ResearchPad - population-metrics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Mortality estimates by age and sex among persons living with HIV after ART initiation in Zambia using electronic medical records supplemented with tracing a sample of lost patients: A cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13858 Despite many studies demonstrating differences in HIV-related outcomes between men and women on antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa, few studies use a probability sample that would enable them to offer regionally representative estimates.Many studies taken from routine service delivery settings are unable to account for outcomes among individuals lost to follow-up, which may threaten the validity of estimates comparing mortality in men and women.Furthermore, whether differences in survival between men and women vary across other important sociodemographic characteristics (such as age) remains underexplored.What did the researchers do and find?We used a multistage sampling approach to enumerate an analysis population of HIV-positive patients visiting public health facilities in 4 provinces in Zambia (Lusaka, Southern, Eastern, and Western).We estimated the association between sex and mortality overall and by age, adjusting for other sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.Of 49,129 adults newly initiating ART, the mortality rate was almost twice as high in men compared to women.Analysis of age-by-sex interactions revealed particularly elevated mortality among young males (as compared to females of the same age). While mortality rates appeared to fall with age among men, mortality rates rose with age among women, and by 50 years of age, women had a 2–3 times higher rate of death compared to women under 30.What do these findings mean?Among adults living with HIV in Zambia, men on average experience greater mortality compared to women, but this difference varies markedly by age, even after adjustment for other sociodemographic and clinical characteristics (e.g., baseline level of immunosuppression).Additional means of engaging and supporting younger men in HIV care is urgently needed and may include improved access to self-testing, use of financial incentives, and male-friendly services that feature flexible hours, an integrated multi-disease care model, and reduced visit frequency.Rising mortality associated with age in women greater than would be expected in the general population suggests that health services targeting women of reproductive age may be in part responsible for good clinical outcomes in younger women, but also highlights the need for specific programs to engage older women in care. ]]> <![CDATA[Time-to-Death approach in revealing Chronicity and Severity of COVID-19 across the World]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13808 The outbreak of coronavirus disease, 2019 (COVID-19), which started from Wuhan, China, in late 2019, have spread worldwide. A total of 5,91,971 cases and 2,70,90 deaths were registered till 28th March, 2020. We aimed to predict the impact of duration of exposure to COVID-19 on the mortality rates increment.MethodsIn the present study, data on COVID-19 infected top seven countries viz., Germany, China, France, United Kingdom, Iran, Italy and Spain, and World as a whole, were used for modeling. The analytical procedure of generalized linear model followed by Gompertz link function was used to predict the impact lethal duration of exposure on the mortality rates.FindingsOf the selected countries and World as whole, the projection based on 21st March, 2020 cases, suggest that a total (95% Cl) of 76 (65–151) days of exposure in Germany, mortality rate will increase by 5 times to 1%. In countries like France and United Kingdom, our projection suggests that additional exposure of 48 days and 7 days, respectively, will raise the mortality rates to10%. Regarding Iran, Italy and Spain, mortality rate will rise to 10% with an additional 3–10 days of exposure. World’s mortality rates will continue increase by 1% in every three weeks. The predicted interval of lethal duration corresponding to each country has found to be consistent with the mortality rates observed on 28th March, 2020.ConclusionThe prediction of lethal duration was found to have apparently effective in predicting mortality, and shows concordance with prevailing rates. In absence of any vaccine against COVID-19 infection, the present study adds information about the quantum of the severity and time elapsed to death will help the Government to take necessary and appropriate steps to control this pandemic. ]]> <![CDATA[The emergence of social gaps in mental health: A longitudinal population study in Sweden, 1900-1959]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11234 During the recent decades, social inequalities in mental health have increased and are now one of the most persistent features of contemporary society. There is limited knowledge about when this pattern emerged or whether it has been a historically fixed feature. The objective of this study was to assess whether socioeconomic and gender gaps in mental health changed during the period 1900–1959 in Sweden. We used historical micro data which report all necessary information on individuals' demographic characteristics, occupational attainment and mental disorders (N = 2,450) in a Swedish population of 193,893. Changes over time was tested using multilevel Cox proportional hazard models. We tested how gender-specific risks of mental disorder changed and how gender-specific socioeconomic status was related to risks of mental disorder later in life. We found a reversal in gender gaps in mental health during the study period. Women had a lower risk than men in 1900 and higher risks in 1959. For men, we found a negative gradient in SES risks in 1900 and a positive gradient in 1959. For women, we found no clear SES gradient in the risk of mental disorder. These findings suggest that the contemporary patterns in socioeconomic and gender gaps in mental disorder emerged during the 1940s and 1950s and have since then persisted.

