[Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health (Nippon Koshu Eisei Zasshi Jpn J Publ Health )

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    ABSTRACT: Objectives To investigate the effect of determining birthdays by social factors on the distribution of daily live births.Methods We obtained data on live births tabulated by date and birthplace (hospitals, clinics, and maternity homes) between 1981 and 2010 in Japan from the National Vital Statistics System. This study analyzed the variations in live births for each day of the week, as well as for several specific days observed to have a systematic variation in the number of live births. We determined the ratio of the mean daily live births on those specific days to the overall daily average each month (the birth number ratio). The standardized deviation (the ratio of the deviation to the standard deviation for the day of week) regarding the birth number ratio of each specific day was also determined.Results The birth number ratio in hospitals and clinics was highest on Tuesdays and lowest on Sundays. Hospitals showed a large difference in the birth number ratio between weekdays and weekends, although the difference in the birth number ratio between weekdays and Saturdays was smaller in clinics than in hospitals. The birth number ratio during the first three days of the New Year was lower than that on Sundays. Until approximately 1995, the standardized deviation on February 29th and April 1st (the end of the Japanese school year) showed abnormally low values, while those on March 1st and April 2nd showed significantly high values. Following that time period, the significant variations on February 29th (only on Sundays), April 1st (only on Sundays), March 1st, and April 2nd almost completely disappeared. Maternity homes showed equivalent results until the 1980s or the middle of the 1990s.Conclusion The variations in the days of the week were inconsistent with nationwide policies for consultation in each setting. These results indicate that some birth dates were set for institutional reasons or maternal preferences (i.e., the day after the leap day or the next school year) by using or avoiding obstetric intervention. The abnormal variation on leap days and on April 1st might be related to fictitious reporting. More recent variations in the birth number ratio on specific days suggest that some individuals may avoid obstetric intervention. The results of this study indicate that determining birthdays by social factors may have been practiced in maternity homes until approximately 1990.
    [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 01/2014; 61(1):16-29.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives The study was conducted with the intention of establishing a strategy to eliminate measles on the basis of an analysis of the epidemiological profile of measles cases reported in Tokyo during the year 2011.Methods We investigated measles cases reported to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2011, recorded as part of the National Epidemiological Surveillance of Infectious Diseases. Factors analyzed included age, vaccination status for each patient, cases for which records were discarded after laboratory confirmation, genotype of the measles virus and relationships between dates of specimen collection and results of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and IgM antibody tests.Results A total of 178 measles cases were reported in Tokyo during 2011, and the majority of cases (128, 71.9%) were reported during the peak period from epiweeks 13 to 24. The largest age group reported was one to four years of age (40, 22.5%) followed by groups of 20-29 and 30-39 years of age (both 34, 19.1%). Most cases were sporadic, with only six outbreaks occurring. Even then, the numbers of cases for each outbreak was less than five. More than half of the patients in all age groups, except for the 1-4-year-old group, had not been vaccinated or did not have a record of vaccination. Genotypes D4 and D9 of measles virus were detected in most cases. However, genotype D5, which had been circulating in Japan before 2008, was not detected.Conclusion Imported viruses were the cause of measles cases reported in Tokyo during 2011. The disease control was better than that in 2007 and 2008 because of the swift and appropriate responses to the occurrences. It is also possible that there has been an increase in the proportion of people with immunity to measles. Increasing the rate of immunization, performing effective surveillance, and confirming suspicious measles cases by using molecular methods are important for achieving the elimination of measles.
