxyl methyl β-carboline propionic acid have been identified to differentiate E. longifolia extracts that prepared at 35°C and 100°C, respectively. From the targeted metabolites identification, it was found that 3,4ɛ-dihydroeurycomanone (quassinoids) and eurylene (squalene-type triterpene) could only be detected in the Pahang extract, whereas canthin-6-one-3N-oxide could only be detected in the Perak extract. Overall, quassinoids were present in the highest concentration, particularly eurycomanone and its derivatives compared to the other groups of metabolites. However, the concentration of canthin-6-one and β-carboline alkaloids was significantly increased when the roots of the plant samples were extracted at 100°C.
  5. Wong S, Mah AXY, Nordin AH, Nyakuma BB, Ngadi N, Mat R, et al.
    Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 2020 Mar;27(8):7757-7784.
    PMID: 32020458 DOI: 10.1007/s11356-020-07933-y
    The rapidly increasing generation of municipal solid waste (MSW) threatens the environmental integrity and well-being of humans at a global level. Incineration is regarded as a technically sound technology for the management of MSW. However, the effective management of the municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) ashes remains a challenge. This article presents the global dynamics of MSWI ashes research from 1994 to 2018 based on a bibliometric analysis of 1810 publications (research articles and conference proceedings) extracted from the Web of Science database, followed by a comprehensive summary on the research developments in the field. The results indicate the rapid growth of annual publications on MSWI ashes research, with China observed as the most productive country within the study period. Waste Management, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Chemosphere and Waste Management & Research, which accounted for 35.42% of documents on MSWI research, are the most prominent journals in the field. The most critical thematic areas on this topic are MSWI ashes characterisation, dioxin emissions from fly ash, valorisation of bottom ash and heavy metal removal. The evolution of MSWI ashes treatment technologies is also discussed, together with the challenges and future research directions. This is the first bibliometric analysis on global MSWI ashes research based on a sufficiently large dataset, which could provide new insights for researchers to initiate further research with leading institutions/authors and ultimately advance this research field.
  6. Recto MT, Gabriel MT, Kulthanan K, Tantilipikorn P, Aw DC, Lee TH, et al.
    Clin Mol Allergy, 2017;15:19.
    PMID: 29118675 DOI: 10.1186/s12948-017-0074-3
    Background: Allergic diseases are on the rise in many parts of the world, including the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Second-generation antihistamines are the first-line treatment option in the management of allergic rhinitis and urticaria. International guidelines describe the management of these conditions; however, clinicians perceive the additional need to tailor treatment according to patient profiles. This study serves as a consensus of experts from several countries in APAC (Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam), which aims to describe the unmet needs, practical considerations, challenges, and key decision factors when determining optimal second-generation antihistamines for patients with allergic rhinitis and/or urticaria.

    Methods: Specialists from allergology, dermatology, and otorhinolaryngology were surveyed on practical considerations and key decision points when treating patients with allergic rhinitis and/or urticaria.

    Results: Clinicians felt the need for additional tools for diagnosis of these diseases and a single drug with all preferred features of an antihistamine. Challenges in treatment include lack of clinician and patient awareness and compliance, financial constraints, and treatment for special patient populations such as those with concomitant disease. Selection of optimal second-generation antihistamines depends on many factors, particularly drug safety and efficacy, impact on psychomotor abilities, and sedation. Country-specific considerations include drug availability and cost-effectiveness. Survey results reveal bilastine as a preferred choice due to its high efficacy and safety, suitability for special patient populations, and the lack of sedative effects.

    Conclusions: Compliance to the international guidelines is present among allergists, dermatologists and otorhinolaryngologists; however, this is lower amongst general practitioners (GPs). To increase awareness, allergy education programs targeted at GPs and patients may be beneficial. Updates to the existing international guidelines are suggested in APAC to reflect appropriate management for different patient profiles and varying symptoms of allergic rhinitis and urticaria.

