ResearchPad - health-risk-analysis https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Implementation of maternity protection legislation: Gynecologists’ perceptions and practices in French-speaking Switzerland]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11226 In several countries, maternity protection legislations (MPL) confer an essential role to gynecologist-obstetricians (OBGYNs) for the protection of pregnant workers and their future children from occupational exposures. This study explores OBGYNs’ practices and difficulties in implementing MPL in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.MethodsAn online survey was sent to 333 OBGYNs. Data analysis included: 1) descriptive and correlational statistics and 2) hierarchical cluster analysis to identify patterns of practices.ResultsOBGYNs evoked several problems in MPL implementation: absence of risk analysis in the companies, difficult collaboration with employers, lack of competencies in the field of occupational health. Preventive leave was underused, with sick leave being prescribed instead. Training had a positive effect on OBGYNs’ knowledge and implementation of MPL. Hierarchical cluster analysis highlighted three main types of practices: 1) practice in line with legislation; 2) practice on a case-by-case basis; 3) limited practice. OBGYNs with good knowledge of MPL more consistently applied its provisions.ConclusionThe implementation of MPL appears challenging for OBGYNs. Collaboration with occupational physicians and training might help OBGYNs to better take on their role in maternity protection. MPL in itself could be improved. ]]> <![CDATA[Clinical, socioeconomic, and behavioural factors at age 50 years and risk of cardiometabolic multimorbidity and mortality: A cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b0e539e463d7e030321d287

Background

Multimorbidity is increasingly common and is associated with adverse health outcomes, highlighting the need to broaden the single-disease framework that dominates medical research. We examined the role of midlife clinical characteristics, socioeconomic position, and behavioural factors in the development of cardiometabolic multimorbidity (at least 2 of diabetes, coronary heart disease, and stroke), along with how these factors modify risk of mortality.

Methods and findings

Data on 8,270 men and women were drawn from the Whitehall II cohort study, with mean follow-up of 23.7 years (1985 to 2017). Three sets of risk factors were assessed at age 50 years, each on a 5-point scale: clinical profile (hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, overweight/obesity, family history of cardiometabolic disease), occupational position, and behavioural factors (smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, physical activity). The outcomes examined were cardiometabolic disease (diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke), cardiometabolic multimorbidity, and mortality. We used multi-state models to examine the role of risk factors in 5 components of the cardiometabolic disease trajectory: from healthy state to first cardiometabolic disease, from first cardiometabolic disease to cardiometabolic multimorbidity, from healthy state to death, from first cardiometabolic disease to death, and from cardiometabolic multimorbidity to death. A total of 2,501 participants developed 1 of the 3 cardiometabolic diseases, 511 developed cardiometabolic multimorbidity, and 1,406 died. When behavioural and clinical risk factors were considered individually, only smoking was associated with all five transitions. In a model containing all 3 risk factor scales, midlife clinical profile was the strongest predictor of first cardiometabolic disease (hazard ratio for the least versus most favourable profile: 3.74; 95% CI: 3.14–4.45) among disease-free participants. Among participants with 1 cardiometabolic disease, adverse midlife socioeconomic (1.54; 95% CI: 1.10–2.15) and behavioural factors (2.00; 95% CI: 1.40–2.85), but not clinical characteristics, were associated with progression to cardiometabolic multimorbidity. Only midlife behavioural factors predicted mortality among participants with cardiometabolic disease (2.12; 95% CI: 1.41–3.18) or cardiometabolic multimorbidity (3.47; 95% CI: 1.81–6.66). A limitation is that the study was not large enough to estimate transitions between each disease and subsequent outcomes and between all possible pairs of diseases.

Conclusions

The importance of specific midlife factors in disease progression, from disease-free state to single disease, multimorbidity, and death, varies depending on the disease stage. While clinical risk factors at age 50 determine the risk of incident cardiometabolic disease in a disease-free population, midlife socioeconomic and behavioural factors are stronger predictors of progression to multimorbidity and mortality in people with cardiometabolic disease.

