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author:("Lee, Ping yin")
1.  To Share or Not to Share: Malaysian Healthcare Professionals' Views on Localized Prostate Cancer Treatment Decision Making Roles 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(11):e0142812.
Aim
To explore the views of Malaysian healthcare professionals (HCPs) on stakeholders’ decision making roles in localized prostate cancer (PCa) treatment.
Methods
Qualitative interviews and focus groups were conducted with HCPs treating PCa. Data was analysed using a thematic approach. Four in-depth interviews and three focus group discussions were conducted between December 2012 and March 2013 using a topic guide. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed thematically.
Findings
The participants comprised private urologists (n = 4), government urologists (n = 6), urology trainees (n = 6), government policy maker (n = 1) and oncologists (n = 3). HCP perceptions of the roles of the three parties involved (HCPs, patients, family) included: HCP as the main decision maker, HCP as a guide to patients’ decision making, HCP as a facilitator to family involvement, patients as main decision maker and patient prefers HCP to decide. HCPs preferred to share the decision with patients due to equipoise between prostate treatment options. Family culture was important as family members often decided on the patient’s treatment due to Malaysia’s close-knit family culture.
Conclusions
A range of decision making roles were reported by HCPs. It is thus important that stakeholder roles are clarified during PCa treatment decisions. HCPs need to cultivate an awareness of sociocultural norms and family dynamics when supporting non-Western patients in making decisions about PCa.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0142812
PMCID: PMC4641697  PMID: 26559947
2.  Are doctors assessing patients with hypertension appropriately at their initial presentation? 
Singapore Medical Journal  2015;56(9):518-522.
INTRODUCTION
The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which primary care doctors assessed patients newly diagnosed with hypertension for the risk factors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) during the patients’ first clinic visit for hypertension. The study also aimed to examine the trend of assessment for CVD risk factors over a 15-year period.
METHODS
This retrospective study was conducted between January and May 2012. Data was extracted from the paper-based medical records of patients with hypertension using a 1:4 systematic random sampling method. Data collected included CVD risk factors and a history of target organ damage (TOD), which were identified during the patient’s first visit to the primary care doctor for hypertension, as well as the results of the physical examinations and investigations performed during the same visit.
RESULTS
A total of 1,060 medical records were reviewed. We found that assessment of CVD risk factors during the first clinic visit for hypertension was poor (5.4%–40.8%). Assessments for a history of TOD were found in only 5.8%–11.8% of the records, and documented physical examinations and investigations for the assessment of TOD and secondary hypertension ranged from 0.1%–63.3%. Over time, there was a decreasing trend in the percentage of documented physical examinations performed, but an increasing trend in the percentage of investigations ordered.
CONCLUSION
There was poor assessment of the patients’ CVD risk factors, secondary causes of hypertension and TOD at their first clinic visit for hypertension. The trends observed in the assessment suggest an over-reliance on investigations over clinical examinations.
doi:10.11622/smedj.2015137
PMCID: PMC4582132  PMID: 26451055
cardiovascular disease; end-organ damage; first visit; hypertension; risk factor
3.  Personal Continuity of Care in a University-Based Primary Care Practice: Impact on Blood Pressure Control 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0134030.
Continuity of care is an important quality outcome of patient care. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between personal continuity and blood pressure (BP) control among the patients with hypertension in an academic primary care centre. Between January and May 2012, we conducted a retrospective review of medical records of patients with hypertension who had been followed up for at least 1 year in the Primary Care Clinic, University of Malaya Medical Centre, Malaysia. In this setting, doctors who provided care for hypertension included postgraduate family medicine trainees, non-trainee doctors and academic staff. Systematic random sampling (1:4) was used for patient selection. BP control was defined as less than 130/80 mm Hg for patients with diabetes mellitus, proteinuria and chronic kidney disease and less than 140/90 mm Hg for all other patients. Continuity of care was assessed using the usual provider continuity index (UPCI), which is the ratio of patient visits to the usual provider to the total number of visits to all providers in 1 year. A UPC index of zero denotes no continuity while an index of one reflects perfect continuity with only the usual provider. We reviewed a total of 1060 medical records. The patients’ mean age was 62.0 years (SD 10.4). The majority was women (59.2%) and married (85.7%). The mean number of visits in a year was 3.85 (SD 1.36). A total of 72 doctors had provided consultations (55 postgraduate family medicine trainees, 8 non-trainee doctors and 9 academic staff). The mean UPCI was 0.43 (SD 0.34). Target BP was achieved in 42% of the patients. There was no significant relationship between BP control and personal continuity after adjustment for total number of visits. Continuity of care was not associated with BP control in our centre. Further studies are needed to explore the reasons for this.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0134030
PMCID: PMC4516235  PMID: 26214304
4.  Healthcare Professionals’ and Policy Makers’ Views on Implementing a Clinical Practice Guideline of Hypertension Management: A Qualitative Study 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0126191.
