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1.  Comparing health-related quality of life of employed women and housewives: a cross sectional study from southeast Iran 
BMC Women's Health  2012;12:41.
Background
Quality of life differs for different people in different situations and is related to one's self-satisfaction with life. Considering the role of women in family and social health and the specific cultural characteristics of our province, we aimed to compare the quality of life of employed women with housewives in Zahedan, Iran.
Methods
This cross-sectional study was carried out during 2009–2010 in Zahedan, Iran. The sample consisted of 110 housewives and 110 employed women selected randomly from ten health care centers. Health-related quality of life was assessed using the SF-36. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was used to compare quality of life in housewives and employed women while controlling for age, education and income.
Results
The mean (±SD) age of participants was 33.87± 8.95 years. Eighty-eight women (40%) had a university degree with a mean (±SD) official education of 10.8 (±4.9) years. The results indicated that employed women scored higher than housewives in all measures except for physical functioning. The differences were found to be remarkable for vitality, mental health and role emotional. However, after controlling for age, education and family income, none of differences reached significant level.
Conclusion
After controlling for potential confounders, the findings from this study indicated that there were no significant differences in quality of life between employed women and housewives. However, employed women scored higher on the SF-36, especially on the role emotional, vitality, and mental health. The findings suggest that associations exist between some aspects of health-related quality of life and employment. Indeed improving health-related quality of life among housewives seems essential.
doi:10.1186/1472-6874-12-41
PMCID: PMC3559256  PMID: 23173572
2.  The possible absence of a healthy-worker effect: a cross-sectional survey among educated Japanese women 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e000958.
Objectives
Despite being highly educated in comparison with women in other member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Japanese women are expected to assume traditional gender roles, and many dedicate themselves to full-time housewifery. Women working outside the home do so under poor conditions, and their health may not be better than that of housewives. This study compared the self-rated health status and health behaviours of housewives and working women in Japan.
Design
Cross-sectional survey.
Setting
A national university in Tokyo with 9864 alumnae.
Participants
A total 1344 women who graduated since 1985 and completed questionnaires in an anonymous mail-based survey.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
Health anxiety and satisfaction, receipt of health check-ups, eating breakfast, smoking, and sleep problems according to job status and family demands: housewives (n=247) and working women with (n=624) and without (n=436) family demands. ORs were used for risk assessment, with housewives as a reference.
Results
After adjustment for satisfaction with present employment status and other confounding factors, working women were more likely than housewives to feel health anxiety (with family demands, OR: 1.68, 95% CI1.10 to 2.57; without family demands, OR: 3.57, 95% CI 2.19 to 4.50) and health dissatisfaction (without family demands, OR: 3.50, 95% CI 2.35 to 5.21); they were also more likely than housewives to eat an insufficient breakfast (with family demands, OR: 1.91, 95% CI 1.22 to 3.00; without family demands, OR: 4.02, 95% CI 2.47 to 6.57) and to have sleep problems (ORs: 2.08 to 4.03).
Conclusions
No healthy-worker effect was found among Japanese women. Housewives, at least those who are well educated, appear to have better health status and health-related behaviours than do working women with the same level of education.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-000958
PMCID: PMC3467618  PMID: 22964114
3.  High carbohydrate diet and physical inactivity associated with central obesity among premenopausal housewives in Sri Lanka 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7(1):564.
Background
Prevalence of obesity and overweight is rising in developing countries, including Sri Lanka at a rapid pace due to dietary and lifestyle changes. This study aimed to assess the association between high carbohydrate diet, physical inactivity and central obesity among premenopausal housewives in Sri Lanka.
Methods
This study was conducted as a cross-sectional study. A sample of 100 premenopausal women with home duties aged between 20 to 45 years were selected randomly from two divisional secretariats (DS), representing urban and rural sectors in Sri Lanka. Data on basic characteristics, anthropometric measurements, dietary assessment and physical activity were collected. We defined central obesity as a waist circumference ≥80 cm, which is the WHO recommended cut-off. Independent sample t test was used to compare the mean values. Linear and binary logistic regression analyses were performed to find out the relationship and the magnitude of association between central obesity and percentage of energy contributed from carbohydrate and physical activity level, respectively.
Results
The women reported an average of 18 starch portions per day, which was well above the national recommendations. Seventy percent of energy in the diet came from carbohydrate. The mean BMI and waist circumference of total sample was 25.4 kgm-2 and 78.5 cm, respectively. Prevalence of overweight, obesity and centrally obesity among total sample was 38%, 34% and 45%, respectively. A significant positive correlation observed between high carbohydrate diet and waist circumference (r = 0.628, p < 0.0001). There was a significant negative correlation between energy expenditure from physical activity and waist circumference (r = -0.742, p < 0.0001). High carbohydrate diet and physical inactivity were significantly associated with central obesity (OR = 6.26, p = 0.001, 95% CI-2.11-18.57, OR = 3.32, p = 0.028, 95% CI-1.14-9.68).
Conclusion
High carbohydrate diet and physical inactivity are possible explanations for the high prevalence of central obesity. There is an urgent need to implement effective specific public health interventions at household level to reverse this trend among the housewives in Sri Lanka.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-7-564
PMCID: PMC4148929  PMID: 25150690
Central obesity; Premenopausal; Housewives; High carbohydrate diet
4.  Women health heart project: Methodology and effect of interventional strategies on low education participants 
Background:
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the most common cause of mortality and morbidity in women. Intervention programs aimed at improving the lifestyle can reduce the incidence of these diseases and their factors. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the difference of the interventions impact on CVD risk factors and the women's physical and biochemical indicators based on education levels.
Materials and Methods:
As part of Isfahan Healthy Heart Program after identifying the status of women over the age of 18 and over five years, a large educational or environmental intervention was performed in different methodologies and in order to improve the lifestyle. Some organizations such as health care centers and the Literacy Campaign Organization have cooperated for low educated women. Demographic data and risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes and serum lipids were investigated and compared during the first and last phase. Data were entered in SPSS-15 software and were analyzed by using T-test in two independent samples, Chi-square test and Fisher exact test.
Results:
Findings of this study showed that performing the five years interventions could reduce physical and biochemical indexes such as nutrition, lipid profile, waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio in both groups (P < 0.005). In the pre-intervention phase, 6391 subjects and after the intervention 4786 women participated. After Interventions, women with higher educational levels were showed significant decrease in Body Mass Index (BMI) (P = 0.01) and dyslipidemia (P = 0.02).
Conclusion:
The present study showed that the community-based interventions even in low-literate women could cause effective changes on improving lifestyle and CVD risk factors. Due to the greater impact of interventions in literate women, effective interventions should be considered in the society to decrease the prevalence of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
doi:10.4103/2277-9531.139693
PMCID: PMC4165102  PMID: 25250369
Education level; lifestyle modification; literacy movement; risk factors; women
5.  Checking the determinants of physical activity based on the theory of planned behavior in the housewives 
Background:
Sedentary life has been recognized as a serious problem in today's Iranian society. Promoting the lifestyle with increased physical activity and prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is imperative. The purpose of this study was identifying the determinants of physical activity in the housewives of Nain city in 2012 based on the theory of planned behavior.
Materials and Methods:
In this cross-sectional study, 120 housewives were selected by simple random sampling method. Data collection tool was a questionnaire designed based on a standardized and fabricated questionnaire and consisted of four parts. The questionnaire included awareness variables, theory of structures, planned behavior, and physical activity. Data analysis was performed using the SPSS software version 18 and associated statistical tests.
