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(1/4408) Comparative total mortality in 25 years in Italian and Greek middle aged rural men.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: Mortality over 25 years has been low in the Italian and very low in the Greek cohorts of the Seven Countries Study; factors responsible for this particularity were studied in detail. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTINGS: 1712 Italian and 1215 Greek men, aged 40-59 years, cohorts of the Seven Countries Study, representing over 95% of the populations in designated rural areas. DESIGN: Entry (1960-61) data included age, systolic blood pressure (SBP), smoking habits, total serum cholesterol, body mass index (BMI), arm circumference, vital capacity (VC), and forced expiratory volume in 3/4 seconds (FEV); the same data were obtained 10 years later. Multivariate Cox analysis was performed with all causes death in 25 years as end point. MAIN RESULTS: Italian men had higher entry levels of SBP, arm circumference, BMI, and VC; Greek men had higher cholesterol levels, smoking habits, and FEV. Mortality of Italian men was higher throughout; at 25 years cumulative mortality was 48.3% and 35.3% respectively. Coronary heart disease and stroke mortality increased fivefold in Italy and 10-fold in Greece between years 10 and 25. The only risk factor with a significantly higher contribution to mortality in Italian men was cholesterol. However, differences in entry SBP (higher in Italy) and FEV (higher in Greece) accounted for, according to the Lee method, 75% of the differential mortality between the two populations. At 10 years increases in SBP, cholesterol, BMI, and decreases in smoking habits, VC, FEV, and arm circumference had occurred (deltas). SBP increased more and FEV and VC decreased more in Italy than in Greece. Deltas, fed stepwise in the original model for the prediction of 10 to 25 years mortality, were significant for SBP, smoking, arm circumference, and VC in Greece, and for SBP and VC in Italy. CONCLUSION: Higher mortality in Italian men is related to stronger positive effects of entry SBP and weaker negative (protective) effects of FEV; in addition 10 year increases in SBP are higher and 10 year decreases in FEV are larger in Italy. Unaccounted factors, however, related to, for example, differences in the diet, may also have contributed to the differential mortality of these two Mediterranean populations.  (+info)

(2/4408) Short stature and cardiovascular disease among men and women from two southeastern New England communities.

BACKGROUND: Short stature has been associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), although the reason for the association remains unclear. Data on the relation between stature and stroke is more limited. We examined the association between stature and CHD as well as between stature and stroke in men and women from two communities in southeastern New England. METHODS: Coronary heart disease and stroke events were abstracted from medical records between January 1980 and December 1991. An epidemiological diagnostic algorithm developed to measure CHD was used in the present analysis. Unadjusted relative risks (RR) and RR adjusted for age, smoking status, obesity, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol <0.91 mmol/l, total cholesterol >6.21 mmol/l, hypertension, diabetes, education, and being foreign born were computed by gender-specific height categories separately for men (n = 2826) and women (n = 3741). RESULTS: A graded inverse association between stature and risk of CHD was observed among men which persisted after adjustment for confounders. Men >69.75 inches had an 83% lower risk of CHD compared with men < or = 65 inches. In addition, the tallest men had a 67% decreased risk of stroke compared with the shortest men. No significant relation between stature and CHD or stroke was observed among women. CONCLUSIONS: These data support the hypothesis that stature is inversely related to both risk of CHD and stroke at least among men. Factors which might explain this association remain to be determined.  (+info)

(3/4408) Genetic and gender influences on sensitivity to focal cerebral ischemia in the stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rat.

