Europe was officially declared free from malaria in 1975; nevertheless, this disease remains a potential problem related to the presence of former vectors, belonging to the Anopheles maculipennis complex. Autochthonous-introduced malaria cases, recently reported in European countries, together with the predicted climatic and environmental changes, have increased the concern of health authorities over the possible resurgence of this disease in the Mediterranean Basin. In Italy, to study the distribution and bionomics of indigenous anopheline populations and to assess environmental parameters that could influence their dynamics, an entomological study was carried out in 2005-2006 in an at-risk study area. This model area is represented by the geographical region named the Maremma, a Tyrrhenian costal plain in Central Italy, where malaria was hyperendemic up to the 1950s. Fortnightly, entomological surveys (April-October) were carried out in four selected sites with different ecological features. Morphological and molecular characterization, blood meal identification, and parity rate assessment of the anophelines were performed. In total, 8274 mosquitoes were collected, 7691 of which were anophelines. Six Anopheles species were recorded, the most abundant of which were Anopheles labranchiae and An. maculipennis s.s. An. labranchiae is predominant in the coastal plain, where it is present in scattered foci. However, this species exhibits a wider than expected range: in fact it has been recorded, for the first time, inland where An. maculipennis s.s. is the most abundant species. Both species fed on a wide range of animal hosts, also showing a marked aggressiveness on humans, when available. Our findings demonstrated the high receptivity of the Maremma area, where the former malaria vector, An. labranchiae, occurs at different densities related to the kind of environment, climatic parameters, and anthropic activities.
A 2-year self-help manual smoking cessation intervention was conducted among a panel of middle-aged Finnish men (n = 265) who were recruited proactively in a longitudinal cardiovascular risk factor surveillance study.
Intervention utilized the stages of change concept of the transtheoretical model. The stages were assessed in the treatment condition at baseline of the cessation study and after that by mail every sixth month. Assessments were followed by an immediate mailing of a stage-based self-help manual matching the stage of change at that time. A usual care group was assessed annually but received no treatment.
OBJECTIVE: Few community studies have addressed the longitudinal course of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in traumatized refugees in early resettlement. This longitudinal study investigated changes from the first (T1) to the second interview (T2), 3 years later. The relationship between traumatic exposures and psychosocial factors/psychological symptom load were examined. METHOD: Local health professionals performed the interviews, using rating scales and a structured questionnaire. A total of 240 (52%) refugees attended. RESULTS: Unchanged Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 and increase in Harvard Trauma Questionnaire and post-traumatic stress symptoms-16 between T1 and T2 were found, indicating the severity and chronicity of problems. Mean post-traumatic stress score was 15% above cut-off. Severe life-threatening trauma and present life in exile with unemployment and unresolved family reunion were risk factors. CONCLUSION: Early diagnostic interview should be followed by targeted approach. Pinpointing those in need of specialist services is essential. An interdisciplinary approach is necessary in this work.
A 3-year physical activity intervention program increases the gain in bone mineral and bone width in prepubertal girls but not boys: the prospective copenhagen school child interventions study (CoSCIS).
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of increasing the amount of time spent in physical education classes on bone mineral accrual and gain in bone size in prepubertal Danish children. A total of 135 boys and 108 girls, aged 6-8 years, were included in a school-based curriculum intervention program where the usual time spent in physical education classes was doubled to four classes (180 min) per week. The control group comprised age-matched children (62 boys and 76 girls) recruited from a separate community who completed the usual Danish school curriculum of physical activity (90 min/week). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to evaluate bone mineral content (BMC; g), bone mineral density (g/cm(2)), and bone width at the calcaneus and distal forearm before and after 3 years of intervention. Anthropometrics and Tanner stages were evaluated on the same occasions. General physical activity was measured with an accelerometer worn for 4 days. In girls, the intervention group had a 12.5% increase (P = 0.04) in distal forearm BMC and a 13.2% increase (P = 0.005) in distal forearm scanned area compared with girls in the control group. No differences were found between the intervention and control groups in boys. Increasing the frequency of physical education classes for prepubertal children is associated with a higher accrual of bone mineral and higher gain in bone size after 3 years in girls but not in boys.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of a school-based intervention programme to reduce the prevalence of overweight in 6 to 10-year-old children. DESIGN: Cluster-randomized, controlled study. SUBJECTS: A total of 3135 boys and girls in grades 1-4 were included in the study. METHODS: Ten schools were selected in Stockholm county area and randomized to intervention (n=5) and control (n=5) schools. Low-fat dairy products and whole-grain bread were promoted and all sweets and sweetened drinks were eliminated in intervention schools. Physical activity (PA) was aimed to increase by 30 min day(-1) during school time and sedentary behaviour restricted during after school care time. PA was measured by accelerometry. Eating habits at home were assessed by parental report. Eating disorders were evaluated by self-report. RESULTS: The prevalence of overweight and obesity decreased by 3.2% (from 20.3 to 17.1) in intervention schools compared with an increase of 2.8% (from 16.1 to 18.9) in control schools (P
To evaluate the progression of dental erosion in 13-14 year-olds after 4 years, and its association with lifestyle and oral health.