Introduction
Most studies have reported barriers to guideline usage mainly from doctors’ perspective; few have reported the perspective of other stakeholders. This study aimed to determine the views and barriers to adherence of a national clinical practice guideline (CPG) on management of hypertension from the perspectives of policymakers, doctors and allied healthcare professionals.
Methods
This study used a qualitative approach with purposive sampling. Seven in depth interviews and six focus group discussions were conducted with 35 healthcare professionals (policy makers, doctors, pharmacists and nurses) at a teaching hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, between February and June 2013. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and checked. Thematic approach was used to analyse the data.
Results
Two main themes and three sub-themes emerged from this study. The main themes were (1) variation in the use of CPG and (2) barriers to adherence to CPG. The three sub-themes for barriers were issues inherent to the CPG, systems and policy that is not supportive of CPG use, and attitudes and behaviour of stakeholders. The main users of the CPG were the primary care doctors. Pharmacists only partially use the guidelines, while nurses and policy makers were not using the CPG at all. Participants had suggested few strategies to improve usage and adherence to CPG. First, update the CPG regularly and keep its content simple with specific sections for allied health workers. Second, use technology to facilitate CPG accessibility and provide protected time for implementation of CPG recommendations. Third, incorporate local CPG in professional training, link CPG adherence to key performance indicators and provide incentives for its use.
Conclusions
Barriers to the use of CPG hypertension management span across all stakeholders. The development and implementation of CPG focused mainly on doctors with lack of involvement of other healthcare stakeholders. Guidelines should be made simple, current, reliable, accessible, inclusive of all stakeholders and with good policy support.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0126191
PMCID: PMC4420249  PMID: 25942686
5.  Predictors of poor glycaemic control in older patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus 
Singapore Medical Journal  2015;56(5):284-290.
INTRODUCTION
We assessed the predictors of poor glycaemic control among older patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in Malaysia.
METHODS
This cross-sectional study used the data of 21,336 patients aged ≥ 60 years with T2DM from the Adult Diabetes Control and Management Registry 2008–2009.
RESULTS
Predictors of poor glycaemic control were: age groups 60–69 years (odds ratio [OR] 1.96, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.66–2.33) and 70–79 years (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.20–1.71); Malay (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.41–1.66) and Indian (OR 1.32, 95% CI 1.19–1.46) ethnicities; T2DM durations of 5–10 years (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.35–1.58) and > 10 years (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.59–1.91); the use of oral antidiabetic agents only (OR 5.86, 95% CI 3.32–10.34), insulin only (OR 17.93, 95% CI 9.91–32.43), and oral antidiabetic agents and insulin (OR 29.42, 95% CI 16.47–52.53); and elevated blood pressure (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.01–1.20), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.38–1.59) and triglycerides (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.51–1.73). Hypertension (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.64–0.80), hypertension and dyslipidaemia (OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.61–0.75), pre-obesity (OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.82–0.98) and obesity (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.70–0.84) were less likely to be associated with poor glycaemic control.
CONCLUSION
Young-old and middle-old age groups (i.e. < 80 years), Malay and Indian ethnicities, longer T2DM duration, the use of pharmacological agents, and elevated blood pressure and lipid levels were associated with poor glycaemic control. The presence of comorbidities, pre-obesity and obesity were less likely to be associated with poor glycaemic control.
doi:10.11622/smedj.2015055
PMCID: PMC4447931  PMID: 25814074
diabetes mellitus; glycaemic control; Malaysia; older patients; registry
6.  Detection of airflow limitation using a handheld spirometer in a primary care setting 
Respirology (Carlton, Vic.)  2014;19(5):689-693.
