ResearchPad - Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Easy to Perform Physical Performance Tests to Identify COPD Patients with Low Physical Activity in Clinical Practice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N7893c44a-0acb-4251-a3a1-e288d8f5fcd5

### Background

The study investigates which physical performance or muscle function/mass tests significantly correlate with objectively measured physical activity (PA) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and could potentially serve to identify physically inactive COPD patients in routine clinical practice.

### Methods

A cross-sectional, observational study was conducted in outpatients with moderate to very severe COPD. PA was measured during one week with the StepWatch Activity Monitor®, an ankle-worn accelerometer, and expressed in steps per day. Physical fitness and peripheral muscle function/mass were evaluated by the 4-meter gait speed (4MGS) test, the 6-minute walk distance (6MWD), the 30-second chair stand test (30sCST), the timed up and go test (TUGT), handgrip strength, arm muscle area, calf circumference, the fat-free mass index (FFMI), and ultrasound measurement of the quadriceps muscle. Spearman’s rank correlation analysis and ROC analysis were performed.

### Results

The study population (N=111, 69% men, mean age 68 years) walked a mean of 8059 steps/day. The daily step count strongly correlated with the 6MWD (rho=0.684, p<0.001) and moderately with the 4MGS (rho=0.464, p<0.001), the TUGT (rho= −0.463, p<0.001), and the 30sCST (rho=0.402, p<0.001). The correlation with the FFMI was weak (rho=0.210, p=0.027), while the other parameters did not significantly correlate with the daily step count. The 6MWD had the best discriminative power to identify patients with very low PA defined as <5000 steps/day (AUC=0.802 [95% CI: 0.720–0.884], p<0.001), followed by the TUGT, the 4MGS, and the 30sCST.

### Conclusion

The 6MWD, the 4MGS, the TUGT, and the 30sCST are easy to perform in any clinical setting and may be used by clinicians in the screening of physically inactive COPD patients.

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<![CDATA[Clinical Significance of Bronchodilator Responsiveness Evaluated by Forced Vital Capacity in COPD: SPIROMICS Cohort Analysis [Corrigendum]]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Ne6aecc8c-6f9d-4300-bf6a-e574401cd20f ]]> <![CDATA[International Classification of Functioning in professional rehabilitation: instruments for assessing work disability]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N6f15b292-dd2c-4c28-9992-eaaeaa28ed72

## ABSTRACT

### OBJECTIVE

To review the main instruments of functional assessment and health status cited in the literature to evaluate Brazilian workers and verify the compatibility of their items with the core set for professional rehabilitation.

### METHODS

A review of the literature was conducted in the main databases in search of articles that used assessment instruments in populations of workers between 2007 and 2017. Subsequently, the contents of the identified instruments were retrieved, and two evaluators analyzed their items to verify the compatibility with the categories of the core set of the International Classification of Functioning for professional rehabilitation. Cohen’s kappa coefficient was used to evaluate the agreement between the evaluators.

### RESULTS

Five specific and eight generic instruments were selected to evaluate the functioning of workers. The analysis of the items of the total instruments allowed the definition of 58 categories (64.5%) of the core set with minimal overlap: 13 (76.5%) of the body functions component, 29 (72.5%) of the activities and participation component and 16 (49%) environmental factors.

### CONCLUSIONS

The association of several instruments requires time and makes it difficult to use the classification. The development of instruments with direct association with its categories is essential to operationalize it.

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<![CDATA[Security Risk Assessment of Healthcare Web Application Through Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System: A Design Perspective]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N7e2a13fb-b843-4d08-b0de-fcd2ba5c0784

### Introduction

The imperative need for ensuring optimal security of healthcare web applications cannot be overstated. Security practitioners are consistently working at improvising on techniques to maximise security along with the longevity of healthcare web applications. In this league, it has been observed that assessment of security risks through soft computing techniques during the development of web application can enhance the security of healthcare web applications to a great extent.

