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  1. Ariff F, Suthahar A, Ramli M
    Singapore Med J, 2011 Jan;52(1):29-34.
    PMID: 21298238
    INTRODUCTION: The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between hypertensive patients and their coping style and associated lifestyle factors.
    METHODS: A total of 502 participants attending nine outpatient clinics completed the validated Bahasa Malaysia version of the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations and sociodemographic questionnaires. The height, weight, pulse rate and blood pressure of all the participants were measured using standardised methods.
    RESULTS: A total of 264 (52.6 percent) participants were hypertensive, while 238 (47.4 percent) were not. Participants with a high task-oriented score showed a significantly lower risk of hypertension compared to those with a low score (odds ratio [OR] 0.546; 95 percent confidence interval [CI] 0.371-0.804). Those with a high emotion-oriented coping score were associated with an increased risk of hypertension (OR 1.691; 95 percent CI 1.107-2.582). Hypertension was also significantly associated with a higher mean body mass index, positive family history of hypertension, history of diabetes mellitus and hypercholesterolaemia. In multiple logistic regression analysis with hypertension status as the dependent variable, a high emotion-oriented coping score, a low task-oriented coping score, age, body mass index, positive family history of hypertension and history of diabetes mellitus remain significant factors in the final model.
    CONCLUSION: These results indicated a significant relationship between hypertension and coping styles and lifestyle factors. They underscored the importance of further study as well as the development and implementation of intervention measures to improve coping skills among hypertensive patients, which may be incorporated into the management of hypertension.
  2. Adlina, S., Narimah, A.H.H., Hakimi, Z.A., Suthahar, A., M Nor Hisyam, R., Ruhaida, M.K., et al.
    MyJurnal
    Stress has been recognized one of the factors causing disease. About 70-80% of all diseases may be stress related. Thus, stress management can be a part of an early measure of disease prevention. A descriptive cross sectional, randomized study was conducted to determine the stress inducing factors among preclinical students (universal sampling) in a public university in Selangor, Malaysia from 24th April to May 2005. A total of 163 students (52.8% year 1, 36.8% year 2 and 10.4% year 3) were interviewed in the data collection process. The main reasons students entered - medical school was because of their own interest or ambition (65%) and family influence (20.9%). Majority (76.4%) suffered moderate to great stress over hot conditions in lecture hall, tutoriaV small group session rooms and laboratories while 53.4% suffered when using the other facilities like cafeteria, toilet and transportation:. Almost all (95.1%) felt that examination was the most stressful, followed by early clinical exposure sessions (68.1%), problem·based learning sessions (62.5%), hospital visitations (59.7%), tutoriay small group sessions (49.3%), practical class (44.5%) and attending lectures (3 8.5%). Musculoskeletal System was the most stressful module among the first year students, followed by Nervous System and Gastrointestinal System with the percentage of 94.2%, 90.7% and 88.4% respectively while, 95% of the second year students felt that General, Hemopoietic ci? Lymphoid and Nervous System are the most stressful modules. This study revealed that academic sessions and lack of conducive teaching and learning environment as the main stress inducing contributors to preclinical medical students.
  3. Suthahar A, Gurpreet K, Ambigga D, Maniam T, Dhachayani S, Fuad I, et al.
    Singapore Med J, 2009 Jul;50(7):720-3.
    PMID: 19644630
    The aim of this paper was to determine the sociodemographic and cancer characteristics of patients with cancer at a tertiary care centre.
  4. Suthahar A, Gurpreet K, Ambigga D, Dhachayani S, Fuad I, Maniam T, et al.
    Med J Malaysia, 2008 Dec;63(5):362-8.
    PMID: 19803291 MyJurnal
    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)
  5. Ho BK, Jasvindar K, Gurpreet K, Ambigga D, Suthahar A, Cheong SM, et al.
    PMID: 26425300 MyJurnal
    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)
  6. Ambigga Devi SK, Suthahar A, Ramli AS, Ng KK, Radziah AR, Marymol K
    PMID: 25606229 MyJurnal
    Dementia is a large and growing problem in the ageing population but often not diagnosed in its earlier stages which is Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). MCI represents the phase between normal ageing and early dementia. About 12% of patients with MCI develop dementia per year, usually Alzheimer's disease. It is a diagnosis given to individuals who have cognitive impairments beyond that is expected for their age and education. However, this condition does not interfere significantly with daily activities as these individuals retain their critical thinking and reasoning skills. Nevertheless, due to its complexity and vague initial presentation, many cases of MCI can be missed. Therefore, it is imperative for primary care physicians to recognise these symptoms as opposed to normal ageing memory changes, and refer these patients to the memory clinic early to confirm the diagnosis. This paper illustrates a common primary care presentation of a patient with MCI. As there is no proven pharmacological treatment for MCI, the mainstay of management is to provide lifestyle intervention and long term support to these patients in the community. Primary care physicians should work as a team with the geriatrician, allied health personnel, support groups and caregivers in providing this care.
