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  1. Idris IB, Ghazi HF, Zhie KH, Khairuman KA, Yahya SK, Abd Zaim FA, et al.
    Ann Glob Health, 2016 6 22;82(1):202-8.
    PMID: 27325078 DOI: 10.1016/j.aogh.2016.01.021
    The prevalence of asthma is increasing, especially among children in Malaysia, with environmental factors as one of the main preventable contributors. The aim of this study was to determine the association between environmental air pollutants and the occurrence of asthma among children seen in pediatric clinics in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Center (UKMMC), Kuala Lumpur. An unmatched case control study among children who attended the pediatric clinic was carried out from May to August 2015. A total of 223 children who were diagnosed with asthma (105 cases) and who did not have asthma (118 controls) were included in this study. Their parents or caregivers were interviewed using questionnaires modified from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. Data obtained were analyzed using SPSS software version 20. There was a higher risk of asthma in those who had carpet at home (OR = 2.15 CI [1.25-3.68]), those who lived within 200 m of heavy traffic (OR = 1.72 CI [1.01-2.93]), and those who were exposed to lorry fumes (OR = 2.61. CI [1.38-4.93]). Environmental air pollutants increased the risk of asthma among children in Malaysia. Exposure to congested roads, lorry fumes, and indoor carpet were associated with asthma among children in this study. Parents or caretakers of children with asthma should be given adequate education on the prevention of asthmatic attack among these children.
    Study site: Paediatric clinic, Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  2. Hussein Z, Taher SW, Gilcharan Singh HK, Chee Siew Swee W
    Ann Glob Health, 2016 4 25;81(6):851-62.
    PMID: 27108152 DOI: 10.1016/j.aogh.2015.12.016
    BACKGROUND: Diabetes is a major public health concern in Malaysia, and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) has escalated to 20.8% in adults above the age of 30, affecting 2.8 million individuals. The burden of managing diabetes falls on primary and tertiary health care providers operating in various settings.

    OBJECTIVES: This review focuses on the current status of diabetes in Malaysia, including epidemiology, complications, lifestyle, and pharmacologic treatments, as well as the use of technologies in its management and the adoption of the World Health Organization chronic care model in primary care clinics.

    METHODS: A narrative review based on local available health care data, publications, and observations from clinic experience.

    FINDINGS: The prevalence of diabetes varies among the major ethnic groups in Malaysia, with Asian Indians having the highest prevalence of T2D, followed by Malays and Chinese. The increase prevalence of overweight and obesity has accompanied the rise in T2D. Multidisciplinary care is available in tertiary and primary care settings with integration of pharmacotherapy, diet, and lifestyle changes. Poor dietary adherence, high consumption of carbohydrates, and sedentary lifestyle are prevalent in patients with T2D. The latest medication options are available with increasing use of intensive insulin regimens, insulin pumps, and continuous glucose monitoring systems for managing glycemic control. A stepwise approach is proposed to expand the chronic care model into an Innovative Care for Chronic Conditions framework to facilitate implementation and realize better outcomes in primary care settings.

    CONCLUSIONS: A comprehensive strategy and approach has been established by the Malaysian government to improve prevention, treatment, and control of diabetes as an urgent response to this growing chronic disease.

  3. Mat Sutris J, Md Isa Z, Sumeri SA, Ghazi HF
    Ann Glob Health, 2017 3 12;82(5):770-778.
    PMID: 28283128 DOI: 10.1016/j.aogh.2016.10.008
    BACKGROUND: Increasing use of pesticides in agriculture to control pest may result in permanent damage to the environment and consequently cause harmful health problems especially among infant and children. Due to pesticide's natural toxicity and its widespread use, it causes a serious threat to public health especially to this vulnerable group.

    OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the organophosphorus pesticide urinary metabolite levels and its predictors among Orang Asli children of the Mah Meri tribe living in an agricultural island in Kuala Langat, Selangor.

    METHODS: Data collection was carried out at an island in Kuala Langat, Selangor, where a total of 180 Orang Asli children of the Mah Meri tribe voluntarily participated in the study. Data were collected via a validated, modified questionnaire. Urinary organophosphate metabolites, namely dimethylphosphate, diethylphosphate, dimethylthiophosphate, dimethyldithiophosphate, diethylthiophosphate, and diethyldithiophosphate were measured to assess organophosphate pesticide exposure in children.

