[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human health is affected by space weather component [solar (SA), geomagnetic (GMA), cosmic ray (CRA) – neutrons, space proton flux] activity levels. The aim of this study was to check possible links between timing of human (both genders) monthly deaths distribution and space weather activity.
Human deaths distribution in the Republic of Lithuania from 1989 to 2013 (25 years, i.e., 300 consecutive months) was studied, which included 1,050,503 deaths (549,764 male, 500,739 female). Pearson correlation coefficients (
Space factors were interrelated as follows for the considered period: CRA was inversely related to SA and GMA, CRA/SA (
Most groups of deaths are related to space weather component activity. Extreme levels of activities of both groups (SA, GMA, and opposite CRA – neutron) are related to some health risks. In the considered period, there were relatively few GMA storms and low GMA was dominating, accompanied by higher CRA (neutron) activity. The ways of action of the components of space weather on the human body need additional studies. There is a special need for the prevention of rising cerebral vascular accidents and oncology malignancies as the causes of death.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the changes in mortality and the years of potential life lost (YPLL) due to alcohol-related injuries, as well as the impact of alcohol-related injuries on life expectancy during the period of the implementation of comprehensive alcohol control policy in Lithuania.
Data on deaths from injuries (ICD-10 codes V01-Y98) of the able-bodied population (aged 15-64 years) during 2006-2009 were obtained from the Lithuanian Department of Statistics. Age-standardized rates of alcohol-related mortality and YPLL per 100, 000 population due to injuries and the impact of alcohol-related injuries on life expectancy were calculated. The results of forensic autopsies were the basis for the alcohol-attributable fraction.
The age-standardized YPLL/100,000 of the able-bodied population due to alcohol-related injuries was 2285.6 (4067.5 for males and 573.6 for females) in 2009. In 2009, YPLL/100,000 due to alcohol-related injuries declined by 16.3%, while due to alcohol-related traffic accidents by 51.2% when compared with 2006. However, YPLL/100, 000 due to alcohol-related suicides increased among males. A 15 to 64-year-old decedent lost an average of 21.2 years of life due to alcohol-related injuries (21.6 years on average per male and 19.1 per female). The impact of alcohol-related injuries on life expectancy decreased from 1.14 years (1.86 for males and 0.34 for females) in 2006 to 0.97 years (1.62 for males and 0.26 for females) in 2009.
The positive changes in YPLL due to alcohol-related injuries and the impact of alcohol-related injuries on life expectancy indicate successful implementation of evidence-based alcohol control measures.
Preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Alcohol and Alcoholism
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the intentions of general dentists, dental specialists, dental hygienists, assistants and technicians graduated from Lithuanian educational institutions in 0032010 to engage in practice in foreign countries.
A questionnaire survey was carried out among all graduates (N = 347) general dentists, dental specialists, dental hygienists, assistants and technicians in Lithuania in 2010. The response rate was 82.7%.
32.4% of graduates from all oral health specialties mentioned their intentions to emigrate from Lithuania. The highest rate of emigration intentions was found among dental assistants (35.5%) and general dentistry graduates (26.9%). Factors related to higher reported intentions to emigrate were relatives or friends residing in other states, self-rating of personal unhappiness, or residing in large cities. As many as every fourth (23.1%) dental hygienist, assistant and technician graduates had already planned, arranged and organised for emigration. Major destination countries are the UK, Ireland, Norway and Sweden. Of all oral health professionals, the highest rate of reported intentions to emigrate was among dental hygienists, assistants and technicians, therefore many of them will not join the professional community in Lithuania.
