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Sorensen G.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Sorensen G.,Harvard University | Gupta P.C.,Harvard University | Gupta P.C.,Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: In response to India's growing tobacco epidemic, strategies are needed to decrease tobacco use among Indian youth, particularly among those who are economically disadvantaged. The objective of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a school-based life-skills tobacco control program for youth of low socio-economic status in Mumbai and the surrounding state of Maharashtra. We hypothesized that compared to youth in control schools, youth exposed to the program would have greater knowledge of effects of tobacco use; be more likely to take action to prevent others from using tobacco; demonstrate more positive life skills and attitudes; and be less likely to report tobacco use. Methods/Findings: Using a quasi-experimental design, we assessed program effectiveness by comparing 8 th and 9 th grade students in intervention schools to 8 th grade students in comparable schools that did not receive the program. Across all schools, 1851 students completed a survey that assessed core program components in early 2010. The program consisted of activities focused on building awareness about the hazards of tobacco, developing life skills, and advocacy development. The primary outcome measure was self-reported tobacco use in the last 30 days. Findings indicate that 4.1% of 8 th grade intervention students (OR = 0.51) and 3.6% of 9 th grade intervention students (OR = 0.33) reported using tobacco at least once in the last 30 days, compared to 8.7% of students in the control schools. Intervention group students were also significantly more knowledgeable about tobacco and related legislation, reported more efforts to prevent tobacco use among others, and reported stronger life skills and self-efficacy than students in control schools. Limitations to the study include schools not being randomly assigned to condition and tobacco use being measured by self-report. Conclusions: This program represents an effective model of school-based tobacco use prevention that low-income schools in India and other low- and middle-income countries can replicate. © 2012 Sorensen et al. Source

Pimple S.,Tata Memorial Hospital | Pednekar M.,Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health | Majmudar P.,Tata Memorial Hospital | Ingole N.,Tata Memorial Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention | Year: 2012

Background: Tobacco control and cessation interventions are among the most cost effective medical interventions buthealth systems in low resource countries lack the infrastructure to promote prevention and cessation among tobacco users. Workplace settings have the potential to provide opportunities and access for tobacco prevention interventions. Methods: This is a single group study evaluating tobacco use prevention and cessation through a structured three stage intervention program for tobacco users comprising education on harmful effects of tobacco, oral cancer screening and behavior therapy for tobacco cessation at the worksite. Results: All the 739 workers who were invited participated in tobacco awareness program and were screened for oral pre cancer lesions. 291 (39.4%) workers were found to be users of tobacco in some form. Education, gender and alcohol use (p<0.0001) were some of the factors associated with tobacco user status. The prevalence of clinical oral precancer lesions among tobacco users was 21.6%. Alcohol consumption (p<0.001), the type of tobacco consumed (p<0.018), personal medical history of chronic diseases (p<0.007) and combined use of alcohol and tobacco (p<0.001) were some factors found to be associated with presence of oral pre cancer lesions. Conclusion: An integrated approach for worksite based tobacco use prevention with oral cancer screening program showed good acceptance and participation and was effective in addressing the problem of tobacco consumption among the factory workers. Source

Pimple S.,Tata Memorial Hospital | Pednekar M.,Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health | Mazumdar P.,Tata Memorial Hospital | Goswami S.,Psychiatric Unit | Shastri S.,Tata Memorial Hospital
Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention | Year: 2012

Background: Tobacco cessation would provide the most immediate benefits of tobacco control to prevent tobacco related disease morbidity and mortality. Methods: A tobacco cessation program involving individual and group behavior therapywas implemented in three stages at a worksite. Tobacco quit rates were assessed at the end of each contact session. Results: Out of the 291 tobacco users identified, 224 participated in the tobacco cessation interventions. At the end of three interventions, 38 (17%) users had successfully quit tobacco use. Presence of clinical oral pre-cancer lesion was found to be associated with quitting (p =0.02). Also tobacco users with oral pre-cancer lesions were around three times more likely to quit than those with no lesions (OR= 2.70 95% C.I= 1.20 - 6.05). Conclusion: Cost effective multi-pronged tobacco cessation approaches, inbuilt into other occupational health and welfare activities, are acceptable and feasible to achieve long term sustainable tobacco cessation programs at worksites. Source

Garg A.,Tata Memorial Hospital | Chaturvedi P.,Tata Memorial Hospital | Gupta P.C.,Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health
Indian Journal of Medical and Paediatric Oncology | Year: 2014

Areca nut is widely consumed by all ages groups in many parts of the world, especially south-east Asia. The objective of this review is to systematically review and collate all the published data that are related to the systemic effects of areca nut. The literature search was performed by an electronic search of the Pubmed and Cochrane databases using keywords and included articles published till October 2012. We selected studies that covered the effect of areca nut on metabolism, and a total of 62 studies met the criteria. There is substantial evidence for carcinogenicity of areca nut in cancers of the mouth and esophagus. Areca nut affects almost all organs of the human body, including the brain, heart, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and reproductive organs. It causes or aggravates pre-existing conditions such as neuronal injury, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmias, hepatotoxicity, asthma, central obesity, type II diabetes, hyperlipidemia, metabolic syndrome, etc. Areca nut affects the endocrine system, leading to hypothyroidism, prostate hyperplasia and infertility. It affects the immune system leading to suppression of T-cell activity and decreased release of cytokines. It has harmful effects on the fetus when used during pregnancy. Thus, areca nut is not a harmless substance as often perceived and proclaimed by the manufacturers of areca nut products such as Pan Masala, Supari Mix, Betel quid, etc. There is an urgent need to recognize areca nut as a harmful food substance by the policy makers and prohibit its glamorization as a mouth freshener. Strict laws are necessary to regulate the production of commercial preparations of areca nut. Source

Sinha R.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Daniel C.R.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Devasenapathy N.,Center for Chronic Disease Control | Shetty H.,Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health | And 15 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2011

Background: India's population exhibits diverse dietary habits and chronic disease patterns. Nutritional epidemiologic studies in India are primarily of cross-sectional or case-control design and subject to biases, including differential recall of past diet. The aim of this feasibility study was to evaluate whether a diet-focused cohort study of cancer could be established in India, providing insight into potentially unique diet and lifestyle exposures. Methods. Field staff contacted 7,064 households within three regions of India (New Delhi, Mumbai, and Trivandrum) and found 4,671 eligible adults aged 35-69 years. Participants completed interviewer-administered questionnaires (demographic, diet history, physical activity, medical/reproductive history, tobacco/alcohol use, and occupational history), and staff collected biological samples (blood, urine, and toenail clippings), anthropometric measurements (weight, standing and sitting height; waist, hip, and thigh circumference; triceps, sub-scapula and supra-patella skin fold), and blood pressure measurements. Results: Eighty-eight percent of eligible subjects completed all questionnaires and 67% provided biological samples. Unique protein sources by region were fish in Trivandrum, dairy in New Delhi, and pulses (legumes) in Mumbai. Consumption of meat, alcohol, fast food, and soft drinks was scarce in all three regions. A large percentage of the participants were centrally obese and had elevated blood glucose levels. New Delhi participants were also the least physically active and had elevated lipids levels, suggesting a high prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Conclusions: A high percentage of participants complied with study procedures including biological sample collection. Epidemiologic expertise and sufficient infrastructure exists at these three sites in India to successfully carry out a modest sized population-based study; however, we identified some potential problems in conducting a cohort study, such as limited number of facilities to handle biological samples. © 2011 Sinha et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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