OBJECTIVES: To study the incidence of angiosarcoma of the liver in England and Wales 1979-86 and Scotland 1975-87. To investigate whether any non-occupational neighbourhood cases occurred near a vinyl chloride site. METHODS: This is a geographical study of incident cases among the general population of Great Britain. Diagnosis of angiosarcoma of the liver was based mainly on the national cancer registry, the world register of cases among vinyl chloride workers, and the register of cases (including histological review) maintained by the Health and Safety Executive. Proximity (< 10 km) of residence to a vinyl chloride site was based on postcode of address at the time of diagnosis. RESULTS: 55 cases were ascribed to angiosarcoma of the liver in England and Wales with a further six cases in Scotland (annual incidence in Great Britain from all sources of around 1.4 cases per 10 million population). There were two cases with documented exposure to Thorotrast, and 10 cases among vinyl chloride workers. There were no vinyl chloride sites in Scotland. Among the 25 cases in England and Wales with histological diagnosis after review by a panel of pathologists, only 15 were confirmed as angiosarcoma, and one of the two Scottish cases after histological review was also confirmed. Overall, 11 cases ascribed to angiosarcoma were resident within 10 km of a vinyl chloride site; nine were vinyl chloride workers, one further case on histological review was not considered to have been correctly diagnosed as angiosarcoma, and the remaining case, confirmed as angiosarcoma, was employed at a vinyl chloride factory during the late 1950s, although not as a vinyl chloride worker. CONCLUSION: The incidence of angiosarcoma of the liver in Great Britain remains extremely rare. The one confirmed case in a non-vinyl chloride worker within 10 km of a site must nevertheless be presumed to have been exposed to vinyl chloride in the workplace. In the period of study, there were no confirmed non-occupationally exposed cases of angiosarcoma among residents living near a vinyl chloride site in Great Britain.
OBJECTIVES—To estimate the number of workers in Great Britain with significant occupational exposure to whole body vibration (WBV) and to identify the common sources of exposure and the occupations and industries where such exposures arise.
METHODS—A postal questionnaire was posted to a random community sample of 22 194 men and women of working age. Among other things, the questionnaire asked about exposure to WBV in the past week, including occupational and common non-occupational sources. Responses were assessed by occupation and industry, and national prevalence estimates were derived from census information. Estimates were also made of the average estimated daily personal dose of vibration (eVDV).
RESULTS—From the 12 907 responses it was estimated that 7.2 million men and 1.8 million women in Great Britain are exposed to WBV at work in a 1 week period if the occupational use of cars, vans, buses, trains, and motor cycles is included within the definition of exposure. The eVDV of >374 000 men and 9000 women was estimated to exceed a proposed British Standard action level of 15 ms-1.75. Occupations in which the estimated exposures most often exceeded 15 ms-1.75 included forklift truck and mechanical truck drivers, farm owners and managers, farm workers, and drivers of road goods vehicles. These occupations also contributed the largest estimated numbers of workers in Great Britain with such levels of exposure. The highest estimated median occupational eVDVs were found in forklift truck drivers, drivers of road goods vehicles, bus and coach drivers, and technical and wholesale sales representatives, among whom a greater contribution to total dose was received from occupational exposures than from non-occupational ones; but in many other occupations the reverse applied. The most common sources of occupational exposure to WBV are cars, vans, forklift trucks, lorries, tractors, buses, and loaders.
CONCLUSIONS—Exposure to whole body vibration is common, but only a small proportion of exposures exceed the action level proposed in British standards, and in many occupations, non-occupational sources are more important than those at work. The commonest occupational sources of WBV and occupations with particularly high exposures have been identified, providing a basis for targeting future control activities.
Keywords: whole body vibration; population; prevalence; exposure
Paternal occupational exposures have been proposed as a risk factor for childhood leukaemia. This study investigates possible associations between paternal occupational exposure and childhood leukaemia in Great Britain.
The National Registry of Childhood Tumours provided all cases of childhood leukaemia born and diagnosed in Great Britain between 1962 and 2006. Controls were matched on sex, period of birth and birth registration subdistrict. Fathers' occupations were assigned to 1 or more of 33 exposure groups. Social class was derived from father's occupation at the time of the child's birth.
