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  • 1.
    Aerts, Marc
    et al.
    Interuniversity Institute for Biostatistics and Statistical Bioinformatics.
    Minalu, Girma
    Interuniversity Institute for Biostatistics and Statistical Bioinformatics.
    Bösner, Stefan
    Department of General Practice and Family Medicine, Philipps University Marburg, Germany..
    Buntinx, Frank
    Department of Public Health and Primary Care, KU Leuven, Belgium; Department of General Practice, Maastricht University, The Netherlands..
    Burnand, Bernard
    Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland..
    Haasenritter, Jörg
    Department of General Practice and Family Medicine, Philipps University Marburg, Germany..
    Herzig, Lilli
    Institute of Family Medicine, University of Lausanne, Switzerland..
    Knottnerus, J André
    Department of General Practice, Maastricht University, The Netherlands..
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för samhällsmedicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Primärvårdscentrum, Vårdcentralen Vikbolandet.
    Renier, Walter
    Department of Public Health and Primary Care, KU Leuven, Belgium.
    Sox, Carol
    Department of Community and Family Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, USA..
    Sox, Harold
    Department of Community and Family Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH , USA; Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, Washington, USA..
    Donner-Banzhoff, Norbert
    Department of General Practice and Family Medicine, Philipps University Marburg, Germany..
    Pooled individual patient data from five countries were used to derive a clinical prediction rule for coronary artery disease in primary care.2017Ingår i: Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, ISSN 0895-4356, E-ISSN 1878-5921, Vol. 81, s. 120-128Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE: To construct a clinical prediction rule for coronary artery disease (CAD) presenting with chest pain in primary care.

    STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: Meta-Analysis using 3,099 patients from five studies. To identify candidate predictors, we used random forest trees, multiple imputation of missing values, and logistic regression within individual studies. To generate a prediction rule on the pooled data, we applied a regression model that took account of the differing standard data sets collected by the five studies.

    RESULTS: The most parsimonious rule included six equally weighted predictors: age ≥55 (males) or ≥65 (females) (+1); attending physician suspected a serious diagnosis (+1); history of CAD (+1); pain brought on by exertion (+1); pain feels like "pressure" (+1); pain reproducible by palpation (-1). CAD was considered absent if the prediction score is <2. The area under the ROC curve was 0.84. We applied this rule to a study setting with a CAD prevalence of 13.2% using a prediction score cutoff of <2 (i.e., -1, 0, or +1). When the score was <2, the probability of CAD was 2.1% (95% CI: 1.1-3.9%); when the score was ≥ 2, it was 43.0% (95% CI: 35.8-50.4%).

    CONCLUSIONS: Clinical prediction rules are a key strategy for individualizing care. Large data sets based on electronic health records from diverse sites create opportunities for improving their internal and external validity. Our patient-level meta-analysis from five primary care sites should improve external validity. Our strategy for addressing site-to-site systematic variation in missing data should improve internal validity. Using principles derived from decision theory, we also discuss the problem of setting the cutoff prediction score for taking action.