    [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 01/2014; 61(3):136-44.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Mothers who experience difficulty in childrearing are becoming increasingly more prevalent in Japan. This study described and classified mothers' childrearing difficulty in terms of their children's behavioral characteristics and related factors.Methods Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to 818 mothers at their children's 3-year-old health checkup in eight suburban cities in Japan. The questionnaire consisted of items assessing the mother's experience of difficulty in childrearing for the child undergoing the checkup. The subjects were classified into four groups according to their children's behavioral characteristics: "low needs," "internalizing behavior," "externalizing behavior," and "comorbid internalizing-externalizing behavior." Multiple regression analysis was performed to examine the relationships between mothers' difficulty in childrearing and related factors.Results A total of 775 respondents were divided as follows: 332 mothers had children with low needs, 104 had those with internalizing behavior, 230 had those with externalizing behavior, and 109 had those with comorbid internalizing-externalizing behavior. Mothers in the low needs group showed less childrearing difficulty than did mothers in the other groups. Childrearing difficulty increased by group in the following order: internalizing, externalizing, and comorbid internalizing-externalizing. In all four groups, mothers with low self-efficacy and less appraisal support from their family encountered greater childrearing difficulty. In the low needs group, experiencing childrearing difficulty with another child was related experiencing childrearing difficulty with the child undergoing the checkup. In the internalizing behavior group, mothers who had experienced greater difficulty in childrearing were more likely to be housewives and of younger age, and were more likely to have had boys as the child undergoing the checkup. In the externalizing behavior group, mothers with more difficulty in childrearing were more likely to be younger and less healthy, have less appraisal support from their friends, and live in apartments. In the comorbid internalizing-externalizing group, if the mothers were housewives, they were more likely to have difficulty in caring for their other children, receive less appraisal support from their friends, and experience more difficulty in childrearing.Conclusion The results showed that mothers' difficulty in childrearing and the factors related to this difficulty differed according to their children's behavioral characteristics. Public health nurses could provide more effective care and support to mothers by considering children's behavioral characteristics.
    [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 01/2014; 61(1):3-15.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives The factors associated with loneliness in adults and elderly people have been revealed in previous studies. However, much less is known about these factors for mothers with infants. This article investigates the individual and environmental factors associated with loneliness among mothers with 4-month-old or 18-month-old infants in an urban area in Japan.Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted using a self-reported questionnaire survey. Multiple linear regression analyses were undertaken with loneliness (UCLA Loneliness Scale Version 3) as the dependent variable; and demographics, individual factors (internal working model, child-care burden), and environmental factors (social network) as independent variables.Results The study population consisted of 125 mothers with 4-month-old infants and 123 mothers with 18-month-old infants who visited a Ward B health center in city A in 2012. Mothers of the 4-month-old infants with higher loneliness scores were significantly more likely to have an ambivalent type (β=.354, P<.001) or avoidant type (β=.331, P<.001) of internal working model, greater child-care burden (β=.180, P<.05), and a smaller social network of family (β=-.144, P<.05) and child-rearing friends (β=-.255, P<.01). Mothers of 18-month-old infants with higher loneliness scores were significantly more likely to have lower subjective health (β=-.191, P<.01), an ambivalent type (β=.297, P<.001) or avoidant type (β=.190, P<.05) of internal working model, greater child-care burden (β=.283, P<.001), and a smaller social network of child-rearing friends (β=-.213, P<.01).Conclusion To prevent loneliness in mothers, it is important to build mothers' human relations through childcare, to enhance their ability to take advantage of childcare while receiving support, and to support community organizations for mothers with infants.
    [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 01/2014; 61(3):121-9.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Recent studies have investigated the relationship between social capital and health, although relatively few studies have evaluated the role of gender in this relationship. This study's aim was to investigate whether individual-level social capital in communities is associated with the self-reported health (self-rated health and depression) of urban elderly women and men living at home, even after adjusting for some confounding factors, and whether there is a gender difference in the association between social capital and health.Methods A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to 2,400 people aged between 65 and 79 who were not receiving long-term care insurance services in City A (Tokyo). Indicators of social capital, as represented by cognitive social capital (trust in neighbors and reciprocity) and structural social capital (group membership in local associations), were tested with two self-reported health indicators: perceived health and depression. The associations between social capital and perceptions of health were analyzed for men and women respectively using multivariate logistic regression analysis with adjustments made for age, economic status, educational status, presence of chronic disorders, functional capability levels, marital status, and duration of residence.Results The number of valid responses was 1,776 (men: n=887, 71.2±4.0 years; women: n=889, 70.9±3.9 years; mean±SD) with a response rate of 74.5%. Lower levels of cognitive social capital (civic mistrust) were associated with an odds ratio for poorer self-rated health of 1.58 (95% CI [1.07-2.34], P=.022) at the individual level in men. In women, lack of reciprocity (OR=1.63, 95% CI [1.10-2.41], P=.014) was associated with poorer self-rated health. Civic mistrust and lack of reciprocity were associated with depression in men and women. Lack of group membership in local associations was associated with self-rated health (OR=1.68, 95% CI [1.16-2.44], P=.007) and depression (OR=2.24, 95% CI [1.49-3.38], P<.001) in women.Conclusion Civic mistrust was associated with poorer self-rated health and a lack of reciprocity was associated with depression in men. In women, lack of reciprocity was associated with poorer self-rated health and depression, and lack of group membership in local associations was associated with self-rated health and depression. These results lead to the conclusion that there were noticeable gender differences in the relationship between the social capital and self-rated health of the elderly. A longitudinal study should be conducted to clarify the causal relationship between social capital and perceived health.
