Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of active tuberculosis in Taiwanese adults: a nationwide population-based cohort study.

Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of active tuberculosis in Taiwanese adults: a nationwide population-based cohort study. Addiction. 2017 Jul 01;: Authors: Yen YF, Hu HY, Lee YL, Ku PW, Chuang PH, Lai YJ, Chu D Abstract AIMS: To investigate the impact of alcohol exposure on tuberculosis (TB) development in Taiwanese adults. DESIGN: Participants from the Taiwan National Health Interview Survey. Alcohol consumption and other covariates were collected by in-person interviews at baseline. Incident cases of active TB were identified from the National Health Insurance database. A multivariable Cox regression model was used to estimate the association between alcohol consumption and active TB, with adjustment for age, sex, smoking, socioeconomic status, and other covariates. SETTING: Taiwan National Health Interview Survey. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 46 196 adult participants aged >18 years from three rounds (2001, 2005, 2009) of the Taiwan National Health Interview Survey. MEASUREMENTS: Alcohol consumption was classified into never, social, regular, or heavy alcohol use. Heavy alcohol consumption was defined as intoxication at least once/week. FINDINGS: Of the 46 196 study subjects, 61.8%, 24.2%, 13.5%, and 0.5% were classified as never, social, regular, and heavy alcohol users, respectively. During the 398 443 person-years of follow-up, 279 (0.60%) subjects developed new-onset active TB. After adjusting for the subject demographics and comorbidities, heavy (hazard ratio [HR], 5.27; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.51-11.09) and regular alcohol users (HR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.32-2.45) had increased risks of incident TB compared to never users. Moreover, a positive trend between increasing levels of alcohol consumption and the risk of active TB was noted (P <0.001). CONCLUSIONS: In Taiwan, heavy and regular alcohol consumption are associated with higher risks of active tuberculosis. PMID: 28667825 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Spatial clustering of childhood leukaemia with the integration of the Paediatric Environmental History.

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Spatial clustering of childhood leukaemia with the integration of the Paediatric Environmental History. Environ Res. 2017 Jul;156:605-612 Authors: Cárceles-Álvarez A, Ortega-García JA, López-Hernández FA, Orozco-Llamas M, Espinosa-López B, Tobarra-Sánchez E, Alvarez L Abstract BACKGROUND: Leukaemia remains the most common type of paediatric cancer and its aetiology remains unknown, but considered to be multifactorial. It is suggested that the initiation in utero by relevant exposures and/or inherited genetic variants and, other promotional postnatal exposures are probably required to develop leukaemia. This study aimed to map the incidence and analyse possible clusters in the geographical distribution of childhood acute leukaemia during the critical periods and to evaluate the factors that may be involved in the aetiology by conducting community and individual risk assessments. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analysed all incident cases of acute childhood leukaemia (<15 years) diagnosed in a Spanish region during the period 1998-2013. At diagnosis, the addresses during pregnancy, early childhood and diagnosis were collected and codified to analyse the spatial distribution of acute leukaemia. Scan statistical test methodology was used for the identification of high-incidence spatial clusters. Once identified, individual and community risk assessments were conducted using the Paediatric Environmental History. RESULTS: A total of 158 cases of acute leukaemia were analysed. The crude rate for the period was 42.7 cases per million children. Among subtypes, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia had the highest incidence (31.9 per million children). A spatial cluster of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia was detected using the pregnancy address (p<0.05). The most common environmental risk factors related with the aetiology of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, identified by the Paediatric Environmental History were: prenatal exposure to tobacco (75%) and alcohol (50%); residential and community exposure to pesticides (62.5%); prenatal or neonatal ionizing radiation (42.8%); and parental workplace exposure (37.5%) CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that environmental exposures in utero may be important in the development of childhood leukaemia. Due to the presence of high-incidence clusters using pregnancy address, it is necessary to introduce this address into the childhood cancer registers. The Paediatric Environmental History which includes pregnancy address and a careful and comprehensive evaluation of the environmental exposures will allow us to build the knowledge of the causes of childhood leukaemia. PMID: 28454012 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Group behaviour therapy programmes for smoking cessation.

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Group behaviour therapy programmes for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 03 31;3:CD001007 Authors: Stead LF, Carroll AJ, Lancaster T Abstract BACKGROUND: Group therapy offers individuals the opportunity to learn behavioural techniques for smoking cessation, and to provide each other with mutual support. OBJECTIVES: To determine the effect of group-delivered behavioural interventions in achieving long-term smoking cessation. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group Specialized Register, using the terms 'behavior therapy', 'cognitive therapy', 'psychotherapy' or 'group therapy', in May 2016. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomized trials that compared group therapy with self-help, individual counselling, another intervention or no intervention (including usual care or a waiting-list control). We also considered trials that compared more than one group programme. We included those trials with a minimum of two group meetings, and follow-up of smoking status at least six months after the start of the programme. We excluded trials in which group therapy was provided to both active therapy and placebo arms of trials of pharmacotherapies, unless they had a factorial design. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors extracted data in duplicate on the participants, the interventions provided to the groups and the controls, including programme length, intensity and main components, the outcome measures, method of randomization, and completeness of follow-up. The main outcome measure was abstinence from smoking after at least six months follow-up in participants smoking at baseline. We used the most rigorous definition of abstinence in each trial, and biochemically-validated rates where available. We analysed participants lost to follow-up as continuing smokers. We expressed effects as a risk ratio for cessation. Where possible, we performed meta-analysis using a fixed-effect (Mantel-Haenszel) model. We assessed the quality of evidence within each study and comparison, using the Cochrane 'Risk of bias' tool and GRADE criteria. MAIN RESULTS: Sixty-six trials met our inclusion criteria for one or more of the comparisons in the review. Thirteen trials compared a group programme with a self-help programme; there was an increase in cessation with the use of a group programme (N = 4395, risk ratio (RR) 1.88, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.52 to 2.33, I(2) = 0%). We judged the GRADE quality of evidence to be moderate, downgraded due to there being few studies at low risk of bias. Fourteen trials compared a group programme with brief support from a health care provider. There was a small increase in cessation (N = 7286, RR 1.22, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.43, I(2) = 59%). We judged the GRADE quality of evidence to be low, downgraded due to inconsistency in addition to risk of bias. There was also low quality evidence of benefit of a group programme compared to no-intervention controls, (9 trials, N = 1098, RR 2.60, 95% CI 1.80 to 3.76 I(2) = 55%). We did not detect evidence that group therapy was more effective than a similar intensity of individual counselling (6 trials, N = 980, RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.28, I(2) = 9%). Programmes which included components for increasing cognitive and behavioural skills were not shown to be more effective than same-length or shorter programmes without these components. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Group therapy is better for helping people stop smoking than self-help, and other less intensive interventions. There is not enough evidence to evaluate whether groups are more effective, or cost-effective, than intensive individual counselling. There is not enough evidence to support the use of particular psychological components in a programme beyond the support and skills training normally included. PMID: 28361497 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

The combination of bed sharing and maternal smoking leads to a greatly increased risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy: the New Zealand SUDI Nationwide Case Control Study.

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The combination of bed sharing and maternal smoking leads to a greatly increased risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy: the New Zealand SUDI Nationwide Case Control Study.

N Z Med J. 2017 Jun 02;130(1456):52-64

Authors: Mitchell EA, Thompson JM, Zuccollo J, MacFarlane M, Taylor B, Elder D, Stewart AW, Percival T, Baker N, McDonald GK, Lawton B, Schlaud M, Fleming P

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Despite a major reduction in overall infant mortality, sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) continues to be of concern in New Zealand, as the rate is high by international standards, and is even higher in indigenous Māori.

AIM: To identify modifiable risk factors for SUDI.

METHODS: A three-year (1 March 2012-28 February 2015) nationwide case-control study was conducted in New Zealand.

RESULTS: There were 137 SUDI cases, giving a SUDI mortality rate of 0.76/1,000 live births. The rate for Māori was 1.41/1,000, Pacific 1.01/1,000 and non-Māori non-Pacific (predominantly European) 0.50/1,000. The parent(s) of 97% of the SUDI cases were interviewed. Six hundred and forty-nine controls were selected and 258 (40%) were interviewed. The two major risk factors for SUDI were: maternal smoking in pregnancy (adjusted OR=6.01, 95% CI=2.97, 12.15) and bed sharing (aOR=4.96, 95% CI=2.55, 9.64). There was a significant interaction (p=0.002) between bed sharing and antenatal maternal smoking. Infants exposed to both risk factors had a markedly increased risk of SUDI (aOR=32.8, 95% CI=11.2, 95.8) compared with infants not exposed to either risk factor. Infants not sharing the parental bedroom were also at increased risk of SUDI (aOR=2.77, 95% CI=1.45, 5.30). Just 21 cases over the three-year study were not exposed to smoking in pregnancy, bed sharing or front or side sleeping position.

CONCLUSIONS: This study has shown that many of the risk factors that were identified in the original New Zealand Cot Death Study (1987-1989) are still relevant today. The combination of maternal smoking in pregnancy and bed sharing is extremely hazardous for infants. Furthermore, our findings indicate that the SUDI prevention messages are still applicable today and should be reinforced. SUDI mortality could be reduced to just seven p.a. in New Zealand (approximately one in 10,000 live births).

PMID: 28571049 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

“Ebola kills generations”: Qualitative discussions with Liberian healthcare providers.

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"Ebola kills generations": Qualitative discussions with Liberian healthcare providers. Midwifery. 2017 Feb;45:44-49 Authors: Bell SA, Munro-Kramer ML, Eisenberg MC, Williams G, Amarah P, Lori JR Abstract OBJECTIVE: the purpose of this study was to explore healthcare providers' perceptions and reactions to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic. DESIGN: a descriptive, qualitative study design was employed. Focus groups were conducted with Liberian healthcare providers who participated in care of patients with EVD. SETTING: the study was conducted in Bong County, Liberia (population: 333,000), which was severely affected, with over 650 reported cases and close to 200 deaths by the end of 2015. PARTICIPANTS: the total sample of 58 participants, included 11 nurses, ten traditional birth attendants (TBAs), four midwives, 28 general community health volunteers, three physician assistants, one community member and one pharmacy dispenser. MEASUREMENTS AND FINDINGS: five core themes related to changes in healthcare practices and interactions since the EVD outbreak were identified based on the results of the focus groups; fear, stigma, resource constraints, lack of knowledge and training, and shifting cultural practices. KEY CONCLUSIONS: this work represents a preliminary understanding of Liberian healthcare workers reactions to the EVD epidemic, and highlights the significant issues they faced as they attempted to care for patients and protect themselves. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: while the EVD epidemic has been declared over, preparedness activities for future disease outbreaks must continue. This study can inform future healthcare policy initiatives as well as preparedness activities targeted towards healthcare workers in low resource settings. PMID: 27998827 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Intensive Care Admissions for Children With Enterovirus and Human Parechovirus Infections in the United Kingdom and The Republic of Ireland, 2010-2014.

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Intensive Care Admissions for Children With Enterovirus and Human Parechovirus Infections in the United Kingdom and The Republic of Ireland, 2010-2014. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2017 Mar;36(3):339-342 Authors: Braccio S, Kapetanstrataki M, Sharland M, Ladhani SN Abstract Enteroviruses and human parechoviruses usually cause mild, self-limiting illnesses in children but can occasionally cause severe disease. During 2010-2014, 104 children in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland were admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit with severe enterovirus and human parechovirus infection; 40% had neurologic symptoms, 20% respiratory failure, 16% cardiac complications and 11% septic shock. Annual number of cases and incidence increased in the 5-year period, from 0.6/1000 pediatric intensive care unit admissions (12 cases) in 2010 to 1.8/1000 (36 cases) in 2014. Most cases (n = 86, 83%) were younger than 1 year; 77% (n = 80) required invasive ventilation, 40% (n = 42) inotropic support, 4% (n = 4) renal dialysis and 3% (n = 3) extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Eight children (8%) died, including 4 with cardiac complications. PMID: 27977558 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Use of metabotyping for optimal nutrition.

