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Concept: Cross-sectional study


BACKGROUND: The burden of ill-health due to inactivity has recently been highlighted. Better studies on environments that support physical activity are called for, including longitudinal studies of environmental interventions. A programme of residential street improvements in the UK (Sustrans ‘DIY Streets’) allowed a rare opportunity for a prospective, longitudinal study of the effect of such changes on older adults' activities, health and quality of life. METHODS: Pre-post, cross-sectional surveys were carried out in locations across England, Wales and Scotland; participants were aged 65+ living in intervention or comparison streets. A questionnaire covered health and quality of life, frequency of outdoor trips, time outdoors in different activities and a 38-item scale on neighbourhood open space. A cohort study explored changes in self-report activity and well-being postintervention. Activity levels were also measured by accelerometer and accompanying diary records. RESULTS: The cross-sectional surveys showed outdoor activity predicted by having a clean, nuisance-free local park, attractive, barrier-free routes to it and other natural environments nearby. Being able to park one’s car outside the house also predicted time outdoors. The environmental changes had an impact on perceptions of street walkability and safety at night, but not on overall activity levels, health or quality of life. Participants' moderate-to-vigorous activity levels rarely met UK health recommendations. CONCLUSIONS: Our study contributes to methodology in a longitudinal, pre-post design and points to factors in the built environment that support active ageing. We include an example of knowledge exchange guidance on age-friendly built environments for policy-makers and planners.

Concepts: Cohort study, Longitudinal study, Research methods, Epidemiology, Environment, Cross-sectional study, Natural environment, Sociology


Following childbirth, women need to stay sufficiently long in health facilities to receive adequate care. Little is known about length of stay following childbirth in low- and middle-income countries or its determinants.

Concepts: Health care, Cross-sectional study, Cross-sectional analysis, Nation, Country


 To draw attention to sex related disparities in academic medical leadership by investigating the representation of female leaders compared with leaders with moustaches.

Concepts: Female, Cross-sectional study, Gender, Sociology, Leadership


to determine the impact of recently proposed age-specific alcohol consumption limits on the proportion and number of older people classified at risk of alcohol-related harm.

Concepts: Alcohol, Cross-sectional study, Cross-sectional analysis, Wine, Alcoholic beverage, Drinking culture


Testosterone is essential for the regulation of erectile physiology, but the relationship between low testosterone and erectile dysfunction (ED) has not been firmly established.

Concepts: Cross-sectional study, Testosterone, Erectile dysfunction, Hypogonadism


BACKGROUND: Leg pain associated with low back pain (LBP) is recognized as a risk factor for a poor prognosis, and is included as a component in most LBP classification systems. The location of leg pain relative to the knee and the presence of a positive straight leg raise test have been suggested to have clinical implications. To understand differences between such leg pain subgroups, and whether differences include potentially modifiable characteristics, the purpose of this paper was to describe characteristics of patients classified into the Quebec Task Force (QTF) subgroups of: 1) LBP only, 2) LBP and pain above the knee, 3) LBP and pain below the knee, and 4) LBP and signs of nerve root involvement. METHODS: Analysis of routine clinical data from an outpatient department. Based on patient reported data and clinical findings, patients were allocated to the QTF subgroups and described according to the domains of pain, activity limitation, work participation, psychology, general health and clinical examination findings. RESULTS: A total of 2,673 patients aged 18–95 years (median 47) who were referred for assessment of LBP were included. Increasing severity was consistently observed across the subgroups from LBP only to LBP with signs of nerve root involvement although subgroup differences were small. LBP patients with leg pain differed from those with LBP only on a wide variety of parameters, and patients with signs of nerve root involvement had a more severe profile on almost all measures compared with other patients with back-related leg pain. CONCLUSION: LBP patients with pain referral to the legs were more severely affected than those with local LBP, and patients with signs of nerve root involvement were the ones most severily affected. These findings underpin the concurrent validity of the Quebec Task Force Classification. However, the small size of many between-subgroup differences amid the large variability in this sample of cross-sectional data also underlines that the heterogeneity of patients with LBP is more complex than that which can be explained by leg pain patterns alone. The implications of the observed differences also require investigation in longitudinal studies.

