Since Dr. Fogh-Andersen's legendary 1942 thesis, the Danish facial cleft population has been one of the most extensively studied in terms of epidemiology and genetic-epidemiology. The etiology of cleft lip and/or palate (CLP) is still largely an enigma, and different results concerning environmental and genetic risk factors are obtained in different countries and regions. This may be due to etiological heterogeneity between settings. Therefore, an in-depth studied area with an ethnically homogeneous population, such as Denmark, has provided one of the best opportunities for progress in CLP etiological research. The present review summarizes epidemiological and genetic-epidemiological studies conducted in the 20th century Danish facial cleft population. Furthermore, analyses of sex differences, time trends and seasonality for more than 7000 CLP cases born in Denmark in the period 1936 to 1987 are presented. The review also points toward the excellent opportunities for continued etiological CLP research in Denmark in the 21st century using already established resources and an on-going prospective cohort study of 100,000 pregnant women.
A statistical and epidemiological review of British Columbia native Indian and non-Indian mortality revealed that accidents were the leading cause of death among Indians but ranked only fourth among non-Indians. Comparison of accidental death rates by age and sex showed that, without exception, the rates among Indians were considerably higher than the corressponding rates for non-Indians. While the Indians represented some 2% of the total population of British Columbia, they accounted for over 10% of the total accident fatalities, 29% of drownings, and 21% of fatal burns.Socioeconomic, environmental and psychosocial factors and excessive drinking are considered the chief causes responsible for this rather unusual epidemiological phenomenon.This study revealed certain hazardous conditions which are specific to the Indian's present way of life. In the authors' opinion the recognition of these specific hazards is imperative for the planning of effective preventive campaigns.
Cites: Can J Public Health. 1962 Oct;53:409-1213992080
All accidents treated by the Primary Health Services in Vågå Municipality in 1988, were registered. There were altogether 498 accidents (124 accidents per 1,000 inhabitants per year). 418 injured persons were treated by the local health service, 80 were referred to hospital. The major mechanism of injury was falling (38%). The accidents occurred most frequently at home (38%), at the sports-ground/outdoors (23%) or at work (17%). 11 injuries were very serious, none were lethal. 44 occurred during skiing. Our work to prevent accidents will give priority to: the mother and child clinic; environmental health; skiing accidents.
The APHEA 2 project investigated short-term health effects of particles in eight European cities. In each city associations between particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 microm (PM(10)) and black smoke and daily counts of emergency hospital admissions for asthma (0-14 and 15-64 yr), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and all-respiratory disease (65+ yr) controlling for environmental factors and temporal patterns were investigated. Summary PM(10) effect estimates (percentage change in mean number of daily admissions per 10 microg/m(3) increase) were asthma (0-14 yr) 1.2% (95% CI: 0.2, 2.3), asthma (15-64 yr) 1.1% (0.3, 1.8), and COPD plus asthma and all-respiratory (65+ yr) 1.0% (0.4, 1.5) and 0.9% (0.6, 1.3). The combined estimates for Black Smoke tended to be smaller and less precisely estimated than for PM(10). Variability in the sizes of the PM(10) effect estimates between cities was also investigated. In the 65+ groups PM(10) estimates were positively associated with annual mean concentrations of ozone in the cities. For asthma admissions (0-14 yr) a number of city-specific factors, including smoking prevalence, explained some of their variability. This study confirms that particle concentrations in European cities are positively associated with increased numbers of admissions for respiratory diseases and that some of the variation in PM(10) effect estimates between cities can be explained by city characteristics.
From the aDepartment of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; bAgeing and Living Conditions Programme, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; cCentre for Population Studies, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; and dDepartment of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Division of Epidemiology and Global Health, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Climate change is projected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events. Short-term effects of extreme hot and cold weather and their effects on mortality have been thoroughly documented, as have epidemiologic and demographic changes throughout the 20th century. We investigated whether sensitivity to episodes of extreme heat and cold has changed in Stockholm, Sweden, from the beginning of the 20th century until the present.
