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Volume 33(1); March 2000
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Original Articles
Epidemiologic Investigation of an Outbreak of Shigellosis in Kyongju, Korea.
Hyun Sul Lim, Cheol Jung, Geun Ryang Bae, Yeong Joo Hur, Sang Won Lee, Eun Kyeong Jeong
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):1-9.
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OBJECTIVES
This study was carried out to investigate the sources of infection and modes of transmission of an outbreak of shigellosis that occurred among pupils of "M" primary school and residents near the school in Kyongju from Sept. 24 to Oct. 24, 1998. METHODS: The subjects who completed a questionnaire and a rectal swab for microbiologic examinations were 1,534 persons (781 males, 753 females), including 469 pupils of "M" primary school (268 males, 201 females). Bacteriological examinations of underground water and simple piped water were done. RESULTS: The attack rate of diarrhea was 28.7% in the subjects from Sept. 24 to Oct. 24, 1998. There was no difference in attack rate of diarrhea by gender, but it was significantly higher in the pupils of "M" primary school than others (p<0.01). The attack rate of diarrhea by resident areas was no different to the pupils of "M" primary school, but was significantly higher in the residents of Mohwa 2 Ri except pupils that "M" primary school is located in (p<0.01). The distribution of date of onset revealed the exposure date to be Sept, 22 and 23 in consideration of incubation periods and common source outbreak followed propagative spread in the epidemic curve. The major characteristics of diarrhea were watery (89.1%) in nature, 1~3 days (72.5%) in duration, 2~3 times (63.9%) in frequency. The clinical symptoms among the diarrheal cases included abdominal pain (74.1%), fever (56.4%), headache (55.9%), chill (40.4%) and tenesmus (31.4%). CONCLUSIONS: The source of infection was estimated to be contaminated underground water and simple piped water caused by leakage from the cess pool. It is highly necessary that the management of drinking water and cess pools should be done thoroughly.
Summary
Epidemiologic Investigation of an Outbreak of Shigella sonnei among Students in Bonghwa, 1999.
Hyun Sul Lim, Geun Ryang Bae
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):10-16.
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OBJECTIVES
This study was carried out to investigate the sources of infection and modes of transmission of an outbreak of shigellosis that occurred among students of B middle and high school in Bonghwa, Korea from May 1 to 21, 1999. METHODS: We conducted questionnaires to 468 students, 38 staffs and 9 food handlers twice times (May 6, May 21) for follow up and secondary attack rate. Personal details and history of illness and exposure to particular foods were sought. And we conducted rectal swab for culture to 243 students, 33 staffs and 9 food handlers. Bacteriological examinations of water in the school were done. Cases were identified as subjects who had diarrhea (two or more loose stools in a 24-hour periods) on or after May 1. RESULTS: A total of 307 cases (attack rate: 59.6%) of 515 subjects were identified, including 50 confirmed (46 students and 4 staffs) by S. sonnei. All 9 food handlers denied illness and were had rectal swab for culture at May 6 that were negative for S. sonnei. 146 of 307 reported fever, 156 had tenesmus, 44 reported vomiting, and only 5 of 307 reported blood in the stool. The median duration of diarrhea was 4 days (range: 1-18 days). The mean incubation period until onset of diarrhea was 63 hours (range: 16-144 hours) and the secondary attack rate was 2.8% (43 cases of 1,561 family members). Risk for illness was higher among students who had eaten watered kimchi at March 30 than among those who did not [301(72.7%) of 417 versus 5(9.6%) of 52; RR=7.51; 95% CI=3.26-17.31]. CONCLUSION: The source of infection was estimated to be contaminated watered kimchi by one or two food handler who is presumed to be carrier.
Summary
A Study on the Health Status of Korean Vietnam Veterans' Children: A Result of Questionnaire Survey on Vietnam Veterans of Pusan Area Who Diagnosed as Cases by Korean Veteran's Hospital Diagnostic Criteria.
Jin Ho Chun, Hak Joon Kim, Hae Sook Sohn, Sang Hwa Urm, Soo Kyung Park, Byung Chul Yu, Jong Tae Lee
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):17-24.
