A multicentre investigation was made into the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection amongst homosexual/bisexual (HS/BS) men attending genitourinary medicine clinics in the UK during the final quarters of 1986, 1987, and 1988. The results from individual clinics have been collated into regional groupings in order to assess geographical and temporal trends. A statistical analysis has also been performed on the data from 19 large teaching hospital clinics which contributed to both the 1986 and 1988 studies. There was a marked decline in the numbers of HS/BS men attending clinics and a statistically significant decrease in the prevalence of infectious syphilis and gonorrhoea. Although there was a concomitant fall in HIV testing rates, the prevalence of newly detected HIV antibody positive patients remained virtually constant. In 1988, 12.2% of 544 HS/BS men attending clinics in the Thames regions compared with 5.9% of 895 attending clinics elsewhere in the UK were found to be seropositive. No less than 30% of the 122 newly diagnosed individuals had been seronegative at a previous test during 1987/88. In addition to these new diagnoses, there were 953 attenders who had been previously diagnosed as being HIV seropositive. Total HIV seropositivity rates amongst HS/BS attenders ranged from 15-29% in different regions. These overall figures may underestimate the true size of the seropositive HS/BS clinic population because of the large number of untested individuals which constituted 33-51% of clinic attenders. The proportion of seropositives with clinical manifestations of chronic HIV infection was 54% nationally and was highest in the Thames regions and lowest in North England. Despite changes in the sexual behaviour of HS/BS men in the UK during the mid-eighties, a large proportion have been infected with HIV which has become the most widespread and prevalent sexually transmitted disease in patients attending genitourinary medicine clinics.
A study of 7735 middle-aged British men drawn from general practices in twenty-four towns shows that there has been a progressive increase in mean height in the men who were born between 1919 and 1939. This is true for both manual and non-manual classes, but the mean heights of the two groups are significantly different and remain widely separated over this period of time. Manual workers lag twenty years behind non-manual workers in their attained height. Data from other studies indicate that this social class difference in adult height is still present in those born up to 1960. The variation in mean height between the twenty-four towns is less marked than the variation in mean height between the social classes. After social class and age have been taken into account, a "town effect" on height is still present. If height is accepted as an indicator of socio-economic circumstances in childhood, then there is a difference in adult height between social class groups in Great Britain which does not appear to be diminishing.
The proportion of homosexually acquired cases of primary and secondary syphilis in patients attending venereal disease clinics in the United Kingdom has risen from 42.4% to 54% over a six-year period. Similarly, over the same period, the proportion of homosexually acquired cases of gonorrhoea has risen from 9.8% to 10.9%. The increase in incidence of homosexually acquired infections in both diseases occurred in all areas but particularly in London. Thus the very considerable epidemiological importance of male homosexuals as a high-risk group should receive more, not less, emphasis.
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the provision for sexual health care of adolescents in genitourinary medicine clinics in the United Kingdom. METHODS: A questionnaire was sent to all 170 consultants in charge of genitourinary medicine clinics in the United Kingdom. RESULTS: Completed questionnaires were received from 119 consultants in charge of clinics. Eleven per cent of attenders during April-June 1995 were aged under 20 years. Attenders aged under 16 years and from 16-19 years old were found to have significantly higher rated of gonorrhoea than those aged over 19. The same applied to male attenders with chlamydia. Female attenders aged 16-19 had significantly higher rates of anogenital warts than those aged over 19. Thirty six per cent of female cases of gonorrhoea occurred under the age of 20 years. In most clinics (74%) it was policy for a new clinic attender aged under 16 years to see a health adviser. Most clinics (79%) provided emergency contraception, but few (14%) had a full contraception service. Most clinics participated in STD/HIV/sexual health education in the local community, especially in schools (74%) and colleges (70%). Seventy five per cent of health authorities had medical services designated for young people, but only 18% had such services which offered screening for STDs. Only 4% of genitourinary medicine clinics held sessions which were designated for young people (upper age limit 21 years or less). CONCLUSIONS: Genitourinary medicine clinics in the United Kingdom provide a range of services, including extensive education in the community, to promote sexual health among adolescents. A critical evaluation of the quality of health education activity by genitourinary medicine clinics would be of interest.
