INTRODUCTION: Compared with controls, up to six years after their return, Danish Gulf War Veterans have a significantly higher prevalence of self-reported neuropsychological symptoms. Independent associations are found for concentration or memory problems, repeated fits of headache, balance disturbances or fits of dizziness, abnormal fatigue not caused by physical activity, and problems sleeping all night. We investigated whether psychosocial, physical, chemical or biological exposures were associated with these symptoms. METHODOLOGY: This study is a prevalence study using retrospective data on exposure. Some 686 subjects who had been deployed in the Persian Gulf within the period August 2 1990 until December 31 1997 were included; the control group comprised 257 subjects matched according to age, gender and profession. All participants underwent clinical and paraclinical examinations, and were interviewed by a physician based on a completed questionnaire. RESULTS: A clustering of three to five of the above symptoms were found in 21.4% of Gulf War Veterans vs. 6.2% in controls, p
The aim of this study was to examine the effects of cigarette smoking and changes in smoking habits on the decline of forced expiratory volume in the first second of expiration (FEV1). We studied 7,764 men and women for 5 yrs. The subjects were grouped according to self-reported smoking habits during the observation period. We found that persistent cigarette smoking, in particular heavy smoking, accelerated the decline in FEV1. In 310 subjects who quitted smoking during the observation period, the decline of FEV1 was less pronounced than the decline observed in persistent smokers. In subjects younger than 55 yrs of age, smoking reduction was associated with a less pronounced FEV1 decline, while in the elderly subjects smoking reduction had no effect on the FEV1 decline. An increase in the number of cigarettes smoked was generally associated with a more rapid decline of FEV1, while the beginning of smoking during the 5 yrs of observation did not seem to influence the decline of FEV1. We conclude that smoking cessation or reduction may lead to a demonstrable beneficial effect on the FEV1 decline within a few years.
Data from The Copenhagen City Heart Study, a prospective population study, were analysed to investigate the influence of the type of tobacco and inhalation on pulmonary and total mortality. The study sample comprised 6,511 men and 7,703 women, selected randomly after age-stratification from the general population. There were 2,986 plain cigarette smokers, 3,222 filter cigarette smokers, 1,578 smokers of cheroots/cigars, 433 male pipe smokers and 773 subjects smoking more than one type of tobacco. From 1976 until the end of 1989, 2,765 subjects died. Lung cancer was considered as main death cause in 268. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was considered as the main cause in 94 cases and main or contributory cause of death in 195 cases (COPD related mortality). Current smokers had a higher risk of total mortality compared to lifetime nonsmokers: the relative risks (RR) ranged between 1.2 for male pipe smokers and 2.4 for female plain cigarette smokers. With regard to lung cancer mortality, the RR ranged between 4.1 for male pipe smokers and 7.9 for female plain cigarette smokers. Even higher RR values were estimated for COPD related mortality. In both sexes, the RR for the investigated end-points were lower in cheroot/cigar smokers and in pipe smokers than in cigarette smokers, but these differences were markedly diminished after an adjustment for the inhalation habit. The present study substantiates the view that tobacco smoking increases pulmonary and total mortality. The small differences between the various types of tobacco are probably caused by different inhalation patterns.
The relationship between age-related macular degeneration and cardiovascular risk factors and certain life-style factors, collected in the Copenhagen City Heart Study (1981-83), was studied by multiple logistic regression analysis. The ophthalmological study sample comprised 1000 randomly selected persons aged 60 to 80 years. Separate analyses were made for the atrophic and the exudative forms of age-related macular degeneration. Among all the possible risk factors analysed, only three factors were significantly associated with macular degeneration. Age was associated with both atrophic and exudative macular degeneration (P less than 0.01). Among smokers who inhaled, the risk of atrophic maculopathy was 2.5 times higher than among non-smokers (P less than 0.01), whereas the use of hypnotics increased the risk of exudative maculopathy by 3.4 times (P less than 0.01).
