[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted an independent external validation of three cardiovascular risk score models (Framingham risk score model and SCORE risk charts developed for low-risk regions and high-risk regions in Europe) on a prospective cohort of 4487 Australian women with no previous history of heart disease, diabetes or stroke. External validation is an important step to evaluate the performance of risk score models using discrimination and calibration measures to ensure their applicability beyond the settings in which they were developed.
BMC Women's Health 09/2014; 14(1):118. · 1.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Unhealthy dietary behaviours are one of the key risk factors for many lifestyle-related diseases worldwide. This randomised controlled trial aimed to increase the level of fruit, vegetable and fibre intake and decrease the fat and sugar consumption of mothers with young children (0¿5 years) via the playgroup setting.Methods
Playgroups located in 60 neighbourhoods in Perth, Western Australia were randomly assigned to an intervention (n¿=¿249) or control group (n¿=¿272). Those in the intervention group received a 6-month multi-strategy primarily home-based physical activity and nutrition program (data is only presented on dietary behaviours). Data on dietary consumption was collected via the Fat and Fibre Barometer and frequency of serves of fruit and vegetable and cups of soft drink, flavoured drink and fruit juice. The effects of the intervention on continuous outcome measures were assessed using analysis of variance (ANOVA), after adjusting for mother¿s age and the corresponding variables.ResultsThe outcomes of the intervention were positive with the intervention group showing statistically significant improvements, when compared to the control group in the overall consumption of fat and fibre (p¿<¿0.0005); of fibre (p¿<¿0.0005) ¿ fruit and vegetables (p¿<¿0.0005), wholegrain (p¿=¿0.002): and fat (p¿=¿0.005) ¿ dairy products (p¿=¿0.006) and lean meat and chicken (p¿=¿0.041). There were no significant changes in the consumption of sweet drinks.Conclusions
This intervention was successful in improving dietary intake in the intervention group participants. The moderate positive outcomes indicate that playgroups potentially provide quite a viable setting to recruit, engage and retain this hard to reach group of mothers of young children in programs that support the adoption of health-enhancing behaviours. This adds valuable information to this under researched area.Trial registrationAustralian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000718246.
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 09/2014; 11(1):120. · 3.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to determine whether the cross-sectional associations between anthropometric obesity measures, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and calculated 10-year cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk using the Framingham and general CVD risk score models, are the same for women of Australian, UK and Ireland, North European, South European and Asian descent. This study would investigate which anthropometric obesity measure is most predictive at identifying women at increased CVD risk in each ethnic group.
BMJ Open 05/2014; 4(5):e004702. · 2.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the role of body adiposity index (BAI) in predicting cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality, in comparison with body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and the waist circumference to hip circumference ratio (WHR). This study was a prospective 15 year mortality follow-up of 4175 Australian males, free of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. The Framingham Risk Scores (FRS) for CHD and CVD death were calculated at baseline for all subjects. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the effects of the measures of obesity on CVD and CHD mortality, before adjustment and after adjustment for FRS. The predictive ability of BAI, though present in the unadjusted analyses, was generally not significant after adjustment for age and FRS for both CVD and CHD mortality. BMI behaved similarly to BAI in that its predictive ability was generally not significant after adjustments. Both WC and WHR were significant predictors of CVD and CHD mortality and remained significant after adjustment for covariates. BAI appeared to be of potential interest as a measure of % body fat and of obesity, but was ineffective in predicting CVD and CHD.
PLoS ONE 04/2014; 9(4):e94560. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is important to ascertain which anthropometric measurements of obesity, general or central, are better predictors of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in women. 10-year CVD risk was calculated from the Framingham risk score model, SCORE risk chart for high-risk regions, general CVD and simplified general CVD risk score models. Increase in CVD risk associated with 1 SD increment in each anthropometric measurement above the mean was calculated, and the diagnostic utility of obesity measures in identifying participants with increased likelihood of being above the treatment threshold was assessed.
Cross-sectional data from the National Heart Foundation Risk Factor Prevalence Study.
Population-based survey in Australia.
4487 women aged 20-69 years without heart disease, diabetes or stroke.
