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Severe COVID-19 outcomes among patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases or transplantation: a population-based matched cohort study

Por: Marozoff · S. · Lu · N. · Loree · J. M. · Xie · H. · Lacaille · D. · Kopec · J. A. · Esdaile · J. · Avina-Zubieta · J. A.
Objectives

To assess the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARDs) and transplant recipients compared with matched general population comparators.

Design

Population-based matched cohort study using administrative health data sets.

Setting

British Columbia, Canada.

Participants

All adults with test-positive SARS-CoV-2 infections. SARS-CoV-2-positive patients with ARDs and those with transplantation were matched to SARS-CoV-2-positive general population comparators on age (±5 years), sex, month/year of initial positive SARS-CoV-2 test and health authority.

Outcome measures

COVID-19-related hospitalisations, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, invasive ventilation and COVID-19-specific mortality. We performed multivariable conditional logistic regression models adjusting for socioeconomic status, Charlson Comorbidity Index, hypertension, rural address and number of previous COVID-19 PCR tests.

Results

Among 6279 patients with ARDs and 222 transplant recipients, all SARS-CoV-2 test positive, risk of hospitalisation was significantly increased among patients with ARDs (overall ARDs (adjusted OR (aOR) 1.30; 95% CI 1.19 to 1.43)); highest within ARDs: adult systemic vasculitides (aOR 2.18; 95% CI 1.17 to 4.05) and transplantation (aOR 10.56; 95% CI 6.88 to 16.22). Odds of ICU admission were significantly increased among patients with ARDs (overall ARDs (aOR 1.30; 95% CI 1.11 to 1.51)); highest within ARDs: ankylosing spondylitis (aOR 2.03; 95% CI 1.18 to 3.50) and transplantation (aOR 8.13; 95% CI 4.76 to 13.91). Odds of invasive ventilation were significantly increased among patients with ARDs (overall ARDs (aOR 1.60; 95% CI 1.27 to 2.01)); highest within ARDs: ankylosing spondylitis (aOR 2.63; 95% CI 1.14 to 6.06) and transplantation (aOR 8.64; 95% CI 3.81 to 19.61). Risk of COVID-19-specific mortality was increased among patients with ARDs (overall ARDs (aOR 1.24; 95% CI 1.05 to 1.47)); highest within ARDs: ankylosing spondylitis (aOR 2.15; 95% CI 1.02 to 4.55) and transplantation (aOR 5.48; 95% CI 2.82 to 10.63).

Conclusions

The risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes is increased in certain patient groups with ARDs or transplantation, although the magnitude differs across individual diseases. Strategies to mitigate risk, such as booster vaccination, prompt diagnosis and early intervention with available therapies, should be prioritised in these groups according to risk.

Epidemiology of uterine fibroid in black African women: a systematic scoping review

Objective

Studies, mainly from high-income countries, suggest that there are ethnic and racial variations in prevalence of uterine fibroids (UF). However, there have been few studies of the epidemiology of UF in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). We reviewed published articles on the epidemiology of UF in SSA.

Design

This was a scoping review of literature.

Settings

We searched three databases (PubMed, African Wide Information (EBSCO) and African Journals OnLine (AJOL)). The search for eligible articles was conducted between December 2019 and January 2021.

Primary and secondary outcome measures

To describe the reported prevalence/incidence of, and risk factors for UF in SSA.

Results

Of the 1052 articles retrieved, 9 met the inclusion criteria for review. The articles were from Nigeria (4/9), Ghana (2/9), Cameroon (1/9), Kenya (1/9) and South Africa (1/9). Two studies from pathology departments and three studies from radiology departments reported prevalence of UF. We did not find any study on the incidence or genomics of UF in SSA. Of the three studies that reported on the risk factors of UF, only one case–control study that was conducted using retrospective data of attendees at a gynaecological clinic conducted multivariable analysis.

Conclusion

There is lack of robust epidemiological studies of the prevalence, incidence and risk factors of UF in SSA. There is urgent need to study epidemiological and genomics risk factors of UF in SSA because UF is the most common gynaecological neoplasm in this population where it is associated with significant morbidity and occasional, usually perioperative, mortality.

Prevalence and heart rate variability characteristics of premature ventricular contractions detected by 24-hour Holter among outpatients with palpitations in China: a cross-sectional study

Por: Dong · Y. · Li · X. · Zheng · W. · Man · Y. · Liu · J. · Yu · P. · Zhang · F. · Yang · B. · Cao · K.
Objective

To analyse the prevalence and heart rate variability (HRV) characteristics of premature ventricular contraction (PVC) detected by 24-hour Holter among Chinese outpatients with palpitations.

Design

A cross-sectional study.

Setting

This study was conducted in a tertiary hospital.

Participants

A total of 4754 outpatients who received 24-hour Holter for palpitations.

