In order to investigate how well-being and ill health is affected by the process of aging, the main aim was to investigate these self-perceived aspects of health over a 10-year period among older Swedish adults. The aim was also to study how these aspects correlated with objectively assessed functional limitations, use of mobility device, person-environment (P-E) fit (also denoted accessibility), problems in housing, and activity of daily living (ADL) dependence. Using the Swedish national population register, a baseline sample of persons aged 75-84 years was identified. Out of the 133 participants at baseline (1994), the 31 participants still available 10 years later were included. The data were collected by means of interview and observation at home visits. Overall, the participants rated their subjective well-being as high and a stable prevalence of ill-health symptoms over time was reported. Changes in subjective well-being as related to changes in functional aspects seem to mainly occur earlier in the aging process, while as time goes by these relations weaken. ADL dependence, however, is more influential in more advanced age. The results confirm the complexity of the construct of health. A main contribution is that the results shed light on the importance of taking the impact of environmental factors into consideration.
Studies from several countries suggest that erecting fences on bridges more commonly used for suicide by jumping may be an effective way of reducing the risk of suicide by jumping from these bridges. Distribution of suicides by jumping off bridges has not yet been studied on a national level in any country. This study included all suicides by jumping from high places registered in the Norwegian Cause of Death Registry (COD) in the period 1999-2010 (n = 319). Combining data from the COD registry and information from police records, 71 cases of suicide by jumping off a bridge were identified involving 36 bridges. This form of suicide constituted approximately 1% of all suicides in Norway in the period 1999-2010. Almost half of these suicides were registered at only 6 bridges. Three Norwegian bridges were secured during the observation period of this study. Two bridges had barriers installed on the full length of the bridge with 11 suicides registered before barriers were installed, and none after. On the 1 bridge that was only partially secured, no change in numbers of suicides was observed after barriers were installed. One-third of jumps from bridges occurred over land. We found that although suicide by jumping off bridges was a relatively rare event, there is a potential for saving lives by installing physical barriers on bridges that are more commonly used for suicide by jumping.
The aim of the study was to investigate present and past morbidity in drug addicts, 25 years after hospitalisation for acute hepatitis B or hepatitis nonA-nonB. The hospital records for 214 consecutively admitted patients were analysed, and a follow-up study on 66 of the 144 patients still alive was performed. At follow-up, 1 of 54 (1.8%) hepatitis B patients was still HBsAg positive. Twelve patients originally diagnosed as hepatitis nonA-nonB were all among 54 found to be anti-hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) positive, and the total anti-HCV prevalence was 81.8%. Twelve (22.2%) of the HCV cases were unknown before the follow-up examination. Four (6.1%) participants were anti-human immunodeficiency virus positive, only 1 was on antiretroviral therapy, and none had developed AIDS. Other chronic somatic diseases were a minor problem, whereas drug users reported skin infections as a frequent complication. Forty-three patients (65%) had abandoned addictive drugs since the hospital stay. Serious mental disorders were reported by 19 patients (28.8%), and 17 (25.8%) regarded themselves as present (9) and former (8) compulsive alcohol drinkers. A large proportion of the participants were granted disability pension (39%), a majority because of psychiatric disorders, drug and alcohol abuse.
Cognitive and receptive language development were examined in 135 60-month-old and 137 72-month-old children for whom prenatal exposure to marijuana, cigarettes, and alcohol had been ascertained. Discriminant Function analysis revealed an association between prenatal cigarette exposure and lower cognitive and receptive language scores at 60 and 72 months. This paralleled and extended observations made with this sample at annual assessments at 12 to 48 months of age. Unlike observations made at 48 months, prenatal exposure to marijuana was not associated with the cognitive and verbal outcomes. Relatively low levels of maternal alcohol consumption did not have significant relationships with the outcome variables. The importance of assessing subtle components rather than global cognitive and language skills to detect potential behavioral teratogenic effects of the drugs being examined is discussed.
Comment In: J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1992 Dec;13(6):425-81469111
This text is a slightly edited version of a lecture given when the author was installed as professor of environmental history at Umeå University on October 9, 1993. The author sketches tendencies in historical research--the Annales-school and the historiography of the West in the United States--leading up to the formation of environmental history as an independent field of research during the last quarter century. He comments on some recent examples of excellent scholarship--works by Alfred Crosby, Carolyn Merchant, Donald Worster--before turning to an older tradition of environmental description in 19th century geography, geology and the life sciences. He then puts environmental investigations into the framework of a general history of science starting with John Evelyn's study of the quality of the London air, published in 1661, but also mentioning major naturalists and thinkers such as Pascal, Linnaeus, Haeckel, and Humboldt. The author finally takes up the theme of biodiversity, indicating that a history of the environment and of the environmental sciences also has implications for how nature is treated today and how it will be treated in the future.
Primary school teachers in Québec suffer psychological distress, as shown by the Québec Health Survey (M. Gervais, 1993; Santè Québec, 1995). The authors applied and extended the French model (F. Guérin, A. Laville, F. Daniellou, J. Duraffourg, & A. Kerguelen, 1991) of analysis of work activity to observing classroom teaching (14 women in 10 classrooms for a total of 48 hr 24 min) to identify stressful elements. The authors observed a rapid sequence of actions, eye fixations of short duration, little physical or mental relaxation, multiple simultaneous activities, and uncomfortable temperature and humidity levels. Teachers use many strategies to teach, to create a learning environment, and to maintain attention in classrooms under adverse conditions. Examination of these strategies led to recommendations to improve relations between the teachers and their supervisors and to make the classroom an easier place to teach.