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author:("Dang, shannon")
1.  The Status of Vitamin B12 and Folate among Chinese Women: A Population-Based Cross-Sectional Study in Northwest China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112586.
To assess the status of the vitamin B12 and folate of Chinese women living in northwest China.
A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted in 2008 among Chinese women aged 10–49 years living in Shaanxi province of northwest China. A stratified multistage random sampling method was adopted to obtain a sample of 1170 women. The women were interviewed for collection of their background information and their plasma vitamin B12 and folate were measured with the immunoassay method. The status of both vitamins was evaluated and the prevalence of deficiency was estimated.
The median value of the women was 214.5 pg/mL for vitamin B12 and 4.6 ng/mL for folate. The urban women had a significantly higher vitamin B12 (254.1 vs. 195.9 pg/mL) but lower folate (4.4 vs. 4.7 ng/mL) than rural women. Total prevalence of deficiency was 45.5% (95% CI: 42.6%∼48.4%) for vitamin B12 and 14.7% (95% CI: 12.6%∼16.8%) for folate. About 36% of women presented vitamin B12 deficiency alone, 5.2% belonged to folate deficiency alone and 9.5% was combined deficiency in both vitamins. More than 25% of the women were in marginal vitamin B12 status (200–299 pg/mL) and 60% in marginal status of folate (3–6 ng/mL). About 75.2% of rural women with folate deficiency were deficient in vitamin B12 and 46% for urban women. Quantile regression model found decreasing coefficient of folate status across 73 different quantiles of vitamin B12, which indicated that the women with folate deficiency had lower vitamin B12 significantly compared with those with no deficiency.
The deficiency of vitamin B12 and folate is still prevalent among the Chinese women in northwest China. Vitamin B12 deficiency could be more serious and the improvement of poor vitamin B12 status should be invoked when practicing the supplementation of folate against the neural tube defects in northwest China.
PMCID: PMC4229226  PMID: 25390898
2.  Prevalence and Determinants of Metabolic Syndrome among Adults in a Rural Area of Northwest China 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91578.
To evaluate the prevalence and determinants of metabolic syndrome (MetS) among adults in a rural area of Northwest China.
A population-based cross-sectional study was conducted in 2010 among adults aged 18 to 80 years in rural areas of Hanzhong, in Northwest China. Interview, physical and clinical examinations, and fasting blood glucose and lipid measurements were completed for 2990 adults. The definitions of MetS proposed by the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel (Adults Treatment Panel III, ATP III) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), and the modified ATP III definition for Asian population were used and compared. Proportions were adjusted for age and sex.
The prevalence of MetS was 7.9%, 10.8% and 15.1% according to ATP III, IDF and modified ATP III criteria, respectively. Agreement between ATP III and IDF criteria and that between ATP III and modified ATP III criteria were moderate (Kappa = 0.52 and 0.64, respectively), whereas agreement between IDF and modified ATP III criteria was good (Kappa = 0.83). The prevalence of MetS increased with age, and was higher in women than in men (10.4% versus 5.4%, 13.6% versus 8.1% and 17.4% versus 12.8%, according to ATP III, IDF and modified ATP III criteria, respectively). The most common MetS component was high blood pressure. Having family history of hypertension, lack of physical activity, high economical level, overweight and obesity were positively associated with MetS.
MetS is prevalent among rural adults in Northwest China and high blood pressure is the most common MetS component. Prevention and treatment of hypertension and MetS should be a public health priority to reduce cardiovascular diseases in rural areas of Northwest China. More attention should be given to the elderly, women, people with family history of hypertension and obese people who are at high risk of MetS.
PMCID: PMC3948893  PMID: 24614618
3.  Correction: Severity of Anemia among Children under 36 Months Old in Rural Western China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):10.1371/annotation/f03fa448-2129-414a-b841-031ea683d965.
PMCID: PMC3778129
4.  Correction: Severity of Anemia among Children under 36 Months Old in Rural Western China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):10.1371/annotation/1182aef6-c07e-4391-919b-cda801ec3f40.
