(1/4527) Is hospital care involved in inequalities in coronary heart disease mortality? Results from the French WHO-MONICA Project in men aged 30-64.

OBJECTIVES: The goal of the study was to assess whether possible disparities in coronary heart disease (CHD) management between occupational categories (OC) in men might be observed and contribute to the increasing inequalities in CHD morbidity and mortality reported in France. METHODS: The data from the three registers of the French MONICA Collaborative Centres (MCC-Lille, MCC-Strasbourg, and MCC-Toulouse) were analysed during two period: 1985-87 and 1989-91. Acute myocardial infarctions and coronary deaths concerning men, aged 30-64 years, were included. Non-professionally active and retired men were excluded. Results were adjusted for age and MCC, using a logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: 605 and 695 events were analysed for 1985-87 and 1989-91, respectively. Out of hospital cardiac arrests, with or without cardiac resuscitation, and 28 day case fatality rates were lower among upper executives in both periods. A coronarography before the acute event had been performed more frequently in men of this category and the proportion of events that could be hospitalised was higher among them. In both periods, the management of acute myocardial infarctions in hospital and prescriptions on discharge were similar among occupational categories. CONCLUSIONS: For patients who could be admitted to hospital, the management was found to be similar among OCs, as was the 28 day case fatality rate among the hospitalised patients. In contrast, lower prognosis and higher probability of being hospitalised after the event among some categories suggest that pre-hospital care and the patient's conditions before the event are the primary factors involved.  (+info)

(2/4527) Tuberculous meningitis in South African urban adults.

We retrospectively reviewed 56 adults with culture-proven tuberculous meningitis (TBM), investigating clinical signs, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) findings and outcome. There were 50 patients, aged 18-59 years, 39 with and 11 without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Six were aged 60 years or older. Neurological signs of TBM in 18-59-year-olds were unaffected by HIV serostatus while, compared to those > or = 60 years of age, there were more patients with meningism (86.0% vs. 33.3%; p = 0.011) and fewer with seizures (12.0% vs. 50.0%; p = 0.046). The HIV-infected 18-59-year-olds had significantly more extrameningeal tuberculosis compared to the non-HIV-infected (76.9% vs. 9.1%; p = 0.0001) and 23.1% had 'breakthrough' TBM. CSF analysis revealed 12 patients (21.4%) with acellular fluid (more common in those > or = 60 years of age, p = 0.016), of whom three had completely normal CSF. A neutrophil predominance was found in 22 patients (39.3%). Only three patients (5.4%) had a positive CSF smear for acid-fast bacilli. In-hospital mortality occurred in 39 patients (69.1%), was similar in all study groups, and was not related to neurological stage. The diagnosis of TBM can be masked by lack of meningism in the elderly and by atypical CSF findings.  (+info)

(3/4527) The transmyocardial laser revascularization international registry report.

AIMS: This report aimed to provide an analysis of the data submitted from Europe and Asia on transmyocardial laser revascularization. METHODS AND RESULTS: Prospective data was recorded on 967 patients with intractable angina not amenable to conventional revascularization in 21 European and Asian centres performing transmyocardial laser revascularization using the PLC Medical Systems CO2 laser. Patient characteristics, operative details and early complications following transmyocardial laser revascularization were recorded. The in-hospital death rate was 9.7% (95% confidence interval 7.8% to 11.6%). Other early complications were consistent with similar cardiothoracic surgical procedures. There was a decrease of two or more Canadian Cardiovascular Score angina classes in 47.3%, 45.4% and 34.0% of survivors at 3, 6 and 12 months follow-up, respectively (P=0.001 for each). Treadmill exercise time increased by 42 s at 3 months (P=0.008), 1 min 43 s at 6 months (P<0.001) and 1 min 50 s at 12 months (P<0.001) against pre-operative times of 6 min. CONCLUSION: Uncontrolled registry data suggest that transmyocardial laser revascularization may lead to a decrease in angina and improved exercise tolerance. It does, however, have a risk of peri-operative morbidity and mortality. Definitive results from randomized controlled trials are awaited.  (+info)

(4/4527) Hepatectomy for hepatocellular carcinoma: toward zero hospital deaths.