This paper reports results from a detailed study of the careers of laboratory technicians in British medical research. Technicians and their contributions are very frequently missing from accounts of modern medicine, and this project is an attempt to correct that absence. The present paper focuses almost entirely on the Medical Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research in North London, from the first proposal of such a body in 1913 until the mid 1960s. The principal sources of information have been technical staff themselves, largely as recorded in an extensive series of oral history interviews. These have covered a wide range of issues and provide valuable perspectives about technicians' backgrounds and working lives.
medical laboratory technicians; medical laboratories; medical history
OBJECTIVE--To compare the prevalence of antibody to and proviral DNA of the retrovirus HTLV-I in relatives of 11 British patients with tropical spastic paraparesis who had migrated from Jamaica before they developed symptoms, and to examine factors possibly related to transmission of HTLV-I. DESIGN--Migrant, family study. Antibody state was determined by several methods and confirmed by western blotting; the polymerase chain reaction was used to detect proviral DNA. SETTING--Britain and Jamaica. SUBJECTS--All available first degree relatives: those born and still resident in Jamaica (group 1); those born in Jamaica who migrated to Britain (group 2); and index patients' children who were born and resident in Britain (group 3). All had been breast fed and none had had blood transfusions. RESULTS--Of the 66 living relatives, 60 were traced. Seroprevalence among those born in Jamaica (irrespective of current residence) was 22% (10/46; 95% confidence limits 9 to 34%) compared with zero among British born offspring (0/14) and was higher in group 2 at 33% (7/21; 12 to 55%) than in group 1 at 12% (3/25; 0 to 25%). (Patients in group 1 had the greatest mean age.) Proviral DNA was not detected in any subject negative for HTLV-I antibody, making prolonged viral incubation in those negative for the antibody unlikely. CONCLUSION--In this sample factors related to place of birth and early residence were more important in transmission of HTLV-I than maternal or age effects. In areas with a low to moderate prevalence policies of preventing mothers who are carriers of the virus from breast feeding would be premature.
The CRB-65 score is a clinical prediction rule that grades the severity of community-acquired pneumonia in terms of 30-day mortality.
The study sought to validate CRB-65 and assess its clinical value in community and hospital settings.
Design of study
Systematic review and meta-analysis of validation studies of CRB-65.
Medline (1966 to June 2009), Embase (1988 to November 2008), British Nursing Index (BNI) and PsychINFO were searched, using a diagnostic accuracy search filter combined with subject-specific terms. The derived (index) rule was used as a predictive model and applied to all validation studies. Comparison was made between the observed and predicted number of deaths stratified by risk group (low, intermediate, and high) and setting of care (community or hospital). Pooled results are presented as risk ratios (RRs) in terms of over-prediction (RR>1) or under-prediction (RR<1) of 30-day mortality.
Fourteen validation studies totalling 397 875 patients are included. CRB-65 performs well in hospitalised patients, particularly in those classified as intermediate (RR 0.91, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.71 to 1.17) or high risk (RR 1.01, 95% CI = 0.87 to 1.16). In community settings, CRB-65 over-predicts the probability of 30-day mortality across all strata of predicted risk, low (RR 9.41, 95% CI = 1.75 to 50.66), intermediate (RR 4.84, 95% CI = 2.61 to 8.69), and high (RR 1.58, 95% CI = 0.59 to 4.19).
CRB-65 performs well in stratifying severity of pneumonia and resultant 30-day mortality in hospital settings. In community settings, CRB-65 appears to over-predict the probability of 30-day mortality across all strata of predicted risk. Caution is needed when applying CRB-65 to patients in general practice.
general practice; meta-analysis; pneumonia; prognosis; severity of illness index
School recess provides an important opportunity for children to engage in physical activity. Previous studies indicate that children and adults of South Asian origin are less active than other ethnic groups in the United Kingdom, but have not investigated whether activity differs within the shared school environment. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that British Pakistani girls aged 9–11 years are less active during recess than White British girls.
In Study One, the proportion of recess spent by 137 White British (N = 70) and British Pakistani (N = 67) girls in sedentary behavior, moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA) and vigorous activity (VPA) was determined using accelerometry. In Study Two, 86 White British (N = 48) and British Pakistani (N = 38) girls were observed on the playground using the System for Observing Children’s Activity and Relationships during Play (SOCARP). Accelerometry data were collected during observations to allow identification of activities contributing to objectively measured physical activity.