Findings:
The 120 housewives under study had a mean age of 34.58 ± 6.86 years. The mean scores of awareness, attitude, motivation to perform, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control variables were 74.1 ± 18.5, 82.6 ± 12.1, 59.4 ± 21.7, 63.2 ± 21.2, and 48.1 ± 12.9 respectively. There was a significant relationship between the motivation for physical activity among women and knowledge (P = 0.02) attitude (P = 0.04) subjective norms (P = 0.002) perceived behavioral control (P = 0.001), and physical activity (P = 0.04).
Conclusions:
It seems that the housewives, despite being aware of and having a positive attitude on the benefits of physical activity, had a poor lifestyle. Perhaps further studies can help in finding the causes of this issue and the barriers to physical activity such as the conditions and plan for greater measures for improving physical activity, in order to promote women's health which has a significant role in family and community health.
doi:10.4103/2277-9531.139674
PMCID: PMC4165126  PMID: 25250360
Housewives; physical activity; theory of planned behavior
6.  Combined Impact of Lifestyle-Related Factors on Total and Cause-Specific Mortality among Chinese Women: Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(9):e1000339.
Findings from the Shanghai Women's Health Study confirm those derived from other, principally Western, cohorts regarding the combined impact of lifestyle-related factors on mortality.
Background
Although cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, obesity, and several other well-studied unhealthy lifestyle-related factors each have been linked to the risk of multiple chronic diseases and premature death, little is known about the combined impact on mortality outcomes, in particular among Chinese and other non-Western populations. The objective of this study was to quantify the overall impact of lifestyle-related factors beyond that of active cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption on all-cause and cause-specific mortality in Chinese women.
Methods and Findings
We used data from the Shanghai Women's Health Study, an ongoing population-based prospective cohort study in China. Participants included 71,243 women aged 40 to 70 years enrolled during 1996–2000 who never smoked or drank alcohol regularly. A healthy lifestyle score was created on the basis of five lifestyle-related factors shown to be independently associated with mortality outcomes (normal weight, lower waist-hip ratio, daily exercise, never exposed to spouse's smoking, higher daily fruit and vegetable intake). The score ranged from zero (least healthy) to five (most healthy) points. During an average follow-up of 9 years, 2,860 deaths occurred, including 775 from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 1,351 from cancer. Adjusted hazard ratios for mortality decreased progressively with an increasing number of healthy lifestyle factors. Compared to women with a score of zero, hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for women with four to five factors were 0.57 (0.44–0.74) for total mortality, 0.29 (0.16–0.54) for CVD mortality, and 0.76 (0.54–1.06) for cancer mortality. The inverse association between the healthy lifestyle score and mortality was seen consistently regardless of chronic disease status at baseline. The population attributable risks for not having 4–5 healthy lifestyle factors were 33% for total deaths, 59% for CVD deaths, and 19% for cancer deaths.
Conclusions
In this first study, to our knowledge, to quantify the combined impact of lifestyle-related factors on mortality outcomes in Chinese women, a healthier lifestyle pattern—including being of normal weight, lower central adiposity, participation in physical activity, nonexposure to spousal smoking, and higher fruit and vegetable intake—was associated with reductions in total and cause-specific mortality among lifetime nonsmoking and nondrinking women, supporting the importance of overall lifestyle modification in disease prevention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
It is well established that lifestyle-related factors, such as limited physical activity, unhealthy diets, excessive alcohol consumption, and exposure to tobacco smoke are linked to an increased risk of many chronic diseases and premature death. However, few studies have investigated the combined impact of lifestyle-related factors and mortality outcomes, and most of such studies of combinations of established lifestyle factors and mortality have been conducted in the US and Western Europe. In addition, little is currently known about the combined impact on mortality of lifestyle factors beyond that of active smoking and alcohol consumption.
Why Was This Study Done?
Lifestyles in regions of the world can vary considerably. For example, many women in Asia do not actively smoke or regularly drink alcohol, which are important facts to note when considering practical disease prevention measures for these women. Therefore, it is important to study the combination of lifestyle factors appropriate to this population.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used the Shanghai Women's Health Study, an ongoing prospective cohort study of almost 75,000 Chinese women aged 40–70 years, as the basis for their analysis. The Shanghai Women's Health Study has comprehensive baseline data on anthropometric measurements, lifestyle habits (including the responses to validated food frequency and physical activity questionnaires), medical history, occupational history, and select information from each participant's spouse, such as smoking history and alcohol consumption. This information was used by the researchers to create a healthy lifestyle score on the basis of five lifestyle-related factors shown to be independently associated with mortality outcomes in this population: normal weight, lower waist-hip ratio, daily exercise, never being exposed to spouse's smoking, and higher daily fruit and vegetable intake. The score ranged from zero (least healthy) to five (most healthy) points. The researchers found that higher healthy lifestyle scores were significantly associated with decreasing mortality and that this association persisted for all women regardless of their baseline comorbidities. So in effect, healthier lifestyle-related factors, including normal weight, lower waist-hip ratio, participation in exercise, never being exposed to spousal smoking, and higher daily fruit and vegetable intake, were significantly and independently associated with lower risk of total, and cause-specific, mortality.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This large prospective cohort study conducted among lifetime nonsmokers and nonalcohol drinkers shows that lifestyle factors, other than active smoking and alcohol consumption, have a major combined impact on total mortality on a scale comparable to the effect of smoking—the leading cause of death in most populations. However, the sample sizes for some cause-specific analyses were relatively small (despite the overall large sample size), and extended follow-up of this cohort will provide the opportunity to further evaluate the impact of these lifestyle-related factors on mortality outcomes in the future.
The findings of this study highlight the importance of overall lifestyle modification in disease prevention, especially as most of the lifestyle-related factors studied here may be improved by individual motivation to change unhealthy behaviors. Further research is needed to design appropriate interventions to increase these healthy lifestyle factors among Asian women.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000339
The Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center has more information on the Shanghai Women's Health Study
The World Health Organization provides information on health in China
The document Health policy and systems research in Chinacontains information about health policy and health systems research in China
The Chinese Ministry of Healthalso provides health information
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000339
PMCID: PMC2939020  PMID: 20856900
7.  Incidence rates of surgically treated idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome in blue- and white-collar workers and housewives in Tuscany, Italy 
Objectives:
Rates of surgically treated carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) among blue- and white-collar workers and housewives in the general population were compared.
Methods:
Surgically treated cases of idiopathic CTS were investigated among 25–59-year-old residents of Tuscany, Italy, during 1997–2000, based on obligatory discharge records from all Italian public/private hospitals, archived according to residence on Tuscany’s regional database. Population data were extracted from the 2001 census.
Results:
After excluding repeat admissions, 8801 eligible cases were identified. Age-standardised rates (per 100 000 person-years) of surgical CTS were: “blue-collar women”, 367.8; “white-collar women”, 88.1; “housewives”, 334.5; “blue-collar men”, 73.5; and “white-collar men”, 15.3. Compared with reference categories (same-sex white-collar workers): female blue-collar workers experienced a 4.2-fold higher standardised rate; housewives, a 3.8-fold excess; and male blue-collar workers, a 4.8-fold excess (all p<0.001). Male and female blue-collar workers showed approximately three to sevenfold higher age-specific rates compared to their white-collar counterparts (all p<0.001). Housewives’ rates were similar to those of blue-collar female workers up to 40–44 years of age, after which they were significantly lower (p<0.002). At all ages, housewives’ rates were much higher (p<0.001) than those of white-collar women.
Conclusions:
Surgically treated CTS was three to seven times more common (depending on age/gender) in blue-collar than in white-collar workers, which is difficult to explain by differences in body weight or other individual factors. Thus, occupational risk factors seem relevant throughout working life. The high rates for full-time housewives suggest that domestic chores should be investigated as a possible risk factor for CTS.
doi:10.1136/oem.2008.040212
PMCID: PMC2664992  PMID: 19254910
8.  Association between vitamin D insufficiency and adverse pregnancy outcome: global comparisons 
Background
Vitamin D insufficiency has been associated with a number of adverse pregnancy outcomes, and has been recognized as a public health concern.
