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1.  Exercise intervention and health checks for middle-aged men with elevated cardiovascular risk: A randomized controlled trial 
Objective. To study the effects of a health check by a nurse alone or combined with an exercise intervention in middle-aged men at increased cardiovascular risk. Design. A randomized controlled trial. Setting and intervention. Primary care in Kirkkonummi municipality with 36 000 inhabitants. A health check by a nurse alone or combined with an exercise intervention to controls with no intervention was compared. Subjects. A total of 168 men aged 35 to 45 years with at least two cardiovascular risk factors and physical activity (PA) frequency < 3 times a week. Main outcome measures. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) as defined by International Diabetes Federation/American Heart Association and self-reported PA frequency. Results. Overall, focusing on health increased physical activity frequency in middle-aged men. After one year, 19% had increased PA to ≥ 3 times a week (95% CI 12–26). All study groups increased PA to ≥ 3 times: 26% of men in the exercise intervention group, 15% of men in the health check group, and 16% of controls. The differences between the groups were not statistically significant. The intervention did not have any meaningful impact on MetS or other cardiovascular outcomes at one-year follow up. Conclusions. Physical activity increased in all study groups of middle-aged men in this health-promotion trial. The interventions had no effect on metabolic syndrome or other cardiovascular outcomes in the participants. The trial increased awareness and collaboration in physical activity promotion among municipal health care and exercise services.
PMCID: PMC4278388  PMID: 25434409
Cardiovascular risk; exercise intervention; Finland; general practice; health check; metabolic syndrome
2.  Serum ferritin levels and the development of metabolic syndrome and its components: a 6.5-year follow-up study 
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between changes in serum ferritin concentrations and the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components over a 6.5 year follow-up period in Finnish adults.
Adults born in Pieksämäki, Finland, in 1942, 1947, 1952, 1957, and 1962 (n = 1294) were invited to health checkups between 1997 and 1998 and 2003 and 2004. All of the required variables for both checkups were available from 691 (53%) subjects (289 men and 402 women). MetS was defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program criteria.
During the 6.5-year follow-up period, 122 (18%) subjects developed incident cases of MetS. Increases in serum ferritin levels were significantly higher in both women and men with incident MetS compared with women and men without MetS (p = 0.04, p = 0.03). Also, serum ferritin levels increased significantly less in women in whom the criteria for MetS resolved during the follow-up period (p = 0.01). Increases in serum ferritin levels were significantly lower in women in whom the glucose criterion for MetS resolved, and higher in women for whom the waist criterion developed (p = 0.01 and p <0.001, respectively). Serum ferritin levels decreased significantly more in men in whom the triglyceride criterion for MetS resolved during the follow-up period (p = 0.01). There was a clear and significant correlation between change in serum ferritin level and change in waist circumference both in men and women (p <0.001, p <0.01). In addition, correlations between change in serum ferritin level and change in plasma triglyceride as well as glucose levels were strongly positive in men (p <0.001). There was negative correlation between change in serum ferritin and plasma high density cholesterol level both in men and women.
Increases in serum ferritin over a 6,5 year period are associated with development of MetS in both men and women. Whereas, lower increases in serum ferritin over the same timeframe are associated with resolution of hypertriglyceridemia in men and hyperglycemia in women. Increases in waist circumference was positively correlated with increases in serum ferritin in both men and women.
PMCID: PMC4219011  PMID: 25371712
Metabolic syndrome; Ferritin; Obesity
3.  Incidence of fractures requiring inpatient care 
Acta Orthopaedica  2014;85(5):525-530.
The overall incidence of fractures has been addressed in several studies, but there are few data on different types of fractures that require inpatient care, even though they account for considerable healthcare costs. We determined the incidence of limb and spine fractures that required hospitalization in people aged ≥ 16 years.
Patients and methods
We collected data on the diagnosis (ICD10 code), procedure code (NOMESCO), and 9 additional characteristics of patients admitted to the trauma ward of Central Finland Hospital between 2002 and 2008. Incidence rates were calculated for all fractures using data on the population at risk.
Results and interpretation
During the study period, 3,277 women and 2,708 men sustained 3,750 and 3,030 fractures, respectively. The incidence of all fractures was 4.9 per 103 person years (95% CI: 4.8–5.0). The corresponding numbers for women and men were 5.3 (5.1–5.4) and 4.5 (4.3–4.6). Fractures of the hip, ankle, wrist, spine, and proximal humerus comprised two-thirds of all fractures requiring hospitalization. The proportion of ankle fractures (17%) and wrist fractures (9%) was equal to that of hip fractures (27%). Four-fifths of the hospitalized fracture patients were operated. In individuals aged < 60 years, fractures requiring hospitalization were twice as common in men as in women. In individuals ≥ 60 years of age, the opposite was true.
PMCID: PMC4164872  PMID: 24694275
4.  Reliability and validity of the Finnish version of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form, patient self-report section 
The American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form (ASES) is one of the most widely used shoulder outcome tools in clinical work and in scientific studies. However, it has not been validated in the Finnish language. The aims of this study were to cross-culturally adapt the ASES to the Finnish language and to study the psychometric properties of the self-report section of the ASES.
