Around 90% of deaths from ovarian cancer are due to high-grade serous cancer (HGSC), which is frequently diagnosed at an advanced stage. Several cancer organisations made a joint recommendation that all women with specified symptoms of ovarian cancer should be tested with the aim of making an early diagnosis. In the Diagnosing Ovarian Cancer Early (DOvE) study we investigated whether open-access assessment would increase the rate of early-stage diagnosis.
Between May 1, 2008, and April 30, 2011, we enrolled women who were aged 50 years or older and who had symptoms of ovarian cancer. They were offered diagnostic testing with cancer antigen (CA-125) blood test and transvaginal ultrasonography (TVUS) at a central and a satellite open-access centre in Montreal, QC, Canada. We compared demographic characteristics of DOvE patients with those of women in the same age-group in the general population of the area, and compared indicators of disease burden with those in patients with ovarian cancer referred through the usual route to our gynaecological oncology clinic (clinic patients).
Among 1455 women assessed, 402 (27·6%) were in the highest-risk age group (= 65 years). 239 (16·4%) of 1455 required additional investigations. 22 gynaecological cancers were diagnosed, 11 (50%) of which were invasive ovarian cancers, including nine HGSC. The prevalence of invasive ovarian cancer, therefore, was one per 132 women (0·76%), which is ten times higher than that reported in screening studies. DOvE patients were significantly younger, more educated, and more frequently English speakers than were women in the general population. They also presented with less tumour burden than did the 75 clinic patients (median CA-125 concentration 72 U/mL, 95% CI 12-1190 vs 888 U/mL, 440-1936; p=0·010); Eight (73%) tumours were completely resectable in DOvE patients, compared with 33 (44%) in clinic patients (p=0·075). Seven (78%) of the HGSC in the DOvE group originated outside the ovaries and five were associated with only slightly raised CA-125 concentrations and minimal or no ovarian abnormalities on TVUS.
The proportion of HGSC that originated outside the ovaries in this study suggests that early diagnosis programmes should aim to identify low-volume disease rather than early-stage disease, and that diagnostic approaches should be modified accordingly. Although testing symptomatic women may result in earlier diagnosis of invasive ovarian cancer, large-scale implementation of this approach is premature.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Montreal General Hospital Foundation, Royal Victoria Hospital Foundation, Cedar's Cancer Institute, and La Fondation du Cancer Monique Malenfant-Pinizzotto.
Although related to inflammatory markers in adults, little is known about the association between cigarette smoking and C-reactive protein (CRP) in adolescent smokers. We examined the association between high-sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) concentrations and smoking in youth. We used data from a cross-sectional, province-wide survey of a representative sample of youth conducted in Quebec, Canada, in 1999. Data were collected in self-report questionnaires completed by participants and their parents. Participants provided a fasting blood sample, and anthropometric measures were undertaken by trained technicians. The present analysis pertains to 1,501 adolescents aged 13 and 16 years who completed questionnaires and for whom blood samples were available. The independent association between a six-category indicator of smoking status and elevated hs-CRP, defined as a value at least in the 90th percentile of the age- and sex-specific CRP distribution, was assessed in multiple logistic regression analyses controlling for potential confounders. Relative to never-smokers, the odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for puffers (i.e., never smoked a whole cigarette), those who smoked but not in the past month, light past-month smokers, moderate past-month smokers, and heavy past-month smokers were 1.04 (0.55-1.98), 1.76 (1.06-2.94), 1.39 (0.70-2.76), 2.07 (0.96-4.42), and 2.40 (1.18-4.88), respectively. Our data suggest a positive association between smoking status and elevated CRP in adolescents, and in particular among heavier past-month smokers. Damage related to cigarette smoking may begin soon after tobacco use initiation, reinforcing the preventive message that no level of smoking is safe in youth.
Geographical variations in the use of invasive cardiac procedures have been documented. It remains unclear to what extent these variations exist across the Canadian provinces.
To describe variation in the use of invasive cardiac procedures and waiting times for these procedures across nine Canadian provinces.
Using longitudinal, de-identified patient data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, records of patients who had suffered an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in each of nine Canadian provinces between 1997/1998 and 1999/2000 were selected. Rates and median waiting times for percutaneous coronary intervention and coronary artery bypass graft surgery were calculated by age, sex and health region.