Aim
The objective of this study was to determine the impact of vitamin D deficiency on maternal complications like gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), anemia, iron deficiency, and preeclampsia among pregnant women.
Subjects and methods
This was a cohort study undertaken at antenatal clinics at the Women’s Hospital of Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha. A total of 2,487 Arab pregnant women above 24 weeks’ gestation with any maternal complication were approached, and 1,873 women (75.3%) consented to participate in the study. Data on sociodemographic and clinical characteristics by interview and biochemistry parameters were retrieved from medical records. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the associated risk factors.
Results
Of the studied pregnant women, nearly half of them had vitamin D deficiency (48.4%). Younger women below 30 years old (43.2%, P = 0.032), housewives (65.3%, P = 0.008), and those on low monthly household incomes (QR5,000–9,999) (49.2%, P = 0.03) were significantly more likely to have lower vitamin D compared with those who had sufficient vitamin D levels. Exposure to sunlight (63.4%, P = 0.05), daily physical activity (64.4%, P = 0.05), and vitamin D supplement intake (89.7%, P < 0.001) were significantly lower in deficient pregnant women. In the study sample of pregnant women, 13.9% had GDM, 11.5% had anemia, 8.6% had iron deficiency, and 6.9% had preeclampsia. Severe vitamin D deficiency was significantly higher in pregnant women with GDM (16.5% vs 11%), anemia (17.1% vs 11%), iron deficiency (18.5% vs 11.2%), and preeclampsia (19.8% vs 11.4%) when compared to the uncomplicated group. Socioeconomic status was low in pregnant women with complications like GDM, anemia, iron deficiency, and pre-eclampsia. Pregnancy complications like GDM (52.7%), anemia (53.2%), iron deficiency (55.6%), and preeclampsia (51.9%) were higher in Qataris. Also, GDM (66.2%), anemia (66.2%), iron deficiency (68.5%), and preeclampsia (58.1%) were observed more commonly among housewives compared to working women. Obesity was significantly more common in pregnant women with GDM (41.5%) and preeclampsia (41.1%).
Conclusion
The study findings revealed that maternal vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy is significantly associated with elevated risk for GDM, anemia, and preeclampsia. The risk of vitamin D deficiency was higher in Qataris, housewives and those with low monthly household income.
doi:10.2147/IJWH.S51403
PMCID: PMC3772690  PMID: 24043954
pregnant women; vitamin D deficiency; GDM; anemia; iron deficiency; preeclampsia
9.  Self-Medication Patterns and Drug Use Behavior in Housewives Belonging to the Middle Income Group in a City in Northern India 
Objectives:
The objective was to assess the self-medication patterns and drug use behavior in housewives belonging to the middle income group in a city of Haryana State in Northern India.
Materials and Methods:
A detailed questionnaire designed to assess the self-medication patterns and drug use behavior and interview technique was used to elicit the requisite information. One hundred housewives of the middle income group were interviewed in Rohtak.
Results:
Most of the housewives were in the habit of keeping the medicines though only 73% of them were in the habit of using it without any prescription. Also it was seen that those housewives who were taking self-medication were better educated than those not indulged in self-medication. All of them were using allopathic drugs on a regular basis while other modes of medications were less used. The self-medication was most commonly based on the previous prescriptions issued by the doctors followed by the suggestions from friends, advertisement on the television, and newspapers. For most of them the reasons for self-medication were financial restraints and lack of time to go to the medical practitioner.
Conclusions:
The study delineates the difference in the self-medication patterns and drug use behavior in housewives in a city of Northern India. The results emphasize the need for comprehensive measures for intervention strategies to promote rational drug therapy by improving prescribing patterns and influencing self-medication.
doi:10.4103/0970-0218.94013
PMCID: PMC3326801  PMID: 22529534
Drug use behavior; housewives; rational therapy; self-medication
10.  Prevention of non-communicable disease in a population in nutrition transition: Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study phase II 
Trials  2009;10:5.
Background
The Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study (TLGS) is a long term integrated community-based program for prevention of non-communicable disorders (NCD) by development of a healthy lifestyle and reduction of NCD risk factors. The study begun in 1999, is ongoing, to be continued for at least 20 years. A primary survey was done to collect baseline data in 15005 individuals, over 3 years of age, selected from cohorts of three medical heath centers. A questionnaire for past medical history and data was completed during interviews; blood pressure, pulse rate, and anthropometrical measurements and a limited physical examination were performed and lipid profiles, fasting blood sugar and 2-hours-postload-glucose challenge were measured. A DNA bank was also collected. For those subjects aged over 30 years, Rose questionnaire was completed and an electrocardiogram was taken. Data collected were directly stored in computers as database software- computer assisted system. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of lifestyle modification in preventing or postponing the development of NCD risk factors and outcomes in the TLGS population.
Design and methods
In phase II of the TLGS, lifestyle interventions were implemented in 5630 people and 9375 individuals served as controls. Primary, secondary and tertiary interventions were designed based on specific target groups including schoolchildren, housewives, and high-risk persons. Officials of various sectors such as health, education, municipality, police, media, traders and community leaders were actively engaged as decision makers and collaborators. Interventional strategies were based on lifestyle modifications in diet, smoking and physical activity through face-to-face education, leaflets & brochures, school program alterations, training volunteers as health team and treating patients with NCD risk factors. Collection of demographic, clinical and laboratory data will be repeated every 3 years to assess the effects of different interventions in the intervention group as compared to control group.
Conclusion
This controlled community intervention will test the possibility of preventing or delaying the onset of non-communicable risk factors and disorders in a population in nutrition transition.
Trial registration
ISRCTN52588395
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-10-5
PMCID: PMC2656492  PMID: 19166627
11.  Comparative study of major depressive symptoms among pregnant women by employment status 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:201.
The objectives of our study were to compare the prevalence of major depressive symptoms between subgroups of pregnant women: working women, women who had stopped working, housewives and students; and to identify risk factors for major depressive symptoms during pregnancy. The CES-D scale (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale) was used to measure major depressive symptoms (CES-D score ≥23) in 5337 pregnant women interviewed at 24–26 weeks of pregnancy. Multivariate logistic regression models were developed to identify risk factors associated with major depressive symptoms. Prevalence of major depressive symptoms was 11.9% (11.0–12.8%) for all pregnant women. Working women had the lowest proportion of major depressive symptoms [7.6% (6.6–8.7%); n = 2514] compared to housewives [19.1% (16.5–21.8%); n = 893], women who had stopped working [14.4% (12.7–16.1%); n = 1665], and students [14.3% (10.3–19.1%); n = 265]. After adjusting for major risk factors, the association between pregnant women’s employment status and major depressive symptoms remained significant for women who had stopped working (OR: 1.61; 95% CI 1.26 to 2.04) and for housewives (OR: 1.46; 95% CI 1.10 to 1.94), but not for students (OR: 1.37; 95% CI 0.87 to 2.16). In multivariate analyses, low education, low social support outside of work, having experienced acute stressful events, lack of money for basic needs, experiencing marital strain, having a chronic health problem, country of birth, and smoking were significantly associated with major depressive symptoms. Health professionals should consider the employment status of pregnant women when they evaluate risk profiles. Prevention, detection and intervention measures are needed to reduce the prevalence of prenatal depression.
doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-201
PMCID: PMC3657078  PMID: 23705107
Pregnancy; Employment status; Major depressive symptoms; Risk factors
12.  Long-Term Risk of Incident Type 2 Diabetes and Measures of Overall and Regional Obesity: The EPIC-InterAct Case-Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2012;9(6):e1001230.