A total of 105 patients with shoulder symptoms answered the questionnaires of the ASES, a single disability question, the Simple Shoulder Test (SST), and the Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36). The reliability of the ASES questionnaire was studied using a test-retest procedure at 2-week intervals. Psychometric assessment was performed by testing the construct validity, internal consistency, the criterion validity, and the convergent validity of the ASES.
The reproducibility and internal consistency of the ASES were 0.83 (95% CI 0.70 to 0.90) and 0.88 (95% Cl 0.84 to 0.91). There were no significant differences between the diagnostic groups in the pain scores from the ASES, and the function score was significantly higher in the instability group compared to the other groups. The convergent validity of the ASES correlated with the SST, r = 0.73 (p < 0.001); the single disability question, r = -0.74 (p < 0.001); and the Physical Component Score of the SF-36, r = 0.57 (p < 0.001).
The Finnish version of the ASES proved to be a reliable and valid tool for assessing shoulder disabilities in patients with different shoulder diagnoses, including rotator cuff disease, instability, and osteoarthritis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-272) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4243510  PMID: 25112412
The American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Assessment Form (ASES); Shoulder pain; Reliability; Validity
5.  Primary care-based, targeted screening programme to promote sustained weight management 
Objective. To identify overweight and obese subjects at increased cardiovascular risk in the community, and provide them with lifestyle counselling that is possible to implement in real life. Design. Longitudinal cohort study. Setting. The communities of Harjavalta and Kokemäki in south-western Finland. Subjects. A tape for measurement of waist and a risk factor questionnaire was mailed to home-dwelling inhabitants aged 45–70 years (n = 6013). Of the 4421 respondents, 2752 with at least one cardiovascular risk factor were examined by a public health nurse. For the subjects with high cardiovascular risk (n = 1950), an appointment with a physician was scheduled. The main goal of lifestyle counselling for the 1608 high-risk subjects with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 was weight reduction of at least 5%. Among these, 906 had completed self-administrated questionnaires at baseline and form the present study population. Main outcome measure. Success in weight management. Results. At the three-year follow-up visit, 18% of subjects had lost ≥ 5% of their initial weight and 70% had stabilized their weight, while 12% had gained weight ≥ 5%. Newly diagnosed glucose disorder (OR 1.37 [95% CI 1.02–1.84]) predicted success in weight management, whereas depressive symptoms (OR 0.61 [95% CI 0.42–0.90]), excess alcohol use (OR 0.63 [95% CI 0.44–0.90]), and number of drugs used (OR 0.91 [95% CI 0.83–0.99]) at baseline predicted poor outcome. Conclusions. A primary care screening programme to identify overweight or obese individuals can promote sustained weight management. Psychological factors, especially depressive symptoms, are a critical component to consider before attempts to change the lifestyle of an individual.
PMCID: PMC4137900  PMID: 24592894
Finland; general practice; lifestyle counselling; obesity; overweight; primary care; screening; weight management
6.  Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of circulating omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids with lipoprotein particle concentrations and sizes: population-based cohort study with 6-year follow-up 
Cross-sectional studies have suggested that serum omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are related to favorable lipoprotein particle concentrations. We explored the associations of serum n-3 and n-6 PUFAs with lipoprotein particle concentrations and sizes in a general population cohort at baseline and after 6 years.
The cohort included 665 adults (274 men) with a 6-year follow-up. Nutritional counseling was given at baseline. Serum n-3 and n-6 PUFAs and lipoprotein particle concentrations and the mean particle sizes of VLDL, LDL, and HDL were quantified by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy for all baseline and follow-up samples at the same time. Concentrations of n-3 and n-6 PUFAs were expressed relative to total fatty acids. At baseline, n-3 PUFAs were not associated with lipoprotein particle concentrations. A weak negative association was observed for VLDL (P = 0.021) and positive for HDL (P = 0.011) particle size. n-6 PUFA was negatively associated with VLDL particle concentration and positively with LDL (P < 0.001) and HDL particle size (P < 0.001). The 6-year change in n-3 PUFA correlated positively with the change in particle size for HDL and LDL lipoproteins but negatively with VLDL particle size. An increase in 6-year levels of n-6 PUFAs was negatively correlated with the change in VLDL particle concentration and size, and positively with LDL particle size.
Change in circulating levels of both n-3 and n-6 PUFAs, relative to total fatty acids, during 6 years of follow-up are associated with changes in lipoprotein particle size and concentrations at the population level.
PMCID: PMC3922432  PMID: 24507090
Lipoprotein profile; Fatty acid; Cohort study
7.  Consumption of medical resources and outcome of shoulder disorders in primary health care consulters 
Shoulder disorders are common problems in primary health care. The course of disease of patients consulting for a new episode of a shoulder problem has been thought to be benign. In this prospective cohort study, we assessed the one-year consumption of medical resources and clinical outcome of shoulder disorders inclusive of all disease episodes.
All individuals consulting primary health care for shoulder disorder in a catchment area of more than 120 000 people were included. A composite questionnaire including the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form (ASES) was used to measure use of resources as well as shoulder pain and function. A follow-up assessment was performed after one year.