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<![CDATA[Electronic Medical Record Cancer Incidence over Six Years Comparing New Users of Glargine with New Users of NPH Insulin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da93ab0ee8fa60ba0c34

Background

Recent studies suggested that insulin glargine use could be associated with increased risk of cancer. We compared the incidence of cancer in new users of glargine versus new users of NPH in a longitudinal clinical cohort with diabetes for up to 6 years.

Methods and Findings

From all patients who had been regularly followed at Massachusetts General Hospital from 1/01/2005 to 12/31/2010, 3,680 patients who had a medication record for glargine or NPH usage were obtained from the electronic medical record (EMR). From those we selected 539 new glargine users (age: 60.1±13.6 years, BMI: 32.7±7.5 kg/m2) and 343 new NPH users (61.5±14.1 years, 32.7±8.3 kg/m2) who had no prevalent cancer during 19 months prior to glargine or NPH initiation. All incident cancer cases were ascertained from the EMR requiring at least 2 ICD-9 codes within a 2 month period. Insulin exposure time and cumulative dose were validated. The statistical analysis compared the rates of cancer in new glargine vs. new NPH users while on treatment, adjusted for the propensity to receive one or the other insulin. There were 26 and 28 new cancer cases in new glargine and new NPH users for 1559 and 1126 person-years follow-up, respectively. There were no differences in the propensity-adjusted clinical characteristics between groups. The adjusted hazard ratio for the cancer incidence comparing glargine vs. NPH use was 0.65 (95% CI: 0.36–1.19).

Conclusions

Insulin glargine is not associated with development of cancers when compared with NPH in this longitudinal and carefully retrieved EMR data.

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<![CDATA[Medication Adherence in the General Population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d9ab0ee8fa60b66e73

Background

Adherence to medication is low in specific populations who need chronic medication. However, adherence to medication is also of interest in a more general fashion, independent of specific populations or side effects of particular drugs. If clinicians and researchers expect patients to show close to full adherence, it is relevant to know how likely the achievement of this goal is. Population based rates can provide an estimate of efforts needed to achieve near complete adherence in patient populations. The objective of the study was to collect normative data for medication nonadherence in the general population.

Methods and Findings

We assessed 2,512 persons (a representative sample of German population). Adherence was measured by Rief Adherence Index. We also assessed current medication intake and side effects. We found that at least 33% of Germans repeatedly fail to follow their doctor's recommendations regarding pharmacological treatments and only 25% of Germans describe themselves as fully adherent. Nonadherence to medication occurs more often in younger patients with higher socioeconomic status taking short-term medications than in older patients with chronic conditions. Experience with medication side effects was the most prominent predictor of nonadherence.

Conclusions

The major strengths of our study are a representative sample and a novel approach to assess adherence. Nonadherece seems to be commonplace in the general population. Therefore adherence cannot be expected per se but needs special efforts on behalf of prescribers and public health initiatives. Nonadherence to medication should not only be considered as a drug-specific behaviour problem, but as a behaviour pattern that is independent of the prescribed medication.

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<![CDATA[Using Poison Center Exposure Calls to Predict Methadone Poisoning Deaths]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d5ab0ee8fa60b659be

Purpose

There are more drug overdose deaths in the Untied States than motor vehicle fatalities. Yet the US vital statistics reporting system is of limited value because the data are delayed by four years. Poison centers report data within an hour of the event, but previous studies suggested a small proportion of poisoning deaths are reported to poison centers (PC). In an era of improved electronic surveillance capabilities, exposure calls to PCs may be an alternate indicator of trends in overdose mortality.

Methods

We used PC call counts for methadone that were reported to the Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS®) System in 2006 and 2007. US death certificate data were used to identify deaths due to methadone. Linear regression was used to quantify the relationship of deaths and poison center calls.

Results

Compared to decedents, poison center callers tended to be younger, more often female, at home and less likely to require medical attention. A strong association was found with PC calls and methadone mortality (b = 0.88, se = 0.42, t = 9.5, df = 1, p<0.0001, R2 = 0.77). These findings were robust to large changes in a sensitivity analysis assessing the impact of underreporting of methadone overdose deaths.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that calls to poison centers for methadone are correlated with poisoning mortality as identified on death certificates. Calls received by poison centers may be used for timely surveillance of mortality due to methadone. In the midst of the prescription opioid overdose epidemic, electronic surveillance tools that report in real-time are powerful public health tools.