Background and objective
Early diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in primary care settings is difficult to achieve chiefly due to lack of availability of spirometry. This study estimated the prevalence of airflow limitation among chronic smokers using a handheld spirometer in this setting.
Methods
This is a cross-sectional study performed on consecutive patients who were ≥40 years old with ≥10 pack-years smoking history. Face-to-face interviews were carried out to obtain demographic data and relevant information. Handheld spirometry was performed according to a standard protocol using the COPd-6 device (Model 4000, Vitalograph, Ennis, Ireland) in addition to standard spirometry. Airflow limitation was defined as ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1)/forced expiratory volume in 6 s <0.75 (COPd-6) or FEV1/forced vital capacity <0.7. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to determine predictors of airflow limitation.
Results
A total of 416 patients were recruited with mean age of 53 years old. The prevalence of airflow limitation was 10.6% (n = 44) with COPd-6 versus 6% as gauged using standard spirometry. Risk factors for airflow limitation were age >65 years (odds ratio (OR) 3.732 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.100–1.280), a history of ‘bad health’ (OR 2.524, 95% CI: 1.037–6.142) and low to normal body mass index (OR 2.914, 95% CI: 1.191–7.190).
Conclusions
In a primary care setting, handheld spirometry (COPd-6) found a prevalence of airflow limitation of ∼10% in smokers. Patients were older, not overweight and had an ill-defined history of health problems.
SUMMARY AT A GLANCE
Prevalence of COPD is unknown in Malaysia. The prevalence of COPD using a handheld spirometer (COPd-6TM) was 10.6% versus 6% as gauged using standard spirometry. Predictors of COPD were older age, lower BMI and a history of ‘bad health’. Case-finding for COPD should be targeted in this special population.
doi:10.1111/resp.12291
PMCID: PMC4230390  PMID: 24708063
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Malaysia; prevalence; primary care; smoke
8.  Statins use is associated with poorer glycaemic control in a cohort of hypertensive patients with diabetes and without diabetes 
Background
The US Federal and Drug Administration (FDA) recently revised statin drug labels to include the information that increases in fasting serum glucose and glycated haemoglobin levels have been reported with the use of statins. Yet in a survey, 87% of the doctors stated that they had never or infrequently observed increases in glucose or HbA1c levels in patients on statin. In this study we would like to determine the association between the use of statins and glycaemic control in a retrospective cohort of patients with hypertension.
Methods
A retrospective review of 1060 medical records of patients with hypertension at a primary care clinic was conducted. These records were selected using systematic random sampling (1:4). Data on patient socio-demographic factors; clinical profile; investigation results and prescribed medications were collected. Independent t-test was used for continuous variables while Pearson’s χ2 test was used for categorical variables. Logistic regression was done to adjust for confounders.
Results
810 (76.4%) patients with hypertension were on statins, out of which 792 (97.8%) were taking simvastatin 10 mg or 20 mg daily. Analysis of the whole group regardless of diabetes status showed that the statin user group had higher HbA1c and fasting blood glucose values. The difference in HbA1c levels remained significant (adjusted OR = 1.290, p = 0.044, 95% CI 1.006, 1.654) after adjustment for diabetes, diabetic medication and fasting blood glucose. In the study population who had diabetes, statin users again had significantly higher HbA1c level compared to statin non-users. This difference remained significant (adjusted OR 1.208, p = 0.037, 95% CI 1.012, 1.441) after adjustment for age and diabetic medications.
Conclusions
Statins use is associated with increased HbA1c levels among hypertensive patients and hypertensive patients with diabetes. Clinicians managing hypertensive patients on statins should consider monitoring the HbA1c level and ensure that those with diabetes have their hyperglycaemia kept under control.
doi:10.1186/1758-5996-6-53
PMCID: PMC4003286  PMID: 24782916
Hypertension; Diabetes mellitus; Statin; HbA1c
9.  Poor glycemic control in younger women attending Malaysian public primary care clinics: findings from adults diabetes control and management registry 
BMC Family Practice  2013;14:188.
Background
Women of reproductive age are a group of particular concern as diabetes may affect their pregnancy outcome as well as long-term morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to compare the clinical profiles and glycemic control of reproductive and non-reproductive age women with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in primary care settings, and to determine the associated factors of poor glycemic control in the reproductive age group women.