A total of 128 individuals responded to the questionnaire. Only 24% of the patients had recovered after one year. Mean shoulder pain (Visual analogue scale, VAS, max 100 mm) decreased from 38.9 mm to 28.6 mm (95% CI -16.3 to -4.2 mm). The ASES score (max 100) improved significantly from 59.9 to 70.2 (95% CI 5.3 to 15.3). Mean one-year consumption of medical resources after the index consultation was 1.5 consultations, 0.5 radiological examinations, and 3.3 visits to physiotherapist. Mean resource-weighted direct costs were €543/patient/year (95% CI €351 to 735).
Shoulder disorders are often chronic and require a significant amount of resources from the health care system. The clinical outcome of the management of shoulder disorders in our study population including also individuals who have consulted previously for a shoulder problem is notably poorer than the one reported by previous studies on new episodes. However, despite the relatively modest outcome, subjective disability is low.
PMCID: PMC4028952  PMID: 24330430
Shoulder; Rheumatology; Primary health care; General practice; Prospective cohort study; Outcome; ASES; VAS
8.  Disability and health-related quality of life in patients undergoing spinal fusion: a comparison with a general population sample 
The aim of the present study was to compare one-year-follow-up data on disability and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) between spinal fusion patients and age- and sex-matched general population.
The data on fusion patients were collected prospectively using a spinal fusion data base in two Finnish hospitals. A general population sample matched for age, sex and residential area was drawn from the Finnish Population Register. All participants completed a questionnaire and the main outcome measures were the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and the Short Form-36 questionnaire (SF-36).
Altogether 252 (69% females) fusion patients and 682 (67% females) population sample subjects participated in the study. In general population the mean ODI was 15 (SD 17) in females and 9 (SD 13) in males. The corresponding preoperative ODI values were 47 (SD16) and 40 (SD 15) and one year follow-up values 22 (SD 17) and 23 (SD 20). In both sexes the ODI decreased significantly after surgery but remained higher than in the general population, p < 0.001. The physical component summary score (PCS) of the SF-36 was lower in the patients than general population sample both preoperatively and at one-year follow-up (p < 0.001). The mental component summary score (MCS) was lower preoperatively (p < 0.001), but reached the general population level after one year in both men (p = 0.42) and women (p = 0.61).
Disability and HRQoL improved significantly after spinal fusion surgery during a one- year follow-up. However, the patients did not reach the level of the general population in the ODI or in the physical component of HRQoL at that time, although in the mental component the difference disappeared.
PMCID: PMC3720565  PMID: 23866859
Spinal fusion; Oswestry disability index; Health-related quality of life; General population sample
9.  Quality of life following laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication: Assessing short-term and long-term outcomes 
AIM: To investigate the quality of life following laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication by assessing short-term and long-term outcomes.
METHODS: From 1992 to 2005, 249 patients underwent laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication. Short-term outcome data including symptom response, side effects of surgery, endoscopy, and patient’s perception of overall success were collected prospectively. Long-term outcomes were investigated retrospectively in patients with a median follow-up of 10 years by assessment of reflux symptoms, side effects of surgery, durability of antireflux surgery, need for additional treatment, patient’s perception of success, and quality of life. Antireflux surgery was considered a failure based on the following criteria: moderate to severe heartburn or regurgitation; moderate to severe dysphagia reported in combination with heartburn or regurgitation; regular proton pump inhibitor medication use; endoscopic evidence of erosive esophagitis Savary-Miller grade 1-4; pathological 24-h pH monitoring; or necessity to undergo an additional surgery. The main outcome measures were short- and long-term cure rates and quality of life, with patient satisfaction as a secondary outcome measure.
RESULTS: Conversion from laparoscopy to open surgery was necessary in 2.4% of patients. Mortality was zero and the 30-d morbidity was 7.6% (95%CI: 4.7%-11.7%). The median postoperative hospital stay was 2 d [interquartile range (IQR) 2-3 d]. Two hundred and forty-seven patients were interviewed for short-term analysis following endoscopy. Gastroesophageal reflux disease was cured in 98.4% (95%CI: 95.9%-99.6%) of patients three months after surgery. New-onset dysphagia was encountered postoperatively in 13 patients (6.7%); 95% reported that the outcome was better after antireflux surgery than with preoperative medical treatment. One hundred and thirty-nine patients with a median follow-up of 10.2 years (IQR 7.2-11.6 years) were available for a long-term evaluation. Cumulative long-term cure rates were 87.7% (81.0%-92.2%) at 5 years and 72.9% (64.0%-79.9%) at 10 years. Gastrointestinal symptom rating scores and RAND-36 quality of life scores of patients with treatment success were similar to those of the general population but significantly lower in those with failed antireflux surgery. Of the patients available for long-term follow-up, 83% rated their operation a success.
CONCLUSION: For the long-term, our results indicate decreasing effectiveness of laparoscopic antireflux surgery, although most of the patients seem to have an overall quality of life similar to that of the general population.
PMCID: PMC3699043  PMID: 23840119
Laparoscopy; Nissen fundoplication; Long-term outcome; Antireflux; Gastrointestinal symptom rating scores; RAND-36
10.  Association between vitamin b12 levels and melancholic depressive symptoms: a Finnish population-based study 
BMC Psychiatry  2013;13:145.
