Personal privacy and public health: potential impacts of privacy legislation on health research in Canada.
Journal - Canadian journal of public health. Revue canadienne de santé publique (Canada )
Despite variation in Canadian privacy laws between provinces and territories, increasing legislative protection of personal privacy has imposed restrictions on health research across the country. The effects of these restrictions on patient recruitment include increased study costs, durations, and decreased participation rates. Low participation rates can jeopardize the validity of research findings and the accuracy of measures of association by introducing non-response, or participation bias. We constructed simulations to assess potential effects of non-response bias on the accuracy of measures of association in a hypothetical case-control study. Small biases that alter the probability of selecting an exposed case can lead to dramatic inflation or attrition of the odds ratio (OR) in case-control studies. ORs are more unstable and subject to error when the true probability of selecting an exposed case is greater, such that strong positive associations are subject to error even at low levels of bias. Well-powered, population-based epidemiological research is a cornerstone of public health. Therefore, when weighing the benefits of protecting personal privacy, the benefits of valid and robust health research must also be considered. Options might include special legislative treatment of health research, or the use of an "opt-out" (vs. the current "opt-in") construct for consent in confidential research.
|ISSN : ||0008-4263|
|Mesh Heading : ||Access to Information Canada Confidentiality Epidemiologic Methods Ethics, Research Humans Informed Consent Odds Ratio Public Health Research ethics legislation & jurisprudence legislation & jurisprudence|
|Mesh Heading Relevant : ||Government Regulation legislation & jurisprudence legislation & jurisprudence standards|
Age at menarche in the Canadian population: secular trends and relationship to adulthood BMI.
Journal - The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine (United States )
PURPOSE: Studies from around the world indicate a trend toward younger ages of menarche. The extent of this trend in the Canadian population is unknown, and the relationship to later-life health indicators has not yet been fully elucidated. The objective of this study is to estimate the trend in age at menarche (AAM) in the Canadian population and evaluate the relationship between AAM and adult body mass index (BMI). METHODS: Our data source was a nationally representative survey (the Canadian Community Health Survey, 2.2), and analyses included 8080 women, aged 15 and older, who self-reported AAM. Height and weight were measured by the interviewers for the calculation of current BMI. We modeled the secular trend in AAM over time, and the relationship between current BMI and AAM. RESULTS: We found a statistically significant decline in AAM in successive age cohorts, indicating a 0.73-year (8.8-month) decrease in AAM between the oldest and youngest age cohorts in the sample. A 1-year increase in AAM was associated with a decrease in mean BMI of approximately 0.5 kg/m(2), after adjustment for covariates. A current age-AAM interaction term was nonsignificant, indicating that the relationship was stable throughout increasing temporal separation from puberty. CONCLUSION: The observed trend toward earlier menarche could be an indicator of a change in insulin-related metabolism, possibly mediated by behavioral and environmental variables. This study suggests that AAM may be an important clinical and public health indicator of susceptibility to overweight and obesity and attendant morbidity.
|ISSN : ||1879-1972|
|Mesh Heading : ||Adolescent Adult Age Factors Canada Child Cross-Sectional Studies Female Health Surveys Humans Linear Models Young Adult epidemiology|
|Mesh Heading Relevant : ||Body Mass Index Menarche|
The impact of transportation infrastructure on bicycling injuries and crashes: a review of the literature
Journal - Environmental Health
BackgroundBicycling has the potential to improve fitness, diminish obesity, and reduce noise, air pollution, and greenhouse gases associated with travel. However, bicyclists incur a higher risk of injuries requiring hospitalization than motor vehicle occupants. Therefore, understanding ways of making bicycling safer and increasing rates of bicycling are important to improving population health. There is a growing body of research examining transportation infrastructure and the risk of injury to bicyclists.MethodsWe reviewed studies of the impact of transportation infrastructure on bicyclist safety. The results were tabulated within two categories of infrastructure, namely that at intersections (e.g. roundabouts, traffic lights) or between intersections on "straightaways" (e.g. bike lanes or paths). To assess safety, studies examining the following outcomes were included: injuries; injury severity; and crashes (collisions and/or falls).ResultsThe literature to date on transportation infrastructure and cyclist safety is limited by the incomplete range of facilities studied and difficulties in controlling for exposure to risk. However, evidence from the 23 papers reviewed (eight that examined intersections and 15 that examined straightaways) suggests that infrastructure influences injury and crash risk. Intersection studies focused mainly on roundabouts. They found that multi-lane roundabouts can significantly increase risk to bicyclists unless a separated cycle track is included in the design. Studies of straightaways grouped facilities into few categories, such that facilities with potentially different risks may have been classified within a single category. Results to date suggest that sidewalks and multi-use trails pose the highest risk, major roads are more hazardous than minor roads, and the presence of bicycle facilities (e.g. on-road bike routes, on-road marked bike lanes, and off-road bike paths) was associated with the lowest risk.ConclusionEvidence is beginning to accumulate that purpose-built bicycle-specific facilities reduce crashes and injuries among cyclists, providing the basis for initial transportation engineering guidelines for cyclist safety. Street lighting, paved surfaces, and low-angled grades are additional factors that appear to improve cyclist safety. Future research examining a greater variety of infrastructure would allow development of more detailed guidelines.