[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate whether serum vitamin D level predicts the risk of Parkinson disease.
The study was based on the Mini-Finland Health Survey, which was conducted from 1978 to 1980, with Parkinson disease occurrence follow-up through the end of 2007. During the 29-year follow-up period, 50 incident Parkinson disease cases occurred. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level was determined from frozen samples stored at baseline. Estimates of the relationship between serum vitamin D concentration and Parkinson disease incidence were calculated using the Cox model.
Three thousand one hundred seventy-three men and women, aged 50 to 79 years and free of Parkinson disease at baseline. Main Outcome Measure Parkinson disease incidence.
Individuals with higher serum vitamin D concentrations showed a reduced risk of Parkinson disease. The relative risk between the highest and lowest quartiles was 0.33 (95% confidence interval, 0.14-0.80) after adjustment for sex, age, marital status, education, alcohol consumption, leisure-time physical activity, smoking, body mass index, and month of blood draw.
The results are consistent with the suggestion that high vitamin D status provides protection against Parkinson disease. It cannot, however, be excluded that the finding is due to residual confounding and further studies are thus needed.
Archives of neurology 07/2010; 67(7):808-11. · 6.31 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine population lipid profiles, awareness of hyperlipidaemia and adherence to Australian lipid management guidelines.
Population survey in rural south-eastern Australia, 2004-2006.
Stratified random sample from the electoral roll. Data from 1274 participants (40%) aged 25-74 years were analysed.
Population mean total, low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (TC, LDL-C and HDL-C) and triglyceride (TG) concentrations, prevalence of dyslipidaemia, and treatment according to 2001 and 2005 Australian guideline target levels.
Population-adjusted mean TC, TG, LDL-C and HDL-C concentrations were 5.38 mmol/L (95% CI, 5.30-5.45), 1.50 mmol/L (95% CI, 1.43-1.56), 3.23 mmol/L (95% CI, 3.16-3.30) and 1.46 mmol/L (95% CI, 1.44-1.49), respectively. Prevalence of hypercholesterolaemia (TC > 5.5 mmol/L or on treatment) was 48%. Lipid-lowering medication use was reported by 12%. Seventy-seven of 183 participants with established cardiovascular disease (CVD) or diabetes were untreated, and of the 106 treated, 59% reached the target LDL-C. Of those without CVD or diabetes already treated, 38% reached target LDL-C, and 397 participants at high absolute risk did not receive primary prevention. Ninety-five per cent of treated individuals with CVD or diabetes and 86% of others treated had cholesterol measured in the previous year. Sixty-nine per cent of individuals at low risk aged over 45 years had their cholesterol measured within the previous 5 years.
A comprehensive national strategy for lowering mean population cholesterol is required, as is better implementation of absolute risk management guidelines - particularly in rural populations.
The Medical journal of Australia 02/2010; 192(3):127-32. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence suggests that inadequate vitamin D levels may predispose people to chronic diseases. The authors aimed to investigate whether serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) level predicts mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD). The study was based on the Mini-Finland Health Survey and included 6,219 men and women aged > or =30 years who were free from CVD at baseline (1978-1980). During follow-up through 2006, 640 coronary disease deaths and 293 cerebrovascular disease deaths were identified. Levels of 25(OH)D were determined from serum collected at baseline. Cox's proportional hazards model was used to assess the association between 25(OH)D and risk of CVD death. After adjustment for potential confounders, the hazard ratio for total CVD death was 0.76 (95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.60, 0.95) for the highest quintile of 25(OH)D level versus the lowest. The association was evident for cerebrovascular death (hazard ratio = 0.48, 95% CI: 0.31, 0.75) but not coronary death (hazard ratio = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.70, 1.18). A low vitamin D level may be associated with higher risk of a fatal CVD event, particularly cerebrovascular death. These findings need to be replicated in other populations. To demonstrate a causal link between vitamin D and CVD, randomized controlled trials are required.
American journal of epidemiology 09/2009; 170(8):1032-9. · 5.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this article was to assess the level and prevalence of major chronic disease risk factors among rural adults. Two cross-sectional surveys were carried out in 2004 and 2005 in the southeast of South Australia and the southwest of Victoria. Altogether 891 randomly selected persons aged 25 to 74 years participated in the studies. Surveys included a self-administered questionnaire, physical measurements, and a venous blood specimen for lipid analyses. Two thirds of participants had cholesterol levels>or=5.0 mmol/L. The prevalence of high diastolic blood pressure (>or=90 mm Hg) was 22% for men and 10% for women in southeast of South Australia, and less than 10% for both sexes in southwest of Victoria. Two thirds of participants were overweight or obese (body mass index>or=25 kg/m2). About 15% of men and slightly less women were daily smokers. The abnormal risk factor levels underline the need for targeted prevention activities in the Greater Green Triangle region. Continuing surveillance of levels and patterns of risk factors is fundamentally important for planning and evaluating preventive activities.
Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health 01/2009; 21(1):51-62. · 1.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Experimental data support the suppressing effect of vitamin D on lung carcinogenesis, but epidemiologic evidence is limited. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] level is associated with the risk of lung cancer in a prospective cohort study in Finland. 25(OH)D levels were measured by RIA from serum collected at baseline (1978--1980) from 6,937 men and women. During a maximum follow-up of 24 years, 122 lung cancers were identified. After adjustment for potential confounders, no overall significant association between vitamin D and lung cancer risk was observed [relative risk (RR) for the highest versus lowest tertile, 0.72; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.43-1.19; Ptrend = 0.22]. There was a statistically significant interaction between vitamin D and sex (P = 0.02) and age (P = 0.02): serum 25(OH)D level was inversely associated with lung cancer incidence for women (RR, 0.16; 95% CI, 0.04-0.59; Ptrend < 0.001) and younger participants (RR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.13-0.90; Ptrend = 0.04) but not for men (RR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.59-1.82; Ptrend = 0.81) or older individuals (RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.50-1.70; Ptrend = 0.79). In conclusion, although there was no overall association between vitamin D and lung cancer risk, women and young participants with a higher level of vitamin D were observed to have a lower lung cancer risk. Although experimental data support the suppressing effect of vitamin D on the development of lung cancer, large epidemiologic studies from different populations with repeated measurements of vitamin D are warranted to confirm this finding.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is a recognized association among depression, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The aim of this study was to examine in a sample representative of the general population whether depression, anxiety, and psychological distress are associated with metabolic syndrome and its components.
Three cross-sectional surveys including clinical health measures were completed in rural regions of Australia during 2004-2006. A stratified random sample (n = 1,690, response rate 48%) of men and women aged 25-84 years was selected from the electoral roll. Metabolic syndrome was defined by the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults, Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III), and International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria. Anxiety and depression were assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and psychological distress by the Kessler 10 measure.
Metabolic syndrome was associated with depression but not psychological distress or anxiety. Participants with the metabolic syndrome had higher scores for depression (n = 409, mean score 3.41, 95% CI 3.12-3.70) than individuals without the metabolic syndrome (n = 936, mean 2.95, 95% CI 2.76-3.13). This association was also present in 338 participants with the metabolic syndrome and without diabetes (mean score 3.37, 95% CI 3.06-3.68). Large waist circumference and low HDL cholesterol showed significant and independent associations with depression.
Our results show an association between metabolic syndrome and depression in a heterogeneous sample. The presence of depression in individuals with the metabolic syndrome has implications for clinical management.
Diabetes care 11/2008; 31(12):2368-73. · 7.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Antibiotic use has been hypothesized to be associated with the risk of cancer but the evidence is sparse and inconsistent. The aim of the present study was to determine whether antibiotic use predicts the development of various cancers. This nationwide cohort study included 3,112,624 individuals, aged 30-79 years, with no history of cancer. Information on their antibiotic use between 1995 and 1997 was obtained from the Drug Prescription Registry. During the period 1998-2004, 134,070 cancer cases were ascertained from the Finnish Cancer Registry. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate the relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Antibiotic use was associated with an increased risk of cancer: for categories of increasing antibiotic use (0-1, 2-5 and >/=6 prescriptions), RRs (95% CIs) for cancer were 1.0 (reference), 1.27 (1.26-1.29) and 1.37 (1.34-1.40). RRs (for comparison of lowest and highest exposure group) for the most common primary sites i.e. prostate, breast, lung and colon were 1.39 (1.31-1.48), 1.14 (1.09-1.20), 1.79 (1.67-1.92), and 1.15 (1.04-1.26), respectively. RRs for other primary sites varied between 0.90 (0.76-1.05) for ovary to 2.60 (1.60-4.20) for endocrine gland (excluding thyroid). In conclusion, antibiotic use predicts an increased risk of cancer. Because of the design of our study the possibility of residual confounding cannot be excluded and further studies are required to confirm the results.
