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(1/4722) Incidence and duration of hospitalizations among persons with AIDS: an event history approach.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze hospitalization patterns of persons with AIDS (PWAs) in a multi-state/multi-episode continuous time duration framework. DATA SOURCES: PWAs on Medicaid identified through a match between the state's AIDS Registry and Medicaid eligibility files; hospital admission and discharge dates identified through Medicaid claims. STUDY DESIGN: Using a Weibull event history framework, we model the hazard of transition between hospitalized and community spells, incorporating the competing risk of death in each of these states. Simulations are used to translate these parameters into readily interpretable estimates of length of stay, the probability that a hospitalization will end in death, and the probability that a nonhospitalized person will be hospitalized within 90 days. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In multivariate analyses, participation in a Medicaid waiver program offering case management and home care was associated with hospital stays 1.3 days shorter than for nonparticipants. African American race and Hispanic ethnicity were associated with hospital stays 1.2 days and 1.0 day longer than for non-Hispanic whites; African Americans also experienced more frequent hospital admissions. Residents of the high-HIV-prevalence area of the state had more frequent admissions and stays two days longer than those residing elsewhere in the state. Older PWAs experienced less frequent hospital admissions but longer stays, with hospitalizations of 55-year-olds lasting 8.25 days longer than those of 25-year-olds. CONCLUSIONS: Much socioeconomic and geographic variability exists both in the incidence and in the duration of hospitalization among persons with AIDS in New Jersey. Event history analysis provides a useful statistical framework for analysis of these variations, deals appropriately with data in which duration of observation varies from individual to individual, and permits the competing risk of death to be incorporated into the model. Transition models of this type have broad applicability in modeling the risk and duration of hospitalization in chronic illnesses.  (+info)

(2/4722) Effects of family history and place and season of birth on the risk of schizophrenia.

BACKGROUND: Although a family history of schizophrenia is the best-established risk factor for schizophrenia, environmental factors such as the place and season of birth may also be important. METHODS: Using data from the Civil Registration System in Denmark, we established a population-based cohort of 1.75 million persons whose mothers were Danish women born between 1935 and 1978. We linked this cohort to the Danish Psychiatric Central Register and identified 2669 cases of schizophrenia among cohort members and additional cases among their parents. RESULTS: The respective relative risks of schizophrenia for persons with a mother, father, or sibling who had schizophrenia were 9.31 (95 percent confidence interval, 7.24 to 11.96), 7.20 (95 percent confidence interval, 5.10 to 10.16), and 6.99 (95 percent confidence interval, 5.38 to 9.09), as compared with persons with no affected parents or siblings. The risk of schizophrenia was associated with the degree of urbanization of the place of birth (relative risk for the capital vs. rural areas, 2.40; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.13 to 2.70). The risk was also significantly associated with the season of birth; it was highest for births in February and March and lowest for births in August and September. The population attributable risk was 5.5 percent for a history of schizophrenia in a parent or sibling, 34.6 percent for urban place of birth, and 10.5 percent for the season of birth. CONCLUSIONS: Although a history of schizophrenia in a parent or sibling is associated with the highest relative risk of having the disease, the place and season of birth account for many more cases on a population basis.  (+info)

(3/4722) Natural history of Helicobacter pylori infection in childhood: 12-year follow-up cohort study in a biracial community.

We assessed the pattern of acquisition and loss of Helicobacter pylori infection in a cohort of 212 children from a biracial community with a homogeneous socioeconomic class. The children were followed over 12 years (1973-1974 to 1985-1986) from childhood to young adulthood. H. pylori status was assessed by the presence of serum IgG antibodies to H. pylori. At ages 7-9, 19% of children had H. pylori infection (40% of blacks vs. 11% of whites; P = .0001); 12 years later, 33% were seropositive. The higher prevalence among blacks remained (P = .0001). During follow-up, 22% of children became infected; the rate of acquisition was fourfold greater among blacks than among whites (P = .001). Over the 12-year period, infection was lost in 50% of whites compared with 4% of blacks who either remained infected or became reinfected. H. pylori infection in childhood is affected by both acquisition and loss of infection in different ethnic groups. This observation is critical for understanding the epidemiology and transmission of H. pylori infection.  (+info)

(4/4722) Exposure to indoor background radiation and urinary concentrations of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine, a marker of oxidative DNA damage.

We investigated whether exposure to indoor [gamma]-radiation and radon might be associated with enough free radical formation to increase urinary concentrations of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a sensitive marker of DNA damage, due to a hydroxyl radical attack at the C8 of guanine. Indoor radon and [gamma]-radiation levels were measured in 32 dwellings for 6 months by solid-state nuclear track detectors and thermoluminescent dosimeters, respectively. Urine samples for 8-OHdG determinations were obtained from 63 healthy adult subjects living in the measured dwellings. An overall tendency toward increasing levels of 8-OHdG with increasing levels of radon and [gamma]-radiation was seen in the females, presumably due to their estimated longer occupancy in the dwellings measured. Different models were considered for females, with the steepest slopes obtained for [gamma]-radiation with a coefficient of 0.500 (log nmol/l of 8-OHdG for each unit increase of [gamma]-radiation on a log scale) (p<0.01), and increasing to 0.632 (p = 0.035), but with larger variance, when radon was included in the model. In conclusion, there seems to be an effect of indoor radioactivity on the urinary excretion of 8-OHdG for females, who are estimated to have a higher occupancy in the dwellings measured than for males, for whom occupational and other agents may also influence 8-OHdG excretion. ree radicals; [gamma]-radiation; radon.  (+info)

(5/4722) Indoor, outdoor, and regional summer and winter concentrations of PM10, PM2.5, SO4(2)-, H+, NH4+, NO3-, NH3, and nitrous acid in homes with and without kerosene space heaters.

