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1.  Peptic ulcer and childhood adversities experienced by working-aged people 
AIM: To study the association between self-reported peptic ulcer and childhood adversities.
METHODS: The Health and Social Support Study (HeSSup) population consisted of a stratified random sample drawn from the Finnish Population Register in four age groups: 20-24, 30-34, 40-44 and 50-54. The survey was carried out by postal questionnaire during 1998, with a response rate of 40.0%. A follow-up questionnaire was sent during 2003 to all those who responded to the first. Altogether 19 626 individuals returned the follow-up questionnaire; a response rate of 75.8%. The subjects were asked whether a doctor had told them that they have or have had peptic ulcer. The analyses covered those who responded affirmatively to both the baseline and the follow-up enquiries (n = 718). Those not reporting a peptic ulcer in either of the two questionnaires (n = 17 677) were taken as controls. The subjects were further requested (through six questions) to think about their childhood adversities.
RESULTS: The most common adversities mentioned were long-lasting financial difficulties in the family, serious conflicts in the family, and a family member seriously or chronically ill. All the adversities reported, except parental divorce, were more common among peptic ulcer patients than among controls (P values varied between < 0.001 and 0.003). Age- and sex-adjusted odds ratios (OR) of childhood adversities in the multivariate logistic analysis for self-reported peptic ulcer varied between 1.45 and 2.01. Adjusting for smoking, heavy drinking, stress and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use had no further influence (ORs between 1.22 and 1.73).
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that childhood adversities maintain a connection with and have a predictive role in the development of peptic ulcer.
PMCID: PMC2712902  PMID: 19610142
Peptic ulcer; Working-aged; Childhood adversities; Stress factors; Predictive role
2.  Childhood adversities and adult-onset asthma: a cohort study 
BMJ Open  2012;2(5):e001625.
Childhood adversities may be important determinants of later illnesses and poor health behaviour. However, large-scale prospective studies on the associations between childhood adversities and the onset of asthma in adulthood are lacking.
Prospective cohort study with 7-year follow-up.
Nationally representative study. Data were collected from the Health and Social Support (HeSSup) survey and national registers.
The participants represent the Finnish population from the following age groups: 20–24, 30–34, 40–44, and 50–54 years at baseline in 1998 (24 057 survey participants formed the final cohort of this study). The occurrence of childhood adversities was assessed at baseline with a six-item survey scale. The analyses were adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics, behavioural health risks and common mental disorders.
Primary and secondary outcomes
The survey data were linked to data from national health registers on incident asthma during a 7-year follow-up to define new-onset asthma cases with verified diagnoses.
A total of 12 126 (59%) participants reported that they encountered a childhood adversity. Of them 3677 (18% of all) endured three to six adversities. During a follow-up of 7 years, 593 (2.9%) participants were diagnosed with incident asthma. Those who reported three or more childhood adversities had a 1.6-fold (95% CI 1.31 to 2.01) greater risk of asthma compared to those without childhood adversities. This hazard attenuated but remained statistically significant after adjustment for conventional risk factors (HR 1.33; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.67).
Adults who report having encountered adversities in childhood may have an increased risk of developing asthma.
PMCID: PMC3488721  PMID: 23069774
Psychiatry; Epidemiology
3.  Gender differences in sex life issues – A population-based study of migraine sufferers 
BMC Family Practice  2008;9:19.
Migraine is considered to have a negative influence on sex life. The present study was to analyse the perceptions of importance of and satisfaction with sex life as well as the expression of interest in sex among people having migraines in a prospective follow-up mail survey in 1998 and 2003.
The random sample was stratified according to gender and age in four age groups (20–24, 30–34, 40–44, and 50–54 years). Altogether 25 898 individuals responded to the baseline and 19 626 to the follow-up questionnaire (75.8% response rate). We examined as to how the perceptions of sex life of those suffering from migraine changed during a 5-year follow-up. Conditional logistic regression was used to analyse the data of the responses on self-reported migraine in the baseline and follow-up surveys (N = 2 977, 79.2% women). Each person with migraine was assigned a gender- and age-matched control in the analysis.
All three outcome variables tended to decrease in value. Importance of sex life was higher among men with migraine than among their controls. Among women migraine lessened interest in sex life.
Our findings suggested that migraine has a different impact on sex life among women from that among men.
PMCID: PMC2323009  PMID: 18400102
4.  Occurrence of symptoms and depressive mood among working-aged coronary heart disease patients 
The typical symptoms of coronary heart disease (CHD), chest pain and breathlessness, are well-known. They are considered quite dramatic, and can thus be fairly reliably mapped by a survey. However, people might have other clearly unpleasant symptoms impairing quality of life. The aim of this study is to evaluate the appearance of these complaints of working-aged people with self-reported CHD.
The study consists of a postal questionnaire of randomly selected Finns in age groups 30–34, 40–44 and 50–54, a response rate of 39% (N = 15,477). The subjects were asked whether or not a doctor had told them that they had angina pectoris or had had myocardial infarction. Four randomly selected age and sex matched controls were chosen for every patient. The occurrence of self-reported dyspnoea, chest pain during anger or other kind of emotion, palpitation and perspiration without physical exercise, irregular heartbeats, flushing, trembling of hands and voice, jerking of muscles, depression and day-time sleepiness were examined. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI), between occurrence of symptoms and CHD with and without heart infarction, were computed by multivariate logistic regression analysis.
The sample eventually comprised 319 CHD patients. Dyspnoea, chest pain during anger or other kind of emotion, palpitation, perspiration without physical exercise, irregular heartbeats daily or almost daily, trembling of hands and voice, and jerking of muscles occurred statistically significantly more frequently among CHD patients than among controls. The CHD patients also reported more depressive mood according to Beck's inventory scores and poorer sleep and more frequent day-time sleepiness than controls. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis chest pain during anger or other kind of emotion (ORs 4.12 and 3.61) and dyspnoea (ORs 2.33 and 3.81) were the symptoms most associated with CHD.
Working-aged people with self-reported coronary heart disease evince a number of symptoms limiting the quality of their every day life. This aspect should be paid attention to when evaluating functional capacity of these patients.
PMCID: PMC534791  PMID: 15533254

Results 1-4 (4)