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OBJECTIVES
To propose the referential data to evaluate the health impacts of Vietnam veterans' children whose father were exposed to herbicides in Vietnam War. METHODS: Vietnam veterans who visited to Pusan Veteran Hospital for medical care were recruited from April to October, 1998. They were 71 and asked about their own combat history, symptoms and illness, and health status of their 182 children. The informations were collected by direct and phone interview. Exposure estimation was also performed as exposure score depending on year and unit of participation, and personal episodes related to exposure to herbicide in the war. It classified into three groups; lower(<18.0), moderate(18-53), high(> or =53) exposure group. RESULTS: The mean age and the period into the combat of the veterans were 52.8 years and 15.0 months. The mean exposure score was 18.1+/-9.9, and mainly distributed in lower (46.5%) and moderate(52.1%) exposure group. Most(90.1%) of them were diagnosed as sequelae(21 cases) and suspected sequelae(43 cases) of the herbicides by Korean veteran's hospital diagnostic criteria. The major sequelae was peripheral neuropathy 13 cases, chloracne 5 cases, and the major suspected sequelae was hypertension 20 cases, diabetes mellitus 18 cases, liver disease 12 cases, central neuropathy 11 cases, etc. About birth, 42.2% and 16.9% experienced spontaneous abortion and stillbirth, respectively. The mean exposure score was higher in stillbirth experience group(p<0.05). About half of the children(90 cases, 49.5%) hold the abnormal health status: those were skin pigmentation 38 cases, rash 23 cases, congenital anomaly 15 cases, general weakness 12 cases, purpura 8 cases, visual disturbance 8 cases, etc. These health problems had no association with father's exposure level(p>0.05). CONCLUSIONS: These results were depend on their own answers, and expectation for compensation did not excluded, therefore, this study may have limitations: inaccuracy of informations due to recall bias and response bias. Nevertheless, through this study, we could image the fundamental aspect for health impacts of Vietnam veterans' children for preparing the national control program and policy. A large scale epidemiologic study with valid exposure assessment on the health impacts of Vietnam veterans' children is recommneded.
Summary
The Effect of Screening of Stomach Cancer on Stage Shift.
Jung Wan Koo, Won Chul Lee, Cho Hyun Park, Ji Youn Han, In Sik Chung, Nam Sun Paik, Hoon Kyo Kim
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):25-30.
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OBJECTIVES
This study was performed to evaluate the effect of stage shift according to screening of stomach cancer. METHODS: Total 840 cases of stomach cancer patients, undergone a surgical operation at Department of Surgery, Kangnam St. Mary's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea from Jan. 1989 to Dec. 1995, were reviewed by stomach cancer working sheet, and classified as asymptomatic and symptomatic group based on the presence of subjective symptoms on their hospital visit. Their histopathologic stages were analysed. We compared the histopathologic stages of asymptomatic stomach cancer patients with those of symptomatic patients. RESULTS: From the total of 840 patients, asymptomatic patients group comprised 28 cases (3.3%). Proportion of asymptomatic patients tended to increase from 1.9% in 1990, 0.9% in 1991 to 8.6% in 1995. Proportions of asymptomatic patients by stages were 78.6% (stage I), 3.6% (stage III), 17.9% (stage IV) and that of symptomatic patients by stages were 38.2% (stage I), 16.5% (stage II), 24.8% (stage III), 19.1% (stage IV). In less than 40 years old, 50.5% of symptomatic patients were diagnosed as stage I. With increment of ages, proportions of stage I were markedly decreased. It was significantly different between proportion of early gastric cancer in asymptomatic patients (60.1%) and that in symptomatic patients (25.0%). CONCLUSIONS: We confirmed stage shift according to screening of stomach cancer. And proportion of early gastric cancer in asymptomatic patients was higher than that in symptomatic patients. This results suggest that screening of gastric cancer be important to reduce mortality and it be indirectly started from 40 years old.
Summary
Completeness Estimation of the Population-based Cancer Registration with Capture-Recapture Methods.
Jeong Soo Im, Sun Seog Kweon, Sang Yong Kim, Kyeong Soo Park, Seok Joon Sohn, Jin Su Choi
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):31-35.
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OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to estimate the completeness of cancer registration with Capture-recapture method. METHODS: The study was conducted in the population based cancer registry of Kwangju, Korea, for which there are three main sources of notification: reports by Korean Central Cancer Registry, reports by pathology data, and the others reports by radiology data, death certificates, etc. The defined cases in three sources were matched by 13 digits Resident Register Number. To derive an estimates, log-linear models were applicated. RESULTS: Overall completeness was estimated to be around 93%. There was some variation with age(consistently high levels below age group 60-74 years, a minimum of 88.6% above 75 years). Among the most common cancer sites, estimates of completeness were highest for thyroid cancer(97.1%), while lower estimates of completeness were derived for stomach cancer(92.3%), liver cancer(92.6%). CONCLUSIONS: Careful application of Capture-recapture method may provide an alternative to traditional approaches for estimating the completeness of cancer registration in Kwangju city.
