Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Why Don't We Get Drunk (together), and ...

J Stud Alcohol. 2005 Jul;66(4):488-96.
Click here to read
Marital quality and congruent drinking.

Homish GG, Leonard KE.

Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, 1021 Main Street, Buffalo, New York 14203-1016, USA. ghomish@ria.buffalo.edu

OBJECTIVE: This research considered whether changes in marital quality over the early years of marriage were related to patterns of alcohol use among three groups of couples: congruent nondrinkers, congruent drinkers who usually drank with their spouses and congruent drinkers who usually drank apart from their spouses. METHOD: Newlywed couples (N = 418) were assessed for marital satisfaction and drinking behaviors and then were reassessed at their first and second anniversaries. Cross-sectional analyses compared couples at each assessment and multilevel modeling assessed changes in marital satisfaction over time. RESULTS: At each assessment, husbands and wives who usually drank with their partners reported greater levels of marital satisfaction. Over time, marital satisfaction declined for both husbands and wives. When we assessed changes in marital quality based on the three groups, husbands in each group experienced similar declines in marital quality. Among wives, however, the rate of decline was not the same. Although wives in the nondrinking group and wives who usually drank with their husbands had similar initial marital satisfaction, the nondrinkers experienced a greater decline in marital satisfaction than the wives who drank with their husbands. The rate of change for the wives in the nondrinking group was quite similar to wives who more often drank apart from their spouses. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that alcohol use may be a part of the couple's socializing and may increase interaction, thereby increasing marital satisfaction.

BrooklynDodger(s) Comments: This paper came up in a search on alcohol and substance abuse and occupational injury. There's all kinds of journals in this area which occupational health folks don't necessarily access. It would appear the main finding here would be declining marital satisfaction, with drinking together an effect modifier reducing the decline.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Indoor Outdoor Fungus

Indoor Air Volume 16 Page 37 - February 2006

Relationship between indoor and outdoor bioaerosols collected with a button inhalable aerosol sampler in urban homes
T. Lee1, S. A. Grinshpun1, D. Martuzevicius1,2, A. Adhikari1, C. M. Crawford1, J. Luo3, T. Reponen1

Abstract This field study investigated the relationship between indoor and outdoor concentrations of airborne actinomycetes, fungal spores, and pollen. Air samples were collected for 24 h with a button inhalable aerosol sampler inside and outside of six single-family homes located in the Cincinnati area (overall, 15 pairs of samples were taken in each home). The measurements were conducted during three seasons – spring and fall 2004, and winter 2005. The concentration of culturable actinomycetes was mostly below the detection limit. The median indoor/outdoor ratio (I/O) for actinomycetes was the highest: 2.857. The indoor of fungal and pollen concentrations followed the outdoor concentrations while indoor levels were mostly lower than the outdoor ones. The I/O ratio of total fungal spores (median = 0.345) in six homes was greater than that of pollen grains (median = 0.025). The low I/O ratios obtained for pollen during the peak ambient pollination season (spring) suggest that only a small fraction penetrated from outdoor to indoor environment. This is attributed to the larger size of pollen grains. Higher indoor concentration levels and variability in the I/O ratio observed for airborne fungi may be associated with indoor sources and/or higher outdoor-to-indoor penetration of fungal spores compared to pollen grains.

Practical Implication

This study addresses the relationship between indoor and outdoor concentrations of three different types of bioaerosols, namely actinomycetes, fungal spores, and pollen grains. The results show that actinomycetes are rare in indoor and outdoor air in Midwest, USA. Exposure to pollen occurs mainly in the outdoor air even during peak pollen season. Unexpectedly high fungal spore concentrations were measured outdoors during winter. The presented pilot database on the inhalable levels of indoor and outdoor bioaerosols can help apportion and better characterize the inhalation exposure to these bioaerosols. Furthermore, the data can be incorporated into existing models to quantify the penetration of biological particles into indoor environments from outdoors.


BrooklynDodger(s) comment: Indoor Air is a new journal on the Dodger(s) watch. Initially it looked really hot for key information; later cruising of the TOC's was less exciting.

The investigators selected homes without mold or moisture problems. Good data for a baseline and comparison to problem houses. That said, the Dodger(s) couldn't figure out what the plan was for the study, or the presentation of the data, or the conclusions.

The cleanest take home message was largely that indoor fungus concentrations were less than outdoors, and for pollen even less than that. This was observed for several types of fungus.