Main outcome measures

Prevalence, HRV time-domain and frequency-domain analyses of 24-hour Holter, and echocardiographic parameters were assessed. Propensity score matching (PSM) was applied to balance baseline variables (age, gender) to decrease the bias between comparison groups.

Results

The prevalence of PVC was 67.7% (3220/4754), and was higher in men than women (69.9% vs 66.0%, p=0.004); the prevalence of frequent PVCs (PVC burden≥5%) was 7.7% (368/4754). Older patients had the highest frequency of PVC among all patients. However, among 3220 patients with PVC, younger patients’ PVC burden was much higher. Matched 1:1 by age and gender, the HRV time-domain parameters in patients with PVC were all lower than those in patients without PVC (all p

Conclusions

The prevalence of PVC and frequent PVCs were 67.7% and 7.7%, respectively, detected by 24-hour Holter among Chinese outpatients with palpitations. Decreased HRV time-domain parameters suggested the occurrence of PVC, and increased LF/HF ratio represented the imbalance of autonomic nervous system in patients with frequent PVCs. Further studies are needed to understand the HRV indexes in PVC patients.

Trajectories of asthma symptom presenting as wheezing and their associations with family environmental factors among children in Australia: evidence from a national birth cohort study

Por: Shahunja · K. M. · Sly · P. D. · Chisti · M. J. · Mamun · A.
Objectives

Asthma is one of the greatest health burdens, yet contributors to asthma symptom trajectories are understudied in Australian children. We aimed to assess the trajectories of asthma symptom and their associations with several family environmental factors during the childhood period in Australia.

Design

Secondary analysis from a cross-sequential cohort study.

Setting

Nationwide representative data from the ‘Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC)’.

Participants

Participants from the LSAC birth cohort.

Outcome measures

Asthma symptom trajectory groups.

Methods

Asthma symptom presenting as wheezing, family environmental factors and sociodemographic data (2004–2018) were obtained from the LSAC. Group-based trajectory modelling was applied to identify asthma symptom trajectories and multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess the associations between these and environmental factors.

Results

Of 5107 children in the LSAC cohort, 3846 were included in our final analysis. We identified three distinct asthma symptom trajectories from age 0/1 year to 14/15 years: ‘low/no’ (69%), ‘transient high’ (17%) and ‘persistent high’ (14%). Compared with the ‘low/no’ group, children exposed to ‘moderate and declining’ (relative risk ratio (RRR): 2.22, 95% CI 1.94 to 2.54; RRR: 1.26, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.46) and ‘high and persistent’ prevalence of maternal smoking (RRR: 1.41, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.60; RRR: 1.26, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.44) were at increased risk of being classified into the ‘transient high’ and ‘persistent high’ trajectories of asthma symptom. Persistently bad external dwelling conditions (RRR: 1.27, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.51) were associated with ‘transient high’ trajectory while ‘moderate and increasing’ conditions of cluttered homes (RRR: 1.37, 95% CI 1.20 to 1.56) were associated with ‘persistent high’ trajectory of asthma symptom. Exposure to tobacco smoke inside the house also increased the risk of being in the ‘persistent high’ trajectory group (RRR: 1.30, 95% CI 1.12 to 1.50).

Conclusion

Poor home environment increased the risk of asthma symptom during childhood. Improving home environment and reducing exposure to tobacco smoke may facilitate a favourable asthma symptom trajectory during childhood.

Characteristics of nursing homes and early preventive measures associated with risk of infection from COVID-19 in Lazio region, Italy: a retrospective case-control study

Por: Orlando · S. · Mazhari · T. · Abbondanzieri · A. · Cerone · G. · Ciccacci · F. · Liotta · G. · Mancinelli · S. · Marazzi · M. C. · Palombi · L.
Objectives

To understand which organisational–structural characteristics of nursing homes—also referred to as long-term care facilities (LTCFs)—and the preventative measures adopted in response to the pandemic are associated with the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Setting

LTCFs in Lazio region in Italy.

Design

The study adopts a case–control design.

Participants

We included 141 facilities and 100 provided information for the study. Cases were defined as facilities reporting a COVID-19 outbreak (two or more cases) in March–December 2020; controls were defined as LTCFs reporting one case or zero. The exposures include the structural–organisational characteristics of the LTCFs as reported by the facilities, preventative measures employed and relevant external factors.

Results

Twenty facilities reported an outbreak of COVID-19. In binary logistic regression models, facilities with more than 15 beds were five times more likely to experience an outbreak than facilities with less than 15 beds OR=5.60 (CI 1.61 to 25.12; p value 0.002); admitting new residents to facilities was associated with a substantially higher risk of an outbreak: 6.46 (CI 1.58 to 27.58, p value 0.004). In a multivariable analysis, facility size was the only variable that was significantly associated with a COVID-19 outbreak OR= 5.37 (CI 1.58 to 22.8; p value 0.012) for larger facilities (>15 beds) versus smaller (

Conclusion

There was evidence of a higher risk of COVID-19 in larger facilities and when new patients were admitted during the pandemic. All other structural–organisational characteristics and preventative measures were not associated with an outbreak. This finding calls into question existing policies, especially where there is a risk of harm to residents. One such example is the restriction of visitor access to facilities, resulting in the social isolation of residents.

