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(1/615) Potential explanations for the educational gradient in coronary heart disease: a population-based case-control study of Swedish women.

OBJECTIVES: This study examined the association between educational attainment and coronary heart disease (CHD) and the factors that may explain this association. METHODS: This population-based case-control study included 292 women with CHD who were 65 years or younger and 292 age-matched controls. RESULTS: Compared with the adjusted odds ratio for CHD associated with college education, the age-adjusted odds ratio associated with mandatory education (< or = 9 years) was 1.87 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.23, 2.84) and the odds ratio for high school education was 1.35 (95% CI = 0.81, 2.25) (P for trend < .01). The odds ratio for mandatory education was reduced by 82%, to 1.16 (95% CI = 0.69, 2.09), after adjustment for psychosocial stress, unhealthy lifestyle patterns, hemostatic factors, hypertension, and lipids. CONCLUSIONS: Much of the increased risk of CHD in women with low education appears to be linked to psychosocial stress and lifestyle factors. Hemostatic factors, lipids, and hypertension also contribute to a lesser extent. These factors may be considered in strategies geared to reducing socioeconomic inequalities in cardiovascular health.  (+info)

(2/615) Is whole grain intake associated with reduced total and cause-specific death rates in older women? The Iowa Women's Health Study.

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to determine whether nutrient-rich whole grains reduce mortality risk. METHODS: The study included 38,740 Iowa women, aged 55 to 69 years. A food frequency questionnaire was used to obtain data on grain intake. RESULTS: Median whole grain intake quintiles ranged from a median of 0.2 to more than 3 servings per day. Women with higher intakes had healthier lifestyles and less baseline disease. The total death rate decreased in increasing quintiles, and the pattern repeated for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other causes combined. Adjusted for lifestyle and baseline disease, the relative hazard rate ratio for total death was about 0.85 in daily consumers of whole grain. Findings persisted in strata of baseline healthy and diseased and were not explained by dietary fiber. Rates of total mortality, but not cardiovascular disease mortality, were higher among frequent consumers of refined grain. CONCLUSIONS: Total mortality risk was inversely associated with whole grain intake and positively associated with refined grain intake. Refined grains contributed more than 20% of energy intake, and whole grains contributed 1%. Substitution of whole for refined grain may reduce chronic disease risk in the United States.  (+info)

(3/615) Lead and hypertension in a sample of middle-aged women.

OBJECTIVES: The role of lead exposure as a risk factor for hypertension is less well defined among women than among men. This case-control study assessed the relation of blood and bone lead concentrations to hypertension in women. METHODS: Cases and controls were a subsample of women from the Nurses' Health Study. Hypertension was defined as a physician diagnosis of hypertension between 1988 and 1994 or measured systolic blood pressure > or = 140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure > or = 90 mm Hg. RESULTS: Mean (SD) blood lead concentration was 0.15 (0.11) mumol/L; mean tibia and patella lead concentrations by K-x-ray fluorescence were 13.3 (9.0) and 17.3 (11.1) micrograms/g, respectively. After adjustment for potentially confounding factors, an increase from the 10th to the 90th percentile of patella lead values (25 micrograms/g) was associated with approximately 2-fold (95% confidence interval = 1.1, 3.2) increased risk of hypertension. There was no association between hypertension and either blood or tibia lead concentrations. CONCLUSIONS: These findings support a potentially important role for low-level lead exposure as a risk factor for hypertension among non-occupationally exposed women.  (+info)

(4/615) Mildly dyskaryotic smear results: does it matter what women know?

BACKGROUND: As of 1992, all women in the UK who have a first mildly dyskaryotic cervical smear are placed under surveillance for 6 months rather than being referred for immediate colposcopy. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to explore the relationship between anxiety and understanding about mild dyskaryotic, and to propose and discuss a method of analysing free text comments written by participants in studies based on structured questionnaires. METHODS: The freely scripted text of 236 women who had completed a questionnaire as part of a randomized controlled trial to assess the impact of an educational package was analysed. Randomization group status was concealed. Texts expressing similar views were grouped together and categorized. A matrix was drawn up to encompass the categories, and the comments were reallocated accordingly. RESULTS: Examination of the free text revealed two dimensions, concern and knowledge. There were no differences with respect to the apparent level of concern between the two randomization groups. However, comments from the intervention group were significantly more likely to have been classified as expressing good or vague knowledge than those from women in the control group. CONCLUSION: Although the educational intervention improved women's knowledge about the meaning of an abnormal smear result, this better knowledge was not correlated with less anxiety about the result. The free text analysis was a useful supplement to the main trial questionnaires. It demonstrated the existence of a range of understanding about cervical dyskaryosis, of anxieties relating to the receipt of such a result and the degree of interest women showed in acquiring further information.  (+info)

(5/615) Women patients' preferences for female or male GPs.