We have investigated genetic transmission of increased sensitivity to focal cerebral ischemia and the influence of gender in the stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHRSP). Halothane-anesthetized, 3- to 5-month-old male and female Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY), SHRSP, and the first filial generation rats (F1 crosses 1 and 2) underwent distal (2 mm) permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) by electrocoagulation. Infarct volume was measured by using hematoxylin-eosin-stained sections and image analysis 24 hours after ischemia and expressed as a percentage of the volume of the ipsilateral hemisphere. Infarct volume in males and females grouped together were significantly larger in SHRSP, F1 cross 1 (SHRSP father), and F1 cross 2 (WKY father), at 36.6+/-2.3% (mean+/-SEM, P<0.001, n=15), 25.4+/-2.4% (P<0.01, n=14), and 33. 9+/-1.6% (P<0.001, n=18), respectively, compared with WKY (14+/-2%, n=17). Male F1 cross 1 (18.9+/-2.4%, n=6) developed significantly smaller infarcts than male F1 cross 2 (32.8+/-2%, n=8, P<0.005). Females, which underwent ischemia during metestrus, developed larger infarcts than respective males. A group of females in which the cycle was not controlled for developed significantly smaller infarcts than females in metestrus. Thus, the increased sensitivity to MCAO in SHRSP is retained in both F1 cross 1 and cross 2 hybrids, suggesting a dominant or codominant trait; response to cerebral ischemia appears to be affected by gender and stage in the estrous cycle. In addition, the male progenitor of the cross (ie, SHRSP versus WKY) influences stroke sensitivity in male F1 cohorts.  (+info)

(4/4408) Delay in presentation of patients with acute stroke to hospital in Oxford.

We identified prospectively all patients (181 patients, 183 episodes) admitted to hospital in Oxford with acute stroke from 1 January to 30 June 1997. Data were inadequate in 30, leaving 153 episodes in 151 patients (63 men, 90 women). Structured interviews were used to investigate the timing of events preceding admission. Most strokes (91%) occurred at home, and 36% of patients were alone. After a median delay of 15 min, 56% called a GP (median 30 min response), 41% an ambulance (median 48 min to admission), and 3% went directly to A&E. Median time from hospital admission to doctor assessment was 69 min. Factors reducing delay were: initially calling an ambulance rather than a GP (p < 0.0001); onset not at home (p < 0.001); symptoms improving between onset and admission (p < 0.002); and altered consciousness (p < 0.002). The stroke was not recognized by 44% of patients, but no significant delay resulted. Overall, 31% were admitted within 3 h of onset, 46% within 6 h. Initial contact with the GP is a major determinant of delay. If acute therapies for stroke become available, GPs should be the primary targets for an educational initiative.  (+info)

(5/4408) Optimal thrombolytic strategies for acute myocardial infarction--bolus administration.

Optimal strategies for thrombolysis in myocardial infarction (TIMI) are still being sought because the TIMI 3 flow rates achievable using standard regimens average approximately 60%. Double bolus administration of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is a novel approach with potential for earlier patency combined with ease of administration. We reviewed total patency rates, TIMI 3 patency rates, mortality, stroke and intracranial haemorrhage rates in the major trials of accelerated infusion tPA/bolus tPA/reteplase in acute myocardial infarction. A direct comparison was performed with results of two recent trials of double bolus (two 50 mg boli, 30 min apart) vs. accelerated infusion tPA: the Double Bolus Lytic Efficacy Trial (DBLE), an angiographic study, and the COBALT Trial, a mortality study. The DBLE trial showed equivalent patency rates for accelerated infusion and double bolus administration of tPA. Reviewing other angiographic trials, total patency and TIMI 3 patency rates achievable with double bolus tPA were comparable to those with accelerated infusion tPA or bolus reteplase administration. The COBALT study demonstrated a 30-day mortality of 7.53% in patients treated with accelerated infusion tPA compared with 7.98% for double bolus tPA treated patients. The small excess in mortality with double bolus treatment was confined to the elderly; in those < or = 75 years, mortality rates were 5.6% and 5.7%, for double bolus and accelerated infusion, respectively, and rates for death or non-fatal stroke were 6.35% and 6.3%, respectively. Comparison with other trials demonstrated mortality, stroke and intracranial haemorrhage rates with double bolus treatment similar to those associated with either accelerated infusion tPA or bolus reteplase treatment. Double bolus administration of tPA to patients with acute myocardial infarction is associated with total patency, TIMI 3 patency, mortality, stroke and intracranial haemorrhage rates similar to those associated with either accelerated infusion of tPA or bolus reteplase.  (+info)

(6/4408) Assessment of swallowing and referral to speech and language therapists in acute stroke.