    FINDINGS: Eighty-four (46.7%) of the respondents were positive for urine dialkyl phosphate metabolites. In multivariable analysis, children who frequently consumed apples had 4 times higher risk of pesticide detection than those who consumed apple less frequently. In addition, those who frequently ate cucumbers had 4 times higher risk for pesticide detection than those who ate cucumbers less frequently. Children with a father whose occupation involved high exposure to pesticides (agriculture) had 3 times higher risk of pesticide detection than those with a father in a low-risk occupation (nonagriculture).

    CONCLUSIONS: Almost half of the children (46.7%) in the study area tested positive for urinary dialkyl phosphate metabolite levels. Most of the metabolite levels were equal to or higher than that reported in other previous studies. Major factors associated with pesticide detection in children in this study were frequent intake of apple and cucumber and fathers who are working in an agricultural area.

  4. Aizuddin AN, Aljunid SM
    Ann Glob Health, 2017 11 21;83(3-4):654-660.
    PMID: 29221542 DOI: 10.1016/j.aogh.2017.10.002
    BACKGROUND: Malaysia is no exception to the challenging health care financing phenomenon of globalization.

    OBJECTIVES: The objective of the present study was to assess the ability to pay among Malaysian households as preparation for a future national health financing scheme.

    METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study involving representative samples of 774 households in Peninsular Malaysia.

    FINDINGS: A majority of households were found to have the ability to pay for their health care. Household expenditure on health care per month was between MYR1 and MYR2000 with a mean (standard deviation [SD]) of 73.54 (142.66), or in a percentage of per-month income between 0.05% and 50% with mean (SD) 2.74 (5.20). The final analysis indicated that ability to pay was significantly higher among younger and higher-income households.

    CONCLUSIONS: Sociodemographic and socioeconomic statuses are important eligibility factors to be considered in planning the proposed national health care financing scheme to shield the needed group from catastrophic health expenditures.

  5. Ab Manan N, Noor Aizuddin A, Hod R
    Ann Glob Health, 2018 11 05;84(4):670-678.
    PMID: 30779516 DOI: 10.29024/aogh.2376
    IntroductionMany epidemiological studies have demonstrated associations between air pollution levels and human health in terms of hospital admissions. The aim of this paper is to gather evidence concerning air pollution effects on the risk of hospital admission. We hypothesised that increase in: particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and sulphur dioxide (SO2) levels would be associated with the increasing trend of hospital admission.MethodsA systematic review of literature was carried out. Literature search was done in Sage, Ovid Medline, Science Direct, Wiley and ProQuest from 2010 to 2016 using keywords "hospital admission and air pollution". Studies of any relevant design were included if they presented original data, included at least one analysis where hospital admission was the specific outcome, and one or more of the following exposures were investigated: PM, O3, CO, NO2 and SO2.ResultsA total of 175 potential studies were identified by the search. Twenty two studies qualified for the review. Air pollution was noted to have an excessive risk of 3.46 (95%CI, 1.67, 5.27) of total hospital admissions. Cardiovascular admission was noted to have an increased risk of hospitalization for PM2.5 of 1.5 to 2.0; PM10 (1.007 to 2.7); NO2 (1.04 to 1.17) and SO2 (1.007). For respiratory admission, PM2.5 can caused an increased risk of hospitalization by 1.1 to 1.8; PM10 (1.007 to 1.13); NO2 (1.08 to 1.94) and SO2 (1.02). While O3 have minimal effect on COPD and stroke, CO does not influence in the effect of these hospitalization.ConclusionThe exposure to air pollutants confers an increased risk of admission of several disease. Our findings call for greater awareness of environmental protection and the implementation of effective measures to improve the quality of air, which may reduce the risks of adverse effects on the population's health.
  6. Ramdzan AR, Abd Rahim MA, Mohamad Zaki A, Zaidun Z, Mohammed Nawi A
    Ann Glob Health, 2019 05 15;85(1).
    PMID: 31099505 DOI: 10.5334/aogh.2466
    INTRODUCTION: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer related death in the world after lung cancer. Early detection of CRC leads to improvement in cancer survival rate. In recent years, efforts have been made to discover a non-invasive screening marker of higher sensitivity and specificity. Fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) and genetic testing become alternative modalities to screen CRC in the population other than colonoscopy. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to determine the diagnostic accuracy, sensitivity and specificity of FOBT and genetic testing as screening tools in colorectal cancer.