Non-pharmacological interventions for the prevention of type 2 diabetes in low-income and middle-income countries: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials

Por: Sarker · A. · Das · R. · Ether · S. · Shariful Islam · M. · Saif-Ur-Rahman · K. M.
Objective

Diabetes poses serious health threats and economic burdens to patients, especially in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs). This systematic review searches for non-pharmacological interventions for the prevention of type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) among patients who are non-diabetic and pre-diabetic from LMICs.

Settings

LMICs.

Participants

Adult population aged over 18 years without having diabetes.

Primary and secondary outcomes

Primary outcome is to measure the change in the incidence of T2DM. The secondary outcome is to measure changes in glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) level, weight/body mass index (BMI), fasting glucose level and 2-hour glucose from baseline of the included randomised controlled trials.

Methods

This review has been conducted following the standard systematic review guidelines. A total of six electronic databases including MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Library, Web of Science, ClinicalTrials.gov and International Clinical Trials Registry Platform were searched in February 2021 using a comprehensive search strategy.

Two sets of independent reviewers performed screening, risk of bias (ROB) assessment using the Cochrane ROB tool and data extraction. Narrative coalescence of selected articles was demonstrated using tables. No meta-analysis was performed due to the lack of homogenous intervention strategies and study settings.

Result

A total of five studies were included for the review with a combined population of 1734 from three countries. Three of the studies showed a significant reduction in T2DM incidence after the intervention of physical training and dietary modifications. Four of the studies also demonstrated a significant reduction of different secondary outcomes like weight, BMI, fasting and 2-hour plasma glucose and HbA1c. All the studies demonstrated a low ROB in most of the bias assessment domains with some unclear results in allocation concealments.

Conclusions

Emphasising non-pharmacological interventions for T2DM prevention can improve health outcomes and lessen the economic burdens, which will be of paramount importance in LMICs.

Systematic review registration number

CRD42020191507

Risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection among front-line healthcare workers in Northeast Brazil: a respondent-driven sampling approach

Objectives

We assessed the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection, personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages and occurrence of biological accidents among front-line healthcare workers (HCW).

Design, setting and participants

Using respondent-driven sampling, the study recruited distinct categories of HCW attending suspected or confirmed patients with COVID-19 from May 2020 to February 2021, in the Recife metropolitan area, Northeast Brazil.

Outcome measures

The criterion to assess SARS-CoV-2 infection among HCW was a positive self-reported PCR test.

Results

We analysed 1525 HCW: 527 physicians, 471 registered nurses, 263 nursing assistants and 264 physical therapists. Women predominated in all categories (81.1%; 95% CI: 77.8% to 84.1%). Nurses were older with more comorbidities (hypertension and overweight/obesity) than the other staff. The overall prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection was 61.8% (95% CI: 55.7% to 67.5%) after adjustment for the cluster random effect, weighted by network, and the reference population size. Risk factors for a positive RT-PCR test were being a nursing assistant (OR adjusted: 2.56; 95% CI: 1.42 to 4.61), not always using all recommended PPE while assisting patients with COVID-19 (OR adj: 2.15; 95% CI: 1.02 to 4.53) and reporting a splash of biological fluid/respiratory secretion in the eyes (OR adj: 3.37; 95% CI: 1.10 to 10.34).

Conclusions

This study shows the high frequency of SARS-CoV2 infection among HCW presumably due to workplace exposures. In our setting, nursing assistant comprised the most vulnerable category. Our findings highlight the need for improving healthcare facility environments, specific training and supervision to cope with public health emergencies.

Effects of social determinants on childrens health in informal settlements in Bangladesh and Kenya through an intersectionality lens: a study protocol

Por: Kibuchi · E. · Barua · P. · Chumo · I. · Teixeira de Siqueira Filha · N. · Phillips-Howard · P. · Mithu · M. I. H. · Kabaria · C. · Quayyum · Z. · Whittaker · L. · Dean · L. · Forsyth · R. · Selim · T. · Aktar · B. · Sai · V. · Garimella · S. · Saidu · S. · Gandi · I. · Josyula · L. K. · M
Introduction

Several studies have shown that residents of urban informal settlements/slums are usually excluded and marginalised from formal social systems and structures of power leading to disproportionally worse health outcomes compared to other urban dwellers. To promote health equity for slum dwellers, requires an understanding of how their lived realities shape inequities especially for young children 0–4 years old (ie, under-fives) who tend to have a higher mortality compared with non-slum children. In these proposed studies, we aim to examine how key Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) factors at child and household levels combine to affect under-five health conditions, who live in slums in Bangladesh and Kenya through an intersectionality lens.