An association between vitamin B12 levels and depressive symptoms (DS) has been reported in several epidemiological studies. The purpose of this study was to evaluate vitamin B12 levels in population-based samples with melancholic or non-melancholic DS as the relationship between vitamin B12 levels and different subtypes of DS has not been evaluated in previous studies.
Subjects without previously known type 2 diabetes, aged 45–74 years were randomly selected from the National Population Register as a part of the Finnish diabetes prevention programme (FIN-D2D). The study population (N = 2806, participation rate 62%) consisted of 1328 men and 1478 women. The health examinations were carried out between October and December 2007 according to the WHO MONICA protocol. The assessment of DS was based on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI, cut-off ≥10 points). A DSM-IV- criteria based summary score of melancholic items in the BDI was used in dividing the participants with DS (N = 429) into melancholic (N = 138) and non-melancholic DS (N = 291) subgroups. In the statistical analysis we used chi-squared test, t-test, permutation test, analysis of covariance, multivariate logistic regression analysis and multinomial regression model.
The mean vitamin B12 level was 331±176 pmol/L in those without DS while the subjects with non-melancholic DS had a mean vitamin B12 level of 324 ± 135 pmol/L, and those with melancholic DS had the lowest mean vitamin B12 level of 292±112 pmol/L (p < 0.001 after adjusted for age, sex, use of antidepressive medication and chronic diseases sum index). The adjusted difference of vitamin B12 levels between the non-melancholic and the melancholic group was 33 pmol/L (95%CI 8 to 57, p = 0.008). Melancholic DS and vitamin B12 levels showed an independent linearly inverse association. The relative risk ratio (RRR) for melancholic DS was 2.75 (95%CI 1.66 to 4.56) in the lowest vitamin B12 level tertile versus the highest (p for linearity <0.001) when those without DS formed the reference group. The RRR in the non-melancholic subgroup was nonsignificant.
The vitamin B12 level was associated with melancholic DS but not with non-melancholic DS.
PMCID: PMC3674945  PMID: 23705786
Beck depression inventory; Melancholic depressive symptoms; Non-melancholic depressive symptoms; Population-based; Vitamin B12
11.  Effects of a progressive aquatic resistance exercise program on the biochemical composition and morphology of cartilage in women with mild knee osteoarthritis: protocol for a randomised controlled trial 
Symptoms associated with osteoarthritis of the knee result in decreased function, loss of working capacity and extensive social and medical costs. There is a need to investigate and develop effective interventions to minimise the impact of and even prevent the progression of osteoarthritis. Aquatic exercise has been shown to be effective at reducing the impact of osteoarthritis. The purpose of this article is to describe the rationale, design and intervention of a study investigating the effect of an aquatic resistance exercise intervention on cartilage in postmenopausal women with mild knee osteoarthritis.
A minimum of 80 volunteers who meet the inclusion criteria will be recruited from the local population through newspaper advertisements. Following initial assessment volunteers will be randomised into two groups. The intervention group will participate in a progressive aquatic resistance exercise program of 1-hour duration 3 times a week for four months. The control group will be asked to maintain normal care during this period. Primary outcome measure for this study is the biochemical composition of knee cartilage measured using quantitative magnetic resonance imaging; T2 relaxation time and delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging techniques. In addition, knee cartilage morphology as regional cartilage thickness will be studied. Secondary outcomes include measures of body composition and bone traits using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry and peripheral quantitative computed tomography, pain, function using questionnaires and physical performance tests and quality of life. Measurements will be performed at baseline, after the 4-month intervention period and at one year follow up.
This randomised controlled trial will investigate the effect a progressive aquatic resistance exercise program has on the biochemical composition of cartilage in post-menopausal women with mild knee osteoarthritis. This is the first study to investigate what impact aquatic exercise has on human articular cartilage. In addition it will investigate the effect aquatic exercise has on physical function, pain, bone and body composition and quality of life. The results of this study will help optimise the prescription of aquatic exercise to persons with mild knee osteoarthritis.
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC3599473  PMID: 23497162
Osteoarthritis; Quantitative MRI; T2 relaxation time; dGEMRIC; Bone; Aquatic exercise
12.  Neuropathic pain and use of PainDETECT in patients with fibromyalgia: a cohort study 
BMC Neurology  2013;13:21.
Fibromyalgia has a plethorae of symptoms, which can be confusing and even misleading. Accurate evaluation is necessary when patients with fibromyalgia are treated. Different types of instruments are available for the clinicians to supplement evaluation. Our objective was to study the applicability of the PainDETECT instrument to screen neuropathic pain in patients with fibromyalgia.
158 patients with primary fibromyalgia underwent a neurological examination including bedside sensory testing. They also fulfilled four questionnaires: PainDETECT, Beck depression inventory IA (BDI IA), Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) and a self-made questionnaire regarding present pain and pain relieving methods of the patients. The results of the clinical evaluation and questionnaires were then compared.
Clinically verified neuropathic pain was diagnosed in 53/158 [34% (95% Cl: 26 to 41)] patients. The ROC curve achieved a maximum Youden´s index at score of 17 when sensitivity was 0.79 (95% Cl: 0.66 to 0.89) and specificity 0.53 (95% Cl: 0.43 to 0.63). The PainDETECT total score (OR: 1.14 95% Cl: 1.06 to 1.22), FM as the worst current pain (OR: 0.31; 95% 0.16 to 0.62), body mass index (BMI) (OR: 1.05; 95% Cl: 1.00 to 1.11) and the intensity of current pain (OR: 1.20; 95% Cl: 1.01 to 1.41) were significantly associated with the presence of neuropathic pain in univariate analyses.