  7. Ambigga KS, Ramli AS, Suthahar A, Tauhid N, Clearihan L, Browning C
    Asia Pac Fam Med, 2011 Mar 08;10(1):2.
    PMID: 21385446 DOI: 10.1186/1447-056X-10-2
    Population ageing is poised to become a major challenge to the health system as Malaysia progresses to becoming a developed nation by 2020. This article aims to review the various ageing policy frameworks available globally; compare aged care policies and health services in Malaysia with Australia; and discuss various issues and challenges in translating these policies into practice in the Malaysian primary care system. Fundamental solutions identified to bridge the gap include restructuring of the health care system, development of comprehensive benefit packages for older people under the national health financing scheme, training of the primary care workforce, effective use of electronic medical records and clinical guidelines; and empowering older people and their caregivers with knowledge, skills and positive attitudes to ageing and self care. Ultimately, family medicine specialists must become the agents for change to lead multidisciplinary teams and work with various agencies to ensure that better coordination, continuity and quality of care are eventually delivered to older patients across time and settings.
  8. Adlina S, Suthahar A, Ramli M, Edariah AB, Soe SA, Mohd Ariff F, et al.
    Med J Malaysia, 2007 Aug;62(3):218-22.
    PMID: 18246911 MyJurnal
    A cross sectional descriptive study of 2048 subjects was conducted to determine the prevalence of depression and factors influencing depression among students in secondary school from urban and rural areas in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. The children's depression inventory (CDI) developed by Maria Kovacs was used in this study. Students who participated in this study come from two urban schools and three rural schools. It was found that in the yield for scores for five factors were 9.2% have negative mood, 5% have interpersonal problems, 8.3% have ineffectiveness, 9.8% have anhedonia and 10.6% have negative self esteem. Following the interpretive guidelines for the T-scores, it was found that 10.3% of the students were much above average in the depression scale. This study also found that: 1% of students were smoking, 1.6% of students were gum sniffling, 0.9% took drugs, 4.1% took alcohol and 9.9% took things from other people. Females were more depressed than males. The Chinese students were more depressed compared to Indian students. Students whose parents had no formal education or had only primary education were more depressed than students whose parents had secondary, college or university education. Depression increased with increasing number of siblings. Depression contributed to the habit of drug abuse, gum sniffing and stealing but not to smoking and alcohol abuse. Suicidal tendencies were more likely among the depressed students. It is imperative that not only caregivers but also teachers have to be equipped with the knowledge, attitude and skills to assist secondary school children cope with their emotions, handle conflicts and manage stress early so that a more productive society will develop in the future.
  9. Lim KH, Jasvindar K, Cheong SM, Ho BK, Lim HL, Teh CH, et al.
    Tob Induc Dis, 2016;14:8.
    PMID: 27006650 DOI: 10.1186/s12971-016-0073-z
    BACKGROUND: The determination of smoking prevalence and its associated factors among the elderly could provide evidence-based findings to guide the planning and implementation of policy in order to will help in reducing the morbidity and mortality of smoking-related diseases, thus increase their quality of life. This paper describes the rate of smoking and identifies the factor(s) associated with smoking among the elderly in Malaysia.
    METHODS: A representative sample of 2674 respondents was obtained via a two-stage sampling method in proportion to population size. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using a set of standardized validated questionnaire. Data was weighted by taking into consideration the complex sampling design and non-response rate prior to data analysis. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression were used to determine the factor/s associated with smoking.
    RESULTS: The prevalence of non-smokers, ex-smokers and current smokers among Malaysians aged 60 years and above were 36.3 % (95 % CI = 32.7-39.8), 24.4 % (95 % CI = 21.2-27.5) and 11.9 % (95 % CI = 9.5-14.3), respectively. Current smokers were significantly more prevalent in men (28.1 %) than in women (2.9 %), but the prevalence declined with advancing age, higher educational attainment, and among respondents with known diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Multivariable analysis revealed that males (aOR, 18.6, 95 % CI 10.9-31.9) and other Bumiputras (aOR 2.58, 95 % CI 1.29-5.15) were more likely to smoke. in addition, elderly with lower educational attainment (aOR, 1.70, 95 % CI 1.24-7.41) and those without/unknown hypertension also reported higher likelihood to be current smokers (aOR 1.98, 95 % CI 1.35-2.83). However, there were no significant associations between respondents with no/unknown diabetes or hypercholesterolemia with smoking.
    CONCLUSIONS: In short, smoking is common among elderly men in Malaysia. Therefore, intervention programs should integrate the present findings to reduce the smoking rate and increase the smoking cessation rate among the elderly in Malaysia and subsequently to reduce the burden of smoking-related disease.
    Study name: National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-2011)
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