Publications by authors named "Kuang Kuay Lim"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Association of Internet Addiction with Adolescents' Lifestyle: A National School-Based Survey.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 12 29;18(1). Epub 2020 Dec 29.

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang 43400, Selangor, Malaysia.

Internet addiction (IA) among adolescents is an issue of growing concern with adverse effects on adolescents' health and social functioning. This study aims to determine the prevalence of IA among school-going adolescents in Malaysia and its associated factors-specifically, lifestyle factors. A nationwide cross-sectional school-based health survey was conducted in 2017 among 27,497 students from 212 randomly selected secondary schools. Information regarding sociodemography, lifestyle, and internet use was obtained using a self-administered questionnaire. IA was measured using the Malay Version of Internet Addiction Test (MVIAT). The prevalence of internet addiction was 29.0%. A multivariable logistic analysis revealed that inadequate fruit and vegetable intakes, consumed carbonated soft drinks at least once a day, consumed fast food at least three days/week, sedentary behavior, current E-cigarette users, and ever/current alcohol drinkers were lifestyle factors significantly associated with IA. Adolescents from urban schools, of higher school grade, and those whose parents are married but living apart were also found to have a greater risk for internet addiction. A positive association was found between IA with unhealthy dietary and lifestyle behaviors among adolescents. The modification of lifestyle factors needs to be considered while developing strategies and interventions for awareness-raising and prevention of IA among adolescents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010168DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7801949PMC
December 2020

Prevalence and factors associated with physical inactivity among older adults in Malaysia: A cross-sectional study.

Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020 Dec;20 Suppl 2:49-56

Center for Epidemiology and Evidence Based Practice, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Aim: Physical inactivity in older adults is linked to increased risk of chronic diseases, disability and various poor health outcomes. As the aging population rises, the prevalence of diseases associated with aging also increases. Regular physical activity in older adults is important to improve overall health and promote healthy aging. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and factors associated with physical inactivity among older adults in Malaysia.

Methods: This study was based on 3969 Malaysian older adults aged ≥60 years who completed the physical activity module in the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2018, a population-based cross-sectional survey. Physical activity was measured using the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire through a face-to-face interview. Participants were classified as physically active or inactive. Associations between physical inactivity, sociodemographic characteristics and a range of selected independent variables were examined using multivariable logistic regression.

Results: Overall, three out of 10 (29.8%) Malaysian older adults were physically inactive. Results of multivariable analysis showed that older age group (≥80 years), of Bumiputera Sarawak ethnicity, unemployed/retirees/homemakers, functional limitation, diabetes mellitus and dementia were significantly associated with a higher risk of physical inactivity. Women, with secondary education level and good social support were less likely to be physically inactive.

Conclusions: The present study reported the status of physical inactivity among older adults in Malaysia. There is the need to design effective public health programs and interventions to promote active living and healthy aging among Malaysian older adults, particularly in those at-risk older population subgroups. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020; 20: 49-56.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ggi.13977DOI Listing
December 2020

Smoking susceptibility among non-smoking school-going adolescents in Malaysia: findings from a national school-based survey.

BMJ Open 2019 10 28;9(10):e031164. Epub 2019 Oct 28.

School of Pharmacy, Monash University, Malaysia Campus, Bandar Sunway, Malaysia.

Objective: The identification of susceptible non-smoking adolescents is an essential step in reducing smoking initiation among adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and factors associated with smoking susceptibility among non-smoking school-going adolescents in Malaysia.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: Primary and secondary schools in Malaysia.

Participants: 11 246 non-smoking school-going adolescents.

Outcome Measures: The prevalence and factors associated with smoking susceptibility among non-smoking school-going adolescents in Malaysia.

Results: Approximately 14% of non-smokers were susceptible to smoking, and the prevalence of susceptibility was significantly higher among males, ever-smokers and e-cigarette users. The odds of susceptibility to smoking were higher among males, e-cigarette users, those aged 12 years and under and those who had ever smoked or tried cigarettes. Students from schools with educational programmes on the health effects of second-hand smoke (SHS) and who perceived smoking to be harmful were less likely to be susceptible to smoking.

Conclusion: Smoking susceptibility is prevalent among school-going adolescents. A comprehensive approach that enhances or reinforces health education programmes on the adverse health effects of smoking and SHS among school children, that considers multiple factors and that involves all stakeholders is urgently needed to reduce the prevalence of smoking susceptibility among vulnerable subgroups, as identified from the present findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6830643PMC
October 2019

Support for smoke-free policy among Malaysian adults: findings from a population-based study.

BMJ Open 2019 02 12;9(2):e020304. Epub 2019 Feb 12.

