We assessed the familial occurrence of Hirschsprung's disease from 224 probands born in Denmark after 1959. Probands who were still alive received a mailed questionnaire, and medical reports for the probands and their relatives with suspected Hirschsprung's disease were examined. The diagnosis of Hirschsprung's disease required a histologically verified biopsy or surgical colonic specimens, and exclusion of a secondary causes for Hirschsprung's disease. Familial occurrence was seen in 11 families. Ten first-degree, two third-degree and one fifth-degree relatives had Hirschsprung's disease. Both short segment agangliosis (the sigmoid colon or below) and long segment agangliosis (above the sigmoid colon) occurred in five of the 11 families, implying that the etiology of Hirschsprung's disease with short and long segment agangliosis is the same. Compared with the general population, the first-degree relatives of the 224 probands had a minimum of a 93-fold increased risk of Hirschsprung's disease. This strongly suggests that genetic factors play a role in Hirschsprung's disease.
Trends in suicide mortality in Europe from 1950 to 2009 were studied.
Data on 4,777,113 suicides in addition to the data on population were extracted from the WHO Mortality Database.
In Europe, there was an increase in suicide mortality during the 1980s and the 1990s, followed by a decrease. The suicide mortality of Finnish men has decreased from the highest rate in the 1950s to the ninth place in the 2000s. In contrast, the suicide mortality of Finnish women is currently the second highest in Europe.
Continuous work and research are needed to enhance suicide prevention at the regional level.