ResearchPad - health-screening https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The association between cervical cancer screening participation and the deprivation index of the location of the family doctor’s office]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14737 Cervical cancer screening rates are known to be strongly associated with socioeconomic status. Our objective was to assess whether the rate is also associated with an aggregated deprivation marker, defined by the location of family doctors’ offices.MethodsTo access this association, we 1) collected data from the claim database of the French Health Insurance Fund about the registered family doctors and their enlisted female patients eligible for cervical screening; 2) carried out a telephone survey with all registered doctors to establish if they were carrying out Pap-smears in their practices; 3) geotracked all the doctors’ offices in the smallest existing blocks of socioeconomic homogenous populations (IRIS census units) that were assigned a census derived marker of deprivation, the European Deprivation Index (EDI), and a binary variable of urbanization; and 4) we used a multivariable linear mixed model with IRIS as a random effect.ResultsOf 348 eligible doctors, 343 responded to the telephone survey (98.6%) and were included in the analysis, encompassing 88,152 female enlisted patients aged 25–65 years old. In the multivariable analysis (adjusted by the gender of the family doctor, the practice of Pap-smears by the doctor and the urbanization of the office location), the EDI of the doctor’s office was strongly associated with the cervical cancer screening participation rate of eligible patients (p<0.001).ConclusionThe EDI linked to the location of the family doctor’s office seems to be a robust marker to predict female patients’ participation in cervical cancer screening. ]]> <![CDATA[Health profile of adult special immigrant visa holders arriving from Iraq and Afghanistan to the United States, 2009–2017: A cross-sectional analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13850 Between 2,000 and 19,000 Special Immigrant Visa holders (SIVH) from Iraq and Afghanistan have resettled in the United States annually since 2008.Per the Immigration and Nationality Act, SIVH, like other immigrants and refugees, must be examined by a physician before arriving in the US. Results of these overseas examinations are transmitted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to US state and local health departments via CDC’s Electronic Disease Notification system (EDN).Increasing provider knowledge about the health conditions most commonly encountered in SIVH as well as any differences in health conditions between SIVH from Iraq and Afghanistan may facilitate diagnostic screening, examination, and referrals to additional healthcare providers in the US.Information about the health of SIV populations is limited and would be beneficial for US clinicians who see SIVH in their clinics.What did the researchers do and find?In this cross-sectional analysis, we analyzed overseas medical exam data in CDC’s EDN for 19,167 SIV Iraqi and Afghan adults who resettled to the United States from April 2009 through December 2017.Among all SIVH, 56.5% were overweight or had obesity, 2.4% reported hypertension, 1.1% reported diabetes, and 19.4% reported current or previous tobacco use.In general, Iraqi SIVH were more likely to have obesity, diabetes, and be current or former smokers than Afghan SIVH.What do these findings mean?State public health agencies and clinicians screening SIVH should consider screening for diabetes among those with risk factors and prompt referral and management of obesity, hypertension, and smoking.Behavioral risk factor counseling and referral to culturally appropriate chronic disease prevention programs can be initiated at screening visits and subsequently reemphasized with primary care providers and other healthcare professionals.Limitations include the inability to obtain all SIVH records, self-reported medical history of NCDs, and underdiagnosis of NCDs such as hypertension and diabetes because formal laboratory testing for NCDs is not used during overseas medical exams. ]]> <![CDATA[Assessment of availability, awareness and perception of stakeholders regarding preschool vision screening in Kumasi, Ghana: An exploratory study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N637f6c02-dcec-48f9-ae4a-5e42bca666db

Background

Regardless of the importance of preschool vision screening (PSVS), there is limited data on the current state of these programs in Africa (particularly Ghana). This study sought to investigate the level of awareness and perception of stakeholders regarding PSVS, its availability and related policies/programmes in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana.

Methods

This descriptive cross-sectional study included 100 systematically sampled preschools in the metropolis (using probability proportional-to-size method); 72 private schools and 28 public schools. Convenience sampling was used to recruit stakeholders of preschools (teachers, head teachers, proprietors, administrators, directors, and educationists), and were interviewed using a well-structured questionnaire. Questionnaires were administered to all eligible respondents who were present at the time of data collection.