PMCID: PMC3741027
5.  Severity of Anemia among Children under 36 Months Old in Rural Western China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e62883.
To describe severity of anemia and explore its determinants among children under 36 months old in rural western China.
Study Design
The family information of 6711 children was collected and their hemoglobin was measured in 2005. A generalized estimated equation (GEE) linear model was used to identify the determinants of severity of childhood anemia.
The prevalence of mild, moderate and severe anemia among these children was 27.4%, 21.9% and 3.2% respectively. GEE model analysis showed that province-level region and severity of maternal anemia affected the severity of childhood anemia not only in 0–5 months but also beyond 5 months. In addition, children aged 0–5 months in families using iron pot (coefficient = −0.26 95%CI −0.41,−0.12) had seldom more severe anemia, and children aged 6–36 months in families more than 4 members (coefficient = −0.03 95%CI −0.06,−0.01) or of Han ethnicity (coefficient = −0.08 95%CI −0.13,−0.04) seldom had more severe anemia but boys (coefficient = 0.03 95%CI 0.01,0.06) or younger children (6–11 month vs 30–36 month: coefficient = 0.23 95%CI 0.17, 0.28; 12–17 month vs 30–36 month: coefficient = 0.19 95%CI 0.15,0.24; 18–23 vs 30–36 month: coefficient = 0.09 95%CI 0.04,0.13) had more severe anemia.
The prevalence of moderate-to-severe anemia in these children was about 25%. Province-level region, iron pot use, family size, ethnicity, age and gender of children and severity of maternal anemia were important determinants of the severity of childhood anemia. These findings have some important implications for health policy decision for childhood anemia in rural western China.
PMCID: PMC3633837  PMID: 23626861
6.  Trends in Population Blood Pressure and Prevalence, Awareness, Treatment, and Control of Hypertension among Middle-Aged and Older Adults in a Rural Area of Northwest China from 1982 to 2010 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e61779.
To assess trends in average blood pressure levels and prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension among adults in a rural area of Northwest China, and to determine associated risk factors.
Four cross-sectional population-based surveys were conducted between 1982 and 2010 among randomly selected adults in rural areas of Hanzhong, in Northwest China. Data on blood pressure, body mass index, family history of hypertension, and socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics were collected in similar way by trained investigators in four surveys. Data of 8575 participants aged 35–64 years was analyzed. Averages and proportions were adjusted for age and sex.
Average blood pressure in the population has increased since 1982 from 76.9 mm Hg to 79.6 mm Hg in 2010 (diastolic) and from 120.9 to 129.7 mm Hg (systolic). Prevalence of hypertension increased from 18.4% in 1982 to 30.5% in 2010, and awareness of hypertension increased from 16.8% to 38.4% in 2010. Treatment of hypertension increased from 1.0% in 1982 to 17.4% in 2010, and control of hypertension increased from 0.1% in 1982 to 3.5% in 2010. All these gradients were statistically significant (P<0.01 for trend). Population blood pressure and prevalence, awareness and treatment of hypertension were positively associated with increasing age, body mass index and having family history of hypertension.
Average blood pressure levels and the prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of hypertension among adults in rural areas of Hanzhong have increased since 1982. However, awareness, treatment and control rates remain low. Public health programs and practical strategies are required to improve prevention and control of hypertension in rural Northwest China. In particular, attention should be given to the elderly and obese, and to those with a family history of hypertension, while raising awareness and treatment among younger adults.
PMCID: PMC3627917  PMID: 23613932
7.  Oral rehydration salt use and its correlates in low-level care of diarrhea among children under 36 months old in rural Western China 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:238.
Since 2000, there has been a decline in the proportion of oral rehydration salts (ORS) therapy in childhood diarrhea. How to sustain and achieve a high level of ORS therapy continues to be a challenge.
