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author:("wendell, Per")
1.  Impact of symptomatic hypoglycemia on medication adherence, patient satisfaction with treatment, and glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes 
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of symptomatic hypoglycemia on medication adherence, satisfaction with treatment, and glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes based on the treatment goals stated in the Swedish national guidelines.
This cross-sectional, multicenter study was carried out between January and August 2009 in 430 consecutive primary health care patients on stable doses of metformin and sulfonylureas for at least 6 months. The patients completed questionnaires covering their experiences of low blood glucose and adherence, as well as barriers to and satisfaction with drug treatment (using the Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication). Physicians collected the data from medical records.
Patients who experienced moderate or worse symptoms of hypoglycemia reported poorer adherence to medication (46% versus 67%; P<0.01) and were more likely to perceive barriers such as “bothered by medication side effects” (36% versus 14%; P<0.001) compared with patients with no or mild symptoms. Patients with moderate or worse symptoms of hypoglycemia were less satisfied with their treatment than those with no or mild symptoms as determined by the Treatment Satisfaction Questionnaire for Medication-Global satisfaction (67.0 versus 71.2; P<0.05). Overall, achievement of target glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) based on the treatment goals stated in the Swedish national guidelines was 40%. Despite poorer adherence, patients who experienced moderate or worse symptoms of hypoglycemia had lower mean HbA1c values than patients with no or mild symptoms (7.0% versus 7.3% [Diabetes Control and Complications Trial standard]; P<0.05).
Symptomatic hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes on metformin and sulfonylureas was associated with nonadherence and decreased treatment satisfaction despite lower mean HbA1c values. A broader understanding of patient preferences and self-reported outcomes could improve the management of patients with type 2 diabetes.
PMCID: PMC4011898  PMID: 24812495
hypoglycemia; patient-reported outcomes; primary care; nonadherence; persistence; sulfonylurea
2.  What predicts negative effects of rheumatoid arthritis? A follow-up two years after diagnosis 
SpringerPlus  2014;3:118.
We aimed at analyzing important predictive factors for experienced negative emotional and social effects of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) two years after diagnosis in patients aged 18–65 years. The first group included 41 participants, who had psychosocial problems (PSP) already at diagnosis, and who received an intervention by a medical social worker to improve coping capacity and social situation. The second group included 54 patients (NPSP) without such problems at diagnosis. All completed a questionnaire mapping their social situation, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Sense of Coherence Scale (SOC) and the General Coping Questionnaire (GCQ) at diagnosis and after 24 months. The most pronounced predictive factor for a strong impact of the disease was high scores on HADS depression scale. After 24 months, PSP participants had a more strained life situation, with higher scores on anxiety and depression and lower on SOC, in comparison with NPSP. NPSP participants improved their coping strategies regarding self-trust, cognitive revaluation, protest and intrusion, but deteriorated regarding problem focusing and social trust. PSP patients kept their initial coping strategies, except for intrusion decreasing over time, and seemed to have a more rigid coping pattern. However, the experienced negative impact of the disease increased over time in both groups despite improvement in sickness related data. Mostly influenced areas were economy, leisure time activities and social life. We conclude that psychosocial consequences of RA are more connected to emotional and social vulnerability than are RA-related clinical factors.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/2193-1801-3-118) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC3948188  PMID: 24634809
Rheumatoid arthritis; Psychosocial factors; Adaptation; Anxiety; Depression; Coping
3.  Effects of prescribed antithrombotics and other cardiovascular pharmacotherapies on all-cause mortality in patients with diabetes and atrial fibrillation – a cohort study from Sweden using propensity score analyses 
To study mortality rates among patients with diabetes and concomitant atrial fibrillation (AF), prescribed different cardiovascular drugs in primary health care.
Study population consisted of men (n = 1319) and women (n = 1094) aged ≥45 years from a database including 75 primary care centres in Sweden. Cox regression analysis, with hazard ratios (HRs), 95% confidence interval (95% CIs) and mortality (years to death) as outcome, and Laplace regression, with difference in time to first 10% mortality (with 95% CI), were performed. Independent variables were prescribed cardiovascular drugs. Regression models were adjusted for a propensity score calculated separately for each prescribed drug class (comprising age, cardiovascular co-morbidities, education, marital status and pharmacotherapy).
