OBJECTIVE: To study awareness and treatment of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in a primary care district where a screening program for hypercholesterolaemia involving one third of the population had been conducted 7 years earlier. DESIGN: A semi-structured telephone survey on four risk factors; blood pressure, serum cholesterol, blood sugar, and smoking habits. SETTING: The study was performed in a defined area in Blekinge county in Sweden. SUBJECTS: A random sample of the general population aged 40-49 years, in total 356 people. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Awareness of individual risk factors, for cardiovascular diseases, on-going medication, and lifestyle changes in order to lower individual risks. RESULTS: A total of 95% had had their blood pressure measured at least once, compared with 69% for serum cholesterol. Twenty-two per cent had at some time been told that they had high blood pressure, and, of these, almost half (44%) received pharmacological treatment. Among the 62 subjects who were informed about hyperlipidaemia only 5% were taking a lipid-reducing drug. Among present smokers, 38% had had at least one quitting episode during the previous 2 years with a median duration of 60 days. CONCLUSION: In a general population there is a difference between blood pressure and cholesterol check-up and medicalization. Screening activities seem to raise the awareness of cardiovascular risk factors in a population, but when evaluating the tendency to change lifestyle the contagious effects of screening activities might be taken into account. Finding quick-relapsing former smokers among current non-smokers may be of importance when planning smoking cessation activities.
The presence of a chronic illness such as multiple sclerosis (MS) represents not only overwhelming demands on male caregivers, but ambivalence for men with respect to their masculinity. Men as sole caregivers for spouses with MS feel caught between a rock and a hard place, given their gender socialization and the pressing demands of caring for a dependent and vulnerable spouse. Regular chapter visits within the MS Society in Ontario confirmed the assumption that male caregivers have to contend with a predominant bias among professional female caregivers that men are really not capable of caring for someone with a chronic illness and subsequently cannot be trusted with such responsibility. This bias actually works to undermine men's perceived capability and predisposition to caring for a vulnerable family member with a chronic illness or disability.
We compare the retirement prospects of immigrant men with their native-born counterparts. Using data from the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, we estimate a significant gap of 43 percent in private pension income and 30 percent in private pension contributions between immigrants and the native born. The gap in public pension incomes is negligible and reduces the overall pension gap, but only partially. Furthermore, the pension income and contribution gap is significantly larger for more recently arrived immigrant cohorts, consistent with evidence of weaker earnings for this group. We provide age profiles of pension income and contributions and discuss problems in interpreting the results without adjusting for age. Controlling for age and earnings differences, immigrants are still about 11 percent less likely to make contributions to a private pension program, but there is no difference in the contribution rates out of earnings of those who contribute. Recently arrived immigrants are significantly less likely to make contributions to a private pension program and appear to be neglecting private pension contribution opportunities more than earlier immigrants and the native born, which may have adverse implications for Canada's public retirement programs.
We examined the effectiveness of community-level HIV prevention programming for men who have sex with men.
We used multilevel methods to examine unprotected intercourse by bisexual men (n = 1016) with male and female partners in geographic regions with and without HIV prevention programming.
Men living in geographic regions with HIV prevention programming had significantly less frequent unprotected homosexual intercourse with both casual and regular partners. In contrast, no differences were observed for unprotected heterosexual intercourse.
This study provides evidence supporting the effectiveness of community-level HIV prevention programming and the need for its broader implementation. The study also demonstrates the suitability of multilevel methods for examining the effectiveness of community-level public health programs.
Cites: Med J Aust. 1989 Sep 18;151(6):309-142593940
We gain insight into the dynamics of ethnic intermarriage in times of social change by studying marriages between Latvians and Russians (including Belarussians and Ukrainians) that occurred in Latvia before and after independence from the Soviet Union. Before independence, ethnic intermarriage was already rather common, involving about 17% of the marriages annually. Since independence, intermarriage between Russians and Latvians has increased substantially. Part of this increase can be explained by selective emigration, but at least half of it may be due to integrative processes. Although there were more marriages between Russian men and Latvian women before independence, the gender pattern reversed after independence. Intermarriage levels were the highest among the less educated, children of mixed couples, partners with similar educational levels, and people in the countryside.
The aim of the present study was to investigate gender differences in students' health habits and motivation for a healthy lifestyle. The sample of students comprised a probability systematic stratified sample from each department at a small university in the south-west of Sweden (n = 479). A questionnaire created for this study was used for data collection. Self-rated health was measured by number of health complaints, where good health was defined as having less than three health complaints during the last month. A healthy lifestyle index was computed on habits related to smoking, alcohol consumption, food habits, physical activity and stress. Female students had healthier habits related to alcohol consumption and nutrition but were more stressed. Male students showed a high level of overweight and obesity and were less interested in nutrition advice and health enhancing activities. The gender differences are discussed in relation to the impact of stress on female students' health, and the risk for male students in having unhealthy nutritional habits in combination with being physically inactive and drinking too much alcohol.
Laparoscopic radical prostatectomy is a less invasive surgical option to the open retropubic approach for prostate cancer that will likely grow in popularity commensurate with availability. However, since little is known about what men experience throughout the postoperative period, our ability to ensure informed decision-making remains compromised.
The aim of this study was to explore what men experience following laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and how adequately their pre- and postoperative needs are being met.
This was a qualitative descriptive study.
Nineteen men, aged 46-76, who had undergone laparoscopic radical prostatectomy within the previous 3-6 months period were recruited from the treatment and control arms of a randomized controlled trial. Men who were not in the trial were recruited via letters mailed from surgeons' offices.
Data were generated during loosely structured individual (n=5) and focus group interviews (n=3). Inductive content analysis helped to ensure that participants' perspectives were accurately represented.
Men had actively sought information prior to surgery but seemed unprepared for the intensity of discomfort and incontinence they experienced. They particularly valued opportunities for informal discussion with former prostatectomy patients; however, erectile dysfunction remained a major concern and most did not know where to turn for help.
Nurses could play a pivotal role in the laparoscopic radical prostatectomy experience by ensuring men are well informed both pre- and postoperatively. Facilitating contact with other men who have undergone laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (LRP) and initiating conversation about potential side-effects such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction would be an important starting point. Particularly in light of early discharge and concerns regarding erectile dysfunction, additional follow-up seems warranted.
Comment In: Evid Based Nurs. 2009 Jan;12(1):2819103846