Sudden death in the general population in Okinawa: incidence and causes of death.
Sudden unexpected death is generally considered to be caused by acute myocardial infarction and/or arrhythmia. To document the incidence and causes of sudden death in Japan, where the incidence of myocardial infarction is low, the present study examined death certificates, hospital records, the forensic medical records, and the police records of residents of the southern part of Okinawa island who died at the age of 20-74 years during a 3-year period from January 1, 1992 to December 31, 1994. Sudden death was defined as death within 24 h from the onset of unexpected symptoms. The study documented 126 (87 men and 39 women) sudden deaths. The crude incidence rate was 0.37/1,000 person per year (0.51 in men and 0.23 in women). According to the death certificates, 78 cases died of heart diseases. However, the cause of death could be determined by examination of all available records in only 64 cases: myocardial infarction in 10, non-ischemic heart diseases in 13, and stroke in 23 cases. Even when the analysis was limited to the cases who died within 1 h from the onset of symptoms, heart disease was the cause of death in only 22% of the cases while the cause of death could not be determined in 53% of the cases. Only 13% of those diagnosed as heart diseases on the death certificate were verified. The agreement rate between the diagnosis reached by the re-evaluation of the records and that on the death certificate was 82% for stroke and 33% for other diseases. In Okinawa, Japan, the frequencies of heart disease and stroke as the cause of sudden death may be similar. Except for stroke, the diagnosis appearing on the death certificate has substantial inaccuracy. (+info)
Maternal placental abnormality and the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
To determine whether placental abnormality (placental abruption or placental previa) during pregnancy predisposes an infant to a high risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the authors conducted a population-based case-control study using 1989-1991 California linked birth and death certificate data. They identified 2,107 SIDS cases, 96% of whom were diagnosed through autopsy. Ten controls were randomly selected for each case from the same linked birth-death certificate data, matched to the case on year of birth. About 1.4% of mothers of cases and 0.7% of mothers of controls had either placental abruption or placenta previa during the index pregnancy. After adjustment for potential confounders, placental abnormality during pregnancy was associated with a twofold increase in the risk of SIDS in offspring (odds ratio = 2.1, 95% confidence interval 1.3-3.1). The individual effects of placental abruption and placenta previa on the risk of SIDS did not differ significantly. An impaired fetal development due to placental abnormality may predispose an infant to a high risk of SIDS. (+info)
Evaluation of death registers in general practice.
BACKGROUND: General practitioners (GPs) do not routinely receive information about the deaths of those patients whose death certificates they have not completed. We developed and evaluated a system for producing death registers for GPs. AIM: To evaluate GPs' and practice managers' views on, and uses of, the death register. METHOD: General practitioners in Newcastle (n = 161) and Sunderland Family Health Service Authority (n = 144) areas were sent a questionnaire on their sources and use of information about patients' deaths. Death registers were sent to Newcastle practices; Sunderland practices were the control group. A follow-up questionnaire was sent to Newcastle (n = 173) and Sunderland (n = 140) GPs after two years. Newcastle practice managers (n = 45) were interviewed after their practice had received death registers for one year. RESULTS: Ninety-two per cent of Newcastle responders had seen the death register. Seventy-three per cent saw it regularly. Of those who saw it, 92% found it useful for communication within the primary health care team, bereavement follow-up, and administration and medical audit. One fifth of GPs named the death register as their first source of information about their patients' deaths. Newcastle GPs reported greater levels of change in use of patient death information than the control group. Practice managers circulated, used, and recorded information from the death register. CONCLUSION: Death registers are valued and have demonstrable benefits with regard to administration, bereavement care, and medical audit. (+info)
Maternal cigarette smoking and invasive meningococcal disease: a cohort study among young children in metropolitan Atlanta, 1989-1996.
OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the association between maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy and the risk of invasive meningococcal disease during early childhood. METHODS: Using a retrospective cohort study design, cases from an active surveillance project monitoring all invasive meningococcal disease in the metropolitan Atlanta area from 1989 to 1995 were merged with linked birth and death certificate data files. Children who had not died or acquired meningococcal disease were assumed to be alive and free of the illness. The Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to assess the independent association between maternal smoking and meningococcal disease. RESULTS: The crude rate of meningococcal disease was 5 times higher for children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy than for children whose mothers did not smoke (0.05% vs 0.01%). Multivariate analysis revealed that maternal smoking (risk ratio [RR] = 2.9; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.5, 5.7) and a mother's having fewer than 12 years of education (RR = 2.1; 95% CI = 1.0, 4.2) were independently associated with invasive meningococcal disease. CONCLUSIONS: Maternal smoking, a likely surrogate for tobacco smoke exposure following delivery, appears to be a modifiable risk factor for sporadic meningococcal disease in young children. (+info)
Cause-specific mortality in type 2 diabetes. The Verona Diabetes Study.
