[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Smoking cessation is an important strategy for reducing the harmful effects of tobacco, particularly in the prevention of lung cancer; however, prospective data on the impact of smoking cessation on lung cancer risk in Asian populations are limited.
We studied a population-based cohort of Chinese men and women aged 45-74 years--participants of the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Information on smoking, lifestyle and dietary habits was collected at the time of recruitment in 1993-1998; and smoking status was assessed again at a second interview in 1999-2004 (mean interval 5.8 years). Participants were followed up to 31 December 2007, and incident cases of lung cancer were ascertained by linkage with population-wide registries.
Among 45,900 participants, there were 463 incident cases of lung cancer. Relative to current smokers, those who quit smoking subsequent to baseline assessment had a 28% decrease in the risk of lung cancer (adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.72; 95% CI (95% confidence interval): 0.53-0.98). The risk was less than half in ex-smokers who had quit before the first interview and maintained their status (HR 0.42; 95% CI: 0.32-0.56).
Reduction in lung cancer incidence with smoking cessation in Asian populations is substantial and can be observed within a few years after quitting.
British Journal of Cancer 09/2010; 103(7):1093-6. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the past decade, global health has evolved from a buzzword to a discipline, attracting interest from governments, academic institutions and funding organisations. Global health centres, institutes and initiatives in Western countries have increased in both size and number, aided primarily by institutional backing and supportive funding mechanisms. As the rise to prominence of global health on the public health agenda also coincides with shifts in global balances of power, Asia, as well as Singapore, has an expanded role to play in supporting global health teaching and research, both in the region and throughout the world. Foundations, universities, government agencies, statutory boards and the private sector all have an important role to play in moving the global health agenda forward in Singapore. Rigorous global health training and increased funding for global health research are now timely and essential in order for global health, as a discipline, to develop within Singapore and have an impact within the region.
Singapore medical journal 07/2010; 51(7):536-41. · 0.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) from high-temperature cooking of meat have been linked to increased cancer incidence in Western populations, but data on the sources of HCAs in Asian diets are scarce. Our aim was to identify potential sources of HCAs in the Chinese diet, and to provide the basis for efforts to quantify dietary exposure to these compounds.
We conducted 24-h dietary recall interviews among 986 Chinese men and women in Singapore, who were a randomly selected subpopulation of participants from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a population-based cohort. Details of all foods and beverages consumed by each subject in the past 24 h were recorded, and information on meat type, cooking method and portion size were abstracted from all meat-containing dishes, and gram weight equivalents computed.
The mean meat intake per person was 103.0 g/day (standard deviation 74.2), of which 97.2% was fresh meat. Fish (38.0%), pork (30.6%), and poultry (21.0%) accounted for 89.6% of meat consumed. Patterns of meat consumption and cooking methods differed markedly from Western populations. Documented high-temperature cooking methods, combined with stir-frying, accounted for 44.3% of fish, 35.1% of pork and 25.6% of poultry consumed. Specifically, potentially significant sources of HCAs were pan-fried fish and barbecued pork.
Our results identify the potential sources of HCA in the Chinese diet, highlight aspects which are relevant to HCA formation and intake, and call for novel approaches to estimating individual exposure to dietary HCAs in this and similar populations.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 02/2005; 59(1):16-23. · 2.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inspection of trends in cancer incidence in ethnically or geographically diverse populations is important for the understanding of cancer patterns and also to provide clues for aetiologic studies. There is little information on cancer incidence among Malays, a low-risk population. The population-based cancer registration system in Singapore offers the opportunity in this regard.
A review of all newly diagnosed cancer cases among Singapore Malay residents in the period 1968 to 1997 was conducted to determine the time trends using data from Singapore Cancer Registry. Age-standardised incidence rates and average annual percentage change, using Poisson regression, were calculated.