A total of 16 764 cases of childhood leukaemia were ascertained. One exposure group, paternal social contact, was associated with total childhood leukaemia (odds ratio 1.14, 1.05–1.23); this association remained significant when adjusted for social class. The subtypes lymphoid leukaemia (LL) and acute myeloid leukaemia showed increased risk with paternal exposure to social contact before adjustment for social class. Risk of other leukaemias was significantly increased by exposure to electromagnetic fields, persisting after adjustment for social class. For total leukaemia, the risks for exposure to lead and exhaust fumes were significantly <1. Occupationally derived social class was associated with risk of LL, with the risk being increased in the higher social classes.
Our results showed some support for a positive association between childhood leukaemia risk and paternal occupation involving social contact. Additionally, LL risk increased with higher paternal occupational social class.
childhood cancer; childhood leukaemia; epidemiology; paternal occupation; social class
In Denmark charges for home visits were abolished in April 1973. This paper analyses how this change affected the number of consultations undertaken by the deputising service in one Danish town and how the increase in consultations was distributed in time and place in a sample of individual families. It also describes how, in comparison with the deputising services sponsored by the British Medical Association in Great Britain, the more widely-used Danish deputising services operate.
The relationship between food intake and cancer of the large bowel was assessed by calculating the average intakes of foods, nutrients and dietary fibre in the different regions of Great Britain and relating these to the regional pattern of death from colon and rectal cancers between 1969 and 1973. No significant associations were found with the consumption of fat, animal protein or beer, nor with current estimates of total dietary fibre intake. Average intakes of the pentose fraction of total dietary fibres, and of vegetables other than potatoes, were negatively correlated with the truncated age- and sex-standardized death rates from colon cancer (r = -0.960 and -0.940). Specific components of dietary fibre may therefore inhibit colon carcinogenesis.
Neuroblastoma is the most common malignancy of infancy but little is known about the aetiological factors associated with the development of this tumour. A number of epidemiological studies have previously examined the risk associated with paternal occupational exposures but most have involved small numbers of cases. Here we present results from a large, population-based, case–control study of subjects diagnosed over a period of more than 30 years and recorded in the national registry of childhood tumours in Great Britain.
A case–control study of paternal occupational data for 2920 cases of neuroblastoma, born and diagnosed in Great Britain between 1962 and 1999 and recorded in the National Registry of Childhood Tumours, and 2920 controls from the general population matched on sex, date of birth and birth registration district. Paternal occupations at birth, of the case or control child, were grouped by inferred exposure using an occupational exposure classification scheme. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), for each of the 32 paternal occupational exposure groups.
Only paternal occupational exposure to leather was statistically significantly associated with neuroblastoma, OR=5.00 (95% CI 1.07–46.93). However, this association became non-significant on correction for multiple testing.
Our findings do not support the hypothesis that paternal occupational exposure is an important aetiological factor for neuroblastoma.
neuroblastoma; case–control study; paternal occupation
OBJECTIVES—To estimate the number of workers in Great Britain with significant occupational exposure to hand transmitted vibration (HTV). Also, to identify the occupations and industries where such exposures arise, and the main sources of exposure.
METHODS—A questionnaire was posted to 22 194 men and women aged 16-64, comprising 21 201 subjects selected at random from the age-sex registers of 34 general practices in England, Scotland, and Wales, and a further 993 subjects selected at random from the central pay registers of the three armed services. Among other things, the questionnaire asked about exposure to sources of HTV in current and earlier employment. Responses were assessed by occupation and industry, and prevalence estimates for the country as a whole were derived from census information on occupational and industrial populations nationally. Estimates were also made in exposed workers of the average daily dose of vibration (A(8) root mean squared (rms) for the past week, based on their reported sources and durations of exposure.
RESULTS—Usable questionnaires were returned by 12 907 subjects (overall response rate 58%). From these it was estimated that some 4.2 million men and 667 000 women in Great Britain are exposed to HTV at work in a 1 week period, and that personal daily exposures to vibration exceed a suggested action level equivalent to 2.8 ms-2 for 8 hours (A(8) >2.8 ms-2 rms) in at least 1.2 million men and 44 000 women. High estimated doses (A(8) >5 ms-2 rms) arose most often in bricklayers and masons, gardeners and groundsmen, carpenters and joiners, electricians and electrical maintenance fitters, and builders and building contractors. The industries where high A(8) values most often arose were construction, motor vehicle repair and maintenance, manufacture of basic metals, and agriculture. The most common sources of exposure were hammer drills, hand held portable grinders, and jigsaws.
