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(1/2471) Serum triglyceride: a possible risk factor for ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.

BACKGROUND: We aimed to determine the relationship between ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and serum concentrations of lipids and apolipoproteins. METHODS: A cohort of 21 520 men, aged 35-64 years, was recruited from men attending the British United Provident Association (BUPA) clinic in London for a routine medical examination in 1975-1982. Smoking habits, weight, height and blood pressure were recorded at entry. Lipids and apolipoproteins were measured in stored serum samples from the 30 men who subsequently died of ruptured AAA and 150 matched controls. RESULTS: Triglyceride was strongly related to risk of ruptured AAA. In univariate analyses the risk in men on the 90th centile of the distribution relative to the risk in men on the 10th (RO10-90) was 12 (95% confidence interval [CI] : 3.8-37) for triglyceride, 5.5 (95% CI: 1.8-17) for apolipoprotein B (apoB) (the protein component of low density lipoprotein [LDL]), 0.15 (95% CI : 0.04-0.56) for apo A1 (the protein component of high density lipoprotein [HDL]), 3.7 (95% CI: 1.4-9.4) for body mass index and 3.0 (95% CI: 1.1-8.5) for systolic blood pressure. Lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) was not a significant risk factor (RO10-90 = 1.6, 95% CI: 0.6-3.0). In multivariate analysis triglyceride retained its strong association. CONCLUSION: Triglyceride appears to be a strong risk factor for ruptured AAA, although further studies are required to clarify this. If this and other associations are cause and effect, then changing the distribution of risk factors in the population (by many people stopping smoking and adopting a lower saturated fat diet and by lowering blood pressure) could achieve an important reduction in mortality from ruptured AAA.  (+info)

(2/2471) Relationship between practice counselling and referral to outpatient psychiatry and clinical psychology.

BACKGROUND: Although reduction in the use of secondary care mental health services is a suggested benefit of counselling in general practice, there has been little empirical investigation of this relationship. AIM: To investigate the relationship between the provision of counselling in general practice and the use of outpatient psychiatry and clinical psychology services across a geographical area. METHOD: Information on referrals to outpatient psychiatry and clinical psychology from all general practices in the London Borough of Islington over one year (October 1993 to September 1994) was collected from the routine information systems of the main hospital departments serving this area. Referral rates per 1000 practice population were compared for practices with and without a practice-based counsellor. RESULTS: Fifteen (35%) of the 43 practices had a counsellor based in the practice. The median referral rate to clinical psychology was higher in practices with a counsellor (4.1 per 1000) than in practices without a counsellor (0.8 per 1000). There was no relationship between the provision of practice counselling and median referral rates to outpatient psychiatry (1.8 per 1000 with a counsellor, 1.7 per 1000 without a counsellor). CONCLUSION: Provision of practice counselling in the study was associated with higher referral rates to clinical psychology and no difference in referral rates to outpatient psychiatry. This is in contrast to the hypothesis that counselling reduces the use of secondary care mental health services.  (+info)

(3/2471) Clusters of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia: analysis of person-to-person transmission by genotyping.

Genotyping at the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of the nuclear rRNA operon was performed on isolates of P. carinii sp. f. hominis from three clusters of P. carinii pneumonia among eight patients with haematological malignancies and six with HIV infection. Nine different ITS sequence types of P. carinii sp. f. hominis were identified in the samples from the patients with haematological malignancies, suggesting that this cluster of cases of P. carinii pneumonia was unlikely to have resulted from nosocomial transmission. A common ITS sequence type was observed in two of the patients with haematological malignancies who shared a hospital room, and also in two of the patients with HIV infection who had prolonged close contact on the ward. In contrast, different ITS sequence types were detected in samples from an HIV-infected homosexual couple who shared the same household. These data suggest that person-to-person transmission of P. carinii sp. f. hominis may occur from infected to susceptible immunosuppressed patients with close contact within hospital environments. However direct transmission between patients did not account for the majority of cases within the clusters, suggesting that person-to-person transmission of P. carinii sp. f. hominis infection may be a relatively infrequent event and does not constitute the major route of transmission in man.  (+info)

(4/2471) Short-term associations between outdoor air pollution and visits to accident and emergency departments in London for respiratory complaints.

Many epidemiological studies have shown positive short-term associations between health and current levels of outdoor air pollution. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between air pollution and the number of visits to accident and emergency (A&E) departments in London for respiratory complaints. A&E visits include the less severe cases of acute respiratory disease and are unrestricted by bed availability. Daily counts of visits to 12 London A&E departments for asthma, other respiratory complaints, and both combined for a number of age groups were constructed from manual registers of visits for the period 1992-1994. A Poisson regression allowing for seasonal patterns, meteorological conditions and influenza epidemics was used to assess the associations between the number of visits and six pollutants: nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particles measured as black smoke (BS) and particles with a median aerodynamic diameter of <10 microm (PM10). After making an allowance for the multiplicity of tests, there remained strong associations between visits for all respiratory complaints and increases in SO2: a 2.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.7-4.9) increase in the number of visits for a 18 microg x (-3) increase (10th-90th percentile range) and a 3.0% (95% CI 0.8-5.2) increase for a 31 microg x m(-3) increase in PM10. There were also significant associations between visits for asthma and SO2, NO2 and PM10. No significant associations between O3 and any of the respiratory complaints investigated were found. Because of the strong correlation between pollutants, it was difficult to identify a single pollutant responsible for the associations found in the analyses. This study suggests that the levels of air pollution currently experienced in London are linked to short-term increases in the number of people visiting accident and emergency departments with respiratory complaints.  (+info)

(5/2471) The impact of genetic counselling on risk perception and mental health in women with a family history of breast cancer.

