Towards evidence-based health care reform.
Health care reform in Europe is discussed in the light of the Ljubljana Charter, with particular reference to progress made in Estonia and Lithuania. (+info)
Molecular genetic study of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa in Lithuanian patients.
Lithuanian patients with visual problems were clinically examined for retinitis pigmentosa (RP). A total of 33 unrelated families with autosomal dominant RP (adRP) were identified. Screening for mutations in the rhodopsin (RHO) and peripherin/RDS (RDS) genes was performed using DNA heteroduplex analysis. Direct DNA sequencing in the cases of heteroduplex formation showed the presence of the following mutations and polymorphisms in 14 adRP patients: RHO gene - Lys248Arg (1 case), and Pro347Leu (2 cases); RDS gene - Glu304Gln (12 cases), Lys310Arg (5 cases), and Gly338Asp (12 cases). The presence of these mutations (except Lys248Arg in the RHO gene) was confirmed by relevant restriction enzyme digestion. The frequency of the RDS gene mutations Glu304Gln and Gly338Asp was estimated to be 36.4%, while mutation Lys310Arg was less frequent (15.2%). These 3 RDS gene mutations appear to be polypeptide polymorphisms not related to adRP. (+info)
Pain after whiplash: a prospective controlled inception cohort study.
OBJECTIVES: In Lithuania, there is little awareness of the notion that chronic symptoms may result from rear end collisions via the so-called whiplash injury. After most such collisions no contact with the health service is established. An opportunity therefore exists to study post-traumatic pain without the confounding factors present in western societies. METHODS: In a prospective, controlled inception cohort study, 210 victims of a rear end collision were consecutively identified from the daily records of the Kaunas traffic police. Neck pain and headache were evaluated by mailed questionnaires shortly after the accident, after 2 months, and after 1 year. As controls, 210 sex and age matched subjects were randomly taken from the population register of the same geographical area and evaluated for the same symptoms immediately after their identification and after 1 year. RESULTS: Initial pain was reported by 47% of accident victims; 10% had neck pain alone, 18% had neck pain together with headache, and 19% had headache alone. The median duration of the initial neck pain was 3 days and maximal duration 17 days. The median duration of headache was 4.5 hours and the maximum duration was 20 days. After 1 year, there were no significant differences between the accident victims and the control group concerning frequency and intensity of these symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: In a country were there is no preconceived notion of chronic pain arising from rear end collisions, and thus no fear of long term disability, and usually no involvement of the therapeutic community, insurance companies, or litigation, symptoms after an acute whiplash injury are self limiting, brief, and do not seem to evolve to the so-called late whiplash syndrome. (+info)
Increased plasma 7 beta-hydroxycholesterol concentrations in a population with a high risk for cardiovascular disease.
The mortality in coronary heart disease among 50- to 54-year-old men is 4 times higher in Lithuania than in Sweden. It was recently suggested that traditional risk factors could not explain this mortality difference. LDL of Lithuanian men showed, however, a lower resistance to oxidation than that of Swedish men. In addition, the plasma concentration of gamma-tocopherol, lycopene, and beta-carotene were lower in Lithuanian men. In the present investigation, we determined plasma oxysterols in men from Lithuania and Sweden and found that the plasma concentration of 7 beta-hydroxycholesterol was higher in Lithuanian men, 12+/-5 versus 9+/-8 (SD) ng/mL (P=0.0011). This oxysterol is a cholesterol autoxidation product and there is no indication that it should have an enzymatic origin. Mean LDL oxidation lag time was shorter in Lithuanian men (75+/-14 versus 90+/-13 minutes, P<0.0001) and the concentration of LDL linoleic acid was lower (249+/-56 versus 292+/-54 microgram/mg of LDL protein, P<0.0001). Lipid corrected gamma-tocopherol was 0.07+/-0.02 mg/mL in Vilnius men and 0.12+/-0. 04 mg/mL (P<0.0001) in Linkoping men. There was a negative correlation between the concentration of 7 beta-hydroxycholesterol and lag time (R=-0.31, P=0.0023). It is suggested that the higher 7 beta-hydroxycholesterol concentration in Lithuanian men is an indication of an increased in vivo lipid peroxidation. (+info)
Mucolipidosis type IV: the origin of the disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population.
