Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-25 (35)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

more »
Year of Publication
1.  Comorbidity of common mental disorders with cancer and their treatment gap: Findings from the World Mental Health Surveys 
Psycho-oncology  2013;23(1):40-51.
To study the comorbidity of common mental disorders (CMDs) and cancer, and the mental health treatment gap among community residents with active cancer, cancer survivors and cancer-free respondents in 13 high- and 11 low-middle income countries.
Data were derived from the World Mental Health Surveys (N=66,387; n=357 active cancer, n=1,373 cancer survivors, n=64,657 cancer free respondents). The WHO/Composite International Diagnostic Interview was used in all surveys to estimate CMDs prevalence rates. Respondents were also asked about mental health service utilization in the preceding 12 months. Cancer status was ascertained by self-report of physician’s diagnosis.
Twelve month prevalence rates of CMDs were higher among active cancer (18.4% SE=2.1) than cancer free respondents (13.3%, SE=0.2) adjusted for socio-demographic confounders and other lifetime chronic conditions (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR)=1.44 95% CI 1.05–1.97). CMD rates among cancer survivors (14.6% SE=0.9) compared with cancer-free respondents did not differ significantly (AOR=0.95 95% CI 0.82–1.11). Similar patterns characterized high and low-middle income countries. Of respondents with active cancer who had CMD in the preceding 12 months 59% sought services for mental health problems (SE=5.3). The pattern of service utilization among people with CMDs by cancer status (highest among persons with active cancer, lower among survivors and lowest among cancer-free respondents) was similar in high- (64.0% SE=6.0, 41.2% SE=3.0, 35.6% SE=0.6) and low-middle income countries (46.4% SE=11.0, 22.5% SE=9.1, 17.4% SE=0.7).
Community respondents with active cancer have relatively higher CMD rates and relatively high treatment gap. Comprehensive cancer care should consider both factors.
PMCID: PMC3992888  PMID: 23983079
Cancer; Epidemiology; Mental health; Oncology; Treatment gap; World Mental Health Surveys
2.  Clinical features of genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease with V180I mutation in the prion protein gene 
BMJ Open  2014;4(5):e004968.
Genetic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) due to V180I mutation in the prion protein gene (PRNP) is of great interest because of the differences from sporadic CJD and other genetic prion diseases in terms of clinical features, as well as pathological and biochemical findings. However, few systematic observations about the clinical features in patients with this unique mutation have been published. Therefore, the goal of this study was to relate this mutation to other forms of CJD from a clinical perspective.
We analysed clinical symptoms, prion protein genetics, biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and MRI of patients.
186 Japanese patients with the V180I mutation in PRNP.
Our results indicate that the V180I mutation caused CJD at an older age, with a slower progression and a lower possibility of developing myoclonus, cerebellar, pyramidal signs and visual disturbance compared with classical sporadic CJD with methionine homozygosity at codon 129 of PRNP. Cognitive impairment was the major symptom. Diffuse hyperintensity of the cerebral cortex in diffusion-weighted MRI might be helpful for diagnosis. Owing to the low positivity of PrPSc in the CSF, genetic analysis was often required for a differential diagnosis from slowly progressive dementia.
We conclude that the V180I mutation in PRNP produces a late-developing and slow-developing, less severe form of CJD, whose lesions are uniquely distributed compared with sporadic and other genetic forms of CJD.
PMCID: PMC4025468  PMID: 24838726
3.  Associations Between Diabetes, Leanness, and the Risk of Death in the Japanese General Population 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(5):1186-1192.
To examine the BMI-stratified associations between diabetes and the risks of all-cause death, cardiovascular disease (CVD) death, and cancer death.
Using a prospective study with 12 rural Japanese general populations (n = 3,641, mean age, 53.7 years; 33.5% men), we examined the associations between diabetes and the risk of all-cause death, CVD death, and cancer death. We also examined the effects of BMI and age on such associations.
During an average duration of 10.2 years (37,278 person-years), 240 deaths occurred (54 deaths from CVD, 101 from cancer, and 85 from other causes). Cox regression analysis showed leanness (defined as the lowest quartile of entire BMI; mean, 19.5 kg/m2), but not obesity (BMI ≥25 kg/m2), and diabetes were independently associated with an increased risk of all-cause death (hazard ratio [HR] 1.70 and 1.65, respectively; both P < 0.01.). Stratification with cause-specific deaths showed that leanness and obesity were associated with CVD death (HR 3.77 and 2.94, respectively), whereas diabetes was associated with cancer death (HR 1.87; all P < 0.05). The increased risk of all-cause death in diabetes was substantially higher in lean subjects aged <65 years (HR 3.4) or those aged ≥65 years (HR 4.2), whereas the risk in obese diabetes patients was significant only in subjects aged <65 years (HR 2.32; all P < 0.05).
