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This article examines Finnish lects spoken in Helsinki from the 1970s to the 2010s with a probabilistic model called Latent Dirichlet Allocation. The model searches for underlying components based on the linguistic features used in the interviews. Several coherent lects were discovered as components in the data, which counters the results of previous studies that report only weak covariation between features that are assumed to be present in the same lect. The speakers, however, are not categorical in their linguistic behavior and tend to use more than one lect in their speech. This implies that the lects should not be considered in parallel with seemingly uniform linguistic systems such as languages, but as partial systems that constitute a network.
Several prospective studies have shown an association between cows’ milk consumption and the risk of islet autoimmunity and/or type 1 diabetes. We wanted to study whether processing of milk plays a role. A population-based birth cohort of 6081 children with HLA-DQB1-conferred risk to type 1 diabetes was followed until the age of 15 years. We included 5545 children in the analyses. Food records were completed at the ages of 3 and 6 months and 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 years, and diabetes-associated autoantibodies were measured at 3–12-month intervals. For milk products in the food composition database, we used conventional and processing-based classifications. We analysed the data using a joint model for longitudinal and time-to-event data. By the age of 6 years, islet autoimmunity developed in 246 children. Consumption of all cows’ milk products together (energy-adjusted hazard ratio 1·06; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·11; P = 0·003), non-fermented milk products (1·06; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·10; P = 0·011) and fermented milk products (1·35; 95 % CI 1·10, 1·67; P = 0·005) was associated with an increased risk of islet autoimmunity. The early milk consumption was not associated with the risk beyond 6 years. We observed no clear differences based on milk homogenisation and heat treatment. Our results are consistent with the previous studies, which indicate that high milk consumption may cause islet autoimmunity in children at increased genetic risk. The study did not identify any specific type of milk processing that would clearly stand out as a sole risk factor apart from other milk products.
Genome-wide association analysis on monozygotic twin-pairs offers a route to discovery of gene–environment interactions through testing for variability loci associated with sensitivity to individual environment/lifestyle. We present a genome-wide scan of loci associated with intra-pair differences in serum lipid and apolipoprotein levels. We report data for 1,720 monozygotic female twin-pairs from GenomEUtwin project with 2.5 million SNPs, imputed or genotyped, and measured serum lipid fractions for both twins. We found one locus associated with intra-pair differences in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, rs2483058 in an intron of SRGAP2, where twins carrying the C allele are more sensitive to environmental factors (P = 3.98 × 10−8). We followed up the association in further genotyped monozygotic twins (N = 1,261), which showed a moderate association for the variant (P = 0.200, same direction of an effect). In addition, we report a new association on the level of apolipoprotein A-II (P = 4.03 × 10−8).
In our three-stage questionnaire study we investigated patterns of twin and familial aggregation of osteoarthritis (OA) for commonly affected joints. The baseline questionnaire study of the Finnish Twin Cohort was performed in 1975. In 1990, 4095 twin pairs of the same gender born 1930–1957 responded to a questionnaire and reported whether they had OA diagnosed by a physician. In 1996 both twins of 266 pairs of which at least one had reported OA in 1990 responded to a detailed questionnaire on joint-specific OA, including family history of OA. In male pairs shared (non-genetic) familial effects accounted for 37% of the total variance in liability to OA and unshared environmental effects for 63%. In female pairs additive gene effects explained 44% of the variance in liability to OA, and unshared environmental effects for 36%. Familial aggregation of finger and knee OA was clearly higher than that of hip OA. Twin-pair discordance for OA was, to some extent, associated with body-mass index, occupational loading and trauma. Our results indicate that genetic effects may be modulated by sex or by environmental factors distributed differently between men and women. Based on our joint-specific data finger and knee joints are the most optimal targets for studies of genetic factors predisposing to the development of OA.
Objectives: The Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study (DPS) was a randomized intervention program that evaluated the effect of intensive lifestyle modification on the development of diabetes mellitus type 2 in patients with impaired glucose tolerance. As such, a program is demanding in terms of resources; it is necessary to assess whether it would be money well spent. This determination was the purpose of this study.
Methods: We developed a simulation model to assess the economic consequences of an intervention like the one studied in DPS in a Swedish setting. The model used data from the trial itself to assess the effect of intervention on the risk of diabetes and on risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Results from the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study were used to estimate the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Cost data were derived from Swedish studies. The intervention was assumed to be applied to eligible patients from a population-based screening program of 60-year-olds in the County of Stockholm from which the baseline characteristics of the patients was used.
Results: The model predicted that implementing the program would be cost-saving from the healthcare payers' perspective. Furthermore, it was associated with an increase in estimated survival of .18 years. Taking into consideration the increased consumption by patients due to their longer survival, the predicted cost-effectiveness ratio was 2,363€ per quality-adjusted life-year gained.
Conclusions: Lifestyle intervention directed toward high-risk subjects would be cost-saving for the healthcare payer and highly cost-effective for society as a whole.
Currently, in many European countries more than half the adult population is overweight; it hass become ‘abnormal’ to be of ‘normal weight’. The risk of type 2 diabetes, CVD, hypertension and certain forms of cancer increase with increasing weight. Biological evolution has produced body-fat-regulating mechanisms that are more powerful in protecting against weight loss than against weight gain. The current environment offers constant availability of affordable palatable energy-rich foods, with no need to consume the energy through physical activity. The ‘obesogenic’ environment is to some extent a political issue, but it has been shown that the healthcare system can also have a role in preventing obesity-related morbidity. The Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study was the first controlled randomised study to show that individualised lifestyle counselling of individuals with high risk of developing type 2 diabetes can influence diet, physical activity and body weight, and that type 2 diabetes can be prevented, or at least postponed. Most importantly, lifestyle changes do not have to be extreme. If the population would adopt a lifestyle in line with the official nutrition recommendations, the obesity and diabetes trend could at least be stabilised.
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