In February 1999, an outbreak of listeriosis caused by Listeria monocytogenes serotype 3a occurred in Finland. All isolates were identical. The outbreak strain was first isolated in 1997 in dairy butter. This dairy began delivery to a tertiary care hospital (TCH) in June 1998. From June 1998 to April 1999, 25 case patients were identified (20 with sepsis, 4 with meningitis, and 1 with abscess; 6 patients died). Patients with the outbreak strain were more likely to have been admitted to the TCH than were patients with other strains of L. monocytogenes (60% vs. 8%; odds ratio, 17.3; 95% confidence interval, 2.8-136.8). Case patients admitted to the TCH had been hospitalized longer before cultures tested positive than had matched controls (median, 31 vs. 10 days; P=.008). An investigation found the outbreak strain in packaged butter served at the TCH and at the source dairy. Recall of the product ended the outbreak.
There is evidence for cognitive dysfunction in unipolar depression among middle-aged and elderly patients, but cognitive functioning among depressed young adults has scarcely been systematically investigated. The aims of the present study were to examine cognitive functioning among depressed young adults identified from the general population and to determine whether cognitive deficits vary as a function of different disorder characteristics, such as severity and age at onset.
Performance in verbal and visual short-term memory, verbal long-term memory and learning, attention, processing speed, and executive functioning was compared between a population-based sample of 21-35-year-olds with a lifetime history of non-psychotic unipolar depressive disorders without psychiatric comorbidity (n=68) and healthy controls derived from the same population (n=70).
Depressed young adults were not found to be impaired in any of the assessed cognitive functions, except for some suggestion of mildly compromised verbal learning. Nevertheless, younger age at depression onset was associated with more impaired executive functioning.
The results may slightly underestimate of the true association between depression and cognitive impairments in the young adult population due to possible dropout of participants. Additionally, the problem of multiple testing was not entirely corrected.
The findings from this study indicate that a lifetime history of non-psychotic unipolar depressive disorders among young adults without psychiatric comorbidity may be associated only with minimal cognitive deficits, even when some residual depressive symptoms are prevalent. However, early-onset depression may represent a more severe form of the disorder, associated with more cognitive dysfunction.
Cognitive functioning in anxiety disorders has received little investigation, particularly among young adults and in non-clinical samples. The present study examined cognitive functioning in a population-based sample of young adults with anxiety disorders in comparison to healthy peers.
A population-based sample of 21-35-year-olds with a lifetime history of anxiety disorders (n=75) and a random sample of healthy controls (n=71) derived from the same population were compared in terms of performance in neuropsychological tests measuring verbal and visual short-term memory, verbal long-term memory, attention, psychomotor processing speed, and executive functioning.
In general, young adults with anxiety disorders did not have major cognitive impairments when compared to healthy peers. When participants with anxiety disorder in remission were excluded, persons with current anxiety disorder scored lower in visual working memory tests. Current psychotropic medication use and low current psychosocial functioning associated with deficits in executive functioning, psychomotor processing speed, and visual short-term memory.
Lifetime history of anxiety disorders is not associated with cognitive impairment among young adults in the general population. However, among persons with anxiety disorders, current psychotropic medication use and low psychosocial functioning, indicating more severe symptoms, may associate with cognitive impairments.
Fifty-seven patients were examined with CT 5 years after primary myelography for disabling sciatica and suspected herniated lumbar disk. Forty were in an operated group, 22 with good and 18 with poor results evaluated by occupational handicap (21) 5 years after surgery. Seventeen patients had myelography indicating disk herniation, but were treated conservatively, 9 with good and 8 with poor result. Various spinal dimensions measured at CT did not correlate with outcome. Operated patients had narrower canals than others, and male canals were broader than those in females. Increased amount of scar tissue at L4 level correlated with poor result (p = 0.008). Operated patients with poor result had more advanced lateral stenosis than those treated conservatively (p less than 0.001). Patients with good result after operation had more degeneration observed on CT of erector spinae muscle than those treated conservatively with good outcome. Only 9% of operated patients did not have muscle degeneration. A tendency for more frequent recurrent disk herniations could be seen for conservatively treated patients. The narrowing of the spinal canal 5 years after operation did not correlate with the 5-year outcome.
Psychiatric co-morbidity is often inadequately controlled for in studies on cognitive functioning in depression. Our recent study established no major deficits in cognition among young adults with a history of pure unipolar depression. The present study extends our previous work by examining the effects of psychiatric co-morbidity and other disorder characteristics on depression-related cognitive functioning.
Performance in verbal and visual short-term memory, verbal long-term memory and learning, attention, processing speed, and executive functioning was compared between a population-based sample aged 21-35 years with a lifetime history of unipolar depressive disorders (n=126) and a random sample of healthy controls derived from the same population (n=71). Cognitive functioning was also compared between the subgroups of pure (n=69) and co-morbid (n=57) depression.