Twenty-four-hour samples of PM10 (mass of particles with aerodynamic diameter < or = 10 microm), PM2.5, (mass of particles with aerodynamic diameter < or = 2.5 microm), particle strong acidity (H+), sulfate (SO42-), nitrate (NO3-), ammonia (NH3), nitrous acid (HONO), and sulfur dioxide were collected inside and outside of 281 homes during winter and summer periods. Measurements were also conducted during summer periods at a regional site. A total of 58 homes of nonsmokers were sampled during the summer periods and 223 homes were sampled during the winter periods. Seventy-four of the homes sampled during the winter reported the use of a kerosene heater. All homes sampled in the summer were located in southwest Virginia. All but 20 homes sampled in the winter were also located in southwest Virginia; the remainder of the homes were located in Connecticut. For homes without tobacco combustion, the regional air monitoring site (Vinton, VA) appeared to provide a reasonable estimate of concentrations of PM2.5 and SO42- during summer months outside and inside homes within the region, even when a substantial number of the homes used air conditioning. Average indoor/outdoor ratios for PM2.5 and SO42- during the summer period were 1.03 +/- 0.71 and 0.74 +/- 0.53, respectively. The indoor/outdoor mean ratio for sulfate suggests that on average approximately 75% of the fine aerosol indoors during the summer is associated with outdoor sources. Kerosene heater use during the winter months, in the absence of tobacco combustion, results in substantial increases in indoor concentrations of PM2.5, SO42-, and possibly H+, as compared to homes without kerosene heaters. During their use, we estimated that kerosene heaters added, on average, approximately 40 microg/m3 of PM2.5 and 15 microg/m3 of SO42- to background residential levels of 18 and 2 microg/m3, respectively. Results from using sulfuric acid-doped Teflon (E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., Wilmington, DE) filters in homes with kerosene heaters suggest that acid particle concentrations may be substantially higher than those measured because of acid neutralization by ammonia. During the summer and winter periods indoor concentrations of ammonia are an order of magnitude higher indoors than outdoors and appear to result in lower indoor acid particle concentrations. Nitrous acid levels are higher indoors than outdoors during both winter and summer and are substantially higher in homes with unvented combustion sources.  (+info)

(6/4722) Environmental contaminants and body fat distribution.

The effect of body mass index (BMI) and waist:hip ratio (WHR) on plasma levels of organochlorines [i.e., 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (DDE)] was investigated in a sample of black and white women drawn from a population-based study in North Carolina. Organochlorine levels were determined in plasma samples from 99 women selected on the basis of race (black versus white) and quartile of the WHR (1st versus 4th). Of a panel of 20 organochlorine compounds tested, only DDE was detectable in most study subjects. Measurements of height, weight, and waist and hip circumferences were taken during an in-person interview. Information was elicited regarding dietary, residential, and breast-feeding histories. Results of multiple regression analyses indicate that black women had significantly higher plasma levels of DDE than white women. These levels were independent of BMI and WHR. BMI but not WHR was also found to be an independent predictor of DDE plasma level. These results suggest that black/white differences should be considered in studies that explore the relationship between environmental contaminants and various disease outcomes, such as breast cancer risk. In addition, BMI may affect circulating levels of contaminants and should also be considered a potentially important modifying factor for exposure to lipophilic substances.  (+info)

(7/4722) What's driving an epidemic? The spread of syphilis along an interstate highway in rural North Carolina.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine whether county syphilis rates were increased along Interstate Highway 95 (I-95) in North Carolina during a recent epidemic. METHODS: Ecological data on syphilis cases demographic data, highway data, and drug activity data were used to conduct a cross-sectional and longitudinal study of North Carolina countries from 1985 to 1994. Crude and adjusted incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were determined by means of standard and longitudinal Poisson regression models adjusted for sociodemographic factors and drug use. RESULTS: Ten-year syphilis rates in I-95 counties greatly exceeded rates in non-I-95 counties (38 vs 16 cases per 100,000 persons) and remained higher after adjustment for race, age, sex, poverty, large cities, and drug activity (adjusted IRR = 2.05, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.84, 2.28). Syphilis rates were stable until 1989, when rates increased sharply in I-95 counties but remained stable in non-I-95 counties. Increased drug activity in I-95 counties preceded the rise in syphilis cases. CONCLUSIONS: A better understanding of the relationship between high-ways and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases may guide future prevention interventions.  (+info)

(8/4722) A deviation bar chart for detecting dengue outbreaks in Puerto Rico.

OBJECTIVES: A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deviation bar chart (Statistical Software for Public Health Surveillance) and laboratory-based surveillance data were evaluated for their utility in detecting dengue outbreaks in Puerto Rico. METHODS: A significant increase in dengue incidence was defined as an excess of suspected cases of more than 2 SDs beyond the mean for all 4-week periods from April through June (the period of lowest seasonal incidence), 1989 through 1993. An outbreak was defined as a cumulative annual rate of reported dengue greater than 3 per 1000 population. RESULTS: Retrospective application of the system to 1994 data showed agreement with previous analyses. In 1995 and 1996, 36.4% and 27.3%, respectively, of municipalities with a significant increase in reports for 2 or more consecutive weeks before the first week of September had an outbreak, compared with 9.0% (in 1995, P = .042) and 6.0% (in 1996, P = .054) of towns without a significant increase. The system showed sensitivity near 40%, specificity near 89%, and accuracy in classifying municipalities near 84%. CONCLUSIONS: This method provides a statistically based, visually striking, specific, and timely signal for dengue control efforts.  (+info)