CONCLUSIONS—Exposure to HTV is surprisingly prevalent, and preventive measures and health surveillance may be warranted for many men in Britain. Control strategies should focus on prevention at source, with priority accorded to the common sources of exposure and the occupations in which significant exposures tend to arise. Many vibratory tools that are common in Britain have been overlooked in previous surveys, highlighting an important focus for future research.
Keywords: hand transmitted vibration; population; prevalence; exposure
It has been previously shown that professional jockeys suffer high rates of fatal and non‐fatal injuries in the pursuit of their occupation. Little is known, however, about differences in injury rates between countries.
To determine the rate of fatal and non‐fatal injuries in flat and jump jockeys in France and to compare the injury rates with those in Great Britain and Ireland
Prospectively collected injury data on professional jockeys were used as the basis of the analysis.
Limb fractures occur four times more often in both flat and jump racing in France than in Great Britain. Similarly dislocations are diagnosed 20 times more often in flat and three times more often in jump racing. This difference is surprising given that French jockeys have fewer falls per ride than their British counterparts in flat racing, although they do have more falls than the British in jump racing. Similarly concussion rates seem to be higher in French jockeys, although there may be a difference in the diagnostic methods used in the different countries. By contrast, soft tissue injuries account for a far smaller percentage of injuries than in Great Britain.
There are striking differences in injury rates between countries which may be explained in part by a difference in track conditions—for example, harder tracks in France—or different styles of racing—for example, larger fields of horses per race in France.
horse racing; injuries; fractures; dislocations; concussion
Objective To examine individual social class inequalities in self rated general health within and between the constituent countries of Great Britain and the regions of England.
Design Cross sectional study using data from the 2001 national census.
Setting Great Britain.
Participants Adults aged between 25 and 64 in Great Britain and enumerated in the 2001 population census (n = 25.6 million).
Main outcome measures European age standardised rates of self rated general health, for men and women classified by the government social class scheme.
Results In each of the seven social classes, Wales and the North East and North West regions of England had high rates of poor health. There were large social class inequalities in self rated health, with rates of poor health generally increasing from class 1 (higher professional occupations) to class 7 (routine occupations). The size of the health divide varied between regions: the largest rate ratios for routine versus higher professional classes were for Scotland (2.9 for men; 2.8 for women) and London (2.9 for men; 2.4 for women). Women had higher rates of poor health compared to men in the same social class, except in class 6 (semi-routine occupations).
Conclusions A northwest-southeast divide in social class inequalities existed in Great Britain at the start of the 21st century, with each of the seven social classes having higher rates of poor health in Wales, the North East and North West regions of England than elsewhere. The widest health gap between social classes, however, was in Scotland and London, adding another dimension to the policy debate on resource allocation and targets to tackle the health divide.
Internationally trained health professionals are an important part of the domestic workforce, but little is known about pharmacists who come to work in Great Britain. Recent changes in the registration routes onto the Register of Pharmacists of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain may have affected entries from overseas: reciprocal arrangements for pharmacists from Australia and New Zealand ended in June 2006; 10 new states joined the European Union in 2004 and a further two in 2007, allowing straightforward registration.
The aims of the paper are to extend our knowledge about the extent to which Great Britain is relying on the contribution of internationally trained pharmacists and to explore their routes of entry and demographic characteristics and compare them to those of pharmacists trained in Great Britain.
The August 2007 Register of Pharmacists provided the main data for analysis. Register extracts between 2002 and 2005 were also explored, allowing longitudinal comparison, and work pattern data from the 2005 Pharmacist Workforce Census were included.
In 2007, internationally trained pharmacists represented 8.8% of the 43 262 registered pharmacists domiciled in Great Britain. The majority (40.6%) had joined the Register from Europe; 33.6% and 25.8% joined via adjudication and reciprocal arrangements. Until this entry route ended for pharmacists from Australia and New Zealand in 2006, annual numbers of reciprocal pharmacists increased. European pharmacists are younger (mean age 31.7) than reciprocal (40.0) or adjudication pharmacists (43.0), and the percentage of women among European-trained pharmacists is much higher (68%) when compared with British-trained pharmacists (56%). While only 7.1% of pharmacists registered in Great Britain have a London address, this proportion is much higher for European (13.9%), adjudication (19.5%) and reciprocal pharmacists (28.9%). The latter are more likely to work in hospitals than in community pharmacies, and all groups of internationally trained pharmacist are more likely to work full-time than British-trained ones. Adjudication pharmacists appear to stay on the Register longer than their reciprocal and European colleagues.
