Low-weight neonatal survival paradox in the Czech Republic.
Analysis of vital statistics for the Czech Republic between 1986 and 1993, including 3,254 infant deaths from 350,978 first births to married and single women who conceived at ages 18-29 years, revealed a neonatal survival advantage for low-weight infants born to disadvantaged (single, less educated) women, particularly for deaths from congenital anomalies. This advantage largely disappeared after the neonatal period. The same patterns have been observed for low-weight infants born to black women in the United States. Since the Czech Republic had an ethnically homogenous population, virtually universal prenatal care, and uniform institutional conditions for delivery, Czech results must be attributed to social rather than to biologic or medical circumstances. This strengthens the contention that in the United States, the black neonatal survival paradox may be due as much to race-related social stigmatization and consequent disadvantage as to any hypothesized hereditary influences on birth-weight-specific survival. (+info)
Cardiovascular risk factors in Mexican American adults: a transcultural analysis of NHANES III, 1988-1994.
OBJECTIVES: This study examined the extent to which cardiovascular disease risk factors differ among subgroups of Mexican Americans living in the United States. METHODS: Using data from a national sample (1988-1994) of 1387 Mexican American women and 1404 Mexican American men, aged 25 to 64 years, we examined an estimate of coronary heart disease mortality risk and 5 primary cardiovascular disease risk factors: systolic blood pressure, body mass index, cigarette smoking, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Differences in risk were evaluated by country of birth and primary language spoken. RESULTS: Estimated 10-year coronary heart disease mortality risk per 1000 persons, adjusted for age and education, was highest for US-born Spanish-speaking men and women (27.5 and 11.4, respectively), intermediate for US-born English-speaking men and women (22.5 and 7.0), and lowest for Mexican-born men and women (20.0 and 6.6). A similar pattern of higher risk among US-born Spanish-speaking men and women was demonstrated for each of the 5 cardiovascular disease risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: These findings illustrate the heterogeneity of the Mexican American population and identify a new group at substantial risk for cardiovascular disease and in need of effective heart disease prevention programs. (+info)
Generational continuity and change in British Asian health and health behaviour.
OBJECTIVES: To trace patterns of health and health behaviour in those with ancestry in the Indian subcontinent (British Asians) compared with the general population of their age (1) in the younger generation age 14-15 mainly born in the UK and (2) in the older mainly migrant generation. DESIGN: Cross sectional random sample surveys of two age groups in Glasgow. SAMPLES: 334 British Asians (86% born in the UK) and 490 non-Asians, all aged 14-15; 173 British Asians aged 30-40 (mean age 35, 93% born abroad), and 344 general population aged 35. MEASURES: Health: self assessed health/fitness, longstanding/limiting illness, chronic phlegm, accidents, symptoms, tooth loss. Health behaviour: smoking, alcohol, drugs, exercise. RESULTS: At age 14-15, compared with non-Asian counterparts: fewer British Asian girls reported limiting illness (p < 0.05) or chronic phlegm (p < 0.01), fewer boys reported accidents (p < 0.01), and fewer of both sexes had lost second teeth (p < 0.05); more of both sexes reported not smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugs (p < 0.01 or below), fewer reported frequent exercise (p < 0.05 or below). Smoking patterns were consistently related to ethnic differences in chronic phlegm, and patterns of alcohol consumption to those in accidents. In health, British Asian girls aged 14-15 generally compared more favourably with non-Asian counterparts than did those aged 30-40. The reverse was true for British Asian male subjects. In health behaviour, British Asians of both sexes aged 14-15 showed strong continuities with those aged 30-40. CONCLUSIONS: Favourable health behaviour has brought a health advantage to young British born Asians, even though this was not the case in the migrant generation. Female health disadvantage is also much less marked than in migrants aged 30-40, but may re-emerge between ages 15-30. Migrant Asian male subjects may have had misleadingly high respiratory health levels because of positive selection. (+info)
Patients' priorities with respect to general practice care: an international comparison. European Task Force on Patient Evaluations of General Practice (EUROPEP).
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Improving the sensitivity of general practice to patients' needs demands a good understanding of patients' expectations and priorities in care provision. Insight into differences in expectations of patients in different cultures and health care systems may support decision-making on desirable models for care provision in general practice. An international study was conducted to determine priorities of patients in general practice care: which views do patients in different countries have in common and which views differ? METHODS: Written surveys in general practices in the UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Israel were performed. Samples of patients from at least 12 practices per country, stratified according to area and type of practice, were included. Patients rated the importance of 38 different aspects of general practice care, selected on the basis of literature analysis, qualitative studies and consensus discussions. Rankings between countries were compared. RESULTS: A total number of 3540 patients (response rate on average 55%) completed the questionnaire. Patients in different countries had many opinions in common. Aspects that got the highest ranking were: getting enough time during the consultation; quick services in case of emergencies; confidentiality of information on patients; telling patients all they want to know about their illness; making patients feel free to talk about their problems; GPs going to courses regularly; and offering preventive services. However, differences between opinions of patients in different countries were also found for some of the selected aspects. A confounding effect of patients' characteristics may have played a role in these differences. DISCUSSION: The study provides information on what patients expect of and value in general practice care. It shows that patients in different cultures and health care systems may have different views on some aspects of care, but most of all that they have many views in common, particularly as far as doctor-patient communication and accessibility of services are concerned. (+info)
Low incidence of transplant coronary artery disease in Chinese heart recipients.
