OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to assess the role of siblings in day care as a determinant of infants' risk of lower respiratory tract infections. METHODS: A total of 3238 children (86%) out of 3754 Oslo, Norway, newborns recruited in 1992/93 were followed for 1 year. RESULTS: In logistic regression analysis, the risk of infection was increased in (1) infants with one or more siblings compared with infants without siblings (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 2.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.84, 2.85) and (2) infants with one or more siblings in day care compared with infants with siblings not in day care (adjusted OR = 1.7; 95% CI = 1.21, 2.26). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that siblings in day care outside the home increase infants' risk of lower respiratory tract infections.
OBJECTIVES: This study examined the connection between the use of anticonvulsants for epilepsy during or before pregnancy and the risk of spina bifida and cleft lip in newborns. METHODS: Among mothers registered from 1967 to 1992 by the Medical Birth Registry of Norway, 7588 who had epilepsy were identified and their newborns' prevalence of spina bifida and cleft lip examined. RESULTS: The odds ratio of spina bifida in children of mothers with epilepsy compared with other children increased from 1.5 in 1967 through 1980 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.3, 4.5) to 4.4 in 1981 through 1992 (95% CI = 2.0, 8.5). The odds ratio of cleft lip, however, decreased from 3.0 before 1981 (95% CI = 1.6, 5.1) to 1.1 after 1981 (95% CI = 0.4, 2.3). CONCLUSIONS: This shift toward more serious birth defects is consistent with the different teratogenic effects of newer and older anticonvulsants.
The role of atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) in childhood diarrhea is controversial. The aim of the present study was to search for genes linked with diarrhea in atypical EPEC strains from a case-control study among Norwegian children. Using DNA microarray analysis, genomic DNAs from strains isolated from children with (n = 37) and without (n = 20) diarrhea were hybridized against 242 different oligonucleotide probes specific for 182 virulence genes or markers from all known E. coli pathotypes. PCR was performed to test the strains for seven putative virulence genes not included in the microarray panel. The OI-122 gene efa1/lifA was the gene with the strongest statistical association with diarrhea (P = 0.0008). Other OI-122 genes (set/ent, nleB, and nleE) and genes with other locations (lpfA, paa, ehxA, and ureD) were also associated with diarrheal disease. The phylogenetic marker gene yjaA was negatively associated with diarrhea (P = 0.0004). Atypical EPEC strains could be classified in two main virulence groups based on their content of OI-122, lpfA, and yjaA genes. Among children with diarrhea, atypical EPEC isolates belonging to virulence group I (OI-122 and lpfA positive, yjaA negative) were the most common, while the majority of isolates from healthy children were classified as virulence group II strains (OI-122 negative, lpfA and yjaA positive; P
OBJECTIVES: We examined whether high levels of consumption of sugar-containing soft drinks were associated with mental distress, hyperactivity, and conduct problems among adolescents. METHODS: A cross-sectional population-based survey was conducted with 10th-grade students in Oslo, Norway (n = 5498). We used the Hopkins Symptom Checklist and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire to assess mental health outcomes. RESULTS: There was a J-shaped dose-response relationship between soft drink consumption and mental distress, conduct problems, and total mental health difficulties score; that is, adolescents who did not consume soft drinks had higher scores (indicating worse symptoms) than those who consumed soft drinks at moderate levels but lower scores than those with high consumption levels. The relationship was linear for hyperactivity. In a logistic regression model, the association between soft drink consumption and mental health problems remained significant after adjustment for behavioral, social, and food-related variables. The highest adjusted odds ratios were observed for conduct problems among boys and girls who consumed 4 or more glasses of sugar-containing soft drinks per day. CONCLUSIONS: High consumption levels of sugar-containing soft drinks were associated with mental health problems among adolescents even after adjustment for possible confounders.
This thesis focuses on the Márkomeannu festival’s contribution to the revitalization of food traditions. The study was conducted on the Márkomeannu festival in Skånland in Troms County, specifically in the Markasami areas in the rural hills of Skånland. The festival was chosen because it is an important arena for expression of indigeneity and culture. Many areas within the Sami community have suffered from assimilation and have afterwards gone through a process of revitalization. The process of revitalization of the culture, language, politics and history has been thoroughly studied and written about, but the revitalization of Sami traditional food has not been studied in detail. Food is an important cultural marker which works as building stones of each cultural foundation. Food can be both symbolic and be a purely practical necessity for a culture. The thesis establishes that some traditional dishes are adopted and adapted from international dishes. The results shows that traditional dishes are used to articulate the Sami culture, and that traditions can be adapted to a modern outlook, and also adapted to fit a Sami cultural profile. Márkomeannu as a cultural arena contributes to revitalization of food by creating a platform for cultural expression which can lead to a stronger Sami identity and a feeling of safety in expressing culture.
