VOLUME 78 NUMBER 2 May 2016

Current Issue

ISSN 2186-3326
(Online ISSN)
ISSN 0027-7622
(Print ISSN--v.72no.3/4)


Healthcare in Myanmar

Nyi Nyi Latt, Su Myat Cho, Nang Mie Mie Htun, Yu Mon Saw, Myat Noe Htin Aung Myint, Fumiko Aoki, Joshua A. Reyer, Eiko Yamamoto, Yoshitoku Yoshida and Nobuyuki Hamajima
pg(s) 123 - 134

<Abstract> - < PDF >

Myanmar transitioned to a civilian government in March, 2011. Although the democratic process has accelerated since then, many problems in the field of healthcare still exist. Since there is a limited overview on the healthcare in Myanmar, this article briefly describes the current states surrounding health services in Myanmar. According to the Census 2014, the population in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar was 51,410,000. The crude birth rate in the previous one year was estimated to be 18.9 per 1,000, giving the annual population growth rate of 0.89% between 2003 and 2014. The Ministry of Health reorganized into six departments. National non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations support healthcare, as well as international non-governmental organizations. Since hospital statistics by the government cover only public facilities, the information on private facilities is limited. Although there were not enough medical doctors (61 per 100,000 population), the number of medical students was reduced from 2,400 to 1,200 in 2012 to ensure the quality of medical education. The information on causes of death in the general population could not be retrieved, but some data was available from hospital statistics. Although the improvement was marked, the figures did not reach the levels set by Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5. A trial prepaid health insurance system started in July 2015, to be followed by evaluation one year later. There are many international donors, including the Japan International Cooperation Agency, supporting health in Myanmar. With these efforts and support, a marked progress is expected in the field of healthcare.


Randomized control trial for the assessment of the anti-albuminuric effects of topiroxostat in hyperuricemic patients with diabetic nephropathy (the ETUDE study)

Sawako Kato, Masahiko Ando, Toshihiro Mizukoshi, Takanobu Nagata, Takayuki Katsuno, Tomoki Kosugi, Naotake Tsuboi and Shoichi Maruyama
pg(s) 135 - 142

<Abstract> - < PDF >

Proteinuria is an established risk factor for diabetic nephropathy. Recent studies indicate that some xanthine oxidase inhibitors have a renoprotective effect. The aim of this study was to assess whether topiroxostat reduces albuminuria in hyperuricemic patients with diabetic nephropathy and overt proteinuria. The ETUDE study is an ongoing 24-week, multicenter, open-label, randomized (1:1), parallel group study involving hyperuricemic patients with diabetic nephropathy (estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] ≥ 20 mL/min/1.73 m2) and overt proteinuria (0.3 ≤ urine protein to creatinine ratio (UPCR) < 3.5 g/g Cr). Patients are randomly assigned to high dose (topiroxostat 160 mg daily) or low dose (topiroxostat 40 mg daily) on top of standard of care. The primary endpoint is the change in albuminuria indicated by urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio after 24 treated weeks relative to the baseline values. This trial was registered at the Japanese University Hospital Medical Information Network Clinical Trials Registry (UMIN-CTR: UMIN 000015403). The background, rationale, and study design of this trial are presented here. Seventysix patients from four registered facilities have already been enrolled and received at least one dose of topiroxostat. This trial will end in 2017. The ETUDE trial is the first randomized controlled study of topiroxostat in hyperuricemic patients with diabetic nephropathy and overt proteinuria. We will clarify the pleiotropic function of topiroxostat including an anti-albumiuric effect as well as its effects on safely decreasing serum uric acid levels.
Overlap stenting for in-stent restenosis after carotid artery stenting

Masahiro Nishihori, Tomotaka Ohshima, Taiki Yamamoto, Shunsaku Goto, Toshihisa Nishizawa, Shinji Shimato, Takashi Izumi and Kyozo Kato
pg(s) 143 - 149