Summary
Heart Diseases Prevalence of Elementary School Children in Kyonggi Province.
Byung Chul Chun, Soon Duck Kim, Yong Tae Yum
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):36-44.
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OBJECTIVE
The heart diseases are known as a major cause of sudden death, as well as a cause of poor life-quality of school-age children. But there have been few mass screening of heart diseases in these children in Korea. This study was done to estimate the prevalence of heart diseases of these population. METHODS: We screened all elementary students(grade 1) in 12 cities and 16 counties(Gun) in Kyonggi province from 1992 to 1995. The first screening was done by auscultation of doctors and simultaneously by checking using 'auto-interpreter of EKG-cardiac sound'(Fukuda Densi ECP 50A). We conducted futher examinations to whom classified as being abnormal condition in first screening, by using EKG, chest x-ray, doppler echocardiograpy(if needed). RESULTS: The total number of examined students was 161,308(92% of the population), the male were 83,238 and female were 78,070. The congenital heart diseases(CHD) patients were 290(18 per 10,000) - male 155(18.6 per 10,000) and female 135(17.3 per 10,000). The most frequent disease was ventricula septal defect(VSD, 45.5%), Atrial septal defect(ASD, 14.8%), Tetralogy of Follot(TOF, 11.7%), and Patent Dutus Arteriosis(PDA, 7.6%) in order. In female, the order was VSD(48.1%), ASD(13.3%), TOF(11.1%), and PDA(10.4%). The total number of EKG abnormality were 433(62.7 per 10,000) among 69,056 screened children in 1995. The complete right bundle branch block(CRBBB) and paroxymal ventricular contraction(PVC) were frequent(26.6%, 26.3% in each), and incomplete right bunddle branch block(IRBBB,14.6%), paroxymal atrial contraction(PAC, 6.7%), abnormal Q(5.8%), Wolf-Pakinson-White syndrom (5.5%) in order. In female, the most frequent abnormality was PVC(29.8%), and CRBBB(19.9%) in order. CONCLUSION: We could present the stable prevalence of the rare heart disease. The prevalence of congenital heart diseases was 18.0 per 10,000 and of EKG abnormality was 62.7 per 10,000 among school children.
Summary
The Relationship Between Hippuric Acid in Blood Plasma and Toluene Concentration in the Air of Workplace.
Cheon Hyun Hwang, Won Jin Lee, Soung Hoon Chang, Hyoung Ah Kim
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):45-50.
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OBJECTIVES
This study was undertaken to evaluate correlation between the levels of hippuric acid in blood plasma (HAP) and those of toluene concentration in the workplace air. METHODS: Study subjects were composed of two groups; 21 workers who were occupationally exposed to toluene and 25 rural-area residents who were not exposed to any known occupational toluene source, as an exposed group and a reference group, respectively. Mean age and work duration of the exposed was 42 years and five years, respectively. Mean age of the reference was 42 years. To determine toluene concentrations in the workplace air, air sampling has been conducted for more than six hours using a personal sampler, and analyzed by a gas chromatography-flame ionization detector. Concentrations of hippuric acid in biological samples were determined by a high performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet detector. RESULTS: Geometric mean(geometric standard deviation) of HAP and hippuric acid in urine(HAU) for the exposed was 1.39(2.21) mg/L and 2.77(1.46) g/L, respectively, which were significantly different from those of the reference [HAP, 0.45(2.94); HAU, 0.37(0.45)]. Toluene concentration in the workplace air was 86.92(range: 45.18~151.23) ppm. The level of HAP or HAU was significantly correlated (r=0.70 and r=0.63, respectively) with that of toluene in the workplace air. The estimated regression equation was logHAP(mg/L)=-3.60+1.93 log(toluene, ppm) or logHAU(g/L)=-0.85+0.67 log(toluene, ppm). The magnitude of correlation was further enhanced when analyzing relationship between toluene concentrations lower than 100 ppm and its corresponding HAP levels. CONCLUSION: Overall, plasma hippuric acid levels were well correlated with toluene concentrations in the workplace air, and a statistically significant correlation was observed for the samples with toluene concentration lower than 100 ppm.
