Anthropometric, lifestyle and metabolic determinants of resting heart rate. A population study.
AIM: To clarify the determinants of resting heart rate at the population level in a random sample of the Belgian population. METHODS AND RESULTS: Data of 5027 men and 4150 women aged 25-74 years obtained from a Belgian nationwide survey were analysed. In multivariate analysis, blood pressure strongly correlated with heart rate in men (t = 12.4 for systolic; t = 8.8 for diastolic) and women (t = 12.0 for systolic; t = 7.7 for diastolic). Age (t = -3.4 in men; t = -8.1 in women) and height (t = -3.7 in men; t = -3.1 in women) correlated negatively with heart rate. Smoking raised heart rate in men (1-19 cigarettes.day-1, t = 6.1; > or = 20 cigarettes.day-1, t = 10.3) and women (> or = 20 cigarettes.day-1, t = 3.5). Serum phosphorus correlated negatively with heart rate (t = -3.5 in men; t = -8.3 in women). Serum log alkaline phosphatase (t = 6.7 in men; t = 7.2 in women) and serum protein (t = 5.3 in men; t = 4.4 in women) correlated positively with heart rate. CONCLUSION: At the population level, blood pressure, cigarette smoking, serum alkaline phosphatase and serum protein correlate independently, significantly and positively with heart rate, and age, height and serum phosphorus negatively. (+info)
In-vitro activity of antimicrobial agents against Neisseria gonorrhoeae in Brussels.
The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of 18 antimicrobial agents against 104 strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae isolated in the Brussels area between January and October 1976 have been measured. The MICs for penicillin G, ampicillin, amoxycillin, carbenicillin, and cephalexin showed a bimodal distribution. The second modus strains of cephalexin (MIC = 6.25 microgram/ml) were relatively resistant to penicillin G (MIC greater than or equal to 0.08 microgram/ml). About 51% of all strains were relatively resistant to penicillin G, 40.5% to ampicillin (MIC greater than or equal to 0.16 microgram/ml), 46% to amoxycillin, and 47.5% to carbenicillin. For cephalexin and cephaloridine, 25% and 8.5% respectively of all strains were relatively resistant (MIC greater than 3.12 microgram/ml). For cefazolin all MICs fell into a range of 0.097--3.12 microgram/ml. Resistance to tetracycline, doxycycline, minocycline, erythromycin, and spiramycin (MIC greater than or equal to 1 microgram/ml) was found in 9.5%, 7%, 6%, 36.5%, and 71% respectively of all isolates. No strains were resistant to rifampicin. For chloramphenicol and thiamphenicol the MICs ranged from 0.39 to 12.5 microgram/ml and from 0.195 to 3.12 microgram/ml respectively. The results for sulphamethoxazole, trimethoprim, and the combination of sulphamethoxazole and trimethoprim in a 20:1 ratio are given and discussed. The fractional inhibitory concentration (FIC) indices have also been calculated. No beta-lactamase-producing strains were found, and a contingency coefficient C has been determined for all the pairs of antibiotics investigated. (+info)
Trends in mortality from cutaneous malignant melanoma in Belgium.
BACKGROUND AND METHODS: Changes over time of mortality rates from cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) in Belgium were analysed, based on people (n = 3695) aged 25-84 years, who died of CMM from 1954 to 1992. All data were collected from the Belgian National Institute of Statistics. For the log-linear analysis and calculation of the average annual change, only the data from 1973 to 1992 were considered. RESULTS: The age-adjusted mortality rates (per 10(5)) for the age group 25-84 years old increased from 0.5 in 1954 to 3.0 in 1992 in men, and from 0.8 in 1954 to 2.2 in 1992 in women. The average annual percentage change in men (-0.003%) was stable over the period 1973-1982, and increased to 4.4% over the period 1983-1992. In women, the average annual increase was 4.6% over the period 1973-1982, and continued to increase to 6.8% over the period 1983-1992. Log-linear analysis showed that the change in rates for both men and women was mainly due to an age-'drift' effect, contrary to the results of the average annual percentage change in men. CONCLUSION: The risk of dying from CMM increased in men and women continuously over the whole period, irrespective of birth cohort. In both men and women, there was approximately a 20% increase in CMM mortality per 5-year period. (+info)
High frequency of BRCA1/2 germline mutations in 42 Belgian families with a small number of symptomatic subjects.