<Abstract> - < PDF >

Our aim was to assess the clinical safety and efficacy of overlap stenting for in-stent restenosis after carotid artery stenting. The study was conducted between July 2008 and February 2015. A database of consecutive carotid artery stenting procedures was retrospectively assessed to identify the cases of in-stent restenosis that were treated with overlap stenting under proximal or distal protection. The clinical and radiological records of the patients were then reviewed. Of the 155 CAS procedures in 149 patients from the database, 6 patients met the inclusion criteria. All the 6 patients were initially treated with moderate dilatation because of the presence of an unstable plaque. The technical success rate of the overlap stenting was 100%, with no 30-day mortality or morbidity. In addition, there was no further in-stent restenosis during a follow-up period of over 12 months. These results indicated that overlap stenting for in-stent restenosis after carotid artery stenting was both safe and effective in our cohort.
Assessment of hand hygiene compliance after hand hygiene education among health care workers in Cambodia

Sim Sansam, Eiko Yamamoto, Sok Srun, Yin Sinath, Mey Moniborin, Kheang Bun Sim, Joshua A. Reyer, Yoshitoku Yoshida and Nobuyuki Hamajima
pg(s) 151 - 162

<Abstract> - < PDF >

Health care-associated infection (HCAI) is the most frequent adverse event for hospitalized patients. Hand hygiene is a simple and effective solution to protect patients from HCAI. This study aimed to introduce hand hygiene to health care workers based on the World Health Organization guideline for reducing HCAI in Cambodia and to assess their behavioral patterns on hand hygiene. All health care workers at Kampong Cham provincial hospital had lectures and practice on hand hygiene in January 2012. The surveys for hand hygiene compliance (HHC) were performed after 6 months, 1 year and 2 years, respectively. The number of surgical site infections (SSI) was counted in 2011 and 2014. Our analysis used the data of 58 workers, who were observed at all three points, although 139 workers were observed during the study period. The average of HHC at 6 months, 1 year and 2 years were 62.37%, 85.76% and 80.36%, respectively. The improved group (HHC 2 years/1 year≧1) had 32 workers, whereas the worsened group (HHC 2 years/1 year<1) had 26. There was a significant difference in departments of the two groups (P=0.011) but not in sex, age or occupations. The improved group had more workers of General (31.2% vs. 19.2%), Surgical (25.0% vs. 11.5%) and Infection (21.9% vs. 11.5%) categories compared to the worsened group. The incidence of SSI was improved from 32.26% in 2011 to 0.97% in 2014. Our results suggest that the education and the survey on hand hygiene are effective for reducing HCAI in Cambodia.
Facilitators and barriers of adopting healthy lifestyle in rural China: a qualitative analysis through social capital perspectives

Yan Zhang, Defu Ma, Renzhe Cui, Esayas Haregot Hilawe, Chifa Chiang, Yoshihisa Hirakawa, Yonghua Hu, Peiyu Wang, Hiroyasu Iso and Atsuko Aoyama
pg(s) 163 - 173

<Abstract> - < PDF >

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the major public health concerns in China. However, little has been known yet about the background social factors that influence lifestyles as possible NCD risk factors. This qualitative study aimed to explore facilitators and barriers of adopting healthy lifestyles among residents in a rural community of China. Three age-stratified focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in Fangshan district of Beijing in 2013. A FGD guide was designed to elicit the participants’ perception and experience regarding their lifestyles. The audio-records were transcribed, and data were qualitatively analyzed through thematic approach. Through social capital framework with bonding, bridging, and linking classifications, we identified the following facilitators and barriers to adopt healthy lifestyles. (1) Facilitators: mutual support from family/friends and motivation to participate in regular exercises (bonding); cooperative relationships with community health workers (bridging); and nationwide high level of healthy lifestyle awareness (linking). (2) Barriers: negative influence from family/friends, insufficient support from family/friends, peer pressure and tolerance towards unhealthy lifestyles (bonding); insufficient support from health professionals (bridging); and inequity in allocation of public resources (linking). This study revealed that bonding, bridging and linking social capital would work as facilitators and barriers to adopt healthy lifestyles among rural residents in China.
Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance pancreatography with gadoteridol by heavily T2-weighted three-dimensional fluid-attenuated inversion recovery: preliminary results in healthy subjects

Kojiro Suzuki, Shinji Naganawa, Naohiro Furuhashi, Masahiro Yamazaki, Hiroshi Ogawa and Hisashi Kawai
pg(s) 175 - 181

