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  • 1
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2014-07-24
    Description: Background: Research confirms the existence of gender-based differences regarding the high-risk sexual behaviour (non-use of condoms and casual partners) of young men and women. The objectives were to provide evidence for this association; to analyse the reasons why both sexes have sexual relations with casual partners and to ascertain the motives for condom use or non-use during casual sex. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed on a sample of 900 participants, 524 males and 376 females. All participants were 15-29 (20.93 +/- 4.071) years of age and came from four different centres (a university, two secondary schools, and a military base) in Melilla (Spain). The participants were given a socio-demographic survey as well as a psychometric text on high-risk sexual behaviour. Results: The results found gender-based significant differences for sexual relations with penetration (p = 0.001), number of sexual partners (p = 0.001), and sexual relations with casual partners (p = 0.001). In all of these variables, male participants had higher percentages than female participants. Reasons for having casual sexual relations were also different for men and women, differences were found for the items, opportunity (p = 0.001), interest in knowing the other person (p = 0.015), physical excitement (p = 0.056) and drug consumption (p = 0.059). Regarding the reasons for consistent condom use with casual partners, there were differences for the item, my demand of a condom (p = 0.002). For the non-use of condoms with casual partners, differences were found for the items, I do not like to use condoms (p = 0.001) and condoms lessen sensitivity and reduce pleasure (p = 0.009). Conclusions: Men and women were found to have different high-risk sexual behaviours and practices. Of the motives for having sexual relations with casual partners, male participants considered opportunity and interest in knowing the other person to be more important than the female participants. Regarding condom use, the female participants' demand to use a condom was a significant gender-based difference. In contrast to the young women, the male participants mostly justified not using a condom because it lessened sensitivity and reduced pleasure.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2458
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 2
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2015-11-24
    Description: Background: Gendered dynamics in heterosexual relationships compromise women’s self-efficacy and increase their vulnerability to acquiring HIV. This study examines the impact of socioeconomic determinants, media exposure, and sexual expectations on sexual behaviors of men and women in the Dominican Republic (DR). Methods: We analyzed cross-sectional data from 51,018 adults in the Dominican Republic age 15 to 45 years collected by the Demographics and Health Survey (DHS) in 2007. Measures included demographic and socioeconomic indicators, social exposures, sexual expectations and sexual behaviors. Logistic regression models explored gender differences in condom use. Results: Study findings indicated that women were less likely to use a condom at last intercourse than men (odds ratio [OR] = 0.29; 95 % CI = 0.27, 0.31). Among men, secondary (OR = 1.43; 95 % CI = 1.16, 1.76) and higher education (OR = 1.58; 95 % CI = 1.25, 2.00), being in the richest quintile (OR = 1.25; 95 % CI = 1.07, 1.47), and living in a female-headed household (OR = 1.13; 95 % CI 1.03, 1.23) increased the likelihood of condom use. Compared to never married men, currently and formerly married men were less likely to use condoms (OR = 0.03; 95 % CI = 0.03, 0.04 and OR = 0.67; 95 % CI = 0.60, 0.75, respectively). The odds of condom use increased for young women 15–19 years old in comparison with women age 30–34 years, but decreased as they grew older. For women, being in the richer quintile (OR = 1.28; 95 % CI = 1.06, 1.54), living in a female-headed household (OR = 1.26; 1.12, 1.41), and having good access to media (OR = 1.24; 95 % CI = 1.12, 1.42) increased the likelihood of condom use. Being currently married or formerly married and living in rural areas decreased such likelihood among women. Conclusions: Study findings provide evidence that, in the DHS, socioeconomic and cultural differences between men and women affects condom use. Efforts to reduce HIV transmission within heterosexual relationships in the DR call for tailored, gender-specific interventions that take into account gender differences of power and sexual behaviors.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2458
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 3
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2013-04-12
    Description: Background: Bullying (Bull) is a public health problem worldwide, and Mexico is not exempt. However, its epidemiology and early detection in our country is limited, in part, by the lack of validated tests to ensure the respondents' anonymity. The aim of this study was to validate a self-administered test (Bull-M) for assessing Bull among high-school Mexicans. Methods: Experts and school teachers from highly violent areas of Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua, Mexico), reported common Bull behaviors. Then, a 10-item test was developed based on twelve of these behaviors; the students' and peers' participation in Bull acts and in some somatic consequences in Bull victims with a 5-point Likert frequency scale. Validation criteria were: content (CV, judges); reliability [Cronbach's alpha (CA), test-retest (spearman correlation, rs)]; construct [principal component (PCA), confirmatory factor (CFA), goodness-of-fit (GF) analysis]; and convergent (Bull-M vs. Bull-S test) validity. Results: Bull-M showed good reliability (CA = 0.75, rs = 0.91; p 〈 0.001). Two factors were identified (PCA) and confirmed (CFA): "bullying me (victim)" and "bullying others (aggressor)". GF indices were: Root mean square error of approximation (0.031), GF index (0.97), and normalized fit index (0.92). Bull-M was as good as Bull-S for measuring Bull prevalence. Conclusions: Bull-M has a good reliability and convergent validity and a bi-modal factor structure for detecting Bull victims and aggressors; however, its external validity and sensitivity should be analyzed on a wider and different population.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2458