Among the Japanese general population, diabetes confers an increased risk of all-cause death. Particular attention must be paid to the pronounced high mortality in diabetes accompanied with leanness, regardless of age.
PMCID: PMC3631853  PMID: 23250802
We sought to compare the epidemiologic features of Kawasaki disease (KD) in three Northern European countries and Japan.
Data were obtained from discharge databases for hospitals in Finland, Norway, and Sweden from 1999–2009 and from nationwide epidemiologic surveys in Japan from 1998–2008. Annual incidence for each country was calculated using regional census data.
During the 11-year period, 1,390 KD patients were recorded in the registries of the three Northern European countries. Average annual incidence rates per 100,000 children less than 5 years were: Finland 11.4, Norway 5.4, and Sweden 7.4. Overall, 86.4% of Japanese KD patients were less than 5 years compared to only 67.8% in the four Northern European countries (p<0.001).
The incidence of KD in Northern Europe was constant over the study period and much lower than in Japan. There was a significant age difference between Northern European and Japanese KD patients that remains unexplained.
PMCID: PMC3467350  PMID: 22726311
coronary artery aneurysm; epidemiology; Kawasaki disease; vasculitis
5.  Graft-related disease progression in dura mater graft-associated Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: a cross-sectional study 
BMJ Open  2013;3(8):e003400.
Details of abnormal prion protein (PrPSc) propagation in the human central nervous system (CNS) are unclear. To assess the spread of PrPSc through the human CNS, we evaluated dura mater graft-associated Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (dCJD) cases focusing on sites of grafting and dCJD pathological subtypes.
A cross-sectional study.
nationwide surveillance data of human prion diseases in Japan over the past 12 years were applied for the study.
Clinical data were obtained from 84 dCJD patients.
Outcome measures
The clinical courses in cases of dCJD were analysed according to the grafting sites (supratentorial and infratentorial groups) and the pathological subtypes (non-plaque and plaque types).
Of the 84 cases of dCJD in this study, 36 (43%) were included in the supratentorial group and 39 (46%) were included in the infratentorial group. As initial manifestations, vertigo (p=0.007) and diplopia (p=0.041) were significantly more frequent in the infratentorial group than in the supratentorial group. During their clinical course, cerebellar signs appeared more frequently in the infratentorial group than in the supratentorial group (p=0.024). In the non-plaque type cases (n=53), the infratentorial group developed vertigo more frequently than the supratentorial group (p=0.017); moreover, cerebellar signs appeared more frequently in the infratentorial group (p=0.014). However, there was no significant difference between groups in the plaque type (n=18).
The high frequency of clinical manifestations related to brain stem and cerebellar dysfunction in the non-plaque type dCJD with infratentorial grafting suggests that PrPSc commonly shows direct propagation into the CNS from contaminated dura mater grafts.
PMCID: PMC3753481  PMID: 23975105
Infectious Diseases
6.  Early-life mental disorders and adult household income in the World Mental Health Surveys 
Biological Psychiatry  2012;72(3):228-237.
Better information on the human capital costs of early-onset mental disorders could increase sensitivity of policy-makers to the value of expanding initiatives for early detection-treatment. Data are presented on one important aspect of these costs: the associations of early-onset mental disorders with adult household income.
Data come from the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys in eleven high income, five upper-middle income, and six low/lower-middle income countries. Information about 15 lifetime DSM-IV mental disorders as of age of completing education, retrospectively assessed with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview, was used to predict current household income among respondents ages 18-64 (n = 37,741) controlling for level of education. Gross associations were decomposed to evaluate mediating effects through major components of household income.
Early-onset mental disorders are associated with significantly reduced household income in high and upper-middle income countries but not low/lower-middle income countries, with associations consistently stronger among women than men. Total associations are largely due to low personal earnings (increased unemployment, decreased earnings among the employed) and spouse earnings (decreased probabilities of marriage and, if married, spouse employment and low earnings of employed spouses). Individual-level effect sizes are equivalent to 16-33% of median within-country household income, while population-level effect sizes are in the range 1.0-1.4% of Gross Household Income.
Early mental disorders are associated with substantial decrements in income net of education at both individual and societal levels. Policy-makers should take these associations into consideration in making healthcare research and treatment resource allocation decisions.
PMCID: PMC3402018  PMID: 22521149
epidemiology; mental disorders; early-onset; income; cross-national; WHO World Mental Health (WMH)
7.  Relationships between Clinicopathological Features and Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers in Japanese Patients with Genetic Prion Diseases 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e60003.
