Chronic Diseases in Canada
Volume 26, No. 4, 2005
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Titles of Feature Articles
Prevalence and predictors of depression in elderly Canadians: The Canadian Study of Health and Aging - View Abstract
Truls Østbye, Betsy Kristjansson, Gerry Hill, Stephen C Newman, Rebecca N Brouwer and Ian McDowell
Measurement issues related to the evaluation and monitoring of major depression prevalence in Canada - View Abstract
Scott B Patten, Jian Li Wang, Cynthia A Beck and Colleen J Maxwell
A descriptive analysis of Canadian youth treated in emergency departments for work-related injuries - View Abstract
Tammy Lipskie and F Curtis Breslin
Acceptability of micronutrient sprinkles: A new food-based approach for delivering iron to First Nations and Inuit children in Northern Canada - View Abstract
Anna Christofides, Claudia Schauer, Waseem Sharieff and Stanley H Zlotkin
Chronic Diseases in Canada (CDIC) is a quarterly scientific journal focusing on current evidence relevant to the control and prevention of chronic (i.e., non-communicable) diseases and injuries in Canada. Since 1980 the journal has published a unique blend of peer-reviewed feature articles, by authors from the public and private sectors, which may include research from such fields as epidemiology, public/community health, biostatistics, the behavioural sciences and health services. Authors retain responsibility for the content of their papers and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the CDIC editorial committe, neither of Health Canada nor of the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Abstracts from Feature Articles in Chronic Diseases in Canada Volume 26, No 4, 2005
Article 1: Prevalence and predictors of depression in elderly Canadians: The Canadian Study of Health and Aging
Authors: Truls Østbye, Betsy Kristjansson, Gerry Hill, Stephen C Newman, Rebecca N Brouwer and Ian McDowell
Depression in elderly Canadians is an important but often unrecognized public health problem. Numerous studies have examined depression in the general community, but studies of depression in the elderly have generally been small and limited. The Canadian Study of Health and Aging (CSHA) includes a large and national representation of both the cognitively intact and the cognitively impaired elderly. The current analyses of 2,341 participants from the CSHA who completed a clinical rating scale for depression have two objectives: 1) to determine the prevalence of minor and major depression and 2) to examine the importance of several risk factors. The prevalences of major and minor depression were 2.6 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively, and were higher for females, specifically those in institutions, those who reported that their health problems limited activities, and those with chronic health conditions. Women were more likely to exhibit depression (OR=3.5; 95% CI: 1.4-8.8) than men, and those with dementia more likely to exhibit depression than those without (OR=2.4; 95% CI: 0.9–3.1). Depression is a significant mental health problem among elderly Canadians, particularly among women and those with physical limitations. More attention should be paid to the detection and treatment of depression in the elderly, particularly among those most at risk.
Article 2: Measurement issues related to the evaluation and monitoring of major depression prevalence in Canada
Authors: Scott B Patten, Jian Li Wang, Cynthia A Beck and Colleen J Maxwell
Monitoring major depression prevalence is important because of the substantial impact of this condition on population health. Local or regional surveys using cost-efficient methods (e.g. data collection by telephone interview) may provide useful epidemiological data, as may the inclusion of brief diagnostic modules for major depression in general health surveys. In Canada, the Composite International Diagnostic Interview Short Form for Major Depression (CIDI-SFMD) has been widely employed for both purposes. The recent Canadian Community Health Survey 1.2 (2002), which employed a more detailed diagnostic interview (the World Mental Health 2000 CIDI), provides a standard against which to evaluate the performance of the CIDI-SFMD. A tendency to at times overestimate prevalence appears to be a characteristic of the CIDI-SFMD, and it has produced a broad range of prevalence estimates, suggesting a greater vulnerability to study-specific or contextual factors. However, the pattern of association of major depression with potential demographic determinants is not consistent with the classical “dilution” effect expected to occur with non-differential misclassification bias.
Article 3: A descriptive analysis of Canadian youth treated in emergency departments for work-related injuries
Authors: Tammy Lipskie and F Curtis Breslin
Because labour laws and regulations protect minors by preventing them from working, this population is often excluded from labour data. However, work is common among Canadian youth. Young teens, and especially pre-teens, have informal employment arrangements such as odd jobs, yard work, babysitting and deliveries. Work injuries occurring in these informal employment arrangements are surprisingly frequent and not usually captured by traditional occupational health and safety data sources (e.g. workers' compensation claims). We analyzed data from the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP) and found 999 youths (5 to 17 years) who had suffered a work-related injury between 1995 and 1998. They were concentrated in two main areas: clerical/service and manual labour. Work-related injuries increased with age. Approximately one third of the youth experienced open wounds and 5.5 percent had animal bites. Collisions with someone or something were common, as were falls. Others or animals were frequently involved. For the majority of cases, the direct cause of injury corresponds to one of ten categories. Injuries and circumstances varied by occupation. Even informal work arrangements (e.g. delivering newspapers) contained hazards and these varied by workplace. The injuries of young workers have implications for future research, prevention efforts, health services policy and legislative and regulatory efforts.
Article 4: Acceptability of micronutrient sprinkles: A new food-based approach for delivering iron to First Nations and Inuit children in Northern Canada
Authors: Anna Christofides, Claudia Schauer, Waseem Sharieff and Stanley H Zlotkin
Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is a significant public health problem among Canadian Aboriginal children. The objectives of this study were to determine the acceptability and safety of microencapsulated-iron sprinkles, a new powdered form of iron packaged in a single-serving sachet for prevention of IDA. A total of 102 non-anemic children aged 4 to 18 months from three communities were randomized to receive sprinkles containing 30 mg Fe/day (N=49) or placebo (N=53) for six months. To assess acceptability, adherence and side effects were monitored bi-weekly. To assess safety, serum ferritin (SF) concentration and anthropometry were measured at baseline and end. Mean adherence was 59.6 ± 27.7 percent. There were no differences in adherence, SF, anthropometric status or side effects between groups. Although there were no differences in hemoglobin (Hb) concentration and anemia prevalence from baseline to end and between groups, the Hb curve shifted to the right (increased) for the sprinkles group and to the left (decreased) for the placebo group. Sprinkles may provide a safe and acceptable option to the current standard of care (i.e. ferrous sulphate drops) for the provision of iron in Canadian Aboriginal populations.
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