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<![CDATA[Administration of lower doses of radium-224 to ankylosing spondylitis patients results in no evidence of significant overall detriment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11232 The use of low doses of radium-224 (224Ra) chloride for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis was stopped following the discovery that patients treated with it had a higher than control incidence of leukaemia and other cancers. This was so even though the treatment resulted in decreased pain and increased mobility–both of which are associated with decreased mortality. It was decided to re-analyze the epidemiological data looking at all causes of death. The risk of leukaemia, solid cancer, death from non-cancer causes and from all causes in a study populations of men that received either the typical dose of 5.6 to 11.1 MBq of 224Ra, any dose of 224Ra or no radium were compared using the Cox proportional hazard model. For patients that received the typical dose of 224Ra agreed with the excess cancer was similar to that reported in previous studies. In contrast, these patients were less likely to die from non-cancer diseases and from all causes of death than the control patients. No excess mortality was also found in the population of all males that received the radionuclide. It is concluded that 224Ra treatment administered at low doses to patients with ankylosing spondylitis did not impact mortality from all causes. The study demonstrates the need to consider all causes of death and longevity when assessing health impacts following irradiation.

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<![CDATA[Sustainability management of short-lived freshwater fish in human-altered ecosystems should focus on adult survival]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7859 Fish populations globally are susceptible to endangerment through exploitation and habitat loss. We present theoretical simulations to explore how reduced adult survival (age truncation) might affect short-lived freshwater fish species in human-altered contemporary environments. Our simulations evaluate two hypothetical "average fish" and five example fish species of age 1 or age 2 maturity. From a population equilibrium baseline representing a natural, unaltered environment we impose systematic reductions in adult survival and quantify how age truncation affects the causes of variation in population growth rate. We estimate the relative contributions to population growth rate arising from simulated temporal variation in age-specific vital rates and population structure. At equilibrium and irrespective of example species, population structure (first adult age class) and survival probability of the first two adult age classes are the most important determinants of population growth. As adult survival decreases, the first reproductive age class becomes increasingly important to variation in population growth. All simulated examples show the same general pattern of change with age truncation as known for exploited, longer-lived fish species in marine and freshwater environments. This implies age truncation is a general potential concern for fish biodiversity across life history strategies and ecosystems. Managers of short-lived, freshwater fishes in contemporary environments often focus on supporting reproduction to ensure population persistence. However, a strong focus on water management to support reproduction may reduce adult survival. Sustainability management needs a focus on mitigating adult mortality in human-altered ecosystems. A watershed spatial extent embracing land and water uses may be necessary to identify and mitigate causes of age truncation in freshwater species. Achieving higher adult survival will require paradigm transformations in society and government about water management priorities.

