Several studies show that asthma mortality in children and adolescents increased until the mid-1990s, after which it has slightly decreased worldwide. The objective of this study was to describe the mortality rates of childhood asthma in Finland, and to analyze patient characteristics to identify predisposing factors for fatal asthma exacerbation among children and adolescents during 1976-1998 (2004). All death certificates where asthma or related respiratory tract disease was coded as the underlying cause of death were reviewed for those under 20 years of age. Health care records and autopsy reports were evaluated to validate the cause of death and to identify any predisposing factors. In all, there had been 28 asthma deaths. The validity of the death certificates proved to be good as only 7% were misclassified. Death occurred either in the very young children or adolescents: the median age in the group of 12 years (n = 13) was 18.1 years. The fatal exacerbations occurred mostly during summer and early autumn. Clinical triggers, recorded for 14/22 patients with available patient records, included respiratory infection, (12) use of ibuprofen despite known allergy (1), and exercise after visiting a horse stable (1). The severity of the disease was discernible in 21 patients: severe in 15, moderate in 5, and mild in 1 patient. Inhaled corticosteroids were not used as maintenance or periodic therapy in 12/22 patients, of whom 4 had died during the 1990s. In conclusion, asthma mortality in Finnish children and adolescents was rare and its incidence remained stable. The validity of the death certificate diagnoses proved to be good. Poor asthma management and non or undertreatment with inhaled corticosteroids were risk factors for fatal asthma.
This paper presents a large-scale cross-sectional study of Danish children's early language acquisition based on the Danish adaptation of the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventories (CDI). Measures of validity and reliability imply that the Danish adaptation of the American CDI has been adjusted linguistically and culturally in appropriate ways which makes it suitable for tapping into Danish children's language acquisition. The study includes 6,112 randomly selected children in the age of 0 ; 8 to 3 ; 0, and results related to the development of early gestures, comprehension and production of words as well as grammatical skills, are presented.
Many internationally adopted children have a pre-adoption video for prospective adoptive parents to review before their commitment to adopt. No published report to date has examined the value of the pre-adoption video evaluation (PreAVE) as a predictor of post-adoption developmental status. The present study was designed to determine whether PreAVE can predict the post-adoption developmental status of internationally adopted children. In this retrospective chart review, children who presented to the Yale International Adoption Clinic between December 1998 and September 2000, and had both a PreAVE and a post-adoption developmental evaluation (PosADE) were selected (N = 20) PreAVE was done using the Denver II and PosADE was done using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, 2nd edition. The Pearson r coefficient between the two ratings was determined and sensitivity and specificity were calculated. There was a significant correlation between the PreAVE and the PosADEs (r = 0.53, p = 0.01).The sensitivity of PreAVE to detect moderate to severe developmental delay was 43% and the specificity was 85%. Although ratings of development on PreAVE are similar to PosADE, the ability to detect moderate to severe developmental delay by video review is limited.
BACKGROUND: In vitro testing is commonly used to diagnose and manage allergies. Clinical reactivity has been correlated with food-specific IgE levels by using the ImmunoCAP (Phadia, Uppsala, Sweden). OBJECTIVE: To determine whether IgE levels derived from different assays are equivalent to those measured by ImmunoCAP. METHODS: Fifty patients from the Mount Sinai Pediatric Allergy practice were prospectively enrolled. For each deidentified sample, specific IgE levels were measured to egg, milk, peanut, cat, birch, and Dermatophagoides farinae at different laboratories, each using a different assay system (Phadia ImmunoCAP, Agilent Turbo-MP, and Siemens Immulite 2000). Results were analyzed to determine whether IgE measurements were equivalent. Food allergen-specific IgE levels were correlated with clinical data and around empirically determined thresholds that predict probability of clinical disease in 50% or 95% of subjects. RESULTS: Variable degrees of agreement existed among the 3 assays. Immulite 2000 overestimated all specific IgE levels compared with ImmunoCAP. Turbo-MP overestimated for egg but underestimated for birch and D farinae. Differences for milk, peanut, and cat were observed, without a trend toward overestimation or underestimation. Furthermore, several values for the food allergens were discrepant around the 50% and 95% positive predictive values for clinical reactivity. CONCLUSION: Discrepancies in specific IgE values from 3 different assays can potentially lead to altered management and treatment. The predictive values for clinical reactivity associated with food-specific IgE levels determined by ImmunoCAP should not be applied to results from other assays.
PURPOSE: To determine whether stuttering judgment accuracy is influenced by familiarity with the stuttering speaker's language. METHOD: Audiovisual 7-min speech samples from nine 3- to 5-year-olds were used. Icelandic children who stutter (CWS), preselected for different levels of stuttering, were subdivided into 5-s intervals. Ten experienced Icelandic speech-language pathologists (ICE-SLPs) and 10 experienced U.S. speech-language pathologists (US-SLPs), the latter being unfamiliar with the Icelandic language, independently judged each 5-s interval (n = 756) as stuttered or nonstuttered on 2 separate occasions. RESULTS: As in previous studies, intervals judged to contain stuttering showed wide variability within the ICE-SLP and US-SLP groups. However, both SLP groups (a) displayed satisfactory mean intrajudge agreement, (b) met an independent stuttering judgment accuracy criterion test using English-speaking CWS samples, and (c) met an agreement criterion on approximately 90% of their stuttering and nonstuttering judgments on the Icelandic-speaking CWS samples. CONCLUSION: Experienced SLPs were shown to be highly accurate in recognizing stuttering and nonstuttering exemplars from young CWS speaking in an unfamiliar language. The findings suggest that judgments of occurrences of stuttering in CWS are not generally language dependent, although some exceptions were noted.
