METHODS: Head and neck cancer patients were recruited from July 2016 till March 2017 at National Cancer Institute, Ministry of Health, Malaysia. All study participants continued their standard oncology surveillance. Treatment group participants additionally received Chinese herbal treatment. The assessments included unstimulated salivary flow rate (USFR), stimulated salivary flow rate (SSFR), and QoL questionnaire.
RESULTS: Of 42 recruited participants, 28 were in the treatment group and 14 were in the control group. Participants were mainly Chinese (71.4%), stage III cancer (40.5%), and had nasopharynx cancer (76.2%). The commonly used single herbs were Wu Mei, San Qi, and Tian Hua Fen. Sha Shen Mai Dong Tang, Liu Wei Di Huang Wan, and Gan Lu Yin were the frequently prescribed herbal formulas. The baseline characteristics, USFR, SSFR, and QoL between control and treatment groups were comparable (p > 0.05). USFR between control and treatment groups were similar throughout the 6-month study period. SSFR for the treatment group significantly improved from 0.15 ± 0.28 ml/min (baseline) to 0.32 ± 0.22 ml/min (p = 0.04; at the 3rd month) and subsequently achieved 0.46 ± 0.23 ml/min (p = 0.001; at the 6th month). The treatment group had better QoL in terms of speech (p = 0.005), eating (p = 0.02), and head and neck pain (p = 0.04) at the 6th month.
CONCLUSION: Herbal treatment may improve xerostomia and QoL in post-radiotherapy head and cancer patients.
METHODS: A modified English version of Talley's bowel disease questionnaire was developed in collaboration with various research teams in accordance with the Rome II criteria. This instrument was translated into the local languages of the following nine Asian regions: China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. From September to December 2001, newly enrolled outpatients attending 14 GI or medical clinics in these regions were invited to complete the questionnaire. From these respondents, patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders fulfilling the '12 weeks out of 12 months' criteria were separated for further analysis. Principal component factor analysis with varimax rotation was used to identify symptom clusters or factors. These factors were compared with the existing classification of functional GI diseases derived from the Rome II criteria.
RESULTS: Factor analysis of symptoms from 1012 functional GI patients supported the Rome II classification of the following groups of functional GI disorders: diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, functional constipation, functional dyspepsia, functional abdominal pain syndrome, functional heartburn, and functional vomiting. Functional diarrhea was combined with functional anorectal disorders, and globus merged with functional dysphagia into one factor. Some of the functional dyspepsia, abdominal bloating and belching symptoms were loaded into one factor.
CONCLUSIONS: Factor analysis of symptoms from a sample of Asian patients with functional GI disorders partially supported the use of the Rome II classification.
METHODS: We assessed fruit and vegetable consumption using data from country-specific, validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaires in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study, which enrolled participants from communities in 18 countries between Jan 1, 2003, and Dec 31, 2013. We documented household income data from participants in these communities; we also recorded the diversity and non-sale prices of fruits and vegetables from grocery stores and market places between Jan 1, 2009, and Dec 31, 2013. We determined the cost of fruits and vegetables relative to income per household member. Linear random effects models, adjusting for the clustering of households within communities, were used to assess mean fruit and vegetable intake by their relative cost.
FINDINGS: Of 143 305 participants who reported plausible energy intake in the food frequency questionnaire, mean fruit and vegetable intake was 3·76 servings (95% CI 3·66-3·86) per day. Mean daily consumption was 2·14 servings (1·93-2·36) in low-income countries (LICs), 3·17 servings (2·99-3·35) in lower-middle-income countries (LMICs), 4·31 servings (4·09-4·53) in upper-middle-income countries (UMICs), and 5·42 servings (5·13-5·71) in high-income countries (HICs). In 130 402 participants who had household income data available, the cost of two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables per day per individual accounted for 51·97% (95% CI 46·06-57·88) of household income in LICs, 18·10% (14·53-21·68) in LMICs, 15·87% (11·51-20·23) in UMICs, and 1·85% (-3·90 to 7·59) in HICs (ptrend=0·0001). In all regions, a higher percentage of income to meet the guidelines was required in rural areas than in urban areas (p<0·0001 for each pairwise comparison). Fruit and vegetable consumption among individuals decreased as the relative cost increased (ptrend=0·00040).
INTERPRETATION: The consumption of fruit and vegetables is low worldwide, particularly in LICs, and this is associated with low affordability. Policies worldwide should enhance the availability and affordability of fruits and vegetables.
FUNDING: Population Health Research Institute, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, AstraZeneca (Canada), Sanofi-Aventis (France and Canada), Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany and Canada), Servier, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, King Pharma, and national or local organisations in participating countries.