OBJECTIVE: This population-based study, carried out in the framework of the Verona Diabetes Study, investigated mortality from specific causes in known type 2 diabetic patients. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A cohort of 7,148 known type 2 diabetic patients (3,366 men and 3,782 women) was identified on 31 December 1986 and followed up for 5 years (1987-1991). Underlying causes of death were obtained from death certificates and were coded according to the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision. Cause-specific death rates of diabetic subjects were compared with those of the inhabitants of Verona. By 31 December 1991, 1,550 diabetic subjects (744 men and 806 women) had died. RESULTS: The standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for all causes of death was 1.42 (95% CI 1.35-1.50). The highest SMRs were for the following specific causes: diabetes (SMR 4.47 [3.91-5.10]), gastrointestinal diseases (1.83 [1.50-2.21])--particularly liver cirrhosis (2.52 [1.96-3.20])--and cardiovascular diseases (1.34 [1.23-1.44]), particularly cerebrovascular (1.48 [1.25-1.73]) and ischemic heart diseases (1.41 [1.24-1.62]). A significantly higher than expected risk of mortality for cardiovascular causes was already present in the first 5 years after diagnosis and decreased with age. Type 2 diabetic patients treated with insulin had a higher risk of dying than those treated orally or by diet. CONCLUSIONS: The highest SMRs in the diabetic cohort were for diabetes and liver cirrhosis. The mortality risk for cardiovascular diseases, although significantly higher than expected, was much lower in Italian type 2 diabetic patients than that reported for American patients. The evidence of an early effect on mortality suggests that prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment should be improved. (+info)
Occupational cancer in Spain.
The knowledge of specific problems of occupational cancer in Spain is scarce. The environment of the workplace has improved over the last few years after a long period distinguished by bad working conditions, incomplete legislation, and insufficient safety measures and control. It has been estimated that 3,083,479 workers (25.4% of employees) were exposed to carcinogens. The most common occupational exposures to carcinogenic agents were solar radiation, environmental tobacco smoke, silica, and wood dust. The highest number of employees were exposed to silica crystalline (404,729), diesel engine exhaust (274,321), rubber products (99,804), benzene (89,932), ethylene dibromide (81,336), agents used in furniture and cabinet making (72,068), and formaldehyde (71,189). The percentage of total cancer deaths attributed to occupational exposure was 4% (6% in men, 0.9% in women). Compared with other European countries, the incidence of lung cancer and leukemia in Spain are one of the lowest, but it is rapidly increasing. The incidence of urinary bladder and larynx cancer, on the contrary, are one of the highest. Few studies on occupational cancer have been conducted in Spain. The main problems are the availability of death certificates and the quality of the information on occupation in mortality of statistics. It is necessary to improve methods of assessment of exposures using expert hygienists and biologic markers of exposure and diseases. Reduction of cancer by limiting or avoiding exposure to known occupational carcinogens is still necessary. (+info)
The effect of congenital anomalies on mortality risk in white and black infants.
OBJECTIVES: This population-based study examined the effect of all major congenital anomalies on the mortality of White and Black infants by infant sex, birthweight, gestational age, and lethality of the anomaly. The study also determined the total contribution of anomalies to infant mortality. METHODS: California Birth Defects Monitoring Program data were merged with linked birth-death files for 278,646 singleton non-Hispanic White and Black infants born in 1983 through 1986. Malformed infants were compared with nonmalformed infants to determine the effect of anomalies on mortality. RESULTS: The presence of any congenital anomaly increased mortality 9.0-fold (95% CI = 7.3, 11.1) for Black infants and 17.8-fold (95% CI = 16.2, 19.6) for White infants. Even "non-lethal" anomalies increased mortality up to 8.9-fold. Overall, anomalies contributed to 33% of White infant deaths, to 19% of Black infant deaths, and to over 60% of deaths among Black and White neonates weighing over 1499 g. CONCLUSIONS: The contribution of congenital anomalies to mortality of both low- (< 2500 g) and normal-birth-weight infants is substantially higher than previously estimated, representing a large public health problem for both Black and White infants. (+info)
Impaired glucose tolerance is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but not impaired fasting glucose. The Funagata Diabetes Study.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the new category of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) recently proposed by the Expert Committee of the American Diabetes Association is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Death certificates and residence transfer documents from the cohort population consisting of participants of the diabetes prevalence study in Funagata, Yamagata prefecture, Japan, 1990-1992, were analyzed up through the end of 1996. First, the cohort population was classified into three groups: normal glucose tolerance (NGT) (n = 2,016), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) (n = 382), and diabetic (n = 253). Then the same population was reclassified into normal fasting glucose (NFG), IFG, and diabetic. The cumulative survival rates among the groups were compared using the classical life-table method, and age-adjusted analyses, the person-year method, and Cox's proportional hazard model were adopted. RESULTS: At the end of seven observed years, the cumulative survival rates from cardiovascular disease of IGT and diabetes were 0.962 and 0.954, respectively, both significantly lower than that of NGT (0.988). The Cox's proportional hazard model analysis showed that the hazard ratio of IGT to NGT on death from cardiovascular disease was 2.219 (95% CI 1.076-4.577). However, the cumulative survival rate of IFG from cardiovascular disease was 0.977, not significantly lower than that of NFG (0.985). The Cox's hazard ratio of IFG to NFG on death from cardiovascular disease was 1.136 (0.345-3.734), which was not significant either. CONCLUSIONS: IGT was a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but IFG was not. (+info)