(1/11460) Water traffic accidents, drowning and alcohol in Finland, 1969-1995.

OBJECTIVE: To examine age- and sex-specific mortality rates and trends in water traffic accidents (WTA), and their association with alcohol, in Finland. MATERIALS AND METHODS: National mortality and population data from Finland, 1969-1995, are used to analyse rates and trends. The mortality rates are calculated on the basis of population, per 100000 inhabitants in each age group (<1, 1-4, 5-14, 15-24, 25-44, 45-64, > or = 65), and analysed by sex and age. The Poisson regression model and chi2 test for trend (EGRET and StatXact softwares) are used to analyse time trends. RESULTS: From 1969 through 1995 there were 3473 (2.7/100000/year; M:F= 20.4:1) WTA-related deaths among Finns of all ages. In 94.7% of the cases the cause of death was drowning. Alcohol intoxication was a contributing cause of death in 63.0% of the fatalities. During the study period the overall WTA mortality rates declined significantly (-4% per year; P < 0.001). This decline was observed in all age groups except > or = 65 year olds. The overall mortality rates in WTA associated with alcohol intoxication (1987-1995) also declined significantly (-6%; P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: In Finland, mortality rates in WTA are exceptionally high. Despite a marked decline in most age groups, the high mortality in WTA nevertheless remains a preventable cause of death. Preventive countermeasures targeted specifically to adult males, to the reduction of alcohol consumption in aquatic settings and to the use of personal safety devices should receive priority.  (+info)

(2/11460) A method for calculating age-weighted death proportions for comparison purposes.

OBJECTIVE: To introduce a method for calculating age-weighted death proportions (wDP) for comparison purposes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A methodological study using secondary data from the municipality of Sao Paulo, Brazil (1980-1994) was carried out. First, deaths are weighted in terms of years of potential life lost before the age of 100 years. Then, in order to eliminate distortion of comparisons among proportions of years of potential life lost before the age of 100 years (pYPLL-100), the denominator is set to that of a standard age distribution of deaths for all causes. Conventional death proportions (DP), pYPLL-100, and wDP were calculated. RESULTS: Populations in which deaths from a particular cause occur at older ages exhibit lower wDP than those in which deaths occur at younger ages. The sum of all cause-specific wDP equals one only when the test population has exactly the same age distribution of deaths for all causes as that of the standard population. CONCLUSION: Age-weighted death proportions improve the information given by conventional DP, and are strongly recommended for comparison purposes.  (+info)

(3/11460) The meaning and use of the cumulative rate of potential life lost.

BACKGROUND: The 'years of potential life lost' (YPLL) is a public health measure in widespread use. However, the index does not apply to the comparisons between different populations or across different time periods. It also has the limit of being cross-sectional in nature, quantifying current burden but not future impact on society. METHODS: A new years-lost index is proposed-the 'cumulative rate of potential life lost' (CRPLL). It is a simple combination of the 'cumulative rate' (CR) and the YPLL. Vital statistics in Taiwan are used for demonstration and comparison of the new index with existing health-status measures. RESULTS: The CRPLL serves the purpose of between-group comparison. It can also be considered a projection of future impact, under the assumption that the age-specific mortality rates in the current year prevail. For a rare cause of death, it can be interpreted as the expected years (days) of potential life lost during a subject's lifetime. CONCLUSIONS: The CRPLL has several desirable properties, rendering it a promising alternative for quantifying health status.  (+info)

(4/11460) Risk factors for injuries and other health problems sustained in a marathon.

OBJECTIVES: To identify risk factors for injuries and other health problems occurring during or immediately after participation in a marathon. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was undertaken of participants in the 1993 Auckland Citibank marathon. Demographic data, information on running experience, training and injuries, and information on other lifestyle factors were obtained from participants before the race using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Information on injuries and other health problems sustained during or immediately after the marathon were obtained by a self administered questionnaire. Logistic regression analyses were undertaken to identify significant risk factors for health problems. RESULTS: This study, one of only a few controlled epidemiological studies that have been undertaken of running injuries, has identified a number of risk factors for injuries and other health problems sustained in a marathon. Men were at increased risk of hamstring and calf problems, whereas women were at increased risk of hip problems. Participation in a marathon for the first time, participation in other sports, illness in the two weeks before the marathon, current use of medication, and drinking alcohol once a month or more, were associated with increased self reported risks of problems. While increased training seemed to increase the risk of front thigh and hamstring problems, it may decrease the risk of knee problems. There are significant but complex relations between age and risk of injury or health problem. CONCLUSIONS: This study has identified certain high risk subjects and risk factors for injuries and other health problems sustained in a marathon. In particular, subjects who have recently been unwell or are taking medication should weigh up carefully the pros and cons of participating.  (+info)