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<![CDATA[SimSurvey: An R package for comparing the design and analysis of surveys by simulating spatially-correlated populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8465 Populations often show complex spatial and temporal dynamics, creating challenges in designing and implementing effective surveys. Inappropriate sampling designs can potentially lead to both under-sampling (reducing precision) and over-sampling (through the extensive and potentially expensive sampling of correlated metrics). These issues can be difficult to identify and avoid in sample surveys of fish populations as they tend to be costly and comprised of multiple levels of sampling. Population estimates are therefore affected by each level of sampling as well as the pathway taken to analyze such data. Though simulations are a useful tool for exploring the efficacy of specific sampling strategies and statistical methods, there are a limited number of tools that facilitate the simulation testing of a range of sampling and analytical pathways for multi-stage survey data. Here we introduce the R package SimSurvey, which has been designed to simplify the process of simulating surveys of age-structured and spatially-distributed populations. The package allows the user to simulate age-structured populations that vary in space and time and explore the efficacy of a range of built-in or user-defined sampling protocols to reproduce the population parameters of the known population. SimSurvey also includes a function for estimating the stratified mean and variance of the population from the simulated survey data. We demonstrate the use of this package using a case study and show that it can reveal unexpected sources of bias and be used to explore design-based solutions to such problems. In summary, SimSurvey can serve as a convenient, accessible and flexible platform for simulating a wide range of sampling strategies for fish stocks and other populations that show complex structuring. Various statistical approaches can then be applied to the results to test the efficacy of different analytical approaches.

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<![CDATA[Prevalence, Severity and Mortality associated with COPD and Smoking in patients with COVID-19: A Rapid Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7662 Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an evolving infectious disease that dramatically spread all over the world in the early part of 2020. No studies have yet summarized the potential severity and mortality risks caused by COVID-19 in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and we update information in smokers.MethodsWe systematically searched electronic databases from inception to March 24, 2020. Data were extracted by two independent authors in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Study quality was assessed using a modified version of the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. We synthesized a narrative from eligible studies and conducted a meta-analysis using a random-effects model to calculate pooled prevalence rates and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI).ResultsIn total, 123 abstracts were screened and 61 full-text manuscripts were reviewed. A total of 15 studies met the inclusion criteria, which included a total of 2473 confirmed COVID-19 patients. All studies were included in the meta-analysis. The crude case fatality rate of COVID-19 was 7.4%. The pooled prevalence rates of COPD patients and smokers in COVID-19 cases were 2% (95% CI, 1%–3%) and 9% (95% CI, 4%–14%) respectively. COPD patients were at a higher risk of more severe disease (risk of severity = 63%, (22/35) compared to patients without COPD 33.4% (409/1224) [calculated RR, 1.88 (95% CI, 1.4–2.4)]. This was associated with higher mortality (60%). Our results showed that 22% (31/139) of current smokers and 46% (13/28) of ex-smokers had severe complications. The calculated RR showed that current smokers were 1.45 times more likely [95% CI: 1.03–2.04] to have severe complications compared to former and never smokers. Current smokers also had a higher mortality rate of 38.5%.ConclusionAlthough COPD prevalence in COVID-19 cases was low in current reports, COVID-19 infection was associated with substantial severity and mortality rates in COPD. Compared to former and never smokers, current smokers were at greater risk of severe complications and higher mortality rate. Effective preventive measures are required to reduce COVID-19 risk in COPD patients and current smokers. ]]> <![CDATA[30-year trends in major cardiovascular risk factors in the Czech population, Czech MONICA and Czech post-MONICA, 1985 – 2016/17]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7657 Compared with Western Europe, the decline in cardiovascular (CV) mortality has been delayed in former communist countries in Europe, including the Czech Republic. We have assessed longitudinal trends in major CV risk factors in the Czech Republic from 1985 to 2016/17, covering the transition from the totalitarian regime to democracy.MethodsThere were 7 independent cross-sectional surveys for major CV risk factors conducted in the Czech Republic in the same 6 country districts within the WHO MONICA Project (1985, 1988, 1992) and the Czech post-MONICA study (1997/98, 2000/01, 2007/08 and 2016/2017), including a total of 7,606 males and 8,050 females. The population samples were randomly selected (1%, aged 25–64 years).ResultsOver the period of 31/32 years, there was a significant decrease in the prevalence of smoking in males (from 45.0% to 23.9%; p < 0.001) and no change in females. BMI increased only in males. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly in both genders, while the prevalence of hypertension declined only in females. Awareness of hypertension, the proportion of individuals treated by antihypertensive drugs and consequently hypertension control improved in both genders. A substantial decrease in total cholesterol was seen in both sexes (males: from 6.21 ± 1.29 to 5.30 ± 1.05 mmol/L; p < 0.001; females: from 6.18 ± 1.26 to 5.31 ± 1.00 mmol/L; p < 0.001).ConclusionsThe significant improvement in most CV risk factors between 1985 and 2016/17 substantially contributed to the remarkable decrease in CV mortality in the Czech Republic. ]]> <![CDATA[Life expectancy and survival analysis of patients with diabetes compared to the non diabetic population in Bulgaria]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7723 To evaluate the expected life expectancy in patients with diabetes in Bulgaria and to compare it to the expected life expectancy of the non-diabetic population in the country.MethodsIt is a retrospective observational population study on individuals diagnosed with diabetes, compared to the non-diabetic population in Bulgaria for the period 2012–2015. Data from the national diabetes register and national statistical institute were used to construct life-tables with probability of survival with t-test and Chi Square test. Confounder analysis was done by age, sex, and type of diabetes. All-cause mortality and deaths in diabetic patients were analyzed. Kaplan-Meier survival curves were constructed for each age group and a log-rank analysis was conducted.ResultsAverage life expectancy in the non-diabetic population, patients with Type 1 DM and with Type 2 DM is 74.8; 70.96 and 75.19 years, respectively. For 2012–2015 the mortality in the non-diabetic population remained constant and lower (average—1.48%) compared to type-1 DM (5.25%) and Type-2 (4.27%). Relative risk of death in diabetics was higher overall (12%), after the age of 70 before which the relative risk was higher for the non-diabetic population. This was observed as a trend in all analyzed years.ConclusionPatients with type 2 DM have a longer life-expectancy than patients with type-1 DM and overall Diabetics life expectancy equals that of the non-diabetic population, which could suggest improved disease control and its associated complications in Bulgaria. Male diabetics show slightly longer life expectancy than their counterparts in the non-diabetic population, by a marginal gain of 0.6 years for the entire observed period. Life expectancy in diabetic women increased by 1.3 years, which was not observed in the non-diabetic population. Prevalence of diabetes was higher for women. Improved diabetes control may explain this gain in life; however other studies are needed to confirm this. ]]> <![CDATA[Long-term outcomes after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in patients with dialysis-requiring acute kidney injury: A cohort study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c92b361d5eed0c4843a3f31

