To date, no study on smoking behavior of medical students in Inner Mongolia has been reported. The aim of the present study was to determine the 1-month prevalence of and factors associated with daily smoking among medical students in Inner Mongolia of China, to assist interventions designed to reduce the smoking behavior of medical college students in this region.
During December 2010 and January 2011 a cross-sectional survey was conducted among medical students at the Inner Mongolia Medical College using a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of three sections: students’ basic information, attitude on smoking behavior, and smoking status of the student daily smokers. Students who smoked every day in the last 30 days were regarded as daily smokers. Factors associated with smoking were identified using binary logistic regression analysis.
A total of 6044 valid surveys were returned. The overall prevalence of daily smoking was 9.8% while the prevalence of daily smoking among males and females were 29.4% and 1.7%, respectively. Males in the Faculty of Medicine Information Management had the highest daily smoking rate (48.9%). Logistic regression models found that the main factors associated with daily smoking among male medical students were highest year of study (OR = 3.62; CI: 1.18–11.05); attitude towards smoking behavior Do not care about people smoking around you (OR = 2.75; CI: 2.08–3.64); and Smoking is harmful to their health (OR = 4.40; CI: 2.21–8.75). The main factor associated with daily smoking among female medical students was attitude towards smoking behavior Eliminate smoking on campus (OR = 0.11; CI: 0.06–0.23). Both for male and female medical students, there was no association between ethnicity and cigarette daily smoking. In regard to smoking status, more than 60% of daily smokers began smoking in high school, 61.3% smoked less than 5 cigarettes per day, 62.9% of the daily smokers’ families opposed their smoking behavior, and after an hour of not smoking 74.6% daily smokers did not feel uncomfortable.
Antismoking education should be further promoted in Inner Mongolia medical students, with consideration given to the factors associated with daily smoking behavior found in the present study.
Daily smoking; Behavior; Medical students; Prevalence
The study aimed to examine the effect of household and community characteristics on financial catastrophe and impoverishment due to health payment in Western and Central Rural China.
A household survey was conducted in 2008 in Hebei and Shaanxi provinces and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region using a multi-stage sampling technique. Independent variables included village characteristics, household income, chronic illness status, health care use and health spending. A composite contextual variable, named village deprivation, was derived from socio-economic status and availability of health care facilities in each village using factor analysis. Dependent variables were whether household health payment was more than 40% of household's capacity to pay (catastrophic health payment) and whether household per capita income was put under Chinese national poverty line (1067 Yuan income per year) after health spending (impoverishment). Mixed effects logistic regression was used to assess the effect of the independent variables on the two outcomes.
Households with low per capita income, having elderly, hospitalized or chronically ill members, and whose head was unemployed were more likely to incur financial catastrophe and impoverishment due to health expenditure. Both catastrophic and impoverishing health payments increased with increased village deprivation. However, the presence of a village health clinic had no effect on the two outcomes, nor did household enrollment in the New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme (national health insurance).
Village deprivation independently increases the risk for financial hardship due to health payment after adjusting for known household-level factors. This suggests that policy makers need to view the individual, household and village as separate units for policy targeting.
Few studies on the breakfast consumption habits of medical students in China have been carried out. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of skipping breakfast and factors associated with skipping breakfast among medical students in Inner Mongolia of China, and to assist in the design of interventions to improve breakfast consumption habits of medical college students in this region.
From December 2010 to January 2011 a cross-sectional survey was conducted among medical students in the Inner Mongolia Medical College using a self-administered questionnaire. The prevalence of skipping breakfast in relation to lifestyle habits was described and factors associated with breakfast consumption were identified using multiple logistic regression analysis.
The overall prevalence of skipping breakfast was 41.7% and 23.5% for males and females, respectively. The Faculty of Medicine Information Management had the highest breakfast skipping prevalence. Logistic regression models found that the main factors associated with breakfast consumption habits among medical students were gender, class years of education, monthly expenses, faculty, appetite, sleeping quality, and the learning process; monthly expenses, sleeping quality, and the learning process showed a dose-dependent relationship.
Breakfast consumption was associated with many factors, most importantly monthly expenses, sleeping quality and the learning process. The prevalence of skipping breakfast is significantly higher compared recently reported figures for medical students in western countries and other areas of China. Improvement of breakfast education should be considered for students in which higher monthly expenses, poor sleeping quality, or a laborious learning process have been identified.
Breakfast; Behavior; Medical students; Prevalence
Birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality and are responsible for substantial child and adult morbidity. Documenting the variation in prevalence of birth defects among racial/ethnic subpopulations is critical for assessing possible variations in diagnosis, case ascertainment, or risk factors among such groups.