AIM: The initial risk assessments for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and estimates of carrier frequencies were based on extended pedigrees with a large number of symptomatic subjects. When counselling based on BRCA gene mutation analysis was initiated, we faced requests for counselling mostly from members of small families with only two or three affected members. We report on the likelihood of finding a BRCA mutation in such small families. METHODS: In the first 100 families that came for oncogenetic counselling since September 1994, a BRCA1/2 gene mutation screen was initiated if there were two or more symptomatic first degree relatives, if one of them had ovarian cancer, or if one breast cancer was diagnosed before the age of 50 years. RESULTS: BRCA gene mutations were found and confirmed by sequencing in 14 out of 42 families (33%); 10 mutations were in the BRCA1 gene and four in the BRCA2 gene. Our findings indicate an increased probability of detecting a BRCA gene mutation when ovarian cancer occurred in the family. There is no increased probability of detecting a mutation with increasing numbers of breast cancers. Only 22% of the eligible presymptomatic family members opted for testing. The presymptomatic female carriers currently prefer breast surveillance rather than prophylactic surgery. CONCLUSION: BRCA1/2 gene mutation testing can be done with reasonable efficiency in the Belgian population when there are two symptomatic family members. The availability of testing does not lead to a high frequency of requests for testing by presymptomatic family members. (+info)
Plasma homocysteine concentration in a Belgian school-age population.
BACKGROUND: Total plasma homocysteine (tHcy) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease in adults. Data for children and adolescents are lacking. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to provide a reference range for tHcy and to explore the relation between tHcy and nutritional indexes in a Belgian pediatric population. DESIGN: tHcy, folate, and vitamin B-12 were measured in 647 healthy children (353 girls and 294 boys) aged 5-19 y. RESULTS: The tHcy distribution was, as in adults, skewed to the right [geometric mean (-1 SD, +1 SD): 7.41 micromol/L (5.51, 9.96)]. Concentrations were lowest in younger children and increased with age. After the tHcy distribution was examined according to age, 3 age ranges were distinguished: 5-9 y [6.21 micromol/L (5.14, 7.50)], 10-14 y [7.09 micromol/L (5.69, 8.84)], and 15-19 y [8.84 micromol/L (6.36, 12.29)]. We observed no significant differences in tHcy values between girls and boys in children aged < 15 y; in postpubertal children, however, concentrations were higher in boys than in girls. In the 3 age groups, folate was inversely correlated with tHcy; the negative relation between tHcy and vitamin B-12 was less strong. Familial cardiovascular disease was more frequent in children who had hyperhomocysteinemia. CONCLUSIONS: These observations suggest that in children, as in adults, genetic, nutritional, and endocrine factors are determinants of the metabolism of homocysteine. The significance of tHcy values in childhood and young adulthood in terms of predicting cardiovascular risk in adulthood should be investigated. (+info)
Cross-border alliances in health care: international co-operation between health insurers and providers in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine.
On behalf of the European Commission, a Cross-Border Health Care Project was undertaken to explore how citizens living in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine can obtain improved access to health services in the Member States concerned: Belgium, Germany, and The Netherlands. Main attention of the project is focused on practical issues of cross-border health care. The first results have shown that the new cross-border health alliances resulted in improved possibilities for patients to access more health care facilities than before. The creation of health care alliances could also be an example for future collaboration between the countries in Western, Central, and Eastern Europe. This paper also analyses the rights of patients on cross-border care in the Euregion. (+info)
AIDS: is health education the answer?
In the absence of a vaccine or effective treatment, prevention of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is presently the only feasible option for the control of AIDS. Most transmission is related to high risk behaviours, and attempts to change these behaviours are key objectives of many AIDS Control Programmes. Health Education, or Information, Education and Communication (IEC) strategies have been developed to achieve these objectives. Yet few evaluations of health education programmes have been carried out, and the intimate relationship between AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases is often ignored. Behaviour has a multitude of determinants, and consequently no simple approach focusing on one aspect of behaviour can be expected to be successful. Not only does knowledge need to be imparted, but attitudes, beliefs, social- and peer-group norms need to be addressed. The development of IEC programmes is hampered by the specific routes of transmission of the HIV, involving sensitive areas of human behaviour, and by a lack of knowledge about these behaviours. Nevertheless, a number of seemingly successful programmes have been carried out. Active participation of the target groups appears to be a key factor in success. Although health education makes intuitive sense, rigorous documentation and strict evaluation is necessary to provide its justification and to maximize the potential of this strategy. (+info)
Amplified-fragment length polymorphism analysis versus macro-restriction fragment analysis for molecular typing of Streptococcus pneumoniae isolates.
Forty-eight pneumococci were genotyped by on-line laser fluorescence amplified-fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis of chromosomal restriction fragments. Overall, the data generated by the two methods corresponded well. However, with AFLP, clusters were delineated at a higher similarity level, and isolate differentiation was more pronounced. AFLP and PFGE were equally efficient for assessing intraserotype diversity. We conclude that AFLP is a useful alternative to PFGE. (+info)