Publications by authors named "Nor Asiah Muhamad"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Prevalence and factors associated with falls among older persons in Malaysia.

Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020 Dec;20 Suppl 2:33-37

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

Aim: Falls are a common problem among older people, leading to major morbidity and increased mortality. The study aimed to determine the prevalence of falls among older persons in Malaysia and its associated factors.

Methods: Data were obtained from the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2018 (NHMS 2018), a cross-sectional study using stratified cluster sampling design. Older persons were defined as aged ≥60 years in this study. Descriptive and logistic regression analyses were conducted using SPSS version 25.0.

Results: Overall, 14.1% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 12.46, 15.84) of older persons reported having experienced at least one fall during the past 12 months. Univariate analyses revealed an association between the history of falls with not being employed (odds ratio [OR]: 1.35 [95% CI: 1.03, 1.77]), diabetes mellitus (OR: 1.65 [95% CI: 1.33, 2.04]), limitation in activities of daily living (ADL) (OR: 1.90 [95% CI: 1.43, 2.54]) or instrumental ADL (OR: 1.47 [95% CI: 1.16, 1.84]). Multiple logistic regression revealed that falls were positively associated with those who had diabetes mellitus (OR: 1.55 [95% CI: 1.23, 1.94]) and limitation in ADL (OR: 1.56 [95% CI: 1.14, 2.15]); 43.9% of falls occurred outdoors.

Conclusion: One in six older Malaysian people experience at least one fall over a 12-month period. Diabetes mellitus and limitation in ADL were the factors associated with falls among older persons. A comprehensive and targeted program designed to reduce risk of falls is urgently needed. Future research should identify suitable programs for our setting to reduce the potential society burden of falls in older Malaysians. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2020; 20: 33-37.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ggi.13980DOI Listing
December 2020

Seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus infection among Malaysian population.

Sci Rep 2020 12 3;10(1):21009. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute (UMBI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Malaysia is a country with an intermediate endemicity for hepatitis B. As the country moves toward hepatitis B and C elimination, population-based estimates are necessary to understand the burden of hepatitis B and C for evidence-based policy-making. Hence, this study aims to estimate the prevalence of hepatitis B and C in Malaysia. A total of 1458 participants were randomly selected from The Malaysian Cohort (TMC) aged 35 to 70 years between 2006 and 2012. All blood samples were tested for hepatitis B and C markers including hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), anti-hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc), antibodies against hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV). Those reactive for hepatitis C were further tested for HCV RNA genotyping. The sociodemographic characteristics and comorbidities were used to evaluate their associated risk factors. Descriptive analysis and multivariable analysis were done using Stata 14. From the samples tested, 4% were positive for HBsAg (95% CI 2.7-4.7), 20% were positive for anti-HBc (95% CI 17.6-21.9) and 0.3% were positive for anti-HCV (95% CI 0.1-0.7). Two of the five participants who were reactive for anti-HCV had the HCV genotype 1a and 3a. The seroprevalence of HBV and HCV infection in Malaysia is low and intermediate, respectively. This population-based study could facilitate the planning and evaluation of the hepatitis B and C control program in Malaysia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-77813-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7713078PMC
December 2020

Descriptive assessment on diabetic retinopathy screening in an awareness programme in Malaysia.

Int J Ophthalmol 2020 18;13(11):1808-1813. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health, Selangor 40170, Malaysia.

Aim: To determine the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy (DR) among diabetic patients at the primary health clinics in Selangor, Malaysia.

Methods: All diabetic patients were screened in Retinal Disease Awareness Programme (RDAP) and those who had significant DR changes were referred to the hospital for further management. Descriptive analyses were done to determine the prevalence of DR and sociodemographic characteristics among patients with diabetic. Univariate and multivariable analysis using Logistic regression were performed to find association and predictor factors in this screening.

Results: A total of 3305 patients aged 40y and above were screened for DR. Of the patients screened, 9% patients were found to have DR and other visual complication such as maculopathy (0.9%), cataract (4.8%) and glaucoma (0.4%). The mean age of patients without retinopathy was 57.82±8.470y and the mean age of patients with DR was 63.93±9.857y. About 61.5% of the patients screened were aged below 60y and 38.5% were aged 60y and above. Majority of the patients screened were women 58.5% and Malay in the age group of 50-59y, while 27% were aged 60-69y. Significant association were found between age, sex, race, visual loss and DR.

Conclusion: Although the prevalence of DR among patients is not alarming, effective interventions need to be implemented soon to avert a large burden of visual loss from DR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18240/ijo.2020.11.19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7590874PMC
November 2020

Effects of temperature, humidity, air quality and anthropic activities on the transmission of SARS-CoV-2: a systematic review protocol.