The data of 14112 households and 894 villages in 45 counties across 10 provinces of Western China were collected in 2005. Generalized estimated equation logistic regression models were used to identify the determinants of ORS use in home-based and village-level care.
The therapy rate of ORS was 34.62%. This rate in home-based care (HBC) was significantly lower than that in village-level care (VLC), township-level care or county-level-or-above care. The children in the families with several pre-school-aged children (OR = 0.29 95% CI: 0.10, 0.86) or of the smaller age (12 vs 36 months: OR = 0.10 95% CI 0.02, 0.41; 24 vs 36 months: OR = 0.26 95% CI 0.09, 0.77) were less likely to receive ORS therapy against diarrhea in HBC. The children whose family had the habit of drinking boiled water (OR = 2.77 95% CI 1.30-5.91), or whose caretakers received educational materials about childhood diseases (OR = 3.08 95% CI 1.54, 6.16), or who were living in the villages in which village clinics had the available ORS packages (OR = 3.94 95% CI 2.25, 6.90) were more likely to receive ORS therapy against diarrhea in VLC.
There thus, ORS promoting program should give the highest priority to home care. ORS promoting strategies for low-level care could be strengthened based on children characteristics, the habit of drinking water and the situation of receiving educational material in the families and on the availability of ORS packages in village clinics in rural Western China.
PMCID: PMC3606826  PMID: 23506435
8.  Care-Seeking Pattern for Diarrhea among Children under 36 Months Old in Rural Western China 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43103.
To explore the caretakers' care-seeking pattern and its determinants among children under 36 months old with diarrhea in rural western China.
The data of 14112 households was collected in 45 counties of 10 provinces of western China from June to August 2005. A generalized estimated equation (GEE) linear model was used to identify the determinants of the care-seeking.
Village-level and township-level care were sought for childhood diarrhea by 67.02% of the caretakers. GEE model analysis shows that compared with the caretakers of the children delivered at county-level or above hospitals, those of the children delivered at home seldom sought a higher level care (−0.23, 95%CI: −0.45,−0.01, p = 0.040); that the age of the children was negatively associated with seeking a higher level care (12 vs 36 months: 0.35, 95%CI: 0.16,0.55, p<0.001; 24 vs 36 months: 0.26, 95%CI: 0.08,0.44, p = 0.004); that the more danger signs of diarrhea the caretakers recognized, the higher level care they sought for their children with diarrhea (0.04, 95%CI: 0.00,0.07, p = 0.037); that the children with breastfeeding were given a higher level care than those without (0.15, 95%CI: 0.01,0.28, p = 0.035); that the mothers with a higher education sought the higher level care than those with only primary education (0.29, 95%CI: 0.03,0.56, p = 0.032); and that the farther the villages where these caretakers lived were from their townships, the lower level care for their children with diarrhea they sought (−0.09, 95%CI: −0.18,−0.01, p = 0.039).
Village-level and township-level care were sought for childhood diarrhea by most of the caretakers. Birth settings, the distance from village to township, maternal education, caretakers' awareness of the danger signs of diarrhea, breastfeeding status and age of children affected the care-seeking. These findings may have some implications for the improvement of health care services and care-seeking intervention against childhood diarrhea in rural western China.
PMCID: PMC3422327  PMID: 22912799
9.  Nutrient intakes of rural Tibetan mothers: a cross-sectional survey 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:801.
Tibetan food intake is influenced by the region's high altitude and unique culture. Few published studies of nutrient intakes among Tibetan women are available. The present study of Tibetan mothers with young children explores dietary patterns, nutrient intakes, and differences between socio-demographic groups.
A cross-sectional survey of 386 women with a child aged less than 24 months was conducted in rural areas surrounding Lhasa, Tibet. All participants were recruited using simple random sampling and were interviewed face-to-face by trained investigators. Dietary information was collected via a food frequency questionnaire. Nutrient intakes were calculated using food composition tables. Non-parametric tests were used to compare nutrient intakes according to socio-demographic variables, and to compare results with the 2002 Chinese National Nutrition and Health Survey (2002 NNHS) and dietary reference intakes (DRIs).
