To assess in a single cohort whether annual weight and waist circumference (WC) change has varied over time.
Longitudinal cohort study with three surveys (1) 1999/2000; (2) 2004/2005 and (3) 2011/2012. Generalised linear mixed models with random effects were used to compare annualised weight and WC change between surveys 1 and 2 (period 1) with that between surveys 2 and 3 (period 2). Models were adjusted for age to analyse changes with time rather than age. Models were additionally adjusted for sex, education status, area-level socioeconomic disadvantage, ethnicity, body mass index, diabetes status and smoking status.
The Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle study (AusDiab)—a population-based, stratified-cluster survey of 11247 adults aged ≥25 years.
3351 Australian adults who attended each of three surveys and had complete measures of weight, WC and covariates.
Primary outcome measures
Weight and WC were measured at each survey. Change in weight and WC was annualised for comparison between the two periods.
Mean weight and WC increased in both periods (0.34 kg/year, 0.43 cm/year period 1; 0.13 kg/year, 0.46 cm/year period 2). Annualised weight gain in period 2 was 0.11 kg/year (95% CI 0.06 to 0.15) less than period 1. Lesser annual weight gain between the two periods was not seen for those with greatest area-level socioeconomic disadvantage, or in men over the age of 55. In contrast, the annualised WC increase in period 2 was greater than period 1 (0.07 cm/year, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.12). The increase was greatest in men aged 55+ years and those with a greater area-level socioeconomic disadvantage.
Between 2004/2005 and 2011/2012, Australian adults in a national study continued to gain weight, but more slowly than 1999/2000–2004/2005. While weight gain may be slowing, this was not observed for older men or those in more disadvantaged groups, and the same cannot be said for WC.
Obesity; Trends; Cohort
The relationship between socioeconomic position and obesity has been clearly established, however, the extent to which specific behavioural factors mediate this relationship is less clear. This study aimed to ascertain the contribution of specific dietary elements and leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) to variations in obesity with education in the baseline (1990–1994) Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study (MCCS).
18, 489 women and 12, 141 men were included in this cross-sectional analysis. A series of linear regression models were used in accordance with the products of coefficients method to examine the mediating role of alcohol, soft drink (regular and diet), snacks (healthy and sweet), savoury items (healthy and unhealthy), meeting fruit and vegetable guidelines and LTPA on the relationship between education and body mass index (BMI).
Compared to those with lowest educational attainment, those with the highest educational attainment had a 1 kg/m2 lower BMI. Among men and women, 27% and 48%, respectively, of this disparity was attributable to differences in LTPA and diet. Unhealthy savoury item consumption and LTPA contributed most to the mediated effects for men and women. Alcohol and diet soft drink were additionally important mediators for women.
Diet and LTPA are potentially modifiable behavioural risk factors for the development of obesity that contribute substantially to inequalities in BMI. Our findings highlight the importance of specific behaviours which may be useful to the implementation of effective, targeted public policy to reduce socioeconomic inequalities in obesity.
Obesity; Socioeconomic factors; Socioeconomic inequalities; Food and beverages; Leisure activity; Diet; Physical activity; Epidemiologic methods
In Australia there have been many calls for government action to halt the effects of unhealthy food marketing on children's health, yet implementation has not occurred. The attitudes of those involved in the policy-making process towards regulatory intervention governing unhealthy food marketing are not well understood. The objective of this research was to understand the perceptions of senior representatives from Australian state and territory governments, statutory authorities and non-government organisations regarding the feasibility of state-level government regulation of television marketing of unhealthy food to children in Australia.
Data from in-depth semi-structured interviews with senior representatives from state and territory government departments, statutory authorities and non-government organisations (n=22) were analysed to determine participants' views about regulation of television marketing of unhealthy food to children at the state government level. Data were analysed using content and thematic analyses.
Regulation of television marketing of unhealthy food to children was supported as a strategy for obesity prevention. Barriers to implementing regulation at the state level were: the perception that regulation of television advertising is a Commonwealth, not state/territory, responsibility; the power of the food industry and; the need for clear evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of regulation. Evidence of community support for regulation was also cited as an important factor in determining feasibility.