A national system for surveillance of prion diseases (PrDs) was established in Japan in April 1999. Here, we analyzed the relationships among prion protein gene (PRNP) mutations and the clinical features, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers, and pathological characteristics of the major genotypes of genetic PrDs (gPrDs). We retrospectively analyzed age at onset and disease duration; the concentrations and incidences of 14-3-3 protein, tau protein, and abnormal prion protein (PrPSc) in the CSF of 309 gPrD patients with P102L, P105L, E200K, V180I, or M232R mutations; and brain pathology in 32 autopsied patients. Three clinical phenotypes were seen: rapidly progressive Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), which included 100% of E200K cases, 70% of M232R, and 21% of P102L; slowly progressive CJD, which included 100% of V180I and 30% of M232R; and Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease, which included 100% of P105L and 79% of P102L. PrPSc was detected in the CSF of more than 80% of patients with E200K, M232R, or P102L mutations but in only 39% of patients with V180I. V180I was accompanied by weak PrP immunoreactivity in the brain. Patients negative for PrPSc in the CSF were older at disease onset than positive patients. Patients with mutations associated with high 14-3-3 protein levels in the CSF typically had synaptic deposition of PrP in the brain and a rapid course of disease. The presence of small PrP protein fragments in brain homogenates was not correlated with other clinicopathological features. Positivity for PrPSc in the CSF may reflect the pathological process before or at disease onset, or abnormality in the secretion or metabolism of PrPSc. The amount of 14-3-3 protein in the CSF likely indicates the severity of the pathological process and accompanying neuronal damage. These characteristic features of the CSF in cases of gPrD will likely facilitate accurate diagnosis and clinicopathological study of the various disease subtypes.
PMCID: PMC3610658  PMID: 23555862
8.  Cost-effectiveness of a tailored intervention designed to increase breast cancer screening among a non-adherent population: a randomized controlled trial 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:760.
Although the percentage of women who initiate breast cancer screening is rising, the rate of continued adherence is poor. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a tailored print intervention compared with a non-tailored print intervention for increasing the breast cancer screening rate among a non-adherent population.
In total, 1859 participants aged 51–59 years (except those aged 55 years) were recruited from a Japanese urban community setting. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either a tailored print reminder (tailored intervention group) or non-tailored print reminder (non-tailored intervention group). The primary outcome was improvement in the breast cancer screening rate. The screening rates and cost-effectiveness were examined for each treatment group (tailored vs. non-tailored) and each intervention subgroup during a follow-up period of five months. All analyses followed the intention-to-treat principle.
The number of women who underwent a screening mammogram following the reminder was 277 (19.9%) in the tailored reminder group and 27 (5.8%) in the non-tailored reminder group. A logistic regression model revealed that the odds of a woman who received a tailored print reminder undergoing mammography was 4.02 times those of a women who had received a non-tailored print reminder (95% confidence interval, 2.67–6.06). The cost of one mammography screening increase was 2,544 JPY or 30 USD in the tailored intervention group and 4,366 JPY or 52 USD in the non-tailored intervention group.
Providing a tailored print reminder was an effective and cost-effective strategy for improving breast cancer screening rates among non-adherent women.
PMCID: PMC3495210  PMID: 22962858
Mammography; Tailored intervention; Cancer worry; Cost-effectiveness; Non-adherent population
9.  Diagnostic Criteria, Clinical Features, and Incidence of Thyroid Storm Based on Nationwide Surveys 
Thyroid  2012;22(7):661-679.
Thyroid storm (TS) is life threatening. Its incidence is poorly defined, few series are available, and population-based diagnostic criteria have not been established. We surveyed TS in Japan, defined its characteristics, and formulated diagnostic criteria, FINAL-CRITERIA1 and FINAL-CRITERIA2, for two grades of TS, TS1, and TS2 respectively.
We first developed diagnostic criteria based on 99 patients in the literature and 7 of our patients (LIT-CRITERIA1 for TS1 and LIT-CRITERIA2 for TS2). Thyrotoxicosis was a prerequisite for TS1 and TS2 as well as for combinations of the central nervous system manifestations, fever, tachycardia, congestive heart failure (CHF), and gastrointestinal (GI)/hepatic disturbances. We then conducted initial and follow-up surveys from 2004 through 2008, targeting all hospitals in Japan, with an eight-layered random extraction selection process to obtain and verify information on patients who met LIT-CRITERIA1 and LIT-CRITERIA2.
