The prevalence and severity of asthma, rhinitis and eczema in Kelantanese schoolchildren were determined as part of an international study of the epidemiology of asthma and allergic diseases. The international study of asthma and allergies in childhood (ISAAC) written questionnaire was administered to 7055 schoolchildren from February 1995 to August 1995. The respondents were parents or guardians of 5- to 7-year-old children (n = 3939), and schoolchildren aged 12-14 years (n = 3116). The ISAAC video questionnaire (AVQ3.0) was shown to children aged 12-14 years after the written questionnaire. The overall prevalences of 'ever wheezed' and 'wheezing in last 12 months' were 9.4 and 6.0% respectively. The prevalence of 'ever diagnosed with asthma' was 9.4%. Both 'ever wheezed' and 'wheezing in the last 12 months' were significantly higher in 12- to 14-year-old children than in 5- to 7-year-old children, with P values of 0.0006 and 0.014 respectively. No gender differences in the prevalences were observed. For the complete study group, 4.7% of children had sleep disturbed by wheezing but only 1.1% had a severe attack limiting speech in the preceding 12 months. Sleep disturbance was more common in the 12- to 14-year-old children than in 5- to 7-year-old children (P = 0.006). There was no difference between the age groups for severe attacks limiting speech. The overall prevalence of rhinitis and eczema symptoms were 27 and 12%, respectively. The prevalence of rhinitis in the 12-14 year age group (38.2%) was significantly higher (P < 0.0001) than in the 5-7 year age group (18.2%). The prevalence of eczema in the 5-7 year age group (13.7%) was significantly higher (P = < 0.0001) than in the 12-14 year age group (9.9%). These prevalence data are comparable with previous reports in Malaysian children, but are considerably lower than those reported for most developed countries.
A three day old male, term infant with hemothorax due to hemorrhagic disease of the newborn was treated successfully with vitamin K and thoracocentesis. Exclusive breast feeding and absence of vitamin K prophylaxis were important diagnostic clues, although hemothorax as a sole manifestation of hemorrhagic disease of the newborn is rare. This case highlighted the good prognosis of an uncommon complication when prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment are instituted. The importance of vitamin K prophylaxis to all newborns is emphasized.
Nine children, aged 2.5 months to 16 years, presenting with tachyarrhythmias were treated with intravenous (i.v.) flecainide, a type 1C antiarrhythmic drug. There were four boys and five girls; seven were supraventricular and two ventricular tachycardias and three had structural cardiac abnormalities. The i.v. dose required to terminate the arrhythmias ranged from 1.0 to 2.4 mg/kg (mean 1.55 mg/kg) although a mean of 1.94 mg/kg per dose was required to maintain sustained sinus rhythm after a single i.v. dose. Eight of the patients--six supraventricular and two ventricular tachyarrhythmias, required maintenance oral flecainide. Oral dosages of 6.7-9.5 mg/kg per day (mean of 7.97 mg/kg per day in three divided doses) were required to effectively prevent the tachyarrhythmias. Intravenous and oral flecainide are safe and effective in terminating supraventricular and ventricular tachyarrhythmias. No evidence of proarrhythmia was found in the patients during follow up of between 5 and 9 months. The present limitation of performing radiofrequency ablation on infants and small children justifies the important place of medical therapy for re-entrant supraventricular tachyarrhythmias.
X linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) is rarely reported from developing countries especially from South East Asia. It appears that X linked agammaglobulinemia is less common in certain ethnic groups. It is very uncommon in black people in USA and South Africa. In multiracial Malaysia we have documented five XLA in Malays and Indians but not in the Chinese that constitute about 31% of the population. First degree relatives afflicted with XLA or other primary immunodeficiencies occurred more often in our study. All showed lung involvement although the etiologic organisms involved were atypical, being Gram negative.