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Use of metabotyping for optimal nutrition. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2017 Apr;44:35-38 Authors: Brennan L Abstract In recent years there has been general agreement that dietary advice needs to be tailored to the individual and that we need to move from a one size fits all approach. Evidence has emerged that personalising dietary advice results in improved dietary behaviours. Concomitant with this there has been an increase in the application of developing technologies such as metabolomics to nutrition studies. The concept of the metabotype has emerged and set to play a key role in the development and delivery or personalised nutrition. The term metabotype refers to a group of individuals with similar metabolic profiles. This review gives an overview of the potential role of this approach in delivering optimal nutrition advice. PMID: 27835796 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

EMS Systems in Lower-Middle Income Countries: A Literature Review.

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EMS Systems in Lower-Middle Income Countries: A Literature Review. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017 Feb;32(1):64-70 Authors: Suryanto, Plummer V, Boyle M Abstract Introduction Prehospital care is one of the many issues that require addressing by lower-middle income countries (LMICs) where approximately 90% of global injuries occur. This may arise from more traffic in LMICs, poor road conditions, lack of public awareness of the importance of road safety, and the lack of ability to provide first aid to the victims. However, prehospital care in LMICs remains underdeveloped. Problem There is insufficient evidence regarding the development of prehospital care among LMICs. Thus, the objective of this study was to investigate the status of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems in these countries. METHODS: A review of medical-related electronic databases was designed to identify the development of EMS systems in LMICs. A search of the literature was undertaken using three electronic databases, CINAHL, Ovid Medline, and EMBASE via Ovid, from their commencement date until the end of July 2015. The grey literature was searched using Google Scholar. Articles were included if they reported on the establishment and current status of an EMS system and were excluded if they were letters to the editor, articles focusing on disaster management, a combination of more than one country if the other country was not a LMIC, written in a language other than English or Bahasa Indonesia, and/or focusing only on in-hospital care. RESULTS: There were 337 articles identified in CINAHL, 731 in Ovid Medline, 891 in EMBASE via Ovid, and 41 in Google Scholar. Based on the title and abstract, 31 articles from CINAHL, 40 from Ovid Medline, 43 from EMBASE, and 11 from Google Scholar were retrieved for further review. There were 92 articles that met the inclusion criteria with 35 articles removed, as they were duplicated, leaving 57 articles to be reviewed. From those 48 countries categorized as LMICs, there were 16 (33.3%) countries that had information about an EMS system, including injury types, patient demographic, prehospital transport, and the obstacles in implementing the prehospital care system. CONCLUSION: The implementation and development of an EMS system is varied among LMICs. Many LMICs lack an organized EMS system with most ambulances used purely for transport and not as an emergency care vehicle. Financial issues are the most common problems faced by LMICs with support from developed countries a necessity. Suryanto , Plummer V , Boyle M . EMS systems in lower-middle income countries: a literature review. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(1):64-70. PMID: 27938449 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Got bacteria? The astounding, yet not-so-surprising, microbiome of human milk.

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Got bacteria? The astounding, yet not-so-surprising, microbiome of human milk. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2017 Apr;44:63-68 Authors: McGuire MK, McGuire MA Abstract Contrary to long-held dogma, human milk is not sterile. Instead, it provides infants a rich source of diverse bacteria, particularly microbes belonging to the Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Pseudomonas genera. Very little is known about factors that influence variation in the milk microbiome among women and populations, although time postpartum, delivery mode, and maternal factors such as diet and antibiotic use might be important. The origins of the bacteria in milk are thought to include the maternal gastrointestinal tract (via an entero-mammary pathway) and through bacterial exposure of the breast during nursing. Currently, almost nothing is known about whether variation in microbe consumption by the infant via human milk and that of the mammary gland, itself, impacts short-term and/or long-term infant and maternal health although several studies suggest this is likely. We urge the clinical and public health communities to be patient, however, in order to allow human milk and lactation researchers to first understand what constitutes 'normal' in terms of the milk microbiome (as well as factors that impact microbial community structure) prior to jumping the gun to investigate if and how this important source of microbes impacts maternal and infant health. PMID: 27940404 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Unemployment as a chronic stressor: A systematic review of cortisol studies.

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Unemployment as a chronic stressor: A systematic review of cortisol studies. Psychol Health. 2017 Mar;32(3):289-311 Authors: Sumner RC, Gallagher S Abstract OBJECTIVE: Unemployment is a type of chronic stressor that impacts human health. The reasons for how the stress of unemployment affect health is still a matter of discussion. One of the pathways from chronic stress to ill health is mediated by cortisol, and so we set out to compile extant data on how its secretion is affected by unemployment. DESIGN: A systematic literature search was conducted to establish the cortisol dysregulatory effects of this stressor. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Only studies that specifically examined the effects of unemployment on cortisol excretion, and were written in English were included. RESULTS: Ten reports were obtained and synthesised to determine the severity and complexity of the effect of unemployment on cortisol secretion. The resulting combined evidence is mixed in terms of degree or dynamic of relationship. CONCLUSIONS: The differences between the cumulate findings of the studies can be understood in the context of the lack of both standardised methodology and an absence of consensus on unemployment definition. We propose existing methodologies may be strengthened by acknowledging and accounting for the individual characteristics that may be relevant to the stress experience of unemployment. PMID: 27766906 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Association of Drug and Alcohol Use With Adolescent Firearm Homicide at Individual, Family, and Neighborhood Levels.

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Association of Drug and Alcohol Use With Adolescent Firearm Homicide at Individual, Family, and Neighborhood Levels. JAMA Intern Med. 2017 Mar 01;177(3):317-324 Authors: Hohl BC, Wiley S, Wiebe DJ, Culyba AJ, Drake R, Branas CC Abstract Importance: Homicide is the third leading cause of death for adolescents in the United States and the leading cause of death for adolescents who are African American. Large cities have disproportionate homicide rates. Objective: To determine the relationships between exposures to drugs and alcohol at the individual, family, and neighborhood levels and adolescent firearm homicide and to inform new approaches to preventing firearm violence. Design, Setting, and Participants: Population-based case-control study from January 2010 to December 2012 of all 13- to 20-year-olds who were homicide victims in Philadelphia during the study period matched to randomly selected 13- to 20-year-old controls from the general population. Exposures: Individual drug and alcohol use at the time of injury, history of drug and alcohol use, caregiver drug and alcohol use, and neighborhood availability of alcohol and illegal drugs. We also controlled for age, race, school suspensions, arrests, and neighborhood ethnicity. Main Outcomes and Measures: Adolescent firearm homicide identified from police and medical examiner's reports. Results: We enrolled 161 adolescent homicide cases, including 157 (97.5%) firearm homicide cases and 172 matched controls, including 166 (96.5%) firearm homicide controls. Adolescents with a history of alcohol use (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 4.1; 95% CI, 1.2-14.0) or drug use (AOR, 4.4; 95% CI, 1.7-11.6) had increased odds of firearm homicide. Adolescents whose caregiver had a history of drug use had increased odds of firearm homicide (AOR, 11.7; 95% CI, 2.8-48.0). Adolescents in neighborhoods with high densities of alcohol outlets (AOR, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.1-9.1) and moderate or high drug availability had increased odds of firearm homicide (AOR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.1-10.3 vs AOR, 7.5; 95% CI, 2.2-25.8). Conclusions and Relevance: Almost all adolescent homicides in Philadelphia between 2010 and 2012 were committed with a firearm. Substance use at the individual, family, and neighborhood levels was associated with increased odds of adolescent firearm homicide; drug use was associated at all 3 levels and alcohol at the individual and neighborhood levels. Expanding violence prevention efforts to target drug and alcohol use at multiple levels may help to reduce the firearm violence that disproportionately affects adolescents in minority populations in large US cities. PMID: 28055064 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Interest of single hair analysis to document drug exposure: literature review and a case report involving zuclopenthixol.

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Interest of single hair analysis to document drug exposure: literature review and a case report involving zuclopenthixol. Curr Pharm Des. 2017 Jun 22;: Authors: Allibe N, Kintz P, Faure A, Paysant F, Michard-Lenoir AP, Stanke-Labesque F, Scolan V, Eysseric-Guerin H Abstract The analysis of hair to detect drugs and drugs of abuse is performed in various contexts, including child protection cases, abstinence control programs, and workplace drug testing. This alternative matrix offers several advantages, such as a large detection window (months) and non-invasive collection. Segmental analysis of multiple hair strands for drugs and metabolites has been widely reported in the literature over the past three decades, whereas a review of the literature showed that there are only 26 articles that report the analysis of a single hair. They focus on two approaches: mass spectrometry imaging techniques, which improve the resolution of dating an intoxication or conventional methods, such as gas chromatography mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Improved sensitivity of LC-MS/MS techniques allows the evaluation of drug content in segments of a single hair. However, the units used to express the results vary, and depend on the authors. Following a review of the literature, we present a case that illustrates drug analyses both in a strand of hair and a single hair. In this case of exposure of a child to zuclopenthixol (ZPT), the analysis of ZPT in a single segmented hair by LC-MS/MS strengthened the presumption of a single administration. PMID: 28641534 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Prevalence of arthritis according to age, sex and socioeconomic status in six low and middle income countries: analysis of data from the World Health Organization study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) Wave 1.

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Prevalence of arthritis according to age, sex and socioeconomic status in six low and middle income countries: analysis of data from the World Health Organization study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) Wave 1. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2017 Jun 21;18(1):271 Authors: Brennan-Olsen SL, Cook S, Leech MT, Bowe SJ, Kowal P, Naidoo N, Ackerman IN, Page RS, Hosking SM, Pasco JA, Mohebbi M Abstract BACKGROUND: In higher income countries, social disadvantage is associated with higher arthritis prevalence; however, less is known about arthritis prevalence or determinants in low to middle income countries (LMICs). We assessed arthritis prevalence by age and sex, and marital status and occupation, as two key parameters of socioeconomic position (SEP), using data from the World Health Organization Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE). METHODS: SAGE Wave 1 (2007-10) includes nationally-representative samples of older adults (≥50 yrs), plus smaller samples of adults aged 18-49 yrs., from China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa (n = 44,747). Arthritis was defined by self-reported healthcare professional diagnosis, and a symptom-based algorithm. Marital status and education were self-reported. Arthritis prevalence data were extracted for each country by 10-year age strata, sex and SEP. Country-specific survey weightings were applied and weighted prevalences calculated. RESULTS: Self-reported (lifetime) diagnosed arthritis was reported by 5003 women and 2664 men (19.9% and 14.1%, respectively), whilst 1220 women and 594 men had current symptom-based arthritis (4.8% and 3.1%, respectively). For men, standardised arthritis rates were approximately two- to three-fold greater than for women. The highest rates were observed in Russia: 38% (95% CI 36%-39%) for men, and 17% (95% CI 14%-20%) for women. For both sexes and in all LMICs, arthritis was more prevalent among those with least education, and in separated/divorced/widowed women. CONCLUSIONS: High arthritis prevalence in LMICs is concerning and may worsen poverty by impacting the ability to work and fulfil community roles. These findings have implications for national efforts to prioritise arthritis prevention and management, and improve healthcare access in LMICs. PMID: 28633661 [PubMed - in process]

Red squirrels in the British Isles are infected with leprosy bacilli.