We used data from the Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program, a population-based birth defects registry with active case ascertainment. We estimated the racial/ethnic variation in prevalence of 46 selected major birth defects among live births, stillbirths, and pregnancy terminations at >20 weeks gestation among mothers residing in the five central counties of metropolitan Atlanta between 1994 and 2005, adjusting for infant sex, maternal age, gravidity, and socioeconomic status (SES). We also explored SES as a potential effect measure modifier.
Compared with births to non-Hispanic white women, births to non-Hispanic black women had a significantly higher prevalence of five birth defects and a significantly lower prevalence of 10 birth defects, while births to Hispanic women had a significantly higher prevalence of four birth defects and a significantly lower prevalence of six birth defects. The racial/ethnic disparities in the prevalence of some defects varied by SES, but no clear pattern emerged.
Racial/ethnic disparities were suggested in 57% of included birth defects. Disparities in the prevalence of birth defects may result from different underlying genetic susceptibilities; exposure to risk factors; or variability in case diagnosis, ascertainment, or reporting among the subpopulations examined. Policies that improve early diagnosis of birth defects could reduce associated morbidity and mortality.
Vigilance is needed to prevent hemorrhagic fever renal syndrome caused by Hantaan
and Seoul viruses in this region.
Surveys were carried out in 2003–2006 to better understand the
epidemiology of hantaviruses in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China
(Inner Mongolia). Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) was first
reported in this region in 1955 and has been an important public health problem
here since then. During 1955–2006, 8,309 persons with HFRS were
reported in Inner Mongolia (average incidence rate 0.89/100,000), and 261
(3.14%) died. Before the 1990s, all HFRS cases occurred in northeastern Inner
Mongolia. Subsequently, HFRS cases were registered in central (1995) and western
(1999) Inner Mongolia. In this study, hantaviral antigens were identified in
striped field mice (Apodemus agrarius) from northeastern Inner
Mongolia and in Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) from middle and
western Inner Mongolia. Phylogenetic analysis of hantaviral genome sequences
suggests that HFRS has been caused mainly by Hantaan virus in northeastern Inner
Mongolia and by Seoul virus in central and western Inner Mongolia.
Viruses; zoonoses; hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome; hantavirus; Hantaan virus; Seoul virus; China; Mongolia; research
1) To understand the current prevalence and main types of birth defects, 2) assess the periconceptional exposure of factors associated with birth defects in Shaanxi Province, and 3) provide scientific evidence for local governments to formulate services for the primary prevention of birth defects.
We sampled 16,541 households from 128 townships in 16 counties/districts in Shaanxi province using a multi-stage random sampling method. Among them, 10,544 women who had live born or stillborn infants with gestational age ≥28 weeks between 2008 and 2009 were interviewed using a structured questionnaire designed to collect information about periconceptional risk factor exposure, health care service utilization, and micronutrient supplements. Logistic regression was performed to assess the risk factors associated with birth defects and adjustments were made for imbalanced social-demographic characteristics between case and control groups.
The prevalence of congenital birth defect in Shaanxi province was 14.3/1000 births. The environment risk factors associated with birth defects include unhealthy lifestyle (Alcohol, odds ratio (OR): 3.60, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.64−7.91; Smoking, OR: 1.32, 95% CI: 0.99−1.75; Drink strong tea, OR: 1.81, 95% CI: 1.27−2.59), exposure to heavy pollution (OR: 1.53, 95% CI: 1.01−2.30), maternal diseases (OR: 1.77, 95% CI: 1.35−2.33), drug use (OR: 2.11, 95% CI: 1.51−2.95), maternal chemical pesticide exposure (OR: 2.30, 95% CI: 1.16−4.57), and adverse pregnancy history (OR: 10.10, 95% CI: 7.55−13.53). Periconceptional folic acid or multiple micronutrients including folic acid supplementation, was associated with a reduced rate of birth defects (OR: 0.54, 95% CI: 0.29−0.998).
Health care service utilization, unhealthy lifestyle factors, and environment risk factors seem to be associated with birth defects in Shaanxi province. Governmental agencies should focus on effective primary preventative methods, such as the delivery of periconceptional health education for minimizing potential risk factor exposures, periconceptional folic acid or micronutrient supplementation, environment monitoring, and assessment of factories with high levels of pollution.
The New Rural Cooperative Medical Scheme (NRCMS, voluntary health insurance) and the Medical Financial Assistance (MFA, financial relief program) were established in 2003 for rural China. The aim of this study was to document their coverage, assess their effectiveness on access to in-patient care and protection against financial catastrophe and household impoverishment due to health spending, and identify the factors predicting impoverishment with and without these schemes.
A cross-sectional household survey was conducted in 2008 in Hebei and Shaanxi provinces and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region using a multi-stage sampling technique. Information on personal demographic characteristics, chronic illness status, health care use, household expenditure, and household health spending were collected by interview.
