In the 1960s and early 1970s, coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in Finland was the highest in the world, and within Finland, mortality was particularly high in the eastern part of the country. The North Karelia Project, the first large community-based cardiovascular diseases prevention program was established in 1972 to reduce the extremely high CHD mortality through behavioral change and reduction of the main cardiovascular disease risk factors among the whole population of North Karelia, the easternmost province of Finland. During the 40-year period from 1972 to 2012, smoking prevalence, serum total cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure declined markedly, except a small increase in serum cholesterol levels between 2007 and 2012. From the early 1970s to 2012, CHD mortality decreased by 82% (from 643 to 118 per 100,000) among working-age (35 to 64 years) men. Among working-age women, the decline was 84% (from 114 to 17 per 100,000). During the first 10 years, changes in these 3 target risk factors explained nearly all of the observed mortality reduction. Since the mid-1980s, the observed reduction in mortality has been larger than the predicted reduction. In the early 1970s, premature CHD mortality (35 to 74 years) was about 37% higher among Eastern Finnish men and 23% higher among Eastern Finnish women, compared with men and women in Southwestern Finland. During the last 40 years, premature CHD mortality declined markedly in both areas, but the decline was larger in Eastern Finland and the mortality gap between the two areas nearly disappeared.
Arctic residents can be exposed to a wide range of contaminants through consumption of traditional (country) foods (i.e. food from wild animals and plants that are hunted, caught or collected locally in the Arctic). Yet these foods provide excellent nutrition, promote social cohesion, meet some spiritual needs for connectedness to the land and water, reinforce cultural ties, are economically important and promote overall good health for many. The risk and benefit balance associated with the consumption of traditional Arctic foods is complicated to communicate and has been referred to as the "Arctic Dilemma". This article gives an update on health risk communication in the Arctic region. It briefly summarizes some research on risk communication methodologies as well as approaches to an evaluation of the outcomes of risk communication initiatives. It provides information on specific initiatives in several Arctic countries, and particularly those that were directed at Indigenous populations. This article also summarizes some international versus local risk communication activities and the complexity of developing and delivering messages designed for different audiences. Finally, the potential application of social media for risk communication and a summary of "best practices" based on published literature and a survey of Inuit in a few Arctic countries are described.
Several of the risk communication initiatives portrayed in this article indicate that there is only limited awareness of the outcome of risk communication messages. In some cases, risk communication efforts appear to have been successful, at least when effectiveness is measured in an indirect way, for example, by lower contaminant levels. However, due to missing effectiveness evaluation studies, uncertainty remains as to whether a specific risk communication method was successful and could be clearly linked to behavioural changes that resulted in decreased contaminant exposure.
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The research that underlies evidence-based practices is often based on relatively homogenous study samples, thus limiting our ability to understand how the study findings apply in new situations as well as our understanding of what might need to be adapted. In a preliminary effort to address those gaps, the requirements for the Tribal Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) included the expectation that grantees design and implement rigorous evaluations to address local priorities and to help build the knowledge base regarding the use of evidence-based home-visiting programs in tribal communities. A priority that emerged across many Tribal MIECHV grantees was to determine the added benefit of the cultural adaptations that they were making to their home-visiting programs. While there is literature to describe recommended processes for making cultural adaptations to evidence-based programs themselves, there are very few guidelines for evaluating these adaptations. In this article, we review the varied evaluation approaches utilized by Tribal MIECHV grantees and provide three case examples of how evaluators and tribal communities worked together to articulate evaluation questions and choose appropriate and feasible evaluation designs. The lessons derived from these Tribal MIECHV evaluation experiences have implications for the role of the evaluator in diverse communities across the country evaluating home visiting and other evidence-based practices in settings characterized by unique cultural contexts.
As assessed over the period of satellite observations, October 1978 to present, there are downward linear trends in Arctic sea ice extent for all months, largest at the end of the melt season in September. The ice cover is also thinning. Downward trends in extent and thickness have been accompanied by pronounced interannual and multiyear variability, forced by both the atmosphere and ocean. As the ice thins, its response to atmospheric and oceanic forcing may be changing. In support of a busier Arctic, there is a growing need to predict ice conditions on a variety of time and space scales. A major challenge to providing seasonal scale predictions is the 7-10 days limit of numerical weather prediction. While a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean is likely well within this century, there is much uncertainty in the timing. This reflects differences in climate model structure, the unknown evolution of anthropogenic forcing, and natural climate variability. In sharp contrast to the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice extent, while highly variable, has increased slightly over the period of satellite observations. The reasons for this different behavior remain to be resolved, but responses to changing atmospheric circulation patterns appear to play a strong role.
After the European Food Safety Authority reviewed reports of methylmercury and heart rate variability (HRV) in 2012, the panel concluded that, although some studies of cardiac autonomy suggested an autonomic effect of methylmercury, the results were inconsistent among studies and the implications for health were unclear. In this study, we reconsider this association by adding a perspective on the physiological context. Cardiovascular rhythmicity is usually studied within different frequency domains of HRV. Three spectral components are usually detected; in humans these are centered at
People with depression are prescribed more drugs than people in general, partly due to comorbidity with other conditions. However, little research has been done on depression-related drug use from a gender perspective.
