Use of wood stoves and risk of cancers of the upper aero-digestive tract: a case-control study.
BACKGROUND: Incidence rates for cancers of the upper aero-digestive tract in Southern Brazil are among the highest in the world. A case-control study was designed to identify the main risk factors for carcinomas of mouth, pharynx, and larynx in the region. We tested the hypothesis of whether use of wood stoves is associated with these cancers. METHODS: Information on known and potential risk factors was obtained from interviews with 784 cases and 1568 non-cancer controls. We estimated the effect of use of wood stove by conditional logistic regression, with adjustment for smoking, alcohol consumption and for other sociodemographic and dietary variables chosen as empirical confounders based on a change-in-estimate criterion. RESULTS: After extensive adjustment for all the empirical confounders the odds ratio (OR) for all upper aero-digestive tract cancers was 2.68 (95% confidence interval [CI] : 2.2-3.3). Increased risks were also seen in site-specific analyses for mouth (OR = 2.73; 95% CI: 1.8-4.2), pharyngeal (OR = 3.82; 95% CI: 2.0-7.4), and laryngeal carcinomas (OR = 2.34; 95% CI: 1.2-4.7). Significant risk elevations remained for each of the three anatomic sites and for all sites combined even after we purposefully biased the analyses towards the null hypothesis by adjusting the effect of wood stove use only for positive empirical confounders. CONCLUSIONS: The association of use of wood stoves with cancers of the upper aero-digestive tract is genuine and unlikely to result from insufficient control of confounding. Due to its high prevalence, use of wood stoves may be linked to as many as 30% of all cancers occurring in the region. (+info)
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)
Thiamine deficiency is prevalent in a selected group of urban Indonesian elderly people.
This cross-sectional study involved 204 elderly individuals (93 males and 111 females). Subjects were randomly recruited using a list on which all 60-75 y-old-people living in seven sub-villages in Jakarta were included. The usual food intake was estimated using semiquantitative food frequency questionnaires. Hemoglobin, plasma retinol, vitamin B-12, red blood cell folate and the percentage stimulation of erythrocyte transketolase (ETK), as an indicator of thiamine status, were analyzed. Median energy intake was below the assessed requirement. More than 75% of the subjects had iron and thiamine intakes of approximately 2/3 of the recommended daily intake, and 20.2% of the study population had folate intake of approximately 2/3 of the recommended daily intake. Intakes of vitamins A and B-12 were adequate. Biochemical assessments demonstrated that 36.6% of the subjects had low thiamine levels (ETK stimulation > 25%). The elderly men tended to have lower thiamine levels than the elderly women. The overall prevalence of anemia was 28.9%, and the elderly women were affected more than the elderly men. Low biochemical status of vitamins A, B-12 and RBC folate was found in 5.4%, 8.8 % and 2.9% of the subjects, respectively. Dietary intakes of thiamine and folate were associated with ETK stimulation and plasma vitamin B-12 concentration (r = 0.176, P = 0.012 and r = 0.77, P = 0.001), respectively. Results of this study suggest that anemia, thiamine and possibly vitamin B-12 deficiency are prevalent in the elderly living in Indonesia. Clearly, micronutrient supplementation may be beneficial for the Indonesian elderly population living in underprivileged areas. (+info)
Asthma visits to emergency rooms and soybean unloading in the harbors of Valencia and A Coruna, Spain.