The regulation of unhealthy food marketing to children is perceived to be a feasible strategy for obesity prevention however barriers to implementation at the state level exist. Those involved in state-level policy making generally indicated a preference for Commonwealth-led regulation. This research suggests that implementation of regulation of the television marketing of unhealthy food to children should ideally occur under the direction of the Commonwealth government. However, given that regulation is technically feasible at the state level, in the absence of Commonwealth action, states/territories could act independently. The relevance of our findings is likely to extend beyond Australia as unhealthy food marketing to children is a global issue.
Unhealthy food; Regulation; Government; Children; Marketing; Advertising
Self-reported anthropometric data are commonly used to estimate prevalence of obesity in population and community-based studies. We aim to: 1) Determine whether survey participants are able and willing to self-report height and weight; 2) Assess the accuracy of self-reported compared to measured anthropometric data in a community-based sample of young people.
Participants (16–29 years) of a behaviour survey, recruited at a Melbourne music festival (January 2011), were asked to self-report height and weight; researchers independently weighed and measured a sub-sample. Body Mass Index was calculated and overweight/obesity classified as ≥25kg/m2. Differences between measured and self-reported values were assessed using paired t-test/Wilcoxon signed ranks test. Accurate report of height and weight were defined as <2cm and <2kg difference between self-report and measured values, respectively. Agreement between classification of overweight/obesity by self-report and measured values was assessed using McNemar’s test.
Of 1405 survey participants, 82% of males and 72% of females self-reported their height and weight. Among 67 participants who were also independently measured, self-reported height and weight were significantly less than measured height (p=0.01) and weight (p<0.01) among females, but no differences were detected among males. Overall, 52% accurately self-reported height, 30% under-reported, and 18% over-reported; 34% accurately self-reported weight, 52% under-reported and 13% over-reported. More females (70%) than males (35%) under-reported weight (p=0.01). Prevalence of overweight/obesity was 33% based on self-report data and 39% based on measured data (p=0.16).
Self-reported measurements may underestimate weight but accurately identified overweight/obesity in the majority of this sample of young people.
Body height; Body weight; Body mass index; Overweight; Obesity self-report; Validity; Young people
Diabetes and increased age are known risk factors for physical disability. With the increasing prevalence of diabetes within our aging population, the future burden of disability is expected to increase. To date, there has not been a pooled estimate of the risk for disability associated with diabetes or its precursor states, impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose. We aim to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between prediabetes and diabetes with disability, and quantify the risk of association.
We will search for relevant studies in Medline via Pubmed, Embase, Cochrane library and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), as well as scan reference lists from relevant reviews and publications included in our review. We will review all publications that include studies on human adults (18 years and older) where information is included on diabetes status and at least one measure of disability (Activities of Daily Living (ADL), Instrumental ADL (IADL) or functional/mobility limitation), and where a risk association is available for the relationship between diabetes and/or prediabetes with disability, with reference to those without diabetes.
We will further conduct a meta-analysis to pool estimates of the risk of disability associated with prediabetes and diabetes. Sensitivity analysis will be conducted to assess for publication bias and study quality.Findings from this systematic review and meta-analysis will be widely disseminated through discussions with stake-holders, publication in a peer-reviewed journal and conference presentation.
Diabetes; Impaired glucose tolerance; Physical disability; Functional limitation; Mobility limitation; Systematic review; Meta-analyses; Observational studies; Activities of daily living
Policy and regulatory interventions aimed at creating environments more conducive to physical activity (PA) are an important component of strategies to improve population levels of PA. However, many potentially effective policies are not being broadly implemented. This study sought to identify potential policy/regulatory interventions targeting PA environments, and barriers/facilitators to their implementation at the Australian state/territory government level.
In-depth interviews were conducted with senior representatives from state/territory governments, statutory authorities and non-government organisations (n = 40) to examine participants': 1) suggestions for regulatory interventions to create environments more conducive to PA; 2) support for preselected regulatory interventions derived from a literature review. Thematic and constant comparative analyses were conducted.
