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Women, Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2022) – 11 articles

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9 pages, 1379 KiB  
Article
Transdermal Absorption of Sclareol, an Active Ingredient in Clary Sage Oil: A Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Menopausal Symptoms
by Yutaka Matsumoto and Kazumasa Horikawa
Women 2022, 2(3), 304-312; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2030028 - 14 Sep 2022
Viewed by 3390
Abstract
Clary sage oil is commonly used in complementary and alternative medicine to treat menopausal symptoms. However, whether sclareol, which is considered to have estrogen-like effects, can be absorbed transdermally remains unknown. Therefore, in this study, we applied sclareol dissolved in jojoba oil to [...] Read more.
Clary sage oil is commonly used in complementary and alternative medicine to treat menopausal symptoms. However, whether sclareol, which is considered to have estrogen-like effects, can be absorbed transdermally remains unknown. Therefore, in this study, we applied sclareol dissolved in jojoba oil to the dorsal skin of male Hos-HR-1 mice 30 min before blood sampling. We examined whether sclareol can be detected in the plasma because of transdermal absorption using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. The concentration of sclareol in plasma and liver samples calculated based on the measured sample concentration and the recovery rate was 0.36 ± 0.08 and 1.69 ± 0.32 ppm, respectively. Furthermore, there was a significant positive correlation between the plasma sclareol concentration and hepatic homogenate sclareol concentration. Our findings indicate that sclareol is absorbed transdermally and accumulates in the liver. Moreover, the lack of change in plasma blood urea nitrogen, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase levels among the three groups indicates that there was no hepatic or renal damage due to transdermal absorption of sclareol in Hos-HR-1 mice. However, further validation in humans is required because the thickness of the dermis and the number of pores significantly differ between mice and humans. Full article
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19 pages, 833 KiB  
Article
Factors Influencing the Utilization of Antenatal Services among Women of Childbearing Age in South Africa
by Putunywa Zandrina Nxiweni, Kelechi Elizabeth Oladimeji, Mirabel Nanjoh, Lucas Banda, Felix Emeka Anyiam, Francis Leonard Mpotte Hyera, Teke R. Apalata, Jabu A. Mbokazi and Olanrewaju Oladimeji
Women 2022, 2(3), 285-303; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2030027 - 10 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 6882
Abstract
Access to quality care before, during, and after childbirth remains an effective means of reducing maternal and neonatal mortality. Therefore, the study identified factors influencing the utilization of prenatal care services among women of childbearing age in South Africa. This is a retrospective [...] Read more.
Access to quality care before, during, and after childbirth remains an effective means of reducing maternal and neonatal mortality. Therefore, the study identified factors influencing the utilization of prenatal care services among women of childbearing age in South Africa. This is a retrospective study based on secondary data from the South African Demographic Health Survey (DHS) conducted from 1998 to 2016. In South Africa, 21.0% of mothers had used ANC services. Higher odds of seeking prenatal care were found in women aged 35 years and older (cOR = 1.26, 95% CI; 1.08–1.47, p = 0.003), married or cohabiting (cOR = 1.13, 95% CI; 1.004–1.27) observed, p = 0.043), higher level of education (tertiary education: cOR = 0.55, p = 0.001), female residents in urban areas (cOR = 1.35, 95% CI; 1.20–1.52, p = 0.001), higher wealth index (cOR = 1.32, 95% CI; 1.15–1.51, p = 0.001), employed (cOR = 1.48, 95% CI; 1.29–1.70, p = 0.001) and media exposure (cOR = 1.27, 95% CI; 1.12–1.44), p = 0.001). The findings of this study provide insight into the need to make maternal health services more accessible, more widely used, and of a higher quality. This requires effective strategic policies that promote patronage to reduce maternal mortality and improve newborn outcomes in South Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Preventive Strategies in Order to Protect Pregnancy)
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11 pages, 945 KiB  
Article
Trends in Hospitalization and Mortality from Cervical Cancer in Brazil Are Linked to Socioeconomic and Care Indicators
by Luiz Vinicius de Alcantara Sousa, Laércio da Silva Paiva, Stefanie de Sousa Antunes Alcantara, Fernando Luiz Affonso Fonseca, Luis Eduardo Werneck de Carvalho and Fernando Adami
Women 2022, 2(3), 274-284; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2030026 - 9 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1336
Abstract
We aimed, through an ecological survey of cervical cancer outcomes in Brazil, to analyze the influence of socioeconomic and care indicators of social vulnerability. The study sample (2010–2015) is composed of women diagnosed with cervical cancer, in different regions of the country. Data [...] Read more.