<Abstract> - < PDF >

The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) pancreatography with intravenously administered gadolinium-based contrast material (GBCM) in healthy subjects. Eight healthy male subjects (age: 29–53 years old, median: 37 years old) were enrolled. Contrast-enhanced MR pancreatography was scanned with heavily T2-weighted three-dimensional fluidattenuated inversion recovery (hT2W-3D-FLAIR) before and after intravenous GBCM administration. Two radiologists evaluated the images, referring to three-dimensional MR pancreatography by consensus. Scanning was performed five times at 1.5-h intervals (at 0.5, 2, 3.5, 5, and 6.5 h) after GBCM administration. In all subjects, pre-contrast-enhanced hT2W-3D-FLAIR images demonstrated no visualization of the main pancreatic duct. After GBCM administration, the main pancreatic duct was visualized in all subjects at 0.5 h (n=4, 50%) and/or 2 h (n=7, 88%). The mean signal intensity of the main pancreatic duct was 3.17 ± 0.78 at pre-contrast enhancement, 7.96 ± 4.60 at 0.5 h, and 8.08 ± 4.64 at 2 h. The signal intensity ratio of the main pancreatic duct against the pancreatic parenchyma was statistically higher (P < 0.01) at the 0.5-h and 2-h scans than that of pre-contrast-enhanced scan. Intravenously administered GBCM seeped into the pancreatic duct in sufficient concentration to alter the appearance of the main pancreatic duct by hT2W-3D-FLAIR in healthy subjects.
ALDH2 polymorphism is associated with fasting blood glucose through alcohol consumption in Japanese men

Guang Yin, Mariko Naito, Kenji Wakai, Emi Morita, Sayo Kawai, Nobuyuki Hamajima, Sadao Suzuki, Yoshikuni Kita, Toshiro Takezaki, Keitaro Tanaka, Makiko Morita, Hirokazu Uemura, Etsuko Ozaki, Satoyo Hosono, Haruo Mikami, Michiaki Kubo and Hideo Tanaka, for The Japan Multi-institutional Collaborative Cohort (J-MICC) Study Group
pg(s) 183 - 193

<Abstract> - < PDF >

Associations between alcohol consumption and type 2 diabetes risk are inconsistent in epidemiologic studies. This study investigated the associations of ADH1B and ALDH2 polymorphisms with fasting blood glucose levels, and the impact of the associations of alcohol consumption with fasting blood glucose levels in Japanese individuals. This cross-sectional study included 907 men and 912 women, aged 35–69 years. The subjects were selected from among the Japan Multi-institutional Collaborative Cohort study across six areas of Japan. The ADH1B and ALDH2 polymorphisms were genotyped by Invader Assays. The ALDH2 Glu504Lys genotypes were associated with different levels of fasting blood glucose in men (P = 0.04). Mean fasting glucose level was positively associated with alcohol consumption in men with the ALDH2 504 Lys allele (Ptrend = 0.02), but not in men with the ALDH2 504Glu/Glu genotype (Ptrend = 0.45), resulting in no statistically significant interaction (P = 0.38). Alcohol consumption was associated with elevated fasting blood glucose levels compared with non-consumers in men (Ptrend = 0.002). The ADH1B Arg48His polymorphism was not associated with FBG levels overall or after stratification for alcohol consumption. These findings suggest that the ALDH2 polymorphism is associated with different levels of fasting blood glucose through alcohol consumption in Japanese men. The interaction of ALDH2 polymorphisms in the association between alcohol consumption and fasting blood glucose warrants further investigation.
Polysomnographic parameters during non-rapid eye movement sleep predict continuous positive airway pressure adherence

Tetsurou Hoshino, Ryujiro Sasanabe, Kenta Murotani, Mariko Arimoto, Shuntaro Inagawa, Tohru Tanigawa, Yasue Uchida, Tetsuya Ogawa, Hiromi Ueda and Toshiaki Shiomi
pg(s) 195 - 203

