To determine the prevalence of knowledge about and participation in asphyxial games, sometimes called "the choking game", and how best to raise awareness of this risk-taking behaviour and provide preventive education.
Questionnaire; collaborative research model; lay advocacy group/university researchers.
8 middle and high schools in Texas (six) and Ontario (two). A recent death from playing the choking game had occurred in one Texas school, and two other fatalities had occurred within the state.
Students in grades 4-12, aged 9-18 years.
Of 2762 surveys distributed, 2504 (90.7%) were completed. The mean (SD) age of the responders was 13.7 (2.2) years. 68% of children had heard about the game, 45% knew somebody who played it, and 6.6% had tried it, 93.9% of those with someone else. Forty percent of children perceived no risk. Information that playing the game could result in death or brain damage was reported as most likely to influence behaviour. The most respected source of a preventive education message was parents for pre-adolescents (43%) or victim/victim's family (36%) for older adolescents.
Knowledge of and participation in self-asphyxial behaviour is not unusual among schoolchildren. The age of the child probably determines the best source (parents or victim/victim's family) of preventive education.
Chagas disease is endemic and is recognized as a major health problem in many Latin American countries. Despite the parallels between socio-economic and environmental conditions in Texas and much of Latin America, Chagas disease is not a notifiable human disease in Texas. Based on extensive review of related literature, this paper seeks to recognize the evidence that Chagas Disease is endemic to Texas but the epidemiological, parasitological and entomological patterns of Chagas disease in Texas are both different from and parallel to other endemic regions. We find that with a growing immigrant human reservoir, the epidemiological differences may be reduced and result in increasing incidence of the disease. Chagas disease should be recognized as an emerging disease among both immigrant and indigenous populations. Without proper actions, Chagas disease will place increasing burden on the health care system. Current medical treatments consist of chemotherapies that carry the risk of serious side effects; curing the potentially fatal disease remains equivocal. Therefore, as shown in South America, prevention is paramount and can be successfully achieved through intervention and education. We conclude that biogeographical research is needed to (1) distinguish the dynamic evolution of the agent-vector-host system, (2) document locations with greater risk and identify mechanisms responsible for observed changes in risk, and (3) assist in developing a model for Triatomid vector-borne disease in states like Texas where the disease is both endemic and may be carried by a sizeable immigrant population. Tracking of Chagas disease and planning for appropriate health care services would also be aided by including Chagas disease on the list of reportable diseases for humans.
The epidemiology and etiology of spontaneous pneumothorax (SP) are shifting away from the predominance of subpleural bleb disease as emphasized by most reports since that of Kjaergaard (Sweden, 1932). We conducted a retrospective review of all patients admitted to a large urban hospital with the diagnosis of SP over the past 8 years. Of 120 patients, 32 had the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (group 1, 26.6%), 43 patients had classic subpleural bleb disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with blebs (group 2, 35.8%), and 45 patients had nonbleb disease exclusive of AIDS (group 3, 37.5%). These three groups were studied with respect to primary success rates with differing modalities of therapy. Bilateral SP occurred in 34% of group 1 patients, 2% of group 2 patients, and 11% of group 3 patients. The in-hospital mortality was 34% in group 1 compared with 2% in group 2 and 4% in group 3. Thirty-four percent of group 1 patients had recurrent SP compared with 16% of group 2 patients and 8% of group 3 patients. This report describes the changing etiology and epidemiology of SP in a large urban hospital from 1983 to 1991 and represents the largest single-institution report of AIDS-related pneumothorax. Standardized therapy was shown to have predictably favorable results in patients with bleb disease and nonbleb disease exclusive of AIDS. SP in patients with AIDS was associated with a high mortality rate and primary treatment failure; small-bore catheters and nondrainage therapies have a very limited role in these patients.
Program for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities, Department of Health Promotion & Community Health Sciences, School of Rural Public Health, TAMU 1266, College Station, TX 77843, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Mexican-origin women in the U.S. living in colonias (new-destination Mexican-immigrant communities) along the Texas-Mexico border suffer from a high incidence of food insecurity and diet-related chronic disease. Understanding environmental factors that influence food-related behaviors among this population will be important to improving the well-being of colonia households. This article focuses on cultural repertoires that enable food choice and the everyday uses of technology in food-related practice by Mexican-immigrant women in colonia households under conditions of material hardship. Findings are presented within a conceptual framework informed by concepts drawn from sociological accounts of technology, food choice, culture, and material hardship.
