Publications by authors named "Ahzairin Ahmad"

5 Publications

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Polysubstance use among adolescents in Malaysia: Findings from the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2017.

PLoS One 2021 21;16(1):e0245593. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Setia Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.

Background: Polysubstance use is defined as the use of more than one non-prescribed licit or illicit substance either concurrently or simultaneously. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of single substance users and polysubstance users and 'their associated factors among adolescents in Malaysia.

Methods: This study was a secondary data analysis from the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2017, a cross-sectional survey conducted among Malaysian school-going adolescents aged 13 to 17. The NHMS utilised a two-stage stratified cluster sampling. Multivariate Multinomial Logistic Regression analysis was applied.

Results: The overall prevalence of single substance use and polysubstance use among adolescents were 17.2% and 5.1% respectively. The multinomial model showed a higher likelihood of being single or polysubstance user among male (single user OR = 3.0, poly user OR = 4.6), others Bumiputeras vs Malay (single user OR = 1.7, poly user OR = 5.3), those who live with a single parent (single user OR = 1.2, poly user OR = 1.4), involved in truancy (single user OR = 1.7, poly user OR = 3.6) and being bullied (single user OR = 1.3, poly user OR = 3.4), those who had lack of peer support (single user OR = 1.3, poly user OR = 1.4), poor parental bonding (single user OR = 1.4, poly user OR = 1.8), depression (single user OR = 1.4, poly user OR = 3.2) and those who had no close friend (single user OR = 1.3, poly user OR = 2.7).

Conclusion: Our study highlighted multiple significant associated factors of single and polysubstance use among adolescents in Malaysia. This result can assist in the development of specific intervention and prevention programs targeting high-risk groups.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0245593PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7819602PMC
January 2021

Self-reported diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia among older persons in Malaysia.

Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020 Dec;20 Suppl 2:79-84

Institute for Public Health Malaysia, National Institutes of Health Malaysia, Ministry of Health, Selangor, Malaysia.

Aim: The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of self-reported diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia among older persons in Malaysia and their associated factors.

Methods: The study used data from the National Health and Morbidity Survey in 2018. It was a cross-sectional study with two-staged stratified cluster sampling design. In total, 3977 adults aged ≥60 years were selected for this study. Respondents were interviewed face to face using a structured questionnaire. Self-reported diabetes, hypertension or hypercholesterolemia was defined as having ever been told they have these diseases by a medical doctor or paramedic. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 25. The multiple logistic regression model was used to examine the factors associated with the prevalence of self-reporting.

Results: The prevalence of self-reported diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia among older persons in Malaysia were 27.7%, 51.1% and 41.8% respectively. Presence of other comorbidities and being obese showed higher odds for all three diseases. Indians, unemployed, inactive had higher odds for diabetes. Other Bumiputras, unemployed, non-smoker, obese and inactive had higher odds for hypertension. Non-smoker had higher odds for hypercholesterolemia.

Conclusions: Health promotion, vigilance, attention and services targeting on the associated factors should be strengthened for older persons in Malaysia to ensure healthy aging. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020; 20: 79-84.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ggi.13968DOI Listing
December 2020

Exposure to secondhand smoke among school-going adolescents in Malaysia: Findings from the tobacco and e-cigarettes survey among Malaysian adolescents (TECMA).

Tob Induc Dis 2020 20;18:96. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Shah Alam, Malaysia.

Introduction: Many studies have revealed that exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) substantially increases the risk of smoking related diseases especially among the vulnerable groups, yet data on the location of SHS exposure among youth in Malaysia are still lacking. The study aims to describe the prevalence and factors associated with SHS exposure at home, outside the home, and inside the school among school-going adolescents in Malaysia.

Methods: We derived the data from the TECMA study, which used a cross-sectional study design and multi-stage sampling method to obtain a representative sample of school-going adolescents aged 11-19 years in Malaysia in 2016. Data were collected through a self-administered approach using a pre-validated standard questionnaire. Descriptive and multivariate analyses were used to analyze the data, and results are presented as adjusted odds ratio (AOR) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI).

