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Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) results in substantial numbers of hospitalisations and deaths in older adults. There are known lifestyle and medical risk factors for pneumococcal disease but the magnitude of the additional risk is not well quantified in Australia. We used a large population-based prospective cohort study of older adults in the state of New South Wales (45 and Up Study) linked to cause-specific hospitalisations, disease notifications and death registrations from 2006 to 2015. We estimated the age-specific incidence of CAP hospitalisation (ICD-10 J12-18), invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) notification and presumptive non-invasive pneumococcal CAP hospitalisation (J13 + J18.1, excluding IPD), comparing those with at least one risk factor to those with no risk factors. The hospitalised case-fatality rate (CFR) included deaths in a 30-day window after hospitalisation. Among 266 951 participants followed for 1 850 000 person-years there were 8747 first hospitalisations for CAP, 157 IPD notifications and 305 non-invasive pneumococcal CAP hospitalisations. In persons 65–84 years, 54.7% had at least one identified risk factor, increasing to 57.0% in those ⩾85 years. The incidence of CAP hospitalisation in those ⩾65 years with at least one risk factor was twofold higher than in those without risk factors, 1091/100 000 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1060–1122) compared with 522/100 000 (95% CI 501–545) and IPD in equivalent groups was almost threefold higher (18.40/100 000 (95% CI 14.61–22.87) vs. 6.82/100 000 (95% CI 4.56–9.79)). The CFR increased with age but there were limited difference by risk status, except in those aged 45 to 64 years. Adults ⩾65 years with at least one risk factor have much higher rates of CAP and IPD suggesting that additional risk factor-based vaccination strategies may be cost-effective.
Introduction: Screening for organ and tissue donation is an essential skill for emergency physicians. In 2015, 4564 individuals were on a waiting list for organ transplant and 242 died while waiting. As Canadas donation rates are less than half that of other comparable countries, it is crucial to ensure we are identifying all potential donors. Patients deceased from poisoning are a source that may not be considered for referral as often as those who die from other causes. This study aims to identify if patients dying from poisoning represent an under-referred group and determine what physician characteristics influence referral decisions. Methods: In this cross-sectional unidirectional survey study, physician members of the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians were invited to participate. Participants were presented with 20 organ donation scenarios that included poisoned and non-poisoned deaths, as well as one ideal scenario for organ or tissue donation used for comparison. Participants were unaware of the objective to explore donation in the context of poisoning deaths. Following the organ donation scenarios, a range of follow-up questions and demographics were included to explore factors influencing the decision to refer or not refer for organ or tissue donation. Results were reported descriptively and associations between physician characteristics and decisions to refer were assessed using odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Results: 208/2058 (10.1%) physicians participated. 25% did not refer in scenarios involving a drug overdose (n=71). Specific poisonings commonly triggering the decision to not refer included palliative care medications (n=34, 18%), acetaminophen (n=42, 22%), chemical exposure (n=48, 27%) and organophosphates (n=87, 48%). Factors associated with an increased likelihood to refer potential donors following overdose included previous organ and tissue donation training (OR=2.6), having referred in the past (OR=4.3), available donation support (OR=3.9), greater than 10 years of service (OR=2.1), large urban center (OR=3.8), holding emergency medicine certification (OR=3.6), male gender (OR=2.2, CI), and having indicated a desire to be a donor on government identification (OR=5.8). Conclusion: Scenarios involving drug overdoses were associated with under-referral for organ and tissue donation. As poisoning is not a contraindication for referral, this represents a potential source of donors. By examining characteristics that put clinicians at risk for under-referral of organ or tissue donors, becoming aware of potential biases, improving transplant knowledge bases, and implementing support and training programs for the organ and tissue donation processes, we have the opportunity to improve these rates and reduce morbidity and mortality for Canadians requiring organ or tissue donation.
Introduction/Innovation Concept: University Departments of Emergency Medicine are responsible for the supervision of research and other scholarly projects for fellows, residents and students, though often lack resources to provide adequate input and oversight. Many departments cover large geographical areas and several programs. We piloted new research committee structures and processes to improve oversight and output of research projects. Methods: We created an interactive group supervision tool based around formation of a collaborative research committee, with rotating chairs from each program, to provide supervision and face to face interaction, and direction for research learners. Included were all Dalhousie University adult and pediatric emergency medicine residency and fellowship programs, as well as trauma and EMS programs across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. In addition to providing expertise in clinical trial coordination, database management, research administration, grant applications and Research Ethics Board submissions, we have completed a 2-year pilot of our interactive group supervision tool for research projects. Curriculum, Tool, or Material: The interactive tool consists of a structured PICOD form; allocation of topic and research mentors; standardized yearly milestones from project development through presentation and publication; and regular video-conferenced and in-person interactive group sessions involving several project leads, as well as program research directors, researchers, and co-ordinators. To date, all participating program learners have engaged with the tool, with positive feedback from learners, supervisors and program directors. Conclusion: We report our development of a regional collaborative interactive group supervision tool, that maximizes expert resources in the provision of research and scholarly project supervision.