This study highlights the importance of thorough clinical examination. The Neuropathic pain screening tool PainDETECT is not as useful in patients with fibromyalgia as in patients with uncompromised central pain control.
PMCID: PMC3582578  PMID: 23409793
13.  Erythropoietin, ferritin, haptoglobin, hemoglobin and transferrin receptor in metabolic syndrome: a case control study 
Increased ferritin concentrations are associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS). The association between ferritin as well as hemoglobin level and individual MetS components is unclear. Erythropoietin levels in subjects with MetS have not been determined previously. The aim of this study was to compare serum erythropoietin, ferritin, haptoglobin, hemoglobin, and transferrin receptor (sTFR) levels between subjects with and without MetS and subjects with individual MetS components.
A population based cross-sectional study of 766 Caucasian, middle-aged subjects (341 men and 425 women) from five age groups born in Pieksämäki, Finland who were invited to a health check-up in 2004 with no exclusion criteria. Laboratory analyzes of blood samples collected in 2004 were done during year 2010. MetS was defined by National Cholesterol Education Program criteria.
159 (53%) men and 170 (40%) women of study population met MetS criteria. Hemoglobin and ferritin levels as well as erythropoietin and haptoglobin levels were higher in subjects with MetS (p < 0.001, p = 0.018). sTFR level did not differ significantly between subjects with or without MetS. Hemoglobin level was significantly higher in subjects with any of the MetS components (p < 0.001, p = 0.002). Ferritin level was significantly higher in subjects with abdominal obesity or high TG or elevated glucose or low high density cholesterol component (p < 0.001, p = 0.002, p = 0.02). Erythropoietin level was significantly higher in subjects with abdominal obesity component (p = 0.015) but did not differ significantly between subjects with or without other MetS components. Haptoglobin level was significantly higher in subjects with blood pressure or elevated glucose component o MetS (p = 0.028, p = 0.025).
Subjects with MetS have elevated hemoglobin, ferritin, erythropoietin and haptoglobin concentrations. Higher hemoglobin levels are related to all components of MetS. Higher ferritin levels associate with TG, abdominal obesity, elevated glucose or low high density cholesterol. Haptoglobin levels associate with blood pressure or elevated glucose. However, erythropoietin levels are related only with abdominal obesity. Higher serum erythropoietin concentrations may suggest underlying adipose tissue hypoxemia in MetS.
PMCID: PMC3471017  PMID: 23016887
Erythropoietin; Ferritin; Hemoglobin; Metabolic syndrome
14.  Relationships between depressive symptoms and self-reported unintentional injuries: the cross-sectional population–based FIN-D2D survey 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:516.
There is a lack of knowledge on the influence of different levels of physical activity (PA) on unintentional injuries among those with depressive symptoms (DS). The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between PA categories and unintentional injuries among participants with and without DS based on a cross-sectional population–based FIN-D2D survey conducted in 2007.
Out of 4500, 2682 participants (60%) aged 45–74 years attended in this study. The unintentional injuries over the past year were captured in a questionnaire. DS were determined with the Beck Depression Inventory (≥ 10 points) and PA with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. The statistical significance between DS and unintentional injury categories was evaluated by using t-test, chi-square test, or permutation test, analysis of covariance, or regression models. The factors related to unintentional injuries were estimated by univariate and multivariate logistic regression models.
The proportion of subjects with unintentional injuries was higher among those with DS (17%) compared to those without DS (10%) (age- and gender-adjusted p = 0.023). The median (range) number of activity-loss days after injury was 22 (0–365) in participants with DS and 7 (0–120) in participants without DS ( p = 0.009). The percentage of subjects with unintentional injuries was not significantly different between PA categories in participants with DS and without DS. A stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that DS, functional ability, and musculoskeletal diseases were related to unintentional injuries.
PA level was not related to unintentional injuries, whereas those with DS had a higher prevalence of unintentional injuries and prolonged activity-loss after injury. These results underline the importance of injury prevention, especially among those who have DS and additional risk factors.
PMCID: PMC3506522  PMID: 22781103
Beck depression inventory; Depressive symptoms; Injury; Physical activity
15.  Reducing inappropriate, anticholinergic and psychotropic drugs among older residents in assisted living facilities: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial 
Trials  2012;13:85.
Use of inappropriate drugs is common among institutionalized older people. Rigorous trials investigating the effect of the education of staff in institutionalized settings on the harm related to older people’s drug treatment are still scarce. The aim of this trial is to investigate whether training professionals in assisted living facilities reduces the use of inappropriate drugs among residents and has an effect on residents’ quality of life and use of health services.
Methods and design
During years 2011 and 2012, a sample of residents in assisted living facilities in Helsinki (approximately 212) will be recruited, having offered to participate in a trial aiming to reduce their harmful drugs. Their wards will be randomized into two arms: one, those in which staff will be trained in two half-day sessions, including case studies to identify inappropriate, anticholinergic and psychotropic drugs among their residents, and two, a control group with usual care procedures and delayed training. The intervention wards will have an appointed nurse who will be responsible for taking care of the medication of the residents on her ward, and taking any problems to the consulting doctor, who will be responsible for the overall care of the patient. The trial will last for twelve months, the assessment time points will be zero, six and twelve months.