    METHODS: A literature search of PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Scopus was carried out. The search strategy was restricted to human subjects and studies are published in English. Data on sensitivity and specificity were extracted and pooled. Heterogeneity was assumed at significance level of p < 0.10 and was tested by chi squared. Degree of heterogeneity was quantified using the I2 statistic, and values of less than 25% is considered as homogenous. All analyses were performed using the software Meta-Disc.

    RESULTS: A total of eleven studies were suitable for data synthesis and analysis. Five studies were analyzed for the accuracy of genetic testing, the pooled estimate for sensitivity and specificity were 71% (95% CI: 66, 75%) and 95% (95% CI: 93, 97%) respectively. Another group of studies which had been evaluated for the accuracy of FOBT, the pooled sensitivity was 31% (95% CI: 25, 38%) while the pooled specificity was 87% (95% CI: 86, 89%).

    CONCLUSIONS: FOBTs is recommended to use as population-based screening tools for colorectal cancer while genetic testing should be focusing on patients with moderate and high risk individuals.

  7. Khamal R, Isa ZM, Sutan R, Noraini NMR, Ghazi HF
    Ann Glob Health, 2019 01 22;85(1).
    PMID: 30741516 DOI: 10.5334/aogh.2425
    INTRODUCTION: Indoor air quality in day care centers (DCCs) is an emerging research topic nowadays. Indoor air pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and microbes have been linked to respiratory health effects in children, particularly asthma-related symptoms such as night coughs and wheezing due to early exposure to indoor air contaminants.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the association between wheezing symptoms among toddlers attending DCCs and indoor particulate matter, PM10, PM2.5, and microbial count level in urban DCCs in the District of Seremban, Malaysia.

    METHODS: Data collection was carried out at 10 DCCs located in the urban area of Seremban. Modified validated questionnaires were distributed to parents to obtain their children's health symptoms. The parameters measured were indoor PM2.5, PM10, carbon monoxide, total bacteria count, total fungus count, temperature, air velocity, and relative humidity using the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health analytical method.

    RESULTS: All 10 DCCs investigated had at least one indoor air quality parameter exceeding the acceptable level of standard guidelines. The prevalence of toddlers having wheezing symptoms was 18.9%. There was a significant different in mean concentration of PM2.5 and total bacteria count between those with and those without wheezing symptoms (P = 0.02, P = 0.006).

    CONCLUSIONS: Urban DCCs are exposed to many air pollutants that may enter their buildings from various adjacent sources. The particle concentrations and presence of microbes in DCCs might increase the risk of exposed children for respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, in their later life.

  8. Idris IB, Barlow J, Dolan A
    Ann Glob Health, 2019 03 07;85(1).
    PMID: 30873768 DOI: 10.5334/aogh.2336
    BACKGROUND: Emotional and behavioral problems (EBD) or mental health problems in children and adolescents are an important public health issue, but there has been no evaluation to date of the extent of such problems in near-developed countries. This study evaluated the prevalence and stability of EBD among children in Malaysia.

    METHODS: This research comprises a longitudinal population-based study that measured the prevalence and 6-month stability of EBD in children aged seven to eight years and thirteen to fourteen years attending public schools in Malaysia based on parents, teachers and children's (aged 13 to 14 years) report of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) at baseline and 6 months later.

    FINDINGS: The prevalence of EBD in Malaysian school children was 9.3% for teacher-report, 8.5% for parent-report and 3.9% for child-report. There was no significance difference in the prevalence of emotional and behavioral problems over six-months for all informants, except for teacher-report Emotional and Conduct problems scores which increased significantly and child-report Total Difficulties and Emotional problems scores which decreased significantly (p < 0.05).

    CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that the prevalence of EBD among Malaysian children is almost similar to the Western countries and stable over a 6-month period. These findings suggest the need for policy makers in near-developed countries to provide services aimed at preventing EBD and treating children identified as having such problems.