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Red squirrels in the British Isles are infected with leprosy bacilli. Science. 2016 11 11;354(6313):744-747 Authors: Avanzi C, Del-Pozo J, Benjak A, Stevenson K, Simpson VR, Busso P, McLuckie J, Loiseau C, Lawton C, Schoening J, Shaw DJ, Piton J, Vera-Cabrera L, Velarde-Felix JS, McDermott F, Gordon SV, Cole ST, Meredith AL Abstract Leprosy, caused by infection with Mycobacterium leprae or the recently discovered Mycobacterium lepromatosis, was once endemic in humans in the British Isles. Red squirrels in Great Britain (Sciurus vulgaris) have increasingly been observed with leprosy-like lesions on the head and limbs. Using genomics, histopathology, and serology, we found M. lepromatosis in squirrels from England, Ireland, and Scotland, and M. leprae in squirrels from Brownsea Island, England. Infection was detected in overtly diseased and seemingly healthy animals. Phylogenetic comparisons of British and Irish M. lepromatosis with two Mexican strains from humans show that they diverged from a common ancestor around 27,000 years ago, whereas the M. leprae strain is closest to one that circulated in Medieval England. Red squirrels are thus a reservoir for leprosy in the British Isles. PMID: 27846605 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Antiviral Activity, Safety, and Pharmacokinetics of Bictegravir as 10-Day Monotherapy in HIV-1-Infected Adults.

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Antiviral Activity, Safety, and Pharmacokinetics of Bictegravir as 10-Day Monotherapy in HIV-1-Infected Adults. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2017 May 01;75(1):61-66 Authors: Gallant JE, Thompson M, DeJesus E, Voskuhl GW, Wei X, Zhang H, White K, Cheng A, Quirk E, Martin H Abstract OBJECTIVE: To evaluate antiviral activity, safety, and pharmacokinetics of short-term monotherapy with bictegravir (BIC), a novel, potent HIV integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI). DESIGN: Phase 1b, randomized, double-blinded, adaptive, sequential cohort, placebo-controlled study. METHODS: HIV-infected adults not taking antiretroviral therapy were randomized to receive BIC (5, 25, 50, or 100 mg) or placebo once daily for 10 days. Primary endpoint was time-weighted average change from baseline to day 11 (DAVG11) for plasma HIV-1 RNA. HIV-1 RNA, adverse events (AEs), and laboratory assessments were evaluated through day 17. RESULTS: Twenty participants were enrolled (n = 4/group). Mean DAVG11 ranged from -0.92 to -1.61 across BIC doses versus -0.01 for placebo. Significant reductions in plasma HIV-1 RNA from baseline at day 11 were observed for all BIC doses compared with placebo (P < 0.001); mean decreases were 1.45-2.43 log10 copies/mL. Increased BIC exposures correlated with increased reduction in plasma HIV-1 RNA from baseline on day 11. Three participants on BIC (50 or 100 mg) achieved plasma HIV-1 RNA <50 copies/mL by end of study. Median Tmax ranged from 1.0 to 1.8 hours (day 1, postdose) and 1.3-2.7 hours (day 10), with median t1/2 ranging from 15.9 to 20.9 hours. No participant developed primary INSTI-R substitution through day 17. BIC was well tolerated, with no discontinuations because of adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: BIC is a novel, potent, unboosted INSTI that demonstrated rapid, dose-dependent declines in HIV-1 RNA after 10 days of monotherapy. BIC was well tolerated, and displayed rapid absorption and a half-life supportive of once-daily therapy in HIV-infected subjects. PMID: 28196003 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Impact of HIV and Atiretroviral Therapy on Neurocognitive Outcomes Among School-Aged Children.

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Impact of HIV and Atiretroviral Therapy on Neurocognitive Outcomes Among School-Aged Children. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2017 May 01;75(1):1-8 Authors: Brahmbhatt H, Boivin M, Ssempijja V, Kagaayi J, Kigozi G, Serwadda D, Violari A, Gray RH Abstract INTRODUCTION: The impact of HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy (ART) on neurocognitive outcomes among children aged 7-14 years was assessed. We hypothesized that ART would ameliorate neurocognitive sequelae of HIV infection. METHODS: HIV-positive and HIV-negative mother-child pairs from the Rakai Community Cohort Study and ART clinics in Rakai, Uganda, were followed prospectively for 4 years. Exposures were stratified as: perinatally HIV infected, perinatally HIV exposed but uninfected, and HIV unexposed and uninfected. The Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children assessed sequential and simultaneous processing, learning, planning, knowledge, and fluid crystalized index for overall functioning. Multivariable generalized linear models estimated adjusted prevalence rate ratios by age. RESULTS: Of the 370 mother-child pairs, 55% were HIV unexposed and uninfected, 7% were perinatally HIV exposed but uninfected, and 37.9% were perinatally HIV infected. Among HIV-infected children, longer duration of ART was associated with a significant improvement of sequential processing skills (adjusted prevalence rate ratios 25-36 months: 0.55, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.34 to 0.9; 37-48 months: 0.39, 95% CI: 0.2 to 0.76; 49+ months: 0.23, 95% CI: 0.1 to 0.54). Each additional year of schooling was associated with a 30%-40% decrease of impairment for all neurocognitive measures assessed. Healthier children (higher age-standardized height and weight) had improved sequential and simultaneous processing and overall fluid crystalized index. CONCLUSIONS: Sequential processing skills of working memory improved with prolonged ART, and increased duration of schooling was associated with a reduction of neurocognitive impairment. Early initiation and sustained use of ARTs and longer schooling are needed to reduce neurocognitive impairment among HIV-infected school-aged children. PMID: 28169874 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Hand-Washing: The Main Strategy for Avoiding Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.

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Hand-Washing: The Main Strategy for Avoiding Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Jun 18;13(6): Authors: Zhang D, Li Z, Zhang W, Guo P, Ma Z, Chen Q, Du S, Peng J, Deng Y, Hao Y Abstract Epidemics of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) among children have caused concern in China since 2007. We have conducted a retrospective study to investigate risk factors associated with HFMD. In this non-matching case-control study, 99 HFMD patients and 126 control from Guangdong Province were enlisted as participants. Data comprising demographic, socio-economic, clinical and behavior factors were collected from children's parents through face-to-face interviews by trained interviewers using a standardized questionnaire. Results of the primary logistic regression analyses revealed that age, history of cold food consumption, hand-washing routines, and airing out bedding were significantly associated with HFMD cases. Results of further multivariate analysis indicated that older age (OR = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.34-0.56) and hand-washing before meals (OR = 0.3, 95% CI: 0.13-0.70) are protective factors, whereas airing out bedding more than thrice a month (OR = 4.55, 95% CI: 1.19-17.37) was associated with increased risk for HFMD. Therefore, hand-washing should be recommended to prevent HFMD, and the potential threat of airing out bedding should be carefully considered. However, further studies are needed to examine other possible risk factors. PMID: 27322307 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Health provider responsiveness to social accountability initiatives in low- and middle-income countries: a realist review.

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Health provider responsiveness to social accountability initiatives in low- and middle-income countries: a realist review. Health Policy Plan. 2017 Feb;32(1):125-140 Authors: Lodenstein E, Dieleman M, Gerretsen B, Broerse JE Abstract Social accountability in the health sector has been promoted as a strategy to improve the quality and performance of health providers in low- and middle-income countries. Whether improvements occur, however, depends on the willingness and ability of health providers to respond to societal pressure for better care. This article uses a realist approach to review cases of collective citizen action and advocacy with the aim to identify key mechanisms of provider responsiveness. Purposeful searches for cases were combined with a systematic search in four databases. To be included in the review, the initiatives needed to describe at least one outcome at the level of frontline service provision. Some 37 social accountability initiatives in 15 countries met these criteria. Using a realist approach, retroductive analysis and triangulation of methods and sources were performed to construct Context-Mechanism-Outcome configurations that explain potential pathways to provider responsiveness. The findings suggest that health provider receptivity to citizens' demands for better health care is mediated by health providers' perceptions of the legitimacy of citizen groups and by the extent to which citizen groups provide personal and professional support to health providers. Some citizen groups activated political or formal bureaucratic accountability channels but the effect on provider responsiveness of such strategies was more mixed. Favourable contexts for health provider responsiveness comprise socio-political contexts in which providers self-identify as activists, health system contexts in which health providers depend on citizens' expertise and capacities, and health system contexts where providers have the self-perceived ability to change the system in which they operate. Rather than providing recipes for successful social accountability initiatives, the synthesis proposes a programme theory that can support reflections on the theories of change underpinning social accountability initiatives and interventions to improve the quality of primary health care in different settings. PMID: 27375128 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

The effects of growing up on a farm on adult lung function and allergic phenotypes: an international population-based study.

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The effects of growing up on a farm on adult lung function and allergic phenotypes: an international population-based study. Thorax. 2017 Mar;72(3):236-244 Authors: Campbell B, Raherison C, Lodge CJ, Lowe AJ, Gislason T, Heinrich J, Sunyer J, Gómez Real F, Norbäck D, Matheson MC, Wjst M, Dratva J, de Marco R, Jarvis D, Schlünssen V, Janson C, Leynaert B, Svanes C, Dharmage SC Abstract RATIONALE: Evidence has suggested that exposure to environmental or microbial biodiversity in early life may impact subsequent lung function and allergic disease risk. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the influence of childhood living environment and biodiversity indicators on atopy, asthma and lung function in adulthood. METHODS AND MEASUREMENTS: The European Community Respiratory Health Survey II investigated ∼10 201 participants aged 26-54 years from 14 countries, including participants' place of upbringing (farm, rural environment or inner city) before age 5 years. A 'biodiversity score' was created based on childhood exposure to cats, dogs, day care, bedroom sharing and older siblings. Associations with lung function, bronchial hyper-responsiveness (BHR), allergic sensitisation, asthma and rhinitis were analysed. MAIN RESULTS: As compared with a city upbringing, those with early-life farm exposure had less atopic sensitisation (adjusted OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.58), atopic BHR (0.54 (0.35 to 0.83)), atopic asthma (0.47 (0.28 to 0.81)) and atopic rhinitis (0.43 (0.32 to 0.57)), but not non-atopic outcomes. Less pronounced protective effects were observed for rural environment exposures. Women with a farm upbringing had higher FEV1 (adjusted difference 110 mL (64 to 157)), independent of sensitisation and asthma. In an inner city environment, a higher biodiversity score was related to less allergic sensitisation. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to report beneficial effects of growing up on a farm on adult FEV1. Our study confirmed the beneficial effects of early farm life on sensitisation, asthma and rhinitis, and found a similar association for BHR. In persons with an urban upbringing, a higher biodiversity score predicted less allergic sensitisation, but to a lesser magnitude than a childhood farm environment. PMID: 27672121 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Who are the patients that default tuberculosis treatment? – space matters!

