The physical housing environment is important to facilitate activities of daily living (ADL) for older people. A hindering environment may lead to ADL dependence and thus increase the need for home services, which is individually restricting and a growing societal burden. This study presents simulations of policy changes with regard to housing accessibility that estimates the potential impact specifically on instrumental activities of daily living (I-ADL), usage of home services, and related costs. The models integrate empirical data to test the hypothesis that a policy providing funding to remove the five most severe environmental barriers in the homes of older people who are at risk of developing dependence in I-ADL, can maintain independence and reduce the need for home services. In addition to official statistics from state agencies in Sweden and Germany, we utilized published results from the ENABLE-AGE and other scientific studies to generate the simulations. The simulations predicted that new policies that remove potentially hindering housing features would improve I-ADL performance among older people and reduce the need for home services. Our findings suggest that a policy change can contribute to positive effects with regard to I-ADL independence among older people and to a reduction of societal burden.
In aging societies, zest for work may be pivotal when deciding to stay occupationally active longer. Psychosocial work stress is a prevalent public health problem and may have an impact on zest for work. Work over-commitment (WOC) is a personal coping strategy for work stress with excessive striving and a health risk. However, the long-term effect of WOC on zest for work is poorly understood.
To investigate the age-related associations of work over-commitment with zest for work.
During 1996-1998 and 2000-2003, predominantly industrial workers (n?=?2940) participated in the WOLF-Norrland study and responded to a questionnaire referring to socio-demographics, WOC, zest for work, effort-reward imbalance proxies, and mental health. Age-adjusted multiple logistic regressions were performed with original and imputed datasets.
Cross-sectionally, work overcommitted middle-aged employees had an increased prevalence of poor zest for work compared to their contemporaries without WOC (OR: 3.74 [95%-CI 2.19; 6.40]). However, in a longitudinal analysis associations between onset of 'poor zest for work' and the WOC subscales 'need for approval' (OR: 3.29 [95%-CI 1.04; 10.37]) and 'inability to withdraw from work' (OR: 5.14 [95%-CI 1.32; 20.03]) were observed.
The longitudinal findings among older employees could be relevant regarding the expected need to remain occupationally active longer.
To characterise mercury (Hg) exposure in Daubenton's bat (Myotis daubentonii, Kuhl 1817) in southern Sweden, 17 specimens were captured in 2013 and back fur samples were taken for analysis to determine Hg concentrations. The fur Hg levels determined [1.15?±?0.27 (mean?±?standard deviation, n?=?17) µg Hg g-1 fresh weight (fw)] represent a baseline for comparison in future assessments of Hg exposure in bat populations in northern Europe. Mercury concentrations were close to those reported in fur from other bat species, but were lower than proposed toxicological thresholds in bats (>?30 µg Hg g-1 fw) and mice (5 µg Hg g-1 fw). This is the first study to examine Hg exposure in bats in Scandinavia.
Cites: Environ Sci Technol. 2013 May 21;47(10):4967-83 PMID 23590191
Cites: Environ Sci Technol. 2015 Feb 17;49(4):2059-65 PMID 25591047
Cites: Environ Res. 1977 Aug;14(1):30-4 PMID 560962
Marginal structural model to evaluate the joint effect of socioeconomic exposures on the risk of developing end-stage renal disease in patients with type 1 diabetes: a longitudinal study based on data from the Swedish Childhood Diabetes Study Group.
Diabetic nephropathy is a severe complication of type 1 diabetes (T1D) that may lead to renal failure and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) demanding dialysis and transplantation. The etiology of diabetic nephropathy is multifactorial and both genes and environmental and life style-related factors are involved. In this study, we investigate the effect of the socioeconomic exposures, unemployment and receiving income support, on the development of ESRD in T1D patients, using a marginal structural model (MSM) in comparison with standard logistic regression models.
The study is based on the Swedish Childhood Diabetes Register which in 1977 started to register patients developing T1D before 15 years of age. In the analyses, we include patients born between 1965 and 1979, developing diabetes between 1977 and 1994, and followed until 2013 (n = 4034). A MSM was fitted to adjust for both baseline and time-varying confounders.