Mucolipidosis type IV (MLIV) is a neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disease in which most of the patients diagnosed hitherto are Ashkenazi Jews. The basic metabolic defect causing this disease is still unknown and the relevant gene has not yet been mapped or cloned. Seventeen Israel Ashkenazi families with MLIV patients had been interviewed to study their family origin. Although the families immigrated to Israel from various European countries they all could trace their roots three to four generations back to northern Poland or the immediate neighbouring country, Lithuania. Furthermore, there are only one or two ultraorthodox families among the 70-80 Ashkenazi families with MLIV patients worldwide, a marked under-representation of this group which constitutes at least 10% of the Ashkenazi population. This data indicate that MLIV mutation occurred only around the 18th and 19th centuries, after the major expansion of this population, in a founder in this defined European region belonging to a more modern, secular family. (+info)
Work related risk factors for musculoskeletal complaints in the spinning industry in Lithuania.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the prevalence of self reported musculoskeletal complaints in the back, arms or neck, and legs among workers in the spinning industry, and to investigate the relations between these complaints and work related variables. METHODS: An interview based questionnaire survey was carried out in two spinning industry factories in Lithuania. RESULTS: The study group consisted of all workers in production (n = 363). Symptoms of the legs were the musculoskeletal symptom reported most often (61%). Many subjects had arms or neck (55%) or back problems (28%). 20% had experienced pain from all three sites. Almost 25% had had musculoskeletal pain every day and 16% had experienced constant pain during previous year. Packers had the highest risk of arms or neck problems whereas spinners had the highest risk of back or leg problems. Working in a strained posture (bending, work with arms raised up above shoulder level, and repetitive movements of the fingers) was associated with all three complaints. Only arms or neck complaints were associated with age. CONCLUSIONS: Musculoskeletal disorders are a common problem among workers producing gobelin or synthetic thread in Lithuania and working in a strained posture is a risk factor for developing musculoskeletal disorders in three body sites: legs, arms or neck, and back. To better understand the different aspects of physical load as risk factors, a more detailed study of the frequency of postural changes as well as an observation of individually adopted postures would be necessary. This applies to intervention studies in factories of the spinning industry to prevent complaints of the legs and shoulders. (+info)
Benefits of a multidisciplinary approach in the management of recurrent diabetic foot ulceration in Lithuania: a prospective study.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the ability of a multidisciplinary approach to diabetic foot care to reduce the incidence of recurrent ulceration and amputations compared with standard care in a 2-year prospective study. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 145 patients with a past history of neuropathic foot ulcers but no evidence of peripheral vascular disease entered the study. Subjects were screened for their neuropathic and vascular status at baseline, and all received identical foot care education. The intervention group (n = 56) was followed by the multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, and podiatrists with regular podiatry and reeducation every 3 months and the provision of specialty footwear as required. The standard treatment group was followed in local clinics on a trimonthly basis and received identical screening and education at baseline. RESULTS: There were no significant differences at baseline in age (intervention 59.2+/-13.4, standard treatment 58.5+/-11.5 years), duration of diabetes (14.0+/-7.1 vs. 15.6+/-7.8 years), or neuropathic status (vibration perception threshold [VPT]: 31.1+/-12.1 vs. 33.9+/-11.3 V, neuropathy disability score [NDS]: 8.1+/-1.4 vs. 7.9+/-1.7). All patients had an ankle brachial pressure index (ABPI) of >0.9 and at least one palpable foot pulse. Significantly fewer recurrent ulcers were seen in the intervention group than in the standard treatment group during the 2-year period (30.4 vs. 58.4%, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: This prospective study has demonstrated the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary approach to diabetic foot care together with the provision of specialty footwear in the long-term management of high-risk patients with a history of neuropathic foot ulcers. (+info)
Diphtheria in Lithuania, 1986-1996.
Diphtheria reappeared in Lithuania in 1986 and rose to epidemic levels by 1992. Between 1991 and 1996, 110 cases of diphtheria were registered, with an incidence of 0.03-1.15/100,000 population. Most cases (84%) and all 17 deaths occurred among persons >/=15 years, most of whom had never been vaccinated. Persons 40-49 years old had the highest average annual age-specific morbidity (1.70/100,000) and mortality (0.53/100,000) rates. Low levels of immunity among individuals 40-49 years old and migration to epidemic areas in Russia and Belarus contributed to the epidemic's occurrence. Between 1991 and 1995, toxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae strains were isolated from 84 of all registered patients (76%), and nontoxigenic strains were isolated from 13 (12%). By 1996, two mass vaccination campaigns, which provided one dose of vaccine to individuals 25-30 years old and three doses of vaccine to persons 31-60 years old, helped reduce the number of cases. The first campaign achieved 69% coverage; the second achieved 48% coverage. (+info)