During the 30-year study period, a total of 9101 incident cases of cancer were diagnosed among Malays in Singapore. The 3 most common sites of cancer were lung, liver and colorectum in males; and breast, colorectum and ovary in females in the period 1983 to 1997. Leukaemia was among the top 10 cancer sites in both sexes. Malays generally experienced lower cancer incidence rates compared to Chinese, but rates have been increasing at 1.5% to 2% annually. Statistically significant increases in incidence were observed for most of the cancer sites. The incidence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma increased, while there were no significant changes in the general population.
The relatively lower cancer risk among Singapore Malays might be attributed to genetic factors or closer adherence to a more traditional lifestyle. This study provides a baseline for comparisons with other populations with diverse cancer risk patterns in order to obtain a better understanding of possible aetiologic factors.
Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore 02/2004; 33(1):57-62. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lung cancer generally carries a poor prognosis and the determinants of survival have been of interest. However, survival estimates in Asian populations are scarce. This study describes survival rates and their determinants in Singapore Chinese women, a primarily non-smoking population. Three hundred and twenty-six Chinese women, diagnosed with primary lung carcinoma in three major hospitals in Singapore between April 1996 and December 1998, were followed up till 31 December 2000. The Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analysis. Two hundred and eighty (85.7%) died from the disease during follow-up. The median survival time was 0.7 years and the three-year survival was 15.8%. These survival rates are similar to those of Western populations, and they provide a basis for examining trends over time. Age at diagnosis was an independent prognostic factor [adjusted hazard ratio (relative risk) 1.4, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.1-1.9 for women above 65 years relative to younger women]. Most (70.5%) tumours were stage III/IV at diagnosis. Three-year survival ranged from 72% among patients with stage I tumours to 7% for stage IV tumours. Overall, there was no survival difference among different histological types in all stages combined. When limited to stages I and II cancers, adenocarcinomas were associated with a better outcome relative to other histological subtypes combined (adjusted relative risk 0.4, 95% CI 0.1-1.0). Smoking was an independent risk factor (adjusted relative risk 1.3, 95% CI 1.0-1.8). Nevertheless, non-smokers comprised 57.4% of this series, highlighting the importance of increased awareness among health professionals and the public that lung cancer is not only a disease of smokers. The high proportion of late-stage tumours in this study and the impact of disease stage on outcome underline the importance of early detection in improving survival of lung cancer.
Lung Cancer 07/2003; 40(3):237-46. · 3.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chinese populations consume a diet relatively high in isothiocyanates (ITCs), a derivative of cruciferous vegetables known to have cancer-protective effects. This class of compounds is metabolized by the glutathione S-transferase family of enzymes, which are also involved in the detoxification of tobacco-related carcinogens such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and alkyl halides. We evaluated the association between dietary isothiocyanate intake, GSTM1 and GSTT1 polymorphisms, and lung cancer risk in 420 Chinese women: 233 histologically confirmed lung cancer patients and 187 hospital controls. Among these, 58.8% of cases and 90.3% of controls were lifetime nonsmokers. An allele-specific PCR method was used to detect the presence or absence of the GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes in DNA isolated from peripheral blood. Higher weekly intake of ITCs (above the control median value of 53.0 micromol) reduced the risk of lung cancer to a greater extent in smokers [adjusted odds ratio (OR), 0.31; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.10-0.98] than nonsmokers (OR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.45-1.11). The inverse association was stronger among subjects with homozygous deletion of GSTM1 and/or GSTT1. Among nonsmokers with GSTM1-null genotype, higher intake of ITCs significantly reduced the risk of lung cancer (OR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.30-0.95), an effect not seen among those with detectable GSTM1 (OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.50-2.29). Our results, in a Chinese female population, are consistent with the hypothesis that ITC is inversely related to the risk of lung cancer, and we show that among nonsmokers this effect may be primarily confined to GST-null individuals. Conjugation and elimination of ITCs is enhanced in GST-non-null relative to -null individuals, such that the GST metabolic genotype modifies the protective effect of ITCs on lung cancer development.