There was a large variation in the use of and waiting times for invasive cardiac procedures across the Canadian provinces studied. In general, cardiac procedure rates in Western provinces were higher than in Eastern provinces, most notably higher than in the Maritime provinces and Ontario. In addition to interprovincial variation, there was also significant regional variation in the rates of revascularization and waiting times. Rates of percutaneous coronary intervention increased over the study period, whereas rates of bypass surgery remained relatively stable.
Significant variation in the use of cardiac procedures after AMI exists across Canada and this April represent potential inequalities in the treatment of AMI across Canada.
Emergency department (ED) use in Quebec may be measured from varied sources, eg, patient's self-reports, hospital medical charts, and provincial health insurance claims databases. Determining the relative validity of each source is complicated because none is a gold standard.
We sought to compare the validity of different measures of ED use without arbitrarily assuming one is perfect.
Data were obtained from a nursing liaison intervention study for frail seniors visiting EDs at 4 university-affiliated hospitals in Montreal.
The number of ED visits during 2 consecutive follow-up periods of 1 and 4 months after baseline was obtained from patient interviews, from medical charts of participating hospitals, and from the provincial health insurance claims database.
Latent class analysis was used to estimate the validity of each source. The impact of the following covariates on validity was evaluated: hospital visited, patient's demographic/clinical characteristics, risk of functional decline, nursing liaison intervention, duration of recall, previous ED use, and previous hospitalization.
The patient's self-report was found to be the least accurate (sensitivity: 70%, specificity: 88%). Claims databases had the greatest validity, especially after defining claims made on consecutive days as part of the same ED visit (sensitivity: 98%, specificity: 98%). The validity of the medical chart was intermediate. Lower sensitivity (or under-reporting) on the self-report appeared to be associated with higher age, low comorbidity and shorter length of recall.
The claims database is the most valid method of measuring ED use among seniors in Quebec compared with hospital medical charts and patient-reported use.
Few prospective studies of smoking initiation have investigated a wide range of time-varying and invariant predictor variables at the individual and contextual levels concurrently. In this study (1999-2005), 877 Canadian students (mean age = 12.7 years) who had never smoked at baseline completed self-report questionnaires on cigarette smoking and 32 predictor variables in 20 survey cycles during secondary school. Height and weight were measured in survey cycles 1, 12, and 19. School administrators completed questionnaires on school tobacco control policies/activities, and trained observers collected data on access to tobacco products in commercial establishments near schools. Younger age, single-parent family status, smoking by parents, siblings, friends, and school staff, stress, impulsivity, lower self-esteem, feeling a need to smoke, not doing well at school, susceptibility to tobacco advertising, alcohol use, use of other tobacco products, and attending a smoking-tolerant school were independent determinants of smoking initiation. Independent determinants of daily smoking onset among initiators of nondaily smoking included smoking by siblings and friends, feeling a need to smoke, susceptibility to tobacco advertising, use of other tobacco products, and self-perceived mental and physical addiction. Adolescent tobacco control programs should address multiple individual and contextual-level risk factors. Strategies that address nicotine dependence symptoms are also needed for adolescents who have already initiated smoking.
Jack Siemiatycki, Igor Karp, and Marie-Pierre Sylvestre are with the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, and Health Risks Division, Centre de Recherche du CHUM, University of Montreal. Javier Pintos is with Health Risks Division, Centre de Recherche du CHUM, University of Montreal.
The plaintiffs' lawyers for a class action suit, which was launched in Quebec on behalf of all patients with lung cancer whose disease was caused by cigarette smoking, asked us to estimate what proportion of lung cancer cases in Quebec, if they hypothetically could be individually evaluated, would satisfy the criterion that it is "more likely than not" that smoking caused the disease.
The novel methodology we developed is based on the dose-response relationship between smoking and lung cancer, for which we use the pack-years as a measure of smoking, and the distribution of pack-years of smoking among cases.
We estimated that the amount of smoking required to satisfy the "more likely than not" criterion is between 3 and 11 pack-years. More than 90% of the Quebec cases satisfied even the most conservative of these thresholds.
More than 90% of cases of lung cancer in Quebec are legally attributable to smoking. The methodology enhances the ability to conduct class action suits against the tobacco industry.
