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Can Hematuria Be A Predictor As Well As A Symptom
Or Sign of Bladder Cancer?
In a case-control study of urinalysis screening in the prevention of death from bladder cancer, hematuria was present in a higher proportion of cases than controls as long as five or six years before the diagnostic evaluation that led to the diagnosis of bladder cancer. In a separate cohort study data base that permitted the follow-up of 1046 persons with a physician's diagnosis of hematuria, 11 cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed more than two (mean 7.4) years after the hematuria diagnosis (4.3 cases expected; age-sex standardized morbidity ratio, 2.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-4.5). Bladder cancer was ruled out initially by cystoscopy in 8 of the 11 cases. Although we cannot be certain that preexisting bladder cancer or bladder cancer risk factors did not cause the bleeding, we hypothesize that hematuria can be a predictor as well as a manifestation of bladder cancer, based on a tendency for bladder mucosa with premalignant changes to bleed. The implications for screening and clinical practice remain to be determined.
Risk Factors For Hip Fracture In Men.
Hip Fracture Study Group
To identify risk factors for hip fracture in men, the authors conducted a case-control study involving 20 hospitals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 14 hospitals in Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program of Northern California. The 356 enrolled men had been admitted with a radiologically confirmed first hip fracture. The 402 control men either were from the Philadelphia area or were members of Kaiser Permanente and were frequency matched to the cases by age and ZIP code or telephone exchange. Information on potential risk factors was obtained through personal interviews. Men in the lowest quintile of body mass had a greatly increased risk of hip fracture compared with men in the heaviest quintile (odds ratio (OR) 3.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.3-6.4). Premorbid lower limb dysfunction was associated with increased risks for hip fracture (OR 3.4, 95% CI 2.1-5.4). Increased risks were also observed with the use of cimetidine (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.4-4.6) and psychotropic drugs (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.4-3.3). Smoking cigarettes or a pipe increased the risk of hip fracture, and this association was independent of body mass. Finally, previous physical activity was markedly protective. Factors thought to affect bone density as well as factors identified as risk factors for falls appear to be important determinants of the risks of hip fracture in men. Physical activity may be a particularly promising preventive measure for men. Additional studies of the use of cimetidine on osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures are indicated.
A Clinical Trial of the Effects of
Dietary Patterns On Blood Pressure
Calcium Intake and Fracture Risk: Results
from the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures
The relation between dietary calcium, calcium, and vitamin D supplements and the risk of fractures of the hip (n=332), ankle (n=210), proximal humerus (n=241), wrist (n=467), and vertebrae (n=389) was investigated in a cohort study involving 9,704 US white women aged 65 years or older. Baseline assessments took place in 1986-1988 in four US metropolitan areas. Dietary calcium intake was assessed at baseline with a validated food frequency questionnaire. Data on new nonvertebral fractures were collected every 4 months during a mean of 6.6 years of follow-up: identification of new vertebral fractures was based on comparison of baseline and follow-up radiographs of the spine done a mean of 3.7 years apart. Results were adjusted for numerous potential confounders, including weight, physical activity, estrogen use, protein intake, and history of falls, osteoporosis, and fractures. There were no important associations between dietary calcium intake and the risk of any of the fractures studied. Current use of calcium supplements was associated with increased risk of hip (relative risk - 1.5, 95% confidence interval 1.1-2.0) and vertebral (relative risk=1.4, 95% confidence interval 1.1-1.9) fractures: concurrent use of Tums antacid tablets was associated with increased risk of fractures of the proximal humerus (relative risk-1.7, 95% confidence interval 1.3-2.4). There was no evidence of a protective effect of vitamin D supplements. Although a true adverse effect of calcium supplements on fracture risk cannot be ruled out, it is more likely that our findings are due to inadequately controlled confounding by indications for use of supplements. In conclusion, this study did not find a substantial beneficial effect of calcium on fracture risk.
Physician-Patient Communication: The
Relationship with Malpractice Claims Among Primary Care Physicians and
Main Outcome Measures
Randomized Controlled Trial of a Low
Animal Protein, High Fiber Diet in the Prevention of Recurrent Calcium
Oxalate Kidney Stones
Low protein diets are commonly prescribed for patients with idiopathic calcium nephrolithiasis, who account for >80% of new diagnoses of kidney stones. This dietary advice is supported by metabolic studies and epidemiologic observational studies but has not been evaluated in a controlled trial. Using 1983-1985 data from three Northern California Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers, the authors randomly assigned 99 persons who had calcium oxalate stones for the first time to a low animal protein, high fiber diet that contained approximately 56-64 g daily of protein, 75 mg daily of purine (primarily from animal protein and legumes), one-fourth cup of wheat bran supplement, and fruits and vegetables. Intervention subjects were also instructed to drink six to eight glasses of liquid daily and to maintain adequate calcium intake from dairy products or calcium supplements. Control subjects were instructed only on fluid intake and adequate calcium intake. Both groups were followed regularly for up to 4.5 years with food frequency questionnaires, serum and urine chemistry analysis, and abdominal radiography; and they were urged to comply with dietary instructions. In the intervention group of 50 subjects, stones recurred in 12 (7.1 per 100 person-years) compared with 2 (1.2 per 100 person-years) in the control group; both groups received a mean of 3.4 person-years of follow-up (p=0.006). After adjustment for possible confounding effects of age, sex, education, and baseline protein and fluid intake, the relative risk of a recurrent stone in the intervention group was 5.6 (95% confidence interval 1.2-26.1) compared with the control group. The authors conclude that advice to follow a low animal protein, high fiber, high fluid diet has no advantage over advice to increase fluid intake alone.