Policy interventions most commonly suggested by participants fell into two areas: 1) urban planning and provision of infrastructure to promote active travel; 2) discouraging the use of private motorised vehicles. Of the eleven preselected interventions presented to participants, interventions relating to walkability/cycling and PA facilities received greatest support. Interventions involving subsidisation (of public transport, PA-equipment) and the provision of more public transport infrastructure received least support. These were perceived as not economically viable or unlikely to increase PA levels. Dominant barriers were: the powerful ‘road lobby’, weaknesses in the planning system and the cost of potential interventions. Facilitators were: the provision of evidence, collaboration across sectors, and synergies with climate change/environment agendas.
This study points to how difficult it will be to achieve policy change when there is a powerful ‘road lobby’ and government investment prioritises road infrastructure over PA-promoting infrastructure. It highlights the pivotal role of the planning and transport sectors in implementing PA-promoting policy, however suggests the need for clearer guidelines and responsibilities for state and local government levels in these areas. Health outcomes need to be given more direct consideration and greater priority within non-health sectors.
Australian mortality rates are higher in regional and remote areas than in major cities. The degree to which this is driven by variation in modifiable risk factors is unknown.
We applied a risk prediction equation incorporating smoking, cholesterol and blood pressure to a national, population based survey to project all-causes mortality risk by geographic region. We then modelled life expectancies at different levels of mortality risk by geographic region using a risk percentiles model. Finally we set high values of each risk factor to a target level and modelled the subsequent shift in the population to lower levels of mortality risk and longer life expectancy.
Survival is poorer in both Inner Regional and Outer Regional/Remote areas compared to Major Cities for men and women at both high and low levels of predicted mortality risk. For men smoking, high cholesterol and high systolic blood pressure were each associated with the mortality difference between Major Cities and Outer Regional/Remote areas--accounting for 21.4%, 20.3% and 7.7% of the difference respectively. For women smoking and high cholesterol accounted for 29.4% and 24.0% of the difference respectively but high blood pressure did not contribute to the observed mortality differences. The three risk factors taken together accounted for 45.4% (men) and 35.6% (women) of the mortality difference. The contribution of risk factors to the corresponding differences for inner regional areas was smaller, with only high cholesterol and smoking contributing to the difference in men-- accounting for 8.8% and 6.3% respectively-- and only smoking contributing to the difference in women--accounting for 12.3%.
These results suggest that health intervention programs aimed at smoking, blood pressure and total cholesterol could have a substantial impact on mortality inequities for Outer Regional/Remote areas.
Workplace health programs have demonstrated improvements in a number of risk factors for chronic disease. However, there has been little investigation of participant characteristics that may be associated with change in risk factors during such programs. The aim of this paper is to identify participant characteristics associated with improved waist circumference (WC) following participation in a four-month, pedometer-based, physical activity, workplace health program.
762 adults employed in primarily sedentary occupations and voluntarily enrolled in a four-month workplace program aimed at increasing physical activity were recruited from ten Australian worksites in 2008. Seventy-nine percent returned at the end of the health program. Data included demographic, behavioural, anthropometric and biomedical measurements. WC change (before versus after) was assessed by multivariable linear and logistic regression analyses. Seven groupings of potential associated variables from baseline were sequentially added to build progressively larger regression models.
Greater improvement in WC during the program was associated with having completed tertiary education, consuming two or less standard alcoholic beverages in one occasion in the twelve months prior to baseline, undertaking less baseline weekend sitting time and lower baseline total cholesterol. A greater WC at baseline was strongly associated with a greater improvement in WC. A sub-analysis in participants with a 'high-risk' baseline WC revealed that younger age, enrolling for reasons other than appearance, undertaking less weekend sitting time at baseline, eating two or more pieces of fruit per day at baseline, higher baseline physical functioning and lower baseline body mass index were associated with greater odds of moving to 'low risk' WC at the end of the program.
