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  Access statistics : Table of Contents
   2017| April-June  | Volume 2 | Issue 2  
    Online since July 18, 2017

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Rising popularity of “tobacco-free” hookah among youth: A burgeoning public health challenge for India!
Pavan Pandey
April-June 2017, 2(2):30-35
The world is experiencing a second tobacco consumption pandemic in the form of increasing hookah use among youths. Post-1990s, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of hookah smokers across the world. Despite having a well-formulated tobacco control policy, India has one of the highest numbers of tobacco users in the world. The increase in the proportion of hookah smokers to the levels currently seen in Middle Eastern countries would prove disastrous for India's demographic dividend. However, compared to rest of the world, India is witnessing a slightly different problem in the form of an increase in the number of “tobacco-free” hookah users. This article reviews global hookah smoking trend and how India is ill prepared to counter the increasing hookah use among youths and suggests what government needs to do to prevent global hookah smoking pandemic to spread in India.
  7,385 116 -
Sugar and fat taxes as means to halt obesity and prevent lifestyle diseases: Opportunities and challenges in the Indian context
Saurav Basu, Neha Dahiya, Damodar Bachani
April-June 2017, 2(2):56-59
Obesity in both children and adults is a major public health problem globally and is also increasing in the developing world which contributes to the epidemic of early onset of non-communicable diseases and associated premature mortality. Dietary consumption of unhealthy foods rich in sugar, salt and saturated fats is a significant risk factor for obesity. There is growing evidence that taxation on sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) and fat rich foods along with restricting access to such unhealthy foods in school premises can shift dietary consumption patterns of school students towards healthier foods and reduce their risk of developing obesity and lifestyle diseases. However, despite some limited initiatives, the application of taxes on SSBs as a public health intervention have yet to be unequivocally applied in Indian settings due to inadequate advocacy from public health groups and political reluctance due to the industry being a major source of tax revenue. Efforts in combating obesity through tax on unhealthy foods like SSBs and fats is overdue in India but the barriers and challenges against their successful implementation cannot be overlooked. These include the necessity of application of a sufficiently high tax which would compel manufacturers of unhealthy foods like SSBs to pass the burden of the tax upon consumers by significantly increase retail prices. Furthermore, India's vast informal food sector producing local counterparts of branded SSB and fat foods should not be spared and kept out of the taxation net out of any political considerations. Similarly, the restriction on sale of unhealthy foods in school premises should also include implementation in areas and markets in the vicinity to which students have easy access.
  5,869 149 -
Determinants of hypertension among adults in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia: A matched case–control study
Alemayehu Bekele Mengesha, Susan Benedict, Eva Kantelhardt
April-June 2017, 2(2):36-44
Background: Hypertension has become an epidemic and a global public health challenge resulting in considerable morbidity, mortality, and disability in human beings. There are reports indicating increasing magnitude of hypertension in Ethiopia. Despite this fact, less is known as for the determinants of hypertension. Objective: To assess the determinants of hypertension among adults in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. Methods: A matched case–control study design was employed to identify the determinants of hypertension. A total of 117 cases and 235 controls were included in the study. Conditional logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify the determinants of hypertension. Results: Low-income status, moderate work-related physical activity, shorter duration of alcohol use, and normal waist circumference were found to reduce the odds of hypertension. Poor perception on body size and mental stress was found to increase the odds of hypertension. Conclusions: Multifaceted interventions including raising awareness and attitudinal changes on lifestyle modifications have to be intervened to prevent the risky behaviors by different actors.
  5,337 96 -
Urban–rural differences in cancer incidence and pattern in Punjab and Chandigarh: Findings from four new population-based cancer registries in North India
JS Thakur, Atul Budukh, Rakesh Kapoor, Pankaj Malhotra, Md Abu Bashar, S Kathirvel, Rajesh Dixit, Pankaj Arora, SPS Bhatia, RA Badwe
April-June 2017, 2(2):49-55
Background: Establishment of a cancer registry is the first step in cancer control, and population-based cancer registries (PBCRs) are considered the gold standard for providing information on cancer incidence and mortality at population level. Materials and Methods: Earlier surveys reported a high prevalence of cancer in Punjab state. To address this issue and to provide reliable data on cancer incidence and mortality, four PBCRs were set up in Punjab and Chandigarh in year 2013 covering a total population of 4.5 million with PBCR Chandigarh and SAS Nagar, predominantly urban (covering 2.9 million population) and Mansa and Sangrur, predominantly rural (covering 2.6 million population). Results: Among males, Chandigarh and SAS Nagar have the age-standardized incidence rates (ASRs) of 93.5 and 73.5/100,000, respectively, whereas PBCR Mansa and Sangrur have age-standardized incidence rates (ASIRs) of only 45.3 and 43.7/100,000, respectively. Similarly, in females, PBCR Chandigarh and SAS Nagar have the ASIRs of 105.0 and 104.5/100,000, respectively, which was almost 2 times that seen at PBCR Mansa (55.8/100,000) and Sangrur (52.8/100,000). The incidence of breast cancer in females was 4–5 times higher in urban registries as compared to rural ones, whereas incidence of lung cancer was 4–7 times higher in urban registries. The most common cancer was lung cancer among males and breast cancer among females at PBCR Chandigarh and SAS Nagar, whereas it was esophagus among males and cervical cancer among females at PBCR Mansa and Sangrur. Conclusion: There were wider urban–rural differences with respect to incidence and pattern of cancers among the four registries which may be due to urbanization, lifestyle, and environmental factors which need to be explored further. Cancer incidence and pattern of cancer in Punjab are comparable with rest of the country.
  5,057 200 -
Next major challenge in global noncommunicable diseases
Arun Chockalingam
April-June 2017, 2(2):27-29
  3,077 70 -
Magnitude and correlates of hypertension among geriatric women in a resettlement colony of Delhi
Tulika Singh, S Nagesh
April-June 2017, 2(2):45-48
Background: Hypertension is one of the most important causes of mortality and morbidity in the geriatric age group. Objective: The objective was to study the magnitude and correlates of hypertension among geriatric women in a resettlement colony of Delhi. Materials and Methods: A community-based, cross-sectional study for the duration of 1 year was conducted among 512 geriatric women (≥60 years). Demographic characteristics and behavioral risk factors were determined by interview, and the participants underwent physical examination (blood pressure, height, weight, and waist circumference). Chi-square and unpaired t-tests were employed to study the association between risk factors and hypertension followed by multivariate regression analysis. Results: The prevalence of hypertension was 16.01%. Age, marital status, socioeconomic status, financial dependence, tobacco and alcohol use, physical activity, coexisting diabetes, body mass index, and waist circumference were significantly associated with hypertension on univariate analysis. In multivariate analysis, tobacco use, coexisting diabetes, and obesity were significant explanatory variables for hypertension. Conclusion: This study identifies some of the major factors associated with hypertension in geriatric women. Therefore, community-based approaches for improving awareness regarding hypertension and its risk factors and lifestyle modifications are essential to reduce the burden.
  2,966 76 -