A Swedish non-word repetition test for preschool children was constructed with the aim of measuring short-term phonological memory, which has been shown to correlate with language development and language proficiency. Normative data based on results for 200 children four to six years of age are presented. An item analysis of the original 30-item test resulted in a shortened 24 non-word version found suitable for four- to six-year old children. Results for this shortened version, which had a Cronbach's alpha of 0.73, showed longer non-words to be more difficult to repeat than shorter ones, and significant effects of age and compatibility of the tester's and the child's accent, but not of gender. The results are discussed within the framework of Baddeley's working memory model.
Based on over 50,000 parental descriptors of children gathered in eight different countries, we used a combination of focus group sorting of descriptors in each country and factor analyses of instruments developed in four of the countries (United States, China, Greece, and the Netherlands) to describe children ages 3 to 12 years to select items for an instrument that would work well across countries to access personality. Through many factor analyses of indigenous items in each country, a core set of 141 items was used in three of the countries, with over 3000 parents responding to our instruments in China, Greece, and the United States. Much cross-comparative research analysis has resulted in 15 robust midlevel scales that describe the structures of parental descriptors that are common to the three countries. The data on the English (U.S.) sample are presented in detail. Links to temperament and behavior problems are presented and discussed.
In Finland, the incidence of Type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus among children aged 14 years or under is the highest in the world. The increase in incidence is approximately 3% per year. A marked geographical variation in incidence was reported in Finland during the late 1980s. Our aim was to explore the most recent regional pattern in incidence of Type I diabetes in Finland.
Data on the nationwide incidence of childhood diabetes in Finland was obtained from the Prospective Childhood Diabetes Registry for the periods 1987-1991 and 1992-1996. Population data was obtained from the National Population Registry. The geographical pattern of incidence was studied applying a Bayesian hierarchical approach and Geographical Information Systems. The inferences from the data was based on the estimated geographical intensity of diabetes.
There was a clear evidence of geographic variation for the risk of childhood diabetes during the entire 10-year period. The high-risk areas were found in the wide belt crossing the central part of Finland. Comparison of the estimated intensity of diabetes between the two 5-year periods showed that the geographical pattern of diabetes risk has changed over time. Our analyses also confirmed the existence of a few persistent high-risk and low-risk areas in Finland.
The finding of high-risk areas of childhood Type I diabetes suggests that specific genetic or environmental risk factors have become greater in certain geographic locations in Finland.
A third of parents suspect food allergy in their children. Questionnaire-based studies usually overestimate the occurrence of food allergies. The aim of the present study was to validate a study questionnaire by comparing children's use of special diets as reported by parents with patient records at the hospital.
A population-based cohort with genetic susceptibility to type 1 diabetes (15% of those screened) was recruited in the Tampere area between 1997 and 2001, and followed for development of food allergy for 3 years. Food allergies and other special diets were queried at the age of 3 years with a structured questionnaire. The hospital records of the children, whose parents had reported an elimination diet of the child, were studied to validate the parental reports of food allergies. The hospital database was also checked for the respective diagnosis codes to estimate underreporting.
Altogether, 1122 parents returned the questionnaire at the study center visit when the child was 3 years old. Food allergy was reported by 15.0% of the parents. In 10.6% of the children food allergy had been diagnosed or confirmed at the hospital. Hospital-confirmed food allergy was unreported in 0.9% of the cases. The measure of agreement between reported and hospital-confirmed food allergies, using crosstabulation with Cohen's Kappa, was within 0.71-0.88 for cow's milk allergy, 0.74-0.82 for cereal allergy and 0.66-0.86 for any reported food allergy.
We found that the validity of the questionnaire obtaining information on food allergies of infants and young children was good to excellent based on a comparison between parental reports and information obtained from patient records.
OBJECTIVES: An adequate diet is of profound importance in infancy and early childhood. To ensure an optimal diet, knowledge about actual intake must be obtained. The aims of this study were to assess the validity of a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire (SFFQ) applied in a large nation-wide survey among 2-year-old children and to examine the validity of the SFFQ in relation to different background parameters. DESIGN: The SFFQ was administered to the parents close to the child's second birthday, and one to two weeks later they started to weigh and record the child's diet for 7 days. SUBJECTS: One-hundred and eighty-seven families with a 2-year-old child completed both methods. RESULTS: There were no differences between the intakes of protein, saturated fatty acids, total carbohydrates and calcium estimated from the two methods. The average intake of all micronutrients, except for calcium, was overestimated by the SFFQ. Bland-Altman plots showed a systematic increase in difference between the two methods with increasing intake for most nutrients. Spearman correlation coefficients between methods for nutrient intakes ranged from 0.26 to 0.50, the median correlation was 0.38. The correlations increased when estimates were adjusted for energy intake, the median correlation being 0.52. Differences in observed validity were found according to the number of siblings.CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that the SFFQ may be a valuable tool for measuring average intakes of energy, macronutrients and several food items among a 2-year-old population in Norway. The ability of the questionnaire to rank children according to intakes of nutrients and food items was rather low.