(5/11460) Disabling injuries of the cervical spine in Argentine rugby over the last 20 years.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the incidence and risk factors of disabling injuries to the cervical spine in rugby in Argentina. METHODS: A retrospective review of all cases reported to the Medical Committee of the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) and Rugby Amistad Foundation was carried out including a follow up by phone. Cumulative binomial distribution, chi 2 test, Fisher test, and comparison of proportions were used to analyse relative incidence and risk of injury by position and by phase of play (Epi Info 6, Version 6.04a). RESULTS: Eighteen cases of disabling injury to the cervical spine were recorded from 1977 to 1997 (0.9 cases per year). The forwards (14 cases) were more prone to disabling injury of the cervical spine than the backs (four cases) (p = 0.03). Hookers (9/18) were at highest risk of injury (p < 0.01). The most frequent cervical injuries occurred at the 4th, 5th, and 6th vertebrae. Seventeen of the injuries occurred during match play. Set scrums were responsible for most of the injuries (11/18) but this was not statistically significant (p = 0.44). The mean age of the injured players was 22. Tetraplegia was initially found in all cases. Physical rehabilitation has been limited to the proximal muscles of the upper limbs, except for two cases of complete recovery. One death, on the seventh day after injury, was reported. CONCLUSIONS: The forwards suffered a higher number of injuries than the backs and this difference was statistically significant. The chance of injury for hookers was statistically higher than for the rest of the players and it was particularly linked to scrummaging. However, the number of injuries incurred in scrums was not statistically different from the number incurred in other phases of play.  (+info)

(6/11460) Mayaro virus disease: an emerging mosquito-borne zoonosis in tropical South America.

This report describes the clinical, laboratory, and epidemiological findings on 27 cases of Mayaro virus (MV) disease, an emerging mosquito-borne viral illness that is endemic in rural areas of tropical South America. MV disease is a nonfatal, dengue-like illness characterized by fever, chills, headache, eye pain, generalized myalgia, arthralgia, diarrhea, vomiting, and rash of 3-5 days' duration. Severe joint pain is a prominent feature of this illness; the arthralgia sometimes persists for months and can be quite incapacitating. Cases of two visitors from the United States, who developed MV disease during visits to eastern Peru, are reported. MV disease and dengue are difficult to differentiate clinically.  (+info)

(7/11460) Assessment of complement deficiency in patients with meningococcal disease in The Netherlands.

The frequency of complement deficiency in 176 of 7,732 patients with meningococcal disease in the Netherlands from 1959 through 1992 was assessed. Complement deficiency was found in six patients (3%): 3 (7%) of the patients with Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C disease, 1 (2%) of the patients with N. meningitidis serogroup A disease, and 2 (33%) of the patients with infections due to uncommon serogroups and nongroupable strains of N. meningitidis. Of 91 additional patients with meningococcal infections due to uncommon serogroups, 33% also had complement deficiency. Thirty-four of the 36 complement-deficient patients with meningococcal disease who were from 33 families were 5 years of age or older. Twenty-six additional complement-deficient relatives were found. Screening individuals with meningococcal disease due to uncommon serogroups who were 5 years of age or older identified 30 of the 33 complement-deficient families. Only 27% of the complement-deficient relatives had had meningococcal disease. This risk was lower for relatives with properdin deficiency (18%) than for those deficient in the late component of complement (38%). Therefore, pedigree studies are warranted for identifying those complement-deficient persons who require vaccination for meningococcal disease.  (+info)

(8/11460) Prediction of life expectancy in patients with primary pulmonary hypertension. A retrospective nationwide survey from 1980-1990.

Primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) is a progressive disease of unknown etiology usually followed by death within 5 years after diagnosis. Although heart-lung or lung transplantation is now offered to patients with advanced PPH, adequate criteria assessing an accurate prediction of life expectancy in PPH has been difficult to establish. The aims of this study were to identify the characteristic features associated with a poor prognosis in patients with PPH, and to attempt to establish an individual prognostic index that predicts with great accuracy survival or death of PPH after one year, thereby helping to define criteria for patient selection for transplantation. In 1991, a retrospective nation-wide survey on PPH was conducted in Japan, and the clinical and cardiorespiratory variables of 223 PPH cases (female; 144, male; 79) in the period from 1980-1990 were obtained. The mean pulmonary arterial pressure (PPA) was 57.5+/-17.2 mm Hg (mean+/-SD), and the overall median survival time was 32.5 months since the first diagnostic catheterization. The characteristic features of 61 patients who died within one year of catheterization (Nonsurvivors group) were compared to 141 patients who survived one year or more from the time of catheterization (Survivors group). Among several clinical and cardiorespiratory variables, heart rate, PPA, right atrial pressure (PRA), stroke volume index (SI), pulmonary vascular resistance, and partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2) were significantly different between the two groups. As the independent factors, PPA, PRA, SI, and PaCO2 were selected for the multiple logistic analysis. Using a 0.7 probability cut-point to separate Nonsurvivors from Survivors, 84.6% of Nonsurvivors and Survivors could be correctly predicted from this logistic regression equation. Predictive equations like the present preliminary one can be used in the future to better assess life expectancy in patients with PPH in whom transplantation will be considered.  (+info)