The main results of the analysis indicate that being unemployed for more than 1 year and receiving income support are risk factors for the development of ESRD. Multiple exposures over time to these risk factors increase the risk associated with the disease.
Using a MSM is an advanced method well suited to investigate the effect of exposures on the risk of complications of a chronic disease with longitudinal data. The results show that socioeconomic disadvantage increases the risk of developing ESRD in patients with T1D.
Exposure to moldy or damp indoor environments is associated with allergic disease in young children, but it is unclear whether the effects persist to adolescence. Our objective was to assess whether exposure to mold or dampness during infancy increases the risk of asthma, rhinitis, or IgE sensitization in children followed from birth to 16 years of age.
We collected questionnaire derived reports of mold or dampness indicators and allergic outcomes from 3798 children in a Swedish birth cohort (BAMSE). Sensitization was assessed from blood samples in 3293 children. Longitudinal associations between prevalent asthma, rhinitis, and IgE sensitization and mold or dampness indicators were assessed using generalized estimating equations.
Exposure to any mold or dampness indicator was associated with asthma up to 16 years of age (OR 1.31; 95% CI 1.08-1.59), while exposure to mold odor (OR 1.29; 95% CI 1.03-1.62) and visible mold (OR 1.28; 95% CI 1.04-1.58) were associated with rhinitis. Increased risks were observed for nonallergic asthma (OR 1.80; 95% CI 1.27-2.55) and rhinitis (OR 1.41; 95% CI 1.03-1.93). No association was observed between mold or dampness indicators and IgE sensitization. Exposure to any mold or dampness indicator was associated with persistent asthma (OR 1.73; 95% CI 1.20-2.50), but not with early-transient or late-onset asthma.
Exposure to mold or dampness during infancy increased the risk of asthma and rhinitis up to 16 years of age, particularly for nonallergic disease. Early exposure to mold or dampness appeared particularly associated with persistent asthma through adolescence.
Cites: PLoS One. 2014 Aug 19;9(8):e105125 PMID 25136984
Wood pellets are used as a source of renewable energy for heating purposes. Common exposures are wood dust and monoterpenes, which are known to be hazardous for the airways. The purpose of this study was to study the effect of occupational exposure on respiratory health in wood pellet workers.
Thirty-nine men working with wood pellet production at six plants were investigated with a questionnaire, medical examination, allergy screening, spirometry, and nasal peak expiratory flow (nasal PEF). Exposure to wood dust and monoterpenes was measured.
The wood pellet workers reported a higher frequency of nasal symptoms, dry cough, and asthma medication compared to controls from the general population. There were no differences in nasal PEF between work and leisure time. A lower lung function than expected (vital capacity [VC], 95%; forced vital capacity in 1?second [FEV1], 96% of predicted) was noted, but no changes were noted during shifts. There was no correlation between lung function and years working in pellet production. Personal measurements of wood dust at work showed high concentrations (0.16-19?mg/m3), and exposure peaks when performing certain work tasks. Levels of monoterpenes were low (0.64-28?mg/m3). There was no association between exposure and acute lung function effects.
In this study of wood pellet workers, high levels of wood dust were observed, and that may have influenced the airways negatively as the study group reported upper airway symptoms and dry cough more frequently than expected. The wood pellet workers had both a lower VC and FEV1 than expected. No cross-shift changes were found.
Cites: J Occup Environ Hyg. 2008 May;5(5):296-304 PMID 18322870
Historical usage of aqueous film forming foams (AFFFs) at military airports is a potential source of perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) to the nearby environment. In this study, the distribution of perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in soil, groundwater, surface water, tap water well, and fish muscle was investigated at a closed down military airfield (F18) and its surroundings in Stockholm, Sweden. The presence of PFOS at AFFF training sites was inventoried. One major finding of the study is that a former airfield, abandoned since 1994, may still be a point source of PFAAs to nearby recipients. PFOS and PFOA were ubiquitous in the soil samples at former AFFF training sites with concentrations ranging from 2.18 to 8520ngg(-1) dry weight and
Indoor air pollution (IAP) from environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and biomass fuel smoke (BMS) poses respiratory health risks, with children and women bearing the major burden.
We used a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the relation between childhood tuberculosis (TB) and exposure to ETS and BMS.