OBJECTIVE: The authors report on the surgical techniques and protocol for perioperative care that have yielded a zero hospital mortality rate in 110 consecutive patients undergoing hepatectomy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The hepatectomy results are analyzed with the aim of further reducing the postoperative morbidity rate. SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: In recent years, hepatectomy has been performed with a mortality rate of <10% in patients with HCC, but a zero hospital mortality rate in a large patient series has never been reported. At Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, the surgical techniques and perioperative management in hepatectomy for HCC have evolved yearly into a final standardized protocol that reduced the hospital mortality rate from 28% in 1989 to 0% in 1996 and 1997. METHODS: Surgical techniques were designed to reduce intraoperative blood loss, blood transfusion, and ischemic injury to the liver remnant in hepatectomy. Postoperative care was focused on preservation and promotion of liver function by providing adequate tissue oxygenation and immediate postoperative nutritional support that consisted of branched-chain amino acid-enriched solution, low-dose dextrose, medium-chain triglycerides, and phosphate. The pre-, intra-, and postoperative data were collected prospectively and analyzed each year to assess the influence of the evolving surgical techniques and perioperative care on outcome. RESULTS: Of 330 patients undergoing hepatectomy for HCC, underlying cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis were present in 161 (49%) and 108 (33%) patients, respectively. There were no significant changes in the patient characteristics throughout the 9-year period, but there were significant reductions in intraoperative blood loss and blood transfusion requirements. From 1994 to 1997, the median blood transfusion requirement was 0 ml, and 64% of the patients did not require a blood transfusion. The postoperative morbidity rate remained the same throughout the study period. Complications in the patients operated on during 1996 and 1997 were primarily wound infections; the potentially fatal complications seen in the early years, such as subphrenic sepsis, biliary leakage, and hepatic coma, were absent. By univariate analysis, the volume of blood loss, volume of blood transfusions, and operation time were correlated positively with postoperative morbidity rates in 1996 and 1997. Stepwise logistic regression analysis revealed that the operation time was the only parameter that correlated significantly with the postoperative morbidity rate. CONCLUSION: With appropriate surgical techniques and perioperative management to preserve function of the liver remnant, hepatectomy for HCC can be performed without hospital deaths. To improve surgical outcome further, strategies to reduce the operation time are being investigated.  (+info)

(5/4527) Primary angioplasty versus systemic thrombolysis in anterior myocardial infarction.

OBJECTIVES: This study compares the efficacy of primary angioplasty and systemic thrombolysis with t-PA in reducing the in-hospital mortality of patients with anterior AMI. BACKGROUND: Controversy still exists about the relative benefit of primary angioplasty over thrombolysis as treatment for AMI. METHODS: Two-hundred and twenty patients with anterior AMI were randomly assigned in our institution to primary angioplasty (109 patients) or systemic thrombolysis with accelerated t-PA (111 patients) within the first five hours from the onset of symptoms. RESULTS: Baseline characteristics were similar in both groups. Primary angioplasty was independently associated with a lower in-hospital mortality (2.8% vs. 10.8%, p = 0.02, adjusted odds ratio 0.23, 95% confidence interval 0.06 to 0.85). During hospitalization, patients treated by angioplasty had a lower frequency of postinfarction angina or positive stress test (11.9% vs. 25.2%, p = 0.01) and less frequently underwent percutaneous or surgical revascularization after the initial treatment (22.0% vs. 47.7%, p < 0.001) than did patients treated by t-PA. At six month follow-up, patients treated by angioplasty had a lower cumulative rate of death (4.6% vs. 11.7%, p = 0.05) and revascularization (31.2% vs. 55.9%, p < 0.001) than those treated by t-PA. CONCLUSIONS: In centers with an experienced and readily available interventional team, primary angioplasty is superior to t-PA for the treatment of anterior AMI.  (+info)