A collaborative re-analysis of data from the InterAct case-control study conducted by Claudia Langenberg and colleagues has established that waist circumference is associated with risk of type 2 diabetes, independently of body mass index.
Background
Waist circumference (WC) is a simple and reliable measure of fat distribution that may add to the prediction of type 2 diabetes (T2D), but previous studies have been too small to reliably quantify the relative and absolute risk of future diabetes by WC at different levels of body mass index (BMI).
Methods and Findings
The prospective InterAct case-cohort study was conducted in 26 centres in eight European countries and consists of 12,403 incident T2D cases and a stratified subcohort of 16,154 individuals from a total cohort of 340,234 participants with 3.99 million person-years of follow-up. We used Prentice-weighted Cox regression and random effects meta-analysis methods to estimate hazard ratios for T2D. Kaplan-Meier estimates of the cumulative incidence of T2D were calculated. BMI and WC were each independently associated with T2D, with WC being a stronger risk factor in women than in men. Risk increased across groups defined by BMI and WC; compared to low normal weight individuals (BMI 18.5–22.4 kg/m2) with a low WC (<94/80 cm in men/women), the hazard ratio of T2D was 22.0 (95% confidence interval 14.3; 33.8) in men and 31.8 (25.2; 40.2) in women with grade 2 obesity (BMI≥35 kg/m2) and a high WC (>102/88 cm). Among the large group of overweight individuals, WC measurement was highly informative and facilitated the identification of a subgroup of overweight people with high WC whose 10-y T2D cumulative incidence (men, 70 per 1,000 person-years; women, 44 per 1,000 person-years) was comparable to that of the obese group (50–103 per 1,000 person-years in men and 28–74 per 1,000 person-years in women).
Conclusions
WC is independently and strongly associated with T2D, particularly in women, and should be more widely measured for risk stratification. If targeted measurement is necessary for reasons of resource scarcity, measuring WC in overweight individuals may be an effective strategy, since it identifies a high-risk subgroup of individuals who could benefit from individualised preventive action.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, more than 350 million people have diabetes, and this number is increasing rapidly. Diabetes is characterized by dangerous levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are usually controlled by insulin, a hormone that the pancreas releases after meals (digestion of food produces glucose). In people with type 2 diabetes (the commonest form of diabetes), blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that normally respond to insulin by removing sugar from the blood become insulin resistant. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise, and with drugs that help the pancreas make more insulin or that make cells more sensitive to insulin. The long-term complications of diabetes, which include an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about 10 years compared to people without diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
A high body mass index (BMI, a measure of body fat calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared) is a strong predictor of type 2 diabetes. Although the risk of diabetes is greatest in obese people (who have a BMI of greater than 30 kg/m2), many of the people who develop diabetes are overweight—they have a BMI of 25–30 kg/m2. Healthy eating and exercise reduce the incidence of diabetes in high-risk individuals, but it is difficult and expensive to provide all overweight and obese people with individual lifestyle advice. Ideally, a way is needed to distinguish between people with high and low risk of developing diabetes at different levels of BMI. Waist circumference is a measure of fat distribution that has the potential to quantify diabetes risk among people with different BMIs because it estimates the amount of fat around the abdominal organs, which also predicts diabetes development. In this case-cohort study, the researchers use data from the InterAct study (which is investigating how genetics and lifestyle interact to affect diabetes risk) to estimate the long-term risk of type 2 diabetes associated with BMI and waist circumference. A case-cohort study measures exposure to potential risk factors in a group (cohort) of people and compares the occurrence of these risk factors in people who later develop the disease and in a randomly chosen subcohort.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers estimated the association of BMI and waist circumference with type 2 diabetes from baseline measurements of the weight, height, and waist circumference of 12,403 people who subsequently developed type 2 diabetes and a subcohort of 16,154 participants enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Both risk factors were independently associated with type 2 diabetes risk, but waist circumference was a stronger risk factor in women than in men. Obese men (BMI greater than 35 kg/m2) with a high waist circumference (greater than 102 cm) were 22 times more likely to develop diabetes than men with a low normal weight (BMI 18.5–22.4 kg/m2) and a low waist circumference (less than 94 cm); obese women with a waist circumference of more than 88 cm were 31.8 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women with a low normal weight and waist circumference (less than 80 cm). Importantly, among overweight people, waist circumference measurements identified a subgroup of overweight people (those with a high waist circumference) whose 10-year cumulative incidence of type 2 diabetes was similar to that of obese people.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that, among people of European descent, waist circumference is independently and strongly associated with type 2 diabetes, particularly among women. Additional studies are needed to confirm this association in other ethnic groups. Targeted measurement of waist circumference in overweight individuals (who now account for a third of the US and UK adult population) could be an effective strategy for the prevention of diabetes because it would allow the identification of a high-risk subgroup of people who might benefit from individualized lifestyle advice.
Additional Information
Please access these web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001230.
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health care professionals, and the general public, including detailed information on diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on all aspects of overweight and obesity (including some information in Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes, about the prevention of type 2 diabetes, and about obesity; it also includes peoples stories about diabetes and about obesity
The charity Diabetes UK also provides detailed information for patients and carers, including information on healthy lifestyles for people with diabetes, and has a further selection of stories from people with diabetes; the charity Healthtalkonline has interviews with people about their experiences of diabetes
More information on the InterAct study is available
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes and diabetes prevention and about obesity (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001230
PMCID: PMC3367997  PMID: 22679397
13.  The impact of obesity on hypertension and diabetes control following healthy Lifestyle Intervention Program in a developing country setting 
BACKGROUND:
The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of obesity and overweight on diabetes mellitus (DM) and hypertension (HTN) control in a healthy lifestyle intervention program in Iran.
METHODS:
Within the framework of the Isfahan Healthy Heart Program (IHHP), a community trial that was conducted to prevent and control cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, two intervention counties (Isfahan and Najafabad) and one reference county (Arak) were selected. Demographic information, medical history, anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive medications use were asked by trained interviewers in addition to physical examination and laboratory tests for 12514 adults aged more than 19 years in 2001 and were repeated for 9572 adults in 2007.
RESULTS:
In women, the frequency of HTN control change significantly neither in normal weight nor in those with high body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) or waist to hip ratio (WHR). In men, the frequency of HTN control was only significant among those with high WHR, whereas the interaction between changes in intervention compared to reference area from 2001 to 2007 was significant in men with normal or high WC or WHR. In intervention area, the number of women with high BMI who controlled their DM increased significantly from 2001 to 2007 (p = 0.008), however, this figure decreased in men. In reference area, obesity indices had no significant association with DM control. The percentage of diabetic subjects with high WC who controlled their DM decreased non-significantly in intervention area compared to reference area in 2007. A non-significant increase in controlled DM among men and women with high WHR was observed between intervention and reference areas.
CONCLUSIONS:
Our lifestyle interventions did not show any improving effect on HTN or DM control among obese subjects based on different obesity indices. Other lifestyle intervention strategies are suggested.
PMCID: PMC3252770  PMID: 22247721
Hypertension; Diabetes; Obesity; Control; Prevention; Iran
14.  Epidemiological differences of lower urinary tract symptoms among female subpopulations and group level interventions 
Objectives:
1) To study the risk factor profiles of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) among adolescent girls, housewives and working women and its socioeconomic and quality of life losses. 2) To undertake risk factor modifications using the adolescent girls.
Design and Setting:
Cross-sectional descriptive study followed by educational intervention.