NRCMS covered 90.8% of the studied individuals and among the designated poor, 7.6% had their premiums paid by MFA. Of those referred for hospitalization in the year prior to the interview, 34.3% failed to comply, mostly (80.2%) owing to financial constraints. There was no significant difference in the unmet need for admission between the insured with NRCMS and the uninsured. Before reimbursement, the incidence of catastrophic health payment (household health spending more than 40% of household's capacity to pay) and medical impoverishment (household per capita income falling below the poverty line due to medical expense) was 14.3% and 8.2%, respectively. NRCMS prevented 9.9% of the households from financial catastrophe and 7.7% from impoverishment, whereas MFA kept just one household from impoverishment and had no effect on financial catastrophe. Household per capita expenditure and household chronic disease proportion (proportion of members of a household with chronic illness) were the most important determinants of the unmet need for admission, risk of being impoverished and the chance of not being saved from impoverishment.
The coverage of NRCMS among the rural population was high but not adequate to improve access to in-patient care and protect against financial catastrophe and household impoverishment due to health payment, especially for the poor and the chronically ill. Furthermore, MFA played almost no such role; therefore, the current schemes need to be improved.
To assess the coverage of individual-based primary prevention strategies for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Cambodia and Mongolia: specifically the early identification of hypertension and diabetes mellitus, major proximate physiological CVD risk factors, and management with pharmaceutical and lifestyle advice interventions.
Analysis of data collected in national cross-sectional STEPS surveys in 2009 (Mongolia) and 2010 (Cambodia) involving participants aged 25-64 years: 5433 in Cambodia and 4539 in Mongolia.
Mongolia has higher prevalence of CVD risk factors than Cambodia --hypertension (36.5% versus 12.3%), diabetes (6.3% versus 3.1%), hypercholesterolemia (8.5% versus 3.2%), and overweight (52.5% versus 15.5%). The difference in tobacco smoking was less notable (32.1% versus 29.4%).
Coverage with prior testing for blood glucose in the priority age group 35-64 years remains limited (16.5% in Cambodia and 21.7% in Mongolia). Coverage is higher for hypertension. A large burden of both hypertension and diabetes remains unidentified at current strategies for early identification: only 45.4% (Cambodia) to 65.8% (Mongolia) of all hypertensives and 22.8% (Mongolia) to 50.3% (Cambodia) of all diabetics in the age group 35-64 years had been previously diagnosed.
Approximately half of all hypertensives and of all diabetics in both countries were untreated. 7.2% and 12.2% of total hypertensive population and 5.9% and 16.1% of total diabetic population in Cambodia and Mongolia, respectively, were untreated despite being previously diagnosed.
Only 24.1% and 28.6% of all hypertensives and 15.9% and 23.9% of all diabetics in Mongolia and Cambodia, respectively were adequately controlled. Estimates suggest deficits in delivery of important advice for lifestyle interventions.
Multifaceted strategies are required to improve early identification, initiation of treatment and improving quality of treatment for common CVD risk factors. Periodic population-based surveys including questions on medical and treatment history and the context of testing and treatment can facilitate monitoring of individual-based prevention strategies.
Mongolia has a high and increasing burden of hypertension and related disease, with cardiovascular diseases among the leading causes of death. Yet little is known about the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the Mongolian population with regards to blood pressure. With this in mind, a national Non-Communicable Diseases knowledge, attitudes and practices survey on blood pressure was implemented in late 2010. This paper reports on the findings of this research.
Using a multi-stage, random cluster sampling method 3450 participant households were selected from across Mongolia. This survey was interviewer-administered and included demographic and socio-economic questions. Sample size was calculated using methods aligned with the World Health Organization STEPS surveys.
One fifth of participants reported having never heard the term ‘blood pressure’. This absence of health knowledge was significantly higher in men, and particularly younger men. The majority of participants recognised high blood pressure to be a threat to health, with a higher level of risk awareness among urban individuals. Education level and older age were generally associated with a heightened knowledge and risk perception. Roughly seven in ten participants were aware of the relationship between salt and blood pressure. Exploring barriers to screening, participants rated a ‘lack of perceived importance’ as the main deterring factor among fellow Mongolians and overall, participants perceived medication and exercise as the only interventions to be moderately effective at preventing high blood pressure.
Rural populations; younger populations; men; and less educated populations, all with lower levels of knowledge and risk perception regarding hypertension, present those most vulnerable to it and the related health outcomes. This research intimates major health knowledge gaps in sub-populations within Mongolia, regarding health-risks related to hypertension.
Hypertension; Blood-pressure; Non-communicable disease; Epidemiology; KAP; Mongolia; Asia
Older mothers are becoming more common in Japan. One reason for this is the widespread use of assisted reproductive technology (ART). This study assesses the relationship between maternal age and the risk of birth defects after ART.
