Of 45 first admission schizophrenics from 1963, an incidence by first admission group for northern Alberta, 43 were followed-up 14 years later. Based on these figures the expectancy was found to be 0.49%. The proportion of patients who were married was less than expected in comparison with the general population, but amongst the married, fertility was probably comparable to the population's. At follow-up about half the patients were managing well with little or no disability, one quarter had moderate to marked disability and the remainder were socially, psychiatrically and occupationally disabled. From the time of first admission, patients had spent an average of 15% of their time in hospital and lost 28% of the total time due to psychiatric disability.
Plasma 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25-H.C.C.) has been measured in 67 consective cases of fracture of the proximal femur. The values found in these patients were not different from values found in these patients were not different from those in control groups at the same time of the year. Plasma 25-H.C.C. was not correlated to plasma calcium or phosphorus, the Ca times P product, or the alkaline phosphatase. X-rays showed Looser zones in only 1 patient, in whom the lowest plasma 25-H.C.C. was found. Osteomalacia is not uncommon among elderly people in Denmark, but it is more likely to depend on a decline in the renal efficiency to convert 25-H.C.C. to 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol than a low dietary intake of vitamin D.
Viral hepatitis has been known to occur among the Greenland population endemically as well as in smaller and larger epidemics. A large epidemic of acute hepatitis comprising around 9% of the entire population, viz. more than 4000 notified cases, swept through Greenland between October 1970 and December 1972. 996 verified cases were seen in the Godthaab district and subjected to more detailed studies. Most of the Godthaab cases were seen among children and adolescents, and no disease was observed in children less than one year of age. Out of 996 diagnosed cases 9 showed acute hepatic failure with coma. Two further cases of hepatic coma were referred for treatment from outside the district. Three of these 11 patients recovered spontaneously. Of the residual 8 cases 6 were treated with exchange transfusions and steroids. Four of these survived and recovered completely. No lasting sequelae had been registered in any of the surviving cases of the epidemic up to June 1975 (2 1/2 years after cessation of the epidemic). Prophylaxis with gamma-globulin was undertaken in a medium-sized settlement in which practically the entire population received gamma-globulin when the first case of hepatitis was diagnosed. In this settlement only 7 out of 297 inhabitants contracted hepatitis. By contrast, in a similar settlement where no gamma-globulin was given, more than 30% of the population developed icteric hepatitis. The clinical features and the prophylactic effect of gamma-globulin seem to indicate that the epidemic was caused by the hepatitis A virus. In accordance with this, transitory Australia-antigenaemia was demonstrated in the acute phase in only 2.6% of the cases, possibly inidicating a small admixture of acute hepatitis type B to the epidemic predominantly caused by hepatitis A virus.
The detection of anergy or relative anergy by delayed hypersensitivity skin tests was predictive of infection and related mortality in 354 surgical patients. Cancer or advanced age alone did not account for the increased morbidity and mortality seen in this study. Altered delayed hypersensitivity response is a reflection of abnormalities in cell-mediated immunity and possibly humoral or phagocytic defects, or both. Skin testing is of value to the clinical surgeon both in identifying the population at risk and in monitoring the immune response to therapy in the seriously ill patient. Failure to improve skin-test response may indicate underlying infection or malnutrition, which, if untreated, results in a high mortality.