SETTING: A study carried out in 1996 in four districts representing south and north as well as urban and rural areas of Vietnam. OBJECTIVE: To explore gender differences in knowledge, beliefs and attitudes towards tuberculosis and its treatment, and how these factors influence patients' compliance with treatment. DESIGN: Sixteen focus group discussions were performed by a multi-disciplinary research team from Vietnam and Sweden. Analysis was performed using modified Grounded Theory technique, specifically evaluating gender differences. RESULTS: Women were believed to be more compliant than men. Insufficient knowledge and individual cost during treatment were reported as main obstacles to compliance among men (poor patient compliance), while sensitivity to interaction with health staff and stigma in society (poor health staff and system compliance) were reported as the main obstacles among women. CONCLUSIONS: It is time to adopt a more comprehensive and gender-sensitive approach to compliance, which incorporates patient compliance, doctor compliance and system compliance, in order to fully support individual patients in their efforts to comply with treatment.
OBJECTIVE: Using a nested case-referent design we evaluated the relationship between plasma levels of six carotenoids, alpha-tocopherol, and retinol, sampled before diagnosis, and later breast cancer risk. METHODS: In total, 201 cases and 290 referents were selected from three population-based cohorts in northern Sweden, where all subjects donated blood samples at enrolment. All blood samples were stored at -80 degrees C. Cases and referents were matched for age, age of blood sample, and sampling centre. Breast cancer cases were identified through the regional and national cancer registries. RESULTS: Plasma concentrations of carotenoids were positively intercorrelated. In analysis of three cohorts as a group none of the carotenoids was found to be significantly related to the risk of developing breast cancer. Similarly, no significant associations between breast cancer risk and plasma levels of alpha-tocopherol or retinol were found. However, in postmenopausal women from a mammography cohort with a high number of prevalent cases, lycopene was significantly associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer. A significant trend of an inverse association between lutein and breast cancer risk was seen in premenopausal women from two combined population-based cohorts with only incident cases. A non-significant reduced risk with higher plasma alpha-carotene was apparent throughout all the sub-analyses. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, no significant associations were found between plasma levels of carotenoids, alpha-tocopherol or retinol and breast cancer risk in analysis of three combined cohorts. However, results from stratified analysis by cohort membership and menopausal status suggest that lycopene and other plasma-carotenoids may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and that menopausal status has an impact on the mechanisms involved.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the diversity in dietary patterns existing across centres/regions participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). DESIGN AND SETTING: Single 24-hour dietary recall measurements were obtained by means of standardised face-to-face interviews using the EPIC-SOFT software. These have been used to present a graphic multi-dimensional comparison of the adjusted mean consumption of 22 food groups. SUBJECTS: In total, 35 955 men and women, aged 35-74 years, participating in the EPIC nested calibration study. RESULTS: Although wide differences were observed across centres, the countries participating in EPIC are characterised by specific dietary patterns. Overall, Italy and Greece have a dietary pattern characterised by plant foods (except potatoes) and a lower consumption of animal and processed foods, compared with the other EPIC countries. France and particularly Spain have more heterogeneous dietary patterns, with a relatively high consumption of both plant foods and animal products. Apart from characteristics specific to vegetarian groups, the UK 'health-conscious' group shares with the UK general population a relatively high consumption of tea, sauces, cakes, soft drinks (women), margarine and butter. In contrast, the diet in the Nordic countries, The Netherlands, Germany and the UK general population is relatively high in potatoes and animal, processed and sweetened/refined foods, with proportions varying across countries/centres. In these countries, consumption of vegetables and fruit is similar to, or below, the overall EPIC means, and is low for legumes and vegetable oils. Overall, dietary patterns were similar for men and women, although there were large gender differences for certain food groups. CONCLUSIONS: There are considerable differences in food group consumption and dietary patterns among the EPIC study populations. This large heterogeneity should be an advantage when investigating the relationship between diet and cancer and formulating new aetiological hypotheses related to dietary patterns and disease.
