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Original Articles
Epidemiology and Inequality in the Incidence and Mortality of Nasopharynx Cancer in Asia
Neda Mahdavifar, Mahshid Ghoncheh, Abdollah Mohammadian-Hafshejani, Bahman Khosravi, Hamid Salehiniya
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2016;7(6):360-372.   Published online December 31, 2016
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2016.11.002
  • 2,275 View
  • 19 Download
  • 32 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
One of the most common head and neck cancers is nasopharynx cancer. Knowledge about the incidence and mortality of this disease and its distribution in terms of geographical areas is necessary for further study and better planning. Therefore, this study was conducted with the aim of determining the incidence and mortality rates of nasopharynx cancer and its relationship with the Human Development Index (HDI) in Asia in 2012.
Methods
The aim of this ecologic study was to assess the correlation between age-specific incidence rate (ASIR) and age-specific mortality rate (ASMR) with HDI and its components, which include the following: life expectancy at birth, mean years of schooling, and gross national income per capita. Data about SIR and SMR for every Asian country for 2012 were obtained from the global cancer project. We used the correlation bivariate method for the assessment. Statistical significance was assumed if p < 0.05. All reported p values are two-sided. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS (Version 15.0, SPSS Inc.).
Results
A total of 68,272 cases (males, 71.02%; females, 28.97%; sex ratio, 2.45) and 40,530 mortalities (males, 71.63%; females, 28.36%; sex ratio, 2.52) were recorded in Asian countries in 2012. The five countries with the highest ASIR of nasopharynx cancer were Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Brunei, and the five countries with the highest ASMR were Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei. The correlation between HDI and ASIR was 0.097 (p = 0.520) [0.105 in men (p = 0.488) and 0.119 in women (p = 0.901)]. The correlation between HDI and ASMR was –0.102 (p = 0.502) [–0.072 in men (p = 0.633) and –0.224 in women (p = 0.134)].
Conclusion
Nasopharynx cancer is native to Southeast Asia. The highest incidence and mortality rates are found in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Brunei. No significant relation was found between the standardized incidence and mortality rates of nasopharynx cancer and the HDI components. Further studies are recommended in Southeast Asian countries in order to find the etiology of cancer, as well as its diagnosis and treatment.
Modification of AxSYM Human Immunodeficiency Virus Assay to Identify Recent Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infections in Korean Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Positive Individuals
Jin-Sook Wang, Mee-Kyung Kee, Byeong-Sun Choi, Sung Soon Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015;6(3):184-191.   Published online June 30, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.06.002
  • 1,583 View
  • 18 Download
  • 1 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
To estimate human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) incidence using HIV avidity assays in Korea, we established a serological testing method to differentiate recent HIV infections from long-standing ones.
Methods
We adopted two incidence assays, the BED HIV-1 incidence test (Calypte Biomedical) and an HIV avidity assay (using Abbott AxSYM HIV Antigen/Antibody Combo), and performed them on Korean HIV samples obtained from 81 HIV seroconverters (n = 193), 135 HIV-positive samples, and three HIV commercial incidence panels (PRB965, PRB933, and PRB601 from SeaCare). To determine the most optimal concentration of the chaotropic agent (Guanidine) and the cutoff value for the avidity assay, we evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of the assay at different concentration levels.
Results
We determined that the concentration of Guanidine to be used in the avidity assay was 1.5M. The cutoff value of the avidity index (AI) was 0.8, and the sensitivity and specificity were 90.2% and 83.8%, respectively, under this condition. The gray zone for the avidity assay was 0.75–0.85 AI. The mean of coefficient of variation was low, at 5.43%.
Conclusion
An optimized avidity assay for the diagnosis of recent HIV infections using Korean samples was established. This assay will be applied to investigate the level of recent infection and will provide basic data to the HIV prevention policy in Korea.
