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A higher tolerance for a larger body size has been associated with obesity in black South African (SA) women. The aim of the present study was to explore perceptions regarding body size and weight loss in a sample of black women from a low-income community in Cape Town, SA.
Qualitative pilot study including five focus groups. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.
Khayelitsha, Cape Town, SA.
Twenty-one black SA women.
The majority of participants had positive perceptions of overweight/obesity, which were influenced by community and cultural perceptions, but some inconsistencies were observed as overweight/obesity was also associated with ill health. Participants identified many benefits to weight loss, but due to the association with sickness, they were concerned about being stigmatised in their community. Although participants had knowledge about healthy eating, the main barrier to eating healthily included the perceived higher cost of healthier food and food insecurity. All participants saw exercise as a strategy to lose weight and improve health, and were interested in participating in a community-based exercise intervention, but negative community perceptions and conflicting views regarding who should lead the intervention were identified as barriers.
These findings highlight the complexities surrounding participants’ perceptions regarding body size, weight loss and weight-loss interventions, and emphasise low socio-economic status as a barrier to change. The study also highlights the strong influence of cultural ideals and community perceptions on personal perceptions. These findings underscore the necessity for culturally appropriate weight-loss interventions in low-income, transitioning communities.
Criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) consider impairment in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) as exclusionary, but cross-sectional studies suggest that some high-level functional deficits are present in MCI. This longitudinal study examines informant-rated IADL in MCI, compared with cognitively normal (CN) older individuals, and explores whether functional abilities, particularly those with high cognitive demand, are predictors of MCI and dementia over a 2-year period in individuals who were CN at baseline.
A sample of 602 non-demented community dwelling individuals (375 CN and 227 with MCI) aged 70–90 years underwent baseline and 24-month assessments that included cognitive and medical assessments and an interview with a knowledgeable informant on functional abilities with the Bayer Activities of Daily Living Scale.
Significantly more deficits in informant-reported IADL with high cognitive demand were present in MCI compared with CN individuals at baseline and 2-year follow-up. Functional ability in CN individuals at baseline, particularly in activities with high cognitive demand, predicted MCI and dementia at follow-up. Difficulties with highly cognitively demanding activities specifically predicted amnestic MCI but not non-amnestic MCI whereas those with low cognitive demand did not predict MCI or dementia. Age, depressive symptoms, cardiovascular risk factors and the sex of the informant did not contribute to the prediction.
IADL are affected in individuals with MCI, and IADL with a high cognitive demand show impairment predating the diagnosis of MCI. Subtle cognitive impairment is therefore likely to be a major hidden burden in society.
To report the case of an adult patient who developed auditory complaints following xylene exposure, and to review the literature on the effects of solvent exposure on hearing.
The patient presented with a gradual deterioration in his ability to hear in difficult acoustic environments and also to hear complex sounds such as music, over a 40-year period. His symptoms began following exposure to the solvent xylene, and in the absence of any other risk factor. Our audiological investigations revealed normal otoacoustic emissions with absent auditory brainstem responses and absent acoustic reflexes in both ears, consistent with a diagnosis of bilateral auditory neuropathy. Central test results were also abnormal, indicating possible involvement of the central auditory pathway.
To our knowledge, this is the first report of retrocochlear hearing loss following xylene exposure. The test results may provide some insight into the effect of xylene as an isolated agent on the human auditory pathway.