Community Cohort: Investigating community health lifestyle in Segamat

In Malaysia, the number of people who are suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood sugar (diabetes), excess weight gain (obesity) and excess fat in the blood (high cholesterol) is continuously increasing. These diseases mainly depend on several individual level risk factors; unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco and alcohol use. It is known that these diseases do not spread from one person to another; that’s why they are called non-communicable diseases. It is found that not only adults but children from the same family also suffer from these diseases. For that reason, SEACO is now conducting a family-based study, called the Community Cohort. The Community Cohort aims to identify whether there is any relationship between parents and their children who suffer from these non-communicable diseases and how common these diseases are at the family level in the Segamat district. In this study, a well-trained SEACO team visits a random sample of households to collect information on individual socio-demography and lifestyle. Blood is taken to identify whether the respondents have diabetes and excess fat in the blood. Urine and hair samples are collected to identify disease links to environmental and genetic factors. The bio-sample collection process is carried out by trained nurses. Two age groups were selected for this study; children between the age of 7 and 17 and adults aged 18 and above. This study targeted to have 200 respondents from five mukims (Sungai Segamat, Bekok, Chaah, Gemereh, Jabi) in Segamat. Respondents’ participation is on a voluntary basis and all the information which respondents provide to SEACO will not be disclosed to anyone except to researchers who will analyse all information to generate a report for each of the mukims. The Community Cohort study is expected to end in February 2017.