Epidemiological field studies of animal populations.
Numerous survey designs have been developed for epidemiological field studies of human populations, most of which are also applicable to field studies of animal poulations. Each design has its own advantages and disadvantages. The final design selected for a particular study depends upon such factors as the overall purpose of the study, the geographic dimensions of the study area, the diseases incidence or prevalence and species to be studied as well as the planned use for the data. Population dynamics including the distribution and density of the species to be studied are factors that should also be considered in the initial design of a study. A surveillance system, using mailed questionnaire data and a subsequent survey using direct interviews of validate the data in a statewide study of swine birth defects are used to illustrate some of the techniques that can be applied to domestic animal populations in a fairly large geographic area. The type of data collected, its use and its limitations are also considered. (+info)
Constitutional, biochemical and lifestyle correlates of fibrinogen and factor VII activity in Polish urban and rural populations.
BACKGROUND: Fibrinogen and factor VII activity are known to be related to atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, but population differences in clotting factors and modifiable characteristics that influence their levels have not been widely explored. METHODS: This paper examines correlates of plasma fibrinogen concentration and factor VII activity in 2443 men and women aged 35-64 in random samples selected from the residents in two districts in urban Warsaw (618 men and 651 women) and from rural Tarnobrzeg Province (556 men and 618 women) screened in 1987-1988, and assesses which characteristics might explain urban-rural differences. Fibrinogen and factor VII activity were determined using coagulation methods. RESULTS: Fibrinogen was 12.9 mg/dl higher in men and 14.1 mg/dl higher in women in Tarnobrzeg compared to Warsaw. Factor VII activity was higher in Warsaw (9.2% in men and 15.3% in women). After adjustment for selected characteristics, fibrinogen was higher in smokers compared to non-smokers by 28 mg/dl in men and 22 mg/dl in women. In women, a 15 mg/dl increase in HDL-cholesterol was associated with a 10 mg/dl decrease in fibrinogen (P < 0.01). After adjustment for other variables, a higher factor VII activity in Warsaw remained significant (a difference of 9.4% in men and 14.8% in women). Lower fibrinogen in Warsaw remained significant only in women (15.4 mg/dl difference). CONCLUSIONS: The study confirmed that sex, age, BMI, smoking and blood lipids are related to clotting factors. However, with the exception of gender differences and smoking, associations between clotting factors and other variables were small and of questionable practical importance. (+info)
Socioeconomic inequalities and disability pension in middle-aged men.
BACKGROUND: The issue of inequalities in health has generated much discussion and socioeconomic status is considered an important variable in studies of health. It is frequently used in epidemiological studies, either as a possible risk factor or a confounder and the aim of this study was to analyse the relation between socioeconomic status and risk of disability pension. METHODS: Five complete birth year cohorts of middle-aged male residents in Malmo were invited to a health survey and 5782 with complete data constituted the cohort in this prospective study. Each subject was followed for approximately 11 years and nationwide Swedish data registers were used for surveillance. RESULTS: Among the 715 men (12%), granted disability pension during follow-up, three groups were distinguished. The cumulative incidence of disability pension among blue collar workers was 17% and among lower and higher level white collar workers, 11% and 6% respectively. With simultaneous adjustment for biological risk factors and job conditions, the relative risk for being granted a disability pension (using higher level white collar workers as reference) was 2.5 among blue collar workers and 1.6 among lower level white collar workers. CONCLUSIONS: Socioeconomic status, as defined by occupation, is a risk factor for being granted disability pension even after adjusting for work conditions and other risk factors for disease. (+info)
A method for calculating age-weighted death proportions for comparison purposes.
OBJECTIVE: To introduce a method for calculating age-weighted death proportions (wDP) for comparison purposes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A methodological study using secondary data from the municipality of Sao Paulo, Brazil (1980-1994) was carried out. First, deaths are weighted in terms of years of potential life lost before the age of 100 years. Then, in order to eliminate distortion of comparisons among proportions of years of potential life lost before the age of 100 years (pYPLL-100), the denominator is set to that of a standard age distribution of deaths for all causes. Conventional death proportions (DP), pYPLL-100, and wDP were calculated. RESULTS: Populations in which deaths from a particular cause occur at older ages exhibit lower wDP than those in which deaths occur at younger ages. The sum of all cause-specific wDP equals one only when the test population has exactly the same age distribution of deaths for all causes as that of the standard population. CONCLUSION: Age-weighted death proportions improve the information given by conventional DP, and are strongly recommended for comparison purposes. (+info)
Role of schools in the transmission of measles in rural Senegal: implications for measles control in developing countries.
