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)
Bacterial pneumonia as a suprainfection in young adults with measles.
The aim of this study was to report the clinical and laboratory characteristics of bacterial pneumonia related to measles infection, and also to assess any correlation between severity and time of onset. Four hundred and twenty-four previously healthy young males (age 22+/-2.1 yrs) were hospitalized with typical symptoms and signs of measles. One hundred and twelve (26%) developed bacterial pneumonia on admission (n=41), during their hospital stay (n=20) or days after their discharge (n=51): groups A, B and C, respectively. Single lobar consolidation was the most common finding, accounting for 89% of cases. Pleural effusion was uncommon and associated in half of the cases with empyema. A microbiological diagnosis was made in 81 cases. Streptococcus pneumoniae (65 cases) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (9 cases) were the most commonly identified organisms. Patients from group C had significantly higher values of white blood cell count and erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and lower values of arterial oxygen tension (14+/-0.8 x 10(9) x L(-1), 88+/-4 mm and 6.3+/-0.4 kPa (47+/-3 mmHg), respectively) than the other two groups. There were no deaths during the hospitalization period. The mean duration of hospital stay was 13+/-2.4 days and was longer in the presence of K. pneumoniae infection (19+/-1.6 days). Six patients from group C were admitted to the intensive care unit. In conclusion, these data suggest that bacterial pneumonia associated with measles is not unusual in hospitalized adults, and it seems to be more severe when it occurs days after the onset of rash. (+info)
Age, sex, and smoking are predictors of circulating insulin-like growth factor 1 and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3.
PURPOSE: Insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and its major binding protein (IGF-BP3) have recently been implicated in the pathogenesis of several malignancies. However, anthropometric and lifestyle predictors of these hormones have not been elucidated. Here we report the results of a cross-sectional study. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: This cross-sectional study examines the relationship of a series of epidemiologic parameters (age, sex, height, body mass index, smoking, alcohol consumption, and coffee drinking) with IGF-1 and IGF-BP3 in a sample of 130 healthy adults. RESULTS: We observed that serum levels of IGF-1 are higher, whereas levels of IGF-BP3 are lower, in men than in women. In addition, serum levels of IGF-1 are independently and negatively associated with age and positively associated with pack-year history of smoking. Finally, serum levels of IGF-BP3 are independently and negatively associated with the number of cigarettes smoked per day or pack-year history of smoking. CONCLUSION: Age, sex, and smoking are independent predictors of IGF-1 and/or IGF-BP3. The influence of these epidemiologic variables on the pathogenesis of disease states associated with IGF-1 and IGF-BP3 warrants further exploration. (+info)
Infectious diarrhea in tourists staying in a resort hotel.
An outbreak of infectious diarrhea with 70 laboratory-confirmed cases (58 with Giardia lamblia) and 107 probable cases occurred in U.K. tourists who stayed in a hotel in Greece. After a cluster of six cases in persons who had stayed at the hotel was reported, the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre began active case ascertainment. This outbreak illustrates the value of an approach to surveillance that integrates routine surveillance data with active case ascertainment. (+info)
Is health insurance in Greece in need of reform?
This paper aims to assess the relationship between insurance contributions and health benefits in Greece by using information from sickness funds' accounts. The paper argues that the fragmentation of social health insurance, and the particular ways in which sickness funds' financial services are organized, are a major source of inequity and are grossly inefficient. The survival of these systems in the 1990s cannot be explained except on grounds of inertia and corporate resistance. (+info)
Screening for minor changes in the distal part of the human dystrophin gene in Greek DMD/BMD patients.
The distal part of the human dystrophin gene is characterised by particular features and seems to play an important functional role. Additionally in recent years several data have implicated minor mutations in this gene region in some patients with mental retardation (MR). In order to screen for pathogenic mutations at the distal part of the human dystrophin gene we have used single-strand conformation analysis of products amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR-SSCA) in 35 unrelated male Greek DMD/BMD patients with no detectable deletions. Seven patients also had severe mental retardation. Direct sequencing of samples demonstrating a shift of SSCA mobility revealed six different and pathogenic minor changes, five in DMD and one in a BMD patient. Four of the mutations were found in DMD patients with severe MR. Three of these mutations were localised in exon 66, which presents an interesting similarity with part of the 3' end of the genome of eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus (EEEV). The present data from Greek DMD/BMD patients give further information about the phenotypic effects consequent on mutations in exons at the distal part of the human dystrophin gene. (+info)
Predictive value of c-erbB-2 and cathepsin-D for Greek breast cancer patients using univariate and multivariate analysis.
The value of various prognostic factors in breast cancer patients has been determined in a number of studies. One hundred thirty-eight Greek women were followed up over a 5-year period after surgery for breast cancer. Amplification and overexpression of c-erbB-2 was found in 22.4% and 29.7% of the respective cases, and the concentration of total cytosolic Cathepsin-D (CD) in 46.4% of them was high (> or = 60 pmol/mg protein). The examined biological variables were compared with standard clinicopathological prognostic factors for the disease and related to early relapse (ER; before 3 years), relapse-free survival (RFS; median, 5 years), and overall survival (OS; median, 5 years). It was found that high CD levels significantly shorten ER of both node-negative and node-positive patients (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.002, respectively) and have prognostic value for RFS and OS of node-negative patients (P = 0.0012 and P = 0.0288, respectively), but lose their value as relapse predictors for node-positive patients for periods longer than 3 years. Overexpression of c-erbB-2 was found to be predictive for OS of node-positive and -negative patients (P = 0.0048 and P = 0.0285, respectively), but its predictive power was weak for ER (P = 0.0456) and RFS (P = 0.0455) of node-negative patients and disappeared for node-positive patients. c-erbB-2 amplification offers minimal assistance to the prediction. In conclusion, high CD concentration is indicative of ER of patients, and c-erbB-2 overexpression correlates with OS of patients. (+info)
Risk of upper limb injury in left handed children: a study in Greece.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether left handed children are at increased risk for injuries, particularly upper limb injuries. SETTING: Athens, Greece, during a six month period in 1995-96. METHODS: Cases were 129 children 4-14 years old with unintentional upper limb injuries from a population based injury database. Two control children matched for gender and age were selected from among those seen at the same medical institution for minor, non-injury ailments. On the basis of information provided by the children and their guardians, sociodemographic variables were recorded, hand preference was assessed, and each child's activity score was calculated through an abbreviated version of Achenbach's scale. RESULTS: Left handed children have a moderately increased upper limb injury risk with a tendency of recurrence of this injury. The risk of upper limb injury is also raised among children of young fathers, whereas it appears to be inversely related to crowding index and activity score--three variables that were controlled for as potential confounders. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides limited support for the hypothesis that left handed children are at increased risk for injury. The excess risk, if genuine, is likely to be limited to cultural settings in which right handedness is perceived as the norm. (+info)