Ovarian cysts of several types are common in women of reproductive age. Their etiology is not well understood but is likely related to perturbations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. The relationship of ovarian cysts to breast cancer risk is not known, although a negative association with polycystic ovarian syndrome has been reported. Incident, invasive female breast cancer cases, population-based controls and unaffected sisters of cases were studied from 3 countries participating in the Breast Cancer Family Registry: Melbourne and Sydney, Australia; the San Francisco Bay Area, USA; and Ontario, Canada. Using the same questionnaire, information was collected on self-reported history of ovarian cysts and other risk factors. Analyses were based on 3,049 cases, 2,344 population controls and 1,934 sister controls from all sites combined. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using both unconditional and conditional logistic regression using an offset term to account for sampling fractions at 2 of the sites. A significantly reduced risk of breast cancer was observed for women reporting a history of ovarian cysts (OR = 0.70, 95% CI 0.59-0.82, among all cases and all controls). This risk estimate was similar regardless of control group used, within all 3 sites and in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women (ORs ranging from 0.68-0.75, all 95% CI excluded 1.00). A self-reported history of ovarian cysts was strongly and consistently associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. Further study of ovarian cysts may increase our understanding of hormonal and other mechanisms of breast cancer etiology.
Reports of an increased clinical incidence of pertussis and the development of resistance by Bordetella pertussis to erythromycin prompted the collection and testing of recent clinical isolates from patients in northern California against a range of antimicrobial agents by the Etest (AB BIODISK, Solna, Sweden) method. All isolates were fully susceptible to all eight agents tested (MIC,
This review focuses on arborviral infections associated with California serocomplex (Bunyaviridae, Orthobunyavirus). Results of relevant eco-epidemiological and clinical studies in Russia are presented suggesting the ubiquitious nature of diseases caused by viruses of the California encephalitis serocomplex (Inko, Tahyna, Snowshoe Hare). The etiologic structure of these diseases in taiga and mixed woods of the European part and Western Siberia is dominated by the Inco virus and in southern regions by Tahina. The diseases have a well apparent seasonal pattern (July-August) in agreement with the peak summer activity of the pathogens. Two clinical forms of pathology are distinguished, influenza-like and generalized, the latter affecting lungs, kidneys, liver, and CNS. The Inco virus plays a key role in pathogenesis of the generalized form affecting CNS.
The paper describes associated malformations in infants born with neural tube defects (N = 3,809) from three large malformation registers and in fetuses aborted because of a diagnosed neural tube defect (N = 748) from two of the registers. In infants, upper spina bifida and encephalocele are more often associated with non-neural malformations than anencephaly or lower spina bifida. Aborted fetuses with spina bifida or encephalocele have associated malformations registered more often than infants with those neural tube defects, but the opposite is true for anencephaly. The degree of detail of the investigation of an aborted specimen or a perinatally dead infant will contribute to such differences but they can also depend on the fact that prenatal detection may be facilitated by the simultaneous presence of other malformations like body wall defects. Also, fetuses with many malformations may be more prone to abort spontaneously late in pregnancy. Variable prenatal diagnosis may, therefore, explain population differences in the pattern of associated malformations. The type of associated malformation differs with the level of the neural tube defect: this could be due to different causal mechanisms or be a question of cranio-caudal level and/or timing. For limb reduction defects, however, we did not find any association between upper limb and upper neural tube defects or lower limb and lower neural tube defects. These findings together with other epidemiological data support the idea that upper and lower neural tube defects may have different significance in epidemiological studies and should be treated separately.
Mental retardation is a prominent feature of many neurodevelopmental syndromes. In an attempt to identify genetic components of these illnesses, we isolated and sequenced a large number of human genomic cosmid inserts containing large trinucleotide repeats. One of these cosmids, Cos-4, maps to the X-chromosome and contains the sequence of a 7.3-kb mRNA. Initial polymorphism analysis across a region of repetitive DNA in this gene revealed a rare 12-bp exonic variation (
Beginning in 1992, three epidemic waves of infectious hematopoietic necrosis, often with high mortality, occurred in farmed Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. on the west coast of North America. We compared the virulence of eleven strains of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV), representing the U, M and L genogroups, in experimental challenges of juvenile Atlantic salmon in freshwater. All strains caused mortality and there was wide variation within genogroups: cumulative mortality for five U-group strains ranged from 20 to 100%, four M-group strains ranged 30-63% and two L-group strains varied from 41 to 81%. Thus, unlike Pacific salmonids, there was no apparent correlation of virulence in a particular host species with virus genogroup. The mortality patterns indicated two different phenotypes in terms of kinetics of disease progression and final per cent mortality, with nine strains having moderate virulence and two strains (from the U and L genogroups) having high virulence. These phenotypes were investigated by histopathology and immunohistochemistry to describe the variation in the course of IHNV disease in Atlantic salmon. The results from this study demonstrate that IHNV may become a major threat to farmed Atlantic salmon in other regions of the world where the virus has been, or may be, introduced.
