Publications by authors named "Paul Knekt"

171 Publications

Poor suitability for psychotherapy - a risk factor for treatment non-attendance?

J Affect Disord 2021 Sep 17. Epub 2021 Sep 17.

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland; University of Helsinki, Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Helsinki, Finland.

Background: Patient suitability has been suggested to predict treatment non-attendance but information on its effect is limited.

Aim: To study the prediction of the Suitability for Psychotherapy Scale (SPS), on occurrence of treatment non-attendance.

Methods: Altogether 326 outpatients, with depressive or anxiety disorder, were randomized to short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (SPP), long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (LPP), and solution-focused therapy (SFT). SPS was based on seven components from three suitability domains: nature of problems, ego strength, and self-observing capacity. Treatment non-attendance was defined as refusal of engaging therapy and of premature termination. The Cox model and logistic regression were used.

Results: Treatment non-attendance was significantly more common in LPP patients with poor SPS (RR = 2.76, 95% CI = 1.45-5.26). This was mainly due to poor flexibility of interaction, poor self-concept, and poor reflective ability. Premature termination in SFT showed a similar trend but due to other SPS components: absence of a circumscribed problem, poor modulation of affects, and poor response to trial interpretation. On the contrary, individuals with good values of SPS were more prone to premature termination in SPP.

Limitations: The prediction of suitability on refusal could only be studied in the LPP group due to few refusals in the short-term therapy groups. The sample consisted of patients who participated in a trial. Thus the findings may not be directly generalized to unselected patients in the public mental health setting.

Conclusions: Poor suitability, apparently, predicts non-attendance in LPP and SFT, but not in SPP. More studies on large cohorts are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.09.020DOI Listing
September 2021

Association between overall diet quality and postmenopausal breast cancer risk in five Finnish cohort studies.

Sci Rep 2021 08 18;11(1):16718. Epub 2021 Aug 18.

Finnish Cancer Registry, Institute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer Research, Helsinki, Finland.

There is limited evidence for any dietary factor, except alcohol, in breast cancer (BC) risk. Therefore, studies on a whole diet, using diet quality indices, can broaden our insight. We examined associations of the Nordic Diet (mNDI), Mediterranean diet (mMEDI) and Alternative Healthy Eating Index (mAHEI) with postmenopausal BC risk. Five Finnish cohorts were combined including 6374 postmenopausal women with dietary information. In all, 8-9 dietary components were aggregated in each index, higher total score indicating higher adherence to a healthy diet. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate the combined hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for BC risk. During an average 10-year follow-up period, 274 incident postmenopausal BC cases were diagnosed. In multivariable models, the HR for highest vs. lowest quintile of index was 0.67 (95 %CI 0.48-1.01) for mNDI, 0.88 (0.59-1.30) for mMEDI and 0.89 (0.60-1.32) for mAHEI. In this combined dataset, a borderline preventive finding of high adherence to mNDI on postmenopausal BC risk was found. Of the indices, mNDI was more based on the local food culture than the others. Although a healthy diet has beneficially been related to several chronic diseases, the link with the etiology of postmenopausal BC does not seem to be that obvious.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-95773-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8373908PMC
August 2021

Incidence trends and risk factors of lung cancer in never smokers: Pooled analyses of seven cohorts.

Int J Cancer 2021 Aug 16. Epub 2021 Aug 16.

Institute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer Research, Finnish Cancer Registry, Helsinki, Finland.

The trends in incidence of lung cancer in never smokers are unclear as well as the significance of risk factors. We studied time trends in the incidence and risk factors of lung cancer in never smokers in Finland in a large, pooled cohort. We pooled data from seven Finnish health cohorts from the period between 1972 and 2015 with 106 193 never smokers. The harmonised risk factors included education, alcohol consumption, physical activity, height and BMI. We retrieved incident lung cancers from the nation-wide Finnish Cancer Registry. We estimated average annual percent change (AAPC) and the effects of risk factors on cause-specific hazard ratios (HRs) of lung cancer using Poisson regression. We detected 47 lung cancers in never smoking men (n = 31 859) and 155 in never smoking women (n = 74 334). The AAPC of lung cancer incidence was -3.30% (95% confidence interval [CI]: -5.68% to -0.88%, P = .009) in never smoking men and 0.00% (95% CI: -1.57% to 1.60%, P = .996) in never smoking women. Of the five studied risk factors only greater height in women had a statistically significant increased risk of lung cancer (multivariate HR = 1.84, 95%CI: 1.08 to 3.12). It is plausible that tobacco control measures focused on working places have reduced passive smoking among men more than among women, which could explain the declining trend in lung cancer incidence in never smoker men but not in never smoker women. As tobacco control measures have not been targeted to domestic environments, it is likely that women's exposure to passive smoking has continued longer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.33765DOI Listing
August 2021

Heterogeneity of Associations between Total and Types of Fish Intake and the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes: Federated Meta-Analysis of 28 Prospective Studies Including 956,122 Participants.

Nutrients 2021 Apr 7;13(4). Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Postgraduate Program in Epidemiology Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre 90040-060, Brazil.

