The acyl pattern of adipose tissue triglycerides and of plasma free fatty acids were determined after 7 yr of diet intervention on elevated plasma cholesterol in 42 men taking part in the smoking-lipid trial of the Oslo Study. Twenty-two of the men were advised to change dietary habits (mainly reduce saturated fat) whereas the remaining 20 were controls. The adipose tissue from men in the intervention group contained relatively more linoleic and linolenic acids and relatively less saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids compared to men in the control group. There were strong correlations between the relative content of several fatty acids in adipose tissue triglycerides and plasma free fatty acid. Furthermore, there was a close correlation between the intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids found in a dietary survey done 2 to 3 yr before this study and the relative content of polyunsaturated fatty acids in adipose tissue.
Atherosclerosis begins early in life and is the major underlying cause of cardiovascular morbidity and death. Yet, population-based information on age and sex differences in the extent and morphology of atherosclerosis throughout life is scarce. Carotid atherosclerosis can be visualized with B-mode ultrasound and is a marker of atherosclerosis elsewhere in the circulation. We assessed both the prevalence and the morphology of carotid atherosclerosis by B-mode ultrasound in 3016 men and 3404 women, 25 to 84 years old, who participated in a population health survey. The participation rate was 88%. Plaque morphology was graded according to whether a plaque was predominantly soft (echolucent) or hard (echogenic). Atherosclerotic plaques were found in 55.4% of the men and 45.8% of the women. In men, there was a linear increase with age in the prevalence of carotid atherosclerosis, whereas in women, there was a curvilinear age trend, with an inflection in the prevalence rate of women at approximately 50 years of age. The male predominance in atherosclerosis declined after the age of 50 years, the plaque prevalence being similar in elderly men and women. Men had softer plaques than women; this sex difference in plaque morphology increased significantly (P=0.005) with age. The sex difference in the prevalence of atherosclerosis and the female age trend in atherosclerosis show significant changes at the age of approximately 50 years, suggesting an adverse effect of menopause on atherosclerosis. The higher proportion of soft plaques in men compared with women increases with age and may partly account for the prevailing male excess risk of coronary heart disease in the elderly despite a similar prevalence of atherosclerosis in elderly men and women.
BACKGROUND: Low levels of physical activity is associated with major health problems. However, no overview of the level of physical activity outside work or school in Norway has been made, which is important in order to implement targeted interventions. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Based on published as well as unpublished data, we present data on physical activity in Norway--among children and adolescents, adults and elderly people. RESULTS: Results from different studies differ markedly. However, the main findings are these: The level of physical activity increases in childhood up until about 13 years of age. Approximately 70% of adolescents are active two hours or more a week beyond school-hours. The proportion of physical active youngsters then decreases towards young adulthood. Adults and elderly people get more inactive with increasing age. Data on physical activity from the past 10-15 years suggest a slight increase in the proportion of moderately active Norwegians. INTERPRETATION: Research on physical activity is impeded by the fact that different studies have operationalized physical activity differently and used different age grouping. There is a need for surveys in representative samples with standardised and validated questions, with uniform age classification, covering the full spectre of physical activity. In addition, we need smaller studies with more comprehensive measures of physical activity in Norway.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: To study the association between mental distress and the use of alternative medicine (AM) among cancer patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A longitudinal questionnaire-based study was carried out at the Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Tromsø, Norway, during the period 1990-1991. The level of mental distress in 158 patients aged less than 75 years was assessed 4 months after first admission to the cancer ward. The patients answered five questions about mental distress selected from the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). The questions were scored continuously according to the Likert scoring procedure. The level of mental distress was also ranked from 1 (little or no mental distress) to 3 (high mental distress). RESULTS: A total of 53 of the 158 patients reported use of AM at inclusion of the study or during the 4 months of follow-up. Among patients with low mental distress, 21% were users of AM, 36% of patients with medium distress and 48% in patients with high level of mental distress (p-value for linear trend = 0.02). Adjusted for all known relevant variables, patients with medium level of mental distress had 1.9 times higher prevalence of use of AM than patients with low level of mental distress, patients with high mental distress had a 2.9 times higher prevalence (p = 0.15 and 0.07, respectively). Analyzed as a continuous variable (Likert score between 5 and 20), mental distress was associated with use of AM (p = 0.007). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that seeking alternative treatment is more common among mentally distressed cancer patients.