BMJ Open 2020 11 4;10(11):e039623. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Introduction: The current global pandemic of the virus that emerged from Hubei province in China has caused coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19), which has affected a total number of 900 036 people globally, involving 206 countries and resulted in a cumulative of 45 693 deaths worldwide as of 3 April 2020. The mode of transmission is identified through airdrops from patients' body fluids such as during sneezing, coughing and talking. However, the relative importance of environmental effects in the transmission of the virus has not been vastly studied. In addition, the role of temperature and humidity in air-borne transmission of infection is presently still unclear. This study aims to identify the effect of temperature, humidity and air quality in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Methods And Analysis: We will systematically conduct a comprehensive literature search using various databases including PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, CENTRAL and Google Scholar to identify potential studies. The search will be performed for any eligible articles from the earliest published articles up to latest available studies in 2020. We will include all the observational studies such as cohort case-control and cross-sectional studies that explains or measures the effects of temperature and/or humidity and/or air quality and/or anthropic activities that is associated with SARS-CoV-2. Study selection and reporting will follow the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) 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 using a random effect model in Review Manager File.

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

Prospero Registration Number: CRD42020176756.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-039623DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7643413PMC
November 2020

Randomised controlled clinical trial of a structured cognitive rehabilitation in patients with attention deficit following mild traumatic brain injury: study protocol.

BMJ Open 2019 09 18;9(9):e028711. Epub 2019 Sep 18.

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Objectives: To measure the clinical, structural and functional changes of an individualised structured cognitive rehabilitation in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) population.

Setting: A single centre study, Malaysia.

Participants: Adults aged between 18 and 60 years with mTBI as a result of road traffic accident, with no previous history of head trauma, minimum of 9 years education and abnormal cognition at 3 months will be included. The exclusion criteria include pre-existing chronic illness or neurological/psychiatric condition, long-term medication that affects cognitive/psychological status, clinical evidence of substance intoxication at the time of injury and major polytrauma. Based on multiple estimated calculations, the minimum intended sample size is 50 participants (Cohen's d effect size=0.35; alpha level of 0.05; 85% power to detect statistical significance; 40% attrition rate).

Interventions: Intervention group will receive individualised structured cognitive rehabilitation. Control group will receive the best patient-centred care for attention disorders. Therapy frequency for both groups will be 1 hour per week for 12 weeks.

Outcome Measures: Neuropsychological Assessment Battery-Screening Module (S-NAB) scores. Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) parameters and Goal Attainment Scaling score (GAS).

Results: Results will include descriptive statistics of population demographics, CogniPlus cognitive program and metacognitive strategies. The effect of intervention will be the effect size of S-NAB scores and mean GAS T scores. DTI parameters will be compared between groups via repeated measure analysis. Correlation analysis of outcome measures will be calculated using Pearson's correlation coefficient.

Conclusion: This is a complex clinical intervention with multiple outcome measures to provide a comprehensive evidence-based treatment model.

Ethics And Dissemination: The study protocol was approved by the Medical Research Ethics Committee UMMC (MREC ID NO: 2016928-4293). The findings of the trial will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences.

Trial Registration Number: NCT03237676.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028711DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6756424PMC
September 2019

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

Achieving high uptake of human papillomavirus vaccination in Malaysia through school-based vaccination programme.

BMC Public Health 2018 Dec 22;18(1):1402. Epub 2018 Dec 22.

Office of Deputy Director General of Health (Research and Technical Support), Ministry of Health, Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Background: In 2006, 4 years of planning was started by the Ministry of Health, Malaysia (MOH), to implement the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination programme. An inter-agency and multi-sectoral collaborations were developed for Malaysia's HPV school-based immunisation programme. It was approved for nationwide school base implementation for 13-year-old girls or first year secondary students in 2010. This paper examines how the various strategies used in the implementation over the last 7 years (2010-2016) that unique to Malaysia were successful in achieving optimal coverage of the target population.

Methods: Free vaccination was offered to school girls in secondary school (year seven) in Malaysia, which is usually at the age of 13 in the index year. All recipients of the HPV vaccine were identified through school enrolments obtained from education departments from each district in Malaysia. A total of 242,638 girls aged between 12 to 13 years studying in year seven were approached during the launch of the program in 2010. Approximately 230,000 girls in secondary schools were offered HPV vaccine per year by 646 school health teams throughout the country from 2010 to 2016.

Results: Parental consent for their daughters to receive HPV vaccination at school was very high at 96-98% per year of the programme. Of those who provided consent, over 99% received the first dose each year and 98-99% completed the course per year. Estimated population coverage for the full vaccine course, considering also those not in school, is estimated at 83 to 91% per year. Rates of adverse events reports following HPV vaccination were low at around 2 per 100,000 and the majority was injection site reactions.

Conclusion: A multisectoral and integrated collaborative structure and process ensured that the Malaysia school-based HPV immunisation programme was successful and sustained through the programme design, planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation. This is a critical factor contributing to the success and sustainability of the school-based HPV immunisation programme with very high coverage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-6316-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6303856PMC
December 2018

Autologous cells derived from different sources and administered using different regimens for 'no-option' critical lower limb ischaemia patients.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2018 08 29;8:CD010747. Epub 2018 Aug 29.

Cell Therapy Center, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Jalan Yaacob Latif, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 56000.

Background: Revascularisation is the gold standard therapy for patients with critical limb ischaemia (CLI). In over 30% of patients who are not suitable for or have failed previous revascularisation therapy (the 'no-option' CLI patients), limb amputation is eventually unavoidable. Preliminary studies have reported encouraging outcomes with autologous cell-based therapy for the treatment of CLI in these 'no-option' patients. However, studies comparing the angiogenic potency and clinical effects of autologous cells derived from different sources have yielded limited data. Data regarding cell doses and routes of administration are also limited.

