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(1/2179) Permanent work incapacity, mortality and survival without work incapacity among occupations and social classes: a cohort study of ageing men in Geneva.

BACKGROUND: The objective of this retrospective cohort study was to investigate the burden of disability and death in men, from middle age to age of retirement, among occupational groups and classes in Geneva. METHODS: Men were included if they resided in the Canton of Geneva, were 45 years of age in 1970-1972, and were not receiving a disability pension at the start of the follow-up. The cohort of 5137 men was followed up for 20 years and linked to national registers of disability pension allowance and of causes of death. RESULTS: There was a steep upward trend in incidence of permanent work incapacity with lower social class for all causes as well as for the seven causes of disability studied. Compared with professional occupations (social class I), the relative risk (RR) of permanent work incapacity was 11.4 for partly skilled and unskilled occupations (class IV+V) (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.2-28.0). The social class gradient in mortality was in the same direction as that in work incapacity although much less steep (RR class IV+V to class I = 1.6, 95% CI : 1.1-2.2). Survival without work incapacity at the time of the 65th birthday ranged from only 57% in construction workers and labourers to 89% in science and related professionals. Unemployment in Geneva was below 1.5% during almost all the study period. CONCLUSIONS: Medically-ascertained permanent work incapacity and survival without work incapacity have shown considerably greater socioeconomic differentials than the mortality differentials.  (+info)

(2/2179) Paediatric, invasive pneumococcal disease in Switzerland, 1985-1994. Swiss Pneumococcal Study Group.

BACKGROUND: Cost effective use of new vaccines against pneumococcal disease in children requires detailed information about the local epidemiology of pneumococcal infections. METHODS: Data on 393 culture-confirmed cases of invasive pneumococcal infection in children (<17 years) hospitalized in Swiss paediatric clinics were collected retrospectively for the years 1985-1994. RESULTS: Meningitis (42%) was most frequent, followed by pneumonia (28%) and bacteraemia (26%). The overall annual incidence was 2.7 cases per 100000 children <17 years old and 11 cases per 100000 children <2 years old. Annual incidence rates were stable over the study period. Lethality was high for meningitis (8.6%) and bacteraemia (8.9%). A history of basal skull fracture was reported in 3.3% of children with pneumococcal meningitis. Residence in a rural region was associated with an increased risk of pneumococcal infection (relative risk = 1.45, 95% confidence interval: 1.01-2.00). CONCLUSIONS: Paediatric, invasive pneumococcal disease seems to be less frequent in Switzerland than in other European and non-European countries. This may be due to differences in diagnostic strategies and lower frequency of risk factors such as the use of day care. Children with a history of basal skull fracture are at increased risk for pneumococcal meningitis. Further investigation of the association of invasive pneumococcal infection with rural residence and the use of antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections might give new insight into the dynamics of Streptococcus pneumoniae infection and the development of antibiotic resistance.  (+info)

(3/2179) Thyroid volumes and urinary iodine in Swiss school children, 17 years after improved prophylaxis of iodine deficiency.

Salt iodine content in Switzerland was raised from 7.5 to 15 mg per kg in 1980, and since then dietary iodine intake has been considered to be sufficient, even though a slight decrease due to imported food has recently been reported. The aim of this study was to establish normal values for thyroid volumes of school children who can be assumed to have had a sufficient iodine intake all their lifetime. Moreover. the present investigation was undertaken to verify that iodine sufficiency had been achieved equally in two regions each served by one of the two Swiss salt producers. Mean iodine concentration in urine spot samples from school children was 16.1 microg/dl, and it was identical in both the city of Lausanne (n=215) and the city of Solothurn (n=208). Thus it can be stated that in both cities (served by two different salt producers) iodine intake is equal and sufficient. Accordingly, thyroid volumes measured by ultrasound in school children aged 6 to 16 years were the same in both Lausanne (n=202) and Solothurn (n=207). Moreover, the age-adjusted median volumes at the 97th percentiles closely agree with and validate provisional international reference values recently proposed by the World Health Organisation and by the International Council for Control of Iodine Deficiency Disease.  (+info)

(4/2179) In situ analysis of phototrophic sulfur bacteria in the chemocline of meromictic Lake Cadagno (Switzerland).