Institute for Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Objective: Public opinion and support can be powerful mandates for smoke-free policy. However, the scarcity of evidence on public opinion among Malaysians necessitates further investigation. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the level of support for smoke-free policy at various public domains and its associated factors among Malaysian adults.

Design: Data were derived from the Global Adult Tobacco Survey, Malaysia (GATS-M). GATS-M is a nationwide study that employed a multistage, proportionate-to-size sampling strategy to select a representative sample of 5112 Malaysian adults aged 15 years and above. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with support for smoke-free policy in selected public domains that is, workplaces, restaurants, bars, hotels, casinos, karaoke centres, public transport terminals and shopping centres.

Results: The level of support for enactment of a smoke-free policy at selected public domains varied from 37.8% to 94.4%, with the highest support was for gazetted smoke-free domains, namely, shopping centres (94.4%, 95% CI: 93.2% to 95.3%) and public transport terminals (85.2%, 95% CI: 83.3% to 86.9%). Multiple logistic regression revealed that non-smokers were more likely to support smoke-free policy at all domains. In addition, respondents who worked in workplaces with total or partial smoking restrictions were more likely to support a smoke-free policy ((total restriction adjusted OR (AOR): 14.94 (6.44 to 34.64); partial restriction AOR: 2.96 (1.138 to 6.35); non-restriction was applied as a reference).

Conclusion: A majority of the Malaysian adult population supported the smoke-free policy, especially at gazetted smoke-free domains. Therefore, expansion of a total smoking ban to workplaces, restaurants, bars, hotels, casinos and karaoke centres is strongly recommended to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and to denormalise smoking behaviour.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020304DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6377523PMC
February 2019

Prevalence and correlates of physical inactivity among older adults in Malaysia: Findings from the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2015.

Arch Gerontol Geriatr 2019 Mar - Apr;81:74-83. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence Based Practice, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Electronic address:

Malaysia has an increasingly aging population. Despite the substantial benefits of physical activity for healthy aging, older adults are considered the most physically inactive segment of the Malaysian population. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of physical inactivity among older adults in Malaysia and its correlates. We analysed data on adults aged ≥60 years (n = 3790) from the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2015, a cross-sectional, nationwide population-based survey covering information on socio-demographic characteristics, physical activity and other lifestyle-related variables, health conditions, and functional limitations. Individuals included in this study were classified as physically active or physically inactive. Logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with physical inactivity. The overall prevalence of physical inactivity among older adults aged ≥60 years old was 48.8%. Physical inactivity was significantly more prevalent among females, older age groups, Indians, those being single/widowed/divorced, those with no formal education, those who reported high sedentary time (≥7 h/day), those with diabetes, anaemia, and functional limitations (p < 0.001). In fully adjusted analyses, females, older age, high household income (≥MYR4000), inadequate fruits and vegetables consumption (<5 servings/day), high sedentary time, having diabetes, and having mobility impairment were all associated with physical inactivity. Approximately half of the Malaysian older population are physically inactive. Identifying the correlates of physical inactivity among Malaysian older adults will help to develop public health policies and interventions that encourage active living among older people and promote healthy aging in Malaysia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.archger.2018.11.012DOI Listing
January 2020

Physical activity and overweight/obesity among Malaysian adults: findings from the 2015 National Health and morbidity survey (NHMS).

BMC Public Health 2017 09 21;17(1):733. Epub 2017 Sep 21.

Institute for Public Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Jalan Bangsar, 50590, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Background: Overweight and obesity are growing health problems both worldwide and in Malaysia due to such lifestyle changes as decreased physical activity (PA), increased sedentary behavior and unhealthy eating habits. This study examined the levels and patterns of PA among normal-weight and overweight/obese adults and to investigate the association between PA level and overweight/obesity in Malaysian adults.

Methods: This study used data from the 2015 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS), a nationwide cross-sectional survey that implemented a two-stage stratified random sampling design. Respondents aged 18 years and above (n = 17,261) were included in the analysis. The short version of International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) was administered to assess the respondents' PA levels. The respondents' height and weight were objectively measured and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. The respondents were categorized according to BMI as either normal-weight (18.5-24.9 kg/m) or overweight/obese (≥ 25 kg/m). Descriptive and complex sample logistic regression analyses were employed as appropriate.

