Different factors influencing the expression of Raynaud's phenomenon in men and women.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the risk profile for Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) is different between men and women. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study of 800 women and 725 men participating in the Framingham Offspring Study, the association of age, marital status, smoking, alcohol use, diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia with prevalent RP was examined in men and women separately, after adjusting for relevant confounders. RESULTS: The prevalence of RP was 9.6% (n = 77) in women and 5.8% (n = 42) in men. In women, marital status and alcohol use were each associated with prevalent RP (for marital status adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.3, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.4-3.9; for alcohol use OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.0-5.2), whereas these factors were not associated with RP in men (marital status OR 1.4, 95% CI 0.6-3.5; alcohol use OR 1.0, 95% CI 0.2-4.4). In men, older age (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.0-5.2) and smoking (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.1-6.3) were associated with prevalent RP; these factors were not associated with RP in women (older age OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.4-1.6; smoking OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.4-1.1). Diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia were not associated with RP in either sex. CONCLUSION: The results indicate that risk factors for RP differ between men and women. Age and smoking were associated with RP in men only, while the associations of marital status and alcohol use with RP were observed in women only. These findings suggest that different mechanisms influence the expression of RP in men and women. (+info)
Condom use and HIV risk behaviors among U.S. adults: data from a national survey.
CONTEXT: How much condom use among U.S. adults varies by type of partner or by risk behavior is unclear. Knowledge of such differentials would aid in evaluating the progress being made toward goals for levels of condom use as part of the Healthy People 2000 initiative. METHODS: Data were analyzed from the 1996 National Household Survey of Drug Abuse, an annual household-based probability sample of the noninstitutionalized population aged 12 and older that measures the use of illicit drugs, alcohol and tobacco. The personal behaviors module included 25 questions covering sexual activity in the past year, frequency of condom use in the past year, circumstances of the last sexual encounter and HIV testing. RESULTS: Sixty-two percent of adults reported using a condom at last intercourse outside of an ongoing relationship, while only 19% reported using condoms when the most recent intercourse occurred within a steady relationship. Within ongoing relationships, condom use was highest among respondents who were younger, black, of lower income and from large metropolitan areas. Forty percent of unmarried adults used a condom at last sex, compared with the health objective of 50% for the year 2000. Forty percent of injecting drug users used condoms at last intercourse, compared with the 60% condom use objective for high-risk individuals. Significantly, persons at increased risk for HIV because of their sexual behavior or drug use were not more likely to use condoms than were persons not at increased risk; only 22% used condoms during last intercourse within an ongoing relationship. CONCLUSIONS: Substantial progress has been made toward national goals for increasing condom use. The rates of condom use by individuals at high risk of HIV need to be increased, however, particularly condom use with a steady partner. (+info)
Maternal smoking and Down syndrome: the confounding effect of maternal age.
Inconsistent results have been reported from studies evaluating the association of maternal smoking with birth of a Down syndrome child. Control of known risk factors, particularly maternal age, has also varied across studies. By using a population-based case-control design (775 Down syndrome cases and 7,750 normal controls) and Washington State birth record data for 1984-1994, the authors examined this hypothesized association and found a crude odds ratio of 0.80 (95% confidence interval 0.65-0.98). Controlling for broad categories of maternal age (<35 years, > or =35 years), as described in prior studies, resulted in a negative association (odds ratio = 0.87, 95% confidence interval 0.71-1.07). However, controlling for exact year of maternal age in conjunction with race and parity resulted in no association (odds ratio = 1.00, 95% confidence interval 0.82-1.24). In this study, the prevalence of Down syndrome births increased with increasing maternal age, whereas among controls the reported prevalence of smoking during pregnancy decreased with increasing maternal age. There is a substantial potential for residual confounding by maternal age in studies of maternal smoking and Down syndrome. After adequately controlling for maternal age in this study, the authors found no clear relation between maternal smoking and the risk of Down syndrome. (+info)
Low-weight neonatal survival paradox in the Czech Republic.
Analysis of vital statistics for the Czech Republic between 1986 and 1993, including 3,254 infant deaths from 350,978 first births to married and single women who conceived at ages 18-29 years, revealed a neonatal survival advantage for low-weight infants born to disadvantaged (single, less educated) women, particularly for deaths from congenital anomalies. This advantage largely disappeared after the neonatal period. The same patterns have been observed for low-weight infants born to black women in the United States. Since the Czech Republic had an ethnically homogenous population, virtually universal prenatal care, and uniform institutional conditions for delivery, Czech results must be attributed to social rather than to biologic or medical circumstances. This strengthens the contention that in the United States, the black neonatal survival paradox may be due as much to race-related social stigmatization and consequent disadvantage as to any hypothesized hereditary influences on birth-weight-specific survival. (+info)
Breast cancer risk in monozygotic and dizygotic female twins: a 20-year population-based cohort study in Finland from 1976 to 1995.
This population-based study investigated the occurrence of breast cancer over a 20-year period in a cohort of monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins in Finland. Altogether, 13,176 female twins of known zygosity who were living in Finland at the end of 1975 were identified from the Finnish Twin Cohort Study and followed-up for cancer through the Finnish Cancer Registry for the years 1976-1995. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated, based on national cancer incidence rates. The relative risk of breast cancer for MZ twins compared to DZ twins was decreased [SIR(MZ)/SIR(DZ) ratio = 0.78; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.58-1.0]; the decreased risk for MZ twins (SIR = 0.76; 95% CI, 0.58-1.0) accounted for this result, whereas the risk for DZ twins did not differ from the general population risk (SIR = 0.98; 95% CI, 0.84-1.1). There was no risk decrease among MZ twins in other cancers related to reproductive behavior; i.e., number of children and age at first birth seem not to explain the decreased risk of breast cancer. Our results, which are in line with earlier studies on the same topic, suggest that prenatal influences or postnatal behavioral factors may protect MZ female twins from breast cancer. (+info)
Plasma lycopene concentrations in humans are determined by lycopene intake, plasma cholesterol concentrations and selected demographic factors.
