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2.  Confirmation diagnosis of influenza A(H1N1)2009 by Belgian sentinel laboratories during the epidemic phase 
Archives of Public Health  2010;68(2):76-82.
PMCID: PMC3463024
Influenza; A(H1N1)pandemic; epidemiology; laboratory diagnosis
3.  Effects of exposure to cadmium on calcium metabolism: a population study. 
The objective was to investigate the hypothesis that environmental exposure to cadmium may affect calcium metabolism in the population at large. The 1987 participants (965 men and 1022 women), from 20 to 80 years old, constituted a random sample of the population of four Belgian districts. The urinary excretion of cadmium, a measure of lifetime exposure, averaged 9.3 nmol/24 h in men (range 0.4-324 nmol/24 h) and 7.1 nmol/24 h (range 0.1-71 nmol/24 h) in women. Serum alkaline phosphatase activity and the urinary excretion of calcium correlated significantly and positively with urinary cadmium excretion in both men and women, and serum total calcium concentration negatively with urinary cadmium excretion in men only. The regression coefficients obtained after adjustment for significant covariates indicated that when urinary cadmium excretion increased twofold, serum alkaline phosphatase activity and urinary calcium excretion rose by 3-4% and 0.25 mmol/24 h respectively, whereas in men serum total calcium concentration fell by 6 mumol/l. After adjustment for significant covariates the relation between serum total calcium concentration and urinary cadmium excretion was not significant in women. The findings suggest that even at environmental exposure levels calcium metabolism is gradually affected, as cadmium accumulates in the body. The morbidity associated with this phenomenon in industrialised countries remains presently unknown and requires further investigation.
PMCID: PMC1012065  PMID: 1931731
4.  The relationship between blood pressure and environmental exposure to lead and cadmium in Belgium. 
The question whether in the general population environmental exposure to lead and cadmium influences blood pressure after controlling for confounding factors remains debated. The environmental exposure of the Belgian population to both lead and cadmium is high as compared with other countries. The Cadmibel Cooperative Study was therefore designed to elucidate whether environmental exposure to lead and cadmium has any effect on blood pressure and renal function in the population at large. Before embarking on the large Cadmibel project, a small study was conducted. Blood pressure and the 24-hr urinary excretion of cadmium (CdU) and lead (PbU) were determined in a random 4% sample of the population of a small Belgian town. CdU averaged 0.27 micrograms/24 hr in 46 youths (mean age 14 +/- 3 years, +/- SD), increased with age, and was higher in 57 adult men (age 41 +/- 14 years), as compared with 59 adult women (age 39 +/- 14 years) (1.05 vs. 0.81 micrograms/24 hr; p less than 0.01). PbU averaged 5.8 micrograms/24 hr in youths and similarly increased with age; adult men excreted more lead than women (13.3 vs. 8.3 micrograms/24 hr; p less than 0.001). Among men, manual workers excreted more cadmium (1.4 vs. 0.8 micrograms/24 hr; p less than 0.05) but a similar amount of lead (7.0 vs. 6.9 micrograms/24 hr) as compared with office workers. In simple regression analysis, CdU was positively correlated with both systolic (r = 0.30; p less than 0.05) and diastolic (r = 0.38; p less than 0.01) blood pressure in women.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
PMCID: PMC1474599  PMID: 3203631
5.  Contribution of respiratory pathogens to influenza-like illness consultations 
Epidemiology and Infection  2012;141(10):2196-2204.
Influenza-like illnesses (ILIs) are caused by several respiratory pathogens. These pathogens show weak to strong seasonal activity implying seasonality in ILI consultations. In this paper, the contribution of pathogens to seasonality of ILI consultations was statistically modelled. Virological count data were first smoothed using modulation models for seasonal time series. Second, Poisson regression was used regressing ILI consultation counts on the smoothed time series. Using ratios of the estimated regression parameters, relative measures of the underreporting of pathogens were obtained. Influenza viruses A and B, parainfluenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) significantly contributed to explain the seasonal variation in ILI consultations. We also found that RSV was the least and influenza virus A is the most underreported pathogen in Belgian laboratory surveillance. The proposed methods and results are helpful in interpreting the data of clinical and laboratory surveillance, which are the essential parts of influenza surveillance.
PMCID: PMC3757921  PMID: 23217849
Infectious disease epidemiology; influenza; statistics; surveillance system

Results 1-5 (5)