We aimed, through an ecological survey of cervical cancer outcomes in Brazil, to analyze the influence of socioeconomic and care indicators of social vulnerability. The study sample (2010–2015) is composed of women diagnosed with cervical cancer, in different regions of the country. Data were collected from the Department of Health, in addition to searching the social vulnerability database of the Institute of Applied Economic Research. The incidence of age-standardized hospital admission declined over the years of the study in almost all regions but only one region showed a significant decline in indices of social vulnerability. In two other regions, one important indicator (human capital) significantly decreased. There was a positive correlation between vulnerability indices and age-standardized hospital admissions in most of the country. Decreasing vulnerability by easy access to cancer screening and early treatment improves cervical cancer outcomes. Full article
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10 pages, 256 KiB  
Article
Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Dietary Practices for Mothers in Japan
by Lin Wu, Miao Wu and Akira Ishida
Women 2022, 2(3), 264-273; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2030025 - 25 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1667
Abstract
To the best of our knowledge, changes in mothers’ dietary behaviors or perceptions of dietary intake during the COVID-19 pandemic have not been extensively discussed. Therefore, the present study aimed to clarify how the dietary behaviors of mothers living with their children changed [...] Read more.
To the best of our knowledge, changes in mothers’ dietary behaviors or perceptions of dietary intake during the COVID-19 pandemic have not been extensively discussed. Therefore, the present study aimed to clarify how the dietary behaviors of mothers living with their children changed during the pandemic in Japan. Ordered probit and interval regressions were applied to individual data for mothers living with children under 18 years of age from five independently conducted Surveys of Attitudes toward Food and Nutrition Education (Shokuiku in Japanese). The estimation results showed that although mothers were more likely to eat dinner with their families during the pandemic, attention to healthy dietary practices, frequency of eating nutritionally balanced food, and dietary practices for preventing lifestyle-related diseases were negatively affected by the pandemic. In conclusion, mothers were more likely to decrease their commitment to a healthy and well-balanced diet during the pandemic than before it. Further research based on the latest datasets with detailed information over the long-term is required. Full article
10 pages, 1323 KiB  
Article
Microcredit Membership and Self-Reported Healthcare Autonomy among Bangladeshi Women
by Bishwajit Ghose, Josephine Etowa and Sharmistha Ghose
Women 2022, 2(3), 254-263; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2030024 - 13 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1738
Abstract
Participation in microcredit programs has so far received widespread research and policy attention in the context of health and empowerment among Bangladeshi women. However, not much is known regarding the relationship between participation in microcredit programs and healthcare autonomy (HA) among women. In [...] Read more.
Participation in microcredit programs has so far received widespread research and policy attention in the context of health and empowerment among Bangladeshi women. However, not much is known regarding the relationship between participation in microcredit programs and healthcare autonomy (HA) among women. In the present study, we analyzed two nationally representative surveys (Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2004 and 2014), to assess the relationships between MC membership and HA among adult women (n = 29163), while adjusting for various sociodemographic correlates. Self-reported healthcare decision-making autonomy was assessed by asking whether or not the participant had final say on her healthcare. The findings revealed that between 2004 (20.9%, 95%CI = 19.8, 22.0) and 2014 (14.1%, 95%CI = 13.3, 15.0), the proportion of women reporting HA decreased significantly, despite considerable improvements across several socioeconomic indices, including higher education enrollment and labor market participation. Between 2004 and 2014, the percentage of microcredit borrowers decreased for Grameen (18.9% vs. 10.7%) and BRAC (7.9% vs. 7.4%), while it increased for BRDB (0.9% vs. 7.0%). A multivariate regression analysis revealed that Grameen Bank membership was positively associated with reporting HA in both male- (OR = 1.16, 95%CI = 1.09, 1.23) and female-headed households (OR = 1.44, 95%CI = 1.13, 1.85). A positive association between microcredit membership and HA was also observed for BRAC (OR = 1.33, 95%CI = 1.20, 1.47) and BRDB (OR = 1.18, 95%CI = 1.09, 1.29), but in the male-headed households only. Further analysis indicated that membership with Grameen bank was the most important predictor of HA, followed by BRAC, BRDB, and ASA, with the degree of importance varying substantially between male- and female-headed households. In conclusion, these findings suggest the potential of microcredit programs to promote healthcare autonomy among Bangladeshi women and provide insights for further research, as to why certain programs are more effective than others. Full article
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23 pages, 1001 KiB  
Review
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and the Gut Microbiota–Gut–Brain Axis: Closing Research Gaps through Female Inclusion in Study Design
by Hannah V. Schleupner and Mary Jane Carmichael
Women 2022, 2(3), 231-253; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2030023 - 11 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3036
Abstract
The gastrointestinal tract harbors a densely populated community of microbes that exhibits sexual dimorphism. Dysbiosis of this community has been associated with chronic human disease states ranging from metabolic diseases to neuropsychiatric disorders (NPDs). The gut microbiota–gut–brain axis (GMGBA) is a bi-directional pathway [...] Read more.