We identified 282 patients with TS1 and 74 patients with TS2. Based on these data and information from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare of Japan, we estimated the incidence of TS in hospitalized patients in Japan to be 0.20 per 100,000 per year. Serum-free thyroxine and free triiodothyroine concentrations were similar among patients with TS in the literature, Japanese patients with TS1 or TS2, and a group of patients with thyrotoxicosis without TS (Tox-NoTS). The mortality rate was 11.0% in TS1, 9.5% in TS2, and 0% in Tox-NoTS patients. Multiple organ failure was the most common cause of death in TS1 and TS2, followed by CHF, respiratory failure, arrhythmia, disseminated intravascular coagulation, GI perforation, hypoxic brain syndrome, and sepsis. Glasgow Coma Scale results and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) were associated with irreversible damages in 22 survivors. The only change in our final diagnostic criteria for TS as compared with our initial criteria related to serum bilirubin concentration >3 mg/dL.
TS is still a life-threatening disorder with more than 10% mortality in Japan. We present newly formulated diagnostic criteria for TS and clarify its clinical features, prognosis, and incidence based on nationwide surveys in Japan. This information will help diagnose TS and in understanding the factors contributing to mortality and irreversible complications.
PMCID: PMC3387770  PMID: 22690898
10.  Iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Final Assessment 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2012;18(6):901-907.
The book on iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans is almost closed. This form of CJD transmission via medical misadventures was first detected in 1974. Today, only occasional CJD cases with exceptionally long incubation periods still appear. The main sources of the largest outbreaks were tissues from human cadavers with unsuspected CJD that were used for dura mater grafts and growth hormone extracts. A few additional cases resulted from neurosurgical instrument contamination, corneal grafts, gonadotrophic hormone, and secondary infections from blood transfusions. Although the final solution to the problem of iatrogenic CJD is still not available (a laboratory test to identify potential donors who harbor the infectious agent), certain other measures have worked well: applying special sterilization of penetrating surgical instruments, reducing the infectious potential of donor blood and tissue, and excluding donors known to have higher than normal risk for CJD.
PMCID: PMC3358170  PMID: 22607808
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; dura mater; human growth hormone; iatrogenic disease; PRNP codon 129; variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; prions and related diseases
11.  Epidemiologic Features of Kawasaki Disease in Japan: Results of the 2009–2010 Nationwide Survey 
Journal of Epidemiology  2012;22(3):216-221.
Although the number of patients and incidence rate of Kawasaki disease (KD) are increasing in Japan, the most recent epidemiologic features of KD are not known.
The 21st nationwide survey of KD was conducted in 2011 and included patients treated for the disease in 2009 and 2010. Hospitals specializing in pediatrics, and hospitals with a total of 100 or more beds and a pediatric department, were asked to report all patients with KD during the 2 survey years.
A total of 1445 departments and hospitals reported 23 730 KD patients (10 975 in 2009 and 12 755 in 2010): 13 515 boys and 10 215 girls. The annual incidence rates were 206.2 and 239.6 per 100 000 children aged 0 to 4 years in 2009 and 2010, respectively; the 2010 rate was the highest ever reported in Japan. Monthly number of patients peaked during winter to spring months; lower peaks were noted during summer months. However, the seasonal patterns in 2009 and 2010 differed from those of previous years. The age-specific incidence rate had a monomodal distribution, with a peak during the latter half of the year of birth. The prevalences of cardiac lesions during acute KD and cardiac sequelae were higher among infants and older age groups. Despite a decrease in prevalence, the proportion of patients with giant coronary aneurysms—the most severe sequela of KD—did not substantially decrease.
The incidence rate and number of patients with KD continue to increase in Japan.
PMCID: PMC3798622  PMID: 22447211
mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome; incidence; cardiovascular diseases; immunoglobulin, intravenous; epidemiology
12.  Duration of Prion Disease is Longer in Japan Than in Other Countries 
Journal of Epidemiology  2011;21(4):255-262.
Prion diseases are untreatable, progressive, and fatal brain disorders that occur worldwide, and the annual incidence rate is approximately 1 case per 1 million people. The duration of these diseases in Japan is unclear.
Based on data from 1 April 1999 through 4 September 2008 provided by the Japanese Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) surveillance program, we analyzed disease duration and its relationship with clinical features. Duration was assumed to be the time from disease onset to death.
Evaluation by the surveillance committee indicated that during the observed period 1128 individuals received a diagnosis of prion disease and were registered in the surveillance program. Mean disease duration in the 855 patients who died was 17.4 months. Overall, 46.0% of patients died within 1 year and 77.2% died in less than 2 years. Among those with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which represented 77.0% of cases, mean disease duration was 15.7 months, while that of patients surveyed by the European Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease Surveillance Network (EUROCJD) was only 5 months.
