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Volume 45; 2023
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Brief Communication
Association between cardiac arrhythmia before pregnancy and gestational diabetes: a nationwide population-based study in Korea
You-Jung Choi, Won Young Wi, Geum Joon Cho, Jin Oh Na
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023103.   Published online December 4, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023103
  • 1,544 View
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
Given the higher prevalence of cardiac arrhythmias in individuals with diabetes, we investigated the relationship between cardiac arrhythmias and the incidence of gestational diabetes (GDM). This retrospective cohort study utilized data from the Korean Health Insurance Service database, encompassing 1,113,729 women who gave birth between January 2007 and December 2015. After excluding those who did not undergo National Health Screening tests within 1 year prior to pregnancy, those with multifetal pregnancies, and those diagnosed with diabetes, we analyzed 365,880 singleton pregnancies without a history of diabetes. Of these, 3,253 (0.9%) had cardiac arrhythmias, including premature extra beats, supraventricular tachyarrhythmias, and/or atrial flutter/fibrillation. GDM occurred in 31,938 (8.7%) subjects during pregnancy, and was more prevalent in women with cardiac arrhythmia than in those without (14.9 vs. 8.7%, p<0.001). In the multivariate analysis, the association between cardiac arrhythmia and GDM remained statistically significant (adjusted odds ratio, 1.78; 95% confidence interval, 1.61 to 1.97; p<0.001). Subgroup analysis revealed that the risk of GDM was consistently statistically significant in subjects with cardiac arrhythmia, regardless of age, body mass index, and the presence or absence of chronic hypertension. Therefore, cardiac arrhythmias before and during pregnancy appear to be associated with an increased risk of developing GDM.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구에서는 부정맥과 임신성 당뇨병의 발생과의 관계를 확인인하기 위하여 2007년부터 2015년까지 국민건강보험 공단 데이터를 이용하여 분만력을 가진 1,113,729명의 여성을 대상으로 진행되었습니다. 최종 분석은 과거 당뇨병 진단병력을 가지고 있는 환자를 제외하고 365,880건의 단태아 임산부를 포함하였고, 전체 대상자 중 31,938 (8.7%)에서 임신성 당뇨병을 확인하였습니다. 그 중 부정맥 병력이 확인되지 않은 임산부와 비교하였을 때, 부정맥 병력이 있는 경우 임신 기간 중 임신성 당뇨병 발생률이 높았으며 (8.7% vs. 14.9%, p<0.001), 다변량 분석에서도 부정맥과 임신 당뇨병 간의 연관성이 통계적으로 유의미하게 나타났습니다 (adjusted odds ratio, 1.78; 95% confidence interval, 1.61 to 1.97; p<0.001). 따라서, 본 연구는 임신 전후의 부정맥 병력은 임신성 당뇨병 발병 위험 증가와 관련 있음을 시사합니다.
Key Message
This nationwide population-based cross-sectional study using the Korean Health Insurance Service database showed that women with a history of cardiac arrhythmia had an elevated risk of incident GDM during pregnancy. The prevalence of GDM was significantly higher in women with cardiac arrhythmias (8.7% vs. 14.9%). There was a statistically significant association between cardiac arrhythmia and GDM (adjusted odds ratio: 1.78), suggesting that cardiac arrhythmias before and during pregnancy are linked to an increased risk of developing GDM, independent of age, BMI, and chronic hypertension.
Systematic Review
Dietary intake and cancer incidence in Korean adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies
Ji Hyun Kim, Shinyoung Jun, Jeongseon Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023102.   Published online November 30, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023102
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
Cancer is a major health burden in Korea, and dietary factors have been suggested as putative risk factors for cancer development at various sites. This study systematically reviewed the published literature investigating the associations between dietary factors and cancer incidence among Korean adults, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta- Analyses guidelines. We focused on the 5 most studied cancer sites (stomach, colorectum, breast, thyroid, and cervix) as outcomes and dietary exposures with evidence levels greater than limited-suggestive according to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) panel’s judgment for any of the cancer sites. This resulted in the inclusion of 72 studies. Pooled estimates of the impact of dietary factors on cancer risk suggested protective associations of fruits and vegetables with risks for gastric cancer (GC), colorectal cancer (CRC), and breast cancer (BC) and dietary vitamin C with the risk of GC, as well as a harmful association between fermented soy products and the risk of GC. Despite the limited number of studies, we observed consistent protective associations of dietary fiber with GC and dietary fiber, coffee, and calcium with CRC. These findings are largely consistent with the WCRF/AICR expert report. However, pooled estimates for the associations of other salt-preserved foods with GC, meat with CRC, and dietary carotenoids and dairy products with BC did not reach statistical significance. Further studies with prospective designs, larger sample sizes, and diverse types of dietary factors and cancer sites are necessary.