We searched three databases for epidemiological studies that investigated the association of childhood TB with exposure to ETS and BMS. We calculated pooled estimates and heterogeneity for studies eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis and stratified studies on ETS by outcome.
Five case-control and three cross-sectional studies were eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis and quality assessment. Pooled effect estimates showed that exposure to ETS is associated with tuberculous infection and TB disease (OR 1.9, 95%CI 1.4-2.9) among exposed compared to non-exposed children. TB disease in ETS studies produced a pooled OR of 2.8 (95%CI 0.9-4.8), which was higher than the OR for tuberculous infection (OR 1.9, 95%CI 0.9-2.9) for children exposed to ETS compared to non-exposed children. Studies on BMS exposure were too few and too small to permit a conclusion.
Exposure to ETS increases the risk of childhood TB disease or tuberculous infection.
Work-related asthma in a bathtub refinishing technician prompted measurements of isocyanate exposure in this operation. Very high levels of hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI) oligomer, up to 8500 microg/m3 NCO, were found during top varnish spray-painting, whereas the levels of HDI monomer were substantially lower. The results suggest that only full-piece, self-contained respirators would suffice to protect technicians from serious pulmonary disease.
OBJECTIVES: To examine the influence of an airway diagnosis in adolescence on future health and occupation in Swedish men. METHODS: Data were collected from the linkage of four Swedish national registers: the Military Service Conscription Register, the Population and Housing Censuses, the Inpatient Care Register and the National Cause of Death Register. A job-exposure matrix for airway-irritating substances was developed for application on the conscription cohort. The cohort included 49 321 Swedish men born 1949-51. Three groups-(1) healthy, (2) asthmatics (mild and severe asthma) and (3) subjects with allergic rhinitis without concurrent asthma-were identified at conscription and analysed for mortality, in-patient care and strategies for choice of occupation with emphasis on airway-irritating job exposure. Analyses were adjusted for smoking and childhood socioeconomic position. RESULTS: The prevalence of total asthma was 1.8%, severe asthma 0.45% and allergic rhinitis 2.7%. Mortality for all causes was significantly higher in total asthma, hazard ratio (HR) 1.49 (95% CI 1.00 to 2.23), and lower in allergic rhinitis, HR 0.52 (95% CI 0.30 to 0.91). Asthma was a risk factor for inpatient care while allergic rhinitis was associated with less in-patient care (odds ratio (OR) for total asthma 1.16 (95% CI 1.00 to 1.34), severe asthma 1.38 (95% CI 1.04 to 1.85), allergic rhinitis 0.92 (95% CI 0.82 to 1.03)). Those with asthma tended to avoid jobs with a high probability for airway-irritating exposure (OR 0.88, 95% CI 0.71 to 1.09), but not to the same extent as subjects with allergic rhinitis (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.47 to 0.70) (ORs from 1990). CONCLUSION: Subjects with asthma did not change their exposure situation to the same extent as subjects with allergic rhinitis. Further, asthmatics had an increased risk for morbidity and mortality compared to healthy subjects and subjects with allergic rhinitis.
A number of measures have been taken to decrease the spread of lead to ambient air and food. In a study of the effect of these and other preventive measures, blood samples from approximately 100 persons living in the inner city area of Stockholm were collected and analyzed for lead content on three different occasions, in 1980, 1983, and 1984. The same subjects were examined on at least two occasions and the analytical method, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, was carefully controlled by means of reference samples on each occasion. The blood lead levels decreased during the observation period. The average blood lead concentrations for all the examined persons were 0.37, 0.26, and 0.25 mumol/l for 1980, 1983, and 1984, respectively. The mean of the differences in individual blood lead levels for 1980 and 1984 was 0.12 mumol/l. This figure corresponds to an average decrease in blood lead of 34% for all the subjects examined in 1980. The decrease occurred mainly during the period 1980-1983 (mean 0.11 mumol/l) and, thereafter, was only slight for the period 1983-1984 (mean 0.01 mumol/l). Factors such as age, sex, and change of residence during the observation period did not influence the final results.
This study investigated the association between the work ability index (WAI) and the single-item question on work ability among women working in human service organizations (HSO) currently on long-term sick leave. It also examined the association between the WAI and the single-item question in relation to sick leave, symptoms, and health. Predictive values of the WAI, the changed WAI, the single-item question and the changed single-item question were investigated for degree of sick leave, symptoms, and health.