  9. Labao HC, Faller EM, Bacayo MFD
    Ann Glob Health, 2018 08 31;84(3):474-480.
    PMID: 30835403 DOI: 10.29024/aogh.2331
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are alarmingly high among migrant workers in Malaysia. MSDs are the most prevalent occupational-related conditions in most parts of the world affecting function, productivity and overall health-related quality of life. Therefore, this study aims to determine the profile of Filipino migrant workers in Malaysia and their various musculoskeletal complaints.

    METHOD: This study utilized a quantitative, nonexperimental, cross-sectional research design. A total of 60 subjects were randomly selected after passing the study's sampling criteria. The Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) was to used to determine common MSDs affecting the various regions in the body. The Demographic Pofile Sheet was provided to gather a subject's demographic characteristics.

    RESULTS: Filipino migrant workers mostly complain of pain in the low back area (60%) and shoulder pain (60%), followed by pain in the upper back (48.3%) and neck pain (45%) in the last 12 months. Household workers accounting for 73.3% of the subjects commonly complain of pain in the hips/thighs (78.9%), while workers in the service industry commonly complain of knee pain (39.1%).

    CONCLUSIONS: Results imply that Filipino migrant workers have a higher prevalence of shoulder and lower back pain in the last 12 months. Household workers are more susceptible to hip/thigh pain. Interventions focusing on ergonomics policy implementation, education on posture and lifting techniques and physical function is recommended. Further studies should consider the psychological and psychosocial aspects of migrant employment, which are known risk factors for MSDs.

  10. Faller EM, Bin Miskam N, Pereira A
    Ann Glob Health, 2018 08 31;84(3):338-341.
    PMID: 30835385 DOI: 10.29024/aogh.2316
    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Healthcare workers are prone to occupational hazards. The study aims to identify the occupational health hazards among healthcare workers in the Philippines and its essential relevant developmental framework. This article evolved on the responses of participants on how they can improve strategies and barriers for healthcare workers to comply with Occupational Health and Safety (OSH).

    METHODS: A qualitative study design in which 15 healthcare workers from nurses (4), pharmacists (3), medical technologies (4) and medical doctors (4) participated: two focus group of three to four participants each and eight in-depth interviews. The thematic sessions were identified, including occupational health and safety policy implementations, hazards experiences, barriers, and strategies for quality improvement for OSH. Focus groups and interviews using transcript-based analysis were identified relating to emerging themes on the challenges they had experienced while accessing provisions of OSH in their workplace.

    RESULTS: Majority of the participants revealed the existence of policy on Occupational Health and Safety (provisions, guidelines and regulations on OHS from the government) and mentioned that there were limited OHS officers to supervise the healthcare workers in their workplace. Some have limited accessibility to the requirements of the implementation of OHS (free facemasks, gloves, disinfectants, machines, OSH staff, etc.) among healthcare workers, while the workload of the staff in the implementation of OHS in the workplace gradually increased. The results indicated that the respondents were knowledgeable in the implementation of OHS in the workplace, and that there was no existing ASEAN framework on the protection and promotion of the rights of healthcare workers in their workplace. Facilities need to improve health assessment, and to ensure constant evaluation of the existing laws for healthcare workers (quality assurance of existing policies) in their working areas. Direct access to OSH officers, occupational hazards education, emergency contact etc. must be improved. Adherence must be strengthened to fully comply with the OHS standards.

    CONCLUSION: The researchers inferred that issues and concerns regarding compliance on provisions of occupational health and safety among health care workers must be properly addressed through immediate monitoring and reevaluation of personnel in terms of their knowledge and practices in OHS. Barriers and challenges have been identified in the study that can lead to improved compliance among healthcare workers in regards to OHS.

  11. Mei CF, Faller EM, Chuan LX, Gabriel JS
    Ann Glob Health, 2020 08 03;86(1):90.
    PMID: 32832384 DOI: 10.5334/aogh.2859
    Background and Purpose: Food insecurity exists whenever accessibility to nutritious food is limited. It affects a person's health with regards to nutritional status, indicated by malnourishment or overnutrition. This study aims to study the relationship between household income, household food insecurity, and weight status of migrant workers in Klang Valley, Selangor.

