During 1981-1993, 229 episodes of bacteraemia due to beta-haemolytic streptococci of groups A, B, C and G were diagnosed in the County of Northern Jutland, Denmark. The annual rates for bacteraemia were quite constant during the 13-year period for each streptococcal group. Group A streptococcal (GAS) bacteraemia was the most frequent, comprising 1.4% of all bacteraemias. The incidence of GAS bacteraemia was 1.8/100,000/year in children 60 years old. With the notable exception of group B streptococcal (GBS) bacteraemia in neonates, beta-haemolytic streptococci of groups B, C (GCS) and G (GGS) were isolated mostly from elderly patients. Except for GBS bacteraemia in neonates, approximately one-third of the bacteraemias in each group was nosocomially acquired. Predisposing factors included operative procedures in GAS and GCS bacteraemia, and diabetes mellitus in GBS bacteraemia. The skin was the most common primary focus in GAC, GCC and GGS bacteraemias, whereas the urinary tract was the commonest focus in GBS bacteraemia in adults. The mortality rates in GAS, GCS, GGS, and adult GBS bacteraemia were 23%, 16%, 17% and 19%, respectively. Of the 23 fatal cases of GAS bacteraemia, 57% died within 24 h after blood cultures had been obtained.
Since Dr. Fogh-Andersen's legendary 1942 thesis, the Danish facial cleft population has been one of the most extensively studied in terms of epidemiology and genetic-epidemiology. The etiology of cleft lip and/or palate (CLP) is still largely an enigma, and different results concerning environmental and genetic risk factors are obtained in different countries and regions. This may be due to etiological heterogeneity between settings. Therefore, an in-depth studied area with an ethnically homogeneous population, such as Denmark, has provided one of the best opportunities for progress in CLP etiological research. The present review summarizes epidemiological and genetic-epidemiological studies conducted in the 20th century Danish facial cleft population. Furthermore, analyses of sex differences, time trends and seasonality for more than 7000 CLP cases born in Denmark in the period 1936 to 1987 are presented. The review also points toward the excellent opportunities for continued etiological CLP research in Denmark in the 21st century using already established resources and an on-going prospective cohort study of 100,000 pregnant women.
During the period 1984-1991, out-patient control of 75 pregnancies of diabetic women or women who developed diabetes during their pregnancy was performed. The controls were arranged prospectively so as to investigate the patients' metabolic status in relation to malformations and the perinatal mortality. The frequency of malformations was calculated as 8% and the perinatal mortality as 6.6%. The results show that the patients began the controls at a quite advanced stage of their pregnancies and that very few were well-regulated prior to conception (6%). Under out-patient control, the patients achieved an improvement in their metabolic status which is comparable to that of other centres. It is concluded: 1) That there is a need for optimal metabolic status before conception which requires special treatment of the group of fertile diabetic women and 2) that controls can be performed under an out-patient regime.
In the last two to three decades, increasing rates of gastroschisis but not of omphalocele have been reported from different parts of the world. The present study represents a register containing 469 children born with abdominal wall defects based on data retrieved from 20 birth cohorts (1970-89) in three nationwide registries. A tentative estimate of the completeness as regards identification of liveborn and stillborn infants is a minimum of 95% and 90% respectively. All cases were reclassified to 166 cases of gastroschisis, 258 of omphalocele and 16 of gross abdominal wall defect. The average point prevalence at birth of gastroschisis was 1.33 per 10 000 live and stillbirths. During the first decade, an increase in prevalence occurred culminating in 1976, followed by a decrease reaching its initial value in 1983 and then a new increase. Overall, no significant linear trend could be demonstrated for the entire period. The average point prevalence at birth for omphalocele was 2.07 and for gross abdominal wall defect 0.12 per 10 000 live and stillbirths with no significant change in the period. The geographical distribution of gastroschisis and omphalocele showed no difference per county.