Objectives: To compare the efficacy and safety of autologous cells derived from different sources, prepared using different protocols, administered at different doses, and delivered via different routes for the treatment of 'no-option' CLI patients.

Search Methods: The Cochrane Vascular Information Specialist (CIS) searched the Cochrane Vascular Specialised Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE Ovid, Embase Ovid, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED), and trials registries (16 May 2018). Review authors searched PubMed until February 2017.

Selection Criteria: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) involving 'no-option' CLI patients comparing a particular source or regimen of autologous cell-based therapy against another source or regimen of autologous cell-based therapy.

Data Collection And Analysis: Three review authors independently assessed the eligibility and methodological quality of the trials. We extracted outcome data from each trial and pooled them for meta-analysis. We calculated effect estimates using a risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI), or a mean difference (MD) with 95% CI.

Main Results: We included seven RCTs with a total of 359 participants. These studies compared bone marrow-mononuclear cells (BM-MNCs) versus mobilised peripheral blood stem cells (mPBSCs), BM-MNCs versus bone marrow-mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs), high cell dose versus low cell dose, and intramuscular (IM) versus intra-arterial (IA) routes of cell implantation. We identified no other comparisons in these studies. We considered most studies to be at low risk of bias in random sequence generation, incomplete outcome data, and selective outcome reporting; at high risk of bias in blinding of patients and personnel; and at unclear risk of bias in allocation concealment and blinding of outcome assessors. The quality of evidence was most often low to very low, with risk of bias, imprecision, and indirectness of outcomes the major downgrading factors.Three RCTs (100 participants) reported a total of nine deaths during the study follow-up period. These studies did not report deaths according to treatment group.Results show no clear difference in amputation rates between IM and IA routes (RR 0.80, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.18; three RCTs, 95 participants; low-quality evidence). Single-study data show no clear difference in amputation rates between BM-MNC- and mPBSC-treated groups (RR 1.54, 95% CI 0.45 to 5.24; 150 participants; low-quality evidence) and between high and low cell dose (RR 3.21, 95% CI 0.87 to 11.90; 16 participants; very low-quality evidence). The study comparing BM-MNCs versus BM-MSCs reported no amputations.Single-study data with low-quality evidence show similar numbers of participants with healing ulcers between BM-MNCs and mPBSCs (RR 0.89, 95% CI 0.44 to 1.83; 49 participants) and between IM and IA routes (RR 1.13, 95% CI 0.73 to 1.76; 41 participants). In contrast, more participants appeared to have healing ulcers in the BM-MSC group than in the BM-MNC group (RR 2.00, 95% CI 1.02 to 3.92; one RCT, 22 participants; moderate-quality evidence). Researchers comparing high versus low cell doses did not report ulcer healing.Single-study data show similar numbers of participants with reduction in rest pain between BM-MNCs and mPBSCs (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.06; 104 participants; moderate-quality evidence) and between IM and IA routes (RR 1.22, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.64; 32 participants; low-quality evidence). One study reported no clear difference in rest pain scores between BM-MNC and BM-MSC (MD 0.00, 95% CI -0.61 to 0.61; 37 participants; moderate-quality evidence). Trials comparing high versus low cell doses did not report rest pain.Single-study data show no clear difference in the number of participants with increased ankle-brachial index (ABI; increase of > 0.1 from pretreatment), between BM-MNCs and mPBSCs (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.71 to 1.40; 104 participants; moderate-quality evidence), and between IM and IA routes (RR 0.93, 95% CI 0.43 to 2.00; 35 participants; very low-quality evidence). In contrast, ABI scores appeared higher in BM-MSC versus BM-MNC groups (MD 0.05, 95% CI 0.01 to 0.09; one RCT, 37 participants; low-quality evidence). ABI was not reported in the high versus low cell dose comparison.Similar numbers of participants had improved transcutaneous oxygen tension (TcO₂) with IM versus IA routes (RR 1.22, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.72; two RCTs, 62 participants; very low-quality evidence). Single-study data with low-quality evidence show a higher TcO₂ reading in BM-MSC versus BM-MNC groups (MD 8.00, 95% CI 3.46 to 12.54; 37 participants) and in mPBSC- versus BM-MNC-treated groups (MD 1.70, 95% CI 0.41 to 2.99; 150 participants). TcO₂ was not reported in the high versus low cell dose comparison.Study authors reported no significant short-term adverse effects attributed to autologous cell implantation.

Authors' Conclusions: Mostly low- and very low-quality evidence suggests no clear differences between different stem cell sources and different treatment regimens of autologous cell implantation for outcomes such as all-cause mortality, amputation rate, ulcer healing, and rest pain for 'no-option' CLI patients. Pooled analyses did not show a clear difference in clinical outcomes whether cells were administered via IM or IA routes. High-quality evidence is lacking; therefore the efficacy and long-term safety of autologous cells derived from different sources, prepared using different protocols, administered at different doses, and delivered via different routes for the treatment of 'no-option' CLI patients, remain to be confirmed.Future RCTs with larger numbers of participants are needed to determine the efficacy of cell-based therapy for CLI patients, along with the optimal cell source, phenotype, dose, and route of implantation. Longer follow-up is needed to confirm the durability of angiogenic potential and the long-term safety of cell-based therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD010747.pub2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6513643PMC
August 2018

Efficacy and Safety of Autologous Cell-based Therapy in Patients with No-option Critical Limb Ischaemia: A Meta-Analysis.

