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  • Backman, Helena, et al. (författare)
  • Increased prevalence of allergic asthma from 1996 to 2006 and further to 2016 : results from three population surveys
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: Clinical and Experimental Allergy. - : John Wiley & Sons. - 0954-7894 .- 1365-2222. ; 47:11, s. 1426-1435
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • BackgroundDuring the latter half of the 20th century, the prevalence of asthma and many other allergic diseases has increased. Information on asthma prevalence trends among adults after 2010, especially regarding studies separating allergic asthma from non-allergic asthma, is lacking.ObjectiveThe aim was to estimate prevalence trends of current asthma among adults, both allergic and non-allergic, from 1996 to 2016.MethodsThree cross-sectional samples from the same area of Sweden, 20-69 years, participated in surveys with the same questionnaire in 1996 (n=7104 participants, 85% response rate), 2006 (n=6165, 77%) and 2016 (n=5466, 53%), respectively. Allergic rhino-conjunctivitis (ARC) was used as a marker for allergic sensitization to define allergic asthma.ResultsThe prevalence of current asthma increased from 8.4% (95% CI: 7.8-9.0) in 1996 to 9.9% (95% CI: 9.2-10.6) in 2006 and 10.9% (95% CI: 10.1-11.7) in 2016 (P<.001). Allergic asthma increased from 5.0% (95% CI: 4.5-5.5) in 1996 to 6.0% (95% CI: 5.4-6.6) in 2006 and further to 7.3% (95% CI: 6.6-8.0) in 2016 (P<.001), while the prevalence of non-allergic asthma remained stable around 3.4%-3.8%. The increase in current asthma was most pronounced among women and among the middle-aged. Physician-diagnosed asthma, asthma medication use and ARC also increased significantly, while the prevalence of symptoms common in asthma such as wheeze and attacks of shortness of breath decreased slightly or was stable. The prevalence of current smoking decreased from 27.4% in 1996 to 12.3% in 2016.Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceThe prevalence of allergic asthma increased from 1996 to 2006 and further to 2016, while the prevalence of non-allergic asthma remained on a stable prevalence level. The prevalence of symptoms common in asthma decreased slightly or was stable despite a substantial decrease in the prevalence of current smoking. Clinicians should be aware that the previously observed increase in prevalence of allergic asthma is still ongoing.
  • Backman, Helena, 1979- (författare)
  • Lung function and prevalence trends in asthma and COPD
  • 2016
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Background: Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are common obstructive airway diseases with a substantial burden in terms of morbidity, mortality and costs. Smoking is the single most important risk factor for COPD, and is associated with incident asthma. It is important to know if the prevalence of asthma and COPD is increasing or decreasing in the population in order to effectively allocate health care resources. The definitions of these diseases have varied over time which makes it difficult to measure changes in prevalence. The preferred method is to estimate the prevalence with the same procedures and definitions based on cross-sectional population samples with identical age distributions in the same geographical area at different time points. Measurements of lung function (spirometry) are required to diagnose COPD, and spirometry is used to evaluate disease severity and progress of both asthma and COPD, where observed values are compared to reference values. The most commonly used reference values in Sweden are published during the mid 1980s, and there are few evaluations of how appropriate they are today based on Swedish population samples. The aim of the thesis was to estimate trends in the prevalence of asthma and COPD in relation to smoking habits, and to evaluate and estimate reference values for spirometry.Methods: The project was based on population-based samples of adults from the Obstructive Lung Disease in Northern Sweden (OLIN) studies. Postal questionnaires were sent to large cohorts, recruited in 1992 (n=4851, 20-69 years), 1996 (n=7420, 20-74 years) and 2006 (n=6165, 20-69 years), respectively. The questionnaire included questions on respiratory symptoms and diseases, their comorbidities and several possible risk factors including smoking habits. Structured interviews and spirometry were performed in random samples of the responders to the 1992 and 2006 surveys, of which n=660 (in 1994) and n=623 (in 2009) were within identical age-spans (23-72 years). The trend in asthma prevalence was estimated by comparing the postal questionnaire surveys in 1996 and 2006, and the trend in COPD prevalence was estimated by comparing the samples participating in dynamic spirometry in 1994 and 2009, respectively. The prevalence of COPD was estimated based on two different definitions of COPD. Commonly used reference values for spirometry were evaluated based on randomly sampled healthy non-smokers defined in clinical examinations of participants in the 2006 postal questionnaire (n=501). The main focus of the evaluation was the global lung function initiative (GLI) reference values published in 2012, for which Z-scores and percent of predicted values were analysed. New sex-specific reference values for spirometry were estimated by linear regression, with age and height as predictors. These new OLIN reference values were also evaluated on a sample of healthy non-smokers identified in the population-based West Sweden Asthma Study.Results: Although the prevalence of smoking decreased from 27.4% to 19.1%, p<0.001, between 1996 and 2006, the prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma increased from 9.4% to 11.6%, p<0.001. The prevalence of symptoms common in asthma such as recurrent wheeze did not change significantly between the surveys or tended to decrease, while bronchitis symptoms such as cough and sputum production decreased significantly. The evaluation of the GLI reference values showed that the predicted values were significantly lower compared to the observed values in Norrbotten, which makes the percent of predicted too high. This was especially true for FVC percent predicted with a mean of 106%. In general, the deviations were more pronounced among women. New OLIN reference values valid for the Norrbotten sample were modelled and showed a high external validity when applied on the sample from western Sweden. The prevalence of moderate to severe COPD decreased substantially over the 15-year period between 1994 and 2009, regardless of definition.Conclusions: In parallel with substantially decreased smoking habits in the population between 1996 and 2006, the prevalence of several airway symptoms decreased while the prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma increased. These results suggest increased diagnostic activity for asthma, but may also suggest that the asthma prevalence has continued to increase. In contrast to asthma, the prevalence of COPD tended to decrease and moderate to severe COPD decreased substantially. The continuous decrease in smoking in Sweden during several decades prior to the study period is most likely contributing to these results. The evaluation of reference values showed that the GLI reference values were lower than the observed spirometric values in the population, especially for women, why the new up-to date reference values may be of importance for disease evaluation in epidemiology and in the health care as well.