INTRODUCTION: Compared with controls, up to six years after their return, Danish Gulf War Veterans have a significantly higher prevalence of self-reported gastrointestinal symptoms characterized by constant or occasional recurrent diarrhoea and frequent rumbling of the stomach within the preceding 12 months. The aim of this study was to clarify whether these symptoms could be attributed to physical, chemical or biological exposures. METHODOLOGY: Some 686 subjects who had been deployed in the Persian Gulf within the period August 2 1990 until December 31 1997 were included in a prevalence study using retrospective data on exposure; the control group comprised 257 subjects matched according to age, gender and profession. All participants underwent clinical and paraclinical examinations, and were interviewed by a physician based on a previously completed questionnaire. RESULTS: Among Gulf War Veterans the prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms was 9.1% vs 1.7% among controls, p
BACKGROUND: Preliminary studies have suggested that microalbuminuria--a slightly increased urinary excretion of albumin--is a risk factor for atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to examine whether an association exists between urinary excretion of albumin and a history of acute myocardial infarction, in a major population sample. METHODS: The study was performed as a part of the 3rd Copenhagen City Heart Study, Denmark, 1992-1994, and included 2,613 participants aged 30-70 years, and without diabetes mellitus, renal or urinary tract disease or haematuria. The study programme included measurement of urinary albumin excretion rate, acquisition of information regarding previous acute myocardial infarction (verified by the Danish Hospital Register) and tobacco and alcohol consumption, 12-lead resting electrocardiogram, and measurement of blood pressure, body mass index, waist:hip ratio, plasma concentrations of total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and fibrinogen, serum albumin concentration and glomerular filtration rate. RESULTS: Among the participants, 3.6% presented with a history of acute myocardial infarction. There was a positive association between urinary albumin excretion rate (logarithmically transformed) and acute myocardial infarction (odds ratio 1.35, 95% confidence interval 1.08 to 1.70, n = 2, 613; P = 0.01), which was independent of age, sex conventional atherosclerotic risk factors, and glomerular filtration rate. The odds ratio for acute myocardial infarction associated with microalbuminuria (urinary albumin excretion rate exceeding the upper decile in the entire study population) was 2.06 (95% confidence interval 1.20 to 3.55, n = 2,613; P = 0.009). CONCLUSION: There exists a positive and independent association between urinary excretion of albumin and a history of acute myocardial infarction. Follow-up analyses should determine the time sequence of this association.
The relation of ventilatory function and chronic mucus hypersecretion to death from lung cancer has been studied in 13,946 subjects randomly selected from the general population of the city of Copenhagen, Denmark. During the 10-yr follow-up, 225 subjects died from lung cancer. Percent predicted FEV1 (%FEV1) and presence of chronic phlegm were used to characterize ventilatory function and chronic mucus hypersecretion, respectively. Mortality analysis employed the multiple regression model of Cox and included age, sex, pack-years of smoking, and inhalation as confounding factors. %FEV1 and chronic phlegm were found to be significant predictors of death from lung cancer. In both men and women with chronic phlegm, the risk of dying from lung cancer was 1.5 greater than in those without phlegm. Compared with subjects with %FEV1 greater than or equal to 80, the subjects with %FEV1 less than 40 and those with %FEV1 between 40 and 79 had a 3.9 and 2.1 higher risk of lung cancer death, respectively. A similar regression model in which %FEV1 was replaced with the ratio of FEV1 to FVC (FEV1/FVC) showed that lowered FEV1/FVC was also a significant predictor of lung cancer death, the subjects with FEV1/FVC less than 0.6 (0.6 to 0.7) having a 2.6 (1.5) higher risk for lung cancer death than those with FEV1/FVC greater than or equal to 0.7. It is concluded that lowered ventilatory function and chronic mucus hypersecretion are both significant predictors of death from lung cancer, even after standardization for smoking.