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1.  Recent Trends in Adolescent Alcohol Use in Hawai‘i: 2005–2011 
Monitoring trends in adolescent alcohol use over time is important for planning, allocation of resources, and evaluation of alcohol prevention and treatment programs. This article is an update of previously reported trends in adolescent alcohol use in the State of Hawai‘i utilizing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Five alcohol use indicators were investigated between 2005 and 2011 including lifetime use, onset age, current use, binge drinking, and drinking on school property. Youth in Hawai‘i generally reported worse alcohol behaviors in 2009 compared to 2007 but better alcohol use behaviors were observed in 2011 compared to 2009. This trend was not observed on the national level and thus may represent changes unique to Hawai‘i. These apparent changes in alcohol use among adolescents highlight the need for resources and for continued surveillance.
PMCID: PMC3602948  PMID: 23520567
2.  Association between Perceived Racism and Physiological Stress Indices in Native Hawaiians 
Journal of Behavioral Medicine  2011;35(1):27-37.
The association between racism and the physical health of native U.S. populations has yet to be examined despite their high risk for stress-related disorders and a history of discrimination toward them. We examined the correlation between perceived racism and the two physiological stress indices of cortisol level and blood pressure in 146 adult Native Hawaiians. Attributed and felt racism were assessed with a 10-item shortened version of the Oppression Questionnaire. Height, weight, blood pressure (BP), and salivary cortisol samples (AM and PM) were collected and analyzed along with information on Hawaiian ancestry, BMI, age, sex, marital status, education level, general psychological stress, and ethnic identity. The results indicated that Native Hawaiians reporting more attributed racism had significantly (p < .05) lower average cortisol levels than those reporting less attributed racism, after adjusting for socio-demographic, biological, and psychosocial confounders. Native Hawaiians reporting more felt racism had a significantly higher systolic BP than those reporting less, but this association was not significant after adjusting for the aforementioned confounders. Racism appears to be a chronic stressor that can “get under the skin” of Native Hawaiians by affecting their physical health and risk for stress-related diseases, possibly, through mechanisms of cortisol dysregulation.
doi:10.1007/s10865-011-9330-z
PMCID: PMC3125412  PMID: 21360284
Native Hawaiian; racism; discrimination; physiological stress; salivary cortisol; blood pressure
3.  Anticoagulant Rodenticides on our Public and Community Lands: Spatial Distribution of Exposure and Poisoning of a Rare Forest Carnivore 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40163.
Anticoagulant rodenticide (AR) poisoning has emerged as a significant concern for conservation and management of non-target wildlife. The purpose for these toxicants is to suppress pest populations in agricultural or urban settings. The potential of direct and indirect exposures and illicit use of ARs on public and community forest lands have recently raised concern for fishers (Martes pennanti), a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act in the Pacific states. In an investigation of threats to fisher population persistence in the two isolated California populations, we investigate the magnitude of this previously undocumented threat to fishers, we tested 58 carcasses for the presence and quantification of ARs, conducted spatial analysis of exposed fishers in an effort to identify potential point sources of AR, and identified fishers that died directly due to AR poisoning. We found 46 of 58 (79%) fishers exposed to an AR with 96% of those individuals having been exposed to one or more second-generation AR compounds. No spatial clustering of AR exposure was detected and the spatial distribution of exposure suggests that AR contamination is widespread within the fisher’s range in California, which encompasses mostly public forest and park lands Additionally, we diagnosed four fisher deaths, including a lactating female, that were directly attributed to AR toxicosis and documented the first neonatal or milk transfer of an AR to an altricial fisher kit. These ARs, which some are acutely toxic, pose both a direct mortality or fitness risk to fishers, and a significant indirect risk to these isolated populations. Future research should be directed towards investigating risks to prey populations fishers are dependent on, exposure in other rare forest carnivores, and potential AR point sources such as illegal marijuana cultivation in the range of fishers on California public lands.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040163
PMCID: PMC3396649  PMID: 22808110
4.  Are fear-avoidance beliefs in low back pain patients a risk factor for low physical activity or vice versa? A cross-lagged panel analysis 
Objective: The assumption that low back pain (LBP) patients suffer from “disuse” as a consequence of high fear-avoidance beliefs is currently under debate. A secondary analysis served to investigate whether fear-avoidance beliefs are associated cross-sectionally and longitudinally with the physical activity level (PAL) in LBP patients.