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<![CDATA[A Review of Adult Mortality Due to 2009 Pandemic (H1N1) Influenza A in California]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da96ab0ee8fa60ba20d7

Background

While children and young adults had the highest attack rates due to 2009 pandemic (H1N1) influenza A (2009 H1N1), studies of hospitalized cases noted high fatality in older adults. We analyzed California public health surveillance data to better characterize the populations at risk for dying due to 2009 H1N1.

Methods and Findings

A case was an adult ≥20 years who died with influenza-like symptoms and laboratory results indicative of 2009 H1N1. Demographic and clinical data were abstracted from medical records using a standardized case report form. From April 3, 2009 – August 10, 2010, 541 fatal cases ≥20 years with 2009 H1N1 were reported. Influenza fatality rates per 100,000 population were highest in persons 50–59 years (3.5; annualized rate = 2.6) and 60–69 years (2.3; annualized rate = 1.7) compared to younger and older age groups (0.4–1.9; annualized rates = 0.3–1.4). Of 486 cases hospitalized prior to death, 441 (91%) required intensive care unit (ICU) admission. ICU admission rates per 100,000 population were highest in adults 50–59 years (8.6). ICU case-fatality ratios among adults ranged from 24–42%, with the highest ratios in persons 70–79 years. A total of 425 (80%) cases had co-morbid conditions associated with severe seasonal influenza. The prevalence of most co-morbid conditions increased with increasing age, but obesity, pregnancy and obstructive sleep apnea decreased with age. Rapid testing was positive in 97 (35%) of 276 tested. Of 482 cases with available data, 384 (80%) received antiviral treatment, including 49 (15%) of 328 within 48 hours of symptom onset.

Conclusions

Adults aged 50–59 years had the highest fatality due to 2009 H1N1; older adults may have been spared due to pre-existing immunity. However, once infected and hospitalized in intensive care, case-fatality ratios were high for all adults, especially in those over 60 years. Vaccination of adults older than 50 years should be encouraged.

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<![CDATA[Body Size, Physical Activity and Risk of Colorectal Cancer with or without the CpG Island Methylator Phenotype (CIMP)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e2ab0ee8fa60b6a26c

Background

We investigated how body size and physical activity influence the risk of the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) in colorectal cancer (CRC).

Methods

In the Netherlands Cohort Study (n = 120,852), risk factors were self-reported at baseline in 1986. After 7.3 years of follow-up, 603 cases and 4,631 sub-cohort members were available. CIMP status according to the Weisenberger markers was determined using methylation specific PCR on DNA from paraffin embedded tumor tissue. Hazard rate ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals for CIMP (27.7%) and non-CIMP (72.3%) tumors were calculated according to BMI, BMI at age 20, BMI change, trouser/skirt size, height, and physical activity.

Results

BMI modeled per 5 kg/m2 increase was associated with both CIMP and non-CIMP tumors, however, HRs were attenuated when additionally adjusted for trouser/skirt size. Trouser/skirt size, per 2 size increase, was associated with both tumor subtypes, even after adjustment for BMI (CIMP HR: 1.20, 95%CI: 1.01–1.43; non-CIMP HR: 1.14, 95%CI: 1.04–1.28). Height per 5 cm was associated with both tumor sub-types, but HRs were attenuated when adjusted for body weight. BMI at age 20 was positively associated with increased risk of CIMP tumors and the association was significantly less pronounced for non-CIMP tumors (P-heterogeneity = 0.01). Physical activity was inversely associated with both subtypes, but a dose-response association was observed only for non-CIMP tumors (P-trend = 0.02).

Conclusions

Body size, especially central adiposity, may increase the risk of both CIMP and non-CIMP tumors. Body fat at young age may differentially influence risk. Physical activity appears to decrease the risk of CRC regardless of these molecular subtypes.