Nationwide data on ART between 2004 and 2010 in Japan were analyzed. Diseases that were classified as code Q00-Q99 (ie, congenital malformations, deformations, and chromosomal abnormalities) in the International Classification of Diseases, tenth edition, were selected. There were 219,185 pregnancies and 153,791 live births in total ART. Of these, 1943 abortions, stillbirths, or live births with birth defects were recorded. Percentage of multiple birth defects in total birth defects, the prevalence, crude relative risk and 95% confidence interval per 10,000 pregnancies and per 10,000 live births were analyzed according to the maternal age class (ie, 25–29, 30–34 (reference), 35–39, and 40+ years).
Multiple birth defects were observed among 14% of the 25–29 year old class, and 8% among other classes when chromosomal abnormalities were excluded. The prevalence of chromosomal abnormalities per pregnancy and per live birth became significantly and rapidly higher in mothers in the age classes of 30–35 and 40+ years. Nonchromosomal birth defects per pregnancy decreased linearly with advanced maternal age, while the number of nonchromosomal birth defects per live birth formed a gradual U-shaped distribution. The prevalence per pregnancy of congenital malformations of the nervous system was significantly lower with advanced maternal age. The relative risk per live birth was significant regarding congenital malformations of the circulatory system for a maternal age of 40+ years. Some other significant associations between maternal age and birth defects were observed.
Maternal age is associated with several birth defects; however, older maternal age in itself does not produce noticeable extra risk for nonchromosomal birth defects overall.
birth defects; assisted reproductive technology; maternal age; pregnancy; live births; epidemiologic prevalence study
To estimate the prevalence of radiographic and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA) in a remote rural region of northern China and compare these with those reported in Beijing and data from the Framingham (Massachusetts, USA) cohort.
A population-based cross-sectional survey was conducted among 1030 residents of Wuchuan County, Inner Mongolia, aged 50 years and over. Survey participants, mostly farmers reporting heavy physical occupational activity, completed an interviewer-based questionnaire and obtained bilateral weight-bearing posterior-anterior semi-flexed knee radiographs.
While the overall prevalence of radiographic knee OA was similar to that demonstrated in the Beijing OA study, men in Wuchuan had about double the prevalence of severe radiographic [prevalence ratio (PR) 2.5, 95% CI 1.6 to 3.8] and symptomatic knee OA (PR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3 to 2.9). Women in Wuchuan also had a higher prevalence of both severe radiographic (PR 1.4, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.0) and symptomatic knee OA (PR 1.6, 95% CI 1.2 to 2.1) compared with their Beijing counterparts. The prevalence of bilateral OA and lateral compartment disease were two to three times higher in both Chinese cohorts compared with estimates from the Framingham OA Study.
The prevalence of symptomatic knee OA in rural areas of China is much higher than reported from urban regions of China or in the Framingham cohort. The higher representation of bilateral and lateral compartment disease in China suggests a unique phenotype to OA. The findings will be useful to guide the distribution of future health care resources and preventive strategies.
Osteoarthritis knee; disease prevalence; rural China; physical activity
We tested whether the abundance of C4 vegetation in grasslands of the Mongolian plateau is influenced by grazing conditions. The analysis exploited the politically originated contrast that exists between Mongolia (low stocking rate, transhumant system) and the district of Inner Mongolia, China (high stocking rate, sedentary system). We estimated the proportion of C4 carbon (PC4) in grazed vegetation from the relative carbon isotope ratio (δ13C) of sheep wool sampled from 298 annual shearings originating from 1996 to 2007. Annual stocking rates varying over time and between the districts of both countries were taken from regional statistics. The PC4 pattern within the 0.7 million km2 sampling area was geostatistically analyzed and related to stocking rates and temperature gradients. For similar climatic conditions, PC4 was the same in both countries. Further, a unique relationship was found between PC4 and July temperature on both sides of the border, which explained 71% of the pattern. Stocking rate and grazing system had no significant influences on present-day C3/C4 abundance ratio. This finding suggests that recent changes in the C3/C4 ratio of these grasslands are mainly a consequence of regional warming, not overgrazing.
Mongolia is undergoing rapid epidemiological transition with increasing urbanisation and economic development. The lifestyle and health of Mongolians are changing as a result, shown by the 2005 and 2009 STEPS surveys (World Health Organization's STEPwise Approach to Chronic Disease Risk Factor Surveillance) that described a growing burden of Non-Communicable Diseases and injuries (NCDs).
This study aimed to assess, describe and explore the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the Mongolian adult population around NCDs in order to better understand the drivers and therefore develop more appropriate solutions to this growing disease burden. In addition, it aimed to provide data for the evaluation of current public health programs and to assist in building effective, evidence-based health policy.
