Publications by authors named "Azahadi Omar"

17 Publications

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Prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of young-onset hypertension in Malaysia, 2006-2015.

J Hum Hypertens 2021 Feb 3. Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Biostatistics and Data Repository, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health, Selangor, Malaysia.

The continuous presence of elevated blood pressure (BP) when young is a strong predictor of future cardiovascular risk. This study aimed to elucidate the prevalence, awareness, treatment and control of young-onset hypertension (YOH) in Malaysia during the period 2006-2015. Data on respondents aged 18-39 diagnosed with YOH according to the 7th Joint National Committee Report (USA) were extracted from three National Health and Morbidity Surveys (2006, 2011, and 2015). The prevalence of YOH remained stable: 17.7%, 95% CI [17.0, 18.3] in 2006, 17.0%, 95% CI [16.0, 17.9] in 2011 and 18.4%, 95% CI [17.4, 19.4] in 2015. Awareness, treatment and control rates were suboptimal; 15% were aware of their diagnosis, of which less than 50% were on treatment and less than 40% who were on treatment had their BP controlled. Trend analysis revealed a significant increase in YOH prevalence among urban dwellers; those with no formal and tertiary education and middle-income earners. YOH awareness and treatment rates were lower among respondents <30 years; however, when treated, this group achieved overall better control rates. Females had higher awareness and treatment rates, but lower control. Treatment rates remained stable for all ethnicities with the exception of Chinese, which decreased. This study narrows the knowledge gap on YOH epidemiology in Malaysia by providing crucial information on the pervasiveness of hypertension among young adults. Results can be used to develop non-communicable disease policies and health promotion strategies specially targeted at young adults who are in the prime of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41371-020-00478-0DOI Listing
February 2021

Cause-specific mortality estimates for Malaysia in 2013: results from a national sample verification study using medical record review and verbal autopsy.

BMC Public Health 2019 Jan 24;19(1):110. Epub 2019 Jan 24.

Department of Global Health, Research School of Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Background: Mortality indicators are essential for monitoring population health. Although Malaysia has a functional death registration system, the quality of information on causes of death still needs improvement, since approximately 30% of deaths are classified to poorly defined causes. This study was conducted to verify registered causes in a sample of deaths in 2013 and utilise the findings to estimate cause-specific mortality indicators for Malaysia in 2013.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study involving a nationally representative sample of 14,497 deaths distributed across 19 districts. Registered causes of deaths were verified using standard medical record review protocols for hospital deaths, and locally adapted international standard verbal autopsy procedures for deaths outside hospitals. The findings were used to measure the validity and reliability of the registration data, as well as to establish plausible cause-specific mortality fractions for hospital and non-hospital deaths, which were subsequently used as the basis for estimating national cause-specific mortality indicators.

Results: The overall response rate for the study was 67%. Verified causes of 5041 hospital deaths and 3724 deaths outside hospitals were used to derive national mortality estimates for 2013 by age, sex and cause. The study was able to reclassify most of the ill-defined deaths to a specific cause. The leading causes of deaths for males were Ischaemic Heart Disease (15.4%), Cerebrovascular diseases (13.7%), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (8.5%) and Road Traffic Accident (8.0%). Among females, the leading causes were Cerebrovascular diseases (18.3%), Ischaemic Heart Disease (12.7%), Lower Respiratory Infections (11.5%) and Diabetes Mellitus (7.2%).

Conclusions: Investigation of registered causes of death using verbal autopsy and medical record review yielded adequate information to enable estimation of cause-specific mortality indicators in Malaysia. Strengthening the national mortality statistics system must be made a priority as it is a core data source for policy and evaluation of the public health and healthcare sectors in Malaysia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-6384-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6345029PMC
January 2019

Methodology approaches and challenges in population-based longitudinal study of a neuroprotective model for healthy longevity.

Geriatr Gerontol Int 2019 Mar 7;19(3):233-239. Epub 2019 Jan 7.