Soybean unloading in the harbor of Barcelona, Spain, has been associated with large increases in the numbers of asthma patients treated in emergency departments between 1981 and 1987. In this study, the association between asthma and soybean unloading in two other Spanish cities, Valencia and A Coruna, was assessed. Asthma admissions were retrospectively identified for the period 1993-1995, and harbor activities were investigated in each location. Two approaches were used to assess the association between asthma and soybean unloading: One used unusual asthma days (days with an unusually high number of emergency room asthma visits) as an effect measure, and the other estimated the relative increase in the daily number of emergency room visits by autoregressive Poisson regression, adjusted for meteorologic variables, seasonality, and influenza incidence. No association between unusual asthma days and soya unloading was observed in either Valencia or A Coruna, except for one particular dock in Valencia. When the association between unloaded products and the daily number of emergency asthma visits was studied, a statistically significant association was observed for unloading of soya husk (relative risk = 1.50, 95% confidence interval 1.16-1.94) and soybeans (relative risk = 1.31, 95% confidence interval 1.08-1.59) in A Coruna. In Valencia, a statistical association was found only for the unloading of soybeans at two particular docks. Although these findings support the notion that asthma outbreaks are not a common hidden condition in most harbors where soybeans are unloaded, the weak associations reported are likely to be causal. Therefore, appropriate control measures should be implemented to avoid soybean dust emissions, particularly in harbors with populations living in the vicinity. (+info)
Cancer mortality by educational level in the city of Barcelona.
The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between educational level and mortality from cancer in the city of Barcelona. The data were derived from a record linkage between the Barcelona Mortality Registry and the Municipal Census. The relative risks (RR) of death and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) according to level of education were derived from Poisson regression models. For all malignancies, men in the lowest educational level had a RR of death of 1.21 (95% CI 1.13-1.29) compared with men with a university degree, whereas for women a significant decreasing in risk was observed (RR 0.81; 95% CI 0.74-0.90). Among men, significant negative trends of increasing risk according to level of education were present for cancer of the mouth and pharynx (RR 1.70 for lowest vs. highest level of education), oesophagus (RR 2.14), stomach (RR 1.99), larynx (RR 2.56) and lung (RR 1.35). Among women, cervical cancer was negatively related to education (RR 2.62), whereas a positive trend was present for cancers of the colon (RR 0.76), pancreas (RR 0.59), lung (RR 0.55) and breast (RR 0.65). The present study confirms for the first time, at an individual level, the existence of socioeconomic differences in mortality for several cancer sites in Barcelona, Spain. There is a need to implement health programmes and public health policies to reduce these inequities. (+info)
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)
Food insecurity: consequences for the household and broader social implications.
A conceptual framework showing the household and social implications of food insecurity was elicited from a qualitative and quantitative study of 98 households from a heterogeneous low income population of Quebec city and rural surroundings; the study was designed to increase understanding of the experience of food insecurity in order to contribute to its prevention. According to the respondents' description, the experience of food insecurity is characterized by two categories of manifestations, i.e., the core characteristics of the phenomenon and a related set of actions and reactions by the household. This second category of manifestations is considered here as a first level of consequences of food insecurity. These consequences at the household level often interact with the larger environment to which the household belongs. On a chronic basis, the resulting interactions have certain implications that are tentatively labeled "social implications" in this paper. Their examination suggests that important aspects of human development depend on food security. It also raises questions concerning the nature of socially acceptable practices of food acquisition and food management, and how such acceptability can be assessed. Guidelines to that effect are proposed. Findings underline the relevance and urgency of working toward the realization of the right to food. (+info)
Predicting longitudinal growth curves of height and weight using ecological factors for children with and without early growth deficiency.
Growth curve models were used to examine the effect of genetic and ecological factors on changes in height and weight of 225 children from low income, urban families who were assessed up to eight times in the first 6 y of life. Children with early growth deficiency [failure to thrive (FTT)] (n = 127) and a community sample of children without growth deficiency (n = 98) were examined to evaluate how genetic, child and family characteristics influenced growth. Children of taller and heavier parents, who were recruited at younger ages and did not have a history of growth deficiency, had accelerated growth from recruitment through age 6 y. In addition, increases in height were associated with better health, less difficult temperament, nurturant mothers and female gender; increases in weight were associated with better health. Children with a history of growth deficiency demonstrated slower rates of growth than children in the community group without a history of growth deficiency. In the community group, changes in children's height and weight were related to maternal perceptions of health and temperament and maternal nurturance during feeding, whereas in the FTT group, maternal perceptions and behavior were not in synchrony with children's growth. These findings suggest that, in addition to genetic factors, growth is dependent on a nurturant and sensitive caregiving system. Interventions to promote growth should consider child and family characteristics, including maternal perceptions of children's health and temperament and maternal mealtime behavior. (+info)