Ethnicity, nationality and health care accessibility in Kuwait: a study of hospital emergency room users.
In mid-1994, non-Kuwaiti expatriates constituted 61.7% of the total population of Kuwait (1.75 million). Despite this numerical majority, non-Kuwaitis exist as a social minority. Non-Kuwaitis may be grouped into three broad categories along ethnic/nationality lines into Bidoon (without nationality), Arabs, and Asians. The objective of this paper was to compare the relative accessibility of the various groups to health care services in Kuwait. The study is based on data collected as part of a survey of 2184 Emergency Room (ER) users in January-February 1993. All patients attending the hospital ERs between 7:30 am and 9:00 pm were interviewed about their reasons for coming to the ER instead of going to the primary health care (PHC) centres, as required. The major reason given was low accessibility of the PHCs. Compared to Kuwaiti nationals, 92% of whom were registered at the PHC centres, only 62% of the Arabs and 39% of the Asians were registered. Multiple logistic regression of the factors in registration indicated that nationality was the most important reason for lack of registration, with Asians only about one-quarter as likely to be registered as Kuwaitis. Also, people who had been in Kuwait for shorter durations (< 5 years) were less likely to be registered than the Kuwaiti nationals or expatriates who had been here for 10 years or longer. In the absence of registration at the PHC centre, the civil identification card (ID) may be used as a valid means to enter the health system. Among the Arabs and Asians, 22% and 29% did not have a civil ID card. Thus, for many expatriates, the hospital ER, which does not provide the necessary follow-up care is often the only source of health care available. (+info)
DNA restriction patterns produced by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis in Moraxella catarrhalis isolated from different geographical areas.
Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of the genomic DNA of Moraxella catarrhalis was done in 172 strains isolated from sputum of patients with respiratory infections in Nagasaki (130 strains), Europe (14 strains), Thailand (6 strains), Uganda (3 strains), Bangladesh (5 strains) and Kuwait (14 strains). Restriction endonuclease with SmaI generated 4-16 DNA fragments ranging from 1000 kb to 24.25 kb and was classified into 31 major groups. It was found that there were wide variations of DNA restriction patterns of strains isolated from the same and different geographical areas. DNA restriction patterns of strains isolated in Nagasaki during the last 12 years showed dynamic changes of the predominant strains in each time period. We conclude from this study that PFGE is a suitable method to document interstrain variation in M. catarrhalis. (+info)
Trisomy 18 in Kuwait.
BACKGROUND: Trisomy 18 (Edwards' syndrome, T18) is the second most common trisomy in man. We describe 118 children with regular T18 who were ascertained clinically and cytogenetically in the Kuwait Medical Genetics Centre during 1980-1997. METHODS: Ascertainment of T18 cases was performed shortly after birth. Chromosomal studies were carried out in addition to other relevant investigations. To investigate the factors associated with T18, a case-control study was carried out with 131 normal healthy newborns. Studied factors included maternal and paternal age, birth order, abortion, associated malformation, and survival. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to adjust for confounding between variables. RESULTS: There was a preponderance of females among T18 cases (female:male ratio 2.1:1). The majority of T18 cases (53%) died before the second week of life. The most common associated anomalies were: congenital heart (38.1%) and gastrointestinal (25.4%). Multiplicity of malformations was also observed. Significant seasonal variation in T18 cases was detected with a peak in spring. Of the 118 T18 cases, 59 were delivered during 1994-1997 (average overall T18 birth prevalence rate 8.95 per 10 000 live births [95% CI: 6.66-11.23]). Concerning maternal age, 30.5% of the T18 cases' mothers were > or =35 years compared to 10.7% in the control group. The difference was statistically significant, P = 0.002. Logistic regression analysis showed that maternal age >30 years was a significant risk factor for T18, after adjusting for confounding with paternal age. Paternal age and abortion were not found to be significant risk factors. CONCLUSION: Trisomy 18 birth prevalence rate is high in Kuwait with advanced maternal age as a significant risk factor. (+info)
Enterotoxin production by coagulase-negative staphylococci in restaurant workers from Kuwait City may be a potential cause of food poisoning.
Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) were isolated from the hands of food handlers in 50 restaurants in Kuwait City and studied for the production of staphylococcal enterotoxins, toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, slime and resistance to antimicrobial agents. One or a combination of staphylococcal enterotoxins A, B or C were produced by 6% of the isolates, with the majority producing enterotoxin B. Toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 was detected in c. 7% of the isolates; 47% produced slime. In all, 21% of the isolates were resistant to tetracycline and 11.2% were resistant to propamidine isethionate and mercuric chloride. There was no correlation between slime and toxin production or between slime production and antibiotic resistance. The detection of enterotoxigenic CNS on food handlers suggests that such strains may contribute to food poisoning if food is contaminated by them and held in conditions that allow their growth and elaboration of the enterotoxins. It is recommended that enterotoxigenic CNS should not be ignored when investigating suspected cases of staphylococcal food poisoning. (+info)
Comparison of the OptiMAL test with PCR for diagnosis of malaria in immigrants.
