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)
Human rabies--Virginia, 1998.
On December 31, 1998, a 29-year-old man in Richmond, Virginia, died from rabies encephalitis caused by a rabies virus variant associated with insectivorous bats. This report summarizes the clinical and epidemiologic investigations by the Virginia Department of Health and CDC. (+info)
Neighborhood safety and the prevalence of physical inactivity--selected states, 1996.
Physical inactivity is an important risk factor for premature morbidity and mortality, especially among high-risk populations. Although health-promotion programs have targeted high-risk groups (i.e., older adults, women, and racial/ethnic minorities), barriers exist that may affect their physical activity level. Identifying and reducing specific barriers (e.g., lack of knowledge of the health benefits of physical activity, limited access to facilities, low self-efficacy, and environmental issues [2-6]) are important for efforts designed to increase physical activity. Concerns about neighborhood safety may be a barrier to physical activity. To characterize the association between neighborhood safety and physical inactivity, CDC analyzed data from the 1996 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in Maryland, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. This report summarizes the results of this analysis, which indicate that persons who perceived their neighborhood to be unsafe were more likely to be physically inactive. (+info)
The extent of drug therapy for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder among children in public schools.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of medication use for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in southeastern Virginia. METHODS: Students enrolled in grades 2 through 5 in school districts in city A (n = 5767 students) and city B (n = 23,967 students) were included. Nurses recorded students who received ADHD medication in school. RESULTS: The proportion of students receiving ADHD medication was similar in both cities (8% and 10%) and was 2 to 3 times as high as the expected rate of ADHD. Receipt of drug therapy was associated with social and educational characteristics. Medication was used by 3 times as many boys as girls and by twice as many Whites as Blacks. Medication use increased with years in school, and by fifth grade 18% to 20% of White boys were receiving ADHD medication. Being young for one's grade was positively associated with medication use (P < .01). The prevalence of ADHD was 12% in district A, 63% in district B. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that criteria for diagnosis of ADHD vary substantially across US populations, with potential overdiagnosis and overtreatment of ADHD in some groups of children. (+info)
Evaluation of a data warehouse in an academic health sciences center.
A data warehouse can provide significant benefits to a health care organization if successfully designed and implemented. The Clinical Data Repository (CDR) at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center improves access to needed data for clinical research and effective decision making at many levels of the organization. We conducted an evaluation of the CDR using a survey questionnaire and interviews of key executive leaders. Our results suggest factors that influence the initial decision to use an information resource, examine the impact of communication channels, and highlight key issues that determine the continued use and ultimate success of a healthcare data warehouse. (+info)
Determining sources of fecal pollution in a rural Virginia watershed with antibiotic resistance patterns in fecal streptococci.
Nonpoint sources of pollution that contribute fecal bacteria to surface waters have proven difficult to identify. Knowledge of pollution sources could aid in restoration of the water quality, reduce the amounts of nutrients leaving watersheds, and reduce the danger of infectious disease resulting from exposure to contaminated waters. Patterns of antibiotic resistance in fecal streptococci were analyzed by discriminant and cluster analysis and used to identify sources of fecal pollution in a rural Virginia watershed. A database consisting of patterns from 7,058 fecal streptococcus isolates was first established from known human, livestock, and wildlife sources in Montgomery County, Va. Correct fecal streptococcus source identification averaged 87% for the entire database and ranged from 84% for deer isolates to 93% for human isolates. To field test the method and the database, a watershed improvement project (Page Brook) in Clarke County, Va., was initiated in 1996. Comparison of 892 known-source isolates from that watershed against the database resulted in an average correct classification rate of 88%. Combining all animal isolates increased correct classification rates to > or = 95% for separations between animal and human sources. Stream samples from three collection sites were highly contaminated, and fecal streptococci from these sites were classified as being predominantly from cattle (>78% of isolates), with small proportions from waterfowl, deer, and unidentified sources ( approximately 7% each). Based on these results, cattle access to the stream was restricted by installation of fencing and in-pasture watering stations. Fecal coliforms were reduced at the three sites by an average of 94%, from prefencing average populations of 15,900 per 100 ml to postfencing average populations of 960 per 100 ml. After fencing, <45% of fecal streptococcus isolates were classified as being from cattle. These results demonstrate that antibiotic resistance profiles in fecal streptococci can be used to reliably determine sources of fecal pollution, and water quality improvements can occur when efforts to address the identified sources are made. (+info)
Pamidronate in prevention of bone complications in metastatic breast cancer: a cost-effectiveness analysis.
PURPOSE: Pamidronate is effective in reducing bony complications in patients with metastatic breast cancer who have known osteolytic lesions. However, pamidronate does not increase survival and is associated with additional financial costs and inconvenience. We conducted a post-hoc evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of pamidronate using the results of two randomized trials that evaluated pamidronate 90 mg administered intravenously every month versus placebo. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The trials differed only in the initial systemic therapy administered (hormonal or chemotherapy). Total skeletal related events (SREs), including surgery for pathologic fracture, radiation for fracture or pain control, conservatively treated pathologic fracture, spinal cord compression, or hypercalcemia, were taken directly from the trials. Using a societal perspective, direct health care costs were assigned to each SRE. Each group's monthly survival was equal and was projected to decline using observed median survivals. The cost of pamidronate reflected the average wholesale price of the drug plus infusion. The value or disutility of an adverse event per month was evaluated using a zero value (events avoided) or an assigned one (range, 0.2 to 0.8). RESULTS: The cost of pamidronate therapy exceeded the cost savings from prevented adverse events. The difference between the treated and placebo groups was larger with hormonal systemic therapy than with chemotherapy (additional $7,685 compared with $3,968 per woman). The projected net cost per SRE avoided was $3,940 with chemotherapy and $9,390 with hormonal therapy. The cost-effectiveness ratios were $108,200 with chemotherapy and $305, 300 with hormonal therapy per quality-adjusted year. CONCLUSION: Although pamidronate is effective in preventing a feared, common adverse outcome in metastatic breast cancer, its use is associated with high incremental costs per adverse event avoided. The analysis is most sensitive to the costs of pamidronate and pathologic fractures that were asymptomatic or treated conservatively. (+info)
Clinical implications of body image among rural African-American women.
OBJECTIVE: To increase understanding of body image among rural, African-American women through open-ended interviews. DESIGN: Individuals' perceptions of body image were investigated using open-ended, in-depth interviews that were tape-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed to identify common themes and to compare thematic data across three body mass index categories (obese, overweight, and normal). SETTING: University-affiliated rural community health center. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-four African-American women, aged 21 to 47 years. MAIN RESULTS: Respondents reported the following common themes: dissatisfaction with current weight; fluctuating levels of dissatisfaction (including periods of satisfaction); family and social pressure to be self-accepting; and social and physical barriers to weight loss. The interviews revealed ambivalence and conflicts with regard to body image and weight. Among these women, there was strong cultural pressure to be self-accepting of their physical shape, to "be happy with what God gave you," and to make the most of their appearance. CONCLUSIONS: The pressure to be self-accepting often conflicted with these obese women's dissatisfaction with their own appearance and weight. Although the respondents believed they could lose weight "if [they] put [their] mind to it," those women wanting to lose weight found that they lacked the necessary social support and resources to do so. The conflicts stemming from social pressures and their own ambivalence may result in additional barriers to the prevention of obesity, and an understanding of these issues can help health care providers better address the needs of their patients. (+info)