Efficacy of Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccines and persistence of disease in disadvantaged populations. The Haemophilus Influenzae Study Group.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate vaccines among children aged 2 to 18 months and to determine risk factors for invasive Hib disease during a period of declining incidence (1991-1994). METHODS: A prospective population-based case-control study was conducted in a multistate US population of 15.5 million. A laboratory-based active surveillance system was used for case detection. RESULTS: In a multivariate analysis, having a single-parent mother (odds ratio [OR] = 4.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2, 14.8) and household crowding (OR = 3.5, 95% CI = 1.03, 11.7) were risk factors for Hib disease independent of vaccination status. After adjustment for these risk factors, the protective efficacy of 2 or more Hib vaccine doses was 86% (95% CI = 16%, 98%). Among undervaccinated subjects, living with a smoker (P = .02) and several indicators of lower socioeconomic status were risk factors for Hib disease. CONCLUSIONS: Hib disease still occurs at low levels in the United States, predominantly in socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. Low immunization coverage may facilitate continuing transmission of Hib. Special efforts to achieve complete and timely immunization in disadvantaged populations are needed. (+info)
Neighborhood safety and the prevalence of physical inactivity--selected states, 1996.
Physical inactivity is an important risk factor for premature morbidity and mortality, especially among high-risk populations. Although health-promotion programs have targeted high-risk groups (i.e., older adults, women, and racial/ethnic minorities), barriers exist that may affect their physical activity level. Identifying and reducing specific barriers (e.g., lack of knowledge of the health benefits of physical activity, limited access to facilities, low self-efficacy, and environmental issues [2-6]) are important for efforts designed to increase physical activity. Concerns about neighborhood safety may be a barrier to physical activity. To characterize the association between neighborhood safety and physical inactivity, CDC analyzed data from the 1996 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in Maryland, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. This report summarizes the results of this analysis, which indicate that persons who perceived their neighborhood to be unsafe were more likely to be physically inactive. (+info)
Nosocomial group A streptococcal infections associated with asymptomatic health-care workers--Maryland and California, 1997.
Group A Streptococcus (GAS), a common cause of pharyngitis and uncomplicated skin and soft tissue infections, can cause serious invasive infections (including necrotizing fasciitis and streptococcal toxic-shock syndrome [STSS]) and death. Since 1965, at least 15 postoperative or postpartum GAS outbreaks attributed to asymptomatic carriage in health-care workers (HCWs) have been reported. This report describes two nosocomial outbreaks of GAS infection in Maryland and California during 1996-1997; the findings suggest that early infection-control measures that include active surveillance may interrupt transmission and prevent morbidity and mortality. (+info)
Tay-Sachs screening: motives for participating and knowledge of genetics and probability.
A highly-educated, socially aware group of persons presented themselves for Tay-Sachs screening having learned about it mainly from friends, newspapers, radio, and television but not from physicians or rabbis. After learning that screening was possible and deciding that it is in principle a good idea, and after discussing it with relatives and friends but not with physicians and rabbis, they presented themselves for the test. Although the participants knew that Tay-Sachs is a serious disease and that Jews are vulnerable, few of them knew much about the genetics of the disease, its frequency, or the incidence of the carrier state. This experience of screening for Tay-Sachs carriers suggests the need for physicians to learn the relation of genetics to preventive medicine, and for the public to learn more about the biology of man. (+info)
A prospective study on folate, B12, and pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (B6) and breast cancer.