OBJECTIVES: This study sought to assess the incidence of transplant coronary artery disease (CAD) in Chinese heart recipients. BACKGROUND: The prevalence of transplant CAD detected by angiography at 1, 2 and 4 years after heart transplantation was 11%, 22% and 45%, respectively. The incidence of transplant CAD in Chinese heart recipients has not been reported. METHODS: For those recipients surviving for more than 1 year after transplantation, coronary angiography was performed annually for surveillance of transplant CAD. The recipient characteristics, donor characteristics, rejection episodes, medication and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) mismatches were recorded. RESULTS: Fifty patients were included in this study. Thirteen (26%) recipients had ischemic heart disease. Two patients (4%) had active cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection after transplantation. The mean number of rejection episodes in the 1st year after transplantation was 1.15. Among 47 patients with complete data of donor and recipient histocompatibility antigens, there were seven patients (14.9%) with two or fewer HLA mismatches. Among 74 angiograms of 50 patients reviewed, only one patient had discrete stenosis less than 50% in the middle portion of the left anterior descending artery at 1 year after transplantation. The cumulative incidence of transplant CAD was 2% at 1 year and 2% at 2 and 4 years after transplantation. CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of transplant CAD was low in Chinese heart transplant recipients. Low percentage of ischemic heart disease in recipients, low occurrence of active CMV infection and rejection episodes after transplantation, less racial disparity, and lower HLA mismatches may be the important factors. (+info)
Quality and cost of healthcare: a cross-national comparison of American and Dutch attitudes.
OBJECTIVE: To compare attitudes of consumers in America and Holland toward the quality and cost of healthcare. STUDY DESIGN: Data were derived from one American (n = 466) and two Dutch (n = 260, n = 1629) surveys. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Questionnaires were completed by respondents. Pairwise comparisons requiring respondents to compare statements with one another were used to assess preferences for quality of care. Respondents were asked to "indicate the extent to which each of the factors listed plays a role in placing demands on the American (Dutch) healthcare system." Factors included the public's tendency to consume, high technology, defensive medicine, decrease in informal care, increase in standard diagnostic procedures, and medicalization. RESULTS: Americans reported comparatively greater concern with empathy, whereas the Dutch were more interested in the continuity of care. Effectiveness, knowledge, information, and patient-physician relationships were ranked higher in both nations than waiting time, autonomy, and efficiency. Respondents in both countries attributed the increase in healthcare cost primarily to the high cost of technology. Compared with their Dutch peers, Americans were less likely to attribute increases in the cost of healthcare to the public tendency to consume and to the decrease in informal care and were more likely to implicate defensive medicine and an increase in diagnostic procedures. CONCLUSIONS: As both nations experience pressures to reduce costs while maintaining and augmenting the quality of healthcare, planners and government officials should tailor their approaches to each nation's problems within the context of their public perspectives. Replication of such studies should help assess the impact of changing societal values on healthcare delivery. (+info)
Respiratory responses to CO2-rebreathing in Nigerian men.
In 36 young Nigerian men, ventilatory capacity and the changes in ventilation, tidal volume and tidal P CO2 during oxic CO2-rebreathing have been measured. CO2 response lines and breathing rhythms have been determined and analysed in relation to the anthropometric and lung function data. Previous findings that Nigerian men have a substantially lower ventilatory capacity than Europeans at a standard height and age are confirmed. Breathing rhythms in Nigerians appear to be the same as in other ethnic groups studied. CO2-sensitivity varies with FVC, as found previously in Europeans and New Guineans. However, at a standard FVC of 41, Nigerian men have the same CO2-sensitivity as Europeans, and not a lower value like New Guineans. (+info)
Chinese and U.S. internists adhere to different ethical standards.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether internists in the United States and China have different ideas and behaviors regarding informing patients of terminal diagnoses and HIV/AIDS, the role of the family in end-of-life decision making, and assisted suicide. DESIGN: Structured questionnaire of clinical vignettes followed by multiple choice questions. SETTING: University and community hospitals in San Francisco and Beijing, China. SUBJECTS: Forty practicing internists were interviewed, 20 in China and 20 in the United States. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Of the internists surveyed, 95% of the U.S. internists and none of the Chinese internists would inform a patient with cancer of her diagnosis. However, 100% of U.S. and 90% of Chinese internists would tell a terminally ill patient who had AIDS, rather than advanced cancer, about his diagnosis. When family members' wishes conflicted with a patient's preferences regarding chemotherapy of advanced cancer, Chinese internists were more likely to follow the family's preferences rather than the patient's preferences (65%) than were the U.S. internists (5%). Thirty percent of U.S. internists and 15% of Chinese internists agreed with a terminally ill patient's request for sufficient narcotics to end her life. CONCLUSIONS: We found significant differences in clinical ethical beliefs between internists in the United States and China, most evident in informing patients of a cancer diagnosis. In general, the Chinese physicians appeared to give far greater weight to family preferences in medical decision making than did the U.S. physicians. (+info)