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(1/6923) Helicobacter pylori infection, garlic intake and precancerous lesions in a Chinese population at low risk of gastric cancer.

BACKGROUND: Cangshan County of Shandong Province has one of the lowest rates of gastric cancer (GC) in China. While intestinal metaplasia (IM) and dysplasia (DYS) are less common in Cangshan than in areas of Shandong at high risk of GC, these precursor lesions nevertheless affect about 20% of adults age > or = 55. SUBJECTS AND SETTING: In order to evaluate determinants of IM and DYS in Cangshan County, a low risk area of GC a survey was conducted among 214 adults who participated in a gastroscopic screening survey in Cangshan County in 1994. METHOD: A dietary interview and measurement of serum Helicobacter pylori antibodies were performed. RESULTS: The prevalence of H. pylori was lowest (19%) among those with normal gastric mucosa, rising steadily to 35% for superficial gastritis (SG), 56% for chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG), 80% for IM, and 100% for DYS. The prevalence odds of precancerous lesions were compared with the odds of normal histology or SG. The odds ratio (OR) or CAG associated with H. pylori positivity was 4.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] : 1.7-10.0), while the OR of IM/DYS associated with H. pylori positivity was 31.5 (95% CI: 5.2-187). After adjusting for H. pylori infection, drinking alcohol was a risk factor for CAG (OR = 3.2, 95% CI: 1.1-9.2) and IM/DYS (OR = 7.8, 95% CI: 1.3-47.7). On the other hand, consumption of garlic showed non-significant protective effects and an inverse association with H. pylori infection. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study suggest that infection with H. pylori is a risk factor and garlic may be protective, in the development and progression of advanced precancerous gastric lesions in an area of China at relatively low risk of GC.  (+info)

(2/6923) Precancerous lesions in two counties of China with contrasting gastric cancer risk.

BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide and shows remarkable geographical variation even within countries such as China. Linqu County in Shandong Province of northeast China has a GC rate that is 15 times higher than that of Cangshan County in Shandong, even though these counties are within 200 miles of each other. METHOD: In order to evaluate the frequency of precancerous gastric lesions in Linqu and Cangshan Counties we examined 3400 adults in Linqu County and 224 adults in Cangshan County. An endoscopic examination with four biopsies was performed in each individual of the two populations. RESULTS: The prevalence of intestinal metaplasia (IM) and dysplasia (DYS) was 30% and 15.1%, respectively, in Linqu compared to 7.9% and 5.6% in Cangshan (P < 0.01). Within these histological categories, advanced grades were found more often in Linqu than in Cangshan. The prevalences of IM and DYS were more common at each biopsy site in Linqu, where the lesions also tended to affect multiple sites. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study support the concept that IM and DYS are closely correlated with risks of GC and represent late stages in the multistep process of gastric carcinogenesis.  (+info)

(3/6923) Constitutional, biochemical and lifestyle correlates of fibrinogen and factor VII activity in Polish urban and rural populations.

BACKGROUND: Fibrinogen and factor VII activity are known to be related to atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, but population differences in clotting factors and modifiable characteristics that influence their levels have not been widely explored. METHODS: This paper examines correlates of plasma fibrinogen concentration and factor VII activity in 2443 men and women aged 35-64 in random samples selected from the residents in two districts in urban Warsaw (618 men and 651 women) and from rural Tarnobrzeg Province (556 men and 618 women) screened in 1987-1988, and assesses which characteristics might explain urban-rural differences. Fibrinogen and factor VII activity were determined using coagulation methods. RESULTS: Fibrinogen was 12.9 mg/dl higher in men and 14.1 mg/dl higher in women in Tarnobrzeg compared to Warsaw. Factor VII activity was higher in Warsaw (9.2% in men and 15.3% in women). After adjustment for selected characteristics, fibrinogen was higher in smokers compared to non-smokers by 28 mg/dl in men and 22 mg/dl in women. In women, a 15 mg/dl increase in HDL-cholesterol was associated with a 10 mg/dl decrease in fibrinogen (P < 0.01). After adjustment for other variables, a higher factor VII activity in Warsaw remained significant (a difference of 9.4% in men and 14.8% in women). Lower fibrinogen in Warsaw remained significant only in women (15.4 mg/dl difference). CONCLUSIONS: The study confirmed that sex, age, BMI, smoking and blood lipids are related to clotting factors. However, with the exception of gender differences and smoking, associations between clotting factors and other variables were small and of questionable practical importance.  (+info)

(4/6923) Hygiene behaviour in rural Nicaragua in relation to diarrhoea.