Institute of Ear, Hearing and Speech, National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Aim: The 36-month Long-Term Research Grant Scheme project: Towards Usual Aging - Neuroprotective Model for Healthy Longevity among Malaysian Elderly was designed to address multidimensional aspects including psychosocial, biophysical health, nutrition and dietary pattern, and auditory and visual function to highlight the magnitude of these associations in a single study.

Methods: A total of 2322 respondents aged ≥60 years were recruited at baseline using the multistage sampling method, followed up at 18 months and 36 months.

Results: Response rates at baseline, 18 months and 36 months were 87.8%, 77.3% and 67.1%, respectively. At baseline, the prevalence of successful aging, usual aging and mild cognitive impairment was 11%, 73% and 16%, respectively. The prevalence of single and multimorbidity at baseline were 25.9% and 50.3%, respectively. The incidence rates of mild cognitive impairment at 18 months and 36 months were 6.5 and 5.6 per 100 person-years. The incidence rates of multimorbidity at 18 months and 36 months were 23.7 and 21.5 per 100 person-years, respectively.

Conclusions: The Long-Term Research Grant Scheme project: Towards Usual Aging study provides an opportunity to investigate the interactions between wide ranges of aspects of the older population in a nationally representative sample of the older population. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2019; 19: 233-239.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ggi.13598DOI Listing
March 2019

Effect of physical activity on fasting blood glucose and lipid profile among low income housewives in the MyBFF@home study.

BMC Womens Health 2018 07 19;18(Suppl 1):103. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Background: Regular physical activity has always been strongly recommended for good cardiovascular health. This study aimed to determine the effect of physical activity on fasting blood glucose and lipid profile among low income housewives in Klang Valley.

Methods: Data of 328 eligible housewives who participated in the MyBFF@Home study was used. Intervention group of 169 subjects were provided with an intervention package which includes physical activity (brisk walking, dumbbell exercise, physical activity diary, group exercise) and 159 subjects in control group received various health seminars. Physical activity level was assessed using short-International Physical Activity Questionnaire. The physical activity level was then re-categorized into 4 categories (active intervention, inactive intervention, active control and inactive control). Physical activity, blood glucose and lipid profile were measured at baseline, 3rd month and 6th month of the study. General Linear Model was used to determine the effect of physical activity on glucose and lipid profile.

Results: At the 6th month, there were 99 subjects in the intervention and 79 control group who had complete data for physical activity. There was no difference on the effect of physical activity on the glucose level and lipid profile except for the Triglycerides level. Both intervention and control groups showed reduction of physical activity level over time.

Conclusion: The effect of physical activity on blood glucose and lipid profile could not be demonstrated possibly due to physical activity in both intervention and control groups showed decreasing trend over time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12905-018-0598-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6069292PMC
July 2018

Effects of weight loss intervention on body composition and blood pressure among overweight and obese women: findings from the MyBFF@home study.

BMC Womens Health 2018 07 19;18(Suppl 1):93. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Background: Obesity is related to the increased incidence of hypertension and in healthy individuals, blood pressure changes with age and body mass. The aims of this paper were to evaluate the effectiveness of the weight loss intervention on body composition and blood pressure, and to evaluate the relationship between these factors among housewives in the MyBFF@home study.

Methods: MyBFF@home intervention was a quasi-experimental study which involved 328 overweight and obese housewives aged 18-59 years old (Control group: 159, Intervention group: 169). Data of the control and intervention group (pre and post intervention who completed the body composition and blood pressure measurements were analysed. Body compositions were measured using the Body Impedance Analyser (InBody 720) and blood pressure (Systolic and Diastolic) was taken using the blood pressure monitoring device (Omron HEM 907) at baseline, 6 month and 12 month. Data analyses (Pearson's correlation test and ANOVA) were performed and analysed using SPSS Statistics for Windows, version 22.0.