The association between fish consumption and new-onset type 2 diabetes is inconsistent and differs according to geographical location. We examined the association between the total and types of fish consumption and type 2 diabetes using individual participant data from 28 prospective cohort studies from the Americas (6), Europe (15), the Western Pacific (6), and the Eastern Mediterranean (1) comprising 956,122 participants and 48,084 cases of incident type 2 diabetes. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) for associations of total fish, shellfish, fatty, lean, fried, freshwater, and saltwater fish intake and type 2 diabetes were derived for each study, adjusting for a consistent set of confounders and combined across studies using random-effects meta-analysis. We stratified all analyses by sex due to observed interaction ( = 0.002) on the association between fish and type 2 diabetes. In women, for each 100 g/week higher intake the IRRs (95% CIs) of type 2 diabetes were 1.02 (1.01-1.03, = 61%) for total fish, 1.04 (1.01-1.07, = 46%) for fatty fish, and 1.02 (1.00-1.04, = 33%) for lean fish. In men, all associations were null. In women, we observed variation by geographical location: IRRs for total fish were 1.03 (1.02-1.04, = 0%) in the Americas and null in other regions. In conclusion, we found evidence of a neutral association between total fish intake and type 2 diabetes in men, but there was a modest positive association among women with heterogeneity across studies, which was partly explained by geographical location and types of fish intake. Future research should investigate the role of cooking methods, accompanying foods and environmental pollutants, but meanwhile, existing dietary regional, national, or international guidelines should continue to guide fish consumption within overall healthy dietary patterns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu13041223DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8068031PMC
April 2021

Associations of Total Legume, Pulse, and Soy Consumption with Incident Type 2 Diabetes: Federated Meta-Analysis of 27 Studies from Diverse World Regions.

J Nutr 2021 05;151(5):1231-1240

School of Public Health, Physiotherapy & Sports Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Background: The consumption of legumes is promoted as part of a healthy diet in many countries but associations of total and types of legume consumption with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are not well established. Analyses across diverse populations are lacking despite the availability of unpublished legume consumption data in prospective cohort studies.

Objective: To examine the prospective associations of total and types of legume intake with the risk of incident T2D.

Methods: Meta-analyses of associations between total legume, pulse, and soy consumption and T2D were conducted using a federated approach without physical data-pooling. Prospective cohorts were included if legume exposure and T2D outcome data were available and the cohort investigators agreed to participate. We estimated incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and CIs of associations using individual participant data including ≤42,473 incident cases among 807,785 adults without diabetes in 27 cohorts across the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, and Western Pacific. Random-effects meta-analysis was used to combine effect estimates and estimate heterogeneity.

Results: Median total legume intake ranged from 0-140 g/d across cohorts. We observed a weak positive association between total legume consumption and T2D (IRR = 1.02, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.04) per 20 g/d higher intake, with moderately high heterogeneity (I2 = 74%). Analysis by region showed no evidence of associations in the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, and Western Pacific. The positive association in Europe (IRR = 1.05, 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.10, I2 = 82%) was mainly driven by studies from Germany, UK, and Sweden. No evidence of associations was observed for the consumption of pulses or soy.

Conclusions: These findings suggest no evidence of an association of legume intakes with T2D in several world regions. The positive association observed in some European studies warrants further investigation relating to overall dietary contexts in which legumes are consumed, including accompanying foods which may be positively associated with T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxaa447DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8112771PMC
May 2021

Predicting improvement of work ability in modalities of short- and long-term psychotherapy: The differential impact of reflective ability and other aspects of patient suitability.

J Clin Psychol 2021 Sep 26;77(9):1905-1920. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Department of Public Health and Welfare, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Objectives: We investigated how patients' psychological capacities to engage in psychotherapy predict changes in work ability in short- and long-term psychotherapy.

Methods: A cohort study of 326 patients, aged 20-46 years and suffering from mood and anxiety disorders, treated by short-term solution-focused, short-term psychodynamic, or long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy, followed-up for 5 years. The Suitability for Psychotherapy Scale, assessed at baseline, was the predictor. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and at six follow-up occasions using the Work Ability Index as the primary indicator.

Results: Patients with good pretreatment psychological suitability for psychotherapy, good reflective ability in particular, improved more than patients with poor suitability in short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy. Comparisons between therapy groups showed poorer suitability to predict more improvement in solution-focused and in long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy than in short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy.

Conclusion: Patients' psychological suitability for psychotherapy has a different impact on work ability in different therapy modalities and durations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jclp.23128DOI Listing
September 2021

Electrocardiographic Risk Markers of Cardiac Death: Gender Differences in the General Population.

Front Physiol 2020 5;11:578059. Epub 2021 Feb 5.

Research Unit of Internal Medicine, Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu and University Hospital of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

Background: Cardiac death is one of the leading causes of death and sudden cardiac death (SCD) is estimated to cause approximately 50% of cardiac deaths. Men have a higher cardiac mortality than women. Consequently, the mechanisms and risk markers of cardiac mortality are not as well defined in women as they are in men.

Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the prognostic value and possible gender differences of SCD risk markers of standard 12-lead electrocardiogram in three large general population samples.

Methods: The standard 12-lead electrocardiographic (ECG) markers were analyzed from three different Finnish general population samples including total of 20,310 subjects (49.9% women, mean age 44.8 ± 8.7 years). The primary endpoint was cardiac death, and SCD and all-cause mortality were secondary endpoints. The interaction effect between women and men was assessed for each ECG variable.

Results: During the follow-up (7.7 ± 1.2 years), a total of 883 deaths occurred (24.5% women, < 0.001). There were 296 cardiac deaths (13.9% women, < 0.001) and 149 SCDs (14.8% women, < 0.001). Among those who had died due to cardiac cause, women had more often a normal electrocardiogram compared to men (39.0 vs. 27.5%, = 0.132). After adjustments with common cardiovascular risk factors and the population sample, the following ECG variables predicted the primary endpoint in men: left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) with strain pattern ( < 0.001), QRS duration > 110 ms ( < 0.001), inferior or lateral T-wave inversion ( < 0.001) and inferolateral early repolarization ( = 0.033). In women none of the variables remained significant predictors of cardiac death in multivariable analysis, but LVH, QTc ≥ 490 ms and T-wave inversions predicted SCD ( < 0.047 and 0.033, respectively). In the interaction analysis, LVH (HR: 2.4; 95% CI: 1.2-4.9; = 0.014) was stronger predictor of primary endpoint in women than in men.