Methods
This was a cross-sectional study using cases reported by public primary care clinics to the Adult Diabetes Control and Management registry from 1st January to 31st December 2009. All Malaysian women aged 18 years old and above and diagnosed with T2D for at least 1 year were included in the analysis. The target for glycemic control (HbA1c < 6.5%) is in accordance to the recommended national guidelines. Both univariate and multivariate approaches of logistic regression were applied to determine whether reproductive age women have an association with poor glycemic control.
Results
Data from a total of 30,427 women were analyzed and 21.8% (6,622) were of reproductive age. There were 12.5% of reproductive age women and 18.0% of non-reproductive age women that achieved glycemic control. Reproductive age group women were associated with poorer glycemic control (OR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.2-1.8). The risk factors associated with poor glycemic control in the reproductive age women were being of Malay and Indian race, longer duration of diabetes, patients on anti-diabetic agents, and those who had not achieved the target total cholesterol and triglycerides.
Conclusion
Women with T2D have poor glycemic control, but being of reproductive age was associated with even poorer control. Health care providers need to pay more attention to this group of patients especially for those with risk factors. More aggressive therapeutic strategies to improve their cardiometabolic control and pregnancy outcome are warranted.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-14-188
PMCID: PMC4029379  PMID: 24325794
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Reproductive age women; Glycemic control; Registry
10.  An overview of patient involvement in healthcare decision-making: a situational analysis of the Malaysian context 
Background
Involving patients in decision-making is an important part of patient-centred care. Research has found a discrepancy between patients’ desire to be involved and their actual involvement in healthcare decision-making. In Asia, there is a dearth of research in decision-making. Using Malaysia as an exemplar, this study aims to review the current research evidence, practices, policies, and laws with respect to patient engagement in shared decision-making (SDM) in Asia.
Methods
In this study, we conducted a comprehensive literature review to collect information on healthcare decision-making in Malaysia. We also consulted medical education researchers, key opinion leaders, governmental organisations, and patient support groups to assess the extent to which patient involvement was incorporated into the medical curriculum, healthcare policies, and legislation.
Results
There are very few studies on patient involvement in decision-making in Malaysia. Existing studies showed that doctors were aware of informed consent, but few practised SDM. There was limited teaching of SDM in undergraduate and postgraduate curricula and a lack of accurate and accessible health information for patients. In addition, peer support groups and 'expert patient’ programmes were also lacking. Professional medical bodies endorsed patient involvement in decision-making, but there was no definitive implementation plan.
Conclusion
In summary, there appears to be little training or research on SDM in Malaysia. More research needs to be done in this area, including baseline information on the preferred and actual decision-making roles. The authors have provided a set of recommendations on how SDM can be effectively implemented in Malaysia.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-408
PMCID: PMC3852442  PMID: 24119237
11.  Health innovations in patient decision support: Bridging the gaps and challenges 
Patient decision aids (PDAs) help to support patients in making an informed and value-based decision. Despite advancement in decision support technologies over the past 30 years, most PDAs are still inaccessible and few address individual needs. Health innovation may provide a solution to bridge these gaps. Information and computer technology provide a platform to incorporate individual profiles and needs into PDAs, making the decision support more personalised. Health innovation may enhance accessibility by using mobile, tablet and Internet technologies; make risk communication more interactive; and identify patient values more effectively. In addition, using databases to capture patient data and the usage of PDAs can help: developers to improve PDAs’ design; clinicians to facilitate the decisionmaking process more effectively; and policy makers to make shared decision making more feasible and cost-effective. Health innovation may hold the key to advancing PDAs by creating a more personalised and effective decision support tool for patients making healthcare decisions.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2013.1655
PMCID: PMC3593527  PMID: 23483776
Patient decision aids; shared decision making; health innovation
12.  What are the barriers faced by patients using insulin? A qualitative study of Malaysian health care professionals’ views 
Background
Patients with type 2 diabetes often require insulin as the disease progresses. However, health care professionals frequently encounter challenges when managing patients who require insulin therapy. Understanding how health care professionals perceive the barriers faced by patients on insulin will facilitate care and treatment strategies.
Objective
This study explores the views of Malaysian health care professionals on the barriers faced by patients using insulin.
