Agricultural activity on Prince Edward Island poses a potential hazard to groundwater, which is the sole source of drinking water on the island. This study investigates the potential impact of groundwater nitrate exposure on prematurity and intrauterine growth restriction on Prince Edward Island. A total of 210 intrauterine growth restriction cases, 336 premature births, and 4098 controls were abstracted from a database of all Island births. An ecological measure of groundwater nitrate level was used to gauge potential exposure to agriculturally contaminated drinking water. The higher nitrate exposure categories were positively associated with intrauterine growth restriction and prematurity, and significant dose-response trends were seen, even after adjustment for several important covariates. Nevertheless, these risks must be interpreted cautiously because of the ecological nature of this exposure metric. An investigation using nitrate levels for individual study subjects is needed to confirm this association.
Tularaemia has mainly been a sporadic disease in Norway. In 2011, 180 persons (3.7 per 100,000 population) were diagnosed with tularaemia. This article describes the epidemiological and clinical features of tularaemia cases during a year with exceptionally high tularaemia incidence. Data from the national reference laboratory for tularaemia combined with epidemiological data from the Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases (MSIS) were used. The incidence of tularaemia varied greatly between counties, but almost every county was involved. The majority (77.8 %) of the cases were diagnosed during the autumn and winter months. The geographic distribution also showed seasonal patterns. Overall, oropharyngeal tularaemia (41.1 %) was the most common clinical presentation, followed by glandular (14.4 %), typhoidal (14.4 %), respiratory (13.3 %) and ulceroglandular (12.8 %) tularaemia. From January to April, oropharyngeal tularaemia dominated, from May to September, ulceroglandular tularaemia was most common, whereas from October to December, there was an almost even distribution between several clinical forms of tularaemia. Eighty-five (47.2 %) of all tularaemia cases were admitted to, or seen as outpatients in, hospitals. An unexpectedly high number (3.9 %) of the patients had positive blood culture with Francisella tularensis. The clinical manifestations of tularaemia in Norway in 2011 were diverse, and changing throughout the year. Classification was sometimes difficult due to uncharacteristic symptoms and unknown mode of transmission. In rodent years, tularaemia is an important differential diagnosis to keep in mind at all times of the year for a variety of clinical symptoms.
The association of blood pressure (BP) with the beta-adducin C1797 T polymorphism was investigated in 388 men and 456 women aged 18-60 years recruited from three European populations (Cracow, Poland, n=300; Novosibirsk, Russian Federation, n=274; Mirano, Italy; n=270). Phenotypes included conventional measurements of BP obtained at the second contact with the subjects and 24-h ambulatory BP. Subjects were genotyped for the beta-adducin C1797 T polymorphism. Both a population-based association study and a family-based analysis were performed.
Urinary sodium excretion was higher in Cracow than in Mirano (241 versus 185 mmol/day, P
The cancer patterns among Inuit in the Circumpolar area have shown some marked differences from other populations in the world. The current paper summarizes important risk factors in Alaska including the physical environment, diet, alcohol, tobacco; the populations at risk; the health care delivery system; and cancer registration. This information is important for the interpretation of the incidence pattern for the Circumpolar Inuit collectively and for the understanding of differences between the various Inuit populations of the North.
The cancer pattern among Inuit in the Circumpolar area is remarkably different from those of other populations in the world. The current paper summarizes the most important risk factors in Canadian Inuit residing in the Northwest Territories, northern Quebec (Nunavik) and Labrador, particularly during the time period 1969-1988 covered by the study. Factors considered include: the geographic area and physical environment; population and human environment, including fertility and life expectancy; lifestyle and diet, including tobacco and alcohol use; other lifestyle factors, and health conditions; and health services and cultural accessibility. Development of the cancer registry and population databases supporting the analysis of cancer rates is described. The information in the present paper is needed to interpret cancer incidence patterns and differences among the Circumpolar Inuit of Canada, Alaska and Greenland.
The cancer pattern among Inuit in the Circumpolar area have shown marked differences to other populations in the world. The current paper summarises important risk factors in Greenland, including the physical environment, diet, alcohol, tobacco and other lifestyle factors. Details on population structure and history, health care and cancer registration are also included. This information is important for the interpretation of the incidence pattern for the Circumpolar Inuit collectively and for the understanding of differences between the various Inuit populations of the North.