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Singapore Cancer Registry has provided comprehensive population-based incidence data since 1968. This paper describes the population-based survival analysis of the registry data. All invasive primary cancers diagnosed from January 1, 1968 to December 31, 1992 were passively followed up until December 31, 1997. Only 5.8% were lost to follow-up. Cumulative and observed survival rates were calculated using Hakulinen's method. Overall 5-year relative survival rates have increased dramatically over the 25-year period in both genders. Significant increases are seen with nasopharynx, stomach and colo-rectum cancers, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, leukemias and cancers of the testis, cervix, ovaries and breast. When compared with the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) rates in the United States, the 5-year relative survival rates in Singapore are generally lower. However, the rate of change between the two countries is fairly similar. On the average, the rates are 10 to 15 years behind the SEER rates and 5 to 10 years behind Finland, Switzerland and Japan, but they are close to the UK rates. The age-standardized 5-year survival rate for Singapore is higher for most sites compared with other developing countries like Qidong (China), Madras (India), Bombay (India) and Chiang Mai (Thailand). The 25-year trend in cancer survival in Singapore showed two extreme groups: those showing no change and those showing significant improvements. Reducing the incidence of cancers belonging to the first group remains the only viable mode of cancer control. For cancers in the second group, improvement in survival is due to a combination of successful early detection measures and effective treatment services in Singapore.
International Journal of Cancer 08/2001; 93(1):142-7. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Health care systems do not exist in isolation, but rather, as part of the larger social and cultural mosaic. In particular, perceived attitudes are major obstacles in health promotion exercises. This problem is especially true for non-white populations where little is known about the prevailing social and cultural perceptions towards western biomedical prescriptions. To further our understanding of Asian women's acceptance of mammograms, three attitudinal indexes are conceptualised, constructed and validated. Data from a prospective survey showed the significance of fatalistic attitudes, perceived barriers and perceived efficacy of early detection in predicting women's acceptance of a free mammogram at the National Breast Screening Project. In addition, findings reinforced the importance of social support from the family in the promotion of breast screening among Asian women.
Social Science [?] Medicine 01/2001; 51(11):1695-703. · 2.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The acetylation polymorphism is a common inherited variation in human drug and carcinogen metabolism. Because N-acetyltransferase (NAT2) is important for the detoxification and/or bioactivation of drugs and carcinogens, this polymorphism has important implications in therapeutics and cancer susceptibility. A high correlation between acetylation phenotype and genotype has been demonstrated in several studies. However, no such data exist for Chinese females. The aim of the present study was to compare acetylation phenotype with NAT2 genotype in a population of primarily non-smoking Chinese females.
In the present study, the correlation between N-acetyltransferase activity and NAT2 genotype was evaluated in 103 unrelated Chinese female controls derived from a hospital-based case-control study of lung cancer in Singapore. Acetylation phenotype and genotype were respectively determined using caffeine and an allele-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
The proportions of rapid and slow phenotypes were 78% and 22%, respectively, while the distribution of rapid (heterozygotes and homozygotes combined) and slow acetylator genotypes was 76% and 24%, respectively. The distribution of the various NAT2 genotypes did not differ significantly (chi2 = 1.45, P > 0.05) from that predicted by the Hardy-Weinberg Law. All slow acetylators were accurately predicted (100%), whereas 2 of 80 rapid acetylators were erroneously predicted as slow (2.5%). The overall prediction rate of the PCR-based test for the acetylation phenotype was at 98.1% in our Chinese population.
Our results suggest that genotyping with PCR may well become the preferred method for the determination of acetylation polymorphism in epidemiological studies in this Asian population.