This national survey consisted of both quantitative and qualitative methods. A quantitative household-based questionnaire was conducted using a nationally representative sample of 3854 rural and urban households. Participants were selected using a multi-stage cluster sampling technique in 42 regions across Mongolia, including rural and urban sites. Permanent residents of sampled households were eligible for recruitment, if aged between 15-64 years. This quantitative arm was then complemented and triangulated with a qualitative component: twelve focus group discussions focusing on diet, exercise and alcohol consumption. Discussions took place in six sites across the country, facilitated by local, trained health workers. These six sites were chosen to reflect major Mongolian cultural and social groups.
KAP surveys are well represented in the literature, but studies that aim to explore the knowledge, attitudes and practices of a population around NCDs remain scarce. This is despite the growing number of national epidemiological surveys, such as STEPS, which aim to quantify the burden of these diseases but do not explore the level of population-based awareness, understanding, risk-perception and possible motivation for change. Therefore this paper will contribute to building a knowledge base of NCD KAP survey methodology for future use in epidemiology and research worldwide.
Non-Communicable Diseases; KAP survey; Knowledge; Attitudes; Mongolia; Injuries
Whilst the prevalence and correlates of postpartum depression are well established, far less is known about postpartum anxiety. Studies have described the association between socio-demographic factors and postpartum depression, yet few have explored the association between stressors in women's lives around the time of having a baby and maternal psychological morbidity. This study aimed to describe the population prevalence of postpartum depression, anxiety, co-morbid anxiety and depression and social health issues; and to examine the association between postpartum psychological and social health issues experienced in the six months following birth.
Population-based survey of all women who gave birth in Victoria and South Australia in September/October 2007. Women were mailed the survey questionnaire six months following birth. Anxiety and depression were measured using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21).
Questionnaires were completed by 4,366 women. At six months postpartum the proportion of women scoring above the 'normal' range on the DASS-21 was 12.7% for anxiety,17.4% for depression, and 8.1% for co-morbid depression and anxiety. Nearly half the sample reported experiencing stressful life events or social health issues in the six months following birth, with 38.3% reporting one to two and 8.8% reporting three or more social health issues. Women reporting three or more social health issues were significantly more likely to experience postnatal anxiety (Adj OR = 4.12, 95% CI 3.0-5.5) or depression (Adj OR = 5.11, 95% CI = 3.9-6.7) and co-morbid anxiety and depression (Adj OR = 5.41, 95% CI 3.8-7.6) than women who did not report social health issues.
Health care providers including midwives, nurses, medical practitioners and community health workers need to be alert to women's social circumstances and life events experienced in the perinatal period and the interplay between social and emotional health. Usual management for postpartum mental health issues including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and pharmacological approaches may not be effective if social health issues are not addressed. Coordinated and integrated perinatal care that is responsive to women's social health may lead to improvements in women's emotional wellbeing following birth.
This paper was based on ethnobotanical investigations conducted from 2004-2006 in Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region of northern China. Today, due to their nutritious and relatively pollution-free characteristics, wild vegetables are playing an increasingly important role in peoples' health and well-being. This paper aims to provide scientific clues for the selection of special and high quality wild vegetables species.
An ethnobotanical study, consisting of a literature survey, open-ended and semi-structured interviews, and collection and identification of voucher specimens was carried out to gather information on wild vegetables in Inner Mongolia. Next, an integrated assessment of 90 species of wild vegetables was performed using the linearity weighted integrative mathematical analysis method.
According to an integrated assessment of 90 species of wild vegetables in Inner Mongolia, there are 5 species with the highest integrated value, 40 species of high-integrated value, 43 species of general integrated value, and 2 species of low value. The results indicate that the vast majority of wild vegetables have high value in Inner Mongolia.
Inner Mongolia is rich in wild vegetable resources. A comprehensive assessment indicates that the vast majority of wild vegetables are of high value. However, these wild vegetables are seldom collected or cultivated by local people. Most of the collected species require further research and investigation into their nutrient content, toxicity and ethnobotany to illuminate their potential as new cultivars or products.
Short birth intervals and unintended pregnancies pose serious health risks to mothers and their infants by causing unnecessary high risk of pregnancy related complications and self induced abortions. The objective of the study was to assess the child spacing and fertility planning behavior of women in Mana district, Jimma zone.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted from July 18 – August 17, 2008 on 645 women who had a live birth in the three years prior to the survey. A simple random sampling technique was used to identify eligible women. A pre-tested structured questionnaire was used for data collection. Data were analyzed using SPSS for windows version 15. Frequency distributions, cross-tabulation, and logistic regression analysis were performed.
Analysis of birth intervals for women with non first births showed that 27% of births occurred within less than 24 months after a previous birth, showing that a considerable proportion of births were not adequately spaced to promote maternal and child health. About 39% of women reported that their recent pregnancy was unintended. Women with unintended pregnancy are more likely to be illiterate (OR=1.85,95%CI,1.23–2.79), have four or more living children(OR=2.77,95% CI,1.77–4.33), had a previous birth interval of less than 24 months(OR=1.78,95% CI(1.19–2.69), have never used contraception (OR=4.53, 95% CI, 3.05–6.75) and did not desire any more children (OR=1.84, 95% CI, 1.23–2.76).