Atypical enteropathogenetic Escherichia coli (EPEC) strains are frequently detected in children with diarrhea but are also a common finding in healthy children. The aim of this study was to compare the phylogenetic ancestry and virulence characteristics of atypical (eae positive, stx and bfpA negative) EPEC strains from Norwegian children with (n = 37) or without (n = 19) diarrhea and to search for an association between phylogenetic ancestry and diarrhea. The strains were classified in phylogenetic groups by phylogenetic marker genes and in sequence types (STs) by multilocus sequence typing. Phylogenetic ancestry was compared to virulence characteristics based on DNA microarray analysis. Serotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were also performed. All four phylogenetic groups, 26 different STs, and 20 different clonal groups were represented among the 56 atypical EPEC strains. The strains were separated into three clusters by overall virulence gene profile; one large cluster with A, B1, and D strains and two clusters with group B2 strains. There was considerable heterogeneity in the PFGE profiles and serotypes, and almost half of the strains were O nontypeable. The efa1/lifA gene, previously shown to be statistically linked with diarrhea in this strain collection (J. E. Afset et al., J. Clin. Microbiol. 44:3703-3711, 2006), was present in 8 of 26 STs. The two phylogenetic groups B1 and D were weakly associated with diarrhea (P = 0.06 and P = 0.09, respectively). In contrast, group B2 was isolated most frequently from healthy controls (P = 0.05). In conclusion, the atypical EPEC strains were heterogeneous both phylogenetically and by virulence profile. Phylogenetic ancestry was less useful as a predictor of diarrhea than were specific virulence genes.
We explored the effects of ethnicity on mental health treatment in the population of North Norway that largely consists of indigenous Sami and non-Sami Norwegians. As the two groups are comparable in their socio-economics, ethnic effects can be separated from their most common confounders. The effect of client and therapist ethnicity and client-therapist ethnic match on treatment was examined among psychiatric outpatients in this setting. Client (n=335) and therapist (n=33) demographics and ethnicity were recorded prior to intake. Self-reported psychosocial distress was recorded at intake, termination and 20-month follow-up. Therapists reported their clinical assessment, treatment delivery at intake and discharge. The results indicated that therapist ethnicity was associated with the amount and type of service provided but improvement was not. Both the delivery of treatment and improvement did not differ significantly by client ethnicity. Ethnic matching was associated with greater symptomatic improvement in treatments of moderate duration.
CONTEXT: Rural medical practice in Norway has an honourable 400 year history, but this has diminished since the end of World War II. Despite official intention to support a decentralised population, rural and remote populations have continuously reduced in Norway over the last 10 years. A consequence of the accompanying reduction in rural and remote GP services has been a distinct reduction in opportunities for medical student and intern placements. In 1999 the University of Tromso implemented some projects to stimulate rural medical practice, funded by the government. This culminated in the 2007 foundation of the Norwegian National Centre of Rural Medicine (NCRM) in Tromso.ISSUE: A key challenge of the NCRM is to identify factors that influence young doctors to choose rural careers. This is reflected in the three concurrent aims or perspectives of the NCRM: (1) to bridge the gap between the academy and rural medical practice (the principal perspective); (2) to promote research, education and networking among rural health professionals (the operational perspective); and (3) to contribute to the recruitment, stability and quality of rural health care (the political perspective).LESSONS LEARNED: The NCRM has had a number of achievements that include a publication that provides a narrative perspective on rural practice, the role of the rural doctor, and how rural culture and context influence proper clinical decision-making. Another achievement is a professional development and research program that has been successful in fostering a number of major studies, and led to the formation of a supportive PhD research group. The NCRM has also facilitated networking between rural practitioners and academics, at conferences and via its rural doctor website, and promoted cooperative international activities. In these ways the NCRM has fostered the transformation of rural doctors' experience into theory to enhance medical knowledge, begun to redress the balance between community- and hospital-based services, and so made a favourable start to building a bridge between rural practice and the medical academy in Norway.