The survey gives indications about the possible magnitude of emigration of oral health professionals from Lithuania and is the first study of its kind. The results show that Lithuania is a major sending country in the context of international oral health professionals' migration flows.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · International Dental Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study to assess inequalities in life expectancy of Lithuanian males and females throughout the period of 1990-2006 and to estimate the contribution of major causes of death to inequalities in life expectancy. Material and methods: Information on deaths was obtained from the Lithuanian Department of Statistics. Life table analysis was carried out. Analysis of components was applied in order to assess the contribution of the major causes of death to the differences in life expectancy of males and females. The jointpoint regression analysis was used to identify the critical points, wherever a statistically signifi cant change in life expectancy occurred. Results: Two cut points, dividing the trends in life expectancy into three periods of decreasing, increasing, and again decreasing life expectancy, were characteristic of both males and females in 1990-2006. Changes in life expectancy were more pronounced for males in all three periods. Overall change in life expectancy was not statistically signifi cant for males and was increasing by 0.2% annually for females throughout the period of investigation. The greatest number of years in life expectancy was lost due to cardiovascular diseases in both males and females. External causes contributed most to the difference in life expectancy of able-bodied (aged 15-64 years) males and females. Differences in life expectancy of males and females decreased from 12.3 to 11.8 years throughout the period of 1994-2006; however, it remained among highest in Europe. Since 1991, external causes of death have become the major, though decreasing, contributors to inequalities in life expectancy between males and females. In 2006, compared to 1994, contribution of cardiovascular diseases and cancer increased. Conclusion: Attempts to reduce demographic and social inequalities in health should become a priority in social and health policy formulation. The criteria for evaluation of the national and regional health and social programs should refl ect aspects of equal opportunities in health for males and females.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article describes the second phase of a large study of Lithuanian dentists' health, and focuses on self-reported physical health complaints, general health state and associations between the two. In 2006, a postal questionnaire survey of all (N=2,449) licensed dentists registered with the Lithuanian Dental Association was conducted, obtaining a response rate of 68.2%. Fatigue (94.7%) and back pain (91.0%) were the most prevalent physical complaints reported, and they were also the most likely to become chronic among all physical disorders. Hypertension, joint diseases and allergy were the most prevalent diagnosed and treated diseases during the previous 12 months. Only half of the surveyed Lithuanian dentists (50.4%) rated their health as satisfactory. Logistic regression revealed that fatigue (Odds Ratio: 0.52; 95%CI: 0.29-0.94), headache (OR: 0.62; 95%CI: 0.42-0.90), hand problems (OR: 0.62; 95%CI: 0.44-0.87), chest pain (OR: 0.51; 95%CI: 0.40-0.64) and musculoskeletal complaints (OR: 0.41; 95%CI: 0.28-0.60) had a significant negative impact on dentists' self-reported general health. Overall, this study suggests that Lithuanian dentists do experience a certain amount of occupationally-related health problems. It is therefore important to increase health knowledge on occupational hazards and also to emphasize the importance of early diagnosis and treatment for these disorders in Lithuania, as elsewhere.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to document dentists' self-perceived mental health complaints and job satisfaction, and to assess any correlations between the two. A postal questionnaire survey was mailed to all (N=2,449) licensed dentists registered with the Lithuanian Dental Association. The questionnaire investigated dentists' mental health and job satisfaction during the previous year (overall response rate: 68.2%). The majority of respondents (80.7%) reported being satisfied with their job. Self-perceived lack of self-esteem (OR: 0.59, 95% CI: 0.43-0.82), loneliness (OR: 0.72, 95% CI: 0.53-0.98), and especially depression (OR: 0.52, 95% CI: 0.35-0.77) had a high negative impact on dentists' job satisfaction. Nervousness (89.2%) and burnout (83.6%) were the most prevalent mental complaints and they also tended to be the most chronic of all reported mental disorders. Increasing age significantly reduced the possibility of nervousness or depression and increased the possibility of being satisfied with dental practice. Increasing working hours increased the risk of burnout, anxiety and loneliness. Overall, this study suggests that the majority of Lithuanian dentists are satisfied with their job and also enjoy their professional lives. However, a considerable proportion still reported impairment of mental health which influenced their levels of job satisfaction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SUMMARY OBJECTIVE: To compare demographic and social groups of patients, their satisfaction with services in public and private dental institutions. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A random sample of 3000 Lithuanian residents was selected; 1801 participants answered a postal questionnaire. The response rate was 60.0%. Univariate analysis, chi(2) criterion, z-test, and multiple logistic regression were used to evaluate the association between institution type, demographic and social characteristics of the respondents. RESULTS. Less than half of Lithuanian residents (41.2%) visited public dental institutions, 35.9%--private, 25.9%--both. They preferred private dental sector due to better quality of service, public--due to closeness to residence or being the treatment place of acquaintances. Patients visiting public institutions required cheaper treatment, while patients visiting private institutions--qualitative, though more expensive, using modern technologies. The number of dental visits in the past year was lower in public institutions than in private ones. The majority of patients treated in public, private, and both institutions were satisfied with dental services. The least satisfied were visiting both institutions. More respondents with secondary and lower education used public services as compared to those with higher education. Urban population visited public institutions more often than rural population. Respondents with a monthly income of less than 500 Lt for one family member used public dental services more often than those receiving a higher income. Older patients visited public dental institutions more often than younger ones. CONCLUSIONS. More Lithuanian residents are treated in public dental institutions (up to 67.1%) than in private. Older, receiving lower income patients preferred public institutions. The majority of patients in public clinics as well as in private sector are satisfied with the service. Those who visited both types of institutions were least satisfied with dental services.
No preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To present changes in life expectancy of males and females by the level of educational achievement and describe different aspects of inequalities in life expectancy over the decade of socioeconomic transition in Lithuania.
This analysis is based on routine mortality statistics and census data for 1989 and 2001 for the entire country. The study included the population more than 25 years of age.
Increasing inequalities in life expectancy by education have occurred due to increasing life expectancy amongst persons with higher educational achievements, and conversely, a declining life expectancy in groups with low levels of education. Cardiovascular diseases were responsible for the greatest number of years lost in life expectancy by all educational categories both in males and females. The numbers of years lost due to cardiovascular diseases decreased in majority of educational categories, particularly in lower secondary educational group. The increase in the years of life expectancy lost was observed due to external causes of death, the higher education being associated with the lower numbers of years lost, especially in females. The greatest impact on the difference in life expectancy between males with university and primary education was caused by external causes both in 1989 and 2001, while the major contribution to the educational differences in life expectancy of females was made by cardiovascular diseases.
Favorable forecast of declining health inequalities by education in Lithuania can hardly be expected in the nearest future. Collective efforts and constructive actions should address the health problems of the least privileged groups in terms of education, as well as promotional efforts directed at young people to complete their education and guarantee of equal opportunities for education.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human life and health state are dependent on many endogenous and exogenous influence factors. The aim of this study is to check the possible links between monthly deaths distribution and concomitant activity of three groups of cosmophysical factors: solar (SA), geomagnetic (GMA) and cosmic ray (CRA) activities. 192 months death number in years 1990-2005 (n=674004) at the Republic of Lithuania were analyzed. Total and both gender data were considered. In addition to the total death numbers, groups of ischemic heart disease (IHD), stroke (CVA), non-cardiovascular (NCV), accident, traffic accident and suicide-related deaths were studied. Sunspot number and solar radio flux (for SA), Ap, Cp and Am indices (for GMA) and neutron activity on the Earth s surface (for CRA) were the environmental physical activity parameters used in this study. Yearly and monthly deaths distributions were also studied. Pearson correlation coefficients (r) and their probabilities (p) were calculated. Multivariate analysis was conducted. Results revealed: 1) significant correlation of monthly deaths number with CRA (total, stroke, NCV and suicides) and inverse with SA and GMA; 2) significant correlation of monthly number of traffic accidents number with SA and GMA, and inverse with CRA; 3) a strong negative relationship between year and IHD/CVA victims number (an evidence for growing role of stroke in cardiovascular mortality); 4) significant links of rising cardiovascular deaths number at the beginning of the year and traffic accidents victims at the end of the year. It is concluded that CRA is related to monthly deaths distribution.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To analyse the changes in mortality inequalities by marital status over the period of socio-economic transition in Lithuania and to estimate the contribution of major causes of death to marital-status differences in overall mortality.