The study showed that an inadequate child spacing and high level of unintended pregnancy among considerable proportion of the study population. Unintended pregnancy and short birth intervals can pose serious health risks to mothers and their infants by causing unnecessary high risk of pregnancy related complications. Thus, improving access to safe and voluntary family planning counseling and services is essential to reduce the high level of unintended pregnancy and short birth intervals.
unintended pregnancy; child spacing; Mana; high risk
Universal hepatitis B (HB) immunisation is the most effective means for prevention of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection worldwide. Maintaining the vaccine cold chain is an essential part of a successful immunisation programme. Our recent nationwide survey in Mongolia has observed significant urban–rural differences in the prevalence of HBV infection among vaccinated cohorts.
To examine whether the administration of HB vaccine in winter contributes to these residential discrepancies on the effectiveness of vaccination.
Design and setting
In 2004, a nationwide serosurvey was carried out covering both urban and rural areas of Mongolia. Sampling was multistage, with random probability from all public schools in the country.
A random sample of 1145 children (51.7% boys; aged 7–12 years), representative of Mongolian elementary school children.
Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified that total (past and current) HBV infection (OR 2.31, 95% CI 1.20 to 4.42; p = 0.012) was independently associated with the administration of all HB vaccines in winter. An increased OR for current HBV infection was also observed (OR 2.58, 95% CI 0.87 to 7.68; p = 0.089), but without significance. Interestingly, after stratifying by residence, the association between winter vaccination and total HBV infection was evident for rural (p = 0.008) but not for urban areas (p = 0.294). The frequency of vaccine‐induced immunity was significantly (p = 0.007) lower for those who received HB vaccine at birth during winter in rural areas.
Administration of HB vaccine during winter is an important predictor of the low effectiveness of vaccination in rural Mongolia. To improve the effectiveness of HB vaccination in remote areas, cold chain control should be addressed with particular attention to the winter season.
In 2003, the Omani Ministry of Health Child Health Care Program initiated a national Birth Defects (BD) Register. This paper reviews the magnitude and risk factors of birth defects in children born and registered in 2005 using data from the BD Register.
Pediatricians and neonatologists examined children with BDs found either during screening at birth or when attending clinics in their first year of their life. Clinical examination, laboratory, sonographic and radiological investigations were carried out. A pre-tested form was used to note personal details, type of birth defect including International Classification of Diseases-10 (ICD-10) codes of BD and selected risk factors. The incidence rates per 100 live births were calculated.
The annual incidence of BD in Oman was 2.53% (95% CI 2.38–2.68). Males had a significantly higher risk of BD than females (relative risk (RR) = 2.0). The regional variation of BD was also significant (χ2 = 363). The incidence of anaemia due to enzyme disorders was 1.4%. BD of urogenital organs, hands and feet and Down’s syndrome were the main types of anatomical defects. Consanguinity among parents (RR = 0.85) and low birth weight (RR = 0.28) was negatively associated to birth defects. Mothers giving birth at gestational age of <37 weeks (RR = 1.89) had a higher risk of having children with BD. Maternal and paternal age were not associated to BD.
The national Register for BD is an important evaluation tool. Both genetic and acquired risk factors seem to affect BD rates and types in Oman.
Birth defects; Congenital anomalies; Oman
Birth defects and inborn errors of metabolism are related to variable poor perinatal and neonatal outcomes. Our aim was to explore the pattern and prevalence of birth defects and metabolic birth errors in Al-Ahsa Governorate in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia.
This retrospective case control study was done from April 2006 to 2009. Children with any birth defect or metabolic errors of metabolism at birth or in the neonatology section were our sample for study. Control group was randomly selected from the cases with normal live births. Blood tests were performed for children suspected to suffer from genetic blood disorders. The principal BD as per the International Classification of Diseases-10 (ICD-10) code was also noted.
Out of 38001 live births, birth defects were found in 1.14% and errors of metabolism were detected in 0.17%. The most common birth defects were craniofacial malformations. The 3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase deficiency was the most common inborn errors of metabolism. Consanguinity, rural residence and prematurity were associated with significant rise in birth defects. On the other hand, consanguinity and low birth weight were associated with significant rise in metabolic errors.
First cousins consanguinity represented the most significant risk factor for birth defects and inborn errors of metabolism. High degree of inbreeding, consanguinity may exacerbate underlying recessive genetic risk factors.