To describe gender differences in smoking cessation counseling practices among general practitioners (GPs), and to investigate the association between training for cessation counseling and counseling practices according to gender.
Data were collected in two cross-sectional mail surveys conducted in independent random samples of GPs in Montreal, the first in 1998, and the second in 2000.
Respondents included 653 GPs (71% of 916 eligible). All indicators of smoking cessation counseling practices were more favorable among female GPs. Higher proportions of female GPs had received training (28% vs. 17%, p=0.002), and were aware of mailed print educational materials related to cessation counseling (81% vs. 57%, p
Previous research has not adequately addressed the topic of sex and gender differences in occurrence of premature acute coronary syndrome (ACS). This study will investigate the clinical presentation, prognosis, and health care use in young men and women with ACS.
We have set up a prospective, multicenter study of 1,576 patients aged 18-55 years and admitted to hospital with ACS. At baseline, questionnaires will be administered, and anthropometric and biological measurements will be performed. The patients will be observed for at least 1 year, with additional questionnaires being administered at 1, 6, and 12 months post-discharge. A review of medical records will be performed both at baseline and during follow-up.
This study will provide important evidence on the roles that a wide range of behavioral, environmental, and biological factors play in premature ACS and will help determine to what extent these roles depend on the individual's sex and gender. Ultimately, the knowledge derived from this study may facilitate accurate diagnosis and effective prevention and management of ACS in young women and men.
Prescription plans frequently use restrictive strategies to control drug expenditures. Increased restrictions may reduce access to evidence-based therapy among patients with chronic disease. We sought to evaluate the impact of increased restrictions on medication use among heart failure (HF) patients.
We conducted a population-based cohort study of administrative data from 3 Canadian provinces. During 1998 to 2001, Quebec (QC) had a minimally restrictive plan, whereas Ontario (ON) and British Columbia (BC) had more restrictive prescription plans. We evaluated drug use at 30 days of discharge stratified by prescription plan. Provincial rates of filled prescriptions for HF drugs in QC, ON, and BC were 62%, 58%, and 47% for angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; 34%, 22%, and 16% for beta-blockers; 9%, 5%, and 3% for angiotensin receptor blockers; and 79%, 76%, and 62% for loop diuretics, respectively. In multivariate analyses, patients residing in provinces with restrictive plans were less likely to be prescribed drugs that were restricted, such as beta-blockers (odds ratio, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.46 to 0.60; 0.36, 0.29 to 0.44, for ON and BC, respectively) and angiotensin receptor blockers (0.50, 0.45 to 0.56; 0.38, 0.32 to 0.46, for ON and BC, respectively), than drugs with no restrictions, such as loop diuretics (0.81, 0.74 to 0.88; 0.40, 0.36 to 0.45, for ON and BC, respectively) and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (0.80, 0.75 to 0.86; 0.47, 0.43 to 0.52, for ON and BC, respectively).
Among HF patients, residing in a province with a more restrictive prescription plan may be associated with lower use of restricted HF medications over and above the expected regional differences in HF drug use across provinces.
Comment In: Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2009 Sep;2(5):402-320031868
Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To describe the incidence and identify predictors of smoking initiation in young adults.
Data were collected in self-report questionnaires in 22 cycles over 13 years in a prospective cohort investigation of 1,293 students recruited in 1999-2000 from all grade 7 classes in a convenience sample of 10 high schools in Montreal, Canada. Participants were 12.7 years of age on average at cohort inception and 24.0 years of age in cycle 22. Independent predictors of smoking initiation in young adulthood (post-high school) were identified in multivariable logistic regression analysis using generalized estimating equations.
Of 1,293 participants, 75% initiated smoking by cycle 22. Of these, 44%, 43%, and 14% initiated before high school, during high school, and in the 6 years after high school, respectively. The incidence density rate of initiation was .33, .13, .14, .11, and .12 initiation events per person-year in grade 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11, respectively, and .05 post-high school. Independent predictors of smoking initiation in young adults included alcohol use, higher impulsivity, and poor academic performance.
A total of 14% of smokers who initiated smoking before age 24 years did so after high school. The predictors of initiation in young adults may provide direction for relevant preventive interventions.