Summary
Korean summary
한국 성인을 대상으로 주요 암종 발생과 관련된 식이 요인을 탐색한 72개 역학연구들을 체계적으로 리뷰하고 메타 분석한 결과, 과일 및 채소는 위암, 대장암, 유방암에 대한 보호 효과가 있으며, 식이 비타민 C는 위암 예방에 도움이 된다는 결과가 확인되었다. 반면, 염장 식품 중 발효 대두 제품은 위암 발생 위험을 증가시킬 수 있다. 향후 식이 섭취와 밀접하게 관련되었으나 기존 국내 연구가 부족한 암종과 다양한 식이 요인의 영향을 탐색하는 대규모 전향적 코호트 연구가 요구된다.
Key Message
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis on the associations between dietary factors and cancer incidence among Korean adults. Pooled estimates suggested protective associations of fruits and vegetables with risks for gastric cancer (GC), colorectal cancer (CRC), and breast cancer (BC) and dietary vitamin C with the risk of GC, as well as a harmful association between fermented soy products and GC risk. Further research is warranted, emphasizing longitudinal designs, larger sample sizes, and a comprehensive exploration of dietary factors, with a specific focus on anatomical sites with a substantial burden of disease but understudied in the context of diet.
Original Articles
Risk factors for early-onset lung cancer in Korea: analysis of a nationally representative population-based cohort
Jihun Kang, Taeyun Kim, Kyung-Do Han, Jin-Hyung Jung, Su-Min Jeong, Yo Hwan Yeo, Kyuwon Jung, Hyun Lee, Jong Ho Cho, Dong Wook Shin
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023101.   Published online November 21, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023101
  • 1,863 View
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
We examined the associations of socioeconomic factors, health behaviors, and comorbidities with early-onset lung cancer.
METHODS
The study included 6,794,287 individuals aged 20-39 years who participated in a Korean national health check-up program from 2009 to 2012. During the follow-up period, 4,684 participants developed lung cancer. Multivariable Cox regression analysis was used to estimate the independent associations of potential risk factors with incident lung cancer.
RESULTS
Older age (multivariable hazard ratio [mHR], 1.13; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12 to 1.14) and female sex (mHR, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.49 to 1.75) were associated with increased lung cancer risk. Current smoking was also associated with elevated risk (<10 pack-years: mHR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.24; ≥10 pack-years: mHR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.18 to 1.45), but past smoking was not. Although mild alcohol consumption (<10 g/day) was associated with lower lung cancer risk (mHR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.86 to 0.99), heavier alcohol consumption (≥10 g/day) was not. Higher income (highest vs. lowest quartile: mHR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.78 to 0.94), physical activity for at least 1,500 metabolic equivalent of task-min/wk (vs. non-exercisers: mHR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.69 to 0.99) and obesity (vs. normal weight: mHR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.83 to 0.96) were associated with lower lung cancer risk, whereas metabolic syndrome was associated with increased risk (mHR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.24).
CONCLUSIONS
In young adults, age, female sex, smoking, and metabolic syndrome were risk factors for early-onset lung cancer, while high income, physical activity, and obesity displayed protective effects.
Summary
Korean summary
나이, 여성, 흡연, 그리고 대사 증후군은 조기 발생 폐암의 위험도 증가와 연관이 있었다. 반면에 높은 소득, 신체 활동, 비만은 젊은 성인에서 폐암 발생의 위험도 감소와 연관성을 나타내었다.
Key Message
Age, female sex, smoking, and metabolic syndrome were risk factors for early-onset lung cancer. While, high income, physical activity, and obesity displayed protective effects on the development of lung cancer in young adults.
Interaction between vitamin E intake and a COMT gene variant on colorectal cancer risk among Korean adults: a case-control study
Shinyoung Jun, Madhawa Gunathilake, Jeonghee Lee, Jae Hwan Oh, Hee Jin Chang, Dae Kyung Sohn, Aesun Shin, Jeongseon Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023100.   Published online November 14, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023100
  • 1,739 View
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Previous human trials have not supported the anticarcinogenic effect of vitamin E despite biological plausibility and considerable epidemiological evidence. A possible explanation for this inconsistency is the interactive effect of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene and supplemental vitamin E on cancer. We examined whether a COMT gene variant modulates the effect of dietary vitamin E intake on colorectal cancer (CRC) risk.
METHODS
In this case-control study of Korean adults (975 cases and 975 age- and sex-matched controls), dietary vitamin E density (mg/1,000 kcal) was measured using a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire, COMT single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs740603 (A>G) was genotyped, and CRC was verified histologically. We estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using unconditional logistic regression models with adjustments for potential confounders.
RESULTS
Higher vitamin E density was associated with a lower risk of CRC (highest vs. lowest quartiles: OR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.55 to 0.96; p-for-trend=0.002). When stratified by COMT SNP rs740603 genotype, the inverse association between vitamin E density and CRC risk was confined to those with at least 1 A allele (≥median vs. <median: OR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.78). The interaction between rs740603 and vitamin E density was significant (p-for-interaction=0.020). No direct association was observed between COMT SNP rs740603 and CRC risk (OR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.83 to 1.41).