Conclusion: Several standard ECG variables provide independent information on the risk of cardiac mortality in men but not in women. LVH and T-wave inversions predict SCD also in women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.578059DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7894046PMC
February 2021

Does sauna bathing protect against dementia?

Prev Med Rep 2020 Dec 2;20:101221. Epub 2020 Oct 2.

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Repeated heat exposure like sauna bathing is suggested to beneficially affect against dementia development. The epidemiological evidence is, however, scarce. Therefore, we studied the association between heat exposure during sauna bathing (i.e., the frequency of sauna bathing, frequency of heat sessions, length of stay in heat, sauna temperature) and the subsequent risk of dementia. A prospective cohort study was conducted based on 13,994 men and women aged 30-69 and free from dementia diagnosis from the Finnish Mobile Clinic Follow-up Survey. During a follow-up of 39 years, a total of 1805 dementia patients were diagnosed. The sauna bathing data was gathered from a questionnaire. Analyses based on the Cox model included the sauna bathing variables and the potential confounding factors. Sauna bathing frequency was related to a reduced risk of dementia after adjustment for the potential sociodemographic, lifestyle, and metabolic risk factors of dementia considered. The hazard ratio of dementia between individuals sauna bathing 9-12 times per month in comparison with those not sauna bathing or sauna bathing less than four times per month was 0.47 (95% CI = 0.25-0.88) during the first 20 years of follow-up and 0.81 (95% CI = 0.69-0.97) during the whole follow-up. The results are in line with the hypothesis that sauna bathing provides protection against dementia. Further studies are required to verify the suggested benefits of sauna bathing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2020.101221DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7560162PMC
December 2020

Intentional weight loss as a predictor of type 2 diabetes occurrence in a general adult population.

BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care 2020 09;8(1)

Department of Public Health Solutions, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Introduction: Observational and intervention studies have verified that weight loss predicts a reduced type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk. At the population level, knowledge on the prediction of self-report intentional weight loss (IWL) on T2D incidence is, however, sparse. We studied the prediction of self-report IWL on T2D incidence during a 15-year follow-up in a general adult population.

Research Design And Methods: The study sample from the representative Finnish Health 2000 Survey comprised 4270 individuals, aged 30-69 years. IWL was determined with questions concerning dieting attempts and weight loss during the year prior to baseline. Incident T2D cases during a 15-year follow-up were drawn from national health registers. The strength of the association between IWL and T2D incidence was estimated with the Cox model.

Results: During the follow-up, 417 incident cases of T2D occurred. IWL predicted an increased risk of T2D incidence (HR 1.44; 95% CI 1.11 to 1.87, p=0.008) in a multivariable model. In interaction analyses comparing individuals with and without IWL, a suggestively elevated risk emerged in men, the younger age group, among less-educated people and in individuals with unfavorable values in several lifestyle factors.

Conclusions: Self-report IWL may predict an increased risk of T2D in long-term, probably due to self-implemented IWL tending to fail. The initial prevention of weight gain and support for weight maintenance after weight loss deserve greater emphasis in order to prevent T2D.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjdrc-2020-001560DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7467508PMC
September 2020

Electrocardiographic Risk Markers for Heart Failure in Women Versus Men.

Am J Cardiol 2020 09 17;130:70-77. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

Research Unit of Internal Medicine, Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu and University Hospital of Oulu, Finland.

Heart failure (HF) is one of the leading causes of hospitalization in the Western world. Women have a lower HF hospitalization rate and mortality compared with men. The role of electrocardiography as a risk marker of future HF in women is not well known. We studied association of electrocardiographic (ECG) risk factors for HF hospitalization in women from a large middle-aged general population with a long-term follow-up and compared the risk profile to men. Standard 12-lead ECG markers were analyzed from 10,864 subjects (49% women), and their predictive value for HF hospitalization was analyzed. During the follow-up (30 ± 11 years), a total of 1,743 subjects had HF hospitalization; of these, 861 were women (49%). Several baseline characteristics, such as age, body mass index, blood pressure, and history of previous cardiac disease predicted the occurrence of HF both in women and men (p <0.001 for all). After adjusting for baseline variables, ECG sign of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) (p <0.001), and atrial fibrillation (p <0.001) were the only baseline ECG variables that predicted future HF in women. In men, HF was predicted by fast heart rate (p = 0.008), T wave inversions (p <0.001), abnormal Q-waves (p = 0.002), and atrial fibrillation (p <0.001). Statistically significant gender interactions in prediction of HF were observed in ECG sign of LVH, inferolateral T wave inversions, and heart rate. In conclusion, ECG sign of LVH predicts future HF in middle-aged women, and T wave inversions and elevated heart rate are associated with HF hospitalization in men.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2020.06.018DOI Listing
September 2020

Orthogonal P-wave morphology, conventional P-wave indices, and the risk of atrial fibrillation in the general population using data from the Finnish Hospital Discharge Register.

Europace 2020 08;22(8):1173-1181

Department of Cardiology, Center for Integrative Electrocardiography, Clinical Sciences at Lund University and Arrhythmia Clinic, Skåne University Hospital, Entrégatan 7, 22185 Lund, Sweden.

Aims: Identifying subjects at high and low risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) is of interest. This study aims to assess the risk of AF associated with electrocardiographic (ECG) markers linked to atrial fibrosis: P-wave prolongation, 3rd-degree interatrial block, P-terminal force in lead V1, and orthogonal P-wave morphology.