European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 01/2001; 56(9-10):689-92. · 2.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chinese women are recognized to have a high incidence of lung cancer despite a low smoking prevalence. Several studies have implicated domestic exposure to cooking fumes as a possible risk factor, although the exact carcinogens have yet to be identified. Heterocyclic amines are known carcinogens, which have been identified in cooked meat, and also in fumes generated during frying or grilling of meats. We conducted a case-control study of 303 Chinese women with pathologically confirmed, primary carcinomas of the lung and 765 controls to examine the association between exposure to meat cooking and lung cancer risk. Data on demographic background, smoking status, and domestic cooking exposure, including stir-frying of meat, were obtained by in-person interview while in hospital. The response rates among eligible cases and controls were 95.0 and 96.9%, respectively. The proportion of smokers (current or ex-smokers) among cases and controls was 41.7 and 13.1%, respectively. Adenocarcinomas comprised 31.5% of cancers among smokers and 71.6% among nonsmokers. When cases were compared with controls, the odds ratio (OR) for lung cancer (all subtypes) among ex-smokers was 4.3 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.7-6.8] and that among current smokers was 5.0 (95% CI, 3.4-7.3). Among smokers, women who reported that they stir-fried daily in the past had a significantly increased risk of lung cancer (adjusted OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.0-3.8) and among these women, risk was enhanced for those who stir-fried meat daily (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.3-5.5). Women who stir-fried daily but cooked meat less often than daily did not show an elevated risk (OR, 1.0. 95% CI, 0.5-2.4). Risk was further increased among women stir-frying meat daily who reported that their kitchen was filled with oily fumes during cooking (OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 1.8-7.5). These cooking practices on their own did not increase risk among nonsmokers in our study population. Our results suggest that inhalation of carcinogens, such as heterocyclic amines generated during frying of meat, may increase the risk of lung cancer among smokers. Further studies in different settings are warranted to examine this possibility, which may also help to explain the higher risk observed among women smokers compared with men.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Out primary objective was to examine sociodemographic and attitudinal factors that affect uptake of the Pap smear in a multi-ethnic Asian population.
We conducted a prevalence survey among women aged 50-64 years living in Singapore and ascertained by means of an in-person questionnaire interview their Pap screening history, demographic characteristics, informal social support and attitudes towards early detection.
We found that, after adjusting for demographic variables known to be predictors of Pap screening, women who reported ever having a Pap smear were more likely to have close friends with whom they could discuss health (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.1, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.2-3.6), and have a regular physician (adjusted OR 2.3 (1.3-4.1)). Based on responses to four indices measuring health attitudes, they were significantly less likely to express a fatalistic viewpoint towards health and illness (adjusted OR for highest vs. lowest tertile 0.3 (95% CI 0.1-0.7)), and more likely to believe that early detection could improve the outcome (adjusted OR 3.3 (95% CI 1.4-7.8)). The nature of the test itself was a significant barrier to having a Pap smear, but only among women with fewer years of education.
Our results suggest that, within this Asian population, a multi-pronged approach is required to reach unscreened women. The role of physicians and close friends should be emphasized, and health messages should be formulated to address specific, relevant attitudinal barriers to Pap screening.
Cancer Causes and Control 04/2000; 11(3):223-30. · 3.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies of the prognostic value of anatomic subsite in colorectal cancer survival have yielded conflicting results. Two explanations for possible differences in survival patterns between proximal and distal lesions in the colorectum are biological difference between subsites and the presence of more early-stage lesions in distal than in proximal large bowel.
A total of 435 cases with proximal lesions and an equal number with distal lesions diagnosed between 1990 and 1992 were randomly selected from the Singapore Cancer Registry. Information on vital status at 31 December 1996 were obtained by computerised matching with data from the National Registry of Births and Deaths.
Persons with proximal cancers in our study population did not present at a later stage than persons with distal cancer, local lesions (Dukes' Stage A + B) being 45.5% and 45.1%, respectively. Our analysis showed no significant differences in survival between subsites on a stage-for-stage basis. The 5-year survival rates were 42% and 44% for proximal and distal lesions, respectively (median survival times 3.98 and 4.27 years). Stage at diagnosis was the strongest predictor of survival. Among proximal lesions, 5-year survival rates were 57%, 36% and 12% for local, regional and metastatic lesions, respectively. The corresponding figures for the distal group were 65%, 37% and 10%. Age at diagnosis had a significant influence on survival.