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Who are the patients that default tuberculosis treatment? - space matters! Epidemiol Infect. 2017 Apr;145(6):1130-1134 Authors: Nunes C, Duarte R, Veiga AM, Taylor B Abstract The goals of this article are: (i) to understand how individual characteristics affect the likelihood of patients defaulting their pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) treatment regimens; (ii) to quantify the predictive capacity of these risk factors; and (iii) to quantify and map spatial variation in the risk of defaulting. We used logistic regression models and generalized additive models with a spatial component to determine the odds of default across continental Portugal. We focused on new PTB cases, diagnosed between 2000 and 2013, and included some individual information (sex, age, residence area, alcohol abuse, intravenous drug use, homelessness, HIV, imprisonment status). We found that the global default rate was 4·88%, higher in individuals with well-known risk profiles (males, immigrants, HIV positive, homeless, prisoners, alcohol and drug users). Of specific epidemiological interest was that our geographical analysis found that Portugal's main urban areas (the two biggest cities) and one tourist region have higher default rates compared to the rest of the country, after adjusting for the previously mentioneded risk factors. The challenge of treatment defaulting, either due to other individual non-measured characteristics, healthcare system failure or patient recalcitrance requires further analysis in the spatio-temporal domain. Our findings suggest the presence of significant within-country variation in the risk of defaulting that cannot be explained by these classical individual risk factors alone. The methods we advocate are simple to implement and could easily be applied to other diseases. PMID: 28091336 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Managing multiple chronic conditions in the community: a Canadian qualitative study of the experiences of older adults, family caregivers and healthcare providers.

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Managing multiple chronic conditions in the community: a Canadian qualitative study of the experiences of older adults, family caregivers and healthcare providers. BMC Geriatr. 2017 Jan 31;17(1):40 Authors: Ploeg J, Matthew-Maich N, Fraser K, Dufour S, McAiney C, Kaasalainen S, Markle-Reid M, Upshur R, Cleghorn L, Emili A Abstract BACKGROUND: The prevalence of multiple chronic conditions (MCC) among older persons is increasing worldwide and is associated with poor health status and high rates of healthcare utilization and costs. Current health and social services are not addressing the complex needs of this group or their family caregivers. A better understanding of the experience of MCC from multiple perspectives is needed to improve the approach to care for this vulnerable group. However, the experience of MCC has not been explored with a broad sample of community-living older adults, family caregivers and healthcare providers. The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of managing MCC in the community from the perspectives of older adults with MCC, family caregivers and healthcare providers working in a variety of settings. METHODS: Using Thorne's interpretive description approach, semi-structured interviews (n = 130) were conducted in two Canadian provinces with 41 community-living older adults (aged 65 years and older) with three or more chronic conditions, 47 family caregivers (aged 18 years and older), and 42 healthcare providers working in various community settings. Healthcare providers represented various disciplines and settings. Interview transcripts were analyzed using Thorne's interpretive description approach. RESULTS: Participants described the experience of managing MCC as: (a) overwhelming, draining and complicated, (b) organizing pills and appointments, (c) being split into pieces, (d) doing what the doctor says, (e) relying on family and friends, and (f) having difficulty getting outside help. These themes resonated with the emotional impact of MCC for all three groups of participants and the heavy reliance on family caregivers to support care in the home. CONCLUSIONS: The experience of managing MCC in the community was one of high complexity, where there was a large gap between the needs of older adults and caregivers and the ability of health and social care systems to meet those needs. Healthcare for MCC was experienced as piecemeal and fragmented with little focus on the person and family as a whole. These findings provide a foundation for the design of care processes to more optimally address the needs-service gap that is integral to the experience of managing MCC. PMID: 28143412 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Genocide Rape Trauma Management: An Integrated Framework for Supporting Survivors.

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Genocide Rape Trauma Management: An Integrated Framework for Supporting Survivors. ANS Adv Nurs Sci. 2017 Jun 13;: Authors: Mukamana D, Brysiewicz P, Collins A, Rosa W Abstract During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, rape was widely used as a strategic weapon against Tutsi women. More than 20 years later, many of these women are still suffering devastating psychological, social, and physical effects of these experiences and remain in need of effective interventions that address their complex trauma. This article develops the theory of genocide rape trauma management as a conceptual framework for promoting the holistic health and recovery of female genocide rape survivors. A qualitative study using grounded theory explored the lived experiences of genocide rape survivors and led to the development of this model. The need for a contextually appropriate model is highlighted, with historical and current data regarding the Rwandan context and the experiences of genocide rape survivors. The research details the complex dynamics of emotional, physical, existential, and psychosocial sequelae related to genocide rape trauma, and how these interact with both local community and broader political attitudes toward survivors, as well as the serious interrelated economic challenges and limitations in current public health and welfare services. The research demonstrates the necessary elements of a holistic approach encompassing a synergistic combination of skilled psychological care, self-help strategies, collaborative support groups, community education, social reintegration, advocacy, accessible medical care, and economic empowerment. These interacting elements form the basis of the theory of genocide rape trauma management, offering an encompassing integrated framework that can be adapted to, and evaluated in, other similar contexts. PMID: 28614103 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Hepatitis E in a region of Italy: An emerging autochthonous infection?

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Hepatitis E in a region of Italy: An emerging autochthonous infection? Dig Liver Dis. 2016 Nov;48(11):1340-1345 Authors: Tarantino G, Bagnarelli P, Marzioni M, Marinelli K, Surace G, Traini S, Baroni GS, Menzo S, Benedetti A Abstract BACKGROUND: Recent data showed an increasing number of "autochthonous" cases of hepatitis E in Italy. AIMS: Analysing cases of acute hepatitis E to define frequency, clinical features, prognosis and risk factors. METHODS: We considered all the patients admitted to our Regional Hospital between August 2011 and September 2014, with a diagnosis of acute hepatitis; serological screening for hepatitis B, C and A viruses was performed; in the event of negative results, sera were tested for cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr and hepatitis E viruses. RESULTS: Among 200 patients, 66 were affected by viral infection. IgM anti-HEV was detected in 14 patients with a predominance of males (79%) with a mean age of 55. Genotype 3 of HEV was found in 8 patients. Only one patient died of acute on chronic liver failure; all others evolved favourably towards clinical remission within two months from clinical onset. Thirteen patients had had local exposure to infection and 9 reported the consumption of raw or undercooked locally produced pork. CONCLUSION: The incidence of HEV in our cohort of patients with acute viral hepatitis is high (about 20% per year). In over 85% an autochthonous exposure to infection could be recognised, with a clear link with food habits. PMID: 27476463 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

A global call from five countries to collaborate in antibiotic stewardship: united we succeed, divided we might fail.

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A global call from five countries to collaborate in antibiotic stewardship: united we succeed, divided we might fail. Lancet Infect Dis. 2017 Feb;17(2):e56-e63 Authors: Goff DA, Kullar R, Goldstein EJC, Gilchrist M, Nathwani D, Cheng AC, Cairns KA, Escandón-Vargas K, Villegas MV, Brink A, van den Bergh D, Mendelson M Abstract In February, 2016, WHO released a report for the development of national action plans to address the threat of antibiotic resistance, the catastrophic consequences of inaction, and the need for antibiotic stewardship. Antibiotic stewardship combined with infection prevention comprises a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to optimise use of antibiotics. Efforts to mitigate overuse will be unsustainable without learning and coordinating activities globally. In this Personal View, we provide examples of international collaborations to address optimal prescribing, focusing on five countries that have developed different approaches to antibiotic stewardship-the USA, South Africa, Colombia, Australia, and the UK. Although each country's approach differed, when nurtured, individual efforts can positively affect local and national antimicrobial stewardship programmes. Government advocacy, national guidelines, collaborative research, online training programmes, mentoring programmes, and social media in stewardship all played a role. Personal relationships and willingness to learn from each other's successes and failures continues to foster collaboration. We recommend that antibiotic stewardship models need to evolve from infection specialist-based teams to develop and use cadres of health-care professionals, including pharmacists, nurses, and community health workers, to meet the needs of the global population. We also recommend that all health-care providers who prescribe antibiotics take ownership and understand the societal burden of suboptimal antibiotic use, providing examples of how countries can learn, act globally, and share best antibiotic stewardship practices. PMID: 27866945 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Treatment of Clostridium difficile infection: a national survey of clinician recommendations and the use of faecal microbiota transplantation.

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Treatment of Clostridium difficile infection: a national survey of clinician recommendations and the use of faecal microbiota transplantation. J Hosp Infect. 2017 Apr;95(4):438-441 Authors: Prior AR, Kevans D, McDowell L, Cudmore S, Fitzpatrick F Abstract Adherence to Clostridium difficile infection treatment guidelines is associated with lower recurrence rates and mortality as well as cost savings. This survey of Irish clinicians indicates that patients are managed using a variety of approaches. Faecal microbiota transplantation is potentially underused despite its recommendation in national and European guidelines. PMID: 28029471 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Gambling problems among patients in primary care: a cross-sectional study of general practices.

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Gambling problems among patients in primary care: a cross-sectional study of general practices. Br J Gen Pract. 2017 Apr;67(657):e274-e279 Authors: Cowlishaw S, Gale L, Gregory A, McCambridge J, Kessler D Abstract BACKGROUND: Primary care is an important context for addressing health-related behaviours, and may provide a setting for identification of gambling problems. AIM: To indicate the extent of gambling problems among patients attending general practices, and explore settings or patient groups that experience heightened vulnerability. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study of patients attending 11 general practices in Bristol, South West England. METHOD: Adult patients (n = 1058) were recruited from waiting rooms of practices that were sampled on the basis of population characteristics. Patients completed anonymous questionnaires comprising measures of mental health problems (for example, depression) and addictive behaviours (for example, risky alcohol use). The Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) measured gambling problems, along with a single-item measure of gambling problems among family members. Estimates of extent and variability according to practice and patient characteristics were produced. RESULTS: There were 0.9% of all patients exhibiting problem gambling (PGSI ≥5), and 4.3% reporting problems that were low to moderate in severity (PGSI 1-4). Around 7% of patients reported gambling problems among family members. Further analyses indicated that rates of any gambling problems (PGSI ≥1) were higher among males and young adults, and more tentatively, within a student healthcare setting. They were also elevated among patients exhibiting drug use, risky alcohol use, and depression. CONCLUSION: There is need for improved understanding of the burden of, and responses to, patients with gambling problems in general practices, and new strategies to increase identification to facilitate improved care and early intervention. PMID: 28289016 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Predicting the onset of hazardous alcohol drinking in primary care: development and validation of a simple risk algorithm.

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Predicting the onset of hazardous alcohol drinking in primary care: development and validation of a simple risk algorithm. Br J Gen Pract. 2017 Apr;67(657):e280-e292 Authors: Bellón JÁ, de Dios Luna J, King M, Nazareth I, Motrico E, GildeGómez-Barragán MJ, Torres-González F, Montón-Franco C, Sánchez-Celaya M, Díaz-Barreiros MÁ, Vicens C, Moreno-Peral P Abstract BACKGROUND: Little is known about the risk of progressing to hazardous alcohol use in abstinent or low-risk drinkers. AIM: To develop and validate a simple brief risk algorithm for the onset of hazardous alcohol drinking (HAD) over 12 months for use in primary care. DESIGN AND SETTING: Prospective cohort study in 32 health centres from six Spanish provinces, with evaluations at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. METHOD: Forty-one risk factors were measured and multilevel logistic regression and inverse probability weighting were used to build the risk algorithm. The outcome was new occurrence of HAD during the study, as measured by the AUDIT. RESULTS: From the lists of 174 GPs, 3954 adult abstinent or low-risk drinkers were recruited. The 'predictAL-10' risk algorithm included just nine variables (10 questions): province, sex, age, cigarette consumption, perception of financial strain, having ever received treatment for an alcohol problem, childhood sexual abuse, AUDIT-C, and interaction AUDIT-C*Age. The c-index was 0.886 (95% CI = 0.854 to 0.918). The optimal cutoff had a sensitivity of 0.83 and specificity of 0.80. Excluding childhood sexual abuse from the model (the 'predictAL-9'), the c-index was 0.880 (95% CI = 0.847 to 0.913), sensitivity 0.79, and specificity 0.81. There was no statistically significant difference between the c-indexes of predictAL-10 and predictAL-9. CONCLUSION: The predictAL-10/9 is a simple and internally valid risk algorithm to predict the onset of hazardous alcohol drinking over 12 months in primary care attendees; it is a brief tool that is potentially useful for primary prevention of hazardous alcohol drinking. PMID: 28360074 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

The Relationship Between School Holidays and Transmission of Influenza in England and Wales.