While employees with 'high-risk' WC at baseline experienced the greatest improvements in WC, the other variables associated with greater WC improvement were generally indicators of better baseline health. These results indicate that employees who started with better health, potentially due to lifestyle or recent behavioural changes, were more likely to respond positively to the program. Future health program initiators should think innovatively to encourage all enrolees along the health spectrum to achieve a successful outcome.
waist circumference; workplace; association; prevention; risk-factor; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; health promotion; physical activity; pedometer
A number of studies have compared proportional increases over time in waist circumference (WC) and body mass index (BMI). However this method is flawed. Here, we explain why comparisons of WC and BMI must take into account the relationship between them. We used data from two cross-sectional US surveys (NHANES 1988-94 and 2005-06), and calculated the percentage change in the average BMI and the average WC between the two surveys, comparing the results with a regression analysis of changes in WC relative to BMI.
The crude percentage change in BMI (5.8%) was marginally greater than for WC (5.1%). But these percentages cannot be directly compared, as the relationship between the measures is described by a regression equation with an intercept term that does not equal zero. The coefficient of time from the regression equation will determine whether or not WC is on average larger for a given BMI at the second compared with the first time point.
Differences in the percentage change in WC and the percentage change in BMI cannot be usefully directly compared. Comparisons of increases in the two measures must account for the relationship between them as described by the regression equation.
Cohort studies can provide valuable evidence of cause and effect relationships but are subject to loss of participants over time, limiting the validity of findings. Computerised record linkage offers a passive and ongoing method of obtaining health outcomes from existing routinely collected data sources. However, the quality of record linkage is reliant upon the availability and accuracy of common identifying variables. We sought to develop and validate a method for linking a cohort study to a state-wide hospital admissions dataset with limited availability of unique identifying variables.
A sample of 2000 participants from a cohort study (n = 41 514) was linked to a state-wide hospitalisations dataset in Victoria, Australia using the national health insurance (Medicare) number and demographic data as identifying variables. Availability of the health insurance number was limited in both datasets; therefore linkage was undertaken both with and without use of this number and agreement tested between both algorithms. Sensitivity was calculated for a sub-sample of 101 participants with a hospital admission confirmed by medical record review.
Of the 2000 study participants, 85% were found to have a record in the hospitalisations dataset when the national health insurance number and sex were used as linkage variables and 92% when demographic details only were used. When agreement between the two methods was tested the disagreement fraction was 9%, mainly due to "false positive" links when demographic details only were used. A final algorithm that used multiple combinations of identifying variables resulted in a match proportion of 87%. Sensitivity of this final linkage was 95%.
High quality record linkage of cohort data with a hospitalisations dataset that has limited identifiers can be achieved using combinations of a national health insurance number and demographic data as identifying variables.
Controlling obesity has become one of the highest priorities for public health practitioners in developed countries. In the absence of safe, effective and widely accessible high-risk approaches (e.g. drugs and surgery) attention has focussed on community-based approaches and social marketing campaigns as the most appropriate form of intervention. However there is limited evidence in support of substantial effectiveness of such interventions.
To date there is little evidence that community-based interventions and social marketing campaigns specifically targeting obesity provide substantial or lasting benefit. Concerns have been raised about potential negative effects created by a focus of these interventions on body shape and size, and of the associated media targeting of obesity.
A more appropriate strategy would be to enact high-level policy and legislative changes to alter the obesogenic environments in which we live by providing incentives for healthy eating and increased levels of physical activity. Research is also needed to improve treatments available for individuals already obese.
Risk prediction for CVD events has been shown to vary according to current smoking status, pack-years smoked over a lifetime, time since quitting and age at quitting. The latter two are closely and inversely related. It is not known whether the age at which one quits smoking is an additional important predictor of CVD events. The aim of this study was to determine whether the risk of CVD events varied according to age at quitting after taking into account current smoking status, lifetime pack-years smoked and time since quitting.
