Avoidable mortality in Europe 1955-1994: a plea for prevention.
OBJECTIVE: To analyse trends of avoidable mortality in Europe, emphasising causes of death amenable to primary prevention through reduction of exposures, secondary prevention through early detection and treatment, and tertiary prevention through improved treatment and medical care. DESIGN: Descriptive study of mortality from avoidable causes for the years 1955 through 1994, for ages 5-64 at time of death. Using the World Health Organisation Mortality Database, five year death rates were standardised to the world population. SETTING: 21 countries of Europe in four regions (northern, central, and southern Europe, Nordic countries). PARTICIPANTS: All causes of deaths for men and women, aged 5-64, at time of death. MAIN RESULTS: Between 1955-59 and 1990-94, the reduction in mortality was somewhat greater for avoidable causes than for all causes: 45.8% v 45.1% (women) and 39.3% v 32.6% among men. Reductions in mortality were greater for causes amenable to improved medical care: 77.9% among women and 76.3% among men. The smallest reduction in mortality was seen in women for causes amenable to secondary prevention (11.0%), and in men for causes amendable to primary prevention including tobacco related conditions (16.6%). From a geographical point of view, there were slight differences in trends between European regions, but overall the patterns were similar. CONCLUSIONS: The greatest reduction of avoidable mortality in Europe from 1955-94 came from causes amenable to improved treatment and medical care for both sexes. Further reductions of avoidable mortality can be achieved through implementation of primary and secondary prevention activities, such as tobacco control, reduction of occupational exposures, and universal access to breast and cervical cancer screening programmes. (+info)
Cardiovascular disease in insulin dependent diabetes mellitus: similar rates but different risk factors in the US compared with Europe.
BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) in insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) has been linked to renal disease. However, little is known concerning international variation in the correlations with hyperglycaemia and standard CVD risk factors. METHODS: A cross-sectional comparison was made of prevalence rates and risk factor associations in two large studies of IDDM subjects: the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications Study (EDC) and the EURODIAB IDDM Complications Study from 31 centres in Europe. Subgroups of each were chosen to be comparable by age and duration of diabetes. The EDC population comprises 286 men (mean duration 20.1 years) and 281 women (mean duration 19.9 years); EURODIAB 608 men (mean duration 18.1 years) and 607 women (mean duration 18.9 years). The mean age of both populations was 28 years. Cardiovascular disease was defined by a past medical history of myocardial infarction, angina, and/or the Minnesota ECG codes (1.1-1.3, 4.1-4.3, 5.1-5.3, 7.1). RESULTS: Overall prevalence of CVD was similar in the two populations (i.e. men 8.6% versus 8.0%, women 7.4% versus 8.5%, EURODIAB versus EDC respectively), although EDC women had a higher prevalence of angina (3.9% versus 0.5%, P < 0.001). Multivariate modelling suggests that glycaemic control (HbA1c) is not related to CVD in men. Age and high density lipoprotein cholesterol predict CVD in EURODIAB, while triglycerides and hypertension predict CVD in EDC. For women in both populations, age and hypertension (or renal disease) are independent predictors. HbA1c is also an independent predictor-inversely in EURODIAB women (P < 0.008) and positively in EDC women (P = 0.03). Renal disease was more strongly linked to CVD in EDC than in EURODIAB. CONCLUSIONS: Despite a similar prevalence of CVD, risk factor associations appear to differ in the two study populations. Glycaemic control (HbA1c) does not show a consistent or strong relationship to CVD. (+info)
Clinical significance of circulating anti-p53 antibodies in European patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.
p53 alterations are considered to be predictive of poor prognosis in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and may induce a humoral response. Anti-p53 serum antibodies were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using purified recombinant human p53 on 130 European HCC patients before treatment and during the clinical course of the disease. p53 immunohistochemistry was performed on tumours from the 52 patients who underwent surgery, and DNA sequencing analysis was initiated when circulating anti-p53 antibodies were detected. Nine (7%) HCC patients had anti-p53 serum antibodies before treatment. During a mean period of 30 months of follow-up, all the negative patients remained negative, even when recurrence was observed. Of the nine positive patients, eight were still positive 12-30 months after surgery. The presence of anti-p53 serum antibodies was correlated neither with mutation of the p53 gene nor the serum alpha-fetoprotein levels and clinicopathological characteristics of the tumours. However, a greater incidence of vascular invasion and accumulation of p53 protein were observed in the tumours of these patients (P<0.03 and P<0.01 respectively) as well as a better survival rate without recurrence (P = 0.05). In conclusion, as was recently shown in pancreatic cancer, anti-p53 serum antibodies may constitute a marker of relative 'good prognosis' in a subgroup of patients exhibiting one or several markers traditionally thought to be of bad prognosis. (+info)
The European mesothelioma epidemic.
Projections for the period 1995-2029 suggest that the number of men dying from mesothelioma in Western Europe each year will almost double over the next 20 years, from 5000 in 1998 to about 9000 around 2018, and then decline, with a total of about a quarter of a million deaths over the next 35 years. The highest risk will be suffered by men born around 1945-50, of whom about 1 in 150 will die of mesothelioma. Asbestos use in Western Europe remained high until 1980, and substantial quantities are still used in several European countries. These projections are based on the fit of a simple age and birth cohort model to male pleural cancer mortality from 1970 to 1989 for six countries (Britain, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Switzerland) which together account for three-quarters of the population of Western Europe. The model was tested by comparing observed and predicted numbers of deaths for the period 1990-94. The ratio of mesothelioma to recorded pleural cancer mortality has been 1.6:1 in Britain but was assumed to be 1:1 in other countries. (+info)
Many class I integrons comprise distinct stable structures occurring in different species of Enterobacteriaceae isolated from widespread geographic regions in Europe.