Analysis of the Register of Pharmacists provides novel insights into the origins, composition and destinations of internationally trained pharmacists. They represent a notable proportion of the Register, indicating that British employers are relying on their contribution for the delivery of pharmacy services. With the increasing mobility of health care professionals across geographical borders, it will be important to undertake primary research to gain a better understanding of the expectations, plans and experiences of pharmacists entering from outside Great Britain.
Analysis of occupational mortality in England and Wales during 1991-2000 showed no decline in work-attributable deaths from asbestosis.
To explore why there was no decline in mortality from asbestosis despite stricter controls on asbestos exposure over recent decades.
Using data from registers of all deaths in Great Britain with mention of mesothelioma or asbestosis on the death certificate, we plotted death rates by five-year age group within five-year birth cohorts for a) mesothelioma and b) asbestosis without mention of mesothelioma.
Analysis was based on a total of 33,751 deaths from mesothelioma and 5,396 deaths from asbestosis. For both diseases, mortality showed a clear cohort effect; and within birth cohorts, death rates increased progressively with age through to 85 years and older. However, highest mortality from mesothelioma was in men born during 1939-43, whereas mortality from asbestosis peaked in men born during 1924-38.
Our findings suggest that in Britain, mortality from asbestosis has been determined mainly by cumulative exposure to asbestos before 45 years of age, and that the effect of such exposure continues through to old age. That mortality from asbestosis peaked in earlier birth cohorts than mortality from mesothelioma may reflect a difference in exposure-response relationships for the two diseases. The discrepancy could be explained if risk of asbestosis increased more steeply than that of mesothelioma at higher levels of exposure to asbestos, and if the highest prevalence of heavy exposure occurred in earlier birth cohorts than the highest prevalence of less intense exposures.
Asbestos; asbestosis; mesothelioma; trends; cohort effect
OBJECTIVES—To assess the prevalence of Raynaud's phenomenon in the general population of Great Britain and to estimate the proportion and number of cases attributable to hand transmitted vibration (HTV).
METHODS—A questionnaire was posted to a random sample of 22 194 adults of working age. Information was collected on the lifetime prevalence of finger blanching, smoking habits, and occupational and leisure time exposures to HTV. Associations with risk factors were explored by logistic regression, with odds ratios converted into prevalence ratios (PRs).
RESULTS—Among the 12 907 respondents, 1835 (14.2%) reported finger blanching at some time, including 1529 (11.8%) in whom symptoms were induced by cold, and 597 (4.6%) in whom the blanched area was also clearly demarcated. Prevalences were higher in women than men. Around one fifth of cases (2% of respondents) had consulted a doctor about their symptoms. By comparison with men who had never been exposed to HTV, the PR for cold induced blanching in those exposed only at work was 2.0 (95% CI 1.7 to 2.3), and in men exposed both at work and in leisure it was 2.5 (95% CI 2.1 to 3.1). Higher risks were found in men who consulted a doctor about cold induced blanching, among whom 37.6% of cases were estimated to arise from exposure to HTV. The estimated number of cases attributable to HTV nationally was 222 000 in men who reported extensive blanching (blanching affecting at least eight of the digits or 15 phalanges). Similar patterns of risk were found in women, but the attributable proportion was much lower (5.3% in cases consulting a doctor).
CONCLUSIONS—Raynaud's phenomenon is common in the general population. Many cases are attributable to HTV, especially in men, emphasising the public health importance of this common occupational hazard.
Keywords: Reynaud's phenomenon; vibration induced white finger; population; attributable number; vibration
STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to investigate suicide and "undetermined" deaths by age, economic activity status, and social class in Great Britain among males of working age. DESIGN--The study was a cross sectional analysis of Registrar General's data for England and Wales around 1981, repeated for around 1971, and for Scotland around 1971 and 1981. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS--For England and Wales around 1971, suicide and undetermined death rates showed a progressive increase with age and a markedly higher rate in the lower social classes. A significant interaction effect was identified in the central age groups of the lower occupational categories. This interaction was confirmed in the remaining three data sets, notwithstanding some differences in the profile of age specific mortality. Other findings included a higher standardised mortality ratio for the economically inactive, who also showed an earlier peak in age specific mortality, and a relative concentration of undetermined as compared to suicide deaths in the lower social classes, but not all these further results were fully replicated. CONCLUSIONS--There is a concentration of suicide and undetermined deaths in the middle age groups of the lower social classes. Plausible explanations include both the social drift and the social genesis hypotheses, the latter including the effects of long term unemployment.
