OBJECTIVES: We examined the extent to which adolescents in Norway have been exposed to tobacco marketing despite an existing ban, and whether exposure is related to their current smoking or expectations they will smoke in the future. METHODS: Questionnaires were administered to nationally representative systematic samples of Norwegian youths aged 13 to 15 years in 1990 (n = 4282) and 1995 (n = 4065). RESULTS: About half in each cohort reported exposure to marketing. Youths reporting exposure were significantly more likely to be current smokers and to expect to be smokers at 20 years of age, after control for important social influence predictors. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents' current smoking and future smoking expectations are linked to marketing exposure even in limited settings, suggesting the need for comprehensive controls to eliminate the function of marketing in promoting adolescent smoking.
BACKGROUND: Air ambulance services in the Arctic have to deal with remote locations, long distances, rough weather conditions and seasonable darkness. Despite these challenges, the people living in the area expect a high quality of specialist health care. AIMS: The objective of this study was to analyse the air ambulance operations performed in the Norwegian Arctic and study variations in diagnoses and flight patterns around the year. METHODS: A retrospective analysis. All air ambulance operations performed during the time 1999 - 2009 period were analysed. The subjects were patients transported and flights performed. The primary outcome measures were patients' diagnoses and task patterns around the year. RESULTS: A total of 345 patients were transported and 321 flights performed. Coronary heart and vascular disease, bone fractures and infections were the most common diagnoses. Most patients (85%) had NACA score 3 or 4. Half of all fractures occurred in April and August. Most patients were males (66%), and one fourth was not Norwegian. The median flying time (one way) was 3 h 33 m. Ten percent of the flights were delayed, and only 14% were performed between midnight and 8.00 AM. The period April to August was the busiest one (58% of operations). CONCLUSIONS: Norway has run a safe air ambulance service in the Arctic for the last 11 years. In the future more shipping and polar adventure operations may influence the need for air ambulances, especially during summer and autumn.
The Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) is a top predator in Arctic marine ecosystems, and the species bioaccumulates high levels of biomagnifying persistent organic pollutants (POP). In teleost fish, as well as in marine mammals and seabirds, legacy POP have been shown to interfere with the vitamin A and vitamin E homeostasis. Thus, there is the potential for negative health effects from these legacy compounds in Greenland sharks. In the present study we examined associations among plasma levels of legacy POP and plasma vitamin A (retinol [RET], retinyl palmitate [RPA]) and vitamin E (a-tocopherol [a-TOC]) in Greenland sharks from Svalbard, Norway. Plasma levels of POP were on average higher than the hepatic levels previously reported in Greenland sharks from Iceland and Davis Strait, Canada. Levels were also higher than the plasma levels reported in Arctic marine mammals. DDTs (mean 8,069 ng/g l.w., range: 900-59,707 ng/g l.w.), PCBs (mean 5,766 ng/g l.w., range 1344-16,106 ng/g l.w.) and chlordanes (mean 1,551 ng/g l.w., range: 323-5,756 ng/g l.w.) had the highest concentrations among the POP groups studied. There were significant inverse relationships between RET concentrations and the concentrations of the dioxin-like compounds PCB-118 and PCB-156/171, and the non-dioxin-like compounds PCB-99 and PCB-128. There were also significant inverse relationships between RPA and 18 of the 38 POP compounds measured. Furthermore, there were significant positive associations between a-TOC and 13 of the 27 PCB congeners. The study suggests that these vitamin systems can be affected by the relatively high POP concentrations exhibited by Greenland sharks at Svalbard. However, the present study is correlative and thus the potential interplay between POP and vitamin dynamics of Greenland sharks must be interpreted cautiously, pending further research on this issue among elasmobranchs.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this work was to identify dietary patterns in the past using cluster analysis of reported diet in childhood, and to assess predictors for dietary patterns in relation to ethnicity in the population in the Sámi core areas in Norway. The Sámis are an indigenous population living in the border areas of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.
DESIGN: Population-based, cross-sectional study, using self-administered questionnaires. A food-frequency questionnaire covering selected food items eaten in childhood was used. The questionnaire also provided data on ethnicity.