  7. Mudway IS, Dundas I, Wood HE, Marlin N, Jamaludin JB, Bremner SA, et al.
    Lancet Public Health, 2019 01;4(1):e28-e40.
    PMID: 30448150 DOI: 10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30202-0
    BACKGROUND: Low emission zones (LEZ) are an increasingly common, but unevaluated, intervention aimed at improving urban air quality and public health. We investigated the impact of London's LEZ on air quality and children's respiratory health.

    METHODS: We did a sequential annual cross-sectional study of 2164 children aged 8-9 years attending primary schools between 2009-10 and 2013-14 in central London, UK, following the introduction of London's LEZ in February, 2008. We examined the association between modelled pollutant exposures of nitrogen oxides (including nitrogen dioxide [NO2]) and particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2·5 μm (PM2·5) and less than 10 μm (PM10) and lung function: postbronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1, primary outcome), forced vital capacity (FVC), and respiratory or allergic symptoms. We assigned annual exposures by each child's home and school address, as well as spatially resolved estimates for the 3 h (0600-0900 h), 24 h, and 7 days before each child's assessment, to isolate long-term from short-term effects.

    FINDINGS: The percentage of children living at addresses exceeding the EU limit value for annual NO2 (40 μg/m3) fell from 99% (444/450) in 2009 to 34% (150/441) in 2013. Over this period, we identified a reduction in NO2 at both roadside (median -1·35 μg/m3 per year; 95% CI -2·09 to -0·61; p=0·0004) and background locations (-0·97; -1·56 to -0·38; p=0·0013), but not for PM10. The effect on PM2·5 was equivocal. We found no association between postbronchodilator FEV1 and annual residential pollutant attributions. By contrast, FVC was inversely correlated with annual NO2 (-0·0023 L/μg per m3; -0·0044 to -0·0002; p=0·033) and PM10 (-0·0090 L/μg per m3; -0·0175 to -0·0005; p=0·038).

    INTERPRETATION: Within London's LEZ, a smaller lung volume in children was associated with higher annual air pollutant exposures. We found no evidence of a reduction in the proportion of children with small lungs over this period, despite small improvements in air quality in highly polluted urban areas during the implementation of London's LEZ. Interventions that deliver larger reductions in emissions might yield improvements in children's health.

    FUNDING: National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at Guy's and St Thomas' National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust and King's College London, NHS Hackney, Lee Him donation, and Felicity Wilde Charitable Trust.

  8. Pan DS, Huang JH, Lee MH, Yu Y, Chen MI, Goh EH, et al.
    BMC Fam Pract, 2016 11 03;17(1):148.
    PMID: 27809770 DOI: 10.1186/s12875-016-0547-3
    BACKGROUND: Patients' expectations can influence antibiotic prescription by primary healthcare physicians. We assessed knowledge, attitude and practices towards antibiotic use for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), and whether knowledge is associated with increased expectations for antibiotics among patients visiting primary healthcare services in Singapore.

    METHODS: Data was collected through a cross-sectional interviewer-assisted survey of patients aged ≥21 years waiting to see primary healthcare practitioners for one or more symptoms suggestive of URTI (cough, sore throat, runny nose or blocked nose) for 7 days or less, covering the demographics, presenting symptoms, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices of URTI and associated antibiotic use. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to assess independent factors associated with patients' expectations for antibiotics.

    RESULTS: Nine hundred fourteen out of 987 eligible patients consulting 35 doctors were recruited from 24 private sector primary care clinics in Singapore. A third (307/907) expected antibiotics, of which a substantial proportion would ask the doctor for antibiotics (121/304, 40 %) and/or see another doctor (31/304, 10 %) if antibiotics were not prescribed. The majority agreed "antibiotics are effective against viruses" (715/914, 78 %) and that "antibiotics cure URTI faster" (594/912, 65 %). Inappropriate antibiotic practices include "keeping antibiotics stock at home" (125/913, 12 %), "taking leftover antibiotics" (114/913, 14 %) and giving antibiotics to family members (62/913, 7 %). On multivariate regression, the following factors were independently associated with wanting antibiotics (odds ratio; 95 % confidence interval): Malay ethnicity (1.67; 1.00-2.79), living in private housing (1.69; 1.13-2.51), presence of sore throat (1.50; 1.07-2.10) or fever (1.46; 1.01-2.12), perception that illness is serious (1.70; 1.27-2.27), belief that antibiotics cure URTI faster (5.35; 3.76-7.62) and not knowing URTI resolves on its own (2.18; 1.08-2.06), while post-secondary education (0.67; 0.48-0.94) was inversely associated. Those with lower educational levels were significantly more likely to have multiple misconceptions about antibiotics.