OBJECTIVE: A cohort study was conducted to determine the risk of dystocia for women whose mothers, sisters, or twin sisters had dystocia during childbirth. STUDY DESIGN: A linked database was constructed between 2 separate Swedish birth registries. Obstetric data on mothers giving birth to daughters during the period 1955 to 1972 were studied. Among these daughters, sister-couples and twins were identified. The daughters subsequently became mothers during 1973 and 1990 and obstetric data on the first deliveries were also studied. RESULTS: If a mother had dystocia when delivering her eldest daughter, this daughter had an increased risk of dystocia during her own first childbirth (odds ratio 1.7, 95% confidence interval 1.2 to 2.4). If the mother had an assisted instrumental delivery (vacuum extraction, forceps, or cesarean section) because of dystocia, there was a higher risk for her daughter to have an instrumental delivery because of dystocia (odds ratio 1.8, 95% confidence interval 1.0 to 3.1). Among primiparous sisters the risk of an instrumental delivery because of dystocia in a younger sister was more than tripled (odds ratio 3.5, 95% confidence interval 2.1 to 5.8) if her elder sister had a dystocic labor requiring instrumental intervention. The risk among twins increased more than 20-fold (odds ratio 24.0, 95% confidence interval 1.5 to 794.5) if 1 twin sister had dystocia during her first childbirth. CONCLUSION: Dystocia has a familial occurrence, suggesting a possible genetic factor explaining inefficient uterine action.
We conducted a cohort study on whether preeclampsia during the pregnancy of a mother is a risk factor for preeclampsia during the pregnancy of her daughter. Data from the Medical Birth Registry were combined with data from a local registry of births from 1955 to 1990. We could identify the births of 22,768 elder daughters and 2,959 younger daughters. These daughters had also experienced at least one delivery. If the mother had preeclampsia during her pregnancy with an elder daughter, then the elder daughter had an increased risk for preeclampsia in her first pregnancy (relative risk (RR) = 1.7; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.3-2.2). This increased risk persisted into the elder daughter's second pregnancy (RR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.1-2.6). The risks for the daughters were also increased to a similar level if the mother had experienced preeclampsia in any other pregnancy. Furthermore, the risks were similarly elevated if only mothers with firstborn children were included in the analyses. Hence, preeclampsia during the pregnancy of a mother was a risk factor for development of preeclampsia during the pregnancy of her daughters; however, owing to a relatively small population attributable proportion, genetic predisposition explained only a minor part of the occurrence of preeclampsia in this population.
BACKGROUND: Familial patterns in reproductive outcome have been suggested previously, but few studies have comprehensively evaluated both length of gestation and types of growth retardation. METHODS: Information on intrauterine period and birth characteristics for a cohort of Swedish women born 1955-1972 was linked with information on these women's own reproductive experiences during 1973-1990. Familial trends in preterm deliveries, small-for-gestational age (SGA) births and two types of growth retardation were evaluated for mothers relative to their own birth characteristics (n = 4746), relative to their older sisters' deliveries (n = 2931) and among consecutive deliveries of the mothers (n = 14,209). Adjusted relative risks (RR) were calculated from logistic regression analyses. RESULTS: Mothers who had themselves been preterm at birth were not at increased risk of any of the outcomes studied. Mothers who had themselves been SGA at birth had an almost 50% higher risk (NS) of giving birth to either a preterm or an SGA infant than had mothers who had not been SGA at birth. Mothers tended to repeat the same patterns in subsequent deliveries: RR was 3.7 for a second preterm delivery given a previous one and 7.8 for a second SGA delivery given a previous one. Among SGA siblings, chronic growth retardation was more often repeated than was acute growth retardation. Mothers with an older sister who had given birth to a preterm infant had an 80% higher risk of giving birth to a preterm infant. CONCLUSIONS: Familial trends in gestational age and body proportions at birth were demonstrated; however, the relatively small population attributable risk per cents in Sweden are discussed.
