Population aging increases the need for knowledge on positive aspects of aging, and contributions of older people to their own wellbeing and that of others. We defined active aging as an individual's striving for elements of wellbeing with activities as per their goals, abilities and opportunities. This study examines associations of health, health behaviors, health literacy and functional abilities, environmental and social support with active aging and wellbeing. We will develop and validate assessment methods for physical activity and physical resilience suitable for research on older people, and examine their associations with active aging and wellbeing. We will examine cohort effects on functional phenotypes underlying active aging and disability.
For this population-based study, we plan to recruit 1000 participants aged 75, 80 or 85 years living in central Finland, by drawing personal details from the population register. Participants are interviewed on active aging, wellbeing, disability, environmental and social support, mobility, health behavior and health literacy. Physical activity and heart rate are monitored for 7 days with wearable sensors. Functional tests include hearing, vision, muscle strength, reaction time, exercise tolerance, mobility, and cognitive performance. Clinical examination by a nurse and physician includes an electrocardiogram, tests of blood pressure, orthostatic regulation, arterial stiffness, and lung function, as well as a review of chronic and acute conditions and prescribed medications. C-reactive protein, small blood count, cholesterol and vitamin D are analyzed from blood samples. Associations of factors potentially underlying active aging and wellbeing will be studied using multivariate methods. Cohort effects will be studied by comparing test results of physical and cognitive functioning with results of a cohort examined in 1989-90.
The current study will renew research on positive gerontology through the novel approach to active aging and by suggesting new biomarkers of resilience and active aging. Therefore, high interdisciplinary impact is expected. This cross-sectional study will not provide knowledge on temporal order of events or causality, but an innovative cross-sectional dataset provides opportunities for emergence of novel creative hypotheses and theories.
OBJECTIVES: The effects of occupational and leisure-time exposures on the risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) were investigated with emphasis on clonal chromosome aberrations (CCA) and morphological subtypes. METHODS: Consecutively diagnosed cases of AML (N=333) and 1 population referent per case were retrospectively included in the study. Information on worktasks, companies, and leisure-time activities was obtained with telephone interviews. Exposure probability and intensity were assessed by occupational hygienists. Associations were evaluated with logistic regression. RESULTS: Exposure to organic solvents was associated with an increased risk of AML [low exposure: OR 1.5 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.0-2.3, moderate-high exposure: OR 2.3 (95% CI 1.0-5.0)]. For exposure to solvents, but not to benzene, the OR was 1.2 (95% CI 0.69-2.0) for "low" and 2.7 (95% CI 1.0-7.3) for "moderate-high" exposure. The observed effects increased with intensity and duration of exposure. The estimated effects were higher for patients >60 years of age at the time of diagnosis. The effect of exposure to organic solvents was not differential with regard to morphology [except possibly erythroleukemia: OR 4.2, 95% CI 1.0-17 or the presence of CCA in general]. No increased risk for AML with complex CCA or with total or partial losses of chromosomes 5 or 7 were observed, but a higher risk was found for AML with trisomy 8 (OR 11, 95% CI 2.7-42) as the sole aberration. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to organic solvents was associated with an increased risk of AML. This association was not due to benzene exposure alone and may be modified by age. Furthermore, specific associations with trisomy 8, and possibly also erythroleukemia, were suggested.
To investigate whether high rates of chromosomal aberrations (CAs), sister chromatid exchange (SCE), or micronuclei(MN) in peripheral lymphocytes indicate an increased risk for subsequent cancer, a prospective cohort study of 2,969 subjects cytogenetically examined between 1970 and 1988 in four Swedish, two Finnish, and two Norwegian laboratories was initiated. To standardize for the interlaboratory variation, the results of the three cytogenetic endpoints were trichotomized for each laboratory into "low" (1st to 33rd percentile), "medium" (34th to 66th percentile), and "high" (67th to 100th percentile]. Thirty-four cancers had been diagnosed in the cohort during the observation period (1970 to 1985). The point-estimates of the standardized morbidity ratio (SMR) in the three CA strata were 90, 92, and 180, respectively. This trend for a positive association was not statistically significant (p = 0.06). There was no significant trend between SMR and the trichotomized rates of SCE. In the subcohort examined for MN only two cases of cancer had been diagnosed until now. If subjects with "high" frequencies of CA or SCE have a two-fold (or greater) risk of developing cancer as compared with individuals who have "medium" or "low" frequencies, we estimate that there is a likelihood of 80% and 70%, respectively, that this will be detectable as significant (p less than or equal to 0.05) differences after a further follow-up period of 5 years. Weaker associations between cancer risk and the cytogenetic endpoints would not be possible to evaluate until even later follow-ups.
