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1.  Prevalence and correlates for school truancy among pupils in grades 7-10: results from the 2004 Zambia Global School-based Health Survey 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:48.
Background
There are limited data on the prevalence and associated factors of truancy in southern Africa. Yet truancy should attract the attention of public health professionals, educators and policy makers as it may be associated with adolescent problem behaviours. The objectives of the study were to estimate the prevalence and determine correlates of school truancy among pupils in Zambia.
Findings
We used data collected in 2004 in the Zambia Global School-based Health Survey. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify factors associated with truancy. A total of 2257 pupils participated in the survey of whom 53.9% were male. Overall 58.8% of the participants (58.1% of males and 58.4% of females) reported being truant in the past 30 days. Factors associated with truancy were having been bullied (AOR = 1.34, 95% CI [1.32, 1.36]), current alcohol use (AOR = 2.19, 95% CI [2.16, 2.23]), perception that other students were kind and helpful (AOR = 1.12, 95% CI [1.10, 1.14]), being male and being from the lowest school grade. Pupils whose parents or guardians checked their homework (AOR = 0.91 95% CI, [0.89, 0.92]) and those who reported parental supervision (AOR = 0.94, 95% CI [0.92-0.95]) were less likely to report being truant.
Conclusions
We found a high prevalence of truancy among pupils in grades 7-10 in Zambia. Interventions aimed to reduce truancy should be designed and implemented with due consideration of the associated factors.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-48
PMCID: PMC3284399  PMID: 22260248
2.  Prevalence and socio-demographic correlates for serious injury among adolescents participating in the Djibouti 2007 Global School-based Health Survey 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:372.
Background
Mental health and injury are neglected public health issues especially in low-income nations. The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence and socio-demographic correlates for serious injury in the last 12 months.
Findings
The study used data of the 2007 Djibouti Global School-based Health Survey. Logistic regression analysis was used to establish associations. Of the 1, 777 respondents, 61.1% (63.2% males and 57.8% females) reported having sustained serious injury (SSI). Compared to participants who were not bullied, those who reported being bullied 3-9 days per month were more likely to have sustained serious injury in the last 12 months (AOR = 1.27; 95% CI [1.06, 1.52] for 3-5 days of bullying victimization per month, and AOR = 3.19; 95% CI [2.28, 4.47] for 6-9 days per month. Adolescents who were engaged in physical fighting were 47% (AOR = 1.47, 95% CI [1.40, 1.55] more likely to have sustained serious injury compared to those who were not engaged in the fighting. Meanwhile, adolescents who used substances (cigarettes, other forms of tobacco or drugs) were 30% (AOR = 1.30, 95% CI [1.19, 1.42]) more likely to have sustained serious injury compared to those who did not use substances.
Conclusions
Serious injury is common among adolescents in Djibouti, and we suggest that health workers attending to injured adolescents explore the patients' psycho-social environment. Further, we suggest longitudinal studies where reduction of substance use and bullying may be assessed if they have an impact in reducing serious injury among adolescents.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-372
PMCID: PMC3189130  PMID: 21951721
3.  Self-reported poor oral hygiene among in-school adolescents in Zambia 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:255.
Background
Dental health is a neglected aspect of adolescent health globally but more so in low-income countries. Secondary analysis using the 2004 Zambia Global School-Based Health Survey (GSHS) was conducted in which we estimated frequencies of relevant socio-demographic variables and explored associations between selected explanatory variables and self-reported poor oral hygiene (not cleaning or brushing teeth) within the last 30 days of the completion of questionnaire.
Findings
Most of the 2257 respondents were males (53.9%) and went hungry (82.5%). More than 4 in 10 respondents drank alcohol (42.2%) while 37.2% smoked cannabis. Overall 10.0% of the respondents reported to have poor oral hygiene. Male respondents were 7% less likely to report to have poor oral hygiene compared to females. Compared to respondents who never drank alcohol, those who drank alcohol were 27% more likely to report to have poor oral hygiene. Respondents who smoked cannabis were 4% more likely to report to have poor oral hygiene compared to those who did not smoke cannabis. Finally, respondents who went hungry were 35% more likely to report to have poor oral hygiene compared to those who did not go hungry.