Summary
Comparison of Efficiency between Individual Randomization and Cluster Randomization in the Field Trial.
Hye Won Koo, Min Jeong Kwak, Youngjo Lee, Byung Joo Park
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):51-55.
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OBJECTIVES
In large-scale field trials, randomization by cluster is frequently used because of the administrative convenience, a desire to reduce the effect of treatment contamination, and the need to avoid ethical issues that might otherwise arise. Cluster randomization trials are experiments in which intact social unit, e.g., families, schools, cities, rather than independent individuals are randomly allocated to intervention groups. The positive correlation among responses of subjects from the same cluster is in matter in cluster randomization. This thesis is to compare the results of three randomization methods by standard error of estimator of treatment effect. METHODS: We simulated cholesterol data varing the size of the cluster and the level of the correlation in clusters and analyzed the effect of cholesterol-lowering agent. RESULTS: In intra-cluster randomization the standard error of the estimator of treatment effect is smallest relative to that in inter-cluster randomization and that in individual randomization. CONCLUSIONS: Intra-cluster randomization is the most efficient in its standard error of estimator of treatment effect but other factor should be considered when selecting a specific randomization method.
Summary
Health Behaviors Related to Hypertension in Rural Population of Korea.
Chang Yup Kim, Kun Sei Lee, Young Ho Khang, Jun Yim, Yong Jun Choi, Hae Kook Lee, Kyung Ho Lee, Yong Ik Kim
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):56-68.
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AbstractAbstract PDF
OBJECTIVES
To describe health behaviors related to hypertension in rural population of Korea and focused to identify inappropriate awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension. METHODS: We surveyed 5,517 adults (2,288 males, 3,229 females) older than 30 years in 58 rural areas, purposely sampled nationwide from December 1996 to February 1997. Blood pressure was checked twice at the time of the first visit. For those who showed high blood pressure using the JNC-6 criteria at their initial visit, we followed up their blood pressure one week later. Also information on the health behavior related to hypertension was collected through the person-to-person interview using structured questionnaire at the first visit. RESULTS: For the past one year, females had more experiences of checking their blood pressure than males (77.3% versus 69.5%, p=0.001). Through the results of consecutively checked blood pressure, only 51.7% of the hypertensives were aware of their condition. Of the hypertensives who aware of their condition, 44.4% did not receive any medication and/or recommendation. And 50.4% of the hypertensives who had anti-hypertensive medication were classified as still having hypertensive blood pressure by 160/95 mmHg criteria. Of the medicated, 54.8% were found to take medication regularly for the past six months. Among the medicated, only 11.4% knew the name of anti-hypertensive drug they had. CONCLUSIONS: 'Rule of halves', which works in the situation of no special efforts for hypertension control, was identified. This study showed that much efforts to control hypertension would be required in the rural population of Korea.
Summary
The Risk Factors Associated with Increased Blood Pressure, Sugar and Lipids in Multi-phasic Health Checkup Examinee.
Kang Sook Lee, Sang Deog Cho, Hyun Sook Hong
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):69-75.
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OBJECTIVES
This study was conducted to evaluate the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. METHODS: By the questionnaire, the informations of education level, monthly income, alcohol consumption and smoking habit were obtained. Height, weight and blood pressure(BP) were measured by a trained nurse. The level of fasting blood sugar(FBS), total cholesterol, hight-density lipoprotein(HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride were tested by enzyme method about a group of 2888 males and 1696 females ages over 20 who had never taken the medication for hypertension. Statistical analysis, ANOVA, stepwise multiple regression, correlation analysis were performed using SAS package program. RESULTS: There were significant differences among age groups in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, body mass index(BMI), FBS, triglyceride and cholesterol except HDL-cholesterol. The risk factors associated with systolic and diastolic BP significantly in male were BMI, age, alcohol intake, but in female BMI, age. Smoking habit had a significant negative correlation with BP in both sex. In the group of mild hypertension (> or =140 mmHg or> or =90 mmHg defined by JNC-VI) and hypertension (> or =160 mmHg or > or = 95 mmHg defined by WHO), the percent of diabetes (FBS> or =140 mg/dl), hypercholesterolemia (> or =240 mg/dl), and hypertriglyceridemia (> or =200 mg/dl) were signifcantly higher compared with normal group in male and female. BMI, and alcohol consumption had a positive correlation with FBS, total cholesterol and triglyceride. Smoking had a positive correlation with cholesterol and triglyceride but negative correlation with HDL-cholesterol in male. The educational attainment had a negative correlation with BMI, FBS, total cholesterol and triglyceride in female. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggested that drinking, smoking, and BMI and lower educational level were associated with hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes, but further evaluation was needed by prospective intervention study.