To profile participants based on reported outdoor physical activity barriers using a data-driven approach, describe the profiles and study their association with unmet physical activity need.
Cross-sectional analyses of 848 community-dwelling men and women aged 75-90 living in Central Finland in 2012. Barriers to outdoor physical activity and unmet physical activity need were enquired with a questionnaire. The latent profiles were identified by profiling participants into latent groups using a mixture modeling technique on the multivariate set of indicators of outdoor physical activity barriers. A path model was used to study the associations of the profiles with unmet physical activity need.
Five barrier profiles were identified. Profile A was characterized with minor barriers, profile B with weather barriers, profile C with health and weather barriers, profile D with barriers concerning insecurity, health and weather; and profile E with mobility and health barriers. The participants in the profiles differed in the proportion of individual and environmental barriers. The risk for unmet physical activity need was highest among people whose severe mobility difficulties restricted their outdoor physical activity.
Outdoor physical activity barriers reflect the imbalance in person-environment fit among older people, manifested as unmet physical activity need.
In older adults, mobility limitations often coexist with overweight or obesity, suggesting that similar factors may underlie both traits. This study examined the extent to which genetic and environmental influences explain the association between adiposity and mobility in older women. Body fat percentage (bioimpedance test), walking speed over 10 m, and distance walked in a 6-min test were evaluated in 92 monozygotic (MZ) and 104 dizygotic (DZ) pairs of twin sisters reared together, aged 63-76 years. Genetic and environmental influences on each trait were estimated using age-adjusted multivariate genetic modeling. The analyses showed that the means (and s.d.) for body fat percentage, walking speed, and walking endurance were 33.2+/-7.3%, 1.7+/-0.3 m/s and 529.7+/-75.4 m, respectively. The phenotypic correlation between adiposity and walking speed was -0.32 and between adiposity and endurance it was -0.33. Genetic influences explained 80% of the association between adiposity and speed, and 65% of adiposity and walking endurance. Cross-trait genetic influences accounted for 12% of the variability in adiposity, 56% in walking speed, and 34% in endurance. Trait-specific genetic influences were also detected for adiposity (54%) and walking endurance (13%), but not speed. In conclusion, among community-living older women, an inverse association was found between adiposity and mobility that was mostly due to the effect of shared genes. This result suggests that the identification of genetic variants for body fat metabolism may also provide understanding of the development of mobility limitations in older women.
OBJECTIVES: A cluster of cancers at one plant in a pharmaceutical company in Sweden was the initiator for this work, which describes the cancer incidence among the laboratory and production workers at this company. METHODS: The investigation is a retrospective cohort study. All employees with possible exposure to chemical, pharmacological, or biological agents and employment for at least six months at the company during 1960-1990 were included. Standardized incidence ratios (SIR) were calculated with the local county population as reference. RESULTS: The total cancer incidence was close to the expected. In a subcohort consisting of the highest exposed employees, an SIR of 3.5 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.5-6.8] was found for urothelial tumors, while there were no urothelial tumors among the workers with the lowest exposure. An evaluation of the exposures among the subjects with urothelial tumors revealed no association with specific exposures in the workplaces. There was also a statistically significant increase in the risk for acute leukemia (SIR 4.5, 95% CI 1.2-12 ). With a 10-year induction-latency period in the calculations, the elevated risk was smaller and not significant. Although the numbers were small, there were also statistically significant overrisks for cancer of the peritoneum, the lip, and the pleura. CONCLUSIONS: A significant increase in the risk for urothelial tumors was found among pharmaceutical workers. All but one of those with urothelial tumors were smokers, but confounding from smoking could probably not explain the risk increase.