Results: Overall, approximately 1 in 2 respondents (51.2%) were overweight/obese, even though the majority (69.0%) reporting at least a moderate level of PA (total PA ≥ 10 MET-hours/week). In both normal-weight and overweight/obese groups, a significantly higher prevalence of high PA (total PA ≥ 50 MET-hours/week) was observed among men than women (p < 0.001), but women reported a significantly higher prevalence of low and moderate PA than men (p < 0.001). Men reported significantly higher activity levels (in MET-hours/week) than women with regard to walking, vigorous-intensity PA and total PA (p < 0.001). Overweight/obese men reported a significantly lower level of vigorous-intensity PA and total PA than normal-weight men (p < 0.001). A low level of PA was associated with the risk of overweight/obesity (Adjusted OR = 1.14; 95% CI: 1.01-1.30) compared to a high level of PA among men but not among women.

Conclusions: The levels of PA were inversely related to the risk of overweight/obesity in men but not in women. Programs designed to reduce overweight/obesity rates should encourage the practice of moderate- to vigorous-intensity PA. Future research should consider using longitudinal and prospective approaches that simultaneously measure dietary intake, PA and BMI among Malaysian adults to investigate the actual relationship between PA and overweight/obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-017-4772-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5609047PMC
September 2017

Iodine status among pregnant women in rural Sabah, Malaysia.

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2017;26(5):861-866

School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia.

Background And Objectives: In 2000, legislation on mandatory universal salt iodisation was enacted in Sabah, Malaysia, to reduce the incidence of iodine deficiency disorders among its population. To evaluate the iodine levels among pregnant women from selected rural divisions in Sabah 13 years after the enactment of the universal salt iodisation programme.

Methods And Study Design: This cross-sectional study was conducted from 1 May to 30 June, 2013, in three rural divisions of Sabah (the Interior, the West Coast, and Kudat). Data regarding domestic iodised salt use and iodine-containing supplement consumption were obtained from respondents through face-to-face interviews; goitre enlargement was examined through palpation and graded according to the World Health Organization classification. Spot urine samples were also obtained to assess urinary iodine levels by using an in-house modified micromethod.

Results: In total, 534 pregnant women participated. The prevalence of goitre was 1.0% (n=5), noted only in the West Coast and Kudat divisions. Although all pregnant women consumed iodised salt, overall median urinary iodine concentration was only 106 μg/L, indicating insufficient iodine intake, with nearly two-thirds of the women (60%) having a median urinary iodine concentrations of <150 μg/L.

Conclusions: Pregnant women from the rural divisions in Sabah still exhibit iodine deficiency disorder despite the mandatory universal salt iodisation programme. Iodine supplementation programmes targeting pregnant women are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6133/apjcn.092016.06DOI Listing
August 2019

Iodine status among pregnant women in rural Sabah, Malaysia.

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2017;26(5):861-866

School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kelantan, Malaysia.

Background And Objectives: In 2000, legislation on mandatory universal salt iodisation was enacted in Sabah, Malaysia, to reduce the incidence of iodine deficiency disorders among its population. To evaluate the iodine levels among pregnant women from selected rural divisions in Sabah 13 years after the enactment of the universal salt iodisation programme.

Methods And Study Design: This cross-sectional study was conducted from 1 May to 30 June, 2013, in three rural divisions of Sabah (the Interior, the West Coast, and Kudat). Data regarding domestic iodised salt use and iodine-containing supplement consumption were obtained from respondents through face-to-face interviews; goitre enlargement was examined through palpation and graded according to the World Health Organization classification. Spot urine samples were also obtained to assess urinary iodine levels by using an in-house modified micromethod.

Results: In total, 534 pregnant women participated. The prevalence of goitre was 1.0% (n=5), noted only in the West Coast and Kudat divisions. Although all pregnant women consumed iodised salt, overall median urinary iodine concentration was only 106 μg/L, indicating insufficient iodine intake, with nearly two-thirds of the women (60%) having a median urinary iodine concentrations of <150 μg/L.

Conclusions: Pregnant women from the rural divisions in Sabah still exhibit iodine deficiency disorder despite the mandatory universal salt iodisation programme. Iodine supplementation programmes targeting pregnant women are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6133/apjcn.092016.06DOI Listing
August 2019

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

Lifestyle, chronic diseases and self-rated health among Malaysian adults: results from the 2011 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS).

BMC Public Health 2015 Aug 6;15:754. Epub 2015 Aug 6.

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

Background: Self-rated health (SRH) has been demonstrated as a valid and appropriate predictor of incident mortality and chronic morbidity. Associations between lifestyle, chronic diseases, and SRH have been reported by various population studies but few have included data from developing countries. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of poor SRH in Malaysia and its association with lifestyle factors and chronic diseases among Malaysian adults.

Methods: This study was based on 18,184 adults aged 18 and above who participated in the 2011 National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS). The NHMS was a cross-sectional survey (two-stage stratified sample) designed to collect health information on a nationally representative sample of the Malaysian adult population. Data were obtained via face-to-face interviews using validated questionnaires. Two categories were used to measure SRH: "good" (very good and good) and "poor" (moderate, not good and very bad). The association of lifestyle factors and chronic diseases with poor SRH was examined using univariate and multivariate logistic regression.