We collected daily mortality and temperature data for the period 1901-2009 for present-day Stockholm County, Sweden. Heat extremes were defined as days for which the 2-day moving average of mean temperature was above the 98th percentile; cold extremes were defined as days for which the 26-day moving average was below the 2nd percentile. The relationship between extreme hot/cold temperatures and all-cause mortality, stratified by decade, sex, and age, was investigated through time series modeling, adjusting for time trends.
Total daily mortality was higher during heat extremes in all decades, with a declining trend over time in the relative risk associated with heat extremes, leveling off during the last three decades. The relative risk of mortality was higher during cold extremes for the entire period, with a more dispersed pattern across decades. Unlike for heat extremes, there was no decline in the mortality with cold extremes over time.
Although the relative risk of mortality during extreme temperature events appears to have fallen, such events still pose a threat to public health.
Public Health Agency of Canada, Centre for Food-Borne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Environmental Issues Division, Canada; Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen's University, Canada. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of extreme ambient temperature on hospital emergency room visits (ER) related to mental and behavioral illnesses in Toronto, Canada.
A time series study was conducted using health and climatic data from 2002 to 2010 in Toronto, Canada. Relative risks (RRs) for increases in emergency room (ER) visits were estimated for specific mental and behavioral diseases (MBD) after exposure to hot and cold temperatures while using the 50th percentile of the daily mean temperature as reference. Poisson regression models using a distributed lag non-linear model (DLNM) were used. We adjusted for the effects of seasonality, humidity, day-of-the-week and outdoor air pollutants.
We found a strong association between MBD ER visits and mean daily temperature at 28?C. The association was strongest within a period of 0-4 days for exposure to hot temperatures. A 29% (RR=1.29, 95% CI 1.09-1.53) increase in MBD ER vists was observed over a cumulative period of 7 days after exposure to high ambient temperature (99th percentile vs. 50th percentile). Similar associations were reported for schizophrenia, mood, and neurotic disorers. No significant associations with cold temperatures were reported.
The ecological nature and the fact that only one city was investigated.
Our findings suggest that extreme temperature poses a risk to the health and wellbeing for individuals with mental and behavior illnesses. Patient management and education may need to be improved as extreme temperatures may become more prevalent with climate change.
The Inuit population of Nunavik (Canada) is exposed to immunotoxic organochlorines (OCs) mainly through the consumption of fish and marine mammal fat. We investigated the effect of perinatal exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) on the incidence of acute infections in Inuit infants. We reviewed the medical charts of a cohort of 199 Inuit infants during the first 12 months of life and evaluated the incidence rates of upper and lower respiratory tract infections (URTI and LRTIs, respectively), otitis media, and gastrointestinal (GI) infections. Maternal plasma during delivery and infant plasma at 7 months of age were sampled and assayed for PCBs and DDE. Compared to rates for infants in the first quartile of exposure to PCBs (least exposed), adjusted rate ratios for infants in higher quartiles ranged between 1.09 and 1.32 for URTIs, 0.99 and 1.39 for otitis, 1.52 and 1.89 for GI infections, and 1.16 and 1.68 for LRTIs during the first 6 months of follow-up. For all infections combined, the rate ratios ranged from 1.17 to 1.27. The effect size was similar for DDE exposure but was lower for the full 12-month follow-up. Globally, most rate ratios were > 1.0, but few were statistically significant (p
Beginning approximately 4 years after the Chernobyl nuclear accident a steady increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer was observed in children and adolescents of the Bryansk Oblast, which received the highest level of radionuclide contaminants in Russia. We examined the spatial relationship between the residence location of patients with identified thyroid cancer (0-18 years old at the time of the accident) and a number of geographic parameters to better account for the etiology of thyroid cancer spatial distribution. Geographic parameters analyzed included spatial distribution of 137Cs and 131I in soil, population demographics, measurements and reconstructions. of absorbed thyroid 131I doses in the population, and maps of major transportation arteries. An interesting finding is the lack of a consistent correlation between the spatial distribution of radionuclides in the soil and thyroid cancer incidence. Instead, most of the thyroid cancer cases were diagnosed in settlements situated on major railways and roads. Correlating population with thyroid cancer cases and transportation arteries reveals a much higher cancer rate on or near major roads and railways than at a distance from them, again independent of radionuclide soil concentration. There are other important factors, of course, that must be considered in future evaluations of this phenomenon. These include the influence of iodine endemic zones, genetic predisposition to thyroid cancer, and duration of residence time in contaminated areas. The feasibility of radionuclide transport on railways and roads is discussed, together with the vectors for transfer of the contaminants to the human population. Developing a model to reconstruct the radiation dose to the thyroid over time in this geographic region is proposed in light of the impact of transportation arteries. Specific studies are outlined to provide the data necessary to develop this model as well as to better characterize the feasibility and scientific validity of the contribution to human health effects of this transport factor. Transport factor refers to the transport of radionuclides on transportation arteries and the transfer of these agents to the human population residing in the vicinity of these arteries. If the impact on thyroid cancer of the transport of radionuclides on major railways and roads is indeed significant, a major reappraisal of the risk of large-scale radioactive release into the environment is necessary.