Background

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common complication of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment. The aim of this study was to elucidate the long-term outcomes of adult patients with AKI who receive ECMO.

Materials and methods

The study analyzed encrypted datasets from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database. The data of 3251 patients who received first-time ECMO treatment between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2013, were analyzed. Characteristics and outcomes were compared between patients who required dialysis for AKI (D-AKI) and those who did not in order to evaluate the impact of D-AKI on long-term mortality and major adverse kidney events.

Results

Of the 3251 patients, 54.1% had D-AKI. Compared with the patients without D-AKI, those with D-AKI had higher rates of all-cause mortality (52.3% vs. 33.3%; adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.53–2.17), chronic kidney disease (13.7% vs. 8.1%; adjusted subdistribution HR [aSHR] 1.66, 95% CI 1.16–2.38), and end-stage renal disease (5.2% vs. 0.5%; aSHR 14.28, 95% CI 4.67–43.62). The long-term mortality of patients who survived more than 90 days after discharge was 22.0% (153/695), 32.3% (91/282), and 50.0% (10/20) in the patients without D-AKI, with recovery D-AKI, and with nonrecovery D-AKI who required long-term dialysis, respectively, demonstrating a significant trend (Pfor trend <0.001).

Conclusion

AKI is associated with an increased risk of long-term mortality and major adverse kidney events in adult patients who receive ECMO.

