Gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy has evolved tremendously from the early days when candlelight was used to illuminate scopes to the extent that it has now become an integral part of the practice of modern gastroenterology. The first gastroscope was a rigid scope first introduced by Adolf Kussmaul in 1868. However this scope suffered from the 2 drawbacks of poor illumination and high risk of instrumental perforation. Rudolf Schindler improved on this by inventing the semiflexible gastroscope in 1932. But it was Basil Hirschowitz, using the principle of light conduction in fibreoptics, who allowed us to "see well" for the first time when he invented the flexible gastroscopy in 1958. With amazing speed and innovation, instrument companies, chiefly Japanese, had improved on the Hirschowitz gastroscope and invented a flexible colonoscope. Walter McCune introduced the technique of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) in 1968 which has now evolved into a sophisticated procedure. The advent of the digital age in the 1980s saw the invention of the videoendoscope. Videoendoscopes have allowed us to start seeing the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) "better" with high magnification and resolution and optical/digital enhancements. Fusing confocal and light microscopy with endoscopy has allowed us to perform an "optical biopsy" of the GI mucosa. Development of endoscopic ultrasonography has allowed us to see "beyond" the GIT lumen. Seeing better has allowed us to do better. Endoscopists have ventured into newer procedures such as the resection of mucosal and submucosal tumours and the field of therapeutic GI endoscopy sees no end in sight.
Insulin resistance in latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) patients is controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate insulin resistance and its related factors (metabolic syndrome parameters) among subjects with LADA and glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies (GADA) negative diabetes, as well as the impact of these factors on insulin resistance.
In Singapore, the age-standardised event rates of myocardial infarction (MI) are 2- and 3-fold higher for Malays and Indians respectively compared to the Chinese. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence and quantity of coronary artery calcification (CAC) and non-calcified plaques across these 3 ethnic groups.
INTRODUCTION: This study aims to identify the predictors of a 6-month quitting success among employees involved in workplace smoking cessation with low-intensity smoke-free policy.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A multicentre prospective cohort study was conducted among employees from 2 different public universities in Malaysia. Interventions include at least 2 sessions of behavioural therapy combined with free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) for 8 weeks. Participants were followed up for 6 months. Independent variables assessed were on sociodemographic and environmental tobacco smoke. Their quit status were determined at 1 week, 3 months and 6 months.
RESULTS: One hundred and eighty- five smokers volunteered to participate. Among the participants, 15% and 13% sustained quit at 3 months and 6 months respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that at 6 months, attending all 3 behavioural sessions predicted success. None of the environmental tobacco exposure variables were predictive of sustained cessation.
CONCLUSION: Individual predictors of success in intra-workplace smoking cessation programmes do not differ from the conventional clinic-based smoking cessation. Furthermore, environmental tobacco exposure in low intensity smoke-free workplaces has limited influence on smokers who succeeded in maintaining 6 months quitting.
The G2385R and R1628P LRRK2 gene variants have been associated with an increased risk of Parkinson's disease (PD) in the Asian population. Recently, a new LRRK2 gene variant, A419V, was reported to be a third risk variant for PD in Asian patients. Our objective was to investigate this finding in our cohort of Asian subjects.
Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of human immunodefi ciency virus (HIV) is a devastating consequence of HIV infection during pregnancy and is largely preventable. Evidence-based interventions such as universal antenatal screening, provision of antiretroviral therapy, delivery by elective caesarean section and avoidance of breastfeeding have ensured that the rates of MTCT remain low in Malaysia. This review discusses the most recent advances in the management of HIV infection in pregnancy with emphasis on antiretroviral treatment strategies and obstetric care in a middle income country.
INTRODUCTION: Smoking is one of the leading preventable causes of death throughout the world and can lead to nicotine dependence, particularly when initiated at a young age. This paper describes the prevalence of smoking and nicotine dependence in the adult Singapore resident population, whilst also exploring rates among the major ethnic groups (Chinese, Malay and Indian), different education levels and those with chronic psychiatric and physical comorbidities.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The Singapore Mental Health Study (SMHS) is a cross-sectional epidemiological study that was conducted between December 2009 and December 2010. Information on smoking status was assessed using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview version 3.0 (CIDI 3.0) and the Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence measured nicotine dependence. Socio-demographic information was also collected.
RESULTS: In total, 6616 respondents participated in the SMHS giving a response rate of 75.9%. We found that 16% of the population were current smokers and 4.5% had nicotine dependence. Current smokers were more likely to be younger (18 to 34 years old), males, Malay and have lower education, whilst males had a 4.6 times higher risk of nicotine dependence to that of females. The prevalence of nicotine dependence was also higher in those with alcohol abuse and those experiencing chronic pain.
CONCLUSION: The results from this study highlight the important differences in the prevalence of smoking and nicotine dependence among different age groups, gender and ethnicity in Singapore and are important for developing future health policies and targeted preventive strategies.
Treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) using intensive chemotherapy has resulted in high cure rates but also substantial morbidity. Infective complications represent a significant proportion of treatment-related toxicity. The objective of this study was to describe the microbiological aetiology and clinical outcome of episodes of chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropaenia in a cohort of children treated for ALL at our institution.
Intensive care unit (ICU) prognostic models are predominantly used in more developed nations such as the United States, Europe and Australia. These are not that popular in Southeast Asian countries due to costs and technology considerations. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the suitability of the acute physiology and chronic health evaluation (APACHE) IV model in a single centre Malaysian ICU.
Mental illnesses are not only a growing public health concern but also a major social and economic issue affecting individuals and families throughout the world. The prevalence of mental disorders, the extent of disability caused by these disorders, and services utilisation of these patients has been well studied in developed countries. The aim of this study was to establish the prevalence of select mental disorders and their associated sociodemographic correlates in the adult Singapore resident population.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) candidate gene: potassium voltage-gated channel, KQT-like subfamily, member 1 (KCNQ1) was suggested by conducting a genome wide association study (GWAS) in Japanese population. Association studies have been replicated among East Asian populations; however, the association between this gene and T2D in Southeast Asian populations still needs to be studied. This study aimed to investigate the association of KCNQ1 common variants with type 2 diabetes in Malaysian Malay subjects.
The functional point mutation C677T in the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene, has been reported to contribute to hyperhomocysteinaemia which is a risk factor for atherothrombotic ischaemic strokes. This study evaluated the prevalence of the C677T polymorphism of the gene in Malaysian ischaemic stroke subjects of Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnicities, and its association with homocysteine levels (tHcy).