An analysis of regional (18 regions) and temporal (1931-89) covariation of suicide rates and indicators of alcohol use and abuse in Portugal is reported. In the time series analysis, a positive relationship was found. An increase in per capita alcohol consumption of one litre is accompanied by a simultaneous increase in the male suicide rate of 1.9 per cent. This is comparable to what has been reported for France and Denmark, but considerably less than that found in Norway, Sweden and Hungary. In the regional data, there was a substantial negative correlation between the variables. However, after controlling for religious and family integration, the latter correlation became small and insignificant but still negative. A possible explanation is suggested for the different outcomes of the two analyses.
Both microarray and candidate molecule studies have demonstrated that protein and mRNA expression of syntaxin and other genes involved in synaptic function are altered in the cerebral cortex of patients with schizophrenia.
Genetic association between polymorphic markers in the syntaxin 1A gene and schizophrenia was assessed in a matched case-control sample of 192 pairs, and in an independent sample of 238 nuclear families.
In the family-based sample, a significant genetic association was found between schizophrenia and one of the four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) tested: an intron 7 SNP (transmission disequilibrium test [TDT] chi(2) = 5.898; df = 1; p =.015, family-based association test [FBAT] z = 2.280, p =.023). When the results for the TDT and case-control analyses were combined, the association was stronger (n = 430; z(c) = 2.859; p =.004). Haplotype analysis supported the association with several significant values that appear to be driven by the intron 7 SNP.
The results should be treated with caution until replicated, but this is the first report of a genetic association between syntaxin 1A and schizophrenia.
Associations between objectively assessed physical activity and indicators of body fatness in 9- to 10-y-old European children: a population-based study from 4 distinct regions in Europe (the European Youth Heart Study).
BACKGROUND: The rising prevalence of obesity in children may be due to a reduction in physical activity (PA). OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to study the associations of objectively measured PA volume and its subcomponents with indicators of body fatness. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study of 1292 children aged 9-10 y from 4 distinct regions in Europe (Odense, Denmark; the island of Madeira, Portugal; Oslo; and Tartu, Estonia) was conducted. PA was measured by accelerometry, and indicators of body fatness were the sum of 5 skinfold thicknesses and body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)). We examined the associations between PA and body fatness by using general linear models adjusted for potential confounding variables. RESULTS: After adjustment for sex, study location, sexual maturity, birth weight, and parental BMI, time (min/d) spent at moderate and vigorous PA (P = 0.032) and time (min/d) spent at vigorous PA were significantly (P = 0.015) and independently associated with body fatness. Sex, study location, sexual maturity, birth weight, and parental BMI explained 29% (adjusted R(2) = 0.29) of the variation in body fatness. Time spent at vigorous PA explained an additional 0.5%. Children who accumulated 2 h/d. CONCLUSIONS: The accumulated amount of time spent at moderate and vigorous PA is related to body fatness in children, but this relation is weak; the explained variance was
The purpose of the present study was primarily to establish the oral health status of young adults in the area of Porto, Portugal. The assessment is based on a random sample of 30- to 39-year-olds with criteria identical to those of a Norwegian study of 35-year-olds. This makes it possible also to present a comparative analysis of the caries prevalence in Oslo, Norway, and Porto, Portugal. The results indicate lower DMF scores among the Portuguese (DMFS = 46.2) than the Norwegian (DMFS = 85.0) adults. The difference is primarily due to a greater number of filled surfaces among the Norwegians (FS = 59.7) than the Portuguese (FS = 4.4). However, carious surfaces are more prevalent among Portuguese than Norwegian adults (DS = 9.2 versus DS = 3.3). Both among Portuguese and Norwegian adults, oral hygiene and dental visits seem to play an important role with regard to the prevalence of decayed surfaces. Decayed surfaces were more prevalent among men than women, and a correlation between social status and prevalence of decayed surfaces was present in both societies.
Day-care centre (DCC) attendees play a central role in maintaining the circulation of Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) in the population. The prevalence of pneumococcal carriage is highest in DCC attendees but varies across countries and is found to be consistently lower in Finland than in Portugal. We compared key parameters underlying pneumococcal transmission in DCCs to understand which of these contributed to the observed differences in carriage prevalence.
Longitudinal data about serotype-specific carriage in DCC attendees in Portugal (47 children in three rooms; mean age 2 years; range 1-3 years) and Finland (91 children in seven rooms; mean age 4 years; range 1-7 years) were analysed with a continuous-time event history model in a Bayesian framework. The monthly rates of within-room transmission, community acquisition and clearing carriage were estimated.
The posterior mean of within-room transmission rate was 1.05 per month (Portugal) vs. 0.63 per month (Finland). The smaller rate of clearance in Portugal (0.57 vs. 0.73 per month) is in accordance with the children being younger. The overall community rate of acquisition was larger in the Portuguese setting (0.25 vs. 0.11 per month), in agreement with that the groups belonged to a larger DCC. The model adequately predicted the observed levels of carriage prevalence and longitudinal patterns in carriage acquisition and clearance.
The difference in prevalence of carriage (61% in Portuguese vs. 26% among Finnish DCC attendees) was assigned to the longer duration of carriage in younger attendees and a significantly higher rate of within-room transmission and community acquisition in the Portuguese setting.