    [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 01/2014; 61(2):71-85.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Interviews were conducted with elderly people who had participated in the Care-Prevention Leadership Training Course (CPLTC), and had then established voluntary groups that practice care-prevention activities. This study examined the process and factors associated with the establishment of voluntary groups among subjects.Methods The subjects were ten 62- to 76-year-old community-dwelling elderly in Tokyo who had taken the CPLTC. Data were obtained from 40- to 90-minute semi-structured interviews concerning the process of voluntary-group establishment. The data were then qualitatively analyzed using a modified grounded theory approach. Some of the concepts associated with the voluntary-group establishment were extracted, and organized into categories. These relationships were comparatively reviewed, and a figure for the results was constructed.Results Subjects went through the following processes and feelings while establishing voluntary groups: "feelings that encourage participation in the local community," "opportunity for participation in the local community," "recognition of issues in the local community," "recognition of the importance of care prevention," "enhanced motivation for voluntary-group activities," and "recognition of requirements to establish a voluntary-group through its preparation." In addition, related factors were as follows; "past experience," "experience in the local community," "experience in CPLTC," "support in the local community," "support in CPLTC," "support in establishment of voluntary groups," and "feelings that promote or inhibit activities for the voluntary-group establishment." These processes were considered to be core concepts: "feelings and experiences that lead to participation in the local community," "deep understanding through experiences in the community and CPLTC," and "enhancement of motivation and skills for the activities through voluntary-group preparation."Conclusion The results showed that the community-dwelling elderly experienced gradual changes in their feelings, awareness, and related factors concerning their establishment of voluntary groups. The data showed that three points of view were important in those changes: "participation in the local community," "recognition of issues in the local community," and "enhanced motivation and skills for community activities." With transition-related factors taken into account, it is possible to effectively support elderly who are establishing voluntary groups by promoting involvement in the local community, holding courses, and providing preparatory support for group establishment.
    [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 01/2014; 61(1):30-40.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives With increasing global interest in intentional food contamination, expert meetings have been held by the G8, while the U.S. government has proposed policies for preventing food terrorism and intentional contamination. However, Japan has no food defense policy, and some food companies are concerned about an impending terrorism and contamination crisis.Methods We developed a Food Defense Checklist for Food Producers and Processors and published the details on the website. We also developed tentative Food Defense Guidelines for Food Producers and Processors on the basis of the checklist. In this study, we tested the usability of the guidelines through a hearing survey regarding food plants. We also compared the checklist with the implementation manual for the approval system of Comprehensive Sanitation Management and Production Process (the Japanese equivalent of the HACCP).Results We organized the comments gleaned from the hearing survey and provided a detailed explanation of the guidelines. As the HACCP has been adopted by Japanese food companies, we included both precautionary measures and the HACCP perspective in the explanation regarding the rapid dissemination of information.Conclusion The guidelines are useful for Japanese food companies, and it is important to disseminate knowledge on this topic and implement food defense measures.
    [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 01/2014; 61(2):100-9.