Results: Visceral fat area, fat mass and body fat percentage, were all significantly decreased in the intervention group compared to the control group after 6 month intervention (p < 0.05). Systolic blood pressure was reduced significantly by - 6.81 mmHg (95% CI: -9.72,-3.90; p < 0.01) in the intervention and by - 7.95 mmHg (95% CI: -11.69,-4.20; p < 0.01) in the control group after 6 month intervention. Diastolic blood pressure was significantly correlated with BMI (r = 0.19), waist circumference (r = 0.23), body fat mass (r = 0.22), body fat percentage (r = 0.18) visceral fat area (r = 0.22) and skeletal muscle mass (r = 0.14) with p < 0.05. At 12-month follow-up, no significant changes of blood pressure were detected in both groups.

Conclusion: There were significant changes in the body fat and systolic blood pressure over 6 month among the participants in the intervention group compared to the control group. However, both groups were unable to sustain the positive changes in the body fats during the maintenance phase. There was a relationship between the body composition and blood pressure during the weight loss intervention and weight loss maintenance phase. Participation among obese housewives in a community-based intervention programme led to the improvements in blood pressure and body composition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12905-018-0592-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6069290PMC
July 2018

Impact of community lifestyle intervention on anthropometric parameters and body composition among overweight and obese women: findings from the MyBFF@home study.

BMC Womens Health 2018 07 19;18(Suppl 1):110. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Background: The prevalence of overweight and obesity among Malaysian women remained high over the past three decades. Collaboration with existing community at-risk may be feasible for wide-scale prevention of overweight and obesity in the country. The aims of this study were to examine the impact of community-based lifestyle intervention among overweight and obese women on their anthropometric and body composition changes as compared to the usual care group.

Methods: This was a quasi-experimental study conducted in low-cost flats in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A total of 255 overweight and obesity individuals aged between 18 to 59 years old were assigned to either the lifestyle intervention group (n = 169) or the usual care group (n = 146) over a period of 6 months. Individuals in the intervention group received 6 individual lifestyle counselling comprised of physical activity, diet counselling and self-monitoring components aimed to achieve at least 5% weight loss while individuals in the usual care group obtained six sessions of health care seminars from health care providers. These individuals were then followed-up for another 6 months without any intervention as part of maintenance period.

Results: An intention-to-treat analysis of between-groups at 6-month of intervention (β, 95% CI) revealed greater changes in weight among intervention individuals' (- 1.09 kg vs. -0.99; p < 0.018) as compared to the control group. These changes were not sustained during the maintenance phase (between 6 and 12 months). Overall significant improvement at 12th month was found for visceral fat (- 0.78 vs. -0.64; p-value = 0.017), although no significant changes between groups were detected either during intervention or maintenance phase (p > 0.05). Individuals in the intervention group showed a significant increase for skeletal muscle mass (0.13 kg) than those individuals in the control group (- 0.37 kg), p = 0.033, throughout the study period.

Conclusion: This study provides evidence that an overweight and obesity prevention program can be implemented in a community setting, with some reduction of several anthropometric and body composition parameters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12905-018-0595-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6069685PMC
July 2018

Comparison between self-reported physical activity (IPAQ-SF) and pedometer among overweight and obese women in the MyBFF@home study.

BMC Womens Health 2018 07 19;18(Suppl 1):100. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Background: Several methods have been developed to determine a person's physical activity level. However, there is limited evidence in determining whether someone is physically active or not. This study aims to determine the level of physical activity and to compare the usage of short version International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ-SF) and pedometer among overweight and obese women who were involved in the My Body is Fit and Fabulous at home (MyBFF@home) study.

Methods: Baseline and sixth month data from the MyBFF@home study were used for this purpose. A total of 169 of overweight and obese respondents answered the IPAQ-SF and were asked to use a pedometer for 7 days. Data from IPAQ-SF were categorised as inactive and active while data from pedometer were categorised as insufficiently active and sufficiently active by standard classification. Data on sociodemographic and anthropometry were also obtained. Cohen's kappa was applied to measure the agreement of IPAQ-SF and pedometer in determining the physical activity level. Pre-post cross tabulation table was created to evaluate the changes in physical activity over 6 months.