Summary
The Accuracy of ICD codes for Cerebrovascular Diseases in Medical Insurance Claims.
Jong Ku Park, Ki Soon Kim, Chun Bae Kim, Tae Yong Lee, Kang Sook Lee, Duk Hee Lee, Sunhee Lee, Sun Ha Jee, Il Suh, Kwang Wook Koh, So Yeon Ryu, Kee Ho Park, Woonje Park, Seungjun Wang, Hwasoon Lee, Yoomi Chae, Hyensook Hong, Jin Sook Suh
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):76-82.
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AbstractAbstract PDF
OBJECTIVES
We attempted to assess the accuracy of ICD codes for cerebrovascular diseases in medical insurance claims (ICMIC) and to investigate the reasons for error. This study was designed as a preliminary study to establish a nationwide surveillance system. METHODS: A total of 626 patients with medical insurance claims who indicated a diagnosis of cerebrovascular diseases during the period from 1993 to 1997 was selected from the Korea Medical Insurance Corporation cohort (KMIC cohort: 115,600 persons). The KMIC cohort was 10% of those insured who had taken health examinations in 1990 and 1992 consecutively. The registered medical record administrators were trained in the survey technique and gathered data from March to May 1999. The definition of cerebrovascular diseases in this study included cases which met one of two criteria (Minnesota, WHO) or 'definite stroke' in CT/MRI finding. We questioned the medical record administrators to explain the error if the final diagnoses were not coded as stroke. RESULTS: The accuracy rate of the ICMIC was 83.0% (425 cases). Medical records were not available for 8.2% (51 cases) due to the closing of hospitals, the absence of a computer system or omission of medical record, etc. Sixty-three cases (10.0%) were classified as impossible to interpret due to insufficient records in 'major clinical symptoms' or 'neurological deficits'. The most common reason was 'to meet review criteria of medical insurance benefits (52.9%)'. The department where errors in the ICMIC occurred most frequently was the department for medical insurance claims in the hospital. CONCLUSION: The accuracy rate of the ICMIC was 83.0%.
Summary
Lipid Profiles and Related Factors in Adolescent.
Moran Ki, Boyoul Choi, Mi Kyung Kim, Ki Rang Kim, Jin Nu Fang, Yun Ju Kang
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):83-90.
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OBJECTIVES
To assess the prevalence rate of dyslipidemia and the level of related factors in adolescents groups in Seoul and Yangpyong area. METHODS: Design; School based survey during May-Jun 1996 in Seoul and Yangpyong county. Subject; 2,453 boys and girls, aged 13 to 19 years; 1,137 Seoul and 1,316 Yangpyong county. Main Outcome Measures; Prevalence rates of raised serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol, decreased HDL-cholesterol, obesity, and levels of energy intake and expenditure RESULTS: Energy intake and fat intake of boys were higher than those of girls and they were higher in Seoul. Energy expenditure per day of boys was bigger than that of girls too. Prevalence rate of obesity was higher in boys of Seoul(15.2%) and girls in Yangpyong county(14.0%). Serum lipid profiles(total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol) were higher among girls and all prevalence rates of dyslipidemia were higher in boys in Seoul and in girls in Yangpyong county. Especially, girls(29.1%) in Yangpyong had raised serum cholesterol level(> or =170 mg/dl). In contrast, boys in Seoul had higher level of decreased HDL-cholesterol(46.8%) compared to Yangpyong(23.6%). The relationships between serum lipid profiles and relative weights and sex are highly significant. And the relationship between triglycerides and energy intake is significant(p=0.038). But, the associations between serum lipid profiles and energy expenditure had borderline significances. CONCLUSIONS: Hypercholesterolemia rates in girls were higher. Obesity prevalence rate was highest in boys of Seoul. Relative weight and sex are significantly related to lipid profiles. Therefore, Korea is in need of preventive strategies for different obesity and gender groups.
Summary
The Awareness and Countermeasures against Harmful Effect of Passive Smoking in Korean Adults.
