Johann A Sigurdsson

Primary Health Care of the Capital Area, Reikiavik, Capital Region, Iceland

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Publications (59)149.63 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To assess associations between the intake of different types of alcoholic beverages and the 32-year incidence of myocardial infarction, stroke, diabetes, and cancer, as well as mortality, in a middle-aged female population. Prospective study. Gothenburg, Sweden, population about 430 000. Representative sample of a general population of women (1462 in total) aged 38 to 60 years in 1968-1969, followed up to the ages of 70 to 92 years in 2000-2001. Associations between alcohol intake and later risk of mortality and morbidity from myocardial infarction, stroke, diabetes, and cancer, studied longitudinally. During the follow-up period, 185 women developed myocardial infarction, 162 developed stroke, 160 women became diabetic, and 345 developed cancer. Women who drank beer had a 30% lower risk (hazards ratio (HR) 0.70, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.50-0.95) of developing myocardial infarcion and almost half the risk (HR 0.51 CI 0.33-0.80). A significant association between increased risk of death from cancer and high spirits consumption was also shown (hazards ratio [HR] 1.47, CI 1.06-2.05). Women with moderate consumption of beer had a reduced risk of developing myocardial infarction. High spirits consumption was associated with increased risk of cancer mortality.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Scandinavian journal of primary health care
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    ABSTRACT: Multimorbidity receives increasing scientific attention. So does the detrimental health impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACE). Aetiological pathways from ACE to complex disease burdens are under investigation. In this context, the concept of allostatic overload is relevant, denoting the link between chronic detrimental stress, widespread biological perturbations and disease development. This study aimed to explore associations between self-reported childhood quality, biological perturbations and multimorbidity in adulthood.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. To analyse drug use in early pregnancy with special focus on socio-demographic factors associated with psychotropic and analgesic drug use. Design. Cross-sectional study. Setting and subjects. A total of 1765 women were invited via their local health care centres, and 1111 participated at 11–16 weeks of pregnancy by filling out a postal questionnaire concerning socio-demographic and obstetric background, stressful life events, and drug use. Main outcome measures. Drug use prior to and early on in pregnancy, socio-demographic factors, smoking, and adverse life events were investigated. Drug categories screened for were psychotropics (collective term for antidepressants, relaxants, and sleep medication), analgesics, hormones, nicotine, vitamins/minerals, and homeopathic medicine. Results. Drug use from the aforementioned drug categories, excluding vitamins/minerals and homeopathic medicine, was reduced by 18% during early pregnancy, compared with six months prior to conception (49% vs. 60%). Psychotropic drug use during early pregnancy was associated with elementary maternal education (p < 0.5), being unemployed (p < 0.001), being single/divorced/separated (p < 0.01), smoking prior to or during pregnancy (p < 0.01), forced to change job/move house (p < 0.001), and psychotropic drug use six months prior to pregnancy (p < 0.001). No items on the stressful life events scale were associated with increased analgesic use, which increased only with multiparity. Conclusions. Use of analgesics and psychotropic drugs seems common in pregnancy. Our results indicate that lack of a support network, stressful life events, and lower status in society may predispose women to more drug use. GPs and midwives responsible for maternity care could take this into account when evaluating risk and gain for women and foetuses in the primary care setting.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to explore women's experiences of antenatal care with focus on the number of visits and continuity of care. Pregnant women who started their antenatal care at a health care centre and participated in the national cohort study ,,Childbirth and Health" answered two questionnaires, the first one shortly after their first visit in antenatal care. Participation was 63% (n=1111) and 765 (69%) answered the second questionnaire 5‒6 months after giving birth. Data was gathered from February 2009 till January 2011. Approximately 69% of the participants were from the capital area and 31% from rural areas. Participants reported they had met a midwife in antenatal care on average 8.9 times. After adjusting for pregnancy length, 28% prim-iparas and 20% multiparas did not meet the set standard of number of meetings in antenatal care. Women living in rural areas were more likely than women in the capital area to reach the set standards of number of visits and women that did so were more often very satis-fied with their physical health controls than those who did not. On average, the women met 1.9 midwives during their antenatal care period and 17% met three midwives or more. The women that met two or more midwives were less likely to be very satisfied with their own health controls and emotional support of health care profes-sionals during pregnancy than women who only met one midwife during antenatal care.