The gastrointestinal tract harbors a densely populated community of microbes that exhibits sexual dimorphism. Dysbiosis of this community has been associated with chronic human disease states ranging from metabolic diseases to neuropsychiatric disorders (NPDs). The gut microbiota–gut–brain axis (GMGBA) is a bi-directional pathway that facilitates the interaction of the gut microflora with host physiological functions. Recently, research surrounding the potential roles of the GMGBA in the development of NPDs (e.g., depression, anxiety, and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)) has increased. However, the role of the GMGBA in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an NPD that affects an estimated 8.4% of children (5.1% of female and 11.5% of male children) and 4% of adults (with a male–female odds ratio of 1.6) in the United States, remains understudied. Herein, we synthesize the current literature regarding the GMGBA, ADHD, and the potentially relevant intersections between the GMGBA and ADHD. Recommendations are presented for pathways of future research into the role(s) of the GMGBA in ADHD etiology and symptomatology. Particular focus is given to the potential for the variable of host sex to act as an outcome modifier of the relationship between the GMGBA and ADHD. Full article
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13 pages, 260 KiB  
Article
Perceptions of Human Milk Banks as a Response to the US Infant Formula Shortage: A Mixed Methods Study of US Mothers
by Frederica Jackson and Cecilia Obeng
Women 2022, 2(3), 218-230; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2030022 - 10 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3898
Abstract
Human donor milk from established milk banks is the safest alternative to mother’s own milk. The current study examined US mothers’ perceptions of human milk banks as a response to the ongoing infant formula shortage in the United States. A cross-sectional study with [...] Read more.
Human donor milk from established milk banks is the safest alternative to mother’s own milk. The current study examined US mothers’ perceptions of human milk banks as a response to the ongoing infant formula shortage in the United States. A cross-sectional study with closed and open-ended items was administered through nine Facebook groups, and a final sample of 863 responses was retained in the study. We used descriptive and inferential statistics for statistical analysis, and content and thematic analyses were conducted on open-ended responses. In our sample, 77.4% of respondents perceived human milk banking as a feasible response to the formula shortage crisis. Marital status, education, religion, and willingness to donate milk were associated with respondent perceptions of milk banking as a response to the formula shortage. US mothers’ concerns around the accessibility of milk banks and the cost of human milk were the primary reasons accounting for the hesitancy toward milk banking as a response to the infant formula shortage crisis. The study findings indicate support for milk banking as a potential ‘temporary’ solution to the formula shortage and reveal that milk banking is a tool that is currently being underutilized. It is imperative that stakeholders address the challenges identified by the current study to improve infant feeding and health. Full article
14 pages, 282 KiB  
Article
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting and Breastfeeding Outcomes: The Modifying Effects of Healthcare Access and Women’s Attitudes to FGM/C
by Chinedu U. Obioha, Ogochukwu A. Obioha and Maria Pilar Martin
Women 2022, 2(3), 204-217; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2030021 - 31 Jul 2022
Viewed by 1995
Abstract
The prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in Nigeria is on the rise, although the practice has no known medical/health benefits. This study aims to assess FGM/C’s effect on breastfeeding outcomes and to identify the role of women’s attitudes and their access to [...] Read more.
The prevalence of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in Nigeria is on the rise, although the practice has no known medical/health benefits. This study aims to assess FGM/C’s effect on breastfeeding outcomes and to identify the role of women’s attitudes and their access to healthcare services on these relationships. Associations between FGM/C and breastfeeding outcomes were measured using multi-logistic regression. About 32% of women underwent FGM/C, and 23% believed FGM/C should continue. Women exposed to FGM/C were less likely to initiate early breastfeeding (OR = 0.56, [95% CI = 0.47–0.66]) or to breastfeed exclusively (0.64, [0.57–0.73]). FGM/C acceptance reduced odds of early initiation of breastfeeding (0.57, [0.45–0.73]) (p for interaction < 0.001) and exclusive breastfeeding (0.65, [0.59–0.78]) (p for interaction < 0.001). Four or more antenatal care visits while pregnant modified the associations between FGM/C and early initiation (1.55, [1.26–1.90) (p for interaction < 0.001) or exclusive breastfeeding (2.01, [1.73–2.330]) (p for interaction < 0.001), respectively. FGM/C is associated with breastfeeding outcomes, but this association may be improved with healthcare access and attitudinal changes towards FGM/C. Targeted public health education interventions raising awareness about FGM/C and breastfeeding and policy changes increasing access to prenatal healthcare services in underserved areas are recommended. Full article
15 pages, 2702 KiB  
Article
Early Marriage in Adolescence and Risk of High Blood Pressure and High Blood Glucose in Adulthood: Evidence from India
by Biplab Datta and Ashwini Tiwari
Women 2022, 2(3), 189-203; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2030020 - 27 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2792
Abstract
Adolescence, the transition phase to adulthood, is a critical period for physical and psychological development. Disruptions during this period, such as getting married, could result in various adverse short- and long-term health outcomes. This study aimed to assess the differential risk of two [...] Read more.
