Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden; Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS), Stockholm University, Karolinska Institutet, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address: email@example.com.
Social capital research has recognized the relevance of occupational network contacts for individuals' life chances and status attainment, and found distinct associations dependent on ethnic background. A still fairly unexplored area is the health implications of occupational networks. The current approach thus seeks to study the relationship between access to occupational social capital and depressive symptoms in early adulthood, and to examine whether the associations differ between persons with native Swedish parents and those with parents born in Iran and the former Yugoslavia. The two-wave panel comprised 19- and 23-year-old Swedish citizens whose parents were born in either Sweden, Iran or the former Yugoslavia. The composition of respondents' occupational networks contacts was measured with a so-called position generator. Depressive symptoms were assessed with a two-item depression screener. A population-averaged model was used to estimate the associations between depressive symptoms and access to occupational contact networks. Similar levels of depressive symptoms in respondents with parents born in Sweden and Yugoslavia were contrasted by a notably higher prevalence of these conditions in those with an Iranian background. After socioeconomic conditions were adjusted for, regression analysis showed that the propensity for depressive symptoms in women with an Iranian background increased with a higher number of manual class contacts, and decreased for men and women with Iranian parents with a higher number of prestigious occupational connections. The respective associations in persons with native Swedish parents and parents from the former Yugoslavia are partly reversed. Access to occupational contact networks, but also perceived ethnic identity, explained a large portion of the ethnic variation in depression. Mainly the group with an Iranian background seems to benefit from prestigious occupational contacts. Among those with an Iranian background, social status concerns and expected marginalization in manual class occupations may have contributed to their propensity for depressive symptoms.
Several nuclear hormone receptors have been associated with inflammatory reactions. Particularly, liver X receptors (LXRs) have recently been identified as key transcriptional regulators of genes involved in lipid homeostasis and inflammation. LXRs are negative regulators of macrophage inflammatory gene expression. Multiple sclerosis (MS), a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system of unknown cause, is characterized by recurrent inflammation involving macrophages and their inflammatory mediators. Sweden belongs to the countries with a high MS incidence. In Italy, the MS incidence is lower, except on the island of Sardinia where the incidence is even higher than in Sweden. Subjects from Sardinia are ethnically more homogeneous, and differ from Swedes also regarding genetic background and environment. We studied mRNA expression of several nuclear hormone receptors in blood mononuclear cells (MNC) from female patients with untreated relapsing-remitting MS from Sassari, Sardinia, and Stockholm, Sweden. Sex- and age-matched healthy controls (HC) were from both areas. mRNA expression was evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR. We found altered mRNA expression of LXRs, estrogen receptors (ERs), and androgen receptor (AR) in MS. mRNA expression of both LXRalpha and LXRbeta is lower in MS from Stockholm but not from Sassari. In particular, LXRalpha mRNA expression was significantly lower in MS from Stockholm as compared with all groups in the study including MS from Sassari. Low levels of ERalpha mRNA are seen in MS from both Stockholm and Sassari. The splice variant ERbetacx showed significantly higher mRNA expression in MS from Sassari and Stockholm as compared with corresponding HC. In particular, ERbetacx mRNA in MS from Sassari was remarkably higher as compared with all other groups in the study. Higher levels of AR mRNA are present in HC from Sassari. The findings indicate that the expression levels of anti-inflammatory nuclear receptor superfamily genes in MS appear to reflect both ethnic and environmental influences.
Recently, a germ line mutation of the APC gene, I1307K, was discovered in a subset of Ashkenazi jews. The mutation involves an amino acid exchange and creates a tract consisting of eight contiguous adenosine residues believed to cause hypermutability in this region. Another germ line missense variant, E1317Q, not restricted to a certain ethnic population, could functionally alter the protein. These APC variants have been linked with increased colorectal cancer risk in several studies. However, they have not yet been investigated in Swedish colorectal cancer patients. Thus, our aim was to investigate the prevalence of I1307K and E1317Q in Swedish colorectal cancer patients in order to determine if these genetic variants are important predisposing factors to colorectal cancer in this population. To this end, sequence analysis was carried out of the APC gene in order to identify any I1307K and E1317Q variants in 106 unselected cases and 88 hereditary/familial colorectal cancer cases including 22 cases of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) fulfilling the Amsterdam criteria. Out of a total of 194 cases examined, we did not find any variants. It seems that these alterations are rare or absent in the Swedish population.
Three boys diagnosed as suffering from autistic disorder were born in Sweden to mothers born in Uganda. Two were related but the third boy was unrelated to the others. The prevalence for autistic disorder in Göteborg children born to mothers who were born in Uganda was 15% which is almost 200 times higher than in the general population of children. The possible reason for the high autism rate in this particular ethnic subgroup is discussed.
Some studies hypothesize that birth month-as a proxy of exposure to ultraviolet radiation in early infancy-is associated with increased risk of skin tumors.