Statistical Methods:
Cluster sampling, Proportions, confidence intervals, Chi square and t-Tests and Logistic regression.
Materials and Methods:
House to house survey was done in two villages and one urban ward. Seventy-five housewives, 75 working women and 180 adolescent girls were asked about the risk factors and losses due to LUTS. Three teams of adolescent girls were utilized to bring about behavioral modifications. Impact was measured through user perspectives obtained from the participants.
Results:
Risk factors, social, economic and quality of life losses were different among the three female populations. Overall prevalence of LUTS among the three groups is 61(18.5%). Improper anal washing technique, malnutrition, presence of vaginal discharge, use of unsanitary menstrual pads, pinworm infestation and use of bad toilets were the significant causes among girls. Presence of sexually transmitted diseases was a contributing factor among housewives and working women. Prolonged sitting the posture was also contributing to LUTS among working women. Seventy-four per cent of beneficiaries expressed that intervention is useful.
Conclusions:
The causes for LUTS and their consequences were differing among the three female subpopulations. Specific group level interventions using trained girls were successful.
doi:10.4103/0970-1591.44256
PMCID: PMC2684399  PMID: 19468505
Karimnagar district; lower urinary tract symptoms; working women; socioeconomic and quality of life losses
15.  Association of Occupational & Prediabetes Statuses with Obesity in middle aged Women 
Background: The association between Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Obesity is very close. The prediabetes status i.e Impaired Fasting Glucose (IFG) reflects an intermediate condition between normality and diabetes. The socioeconomic position (SEP) is one of the non traditional determinants of type 2 DM. The occupational status, which is a good indicator of the socioeconomic status, also indicates the level and the type of stress that they are exposed to, as well as the individual lifestyle choices. The present work was planned to study the relationship of the prediabetic status with obesity and the occupational status by estimating the Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) levels.
Objectives: To study the association of the occupational status with the fasting blood glucose levels and obesity in middle aged women.
Method: The Fasting Blood Glucose levels and the BMI were estimated in 300 asymptomatic middle aged women who had no family history of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (D.M.), who had been divided into the Control (I), the Pre – obese (IIa) and the Obese groups (IIb). The occupational status was broadly divided into the categories of housewives and service women. The results was analysed statistically by using the correlation coefficient and the ‘z’ test.
Result: The mean FBG levels in the pre – obese and the obese groups were higher than those in the control group. We found significant differences in the FBG levels in the normal weight, the pre – obese as well as in the obese groups among the service women, but no significant correlation was found in the pre – obese and the obese groups. Among the housewives, we found significant differences in the FBG levels of the normal weight and the obese groups, but not in the pre – obese group. Also, no significant correlation was found in the pre – obese and obese groups among the service women.
Conclusion: The BMI may be good risk predictor for Type 2 D.M. irrespective of the occupational status, especially in middle aged women.
doi:10.7860/JCDR/2013/5466.3134
PMCID: PMC3749623  PMID: 23998053
Occupation; Prediabetes status & Obesity
16.  Breast cancer risk reduction - is it feasible to initiate a randomised controlled trial of a lifestyle intervention programme (ActWell) within a national breast screening programme? 
Background
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second cause of cancer deaths amongst women in the UK. The incidence of the disease is increasing and is highest in women from least deprived areas. It is estimated that around 42% of the disease in post-menopausal women could be prevented by increased physical activity and reductions in alcohol intake and body fatness. Breast cancer control endeavours focus on national screening programmes but these do not include communications or interventions for risk reduction.
This study aimed to assess the feasibility of delivery, indicative effects and acceptability of a lifestyle intervention programme initiated within the NHS Scottish Breast Screening Programme (NHSSBSP).
Methods
A 1:1 randomised controlled trial (RCT) of the 3 month ActWell programme (focussing on body weight, physical activity and alcohol) versus usual care conducted in two NHSSBSP sites between June 2013 and January 2014. Feasibility assessments included recruitment, retention, and fidelity to protocol. Indicative outcomes were measured at baseline and 3 month follow-up (body weight, waist circumference, eating and alcohol habits and physical activity). At study end, a questionnaire assessed participant satisfaction and qualitative interviews elicited women’s, coaches, and radiographers’ experiences. Statistical analysis used Chi squared tests for comparisons in proportions and paired t tests for comparisons of means. Linear regression analyses were performed, adjusted for baseline values, with group allocation as a fixed effect.
Results
A pre-set recruitment target of 80 women was achieved within 12 weeks and 65 (81%) participants (29 intervention, 36 control) completed 3 month assessments. Mean age was 58 ± 5.6 years, mean BMI was 29.2 ± 7.0 kg/m2 and many (44%) reported a family history of breast cancer.
The primary analysis (baseline body weight adjusted) showed a significant between group difference favouring the intervention group of 2.04 kg (95% CI −3.24 kg to −0.85 kg). Significant, favourable between group differences were also detected for BMI, waist circumference, physical activity and sitting time. Women rated the programme highly and 70% said they would recommend it to others.
Conclusions
Recruitment, retention, indicative results and participant acceptability support the development of a definitive RCT to measure long term effects.
Trial registration
The trial was registered with Current Controlled Trials (ISRCTN56223933).
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12966-014-0156-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12966-014-0156-2
PMCID: PMC4304617  PMID: 25516158
Breast cancer; Physical activity; Body weight; Alcohol; Sedentary time
17.  Changes in weight and health behaviors after pregnancies complicated by gestational diabetes mellitus: The CARDIA Study 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2013;21(6):1269-1275.
We compared pre- to post-pregnancy change in weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, diet and physical activity in women with and without gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
Using the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study we identified women with at least one pregnancy during 20 years of follow-up (n=1,488 with 3,125 pregnancies). We used linear regression with generalized estimating equations to compare pre- to post-pregnancy changes in health behaviors and anthropometric measurements between 137 GDM pregnancies and 1,637 non GDM pregnancies, adjusted for parity, age at delivery, outcome measure at the pre-pregnancy exam, race, education, mode of delivery, and interval between delivery and post-pregnancy examination.
Compared with women without GDM in pregnancy, women with GDM had higher pre-pregnancy mean weight (158.3 vs. 149.6 lb, p=0.011) and BMI (26.7 vs. 25.1 kg/m2, p=0.002), but non-significantly lower total daily caloric intake and similar levels of physical activity. Both GDM and non GDM groups had higher average postpartum weight of 7–8 lbs and decreased physical activity on average 1.4 years after pregnancy. Both groups similarly increased total caloric intake but reduced fast food frequency. Pre- to post- pregnancy changes in body weight, BMI, waist circumference, physical activity and diet did not differ between women with and without GDM in pregnancy.
Following pregnancy women with and without GDM increased caloric intake, BMI and weight, decreased physical activity, but reduced their frequency of eating fast food. Given these trends, postpartum lifestyle interventions, particularly for women with GDM, are needed to reduce obesity and diabetes risk.
doi:10.1002/oby.20133
PMCID: PMC3735637  PMID: 23666593
18.  Behavioural Interventions for Urinary Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Seniors 
Executive Summary
In early August 2007, the Medical Advisory Secretariat began work on the Aging in the Community project, an evidence-based review of the literature surrounding healthy aging in the community. The Health System Strategy Division at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care subsequently asked the secretariat to provide an evidentiary platform for the ministry’s newly released Aging at Home Strategy.
After a broad literature review and consultation with experts, the secretariat identified 4 key areas that strongly predict an elderly person’s transition from independent community living to a long-term care home. Evidence-based analyses have been prepared for each of these 4 areas: falls and fall-related injuries, urinary incontinence, dementia, and social isolation. For the first area, falls and fall-related injuries, an economic model is described in a separate report.