A 25% lower cancer mortality was found for 1360 Swedish fishermen who fished on the Baltic Sea than for the general population. The fishermen consumed twice as much fish as the population in the same county. In spite of the low overall cancer mortality, increased mortality from myeloma, as well as increased incidences of gastric carcinoma and squamous cell cancer of the skin and lips, was observed in the cohort. The decrease in risk for ischemic heart disease was not significant. Whether the dietary intake of fatty acids and selenium from fish contributed to the decreased risk was difficult to evaluate. Moreover, whether the consumption of fish from the Baltic Sea, contaminated with, for example, polychlorinated dioxins and dibenzofurans and other persistent organochlorine substances, contributed to the observed increased specific cancer risks is not known. However, the net health effect of high fish consumption from the Baltic Sea seems to be positive.
A cohort of 2,131 male nitrate fertilizer workers was evaluated for cancer morbidity from 1963 to 1986. No significant increase in total cancer, stomach cancer (5 actual vs 6.7 expected cases), or lung cancer (13 vs 13 expected) was found. On the other hand, 26 actual cases of prostate cancer were observed vs 16 expected cases (standardized morbidity ratio, SMR = 161; 95%, confidence interval, CI = 107-239). This risk increase however, was, not enhanced by applying at least a 10-year latency period. In a cohort of 1,148 male fertilizer workers who had never been exposed to nitrate, there was an increased incidence of lung cancer (SMR = 151,95% CI = 103-220) but not of stomach cancer or prostate cancer. There was no association between airborne nitrate exposure dose and total cancer, stomach cancer, lung cancer or prostate cancer, respectively.
It has not previously been clear whether cytogenetic biomarkers in healthy subjects will predict cancer. Earlier analyses of a Nordic and an Italian cohort indicated predictivity for chromosomal aberrations (CAS) but not for sister chromatid exchanges (SCES). A pooled analysis of the updated cohorts, forming a joint study base of 5271 subjects, will now be performed, allowing a more solid evaluation. The importance of potential effect modifiers, such as gender, age at testing, and time since testing, will be evaluated using Poisson regression models. Two other potential effect modifiers, occupational exposures and smoking, will be assessed in a case-referent study within the study base.
The cytogenetic endpoints in peripheral blood lymphocytes: chromosomal aberrations (CA), sister chromatid exchange (SCE) and micronuclei (MN) are established biomarkers of exposure for mutagens or carcinogens in the work environment. However, it is not clear whether these biomarkers also may serve as biomarkers for genotoxic effects which will result in an enhanced cancer risk. In order to assess this problem, Nordic and Italian cohorts were established, and preliminary results from these two studies indicated a predictive value of CA frequency for cancer risk, whereas no such associations were observed for SCE or MN. A collaborative study between the Nordic and Italian research groups, will enable a more thorough evaluation of the cancer predictivity of the cytogenetic endpoints. We here report on the establishment of a joint data base comprising 5271 subjects, examined 1965-1988 for at least one cytogenetic biomarker. Totally, 3540 subjects had been examined for CA, 2702 for SCE and 1496 for MN. These cohorts have been followed-up with respect to subsequent cancer mortality or cancer incidence, and the expected values have been calculated from rates derived from the general populations in each country. Stratified cohort analyses will be performed with respect to the levels of the cytogenetic biomarkers. The importance of potential effect modifiers such as gender, age at test, and time since test, will be evaluated using Poisson regression models. The remaining two potential effect modifiers, occupational exposures and smoking, will be assessed in a case-referent study within the study base.
