The aim of this study was to assess overweight or obesity and associated factors in school-going adolescents in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries. The analysis included 30,284 school children 13-15 years of age from seven ASEAN members participating in the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) between 2007 and 2013. The overall prevalence of overweight or obesity across seven ASEAN countries (excluding Brunei) was 9.9%, significantly higher in boys (11.5%) than in girls (8.3%). Among eight ASEAN countries, the highest prevalence of overweight or obesity was in Brunei Darus-salam (36.1%), followed by Malaysia (23.7%), and the lowest was in Myanmar (3.4%) and Cambodia (3.7%). Multivariate logistic regression analysis found that younger age, coming from an upper middle country, never been hungry, and not walking or biking to school were associated with overweight or obesity. In addition, among boys, having three or more servings of vegetables per day and having no close friends, and among girls, having fast foods two or more times per week, been victims of bullying and having peer support were additional factors associated with overweight or obesity. Increased strategies utilizing a number of the risk factors identified are needed to prevent and treat overweight or obesity in adolescents in ASEAN member countries.
Study name: Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS)
A previously healthy Chinese male working in Malaysia returned to China with high fever. A blood culture showed Burkholderia pseudomallei strain WCBP1. This isolate was sequenced, showing type, ST881, which appears to be present in Malaysia. WCP1 had unusual susceptibility to aminoglycosides and habored the Yersinia-like fimbrial gene cluster for virulence. The patient's condition deteriorated rapidly but he recovered after receiving meropenem and intensive care support. Melioidosis is a potential problem among Chinese imigrant workers with strains new to China being identified.
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is common among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all-cause mortality. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between the components of MetS and the prevalence of CVD among patients with T2DM. We studied 313 patients aged > or = 30 years diagnosed with T2DM at two tertiary care hospitals. Patients were recruited by systematic random sampling. Clinical data was obtained using an interviewer-administered structured questionnaire and from a review of their medical records. MetS was diagnosed using NCEP ATP III, WHO, IDF and the new Harmonized definitions. Specific MetS components such as BMI, waist circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, hypertension, HDL-C and triglyceride levels were evaluated to determine if they had an association with CVD. Thirty-six point one percent of the subjects had CVD. The mean age of the subjects was 55.7 +/- 9.2 years and the mean duration of having diabetes was 10.1 +/- 8.1 years. The overall prevalences of MetS (> or = 3 of 5 components) (95% CI) were 96.1% (94.0-98.3), 95.8% (93.6-98.1), 84.8% (80.8-88.9) and 97.7% (96.1-99.4) using NCEP ATP III, WHO, IDF and Harmonized definitions, respectively. Patients with MetS had a higher prevalence of CVD using NCEP ATP III (98.2% vs 93.5%), WHO (98.2% vs 93.0%), IDF (87.6% vs 82.0%) and Harmonized criteria (98.2% vs 96.0%). The greater the number of MetS components, the greater the chance of having CVD using three definitions for diagnosing MetS: WHO, IDF and Harmonized (p < 0.05). MetS and the combination of the individual components of MetS were significantly associated with CVD among type 2 diabetic patients in Malaysia. Aggressive treatment of MetS components is required to reduce cardiovascular risk in T2DM.
Using data from the Third National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS III) in 2006, this study examined the association between socio-demographic factors and physical inactivity in a sample of 33,949 adults aged 18 years and above by gender. Physical activity levels were measured using the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPAQ vers 1). Physical inactivity was defined as having a total physical activity level of less than 600 metabolic equivalents-minutes per week (METs-minutes/week) contributed by all three different life domains.Logistic regression analyses were conducted.The prevalence of overall physical inactivity was 43.7% (95% CI: 42.9-44.5). The mean total physical activity level was 894.2 METs-minutes/ week. The means METs-minutes/week for the domain of work, travelling, and leisure time were 518.4, 288.1, and 134.8, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression analyses indicated that females were more likely to be physically inactive than males were (aOR=1.62; 95% CI: 1.53-1.72). Among women, being a housewife (aOR = 1.78; 95% CI: 1.56-2.03), widow/divorcee (aOR = 1.23; 95% CI: 1.05-1.43), and those with no formal education (aOR = 1.20; 95% CI: 1.01-1.43) were found to be significantly associated with physical inactivity.Urban residents, older adults aged 65 years and above, private employees, nonworking group, and those with a monthly household income level of MYR5,000 and above appeared to be consistently associated with physical inactivity across men, women, and combined group (both). Specific health intervention strategies to promote physical activity should be targeted on population subgroups who are inactive.