Curr Stem Cell Res Ther 2018 ;13(4):265-283

School of Medicine, Taylor's University Lakeside Campus, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Background: Revascularisation therapy is the current gold standard of care for critical limb ischemia (CLI), although a significant proportion of patients with CLI either are not fit for or do not respond well to this procedure. Recently, novel angiogenic therapies such as the use of autologous cellbased therapy (CBT) have been examined, but the results of individual trials were inconsistent.

Objective: To pool all published studies that compared the safety and efficacy of autologous CBT derived from different sources and phenotypes with non cell-based therapy (NCT) in CLI patients.

Methods: We searched Medline, Embase, Cochrane Library and ClinicalTrials.gov from 1974-2017. Sixteen randomised clinical trials (RCTs) involving 775 patients receiving the following interventions: mobilised peripheral blood stem cells(m-PBSC), bone marrow mononuclear cells(BM-MNC), bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells(BM-MSC), cultured BM-MNC(Ixmyelocel-T), cultured PB cells(VesCell) and CD34+ cells were included in the meta-analysis.

Results: High-quality evidence (QoE) showed similar all-cause mortality rates between CBT and NCT. AR reduction by approximately 60% were observed in patients receiving CBT compared to NCT (moderate QoE). CBT patients experienced improvement in ulcer healing, ABI, TcO2, pain free walking capacity and collateral vessel formation (moderate QoE). Low-to-moderate QoE showed that compared to NCT, intramuscular BM-MNC and m-PBSC may reduce amputation rate, rest pain, and improve ulcer healing and ankle-brachial pressure index, while intramuscular BM-MSC appeared to improve rest pain, ulcer healing and pain-free walking distance but not AR. Efficacy of other types of CBT could not be confirmed due to limited data. Cell harvesting and implantation appeared safe and well-tolerated with similar rates of adverse-events between groups.

Conclusion: Implantation of autologous CBT may be an effective therapeutic strategy for no-option CLI patients. BM-MNC and m-PSBC appear more effective than NCT in improving AR and other limb perfusion parameters. BM-MSC may be beneficial in improving perfusion parameters but not AR, however, this observation needs to be confirmed in a larger population of patients. Generally, treatment using various sources and phenotypes of cell products appeared safe and well tolerated. Large-size RCTs with long follow-up are warranted to determine the superiority and durability of angiogenic potential of a particular CBT and the optimal treatment regimen for CLI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1574888X13666180313141416DOI Listing
September 2018

Antimicrobial dressings for the prevention of catheter-related infections in newborn infants with central venous catheters.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2016 Mar 23;3:CD011082. Epub 2016 Mar 23.

Department of Paediatrics, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 50603.

Background: Central venous catheters (CVCs) provide secured venous access in neonates. Antimicrobial dressings applied over the CVC sites have been proposed to reduce catheter-related blood stream infection (CRBSI) by decreasing colonisation. However, there may be concerns on the local and systemic adverse effects of these dressings in neonates.

Objectives: We assessed the effectiveness and safety of antimicrobial (antiseptic or antibiotic) dressings in reducing CVC-related infections in newborn infants. Had there been relevant data, we would have evaluated the effects of antimicrobial dressings in different subgroups, including infants who received different types of CVCs, infants who required CVC for different durations, infants with CVCs with and without other antimicrobial modifications, and infants who received an antimicrobial dressing with and without a clearly defined co-intervention.

Search Methods: We used the standard search strategy of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group (CNRG). We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library 2015, Issue 9), MEDLINE (PubMed), EMBASE (EBCHOST), CINAHL and references cited in our short-listed articles using keywords and MeSH headings, up to September 2015.

Selection Criteria: We included randomised controlled trials that compared an antimicrobial CVC dressing against no dressing or another dressing in newborn infants.