The subgroups of pure and co-morbid depression did not differ in any of the cognitive measures assessed. Only mildly compromised verbal learning was found among depressed young adults in total, but no other cognitive deficits occurred. Received treatment was associated with more impaired verbal memory and executive functioning, and younger age at first disorder onset with more impaired executive functioning.
Psychiatric co-morbidity may not aggravate cognitive functioning among depressed young adults. Regardless of co-morbidity, treatment seeking is associated with cognitive deficits, suggesting that these deficits relate to more distress.
Data on the levels of bacteria and the amounts of food consumed in food-borne outbreaks provides an excellent opportunity to study the effects of exposure to Listeria monocytogenes. Between June 1998 and April 1999, an outbreak caused by L. monocytogenes serotype 3a in butter occurred in Finland. The majority of the cases were immunocompromised and hospitalized at the Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH), where 7-g butter packages produced by a dairy plant were used as the only butter brand. The butter had also been sold to 10 other central hospitals as well as to the retail market. Based on the data on hospital stay, butter consumption and the qualitative and quantitative analyses of L. monocytogenes in butter, the attack rates and exposure were estimated. Incubation studies on the naturally contaminated small butter packages showed that the levels found in the packages at the time of detection of the outbreak could reliably be used for these estimations. However, the levels of L. monocytogenes in 500-g packages increased. The attack rate among HUCH patients varied from 70 to 117 cases per 1000 patients at risk, depending on which estimate of the contamination level of butter (100-60%) was used. The highest single dose (7.7 x 10(4) CFU in one meal) could have been sufficient to cause the listeriosis cases at HUCH. However, this data also supports another hypothesis, according to which these listeriosis cases were caused by a prolonged daily consumption of contaminated butter during the hospital stay. The estimated daily dose, based on the hospital kitchen data or the highest detected level in a wholesale sample (11,000 CFU/g), would have varied from 1.4 x 10(1) to 2.2 x 10(3) CFU/day or from 2.2 x 10(4) to 3.1 x 10(5) CFU/day, respectively. The choice of the hypothesis has a crucial impact on the interpretation of this data for the dose-response estimations as well as for the discussion on Food Safety Objectives. Due to the susceptibility of hospital patients, special care must be taken in order to avoid even low levels of L. monocytogenes in food served.
We aimed to provide prevalence data on depression and other current mental disorders, impairment, need of psychiatric care and use of mental health services among young adults.
Based on a semi-structured clinical interview, current DSM-IV disorders, impairment, need of psychiatric care and use of mental health services were evaluated in a sample of 20-24-year-old young urban adults (N = 245), mean age 21.8, screened from a baseline population of 706. One-month prevalence estimates for disorders were calculated by the double sampling method, using various additional criteria to identify cases.
One in four young adults (23.8%) suffered from a current mental disorder, the most prevalent being depressive (10.8%), anxiety (6.9%), substance use (6.2%) and personality disorders (6.0%). Prevalence estimates varied substantially according to the use of additional diagnostic criteria. Impairment (GAF
Relative contributions of earlier drinking and smoking vs mental health risk factors in predicting alcohol intake and heavy drinking in young adulthood were assessed. Higher average alcohol intake and heavy drinking (13 or more drinks on one occasion) in 1995 were significantly related to male gender and earlier high scores in 1990 of relief smoking, relief drinking, and their interaction. Parental alcohol problems, social group, perceived degree of social support, trait anxiety, number of negative life events, self-esteem, grade-point average, somatic symptoms score, or immature, neurotic, or mature defence style measured in 1990 did not predict alcohol intake or heavy drinking 5 years later. The findings suggest that alcohol intake and heavy drinking in young adulthood can be predicted by earlier self-reports on relief smoking and alcohol intake in adolescence.
Isthmic spondylolisthesis of the lumbosacral spine is a common radiologic finding in patients with low back pain, but its prevalence in unselected populations is poorly known. We examined X-ray pictures of the lumbosacral region of 1147 randomly selected 45-64-yr-old subjects living in eastern or western Finland. Of them, 69 subjects were found to have isthmic spondylolisthesis. The finding was more common in men (7.7%) than in women (4.6%; p = 0.026). The prevalence of spondylolisthesis was not age-related; it was higher in women with an occupation causing a high back load than in those with a low load occupation (p = 0.049), but this difference was not seen in men. The prevalence of spondylolisthesis tended to be higher in women with multiple pregnancies than in those with less than or equal to 2 pregnancies (p = 0.074). Women from eastern Finland had a higher prevalence of spondylolisthesis (7.2%) than those from western Finland (2.6%; p = 0.007), whereas no such difference was seen in men. The difference in women may partly be explained by factors causing loading of the low back, i.e. heavier work and a higher number of pregnancies.