BACKGROUND: Childhood diarrhoea is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Nicaragua. Amongst the risk factors for its transmission are 'poor' hygiene practices. We investigated the effect of a large number of hygiene practices on diarrhoeal disease in children aged <2 years and validated the technique of direct observation of hygiene behaviour. METHODS: A prospective follow-up study was carried out in a rural zone of Nicaragua. From the database of a previously conducted case-control study on water and sanitation 172 families were recruited, half of which had experienced a higher than expected rate of diarrhoea in their children and the other half a lower rate. Hygiene behaviour was observed over two mornings and diarrhoea incidence was recorded with a calendar, filled out by the mother, and collected every week for 5 months. RESULTS: Of 46 'good' practices studied, 39 were associated with a lower risk of diarrhoea, five were unrelated and only for two a higher risk was observed. Washing of hands, domestic cleanliness (kitchen, living room, yard) and the use of a diaper/underclothes by the child had the strongest protective effect. Schooling (>3 years of primary school) and better economic position (possession of a radio) had a positive influence on general hygiene behaviour, education having a slightly stronger effect when a radio was present. Individual hygiene behaviour appeared to be highly variable in contrast with the consistent behaviour of the community as a whole. Feasible and appropriate indicators of hygiene behaviour were found to be domestic cleanliness and the use of a diaper or underclothes by the child. CONCLUSION: A consistent relationship between almost all hygiene practices and diarrhoea was detected, more schooling producing better hygiene behaviour. The high variability of hygiene behaviour at the individual level requires repeated observations (at least two) before and after the hygiene education in the event one wants to measure the impact of the campaign on the individual.  (+info)

(5/6923) Role of schools in the transmission of measles in rural Senegal: implications for measles control in developing countries.

Patterns of measles transmission at school and at home were studied in 1995 in a rural area of Senegal with a high level of vaccination coverage. Among 209 case children with a median age of 8 years, there were no deaths, although the case fatality ratio has previously been 6-7% in this area. Forty percent of the case children had been vaccinated against measles; the proportion of vaccinated children was higher among secondary cases (47%) than among index cases (33%) (prevalence ratio = 1.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04-1.76). Vaccinated index cases may have been less infectious than unvaccinated index cases, since they produced fewer clinical cases among exposed children (relative risk = 0.55, 95% CI 0.29-1.04). The secondary attack rate was lower in the schools than in the homes (relative risk = 0.31, 95% CI 0.20-0.49). The school outbreaks were protracted, with 4-5 generations of cases being seen in the two larger schools. Vaccine efficacy was found to be 57% (95% CI -23 to 85) in the schools and 74% (95% CI 62-82) in the residential compounds. Measles infection resulted in a mean of 3.8 days of absenteeism per case, though this did not appear to have an impact on the children's grades. Among the index cases, 56% of children were probably infected by neighbors in the community, and 7% were probably infected at health centers, 13% outside the community, and 24% in one of the three schools which had outbreaks during the epidemic. However, most of the school-related cases occurred at the beginning and therefore contributed to the general propagation of the epidemic. To prevent school outbreaks, it may be necessary to require vaccination prior to school entry and to revaccinate children in individual schools upon detection of cases of measles. Multidose measles vaccination schedules will be necessary to control measles in developing countries.  (+info)

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nvited commentary: vaccine failure or failure to vaccinate?  (+info)

(7/6923) Longitudinal evaluation of serovar-specific immunity to Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

The serovars of Neisseria gonorrhoeae that are predominant in a community change over time, a phenomenon that may be due to the development of immunity to repeat infection with the same serovar. This study evaluated the epidemiologic evidence for serovar-specific immunity to N. gonorrhoeae. During a 17-month period in 1992-1994, all clients of a sexually transmitted disease clinic in rural North Carolina underwent genital culture for N. gonorrhoeae. Gonococcal isolates were serotyped according to standard methods. Odds ratios for repeat infection with the same serovar versus any different serovar were calculated on the basis of the distribution of serovars in the community at the time of reinfection. Of 2,838 patients, 608 (21.4%; 427 males and 181 females) were found to be infected with N. gonorrhoeae at the initial visit. Ninety patients (14.8% of the 608) had a total of 112 repeat gonococcal infections. Repeat infection with the same serovar occurred slightly more often than would be expected based on the serovars prevalent in the community at the time of reinfection, though the result was marginally nonsignificant (odds ratio = 1.5, 95% confidence interval 1.0-2.4; p = 0.05). Choosing partners within a sexual network may increase the likelihood of repeat exposure to the same serovar of N. gonorrhoeae. Gonococcal infection did not induce evident immunity to reinfection with the same serovar.  (+info)

(8/6923) Diagnosing anaemia in pregnancy in rural clinics: assessing the potential of the Haemoglobin Colour Scale.

Anaemia in pregnancy is a common and severe problem in many developing countries. Because of lack of resources and staff motivation, screening for anaemia is often solely by clinical examination of the conjunctiva or is not carried out at all. A new colour scale for the estimation of haemoglobin concentration has been developed by WHO. The present study compares the results obtained using the new colour scale on 729 women visiting rural antenatal clinics in Malawi with those obtained by HemoCue haemoglobinometer and electronic Coulter Counter and with the assessment of anaemia by clinical examination of the conjunctiva. Sensitivity using the colour scale was consistently better than for conjunctival inspection alone and interobserver agreement and agreement with Coulter Counter measurements was good. The Haemoglobin Colour Scale is simple to use, well accepted, cheap and gives immediate results. It shows considerable potential for use in screening for anaemia in antenatal clinics in settings where resources are limited.  (+info)