International Journal of Cancer 11/2008; 123(9):2152-5. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to assess whether perinatal factors are associated with the risk of asthma in childhood in a register-based, nested case-control study in Finland. All children born between January 1, 1996, and April 30, 2004, who were entitled to a special reimbursement for antiasthmatic drugs (i.e., had diagnosed asthma by 2006 and had purchased inhaled corticosteroids or montelukast at least once), were identified (n = 21,038). For each case, one matched control child was selected. The associations between perinatal factors, derived from the Finnish Medical Birth Register, and the risk of asthma were analyzed by conditional logistic regression. In the final multivariate model, maternal asthma, young age, smoking, previous miscarriages, and a high number of previous deliveries, as well as cesarean section, low gestational age, and low ponderal index, were associated with an increased risk of asthma in children diagnosed before the age of 3 years. Among children diagnosed at the age of 3 years or later, maternal asthma, low gestational age, and low ponderal index were associated with an increased risk, and a high number of previous deliveries was associated with a decreased risk of asthma. In conclusion, perinatal factors play a role in the development of asthma in childhood, but the etiology may differ in early and late-onset asthma.
American journal of epidemiology 08/2008; 168(2):170-8. · 5.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess physical activity (PA) behaviours of adults in rural Australia.
Three cross-sectional surveys in the Greater Green Triangle area covering the south-east of South Australia (Limestone Coast), and south-west (Corangamite Shire) and north-west (Wimmera) of Victoria during 2004-2006.
A total of 1546 persons, aged 25- 74 years, randomly selected from the electoral roll.
Overall PA, leisure-time PA, occupational PA, active commuting and moderate-to-vigorous PA.
Approximately 80% of participants, more women than men, engaged in 30 minutes or more of daily PA. Only 30% (95% CI 26.3, 33.0) of men and 21% (95% CI 18.3, 23.9) of women did moderate-to-vigorous PA for at least 20-30 minutes four or more times a week. In leisure time, most participants were moderately active; almost one-fifth were inactive and another fifth highly active. Two-thirds of men engaged in high-level occupational PA, compared with one-sixth of women. Only 30% of participants actively commuted to work. There was a tendency for a positive association between income level and leisure-time PA.
One-fifth of adults in rural Australia were inactive. While there was a high prevalence of participants who engaged in daily PA, few did so at moderate-to-vigorous intensity to achieve health benefits. As occupational PA is difficult to change, improvements in levels of PA are more likely during leisure-time and for some people by engaging in commuting PA.
Australian Journal of Rural Health 05/2008; 16(2):92-9. · 1.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypertension is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease; however, limited findings are available on its detection and management in rural Australia. Aim: To assess the prevalence, awareness and treatment of hypertension in a rural South-East Australian population.
Three cross-sectional surveys in Limestone Coast, Corangamite Shire and Wimmera regions during 2004-2006 using a random population sample (n = 3320, participation rate 49%) aged 25-74 years. Blood pressure was measured by trained nurses. Information on history of hypertension and medication was obtained by questionnaires. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure >or=140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure >or=90 mmHg and/or on antihypertensive drug treatment.
Overall, one-third of participants had hypertension; of these, two-thirds, 54% (95% confidence interval (CI) 47-60) of men and 71% (95% CI 65-77) of women, were aware of their condition. Half of the participants with hypertension were treated and nearly half of these were controlled. Both treatment and control were more common in women (60%, 95% CI 54-67 and 55%, 95% CI 47-64) compared with men (42%, 95% CI 36-49 and 35%, 95% CI 26-44). Monotherapy was used by 55% (95% CI 48-61) of treated hypertensives. Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were the most frequently used class of antihypertensive drugs in men, whereas angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin receptor antagonists and diuretics were all widely used among women.
This study emphasizes suboptimal detection and treatment of hypertension, especially in men, in rural Australia.
Internal Medicine Journal 03/2008; 38(12):879-86. · 1.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To measure the prevalence of overweight, obesity and the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in rural Australia.
Cross-sectional surveys were conducted in two rural areas in Victoria and South Australia in 2004-2005. A stratified random sample of men and women aged 25-74 years was selected from the electoral roll. Data were collected by a self-administered questionnaire, physical measurements and laboratory tests.
Prevalence of overweight and obesity, as defined by body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference; prevalence of MetS and its components.