Birth defects; inborn errors of metabolism; newborn; Saudi Arabia
To study the incidence of congenital anomalies and the associated risk factors in Department of Pediatrics at Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, Wardha, a rural medical college hospital in central Maharashtra.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
All the intramural deliveries between 1 January 2005 and 31 July 2007 comprised 9386 births and their 9324 mothers (62 mothers gave birth to twin babies). The newborns were examined and assessed systematically for the presence of congenital anomalies, system wise distribution of anomalies and risk factors attributable.
Out of the total 9386 deliveries, 9194 were live births and 192 were stillbirths. The total number of babies with congenital malformations was 179 (1.91%). Out of the 9262 singleton births, 177 (1.05%) were malformed, whereas 2 of the 62 pairs of twins had birth defects. Nine of the 179 malformed babies (5.02%) were still born. Prematurity, increased maternal age, increasing birth order and low birth weight were found to have a higher risk of congenital anomalies. Cardiovascular malformations were most common in live births, followed by musculoskeletal and genitourinary anomalies.
Congenital anomalies are a major cause of stillbirths and infant mortality. Evaluation of cardiovascular system to rule out congenital heart disease in high-risk mothers’ babies is the important factor to be considered.
Cardiovascular; congenital; infant; malformation; musculoskeletal
Earlier studies by our group suggested the possibility that offspring of pesticide appliers might have increased risks of birth anomalies. To evaluate this hypothesis, 935 births to 34,772 state-licensed, private pesticide appliers in Minnesota occurring between 1989 and 1992 were linked to the Minnesota state birth registry containing 210,723 live births in this timeframe. The birth defect rate for all birth anomalies was significantly increased in children born to private appliers. Specific birth defect categories, circulatory/respiratory, urogenital, and musculoskeletal/integumental, showed significant increases. For the general population and for appliers, the birth anomaly rate differed by corp-growing region. Western Minnesota, a major wheat, sugar beet, and potato growing region, showed the highest rate of birth anomalies per/1000 live births: 30.0 for private appliers versus 26.9 for the general population of the same region. The lowest rates, 23.7/1000 for private appliers versus 18.3/1000 for the general population, occurred in noncorp regions. The highest frequency of use of chlorophenoxy herbicides and fungicides also occurred in western Minnesota. Births in the general population of western Minnesota showed a significant increase in birth anomalies in the same three birth anomaly categories as appliers and for central nervous system anomalies. This increase was most pronounced for infants conceived in the spring. The seasonal effect did not occur in other regions. The male/female sex ratio for the four birth anomaly categories of interest in areas of high phenoxy herbicide/fungicide use is 2.8 for appliers versus 1.5 for the general population of the same region (p = 0.05). In minimal use regions, this ratio is 2.1 for appliers versus 1.7 for the general population. The pattern of excess frequency of birth anomalies by pesticide use, season, and alteration of sex ratio suggests exposure-related effects in appliers and the general population of the crop-growing region of western Minnesota.
Every year, 30,000 babies are born with congenital hearing impairment in China. The molecular etiology of hearing impairment in the Chinese population has not been investigated thoroughly. To provide appropriate genetic testing and counseling to families, we performed a comprehensive investigation of the molecular etiology of nonsyndromic deafness in two typical areas from northern and southern China.
A total of 284 unrelated school children with hearing loss who attended special education schools in China were enrolled in this study, 134 from Chifeng City in Inner Mongolia and the remaining 150 from Nangtong City in JiangSu Province. Screening was performed for GJB2, GJB3, GJB6, SLC26A4, 12S rRNA, and tRNAser(UCN) genes in this population. All patients with SLC26A4 mutations or variants were subjected to high-resolution temporal bone CT scan to verify the enlarged vestibular aqueduct.
Mutations in the GJB2 gene accounted for 18.31% of the patients with nonsyndromic hearing loss, 1555A>G mutation in mitochondrial DNA accounted for 1.76%, and SLC26A4 mutations accounted for 13.73%. Almost 50% of the patients with nonsyndromic hearing loss in these typical Chinese areas carried GJB2 or SLC26A4 mutations. No significant differences in mutation spectrum or prevalence of GJB2 and SLC26A4 were found between the two areas.
In this Chinese population, 54.93% of cases with hearing loss were related to genetic factors. The GJB2 gene accounted for the etiology in about 18.31% of the patients with hearing loss, SLC26A4 accounted for about 13.73%, and mtDNA 1555A>G mutation accounted for 1.76%. Mutations in GJB3, GJB6, and mtDNA tRNAser(UCN) were not common in this Chinese cohort. Conventionally, screening is performed for GJB2, SLC26A4, and mitochondrial 12S rRNA in the Chinese deaf population.
The burden of disability, analgesia, and health services use associated with knee pain and osteoarthritis (OA) in developing countries is relatively unknown, despite a high proportion of these populations required to be engaged in heavy occupational physical activity throughout their life span. The aim of this survey was to estimate the burden of disability, analgesia, and health services use associated with knee pain in rural China.