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<![CDATA[Time-lapse imaging of HeLa spheroids in soft agar culture provides virtual inner proliferative activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nceafa1bd-f75c-4e08-9c15-587118f668b1

Cancer is a complex disease caused by multiple types of interactions. To simplify and normalize the assessment of drug effects, spheroid microenvironments have been utilized. Research models that involve agent measurement with the examination of clonogenic survival by monitoring culture process with image analysis have been developed for spheroid-based screening. Meanwhile, computer simulations using various models have enabled better predictions for phenomena in cancer. However, user-based parameters that are specific to a researcher’s own experimental conditions must be inputted. In order to bridge the gap between experimental and simulated conditions, we have developed an in silico analysis method with virtual three-dimensional embodiment computed using the researcher’s own samples. The present work focused on HeLa spheroid growth in soft agar culture, with spheroids being modeled in silico based on time-lapse images capturing spheroid growth. The spheroids in silico were optimized by adjusting the growth curves to those obtained from time-lapse images of spheroids and were then assigned virtual inner proliferative activity by using generations assigned to each cellular particle. The ratio and distribution of the virtual inner proliferative activities were confirmed to be similar to the proliferation zone ratio and histochemical profiles of HeLa spheroids, which were also consistent with those identified in an earlier study. We validated that time-lapse images of HeLa spheroids provided virtual inner proliferative activity for spheroids in vitro. The present work has achieved the first step toward an in silico analysis method using computational simulation based on a researcher’s own samples, helping to bridge the gap between experiment and simulation.

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<![CDATA[Association between boarding in the emergency department and in-hospital mortality: A systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N48ef4c13-827b-4694-911d-7d7581473712

Importance

Boarding in the emergency department (ED) is a critical indicator of quality of care for hospitals. It is defined as the time between the admission decision and departure from the ED. As a result of boarding, patients stay in the ED until inpatient beds are available; moreover, boarding is associated with various adverse events.

Study objective

The objective of our systematic review was to determine whether ED boarding (EDB) time is associated with in-hospital mortality (IHM).

Methods

A systematic search was conducted in academic databases to identify relevant studies. Medline, PubMed, Scopus, Embase, Cochrane, Web of Science, Cochrane, CINAHL and PsychInfo were searched. We included all peer-reviewed published studies from all previous years until November 2018. Studies performed in the ED and focused on the association between EDB and IHM as the primary objective were included. Extracted data included study characteristics, prognostic factors, outcomes, and IHM. A search update in PubMed was performed in May 2019 to ensure the inclusion of recent studies before publishing.

Results

From the initial 4,321 references found through the systematic search, the manual screening of reference lists and the updated search in PubMed, a total of 12 studies were identified as eligible for a descriptive analysis. Overall, six studies found an association between EDB and IHM, while five studies showed no association. The last remaining study included both ICU and non-ICU subgroups and showed conflicting results, with a positive association for non-ICU patients but no association for ICU patients. Overall, a tendency toward an association between EDB and IHM using the pool random effect was observed.

Conclusion

Our systematic review did not find a strong evidence for the association between ED boarding and IHM but there is a tendency toward this association. Further well-controlled, international multicenter studies are needed to demonstrate whether this association exists and whether there is a specific EDB time cut-off that results in increased IHM.

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<![CDATA[Impact of law enforcement and increased traffic fines policy on road traffic fatality, injuries and offenses in Iran: Interrupted time series analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N9254ca97-b759-40e9-8001-23227e05911a

Background

Road traffic law enforcement was implemented on 1st April 2011 (the first intervention) and traffic ticket fines have been increased on 1st March 2016 (the second intervention) in Iran. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the effects of the law enforcement on reduction in the incidence rate of road traffic fatality (IRRTF), the incidence rate of road traffic injuries (IRRTI) and the incidence rate of rural road traffic offenses (IRRRTO) in Iran.

Methods

Interrupted time series analysis was conducted to evaluate the impact of law enforcement and increased traffic tickets fines. Monthly data of fatality on urban, rural and local rural roads, injuries with respect to gender and traffic offenses namely speeding, illegal overtaking and tailgating were investigated separately for the period 2009–2016.