Methods And Results: P-wave parameters were assessed in a representative Finnish population sample aged ≥30 years (n = 7217, 46.0% male, mean age 51.4 years). Subjects (n = 5489) with a readable ECG including the orthogonal leads, sinus rhythm, and a predefined orthogonal P-wave morphology type [positive in leads X and Y and either negative (Type 1) or ± biphasic (Type 2) in lead Z; Type 3 defined as positive in lead X and ± biphasic in lead Y], were followed 10 years from the baseline examinations (performed 1978-80). Subjects discharged with AF diagnosis after any-cause hospitalization (n = 124) were defined as having developed AF. Third-degree interatrial block was defined as P-wave ≥120 ms and the presence of ≥2 ± biphasic P waves in the inferior leads. Hazard ratios (HRs) and confidence intervals (CIs) were assessed with Cox models. Third-degree interatrial block (n = 103, HR 3.18, 95% CI 1.66-6.13; P = 0.001) and Type 3 morphology (n = 216, HR 3.01, 95% CI 1.66-5.45; P < 0.001) were independently associated with the risk of hospitalization with AF. Subjects with P-wave <110 ms and Type 1 morphology (n = 2074) were at low risk (HR 0.46, 95% CI 0.26-0.83; P = 0.006), compared to the rest of the subjects.

Conclusion: P-wave parameters associate with the risk of hospitalization with AF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/europace/euaa118DOI Listing
August 2020

Gender differences in prevalence and prognostic value of fragmented QRS complex.

J Electrocardiol 2020 Jul - Aug;61:1-9. Epub 2020 May 14.

Research Unit of Internal Medicine, Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu and University Hospital of Oulu, Finland.

Background: Fragmented QRS (fQRS) on 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) is associated with scarred myocardium and adverse outcome. However, the data on gender differences in terms of its prevalence and prognostic value is sparse. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether gender differences in fQRS exist among subjects drawn from populations with different risk profiles.

Methods: We analyzed fQRS from 12-lead ECG in 953 autopsy-confirmed victims of sudden cardiac death (SCD) (78% men; 67.0 ± 11.4 yrs), 1900 coronary artery disease (CAD) patients with angiographically confirmed stenosis of ≥50% (70% men; 66.6 ± 9.0 yrs, 43% with previous myocardial infarction [MI]), and in 10,904 adults drawn from the Finnish adult general population (52% men; 44.0 ± 8.5 yrs).

Results: Prevalence of fQRS was associated with older age, male sex and the history and severity of prior cardiac disease of subjects. Among the general population fQRS was more commonly found among men in comparison to women (20.5% vs. 14.8%, p < 0.001). The prevalence of fQRS rose gradually along with the severity of prior cardiac disease in both genders, yet remained significantly higher in the male population: subjects with suspected or known cardiac disease (25.4% vs. 15.8% p < 0.001), CAD patients without prior MI (39.9% vs. 26.4%, p < 0.001), CAD patients with prior MI (42.9% vs. 31.2%, p < 0.001), and victims of SCD (56.4% vs. 44.4%, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: The prevalence of QRS fragmentation varies in different populations. The fragmentation is clearly related to the underlying cardiac disease in both genders, however women seem to have significantly lower prevalence of fQRS in each patient population in comparison to men.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2020.05.010DOI Listing
June 2021

Estimating expected life-years and risk factor associations with mortality in Finland: cohort study.

BMJ Open 2020 03 8;10(3):e033741. Epub 2020 Mar 8.

Public Health Solutions, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Objective: To develop a tool to inform individuals and general practitioners about benefits of lifestyle changes by providing estimates of the expected age of death (EAD) for different risk factor values, and for those who plan and decide on preventive activities and health services at population level, to calculate potential need for these.

Design: Prospective cohort study to estimate EAD using a model with 27 established risk factors, categorised into four groups: (1) sociodemographic background and medical history, (2) lifestyles, (3) life satisfaction, and (4) biological risk factors. We apply a Poisson regression model on the survival data split into 1-year intervals.

Participants: Total of 38 549 participants aged 25-74 years at baseline of the National FINRISK Study between 1987 and 2007.

Primary Outcome Measures: Register-based comprehensive mortality data from 1987 to 2014 with an average follow-up time of 16 years and 4310 deaths.

Results: Almost all risk factors included in the model were statistically significantly associated with death. The largest influence on the EAD appeared to be a current heavy smoker versus a never smoker as the EAD for a 30-year-old man decreased from 86.8 years, which corresponds to the reference values of the risk factors, to 80.2 years. Diabetes decreased EAD by >6.6 years. Whole or full milk consumers had 3.4 years lower EAD compared with those consuming skimmed milk. Physically inactive men had 2.4 years lower EAD than those with high activity. Men who found their life almost unbearable due to stress had 2.8 years lower EAD.

Conclusions: The biological risk factors and lifestyles, and the factors connected with life satisfaction were clearly associated with EAD. Our model for estimating a person's EAD can be used to motivate lifestyle changes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-033741DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7064132PMC
March 2020

Associations of Metabolic Syndrome and Its Components with the Risk of Incident Knee Osteoarthritis Leading to Hospitalization: A 32-Year Follow-up Study.

Cartilage 2019 Dec 21:1947603519894731. Epub 2019 Dec 21.

Medical Research Center Oulu, Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

Objectives: To examine whether metabolic syndrome or its individual components predict the risk of incident knee osteoarthritis (OA) in a prospective cohort study during a 32-year follow-up period.

Design: The cohort consisted of 6274 participants of the Mini-Finland Health Survey, who were free from knee OA and insulin-treated diabetes at baseline. Information on the baseline characteristics, including metabolic syndrome components, hypertension, elevated fasting glucose, elevated triglycerides, reduced high-density lipoprotein, and central obesity were collected during a health examination. We drew information on the incidence of clinical knee OA from the national Care Register for Health Care. Of the participants, 459 developed incident knee OA. In our full model, age, gender, body mass index, history of physical workload, smoking history, knee complaint, and previous injury of the knee were entered as potential confounding factors.

