Lege Artis Medicinae

[”I am responsible for my health but irresponsible for my illness”]

SZÁNTÓ Zsuzsa, SUSÁNSZKY Éva, RÓZSA Sándor

SEPTEMBER 20, 2002

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2002;12(09)

[INTRODUCTION - The aim of our study was to examine lay beliefs about illness causation of age groups with similar health status. METHODS - In 1997, research was conducted among the adult population of Budapest (N=720), in order to examine their health status and illness explanations. Based on self-rated health, ages of the 40s and the 60s were considered as the age-thresholds of significant decline in health status. Thus, the study concentrated on the three age groups of people: under 40, between 40 and 60, over 60 years of age. The Health and Illness Scale of Stainton Rogers and Furnham was employed. For identifying the patterns of illness explanations, factor analysis (varimax method) was used. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION - 5 factors were found as the basic types of illness explanations: psychical condition, external environmental determinants, work and life style, health care, internal predetermination. Parallel to deterioration of health, dominant illness explanations are also changing: emphasis moves from work and life style to biological predetermination.]

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[Alcoholic and drug induced liver diseases, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, hepatitis C and B chronic hepatitis, autoimmune diseases (primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, autoimmune hepatitis) and metabolic disorders (hemochromatosis, Wilson's disease) are the main chronic liver diseases. Authors summarize, based on the latest literature data, the medications of chronic liver diseases, emphasizing the treatment of the everyday practice. Natural and synthetic antioxidants are approved for the treatment of chronic alcoholic liver diseases besides abstinence, with diet of adequate quality and quantity. Nucleoside analogues (lamivudin) are recommended for the first-line therapy of the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. Interferon is presently considered the optimal treatment for only certain patients. Interferon and ribavirin combined therapy is well-established in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. Ursodeoxycholic acid is the beneficial treatment option for primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis. Prednisolon and azathioprine constitute the basic therapy of autoimmune hepatitis. Presumably, in the future, new strategies based on immunosuppressive combinations will play a crucial role. The chelating deferoxamine has less important part in the treatment of hemochromatosis. D-penicillamine still plays principle role in the medication of Wilson's disease.]

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[QT dispersion - the surface ECG marker of arrhythmic risk]

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[During the past decade numerous publications have reported the pathophysiological and clinical value of QT dispersion. Increased QT dispersion was observed to be associated with proarrhythmic drug effects, prediction of mortality in heart failure and risk assessment after acute myocardial infarction. Based on the results of the repolarization process research and other significant clinical studies, the meaning and the usefulness of QT dispersion seems to be challenged. The original concept of portraying QT dispersion as a direct measure of regional heterogeneity of myocardial refractoriness is seriously flawed. At the same time, disproving this concept is not a good reason for stating that QT dispersion does not exist. The measurement of QT dispersion seems to be an approximate expression of repolarization abnormalities and should not be taken as a gold standard for a noninvasive estimate of repolarization abnormalities. However, we presently have no decent and widely available alternative to address repolarization abnormalities in standard 12-lead ECG. The authors present the pathophysiological meaning of QT dispersion, the controversies of automatic and manual methodology and the possible clinical relevances based on the most recent studies.]

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