Studies from around the world indicate a trend toward younger ages of menarche. The extent of this trend in the Canadian population is unknown, and the relationship to later-life health indicators has not yet been fully elucidated. The objective of this study is to estimate the trend in age at menarche (AAM) in the Canadian population and evaluate the relationship between AAM and adult body mass index (BMI).
Our data source was a nationally representative survey (the Canadian Community Health Survey, 2.2), and analyses included 8080 women, aged 15 and older, who self-reported AAM. Height and weight were measured by the interviewers for the calculation of current BMI. We modeled the secular trend in AAM over time, and the relationship between current BMI and AAM.
We found a statistically significant decline in AAM in successive age cohorts, indicating a 0.73-year (8.8-month) decrease in AAM between the oldest and youngest age cohorts in the sample. A 1-year increase in AAM was associated with a decrease in mean BMI of approximately 0.5 kg/m(2), after adjustment for covariates. A current age-AAM interaction term was nonsignificant, indicating that the relationship was stable throughout increasing temporal separation from puberty.
The observed trend toward earlier menarche could be an indicator of a change in insulin-related metabolism, possibly mediated by behavioral and environmental variables. This study suggests that AAM may be an important clinical and public health indicator of susceptibility to overweight and obesity and attendant morbidity.
To determine the associations between cumulative occupational physical load (COPL) and 3 definitions of knee osteoarthritis (OA).
Cross-sectional analyses were performed from 2 population-based cohorts (n = 327). Eligible symptomatic participants were those with pain, aching, or discomfort in or around the knee on most days of a month at any time in the past and any pain in the past 12 months. Asymptomatic participants responded "no" to both knee pain questions. Self-reported COPL was calculated over each participant's lifetime and then categorized into quarters (QCOPL). Radiographic OA (ROA) and symptomatic OA (SOA) were defined by Kellgren/Lawrence grade =2, with SOA also including pain. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) OA was defined using criteria by Hunter et al. Logistic regression, adjusted with population weights, examined the associations between QCOPL and each of ROA, SOA, and MRI-OA after controlling for covariates and two-way interactions.
Participants had a mean ± SD age of 58.5 ± 11.0 years and a mean ± SD body mass index of 26.3 ± 4.7 kg/m(2) . Of those, 109 (33.3%) had ROA, 102 (31.2%) had SOA, and 131 (40.1%) had MRI-OA. Compared with QCOPL-1, increased odds of ROA were found for QCOPL-4 (odds ratio [OR] 3.15, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.02-9.70) and QCOPL-3 (OR 4.19, 95% CI 1.55-11.34). Statistically significant relationships were found in SOA (QCOPL-4: OR 8.16, 95% CI 1.89-35.27; QCOPL-3: OR 5.73, 95% CI 1.36-24.12) and MRI-OA (QCOPL-4: OR 9.54, 95% CI 2.65-34.27; QCOPL-3: OR 9.04, 95% CI 2.65-30.88; QCOPL-2: OR 7.18, 95% CI 2.17-23.70).
Occupational activity is associated with knee OA, with dose-response relationships observed in SOA and MRI-OA.
In metropolitan areas, road traffic is a major contributor to ambient air pollution and the dominant source of community noise. The authors investigated the independent and joint influences of community noise and traffic-related air pollution on risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in a population-based cohort study with a 5-year exposure period (January 1994-December 1998) and a 4-year follow-up period (January 1999-December 2002). Individuals who were 45-85 years of age and resided in metropolitan Vancouver, Canada, during the exposure period and did not have known CHD at baseline were included (n = 445,868). Individual exposures to community noise and traffic-related air pollutants, including black carbon, particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter, nitrogen dioxide, and nitric oxide, were estimated at each person's residence using a noise prediction model and land-use regression models, respectively. CHD deaths were identified from the provincial death registration database. After adjustment for potential confounders, including traffic-related air pollutants or noise, elevations in noise and black carbon equal to the interquartile ranges were associated with 6% (95% confidence interval: 1, 11) and 4% (95% confidence interval: 1, 8) increases, respectively, in CHD mortality. Subjects in the highest noise decile had a 22% (95% confidence interval: 4, 43) increase in CHD mortality compared with persons in the lowest decile. These findings suggest that there are independent effects of traffic-related noise and air pollution on CHD mortality.
Northeastern British Columbia, Canada, is undergoing in-migration of young people attracted by jobs in the oil/gas sectors. Chlamydia rates among youth ages 15-24 are increasing and exceed the provincial average by 22%. Testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) reduces the disease burden, contributing to prevention. We conducted ethnographic fieldwork, including interviews with 25 youth and 14 service providers, to document their perceptions regarding youth's access to STI testing. Five key barriers to access were identified: limited opportunities for access, geographic inaccessibility, local social norms, limited information, and negative interactions with providers. To address youths' needs, we recommend active STI prevention and testing service delivery models that incorporate a locally tailored public awareness campaign, outreach to oil/gas workers, condom distribution, expanded clinic hours and drop-in STI testing, specialized training for health care providers, and inter-sectoral partnerships between public health, non-profit organizations, and industry.
Residential proximity to road traffic is associated with increased coronary heart disease (CHD) morbidity and mortality. It is unknown, however, whether changes in residential proximity to traffic could alter the risk of CHD mortality.
We used a population-based cohort study with a 5-year exposure period and a 4-year follow-up period to explore the association between changes in residential proximity to road traffic and the risk of CHD mortality. The cohort comprised all residents aged 45-85 years who resided in metropolitan Vancouver during the exposure period and without known CHD at baseline (n = 450,283). Residential proximity to traffic was estimated using a geographic information system. CHD deaths during the follow-up period were identified using provincial death registration database. The data were analyzed using logistic regression.
