Cigarette smoking and other risk factors in relation to p53 expression in breast cancer among young women.
p53 mutations may be a fingerprint for cigarette smoking and other environmental carcinogens, including breast carcinogens. This study was undertaken to explore whether p53 mutations are associated with environmental or other suspected or established risk factors for breast cancer. p53 protein detection by immunohistochemistry (which is more easily quantified in large epidemiological studies than are mutations, and are highly correlated with them) was determined for 378 patients from a case-control study of breast cancer. In this population-based sample of women under the age of 45 years, 44.4% (168/378) of the cases had p53 protein detected by immunohistochemistry (p53+). Polytomous logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratios (ORs) for p53+ and p53- breast cancer, as compared with the controls, in relation to cigarette smoking and other factors. The ratio of the ORs was used as an indicator of heterogeneity in risk for p53+ versus p53- cancer. The ratio of the ORs in a multivariate model was substantially elevated among women with a greater than high school education [2.39; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.43-4.00], current cigarette smokers (1.96; 95% CI, 1.10-3.52), and users of electric blankets, water beds, or mattresses (1.78; 95% CI, 1.11-2.86). Nonsignificant heterogeneity was noted for family history of breast cancer and ethnicity but not for other known or suspected risk factors. Coupled with the strong biological plausibility of the association, our data support the hypothesis that in breast cancer, as with other tumors, p53 protein immunohistochemical detection may be associated with exposure to environmental carcinogens such as cigarette smoking. (+info)
Evaluating the community education programme of an insecticide-treated bed net trial on the Kenyan coast.
Increased interest in the potential contribution of insecticide-impregnated bed nets (ITBN) to malaria control has led to research efforts to determine the impact and sustainability of ITBN programmes in differing environments. There is a need to develop effective, feasible educational strategies that will both inform and motivate community members, and thus maximize the correct usage of ITBN. This is especially true in communities where indigenous usage of bed nets is low. This paper describes the educational component of a randomized controlled community intervention trial of ITBN, with childhood malaria morbidity as an outcome. The educational approach and messages for the ITBN trial were developed from anthropological survey data collected 4 years before the trial, and from community surveys conducted by project researchers. Low levels of understanding amongst mothers of the aetiological link between mosquitos and malaria led to the exclusion of the term 'malaria' from the initial educational messages promoting the use of ITBN. Appropriate individuals within the existing district health care structure were trained as community educators in the project. These educators conducted intensive teaching in the community through public meetings and group teaching in the first 6 months of the trial. The impact of these initial activities was assessed through interviews with a random sample of 100 mothers and 50 household heads. This allowed the identification of messages which had not been well understood and further educational methods were chosen to address the areas pinpointed. The community assessment also demonstrated that, in 1994, over 90% of mothers understood a protective role for bed nets against malaria and the ITBN education messages were changed to take account of this. The school programme was evaluated through determining outreach (the number of households accessed), changes in participant children's knowledge, post-teaching assessment of mothers' knowledge and discussions with parent-teacher associations. It was shown that 40% of intervention homes with children in the target group were accessed, participant children learned the educational messages well (scores increased from a pre-teaching mean of 59% to a post-teaching mean of 92%) and a high level of awareness of the ITBN trial was achieved in these homes (75%). However, specific messages of the education programmed were not well transferred to the home (30%). The discussion emphasises the need for allocation of adequate resources for education in programmes dependent on achieving a change in community practices. We also describe the value of ongoing communication between programme planners and a target population in maximizing the effectiveness of messages and methods used. (+info)
Predictors of acute hospital costs for treatment of ischemic stroke in an academic center.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We sought to determine predictors of acute hospital costs in patients presenting with acute ischemic stroke to an academic center using a stroke management team to coordinate care. METHODS: Demographic and clinical data were prospectively collected on 191 patients consecutively admitted with acute ischemic stroke. Patients were classified by insurance status, premorbid modified Rankin scale, stroke location, stroke severity (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score), and presence of comorbidities. Detailed hospital charge data were converted to cost by application of department-specific cost-to-charge ratios. Physician's fees were not included. A stepwise multiple regression analysis was computed to determine the predictors of total hospital cost. RESULTS: Median length of stay was 6 days (range, 1 to 63 days), and mortality was 3%. Median hospital cost per discharge was $4408 (range, $1199 to $59 799). Fifty percent of costs were for room charges, 19% for stroke evaluation, 21% for medical management, and 7% for acute rehabilitation therapies. Sixteen percent were admitted to an intensive care unit. Length of stay accounted for 43% of the variance in total cost. Other independent predictors of cost included stroke severity, heparin treatment, atrial fibrillation, male sex, ischemic cardiac disease, and premorbid functional status. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the major predictors of acute hospital costs of stroke in this environment are length of stay, stroke severity, cardiac disease, male sex, and use of heparin. Room charges accounted for the majority of costs, and attempts to reduce the cost of stroke evaluation would be of marginal value. Efforts to reduce acute costs should be monitored for potential cost shifting or a negative impact on quality of care. (+info)
The effect of delivery mechanisms on the uptake of bed net re-impregnation in Kilifi District, Kenya.
