In the present study, pure-tone audiometry was used in 687 Finnish school children, aged 6-15 years, to determine the prevalence of a 6 kHz acoustic dip and related factors among three age groups. Trained audiometricians tested air conduction thresholds in a sound-proof room. A total of 57 children (8.3%) had a clear-cut dip of at least 20 dB at 6 kHz. This dip was more pronounced in older children and in boys. A thorough case history was obtained by questionnaire, with logistic regression analysis showing that low birth weight (
Aging is associated with deterioration in health and well-being, but previous research suggests that this can be attenuated by maintaining group memberships and the valued social identities associated with them. In this regard, religious identification may be especially beneficial in helping individuals withstand the challenges of aging, partly because religious identity serves as a basis for a wider social network of other group memberships. This paper aims to examine relationships between religion (identification and group membership) and well-being among older adults. The contribution of having and maintaining multiple group memberships in mediating these relationships is assessed, and also compared to patterns associated with other group memberships (social and exercise).
Study 1 (N = 42) surveyed older adults living in residential care homes in Canada, who completed measures of religious identity, other group memberships, and depression. Study 2 (N = 7021) longitudinally assessed older adults in the UK on similar measures, but with the addition of perceived physical health.
In Study 1, religious identification was associated with fewer depressive symptoms, and membership in multiple groups mediated that relationship. However, no relationships between social or exercise groups and mental health were evident. Study 2 replicated these patterns, but additionally, maintaining multiple group memberships over time partially mediated the relationship between religious group membership and physical health.
Together these findings suggest that religious social networks are an especially valuable source of social capital among older adults, supporting well-being directly and by promoting additional group memberships (including those that are non-religious).
For several months, nurses completed ratings of the degree to which certain events relevant to absence were present during each of their scheduled workdays. The event ratings for days when the nurses decided to be absent were then compared with those for days when the nurses attended. As expected, certain events, such as ill health and tiredness, tended to covary and proved to be consistently related to absenteeism across nurses. Also as expected, some events that were not especially relevant for the nurses as a whole, like having a sick family member or friend and concerns about previous poor attendance, nonetheless emerged as being relevant to the absence behavior of certain individuals. Finally, some events were consistently related to the nurses' expressed desire to be absent but not to actual absences. We discuss these differences from two perspectives, one emphasizing the role of attribution bias and the other, a two-stage process in which such bias has no major role.
This study examined (1) disparities in the proportion of persons who accessed a physician for treatment of a diagnosed mental disorder across 17 health regions in Alberta, Canada, and (2) the extent to which regional disparities in physician access could be explained by differences in regional demographies, population needs, or physician supply.
The study illustrates the use of ecological comparisons for regional health system performance evaluations. Regional characteristics were aggregated from four sources of data: the health insurance registry file (population denominators and regional demographies), physician claims data (treatment access), census data (social indicators of population need), and the medical directory of the College of Physicians of Surgeons (physician supply).
Regional variability in needs-adjusted measures of access to physician-based treatment services were comparatively small (varying by a factor of 1.6). Models containing adjustments for demography, need, and physician supply explained 41% of regional variation in access. Of the total variation explained, physician supply explained a smaller proportion (39%) in comparison to social demography and needs (61%). Few large regional imbalances were noted when needs-adjusted and supply-adjusted estimates were compared. Only two areas appeared to be underserviced in comparison to their local needs, reflecting approximately 6% of the provincial population.
While all three study factors proved important, findings support the broad conclusion that social demography and social risk (a proxy for need) will remain the key determinants predicting access to physician services for treatment of mental disorders in publicly funded health systems.
Little attention has been devoted to the effects on children's respiratory health of exposure to sulphur dioxide (SO2) in ambient air from local industrial emissions. Most studies on the effects of SO(2) have assessed its impact as part of the regional ambient air pollutant mix.
To examine the association between exposure to stack emissions of SO(2) from petroleum refineries located in Montreal's (Quebec) east-end industrial complex and the prevalence of active asthma and poor asthma control among children living nearby.
The present cross-sectional study used data from a respiratory health survey of Montreal children six months to 12 years of age conducted in 2006. Of 7964 eligible households that completed the survey, 842 children between six months and 12 years of age lived in an area impacted by refinery emissions. Ambient SO(2) exposure levels were estimated using dispersion modelling. Log-binomial regression models were used to estimate crude and adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% CIs for the association between yearly school and residential SO(2) exposure estimates and asthma outcomes. Adjustments were made for child's age, sex, parental history of atopy and tobacco smoke exposure at home.
