A retrospective study was carried out among children admitted to the Pediatric Clinic, Haukeland Hospital, from 1958 until 1986 for accidental poisoning. Drugs was the most frequent poisoning agent (49%), followed by household agents (22%), different agents (20%) and plants/mushrooms (9%). 89% of the children were under five years of age, 57% were boys. 20% stayed more than one day in the hospital. Very serious poisonings involving admission for more than 14 days were most frequently seen after intake of drugs. The number of admissions was doubled from 1966-70 to 1981-85. Most of the increase referred to poisoning from plants, tobacco and hydrocarbon products. The greatest increase was found for admissions lasting less than two days. Most of the potentially serious poisonings in our study were caused by agents that, by American or British law, it would have been illegal to sell without special child-resistant packaging. It is strongly advised that a similar law be passed in Norway.
Studies of asthma in migrant populations illustrate the effects of environmental changes.
In this register study we investigated the importance of exposure to a western lifestyle in different phases of development in Swedish residents with an origin in regions in the world where asthma usually is less prevalent.
The study population comprised 24,252 international adoptees, 47,986 foreign-born and 40,971 Swedish-born with foreign-born parents and 1,770,092 Swedish-born residents with Swedish-born parents (age 6-25 years). Purchased prescribed inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) during 2006 were used as an indicator of asthma.
International adoptees and children born in Sweden by foreign-born parents had three- to fourfold higher rates of asthma medication compared with foreign-born children. The odds ratios (ORs) of asthma medication declined persistently with age at immigration. For adoptees the ORs compared with infant adoptees were 0.78 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.71-0.85] for those adopted at 1-2 years, 0.51 (0.42-0.61) at 3-4 years and 0.35 (0.27-0.44) after 5 or more years of age. Corresponding ORs for foreign-born children with foreign-born parents immigrating at 0-4 years, at 5-9 years, at 10-14 years and at 15 years or more were 0.73 (0.63-0.86), 0.56 (CI 0.46-0.68) and 0.35 (CI 0.28-0.43), respectively. The ORs were only marginally affected by adjustment for region of birth and socio-economic indicators.
Age at immigration is a more important determinant of purchased ICS than population of origin. This indicates the importance of environmental factors for asthma in schoolchildren and young adults.