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<![CDATA[Exhaled Air Dispersion during Coughing with and without Wearing a Surgical or N95 Mask]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0aab0ee8fa60b7763f

Objectives

We compared the expelled air dispersion distances during coughing from a human patient simulator (HPS) lying at 45° with and without wearing a surgical mask or N95 mask in a negative pressure isolation room.

Methods

Airflow was marked with intrapulmonary smoke. Coughing bouts were generated by short bursts of oxygen flow at 650, 320, and 220L/min to simulate normal, mild and poor coughing efforts, respectively. The coughing jet was revealed by laser light-sheet and images were captured by high definition video. Smoke concentration in the plume was estimated from the light scattered by smoke particles. Significant exposure was arbitrarily defined where there was ≥ 20% of normalized smoke concentration.

Results

During normal cough, expelled air dispersion distances were 68, 30 and 15 cm along the median sagittal plane when the HPS wore no mask, a surgical mask and a N95 mask, respectively. In moderate lung injury, the corresponding air dispersion distances for mild coughing efforts were reduced to 55, 27 and 14 cm, respectively, p < 0.001. The distances were reduced to 30, 24 and 12 cm, respectively during poor coughing effort as in severe lung injury. Lateral dispersion distances during normal cough were 0, 28 and 15 cm when the HPS wore no mask, a surgical mask and a N95 mask, respectively.

Conclusions

Normal cough produced a turbulent jet about 0.7 m towards the end of the bed from the recumbent subject. N95 mask was more effective than surgical mask in preventing expelled air leakage during coughing but there was still significant sideway leakage.

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<![CDATA[Smoking during Pregnancy Is Associated with a Decreased Incidence of Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injuries in Nulliparous Women]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1eab0ee8fa60b7e098

Background

Smoking is a modifiable lifestyle factor that has been shown to be associated with adverse perinatal outcomes and to have adverse health and dose-dependent connective tissue effects. The objective of this study was to examine whether smoking during pregnancy was associated with the incidence of obstetric anal sphincter injuries (OASIS) among six birthweight groups in singleton vaginal deliveries, considering nulliparous and multiparous women separately between 1997 and 2007 in Finland.

Methodology

A retrospective population-based register study. Populations included women with spontaneous singleton vaginal deliveries, consisting of all 213,059 nulliparous and all 288,391 multiparous women. Incidence of OASIS (n = 2,787) between smoking status groups was adjusted using logistic regression analyses.

Principal Findings

Of the nulliparous women, 13.1% were smokers, 3.6% had given up smoking during the first trimester of their pregnancy and 81.1% were non-smokers. Among these groups 0.7%, 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively suffered OASIS (p≤0.001). Nulliparous women who smoked had a 28% (95% CI 16–38%, p≤0.001) lower risk of OASIS compared to non-smokers, when adjusting for background variables. In multiparous women, the overall frequencies of OASIS were much lower (0.0–0.2%). A similar inverse relationship between OASIS rates and smoking was significant in pooled univariate analysis of multiparous women, but multivariate analysis revealed statistically insignificant results between non-smokers and smokers.

Conclusions

Nulliparous women who were smokers had a 28% lower incidence of OASIS. However, smoking during pregnancy cannot be recommended since it has shown to be associated with other adverse pregnancy outcomes and adverse health effects. The observed association warrants clinical repetition studies and, if confirmed, also in vitro studies focusing on connective tissue properties at a molecular and cellular level.

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<![CDATA[Data-Driven Identification of Risk Factors of Patient Satisfaction at a Large Urban Academic Medical Center]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db04ab0ee8fa60bc7d39

Background

The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey is the first publicly reported nationwide survey to evaluate and compare hospitals. Increasing patient satisfaction is an important goal as it aims to achieve a more effective and efficient healthcare delivery system. In this study, we develop and apply an integrative, data-driven approach to identify clinical risk factors that associate with patient satisfaction outcomes.

Methods

We included 1,771 unique adult patients who completed the HCAHPS survey and were discharged from the inpatient Medicine service from 2010 to 2012. We collected 266 clinical features including patient demographics, lab measurements, medications, disease categories, and procedures. We developed and applied a data-driven approach to identify risk factors that associate with patient satisfaction outcomes.