CONCLUSIONS
Our findings support a role for a genetic polymorphism in COMT in modifying the association between dietary vitamin E intake and CRC.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 국립암센터에서 수집한 대장암 환자-대조군 자료를 활용하여, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) 유전자의 단일염기다형성(SNP)에 따라 비타민 E 섭취와 대장암 위험 간의 연관성이 달라지는지 파악하고자 하였다. 분석 결과, COMT SNP rs740603의 유전자형에 따라 식이를 통한 비타민 E 섭취 밀도와 대장암 위험 간의 연관성이 다르게 나타나 COMT 유전자와 비타민 E 섭취 간의 상호작용이 대장암 발생 위험에 영향을 미칠 가능성이 있음을 제시하였다.
Key Message
In this case-control study of Korean adults, we examined whether a polymorphism in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene modulates the effect of dietary vitamin E intake on colorectal cancer risk. Our results suggest that the inverse association between vitamin E density and colorectal cancer risk is confined to carriers of the COMT rs740603 A allele. The findings of our study support the interactive effect of the COMT gene and vitamin E intake on colorectal cancer risk.
Performance pressure and mental health among finance workers in Korea: a cross-sectional study
Yu Min Lee, Hyoung-Ryoul Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023099.   Published online November 7, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023099
  • 1,558 View
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
While issues related to mental health, including suicide, have been frequently reported among finance workers, no formal investigation has been undertaken. This study was conducted to analyze correlations between indicators of performance pressure, which is a characteristic of the finance sector, and mental health.
METHODS
An online survey was administered to 1,181 participants. Brief questionnaires were employed to ask general questions about participant characteristics, work environment, and the presence of performance pressure, suicidal thoughts/plans/attempts, depression (indicated by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9), and anxiety (measured with the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7). Frequency analysis, chi-square testing, and multivariate logistic regression analysis were performed.
RESULTS
Of the 1,181 respondents, 797 (83.5%) reported feeling pressure to perform at work, while 252 (26.4%) admitted to occasional willingness to achieve results even through illegal activities. Multivariate logarithmic regression analysis was employed to examine the correlation between performance pressure and mental health. This analysis revealed that those expressing willingness to achieve results through illegal activities exhibited higher levels of suicidal ideation (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.63; 99% confidence interval [CI], 1.04 to 2.55), plans (aOR, 1.75; 99% CI, 1.01 to 3.01), and attempts (aOR, 2.72; 99% CI, 1.06 to 6.98). Additionally, these individuals demonstrated higher levels of depression (aOR, 2.02; 99% CI, 1.34 to 3.06) and anxiety (aOR, 2.84; 99% CI, 1.81 to 4.46).
CONCLUSIONS
Performance pressure is prevalent within the finance industry. This pressure serves as a major source of stress for employees and is evident in 3 representative indicators of mental health: suicide, depression, and anxiety.
Summary
Korean summary
현대사회에서 많은 조직이 성과에 따른 보상과 처벌규정을 사용하여 인적자원을 관리함으로써 조직의 성장을 꾀한다. 특히 금융업의 경우 성과평가가 평가를 위한 가시적이고 단순한 지표들과 연계되면서, 근로자들은 부여된 실적만을 달성하기 위한 과도한 노력을 기울이게 된다. 이 연구를 통해 그 과정에서 개인들은 과도한 성과압박을 느끼고, 성과압박을 많이 느낄수록 다양한 업무상 정신질환(불안, 우울, 자살생각 및 시도 등)을 경험한다는 것을 보여주었다.
Key Message
Inappropriately selected performance indicators cause performance pressure, which is related to the occurrence of work-related mental disorders. This paper is meaningful in showing the current status of performance pressure in the Korean financial industry and showing the relationship between performance pressure and work-related mental health.
Age-specific findings on lifestyle and trajectories of cognitive function from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging
Seungju lim, Eunyoung Yoo, Ickpyo Hong, Ji-Hyuk Park
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023098.   Published online November 2, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023098
  • 1,862 View
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Few longitudinal studies have explored age-related differences in the relationship between lifestyle factors and cognitive decline. This study investigated lifestyle factors at baseline that slow the longitudinal rate of cognitive decline in young-old (55-64 years), middle-old (65-74 years), and old-old (75+ years) individuals.
METHODS
We conducted an 11-year follow-up that included 6,189 older adults from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging, which is a cohort study of community-dwelling older Koreans. Lifestyle factors, including physical activity, social activity (SA), smoking, and alcohol consumption were assessed at baseline. Cognitive function was measured at 2-year intervals over 11 years. Latent growth modeling and multi-group analysis were performed.
RESULTS
The influence of lifestyle factors on the rate of cognitive decline differed by age. Smoking at baseline (-0.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.11 to -0.00, per study wave) accelerated cognitive decline in young-old individuals, whereas frequent participation in SA at baseline (0.02; 95% CI, 0.01 to 0.03, per study wave) decelerated cognitive decline in middle-old individuals. None of the lifestyle factors in this study decelerated cognitive decline in old-old individuals.