Results

Results showed a reduction in the incidence rate of total road traffic fatality (IRTRTF), the incidence rate of rural road traffic fatality (IRRRTF) and the incidence rate of urban road traffic fatality (IRURTF) by –21.44% (–39.3 to –3.59, 95% CI), –21.25% (–31.32 to –11.88, 95% CI) and –26.75% (–37.49 to –16, 95% CI) through the first intervention which resulted in 0.383, 0.255 and 0.222 decline in casualties per 100 000 population, respectively. Conversely, no reduction was found in the incidence rate of local rural road traffic fatality (IRLRRTF) and the IRRTI. Second intervention was found to only affect the IRURTF with –26.75% (–37.49 to –16, 95% CI) which led to 0.222 casualties per 100 000 population. In addition, a reduction effect was observed on the incidence rate of illegal overtaking (IRIO) and the incidence rate of speeding (IRS) with –42.8% (–57.39 to –28.22, 95% CI) and –10.54% (–21.05 to –0.03, 95% CI which implied a decrease of 415.85 and 1003.8 in monthly traffic offenses per 100 000 vehicles), respectively.

Conclusion

Time series analysis suggests a decline in IRTRTF, IRRRTF, and IRURTF caused by the first intervention. However, the second intervention found to be only effective in IRURTF, IRIO, and IRS with the implication that future initiatives should be focused on modifying the implementation of the traffic interventions.

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<![CDATA[β-blockers after acute myocardial infarction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A nationwide population-based observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823d2d5eed0c4846390b1

Background

Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) less often receive β-blockers after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). This may influence their outcomes after AMI. This study evaluated the efficacy of β-blockers after AMI in patients with COPD, compared with non-dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers (NDCCBs) and absence of these two kinds of treatment.

Methods and results

We conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study using data retrieved from Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. We collected 28,097 patients with COPD who were hospitalized for AMI between January 2004 and December 2013. After hospital discharge, 24,056 patients returned to outpatient clinics within 14 days (the exposure window). Those who received both β-blockers and NDCCBs (n = 302) were excluded, leaving 23,754 patients for analysis. Patients were classified into the β-blocker group (n = 10,638, 44.8%), the NDCCB group, (n = 1,747, 7.4%) and the control group (n = 11,369, 47.9%) based on their outpatient prescription within the exposure window. The β-blockers group of patients had lower overall mortality risks (adjusted hazard ratio [95% confidence interval]: 0.91 [0.83–0.99] versus the NDCCB group; 0.88 [0.84–0.93] versus the control group), but the risk of major adverse cardiac events within 1 year was not statistically different. β-blockers decreased risks of re-hospitalization for COPD and other respiratory diseases by 12–32%.

Conclusions

The use of β-blockers after AMI was associated with a reduced mortality risk in patients with COPD. β-blockers did not increase the risk of COPD exacerbations.

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<![CDATA[Predicting resource-dependent maternal health outcomes at a referral hospital in Zanzibar using patient trajectories and mathematical modeling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823d5d5eed0c4846390ee

Poor intra-facility maternity care is a major contributor to maternal mortality in low- and middle-income countries. Close to 830 women die each day due to preventable maternal complications, partly due to the increasing number of women giving birth in health facilities that are not adequately resourced to manage growing patient populations. Barriers to adequate care during the ‘last mile’ of healthcare delivery are attributable to deficiencies at multiple levels: education, staff, medication, facilities, and delays in receiving care. Moreover, the scope and multi-scale interdependence of these factors make individual contributions of each challenging to analyze, particularly in settings where basic data registration is often lacking. To address this need, we have designed and implemented a novel systems-level and dynamic mathematical model that simulates the impact of hospital resource allocations on maternal mortality rates at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital (MMH), a referral hospital in Zanzibar, Tanzania. The purpose of this model is to provide a rigorous and flexible tool that enables hospital administrators and public health officials to quantitatively analyze the impact of resource constraints on patient outcomes within the maternity ward, and prioritize key areas for further human or capital investment. Currently, no such tool exists to assist administrators and policy makers with effective resource allocation and planning. This paper describes the structure and construct of the model, provides validation of the assumptions made with anonymized patient data and discusses the predictive capacity of our model. Application of the model to specific resource allocations, maternal treatment plans, and hospital loads at MMH indicates through quantitative results that medicine stocking schedules and staff allocations are key areas that can be addressed to reduce mortality by up to 5-fold. With data-driven evidence provided by the model, hospital staff, administration, and the local ministries of health can enact policy changes and implement targeted interventions to improve maternal health outcomes at MMH. While our model is able to determine specific gaps in resources and health care delivery specifically at MMH, the model should be viewed as an additional tool that may be used by other facilities seeking to analyze and improve maternal health outcomes in resource constrained environments.

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<![CDATA[A field test on the effectiveness of male annihilation technique against Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae) at varying application densities]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1939d5eed0c484b4d1d4

Male Annihilation Technique (MAT) is a key tool to suppress or eradicate pestiferous tephritid fruit flies for which there exist powerful male lures. In the case of Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), a highly invasive and destructive species, current implementations of MAT utilize a combination of the male attractant methyl eugenol (ME) and a toxicant such as spinosad (“SPLAT-MAT-ME”) applied at a high density with the goal of attracting and killing an extremely high proportion of males. We conducted direct comparisons of trap captures of marked B. dorsalis males released under three experimental SPLAT-MAT-ME site densities (110, 220, and 440 per km2) near Hilo, Hawaii using both fresh and aged traps to evaluate the effectiveness of varying densities and how weathering of the SPLAT-MAT-ME formulation influenced any density effects observed. Counterintuitively, we observed decreasing effectiveness (percent kill) with increasing application density. We also estimated slightly higher average kill for any given density for weathered grids compared with fresh. Spatial analysis of the recapture patterns of the first trap service per replicate x treatment reveals similar positional effects for all grid densities despite differences in overall percent kill. This study suggests that benefits for control and eradication programs would result from reducing the application density of MAT against B. dorsalis through reduced material use, labor costs, and higher effectiveness. Additional research in areas where MAT programs are currently undertaken would be helpful to corroborate this study’s findings.

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<![CDATA[Uncovering and resolving challenges of quantitative modeling in a simplified community of interacting cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c99020dd5eed0c484b97589

Quantitative modeling is useful for predicting behaviors of a system and for rationally constructing or modifying the system. The predictive power of a model relies on accurate quantification of model parameters. Here, we illustrate challenges in parameter quantification and offer means to overcome these challenges, using a case example in which we quantitatively predict the growth rate of a cooperative community. Specifically, the community consists of two Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, each engineered to release a metabolite required and consumed by its partner. The initial model, employing parameters measured in batch monocultures with zero or excess metabolite, failed to quantitatively predict experimental results. To resolve the model–experiment discrepancy, we chemically identified the correct exchanged metabolites, but this did not improve model performance. We then remeasured strain phenotypes in chemostats mimicking the metabolite-limited community environments, while mitigating or incorporating effects of rapid evolution. Almost all phenotypes we measured, including death rate, metabolite release rate, and the amount of metabolite consumed per cell birth, varied significantly with the metabolite environment. Once we used parameters measured in a range of community-like chemostat environments, prediction quantitatively agreed with experimental results. In summary, using a simplified community, we uncovered and devised means to resolve modeling challenges that are likely general to living systems.

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<![CDATA[Human disturbance impacts the integrity of sacred church forests, Ethiopia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8977abd5eed0c4847d32dd

Land-use change can have profound effects on forest communities, compromising seedling recruitment and growth, and long-term persistence of forests on the landscape. Continued forest conversion to agriculture causes forest fragmentation which decreases forest size, increases edge effects and forest isolation, all of which negatively impact forest health. These fragmentation effects are magnified by human use of forests, which can compromise the continued persistence of species in these forests and the ability of the forests to support the communities that depend on them. We examined the extent and influence of human disturbance (e.g. weedy taxa, native and exotic tree plantations, clearings, buildings) on the ecological status of sacred church forests in the northern highlands of South Gondar, Ethiopia and hypothesized that disturbance would have a negative effect. We found that disturbance was high across all forests (56%) and was negatively associated with tree species richness, density, and biomass and seedling richness and density. Contrary to expectation, we found that forests < 15.5 ha show no difference in disturbance level with distance from population center. Based on our findings, we recommend that local conservation strategies not only protect large forests, but also the small and highly used forests in South Gondar which are critical to the needs of local people, including preserving large trees for seed sources, removing exotic and weedy species from forests, and reducing clearings and trails within forests.

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<![CDATA[Early predictors of outcomes of hospitalization for cirrhosis and assessment of the impact of race and ethnicity at safety-net hospitals]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897747d5eed0c4847d28e2

Background

Safety-net hospitals provide care for racially/ethnically diverse and disadvantaged urban populations. Their hospitalized patients with cirrhosis are relatively understudied and may be vulnerable to poor outcomes and racial/ethnic disparities.

Aims

To examine the outcomes of patients with cirrhosis hospitalized at regionally diverse safety-net hospitals and the impact of race/ethnicity.

Methods

A study of patients with cirrhosis hospitalized at 4 safety-net hospitals in 2012 was conducted. Demographic, clinical factors, and outcomes were compared between centers and racial/ethnic groups. Study endpoints included mortality and 30-day readmission.

Results

In 2012, 733 of 1,212 patients with cirrhosis were hospitalized for liver-related indications (median age 55 years, 65% male). The cohort was racially diverse (43% White, 25% black, 22% Hispanic, 3% Asian) with cirrhosis related to alcohol and viral hepatitis in 635 (87%) patients. Patients were hospitalized mainly for ascites (35%), hepatic encephalopathy (20%) and gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) (17%). Fifty-four (7%) patients died during hospitalization and 145 (21%) survivors were readmitted within 30 days. Mortality rates ranged from 4 to 15% by center (p = .007) and from 3 to 10% by race/ethnicity (p = .03), but 30-day readmission rates were similar. Mortality was associated with Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD), acute-on-chronic liver failure, hepatocellular carcinoma, sodium and white blood cell count. Thirty-day readmission was associated with MELD and Charlson Comorbidity Index >4, with lower risk for GIB. We did not observe geographic or racial/ethnic differences in hospital outcomes in the risk-adjusted analysis.

Conclusions

Hospital mortality and 30-day readmission in patients with cirrhosis at safety-net hospitals are associated with disease severity and comorbidities, with lower readmissions in patients admitted for GIB. Despite geographic and racial/ethnic differences in hospital mortality, these factors were not independently associated with mortality.

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<![CDATA[Pneumonia severity index in viral community acquired pneumonia in adults]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897759d5eed0c4847d2a8b

Pneumonia severity index (PSI) is an important scoring system that can assess the severity of community acquired pneumonia and determine admission status. However, there is a lack of research on whether this scoring system can be applied to viral community acquired pneumonia. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of PSI in viral community acquired pneumonia. This retrospective cohort study included 1,434 adult patients (aged ≥18 years) who were admitted to the emergency department of a university hospital during 2013–2015 because of community-acquired pneumonia. Viral infections were diagnosed by multiplex PCR. Patients diagnosed with non-viral community-acquired pneumonia were included in the control group (N = 1,173). The main outcome was 30-day all-cause mortality. multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed to calculate the risk of death. Respiratory viruses were detected in 261 (18.2%) patients with community-acquired pneumonia. Two types of respiratory viruses were detected in 7 cases. Of the 254 cases detected with only one virus, 62 were influenza A, 18 were influenza B, 65 were rhinovirus, 35 were respiratory syncytial virus, 25 were metapneumovirus, 20 were parainfluenza, 17 were coronavirus, 7 were bocavirus, and 5 were adenovirus. Mortality was not significantly different between patients with respiratory virus and those without respiratory virus; the 30-day all-cause mortality rates were 20.3% and 22.4%, respectively (P = 0.45). Mortality rate increased with an increasing PSI score with or without respiratory viral infection. Pulmonary severity index was significantly associated with mortality adjusted for respiratory virus detection (hazard ratio = 1.024, 95% confidence interval = 1.020–1.028). Pneumonia severity index score is an important factor for assessing the prognosis of patients with community-acquired pneumonia, regardless of respiratory virus detection.

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