Conclusions
Results from this study indicate that female gender, alcohol drinking, cannabis smoking, and going hungry were associated with self-reported poor oral hygiene. The identification of these factors should guide the design and implementation of programs aimed to improve oral health among adolescents.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-255
PMCID: PMC3156756  PMID: 21781301
4.  Occupational illnesses in the 2009 Zambian labour force survey 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:272.
Background
Occupational health has received limited research attention in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Much of the published data in this region come from South Africa and little has been reported north of the Limpopo. The present study was conducted to estimate the burden of occupational illnesses in Zambia and assess factors associated with their occurrence.
Methods
Data were obtained from the Zambian Labour Force Survey of 2009. Frequencies were used to estimate the prevalence of occupational diseases. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine the associations between demographic, social and economic factors and reported illness resulting from occupational exposures. Odds ratios (OR) from bivariate analyses and adjusted odds ratios (AOR) from the multivariate analysis together with their 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) are reported.
Results
Data on 59,118 persons aged 18 years or older were available for analysis, of which 29805 (50.4%) were males. The proportions of the sample that reported to have suffered from an occupational illness were 12.7% among males and 10.4% among females (p < 0.001). Overall the proportions of respondents who reported suffering from fatigue, fever and chest infections were 38.8%, 21.7% and 17.1%, respectively. About two thirds (69.7%) of the study participants had stayed away from work due to the illness suffered at work; there was no sex differences (p = 0.216). Older age, being male, lower education level, married/cohabiting or once married (separated/divorced/widowed), and paid employee or employer/self employed were positively associated with having suffered from illness.
Conclusions
The findings from this study call for urgent effort for specific measures to prevent and mitigate the effects of occupational injuries. These interventions may include: public health campaigns, enforcement or change in work policies and regulations. Special attention may have to be made towards those who were more likely to suffer from occupational illnesses.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-272
PMCID: PMC2987870  PMID: 20979616
5.  Cigarette smoking among school-going adolescents in Lithuania: Results from the 2005 Global Youth Tobacco Survey 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:130.
Background
The majority of people who suffer morbidity due to smoking may have initiated smoking during adolescent period. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence and associated factors for cigarette smoking among school-going adolescents in Lithuania.
Findings
Data from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey (GYTS) 2005 were used to conduct this study. Data were analyzed using SUDAAN software 9.03. Comparisons for categorical variables were done using the Pearson's Chi-square test. The cut of point for statistical significance was set at 5% level. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine factors associated with the outcome. Unadjusted odds ratios (OR) and adjusted odds ratios (AOR) together with their 95% confidence intervals (CI) are reported.
Of the 1822 respondents, 35.8% males and 27.1% females reported being current cigarette smokers (p < 0.001). Having friends who smoke cigarettes was associated with smoking after controlling for age, gender, parental smoking status, and perception of risks of smoking (AOR = 3.76; 95% CI [2.33, 6.90] for some friends using tobacco; and AOR = 17.18; 95% CI [10.46, 28.21] for most or all friends using tobacco). Male gender and having one or both parents who smoke cigarettes were associated with smoking (AOR = 1.31; 95% CI [1.03, 1.66]) and AOR = 1.76; 95% CI [1.37, 2.27]) respectively).
Conclusions
There is a high prevalence of cigarette smoking among Lithuanian adolescents. Male adolescents and adolescents who have friends or parents who smoke should be the main target for tobacco control in Lithuania.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-130
PMCID: PMC2873352  PMID: 20459649
6.  Gender specific factors associated with having stopped smoking among in-school adolescents in Ukraine: results from the Global Youth Tobacco Survey 2005 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:76.
Background
The prevalence of cigarette smoking in Ukraine is different between genders and is among the highest in the world. There is need to identify gender-specific factors that are associated with having stopped smoking among adolescents.
Findings
We used data from the Ukraine Global Youth Tobacco Survey 2005. We carried out a backward stepwise logistic regression analysis with having stopped smoking as the outcome.