Results: From 169 available respondents, 167 (98.8%) completed the IPAQ-SF and 107 (63.3%) utilised the pedometer. A total of 102 (61.1%) respondents were categorised as active from the IPAQ-SF. Meanwhile, only 9 (8.4%) respondents were categorised as sufficiently active via pedometer. Cohen's κ found there was a poor agreement between the two methods, κ = 0.055, p > 0.05. After sixth months, there was + 9.4% increment in respondents who were active when assessed by IPAQ-SF but - 1.3% reductions for respondents being sufficiently active when assessed by pedometer. McNemar's test determined that there was no significant difference in the proportion of inactive and active respondents by IPAQ-SF or sufficiently active and insufficiently active by pedometer from the baseline and sixth month of intervention.

Conclusion: The IPAQ-SF and pedometer were both able to measure physical activity. However, poor agreement between these two methods were observed among overweight and obese women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12905-018-0599-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6069802PMC
July 2018

Prediction of body fat loss in relation to change in nutrient intake among housewives participating in the MyBFF@home study.

BMC Womens Health 2018 07 19;18(Suppl 1):102. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

Centre for Nutrition Epidemiology Research, Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Jalan Bangsar, 50590, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Background: Diet compositions are likely to be one of the influential factors for body fat deposition. The aim of this paper was to determine the nutrient changes and its association to body fat loss among the overweight and obese housewives in the MyBFF@home study.

Methods: Data of participants in the MyBFF@home study (intervention and control groups) were analysed. Participants in the intervention group received personalised dietary counselling consisted of reduced calorie diet 1200-1500 kcal/day, while the control group was assigned to receive women's health seminars. The dietary assessment was done during the intervention phase at baseline, 1 month (m), 2 m, 3 m and 6 m using a 3-day food diary. Body fat was measured using a bioelectrical impedance analyser (In-body 720) at baseline and at the end of the intervention phase. The mean differences of nutrient intake and body compositions during the intervention phase were measured with paired t-test. The changes in body fat and nutrients intake were calculated by subtracting baseline measurements from those taken at 6 months. Multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to determine the extent to which the changes in each gram of nutrients per 1000 kcal were predictive of changes in body fat mass.

Results: There were significant reductions in energy, all macronutrients, dietary fibre, calcium and iron intake in both study groups after the intervention phase (p <  0.05). In the intervention group, body fat loss increased with the reduction of each gram of carbohydrate, protein and fat per 1000 kcal, (p <  0.05), and decreased with the reduction of each gram of calcium and fibre intake per 1000 kcal (p <  0.05). In the control group, body fat loss increased with the reduction of each gram fat per 1000 kcal (p <  0.05) and decreased with the reduction of each gram iron per 1000 kcal.

Conclusion: Changes in the intake of various nutrients have different effects on body fat loss between the intervention and control group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12905-018-0594-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6069758PMC
July 2018

What's on YouTube? A Case Study on Food and Beverage Advertising in Videos Targeted at Children on Social Media.

Child Obes 2018 07 9;14(5):280-290. Epub 2018 Jul 9.

3 Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Taylor's University , Subang Jaya, Malaysia .

Background: Unhealthy food marketing to children is a key risk factor for childhood obesity. Online video platforms have surpassed television as the primary choice for screen viewing among children but the extent of food marketing through such media is relatively unknown. We aimed to examine food and beverage advertisements (ads) encountered in YouTube videos targeting children in Malaysia.

Methods: The social media analytics site SocialBlade.com was used to identify the most popular YouTube videos (n = 250) targeting children. Ads encountered while viewing these videos were recorded and analyzed for type of product promoted and ad format (video vs. overlay). Food and beverage ads were further coded based on food category and persuasive marketing techniques used.