Data on 806 participants (383 men and 423 women) were analysed. Based on BMI, the prevalence of overweight and obesity combined was 74.1% (95% CI, 69.7%-78.5%) in men and 64.1% (95% CI, 59.5%-68.7%) in women. Based on waist circumference, the prevalence of overweight and obesity was higher in women (72.4%; 95% CI, 68.1%-76.7%) than men (61.9%; 95% CI, 57.0%-66.8%). The overall prevalence of obesity was 30.0% (95% CI, 26.8%-33.2%) based on BMI (> or = 30.0 kg/m(2)) and 44.7% (95% CI, 41.2%-48.1%) based on waist circumference (> or = 102 cm [men] and > or= 88 cm [women]). The prevalence of MetS as defined by the US National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III 2005 criteria was 27.1% (95% CI, 22.7%-31.6%) in men and 28.3% (95% CI, 24.0%-32.6%) in women; based on International Diabetes Federation criteria, prevalences for men and women were 33.7% (95% CI, 29.0%-38.5%) and 30.1% (95% CI, 25.7%-34.5%), respectively. Prevalences of MetS, central (abdominal) obesity, hyperglycaemia, hypertension and hypertriglyceridaemia increased with age.
In rural Australia, prevalences of MetS, overweight and obesity are very high. Urgent population-wide action is required to tackle the problem.
The Medical journal of Australia 08/2007; 187(3):147-52. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although clinical trials have shown that lifestyle modifications reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, translating lessons from trials to primary care remains a challenge. The aim of the study was to evaluate efficacy and feasibility of primary care-based diabetes prevention model with modest resource requirements in rural Australia. Three hundred and eleven subjects with at least a moderate risk of type 2 diabetes participated in a combined dietary and physical activity intervention. Clinical measurements and fasting blood samples were taken at the baseline and after intervention. After 3 months intervention, total (change -3.5%, p<0.001) and LDL cholesterol (-4.8%, p<0.001) plasma levels as well as body mass index (-2.5%, p<0.001), weight (-2.5%, p<0.001), and waist (-1.6%, p<0.001) and hip (-2.7%, p<0.001) circumferences reduced significantly. A borderline reduction was found in triglyceride levels (-4.8%, p=0.058) while no changes were observed in HDL cholesterol (+0.6%, p=0.525), glucose (+0.06%, p=0.386), or systolic (-0.98%, p=0.095) or diastolic (-1.06%, p=0.134) blood pressure levels. In conclusion, a lifestyle intervention improved health outcomes - especially obesity and blood lipids - in a population at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Our results suggest that the present model is effective and feasible to carry out in primary care settings.
Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 06/2007; 76(3):460-2. · 2.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To describe the prevalence of psychological distress, depression and anxiety in three Australian rural settings and to identify the levels of risk by gender and age.Design and setting: Three cross-sectional surveys in the Greater Green Triangle area covering the south-east of South Australia (Limestone Coast), and south-west (Corangamite Shire) and north-west (Wimmera) of Victoria.Participants: A total of 1563 people, aged 25–74 years, randomly selected from the electoral roll.Main outcome measures: Psychological distress assessed by the Kessler 10, and anxiety and depression assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.Results: The prevalence of psychological distress was 31% for both men and women with two-thirds reporting moderate and one-third high levels of psychological distress. The prevalence of depression and anxiety was approximately 10%. The highest rate of psychological distress, anxiety and depression occurred in the 45–54 years age group. There were no consistent gender or area differences in the prevalence of psychological distress, depression or anxiety.Conclusions: A third of the rural population reported psychological distress, with the highest prevalence observed in middle-aged men and women. Thus, health professionals should attend not only to physical health, but also to mental health status in this age group. It is also important to target prevention strategies at the 20% who reported moderate levels of psychological distress in order to prevent the development of more serious conditions.
Australian Journal of Rural Health 03/2007; 15(2):114 - 119. · 1.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Randomised controlled trials demonstrate a 60% reduction in type 2 diabetes incidence through lifestyle modification programmes. The aim of this study is to determine whether such programmes are feasible in primary health care.
An intervention study including 237 individuals 40-75 years of age with moderate or high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A structured group programme with six 90 minute sessions delivered during an eight month period by trained nurses in Australian primary health care in 2004-2006. Main outcome measures taken at baseline, three, and 12 months included weight, height, waist circumference, fasting plasma glucose and lipids, plasma glucose two hours after oral glucose challenge, blood pressure, measures of psychological distress and general health outcomes. To test differences between baseline and follow-up, paired t-tests and Wilcoxon rank sum tests were performed.