Accelerometry data indicated that British Pakistani girls spent 2.2% (95% CI: 0.2, 4.3) less of their total recess time in MVPA and 1.3% (95% CI: 0.2, 2.4) less in VPA than White British girls. Direct observation showed that British Pakistani girls spent 12.0% (95% CI: 2.9, 21.1) less playground time being very active, and 12.3% (95% CI: 1.7, 23.0) less time playing games. Time spent being very active according to direct observation data correlated significantly with accelerometer-assessed time spent in MVPA and VPA, and time spent playing games correlated significantly with accelerometer-assessed time spent in VPA, suggesting that differences in behavior observed in Study Two may have contributed to the differences in time spent in MVPA and VPA in Study One.
British Pakistani girls were less active than White British girls during school recess. Recess has been identified as a potentially important target for the delivery of physical activity interventions; such interventions should consider ways in which the activity levels of British Pakistani girls could be increased.
Physical activity; Recess; Playtime; South Asian; Pakistani; Ethnicity; Children; Girls; School; Accelerometry
Low adherence to medicines is an important issue as up to 40% of patients with chronic diseases do not take their medications as prescribed. This leads to suboptimal clinical benefit. In the context of rheumatoid arthritis, there is a dearth of data on adherence to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs among minority ethnic groups. This study aims to assess the relationship between adherence to medicines and biopsychosocial variables in patients with rheumatoid arthritis of South Asian and White British origin.
A mixed methods approach will be used, encompassing a cross-sectional survey of 176 patients collecting demographic and clinical data, including information on adherence behaviour collected using a series of questionnaires. This will be followed by indepth qualitative interviews.
Ethics and dissemination
This study has been approved by the South Birmingham (10/H1207/89) and Coventry and Warwickshire (12/WM/0041) Research Ethics Committees. The authors will disseminate the findings in peer-reviewed publications.
BACKGROUND: Mortality due to cryptogenic fibrosing alveolitis (CFA) is increasing, particularly in the elderly. Optimum management remains uncertain and previous studies of the disease have largely been from specialist centres. A national study was carried out of the presentation and initial management of CFA in the UK. METHODS: All respiratory physicians in England, Scotland and Wales were invited to enter patients with newly diagnosed CFA over a two year period. CFA was diagnosed on histological grounds or according to clinical criteria which included the absence of a defined connective tissue disorder or pneumoconiosis. Participating physicians (n = 150) completed a questionnaire at patient entry and at all subsequent follow up visits and death. RESULTS: A total of 588 patients (373 men, 63%) were studied of whom 441 (75%) were referrals from primary care. Their mean (SD) age was 67.4 (10.0) years and median duration of symptoms at presentation was 9.0 months. Clubbing was more common in men (203/373; 54%) than in women (86/ 215; 40%); 209 patients (36%) were graded as severely breathless at presentation. A history of dust exposure (organic or inorganic) was present in 274 patients (47%) of whom 87 had had some exposure to asbestos. Subjects exposed to dust were more likely to have smoked and had slightly higher mean lung volumes, but were otherwise indistinguishable from those not exposed in terms of clinical presentation, management, and outcome. Transbronchial biopsy specimens were taken in 164 patients (28%) and open lung biopsy specimens in 73 (12%), but 60% had no histological diagnostic procedure. Biopsy procedures were more likely to be performed in younger patients, those with better lung function, and those with a history of asbestos exposure. At presentation a decision not to initiate specific treatment was made in 284 cases (48%). The decision to initiate treatment was made predominantly on symptomatic grounds. Two years after the close of entry to the study 266 patients (45%) had died. CONCLUSIONS: CFA is predominantly a disease of elderly patients and has a poor prognosis. Physicians generally considered CFA to be a clinical diagnosis and did not initiate treatment in up to half of patients at presentation.