Results

A total of 344 respondents participated in the study; 123 (35.8%) males and 221 (64.2%) females. The overall mean age of respondents was 37.63 ±12.20 years (18–71 years). Of the respondents, 215 (62.5%), 94 (27.3%), and 35 (10.2%) were enrolled from private schools, public schools, and Metropolitan Education Directorate, respectively. 73.8% of respondents reported the absence of routine PSVS in schools whereas 90.1% reported no written policies for PSVS in schools. Only 63.6% of respondents were aware of PSVS whereas more than half (59.6%) of all respondents perceived PSVS to be very important for preschoolers. Private school ownership was significantly associated with availability of PSVS whereas age, teachers, private school ownership, and preschool experience > 10 years were significantly associated with awareness of PSVS (P < 0.05). However, there was no significant association between sociodemographic factors and perception of PSVS.

Conclusion

PSVS is largely unavailable in most Ghanaian schools. Majority of stakeholders were aware of PSVS and agreed to its implementation and incorporation into schools’ health programmes. There is the need to implement a national programme/policy on preschool vision screening in Ghana.

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<![CDATA[Belief about the future possibility of national aging security system and its association with mortality]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1530d5eed0c48467aea4

In line with well-known subjective measures of health, such as self-rated health and subjective life expectancy, an individual’s belief about future security provided by the government could also be an important factor affecting his life expectancy. The aim of this study was to use the response of the elderly Korean population in regards to the National Aging Security System (NASS), and assess its association with the risk of mortality even with SRH included in the analysis. Data from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Ageing (KLoSA) from 2006 to 2016 were assessed using longitudinal data analysis and 10,254 research subjects were included at baseline in 2006. To analyze the association between belief about future possibility of NASS and all-cause mortality, Cox proportional hazards model was used. In terms of the future possibility of NASS, people who thought more negatively displayed greater risk of mortality at the end of the follow-up. With the Positive group as reference: Moderate group showed a 18% increase (HR = 1.178, 95% CI: 1.022, 1.357), and Negative groups showed a 19% increase (HR = 1.192, 95% CI: 1.043, 1.362). The results of our study showed that people’s belief regarding future security could be associated with mortality rates. Our finding is important, because it provides additional support to the importance of considering subjective measures of health in epidemiological research. Furthermore, the findings of our research could be useful in terms of future policy making.

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<![CDATA[Chlamydia trachomatis infection among patients attending sexual and reproductive health clinics: A cross-sectional study in Bao'an District, Shenzhen, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac92d5eed0c484d08a5a

This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of chlamydial trachomatis (CT) infection and explore its risk factors among patients attending sexual and reproductive health clinics in Shenzhen, China. We collected demographic and clinical information from attendees (aged 18–49). CT and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG) infection was determined by nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) on self-collected urine specimens. Of 1,938 participants recruited, 10.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.6%-11.0%) tested positive for CT. Prevalence was similar between men (10.6% [85/804]; 95% CI, 9.5%–11.7%) and women (10.1% [115/1134]; 95% CI: 9.2%–11.0%). Being 18–25 years old (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.52; 95%CI:1.35–4.71), never tested for CT before (aOR = 2.42; 95%CI: 1.05–5.61) and infected with NG(aOR = 3.87; 95%CI: 2.10–7.10) were independently associated with CT infection. We found that CT infection is prevalent among patients attending sexual and reproductive health clinics in Shenzhen, China. A comprehensive program including CT screening, surveillance and treatment is urgently needed.

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<![CDATA[Second-line glucose-lowering drugs added to metformin and the risk of hospitalization for heart failure: A nationwide cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b26a1d5eed0c484289d9a

Aim

To compare the risks of hospitalization for heart failure (HHF) associated with sulfonylurea (SU), dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor (DPP-4i), and thiazolidinedione (TZD) as add-on medications to metformin (MET) therapy using the data of Korean adults with type-2 diabetes from the Korean National Health Insurance database.