Hong Seok Sim, Kang Sook Lee, Hyun Sook Hong, Kwang Ho Meng
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):91-98.
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OBJECTIVES
This study is to evaluate the awareness, attitude, practice and the countermeasures against passive smoking in Korean adults. METHODS: By self-administered questionnaires, we assessed the knowledge, attitude, behavior for passive smoking and the countermeasure for reduction of it's harmful effects in 289 men and 238 women. RESULTS: The subjects that have heard about passive smoking were 96.8% in total and well known were 26.4% of current smoker, 56.6% of ex-smoker, and 14.8% of non-smoker(p=0.001). The irritative symptom from passive smoking was the most frequent in non-smokers and the most common place where exposed to passive smoking was public place. For attitude against passive smoking in 'no smoking allowed area', ex-smokers were the most active to recommend to stop smoking. And for opinion about establishment of 'no smoking allowed area', the restriction by law was the best acceptable method in smokers, exsmokers, and nonsmokers. In marking of 'no smoking allowed area', 69.9% of smokers answered no smoking, but in non-marking area only 6.3% stop smoking. When smokers were recommended to stop smoking, the more subjects stop smoking with good feeling in marking area, but the less in non-marking area. The factor associated the high awareness of passive smoking were aged(OR=1.07, 1.03-1.12), men(OR=4.34, 2.32-8.46). The persons who have known well about passive smoking had good attitude and behavior to prevent of harmful effect of passive smoking. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggested that education program would be necessary to reduce the passive smoking.
Summary
Analysis of Cancer Screening Recommendations by Physicians for Various Types of Cancer.
Yong Mun Park, Won Chul Lee, Keun Sang Yum, Jung Wan Koo, Hyeon Woo Yim, Kang Sook Lee, Hoon Kyo Kim
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):99-108.
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OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this study was to examine the present status of cancer screening recommendations(beginning age, interval, recommended screening methods, etc.) by physicians and analyze the association between physician's characteristics and the content of their recommendations. METHODS: Data were collected from March 1 to April 30 of 1997, and 373 physicians who were from different hospital settings all over Korea were interviewed by telephone about their screening recommendations for stomach, cervical and breast cancer for those who provided cancer screening services. RESULTS: For stomach cancer screening, respondents recommended that cancer screening begin at 40 years of age(57.8%), with a 1 year interval(77.2%), and by gastrofibroscopy (86.2%). For cervical cancer screening, respondents recommended that cancer screening begin at 25 years of age(42.0%), with a 1 year interval(67.8%), and by using a Pap smear(100.0%). For breast cancer screening, respondents recommended that cancer screening begin at 35 years of age(38.7%), with a 1 year interval(57.3%), and by mammography (97.3%). CONCLUSIONS: To establish appropriate cancer screening recommendations for Korea, it may be useful to consider the above results concerning medical care providers.
Summary
Effectiveness of Telephone and Postcard Reminders for the Influenza Vaccination: A Study in the Elderly Who Have Visited a Family Practice Center in a Tertiary Care Hospital.
Yun Mi Song, Joo Seop Oh, Seung Heon Han, Chul hoon Choi
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):109-116.
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OBJECTIVES
Routine vaccination against influenza is recommended for all people aged 65 years or more. Without active encouragement to receive the vaccine, the rate of compliance is generally low. A study was undertaken to assess and compare the effectiveness of two reminder systems in improving the influenza vaccination rate. METHODS: A total of 2,017 patients aged 65 or over in a tertiary care hospital family practice center were randomly assigned to a control, a telephone reminder, or a postcard reminder group before the influenza season in 1998. The outcome measure, receipt of vaccination, was determined by telephone interview. Demographic and clinical characteristics were checked through the medical chart review. RESULTS: Among the 1,312 patients who actually received reminders and interviewed, the vaccination rate was 46.7% in the control group, 56.3% in the postcard reminder group, and 63.3% in the telephone reminder group. Vaccination compliance was significantly higher in people reminded by telephone (Odds ratio [OR], 2.00; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.52-2.64) and postcard (OR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.18-2.02) compared to that in the control group. Of the characteristics investigated, number of high risk co-morbidity was positively associated with vaccination compliance while current smoking was negatively associated. CONCLUSIONS: This result suggests that telephone and postcard reminders can significantly improve compliance with influenza vaccination in this group of Korean elderly. However, additional strategies need to be developed to encourage vaccination among noncompliant.
Summary

JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health