The primary outcomes will be the proportion of persons using inappropriate, anticholinergic, or more than two psychotropic drugs, and the change in the mean number of inappropriate, anticholinergic and psychotropic drugs among residents. Secondary endpoints will be, for example, the change in the mean number of drugs, the proportion of residents having significant drug-drug interactions, residents' health-related quality of life (HRQOL) according to the 15D instrument, cognition according to verbal fluency and clock-drawing tests and the use and cost of health services, especially hospitalizations.
To our knowledge, this is the first large-scale randomized trial exploring whether relatively light intervention, that is, staff training, will have an effect on reducing harmful drugs and improving QOL among institutionalized older people.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC3541247  PMID: 22709731
Inappropriate drugs; Psychotropic drugs; Anticholinergic drugs; Drug-drug interactions; Polypharmacy; Assisted living; Serviced housing; Randomized controlled trial
16.  Assessment of cardiovascular risk in primary health care 
This study aimed at investigating whether cardiovascular risk factors and their impact on total risk estimation differ between men and women.
Cross-sectional cohort study.
Finnish cardiovascular risk subjects (n = 904) without established cardiovascular disease, renal disease, or known diabetes.
Main outcome measures
Ankle-brachial index (ABI), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), oral glucose tolerance test, and total cardiovascular risk using SCORE risk charts.
According to the SCORE risk charts, 27.0% (95% CI 23.1–31.2) of the women and 63.1% (95% CI 58.3–67.7) of the men (p < 0.001) were classified as high-risk subjects. Of the women classified as low-risk subjects according to SCORE, 25% had either subclinical peripheral arterial disease or renal insufficiency.
The SCORE system does not take into account cardiovascular risk factors typical in women, and thus underestimates their total cardiovascular risk. Measurement of ABI and eGFR in primary care might improve cardiovascular risk assessment. especially in women.
PMCID: PMC3377999  PMID: 22643155
Ankle-brachial index; cardiovascular risk estimation; gender difference; glucose disorders; renal function
17.  Chronic Gastritis in Dermatitis Herpetiformis: A Controlled Study 
Background and Objective. Previous small studies suggest that chronic atrophic gastritis is common in dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). We here examined the frequency and topography of chronic gastritis in 93 untreated DH subjects and in 186 controls with dyspepsia. Methods. Specimens were drawn from the gastric corpus and antrum and examined for atrophy, intestinal metaplasia, and Helicobacter pylori. Duodenal biopsies were taken. Results. Atrophic corpus gastritis was more frequent in DH than in controls (16.0% and 2.7%, resp., P < 0.001); atrophy in the antrum was rare in both groups (3.2% and 1.1%, P = 0.34). Intestinal metaplasia was present in 13 (14.0%) DH and 12 (6.5%) control patients (P = 0.038) and H. pylori in 17 (18.3%) and 17 (9.3%) (P = 0.028), respectively. Small-bowel villous atrophy was seen in 76% of the DH patients, equally in patients with and without chronic gastritis. One DH patient with atrophic gastritis developed gastric cancer. Conclusion. In DH, chronic atrophic gastritis was common in the corpus, but not in the antrum. H. pylori will partly explain this, but corpus atrophy is suggestive of an autoimmune etiology. Atrophic gastritis may increase the risk of gastric cancer. We advocate performing upper endoscopy with sufficient histologic samples in DH.
PMCID: PMC3351085  PMID: 22611420
18.  Association of Depressive Symptoms With Impaired Glucose Regulation, Screen-Detected, and Previously Known Type 2 Diabetes 
Diabetes Care  2010;34(1):71-76.
To study the association between impaired glucose regulation (IGR), screen-detected type 2 diabetes, and previously known diabetes and depressive symptoms.
Altogether, 2,712 participants from three hospital districts in Finland attended a health examination. Cutoff scores ≥10 and ≥16 in the 21-item Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-21) were used for depressive symptoms. The participants were defined as having known diabetes if they reported diabetes. An oral glucose tolerance test was used to detect normal glucose regulation (NGR), impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and screen-detected diabetes. The participants were defined as having IGR if they had IFG or IGT.
Prevalence of depressive symptoms, defined as a BDI-21 cutoff score ≥10, was 14.4% for those with NGR, 13.7% for those with IGR, 14.8% for those with screen-detected diabetes, and 26.4% for those with previously known diabetes. The corresponding prevalences for a cutoff score ≥16 were 3.4, 3.4, 4.2, and 7.5%, respectively. Compared with NGR and adjusted for demographic, lifestyle, and biological factors, the odds ratios for IGR, screen-detected diabetes, and previously known diabetes were 0.91 (95% CI 0.69–1.20), 0.70 (0.45–1.08), and 1.35 (0.84–2.15), respectively, for a cutoff score ≥10. For a cutoff score ≥16, the corresponding odds ratios were 1.05 (0.62–1.76), 0.87 (0.40–1.90), and 1.56 (0.69–3.50), respectively.
