Skin exposure to water is considered to contribute to hand eczema. Knowledge about total water exposure during a day is scanty.
To investigate self-reported water exposure at work as well as throughout the day.
Skin exposure to water was assessed from two questionnaire-based health surveys: the nationwide Environmental Health Survey 2007 (EHS), which enquired about water exposure throughout the day, and the Stockholm Public Health Survey 2006 (PHS), which probed water exposure at work. Answers from 19,667 individuals (EHS) and 18,318 individuals (PHS) were available for analysis.
In total, 22% of respondents (women 30%, men 12%) reported skin exposure to water more than 20 times during an entire day (EHS) compared with 6% (women 8%, men 4%) at work (PHS). In a univariate analysis, using a merged file comprising data from the EHS and the PHS, water exposure more than 20 times a day was more common in the EHS (prevalence proportion ratio 3·570, 95% confidence interval 3·353-3·802). In multivariate models the variables studied did not fulfil the criteria for being confounders. Water exposure at work declined with increasing age in both women and men (P
Both genetic and environmental factors affect smoking initiation and maintenance, but less is known about the genetic architecture of various other smoking-related behaviors. The aim of this study is to examine the genetic architecture of smoking behavior in a large twin cohort. Questionnaires with an extensive smoking history section were mailed to same-sex adult twins of the Finnish twin cohort. The final study population included 2923 monozygotic and 6018 dizygotic twin pairs aged 24 to 88 years. Two-stage bivariate genetic modeling of age at initiation with amount smoked (less than 20 cigarettes per day vs. 20 or more) and age at initiation with smoking cessation was done by using the Mx statistical package. For men the heritability estimate for age at initiation was .59 (95% confidence interval [CI] .49-.69), for amount smoked .54 (95% CI .45-.62) and for smoking cessation .58 (95% CI .50-.65). For women the heritability estimates were .36 (95% CI .28-.43), .61 (95% CI .46-.70) and .50 (95% CI .39-.60), respectively. The genetic correlations between age at initiation and amount smoked or smoking cessation were at most .22 in magnitude, indicating that genetic influences in age at initiation accounted for at most about 4% of the genetic factors in amount smoked or in cessation. Genetic factors are important in amount smoked and smoking cessation and they are largely independent of genetic influences on age at initiation. This has implications for defining phenotypes in searches for genes underlying smoking behaviors.
BACKGROUND: Hand eczema is a skin disease often with a long-lasting and relapsing course. The long-term prognosis in the general population is unknown. OBJECTIVES: The aims were to examine the extent to which hand eczema had persisted and the medicosocial consequences of the disease. METHODS: In a 15-year follow-up of hand eczema, patients diagnosed in a previous population-based study were sent a questionnaire with 20 questions concerning the persistence and course of the disease, and its occupational and medicosocial consequences. RESULTS: Addresses were available for 1115 persons, of whom 868 answered the questionnaire. Sixty-six per cent of the respondents reported periods of hand eczema and 44% reported symptoms during the previous year, with no sex difference. Twelve per cent reported continuous eczema. However, 74% of those reporting symptoms considered that their hand eczema had improved; of these more were women than men (78% vs. 66%, P
Disparities in body mass index (BMI) between persons with different educational levels in Western countries are well documented, but the background of these education-associated disparities remains poorly understood.
The objective was to examine the influence of environmental and genetic factors on education-associated disparities in self-reported BMI and weight change.
Longitudinal postal surveys were performed in 1975, 1981, and 1990. The data were analyzed by using multivariate genetic models for twin data. The data derived from the Finnish Twin Cohort included 2482 monozygotic and 5113 dizygotic same-sex male and female twin pairs born between 1915 and 1957.
Education-associated differences in BMI and in weight change were clear in 1975 and 1981, respectively, whereas no differences were seen in weight change between 1981 and 1990 when age and baseline BMI were adjusted for. The trait correlation between baseline BMI and educational attainment (-0.15 in men and women) was mainly due to correlations between additive genetic factors that contributed to BMI and education in men (-0.20; 95% CI: -0.25, -0.14) and women (-0.32; 95% CI: -0.40, -0.25) when adjusted for age. Among women, a weaker positive correlation was found for the unshared environmental effects contributing to the 2 traits (0.06; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.12). The same factors that affected the association between education and BMI in 1975 largely explained the association between education and weight change in 1981.
The results suggest the possibility that common genetic factors affect educational attainment and body weight, which contribute to education-associated disparities in BMI in adulthood.