The age- and sex-dependence of the 131I induced count rates is determined for the measurements performed in Ukraine after the Chernobyl accident on the thyroids of over 60,000 persons. For this, the individual measurements are scaled in such a way that the mean values over age and sex on one side and the mean values over measurement series on the other side are normalized to one. The resulting distribution of all scaled measurements is roughly log-normal. Half of them lie within a factor 1.6 of the median. 131I induced count rates have a minimum at birth year 1986, about half the value of adults. The maximum count rates with about 30% above adults are reached for males around age 16 y. The count rates are up to about 40% (at age 14-17 y) higher for males than for females. The results are within statistical uncertainties independent of the geographical area and the urban or rural nature of the settlements. Starting from the relative count rates, the age- and sex-dependence is calculated for the thyroid activities 1 mo after the accident for the integrated activities and for the doses. The dose of young children is a factor of about 6.5 higher than that of adults. Uncertainties are estimated throughout.
Human teeth have been considered as dosimeters for decades. Methods include the in vivo measurement of 90Sr/90Y in teeth with a tooth-beta counter, the radiochemical determination of 90Sr in whole teeth, and the measurement of dose in teeth by use of electron paramagnetic resonance. Presented in this paper are results of 2,514 tooth-beta counter measurements, 334 radiochemical measurements, and 218 electron paramagnetic resonance measurements for residents living in settlements along the Techa River. All three kinds of measurements indicate a sharp peak that corresponds to the uptake of 90Sr by tooth tissue. The results can be interpreted in terms of an intake function for 90Sr only if the period of calcification of each individual tooth is considered--such detail on a tooth-by-tooth basis is presented in this paper. The conclusion is reached that the tooth-beta counter data are the most reliable in terms of reconstruction of 90Sr intake; this is due in part to the fact that the tooth-beta counter measures four teeth (all at position 1) with essentially the same time periods of mineralization and because there are a large number of tooth-beta counter measurements. The main utility of electron paramagnetic resonance measurements is considered to be the validation of estimates of external dose; but for this purpose teeth with 90Sr taken up into enamel must be avoided.
Verotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC) is the cause of severe gastrointestinal infection especially among infants. Between 10 and 20 cases are reported annually to the National Infectious Disease Register (NIDR) in Finland. The aim of this study was to identify explanatory variables for VTEC infections reported to the NIDR in Finland between 1997 and 2006. We applied a hurdle model, applicable for a dataset with an excess of zeros.
We enrolled 131 domestically acquired primary cases of VTEC between 1997 and 2006 from routine surveillance data. The isolated strains were characterized by virulence type, serogroup, phage type and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. By applying a two-part Bayesian hurdle model to infectious disease surveillance data, we were able to create a model in which the covariates were associated with the probability for occurrence of the cases in the logistic regression part and the magnitude of covariate changes in the Poisson regression part if cases do occur. The model also included spatial correlations between neighbouring municipalities.
The average annual incidence rate was 4.8 cases per million inhabitants based on the cases as reported to the NIDR. Of the 131 cases, 74 VTEC O157 and 58 non-O157 strains were isolated (one person had dual infections). The number of bulls per human population and the proportion of the population with a higher education were associated with an increased occurrence and incidence of human VTEC infections in 70 (17%) of 416 of Finnish municipalities. In addition, the proportion of fresh water per area, the proportion of cultivated land per area and the proportion of low income households with children were associated with increased incidence of VTEC infections.
