MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective descriptive study. We identified 1041 patients (810 Chinese, 139 Malays, 92 Indians) without previous history of cardiovascular disease who underwent cardiac computed tomography for atypical chest pain evaluation. A cardiologist, who was blinded to the patients' clinical demographics, reviewed all scans. We retrospectively analysed all their case records.
RESULTS: Overall, Malays were most likely to be active smokers (P = 0.02), Indians had the highest prevalence of diabetes mellitus (P = 0.01) and Chinese had the highest mean age (P <0.0001). The overall prevalence of patients with non-calcified plaques as the only manifestation of sub-clinical coronary artery disease was 2.1%. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of CAC, mean CAC score or prevalence of non-calcified plaques among the 3 ethnic groups. Active smoking, age and hypertension were independent predictors of CAC. Non-calcified plaques were positively associated with male gender, age, dyslipidaemia and diabetes mellitus.
CONCLUSION: The higher MI rates in Malays and Indians in Singapore cannot be explained by any difference in CAC or non-calcified plaque. More research with prospective follow-up of larger patient populations is necessary to establish if ethnic-specific calibration of CAC measures is needed to adjust for differences among ethnic groups.
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.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eight hundred and twenty-eight subjects (404 PD patients, and 424 age and gender-matched control subjects without neurological disorders) were recruited. Genotyping was done by Taqman® allelic discrimination assay on an Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Real-Time PCR machine.
RESULTS: The heterozygous A419V genotype was found in only 1 patient with PD, compared to 3 in the control group (0.4% vs 1.3%), giving an odds ratio of 0.35 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.01 to 3.79; P = 0.624).
CONCLUSION: A419V is not an important LRRK2 risk variant in our Asian cohort of patients with PD. Our data are further supported by a literature review which showed that 4 out of 6 published studies reported a negative association of this variant in PD.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, populationbased, epidemiological study of adult Singapore residents aged 18 years and above. The subjects were randomly selected using a disproportionate stratified sampling method. The diagnoses of selected mental disorders including major depressive disorder (MDD), dysthymia, bipolar (bipolar I & II) disorders, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence were established using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview, which is a fully structured diagnostic instrument that assesses lifetime and 12-month prevalence of mental disorders.
RESULTS: Among the 6616 respondents (response rate of 75.9%), 12.0% had at least one lifetime affective, anxiety, or alcohol use disorders. The lifetime prevalence of MDD was 5.8% and that of bipolar disorder was 1.2%. The combined lifetime prevalence of the 2 anxiety disorders, GAD and OCD was 3.6%, with the latter being more common than GAD (0.9% and 3.0% respectively). The lifetime prevalence of alcohol abuse and dependence were found to be 3.1% and 0.5% respectively. Age, gender, ethnicity, marital status and chronic physical illnesses were all significant correlates of mental disorders.
CONCLUSION: The identified associated factors would help guide resource allocation, policy formulation and programme development in Singapore.
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.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 292 subjects were recruited, comprising 150 ischaemic stroke patients and 142 control subjects who were age and sex matched. Plasma homocysteine, serum folate and vitamin B12 were measured in all subjects. Genotyping was carried out using PCR-RFLP.
RESULTS: The homocysteine levels were significantly higher (P = 0.001) in the stroke group (11.35 ± 2.75 μmol/L) compared to the control group (10.38 ± 2.79 μmol/L). The MTHFR C677T genotype distribution for the stroke group was 46%, 40% and 14%, respectively for CC, CT and TT genotypes and 59.9%, 33.8% and 6.3%, respectively for the control group. The genotype and allelic frequencies were significantly different between the 2 groups, with P = 0.02 and P = 0.004 respectively. No significant difference was seen in the genotype distribution inter-ethnically. An increasing tHcy was seen with every additional T allele, and the differences in the tHcy for the different genotypes were significant in both the control (P <0.001) and stroke groups (P <0.001).
CONCLUSION: This study shows that TT genotype of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T polymorphic gene is an important determinant for homocysteine levels in Malaysian ischaemic stroke patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a multicentre, cross-sectional study involving 5 Health Clinics conducted by Family Medicine Specialists in Malaysia. Convenience sampling of 100 respondents with DM were selected. The International Classifi cation of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) based measures were collected using the Comprehensive Core Set for DM. SF-36 and self-administered forms and comorbidity questionnaire (SCQ) were also used.