Methods

We identified 98,383 people who received SU (n = 42,683), DPP-4i (n = 50,310), or TZD (n = 5,390) added to initial treatment of MET monotherapy in patients with type-2 diabetes. The main outcome was the hospitalization for HHF. Hazard ratios for HHF by type of second-line glucose-lowering medication were estimated by Cox-proportional hazard models. Sex, age, duration of MET monotherapy, Charlson Comorbidity Index and additional comorbidities, and calendar year were controlled as potential confounders.

Results

The observed numbers (rate per 100,000 person-years) of HHF events were 1,129 (658) for MET+SU users, 710 (455) for MET+DPP-4i users, and 110 (570) for MET+TZD users. Compared to that for MET+SU users (reference group), the adjusted hazard ratios for HHF events were 0.76 (95% confidence interval 0.69–0.84) for MET+DPP-4i users and 0.96 (95% confidence interval 0.79–1.17) for MET+TZD users.

Conclusion

DPP-4i as an add-on therapy to MET may lower the risks of HHF compared with SU.

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<![CDATA[Predictive validity of preschool screening tools for language and behavioural difficulties: A PRISMA systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e912d5eed0c48496f791

Background

Preschool screening for developmental difficulties is increasingly becoming part of routine health service provision and yet the scope and validity of tools used within these screening assessments is variable. The aim of this review is to report on the predictive validity of preschool screening tools for language and behaviour difficulties used in a community setting.

Methods

Studies reporting the predictive validity of language or behaviour screening tools in the preschool years were identified through literature searches of Ovid Medline, Embase, EBSCO CINAHL, PsycInfo and ERIC. We selected peer-reviewed journal articles reporting the use of a screening tool for language or behaviour in a population-based sample of children aged 2–6 years of age, including a validated comparison diagnostic assessment and follow-up assessment for calculation of predictive validity.

Results

A total of eleven eligible studies was identified. Six studies reported language screening tools, two reported behaviour screening tools and three reported combined language & behaviour screening tools. The Language Development Survey (LDS) administered at age 2 years achieved the best predictive validity performance of the language screening tools (sens 67%, spec 94%, NPV 88% and PPV 80%). The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) administered at age 4 years achieved the best predictive validity compared to other behaviour screening tools (Sens 31%, spec 93%, NPV 84% and PPV 52%). The SDQ and Sure Start Language Measure (SSLM) administered at 2.5 years achieved the best predictive validity of the combined language & behaviour assessments (sens 87%, spec 64%, NPV 97% and PPV 31). Predictive validity data and diagnostic odds ratios identified language screening tools as more effective and achieving higher sensitivity and positive predictive value than either behaviour or combined screening tools. Screening tools with combined behaviour and language assessments were more specific and achieved higher negative predictive value than individual language or behaviour screening tools. Parent-report screening tools for language achieved higher sensitivity, specificity and negative predictive value than direct child assessment.

Conclusions

Universal screening tools for language and behaviour concerns in preschool aged children used in a community setting can demonstrate excellent predictive validity, particularly when they utilise a parent-report assessment. Incorporating these tools into routine child health surveillance could improve the rate of early identification of language and behavioural difficulties, enabling more informed referrals to specialist services and facilitating access to early intervention.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of a national cryptococcal antigen screening program for HIV-infected patients in Uganda: A cost-effectiveness modeling analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f7dad5eed0c484386afb

Background

Cryptococcal meningitis accounts for 15% of AIDS-related mortality. Cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) is detected in blood weeks before onset of meningitis, and CrAg positivity is an independent predictor of meningitis and death. CrAg screening for patients with advanced HIV and preemptive treatment is recommended by the World Health Organization, though implementation remains limited. Our objective was to evaluate costs and mortality reduction (lives saved) from a national CrAg screening program across Uganda.

Methods

We created a decision analytic model to evaluate CrAg screening. CrAg screening was considered for those with a CD4<100 cells/μL per national and international guidelines, and in the context of a national HIV test-and-treat program where CD4 testing was not available. Costs (2016 USD) were estimated for screening, preemptive therapy, hospitalization, and maintenance therapy. Parameter assumptions were based on large prospective CrAg screening studies in Uganda, and clinical trials from sub Saharan Africa. CrAg positive (CrAg+) persons could be: (a) asymptomatic and thus eligible for preemptive treatment with fluconazole; or (b) symptomatic with meningitis with hospitalization.