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The Relationship Between School Holidays and Transmission of Influenza in England and Wales. Am J Epidemiol. 2016 Nov 01;184(9):644-651 Authors: Jackson C, Vynnycky E, Mangtani P Abstract School closure is often considered as an influenza control measure, but its effects on transmission are poorly understood. We used 2 approaches to estimate how school holidays affect the contact parameter (the per capita rate of contact sufficient for infection transmission) for influenza using primary care data from England and Wales (1967-2000). Firstly, we fitted an age-structured susceptible-infectious-recovered model to each year's data to estimate the proportional change in the contact parameter during school holidays as compared with termtime. Secondly, we calculated the percentage difference in the contact parameter between holidays and termtime from weekly values of the contact parameter, estimated directly from simple mass-action models. Estimates were combined using random-effects meta-analysis, where appropriate. From fitting to the data, the difference in the contact parameter among children aged 5-14 years during holidays as compared with termtime ranged from a 36% reduction to a 17% increase; estimates were too heterogeneous for meta-analysis. Based on the simple mass-action model, the contact parameter was 17% (95% confidence interval: 10, 25) lower during holidays than during termtime. Results were robust to the assumed proportions of infections that were reported and individuals who were susceptible when the influenza season started. We conclude that school closure may reduce transmission during influenza outbreaks. PMID: 27744384 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Economic Impact of Integrated Care Models for Patients with Chronic Diseases: A Systematic Review.

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Economic Impact of Integrated Care Models for Patients with Chronic Diseases: A Systematic Review. Value Health. 2016 Sep - Oct;19(6):892-902 Authors: Desmedt M, Vertriest S, Hellings J, Bergs J, Dessers E, Vankrunkelsven P, Vrijhoef H, Annemans L, Verhaeghe N, Petrovic M, Vandijck D Abstract OBJECTIVES: To assess the costs and potential financial benefits of integrated care models for patients with chronic diseases, that is, type 2 diabetes mellitus, schizophrenia, and multiple sclerosis, respectively. METHODS: A systematic search of the literature was performed using EMBASE, MEDLINE, and Web of Science. Studies that conducted a cost analysis, considered at least two components of the chronic care model, and compared integrated care with standard care were included. RESULTS: Out of 575 articles, 26 were included. Most studies examined integrated care models for type 2 diabetes mellitus (n = 18) and to a lesser extent for schizophrenia (n = 6) and multiple sclerosis (n = 2). Across the three disease groups, the incremental cost per patient per year ranged from - €3860 to + €613.91 (x¯ = - €533.61 ± €902.96). The incremental cost for type 2 diabetes mellitus ranged from - €1507.49 to + €299.20 (x¯ = - €518.22 ± + €604.75), for schizophrenia from - €3860 to + €613.91 (x¯ = - €677.21 ± + €1624.35), and for multiple sclerosis from - €822 to + €339.43 (x¯ = - €241.29 ± + €821.26). Most of the studies (22 of 26 [84.6%]) reported a positive economic impact of integrated care models: for type 2 diabetes mellitus (16 of 18 [88.9%]), schizophrenia (4 of 6 [66.7%]), and multiple sclerosis (1 of 2 [50%]). CONCLUSIONS: In this systematic literature review, predominantly positive economic impacts of integrated care models for patients with chronic diseases were found. PMID: 27712719 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Diagnosis of cancer as an emergency: a critical review of current evidence.

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Diagnosis of cancer as an emergency: a critical review of current evidence. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2017 Jan;14(1):45-56 Authors: Zhou Y, Abel GA, Hamilton W, Pritchard-Jones K, Gross CP, Walter FM, Renzi C, Johnson S, McPhail S, Elliss-Brookes L, Lyratzopoulos G Abstract Many patients with cancer are diagnosed through an emergency presentation, which is associated with inferior clinical and patient-reported outcomes compared with those of patients who are diagnosed electively or through screening. Reducing the proportion of patients with cancer who are diagnosed as emergencies is, therefore, desirable; however, the optimal means of achieving this aim are uncertain owing to the involvement of different tumour, patient and health-care factors, often in combination. Most relevant evidence relates to patients with colorectal or lung cancer in a few economically developed countries, and defines emergency presentations contextually (that is, whether patients presented to emergency health-care services and/or received emergency treatment shortly before their diagnosis) as opposed to clinically (whether patients presented with life-threatening manifestations of their cancer). Consistent inequalities in the risk of emergency presentations by patient characteristics and cancer type have been described, but limited evidence is available on whether, and how, such presentations can be prevented. Evidence on patients' symptoms and health-care use before presentation as an emergency is sparse. In this Review, we describe the extent, causes and implications of a diagnosis of cancer following an emergency presentation, and provide recommendations for public health and health-care interventions, and research efforts aimed at addressing this under-researched aspect of cancer diagnosis. PMID: 27725680 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Improving combination antiretroviral therapy by targeting HIV-1 gene transcription.

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Improving combination antiretroviral therapy by targeting HIV-1 gene transcription. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2016 11;20(11):1311-1324 Authors: Le Douce V, Ait-Amar A, Forouzan Far F, Fahmi F, Quiel J, El Mekdad H, Daouad F, Marban C, Rohr O, Schwartz C Abstract INTRODUCTION: Combination Antiretroviral Therapy (cART) has not allowed the cure of HIV. The main obstacle to HIV eradication is the existence of quiescent reservoirs. Several other limitations of cART have been described, such as strict life-long treatment and high costs, restricting it to Western countries, as well as the development of multidrug resistance. Given these limitations and the impetus to find a cure, the development of new treatments is necessary. Areas covered: In this review, we discuss the current status of several efficient molecules able to suppress HIV gene transcription, including NF-kB and Tat inhibitors. We also assess the potential of new proteins belonging to the intriguing DING family, which have been reported to have potential anti-HIV-1 activity by inhibiting HIV gene transcription. Expert opinion: Targeting HIV-1 gene transcription is an alternative approach, which could overcome cART-related issues, such as the emergence of multidrug resistance. Improving cART will rely on the identification and characterization of new actors inhibiting HIV-1 transcription. Combining such efforts with the use of new technologies, the development of new models for preclinical studies, and improvement in drug delivery will considerably reduce drug toxicity and thus increase patient adherence. PMID: 27266557 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Post-marketing withdrawal of anti-obesity medicinal products because of adverse drug reactions: a systematic review.

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Post-marketing withdrawal of anti-obesity medicinal products because of adverse drug reactions: a systematic review. BMC Med. 2016 Nov 29;14(1):191 Authors: Onakpoya IJ, Heneghan CJ, Aronson JK Abstract BACKGROUND: We identified anti-obesity medications withdrawn since 1950 because of adverse drug reactions after regulatory approval, and examined the evidence used to support such withdrawals, investigated the mechanisms of the adverse reactions, and explored the trends over time. METHODS: We conducted searches in PubMed, the World Health Organization database of drugs, the websites of drug regulatory authorities, and selected full texts, and we hand searched references in retrieved documents. We included anti-obesity medications that were withdrawn between 1950 and December 2015 and assessed the levels of evidence used for making withdrawal decisions using the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine criteria. RESULTS: We identified 25 anti-obesity medications withdrawn between 1964 and 2009; 23 of these were centrally acting, via monoamine neurotransmitters. Case reports were cited as evidence for withdrawal in 80% of instances. Psychiatric disturbances, cardiotoxicity (mainly attributable to re-uptake inhibitors), and drug abuse or dependence (mainly attributable to neurotransmitter releasing agents) together accounted for 83% of withdrawals. Deaths were reportedly associated with seven products (28%). In almost half of the cases, the withdrawals occurred within 2 years of the first report of an adverse reaction. CONCLUSIONS: Most of the drugs that affect monoamine neurotransmitters licensed for the treatment of obesity over the past 65 years have been withdrawn because of adverse reactions. The reasons for withdrawal raise concerns about the wisdom of using pharmacological agents that target monoamine neurotransmitters in managing obesity. Greater transparency in the assessment of harms from anti-obesity medications is therefore warranted. PMID: 27894343 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

An Exploratory Study to Assess Individual and Structural Level Barriers Associated With Poor Retention and Re-engagement in Care Among Persons Living With HIV/AIDS.

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An Exploratory Study to Assess Individual and Structural Level Barriers Associated With Poor Retention and Re-engagement in Care Among Persons Living With HIV/AIDS. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2017 Feb 01;74 Suppl 2:S113-S120 Authors: Colasanti J, Stahl N, Farber EW, Del Rio C, Armstrong WS Abstract BACKGROUND: Retention in care is the most challenging step along the HIV care continuum. Many patients who engage in care and achieve viral suppression have care interruptions, characterized by moving in and out of care ("churn"). Poor retention has clinical consequences and contributes to new HIV transmissions, but how to predict or prevent it remains elusive. This study sought to understand the relationship between individual- and structural-level barriers, and poor retention for persons living with HIV/AIDS in Atlanta, GA. METHODS: We administered a survey, through interviews, with HIV-infected patients continuously retained in care for 6 years ("continuously retained," n = 32) and patients with recent gaps in care ("unretained" n = 27). We assessed individual-level protective factors for successful engagement (self-efficacy, resilience, perceived social support, and disclosure), risk factors for poor engagement (substance use, mental illness, and stigma), and structural/systemic-level barriers (financial and housing instability, transportation, food insecurity, communication barriers, and incarceration history). Chi-square and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to compare the 2 populations. RESULTS: Both continuously retained and unretained populations had high rates of prior viral suppression but few unretained patients were virologically suppressed upon return to care (11%). Younger age, crack cocaine use, food insecurity, financial instability, housing instability, and phone number changes in the past year were significantly more likely to be present in the unretained population. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest the need for targeted risk assessment tools to predict the highest-risk patients for poor retention whereby public health interventions can be directed to those individuals. PMID: 28079721 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Financial barriers and adverse clinical outcomes among patients with cardiovascular-related chronic diseases: a cohort study.