### Methods

This study proposes the identification of security risks and their assessment during the development of the web application through adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS). In this article, firstly, the security risk factors involved during healthcare web application development have been identified. Thereafter, these security risks have been evaluated by using the ANFIS technique. This research also proposes a fuzzy regression model.

### Results

The results have been compared with those of ANFIS, and the ANFIS model is found to be more acceptable for the estimation of security risks during the healthcare web application development.

### Conclusion

The proposed approach can be applied by the healthcare web application developers and experts to avoid the security risk factors during healthcare web application development for enhancing the healthcare data security.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of Characteristics Between ICS-Treated COPD Patients and ICS-Treated COPD Patients with Concomitant Asthma: A Study in Primary Care]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=Nadf11f1f-3b1e-4775-ab93-d3de2ac444ea

### Background and Objective

Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) for COPD has been much debated. Our aim was to identify characteristics associated with prescribing ICS for patients with COPD alone compared to those with concomitant asthma in general practice.

### Patients and Methods

Participating general practitioners (GPs) (n=144) recruited patients with COPD (ICPC 2nd ed. code R95) currently prescribed ICS (ACT code R03AK and R03BA). Data, if available, on demographics, smoking habits, spirometry, COPD medication, dyspnea score, and exacerbation history were retrieved from the medical records. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify possible differences in characteristics between patients with COPD alone compared to those having a concomitant diagnosis of asthma.

### Results

A total of 2.289 (45% males) COPD patients on ICS were recruited. Compared to patients with COPD alone (n=1.749), those with COPD and concomitant asthma (n=540) were younger (p<0.001), had higher BMI, higher FEV1/FVC ratio, higher blood eosinophil count and less life-time tobacco exposure (36 and 26 pack-years, respectively). Compared to COPD alone, logistic regression analysis showed that COPD with concomitant asthma was significantly associated to age (OR 0.94; CI 0.92 to 0.97; p<0.001), pack-years of smoking (OR 0.98; CI 0.97 to 0.99; p<0.001), [TeX:] \documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage[substack]{amsmath} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage[mathscr]{eucal} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \DeclareFontFamily{T1}{linotext}{} \DeclareFontShape{T1}{linotext}{m}{n} {linotext }{} \DeclareSymbolFont{linotext}{T1}{linotext}{m}{n} \DeclareSymbolFontAlphabet{\mathLINOTEXT}{linotext} \begin{document} $${\rm{FE}}{{\rm{V}}_1}$$ \end{document}%pred (OR 1.02; CI 1.00 to 1.03; p=0.005), and doctor-diagnosed depression (OR 2.59; CI 1.20 to 5.58; p=0.015).

### Conclusion

In COPD patients currently prescribed ICS, the presence of concomitant asthma was associated with being younger, having less tobacco exposure, more preserved lung function and a higher likelihood of doctor-diagnosed depression compared to COPD alone.

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<![CDATA[Health belief model for coronavirus infection risk determinants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=N11244303-a777-4953-859b-1ccd4b8c6fb4

## ABSTRACT

### OBJECTIVE

To use the advantages of a ratio scale with verbal anchors in order to measure the risk perception in the novel coronavirus infection, which causes covid-19, in a health belief model-based questionnaire, as well as its validity and reproducibility.

### METHOD

We used the health belief model, which explores four dimensions: perceived susceptibility (five questions), perceived severity (five questions), perceived benefits (five questions), and perceived barriers (five questions). Additionally, we included a fifth dimension, called pro-health motivation (four questions). The questions composed an electronic questionnaire disseminated by social networks for an one-week period. Answers were quantitative values of subjective representations, obtained by a psychophysically constructed scale with verbal anchors ratio (CentiMax ® ). Mean time for total filling was 12 minutes (standard deviation = 1.6).

