Looking beyond the formulary budget in cost-benefit analysis. (1/306)

With the introduction of newer, more expensive psychotropic medications, healthcare providers and managed care administrators must consider whether these drugs offer "value for the money." A true picture of the benefits of these drugs emerges only when all the costs of treatment are considered. Focusing exclusively on the acquisition cost of the drug can result in a misleading impression of the drug's worth. Although the medication costs associated with treating a patient with a newer drug increase, use of these agents may actually result in an overall decrease in healthcare costs, through reductions in hospitalization and length of stay, use of mental health services, and prescriptions for adjunctive drugs. In one study of the newer antipsychotic agent risperidone, the overall annual costs of treating a patient with schizophrenia were reduced by nearly $8,000 (Canadian dollars), even though medication costs increased by approximately $1,200 (Canadian dollars). Retrospective and prospective pharmacoeconomic studies can provide valuable data on the cost effectiveness of treatment with newer psychotropic medications.  (+info)

Physical abuse during pregnancy: prevalence and risk factors. (2/306)

BACKGROUND: Violence during pregnancy is a health and social problem that poses particular risks to the woman and her fetus. To address the lack of Canadian information on this issue, the authors studied the prevalence and predictors of physical abuse in a sample of pregnant women in Saskatoon. METHODS: Of 728 women receiving prenatal services through the Saskatoon District public health system between Apr. 1, 1993, and Mar. 31, 1994, 605 gave informed consent to participate in the study and were interviewed in the second trimester. Of these, 543 were interviewed again late in the third trimester. During the initial interview, information was collected on the women's sociodemographic characteristics, the current pregnancy, health practices and psychosocial variables. The second interview focused on the women's experience of physical abuse during the pregnancy and during the preceding year, the demographic characteristics and the use of alcohol or illicit drugs by their male partner. RESULTS: In all, 31 (5.7%) of the women reported experiencing physical abuse during pregnancy; 46 (8.5%) reported experiencing it within the 12 months preceding the second interview. Of the 31 women 20 (63.3%) reported that the perpetrator was her husband, boyfriend or ex-husband. Although all ethnic groups of women suffered abuse, aboriginal women were at greater risk than nonaboriginal women (adjusted odds ratio 2.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.0-7.8). Women whose partner had a drinking problem were 3.4 times (95% CI 1.2-9.9) more likely to have been abused than women whose partner did not have a drinking problem. Perceived stress and number of negative life events in the preceding year were also predictors of abuse. Abused women tended to report having fewer people with whom they could talk about personal issues or get together; however, they reported socializing with a larger number of people in the month before the second interview than did the women who were not abused. INTERPRETATION: Physical abuse affects a significant minority of pregnant women and is associated with stress, lack of perceived support and a partner with a drinking problem.  (+info)

A survey of helminth parasites of cats from Saskatoon. (3/306)

In a survey of 52 cats from the Saskatoon area, Ollulanus tricuspis were found in 2 animals with burdens of 2308 and 533, respectively. Small burdens of the following helminths were also found: Physaloptera spp., Toxocara cati, Taenia spp., Dipylidium caninum, and Ancylostoma sp.  (+info)

Incidence of lactic acidosis in metformin users. (4/306)

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of lactic acidosis in a geographically defined population of metformin users. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The study was based on a historical cohort from the Saskatchewan Health administrative databases. Individuals with a metformin prescription dispensed between 1980 and 1995 inclusive were eligible for the cohort. Person-years of exposure were calculated. Cases were defined by hospital discharge with a diagnosis of acidosis (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision code: 276.2) and confirmation by chart review of a blood lactate level > or = 5 mmol/l. Death registrations of individuals dying within 120 days of a metformin prescription were also reviewed. RESULTS: During the study period, 11,797 residents received one or more metformin prescriptions, resulting in 22,296 person-years of exposure. There were 10 subjects who had hospital discharges with a diagnosis of acidosis. However, primary record review revealed only two cases with laboratory findings of elevated blood lactate levels, for an incidence rate of 9 cases per 100,000 person-years of metformin exposure. In both cases, other factors besides metformin could have contributed to the lactic acidosis. No additional cases were found on review of death registrations. CONCLUSIONS: From 1980 through 1995, the incidence rate of lactic acidosis was 9 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI 0-21) in patients dispensed metformin in Saskatchewan, Canada. This incidence rate was derived from a population with complete ascertainment of hospitalizations and deaths associated with lactic acidosis in metformin users. It is similar to previously published rates based on passive reporting of cases, and it is well below the lactic acidosis rate of 40-64 per 100,000 patient-years in patients prescribed phenformin.  (+info)

Prevalence of asthma, rhinitis and eczema among children in 2 Canadian cities: the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. (5/306)