  • [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 01/2014; 61(1):41-51.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives One of the popular casual dining chain restaurants running 255 outlets under the same brand name adopted the separation policy, mandating the differentiation of smoking and non-smoking zone in 2000. Following this, they started renovating the outlets' interiors because two thirds of them are dated. Going a step further, they have decided to implement stricter countermeasures against secondhand smoke. This includes the introduction of smoking prohibition outside the designated smoking room where foods are not served, and in some cases the separation of the smoking zone with glass walls and automatic doors. This study examined the economic effects of the smoking prohibition within a non-designated smoking zone of casual dining chain restaurants in Japan.Methods We selected 59 outlets that prohibited smoking outside of the designated smoking room (prohibition group), and 17 outlets that separated the smoking zone with glass walls and automatic doors (separation group), all of which were renovated during the same time period, that is, February to December 2009. We compared the relative change in monthly sales of each restaurant two years before the renovation (24~13 months, 12~1 months) and one year after the renovation (1~12 months) in order to exclude the effects of social economic regression and usual seasonal changes. Eighty-two outlets were not renovated during the observation period; hence, they were treated as the control group. For comparison purposes, the relative monthly sales of each outlet was collected and compared to the sales in January 2007, using a two-way repeated measures ANOVA and post-hoc analysis (Scheffé test) using SAS ver. 9.3.Results There was a significant difference among three groups across three different periods, P for group×time<0.0001. Relative sales of the prohibition group was significantly increased after the renovation (P<0.001); however, there was no significant increase in the relative sales of the separation group.Conclusion Prohibition of smoking outside of the designated rooms in casual dining chain restaurants increased sales, while separation of the smoking zone did not.
    [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 01/2014; 61(3):130-5.
  • [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 01/2014; 61(2):93-9.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives This study aimed to explore the factors associated with HIV testing behavior and intention among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Japan.Methods A self-administered survey was distributed to gay bar customers in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Osaka, Aichi, Fukuoka, and Okinawa from 2010 to early 2011. A total of 4,572 completed surveys were received by mail. Participants were divided into 3 groups based on HIV testing experience and intention: Group 1 consisted of those who had tested at least once in their lives; Group 2 consisted of those who had never tested but had an intention to test; and Group 3 was made up of those who had never tested and had no intention to test. Associations between groups were assessed using Chi-square goodness-of-fit test and multiple logistic regression.Results Among the 2,809 respondents reporting anal sex within the previous six months, 131 HIV-positive cases were excluded. Data were thus analyzed from 2,678 MSM; 61% (n=1,633) of participants reported having taken an HIV test at least once in their lives, 20.2% (n=541) reported never having tested but with an intention to test, and 18.8% (n=504) reported never having tested and had no intention to test in the future. Knowledge about HIV and testing, STI history, sexuality, academic background, knowing someone with HIV, and condom use in the past six months all correlated with HIV testing experience when compared between groups 1 and 2. Conversations on HIV/AIDS with friends, lifetime STI history, knowing someone with HIV, conversations on HIV/AIDS with a sexual partner, and older age were all correlated with intention of taking an HIV test when compared between groups 2 and 3.Conclusion Among gay bar customers, those who know someone living with HIV and those who had conversations with friends about HIV/AIDS in the previous six months were more likely to take an HIV test compared to those who had never tested but had an intention to test. Thus, although knowledge about HIV and testing is important, knowing someone with HIV and having conversations about HIV/AIDS with friends are also important. Such factors should be considered in promoting the uptake of voluntary HIV testing among MSM.
    [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 10/2013; 60(10):639-50.
  • [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 10/2013; 60(10):631-8.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Area Comprehensive Support Centers play critical roles in identifying those elderly not currently using medical or long-term health care services, offering preventative measures against further health crises and possible isolated death. The purpose of this study was to develop an "At-Risk Elderly Checklist." This checklist can help in identifying those at-risk elderly, allowing people in communities to provide the Area Comprehensive Support Center with information about at-risk elderly.Methods As a preliminary step, interviews were conducted with 29 professionals who work for 17 different Area Comprehensive Support Centers located in 4 municipalities around the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. We constructed 23 items based on the findings of this preliminary research and existing tools used in different areas. These items represented distinctive characteristics of elderly who need support from Area Comprehensive Support Centers in order to receive necessary medical and long-term care services. A self-report survey was conducted on 109 professionals of 20 Area Comprehensive Support Centers of Ota-ku, Tokyo in order to examine the content validity of the items.Results Using factor analysis, we identified 5 factors consisting of 19 items. The first factor consisted of 5 items helping people to identify a serious health crisis from the appearance and condition of the elderly individual's home. The health crisis indicated by these items might require immediate hospitalization. The second factor consisted of 5 items that can help people notice symptoms of dementia through their communication with elderly. The third factor consisted of 4 items useful for assessing health deterioration of the elderly by observing various behaviors. The fourth factor consisted of 3 items that people can use to measure the progress of dementia, including issues with how the elderly dressed themselves. The fifth factor consisted of 2 items that can be used to understand signs of declining health or the progress of dementia by paying attention to the elderly individuals' body odor and personal appearance. From the original 19 items, 14 that were considered the most useful in detecting at-risk elderly were selected based on a frequency distribution. The content validity of 14 items was confirmed by 20 professionals from Area Comprehensive Support Centers in Outa-ku.Conclusion This checklist may be effective in the early detection of elderly at risk of serious health crises and isolated death due to not using necessary medical and long-term care services.