The effects of various smoking cessation strategies were studied in two multicentre trials with new patients attending hospital or a chest clinic because of a smoking related disease. In the first trial (study A, 1462 patients) the effect of the physician's usual advice to stop smoking was compared with the effect of the same advice reinforced by a signed agreement to stop smoking by a target date within the next week, two visits by a health visitor in the first six weeks, and a series of letters of encouragement from the physician. The second trial (study B, 1392 patients) compared (1) advice only, (2) advice supplemented by a signed agreement, (3) advice supplemented by a series of letters of encouragement, and (4) advice supplemented by a signed agreement and a series of letters of encouragement. Patients were reviewed at six months and those claiming to have stopped smoking were seen again at 12 months. Claims of abstinence were checked by carboxyhaemoglobin measurement. In study A 9% of the intervention group had succeeded in stopping smoking at six months compared with 7% of the "advice only" patients (p = 0.17). In study B success rates were 5.2%, 4.9%, 8.5%, and 8.8% respectively. The signed agreement did not influence outcome, whereas postal encouragement increased the effect of the physician's advice. In both studies patients reviewed clinically between the initial and the six month visit were more likely to stop smoking than those not reviewed. Success rates increased with age and men tended to do better than women. The studies suggest that physician's advice alone will persuade 5% of outpatients with a smoking related disease to stop smoking. Subsequent postal encouragement will increase the cessation rate by more than half as much again. Such small improvements in success rates are worth while, especially if they can be achieved cheaply and on a wide scale.
BACKGROUND: Type 2 diabetes is up to four times more common in British Asians, but they know little about its management and complications. AIM: To design and evaluate a structured pictorial teaching programme for Pakistani Moslem patients in Manchester with type 2 diabetes. METHOD: A randomized controlled trial of pictorial flashcard one-to-one education in 201 patients attending a hospital outpatient clinic or diabetic clinics in ten general practices in Manchester. Patients' knowledge, self-caring skills and attitudes to diabetes were measured on four topics before the structured teaching, and compared with results six months later. RESULTS: All parameters of knowledge were increased in the study group; for example, percentage scores for correctly identifying different food values increased from 57% to 71% (Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) adjusted difference +11.8%) and knowledge of one diabetic complication from 18% to 78%. Self-caring behaviour improved, with 92% of patients doing regular glucose tests at six months compared with 63% at the start. Attitudinal views were more resistant to change, with patients still finding it hard to choose suitable foods at social occasions. Haemoglobin A1c control improved by 0.34% over six months (ANOVA adjusted difference, 95% CI -0.8% to +0.1%). CONCLUSION: It is concluded that this health education programme can empower Asian diabetics to take control of their diets, learn to monitor and interpret glucose results, and understand the implications of poor glycaemic control for diabetic complications.
Gonorrhoea is an important cause of sexual ill-health and is concentrated in geographic areas and demographic groups. This study explores the distribution of gonorrhoea across London.
Epidemiological data on all gonorrhoea cases were collected from 13 major genitourinary clinics in London between 1st June and 30th November 2004. Samples were stored centrally and typed using NG-MAST. The postcode of each case’s main residence was used to calculate incidence of gonorrhoea by borough using data from the UK 2001 census and a population survey on residence of men who have sex with men (MSM).
In total 2891 cases were confirmed, 1822 of which had postcode data, resided in London and had their strain successfully typed. There was a very high incidence of gonorrhoea in MSM (1834 per 100,000 population) and heterosexuals of black ethnicity (392 per 100,000). The incidence amongst heterosexuals was highest in: City of London (390 per 100,000, 95% CI 213-566), Southwark (308 per 100,000, 95% CI 280-336), Hackney (284 per 100,000, 95% CI 254-313) and Lambeth (216 per 100,000, 95% CI 194-239) and was not associated with measures of social deprivation (correlation coefficient=0.0008, p=0.97) but was strongly associated with black ethnicity (correlation coefficient=0.48, p=0.01). Forty-five percent of cases had one of the 21 major strains; eight of these strains were significantly clustered geographically and persisted for a shorter duration than those that were not clustered. Patients travelled a mean of 7.7 km from their home to the clinic.
High gonorrhoea incidence in London is observed in MSM and heterosexuals of black ethnicity. Endemic strains in both MSM and heterosexuals are diagnosed at multiple clinics. Interventions, including partner notification, must therefore operate between clinics.