Results: Having metabolic syndrome at baseline was not associated with an increased risk of incident knee OA. In the full model, the hazard ratio for incident knee OA for those with metabolic syndrome was 0.76 (95% confidence interval [0.56, 1.01]). The number of metabolic syndrome components or any individual component did not predict an increased risk of knee OA. Of the components, elevated plasma fasting glucose was associated with a reduced risk of incident knee OA (hazard ratio 0.71, 95% confidence interval [0.55, 0.91]).

Conclusions: Our findings do not support the hypothesis that metabolic syndrome or its components increase the risk of incident knee OA. In fact, elevated fasting glucose levels seemed to predict a reduced risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1947603519894731DOI Listing
December 2019

Predicting sudden cardiac death in a general population using an electrocardiographic risk score.

Heart 2020 03 15;106(6):427-433. Epub 2019 Nov 15.

Division of Cardiology, Heart and Lung Center, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Objective: We investigated whether combining several ECG abnormalities would identify general population subjects with a high sudden cardiac death (SCD) risk.

Methods: In a sample of 6830 participants (mean age 51.2±13.9 years; 45.5% male) in the Mini-Finland Health Survey, a general population cohort representative of the Finnish adults aged ≥30 years conducted in 1978-1980, we examined their ECGs, following subjects for 24.3±10.4 years. We analysed the association between individual ECG abnormalities and 10-year SCD risk and developed a risk score using five ECG abnormalities independently associated with SCD risk: heart rate >80 beats per minute, PR duration >220 ms, QRS duration >110 ms, left ventricular hypertrophy and T-wave inversion. We validated the score using an external general population cohort of 10 617 subjects (mean age 44.0±8.5 years; 52.7% male).

Results: No ECG abnormalities were present in 4563 subjects (66.8%), while 96 subjects (1.4%) had ≥3 ECG abnormalities. After adjusting for clinical factors, the SCD risk increased progressively with each additional ECG abnormality. Subjects with ≥3 ECG abnormalities had an HR of 10.23 (95% CI 5.29 to 19.80) for SCD compared with those without abnormalities. The risk score similarly predicted SCD risk in the validation cohort, in which subjects with ≥3 ECG abnormalities had HR 10.82 (95% CI 3.23 to 36.25) for SCD compared with those without abnormalities.

Conclusion: The ECG risk score successfully identified general population subjects with a high SCD risk. Combining ECG risk markers may improve the risk stratification for SCD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2019-315437DOI Listing
March 2020

Impact of age and sex on the long-term prognosis associated with early repolarization in the general population.

Heart Rhythm 2020 04 2;17(4):621-628. Epub 2019 Nov 2.

Research Unit of Internal Medicine, Medical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

Background: Early repolarization (ER) has been linked to the risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the general population, although controversy remains regarding risks across various subgroups.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether age and sex influence the prognostic significance of ER.

Methods: We evaluated the 12-lead electrocardiograms of 6631 Finnish general population subjects age ≥30 years (mean age 50.1 ± 13.9 years; 44.5% men) for the presence of ER (J-point elevation ≥0.1 mV in ≥2 inferior/lateral leads) and followed them for 24.4 ± 10.3 years. We analyzed the association between ER and the risk of SCD, cardiac death, and all-cause mortality in subgroups according to age (<50 or ≥50 years) and sex.

Results: ER was present in 367 of the 3305 subjects age <50 years and in 426 of 3326 subjects ≥50 years. ER was not associated with any of the endpoints in the entire study population. After adjusting for clinical factors, ER was associated with SCD (hazard ratio [HR] 1.88; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.16-3.07) in subjects <50 but not in older subjects (interaction between ER and age group, P = .048). In the younger subgroup, women with ER had a high risk of SCD (HR 4.11; 95% CI 1.41-12.03), whereas among men ER was not associated with SCD. Finally, ER was not associated with cardiac mortality or all-cause mortality in either age group.

Conclusion: ER is associated with SCD in subjects younger than 50 years, particularly in women, but not in subjects 50 years and older.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2019.10.026DOI Listing
April 2020

Self-Report Dieters: Who Are They?

Nutrients 2019 Aug 2;11(8). Epub 2019 Aug 2.

Department of Public Health Solutions, National Institute for Health and Welfare, 00271 Helsinki, Finland.

Dieting attempts have become popular worldwide. Dieting, however, seems to have both positive and negative health-related consequences. So far, only a few studies have focused on the determinants of dieting in detail. This study explores the association between self-report dieting attempts and intentional weight loss (IWL) during the previous year and several demographic, lifestyle, health, and psychological factors in a cross-sectional study design using data from the representative Finnish Health 2000 Survey. The sample comprised 2147 men and 2378 women, aged 30-69. Information for potential determinants was assembled via health examinations, interviews, and questionnaires. Approximately 24% of the men and 39% of the women reported dieting attempts and 10% of the men and 15% of the women reported IWL. Dieting attempts were associated with younger age, education, BMI, formerly smoking, more favourable values in lifestyle variables, and unfavorable values in serum HDL and triglycerides, a worse sense of coherence, concerns about one's appearance, and concerns about one's health. Among men, diabetics and those sleeping ≤6 h a night more frequently reported dieting attempts and those with osteoarthritis reported IWL. Moreover, the gradient between BMI and dieting attempts was significantly stronger in men than in women. Men seem to attempt dieting when they have actual health-related reasons, while such reasons are not so strongly associated with dieting in women. These findings can be used for determining subpopulations with obesity and real weight-loss needs and, alternatively, subpopulations with normal weight unnecessarily attempting dieting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11081789DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723801PMC
August 2019

Risk Factors Associated With Atrioventricular Block.

JAMA Netw Open 2019 05 3;2(5):e194176. Epub 2019 May 3.

Electrophysiology Section, Division of Cardiology, University of California, San Francisco.

Importance: Pacemaker implantations as a treatment for atrioventricular (AV) block are increasing worldwide. Prevention strategies for AV block are lacking because modifiable risk factors have not yet been identified.

