Newsletter No. 258

Obese Youngsters 10 Times More Vulnerable to Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (From left ) Dr. Martin Pak , Prof . Albert Marti n Li , Prof. T.F. Fok, Prof . Wing Yun-kwok, an d Dr . Stephen Hu i C hildhood obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) is increasingly being recognized. Overseas studies have reported its prevalence to be as high as 10. 7 per cent among children. Early an d accurate diagnosi s i s important because , if lef t untreated, complication s includin g hypertension , growth failure, poor attention span and school performance may result. Unlike adul t OSAS patients who are typically obese, the relation between obesity and childhood OSAS is unclear. In the light o f the rising prevalence of childhood obesity and OSAS, it is important to determine whether obesit y predisposes childre n t o OSAS . Fro m 199 8 t o 2000 , the Facult y o f Medicine o f the Universit y conducted a case-control study at the Prince of Wales Hospital to find this out . The research team recruited 46 children aged seven to 1 5 from the paediatric obesity clinic an d 44 normal-weight childre n from local schools . The obese group was found to have more frequen t and severe respiratory disturbance s a t night (26 % versu s 2.3%) . The result s sugges t that obes e youngsters ar e at a significantly highe r risk of OSAS and that the presence of enlarged pharyngeal lymphoid tissue in these children further increases the risk. The faculty believes that doctors and parents caring for obese children should be made aware o f these important findings. They should look for OSAS symptoms and, if necessary, refer the child to a specialized centre for further treatment . Divinity School Walks a New Chapel O ver on e hundre d participants too k par t i n th e walkatho n of th e Divinity Schoo l of Chung Chi College on 13t h March. The even t was part of a fundraising project by the school to construct a new chapel. There were two routes —a lon g one and a short one; both ended at the Theology Buildin g an d took les s than an hour to finish. The crow d set off at Lingnan Stadium around 3 p.m. after an opening ceremony i n which Rev . Prof . L o Lung-kwong , directo r o f th e Divinit y School , delivered a welcoming speec h and gave a brief account o f the project. Guests i n attendance include d Prof. Leung Yuen-seng, head of Chun g Chi College , Rev. Dr. L i Ping-kwong , chairperso n of the Fundraisin g Committee fo r a New Chapel , Rev. Lincoln Leung , ex-chairperson o f the Theological Council, Rev. Paul Kan, superintendent of Kowloon East Circuit of the Methodist Church, Prof. David Suh and Dr. Betty Abregana, respectively executiv e directo r an d associat e directo r o f th e Asia n Christian Highe r Educatio n Institute , an d Prof . Cha n Tin-cheung , chairperson of Campus Christian Fellowship . After the walk, a thanksgiving service was held on the ground floor of the Theolog y Building . Rev . Lincoln Leung gave a short sermon and awards were presented to outstanding walkers . The target of the fundraising project is $25 million. To date, close to $5 million has been raised. Construction will star t once half the target is reached. Servic e t oth eCommunit y and Internationa l Organization s • Prof . Tun g H o Su k Chin g Sara , professo r i n th e Department o f Marketing, has been appointed by the Chief Executive o f the HKSAR a s a member o f the Advisory Counci l o n Foo d an d Environmenta l Hygiene fo r two years from 1s t April 2005 . She has also been appointed as a member of the Agricultural Products Scholarshi p Fund Advisory Committe e fo r one year from 1s t April 2005 . • Prof . Kwan Hoi Shan, professor in the Department o f Biology, ha s been appointed by the Chief Executive of the HKSAR as a member of the Advisory Counci l on Food and Environmental Hygien e fo r two year s from 1s t April 2005 . • Dr . Anthony Edward James, director of the Laboratory Animal Service s Centre , has been appointed by th e Secretary fo r Health , Welfare an d Food to serv e as the chairman of the Animal Welfare Advisory Grou p for two years from 1s t May 2005 . • Prof . Wing Yun Kwok, professor i n the Departmen t of Psychiatry, has been re-appointed by the Secretary for Health , Welfar e an d Food a s a member o f th e Mental Healt h Review Tribunal fo r two year s fro m 15th April 2005 . • Prof . Lee Tak Shing , professor i n the Department o f Psychiatry, ha s been appointed by the Secretar y fo r Health, Welfare and Food as a member of the Menta l Health Review Tribunal for two years from 15t h April 2005. • Prof . Rance Lee, professor of sociology, has been re- appointed by the Chief Secretary for Administration as a member of the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund Council fo r two years from 1s t April 2005 . • Prof . Lam Kin Che , professor i n the Department o f Geography an d Resource Management, has been re- appointed as a member of the Council for Sustainabl e Development fo r two years from 1s t March 2005. Awards • Prof . Shin g Kun g Mi n g Tony , professo r i n th e Department of Chemistry, has bee n awarded designation as Chartered Scientist on 16th November 2004. • Prof . Ma Lai Chong Joyce, professor in the Department of Socia l Work, has been accepted as the Approved Supervisor o f the American Association for Marriag e and Family Therapy (AAMFT) from 7t h March 2005. • I n a recent article entitled 'Socia l Psychology : Wh o We Are and What We Do', publishe d by the Institut e for Behavioral Research of the University of Georgia, Prof. Michael Harris Bond, professor of psychology, was named as one of the most frequently cited social psychologists o f the 1990 s and one of two scholar s on the list working outside North America. (Information in this section is provided by the Information and Public Relations Office. Contributions should be sent direct to that office for registration and verification before publication.) New Books HKIAPS Research Monograph No. 62 The Wes t e rn Pearl River De l t a: G r o w t h and Oppo r t un i t i es f or Coope r a t i ve Deve l opment w i t h Ho ng Kong By Y.M. Yeung, Shen Jianfa and Zhang Li The western Pearl River Delta is a resource-endowed and historically rich part of the region. I t was also identified as one of 1 6 topics that merit ongoing monitoring and analysis consequent upon the Sixth Plenary of the Hong Kong-Guangdong Cooperation Joint Conferenc e i n mid-2003. Yet lacking a direct land link wit h Hong Kong, it s development has lagged behind that of the eastern wing, which has undergone a rapid socio-economic transformatio n since 1978 . This book builds upon two themes —urban development and port s 一 to highlight how the western wing of the Delta has, over the past two decades, evolved a unique style o f economic development and industrialization. It is poised for more rapid development if the bridge from Hong Kong to Zhuhai and Macau is constructed in the near future. Focusing on a relatively understudied part of the Delta, this book enhances understanding of one o f the fastest-growing regions in China. ISBN 962-441-562-5, 16 0 + xxiii pages, paperback, HK$60 Research Centre for Translation website: www.renditions.or g e-mail: k Renditions No. 63 (Sprin g 2005) Featuring shor t storie s b y writer s fro m mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, this issue takes a look at life lived on the margin and at the edge. 136pp. HK$99 The journal is sold at a 30 per cent discount to staff members at the University Bookshop, John Fulton Centre. 3 No. 258 19thApril 2005