Concepts: Longitudinal study, Epidemiology, Spinal disc herniation, Low back pain, Cross-sectional study, Cross-sectional analysis, Straight leg raise, Cyclic group


This mixed-methods study examined barriers to and facilitators of street children’s drug use cessation in Eldoret, Kenya utilizing a cross-sectional survey and focus group discussions with a community-based sample of street-involved children and youth. The primary objective of this study was to describe factors that may assist or impede cessation of drug use that can be utilized in developing substance use interventions for this marginalized population. In 2011, 146 children and youth ages 10-19 years, classified as either children on the street or children of the street were recruited to participate in the cross-sectional survey. Of the 146 children that participated in the survey 40 were invited to participate in focus group discussion; 30 returned voluntarily to participate in the discussions. Several themes were derived from children’s narratives that described the barriers to and facilitators of drug cessation. Specifically, our findings reveal the strength of the addiction to inhalants, the dual role that peers and family play in substance use, and how the social, cultural, and economic context influence or impede cessation. Our findings demonstrate the need to integrate community, family and peers into any intervention in addition to traditional medical and psychological models for treatment of substance use dependence.

Concepts: Psychology, Focus group, Cross-sectional study, Drug addiction, Addiction, Youth, Focus, Substance abuse


BACKGROUND: Trachoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide. It is common in areas where the people are socio-economically deprived. The aim of this study was to assess active trachoma and associated risk factors among children 1–9 years in East Gojjam. METHODS: Community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in Baso Liben District from February to April 2012. A two-stage random cluster-sampling technique was employed and all children 1–9 years old from each household were clinically assessed for trachoma based on simplified WHO 1983 classification. Data were collected by using semi-structured interview, pre-tested questionnaire and observation. The data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 16 statistical package.Result: From a total of 792 children screened for trachoma (of which 50.6% were girls), the overall prevalence of active trachoma was 24.1% consisting of only 17.2% [95% CI: 14.8, 20.1] TF and 6.8% TI. There were variations among children living in low land (29.3%) and in medium land (21.4%). In multivariate analysis, low monthly income (AOR= adjusted odds ratio) 2.98; 95% CI (confidence interval): 1.85-7.85), illiterate family (AOR =5.18; 95% CI: 2.92-9.17); unclean face (AOR =18.68; 95% CI :1.98-175.55); access to water source (AOR=2.01;95% CI: 1.27-3.15); less than 20 liters of water use (AOR=4.88; 95% CI:1.51-15.78); not using soap for face washing (AOR=5.84; 95%CI :1.98-17.19); not using latrine frequently (AOR=1.75; 95% CI:0.01-0.42); density of flies (AOR=3.77; 95%CI: 2.26-6.29); less knowledgeable family (AOR=3.91; 95%CI :2.40-6.38) and average monthly income (AOR=2.98; 95%CI : 1.85-7.85) were found independently associated with trachoma. CONCLUSION: Active trachoma is a major public problem among 1–9 years children and significantly associated with a number of risky factors. Improvement in awareness of facial hygiene, environmental conditions, mass antibiotic distribution and health education on trachoma transmission and prevention should be strengthened in the District.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Medical statistics, Cross-sectional study, Risk, Multivariate statistics, Odds ratio, SPSS


To test for cross-sectional (at age 11) and longitudinal associations between objectively measured free-living physical activity (PA) and academic attainment in adolescents.Method Data from 4755 participants (45% male) with valid measurement of PA (total volume and intensity) by accelerometry at age 11 from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) was examined. Data linkage was performed with nationally administered school assessments in English, Maths and Science at ages 11, 13 and 16.

Concepts: Cohort study, Longitudinal study, Cross-sectional study, Measurement, Sociology, Assessment, Psychometrics, Test method


BACKGROUND: Patients with severe mental illness are at increased risk of developing metabolic disorders. The risk of metabolic syndrome in the Hong Kong general population is lower than that observed in western countries; however the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in patients with severe mental illness in Hong Kong is unknown. METHOD: This cross-sectional study aimed to estimate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in patients with severe mental illness in Hong Kong and to identify the relationships between metabolic syndrome and socio-demographic, clinical and lifestyle factors. RESULTS: A total of 139 patients with a diagnosis of severe mental illness participated in the study. The unadjusted prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 35%. The relative risk of metabolic syndrome in comparison with the general Hong Kong population was 2.008 (95% CI 1.59-2.53, p < 0.001). In a logistic regression model sleep disruption and being prescribed first generation antipsychotics were significantly associated with the syndrome, whilst eating less than 3 portions of fruit/vegetables per day and being married were weakly associated. CONCLUSION: The results demonstrate that metabolic syndrome is highly prevalent and that physical health inequalities in patients with severe mental illness in Hong Kong are similar to those observed in western countries. The results provide sufficient evidence to support the need for intervention studies in this setting and reinforce the requirement to conduct regular physical health checks for all patients with severe mental illness.

Concepts: Health care, Regression analysis, Epidemiology, Nutrition, Medical statistics, Cross-sectional study, Mental illness, Hong Kong