The role of smoking and air pollution in bronchial asthma in otherwise healthy adults is still unclear. We compared 79 cases of asthma, diagnosed between ages 20 and 65 years, with 304 randomly drawn population controls of similar age from the same catchment area as the cases. The comparison involved questionnaire information on smoking habits, occupational exposures, dwelling conditions, various suspect allergenic exposures, and atopy. Those who had smoked for 3 years or more, present or past, were at increased risk for bronchial asthma (odds ratio = 1.9; 95% confidence interval = 1.1-3.3). Adjustment by multiple logistic regression for age and gender as well as atopy and air pollution at work did not change the relative risk estimate. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, or passive smoking, at work involved a slightly greater risk.
Bacterial analyses were carried out of 2069 udder secretions, isolated from 1481 heifers with mastitis in eight veterinary districts in Sweden. Streptococci, e.g. Streptococcus dysgalactiae and Str. uberis, dominated the bacterial flora, being isolated from 34.4 and 19.5% respectively of heifers with clinical mastitis occurring from puberty up to 14 d post partum. Bacterial species generally regarded as important pathogens in the summer mastitis complex, e.g. Actinomyces pyogenes, Stuart-Schwan coccus and strictly anaerobic bacteria such as Peptostreptococcus indolicus, Fusobacterium necrophorum and Bacteroides melaninogenicus were isolated at low frequencies (13.2, 6.3, 9.4, 3.8 and 1.3% respectively). When the cases of mastitis studied were restricted to those appearing in heifers pre partum, May 15 to October 14 (summer mastitis), these bacterial species were isolated at higher percentages (27.1, 14.4, 21.4, 13.5 and 5.2% respectively). These figures were, nevertheless, still lower than those published in reports from other countries. Whether considered up to 14 d post partum or only pre partum, there were no significant differences in the frequencies of A. pyogenes isolated at different seasons. There were geographical differences in bacterial incidence, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated significantly more often in northern regions whereas Str. dysgalactiae was more common in the south. This and other Swedish investigations support the theory that A. pyogenes and strictly anaerobic bacteria are 'secondary invaders' that depend on Str. dysgalactiae to cause a primary infection. It is stressed that the udders of all heifers should be examined daily so that cases of mastitis can be treated immediately.
All of 86 food routinely examined for potentially pathogenic enteric bacteria were found to harbour one or more coliform species. None of the strains isolated produced heat-labile enterotoxin (LT) or showed invasive properties. The suckling mouse test indicated that one strain of Escherichia coli produced heat-stable enterotoxin (ST). Twelve incidents of suspected food poisoning were also investigated. In two of them the foods examined contained LT-producing strains of E. coli and in two there were LT-producing strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae. The counts of viable enterotoxigenic micro-organisms in these foods were 3000-30,000 E. coli/g and 50,000 to 1 million K. pneumoniae/g. The dominant symptom in all the incidents was watery diarrhoea. These seem to be the first reported cases of foodborne enterotoxigenic enteric bacteria in Europe. Though enterotoxigenic E. coli and related gram-negative enterotoxin-producing species are rare in correctly handled food in Sweden, these micro-organisms should be searched for when outbreaks of food poisoning are investigated.
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria were used to define the prevalence of clinical hand osteoarthritis (OA) in an elderly population in Iceland. The prevalence of hand OA was 3.3% for men and 6.8% for women, however, 19.6% of the men and 32.0% of the women fulfilled the ACR examination but lacked required symptoms. The prevalence of clinical signs of OA in the interphalangeal joints were similar for both sexes but were much more common in the first carpometacarpal joint of women (31.3% vs. 1.0% in men, p
In 2,368 consecutive adult patients with asthma and/or rhinitis the incidence of positive skin prick test (SPT) with a chironomid extract (CHIR) (produced from "red feather mosquito larvae" used as fish food) was 14% (26% in atopics and 4% in non-atopics). RAST with chironomid was positive in 4% of 110 consecutive sera (8% in atopic sera). Significant correlations were found between RAST and SPT results with chironomid and between SPT results with CHIR and with various crustaceans. Correlations were also found reciprocally among SPT results with different crustaceans and between some crustaceans and moluscs (clam and oyster) as well as among RAST results with chironomid, shrimp and crab. Inhibition experiments showed that chironomid extracts inhibited RAST with shrimp, and vice versa. It is concluded that Chironomidae might be allergens of clinical importance in asthma and rhinitis in Sweden, that cross-allergy exists between chironomids and shrimp and that cross-allergy also might occur among chironomids, crustaceans and molluscs.
Annually, 100 people die as a result of residential fires in Sweden and almost a third of the fatal fires are known to be caused by smoking. In an attempt to reduce the occurrence of these events, reduced ignition propensity (RIP) cigarettes have been developed. They are designed to reduce the risk of fire by preventing the cigarette from burning through the full length when left unattended. In November 2011, a ban was introduced, forbidding the production and sale of all non-RIP cigarettes in all member states of the European Union, including Sweden.
Monthly data on all recorded residential fires and associated fatalities in Sweden from January 2000 to December 2013 were analyzed using an interrupted time series design. The effect of the intervention [in relative risk (RR)] was quantified using generalised additive models for location, shape and scale.
