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author:("kaurane, juss")
1.  Antimicrobial activity of different Finnish monofloral honeys against human pathogenic bacteria 
Apmis  2012;121(9):827-834.
The antimicrobial activity and phenolic compounds of five Finnish honey products against important human pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae, S. pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and methicillin-resistant S. aureus were analyzed. Microbroth dilution method and HPLC-DAD were used in antimicrobial testing and phenolic compound determination, respectively. Significant antimicrobial activity (p < 0.01) against all the tested pathogens was found from willow herb (Epilobium angustifolium), heather (Calluna vulgaris), and buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) honeys. This is the first report on antimicrobial activity of Finnish monofloral honeys against streptococcal and staphylococcal bacteria. To our knowledge this is also the first report on the antimicrobial effect of honey against S. pneumoniae.
PMCID: PMC3881511  PMID: 23278378
Honey; antimicrobial; Streptococcus pneumoniae; Streptococcus pyogenes; Staphylococcus aureus; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
2.  The relationship between self-reported and registry-based data on use of psychoactive medications in postmenopausal women 
BMC Psychiatry  2013;13:180.
Self-report is commonly used as a source of information on the use of medicine. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between self-reported and register-based information on the use of psychoactive medication, especially in respect to antidepressants, and reasons of non-reporting.
Study subjects (n = 11,031) originated from a population-based cohort of postmenopausal women born in 1932–41 from Eastern Finland who responded to a postal enquiry in 1999. Self-reported currently used prescribed medications were compared to the National prescription register data. Diuretics served as a reference for psychoactive medications.
Only 44% out of 1,638 women reported their use of psychoactive medication when compared to the prescription register within a 4-month time window preceding their response to enquiry. Altogether, 55% out of 777 women reported their use of antidepressants and 29% out of 861 reported their use of other psychoactive medications. In comparison 83% reported their use of diuretics. After excluding the occasional use, an increase in sensitivity by approximately 10 percentage points was seen regardless of the group of psychoactive medication. High use and history of work disability pension due to psychiatric cause were associated with a much higher likelihood of reporting psychoactive medication use (for antidepressants 70% and 81%, respectively).
For research purposes, self-reported current use of psychoactive medication seems to be a sufficient indicator for regular use of antidepressants or in respect of use of any psychoactive medication, for subjects with severe psychiatric disease.
PMCID: PMC3702526  PMID: 23819474
Antidepressants; Menopause; Psychoactive drugs; Registers; Self-report; Validation studies
3.  Serum Carotenoids Reduce Progression of Early Atherosclerosis in the Carotid Artery Wall among Eastern Finnish Men 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64107.
Several previous epidemiologic studies have shown that high blood levels of carotenoids may be protective against early atherosclerosis, but results have been inconsistent. We assessed the association between atherosclerotic progression, measured by intima-media thickness of the common carotid artery wall, and serum levels of carotenoids.
We studied the effect of carotenoids on progression of early atherosclerosis in a population-based study. The association between concentrations of serum carotenoids, and intima-media thickness of the common carotid artery wall was explored in 840 middle-aged men (aged 46–65 years) from Eastern Finland. Ultrasonography of the common carotid arteries were performed at baseline and 7-year follow-up. Serum levels of carotenoids were analyzed at baseline. Changes in mean and maximum intima media thickness of carotid artery wall were related to baseline serum carotenoid levels in covariance analyses adjusted for covariates.
In a covariance analysis with adjustment for age, ultrasound sonographer, maximum intima media thickness, examination year, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, smoking, physical activity, serum LDL cholesterol, family history of coronary heart disease, antihypertensive medication and serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein, 7-year change in maximum intima media thickness was inversely associated with lycopene (p = 0.005), α-carotene (p = 0.002) and β-carotene (p = 0.019), respectively.
The present study shows that high serum concentrations of carotenoids may be protective against early atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC3660262  PMID: 23700460
4.  The net effect of smoking on healthcare and welfare costs. A cohort study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(6):e001678.
To study the net economic effect of smoking on society.
Prospective cohort study.
Eastern Finland.
We studied mortality, paid income and tobacco taxes, and the cumulative costs due to pensions and medical care among tobacco smoking and non-smoking individuals in a 27-year prospective cohort study of 1976 men from Eastern Finland. These individuals were 54–60 years old at the beginning of the follow-up.
Main outcome measures
The net contribution of smoking versus non-smoking individuals to public finance balance (euros).
Smoking was associated with a greater mean annual healthcare cost of €1600 per living individual during follow-up. However, due to a shorter lifespan of 8.6 years, smokers’ mean total healthcare costs during the entire study period were actually €4700 lower than for non-smokers. For the same reason, each smoker missed 7.3 years (€126 850) of pension. Overall, smokers’ average net contribution to the public finance balance was €133 800 greater per individual compared with non-smokers. However, if each lost quality adjusted life year is considered to be worth €22 200, the net effect is reversed to be €70 200 (€71.600 when adjusted with propensity score) per individual in favour of non-smoking.