Please visit the Medical Advisory Secretariat Web site, http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/mas/mas_about.html, to review these titles within the Aging in the Community series.
Aging in the Community: Summary of Evidence-Based Analyses
Prevention of Falls and Fall-Related Injuries in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Behavioural Interventions for Urinary Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Caregiver- and Patient-Directed Interventions for Dementia: An Evidence-Based Analysis
Social Isolation in Community-Dwelling Seniors: An Evidence-Based Analysis
The Falls/Fractures Economic Model in Ontario Residents Aged 65 Years and Over (FEMOR)
Objective
To assess the effectiveness of behavioural interventions for the treatment and management of urinary incontinence (UI) in community-dwelling seniors.
Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition
Urinary incontinence defined as “the complaint of any involuntary leakage of urine” was identified as 1 of the key predictors in a senior’s transition from independent community living to admission to a long-term care (LTC) home. Urinary incontinence is a health problem that affects a substantial proportion of Ontario’s community-dwelling seniors (and indirectly affects caregivers), impacting their health, functioning, well-being and quality of life. Based on Canadian studies, prevalence estimates range from 9% to 30% for senior men and nearly double from 19% to 55% for senior women. The direct and indirect costs associated with UI are substantial. It is estimated that the total annual costs in Canada are $1.5 billion (Cdn), and that each year a senior living at home will spend $1,000 to $1,500 on incontinence supplies.
Interventions to treat and manage UI can be classified into broad categories which include lifestyle modification, behavioural techniques, medications, devices (e.g., continence pessaries), surgical interventions and adjunctive measures (e.g., absorbent products).
The focus of this review is behavioural interventions, since they are commonly the first line of treatment considered in seniors given that they are the least invasive options with no reported side effects, do not limit future treatment options, and can be applied in combination with other therapies. In addition, many seniors would not be ideal candidates for other types of interventions involving more risk, such as surgical measures.
Note: It is recognized that the terms “senior” and “elderly” carry a range of meanings for different audiences; this report generally uses the former, but the terms are treated here as essentially interchangeable.
Description of Technology/Therapy
Behavioural interventions can be divided into 2 categories according to the target population: caregiver-dependent techniques and patient-directed techniques. Caregiver-dependent techniques (also known as toileting assistance) are targeted at medically complex, frail individuals living at home with the assistance of a caregiver, who tends to be a family member. These seniors may also have cognitive deficits and/or motor deficits. A health care professional trains the senior’s caregiver to deliver an intervention such as prompted voiding, habit retraining, or timed voiding. The health care professional who trains the caregiver is commonly a nurse or a nurse with advanced training in the management of UI, such as a nurse continence advisor (NCA) or a clinical nurse specialist (CNS).
The second category of behavioural interventions consists of patient-directed techniques targeted towards mobile, motivated seniors. Seniors in this population are cognitively able, free from any major physical deficits, and motivated to regain and/or improve their continence. A nurse or a nurse with advanced training in UI management, such as an NCA or CNS, delivers the patient-directed techniques. These are often provided as multicomponent interventions including a combination of bladder training techniques, pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT), education on bladder control strategies, and self-monitoring. Pelvic floor muscle training, defined as a program of repeated pelvic floor muscle contractions taught and supervised by a health care professional, may be employed as part of a multicomponent intervention or in isolation.
Education is a large component of both caregiver-dependent and patient-directed behavioural interventions, and patient and/or caregiver involvement as well as continued practice strongly affect the success of treatment. Incontinence products, which include a large variety of pads and devices for effective containment of urine, may be used in conjunction with behavioural techniques at any point in the patient’s management.
Evidence-Based Analysis Methods
A comprehensive search strategy was used to identify systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials that examined the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of caregiver-dependent and patient-directed behavioural interventions for the treatment of UI in community-dwelling seniors (see Appendix 1).
Research Questions
Are caregiver-dependent behavioural interventions effective in improving UI in medically complex, frail community-dwelling seniors with/without cognitive deficits and/or motor deficits?
Are patient-directed behavioural interventions effective in improving UI in mobile, motivated community-dwelling seniors?
Are behavioural interventions delivered by NCAs or CNSs in a clinic setting effective in improving incontinence outcomes in community-dwelling seniors?
Assessment of Quality of Evidence
The quality of the evidence was assessed as high, moderate, low, or very low according to the GRADE methodology and GRADE Working Group. As per GRADE the following definitions apply:
Summary of Findings
Executive Summary Table 1 summarizes the results of the analysis.
The available evidence was limited by considerable variation in study populations and in the type and severity of UI for studies examining both caregiver-directed and patient-directed interventions. The UI literature frequently is limited to reporting subjective outcome measures such as patient observations and symptoms. The primary outcome of interest, admission to a LTC home, was not reported in the UI literature. The number of eligible studies was low, and there were limited data on long-term follow-up.
Summary of Evidence on Behavioural Interventions for the Treatment of Urinary Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Seniors
Prompted voiding
Habit retraining
Timed voiding
Bladder training
PFMT (with or without biofeedback)
Bladder control strategies
Education
Self-monitoring
CI refers to confidence interval; CNS, clinical nurse specialist; NCA, nurse continence advisor; PFMT, pelvic floor muscle training; RCT, randomized controlled trial; WMD, weighted mean difference; UI, urinary incontinence.
Economic Analysis
A budget impact analysis was conducted to forecast costs for caregiver-dependent and patient-directed multicomponent behavioural techniques delivered by NCAs, and PFMT alone delivered by physiotherapists. All costs are reported in 2008 Canadian dollars. Based on epidemiological data, published medical literature and clinical expert opinion, the annual cost of caregiver-dependent behavioural techniques was estimated to be $9.2 M, while the annual costs of patient-directed behavioural techniques delivered by either an NCA or physiotherapist were estimated to be $25.5 M and $36.1 M, respectively. Estimates will vary if the underlying assumptions are changed.
Currently, the province of Ontario absorbs the cost of NCAs (available through the 42 Community Care Access Centres across the province) in the home setting. The 2007 Incontinence Care in the Community Report estimated that the total cost being absorbed by the public system of providing continence care in the home is $19.5 M in Ontario. This cost estimate included resources such as personnel, communication with physicians, record keeping and product costs. Clinic costs were not included in this estimation because currently these come out of the global budget of the respective hospital and very few continence clinics actually exist in the province. The budget impact analysis factored in a cost for the clinic setting, assuming that the public system would absorb the cost with this new model of community care.
Considerations for Ontario Health System
An expert panel on aging in the community met on 3 occasions from January to May 2008, and in part, discussed treatment of UI in seniors in Ontario with a focus on caregiver-dependent and patient-directed behavioural interventions. In particular, the panel discussed how treatment for UI is made available to seniors in Ontario and who provides the service. Some of the major themes arising from the discussions included:
Services/interventions that currently exist in Ontario offering behavioural interventions to treat UI are not consistent. There is a lack of consistency in how seniors access services for treatment of UI, who manages patients and what treatment patients receive.
Help-seeking behaviours are important to consider when designing optimal service delivery methods.
There is considerable social stigma associated with UI and therefore there is a need for public education and an awareness campaign.
The cost of incontinent supplies and the availability of NCAs were highlighted.
Conclusions
There is moderate-quality evidence that the following interventions are effective in improving UI in mobile motivated seniors:
Multicomponent behavioural interventions including a combination of bladder training techniques, PFMT (with or without biofeedback), education on bladder control strategies and self-monitoring techniques.
Pelvic floor muscle training alone.
There is moderate quality evidence that when behavioural interventions are led by NCAs or CNSs in a clinic setting, they are effective in improving UI in seniors.