A survey based on routine mortality statistics and census data for 1989 and 2001 for the entire country.
The proportion of married population has declined over the past decade. Widowed men and never married women were found to be at highest risk of mortality throughout the period under investigation. Although inequalities have not grown considerably, mortality rates have increased significantly for divorced populations and for never married men, widening the mortality gap. Cardiovascular diseases contributed most to excess mortality of never married and divorced men, as well as all unmarried groups of women. The excess mortality of widowed men from external causes was greatest in 2001.
Marriage can be considered as a health protecting factor, particularly in relation to mortality from cardiovascular diseases and external causes. Local and national policies aimed at health promotion must focus primarily on improving the position of unmarried groups and providing psychological support.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to examine self perceived psychological wellbeing of Lithuanian dentists and to relate complains of well being to occupational hazards of dental profession.
All dentists (2449) registered in Lithuanian Dental Chamber license registry were approached by post questionnaire which included structured questions regarding occupational hazards and their effects on self perceived psychological wellbeing.
Overall majority (95.1%) of Lithuanian dentists reported that dental profession influences their general health and more than a half (52.4%) experienced health complains on either a frequent or very frequent basis. Substantial numbers of Lithuanian dentists reported work related stress, fatigue, nervousness and anxiety. Tension before work and awakenings at night were frequent complains. Of all, 94.2% of respondents indicated that long working hours affect their general health and 41.7% were bothered by this condition on a frequent or very frequent basis. Although less than 10% of dentists indicated overwork, they indicated that long working hours influence their psychological wellbeing.
Substantial numbers of Lithuanian dentists reported different impairment of their psychological well-being. These complains were related to occupational hazards of dental profession.
Preview · Article · Feb 2007 · Stomatologija / issued by public institution "Odontologijos studija" ... [et al.]
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to evaluate the level of overall job satisfaction among Lithuanian dentists, to explore the satisfaction with different work environmental factors and relate it to overall job satisfaction.
All (N=2449) Lithuanian Dental Chamber members were sent a questionnaire. It comprised a 5-point Likert scale structured questions that were developed according to the Dentist Satisfaction Survey.
The level of overall job satisfaction among Lithuanian dentists was 4.06 (95% CI 4.03-4.10) out of 5 of Lickert scale. The least satisfying work areas was social security (2.64, 95% CI 2.59-2.69) and income (2.79, 95% CI 2.74-2.84); the most satisfying area was patient (3.75, 95% CI 3.71-3.78) and professional relations (3.83, CI 3.79-3.87). Reasonable working hours (OR 6.71; 95% CI 1.19-37.75), satisfaction with professional evaluation and appreciation (OR 2.31; 95% CI 1.62-3.30) and income (OR 1.88; 95% CI 1.22-2.89) had the most significant positive impact on dentists' overall job satisfaction.
In general, Lithuanian dentists experience great job satisfaction. Postgraduate studies, not limited possibility for professional development has most positive impact for dentists' overall job satisfaction and work environmental factors are less important for it. Findings of this study show the issues that need special attention to increase the level of job satisfaction among Lithuanian dentists and thus improve all dental care system.
Preview · Article · Feb 2007 · Stomatologija / issued by public institution "Odontologijos studija" ... [et al.]