This cohort study comprised 324 HSO female workers on long-term (>60 days) sick leave, with follow-ups at 6 and 12 months. Participants responded to questionnaires. Data on work ability, sick leave, health, and symptoms were analyzed with regard to associations and predictability. Spearman correlation and mixed-model analysis were performed for repeated measurements over time.
The study showed a very strong association between the WAI and the single-item question among all participants. Both the WAI and the single-item question showed similar patterns of associations with sick leave, health, and symptoms. The predictive value for the degree of sick leave and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) was strong for both the WAI and the single-item question, and slightly less strong for vitality, neck pain, both self-rated general and mental health, and behavioral and current stress.
This study suggests that the single-item question on work ability could be used as a simple indicator for assessing the status and progress of work ability among women on long-term sick leave.
Osteoporosis is a major health problem affecting more than 75 million people throughout Europe, the United States, and Japan. Epidemiologic studies have determined that both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. We have investigated the association between polymorphisms at the osteocalcin locus and variables linked to bone health. Osteocalcin provides a link between bone and energy metabolism, hence its potential importance as an osteoporosis candidate gene. In this study, we included a total of 996 women (all aged 75 years) from the Osteoporosis Prospective Risk Assessment (OPRA) cohort. We sequenced the osteocalcin gene along with flanking regions to search for novel coding polymorphisms. We also analyzed four polymorphisms selected from within and flanking regions of the osteocalcin gene to study their association with serum total osteocalcin levels (S-TotalOC), total-body (TB) bone mineral density (BMD), fracture, TB fat mass, and body mass index (BMI). The promoter polymorphism rs1800247 was significantly associated with S-TotalOC (p = .012) after controlling for BMI and TB BMD. The polymorphism rs1543297 was significantly associated with prospectively occurring fractures (p = .008). In a model taking into account rs1543297 and rs1800247, along with TB BMD, BMI, smoking, and S-TotalOC, the polymorphisms together were able to identify an additional 6% of women who sustained a fracture (p = .02). We found no association between the polymorphisms and TB BMD, BMI, or TB fat mass. In conclusion, polymorphisms in and around the osteocalcin locus are significantly associated with S-TotalOC and fracture. Genotyping at the osteocalcin locus could add valuable information in the identification of women at risk of osteoporosis.
To describe the most prominent use of or perceived unmet need of assistive technology (AT) and to compare the characteristics of users, non-users and those expressing perceived unmet need with respect to overall health, independence in everyday life, environmental barriers and socio-demographic features.
The study is based on data collected in the "Home and Health in the Third Age Project". In all, 371 individuals participated and data were collected during home visits in southern Sweden by interviewers trained specifically for this project. The data collection comprised well-proven self-report scales and observational formats on the home environment and health indicators as well as questions about basic demographics and socio-structural data.
The proportion of users constituted almost half of the total sample. The most common types of AT used were for furnishing/adaptation (35%) and the highest perceived unmet need concerned AT for communication, in total 8%. Those cohabiting were to a higher extent users of AT for furnishing/adaptation, compared to those who lived alone. A higher perceived unmet need was seen among those who lived alone compared with cohabiting people.
These findings are of importance for future planning and development of policy to improve health services for the new generation of elderly. Implications for Rehabilitation In order to support the ageing process, the need for assistive technology has to be monitored in the third age. Assistive technology for furnishings and adaptation are frequently used by individuals in their third age and are important to support ageing in the home. Not only do health aspects impact the use of assistive technology, but gender, living conditions and social situation also matter - older men especially need to be monitored thoroughly according to their perceived unmet needs as well as do older persons living alone.
To test the hypothesis that certain individual, environmental and lifestyle factors are positively associated with beneficial health investment behaviours and oral/periodontal health among adolescents.
Five hundred and six randomly selected 19-year old subjects living in two different areas (Fyrbodal and Skaraborg) in the county council of Västra Götaland, Sweden participated in a clinical examination and answered questionnaires covering psycho-social and health behavioural issues. Two oral-health models were estimated with gingivitis score as an objective and self-perceived oral health as a subjective indicator. Three health- investment behaviour models were designed with indicators directly related to oral health and two with indicators related to general health as well. The explanatory variables included gender, upper secondary education programme, native country, living area, general self-efficacy and parents' education level.