Participants with diagnosed diabetes had a higher prevalence of depressive symptoms than participants with NGR, IGR, and previously unknown diabetes. When potential confounding factors were included in the analysis, previously known diabetes was not significantly associated with depressive symptoms.
PMCID: PMC3005462  PMID: 20929992
19.  Long-term efficacy of adalimumab in the treatment of uveitis associated with juvenile idiopathic arthritis 
The purpose of this study was to investigate the long-term effects of adalimumab, a tumor necrosis factor alpha antagonist, in the treatment of uveitis associated with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Adalimumab was initiated in 94 patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis to treat active arthritis and/or active associated uveitis. In 18 patients, therapy was discontinued after a short period because of inefficacy or side effects. The activity of uveitis (using Standardized Uveitis Nomenclature [SUN] criteria and clinical examination) and arthritis (number of swollen or active joints) was evaluated at the start and at end of the study.
At the end of the study, uveitis was under good clinical control in two thirds of 54 patients (31% did not need any local treatment and 35% used only 1–2 corticosteroid drops a day), and one third had active uveitis (at least three corticosteroid drops a day). According to SUN criteria, adalimumab treatment for uveitis showed improved activity (a two-fold decrease in uveitis activity) in 28% of patients, with a moderate response in 16 patients, no change in a further 16 patients, and worsening activity (a two-fold increase in uveitis activity) in 13% of patients. The overall proportion of patients with active arthritis decreased. At the beginning of the study, 69% of patients with uveitis had more than two active joints, and at the end of the study only 27% had active joint disease. In 27 patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis without uveitis on adalimumab, the number of active joints decreased from 93% to 59%. Systemic corticosteroid treatment could be stopped in 22% of patients with uveitis and in 11% of those without uveitis. Most of the patients had received methotrexate, other immunosuppressive therapy, or other biological drugs before initiating adalimumab.
Adalimumab is a valuable option in the treatment of uveitis associated with active juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
PMCID: PMC3198418  PMID: 22034564
adalimumab; juvenile idiopathic arthritis; uveitis
20.  QUEST‐RA: quantitative clinical assessment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis seen in standard rheumatology care in 15 countries 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2007;66(11):1491-1496.
To conduct a cross‐sectional review of non‐selected consecutive outpatients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as part of standard clinical care in 15 countries for an overview of the characteristics of patients with RA.
The review included current disease activity using data from clinical assessment and a patient self‐report questionnaire, which was translated into each language. Data on demographic, disease and treatment‐related variables were collected and analysed using descriptive statistics. Variation in disease activity on DAS28 (disease activity score on 28‐joint count) within and between countries was graphically analysed. A median regression model was applied to analyse differences in disease activity between countries.
Between January 2005 and October 2006, the QUEST‐RA (Quantitative Patient Questionnaires in Standard Monitoring of Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis) project included 4363 patients from 48 sites in 15 countries; 78% were female, >90% Caucasian, mean age was 57 years and mean disease duration was 11.5 years. More than 80% of patients had been treated with methotrexate in all but three countries. Overall, patients had an active disease with a median DAS28 of 4.0, with a significant variation between countries (p<0.001). Among 42 sites with >50 patients included, low disease activity of DAS28 ⩽3.2 was found in the majority of patients in seven sites in five countries; in eight sites in five other countries, >50% of patients had high disease activity of DAS28 >5.1.
This international multicentre cross‐sectional database provides an overview of clinical status and treatments of patients with RA in standard clinical care in 2005–6 including countries that are infrequently involved in clinical research projects.
PMCID: PMC2111618  PMID: 17412740
21.  Exercise rehabilitation on home-dwelling patients with Alzheimer's disease - a randomized, controlled trial. Study protocol 
Trials  2010;11:92.
Besides cognitive decline, Alzheimer's disease (AD) leads to physical disability, need for help and permanent institutional care. The trials investigating effects of exercise rehabilitation on physical functioning of home-dwelling older dementia patients are still scarce. The aim of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of intensive exercise rehabilitation lasting for one year on mobility and physical functioning of home-dwelling patients with AD.
During years 2008-2010, patients with AD (n = 210) living with their spousal caregiver in community are recruited using central AD registers in Finland, and they are offered exercise rehabilitation lasting for one year. The patients are randomized into three arms: 1) tailored home-based exercise twice weekly 2) group-based exercise twice weekly in rehabilitation center 3) control group with usual care and information of exercise and nutrition. Main outcome measures will be Guralnik's mobility and balance tests and FIM-test to assess physical functioning. Secondary measures will be cognition, neuropsychiatric symptoms according to the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, caregivers' burden, depression and health-related quality of life (RAND-36). Data concerning admissions to institutional care and the use and costs of health and social services will be collected during a two year follow-up.
To our knowledge this is the first large scale trial exploring whether home-dwelling patients with AD will benefit from intense and long-lasting exercise rehabilitation in respect to their mobility and physical functioning. It will also provide data on cost-effectiveness of the intervention.
Trial registration
PMCID: PMC2978202  PMID: 20925948
23.  Prevalence of neck pain in subjects with metabolic syndrome - a cross-sectional population-based study 
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is increasingly common. Obesity has been suggested to associate with neck pain but prevalence of neck pain in subjects with MetS has not been studied. Aim of this study was to analyse the association between MetS and neck pain.