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Financial barriers and adverse clinical outcomes among patients with cardiovascular-related chronic diseases: a cohort study. BMC Med. 2017 Feb 15;15(1):33 Authors: Campbell DJ, Manns BJ, Weaver RG, Hemmelgarn BR, King-Shier KM, Sanmartin C Abstract BACKGROUND: Some patients with cardiovascular-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease report financial barriers to achieving optimal health. Previous surveys report that the perception of having a financial barrier is associated with self-reported adverse clinical outcomes. We sought to confirm these findings using linked survey and administrative data to determine, among patients with cardiovascular-related chronic diseases, if there is an association between perceived financial barriers and the outcomes of: (1) disease-related hospitalizations, (2) all-cause mortality and (3) inpatient healthcare costs. METHODS: We used ten cycles of the nationally representative Canadian Community Health Survey (administered between 2000 and 2011) to identify a cohort of adults aged 45 and older with hypertension, diabetes, heart disease or stroke. Perceived financial barriers to various aspects of chronic disease care and self-management were identified (including medications, healthful food and home care) from the survey questions, using similar questions to those used in previous studies. The cohort was linked to administrative data sources for outcome ascertainment (Discharge Abstract Database, Canadian Mortality Database, Patient Cost Estimator). We utilized Poisson regression techniques, adjusting for potential confounding variables (age, sex, education, multimorbidity, smoking status), to assess for associations between perceived financial barriers and disease-related hospitalization and all-cause mortality. We used gross costing methodology and a variety of modelling approaches to assess the impact of financial barriers on hospital costs. RESULTS: We identified a cohort of 120,752 individuals over the age of 45 years with one or more of the following: hypertension, diabetes, heart disease or stroke. One in ten experienced financial barriers to at least one aspect of their care, with the two most common being financial barriers to accessing medications and healthful food. Even after adjustment, those with at least one financial barrier had an increased rate of disease-related hospitalization and mortality compared to those without financial barriers with adjusted incidence rate ratios of 1.36 (95% CI: 1.29-1.44) and 1.24 (1.16-1.32), respectively. Furthermore, having a financial barrier to care was associated with 30% higher inpatient costs compared to those without financial barriers. DISCUSSION: This study, using novel linked national survey and administrative data, demonstrates that chronic disease patients with perceived financial barriers have worse outcomes and higher resource utilization, corroborating the findings from prior self-report studies. The overall exposure remained associated with the primary outcome even in spite of adjustment for income. This suggests that a patient's perception of a financial barrier might be used in clinical and research settings as an additional measure along with standard measures of socioeconomic status (ie. income, education, social status). CONCLUSIONS: After adjusting for relevant covariates, perceiving a financial barrier was associated with increased rates of hospitalization and mortality and higher hospital costs compared to those without financial barriers. The demonstrable association with adverse outcomes and increased costs seen in this study may provide an impetus for policymakers to seek to invest in interventions which minimize the impact of financial barriers. PMID: 28196524 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

A population-based epidemiologic study of adult neuromuscular disease in the Republic of Ireland.

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A population-based epidemiologic study of adult neuromuscular disease in the Republic of Ireland. Neurology. 2017 Jan 17;88(3):304-313 Authors: Lefter S, Hardiman O, Ryan AM Abstract OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence rates (PRs) of acquired and inherited neuromuscular diseases (NMD) in the adult Irish population, reflecting the burden of these conditions in a single country. METHODS: This population-based study was performed in the Republic of Ireland (RoI), with a PR estimated for December 2013. Multiple case ascertainment sources were utilized. Demographic and clinical information and relevant diagnostic results were registered. RESULTS: A total of 2,641 adults were identified, giving a PR of 62.6/100,000 (95% confidence interval [CI] 59.95-65.24) for all NMD in RoI. Disease-specific PR include chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy 5.87/100,000 (95% CI 5.06-6.68), Charcot-Marie-Tooth 10.52/100,000 (95% CI 9.44-11.61), hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies 0.84/100,000 (95% CI 0.54-1.15), myotonic dystrophy type I 6.75/100,000 (95% CI 5.88-7.61), Duchenne muscular dystrophy 3.0/100,000 (95% CI 2.33-3.70), Becker muscular dystrophy 2.2/100,000 (95% CI 1.64-2.88), facioscapulohumeral dystrophy 2.59/100,000 (95% CI 2.05-3.13), limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2.88/100,000 (95% CI 2.31-3.45), periodic paralysis 1.72/100,000 (95% CI 1.28-2.15), myotonia congenita 0.32/100,000 (95% CI 0.18-0.56), paramyotonia congenita 0.15/100,000 (95% CI 0.06-0.34), Kennedy disease 0.83/100,000 (95% CI 0.40-1.27), Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome 0.29/100,000 (95% CI 0.11-0.47), myasthenia gravis 15.12/100,000 (95% CI 13.82-16.42), and sporadic inclusion body myositis 11.7/100,000 (95% CI 9.82-13.58). PR for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was established from an existing Register as 7.20/100,000 (95% CI 6.34-8.15). CONCLUSIONS: The PR of all adult NMD in RoI is relatively high when compared with other chronic neurologic disorders, although some figures may be an underestimate of the true prevalence. The data provide a framework for international comparison and service planning. PMID: 27927941 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Incorporating cancer risk information into general practice: a qualitative study using focus groups with health professionals.

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Incorporating cancer risk information into general practice: a qualitative study using focus groups with health professionals. Br J Gen Pract. 2017 Mar;67(656):e218-e226 Authors: Usher-Smith JA, Silarova B, Ward A, Youell J, Muir KR, Campbell J, Warcaba J Abstract BACKGROUND: It is estimated that approximately 40% of all cases of cancer are attributable to lifestyle factors. Providing people with personalised information about their future risk of cancer may help promote behaviour change. AIM: To explore the views of health professionals on incorporating personalised cancer risk information, based on lifestyle factors, into general practice. DESIGN AND SETTING: Qualitative study using data from six focus groups with a total of 24 general practice health professionals from the NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group in England. METHOD: The focus groups were guided by a schedule covering current provision of lifestyle advice relating to cancer and views on incorporating personalised cancer risk information. Data were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and then analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Providing lifestyle advice was viewed as a core activity within general practice but the influence of lifestyle on cancer risk was rarely discussed. The word 'cancer' was seen as a potentially powerful motivator for lifestyle change but the fact that it could generate health anxiety was also recognised. Most focus group participants felt that a numerical risk estimate was more likely to influence behaviour than generic advice. All felt that general practice should provide this information, but there was a clear need for additional resources for it to be offered widely. CONCLUSION: Study participants were in support of providing personalised cancer risk information in general practice. The findings highlight a number of potential benefits and challenges that will inform the future development of interventions in general practice to promote behaviour change for cancer prevention. PMID: 28193618 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Cost-Effectiveness of a National Opportunistic Screening Program for Atrial Fibrillation in Ireland.

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Cost-Effectiveness of a National Opportunistic Screening Program for Atrial Fibrillation in Ireland. Value Health. 2016 Dec;19(8):985-995 Authors: Moran PS, Teljeur C, Harrington P, Smith SM, Smyth B, Harbison J, Normand C, Ryan M Abstract OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of a national atrial fibrillation screening program in Ireland involving annual opportunistic pulse palpation of all those older than 65 years during general practitioner consultations, with an electrocardiogram being performed if an irregular pulse is detected. METHODS: A probabilistic Markov model was used to simulate costs and clinical outcomes in a hypothetical cohort of men and women with and without screening over the course of 25 years, using a societal perspective. RESULTS: Screening was associated with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of €23,004/quality-adjusted life-year compared with routine care. Nevertheless, if the relative risk of stroke and systematic embolism in screen-detected patients is more than 12% lower than that in patients with atrial fibrillation identified through routine practice, then screening would not be considered cost-effective at a willingness-to-pay threshold of €45,000/quality-adjusted life-year. An analysis comparing alternative combinations of start age and screening interval found that less frequent screening with a later start age may be more cost-effective than an annual screening from age 65 years. CONCLUSIONS: Annual opportunistic screening of men and women aged 65 years and older in primary care in Ireland is likely to be cost-effective using conventional willingness-to-pay thresholds, assuming that those detected through screening have a comparable stroke risk profile as those detected through routine practice. Raising the start age of screening or increasing the screening interval may improve the cost-effectiveness of a prospective screening program. PMID: 27987649 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Predictors of the 10-year direct costs for treating multiple sclerosis.

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Predictors of the 10-year direct costs for treating multiple sclerosis. Acta Neurol Scand. 2017 May;135(5):522-528 Authors: Moccia M, Palladino R, Lanzillo R, Triassi M, Brescia Morra V Abstract OBJECTIVES: Disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) constitute the largest direct medical cost for multiple sclerosis (MS). This study aims at investigating predictors of the 10-year economic burden for DMT administration and management. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study included 537 newly diagnosed, drug naïve relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients, followed up for 10.1±3.3 years. Costs for DMT administration and management were calculated, and referred to each year of observation (annual costs). Possible predictors of disease evolution were categorized into early predictors (age, gender, disease duration, baseline expanded disability status scale (EDSS), 1-point EDSS progression within 2 years, and annualized relapse rate -ARR- within 2 years), and long-term predictors (reaching of EDSS 4.0, conversion to secondary progressive -SP-, ARR, number of DMTs, follow-up duration). Association between predictors and study outcome was explored using mixed-effects log-linear regression models. RESULTS: A 1-point higher EDSS at diagnosis was associated with 13.21% increase in the annual costs (95%CI=4.16-23.04%). Each additional year of age at diagnosis was associated with a 0.74% decrease in the annual costs (95%CI=-1.43 to-0.04%). Female gender was associated with a 12.43% decrease in the annual costs (95%CI=-22.61 to-0.93%). Converting to SP was associated with a 14.26% decrease in the annual costs (95%CI=-14.26 to-2.94%). Each additional year of follow-up was associated with a 3.05% decrease in the annual costs (95%CI=-4.51 to-1.57%). CONCLUSIONS: An estimate of the 10-year costs associated with DMT administration and management can be calculated by analyzing different factors, and might be of particular interest for planning resources needed for treating people with MS. PMID: 27357245 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

A Systematic Review of Health Economic Evaluation Studies Using the Patient’s Perspective.

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A Systematic Review of Health Economic Evaluation Studies Using the Patient's Perspective. Value Health. 2016 Sep - Oct;19(6):903-908 Authors: Bilvick Tai BW, Bae YH, Le QA Abstract BACKGROUND: Patient-centered care has become increasingly important and relevant for informed health care decision making. OBJECTIVE: Our study aimed to perform a systematic review of health economic evaluation studies from the patient's perspective. METHODS: PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central databases were searched through May 2014 for cost-effectiveness, cost-utility, and cost-benefit studies using the patient's perspective in their analysis. The reporting quality of the studies was evaluated on the basis of Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards. RESULTS: We identified 30 health economic evaluations using the patient's perspective, of which 7 were conducted in the United States, 9 in Europe, and 14 in Asian or other countries. Seventeen of 23 health conditions evaluated were chronic in nature. Among 12 studies that justified the use of the patient's perspective, patient's financial burden associated with medical treatment was the most commonly cited rationale. A total of 29, 17, and 15 studies examined direct medical, direct nonmedical, and indirect costs, respectively. Seventeen studies also included societal, governmental or payer's, and/or provider's perspective(s) in their analyses. Based on Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards, more than 20% of the reporting items in these studies were either partially satisfied or not satisfied. CONCLUSIONS: There is a paucity of health economic evaluations conducted from the patient's perspective in the literature. For those studies using the patient's perspective, the true patient costs were not fully explored and study reporting quality was not optimal. With the increasing focus on patient-centered outcomes in health policy research, more frequent use of the patient's perspective in economic studies should be advocated. PMID: 27712720 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Air Pollution Is Associated With Ischemic Stroke via Cardiogenic Embolism.