Comparative sequence analysis of a 16S rRNA gene clone library from the chemocline of the meromictic Lake Cadagno (Switzerland) revealed the presence of a diverse number of phototrophic sulfur bacteria. Sequences resembled those of rRNA of type strains Chromatium okenii DSM169 and Amoebobacter purpureus DSM4197, as well as those of four bacteria forming a tight cluster with A. purpureus DSM4197 and Lamprocystis roseopersicina DSM229. In situ hybridization with fluorescent (Cy3 labeled) oligonucleotide probes indicated that all large-celled phototrophic sulfur bacteria in the chemocline of Lake Cadagno were represented by C. okenii DSM169, while small-celled phototrophic sulfur bacteria consisted of four major populations with different distribution profiles in the chemocline indicating different ecophysiological adaptations.  (+info)

(5/2179) The economic burden of asthma: direct and indirect costs in Switzerland.

Asthma mortality increased in Switzerland between 1980 and 1994. This study aimed to assess the economic burden of asthma in this country. Chart reviews were conducted for the last five patients seen for asthma in physician practices in 1996 and 1997. Direct expenditures and indirect costs for asthma-related morbidity were determined. A total of 589 patient charts were completely analysed, including 117 children's charts, obtained from 120 office-based physicians. The annual direct medical costs were CHF 1,778 and the mean annual indirect costs were CHF 1,019 per patient for all patients. The total estimated cost of asthma in Switzerland in 1997 was nearly CHF 1,252 million. Direct medical expenditures approached CHF 762 million, or 61% of the total. In 1997, the indirect costs for asthma were estimated to have exceeded CHF 490 million. Of these costs CHF 123 million (25%) was associated with morbidity and nearly CHF 368 million (75%) was associated with looking after asthmatic patients who had to be cared for at home. This study provides evidence that asthma is a major healthcare cost factor in Switzerland, amounting to approximately CHF 1,200 million per year. The data suggest that cost savings can be achieved by improving primary care for asthma in an ambulatory setting.  (+info)

(6/2179) Serological evidence of infection with Ehrlichia spp. in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Switzerland.

Serum samples from 1,550 red foxes in Switzerland were tested for antibodies to the agents of canine granulocytic and monocytic ehrlichiosis by an indirect immunofluorescent technique. Forty-four (2.8%) of the samples were positive for Ehrlichia phagocytophila, which is an antigen marker for granulocytic ehrlichiosis. In contrast, none of the samples had antibodies specific to Ehrlichia canis, the agent of monocytic ehrlichiosis.  (+info)

(7/2179) Harm reduction in Bern: from outreach to heroin maintenance.

In Switzerland, harm-reduction programs have the support of the national government and many localities, in congruence with much of the rest of Europe and in contrast with the United States, and take place in public settings. The threat of AIDS is recognized as the greater harm. This paper describes the overall national program and highlights the experience from one city; the program is noteworthy because it is aimed at gathering comparative data from controlled trials.  (+info)

(8/2179) Expression of CD28 and CD38 by CD8+ T lymphocytes in HIV-1 infection correlates with markers of disease severity and changes towards normalization under treatment. The Swiss HIV Cohort Study.

The relationship between blood CD8+ T lymphocyte subsets, as defined by CD28 and CD38 expression, and plasma viraemia and CD4+ T cells in HIV-1 infection was investigated. In a cross-sectional study of 46 patients with either no or stable anti-retroviral treatment, there was a strong negative correlation between the percentage of CD8+CD28- and the percentage of CD4+ T cells (r = -0.75, P < 0.0001), and a positive correlation between absolute numbers of CD8+CD28+ and CD4+ T cells (r = 0.56, P < 0.0001). In contrast, the expression of CD38 by CD8+ T lymphocytes correlated primarily with plasma viraemia (e.g. the percentage of CD38+ in CD8bright cells, r = 0.76, P < 0.0001). In the 6 months following triple therapy initiation in 32 subjects, there was a close correlation between changes (delta) in CD8+CD28+ or CD8+CD28- and in CD4+ T cells (e.g. delta % CD8+CD28+ versus delta % CD4+, r = 0.37, P = 0.0002; delta % CD8+CD28- versus delta % CD4+, r = -0.66, P < 0.0001). A marked decline of the number of CD8+ T cells expressing CD38 was also observed. These results suggest the existence of a T cell homeostasis mechanism operating in blood with CD4+ and CD8+CD28+ cells on the one hand, and with CD8+CD28- cells on the other. In addition, the percentage of CD38+ cells in CD8+ cells, generally considered an independent prognostic factor, could merely reflect plasma viral load.  (+info)