Smoking was associated with a moderate decrease in healthcare costs, and a marked decrease in pension costs due to increased mortality. However, when a monetary value for life years lost was taken into account, the beneficial net effect of non-smoking to society was about €70 000 per individual.
PMCID: PMC3533014  PMID: 23233699
Epidemiology; Health Economics
5.  Alcohol Consumption and Dietary Patterns: The FinDrink Study 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e38607.
The aim of this population-based study was to investigate differences in dietary patterns in relation to the level of alcohol consumption among Finnish adults. This study was part of the FinDrink project, an epidemiologic study on alcohol use among Finnish population. It utilized data from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. A total of 1720 subjects comprising of 816 men and 904 women aged 53–73 years were included in the study in 1998–2001. Food intake was collected via a 4-day food diary method. Self-reported alcohol consumption was assessed with quantity-frequency method based on the Nordic Alcohol Consumption Inventory. Weekly alcohol consumption was categorized into three groups: non-drinkers (<12 grams), moderate drinkers (12–167.9 grams for men, 12–83.9 grams for women) and heavy drinkers (≥168 grams for men, ≥84 grams for women). Data were analyzed for men and women separately using multiple linear regression models, adjusted for age, occupational status, marital status, smoking, body mass index and leisure time physical activity. In women, moderate/heavy drinkers had lower fibre intake and moderate drinkers had higher vitamin D intake than non-drinkers. Male heavy drinkers had lower fibre, retinol, calcium and iron intake, and moderate/heavy drinkers had higher vitamin D intake than non-drinkers. Fish intake was higher among women moderate drinkers and men moderate/heavy drinkers than non-drinkers. In men, moderate drinkers had lower fruit intake and heavy drinkers had lower milk intake than non-drinkers. Moderate drinkers had higher energy intake from total fats and monosaturated fatty acids than non-drinkers. In contrast, energy intake from carbohydrates was lower among moderate/heavy drinkers than non-drinkers. In conclusion, especially male heavy drinkers had less favorable nutritional intake than moderate and non-drinkers. Further studies on the relationship between alcohol consumption and dietary habits are needed to plan a comprehensive dietary intervention programs in future.
PMCID: PMC3373562  PMID: 22719905
6.  Elevated depressive symptoms and compositional changes in LDL particles in middle-aged men 
European journal of epidemiology  2010;25(6):403-409.
Depression and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are closely associated, but the mechanisms underlying this connection are unclear. Regardless of the low cholesterol levels observed in depression, a small particle size of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), as well as elevated apolipoprotein B (ApoB) levels, are related to increased CVD risk, even when levels of LDL cholesterol are low. We examined the association between elevated depressive symptoms and compositional changes in serum LDL particles in a sample of 2456 middle-aged Finnish men. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the 18-item Human Population Laboratory Depression Scale, and the study population was divided into two groups (elevated depressive symptoms, n=269; non-depressed, n=2187). The levels of serum total cholesterol (TC), low-and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, HDL-C), triglycerides (TG), and ApoB were determined. The LDL-C/ApoB ratio, a marker of compositional changes in LDL particle size, was calculated. The group with elevated depressive symptoms had lowered levels of serum TC (p=0.028) and LDL-C (p=0.008). No differences were observed in the LDL-C/ApoB ratio. The likelihood for belonging to the group with elevated depressive symptoms increased 10% for each 0.5 mmol/L decrease in the levels of TC (p=0.002) or LDL-C (p=0.001) in regression models adjusted for age, examination years, marital and socioeconomic status, energy expenditure, body mass index, CVD history, alcohol consumption, smoking, and the use of lipid-lowering, antidepressant and antipsychotic medications. Our findings suggest that greater small-particle LDL levels are not associated with depression, and are thus unlikely to underlie the association between cardiovascular risk and depression.
PMCID: PMC3249261  PMID: 20414796
Apolipoprotein B; Cholesterol; Depression; Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol
7.  Adverse Childhood Experiences and Risk of Binge Drinking and Drunkenness in Middle-Aged Finnish Men 
Objective. The purpose of this study was to investigate associations between adverse childhood experiences and binge drinking and drunkenness in adulthood using both historical and recalled data from childhood. Methods. Data on childhood adverse experiences were collected from school health records and questionnaires completed in adulthood. Adulthood data were obtained from the baseline examinations of the male participants (n = 2682) in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) in 1984–1989 from eastern Finland. School health records from the 1930s to 1950s were available for a subsample of KIHD men (n = 952). Results. According to the school health records, men who had adverse childhood experiences had a 1.51-fold (95% CI 1.05 to 2.18) age- and examination-year adjusted odds of binge drinking in adulthood. After adjustment for socioeconomic position in adulthood or behavioural factors in adulthood, the association remained unchanged. Adjustment for socioeconomic position in childhood attenuated these effects. Also the recalled data showed associations with adverse childhood experiences and binge drinking with different beverages. Conclusions. Our findings suggest that childhood adversities are associated with increased risk of binge drinking in adulthood.