The present study investigated: (1) perception of genetic risk and, (2) the psychological effects of genetic counselling in women with a family history of breast cancer. Using a prospective design, with assessment pre- and post-genetic counselling at clinics and by postal follow-up at 1, 6 and 12 months, attenders at four South London genetic clinics were assessed. Participants included 282 women with a family history of breast cancer. Outcome was measured in terms of mental health, cancer-specific distress and risk perception. High levels of cancer-specific distress were found pre-genetic counselling, with 28% of participants reporting that they worried about breast cancer 'frequently or constantly' and 18% that worry about breast cancer was 'a severe or definite problem'. Following genetic counselling, levels of cancer-specific distress were unchanged. General mental health remained unchanged over time (33% psychiatric cases detected pre-genetic counselling, 27% at 12 months after genetic counselling). Prior to their genetics consultation, participants showed poor knowledge of their lifetime risk of breast cancer since there was no association between their perceived lifetime risk (when they were asked to express this as a 1 in x odds ratio) and their actual risk, when the latter was calculated by the geneticist at the clinic using the CASH model. In contrast, women were more accurate about their risk of breast cancer pre-genetic counselling when this was assessed in broad categorical terms (i.e. very much lower/very much higher than the average woman) with a significant association between this rating and the subsequently calculated CASH risk figure (P = 0.001). Genetic counselling produced a modest shift in the accuracy of perceived lifetime risk, expressed as an odds ratio, which was maintained at 12 months' follow-up. A significant minority failed to benefit from genetic counselling; 77 women continued to over-estimate their risk and maintain high levels of cancer-related worry. Most clinic attenders were inaccurate in their estimates of the population risk of breast cancer with only 24% able to give the correct figure prior to genetic counselling and 36% over-estimating this risk. There was some improvement following genetic counselling with 62% able to give the correct figure, but this information was poorly retained and this figure had dropped to 34% by the 1-year follow-up. The study showed that women attending for genetic counselling are worried about breast cancer, with 34% indicating that they had initiated the referral to the genetic clinic themselves. This anxiety is not alleviated by genetic counselling, although women reported that it was less of a problem at follow-up. Women who continue to over-estimate their risk and worry about breast cancer are likely to go on seeking unnecessary screening if they are not reassured.  (+info)

(6/2471) General practitioners' knowledge and experience of the abuse of older people in the community: report of an exploratory research study in the inner-London borough of Tower Hamlets.

A pioneering study aimed to quantify general practitioners' (GPs') knowledge of cases of elder abuse in the community. The research found that elder abuse is a problem encountered by GPs, and that a large majority of responders would welcome training in the identification and management of the problem.  (+info)

(7/2471) Hyaline membrane disease, alkali, and intraventricular haemorrhage.

The relation between intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) and hyaline membrane disease (HMD) was studied in singletons that came to necropsy at Hammersmith Hospital over the years 1966-73. The incidence of IVH in singleton live births was 3-22/1000 and of HMD 4-44/1000. Although the high figures were partily due to the large number of low birthweight infants born at this hospital, the incidence of IVH in babies weighing 1001-1500 g was three times as great as that reported in the 1658 British Perinatal Mortality Survey. Most IVH deaths were in babies with HMD, but the higher frequency of IVH was not associated with any prolongation of survival time of babies who died with HMD as compared with the 1958 survey. IVH was seen frequently at gestations of up to 36 weeks in babies with HMD but was rare above 30 weeks' gestation in babies without HMD. This indicated that factors associated with HMD must cause most cases of IVH seen at gestations above 30 weeks. Comparison of clinical details in infants with HMD who died with or without IVH (at gestations of 30-37 weeks) showed no significant differences between the groups other than a high incidence of fits and greater use of alkali therapy in the babies with IVH. During the 12 hours when most alkali therapy was given, babies dying with IVD received a mean total alkali dosage of 10-21 mmol/kg and those dying without IVH 6-34 mmol/kg (P less than 0-001). There was no difference in severity of hypoxia or of metabolic acidosis between the 2 groups. Babies who died with HMD and germinal layer haemorrhage (GLH) without IVH had received significantly more alkali than those who died with HMD alone, whereas survivors of severe respiratory distress syndrome had received lower alkali doses than other groups. It is suggested that the greatly increased death rate from IVH in babies with HMD indicates some alteration of management of HMD (since 1958) as a causative factor. Liberal use of hypertonic alkali solutions is the common factor which distinguishes babies dying with GLH and IVH from other groups of babies with HMD. Although the causal nature of this association remains unproved, it seems justifiable to lrge caution in alkali usage.  (+info)

(8/2471) Health needs of preschool children.

An epidemiological study of disease in a geographically identified population of 250 children is reported. 22% had not seen their general practitioner (GP) at all in the past year, while 20% had seen him four times or more. The vast majority of these visits were because of an infective illness; and developmental and behavioural problems were rarely presented to GPs. 53% of children had not been to hospital since birth, but 11% had been at least four times. Respiratory infections and middle ear disease were the commonest illness reported, and nearly 3% had an infected or discharging ear at the time of examination. 15% of 3 year olds had speech and language problems. 18% of children over 2 years were thought by the examiners to have a behavioural problem, half being assessed as mild, the remainder as moderate or severe.  (+info)