The secretion of the ABH antigens in saliva was tested in indigenous individuals of several populations: Icelanders in Reykjavik and Husavik (northeastern Iceland), Aland Islanders, Finno-Ugrians (Finns, Finnish Lapps, Komi) and Eskimos (Augpilagtok, northwestern Greenland). The frequencies of ABH non-secretors among the Icelanders (28-36%) were among the highest ever noted in Europeans. Among Alanders and Swedes on the Finnish mainland the frequency (around 20%) was comparable to Swedish values but considerably higher than among Finns (13-14%). The values among northeastern Finns and Komi (about 9%) were intermediate between values among Lapps (below 5%) and Scandinavians (15-26%), excluding Icelanders (28-41%). The average frequency of non-secretors among Lapps in Finland (2.2 +/- 0.5%) was the lowest observed among white populations. Like many other arctic populations of the Mongolian race, the Greenland Eskimos had a very low frequency of non-secretors. It is probable that the non-secretor allele ABH*se was absent from the ancient Lapps and Greenland Eskimos but introduced by invading populations. It is concluded that the ABH*se allele frequencies vary much more among northern European populations than hitherto appreciated. Recent studies indicate that the non-secretor status of the ABH blood group substances in mucous body fluids is associated with pathological conditions of the mucous membranes of the embryologically related digestive and respiratory systems, particularly with duodenal ulcer and gastric (pre)malignancies but probably also with pulmonary dysfunction. In view of these disadvantages of the ABH non-secretor status the high frequency of ABH*se in Icelanders is a paradoxical phenomenon. The frequency of ABH non-secretors among the founders (Vikings) of Iceland may have been considerably higher than among the present populations in northwestern Europe. The increase in northwestern direction of the ABH*se allele frequencies supports this hypothesis; the dilution effect has not been as strong in Iceland as on the European continent.
The effects of return migration on emotional well-being were studied in those school-aged children and adolescents who had returned to northern Finland from Sweden during 1984 and 1985. Each of the 320 returning children and adolescents was assigned a control from the same class at school, matched for age and sex, who had not emigrated. According to a parent questionnaire, the returning boys were irritable more often than the control boys, and they also scored higher on the self-report scale "Children's Depression Inventory." In the teachers' evaluations (Rutter B2 Scale), the returning boys had psychiatric disorders more often than their controls. For both returning boys and girls, overall scholastic achievement was poorer than in the controls, but performance in foreign languages (mainly English) was better. If the father was absent from the family, this was reflected in the scholastic achievement and emotional well-being of both the returnees and the control subjects. How well the children coped with their return to Finland was also affected by what the language of instruction had been in Sweden, whether there had been a language change upon returning to Finland and how much mental preparation there had been for moving.
A report is given of a visit to an Indian village community project which is supported by a small Swedish foundation. The project was started about 40 years ago by a female relative of Mahatma Gandhi. The community is a small village of about 2000 inhabitants and consists of an irrigated agricultural project, a school through 10th grade, a small hospital, a home for 140 poor or orphan girls and a nursery. The program employs 12 community health workers who have some healthcare training. Each worker cares for 200-250 households and usually knows his/her families well. Primary emphasis is on care of children which includes help with nutrition and a vaccination program. For every 4 community health workers there is an auxiliary nurse midwife who has 3 years special training following 10th grade. The midwives check up on pregnant women once a month through the 7th month, 2 visits in the 8th month and once/week in the 9th month. Undernourishment and anemia are the most common problems of pregnancy. Children are often born in the parents' home without any trained obstetric help. In spite of this, maternal mortality is very low. Even infection from childbirth is extremely rare. The visitor was particularly impressed by the respect and affection everyone in the village showed for children and for each other.
The routine daily consultation in the health post of 1 of 10 project villages for pregnant women and children under age 5 is interrupted by a call to an emergency delivery which ends up with the birth of a baby girl weighing 2100 g who is named after the author. Under the project funded by SIDA, Stockholm, a local village committee was elected to open a dispensary which became well-attended. Due to visits to another nearby village, the number of children checked increased to 263 instead of the previous number of 147 per month. The weight status of children was worsening despite vaccination and nutritional advice, because women worked in the fields without taking a meal break for their children. After advising that several meals a day were needed, the children gained weight in the following months. A lecture by the project doctor to representatives of surrounding villages about the safety of delivery in the dispensary or the hospital elicited a positive response to send pregnant women there for delivery. The number of institutional deliveries had already increased from 249 in 1986 to 433 in 1989. Working in a developing country required preliminary preparations, French and English language study, a 4-week cultural orientation course organized by the International Child Health Unit, and reading professional books on obstetrics and gynecology in such countries.
Lifetime experience of selling sex among adolescents was investigated together with sociodemographic correlates, parent-child relationship, and the existence of people to confide in. Changes over time regarding the selling of sex were investigated through a comparison of data from 2004 and 2009. This study was carried out using 3,498 adolescents from a representative sample of Swedish high school students with a mean age 18.3 years. Of these adolescents, 1.5% stated that they had given sexual services for reimbursement and both male and female buyers existed. The adolescents who had sold sex had a poorer parent-child relationship during childhood and had fewer people to confide in about problems and worries. Changes over time were found especially regarding the Internet as a contact source and also immigrant background.
About 7000 Swedish citizens were on Christmas holiday in the disaster area at the time of the South-east Asian tsunami in 2004, in many cases with children and adolescents in their families.
To investigate how adolescents experience a traumatic exposure to a natural disaster.
Twenty adolescents aged 16-19 years, who had experienced the 2004 tsunami and participated in a follow-up study 19 months post-disaster, were randomly selected and interviewed about their reactions, their life afterwards and their families. The study combines the face-to-face, semi-structured interviews with questionnaire data on mental health for 4910 Swedish adolescents and adults.
The themes that emerged inductively during the analysis of the interviews were psychological reactions during the catastrophe, the coping after, changes in self-image, worldview, role in the family, risk interpretation and altruism. The disaster had profound impact on family relations, social networks and plans for the future. Many felt strengthened by the experience and by their ability to cope in comparison with other family members, but also perceived isolation and lack of understanding. The general mental health status among the adolescents did not differ significantly from those of older age at the 19-month follow-up.
According to the adolescents', they experienced the tsunami-disaster differently than others around them. Their subjective interpretation of the event and its aftermath indicates resilience, especially among the young men. Future follow-up studies in larger samples of both symptoms and psychological functioning are warranted.