There is limited low-quality evidence that prompted voiding may be effective in medically complex, frail seniors with motivated caregivers.
There is insufficient evidence for the following interventions in medically complex, frail seniors with motivated caregivers:
habit retraining, and
timed voiding.
PMCID: PMC3377527  PMID: 23074508
19.  An investigation on the effect of gastric cancer education based on Health Belief Model on knowledge, attitude and nutritional practice of housewives 
Background:
Planning the educational programs and informing people regarding the prevention of widespread diseases like cancers is necessary. With regard to high mortality rate of gastric cancer, the present study was conducted to define the effect of education based on Health Belief Model on knowledge, attitude and nutritional practice of homemakers.
Materials and Methods:
In this interventional study, 84 housewives were randomly divided into two groups. The study group underwent seven sessions of education based on Health Belief Model. Control group did not receive the education. Both groups filled valid and reliable questionnaires before and 2 months after program.
Findings:
There was no significant difference between the two groups in demographic characteristics. While mean scores of knowledge, attitude and practice were not significantly different before education, the intervention group showed significantly higher scores after education (p < 0.001).
Conclusions:
Health education based on Health Belief Model increases the knowledge and improves the attitudes and practices of housewives regarding prevention of the gastric cancer. It seems essential to development this sort of educational programs.
PMCID: PMC3702143  PMID: 23833623
Feeding behaviours; health behaviours; health education; gastric cancer; Iran
20.  Unemployment and psychological distress one year after childbirth in France 
STUDY OBJECTIVE—To analyse the relation between unemployment and the psychological distress of mothers one year after childbirth.
DESIGN—Multicentric survey concerning births occurring between September 1993 and July 1994.
SETTING—In France: two maternity units in the Parisian area and one in Champagne-Ardennes, in the east of France, comprising both urban and rural areas.
PARTICIPANTS—Primipara and secondipara women were interviewed three times: at birth by a face to face interview, five months and 12 months after the birth, by postal questionnaires, with a 83% response rate for the two postal questionnaires. The analysis includes 632 women who answered all three stages of the survey.
MEASUREMENTS—Psychological distress was mainly assessed one year after birth by the 12-item General Health Questionnaire.
RESULTS—After adjustment for unwanted pregnancy, marital conflicts, marital status, hospitalisation of the baby during the last year, lack of confiding relationship, depressive or anxious troubles before pregnancy, age, educational level and parity, unemployed women had an excess of psychological distress compared with employed women (OR = 1.87; 95%CI = 1.12, 3.13). The ratios for housewives were very close to those of employed women. Among the unemployed women, 60% had recently been without a job, since a few months before or after the birth. An excess of psychological distress among unemployed compared with employed women was observed in all social groups defined by the current or last occupation, but with various extents. Psychological distress was specially linked to the employment status in the group of women with the more qualified occupations.
CONCLUSION—Even after a birth, when women are very much involved in their maternal role, those seeking a job have worse mental health than those in a stable situation, either employed or housewives. In France, the unemployment rate among young women is high. It is specially important that social regulations protecting employment during and after pregnancy are adequately applied. Employers, legislators, such as medical doctors, have to be aware to this situation.


Keywords: psychological distress; unemployment; childbirth; women's health
doi:10.1136/jech.54.3.185
PMCID: PMC1731633  PMID: 10746112
21.  Effects of 5-Year Interventions on Cardiovascular Risk Factors of Factories and Offies Employees of Isfahan and Najafabad: Worksite Intervention Project-Isfahan Healthy Heart Program 
ARYA Atherosclerosis  2010;6(3):94-101.
BACKGROUND
Effects of 5-year interventions of Worksite Intervention Project from Isfahan Healthy Heart Program on cardiovascular risk factors of factories and offices employees were studied in Isfahan and Najafabad (intervention area) compared to Arak (control area).
METHODS
We had especial interventions for nutrition, physical activity and smoking as well as hypertension and obesity screening systems in all offices and factories, and other risk factors screening systems whenever possible. Before and after the interventions, questionnaires containing demographic and other required data were completed for the two populations; height, weight and blood pressure (BP) were measured and a fasting and 2h blood sample was taken for the measurement of blood sugar (BS) and lipid levels.
RESULTS
The prevalence of hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia and central obesity decreased, but low HDL increased in office staff (P < 0.01). Waist circumference, HDL and total cholesterol mean values decreased, and diastolic BP and fasting and 2h BS increased among the intervention group. In factory workers, the prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia and central obesity decreased, while low HDL prevalence increased in intervention group (P < 0.001). Mean values of waist circumference, HDL and total cholesterol, and triglyceride decreased significantly (P < 0.001), while diastolic BP and fasting BS increased.
CONCLUSION
It seems that Worksite Intervention Project has a protective effect on CVD risk factors in factories and offices employees. So, the modifiable project can be used as an applicable tool for health improvement in worksites which creates tangible changes in employees’ lifestyle.
PMCID: PMC3347823  PMID: 22577423
Risk Factors; Cardiovascular Disease; Workplace; Intervention
22.  A study of a culturally enhanced EatRight dietary intervention in a predominately African American workplace 
The workplace may be an ideal venue for engaging African American women in behavioral interventions for weight reduction. This study examines the effectiveness of a culturally-enhanced EatRight dietary intervention among a group of predominately African American women in a workplace setting. Thirty-nine women volunteered for this cross-over design study, with 27 completing. The control period involved observation of participants for 22 weeks after receiving standard counseling on lifestyle methods to achieve a healthy weight; following the control period, participants crossed over to the 22-week intervention period. The intervention was culturally-enhanced using feedback derived from formative assessment and delivered as 15 group sessions. The primary outcome measure was the difference in weight change between the control and intervention periods; changes in waist circumference and quality of life were secondary outcomes. Most participants were obese with a mean baseline body mass index of 36 kg/m2, weight of 97.9 kg and waist circumference of 111 cm. Weight increased during the control period by 0.7 kg but decreased by 2.6 kg during the intervention (net difference = −3.4 kg, p<0.001), with 30% of participants losing ≥5% of body weight. Compared to the control period, there was a significant decrease in waist circumference (−3.6 cm, p = 0.006) and improvement in weight-related quality of life (5.7, p = 0.03). This pilot study demonstrated the feasibility of a culturally-enhanced behavioral weight loss intervention in a predominately African American workplace setting. The workplace may be conducive for targeting African American women who are disproportionately affected by obesity.
doi:10.1097/PHH.0b013e3181ce5538
PMCID: PMC3652327  PMID: 20885173
23.  The Relation between Early Pregnancy Anthropometric Indices among Primiparous Women and Macrosomia 
Journal of Caring Sciences  2012;1(3):153-158.
Introduction: The prevalence of obesity is increasing in both developed and developing nations. Body mass index (BMI) is the most common index for obesity assessment and its relation with most complications among non-pregnant and pregnant women is known. However, no study has evaluated the relation between abdominal obesity and macrosomia among pregnant women. Methods: In this prospective study, anthropometric indices including weight, height, and waist circumference (WC) of 1140 nulliparous pregnant women during their first trimester of pregnancy (6th-10th weeks) were measured by the researcher. According to the classification of the World Health Organization, women with BMI > 25 kg/m2 were considered as overweight or obese. Abdominal obesity was defined as WC ≥ 88 cm. Finally, mothers were followed up and fetal macrosomia was recorded in a checklist. Data was analyzed in SPSS15. Results: The results showed that 77.5% of women aged 20-35 years and 92.7% were housewives. The mean (SD) values of BMI and WC were 24.32 (4.08) kg/m2 and 81.84 (9.25) cm, respectively. The prevalence of overweight (BMI = 25-29.9 kg/m2) and obesity (BMI > 29.9 kg/m) was 27.6% and 8.8%, respectively. Abdominal obesity based on WC was found in 34.8% of the subjects. Conclusion: Findings of this study revealed obesity in over one third of nulliparous pregnant women during their first trimester. Moreover, the high prevalence of macrosomia, in these women confirmed the importance of maternal education about obesity-related complications in order to change their lifestyle and prevent obesity.
doi:10.5681/jcs.2012.022
PMCID: PMC4161076  PMID: 25276690
Body mass index; Waist circumference; Macrosomia; Pregnancy
24.  Housewives’ Obesity Determinant Factors in Iran; National Survey - Stepwise Approach to Surveillance 
Background:
Women suffer more from obesity than men in Iran do. In this study, we compared obesity risk and its contributors regarding the job categories as housewives (HWs) or employees to deeply explore the risk of obesity in housewives in Iran.
