BACKGROUND: The intention of this study was to increase the knowledge concerning the rehabilitation of women with drug problems after the birth of a child and to find out how the children developed. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A follow-up study of 31 women, former drug and alcohol abusers and their children, 19 girls and 12 boys born in 1982-1983. The first survey took place when the children were 2-3 years of age, then when they were 7-9 and at last when they were 15-17. The biological mothers, foster or adoptive mothers, the children and their teachers were interviewed. RESULTS: The women got more support and control during the pregnancy than afterwards. Most of the mothers became single. Women with the shortest drug history, a good social network and a stable partner without drug problems kept the care of their children. By the first survey (1985), seven children had been placed in foster homes, in the second (1992) two further children had been taken away from their mothers, and in the third (1999) only one third of the children were living with their biological mothers. Most of the children did well at school and in their families, had friends and leisure activities despite still living by their mothers or in foster/adoption homes. None of the youngsters had been in conflict with the law or were drug abusers, but every second teenage girl needed psychological support. Children who had been stable by their drug-free biological mothers functioned best. INTERPRETATION: Mothers with drug problems do not get sufficient attention after the delivery and when the children grow up. A supporting family should be brought in contact with mother and child after the delivery. Under special circumstances pregnancy can be a positive turning point for women with drug problems.
Rates and correlates of problems associated with the use of alcohol are reported from the 1993 General Social Survey in Canada. Approximately 1 in 11 drinkers (9.2%) reported that drinking has had an adverse effect on his or her social life, physical health, happiness, home life or marriage, work, or finances in the past year. The most commonly reported problems concerned physical health (5.1%), and financial position (4.7%). Approximately one in eight drinkers (12.9%) had driven a car within an hour after consuming two or more drinks in the previous year. Furthermore, more than two of every five respondents reported that they had experienced some problem due to other people's drinking. In a multivariate analysis, age, marital status, gender, religious attendance and employment status were the strongest predictors of problem drinking. The number of heavy drinking occasions is a stronger predictor of drinking problems than is overall level of consumption.
Associations have been reported between polymorphisms in the gene for alpha 1-antichymotrypsin (ACT) and both Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cerebrovascular disease. An A-to-G substitution at nucleotide position 1,252 of ACT that produces a methionine to valine substitution at codon 389 has been found previously in four of 32 individuals with cerebrovascular disease from a Japanese population. We genotyped 194 individuals [59 controls, 35 with non-AD-type dementia (primarily vascular) and 100 with Alzheimer's-type dementia] for this polymorphism and found none that carry this polymorphism. Therefore, the allelic association of the A1252G mutation of ACT with cerebrovascular disease may be confined to the Japanese population and is not generalizable to other populations.
Alcoholism is known to be greatly underdiagnosed in death certificates, a fact that biases in estimates of alcohol-related mortality. An autopsy series of 1658 cases (920 with natural cause of death and 738 nonnatural) was reviewed to evaluate the extent of this bias, and also to see how well different sources of information served as indicators of alcoholism when alcohol-related disease diagnosed at autopsy was considered as a gold standard. A stepwise logistic regression model adjusted by age and sex showed police reports of individual's alcohol usage and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of > 2.9/1000 at autopsy to be the two most significant predictors of chronic alcohol abuse (p 2.9/1000), due to its high specificity, as particularly suggestive of chronic heavy drinking. However, it is wise to use these parameters only as an aid in decision-making, not as sole indicators of alcoholism. Deaths associated with chronic heavy drinking were frequent, 50.5% of the total series (male 56.4%, female 37.1%). For all but one age-group (male 45-64 years), however, death certificates mentioned alcohol-related diseases in less than half of these cases. Especially evident underdiagnosis was found for female and males 65 years and older. These results indicate that alcoholism is frequent in such a highly selected population as a series of forensic autopsies and suggest that estimates of prevalence of alcoholism based only on review of death certificates are to be considered with great caution.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
In the granting of a disability pension to an alcohol abuser society is taking a somewhat controversial step. In order to elucidate the overall situation of these abusers, the quality of life of 61 abusing applicants was examined. The sample represents all 78 first-time applicants during an 18-month period in a geographically defined region in the county of Ostergötland in Sweden. As expected, apart from their extensive abuse, the applicants were in bad psychiatric-psychological condition and demonstrated severe neuro-psychological and biochemical disturbances. In addition, their social network was somewhat restricted and also otherwise rather problematic. These deviations were evident in relation to a matched group of newly pensioned non-abusers. In comparison with another more closely matched group of abusers undergoing rehabilitation, the differences appeared mainly within the psychiatric-psychological sphere. This is a report in a series from the research project "Abuse of alcohol - Disability pension - Quality of life".
The matter under studies was the way accelerated senescence of armed conflicts participants with brain injuries depends on alcohol addiction developed after the injuries and on dysfunction of neurohumoral regulation of heart activity. It has been established that the posttraumatic alcohol addiction considerably activates the processes of accelerated senescence and lipid peroxidation connected with it, depresses the system of antioxidant protection and enhances the progress of dysfunctions in neurohumoral regulation of heart activity.
Accidental mechanical asphyxia is an unusual cause of death. In reviewing 73 cases occurring during a 10-year-period in Sweden, young boys and elderly women seemed to be most prone to this type of fatality. A striking number of victims had deliberately put a noose-like structure around the neck, and yet another group became entangled in some part of their clothing. Thoracic immobilization was seen in a number of cases, also involving work-related accidents. Hospitalized patients, asphyxiophilics and inebriated victims represent other risk groups. A case involving the use of a helmet is reported in view of the growing frequency with which Swedish children use bicycle helmets. The material contains only a few cases where the victim was not alone at the time of the accident, and it seems plausible that supervision could have prevented many of the reported fatalities. Public knowledge of accident mechanisms may increase the awareness of hazardous situations and activities. Spreading of the medical examiner's knowledge may thus form a basis for accident prevention.
Accuracy of hospital discharge register data was studied by comparing 954 randomly selected abstracts to the respective medical records. The average percentages of agreement were: date of birth 98, date of admission 96, date of discharge 94, area of residence 93, principal diagnosis 91, disposition on discharge 89, marital status 84, third diagnosis 83, second diagnosis 76, social group 74, occupation 60, and source of admission 49. Accuracy of items was not related to alcohol etiology. An analysis of variance indicated that the number of items in agreement varied by both diagnosis and type of hospital.