We used the Cox proportional hazards model to evaluate the risk of developing a first CVD event for a cohort of participants in the Framingham Offspring Heart Study who attended the fourth examination between ages 30 and 74 years and were free of CVD. Those who quit before the median age of 37 years had a risk of CVD incidence similar to those who were never smokers. The incorporation of age at quitting in the smoking variable resulted in better prediction than the model which had a simple current smoker/non-smoker measure and the one that incorporated both time since quitting and pack-years. These models demonstrated good discrimination, calibration and global fit. The risk among those quitting more than 5 years prior to the baseline exam and those whose age at quitting was prior to 44 years was similar to the risk among never smokers. However, the risk among those quitting less than 5 years prior to the baseline exam and those who continued to smoke until 44 years of age (or beyond) was two and a half times higher than that of never smokers.
Age at quitting improves the prediction of risk of CVD incidence even after other smoking measures are taken into account. The clinical benefit of adding age at quitting to the model with other smoking measures may be greater than the associated costs. Thus, age at quitting should be considered in addition to smoking status, time since quitting and pack-years when counselling individuals about their cardiovascular risk.
Recent analyses suggest the decline in coronary heart disease mortality rates is slowing in younger age groups in countries such as the US and the UK. This work aimed to analyse recent trends in cardiovascular mortality rates in the Netherlands. Analysis was of annual all circulatory, ischaemic heart disease (IHD), and cerebrovascular disease mortality rates between 1980 and 2009 for the Netherlands. Data were stratified by sex and 10-year age group (age 35–85+). The annual rate of change and significant changes in the trend were identified using joinpoint Poisson regression. For almost all age and sex groups examined the rate of IHD and cerebrovascular disease mortality in the Netherlands has more than halved between 1980 and 2009. The decline in mortality from both IHD and cerebrovascular disease is continuing for all ages and sex groups, with anacceleration in the decline apparent from the late 1990s/early 2000s. The decline in age-specific all circulatory, coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease mortality rates continues for all age and sex groups in the Netherlands.
Mortality rate; Netherlands; Trends; Cardiovascular disease; Coronary heart disease
Current prediction models for risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence incorporate smoking as a dichotomous yes/no measure. However, the risk of CVD associated with smoking also varies with the intensity and duration of smoking and there is a strong association between time since quitting and the risk of disease onset. This study aims to develop improved risk prediction equations for CVD incidence incorporating intensity and duration of smoking and time since quitting.
The risk of developing a first CVD event was evaluated using a Cox’s model for participants in the Framingham offspring cohort who attended the fourth examination (1988–92) between the ages of 30 and 74 years and were free of CVD (n=3751). The full models based on the smoking variables and other risk factors, and reduced models based on the smoking variables and non-laboratory risk factors demonstrated good discrimination, calibration and global fit. The incorporation of both time since quitting among past smokers and pack-years among current smokers resulted in better predictive performance as compared to a dichotomous current/non-smoker measure and a current/quitter/never smoker measure. Compared to never smokers, the risk of CVD incidence increased with pack-years. Risk among those quitting more than five years prior to the baseline exam and within five years prior to the baseline exam were similar and twice as high as that of never smokers. A CVD risk equation incorporating the effects of pack-years and time since quitting provides an improved tool to quantify risk and guide preventive care.
coronary heart disease; predictive equation; detailed smoking measures; other risk factors; reduced equation.
To estimate the cost-effectiveness of surgically induced weight loss relative to conventional therapy for the management of recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes in class I/II obese patients.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
This study builds on a within-trial cost-efficacy analysis. The analysis compares the lifetime costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) between the two intervention groups. Intervention costs were extrapolated based on observed resource utilization during the trial. The proportion of patients in each intervention group with remission of diabetes at 2 years was the same as that observed in the trial. Health care costs for patients with type 2 diabetes and outcome variables required to derive estimates of QALYs were sourced from published literature. A health care system perspective was adopted. Costs and outcomes were discounted annually at 3%. Costs are presented in 2006 Australian dollars (AUD) (currency exchange: 1 AUD = 0.74 USD).
