In order to demonstrate how possible causal relationships are critically evaluated in epidemiologic research, literature on the association between alcohol and breast cancer is reviewed and discussed. A cause can be defined as a factor which, in combination with other factors, known and unknown, is sufficient to produce an effect. Since the hypothesis-generating study was published in 1977, a total of 34 positive and 16 negative studies have been published. Methodological problems, such as chance, bias and confounding, cannot be considered as plausible explanations for the above majority of positive findings. The question of causality was then evaluated using the guidelines developed by Bradford Hill in 1965. Among these, the strength of the association, consistency, temporality, biological gradient and biological plausibility, are the most important. In spite of the relatively weak association and somewhat inconsistent results, it is concluded that alcohol consumption should be considered as a cause of breast cancer. It is estimated that in Norway, between 24 and 180 cases of breast cancer may be attributed to alcohol consumption. Future research should focus on the question of effect-modification and on the possible implications of different patterns of alcohol consumption.
Norwegian results from the European Study of Referrals from Primary to Secondary Care are presented and partly compared with results from other countries. 33 Norwegian general practitioners registered 12,334 contacts and 926 referrals. The contacts are presented according to age and sex, and compared with those of previous Norwegian studies. 10% of the contacts were home visits and 8% resulted in a referral. Norwegian general practitioners have only 60 contacts per week, far less than the number in the other participating countries, with the former West-Germany heading the list, with 220 contacts per week. Next to patients in the United Kingdom, Norwegian patients had to wait longest for an appointment with a specialist.
In this article the European Resuscitation Council's guidelines for basic and advanced resuscitation of children are presented. There are some changes from the previous guidelines. Children are divided in three age categories (in addition to the newly born): children up to one year old, one to eight years old, and more than eight years old. In Norway, but not in the rest of Europe, evaluation of the circulation by pulse check has been eliminated in basic, but not in advanced resuscitation. This is due to reports that pulse checks by lay rescuers require much time with poor specificity and sensitivity. In evaluating the patient's own ventilation, the differentiation between agonal gasps and regular breaths is stressed. ECG monitoring provides the link between paediatric basic life support and advanced life support. The algorithm for the latter closely resembles that proposed for adults. While there were previously three separate algorithms for ventricular fibrillation/ventricular tachycardia, asystole and electromechanical dissociation, there is now only one algorithm. Ventilation and chest compressions should be performed for one-minute periods with ventricular fibrillation/ventricular tachycardia, for three-minute periods with other rhythms.