During the winter of 1994, the association between daily changes in air pollution and in the respiratory health of children 7 to 12 yr of age were studied in Kuopio, Finland. Seventy-four children with asthmatic symptoms and 95 children with cough only, living either in urban or suburban areas, were followed for 3 mo. During the study period, the mean daily concentration of particulate air pollution (PM10) was 18 micrograms/m3 in the urban area and 13 micrograms/m3 in the suburban area. Lagged concentrations of PM10, black smoke, and NO2 were significantly associated with declines in morning peak expiratory flow (PEF) among asthmatic children. The regression coefficient (x10) for a 2-d lag of PM10 was -0.911 (SE, 0.386) in the urban and -1.05 (0.596), in the suburban area. Among children with cough only, PM10, black smoke, and NO2 were not significantly associated with PEF. In the urban area, there was a significant association between SO2 and morning and evening PEF and incidence of upper respiratory symptoms among children who cough only. No other associations between air pollution and evening PEF or respiratory symptoms were observed. This study suggests that particulate air pollution is associated with respiratory health, especially among children with asthmatic symptoms.
The aims were (1) to compare all cause mortality in population samples of different cultures; and (2) to cross predict fatal event by risk functions involving risk factors usually measured in cardiovascular epidemiology.
The study was a 25 year prospective cohort study. The prediction of all cause mortality was made using the multiple logistic equation as a function of 12 risk factors; the prediction of months lived after entry examination was made by the multiple linear regression using the same factors. POPULATION SAMPLES: There were five cohorts of men aged 40-59 years, from Finland (two cohorts, 1677 men), from The Netherlands (one cohort, 878 men), and from Italy (two cohorts, 1712 men).
The Finnish cohorts came from geographically defined rural areas, the Dutch cohort from a small town in central Holland, and the Italian cohorts from rural villages in northern and central Italy.
All cause mortality was highest in Finland (557 per 1000), and lower in The Netherlands (477) and in Italy (475). The solutions of the multiple logistic function showed the significant and almost universal predictive role of certain factors, with rare exceptions. These were age, blood pressure, cigarette smoking, and arm circumference (the latter with a negative relationship). Similar results were obtained when solving a multiple linear regression equation predicting the number of months lived after entry examination as a function of the same factors. The prediction of fatal events in each country, using the risk functions of the others, produced limited errors, the smallest one being -2% and the largest +11%. When solving the logistic model in the pool of all the cohorts with the addition of dummy variables for the identification of nationality, it also appeared that only a small part of the mortality differences between countries is not explained by 12 available risk factors.
A small set of risk factors seems to explain the intercohort differences of 25 year all cause mortality in population samples of three rather different cultures.
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BACKGROUND: Farmers' children are less frequently sensitized to common allergens than the non-farmers' children, but less is known about their sensitization to other allergens and its association with clinical diseases. OBJECTIVE: To examine the association of farm environment with atopic sensitization, allergic diseases, expression of allergen-induced symptoms, and the importance of specific sensitization against 'common' (timothy, dog, cat, birch, Dermatophagoides pteronyssimus, mugwort) and 'other' (cockroach, horse, Lepidoglyphus destructor, cow) allergens for asthma and allergic diseases in children. METHODS: A cross-sectional study including 344 farmers' and 366 non-farmers' children aged 6-13 years in eastern Finland, using a self-administered written questionnaire and skin prick tests against the above-mentioned allergens. RESULTS: Farmers' children had less asthma and allergic diseases and were less often sensitized against common allergens than the non-farmers' children. However, little difference was observed in sensitization against the other allergens between the farmers' (17.2%) and non-farmers (14.5%) children [adjusted odds ratios (aOR) 1.11 (0.71-1.72)]. Being sensitized against only other allergens, without sensitization against common allergens, was unrelated to asthma or allergic diseases. Among the single allergens, sensitization against pets or pollen, or against horse or cow, had the strongest association with asthma, hayfever, and atopic eczema; no such association was seen in D. pteronyssimus, mugwort, cockroach, or L. destructor. Farmers' children had significantly less often symptoms of allergic rhinitis in contact with dog (aOR 0.32%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.15-0.67), cat (aOR 0.45, 0.22-0.88), or pollen (aOR 0.58%, 95% CI 0.37-0.90) than the non-farmers' children. CONCLUSION: Farm environment reduces the occurrence of asthma, allergic diseases, and atopic sensitization in children, and also the occurrence of allergen-induced rhinitis. Remarkable differences were observed between single allergens in their association with allergic disease, stressing the importance of allergen selection when defining atopy in epidemiological studies.
An association between late-onset Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia and the common polymorphic alleles of the gene coding for apolipoprotein E, epsilon 2, epsilon 3, and epsilon 4, was assessed in a population sample of 393 elderly Finnish men aged 70 to 89 years. Of them, 7% suffered Alzheimer's disease and 3% had vascular dementia. Among those who suffered Alzheimer's disease, there was a statistically significant excess of the epsilon 4 allele. No such an association was observed between the apolipoprotein E alleles and vascular dementia. We conclude that the apolipoprotein E polymorphism confers information about a risk of Alzheimer's disease in this population sample of elderly Finnish men.