Joint Disease Mapping of Two Digestive Cancers in Golestan Province, Iran Using a Shared Component Model
Parisa Chamanpara, Abbas Moghimbeigi, Javad Faradmal, Jalal Poorolajal
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2015;6(3):205-210.   Published online June 30, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2015.02.002
  • 1,644 View
  • 15 Download
  • 5 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Recent studies have suggested the occurrence patterns and related diet factor of esophagus cancer (EC) and gastric cancer (GC). Incidence of these cancers was mapped either in general and stratified by sex. The aim of this study was to model the geographical variation in incidence of these two related cancers jointly to explore the relative importance of an intended risk factor, diet low in fruit and vegetable intake, in Golestan, Iran.
Methods
Data on the incidence of EC and GC between 2004 and 2008 were extracted from Golestan Research Center of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Hamadan, Iran. These data were registered as new observations in 11 counties of the province yearly. The Bayesian shared component model was used to analyze the spatial variation of incidence rates jointly and in this study we analyzed the data using this model. Joint modeling improved the precision of estimations of underlying diseases pattern, and thus strengthened the relevant results.
Results
From 2004 to 2008, the joint incidence rates of the two cancers studied were relatively high (0.8–1.2) in the Golestan area. The general map showed that the northern part of the province was at higher risk than the other parts. Thus the component representing diet low in fruit and vegetable intake had larger effect of EC and GC incidence rates in this part. This incidence risk pattern was retained for female but for male was a little different.
Conclusion
Using a shared component model for joint modeling of incidence rates leads to more precise estimates, so the common risk factor, a diet low in fruit and vegetables, is important in this area and needs more attention in the allocation and delivery of public health policies.
The Recency Period for Estimation of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Incidence by the AxSYM Avidity Assay and BED-Capture Enzyme Immunoassay in the Republic of Korea
Hye-Kyung Yu, Tae-Young Heo, Na-Young Kim, Jin-Sook Wang, Jae-Kyeong Lee, Sung Soon Kim, Mee-Kyung Kee
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2014;5(4):187-192.   Published online August 31, 2014
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2014.06.002
  • 1,642 View
  • 16 Download
  • 1 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
Measurement of the incidence of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is very important for epidemiological studies. Here, we determined the recency period with the AxSYM avidity assay and the BED-capture enzyme immunoassay (BED-CEIA) in Korean seroconverters.
Methods
Two hundred longitudinal specimens from 81 seroconverters with incident HIV infections that had been collected at the Korea National Institute of Health were subjected to the AxSYM avidity assay (cutoff = 0.8) and BED-CEIA (cutoff = 0.8). The statistical method used to estimate the recency period in recent HIV infections was nonparametric survival analyses. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated for 10-day increments from 120 days to 230 days to determine the recency period.
Results
The mean recency period of the avidity assay and BED-CEIA using a survival method was 158 days [95% confidence interval (CI), 135–181 days] and 189 days (95% CI, 170–208 days), respectively. Based on the use of sensitivity and specificity, the mean recency period for the avidity assay and BED-CEIA was 150 days and 200 days, respectively.
Conclusion
We determined the recency period to estimate HIV incidence in Korea. These data showed that the nonparametric survival analysis often led to shorter recency periods than analysis of sensitivity and specificity as a new method. These findings suggest that more data from seroconverters and other methodologies are needed to determine the recency period for estimating HIV incidence.
Availability of Clean Tap Water and Medical Services Prevents the Incidence of Typhoid Fever
Deog-Yong Lee, Esther Lee, HyeMin Park, SeongHan Kim
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2013;4(2):68-71.   Published online April 30, 2013
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2013.03.005
  • 1,900 View
  • 19 Download
  • 2 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objective: In this study, the factors that induced a decrease in the incidence of typhoid fever were analyzed. Based on the study results, we propose a quantitative and concrete solution to reduce the incidence of typhoid fever.
Methods
We analyzed the incidence and fatality rate of typhoid fever in Korea. Tap water service rate and the number of pharmacies, which affect the incidence rate of typhoid fever, were used as environmental factors.
