Reproductive factors and fatal hip fractures. A Norwegian prospective study of 63,000 women.
STUDY OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of reproductive variables (age at menarche, menopause, first and last birth as well as parity, lactation, and abortions) on hip fracture mortality. DESIGN AND SETTING: A prospective study in Norway with more than 60,000 women followed up for 29 years. A total of 465 deaths as a result of hip fracture were recorded. MAIN RESULTS: Statistically significant linear relations (p < or = 0.02) were found between both age at menarche and length of reproductive period (defined as age at menopause to age at menarche) and the mortality of hip fractures in women aged less than 80. The death rate for women with a late menarche (> or = 17 years) was twice that of the women with relatively early menarche (< or = 13 years). Compared with women with less than 30 years between menopause and menarche, the mortality rate ratio in women with more than 38 reproductive years was 0.5. We also found an inverse relation with age at first birth. CONCLUSIONS: This study supports by hypothesis that an early menarche and a long reproductive period protect against hip fracture mortality. High age at first birth may also be protective. (+info)
Exposure to nitrogen dioxide and the occurrence of bronchial obstruction in children below 2 years.
BACKGROUND: The objective of the investigation was to test the hypothesis that exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) has a causal influence on the occurrence of bronchial obstruction in children below 2 years of age. METHODS: A nested case-control study with 153 one-to-one matched pairs was conducted within a cohort of 3754 children born in Oslo in 1992/93. Cases were children who developed > or = 2 episodes of bronchial obstruction or one episode lasting >4 weeks. Controls were matched for date of birth. Exposure measurements were performed in the same 14-day period within matched pairs. The NO2 exposure was measured with personal samplers carried close to each child and by stationary samplers outdoors and indoors. RESULTS: Few children (4.6%) were exposed to levels of NO2 > or = 30 microg/m3 (average concentration during a 14-day period). In the 153 matched pairs, the mean level of NO2 was 15.65 microg/m3 (+/-0.60, SE) among cases and 15.37 (+/-0.54) among controls (paired t = 0.38, P = 0.71). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that NO2 exposure at levels observed in this study has no detectable effect on the risk of developing bronchial obstruction in children below 2 years of age. (+info)
Salmonella infections in Norway: descriptive epidemiology and a case-control study.
The epidemiological progression of human salmonellosis in Norway is parallel to trends noted elsewhere in Europe. During the past two decades, the number of reported cases has increased steadily, with a special sharp rise in the early 1980s due to the emergence of Salmonella enteritidis, followed by a levelling off in recent years. However, in contrast to the situation in most other European countries, about 90% of the cases from whom a travel history is available, have acquired their infection abroad. The incidence of indigenous salmonella infections as well as the prevalence of the microorganism in the domestic food chain, are both comparatively low. In 1993-4, a national case-control study of sporadic indigenous salmonella infections was conducted to identify preventable risk factors and guide preventive efforts. Ninety-four case patients and 226 matched population controls were enrolled. The study failed to demonstrate any statistically significant association between salmonellosis and consumption of domestically produced red meat, poultry or eggs. The only factor which remained independently associated with an increased risk in conditional logistic regression analysis, was consumption of poultry purchased abroad during holiday visits to neighbouring countries. A separate analysis of Salmonella typhimurium infections incriminated food from catering establishments and foreign travel among household members, in addition to imported poultry. (+info)
Homozygosity mapping to the USH2A locus in two isolated populations.
Usher syndrome is a group of autosomal recessive disorders characterised by progressive visual loss from retinitis pigmentosa and moderate to severe sensorineural hearing loss. Usher syndrome is estimated to account for 6-10% of all congenital sensorineural hearing loss. A gene locus in Usher type II (USH2) families has been assigned to a small region on chromosome 1q41 called the UHS2A locus. We have investigated two families with Usher syndrome from different isolated populations. One family is a Norwegian Saami family and the second family is from the Cayman Islands. They both come from relatively isolated populations and are inbred families suitable for linkage analysis. A lod score of 3.09 and 7.65 at zero recombination was reached respectively in the two families with two point linkage analysis to the USH2A locus on 1q41. Additional homozygosity mapping of the affected subjects concluded with a candidate region of 6.1 Mb. This region spans the previously published candidate region in USH2A. Our study emphasises that the mapped gene for USH2 is also involved in patients from other populations and will have implications for future mutation analysis once the USH2A gene is cloned. (+info)
Exhaled and nasal NO levels in allergic rhinitis: relation to sensitization, pollen season and bronchial hyperresponsiveness.
Exhaled nitric oxide is a potential marker of lower airway inflammation. Allergic rhinitis is associated with asthma and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. To determine whether or not nasal and exhaled NO concentrations are increased in allergic rhinitis and to assess the relation between hyperresponsiveness and exhaled NO, 46 rhinitic and 12 control subjects, all nonasthmatic nonsmokers without upper respiratory tract infection, were randomly selected from a large-scale epidemiological survey in Central Norway. All were investigated with flow-volume spirometry, methacholine provocation test, allergy testing and measurement of nasal and exhaled NO concentration in the nonpollen season. Eighteen rhinitic subjects completed an identical follow-up investigation during the following pollen season. Exhaled NO was significantly elevated in allergic rhinitis in the nonpollen season, especially in perennially sensitized subjects, as compared with controls (p=0.01), and increased further in the pollen season (p=0.04), mainly due to a two-fold increase in those with seasonal sensitization. Nasal NO was not significantly different from controls in the nonpollen season and did not increase significantly in the pollen season. Exhaled NO was increased in hyperresponsive subjects, and decreased significantly after methacholine-induced bronchoconstriction, suggesting that NO production occurs in the peripheral airways. In allergic rhinitis, an increase in exhaled nitric oxide on allergen exposure, particularly in hyperresponsive subjects, may be suggestive of airway inflammation and an increased risk for developing asthma. (+info)
Quality of life in head and neck cancer patients: validation of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire-H&N35.
