The expiry date of man: a synthesis of evolutionary biology and public health.
In industrialised countries, mortality and morbidity are dominated by age related chronic degenerative diseases. The health and health care needs of future populations will be heavily determined by these conditions of old age. Two opposite scenarios of future morbidity exist: morbidity might decrease ("compress"), because life span is limited, and the incidence of disease is postponed. Or morbidity might increase ("expand"), because death is delayed more than disease incidence. Optimality theory in evolutionary biology explains senescence as a by product of an optimised life history. The theory clarifies how senescence is timed by the competing needs for reproduction and survival, and why this leads to a generalised deterioration of many functions at many levels. As death and disease are not independent, future morbidity will depend on duration and severity of the process of senescence, partly determined by health care, palliating the disease severity but increasing the disease duration by postponing death. Even if morbidity might be compressed, health care needs will surely expand. (+info)
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)
Surveillance of morbidity during wildfires--Central Florida, 1998.
Several large wildfires occurred in Florida during June-July 1998, many involving both rural and urban areas in Brevard, Flagler, Orange, Putnam, Seminole, and Volusia counties. By July 22, a total of 2277 fires had burned 499,477 acres throughout the state (Florida Department of Community Affairs, unpublished data, 1998). On June 22, after receiving numerous phone calls from persons complaining of respiratory problems attributable to smoke, the Volusia County Health Department issued a public health alert advising persons with pre-existing pulmonary or cardiovascular conditions to avoid outdoor air in the vicinity of the fires. To determine whether certain medical conditions increased in frequency during the wildfires, the Volusia County Health Department and the Florida Department of Health initiated surveillance of selected conditions. This report summarizes the results of this investigation. (+info)
Premature morbidity from cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases in women with systemic lupus erythematosus.
OBJECTIVE: To determine rates of morbidity due to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases among women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). METHODS: I used the California Hospital Discharge Database, which contains information on all discharges from acute care hospitals in California, to identify women with SLE who had been hospitalized for treatment of either acute myocardial infarction (AMI), congestive heart failure (CHF), or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) from 1991 to 1994. I compared the proportions of hospitalizations for each cause among women with SLE with those in a group of women without SLE, for 3 age strata (18-44 years, 45-64 years, and > or =65 years). RESULTS: Compared with young women without SLE, young women with SLE were 2.27 times more likely to be hospitalized because of AMI (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.08-3.46), 3.80 times more likely to be hospitalized because of CHF (95% CI 2.41-5.19), and 2.05 times more likely to be hospitalized because of CVA (95% CI 1.17-2.93). Among middle-aged women with SLE, the frequencies of hospitalization for AMI and CVA did not differ from those of the comparison group, but the risk of hospitalization for CHF was higher (odds ratio [OR] 1.39, 95% CI 1.05-1.73). Among elderly women with SLE, the risk of hospitalization for AMI was significantly lower (OR 0.70, 95% CI 0.51-0.89), the risk of hospitalization for CHF was higher (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.01-1.49), and the risk of hospitalization for CVA was not significantly different from those in the comparison group. CONCLUSION: Young women with SLE are at substantially increased risk of AMI, CHF, and CVA. The relative odds of these conditions decrease with age among women with SLE. (+info)
Detection of transposition of the great arteries in fetuses reduces neonatal morbidity and mortality.
BACKGROUND: Transposition of the great arteries (TGA) is a life-threatening malformation in neonates, but it is amenable to complete repair. Prenatal detection, diagnosis, and early management may modify neonatal mortality and mortality. METHODS AND RESULTS: Preoperative and postoperative morbidity and mortality were compared in 68 neonates with prenatal diagnosis and in 250 neonates with a postnatal diagnosis of TGA over a period of 10 years. The delay between birth and admission was 2+/-2.8 hours in the prenatal group and 73+/-210 hours in the neonatal group (P<0.01). Clinical condition at arrival, including metabolic acidosis and multiorgan failure, was worse in the neonatal group (P<0.01). Once in the pediatric cardiology unit, the management was identical in the 2 groups (atrioseptostomy, PGE1 infusion, operation date). Preoperative mortality was 15 of 250 (6%; 95% CI, 3% to 9%) in the neonatal group and 0 of 68 in the prenatal group (P<0.05). Postoperative morbidity was not different (25 of 235 versus 6 of 68), but hospital stay was longer in the neonatal group (30+/-17 versus 24+/-11 days, P<0.01). In addition, postoperative mortality was significantly higher in the neonatal group (20 of 235 versus 0 of 68, P<0.01); however, the known risk factors for operative mortality were identical in the 2 groups. CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal diagnosis reduces mortality and morbidity in TGA. Prenatal detection of this cardiac defect must be increased to improve early neonatal management. In utero transfer of fetuses with prenatal diagnosis of TGA in an appropriate unit is mandatory. (+info)
Army families and the general practitioner.
The military component of a rural general practice is described with details of increased workload and morbidity for conditions associated with emotional stress. (+info)
The impact of depression on the physical health of family members.
BACKGROUND: Depressive illness is common. Depression in one family member is associated with an increased incidence of psychopathology in other family members. There are no data on the physical well being of the families of depressed individuals. AIM: To compare physical morbidity of family members of depressed patients with that of family members of comparison patients. METHOD: A comparative follow-up study from case notes. Two hundred and one subjects from 88 families with an index family member diagnosed with depression ('depression families') were compared with 200 subjects from 88 families with a matched index subject without depression ('comparison families'), using the Duke University Illness Severity Scores (ISS) to assess burden of illness experienced by both groups. RESULTS: The cumulative incidence of depression over 11 months in depression families was 8.9% compared to 1.4% in the Family Practice Unit as a whole. Members of depression families had significantly greater ISS than members of comparison families (difference in means = 0.164; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.113-0.215; P < 0.001). Excluding family members with depression (in addition to the index subject), ISS of members of depression families remained significantly greater than the comparison group (difference in means = 0.136; 95% CI 0.083-0.189; P < 0.001). Among depression families, mean ISS was significantly higher after presentation of depression in index subjects compared with before (difference in means = 0.155; 95% CI 0.115-0.194; P < 0.0001). No significant difference was seen between ISS of depression and comparison families before presentation of depression (difference in means = 0.008; 95% CI -0.004-0.058; P = 0.74). CONCLUSION: Depression in patients is associated with increased physical morbidity in their families. (+info)
Morbidity and mortality attributable to alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use in Canada.
OBJECTIVES: This study estimated morbidity and mortality attributable to substance abuse in Canada. METHODS: Pooled estimates of relative risk were used to calculate etiologic fractions by age, gender, and province for 91 causes of disease or death attributable to alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs. RESULTS: There were 33,498 deaths and 208,095 hospitalizations attributed to tobacco, 6701 deaths and 86,076 hospitalizations due to alcohol, and 732 deaths and 7095 hospitalizations due to illicit drugs in 1992. CONCLUSIONS: Substance abuse exacts a considerable toll on Canadian society in terms of morbidity and mortality, accounting for 21% of deaths, 23% of years of potential life lost, and 8% of hospitalizations. (+info)