Overall mortality was lower in the whole sample for anticoagulants vs no treatment (HR 0.45; 95% CI 0.26-0.77); and among patients < 80 years for anticoagulants vs. antiplatelets (HR 0.44; 95% CI 0.25-0.78); while among individuals aged ≥80 years, antiplatelets (HR 0.47; 95% CI 0.26-0.87) and anticoagulants (HR 0.49; 95% CI 0.24-1.00) vs. no treatment were equally effective. Statins were associated with lower mortality among those <80 years (HR 0.45; 95% CI 0.29-0.71). Laplace regression models in the whole sample, with years to first 10% of total mortality as outcome, were significant for: among patients < 80 years anticoagulants vs. no treatment 2.70 years (95% CI 0.04-5.37), anticoagulants vs. antiplatelets 2.31 years (95% CI 0.84-3.79), and those ≥80 antiplatelets vs. no treatment 1.78 years (95% CI 1.04-2.52).
Our findings suggest that antiplatelets could exert a beneficial effect among those above 80 years.
PMCID: PMC3892066  PMID: 24397919
Antithrombotic drugs; Statins; Pharmacotherapy; Mortality; Follow-up
4.  Population groups in dietary transition 
Food & Nutrition Research  2013;57:10.3402/fnr.v57i0.21668.
Little is known about the effects of dietary acculturation in minority groups in the Nordic countries, including immigrants from non-Western societies.
A search was performed in Medlin33e/PubMed and SweMed+ for articles published in 1990–2011.
A total of 840 articles were identified, with a final 32 articles used to tabulate results which were included in the primary analysis. High rates of vitamin D deficiency (23 articles) were found in immigrants of non-Western origin; deficiency rates were very high among both pregnant and non-pregnant women, and also among children, with young children of immigrant parents showing 50 times higher risk for rickets when compared to children of indigenous parents. The risk of iron deficiency (two articles) was high among immigrant women, while the results were inconclusive regarding children. High rates of dental caries (seven articles) were found among pre-school and younger school children of immigrant origin, while the risk of caries was not as evident among older children. In a secondary analysis, including 48 articles (results not tabulated), overweight and obesity (14 articles) were seen in many immigrant groups, resulting in a high prevalence of diabetes (2 review articles from a total of 14 original articles) and incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD; seven articles). For hypertension (three articles), dyslipidemia (four articles), and dietary patterns among immigrants (10 articles), the results were contradictory.
Risk of vitamin D deficiency is alarmingly high in the Nordic countries among immigrants of non-Western origin, especially among women. Dental caries is high among immigrant children aged 0–7 years due to a higher intake of sugary products. Overweight and obesity, associated with a higher risk of diabetes and CHD, are prevalent in many immigrant groups and need further attention.
PMCID: PMC3790911  PMID: 24106456
Ethnic groups; obesity; diabetes; cardiovascular diseases; vitamin D deficiency; dental caries
5.  High prevalence of diagnosis of diabetes, depression, anxiety, hypertension, asthma and COPD in the total population of Stockholm, Sweden – a challenge for public health 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:670.
There is limited knowledge on the prevalence of disease in total populations. Such studies have historically been difficult to conduct but the development of health data registers has facilitated large-scale studies on recorded diagnoses in entire regions. The aim of this study was to analyze the prevalence of diagnosis of six common diseases in the Swedish capital region.
The study population included all living persons who resided in Stockholm County, Sweden, on December 31st 2011 (N = 2 093 717). Information on all consultations between 2007 and 2011 was obtained from primary health care, specialist outpatient care and inpatient care. Prevalence was defined as the proportion of individuals with a recorded diagnosis of diabetes, depression, anxiety disorders, hypertension, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease during the five year period, respectively. Analyses were done by age and gender.
