International Women’s Day – Clustering of Lifestyle risk factors

Clustering of Lifestyle risk factors and Understanding its association with Stress on health and wellbeing among school Teachers in Malaysia (CLUSTer), one of the largest cohort study among teachers in Malaysia is initiated in 2013 and led by Associate Professor Dr Moy Foong Ming.

Dr Moy first joined the department as a Dietitian and did her Master in Nutrition (UKM) and Master of Medical Science in Public Health (UM). She then pursues her PhD part-time under the supervision of the late Professor Atiya Sallam (Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, UM) and Associate Professor Dr Wong Mee Lian (National University of Singapore).

The CLUSTer was established with approximately 2.3 million ringgit, sponsored by the Malaysia Ministry of Higher Education, High Impact Research Grant (HIR No. H-20001-00-E000069). The research team members are Prof Awang Bulgiba, Prof Sanjay Rampal, Prof Victor Hoe, Assoc Prof Noran Naqiah Hairi and Associate Professor Ng Chong Guan (Dept of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, UM) with international collaborators i.e., Prof Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita (Netherlands), Professor David Koh (NUS, Singapore), Dr Brian Buckley (National University of Ireland), Dr Petra Wark (Imperial College London).

A total of 14,500 teachers from six states of Peninsular Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Penang, Malacca, Johor and Terengganu) were recruited. Data on socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyle risk factors (diet, physical activities, stress, smoking and alcohol consumption), medical history, occupational conditions, mental health and quality of life etc were collected. Biosamples such as plasma, serum and buffy coat were also collected and a biobank was set up.

The objectives of the study are to study teachers in Malaysia with respect to clustering of lifestyle risk factors and work-related stress, and subsequently, to follow-up the population for important health outcomes. The protocol can be assessed from BMC Public Health 2014, 14(1):611.

A total of 8 post-graduate candidates worked in this study. More than 10 manuscripts were published in peer review journals. Some of the research topics include:

  1. Vitamin D and obesity
  2. Vitamin D and depression
  3. Social support and metabolic syndrome
  4. Food pattern and blood glucose
  5. Sleep quality and health/quality of life
  6. Psychosocial work environment on stress and satisfaction of teachers
  7. Reproductive characteristics and cardiovascular risks among women
  8. Lifetime social determinants and metabolic syndrome
  9. Psychological distress and self-reported musculoskeletal pain
  10. Voice disorder among teachers

Collaborators are welcome:

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