High free sugar intake during pregnancy was associated with a heightened risk of allergy and allergic asthma in the children, independent of their sugar intake during early childhood, according to the ALSPAC* study.
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Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a prevalent disease worldwide. Consequences of HPV infection vary, depending on the infected individuals and the HPV genotype involved. Life-threatening consequences are not uncommon, and cervical cancer is a clear demonstration of the virus’s potency. While the incidence of cervical cancer is heavily concentrated on developing countries,1 the impact of HPV-related diseases on developed countries has not ceased. In the United States alone, HPV infections are the most common sexually transmitted disease with an estimated 5 million new cases being diagnosed in 2000 among young adults, incurring nearly US$3 billion in terms of direct medical costs.2 A multinational study involving 18,498 women showed that cervical HPV prevalence varied greatly geographically, ranging from the low of 1.6% in North Vietnam to the high of 27% in Nigeria. In general, HPV prevalence peaked among young, sexually active women and declined with age. In selected countries, however, a second peak was noted in women older than 55 years.3 The high prevalence of HPV-related diseases incurs a heavy burden on the healthcare systems of developed and developing countries alike, which renders HPV research and prevention a global public health imperative. On an individual level, the afflictions caused by HPV-related diseases go beyond that of physical suffering to affecting the psychological well-being of the infected. This is the focus of our paper.
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global problem. Chronic
HBV infection is probably the most common maternal infection encountered
in Hong Kong, China, and Southeast Asia. In Hong Kong, which is one of
the endemic areas, immunisation against HBV was first provided in 1983
to infants born to mothers who were screened positive for hepatitis B
surface antigen (HBsAg). Immunisation became widespread since November
1988, but HBsAg-positive mothers are still encountered frequently.1