RESULTS: Ninety-seven percent had Type 2 DM and 3% had Type 1 DM. The mean period of having DM was 6 years. Body functions related to physical health including exercise tolerance (b455), general physical endurance (b4550), aerobic capacity (b4551) and fatiguability (b4552) were the most affected. For body structures, the structure of pancreas (s550) was the most affected. In the ICF component of activities and participation, limitation in sports (d9201) was the highest most affected followed by driving (d475), intimate relationships (d770), handling stress and other psychological demands (d240) and moving around (d455). Only 7% (e355 and e450) in the environmental category were documented as being a relevant factor by more than 90% of the patients.
CONCLUSION: The content validity of the comprehensive ICF Core set DM for Malaysian population were identified and the results show that physical and mental functioning were impaired in contrast to what the respondents perceived as leading healthy lifestyles.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The KCNQ1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs): rs2237892, rs2283228, and rs2237895 were genotyped in 234 T2D and 177 normal Malay subjects.
RESULTS: The risk allele of the rs2283228 (A) was strongly associated with T2D (OR = 1.7, P = 0.0006) while the rs2237892 (C) was moderately associated with T2D (OR = 1.45, P = 0.017). The recessive genetic models showed that rs2283228 was strongly associated with T2D (OR = 2.35, P = 0.00005) whereas rs2237892 showed a moderate association with T2D (OR = 1.69, P = 0.01). The haplotype block (TCA), which contained the protective allele, correlated with a protection from T2D (OR = 0.5, P = 0.003). Furthermore, the diplotype (CAA-TCA) that contained the protective haplotype was protected against T2D (OR = 0.46, P = 0.006).
CONCLUSION: The KCNQ1 SNPs, haplotypes and diplotypes are associated with T2D in the Malaysian Malay subjects.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: English speaking patients older than 18 years of age with a defi nite diagnosis of MS were included. The self-administered survey material included the adapted HRQoL questionnaire, a validated generic HRQoL questionnaire: the short-form 36 (SF-36), as well as a checklist of 14 symptoms. We assessed the internal and external validity of the adapted MusiQoL.
RESULTS: A total of 81 patients with MS were included in the study. The questionnaire was generally well accepted. In the samples from Malaysia and Singapore, all scales exhibited good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha >0.70). Correlation to SF-36 was generally good, demonstrating high construct validity (P <0.001) in some aspects of the MusiQoL.
CONCLUSION: The Asian adaptation of the English version of the MusiQoL in evaluating HRQoL seems to be a valid, reliable tool with adequate patient acceptability and internal consistency.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a prospective study conducted at a tertiary hospital in Singapore. Healthy pregnant women with the intention to breastfeed were recruited. Diet profile was studied using a standard validated 3-day food diary. Breast milk was collected from mothers at 1 to 2 weeks and 6 to 8 weeks postnatally. Agilent gas chromatograph (6870N) equipped with a mass spectrometer (5975) and an automatic liquid sampler (ALS) system with a split mode was used for analysis.
RESULTS: Seventy-two breast milk samples were obtained from 52 subjects. Analysis showed that breast milk ETA (Eicosatetraenoic acid) and ETA:EA (Eicosatrienoic acid) ratio were significantly different among the races (P = 0.031 and P = 0.020), with ETA being the highest among Indians and the lowest among Malays. Docosahexaenoic acid was significantly higher among Chinese compared to Indians and Malays. No difference was demonstrated in n3 and n6 levels in the food diet analysis among the 3 ethnic groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Differences exist in breast milk fatty acid composition in different ethnic groups in the same region, although no difference was demonstrated in the diet analysis. Factors other than maternal diet may play a role in breast milk fatty acid composition.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective review of 22 TEPs was performed between January 1998 and December 2008. The timing of TEP, type of voice prosthesis, surgical and prosthesis-related complications, and TEP closure were noted.