We studied a national cohort of all 5 874 607 individuals born in Sweden to parents of Swedish or Nordic origin as a proxy for Caucasian origin, 1950 to 2014. The cohort was followed for incident skin tumors, including squamous cell carcinomas and melanomas but not basal cell carcinomas, through 2015 from birth up to age 65 for the oldest cohort. Cox regression estimated the association between month of birth and risk of skin tumors in models adjusted for sex, calendar period, and education. Crude observed to expected ratios were also calculated.
There were 33 914 cases of skin tumors, of these, 3025 were squamous cell cancer, 16 968 malignant melanoma and 8493 melanoma in situ/other and 5 428 squamous cell in situ/other in 192 840 593 person-years of follow-up. Observed to expected ratios by month of birth showed no association between month of birth and risk of skin tumors, and the same result was seen when Cox regression analysis was used. Subgroup analyses by sex, educational level, calendar period, or age at follow-up similarly showed no association.
This large register-based cohort study showed no evidence of a higher risk of skin tumors in those born during the spring. Thus, this study lends no support to the hypothesis that birth during spring is a major risk factor for later skin tumors.
Previous research has documented an association between birth order and suicide, although no study has examined whether it depends on the cultural context. Our aim was to study the association between birth order and cause-specific mortality in Finland, and whether it varies by ethno-linguistic affiliation. We used data from the Finnish population register, representing a 5% random sample of all Finnish speakers and a 20% random sample of Swedish speakers, who lived in Finland in any year 1987-2011. For each person, there was a link to all children who were alive in 1987. In total, there were 254,059 siblings in 96,387 sibling groups, and 9797 deaths. We used Cox regressions stratified by each siblings group and estimated all-cause and cause-specific mortality risks during the period 1987-2011. In line with previous research from Sweden, deaths from suicide were significantly associated with birth order. As compared to first-born, second-born had a suicide risk of 1.27, third-born of 1.35, and fourth- or higher-born of 1.72, while other causes of death did not display an evident and consistent birth-order pattern. Results for the Finnish-speaking siblings groups were almost identical to those based on both ethno-linguistic groups. In the Swedish-speaking siblings groups, there was no increase in the suicide risk by birth order, but a statistically not significant tendency towards an association with other external causes of death and deaths from cardiovascular diseases. Our findings provided evidence for an association between birth order and suicide among Finnish speakers in Finland, while no such association was found for Swedish speakers, suggesting that the birth order effect might depend on the cultural context.
Women migrating to high-income countries may have increased risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes as compared with native-born women. However, little is known whether migrant women are more likely to have unhealthy body mass index (BMI) or gestational weight gain (GWG), which is of importance considering the well-established links between unhealthy BMI and GWG with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Hence, the aim of the study was to examine the prevalence and estimate odds ratios (ORs) of underweight and obesity in the first trimester as well as inadequate and excessive GWG across birth regions in migrant (first-generation) and Swedish-born women in a population-based sample of pregnant women in Sweden.
This population-based study included 535 609 pregnancies from the Swedish Pregnancy Register between the years 2010-2018. This register has a coverage of approximately 90% and includes data on body weight, height, birth country and educational attainment. BMI in the first trimester of pregnancy was classified as underweight, normal weight, overweight and obesity whereas GWG was classified as inadequate, adequate and excessive according to the recommendations from the National Academy of Medicine, USA. BMI and GWG were examined according to 7 birth regions and the 100 individual birth countries. Adjusted ORs of underweight, obesity as well as inadequate or excessive GWG by birth regions were estimated using multinomial logistic regression.
There were large disparities in unhealthy BMI and GWG across birth regions. For instance, women born in North Africa and Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa had 1.40 (95% CI 1.35-1.44) and 2.13 (95% CI 2.03-2.23) higher odds of obesity compared with women born in Sweden. However, women born in Sub-Saharan Africa had also considerably higher odds of underweight (OR, 2.93 [95% CI 2.70-3.18]) and inadequate GWG (OR, 1.97 [95% CI 1.87-2.07]). The limitations of the study include the lack of a validated measure of acculturation and that the study only had data on first-generation migration.
The large differences across the 7 regions and 100 countries highlights the importance of considering birth region and country-specific risks of unhealthy BMI and GWG in first-generation migrant women. Furthermore, inadequate GWG was common among pregnant first-generation migrant women, especially in women born in Sub-Saharan Africa, which demonstrates the need to promote adequate GWG, not only the avoidance of excessive GWG. Thus, our findings also indicate that additional support and interventions may be needed for first-generation migrant women from certain birth regions and countries in order to tackle the observed disparities in unhealthy BMI and GWG. Although further studies are needed, our results are useful for identifying groups of women at increased risk of unhealthy BMI and weight gain during pregnancy.