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 4
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2015-02-01
    Description: Background: Preventive strategies are the most effective approach for dealing with issues of substance abuse, particularly in teenagers. Such strategies adapt well to this target population. Our objective was to reveal the opinions and beliefs held by teenagers about tobacco and alcohol as types of drugs, and their effects on health. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, participants completed a self-administered questionnaire based on the World Health Organization ?Health Behaviour of School-aged Children? study. Our sample included 1,005 schoolchildren aged between 11 and 13?years, resident in the province of C?rdoba in Spain. Descriptive and univariate analyses were performed using a chi-squared test. Results: Of respondents, 25% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 22.2?27.6%) and 61% (95% CI: 58.0?64.1%), respectively, did not consider tobacco or alcohol to be drugs. No relationship was found between tobacco and alcohol use, and the belief that these are drugs (p?=?0.477 and p?=?0.217, respectively). A total 98.2% of adolescents surveyed (95% CI: 97.3?99.1%) believed that tobacco causes physical damage, mainly to the lungs, heart, and to the developing fetus. Additionally, 92.4% (95% CI: 90.6?94.0%) believed that alcohol is detrimental to health and identified the liver as the organ most frequently damaged by alcohol consumption. The media was identified as the main source of information about these substances by 78.0% of respondents (95% CI: 75.4?80.6%). Conclusions: Teenagers possess an acceptable level of knowledge and information about the negative effects of tobacco and alcohol on health; however, many of them do not consider these substances to be drugs.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2458
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 5
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2013-08-28
    Description: Background: India has the world's highest total number of under-five deaths of any nation. While progress towards Millennium Development Goal 4 has been documented at the state level, little information is available for greater disaggregation of child health markers within states. In 2000, new states were created within the country as a partial response to political pressures. State-level information on child health trends in the new states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand is scarce. To fill this gap, this article examines under-five and neonatal mortality across various equity markers within these two new states, pre-and post-split. Methods: Both direct and indirect estimation using pooled data from five available sources were undertaken. Inter-population disparities were evaluated by mortality data stratification of rural--urban location, ethnicity, wealth and districts. Results: Both states experienced an overall reduction in under-five and neonatal mortality, however, this has stagnated post-2001 and various disparities persist. In cases where disparities have declined, such as between urban--rural populations and low- and high-income groups, this has been driven by modest declines within the disadvantaged groups (i.e. low-income rural households) and stagnation or worsening of outcomes within the advantaged groups. Indeed, rising trends in mortality are most prevalent in urban middle-income households. Conclusions: The results suggest that rural health improvements may have come at the expense of urban areas, where poor performance may be attributed to factors such as lack of access to quality private health facilities. In addition, the disparities may in part be associated with geographical access, traditional practices and district-level health resource allocation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2458
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 6
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2013-07-19
    Description: Background: Physical activity (PA) is suggested to contribute to fat loss not only through increasing energy expenditure "per se" but also increasing muscle mass; therefore, it would be interesting to better understand the specific associations of PA with the different body's components such as fat mass and muscle mass. The aim of the present study was to examine the association between objectively measured PA and indices of fat mass and muscle components independently of each other giving, at the same time, gender-specific information in a wide cohort of European adolescents. Methods: A cross-sectional study in a school setting was conducted in 2200 (1016 males) adolescents (14.7 +/-1.2 years). Weight, height, skinfold thickness, bioimpedance and PA (accelerometry) were measured. Indices of fat mass (body mass index,% fat mass, sum of skinfolds) and muscular component (assessed as fat-free mass) were calculated. Multiple regression analyses were performed adjusting for several confounders including fat-free mass and fat mass when possible. Results: Vigorous PA was positively associated with height (p 〈 0.05) in males, whilst, vigorous PA, moderate-vigorous PA and average PA were negatively associated with all the indices of fat mass (all p 〈 0.01) in both genders, except for average PA in relation with body mass index in females. Regarding muscular components, vigorous PA showed positive associations with fat-free mass and muscle mass (all p 〈 0.05) in both genders. Average PA was positively associated with fat-free mass (both p 〈 0.05) in males and females. Conclusion: The present study suggests that PA, especially vigorous PA, isnegatively associated with indices of fat mass and positively associated with markers of muscle mass, after adjusting for several confounders (including indices of fat mass and muscle mass when possible). Future studies should focus not only on the classical relationship between PA and fat mass, but alsoon PA and muscular components, analyzing the independent role of both with the different PA intensities.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2458
