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Suboptimal health: a potential preventive instrument for non-communicable disease control and management

Suboptimal health status (SHS) is characterized by ambiguous health complaints, general weakness, and lack of vitality, and it has become a new public health challenge in China [1, 2]. SHS is believed to be a subclinical, reversible stage of chronic disease. As studies of intervention and prognosis for SHS are expected to become increasingly important, a reliable and valid instrument for its assessment is essential. A questionnaire for measuring SHS in urban Chinese was developed based on focus group discussions and a literature review [1]. Questionnaire validity and reliability were evaluated in a small pilot study and then in a cross-sectional study of 3000 individuals [2]. The analyses included tests for reliability and internal consistency, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and tests for discriminative ability and convergent validity. The final questionnaire incorporated 25 items on SHS (SHSQ-25), and encompassed 5 subscales: fatigue, cardiovascular system, digestive tract, immune system, and mental status [1, 2]. The SHSQ-25 has proved to be a reliable and valid instrument for measuring sub-health status in urban Chinese [2]. The progress of a combined genomics and glycomics study for screening biomarkers and exploring SHS as a preventive tool for non-communicable disease control and management will be presented [3].


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  2. Yan YX, Do J, Liu YQ, Yang XH, Li M, Xia G, Wang W: Association of suboptimal health status and cardiovascular risk factors in urban Chinese workers. Journal of Urban Health. 2012, doi10.1007/s11524-011-9636-8

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  3. Lu JP, Knezevic A, Wang YX, Rudan I, Campbell H, Zou ZK, Lan J, Lai QY, Wu JJ, He Y, Song MS, hang L, Lauc G, Wang W: Screening novel biomarkers for metabolic syndrome by profiling human plasma N-glycans in Chinese Han and Croatian populations. Journal of Proteome Research. 2011, 10 (11): 4959-4969. 10.1021/pr2004067.

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Correspondence to Wei Wang.

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Wang, W. Suboptimal health: a potential preventive instrument for non-communicable disease control and management. J Transl Med 10 (Suppl 2), A45 (2012).

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