(6/4527) Quality of life four years after acute myocardial infarction: short form 36 scores compared with a normal population.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the impact of myocardial infarction on quality of life in four year survivors compared to data from "community norms", and to determine factors associated with a poor quality of life. DESIGN: Cohort study based on the Nottingham heart attack register. SETTING: Two district general hospitals serving a defined urban/rural population. SUBJECTS: All patients admitted with acute myocardial infarction during 1992 and alive at a median of four years. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Short form 36 (SF 36) domain and overall scores. RESULTS: Of 900 patients with an acute myocardial infarction in 1992, there were 476 patients alive and capable of responding to a questionnaire in 1997. The response rate was 424 (89. 1%). Compared to age and sex adjusted normative data, patients aged under 65 years exhibited impairment in all eight domains, the largest differences being in physical functioning (mean difference 20 points), role physical (mean difference 23 points), and general health (mean difference 19 points). In patients over 65 years mean domain scores were similar to community norms. Multiple regression analysis revealed that impaired quality of life was closely associated with inability to return to work through ill health, a need for coronary revascularisation, the use of anxiolytics, hypnotics or inhalers, the need for two or more angina drugs, a frequency of chest pain one or more times per week, and a Rose dyspnoea score of >/= 2. CONCLUSIONS: The SF 36 provides valuable additional information for the practising clinician. Compared to community norms the greatest impact on quality of life is seen in patients of working age. Impaired quality of life was reported by patients unfit for work, those with angina and dyspnoea, patients with coexistent lung disease, and those with anxiety and sleep disturbances. Improving quality of life after myocardial infarction remains a challenge for physicians.  (+info)

(7/4527) Mortality in ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms. The Finnvasc Study Group.

OBJECTIVE: To assess mortality related to rupture of abdominal aortic aneurysm (RAAA). DESIGN: A 4-year cross-sectional study based on a nationwide vascular registry Finnvasc and national cause-of-death registry (Statistics Finland). MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 454 operations for RAAA among 11,747 surgical vascular reconstructions recorded in the Finnvasc registry and 1004 deaths due to RAAA during the same period based on Statistics Finland. RESULTS: The operative mortality rate was 49% based on the Finnvasc registry and 54% based on Statistics Finland. With all RAAA deaths at hospitals included, total hospital mortality was 68%. No association existed between hospital volume of RAAA operations and surgical mortality, although an inverse association did exist between hospital volume of RAAA operations and all RAAA deaths in the hospital (p = 0.01). The case fatality for RAAA in Finland was 80%. CONCLUSIONS: RAAA surgical mortality calculations for RAAA, based on a vascular registry, underestimate the true rate because some cases with fatal outcome tend to escape registration. Because surgical mortality rates may also be skewed by patient selection, total hospital RAAA mortality thus represents the results of RAAA treatment more accurately.  (+info)

(8/4527) Relation between hospital surgical volume and outcome for pancreatic resection for neoplasm in a publicly funded health care system.

BACKGROUND: Recent studies from the United States have shown that institutions with higher numbers of pancreatic resection procedures for neoplasm have lower mortality rates associated with this procedure. However, minimal work has been done to assess whether the results of similar volume-outcome studies within a publicly financed health care system would differ from those obtained in a mixed public-private health care system. METHODS: A population-based retrospective analysis was used to examine pancreatic resection for neoplasm in Ontario for the period 1988/89 to 1994/95. Outcomes examined included in-hospital case fatality rate and mean length of stay in hospital. For each hospital, total procedure volume for the study period was defined as low (fewer than 22), medium (22-42) or high (more than 42). Regression models were used to measure volume-outcome relations. RESULTS: The likelihood of postoperative death was higher in low-volume and medium-volume centres than in high-volume centres (odds ratio 5.1 and 4.5 respectively; p < 0.01 for both). Mean length of stay was greater in low- and medium-volume centres than in high-volume centres (by 7.7 and 9.2 days respectively, p < 0.01 for both). INTERPRETATION: This study adds to growing evidence that, for pancreatic resection for neoplasm, patients may have better outcomes if they are treated in high-volume hospitals rather than low-volume hospitals.  (+info)