Nurses and nursing in primary medical care in England.
In 1974 we sent questionnaires on attachment and employment of nurses to 9214 general practices in England. There were 7863 replies (85%), of which 551 were excluded from the study. A total of 2654 nurses were directly employed by 24% (1774) of the practices, and 68% (4972) had attached nurses. Practices in health centres were larger and had greater nursing resources than those in other premises. We suggest that practices may employ nurses to compensate for ineffective nursing attachments, and we conclude that general-practice-employed nurses are becoming "professionalised". (+info)
Helicobacter pylori infection, garlic intake and precancerous lesions in a Chinese population at low risk of gastric cancer.
BACKGROUND: Cangshan County of Shandong Province has one of the lowest rates of gastric cancer (GC) in China. While intestinal metaplasia (IM) and dysplasia (DYS) are less common in Cangshan than in areas of Shandong at high risk of GC, these precursor lesions nevertheless affect about 20% of adults age > or = 55. SUBJECTS AND SETTING: In order to evaluate determinants of IM and DYS in Cangshan County, a low risk area of GC a survey was conducted among 214 adults who participated in a gastroscopic screening survey in Cangshan County in 1994. METHOD: A dietary interview and measurement of serum Helicobacter pylori antibodies were performed. RESULTS: The prevalence of H. pylori was lowest (19%) among those with normal gastric mucosa, rising steadily to 35% for superficial gastritis (SG), 56% for chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG), 80% for IM, and 100% for DYS. The prevalence odds of precancerous lesions were compared with the odds of normal histology or SG. The odds ratio (OR) or CAG associated with H. pylori positivity was 4.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] : 1.7-10.0), while the OR of IM/DYS associated with H. pylori positivity was 31.5 (95% CI: 5.2-187). After adjusting for H. pylori infection, drinking alcohol was a risk factor for CAG (OR = 3.2, 95% CI: 1.1-9.2) and IM/DYS (OR = 7.8, 95% CI: 1.3-47.7). On the other hand, consumption of garlic showed non-significant protective effects and an inverse association with H. pylori infection. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study suggest that infection with H. pylori is a risk factor and garlic may be protective, in the development and progression of advanced precancerous gastric lesions in an area of China at relatively low risk of GC. (+info)
Health status of Persian Gulf War veterans: self-reported symptoms, environmental exposures and the effect of stress.
BACKGROUND: Most US troops returned home from the Persian Gulf War (PGW) by Spring 1991 and many began reporting increased health symptoms and medical problems soon after. This investigation examines the relationships between several Gulf-service environmental exposures and health symptom reporting, and the role of traumatic psychological stress on the exposure-health symptom relationships. METHODS: Stratified, random samples of two cohorts of PGW veterans, from the New England area (n = 220) and from the New Orleans area (n = 71), were selected from larger cohorts being followed longitudinally since arrival home from the Gulf. A group of PGW-era veterans deployed to Germany (n = 50) served as a comparison group. The study protocol included questionnaires, a neuropsychological test battery, an environmental interview, and psychological diagnostic interviews. This report focuses on self-reported health symptoms and exposures of participants who completed a 52-item health symptom checklist and a checklist of environmental exposures. RESULTS: The prevalence of reported symptoms was greater in both Persian Gulf-deployed cohorts compared to the Germany cohort. Analyses of the body-system symptom scores (BSS), weighted to account for sampling design, and adjusted by age, sex, and education, indicated that Persian Gulf-deployed veterans were more likely to report neurological, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac, dermatological, musculoskeletal, psychological and neuropsychological system symptoms than Germany veterans. Using a priori hypotheses about the toxicant effects of exposure to specific toxicants, the relationships between self-reported exposures and body-system symptom groupings were examined through multiple regression analyses, controlling for war-zone exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Self-reported exposures to pesticides, debris from Scuds, chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents, and smoke from tent heaters each were significantly related to increased reporting of specific predicted BSS groupings. CONCLUSIONS: Veterans deployed to the Persian Gulf have higher self-reported prevalence of health symptoms compared to PGW veterans who were deployed only as far as Germany. Several Gulf-service environmental exposures are associated with increased health symptom reporting involving predicted body-systems, after adjusting for war-zone stressor exposures and PTSD. (+info)
Socioeconomic inequalities in health in the working population: the contribution of working conditions.