The results of recently completed trials in Africa of insecticide-treated bed nets (ITBN) offer new possibilities for malaria control. These experimental trials aimed for high ITBN coverage combined with high re-treatment rates. Whilst necessary to understand protective efficacy, the approaches used to deliver the intervention provide few indications of what coverage of net re-treatment would be under operational conditions. Varied delivery and financing strategies have been proposed for the sustainable delivery of ITBNs and re-treatment programmes. Following the completion of a randomized, controlled trial on the Kenyan coast, a series of suitable delivery strategies were used to continue net re-treatment in the area. The trial adopted a bi-annual, house-to-house re-treatment schedule free of charge using research project staff and resulted in over 95% coverage of nets issued to children. During the year following the trial, sentinel dipping stations were situated throughout the community and household members informed of their position and opening times. This free re-treatment service achieved between 61-67% coverage of nets used by children for three years. In 1997 a social marketing approach, that introduced cost-retrieval, was used to deliver the net re-treatment services. The immediate result of this transition was that significantly fewer of the mothers who had used the previous re-treatment services adopted this revised approach and coverage declined to 7%. The future of new delivery services and their financing are discussed in the context of their likely impact upon previously defined protective efficacy and cost-effectiveness estimates. (+info)
Hypothermia bed system for stroke patients. Technical note.
A new hypothermia bed system was used to induce mild hypothermia (33-35 degrees C) in six patients with stroke due to subarachnoid hemorrhage, hypertensive intracerebral hemorrhage, or embolic internal carotid artery occlusion. The system bed contained all necessary equipment including a respirator, a cooling unit, physiological monitors, and a storage battery. Surface cooling of the patients was performed using water-circulating blankets, and core temperature was maintained based on bladder temperature and a feedback computer program. During hypothermic therapy, patient transfer and radiological examination including computed tomography and positron emission tomography could be easily and safely performed. Differences between the measured bladder temperature and the target temperature were approximately +/- 0.1 degree C. The proposed hypothermia system bed may be useful for serial radiological examination of patients with stroke. (+info)
Dynamics of bed use in accommodating emergency admissions: stochastic simulation model.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the daily bed requirements arising from the flow of emergency admissions to an acute hospital, to identify the implications of fluctuating and unpredictable demands for emergency admission for the management of hospital bed capacity, and to quantify the daily risk of insufficient capacity for patients requiring immediate admission. DESIGN: Modelling of the dynamics of the hospital system, using a discrete-event stochastic simulation model, which reflects the relation between demand and available bed capacity. SETTING: Hypothetical acute hospital in England. SUBJECTS: Simulated emergency admissions of all types except mental disorder. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The risk of having no bed available for any patient requiring immediate admission; the daily risk that there is no bed available for at least one patient requiring immediate admission; the mean bed occupancy rate. RESULTS: Risks are discernible when average bed occupancy rates exceed about 85%, and an acute hospital can expect regular bed shortages and periodic bed crises if average bed occupancy rises to 90% or more. CONCLUSIONS: There are limits to the occupancy rates that can be achieved safely without considerable risk to patients and to the efficient delivery of emergency care. Spare bed capacity is therefore essential for the effective management of emergency admissions, and its cost should be borne by purchasers as an essential element of an acute hospital service. (+info)
The prevalence of reported asthma is independent of exposure in house dust mite-sensitized children.
In areas with low house dust mite (HDM) allergen exposure, both mite sensitization and asthma prevalence are low. In most other areas, HDM allergen exposure is higher than the threshold for sensitization. In this setting, is HDM allergen exposure a factor which is causally related to the development of asthma in HDM-sensitive individuals? To answer this question, the cumulative prevalence of asthma was evaluated in a group of 157 schoolchildren, aged 10 and 11 yrs, who were allergic to HDM allergen, and compared it with HDM allergen exposure and atopic status, using univariate and multivariate analysis. HDM allergen levels were measured in mattress dust using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method. Of mattress dust samples, 94% had an HDM allergen level >2 microg x g dust(-1). Atopy was evaluated by means of skin prick tests using five common allergens. Among the predictive variables studied by means of univariate analysis, only the number of positive skin tests and male sex correlated with asthma prevalence, but not HDM allergen exposure. Logistic regression analysis also demonstrated that the number of positive skin tests correlated with asthma prevalence (odds ratio (OR)=1.38, p=0.05), whereas the OR for HDM allergen exposure was 1.0. This survey suggests that, in a geographical area with high HDM allergen exposure, asthma prevalence is not linked with HDM allergen levels. (+info)
Babies sleeping with parents: case-control study of factors influencing the risk of the sudden infant death syndrome. CESDI SUDI research group.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the risks of the sudden infant death syndrome and factors that may contribute to unsafe sleeping environments. DESIGN: Three year, population based case-control study. Parental interviews were conducted for each sudden infant death and for four controls matched for age, locality, and time of sleep. SETTING: Five regions in England with a total population of over 17 million people. SUBJECTS: 325 babies who died and 1300 control infants. RESULTS: In the multivariate analysis infants who shared their parents' bed and were then put back in their own cot had no increased risk (odds ratio 0.67; 95% confidence interval 0.22 to 2.00). There was an increased risk for infants who shared the bed for the whole sleep or were taken to and found in the parental bed (9.78; 4.02 to 23.83), infants who slept in a separate room from their parents (10.49; 4.26 to 25.81), and infants who shared a sofa (48.99; 5.04 to 475.60). The risk associated with being found in the parental bed was not significant for older infants (>14 weeks) or for infants of parents who did not smoke and became non-significant after adjustment for recent maternal alcohol consumption (>2 units), use of duvets (>4 togs), parental tiredness (infant slept 2 people per room of the house). CONCLUSIONS: There are certain circumstances when bed sharing should be avoided, particularly for infants under four months old. Parents sleeping on a sofa with infants should always be avoided. There is no evidence that bed sharing is hazardous for infants of parents who do not smoke. (+info)