There were no statistically significant intervention effects on residential fires (RR 0.95 [95% CI: 0.89-1.01]), fatal residential fires (RR 0.99 [95% CI: 0.80-1.23]), residential fires where smoking was a known cause (RR 1.10 [95% CI: 0.95-1.28]) or fatal residential fires where smoking was a known cause (RR 0.92 [95% CI: 0.63-1.35]).
No evidence of an effect of the ban on all non-RIP cigarettes on the risk of residential fires in Sweden was found. The results may not be generalisable to other countries.
Workers using vibrating tools have an increased prevalence of vibration-induced white fingers. One example of such workers is autopsy assistants, who use vibration for skull sawing.
A previously healthy 42-year-old Swedish male smoker had worked as an autopsy assistant at a forensic department between 1977 and 1991. He prepared corpses for autopsy, including sawing the skulls with an electric saw. Beginning in 1983, his right index finger blanched in cold. During subsequent years the blanching spread to the other fingers on the right hand, except for the thumb. The findings in the physical examination and the results of blood tests were normal. Digital blood pressure after cooling showed a severe vasospastic reaction in both middle fingers. Vibration measurements during skull sawing showed a frequency-weighted acceleration level of 8.9 m.s-2. QUESTIONNAIRE SURVEY: A questionnaire was mailed to all assistants (N = 17) preparing autopsies and to all medical examiners, as referents (N = 18), at the Swedish Institutes of Forensic Medicine. It was answered by 13 assistants (76%), 1 woman and 12 men, and 16 medical examiners (89%), 3 women and 13 men. Eleven of the assistants (85%), including one woman, and one of the physicians (6%), a men, reported a history of blanching fingers provoked by chill (difference 79%, P = 0.00003, Fisher's exact test).
Autopsy assistants at forensic departments seem to have an increased prevalence of self-reported blanching fingers, which may be an effect of exposure to high levels of vibration.
Essential tremor (ET), the most common movement disorder in humans, appears to be inherited as an autosomal dominant trait in many families. The familial form is called familial essential tremor (FET), which seems similar to sporadic essential tremor. ET is a cause of substantial disability, particularly in the elderly. The prevalence of Parkinson's disease and dystonia may be increased in families with ET, but other movement disorders are seldom encountered in these families. Here we report the results of a genome-wide scan for FET genes in 16 Icelandic families with 75 affected individuals, in whom FET was apparently inherited as a dominant trait. The scan, which was performed with a 10-cM framework map, revealed one locus on chromosome 3q13 to which FET mapped with a genome-wide significance when the data were analysed either parametrically, assuming an autosomal dominant model (lod score = 3.71), or non-parametrically (NPL Z score = 4.70, p
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to elucidate further whether occupational exposure to non-sensitising air pollution at workplaces increases the risk of adult onset asthma. METHODS: One hundred and twenty persons with asthma diagnosed by general practitioners, aged 20-65 years, were compared with 446 referents matched for age and gender and living in the same community as the cases. Information about occupation, exposure to specific allergens, smoking habits, dwellings and atopy was obtained from a postal questionnaire. The subjects' occupations were categorised as clean or polluted, based on the judgement of the referents on their respective occupations. RESULTS: Three years or more of work in air-polluted workplaces resulted in an odds ratio of 1.7 (95% confidence interval 1.0-2.7). Stratification of the material on smoking habits, gender or atopy did not alter the results, nor did exclusion of subjects exposed to specific allergens of statistical significance in this material, e.g. flour dust. Smoking per se did not bring any risk of asthma. Working in buildings affected by dampness and mould brought a fourfold significant risk. CONCLUSION: In this study occupational exposure to unspecific air pollution at workplaces was associated with an increased risk of adult-onset asthma.
Occupational exposure to 50-Hz magnetic fields was surveyed among electric utility workers to investigate (1) components of exposure variability, (2) patterns of autocorrelation between short-term measurements, and (3) imprecision and misclassification due to short-term measurements. Spot measurements every 10 seconds during 81 working days were analyzed for 42 electric utility workers from 10 occupational subgroups and during 8 working days for 4 office workers from the same company. For the 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) magnetic fields, the variability was partitioned into its components: within workers, between workers, and between groups. For spot measurements of magnetic fields, the within-day variance component also was examined. Autocorrelation functions were determined and numbers of short-term measurements necessary for reliable estimates of 8-hour TWA magnetic fields were assessed. Spot measurements of magnetic fields, as well as 8-hour TWA magnetic fields, were approximately lognormally distributed among workers. The mean exposure to magnetic fields was 0.47 microT (n = 81 days) in electric utility workers and 0.12 microT (n = 8 days) in office workers. A large fraction, 76% of the spot measurements total variance, could be attributed to variability within days. For the 8-hour TWA magnetic fields, between-group variability was small and of the same magnitude as between-worker variability. Significant autocorrelations between short-term averages of 7.5, 15, and 30 minutes were present, when taken within periods of 30 minutes. One-hour averages showed no autocorrelation. Simulations showed that, due to high within-day variability and autocorrelation, a limited number of short-term measurements of magnetic fields in electric utility workers are likely to result in imprecise estimates of 8-hour TWA magnetic fields. Measurement strategies relying on short-term (spot) measurements are therefore likely to result in misclassification of exposure and consequently absent or spurious exposure-response relations.
RepublishedFrom: AIHAJ 1999 Nov-Dec;60(6):713-9
RepublishedIn: Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1999 Nov-Dec;60(6):713-910635537