BACKGROUND. The rate of recurrence of a broad range of birth defects may decrease among women who change residence after the birth of their first infant. The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of changing residence on the recurrence of congenital facial-cleft defects. METHODS. We identified 4189 women who had infants with facial-cleft defects by linking a data base comprising the records of children with facial clefts born between 1952 and 1987 with the Central Person Registry in Denmark. Among the 4189 mothers, 1902 each had additional children after the first child with a facial-cleft defect. A total of 2692 younger siblings were identified. We compared the proportion of infants with facial-cleft defects among the younger siblings between mothers who had changed municipalities or sexual partners and those who had not. RESULTS. Changing the municipality of residence did not decrease the frequency with which facial-cleft defects recurred in younger siblings. Among the 907 infants of mothers who changed municipalities but not partners, 29 (3.2 percent) had facial-cleft defects, as compared with 48 (3.4 percent) of 1425 infants of mothers who changed neither municipality nor partner (relative risk, 0.9; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.6 to 1.5). However, a change of partner reduced the recurrence risk significantly. Among 236 infants of mothers who changed partners, 1 (0.4 percent) had a facial-cleft defect, as compared with 77 (3.3 percent) of 2350 infants of mothers who did not change partners (relative risk, 0.1; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.02 to 0.9). CONCLUSIONS. Recurrence of facial-cleft defects is not linked to the residence of the mother, but having a different partner reduced a woman's risk of having a second child with this defect.
The recently discovered human parvovirus 4 (PARV4) is found most frequently in injection drug users, HIV-positive patients, and in haemophiliacs. Studies from Ghana report the finding of PARV4 in plasma from 2 to 12% of children without acute infection, and in nasal secretions and faecal samples. Studies of PARV4 in children from industrialized countries are few.
We aimed to describe the occurrence of PARV4 in a population-based birth cohort of 228 Danish mothers and their healthy children who previously participated in a study of respiratory tract infections in infancy.
Children were included over a whole calendar year and were monitored through monthly home visits through the first year of life. Plasma samples for the present study were available from 228 mothers, 176 newborns, and 202 12-months-old children. All samples were analysed for the presence of PARV4 antibodies by enzyme immunoassay, and samples with detectable antibodies were in addition studied by real-time PCR.
One (0.4%) of 228 mothers had PARV4 IgG exceeding the cut-off absorbance level and another had borderline IgG reactivity. No mother among these two had an acute infection, as they were IgM and PARV4 DNA negative. All blood samples from newborns and one-year-old children had IgG and IgM reactivity below cut-off.
PARV4 is rare in Danish mothers and infants. Further studies are needed, in both rural and urban settings, to investigate the epidemiology and clinical significance of this novel human parvovirus.
Although animal studies have indicated that general anesthetics may result in widespread apoptotic neurodegeneration and neurocognitive impairment in the developing brain, results from human studies are scarce. We investigated the association between exposure to surgery and anesthesia for inguinal hernia repair in infancy and subsequent academic performance.
Using Danish birth cohorts from 1986-1990, we compared the academic performance of all children who had undergone inguinal hernia repair in infancy to a randomly selected, age-matched 5% population sample. Primary analysis compared average test scores at ninth grade adjusting for sex, birth weight, and paternal and maternal age and education. Secondary analysis compared the proportions of children not attaining test scores between the two groups.
From 1986-1990 in Denmark, 2,689 children underwent inguinal hernia repair in infancy. A randomly selected, age-matched 5% population sample consists of 14,575 individuals. Although the exposure group performed worse than the control group (average score 0.26 lower; 95% CI, 0.21-0.31), after adjusting for known confounders, no statistically significant difference (-0.04; 95% CI, -0.09 to 0.01) between the exposure and control groups could be demonstrated. However, the odds ratio for test score nonattainment associated with inguinal hernia repair was 1.18 (95% CI, 1.04-1.35). Excluding from analyses children with other congenital malformations, the difference in mean test scores remained nearly unchanged (0.05; 95% CI, 0.00-0.11). In addition, the increased proportion of test score nonattainment within the exposure group was attenuated (odds ratio = 1.13; 95% CI, 0.98-1.31).
In the ethnically and socioeconomically homogeneous Danish population, we found no evidence that a single, relatively brief anesthetic exposure in connection with hernia repair in infancy reduced academic performance at age 15 or 16 yr after adjusting for known confounding factors. However, the higher test score nonattainment rate among the hernia group could suggest that a subgroup of these children are developmentally disadvantaged compared with the background population.
The primary objective was to describe 30-day outcomes after primary inguinal paediatric hernia repair.
Prospectively collected data from the National Patient Registry covering a 2-year study period 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2006 were collected. Unexpected outcomes were defined as either/or hospital stay for >1 day (i.e. 2 nights at hospital or more), readmission within 30 days, reoperations within 12 months after repair including repair for recurrence, and death within 30 days after repair.