CONCLUSIONS
Cognitive strategies based on modifiable lifestyle factors such as smoking cessation in young-old individuals and frequent SA participation in middle-old age individuals may have great potential for preventing cognitive decline. Because the influence of lifestyle factors varied by age group, age-specific approaches are recommended to promote cognitive health.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 국내 노인인구를 연령대별로 구분하여 연소노인(55-64세), 중고령노인(65-74세), 고령노인(75세+)의 인지저하 기울기를 가속 혹은 감속시키는 라이프스타일 요인을 파악하였다. '흡연'은 연소노인의 인지저하를 가속, '사회활동 참여 빈도'는 중고령노인의 인지저하를 감속시키는 것으로 나타났으며, 고령노인의 경우 유의미한 변수가 나타나지 않았다. 본 결과는 노인의 인지건강에 있어 연령대별 차별화된 라이프스타일 전략이 필요할 것을 시사한다.
Key Message
This study aimed to identify lifestyle factors that accelerate or decelerate the cognitive decline slope in the older population in South Korea, categorized by age groups: young-old adults (55-64), middle-old adults (65-74), and old-old adults (75+). The findings indicated that 'smoking' accelerates cognitive decline in young-old adults, while 'frequency of social activity participation' decelerates cognitive decline in middle-old adults. However, no significant lifestyle variables were identified for old-old adults. These results suggest the necessity of differentiated lifestyle strategies based on age groups for promoting cognitive health in the older population.
Special Article
Limiting the spillover of zoonotic pathogens from traditional food markets in developing countries and a new market design for risk-proofing
Sandeep Ghatak, Kandhan Srinivas, Arockiasamy Arun Prince Milton, Govindarajan Bhuvana Priya, Samir Das, Johanna F. Lindahl
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023097.   Published online October 30, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023097
  • 1,793 View
  • 95 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
Traditional food markets are age-old systems that primarily serve the food supply needs of society’s less affluent sectors, often operating with minimal infrastructure. These markets are prevalent in low and middle-income countries. However, their hygienic conditions are frequently suboptimal, potentially fostering the emergence and spread of presumptive zoonotic diseases. The recent emergence of zoonotic or potentially zoonotic diseases and their possible links to traditional food markets underscore the need for focused attention on this overlooked issue. The socioeconomic characteristics of traditional food markets reveal that despite the risk of zoonotic pathogen spread, these markets play a crucial role for large segments of the population. These individuals rely on such markets for their livelihood, food, and nutrition. Therefore, a comprehensive set of measures addressing various aspects of traditional food markets is necessary to manage and mitigate the risks of potential zoonotic disease emergence. In this article, we explore various facets of traditional food markets, paying special attention to the risks of zoonotic diseases that urgently require stakeholder attention. We also propose a new market design to prevent the risk of zoonotic spillover and advocate for the development of a Market Hygiene Index for these markets.
Summary
Key Message
Embracing Tradition, Ensuring Safety! Traditional food markets are vital for many communities, supplying food and livelihoods. Yet, their suboptimal hygiene poses potential risks for zoonotic diseases. Our article sheds light on the importance of addressing this issue and offers a new market design for risk-proofing in developing countries. Join the conversation on safeguarding these markets and support the vulnerable for a safer, healthier future!
Original Article
The physical activity paradox in relation to work ability and health-related productivity loss in Korea
Heejoo Ko, Dohwan Kim, Seong-Sik Cho, Mo-Yeol Kang
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023096.   Published online October 28, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023096
  • 3,779 View
  • 203 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The physical activity paradox suggests that occupational physical activity (OPA), unlike leisure-time physical activity (LTPA), may detrimentally impact health. We explored the relationships of OPA and LTPA with work ability (WA) and health-related productivity loss (HRPL).
METHODS
This study included 5,501 workers in Korea who were recruited in 2021 through a web-based cross-sectional questionnaire. The questionnaire was utilized to quantify OPA and LTPA in metabolic equivalents, while WA and HRPL were also measured. Non-parametric regression, using a generalized additive model (GAM), was employed to visualize the relationships of LTPA and OPA with WA and HRPL. Mean differences in WA and HRPL, in relation to OPA and LTPA, were examined using linear regression models. These models were adjusted for covariates including sex, age, body mass index, education level, alcohol consumption, smoking history, insomnia, occupation, hours worked, and income.
RESULTS
The GAM and linear regression analyses revealed that higher LTPA corresponded with higher WA and lower HRPL. In contrast, as OPA increased, WA decreased and HRPL increased. However, within the group with high OPA, HRPL was not significantly lower in the high-LTPA subgroup relative to the low-LTPA subgroup (mean difference=1.92%, p=0.343). This pattern was especially pronounced among workers aged 60 years and older, with an increase in HRPL observed with increasing LTPA among the respondents with high OPA.
CONCLUSIONS
High LTPA levels were associated with elevated WA and diminished HRPL. In contrast, higher levels of OPA were associated with lower WA and higher HRPL.