Examine the association between antidepressants, other types of prescribed drugs, and polypharmacy, by gender.
Data on drugs dispensed October to December 2016 to all Swedish citizens aged 18-84 years were collected from the Swedish prescribed drug register. Logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the associations between antidepressants and other drugs, by gender.
For both men and women, associations were found between antidepressants and drugs for alimentary tract problems, respiratory problems, blood, nervous system, analgesics, and polypharmacy. However, for women, but not men, associations were also found for drugs for diabetes, musculoskeletal problems, dermatological problems, and systemic hormones.
Associations were found between antidepressants and many other types of drugs for both men and women; indicating comorbidity between depression and other conditions. Further, some of the associations between antidepressants and other drugs were found to be specific among women. Whether this indicates that men and women differ in comorbidity between depression and other conditions cannot be concluded based on this cross-sectional study. However, comorbidity impairs the possibility of recovery; in the somatic condition as well as the depression. Thus, physicians need to be aware that the association between antidepressants and other types of drugs are more common among women than men.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common, chronic inflammatory skin condition affecting up to 20% of children and 3% of adults worldwide. There is wide variation in the prevalence of AD among different countries. Although the frequency of AD is increasing in developing countries, it seems to have stabilized in developed countries, affecting approximately 1 in 5 schoolchildren. Adult-onset AD is not uncommon and is significantly higher, affecting between 11% and 13% of adults in some countries, for example, Singapore, Malaysia, and Sweden. AD is thus associated with significant health care economic burden in all age groups.
The aim of this study was to investigate attitudes and opinions towards surrogacy among physicians working within obstetrics and reproductive medicine in Sweden.
Physicians working within medically assisted reproduction (MAR), antenatal care and obstetrics were invited to participate in a cross-sectional nationwide survey study. The study-specific questionnaire measured attitudes and experiences in three domains: attitudes towards surrogacy, assessment of prospective surrogate mothers, and antenatal and obstetric care for surrogate mothers.
Of the 103 physicians who participated (response rate 74%), 63% were positive or neutral towards altruistic surrogacy being introduced in Sweden. However, only 28% thought that it should be publicly financed. Physicians working at fertility clinics were more positive towards legalization as well as public financing of surrogacy compared than were those working within antenatal and delivery care. The majority of the physicians agreed that surrogacy involves the risk of exploitation of women's bodies (60%) and that there is a risk that the commissioning couple might pay the surrogate mother "under the table" (82%). They also expressed concerns about potential surrogate mothers not being able to understand fully the risks of entering pregnancy on behalf of someone else.
There is a relatively strong support among physicians working within obstetrics and reproductive medicine for the introduction of surrogacy in Sweden. However, the physicians expressed concerns about the surrogate mothers' health as well as the risk of coercion. Further discussions about legalization of surrogacy should include views from individuals within a wide field of different medical professions and laymen.
Climate change and ocean acidification are altering marine ecosystems and, from a human perspective, creating both winners and losers. Human responses to these changes are complex, but may result in reduced government investments in regulation, resource management, monitoring and enforcement. Moreover, a lack of peoples' experience of climate change may drive some towards attributing the symptoms of climate change to more familiar causes such as management failure. Taken together, we anticipate that management could become weaker and less effective as climate change continues. Using diverse case studies, including the decline of coral reefs, coastal defences from flooding, shifting fish stocks and the emergence of new shipping opportunities in the Arctic, we argue that human interests are better served by increased investments in resource management. But greater government investment in management does not simply mean more of "business-as-usual." Management needs to become more flexible, better at anticipating and responding to surprise, and able to facilitate change where it is desirable. A range of technological, economic, communication and governance solutions exists to help transform management. While not all have been tested, judicious application of the most appropriate solutions should help humanity adapt to novel circumstances and seek opportunity where possible.
The extremely high mortality of cardiovascular diseases in the 1960s in Finland, particularly in the Eastern Province of North Karelia and especially that of coronary heart disease in men, caused great concern among the local population. Action to reduce the problem was demanded in a petition signed in 1971 by the representatives of the population. In response, the North Karelia Project was launched in 1972 to carry out a comprehensive preventive project, first only in North Karelia as a national pilot (1972 to 1977), and thereafter continuing in North Karelia but at the same time transferring the experiences to a national level. The intervention was based on the at-that-time relatively new scientific information on the main causal risk factors. A comprehensive population-based intervention was carried out, aiming especially at the reduction of the high levels of serum cholesterol, blood pressure, and tobacco use, emphasizing general dietary changes and smoking reduction. A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation program was designed and implemented to learn from the experience in preparation for national and international use. Presented here are the background, principles, and general experiences of this project, which has made major contributions both to the contemporary public health work for the prevention and control of heart disease and noncommunicable diseases and for research in the area.