SUBJECTS AND SETTING: This study was based on data collected from 7614 subjects participating in The Population Based Study of Health and Living Conditions in Areas with a Mixed Sámi and Norwegian Population (the SAMINOR study) who grew up in the SAMINOR geographical areas, i.e. areas with mixed Sámi and Norwegian populations in Norway.
RESULTS: Four dietary clusters were identified: a reindeer meat cluster; a cluster with high intakes of fish, traditional fish products and mutton, in addition to food sources from the local environment; a Westernised food cluster with high intakes of meat balls and sausages; and a cluster with a high intake of fish, but not any other foods in the questionnaire. The cluster distribution differed by ethnicity, but the effect of ethnicity on diet differed by coastal and inland residence.
CONCLUSION: Our study has shown that data gathered through the limited questionnaire could be used to group the study sample into different dietary clusters, which we believe will be useful for further research on relationships between diet in childhood and health in the Sámi core areas in Norway.
Differences in bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) between fjords characterized by different water masses were investigated by comparing POP concentrations, patterns and bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) in seven species of zooplankton from Liefdefjorden (Arctic water mass) and Kongsfjorden (Atlantic water mass), Svalbard, Norway. No difference in concentrations and patterns of POPs was observed in seawater and POM; however higher concentrations and BAFs for certain POPs were found in species of zooplankton from Kongsfjorden. The same species were sampled in both fjords and the differences in concentrations of POPs and BAFs were most likely due to fjord specific characteristics, such as ice cover and timing of snow/glacier melt. These confounding factors make it difficult to conclude on water mass (Arctic vs. Atlantic) specific differences and further to extrapolate these results to possible climate change effects on accumulation of POPs in zooplankton. The present study suggests that zooplankton do biomagnify POPs, which is important for understanding contaminant uptake and flux in zooplankton, though consciousness regarding the method of evaluation is important.
BACKGROUND: International variation in compulsory admissions to psychiatric care has mainly been studied in terms of civil commitment rates. The objectives of this study were to compare and analyse the levels of perceived coercion at admission to psychiatric in-patient care among the Nordic countries and between centres within these countries, in relation to legal prerequisites and clinical practice.
METHOD: From one to four centres each in Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden, a total of 426 legally committed and 494 formally voluntarily admitted patients were interviewed within 5 days from admission.
RESULTS: The proportion of committed patients reporting high levels of perceived coercion varied among countries (from 49% in Norway to 100% in Iceland), and in Sweden, only, among centres (from 29 to 90%). No clear variations in this respect were found among voluntary patients. A wide concept of coercion in the Civil Commitment Act and no legal possibility of detention of voluntary patients were associated to low levels of perceived coercion at admission among committed patients.
CONCLUSION: For committed patients, differences in national legal prerequisites among countries were reflected in differences in perceived coercion. The results from Sweden also indicate that local care traditions may account for variation among centres within countries.
INTRODUCTION: The long-term risk of somatic disease in hepatoblastoma survivors has not been thoroughly evaluated in previous studies. In this population-based study of 86 five-year HB survivors, we used inpatient registers to evaluate the risk for a range of somatic diseases.
METHODS: In total, 86 five-year survivors of hepatoblastoma were identified in the Nordic cancer registries from 1964 to 2008 and 152,231 population comparisons were selected. Study subjects were followed in national hospital registries for somatic disease classified into 12 main diagnostic groups. Standardized hospitalization rate ratios (RRs) and absolute excess risks were calculated.
RESULTS: After a median follow-up of 11 years, 35 of the 86 five-year hepatoblastoma survivors had been hospitalized with a total of 69 hospitalizations, resulting in an RR of 2.7 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.2-3.5) and an overall absolute excess risk of 4.2 per 100 person-years. Highest risk was seen for benign neoplasms (RR=16) with 6 hospitalizations for benign neoplasms in the colon and one in rectum.
CONCLUSIONS: The pattern of hospitalizations found in this first comprehensive follow-up of hepatoblastoma survivors seems reassuring. Less than 50% of the 5-year survivors had been hospitalized and often for diseases that were not severe or life-threatening.