Cytogenetic assays in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) have been used extensively to survey the exposure of humans to genotoxic agents. The conceptual basis for this has been the hypothesis that the extent of genetic damage in PBL reflects critical events for carcinogenic processes in target tissues. Until now, no follow-up studies have been performed to assess the predictive value of these methods for subsequent cancer risk. In an ongoing Nordic cohort study of cancer incidence, 3182 subjects were examined between 1970 and 1988 for chromosomal aberrations (CA), sister chromatid exchange or micronuclei in PBL. In order to standardize for the interlaboratory variation, the results were trichotomized for each laboratory into three strata: low (1-33 percentile), medium (34-66 percentile), or high (67-100 percentile). In this second follow-up, a total of 85 cancers were diagnosed during the observation period (1970-1991). There was no significant trend in the standardized incidence ratio with the frequencies of sister chromatid exchange or micronuclei, but the data for these parameters are still too limited to allow firm conclusions. There was a statistically significant linear trend (P = 0.0009) in CA strata with regard to subsequent cancer risk. The point estimates of the standardized incidence ratio in the three CA strata were 0.9, 0.7, and 2.1, respectively. Thus, an increased level of chromosome breakage appears to be a relevant biomarker of future cancer risk.
Chromosomal aberrations (CAs), sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs), and micronuclei (MN) in peripheral blood lymphocytes have for decades been used as cytogenetic biomarkers to survey genotoxic risks in the work environment. The conceptual basis for this application has been the idea that increased cytogenetic damage reflects an enhanced cancer risk. Nordic and Italian cohorts have been established to evaluate this hypothesis, and analyses presented previously have shown a positive trend between CA frequency and increased cancer risk. We now report on a pooled analysis of updated data for 3541 subjects examined for CAs, 2703 for SCEs, and 1496 for MN. To standardize for interlaboratory variation, the results for the various cytogenetic end points were trichotomized on the basis of the absolute value distribution within each laboratory as "low" (1-33 percentile), "medium" (34-66 percentile), or "high" (67-100 percentile). In the Nordic cohort, there was an elevated standardized incidence ratio (SMR) for all cancer among subjects with high CA frequency [1.53; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.13-2.05] but not for those with medium or low CA frequency. In the Italian cohort, a SMR in cancer of 2.01 (95% CI, 1.35-2.89) was obtained for those with a high CA frequency level, whereas the SMRs for those with medium or low did not noticeably differ from unity. Cox's proportional hazards models gave no evidence that the effect of CAs on total cancer incidence/mortality was modified by gender, age at test, or time since test. No association was seen between the SCEs or the MN frequencies and subsequent cancer incidence/mortality. The present study further supports our previous observation on the cancer predictivity of the CA biomarker, which seems to be independent of age at test, gender, and time since test. The risk patterns were similar within each national cohort. This result suggests that the frequency of CAs in peripheral blood lymphocytes is a relevant biomarker for cancer risk in humans, reflecting either early biological effects of genotoxic carcinogens or individual cancer susceptibility.
An increased risk of cancer in healthy individuals with high levels of chromosomal aberrations (CAs) in peripheral blood lymphocytes has been described in recent epidemiological studies. This association did not appear to be modified by sex, age, country, or time since CA test, whereas the role played by exposure to carcinogens is still uncertain because of the requisite information concerning occupation and lifestyle was lacking. We evaluated in the present study whether CAs predicted cancer because they were the result of past exposure to carcinogens or because they were an intermediate end point in the pathway leading to disease. A nested case-control study was performed on 93 incident cancer cases and 62 deceased cancer cases coming from two prospective cohort studies performed in Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden) and Italy. For each case, four controls matched by country, sex, year of birth, and year of CA test were randomly selected. Occupational exposure and smoking habit were assessed by a collaborative group of occupational hygienists. Logistic regression models indicated a statistically significant increase in risk for subjects with a high level of CAs compared to those with a low level in the Nordic cohort (odds ratio, 2.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.31-4.23) and in the Italian cohort (odds ratio, 2.66; 95% confidence interval, 1.26-5.62). These estimates were not affected by the inclusion of occupational exposure level and smoking habit in the regression model. The risk for high versus low levels of CAs was similar in subjects heavily exposed to carcinogens and in those who had never, to their knowledge, been exposed to any major carcinogenic agent during their lifetime, supporting the idea that chromosome damage itself is involved in the pathway to cancer. The results have important ramifications for the understanding of the role played by sporadic chromosome damage for the origin of neoplasia-associated CAs.