Summary
Special Article
Evidence integration on health damage for humidifier disinfectant exposure and legal presumption of causation
Mina Ha, Taehyun Park, Jong-Hyun Lee, Younghee Kim, Jungyun Lim, Yong-Wook Baek, Sol Yu, Hyen-Mi Chung, Kyu Hyuck Chung, Hae-Kwan Cheong, Review Committee for the Epidemiological Correlations between Humidifier Disinfectants Exposure and Health Effects
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023095.   Published online October 24, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023095
  • 1,697 View
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Inhalation exposure to humidifier disinfectants has resulted to various types of health damages in Korea. To determine the epidemiological correlation necessary for presuming the legal causation, we aimed to develop a method to synthesize the entire evidence.
METHODS
Epidemiological and toxicological studies are systematically reviewed. Target health problems are selected by criteria such as frequent complaints of claimants. Relevant epidemiologic studies are reviewed and the risk of bias and confidence level of the total evidence are evaluated. Toxicological literature reviews are conducted on three lines of evidence including hazard information, animal studies, and mechanistic studies, considering the source-to-exposure-to-outcome continuum. The confidence level of the body of evidence is then translated into the toxicological evidence levels for the causality between humidifier disinfectant exposure and health effects. Finally, the levels of epidemiological and toxicological evidence are synthesized.
RESULTS
Under the Special Act revised in 2020, if the history of exposure and the disease occurred/worsened after exposure were approved, and the epidemiological correlation between the exposure and disease was verified, the legal causation is presumed unless the company proves the evidence against it. The epidemiological correlation can be verified through epidemiological investigations, health monitoring, cohort investigations and/or toxicological studies. It is not simply as statistical association as understood in judicial precedents, but a general causation established by the evidence as a whole, i.e., through weight-of-the-evidence approach.
CONCLUSIONS
The weight-of-the-evidence approach differs from the conclusive single study approach and this systematic evidence integration can be used in presumption of causation.
Summary
Korean summary
저자들은 가습기살균제 노출로 인한 건강피해의 법적 인과관계 추정요건인 역학적 상관관계를 확인하기 위한 과정으로서 체계적 문헌고찰과 역학과 독성학의 전체 과학적 근거를 체계적으로 종합하는 방법을 제시하였다. 이것은 법적 증거 방법에서 개별 연구가 가지는 제한점이나 불확실성을 이유로 배척하지 않고, 전체 증거의 부분으로서 종합적으로 접근하는 것을 통해 사실 관계에 도달하는 방법이다. 이 전체증거접근법은 향후 인과관계 추정에서 전범(model)이 될 수 있다.
Key Message
We establish a systematic method for integrating a body of scientific evidence of epidemiology and toxicology to verify the epidemiological correlation, which is essential for presuming legal causation of health damages due to exposure to humidifier disinfectants. In terms of a legal proof, this method does not exclude individual studies due to their limitations or uncertainty but integrates them as part of a body of evidence to arrive at a conclusion that better reflects the truth of the evidence. This weight-of-the-evidence approach can be a model for future causal inference.
Original Articles
Association between PM2.5 exposure and risk of Parkinson’s disease in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Taiwan: a nested case-control study
Ci-Wen Luo, Yu-Hsiang Kuan, Wen-Ying Chen, Chun-Jung Chen, Frank Cheau-Feng Lin, Stella Chin-Shaw Tsai
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023094.   Published online October 17, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023094
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This cohort study investigated the correlation between Parkinson’s disease (PD) risk and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) risk under particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤2.5 μm (PM<sub>2.5</sub>) exposure.
METHODS
Data from the National Health Research Institutes of Taiwan were used in this study. The Environmental Protection Administration of Taiwan established an air quality monitoring network for monitoring Taiwan’s general air quality. COPD was indicated by at least 3 outpatient records and 1 hospitalization for COPD. After the implementation of age, sex, and endpoint matching at a 1:4 ratio, 137 patients and 548 patients were included in the case group and control group, respectively. Based on the 2005 World Health Organization (WHO) standards, monthly air particle concentration data were classified into the following 4 groups in analyses of exposure–response relationships: normal level, and 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 times the WHO level ([concentration ≥2]×25 μg/m<sup>3</sup>×number of exposure months).
RESULTS
A multivariate logistic regression revealed that the 1.0 and 1.5 WHO level groups did not significantly differ from the normal level group, but the 2.0 WHO level did (odds ratio, 4.091; 95% confidence interval, 1.180 to 14.188; p=0.038).
CONCLUSIONS
Elevated PM<sub>2.5</sub> concentrations were significantly correlated with an increased risk of PD among patients with COPD. Furthermore, exposure to high PM<sub>2.5</sub> levels can further increase the risk of PD.
Summary
Key Message
This nested case-control study, utilizing data from Taiwan's National Health Research Institutes and after meticulous matching, found that higher exposure to PM2.5 was associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease among individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, with those exposed to PM2.5 levels at 2 times the WHO standards having a 4 times higher odds of Parkinson's disease compared to those exposed to normal levels, indicating that air pollution may exacerbate neurological disease risk in those with existing respiratory conditions.
