Subscribe: Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health current issue
http://jech.bmj.com/rss/current.xml
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
age  allergic asthma  children  community  countries  education  group  health  intervention  older  people  social  study 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health current issue

Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health current issue



Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health RSS feed -- current issue



 



Affective stimuli in behavioural interventions soliciting for health check-up services and the service users socioeconomic statuses: a study at Japanese pachinko parlours

2018-04-12T01:00:42-07:00

Editor’s note

The study reported in this article examines a health intervention that uses gendered stereotypes of the nursing profession and suggestive uniforms that play on women’s sexuality to encourage people to engage in health checkups. The intervention was not under the control of the authors and the study was approved by an institutional research ethics board. The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health condemns the use of sexism, gender and professional stereotypes and other forms of discriminatory or exploitative behaviour for any purpose, including health promotion programs. In light of concerns raised about this paper (see eLetters with this paper), we are conducting an audit of our review process and will put in place measures to ensure that the material we publish condemns sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination and embodies principles of inclusion and non-discrimination.

Background

Socioeconomically vulnerable people are likely to have more health risks because of inadequate behaviour choices related to chronic social stresses. Brain science suggests that stress causes cognitively biased automatic decision making, preferring instant stress relief and pleasure (eg, smoking, alcohol use and drug abuse) as opposed to reflectively seeking health-maintenance services (eg, health check-ups). As such, hedonic stimuli that nudge people towards preventive actions could reduce health behaviour disparities. The purpose of this intervention study was to test this hypothesis.

Methods

An instant health check-up service company had 320 health check-up sessions at pachinko (Japanese gambling) parlours; 1721 persons in intervention sessions and 6507 persons in control sessions received the service. The stimuli the company used in the intervention sessions were young women wearing mildly erotic nurse costumes, who solicited the pachinko players for health check-up services. We compared the prevalence of socioeconomically vulnerable individuals between the intervention and control sessions, adjusting for individual-level and parlour-level potential confounders.

Results

Even adjusting for health risks and within-parlour clustering, the intervention sessions gathered more socioeconomically vulnerable customers than the regular sessions. Compared with control sessions, in intervention sessions the adjusted prevalence ratios were 1.15 (95% CI 0.99 to 1.35) for not having a job (vs having a job) and 1.36 (95% CI 1.00 to 1.86) for holders of National Health Insurance (which includes more socially vulnerable people than other insurance programmes).

Conclusion

The results supported our hypothesis. Offering health check-up opportunities equipped with ‘tricks’ that nudge people to act might be effective for anyone but is potentially more valuable for socially vulnerable people. Ethical discussions are needed to further consider the use of erotic stimuli and other essential drivers of human behaviour.




Social causes of the slowdown in health improvement

2018-04-12T01:00:41-07:00

The abiding view of the second half of the 20th century is that societies improve, health and social care improve and, as a result, health improves. We can argue, and do, as to who holds the pump handle. How much was it modern medicine, how much organised public health, how much improved social and economic conditions. I argue for social conditions.1 Others argue for medicine and public health.2 Whatever the relative contributions, we are used to health improving year on year, in high-income, middle-income and most, but not all, low-income countries.

We can no longer take such improvement for granted. In England and Wales, Hiam and colleagues3 first drew attention to the possibility that mortality rates may actually be increasing in older people. At the Institute of Health Equity, we have been monitoring health and its social determinants since the publication of my...




Public transport policy, social engagement and mental health in older age: a quasi-experimental evaluation of free bus passes in England

2018-04-12T01:00:41-07:00

Background

Social engagement and social isolation are key determinants of mental health in older age, yet there is limited evidence on how public policies may contribute to reducing isolation, promoting social engagement and improving mental health among older people. This study examines the impact of the introduction of an age-friendly transportation policy, free bus passes, on the mental health of older people in England.

Methods

We use an instrumental variable (IV) approach that exploits eligibility criteria for free bus passes to estimate the impact of increased public transportation use on depressive symptoms, loneliness, social isolation and social engagement.