To investigate the incidence of breast cancer and prediagnostic serum levels of folate, B12, and pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (B6), we conducted a nested case-control study using resources from the Washington County (Maryland) serum bank. In 1974, 12,450 serum specimens were donated, and in 1989, 14,625 plasma specimens were donated by female residents of Washington County. One hundred ninety-five incident breast cancer cases and 195 controls were matched by age, race, menopausal status at donation, and cohort participation as well as by date of blood donation. In both cohorts and all menopausal subgroups, median B12 concentrations were lower among cases than controls. Differences reached statistical significance only among women who were postmenopausal at donation (1974 cohort, 413 versus 482 pg/ml, P = 0.03; 1989 cohort, 406 versus 452 pg/ml, P = 0.02). Among women postmenopausal at blood donation, observed associations of B12 suggested a threshold effect with increased risk of breast cancer in the lowest one-fifth compared to the higher four-fifths of the control distribution [lowest versus highest fifth: 1974 cohort, matched odds ratio = 4.00 (95% confidence interval = 1.05-15.20); 1989 cohort, matched odds ratio = 2.25 (95% confidence interval = 0.86-5.91)]. We found no evidence for an association between folate, B6, and homocysteine and breast cancer. Findings suggested a threshold effect for serum B12 with an increased risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women in the lowest one-fifth compared to the higher four-fifths of the control distribution. These results should stimulate further investigations of potentially modifiable risk factors, such as these B-vitamins, for prevention of breast cancer. (+info)
Characteristics of discrepancies between self-reported visual function and measured reading speed. Salisbury Eye Evaluation Project Team.
PURPOSE: Visual impairment is a risk factor for morbidity in the elderly and is often screened for by self-report. This study evaluates whether there are subsets for whom there is a discrepancy between self-reported and measured function. METHODS: The prevalence of a discrepancy between self-reported difficulty reading a newspaper and measured reading speed was determined in 2520 community-based men and women, aged 65 to 84 years, and the discrepant group characterized by polychotomous regression. RESULTS: Of subjects who reported minimal difficulty reading a newspaper, 10.8% (227/2107) read newsprint-sized text (0.21 degrees) more slowly than 80 words/min, a level previously shown to be necessary for sustained reading. Poor visual acuity, presence of psychiatric symptoms, and less satisfaction with vision were associated with being in the group that read slowly and reported difficulty with reading. Better cognition, better visual acuity, more years of education, white race, and fewer psychiatric symptoms were associated with being in the group that read more quickly and reported minimal difficulty. When reading the text size at which subjects read their fastest, only 2.6% of those with minimal difficulty remained discrepant. These individuals were more likely to have less education, be male, be African American, and have poorer cognitive status than those who did not remain discrepant. CONCLUSIONS: A subset of the elderly population have a substantial discrepancy between self-reported reading difficulty and measured reading speed. In some, this discrepancy may be based on underlying expectations and experiences, and in others it may represent a transition from no visual impairment to visual impairment. (+info)
Episodes of illness and access to care in the inner city: a comparison of HMO and non-HMO populations.
Using data from a 1974 household survey, accessibility to ambulatory care is compared for residents of an inner-city area (East Baltimore) whose usual source of care is an HMO (the East Baltimore Medical Plan) and residents of the same area with other usual sources of care. Accessibility is measured by the probability of receiving care for an episode of illness. Results from multivariate linear and probit regressions indicate that children using the HMO are more likely to receive care than are children with other usual care sources, but no significant differences in the probability of receiving care are found among adults. Evidence of a substitution of telephone care for in-person care is also found among persons using the HMO. Data from a 1971 household survey of the same area suggest that selectivity is not an important confounding factor in the analysis. (+info)
The timing of do-not-resuscitate orders and hospital costs.
The relation between the timing of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders and the cost of medical care is not well understood. This prospective observational study compares hospital costs and length of stay of 265 terminally ill patients with admission DNR orders, delayed DNR orders (occurring after 24 hours), or no DNR orders (full code). Patients whose orders remained full code throughout a hospital stay had similar lengths of stay, total hospital costs, and daily costs as patients with admission DNR orders. Patients with delayed DNR orders, by contrast, had a greater mortality, longer length of stay, and higher total costs than full code or admission DNR patients, but similar daily costs. The causes of delay in DNR orders and the associated higher costs are a matter for future research. (+info)