Hypertension had the highest five-year prevalence (12.2%), followed by depression (6.6%), diabetes mellitus (6.2%), asthma (5.9%), anxiety disorders/phobia (4.8%), and COPD (1.8%). Diabetes was more common in men (5.3% of women and 7.1% of men) while depression (8.7% in women and 4.4% in men) and anxiety (6.3% in women and 3.4% in men) were considerably more common in women. Smaller gender differences were also found for hypertension (13.0% in women and 11.4% in men), asthma (6.4% in women and 5.4% in men) and COPD (2.1% in women and 1.6% in men). Diabetes, hypertension and COPD increased markedly with age, whereas anxiety, depression and asthma were fairly constant in individuals above 18 years. During one year of observation, more than half of all patients had only been diagnosed in primary health care, with hypertension being the diagnosis with the largest proportion of patients only identified in primary health care (70.6%).
The prevalence of common diseases in the population can be estimated by combining data gathered during consecutive years from primary care, specialist outpatient care and inpatient care. However, accuracy of disease prevalence is highly dependent on the quality of the data. The high prevalence of the six diagnoses analysed in this study calls for preventive action to minimize suffering and costs to society.
PMCID: PMC3724714  PMID: 23866784
Administrative databases; Primary care; Gender differences; Age differences; Epidemiology
6.  Increased heart rate variability but no effect on blood pressure from 8 weeks of hatha yoga – a pilot study 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:59.
Yoga exercises are known to decrease stress and restore autonomic balance. Yet knowledge about the physiological effects of inversion postures is limited. This study aimed to investigate the effects of inversion postures (head below the heart) on blood pressure (BP) and heart rate variability (HRV).
Twelve healthy women and men took part in an 8-week yoga program (60 min once a week). BP was measured with an automatic Omron mx3 oscillometric monitoring device and HRV with a Holter 24-hour ECG at baseline and 8 weeks after the intervention.
There was no significant effect of inversion postures on BP. Nine out of 12 participants showed a significant increase in HRV (p < 0.05) at night (2 hours) on pNN50% (12.7 ± 12.5 to 18.2 ± 13.3). There were no significant changes in other HRV measures such as NN50, LF, HF, LF/HF ratio, LF normalized units (n.u.), HF n.u. and RMSSD.
Eight weeks of hatha yoga improved HRV significantly which suggests an increased vagal tone and reduced sympathetic activity.
PMCID: PMC3599360  PMID: 23398959
Autonomic balance; Blood pressure; ECG; Heart rate variability; Yoga
7.  Hypertriglyceridemic waist may explain ethnic differences in hypertension among patients with type 2 diabetes in Sweden 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:474.
Hypertension is common among persons with type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to analyze the association between ethnicity and hypertension prevalence after adjusting for age, sex, Hba1c, total cholesterol, elevated triglycerides and hypertriglyceridemic waist. The study population consisted of 354 primary health care patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (173 Assyrians/Syrians and 181 Swedes) residing in Södertälje, Sweden. Unconditional logistic regression was used to analyze the data.
Hypertension prevalence was higher among Swedes than Assyrians/Syrians, (77% versus 58%; p = 0.001). In the unadjusted logistic regression model, the odds ratio for hypertension in Swedes was twice as high than that in Assyrians/Syrians (OR = 2.44; 95% CI =1.54-3.86). In the age- and sex-adjusted model, odds ratio of hypertension was 2.25 (95% CI 1.41-3.60). After adjustments for total cholesterol was made, the odds ratio of hypertension decreased slightly to 1.73. When elevated triglycerides and hypertriglyceridemic waist were separately introduced, the odds ratio of hypertension was no longer significant between the ethnic groups (1.60 and 1.43 for triglycerides and hypertriglyceridemic waist respectively). In addition, advanced age – 60–69 years old (OR = 1.80, CI 95% 1.00-3.20) and ≥ 70 years old (OR = 2.88, CI 95% 1.40-5.93), elevated total cholesterol (OR = 1.48, CI 95% 1.12-1.95) and presents of hypertriglyceridemic waist (those with high WC and high TG) were significant confounding factors for the increased risk of hypertension independent of ethnicity.
The crude differences in prevalence of hypertension between the Swedes and Assyrians/Syrians in our study population with type 2 diabetes were no longer significant when adjusting for high triglycerides levels or the presence of hypertriglyceridemic waist.