Results: SHS exposure for the past seven days was higher outside the home (51.2%; 95% CI: 49.2-53.2) compared to at home (37.8%; 95% CI: 35.8-39.9) while 27.3% (95% CI: 25.1-29.5) of school-going adolescents reported exposure to SHS inside the school in the past one month. In the regression analyses, older adolescents, those of Malay and Bumiputra Sarawak ethnicities, adolescents from rural areas and current smokers had higher likelihood of exposure to SHS at home, outside home and inside the school. Our study also found that adolescents who were current smokers had higher odds of being exposed to SHS at home (AOR=2.87; 95% CI: 2.57-3.21), outside the home (AOR=3.46; 95% CI: 3.05-3.92) and in the school (AOR=2.25; 95% CI: 2.01-2.51).

Conclusions: Health promotion measures should target parents/guardians and household members to reduce SHS exposure among adolescents. In addition, smoke-free regulation should be fully enforced in school. Furthermore, more public places should be designated non-smoking areas to reduce SHS exposure and denormalize smoking behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18332/tid/128622DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7694740PMC
November 2020

A systematic review protocol on small/kiddie cigarette packaging size and its impact on smoking.

Syst Rev 2020 01 13;9(1):13. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Setia Alam, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.

Background: Small/kiddie cigarette packs consist of less than 20 cigarette sticks. Kiddie packs were recently proposed to be reintroduced by the tobacco industry with an excuse to prevent consumers from buying illicit cigarettes. By reintroducing kiddie packs, cigarettes will inevitably be more affordable and this would appeal to lower-income consumers especially teens. In this systematic review, we aimed to identify the impact of kiddie packs on smoking, specifically on smoking initiation, the urge/tendency to buy cigarettes and attempts to reduce cigarette consumption.

Methods: This systematic review will be based on the review of original articles on the impact of kiddie packs on smoking. There is no restriction on the publication dates. The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science and Scopus will be searched to retrieve potential original articles. Additional records identified through other sources: Google Scholar, as well as Journal of Substance Use and Tobacco Control, are also to be searched. These will include original articles in any language which included all study designs (randomised controlled trials, quasi experimental and experimental studies, observational cross-sectional and cohort studies) comparing kiddie packs with regular cigarette packs. The primary outcomes of interest will be initiation of smoking and urge/tendency to buy cigarettes in the general population and attempts to reduce cigarette consumption among current smokers. Secondary outcomes will be the prevalence of smoking using kiddie packs among the current smokers.

Discussion: This systematic review will provide evidence to support the impact of kiddie packs on smoking in terms of smoking initiation, smoking prevalence, urge/tendency to purchase cigarettes and attempts to reduce cigarette consumption. The findings from this review could be helpful to policymakers in regulating kiddie packs to control the consumption of tobacco.

Systematic Review Registration: PROSPERO CRD42018102325.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13643-019-1263-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6958659PMC
January 2020

Environmental risk factors of leptospirosis in urban settings: a systematic review protocol.

BMJ Open 2019 01 21;9(1):e023359. Epub 2019 Jan 21.

Center for Communicable Disease Research, Institute for Public Health, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Introduction: Leptospirosis is the most common zoonotic disease that causes morbidity and mortality worldwide. The disease can cause sporadic epidemics and recent epidemics have become more apparent in urban localities. There is lack of documented evidence on the specific risk factors of leptospirosis infection among the urbanites, thereby impeding initiatives for prevention in urban settings. We aim to systematically search published articles and synthesise evidence on the risk factors associated with leptospirosis infection among the susceptible populations in urban localities, particularly to identify the risk factors of non-recreational leptospirosis infection.

Methods And Analysis: We will conduct a systematic review of observational studies that investigated environmental risk factors of leptospirosis in urban localities. The search will be performed for any eligible articles from selected electronic databases from 1970 until May 2018. The study will include any studies that investigated risk factors of confirmed leptospirosis cases who acquired the infection in urban locality, particularly exposures from the non-recreational and non-water-related activities. Study selection and reporting will follow the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guideline. All data will be extracted using a standardised data extraction form and quality of the studies will be assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale guideline. Descriptive and meta-analysis will be performed by calculating the standardised median ORs and risk ratios for types of the non-recreational risk factors stratified by social, living conditions and environmental exposures, types of reservoirs and transmissions and types of activities and employments associated with leptospirosis infection in urban locality.

Ethics And Dissemination: No primary data will be collected thus no formal ethical approval is required. The results will be disseminated though a peer-reviewed publication and conference presentation.

Prospero Registration Number: CRD42018090820.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023359DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6347878PMC
January 2019