The study cohort comprised 2,476 patients, and unexpected outcome was found in 267 patients/repairs (10.8 %). Prolonged hospital stay was by far the most prevalent indicator of unexpected outcome. Prolonged hospital stay was in 8.2 %, readmission in 2.1 %, reoperation in 0.7 %, and complications were observed in 1.1 %. One patient died within 30 days after repair, but death was not associated with the inguinal hernia repair. The usual technique was a simple sutured plasty (96.5 %). Emergency repair was performed in 54 patients (2.2 %) mainly in children between 0 and 2 years (79.6 %). During the 1 year follow-up, reoperation for recurrent inguinal hernia was performed in 8 children after elective repair (recurrence rate 0.3 %). Paediatric repairs were for most parts performed in surgical public hospitals, and most departments performed less than 10 inguinal hernia repairs within the 2 years study period.
These nationwide results are acceptable with low numbers of patients staying more than one night at hospital, low morbidity, and no procedure-related mortality.
Respiratory symptoms are common in infancy. Most illnesses occurring among children are dealt with by parents and do not require medical attention. Nevertheless, few studies have prospectively and on a community-basis assessed the amount of respiratory symptoms and general illness in normal infants. In this population-based birth cohort study, 228 healthy infants from Copenhagen, Denmark were followed from birth to 1 year of age during 2004-2006. Symptoms were registered using daily diaries and monthly home visits. Interviews were performed at inclusion and every second month. Risk factor analysis was carried out by multiple logistic regression analysis. On average, children had general symptoms for 3.5 months during their first year of life, nasal discharge being most frequent followed by cough. Frequency of all symptoms increased steeply after 6 months of age. Each child had on average 6.3 episodes (median: 5.1, inter-quartile range (IQR): 3.3-7.8) of acute respiratory tract illness (ARTI) (nasal discharge and > or = 1 of the following symptoms: cough, fever, wheezing, tachypnea, malaise, or lost appetite) and 5.6 episodes (median: 4.3, IQR: 2.1-7.3) of simple rhinitis per 365 days at risk. Determinants for respiratory symptoms were increasing age, winter season, household size, size of residence, day-care attendance, and having siblings aged 1-3 years attending a day nursery. In conclusion, the present study provides detailed data on the occurrence of disease symptoms during the first year of life in a general population cohort and emphasizes the impact of increasing age, seasonality, and living conditions on the occurrence of ARTI.
Crohn's disease (CD) is common among women of fertile age, and it often requires maintenance medical treatment. Adherence to medical treatment among women with CD prior to, during, and after pregnancy has, however, never been examined. Although CD women have increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, little is known about predictors for these outcomes in women with CD. In addition, the impact of breastfeeding on disease activity remains controversial.
The aims of this PhD thesis were to determine adherence to treatment and to investigate predictors for and prevalence rates of non-adherence to maintenance medical treatment among women with CD prior to, during, and after pregnancy; to assess pregnancy outcomes among women with CD, taking medical treatment, smoking status, and disease activity into account; to assess breastfeeding rates and the impact of breastfeeding on the risk of relapse.
We conducted a population-based prevalence study including 154 women with CD who had given birth within a six-year period. We combined questionnaire data, data from medical records, and medical register data.
Among 105 (80%) respondents, more than half reported taking medication with an overall high adherence rate of 69.8%. Counselling, previous pregnancy, and planned pregnancy seemed to decrease the likelihood of non-adherence, whereas smoking seemed to predict non-adherence prior to pregnancy, although our sample size prevented any firm conclusions. During pregnancy, the vast majority (95%) of CD women were in remission. The children's birth weight did not differ in relation to maternal medical treatment, but mean birth weight in children of smokers in medical treatment was 274 g lower than that of children of non-smokers in medical treatment. In our relatively small study CD women in medical treatment were not at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes compared with untreated women with CD. In total, 87.6% of CD women were breastfeeding, and rates did not vary by medical treatment. Smoking and non-adherence seemed to predict relapse in CD during the postpartum period, whereas breastfeeding seemed protective against relapse.
Although we generally had low statistical precision this thesis suggests that counselling regarding medical treatment may be an important factor for medical adherence among CD women of fertile age. In addition CD women in medical treatment did not seem at increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcome, but smoking predicted lower birth weight. Breastfeeding did not seem to increase the risk of relapse in CD.