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      Exposure to the Chinese famine in early life and the risk of anaemia in adulthood

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          Abstract

          Background

          Famine exposure during the early stage of life is related to a number of adulthood diseases. The objective of this study was to examine the association of early life exposure to the famine in China (1959–1961) with the risk of anaemia in adulthood.

          Methods

          We used the data of 2007 adults born between 1954 and 1964 in Jiangsu province from the 2002 Chinese National Nutrition and Health Survey. Anaemia was defined as haemoglobin concentration <12 g/dl in women and <13 g/dl in men.

          Results

          Prevalence of anaemia in adulthood in nonexposed, fetal-exposed, early-childhood, mid-childhood, and late-childhood exposed to famine groups were 26.0%, 33.8%, 28.1%, 28.2% and 29.7%, respectively. Overall, fetal-exposed to famine was associated with 37% increased risk of anaemia as compared with those non-exposed after adjusting for income, education, place of residence, smoking, alcohol drinking, job, hypertension and BMI; relative risk (95% confidence interval) (RR (95% CI)) was 1.37 (1.09, 1.71). In general, this association appeared to be stronger among men, those who were currently overweight or obese, or those of lower educational levels. Corresponding RR (95% CI) was 1.87 (1.21-2.87), 1.75 (1.20-2.56), and 2.07 (1.37-3.12), respectively.

          Conclusions

          Fetal exposure to the Chinese famine was associated with an increased risk of anaemia in adulthood.

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          Most cited references 25

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          Predictive values of body mass index and waist circumference for risk factors of certain related diseases in Chinese adults--study on optimal cut-off points of body mass index and waist circumference in Chinese adults.

           ,  Bei Zhou (2002)
          For prevention of obesity in Chinese population, it is necessary to define the optimal range of healthy weight and the appropriate cut-off points of BMI and waist circumference for Chinese adults. The Working Group on Obesity in China under the support of International Life Sciences Institute Focal point in China organized a meta-analysis on the relation between BMI, waist circumference and risk factors of related chronic diseases (e.g., high diabetes, diabetes mellitus, and lipoprotein disorders). 13 population studies in all met the criteria for enrollment, with data of 239,972 adults (20-70 year) surveyed in the 1990s. Data on waist circumference was available for 111,411 persons and data on serum lipids and glucose were available for more than 80,000. The study populations located in 21 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions in mainland China as well as in Taiwan. Each enrolled study provided data according to a common protocol and uniform format. The Center for data management in Department of Epidemiology, Fu Wai Hospital was responsible for statistical analysis. The prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia and clustering of risk factors all increased with increasing levels of BMI or waist circumference. BMI at 24 with best sensitivity and specificity for identification of the risk factors, was recommended as the cut-off point for overweight, BMI at 28 which may identify the risk factors with specificity around 90% was recommended as the cut-off point for obesity. Waist circumference beyond 85 cm for men and beyond 80 cm for women were recommended as the cut-off points for central obesity. Analysis of population attributable risk percent illustrated that reducing BMI to normal range ( or = 28) with drugs could prevent 15%-17% clustering of risk factors. The waist circumference controlled under 85 cm for men and under 80 cm for women, could prevent 47%-58% clustering of risk factors. According to these, a classification of overweight and obesity for Chinese adults is recommended.
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            Prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in China: data from the China National Nutrition and Health Survey 2002.

            The present article aims to provide accurate estimates of the prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in adults in China. Data were obtained from sphygmomanometer measurements and an administered questionnaire from 141 892 Chinese adults >/=18 years of age who participated in the 2002 China National Nutrition and Health Survey. In 2002, approximately 153 million Chinese adults were hypertensive. The prevalence was higher among men than women (20% versus 17%; P<0.001) and was higher in successive age groups. Overall, the prevalence of hypertension was higher in urban compared with rural areas in men (23% versus 18%; P<0.01) and women (18% versus 16%; P<0.001). Of the 24% affected individuals who were aware of their condition, 78% were treated and 19% were adequately controlled. Despite evidence to suggest improved levels of treatment in individuals with hypertension over the past decade, compared with estimates from 1991, the ratio of controlled to treated hypertension has remained largely unchanged at 1:4. One in 6 Chinese adults is hypertensive, but only one quarter are aware of their condition. Despite increased rates of blood pressure-lowering treatment, few have their hypertension effectively controlled. National hypertension programs must focus on improving awareness in the wider community, as well as treatment and control, to prevent many tens of thousands of cardiovascular-related deaths.
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              Nutritional anaemias. Report of a WHO scientific group.

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BMC Public Health
                BioMed Central
                1471-2458
                2013
                1 October 2013
                : 13
                : 904
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Nutrition and Foodborne Disease Prevention, Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Nanjing, China
                [2 ]Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide, 122 Frome Street, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
                [3 ]Epidemiology Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, MD 20852, USA
                [4 ]Jiangsu Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 172 Jiangsu Road, Nanjing 210009, China
                Article
                1471-2458-13-904
                10.1186/1471-2458-13-904
                3849930
                24079608
                Copyright © 2013 Shi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Public health

                chinese famine, anemia, adults, fetal exposure

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