With hurdle models we were able to distinguish between risk factors for the occurrence of the disease and the incidence of the disease for data characterised by an excess of zeros. The density of bulls and the proportion of the population with higher education were significant both for occurrence and incidence, while the proportion of fresh water, cultivated land, and the proportion of low income households with children were significant for the incidence of the disease.
To determine the influence of endotoxin on the incidence of acute respiratory illness during the first 2 years of life, we carried out a longitudinal follow-up study, beginning at birth, of 332 children born in Prince Edward Island, Canada. We measured 5-day averaged air endotoxin in the homes of children, whose parents provided information by daily symptom diaries and twice-monthly telephone contact for up to 2 years. Endotoxin concentration was 0.49 +/- 3.49 EU/m3 (geometric mean +/- geometric SD), and number of annualized illness episodes was 6.83 +/- 2.80 (mean +/- SD). A doubling of the air endotoxin concentration was associated with an increase of 0.32 illness episodes per year (p = 0.0003), adjusted for age, year of study, breast-feeding, environmental tobacco smoke, child care attendance, indoor temperature, and income. Indoor mold surface area and fungal ergosterol were not significantly associated with endotoxin. Airborne endotoxin appears to be a risk factor for clinically symptomatic respiratory illnesses during the first 2 years of life independent of indoor fungus.
We evaluated risks associated with diaper changing in Finnish kindergartens where children were using either modern disposable paper or reusable cloth diapers.
We determined enteric micro-organisms and ammonia in diaper-changing rooms in four kindergartens in autumn and winter in the ambient air. No coliphages were detected in the air. The numbers of faecal coliforms and enterococci in air were typically low regardless of whether the children used either paper or cloth diapers. Ammonia concentrations increased over the background level because of diaper changing.
The numbers of bacteria or coliphages are not expected to pose any high air hygiene risks, and increased ammonia air concentrations are unlikely to impair the health of staff or children when diapers are changed in modern kindergartens. However, increased ammonia gas concentrations indicate that some other diaper-related gas-phase emissions should be studied to understand better diaper-related health risks.
Modern reusable cloth baby diapers and the modern paper baby diapers used in this study are equally safe with respect to risks from airborne virus, bacteria or ammonia.
Airborne particulate matter from primarily geologic, non-industrial sources at levels below National Ambient Air Quality Standards is associated with outpatient visits for asthma and quick-relief medication prescriptions among children less than 20 years old enrolled in Medicaid in Anchorage, Alaska.
In Anchorage, Alaska, particulates with aerodynamic diameter or = 34 micro g/m(3). A significant 18.1% increase (RR: 1.181, 95% CI: 1.010-1.381) in the rate of quick-relief medication prescriptions occurred during days with PM(10) of 34-60 micro g/m(3), and a 28.8% increase (RR: 1.288, 95% CI: 1.026-1.619) occurred during days with PM(10) > or = 61 micro g/m(3). Similar results for outpatient asthma visits and quick-relief medication occurred in weekly models. There were no significant associations with PM(2.5) in either daily or weekly models. These subtle but statistically significant associations suggest that non-industrial, geologic sources of PM(10) may have measurable health effects at levels below current national standards.
Chest pain or weakness can be first signal of health problems. Many studies demonstrate that these conditions can be related to air pollution. This work uses time-series data to investigate the association.
This is a study of 68,714 emergency department (ED) visits for chest pain (ICD-9: 786) and of 66,092 ED visits for weakness (ICD-9: 780). The hierarchical method was applied to analyse the associations between daily counts of ED visits for chest pain and weakness (separately) and the levels of the air pollutants and meteorological variables. The counts of visits for all patients, males and females were analysed separately by whole period (I-XII), warm (IV-IX) and cold (X-III).