The study of the relationship between dietary intake of fatty acids and the risk of breast cancer has not yielded definite conclusions with respect to causality, possibly because of methodological issues inherent to nutritional epidemiology. To evaluate the hypothesis of possible protection of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) against breast cancer in women, we examined the fatty-acid composition of phospholipids in pre-diagnostic sera of 196 women who developed breast cancer, and of 388 controls matched for age at recruitment and duration of follow-up, in a prospective cohort study in Umeâ, northern Sweden. Individual fatty acids were measured as a percentage of total fatty acids, using capillary gas chromatography. Conditional logistic-regression models showed no significant association between n-3 PUFA and breast-cancer risk. In contrast, women in the highest quartile of stearic acid had a relative risk of 0.49 (95% confidence interval, 0.22-1.08) compared with women in the lowest quartile (trend p = 0.047), suggesting a protective role of stearic acid in breast-cancer risk. Besides stearic acid, women in the highest quartile of the 18:0/18:1 n-9c ratio had a relative risk of 0.50 (95% confidence interval, 0.23-1.10) compared with women in the lowest quartile (trend p = 0.064), suggesting a decrease in breast-cancer risk in women with low activity of the enzyme delta 9-desaturase (stearoyl CoA desaturase), which may reflect an underlying metabolic profile characterized by insulin resistance and chronic hyper-insulinemia.
To study the associations between fish intake and academic achievement as cognitive parameter among Swedish adolescents.
In 2000, a questionnaire including respiratory items, socioeconomic conditions and dietary information was mailed to all schoolchildren (n = 18 158), aged 15 and living in Västra Götaland region of Sweden. The questionnaire was returned by 10 837 subjects. One year later, the total school grades for each subject who had completed the questionnaire and who included their full personal identification number were obtained from the national registers. Multiple linear regression models were applied to evaluate the association between fish intake and academic grades among 9448 schoolchildren, while adjusting for potential confounders, e.g. parents' education.
Grades were higher in subjects with fish consumption once a week compared with subjects with fish consumption of less than once a week (reference group) [increment in estimate 14.5, 95% confidence interval (CI) 11.8-17.1]. Grades were even higher in subjects with fish consumption of more than once a week compared with the reference group (increment in estimate 19.9, 95% CI 16.5-23.3). In the model stratified for parents' education, there were still higher grades among subjects with frequent fish intake in all educational strata (p
Long-term effects of carbohydrate-restricted diets are unclear. We examined a low-carbohydrate, high-protein (LCHP) score in relation to mortality.
This is a population-based cohort study on adults in the northern Swedish county of Västerbotten. In 37,639 men (1460 deaths) and 39,680 women (923 deaths) from the population-based Västerbotten Intervention Program, deciles of energy-adjusted carbohydrate (descending) and protein (ascending) intake were added to create an LCHP score (2-20 points). Sex-specific hazard ratios (HR) were calculated by Cox regression.
Median intakes of carbohydrates, protein and fat in subjects with LCHP scores 2-20 ranged from 61.0% to 38.6%, 11.3% to 19.2% and 26.6% to 41.5% of total energy intake, respectively. High LCHP score (14-20 points) did not predict all-cause mortality compared with low LCHP score (2-8 points), after accounting for saturated fat intake and established risk factors (men: HR for high vs low 1.03 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.88-1.20), P for continuous = 0.721; women: HR for high vs low 1.10 (95% CI 0.91-1.32), P for continuous = 0.229). For cancer and cardiovascular disease, no clear associations were found. Carbohydrate intake was inversely associated with all-cause mortality, though only statistically significant in women (multivariate HR per decile increase 0.95 (95% CI 0.91-0.99), P = 0.010).
Our results do not support a clear, general association between LCHP score and mortality. Studies encompassing a wider range of macronutrient consumption may be necessary to detect such an association.