Data Collection And Analysis: We extracted data using the standard methods of the CNRG. Two review authors independently assessed the eligibility and risk of bias of the retrieved records. We expressed our results using risk difference (RD) and risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Main Results: Out of 173 articles screened, three studies were included. There were two comparisons: chlorhexidine dressing following alcohol cleansing versus polyurethane dressing following povidone-iodine cleansing (one study); and silver-alginate patch versus control (two studies). A total of 855 infants from level III neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) were evaluated, 705 of whom were from a single study. All studies were at high risk of bias for blinding of care personnel or unclear risk of bias for blinding of outcome assessors. There was moderate-quality evidence for all major outcomes.The single study comparing chlorhexidine dressing/alcohol cleansing against polyurethane dressing/povidone-iodine cleansing showed no significant difference in the risk of CRBSI (RR 1.18, 95% CI 0.53 to 2.65; RD 0.01, 95% CI -0.02 to 0.03; 655 infants, moderate-quality evidence) and sepsis without a source (RR 1.06, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.52; RD 0.01, 95% CI -0.04 to 0.06; 705 infants, moderate-quality evidence). There was a significant reduction in the risk of catheter colonisation favouring chlorhexidine dressing/alcohol cleansing group (RR 0.62, 95% CI 0.45 to 0.86; RD -0.09, 95% CI -0.15 to -0.03; number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) 11, 95% CI 7 to 33; 655 infants, moderate-quality evidence). However, infants in the chlorhexidine dressing/alcohol cleansing group were significantly more likely to develop contact dermatitis, with 19 infants in the chlorhexidine dressing/alcohol cleansing group having developed contact dermatitis compared to none in the polyurethane dressing/povidone-iodine cleansing group (RR 43.06, 95% CI 2.61 to 710.44; RD 0.06, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.08; number needed to treat for an additional harmful outcome (NNTH) 17, 95% CI 13 to 33; 705 infants, moderate-quality evidence). The roles of chlorhexidine dressing in the outcomes reported were unclear, as the two assigned groups received different co-interventions in the form of different skin cleansing agents prior to catheter insertion and during each dressing change.In the other comparison, silver-alginate patch versus control, the data for CRBSI were analysed separately in two subgroups as the two included studies reported the outcome using different denominators: one using infants and another using catheters. There were no significant differences between infants who received silver-alginate patch against infants who received standard line dressing in CRBSI, whether expressed as the number of infants (RR 0.50, 95% CI 0.14 to 1.78; RD -0.12, 95% CI -0.33 to 0.09; 1 study, 50 participants, moderate-quality evidence) or as the number of catheters (RR 0.72, 95% CI 0.27 to 1.89; RD -0.05, 95% CI -0.20 to 0.10; 1 study, 118 participants, moderate-quality evidence). There was also no significant difference between the two groups in mortality (RR 0.55, 95% CI 0.15 to 2.05; RD -0.04, 95% CI -0.13 to 0.05; two studies, 150 infants, I² = 0%, moderate-quality evidence). No adverse skin reaction was recorded in either group.

Authors' Conclusions: Based on moderate-quality evidence, chlorhexidine dressing/alcohol skin cleansing reduced catheter colonisation, but made no significant difference in major outcomes like sepsis and CRBSI compared to polyurethane dressing/povidone-iodine cleansing. Chlorhexidine dressing/alcohol cleansing posed a substantial risk of contact dermatitis in preterm infants, although it was unclear whether this was contributed mainly by the dressing material or the cleansing agent. While silver-alginate patch appeared safe, evidence is still insufficient for a recommendation in practice. Future research that evaluates antimicrobial dressing should ensure blinding of caregivers and outcome assessors and ensure that all participants receive the same co-interventions, such as the skin cleansing agent. Major outcomes like sepsis, CRBSI and mortality should be assessed in infants of different gestation and birth weight.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD011082.pub2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6464939PMC
March 2016

Occupational exposure to textile dust increases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis: results from a Malaysian population-based case-control study.

Ann Rheum Dis 2016 06 17;75(6):997-1002. Epub 2015 Dec 17.

Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Objectives: Lung exposures including cigarette smoking and silica exposure are associated with the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We investigated the association between textile dust exposure and the risk of RA in the Malaysian population, with a focus on women who rarely smoke.

Methods: Data from the Malaysian Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis population-based case-control study involving 910 female early RA cases and 910 female age-matched controls were analysed. Self-reported information on ever/never occupationally exposed to textile dust was used to estimate the risk of developing anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA)-positive and ACPA-negative RA. Interaction between textile dust and the human leucocyte antigen DR β-1 (HLA-DRB1) shared epitope (SE) was evaluated by calculating the attributable proportion due to interaction (AP), with 95% CI.

Results: Occupational exposure to textile dust was significantly associated with an increased risk of developing RA in the Malaysian female population (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.6 to 5.2). The association between occupational exposure to textile dust and risk of RA was uniformly observed for the ACPA-positive RA (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.3 to 4.8) and ACPA-negative RA (OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.7 to 7.0) subsets, respectively. We observed a significant interaction between exposure to occupational textile dust and HLA-DRB1 SE alleles regarding the risk of ACPA-positive RA (OR for double exposed: 39.1, 95% CI 5.1 to 297.5; AP: 0.8, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.2).

Conclusions: This is the first study demonstrating that textile dust exposure is associated with an increased risk for RA. In addition, a gene-environment interaction between HLA-DRB1 SE and textile dust exposure provides a high risk for ACPA-positive RA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-208278DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4893106PMC
June 2016

Comparison of Abtectcell III and Diamed red cell antibody screening kit for detection of clinically significant red cells alloantibody.