Methods
Semi-structured qualitative interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with health care professionals involved in diabetes care using insulin. Forty-one health care professionals participated in the study, consisting of primary care doctors (n = 20), family medicine specialists (n = 10), government policymakers (n = 5), diabetes educators (n = 3), endocrinologists (n = 2), and one pharmacist. We used a topic guide to facilitate the interviews, which were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed using a thematic approach.
Results
Five themes were identified as barriers: side effects, patient education, negative perceptions, blood glucose monitoring, and patient adherence to treatment and follow-up. Patients perceive that insulin therapy causes numerous negative side effects. There is a lack of patient education on proper glucose monitoring and how to optimize insulin therapy. Cost of treatment and patient ignorance are highlighted when discussing patient self-monitoring of blood glucose. Finally, health care professionals identified a lack of a follow-up system, especially for patients who do not keep to regular appointments.
Conclusion
This study identifies five substantial barriers to optimizing insulin therapy. Health care professionals who successfully identify and address these issues will empower patients to achieve effective self-management. System barriers require government agency in establishing insulin follow-up programs, multidisciplinary diabetes care teams, and subsidies for glucometers and test strips.
doi:10.2147/PPA.S36791
PMCID: PMC3559078  PMID: 23378747
primary care; focus groups; noncommunicable disease; diabetes; insulin; qualitative study
13.  A qualitative study on healthcare professionals’ perceived barriers to insulin initiation in a multi-ethnic population 
BMC Family Practice  2012;13:28.
Background
Nationwide surveys have shown that the prevalence of diabetes rates in Malaysia have almost doubled in the past ten years; yet diabetes control remains poor and insulin therapy is underutilized. This study aimed to explore healthcare professionals’ views on barriers to starting insulin therapy in people with type 2 diabetes.
Methods
Healthcare professionals consisting of general practitioners (n = 11), family medicine specialists (n = 10), medical officers (n = 8), government policy makers (n = 4), diabetes educators (n = 3) and endocrinologists (n = 2) were interviewed. A semi-structured topic guide was used to guide the interviews by trained facilitators. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic analysis approach.
Results
Insulin initiation was found to be affected by patient, healthcare professional and system factors. Patients’ barriers include culture-specific barriers such as the religious purity of insulin, preferred use of complementary medication and perceived lethality of insulin therapy. Healthcare professionals’ barriers include negative attitudes towards insulin therapy and the ‘legacy effect’ of old insulin guidelines; whilst system barriers highlight the lack of resources, language and communication challenges.
Conclusions
Tackling the issue of insulin initiation should not only happen during clinical consultations. It requires health education to emphasise the progressive nature of diabetes and the eventuality of insulin therapy at early stage of the illness. Healthcare professionals should be trained how to initiate insulin and communicate effectively with patients from various cultural and religious backgrounds.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-13-28
PMCID: PMC3389339  PMID: 22469132
14.  Determinants of uncontrolled hypertension in adult type 2 diabetes mellitus: an analysis of the Malaysian diabetes registry 2009 
Background
Uncontrolled blood pressure (BP) is a significant contributor of morbidity and even mortality in type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients. This study was done to determine the significant determinants of uncontrolled blood pressure in T2D patients in Malaysia.
Methods
Between 1st January 2009 to 31st December 2009, data from 70 889 patients with Type 2 diabetes was obtained from the Adult Diabetes Control and Management Registry for analysis; 303 centers participated in the study. Their demographic characteristics, the nature of their diabetes, their state of hypertension, treatment modalities, risk factors, and complications are described. Based on their most recent BP values, subjects were divided into controlled BP and uncontrolled BP and their clinical determinants compared. Independent determinants were identified using multivariate logistic regression.
Results
The mean age of patients at diagnosis of diabetes was 52.3 ± 11.1 years old. Most were women (59.0 %) and of Malay ethnicity (61.9 %). The mean duration of diabetes was 5.9 ± 5.6 years. A total of 57.4 % were hypertensive. Of the 56 503 blood pressure (BP) measured, 13 280 (23.5 %) patients had BP <130/80 mmHg. Eighteen percent was on > two anti-hypertensive agents. Health clinics without doctor, older age (≥ 50 years old), shorter duration of diabetes (< 5 years), Malay, overweight were determinants for uncontrolled blood pressure (BP ≥130/80 mmHg). Patients who were on anti-hypertensive agent/s were 2.7 times more likely to have BP ≥130/80 mmHg. Type 2 diabetes patients who had ischaemic heart disease or nephropathy were about 20 % and 15 % more likely to have their blood pressure treated to target respectively.