Results: In total 187 ads were encountered in sampled videos. Food and beverage ads were the most common at 38% (n=71), among which 56.3% (n = 40) promoted noncore foods. Ads for noncore foods were more commonly delivered as video rather than overlay ads. Among ads promoting noncore foods, the most commonly employed persuasive marketing techniques found were taste appeal (42.3%), uniqueness/novelty (32.4%), the use of animation (22.5%), fun appeal (22.5%), use of promotional characters (15.5%), price (12.7%), and health and nutrition benefits (8.5%).

Conclusions: Similar to television, unhealthy food ads predominate in content aimed toward children on YouTube. Policies regulating food marketing to children need to be extended to cover online content in line with a rapidly-evolving digital media environment. Service providers of social media can play a part in limiting unhealthy food advertising to children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/chi.2018.0037DOI Listing
July 2018

Development of TUA-WELLNESS screening tool for screening risk of mild cognitive impairment among community-dwelling older adults.

Clin Interv Aging 2016 9;11:579-87. Epub 2016 May 9.

Institute of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Background And Aim: Focus on screening for cognitive impairment has to be given particular importance because of the rising older adult population. Thus, this study aimed to develop and assess a brief screening tool consisting of ten items that can be self-administered by community dwelling older adults (TUA-WELLNESS).

Methodology: A total of 1,993 noninstitutionalized respondents aged 60 years and above were selected for this study. The dependent variable was mild cognitive impairment (MCI) assessed using neuropsychological test batteries. The items for the screening tool comprised a wide range of factors that were chosen mainly from the analysis of ordinal logistic regression (OLR) and based on past literature. A suitable cut-off point was developed using receiver operating characteristic analysis.

Results: A total of ten items were included in the screening tool. From the ten items, eight were found to be significant by ordinal logistic regression and the remaining two items were part of the tool because they showed strong association with cognitive impairment in previous studies. The area under curve (AUC), sensitivity, and specificity for cut-off 11 were 0.84%, 83.3%, and 73.4%, respectively.

Conclusion: TUA-WELLNESS screening tool has been used to screen for major risk factors of MCI among Malaysian older adults. This tool is only suitable for basic MCI risk screening purpose and should not be used for diagnostic purpose.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S102925DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4869643PMC
February 2017

Predictors of poor cognitive status among older Malaysian adults: baseline findings from the LRGS TUA cohort study.

Aging Clin Exp Res 2017 Apr 15;29(2):173-182. Epub 2016 Mar 15.

Malaysian Research Institute on Ageing, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43300, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.

Background: Concepts of successful aging (SA), usual aging (UA), and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) have been developed to identify older adults at high risk of Alzheimer's diseases (AD), however, the predictors have rarely been investigated in a single study. Thus, this study aims to explore the risk factors of MCI as compared to UA and SA among older adults, in a large community based cohort study in Malaysia.

Method: 1993 subjects from four states in Malaysia were recruited. A comprehensive interview-based questionnaire was administered to determine socio-demographic information, followed by assessments to evaluate cognitive function, functional status, dietary intake, lifestyle and psychosocial status. Risk factors of cognitive impairment were assessed using the ordinal logistic regression (OLR).

Result: The prevalence of SA, UA and MCI in this study was 11, 73 and 16 % respectively. OLR indicated that higher fasting blood sugar, hyperlipidemia, disability, lower education level, not regularly involved in technical based activities, limited use of modern technologies, lower intake of fruits and fresh fruit juices and not practicing calorie restriction were among the risk factors of poor cognitive performance in this study.

Conclusion: This study will be a stepping stone for future researchers to develop intervention strategies to prevent cognitive decline.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40520-016-0553-2DOI Listing
April 2017

Approaches in methodology for population-based longitudinal study on neuroprotective model for healthy longevity (TUA) among Malaysian Older Adults.

Aging Clin Exp Res 2016 Dec 15;28(6):1089-1104. Epub 2015 Dec 15.

