Racing problems in the U.S.A.
The major problems of racing in the United States at the present time are caused by too much racing. This has led to too few horses and small fields. Consequently many owners and trainers are trying to enter their horses too frequently and to race them when they are not really fit to run. The desire to race horses as frequently as possible has led to constant pressure from horsemen through their organizations for so called "permissive medication". Started in the state of Colorado approximately ten years ago this has grown until finally there are only a few states, notably New York and New Jersey that have resisted the pressure. The drug that gave the opening wedge to permissive medication was phenylbutazone, but this in many states has led to the inclusion of other drugs including analgesics and drugs that veterinarians claim are needed for therapeutic purposes. Some states have endeavoured to control phenylbutazone medication by quantitation and while lower limits cause little difficulty, maximum allowable limits have caused problems and are not practical. While there has been no publicity to my knowledge about frusemide (furosemide, lasix) the abuse of this drug for so called "bleeders" is an example that may seriously interfere with drug detection in urine and its use should be confined to proven "bleeders" (i.e. horses suffering from epistaxis). Pre-race blood testing began roughly ten years ago at the harness tracks and has been resisted by our flat tracks rather successfully up to the present time. The blood testing methods and those used by the same laboratories in post-race urine testing is inadequate and will not detect many illegal drugs. (+info
Myths, models and mitigation of resistance to pesticides.
Resistance to pesticides in arthropod pests is a significant economic, ecological and public health problem. Although extensive research has been conducted on diverse aspects of pesticide resistance and we have learned a great deal during the past 50 years, to some degree the discussion about 'resistance management' has been based on 'myths'. One myth involves the belief that we can manage resistance. I will maintain that we can only attempt to mitigate resistance because resistance is a natural evolutionary response to environmental stresses. As such, resistance will remain an ongoing dilemma in pest management and we can only delay the onset of resistance to pesticides. 'Resistance management' models and tactics have been much discussed but have been tested and deployed in practical pest management programmes with only limited success. Yet the myth persists that better models will provide a 'solution' to the problem. The reality is that success in using mitigation models is limited because these models are applied to inappropriate situations in which the critical genetic, ecological, biological or logistic assumptions cannot be met. It is difficult to predict in advance which model is appropriate to a particular situation; if the model assumptions cannot be met, applying the model sometimes can increase the rate of resistance development rather than slow it down. Are there any solutions? I believe we already have one. Unfortunately, it is not a simple or easy one to deploy. It involves employing effective agronomic practices to develop and maintain a healthy crop, monitoring pest densities, evaluating economic injury levels so that pesticides are applied only when necessary, deploying and conserving biological control agents, using host-plant resistance, cultural controls of the pest, biorational pest controls, and genetic control methods. As a part of a truly multi-tactic strategy, it is crucial to evaluate the effect of pesticides on natural enemies in order to preserve them in the cropping system. Sometimes, pesticide-resistant natural enemies are effective components of this resistance mitigation programme. Another name for this resistance mitigation model is integrated pest management (IPM). This complex model was outlined in some detail nearly 40 years ago by V. M. Stern and colleagues. To deploy the IPM resistance mitigation model, we must admit that pest management and resistance mitigation programmes are not sustainable if based on a single-tactic strategy. Delaying resistance, whether to traditional pesticides or to transgenic plants containing toxin genes from Bacillus thuringiensis, will require that we develop multi-tactic pest management programmes that incorporate all appropriate pest management approaches. Because pesticides are limited resources, and their loss can result in significant social and economic costs, they should be reserved for situations where they are truly needed--as tools to subdue an unexpected pest population outbreak. Effective multi-tactic IPM programmes delay resistance (= mitigation) because the number and rates of pesticide applications will be reduced. (+info
Bioterrorism alleging use of anthrax and interim guidelines for management--United States, 1998.
From October 30 through December 23, 1998, CDC received reports of a series of bioterroristic threats of anthrax exposure. Letters alleged to contain anthrax were sent to health clinics on October 30, 1998, in Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. During December 17-23 in California, a letter alleged to contain anthrax was sent to a private business, and three telephone threats of anthrax contamination of ventilation systems were made to private and public buildings. All threats were hoaxes and are under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and local law enforcement officials. The public health implications of these threats were investigated to assist in developing national public health guidelines for responding to bioterrorism. This report summarizes the findings of these investigations and provides interim guidance for public health authorities on bioterrorism related to anthrax. (+info
Physician advice and individual behaviors about cardiovascular disease risk reduction--seven states and Puerto Rico, 1997.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) (e.g., heart disease and stroke) is the leading cause of death in the United States and accounted for 959,227 deaths in 1996. Strategies to reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke include lifestyle changes (e.g., eating fewer high-fat and high-cholesterol foods) and increasing physical activity. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend that, as part of a preventive health examination, all primary-care providers counsel their patients about a healthy diet and regular physical activity. AHA also recommends low-dose aspirin use as a secondary preventive measure among persons with existing CVD. To determine the prevalence of physician counseling about cardiovascular health and changes in individual behaviors, CDC analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for seven states and Puerto Rico. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicate a lower prevalence of counseling and behavior change among persons without than with a history of heart disease or stroke. (+info
Cardiovascular disease in insulin dependent diabetes mellitus: similar rates but different risk factors in the US compared with Europe.