  • 2.
    Andersson, Per
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för samhällsmedicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Primärvårdscentrum, Vårdcentralen Ljungsbro.
    Sederholm Lawesson, Sofia
    Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Hjärt- och Medicincentrum, Kardiologiska kliniken US. Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för kardiovaskulär medicin.
    Karlsson, Jan-Erik
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för kardiovaskulär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Dept Internal Med, Sweden.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för samhällsmedicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Primärvårdscentrum, Vårdcentralen Vikbolandet.
    Thylén, Ingela
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för omvårdnad. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Hjärt- och Medicincentrum, Kardiologiska kliniken US.
    Characteristics of patients with acute myocardial infarction contacting primary healthcare before hospitalisation: a cross-sectional study2018Ingår i: BMC Family Practice, ISSN 1471-2296, E-ISSN 1471-2296, Vol. 19, artikel-id 167Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The characteristics of patients with on-going myocardial infarction (MI) contacting the primary healthcare (PHC) centre before hospitalisation are not well known. Prompt diagnosis is crucial in patients with MI, but many patients delay seeking medical care. The aims of this study was to 1) describe background characteristics, symptoms, actions and delay times in patients contacting the PHC before hospitalisation when falling ill with an acute MI, 2) compare those patients with acute MI patients not contacting the PHC, and 3) explore factors associated with a PHC contact in acute MI patients. Methods: This was a cross-sectional multicentre study, enrolling consecutive patients with MI within 24 hours of admission to hospital from Nov 2012 until Feb 2014. Results: A total of 688 patients with MI, 519 men and 169 women, were included; the mean age was 66 +/- 11 years. One in five people contacted PHC instead of the recommended emergency medical services (EMS), and 94% of these patients experienced cardinal symptoms of an acute MI; i.e., chest pain, and/or radiating pain in the arms, and/or cold sweat. Median delay time from symptom-onset-to-decision-to-seek-care was 2:15 hours in PHC patients and 0:40 hours in non-PHC patients (pamp;lt;0.01). The probability of utilising the PHC before hospitalisation was associated with fluctuating symptoms (OR 1.74), pain intensity (OR 0.90) symptoms during off-hours (OR 0.42), study hospital (OR 3.49 and 2.52, respectively, for two of the county hospitals) and a final STEMI diagnosis (OR 0.58). Conclusions: Ambulance services are still underutilized in acute MI patients. A substantial part of the patients contacts their primary healthcare centre before they are diagnosed with MI, although experiencing cardinal symptoms such as chest pain. There is need for better knowledge in the population about symptoms of MI and adequate pathways to qualified care. Knowledge and awareness amongst primary healthcare professionals on the occurrence of MI patients is imperative.

  • 3.
    Karlsson, Lars
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för kardiovaskulär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Hjärt- och Medicincentrum, Kardiologiska kliniken US.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för samhällsmedicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Primärvårdscentrum, Vårdcentralen Vikbolandet.
    Bång, Magnus
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för datavetenskap, Interaktiva och kognitiva system. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Nilsson, Lennart
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för kardiovaskulär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Hjärt- och Medicincentrum, Kardiologiska kliniken US.
    Charitakis, Emmanouil
    Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Hjärt- och Medicincentrum, Kardiologiska kliniken US. Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för kardiovaskulär medicin.
    Janzon, Magnus
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för kardiovaskulär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Hjärt- och Medicincentrum, Kardiologiska kliniken US.
    A clinical decision support tool for improving adherence to guidelines on anticoagulant therapy in patients with atrial fibrillation at risk of stroke: A cluster-randomized trial in a Swedish primary care setting (the CDS-AF study)2018Ingår i: PLoS Medicine, ISSN 1549-1277, E-ISSN 1549-1676, Vol. 15, nr 3, artikel-id e1002528Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with substantial morbidity, in particular stroke. Despite good evidence for the reduction of stroke risk with anticoagulant therapy, there remains significant undertreatment. The main aim of the current study was to investigate whether a clinical decision support tool (CDS) for stroke prevention integrated in the electronic health record could improve adherence to guidelines for stroke prevention in patients with AF.

    Methods and findings

    We conducted a cluster-randomized trial where all 43 primary care clinics in the county of Östergötland, Sweden (population 444,347), were randomized to be part of the CDS intervention or to serve as controls. The CDS produced an alert for physicians responsible for patients with AF and at increased risk for thromboembolism (according to the CHA2DS2-VASc algorithm) without anticoagulant therapy. The primary endpoint was adherence to guidelines after 1 year. After randomization, there were 22 and 21 primary care clinics in the CDS and control groups, respectively. There were no significant differences in baseline adherence to guidelines regarding anticoagulant therapy between the 2 groups (CDS group 70.3% [5,186/7,370; 95% CI 62.9%–77.7%], control group 70.0% [4,187/6,009; 95% CI 60.4%–79.6%], p = 0.83). After 12 months, analysis with linear regression with adjustment for primary care clinic size and adherence to guidelines at baseline revealed a significant increase in guideline adherence in the CDS (73.0%, 95% CI 64.6%–81.4%) versus the control group (71.2%, 95% CI 60.8%–81.6%, p = 0.013, with a treatment effect estimate of 0.016 [95% CI 0.003–0.028]; number of patients with AF included in the final analysis 8,292 and 6,508 in the CDS and control group, respectively). Over the study period, there was no difference in the incidence of stroke, transient ischemic attack, or systemic thromboembolism in the CDS group versus the control group (49 [95% CI 43–55] per 1,000 patients with AF in the CDS group compared to 47 [95% CI 39–55] per 1,000 patients with AF in the control group, p = 0.64). Regarding safety, the CDS group had a lower incidence of significant bleeding, with events in 12 (95% CI 9–15) per 1,000 patients with AF compared to 16 (95% CI 12–20) per 1,000 patients with AF in the control group (p = 0.04). Limitations of the study design include that the analysis was carried out in a catchment area with a high baseline adherence rate, and issues regarding reproducibility to other regions.

