Subjective Estimation of the Quality of Life in Relation to Neuroticism
It is generally agreed that personality variables have a relatively consistent influence on the subjective estimation of different situations in everyday life and the way people react to them. The aim of this review was to summarise our previously published findings on the relationship between subjective estimation of one's quality of life and the personality trait neuroticism-emotional stability. We used the WHO Quality of Life - BREF or SF-36 questionnaires for the assessment of the quality of life, Cornell Index for the assessment of neuroticism, and The Social Readjustment Rating Scale for the evaluation of common stressors. Our results have shown that more emotionally stable participants (lower neuroticism) perceive their life better in quality and are more satisfied with their work environment. In addition, our results support the findings from other studies that women have higher neuroticism and lower quality of life scores than men.
Selma Avdagić, Irena Barić, Irena Keser, Ivana Cecić, Zvonimir Šatalić, Jasminka Bobić and Milica Gomzi
Differences in Peak Bone Density Between Male and Female Students
As an important determinant of osteoporotic fracture risk, peak bone density tends to be higher in men than in women. The aim of this study was to see whether young men and women differed in the time and skeletal region of peak bone density. We also investigated the influence of diet and physical activity on bone mass. The study group included 51 male and 75 female students aged 19 to 25 years. Bone mineral density was measured for the spine, total femur, and the distal third of the radius using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. Dietary data were obtained using a specially designed semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Bone mineral density (BMD; g cm-2) was higher in boys than in girls at all measured sites, while bone mineral apparent density (BMAD; g cm-3) was higher in girls. Age negatively correlated with bone mineral density in all measured sites except in the boys' spine. Sodium, protein, and fibres were nutrients that significantly correlated with bone mineral density. The study suggests that boys achieve peak bone density later than girls, and that this delay is the most prominent in the spine. In our study group, this difference could not be explained by different nutrition or the level of physical activity.
Biserka Radošević-Vidaček, Adrijana Košćec, Marija Bakotić, Jelena Macan and Jasminka Bobić
Is Atopy Related to Neuroticism, Stress, and Subjective Quality of Life?
Different psychosocial characteristics have been associated with allergic disorders. The aim of this study was to examine whether atopic constitution and reports of allergic symptoms were related to personality trait of neuroticism, exposure to stressful life events and estimates of quality of life. Atopy was determined by skin prick test and reports of nasal and pulmonary allergy-related symptoms. Actively working individuals of both genders took part in the study (n=145, age range: 20 to 66 years). The participants were divided in three groups. The first group was composed of those with negative skin prick test and without symptoms (n=57), the second of those with positive skin prick test but without symptoms (n=28), and the third of those with positive skin prick test and symptoms (n=60). The groups did not differ significantly in neuroticism, exposure to stressful life events, or quality of life. Women reported more pronounced neuroticism and anxiety, higher exposure to stressful life events, and were less satisfied with their environment than men. In our sample of active workers we found no association of neuroticism, exposure to stressful life events, and quality of life with atopy and allergic symptoms.
Jasminka Mehanović-Nikolić, Jasenka Laloš-Miljuš, Milada Stajčić-Nalesnik, Ljiljana Lakić, Željka Bobić, Jelena Bogdanić and Nataša Vajić
The Diagnostic Value of Anti-Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide Antibodies, Adenosine Deaminase Activity and Other Potential Biomarkers for Predicting and Monitoring Rheumatoid Arthritis
The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (anti-CCP2) in RA and non-RA patients and to evaluate the combination of these auto-antibodies with some other markers such as RF and CRP. We examined the enzymatic activity of ADA in RA patients without therapy and RA patients treated with methotrexate. Therefore, the aim of this study was also to assess the possibility of introducing these biochemical parameters in the diagnosis and monitoring of the RA patients in this region. Serum antibodies directed to cyclic citrullinated peptide were analyzed using an anti-CCP2 antibody ELISA. Serum ADA activity was measured by a spectrophotometer using adenosine as substrate (Giusti method). Rheumatoid factor (IgG-RF) was analyzed using a latex agglutination test. Serum CRP was measured by an immunoturbidimetric assay. The measurement of anti-CCP2 by itself, is useful for the diagnosis of RA for its high sensitivity and specificity, however, a combined use of anti-CCP2 with RF is much more useful. Serum ADA activity can be used as a biochemical marker of inflammation in RA. Measuring CRP in the RA patients has no diagnostic value.
Adrijana Košćec Bjelajac, Jasminka Bobić, Jelena Kovačić, Veda Marija Varnai, Jelena Macan and Šime Smolić
The aim of this study was to examine mental health and cognitive functions in older Croatian workers (50–65 years) taking into account their employment status, self-assessed health, and a set of demographic characteristics. We analysed the data collected on 650 older workers (71 % employed) in the Wave 6 of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Unemployed workers reported symptoms of loneliness more often than the employed, while in rural areas unemployment was additionally associated with more pronounced symptoms of depression. Feeling of loneliness was also higher in those living without a partner in the household and in those with poorer health. In urban residents symptoms of depression were more severe in women, respondents with higher education, those living without a partner, and those who rated their health as poorer. As for cognitive functions, unemployment significantly predicted poorer subtraction in the rural subsample. Women in general showed less efficient numerical abilities. In the urban subsample poorer numerical abilities were also associated with lower education and living without a partner in the household. Better verbal recall was predicted by higher education and better self-rated memory. Higher scores in verbal fluency were predicted by urban residency and better self-rated health. Our results indicate that the protective factors for good mental health and cognitive functioning in older Croatian workers are being employed, having more education, living with a partner in the household, and being healthier. These findings stress the importance of implementing broader social policy strategies covering employment, education, and health.