Results

Eligibility for the free bus travel pass was associated with an 8% (95% CI 6.4% to 9.6%) increase in the use of public transportation among older people. The IV model suggests that using public transport reduces depressive symptoms by 0.952 points (95% CI –1.712 to –0.192) on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. IV models also suggest that using public transport reduces feelings of loneliness (β –0.794, 95% CI –1.528 to –0.061), increases volunteering at least monthly (β 0.237, 95% CI 0.059 to 0.414) and increases having regular contact with children (β 0.480, 95% CI 0.208 to 0.752) and friends (β 0.311, 95% CI 0.109 to 0.513).

Conclusion

Free bus travel is associated with reductions in depressive symptoms and feelings of loneliness among older people. Transportation policies may increase older people’s social engagement and consequently deliver significant benefits to mental health.




Effectiveness of comprehensive social support interventions among elderly patients with tuberculosis in communities in China: a community-based trial

2018-04-12T01:00:41-07:00

Background

With the increasing of ageing population, tuberculosis in the elderly brings a challenge for the tuberculosis (TB) control in China. Enough social support can promote the treatment adherence and outcome of the elderly patients with TB. Exploring effective interventions to improve the social support of patients is of great significance for TB management and control.

Methods

A community-based, repeated measurement trial was conducted. Patients with TB >65 years of age were allocated into the intervention or control group. Patients in the intervention group received comprehensive social support interventions, while those in the control group received health education alone. The social support level of patients was measured at baseline and at the first, third and sixth months during the intervention to assess the effectiveness of comprehensive social support interventions.

Results

A total of 201 patients were recruited into the study. Compared with the control group, social support for patients in the intervention group increased significantly over time (βgroup*time=0.61, P<0.01) in the following three dimensions: objective support (βgroup*time=0.15, P<0.05), subjective support (βgroup*time=0.32, P<0.05) and support utilisation (βgroup*time=0.16, P<0.05). The change in the scores in the control group was not statistically significant.

Conclusions

The intervention programme in communities, including health education, psychotherapy and family and community support interventions, can improve the social support for elderly patients with TB compared with single health education.

Trial registration number

ChiCTR-IOR-16009232




Community group membership and multidimensional subjective well-being in older age

2018-04-12T01:00:41-07:00

Background

It has been highlighted as a public health priority to identify ways of supporting well-being in older age to allow people to lead healthy and integrated lifestyles. This study explored whether membership in eight different sorts of community groups was associated with enhanced experienced, evaluative and eudemonic well-being among older adults.

Methods

We analysed data from 2548 adults aged 55+ drawn from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging. We used multivariate logistic and linear regression models to compare change in well-being between baseline and follow-up 10 years later in relation to membership of different community groups while controlling for potential confounding variables.

Results

Membership in two types of community groups was associated with enhanced well-being: attending education, arts or music classes was longitudinally associated with lower negative affect (OR 0.73, CI 0.57 to 0.92) and life satisfaction (β 0.55, CI 0.02 to 1.08) while church or religious group membership was longitudinally associated with lower negative affect (OR 0.79, CI 0.65 to 0.98) and higher positive affect (OR 1.54, CI 1.25 to 1.90). There was no evidence of reverse causality through cross-lagged analyses. However, just 17.4% and 24.6% of older adults were found to engage in these two types of community groups, respectively, and several demographic factors were identified as barriers to participation.

Conclusions

Overall, this study suggests that education, arts or music classes and church or religious groups may support well-being in older age. Programmes to encourage engagement could be designed for older adults who may not normally access these community resources.




Trends and determinants of the Flynn effect in cognitive functioning among older individuals in 10 European countries

2018-04-12T01:00:41-07:00

Background

Although cognitive performance levels in old age have increased in most countries, recent evidence documents a slowing down or even decline in cohort gains in highly developed countries. The aim of this study was to assess trends and determinants in secular cohort gains in cognitive functioning among older individuals and whether cohort gains are levelling off in most advanced countries.