    Conclusions

    The present study demonstrates that a CDS can increase guideline adherence for anticoagulant therapy in patients with AF. Even though the observed difference was small, this is the first randomized study to our knowledge indicating beneficial effects with a CDS in patients with AF.

  • 4.
    Karlsson, Lars O.
    et al.
    Region Östergötland, Hjärt- och Medicincentrum, Kardiologiska kliniken US. Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för kardiovaskulär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för samhällsmedicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Primärvårdscentrum, Vårdcentralen Vikbolandet.
    Charitakis, Emmanouil
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för kardiovaskulär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Hjärt- och Medicincentrum, Kardiologiska kliniken US.
    Bång, Magnus
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för datavetenskap, Interaktiva och kognitiva system. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Johansson, Gustav
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för datavetenskap. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
    Nilsson, Lennart
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för kardiovaskulär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Hjärt- och Medicincentrum, Kardiologiska kliniken US.
    Janzon, Magnus
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för kardiovaskulär medicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Hjärt- och Medicincentrum, Kardiologiska kliniken US.
    Clinical decision support for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation (CDS-AF): Rationale and design of a cluster randomized trial in the primary care setting2017Ingår i: American Heart Journal, ISSN 0002-8703, E-ISSN 1097-6744, Vol. 187, s. 45-52Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with substantial morbidity, in particular stroke. Despite good evidence for the reduction of stroke risk with anticoagulant therapy, there remains a significant undertreatment. The main aim of the current study is to investigate whethera clinical decision support tool for stroke prevention (CDS) integrated in the electronic health record can improve adherence to guidelines for stroke prevention in patients with AF. Methods We will conduct a cluster randomized trial where 43 primary care clinics in the county of Ostergotland, Sweden (population 444,347), will be randomized to be part of the CDS intervention or serve as controls. The CDS will alert responsible physicians of patients with AF and increased risk for thromboembolism according to the CHA(2)DS(2)VASc (Congestive heart failure, Hypertension, Age 74 years, Diabetes mellitus, previous Stroke/TIA/thromboembolism, Vascular disease, Age 65-74 years, Sex category (i.e. female sex)) algorithm without anticoagulant therapy. The primary end point will be adherence to guidelines after 1 year. Conclusion The present study will investigate whether a clinical decision support system integrated in an electronic health record can increase adherence to guidelines regarding anticoagulant therapy in patients with AF.

  • 5.
    Kärner Köhler, Anita
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för samhälls- och välfärdsstudier, Avdelningen för omvårdnad. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för samhällsmedicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Primärvårdscentrum, Vårdcentralen Vikbolandet.
    Jaarsma, Tiny
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för samhälls- och välfärdsstudier, Avdelningen för omvårdnad. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten.
    Tingström, Pia
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för omvårdnad. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten.
    Health beliefs about lifestyle habits differ between patients and spouses 1 year after a cardiac event – a qualitative analysis based on the Health Belief Model2017Ingår i: Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, ISSN 0283-9318, E-ISSN 1471-6712, Vol. 31, nr 2, s. 332-341Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND:

    Spousal concordance on risk factors and lifestyle habits exists and can partly be explained by patients' and spouses' health beliefs and underuse of cardiac rehabilitation. However, there have been very few qualitative comparisons of health beliefs between patients and spouses after a cardiac event.

    AIM:

    To examine and qualitatively compare the health beliefs of patients with coronary heart disease and their spouses about lifestyle habits, 1 year after the cardiac event.

    DESIGN:

    Explorative and descriptive.

    METHOD:

    Semi-structured focus group interviews were conducted with patients (n = 14) 1 year after a cardiac event, as well as individual interviews with spouses (n = 8). The transcriptions underwent a deductive qualitative content analysis, within the framework of the Health Belief Model.

