We studied the effects of an electromagnetic field (EMF) as emitted by a 902 MHz mobile phone on human short term memory. This study was a replication with methodological improvements to our previous study. The improvements included multi-centre testing and a double blind design. A total of 64 subjects (32 men) in two independent laboratories performed a short term memory task (n-back) which poses a varying memory load (0-3 items) on the subjects' memory. They performed the task twice, once each under EMF and sham exposure. Reaction times (RTs) and accuracy of the responses were recorded. The order of exposure and memory load conditions were counterbalanced across subjects and gender. There were no statistically significant differences in performance between the two laboratories. We could not replicate our previous results: the EMF had no effect on RTs or on the accuracy of the subjects' answers. The inability to replicate previous findings could have been caused by lack of actual EMF effects or the magnitude of effects being at the sensitivity threshold of the test used.
The aim of our work was to study the accidents and close call situations connected to the use of mobile phones. We have analyzed how the accidents/close call situations are connected to background information, in particular age, gender and self-reported symptoms. The study was carried out as a cross-sectional study by posting the questionnaire to 15,000 working-age Finns. The responses (6121) were analyzed using the logistic regression models. Altogether 13.7% of respondents had close call situations and 2.4% had accidents at leisure, in which the mobile phone had a partial effect, and at work the amounts were 4.5% and 0.4% respectively, during the last 12 months. Essentially, we found that: (1) men tend to have more close calls and accidents while on a mobile phone, (2) younger people tend to have more accidents and close calls while on a mobile phone, but it does not appear to be large enough to warrant intervention, (3) employed people tend to have more problems with mobile phone usage and accidents/close calls, and (4) there was a slight increase in mobile-phone-related accidents/close calls if the respondent also reported sleep disturbances and minor aches and pains. In the future, it is important to take into account and study how symptoms can increase the risk of accidents or close call situations in which a mobile phone has a partial effect.
The use of short message services and mobile phone technology for ambulatory care management is the most accessible and most inexpensive way to transition from traditional ambulatory care management to active ambulatory care management in patients with arterial hypertension (AH). The aim of this study was to compare the clinical efficacy of active ambulatory care management supported by short message services and mobile phone technology with traditional ambulatory care management in AH patients. The study included 97 hypertensive patients under active ambulatory care management and 102 patients under traditional ambulatory care management. Blood pressure levels, body mass, and smoking history of patients were analyzed in the study. The duration of study was 1 year. In the active ambulatory care management group, 36% of patients were withdrawn from the study within a year. At the end of the year, 77% of patients from the active care management group had achieved the goal blood pressure level. That was more than 5 times higher than that in the traditional ambulatory care management group (P
Earlier studies on health characteristics in Sweden have pointed at a sudden trend change in general health indicators around 1997. The decline was worse in areas with less estimated coverage by the mobile phone system; that is, areas where the average output power from mobile phone handsets is expected to be higher. In this study, health parameters were related to the population density, which is a well defined, rather than an estimated variable. Statistics were obtained from different authorities in Sweden. Data were correlated to the population densities in the 21 different counties of Sweden as well as to estimates of average mobile phone output power. Several health quality measures showed that people in sparsely populated counties in Sweden (as well as in Denmark and Norway) have suffered more illness, and lengthier recovery than people in more densely populated areas since 1997. This is in strong contrast to the situation 20 years ago, when the countryside was the healthiest place in which to live. The indicators strongly correlated with estimated mobile phone area coverage and estimated power output. The indicator statistics suggest that the decline in health in Sweden is not a primary consequence of low population density by itself, but that other factors related to population density are causative. The two factors having the strongest correlation with decreased health quality were the estimated average power output from mobile phones (positive correlation) and the reported coverage from the global system for mobile communication base stations (negative correlation) in each county.
Alexithymia is a personality trait associated with difficulties in identifying feelings, difficulties in describing feelings to other people, constricted imaginal processes, and an externally oriented cognitive style. It has been found to be associated with personality features that may cause interpersonally avoidant behavior and other interpersonal problems. The present study explored, in a sample of primary care patients (N = 491), whether alexithymia is associated with mobile phone usage, and whether the perceived quality and quantity of human relationships mediate its effect. Even controlling for sociodemographic variables and symptoms of depression, mania and psychoses, alexithymia, measured by the 20-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale, was associated with less frequent mobile phone use. Not having enough relationships or a close friend, and relationships being less satisfactory mediated the effect of alexithymia on less frequent mobile phone use. The results support the findings of earlier studies that have linked interpersonal problems with alexithymia.
We conducted a qualitative study of the system for contagious disease surveillance in Norway. Semi-structured interviews were held with five general practitioners (GPs), including one person responsible for informing GPs in their region about potentially serious disease outbreaks. The interviews suggested that the existing system had several limitations, making it of little relevance to local epidemics or daily medical practice. Specifically, it was difficult and time-consuming for physicians to locate relevant information, and there was a substantial delay between reported diagnoses and eventual feedback about outbreaks. This resulted in information that was too old to be of value. The interviews also investigated design matters related to future realtime disease surveillance systems. The GPs expressed interest in a distributed system for realtime extraction and presentation of data from electronic record systems. They required that any such system be customizable to the specific needs of the doctor in order to be relevant in day-to-day practice, and that correct interpretation of data would be possible in the minimum of time.
Overweight in children and adolescents has reached dimensions of a global epidemic during recent years. Simultaneously, information and communication technology use has rapidly increased.