### RESULTS

We obtained 277 complete responses to the form. One was excluded because it belonged to a participant under 18 years old. Reproducibility measures were significant for 22 of the 24 questions in our questionnaire (Cronbach’s α = 0.883). Convergent validity was attested by Spearman-Brown’s split half reliability coefficient (r = 0.882). Significant differences among groups were more intense in perceived susceptibility and severity dimensions, and less in perceived benefits and barriers.

### CONCLUSION

Our health belief model-based questionnaire using quantitative measures enabled the confirmation of popular beliefs about covid-19 infection risks. The advantage in our approach lays in the possibility of quickly, directly and quantitatively identifying individual belief profiles for each dimension in the questionnaire, serving as a great ally for communication processes and public health education.

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<![CDATA[Addressing the most neglected diseases through an open research model: The discovery of fenarimols as novel drug candidates for eumycetoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5b59b715463d7e79e6a10046

Eumycetoma is a chronic infectious disease characterized by a large subcutaneous mass, often caused by the fungus Madurella mycetomatis. A combination of surgery and prolonged medication is needed to treat this infection with a success rate of only 30%. There is, therefore, an urgent need to find more effective drugs for the treatment of this disease. In this study, we screened 800 diverse drug-like molecules and identified 215 molecules that were active in vitro. Minimal inhibitory concentrations were determined for the 13 most active compounds. One of the most potent compounds, a fenarimol analogue for which a large analogue library is available, led to the screening of an additional 35 compounds for their in vitro activity against M. mycetomatis hyphae, rendering four further hit compounds. To assess the in vivo potency of these hit compounds, a Galleria mellonella larvae model infected with M. mycetomatis was used. Several of the compounds identified in vitro demonstrated promising efficacy in vivo in terms of prolonged larval survival and/or reduced fungal burden. The results presented in this paper are the starting point of an Open Source Mycetoma (MycetOS) approach in which members of the global scientific community are invited to participate and contribute as equal partners. We hope that this initiative, coupled with the promising new hits we have reported, will lead to progress in drug discovery for this most neglected of neglected tropical diseases.

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### Background

The EQ-5D is a widely used preference-based instrument to measure health-related quality of life. Some methodological drawbacks of its three-level version (EQ-5D-3L) prompted development of a new format (EQ-5D-5L). There is no clear evidence that the new format outperforms the standard version.

### Objective

The objective of this study was to make a head-to-head comparison of the EQ-5D-3L and EQ-5D-5L in a discrete choice model setting giving special attention to the consistency and logical ordering of coefficients for the attribute levels and to the differences in health-state values.

### Methods

Using efficient designs, 240 pairs of EQ-5D-3L health states and 240 pairs of EQ-5D-5L health states were generated in a pairwise choice format. The study included 3698 Dutch general population respondents, analyzed their responses using a conditional logit model, and compared the values elicited by EQ-5D-3L and EQ-5D-5L for different health states.

### Results

No inconsistencies or illogical ordering of level coefficients were observed in either version. The proportion of severe health states with low values was higher in the EQ-5D-5L than in the EQ-5D-3L, and the proportion of mild/moderate states was lower in the EQ-5D-5L than in the EQ-5D-3L. Moreover, differences were observed in the relative weights of the attributes.

### Conclusion

Overall distribution of health-state values derived from a large representative sample using the same measurement framework for both versions showed differences between the EQ-5D-3L and EQ-5D-5L. However, even small differences in the phrasing (language) of the descriptive system or in the valuation protocol can produce differences in values between these two versions.