Deaths attributed to primary angiosarcoma of the liver (ASL) in Great Britain between 1963-73 were reviewed by submitting available histological material to a panel of histopathologists and by obtaining full occupational and residential histories for the cases agreed as ASL by the panel. On average four recorded cases of ASL occurred a year, but in only one-third of the cases submitted did the panel agree with the original diagnosis. Only one of the agreed cases could be confidently associated with exposure to vinyl chloride.
The pharmacy profession in Great Britain has identified public health as a key area for future development; at the same time the government has been keen to make full use of pharmacists in pursuing its public health goals. To date, pharmacy has focused on microlevel activities such as health promotion, medicines management and prescribing advice, rather than on wider public health issues such as health inequalities.
The role in health promotion has its origins in the traditional advisory role of the pharmacist, which largely died out following the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948, and was resurrected only following ministerial intervention in 1981. This article traces the origins of the pharmacist's role in public health, illustrating both shifting definitions of public health and changes in pharmacy practice. It describes how the profession was able to re‐establish its advisory role and to develop it into a wider contribution to public health, indicating that this process came about as a result of convergence between a professional imperative to develop its role, on the one hand, and state recognition of the need to draw a broader range of health professionals and lay people into public health activities, on the other.
Convergence required the securing of government support, confirmed in policy documents; the recognition by pharmacy's professional body that embracing public health is a desirable activity; incentives for community pharmacists to carry out such activities; and support from the wider public health community. This article describes how each of these was achieved.
public health; pharmacists; community; health promotion
Study objective: To measure and decompose income related inequalities in self assessed health in England, Scotland, and Wales, 1979–1995.
Design: The relation between individual health and a non-linear transformation of equivalised income, allowing for sex, age, country, and year effects, was estimated by multiple regression. The share of health attributable to transformed income and the Gini coefficient for transformed income were calculated. Inequality in health was measured by the partial concentration index, which is the product of the Gini coefficient and the share of health attributable to transformed income.
Participants and setting: Representative annual samples of the adult population living in private households in Great Britain 1979–1995. The total analysed sample was 299 968 people.
Main results: Pro-rich health inequality was largest in Wales and smallest in England over the period because the effect of increased income on health was greatest in Wales and least in England. In all three countries, pro-rich health inequality increased throughout the period. In the early 1980s this was primarily attributable to increases in income inequality. Thereafter the increased share of health attributable to income was the principal cause.
Conclusions: Reductions in pro-rich health inequality can be achieved by reducing income inequality, reducing the effect of income on health, or both.
The concepts of class, race, and ethnicity figure prominently in health services research in Britain. Occupational class has been employed for nearly a century to investigate social inequalities in health and access to care. More recently, researchers have identified differences in health status and utilization between ethnic groups. This article examines how these constructs are defined in Britain and identifies some key research associated with them. It also draws attention to the considerable problems in using class and ethnicity to stratify the population. The authors conclude that a new approach that directly measures individuals' material and social resources needs to be developed.
To examine the associations between indicators of socioeconomic position (SEP) and hysterectomy in two Australian and two British cohorts.
Women participating in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH), born 1921–1926 and 1946–1951, and two cohorts of British women, the British Women’s Heart and Health Study and the MRC National Survey of Health and Development, born at similar times (1920 to 1939 and 1946, respectively) and surveyed at similar ages to the ALSWH cohorts.
Relative indices of inequality were derived for own and head of household occupational class, educational level attained and age at leaving school. Logistic regression was used to test the associations between these indicators of SEP and self-reported hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy.
Inverse associations between indicators of SEP and hysterectomy were found in both the Australian and British cohorts of women born in 1946 or later. There was also evidence of an inverse association between education and hysterectomy in the older Australian cohort. However, the associations in this older cohort were weaker than those found in the mid-aged Australian cohort. In the older British cohort, born in the 1920s and 1930s, little evidence of association between SEP in adulthood and hysterectomy was found.
These results suggest that inverse associations between indicators of SEP and hysterectomy are stronger in younger than in older cohorts in both Australia and Great Britain. They provide further evidence of the dynamic nature of the association between indicators of SEP and hysterectomy.