In the objective oral-health model, theoretical studies and living in the Skaraborg area were both positively associated with a lower gingivitis score. For the subjective oral-health indicator, none of the explanatory variables showed statistical significance. In the investment-behaviour model with 'tooth-brushing?=?2 times daily' as a health indicator, female gender and theoretical studies showed statistically significant associations. With the indicators 'no/few missed dental appointments', 'no tobacco use' and 'weekly exercise', theoretical studies were statistically significant and positively associated. In the investment model with 'perceived oral health care attention' as an indicator, a high score of general self-efficacy was significantly associated with the feeling of taking good care of the teeth.
Individual, environmental and lifestyle factors are associated with young individuals' oral health investment behaviours and gingival health conditions.
We recently finished a position paper on Swedish working life research for the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research. An obvious question was the definition of "working life research". Searching the literature, we found a plethora of terms used to describe this area and lack of a generally accepted definition. It also became clear that the primary goals of such research varied widely between international organizations and governments. In this paper, our aim is to discuss the definition and goals of working life research.
BACKGROUND: Crime in a neighbourhood has been recognized as a key stressor in the residential environment. Fear of crime is related to risk assessment, which depends on the concentration of objective risk in time and space, and on the presence of subjective perceived early signs of imminent hazard. The aim of the study was to examine environmental, socio-demographic, and personal correlates of safety-related concerns at the local level in urban communities. The specific aim was to investigate such correlates in contiguous neighbourhoods in a Swedish urban municipality. METHODS: A cross-sectional study design was used to investigate three neighbourhood settings with two pair-wise conterminous but socially contrasting areas within each setting. Crime data were retrieved from police records. Study data were collected through a postal questionnaire distributed to adult residents (n = 2476) (response rate 56%). Composite dimensions of perceived residential safety were derived through a factor analysis. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine associations between high-level scores of the three safety-related dimensions and area-level crime rate, being a victim of crime, area reputation, gender, age, education, country of birth, household civil status and type of housing. RESULTS: Three composite dimensions of perceived residential safety were identified: (I) structural indicators of social disorder; (II) contact with disorderly behavior; and (III) existential insecurity. We found that area-level crime rates and individual-level variables were associated with the dimensions structural indicators of social disorder and existential insecurity, but only individual-level variables were associated with the dimension contact with disorderly behavior. Self-assessed less favorable area reputation was found to be strongly associated with all three factors. Being female accorded existential insecurity more than being a victim of crime. CONCLUSION: We have identified environmental, socio-demographic, and personal correlates of safety-related concerns in contiguous neighbourhoods in a Swedish community. The results of this study suggest that residents' self-assessed area reputation is an important underlying mechanism of perceived safety. We also found a difference in crime rates and safety-related concerns between areas with blocks of flats compared with small-scale areas although the neighbourhoods were close geographically.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to calculate the overall heritability of some routine biochemical analyses. Furthermore, as genetic and environmental influences might differ across various segments, genetic impact in the highest and lowest thirds of the distributions was estimated. METHODS: Ninety-six monozygotic and 120 dizygotic same-sex twin pairs aged 82 and older were tested. Structural equation modelling was used to estimate the genetic and environmental influences on serum levels of albumin, calcium, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, GGT, potassium, sodium, creatinine, urea, urate, cobalamin, folate, homocysteine, free thyroxine and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). RESULTS: Additive genetic influence of between 66% and 28% of the variance was accounted for all values except creatinine, for which the genetic influence was marginal. The highest influence was found for homocysteine, cobalamin, folate and HDL-cholesterol. Genetic influence for the tests was mainly in congruence with previous findings in younger samples. When limited to the highest and lowest thirds of distribution, there were substantial differences in the proportion of genetic influence for some tests. CONCLUSION: For the majority of biochemical tests, the magnitude of genetic influence is considerable. Heritability estimates, however, should be considered in a broad context, with age, gender, morbidity and medication taken into account. Notably, for many test values, the genetic impact may differ considerably between the highest and the lowest range of the distribution.