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Tokuda Y.,University of Tsukuba | Okubo T.,Entrance | Doba N.,The Life Planning Center | Paasche-Orlow M.K.,Boston University
Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2010

Background: Health literacy affects the acquisition of health knowledge and is thus linked to health outcomes. However, few scales have been developed to assess the level of health knowledge among the general public. Methods: The 15-item Japanese Health Knowledge Test (J-HKT) was developed by using item response theory to score an item pool. We examined the construct validity of the J-HKT in relation to health literacy items, and analyzed the sociodemographic and behavioral factors associated with poor health knowledge. Results: We enrolled 1040 adult participants (mean age, 57 years; women, 52%). The 15 items that best identified people with poor health knowledge were selected. For all items on the J-HKT, the information function curves had a peak in the negative spectrum of the latent trait. As compared with participants reporting high levels of income, educational attainment, and literacy, those with low levels of income, education, and literacy had a lower total score on the J-HKT. As compared with non/light drinkers, moderate and heavy drinkers had lower total scores on the J-HKT. Conclusions: The J-HKT may prove useful in measuring health knowledge among the general public, and in identifying and characterizing those with poor health knowledge. © 2010 by the Japan Epidemiological Association.

Yamaguchi M.,Nihon University | Nakayama T.,Nihon University | Fu Z.,Nihon University | Sato N.,Nihon University | And 5 more authors.
Hereditas | Year: 2010

Cerebral infarction (CI) is thought to be a multifactorial disease that is affected by several environmental factors and genetic variants. N-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs), which are expressed primarily in the neurons, have various roles in neuronal functions and are especially involved with neurotransmitter release at the sympathetic nerve terminals. We considered the α1B subunit of the N-type voltage-gated calcium channel (CACNA1B) to be representative of the general characteristics of this channel type. The aim of the present study was to assess the association of the human CACNA1B gene with the occurrence of CI via a haplotype-based case-control study that used single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the Japanese population. A total of 165 CI patients and 314 controls were enrolled in the case-controlled studies that examined three SNPs of the human CACNA1B gene (rs7042521, rs11137351, rs10780199). There were significant differences between the CI and control groups for the overall distribution of the genotypes and the presence of the recessive rs10780199. Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that even after adjusting for confounding factors (odds ratio: 1.716), the frequencies of the A/G and G/G genotypes of rs10780199 in the CI group were significantly higher than those observed in the control group (p=0.021). Furthermore, the C-C-G and G-G-G haplotypes of rs7042521-rs11137351-rs10780199 were significantly more frequent in the CI group than in the control group (p=0.024 and p<0.000). In conclusion, significant differences were noted between the CI and control patients for the specific SNPs and haplotypes in the CACNA1B gene. The results indicate that these polymorphisms and haplotypes might be genetic markers for CI. © 2010 The Authors.

Tomiyama H.,Tokyo Medical University | Hashimoto H.,University of Tokyo | Matsumoto C.,Tokyo Medical University | Odaira M.,Tokyo Medical University | And 6 more authors.
Atherosclerosis | Year: 2011

An age-related association of blood pressure in the non-hypertensive range (non-hypertensive blood pressure) to the cardiovascular mortality has been demonstrated. This prospective study was conducted to examine the effects of age, persistence of pre-hypertension (preHYP) during the study period, and the interaction between these factors on the rate of progression of arterial stiffening. Among 1563 healthy Japanese subjects without hypertension (age range: 29-95 years), the brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) was measured twice (i.e., at baseline and 5-6 years later). The adjusted (including for blood pressure) value of the annual rate of increase of the baPWV during the study period (delPWV) increased in a linear manner along with the age category (categorized into 29-39 years, 40-59 years, and 60 years or older for this study) and the evolutional category of non-hypertensive blood pressure during the study period (categorized into persistence of normal blood pressure, borderline evolution, and persistence of preHYP), and a significant interaction between the two in relation to the delPWV was also noted (non-standardization coefficient = 5.08 [95% confidence interval = 3.24-6.92], F-value = 29.40, P<. 0.01). In conclusion, the present study suggests that persistence of preHYP is associated with accelerated structural stiffening of the large- to middle-sized arteries, and that age may exert a synergistic effect on this acceleration of arterial stiffening. Thus, persistence of preHYP also appears, like hypertension, to be associated with progressive vascular damage, and this progression may be more pronounced in middle-aged and elderly subjects. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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