Results

In the base case model for 1 million persons with a CD4 test annually, 128,000 with a CD4<100 cells/μL were screened, and 8,233 were asymptomatic CrAg+ and received preemptive therapy. Compared to no screening and treatment, CrAg screening and treatment in the base case cost $3,356,724 compared to doing nothing, and saved 7,320 lives, for a cost of $459 per life saved, with the $3.3 million in cost savings derived from fewer patients developing fulminant meningitis. In the scenario of a national HIV test-and-treat program, of 1 million HIV-infected persons, 800,000 persons were screened, of whom 640,000 returned to clinic, and 8,233 were incident CrAg positive (CrAg prevalence 1.4%). The total cost of a CrAg screening and treatment program was $4.16 million dollars, with 2,180 known deaths. Conversely, without CrAg screening, the cost of treating meningitis was $3.09 million dollars with 3,806 deaths. Thus, despite the very low CrAg prevalence of 1.4% in the general HIV-infected population, and inadequate retention-in-care, CrAg screening averted 43% of deaths from cryptococcal meningitis at a cost of $662 per death averted.

Conclusion

CrAg screening and treatment programs are cost-saving and lifesaving, assuming preemptive treatment is 77% effective in preventing death, and could be adopted and implemented by ministries of health to reduce mortality in those with advanced HIV disease. Even within HIV test-and-treat programs where CD4 testing is not performed, and CrAg prevalence is only 1.4%, CrAg screening is cost-effective.

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<![CDATA[Maintenance of body weight is an important determinant for the risk of ischemic stroke: A nationwide population-based cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c37b7acd5eed0c4844908b8

Background

Overweight is known as a risk factor for ischemic stroke. However, the effect of weight change on the development of ischemic stroke remains controversial. We investigated the relationship between weight change and the risk of ischemic stroke using a nationwide population-based cohort.

Methods

Our study enrolled 11,084,683 participants (Mean age 49.7±13.5 years, range 20–114 years) in the Korean National Health Screening Program from 2009 to 2012. Weight change was calculated using the difference between the baseline weight and the weight at health screening four years prior to the baseline. The occurrence of newly-diagnosed ischemic stroke was observed until the end of 2015. We categorized the study population according to weight change and performed multivariable analysis to compare the risk.

Results

Ischemic stroke was newly diagnosed in 113,591 subjects. The crude incidence rates of ischemic stroke per 1000 person-years according to the change in body weight were 3.059, 1.906, and 1.491 in the <-5%, ±5%, and ≥+5% groups, respectively. After adjusting all variables, the hazard ratio (HR) of ischemic stroke was higher in subjects who underwent weight loss (HR 1.152) or weight gain (HR 1.087) than in those who maintained their weight. When analyzed by eight groups of 5% intervals, the risk showed a U-shaped curve with those who maintained their weight showing the lowest risk.

Conclusions

The risk of ischemic stroke was gradually increased in those who lost or gained more than 5% of their weight over four years, after adjusting for confounders. We should be aware of the increased risk of ischemic stroke in people who undergo weight change and should identify and manage the cause of weight change.

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<![CDATA[Recommendation for ophthalmic care in German preschool health examination and its adherence: Results of the prospective cohort study ikidS]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed77ed5eed0c484f1426b

Background

Each child in Germany undergoes a preschool health examination including vision screening and recommendations for further ophthalmic care. This study investigated the frequency of and adherence to these recommendations.

Methods

A population-based prospective cohort study was performed in the area of Mainz-Bingen (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany). All preschoolers were examined at the statutory preschool health examination, which includes vision testing (Rodenstock vision screener) with available correction in the last preschool year. Based on the results, recommendations for further ophthalmic care were given to the parents. Six weeks prior to school entry, parents were surveyed concerning ophthalmic health care visits, diagnoses, and treatments. Ophthalmic care recommendation frequency and its adherence were investigated using logistic regression analysis adjusted for potential confounders.