Immigrants and their children who return to their country of origin to visit friends and relatives (VFR) are at increased risk of acquiring infectious diseases compared to other travellers. VFR travel is an important disease control issue, as one quarter of Australia's population are foreign-born and one quarter of departing Australian international travellers are visiting friends and relatives. We conducted a 1-year prospective enhanced surveillance study in New South Wales and Victoria, Australia to determine the contribution of VFR travel to notifiable diseases associated with travel, including typhoid, paratyphoid, measles, hepatitis A, hepatitis E, malaria and chikungunya. Additional data on characteristics of international travel were collected. Recent international travel was reported by 180/222 (81%) enhanced surveillance cases, including all malaria, chikungunya and paratyphoid cases. The majority of cases who acquired infections during travel were immigrant Australians (96, 53%) or their Australian-born children (43, 24%). VFR travel was reported by 117 (65%) travel-associated cases, highest for typhoid (31/32, 97%). Cases of children (aged <18 years) (86%) were more frequently VFR travellers compared to adult travellers (57%, P < 0·001). VFR travel is an important contributor to imported disease in Australia. Communicable disease control strategies targeting these travellers, such as targeted health promotion, are likely to impact importation of these travel-related infections.
We analysed data from a prospective cohort of 255024 adults aged ⩾45 years recruited from 2006–2009 to identify characteristics associated with a zoster diagnosis. Diagnoses were identified by linkage to pharmaceutical treatment and hospitalization records specific for zoster and hazard ratios were estimated. Over 940583 person-years, 7771 participants had a zoster diagnosis; 253 (3·3%) were hospitalized. After adjusting for age and other factors, characteristics associated with zoster diagnoses included: having a recent immunosuppressive condition [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 1·58, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·32–1·88], female sex (aHR 1·36, 95% CI 1·30–1·43), recent cancer diagnosis (aHR 1·35, 95% CI 1·24–1·46), and severe physical limitation vs. none (aHR 1·33, 95% CI 1·23–1·43). The relative risk of hospitalization for zoster was higher for those with an immunosuppressive condition (aHR 3·78, 95% CI 2·18–6·55), those with cancer (aHR 1·78, 95% CI 1·24–2·56) or with severe physical limitations (aHR 2·50, 95% CI 1·56–4·01). The novel finding of an increased risk of zoster diagnoses and hospitalizations in those with physical limitations should prompt evaluation of the use of zoster vaccine in this population.
In Australia, varicella vaccine was universally funded in late 2005 as a single dose at 18 months. A school-based catch-up programme for children aged 10–13 years without a history of infection or vaccination was funded until 2015, when those eligible for universal infant vaccination would have reached the age of high school entry. This study projects the impact of discontinuing catch-up vaccination on varicella and zoster incidence and morbidity using a transmission dynamic model, in comparison with alternative policy options, including two-dose strategies. At current vaccine coverage (83% at 2 years and 90% at 5 years), ceasing the adolescent catch-up programme in 2015 was projected to increase varicella-associated morbidity between 2035 and 2050 by 39%. Although two-dose infant programmes had the lowest estimated varicella morbidity, the incremental benefit from the second dose fell by 70% if first dose coverage increased from 83% to 95% by age 24 months. Overall zoster morbidity was predicted to rise after vaccination, but differences between strategies were small. Our results suggest that feasibility of one-dose coverage approaching 95% is an important consideration in estimating incremental benefit from a second dose of varicella vaccine.
The objective of this research was to assess current patterns of hospital antibiotic prescribing in Northern Ireland and to determine targets for improving the quality of antibiotic prescribing. A point prevalence survey was conducted in four acute teaching hospitals. The most commonly used antibiotics were combinations of penicillins including β-lactamase inhibitors (33·6%), metronidazole (9·1%), and macrolides (8·1%). The indication for treatment was recorded in 84·3% of the prescribing episodes. A small fraction (3·9%) of the surgical prophylactic antibiotic prescriptions was for >24 h. The results showed that overall 52·4% of the prescribed antibiotics were in compliance with the hospital antibiotic guidelines. The findings identified the following indicators as targets for quality improvement: indication recorded in patient notes, the duration of surgical prophylaxis and compliance with hospital antibiotic guidelines. The results strongly suggest that antibiotic use could be improved by taking steps to address the identified targets for quality improvement.
We examined the impact of one-dose vs. two-dose vaccination strategies on the epidemiology of varicella zoster virus (VZV) in Australia, using a mathematical model. Strategies were assessed in terms of varicella (natural and breakthrough) and zoster incidence, morbidity, average age of infection and vaccine effectiveness (VE). Our modelling results suggest that compared to a one-dose vaccination strategy (Australia's current vaccination schedule), a two-dose strategy is expected to not only produce less natural varicella cases (5% vs. 13% of pre-vaccination state, respectively) but also considerably fewer breakthrough varicella cases (only 11·4% of one-dose strategy). Therefore a two-dose infant vaccination programme would be a better long-term strategy for Australia.
In the United States, recent large-scale emergencies and disasters display some element of organized medical emergency response, and hospitals have played prominent roles in many of these incidents. These and other well-publicized incidents have captured the attention of government authorities, regulators, and the public. Health care has assumed a more prominent role as an integral component of any community emergency response. This has resulted in increased funding for hospital preparedness, along with a plethora of new preparedness guidance.
Methods to objectively measure the results of these initiatives are only now being developed. It is clear that hospital readiness remains uneven across the United States. Without significant disaster experience, many hospitals remain unprepared for natural disasters. They may be even less ready to accept and care for patient surge from chemical or biological attacks, conventional or nuclear explosive detonations, unusual natural disasters, or novel infectious disease outbreaks.
This article explores potential reasons for inconsistent emergency preparedness across the hospital industry. It identifies and discusses potential motivational factors that encourage effective emergency management and the obstacles that may impede it. Strategies are proposed to promote consistent, reproducible, and objectively measured preparedness across the US health care industry. The article also identifies issues requiring research. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2009;3(Suppl 1):S74–S82)
The association between black tea consumption and iron status was investigated in a sample of African adults participating in the cross-sectional THUSA (Transition and Health during Urbanization of South Africans) study in the North West Province, South Africa. Data were analysed from 1605 apparently healthy adults aged 15–65 years by demographic and FFQ, anthropometric measurements and biochemical analyses. The main outcome measures were Hb and serum ferritin concentrations. No associations were seen between black tea consumption and concentrations of serum ferritin (men P = 0·059; women P = 0·49) or Hb (men P = 0·33; women P = 0·49). Logistic regression showed that tea consumption did not significantly increase risk for iron deficiency (men: OR 1·36; 95 % CI 0·99, 1·87; women: OR 0·98; 95 % CI 0·84, 1·13) nor for iron deficiency anaemia (men: OR 1·28; 95 % CI 0·84, 1·96; women: OR 0·93; 95 % CI 0·78, 1·11). Prevalence of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia was especially high in women: 21·6 and 14·6 %, respectively. However, the likelihood of iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia was not significantly explained by tea consumption in sub-populations which were assumed to be at risk for iron deficiency. Regression of serum ferritin levels on tea consumption in women ≤ 40 years, adults with a daily iron intake ≤ 5·80 mg and adults with ferritin levels ≤ 26·60 μg/l, respectively, showed P values in the range of 0·28–0·88. Our findings demonstrate that iron deficiency and iron deficiency anaemia is not significantly explained by black tea consumption in a black adult population in South Africa. Tea intake was also not shown to be related to iron status in several sub-populations at risk for iron deficiency.
The recent drive within the UK National Health Service to improve psychosocial care for people with mental illness is both understandable and welcome: evidence-based psychological and social interventions are extremely important in managing psychiatric illness. Nevertheless, the accompanying downgrading of medical aspects of care has resulted in services that often are better suited to offering non-specific psychosocial support, rather than thorough, broad-based diagnostic assessment leading to specific treatments to optimise well-being and functioning. In part, these changes have been politically driven, but they could not have occurred without the collusion, or at least the acquiescence, of psychiatrists. This creeping devaluation of medicine disadvantages patients and is very damaging to both the standing and the understanding of psychiatry in the minds of the public, fellow professionals and the medical students who will be responsible for the specialty's future. On the 200th birthday of psychiatry, it is fitting to reconsider the specialty's core values and renew efforts to use psychiatric skills for the maximum benefit of patients
To compare the relationships between food (nutrient) intakes and biochemical markers of nutritional status of asymptomatic HIV-infected with HIV-uninfected subjects, to gain more information on the appropriate diet for HIV-infected persons at an early stage of infection.
Cross-sectional population-based survey.
North West Province, South Africa.
Two hundred and sixteen asymptomatic HIV-infected and 1550 HIV-uninfected men and women volunteers aged 15 years and older, recruited as ‘apparently healthy’ subjects from 37 randomly selected sites.
Food and nutrient intakes, measured with a validated food-frequency questionnaire, and nutritional status indicated by anthropometric and biochemical variables, measured by a standardised methodology.