RESULTS: Eighteen percent of the patients underwent primary and 82% secondary TEP. Our patients were predominantly males (95.4%) of Chinese descent with a mean age of 62.1 years. The types of voice prostheses used were ProvoxTM (n = 15), Voicemasters (n = 6), and Blom-Singer (n = 1). Prosthesis- related complications occurred in 77.3%. Notable complications were leakage (82.5%), prosthesis displacement (41.2%), intractable aspiration (29.4%), and aspiration of prosthesis (23.5%). The most common surgical-related complication was tracheostomal stenosis. An array of interventions comprising resizing or changing prosthesis type, nasogastric catheter insertion, stomaplasty, purse string suturing, and bronchoscopic removal of bronchial aspirated prosthesis were implemented to address encountered complications. In a mean follow-up of 34.8 months, 68.2% of patients achieved functional tracheoesophageal speech (75% of primary TEP and 67% of secondary TEP). There were 7 TEP closures indicated by persistent leakage, recurrent dislodgement, phonatory failure and, in 1 patient, persistent pain.
CONCLUSIONS: TEP has become an integral part in the rehabilitation of a laryngectomee. However, management of the frequent complications related to TEP requires specific efforts and specialistic commitments in order to treat them.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: During the period from 16 to 21 March 2007, outbreak investigations and active case finding were carried out among residents and nursing staff at the welfare home. Interviews and medical notes review were conducted to obtain epidemiological and clinical data. Hospitalised patients were tested for respiratory pathogens. Further genetic studies were also carried out on positive respiratory samples.
RESULTS: The overall clinical attack rate was 9.4% (17/180) in residents and 6.7% (2/30) in staff. All infected residents and staff had received influenza immunisation. Fifteen residents were hospitalised, with 2 developing severe complications. Genetic sequencing revealed that the outbreak strain had an 8.2% amino acid difference from B/Malaysia/2506/2004, the 2006 southern hemisphere influenza vaccine strain, which the residents and staff had earlier received.
CONCLUSIONS: A mismatch between the vaccine and circulating influenza virus strains can result in an outbreak in a highly immunised LTCF resident population. Active surveillance for acute respiratory illness in LTCFs could be implemented for rapid detection of antigenic drift. Enhanced infection control and other preventive measures can then be deployed in a timely manner to mitigate the effect of any outbreaks.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In 2008, 142 newly diagnosed patients with AR were seen and underwent skin prick testing with 90 patients completing the study.
RESULTS: Intermittent mild and moderate/severe AR were evident in 10% and 21.1% of the patients, while persistent mild and moderate/severe were seen in 20% and 48.9%, respectively. Rhinitis and asthma co-morbidity occurred in 28.8% with asthma incidence significantly higher in persistent AR (P = 0.002). There was no significant association between AR severity, city living and asthma co-morbidity. Nasal itchiness and sneezing were the main presenting complaints and were more common in intermittent AR (P <0.05). Sleep disturbance was associated with moderate-severe AR (P <0.05). Polypoidal mucosa was associated with asthma co-morbidity (P <0.05). Monosensitivity reaction occurred in 12.2% of patients and was associated with fungi sensitivity (P <0.05). Majority of patients were oligosensitive (52.8%) and polysensitive (34.4%) and were significantly associated with moderate-severe persistent AR (P <0.01). The highest positive skin prick reaction and the largest average wheal diameter were for the house dust mites and cat allergen (P <0.05).
CONCLUSION: Our results reflected the AR profiles in our country, which was comparable with typical profiles of the neighbouring country and other Mediterranean countries with a similar temperate climate.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A prospective and observational study was conducted on consecutive infants with NC referred to the University of Malaya Medical Centre, Malaysia, between November 1996 and May 2004.
RESULTS: The 3 most common causes of cholestasis among the 146 infants with NC studied were idiopathic neonatal hepatitis (n = 63, 43%), BA (n = 35, 24%) and congenital cytomegalovirus hepatitis (n = 13, 9%). Common clinical features at presentation were jaundice (100%), hepatomegaly (95%), splenomegaly (52%) and pale stools (47%). Three clinical features noted to be sensitive for BA were the presence of acholic or variably acholic stools on admission, a liver which was firm/hard in consistency and a palpable liver of ≥4 cm (sensitivity of 77%, 80% and 94%, respectively), but the corresponding specificity was poor (51%, 65% and 39%, respectively). The stools of 2 children with BA were pigmented initially but became acholic subsequently.
CONCLUSIONS: We did not find any single clinical feature with sufficient sensitivity and specificity to differentiate BA from other causes of NC. Repeated inspection of stools colour is necessary as occasionally, patients with BA may have initial pigmented stools. Biochemical assessment and imaging studies are important in the assessment of any infant with NC.