Methods: A total of 787 individuals (57% acute and 43% chronic LBP) were followed up over a period of one year with measurements of fear-avoidance beliefs and physical activity level. Fear-avoidance beliefs concerning physical activity were measured by the physical-activity subscale of the FABQ (Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire), the physical activity level was assessed in weighted metabolic equivalents (MET) hours/week with a German self-report questionnaire. Data were investigated by structural equation modelling in a cross-lagged panel design for the whole sample and separately for acute and chronic LBP.
Results: The acute and chronic sub sample increased their total physical activity level significantly after one year. The structural equation modelling results did not support the disuse-aspect inherent in the fear-avoidance belief model. Cross-lagged path coefficients were low (.04 and .05 respectively) and, therefore, did not allow to predict final physical activity by initial fear-avoidance beliefs or vice versa.
Discussion: Consequently, due to missing links between fear-avoidance beliefs and physical activity in a longitudinal design, the assumptions of the fear-avoidance belief model have to be questioned. These findings are in line with other investigations published recently. Most probably, “fear-avoidance belief” represents a cognitive scheme that does not limit activity per se, but only is directed to the avoidance of specific movements.
doi:10.3205/psm000057
PMCID: PMC2736477  PMID: 19742047
fear-avoidance belief; physical activity; low back pain; structural equation modelling
5.  Acceptance and perceived barriers of implementing a guideline for managing low back in general practice 
Background
Implementation of guidelines in clinical practice is difficult. In 2003, the German College of General Practitioners and Family Physicians (DEGAM) released an evidence-based guideline for the management of low back pain (LBP) in primary care. The objective of this study is to explore the acceptance of guideline content and perceived barriers to implementation.
Methods
Seventy-two general practitioners (GPs) participating in quality circles within the framework of an educational intervention study for guideline implementation evaluated the LBP-guideline and its practicability with a standardised questionnaire. In addition, statements of group discussions were recorded using the metaplan technique and were incorporated in the discussion.
Results
Most GPs agree with the guideline content but believe that guideline stipulations are not congruent with patient wishes. Non-adherence to the guideline and contradictory information for patients by other professionals (e.g., GPs, orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapists) are important barriers to guideline adherence. Almost half of the GPs have no access to recommended multimodal pain programs for patients with chronic LBP.
Conclusion
Promoting adherence to the LBP guideline requires more than enhancing knowledge about evidence-based management of LBP. Public education and an interdisciplinary consensus are important requirements for successful guideline implementation into daily practice. Guideline recommendations need to be adapted to the infrastructure of the health care system.
Trial registration
BMBF Grant Nr. 01EM0113. FORIS (database for research projects in social science) Reg #: 20040116 [25].
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-3-7
PMCID: PMC2275295  PMID: 18257923
6.  Use of complementary alternative medicine for low back pain consulting in general practice: a cohort study 
Background
Although back pain is considered one of the most frequent reasons why patients seek complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies little is known on the extent patients are actually using CAM for back pain.
Methods
This is a post hoc analysis of a longitudinal prospective cohort study embedded in a RCT. General practitioners (GPs) recruited consecutively adult patients presenting with LBP. Data on physical function, on subjective mood, and on utilization of health services was collected at the first consultation and at follow-up telephone interviews for a period of twelve months
Results
A total of 691 (51%) respectively 928 (69%) out of 1,342 patients received one form of CAM depending on the definition. Local heat, massage, and spinal manipulation were the forms of CAM most commonly offered. Using CAM was associated with specialist care, chronic LBP and treatment in a rehabilitation facility. Receiving spinal manipulation, acupuncture or TENS was associated with consulting a GP providing these services. Apart from chronicity disease related factors like functional capacity or pain only showed weak or no association with receiving CAM.