Altogether, 2800 adolescents reported having ever smoked cigarettes. Overall 64.1% (63.4% male, and 65.5% female) adolescents reported having stopped smoking. Male adolescents who stated that smoking decreases body weight were 25% more likely, while female adolescents were 9% less likely to stop smoking. While male adolescents who received support on how to stop smoking from a family member were 7% less likely, female adolescents were 60% more likely to stop smoking. Furthermore, while male adolescents who received a lecture on the harmful effects of smoking were 10% less likely, female adolescents were 9% more likely to stop smoking. Finally both male and female adolescents who were sure or most probably that they would not smoke a cigarette offered to them by their best friends were more likely, and those adolescents who were sure that smoking is harmful to health were less likely to stop smoking.
Conclusions
Our study has identified some factors that are associated with having quit smoking that are gender-specific. We believe public health programs targeting adolescent smoking should consider these factors in their design and implementation of gender sensitive interventions.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-76
PMCID: PMC2845603  PMID: 20233426
7.  HIV and AIDS-related knowledge among women in Iraq 
BMC Research Notes  2008;1:123.
Background
Individuals who are aware of the risk of infection and perceive themselves to be at risk of infection are more likely to take action to prevent HIV infection. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge of HIV/AIDS among Iraqi women.
Methods
A secondary analysis of the 2000 Multiple Cluster Indicator Survey (MICS) for Iraq was carried out to assess the extent of HIV/AIDS-related knowledge among Iraqi women.
Results
The majority of the 22,997 respondents were age 15–24 years (44.3%), currently married (51.4%), and resided in urban areas (71.7%). About 1 in 4 (26.0%) of the study participants had no formal education. Only 49.9% had heard of HIV/AIDS. Overall, 60.5% did not know that HIV can be transmitted through blood transfusion. Meanwhile, 98.5% of the respondents did not know that HIV can be transmitted from mother to child through breast milk. Only 0.7% of the respondents reported that HIV cannot be transmitted through mosquito bites. The proportion of the respondents who had adequate knowledge on HIV/AIDS was 9.8%. Adequate knowledge of HIV/AIDS was negatively associated with being married, poor, having low education, and residing in rural areas.
Conclusion
Findings from this study indicate that adequate knowledge of HIV/AIDS among Iraqi is very limited and associated with marital status, education, wealth, and place of residence. This information may be of use in the design, targeting, monitoring and evaluation of programs aimed at improving HIV and AIDS related knowledge in Iraq.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-1-123
PMCID: PMC2606682  PMID: 19046451
8.  Cigarette smoking and associated factors among in-school adolescents in Jamaica: comparison of the Global Youth Tobacco Surveys 2000 and 2006 
BMC Research Notes  2008;1:55.
Background
We conducted this study to estimate the correlates of current cigarette smoking among in-school adolescents in Jamaica 2006 and compare prevalence of smoking and associated factors between 2000 and 2006.
Results
In 2006, 1854 participated of whom 49.5 were males and 50.5% females. 1752 adolescents, 48.8% male and 51.2% females participated in the 2000 survey. Between 2000 and 2006, the prevalence of smoking among Jamaican school-going adolescents went up slightly from 15.2% to 16.7% but this was not statistically significant (p = 0.22). The perception that smoking is not harmful increased from 10.9% to 15.9% while parental smoking decreased from 39.4% to 35.5%. There was a decrease in the rates of adolescents exposed to tobacco adverts on billboards (p-value = 0.037) and in newspapers/magazine (p-value < 0.001). The percentage of adolescents who reported having an item with a tobacco brand logo on it increased from 13.9% to 16.4%. The perception that boys and girls who smoked had more friends increased between 2000 and 2006 (p-values = 0.016 and 0.004 respectively). Current smoking was associated with male gender (OR = 1.55; 95% CI [1.09–2.19]), having smoking parents (OR = 1.75; 95% CI [1.23–2.50]), and smoking friends (OR = 14.94; 95% CI [8.61–25.92] for most or all friends smokers and OR = 4.38; 95% CI [2.93–6.56] for some friends smokers)).
Conclusion
Results from this study indicate smoking was positively associated with male gender, having smoking friends or parents. We observed a slightly non significant increase in the prevalence of smoking between 2000 and 2006 among adolescents in Jamaica. Although there was a decrease in the rates of adolescents exposed to advertisement, the percentage of those who had an item with a tobacco brand logo had increased. The possible impact of the Jamaica's ratification of the Framework Convention on Tobacco control remains to be observed.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-1-55
PMCID: PMC2529312  PMID: 18710508

Results 1-8 (8)