In the last two to three decades, increasing rates of gastroschisis but not of omphalocele have been reported from different parts of the world. The present study represents a register containing 469 children born with abdominal wall defects based on data retrieved from 20 birth cohorts (1970-89) in three nationwide registries. A tentative estimate of the completeness as regards identification of liveborn and stillborn infants is a minimum of 95% and 90% respectively. All cases were reclassified to 166 cases of gastroschisis, 258 of omphalocele and 16 of gross abdominal wall defect. The average point prevalence at birth of gastroschisis was 1.33 per 10 000 live and stillbirths. During the first decade, an increase in prevalence occurred culminating in 1976, followed by a decrease reaching its initial value in 1983 and then a new increase. Overall, no significant linear trend could be demonstrated for the entire period. The average point prevalence at birth for omphalocele was 2.07 and for gross abdominal wall defect 0.12 per 10 000 live and stillbirths with no significant change in the period. The geographical distribution of gastroschisis and omphalocele showed no difference per county.
The aim of this study is to determine if there has been a true, absolute, or apparent relative increase in congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) survival for the last 2 decades.
All neonatal Bochdalek CDH patients admitted to an Ontario pediatric surgical hospital during the period when significant improvements in CDH survival was reported (from January 1, 1992, to December 31, 1999) were analyzed. Patient characteristics were assessed for CDH population homogeneity and differences between institutional and vital statistics-based population survival outcomes. SAS 9.1 (SAS Institute, Cary, NC) was used for analysis.
Of 198 cohorts, demographic parameters including birth weight, gestational age, Apgar scores, sex, and associated congenital anomalies did not change significantly. Preoperative survival was 149 (75.2%) of 198, whereas postoperative survival was 133 (89.3%) of 149, and overall institutional survival was 133 (67.2%) of 198. Comparison of institution and population-based mortality (n = 65 vs 96) during the period yielded 32% of CDH deaths unaccounted for by institutions. Yearly analysis of hidden mortality consistently showed a significantly lower mortality in institution-based reporting than population.
A hidden mortality exists for institutionally reported CDH survival rates. Careful interpretation of research findings and more comprehensive population-based tools are needed for reliable counseling and evaluation of current and future treatments.
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 108 patients with alcoholic liver disease who died during a 10-year follow-up, the diagnoses from the liver biopsies were compared with that from the Death Certificates. Data show that the currently used ICD-9 category of cirrhosis with or without mention of alcohol has a 47.2% chance of missing the diagnosis of cirrhosis. On the other hand when the mention of liver disease in the Death Certificate is used for the diagnosis of cirrhosis, the percentage of undiagnosed cirrhosis decreases to 19.4% (p less than 0.0001).
The aim was to investigate the possibility to evaluate the mortality pattern in a community intervention programme against cardiovascular disease by official death certificates.
For all deceased in the intervention area (Norsjö), the accuracy of the official death certificates were compared with matched controls in the rest of Västerbotten. The official causes of death were compared with new certificates, based on the last clinical record, issued by three of the authors, and coded by one of the authors, all four accordingly blinded.
The degree of agreement between the official underlying causes of death in "cardiovascular disease" (CVD) and the re-evaluated certificates was not found to differ between Norsjö and the rest of Västerbotten. The agreement was 87% and 88% at chapter level, respectively, but only 55% and 55% at 4-digit level, respectively. The reclassification resulted in a 1% decrease of "cardiovascular deaths" in both Norsjö and the rest of Västerbotten.
The disagreements in the reclassification of cause of death were equal but large in both directions. The official death certificates should be used with caution to evaluate CVD in small community intervention programmes, and restricted to the chapter level and total populations.
We assessed the validity of information reported by patients with breast cancer on cancer in first- and second-degree relatives. In Toronto, Canada, 165 patients completed mailed questionnaires about cancer in relatives and were then interviewed in person. Their reports were compared with relatives' hospital records, cancer registry or death records for presence of cancer, site and age at diagnosis. Questionnaire and interview reports agreed with records for 82-96% of reports on first-degree and 48-80% on second-degree relatives. Proband reports of cancer sites in first-degree relatives were generally accurate (breast 99%, ovary 100%, prostate 85%, colon 93%). Reports of cancer sites in second-degree relatives were accurate for prostate cancer but only for 85% of breast and 72% of colon cancers. Age at diagnosis of breast cancer was correct in 92% of cases in first-degree and 54% in second-degree relatives. The interview contributed additional information about the presence of cancer in second-degree relatives, and the site and age at diagnosis in first- and second-degree relatives. In a similar population the questionnaire alone should yield adequate data for identifying families that warrant further investigation.