Methods

Data for individuals aged between 50 and 84 years from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe in 10 European countries between 2004 and 2013 (n=92 739) were used to assess country and age-specific changes in immediate word recall. Multivariate random intercept models were used to assess associations between secular cohort changes in immediate word recall, initial performance levels and changes in country-level socio-demographic characteristics.

Results

Performance in immediate word recall improved in all countries between 2004 and 2013 (from 4.40 to 5.08 words, P<0.05). However, secular cohort gains were significantly smaller in countries with initially higher performance levels (coeff.=–0.554, 95% CI –0.682 to –0.426). Changes in socio-demographic and health conditions, including decreases in cardiovascular disease, physical activity and educational achievement, were associated with larger secular cohort gains.

Conclusions

Results may either reflect that some countries are approaching the limits of cognitive plasticity, are slowing in their progress or that societal structures have not yet been optimised to improve cognitive abilities in midlife and beyond, or a combination of these interpretations.




Does adiposity mediate the relationship between socioeconomic position and non-allergic asthma in childhood?

2018-04-12T01:00:42-07:00

Background

Despite its high prevalence, early onset and chronic nature, the causes of asthma are not clearly established. The present study examined a plausible but untested relationship in the development of non-allergic asthma; an asthma phenotype closely linked to deprivation and other preventable risk factors. Our aim was to determine the mediating role of adiposity in the relationship between socioeconomic position in infancy and non-allergic asthma emergence in mid-childhood.

Methods

To estimate the causal indirect effect of adiposity we applied the parametric g-computational procedure to 6203 singleton children from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Adiposity was measured at age 7 by body mass index, waist circumference and waist circumference-to-height ratio. Children who developed non-allergic asthma between the age of 7 and 14 were compared with children without allergies or allergic asthma at these ages.

Results

We found no evidence to suggest that adiposity is a mediator in the relationship between socioeconomic position and the development of non-allergic asthma in mid-childhood. After adjustment for risk factors, the direct effect of socioeconomic position remained; children in the lowest tertile of socioeconomic position had a 43% (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.38 to 1.49) greater odds of developing non-allergic asthma compared with the highest tertile.

Conclusions

Adiposity at age 7 does not mediate the relationship between socioeconomic position and non-allergic asthma. The results suggest that improving socioeconomic conditions and promoting healthy weight are both important in reducing the development of non-allergic asthma in early to mid-childhood.




Trajectories of body mass index and waist circumference in four Peruvian settings at different level of urbanisation: the CRONICAS Cohort Study

2018-04-12T01:00:42-07:00

Background

Studies have reported the incidence/risk of becoming obese, but few have described the trajectories of body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) over time, especially in low/middle-income countries. We assessed the trajectories of BMI and WC according to sex in four sites in Peru.

Methods

Data from the population-based CRONICAS Cohort Study were analysed. We fitted a population-averaged model by using generalised estimating equations. The outcomes of interest, with three data points over time, were BMI and WC. The exposure variable was the factorial interaction between time and study site.

Results

At baseline mean age was 55.7 years (SD: 12.7) and 51.6% were women. Mean follow-up time was 2.5 years (SD: 0.4). Over time and across sites, BMI and WC increased linearly. The less urbanised sites showed a faster increase than more urbanised sites, and this was also observed after sex stratification. Overall, the fastest increase was found for WC compared with BMI. Compared with Lima, the fastest increase in WC was in rural Puno (coefficient=0.73, P<0.001), followed by urban Puno (coefficient=0.59, P=0.001) and Tumbes (coefficient=0.22, P=0.088).

Conclusions

There was a linear increase in BMI and WC across study sites, with the greatest increase in less urbanised areas. The ongoing urbanisation process, common to Peru and other low/middle-income countries, is accompanied by different trajectories of increasing obesity-related markers.




Why is life expectancy in England and Wales 'stalling?