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<![CDATA[Profiling extracellular vesicle release by the filarial nematode Brugia malayi reveals sex-specific differences in cargo and a sensitivity to ivermectin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ae5cb8e463d7e39eef05af0

The filarial nematode Brugia malayi is an etiological agent of Lymphatic Filariasis. The capability of B. malayi and other parasitic nematodes to modulate host biology is recognized but the mechanisms by which such manipulation occurs are obscure. An emerging paradigm is the release of parasite-derived extracellular vesicles (EV) containing bioactive proteins and small RNA species that allow secretion of parasite effector molecules and their potential trafficking to host tissues. We have previously described EV release from the infectious L3 stage B. malayi and here we profile vesicle release across all intra-mammalian life cycle stages (microfilariae, L3, L4, adult male and female worms). Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis was used to quantify and size EVs revealing discrete vesicle populations and indicating a secretory process that is conserved across the life cycle. Brugia EVs are internalized by murine macrophages with no preference for life stage suggesting a uniform mechanism for effector molecule trafficking. Further, the use of chemical uptake inhibitors suggests all life stage EVs are internalized by phagocytosis. Proteomic profiling of adult male and female EVs using nano-scale LC-MS/MS described quantitative and qualitative differences in the adult EV proteome, helping define the biogenesis of Brugia EVs and revealing sexual dimorphic characteristics in immunomodulatory cargo. Finally, ivermectin was found to rapidly inhibit EV release by all Brugia life stages. Further this drug effect was also observed in the related filarial nematode, the canine heartworm Dirofilaria immitis but not in an ivermectin-unresponsive field isolate of that parasite, highlighting a potential mechanism of action for this drug and suggesting new screening platforms for anti-filarial drug development.

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<![CDATA[Genetic profiling of Mycobacterium bovis strains from slaughtered cattle in Eritrea]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ae6147d463d7e4331d54a12

Mycobacterium bovis (M.bovis) is the main causative agent for bovine tuberculosis (BTB) and can also be the cause of zoonotic tuberculosis in humans. In view of its zoonotic nature, slaughterhouse surveillance, potentially resulting in total or partial condemnation of the carcasses and organs, is conducted routinely. Spoligotyping, VNTR profiling, and whole genome sequencing (WGS) of M. bovis isolated from tissues with tuberculosis-like lesions collected from 14 cattle at Eritrea’s largest slaughterhouse in the capital Asmara, were conducted.The 14 M. bovis isolates were classified into three different spoligotype patterns (SB0120, SB0134 and SB0948) and six VNTR profiles. WGS results matched those of the conventional genotyping methods and further discriminated the six VNTR profiles into 14 strains. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis of the M. bovis isolates suggests two independent introductions of BTB into Eritrea possibly evolving from a common ancestral strain in Europe.This molecular study revealed the most important strains of M. bovis in Eritrea and their (dis)similarities with the strains generally present in East Africa and Europe, as well as potential routes of introduction of M. bovis. Though the sample size is small, the current study provides important information as well as platform for future in-depth molecular studies on isolates from both the dairy and the traditional livestock sectors in Eritrea and the region. This study provides information onthe origin of some of the M. bovis strains in Eritrea, its genetic diversity, evolution and patterns of spread between dairy herds. Such information is essential in the development and implementation of future BTB control strategy for Eritrea.

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<![CDATA[The impact of school water, sanitation, and hygiene improvements on infectious disease using serum antibody detection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ae5cb8b463d7e39eef05aee

### Background

Evidence from recent studies assessing the impact of school water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions on child health has been mixed. Self-reports of disease are subject to bias, and few WASH impact evaluations employ objective health measures to assess reductions in disease and exposure to pathogens. We utilized antibody responses from dried blood spots (DBS) to measure the impact of a school WASH intervention on infectious disease among pupils in Mali.

### Methodology/Principal findings

We randomly selected 21 beneficiary primary schools and their 21 matched comparison schools participating in a matched-control trial of a comprehensive school-based WASH intervention in Mali. DBS were collected from 20 randomly selected pupils in each school (n = 807). We analyzed eluted IgG from the DBS using a Luminex multiplex bead assay to 28 antigens from 17 different pathogens. Factor analysis identified three distinct latent variables representing vector-transmitted disease (driven primarily by dengue), food/water-transmitted enteric disease (driven primarily by Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae), and person-to-person transmitted enteric disease (driven primarily by norovirus). Data were analyzed using a linear latent variable model. Antibody evidence of food/water-transmitted enteric disease (change in latent variable mean (β) = -0.24; 95% CI: -0.53, -0.13) and person-to-person transmitted enteric disease (β = -0.17; 95% CI: -0.42, -0.04) was lower among pupils attending beneficiary schools. There was no difference in antibody evidence of vector-transmitted disease (β = 0.11; 95% CI: -0.05, 0.33).

