Many studies of asthma mortality rely on official registration. The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of death certificates, where asthma was coded as cause of death. In a 12-month period, medical information on all subjects with asthma officially coded as the underlying cause of death in Denmark, was obtained by reviewing hospital records, contacting general practitioners and sometimes close relatives. A panel of four pulmonologists each examined the obtained information and independently assessed the cause of death. Of a total of 218 death certificates, 39 were excluded as the cause of death could not be validated. In 16 (9%) of the subjects death from asthma was judged to be the definite cause of death and in 12 (7%) death from asthma was possible. Of 151 non-asthma deaths coded as due to asthma, 109 were judged to have suffered or died from COPD and 14 from heart disease. The accuracy of Danish death certification in asthma deaths is poor, especially in the elderly, where COPD is often classified as asthma. We conclude that the true asthma mortality in Denmark is substantially lower than officially recorded.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to assess the extent and quality of follow-up of patients on LTOT. SETTING: The Danish Oxygen Register. SUBJECTS: A total of 890 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients who were on long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) during the period from 1 November 1994 to 31 August 1995. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The extent and quality of follow-up. RESULTS: Only 38.5% of the patients were followed up in the study period, and only 17.5% had a 'sufficient follow-up' defined as at least one follow-up visit within 10 months which included measurement of arterial blood gases or pulsoximetry with oxygen supply, verification that the patient used oxygen > or =15 h day-1 and was nonsmoker. Female gender, LTOT initiated 3-12 months ago, LTOT started by a chest physician at pulmonary department and LTOT prescribed > or =15 h day-1 were found to be significant predictors of 'sufficient follow-up' (odds ratio (OR): 1.7, 2.0, 3.7 and 1.9, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The extent and the quality of follow-up of patients on LTOT were poor, especially if a nonpulmonary physician initiated LTOT. We recommend that more attention should be paid on proper monitoring of LTOT, and that only chest physicians should be able to prescribe and re-evaluate LTOT.
Asbestos fibres have potent cancerogenic and fibrogenic properties and may lead to development of cancer and fibrosis in the lung parenchyma and pleura. The Danish Ministry of Employment has established rules which should prevent development of disease when working with asbestos in future but, on account of the very long latent period between exposure and development of asbestos-related disease, these conditions will still occur during the next 30-40 years. Primarily, the more benign pleural plaques will be concerned but serious disease such as bronchial carcinoma and pleural mesothelioma will occur in the future. When patients are encountered who present symptoms or objective/paraclinical findings which are compatible with disease produced by asbestos, it is important to remember that exposure to asbestos may be many decades ago and, particularly where the malignant conditions are concerned, exposure need not have been particularly massive or prolonged. All cases where asbestos-related disease is suspected should be notified to the insurance administration.
The aim of this study was to examine the association between chronic mucus hypersecretion, and FEV1 decline, and subsequent hospitalization from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We used data from The Copenhagen City Heart Study on 5,354 women and 4,081 men 30 to 79 yr of age with assessment of smoking habits, respiratory symptoms, and spirometry at two surveys 5 yr apart. Information on COPD hospitalization during 8 to 10 yr of subsequent follow-up was obtained from a nationwide register. Chronic mucus hypersecretion was significantly associated with FEV1 decline; the effect was most prominent among men, where chronic mucus hypersecretion at both surveys was associated with an excess FEV1 decline of 22.8 ml/yr (95% confidence interval, 8.2 to 37.4) compared with men without mucus hypersecretion, after adjusting for age, height, weight change, and smoking; in women, the excess decline was 12.6 ml/yr (0.7-24.6). Chronic mucus hypersecretion was associated with subsequent hospitalization due to COPD after adjusting for age and smoking; relative risk was 5.3 (2.9 to 9.6) among men and 5.1 (2.5 to 10.3) among women. After further adjusting for FEV1 at the second survey, the relative risk was reduced to 2.4 (1.3 to 4.5) for men and 2.6 (1.2 to 5.3) for women. Chronic mucus hypersecretion was significantly and consistently associated with both an excess FEV1 decline and an increased risk of subsequent hospitalization because of COPD.
