Farah Naja

Abstracts

5 Dietary Patterns and Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet among Breast Cancer Female Patients in Lebanon: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: Farah Naja, Lara Nasreddine, Anas Mugharbel, Maya Khalil, Arafat Tfayli, Yasmine Aridi

Abstract:

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer site among women worldwide and the second most common cause of cancer mortality. Breast cancer rates differ vastly between geographical areas, countries, and within the same country. In Lebanon, the proportion of breast cancer to all other sites of tumor is 38.2%; these rates are still lower than those observed worldwide, but remain the highest among Arab countries. Studies and evidence based reviews show a strong association between breast cancer development and prognosis and dietary habits, specifically the Mediterranean diet (MD). As such, the aim of this study is to examine dietary patterns and adherence to the MD among a sample of 182 breast cancer female patients in Beirut, Lebanon. Subjects were recruited from two major hospitals; a private medical center and a public hospital. All subjects were administered two questionnaires: socio- demographics and Mediterranean diet adherence. Five Mediterranean scores were calculated: MS, MSDPS, PMDI, PREDIMED and DDS. The mean age of the participants was 53.78 years. The overall adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) was low since the sample means of 3 out of the 5 calculated scores were less than the scores’ medians. Given that 4 out of the 5 Mediterranean scores significantly varied between the recruitment sites, women in the private medical center were found to adhere more to the MD. Our results also show that the majority of the sample population’s intakes are exceeding the recommendations for total and saturated fat, while meeting the requirements for fiber, EPA, DHA and Linolenic Acid. Participants in the private medical center were consuming significantly more calories, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, Lycopene, Calcium, Iron and Folate and less fat. After conducting multivariate linear regression analyses, the following significant results were observed: positive associations between MD (CPMDI, PREDIMED) and monthly income & current state of health, while negative associations between MD (MSDPS, PREDIMED) and age & employment status. Our findings indicated a low overall adherence to the MD and identified factors associated with it; which suggests a need to address dietary habits among BC patients in Lebanon, specifically encouraging them to adhere to their traditional Mediterranean diet.

Keywords: Nutrition, Breast Cancer, Adherence, Dietary Patterns, mediterranean diet

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4 Prevalence and Determinants of the Use of CAM and Its Association with Quality of Life in a Sample of Lebanese Breast Cancer Patients: A Cross Sectional Study

Authors: Farah Naja, Romy Abi Fadel, Yasmin Aridi, Aya Zarif, Dania Hariri, Mohammad Alameddine, Anas Mugharbel, Maya Khalil, Zeina Nahleh, Arafat Tfayli

Abstract:

The objective of this study is to assess the prevalence and determinants of CAM use among breast cancer patients in Beirut, Lebanon. A secondary objective is to evaluate the association between CAM use and quality of life (QOL). A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 180 breast cancer patients recruited from two major referral centers in Beirut. In a face to face interview, participants completed a questionnaire comprised of three sections: socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics, breast cancer condition, and CAM use. The assessment of QOL was carried using the FACT-B Arabic version. Prevalence of CAM use since diagnosis was 40%. CAM use was negatively associated with age, treatment at a philanthropic hospital and positively associated with having an advanced stage of disease. The most commonly used CAM was ‘Special food’ followed by ‘Herbal teas’. Only 4% of CAM users cited health care professionals as influencing their choice of CAM. One in four patients disclosed CAM use to their treating physician. There was no significant association between CAM use and QOL. The use of CAM therapies among breast cancer patients is prevalent in Lebanon. Efforts should be dedicated at educating physicians to discuss CAM use with their patients and advising patients to disclose of their use with their physicians.

Keywords: Breast Cancer, Quality of Life, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Lebanon

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3 CAM Use and Its Association with Quality of Life in a Sample of Lebanese Breast Cancer Patients: A Cross Sectional Study

Authors: Farah Naja, Romy Abi Fadel, Yasmin Aridi, Aya Zarif, Dania Hariri, Mohammad Alameddine, Anas Mugharbel, Maya Khalil, Zeina Nahleh, Arafat Tfayli

Abstract:

The objective of this study is to assess the prevalence and determinants of CAM use among breast cancer patients in Beirut, Lebanon. A secondary objective is to evaluate the association between CAM use and quality of life (QOL). A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 180 breast cancer patients recruited from two major referral centers in Beirut. In a face to face interview, participants completed a questionnaire comprised of three sections: socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics, breast cancer condition, and CAM use. The assessment of QOL was carried using the FACT-B Arabic version. Prevalence of CAM use since diagnosis was 40%. CAM use was negatively associated with age, treatment at a philanthropic hospital and positively associated with having an advanced stage of disease. The most commonly used CAM was ‘Special food’ followed by ‘Herbal teas’. Only 4% of CAM users cited health care professionals as influencing their choice of CAM. One in four patients disclosed CAM use to their treating physician. There was no significant association between CAM use and QOL. The use of CAM therapies among breast cancer patients is prevalent in Lebanon. Efforts should be dedicated at educating physicians to discuss CAM use with their patients and advising patients to disclose of their use with their physicians.