Results

1226 children were included in this study, and 109 children received a recommendation for ophthalmic care based on the preschool health examination. At the follow-up, 84% of children who had received a recommendation had visited an ophthalmologist within the preceding year compared to 47% of children who had not received a recommendation. The recommendation for ophthalmic care was clearly associated with a higher number of ophthalmological visits (odds ratio = 7.63; 95% confidence interval: 3.96–14.7). In a subgroup analysis, adherence to a recommendation was lower in children with migrant background (OR = 2.26; 95%-CI: 0.64–7.90, compared to: OR = 11.6; 95%-CI: 4.95–27.4) and in those with low socio-economic status.

Conclusions

Adherence to preschool recommendations for ophthalmic care is high in German preschoolers. However, a migrant background and low socio-economic status may reduce this adherence.

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<![CDATA[Cost-effectiveness of using a rapid diagnostic test to screen for human African trypanosomiasis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bae990340307c0c23a1c158

New rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for screening human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) have been introduced as alternatives to the card agglutination test for trypanosomiasis (CATT). One brand of RDT, the SD BIOLINE HAT RDT has been shown to have lower specificity but higher sensitivity than CATT, so to make a rational choice between screening strategies, a cost-effectiveness analysis is a key element. In this paper we estimate the relative cost-effectiveness of CATT and the RDT when implemented in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Data on the epidemiological parameters and costs were collected as part of a larger study. These data were used to model three different diagnostic algorithms in mobile teams and fixed health facilities, and the relative cost-effectiveness was measured as the average cost per case diagnosed. In both fixed facilities and mobile teams, screening of participants using the SD BIOLINE HAT RDT followed by parasitological confirmation had a lower cost-effectiveness ratio than in algorithms using CATT. Algorithms using the RDT were cheaper by 112.54 (33.2%) and 88.54 (32.92%) US dollars per case diagnosed in mobile teams and fixed health facilities respectively, when compared with algorithms using CATT. Sensitivity analysis demonstrated that these conclusions were robust to a number of assumptions, and that the results can be scaled to smaller or larger facilities, and a range of prevalences. The RDT was the most cost-effective screening test in all realistic scenarios and detected more cases than CATT. Thus, on this basis, the SD BIOLINE HAT RDT could be considered as the most cost-effective option for use in routine screening for HAT in the DRC.

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<![CDATA[Family history–based colorectal cancer screening in Australia: A modelling study of the costs, benefits, and harms of different participation scenarios]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b8b29df40307c405292ca51

Background

The Australian National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (NBCSP) was introduced in 2006. When fully implemented, the programme will invite people aged 50 to 74 to complete an immunochemical faecal occult blood test (iFOBT) every 2 years.

Methods and findings

To investigate colorectal cancer (CRC) screening occurring outside of the NBCSP, we classified participants (n = 2,480) in the Australasian Colorectal Cancer Family Registry (ACCFR) into 3 risk categories (average, moderately increased, and potentially high) based on CRC family history and assessed their screening practices according to national guidelines. We developed a microsimulation to compare hypothetical screening scenarios (70% and 100% uptake) to current participation levels (baseline) and evaluated clinical outcomes and cost for each risk category. The 2 main limitations of this study are as follows: first, the fact that our cost-effectiveness analysis was performed from a third-party payer perspective, which does not include indirect costs and results in overestimated cost-effectiveness ratios, and second, that our natural history model of CRC does not include polyp sojourn time, which determines the rate of cancerous transformation.

Screening uptake was low across all family history risk categories (64%–56% reported no screening). For participants at average risk, 18% reported overscreening, while 37% of those in the highest risk categories screened according to guidelines. Higher screening levels would substantially reduce CRC mortality across all risk categories (95 to 305 fewer deaths per 100,000 persons in the 70% scenario versus baseline). For those at average risk, a fully implemented NBCSP represented the most cost-effective approach to prevent CRC deaths (AUS$13,000–16,000 per quality-adjusted life year [QALY]). For those at moderately increased risk, higher adherence to recommended screening was also highly cost-effective (AUS$19,000–24,000 per QALY).

Conclusion

Investing in public health strategies to increase adherence to appropriate CRC screening will save lives and deliver high value for money.

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<![CDATA[What are the determinants for individuals to undergo cardiovascular disease health checks? A cross sectional survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0c04f3d5eed0c48481d14f

Background

There is a need to improve public’s participation in health checks for early identification of individuals at high risk of CVD for prevention. The objective of this study is to identify significant determinants associated with individuals’ intention to undergo CVD health checks. These determinants could be used to develop effective strategies to improve CVD health check participation.