BACKGROUND: The aim was to study the impact of different categories of working conditions on the association between occupational class and self-reported health in the working population. METHODS: Data were collected through a postal survey conducted in 1991 among inhabitants of 18 municipalities in the southeastern Netherlands. Data concerned 4521 working men and 2411 working women and included current occupational class (seven classes), working conditions (physical working conditions, job control, job demands, social support at work), perceived general health (very good or good versus less than good) and demographic confounders. Data were analysed with logistic regression techniques. RESULTS: For both men and women we observed a higher odds ratio for a less than good perceived general health in the lower occupational classes (adjusted for confounders). The odds of a less than good perceived general health was larger among people reporting more hazardous physical working conditions, lower job control, lower social support at work and among those in the highest category of job demands. Results were similar for men and women. Men and women in the lower occupational classes reported more hazardous physical working conditions and lower job control as compared to those in higher occupational classes. High job demands were more often reported in the higher occupational classes, while social support at work was not clearly related to occupational class. When physical working conditions and job control were added simultaneously to a model with occupational class and confounders, the odds ratios for occupational classes were reduced substantially. For men, the per cent change in the odds ratios for the occupational classes ranged between 35% and 83%, and for women between 35% and 46%. CONCLUSIONS: A substantial part of the association between occupational class and a less than good perceived general health in the working population could be attributed to a differential distribution of hazardous physical working conditions and a low job control across occupational classes. This suggests that interventions aimed at improving these working conditions might result in a reduction of socioeconomic inequalities in health in the working population. (+info)
Permanent work incapacity, mortality and survival without work incapacity among occupations and social classes: a cohort study of ageing men in Geneva.
BACKGROUND: The objective of this retrospective cohort study was to investigate the burden of disability and death in men, from middle age to age of retirement, among occupational groups and classes in Geneva. METHODS: Men were included if they resided in the Canton of Geneva, were 45 years of age in 1970-1972, and were not receiving a disability pension at the start of the follow-up. The cohort of 5137 men was followed up for 20 years and linked to national registers of disability pension allowance and of causes of death. RESULTS: There was a steep upward trend in incidence of permanent work incapacity with lower social class for all causes as well as for the seven causes of disability studied. Compared with professional occupations (social class I), the relative risk (RR) of permanent work incapacity was 11.4 for partly skilled and unskilled occupations (class IV+V) (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.2-28.0). The social class gradient in mortality was in the same direction as that in work incapacity although much less steep (RR class IV+V to class I = 1.6, 95% CI : 1.1-2.2). Survival without work incapacity at the time of the 65th birthday ranged from only 57% in construction workers and labourers to 89% in science and related professionals. Unemployment in Geneva was below 1.5% during almost all the study period. CONCLUSIONS: Medically-ascertained permanent work incapacity and survival without work incapacity have shown considerably greater socioeconomic differentials than the mortality differentials. (+info)
Demographic, clinical and social factors associated with human immunodeficiency virus infection and other sexually transmitted diseases in a cohort of women from the United Kingdom and Ireland. MRC Collaborative Study of women with HIV.