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to report on the prevalence of enamel opacities from seven European study sites using a standardized photographic method, and to investigate the importance of variables responsible for enamel fluorosis. METHODS: The sample comprised a randomly selected group of 300 8-year-old children in each of the study areas. One examiner from each area was trained and calibrated in the use of a standardized photographic technique. Two transparencies were taken of each child's permanent maxillary central incisor teeth; one to represent the teeth 'wet' and one when the teeth had been allowed to dry out naturally for 105 s. The transparencies were viewed 'blind' by the author (JAC) and scored using the DDE and TF indices. Data relating to variables considered to be associated with enamel fluorosis were also collected. RESULTS: The prevalence of diffuse opacities ranged from 61% in fluoridated Cork (Ireland) to 28% in Athens (Greece). The percentage of subjects with a TF score of three or more ranged from 4% in Cork and nonfluoridated Haarlem (the Netherlands) to zero in Oulu (Finland) and Athens. Fluoridated water and the prolonged use of fluoride tablets were found to be significant contributory factors to fluorosis. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of fluorosis was found to be highest in fluoridated Cork. The prolonged use of fluoride supplements was also found to be a significant risk indicator associated with fluorosis.
STUDY OBJECTIVE--The study aimed to examine the concurrence in the variation of monthly numbers of deaths in summer and winter from the four main underlying causes - respiratory, circulatory, neoplastic, and all others - in four countries. In particular, the hypothesis that most non-respiratory concurrent deaths are miscoded respiratory deaths and that a large proportion of the winter mortality currently attributed to circulatory disorders should be attributed to respiratory causes was considered. DESIGN--Mortality data were analysed graphically in relation to cause. Each of the four series of monthly data underwent time series analysis to remove auto-correlation, seasonality, and secular trends. Associations between paired causes of death and between multiple series (using Kendall's coefficient of concordance) were then examined after modelling. SETTING--Monthly deaths (65 years and over) related to underlying cause were examined for England and Wales (nine years), The Netherlands (nine years), Denmark (10 years), and Portugal (10 years - all ages). Weekly data for England and Wales (51 weeks) were also analysed. MAIN RESULTS--All combinations of monthly deaths related to underlying cause were strongly associated in all four countries. This concurrence was evident down to the lowest monthly values so that all seasonally related deaths above the minimum monthly value can be used as an estimate of the "concurrent" proportion. Associations involving deaths from neoplasm were weakest. Concurrence was evident even on a weekly analysis (England and Wales). Concurrent deaths in England and Wales accounted for 31.1% of respiratory, 16.0% of circulatory, 3.5% of neoplastic, 14.1% of deaths from other causes and 14.2% for all deaths combined. The equivalent percentages for concurrent deaths from all causes were 8.4% in the Netherlands, 9.3% in Denmark, and 16.8% in Portugal. CONCLUSIONS--Concurrence, which was present in each of the underlying causal groups in each of the four national data sets examined, suggests a common cause separate from the underlying cause that has been used in the presentation of mortality statistics. If the person concerned had not died at that time, as a result of this cause, he would not have died from the recorded underlying cause. Most of these non-respiratory concurrent deaths are miscoded. As a consequence, a large proportion of winter mortality currently attributed to circulatory disorders should be attributed to other causes, probably respiratory. More intensive research into the contribution made by acute respiratory diseases is proposed. The proportion of concurrent deaths varied in the four countries thereby limiting the validity of simple comparisons of national mortality statistics.
Tuberculosis (TB) remains a serious threat to public health in Russia and other former Soviet Union Countries. The purpose of this paper is to describe the current trends of TB and MDR-TB in Russia and identify the characteristics of the traditional Russian TB control model inherited from the Soviet Union. We discuss current challenges to TB control in the country.
WHO tuberculosis notification data were analysed for Russia and 14 other former Soviet Union countries. To investigate the characteristics of TB control in Russia, we performed a systematic literature review using MEDLINE/EMBASE databases. 136 articles were initially identified of which 66 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Full texts were reviewed. Additionally, we reviewed non-systematically Russian state reports, guidelines and legislations.
In 2006, nearly 125 000 TB cases and 28 000 TB deaths were notified in the Russian Federation. The TB notification rate was 13 times higher than in Germany. The characteristics of the traditional Russian TB control model include: a centralised disease-specific inpatient network for diagnosis and treatment of TB, countrywide population screenings using fluorography, a strong focus on X-ray for diagnosis and disease classification, individualised and lengthy inpatient care, high rates of drug resistance, and inefficient financing systems.
Current challenges to TB control in Russia are: the implementation of a quality-assured laboratory network for sputum-smear microscopy, culture and drug susceptibility testing, ensuring MDR-TB treatment and control, prevention and management of TB/HIV, and reform of health care financing systems. For TB control to be successful in the Russian Federation, the characteristics of the traditional TB control model need to be taken into account.
Low sexual desire has been studied more extensively in women than in men.
The study aims to analyze the correlates of distressing lack of sexual interest and the self-assessed reasons for the lack of sexual interest among heterosexual men from three countries.
A web-based survey was completed by 5,255 men aged 18-75 years from Portugal, Croatia, and Norway.
We used an item that assesses lack of sexual interest from the British NATSAL 2000. Anxiety and depression were measured with the SCL-ANX4 and SCL-DEP6. Relationship intimacy was measured using a five-item version of the Emotional Intimacy Scale. A shortened version of the Sexual Boredom Scale was used to assess proneness to sexual boredom in relation to the duration of relationship, and personal distress was evaluated using an item created for this study.
Distressing lack of sexual interest lasting at least 2 months in the previous year was reported by 14.4% of the participants. The most prevalent comorbidity among these men was erectile difficulty (48.7%). Men with low confidence levels in erectile function, not feeling attracted to the partner, and those in long-term relationships were more likely to have experienced lack of sexual interest than were men with high confidence levels and those who felt attracted to their partner and those in shorter-term relationships. Professional stress was the most frequently reported reason for lack of sexual interest. Sexual boredom as a result of a long-term relationship was significantly and negatively correlated with the level of intimacy (r?=?-0.351, P?