OBJECTIVE: We aimed to investigate general preferences to see a male or female GP either some or all of the time, and specific preferences to see a female primary health care (PHC) worker for individual health issues; to compare these preferences with reported consultation behaviour; and to explore women's evaluations of the quality of PHC services in relation to their preferences and consultation behaviour. METHOD: Results are reported on 881 women aged 16-65 years who had consulted their GP in the previous 6 months. Logistical regression analysis was undertaken to evaluate whether a general preference to see another woman is more important than specific women's health issues in determining why some women regularly choose to consult a female GP. RESULTS: General preference was 2.6 times more important than specific health issues in predicting choice of a female GP in a mixed-sex practice. Nearly a half (49.1 %) of women attending male-only practices stated that they wanted to see a female GP in at least some circumstances, compared with 63.8% of women in mixed-sex practices. In total, 65.5% of the sample stated that there was at least one specific health issue for which they would only want to be seen by a woman PHC worker. The most positive evaluations of the quality of GP services were made by women normally seeing a male GP in mixed-sex practices and the least positive evaluations were given by women in male-only GP practices CONCLUSIONS: In order to meet women's expressed preferences, every GP practice should have at least one female GP available at least some of the time and every GP practice should employ a female PHC worker.  (+info)

(6/615) Participation in breast cancer susceptibility testing protocols: influence of recruitment source, altruism, and family involvement on women's decisions.

OBJECTIVES: We offered education, counseling, and family-based BRCA1/2 testing to women at increased risk of breast cancer and assessed (a) their reasons for participating and (b) whether source of recruitment, desire to help research (altruism), and the need to communicate with their affected relative about testing distinguish those who did and those who did not complete each phase of our protocol. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We sent invitations to 403 women who had completed a questionnaire on BRCA1/2 testing, 178 of whom were considered high risk because they had more than one relative on the same side of the family with early-onset breast cancer. RESULTS: Among the 132 high-risk respondents from the mid-Atlantic states (where testing was offered), 36% (n = 47) were interested in counseling. Those who actually attended counseling were more likely to have some college education, a higher perceived risk of breast cancer, and a greater fear of stigma and were less likely to have a daughter than those who did not attend. The reasons for attending that were rated "very important" were to learn about the test (80%), to have the test (43%), and to help research (38%). High-risk women were eligible for testing only if their affected relative was willing to be tested and tested positive. After the session, 83% intended to ask their affected relative to be tested, but only half of the affected relatives actually came for pretest counseling. The proportion of participants who ultimately involved an affected relative was 2.5 times higher among women from a clinical population (25%) than among those from a registry population (10%); in this latter population, an altruistic desire to help research was a greater motivator for participation than interest in being tested. CONCLUSIONS: Source of recruitment influences both motivations to attend education and counseling and actual testing behavior. These results have implications for interpretation of findings from studies in research settings as well as for informed consent and decision-making in the context of family-based testing.  (+info)

(7/615) Older women's illness representations of cancer: a qualitative study.

This paper investigates the role of illness representations in older women's utilization of cancer screening. Older women's own beliefs, or illness representations, of cancer and cancer screening in relation to breast cancer and cervical cancer were explored using relatively unstructured, face-to-face interviews. Twenty women aged between 45 and 70 were interviewed, half of whom were regular screeners and half under-screeners. A comparison of the illness representations of the screeners with the under-screeners indicates some differences regarding cancer in general, and substantial differences regarding the treatment and cure of cancer. The screeners expressed less concern about cancer and gave more positive examples of the successful treatment of cancer. The under-screeners were more likely to express cynicism about the medical profession, to indicate that a person would have symptoms if they had cancer, that they would not want most of the treatment available for cancer, that screening is more important for younger women and that the use of alternative therapies negates the need for cancer screening. Few differences emerged between the two groups regarding the causes of cancer.  (+info)

(8/615) Gender difference in management of epilepsy-what women are hearing.

This study reports the results of a questionnaire survey of female members of the British Epilepsy Association (BEA). The women were asked about their concerns about their epilepsy with respect to being female, and, in particular, asked about the information they had been given on important topics such as contraception and pregnancy. A questionnaire was sent to 6000 BEA female members of whom 1855 (31%) replied. Forty-six percent of the women (mainly aged between 26 and 45) stated that they currently used some form of contraception. The most frequently used method was the condom (34%). Twenty-two percent of the women using contraception were taking the oral contraceptive pill whilst a further 4% were using a hormonal contraceptive injection. Fifty-one percent of the women aged between 16 and 55 claimed not to have received any advice about possible interactions between contraception and antiepileptic drug therapy. With regards to pregnancy, 34% claimed they had not received any advice and 25% had not discussed pregnancy with anyone. The women planning to have children over the subsequent 2 years received the greatest amount of advice about epilepsy and pregnancy, although 20% still claimed not to have received any information. Thirty-four percent of the women in the study stated that they were either menopausal or post-menopausal. Twenty-nine percent of women who had taken hormone replacement therapy in the past reported an increase in seizure frequency compared with 18% amongst current users. This survey has shown that women with epilepsy want, and need, more information and counselling about issues relating to contraception, pregnancy and the menopause.  (+info)