BACKGROUND: Clinical experience suggests many women with HIV infection have experienced no other sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Our objective was to test the hypothesis that a substantial proportion of women with HIV infection in the United Kingdom and Ireland have experienced no other diagnosed STD and to describe the demographic, clinical and social factors associated with the occurrence of other STD in a cohort of HIV infected women. METHOD: Analysis of cross-sectional baseline data from a prospective study of 505 women with diagnosed HIV infection. The setting was 15 HIV treatment centres in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The main outcome measures were occurrence of other STD diagnosed for the first time before and after HIV diagnosis. Data were obtained from interview with women and clinic notes. We particularly focused on occurrence of gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis after HIV diagnosis, as these are the STD most likely to reflect recent unprotected sexual intercourse. RESULTS: The women were mainly infected via heterosexual sex (n = 304), and injection drug use (n = 174). 151 were black Africans. A total of 250 (49.5%) women reported never having been diagnosed with an STD apart from HIV, 255 (50.5%) women had ever experienced an STD besides HIV, including 109 (21.6%) who had their first other STD diagnosed after HIV. Twenty-five (5%) women reported having had chlamydia, gonorrhoea or trichomoniasis diagnosed for the first time after HIV diagnosis, possibly reflecting unprotected sexual intercourse since HIV diagnosis. In all 301 (60%) women reported having had sex with a man in the 6 months prior to entry to the study. Of these, 168 (58%) reported using condoms 'always', 66(23%) 'sometimes' and 56 (19%) 'never'. CONCLUSIONS: Half the women in this study reported having never experienced any other diagnosed STD besides HIV. However, after HIV diagnosis most women remain sexually active and at least 5% had an STD diagnosed which reflect unprotected sexual intercourse. (+info)
Pregnancy, body weight and human immunodeficiency virus infection in African women: a prospective cohort study in Kigali (Rwanda), 1992-1994. Pregnancy and HIV Study Group (EGE).
OBJECTIVE: To study the relationship between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and body weight in African women during and after pregnancy. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was initiated at the Centre Hospitalier de Kigali in July 1992. Every woman seen at the antenatal clinic and with a gestational age of <28 weeks was offered HIV-1 antibody testing. Comparable numbers of HIV-infected (HIV+) and uninfected (HIV-) women were recruited. At inclusion, socio-demographic characteristics and self-reported pre-pregnancy weight were recorded; height and weight were measured. Each woman enrolled had a monthly follow-up until 9 months after delivery, with a clinical examination including weighing. Three anthropometric indices were used to answer the study objectives: weight, body mass index (BMI), and pregnancy balance. RESULTS: As of April 1994, 101 HIV+ and 106 HIV- women were followed until 5 months after delivery. Weight and BMI during pregnancy were lower in HIV+ women than in HIV- women. After delivery, weight and BMI gains were significantly lower in HIV+ women. Until 5 months after delivery, the mean weight variation was -2.2 kg (standard deviation [SD] = 5.9 kg) in HIV+ women and +0.2 kg (SD = 6.6 kg) in HIV- women (P = 0.007) in comparison to pre-pregnancy weight. Comparisons of the slopes of the weight curves did not show statistical differences throughout the pregnancy, but it did during the post-partum period (P = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that HIV infection could impair nutritional status in pregnant women, especially during the post-partum period. Family planning and maternal and child health services including HIV testing and counselling, should consider a nutritional assessment and intervention programme targeted to HIV+ pregnant women. (+info)
Cluster survey evaluation of coverage and risk factors for failure to be immunized during the 1995 National Immunization Days in Egypt.
BACKGROUND: In 1995, Egypt continued to experience endemic wild poliovirus transmission despite achieving high routine immunization coverage with at least three doses of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV3) and implementing National Immunization Days (NIDs) annually for several years. METHODS: Parents of 4188 children in 3216 households throughout Egypt were surveyed after the second round of the 1995 NIDs. RESULTS: Nationwide, 74% of children are estimated to have received both NID doses, 17% one NID dose, and 9% neither NID dose. Previously unimmunized (47%) or partially immunized (64%) children were less likely to receive two NID doses of OPV than were fully immunized children (76%) (P < 0.001). Other risk factors nationwide for failure to receive NID OPV included distance from residence to nearest NID site >10 minute walk (P < 0.001), not being informed about the NID at least one day in advance (P < 0.001), and residing in a household which does not watch television (P < 0.001). Based on these findings, subsequent NIDs in Egypt were modified to improve coverage, which has resulted in a marked decrease in the incidence of paralytic poliomyelitis in Egypt. CONCLUSIONS: In selected situations, surveys can provide important information that is useful for planning future NIDs. (+info)