Disease duration among Japanese with prion diseases was much longer than that of patients in Western countries conducting surveillance of prion diseases. This finding suggests that the characteristics of the system for providing life-sustaining treatment for patients with fatal, progressive diseases in Japan are related to the longer duration of these illnesses.
PMCID: PMC3899417  PMID: 21628843
prion disease; Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome; epidemiology; disease duration; Japan
13.  Kawasaki Disease in Mongolia: Results From 2 Nationwide Retrospective Surveys, 1996–2008 
Journal of Epidemiology  2011;21(4):293-298.
Kawasaki disease (KD) has been reported in many countries. However, the incidence of KD in Mongolia is not known. This is the first report of incident cases of KD in Mongolia, which were identified using data from 2 nationwide surveys.
Two nationwide retrospective surveys were conducted: medical histories were collected from patients aged 0 to 16 years who were hospitalized countrywide between 1996 and 2008. Hospital records for these patients were also reviewed. Nationwide training seminars on KD were conducted before each survey.
For the nationwide surveys, the participation rates among all hospitals with pediatric wards were 97% and 94%. Inpatient medical histories from 1996 through 2008 were reviewed, and, among children younger than 16 years, 9 patients with KD were investigated. The age of KD patients ranged from 1.4 to 14 years; 7 of 9 patients were male. Six (67%) patients fulfilled all 6 clinical diagnostic criteria; the other 3 (33%) were defined as having KD based on the presence of 5 such criteria. Fever persisting 5 or more days, bilateral conjunctival congestion, and changes of the lips and oral cavity were the most common symptoms, and cervical lymphadenopathy was the least common symptom. Cardiac sequelae developed in 5 of the patients, 4 of whom were older than 10 years.
The results of these nationwide surveys reveal that KD cases do exist in Mongolia. However, knowledge of KD among Mongolian pediatricians is likely to be poor. Thus, there is a need to augment their understanding to improve management of KD patients. Further studies are crucial to clarify the epidemiologic characteristics of KD in Mongolia.
PMCID: PMC3899422  PMID: 21691035
mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome; nationwide survey; Mongolia; children
14.  Frequency of Citrus Fruit Intake Is Associated With the Incidence of Cardiovascular Disease: The Jichi Medical School Cohort Study 
Journal of Epidemiology  2011;21(3):169-175.
It has been reported that fruit intake protects against cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, most of the relevant studies were conducted in Western countries, and only a few investigated Japanese populations. The present cohort study assessed the effect of citrus fruit intake on the incidence of CVD and its subtypes in a Japanese population.
A baseline examination consisting of physical and blood examinations and a self-administered questionnaire was conducted during the period from April 1992 through July 1995. Dietary habits were assessed using a food frequency questionnaire that was divided into 5 categories. Citrus fruit was examined separately due to its frequent consumption by the general Japanese population. Using the Cox proportional hazards model, data from 10 623 participants (4147 men, 6476 women) who had no history of CVD or carcinoma were analyzed to assess the association between frequency of citrus fruit intake and CVD incidence.
Frequent intake of citrus fruit was associated with a lower incidence of CVD: the hazard ratio for almost daily intake versus infrequent intake of citrus fruit was 0.57 (95% confidence interval: 0.33–1.01, P for trend = 0.04) in men and 0.51 (0.29–0.88, P for trend = 0.02) in women. Frequent intake of citrus fruit was also associated with lower incidences of both all stroke and cerebral infarction, but not hemorrhagic stroke or myocardial infarction.
Frequent intake of citrus fruit may reduce the incidence of CVD, especially cerebral infarction, in men and women.
PMCID: PMC3899405  PMID: 21389640
citrus fruit; cardiovascular disease; cerebral infarction; cohort studies; Japan
15.  Distribution of Birth Weight for Gestational Age in Japanese Infants Delivered by Cesarean Section 
Journal of Epidemiology  2011;21(3):217-222.
Neonatal anthropometric charts of the distribution of measurements, mainly birth weight, taken at different gestational ages are widely used by obstetricians and pediatricians. However, the relationship between delivery mode and neonatal anthropometric data has not been investigated in Japan or other countries.
The subjects were selected from the registration database of the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (2003–2005). Tenth centile, median, and 90th centile of birth weight by sex, birth order, and delivery mode were observed by gestational age from 22 to 42 weeks among eligible singleton births.
After excluding 248 outliers and 5243 births that did not satisfy the inclusion criteria, 144 980 births were included in the analysis. The distribution of 10th centile curves was skewed toward lower birth weights during the preterm period among both first live births and second and later live births delivered by cesarean section. More than 40% of both male and female live births were delivered by cesarean section at 37 weeks or earlier.