Higher plasma lycopene concentrations have been associated with a reduced risk of several chronic diseases. Determinants of lycopene concentrations in humans have received limited attention. We had blood lycopene concentrations and lycopene consumption data available from 111 participants in a two-center cancer prevention trial involving beta-carotene and examined determinants of plasma lycopene levels cross-sectionally. The median plasma lycopene level was 0.59 micromol/L (range 0.07-1.79). Low plasma concentrations of lycopene were associated with the following variables in univariate analyses: study site (Florida lower than Connecticut, P = 0.001), being nonmarried (P = 0.02), having lower income (P = 0.003), being nonwhite race/ethnicity (P = 0.03), having lower dietary lycopene intake (r = 0.29, P = 0.002), having lower plasma cholesterol (r = 0. 43, P = 0.0001) and triglyceride levels (r = 0.26, P = 0.005), and consuming less vitamin C (r = 0.20, P = 0.03). Women had slightly higher plasma lycopene levels than men (0.65 vs. 0.58 micromol/L; P = 0.31), despite lower dietary intake of lycopene (1,040 vs. 1,320 microg/d; P = 0.50). Plasma lycopene levels did not differ in smokers and nonsmokers. In stepwise regression analyses, the determinants of plasma lycopene were plasma cholesterol, dietary lycopene, and marital status; these three variables explained 26% of the variance in plasma lycopene. Relatively few lifestyle and demographic factors were important determinants of plasma lycopene levels, with plasma cholesterol, marital status, and lycopene intake being of greatest importance. (+info)
Contraceptive failure rates: new estimates from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth.
CONTEXT: Unintended pregnancy remains a major public health concern in the United States. Information on pregnancy rates among contraceptive users is needed to guide medical professionals' recommendations and individuals' choices of contraceptive methods. METHODS: Data were taken from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) and the 1994-1995 Abortion Patient Survey (APS). Hazards models were used to estimate method-specific contraceptive failure rates during the first six months and during the first year of contraceptive use for all U.S. women. In addition, rates were corrected to take into account the underreporting of induced abortion in the NSFG. Corrected 12-month failure rates were also estimated for subgroups of women by age, union status, poverty level, race or ethnicity, and religion. RESULTS: When contraceptive methods are ranked by effectiveness over the first 12 months of use (corrected for abortion underreporting), the implant and injectables have the lowest failure rates (2-3%), followed by the pill (8%), the diaphragm and the cervical cap (12%), the male condom (14%), periodic abstinence (21%), withdrawal (24%) and spermicides (26%). In general, failure rates are highest among cohabiting and other unmarried women, among those with an annual family income below 200% of the federal poverty level, among black and Hispanic women, among adolescents and among women in their 20s. For example, adolescent women who are not married but are cohabiting experience a failure rate of about 31% in the first year of contraceptive use, while the 12-month failure rate among married women aged 30 and older is only 7%. Black women have a contraceptive failure rate of about 19%, and this rate does not vary by family income; in contrast, overall 12-month rates are lower among Hispanic women (15%) and white women (10%), but vary by income, with poorer women having substantially greater failure rates than more affluent women. CONCLUSIONS: Levels of contraceptive failure vary widely by method, as well as by personal and background characteristics. Income's strong influence on contraceptive failure suggests that access barriers and the general disadvantage associated with poverty seriously impede effective contraceptive practice in the United States. (+info)
Increased health burden associated with comorbid depression in older diabetic Mexican Americans. Results from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly survey.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the health burden associated with concomitant depressive symptoms and diabetes in older Mexican Americans. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Data from the Hispanic Established Population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly were used to assess the association between high levels of depressive symptoms, measured with the Center for Epidemiologic Studies of Depression scale, and comorbid chronic health conditions, diabetic complications, functional disability, health service use, and medication use among 636 older diabetic Mexican Americans, in comparison with 2,196 older nondiabetic Mexican Americans. RESULTS: Overall, 31.1% of the older diabetic individuals reported high levels of depressive symptoms. The risks of comorbid myocardial infarction, hypertension, arthritis, and angina were significantly higher in the presence of concomitant depressive symptoms, as were the risks of diabetic complications, functional disability, incontinence, vision impairment, poorer perceived health status, and health service use among both diabetic and nondiabetic individuals. Rates were substantially higher among depressed diabetic individuals, however, in comparison to depressed nondiabetic individuals. Importantly, this increased health burden was evident even when controlling for sociodemographic risk factors, including sex, age, level of education, marital status, immigrant status, and living arrangements. CONCLUSIONS: The presence of concomitant depressive symptoms among older diabetic Mexican Americans is associated with a substantially greater health burden than is seen among diabetic individuals without depression or depressed individuals without diabetes. This association of depression with higher rates of chronic conditions, poorer functioning, and increased health service use is particularly significant in that this study was conducted among community-dwelling adults and was not confounded by the potential association of health care-seeking behavior that might occur in a medically ill sample. (+info)