The adjusted PR for the association between active asthma and SO(2) levels was 1.14 (95% CI 0.94 to 1.39) per interquartile range increase in modelled annual SO(2). The effect on poor asthma control was greater (PR=1.39 per interquartile range increase in modelled SO(2) [95% CI 1.00 to 1.94]).
Results of the present study suggest a relationship between exposure to refinery stack emissions of SO(2) and the prevalence of active and poor asthma control in children who live and attend school in proximity to refineries.
Public Health Agency of Canada, Centre for Food-Borne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Environmental Issues Division, Canada; Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen's University, Canada. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of extreme ambient temperature on hospital emergency room visits (ER) related to mental and behavioral illnesses in Toronto, Canada.
A time series study was conducted using health and climatic data from 2002 to 2010 in Toronto, Canada. Relative risks (RRs) for increases in emergency room (ER) visits were estimated for specific mental and behavioral diseases (MBD) after exposure to hot and cold temperatures while using the 50th percentile of the daily mean temperature as reference. Poisson regression models using a distributed lag non-linear model (DLNM) were used. We adjusted for the effects of seasonality, humidity, day-of-the-week and outdoor air pollutants.
We found a strong association between MBD ER visits and mean daily temperature at 28?C. The association was strongest within a period of 0-4 days for exposure to hot temperatures. A 29% (RR=1.29, 95% CI 1.09-1.53) increase in MBD ER vists was observed over a cumulative period of 7 days after exposure to high ambient temperature (99th percentile vs. 50th percentile). Similar associations were reported for schizophrenia, mood, and neurotic disorers. No significant associations with cold temperatures were reported.
The ecological nature and the fact that only one city was investigated.
Our findings suggest that extreme temperature poses a risk to the health and wellbeing for individuals with mental and behavior illnesses. Patient management and education may need to be improved as extreme temperatures may become more prevalent with climate change.
Admission hyperglycemia has been associated with worse outcomes in ischemic stroke. We hypothesized that hyperglycemia (glucose >8.0 mmol/l) in the hyperacute phase would be independently associated with increased mortality, symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage (SICH), and poor functional status at 90 days in stroke patients treated with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV-tPA).
Using data from the prospective, multicenter Canadian Alteplase for Stroke Effectiveness Study (CASES), the association between admission glucose >8.0 mmol/l and mortality, SICH, and poor functional status at 90 days (modified Rankin Scale >1) was examined. Similar analyses examining glucose as a continuous measure were conducted.
Of 1,098 patients, 296 (27%) had admission hyperglycemia, including 18% of those without diabetes and 70% of those with diabetes. After multivariable logistic regression, admission hyperglycemia was found to be independently associated with increased risk of death (adjusted risk ratio 1.5 [95% CI 1.2-1.9]), SICH (1.69 [0.95-3.00]), and a decreased probability of a favorable outcome at 90 days (0.7 [0.5-0.9]). An incremental risk of death and SICH and unfavorable 90-day outcomes was observed with increasing admission glucose. This observation held true for patients with and without diabetes.
In this cohort of IV-tPA-treated stroke patients, admission hyperglycemia was independently associated with increased risk of death, SICH, and poor functional status at 90 days. Treatment trials continue to be urgently needed to determine whether this is a modifiable risk factor for poor outcome.
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Research findings indicate that the ability to create meaning out of turning points (i.e., significant life experiences) is related to psychological well-being. It is not clear, however, whether individuals who report meaning-making and higher well-being are better adjusted prior to the experience of their turning point event. This study examined whether meaning-making and timing of turning points would be associated with higher scores on well-being. Participants were 418 Grade 12 students (209 of whom reported having had a turning point event and a matched group of 209 adolescents who did not report having had a turning point event). This subset of participants was taken from a larger longitudinal study of 803 (52% female) Grade 12 Canadian students (M age = 17 years). All participants completed well-being measures 3 years prior, when they were in Grade 9. Meaning-making was significantly associated with higher psychological well-being, controlling for Grade 9 scores on well-being. Importantly, adolescents who reported meaning-making in Grade 12 did not differ on well-being prior to the experience of their turning point event, when they were in Grade 9, from adolescents who did not report meaning-making. These findings highlight the importance of examining meaning-making in relation to positive adjustment among adolescents reporting a significant life-changing event. Limitations regarding the use of survey measures and the generalizability of the results to a culturally diverse group of adolescents are discussed.