  • Backman, Helena, 1969- (författare)
  • Men jag ska säga Mamsell en hemlighet.... : Adam Afzelius kärleksbrev till Anna Sophia Dassau
  • 2019
  • Ingår i: Svenska Linnésällskapets årsskrift. - Uppsala. - 0375-2038. ; , s. 69-113
  • Tidskriftsartikel (populärvet., debatt m.m.)abstract
    • But I Will Tell Mamsell a Secret...Adam Afzelius' Love Letters to Anna Sophia DassauIn the archives of the Afzelius' family, donated to Uppsala University Library in 1998, there are some letters and concepts from the time of Adam Afzelius' courtship and engagement to Anna Sophia Dassau. Through Afzelius' love letters we can see their relationship develop during the time from the proposal to the wedding, a period of about three months. In the letters, Adam Afzelius also explains his Christian opinions on courtship, engagement and a happy marriage, based on his Swedenborgian belief and worldview. The correspondence as well as other letters from Anna Sophia Dassau's father Johan Dassau and other relatives, also show how others looked upon the engagement. Afzelius' correspondence with Anna Sophia Dassau reflects the ideals of love letters at the time, and fits into the form of love letters as a genre, something Afzelius himself was aware of. In two appendices there are the referred letters in transcription, as well as a wedding poem, only preserved in manuscript in the Afzelius' family archives.
  • Backman, Helena, et al. (författare)
  • Prevalence trends in respiratory symptoms and asthma in relation to smoking : two cross-sectional studies ten years apart among adults in northern Sweden
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: The World Allergy Organization journal. - : BioMed Central. - 1939-4551. ; 7:1, s. 1-
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • BACKGROUND: Smoking is considered to be the single most important preventable risk factor for respiratory symptoms. Estimating prevalence of respiratory symptoms is important since they most often precede a diagnosis of an obstructive airway disease, which places a major burden on the society. The aim of this study was to estimate prevalence trends of respiratory symptoms and asthma among Swedish adults, in relation to smoking habits. A further aim was to estimate the proportion of respiratory symptom and asthma prevalence attributable to smoking.METHODS: Data from two large-scale cross-sectional surveys among adults performed in northern Sweden in 1996 and 2006 were analysed. Identical methods and the same questionnaire were used in both surveys. The association between smoking, respiratory symptoms and asthma was analysed with multiple logistic regression analyses. Changes in prevalence of respiratory symptoms and asthma from 1996 to 2006 were expressed as odds ratios. Additionally, the population attributable risks of smoking were estimated.RESULTS: The prevalence of most respiratory symptoms decreased significantly from 1996 to 2006. Longstanding cough decreased from 12.4 to 10.1%, sputum production from 19.0 to 15.0%, chronic productive cough from 7.3 to 6.2%, and recurrent wheeze from 13.4 to 12.0%. Any wheeze and asthmatic wheeze remained unchanged. This parallels to a decrease in smoking from 27.4 to 19.1%. In contrast, physician-diagnosed asthma increased from 9.4 to 11.6%. The patterns were similar after correction for confounders. All respiratory symptoms were highly associated with smoking, and the proportion of respiratory symptoms in the population attributed to smoking (PAR) ranged from 9.8 to 25.5%. In 2006, PAR of smoking was highest for recurrent wheeze (20.6%).CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, we found that respiratory symptoms, in particular symptoms common in bronchitis, decreased among adults in northern Sweden, parallel to a decrease in smoking from 1996 to 2006. In contrast, the prevalence of physician-diagnosed asthma increased during the same time-period. Up to one fourth of the respiratory symptom prevalence in the population was attributable to smoking.