The present study aimed to assess the role of fish consumption for the body burden of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in mothers living in the Aland and Turku archipelago in Finland. The overall objective was to investigate whether there exists an appropriate population for a full-scale prospective study on PCB-related developmental effects in infants. Concentrations of the four major PCBs were determined in whole venous blood and cord blood from 30 delivering mothers, of which 20 subjects consumed fatty fish from the Baltic Sea (2.5-12.5 meals per month) and the remaining 10 mothers did not. The concentrations of CB-118, CB-138, CB-153, and CB-180 in cord blood were generally two- to threefold lower than in whole blood from the mothers, but strong correlations were observed between PCBs in the two matrices (r = .67-.80). Neither the venous blood nor cord blood concentrations of PCBs, however, were correlated with stated fish intake. Moreover, the concentration of CB-153 in plasma was only weakly associated with fish intake, and the level of organic mercury in erythrocytes was not correlated with fish intake at all. The present results of CB-153 concentrations in women's blood are lower than those reported in other recent investigations. A reasonable contributing explanation is the rapid decline during the last decades of PCB in Baltic Sea fish, which has resulted in less impact of fish intake on the body burdens of PCB in relatively young women (median 30 yr in the present study) as compared with older females. The relatively low PCB levels in blood taken together with the low number of yearly deliveries in the archipelago population makes it an inappropriate study base for a prospective study of PCB-related health effects in infants.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine the mortality and cancer incidence of long-term lead smelter workers at a primary smelter. METHODS: A cohort of 3979 workers employed for at least 1 year during 1928-1979 and a subcohort of 1992 workers employed in lead-exposed departments (lead only workers) was formed. The expected mortality in 1955-1987 and cancer incidence in 1958-1987 were calculated relative to the county rates, specified for cause, gender, 5-year age groups, and calendar year. A cumulative blood-lead index was used for the dose-response analyses. RESULTS: The lung cancer incidence of the total cohort [standardized incidence ratio (SIR) 2.8, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 2.1-3.8] and the group with the highest exposure (SIR 3.1, 95% CI 2.0-4.6) was high. Similar risk estimates were observed with a latency of 15 years. The workers hired before 1950 had higher lung cancer risk estimates (SIR 3.6, 95% CI 2.6-5.0) than the workers hired later (SIR 1.3, 95% CI 0.6-2.6, no latency period). The risk estimates for lung cancer were further elevated in the subcohort of lead-only workers (SIR 5.1, 95% CI 2.0-10.5 in the highest exposed subgroup; latency period of 15 years). No excesses of other malignancies were noted. CONCLUSIONS: The increased relative risks were probably mainly due to interactions between lead and other carcinogenic exposures, including arsenic. Further study is required concerning such possible interactions before a role in the induction of lung cancer can be ascribed to lead.