This was a population-based cross-sectional survey among residents, aged 50 years and older, of Wuchuan County, Inner Mongolia. Participants completed an interviewer-based questionnaire, evaluating knee pain and associated disability, analgesia, and health services use, and obtained bilateral standardized weight-bearing knee radiographs.
Of the 1,027 participants, 513 (50%) reported knee pain on most days of at least 1 month in the past year, with 109 (21%) also demonstrating radiographic OA (Kellgren-Lawrence grade ≥2) in the symptomatic knee. Adjusting for age, gender, body mass index (BMI), education, and back pain, the presence of knee pain was associated with significantly greater difficulty in walking, climbing 10 steps, stooping, completing cleaning chores, and preparing meals. Among the 513 subjects with knee pain, the additional presence of radiographic evidence of OA was significantly associated with more occasions of "unbearable" pain (59% versus 36%) and restricted activity (64% versus 39%), as well as increased use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (88% versus 78%) and the reported number of doctor visits (59% versus 33%) in the past year. The use of paracetamol for knee pain was rare (6% versus 2%).
Knee pain is highly prevalent in rural northern China. The associated significant disability and marked preferential use of NSAIDs as analgesia should be of concern in these communities reliant on heavy occupational physical activity for their livelihood. The findings will be useful to guide the distribution of future health care resources and preventive strategies. A similar article has been published in the Chinese language journal, National Medical Journal of China.
We examined the association of biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction with diabetes and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in persons from Inner Mongolia.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among 2,536 people aged 20 years and older from Inner Mongolia, China. Overnight fasting blood samples were obtained to measure plasma concentrations of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), soluble inter-cellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), sE-selectin, angiotensin II, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood glucose. Waist circumference and blood pressure were measured by trained staff. MetS was defined according to the modified ATP III definition for Asians. Elevated level of the biomarker was defined as values in the upper tertile of the distribution. Participants were categorized into one of four groups based on the presence or absence of metabolic and glycemic abnormalities: 1) free of prediabetes, diabetes and MetS (reference group), 2) prediabetes or diabetes only, 3) MetS without prediabetes or diabetes, and 4) MetS plus prediabetes or diabetes. The multivariable models are adjusted for age, gender, smoking, drinking, family history of hypertension, and body mass index.
Among study participants, 18.5% had prediabetes, 3.6% had diabetes, and 27.4% of the entire study population had 3 or more components of the MetS. Elevated hsCRP was associated with an increased odds of prediabetes or diabetes only, MetS without prediabetes or diabetes, and MetS plus prediabetes or diabetes with multivariable adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) of 2.3 (1.7-3.1), 3.0 (2.4-3.8), and 5.8 (4.5-7.5), respectively. Elevated sICAM-1 was associated with increased odds (95% CI) of prediabetes or diabetes only (2.1, 1.6-2.9) and MetS plus prediabetes or diabetes (4.2, 3.2-5.3) but was not associated with MetS alone. Elevated sE-selectin was associated with a modestly increased risk of MetS (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.4-2.2). Elevated levels of Angiotensin II were not associated with the MetS plus prediabetes or diabetes in this study.
Diabetes and the MetS are common in the Inner Mongolia population. The biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction are associated with increased risk for diabetes and MetS in this population. These results are consistent with results from other populations.
metabolic syndrome; diabetes; inflammation; endothelial dysfunction; C-reactive protein; intercellular adhesion molecule-1; E-selectin
Objective To investigate whether the 1998 government policy for mandatory fortification of flour and pasta products with folate was followed by a reduction in the prevalence of severe congenital heart defects.
Design Time trend analysis.
Setting Province of Quebec, Canada.
Participants Infants born in 1990-2005 identified with severe congenital heart defects (tetralogy of Fallot, endocardial cushion defects, univentricular hearts, truncus arteriosus, or transposition complexes) in Quebec administrative databases.
Methods Data analysed in two time periods (before and after fortification). Birth prevalence measured annually as infants (live and stillbirths) with severe congenital heart defects per 1000 births in Quebec. Changes in the birth prevalence from the period before to the period after fortification were estimated with Poisson regression.
Results Among the 1 324 440 births in Quebec in 1990-2005 there were 2083 infants born with severe congenital heart defects, corresponding to an average birth prevalence of 1.57/1000 births. Time trend analysis showed no change in the birth prevalence of severe birth defects in the nine years before fortification (rate ratio 1.01, 95% confidence interval 0.99 to 1.03), while in the seven years after fortification there was a significant 6% decrease per year (0.94, 0.90 to 0.97).
Conclusions Public health measures to increase folic acid intake were followed by a decrease in the birth prevalence of severe congenital heart defects. These findings support the hypothesis that folic acid has a preventive effect on heart defects.