### Conclusions/Significance

Evidence of enteric disease was lower among pupils attending schools benefitting from school WASH improvements than students attending comparison schools. These findings support results from the parent study, which also found reduced incidence of self-reported diarrhea among pupils of beneficiary schools. DBS collection was feasible in this resource-poor field setting and provided objective evidence of disease at a low cost per antigen analyzed, making it an effective measurement tool for the WASH field.

### Trial registration

The trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01787058)

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<![CDATA[In vitro assessment of cytotoxic activities of Lachesis muta muta snake venom]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ae5cb8a463d7e39eef05aed

Envenomation by the bushmaster snake Lachesis muta muta is considered severe, characterized by local effects including necrosis, the main cause of permanent disability. However, cellular mechanisms related to cell death and tissue destruction, triggered by snake venoms, are poorly explored. The purpose of this study was to investigate the cytotoxic effect caused by L. m. muta venom in normal human keratinocytes and to identify the cellular processes involved in in cellulo envenomation. In order to investigate venom effect on different cell types, Alamar Blue assay was performed to quantify levels of cellular metabolism as a readout of cell viability. Apoptosis, necrosis and changes in mitochondrial membrane potential were evaluated by flow cytometry, while induction of autophagy was assessed by expression of GFP-LC3 and analyzed using fluorescence microscopy. The cytotoxic potential of the venom is shown by reduced cell viability in a concentration-dependent manner. It was also observed the sequential appearance of cells undergoing autophagy (by 6 hours), apoptosis and necrosis (12 and 24 hours). Morphologically, incubation with L. m. muta venom led to a significant cellular retraction and formation of cellular aggregates. These results indicate that L. m. muta venom is cytotoxic to normal human keratinocytes and other cell lines, and this toxicity involves the integration of distinct modes of cell death. Autophagy as a cell death mechanism, in addition to apoptosis and necrosis, can help to unravel cellular pathways and mechanisms triggered by the venom. Understanding the mechanisms that underlie cellular damage and tissue destruction will be useful in the development of alternative therapies against snakebites.

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<![CDATA[The non-linear and lagged short-term relationship between rainfall and leptospirosis and the intermediate role of floods in the Philippines]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ae5cb89463d7e39eef05aec

### Background

Leptospirosis is a worldwide bacterial zoonosis. Outbreaks of leptospirosis after heavy rainfall and flooding have been reported. However, few studies have formally quantified the effect of weather factors on leptospirosis incidence. We estimated the association between rainfall and leptospirosis cases in an urban setting in Manila, the Philippines, and examined the potential intermediate role of floods in this association.

### Methods/Principal findings

Relationships between rainfall and the weekly number of hospital admissions due to leptospirosis from 2001 to 2012 were analyzed using a distributed lag non-linear model in a quasi-Poisson regression framework, controlling for seasonally varying factors other than rainfall. The role of floods on the rainfall–leptospirosis relationship was examined using an indicator. We reported relative risks (RRs) by rainfall category based on the flood warning system in the country. The risk of post-rainfall leptospirosis peaked at a lag of 2 weeks (using 0 cm/week rainfall as the reference) with RRs of 1.30 (95% confidence interval: 0.99–1.70), 1.53 (1.12–2.09), 2.45 (1.80–3.33), 4.61 (3.30–6.43), and 13.77 (9.10–20.82) for light, moderate, heavy, intense and torrential rainfall (at 2, 5, 16, 32 and 63 cm/week), respectively. After adjusting for floods, RRs (at a lag of 2 weeks) decreased at higher rainfall levels suggesting that flood is on the causal pathway between rainfall and leptospirosis.