The large proportion of cesarean sections influenced the skewness of the birth weight distribution in the preterm period.
PMCID: PMC3899412  PMID: 21478642
birth weight; distribution; gestational age; cesarean section; preterm
16.  Evaluating the drug use “gateway” theory using cross-national data: Consistency and associations of the order of initiation of drug use among participants in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys* 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2010;108(1-2):84-97.
It is unclear whether the normative sequence of drug use initiation, beginning with tobacco and alcohol, progressing to cannabis and then other illicit drugs, is due to causal effects of specific earlier drug use promoting progression, or to influences of other variables such as drug availability and attitudes. One way to investigate this is to see whether risk of later drug use in the sequence, conditional on use of drugs earlier in the sequence, changes according to time-space variation in use prevalence. We compared patterns and order of initiation of alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and other illicit drug use across 17 countries with a wide range of drug use prevalence.
Analyses used data from World Health Organization (WHO) World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys, a series of parallel community epidemiological surveys using the same instruments and field procedures carried out in 17 countries throughout the world.
Initiation of “gateway” substances (i.e. alcohol, tobacco and cannabis) was differentially associated with subsequent onset of other illicit drug use based on background prevalence of gateway substance use. Cross-country differences in substance use prevalence also corresponded to differences in the likelihood of individuals reporting a non- normative sequence of substance initiation.
These results suggest the “gateway” pattern at least partially reflects unmeasured common causes rather than causal effects of specific drugs on subsequent use of others. This implies that successful efforts to prevent use of specific “gateway” drugs may not in themselves lead to major reductions in the use of later drugs.
PMCID: PMC2835832  PMID: 20060657
tobacco; alcohol; illicit drugs; gateway; WHO World Mental Health Surveys
17.  Characteristics and Validity of a Web-Based Kawasaki Disease Surveillance System in Japan 
Journal of Epidemiology  2010;20(6):429-432.
Although regular nationwide surveys of Kawasaki disease (KD) are conducted in Japan, there is no system for detecting the real-time epidemic status of this disease.
A web-based surveillance system for KD was developed. After consideration of the number of patients reported by prefecture to the 19th nationwide survey, 355 pediatric departments were asked to participate in the surveillance, and 225 agreed. Since January 2008, pediatricians in these 225 hospitals have reported KD patient data immediately after diagnosis. The daily numbers of patients are available to the public via the internet at The validity of the data in 2008 was evaluated using the Japanese 20th nationwide survey of KD as the gold standard.
A total of 3376 patients were reported to the web-based surveillance system from the 1st week through 52nd week of 2008. The number of patients reported to the nationwide survey during the same period was 11 680: a total of 4950 patients from the hospitals participating in the web-based surveillance and 6730 from other hospitals. The epidemic curves were similar, and the correlation coefficient between the web-based surveillance and the total numbers in the nationwide survey was 0.806 (P < 0.01).
The web-based surveillance system for Kawasaki disease in Japan demonstrated good validity.
PMCID: PMC3900818  PMID: 20814164
mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome; incidence; epidemiology; sentinel surveillance; internet
18.  Relationship between the Cumulative Incidence of Kawasaki Disease and the Prevalence of Electrocardiographic Abnormalities in Birth-Year Cohorts 
Journal of Epidemiology  2010;20(6):453-459.
Kawasaki disease (KD) causes systemic vasculitis and coronary aneurysms. It frequently results in electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities of short duration. Cardiac sequelae persist beyond the acute stage in a few patients. There are many areas to be investigated concerning the effects on the vascular system of patients suffering from KD and its sequelae.
The cumulative incidences of KD and its cardiac sequelae were calculated in birth-year cohorts, using data obtained from KD nationwide surveys. The results were compared with the prevalence of ECG abnormalities detected in cardiac examinations conducted at primary and secondary schools for each birth-year cohort. This comparison allowed observation of relationships in these trends for each birth-year cohort.
The cumulative incidence of late-stage cardiac sequelae gradually declined. However, there were increases in the cumulative incidence of ECG abnormalities and in the cumulative incidences of KD and acute-stage cardiac disorders related to KD.
The results suggest that even among children without late cardiac sequelae, KD can have a persistent effect on the cardiovascular system. It thus appears necessary to extend clinical observation of children with a history of KD, even if they developed only acute-stage cardiac lesions.
PMCID: PMC3900822  PMID: 20827035
Kawasaki disease; mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome; cumulative incidence; birth-year cohort; prevalence of electrocardiographic abnormalities
19.  Epidemiologic Features of Kawasaki Disease in Japan: Results of the 2007–2008 Nationwide Survey 
Journal of Epidemiology  2010;20(4):302-307.