Anthropometric obesity measures that demonstrated the greatest increase in CVD risk as a result of incremental change, 1 SD above the mean, and obesity measures that had the greatest diagnostic utility in identifying participants above the respective treatment thresholds of various risk score models.
Waist circumference (WC), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) and waist-to-stature ratio had larger effects on increased CVD risk compared with body mass index (BMI). These central obesity measures also had higher sensitivity and specificity in identifying women above and below the 20% treatment threshold than BMI. Central obesity measures also recorded better correlations with CVD risk compared with general obesity measures. WC and WHR were found to be significant and independent predictors of CVD risk, as indicated by the high area under the receiver operating characteristic curves (>0.76), after controlling for BMI in the simplified general CVD risk score model.
Central obesity measures are better predictors of CVD risk compared with general obesity measures in women. It is equally important to maintain a healthy weight and to prevent central obesity concurrently.
BMJ Open 01/2014; 4(2):e004138. · 2.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although elevated cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors are associated with a higher risk of developing heart conditions across all ethnic groups, variations exist between groups in the distribution and association of risk factors, and also risk levels. This study assessed the 10-year predicted risk in a multiethnic cohort of women and compared the differences in risk between Asian and Caucasian women.
Information on demographics, medical conditions and treatment, smoking behavior, dietary behavior, and exercise patterns were collected. Physical measurements were also taken. The 10-year risk was calculated using the Framingham model, SCORE (Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation) risk chart for low risk and high risk regions, the general CVD, and simplified general CVD risk score models in 4,354 females aged 20-69 years with no heart disease, diabetes, or stroke at baseline from the third Australian Risk Factor Prevalence Study. Country of birth was used as a surrogate for ethnicity. Nonparametric statistics were used to compare risk levels between ethnic groups.
Asian women generally had lower risk of CVD when compared to Caucasian women. The 10-year predicted risk was, however, similar between Asian and Australian women, for some models. These findings were consistent with Australian CVD prevalence.
In summary, ethnicity needs to be incorporated into CVD risk assessment. Australian standards used to quantify risk and treat women could be applied to Asians in the interim. The SCORE risk chart for low-risk regions and Framingham risk score model for incidence are recommended. The inclusion of other relevant risk variables such as obesity, poor diet/nutrition, and low levels of physical activity may improve risk estimation.
International Journal of Women's Health 01/2014; 6:259-67.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of physical activity in preventing CVD has been highlighted by Professor Jerry Morris in the 1950's. We report outcome of a 15-year prospective study with the aim to identify whether physical activity showed cardiovascular benefit independent of common risk factors and of central obesity. Baseline data of 8662 subjects, with no previous history of heart disease, diabetes or stroke, were obtained from an age- and gender- stratified sample of adults in Australian capital cities and were linked with the National Death Index to determine the causes of death of 610 subjects who had died to 31 December 2004. The study consisted of 4175 males (age 42.3±13.1 years) and 4487 females (age 42.8±13.2 years). Fasting serum lipid levels, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and smoking habits at baseline were recorded. The Framingham Risk Scores of 15-year mortality due to CHD and CVD were calculated using established equations. Subjects were also asked if they engaged in vigorous exercise, less vigorous exercise or walk for recreation and exercise in the past 2 weeks. Subjects in the high recreational physical activity category were 0.16 (0.06-0.43; p<0.001) and 0.12 (0.03-0.48; p = 0.003) times as likely as subjects in the low category for CVD and CHD mortality respectively. After adjusting for both the Framingham Risk Score and central obesity (Waist circumference to Hip circumference Ratio), those in the high recreational physical activity group were 0.35 (0.13-0.98) times less likely compared to the low category for CVD mortality. Recreational physical activity independently predicted reduced cardiovascular mortality over fifteen years. A public health focus on increased physical activity and preventing obesity is required to reduce the risk of CVD and CHD.
PLoS ONE 12/2013; 8(12):e83435. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increasing levels of physical activity in mothers has long-term health benefits for the mother and family. The REFRESH study aimed to evaluate the effect of a six-month, physical activity RCT for mothers of young children.
Women were recruited via playgroups and randomly assigned to intervention (n=394) or control group (n=322. The intervention group received a six-month multi-strategy program delivered via playgroups in Perth, Australia. measures were mean minutes per week of moderate (M) and vigorous (V) intensity physical activity (PA), and number of days/week of muscle strength exercises.