The study population consisted of 1294 middle-aged subjects in Pieksämäki, Finland. A total of 399 males and 500 females participated (69%). The mean age of both males and females was 46 years. Clinical and biochemical measurements were taken. The participants filled out a standard questionnaire. Psychological distress was assessed with the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). Neck pain was defined as neck pain perceived daily. MetS was defined using National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) criteria. Statistical comparisons between the groups were performed using a bootstrap-type t-test or Chi-Square test. Risk ratios of having neck pain were calculated using generalised linear models with age, smoking, alcohol use, exercise and GHQ-12 score as covariates.
The prevalence of MetS was 33% in males and 29% in females. Neck pain was present in 11% (N = 42) of males and 19% (N = 93) of females (P < 0.001). The prevalence of neck pain was 7.9% (95% CI, 4.9% to 12%) among male subjects without MetS and 16% (95% CI, 10% to 23%) among those with MetS. The respective proportions among females were 16% (95% CI, 12% to 20%) and 25% (95% CI, 18% to 33%). The multivariate analysis showed an increased risk of neck pain in males with MetS (RR 2.1, 95% CI, 1.2 to 3.7, P = 0.010) and in females with MetS (RR 1.5, 95% CI, 1.0 to 2.1, P = 0.040).
MetS was associated with neck pain. This association was stronger in males, but the prevalence of neck pain was higher in females. Prospective studies should explore the potential causal association between neck pain and MetS and the potential common background factors of neck pain and MetS.
PMCID: PMC2918543  PMID: 20670458
24.  Early combination disease-modifying antirheumatic drug therapy and tight disease control improve long-term radiologic outcome in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis: the 11-year results of the Finnish Rheumatoid Arthritis Combination Therapy trial 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2010;12(3):R122.
Early treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been shown to retard the development of joint damage for a period of up to 5 years. The aim of this study was to evaluate the radiologic progression beyond that time in patients with early RA initially treated with a combination of three disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or a single DMARD.
A cohort of 199 patients with early active RA were initially randomized to receive treatment with a combination of methotrexate, sulfasalazine, and hydroxychloroquine with prednisolone (FIN-RACo), or treatment with a single DMARD (initially, sulfasalazine) with or without prednisolone (SINGLE). After 2 years, the drug-treatment strategy became unrestricted, but still targeted remission. The radiographs of hands and feet were analyzed by using the Larsen score at baseline, 2, 5, and 11 years, and the radiographs of large joints, at 11 years.
Sixty-five patients in the FIN-RACo and 65 in the SINGLE group had radiographs of hands and feet available at baseline and at 11 years. The mean change from baseline to 11 years in Larsen score was 17 (95% CI, 12 to 26) in the FIN-RACo group and 27 (95% CI, 22 to 33) in the SINGLE group (P = 0.037). In total, 87% (95% CI, 74 to 94) and 72% (95% CI, 58 to 84) of the patients in the FIN-RACo and the SINGLE treatment arms, respectively, had no erosive changes in large joints at 11 years.
Targeting to remission with tight clinical controls results in low radiologic progression in most RA patients. Patients treated initially with a combination of DMARDs have less long-term radiologic damage than do those treated initially with DMARD monotherapy.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN18445519.
PMCID: PMC2911916  PMID: 20576092
25.  Effect of neck strength training on health-related quality of life in females with chronic neck pain: a randomized controlled 1-year follow-up study 
Chronic neck pain is a common condition associated not only with a decrease in neck muscle strength, but also with decrease in health-related quality of life (HRQoL). While neck strength training has been shown to be effective in improving neck muscle strength and reducing neck pain, HRQoL among patients with neck pain has been reported as an outcome in only two short-term exercise intervention studies. Thus, reports on the influence of a long-term neck strength training intervention on HRQoL among patients with chronic neck pain have been lacking. This study reports the effect of one-year neck strength training on HRQoL in females with chronic neck pain.
One hundred eighty female office workers, 25 to 53 years of age, with chronic neck pain were randomized to a strength training group (STG, n = 60), endurance training group (ETG, n = 60) or control group (CG, n = 60). The STG performed high-intensity isometric neck strengthening exercises with an elastic band while the ETG performed lighter dynamic neck muscle training. The CG received a single session of guidance on stretching exercises. HRQoL was assessed using the generic 15D questionnaire at baseline and after 12 months. Statistical comparisons among the groups were performed using bootstrap-type analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with baseline values as covariates. Effect sizes were calculated using the Cohen method for paired samples.
Training led to statistically significant improvement in the 15D total scores for both training groups, whereas no changes occurred for the control group (P = 0.012, between groups). The STG improved significantly in five of 15 dimensions, while the ETG improved significantly in two dimensions. Effect size (and 95% confidence intervals) for the 15D total score was 0.39 (0.13 to 0.72) for the STG, 0.37 (0.08 to 0.67) for the ETG, and -0.06 (-0.25 to 0.15) for the CG.
One year of either strength or endurance training seemed to moderately enhance the HRQoL. Neck and upper body training can be recommended to improve HRQoL of females with neck pain if they are motivated for long-term regular exercise.
Trial Registration NCT01057836
PMCID: PMC2877013  PMID: 20465854

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