Browsing by Subject "epidemiologia"

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  • Luostarinen, Tapio (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer in women. In its carcinogenesis human papillomavirus (HPV) 16/18 are most important. HPV6/11 cause benign lesions. A small proportion of HPV infection(s) develop into cancer. Therefore, joint effects between HPVs and putative co-factors, Chlamydia trachomatis and smoking, are of interest but largely open. The aims of this work were to understand joint effects of infections with 1) HPV types, 2) HPVs and C. trachomatis, and 3) order of these infections in the carcinogenesis. For the 1st two aims, two case-control studies were nested within cohorts of Nordic biobanks. 1st linkage to cancer registers identified 182 cases of invasive cervical cancer (ICC, 148 squamous cell carcinomas, SCC) with prediagnostic sera until 1994. 2nd linkage with a longer follow-up until 2002 comprised 604 new ICC cases. Incidence density sampled controls were individually matched for age at serum sampling, sample storage time and region. For the 3rd aim, a case-control study in a serial setting was nested within a cohort of Swedish women participating in a cervical cancer screening programme in 1969-1995, and 118 ICCs with age and sampling-time-matched controls were identified. Finally, a case-cohort study in the Finnish Maternity Cohort was based on women with two pregnancies within 5 years. The women were followed on average for 4.8 years, from the 2nd pregnancy sample until the end of 2004. During follow-up, 490 women were diagnosed with cervical high-grade precancer. A comparison subcohort of 2796 women was randomly sampled from age and calendar time strata. IgG antibodies to HPV 6/11/16/18/31/33/45 capsids, and C. trachomatis were determined by ELISA. Serum cotinine, a marker for recent smoking, was measured by immunoassays. HPV and C. trachomatis DNA in smears and biopsy specimen were examined by PCR. HPV DNA-positive specimens were typed. Rate ratios were estimated by conditional logistic or proportional hazards regression. Misclassification of HPV serology was corrected for. In the 1st study, we found no excess risk of cervical carcinoma among women seropositive for both HPV16 and HPV6/11. In the 2nd study, there was excess risk, but the joint effect was again significantly smaller than the expected joint effects. Finally, if infection with HPV6 preceded infection with high-risk HPV31, there was no material excess risk of in situ cervical carcinoma. The smaller than expected joint effect between HPV types was probably due to a cell-mediated immune response to past, natural HPV6/11 infection, of which the serum antibodies were a surrogate. The risk of ICC was highly increased not only among women whose 1st smear was HPV DNA-positive but also among C. trachomatis DNA-positive women. The risk was even higher among HPV or C. trachomatis DNA positives both at the start and end of follow-up. The risk of in situ cervical carcinoma was highly increased among women whose HPV18/45 and C. trachomatis infections were virtually concomitant. The risk of SCC was increased related to C. trachomatis, after adjusting/stratifying for HPV. These results support early HPV vaccination in cervical cancer prevention. C. trachomatis should not be ignored in the preventive efforts against cervical cancer.
  • Ojajärvi, Anneli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2006)
    Objective and background. Tobacco smoking, pancreatitis and diabetes mellitus are the only known causes of pancreatic cancer, leaving ample room for yet unidentified determinants. This is an empirical study on a Finnish data on occupational exposures and pancreatic cancer risk, and a non-Bayesian and a hierarchical Bayesian meta-analysis of data on occupational factors and pancreatic cancer. Methods. The case-control study analyzed 595 incident cases of pancreatic cancer and 1,622 controls of stomach, colon, and rectum cancer, diagnosed 1984-1987 and known to be dead by 1990 in Finland. The next-of-kin responded to a mail questionnaire on job and medical histories and lifestyles. Meta-analysis of occupational risk factors of pancreatic cancer started off with 1,903 identified studies. The analyses were based on different subsets of that database. Five epidemiologists examined the reports and extracted the pertinent data using a standardized extraction form that covered 20 study descriptors and the relevant relative risk estimates. Random effects meta-analyses were applied for 23 chemical agents. In addition, hierarchical Bayesian models for meta-analysis were applied to the occupational data of 27 job titles using job exposure matrix as a link matrix and estimating the relative risks of pancreatic cancer associated with nine occupational agents. Results. In the case-control study, logistic regressions revealed excess risks of pancreatic cancer associated with occupational exposures to ionizing radiation, nonchlorinated solvents, and pesticides. Chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents and related compounds, used mainly in metal degreasing and dry cleaning, are emerging as likely risk factors of pancreatic cancer in the non-Bayesian and the hierarchical Bayesian meta-analysis. Consistent excess risk was found for insecticides, and a high excess for nickel and nickel compounds in the random effects meta-analysis but not in the hierarchical Bayesian meta-analysis. Conclusions. In this study occupational exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents and related compounds and insecticides increase risk of pancreatic cancer. Hierarchical Bayesian meta-analysis is applicable when studies addressing the agent(s) under study are lacking or very few, but several studies address job titles with potential exposure to these agents. A job-exposure matrix or a formal expert assessment system is necessary in this situation.