### Conclusions

Rainfall was strongly associated with increased hospital admission for leptospirosis at a lag of 2 weeks, and this association was explained in part by floods.

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<![CDATA[Changing patient safety culture in China: a case study of an experimental Chinese hospital from a comparative perspective]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5bff4392d5eed0c484aa4d2d

### Background

The World Health Organization highlights that patient safety interventions are not lacking but that the local context affects their successful implementation. Increasing attention is being paid to patient safety in Mainland China, yet few studies focus on patient safety in organizations with mixed cultures. This paper evaluates the current patient safety culture in an experimental Chinese hospital with a Hong Kong hospital management culture, and it aims to explore the application of Hong Kong’s patient safety strategies in the context of Mainland China.

### Methods

A quantitative survey of 307 hospital staff members was conducted using the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture questionnaire. The findings were compared with a similar study on general Chinese hospitals and were appraised with reference to the Manchester Patient Safety Framework.

### Results

Lower scores were observed among participants with the following characteristics: males, doctors, those with more work experience, those with higher education, and those from the general practice and otolaryngology departments. However, the case study hospital achieved better scores in management expectations, actions and support for patient safety, incident reporting and communication, and teamwork within units. Its weaknesses were related to non-punitive responses to errors, teamwork across units, and staffing.

### Conclusions

The case study hospital contributes to a changing patient safety culture in Mainland China, yet its patient safety culture remains mostly bureaucratic. Further efforts could be made to deepen the staff’s patient safety culture mind-set, to realize a “bottom-up” approach to cultural change, to build up a comprehensive and integrated incident management system, and to improve team building and staffing for patient safety.

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<![CDATA[Long working hours and sickness absence—a fixed effects design]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5b59534a463d7e5b5d3ed185

### Background

While long working hours seem to lead to impaired health, several studies have also shown that long working hours are related to lower levels of sickness absence. Previous studies on the relationship between long working hours and sickness absence have compared those who work long hours to those who do not, looking only at between-individual correlations. Those results might therefore reflect relatively stable differences between employees who typically work long hours and employees who typically do not. The aim of the present study is to examine within-individual correlations between long working hours and sickness absence.

### Methods

Records from the Human Resources department in a large Norwegian hospital from 2012 to 2015 provided objective data on both working hours and sickness absence. Two analyses were performed: a prospective cohort analysis to replicate the results from previous between-individual analyses and a second analysis of within-individual correlations using a fixed effect design.

### Results

In line with existing research, both between-individual and within-individual analyses showed a negative relationship between long working hours (> 48 h/week) and short-term sickness absence (1–8 days) and no significant difference in incidence of long-term sickness absence (> 8 days).

### Conclusions

The results indicate that the negative relationship between long working hours and sickness absence is not due only to relatively stable individual differences between those who typically work long hours and those who do not. The results from both analyses therefore still contrast with previous research showing a negative relationship between long working hours and other health indicators.

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<![CDATA[Have geopolitics influenced decisions on American health foreign assistance efforts during the Obama presidency?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5bff06b6d5eed0c484a35630

### Background

This study sought to characterize the possible relationship between US geopolitical priorities and annual decisions on health foreign assistance among recipient nations between 2009 and 2016.

### Methods

Data on total planned United States (US) foreign aid and health aid were collected for the 194 member nations of the World Health Organization (WHO) from publicly available databases. Trends in per-capita spending were examined between 2009 and 2016 across the six regions of the WHO (Africa, Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific). Data on US national security threats were obtained from the Council on Foreign Relations’ annual Preventive Priorities Survey. Multivariable regression models were fitted specifying planned health aid as the dependent variable and threat level of a recipient aid nation as the primary independent variable.