In a survey of risk factors for coronary heart disease 14 102 middle aged men and women answered a questionnaire on lifestyle, diet, and health, including symptoms of functional abdominal disorders. The overall prevalence of reports of one or both of the abdominal symptoms of "bloating and rumbling" or "cramping abdominal pain" was 28% in men and 35% in women. Only a weak negative association between age and prevalence of reported pain was found in both sexes. Women reported abdominal symptoms, especially cramping abdominal pain, significantly more commonly than men. In a multiple regression analysis abdominal symptoms were much more strongly associated with symptoms of mental stress such as depression, sleeping difficulties, problems of coping, and the use of analgesics than with lifestyle, dietary, and social variables together. The association was stronger in subjects reporting both symptoms. This strong and consistent association between functional abdominal disorders and psychological and social problems suggests that action other than prescribing drugs, diets, or radiography is required.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Osteoporosis and stroke share several risk factors, including age, smoking, low physical activity, and hypertension. Thus, low bone mineral density (BMD) and high stroke risk may be related. We examined the relationship between BMD and acute stroke in noninstitutionalized men and women aged >/=60 years. METHODS: Sixty-three stroke patients (33 women and 30 men) and 188 control subjects from the general population were included. BMD was measured by using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry at both proximal femurs. The measurements of the stroke patients were performed 6 days after the onset of stroke. RESULTS: The BMD at the femoral neck in the female stroke patients was 8% lower than in the control subjects (P:=0.007). In men, no difference in BMD between the stroke patients and their controls was found. Women with BMD values in the lowest quartile had a higher risk of stroke than women with BMD values in the highest quartile (OR 4.8), and the probability value for linear trend over the quartiles was statistically significant (P:=0.003). The OR for stroke increased 1.9 per SD (0.13 g/cm(2)) reduction in BMD, and the association between low BMD and stroke in women remained significant when the analysis was adjusted for potential confounders. CONCLUSIONS: Female, but not male, stroke patients have lower BMD than population controls. Low BMD may predict stroke in women.
Comment In: Stroke. 2001 Dec 1;32(12):2956-711740005
This research aims to study how carotid atherosclerosis is related to growth of infrarenal aortic diameter and aneurysmal formation.
Population-based follow-up study.
At baseline, ultrasound examination of the carotid artery and the abdominal aorta was performed in 4241 persons from a general population with no evidence of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). The burden of atherosclerosis was assessed as carotid total plaque area (TPA). After a mean follow-up of 6.3 years, a new ultrasound examination was performed and measurements of the aortic diameter and carotid TPA were repeated. The effects on aortic diameter progression, follow-up diameter and risk for AAA were assessed in multiple linear and logistic regression models according to carotid TPA, adjusted for known risk factors.
When analysing AAA as a dichotomous variable, a borderline association between atherosclerosis and AAA could be demonstrated. When modelling aortic diameter as a continuous variable, a 1-SD increase in 5 years' carotid plaque area (?TPA) was associated with a 0.12-mm growth in infrarenal aortic diameter (standard error (SE) 0.04) and a 0.20-mm wider aorta at follow-up (SE 0.06). No independent relation was seen for baseline atherosclerosis.
Carotid plaque progression was positively related to growth in infrarenal aortic diameter and aortic diameter at follow-up. Whether this co-variation between plaque growth and aortic diameter growth is causally related or independent events is still an open question.
BACKGROUND: Since the late 1970s, the psychiatric service system in Norway has been changed gradually according to the principles of deinstitutionalisation. AIMS: To document the mortality of psychiatric patients in a deinstitutionalised service system. METHODS: The case register of a psychiatric hospital covering the period 1980-1992 was linked to the Central Register of Deaths. Age-adjusted death rates and standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) were computed. RESULTS: Patients with organic psychiatric disorders had significantly higher mortality regardless of cause of death. SMRs ranged from 0.9 for death by cancer in women to 36.3 for suicide in men. For unnatural death, SMRs were highest in the first year after discharge. Compared to the periods 1950-1962 and 1963-1974, there has been an increase in SMRs for cardiovascular death and suicide in both genders. CONCLUSIONS: Deinstitutionalisation seems to have had as its cost a relative rise both in cardiovascular death and unnatural deaths for both genders, but most pronounced in men.
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to examine, in a population not submitted to mass screening, the risk of cancer and cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) in Pap smears from women without previously reported positive smears. METHODS: In a logistic regression model consisting of 58,271 smears from 40,536 Norwegian women the risk of cytologically indicated CIN was studied according to age and time elapsed since last smear. RESULTS: The risk of CIN was highest in smears from women with no previously registered smears and in smears taken after an interval of > or = 5 years. Odds ratio for CIN I-II adjusted for age was highest in first time smears and in smears taken after an interval of 5 years. Odds ratio for CIN III was highest in first registered smears. No difference in risk of CIN III was found in smears taken within one year or 2-3 years after the last smear. The increased risk of CIN III in first smears was most pronounced in postmenopausal women ( > 50 years). Nine of 16 cases with cytological indication of cancer were found in women having a smear taken for the first time. All cases with malignancy in smears were > 50 years. CONCLUSIONS: The risk of cytologically diagnosed premalignant cervical conditions increases with time since the previous smear, but more than 5 years have to elapse before the risk is comparable with that in first smears taken. Postmenopausal women without previous smears run the highest risk of serious cervical premalignancies and cancer.