Methods

This was a cross sectional survey using mall intercept interviews. It was carried out in a hypermarket surrounded by housing estates with a population of varying socioeconomic backgrounds. Inclusion criteria were Malaysian nationality and age 30 years and older. The validated CVD health check questionnaire was used to assess participants’ intention and the determinants that influenced their intention to undergo CVD health checks.

Results

A total of 413 participants were recruited. The median age of the participants was 45 years (IQR 17 years) and 60% of them were female. Participants indicated they were likely (45.0%) or very likely (38.7%) to undergo CVD health checks while 16.2% were not sure, unlikely or very unlikely to undergo health checks. Using ordinal regression analysis, perception of benefits, drawbacks of CVD health checks, perception of external barriers and readiness to handle outcomes following CVD health checks were the significant determinants of individuals’ intention to undergo CVD health checks.

Conclusions

To improve individuals’ participation in CVD health checks, we need to develop strategies to address their perception of benefits and drawbacks of CVD health checks, the perceived external barriers and their readiness to handle outcomes following CVD health checks.

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<![CDATA[A qualitative study exploring patient motivations for screening for lung cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b4a1971463d7e428027f8b5

Background

Low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) of the chest for lung cancer screening of heavy smokers was given a ‘B’ rating by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in 2013, and gained widespread insurance coverage in the U.S. in 2015. Lung cancer screening has since had low uptake. However, for those that do choose to screen, little is known about patient motivations for completing screening in real-world practice.

Objective

To explore the motivations for screening-eligible patients to screen for lung cancer.

Methods

Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 LDCT screen-completed men and women who were members of an integrated mixed-model healthcare system in Washington State. From June to September 2015, participants were recruited and individual interviews performed about motivations to screen for lung cancer. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed and analyzed using inductive content analysis by three investigators.

Results

Four primary themes emerged as motivations for completing LDCT lung cancer screening: 1) trust in the referring clinician; 2) early-detection benefit; 3) low or limited harm perception; and 4) friends or family with advanced cancer.

Conclusion

Participants in our study were primarily motivated to screen for lung cancer based on perceived benefit of early-detection, absence of safety concerns, and personal relationships. Our findings provide new insights about patient motivations to screen, and can potentially be used to improve lung cancer screening uptake and shared decision-making processes.

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<![CDATA[Does mammogram attendance influence participation in cervical and colorectal cancer screening? A prospective study among 1856 French women]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b49cacc463d7e33e4eac05e

Background

We aimed to determine participation rates and factors associated with participation in colorectal (fecal occul blood test) and cervical cancer (Pap-smear) screening among a population of women participating in breast cancer screening.

Methods

From August to October 2015, a self-administered questionnaire was sent by post to 2 900 women aged 50–65, living in Côte-d’Or, France, and who were up to date with mammogram screening. Polytomic logistic regression was used to identify correlates of participation in both cervical and colorectal cancer screenings. Participation in all 3 screenings was chosen as the reference.

Results

Study participation rate was 66.3% (n = 1856). Besides being compliant with mammogram, respectively 78.3% and 56.6% of respondents were up to date for cervical and colorectal cancer screenings, while 46.2% were compliant with the 3 screenings. Consultation with a gynecologist in the past year was associated with higher chance of undergoing the 3 screenings or female cancer screenings (p<10–4), when consultation with a GP was associated with higher chance of undergoing the 3 screenings or organized cancer screenings (p<0.05). Unemployment, obesity, age>59 and yearly flu vaccine were associated with a lower involvement in cervical cancer screening. Women from high socio-economic classes were more likely to attend only female cancer screenings (p = 0.009). Finally, a low level of physical activity and tobacco use were associated with higher risk of no additional screening participation (p<10–3 and p = 0.027).

Conclusions

Among women participating in breast screening, colorectal and cervical cancer screening rates could be improved. Including communication about these 2 cancer screenings in the mammogram invitation could be worth to explore.

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<![CDATA[Cryptococcal antigen positivity combined with the percentage of HIV-seropositive samples with CD4 counts <100 cells/μl identifies districts in South Africa with advanced burden of disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b297b7d463d7e06147f8d6f

Introduction

Cryptococcal meningitis (CM) is an opportunistic fungal disease with a high mortality among HIV-positive patients with severe immunosuppression (CD4 count <100 cells/μl). Reflexed screening for cryptococcal antigen (CrAg) in remnant blood samples was initially piloted at selected CD4 testing laboratories of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) prior to the implementation of a national screening programme using a lateral flow assay (LFA) (IMMY, Norman, OK, USA). The aim of this study was to assess CrAg positivity nationally, per province and district in combination with the percentage of CD4 samples tested with a CD4 count <100 cells/μl to identify areas with advanced HIV/CrAg disease burden.

Methods

CrAg and CD4 laboratory result data were extracted from the NHLS corporate data warehouse. Monthly test volumes were used to assess CrAg test volumes and coverage, while bubble charts were used to display the relationship between CD4 <100 cells/μl, CrAg positivity and number of positive CrAg samples by district. ArcGIS software was used to spatially report CrAg positivity.

Results

CrAg screening coverage was stable at around 96% after November 2016. Samples with a CD4 <100 cell/μl and CrAg positivity were also stable over the study period at 10% and ~5% respectively. The highest CrAg positivity was reported for the Kwa-Zulu Natal province (7.3%), which also had the lowest percentage of samples with a CD4 <100 cells/μl (7.2%). Uthungulu and Umkhanyakude districts had the highest CrAg positivity (9.3% and 8.9% respectively). Ethekwini and Johannesburg Metro districts contributed to 22% of the total number of CrAg-positive samples tested across South Africa for the period reported.

Conclusion

Existing CD4 testing services were used to rapidly scale up CrAg reflex testing in South Africa. Districts with advanced HIV and CrAg disease burden were identified that need further investigation of patient management interventions.

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<![CDATA[Why Do Women Not Use Antenatal Services in Low- and Middle-Income Countries? A Meta-Synthesis of Qualitative Studies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad7ab0ee8fa60bb8888

In a synthesis of 21 qualitative studies representing the views of more than 1,230 women from 15 countries, Kenneth Finlayson and Soo Downe examine the reasons why many women in low- and middle-income countries do not receive adequate antenatal care.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence of Chlamydia in Young Adulthood and Association with Life Course Socioeconomic Position: Birth Cohort Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f1ab0ee8fa60b6e8b3

Background

Few estimates are available of chlamydia prevalence in the general population. Existing studies have limited scope to explore potential selection bias or associations with socioeconomic position.

Methods

We examined the prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis infection and associations with life-course socioeconomic position in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children in England. Chlamydia infection was measured through nucleic acid amplification test of urine specimens.

Results

4864 (51%) of those invited attended the clinic (mean age 17.8; SD 0.37 years). (60%) provided a urine specimen. Prevalence was 1.0% (95% CI 0.6 to 1.6) among participants reporting sexual activity. Risk of infection was strongly associated with life course social disadvantage and with recent sexual behaviour. After adjustment for other measures of disadvantage and for sexual behaviour the strongest risk factors for infection were lower maternal educational attainment (OR 9.1 (1.1, 76.7)) and lower participant educational attainment at age 11 (OR 5.0 (1.5, 16.5)). Both clinic attendance and agreement to test were lower amongst the disadvantaged. Adjustment for selective participation based on detailed information on non-participants approximately doubled prevalence estimates. Prevalence was higher in sexually active women (1.4% (0.7 to 2.4) than men (0.5% (0.1 to 1.3)).

Conclusions

Chlamydia prevalence in this general population sample was low even after adjustment for selective participation in testing. These estimates of prevalence and patterns of association with socioeconomic position may both reflect recent screening efforts. Prevalence was higher amongst the disadvantaged who were also less likely to engage in testing. Our results reveal the importance of monitoring and addressing inequalities in screening programme participation and outcomes.