In 1984 an Alternative Birth Clinic (ABC) was opened at the Copenhagen County Hospital in Glostrup. The ABC was opened on a trial basis to evaluate the demand for a different and more peaceful birth and nursing environment. The study was performed to illustrate how the place of birth can influence the delivery and the duration of breast-feeding. During the observation period of seven months there were 125 uncomplicated births at the ABC, and 170 uncomplicated births at the obstetrical ward. It was not possible to perform this study as a randomized one as delivering at the ABC was on offer to all women in this part of Copenhagen County. The newborn children at the ABC were nursed during the first 30 min after birth by 73.1% of the mothers compared to only 48.1% of the mothers at the obstetrical ward. On the fifth day after delivery 79.7% of the mothers at the ABC breast-fed without supplementary infant formula, while 95.1% of the mothers at the obstetrical ward breast-fed without supplement. Fourteen weeks after delivery 68.4% of the mothers who delivered at the ABC were breast-feeding without supplement, compared to 51.8% of the mothers who delivered at the obstetrical ward. The success of breast-feeding was found to have a positive correlation to higher social groups, delivering at the ABC, the number of antenatal care visits and increasing maternal age. The significance of these factors was tested in a regression analysis which revealed that birthplace and social group were the two factors that could explain the differences in the course of breast-feeding. Women referred to the obstetrical ward because there were no vacancies at the ABC (ABC-refused) followed in all aspects the mothers at the obstetrical ward. In spite of the groups not being randomized we feel that we can conclude, especially taking into consideration the results from the ABC-refused group, that the differences in the success of breast-feeding can be explained by the place of birth, and that making the birthplace and the surroundings more inviting will be very profitable for the length of breast-feeding. If possible the staff should spend more time with the delivering women and later assist them in getting a good start of breast-feeding.
We tested the hypothesis that individuals heterozygous for the common cystic fibrosis delta F508 mutation are at risk of obstructive pulmonary disease. We studied a cross-sectional sample from the general population of Copenhagen, aged 20 years and older. We performed spirometry to measure FEV1 and FVC, and genotyped blood samples from 9141 individuals. We identified 250 carriers of the delta F508 mutation (2.7%; 95% CI: 2.5%-3.1%). Nine precent of carriers reported having asthma compared with 6% of non-carriers (chi 2: p = 0.04). Furthermore, among individuals with airway obstruction, the percentage of predicted FEV1 and FVC were significantly lower in participants heterozygous for delta F508 than in non-carriers (49% vs. 58%, p = 0.004 and 70% vs. 82%, p
A common statement from exsmokers is that symptoms of asthma develop shortly after smoking cessation. This study, therefore, investigated the relationship between smoking cessation and development of asthma in a large cohort from the Copenhagen City Heart Study (CCHS). The CCHS is a longitudinal, epidemiological study of the general population from the capital of Denmark, conducted between 1976 and 1994. The study population involved the 10,200 subjects who provided information on self-reported asthma and smoking habits from the first two examinations (baseline and 5-yr follow-up), and the 6,814 subjects who also attended the third and last examination (10-yr follow-up). The point-prevalence of smoking cessation as well as the asthma incidence between examinations was estimated, and a multivariate logistic regression model was used to examine the relationship between changes in smoking habits and development of asthma. During the study period, asthma incidence increased from 1.2-4.2%. Between examinations 1,316 subjects quit smoking. Smoking cessation between examinations was significantly related to reported asthma at follow-up. With never-smokers as the reference group and following adjustment for sex, age, chronic bronchitis, level of forced expiratory volume in one second and pack-yrs of smoking, the odds ratio (OR) for developing asthma when quitting smoking between examinations was 3.9 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.8-8.2) from baseline to first follow-up and 3.1 (95% CI 1.9-5.1) from first to second follow-up. Continuing smoking also increased the risk of asthma significantly (OR 2.6 and 2.0, respectively). The results indicate that exsmokers have a higher incidence of self-reported asthma than never-smokers. It is likely that subjects perceive chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as asthma, hence the relationship between smoking cessation and asthma might be due to misclassification rather than causality.
From 1975 to 1985, 25 Danish children (aged less than 15 yrs) and 40 children of immigrants were notified for tuberculosis in Copenhagen for the first time. A follow-up was undertaken in 1987. The annual rate of tuberculosis per 100,000 among the Danish children was 5 and among immigrant children 68-200 depending on the nationality. At the time of diagnosis, no significant differences were present between Danes and immigrants as regards age, sex, occurrence of symptoms or previous BCG immunization, whereas there were significantly more bacteriologically proven cases among the immigrants. All Danish children had respiratory tuberculosis only, whereas 13 immigrant children had extrapulmonary manifestations including one case of miliary and two cases of meningeal tuberculosis. At follow-up, all patients were cured for tuberculosis and had experienced a normal physical development.