The relative rates of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) were calculated among racial/ethnic populations using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)/Surveillance reports assuming that racial/ethnic distributions reflect that of the US Census Data from 1990. For comparison, a rate of 1 was assigned to whites in each calculation. The overall relative rates were whites--1, African Americans--4.7, Hispanics--3, Asian/Pacific Islanders--0.4, and Native Americans--0.5. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome surveillance data show higher rates of AIDS for African Americans and Hispanics compared with whites, Asians/Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans. The relative rates for African Americans and Hispanics compared with whites were highest for injecting drug users, heterosexual contact, and pediatric patients. These results led us to explore possible explanations for increased AIDS reporting in African Americans and Hispanics. We then explored available national datasets regarding those variables. The analyses indicate that variables such as access and receptivity to HIV prevention and treatment efforts, race/ethnicity, sexual behaviors, sexually transmitted diseases, socioeconomic status, and substance abuse interact in a complex fashion to influence HIV transmission and progression to AIDS in affected communities. (+info)
(2/7951) A decade of caring for drug users entirely within general practice.
BACKGROUND: The government encourages general practitioners (GPs) to become involved in caring for drug users. However, in some areas of the country, including Bedford, secondary care support is inadequate. GPs in these areas have to decide how to cope with such patients entirely within general practice. AIM: To assess the characteristics and quality of care given without secondary care support to drug users by one practice in Bedford over a decade. METHOD: A search was made of the practice computer for all patients with a problem title of 'addiction drug' between 1986 and 1995. The age, sex, social characteristics, and drug history were recorded. RESULTS: One hundred and ninety-two patients were found, of which 155 took part in the practice programme; i.e. they consulted more than three times. Forty-three patients (37%) who took part and were prescribed Methadone were prescribed this drug as ampoules. Sixty-three patients (40.6%) who took part in the programme stopped using drugs. Thirty-two (33.6%) of the Methadone users became abstinent. A higher proportion of women (13-48%) than men (19-27.7%) stopped using Methadone (P = 0.019). Among patients who had a stable lifestyle, a higher proportion had been prescribed ampoules than mixture (22 out of 28: 78.6%; P = 0.001). Similarly, of those who had a job, eight out of 11 (72%; P = 0.037) had been prescribed methadone ampoules. Two-thirds of all patients prescribed amphetamines stopped using drugs. CONCLUSION: Long-term care of drug users entirely within general practice is feasible. Among those prescribed methadone ampoules, a higher than average proportion had stable lifestyles and had a stable job. (+info)
(3/7951) Psychotropic drug use among women.
The consistent 2:1 ratio of women to men in the receipt of prescriptions for psychotropic drugs is reflected in the higher rates for women of neurotic illness, symptoms of both physical and mental discomfort, and help-seeking and drug-taking behaviour. Physicians' perceptions of the problems presented by their male and female patients influence their prescribing of these drugs. Recent statistics in Ontario indicate that greater use of physicians' services by women is an inadequate explanation of the higher rate of prescribing of psychotropic drugs to women. A longitudinal study of a large insured population in Ontario showed that almost twice the proportion of females, compared with males, received a prescription for psychotropic drugs in 1970-71 and in 1973-74, a higher proportion of females received multiple prescriptions for each drug class, and males were more likely than females to have received only one prescription in a year. (+info)
(4/7951) Sexual harassment and generalized workplace abuse among university employees: prevalence and mental health correlates.