Using the framework of the Native Cancer Registry, cancer morbidity among Russian Inuit can be obtained from 1960 onwards. Earlier data are available, but have not been verified. Unfortunately, the absence of accurate demographic data for the Native population of about 16 000 people, including the increase from 1 149 to 1 452 Inuit between 1970 and 1989 prevents comparison and analysis of morbidity and mortality data with the non-Inuit population. Nevertheless, the number of cancers has risen in the Native population of Chukotka during the last decade (1979-1988), with a predominance of oesophagus, lung and stomach cancer among the Inuit. In contrast, no cases were observed of the salivary gland, nasopharyngeal and cervical cancers common in other Inuit populations.
Access to varied, healthy and inexpensive foods is an important public health concern that has been widely documented. Consequently, there is an increasing interest in identifying food deserts, that is, socially deprived areas within cities that have poor access to food retailers. In this paper we propose a methodology based on three measures of accessibility to supermarkets calculated using geographic information systems (GIS), and on exploratory multivariate statistical analysis (hierarchical cluster analysis), which we use to identify food deserts in Montréal.
First, the use of three measures of accessibility to supermarkets is very helpful in identifying food deserts according to several dimensions: proximity (distance to the nearest supermarket), diversity (number of supermarkets within a distance of less than 1000 metres) and variety in terms of food and prices (average distance to the three closest different chain-name supermarkets). Next, the cluster analysis applied to the three measures of accessibility to supermarkets and to a social deprivation index demonstrates that there are very few problematic food deserts in Montréal. In fact, census tracts classified as socially deprived and with low accessibility to supermarkets are, on average, 816 metres away from the nearest supermarket and within 1.34 kilometres of three different chain-name supermarkets.
We conclude that food deserts do not represent a major problem in Montréal. Since geographic accessibility to healthy food is not a major issue in Montréal, prevention efforts should be directed toward the understanding of other mechanisms leading to an unhealthy diet, rather than attempting to promote an even spatial distribution of supermarkets.
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Hantaviruses pose a public health concern worldwide causing haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). Puumala virus (PUUV) is the most prevalent hantavirus in Central and Northern Europe, and causes a mild form of HFRS, also known as nephropathia epidemica (NE). In nature, the main host of PUUV is the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), and transmission to humans occurs through inhalation of aerosols from rodent excreta. Nephropathia epidemica is particularly prevalent in Nordic countries, however, few studies of PUUV have been performed in Norway. The aim of this study was to analyse the dynamics of PUUV in Norway and compare with bank vole population dynamics, and also to complement the current diagnostic methodology of NE in Norway. Our results showed a significant seasonal and geographical variation of NE, and a general parallel peak trend between bank vole population densities and human NE incidence. A real-time and a nested PCR were successfully established as an invaluable diagnostic tool, with detection and sequencing of PUUV in a human serum sample for the first time in Norway. Phylogenetic analysis showed clustering of the obtained human sample with previous Norwegian bank vole isolates.
BACKGROUND: Cleft lip and palates (CLP) occur with a frequency of between 1 and 2 cases in 1000 live births and thus belong to the most frequent congenital anomalies. In the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), records covering 1967-1989 for CLP newborns show a 9.4% increase of the prevalence of CLP from 1987 to 1989, possibly due to Chernobyl. DATA AND STATISTICAL METHOD: In Bavaria, all congenital malformations in children's hospitals have been recorded from 1984 to 1991. Among these data, 1324 cases with CLP were found. A spatial-temporal analysis aimed at uncovering a possible association of the CLP occurrence with the Chernobyl fallout on a district level, as well as a synoptic analysis of the GDR and Bavarian data, were carried out. RESULTS: In Bavaria, from October 1986 to December 1990, the CLP frequency increased by 9.5% (p=0.10) relative to the trend as computed from the remaining years. The association of CLP rates with fallout on a district level is reflected by a significant relative risk (RR) per kBq/m(2) of RR=1.008 (p=0.03). A synoptic analysis of the Bavarian data and the GDR data restricted to the overlapping time window from 1984 to 1989 discloses a simultaneous significant jump of the CLP prevalence by 8.6% (p=0.02) after 1986. CONCLUSION: The presumption of a long-term increase of CLP after exposure to Chernobyl fallout is corroborated by the analysis of the Bavarian congenital malformation data.