This observation doesn't deal with the situation where there's one particular fungus, indoors, that's creating a problem for occupants and can't be abated.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Physical Activity Reduces Breast Cancer Risk

Effect of Physical Activity on Women at Increased Risk of
Breast Cancer: Results from the E3N Cohort Study

Bertrand Tehard,1 Christine M. Friedenreich,2,3 Jean-Michel Oppert,4
and Francoise Clavel-Chapelon1
1Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France; 2Division of Population Health and
Information, Alberta Cancer Board, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; 3IARC, Lyon, France; and 4Department of Nutrition,
Hoˆtel-Dieu Hospital, University Pierre-et-Marie Curie, Paris, France

... We analyzed the relation between physical activity
and breast cancer incidence between 1990 and 2002
(n = 3,424 cases), among 90,509 women of the French E3N
cohort, ages between 40 and 65 years in 1990. ...
Results: A linear decrease in risk of breast cancer was
observed with increasing amounts of moderate (Ptrend <>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

BrooklynDodger(s) comments: The Dodger(s)'s interest in this paper was how physical activity of industrial work, by reducing breast cancer risk, reduces the chances of observing effects of industrial chemicals on breast cancer.

How were the investigators allowed to ignore physical activity at work in this study?

The E3N cohort is composed of 98,995 women living in France,
who are insured with the Mutuelle Ge´ne´rale de l’Education
Nationale, a national health insurance scheme primarily
covering teachers.

So, they all did similar work, except for gym teachers.

The median in this cohort was about 42 MET-h/week, while the bottom of the fourth quartile was 58 MET-h/week.

How does that translate to industrial work? The Dodger(s) need to figure out what METs are in relation to industrial worl

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Veterans Health Care and Increased Lung Cancer Mortality Among Black Males

Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Vol. 15, 25-31, January 2006

Unlimited Access to Care: Effect on Racial Disparity and Prognostic Factors in Lung Cancer

Charles R. Mulligan1, Amir D. Meram4,3, Courtney D. Proctor4, Hongyu Wu3, Kangmin Zhu3 and Aizen J. Marrogi4,2

Divisions of 1 Cardiothoracic Surgery and 2 Anatomic Pathology; 3 Departments of Surgery, Pathology, and Area Laboratory Services and U.S. Military Cancer Institute, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, District of Columbia; and 4 Laboratory of Biomarkers and Carcinogenesis, CBCP-IRC 2 Department of Surgery, Uniformed Services University for Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland

Requests for reprints: Aizen J. Marrogi, Division of Anatomic Pathology, Department of Pathology and Area Laboratory Services, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Room #4710A, 6900 Georgia Avenue, Northwest, Washington, DC 20307-5001. Phone: 202-792-5781; Fax: 202-782-3217. E-mail: Aizen.Marrogi@na.amedd.army.mil

Study Objective: Evaluate the prognostic factors influencing lung cancer survival under a universal health care system and determine if access to care eliminates clinical outcome disparity.

Design: Retrospective case series review.

Background: Lung cancer survival is worse in men and in African Americans, thought to be related to poor general health in men and limited access to heath care in African Americans. The Military Health Care System, with unlimited access to care, provides an excellent setting for evaluating gender and racial disparities in lung cancer survival.

Methods: Lung cancers diagnosed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, from 1990 to 2000, were evaluated by chart review for age, gender, race, smoking history, cancer history, histology, stage, and completeness of resection.

Results: Seven hundred thirteen Caucasians and 173 African Americans,... had a 22% 5-year survival. Cox model analysis showed that male gender [hazard ratio (HR, 1.31) ...predicted poor outcome; whereas ... smoking cessation >7 years (HR, 0.70) were predictors of favorable outcome. No ethnic differences in survival were observed.

Conclusions: No racial disparities in survival when access to medical care is universal. Male gender, incomplete resection, and advanced stage are significant predictors of poor outcome in lung cancer. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006;15(1):25–31)

BrooklynDodger(s) comments: Higher lung cancer mortality among non-white males, compared to whites, is unexplained. Generally, smoking doesn't explain
the difference. Another reason might be unequal access to medical care, although poor survival of lung cancer even with good care suggests this difference might not be important.

The main finding in this study was the 22% 5-year survival on diagnosis. Not good news. The blacks in this study were substantially younger than the whites on entry, and the black males had more advanced tumors. Controlling or all that, there was no difference in survival between the races. But there's no explanation for why the blacks were coming in with more advanced tumors.

The title "Unlimited Access to Care" is maybe overstated. There aren't differential economic barriers to care across the races, but there may be cultural barriers.

The study doesn't test whether access to care is an issue at all in the differences in lung cancer mortality.