Associations have been reported between polymorphisms in the gene for alpha 1-antichymotrypsin (ACT) and both Alzheimer's disease (AD) and cerebrovascular disease. An A-to-G substitution at nucleotide position 1,252 of ACT that produces a methionine to valine substitution at codon 389 has been found previously in four of 32 individuals with cerebrovascular disease from a Japanese population. We genotyped 194 individuals [59 controls, 35 with non-AD-type dementia (primarily vascular) and 100 with Alzheimer's-type dementia] for this polymorphism and found none that carry this polymorphism. Therefore, the allelic association of the A1252G mutation of ACT with cerebrovascular disease may be confined to the Japanese population and is not generalizable to other populations.
Hypothermia is considered a serious problem in big cities. In order to clarify factors contributing to urban hypothermia and death from cold, which will continue to be an issue in cities in the future, we analyzed autopsy reports recorded in the Tokyo Medical Examiner's Office from 1974 to 1983. In a total of 18,346 autopsy reports 157 deaths had been diagnosed as due to exposure to cold. Of these cases, the greatest number were males in their forties and fifties, and most of these were inebriated and/or homeless. Eighty-four percent of urban hypothermia cases occurred when the outdoor temperature was below 5 degrees C, and 50% of deaths from cold occurred when the outdoor temperature was between 0 degrees and 5 degrees C. There were no incidences of death from cold when the minimum outdoor temperature had remained above 16 degrees C. Seventy-four percent of deaths from cold occurred during the winter months of December, January and February, and most of the remaining deaths occurred in March and November. There were no deaths from cold from June to August. More than half of all deaths from cold occurred from 3.00 a.m. to 9.00 a.m., with the peak occurring at 5.00 a.m. A blood alcohol concentration of over 2.5 mg/ml had often been found in those in their forties and fifties who had died from hypothermia, and autopsy had often revealed disorders of the liver, digestive system, and circulatory system. Chronic lesions of the liver, probably due to alcoholism, were found in many cases; few cases showed no evidence of alcoholism and these were significantly different from the former group.
This paper uses a new standard model of adult mortality to compare the mortality patterns of Swedes, Japanese, and U.S. whites between 1950 and 1985. It examines changes in the age patterns of mortality and the cause-of-death structures within the populations, and the relationships between those two factors. As Japan has reached a level of mortality similar to that in Sweden, the age patterns of mortality in the two populations have become more similar despite distinct differences in causes of death. The United States has a cause-of-death structure similar to that of Sweden, but the age pattern of mortality is very different. High mortality in the middle age range in the United States results in approximately a one-year loss of life expectancy at age 45 in comparison with Sweden.
We studied the alpha-radiation risks in patients who received injections of Thorotrast, an X-ray contrast medium used in Europe, Japan, and the United States from 1930 to 1955. Thorotrast was composed of thorium dioxide (ThO2) and Th-232, a naturally occurring radionuclide. Because the physical half-life of ThO2 is 14 billion years and Thorotrast is hardly eliminated from the body, tissues in which it was deposited are irradiated by alpha-radiation for the entire lifetime of the subject. The dosimetry of Thorotrast patients is very complicated, but currently its reliability is quite high compared with other irradiated populations. The major causes of the death of Thorotrast patients are liver cancer, liver cirrhosis, leukemia, and other cancers. Three histologies of liver cancer are found: cholangiocarcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, and angiosarcoma. Although cholangiocarcinoma is the most frequent, angiosarcoma is characteristic of alpha-radiation. Among blood neoplasms with a higher incidence of increase than the general population, erythroleukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome were remarkable. Thorotrast patients exhaled a high concentration of radon (Rn-220), a progeny of Th-232, but no excesses of lung cancer in the patients of Japan, Germany, and Denmark were reported. Mutation analyses of p53 genes and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) studies at 17p locus were performed to characterize the genetic changes in Thorotrast-induced liver tumors. Interestingly, LOH, supposedly corresponding to large deletions was not frequent; most mutations were transitions, also seen in tumors of the general population, suggesting that genetic changes of Thorotrast-induced cancers are mainly delayed mutations, and not the result of the direct effects of radiation.