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Objective. To study the prevalence and possible predictors for smoking during pregnancy in Iceland. Design. A cross-sectional study. Setting. Twenty-six primary health care centres in Iceland 2009-2010. Subjects. Women attending antenatal care in the 11th-16th week of pregnancy were invited to participate by convenient consecutive manner, stratified according to residency. A total of 1111 women provided data in this first phase of the cohort study. Main outcome measures. Smoking habits before and during early pregnancy were assessed with a postal questionnaire, which also included questions about socio-demographic background, physical and emotional well-being, and use of medications. Results. The prevalence of smoking prior to pregnancy was 20% (223/1111). During early pregnancy, it was 5% (53/1111). In comparison with women who stopped smoking during early pregnancy, those who continued to smoke had on average a significantly lower level of education, had smoked more cigarettes per day before pregnancy, and were more likely to use nicotine replacement therapy in addition to smoking during pregnancy. A higher number of cigarettes consumed per day before pregnancy and a lower level of education were the strongest predictors for continued smoking during pregnancy. Conclusion. The majority of Icelandic women who smoke stop when they become pregnant, and the prevalence of smoking during pregnancy in Iceland is still about 5%. Our results indicate stronger nicotine dependence in women who do not stop smoking during pregnancy. Awareness of this can help general practitioners (GPs) and others providing antenatal care to approach these women with more insight and empathy, which might theoretically help them to quit.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Scandinavian journal of primary health care
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Referrals to specialists have not been compulsory in Iceland since 1984. In 2006, referrals were again required for patients to receive reimbursement for part of the cost of appointments with cardiologists. The aim of this study was to explore GPs' attitudes to the referral system and possible professional gain by interactive communications. Design: Cross-sectional questionnaire survey. SETTING, SUBJECTS, AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: This is part of a larger study in 2007 on referrals from GPs to cardiologists. A questionnaire was sent to all working GPs in Iceland (n = 201 and responsible for 307 000 inhabitants) regarding the referral process, reasons for referrals, how often a response letter was received, and GPs' attitudes to the referral system. Responses from doctors working in rural areas were compared with those working in Reykjavik and nearby urban areas. Results: The response rate was 63% (126 answers). The mean age of participants was 51; 89% were GP specialists and 60% worked in Reykjavik and nearby urban areas. Almost all respondents (98%) thought that report letters from cardiologists were helpful; 64% (95% confidence interval 53-73) thought that the recently introduced referral system did increase useful information that was beneficial to their patients. There was a statistically significant difference between colleagues working in rural areas and those working in Reykjavik and nearby urban areas regarding several aspects of the referral process. Conclusion: A referral system increases the flow of information and mutual communications between general practitioners and specialists to the benefit of the patients. The geographical location of the health care centre may be of importance regarding the value of the referrals.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Scandinavian journal of primary health care
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    Johann A Sigurdsson
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    ABSTRACT: The common history and development of Nordic family medicine is important and interesting. This paper looks back on the aspects and factors influencing academic family medicine in the Nordic countries and especially the central position of the Nordic Congresses and the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care. The importance of pioneers and bringing people together is emphasized. More than 30 years of Nordic academic family medicine has indeed had an incredible impact and has initiated development from only a few people to become world leading.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Scandinavian journal of primary health care
  • Halfdan Petursson · Johann A Sigurdsson · Calle Bengtsson · Tom I L Nilsen · Linn Getz