A high incidence of gonorrhoea in London occurs in men who have sex with men and in heterosexuals of black ethnicity
Analysis of incidence by district did not show any correlation between incidence and measures of social deprivation
On average, patients travel a substantial distance to access care and hence interventions need to be coordinated across multiple clinics
Gonorrhoea is an important cause of sexual ill health and is concentrated in geographical areas and demographic groups. This study explores the distribution of gonorrhoea across London.
Epidemiological data on all gonorrhoea cases were collected from 13 major genitourinary clinics in London between 1 June and 30 November 2004. Samples were stored centrally and typed using NG‐MAST. The postcode of each case's main residence was used to calculate incidence of gonorrhoea by borough using data from the UK 2001 census and a population survey on residence of men who have sex with men (MSM).
2891 cases were confirmed, 1822 of which had postcode data, resided in London, and had their strain successfully typed. There was a very high incidence of gonorrhoea in MSM (1834 per 100 000 population) and heterosexuals of black ethnicity (392 per 100 000). The incidence among heterosexuals was highest in City of London (390 per 100 000, 95% CI 213 to 566), Southwark (308 per 100 000, 95% CI 280 to 336), Hackney (284 per 100 000, 95% CI 254 to 313), and Lambeth (216 per 100 000, 95% CI 194 to 239) and was not associated with measures of social deprivation (correlation coefficient = 0.0008, p = 0.97) but was strongly associated with black ethnicity (correlation coefficient = 0.48, p = 0.01). 45% of cases had one of the 21 major strains; eight of these strains were significantly clustered geographically and persisted for a shorter duration than those that were not clustered. Patients travelled a mean of 7.7 km from their home to the clinic.
High gonorrhoea incidence in London is observed in MSM and heterosexuals of black ethnicity. Endemic strains in both MSM and heterosexuals are diagnosed at multiple clinics. Interventions, including partner notification, must therefore operate between clinics.
epidemiology; ethnicity; geography; gonorrhoea; London
Depressive disorders are common and disabling among perinatal women. The rates are high in ethnic minority groups. The causes are not known in British Pakistani women. The aim of this study was to estimate the rates, correlates and maintaining factors of perinatal depression in a Pakistani sample in UK. The design used was a cross-sectional two phase population based survey with a prospective cohort study.
All women in 3rd trimester attending antenatal clinic were screened with the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale (EPDS). Women scoring 12 or more on EPDS and a random sample of low scorers were interviewed using the Schedules for Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN) and the Life Events and Difficulties schedule (LEDS). Social support was assessed with the Multidimensional Scale for Perceived Social Support (MSPSS). They were reassessed 6 months after the delivery using the same measures.
The weighted prevalence of depression was 16.8%. Depressed mothers had more marked non health difficulties (housing, financial and marital). They had less social support and were socially isolated. Marked social isolation and marked non-health related difficulties were independent predictors of depression. Analyses of all the possible risk factors, comparing 26 persistent depressed with 27 depression resolved group showed significant differences in the MSPSS subscales between the two groups.
The study lacked inter-rater reliability testing between the individuals carrying out diagnostic interviews. The study sample did not accurately represent the general population and information about the origins of depression in this group of mothers was limited.
Depression in British Pakistani mothers is associated with social isolation, poor social support and severe and persistent social difficulties. The findings will have implications in planning suitable services for this group.
Social stress; Pregnancy; Postnatal; Ethnic minority; EPDS
Between 1949 and 1961, 200,509 women were examined by routine cervical cytology in the Province of British Columbia. Cone biopsy is done when cytology is suspicious or positive, because the authors believe that proper management can be planned only after step serial sections of an adequate biopsy specimen. If the cone biopsy shows in situ carcinoma or microscopic foci of invasion, total hysterectomy is carried out in most cases. If occult but fully confluent invasion is present, radiotherapy is used. Of 1177 cases of preclinical carcinoma found in this study, 1051 were purely in situ carcinoma; 73 showed, in addition, microscopic foci of invasion; and 53 showed confluent active invasion but had not produced a clinical lesion. Mean age studies of the different groups of preclinical carcinoma support the contention that all are sequential stages of a single disease process. The only instances of recurrent invasive disease or mortality have been in the occult invasive group.