Median intakes of energy (p < 0.001), protein (p < 0.001), fat (p < 0.001), vitamin A (p < 0.001), vitamin B1 (p < 0.001), vitamin B2 (p < 0.001), vitamin C (p < 0.001), and vitamin E (p < 0.001) were lower than the average levels reported in 2002 NNHS. The median intakes of calcium (517 mg/d, p < 0.001), iron (35 mg/d, p < 0.001), and zinc (17.3 mg/d, p < 0.001) were higher than the average levels in 2002 NNHS. The highest education subgroup had significantly higher intakes of vitamins A and C than the lowest education subgroup.
Although the diet of Tibetan mothers with young children has been partially influenced by other factors, their dietary patterns are still mostly composed of Tibetan traditional foods. Compared with the 2002 NNHS, Tibetan women with young children appear to have insufficient intakes of many nutrients, which will affect their nutritional status.
PMCID: PMC3022869  PMID: 21194479
10.  Utilization of delivery care among rural women in china: does the health insurance make a difference? a cross-sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:695.
Since 2003, the New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS) has been implemented throughout rural China, usually covering delivery services in its benefit package. The objective of this study was to compare the difference of utilization of delivery services, expenditures, and local women's perceived affordability between women with and without reimbursement from NCMS.
A cross-sectional survey was carried out in two rural counties in Shaanxi province, China, during December 2008-March 2009. Women giving birth from April 2008 to March 2009 were interviewed by a structured questionnaire to collect information on utilization of delivery services. Multivariable analyses were used to compare the differences in outcomes between women with and without reimbursement from NCMS.
Of the total 1613 women interviewed, 747(46.3%) got reimbursement to cover their expenditure on delivery care (NCMS group) and 866(53.7%) paid delivery services entirely out of their own pocket (Non-NCMS group). Compared with the Non-NCMS group, the NCMS group had significantly more women who delivered at hospital. The rate of Caesarean section (CS), proportion of women seeking higher level services, and length of hospitalization were similar between the two groups. The total hospital costs for delivery services in the NCMS group was significantly smaller and after being reimbursed, the out-of-pocket payment in the NCMS group was less than a half of that in the Non-NCMS group. Fewer women in the NCMS group than in the Non-NCMS group considered their payment for delivery services expensive.
There was no evidence of overuse delivery services among the women reimbursed by NCMS. Total hospital costs and women's costs for delivery services were found lower in the NCMS group, subsequently alleviation on women's perceived financial affordability.
PMCID: PMC3091584  PMID: 21073757
11.  Hemoglobin levels and anemia evaluation during pregnancy in the highlands of Tibet: a hospital-based study 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:336.
Anemia is regarded as a major risk factor for unfavorable pregnancy outcomes, but there have been no previous studies describing the pattern of hemoglobin concentration during pregnancy in Tibet and the relationship between altitude and Hb concentration in the pregnant women living in Tibet still has not been clearly established. The main objectives of this study were to study the hemoglobin levels and prevalence of anemia among pregnant women living in the highlands of Tibet and to evaluate potential associations of hemoglobin and anemia with women's characteristics.
The hospital-based study was conducted in 380 pregnant women. Their blood samples were tested and related sociodemographic information was collected. Multiple linear regression model and multiple logistic regression model were used to assess the association of pregnant women's characteristics with hemoglobin level and the occurrence of anemia. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Dirren et al. and Dallman et al. methods were used to adjust the hemoglobin measurements based on altitude for estimating the prevalence of anemia.
The mean hemoglobin concentration was 127.6 g/L (range: 55.0-190.0 g/L). Prevalence rate of anemia in this study was 70.0%, 77.9% and 41.3%, respectively for three altitude-correction methods for hemoglobin (CDC method, Dirren et al. method, and Dallman et al. method). Gestational age, ethnicity, residence and income were significantly associated with the hemoglobin concentration and prevalence of anemia in the study population. Specially, the hemoglobin concentration of pregnant women decreased with increase in gestational age.