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to evaluate the activity and the validity of the expansion of the Clinic of Ophthalmology of the University of Lithuania (since 1930-Vytautas Magnus University) operating in Kaunas city between 1922 and 1938. The evaluation was based on the analysis of changes in inpatient and outpatient flow, the structure of cases of inpatient treatment, and the usage of beds. In the analysis, we used annual reports of the Clinic of Ophthalmology as well as data presented in statistical publications of the Department of Health for the studied period. The changes in the indices of the activity of the Clinic were evaluated using the logarithmic regression coefficient. A more rapid increase in the number of patients discharged from the Clinic of Ophthalmology was observed during 1922-1930 (on the average, by 9% per year). During 1931-1938, only the number of discharged men was increasing. During the studied period, the majority of the cases of inpatient treatment were lenticular diseases (19%), trachoma (16%), and corneal diseases (16%). During 1922-1930, the sharpest increase was observed in the number of inpatients with eyeball diseases and eye traumas (on the average, by 12.3% per year) and during 1931-1938, in the number of patients with trachoma (on the average, by 6.7% per year). The analysis of the indices of the activity of the inpatient unit confirmed the need for the expansion of the Clinic during 1922-1930, but revealed that the expansion of the material basis of the Clinic up to 50 beds during 1931-1938 was not efficient. In the outpatient unit of the Clinic of Ophthalmology, the number of visits per year and the number of admitted patients per year during the studied period increased by 2.5 and 3.5 times, respectively.
No preview · Article · Feb 2007 · Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is a next step of our previous, initial, publications--to explore the links between monthly death number (total, and for the major death causes and each gender) with levels of monthly cosmophysical activity in a long-term, big cohort observation.
Death number during 180 consecutive months from the National Registry of Lithuania for years 1990-2004 were studied. A total of 630,205 deaths were analyzed (333,035 males). For comparison, monthly indices of solar activity, geomagnetic activity, and cosmic ray activity and year and month (1-12) of the study were used. The cosmophysical data were obtained from space research centers in the USA, Russia, and Finland. Statistics. Pearson correlation coefficients (r) and their probabilities (P) between compared parameters were calculated. A multivariate model of prediction was designed.
It was a significant correlation between total monthly death number and indices of cosmic ray activity and, inverse, of solar activity; in men stronger than in women. Monthly geomagnetic activity was significantly correlated with traffic accidents, ischemic heart disease/stroke ratio, suicide victim number. Deaths from stroke, noncardiovascular causes, suicide, traffic accidents were related with cosmic ray activity and, inverse, with solar activity. Relationship of ischemic heart disease/stroke ratio to year of observation showed additional evidence for the growing role of stroke in cardiovascular mortality.
Monthly death number is linked to cosmic ray activity, and inverse, to solar activity. Central place of stroke-related deaths in cardiovascular mortality is emerging. Geomagnetic activity, in monthly account, plays a relatively minor role. We presume that forces antagonistic to cosmic ray activity, like solar activity and geomagnetic activity, can prevent some negative biologic effects of cosmic ray.
No preview · Article · Feb 2007 · Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To analyse suicide by hanging, compared with other methods, by demographic and selected social factors in Lithuania, and to evaluate changes during 1993-1997, and 1998-2002.
Data on committed suicides were compiled from the Lithuanian Department of Statistics. Suicides were identified by the International Classification of Diseases (ICD): codes in ICD-9 E950-E959 and codes in ICD-10 X60-X84. These were categorized into seven groups by method of suicide. Particular attention was paid to suicide and self-inflicted injury by hanging, strangulation and suffocation (ICD-9: E953; ICD-10: X70). These data were analysed by gender, age, place of residence, education, and marital status.
A total of 8324 suicides (6864 men and 1460 women) were committed during 1993-1997, and 7823 suicides (6455 men and 1368 women) during 1998-2002. Of all registered suicides in Lithuania during 1993-2002, hanging was the most common method. Over the period under investigation, hanging, in proportion to all other methods used to commit suicide, increased statistically significantly from 89.4% among men and 77.3% among women between 1993 and 1997 to 91.7% among men and 82.6% among women between 1998 and 2002. The most noticeable rise occurred among girls aged 10-19 years. The next most common methods among men were firearms and poisoning; among women, poisoning and jumping from high places were common methods. Hanging predominated in men, older people, rural residents and people with low levels of education. A logistic regression analysis showed that gender (odds ratio [OR]=2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.2-2.7), place of residence (OR=2.0; 95% CI 1.8-2.2) and education (OR=1.2; 95% CI 1.1-1.3), independently of other factors, had the strongest influence on the choice of hanging as the method of suicide between 1993 and 2002. Age had only a minor effect, and marital status had no significant effect on choosing hanging to commit suicide.