    No preview · Article · May 2012 · Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
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    Johann A Sigurdsson · Linn Getz · Göran Sjönell · Paula Vainiomäki · John Brodersen
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    ABSTRACT: Aims To estimate the potential gain of national screening programmes for colorectal cancer (CRC) by stool occult blood testing in the Nordic countries, with comparative reference to the burden of other causes of premature death. Methods Implementation of national screening programmes for CRC was modelled among people 55–74 years in accordance with the 2011 Cochrane review of biannual screening, using the faecal occult blood test (FOBT) for 10 years, resulting in 15% relative risk reduction in CRC deaths among all those invited [intention-to-treat; relative risk 0.85; confidence interval (CI) 0.78 to 0.92]. Our calculations are based on the World Health Organization and national databanks on death causes (ICD-10) and the mid-year number of inhabitants in the target group. For Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, we used data for 2009. For Iceland, due to the population's small size, we calculated mean mortality for the period 2005–2009. Results Invitation to a CRC screening programme for 10 years could influence 0.5–0.9% (95%CI 0.4–1.2) of all deaths in the age group 65–74 years. Among the remaining 99% of premature deaths, around 50% were caused by lung cancer, other lung diseases, cardiovascular diseases and accidents, with some national variations. Conclusions and implications Establishment of a screening programme for CRC for people aged 55–74 can be expected to affect only a minor proportion of all premature deaths in the Nordic setting. From a public health perspective, prioritizing preventive strategies targeting more prevalent causes of premature death may be a superior approach.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
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    Linn Getz · Anna Luise Kirkengen · Halfdan Petursson · Johann A Sigurdsson

    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · BMJ (online)
  • Halfdan Petursson · Johann A Sigurdsson · Calle Bengtsson · Tom I L Nilsen · Linn Getz
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale, aims and objectives Many clinical guidelines for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention contain risk estimation charts/calculators. These have shown a tendency to overestimate risk, which indicates that there might be theoretical flaws in the algorithms. Total cholesterol is a frequently used variable in the risk estimates. Some studies indicate that the predictive properties of cholesterol might not be as straightforward as widely assumed. Our aim was to document the strength and validity of total cholesterol as a risk factor for mortality in a well‐defined, general Norwegian population without known CVD at baseline.Methods We assessed the association of total serum cholesterol with total mortality, as well as mortality from CVD and ischaemic heart disease (IHD), using Cox proportional hazard models. The study population comprises 52 087 Norwegians, aged 20–74, who participated in the Nord‐Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT 2, 1995–1997) and were followed‐up on cause‐specific mortality for 10 years (510 297 person‐years in total).Results Among women, cholesterol had an inverse association with all‐cause mortality [hazard ratio (HR): 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.89–0.99 per 1.0 mmol L−1 increase] as well as CVD mortality (HR: 0.97; 95% CI: 0.88–1.07). The association with IHD mortality (HR: 1.07; 95% CI: 0.92–1.24) was not linear but seemed to follow a ‘U‐shaped’ curve, with the highest mortality −1. Among men, the association of cholesterol with mortality from CVD (HR: 1.06; 95% CI: 0.98–1.15) and in total (HR: 0.98; 95% CI: 0.93–1.03) followed a ‘U‐shaped’ pattern.Conclusion Our study provides an updated epidemiological indication of possible errors in the CVD risk algorithms of many clinical guidelines. If our findings are generalizable, clinical and public health recommendations regarding the ‘dangers’ of cholesterol should be revised. This is especially true for women, for whom moderately elevated cholesterol (by current standards) may prove to be not only harmless but even beneficial.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice
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    Dataset: Table S3
    Halfdan Petursson · Johann A. Sigurdsson · Calle Bengtsson · Tom I. L. Nilsen · Linn Getz
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    ABSTRACT: Risk of death from all causes and from cardiovascular disease among women aged 20–79; associations with anthropometric measures (hazard ratios per increase in anthropometric measures of one standard deviation). Sensitivity analysis involving different models. (DOCX)
    Preview · Dataset · Oct 2011
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    Dataset: Table S2
    Halfdan Petursson · Johann A. Sigurdsson · Calle Bengtsson · Tom I. L. Nilsen · Linn Getz