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Air Pollution Is Associated With Ischemic Stroke via Cardiogenic Embolism. Stroke. 2017 Jan;48(1):17-23 Authors: Chung JW, Bang OY, Ahn K, Park SS, Park TH, Kim JG, Ko Y, Lee S, Lee KB, Lee J, Kang K, Park JM, Cho YJ, Hong KS, Nah HW, Kim DH, Cha JK, Ryu WS, Kim DE, Kim JT, Choi JC, Oh MS, Yu KH, Lee BC, Lee JS, Lee J, Park HK, Kim BJ, Han MK, Bae HJ Abstract BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to assessed the impact of short-term exposure to air pollution on ischemic stroke subtype, while focusing on stroke caused via cardioembolism. METHODS: From a nationwide, multicenter, prospective, stroke registry database, 13 535 patients with acute ischemic stroke hospitalized to 12 participating centers were enrolled in this study. Data on the hourly concentrations of particulate matter <10 μm, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), and carbon monoxide (CO) were collected from 181 nationwide air pollution surveillance stations. The average values of these air pollutants over the 7 days before stroke onset from nearest air quality monitoring station in each patient were used to determine association with stroke subtype. The primary outcome was stroke subtype, including large artery atherosclerosis, small-vessel occlusion, cardioembolism, and stroke of other or undetermined cause. RESULTS: Particulate matter <10 μm and SO2 concentrations were independently associated with an increased risk of cardioembolic stroke, as compared with large artery atherosclerosis and noncardioembolic stroke. In stratified analyses, the proportion of cases of cardioembolic stroke was positively correlated with the particulate matter <10 μm, NO2, and SO2 quintiles. Moreover, seasonal and geographic factors were related to an increased proportion of cardioembolic stroke, which may be attributed to the high levels of air pollution. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the short-term exposure to air pollutants is associated with cardioembolic stroke, and greater care should be taken for those susceptible to cerebral embolism during peak pollution periods. Public and environmental health policies to reduce air pollution could help slow down global increasing trends of cardioembolic stroke. PMID: 27899751 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Coffee, tea and melanoma risk: findings from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

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Coffee, tea and melanoma risk: findings from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Int J Cancer. 2017 May 15;140(10):2246-2255 Authors: Caini S, Masala G, Saieva C, Kvaskoff M, Savoye I, Sacerdote C, Hemmingsson O, Hammer Bech B, Overvad K, Tjønneland A, Petersen KE, Mancini FR, Boutron-Ruault MC, Cervenka I, Kaaks R, Kühn T, Boeing H, Floegel A, Trichopoulou A, Valanou E, Kritikou M, Tagliabue G, Panico S, Tumino R, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Peeters PH, Veierød MB, Ghiasvand R, Lukic M, Quirós JR, Chirlaque MD, Ardanaz E, Salamanca Fernández E, Larrañaga N, Zamora-Ros R, Maria Nilsson L, Ljuslinder I, Jirström K, Sonestedt E, Key TJ, Wareham N, Khaw KT, Gunter M, Huybrechts I, Murphy N, Tsilidis KK, Weiderpass E, Palli D Abstract In vitro and animal studies suggest that bioactive constituents of coffee and tea may have anticarcinogenic effects against cutaneous melanoma; however, epidemiological evidence is limited to date. We examined the relationships between coffee (total, caffeinated or decaffeinated) and tea consumption and risk of melanoma in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). EPIC is a multicentre prospective study that enrolled over 500,000 participants aged 25-70 years from ten European countries in 1992-2000. Information on coffee and tea drinking was collected at baseline using validated country-specific dietary questionnaires. We used adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression models to calculate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for the associations between coffee and tea consumption and melanoma risk. Overall, 2,712 melanoma cases were identified during a median follow-up of 14.9 years among 476,160 study participants. Consumption of caffeinated coffee was inversely associated with melanoma risk among men (HR for highest quartile of consumption vs. non-consumers 0.31, 95% CI 0.14-0.69) but not among women (HR 0.96, 95% CI 0.62-1.47). There were no statistically significant associations between consumption of decaffeinated coffee or tea and the risk of melanoma among both men and women. The consumption of caffeinated coffee was inversely associated with melanoma risk among men in this large cohort study. Further investigations are warranted to confirm our findings and clarify the possible role of caffeine and other coffee compounds in reducing the risk of melanoma. PMID: 28218395 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Outbreak of hepatitis A associated with men who have sex with men (MSM), England, July 2016 to January 2017.

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Outbreak of hepatitis A associated with men who have sex with men (MSM), England, July 2016 to January 2017. Euro Surveill. 2017 Feb 02;22(5): Authors: Beebeejaun K, Degala S, Balogun K, Simms I, Woodhall SC, Heinsbroek E, Crook PD, Kar-Purkayastha I, Treacy J, Wedgwood K, Jordan K, Mandal S, Ngui SL, Edelstein M Abstract Between July 2016 and January 2017, 37 confirmed cases of hepatitis A with two unique IA genotype strains primarily among men who have sex with men, were reported across eight areas in England and Northern Ireland. Epidemiological and laboratory investigations indicate that these strains may have been imported several times from Spain, with secondary sexual transmission in the United Kingdom. Local and national public health services are collaborating to control this ongoing outbreak. PMID: 28183392 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Current progress on understanding the impact of mercury on human health.

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Current progress on understanding the impact of mercury on human health. Environ Res. 2017 Jan;152:419-433 Authors: Ha E, Basu N, Bose-O'Reilly S, Dórea JG, McSorley E, Sakamoto M, Chan HM Abstract Mercury pollution and its impacts on human health is of global concern. The authors of this paper were members of the Plenary Panel on Human Health in the 12th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant held in Korea in June 2015. The Panel was asked by the conference organizers to address two questions: what is the current understanding of the impacts of mercury exposure on human health and what information is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Minamata Convention in lowering exposure and preventing adverse effects. The authors conducted a critical review of the literature published since January 2012 and discussed the current state-of-knowledge in the following areas: environmental exposure and/or risk assessment; kinetics and biomonitoring; effects on children development; effects on adult general populations; effects on artisanal and small-scale gold miners (ASGM); effects on dental workers; risk of ethylmercury in thimerosal-containing vaccines; interactions with nutrients; genetic determinants and; risk communication and management. Knowledge gaps in each area were identified and recommendations for future research were made. The Panel concluded that more knowledge synthesis efforts are needed to translate the research results into management tools for health professionals and policy makers. PMID: 27444821 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Prioritizing of bacterial infections transmitted through substances of human origin in Europe.

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Prioritizing of bacterial infections transmitted through substances of human origin in Europe. Transfusion. 2017 May;57(5):1311-1317 Authors: Domanović D, Cassini A, Bekeredjian-Ding I, Bokhorst A, Bouwknegt M, Facco G, Galea G, Grossi P, Jashari R, Jungbauer C, Marcelis J, Raluca-Siska I, Andersson-Vonrosen I, Suk JE Abstract BACKGROUND: Bacteria are the pathogens most frequently transmitted through substances of human origin (SoHO). The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) organized an expert consultation, with the objective of developing a priority list of bacterial pathogens transmissible via SoHO. The list will be used to further assess risks and determine appropriate preventive measures. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The 14 most frequently SoHO-transmitted bacteria identified through a scoping literature review were then prioritized during an expert workshop through a methodology based on multicriteria decision analysis. The selection of the prioritization method was based upon an ECDC framework for best practices in conducting risk-ranking exercises. Three transmission pathways, blood and blood components, tissues and cells, and organs, were considered in the ranking exercise. RESULTS: According to the ranking score (RS), bacteria were organized within each SoHO pathway into one of four risk tiers: Tier 1 (RS ≥ 0.70), Tier 2 (RS = 0.60-0.69), Tier 3 (RS = 0.40-0.59), or Tier 4 (RS < 0.40). The most consistently identified pathogens in the highest risk Tiers 1 and 2 of all three pathways were: Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella spp., Escherichia coli, β-hemolytic streptococci, Pseudomonas spp., and Acinetobacter spp. CONCLUSION: Six bacteria were defined as being of the highest priority in respect of the threat to the safety of SoHO and will be the subject of subsequent in-depth risk assessments to be conducted by ECDC to identify measures to mitigate the risk posed by these bacteria. PMID: 28236291 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Impact of Out-of-Pocket Pharmacy Costs on Branded Medication Adherence Among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes.

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Impact of Out-of-Pocket Pharmacy Costs on Branded Medication Adherence Among Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2016 Nov;22(11):1338-1347 Authors: Bibeau WS, Fu H, Taylor AD, Kwan AY Abstract BACKGROUND: Medication adherence is pivotal for the successful treatment of diabetes. However, medication adherence remains a major concern, as nonadherence is associated with poor health outcomes. Studies have indicated that increasing patients' share of medication costs significantly reduces adherence. Little is known about a potential out-of-pocket (OOP) cost threshold where substantial reduction in adherence may occur. OBJECTIVE: To examine the impact of diabetes OOP pharmacy costs on antihyperglycemic medication adherence and identify the potential threshold at which significant reduction in adherence may occur among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). METHODS: This was an observational, retrospective cohort study using longitudinal U.S. pharmacy and medical claims data from the IMS Health Medical Claims (Dx) database. Patients with T2DM who initiated therapy with a branded antihyperglycemic medication during the index period (January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2011) and had 3 years of follow-up data were included. The primary outcome was adherence to antihyperglycemic medications, measured as the number of days covered. Propensity scores were calculated using baseline sociodemographic and clinical characteristics to control for potential confounding factors. Four strata were created based on mean propensity scores. Across each stratum, patients were assigned to 5 diabetes OOP pharmacy (including generics) cost levels: $0-$10, $11-$40, $41-$50, $51-$75, and > $75. Multivariate regression models were used to estimate association of diabetes OOP pharmacy costs and adherence for each stratum. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to assess the impact of total OOP pharmacy costs and index drug category OOP costs on adherence. RESULTS: A total of 15,416 patients were assessed. Across each stratum in the diabetes OOP pharmacy cost analysis group, mean patient age ranged from 52.3 to 56.1 years, mean number of antihyperglycemic medication classes ranged from 1.5 to 3.2, and mean household income ranged from $60,763 to $79,373. Most patients used a commercial plan (55%-85%). The propensity-stratified multivariate regression model revealed an overall negative relationship between diabetes OOP pharmacy costs and adherence across several OOP cost levels. Diabetes OOP pharmacy cost level $51-$75 appeared as the threshold at which adherence reduced significantly (77-78 fewer days of coverage over 3 years of follow-up; P < 0.05) when compared with the lowest OOP costs ($0-$10) across all strata. Adherence reduced further (99-145 fewer days of coverage; P < 0.0001) for the higher diabetes OOP pharmacy cost levels (> $75) when compared with the lowest OOP cost levels. Sensitivity analyses with total OOP pharmacy costs and index drug category OOP costs revealed negative association with adherence across all strata. CONCLUSIONS: Diabetes OOP pharmacy cost was negatively associated with patient adherence, and a potential OOP cost threshold ($51-$75) was identified at which adherence reduced significantly. The study findings may be beneficial in informing the design of health care plans to achieve optimal adherence and improve disease management in patients with T2DM. DISCLOSURES: This study was funded by Eli Lilly and Company. Eli Lilly and Company was involved in the study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; preparation of the manuscript; and decision to submit for publication. Fu is an employee of Eli Lilly and Company. Taylor and Kwan are employees of Lilly USA. Fu and Kwan hold stock or stock options in Eli Lilly and Company. Bibeau was an employee of Eli Lilly and Company at the time of this study and initial submission of this manuscript. Bibeau is currently employed by Janssen Scientific Affairs. The abstract for this study was presented at the AMCP Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy Annual Meeting 2016; April 19-22, 2016; San Francisco, California. Bibeau and Fu contributed to the study design and collected the data. All authors contributed equally to data interpretation and manuscript preparation and revision. PMID: 27783549 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Cost-Effectiveness of the 4 Pillars Practice Transformation Program to Improve Vaccination of Adults Aged 65 and Older.