PMCID: PMC3503694  PMID: 22937746
Ethnicity; Hypertension; Hypertriglyceridemic waist; Type 2 diabetes; Sweden
8.  Nurses' preparedness to care for women exposed to Intimate Partner Violence: a quantitative study in primary health care 
BMC Nursing  2012;11:1.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) has a deep impact on women's health. Nurses working in primary health care need to be prepared to identify victims and offer appropriate interventions, since IPV is often seen in primary health care. The aim of the study was to assess nurses' preparedness to identify and provide nursing care to women exposed to IPV who attend primary health care.
Data was collected using a questionnaire to nurses at the primary health care centres. The response rate was 69.3%. Logistic regression analysis was used to test relationships among variables.
Shortcomings were found regarding preparedness among nurses. They lacked organisational support e.g. guidelines, collaboration with others and knowledge regarding the extensiveness of IPV. Only half of them always asked women about violence and mostly when a woman was physically injured. They felt difficulties to know how to ask and if they identified violence they mostly offered the women a doctor's appointment. Feeling prepared was connected to obtaining knowledge by themselves and also to identifying women exposed to IPV.
The majority of the nurses were found to be quiet unprepared to provide nursing care to women exposed to IPV. Consequences might be treatment of symptoms but unidentified abuse and more and unnecessary suffering for these women. Improvements are needed on both at the level of the organisation and individual.
PMCID: PMC3293728  PMID: 22233776
9.  Repeatability and validity of a standardised maximal step-up test for leg function-a diagnostic accuracy study 
Objectively assessed physical performance is a strong predictor for morbidity and premature death and there is an increasing interest in the role of sarcopenia in many chronic diseases. There is a need for robust and valid functional tests in clinical practice. Therefore, the repeatability and validity of a newly developed maximal step up test (MST) was assessed.
The MST, assessing maximal step-up height (MSH) in 3-cm increments, was evaluated in 60 healthy middle-aged subjects, 30 women and 30 men. The repeatability of MSH and the correlation between MSH and isokinetic knee extension peak torque (IKEPT), self-reported physical function (SF-36, PF), patient demographics and self-reported physical activity were investigated.
The repeatability between occasions and between testers was 6 cm. MSH (range 12-45 cm) was significantly correlated to IKEPT, (r = 0.68, P < 0.001), SF-36 PF score, (r = 0.29, P = 0.03), sex, age, weight and BMI. The results also show that MSH above 32 cm discriminates subjects in our study with no limitation in self-reported physical function.
The standardised MST is considered a reliable leg function test for clinical practice. The MSH was related to knee extension strength and self-reported physical function. The precision of the MST for identification of limitations in physical function needs further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3173406  PMID: 21854575
10.  Prevalence of lipid abnormalities before and after introduction of lipid modifying therapy among Swedish patients with dyslipidemia (PRIMULA) 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:737.
Data on the prevalence of dyslipidemia and attainment of goal/normal lipid levels in a Swedish population are scarce. The objective of this study is to estimate the prevalence of dyslipidemia and attainment of goal/normal lipid levels in patients treated with lipid modifying therapy (LMT).
This longitudinal retrospective observational study covers time periods before and after treatment. Data were collected from 1994-2007 electronic patient records in public primary healthcare centers in Uppsala County, Sweden. Patients were included if they had been treated with LMT and had at least one lipid abnormality indicating dyslipidemia and if complete lipid profile data were available. Thresholds levels for lipids were defined as per Swedish guidelines.
Among 5,424 patients included, at baseline, the prevalence of dyslipidemia (≥1 lipid abnormality) was by definition 100%, while this figure was 82% at follow-up. At baseline, 60% had elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL-C) combined with low high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C) and/or elevated triglycerides (TG s), corresponding figure at follow-up was 36%. Low HDL-C and/or elevated TGs at follow-up remained at 69% for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), 50% among patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and 66% among patients with 10 year CHD risk >20%. Of the total sample, 40% attained goal levels of LDL-C and 18% attained goal/normal levels on all three lipid parameters.
Focusing therapy on LDL-C reduction allows 40% of patients to achieve LDL-C goal and helps reducing triglyceride levels. Almost 60% of patients experience persistent HDL-C and/or triglyceride abnormality independently of LDL-C levels and could be candidates for additional treatments.
