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1.  Number and burden of cardiovascular diseases in relation to health-related quality of life in a cross-sectional population-based cohort study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e001554.
Objectives
To clarify whether a greater number of cardiovascular diseases or a larger burden of disease are associated with poorer health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in an unselected general population.
Design
A population-based cross-sectional postal survey.
Settings
A random sample of the Swedish general population aged 40–79 years matched for national distributions of age, gender and region.
Participants
Out of 6969 eligible individuals, 4910 (70.5%) participated.
Primary and secondary measures
To create a reference database for HRQoL outcomes in the general population. To assess certain diseases and their relation to HRQoL.
Methods
Predefined cardiovascular diseases and HRQoL were assessed from validated questionnaires (EORTC QLQ-C30). Aspects of HRQoL included in the analyses were global quality of life, physical function, role function, emotional function, fatigue and dyspnoea. Individuals were categorised into: ‘good function’ versus ‘poor function’ and ‘no or minor symptoms’ versus ‘symptomatic’. Multivariable logistic regression calculated OR with 95% CI for poor HRQoL. The exposures were the number of cardiovascular diseases and the subjective disease burden.
Results
Out of the 4910 participants, 1358 (28%) reported having a cardiovascular disease and hypertension was most common. Reporting a greater number of cardiovascular diseases was associated with an increased risk of poor HRQoL, especially regarding dyspnoea. The OR for symptomatic dyspnoea was 1.37 (95% CI 1.08 to 1.74) for participants with one cardiovascular disease, 4.81 (95% CI 3.24 to 7.13) for two diseases and 4.18 (95% CI 2.24 to 7.80) for those with three or more cardiovascular diseases. Among the 271 participants who assessed their cardiovascular disease burden as major, the highest risk for poor HRQoL was found for physical function (OR 6.18, 95% CI 3.72 to 10.30).
Conclusions
Increased number of cardiovascular diseases and a greater burden of disease are generally associated with poorer HRQoL in people with cardiovascular disease from an unselected population.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001554
PMCID: PMC3488712  PMID: 23100444
Epidemiology; Health Economics
2.  Physical activity, obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease in the general population 
AIM: To clarify the association between physical activity and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in non-obese and obese people.
METHODS: A Swedish population-based cross-sectional survey was conducted. Participants aged 40-79 years were randomly selected from the Swedish Registry of the Total Population. Data on physical activity, GERD, body mass index (BMI) and the covariates age, gender, comorbidity, education, sleeping problems, and tobacco smoking were obtained using validated questionnaires. GERD was self-reported and defined as heartburn or regurgitation at least once weekly, and having at least moderate problems from such symptoms. Frequency of physical activity was categorized into three groups: (1) “high” (several times/week); (2) “intermediate” (approximately once weekly); and (3) “low” (1-3 times/mo or less). Analyses were stratified for participants with “normal weight” (BMI < 25 kg/m2), “overweight” (BMI 25 to ≤ 30 kg/m2) and “obese” (BMI > 30 kg/m2). Multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), adjusted for potential confounding by covariates.
RESULTS: Of 6969 eligible and randomly selected individuals, 4910 (70.5%) participated. High frequency of physical activity was reported by 2463 (50%) participants, GERD was identified in 472 (10%) participants, and obesity was found in 680 (14%). There were 226 (5%) individuals with missing information about BMI. Normal weight, overweight and obese participants were similar regarding distribution of gender and tobacco smoking status, while obese participants were on average slightly older, had fewer years of education, more comorbidity, slightly more sleeping problems, lower frequency of physical activity, and higher occurrence of GERD. Among the 2146 normal-weight participants, crude point estimates indicated a decreased risk of GERD among individuals with high frequency of physical activity (OR: 0.59, 95% CI: 0.39-0.89), compared to low frequency of physical activity. However, after adjustment for potential confounding factors, neither intermediate (OR: 1.30, 95% CI: 0.75-2.26) nor high (OR: 0.99, 95% CI: 0.62-1.60) frequency of physical activity was followed by decreased risk of GERD. Sleeping problems and high comorbidity were identified as potential confounders. Among the 1859 overweight participants, crude point estimates indicated no increased or decreased risk of GERD among individuals with intermediate or high frequency of physical activity, compared to low frequency. After adjustment for confounding, neither intermediate (OR: 0.75, 95% CI: 0.46-1.22) nor high frequency of physical activity were followed by increased or decreased risk of GERD compared to low frequency among nonobese participants. Sleeping problems and high comorbidity were identified as potential confounders for overweight participants. In obese individuals, crude ORs were similar to the adjusted ORs and no particular confounding factors were identified. Intermediate frequency of physical activity was associated with a decreased occurrence of GERD compared to low frequency of physical activity (adjusted OR: 0.41, 95% CI: 0.22-0.77).
CONCLUSION: Intermediate frequency of physical activity might decrease the risk of GERD among obese individuals, while no influence of physical activity on GERD was found in non-obese people.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v18.i28.3710
PMCID: PMC3406423  PMID: 22851863
Physical exercise; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Population-based study; Risk factor; Body mass index; Obesity

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