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2015-06-19
    Description: Background: The high prevalence of women that do not reach the recommended level of physical activity is worrisome. A sedentary lifestyle has negative consequences on health status and increases health care costs. The main objective of this project is to assess the cost-effectiveness of a primary care-based exercise intervention in perimenopausal women.Methods/DesignThe present study is a Randomized Controlled Trial.A total of 150 eligible women will be recruited and randomly assigned to either a 16-week exercise intervention (3 sessions/week), or to usual care (control) group.The primary outcome measure is the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio. The secondary outcome measures are: i) socio-demographic and clinical information; ii) body composition; iii) dietary patterns; iv) glycaemic and lipid profile; v) physical fitness; vi) physical activity and sedentary behaviour; vii) sleep quality; viii) quality of life, mental health and positive health; ix) menopause symptoms. All outcomes will be assessed at baseline and post intervention. The data will be analysed on an intention-to-treat basis and per protocol. In addition, we will conduct a cost effectiveness analysis from a health system perspective.DiscussionThe intervention designed is feasible and if it proves to be clinically and cost effective, it can be easily transferred to other similar contexts. Consequently, the findings of this project might help the Health Systems to identify strategies for primary prevention and health promotion as well as to reduce health care requirements and costs.Trial registrationClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02358109. Date of registration: 05/02/2015
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2458
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2015-02-14
    Description: Background: Common interventions for smoking cessation are based on medical advice and pharmacological aid. Information and communication technologies may be helpful as interventions by themselves or as complementary tools to quit smoking. The objective of the study was to determine the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the smoking population attended in primary care, and describe the major factors associated with its use. Methods: Descriptive observational study in 84 health centres in Cataluna, Aragon and Salamanca. We included by simple random sampling 1725 primary healthcare smokers (any amount of tobacco) aged 18-85. Through personal interview professionals collected Socio-demographic data and variables related with tobacco consumption and ICTs use were collected through face to face interviews Factors associated with the use of ICTs were analyzed by logistic regression. Results: Users of at least one ICT were predominantly male, young (18-45 years), from most favoured social classes and of higher education. Compared with non-ICTs users, users declared lower consumption of tobacco, younger onset age, and lower nicotine dependence. The percentages of use of email, text messages and web pages were 65.3%, 74.0% and 71.5%, respectively. Factors associated with the use of ICTs were age, social class, educational level and nicotine dependence level. The factor most closely associated with the use of all three ICTs was age; mainly individuals aged 18-24. Conclusions: The use of ICTs to quit smoking is promising, with the technology of mobile phones having a broader potential. Younger and more educated subjects are good targets for ICTs interventions on smoking cessation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2458
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 9
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2012-11-14
    Description: Background: We aimed to examine whether time spent on different sedentary behaviours is associated with bone mineral content (BMC) in adolescents, after controlling for relevant confounders such as lean mass and objectively measured physical activity (PA), and if so, whether extra-curricular participation in osteogenic sports could have a role in this association. Methods: Participants were 359 Spanish adolescents (12.5-17.5 yr, 178 boys,) from the HELENA-CSS (2006--07). Relationships of sedentary behaviours with bone variables were analysed by linear regression. The prevalence of low BMC (at least 1SD below the mean) and time spent on sedentary behaviours according to extracurricular sport participation was analysed by Chi-square tests. Results: In boys, the use of internet for non-study was negatively associated with whole body BMC after adjustment for lean mass and moderate to vigorous PA (MVPA). In girls, the time spent studying was negatively associated with femoral neck BMC. Additional adjustment for lean mass slightly reduced the negative association between time spent studying and femoral neck BMC. The additional adjustment for MVPA did not change the results at this site. The percentage of girls having low femoral neck BMC was significantly smaller in those participating in osteogenic sports (〉= 3 h/week) than in the rest, independently of the cut-off selected for the time spent studying. Conclusions: The use of internet for non-study (in boys) and the time spent studying (in girls) are negatively associated with whole body and femoral neck BMC, respectively. In addition, at least 3 h/week of extra-curricular osteogenic sports may help to counteract the negative association of time spent studying on bone health in girls.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2458
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 10
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    BioMed Central
    Publication Date: 2016-12-04
    Description: In the alarming context of risk of Zika virus (ZIKV) transmission in the Euro-Mediterranean area, there is a need to examine whether capacities to detect, diagnose and notify ZIKV infections in the region are ...
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2458
    Topics: Medicine
    Published by BioMed Central
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