Findings

We identify 102 significant risk factors associating with 18 surveyed questions. The most significantly recurrent clinical risk factors were: self-evaluation of health, education level, Asian, White, treatment in BMT oncology division, being prescribed a new medication. Patients who were prescribed pregabalin were less satisfied particularly in relation to communication with nurses and pain management. Explanation of medication usage was associated with communication with nurses (q = 0.001); however, explanation of medication side effects was associated with communication with doctors (q = 0.003). Overall hospital rating was associated with hospital environment, communication with doctors, and communication about medicines. However, patient likelihood to recommend hospital was associated with hospital environment, communication about medicines, pain management, and communication with nurse.

Conclusions

Our study identified a number of putatively novel clinical risk factors for patient satisfaction that suggest new opportunities to better understand and manage patient satisfaction. Hospitals can use a data-driven approach to identify clinical risk factors for poor patient satisfaction to support development of specific interventions to improve patients’ experience of care.

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<![CDATA[Psychological Balance in High Level Athletes: Gender-Based Differences and Sport-Specific Patterns]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa2ab0ee8fa60ba64ce

Objectives

Few epidemiological studies have focused on the psychological health of high level athletes. This study aimed to identify the principal psychological problems encountered within French high level athletes, and the variations in their prevalence based on sex and the sport practiced.

Methods

Multivariate analyses were conducted on nationwide data obtained from the athletes' yearly psychological evaluations.

Results

A representative sample of 13% of the French athlete population was obtained. 17% of athletes have at least one ongoing or recent disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) being the most prevalent (6%), followed by non-specific eating disorders (4.2%). Overall, 20.2% of women had at least one psychopathology, against 15.1% in men. This female predominance applied to anxiety and eating disorders, depression, sleep problems and self-harming behaviors. The highest rates of GAD appeared in aesthetic sports (16.7% vs. 6.8% in other sports for men and 38.9% vs. 10.3% for women); the lowest prevalence was found in high risk sports athletes (3.0% vs. 3.5%). Eating disorders are most common among women in racing sports (14% vs. 9%), but for men were found mostly in combat sports (7% vs. 4.8%).

Discussion

This study highlights important differences in psychopathology between male and female athletes, demonstrating that the many sex-based differences reported in the general population apply to elite athletes. While the prevalence of psychological problems is no higher than in the general population, the variations in psychopathology in different sports suggest that specific constraints could influence the development of some disorders.

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<![CDATA[Challenges of developing a cardiovascular risk calculator for patients with rheumatoid arthritis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdc02d

Objective

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk calculators designed for use in the general population do not accurately predict the risk of CVD among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), who are at increased risk of CVD. The process of developing risk prediction models involves numerous issues. Our goal was to develop a CVD risk calculator for patients with RA.

Methods

Thirteen cohorts of patients with RA originating from 10 different countries (UK, Norway, Netherlands, USA, Sweden, Greece, South Africa, Spain, Canada and Mexico) were combined. CVD risk factors and RA characteristics at baseline, in addition to information on CVD outcomes were collected. Cox models were used to develop a CVD risk calculator, considering traditional CVD risk factors and RA characteristics. Model performance was assessed using measures of discrimination and calibration with 10-fold cross-validation.

Results

A total of 5638 RA patients without prior CVD were included (mean age: 55 [SD: 14] years, 76% female). During a mean follow-up of 5.8 years (30139 person years), 389 patients developed a CVD event. Event rates varied between cohorts, necessitating inclusion of high and low risk strata in the models. The multivariable analyses revealed 2 risk prediction models including either a disease activity score including a 28 joint count and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (DAS28ESR) or a health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) along with age, sex, presence of hypertension, current smoking and ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Unfortunately, performance of these models was similar to general population CVD risk calculators.

Conclusion

Efforts to develop a specific CVD risk calculator for patients with RA yielded 2 potential models including RA disease characteristics, but neither demonstrated improved performance compared to risk calculators designed for use in the general population. Challenges encountered and lessons learned are discussed in detail.