<Abstract> - < PDF >

The aim of this study was to investigate the potential polysomnographic predictors of CPAP adherence using polysomnographic parameters at the time of obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis that distinguished between REM and NREM sleep. This was a retrospective cross-sectional study of 173 patients. Patients who used CPAP for more than 4 hours per night for at least 70% of nights over a 6-month period were considered to have good adherence. The poor adherence group included those who had used CPAP for 6 months from initiation, but did not fulfill the definition of good adherence or gave up the treatment within 6 months of treatment initiation. Of the 173 participants, 44 patients had good CPAP adherence and 129 patients had poor adherence. Univariate analysis showed that patients with good adherence had significantly higher apnea-hypopnea index during NREM sleep (p = 0.043), oxygen desaturation index during NREM sleep (p = 0.011), and cumulative percentage of time spent at saturations below 90% (CT90) during NREM sleep (p < .001). In multiple logistic regression analysis including all variables, CT90 during NREM sleep was the only factor independently associated with CPAP adherence (odds ratio, 0.693; 95% confidence interval, 0.582–0.824; p <.0001). The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve of CT90 during NREM sleep was 0.823 (95% confidence interval, 0.745–0.901).Evaluating NREM sleep is important in reliably predicting CPAP adherence using polysomnographic parameters. CT90 during NREM sleep was the best predictor of CPAP adherence.
Factors influencing sustainable efficacy of smoking cessation treatment with varenicline beyond nine months

Satoko Shimadu, Nobuyuki Hamajima, Yu Okada, Tomoyo Oguri, Toyoaki Murohara, Nobutaro Ban, Mitsuo Sato and Yoshinori Hasegawa
pg(s) 205 - 213

<Abstract> - < PDF >

Pharmacological therapies play an important role in the success of interventions for smoking cessation; however, long-term follow-up studies with analysis of influencing factors are scarce. We examined the sustainable effects of smoking cessation therapy with varenicline, beyond nine months as well as the factors influencing effectiveness. Our sample consisted of 193 patients (126 men [68.2%], 67 women [31.8%], aged 26 to 85 years) who underwent varenicline therapy at the Nagoya University Hospital between January 2009 and October 2013. We examined their clinical records and also conducted a mail survey and evaluated success rates of smoking cessation therapy beyond nine months. Overall, 95.8% (185/193) of the patients had at least one complication. The response rate of questionnaires at the end of smoking cessation was 61.6% (119/193). The smoking cessation rate continued to decline for one year and leveled off afterwards. Smoking cessation rates tended to correlate with an increasing number of outpatient visits. Logistic regression analysis showed that two factors, young age and high Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) scores, were inversely correlated with success rates of smoking cessation. From the results of this study, aggressive intervention would needed for younger patients or patients with higher BDI-II scores.
Atrophy of submandibular gland by the duct ligation and a blockade of SP receptor in rats

Sumiyo Hishida, Noriyuki Ozaki, Takashi Honda, Toshio Shigetomi, Minoru Ueda, Hideharu Hibi and Yasuo Sugiura
pg(s) 215 - 227

<Abstract> - < PDF >

To clarify the mechanisms underlying the submandibular gland atrophies associated with ptyalolithiasis, morphological changes were examined in the rat submandibular gland following either surgical intervention of the duct or functional blockade at substance P receptors (SPRs). Progressive acinar atrophy was observed after duct ligation or avulsion of periductal tissues. This suggested that damage to periductal tissue involving nerve fibers might contribute to ligation-associated acinar atrophy. Immunohistochemically labeled-substance P positive nerve fibers (SPFs) coursed in parallel with the main duct and were distributed around the interlobular, striated, granular and intercalated duct, and glandular acini. Strong SPR immunoreactivity was observed in the duct. Injection into the submandibular gland of a SPR antagonist induced marked acinar atrophy. The results revealed that disturbance of SPFs and SPRs might be involved in the atrophy of the submandibular gland associated with ptyalolithiasis.


Successful steroid treatment of coma induced by severe spontaneous intracranial hypotension

Shunsaku Goto, Tomotaka Ohshima, Taiki Yamamoto, Shinji Shimato, Toshihisa Nishizawa and Kyozo Kato
pg(s) 229 - 236

<Abstract> - < PDF >

Spontaneous intracranial hypotension (SIH) is a syndrome characterized by low cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure and postural headaches. It is a rare condition which may sometimes present with severe symptoms such as stupor or coma. The standard treatment protocol includes conservative measures such as bed rest, hydration, and steroids. However, severe cases may require invasive measures such as epidural blood patch (EBP), continuous epidural saline infusion, epidural fibrin glue, or surgical repair of the dural defect. In this report, we describe a case of severe SIH resulting in coma that exhibited dramatic improvement on intravenous administration of steroids. This is the first report of severe SIH causing coma that was treated non-invasively by steroids only.