Department of Psychiatry, University Kebangsaan Medical Centre, Jalan Yaacob Latif, 56000, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

A number of longitudinal studies on aging have been designed to determine the predictors of healthy longevity, including the neuroprotective factors, however, relatively few studies included a wide range of factors and highlighted the challenges faced during data collection. Thus, the longitudinal study on neuroprotective model for healthy longevity (LRGS TUA) has been designed to prospectively investigate the magnitude of cognitive decline and its risk factors through a comprehensive multidimensional assessment comprising of biophysical health, auditory and visual function, nutrition and dietary pattern and psychosocial aspects. At baseline, subjects were interviewed for their status on sociodemographic, health, neuropsychological test, psychosocial and dietary intake. Subjects were also measured for anthropometric and physical function and fitness. Biospecimens including blood, buccal swap, hair and toenail were collected, processed and stored. A subsample was assessed for sensory function, i.e., vision and auditory. During follow-up, at 18 and 36 months, most of the measurements, along with morbidity and mortality outcomes will be collected. The description of mild cognitive impairment, successful aging and usual aging process is presented here. A total 2322 respondents were recruited in the data analysis at baseline. Most of the respondents were categorized as experiencing usual aging (73 %), followed by successful aging (11 %) and mild cognitive impairment (16 %). The LRGS TUA study is the most comprehensive longitudinal study on aging in Malaysia, and will contribute to the understanding of the aging process and factors associated with healthy aging and mental well-being of a multiethnic population in Malaysia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40520-015-0511-4DOI Listing
December 2016

Association of physical activity with blood pressure and blood glucose among Malaysian adults: a population-based study.

BMC Public Health 2015 Dec 3;15:1205. Epub 2015 Dec 3.

Institute for Medical Research, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, 50588, Malaysia.

Background: The health-enhancing benefits of physical activity (PA) on hypertension and diabetes have been well documented for decades. This study aimed to determine the association of PA with systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as blood glucose in the Malaysian adult population.

Methods: Data were extracted from the 2011 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS), a nationally representative, cross-sectional study. A two-stage stratified sampling method was used to select a representative sample of 18,231 Malaysian adults aged 18 years and above. The PA levels of the respondents were categorised as low, moderate or high according to the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ)-short form. Blood pressure and fasting blood glucose levels were measured using a digital blood pressure-measuring device and finger-prick test, respectively.

Results: Systolic blood pressure (SBP) level was positively associated with PA level (p = 0.02) whilst no significant association was noted between PA level and diastolic blood pressure (DBP). In contrast, respondents with low (adjusted coefficient = 0.17) or moderate (adjusted coefficient = 0.03) level of PA had significantly higher blood glucose level as compared to those who were highly active (p = 0.04).

Conclusions: A significant negative association was observed between PA level and blood glucose only. Future studies should employ an objective measurement in estimating PA level in order to elucidate the actual relationship between PA, hypertension and diabetes for the development of effective interventions to combat the increasing burden of premature-mortality and cardiovascular disease-related morbidity in Malaysia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-015-2528-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4668638PMC
December 2015

Self-perception of body weight status and weight control practices among adolescents in Malaysia.

Asia Pac J Public Health 2014 Sep 28;26(5 Suppl):18S-26S. Epub 2014 Jul 28.

Institute for Public Health, Ministry of Health, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents is rising rapidly in many countries, including Malaysia. This article aims to present the associations between body mass index-based body weight status, body weight perception, and weight control practices among adolescents in Malaysia. The Malaysia School Based Nutrition Survey 2012, which included a body weight perception questionnaire and anthropometric measurements, was conducted on a representative sample of 40 011 students from Standard 4 until Form 5, with a 90.5% response rate. Comparing actual and perceived body weight status, the findings show that 13.8% of adolescents underestimated their weight, 35.0% overestimated, and 51.2% correctly judged their own weight. Significantly more normal weight girls felt they were overweight, whereas significantly more overweight boys perceived themselves as underweight. The overall appropriateness of weight control practices to body weight was 72.6%. Adolescents attempting to lose or gain weight need to have better understanding toward desirable behavioral changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1010539514542422DOI Listing
September 2014

Methodology of the National School-based Health Survey in Malaysia, 2012.