Forecasting the effects of vaccination on the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia using SEIRV compartmental models
Mei Cheng Lim, Sarbhan Singh, Chee Herng Lai, Balvinder Singh Gill, Mohd Kamarulariffin Kamarudin, Ahmed Syahmi Syafiq Md Zamri, Cia Vei Tan, Asrul Anuar Zulkifli, Mohamad Nadzmi Md Nadzri, Nur'ain Mohd Ghazali, Sumarni Mohd Ghazali, Nuur Hafizah Md Iderus, Nur Ar Rabiah Binti Ahmad, Jeyanthi Suppiah, Kok Keng Tee, Tahir Aris, Lonny Chen Rong Qi Ahmad
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023093.   Published online October 17, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023093
  • 3,300 View
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to develop susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered-vaccinated (SEIRV) models to examine the effects of vaccination on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) case trends in Malaysia during Phase 3 of the National COVID-19 Immunization Program amidst the Delta outbreak.
METHODS
SEIRV models were developed and validated using COVID-19 case and vaccination data from the Ministry of Health, Malaysia, from June 21, 2021 to July 21, 2021 to generate forecasts of COVID-19 cases from July 22, 2021 to December 31, 2021. Three scenarios were examined to measure the effects of vaccination on COVID-19 case trends. Scenarios 1 and 2 represented the trends taking into account the earliest and latest possible times of achieving full vaccination for 80% of the adult population by October 31, 2021 and December 31, 2021, respectively. Scenario 3 described a scenario without vaccination for comparison.
RESULTS
In scenario 1, forecasted cases peaked on August 28, 2021, which was close to the peak of observed cases on August 26, 2021. The observed peak was 20.27% higher than in scenario 1 and 10.37% lower than in scenario 2. The cumulative observed cases from July 22, 2021 to December 31, 2021 were 13.29% higher than in scenario 1 and 55.19% lower than in scenario 2. The daily COVID-19 case trends closely mirrored the forecast of COVID-19 cases in scenario 1 (best-case scenario).
CONCLUSIONS
Our study demonstrated that COVID-19 vaccination reduced COVID-19 case trends during the Delta outbreak. The compartmental models developed assisted in the management and control of the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia.
Summary
Key Message
The effectiveness of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination against the highly transmissible Delta variant remained uncertain during the initial phase of the Delta outbreak in Malaysia. The innovative use of compartmental models provided scientific evidence of the potential impact of COVID-19 vaccination in reducing COVID-19 case trends based on local epidemiological data and offered forecasts of COVID-19 case trends based on varying vaccination rates which assisted resource planning and enhanced healthcare system preparedness. This evidence played a crucial role in bolstering public confidence in vaccination efforts and assisted in the control and management of the pandemic.
Special Article
Cancer risk based on alcohol consumption levels: a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis
Seunghee Jun, Hyunjin Park, Ui-Jeong Kim, Eun Jeong Choi, Hye Ah Lee, Bomi Park, Soon Young Lee, Sun Ha Jee, Hyesook Park
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023092.   Published online October 16, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023092
  • 3,247 View
  • 340 Download
  • 1 Web of Science
  • 1 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Alcohol consumption is a well-established risk factor for cancer. Despite extensive research into the relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer risk, the effect of light alcohol consumption on cancer risk remains a topic of debate. To contribute to this discourse, we conducted a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis.
METHODS
Our systematic review aimed to investigate the associations between different levels of alcohol consumption and the risk of several cancer types. We focused on analyzing prospective associations using data from 139 cohort studies. Among them, 106 studies were included in the meta-analysis after a quantitative synthesis.
RESULTS
Our analysis did not find a significant association between light alcohol consumption and all-cause cancer risk (relative risk, 1.02; 95% confidence interval, 0.99 to 1.04), but we observed a dose-response relationship. Light alcohol consumption was significantly associated with higher risks of esophageal, colorectal, and breast cancers. Light to moderate drinking was associated with elevated risks of esophageal, colorectal, laryngeal, and breast cancers. Heavy drinking was also found to contribute to the risk of stomach, liver, pancreas, and prostate cancers, thereby increasing the risk of almost all types of cancer. Additionally, females generally had lower cancer risks compared to males.
CONCLUSIONS
Our findings highlight that cancer risks extend beyond heavy alcohol consumption to include light alcohol consumption as well. These findings suggest that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption associated with cancer risk. Our results underscore the importance of public health interventions addressing alcohol consumption to mitigate cancer risks.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 코호트 연구를 기반으로 하여 음주의 수준에 따른 암 위험 연관성에 대해 체계적 문헌고찰(139편)과 메타분석(106편)을 수행하였다. 연구 결과, 음주와 암 위험 사이에 용량-반응 관계가 나타났으며, 소량의 음주는 암 유형에 따라 차이가 있었으나, 식도암, 대장암, 전립선암(남성), 유방암(여성)에서 암 위험과의 연관성이 있음을 발견했다. 따라서, 암 위험 측면에서 음주에 안전한 수준이 없음을 시사하며, 음주와 관련된 잠재적 피해를 완화하기 위해서는 음주 지침 강화와 같은 공중보건개입이 필요하다.
