Background: Selenium (Se) is a necessary element for the biosynthesis of thyroid hormones. We investigated the relationship between selenium status, thyroid volume, and goiter in a cross-sectional study in an iodine-sufficient area. Methods: We selected residents of Chengdu (over 18 years old and living in the city for more than 5 years) using a stratified cluster sampling technique. Fifteen hundred subjects were selected for the study, which involved a questionnaire survey, physical examination, thyroid ultrasound, serum thyroid function test, and determination of serum selenium level. Thyroid volume was calculated from the thickness, width, length, and a corrective factor for each lobe.
Author Archives: BMC Public Health
Background: For a comprehensive health sector response to intimate partner violence (IPV), interventions should target individual and health facility levels, along with the broader health systems level which includes issues of governance, financing, planning, service delivery, monitoring and evaluation, and demand generation. This study aims to map and explore the integration of IPV response in the Spanish national health system. Methods: Information was collected on five key areas based on WHO recommendations: policy environment, protocols, training, monitoring and prevention. A systematic review of public documents was conducted to assess 39 indicators in each of Spain’s 17 regional health systems. In addition, we performed qualitative content analysis of 26 individual interviews with key informants responsible for coordinating the health sector response to IPV in Spain
Background: The role of obesity in the prevalence and clustering of multimorbidity, the occurrence of two or more chronic conditions, is understudied. We estimated the prevalence of multimorbidity by obesity status, and the interaction of obesity with other predictors of multimorbidity. Methods: Data from adult respondents (18 years and over) to the Health Quality Council of Alberta 2012 Patient Experience Survey were analyzed. Multivariable regression models were fitted to test for associations. Results: The survey sample included 4803 respondents; 55.8% were female and the mean age was 47.8 years (SD, 17.1)
Background: In China, there is increasing concern because of the rapid increase in HIV infection recorded over recent years. Migrant workers are recognized as one of the groups most affected. In this study, HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and behavior among unmarried migrant workers in Shanghai are investigated, with the aim of providing critical information for policy makers and sex educators to reinforce sexual health services and sex health education targeting the behavior and sexual health of unmarried male migrants. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among unmarried male migrant workers in Shanghai, China’ largest city and housing the most migrants. A self-administered, anonymous questionnaire was used to collect information on knowledge, attitudes, and behavior associated with increased risk of HIV/AIDS
Background: People’s well-being after loss resulting from an earthquake is a concern in countries prone to natural disasters. Most studies on post-earthquake subjective quality of life (QOL) have focused on the effects of psychological impairment and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on the psychological dimension of QOL. However, there is a need for studies focusing on QOL in populations not affected by PTSD or psychological impairment. The aim of this study was to estimate QOL changes over an 18-month period in an adult population sample after the L’Aquila 2009 earthquake.
Background: The incidence of STI is high and increasing in Bhutan. Poor understanding of risky sexual behavior could be a cause. Comprehensive community surveys have not been previously done. This study was conducted to assess local knowledge on STIs and sexual risk behaviour in two rural districts of Bhutan: Gasa and Zhemgang. Methods: The study population included residents aged 15–49 years in the two districts.
Background: Among the most studied evidence-based programs, the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) has been shown to help participants improve their health behaviors, health outcomes, and reduce healthcare utilization. However, there is a lack of information on how CDSMP, when nationally disseminated, impacts healthcare utilization and averts healthcare costs. The purposes of this study were to: 1) document reductions in healthcare utilization among national CDSMP participants; 2) calculate potential cost savings associated with emergency room (ER) visits and hospitalizations; and 3) extrapolate the cost savings estimation to the American adults. Methods: The national study of CDSMP surveyed 1,170 community-dwelling CDSMP participants at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months from 22 organizations in 17 states. The procedure used to estimate potential cost savings included: 1) examining the pattern of healthcare utilization among CDSMP participants from self-reported healthcare utilization assessed at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months; 2) calculating age-adjusted average costs for persons using the 2010 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey; 3) calculating costs saved from reductions in healthcare utilization; 4) estimating per participant program costs; 5) computing potential cost savings by deducting program costs from estimated healthcare savings; and 6) extrapolating savings to national populations using Census data combined with national health statistics
Background: Parental alcohol misuse may negatively affect drinking behaviours among offspring, but it is unclear to what extent influences are gender-specific and dependent upon the actual drinking behaviour measured. The aim of this study was to investigate whether hazardous drinking among Norwegian teenage boys (N = 2538) and girls (N = 2494) was associated with paternal and maternal alcohol misuse (CAGE). Methods: Definitions of hazardous drinking among offspring were based on self-reported alcohol consumption (in litres a year), frequency of drinking, and frequency of drunkenness. Based on this information, two composite measures of hazardous drinking were also constructed. Cross-sectional data from the Norwegian Young-HUNT 3 survey (2006–2008) were linked to information from biological parents who participated in the adult part of the HUNT study.
