Existing studies of the association between air pollution, aeroallergens and emergency department (ED) visits have generally examined the effects of a few pollutants or aeroallergens on individual conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In this study, we considered a wide variety of respiratory and cardiac conditions and an extensive set of pollutants and aeroallergens, and utilized prospectively collected information on possible effect modifiers which would not normally be available from purely administrative data. The association between air pollution, aeroallergens and cardiorespiratory ED visits (n = 19,821) was examined for the period 1992 to 1996 using generalized additive models. ED visit, air pollution and aeroallergen time series were prefiltered using LOESS smoothers to minimize temporal confounding, and a parsimonious model was constructed to control for confounding by weather and day of week. Multipollutant and multi-aeroallergen models were constructed using stepwise procedures and sensitivity analyses were conducted by season, diagnosis, and selected individual characteristics or effect modifiers. In single-pollutant models, positive effects of all pollutants but NO2 and COH were observed on asthma visits, and positive effects on all respiratory diagnosis groups were observed for O3, SO2, PM10, PM2.5, and SO4(2-). Among cardiac conditions, only dysrhythmia visits were positively associated with all measures of particulate matter. In the final year-round multipollutant models, a 20.9% increase in cardiac ED visits was attributed to the combination of O3 (16.0%, 95% CI 2.8-30.9) and SO2 (4.9%, 95%CI 1.7-8.2) at the mean concentration of each pollutant. In the final multipollutant model for respiratory visits, O3 accounted for 3.9% of visits (95% CI 0.8-7.2), and SO2 for 3.7% (95% CI 1.5-6.0), whereas a weak, negative association was observed with NO2. In multi-aeroallergen models of warm season asthma ED visits, Ascomycetes, Alternaria and small round fungal spores accounted for 4.5% (95% CI 1.8-7.4), 4.7% (95% CI 1.0-8.6) and 3.0% (95% CI 0.8-5.1), respectively, of visits at their mean concentrations, and these effects were not sensitive to adjustment for air pollution effects. In conclusion, we observed a significant influence of the air pollution mix on cardiac and respiratory ED visits. Although in single-pollutant models, positive associations were noted between ED visits and some measures of particulate matter, in multipollutant models, pollutant gases, particularly ozone, exhibited more consistent effects. Aeroallergens were also significantly associated with warm season asthma ED visits.
This study examines the relationship of asthma emergency department (ED) visits to daily concentrations of ozone and other air pollutants in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Data on ED visits with a presenting complaint of asthma (n = 1987) were abstracted for the period 1984-1992 (May-September). Air pollution variables included ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfate, and total suspended particulate (TSP); weather variables included temperature, humidex, dewpoint, and relative humidity. Daily ED visit frequencies were filtered to remove day of the week and long wave trends, and filtered values were regressed on air pollution and weather variables for the same day and the 3 previous days. The mean daily 1-hr maximum ozone concentration during the study period was 41.6 ppb. A positive, statistically significant (p
Cites: J Air Pollut Control Assoc. 1981 Mar;31(3):236-407229222
Previously, using the American National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and a logistic regression analysis, we found that upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) cancer is correlated with low socioeconomic status (SES). The objective of this study was to determine if this correlation between low SES and cancer prevalence exists for other cancers.
We again used the NHIS and employed education level as our main measure of SES. We controlled for potentially confounding factors, including smoking status and alcohol consumption.
We found that only two cancer subsites shared the pattern of increased prevalence with low education level and decreased prevalence with high education level: UADT cancer and cervical cancer.
UADT cancer and cervical cancer were the only two cancers identified that had a link between prevalence and lower education level. This raises the possibility that an associated risk factor for the two cancers is causing the relationship between lower education level and prevalence.