Malays J Pathol 2015 Aug;37(2):109-14

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Department of Pathology, Jalan Yaacob Latif, Bandar Tun Razak, 56000 Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Antibody screening is important for the antenatal screening and pre-transfusion tests. This study aimed to compare the MUT/Mur kodecytesAbtectcell III (CSL Abtectcell III) red cell antibody screening kit with DiaMed ID-Dia Cell I-II-III Asia that was then used in our laboratory. In this study, 125 samples were randomly chosen, with 67 samples of known antibody specificities and 58 samples identified as negative for antibody, as the negative control. Concordant negative results were obtained in 57 out of 58 antibody negative samples. Concordant antibody positive results with both reagents were seen in 49 out of 67 samples. There were 18 discrepant results of antibody screening with CSL Abtetcell III (16/18 for vMNS antibodies). The sensitivity and specificity for CSL Abtectcell III were 73.0% and 98.3% respectively. In conclusion, the CSL Abtectcell III reagent would be an acceptable alternative for screening of red cell alloantibodies. It was able to detect all the clinically significant alloantibodies.
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August 2015

Survival rates of cervical cancer patients in Malaysia.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2015 ;16(7):3067-72

Institute for Medical Research, Malaysia E-mail :

Cervical cancer is the most common malignant cancer of the female reproductive organs worldwide. Currently, cervical cancer can be prevented by vaccination and detected at an early stage via various screening methods. Malaysia, as a developing country faces a heavy disease burden of cervical cancer as it is the second most common cancer among Malaysian women. This population based study was carried out to fulfil the primary aim of determining the survival rates of Malaysian women with cervical cancer and associated factors. Data were obtained from two different sources namely, the Malaysian National Cancer Registry (MNCR) and National Health Informatics Centre (NHIC) from 1st January 2000 to 31st December 2005. Kaplan Meier analyses were conducted to identify the overall survival rates and median survival time. Differences in survival among different ethnic and age group were compared using the log-rank test. A total of 5,859 patients were included. The median survival time for cervical cancer in this study was 65.8 months and the 5-year survival rate was 71.1%. The overall observed survival rates at 1, 3 and 5 years were 94.1%, 79.3% and 71.1% respectively. The log-rank test finding also showed that there were significant differences in the 5-year survival rate among different ethnic groups. Malays had the lowest survival rate of 59.2% followed by Indians (69.5%) and Chinese (73.8%). The overall 5-year survival rate among patients with cervical cancer in Malaysia is relatively good. Age and ethnic groups remain as significant determining factors for cervical cancer survival rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7314/apjcp.2015.16.7.3067DOI Listing
December 2015

Molecular basis of Rh blood group system in the Malaysian population.

Asian J Transfus Sci 2015 Jan-Jun;9(1):48-54

Regenerative Medicine Cluster, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Bertam, Pulau Penang, Malaysia.

Background: Rh molecular studies have been previously mainly conducted in Caucasians and African population. There is a limited data on the molecular basis for Rh genotypes among Asians.

Aims: This study aims to characterize the Rh genes and frequency of the various RH genotypes among blood donors in National Blood Centre (NBC), Kuala Lumpur.

Materials And Methods: A total of 1014 blood samples were obtained from blood donors from four different ethnic groups (360 Malays, 434 Chinese, 164 Indians and 56 others). Serological and molecular analysis of all 1014 blood samples were performed. An automated deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing analysis was performed.

Results: Rh phenotypes and RH genotypes showed heterogeneity and significant association with ethnicities. Discrepancies in allele D, C/c and E/e between phenotypes and genotypes results were observed. Discrepancy results in allele D showed significant association with the ethnic groups of the blood donors in NBC. There were multiple novel mutations (23) and published mutations (5) found in this study. Significant associations between discrepancy results and mutations were found in allele D and C/c.

Conclusion: Performing RH molecular analysis in Malaysian population provided the basic database for the distribution of Rh genotypes of donors from major ethnic groups in Malaysia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0973-6247.150951DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4339932PMC
February 2015

Clinical determinants of fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography in differentiated thyroid cancer patients with elevated thyroglobulin and negative (131)iodine whole body scans after (131)iodine therapy.

Malays J Med Sci 2014 May;21(3):38-46

Institute for Medical Research, Jalan Pahang, 50586 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Background: A cross-sectional prospective study has been conducted on differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) patients using negative (131)Iodine ((131)I) whole body scans and elevated thyroglobulin (Tg) levels. The main objective of this research was to determine the prevalence of the conversion of differentiated to dedifferentiated thyroid cancer patients during follow up at the Hospital Kuala Lumpur. It has been demonstrated that fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake is inversely proportional to the iodine concentration and to differentiation of the cells.

Methods: Thirty-five patients with histologically proven DTC that have undergone total or near total thyroidectomy, and post (131)I radioactive iodine ablation therapy, were selected and prospectively analysed. The patients also had to show at least one negative whole body scan and Tg levels of 10 μg/L and above. The results of the FDG-Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) were then studied to determine the association and the predictors influencing the outcome by using univariable and multivariable analyses.

Results: Out of the thirty-five patients, 60% of them (twenty-one) showed positive results and 40% (fourteen) showed negative. Age, gender, and type of histopathology (HPE) showed significant associations with the positive results of the FDG-PET/CT. The results also showed no correlations observed between the Tg levels and standardised uptake value (SUV)max in the DTC patients with positive disease findings in the FDG-PET/CT. The predictor for this study was age.

Conclusion: The prevalence of the conversion of differentiated to dedifferentiated thyroid cancer among patients with negative (131)I and elevated Tg was 60%, with age as the predictor. DTC patients aged 45 year-old and older were seven times more likely to have positive results of FDG-PET/CT imaging.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4163557PMC
May 2014

Silica exposure is associated with an increased risk of developing ACPA-positive rheumatoid arthritis in an Asian population: evidence from the Malaysian MyEIRA case-control study.