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    ABSTRACT: Risk of death from all causes and from cardiovascular disease among men aged 20–79; associations with anthropometric measures (hazard ratios per increase in anthropometric measures of one standard deviation). Sensitivity analysis involving different models. (DOCX)
    Preview · Dataset · Oct 2011
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    Dataset: Table S1
    Halfdan Petursson · Johann A. Sigurdsson · Calle Bengtsson · Tom I. L. Nilsen · Linn Getz
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    ABSTRACT: Baseline characteristics of the study population. (DOCX)
    Preview · Dataset · Oct 2011
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    Halfdan Petursson · Johann A Sigurdsson · Calle Bengtsson · Tom I L Nilsen · Linn Getz
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    ABSTRACT: Distribution of body fat is more important than the amount of fat as a prognostic factor for life expectancy. Despite that, body mass index (BMI) still holds its status as the most used indicator of obesity in clinical work. We assessed the association of five different anthropometric measures with mortality in general and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in particular using Cox proportional hazards models. Predictive properties were compared by computing integrated discrimination improvement and net reclassification improvement for two different prediction models. The measures studied were BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR). The study population was a prospective cohort of 62,223 Norwegians, age 20-79, followed up for mortality from 1995-1997 to the end of 2008 (mean follow-up 12.0 years) in the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT 2). After adjusting for age, smoking and physical activity WHR and WHtR were found to be the strongest predictors of death. Hazard ratios (HRs) for CVD mortality per increase in WHR of one standard deviation were 1.23 for men and 1.27 for women. For WHtR, these HRs were 1.24 for men and 1.23 for women. WHR offered the greatest integrated discrimination improvement to the prediction models studied, followed by WHtR and waist circumference. Hip circumference was in strong inverse association with mortality when adjusting for waist circumference. In all analyses, BMI had weaker association with mortality than three of the other four measures studied. Our study adds further knowledge to the evidence that BMI is not the most appropriate measure of obesity in everyday clinical practice. WHR can reliably be measured and is as easy to calculate as BMI and is currently better documented than WHtR. It appears reasonable to recommend WHR as the primary measure of body composition and obesity.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: To study potential changes in attendance at emergency departments (ED) in Reykjavík immediately following the swift economic meltdown in Iceland in October 2008. Using electronic medical records of the National University Hospital in Reykjavík, a population-based register study was conducted contrasting weekly attendance rates at Reykjavík ED (cardiac and general ED) during 10-week periods in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The weekly number of all ED visits (major track), with discharge diagnoses, per total population at risk were used to estimate RR and 95% CI of ED attendance in weeks 41-46 (after the 2008 economic collapse) with the weekly average number of visits during weeks 37-40 (before the collapse) as reference. Compared with the preceding weeks (37-40), the economic collapse in week 41 2008 was associated with a distinct increase in the total number of visits to the cardiac ED (RR 1.26; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.49), particularly among women (RR 1.41; 95% CI 1.17 to 1.69) and marginally among men (RR 1.15; 95% CI 0.96 to 1.37). A similar increase was not observed in week 41 at the general ED in 2008 or in either ED in 2007 or 2006. In week 41 2008, visits with ischaemic heart disease as discharge diagnoses (ICD-10: I20-25) were increased among women (RR 1.79; 95% CI 1.01 to 3.17) but not among men (RR 1.07; 95% CI 0.71 to 1.62). The dramatic economic collapse in Iceland in October 2008 was associated with an immediate short-term increase in female attendance at the cardiac ED.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Emergency Medicine Journal
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    Geir W Jacobsen · Erlend Hem · Jóhann A Sigurdsson