The most recent epidemiologic features of Kawasaki disease (KD) are unknown.
The 20th nationwide survey of KD was conducted in 2009, and included patients treated for the disease in 2007 and 2008. Hospitals specializing in pediatrics, and hospitals with pediatric departments and 100 or more beds, were asked to report all patients with KD during the 2 survey years.
From a total of 1540 departments and hospitals, 23 337 patients (11 581 in 2007 and 11 756 in 2008) were reported: 13 523 boys and 9814 girls. The annual incidence rates were 215.3 and 218.6 per 100 000 children aged 0–4 years in 2007 and 2008, respectively. These were the highest annual KD incidence rates ever recorded in Japan. The monthly number of patients peaked during the winter months; smaller increases were noted in the summer months. The age-specific incidence rate showed a monomodal distribution with a peak at age 9–11 months. The prevalences of both cardiac lesions during the acute phase of the disease and cardiac sequelae were higher among infants and older age groups.
The incidence rate and number of patients with KD in Japan continue to increase.
PMCID: PMC3900790  PMID: 20530917
mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome; incidence; cardiovascular diseases; immunoglobulin, intravenous; epidemiology
20.  Administration of hepatitis B vaccine in winter as a significant predictor of the poor effectiveness of vaccination in rural Mongolia: evidence from a nationwide survey 
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.
PMCID: PMC2465751  PMID: 17568048
21.  Seasonality and Temporal Clustering of Kawasaki Syndrome 
Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.)  2005;16(2):220-225.
The distribution of a syndrome in space and time may suggest clues to its etiology. The cause of Kawasaki syndrome, a systemic vasculitis of infants and children, is unknown, but an infectious etiology is suspected.
Seasonality and clustering of Kawasaki syndrome cases were studied in Japanese children with Kawasaki syndrome reported in nationwide surveys in Japan. Excluding the years that contained the 3 major nationwide epidemics, 84,829 cases during a 14-year period (1987–2000) were analyzed. To assess seasonality, we calculated mean monthly incidence during the study period for eastern and western Japan and for each of the 47 prefectures. To assess clustering, we compared the number of cases per day (daily incidence) with a simulated distribution (Monte Carlo analysis).
Marked spatial and temporal patterns were noted in both the seasonality and deviations from the average number of Kawasaki syndrome cases in Japan. Seasonality was bimodal with peaks in January and June/July and a nadir in October. This pattern was consistent throughout Japan and during the entire 14-year period. Some years produced very high or low numbers of cases, but the overall variability was consistent throughout the entire country. Temporal clustering of Kawasaki syndrome cases was detected with nationwide outbreaks.
Kawasaki syndrome has a pronounced seasonality in Japan that is consistent throughout the length of the Japanese archipelago. Temporal clustering of cases combined with marked seasonality suggests an environmental trigger for this clinical syndrome.
PMCID: PMC2894624  PMID: 15703537
22.  Cross-National Analysis of the Associations between Traumatic Events and Suicidal Behavior: Findings from the WHO World Mental Health Surveys 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(5):e10574.
Community and clinical data have suggested there is an association between trauma exposure and suicidal behavior (i.e., suicide ideation, plans and attempts). However, few studies have assessed which traumas are uniquely predictive of: the first onset of suicidal behavior, the progression from suicide ideation to plans and attempts, or the persistence of each form of suicidal behavior over time. Moreover, few data are available on such associations in developing countries. The current study addresses each of these issues.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Data on trauma exposure and subsequent first onset of suicidal behavior were collected via structured interviews conducted in the households of 102,245 (age 18+) respondents from 21 countries participating in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. Bivariate and multivariate survival models tested the relationship between the type and number of traumatic events and subsequent suicidal behavior. A range of traumatic events are associated with suicidal behavior, with sexual and interpersonal violence consistently showing the strongest effects. There is a dose-response relationship between the number of traumatic events and suicide ideation/attempt; however, there is decay in the strength of the association with more events. Although a range of traumatic events are associated with the onset of suicide ideation, fewer events predict which people with suicide ideation progress to suicide plan and attempt, or the persistence of suicidal behavior over time. Associations generally are consistent across high-, middle-, and low-income countries.
This study provides more detailed information than previously available on the relationship between traumatic events and suicidal behavior and indicates that this association is fairly consistent across developed and developing countries. These data reinforce the importance of psychological trauma as a major public health problem, and highlight the significance of screening for the presence and accumulation of traumatic exposures as a risk factor for suicide ideation and attempt.