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<![CDATA[Mortality Rates Across 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) Levels among Adults with and without Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate <60 ml/min/1.73 m2: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f9ab0ee8fa60b71691

Background

Previous studies exploring the association between 25[OH]D levels and mortality in adults with and without kidney disease utilized 25[OH]D thresholds that have recently been scrutinized by the Institute of Medicine Committee to Review Dietary References Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium.

Objective

We explored all-cause mortality rates across the spectrum of 25[OH]D levels over an eighteen-year follow-up among adults with and without an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 ml/min/1.73 m2.

Design

The study included 1,097 U.S. adults with eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 and 14, 002 adults with eGFR ≥60 ml/min/1.73 m2. Mortality rates and rate ratios (RR) across 25[OH]D groups were calculated with Poisson regression and restricted cubic splines while adjusting for covariates.

Results

Prevalence of 25[OH]D levels <30 and <20 ng/ml among adults with eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 was 76.5% (population estimate 6.2 million) and 35.4% (population estimate 2.9 million), respectively. Among adults with eGFR ≥60 ml/min/1.73 m2, 70.5% had 25[OH]D levels <30 ng/ml (population estimate 132.2 million) while 30.3% had 25[OH]D levels <20 ng/ml (population estimate 56.8 million). Significantly higher mortality rates were noted among individuals with 25[OH]D levels <12 ng/ml compared to referent group (24 to <30 ng/ml): RR1.41 (95% CI 1.17, 1.71) among individuals with eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2 and RR 1.32 (95% CI 1.13, 1.56) among individuals with eGFR ≥60 ml/min/1.73 m2 after adjustment for covariates including co-morbid conditions. Mortality rates were fairly similar across all 25[OH]D groups with levels >20 ng/ml after adjustment for all covariates.

Conclusions

Regardless of presence of eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2, mortality rates across groups with 25[OH]D levels 20–40 ng/ml are similar.

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<![CDATA[Ethnic Differences in Disability Prevalence and Their Determinants Studied over a 20-Year Period: A Cohort Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da59ab0ee8fa60b8f6fd

Background

To compare disability prevalence rates in the major ethnic groups in the UK and understand the risk factors contributing to differences identified. It was hypothesised that Indian Asian and African Caribbean people would experience higher rates of disability compared with Europeans.

Methods

Data was collected from 888 European, 636 Indian Asian and 265 African Caribbean men and women, aged 58–88 years at 20-year follow-up of community-based cohort study, based in West London. Disability was measured using a performance-based locomotor function test and self-reported questionnaires on functional limitation, and instrumental (IADL) and basic activities of daily living (ADL).

Results

The mean (SD) age of participants at follow-up was 69.6 (6.2) years. Compared with Europeans, Indian Asian people were significantly more likely to experience all of the disability outcomes than Europeans; this persisted after adjustment for socioeconomic, behavioural, adiposity and chronic disease risk factors measured at baseline (locomotor dysfunction: adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.20, 95% CI 1.56–3.11; functional limitation: OR 2.77, 2.01–3.81; IADL impairment: OR 3.12, 2.20–4.41; ADL impairment: OR 1.58, 1.11–2.24). In contrast, a modest excess risk of disability was observed in African Caribbeans, which was abolished after adjustment (e.g. locomotor dysfunction: OR 1.37, 0.90–1.91); indeed a reduced risk of ADL impairment appeared after multivariable adjustment (OR from 0.99, 0.68–1.45 to 0.59, 0.38–0.93), compared with Europeans.

Conclusions

Substantially elevated risk of disability was observed among Indian Asian participants, unexplained by known factors. A greater understanding of determinants of disability and normative functional beliefs of healthy aging is required in this population to inform intervention efforts to prevent disability.

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<![CDATA[The Charlson Comorbidity Index Can Be Used Prospectively to Identify Patients Who Will Incur High Future Costs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9eab0ee8fa60ba4ee6

Background

Reducing health care costs requires the ability to identify patients most likely to incur high costs. Our objective was to evaluate the ability of the Charlson comorbidity score to predict the individuals who would incur high costs in the subsequent year and to contrast its predictive ability with other commonly used predictors.