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<![CDATA[Systematic Review of Screening and Surveillance Programs to Protect Workers from Nanomaterials]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da95ab0ee8fa60ba176d

Background

Screening and surveillance approaches for workers exposed to nanomaterials could aid in early detection of health effects, provide data for epidemiological studies and inform action to decrease exposure. The aim of this review is to identify such screening and surveillance approaches, in order to extract available data regarding (i) the studies that have successfully been implemented in present day, (ii) identification of the most common and/or toxic nano-related health hazards for workers and (iii) possible exposure surveillance markers. This review contributes to the current understanding of the risk associated with nanomaterials by determining the knowledge gap and making recommendations based on current findings.

Methods

A systematic review was conducted. PubMed and Embase were searched to identify articles reporting on any surveillance-related study that described both exposure to nanomaterials and the health indicators that were measured. Four reviewers worked in pairs to independently assess the eligibility of studies and risk of bias before extraction of data. Studies were categorised according to the type of study and the medical surveillance performed, which included the type of nanomaterial, any exposure details provided, as well as health indicators and biomarkers tested.

Results

Initially 92 studies were identified, from which 84 full texts were assessed for eligibility. Seven studies met all the inclusion criteria, i.e. those performed in Taiwan, Korea, Czech Republic and the US. Of these, six compared health indicators between exposed and unexposed workers and one study described a surveillance program. All studies were at a high risk of bias. Workers were exposed to a mix of nanomaterials in three studies, carbon-based nanomaterials in two studies, nano-silver in one study and nano-titanium oxide in the other study. Two studies did not find a difference in biomarkers between exposed and unexposed workers. In addition, differences in early effects on pulmonary function or neurobehavioral tests were not observed. One study found an increased prevalence of allergic dermatitis and “sneezing” in the exposed group.

Conclusions

This review of recently published data on surveillance studies proves that there is a gap in the current knowledge, where most of the surveillance-related studies reported do not follow a set format that provides the required information on ENM characterisation, the type of exposure and the measured indicators/biomarkers. Hence, there is very low quality evidence that screening and surveillance might detect adverse health effects associated with workplace exposure. This systematic review is relevant because it proves that, although surveillance programs have been initiated and preliminary results are being published, the current studies are actually not answering the important questions or solving the overall problem regarding what the potential health hazards are among workers either handling or potentially exposed to ENMs. The recommendations, thus proposed, are based on an obvious need for (i) exposure registries, where longitudinal follow-up studies should inform surveillance, (ii) known exposure measurements or summary indices for ENMs as a reference (iii) validation of candidate biomarkers and (iv) studies that compare the effects of these surveillance approaches to usual care, e.g. those commonly followed for bulk-size hazardous materials.

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<![CDATA[True versus Apparent Malaria Infection Prevalence: The Contribution of a Bayesian Approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9bab0ee8fa60ba394f

Aims

To present a new approach for estimating the “true prevalence” of malaria and apply it to datasets from Peru, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Methods

Bayesian models were developed for estimating both the malaria prevalence using different diagnostic tests (microscopy, PCR & ELISA), without the need of a gold standard, and the tests' characteristics. Several sources of information, i.e. data, expert opinions and other sources of knowledge can be integrated into the model. This approach resulting in an optimal and harmonized estimate of malaria infection prevalence, with no conflict between the different sources of information, was tested on data from Peru, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Results

Malaria sero-prevalence was relatively low in all sites, with ELISA showing the highest estimates. The sensitivity of microscopy and ELISA were statistically lower in Vietnam than in the other sites. Similarly, the specificities of microscopy, ELISA and PCR were significantly lower in Vietnam than in the other sites. In Vietnam and Peru, microscopy was closer to the “true” estimate than the other 2 tests while as expected ELISA, with its lower specificity, usually overestimated the prevalence.

Conclusions

Bayesian methods are useful for analyzing prevalence results when no gold standard diagnostic test is available. Though some results are expected, e.g. PCR more sensitive than microscopy, a standardized and context-independent quantification of the diagnostic tests' characteristics (sensitivity and specificity) and the underlying malaria prevalence may be useful for comparing different sites. Indeed, the use of a single diagnostic technique could strongly bias the prevalence estimation. This limitation can be circumvented by using a Bayesian framework taking into account the imperfect characteristics of the currently available diagnostic tests. As discussed in the paper, this approach may further support global malaria burden estimation initiatives.

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