Adolescence, the transition phase to adulthood, is a critical period for physical and psychological development. Disruptions during this period, such as getting married, could result in various adverse short- and long-term health outcomes. This study aimed to assess the differential risk of two common chronic conditions—high blood pressure and high blood glucose—in adult women (20–49 years) who were married during different stages of adolescence (10–19 years) compared to women who were married in their youth (20–24 years). Using the most recent nationally representative data from India, we separately assessed the odds in favor of having the two chronic conditions for women who were married during early (10–14 years), middle (15–17 years), and late (18–19 years) adolescence. We found that an earlier age at marriage during adolescence was associated with a higher risk of chronic conditions later in life. Women who were married during early adolescence were respectively 1.29 and 1.23 times more likely (p < 0.001) to have high blood pressure and high blood glucose compared to women who were married in their youth. These findings highlight the importance of preventing underage marriage among adolescent females to address the risk of downstream chronic health consequences as adults. Full article
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9 pages, 575 KiB  
Article
Impact of Female Gender on Acute and Mid-Term Mortality in Patients with ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction during the Pandemic Era
by Lucia Barbieri, Carlo Avallone, Andrea D’Errico, Domitilla Gentile, Dagnachew Cigno Membo, Gabriele Tumminello and Stefano Carugo
Women 2022, 2(3), 180-188; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2030019 - 26 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1652
Abstract
There is still much controversy concerning the impact of gender on mortality during ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The COVID-19 pandemic deeply affected the clinical history of these patients, both in terms of presentation time and management. Our study focuses on STEMI patients [...] Read more.
There is still much controversy concerning the impact of gender on mortality during ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). The COVID-19 pandemic deeply affected the clinical history of these patients, both in terms of presentation time and management. Our study focuses on STEMI patients hospitalized during the darkest period of the pandemic. From a total of 283 patients, women represented 26.8% of the population, with a mean age of 72 ± 11.2 years vs. 64.7 ± 12.6 years in men. Anterior STEMI was the most represented with a mildly reduced ejection fraction (EF 48.3 ± 11.8%) similar between genders. Coronary angiography showed more extensive disease in man, while women presented with a higher Killip class at admission and a more pronounced anemic status. In-hospital and 1-year mortality of the whole cohort were 11.4% and 7.5%, respectively, with no significant differences between genders (14.5% women vs. 10.6% men, p = ns; 9.2% women vs. 7% man, p = ns). EF resulted in being the only independent predictor of mortality in the short-term and at 1-year follow up in both genders. In the acute phase, the only other independent predictor of mortality was COVID-19 infection, secondary to the higher rate of respiratory complications, without any difference in terms of major adverse cardiac events. The impact of COVID-19 infection on mortality was completely lost at 1-year follow up. Full article
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4 pages, 206 KiB  
Commentary
A Costly Choice? In Vitro Fertilization and Those That Terminate: Working towards an Understanding in a Post-Roe America
by Julie Bindeman
Women 2022, 2(3), 176-179; https://doi.org/10.3390/women2030018 - 21 Jul 2022
Viewed by 2460
Abstract
Abortion continues to be a hotly debated topic in the United States, despite the majority of the populace endorsing it as a legal right. The June 2022 ruling from the Supreme Court turned the legal question about abortion back to the states, which [...] Read more.
Abortion continues to be a hotly debated topic in the United States, despite the majority of the populace endorsing it as a legal right. The June 2022 ruling from the Supreme Court turned the legal question about abortion back to the states, which will drastically reduce abortion services in the country and confine abortion access mainly to the coasts. The intersection between abortion and a pregnancy achieved using assisted reproductive technology is one that lacks understanding. While presumed to be rare, as data is not collected in the US about abortions, this intersection exists but is understudied. This paper illuminates the little that we know to date about this intersection as well as where our knowledge is profoundly lacking. Creating a better sense of understanding will enable clinics to counsel patients appropriately when the intersection arises. Full article
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