2018-04-12T01:00:42-07:00

Several independent analyses, by both epidemiologists and actuaries, have concluded that the previous rate of improvement of life expectancy in England and Wales has now slowed markedly, and at older ages may even be reversing. However, although these findings have led the pension industry to reduce estimates of future liabilities, they have failed to elicit any significant concern in the Department of Health and Social Care. In this essay, we review the evidence on changing life expectancy, noting that the problems are greatest among older women. We then estimate the gap between what life expectancy is now and what it might have been had previous trends continued. At age 85, the gap is 0.34 years for women and 0.23 for men. We argue that recent changes cannot be dismissed as a temporary aberration. While the causes of this phenomenon are contested, there is growing evidence to point to the austerity policies implemented in recent years as at least a partial explanation. We conclude by calling for a fully independent enquiry to ascertain what is happening to life expectancy in England and Wales and what should be done about it.




Your health is your wealth: faith-based community action on the health of African migrant communities in Amsterdam

2018-04-12T01:00:42-07:00

The African migrant communities in Europe face many challenges including poor health outcomes. Migrant community leaders can play a crucial role in addressing the health needs of their community members. In this paper, we described Sub-Saharan African migrant community leaders’ action to improve the health of their faith-based community members in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.




Social tenants health: evaluating the effectiveness of landlord interventions

2018-04-12T01:00:42-07:00

Background

The National Health Service (NHS) scores well internationally on access to healthcare. But access has been measured on methods likely to undersample the more disadvantaged. Social landlords have access to more disadvantaged groups and may be able to improve health outcomes for their tenants and reduce their NHS usage by simple interventions.

Methods

This is a randomised controlled trial of 547 London social housing ‘general needs’ tenants over 50 years of age. Participants were given a health assessment, then split into a control group or one of two treated groups. Following early assessment 25 participants had to be withdrawn to receive intensive treatment because of currently untreated major health problems. Participants were followed up over 18 months and changes in health outcomes and NHS usage measured.

Results

Compared with the control the most intensively treated group showed non-significant improvements on health outcomes but a significant reduction in NHS resource use, on conventional costings worth some £760 per person. All 25 participants transferred to the most intensively treated group after their early health assessments showed improvement on all health outcomes at final assessment, but these improvements were not statistically significant.

Conclusions

Drawing a sample from disadvantaged but not the most seriously disadvantaged groups in London revealed 4.5% of the population to have very serious untreated health problems. The reason for lack of treatment was mainly non-registration with a general practitioner or psychiatric issues. Simple interventions to a targeted group were found to produce significant reductions in NHS usage and other, although non-significant, health benefits.

Trial registration number

ID ISRCTN96259142.




Public health guide to field developments linking ecosystems, environments and health in the Anthropocene

2018-04-12T01:00:42-07:00

The impacts of global environmental change have precipitated numerous approaches that connect the health of ecosystems, non-human organisms and humans. However, the proliferation of approaches can lead to confusion due to overlaps in terminology, ideas and foci. Recognising the need for clarity, this paper provides a guide to seven field developments in environmental public health research and practice: occupational and environmental health; political ecology of health; environmental justice; ecohealth; One Health; ecological public health; and planetary health. Field developments are defined in terms of their uniqueness from one another, are historically situated, and core texts or journals are highlighted. The paper ends by discussing some of the intersecting features across field developments, and considers opportunities created through such convergence. This field guide will be useful for those seeking to build a next generation of integrative research, policy, education and action that is equipped to respond to current health and sustainability challenges.




Exposure to traffic-related air pollution and acute bronchitis in children: season and age as modifiers

2018-04-12T01:00:42-07:00

Background

Acute bronchitis (AB) is one of the principal causes of childhood morbidity. Increasing number of studies has shown that air pollution is an important environmental contributor of respiratory disease. However, evidence so far is scarce regarding the effects of air pollution on childhood AB, and it also remains unclear how the risk of AB will change by season and age.

Methods

Data on hospital visits for AB in children, air pollution and meteorological factors from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016 were collected in Hefei, China. Time-series analysis was applied to assess the short-term effects of traffic-related air pollution on childhood AB outpatient visits. A Poisson generalised linear regression model combined with a distributed lag non-linear model was used to estimate the relationships, controlling for long-term trends, seasonal patterns, meteorological factors and other possible confounders.