    [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 10/2013; 60(10):651-8.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives The Great East Japan Earthquake, which occurred on March 11, 2011, damaged many health facilities and compelled many inhabitants to live in evacuation centers. For the purpose of monitoring infectious disease outbreaks, infectious disease surveillance targeted at evacuation centers was established in Miyagi Prefecture. In this study, we summarized the monitoring activities of infectious diseases through this surveillance after the earthquake.Methods Infectious disease surveillance was implemented from March 18 to November 6, 2011. The surveillance consisted of two phases (hereafter, surveillance 1 and 2) reflecting the difference in frequencies of reporting as well as the number of targeted diseases. Surveillance 1 operated between March 18 and May 13, 2011, and Surveillance 2 operated between May 10 and November 6, 2011. We reviewed the number of cases reported, the number of evacuation centers, and demographic information of evacuees with the surveillance.Results In Surveillance 1, there were 8,737 reported cases; 84% of them were acute respiratory symptoms, and 16% were acute digestive symptoms. Only 4.4% of evacuation centers were covered by the surveillance one week after the earthquake. In Surveillance 2, 1,339 cases were reported; 82% of them were acute respiratory symptoms, and 13% were acute digestive symptoms. Surveillance 2 revealed that the proportion of children aged 5 years and younger was lower than that of other age groups in all targeted diseases. No particular outbreaks were detected through those surveillances.Conclusion Infectious disease surveillance operated from one week after the earthquake to the closure of all evacuation centers in Miyagi Prefecture. No outbreaks were detected in that period. However, low coverage of evacuation centers just after the earthquake as well as skewed frequencies of reported syndromes draw attention to the improvement of the early warning system. It is important to coordinate with the medical aid team that visits the evacuation centers on a regular basis and to obtain information about the characteristics of evacuees. It is necessary to establish a surveillance system that can monitor infectious disease efficiently from an early phase.
    [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 10/2013; 60(10):659-64.
  • [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 06/2013; 60(6):370-6.
  • [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 06/2013; 60(6):335-45.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives The increase in the overweight or underweight student population in Japanese schools is an important health issue. To assess the independent effects of age, period, and birth cohorts, we analyzed trends in the rates of overweight and underweight students from 1977 to 2006 using a Bayesian age-period-cohort (APC) analysis. Additionally, we predicted the rates overweight and underweight students in 2007-2016.Methods We created a data set of the rates of overweight and underweight students aged 6-14 years using the annual school health survey report data. We then analyzed a cohort table that plotted age against calendar time using a Bayesian APC model. We also made a prediction of the rates of overweight and underweight students in 2007-2016.Results For overweight students, the age effect increased from 6 to 11 years of age for male students and from 6 to 12 years of age for female students; thereafter, the effects decreased. The period effects consistently increased until late 1990, and decreased thereafter for both male and female students. The cohort effects increased for male students born between 1963 and 1969, and later decreased for those born in 1981. However, this trend for male students later increased. For female students, the cohort effects decreased for those born between 1963 and 1975, and later increased for those born in 1990, indicating a plateau or slight increase in the trend. For underweight students, the age effect in male students increased from 7 to 10 years of age, and then plateaued; whereas, the age effect increased from 7 to 12 years of age for female students before reaching a plateau. The period effects increased consistently by 2000 and decreased slightly in both male and female students. The birth cohort effect in male students increased for those born after the mid-1980s, and then plateaued in the early 1990s. The cohort effect increased for female students born after 1984, and then plateaued in 1993. The projections for the rates of overweight and underweight student population indicated a steady trend until 2016.Conclusion The rate of overweight and underweight students was strongly influenced by age; however, period and birth cohort also played a role. The projections for the rates of overweight and underweight students indicated a steady trend until 2016. These results suggest that strategies based on age-, period-, and cohort-specific measures may be required for future interventions for preventing overweight and underweight among students.
