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.
A recent method of age-standardisation of relative survival ratios for cancer patients does not require calculation of age-specific relative survival ratios, as ratios of age-specific proportions between the standard population and study group at the beginning of the follow-up are used to substitute the original individual observations. This method, however, leads to direct age-standardisation with weights that are different for each patient group if the general population mortality patterns for the groups are different. This is the case in international comparisons, and in comparisons between genders and time periods. The magnitude of the bias caused by the differences in general population mortality is investigated for comparisons involving European countries and the USA. Patients in each country are assumed to have exactly the same age-specific relative survival ratios as those diagnosed in Finland in 1985-2004. An application of a properly functioning age-standardisation method should then give exactly equal age-standardised relative survival ratios for each country. However, the recent method shows substantial differences between countries, with highest relative survival for populations, where the general population mortality in the oldest ages is the highest. This source of error can thus be a serious limitation for the use of the method, and other methods that are available should then be employed.
Infant health and survival in the US compare unfavorably with other Western industrial democracies. Circumstances that contribute to favorable pregnancy outcomes in other countries include nearly complete participation of pregnant women in early prenatal care and linkage of care to extensive support benefits. The study reported here extends these earlier observations to preventive health services for children from infancy through adolescence and to the social benefit programs that support their families. This report looks at the condition of children in 10 European countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. All of these countries have better infant survival rates than the US, and they all share elements of pluralism in their systems of health care.
Despite the widespread use of pertussis vaccines during the last decades, pertussis has remained an endemic disease with frequent epidemic outbreaks. Currently two types of vaccines are used: whole-cell vaccines (WCVs) and recently developed acellular vaccines (ACVs). The long-term aim of our studies is to assess the effect of different vaccination policies on the population structure of Bordetella pertussis and ultimately on the disease burden in Europe. In the present study, a total of 102 B. pertussis isolates from the period 1998 to 2001 from five European countries (Finland, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, and France) were characterized. The isolates were analyzed by typing based on variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR); by sequencing of polymorphic genes encoding the surface proteins pertussis toxin S1 and S3 subunits (ptxA and ptxC), pertactin (prn), and tracheal colonization factor (tcfA); and by fimbrial serotyping. The results reveal a relationship between geographic location and VNTR types, the frequency of the ptxC alleles, and serotypes. We have not observed a relationship between the strain characteristics we studied and vaccination programs. Our results provide a baseline which can be used to reveal changes in the B. pertussis population in Europe in the coming years.
Despite various infant screening programmes, congenital hearing deficit is normally detected too late. However, the measurement of otoacoustic emissions (OAE) has now proved to be an effective means of assessing neonatal hearing. The article consists in an outline of both international and Swedish experience of universal neonatal screening programmes using OAE testing. Since universal OAE screening was introduced at University Hospital, LinkÃ¶ping, in September 1995, some 6,000 infants have been tested. During the first two years 98.5 per cent of the children participated. Satisfactory bilateral OAE test results were obtained in 97.1 per cent of cases. Where further investigation was necessary, it took the form of auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing during natural rest, or full diagnostic ABR testing under general anaesthesia.
Comment In: Lakartidningen. 1999 Jun 9;96(23):2835-610405529
OBJECTIVE: To illustrate quantitatively the effect of the aging of the population on the prevalence of chronic disorders by comparing the projected frequency of musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders in 3 comparatively "young" countries, Australia, Canada, and the United States, and 3 comparatively "old" countries, France, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. METHODS: Age specific rates for MSK disability in Canada were applied to World Bank population estimates and projects to estimate prevalence rates and numbers of persons with MSK disability in the years 1985, 2000, 2010, and 2020. RESULTS: The age structure of the populations affected baseline rates for MSK disability. Increases in both prevalence and numbers affected are expected for all countries between 1985 and 2020, up to a 34% increase in prevalence in Canada, and an 88% increase in numbers in Australia. CONCLUSION: The aging of the population is likely to result in a disproportionate increase in the number of people with chronic disabling disorders, which will be taking place against a background of a decreasing or static number of young adults, with implications for meeting needs for health care and community support.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the organizational characteristics of antenatal care and their relation to the utilization of health services and perinatal mortality in 13 European countries. METHODS: The main data source was a questionnaire on the organization and financing of antenatal care, filled out in 1995 by country representatives of a European Concerted Action. RESULTS: Thirteen systems for providing antenatal care were found. No clear grouping by organizational characteristics (uniformity, main care providers, integration, continuity of care, physical site, financing) emerged. Organizational characteristics and the utilization of antenatal services or perinatal mortality did not relate to each other. CONCLUSIONS: There is no single way to provide high-coverage services. Further studies are needed to relate organization characteristics to health impact, costs, and patient satisfaction.
The author traces the history of appendicitis through the successive stages of its evolution--from the early anatomic descriptions of the appendix by Leonardo da Vinci and Vesalius to Louyer-Villermay's recognition of the fatal course that appendiceal inflammation may take; through the confusion of typhlitis and perityphlitis, until Reginald Fitz at the end of the last century classified its pathology and the disease appendicitis was born. The author has described the efforts of the early surgeons as they grew to understand the symptomatology of appendicitis and to realize that only by early operation could the tragic outcome of delay be averted. Credit is given to those whose contributions have advanced the frontiers of surgery-- Lawson Tait was the first to diagnose and remove a diseased appendix in 1880 in England and Abraham Groves the first on the North American continent, in 1883, in Ontario. Within a decade, the early surgical treatment of appendicitis became established. The writings of men like Charles McBurney and John B. Murphy are shown to be as pertinent today as they were at the turn of the century.