Automatic blood pressure (BP) measuring devices are more and more often used in BP self-checks and in 24-hour BP monitoring. Nowadays, 24-hour BP monitoring is a necessary procedure in arterial hypertension treatment. The aim of this study was to validate the BPLab® ambulatory blood pressure monitor according to the European standard BS EN 1060-4:2004 and the British Hypertension Society (BHS) protocol, as well as to work out solutions regarding the suitability of using this device in clinical practice.
A group of 85 patients of both sexes and different ages, who voluntarily agreed to take part in the tests and were given detailed instructions on the measurement technique were recruited for this study. The results of the BP measurement obtained by a qualified operator using the BPLab® device were compared with the BP values measured using the Korotkov auscultatory method. Data were obtained simultaneously by two experts with experience of over 10 years and had completed a noninvasive BP measurement standardization training course. Discrepancies in the systolic and diastolic BP measurements (N = 510; 255 for each expert) were analyzed according to the criteria specified in the BHS-93 protocol.
The device passed the requirements of the European Standard BS EN 1060-4:2004 and was graded ‘A’ according to the criteria of the BHS protocol for both systolic BP and diastolic BP.
The BPLab® 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring device may be recommended for extensive clinical use.
24-hour blood pressure monitoring; device; validation; BPLab®
The European Working Group for Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) published a case-finding algorithm for sarcopenia, recommending muscle mass measurement in older adults with low grip strength (women <20 kg; men <30 kg) or slow walking speed (≤0.8 m/s). However, the implications of adopting this algorithm into clinical practice are unclear. Therefore, we aimed to explore the physical capability of men and women from a British population-based cohort study.
In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk study, 8,623 community-based adults (48-92 years old) underwent assessment of grip strength, walking speed, timed chair stands and standing balance. The proportion of older men and women (≥65 years) fulfilling EWGSOP criteria for muscle mass measurement was estimated. Additionally, cross-sectional associations of physical capability with age and sex were explored using linear and logistic regression.
Approximately 1 in 4 older participants (28.8%) fulfilled criteria for muscle mass measurement with a greater proportion of women than men falling below threshold criteria (33.6% versus 23.6%). Even after adjustment for anthropometry, women were 12.4 kg (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 12.0, 12.7) weaker, took 12.0% (95% CI 10.0, 14.0) longer to perform five chair stands and were 1.82 (95% CI 1.48, 2.23) times more likely to be unable to hold a tandem stand for 10 seconds than men, although usual walking speed was similar. Physical capability was inversely associated with age and per year, walking speed decreased by 0.01 m/s (95% CI 0.01, 0.01) and grip strength decreased by 0.49 kg (men; 95% CI 0.46, 0.51) and 0.25 kg (women; 95% CI 0.23, 0.27). Despite this, there was still variation within age-groups and not all older people had low physical capability.
Every effort to optimise functional health in later life should be made since poor function is not inevitable. However, if the EWGSOP sarcopenia case-finding algorithm is endorsed, large proportions of older people could qualify for muscle mass measurement which is not commonly available. Considering population ageing, further discussion is needed over the utility of muscle mass measurement in clinical practice.
Ag(e)ing; Sarcopenia; Hand strength; Physical capability; Sex factors
Respiratory disease is important in horses, particularly in young Thoroughbred racehorses, and inflammation that is detected in the trachea and bronchi (termed inflammatory airway disease [IAD]) is more significant in this population in terms of impact and frequency than other presentations of respiratory disease. IAD, which is characterized by neutrophilic inflammation, mild clinical signs, and accumulation of mucus in the trachea, may be multifactorial, possibly involving infections and environmental and immunological factors, and its etiology remains unclear. This 3-year longitudinal study of young Thoroughbred racehorses was undertaken to characterize the associations of IAD and nasal discharge with viral and bacterial infections. IAD was statistically associated with tracheal infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae (capsule type 3), Streptococcus zooepidemicus, Actinobacillus spp., and Mycoplasma equirhinis and equine herpesvirus 1 and 4 infections, after adjustment for variation between training yards, seasons, and age groups. The association with S. pneumoniae and S. zooepidemicus was independent of prior viral infection and, critically, was dependent on the numbers of organisms isolated. S. pneumoniae was significant only in horses that were 2 years old or younger. The prevalence and incidence of IAD, S. zooepidemicus, and S. pneumoniae decreased in parallel with age, consistent with increased disease resistance, perhaps by the acquisition of immunity. The study provided evidence for S. zooepidemicus and S. pneumoniae playing an important etiological role in the pathogenesis of IAD in young horses.