Patterns of measles transmission at school and at home were studied in 1995 in a rural area of Senegal with a high level of vaccination coverage. Among 209 case children with a median age of 8 years, there were no deaths, although the case fatality ratio has previously been 6-7% in this area. Forty percent of the case children had been vaccinated against measles; the proportion of vaccinated children was higher among secondary cases (47%) than among index cases (33%) (prevalence ratio = 1.36, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04-1.76). Vaccinated index cases may have been less infectious than unvaccinated index cases, since they produced fewer clinical cases among exposed children (relative risk = 0.55, 95% CI 0.29-1.04). The secondary attack rate was lower in the schools than in the homes (relative risk = 0.31, 95% CI 0.20-0.49). The school outbreaks were protracted, with 4-5 generations of cases being seen in the two larger schools. Vaccine efficacy was found to be 57% (95% CI -23 to 85) in the schools and 74% (95% CI 62-82) in the residential compounds. Measles infection resulted in a mean of 3.8 days of absenteeism per case, though this did not appear to have an impact on the children's grades. Among the index cases, 56% of children were probably infected by neighbors in the community, and 7% were probably infected at health centers, 13% outside the community, and 24% in one of the three schools which had outbreaks during the epidemic. However, most of the school-related cases occurred at the beginning and therefore contributed to the general propagation of the epidemic. To prevent school outbreaks, it may be necessary to require vaccination prior to school entry and to revaccinate children in individual schools upon detection of cases of measles. Multidose measles vaccination schedules will be necessary to control measles in developing countries. (+info)
Reliability of information on physical activity and other chronic disease risk factors among US women aged 40 years or older.
Data on chronic disease risk behaviors and related variables, including barriers to and attitudes toward physical activity, are lacking for women of some racial/ethnic groups. A test-retest study was conducted from July 1996 through June 1997 among US women (n = 199) aged 40 years or more who were white, black, American Indian/Alaska Native, or Hispanic. The sample was selected and interviews were conducted using a modified version of the methods of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. For behavioral risk factors such as physical inactivity, smoking, and low fruit and vegetable consumption, group prevalences were generally similar between interviews 1 and 2. However, kappa values for selected physical activity variables ranged from 0.26 to 0.51 and tended to be lower for black women. Discordance was low for variables on cigarette smoking and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (kappa = 0.64-0.92). Discordance was high (kappa = 0.33) for low consumption of fruits and vegetables. Additional variables for barriers to and access to exercise ranged widely across racial/ethnic groups and in terms of measures of agreement. These methods illustrate an efficient way to sample and assess the reliability of data collected from women of racial/ethnic minority groups. (+info)
Capture-recapture models including covariate effects.
Capture-recapture methods are used to estimate the incidence of a disease, using a multiple-source registry. Usually, log-linear methods are used to estimate population size, assuming that not all sources of notification are dependent. Where there are categorical covariates, a stratified analysis can be performed. The multinomial logit model has occasionally been used. In this paper, the authors compare log-linear and logit models with and without covariates, and use simulated data to compare estimates from different models. The crude estimate of population size is biased when the sources are not independent. Analyses adjusting for covariates produce less biased estimates. In the absence of covariates, or where all covariates are categorical, the log-linear model and the logit model are equivalent. The log-linear model cannot include continuous variables. To minimize potential bias in estimating incidence, covariates should be included in the design and analysis of multiple-source disease registries. (+info)
Cancer risk in close relatives of women with early-onset breast cancer--a population-based incidence study.
Inherited susceptibility to breast cancer is associated with an early onset and bilateral disease. The extent of familial risks has not, however, been fully assessed in population-based incidence studies. The purpose of the study was to quantify the risks for cancers of the breast, ovary and other sites of close relatives of women in whom breast cancer was diagnosed at an early age. Records collected between 1943 and 1990 at the Danish Cancer Registry were searched, and 2860 women were found in whom breast cancer was diagnosed before age 40. Population registers and parish records were used to identify 14 973 parents, siblings and offspring of these women. Cancer occurrence through to 31 December 1993 was determined within the Cancer Registry's files and compared with national incidence rates. Women with early-onset breast cancer were at a nearly fourfold increased risk of developing a new cancer later in life (268 observed vs. 68.9 expected). The excess risk was most evident for second cancer of the breast (181 vs. 24.5) and for ovarian cancer (20 vs. 3.3). For mothers and sisters, risks for cancers of the breast and ovary were significantly increased by two- to threefold. Bilateral breast cancer and breast-ovarian cancer were very strong predictors of familial risks, with one in four female relatives predicted to develop breast and/or ovarian cancer by age 75. Mothers had a slightly increased risk of colon cancer, but not endometrial cancer. The risk for breast cancer was also increased among fathers (standardized incidence ratio 2.5; 95% CI 0.5-7.4) and especially brothers (29; 7.7-74), although based on small numbers. The risk for prostatic cancer was unremarkable. In this large population-based survey, the first-degree relatives of women who developed breast cancer before age 40 were prone to ovarian cancer as well as male and female breast cancer, but not other tumours that may share susceptibility genes with breast cancer. (+info)