Objective: To identify risk factors for AV block in community-dwelling individuals.

Design, Setting, And Participants: In this population-based cohort study, data from the Mini-Finland Health Survey, conducted from January 1, 1978, to December 31, 1980, were used to examine demographics, comorbidities, habits, and laboratory and electrocardiographic (ECG) measurements as potential risk factors for incident AV block. Data were ascertained during follow-up from January 1, 1987, through December 31, 2011, using a nationwide registry. A total of 6146 community-dwelling individuals were included in the analysis performed from January 15 through April 3, 2018.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Incidence of AV block (hospitalization for second- or third-degree AV block).

Results: Among the 6146 participants (3449 [56.1%] women; mean [SD] age, 49.2 [12.9] years), 529 (8.6%) had ECG evidence of conduction disease and 58 (0.9%) experienced a hospitalization with AV block. Older age (hazard ratio [HR] per 5-year increment, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.16-1.54; P < .001), male sex (HR, 2.04; 95% CI, 1.19-3.45; P = .01), a history of myocardial infarction (HR, 3.54; 95% CI, 1.33-9.42; P = .01), and a history of congestive heart failure (HR, 3.33; 95% CI, 1.10-10.09; P = .03) were each independently associated with AV block. Two modifiable risk factors were also independently associated with AV block. Every 10-mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure was associated with a 22% higher risk (HR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.10-1.34; P = .005), and every 20-mg/dL increase in fasting glucose level was associated with a 22% higher risk (HR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.08-1.35; P = .001). Both risk factors remained statistically significant (HR for systolic blood pressure, 1.26 [95% CI, 1.06-1.49; P = .007]; HR for glucose level, 1.22 [95% CI, 1.04-1.43; P = .01]) after adjustment for major adverse coronary events during the follow-up period. In population-attributable risk assessment, an estimated 47% (95% CI, 8%-67%) of AV blocks may have been avoided if all participants exhibited ideal blood pressure and 11% (95% CI, 2%-21%) may have been avoided if all had a normal fasting glucose level.

Conclusions And Relevance: In this analysis of data from a population-based cohort study, suboptimal blood pressure and fasting glucose level were associated with AV block. These results suggest that a large proportion of AV blocks are assocated with these risk factors, even after adjusting for other major adverse coronary events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.4176DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6632153PMC
May 2019

Association analyses identify 31 new risk loci for colorectal cancer susceptibility.

Nat Commun 2019 05 14;10(1):2154. Epub 2019 May 14.

Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, McCarthy Group, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford, OX3 7BN, UK.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and has a strong heritable basis. We report a genome-wide association analysis of 34,627 CRC cases and 71,379 controls of European ancestry that identifies SNPs at 31 new CRC risk loci. We also identify eight independent risk SNPs at the new and previously reported European CRC loci, and a further nine CRC SNPs at loci previously only identified in Asian populations. We use in situ promoter capture Hi-C (CHi-C), gene expression, and in silico annotation methods to identify likely target genes of CRC SNPs. Whilst these new SNP associations implicate target genes that are enriched for known CRC pathways such as Wnt and BMP, they also highlight novel pathways with no prior links to colorectal tumourigenesis. These findings provide further insight into CRC susceptibility and enhance the prospects of applying genetic risk scores to personalised screening and prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09775-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6517433PMC
May 2019

Work-related risk factors for sciatica leading to hospitalization.

Sci Rep 2019 04 25;9(1):6562. Epub 2019 Apr 25.

Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

The aim of this study was to assess the effects of the general strenuousness of work and various physical exposures on the risk of hospitalization for sciatica. The study population consisted of Finns aged 30 to 59 who had participated in a national health examination survey in 1978-80 (N = 3891). The participants were followed up until the end of 2011 and information on work-related determinants was acquired by a questionnaire. After adjustment for confounders, sedentary work involving handling fairly heavy objects/physically light work (HR 1.57; 95% CI 1.05-2.34), lifting or carrying heavy objects (2.10; 1.35-3.26) and exposure to whole-body vibration (1.61; 0.95-2.72) predicted sciatica, whereas heavier workloads appeared to reduce its risk (0.48; 0.26-0.89). There was an interaction between body mass index and exposure to whole-body vibration for the risk of sciatica. Overweight (1.94; 0.96-3.93) and obese (3.50; 1.44-8.46) participants exposed to whole-body vibration were at an increased risk of sciatica. Individuals of normal weight who were exposed to vibration, and overweight and obese individuals who were not exposed to vibration were not at an increased risk. The risk of hospitalization for sciatica seems to be highest among obese individuals exposed to whole-body vibration and among those lifting or carrying heavy objects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-42597-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6484005PMC
April 2019

Dietary magnesium intake, serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein and the risk of incident knee osteoarthritis leading to hospitalization-A cohort study of 4,953 Finns.

PLoS One 2019 25;14(3):e0214064. Epub 2019 Mar 25.

Medical Research Center Oulu, Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

Objectives: To study whether low dietary magnesium (Mg) intake and serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) predict the development of clinical knee osteoarthritis (OA).

Methods: The cohort consisted of 4,953 participants of a national health examination survey who were free of knee and hip OA at baseline. Information on the incidence of knee OA leading to hospitalization was drawn from the National Care Register for Health Care. During the follow-up of 10 years, 123 participants developed incident knee OA. Dietary magnesium intake was assessed on the basis of a food frequency questionnaire from the preceding year. We used Cox's proportional hazards model to estimate the strength of the association between the tertiles of dietary Mg intake and incident knee OA, adjusted for baseline age, gender, energy intake, BMI, history of physical workload, leisure time physical activity, injuries, knee complaints, the use of Mg supplements, and serum hs-CRP levels.