To identify and describe all cases of invasive group A streptococcal (GAS) infection occurring in British Columbia during a two-year period.
Active, laboratory-based surveillance with supplemental case description.
Forty community and regional hospitals and the provincial laboratory participated, encompassing all health regions.
Entire provincial population from April 1, 1996 to March 31, 1998.
Over the 24-month surveillance period, 182 eligible cases were identified, yielding a mean annual incidence rate of 2.3/100,000. Patients ranged in age from two to 91 years, with a mean of 39.1 years. Soft tissue infections accounted for 89 of 130 cases (68.5%) with a defined clinical syndrome, 20 of which were necrotizing fasciitis. Injection drug use was described in 55 patients, who, as a group, were younger, more likely to have soft tissue infections and less likely to die of infection than nondrug users. Other risk factors for infection included HIV infection (19 patients); skin damage (26 patients, damage independent of injection drug use); chronic illness (27 patients); and immunosuppresion (three patients). Death from GAS infection occurred in 15 of 131 (11.5%) cases with known outcome, yielding an annual case fatality rate of 1.9/million population. Among necrotizing faciitis cases, the mortality rate was 30%.
Invasive GAS infections are rare in British Columbia and tend to involve persons with chronic illness or prior skin trauma, especially injection drug abuse, which accounted for nearly half of the cases.
Invasive group A streptococcal infections; Necrotizing fasciitis
Multiple sclerosis is now more common among minority ethnic groups in the UK but little is known about their experiences, especially in advanced stages. We examine disease progression, symptoms and psychosocial concerns among Black Caribbean (BC) and White British (WB) people severely affected by MS.
Mixed methods study of 43 BC and 43 WB people with MS (PwMS) with an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) ≥6 involving data from in clinical records, face-to-face structured interviews and a nested-qualitative component. Progression Index (PI) and Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score (MSSS) were calculated. To control for selection bias, propensity scores were derived for each patient and adjusted for in the comparative statistical analysis; qualitative data were analysed using the framework approach.
Median EDSS for both groups was (6.5; range: 6.0–9.0). Progression Index (PI) and Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score (MSSS) based on neurological assessment of current EDSS scores identified BC PwMS were more likely to have aggressive disease (PI F = 4.04, p = 0.048, MSSS F = 10.30, p<0.001). Patients’ reports of the time required to reach levels of functional decline equivalent to different EDSS levels varied by group; EDSS 4: BC 2.7 years v/s WB 10.2 years (U = 258.50, p = 0.013), EDSS 6∶6.1 years BC v/s WB 12.7 years (U = 535.500, p = 0.011), EDSS 8: BC 8.7 years v/s WB 10.2 years. Both groups reported high symptom burden. BC PwMS were more cognitively impaired than WB PwMS (F = 9.65, p = 0.003). Thematic analysis of qualitative interviews provides correspondence with quantitative findings; more BC than WB PwMS referred to feelings of extreme frustration and unresolved loss/confusion associated with their rapidly advancing disease. The interviews also reveal the centrality, meanings and impact of common MS-related symptoms.
Delays in diagnosis should be avoided and more frequent reviews may be justified by healthcare services. Culturally acceptable interventions to better support people who perceive MS as an assault on identity should be developed to help them achieve normalisation and enhance self-identity.
Of the “top ten” sexually transmitted infections, Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae are ranked second and fifth, respectively, worldwide.
The aim of this study was to screen the pregnant women for C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae infections and to detect antimicrobial resistance pattern of N. gonorrhoeae.
Materials and Methods:
This study was a prospective, hospital-based analysis of a random sample of pregnant women visiting the antenatal clinic of a tertiary hospital in eastern Saudi Arabia. Endocervical and high vaginal swabs were collected both from pregnant women and female patients attending gynecology clinic with lower genital tract infection (control group). C. trachomatis antigen was detected using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). N. gonorrhoeae was detected by culture and identification of isolates, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed. Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 13.0 and Chi-square test were used for statistical analysis.