Conclusions
Major independent determinants of uncontrolled BP in our group of T2D patients were Malay ethnicity, older age, recent diagnosis of diabetes, overweight and follow-up at health clinics without a doctor and possibly the improper use of anti hypertensive agent. More effort, education and resources, especially in the primary health care centres are needed to improve hypertensive care among our patients with diabetes.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-54
PMCID: PMC3434063  PMID: 22607105
Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus; Hypertension; Antihypertensive agents; Primary care
15.  How can insulin initiation delivery in a dual-sector health system be optimised? A qualitative study on healthcare professionals’ views 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:313.
Background
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate in developing countries. However, glycaemia control remains suboptimal and insulin use is low. One important barrier is the lack of an efficient and effective insulin initiation delivery approach. This study aimed to document the strategies used and proposed by healthcare professionals to improve insulin initiation in the Malaysian dual-sector (public–private) health system.
Methods
In depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted in Klang Valley and Seremban, Malaysia in 2010–11. Healthcare professionals consisting of general practitioners (n = 11), medical officers (n = 8), diabetes educators (n = 3), government policy makers (n = 4), family medicine specialists (n = 10) and endocrinologists (n = 2) were interviewed. We used a topic guide to facilitate the interviews, which were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic approach.
Results
Three main themes emerged from the interviews. Firstly, there was a lack of collaboration between the private and public sectors in diabetes care. The general practitioners in the private sector proposed an integrated system for them to refer patients to the public health services for insulin initiation programmes. There could be shared care between the two sectors and this would reduce the disproportionately heavy workload at the public sector. Secondly, besides the support from the government health authority, the healthcare professionals wanted greater involvement of non-government organisations, media and pharmaceutical industry in facilitating insulin initiation in both the public and private sectors. The support included: training of healthcare professionals; developing and disseminating patient education materials; service provision by diabetes education teams; organising programmes for patients’ peer group sessions; increasing awareness and demystifying insulin via public campaigns; and subsidising glucose monitoring equipment. Finally, the healthcare professionals proposed the establishment of multidisciplinary teams as a strategy to increase the rate of insulin initiation. Having team members from different ethnic backgrounds would help to overcome language and cultural differences when communicating with patients.
Conclusion
The challenges faced by a dual-sector health system in delivering insulin initiation may be addressed by greater collaborations between the private and public sectors and governmental and non-government organisations, and among different healthcare professionals.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-313
PMCID: PMC3533841  PMID: 22545648
Insulin initiation; Dual-sector health system; Malaysia; Diabetes; Public sector; Private sector
16.  A Preliminary Study on the Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Selected Rural Communities in Samarahan and Kuching Division, Sarawak, Malaysia 
Background:
It is important to understand the prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, especially in a rural setting.
Methods:
A cross-sectional study was carried out in 238 rural households located in the Kuching and Samarahan divisions of Sarawak among individuals aged 16 years and above. Anthropometric measurements, blood levels of glucose and cholesterol, and blood pressure were collected.
Results:
Prevalence of blood pressure in the hypertensive range was 43.1%. The highest rates of blood pressure in the hypertensive range were found in individuals aged above 60 years (38.6%) and 50–59 years old (31.8%). Age was one factor found to be significantly associated with blood pressure in the hypertensive range (P < 0.001). Prevalence of obesity was 49.0%. The highest prevalence of obesity was found among those aged 40–49 years (41.9%) and 50–59 years (29.9%). Gender was significantly associated with obesity (P = 0.004). The prevalence of blood cholesterol at risk was 21.6%, and the highest rate was found in the 40–49 years age group (34.0%). Fifty percent of respondents were found to have hyperglycaemia, with the highest prevalence in the 50–59 years age group (37.5%). A significant association was found between obesity, blood pressure in the hypertensive range and blood glucose level. When compared with non-obese individuals, those who were obese were more likely to have blood pressure in the hypertensive range and hyperglycaemia.
Conclusion:
The risk of developing lifestyle-related diseases is no longer based on geographical or socio-economic factors.
PMCID: PMC3216216  PMID: 22135588
blood pressure; cardiovascular diseases; hypercholesterolaemia; hyperglycaemia; medical screening and epidemiology; risk factors; rural communities

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