Field notes were provided by teams of promotora-researchers (indigenous community health workers) and public-health professionals trained as participant observers. They conducted observations on three separate occasions (two half-days during the week and one weekend day) within eight family residences located in colonias near the towns of Alton and San Carlos, Texas. English observations were coded inductively and early observations stressed the importance of technology and material hardship in food-related behavior. These observations were further explored and coded using the qualitative data package Atlas.ti.
Technology included kitchen implements used in standard and adapted configurations and household infrastructure. Residents employed tools across a range of food-related activities identified as forms of food acquisition, storage, preparation, serving, feeding and eating, cleaning, and waste processing. Material hardships included the quality, quantity, acceptability, and uncertainty dimensions of food insecurity, and insufficient consumption of housing, clothing and medical care. Cultural repertoires for coping with material hardship included reliance on inexpensive staple foods and dishes, and conventional and innovative technological practices. These repertoires expressed the creative agency of women colonia residents. Food-related practices were constrained by climate, animal and insect pests, women's gender roles, limitations in neighborhood and household infrastructure, and economic and material resources.
This research points to the importance of socioeconomic and structural factors such as gender roles, economic poverty and material hardship as constraints on food choice and food-related behavior. In turn, it emphasizes the innovative practices employed by women residents of colonias to prepare meals under these constraints.
Dengue is an acute, mosquito-transmitted viral disease characterized by fever, headache, arthralgia, myalgia, rash, nausea, and vomiting. The worldwide incidence of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS) increased from the mid-1970s through 1992. Although dengue is not endemic to the 50 United States, it presents a risk to U.S. residents who visit dengue-endemic areas.
Dengue surveillance in the 50 United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands relies on provider-initiated reports to state health departments. State health departments then submit clinical information and serum samples to CDC for diagnostic confirmation of disease among U.S. residents who become ill during or after travel to dengue-endemic areas and among residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands. In Puerto Rico, an active, laboratory-based surveillance program receives serum specimens from ambulatory and hospitalized patients throughout the island, clinical reports on hospitalized cases, and copies of death certificates that list dengue as a cause of death. Laboratory diagnosis relies on virus isolation or serologic diagnosis of disease (i.e., IgM or IgG antibodies against dengue viruses).
In 1986, the first indigenous transmission of dengue in the United States in 6 years occurred in Texas; from the time of that incident through 1992, however, no further endemic transmission was reported. During 1986-1992, CDC processed serum samples from 788 residents of 47 states and the District of Columbia. Among these 788 residents, 157 (20%) cases of dengue were diagnosed serologically or virologically. Of the 157 patients, 71 (45%) had visited Latin America or the Caribbean; 63 (40%), Asia and the Pacific; seven (4%), Africa; and nine (6%), several continents. All four dengue virus serotypes (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4) were isolated from travelers to Asia and the Pacific; however, travelers to the Americas acquired infections with only DEN-1, DEN-2, or DEN-4. Even though the number of laboratory-diagnosed dengue infections among travelers was small, severe and fatal disease was documented. In the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, three serotypes (DEN-1, DEN-2, and DEN-4) circulated during 1986-1992. In Puerto Rico, disease transmission was characterized by a cyclical pattern, with peaks in incidence occurring during months with higher temperatures and humidity (usually from September through November). The highest incidence of laboratory-diagnosed disease (1.2 cases per 1,000 population) occurred among persons
In genome-wide association studies, inherited risk of glioma has been demonstrated for rare familial syndromes and with common variants from 3-5 chromosomal regions. To assess the degree of familial aggregation of glioma, the authors performed a pooled analysis of data from 2 large glioma case-control studies in the United States (MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas (1994-2006) and University of California, San Francisco (1991-2004)) and from the Swedish Cancer Registry (1958-2006) to measure excess cases of cancer among first-degree relatives of glioma probands. This analysis included 20,377 probands with glioma and 52,714 first-degree relatives. No overall increase was found in the expected number of cancers among family members; however, there were 77% more gliomas than expected. There were also significantly more sarcoma and melanoma cases than expected, which is supported by evidence in the literature, whereas there were significantly fewer-than-expected cases of leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and bladder, lung, pancreatic, prostate, and uterine cancers. This large pooled analysis provided sufficient numbers of related family members to examine the genetic mechanisms involved in the aggregation of glioma with other cancers in these families. However, misclassification due to unvalidated cancers among family members could account for the differences seen by study site.