[Analysis of the epidemiological data concerning radiation carcinogenic effects and approaches to the low doses' upper limits determination in the aspect of a threshold of the unhealthy influences of ionizing radiation]
The analysis of the epidemiological data regarding cancer mortality in cohorts of Japanese A-bomb survivors and Chermobyl liquidators exposed to different doses suggests that there are good reasons for recognizing the threshold of the radiocarcinogenic effect in the region of about 200 Gy (mSv). The analysis of solid cancer mortality in Japanese cohort, which exceeded the expected one in a dose diapason of 5-200 mSv, revealed a (quasi) plateau in a dose-effect curve and led to the conclusion that the nature of the overshoot is non-radiogenic. The analysis of supposedly dose dependent leucosis incidence in the limited low dose diapason in the Chernobyl cohort showed that the real coefficient of the excess absolute or relative radiation risk could not be received in the case because the larger part curve was placed under the control level. In supporting the principle of single hit in a cell nucleus as a base of microdosimetric determination of low radiation doses, the approach to objective delimitation between low, intermediate and high doses regions has been proposed. The low doses upper limit of sparse ionizing radiation for cell nucleus of 8 microns in diameter has been evaluated as 0.65 mGy. It can serve for evaluation of the dose rate threshold regarding the safe chronic radiation levels in the environment.
The human sapovirus (SaV) causes acute gastroenteritis mainly in infants and young children. A food-borne outbreak of gastroenteritis associated with SaV occurred among junior high school students in Yokohama, Japan, during and after a study trip. The nucleotide sequences of the partial capsid gene derived from the students exhibited 98% homology to a SaV genogroup IV strain, Hu/Angelholm/SW278/2004/SE, which was isolated from an adult with gastroenteritis in Solna, Sweden. An identical nucleotide sequence was detected from a food handler at the hotel restaurant, suggesting that the causative agent of the outbreak was transmitted from the food handler. This is the first description of a food-borne outbreak associated with the SaV genogroup IV strain in Japan.
We aimed to examine the association between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and diseases in older adults in Japan and Finland.
Cross-sectional comparative study.
Data from a gerontological study in Japan and two public health studies in Finland were evaluated.
A total of 13?123 adults (mean age, 69.5 years) from Japan and 10?353 adults (mean age, 64.4 years) from Finland were included in this study. Logistic regression was used to examine the association of each of, any of and the cumulative number of ACEs (parental divorce, fear of a family member and poverty in childhood; treated as ordered categorical variables) with poor self-rated health (SRH), cancer, heart disease or stroke, diabetes mellitus, smoking and body mass index. Models were adjusted for sex, age, education, marital status and working status.
Of the respondents, 50% of those in Japan and 37% of those in Finland reported having experienced at least one of the measured ACEs. Number of ACEs was associated with poor SRH in both countries, and the point estimates were similar (OR: 1.35, 95% CI: 1.25 to 1.46 in Japan; OR: 1.34, 95%?CI: 1.27 to 1.41 in Finland). Number of ACEs was associated with the prevalence of cancer, heart disease or stroke, diabetes mellitus, current smoking and an increase in body mass index in both countries.
The association between ACEs and poor SRH, adult diseases and health behaviours was similar among older adults in both Japan and Finland. This international comparative study suggests that the impact of ACEs on health is noteworthy and consistent across cultural and social environments.
Educational attainment is associated with physical activity among older people. However, little is known about its association with sedentary lifestyle in European as well as Asian nations. This study aims to examine the associations between educational attainment and daily television viewing as an indicator of a sedentary lifestyle among older working and retired people in Finland and Japan.
We used cross-sectional harmonized data from two cohorts, the Finnish Public Sector study (n?=?10,744) and the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (n?=?2493), evaluating individuals aged 65-75 years old. We defined high-duration television viewing as =4 h per day. Poisson regression was used to examine the association between educational attainment and high-duration television viewing, stratified by the current working status. Models were adjusted for age, sex, household size, smoking, alcohol, body mass index, chronic diseases, mental disorders, and physical activity.
Of the participants, 27% in Finland and 30% in Japan reported high-duration television viewing. Compared with a low education (=9 years), Finnish and Japanese retirees with a high education (=13 years) had less high-duration television viewing [prevalence ratio, PR 0.68 (95% confidence interval 0.63-0.73) and 0.66 (0.55-0.79), respectively]. The corresponding PRs for Finnish and Japanese retirees with intermediate education were also lowered [0.89 (0.83-0.95) and 0.79 (0.68-0.91), respectively]. Among older people still at work, educational attainment was associated with high-duration television viewing among the Japanese but not among the Finnish.
A similar association between educational attainment and high-duration television viewing in Finland and Japan particularly after retirement suggests a robust and consistent impact of educational attainment on a sedentary lifestyle after retirements.