An accurate estimate of the prevalence of scrapie infection in the Great Britain (GB) sheep flock is essential when assessing any potential risk to human health through exposure to sheep transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). One method for assessing the prevalence is to sample sheep intended for human consumption using a diagnostic test capable of detecting infected animals prior to the onset of clinical signs. An abattoir survey conducted in Great Britain in 1997-1998 tested brain samples from 2809 apparently healthy sheep of which none was found to be positive for scrapie by histopathology or immunohistochemistry (IHC) although 10 were positive for scrapie-associated fibrils (SAF). Subsequently, the tonsils from a subset of the animals sampled were examined using IHC, one of which tested positive. To interpret these results we use a likelihood-based approach, which accounts for the variation in the prevalence of infection with age and test sensitivity and specificity with stage of infection. Combining the results for all of the diagnostic tests yields an estimate of the prevalence of scrapie infection in the GB sheep flock of 0.22% (95% confidence interval: 0.01-0.97%). Moreover, our analysis suggests that all of the diagnostic tests used are very specific (greater than 99%). Indeed, only SAF detection yields a specificity estimate of less than 100%, which helps to account for the high number of samples found to be positive for SAF.
Objectives To examine changes in public perceptions of overweight in Great Britain over an eight year period.
Design Comparison of data on self perceived weight from population surveys in 1999 and 2007.
Setting Household surveys of two representative samples in Great Britain.
Participants 853 men and 944 women in 1999, and 847 men and 989 women in 2007.
Main outcome measures Participants were asked to report their weight and height and classify their body size on a scale from “very underweight” to “obese.”
Results Self reported weights increased dramatically over time, but the weight at which people perceived themselves to be overweight also rose significantly. In 1999, 81% of overweight participants correctly identified themselves as overweight compared with 75% in 2007, demonstrating a decrease in sensitivity in the self diagnosis of overweight.
Conclusions Despite media and health campaigns aiming to raise awareness of healthy weight, increasing numbers of overweight people fail to recognise that their weight is a cause for concern. This makes it less likely that they will see calls for weight control as personally relevant.
OBJECTIVE--To describe the characteristics of patients using non-orthodox health care and their pattern of use of conventional health care with respect to a particular problem. DESIGN--Postal survey of all 2152 practitioners of acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy, and osteopathy identified from 11 national professional association registers. Patients attending a representative sample of 101 responding practitioners completed questionnaires covering demographic characteristics, presenting problems, and use of the health service. SETTING--Practices of practitioners of non-orthodox health care in England, Scotland, and Wales. SUBJECTS--Qualified, non-medical practitioners of non-orthodox health care working in Great Britain and 2473 patients who had attended one of the sampled practitioners in an allocated time period between August 1987 and July 1988. RESULTS--An estimated 1909 practitioners were actively practising one of the study treatments in Great Britain in 1987. Of the estimated 70,600 patients seen by this group of practitioners in an average week, most (78%) were attending with a musculoskeletal problem. Two thirds of the patients were women. Only 2% were aged under 16, but 15% were aged 65 or over. One in three patients had not received previous conventional care for their main problem; 18% were receiving concurrent non-orthodox and conventional care. Twenty two per cent of the patients reported having seen their general practitioner for any reason in the two weeks before the surveyed consultation. CONCLUSIONS--Patients of non-orthodox health care, as provided by this group of practitioners, had not turned their backs on conventional health care. Non-orthodox treatment was sought for a limited range of problems and used most frequently as a supplement to orthodox medicine.
The "malpractice crisis" in the United States cannot be understood in isolation. Litigation is precipitated by features of the American health care and social security systems. Relative to the United Kingdom, there are fewer barriers of access to the courts, although the role of contingency fees has probably been exaggerated. Given the great institutional differences between the UK and the USA, the crisis seems unlikely to be replicated here unless there are further moves towards privatising both the costs of providing health care and the costs of its failures. It is concluded that a marginal change in the frequency or average cost of claims could have a serious impact on National Health Service resources, the medical defence societies, recruitment to specialties, and clinical practice. Debate over possible reforms is compromised by the dearth of good empirical data. Any changes, however, must address both the deterrence of bad practice and the compensation of injured patients.
