Although many people recover from substance-use associated problems on their own, little is known about this phenomenon. The paper had two objectives: to use a new research method, computer-assisted content analysis, to understand alcohol and drug abusers' perceived reasons for self-change and to undertake a comparative evaluation across substances and cultures to validate previous findings about subjective appraisal processes. Three studies of natural recoveries of alcohol and drug abusers in two countries conducted tape-recorded interviews with 216 respondents. The taped responses were coded based on a content analytic dictionary approach using a computerized content analysis program. All three studies found several processes mediating the decision to change substance use. The computer content analysis confirmed a cognitive appraisal process regardless of the cultural setting or substance. The findings suggest that several procedures might have benefit in clinical interventions.
The reversibility of ultrasonographic vascular changes associated with the metabolic syndrome (MetS) recovery is unknown. We examined whether spontaneous recovery from MetS (according to the International Diabetes Federation definition) has a favorable effect on vascular properties and evaluated the associations between lifestyle factors and MetS recovery.
We measured carotid artery intima-media thickness, distensibility, and brachial flow-mediated dilatation by ultrasound in 1673 subjects of the Young Finns Study cohort (age, 31.5+/-5.0 years in 2001) who participated in follow-up studies in 2001 and 2007. At baseline, no differences in intima-media thickness, carotid artery distensibility, or flow-mediated dilatation were observed between the recovery group (baseline-only MetS) and those with incident (only at follow-up) or persistent (both at baseline and follow-up) MetS. After 6 years, the recovery group had smaller intima-media thickness (mean+/-SEM, 0.62+/-0.01 versus 0.68+/-0.01 mm; P=0.0009) and higher carotid artery distensibility (1.98+/-0.07%/mm Hg versus 1.56+/-0.04%/mm Hg; P=0.001) compared with the persistent group and higher flow-mediated dilatation compared with the control group (9.91+/-0.51% versus 8.57+/-0.12%; P=0.03). The recovery group had reduced intima-media thickness progression compared with the persistent group (0.036+/-0.005 versus 0.079+/-0.010 mm; P=0.001) and reduced carotid artery distensibility change compared with the incident group (-0.12+/-0.05%/mm Hg versus -0.38+/-0.10%/mm Hg; P=0.03) over the 6-year follow-up. Differences in carotid artery distensibility levels were attenuated (P=0.11) after the inclusion of weight change in the models. MetS recovery was paralleled with significant reductions in waist circumference that independently correlated with increased physical activity and increased attention paid to health habits during the follow-up.
Recovery from the MetS was associated with positive effects on vascular properties during a 6-year follow-up period of young adults.
To examine whether lifetime DSM-IV diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD), including age at onset and number of episodes, is associated with brain atrophy in older persons without dementia.
Within the population-based Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility (AGES)-Reykjavik Study, 4354 persons (mean age 76 ? 5 years, 58% women) without dementia had a 1.5-T brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Automated brain segmentation total and regional brain volumes were calculated. History of MDD, including age at onset and number of episodes, and MDD in the past 2 weeks was diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI).
Of the total sample, 4.5% reported a lifetime history of MDD; 1.5% had a current diagnosis of MDD (including 75% with a prior history of depression) and 3.0% had a past but no current diagnosis (remission). After adjusting for multiple covariates, compared to participants never depressed, those with current MDD (irrespective of past) had more global brain atrophy [B = -1.25%, 95% confidence interval (CI) -2.05 to -0.44], including more gray- and white-matter atrophy in most lobes, and also more atrophy of the hippocampus and thalamus. Participants with current, first-onset MDD also had more brain atrophy (B = -1.62%, 95% CI -3.30 to 0.05) whereas those remitted did not (B = 0.06%, 95% CI -0.54 to 0.66).
In older persons without dementia, current MDD, irrespective of prior history, but not remitted MDD was associated with widespread gray- and white-matter brain atrophy. Prospective studies should examine whether MDD is a consequence of, or contributes to, brain volume loss and development of dementia.
BACKGROUND: Childhood is the most important time for asthma development. The aims of this study were to study changes in prevalence of asthma and wheeze, remission of asthma and changes in risk factor pattern from age 7-8 to age 11-12 in a cohort of school children. METHODS: In 1996, 3525 children aged 7-8 years in northern Sweden were invited to participate in a parental expanded ISAAC questionnaire survey. The cohort has been followed prospectively with yearly follow-ups to age 11-12, with a 97% yearly response rate. Skin prick tests were conducted at age 7-8 and 11-12. RESULTS: The prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma increased from 5.7% at age 7-8 to 7.7% at age 11-12. Life-time prevalence of wheeze was 34.7% at age 11-12. The remission of asthma was 10% yearly and inversely related to allergic sensitization. Relapses were common, and remission persisting throughout the observation period was 5% yearly. Allergic sensitization was associated with current asthma at age 7-8 [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 4.9 (95% confidence interval (CI) 3.3-7.3)] and when the children were 4 years older [OR 5.6 (3.9-8.2)]. A family history of asthma was associated with current asthma at age 7-8 [OR 3.0 (2.1-4.5)] and 11-12 (OR 2.8 [2.0-3.9]). Ever having lived with a cat was significantly negatively associated with current asthma. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of asthma increased continuously during the primary school ages. Among several significant risk factors, allergic sensitization and a family history of asthma were the most important. With increasing age many known risk factors lost significance. Remission was inversely related to allergic sensitization.
BACKGROUND: Childhood is the most important age for asthma development. Recent reports indicate that the prevalence of asthma in children has plateaued after having increased for decades. AIMS: To study prevalence and risk factor patterns of asthma by age and by time. METHODS: In 1996, all children in grade 1-2 (age 7-8) in three cities in Northern Sweden were invited to an expanded International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire. A total of 3430 children (97%) participated yearly until 2000 (age 11-12). A subset (n = 2454) was invited to skin-prick testing in 1996 and 2000 with 88% and 90% participation. In 2006, another cohort (n = 2704) was identified and studied by identical methods with 96% participation. A total of 1700 children (90% of invited) were skin-prick tested. RESULTS AND COMMENTS: From age 7-8 to 11-12, the prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma increased, 5.7%-7.7% (P
OBJECTIVE: To present data on the epidemiology and spontaneous closure for septal defects (secundum atrial septal defect (ASD) and/or ventricular septal defect (VSD)). METHODS: Data from the EUROCAT Registry of Congenital Malformations for Funen County, Denmark were analyzed. All infants born from 1986 to 1998, diagnosed with a secundum ASD and/or a VSD as the only cardiac malformation, were included. RESULTS: There were 78 infants with an ASD, 195 with a VSD, and 19 had both an ASD and a VSD. The overall prevalence of septal defects was 4.1 per 1000 livebirths. Among the VSDs 45% were perimembranous and 55% were muscular defects. Associated non-cardiac malformations, syndromes, or karyotype anomalies were present in 54 cases (19% of total) but with a significantly lower proportion among cases with muscular VSDs (7%, p