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Cost-Effectiveness of the 4 Pillars Practice Transformation Program to Improve Vaccination of Adults Aged 65 and Older. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 Apr;65(4):763-768 Authors: Smith KJ, Zimmerman RK, Nowalk MP, Lin CJ Abstract OBJECTIVES: To estimate the cost-effectiveness of an intervention to increase pneumococcal, influenza, and pertussis-containing vaccine uptake in adults aged 65 and older in primary care practices. DESIGN: Markov decision analysis model, comparing the cost-effectiveness of the 4 Pillars Practice Transformation Program with no intervention. SETTING: Diverse primary care practices in two U.S. cities. PARTICIPANTS: Clinical trial participants aged 65 and older. MEASUREMENTS: Quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), public health outcomes, and costs. Vaccination rates and intervention costs were derived from a randomized controlled cluster trial. Other parameters were derived from the medical literature and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. All parameters were individually and simultaneously varied over their distributions. RESULTS: With the intervention program and extrapolating over 10 years, there would be approximately 60,920 fewer influenza cases, 2,031 fewer pertussis cases, and 13,842 fewer pneumococcal illnesses in adults aged 65 and older. Total per-person vaccination and illness costs with the intervention were $23.93 higher than without the intervention, with a concurrent increase in effectiveness of 0.0031 QALYs, or $7,635 per QALY gained. In sensitivity analyses, no individual parameter variation caused the intervention to cost more than $50,000 per QALY gained. CONCLUSIONS: Implementing an intervention based on the 4 Pillars Practice Transformation Program is a cost-effective undertaking in primary care practices for individuals aged 65 and older, with predicted public health benefits. PMID: 28024090 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Use of enhanced nisin derivatives in combination with food-grade oils or citric acid to control Cronobacter sakazakii and Escherichia coli O157:H7.

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Use of enhanced nisin derivatives in combination with food-grade oils or citric acid to control Cronobacter sakazakii and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Food Microbiol. 2017 Aug;65:254-263 Authors: Campion A, Morrissey R, Field D, Cotter PD, Hill C, Ross RP Abstract Cronobacter sakazakii and Escherichia coli O157:H7 are well known food-borne pathogens that can cause severe disease. The identification of new alternatives to heating to control these pathogens in foods, while reducing the impact on organoleptic properties and nutritional value, is highly desirable. In this study, nisin and its bioengineered variants, nisin V and nisin S29A, are used alone, or in combination with plant essential oils (thymol, carvacrol and trans-cinnamaldehyde) or citric acid, with a view to controlling C. sakazakii and E. coli O157:H7 in laboratory-based assays and model food systems. The use of nisin variants (30 μM) with low concentrations of thymol (0.015%), carvacrol (0.03%) and trans-cinnamaldehyde (0.035%) resulted in extended lag phases of growth compared to those for corresponding nisin A-essential oil combinations. Furthermore, nisin variants (60 μM) used in combination with carvacrol (0.03%) significantly reduced viable counts of E. coli O157:H7 (3-log) and C. sakazakii (4-log) compared to nisin A-carvacrol treatment. Importantly, this increased effectiveness translated into food. More specifically, sub-inhibitory concentrations of nisin variants and carvacrol caused complete inactivation of E. coli O157:H7 in apple juice within 3 h at room temperature compared to that of the equivalent nisin A combination. Furthermore, combinations of commercial Nisaplin and the food additive citric acid reduced C. sakazakii numbers markedly in infant formula within the same 3 h period. These results highlight the potential benefits of combining nisin and variants thereof with carvacrol and/or citric acid for the inhibition of Gram negative food-borne pathogens. PMID: 28400011 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Meeting People “Where They Are”: Case Managers Empower and Motivate Clients to Pursue Their Health Goals.

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Meeting People "Where They Are": Case Managers Empower and Motivate Clients to Pursue Their Health Goals. Prof Case Manag. 2017 Jan/Feb;22(1):3-9 Authors: Harkey J, Sortedahl C, Crook MM, Sminkey PV Abstract PURPOSE: The propose of this discussion is to explore the role of the case manager to empower and motivate clients, especially those who appear "stuck" or resistant to change. Drawing upon the experiences of case managers across many different practice settings, the article addresses how case managers can tap into the individual's underlying and sometimes deep-seated desires in order to foster buy-in for making even small steps toward achieving their health goals. The article also addresses how motivational interviewing can be an effective tool used by case managers to uncover blocks and barriers that prevent clients from making changes in their health or lifestyle habits. PRIMARY PRACTICE SETTINGS: This discussion applies to case management practices and work settings across the full continuum of health care. IMPLICATIONS FOR CASE MANAGEMENT PRACTICE: The implication for case managers is deeper understanding of the importance of motivation to help clients make positive steps toward achieving their health goals. This understanding is especially important in advocating for clients who appear to be unmotivated or ambivalent, but who are actually "stuck" in engrained behaviors and habits because of a variety of factors, including past failures. Without judgment and by establishing rapport, case managers can tap into clients' desires, to help them make incremental progress toward their health goals. PMID: 27902572 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Long-term persistence of immunity after hepatitis B vaccination: A fact, not a fancy.

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Long-term persistence of immunity after hepatitis B vaccination: A fact, not a fancy. Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2017 Apr 03;13(4):916-917 Authors: Trevisan A Abstract On the basis of an article previously published in the journal regarding immune persistence after hepatitis B vaccination in infancy, I discuss why this persistence is a fact and not a fancy. Immune memory after a primary vaccination series has been widely demonstrated by prompt response to booster doses and the proliferation of T cells secreting IFNγ. In a large cohort of medical students, 79% of subjects were positive for anti-HBs antibodies, and only 1.9% of the subjects had serological evidence of past hepatitis B infection. To prevent severe diseases, such as hepatitis B, it is very important that the majority of the population is vaccinated, especially those employed in health care, as vaccination is the most effective weapon to hepatitis B, which is still widespread worldwide. PMID: 27905837 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Health impact assessment as an instrument to examine the health implications of education policies.

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Health impact assessment as an instrument to examine the health implications of education policies. Public Health. 2017 Apr;145:83-92 Authors: Pharr J, Gakh M, Coughenour C, Clark S Abstract OBJECTIVES: Health impact assessment (HIA) is a systematic process that can be used by public health professionals to examine the potential health effects of a policy, plan, program, or project that originates outside of the health sector. This article presents a case study of how an interdisciplinary team utilized an HIA to analyze the potential health impact of full-day kindergarten (FDK) on communities in Nevada. STUDY DESIGN: Case study. METHODS: With stakeholder and community engagement, we conducted a multistage HIA that included qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, a review of existing literature, and projections. The team considered several pathways through which FDK could impact health in Nevada: (1) school performance; (2) physical development (physical activity and nutrition education); and (3) access to school-based meals and health screenings. RESULTS: Findings indicated that access to FDK could enhance opportunities for Nevada's children to harness school-based services, increase physical activity, and promote nutrition education. In addition, based on existing research that suggests relationships between (1) FDK attendance and 3rd and 5th grade math and reading standardized test scores and (2) 3rd and 5th grade test scores and high school graduation, as well as available state and national data, we estimated that access to FDK could increase high school graduation in Nevada by 499-820 students per year. CONCLUSIONS: This HIA demonstrated that access to FDK could impact both student and adult health in Nevada. Our engagement of public health professionals along with stakeholders and the community in the HIA process demonstrated that HIAs can be an important tool for public health professionals to examine the effects on community health of policies, programs, plans or projects that arise outside of the health sector. PMID: 28359397 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

NICE public health guidance: healthy workplaces

Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview

Authors: Taylor, E., Mulvihill, C., Baillie, N. & Irwin, H.

Source: J Public Health (Oxf) (2017) 39 (1): 215-216. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdw142
Published: 30 December 2016

“It is not the diet; it is the mental part we need help with.” A multilevel analysis of psychological, emotional, and social well-being in obesity.

"It is not the diet; it is the mental part we need help with." A multilevel analysis of psychological, emotional, and social well-being in obesity. Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being. 2017 Dec;12(1):1306421 Authors: Rand K, Vallis M, Aston M, Price S, Piccinini-Vallis H, Rehman L, Kirk SFL Abstract In this research, we explored the psychological, emotional, and social experiences of individuals living with obesity, and perceptions of health care providers. We conducted a theoretical thematic analysis using two theoretical frameworks applied to transcripts from a previous qualitative study. Themes from a mental well-being framework were subsequently categorized under five environmental levels of the Social-Ecological Model (SEM). Key mental well-being themes appeared across all levels of the SEM, except the policy level. For the individual environment, one main theme was food as a coping mechanism and source of emotional distress. In the interpersonal environment, two themes were (a) blame and shame by family members and friends because of their weight and (b) condemnation and lack of support from health professionals. In the organizational environment, one main theme was inadequate support for mental well-being issues in obesity management programmes. In the community environment, one major theme the negative mental well-being impact of the social stigma of obesity. An overarching theme of weight stigma and bias further shaped the predominant themes in each level of the SEM. Addressing weight stigma and bias, and promoting positive mental well-being are two important areas of focus for supportive management of individuals living with obesity. PMID: 28418818 [PubMed - in process]

Nutritional rickets around the world: an update.

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Nutritional rickets around the world: an update. Paediatr Int Child Health. 2017 May;37(2):84-98 Authors: Creo AL, Thacher TD, Pettifor JM, Strand MA, Fischer PR Abstract Worldwide, nutritional rickets continues to be an evolving problem with several causes. This paper provides an updated literature review characterising the prevalence, aetiology, pathophysiology and treatment of nutritional rickets worldwide. A systematic review of articles on nutritional rickets from various geographical regions was undertaken. For each region, key information was extracted, including prevalence, cause of rickets specific to the region, methods of confirming the diagnosis and current treatment and preventive measures. Calcium deficiency continues to be a major cause of rickets in Africa and Asia. Vitamin D deficiency rickets is perhaps increasing in the Americas, Europe and parts of the Middle East. There continues to be a distinct presentation of calcium-predominant versus vitamin D predominant rickets, although there are overlapping features. More careful diagnosis of rickets and reporting of 25-OHD concentrations has improved accurate knowledge of rickets prevalence and better delineated the cause. Nutritional rickets continues to be an evolving and multi-factorial problem worldwide. It is on a spectrum, ranging from isolated vitamin D deficiency to isolated calcium deficiency. Specific areas which require emphasis include a consistent community approach to screening and diagnosis, vitamin D supplementation of infants and at-risk children, prevention of maternal vitamin D deficiency and the provision of calcium in areas with low calcium diets. PMID: 27922335 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Should We Screen for Vitamin D Deficiency?: Grand Rounds Discussion From Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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Should We Screen for Vitamin D Deficiency?: Grand Rounds Discussion From Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Dec 06;165(11):800-807 Authors: Libman H, Malabanan AO, Strewler GJ, Reynolds EE Abstract The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently issued guidelines on screening for vitamin D deficiency. The guidelines were based on randomized trials of vitamin D deficiency screening and treatment, as well as on case-control studies nested within the Women's Health Initiative. The USPSTF concluded that current evidence is insufficient to assess the benefits and harms of screening for vitamin D deficiency in asymptomatic adults. Compared with placebo or no treatment, vitamin D was associated with decreased mortality; however, benefits were no longer seen after trials of institutionalized persons were excluded. Vitamin D treatment was associated with a possible decreased risk for at least 1 fall and the total number of falls per person but not for fractures. None of the studies examined the effects of vitamin D screening versus not screening on clinical outcomes. In this Grand Rounds, 2 prominent endocrinologists debate the issue of screening for vitamin D deficiency in a 55-year-old, asymptomatic, postmenopausal woman. They review the data on which the USPSTF recommendations are based and discuss the potential benefits and risks, as well as the challenges and controversies, of screening for vitamin D deficiency in primary care practice. PMID: 27919096 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]