Methods and analysis

The protocol describes how we will analyse data from the Nairobi Cross-sectional Slum Survey (NCSS 2012) for Kenya and the Urban Health Survey (UHS 2013) for Bangladesh to explore how SDoH influence under-five health outcomes in slums within an intersectionality framework. The NCSS 2012 and UHS 2013 samples will consist of 2199 and 3173 under-fives, respectively. We will apply Multilevel Analysis of Individual Heterogeneity and Discriminatory Accuracy approach. Some of SDoH characteristics to be considered will include those of children, head of household, mothers and social structure characteristics of household. The primary outcomes will be whether a child had diarrhoea, cough, fever and acute respiratory infection (ARI) 2 weeks preceding surveys.

Ethics and dissemination

The results will be disseminated in international peer-reviewed journals and presented in events organised by the Accountability and Responsiveness in Informal Settlements for Equity consortium and international conferences. Ethical approval was not required for these studies. Access to the NCSS 2012 has been given by Africa Population and Health Center and UHS 2013 is freely available.

Reactive arthritis incidence in a community cohort following a large waterborne campylobacteriosis outbreak in Havelock North, New Zealand

Por: Walker · T. A. · Grainger · R. · Quirke · T. · Roos · R. · Sherwood · J. · Mackereth · G. · Kiedrzynski · T. · Eyre · R. · Paine · S. · Wood · T. · Jagroop · A. · Baker · M. G. · Jones · N.
Objectives

In August 2016, Campylobacter spp contaminated an untreated reticulated water supply resulting in a large-scale gastroenteritis outbreak affecting an estimated 8320 people. We aimed to determine the incidence of probable reactive arthritis (ReA) cases in individuals with culture-confirmed campylobacteriosis (CC), self-reported probable campylobacteriosis (PC) and those reporting no diarrhoea (ND).

Design

We conducted a retrospective cohort study to identify incidence of probable ReA cases. We identified cases with new ReA symptoms using an adapted acute ReA (AReA) telephone questionnaire. Those reporting ≥1 symptom underwent a telephone interview with the study rheumatologist. Probable ReA was defined as spontaneous onset of pain suggestive of inflammatory arthritis in ≥1 previously asymptomatic joint for ≥3 days occurring ≤12 weeks after outbreak onset.

Setting

Population-based epidemiological study in Havelock North, New Zealand.

Participants

We enrolled notified CC cases with gastroenteritis symptom onsets 5 August 2016–6 September 2016 and conducted a telephone survey of households supplied by the contaminated water source to enrol PC and ND cases.

Results

One hundred and six (47.3%) CC, 47 (32.6%) PC and 113 (34.3%) ND cases completed the AReA telephone questionnaire. Of those reporting ≥1 new ReA symptom, 45 (75.0%) CC, 13 (68.4%) PC and 14 (82.4%) ND cases completed the rheumatologist telephone interview. Nineteen CC, 4 PC and 2 ND cases developed probable ReA, resulting in minimum incidences of 8.5%, 2.8% and 0.6% and maximum incidences of 23.9%, 12.4% and 2.15%.

Discussion

We describe high probable ReA incidences among gastroenteritis case types during a very large Campylobacter gastroenteritis outbreak using a resource-efficient method that is feasible to employ in future outbreaks.

Association of functional health literacy and cognitive ability with self-reported diabetes in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing: a prospective cohort study

Por: Fawns-Ritchie · C. · Price · J. · Deary · I. J.
Objectives

We investigated whether functional health literacy and cognitive ability were associated with self-reported diabetes.

Design

Prospective cohort study.

Setting

Data were from waves 2 (2004–2005) to 7 (2014–2015) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), a cohort study designed to be representative of adults aged 50 years and older living in England.

Participants

8669 ELSA participants (mean age=66.7, SD=9.7) who completed a brief functional health literacy test assessing health-related reading comprehension, and 4 cognitive tests assessing declarative memory, processing speed and executive function at wave 2.

Primary outcome measure

Self-reported doctor diagnosis of diabetes.

Results

Logistic regression was used to examine cross-sectional (wave 2) associations of functional health literacy and cognitive ability with diabetes status. Adequate (compared with limited) functional health literacy (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.61 to 0.84) and higher cognitive ability (OR per 1 SD=0.73, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.80) were associated with lower odds of self-reporting diabetes at wave 2. Cox regression was used to test the associations of functional health literacy and cognitive ability measured at wave 2 with self-reporting diabetes over a median of 9.5 years follow-up (n=6961). Adequate functional health literacy (HR 0.64; 95% CI 0.53 to 0.77) and higher cognitive ability (HR 0.77, 95% CI 0.69 to 0.85) at wave 2 were associated with lower risk of self-reporting diabetes during follow-up. When both functional health literacy and cognitive ability were added to the same model, these associations were slightly attenuated. Additionally adjusting for health behaviours and body mass index fully attenuated cross-sectional associations between functional health literacy and cognitive ability with diabetes status, and partly attenuated associations between functional health literacy and cognitive ability with self-reporting diabetes during follow-up.