Results: Approximately one-fifth of the Malaysian adult population (20.1 %) rated their health as poor (men: 18.4 % and women: 21.7 %). Prevalence increases with age from 16.2 % (aged 18-29) to 32.0 % (aged ≥60). In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, lifestyle factors associated with poor SRH included: underweight (OR = 1.29; 95 % CI: 1.05-1.57), physical inactivity (OR = 1.25; 95 % CI: 1.11-1.39), former smoker (OR = 1.38; 95 % CI: 1.12-1.70), former drinker (OR = 1.27; 95 % CI: 1.01-1.62), and current drinker (OR = 1.35; 95 % CI: 1.08-1.68). Chronic diseases associated with poor SRH included: asthma (OR = 1.66; 95 % CI: 1.36-2.03), arthritis (OR = 1.87; 95 % CI: 1.52-2.29), hypertension (OR = 1.39; 95 % CI: 1.18-1.64), hypercholesterolemia (OR = 1.43; 95 % CI: 1.18-1.74), and heart disease (OR = 1.85; 95 % CI: 1.43-2.39).

Conclusions: This study indicates that several unhealthy lifestyle behaviours and chronic diseases are significantly associated with poor SRH among Malaysian adults. Effective public health strategies are needed to promote healthy lifestyles, and disease prevention interventions should be enhanced at the community level to improve overall health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-015-2080-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4527234PMC
August 2015

Stages of smoking cessation among Malaysian adults--findings from national health morbidity survey 2006.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2013 ;14(2):805-10

Institute for Public Health, Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Increasing the rate of smoking cessation will reduce the burden of diseases related to smoking, including cancer. Understanding the process of smoking cessation is a pre-requisite to planning and developing effective programs to enhance the rate of smoking cessation.The aims of the study were to determine the demographic distribution of smokers across the initial stages of smoking cessation (the pre-contemplation and contemplation stages) and to identify the predictors of smoking cessation among Malaysian adult smokers. Data were extracted from a population-based, cross-sectional survey carried out from April 2006 to July 2006. The distribution of 2,716,743 current smokers across the pre-contemplation stage (no intention to quit smoking in the next six months) or contemplation stage (intended to quit smoking in the next six months) was described. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between socio-demographic variables and the stages of smoking cessation. Of the 2,716,743 current smokers, approximately 30% and 70% were in the pre-contemplative and contemplative stages of smoking cessation respectively. Multivariable analysis showed that male gender, low education level, older age group, married and those from higher income group and number of cigarettes smoked were associated with higher likelihood of pre-contemplation to cease smoking in the next six months. The majority of current smokers in Malaysia were in the contemplative stage of smoking cessation. Specific interventions should be implemented to ensure the pre-contemplative smokers proceed to the contemplative stage and eventually to the preparation stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7314/apjcp.2013.14.2.805DOI Listing
July 2014

Iodized salt supplementation and its effects on thyroid status amongst Orang Asli in Hulu Selangor, Malaysia.

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2013 ;22(1):41-7

Institute for Public Health, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Background: This research was performed to determine the prevalence of iodine deficiency disorder (IDD) and the effects of iodized salt supplementation on thyroid status amongst Orang Asli in Hulu Selangor, Malaysia.

Methods: Study respondents were from three target groups, i.e. pre-school children (PSC), primary school-going children (SGC) and adult women. Each household was supplied with iodized salt fortified with iodate fortificant for a period of 12 months and the iodine levels in the salt ranged from 20 to 30 μg/L. Samples collected before and after 6 and 12 months of introduction to iodized salt were urine from all groups, as well as serum samples from adult women.

Results: A total of 200 respondents were recruited; 58 (29.0%) PSC, 65 (32.5%) SGC and 77 (38.5%) adult women. The median urine-iodine concentration (mUIC) in all groups were of moderately low before the iodized salt intervention, but increased significantly in all study groups after 6 and 12 months of intervention. However, at the end of the study, there was an increase in severe iodine deficiency (mUIC <20 μg/L) from 7.5% to 12% and about 9% of PSC and SGC respondents had mUIC level of more than 300 μg/L while the adult women showed a significant increase in free triiodothyronine (fT3) levels.

Conclusion: The study demonstrated that iodized salt supplementation was able to show an improvement in iodine level amongst Orang Asli. However, an increase in severe iodine deficiency and iodine excess indicated that the iodized salt programme needs to be carefully monitored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6133/apjcn.2013.22.1.02DOI Listing
March 2013