The intervention had a significant effect on mean time for vigorous (p=0.008), moderate (p=0.023) and total physical activity (p=0.001) when compared to the control group. The intervention group increased their vigorous activity by a mean of 24minutes/week, moderate activity by 23minutes/week and total physical activity by 72minutes/week.
A relatively minimum home based intervention was able to demonstrate modest but statistically significant improvements in physical activity in a hard to reach group. These changes if maintained over a longer period are likely to improve the health of mothers and have a positive impact on their partners and children. Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000735257.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prevention and control of leptospirosis require an understanding of risk factors. This review identifies risk factors associated with leptospirosis infection from countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and compares and contrasts these data with those available from Indonesia. MEDLINE, PubMed, and Scopus databases were used to search for relevant articles. Indonesian gray literature was searched for leptospirosis risk factor studies in Indonesia. A total of 34 articles were included in this review. The contrast between peer-reviewed publications and Indonesian gray literature revealed that the variety of risk factors associated with leptospirosis infection is region or area specific. The presence of skin wounds, the existence of rodents, especially rats, and activities related to contact with contaminated surface water are factors frequently reported to have significant association with leptospirosis infection in human in Indonesia and in other Asia-Pacific countries.
Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health 10/2013; · 1.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcohol use among young people is a major public health concern in Australia and internationally. Research elucidating social norms influencing alcohol use supports the desire to conform to peers. However, there is a lack of evidence on how social norms are transmitted from the community to young people and between family members and peers, as previous studies are limited to mainly school and university environments. This article describes the proposed process to investigate common alcohol-related norms held by 14-year-olds to 17-year-olds in Perth, Western Australia, and to clarify the process and pathways through which proalcohol norms are transmitted to adolescents.
This cross-sectional quantitative study will use respondent-driven sampling (RDS) to recruit a sample of 672 adolescents from sporting groups, youth programmes and the community in Perth. Data will be collected with a previously developed and validated multidimensional online survey instrument. A variety of strategies will be explored to aid participation including face-to-face recruitment and survey administration, web-based RDS and a 'mature minor' consent assessment protocol. Data analysis will include descriptive statistics of demographic characteristics, as well as social network and dyadic analyses, to explore the connections between shared understanding of norms and behaviours among individuals and how these translate into reported practices.
This research is expected to extend our understanding of normative development pathways to inform future interventions, and will be widely disseminated through conference presentations, peer-reviewed papers, media channels and community seminars. A study reference group of key health industry stakeholders will be established to encourage integration of study findings into policy and practice, and results will guide the development of community interventions. The Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee has granted approval for this research.
BMJ Open 10/2013; 3(10):e003870. · 2.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this research was to assess the physical activity levels among a unique cohort of Western Australian (WA) mothers with young children who attend a WA Playgroup. Associated factors were also investigated, including self-efficacy for physical activity, social support for exercise, relevant socio-demographic correlates, as well as the stages of change construct within the Transtheoretical Model (TTM).
421 women completed a questionnaire assessing physical activity behaviours. Of these, 368 participants completed the relevant physical activity evaluation items. 82.5% and 17.5% of the sample were classified as active and inactive, respectively. Associations between physical activity status and exercise stage of change were found. Additional associations were established for partner support and self-efficacy for physical activity.
