Distal myopathies are a group of rare muscular dystrophies comprising more than 20 different genetic entities. The first distal myopathy in Finland, tibial muscular dystrophy, was identified more than 20 years ago. Muscle weakness predominantly affects the feet and hands, although variable weakness can be detected clinically and on muscle MRI in the proximal muscles in the later stages of the disease. Advanced molecular genetic techniques have enabled identification of several distinct distal myopathies in Finland. The clinical findings of different distal myopathies overlap, but there are also distinguishable differences that might help final genetic diagnostics.
This study aimed at examining how resurfacing and the first winter period after resurfacing affect the safety of main roads in Finland. The study consisted of three substudies. In the first substudy the changes of side friction and lock braking friction were measured on newly paved roads after resurfacing and after the first winter period. The effect of different resurfacing methods was also compared in the course of the study. All the 50 road sections in the study were resurfaced in summer 1991 and measured with the friction truck of the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). Friction was found to be highly dependent on the type of resurfacing treatment. In general, the friction of surfaces with high coefficients after resurfacing decrease and the lowest frictions increase with time, locked braking friction values immediately after resurfacing can be undesirably low. The second substudy dealt with the effect of resurfacing on the vehicle speeds. The analysis was based on automatic speed and weather measurement in 1991 and 1992 on resurfaced roads, which were resurfaced in the summer 1991 and on a sample of comparison roads which had not been resurfaced. There is little change in speeds on the non-resurfaced roads during the study period, but there is some indication that resurfacing increases the average speeds, at least when the road is dry. Complete data were available for only one site, where the result was that average speeds on dry roads increased after resurfacing by 0.6 km/h and increased still more (by 0.5 km/h) after the first winter period. The third substudy analysed fatal and injury accidents reported to the police on the resurfaced and comparison roads one and two years before, the same year resurfacing was performed and one and two years after the resurfacing. The accident results were similar to the speed findings. The most likely effect is a risk increase immediately after resurfacing by somewhat less than 7% and of 3 to 7% of the first winter period. These results are, however, subject to large uncertainty because of the small number of accidents on the treatment roads.
There is a need for an effective and feasible alcohol screening instrument. The aim of the study was to evaluate how the abbreviated versions of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) questionnaire perform in comparison with the original AUDIT and what the optimal cutoffs are when screening for heavy drinking among women.
All the 40-year-old women in the city of Tampere, Finland, are invited yearly for a health screening. From 1 year, data from 894 women (response rate 68.2%) invited for a health screening were utilized in the study. The original 10-item AUDIT, AUDIT-C, Five Shot, AUDIT-PC, AUDIT-3, AUDIT-QF, and CAGE were evaluated against the Timeline Followback. Consumption of at least 140 g of absolute ethanol per week on average during the past month was considered heavy drinking.
In the Timeline Followback, the mean+/-SD weekly reported alcohol consumption was 45+/-67 g (range 0-936 g) of absolute ethanol. Of the women, 6.2% (55/894) were heavy drinkers. The optimal combination of sensitivity and specificity was reached for the AUDIT with cutoff > or =6, for the AUDIT-C with cutoff > or =5, for the Five Shot with cutoff > or =2.0, for the AUDIT-PC with cutoff > or =4, and for the AUDIT-QF with cutoff > or =4. When choosing the optimal cutoffs, the AUDIT-C, the Five Shot, the AUDIT-PC, and the AUDIT-QF performed as well as the 10-item AUDIT. With these cutoffs, sensitivities were 0.84 to 0.93 and specificities were 0.83 to 0.90. The AUDIT-3 and the CAGE did not perform as well as the other questionnaires.
The 10-item AUDIT, AUDIT-C, Five Shot, AUDIT-PC, and AUDIT-QF seem to be equally effective tools in screening for heavy drinking among middle-aged women. However, their applicability is achieved only if the cutoffs are tailored according to gender.
The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence, types, and mechanisms of injury in Finnish ice hockey players at the highest competition level in different decades. Several teams were observed prospectively during the seasons between 1976 and 1979, and in the 1988 to 1989 and 1992 to 1993 seasons. An injury was defined as any sudden trauma requiring examination and treatment by a physician. The inclusion criteria were the same during the entire study. A total of 641 injuries were recorded. The injury rate per game increased significantly from 54 per 1000 player-hours in the 1970s to 83 per 1000 player-hours in the 1990s. The injury profile in the 1980s and 1990s differed from that in the 1970s. Per 1000 player-years, the rate of contusions as well as of sprains or strains increased significantly with each decade. Checking and unintentional collision with an opponent were common mechanisms of injury throughout the study, and the rate of injury by these mechanisms has continually increased. In conclusion, we suggest that there has been an increase in rough body contact between players, causing an alarming increase in the rate of ice hockey injuries.
Homicide is recognized as a global public health problem. Finland has the highest overall homicide rate of the Nordic countries in comparisons over short time periods. Using the 39-year time series of homicide incidents in Finland from 1957-95, we analyzed the trend in homicide rate. In addition, we explored for the first time over the time trend in the seasonal variation of homicide and compared seasonal statistics over eight successive time periods. The present study revealed that there has been steadily increasing trend in homicides in Finland since 1950s. At the same time, the seasonality of homicide has decreased markedly. The peaks in homicide rates occurred commonly during summer and the troughs during winter.