The hemoglobin level was low and prevalence rate of anemia was high among pregnant women in Lhasa, Tibet. Gestational age, ethnicity, residence and income were found to be significantly associated with the hemoglobin level and the occurrence of anemia in the study population.
PMCID: PMC2753353  PMID: 19754927
12.  Evaluation of a portable hemoglobin photometer in pregnant women in a high altitude area: a pilot study 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:228.
Anemia is a widespread public health problem associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality, especially in pregnant women. This study examined the agreement between a portable hemoglobin photometer and a laboratory analyzer in determining hemoglobin level in pregnant women.
This study recruited 69 pregnant women in Tibet, China. Capillary blood samples were taken to measure hemoglobin concentration using the hemoglobin photometer and the laboratory analyzer. Limit of agreement, concordance and intraclass correlation coefficient were used to evaluate the agreement. Laboratory measurement was considered as the standard reference method. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated to assess the error in screening for anemia.
Mean difference between the two methods was -2.1 g/l. wide 95% limits of agreement were found (-22.6 g/l to 18.4 g/l). The intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.795, and concordance correlation coefficient was 0.793. Sensitivity and specificity were 94.9% and 76.7% respectively. Positive predictive value was 84.1%, and negative predictive value was 92.0%.
This hemoglobin photometer is not recommended for determining hemoglobin concentration in pregnancy in a high altitude area.
PMCID: PMC2717084  PMID: 19591672
13.  Impact of micronutrient supplementation during pregnancy on birth weight, duration of gestation, and perinatal mortality in rural western China: double blind cluster randomised controlled trial 
Objective To examine the impact of antenatal supplementation with multiple micronutrients or iron and folic acid compared with folic acid alone on birth weight, duration of gestation, and maternal haemoglobin concentration in the third trimester.
Design Cluster randomised double blind controlled trial.
Setting Two rural counties in north west China.
Participants 5828 pregnant women and 4697 live births.
Interventions Villages were randomised for all pregnant women to take either daily folic acid (control), iron with folic acid, or multiple micronutrients with a recommended allowance of 15 vitamins and minerals.
Main outcome measures Birth weight, length, and head circumference measured within 72 hours after delivery. Neonatal survival assessed at the six week follow-up visit.
Results Birth weight was 42 g (95% confidence interval 7 to 78 g) higher in the multiple micronutrients group compared with the folic acid group. Duration of gestation was 0.23 weeks (0.10 to 0.36 weeks) longer in the iron-folic acid group and 0.19 weeks (0.06 to 0.32 weeks) longer in the multiple micronutrients group. Iron-folic acid was associated with a significantly reduced risk of early preterm delivery (<34 weeks) (relative risk 0.50, 0.27 to 0.94, P=0.031). There was a significant increase in haemoglobin concentration in both iron-folic acid (5.0 g/l, 2.0 to 8.0 g/l, P=0.001) and multiple micronutrients (6.9 g/l, 4.1 to 9.6 g/l, P<0.001) groups compared with folic acid alone. In post hoc analyses there were no significant differences for perinatal mortality, but iron-folic acid was associated with a significantly reduced early neonatal mortality by 54% (relative risk 0.46, 0.21 to 0.98).
Conclusion In rural populations in China antenatal supplementation with iron-folic acid was associated with longer gestation and a reduction in early neonatal mortality compared with folic acid. Multiple micronutrients were associated with modestly increased birth weight compared with folic acid, but, despite this weight gain, there was no significant reduction in early neonatal mortality. Pregnant women in developing countries need sufficient doses of iron in nutrient supplements to maximise reductions in neonatal mortality.
Trial registration ISRCTN08850194.
PMCID: PMC2577799  PMID: 18996930

Results 1-13 (13)