Conclusions

Adequate functional health literacy and better cognitive ability were independently associated with lower likelihood of reporting diabetes.

Protocol on establishing a prospective enhanced surveillance of vaccine preventable diseases in residential aged care facilities in Central Queensland, Australia: an observational study

Por: Hashan · M. R. · Chapman · G. · Walker · J. · Jayne Davidson · S. · Auriac · J. · Smoll · N. · Kirk · M. · Akbar · D. · Booy · R. · Khandaker · G.
Introduction

Infectious diseases are a major cause of mortality and morbidity among the highly vulnerable occupants of residential aged care facilities (RACFs). The burden of vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) among RACFs residents is mostly unknown and there is a lack of quality data from population-based prospective VPD surveillance in RACFs. The increasing burden of emerging and existing VPDs (eg, COVID-19, influenza, pneumococcal, pertussis and varicella-zoster) necessitates the establishment of an active enhanced surveillance system to provide real-time evidence to devise strategies to reduce the burden of VPDs in RACFs.

Method and analysis

This study proposes a prospective active enhanced surveillance that will be implemented in RACFs across the Central Queensland (CQ) region. The study aims to measure the burden, identify aetiologies, risk factors, predictors of severe outcomes (eg, hospitalisations, mortality) and impact of the existing National Immunization Program (NIP) funded vaccines in preventing VPDs in this vulnerable population. CQ Public Health Unit (CQPHU) will implement the active surveillance by collecting demographic, clinical, pathological, diagnostic, therapeutic and clinical outcome data from the RACFs based on predefined selection criteria and case report forms as per routine public health practices. Descriptive statistics, univariate and multivariate regression analysis will be conducted to identify the predictors of morbidity and clinical outcomes following infection.

Ethics and dissemination

The study has been approved by the CQHHS Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) (reference number HREC/2021/QCQ/74305). This study involves data that is routinely collected as part of the surveillance of notifiable conditions under the Public Health Act 2005. The CQHHS HREC approved a request to waive consent requirements of study participants as researchers will be provided non-identifiable data. The findings from the study will be actively disseminated through publication in peer-reviewed journals, conference presentations, social and print media, federal, state, and local authorities to reflect on the results that may facilitate revision of policy and highlight the stakeholders, funding bodies both locally and internationally.

Cohort profile: the multigeneration Respiratory Health in Northern Europe, Spain and Australia (RHINESSA) cohort

Por: Svanes · C. · Johannessen · A. · Bertelsen · R. J. · Dharmage · S. · Benediktsdottir · B. · Brabäck · L. · Gislason · T. · Holm · M. · Jogi · O. · Lodge · C. J. · Malinovschi · A. · Martinez-Moratalla · J. · Oudin · A. · Sanchez-Ramos · J. L. · Timm · S. · Janson · C. · Real · F. G.
Purpose

The Respiratory Health in Northern Europe, Spain and Australia (RHINESSA) cohort was established to (1) investigate how exposures before conception and in previous generations influence health and disease, particularly allergies and respiratory health, (2) identify susceptible time windows and (3) explore underlying mechanisms. The ultimate aim is to facilitate efficient intervention strategies targeting multiple generations.

Participants

RHINESSA includes study participants of multiple generations from ten study centres in Norway (1), Denmark (1), Sweden (3), Iceland (1), Estonia (1), Spain (2) and Australia (1). The RHINESSA core cohort, adult offspring generation 3 (G3), was first investigated in 2014–17 in a questionnaire study (N=8818, age 18–53 years) and a clinical study (subsample, n=1405). Their G2 parents participated in the population-based cohorts, European Community Respiratory Heath Survey and Respiratory Health In Northern Europe, followed since the early 1990s when they were 20–44 years old, at 8–10 years intervals. Study protocols are harmonised across generations.

Findings to date

Collected data include spirometry, skin prick tests, exhaled nitric oxide, anthropometrics, bioimpedance, blood pressure; questionnaire/interview data on respiratory/general/reproductive health, indoor/outdoor environment, smoking, occupation, general characteristics and lifestyle; biobanked blood, urine, gingival fluid, skin swabs; measured specific and total IgE, DNA methylation, sex hormones and oral microbiome. Research results suggest that parental environment years before conception, in particular, father’s exposures such as smoking and overweight, may be of key importance for asthma and lung function, and that there is an important susceptibility window in male prepuberty. Statistical analyses developed to approach causal inference suggest that these associations may be causal. DNA methylation studies suggest a mechanism for transfer of father’s exposures to offspring health and disease through impact on offspring DNA methylation.