Conclusion
The frequent use of CAM for LBP demonstrates that CAM is popular in patients and doctors alike. The observed association with a treatment in a rehabilitation facility or with specialist consultations rather reflects professional preferences of the physicians than a clear medical indication. The observed dependence on providers and provider related services, as well as a significant proportion receiving CAM that did not meet the so far established selection criteria suggests some arbitrary use of CAM.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-7-42
PMCID: PMC2222227  PMID: 18088435
7.  Determinants for receiving acupuncture for LBP and associated treatments: a prospective cohort study 
Background
Acupuncture is a frequently used but controversial adjunct to the treatment of chronic low back pain (LBP). Acupuncture is now considered to be effective for chronic LBP and health care systems are pressured to make a decision whether or not acupuncture should be covered. It has been suggested that providing such services might reduce the use of other health care services. Therefore, we explored factors associated with acupuncture treatment for LBP and the relation of acupuncture with other health care services.
Methods
This is a post hoc analysis of a longitudinal prospective cohort study. General practitioners (GPs) recruited consecutive adult patients with LBP. Data on physical function, subjective mood and utilization of health care services was collected at the first consultation and at follow-up telephone interviews for a period of twelve months.
Results
A total of 179 (13 %) out of 1,345 patients received acupuncture treatment. The majority of those (59 %) had chronic LBP. Women and elderly patients were more likely to be given acupuncture. Additional determinants of acupuncture therapy were low functional capacity and chronicity of pain. Chronic (vs. acute) back pain OR 1.6 (CL 1.4–2.9) was the only significant disease-related factor associated with the treatment. The strongest predictors for receiving acupuncture were consultation with a GP who offers acupuncture OR 3.5 (CL 2.9–4.1) and consultation with a specialist OR 2.1 (CL 1.9–2.3). After adjustment for patient characteristics, acupuncture remained associated with higher consultation rates and an increased use of other health care services like physiotherapy.
Conclusion
Receiving acupuncture for LBP depends mostly on the availability of the treatment. It is associated with increased use of other health services even after adjustment for patient characteristics. In our study, we found that receiving acupuncture does not offset the use of other health care resources. A significant proportion of patients who received did not meet the so far only known selection criterion (chonicity). Acupuncture therapy might be a reflection of helplessness in both patients and health care providers.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-6-149
PMCID: PMC1657011  PMID: 17112374
8.  Different Domains of the M-Band Protein Myomesin Are Involved in Myosin Binding and M-Band TargetingV⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1999;10(5):1297-1308.
Myomesin is a 185-kDa protein located in the M-band of striated muscle where it interacts with myosin and titin, possibly connecting thick filaments with the third filament system. By using expression of epitope-tagged myomesin fragments in cultured cardiomyocytes and biochemical binding assays, we could demonstrate that the M-band targeting activity and the myosin-binding site are located in different domains of the molecule. An N-terminal immunoglobulin-like domain is sufficient for targeting to the M-band, but solid-phase overlay assays between individual N-terminal domains and the thick filament protein myosin revealed that the unique head domain contains the myosin-binding site. When expressed in cardiomyocytes, the head domains of rat and chicken myomesin showed species-specific differences in their incorporation pattern. The head domain of rat myomesin localized to a central area within the A-band, whereas the head domain of chicken myomesin was diffusely distributed in the cytoplasm. We therefore conclude that the head domain of myomesin binds to myosin but that this affinity is not sufficient for the restriction of the domain to the M-band in vivo. Instead, the neighboring immunoglobulin-like domain is essential for the precise incorporation of myomesin into the M-band, possibly because of interaction with a yet unknown protein of the sarcomere.
PMCID: PMC25262  PMID: 10233145

Results 1-8 (8)