BACKGROUND: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) in insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) has been linked to renal disease. However, little is known concerning international variation in the correlations with hyperglycaemia and standard CVD risk factors. METHODS: A cross-sectional comparison was made of prevalence rates and risk factor associations in two large studies of IDDM subjects: the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications Study (EDC) and the EURODIAB IDDM Complications Study from 31 centres in Europe. Subgroups of each were chosen to be comparable by age and duration of diabetes. The EDC population comprises 286 men (mean duration 20.1 years) and 281 women (mean duration 19.9 years); EURODIAB 608 men (mean duration 18.1 years) and 607 women (mean duration 18.9 years). The mean age of both populations was 28 years. Cardiovascular disease was defined by a past medical history of myocardial infarction, angina, and/or the Minnesota ECG codes (1.1-1.3, 4.1-4.3, 5.1-5.3, 7.1). RESULTS: Overall prevalence of CVD was similar in the two populations (i.e. men 8.6% versus 8.0%, women 7.4% versus 8.5%, EURODIAB versus EDC respectively), although EDC women had a higher prevalence of angina (3.9% versus 0.5%, P < 0.001). Multivariate modelling suggests that glycaemic control (HbA1c) is not related to CVD in men. Age and high density lipoprotein cholesterol predict CVD in EURODIAB, while triglycerides and hypertension predict CVD in EDC. For women in both populations, age and hypertension (or renal disease) are independent predictors. HbA1c is also an independent predictor-inversely in EURODIAB women (P < 0.008) and positively in EDC women (P = 0.03). Renal disease was more strongly linked to CVD in EDC than in EURODIAB. CONCLUSIONS: Despite a similar prevalence of CVD, risk factor associations appear to differ in the two study populations. Glycaemic control (HbA1c) does not show a consistent or strong relationship to CVD. (+info
Novel endotheliotropic herpesviruses fatal for Asian and African elephants.
A highly fatal hemorrhagic disease has been identified in 10 young Asian and African elephants at North American zoos. In the affected animals there was ultrastructural evidence for herpesvirus-like particles in endothelial cells of the heart, liver, and tongue. Consensus primer polymerase chain reaction combined with sequencing yielded molecular evidence that confirmed the presence of two novel but related herpesviruses associated with the disease, one in Asian elephants and another in African elephants. Otherwise healthy African elephants with external herpetic lesions yielded herpesvirus sequences identical to that found in Asian elephants with endothelial disease. This finding suggests that the Asian elephant deaths were caused by cross-species infection with a herpesvirus that is naturally latent in, but normally not lethal to, African elephants. A reciprocal relationship may exist for the African elephant disease. (+info
Prevalence of peripheral arterial disease and associated risk factors in American Indians: the Strong Heart Study.
Studies of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in minority populations provide researchers with an opportunity to evaluate PAD risk factors and disease severity under different types of conditions. Examination 1 of the Strong Heart Study (1989-1992) provided data on the prevalence of PAD and its risk factors in a sample of American Indians. Participants (N = 4,549) represented 13 tribes located in three geographically diverse centers in the Dakotas, Oklahoma, and Arizona. Participants in this epidemiologic study were aged 45-74 years; 60% were women. Using the single criterion of an ankle brachial index less than 0.9 to define PAD, the prevalence of PAD was approximately 5.3% across centers, with women having slightly higher rates than men. Factors significantly associated with PAD in univariate analyses for both men and women included age, systolic blood pressure, hemoglobin A1c level, albuminuria, fibrinogen level, fasting glucose level, prevalence of diabetes mellitus, and duration of diabetes. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to predict PAD for women and men combined. Age, systolic blood pressure, current cigarette smoking, pack-years of smoking, albuminuria (micro- and macro-), low density lipoprotein cholesterol level, and fibrinogen level were significantly positively associated with PAD. Current alcohol consumption was significantly negatively associated with PAD. In American Indians, the association of albuminuria with PAD may equal or exceed the association of cigarette smoking with PAD. (+info
Reliability of information on physical activity and other chronic disease risk factors among US women aged 40 years or older.
Data on chronic disease risk behaviors and related variables, including barriers to and attitudes toward physical activity, are lacking for women of some racial/ethnic groups. A test-retest study was conducted from July 1996 through June 1997 among US women (n = 199) aged 40 years or more who were white, black, American Indian/Alaska Native, or Hispanic. The sample was selected and interviews were conducted using a modified version of the methods of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. For behavioral risk factors such as physical inactivity, smoking, and low fruit and vegetable consumption, group prevalences were generally similar between interviews 1 and 2. However, kappa values for selected physical activity variables ranged from 0.26 to 0.51 and tended to be lower for black women. Discordance was low for variables on cigarette smoking and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (kappa = 0.64-0.92). Discordance was high (kappa = 0.33) for low consumption of fruits and vegetables. Additional variables for barriers to and access to exercise ranged widely across racial/ethnic groups and in terms of measures of agreement. These methods illustrate an efficient way to sample and assess the reliability of data collected from women of racial/ethnic minority groups. (+info