Methods

We contrasted the prior year Charlson comorbidity index, costs, Diagnostic Cost Group (DCG) and hospitalization as predictors of subsequent year costs from claims data of fund that provides comprehensive health benefits to a large union of health care workers. Total costs in the subsequent year was the principal outcome.

Results

Of the 181,764 predominantly Black and Latino beneficiaries, 70% were adults (mean age 45.7 years; 62% women). As the comorbidity index increased, total yearly costs increased significantly (P<.001). At lower comorbidity, the costs were similar across different chronic diseases. Using regression to predict total costs, top 5th and 10th percentile of costs, the comorbidity index, prior costs and DCG achieved almost identical explained variance in both adults and children.

Conclusions and Relevance

The comorbidity index predicted health costs in the subsequent year, performing as well as prior cost and DCG in identifying those in the top 5% or 10%. The comorbidity index can be used prospectively to identify patients who are likely to incur high costs.

Trial Registration

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01761253

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<![CDATA[Geographic and Racial Variation in Premature Mortality in the U.S.: Analyzing the Disparities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf7ab0ee8fa60bc3392

Life expectancy at birth, estimated from United States period life tables, has been shown to vary systematically and widely by region and race. We use the same tables to estimate the probability of survival from birth to age 70 (S70), a measure of mortality more sensitive to disparities and more reliably calculated for small populations, to describe the variation and identify its sources in greater detail to assess the patterns of this variation. Examination of the unadjusted probability of S70 for each US county with a sufficient population of whites and blacks reveals large geographic differences for each race-sex group. For example, white males born in the ten percent healthiest counties have a 77 percent probability of survival to age 70, but only a 61 percent chance if born in the ten percent least healthy counties. Similar geographical disparities face white women and blacks of each sex. Moreover, within each county, large differences in S70 prevail between blacks and whites, on average 17 percentage points for men and 12 percentage points for women. In linear regressions for each race-sex group, nearly all of the geographic variation is accounted for by a common set of 22 socio-economic and environmental variables, selected for previously suspected impact on mortality; R2 ranges from 0.86 for white males to 0.72 for black females. Analysis of black-white survival chances within each county reveals that the same variables account for most of the race gap in S70 as well. When actual white male values for each explanatory variable are substituted for black in the black male prediction equation to assess the role explanatory variables play in the black-white survival difference, residual black-white differences at the county level shrink markedly to a mean of −2.4% (+/−2.4); for women the mean difference is −3.7% (+/−2.3).

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<![CDATA[Serum Levels of Adipocyte Fatty Acid-Binding Protein Are Associated with the Severity of Coronary Artery Disease in Chinese Women]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f3ab0ee8fa60b6f5bd

Background

Adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein (A-FABP) has been described as a novel adipokine, playing an important role in the development of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis. In this study, we investigated the relationship between serum levels of A-FABP and the presence and severity of coronary artery disease (CAD) in Chinese subjects.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Circulating A-FABP level was determined by ELISA in 341 Chinese subjects (221 men, 120 women) who underwent coronary angiography. A-FABP levels in patients with CAD were significantly higher compared with non-CAD subjects (P = 0.029 in men; P = 0.031 in women). Serum A-FABP increased significantly in multi-vessel diseased patients than in non-CAD subjects (P = 0.011 in men, P = 0.004 in women), and showed an independent correlation with coronary atherosclerosis index (standardized β = 0.173, P = 0.025). In multiple logistic regression analysis, serum A-FABP was an independent risk factor for CAD in women (OR = 5.637, 95%CI: 1.299-24.457, P = 0.021). In addition, amino terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) was demonstrated to be positively and independently correlated with A-FABP (standardized β = 0.135, P = 0.027).

Conclusions/Significance

Serum A-FABP is closely associated with the presence and severity of CAD in Chinese women.