The best clinical assessment of swallowing following acute stroke, in order to decide whether to refer a patient to a speech and language therapist (SLT), is uncertain. Independently of the managing clinical team, we prospectively investigated 115 patients (51 male) with acute stroke, mean age 75 years (range 24-94) within 72 h of admission, using a questionnaire, structured examination and timed water swallowing test. Outcome variables included referral to and intervention by a speech and language therapist (SLT), dietary modification, respiratory complications and death. Of those patients in whom an SLT recommended intervention, 97% were detected by an abnormal quantitative water swallowing test; specificity was 69%. An SLT was very unlikely to recommend any intervention if the test was normal. Inability to perform a water test and/or abnormality of the test was associated with significantly increased relative risks of death, chest infection and dietary modification. A timed water swallowing test can be a useful test of swallowing and may be used to screen patients for referral to a speech and language therapist after acute stroke.  (+info)

(7/4408) Premature morbidity from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases in women with systemic lupus erythematosus.

OBJECTIVE: To determine rates of morbidity due to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases among women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). METHODS: I used the California Hospital Discharge Database, which contains information on all discharges from acute care hospitals in California, to identify women with SLE who had been hospitalized for treatment of either acute myocardial infarction (AMI), congestive heart failure (CHF), or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) from 1991 to 1994. I compared the proportions of hospitalizations for each cause among women with SLE with those in a group of women without SLE, for 3 age strata (18-44 years, 45-64 years, and > or =65 years). RESULTS: Compared with young women without SLE, young women with SLE were 2.27 times more likely to be hospitalized because of AMI (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.08-3.46), 3.80 times more likely to be hospitalized because of CHF (95% CI 2.41-5.19), and 2.05 times more likely to be hospitalized because of CVA (95% CI 1.17-2.93). Among middle-aged women with SLE, the frequencies of hospitalization for AMI and CVA did not differ from those of the comparison group, but the risk of hospitalization for CHF was higher (odds ratio [OR] 1.39, 95% CI 1.05-1.73). Among elderly women with SLE, the risk of hospitalization for AMI was significantly lower (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.51-0.89), the risk of hospitalization for CHF was higher (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.01-1.49), and the risk of hospitalization for CVA was not significantly different from those in the comparison group. CONCLUSION: Young women with SLE are at substantially increased risk of AMI, CHF, and CVA. The relative odds of these conditions decrease with age among women with SLE.  (+info)

(8/4408) G20210A mutation in prothrombin gene and risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, and venous thrombosis in a large cohort of US men.

BACKGROUND: A single base pair mutation in the prothrombin gene has recently been identified that is associated with increased prothrombin levels. Whether this mutation increases the risks of arterial and venous thrombosis among healthy individuals is controversial. METHODS AND RESULTS: In a prospective cohort of 14 916 men, we determined the prevalence of the G20210A prothrombin gene variant in 833 men who subsequently developed myocardial infarction, stroke, or venous thrombosis (cases) and in 1774 age- and smoking status-matched men who remained free of thrombosis during a 10-year follow-up (control subjects). Gene sequencing was used to confirm mutation status in a subgroup of participants. Overall, carrier rates for the G20210A mutation were similar among case and control subjects; the relative risk of developing any thrombotic event in association with the 20210A allele was 1.05 (95% CI, 0.7 to 1.6; P=0.8). We observed no evidence of association between mutation and myocardial infarction (RR=0.8, P=0.4) or stroke (RR=1.1, P=0.8). For venous thrombosis, a modest nonsignificant increase in risk was observed (RR=1.7, P=0.08) that was smaller in magnitude than that associated with factor V Leiden (RR=3.0, P<0. 001). Nine individuals carried both the prothrombin mutation and factor V Leiden (5 controls and 4 cases). One individual, a control subject, was homozygous for the prothrombin mutation. CONCLUSIONS: In a large cohort of US men, the G20210A prothrombin gene variant was not associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction or stroke. For venous thrombosis, risk estimates associated with the G20210A mutation were smaller in magnitude than risk estimates associated with factor V Leiden.  (+info)