Three sizes of inserted regions of DNA (800, 1,000, and 1,500 bp) were shown to be common among class I integrons in unrelated clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae from different European hospitals. Sequencing showed that 800-bp inserted regions comprised identical sequences including aacA4, that 1,000-bp inserted regions included aadA, and that 1,500-bp inserted regions included dfrI and aadA1, irrespective of host species and geographic origin. In addition promoter sequences were mostly identical for each size class. These data suggest that inserted gene cassettes and promoter regions of integrons are conserved and stable, with resistance genes transferred more often as part of the entire integron structure than as individual gene cassettes. (+info)
Biodiversity of Lactococcus garvieae strains isolated from fish in Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Lactococcus garvieae (junior synonym, Enterococcus seriolicida) is a major pathogen of fish, producing fatal septicemia among fish species living in very diverse environments. The phenotypic traits of L. garvieae strains collected from three different continents (Asia, Europe, and Australia) indicated phenotypic heterogeneity. On the basis of the acidification of D-tagatose and sucrose, three biotypes were defined. DNA relatedness values and a specific PCR assay showed that all the biotypes belonged to the same genospecies, L. garvieae. All of the L. garvieae strains were serotyped as Lancefield group N. Ribotyping proved that one clone was found both in Japan, where it probably originated, and in Italy, where it was probably imported. PCR of environmental samples did not reveal the source of the contamination of the fish in Italy. Specific clones (ribotypes) were found in outbreaks in Spain and in Italy. The L. garvieae reference strain, isolated in the United Kingdom from a cow, belonged to a unique ribotype. L. garvieae is a rising zoonotic agent. The biotyping scheme, the ribotyping analysis, and the PCR assay described in this work allowed the proper identification of L. garvieae and the description of the origin and of the source of contamination of strains involved in outbreaks or in sporadic cases. (+info)
Sentinel lymph node biopsy and axillary dissection in breast cancer: results in a large series.
BACKGROUND: Axillary lymph node dissection is an established component of the surgical treatment of breast cancer, and is an important procedure in cancer staging; however, it is associated with unpleasant side effects. We have investigated a radioactive tracer-guided procedure that facilitates identification, removal, and pathologic examination of the sentinel lymph node (i.e., the lymph node first receiving lymphatic fluid from the area of the breast containing the tumor) to predict the status of the axilla and to assess the safety of foregoing axillary dissection if the sentinel lymph node shows no involvement. METHODS: We injected 5-10 MBq of 99mTc-labeled colloidal particles of human albumin peritumorally in 376 consecutive patients with breast cancer who were enrolled at the European Institute of Oncology during the period from March 1996 through March 1998. The sentinel lymph node in each case was visualized by lymphoscintigraphy, and its general location was marked on the overlying skin. During breast surgery, the sentinel lymph node was identified for removal by monitoring the acoustic signal from a hand-held gamma ray-detecting probe. Total axillary dissection was then carried out. The pathologic status of the sentinel lymph node was compared with that of the whole axilla. RESULTS: The sentinel lymph node was identified in 371 (98.7%) of the 376 patients and accurately predicted the state of the axilla in 359 (95.5%) of the patients, with 12 false-negative findings (6.7%; 95% confidence interval = 3.5%-11.4%) among a total of 180 patients with positive axillary lymph nodes. CONCLUSIONS: Sentinel lymph node biopsy using a gamma ray-detecting probe allows staging of the axilla with high accuracy in patients with primary breast cancer. A randomized trial is necessary to determine whether axillary dissection may be avoided in those patients with an uninvolved sentinel lymph node. (+info)
Class I integrons in Gram-negative isolates from different European hospitals and association with decreased susceptibility to multiple antibiotic compounds.
Class I integrons are associated with carriage of genes encoding resistance to antibiotics. Expression of inserted resistance genes within these structures can be poor and, as such, the clinical relevance in terms of the effect of integron carriage on susceptibility has not been investigated. Of 163 unrelated Gram-negative isolates randomly selected from the intensive care and surgical units of 14 different hospitals in nine European countries, 43.0% (70/163) of isolates were shown to be integron-positive, with inserted gene cassettes of various sizes. Integrons were detected in isolates from all hospitals with no particular geographical variations. Integron-positive isolates were statistically more likely to be resistant to aminoglycoside, quinolone and beta8-lactam compounds, including third-generation cephalosporins and monobactams, than integron-negative isolates. Integron-positive isolates were also more likely to be multi-resistant than integron-negative isolates. This association implicates integrons in multi-drug resistance either directly through carriage of specific resistance genes, or indirectly by virtue of linkage to other resistance determinants such as extended-spectrum beta-lactamase genes. As such their widespread presence is a cause for concern. There was no association between the presence of integrons and susceptibility to cefepime, amikacin and the carbapenems, to which at least 97% of isolates were fully susceptible. (+info)