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<![CDATA[Epidemiology, Species Distribution, Antifungal Susceptibility and Outcome of Nosocomial Candidemia in a Tertiary Care Hospital in Italy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0aab0ee8fa60bc9f3e

Candida is an important cause of bloodstream infections (BSI), causing significant mortality and morbidity in health care settings. From January 2008 to December 2010 all consecutive patients who developed candidemia at San Martino University Hospital, Italy were enrolled in the study. A total of 348 episodes of candidaemia were identified during the study period (January 2008–December 2010), with an incidence of 1,73 episodes/1000 admissions. Globally, albicans and non-albicans species caused around 50% of the cases each. Non-albicans included Candida parapsilosis (28.4%), Candida glabrata (9.5%), Candida tropicalis (6.6%), and Candida krusei (2.6%). Out of 324 evaluable patients, 141 (43.5%) died within 30 days from the onset of candidemia. C. parapsilosis candidemia was associated with the lowest mortality rate (36.2%). In contrast, patients with C. krusei BSI had the highest mortality rate (55.5%) in this cohort. Regarding the crude mortality in the different units, patients in Internal Medicine wards had the highest mortality rate (54.1%), followed by patients in ICU and Hemato-Oncology wards (47.6%).

This report shows that candidemia is a significant source of morbidity in Italy, with a substantial burden of disease, mortality, and likely high associated costs. Although our high rates of candidemia may be related to high rates of BSI in general in Italian public hospitals, reasons for these high rates are not clear and warrant further study. Determining factors associated with these high rates may lead to identifying measures that can help to prevent disease.

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<![CDATA[Use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Prostate Cancer Risk: A Population-Based Nested Case-Control Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f1ab0ee8fa60b6e6fc

Background

Despite strong laboratory evidence that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could prevent prostate cancer, epidemiological studies have so far reported conflicting results. Most studies were limited by lack of information on dosage and duration of use of the different classes of NSAIDs.

Methods

We conducted a nested case-control study using data from Saskatchewan Prescription Drug Plan (SPDP) and Cancer Registry to examine the effects of dose and duration of use of five classes of NSAIDs on prostate cancer risk. Cases (N = 9,007) were men aged ≥40 years diagnosed with prostatic carcinoma between 1985 and 2000, and were matched to four controls on age and duration of SPDP membership. Detailed histories of exposure to prescription NSAIDs and other drugs were obtained from the SPDP.

Results

Any use of propionates (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen) was associated with a modest reduction in prostate cancer risk (Odds ratio = 0.90; 95%CI 0.84-0.95), whereas use of other NSAIDs was not. In particular, we did not observe the hypothesized inverse association with aspirin use (1.01; 0.95–1.07). There was no clear evidence of dose-response or duration-response relationships for any of the examined NSAID classes.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest modest benefits of at least some NSAIDs in reducing prostate cancer risk.

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<![CDATA[Telomere length and incident atrial fibrillation – data of the PREVEND cohort]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdb941

Background

The incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) increases with age. Telomere length is considered a marker of biological ageing. We investigated the association between leukocyte telomere length and incident AF in the Dutch Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-stage Disease (PREVEND) study.

Methods

We included 7775 individuals without prevalent AF, and with leukocyte telomere length measured. Mean telomere length was determined by a monochrome multiplex quantitative polymerase chain reaction-based assay.

Results

Mean age of our cohort was 49±13 years, and 50% were men. During a mean follow-up of 11.4±2.9 years incident AF was detected in 367 (4.7%) individuals. Telomere length was shorter in individuals developing incident AF compared to those without AF (p = 0.013). Incident AF was inversely related to the telomere length. In the quartile with the longest telomere length 68 (3.5%) individuals developed AF, in the shortest telomere length quartile 100 (5.1%) individuals (p = 0.032). Telomere length was associated with incident AF in the second shortest telomere length quartile using the longest telomere length quartile as reference (hazard ratio 1.64; 95% CI 1.02–2.66; p = 0.043). After including age or AF risk factors, the relation between telomere length and incident AF was no longer significant. We found a significant interaction of age, male sex, systolic blood pressure, BMI, heart failure, and myocardial infarction with telomere length for the association with incident AF.

Conclusions

We found that shorter leukocyte telomere length is not independently associated with incident AF in a community-based cohort.

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