Methods:
Based on WHO stepwise approach, in 2005, 33472 women aged 15 to 65 years old (excluding all men) were examined for the major risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Obesity was determined by Body Mass Index>30kgm−2 in adults (>20 years) and by girl BMI percentiles according to WHO 2007 Growth Reference 5–19 years in adolescents. We modeled obesity by logistic regression and entered all the known/potential predictors, including job categories.
Results:
The participation rate was more than 99%. The weighted prevalence of overweight and obesity in HWs were 34.5% and 24.5% respectively. Employed women were about 4% and 10% less overweight and obese than the HWs, respectively (P< 0.01). HWs vs. employed women had the adjusted OR 1.39 (CI95%, 1.18–1.63) for obesity. Older women, with higher educational level and socioeconomic status, lower physical activities and those living in urban areas were at risk of obesity. In comparison to HWs, working as an Official Clerk (OR=0.66) associated with a decrease in odds of obesity significantly, while others did not.
Conclusion:
Being as HW is an independent significant factor for obesity in women. Preventive health care programs to reduce risk of obesity in women should be applied, considering their occupation for achieving more effectiveness.
PMCID: PMC3481779  PMID: 23113077
Women; Housewife; Occupation; Obesity; Overweight
25.  Effect of Facilitation of Local Maternal-and-Newborn Stakeholder Groups on Neonatal Mortality: Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(5):e1001445.
Lars Åke Persson and colleagues conduct a cluster randomised control in northern Vietnam to analyze the effect of the activity of local community-based maternal-and-newborn stakeholder groups on neonatal mortality.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Facilitation of local women's groups may reportedly reduce neonatal mortality. It is not known whether facilitation of groups composed of local health care staff and politicians can improve perinatal outcomes. We hypothesised that facilitation of local stakeholder groups would reduce neonatal mortality (primary outcome) and improve maternal, delivery, and newborn care indicators (secondary outcomes) in Quang Ninh province, Vietnam.
Methods and Findings
In a cluster-randomized design 44 communes were allocated to intervention and 46 to control. Laywomen facilitated monthly meetings during 3 years in groups composed of health care staff and key persons in the communes. A problem-solving approach was employed. Births and neonatal deaths were monitored, and interviews were performed in households of neonatal deaths and of randomly selected surviving infants. A latent period before effect is expected in this type of intervention, but this timeframe was not pre-specified. Neonatal mortality rate (NMR) from July 2008 to June 2011 was 16.5/1,000 (195 deaths per 11,818 live births) in the intervention communes and 18.4/1,000 (194 per 10,559 live births) in control communes (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.96 [95% CI 0.73–1.25]). There was a significant downward time trend of NMR in intervention communes (p = 0.003) but not in control communes (p = 0.184). No significant difference in NMR was observed during the first two years (July 2008 to June 2010) while the third year (July 2010 to June 2011) had significantly lower NMR in intervention arm: adjusted OR 0.51 (95% CI 0.30–0.89). Women in intervention communes more frequently attended antenatal care (adjusted OR 2.27 [95% CI 1.07–4.8]).
Conclusions
A randomized facilitation intervention with local stakeholder groups composed of primary care staff and local politicians working for three years with a perinatal problem-solving approach resulted in increased attendance to antenatal care and reduced neonatal mortality after a latent period.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN44599712
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Over the past few years, there has been enormous international effort to meet the target set by Millennium Development Goal 4 to reduce the under-five child mortality rate by two-thirds and to reduce the number of maternal deaths by three-quarters, respectively, from the 1990 level by 2015. There has been some encouraging progress and according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization, in 2011, just under 7 million children aged under 5 years died, a fall of almost 3 million from a decade ago. However, currently, 41% of all deaths among children under the age of 5 years occur around birth and the first 28 days of life (perinatal and neonatal mortality). Simple interventions can substantially reduce neonatal deaths and there have been several international, national, and local efforts to implement effective care packages to help reduce the number of neonatal deaths.
Why Was This Study Done?
In order for these interventions to be most effective, it is important that the local community becomes involved. Community mobilization, especially through local women's groups, can empower women to prioritize specific interventions to help improve their own health and that of their baby. An alternative strategy might be to mobilize people who already have responsibility to promote health and welfare in society, such as primary care staff, village health workers, and elected political representatives. However, it is unclear if the activities of such stakeholder groups result in improved neonatal survival. So in this study from northern Vietnam, the researchers analyzed the effect of the activity of local maternal-and-newborn stakeholder groups on neonatal mortality.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Between 2008 and 2011, the researchers conducted a cluster-randomized controlled trial in 90 communes within the Quang Ninh province of northeast of Vietnam: 44 communes were allocated to intervention and 46 to the control. The local women's union facilitated recruitment to the intervention, local stakeholder groups (Maternal and Newborn Health Groups), which comprised primary care staff, village health workers, women's union representatives, and the person with responsibility for health in the commune. The groups' role was to identify and prioritize local perinatal health problems and implement actions to help overcome these problems.
Over the three-year period, the Maternal and Newborn Health Groups in the 44 intervention communes had 1,508 meetings. Every year 15–27 unique problems were identified and addressed 94–151 times. The problem-solving processes resulted in an annual number of 19–27 unique actions that were applied 297–649 times per year. The top priority problems and actions identified by these groups dealt with antenatal care attendance, post-natal visits, nutrition and rest during pregnancy, home deliveries, and breast feeding. Neonatal mortality in the intervention group did not change over the first two years but showed a significant improvement in the third year. The three leading causes of death were prematurity/low birth-weight (36%), intrapartum-related neonatal deaths (30%), and infections (15%). Stillbirth rates were 7.4 per 1,000 births in the intervention arm and 9.0 per 1,000 births in the control arm. There was one maternal death in the intervention communes and four in the control communes and there was a significant improvement in antenatal care attendance in the intervention arm. However, there were no significant differences between the intervention and control groups of other outcomes, including tetanus immunization, delivery preparedness, institutional delivery, temperature control at delivery, early initiation of breastfeeding, or home visit of a midwife during the first week after delivery.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that local stakeholder groups comprised of primary care staff and local politicians using a problem-solving approach may help to reduce the neonatal mortality rate after three years of implementation (although the time period for an expected reduction in neonatal mortality was not specified before the trial started) and may also increase the rate of antenatal care attendance. However, the intervention had no effect on other important outcomes such as the rate of institutional delivery and breast feeding. This study used a novel approach of community-based activity that was implemented into the public sector system at low cost. A further reduction in neonatal deaths around delivery might be achieved by neonatal resuscitation training and home visits to the mother and her baby.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001445.
The World Health Organization provides comprehensive statistics on neonatal mortality
The Healthy Newborn Network has information on community interventions to help reduce neonatal mortality from around the world
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001445
PMCID: PMC3653802  PMID: 23690755

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