The mean number of years in diabetes remission over a lifetime was 11.4 for surgical therapy patients and 2.1 for conventional therapy patients. Over the remainder of their lifetime, surgical and conventional therapy patients lived 15.7 and 14.5 discounted QALYs, respectively. The mean discounted lifetime costs were 98,900 AUD per surgical therapy patient and 101,400 AUD per conventional therapy patient. Relative to conventional therapy, surgically induced weight loss was associated with a mean health care saving of 2,400 AUD and 1.2 additional QALYs per patient.
Surgically induced weight loss is a dominant intervention (it both saves health care costs and generates health benefits) for managing recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes in class I/II obese patients in Australia.
To determine the within-trial cost-efficacy of surgical therapy relative to conventional therapy for achieving remission of recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes in class I and II obese patients.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Efficacy results were derived from a 2-year randomized controlled trial. A health sector perspective was adopted, and within-trial intervention costs included gastric banding surgery, mitigation of complications, outpatient medical consultations, medical investigations, pathology, weight loss therapies, and medication. Resource use was measured based on data drawn from a trial database and patient medical records and valued based on private hospital costs and government schedules in 2006 Australian dollars (AUD). An incremental cost-effectiveness analysis was undertaken.
Mean 2-year intervention costs per patient were 13,400 AUD for surgical therapy and 3,400 AUD for conventional therapy, with laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB) surgery accounting for 85% of the difference. Outpatient medical consultation costs were three times higher for surgical patients, whereas medication costs were 1.5 times higher for conventional patients. The cost differences were primarily in the first 6 months of the trial. Relative to conventional therapy, the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for surgical therapy was 16,600 AUD per case of diabetes remitted (currency exchange: 1 AUD = 0.74 USD).
Surgical therapy appears to be a cost-effective option for managing type 2 diabetes in class I and II obese patients.
Non-smoking, having a normal weight and increased levels of physical activity are perhaps the three key factors for preventing cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the relative effects of these factors on healthy longevity have not been well described. We aimed to calculate and compare the effects of non-smoking, normal weight and physical activity in middle-aged populations on life expectancy with and without cardiovascular disease.
Using multi-state life tables and data from the Framingham Heart Study (n = 4634) we calculated the effects of three heart healthy behaviours among populations aged 50 years and over on life expectancy with and without cardiovascular disease. For the life table calculations, we used hazard ratios for 3 transitions (No CVD to CVD, no CVD to death, and CVD to death) by health behaviour category, and adjusted for age, sex, and potential confounders.
High levels of physical activity, never smoking (men), and normal weight were each associated with 20-40% lower risks of developing CVD as compared to low physical activity, current smoking and obesity, respectively. Never smoking and high levels of physical activity reduced the risks of dying in those with and without a history of CVD, but normal weight did not. Never-smoking was associated with the largest gains in total life expectancy (4.3 years, men, 4.1 years, women) and CVD-free life expectancy (3.8 and 3.4 years, respectively). High levels of physical activity and normal weight were associated with lesser gains in total life expectancy (3.5 years, men and 3.4 years, women, and 1.3 years, men and 1.0 year women, respectively), and slightly lesser gains in CVD-free life expectancy (3.0 years, men and 3.1 years, women, and 3.1 years men and 2.9 years women, respectively). Normal weight was the only behaviour associated with a reduction in the number of years lived with CVD (1.8 years, men and 1.9 years, women).
Achieving high levels of physical activity, normal weight, and never smoking, are effective ways to prevent cardiovascular disease and to extend total life expectancy and the number of years lived free of CVD. Increasing the prevalence of normal weight could further reduce the time spent with CVD in the population.
This report aimed to evaluate the calculation of estimates of effectiveness in cost effectiveness analyses of statins for cardiovascular disease prevention.
Methodological aspects were reviewed of seven primary studies (based on trial results) and 12 secondary modelling studies (extrapolated) on the cost effectiveness of statin treatment, published between 1995 and 2002. Estimates of life years gained were extracted and compared with estimates calculated using the Dutch male life table of 1996–2000.