A population-based sample of Finnish twins born in 1983-1987 (N = 4098) was assessed by self-report questionnaires at 17 y during 2000-2005. The association of overweight (defined by Cole's BMI-for-age cut-offs) with computer and cell phone use and ownership was analyzed by logistic regression and their association with BMI by linear regression models. The effect of twinship was taken into account by correcting for clustered sampling of families. All models were adjusted for gender, physical exercise, and parents' education and occupational class.
The proportion of adolescents who did not have a computer at home decreased from 18% to 8% from 2000 to 2005. Compared to them, having a home computer (without an Internet connection) was associated with a higher risk of overweight (odds ratio 2.3, 95% CI 1.4 to 3.8) and BMI (beta coefficient 0.57, 95% CI 0.15 to 0.98). However, having a computer with an Internet connection was not associated with weight status. Belonging to the highest quintile (OR 1.8 95% CI 1.2 to 2.8) and second-highest quintile (OR 1.6 95% CI 1.1 to 2.4) of weekly computer use was positively associated with overweight. The proportion of adolescents without a personal cell phone decreased from 12% to 1% across 2000 to 2005. There was a positive linear trend of increasing monthly phone bill with BMI (beta 0.18, 95% CI 0.06 to 0.30), but the association of a cell phone bill with overweight was very weak.
Time spent using a home computer was associated with an increased risk of overweight. Cell phone use correlated weakly with BMI. Increasing use of information and communication technology may be related to the obesity epidemic among adolescents.
Mobile phone-based remote patient monitoring systems have been proposed for heart failure management because they are relatively inexpensive and enable patients to be monitored anywhere. However, little is known about whether patients and their health care providers are willing and able to use this technology.
The objective of our study was to assess the attitudes of heart failure patients and their health care providers from a heart function clinic in a large urban teaching hospital toward the use of mobile phone-based remote monitoring.
A questionnaire regarding attitudes toward home monitoring and technology was administered to 100 heart failure patients (94/100 returned a completed questionnaire). Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with 20 heart failure patients and 16 clinicians to determine the perceived benefits and barriers to using mobile phone-based remote monitoring, as well as their willingness and ability to use the technology.
The survey results indicated that the patients were very comfortable using mobile phones (mean rating 4.5, SD 0.6, on a five-point Likert scale), even more so than with using computers (mean 4.1, SD 1.1). The difference in comfort level between mobile phones and computers was statistically significant (P
Cites: Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2009;2009:6584-719964700
What is already known about this subject Short sleep duration is a risk factor for obesity. Television (TV) in the bedroom has been shown to be associated with excess body weight in children. Children increasingly use other electronic entertainment and communication devices (EECDs) such as video games, computers, and smart phones. What this study adds Access to and night-time use of EECDs are associated with shortened sleep duration, excess body weight, poorer diet quality, and lower physical activity levels. Our findings reinforce existing recommendations pertaining to TV and Internet access by the American Academy of Pediatrics and suggest to have these expanded to restricted availability of video games and smart phones in children's bedrooms.
While the prevalence of childhood obesity and access to and use of electronic entertainment and communication devices (EECDs) have increased in the past decades, no earlier study has examined their interrelationship.
To examine whether night-time access to and use of EECDs are associated with sleep duration, body weights, diet quality, and physical activity of Canadian children.
A representative sample of 3398 grade 5 children in Alberta, Canada, was surveyed. The survey included questions on children's lifestyles and health behaviours, the Harvard Youth/Adolescent Food Frequency questionnaire, a validated questionnaire on physical activity, and measurements of heights and weights. Random effect models were used to assess the associations of night-time access to and use of EECDs with sleep, diet quality, physical activity, and body weights.
Sixty-four percent of parents reported that their child had access to one or more EECDs in their bedroom. Access to and night-time use of EECDs were associated with shortened sleep duration, excess body weight, poorer diet quality, and lower physical activity levels in a statistically significant manner.
Limiting the availability of EECDs in children's bedrooms and discouraging their night-time use may be considered as a strategy to promote sleep and reduce childhood obesity.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), especially the Chlamydia trachomatis bacterial infection, a common cause of infertility, are highly prevalent in developed countries, and a worrying problem in North Norway, where the incidence of chlamydia twice the Norwegian average. Seventy percent of reported chlamydia cases are found in people below 25 years of age, and although its spread could be controlled with proper prevention, young people are more aware of the risks of unwanted pregnancy than their risk of acquiring a STD. Information and Communication Technologies, including, the Internet, social media and/or smartphones, should be valued for sexual health promotion for their potential to engage young audiences. And in these media, avatars guarantee anonymity to users when handling sensitive information. The main objective of this project is to achieve that North Norwegian youngsters become more aware of STDs through the use of popular technologies among young people.
A Virtual Clinic for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (VCSTD) will be developed. The VCSTD will provide early guidance and reliable information sources concerning reproductive health, delivered in a novel and innovative way to the younger population. The VCSTD consists of an "avatar" supported intervention in a serious gaming and e-learning environment, which will bypass direct physical access (in person) to reliable medical information, as well as allowing the youngsters to share that information in social media, and thus helping the VCSTD to be disseminated to more people.Data analyses will be conducted on publically available health data relevant to STDs in Troms and Finnmark, like the absolute number of chlamydia tests, the amount of emergency contraception medication sold, and the number of abortions. Also, usage data of the system and experiences of usefulness will be explored through participants' voluntary responses to a feedback form available in the VCSTD.
This study will examine the usefulness of an online public health intervention that aims to promote healthy sexual practices among North-Norwegian youngsters. If shown to be effective, the intervention could prove to be an affordable and widely accessible intervention to decrease risky sexual practices in younger population.