The demand for publicly subsidized health care services is insatiable, but the costs can be contained in different ways: formal rules can limit access to and the number of subsidized services, demand and supply can be regulated through the price mechanism, the relevant profession can contain the costs through state-sanctioned self-regulation, and other professions can contain the costs (e.g. through referrals). The use of these cost containment measures varies between countries, depending on demand and supply factors, but the relative professional status of the health professions may help explain why different countries use cost containment measures differently for different services. This article compares cost containment measures in Denmark and Norway because these countries vary with regard to the professional status of the medical profession relative to other health care providers, while other relevant variables are approximately similar. The investigation is based on formal agreements and rules, historical documents, existing analyses and an analysis of 360 newspaper articles. It shows that high relative professional status seems to help professions to avoid user fees, steer clear of regulation from other professions and regulate the services produced by others. This implies that relative professional status should be taken into consideration in analyses of health care cost containment.
OBJECTIVE. To test the relationship between physical activity and physical fitness, and the relationship between these variables and the primordial risk factor blood pressure (BP). DESIGN. A cross-sectional study of all Danish pupils in the same grade at 'gymnasium' (the Danish upper secondary school). SETTING. Tests and questionnaires were administered by physical education and biology teachers according to a prescribed scheme. SUBJECTS. Study subjects were 13810 adolescents with a mean age of 17.1 years. Physical activity, smoking habits, and physical performance were measured in 4862 boys and 6573 girls. Blood pressure was measured in 2474 boys and 3535 girls. No difference was found in BP, physical activity and fitness variables between this group and a representative group of Danish school children at the same age. MAIN OUTCOME. Blood pressure and health-related physical performance such as strength, muscle endurance, flexibility and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) estimated from heart rate at submaximal workload were measured. Sports activity, other physical activity and smoking habits were assessed by questionnaires. RESULTS. There was a negative relationship between BP and VO2max up to the 50% percentile (50 ml min-1 kg-1) in boys and up to the upper 80-90% percentile (45 ml min-1 kg-1) in girls. In a multiple regression model with BP as dependent variable, VO2max related highly significant, also after adjustment for body weight and physical activity (P