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This cross-sectional study aimed to examine factors potentially associated with psychological distress among undergraduate students during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in Japan.
We analyzed data of 958 undergraduates (median age 20 y; 56.8% women) from a Web-based, self-administered questionnaire survey conducted from August to September 2020. Prevalence ratios (PRs) for psychological distress defined as 5 points or over of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) were calculated by Poisson regression models.
The proportion of psychological distress was 40.0%. In the mutually-adjusted model, the following were significantly associated with psychological distress: decreases in household income to 50-99% of the prepandemic amount compared with no change (PR = 1.48), newly experiencing unpaid wages compared with no experience (PR = 1.44), insufficient money to buy necessities compared with no shortage (PR = 1.45), receiving a student loan or scholarship compared with none (PR = 1.27), and communication 1 to 3 times a month compared with at least once a week (PR = 1.22). In contrast, school closure during the pandemic compared with no closure was inversely associated with psychological distress (PR = 0.78).
Among undergraduate students in Japan, economic difficulties significantly predicted psychological distress.
The International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects, Surveillance and Research reports a rise in the prevalence rate of spina bifida in Japan. We determined first-trimester folate status of Hokkaido women and identified potential predictors. Participants were 15 266 pregnant women of the Hokkaido Study on Environment and Children’s Health Cohort. Data were extracted from self-reported questionnaires and biochemical assay results. Demographic determinants of low folate status were younger maternal age (adjusted OR (AOR) 1·48; 95 % CI 1·32, 1·66), lower educational level (AOR 1·27; 95 % CI 1·17, 1·39) and lower annual income (AOR 1·11; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·22). Plasma cotinine concentrations of 1·19–65·21 nmol/l increased the risk of low folate status (AOR 1·20; 95 % CI 1·10, 1·31) and concentrations >65·21 nmol/l further increased the risk (AOR 1·91; 95 % CI 1·70, 2·14). The most favourable predictor was use of folic acid (FA) supplements (AOR 0·19; 95 % CI 0·17, 0·22). Certain socio-demographic factors influence folate status among pregnant Japanese women. Modifiable negative and positive predictors were active and passive tobacco smoking and use of FA supplements. Avoiding both active and passive tobacco smoking and using FA supplements could improve the folate status of Japanese women.
The charcoal burning suicide epidemics in both Hong Kong and Taiwan have
been well documented. However, little is known about the situation in
To examine the impact of charcoal burning suicide on the overall and
other method-specific suicide rates between 1998 and 2007 in Japan.
Using data obtained from the Vital Statistics of Japan, negative binomial
regression analyses were performed to investigate the impact of the
charcoal burning method.
In males and females aged 15–24 and 25–44 years, the charcoal burning
epidemic led to a substantial increase in overall suicides, without a
decrease in other methods. In all other age groups, no such trend was
In young Japanese, the charcoal burning method may have appealed to
individuals who might not have chosen other highly or relatively lethal
methods, and consequently led to an increase in overall suicides.
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