Mod Rheumatol 2014 Mar;24(2):271-4

Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet , Stockholm , Sweden.

Objectives: Silica exposure has been associated with an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), especially among smokers. In this study, we aimed at examining the association between silica exposure (and its interaction with smoking) and the risk of RA in the Malaysian population.

Methods: In total, 149 cases and 213 matched controls, all men, were included between August 2005 and December 2009. A case was defined as a person with early diagnosed RA using the 1987 American College of Rheumatology criteria for RA. Controls were randomly selected matched on sex, age and residential area. Silica exposure was defined as exposure to stone dust, rock drilling or stone crushing, and smoking status was categorized as ever/never cigarette smoking.

Results: An increased risk of anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA)-positive RA (OR = 2.4, 95 % CI 1.0-5.6) was observed among those exposed to silica. Ever-smokers exposed to silica had a particularly high risk of developing ACPA-positive RA (OR = 7.5, 95 % CI 2.3-24.2), compared with never-smokers not exposed to silica. No association was found regarding ACPA-negative RA.

Conclusion: Our data demonstrate that exposure to both silica and cigarette smoke comprise risks for developing RA in the Malaysian genetic context. The findings expand a link between environmental lung exposures and ACPA-positive RA to Asian populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/14397595.2013.854076DOI Listing
March 2014

Young female survivors of sexual abuse in Malaysia and depression: what factors are associated with better outcome?

Asia Pac Psychiatry 2013 Apr;5 Suppl 1:95-102

Department of Psychiatry, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Introduction: Research in the field of child sexual abuse is lacking in Malaysia. The aims of this study are to identify the association between sociodemographic factors and depression among sexually abused females.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 51 young sexually abused female attendees at the Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) clinic of Hospital Kuala Lumpur, a tertiary referral centre. Upon obtaining informed consent from participant and guardian, participants were screened for depression using the Strength and Difficulty Questionnaire (SDQ) and interviewed using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School Aged Children (K-SADS) for depressive disorders and K-SADS-PL (Present and Lifetime version) to diagnose depression. Sociodemographic data and details of the abuse were also obtained.

Results: Of the survivors, 33.3% were depressed. Univariate analysis showed significant association between legal guardianship, living environment and duration of abuse with depression, however, multivariate analyses later showed that the sole predictor for depression was living environment. Respondents who lived with others were 23-times more likely to be depressed as compared to those who lived with their parents.

Discussion: Depression is common among young survivors of sexual abuse. Those who lived with parents appeared to have a better outcome. Thus, further research to explore possible protective factors associated with living with parents is vital. This will help clinicians develop strategies to empower parents and families help these young survivors get back on track with their lives despite the abuse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/appy.12051DOI Listing
April 2013

Silica exposure is associated with an increased risk of developing ACPA-positive rheumatoid arthritis in an Asian population: evidence from the Malaysian MyEIRA case-control study.

Mod Rheumatol 2013 Apr 25. Epub 2013 Apr 25.

Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Nobel väg 13, Box 210, 17177, Stockholm, Sweden,

OBJECTIVES: Silica exposure has been associated with an increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), especially among smokers. In this study, we aimed at examining the association between silica exposure (and its interaction with smoking) and the risk of RA in the Malaysian population. METHODS: In total, 149 cases and 213 matched controls, all men, were included between August 2005 and December 2009. A case was defined as a person with early diagnosed RA using the 1987 American College of Rheumatology criteria for RA. Controls were randomly selected matched on sex, age and residential area. Silica exposure was defined as exposure to stone dust, rock drilling or stone crushing, and smoking status was categorized as ever/never cigarette smoking. RESULTS: An increased risk of anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA)-positive RA (OR = 2.4, 95 % CI 1.0-5.6) was observed among those exposed to silica. Ever-smokers exposed to silica had a particularly high risk of developing ACPA-positive RA (OR = 7.5, 95 % CI 2.3-24.2), compared with never-smokers not exposed to silica. No association was found regarding ACPA-negative RA. CONCLUSION: Our data demonstrate that exposure to both silica and cigarette smoke comprise risks for developing RA in the Malaysian genetic context. The findings expand a link between environmental lung exposures and ACPA-positive RA to Asian populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10165-013-0890-3DOI Listing
April 2013

Quality indicators for discarding blood in the National Blood Center, Kuala Lumpur.

Asian J Transfus Sci 2012 Jan;6(1):19-23

Cluster of Regenerative Medicine, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Bertam, Penang, Malaysia.

Background And Objective: The implementation of quality system and continuous evaluation of all activities of the Blood Transfusion Services (BTS) can help to achieve the maximum quantity and quality of safe blood. Optimizing blood collection and processing would reduce the rate of discard and improve the efficiency of the BTS. The objective of this study is to determine the rate of discard of blood and blood component and identify its reasons at the National Blood Centre (NBC), Kuala Lumpur, during the year of 2007 in order to introduce appropriate intervention.

Study Designs And Methods: Data on the number of discarded whole blood units and its components, reasons for discard, and the number of blood components processed as well as the number of collected blood units were obtained from the Blood Bank Information System - NBC database. These were analyzed.