227 randomly selected 13-14 year-olds from a Public Dental Clinic, Örebro, Sweden, were investigated. A clinical examination was performed which included dental caries/gingival/plaque status, as well as grading of dental erosion at the tooth surface and participant levels in "marker teeth", including buccal/palatal surfaces of 6 maxillary anterior teeth (13-23), and occlusal surfaces of first molars. An interview and a questionnaire regarding drinking habits and other lifestyle factors were completed. All investigations were repeated at follow-up. The participants were divided into high and low progression erosion groups and logistic regression statistics were applied.
175 individuals participated at follow-up. Progression occurred in 35% of the 2566 tooth surfaces. 32% of the surfaces had deteriorated by one severity grade (n=51 individuals) and 3% by two grades (n=2 individuals). Boys showed more severe erosion than girls at the follow-up. Among the variables predicting greater progression, a lower severity of erosive wear at baseline had the highest OR (13.3), followed in descending order by a "retaining" drinking technique, more frequent intake of drinks between meals, low GBI and lesser sour milk intake, with reference to the baseline recording. Using these five variables, sensitivity and specificity were 87% and 67% respectively, for predicting progression of erosion.
Progression of erosive lesions in Swedish adolescents aged 13-14 years followed up to age 17-18 years was common and related to certain lifestyle factors.
In permanent teeth, dental erosion may develop early in life and its progression is common. Dental health workers should be made aware of this fact and regular screenings for erosion and recording of associated lifestyle factors should be performed.
In a still ongoing prospective longitudinal study, more than 500 children--a total birth-cohort in a Danish municipality--were followed from their 3rd to their 9th year of life by multiple impedance tests in order to investigate a number of factors concerning epidemiology and long-term impacts of otitis media with effusion. This is a report on the influence of otitis media with effusion early in life on reading achievement. The study revealed no difference in school-class level between the 9% of the children (n = 46) who constantly had abnormal tympanometry during a 6-month period at the age of 3, and the other pupils in the municipality. At the Silent Reading Test (OS-400), done on 40 of the 46 case-pupils the results did not differ from (1) the other pupils in the municipality, (2) from other pupils of the same sex in the same classroom, or (3) from individual control-pupils matched by sex, social group and classroom.
To investigate, in a population-based cohort of patients with juvenile chronic arthritis (JCA), onset characteristics, progression, outcome, and prognostic factors longitudinally for 5 years.
This cohort consisted of 132 incidence cases identified between 1984 and 1986 in southwestern Sweden followed for 5 years with annual reports of subgroup, joint assessment, disease activity, eye examinations, laboratory measurements, and medication. At the 5-year follow-up, the Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (Child-HAQ) was evaluated. European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) criteria for diagnosis and disease activity were used.
During the 5 years only four patients were lost to follow-up, 34% changed subgroup and 8% developed uveitis. At the 5-year follow-up the disease was active in 12% of the patients, stable in 28%, inactive in 25%, and in remission in 34%. Among those examined, 24% had radiological changes, of whom half had advanced changes. The Child-HAQ median score at the 5-year follow-up was 0.13 (range 0.0-1.9). The number of involved joints at inclusion correlated positively with active disease at the 5-year follow-up. Age at disease onset, the number of involved joints, and the number of joints with arthritis correlated positively with continuous disease and Child-HAQ score. CONCLUSION. Our study shows a diverse disease course during the first 5 years of JCA where one-third changed subgroup and two-thirds did not reach remission. Age of disease onset, the number of involved joints, and the number of joints with arthritis at inclusion were associated with poor outcome at the 5-year follow-up.