Study name: National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS-2006)
Observation on predation activities of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) on the larvae of three species of mosquito, namely Aedes albopictus, Aedes aegypti, and Culex quinquefasciatus was carried out under laboratory conditions. Male and female guppies were used as predators for predation experiments on the 4th instars of mosquito larvae. The daily feeding rates comparing male and female guppies on mosquito larvae were different; the female guppies consumed more mosquito larvae than male guppies did. The daily feeding rates of female guppies were 121.3 for Ae. aegypti, 105.6 for Ae. albopictus, and 72.3 for Cx. quinquefasciatus. The daily feeding rates of male guppies were 98.6 for Ae. aegypti, 73.6 for Ae. albopictus, and 47.6 for Cx. quinquefasciatus. In terms of prey preference, there was greater preference towards mosquito larvae of Ae. aegypti, followed by Ae. albopictus, and the least preferred was Cx. quinquefasciatus. Male and female guppies consumed more mosquito larvae during lights on (day time) compared with lights off (night time). The water volume, prey species, number of fish predators available, prey densities, and prey's sex also influenced the predation activities.
Tooth agenesis in Malay children, hitherto unreported, was assessed retrospectively from orthopantomograms of 834 healthy children aged 12-16 years who attended the Dental Clinic of Universiti Sains Malaysia. All teeth, including third molars, were assessed for agenesis. On an average, 2.3 teeth were missing per child. Missing third molars were found in 25.7% of children with one or two third molars found to be missing in 18.3% of children. Three point two percent of children had missing teeth other than third molars. After third molars, the upper lateral incisors were found to be the most common missing tooth (1.7%), followed by upper and lower second premolars (1.5%). Eight missing upper canines were also seen (1%). Bilateral agenesis was more common than unilateral agenesis. There were no significant differences between males and females. There was a significant difference between missing teeth between the maxilla and the mandible and right and left side, with more missing teeth in the maxilla and on the right side. The odds of any 3rd molar missing were increased 3.3 times when there was any other missing tooth. In conclusion, the prevalence of tooth agenesis among the studied population was within the normal range, but less than some Asian countries. Unlike other Asian countries, the upper lateral incisor was the most common missing tooth. The prevalence of maxillary canine agenesis was higher than most previous reports. Missing teeth were associated with missing third molars, which is likely due to a genetic abnormality.
Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) has been proven a reliable and valid instrument to assess job stress in many countries and among various occupations. In Malaysia, both English and Malay versions of the JCQ have been administered to automotive workers, schoolteachers, and office workers. This study assessed the reliability and validity of the instrument with research laboratory staff in a university. A cross sectional study was conducted among 258 research laboratory staff in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). Malaysian laboratory staff who have worked for at least one year were randomly selected from nine faculties and institutes in the university that have research laboratory. A self-administered English and Malay version of Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) was used. Three major scales of JCQ: decision latitude, psychological job demands, and social support were assessed. Cronbach's alpha coefficients of two scales were acceptable, decision latitude and psychological job demands (0.70 and 0.72, respectively), while Cronbach's alpha coefficient for social support (0.86) was good. Exploratory factor analysis showed five factors that correspond closely to the theoretical construct of the questionnaire. The results of this research suggest that the JCQ is reliable and valid for examining psychosocial work situations and job strain among research laboratory staff. Further studies should be done for confirmative results, and further evaluation is needed on the decision authority subscale for this occupation.
Partial gene sequences of phenylalanyl-tRNA synthase alpha subunit (pheS) and RNA polymerase alpha subunit (rpoA) were evaluated for species delineation and detection of recombination among enterococci populations recovered from a bathing beach impacted by low tide river flow. At inter-species level, a maximum similarity of 86.5% and 94.8% was observed among the enterococci pheS and rpoA sequence, respectively. A superimposed plot of delimited pairwise similarity values obtained for 266 pair-wise observations revealed that while there was a harmony between species identity obtained from both genes, pheS was more discriminatory than rpoA. The difference was more pronounced for inter-species comparison. A number of putative recombination events between indigenous and non-indigenous strains was detected based on a library of aligned sequences. Virulence genes cyl, esp, gelE and asa were detected in 7, 22, 100 and 63%, respectively among river isolates but at lower proportion of 0, 20, 67 and 42%, respectively among beach water isolates. Random amplified polymorphic DNA profiling presented evidence suggesting low tide river as a source of fecal enterococci entering the recreation beach water. Multilocus sequence typing analysis of a number of Enterococcus faecalis isolates presented four sequence types, ST59, 117, 181 and 474. The presence of genetically diverse fecal enterococci with associated virulence traits and a background of recombination events in surface recreational water could present a potential public health risk.
Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of melioidosis is an important cause of morbidity and mortality particularly among diabetics. We evaluated 228 isolates of B. pseudomallei for antimicrobial sensitivity during 2005-2010 using the disc diffusion technique, of which 144 were obtained from blood culture. More than 90% of the strains were susceptible to cefoperazone, ceftazidime, chloramphenicol and imipenem. Eighty-two percent of the isolates were susceptible to tetracycline and amoxicillin/clavulanate. The susceptibilities to ciprofloxacin was 78% and to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxezole was 47%. The susceptibilities to aminoglycoside antibiotics were low (21% to gentamicin and 6% to amikacin). The susceptibilities were similar between isolates from females and males, bacteremic and abacteremic cases, diabetics and non-diabetics, pneumonia and non-pneumonia cases and between those who died and those who survived. Our findings show antibiotic susceptibility patterns are not a major factor in determining outcomes of B. pseudomallei infection. Monitoring the drug susceptibilities among B. pseudomallei isolates needs to be conducted regularly to guide empiric therapy for melioidosis, as it causes high mortality, especially among diabetic cases.
We conducted mosquito surveillance at outdoor breeding habitat in 459 households at 7 urban locations in Putrajaya, Malaysia from January to December 2010 to determine the predominant species and breeding locations. The most common species found at all locations was Aedes albopictus. Gardening utensils were the most common breeding sites. Of the 1,885 mosquito larvae specimens found, 1,774 (94.1%) were Ae. albopictus larvae, 84 (4%) were Ae. aegypti larvae and 27 (1%) were Culex quinquefasciatus larvae. The Aedes index for each of the locations was higher than the goal set by the Ministry of Health for Malaysia. However, the container index at each of the locations was within the goal. The Breateau index was above the goal set by the Ministry of Health at Precinct 9B1 but the other locations were within the goal.
A twelve-week controlled intervention trial was carried out to evaluate the effects of combined physical activity and dietary intervention on obesity and metabolic risk factors among employees of Universiti Putra Malaysia. Participants consisted of adults aged 25-55 years with no reported chronic diseases but with abdominal obesity. They were assigned to either a combined physical activity and dietary intervention group or a control group. The final sample consisted of 56 participants, with an equal number of 28 for each study group. No significant group effect was observed for any variable except for hip circumference (HC) and fasting plasma glucose (FPG). There was a significant increase in HC (p=0.007) and reduction in FPG (p=0.02) in the intervention group compared to the control group. In the intervention group, HC (p=0.002), triglycerides (TG) (p=0.0001), total cholesterol (TC) (p=0.0001), LDL cholesterol (LDLC) (p=0.0001) and FPG (p=0.005) were significantly reduced, while waist circumference (WC) (p=0.025) and the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) (p=0.027) were significantly reduced in the control group. No significant change in steps/day or calorie intake'was observed in either group. Taken together, these data indicate that the combined physical activity and dietary intervention was not effective at improving diet or physical activity level. However, the intervention was effective in improving FPG among participants with abdominal obesity. The significant increase in HC in the interventions group warrants further study. These findings will be useful to further improve group-based intervention for the prevention and management of obesity.
We report a series of dermatitis cases caused by the staphilinid beetles, Paederusfuscipes Curtis, among university students staying in the residential college in Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia from 1 January to 31 December 2010. A total of 360 cases (6.0%) were recorded in the Student Health Center throughout the year; the majority of patients stayed at a hostel near an oil palm plantation. Skin symptoms included erythema, edema, vesicular papules, painful blisters, burning sensation, pruritus, hyper pigmentation and peeling of skin. The commonly involved sites were the face, neck, shoulders and arms. Most students noticed the symptoms upon awakening in the morning. The patients were treated with fusidic acid cream and the symptoms resolved within 5 days. These beetles are nocturnally active and enter the room whenever a light source is available. The unintentional crushing of these beetles during sleep causes the release of its hemolymph (paederin) which is the cause of the dermatitis.