Hanging is the most common method of suicide in Lithuania. The popularity of this highly lethal method may be one of the underlying causes for the high rate of committed suicides. Universal approaches to suicide prevention deserve serious consideration, especially challenging the social acceptability of hanging among men, older people, rural residents, and low educated groups of the population in Lithuania.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Lithuania, suicides are a grave public health problem, requiring more extensive investigation. The aim of the study was to assess the seasonal variations of suicides in Lithuania throughout the years 1993-2002, describing patterns by gender, age and method of suicide.
The study material consisted of all registered suicides (n = 16,147) committed throughout 1993-2002 in Lithuania. Smoothed trends were inspected. The seasonal effect was explored using monthly ratio statistics and spectral analysis.
Suicides in Lithuania have a distinct annual rhythm with peaks in summer and troughs in December. The December frequencies fell by more than 23% in men and 30% in women, while June peak reached nearly 23% in men and July peak exceeded 29% in women, compare with the average levels, (p < 0.05). Hanging was the most common method of suicide both in men and women comprising up to 90% among all suicides in 1998-2002. Among different methods, only hanging suicides showed significant seasonal variations, especially in men. The seasonal amplitude has decreased over time.
Substantial seasonal variations in suicides were associated with a high proportion of hanging. Extremely high suicide rates in Lithuania require further extensive studies and urgent preventive programs, taking into account the suggestions of this survey.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2006 · BMC Public Health
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess inequalities in mortality from external causes by the level of education and the place of residence during the period of socio-economic transition in Lithuania.
Information on deaths, place of residence, and the level of education of persons aged 25 and older was derived from the National Database of Lithuania and censuses for 1989 (n=3537) and 2001 (n=4790).
Mortality from external causes of Lithuanian urban and rural populations was strongly associated with the level of education. Educational inequalities increased throughout the period of socio-economic transition. In urban areas, mortality among the least educated population was 3.20 times higher in 1989 and 3.37 times higher in 2001, compared to those with university-level education. In rural areas the educational mortality rate ratios reached 3.47 and 4.33, respectively. The greatest educational inequalities were observed in suicide mortality, especially among males.
The results of this study disclosed increasing inequalities in mortality from external causes. Less educated populations, especially in rural areas, should receive particular attention in the development of strategies for the prevention of mortality from external causes.
No preview · Article · Feb 2006 · Sozial- und Präaventivmedizin SPM
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the last decades many studies have demonstrated the cosmophysical influences on human homeostasis. The aim of the study was to explore links between environmental physical activity--solar, geomagnetic, cosmic ray--and monthly number of newborns in general and, separately, for each gender.
The distribution of newborns' number (n=286,963) over 96 months in the Republic of Lithuania from 1995 to 2002 was compared with the monthly cosmophysical indices nine months before the month of delivery. For the comparison of gender ratio, other 52,289 newborns at the same time were studied in a big Israeli hospital. Pearson's correlation coefficients and their probabilities between the newborns' number and cosmophysical indices were established.
A strong and significant inverse correlation of monthly newborns' number with monthly solar activity indices (r=-0.72, p<0.0001) and similar, but positive, with cosmic ray activity was shown (r=0.67, p<0.0001).
The monthly number of newborns of both genders is strongly and significantly related to the level of monthly cosmic ray and, inverse, to solar activity indices nine months before the month of delivery. Geomagnetic activity was not significantly related to the monthly number of newborns. The subject and mechanism of these relationships needs further investigation.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2006 · Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania)