Patterns of care and survival for adolescents and young adults with acute leukaemia--a population-based study.
We report a population-based study of patterns of care and survival for people with acute leukaemia diagnosed at age 15-29 years during 1984-94 in regions of England and Wales covered by specialist leukaemia registries. There were 879 patients: 417 with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and 462 with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). For ALL, actuarial survival rates were 43% at 5 years after diagnosis and 37% at 10 years. Survival improved significantly between 1984-88 and 1989-94 for those aged 15-19 at diagnosis. Patients entered in national clinical trials and those not entered had similar survival rates. Survival rates were similar at teaching and non-teaching hospitals and at hospitals treating different numbers of study patients per year. For AML, survival rates were 42% at 5 years after diagnosis and 39% at 10 years. Survival improved significantly between 1984-88 and 1989-94. Patients entered in the Medical Research Council AML10 trial had a higher survival rate than those who were in the earlier AML9 trial. Survival did not vary with category of hospital. We conclude that survival has improved for adolescents and young adults with acute leukaemia but that there is at present no evidence that centralized treatment results in a survival benefit for patients in this age group. (+info
A community outbreak of invasive and non-invasive group A beta-haemolytic streptococcal disease in a town in South Wales.
An increase in the incidence of invasive and non-invasive infections caused by group A beta-haemolytic streptococci (GAS) was noted in and around the town of Glynneath (population approx. 4000) in West Glamorgan, South Wales between 1 January and 30 June 1995. A total of 133 cases was ascertained with 127 (96%) occurring between 1 March and 30 June 1995. Six patients had invasive disease (one died) and all presented at the peak of the outbreak. There were 127 non-invasive cases of whom 7 were hospitalized. The outbreak was investigated to determine its extent and whether it was caused by a single M-serotype of GAS. Serotyping showed that 13 different M-serotypes were involved with the M1 serotype predominating. The overall incidence of GAS invasive disease in West Glamorgan (population 365,000) increased sevenfold from a crude incidence of 0.5/10(5) per year in 1994 to 3.5/10(5) per year in 1995, but fell back to 0.75/10(5) per year in 1996. Eighty-two (80%) out of 102 individuals affected by GAS replied to a health questionnaire; sore throat was the commonest symptom reported (97%). Thirty-nine of these index cases identified at least one other member of their household who had experienced similar symptoms. The interval between the onset of illness in members of a single household was 0-83 days with a mean of 22 days. The mean duration of illness was 13.5 days and 61% of patients were treated with penicillin V for a mean duration of 9.3 days. Twenty-one per cent of GAS isolates were erythromycin-resistant and the M4 and M6 serotypes were especially resistant to erythromycin (87.5 and 100% resistance, respectively). Penicillin V failed to eradicate GAS from the throats of 25% of assessable patients. In this community, an outbreak of non-invasive disease caused by GAS was linked in time and place with an outbreak of serious invasive disease. (+info
Socioeconomic differences in childhood consultation rates in general practice in England and Wales: prospective cohort study.
OBJECTIVE: To establish how consultation rates in children for episodes of illness, preventive activities, and home visits vary by social class. DESIGN: Analysis of prospectively collected data from the fourth national survey of morbidity in general practice, carried out between September 1991 and August 1992. SETTING: 60 general practices in England and Wales. SUBJECTS: 106 102 children aged 0 to 15 years registered with the participating practices. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Mean overall consultation rates for any reason, illness by severity of underlying disease, preventive episodes, home visits, and specific diagnostic category (infections, asthma, and injuries). RESULTS: Overall consultation rates increased from registrar general's social classes I-II to classes IV-V in a linear pattern (for IV-V v I-II rate ratio 1.18; 95% confidence interval 1.14 to 1. 22). Children from social classes IV-V consulted more frequently than children from classes I-II for illnesses (rate ratio 1.23; 1.15 to 1.30), including infections, asthma, and injuries and poisonings. They also had significantly higher consultation rates for minor, moderate, and serious illnesses and higher home visiting rates (rate ratio 2.00; 1.81 to 2.18). Consultations for preventive activities were lower in children from social classes IV-V than in children from social classes I-II (rate ratio 0.95; 0.86 to 1.05). CONCLUSIONS: Childhood consultation rates for episodes of illness increase from social classes I-II through to classes IV-V. The findings on severity of underlying illness suggest the health of children from lower social classes is worse than that of children from higher social classes. These results reinforce the need to identify and target children for preventive health care in their socioeconomic context. (+info
Transmission dynamics of epidemic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci in England and Wales.
A simple epidemiological framework for the analysis of the transmission dynamics of hospital outbreaks of epidemic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (EMRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in hospitals in England and Wales is presented. Epidemic strains EMRSA-15 and EMRSA-16 are becoming endemic in hospitals in the United Kingdom, and theory predicts that EMRSA-15 and EMRSA-16 will reach respective endemic levels of 158 (95% confidence interval [CI], 143-173) and 116 (95% CI, 109-123) affected hospitals with stochastic fluctuations of up to 30 hospitals in each case. An epidemic of VRE is still at an early stage, and the incidence of hospitals newly affected by VRE is growing exponentially at a rate r=0.51/year (95% CI, 0.48-0.54). The likely impact of introducing surveillance policies if action is taken sufficiently early is estimated. Finally, the role of heterogeneity in hospital size is considered: "Super-spreader hospitals" may increase transmission by 40%-132% above the expected mean. (+info
Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA in type 2 diabetes: maternal history and ancient population expansion.
Several studies have suggested a maternal excess in the transmission of type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes. However, the majority of these reports rely on patients recalling parental disease status and hence are open to criticism. An alternative approach is to study mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages. The hypervariable region 1 of the rapidly evolving noncoding section of mtDNA is suitable for investigating maternal ancestry and has been used extensively to study the origins of human racial groups. We have sequenced this 347-bp section of mtDNA from leukocytes of subjects with type 2 diabetes (n = 63) and age- and race-matched nondiabetic control subjects (n = 57). Consensus sequences for the two study groups were identical. Pairwise sequence analysis showed unimodal distribution of pairwise differences for both groups, suggesting that both populations had undergone expansion in ancient times. The distributions were significantly different (chi2 = 180, df = 11, P < 0.001); mean pairwise differences were 4.7 and 3.8 for the diabetic and control subjects, respectively. These data suggest that the diabetic subjects belong to an ancient maternal lineage that expanded before the major expansion observed in the nondiabetic population. Phylogenetic trees constructed using maximum parsimony, neighbor-joining, Fitch-Margolish, or maximum likelihood methods failed to show the clustering of all (or a subset) of the diabetic subjects into one or more distinct lineages. (+info
Survival after acute lymphocytic leukaemia: effects of socioeconomic status and geographic region.
National cancer registry data, linked to an areal measure of material deprivation, were used to explore possible socioeconomic and regional variation in the survival of children (0-14 years) diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL) in England and Wales from 1971 to 1990. Survival analysis and Poisson regression were used to estimate observed (crude) survival probabilities and the adjusted hazard of death. There was little evidence of a socioeconomic gradient in survival. Regional differences in survival were observed over time. These differences were most pronounced in the first six months after diagnosis, and may be attributable to differential access to centralised paediatric oncology services or treatment protocols, or to the artefact of variations in regional cancer registry practice. Similar analyses should be repeated for other, less treatable childhood cancers. The results of this study can be used to help identify ways of reducing regional variation in survival. (+info
Sex dependence of human intracranial gliomata.
The age and sex distribution of 1223 cases of intracranial gliomata, diagnosed in the geographical area covered by the Mersey Regional Cancer Registry over the period 1961-70, are analysed. In children and adults, the intracranial gliomata predominates in males, the tumour incidence figures indicating a ratio of 3 : 2. For young adults, the tumour incidence increases with age and is approximately the same in males and females. It is not until the age group 45-49 years is reached that the tumour incidence in males is higher. The peak tumour incidence occurs at the same age in both sexes (60-64 years) and thereafter incidence declines with age. These results are compared with previously published human data, and with the findings of experimental studies in the rat. Factors including naturally occurring changes in the hormone levels are discussed, in an attempt to explain the observed age-related sex differences. (+info
Acute hepatitis B infection in England and Wales: 1985-96.
Confirmed acute hepatitis B infections are reported to the Public Health Laboratory Service Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre by laboratories in England and Wales. These reports have been used to monitor trends in the incidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection over time, and between exposure categories and age groups. Between 1985 and 1996 a total of 9252 cases of acute HBV infection were reported; the number of reports fell from 1761 in 1985 to 581 in 1996. Most infections were reported in adults aged 15-44 years [n = 7365 (80%)], and infections were more commonly reported in males [n = 6490 (70%)] than females [n = 2658 (29%)]. The probable means of acquisition was known for just over half of all adult cases [4827/8956 (54%)]. Injecting drug use was the most common exposure [n = 1901 (21%)], followed by sex between men and women [n = 1140 (13%)] and sex between men [n = 1025 (11%)]. The number of infections in injecting drug users fell in the late 1980s, but increased again from 1991 onwards. In children aged under 15 years, infections acquired by mother to baby transmission accounted for 35/170 (21%) of the total. Surveillance indicates that the incidence of acute hepatitis B infection fell in the late 1980s, probably reflecting changed behaviour in injecting drug users. An increase in the number of infections in injecting drug users since 1993 may indicate ongoing transmission that has not been contained by the introduction of needle exchange schemes or by selective vaccination. (+info