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    ABSTRACT: At the beginning of the 1800 s neonatal tetanus was a major health hazard on the Westman Islands, an archipelago immediately south of Iceland. Up to 60–70% of newborn babies died in the course of the first two weeks of life, and Danish health authorities were almost helpless in the face of this mysterious disease. In 1847 the young Danish doctor Peter Anton Schleisner (1818-1900) was sent to the islands to investigate the conditions there. He established a maternity hospital, gave advice on hygiene and encouraged breast-feeding and a number of changes in diet. Since there was no known treatment, Schleisner's only option was to resort to preventive measures. He dressed the umbilical stump with balsamum copaivae and tried well-established methods such as opium tincture with saffron and mercurial ointment if there was any sign of infection. By the time he returned to Denmark after nine months, mortality had been halved. Neonatal mortality on the Westman Islands remained at the same low level throughout the rest of the 19th century. According to popular belief this was due to the naflaolian (navel oil) which Schleisner introduced. Nevertheless, it can be partly attributed to generally improved living standards, a relatively higher number of mothers in better social circumstances, a greater urban influence, changed lifestyle and hygienic measures. Schleisner's efforts are considered to have had major significance when conditions are compared with those on the Scottish island of St Kilda where the situation was the same and improved only just before the turn of the century.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · Tidsskrift for den Norske laegeforening
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    Vilhjalmur Ari Arason · Johann A Sigurdsson

    Full-text · Article · Jun 2010 · Scandinavian journal of primary health care
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    Halfdan Petursson · Linn Getz · Johann A Sigurdsson · Irene Hetlevik
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies indicate that clinical guidelines using combined risk evaluation for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) may overestimate risk. The aim of this study was to model and discuss implementation of the current (2007) hypertension guidelines in a general Norwegian population. Implementation of the current European Guidelines for the Management of Arterial Hypertension was modelled on data from a cross-sectional, representative Norwegian population study (The Nord-Trøndelag Health Study 1995-97), comprising 65,028 adults, aged 20-89, of whom 51,066 (79%) were eligible for modelling. Among individuals with blood pressure >or=120/80 mmHg, 93% (74% of the total, adult population) would need regular clinical attention and/or drug treatment, based on their total CVD risk profile. This translates into 296,624 follow-up visits/100,000 adults/year. In the Norwegian healthcare environment, 99 general practitioner (GP) positions would be required in the study region for this task alone. The number of GPs currently serving the adult population in the study area is 87 per 100,000 adults. The potential workload associated with the European hypertension guidelines could destabilise the healthcare system in Norway, one of the world's most long- and healthy-living nations, by international comparison. Large-scale, preventive medical enterprises can hardly be regarded as scientifically sound and ethically justifiable, unless issues of practical feasibility, sustainability and social determinants of health are considered.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · BMC Family Practice
  • Sigurdur Helgason · Johann A Sigurdsson · Sigurdur Gudmundsson
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To determine the incidence of herpes zoster (HZ) and frequency of complications, mainly the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Design: Prospective follow-up study. Setting: Primary health care in Iceland. Main outcome measures: Incidence of HZ, age and sex distribution of patients and discomfort or pain 1, 3 and 12 months after the rash. Results: During an observation period of 229,547 person years, 462 episodes of acute zoster developed (incidence equals; 2.0/1,000/year) in 457 patients. End points were gained for all (100%) after 12 months follow up. Those still having pain after 12 months were followed further, 23 to 57 months more. Systemic acyclovir was used in less than 4%. A fourth of all HZ cases occurred in children and teenagers. PHN was rare in patients younger than 60 years of age; 2% and 1% experienced only mild pain at 3 and 12 months respectively. No patient had moderate or severe pain in this age group at these time points. In contrast pain was experienced by 19% and 8% of patients 60 years of age and older at 3 and 12 months respectively. However, after 12 months only two patients (0.4%) had moderate pain, none had severe pain. Potential immuno-modulating conditions (diabetes mellitus, cancer, HIV-infection, steroid treatment) were present in 24 patients (5%), 4 (1%) of whom were diagnosed with a malignancy within 6 months of contracting HZ. Conclusions: HZ is more common in younger age groups than has previously been reported. In patients younger than 60, the probability of PHN is very low. Malignancy is seldom associated with zoster rash in the primary care setting. The use of routine computerised medical records increases the possibility of collecting epidemiological information on the clinical course of a disease.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2009 · The European Journal of General Practice