The nuclear accident at Chernobyl accounted for an acute radiation syndrome in 237 persons on the site. Triage was the initial problem and was carried out according to clinical and biological criteria; evaluating the doses received was based on these criteria. Thirty one persons died and only 1 survived a dose higher than 6 Gy. Skin radiation burns which were due to inadequate decontamination, greatly worsened prognosis. The results of 13 bone marrow transplantations were disappointing, with only 2 survivors. Some time after the accident, these severely irradiated patients are mainly suffering from psychosomatic disorders, in the USSR, some areas have been significantly contaminated and several measures were taken to mitigate the impact on population: evacuating 135,000 persons, distributing prophylactic iodine, establishing standards and controls on foodstuff. Radiation phobia syndrome which developed in many persons, is the only sanitary effect noticed up to now. Finally, in Europe, there was only an increase in induced abortions and this was totally unwarranted. If we consider the risk of radiation induced cancer, an effect might not be demonstrated.
Insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetes is a prototypic organ-specific autoimmune disease resulting from the selective destruction of insulin-secreting beta cells within pancreatic islets of Langerhans by an immune-mediated inflammation involving autoreactive CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes which infiltrate pancreatic islets. Current treatment is substitutive, i.e. chronic use of exogenous insulin which, in spite of significant advances, is still associated with major constraints (multiple daily injections, risks of hypoglycaemia) and lack of effectiveness over the long term in preventing severe degenerative complications. Finding a cure for autoimmune diabetes by establishing effective immune-based therapies is a real medical health challenge, as the disease incidence increases steadily in industrialized countries. As the disease affects mainly children and young adults, any candidate immune therapy must therefore be safe and avoid a sustained depression of immune responses with the attendant problems of recurrent infection and drug toxicity. Thus, inducing or restoring immune tolerance to target autoantigens, controlling the pathogenic response while preserving the host reactivity to exogenous/unrelated antigens, appears to be the ideal approach. Our objective is to review the major progress accomplished over the last 20 years towards that aim. In addition, we would like to present another interesting possibility to access new preventive strategies based on the 'hygiene hypothesis', which proposes a causal link between the increasing incidence of autoimmune diseases, including diabetes, and the decrease of the infectious burden. The underlying rationale is to identify microbial-derived compounds mediating the protective activity of infections which could be developed therapeutically.
Cites: J Immunol. 2000 Jun 1;164(11):5683-810820244
In the last several years, West Nile virus (WNV) was proven to be present especially in the neighboring countries of Austria, such as Italy, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, as well as in eastern parts of Austria, where it was detected in migratory and domestic birds. In summer 2010, infections with WNV were reported from Romania and northern Greece with about 150 diseased and increasingly fatal cases. We tested the sera of 1,607 blood donors from North Tyrol (Austria) and South Tyrol (Italy) for antibodies against WNV by using IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Initial results of the ELISA tests showed seroprevalence rates of 46.2% in North Tyrol and 0.5% in South Tyrol, which turned out to be false-positive cross-reactions with antibodies against tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) by adjacent neutralization assays. These results indicate that seropositivity against WNV requires confirmation by neutralization assays, as cross-reactivity with TBEV is frequent and because, currently, WNV is not endemic in the study area.
As the development in mean age of the population and life expectancy has been less favourable in Denmark than in the rest of Western Europe, the Ministry of Health decided to investigate statistics for the period, 1972-1990, for the main areas where Danish life expectancy was poorer. A sharp increase in the incidence of accidental poisoning with medical drugs and alcohol during the period was found to be a factor contributing to the poorer Danish statistics during the period. In the subcategory, death after a fall, there was an increase in incidence among the elderly, but the loss of life-years remained constant. The subcategory, fatal road accidents, manifested a marked reduction in incidence, despite the increase in traffic density during the period, and there was a reduction in the loss of life-years. Thus, in the category, accidental deaths, the increase in the incidence of accidental poisonings would appear to be the only factor contributing to the poorer development in mean age and life expectancy in Denmark.
Repeated epidemiologic study of atherosclerosis in males on the basis of autopsy material with 25-year interval (1963-66 and 1985-89) has been performed in 7 European cities (Malmö, Praha, Riga, Tallinn, Tartu, Kharkov, Yalta) and 4 Asia cities (Ashkhabad, Bishkek, Irkutsk, Yakutsk). Accelerated development of atherosclerosis in the 2nd study has been revealed in males in the majority of cities except Malmö and Praha. No significant differences in atherosclerosis of aorta and coronary arteries were found in these two cities. An increase of the calcinosis surface in the coronary arteries combined with a higher incidence of coronary stenosis was typical for the 2nd study. Atherosclerosis was less pronounced in the indigenous population of Ashkhabad, Bishkek and Yakutsk in both studied than in non-indigenous populations. There was a positive correlation in males between lethality of coronary heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases and the degree of coronary atherosclerosis. Thus, the course of atherosclerosis can change within the life of one generation.
The objective of this work was to contribute local data concerning the full adult height of women in Cordoba, Argentina, and to explore the possibility of a secular trend in their heights. For the study, 513 women were examined during May and June 1994. All of the women were between 18 and 40 years of age and were mothers of children who were included in a study on lactation, feeding, growth, and development in CÃ³rdoba. The measurements were carried out applying standardized techniques and using as a reference standard the 50th-percentile level data from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. The mean full height of the CÃ³rdoba population studied was 157.9 cm, 0.97 standard deviation (SD) below the reference norm. For the women from the highest of six socioeconomic strata, the mean height was 159.7 cm (-0.67 SD); the mean for women from the lowest stratum was 156.2 cm (-1.25 SD). The difference in the means of those two socioeconomic groups was statistically significant (P
The number of grown ups with congenital heart disease (GUCH) increases due to the success story of pediatric cardiology and heart surgery. However, late complications such as arrhythmia, endocarditis and heart failure are common, as are patients requiring reoperation/catheter intervention. In some categories of congenital heart disease, pregnancy may pose a substantial threat. Early information about this is essential. The care of these patients, including heart surgery, should be centralized. A registry of GUCH-patients has been created in Sweden, promoting experience and knowledge concerning a "new" and expanding group of patients in cardiology.
The aim of this study was to reveal whether today's children and adolescents have lower aerobic capacity compared with earlier studies. Aerobic capacity may be defined as the highest amount of oxygen a subject is able to consume per unit of time. Peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) is often used as a measure of aerobic capacity in children. VO2peak in 196 healthy children and adolescents of both sexes, aged 8-16 years, was measured on a graded treadmill test. The mean results of VO2peak (l.min-1) showed only small differences compared with previous studies in Scandinavia. There was, however, greater dispersion in the present study when the VO2peak-values were corrected for weight (ml.kg-1.min-1) than in the earlier studies. When compared to other countries in Europe, Norwegian subjects achieved higher values. The reason may be due to either genetic differences or to a higher level of physical activity among the Norwegian subjects.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is a disease with a remarkable racial and geographical distribution. In most parts of the world it is a rare condition and in only a handful of places does this low risk profile alter. These include the Southern Chinese, Eskimos and other Arctic natives, inhabitants of South-East Asia and also the populations of North Africa and Kuwait.