    [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 06/2013; 60(6):356-69.
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives To compare the effects of weekly or bi-weekly dietary sessions with the same number of total lecture hours, periods, and lecture contents on weight loss, dropouts during the intervention, and the weight loss maintenance after 1 year.Methods The study included 52 middle-aged women with at least 1 risk factor for cardiovascular disease (i.e., obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and hyperglycemia) who were encouraged to lose weight. Thirty-seven women were assigned to the weekly class (self-selected weekly class group: n=26) or the bi-weekly class (self-selected bi-weekly class group: n=11) based on their preference. Fifteen women were assigned to the bi-weekly class against their will (bi-weekly class group). All groups participated in the same number of sessions (total, 26 h), and were instructed to reduce their dietary intakes to 1200 kcal/day for 13 weeks. The self-selected weekly class group attended a 2-h instructional session every week, whereas both the bi-weekly class groups received 1-h sessions twice a week. Data on the body weight of the participants was collected 1 year after the intervention using a self-administered questionnaire via mail.Results The self-selected bi-weekly class group had significantly fewer dropouts (self-selected weekly class group: 5 persons, 19.2%; self-selected bi-weekly class group: 1 person, 9.0%; bi-weekly class group: 8 persons, 53.3%; P<0.05). There was a significant decrease in weight (P<0.05) in all 3 groups during the intervention (self-selected weekly class group: -4.3±2.7 kg, self-selected bi-weekly class group: -6.7±3.0 kg, bi-weekly class group: -6.0±3.4 kg). However, weight loss in the self-selected bi-weekly class group was significantly greater than that in the other 2 groups. A significant change in body weight at the 1-year follow-up was not observed in any group (self-selected weekly class group: +0.4±1.3 kg, self-selected bi-weekly class group: -0.1±2.3 kg, bi-weekly class group: +0.5±0.6 kg). Repeated-measures ANOVA (time×group) revealed no significant interactions in weight loss.Conclusion These results suggest that a greater frequency of dietary sessions contributes to weight loss, while a lesser frequency of dietary sessions contributed to a decrease in questionnaire recovery rates. The dropout rate in the self-selected weekly and bi-weekly class groups was lesser than that in the bi-weekly class group. Therefore, dietary sessions tailored to the needs of the participants might decrease the dropout rate.
    [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 06/2013; 60(6):346-55.
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between geriatric depression scale (GDS) score and elements of physical fitness in community-dwelling, healthy, elderly women in Japan. This cross-sectional study involved a total of 886 healthy elderly women (aged 265 years) living in Kyoto prefecture. Women voluntarily participated in physical performance tests. One-leg standing time, leg power, knee extension strength, grip strength, endurance capacity, trunk flexion, usual and maximal gait speed, chair stand, chair stepping, and functional reach were examined as fitness tests. A 15-item GDS and a battery of health status questionnaires were used to assess mental and physical health status. Of the participants, 21.1% had a GDS score of > or = 5 and were categorized as the depression group (D group). Leg power, knee extension strength, endurance capacity, gait speed, and chair stepping ability were significantly lower in the D group than in the non-depression group (GDS score < 5; ND group). After adjustment for physical characteristics, eating habits, and physical activity levels as co-variances, leg power, knee extension strength, and endurance capacity remained significantly lower in the D group than in the ND group (P < 0.05). A considerable number of active, healthy, elderly women who voluntarily participated in this study reported depressive symptoms. Reduced leg power, knee extension strength, and endurance capacity were associated with depressive symptoms independently of physical activity levels. These results suggest that exercise intervention to increase leg strength and endurance capacity may improve depressive symptoms in elderly women.
    [Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health 04/2013; 60(4):231-40.

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