Results

We found that an IQR increase in concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter <2.5 µm and carbon monoxide significantly increased the daily hospital visits for childhood AB with 4-day cumulative effect estimates (relative risks: 1.03, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.05; 1.09, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.11; 1.07, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.09). Notably, the risk estimates during the cold season are pronounced; however, no significant association was observed during the warm season. Interestingly, children aged 6–14 years were more vulnerable to air pollutants than children aged less than 1 year and within 1–5 years. However, no gender difference was observed.

Conclusion

A significant association of traffic-related air pollution and increased department visits for childhood AB was observed, notably in school-age children and during the cold season.




How consistent are associations between maternal and paternal education and child growth and development outcomes across 39 low-income and middle-income countries?

2018-04-12T01:00:42-07:00

Background

Maternal and paternal education are associated with improved early child outcomes. However, less is known about how these relative associations compare for preschool children’s growth versus development outcomes; and across country contexts.

Methods

We analysed data from 89 663 children aged 36 to 59 months in 39 low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). We used linear regression models with country fixed effects to estimate the joint associations between maternal and paternal education and children’s growth and development outcomes. Additionally, we examined the variability in these relationships by each country and within subgroups of countries.

Results

In the pooled sample, maternal and paternal education were independently associated with 0.37 (95% CI 0.33 to 0.41) and 0.20 (95% CI 0.16 to 0.24) higher height-for-age z-scores, and 0.31 (95% CI 0.29 to 0.34) and 0.16 (95% CI 0.14 to 0.18) higher Early Childhood Development Index z-scores, respectively (comparing secondary or higher to no education). Associations were stronger for maternal education than paternal education but comparable between child outcomes. In country-specific regressions, we found the most heterogeneity in the associations between maternal education and children’s growth; and between paternal education and children’s development. Subgroup analyses suggested that these associations may be systematically patterned by country-level adult illiteracy, infant mortality and food insecurity.

Conclusion

Our findings highlight variability in the statistical significance and magnitude of the associations between caregivers’ education and children’s outcomes. Further research is needed to understand the sources of variation that may promote or constrain the benefits of caregivers’ education for children’s early health and development in LMICs.




Cardiovascular health among the Czech population at the beginning of the 21st century: a 12-year follow-up study

2018-04-12T01:00:42-07:00

Background

In the late 1980s, Czechia was among the countries which had the highest cardiovascular mortality in the world. In spite of enormous improvements since that time, there are still large opportunities in further improving cardiovascular health.

Methods

Based on the Czech Health, Alcohol and Psychosocial Factors in Eastern Europe sample (n=8449 at baseline, 12 years of follow-up, 494 cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths up to 2015—events), the impact of selected covariates such as education, smoking habits, high blood pressure, blood cholesterol level, diabetes, obesity, physical activity and binge drinking and their multifactorial effects on cardiovascular mortality was evaluated by Cox regression. In addition, population attributable fractions (PAFs) were used to quantify the impact of these factors on CVD mortality in the population.

Results

Education was found as the strongest determinant of CVD mortality (primary vs university, HR 2.77, P<0.001; PAF=50.5%). CVD risk was two times higher for persons with diabetes compared with those without (HR 2.02, P<0.001, PAF=23.2%). Furthermore, significant factors found were smoking (smoker vs non-smoker, HR 1.91, P<0.001; PAF=26.5%), high blood pressure (HR 1.73, P<0.001; PAF=35.3%) and physical inactivity (none vs sufficient, HR 1.60, P<0.001; PAF=22.9%). Conversely, the effect of obesity was low (HR 1.29, P value =0.020), and binge drinking and high blood cholesterol level were not significant at all.

Conclusions

Education had the largest impact on cardiovascular mortality among the Czech population. More than 50% of CVD death would be prevented if the whole population had the same risk values as the highest educated population. Reducing disparities in health related to education should benefit from attention to cardiovascular health literacy.