    FINDINGS:

    Patients' and spouses' health beliefs about lifestyle habits qualitatively differed in most predetermined main analytical categories of the Health Belief Model. The patients relied more on their own capacity and the healthcare system than on collaboration with their spouses who instead emphasised the importance of mutual activities to establish lifestyle habits. The spouses therefore experienced problems with different family preferences compared to the patients' wishes. Moreover, only patients believed supervised exercise was beneficial for risk reduction of coronary heart disease and they related barriers for medication to a self-healing body and a meaningless life without relatives and old habits. Patients and spouses agreed that despite the severity of illness, life was captured and that normalisation to a life as usual was possible.

    CONCLUSION:

    The patients' and spouses' qualitatively different health beliefs regarding health-related behaviours imply a new approach. Nurses and associated professionals need to follow-up patients' and spouses' in primary health care to support them in a tailored way, for example in problem-based sessions. Recognition and understanding of their different views and otherness could lead to compromises and goals to work with.

  • 6.
    Kärner Köhler, Anita
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för samhälls- och välfärdsstudier, Avdelningen för omvårdnad. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten.
    Tingström, Pia
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för omvårdnad. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten.
    Jaarsma, Tiny
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för samhälls- och välfärdsstudier, Avdelningen för omvårdnad. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för samhällsmedicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Primärvårdscentrum, Vårdcentralen Vikbolandet.
    Patient empowerment and general self-efficacy in patients with coronary heart disease: a cross-sectional study2018Ingår i: BMC Family Practice, ISSN 1471-2296, E-ISSN 1471-2296, Vol. 19, artikel-id 76Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background

    In managing a life with coronary heart disease and the possibility of planning and following a rehabilitation plan, patients’ empowerment and self-efficacy are considered important. However, currently there is limited data on levels of empowerment among patients with coronary heart disease, and demographic and clinical characteristics associated with patient empowerment are not known.

    The purpose of this study was to assess the level of patient empowerment and general self-efficacy in patients six to 12 months after the cardiac event. We also aimed to explore the relationship between patient empowerment, general self-efficacy and other related factors such as quality of life and demographic variables.

    Methods

    A sample of 157 cardiac patients (78% male; age 68 ± 8.5 years) was recruited from a Swedish hospital. Patient empowerment was assessed using the SWE-CES-10. Additional data was collected on general self-efficacy and well-being (EQ5D and Ladder of Life). Demographic and clinical variables were collected from medical records and interviews.

    Results

    The mean levels of patient empowerment and general self-efficacy on a 0–4 scale were 3.69 (±0.54) and 3.13 (±0.52) respectively, and the relationship between patient empowerment and general self-efficacy was weak (r = 0.38). In a simple linear regression, patient empowerment and general self-efficacy were significantly correlated with marital status, current self-rated health and future well-being. Multiple linear regressions on patient empowerment (Model 1) and general self-efficacy (Model 2) showed an independent significant association between patient empowerment and current self-rated health. General self-efficacy was not independently associated with any of the variables.

    Conclusions

    Patients with a diagnosis of coronary heart disease reported high levels of empowerment and general self-efficacy at six to 12 months after the event. Clinical and demographic variables were not independently associated with empowerment or low general self-efficacy. Patient empowerment and general self-efficacy were not mutually interchangeable, and therefore both need to be measured when planning for secondary prevention in primary health care.