  • Lamagni, Theresa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2008)
    Diseases caused by the Lancefield group A streptococcus, Streptococcus pyogenes, are amongst the most challenging to clinicians and public health specialists alike. Although severe infections caused by S. pyogenes are relatively uncommon, affecting around 3 per 100,000 of the population per annum in developed countries, the case fatality is high relative to many other infections. Despite a long scientific tradition of studying their occurrence and characteristics, many aspects of their epidemiology remain poorly understood, and potential control measures undefined. Epidemiological studies can play an important role in identifying host, pathogen and environmental factors associated with risk of disease, manifestation of particular syndromes or poor survival. This can be of value in targeting prevention activities, as well directing further basic research, potentially paving the way for the identification of novel therapeutic targets. The formation of a European network, Strep-EURO, provided an opportunity to explore epidemiological patterns across Europe. Funded by the Fifth Framework Programme of the European Commission s Directorate-General for Research (QLK2.CT.2002.01398), the Strep-EURO network was launched in September 2002. Twelve participants across eleven countries took part, led by the University of Lund in Sweden. Cases were defined as patients with S. pyogenes isolated from a normally sterile site, or non-sterile site in combination with clinical signs of streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS). All participating countries undertook prospective enhanced surveillance between 1st January 2003 and 31st December 2004 to identify cases diagnosed during this period. A standardised surveillance dataset was defined, comprising demographic, clinical and risk factor information collected through a questionnaire. Isolates were collected by the national reference laboratories and characterised according to their M protein using conventional serological and emm gene typing. Descriptive statistics and multivariable analyses were undertaken to compare characteristics of cases between countries and identify factors associated with increased risk of death or development of STSS. Crude and age-adjusted rates of infection were calculated for each country where a catchment population could be defined. The project succeeded in establishing the first European surveillance network for severe S. pyogenes infections, with 5522 cases identified over the two years. Analysis of data gathered in the eleven countries yielded important new information on the epidemiology of severe S. pyogenes infections in Europe during the 2000s. Comprehensive epidemiological data on these infections were obtained for the first time from France, Greece and Romania. Incidence estimates identified a general north-south gradient, from high to low. Remarkably similar age-standardised rates were observed among the three Nordic participants, between 2.2 and 2.3 per 100,000 population. Rates in the UK were higher still, 2.9/100,000, elevated by an upsurge in drug injectors. Rates from these northern countries were reasonably close to those observed in the USA and Australia during this period. In contrast, rates of reports in the more central and southern countries (Czech Republic, Romania, Cyprus and Italy) were substantially lower, 0.3 to 1.5 per 100,000 population, a likely reflection of poorer uptake of microbiological diagnostic methods within these countries. Analysis of project data brought some new insights into risk factors for severe S. pyogenes infection, especially the importance of injecting drug users in the UK, with infections in this group fundamentally reshaping the epidemiology of these infections during this period. Several novel findings arose through this work, including the high degree of congruence in seasonal patterns between countries and the seasonal changes in case fatality rates. Elderly patients, those with compromised immune systems, those who developed STSS and those infected with an emm/M78, emm/M5, emm/M3 or emm/M1 were found to be most likely to die as a result of their infection, whereas those diagnosed with cellulitis, septic arthritis, puerperal sepsis or with non-focal infection were associated with low risk of death, as were infections occurring during October. Analysis of augmented data from the UK found use of NSAIDs to be significantly associated with development of STSS, adding further fuel to the debate surrounding the role of NSAIDs in the development of severe disease. As a largely community-acquired infection, occurring sporadically and diffusely throughout the population, opportunities for control of severe infections caused by S. pyogenes remain limited, primarily involving contact chemoprophylaxis where clusters arise. Analysis of UK Strep-EURO data were used to quantify the risk to household contacts of cases, forming the basis of national guidance on the management of infection. Vaccines currently under development could offer a more effective control programme in future. Surveillance of invasive infections caused by S. pyogenes is of considerable public health importance as a means of identifying long and short-term trends in incidence, allowing the need for, or impact of, public health measures to be evaluated. As a dynamic pathogen co-existing among a dynamic population, new opportunities for exploitation of its human host are likely to arise periodically, and as such continued monitoring remains essential.