PMCID: PMC3216364  PMID: 22111009
8.  Leisure-time physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness and feelings of hopelessness in men 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:204.
Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) and cardiorespiratory fitness contribute to mental health. Hopelessness has been linked to impaired mental health, cardiovascular events and mortality. Previous studies have focused on physical exercise and depression. We examined the associations of LTPA and cardiorespiratory fitness with feelings of hopelessness.
In this cross-sectional study leisure-time physical activity, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), hopelessness and cardiovascular risk factors were assessed in a population-based cohort of 2428 men aged 42 – 60 years old at baseline.
Men feeling more hopeless about their future and reaching goals were less physically active, less fit and had a higher prevalence of many cardiovascular risk factors than men with lower levels of hopelessness. In a logistic regression model adjusted for age, smoking, alcohol consumption, cardiovascular disease and socioeconomic status, men engaging in less than 60 min/week of moderate-to-vigorous LTPA were 37% (95% CI 11 – 67%) more likely to feel hopeless than those engaging in at least 2.5 h/wk of LTPA. After further adjusting for elevated depressive symptoms the association of LTPA and hopelessness remained significant. VO2max was also associated with hopelessness, but not after adjustment for depressive symptoms.
Moderate and vigorous LTPA and cardiorespiratory fitness were inversely associated with hopelessness in these middle-aged men. These findings suggest that physical inactivity and poor cardiorespiratory fitness is an important associate of hopelessness, a distinct element of low subjective well-being.
PMCID: PMC2717082  PMID: 19555509
9.  Work Time and 11-Year Progression of Carotid Atherosclerosis in Middle-Aged Finnish Men 
Preventing Chronic Disease  2008;6(1):A13.
Studies of the relationship between work time and health have been inconclusive. Consequently, we sought to examine the effect of work time on progression of atherosclerosis.
This prospective study of 621 middle-aged Finnish men evaluated effects of baseline and repeat measures of work time on 11-year progression of ultrasonographically assessed carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and interactions with cardiovascular disease. Multiple linear regression models adjusted for 21 biological, behavioral, and psychosocial risk factors.
Working 3 (minimum), 5 (medium), or 7 (maximum) days per week at baseline was associated with 23%, 31%, and 40% 11-year increases in IMT, respectively. The relative change ratio (RCR) at maximum vs minimum was 1.14 for baseline days worked per week and 1.10 for hours worked per year of follow-up. Significant interactions existed between cardiovascular disease and work time. Men with ischemic heart disease (IHD) who worked the maximum of 14.5 hours per day experienced a 69% increase in IMT compared with a 29% increase in men without IHD. The RCR ratio for IHD (RCRIHD/RCRno IHD) was 1.44 for hours per day. Similarly, the RCR ratio for baseline carotid artery stenosis was 1.29 for hours per day and 1.22 for hours per year.
Increases in work time are positively associated with progression of carotid atherosclerosis in middle-aged men, especially in those with preexisting cardiovascular disease. Our findings are consistent with the hemodynamic theory of atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC2644586  PMID: 19080019
10.  Functional COMT Val158Met Polymorphism, Risk of Acute Coronary Events and Serum Homocysteine: The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(1):e181.
The role of circulating levels of total homocysteine tHcy in the development of coronary heart disease (CHD) is still under debate. One reason for conflicting results between previous studies on homocysteine and heart diseases could be consequence of different interactions between homocysteine and genes in different study populations. Many genetic factors play a role in folate-homocysteine metabolism, like functional polymorphism (Val108Met) in the Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene.
Methodology and Findings
Our aim was to examine the role of COMT Val158Met polymorphism and interaction of this polymorphism with serum tHcy and folate concentration on the risk of acute coronary and events in middle-aged men from eastern Finland. A population-based prospective cohort of 792 men aged 46–64 years was examined as part of the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. During an average follow-up of 9.3 years, there were 69 acute coronary events in men with no previous history of CHD. When comparing the COMT low activity genotype with the others, we found an age and examination year adjusted hazard rate ratio (HRR) of 1.73 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.07–2.79), and an age, examination year, serum LDL and HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride concentration, systolic blood pressure and smoking adjusted HRR of 1.77 (95% CI, 1.05–2.77). Although serum tHcy concentration was not statistically significantly associated with acute coronary events (HRR for the highest third versus others 1.52, 95% CI, 0.93–2.49), subjects with both high serum tHcy and the COMT low activity genotype had an additionally increased adjusted risk of HRR 2.94 (95% CI 1.50–5.76) as compared with other men.
This prospective cohort study suggests that the functional COMT Val158Met polymorphism is associated with increased risk of acute coronary events and it may interact with high serum tHcy levels.
PMCID: PMC1779620  PMID: 17264883

Results 1-10 (10)