Background: Parental influences are essential to the behaviours and physical activity of their children. Our study aimed to determine if parental beliefs and support are associated with children’s pedometer measured physical activity levels on school days and weekend days. Methods: In the spring of 2009 and 2011, we analyzed cross-sectional data from 1,355 grade five students and parents in 30 schools in Alberta, Canada. Parents reported how much they care about exercising, how much they encourage their child to be physically active, and how frequently they engage in physical activities with their child. Physical activity was assessed from step counts obtained from time-stamped pedometers collected over nine consecutive days.
Background: Community-based mobile phone programs can complement gaps in clinical services for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in areas with poor infrastructure and personnel shortages. However, community and health worker perceptions on optimal mobile phone communication for PMTCT are underexplored. This study examined what specific content and forms of mobile communication are acceptable to support PMTCT. Methods: Qualitative methods using focus groups and in-depth interviews were conducted in two district hospitals in Nyanza Province, Kenya. A total of 45 participants were purposefully selected, including HIV-positive women enrolled in PMTCT, their male partners, community health workers, and nurses
Background: Globally, the proportion of youths has been steadily increasing, especially in Asia. This vulnerable population has limited exposure to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information leading to various reproductive health (RH) problems including risky sexual debut, unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion as well as STI/HIV infections. Among known social variations which influence youth’s RH, gender differences are critical for planning necessary gender appropriate interventions. This study aimed to identify gender differences in exposure to SRH information and risky sexual debut as well as associated factors among Myanmar youths in poor suburban communities of Mandalay City. Methods: A total of 444 randomly selected youths (aged 15–24 years) from all poor, suburban communities in Mandalay City took part in our survey.
Background: Previous findings suggest that stressful life events have a causal relationship with depressive symptoms. However, to date little is known concerning the contribution of the number and severity of recent stressful life events on the prevalence of depressive symptoms among university students. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of depressive symptoms and its association with the number and the severity of self-reported stressful life events among university students in Cyprus. Methods: A descriptive correlational design with cross sectional comparison was used. The CES-D scale was applied for the assessment of depressive symptoms and the LESS instrument for stressful life events.
Background: The consumption of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (PHVOs) high in trans fat is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other non-communicable diseases. In response to high intakes of PHVOs, the Indian government has proposed regulation to set limits on the amount of trans fat permissible in PHVOs. Global recommendations are to replace PHVOs with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in order to optimise health benefits; however, little is known about the practicalities of implementation in low-income settings. The aim of this study was to examine the technical and economic feasibility of reducing trans fat in PHVOs and reformulating it using healthier fats. Methods: Thirteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with manufacturers and technical experts of PHVOs in India
Background: The UK Parliamentary Enquiry and USA Institute of Medicine state that lesbians may be at a higher risk of breast cancer but there is insufficient information. Lesbians and bisexual (LB) women have behavioural risk-factors at higher rates compared to heterosexuals such as increased alcohol intake and higher stress levels. Conversely, breast cancer rates are higher in more affluent women yet income levels in LB women are relatively low. This systematic review investigated all evidence on whether there is, or likely to be, higher rates of breast cancer in LB women.