    CONCLUSION: Majority of patients seeking primary health care in Singapore are misinformed about the role of antibiotics in URTI. Agreeing with the statement that antibiotics cure URTI faster was most strongly associated with wanting antibiotics. Those with higher educational levels were less likely to want antibiotics, while those with lower educational levels more likely to have incorrect knowledge.
  9. Cheng J, Wang Y, Hou J, Luo D, Xie Q, Ning Q, et al.
    J. Clin. Virol., 2014 Dec;61(4):509-16.
    PMID: 25200354 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcv.2014.08.008
    In mainland China, peginterferon (PEG-IFN) alfa-2b 1.0μg/kg/wk for 24 weeks is the approved treatment for HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B.
  10. Jung HK, Hong SJ, Lee OY, Pandolfino J, Park H, Miwa H, et al.
    J Neurogastroenterol Motil, 2020 Apr 30;26(2):180-203.
    PMID: 32235027 DOI: 10.5056/jnm20014
    Esophageal achalasia is a primary motility disorder characterized by insufficient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation and loss of esophageal peristalsis. Achalasia is a chronic disease that causes progressive irreversible loss of esophageal motor function. The recent development of high-resolution manometry has facilitated the diagnosis of achalasia, and determining the achalasia subtypes based on high-resolution manometry can be important when deciding on treatment methods. Peroral endoscopic myotomy is less invasive than surgery with comparable efficacy. The present guidelines (the "2019 Seoul Consensus on Esophageal Achalasia Guidelines") were developed based on evidence-based medicine; the Asian Neurogastroenterology and Motility Association and Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility served as the operating and development committees, respectively. The development of the guidelines began in June 2018, and a draft consensus based on the Delphi process was achieved in April 2019. The guidelines consist of 18 recommendations: 2 pertaining to the definition and epidemiology of achalasia, 6 pertaining to diagnoses, and 10 pertaining to treatments. The endoscopic treatment section is based on the latest evidence from meta-analyses. Clinicians (including gastroenterologists, upper gastrointestinal tract surgeons, general physicians, nurses, and other hospital workers) and patients could use these guidelines to make an informed decision on the management of achalasia.
  11. Ekker MS, Jacob MA, van Dongen MM, Aarnio K, Annamalai AK, Arauz A, et al.
    BMJ Open, 2019 11 14;9(11):e031144.
    PMID: 31727655 DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031144
    INTRODUCTION: Worldwide, 2 million patients aged 18-50 years suffer a stroke each year, and this number is increasing. Knowledge about global distribution of risk factors and aetiologies, and information about prognosis and optimal secondary prevention in young stroke patients are limited. This limits evidence-based treatment and hampers the provision of appropriate information regarding the causes of stroke, risk factors and prognosis of young stroke patients.

    METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The Global Outcome Assessment Life-long after stroke in young adults (GOAL) initiative aims to perform a global individual patient data meta-analysis with existing data from young stroke cohorts worldwide. All patients aged 18-50 years with ischaemic stroke or intracerebral haemorrhage will be included. Outcomes will be the distribution of stroke aetiology and (vascular) risk factors, functional outcome after stroke, risk of recurrent vascular events and death and finally the use of secondary prevention. Subgroup analyses will be made based on age, gender, aetiology, ethnicity and climate of residence.

    ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval for the GOAL study has already been obtained from the Medical Review Ethics Committee region Arnhem-Nijmegen. Additionally and when necessary, approval will also be obtained from national or local institutional review boards in the participating centres. When needed, a standardised data transfer agreement will be provided for participating centres. We plan dissemination of our results in peer-reviewed international scientific journals and through conference presentations. We expect that the results of this unique study will lead to better understanding of worldwide differences in risk factors, causes and outcome of young stroke patients.

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