OBJECTIVES: This study hypothesized that interpersonal workplace stressors involving sexual harassment and generalized workplace abuse are highly prevalent and significantly linked with mental health outcomes including symptomatic distress, the use and abuse of alcohol, and other drug use. METHODS: Employees in 4 university occupational groups (faculty, student, clerical, and service workers; n = 2492) were surveyed by means of a mailed self-report instrument. Cross-tabular and ordinary least squares and logistic regression analyses examined the prevalence of harassment and abuse and their association with mental health status. RESULTS: The data show high rates of harassment and abuse. Among faculty, females were subjected to higher rates; among clerical and service workers, males were subjected to higher rates. Male and female clerical and service workers experienced higher levels of particularly severe mistreatment. Generalized abuse was more prevalent than harassment for all groups. Both harassment and abuse were significantly linked to most mental health outcomes for men and women. CONCLUSIONS: Interpersonally abusive workplace dynamics constitute a significant public health problem that merits increased intervention and prevention strategies. (+info)
(5/7951) What's driving an epidemic? The spread of syphilis along an interstate highway in rural North Carolina.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine whether county syphilis rates were increased along Interstate Highway 95 (I-95) in North Carolina during a recent epidemic. METHODS: Ecological data on syphilis cases demographic data, highway data, and drug activity data were used to conduct a cross-sectional and longitudinal study of North Carolina countries from 1985 to 1994. Crude and adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were determined by means of standard and longitudinal Poisson regression models adjusted for sociodemographic factors and drug use. RESULTS: Ten-year syphilis rates in I-95 counties greatly exceeded rates in non-I-95 counties (38 vs 16 cases per 100,000 persons) and remained higher after adjustment for race, age, sex, poverty, large cities, and drug activity (adjusted IRR = 2.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.84, 2.28). Syphilis rates were stable until 1989, when rates increased sharply in I-95 counties but remained stable in non-I-95 counties. Increased drug activity in I-95 counties preceded the rise in syphilis cases. CONCLUSIONS: A better understanding of the relationship between high-ways and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases may guide future prevention interventions. (+info)
(6/7951) Morbidity and mortality attributable to alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use in Canada.
OBJECTIVES: This study estimated morbidity and mortality attributable to substance abuse in Canada. METHODS: Pooled estimates of relative risk were used to calculate etiologic fractions by age, gender, and province for 91 causes of disease or death attributable to alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs. RESULTS: There were 33,498 deaths and 208,095 hospitalizations attributed to tobacco, 6701 deaths and 86,076 hospitalizations due to alcohol, and 732 deaths and 7095 hospitalizations due to illicit drugs in 1992. CONCLUSIONS: Substance abuse exacts a considerable toll on Canadian society in terms of morbidity and mortality, accounting for 21% of deaths, 23% of years of potential life lost, and 8% of hospitalizations. (+info)
(7/7951) Mediators of ethnic-associated differences in infant birth weight.
PURPOSE: To examine whether ethnic differences in low birth weight babies of low-income women may be explained in part by group differences in prenatal health behaviors and psychosocial factors. METHODS: A prospective, survey of 1,071 low-income, primiparous African-American and Mexican-origin women was conducted in Los Angeles County, California. In face-to-face interviews, data were obtained on substance use, prenatal stress, social support, attitudes toward pregnancy, initiation of prenatal care, and medical risk. Medical chart data were abstracted regarding medical risk factors and labor, delivery, and neonatal data. Interview data were linked with birth outcome data retrieved from maternal medical records. Structural equation modeling was used to test a hypothesized model in which differences in birth weight were expected to be mediated by ethnic differences in substance use, psychosocial factors, and medical risk. RESULTS: As expected, African-American women delivered babies of earlier gestational age and lower birth weight than did women of Mexican origin. Direct predictors of low birth weight were use of drugs and cigarettes, prenatal stress, and positive attitudes toward pregnancy; together, these factors accounted for the observed ethnic differences in birth weight. CONCLUSION: These data contribute to our understanding of the factors that may account for ethnic-associated differences in low birth weight. (+info)
(8/7951) Behavioral health benefits in employer-sponsored health plans, 1997.
Data for 1997 show that three-quarters or more of employer-sponsored health plans continue to place greater restrictions on behavioral health coverage than on general medical coverage. The nature of these restrictions varies by plan type. Some improvement in the treatment of mental health/substance abuse (MH/SA) benefits in employer plans may be occurring, however. Comparisons with data from 1996 show that the proportion of plans with benefits for "alternative" types of MH/SA services, such as nonhospital residential care, has increased. Further, the proportion with special limitations on these benefits shows a modest decrease. (+info)