Asia Pac J Public Health 2014 Sep 17;26(5 Suppl):9S-17S. Epub 2014 Jul 17.

Institute for Public Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The National School-Based Health Survey 2012 was a nationwide school health survey of students in Standard 4 to Form 5 (10-17 years of age), who were schooling in government schools in Malaysia during the period of data collection. The survey comprised 3 subsurveys: the Global School Health Survey (GSHS), the Mental Health Survey, and the National School-Based Nutrition Survey. The aim of the survey was to provide data on the health status of adolescents in Malaysia toward strengthening the adolescent health program in the country. The design of the survey was created to fulfill the requirements of the 3 subsurveys. A 2-stage stratified sampling method was adopted in the sampling. The methods for data collection were via questionnaire and physical examination. The National School-Based Health Survey 2012 adopted an appropriate methodology for a school-based survey to ensure valid and reliable findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1010539514542424DOI Listing
September 2014

Workplace injuries and risk reduction practices in Malaysia.

Int J Occup Environ Health 2012 Oct-Dec;18(4):299-306

Institute for Health Management, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Introduction: This study on workplace injuries and risk reduction practices was part of the Malaysia National Health Morbidity Survey III (NHMS III) conducted in 2006.

Methods: This cross-sectional population-based survey was conducted to determine the incidence of workplaces injuries and assess the magnitude of some important risk reduction practices among workers. Data were gathered through face-to-face household interviews using a pre-coded questionnaire.

Results: Of the 22 880 eligible respondents, 88·2% (20 180) responded. The incidence rate for injuries at the workplace was 4·9 per 100 (95% CI: 4·6-5·2). The overall proportion of workers who had received occupational safety and health (OSH) training before or within 1 month of starting work was 33·6%. Among respondents who perceived that personal protective equipment (PPE) was required at their workplace, only 38·9% (95% CI: 37·8-39·4) were provided with it by their employers.

Discussion: Further studies are urgently needed to identify reasons for and management of the low uptake of risk reduction practices. This issue needs to be addressed to ensure the safety and health of our working population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/1077352512Z.00000000035DOI Listing
July 2013

Methodology of Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS), Malaysia, 2011.

Int J Public Health Res 2013;3(2):297-305

World Health Organization, Avenue Appia 20, Switzerland.

Introduction: Malaysia participated in the second phase of the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) in 2011. GATS, a new component of the Global Tobacco Surveillance System, is a nationally representative household survey of adults 15 years old or above. The objectives of GATS Malaysia were to (i) systematically monitor tobacco use among adults and track key indicators of tobacco control and (ii) track the implementation of some of the Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC)-recommended demand related policies.

Methods: GATS Malaysia 2011 was a nationwide cross-sectional survey using multistage stratified sampling to select 5112 nationally representative households. One individual aged 15 years or older was randomly chosen from each selected household and interviewed using handheld device. GATS Core Questionnaire with optional questions was pre-tested and uploaded into handheld devices after repeated quality control processes. Data collectors were trained through a centralized training. Manuals and picture book were prepared to aid in the training of data collectors and during data collection. Field-level data were aggregated on a daily basis and analysed twice a week. Quality controls were instituted to ensure collection of high quality data. Sample weighting and analysis were conducted with the assistance of researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA.

Results: GATS Malaysia received a total response rate of 85.3% from 5112 adults surveyed. Majority of the respondents were 25-44 years old and Malays.

Conclusions: The robust methodology used in the GATS Malaysia provides national estimates for tobacco used classified by socio-demographic characteristics and reliable data on various dimensions of tobacco control.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4593763PMC
January 2013