Future plans

Follow-up is planned at 5–8 years intervals, first in 2021–2023. Linkage with health registries contributes to follow-up of the cohort.

Study protocol for an epidemiological study 'Multimorbidity - identifying the most burdensome patterns, risk factors and potentials to reduce future burden (MOLTO) based on the Finnish health examination surveys and the ongoing register-based follow-up

Por: Jääskeläinen · T. · Koponen · P. · Lundqvist · A. · Suvisaari · J. · Järvelin · J. · Koskinen · S.
Introduction

Multimorbidity, defined as the co-occurrence of two or more long-term medical conditions, is an increasing public health concern worldwide causing enormous burden to individuals, healthcare systems and societies. The most effective way of decreasing the burden caused by multimorbidity is to find tools for its successful prevention but gaps in research evidence limit capacities to develop prevention strategies. The aim of the MOLTO study (Multimorbidity - identifying the most burdensome patterns, risk factors and potentials to reduce future burden) is to provide novel evidence required for cost-effective prevention of multimorbidity by defining the multimorbidity patterns causing the greatest burden at the population level, by examining their risk and protective factors and by estimating the potentials to reduce the future burden.

Methods and analysis

The MOLTO study is based on the data from the Finnish population-based cross-sectional (FINRISK 2002–2012, FinHealth 2017 the Migrant Health and Well-being Study 2010–2012) and longitudinal (Health 2000/2011) health examination surveys with individual-level link to administrative health registers, allowing register-based follow-up for the study participants. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs will be used. Multimorbidity patterns will be defined using latent class analysis. The burden caused by multimorbidity as well as risk and protective factors for multimorbidity will be analysed by survival analysis methods such as Cox proportional hazards and Poisson regression models.

Ethics and dissemination

The survey data have been collected following the legislation at the time of the survey. The ethics committee of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa has approved the data collection and register linkages for each survey. The results will be published as peer-reviewed scientific publications.

Understanding geographical variations in health system performance: a population-based study on preventable childhood hospitalisations

Por: Silwal · P. R. · Exeter · D. · Tenbensel · T. · Lee · A.
Objective

To investigate interdistrict variations in childhood ambulatory sensitive hospitalisation (ASH) over the years.

Design

Observational population-based study over 2008–2018 using the Primary Health Organisation Enrolment Collection (PHO) and the National Minimum Dataset hospital events databases.

Setting

New Zealand primary and secondary care.

Participants

All children aged 0–4 years enrolled in the PHO Enrolment Collection from 2008 to 2018.

Main outcome measure

ASH.

Results

Only 1.4% of the variability in the risk of having childhood ASH (intracluster correlation coefficient=0.014) is explained at the level of District Health Board (DHB), with the median OR of 1.23. No consistent time trend was observed for the adjusted childhood ASH at the national level, but the DHBs demonstrated different trajectories over the years. Ethnicity (being a Pacific child) followed by deprivation demonstrated stronger relationships with childhood ASH than the geography and the health system input variables.

Conclusion

The variation in childhood ASH is explained only minimal at the DHB level. The sociodemographic variables also only partly explained the variations. Unlike the general ASH measure, the childhood ASH used in this analysis provides insights into the acute conditions sensitive to primary care services. However, further information would be required to conclude this as the DHB-level performance variations.

Missing Piece Study protocol: prospective surveillance to determine the epidemiology of group A streptococcal pharyngitis and impetigo in remote Western Australia

Por: Barth · D. D. · Mullane · M. J. · Sampson · C. · Chou · C. · Pickering · J. · Nicol · M. P. · Davies · M. R. · Carapetis · J. · Bowen · A. C.
Introduction

Group A β-haemolytic Streptococcus (GAS), a Gram-positive bacterium, causes skin, mucosal and systemic infections. Repeated GAS infections can lead to autoimmune diseases acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia have the highest rates of ARF and RHD in the world. Despite this, the contemporaneous prevalence and incidence of GAS pharyngitis and impetigo in remote Australia remains unknown. To address this, we have designed a prospective surveillance study of GAS pharyngitis and impetigo to collect coincident contemporary evidence to inform and enhance primary prevention strategies for ARF.

Methods and analysis

The Missing Piece Study aims to document the epidemiology of GAS pharyngitis and impetigo through collection of clinical, serological, microbiological and bacterial genomic data among remote-living Australian children. The study comprises two components: (1) screening of all children at school for GAS pharyngitis and impetigo up to three times a year and (2) weekly active surveillance visits to detect new cases of pharyngitis and impetigo. Environmental swabbing in remote schools will be included, to inform environmental health interventions. In addition, the application of new diagnostic technologies, microbiome analysis and bacterial genomic evaluations will enhance primary prevention strategies, having direct bearing on clinical care, vaccine development and surveillance for vaccine clinical trials.