The majority of the sample was classified as active. Despite the high percentage of active participants, this study confirms the usefulness of the stages of change measure in that it can be utilised by health promotion practitioners to report physical activity behaviour and develop appropriate intervention strategies among a time poor and hard to reach population. Specifically the results are relevant to mothers in over 16,000 WA families who are involved with Playgroup WA programs. Interventions aimed at improving physical activity levels in mothers with young children should also consider the need to improve self-efficacy and social support.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Impaired muscle function has been demonstrated to be an important predictor of frailty and fracture in elderly people. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate the association of dairy intake with body composition and physical performance in 1,456 older women aged 70 to 85 years. Participants were assessed for dairy consumption (milk, yogurt, and cheese) by a validated food frequency questionnaire, body composition by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, and physical performance using hand-grip strength and Timed Up and Go tests. Data on falls in the previous 3 months were collected. Women were categorized according to tertiles of dairy intake: first tertile (≤1.5 servings/day), second tertile (1.5 to 2.2 servings/day), and third tertile (≥2.2 servings/day). Main outcomes were compared using analysis of covariance adjusting for confounding factors. Odds ratios for self-reported falls and risk of poor Timed Up and Go were obtained by using binary logistic regression. The mean age was 75.2±2.7 years and body mass index was 27.2±4.7. Compared with those in the first tertile of dairy intake, women in the third tertile had significantly greater whole body lean mass (34.4±0.3 vs 32.9±0.3 kg; P=0.001) and appendicular skeletal muscle mass (15.3±0.2 vs 14.5±0.2 kg; P=0.002), greater hand-grip strength (20.9±0.2 vs 20.0±0.2 kg; P=0.02), and 26% lower odds for a poor Timed Up and Go test (P=0.04); however, the difference in prevalence of falls in the previous 3 months was not statistically significant (10.3% vs 14.4%; P=0.08). Our results suggest an association of higher dairy intake with greater whole body lean mass and better physical performance in older women.
Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 07/2013; · 2.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Ionized calcium (iCa) is the biologically active form of this micronutrient. Serum determination of iCa is measured via ion-electrode potentiometry (IEP) and reporting iCa relative to pH 7.4 is normally utilized to avoid the potential confounding effects of ex vivo changes to serum pH. Adjustment of iCa for pH has not been adequately justified. METHODS: In this study, utilizing carefully standardized protocols for blood collection, the preparation of serum and controlling time of collection-to-analysis, we determined serum iCa and pH utilizing an IEP-analyser hosted at an accredited diagnostic laboratory. RESULTS: Regression analysis of unadjusted-iCa (iCaraw) concentration versus pH was described by linear regression and accounted for 37% of serum iCaraw variability. iCaraw was then expressed at pH 7.4 by either adjusting iCaraw based on the linear regression equation describing the association of iCa with serum pH (iCaregr) or using IEP coded published normative equations (iCapub). iCaregr was comparable to iCaraw, indicating that blood collection and processing methodologies were sound. However, iCapub yielded values that were significantly lower than iCaraw. iCapub did not identify 15% subjects who had greater than desirable serum concentration of iCa based on iCaraw. Sixty percent of subjects with low levels of iCaraw were also not detected by iCapub. Determination of the kappa value measure of agreement for iCaraw versus iCapub showed relatively poor concordance (κ = 0.42). CONCLUSIONS: With simple protocols that avoid sampling artefacts, expressing iCaraw is likely to be a more valid and physiologically relevant marker of calcium homeostasis than is iCapub.
Annals of Clinical Biochemistry 04/2013; · 2.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:Studies have identified numerous factors affecting breastfeeding initiation and duration, including maternal education, mode of delivery, birth weight, socioeconomic status, and support of the infant's father.Objective:The objective was to investigate the effects of an antenatal education session and postnatal support targeted to fathers.Methods:The Fathers Infant Feeding Initiative (FIFI Study) is a randomized controlled trial to increase the initiation and duration of breastfeeding that was conducted in 8 public maternity hospitals in Perth, Western Australia. A total of 699 couples were randomized within hospitals to either intervention or control groups. The intervention consisted of a 2-hour antenatal education session and postnatal support provided to fathers.Results:The any breastfeeding rate for the intervention group was significantly greater at 6 weeks: 81.6% in the intervention group compared to 75.2% in the control group, odds ratio 1.46 (95% CI, 1.01-2.13). After adjustment for age and hospital, the odds ratio for any breastfeeding in the intervention group was 1.58 (1.06-2.35) and for socioeconomic status (SES), 1.56 (1.06-2.30). The infants of older fathers were more likely to be breastfed at 6 weeks compared to infants of younger fathers (P < .01), and infants of fathers with high SES more likely than infants of fathers with low SES (P = .013).Conclusion:Even a small increase in breastfeeding rates brings public health benefits. In this study, a minimal intervention was found to significantly increase any breastfeeding at 6 weeks: 81.6% in the intervention group compared to 75.2% in the control group.
