A National Asthma Programme was undertaken in Finland from 1994 to 2004 to improve asthma care and prevent an increase in costs. The main goal was to lessen the burden of asthma to individuals and society.
The action programme focused on implementation of new knowledge, especially for primary care. The main premise underpinning the campaign was that asthma is an inflammatory disease and requires anti-inflammatory treatment from the outset. The key for implementation was an effective network of asthma-responsible professionals and development of a post hoc evaluation strategy. In 1997 Finnish pharmacies were included in the Pharmacy Programme and in 2002 a Childhood Asthma mini-Programme was launched.
The incidence of asthma is still increasing, but the burden of asthma has decreased considerably. The number of hospital days has fallen by 54% from 110 000 in 1993 to 51 000 in 2003, 69% in relation to the number of asthmatics (n = 135 363 and 207 757, respectively), with the trend still downwards. In 1993, 7212 patients of working age (9% of 80 133 asthmatics) received a disability pension from the Social Insurance Institution compared with 1741 in 2003 (1.5% of 116 067 asthmatics). The absolute decrease was 76%, and 83% in relation to the number of asthmatics. The increase in the cost of asthma (compensation for disability, drugs, hospital care, and outpatient doctor visits) ended: in 1993 the costs were 218 million euro which had fallen to 213.5 million euro in 2003. Costs per patient per year have decreased 36% (from 1611 euro to 1031 euro).
It is possible to reduce the morbidity of asthma and its impact on individuals as well as on society. Improvements would have taken place without the programme, but not of this magnitude.
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Cognitive and receptive language development were examined in 135 60-month-old and 137 72-month-old children for whom prenatal exposure to marijuana, cigarettes, and alcohol had been ascertained. Discriminant Function analysis revealed an association between prenatal cigarette exposure and lower cognitive and receptive language scores at 60 and 72 months. This paralleled and extended observations made with this sample at annual assessments at 12 to 48 months of age. Unlike observations made at 48 months, prenatal exposure to marijuana was not associated with the cognitive and verbal outcomes. Relatively low levels of maternal alcohol consumption did not have significant relationships with the outcome variables. The importance of assessing subtle components rather than global cognitive and language skills to detect potential behavioral teratogenic effects of the drugs being examined is discussed.
Comment In: J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1992 Dec;13(6):425-81469111
In the course of the "1998 Health and Social Survey", questions were included to verify the prevalence of chronic respiratory diseases and also of wheezing. The objectives of this study were 1) to verify the prevalence of wheezing and its validity as an indicator of chronic respiratory diseases in Québec; and 2) to examine the relationship between chronic respiratory diseases and some of their potential determinants. A total of 30,386 individuals participated in the study. For all ages, the prevalence of wheezing was 5.4%. It was associated with asthma, allergies, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. A low familial income and tobacco smoking were associated with wheezing, asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Passive smoking was associated with wheezing whereas the presence of carpets was associated with wheezing and asthma. Between 32 and 48% of families with an asthmatic or an allergic member modified their dwelling to alleviate respiratory problems. The prevalence of wheezing documented here was lower than in anglosaxon countries. This result could be explained by a cultural factor (the French translation or the perception of wheezing). This study emphasizes the role of reducing tobacco smoking in the prevention of chronic respiratory diseases.
The influence of acculturation to a sedentary lifestyle upon the growth and development of lung volumes has been studied in Inuit children aged 9-19 years. Surveys were conducted in the circumpolar community of Igloolik (69 degrees 40'N, 81 degrees W) in 1969/70, 1979/80 and 1989/90. Over this period, the children showed little change of height or body mass at any given age, but a progressive loss of what initially had been a high level of health-related fitness. The sample for each survey comprised about 70% of children in the chosen age range: in the most recent study 87 males and 65 females. Respiratory data included forced vital capacity, one-second forced expiratory volume, maximal mid-expiratory flow rate (second and third surveys only), smoking habits and respiratory health. In each of the 3 surveys, many of the older children in the community were regular smokers. The average cigarette consumption currently rises progressively to 13 +/- 8 cigarettes/day in 87% of males and 11 +/- 7 cigarettes/day in 95% of females over 17 years of age. Nevertheless, lung volumes show the anticipated increase as a logarithmic function of stature. Furthermore, statistically fitted curves show only minor inter-survey differences in volumes for a given standing height. We thus conclude that the deterioration in other aspects of health-related fitness has not yet influenced the growth and development of respiratory function within this Inuit population.
Tobacco use among American Indian youth is a disproportionately significant problem. We adapted and modified an existing web-based and youth-focused tobacco control program to make it appropriate for young urban American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). The results of the focus group indicate that AI/AN youth were very receptive to the use of a web-based Zine-style intervention tool. They wanted the look and feel of the website to be more oriented toward their cultural images. Future research should examine if successful programs for reducing non-ceremonial tobacco use among urban AI/AN youth can keep young irregular smokers from becoming adult smokers.
INTRODUCTION: Smoking during pregnancy has been reported to be associated with a twofold to fourfold increased risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the offspring. Genetic and socioeconomic confounders may contribute to this association. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between fetal exposure to maternal smoking during pregnancy and ADHD, taking such potential confounders into consideration. METHODS: A register study in a population of 982,856 children, 6-19 years of age, born at term, and residents in Sweden in 2006 was conducted. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) of maternal smoking habits during pregnancy on ADHD medication in the 927,007 study subjects where maternal smoking habits were available from the Medical Birth Register in the presence of socioeconomic and parental psychiatric morbidity confounders. To adjust the analysis also for genetic confounding, we used a within-mother between-pregnancy approach in offspring of 26,292 mothers with inconsistent smoking habits (smoking/non-smoking) between pregnancies. RESULTS: The OR for ADHD medication in offspring of mothers who smoked >or=10 cigarettes/day was 2.86 (2.66-3.07) in the entire study population after adjustment for sex and age, while this same exposure yielded an OR of only 1.26 (0.95-1.58) when two pregnancies of the same mother were analyzed in a within-subjects design. DISCUSSION: Smoking during pregnancy has a strong association with ADHD in the offspring in the general Swedish population, but this risk is primarily explained by genetic and socioeconomic confounding.
This article presents a description of injuries among 24312 Canadian adolescents, aged 12-24 years, based on the Canadian Community Health Survey, 2000-2001. A total of 3214 (25.6%) males and 2227 (16.5%) females reported having at least one serious injury in the past year. The leading causes of injury in adolescents were: falls; overexertion or strenuous movement; accidentally bumped, pushed or bitten; and accidentally struck or crushed by objects. The parts of the body most often affected were the ankles/feet, wrists/ hands and knees/lower legs. The most frequent locations of injuries were: sports or athletic areas; home; school, college or university areas; and the street, highway or pavement. Injuries were more often reported to have occurred during the summer months. Low socio-economic status was inversely associated with the occurrence of injury in the past year whereas risk-taking behaviour in the form of cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol was positively associated with injury occurrence.
This study was undertaken to assess how low-carbohydrate-density diets below the acceptable macronutrient distribution range relate to food and micronutrient intake and sociodemographic and health-related characteristics. The multistage stratified cluster design in the 1990 Ontario Health Survey was used. There were 5,194 subjects, 12 to 18 years of age, in sampled households. Dietary data were collected via a food frequency questionnaire. Low-carbohydrate-density diets were consumed by 27.6% of males and 24.1% of females. Low-carbohydrate-density diets were related (P