  • Backman, Helena, 1979-, et al. (författare)
  • Reference values for spirometry - report from the Obstructive Lung Disease in Northern Sweden studies.
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: European clinical respiratory journal. - : Informa UK Limited. - 2001-8525. ; 2, s. Article number 26375-
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Abnormal lung function is commonly identified by comparing observed spirometric values to corresponding reference values. It is recommended that such reference values for spirometry are evaluated and updated frequently. The aim of this study was to estimate new reference values for Swedish adults by fitting a multivariable regression model to a healthy non-smoking general population sample from northern Sweden. Further aims were to evaluate the external validity of the obtained reference values on a contemporary sample from south-western Sweden, and to compare them to the Global Lung Function Initiative (GLI) reference values.
  • Backman, Helena, et al. (författare)
  • Respiratory symptoms as risk factors for mortality – the Nordic EpiLung Study
  • 2020
  • Ingår i: European Respiratory Journal. - : European Respiratory Society (ERS). - 0903-1936 .- 1399-3003. ; 56:Suppl 64
  • Tidskriftsartikel (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Background: Little is known on associations between respiratory symptoms and mortality.Aim: To study whether respiratory symptoms are risk factors for all-cause, respiratory, cardiovascular (CV), and cancer mortality in Sweden and Norway.Methods: In 1995-1997, population samples (20-69y) were surveyed about respiratory symptoms, and n=7,104 (85.3% of invited, median age 45y) and n=54,240 (70.1%, 44y) participated within the OLIN Studies in Northern Sweden and the HUNT Study in Norway. Mortality was studied until December 31st 2015. Hazard ratios (HR) for associations between respiratory symptoms and mortality were estimated by Cox regression models adjusted for age, sex, educational level, and smoking habits.Results: The cumulative 20-year mortality was 14.5% in OLIN and 12.6% in HUNT. Dyspnea (mMRC grade≥2) (HR 1.9, 95%CI 1.6-2.2 in OLIN and 1.6, 1.5-1.7 in HUNT), chronic productive cough (1.5, 1.3-1.8 and 1.5, 1.3-1.6), and wheeze (1.3, 1.1-1.5 and 1.3, 1.2-1.4) were associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality. Women reported dyspnea and wheeze more frequently than men in both countries, but the association with mortality was similar in both sexes. Causes of death were studied in OLIN, where dyspnea associated with increased risk of respiratory (3.6, 2.1-6.1), CV (2.1, 1.6-2.7), and cancer (1.3, 1.0-1.8) mortality. Chronic productive cough was associated with increased risk of respiratory (2.4, 1.3-4.3) and cancer (1.6, 1.2-2.2) mortality, while wheeze was associated with increased risk of respiratory (3.5, 2.1-5.7) and CV (1.3, 1.0-1.6) mortality.Conclusions: Common respiratory symptoms were similarly associated with increased risk of mortality in adults in Sweden and Norway.
  • Backman, Helena, et al. (författare)
  • Restrictive spirometric pattern in the general adult population: Methods of defining the condition and consequences on prevalence
  • 2016
  • Ingår i: Respiratory Medicine. - : Elsevier BV. - 0954-6111 .- 1532-3064. ; 120, s. 116-123
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Background Attempts have been made to use dynamic spirometry to define restrictive lung function, but the definition of a restrictive spirometric pattern (RSP) varies between studies such as BOLD and NHANES. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence and risk factors of RSP among adults in northern Sweden based on different definitions. Methods In 2008–2009 a general population sample aged 21–86y within the obstructive lung disease in northern Sweden (OLIN) studies was examined by structured interview and spirometry, and 726 subjects participated (71% of invited). The prevalence of RSP was calculated according to three different definitions based on pre-as well as post-bronchodilator spirometry: 1) FVC < 80% & FEV1/FVC > 0.7 2) FVC < 80% & FEV1/FVC > LLN 3) FVC < LLN & FEV1/FVC > LLN Results The three definitions yielded RSP prevalence estimates of 10.5%, 11.2% and 9.4% respectively, when based on pre-bronchodilator values. The prevalence was lower when based on post-bronchodilator values, i.e. 7.3%, 7.9% and 6.6%. According to definition 1 and 2, the RSP prevalence increased by age, but not according to definition 3. The overlap between the definitions was substantial. When corrected for confounding factors, manual work in industry and diabetes with obesity were independently associated with an increased risk for RSP regardless of definition. Conclusions The prevalence of RSP was 7–11%. The prevalence estimates differed more depending on the choice of pre- compared to post-bronchodilator values than on the choice of RSP definition. RSP was, regardless of definition, independently associated with manual work in industry and diabetes with obesity. © 2016 The Authors
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