Newsletter No. 199

Sexual Health Survey Highlights Urgent Need for Education A t er r i t or y -wi de research to investigate the prevalence of and factors related to sexual dysfunction in the adult population was conducted by the Centre for C l i n i cal T r i a l s and E p i d e m i o l o g i c al Resea r ch (CCTER) o f the Faculty o f Med i c i ne f r om December 2001 to February 2002. That was t he f i r s t l a r g e - s c a le c omp r e h e n s i ve population-based study on the subject among Chinese communities. Using an interactive computer-phone survey method, the study successfully interviewed 1,571 male and 1,656 female Chinese Hong Kong residents aged 18 to 59. The results show that close to 51 per cent of the males and 53 per cent of the females experienced at least one or more sexual dysfunction problems for at least three consecutive months over the last 12 months. The prevalence of the problems is observed to have increased with age. It is also found that women are more likely to be facing sexual dysfunction problems such as pain, lack of orgasm, lack of pleasure, and loss of interest in sexual life etc. In fact, some 20 to 25 per cent of all adult women in Hong Kong were experiencing one or more of those problems. Dr. Joseph Lau, director of CCTER, points out that about 10 per cent of the men in Hong Kong had a persistent erectile problem (for at least three consecutive months in the past 12 months). About 11.4 per cent of men and 2.7 per cent of women felt bothered at being unable to find a sexual partner. About 90 per cent of men felt that sexual life was important to them, whereas the percentage is much lower for women. Only 52 per cent of all men and 33 per cent of women felt that they had adequate knowledge about sex. Many types of sexual dysfunction were s i gn i f i can t ly associated w i t h the sense of satisfaction with life. For instance, among those who had an erectile problem, only 40 per cent were satisfied with their life as opposed to 60 per cent for other men. Sexual dysfunction was also related to the quality of life such as menial health and perceived v i t a l i t y, prevalence of depression, and satisfaction with one's marital relationship. While sexual health-related problems are prevalent and severe in Hong Kong, they have been neglected by medical professionals and the public for a long time. Dr. Lau believes the government should allocate more resources to educate citizens on the different problems, while the community should see sexual health as something important to life. Four More Research Projects Receive Sponsorship T he following four projects undertaken by University staff have succeeded in attracting funding from different quarters: • Pearl Postmenopausal Evaluation and Risk-reduction with Lasofoxifene (HK$5,600,000) Sponsor. Pfizer Corporation Principal investigators: Prof. Edith Lau, Prof. P.C. Leung, and Prof. Jean Woo (Jockey Club Centre for Osteoporosis Care and Control) • Anlene Supplement Trial in Young Women (Hong Kong Leg of Trial) (HK$3,943,753) Sponsor: New Zealand Dairy Board Principal investigators: Prof. Edith Lau, Prof. P.C. Leung, and Prof. Jean Woo (Jockey Club Centre for Osteoporosis Care and Control) • Eco-safe Human motion-powered MEMS Energy Generator tor Mobile Electronic Devices (HK$2,250,000) Sponsor: innovation ana Technology Fund Principal investigator. Prof. L i Wen-jung (Centre for Micro and Nano Systems) Other investigators: Prof. Philip H.W. Leong, Prof. Yam Yeung, Prof. Xu Yangsheng, and Prof. Wong Sai-ping • Validation of Chinese Version of Measures of Stress Incontinence and the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory (HK$86,540) Sponsor. Health Care and Promotion Fund Principal investigator. Ms. Katherine L.S. Siu (Nethersole School of Nursing) CC Celebrates G o l d e n Jubilee with Carnival C hung Chi College organized a Golden Jubilee Carnival on Sunday, 3rd March at the Lingnan Stadium to celebrate the college's 50th anniversary. The carnival featured pony rides, family and children's games, game booths, Chinese handicraft demonstrations, performances of dragon dance and African drums. Alumni and friends of the college also took the opportunity to reunite. Officiating at the opening ceremony of the event at 11 a.m. were Prof. Liu Pak-wai, pro-vice-chancellor, Dr. George H.C. Hung, chairman of the Chung Chi College Board of Trustees, Prof. Rance P.L. Lee, head of college, Prof. Lai Hon-ming, chair of the college's 50th anniversary organizing committee, Prof. Cheung Yuet-wah, chair of the carnival organizing sub-committee, and representatives from the college's alumni association, the college staff club, the college student union, and the college minor staff association. Deficit Not Fatal But Reforms Needed, Says Finance Watchdog T he final report of the HKSAR Task Force on Review of Public Finances states that there are structural deficits in Hong Kong, wh i ch w i l l go up to $66 billion in the coming financial year. The report also stresses that i f the government does not adopt remedial measures, Hong Kong wi ll exhaust all its fiscal reserves in 2008-9. It calls for the adoption of specific expenditure and/or revenue measures such as the introduction of a sales tax and other new taxes over the next few years. The Public Finance Group of the School of Accountancy at CUHK has, however, studied the income and expenditure patterns of the government, and found that only 35 per cent of Hong Kong's deficit is structural. The rest is cyclical in nature, which means that these deficits can be recovered when economic conditions improve. The group believes there is no need to impose sales tax in the territory i f government expenditures are reduced significantly without hurting its public service commitments. It also recommends widening tax bases and paying greater attention to the social well-being of Hong Kong citizens. The group submitted their findings and recommendations to the Financial Secretary, Mr. Antony Leung, on 28th February. From left: Prof. K.S. Kwong and Prof. Simon Ho speaking at the press conference