Keywords: Breast Cancer, Quality of Life, Alternative Medicine, complementary medicine, Lebanon

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2 A Novel Mediterranean Diet Index from the Middle East and North Africa Region: Comparison with Europe

Authors: Farah Naja, Nahla Hwalla, Leila Itani, Shirine Baalbaki, Abla Sibai, Lara Nasreddine

Abstract:

Purpose: To propose an index for assessing adherence to a Middle-Eastern version of the Mediterranean diet as represented by the traditional Lebanese Mediterranean diet (LMD), to evaluate the association between the LMD and selected European Mediterranean diets (EMD); to examine socio-demographic and lifestyle correlates of adherence to Mediterranean diet (MD) among Lebanese adults. Methods: Using nationally representative dietary intake data of Lebanese adults, an index to measure adherence to the LMD was derived. The choice of food groups used for calculating the LMD score was based on results of previous factor analyses conducted on the same dataset. These food groups included fruits, vegetables, legumes, olive oil, burghol, dairy products, starchy vegetables, dried fruits, and eggs. Using Pearson’s correlation and scores tertiles distributions agreement, the derived LMD index was compared to previously published EMD indexes from Greece, Spain, Italy, France, and EPIC. Results: Fruits, vegetables and olive oil were common denominators to all MD scores. Food groups, specific to the LMD, included burghol and dried fruits. The LMD score significantly correlated with the EMD scores, while being closest to the Italian (r=0.57) and farthest from the French (r=0.21). Percent agreement between scores’ tertile distributions and Kappa statistics confirmed these findings. Multivariate linear regression showed that older age, higher educational, female gender, and healthy lifestyle characteristics were associated with increased adherence to all MD studied. Conclusion: A novel LMD index was proposed to characterize Mediterranean diet in Lebanon, complementing international efforts to characterize the MD and its association with disease risk.

Keywords: Adherence, Europe, mediterranean diet, Middle-East, Lebanon

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1 Prevalence and Correlates of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use among Diabetic Patients in Lebanon: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors: Farah Naja, Mohamad Alameddine

Abstract:

Background: The difficulty of compliance to therapeutic and lifestyle management of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) encourages patients to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies. Little is known about the prevalence and mode of CAM use among diabetics in the Eastern Mediterranean Region in general and Lebanon in particular. Objective: To assess the prevalence and modes of CAM use among patients with T2DM residing in Beirut, Lebanon. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of T2DM patients was conducted on patients recruited from two major referral centers - a public hospital and a private academic medical center in Beirut. In a face-to-face interview, participants completed a survey questionnaire comprised of three sections: socio-demographic, diabetes characteristics and types and modes of CAM use. Descriptive statistics, univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were utilized to assess the prevalence, mode and correlates of CAM use in the study population. The main outcome in this study (CAM use) was defined as using CAM at least once since diagnosis with T2DM. Results: A total of 333 T2DM patients completed the survey (response rate: 94.6%). Prevalence of CAM use in the study population was 38%, 95% CI (33.1-43.5). After adjustment, CAM use was significantly associated with a “married” status, a longer duration of T2DM, the presence of disease complications, and a positive family history of the disease. Folk foods and herbs were the most commonly used CAM followed by natural health products. One in five patients used CAM as an alternative to conventional treatment. Only 7 % of CAM users disclosed the CAM use to their treating physician. Health care practitioners were the least cited (7%) as influencing the choice of CAM among users. Conclusion: The use of CAM therapies among T2DM patients in Lebanon is prevalent. Decision makers and care providers must fully understand the potential risks and benefits of CAM therapies to appropriately advise their patients. Attention must be dedicated to educating T2DM patients on the importance of disclosing CAM use to their physicians especially patients with a family history of diabetes, and those using conventional therapy for a long time.

Keywords: nutritional supplements, type 2 diabetes mellitus, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), conventional therapy

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