A human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) intervention using indigenous outreach workers was implemented with Hispanic injection drug users (IDUs) and their sexual partners in three locations: Laredo, Texas; San Diego, California; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. A total of 2,169 subjects were contacted, given health education, HIV antibody testing, and follow-up counseling. This article reports on the 1,616 IDUs (75%) who completed the initial and follow-up interviews. The results indicated significant increases in health knowledge on AIDS, decreases in needle risk drug taking behaviors, some decreases in sex risk behaviors, and more realistic perceptions of personal AIDS risk. Using multivariate analyses, gender (male) and increasing age (older than age 25 years) were the strongest predictors of behavior change. Surprisingly, the identification of a positive HIV serostatus was not a significant predictor of behavior change. Although intended as a comparison study between contrasting levels of intervention, logistical and administrative problems undermined the use of a true quasi-experimental design. Nonetheless, the results from this research suggest that the use of indigenous outreach workers is an effective means of combatting the spread of HIV in this difficult to reach population. Some programmatic recommendations are provided for future efforts of this kind, particularly in relation to role conflicts experienced by outreach workers.
Firearm injuries significantly affect mortality rates in many states throughout the United States. We reviewed all deaths due to injuries in all state for 1985 to determine deaths from firearm injury in proportion to deaths from all injuries in each state. We then compared Texas data with those of other states. Death certificate data for Texas from 1976 through 1985 were used to describe Texas firearm mortality rates by age, gender, and race and to compare firearm injury with other causes of mortality in Texas. Texas ranked first among states in the proportion of injury deaths caused by firearms, with an annual firearm death rate of 21.2 per 10,000. Of the 30,906 firearm deaths recorded in Texas during the 10-year study period, 650 involved children. Black males had the highest firearm homicide rate (53.9 per 100,000 per year), and white males had the highest firearm suicide rate (15.7 per 100,000 per year). Firearms accounted for 11% of the total years of productive life lost. The economic cost of firearm deaths in Texas was estimated to be $40.7 billion per year. Strategies for preventing these deaths are discussed.
We evaluated the influence of measurement site on the ranking (low to high) of abdominal subcutaneous (SAT) and visceral (VAT) adipose tissue. We also determined the influence of measurement site on the prediction of abdominal SAT and VAT mass. The subjects included 100 men with computed tomography (CT) measurements at L4-L5 and L3-L4 levels and 100 men with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements at L4-L5 and 5 cm above L4-L5 (L4-L5 +5 cm). Corresponding mass values were determined by using multiple-image protocols. For SAT, 90 and 92 of the 100 subjects for CT and MRI, respectively, had a difference in rank position at the two levels. The change in rank position exceeded the error or measurement for approximately 75% of the subjects for both methods. For VAT, 91 and 95 of the 100 subjects for CT and MRI, respectively, had a difference in rank position at the two levels. The change in rank position exceeded the error of measurement for 36% of the subjects for CT and for 8% of the subjects for MRI. For both imaging modalities, the variance explained in SAT and VAT mass (kg) was comparable for L4-L5, L4-L5 +5 cm, and L3-L4 levels. In conclusion, the ranking of subjects for abdominal SAT and VAT quantity is influenced by measurement location. However, the ability to predict SAT and VAT mass by using single images obtained at the L4-L5, L4-L5 +5 cm, or L3-L4 levels is comparable.
This study evaluated the mortality experience of workers from the styrene-butadiene rubber industry. Concerns about a possible association of 1,3-butadiene and styrene with lymphohaematopoietic, gastrointestinal, and lung cancers prompted the investigation.
A retrospective follow up study was conducted of 15,649 men employed for at least one year at any of eight North American styrene-butadiene rubber plants. Analyses used standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) to compare styrene-butadiene rubber workers' cause specific mortalities (1943-91) with those of the United States and Ontario general populations.
On average, there were 25 years of follow up per subject. The standardised mortality ratio (SMR) was 87 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 85 to 90) for all causes of death combined and was 93 (95% CI 87 to 99) for all cancers. There was an excess of leukaemia (SMR 131, 95% CI 97 to 174), restricted to hourly workers (SMR 143, 95% CI 104 to 191). For causes of death other than leukaemia, SMRs were close to or below the null value of 100. Results by work area (process group) were unremarkable for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and stomach cancer. Maintenance workers had a slight increase in deaths from lung cancer, and certain subgroups of workers had more than expected deaths from cancer of the large intestine and the larynx.
This study found an excess of leukaemia that is likely to be due to exposure to butadiene or to butadiene plus other chemicals. Deaths from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and stomach cancer did not seem to be related to occupational exposure. The excess deaths from lung cancer among maintenance workers may be due in part to confounding by smoking, which was not controlled for, and in part to an unidentified occupational exposure other than butadiene or styrene. Increases in cancer of the large intestine and larynx were based on small numbers, did not seem to be due to exposure to butadiene or styrene, and may be chance observations.