  • 7.
    Milovanovic, Micha
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för samhälls- och välfärdsstudier, Avdelningen för omvårdnad. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Närsjukvården i östra Östergötland, Medicinkliniken ViN.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för samhällsmedicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Primärvårdscentrum, Vårdcentralen Vikbolandet.
    Winblad, B
    NVS, Neurogeriatrics, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Karolinska University Hospital, Geriatrics, Huddinge.
    Jelic, V
    NVS, Neurogeriatrics, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Karolinska University Hospital, Geriatrics, Huddinge.
    Behbahani, H
    NVS, Neurogeriatrics, Karolinska Institutet.
    Shahnaz, T
    Region Östergötland, Närsjukvården i östra Östergötland, Medicinkliniken ViN. NVS, Neurogeriatrics, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge .
    Oweling, M
    Region Östergötland, Närsjukvården i östra Östergötland, Medicinkliniken ViN.
    Järemo, Petter
    Region Östergötland, Närsjukvården i östra Östergötland, Medicinkliniken ViN.
    Inverse relationship between erythrocyte size and platelet reactivity in elderly.2017Ingår i: Platelets, ISSN 0953-7104, E-ISSN 1369-1635, Vol. 28, nr 2, s. 182-186Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous work indicates that erythrocytes (RBCs) accumulate β-amyloid X-40 (Aβ40) in individuals with Alzheimer disease (AD) and to a lesser extent in healthy elderly. The toxin damages RBCs and increases their mean corpuscular volume (MCV). Furthermore, AD platelets demonstrate lower reactivity. This study investigated interactions between RBCs and platelets. Older individuals with moderate hypertension (n = 57) were classified into two groups, depending on MCV in whole blood: The MCV(high) group comprised individuals with higher MCV (n = 27; 97 ± 3(SD) fl) and MCV(low) group had relatively lower MCV (n = 30; 90 ± 3(SD) fl). Flow cytometry was used to determine platelet reactivity, i.e., the surface binding of fibrinogen after provocation. Adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and a thrombin receptor-activating protein (TRAP-6) were used as agonists. Subsequently, blood cells were divided according to density into 17 subfractions. Intra-RBC Aβ40 content was analyzed and in all platelet populations surface-bound fibrinogen was determined to estimate platelet in vivo activity. We found Aβ40 inside RBCs of approximately 50% of participants, but the toxin did not affect MCV and platelet reactivity. In contrast, MCV associated inversely with platelet reactivity as judged from surface-attached fibrinogen after ADP (1.7 μmol/L) (p < 0.05) and TRAP-6 provocation (57 μmol/L (p = 0.01) and 74 μmol/L (p < 0.05)). In several density fractions (nos. 3, 4, 8, 11-13 (p < 0.05) and nos. 5-7 (p < 0.01)) MCV linked inversely with platelet-attached fibrinogen. In our community-dwelling sample, enhanced MCV associated with decreased platelet reactivity and lower in vivo platelet activity. It resembles RBCs and platelet behavior in AD-type dementia.

  • 8.
    Wennerholm, Carina
    et al.
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för omvårdnad. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten.
    Bromley, Catherine
    Public Health Observatory Division, NHS Health Scotland, Edinburgh, UK..
    Johansson, AnnaKarin
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för omvårdnad. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för samhällsmedicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten. Region Östergötland, Primärvårdscentrum, Vårdcentralen Vikbolandet.
    Frank, John
    Scottish Collaboration of Public Health Research & Policy (SCPHRP); Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.
    Faresjö, Tomas
    Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för medicin och hälsa, Avdelningen för samhällsmedicin. Linköpings universitet, Medicinska fakulteten.
    Two tales of cardiovascular risks-middle-aged women living in Sweden and Scotland: a cross-sectional comparative study2017Ingår i: BMJ Open, ISSN 2044-6055, E-ISSN 2044-6055, Vol. 7, nr 8, artikel-id e016527Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVES: To compare cardiovascular risk factors as well as rates of cardiovascular diseases in middle-aged women from urban areas in Scotland and Sweden.

    DESIGN: Comparative cross-sectional study.

    SETTING: Data from the general population in urban areas of Scotland and the general population in two major Swedish cities in southeast Sweden, south of Stockholm.

    PARTICIPANTS: Comparable data of middle-aged women (40-65 years) from the Scottish Health Survey (n=6250) and the Swedish QWIN study (n=741) were merged together into a new dataset (n=6991 participants).

    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: We compared middle-aged women in urban areas in Sweden and Scotland regarding risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD), CVD diagnosis, anthropometrics, psychological distress and lifestyle.

    RESULTS: In almost all measurements, there were significant differences between the countries, favouring the Swedish women. Scottish women demonstrated a higher frequency of alcohol consumption, smoking, obesity, low vegetable consumption, a sedentary lifestyle and also more psychological distress. For doctor-diagnosed coronary heart disease, there were also significant differences, with a higher prevalence among the Scottish women.

    CONCLUSIONS: This is one of the first studies that clearly shows that Scottish middle-aged women are particularly affected by a worse profile of CVD risks. The profound differences in CVD risk and outcome frequency in the two populations are likely to have arisen from differences in the two groups of women's social, cultural, political and economic environments.

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