### Results

Across the aggregate 80 planned recipient countries of US health aid over the duration of the study period, cumulative planned per-capita spending was stable (US\$ 0.65 in both 2009 and 2016). The number of annual planned recipients of this aid declined from 74 in 2009 to 56 in 2016 (24.3% decline), with planned allocations decreasing in the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, and Europe; corresponding increases were observed in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific. Regression analyses demonstrated a dose-response, whereby higher levels of threat were associated with larger declines in planned spending (critical threat nations: b = -3.81; 95% confidence interval (CI) -5.84 to -1.78, P ≤ 0.001) and one-year lagged (critical threat nations: b = -3.91; 95% CI, -5.94 to -1.88, P ≤ 0.001) analyses.

### Conclusions

Higher threat levels are associated with less health aid. This is a novel finding, as prior studies have demonstrated a strong association between national security considerations and decisions on development aid.

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<![CDATA[Estimating the incidence of breast cancer in Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5bff06a7d5eed0c484a3535c

### Background

Breast cancer is estimated to be the most common cancer worldwide. We sought to assemble publicly available data from Africa to provide estimates of the incidence of breast cancer on the continent.

### Methods

A systematic search of Medline, EMBASE, Global Health and African Journals Online (AJOL) was conducted. We included population- or hospital-based registry studies on breast cancer conducted in Africa, and providing estimates of the crude incidence of breast cancer among women. A random effects meta-analysis was employed to determine the pooled incidence of breast cancer across studies.

### Results

The literature search returned 4648 records, with 41 studies conducted across 54 study sites in 22 African countries selected. We observed important variations in reported cancer incidence between population- and hospital-based cancer registries. The overall pooled crude incidence of breast cancer from population-based registries was 24.5 per 100 000 person years (95% confidence interval (CI) 20.1-28.9). The incidence in North Africa was higher at 29.3 per 100 000 (95% CI 20.0-38.7) than Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) at 22.4 per 100 000 (95% CI 17.2-28.0). In hospital-based registries, the overall pooled crude incidence rate was estimated at 23.6 per 100 000 (95% CI 18.5-28.7). SSA and Northern Africa had relatively comparable rates at 24.0 per 100 000 (95% CI 17.5-30.4) and 23.2 per 100 000 (95% CI 6.6-39.7), respectively. Across both registries, incidence rates increased considerably between 2000 and 2015.

### Conclusions

The available evidence suggests a growing incidence of breast cancer in Africa. The representativeness of these estimates is uncertain due to the paucity of data in several countries and calendar years, as well as inconsistency in data collation and quality across existing cancer registries.

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### Objectives

The aims of this study were to investigate the proportion of households facing catastrophic health expenditures based on household income quintiles, and to analyze the relationship between expenditures and household income quintile decline.

### Methods

Study data were obtained from an annually conducted survey of the 2012–2013 Korean health panel. There were 12,909 subjects aged 20–64 years from economically active households, whose income quintile remained unchanged or declined by more than one quintile from 2012 to 2013. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine whether catastrophic health expenditures in 2012 were related to more than one quintile income decline in 2013.

### Results

Households facing catastrophic health expenditures of ≥ 40%, ≥ 30%, and ≥ 10% of a household’s capacity to pay, were 1.58 times (p < 0.003), 1.75 times (p < 0.000), and 1.23 times (p < 0.001) more likely to face a decline in income quintile, respectively.

### Conclusion

Over a 1 year period, the proportion of households facing more than one quintile income decline was 16.4%, while 2.1% to 2.5% of households in Korea faced catastrophic health expenditures. Catastrophic health expenditure experienced in 2012 was significantly associated with income quintile decline 1 year later. Therefore, lowering the proportion of households with catastrophic health expenditure may reduce the proportion of households with income quintiles decline.

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<![CDATA[Correction: GOST: A generic ordinal sequential trial design for a treatment trial in an emerging pandemic]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ae5a4fc463d7e33ca31f515 ]]> <![CDATA[Correction: PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2017 Reviewer and Editorial Board Thank You]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5ae5a4fd463d7e33ca31f516 ]]>