Ethics and dissemination

Ethical approval has been obtained from the Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (Ref: 892) and Human Research Ethics Committee of the University of Western Australia (Ref: RA/4/20/5101). Study findings will be shared with community members, teachers and children at participating schools, together with academic and medical services. Sharing findings in an appropriate manner is important and will be done in a suitable way which includes plain language summaries and presentations. Finally, findings and updates will also be disseminated to collaborators, researchers and health planners through peer-reviewed journal publications.

COVID-19 seroprevalence in Pakistan: a cross-sectional study

Por: Ahmad · A. M. · Shahzad · K. · Masood · M. · Umar · M. · Abbasi · F. · Hafeez · A.
Objectives

This study adapted WHO’s Unity Study’ protocol to estimate the population prevalence of antibodies to SARS CoV-2 and risk factors for developing SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Design

This population-based, age-stratified cross-sectional study was conducted at the level of households (HH).

Participants

All ages and genders were eligible for the study (exclusion criteria: contraindications to venipuncture- however, no such case was encountered). 4998 HH out of 6599 consented (1 individual per HH). The proportion of male and female study participants was similar.

Primary and secondary outcome measures

Following were the measured outcome measures- these were different from the planned indicators (i.e. two out of the three planned indicators were measured) due to operational reasons and time constraints: -

Primary indicators: Seroprevalence (population and age specific).

Secondary indicators: Population groups most at risk for SARS-CoV-2-infection.

Results

Overall seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies was 7.1%. 6.3% of individuals were IgG positive while IgM positivity was 1.9%. Seroprevalence in districts ranged from 0% (Ghotki) to 17% (Gilgit). The seroprevalence among different age groups ranged from 3.9% (0–9 years) to 10.1% (40–59 years). There were no significant differences in the overall seroprevalence for males and females. A history of contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, urban residence and mask use were key risk factors for developing SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Conclusions

This survey provides useful estimates for seroprevalence in the general population and information on risk factors for developing SARS-CoV-2 infection in the country. It is premised that similar studies need to be replicated at the population level on a regular basis to monitor the disease and immunity patterns related to COVID-19.

Rheumatoid interstitial lung disease in Canterbury New Zealand: prevalence, risk factors and long-term outcomes--protocol for a population-based retrospective study

Por: Farquhar · H. · Beckert · L. · Edwards · A. · Matteson · E. L. · Thiessen · R. · Ganly · E. · Stamp · L. K.
Introduction

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects approximately 0.5%–1% of the general population. Clinically significant interstitial lung diseases (ILD) develops in just under 10% of people with RA, and subclinical disease is more common. Little is known about RA-ILD in New Zealand (NZ), or the number of persons with RA in Canterbury, NZ. This study aims to determine: (1) incidence and prevalence of RA, (2) incidence and prevalence of RA-ILD, (3) clinical characteristics and risk factors for the development of RA-ILD, (4) long-term outcomes of RA-ILD, in the population resident within the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) catchment area.

Methods and analysis

Persons aged 18 years of age and older, and resident in the region covered by the CDHB with RA as well as RA-ILD will be identified by retrospective review of medical records. Prevalent as well as incident cases of RA between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2008 and between 1 January 2011 and 31 December 2013 will be identified, and followed until 30 June 2019. Existing as well as incident cases of RA-ILD during this time will be identified. The association between the development of ILD and clinical characteristics and environmental exposures will be examined using Cox-proportional hazard models. Kaplan-Meier methods will be used to estimate survival rates for patients with RA-ILD. Mortality for people with RA and RA-ILD will also be compared with the general population of the CDHB.

Ethics and dissemination

Data will be obtained by retrospective review of medical records. Deidentified patient data will be stored in a secure online database. Data on individual patients will not be released, and all results will only be published in aggregate. Ethical approval has been obtained from the University of Otago Human Research Ethics Committee (REF HD18/079). Results will be published in peer-reviewed medical journals and presented at conferences.

Trial registration number

ACTRN12619001310156; Pre-results.

Potentially avoidable causes of hospitalisation in people with dementia: contemporaneous associations by stage of dementia in a South London clinical cohort

Por: Gungabissoon · U. · Perera · G. · Galwey · N. W. · Stewart · R.
Objectives

To estimate the frequency of all-cause and ambulatory care sensitive condition (ACSCs)-related hospitalisations among individuals with dementia. In addition, to investigate differences by stage of dementia based on recorded cognitive function.

Setting

Data from a large London dementia care clinical case register, linked to a national hospitalisation database.

Participants

Individuals aged ≥65 years with a confirmed dementia diagnosis with recorded cognitive function.