The results are presented in the form of the excess risks associated with an increase in the interquartile range (IQR) for the pollutant. Chest pain: 2.4% (95% CI: 1.0-3.9) for CO, females, I-XII; 3.8% (95% CI: 0.0-7.8) for NO(2), males, IV-IX; 4.5% (95% CI: 0.9-8.3) for O(3) (1-day lagged), males, IV-IX; 2.8% (95% CI: 0.5-5.2), for PM(10), males, X-III; 2.0% (95% CI: 0.0-4.0), for SO(2), females, X-III; 2.1% (95% CI: 0.2-4.0) for PM(2.5), all, X-III. Weakness: 2.1% (95% CI: 0.4-3.7) for CO (2-day lagged), males, X-III; 3.4% (95% CI: 1.0-5.9) for NO(2) (2-day lagged), males, X-III; 2.4% (95% CI: 0.9-3.9) for SO(2), females, I-XII; 4.6% (95% CI: 1.0-8.2) for O(3) (1-day lagged), females, IV-IX.
Obtained findings provide support for the hypothesis that ED visits for chest pain and weakness are associated with exposure to ambient air pollution.
Otitis media (OM) is one of the most common early childhood infections, resulting in an enormous economic burden to the health care system through unscheduled doctor visits and antibiotic prescriptions.
The objective of this study was to investigate the potential association between ambient air pollution exposure and emergency department (ED) visits for OM.
Ten years of ED data were obtained from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and linked to levels of air pollution: carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter (PM) of median aerometric diameter
Cites: An Pediatr (Barc). 2004 Feb;60(2):133-814757016
Cites: Vaccine. 2008 Dec 23;26 Suppl 7:G5-1019094935
The hypothesis that exposure to traffic-related air pollution increases the risk of developing cancer during childhood was investigated. The authors enrolled 1,989 children reported to the Danish Cancer Registry with a diagnosis of leukemia, tumor of the central nervous system, or malignant lymphoma during 1968-1991 and 5,506 control children selected at random from the entire childhood population. The residential histories of the children were traced from 9 months before birth until the time of diagnosis of the cases and a similar period for the controls. For each of the 18,440 identified addresses, information on traffic and the configuration of streets and buildings was collected. Average concentrations of benzene and nitrogen dioxide (indicators of traffic-related air pollution) were calculated for the relevant period, and exposures to air pollution during pregnancy and during childhood were calculated separately. The risks of leukemia, central nervous system tumors, and all selected cancers combined were not linked to exposure to benzene or nitrogen dioxide during either period. The risk of lymphomas increased by 25% (p for trend = 0.06) and 51% (p for trend = 0.05) for a doubling of the concentration of benzene and nitrogen dioxide, respectively, during the pregnancy. The association was restricted to Hodgkin's disease.
Cancer incidence and its possible relation to environmental contaminants, including radiation, continues to be a perceived health threat for the arctic-dwelling Alaska Native (Inupiat Eskimo) people despite the lack of a direct link to high-dose exposure. To better understand this concern, all known malignancies diagnosed in this population (n = 177) in three consecutive eight-year periods (1971-1994) were evaluated. The most recent average incidence rate (age-adjusted to world standard population) of 315 per 100,000 (95% confidence interval, CI = 248-382) represents a 33% surge (albeit non-significant) in Alaska Native cancer incidence over the initial period studied. The male rate 366 (95% CI = 266-466) for the same period exceeds the female rate 258 (95% CI = 169-347) by 42%. Two patterns of cancer incidence are seen at the village level. One, a 24 y upward trend found in the villages of Barrow, Point Hope and Kaktovik (combined rate of increase significant [P = 0.047]) associated with lung cancer; and the other, a stable trend over the past 16 y, associated with colon and rectal cancer. Lung cancer is the predominant cancer by site and is primarily a male disease. The recent male lung cancer incidence rate of 137 (95% CI = 73-201) exceeds the female rate by greater than five times. Total lung cancer cases are primarily confined to four villages where the incidence significantly (P = 0.0043) exceeds the remaining population. The major female cancers are colon/rectal and breast with cancer of the cervix virtually eliminated. Breast cancer is found primarily in two villages where its excess is significant (P = 0.025). Inupiat Eskimo cancer epidemiology is unique, differing from both the Alaska Native and other Circumpolar populations. At present, this uniqueness cannot be explained by an overt environmental contaminant exposure. Although tobacco very likely plays a central role, it by itself cannot fully explain the extremely high male lung cancer rate and why only specific villages are affected. Genetic predisposition and environmental factors may play a synergistic role as cofactors. A cooperative investigative effort with the Inupiat population is indicated and may go a long way in reducing cancer concern in the region.