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to define the scales and test the validity, reliability, and sensitivity of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ)-H&N35, a questionnaire designed to assess the quality of life of head and neck (H&N) cancer patients in conjunction with the general cancer-specific EORTC QLQ-C30. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Questionnaires were given to 500 H&N cancer patients from Norway, Sweden, and the Netherlands as part of two prospective studies. The patients completed the questionnaires before, during (Norway and Sweden only), and after treatment, yielding a total of 2070 completed questionnaires. RESULTS: The compliance rate was high, and the questionnaires were well accepted by the patients. Seven scales were constructed (pain, swallowing, senses, speech, social eating, social contact, sexuality). Scales and single items were sensitive to differences between patient subgroups with relation to site, stage, or performance status. Most scales and single items were sensitive to changes, with differences of various magnitudes according to the site in question. The internal consistency, as assessed by Cronbach's alpha coefficient, varied according to assessment point and within subsamples of patients. A low overall alpha value was found for the speech and the senses scales, but values were higher in assessments of patients with laryngeal cancer and in patients with nose, sinus, and salivary gland tumors. Scales and single items in the QLQ-H&N35 seem to be more sensitive to differences between groups and changes over time than do the scales and single items in the core questionnaire. CONCLUSION: The QLQ-H&N35, in conjunction with the QLQ-C30, provides a valuable tool for the assessment of health-related quality of life in clinical studies of H&N cancer patients before, during, and after treatment with radiotherapy, surgery, or chemotherapy. (+info)
Reduced health-related quality of life among Hodgkin's disease survivors: a comparative study with general population norms.
BACKGROUND: Late complications after curative treatment of Hodgkin's disease are of special relevance because most of the cured are young adults. The aims of the present study were: (1) to compare health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in Hodgkin's disease (HD) survivors with normative data from the general Norwegian population and (2) to examine the relations between disease/treatment characteristics and HRQOL in the HD survivors. PATIENTS AND METHODS: 459 HD survivors aged 19-74 years (mean 44.0, SD 11.8) treated at the Norwegian Radium Hospital 1971-1991 were approached in 1994 and compared to norms from 2214 subjects approached in 1996. The norms are representative of the general Norwegian population. HRQOL was assessed by the Short Form 36 (SF-36), which measures HRQOL in eight separate scales (0 = worst health state, 100 = best health state). RESULTS: The HD survivors had lower scores than the normal controls on all scales after adjustment for age, gender and educational levels. Statistically significant differences (P < 0.01) were found in general health (10.4), physical functioning (6.1), role limitations (physical, 9.3), physical functioning (3.6) and in vitality (4.7). Patients with disease stage IB-IIB had the lowest scores on all scales. The differences in relation to stage/substage reached statistical significance (P < 0.01) in physical functioning and in role limitations (physical). Time since diagnosis, types of primary treatment or having relapsed were not associated with statistically significant differences in HRQOL. CONCLUSION: Long-term HD survivors have poorer HRQOL, primarily in physical health, than the general Norwegian population. (+info)
Relative virulence of three isolates of Piscirickettsia salmonis for coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch.
Piscirickettsia salmonis was first recognized as the cause of mortality among pen-reared coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch in Chile. Since the initial isolation of this intracellular Gram-negative bacterium in 1989, similar organisms have been described from several areas of the world, but the associated outbreaks were not reported to be as serious as those that occurred in Chile. To determine if this was due to differences in virulence among isolates of P. salmonis, we conducted an experiment comparing isolates from Chile, British Columbia, Canada, and Norway (LF-89, ATL-4-91 and NOR-92, respectively). For each of the isolates, 3 replicates of 30 coho salmon were injected intraperitoneally with each of 3 concentrations of the bacterium. Negative control fish were injected with MEM-10. Mortalities were collected daily for 41 d post-injection. Piscirickettsiosis was observed in fish injected with each of the 3 isolates, and for each isolate, cumulative mortality was directly related to the concentration of bacterial cells administered. The LF-89 isolate was the most virulent, with losses reaching 97% in the 3 replicates injected with 10(5.0) TCID50, 91% in the replicates injected with 10(4.0) TCID50, and 57% in the fish injected with 10(3.0) TCID50. The ATL-4-91 isolate caused losses of 92% in the 3 replicates injected with 10(5.0) TCID50, 76% in the fish injected with 10(4.0) TCID50, and 32% in those injected with 10(3.0) TCID50. The NOR-92 isolate was the least virulent, causing 41% mortality in the replicates injected with 10(4.6) TCID50. At 41 d post-injection, 6% of the fish injected with 10(3.6) TCID50 NOR-92 had died. Mortality was only 2% in the fish injected with 10(2.6) TCID50 NOR-92, which was the same as the negative control group. Because the group injected with the highest concentration (10(4.6) TCID50) of NOR-92 was still experiencing mortality at 41 d, it was held for an additional 46 d. At 87 d post-injection, the cumulative mortality in this group had reached 70%. These differences in virulence among the isolates were statistically significant (p < 0.0001), and are important for the management of affected stocks of fish. (+info)