Our results, based on population-based figures on survival of colorectal cancer patients where the impact of screening has not been large, do not support an independent influence of anatomic subsite in predicting survival of colorectal cancer.
Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore 02/2000; 29(1):79-85. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Technological advances in molecular biology over the past 2 decades have offered more complex techniques that can be used to study the role of specific exogenous agents and host variables that cause ill health. Increasingly, studies in human populations use this new technology, combined with epidemiological methods, to shed light on the understanding of the biological processes associated with development of disease. This approach has many potential applications in occupational and environmental medicine (OEM), and some aspects of the work in this growing field are reviewed. An understanding of biochemistry and genetics at the molecular level, specific knowledge on metabolism and mechanisms of action, and epidemiology have become increasingly important for the OEM practitioner. This is necessary to consider the major question of validation and relevance of these molecular biomarkers. As end users, OEM practitioners should also consider the impact of these advances on their practices. For example, the availability of genetic tests to identify susceptible workers raises issues of ethics, individual privacy, right to work, and the relevance of such tests. Several studies have presented data on the association of environmental measurements and various biomarkers for internal and biologically effective dose, genetic polymorphisms, and early response markers. Given the limitations of individual molecular biomarkers in assessing risk to health, and the multifactorial nature of environmental disease, it is likely that such an approach will increase our understanding of the complex issue of mechanisms of disease and further refine the process of risk assessment.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine 12/1999; 56(11):725-9. · 3.22 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Among non-smokers, the factors resulting in lung carcinogenesis are poorly understood. We conducted a hospital-based case-control analysis of 294 Chinese women, of whom 217 were non-smokers, to evaluate the role of polymorphic N-acetyltransferase (NAT2) as a susceptibility factor for the disease. The proportion of slow acetylator genotypes among non-smoking cases (n = 92) and controls (n = 125) was 38.0 and 24.0%, respectively [odds ratio (OR) 2.0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-3.7]. No effect of NAT2 genotype was seen among smokers. Among non-smokers, the effect was marked for adenocarcinomas (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1-4.0). As NAT2 activity is known to modify risk of arylamine-induced carcinogenesis, our results suggest that exposure to arylamines in the environment may play a role in risk of lung cancer among non-smokers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalence of reflux-type symptoms among community individuals in Singapore is low.
To describe the healthcare-seeking behaviour of those subjects with heartburn.
A cross-sectional survey, using a reliable and valid questionnaire, was carried out on a race-stratified random sample of residents, aged 21-95 years, in a Singaporean town; 93% responded (n = 696).
The ethnic-adjusted prevalence of heartburn for the past 1-year was 4.6%. Sixteen (30%) of the 53 heartburn sufferers had sought consultation for their symptoms. They were more likely to have severe heartburn (P<0.001), and to have complained of nocturnal awakening due to heartburn (P<0.05) than those who did not present to medical attention. Ethnic origin did not influence the consultation pattern. Only 18 (34%) of the 53 heartburn sufferers received pharmacological therapy for their symptoms. The most commonly used medication was antacid. Medication use was associated with symptom severity (P<0.05), but not ethnicity.
Heartburn is uncommon in the general population of Singapore. Few heartburn sufferers seek medical attention, and most do not receive medications for symptomatic control. The decision to seek medical advice and/or to medicate was generally linked to symptom severity, but not to ethnicity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the extent to which middle-aged women in Singapore engage in physical activity of a level which would result in long-term health benefits, and to determine the factors associated with this.
We conducted a cross-sectional survey of women aged between 35 and 60 years residing in Marine Terrace. A standardised questionnaire incorporating a modified Seven-Day Recall Questionnaire was used to record the level and type of physical activity engaged in over the past week. Demographic information and factors promoting or discouraging sports and exercise were also elicited. The total energy expenditure for household, occupational and sports activities of moderate intensity and above was calculated using metabolic equivalents (METs) in kcal/kg/week.