Journal of Human Lactation 04/2013; · 1.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Guidelines for self-treatment of hypoglycaemia specify initial treatment with quick-acting carbohydrate until blood glucose levels normalize and then follow-up with longer-acting carbohydrate. The few studies investigating follow-up show 29-57% omission or undertreatment with follow-up carbohydrate but do not investigate the association of this with repeat hypoglycaemia. This study aimed to develop, validate and administer a questionnaire to delineate this association. The timeframe targeted was 2 h post primary hypoglycaemic event (PPHE), the time influenced by long-acting carbohydrate. METHODS: A questionnaire was generated, test-retest reliability assessed, and it was piloted on convenience samples from the target population. The final version was administered to all insulin-treated individuals attending an outpatient diabetes clinic over 4 weeks (169). RESULTS: Questionnaire development: readability (69.6-standard/easy), test-retest reliability (Cohen's kappa 0.57-0.91) and return rate (72.2%) were all acceptable. Questionnaire data: questionnaires were returned by 122 participants (63 males/59 females). Method of insulin administration was subcutaneous insulin injections (91%) and continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) (9%). Repeat hypoglycaemia within 2 h PPHE was reported by 8.2% of respondents. There was no significant difference for age, gender and diabetes duration between those reporting repeat hypoglycaemia and those without. Consumption of follow-up longer-acting carbohydrate was reported by 58.2% of responders with 48% of these using long-acting and 52% medium-acting carbohydrate foods. Method of insulin administration and consumption of follow-up food were significantly associated with repeat hypoglycaemia (P = 0.015, 0.039) but presence or absence of symptoms and duration of action of carbohydrate were not significantly associated (P = 0.103, 0.629). Hierarchical logistic regression analysis showed omission of follow-up food PPHE was not a significant predictor of increased likelihood of repeat hypoglycaemia within 2 h PPHE, irrespective of method of insulin administration (P = 0.085). CONCLUSION: This study supports guidelines that recommend judicious, rather than routine use of follow-up longer-acting carbohydrate PPHE.
Diabetes therapy : research, treatment and education of diabetes and related disorders. 04/2013;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of mortality globally. In absolute numbers, more women die from CVD than men do. CVD mortality risk differs between genders, reflecting the different distribution of modifiable risk factors and severity of CVD outcomes. This study reviews six established risk score models and their applicability to the female population. These models are assessed against two criteria: discrimination and calibration. Sensitivity, specificity and positive- and negative-predictive values are also examined. The risk score models are found to be limited in applicability, requiring recalibration beyond their study population. Relevant risk factors to predict CVD mortality for women, such as measures of obesity, physical activity, alcohol consumption, use of antihypertensive medication, chronic kidney disease and coronary artery calcium are generally not incorporated in these models.
Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy 04/2013; 11(4):425-35.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) has been demonstrated to predict atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD)-associated clinical events independent of traditional vascular risk factors. Recent studies have demonstrated that eGFR decline over time may improve prediction of ASVD-associated mortality risk in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients. AIM: The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between 5-year change in eGFR with renal disease and ASVD-associated clinical events. DESIGN: Prospective observational study. METHODS: A total of 1012 women over the age of 70 years from the Calcium Intake Fracture Outcome Study were included. Baseline characteristics including baseline and 5-year creatinine, participants' comorbidities and complete verified 10-year records for ASVD and renal disease-associated hospitalization and/or mortality were obtained using the Western Australian Data Linkage System. RESULTS: Participants were stratified according to annual rate of eGFR change in quartiles [≤-1.2 (first quartile), >-1.2 to 0.1 (second quartile), >0.1-1.7 (third quartile) and >1.7 ml/min/1.73 m(2)/year (fourth quartile)]. In the adjusted model, compared with participants in the fourth quartile, those in the first and/or second quartiles of annual eGFR change had significantly higher risk of renal disease and/or ASVD-associated clinical events. However, the association with renal clinical events was more pparent in participants with baseline eGFR of <60 ml/min/1.73 m(2). CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that the inclusion of long-term eGFR change over time might augment prognostication for renal disease and ASVD-associated clinical events in elderly women.
QJM: monthly journal of the Association of Physicians 02/2013; · 2.46 Impact Factor