C. trachomatis antigen was detected in 10.5% (10/95) and 34.4% (35/102) of pregnant women and control group, respectively (P < 0.001). The isolation rate of N. gonorrhoeae among pregnant women was 0.0% compared to 7.8% (8/102) among the control group (P < 0.01). N. gonorrhoeae were resistant to penicillin (62.5%), tetracycline (50%), ampicillin (25%), amoxycillin–clavulinic acid (25%) and ciprofloxacin (37.5%), while they were susceptible to cefepime, ceftriaxone, ceftazidime, spectinomycin, and cefuroxime.
Screening of pregnant women for C. trachomatis infection should be included in the antenatal care in this area. The detection rate of both organisms among the control group highlights the importance of preventive strategies. Certain antibiotics previously used in treating gonorrhea are no longer effective.
Chlamydia trachomatis; Neisseria gonorrhoeae; sexually transmitted infections
As part of the Medical Research Council Leukaemia Trial UKALL VIII, 738 unselected children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) had the morphology of their marrow blast cells reviewed by a panel of three haematologists. Ninety four (13%) showed appearances classifiable as type L2 by the French American and British (FAB) cooperative group's criteria, five (0.7%) were typed L3, and the remaining 639 (86%) as L1. Disregarding the patients classified as L3, those with the L2 variant showed an inferior disease free survival to that of the remainder (p less than 0.01), and more of them failed to remit after receiving "standard" remission induction treatment (p less than 0.01). They included an excess of older children (p less than 0.01) with less profound marrow failure at diagnosis, and fewer of them expressed the common ALL antigen (p = 0.05). There was no association between L2 morphology and the diagnostic white cell count, sex, or the presence of a mediastinal mass. These findings confirm earlier reports that FAB L2 ALL is associated with a poor prognosis and that it occurs more commonly in older children. The high remission failure rate is a recent observation and indicates that alternative early treatment may be appropriate for such patients.
OBJECTIVES--To evaluate the frequency and nature of complications in patients undergoing diagnostic cardiac catheterisation and to assess the feasibility of a voluntary cooperative audit system. METHODS--27 centres enrolled patients over a two year period. Each centre voluntarily reported numbers of patients catheterised every month. Complications were reported as they occurred. Feedback was provided in the form of newsletters and reports. RESULTS--39,795 procedures were registered, of which 33,776 were diagnostic catheterisations in adults or adolescents, 1265 were paediatric catheter studies in patients under the age of 12 years, and 4754 were coronary angioplasties or balloon dilatation of valves. 83.3% of diagnostic catheter studies in adults were left heart studies with coronary arteriography. The overall complication rate for diagnostic studies was 0.80%, mortality rate 0.12%, emergency surgical intervention rate 0.08%. Complication rates varied between centres, but there was no correlation with case load. Different patterns of complication were associated with different technical approaches. CONCLUSIONS--Complication rates of diagnostic catheterisation are low but neither negligible nor irreducible. Voluntary audit of this kind has limitations, but it is useful and inexpensive.
There has been a recent increase in interest among evolutionary researchers in the hypothesis that humans evolved as cooperative breeders, using extended family support to help decrease offspring mortality and increase the number of children that can be successfully reared. In this study, data drawn from the 1970 longitudinal British cohort study were analysed to determine whether extended family support encourages fertility in contemporary Britain. The results showed that at age 30, reported frequency that participants saw their own parents (but not in-laws) and the closeness of the bond between the participant and their own parents were associated with an increased likelihood of having a child between ages 30 and 34. Financial help and reported grandparental childcare were not significantly positively associated with births from age 30 to 34. Men's income was positively associated with likelihood of birth, whereas women's income increased likelihood of birth only for working women with at least one child. While it was predicted that grandparental financial and childcare help would increase the likelihood of reproduction by lowering the cost to the parent of having a child, it appears that the mere physical presence of supportive parents rather than their financial or childcare help encouraged reproduction in the 1970 British birth cohort sample.
fertility; grandmother hypothesis; childcare; alloparenting; resources; reproduction