Key Message
The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between different levels of alcohol consumption and the risk of various cancer types through a systematic review and meta-analysis, providing insights into the ongoing debate about alcohol consumption and cancer causality. The findings support a dose-response relationship between alcohol consumption levels and cancer risk and the light alcohol consumption was associated with risks of esophageal, colorectal, prostate (male), and breast (female) cancer. These results emphasize the absence of a safe threshold for alcohol consumption in terms of cancer risk.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Exploring genetic associations of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with extraintestinal cancers in European and East Asian populations
    Chengdong Yu, Jiawei Xu, Siyi Xu, Lei Tang, Qinyuan Han, Xiaoqiang Zeng, Yanxiao Huang, Tenghua Yu, Zhengkui Sun
    Frontiers in Immunology.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
COVID-19: Cohort Profile
Cohort profile: investigating SARS-CoV-2 infection and the health and psychosocial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Canadian CHILD Cohort
Rilwan Azeez, Larisa Lotoski, Aimée Dubeau, Natalie Rodriguez, Myrtha E. Reyna, Tyler Freitas, Stephanie Goguen, Maria Medeleanu, Geoffrey L. Winsor, Fiona S. L. Brinkman, Emily E. Cameron, Leslie Roos, Elinor Simons, Theo J. Moraes, Piush J. Mandhane, Stuart E. Turvey, Shelly Bolotin, Kim Wright, Deborah McNeil, David M. Patrick, Jared Bullard, Marc-André Langlois, Corey R. Arnold, Yannick Galipeau, Martin Pelchat, Natasha Doucas, Padmaja Subbarao, Meghan B. Azad
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023091.   Published online October 13, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023091
  • 3,729 View
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected all Canadian families, with some impacted differently than others. Our study aims to: (1) determine the prevalence and transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among Canadian families, (2) identify predictors of infection susceptibility and severity of SARS-CoV-2, and (3) identify health and psychosocial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study builds upon the CHILD Cohort Study, an ongoing multi-ethnic general population prospective cohort consisting of 3,454 Canadian families with children born in Vancouver, Edmonton, Manitoba, and Toronto between 2009 and 2012. During the pandemic, CHILD households were invited to participate in the CHILD COVID-19 Add-On Study involving: (1) brief biweekly surveys about COVID-19 symptoms and testing; (2) quarterly questionnaires assessing COVID-19 exposure and testing, vaccination status, physical and mental health, and pandemic-driven life changes; and (3) in-home biological sampling kits to collect blood and stool. In total, 1,462 households (5,378 participants) consented to the CHILD COVID-19 Add-On Study: 2,803 children (mean±standard deviation [SD], 9.0±2.7 years; range, 0-17 years) and 2,576 adults (mean±SD, 43.0±6.5 years; range, 18-85 years). We will leverage the wealth of pre-pandemic CHILD data to identify risk and resilience factors for susceptibility and severity to the direct and indirect pandemic effects. Our short-term findings will inform key stakeholders and knowledge users to shape current and future pandemic responses. Additionally, this study provides a unique resource to study the long-term impacts of the pandemic as the CHILD Cohort Study continues.
Summary
Key Message
· This study of 1,462 Canadian families (5,378 individuals) leverages a decade of extensive pre-pandemic CHILD Cohort Study data to identify risk and resilience factors for susceptibility to the direct and indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. · Our short-term findings will inform key stakeholders and knowledge users to shape current and future pandemic responses. · This study provides a unique resource to study the long-term impacts of the pandemic as the CHILD Cohort Study continues.
COVID-19: Original Article
Risk of lymphadenopathy from SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in Korea: a self-controlled case series analysis
Mi-Sook Kim, Bongyoung Kim, Jeong Pil Choi, Nam-Kyong Choi, Jung Yeon Heo, Jun Yong Choi, Joongyub Lee, Sang Il Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023090.   Published online October 13, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023090
  • 3,704 View
  • 126 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
To assess the risk of lymphadenopathy following severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination.
METHODS
A self-controlled case series design was used to determine whether the risk of lymphadenopathy was higher in the 1-day to 42-day risk interval after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination compared to the control period. In addition, subgroup analyses were conducted according to baseline characteristics, time since vaccination, and sensitivity analyses adjusted for the length of the risk interval.