BACKGROUND: Wide variations in the prevalence of asthma, rhinitis and eczema have been reported between regions within Canada and between different countries. The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) was developed to provide a standardized tool and methodology to ascertain the prevalence of asthma and allergies in different regions. Comparisons of prevalence rates across geographic regions and at different times may help to identify factors that contribute to the development of these conditions in individuals. METHODS: Two Canadian centres, Hamilton and Saskatoon, participated in the ISAAC. A standard questionnaire was distributed through schools and completed by 13- and 14-year-old children and by the parents of 6- and 7-year-old children. Prevalence rates and 95% confidence intervals were calculated for asthma, wheezing, rhinitis and eczema. RESULTS: The overall response rates were 75.1% among the children 6 and 7 years old and 68.6% among those 13 and 14 years old. Among the younger children, the lifetime prevalence of asthma was 17.2% in Hamilton and 11.2% in Saskatoon; the corresponding rates among the older children were 19.2% and 12.2% respectively. The prevalence of wheezing in the 12 months before the survey in the younger group was 20.1% in Hamilton and 14.1% in Saskatoon; in the older group it was 30.6% and 24.0% respectively. The prevalence of rhinitis in the 12 months before the survey was 28.6% in Hamilton and 22.6% in Saskatoon in the younger group and 45.8% and 33.8% respectively in the older group. The prevalence of eczema was slightly higher in Saskatoon in both age groups. INTERPRETATION: High prevalence rates of asthma, rhinitis and eczema exist among school children in Hamilton and Saskatoon, similar to rates in other Western countries. Further studies are required to determine the factors associated with the high rates in the 2 regions and possible reasons for the higher rates in Hamilton.  (+info)

Saskatchewan physicians' attitudes and knowledge regarding assessment of medical fitness to drive. (6/306)

BACKGROUND: Although legislation has been introduced in Saskatchewan for mandatory reporting by physicians of patients considered medically unfit to drive, little is known about physicians' attitudes, knowledge or resources with regard to evaluating medical fitness to drive. METHODS: The objective of this study was to determine Saskatchewan physicians' attitudes, knowledge, training, resources and current educational needs with regard to evaluating medical fitness to drive. A questionnaire survey of all physicians in the province who were identified as likely to be involved in determining medical fitness to drive was conducted between October and December 1996. RESULTS: Of the 1102 physicians who received a questionnaire, 690 (62.6%) responded, of whom 167 were excluded because they were not involved in assessing fitness to drive. Thus, 523 (55.9%) of the 935 eligible physicians surveyed completed the questionnaire. Most (57.6% [298/517]) of the respondents indicated that they do not hesitate to report patients medically unfit to drive; however, 59.5% (307/516) felt that the physician-patient relationship is negatively affected by reporting. Overall, 85.5% (444/519) of the respondents felt that restricted licensing is a fair alternative for people who might otherwise be denied a full licence. The availability of restricted licensing positively influenced the decision to report for 60.3% (313/519) of the respondents. Significantly more rural physicians than urban physicians believed that the need to drive was greater for rural residents than for urban dwellers (81.2% [95/117] v. 64.2% [257/400], p < 0.001). Physician knowledge regarding specific medical conditions and fitness to drive was generally poor. The resource most commonly used in determining medical fitness to drive was the Physicians' Guide to Driver Examination (71.1% [361/508] of respondents). The most useful continuing medical education methods indicated by physicians for assessing medical fitness to drive included conference presentations, workshops and journal articles. INTERPRETATION: Most of the Saskatchewan physicians surveyed supported restricted licensing, and the availability of restricted licensing made them more likely to report patients considered medically unfit to drive. The physician-patient relationship was felt to be negatively affected by reporting.  (+info)

Colorectal cancer prevention by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: effects of dosage and timing. (7/306)

Epidemiological studies show that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce colorectal cancer incidence. We measured the rate ratio for colorectal adenocarcinoma according to dosage and the timing of exposure by means of a case-control study, nested in a non-concurrent cohort linkage study, using the population of beneficiaries of the Saskatchewan Prescription Drug Plan from 1981 to 1995 with no history of cancer since 1970 as the source population. Four controls per case, matched on age and gender and alive when the case was diagnosed, were randomly selected. Dispensing rates, calculated over successive time periods, characterized NSAID exposure. We accrued 3844 cases of colon cancer and 1971 cases of rectal cancer. For colon cancer a significant trend towards a decreasing rate ratio was associated with increasing exposure during the 6 months preceding diagnosis (P-trend = 0.002). For both cancers, significant trends were associated with exposure 11-15 years before diagnosis (colon: P-trend = 0.01; rectum: P-trend = 0.0001). At the highest exposure levels the rate ratio for colon cancer was 0.57 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.36-0.89); for rectal cancer it was 0.26 (95% CI 0.11-0.61). No protection was associated with exposure during other periods. The timing of NSAID use must be considered in planning intervention trials to prevent colorectal cancer. There may be a 10-year delay before any preventive effect will appear.  (+info)

Ovarian cancer histology-specific incidence trends in Canada 1969-1993: age-period-cohort analyses. (8/306)

This study examined histology-specific incidence trends of ovarian cancer in Canada, 1969-1993. The impact of age, period and cohort effects on these trends were studied by means of age-period-cohort analysis. Age-standardized incidence rates of serous, endometrioid, clear cell and germ cell tumours increased significantly and the rates of sex cord-stromal and other classified epithelial ovarian tumours decreased considerably. The rates of mucinous and NOS/unclassified tumours remained unchanged. Cohort effect has a major impact on incidence trends of serous, endometrioid, germ cell, sex cord-stromal and other classified epithelial ovarian tumours but no meaningful impact on trends of mucinous, clear cell, or NOS/unclassified ovarian tumours. Various cohort patterns by histology subtypes were observed: the risk of developing serious tumours increased markedly among birth cohorts of 1895-1930, stabilized thereafter and decreased among young cohorts of 1950-1960; the risk of germ cell tumours increased significantly among young cohorts of 1965-1980; and the risk of sex cord-stromal tumours dropped constantly among cohorts 1910-1950. Various period patterns by histology subtypes observed in this study suggested changes in histology classification criteria over the period. Further studies need to consider the various etiologies and the classification criteria changes according to histology subtypes.  (+info)