    Method: A cross-sectional study involving a convenience sampling of 125 documented migrant workers from five selected countries was conducted. A researcher-administered questionnaire consisting of socio-demographic questions, three-day 24-hour dietary recall (3DR), and nine-item Household Food Insecurity Access Scale was used. Anthropometric measurements, including body weight, height, and waist circumference, were taken.

    Findings: About 57.6% of the households studied were food insecure (24.8% mildly, 29.6% moderately, and 3.2% severely). Burmese were found to have the highest rate of household food insecurity (96%). The majority of the migrant workers were of normal weight (68.0%). No significant relationship was found between monthly household income and household food security status (p = 0.475), as well as between household food security status and weight status (p = 0.535).

    Conclusion: Results imply that food security status affects certain nutrient intake among migrant workers. There were no significant associations between variables. Interventions focusing on nutritional education on food choices and implementation on health policy are recommended. Further studies should consider the accessibility, nutritional-related diseases, and dietary aspects of migrant workers, which are risk factors for food insecurity.

  12. Abir T, Kalimullah NA, Osuagwu UL, Nur-A Yazdani DM, Husain T, Goson PC, et al.
    Ann Glob Health, 2021 04 26;87(1):43.
    PMID: 33981590 DOI: 10.5334/aogh.3269
    Background: Feelings of isolation, insecurity, and instability triggered by COVID-19 could have a long-term impact on the mental health status of individuals.

    Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of mental health symptoms (anxiety, depression, and stress) in Bangladesh and the factors associated with these symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Methods: From 1 to 30 April 2020, we used a validated self-administered questionnaire to conduct a cross-sectional study on 10,609 participants through an online survey platform. We assessed mental health status using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21). The total depression, anxiety, and stress subscale scores were divided into normal, mild, moderate, severe, and multinomial logistic regression was used to examine associated factors.

    Findings: The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 15%, 34%, and 15% for mild, moderate, and severe depressive symptoms, respectively. The prevalence of anxiety symptoms was 59% for severe anxiety symptoms, 14% for moderate anxiety symptoms, and 14% for mild anxiety symptoms, while the prevalence for stress levels were 16% for severe stress level, 22% for moderate stress level, and 13% for mild stress level. Multivariate analyses revealed that the most consistent factors associated with mild, moderate, and severe of the three mental health subscales (depression, anxiety, and stress) were respondents who lived in Dhaka and Rangpur division, females, those who self-quarantined in the previous seven days before the survey, and those respondents who experienced chills, breathing difficulty, dizziness, and sore throat.

    Conclusion: Our results showed that about 64%, 87%, and 61% of the respondents in Bangladesh reported high levels of depression, anxiety, and stress, respectively. There is a need for mental health support targeting women and those who self-quarantined or lived in Dhaka and Rangpur during the pandemic.

  13. Jamil PASM, Karuppiah K, Rasdi I, How V, Tamrin SBM, Mani KKC, et al.
    Ann Glob Health, 2020 07 28;86(1):84.
    PMID: 32775216 DOI: 10.5334/aogh.2895
    Background: Apart from being exposed to various hazards, there are several other factors that contribute to the deterioration of traffic police health.

    Objectives: A cross-sectional study was carried out to explore the association of occupational, socio-demographic, and lifestyle factors with lung functions in traffic policemen in Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Johor Bahru (JB).

    Methods: A spirometer was used to measure lung function of subjects, whereas a self-administered questionnaire was used to obtain their information on background data, lifestyle, and occupational factors. The statistical test used was Spearman rho's test and chi-square test; then, the factors were further tested using Logistic regressions.

    Findings: 134 male subjects were selected as respondents in this study with 83% response rate. Among all the factors tested, age (FVC: χ = 8.42(3), p = 0.04), (FEV: χ = 8.26(3), p = 0.04), rank (FVC: χ = 8.52(3), p = 0.04), (FEV: χ = 8.05(3), p = 0.04), duration of services (FVC: χ = 11.0(1), p = 0.04), (FEV: χ = 6.53(1), p = 0.01), and average working hours (with the Measured FVC (litre), r = -3.97, p < 0.001; Measured FEV1 (litre), r = -3.70, p < 0.001; Predicted FVC, r = -0.49, p < 0.001; Predicted FEV1, r = -0.47, p < 0.001; and %Ratio FEV1/FV, r = -0.47, p < 0.001) were significantly related to lung function among traffic police.