OBJECTIVE: To identify health and socioeconomic factors in childhood that are precursors of unemployment in early adult life and to examine the hypothesis that young men who become unemployed are more likely to have accumulated risks to health during childhood. DESIGN: Longitudinal birth cohort study. The amount of unemployment experienced in early adult life up to age 32 years was the outcome measure used. Exposure measures to indicate vulnerability to future ill health were: height at age 7 years and the Bristol social adjustment guide (BSAG) at age 11 years, a measure of behavioural maladjustment. Socioeconomic measures were: social class at birth, crowding at age 7, qualifications attained before labour market entry, and region of residence. SETTING: Great Britain. SUBJECTS: Altogether 2256 men with complete data from the national child development study (NCDS). The NCDS has collected data on all men and women born in one week in 1958 and has followed them up using interviews, self completion questionnaires, and medical examinations at birth and at ages 7, 11, 16, 23 and 33 years. RESULTS: A total of 269 men (11.9%) experienced more than one year of unemployment between ages 22 and 32 years. Poor socioeconomic conditions in childhood and a lack of qualifications were associated with an increased risk of unemployment. Geographical region was also significant in determining the risk of unemployment. Men with short stature and poor social adjustment in childhood were more likely to experience unemployment in adult life, even after controlling for socioeconomic background, education, and parental height. These differences remained when those with chronic childhood illnesses were excluded from the analysis. The adjusted relative odds for experiencing more than one year of unemployment between ages 22 and 32 years for men who were in the top fifth of the BSAG distribution (most maladjusted) compared with those in the bottom fifth were 2.36 (95% CI 1.49, 3.73). The adjusted relative odds for experiencing more than one year of unemployment between ages 22 and 32 years for men who were in the bottom fifth of the distribution of height at age 7 years (indicating slowest growth) compared with those in the top fifth, were 2.41 (95% CI 1.43, 4.04). Adult height was not significantly associated with unemployment. CONCLUSION: The relationship between unemployment and poor health arises, in part, because men who become unemployed are more likely to have accumulated risks to health during childhood, reflected by slower growth and a greater tendency to behavioural maladjustment. Short stature in childhood is a significant indicator of poor socioeconomic circumstances in childhood and reflects earlier poor development.
This study investigated the relationship between flock health and Campylobacter infection of housed commercial broilers in Great Britain. Thirty ceca were collected at slaughter from batches of broilers from 789 flocks, at either full or partial depopulation, between December 2003 and March 2006 and examined individually for Campylobacter by direct plating onto selective media. Management and health data were collected from each flock and included information on mortality or culling during rearing, the number of birds rejected for infectious or noninfectious causes at slaughter, the proportion of birds with digital dermatitis (also termed hock burn), and other general characteristics of the flock. Campylobacter spp. were isolated from 280 (35%) flocks. The relationship between bird health and welfare and Campylobacter status of flocks was assessed using random-effects logistic regression models, adjusting for region, month, year, and rearing regime. Campylobacter-positive batches of ceca were associated with higher levels of rejection due to infection (odds ratio [OR], 1.5; 95% confidence interval [CI95%], 0.98 to 2.30) and digital dermatitis (OR, 2.08; CI95%, 1.20 to 3.61). Furthermore, higher levels of these conditions were also associated with the highest-level category of within-flock Campylobacter prevalence (70 to 100%). These results could indicate that improving health and welfare may also reduce Campylobacter in broilers.
The history of silicosis provides an important chapter in the history of occupational and environmental health. Recent historical scholarship has drawn attention to the importance of patient attitudes, popular protests, and compensation claims in the formation of a "lay epidemiology" of such a disease, frequently challenging the scientific orthodoxies devised by large corporations and medical specialists. Surprisingly little research has been undertaken on the United Kingdom, which provided much of the early expertise and medical research in respiratory diseases among industrial workers. This article examines the introduction of a particular technique, x-radiography, and its use by radiologists and others in debates on the causes and consequences of silica inhalation by the laboring population in Britain during the early decades of the twentieth century. In contrast to some recent interpretations, and also to the narrative of progress that practitioner historians have developed since the 1940s, this article suggests that the use of this technology was contested for much of this period and the interpretation of X-rays remained disputed and uncertain into the 1950s. The article also questions recent accounts of lay epidemiology as an adequate model for understanding the progress of such innovations in medical history.
silicosis; fibrosis; anthracosis; pneumoconiosis; X-rays; coal miners' lung; workers' compensation