Of the 341 respondents, 50.7% reported engaging in at least moderate activity for 30 minutes or more every day during the past week, thus fulfilling the WHO recommendations on physical activity. Housework contributed significantly to the energy expenditure on these activities among our target population. After adjusting for age, body mass index and educational level, we found that housewives without domestic help were most likely to fulfill the WHO recommendations. Housewives or working women with domestic help were the two groups at highest risk of low physical activity. A lack of time was the reason most commonly cited for not engaging in sports or exercise.
Studies assessing physical activity in relation to disease risk among women should include domestic work in addition to the traditional leisure-time activities. There is a scope for further efforts to improve the level of activity in this population, which could be facilitated by the support of health professionals, employers and family members.
Singapore medical journal 08/1999; 40(7):468-76. · 0.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent epidemiologic studies have suggested that the anatomic distribution of colorectal carcinoma may have undergone a distal to proximal shift over several decades, which has been attributed variously to environmental and genetic factors as well as preventive intervention.
Trends in subsite distribution and the incidence rate of colorectal carcinoma among Chinese in Singapore between 1968 and 1992 were explored using data from the Singapore Cancer Registry (n = 10,489). Age-standardized incidence rates were computed and compared further using age-period-cohort models by subsite and gender.
The proportion of lesions in the distal colon was found to have increased from 23.2% to 24.4% whereas that for the proximal colon and rectum were fairly consistent over the past 25 years. Our results also showed that age-standardized rates have doubled in proximal lesions (2-3% annually) and more than doubled in distal lesions (3-4% annually) whereas rates in rectal carcinoma have shown a slight increase or stability over time. The patterns of change in all subsite tumors could be attributed to a significant birth cohort effect.
The results of the current study suggest that incidence rates have increased rapidly with no distal to proximal shift observed among ethnic Chinese in Singapore over the past 25 years. The pattern of change differs from findings reported in high incidence countries such as the U. S. and parts of Europe, suggesting that the preventive intervention and early diagnostic capabilities that may have played an important role in these countries have had less effect in Asia. The rapid overall increase in the incidence rate of colon carcinoma supports the role of dietary and other environmental factors as possible risk factors.
Cancer 07/1999; 85(12):2519-25. · 5.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Singapore Breast Screening Project was a nationwide study inviting a random sample of women between the ages of 50 and 64 years for mammography at one of two hospital-based screening centres over two years. The current study was undertaken to determine if (1) mailed health educational material alone, or (2) the same material delivered during a home visit made to the subject and her family would increase the uptake among Singapore women who had not responded to two previous invitations for mammographic screening as part of the Project. This randomized trial employed a standard second reminder letter (R), the same letter packaged with health education material designed for the project (RP) and the addition of a home visit to make contact with the woman and her family (RV). The outcome measure of interest was the proportion of women in each group subsequently attending for screening. The study population comprised 1500 non-attenders whose names appeared consecutively in the database of the larger screening centre in this Project. These were randomized into three groups of 500 each. In total, they broadly resembled the national population in ethnic composition (72.3% Chinese, 17.8% Malays, 9.0% Indians and 0.8% Others). By the end of the project, 7.0% of women in group R and 7.6% in group RP responded to the invitation. In group RV, 428 homes were visited at least once and contact was made with the subject and her family member in 306 (71.5%) cases. Subsequently, 13.3% of the women visited attended for screening. The rate ratio for attendance in group RP compared with group R was 1.09 (95% CI 0.70 to 1.70) and for group RV compared with R, 1.90 (1.27 to 2.84). When analyzed by groups originally assigned to, women in group RV remained significantly more likely to attend than those in groups R or RP. The marginal cost of a home visit, based on this study, was $25.04 per additional woman screened. Our results suggest that the response to a second reminder is generally low and that additional print material does not improve screening attendance in this group of initial non-attenders. Personal contact with the family through a home visit appears to increase uptake, and may be helpful particularly among women who have less frequent contact with the health care system.
Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore 12/1998; 27(6):838-42. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data on the epidemiology of chronic gastrointestinal symptoms in the East are limited. The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence of chronic gastrointestinal symptoms in Singapore and to determine whether ethnic differences in the prevalence of these symptoms exist.
A cross-sectional survey, using a reliable and valid questionnaire, was carried out in a race-stratified random sample of residents aged 21-95 yr (mean+/-SD, 40+/-1 yr) in a Singaporean town; 93% responded (n=696).
The ethnic-adjusted prevalence of chronic abdominal pain, frequent dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, and frequent reflux were 5.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.3-8.1), 7.9% (95% CI, 5.0-10.8), 2.3% (95% CI, 0.8-3.9), 3.9% (95% CI, 1.9-5.9), 4.5% (95% CI, 2.3-6.7), and 1.6% (95% CI, 0.6-2.6), respectively. There were no ethnic differences in the prevalence of any of these symptom categories except for reflux-type symptoms, which were more common among Indians (7.5%; 95% CI, 4.4-11.7) than Chinese (0.8%; 95% CI, 0.1-3.0) or Malays (3.0%; 95% CI, 1.26.1).
The prevalence of all types of chronic gastrointestinal symptoms in the general population of Singapore was low compared with those in the West. Chronic gastrointestinal symptoms were equally prevalent in the three major ethnic groups except for reflux-type symptoms, which were more common among Indians than Chinese or Malays.
The American Journal of Gastroenterology 11/1998; 93(10):1816-22. · 7.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Isothiocyanates (ITCs), degradation products of glucosinolates (which occur naturally in a variety of cruciferous vegetables), have been shown to exhibit chemopreventive activity. These compounds are metabolized in vivo to form the corresponding dithiocarbamates, which are the major urinary metabolites of ITCs, by a pathway involving the glutathione S-transferase (GST) class of enzymes. Using a newly developed assay that measures total ITC (primarily ITC conjugates) in urine, we examined the relationships between cruciferous vegetable intake (obtained from a food frequency/portion size questionnaire administered in person); dietary total ITC level; GSTM1, GSTT1, and GSTP1 genotypes; and levels of total ITC in spot urine samples collected from 246 Singapore Chinese (111 men and 135 women), ages 45-74 years, who are participants of the Singapore Cohort Study on diet and cancer. Consumption level of cruciferous vegetables was high in study subjects (mean consumption = 345 times per year, mean daily intake = 40.6 g), which was >3 times the comparable level of intake in the United States. Mean daily intake of total ITC among study subjects was 9.1 micromol, and there was a 2.5-fold difference between the 25th and 75th percentile values. Seventy-three % of study subjects tested positive for ITC in urine, and there was a 4-fold difference between the 25th and 75th percentile values among the positive subjects. There was a highly significant positive association between dietary intake and urinary excretion levels of total ITC (two-sided P = 0.0003) that was stronger than the association between overall cruciferous vegetable intake and urinary ITC level, which also was statistically significant (P = 0.0004). There was no difference in urinary ITC levels between GSTM1-null and GSTM1-positive study subjects (P = 0.61) or between subjects with differing GSTP1 genotypes (P = 0.77), but urinary excretion of ITC was significantly higher among GSTT1-positive subjects, relative to GSTT1-null subjects (P = 0.006). The strength of the association between GSTT1 genotype and urinary total ITC level was highly dependent on the level of cruciferous vegetable consumption (or dietary ITC level) in study subjects. Among subjects in the lowest tertile of cruciferous vegetable intake, there was little evidence of an association between GSTT1 genotype and urinary total ITC level (P = 0.67). In contrast, there was a strong and statistically significant association between GSTT1 genotype and urinary total ITC among subjects in the highest tertile of cruciferous vegetable intake (P = 0.02), whereas those in the middle tertile of cruciferous vegetable consumption exhibited an association of intermediate strength (P = 0.04). These results suggest the presence of GSTT1 inducers in cruciferous vegetables.