    Conclusions: Occupational factors play a crucial role, and hence, the authorities should take action in generating flexible working hours and the duration of services accordingly. The data from this study can help by serving as a reference to the top management of traffic police officers to develop occupational safety and health guideline for police officers to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA, Act 514 1994).

  14. Singhai M, Jain R, Jain S, Bala M, Singh S, Goyal R
    Ann Glob Health, 2021;87(1):102.
    PMID: 34712599 DOI: 10.5334/aogh.3431
    Background: Nipah virus (NiV) first emerged in 1998 in Malaysia, causing an outbreak of respiratory illness and encephalitis in pigs. Pig-to-human transmission of NiV associated with severe febrile encephalitis was described, and it was thought to occur through close contact with infected animals. The first outbreak was reported in India in Siliguri, West Bengal in 2001 followed by Nadia, West Bengal and adjoining areas of Bangladesh in 2007, where an intermediate animal host was not identified, suggesting bat-to-human and human-to-human transmissions. Although it is extremely difficult to document the spillover event and ascertain crossing of trans-natural boundaries by bats and bringing new viruses in an unexposed population, efforts for source identification are important to understand the epidemiology of disease. As the disease transcends beyond one species and has shown to infect humans, it therefore requires the 'One Health approach' in which multiple sectors coordinate and work together to achieve better public health outcomes.

    Objective: We summarize the re-emergence and response of the Nipah virus outbreaks (NiVD) in Kerala, India, about 1800 kms away, a decade later in 2018 and 2019. The paper recapitulates involvement of various stakeholders from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Directorate of Health Research, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, State Health Department, State Animal Husbandry, District Administration, and multidisciplinary response mechanism during the NiVD outbreaks of 2018 and 2019.

    Methods: Information was collected from the Press Information Bureau (PIB), media/weekly alerts from the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), news articles from print and electronic media, newsletters, advisories from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Disease Outbreak News (DON), World Health Organization (WHO), and published papers from various stakeholders.

    Findings & Conclusion: The evidence of NiV in humans and bats, with samples collected from the outbreak sites, was laboratory confirmed. The multidisciplinary response mechanisms during the 2018 outbreak helped in further understanding the importance of the One Health approach for systemic and streamlined response utilizing existing surveillance systems. This was of utmost help in the subsequent outbreak of the disease that occurred during 2019, wherein there was no documented spread of disease from the index case and no mortality was observed. This success reiterates the need for institutionalizing the involvement and cooperation of various departments and organizations during public health emergencies, especially of Zoonotic diseases, using the One Health approach.

  15. Abd Rahim MA, Johani FH, Shah SA, Hassan MR, Abdul Manaf MR
    Ann Glob Health, 2019 Jul 24;85(1).
    PMID: 31348624
    BACKGROUND: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is known to be associated with peptic ulcer and gastric cancer. Detection of H. pylori infection is a significant part of peptic ulcer and gastric cancer prevention and management. 13C-urea breath test (UBT) provides a good option for the pathogen detection due to its accuracy and safety.

    OBJECTIVE: This review aims to evaluate the 13C-UBT diagnostic accuracy studies conducted among Asian population and validate its use for the Asian population.

    METHODS: Original articles were systematically searched in PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar using the PICOS strategy by applying relevant keywords. Only studies published in English and conducted in Asia were included. Our search returned 276 articles. After assessment, 11 articles which answered our research question and met the criteria set for systematic review and meta-analysis were accepted. A total of 15 study protocols were extracted from the 11 accepted articles.

    FINDINGS: Majority of the studies were conducted in Hong Kong (six), followed by Taiwan (five), Japan (two), and one each in Singapore and Israel. All studies had used histology as part of its gold standard of reference. All but one study was performed on adult populations. The summary estimate for sensitivity was 97% (95% CI: 96, 98%), and specificity was 96% (95% CI: 95, 97%), with significant heterogeneity between studies. Adjusting for the dose (50 mg) and breath sample collection time (20 minutes) had improved both accuracy estimates and significantly reduced heterogeneity.

    CONCLUSION: This review supports the test-and-treat strategy for H. pylori infection management. Prevalence and cost-effectiveness studies are mandatory for health authorities to adopt this strategy into national policy.

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