RESULTS
The risk of developing lymphadenopathy in the risk interval (1-42 days) after COVID-19 vaccination compared to the control period was significantly increased, with a relative incidence (RI) of 1.17 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.17 to 1.18) when the first, second, and third doses were combined. The RI was greater on the day of vaccination (1.47; 95% CI, 1.44 to 1.50). In subgroup analyses by baseline characteristics, a significantly increased risk or trend toward increased risk was observed in most subgroups except for those aged 70 years and older, with a significant increase in risk in younger individuals, those with a Charlson’s comorbidity index <5, and those who received mRNA vaccines (mRNA-1273>BNT162b2). Within the 1-day to 42-day post-dose risk period, the relative risk was highest during the 1-day to 7-day post-dose period (1.59; 95% CI, 1.57 to 1.60) compared to the control period, and then the risk declined. In the sensitivity analysis, we found that the longer the risk window, the smaller the RI.
CONCLUSIONS
SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is associated with a statistically significant increase in the risk of lymphadenopathy, and this risk was observed only with mRNA vaccines.
Summary
Korean summary
질병관리청의 코로나19 예방접종자료와 국민건강보험공단 자료를 이용하여 수행한 본 자기대조환자군 연구에서 코로나19 백신접종은 42일 내 림프절병증 발생위험을 1.17배 (95% 신뢰구간, 1.17-1.18) 증가시키는 것으로 나타났다. 이러한 위험의 증가는 mRNA 백신에 국한하여 관찰되었으며 연령이 낮을수록, 여성일수록 상대위험도가 높은 것으로 나타났다.
Key Message
This self-controlled case series study, using the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency COVID-19 vaccination database and the National Health Insurance Service database, showed an increased risk of developing lymphadenopathy following vaccination (RR 1.17; 95% CI, 1.17 to 1.18). The elevated risk of lymphadenopathy is specifically associated with mRNA platform vaccines, not viral vector vaccines, and is more pronounced in younger individuals and females.
Original Article
Regional disparities in major cancer incidence in Korea, 1999-2018
Eun Hye Park, Mee Joo Kang, Kyu-Won Jung, Eun Hye Park, E Hwa Yun, Hye-Jin Kim, Hyun-Joo Kong, Chang Kyun Choi, Jeong-Soo Im, Hong Gwan Seo, The Community of Population-Based Regional Cancer Registries
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023089.   Published online October 12, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023089
  • 1,950 View
  • 117 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 1 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study investigated regional disparities in the incidence of 8 major cancers at the municipal level in Korea during 1999-2018 and evaluated the presence or absence of hot spots of cancer clusters during 2014-2018.
METHODS
The Korea National Cancer Incidence Database was used. Age-standardized incidence rates were calculated by gender and region at the municipal level for 4 periods of 5 years and 8 cancer types. Regional disparities were calculated as both absolute and relative measures. The possibility of clusters was examined using global Moran’s I with a spatial weight matrix based on adjacency or distance.
RESULTS
Regional disparities varied depending on cancer type and gender during the 20-year study period. For men, the regional disparities of stomach, colon and rectum, lung, and liver cancer declined, and those of thyroid and prostate cancer recently decreased, despite an overall increasing incidence. For women, regional disparities in stomach, colon and rectum, lung, liver, and cervical cancer declined, that of thyroid cancer recently decreased, despite an overall increasing incidence, and that of breast cancer steadily increased. In 2014-2018, breast cancer (I, 0.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.53 to 0.70) showed a high probability of cancer clusters in women, and liver cancer (I, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.56) showed a high probability of cancer clusters in men.
CONCLUSIONS
Disparities in cancer incidence that were not seen at the national level were discovered at the municipal level. These results could provide important directions for planning and implementing local cancer policies.
Summary
Korean summary
이 연구는 한국 시군구 단위에서 지난 20년(1999-2018)간 주요 8개 암 발생률의 지역 간 격차를 조사하고, 최근 5년(2014-2018)의 암 발생 군집 가능성을 평가했습니다. 지역 간 격차는 여성에서 갑상선암, 남성에서는 폐암이 가장 큰 격차를 보였습니다. 군집 가능성은 여성의 경우 유방암, 남성의 경우 간암에서 가장 높았습니다. 전국 단위에서는 볼 수 없었던 지역 간 격차 및 군집 발생 가능성이 시군구 단위에서 발견되었고, 이러한 결과는 지역에 맞는 암 정책을 기획하고 실행하는 데 중요한 방향을 제시할 수 있을 것입니다.
Key Message
This study investigated regional disparities in the incidence of eight major cancers in Korea at the municipal level during 1999-2018 and assessed the possibility of cancer clusters during 2014-2018. Thyroid cancer in women and lung cancer in men showed the most significant regional disparities. Breast cancer in women and liver cancer in men displayed the highest possibility of clustering. Regional disparities and cancer clusters were identified locally, which were not detected nationally. These findings could provide valuable guidance for developing and implementing cancer policies that are tailored to local needs.

Citations

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  • Hormone Replacement Therapy and Risks of Various Cancers in Postmenopausal Women with De Novo or a History of Endometriosis
    Hee Joong Lee, Banghyun Lee, Hangseok Choi, Minkyung Lee, Kyungjin Lee, Tae Kyoung Lee, Sung Ook Hwang, Yong Beom Kim
    Cancers.2024; 16(4): 809.     CrossRef

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health