We analyzed mutations, RFLP haplotypes (H), and a VNTR polymorphism at the phenylalanine hydroxylase locus (PAH) in 12 French-Canadian patients with phenylketonuria (PKU) from the eastern region of Quebec province and 13 non-French-Canadian PKU patients from the Montreal region. There were 10 different mutation/H/VNTR haplotype combinations on the 50 PKU chromosomes: one set of 5 and another of 8 accounted for 88 and 77% of these chromosomes in the French-Canadian and non-French-Canadian patients, respectively. The differences in PKU haplotypes between the two groups of probands reflect the different histories of the two populations. Three PKU haplotype combinations were shared by the two groups: IVS12nt1:H-3:VNTR-8, I65T:H-9:VNTR-8, and R408W:H-1:VNTR-8. The IVS12nt1 mutation (18% of the total sample) is prevalent in northern Europeans. The I65T-H-9 and R408W:H-1 haplotypes have seldom been reported in Europeans but when encountered tend to be found in northwestern regions. The R408W mutation is usually on H-2 in Europeans. In Quebec the R408W:H-1 and I65T:H-9 haplotypes accounted for 20% of PKU chromosomes, clustered in two geographic regions, and in every family where they occurred an Irish or Scottish ('Celtic') ancestor could be inferred. We propose that I65T:H-9:VNTR-8 and R408W:H-1:VNTR-8 chromosomes are markers for a diaspora of 'Celtic' descendants. Our findings predict the distributions of these unusual PKU haplotypes in contemporary Europeans.
Several long-term care studies have shown that residents with dementia-related disorders are more prone to weight loss and malnutrition. Very few studies have investigated institutional characteristics, such as foodservice factors, and their possible link to malnutrition in this population. The objective of this study was to identify whether foodservice factors influence risk of malnutrition in cognitively impaired elderly nursing home residents.
Cognitively impaired residents meeting inclusion criteria and living within each of 38 participating nursing homes were randomly sampled. The final sample of 263 residents was screened for risk of malnutrition, and a questionnaire on participants' dining experiences was completed by primary caregivers. Additional data came from participants' medical charts, and a written questionnaire was completed by each institution's foodservice manager. Logistic regressions were used to examine relationships between risk of malnutrition and foodservice characteristics.
Close to 70% of participants were at risk of malnutrition. Foodservice factors, including tray food delivery systems, timing of menu selection, difficulty manipulating dishes, lids and food packages, as well as therapeutic diets were all significantly associated with risk of malnutrition.
Our findings suggest that many nursing homes could modify certain aspects of foodservices that may affect risk of malnutrition among cognitively impaired residents.
To explore the tensions between professional and personal boundaries and how they affect the work and private lives of family physicians.
Qualitative case study using semistructured interviews.
Province of New Brunswick.
Forty-eight family physicians from across the province.
A collective case-study approach was developed, with 24 cases of 2 individuals per case. Cases were selected based on sex, location (urban or rural), language (French or English), and number of years since medical school graduation ( 20 years). Physicians were interviewed in either French or English. Participants were recruited using the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New Brunswick's physician directory. Based on the rates of response and participation, some cases were overrepresented, while others were not completed. All interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically using a categorical aggregation approach. A coding scheme for the thematic analysis was developed by the research team before the interviews were transcribed.
Almost all of the family physicians interviewed discussed how their profession negatively affected their personal lives. Many struggled with issues such as heavy workloads, the adverse effects of their profession on their family lives, and the trespassing of patients onto their personal lives in small towns and rural communities. Some physicians had developed strategies to balance their personal lives with their professional demands; however, this often meant reducing work hours or terminating certain shifts, such as those in the emergency department or after-hours clinics.
Family physicians struggle to keep their profession from intruding too much into their private lives. These struggles are important to acknowledge and address in order to avoid physician burnout and premature retirement from clinical practice.
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Blastomycosis is a fungal infection of immunocompetent hosts. We present a case of cutaneous blastomycosis acquired in New Brunswick, which provides evidence that this disease is endemic in Atlantic Canada. This case also demonstrates that the diagnosis of blastomycosis may be elusive. Perseverance, a high index of clinical suspicion and close cooperation with the microbiology laboratory may be required to diagnose this uncommon condition.
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