Outcome measures

Acute general hospital admissions were evaluated within 6 months of a randomly selected cognitive function score in patients with a clinical diagnosis of dementia. To evaluate associations between ACSC-related hospital admissions (overall and individual ACSCs) and stage of dementia, an ordinal regression was performed, modelling stage of dementia as the dependant variable (to facilitate efficient model selection, with no implication concerning the direction of causality).

Results

Of the 5294 people with dementia, 2993 (56.5%) had at least one hospitalisation during a 12-month period of evaluation, and 1192 (22.5%) had an ACSC-related admission. Proportions with an all-cause or ACSC-related hospitalisation were greater in the groups with more advanced dementia (all-cause 53.9%, 57.1% and 60.9%, p 0.002; ACSC-related 19.5%, 24.0% and 25.3%, p

Conclusions

Potentially avoidable hospitalisations were common in people with dementia, particularly in those with greater cognitive impairment. Our results call for greater attention to the extent of cognitive status impairment, and not just dementia diagnosis, when evaluating measures to reduce the risk of potentially avoidable hospitalisations.

Sustainable UNiversity Life (SUN) study: protocol for a prospective cohort study of modifiable risk and prognostic factors for mental health problems and musculoskeletal pain among university students

Por: Edlund · K. · Sundberg · T. · Johansson · F. · Onell · C. · Rudman · A. · Holm · L. W. · Grotle · M. · Jensen · I. · Cote · P. · Skillgate · E.
Introduction

Mental health problems and musculoskeletal pain are common health problems among young adults including students. Little is known about the aetiology and prognosis of these problems in university students. We aim to determine the role of personal, sociodemographic, academic and environmental factors for risk and prognosis of symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress as well as musculoskeletal pain in university students. The constructs that will be studied are based on the biopsychosocial model and psychopathology associated with disabling pain. This model acknowledges illness to consist of interrelated mechanisms categorised into biological, psychological, environmental and social cues.

Methods and analysis

This cohort study aims to recruit around 5000 Swedish full-time students. Data will be collected using five online surveys during one academic year. A subgroup (n=1851) of the cohort, recruited before the COVID-19 pandemic, receive weekly text messages with three short questions assessing mood, worry and pain, sent through the web-based platform SMS-track . Statistical analyses will include Kaplan-Meier estimates, Cox regression analyses, multinomial logistic regression analyses and generalised estimating equations. We will assess effect measure modification when relevant and conduct sensitivity analyses to assess the impact of lost to follow-up.

Protocol amendments

Due to opportunity and timing of the study, with relevance to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, this study further aims to address mental health problems, musculoskeletal pain and lifestyle in university students before and during the pandemic.

Ethics and dissemination

The Sustainable UNiversity Life study was approved by the Swedish ethics authority (2019-03276; 2020-01449). Results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed research papers, reports, research conferences, student theses and stakeholder communications.

Trial registration number

NCT04465435.

Modifiable cardiovascular disease risk factors among adults in southern Ethiopia: a community-based cross-sectional study

Por: Kumma · W. P. · Lindtjorn · B. · Loha · E.
Objective

To assess the prevalence, magnitude and factors associated with the number of major modifiable cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors.

Design

Community-based cross-sectional study.

Setting

General population in urban and rural Wolaita, southern Ethiopia.

Participants

A total of 2483 adults aged 25–64 years were selected using the three-stage random sampling.

Outcome measures

Prevalence of major modifiable CVD risk factors, co-occurrences and the number of modifiable CVD risk factors.

Results

The major modifiable CVD risk factors documented in the Wolaita area were smoking with a weighted prevalence of 0.8%, hypercholesterolaemia 5.0%, hypertriglyceridaemia 15.5%, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) 31.3%, high systolic blood pressure 22.2%, high diastolic blood pressure 22.4%, physical inactivity 44.1%, obesity 2.8% and hyperglycaemia 3.7%. The numbers of participants having ≥1, ≥2 and ≥3 major modifiable CVD risk factors in the study area were 2013, 1201 and 576 with a weighted prevalence of 75.8%, 42.3% and 19.4%, respectively. In general, there were 28 different combinations of major modifiable CVD risk factor co-occurrences. The combination of physical inactivity with low HDL-C was found in 19.7% of the study participants, followed by physical inactivity with hypertension of 17.8%. Urban residence, male gender, sugar-sweetened food consumption and older age had a positive association with the number of major modifiable CVD risk factors, while being a farmer had a negative association.

Conclusions

The prevalence and magnitude of major modifiable CVD risk factors in the study area were high. The components of the most prevalent combinations of major modifiable CVD risk factors should be targeted. Therefore, public health measures against major modifiable CVD risk factors such as promotion of physical exercise and reduction of sugar-sweetened food consumption have to be taken, targeting the vulnerable groups such as urban residents and older age.

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