Results: The total number of blood units collected in 2007 was 171169 from which 390636 units of components were prepared. The total number of discarded whole blood units and its components was 8968 (2.3%). Platelet concentrate recorded the highest of discard at 6% (3909) followed by whole blood at 3.7% (647), fresh frozen plasma (FFP) at 2.5% (2839), and cryoprecipitate at 2% (620). The rate of discarded packed red blood cells RBCs, plasma aphaeresis, and PLT aphaeresis was less than 1% at 0.6% (902), 0.6% (37), and 0.29% (14), respectively. RBC contamination of PLT and plasma were the major cause of discard at 40% (3558). Other causes include leakage (26% - 2306), lipemia (25% - 2208), and underweight (4% - 353).

Conclusion: Good donor selection, training and evaluation of the staff, as well as implementation of automation will help to improve processes and output of BTS. This would reduce discard of blood components and wastage caused by non conformance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/0973-6247.95045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3353623PMC
January 2012

Smoking interacts with HLA-DRB1 shared epitope in the development of anti-citrullinated protein antibody-positive rheumatoid arthritis: results from the Malaysian Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis (MyEIRA).

Arthritis Res Ther 2012 Apr 26;14(2):R89. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Center of Molecular Medicine L8:04, Karolinska University Hospital, 17176 Stockholm, Sweden.

Introduction: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a multifactorial autoimmune disease in which genetic and environmental factors interact in the etiology. In this study, we investigated whether smoking and HLA-DRB1 shared-epitope (SE) alleles interact differently in the development of the two major subgroups of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), anti-citrullinated proteins antibody (ACPA)-positive and ACPA-negative disease, in a multiethnic population of Asian descent.

Methods: A case-control study comprising early diagnosed RA cases was carried out in Malaysia between 2005 and 2009. In total, 1,076 cases and 1,612 matched controls participated in the study. High-resolution HLA-DRB1 genotyping was performed for shared-epitope (SE) alleles. All participants answered a questionnaire on a broad range of issues, including smoking habits. The odds ratio (OR) of developing ACPA-positive and ACPA-negative disease was calculated for smoking and the presence of any SE alleles separately. Potential interaction between smoking history (defined as "ever" and "never" smoking) and HLA-DRB1 SE alleles also was calculated.

Results: In our multiethnic study, both the SE alleles and smoking were associated with an increased risk of developing ACPA-positive RA (OR SE alleles, 4.7; 95% confidence interval (CI), 3.6 to 6.2; OR smoking, 4.1; 95% CI, 1.9 to 9.2). SE-positive smokers had an odds ratio of ACPA-positive RA of 25.6 (95% CI, 10.4 to 63.4), compared with SE-negative never-smokers. The interaction between smoking and SE alleles was significant (attributable proportion due to interaction (AP) was 0.7 (95% CI, 0.5 to 1.0)). The HLA-DRB1*04:05 SE allele, which is common in Asian populations, but not among Caucasians, was associated with an increased risk of ACPA-positive RA, and this allele also showed signs of interaction with smoking (AP, 0.4; 95% CI, -0.1 to 0.9). Neither smoking nor SE alleles nor their combination was associated with an increased risk of ACPA-negative RA.

Conclusions: The risk of developing ACPA-positive RA is associated with a strong gene-environment interaction between smoking and HLA-DRB1 SE alleles in a Malaysian multiethnic population of Asian descent. This interaction seems to apply also between smoking and the specific HLA-DRB1*04:05 SE allele, which is common in Asian populations but not in Caucasians.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/ar3813DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3446463PMC
April 2012

Shared epitope alleles remain a risk factor for anti-citrullinated proteins antibody (ACPA)--positive rheumatoid arthritis in three Asian ethnic groups.

PLoS One 2011 15;6(6):e21069. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: To investigate the associations between HLA-DRB1 shared epitope (SE) alleles and rheumatoid arthritis in subsets of rheumatoid arthritis defined by autoantibodies in three Asian populations from Malaysia.

Methods: 1,079 rheumatoid arthritis patients and 1,470 healthy controls were included in the study. Levels of antibodies to citrullinated proteins (ACPA) and rheumatoid factors were assessed and the PCR-SSO method was used for HLA-DRB1 genotyping.

Results: The proportion of ACPA positivity among Malay, Chinese and Indian rheumatoid arthritis patients were 62.9%, 65.2% and 68.6%, respectively. An increased frequency of SE alleles was observed in ACPA-positive rheumatoid arthritis among the three Asian ethnic groups. HLA-DRB1*10 was highly associated with rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility in these Asian populations. HLA-DRB1*0405 was significantly associated with susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis in Malays and Chinese, but not in Indians. HLA-DRB1*01 did not show any independent effect as a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis in this study and HLA-DRB1*1202 was protective in Malays and Chinese. There was no association between SE alleles and ACPA- negative rheumatoid arthritis in any of the three Asian ethnic groups.

Conclusion: The HLA-DRB1 SE alleles increase the risk of ACPA-positive rheumatoid arthritis in all three Asian populations from Malaysia.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0021069PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3115981PMC
November 2011