The Finnish National Programme for Chronic Bronchitis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 1998-2007 was set up to reduce the prevalence of COPD, improve COPD diagnosis and care, reduce the number of moderate to severe cases of the disease, and reduce hospitalisations and treatment costs due to COPD. Over 900 events for 25,000 participating healthcare workers were arranged. The major strengths of this programme included multidisciplinary strategies and web-based guidelines in nearly all primary health care centres around the country.
Data from national registries, epidemiological studies and questionnaires were used to measure whether the goals had been reached.
The prevalence of COPD remained unchanged. Smoking decreased in males from 30% to 26% (p
Comment In: Prim Care Respir J. 2011 Jun;20(2):109-1021603847
Sarcoidosis is a multiorgan immune-mediated disease of unknown etiology with varying clinical pictures. We studied 3 genes in the major histocompatibility complex region (HLA-DRB1 and complement C4A and C4B) in patients with resolved disease after a 2-year follow-up (n = 90) and in patients whose disease was still active at that time point (n = 98) and compared them with controls (n = 150). Our primary aim was to detect genetic differences between the patient groups. We observed that the susceptibility allele for sarcoidosis was HLA-DRB1*15:01 (p = 0.011; odds ratio [OR] = 1.67) and the protective allele was HLA-DRB1*01:01 (p = 0.001; OR = 0.43). HLA-DRB1*03:01 was associated with resolving disease when compared with the persistent group (p = 0.011; OR = 2.22). The probability of having resolving disease was even greater if the patient had HLA-DRB1*03:01 and did not have extrapulmonary lesions (p = 0.001; OR = 3.39). By evaluating amino acid variants of the HLA-DRB1 gene, we determined that specific amino acids in pockets 4, 7, and 9 were associated with the prognosis of sarcoidosis. Our results support the importance of HLA-DRB1 as a predisposing gene for sarcoidosis. Particularly, HLA-DRB1*03:01 and polymorphisms of DRB1 pocket residues were associated with a favorable prognosis. Thus, accurate categorization of disease phenotype and HLA-DRB1 sequencing offer a basis for disease course estimation of sarcoidosis.
The continuing rise in asthma prevalence has been questioned, with recent reports suggesting a plateau.
To assess a 10-year trend in the age-adjusted prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma, respiratory and allergic symptoms, and use of asthma medication in the adult population of Helsinki during the Finnish Asthma Programme from 1994 to 2004.
Two cross-sectional postal surveys were conducted among random Finnish National Population Registry samples 10 years apart using the same protocol. A total of 6,062 subjects (75.9%) and 2,449 subjects (61.9%) participated in 1996 and 2006, respectively.
The prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma increased from 6.5% in 1996 to 10.0% in 2006 (p
Comment In: Prim Care Respir J. 2013 Mar;22(1):13-423426421
National treatment programmes for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have in the past few years increased the need for spirometry in Finland. The purpose of this study was to determine, by means of a national questionnaire survey, the quality and number of spirometric examinations performed in Finland in 1998, the year when the national COPD programme was initiated. We estimated that 395 000-425 000 spirometric examinations were performed in Finland in 1998. The mean quality of spirometry was evaluated as moderate, and the quality index developed for this study indicated an average of scores of 67 (max 100), ranging between 43 and 88 in the whole country. The most common qualitative insufficiencies in spirometric examinations were found in preparation of the subject for the examination, performance of the examination, recognition of a successful spirometric curve and evaluation of reproducibility of the examination. Furthermore, the time reserved in the reports for performing the examination was often very short. However, in comparison with the previous questionnaire survey in Finland (in 1990), the quality of spirometry had markedly improved.
In Finland, a national programme for COPD prevention and treatment was developed in 1998. The main goals of the programme were to diagnose COPD as early as possible and to encourage people to quit smoking. The role of primary health care was emphasized in the programme. Our aim was to investigate the use of spirometry and recording of smoking habits of COPD patients in primary health care before and during the COPD programme.
We compared patients with respiratory symptoms or diseases visiting primary health care during 1997 (before programme) and 2002 (during programme). Patients with respiratory symptoms were divided into two groups: COPD patients and "others". Patient records were thoroughly investigated and data retrieved from them.
There was a significant increase in the whole study group from 8.0% to 38.9% in the use of spirometry (p
Cites: Chest. 2000 Feb;117(2 Suppl):1S-4S10673465
Cites: Eur Respir J. 2010 Oct;36(4):766-7320693258