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.
392 patients with amoebiasis, diagnosed at Roslagstull Hospital, Stockholm during 10 yr, are reviewed. The disease is increasing in frequency, due both to increased travelling by Swedish citizens and immigration from non-European countries. The risk for an ordinary charter tourist is, however, rather low. Two-thirds of the patients were symptomatic and one-third were regarded as asymptomatic cyst carriers. The importance of repeated examination of stool samples and examinations using different techniques, especially direct microscopy of fresh faeces, is pointed out. The latter technique is in our laboratory shown to be as efficient in cases with no diarrhoea as in those with diarrhoea, with trophozoites demonstrated in the same frequency in both groups. Sigmoidoscopy with scrapings was seldom of diagnostic value.
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.
Among 424 HLA identical siblings undergoing stem cell transplantation, 364 were Scandinavians and 60 represented other ethnic groups. The cumulative probabilities of acute graft-versus-host disease grades II-IV were similar in both groups, 17% in Scandinavians and 12% in the others, p = 0.4. In a multivariate analysis, less effective immune suppression with cyclosporine or methotrexate alone (p = 0.001), recipient seropositive for three to four herpes viruses (p = 0.004), CMV-seropositive recipient (p = 0.05) and early engraftment (before day 15) (p = 0.05) were independent risk-factors for acute GVHD grades II-IV. The cumulative probabilities of chronic GVHD were 47% and 68% in the two ethnic populations, respectively (p = 0.004). In multivariate analysis, higher patient age (p
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.
In March 1997, an outbreak of Vero cytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 (VTEC) infection occurred amongst holidaymakers returning from Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. For the investigation, a confirmed case was an individual staying in Fuerteventura during March 1997, with either E. coli O157 VTEC isolated in stool, HUS or serological evidence of recent infection; a probable case was an individual with bloody diarrhoea without laboratory confirmation. Local and Europe-wide active case finding was undertaken through national centres, Salm-Net and the European Programme of Intervention Epidemiology, followed by a case-control study. Fourteen confirmed and one probable case were identified from England (7), Finland (5), Wales (1), Sweden (1) and Denmark (1) staying in four hotels. Three of the four hotels were supplied with water from a private well which appeared to be the probable vehicle of transmission. The case-control study showed illness was associated with consumption of raw vegetables (OR 8.4, 95% CI 1-5-48.2) which may have been washed in well water. This investigation shows the importance of international collaboration in the detection and investigation of clusters of enteric infection.
Alefacept, human lymphocyte function-associated antigen 3/immunoglobulin 1 fusion protein, binds to CD2 molecules on the surface of activated T cells, selectively targeting memory-effector (CD45RO+) T cells, which comprise more than 75% of T cells in psoriatic plaques.
To examine the efficacy and tolerability of intramuscular alefacept.
A total of 507 patients with chronic plaque psoriasis.
Placebo, 10 mg of alefacept, or 15 mg of alefacept administered once weekly for 12 weeks followed by 12 weeks of observation.
Psoriasis Area Severity Index (PASI).
Alefacept treatment was associated with dose-related significant improvements in PASI from baseline. Throughout the study, a greater percentage of patients in the 15-mg group than in the placebo group achieved a significant reduction in PASI. Of patients in the 15-mg group who achieved at least 75% PASI reduction 2 weeks after the last dose, 71% maintained at least 50% improvement in PASI throughout the 12-week follow-up. There were no opportunistic infections and no cases of disease rebound.
Intramuscular administration of alefacept was a well-tolerated and effective therapy for chronic plaque psoriasis and thus represents a convenient alternative to intravenous dosing.
Using a solid phase radioimmunoassay, antibody to hepatitis A virus (anti-HAV) was determined in 3890 sera from populations in seven European countries. Prevalence of anti-HAV was lowest in Scandinavian countries and highest in Greece and France. Antibodies were found in 77 (13%) of 602 blood donors in Sweden, in 29 (17%) of 175 blood donors and women taking birth control pills in Norway, in 273 (39%) of 700 blood donors in Switzerland, in 262 (52%) of 505 blood donors in Holland, in 365 (55%) of 661 accident patients in West Germany, in 452 (75%) of 600 blood donors in France and in 530 (82%) of 647 persons in Greece. Prevalence of anti-HAV increased with age in all populations tested, indicating nearly total exposure to HAV in persons over 19 years of age in Greece and in persons over 39 years of age in West Germany, Holland and France. Antibody was found more frequently in rural than in urban populations in Greece and Switzerland. Calculation of the age-specific incidence of HAV infections suggests a remarkable decline in the exposure rate in the last few decades.
The age-specific prevalence of hepatitis A antibodies has been analyzed using a catalytic epidemic model for populations in seven European countries: West Germany, Norway, Greece, Switzerland, Holland, France and Sweden. The results indicate a significant decline in the force of infection in recent decades. However, there are substantial differences between the countries, especially between the Scandinavian countries and Greece. The incidence of hepatitis A in Norway and Sweden has declined since 1930, while a downward trend in incidence in Greece may have started only recently.