BACKGROUND: In 1999, concerns were raised that vaccines containing the preservative Thimerosal might increase the risk of autism and/or other neurodevelopmental disorders. METHODS: Between the mid-1980s through the late-1990s, we compared the prevalence/incidence of autism in California, Sweden, and Denmark with average exposures to Thimerosal-containing vaccines. Graphic ecologic analyses were used to examine population-based data from the United States (national immunization coverage surveys and counts of children diagnosed with autism-like disorders seeking special education services in California); Sweden (national inpatient data on autism cases, national vaccination coverage levels, and information on use of all vaccines and vaccine-specific amounts of Thimerosal); and Denmark (national registry of inpatient/outpatient-diagnosed autism cases, national vaccination coverage levels, and information on use of all vaccines and vaccine-specific amounts of Thimerosal). RESULTS: In all three countries, the incidence and prevalence of autism-like disorders began to rise in the 1985-1989 period, and the rate of increase accelerated in the early 1990s. However, in contrast to the situation in the United States, where the average Thimerosal dose from vaccines increased throughout the 1990s, Thimerosal exposures from vaccines in both Sweden and Denmark-already low throughout the 1970s and 1980s-began to decrease in the late 1980s and were eliminated in the early 1990s. CONCLUSIONS: The body of existing data, including the ecologic data presented herein, is not consistent with the hypothesis that increased exposure to Thimerosal-containing vaccines is responsible for the apparent increase in the rates of autism in young children being observed worldwide.
Comment In: Am J Prev Med. 2004 Jan;26(1):91; reply 91-214700719
Since 2002, an increased number of northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) from southcentral Alaska have been reported to be dying due to endocarditis and/or septicemia with infection by Streptococcus infantarius subsp. coli. Bartonella spp. DNA was also detected in northern sea otters as part of mortality investigations during this unusual mortality event (UME) in Kachemak Bay, Alaska. To evaluate the extent of exposure to Bartonella spp. in sea otters, sera collected from necropsied and live-captured northern sea otters, as well as necropsied southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) unaffected by the UME, were analyzed using an immunofluorescent antibody assay. Antibodies against Bartonella spp. were detected in sera from 50% of necropsied and 34% of presumed healthy, live-captured northern sea otters and in 16% of necropsied southern sea otters. The majority of sea otters with reactive sera were seropositive for B. washoensis, with antibody titers ranging from 1:64 to 1:256. Bartonella spp. antibodies were especially common in adult northern sea otters, both free-living (49%) and necropsied (62%). Adult stranded northern sea otters that died from infectious causes, such as opportunistic bacterial infections, were 27 times more likely to be Bartonella seropositive than adult stranded northern sea otters that died from noninfectious causes (p
Estimates of the Apert syndrome birth prevalence and the mutation rate are reported for Washington State, Nebraska, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Atlanta, and Northern California. Data were pooled to increase the number of Apert births (n = 57) and produce a more stable birth prevalence estimate. Birth prevalence of the Apert syndrome was calculated to be approximately 15.5/1,000,000 births, which is twice the rate determined in earlier studies. The major reason appears to be incomplete ascertainment in the earlier studies. The similarity of the point estimates and the narrow bounds of the confidence limits in the present study suggest that the birth prevalence of the Apert syndrome over different populations is fairly uniform. The mutation rate was calculated to be 7.8 x 10(-6) per gene per generation. Apert syndrome accounts for about 4.5% of all cases of craniosynostosis. The mortality rate appears to be increased compared to that experienced in the general population; however, further study of the problem is necessary.
Comment In: Am J Med Genet. 1993 Feb 1;45(3):392-38434630
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer incidence and mortality have been increasing among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) women, and their survival rate is the lowest of all racial/ethnic groups. Nevertheless, knowledge of AI/AN women's breast cancer screening practices and their correlates is limited. METHODS: Using the 2003 California Health Interview Survey, we 1) compared the breast cancer screening practices of AI/AN women to other groups and 2) explored the association of several factors known or thought to influence AI/AN women's breast cancer screening practices. FINDINGS: Compared with other races, AI/AN women had the lowest rate of mammogram screening (ever and within the past 2 years). For clinical breast examination receipt, Asian women had the lowest rate, followed by AI/AN women. Factors associated with AI/AN women's breast cancer screening practices included older age, having a high school diploma or some college education, receipt of a Pap test within the past 3 years, and having visited a doctor within the past year. CONCLUSION: Significant differences in breast cancer screening practices were noted between races, with AI/AN women often having significantly lower rates. Integrating these epidemiologic findings into effective policy and practice requires additional applied research initiatives.