Taking a form of Official Development Aid (ODA), the Japan International Cooperation of Welfare Services (JICWELS) and Imperial Gift Foundation, Boshi-Aiiku-Kai (Aiiku Association for Maternal and Child Health and Welfare) have extended a study program on maternal and child health (MCH) since 1989 on the commission of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. 'Community participation' is the key to the first international study program focused solely on MCH. The purpose of the program is to help to improve the planning and administration in the field of MCH. Through this, the information and experience attained in Japanese MCH activities are introduced especially by participation in community-level activities of 'Aiiku-Han' in which local citizens play a major role. The operation system of the Asian MCH Workshop, contents of the workshop, evaluation and future prospects are discussed.
In a cross-sectional study of 7 to 12-year-old primary school children in Kuala Lumpur, the prevalence of chronic cough and/or phlegm, persistent wheeze, and doctor-diagnosed asthma were 8.0%, 8.0% and 8.7%, respectively. The prevalence of asthma (defined as persistent wheeze and/or doctor-diagnosed asthma) was 13.8%. 4.3% experienced at least one episode of chest illness that resulted in inactivity for at least 3 days in the previous year. The mean age of commencement of symptoms in the doctor-diagnosed asthma group was 2.75 years. The prevalence of chronic cough and/or phlegm and persistent wheeze were highest among Indian children (p less than 0.05). More Malays had been diagnosed as having asthma than the other ethnic groups but the differences were not statistically significant. The patients' fathers' low levels of education were associated with chronic cough and/or phlegm (p less than 0.05) but not with other complaints. Asthma was significantly more common among boys than girls. No age differences were noted. Further analysis showed that persistent wheeze and doctor-diagnosed asthma were associated with increased likelihood of other respiratory illnesses or doctor-diagnosed allergy before the age of 2 years.
Glucose and steroids have been used in the treatment of children with Reye's syndrome, while carnitine and coenzyme Q10 have been the subject of some recent studies which suggest that these agents may have a role in the treatment of Reye's syndrome and Reye-like syndrome due to margosa oil poisoning. Because of the paucity of causes of Reye's syndrome seen at any one centre, the clinical variability of the disease, and limited knowledge of definite aetiologic factors, controlled clinical trials are not easy to carry out or to interpret in human cases. These caveats were overcome by evaluation of these four treatment modalities in an established margosa-oil-induced animal model of Reye's syndrome. Effectiveness of the treatment modalities was determined from clinical response and histopathologic parameters (grading of light microscopic fatty changes and ultrastructural changes in the hepatocytes). Results show that carnitine per se produces a small improvement in survival, but statistically, more significant benefit is seen with glucose administration. Carnitine plus 10% dextrose appears to produce better results. Evaluation of coenzyme Q10 and carnitine on histopathologic parameters in the liver after a sublethal dose of margosa oil showed no obvious ameliorating effect on liver pathology. Steroids (dexamethasone/methylprednisolone) had no beneficial effects in reducing mortality, affecting glycogen storage or lipid accumulation. Changes in the mitochondria, ribosomes and endoplasmic reticulum were unaltered from the groups treated with margosa oil alone. While glucose and carnitine supplements appear to be beneficial, the other modes of therapy do not seem to hold much promise in the treatment of Reye-like syndrome in the margosa-oil-induced animal model.
A pilot epidemiologic study of all cases of Reye and Reye-like syndromes was undertaken at 8 representative major hospitals in Peninsular Malaya from January 1st to December 31st 1986. The cases were classified as definitive Reye's syndrome, clinical Reye's syndrome and encephalo-hepatopathies. Less than 50% of cases reviewed fulfilled the National Center for Disease Control criteria for clinical Reye's syndrome. Causes of Reye-like syndromes/encephalo-hepatopathies included fulminant hepatitis, Japanese B encephalitis, dengue, septicaemia, and complex febrile fits. It was not possible to differentiate clinical Reye's syndrome from the other encephalo-hepatopathies by either the clinical features (except for jaundice) or biochemical parameters. Liver biopsy is necessary for a definitive diagnosis of Reye's syndrome in Malaysia, because of the high prevalence of Reye-like diseases. The mortality rate in the 2 groups of patients is similar. Ingestion of salicylates was not found to be significantly associated with Reye and Reye-like syndromes in this study.