At twelve months participants' mean weight reduced by 2.52 kg (95% confidence interval 1.85 to 3.19) and waist circumference by 4.17 cm (3.48 to 4.87). Mean fasting glucose reduced by 0.14 mmol/l (0.07 to 0.20), plasma glucose two hours after oral glucose challenge by 0.58 mmol/l (0.36 to 0.79), total cholesterol by 0.29 mmol/l (0.18 to 0.40), low density lipoprotein cholesterol by 0.25 mmol/l (0.16 to 0.34), triglycerides by 0.15 mmol/l (0.05 to 0.24) and diastolic blood pressure by 2.14 mmHg (0.94 to 3.33). Significant improvements were also found in most psychological measures.
This study provides evidence that a type 2 diabetes prevention programme using lifestyle intervention is feasible in primary health care settings, with reductions in risk factors approaching those observed in clinical trials.
BMC Public Health 02/2007; 7:249. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The lignan enterolactone produced by the intestinal microflora from dietary precursors has been hypothesized to protect against coronary heart disease. The present study examined the association between serum enterolactone concentration and the risk of coronary heart disease. A prospective case-cohort study was conducted among male smokers randomized to receive a placebo supplement in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study (1986-1999). Serum enterolactone concentrations were measured by the gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method in serum collected at trial baseline from 340 men diagnosed with nonfatal myocardial infarction (n = 205) or coronary death (n = 135) during follow-up and from the randomly selected subcohort of 420 subjects. The classic risk factors-adjusted rate ratios for all coronary heart disease events in increasing quintiles of enterolactone were 1.00 (referent), 0.85 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.51, 1.43), 0.59 (95% CI: 0.35, 1.00), 0.69 (95% CI: 0.40, 1.16), and 0.63 (95% CI: 0.33, 1.11), and the p(trend) was 0.07. For the highest versus the lowest quintile of enterolactone, the rate ratios for nonfatal myocardial infarction and coronary death were 0.67 (95% CI: 0.37, 1.23; p(trend) = 0.10) and 0.57 (95% CI: 0.26, 1.25; p(trend) = 0.18), respectively. In conclusion, only weak support for the association between serum enterolactone concentration and coronary heart disease was found.
American Journal of Epidemiology 05/2006; 163(8):687-93. · 4.78 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the use of antimicrobials is associated with the risk of childhood type 1 diabetes.
The study population included all children born in Finland between 1996 and 2000 who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes by the end of 2002. For each case (n=437), four matched controls were selected. Data on diabetes and the maternal use of antimicrobials was derived from nationwide registries.
Maternal use of phenoxymethyl penicillins (odds ratio [OR]=1.70, 95% CI 1.08-2.68, p=0.022) or quinolone antimicrobials (OR=2.43, 95% CI 1.16-5.10, p=0.019) before pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of type 1 diabetes in the child, whereas the use of other specific antimicrobials was not related to the risk. The risk was also higher among mother-child pairs where macrolides were used both by the mother before pregnancy and by the child, compared with pairs where neither used macrolides (OR=1.76, 95% CI 1.05-2.94, p=0.032). Maternal use of antimicrobials during pregnancy was not associated with an increased risk. The high use of antimicrobials by the child (more than seven vs seven or less purchases) was related to greater risk (OR=1.66, 95% CI 1.24-2.24, p=0.001).
Overall, the use of antimicrobials before pregnancy, during pregnancy or during childhood was not related to the risk of childhood type 1 diabetes. However, the use of some specific antimicrobials by the mother before pregnancy and by the child may be associated with an increased risk. Further studies are needed to confirm these associations and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of action.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The lignan enterolactone produced by the intestinal microflora from dietary precursors has been hypothesized to protect against hormone-dependent cancers. We conducted a nested case-control study to examine the relationship between serum enterolactone concentration and risk of breast cancer. Enterolactone concentrations were measured by time-resolved fluoroimmunoassay in serum collected at 4 independent cross-sectional population surveys from 206 women with breast cancer diagnosed during follow-up (mean 8.0 years) and from 215 controls frequency-matched to cases by study cohort, 5-year age group and study area. Mean serum enterolactone concentration (nmol/l) did not significantly differ between case and control subjects [25.2 (SD 22.2) vs. 24.0 (SD 21.3), respectively]. Odds ratios for breast cancer risk estimated by conditional logistic regression for increasing concentration of enterolactone in quartiles were 1.00 (referent), 1.67 (95% CI 0.95-2.95), 1.71 (95% CI 0.96-3.06) and 1.30 (95% CI 0.73-2.31), and p for trend was 0.48. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that high serum enterolactone concentration is associated with reduced risk of breast cancer.
International Journal of Cancer 02/2004; 108(2):277-80. · 6.20 Impact Factor