In a population-based survey of public health issues in Stockholm, Sweden, self-reported hand eczema, history of childhood eczema, nickel allergy, occurrence of skin symptoms on the face and intolerance to cosmetics and hygiene products, were investigated. A postal questionnaire was sent to 15,000 inhabitants aged 19-80 years. The response rate was 73%. The 1-year prevalence of hand eczema was 8% (females 10%, males 6%). History of childhood eczema was reported by 15% and, of these, 42% also stated positively that they had had hand eczema at some time. Hypersensitivity to nickel was owned to 15% of the females and 3% of the males. Of the nickel-sensitive, 30% reported ever having had hand eczema. The combination of nickel allergy and history of childhood eczema resulted in a cumulative prevalence of hand eczema of 56%. Females reported more hand-washings per day than did males, and a relation between number of hand-washings and hand eczema was found. Self-reported 1-year prevalence of skin symptoms on the face was 14% and, of these, 33% also owned to hypersensitivity to cosmetics. Dermatitis appears to be a common health problem. This fact should be made clear to those who give priority and allocate resources to health problems, e.g., by participation of dermatologists in performing population-based surveys.
We analyzed the association between mean height and old age cognition in two Nordic twin cohorts with different childhood living conditions. The cognitive performance of 4720 twin individuals from Denmark (mean age 81.6 years, SD = 4.59) and Finland (mean age 74.4 years, SD = 5.26) was measured using validated cognitive screens. Taller height was associated with better cognitive performance in Finland (beta-estimates 0.18 SD/10cm, p value
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We analyzed genetic and environmental determinants of self-rated health and its change from adolescence to early adulthood. Questionnaires were mailed to Finnish twins born 1975-1979 at ages 16, 17, 18 1/2 and, on average, 25 years of age (N=2465 complete twin pairs). The data were analyzed using quantitative genetic methods for twin data by the Mx statistical package. Heritability of self-rated health was greatest at age 16 (63%, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 56-67%, men and women together) and declined steadily to age 25 (33%, 95% CI 25-41%). The residual variation was due to unshared environments. Health ratings at different ages were modestly correlated (r=0.33-0.61). These correlations were mainly due to genetic factors, but unshared environment also contributed to them. An important challenge for further research is to identify environmental influences contributing to self-rated health independently of, or in interaction with, genetic factors.
We analysed genetic and environmental influences on self-esteem and its stability in adolescence.
Finnish twins born in 1983-1987 were assessed by questionnaire at ages 14 (n = 4132 twin individuals) and 17 years (n = 3841 twin individuals). Self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg global self-esteem scale and analyzed using quantitative genetic methods for twin data in the Mx statistical package.
The heritability of self-esteem was 0.62 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.56-0.68] in 14-year-old boys and 0.40 (95% CI 0.26-0.54) in 14-year-old girls, while the corresponding estimates at age 17 were 0.48 (95% CI 0.39-0.56) and 0.29 (95% CI 0.11-0.45). Rosenberg self-esteem scores at ages 14 and 17 were modestly correlated (r = 0.44 in boys, r = 0.46 in girls). In boys, the correlation was mainly (82%) due to genetic factors, with residual co-variation due to unique environment. In girls, genetic (31%) and common environmental (61%) factors largely explained the correlation.
In adolescence, self-esteem seems to be differently regulated in boys versus girls. A key challenge for future research is to identify environmental influences contributing to self-esteem during adolescence and determine how these factors interact with genetic influences.
To examine the association of smoking with recurrent dieting and BMI among Finnish adults.
We used questionnaire data from 1990 on 11,055 subjects from the Finnish Twin Cohort who were 33 to 61 years of age. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was carried out using lifetime dieting as the outcome variable and smoking as the main explanatory variable, adjusted for BMI and age. Twin pairs discordant for dieting and smoking were studied to examine the effect of environmental and genetic factors.
Among women, current smokers [odds ratio (OR), 1.09 to 1.41 at different ages] and former smokers (OR, 1.52 to 2.82) were more likely to have dieted recurrently than never smokers. Among men, current smokers were less likely (OR, 0.69; 95% confidence interval, 0.55, 0.87) and former smokers were more likely (OR, 1.30; 95% confidence interval, 1.05, 1.61) to have dieted recurrently at different ages. The differences between the discordant pairs were consistent with this, although not statistically significant.
Recurrent dieting was associated with former smoking in both sexes and with current smoking in women.
BACKGROUND: During the 1980s routine wearing of gloves in dentistry was recommended by health authorities in several countries. However, prolonged glove use is associated with side-effects of irritant and allergic origin. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the extent of glove use and self-reported glove intolerance reactions among Swedish dentists, and to examine how far IgE-mediated allergy to natural rubber latex (NRL) occurs in subjects who report rapid itching when in contact with protective gloves. SUBJECTS/METHODS: A postal questionnaire was answered by 3083 of 3500 licensed dentists, a response rate of 88%. Of the dentists who reported rapidly occurring itching of the hands from gloves, 131 of 170 attended a clinical examination including a skin prick test (SPT) and a serological examination (RAST) for IgE-mediated allergy. RESULTS: Seventy-three per cent of the dentists reported daily glove use of more than 2 h, 48% more than 6 h a day, and 6% reported no use. NRL gloves were used most frequently (P