PMCID: PMC2869349  PMID: 20485530
23.  Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Disease in Japan: The Jichi Medical School Cohort Study 
Journal of Epidemiology  2010;20(3):225-230.
Many studies have reported an association between physical activity and cardiovascular disease (CVD); however, the effect of physical activity remains controversial. Few such studies have been conducted in Japan. Therefore, we examined the relationship between physical activity and death from CVD using prospective data from a Japanese population.
From a prospective cohort study that comprised 12 490 participants, data from 9810 were analyzed. From April 1992 through July 1995, a baseline survey was conducted in 12 communities in Japan. The participants were followed up until December 2005. Physical activity was assessed using the physical activity index (PAI). PAI scores were grouped in quartiles: Q1 was the lowest PAI quartile and Q4 was the highest. Hazard ratios (HRs) for death from CVD, stroke, and myocardial infarction (MI) were calculated for all PAI quartiles.
The mean follow-up period was 11.9 years, during which time 194 participants died of CVD. With Q1 as the reference, the HRs for death from CVD in Q2, Q3, and Q4, were 0.62 (95% confidence interval, 0.40–0.98), 0.53 (0.31–0.88), and 0.40 (0.22–0.73), respectively, in men, and 0.71 (0.38–1.32), 0.52 (0.26–1.04), and 0.48 (0.22–1.05), respectively, in women. The HRs for death from CVD subtypes were similar but not statistically significant.
Among a Japanese population, physical activity was associated with a decreased risk of death from CVD. However, more evidence is needed to elucidate the relationships between physical activity and CVD subtypes.
PMCID: PMC3900845  PMID: 20208400
motor activity; cardiovascular diseases; stroke; cohort studies; Japan
24.  Use of a Population-Based Cancer Registry to Calculate Twenty-Year Trends in Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Fukui Prefecture 
Journal of Epidemiology  2010;20(3):244-252.
There have been only a limited number of trend analyses of incidence and mortality using population-based cancer registry data in Japan, and the national statistics regarding incidence are estimated data. In the present study, data from the Fukui Prefecture cancer registry, which is the most accurate in Japan, were used to observe trends in incidence and mortality rates.
Cancer incidence and mortality rates from 1984 through 2004 were obtained from the Fukui Prefecture cancer registry. Joinpoint analysis developed for the US National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program was used to compute and graphically present annual percentage changes in age-adjusted incidence and mortality in Fukui Prefecture.
On joinpoint analysis, there were slight increases in incidence at all cancer sites combined for both sexes from 1986, but the trend was not significant in Fukui. Mortality in women appeared to significantly decrease, while mortality in men, which had been increasing until 1999, began to significantly decrease thereafter. In an analysis by anatomical site, both the incidence and mortality of stomach cancer significantly decreased in both sexes. However, the incidence and mortality of breast and prostate cancers significantly increased. The mortality of liver and lung cancers also increased in both sexes.
Cancer mortality has been declining in recent years, and the reduction in mortality from stomach cancer has significantly affected the trends in Fukui. Urgent cancer control planning by the Fukui local government is necessary, especially for cancers of the liver, lung, prostate, and breast.
PMCID: PMC3900848  PMID: 20431235
incidence; mortality; population-based cancer registry
25.  Association between Food Group Intake and Serum Total Cholesterol in the Japanese Population: NIPPON DATA 80/90 
Journal of Epidemiology  2010;20(Suppl 3):S576-S581.
Dietary habit is one of the important determinants of health. Investigation of the association between diet and blood lipids at the food product level is more advantageous than that at the nutrient level because the results can be applied more directly to improving dietary habits for disease prevention.
The integrated datasets of the NIPPON DATA and National Nutrition Surveys in Japan conducted in 1980 and 1990 were used for analysis. The association between serum total cholesterol concentration and food group intake was examined by multiple linear regression analysis separately for sex and survey year with data adjusted for age, body mass index and total energy intake.
Intakes of rice, sugar, sweets and snacks, fruit and vegetables other than green and yellow ones were lower and intakes of green and yellow vegetables, mushrooms, seaweed, eggs and milk were higher in the 1990 survey than in the 1980 survey. Intakes of meat, milk and eggs showed a positive association with serum total cholesterol concentration in both sexes while intake of legumes showed a negative association only in men in both the 1980 and 1990 surveys.
Sex- and age-specific food group intakes for 1980 and 1990 were identified, and positive and negative associations between serum total cholesterol concentration and food group intake were revealed in a representative sample of the Japanese population. The results provide some insights into the improvements in dietary habits that can be made for disease prevention in Japan.
PMCID: PMC3920384  PMID: 20351480
serum cholesterol; Japan; nutrition; food; diet; survey

Results 1-25 (35)