Results: At baseline, dietary Mg intake was inversely associated with serum hs-CRP even after adjustment for all the potential confounding factors. During the follow-up, the adjusted hazard ratios (with their 95% confidence intervals) for incident knee OA in dietary Mg intake tertiles were 1.00, 1.28 (0.78-2.10), and 1.38 (0.73-2.62); the p value for trend was 0.31. Serum hs-CRP level at baseline did not predict incident knee OA.

Conclusions: The results do not support the hypothesis that low dietary Mg intake contributes to the development of clinical knee OA, although Mg intake is inversely associated with serum hs-CRP level.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0214064PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6433216PMC
December 2019

Effectiveness of psychoanalysis and long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy on personality and social functioning 10 years after start of treatment.

Psychiatry Res 2019 02 18;272:774-783. Epub 2018 Dec 18.

National Institute for Health and Welfare, P. O. Box 30, 00271, Helsinki, Finland.

The evidence on potentially greater benefits of psychoanalysis (PA) vs. long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (LPP) is scarce. This study compared the effectiveness of PA and LPP on personality and social functioning during a 10-year follow-up from the beginning of the treatments. The eligible patients, 41 self-selected for PA and 128 assigned to LPP, were 20-45 years of age and had anxiety or mood disorder. Outcomes were analyzed using ten standard measures of personality and social functioning, carried out 5-9 times during the follow-up. Different change patterns by time in PA and LPP emerged, suggesting less benefit of PA during the first years of follow-up and more benefit in most outcomes thereafter. Greater post-treatment improvement in PA than in LPP was seen up to 1-2 years after PA had ended in more mature defense style (DSQ), level of personality organization (LPO), more positive self-concept (SASB), more improved social adjustment (SAS-SR) and sense of coherence (SOC). However, at the 10-year follow-up the differences were non-significant. In conclusion, PA may give some additional benefits when long-term aims are linked to personality and social functioning. The relatively small differences and higher costs in comparison to LPP may restrict the feasibility of PA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2018.12.082DOI Listing
February 2019

Long-term prognostic impact of hyperuricemia in community.

Scand J Clin Lab Invest 2019 May 19;79(3):148-153. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

a Department of Internal Medicine , Päijät-Häme Central Hospital , Lahti , Finland.

The debate whether an elevated level of serum uric acid (SUA) is an independent marker of cardiovascular risk is still going on. We examined morbidity and mortality related to SUA and hyperuricemia in a well-characterized population with very long follow-up. Study included 4696 participants (aged 30-59 years at baseline) of the coronary heart disease (CHD) Study of the Finnish Mobile Clinic Health Examination Survey. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) of hyperuricemia (defined as ≥360 µmol/l and ≥420 µmol/l) and SUA quintiles for mortality and adverse cardiovascular outcomes are reported. During the mean follow up of 30.6 years there were 2723 deaths, 887 deaths for CHD of which 340 were classified as sudden cardiac deaths, 1642 hospitalizations due to CHD and 798 hospitalizations due to congestive heart failure. After adjusting to baseline risk factors and presence of cardiovascular diseases as well as the use of diuretics there were no significant differences in the risk of any of the outcomes when analyzed either according to quintiles of SUA or using a cut-off point SUA ≥360 µmol/l for hyperuricemia. Only a rare finding of hyperuricemia SUA ≥420 µmol/l among women (n = 17, 0.9%) was independently associated with significantly higher risk of mortality (adjusted HR: 2.59, 95% CI: 1.54-4.34) and a combination end-point of major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) (HR: 2.69; 95% CI: 1.56-4.66). SUA was not an independent indicator of morbidity and mortality, with the exception of particularly high levels of SUA among women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00365513.2019.1576098DOI Listing
May 2019

Prevalence and Prognostic Significance of Negative U-waves in a 12-lead Electrocardiogram in the General Population.

Am J Cardiol 2019 01 19;123(2):267-273. Epub 2018 Oct 19.

Division of Cardiology, Heart and Lung Center, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Negative U-waves are a relatively rare finding in an electrocardiogram (ECG), but are often associated with cardiac disease. The prognostic significance of negative U-waves in the general population is unknown. We evaluated 12-lead ECGs of 6,518 adults (45% male, mean age 50.9 ± 13.8 years) for the presence of U-waves, and followed the subjects for 24.5 ± 10.3 years. Primary end points were all-cause mortality, cardiac mortality, and sudden cardiac death; secondary end point was hospitalization due to cardiac causes. Negative U-waves (amplitude ≥0.05 mV) were present in 231 subjects (3.5%), minor negative (amplitude <0.05 mV) or discordant U-waves in 1,004 subjects (15.4%), normal positive U-waves in 3,950 (60.6%) subjects, and no U-waves were observed in 603 subjects (9.3%). In 730 subjects (11.2%), U-waves were unassessable. When adjusted for age and gender, negative U-waves were associated with all end points (p <0.01). In an analysis adjusted for multiple demographic and clinical factors, in men, negative U-waves were associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio [HR] 1.60; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26 to 2.03; p <0.001), cardiac mortality (HR 1.74; 95% CI 1.26 to 2.39; p = 0.001), and cardiac hospitalization (HR 1.67; 95% CI 1.27 to 2.18; p <0.001), but not with sudden cardiac death, whereas women did not show a significant association to any of the end points (p >0.30). In conclusion, negative U-waves are associated with adverse events in the general population. In men, this association is independent of cardiovascular risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2018.10.010DOI Listing
January 2019

A Collaborative Analysis of Individual Participant Data from 19 Prospective Studies Assesses Circulating Vitamin D and Prostate Cancer Risk.

Cancer Res 2019 01 13;79(1):274-285. Epub 2018 Nov 13.

The Medical School, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.