OBJECTIVES--The purpose of the study was to assess reproductive outcomes, especially birthweight, and the consumption of fatty fish from the Baltic Sea, contaminated with persistent organochlorine compounds, among women from the Swedish east coast. MATERIAL AND METHODS--Cohorts of fishermen's wives from the Swedish east and west coasts were established and linked to the Swedish Medical Birth Register for 1973-1991; 1501 children were born in the eastcoast cohort and 3553 in the westcoast cohort. Comparisons were made with regional populations and between the cohorts. Dietary interviews were made with 69 randomly selected women from the cohorts and 69 referents. RESULTS--The women interviewed from the east- and westcoast cohorts ate locally caught fish more than twice as often as their referents. Compared with the regional population, the women in the eastcoast cohort gave birth to an increased number of infants with low birthweights (
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to assess the hypothesized association between persistent organochlorine compounds through the consumption of fatty fish from the Baltic Sea (at the Swedish east coast) and low birthweight. MATERIALS AND METHODS: During the period 1973-1991, 72 cases of low birthweight (1500-2750 g) were selected from among infants born to fishermen's wives within a cohort from the Swedish east coast. For each case two referents were selected. The mothers were interviewed about their dietary and smoking habits and place of living during childhood and adolescence. RESULTS: A high total current intake of fish from the Baltic Sea (> or = 4 meals per month) tended to increase the risk of having an infant with low birthweight [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.9, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.9-3.9]. The effect was more conspicuous for the boys (OR 3.4, 95% CI 1.1-11). No such effects were observed when the estimated intake of fish was considered for the period in which the infant was born. However, mothers who had grown up in a fishing village had an increased risk of having an infant with low birthweight (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.0-4.3). CONCLUSIONS: The variable "grown up in a fishing village" can be interpreted as an indirect measure of a mother's accumulated consumption of fish from the Baltic Sea. This idea supports an association between a high consumption of contaminated fish from the Baltic Sea and an increased risk for low birthweight. The effect estimates based on the mothers' reported fish consumptions were dependent on the period under consideration and therefore were somewhat ambiguous.
The aim of this study was to analyze whether the associations between perceived environmental and individual characteristics and perceived walking limitations in older people differ between those with intact and those with poorer lower extremity performance.
Persons aged 75 to 90 ( N = 834) participated in interviews and performance tests in their homes. Standard questionnaires were used to obtain walking difficulties; environmental barriers to and, facilitators of, mobility; and perceived individual hindrances to outdoor mobility. Lower extremity performance was tested using Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB).
Among those with poorer lower extremity performance, the likelihood for advanced walking limitations was, in particular, related to perceived poor safety in the environment, and among those with intact performance to perceived social issues, such as lack of company, as well as to long distances.
The environmental correlates of walking limitations seem to depend on the level of lower extremity performance.
Environmental barriers are associated with disability-related outcomes in older people but little is known of the effect of environmental barriers on mortality. The aim of this study was to examine whether objectively measured barriers in the outdoor, entrance and indoor environments are associated with mortality among community-dwelling 80- to 89-year-old single-living people.
This longitudinal study is based on a sample of 397 people who were single-living in ordinary housing in Sweden. Participants were interviewed during 2002-2003, and 393 were followed up for mortality until May 15, 2012.Environmental barriers and functional limitations were assessed with the Housing Enabler instrument, which is intended for objective assessments of Person-Environment (P-E) fit problems in housing and the immediate outdoor environment. Mortality data were gathered from the public national register. Cox regression models were used for the analyses.
A total of 264 (67%) participants died during follow-up. Functional limitations increased mortality risk. Among the specific environmental barriers that generate the most P-E fit problems, lack of handrails in stairs at entrances was associated with the highest mortality risk (adjusted RR 1.55, 95% CI 1.14-2.10), whereas the total number of environmental barriers at entrances and outdoors was not associated with mortality. A higher number of environmental barriers indoors showed a slight protective effect against mortality even after adjustment for functional limitations (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.96-1.00).
Specific environmental problems may increase mortality risk among very-old single-living people. However, the association may be confounded by individuals' health status which is difficult to fully control for. Further studies are called for.
Exposure to, and the potential effects of, pesticides and persistent organic pollutants in the East Baltic region are reviewed. Exposure of the average population to chlorinated compounds seems lower than in most of western Europe, and current pesticide use is very low. However, due to infrastructure failures and poor management controls, industrial hot spots and inadequate storage sites exist that cause high risks to small population fractions. The low exposure of the general population is indicated by low concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans and biphenyls in milk fat. Chlorophenol concentrations are also generally lower than in Scandinavia. Some organic pesticides have been found at higher concentrations in Baltic countries and the St. Petersburg area than in Norway, but the range is roughly similar to that in central Europe. Thus the overall risk caused by pesticide residues and persistent organic compounds in the Baltic countries and northwestern Russia is low, but local sites of concern exist.