Of the seven primary modelling analyses, six showed all the essential data. They estimated that 3 to 5.6 years (average 4.6 years) of statin treatment resulted in 0.15 to 0.41 years (average 0.3 years) saved over a lifetime time horizon. In contrast none of the 12 secondary modelling studies provided transparent results. They assumed lifelong treatment, leading to life table estimations of 2.4 and 2.0 (undiscounted) years saved for 40 and 60 year olds, with peak savings at around the mean age of death: 75–80 years. With 5% discounting, these effects reduced to 0.4 and 0.8 years respectively.
Reporting of essential data and assumptions on statin treatment was poor for secondary modelling analyses and satisfactory for primary modelling studies. Secondary modeling studies made assumptions on long term effectiveness that were hard to justify with the available evidence, and that led to the majority of life years saved at high ages. Further standardisation in economic analyses is important to guarantee transparency and reproducibility of results.
cost effectiveness analysis; statins; cardiovascular disease; primary modelling; secondary modelling
While the causes of obesity are well known traditional education and treatment strategies do not appear to be making an impact. One solution as part of a broader complimentary set of strategies may be regulatory intervention at local government level to create environments for healthy nutrition and increased physical activity. Semi structured interviews were conducted with representatives of local government in Australia. Factors most likely to facilitate policy change were those supported by external funding, developed from an evidence base and sensitive to community and market forces. Barriers to change included a perceived or real lack of power to make change and the complexity of the legislative framework. The development of a systematic evidence base to provide clear feedback on the size and scope of the obesity epidemic at a local level, coupled with cost benefit analysis for any potential regulatory intervention, are crucial to developing a regulatory environment which creates the physical and social environment required to prevent obesity.
Current research of risk factors potentially associated with successful aging faces the difficulty of taking into consideration two distinct outcome measures: survival and functioning. Previous studies either used successful aging measures restricted to survivors or presented more than one outcome measure to handle the dual outcome. This article illustrates the utility of health expectancy measures, based on life tables, to integrate the effects of survival and functioning across all ages. It is shown that three hypothetical successful aging strategies, considered equally successful according to the traditional measures restricted to survivors, are associated with vastly different changes in the years lived with and without disability. Furthermore, the intervention considered most successful when considering multiple successful aging measures, was associated with the largest increase in the time lived with disability. It is recommended that research on successful aging should be based on summary measures of population health that reflect both survival and functioning throughout life. These will provide more relevant information than is currently available for individuals and societies to evaluate and choose between successful aging strategies.
successful aging; disability; mortality
Objective Although the Polypill concept (proposed in 2003) is promising in terms of benefits for cardiovascular risk management, the potential costs and adverse effects are its main pitfalls. The objective of this study was to identify a tastier and safer alternative to the Polypill: the Polymeal.
Methods Data on the ingredients of the Polymeal were taken from the literature. The evidence based recipe included wine, fish, dark chocolate, fruits, vegetables, garlic, and almonds. Data from the Framingham heart study and the Framingham offspring study were used to build life tables to model the benefits of the Polymeal in the general population from age 50, assuming multiplicative correlations.
Results Combining the ingredients of the Polymeal would reduce cardiovascular disease events by 76%. For men, taking the Polymeal daily represented an increase in total life expectancy of 6.6 years, an increase in life expectancy free from cardiovascular disease of 9.0 years, and a decrease in life expectancy with cardiovascular disease of 2.4 years. The corresponding differences for women were 4.8, 8.1, and 3.3 years.
Conclusion The Polymeal promises to be an effective, non-pharmacological, safe, cheap, and tasty alternative to reduce cardiovascular morbidity and increase life expectancy in the general population.
The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) long terminal repeat (LTR) represents a model promoter system and the identification and characterisation of cellular proteins that interact with this region has provided a basic understanding about both general eukaryotic and HIV-1 proviral transcriptional regulation. To date a large number of sequence-specific DNA–protein interactions have been described for the HIV-1 LTR. The aim of this report is to provide a comprehensive, updated listing of these HIV-1 LTR interactions. It is intended as a reference point to facilitate on-going studies characterising the identity of cellular proteins interacting with the HIV-1 LTR and the functional role(s) of specific regions of the LTR for HIV-1 replication.