Previous prospective studies assessing the relationship between circulating concentrations of vitamin D and prostate cancer risk have shown inconclusive results, particularly for risk of aggressive disease. In this study, we examine the association between prediagnostic concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)D] and the risk of prostate cancer overall and by tumor characteristics. Principal investigators of 19 prospective studies provided individual participant data on circulating 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)D for up to 13,462 men with incident prostate cancer and 20,261 control participants. ORs for prostate cancer by study-specific fifths of season-standardized vitamin D concentration were estimated using multivariable-adjusted conditional logistic regression. 25(OH)D concentration was positively associated with risk for total prostate cancer (multivariable-adjusted OR comparing highest vs. lowest study-specific fifth was 1.22; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-1.31; trend < 0.001). However, this association varied by disease aggressiveness ( = 0.014); higher circulating 25(OH)D was associated with a higher risk of nonaggressive disease (OR per 80 percentile increase = 1.24, 1.13-1.36) but not with aggressive disease (defined as stage 4, metastases, or prostate cancer death, 0.95, 0.78-1.15). 1,25(OH)D concentration was not associated with risk for prostate cancer overall or by tumor characteristics. The absence of an association of vitamin D with aggressive disease does not support the hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency increases prostate cancer risk. Rather, the association of high circulating 25(OH)D concentration with a higher risk of nonaggressive prostate cancer may be influenced by detection bias. SIGNIFICANCE: This international collaboration comprises the largest prospective study on blood vitamin D and prostate cancer risk and shows no association with aggressive disease but some evidence of a higher risk of nonaggressive disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-2318DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6330070PMC
January 2019

Genetic analysis of over 1 million people identifies 535 new loci associated with blood pressure traits.

Nat Genet 2018 10 17;50(10):1412-1425. Epub 2018 Sep 17.

Laboratory of Genetics and Genomics, NIA/NIH, Baltimore, MD, USA.

High blood pressure is a highly heritable and modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. We report the largest genetic association study of blood pressure traits (systolic, diastolic and pulse pressure) to date in over 1 million people of European ancestry. We identify 535 novel blood pressure loci that not only offer new biological insights into blood pressure regulation but also highlight shared genetic architecture between blood pressure and lifestyle exposures. Our findings identify new biological pathways for blood pressure regulation with potential for improved cardiovascular disease prevention in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0205-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6284793PMC
October 2018

Airway obstruction, serum vitamin D and mortality in a 33-year follow-up study.

Eur J Clin Nutr 2019 07 13;73(7):1024-1032. Epub 2018 Sep 13.

National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Background And Objective: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and low vitamin D status predict mortality, but their combined effect on mortality remains inconclusive. We aimed to investigate a joint effect of airway obstruction and vitamin D status on mortality in a nationally representative cohort.

Methods: We analysed data of 6676 Finnish adults participating between 1978 and 1980 in a national health examination survey, undergoing spirometry and having all necessary data collected. We followed them up in national registers through record linkage until 31 December 2011. We categorised the subjects with obstruction using the lower limit of normal (LLN) and the measured serum 25-hydroxyvitamin-D (s-25(OH)D) into tertiles.

Results: Both obstruction and low s-25(OH)D independently predicted mortality in a multivariate model adjusted also for age, sex, smoking, education, leisure physical activity, body mass index, asthma and serum C-reactive protein. However, a statistically significant (p = 0.007) interaction emerged: the adjusted mortality HRs (95% CI's) for s-25(OH)D in tertiles among the subjects without and with obstruction were 1.00 (lowest), 0.96 (0.87-1.05) and 0.89 (0.81-0.98); and 1.00, 0.96 (0.71-1.31) and 0.57 (0.40-0.80), respectively.

Conclusions: In conclusion, obstruction and low s-25(OH)D predict mortality independently of each other. Our findings suggest that low vitamin D status might be particularly detrimental among subjects with obstruction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41430-018-0299-3DOI Listing
July 2019

Electrocardiogram as a predictor of sudden cardiac death in middle-aged subjects without a known cardiac disease.

Int J Cardiol Heart Vasc 2018 Sep 26;20:50-55. Epub 2018 Aug 26.

Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, and University of Oulu, Finland.

Background: Abnormal 12‑lead electrocardiogram (ECG) findings and proposing its ability for enhanced risk prediction, majority of the studies have been carried out with elderly populations with prior cardiovascular diseases. This study aims to denote the association of sudden cardiac death (SCD) and various abnormal ECG morphologies using middle-aged population without a known cardiac disease.

Methods: In total, 9511 middle-aged subjects (mean age 42 ± 8.2 years, 52% males) without a known cardiac disease were included in this study. Risk for SCD was assessed after 10 and 30-years of follow-up.

Results: Abnormal ECG was present in 16.3% (N = 1548) of subjects. The incidence of SCD was distinctly higher among those with any ECG abnormality in 10 and 30-year follow-ups (1.7/1000 years vs. 0.6/1000 years, P < 0.001; 3.4/1000 years vs. 1.9/1000 years, P < 0.001). At 10-year point, competing risk multivariate regression model showed HR of 1.62 (95% CI 1.0-2.6, P = 0.05) for SCD in subjects with abnormal ECG. QRS duration ≥ 110 ms, QRST-angle > 100°, left ventricular hypertrophy, and T-wave inversions were the most significant independent ECG risk markers for 10-year SCD prediction with up to 3-fold risk for SCD. Those with ECG abnormalities had a 1.3-fold risk (95% CI 1.07-1.57, P = 0.007) for SCD in 30-year follow-up, whereas QRST-angle > 100°, LVH, ER ≥ 0.1 mV and ≥0.2 mV were the strongest individual predictors. Subjects with multiple ECG abnormalities had up to 6.6-fold risk for SCD (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Several ECG abnormalities are associated with the occurrence of early and late SCD events in the middle-age subjects without known history of cardiac disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcha.2018.08.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6111047PMC
September 2018
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