There is ample evidence from cross-sectional studies of an association between allelic variation of the gene coding for apolipoprotein E (apoE) and interindividual variation in plasma lipids, and the presence of coronary heart disease (CHD). There have been no prospective studies, however, to evaluate the usefulness of allelic variation of the apoE gene for predicting CHD.
Two samples of elderly Finnish men were followed for 5 years, one in the east (n = 297) and the other in the southwest of Finland (n = 369). At baseline, when the apoE genotypes were assessed, the men were 65 to 84 years old. At the end of the follow-up, the vital status of each man was determined, and cause of death was coded. At baseline, relative frequencies of the three alleles-epsilon 2, epsilon 3, and epsilon 4--were 0.037, 0.827, and 0.136 in the eastern and 0.062, 0.763, and 0.175 in the southwestern samples, respectively (chi 2 = 8.89, df = 2, P
We assessed the levels of arsenic in drilled wells in Finland and studied the association of arsenic exposure with the risk of bladder and kidney cancers. The study persons were selected from a register-based cohort of all Finns who had lived at an address outside the municipal drinking-water system during 1967-1980 (n = 144,627). The final study population consisted of 61 bladder cancer cases and 49 kidney cancer cases diagnosed between 1981 and 1995, as well as an age- and sex-balanced random sample of 275 subjects (reference cohort). Water samples were obtained from the wells used by the study population at least during 1967-1980. The total arsenic concentrations in the wells of the reference cohort were low (median = 0.1 microg/L; maximum = 64 microg/L), and 1% exceeded 10 microg/L. Arsenic exposure was estimated as arsenic concentration in the well, daily dose, and cumulative dose of arsenic. None of the exposure indicators was statistically significantly associated with the risk of kidney cancer. Bladder cancer tended to be associated with arsenic concentration and daily dose during the third to ninth years prior to the cancer diagnosis; the risk ratios for arsenic concentration categories 0.1-0.5 and [Greater/equal to] 0.5 microg/L relative to the category with
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The risk of cardiovascular diseases in women is small until menopause but increases considerably afterwards. When all age groups are considered, cardiovascular diseases are responsible for approximately half of the total mortality in women. It has been suggested that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women could be useful in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, but its effects are insufficiently known. We performed a cross-sectional study on the associations of menopause and HRT with cardiovascular risk factors, in particular with hemostatic factors, on female participants of the FINRISK Hemostasis Study. The participants, aged 45 to 64 years, were recruited from the Finnish population register by random sampling from three geographically defined areas. The participation rate of women was 83.2%. Of the 1202 women included in the study, 29.2% were current users of HRT. Differences in cardiovascular risk factors by menopausal status and by HRT use were examined after adjustment for age, study area, current smoking, body mass index, self-reported diabetes, and years of education. Postmenopausal women not using exogenous sex hormones had on average a total cholesterol level 0.5 mmol/L (8.9%) higher and an LDL cholesterol level 0.4 mmol/L (11.4%) higher than premenopausal women. Women reporting irregular menstruation (presumably due to perimenopause) had higher adjusted plasma fibrinogen, factor VII coagulant activity, and factor VII antigen than women with regular menstruation or no menstrual periods.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The association of physical activity with coronary risk factors and self-reported physical ability was studied in a cohort of 331 healthy Finnish men aged 45-64 years at entry, representing the survivors of a 20-year longitudinal study from 1964 to 1984. Baseline physical activity was not significantly related to levels of coronary risk factors at subsequent 5-year, 10-year or 20-year follow-up examinations. The 72 who increased their physical activity during the study period smoked less at 20-year follow-up than those who remained sedentary (p = 0.03). No other significant associations between 20-year changes of physical activity and coronary risk factors were seen. Although baseline physical activity was not, physical activity and exercise at 20-year follow-up were positively related to indices of functional capacity assessed at the end of the study period, when the subjects had reached a mean age of 73 years. It is concluded from this long-term study that a relative increase of physical activity between middle and old age is associated with both less smoking and a maintained high level of physical ability.
To assess the relation between ambient, indoor, and personal levels of PM2.5 and its elemental composition for elderly subjects with cardiovascular disease.
In the framework of a European Union funded study, panel studies were conducted in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Helsinki, Finland. Outdoor PM2.5 concentrations were measured at a fixed site. Each subject's indoor and personal PM2.5 exposure was measured biweekly for six months, during the 24 hour period preceding intensive health measurements. The absorbance of PM2.5 filters was measured as a marker for diesel exhaust. The elemental content of more than 50% of the personal and indoor samples and all corresponding outdoor samples was measured using energy dispersive x ray fluorescence.
For Amsterdam and Helsinki respectively, a total of 225 and 238 personal, and 220 and 233 indoor measurements, were analysed from 36 and 46 subjects. For most elements, personal and indoor concentrations were lower than and highly correlated with outdoor concentrations. The highest correlations (median r>0.9) were found for sulfur and particle absorbance, which both represent fine mode particles from outdoor origin. Low correlations were observed for elements that represent the coarser part of the PM2.5 particles (Ca, Cu, Si, Cl).
The findings of this study provide support for using fixed site measurements as a measure of exposure to particulate matter in time series studies linking the day to day variation in particulate matter to the day to day variation in health endpoints, especially for components of particulate matter that are generally associated with fine particles and have few indoor sources. The high correlation for absorbance of PM2.5 documents that this applies to particulate matter from combustion sources, such as diesel vehicles, as well.
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