PMCID: PMC3009647  PMID: 21114824
11.  Exploring integrative medicine for back and neck pain - a pragmatic randomised clinical pilot trial 
A model for integrative medicine (IM) adapted to Swedish primary care was previously developed. The aim of this study was to explore the feasibility of a pragmatic randomised clinical trial to investigate the effectiveness of the IM model versus conventional primary care in the management of patients with non-specific back/neck pain. Specific objectives included the exploration of recruitment and retention rates, patient and care characteristics, clinical differences and effect sizes between groups, selected outcome measures and power calculations to inform the basis of a full-scale trial.
Eighty patients with back/neck pain of at least two weeks duration were randomised to the two types of care. Outcome measures were standardised health related quality of life (the eight domains of SF-36) complemented by a set of exploratory "IM tailored" outcomes targeting self-rated disability, stress and well-being (0-10 scales); days in pain (0-14); and the use of analgesics and health care over the last two weeks (yes/no). Data on clinical management were derived from medical records. Outcome changes from baseline to follow-up after 16 weeks were used to explore the differences between the groups.
Seventy-five percent (80/107) of screened patients in general practice were eligible and feasible to enrol into the trial. Eighty-two percent (36/44) of the integrative and 75% (27/36) of the conventional care group completed follow-up after 16 weeks. Most patients had back/neck pain of at least three months duration. Conventional care typically comprised advice and prescription of analgesics, occasionally complemented with sick leave or a written referral to physiotherapy. IM care generally integrated seven treatment sessions from two different types of complementary therapies with conventional care over ten weeks. The study was underpowered to detect any statistically significant differences between the groups. One SF-36 domain showed a clinically relevant difference between groups that was also supported by a small distribution based effect size, i.e. vitality (-7.3 points, Cohen's d -0.34) which was in favour of IM. There was a clinical trend between groups showing that IM contributed to less use of prescription and non-prescription analgesics (-11.7 and - 9.7 percent units respectively) compared to conventional care. Exploring clinically relevant differences and the SF-36 as the basis for a main outcome measure showed that the sample sizes needed per arm to adequately power a full-scale trial depended on the target domain, i.e. ranging from 60 (vitality) to 339 (role emotion).
This pilot study investigated the implementation of IM in the primary care management of non-specific back and neck pain. Recruiting patients and implementing IM in routine clinical practice was feasible. The results warrant further exploration into different perspectives and relevant combinations of outcome measures including the use of health resources, drugs and cost-effectiveness to help understand the relevance of IM in primary care. Future research should prioritise larger scale studies considering variability, pain duration and small to moderate treatment effects.
Trial registration
Clinical trials NCT00565942
PMCID: PMC2749805  PMID: 19735542
12.  Are there differences in all-cause and coronary heart disease mortality between immigrants in Sweden and in their country of birth? A follow-up study of total populations 
BMC Public Health  2006;6:102.
Mortality from cardiovascular diseases is higher among immigrants than native Swedes. It is not clear whether the high mortality persists from the country of birth or is a result of migration. The purpose of the present study was to analyse whether all-cause and coronary heart disease mortality differ between immigrants in Sweden and in the country of birth.
Two cohorts including the total population from Swedish national registers and WHO were defined. All-cause and CHD mortality are presented as age-adjusted incidence rates and incidence density ratios (IDR) in eight immigrant groups in Sweden and in their country of birth. The data were analysed using Poisson regression.
The all-cause mortality risk was lower among seven of eight male immigrant groups (IDR 0.39–0.97) and among six of eight female immigrant groups (IDR 0.42–0.81) than in their country of birth. The CHD mortality risk was significantly lower in male immigrants from Norway (IDR = 0.84), Finland (IDR = 0.91), Germany (IDR = 0.84) and Hungary (IDR = 0.59) and among female immigrants from Germany (IDR = 0.66) and Hungary (IDR = 0.54) than in their country of birth. In contrast, there was a significantly higher CHD mortality risk in male immigrants from Southern Europe (IDR = 1.23) than in their country of birth.
The all-cause mortality risk was lower in the majority of immigrant groups in Sweden than in their country of birth. The differences in CHD mortality risks were more complex. For countries with high CHD mortality, such as Finland and Hungary, the risk was lower among immigrants in Sweden than in their country of birth. For low-risk countries in South Europe, the risk was higher in immigrants in Sweden than in South Europe.
PMCID: PMC1475577  PMID: 16630338

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