Compared with the subjects consistently living away from road traffic (>150 m from a highway or >50 m from a major road) during the 9-year study period, those consistently living close to traffic (
The high rate of violence in the healthcare sector supports the need for greater surveillance efforts.
The purpose of this study was to use a province-wide workplace incident reporting system to calculate rates and identify risk factors for violence in the British Columbia healthcare industry by occupational groups, including nursing.
Data were extracted for a 1-year period (2004-2005) from the Workplace Health Indicator Tracking and Evaluation database for all employee reports of violence incidents for four of the six British Columbia health authorities. Risk factors for violence were identified through comparisons of incident rates (number of incidents/100,000 worked hours) by work characteristics, including nursing occupations and work units, and by regression models adjusted for demographic factors.
Across health authorities, three groups at particularly high risk for violence were identified: very small healthcare facilities [rate ratios (RR) = 6.58, 95% CI =3.49, 12.41], the care aide occupation (RR = 10.05, 95% CI = 6.72, 15.05), and paediatric departments in acute care hospitals (RR = 2.22, 95% CI = 1.05, 4.67).
The three high-risk groups warrant targeted prevention or intervention efforts be implemented. The identification of high-risk groups supports the importance of a province-wide surveillance system for public health planning.
Evidence suggests that air pollution exposure adversely affects pregnancy outcomes. Few studies have examined individual-level intraurban exposure contrasts.
We evaluated the impacts of air pollution on small for gestational age (SGA) birth weight, low full-term birth weight (LBW), and preterm birth using spatiotemporal exposure metrics.
With linked administrative data, we identified 70,249 singleton births (1999-2002) with complete covariate data (sex, ethnicity, parity, birth month and year, income, education) and maternal residential history in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We estimated residential exposures by month of pregnancy using nearest and inverse-distance weighting (IDW) of study area monitors [carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter
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Primary health providers serve an important role in providing and promoting annual influenza immunization to high-risk groups and their close contacts. The purpose of this analysis was to determine whether consultation with a medical professional increases the likelihood of receiving a flu shot among women who have given birth in the past five years and to determine whether this association differs by type of medical professional.
Data were obtained from the Canadian Community Health Survey (2005), Cycle 3.1. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between receiving a flu shot in the past 12 months and consulting with family doctors, specialists, nurses, chiropractors, or homeopaths/naturopaths.
Among the 6,925 women included in our sample, 1,847 (28.4%) reported receiving a flu shot in the past 12 months. After adjustment for socio-demographic characteristics and province of residence, women who received flu shots in the past 12 months were significantly more likely to consult with a family doctor (AOR 1.56, 95% CI 1.34-1.83) and significantly less likely to consult with a chiropractor (AOR 0.76, 95% CI 0.64-0.90) or a homeopath/naturopath (AOR 0.72, 95% CI 0.54-0.97) over the same time period.
Consultation with family doctors was found to have the strongest association with annual flu shots among women in contact with young children, whereas consultation with alternative care providers was found to have an independent inverse association. Given the influenza-associated health risks for young children, medical professionals should promote immunization at the time of consultation for household contacts of young children, including pregnant women.
To estimate the costs of work-related injury in a cohort of sawmill workers in British Columbia from the perspective of the workers' compensation system.
Hospital discharge records were extracted from 1989 to 1998 for a cohort of 5786 actively employed sawmill workers. A total of 173 work-related injury cases were identified from these records using the International classification of diseases-ninth revision (ICD-9) external cause of injury codes and the responsibility of payment schedule. Workers' compensation records were extracted and matched with hospital records by dates and ICD-9 diagnosis codes. All costs were converted into 1995 constant Canadian dollars using the Provincial General Consumer Price Index for the non-healthcare costs and Medical Consumer Price Index for the healthcare costs. A 5% discounting rate was applied to adjust for the time value of money. For the uncompensated cases, costs were imputed from the compensated cases using the median cost for a similar nature of injury.
370 hospitalisation events due to injury were captured, and by either of the two indicators (E Codes or payment schedules), 173 (47%) hospitalisation events due to injury, were identified as work related. The median healthcare cost was 4377 dollars and the median non-healthcare cost was 16,559 dollars for a work-related injury. The median non-healthcare and healthcare costs by injury were falls, 19,978 dollars and 5185 dollars; struck by falling object, 32,398 dollars and 8625 dollars; struck against, 12,667 dollars and 5741 dollars; machinery related, 26,480 dollars and 6643 dollars; caught in or between, 24,130 dollars and 4389 dollars; and overexertion, 7801 dollars and 2710 dollars. The total cost was 10,374,115 dollars for non-healthcare and 1,764,137 dollars for healthcare. The compensation agency did not compensate 874,871 dollars (8.4%) of the non-healthcare costs and 200,588 dollars (11.4%) of the healthcare costs.
Eliminating avoidable work-related injury events can save valuable resources.
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The goal was to investigate the epidemiological features of incident bronchiolitis by using a population-based infant cohort.
Outpatient and inpatient health records were used to identify incident bronchiolitis cases among 93,058 singleton infants born in the Georgia Air Basin between 1999 and 2002. Additional health-related databases were linked to provide data on sociodemographic variables, maternal characteristics, and birth outcome measures.
From 1999 to 2002, bronchiolitis accounted for 12,474 incident health care encounters (inpatient or outpatient contacts) during the first year of life (134.2 cases per 1000 person-years). A total of 1588 hospitalized bronchiolitis cases were identified (17.1 cases per 1000 person-years). Adjusted Cox proportional-hazard analyses for both case definitions indicated an increased risk of incident bronchiolitis in the first year of life (follow-up period: 2-12 months) for boys, infants of First Nations status, infants with older siblings, and infants living in neighborhoods with smaller proportions of maternal postsecondary education. The risk also was elevated for infants born to young mothers (