Results
To prevent typhoid fever in the community, it is necessary to provide clean tap water service to 35.5% of the population, with an individual requiring 173 L of clean water daily. Appropriate access to clean water (51% service coverage, 307 L) helped the population to maintain individual hygiene and food safety practices, which brought about a decrease in the incidence of typhoid fever, and subsequently a decrease in fatality rate, which was achieved twice. During the 8-year study period, the fatality rate decreased to 1% when the population has access to proper medical service.
Conclusion
The fatality rate was primarily affected by the availability of medical services as well as by the incidence of typhoid fever. However, an analysis of the study results showed that the incidence of typhoid fever was affected only by the availability of clean water through the tap water system.
Are There Spatial and Temporal Correlations in the Incidence Distribution of Scrub Typhus in Korea?
Maengseok Noh, Youngjo Lee, Chaeshin Chu, Jin Gwack, Seung-Ki Youn, Sun Huh
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2013;4(1):39-44.   Published online February 28, 2013
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2013.01.002
  • 2,076 View
  • 21 Download
  • 6 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
A hierarchical generalized linear model (HGLM) was applied to estimate the transmission pattern of scrub typhus from 2001 to 2011 in the Republic of Korea, based on spatial and temporal correlation.
Methods
Based on the descriptive statistics of scrub typhus incidence from 2001 to 2011 reported to the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the spatial and temporal correlations were estimated by HGLM. Incidences according to age, sex, and year were also estimated by the best-fit model out of nine HGLMs. A disease map was drawn to view the annual regional spread of the disease.
Results
The total number of scrub typhus cases reported from 2001 to 2011 was 51,136: male, 18,628 (36.4%); female, 32,508 (63.6%). The best-fit model selected was a combination of the spatial model (Markov random-field model) and temporal model (first order autoregressive model) of scrub typhus transmission. The peak incidence was 28.80 per 100,000 persons in early October and the peak incidence was 40.17 per 100,000 persons in those aged 63.3 years old by the best-fit HGLM. The disease map showed the spread of disease from the southern central area to a nationwide area, excepting Gangwon-do (province), Gyeongsangbuk-do (province), and Seoul.
Conclusion
In the transmission of scrub typhus in Korea, there was a correlation to the incidence of adjacent areas, as well as that of the previous year. According to the disease map, we are unlikely to see any decrease in the incidence in the near future, unless ongoing aggressive measures to prevent the exposure to the vector, chigger mites, in rural areas, are put into place.
Articles
Spatial and Temporal Distribution of Plasmodium vivax Malaria in Korea Estimated with a Hierarchical Generalized Linear Model
Maengseok Noh, Youngjo Lee, Seungyoung Oh, Chaeshin Chu, Jin Gwack, Seung-Ki Youn, Shin Hyeong Cho, Won Ja Lee, Sun Huh
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2012;3(4):192-198.   Published online December 31, 2012
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phrp.2012.11.003
  • 1,944 View
  • 17 Download
  • 10 Citations
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
The spatial and temporal correlations were estimated to determine Plasmodium vivax malarial transmission pattern in Korea from 2001–2011 with the hierarchical generalized linear model.
Methods
Malaria cases reported to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2001 to 2011 were analyzed with descriptive statistics and the incidence was estimated according to age, sex, and year by the hierarchical generalized linear model. Spatial and temporal correlation was estimated and the best model was selected from nine models. Results were presented as diseases map according to age and sex.
Results
The incidence according to age was highest in the 20–25-year-old group (244.52 infections/100,000). Mean ages of infected males and females were 31.0 years and 45.3 years with incidences 7.8 infections/100,000 and 7.1 infections/100,000 after estimation. The mean month for infection was mid-July with incidence 10.4 infections/100,000. The best-fit model showed that there was a spatial and temporal correlation in the malarial transmission. Incidence was very low or negligible in areas distant from the demilitarized zone between Republic of Korea and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) if the 20–29-year-old male group was omitted in the diseases map.
Conclusion
Malarial transmission in a region in Korea was influenced by the incidence in adjacent regions in recent years. Since malaria in Korea mainly originates from mosquitoes from North Korea, there will be continuous decrease if there is no further outbreak in North Korea.

PHRP : Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives