OBJECTIVE: Schizophrenia is associated with a shortened life expectancy and increased somatic comorbidity with, e.g., cardiovascular disorders. One major risk factor for these disorders is the metabolic syndrome, which has been reported to have a higher frequency in schizophrenic patients. Our objective was to study the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a population-based birth cohort. METHOD: The study sample consisted of 5613 members of the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort who participated in the field study from 1997 to 1998. Subjects were divided into 4 diagnostic categories (DSM-III-R): (1) schizophrenia (N = 31), (2) other functional psychoses (N = 22), (3) nonpsychotic disorders (N = 105), and (4) no psychiatric hospital treatment (N = 5455, comparison group). Subjects were assessed for the presence of metabolic syndrome according to the criteria of the National Cholesterol Education Program. RESULTS: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was higher in subjects with schizophrenia compared with the comparison group (19% vs. 6%, p = .010). The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in subjects with other psychoses was 5%. After controlling for sex, the results of logistic regression analysis showed that the risk of metabolic syndrome in schizophrenia was 3.7 (95% CI = 1.5 to 9.0). CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of metabolic syndrome in schizophrenia even at such a relatively young age underscores the need to select antipsychotic medications with no or little capability to induce metabolic side effects. Also, developing comprehensive efforts directed at controlling weight and diet and improving physical activity are needed.
In bipolar disorder, mood stabilizers and second-generation antipsychotics have a central role in pharmacotherapy. There are, however, substantial differences in how the treatment is realized in different countries. The aim of this paper was to compare the treatment of acute mania in the Nordic countries with other European countries during the first 12 weeks of the EMBLEM (European Mania in Bipolar Longitudinal Evaluation of Medication) study. Adult patients with bipolar disorder were enrolled within standard course of care as in/outpatients if they initiated/changed oral medication with antipsychotics, anticonvulsants or lithium for treatment of acute mania. Five hundred and thirty European psychiatrists including 23 Nordic psychiatrists enrolled 3459 patients including 79 Nordic patients eligible for analysis using the same study methods assessing demographics, psychiatric history, clinical status, functional status and pharmacological treatment. Psychiatric status at inclusion measured by the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) and the Clinical Global Impression-Bipolar Disorder (CGI-BP) were similar in the Nordic and European patient groups, which is surprising as 73% of the Nordic patients compared with 38% of the European patients were inpatients. In the Nordic group of patients, more patients were living independently. Before inclusion in the study more patients in the Nordic group had combination therapy, but after inclusion in the study the prescription pattern of psychopharmacy was similar in the Nordic and the European patient groups. This study indicated differences in admission patterns, patient social functioning and medical treatment in the Nordic patients compared with the European patients.
The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with elevated risk of diabetes and cardiovascular morbidity. However, little is known of the sensitivity, specificity and predictive value of individual criteria in patients with schizophrenia. We studied the prevalence of MetS using the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and adapted National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP-ATPIII) criteria in the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort population. In addition, the sensitivity, specificity and predictive values for individual criteria were determined. Both adapted NCEP-ATPIII and IDF criteria for MetS identified the same cases (29% of all schizophrenia patients). Among the IDF criteria, hypertriglyceridemia had the highest sensitivity, correctly identifying 77.8% of the patients. Reduced HDL cholesterol was the most specific criteria, with 95% specificity equalling a positive likelihood ratio of 9.78. Thus both the IDF and NCEP-ATPIII criteria may be equally useful in identifying MetS.
Suicide rates in persons over 65 have been reported to be higher than those of younger age groups. Since the absolute number of suicides in the elderly is expected to rise, more precise ways to identify potential risk factors for elderly suicides are needed.
On the basis of forensic examinations suicide rates and methods in elderly Finns of northern Finland were compared with those of adults aged 18-64 years. Data from earlier illnesses of the suicide victims were scrutinized for records of multiple physical disorders.
Over the 15-year period the mean annual suicide rate per population of 100,000 was significantly lower in the elderly (22.5) than adults aged 18-64 years (38.4). A decrease in suicide rates over time occurred in both groups. Suicide methods among elderly were more often violent, and they were seldom under the influence of alcohol. They also had a high prevalence of previous hospital-treated depressive episodes and hospital-treated physical illnesses. A lifetime history of hospital-treated depression was more common among elderly victims who had received hospital treatment for genitourinary diseases, injuries or poisonings after their 50th birthday.
Our results from elderly suicide victims suggest an association between multiple physical illnesses and a history of depression. Especially, genitourinary diseases as well as hospital treatment due to injuries or poisonings were shown to associate with depression. Elderly Northern Finns showed lower suicide rates, and they decreased during the study period suggesting that active preventive measures against suicide are also feasible in the elderly.
There is a lack of knowledge on the influence of different levels of physical activity (PA) on unintentional injuries among those with depressive symptoms (DS). The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between PA categories and unintentional injuries among participants with and without DS based on a cross-sectional population-based FIN-D2D survey conducted in 2007.
Out of 4500, 2682 participants (60%) aged 45-74?years attended in this study. The unintentional injuries over the past year were captured in a questionnaire. DS were determined with the Beck Depression Inventory (= 10 points) and PA with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. The statistical significance between DS and unintentional injury categories was evaluated by using t-test, chi-square test, or permutation test, analysis of covariance, or regression models. The factors related to unintentional injuries were estimated by univariate and multivariate logistic regression models.
The proportion of subjects with unintentional injuries was higher among those with DS (17%) compared to those without DS (10%) (age- and gender-adjusted p?=?0.023). The median (range) number of activity-loss days after injury was 22 (0-365) in participants with DS and 7 (0-120) in participants without DS ( p?=?0.009). The percentage of subjects with unintentional injuries was not significantly different between PA categories in participants with DS and without DS. A stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that DS, functional ability, and musculoskeletal diseases were related to unintentional injuries.
PA level was not related to unintentional injuries, whereas those with DS had a higher prevalence of unintentional injuries and prolonged activity-loss after injury. These results underline the importance of injury prevention, especially among those who have DS and additional risk factors.
BACKGROUND: The elderly use more sedatives than other populations. Reports on the sedative load of drugs and their associations with health items are scarce. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence of sedatives and drugs with sedative properties and the associations between those drugs and demographic or health items in the home-dwelling elderly in a cross-sectional community survey. METHODS: Information was obtained from 1197 persons (43% men) aged >or=64 years in the Finnish municipality of Lieto in 1998-1999. The brand names of the prescription drugs taken by each interviewee during one week prior to the interview were recorded. The classification created in a previous study, where the drugs used in Finland were divided into 4 groups by their sedative properties, was utilized to determine associations with health items. RESULTS: A total of 88% (n = 1056) of the participants used some drug. Forty percent (n = 422 persons) of the drug users took sedatives or drugs with sedative properties. The oldest individuals (>or=80 y), women, those with low education, smokers, those with poor self-perceived health, people with dementia and mobility problems, and especially those with depression had an independent association with the simultaneous use of many (>or=2) sedatives or drugs with sedative properties. CONCLUSIONS: In a population of home-dwelling elderly patients, abundant sedative drug use was common and especially associated with high age, female gender, poor basic education, poor health habits (eg, smoking), depression, dementia, or impaired mobility. Users also had poor self-perceived health. The need to further develop the classification will be a major challenge, and the classification needs to be updated every year. More studies are needed in this field.