Continuation of Postmenopausal Hormone
Replacement Therapy: Comparison of Cyclic Versus Continuous Combined
Discontinuation of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is much more common than what is reported in randomized, double-blind clinical trials. Our purpose in this retrospective study, using a prescription database, was to compare the continuation rate among women who took cyclic combination therapy adding progesterone to estrogen (CYC-PERT) or continuous combined estrogen progestin therapy (CC-PERT). The study subjects were 1,532 women, 45 years old, who initially filled index prescriptions for 0.625 mg conjugated estrogens. They were divided into two groups (CYC-PERT = 644, CC-PERT = 888) on the basis of coprescribed medroxyprogesterone. We found that for all women initiating therapy, 35-40% did not return for a refill and 76-81% stopped therapy within 3 years. Those prescribed CC-PERT initially were more likely to stop than those prescribed CYC-PERT (rate ration [RR] = 1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.06-1.35). Adjustments for age, year of starting medication, cost of medication, and prescriber specialty did not affect the difference in discontinuation between the two regimes (RR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.04-1.34). We conclude that the likelihood of women continuing HRT beyond 3 years of initiation is low. Furthermore, compared with CYC-PERT users, those receiving CC-PERT have a slightly higher probability of discontinuation. Efforts should be made to understand why three quarters of women beginning HRT will stop it long before it can provide major long-term benefit.
Identification of Children At Risk
for Lead Poisoning: An Evaluation of Routine Pediatric Blood Lead Screening
in an HMO-Insured Population
The Safety of Overnight Hospitalization
for Transurethral Prostatectomy: A Prospective Study of 200 Patients
Materials and Methods
Cost Effectiveness of an Allergy Consultation
in the Management of Asthma
In a large Denver HMO, a retrospective study of asthma management was reviewed. Seventy moderate to severe asthmatic patients' charts were reviewed through April 1994. All patients admitted to the study had to be followed for at least 1 year by a primary care physician before the allergy evaluation (AE) and for at least one year of follow-up (F/U) after the AE. All patients had at least two acute care (ER) visits and/or one hospitalization before the AE. All primary care, AE, and F/U were done by staff physicians in the Kaiser Permanente system. The findings included 1) Forty-five percent decrease (308 to 169) in the number of sick care office visits (P=0.0001); 2) fifty-five percent decrease (266 to 118) in acute care visits (P= 0.0001); 3) sixty-seven percent decrease (34 to 11) in the number of hospitalizations after the AE (P=0.001); 4) average hospital days before AE were four days and after AE, 2.5 days; 5) estimated cost saving of $145,500, or $2,100 per patient.
Identification of Neonatal Deaths in
a Large Managed Care Organization
The neonatal (< 28 days) mortality rate (NMR) is one of the most commonly employed maternal and child health epidemiological measures. It is also being employed in quality measures ("report cards") used to assess the performance of health care organizations. The objectives were to (1) develop methods for the rapid quantification of the neonatal mortality rate in a multi-hospital system, the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program's Northern California Region (KPMCP NCR), (2) develop methods for generating facility-specific rates and case lists, and (3) ascertain the capture rates of the information sources available to us. Potential neonatal deaths were identified in the KPMCP NCR for the 1990 and 1991 calendar years from 3 sources: (1) clerical searches of local facility records, (2) electronic searches of the KPMCP NCR hospitalization database, and (3) linking KPMCP electronic birth records to death certificate tapes. The medical records of all infants identified through these methods were reviewed. The neonatal mortality rate was calculated in three ways: (1) including all livebirths, (2) excluding births weighing < 500 g, and (3) adjusting for prematurity by increasing the follow-up period in preterm babies (these babies were included as neonatal deaths if they died up to 40 weeks corrected age + 27.9 days). A total of 352 records out of 64 469 birth records in the KPMCP NCR were reviewed. If one includes babies < 500 g, the neonatal mortality rate was 3.72/1000 livebirths; if these babies are excluded, the rate was 3.05/1000. Adjusting for prematurity increased these rates to 3.91/1000 and 3.24/1000, respectively. Accurate quantification of the neonatal mortality rate in a multi-hospital system requires the use of multiple information sources. Use of a single source can lead to varying rates of over- or under-estimation. It is possible to employ our methodology for both research and operational purposes.