The OptiMAL test (Flow Inc., Portland, Oreg.), which detects a malaria parasite lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) antigen, has not been evaluated for its sensitivity in the diagnosis of malaria infection in various epidemiological settings. Using microscopy and a PCR as reference standards, we performed a comparison of these assays with the OptiMAL test for the detection of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax infection in 550 immigrants who had come from areas where malaria is endemic to reside in Kuwait, where malaria is not endemic. As determined by microscopy, 125 (23%) patients had malaria, and of these, 84 (67%) were infected with P. vivax and 36 were infected with P. falciparum; in 5 cases the parasite species could not be determined due to a paucity of the parasites. The PCR detected malaria infection in 145 (26%) patients; 102 (70%) of the patients had P. vivax infection and 43 had P. falciparum infection. Of the five cases undetermined by microscopy, the PCR detected P. falciparum infection in two cases, P. vivax infection in two cases, and mixed (P. falciparum plus P. vivax) infection in one case. Correspondingly, the OptiMAL test detected malaria infection in 95 patients (17%); of these, 70 (74%) had P. vivax infection and 25 were infected with P. falciparum. In this study, 61 (49%) of the 125 malaria cases, as confirmed by microscopy, had a degree of parasitemia of <100 parasites per microl, and 23 (18%) of the cases had a degree of <50 parasites per microl. Our results show that the sensitivity of the OptiMAL test is high (97%) at a high level of parasitemia (>100 parasites/microl) but drops to 59% when the level is <100 parasites/microl and to 39% when it is <50 parasites/microl. In addition, the OptiMAL test failed to identify four patients whose blood smears contained P. falciparum gametocytes only. We conclude that the sensitivity and specificity of the OptiMAL test are comparable to those of microscopy in detecting malaria infection at a parasitemia level of >100 parasites/microl; however, the test failed to identify more than half of the patients with a parasitemia level of <50 parasites/microl. Thus, the OptiMAL test should be used with great caution, and it should not replace conventional microscopy in the diagnosis of malaria infection. (+info)
Studies on Cercariae from Kuwait Bay. XI. Description and surface topography of Cercaria kuwaitae XI sp.n. (Digenea: Echinostomatidae).
A new echinostome cercaria, Cercaria kuwaitae XI sp.n., from the prosobranch gastropod Cerithidea cingulata (Gmelin) from Kuwait Bay is described. The new cercaria is characterized by 23 collar spines and primary excretory tubules with distinct diverticula. The cercaria encysts in the snail host and is similar to those of Acanthoparyphium sp. The surface topography of the redia, cercaria and metacercarial cyst wall is studied by scanning electron microscopy. This is the first echinostome cercaria to be recorded in a gastropod from the Arabian Gulf region. (+info)
Pattern of parvovirus B 19 infection during different trimesters of pregnancy in Kuwait.
OBJECTIVE: Aims of this study were to determine the IgG and IgM seropositivity to parvovirus B19 during the three trimesters of pregnancy. METHODS: Initially, a total of 1,047 pregnant women were included in a prospective study. Blood samples were obtained from 343, 406 and 298 cases in the first, second and third trimesters, respectively. To study the incidence of seroconversion, a second sample of blood was obtained 2-4 weeks later from the first 100 cases, who were IgG and IgM negative in the first trimester. RESULTS: The seroprevalence of parvovirus B19 IgG and IgM was 53.3% and 2.2%, respectively. The incidence of seroconversion was 16.5%. The rate of fetal loss was 15.4% in patients with acute infection, all of which occurred in the first two trimesters. CONCLUSIONS: The percentage of IgG positive cases is significantly higher in first and second trimesters compared to the third trimester. The seroconversion rate was 16.5%. (+info)
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency in Kuwait, Syria, Egypt, Iran, Jordan and Lebanon.
A total of 3,501 male subjects from six Arab countries living in Kuwait were investigated for quantitative and phenotypic distribution of red cell glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD). The ethnic origins of those investigated were Kuwait, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. The distribution of G6PD deficiency among the different ethnic groups varied widely, ranging from 1.00% for Egyptians to 11.55% for Iranians. The activity of the normal enzyme was remarkably similar, with values ranging from 6.1 +/- 0.8 to 6.5 +/- 1.1 IU/g Hb. A low frequency of the Gd(A) allele was found in two ethnic groups, Egyptians (0.019) and Iranians (0.014). Gd(A-) was present at the very low frequency of 0.006 in another two ethnic groups, Kuwaitis and Jordanians. (+info)