Peripheral arterial disease and vascular calcifications contribute significantly to the outcome of dialysis patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic role of severity of abdominal aortic calcifications and peripheral arterial disease on outcome of peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients using methods easily available in everyday clinical practice.
We enrolled 249 PD patients (mean age 61 years, 67% male) in this prospective, observational, multicenter study from 2009 to 2013. The abdominal aortic calcification score (AACS) was assessed using lateral lumbar X ray, and the ankle-brachial index (ABI) using a Doppler device.
The median AACS was 11 (range 0 - 24). In 58% of the patients, all 4 segments of the abdominal aorta showed deposits, while 19% of patients had no visible deposits (AACS 0). Ankle-brachial index was normal in 49%, low ( 1.3) in 34% of patients. Altogether 91 patients (37%) died during the median follow-up of 46 months. Only 2 patients (5%) with AACS 0 died compared with 50% of the patients with AACS = 7 (p
This study focuses on the incidence, treatment, and survival of de novo acute leukemia in a 25-year perspective in western Sweden and Estonia. At the beginning of our study, Estonia was a part of the Eastern bloc with planned economy, but since 1991 it is a member of the European Union and transforming into a market economy. Survival rates have steadily increased in both countries. However, a gap between their survival curves remains. Based on our data, it is difficult to explain the big difference in the 5-year relative survival in favor of western Sweden (55 vs. 22%). In Germany, there was a big difference in overall cancer survival between East and West Germany after the fall of the iron curtain, but today no difference is seen. Differences in survival are probably due to a higher proportion of intense chemotherapy regimens and a higher rate of hematopoietic stem cell transplantations in Sweden. Other important factors might be better supportive care and diagnostics as well as better adjuvant therapy. Better staff training and conditions in wards are also factors that might play an essential role.
A comparative study of the epidemiology of acute upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage (UGIH) was carried out in Central Finland province (CF), Finland, and in Tartu county (TC), Estonia.
All patients from CF and TC aged > or = 15 who were treated in the Central Hospital of Central Finland and in Tartu University Hospital for UGIH, entered the prospective study during 1 August 1992-31 July 1994. Altogether 298 patients (198 men, 100 women) were treated in CF and 270 patients (159 men, 104 women) in TC.
The overall incidence of UGIH was 68.3/100,000 adults per year in CF and 98.6 in TC. The incidence increased considerably with age: from 3.1 in those aged 20-29 to 314.1 in those > or = 80 in CF, and from 13.2 to 299.1 in TC, respectively. Incidence rates were twice as low in younger age groups in CF compared to TC, almost equalized in those > or = 60 and became even higher in those > or = 80. 63% of the patients (55% men, 79% women) in CF and 49% (35% men, 70% women) in TC were > or = 60. NSAID use before UGIH was equally common (46%) in both regions. Peptic ulcer accounted for over 50% of UGIH cases both in CF and TC. Mortality rate was 8.1% in CF and 9.9% in TC. The main epidemiological differences between the regions are the lower overall incidence of UGIH, due to the lower incidence of haemorrhage in the younger age groups, and the higher proportion of the elderly patients in CF compared to TC.
Adherence to antiretroviral (ART) medication is vital to reducing morbidity and mortality among HIV positive persons. People who inject drugs (PWID) are at high risk for HIV infection in transitional/low/middle income countries (TLMIC). We conducted a systematic review of studies reporting adherence to ART among persons with active injection drug use and/or histories of injection drug use in TLMIC. Meta-regression was performed to examine relationships between location, adherence measurements, and follow-up period. Fifteen studies were included from seven countries. Adherence levels ranged from 33 to 97 %; mean weighted adherence was 72 %. ART adherence was associated with different methods of measuring adherence and studies conducted in Eastern Europe and East Asia. The great heterogeneity observed precludes generalization to TLMIC as a whole. Given the critical importance of ART adherence more research is needed on ART adherence among PWID in TLMIC, including the use of standardized methods for reporting adherence to ART.
Cites: Clin Infect Dis. 2003 Oct 15;37(8):1112-814523777
International comparability of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure levels is difficult. This study assesses whether estimating children's exposure from information on adult smoking and exposure to ETS makes international comparisons more reliable.
The exposure among children was estimated using three different combinations (models) based on different sets of information on adult smoking, household composition or adult exposure to ETS at home in three cross-sectional nationally representative samples drawn from data sets from Estonia (n=2650), Finland (n=2829) and Latvia (n=5440) in the years 2002 and 2004. The first two models were based on adult smoking and the third also included ETS exposure.
The parental smoking rate was similar to the general smoking prevalence. ETS exposure in non-smoking parents ranged from 22% in Finland to 60% in Latvia. All models gave rather comparative ranges except in Latvia, where the proportion of children with exposure varied from 67% with the simplest model to 81% with the most complex one.
Adult exposure at home or adult smoking prevalence, preferably among people with children, could be used as a proxy for children's exposure to ETS. It is recommended that population questionnaires include detailed information on exposure and household composition.
Alcohol consumption has been regarded as an important contributor to the high premature mortality rates. The objective of this paper was to provide an overview and comparison of alcohol consumption and its socio-demographic determinants among adults in Estonia and Finland.
The study was based on a 25-64-year-old subsample of nationally representative postal cross-sectional surveys conducted in Estonia (n = 10,340) and Finland (n = 19,672) during 1994-2006. Abstinence, frequency, and the amount of alcohol consumed were examined. Logistic regression models were used to test the socio-demographic differences in alcohol consumption at least once a week. The effect of socio-demographic factors on pure alcohol consumed per week was calculated using linear regression.
The proportion of abstainers was 1.5 times higher among women than men in both countries. Throughout the study period, the amount of alcohol consumed per week increased for both genders in Estonia and for women in Finland, but was stable for men in Finland. In the final study year, medium risk amount of alcohol consumed per week was nearly 1.5 times higher among men in Estonia than in Finland, but about half that among women in Estonia than in Finland. Compared to ethnic majority in Estonia, alcohol consumption at least once a week was lower among men, but amount of pure alcohol drunk per week was higher among women of ethnic minority. In Finland, alcohol consumption at least once a week was more prevalent among women of ethnic minority, but the amount of pure alcohol drunk per week was lower for both gender groups of ethnic minority. Compared to married/cohabiting respondents, alcohol consumption at least once a week was less pronounced among single respondents in Finland, divorced or separated women in both countries, and widowed respondents in Estonia. Greater amount of alcohol consumed per week was more prevalent among single and divorced or separated respondents in Finland, but only among divorced or separated men in Estonia. Frequency of alcohol consumption was lower among less educated than higher educated respondents in Finland, but not in Estonia. The amount of consumed alcohol per week was higher among less educated men in Estonia, but lower among women with basic education in Finland.
Alcohol consumption has increased in Estonia and Finland. National alcohol policies should reflect findings of alcohol epidemiology in order to introduce measures that will reduce alcohol related harm in the population effectively.
Premature mortality associated with alcohol intake is of particular concern in several countries of the former Soviet Union. This study explored self reported alcohol consumption (beer, wine, spirits) and its determinants in the Baltic Republics.
Cross sectional surveys conducted in 1997.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Representative samples of adults age 19-64 (Estonia n=2010; Latvia n=2258; Lithuania n=2139).
Between country differences in the frequency of alcohol intake were estimated. The odds of consuming alcohol weekly according to socioeconomic characteristics (age, ethnicity, rural/urban area, education, income) were calculated using multiple logistic regression analyses, adjusting for all variables simultaneously.
The proportion of respondents consuming alcohol weekly varied by country (p
Cites: Addiction. 1999 Jun;94(6):857-6610665075
Cites: J Epidemiol Community Health. 2000 May;54(5):328-3210814651
Diabetes has reached pandemic proportions worldwide. To address and assist health care professionals in maintaining and updating their knowledge base on diabetes care, a multilateral project within the framework of the Lifelong Learning Programme and the Erasmus Curriculum Development - sub programme was initiated in 2008. Four European countries are involved in the project - Estonia, Finland, Ireland and Lithuania. Across all four countries the prevalence of diabetes is rising rapidly. The project's (DIPRA - Counselling for Practice - a pilot of improving counselling quality of diabetes) main product will be an on-line study module on patient education and counselling for health care professionals. The management of diabetes demands a broad range of skills which include, communication, leadership, counselling, teaching and research to name but a few. While it is acknowledged that nurses can incorporate these skills into practice and so benefit the care of the patient there is no uniformity across the four countries studied as to what constitutes a specialist diabetes nurse. The study module and all the materials (databank, on-line lectures, and interactive exercises) will be developed in English and translated into partners' national languages (Estonian, Finnish, Lithuanian) to maximize the accessibility of all professionals in partner countries.
BACKGROUND: There is evidence that atopic disorders may begin in intra-uterine life; however, studies of birth characteristics and atopy show conflicting results. METHODS: We wanted to investigate the association of birth weight and head circumference with serum total or specific IgE, allergic rhinitis or eczema while addressing the influence of demographic and geographical factors. In this historic prospective cohort study, data were collected from birth records for 1683 men and women born in 1947-1973, from six Nordic-Baltic populations participating in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. Blood tests for the measurement of serum total and specific IgE were available for 1494 subjects. In multiple regression analyses, adjustments were made for birth length, gender, age, study centre, adult body mass index, level of education, parental and adult smoking. RESULTS There was no association of birth weight (n=1230) and head circumference (n=285) with serum total IgE, specific IgE antibodies, allergic rhinitis or eczema. There were neither significant interactions by gender or age, nor heterogeneity between the study centres in the analyses of birth weight and adult atopy. CONCLUSION: Birth size was not associated with atopy among adults in this large Nordic-Baltic population study.
The aim of the present study is to examine the associations of the selected health behaviours (daily smoking, frequent strong alcohol use, consumption of fresh vegetables less than 3 days a week and leisure time physical activity less than two/three times a week) to the self-assessed health after adjustment to the age and education in Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania.
Data from cross-sectional surveys carried out in all the above-mentioned countries were used. The methodology and questionnaires of the surveys were standardized between the participating countries within the Finbalt Health Monitor System. Logistic regression was used to assess the effect of self-perceived health status on prevalence of health behaviours.
In Finland both women and men rated their health better than both genders in all the Baltic countries. In Finland self-assessment of health is significantly associated with most health behaviours, but in the Baltic counties the associations are weak or unstable.
The results suggest that in Finland as in many other stable countries self-assessed health status was related to health behaviours and can be used as an indicator of health behaviours. In the Baltic countries, factors other than health behaviours may be more relevant to the self assessment of health status.