Although the association between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and metabolic syndrome has been previously firmly established, the prevalence of NAFLD and its risk factors in rural communities remains incompletely defined. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and factors associated with ultrasound-diagnosed NAFLD amongst a rural community in Sarawak. An indigenous village was randomly selected where all adults aged 21 years and above underwent an abdominal ultrasound, biochemical tests and an anthropometric assessment. Respondents with a score > or =8 on an alcohol-use disorders-identification test (AUDIT) indicating harmful or hazardous drinking were excluded. Seventy-seven respondents (46.8% male, mean age 48.4 SD 16.64), met inclusion criteria. The prevalence of ultrasound diagnosed NAFLD was 44.2% (n=34), among them 52.9% had moderate NAFLD. There were no significant age or gender differences between respondents with and without NAFLD, although those with NAFLD were older. Respondents with NAFLD had a significantly higher BMI t,han those without NAFLD (p<0.001). Both male and female respondents with NAFLD had a significantly higher waist circumference than those without NAFLD (p<0.001). Prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia were significantly higher among those with NAFLD. However, there were no significant differences in terms of percentage of unhealthy body fat and muscle, and serum HDL levels. Risk factors independently associated with NAFLD included male gender (odd ratio 0.06; 95% CI 0.008-0.523) and waist circumference (odd ratio 1.2; 95% CI 1.036-1.421). There was a high prevalence of NAFLD and the presence of more severe stages of disease in this indigenous population. Life-style related diseases, such as fatty liver disease, can occur in rural as well as urban populations.
Two insular settlements (Kampung Pulau Ketam and Kampung Sungai Lima) were selected to study the population dynamics of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, vectors of dengue and chikungunya infections. Ovitrap surveillance was conducted between October 2007 and October 2008. There was an inverse negative association between ovitrap index and rainfall at the time of collection, probably because rainfall increased the number of available oviposition sites. Rainfall and ovitrap index were positively associates the 25th day after rainfall occurred. A minor, second peak was observed from the 38th to the 42nd day. The first peak was consistent with the minimum 18-day period between the hatching of eggs to the first oviposition. The second minor peak could be due to the second gonotrophic cycle of the female mosquitoes. Rainfall is an important environmental factor associated with Aedes breeding at the study sites.
The larval growth of Liosarcophaga dux Thompson (Diptera: Sarcophagidae) was studied under varying indoor room temperatures in Malaysia. Five replicates were established. The immature growth of this species from first instar until adult emergence was 307.0+/-3.0 hours. The mean larval length measured for second instar, third instar, post-feeding stage and puparia were 6.5+/-0.5 mm (n=10), 11.8+/-3.7 mm (n=31), 12.7+/-0.8 mm (n=16), and 9.5+/-0.5 mm (n=15), respectively.
Onychomycosis increases the risk of developing secondary bacterial infection and cellulitis if left untreated. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of onychomycosis among diabetics and its associated factors. A cross sectional study using universal sampling of all type 1 and 2 diabetic patients attending a primary care facility of the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) from January to March 2011 was conducted. Samples were taken from clinically abnormal nails and from the first right toenail in the absence of nail abnormalities and cultured for fungal elements. A total of 151 diabetics participated in the study. The mean patient age was 60.7 +/- 9.1 years. A total of 123 nail samples (81.5%) were culture positive for fungal elements. A positive correlation was found between onychomycosis and increasing age (p = 0.011) and clinically abnormal nails (p < 0.05). There were no significant correlations with gender, ethnic group, duration of diabetes, types of diabetes or glycemic control. The prevalence of onychomycosis among diabetics in our study was high.
Salmonella sp are important causes of meningitis among neonates and young children in Malaysia. We present a case of Salmonella enteritidis meningitis in a six week old female who presented with a one week history of fever, diarrhea and seizures which was unsuccessfully treated with a third generation cephalosporin. She had a relapse of meningitis complicated with ventriculitis and hydrocephalus, requiring an eleven week course of meropenem. She improved clinically, but did not have improvement in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) glucose level despite prolonged antibiotic use. This case illustrates the dilemma in determining the duration of antibiotic needed to successfully treat Salmonella enteritidis ventriculitis.