The prevalence of HIV infection in the study population was 11.9%. The anthropometric indices and nutrient intakes of HIV-infected and uninfected subjects did not differ significantly, indicating that these 216 HIV-infected subjects were at an early stage of infection. Of the biochemical nutritional status variables, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and total cholesterol, haemoglobin, albumin and triglycerides were significantly lower in infected subjects. They also had higher globulin and liver enzyme levels than uninfected subjects. In infected subjects, serum albumin correlated significantly with serum lipids, serum vitamin A, serum vitamin E, serum iron, total iron-binding capacity and haemoglobin. The significant positive correlations of the liver enzymes with serum lipids, albumin, vitamin A and iron, observed in HIV-uninfected subjects, disappeared in the infected subjects. Polyunsaturated fat intake showed significant positive correlations with the increased liver enzymes in infected subjects. A principal components analysis indicated that, in infected subjects, increased liver enzymes correlated with higher consumption of maize meal and lower consumption of meat and vegetables.
Conclusions and recommendations:
This survey indicated that asymptomatic HIV-infected subjects who followed a diet rich in animal foods had smaller decreases in serum albumin, haemoglobin and lipid variables, and smaller increases in liver enzymes, than those who consumed a diet based on staple foods. This suggests that animal foods are associated with improved nutritional status in HIV-infected persons. These results should be confirmed with intervention studies before dietary recommendations for asymptomatic HIV-infected individuals can be made.
During the period 1974–91 large numbers of Southeast Asian immigrants and refugees were resettled in Western countries, including Australia. Health screening during this period demonstrated that intestinal parasite infections were common. A cross-sectional survey of 95 Laotian settlers who arrived in Australia on average 12 years prior to the study was conducted to determine if chronic intestinal parasite infections were prevalent in this group. Twenty-three participants had positive Strongyloides stercoralis test results (22 with positive serology, including 1 with S. stercoralis larvae detected in faeces and another with larvae and equivocal serology). Of these 23 participants, 18 (78%) had an elevated eosinophil count. Two patients had eggs of Opisthorchis spp. identified by faecal microscopy. The detection of chronic strongyloidiasis in Laotian settlers is a concern because of the potential serious morbidity associated with this pathogen.
In a prison in Victoria, Australia, our objectives were contact tracing of inmates and staff at
risk of exposure to an identified index case; and to determine risk factors for prevalent and
incident infection. Inmates and staff who were potentially exposed to the index case were
screened with a Mantoux skin test and a questionnaire. Inmate movements within the prison
were compared to movements of the index case. Logistic regression was used to determine risk
factors for infection. The index case had smear positive, cavitating pulmonary tuberculosis
(TB), which was undiagnosed for 3 months. This was the period of potential exposure. The
prevalence of positive skin test reactions in 190 inmates and staff at the prison was 10%.
Significant predictors of a positive skin test were being an inmate (odds ratio (OR) 15·5), older
age (OR 8·3) and being born overseas (OR 10·7). Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG) vaccination,
proximity to the index case in various prison sites, duration of incarceration, number of
incarcerations and number of inmates per cell were not significant. There were three recent skin
test conversions from negative to positive, representing a conversion rate of 3·5%. We did not
find evidence of significant transmission of TB from a single index case. The prevalence of
infection in this Australian prison was lower than published rates in other countries. Better
prison conditions and different demographics of prison inmates in Australia may explain these
Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) limitation affect the photosynthetic
apparatus of Dunaliella tertiolecta in markedly different ways.
grown at 0·25 d−1 (18 % of the resource-saturated
maximum rate, μmax=1·39 d−1) in chemostat
cultures, N- and P-limited cells were
chlorotic relative to nutrient-replete controls. The lutein-to-chlorophyll
a ratio increased under both N and P limitation, whereas the
neoxanthin-to-chlorophyll a ratio increased only under P limitation.
The ratio of accessory photoprotective pigments (α- and β-carotene)
to chlorophyll a increased under N-limited conditions. Despite differences
in accessory pigment complement, chlorophyll a-specific light
absorption coefficients of N- and P-limited cultures did not differ significantly,
and were greater than in nutrient-replete conditions. In
contrast, the initial slope of the photosynthesis–irradiance (PE)
response curve (αChl) declined under nutrient-limiting
were slight reductions in the maximum quantum efficiency of photosynthesis
(ϕm) in N- and P-limited cells. Reductions in ϕm
accompanied by reductions in the ratio of variable to maximum fluorescence
(Fv/Fm), and the ratio of the photosystem II
protein D1 to the large subunit of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase
(Rubisco). Differences in light-saturated gross
photosynthesis rate, as measured by light/dark oxygen exchange, could
be accounted for by changes in the abundance of the
carboxylating enzyme Rubisco. Oxygen exchange and 14CO2
assimilation appeared to measure different processes in P-limited and N-
limited cultures. At light-saturation, 14C-bicarbonate assimilation
approximated gross photosynthesis (as measured by light/dark oxygen
exchange) in P-limited cultures. In contrast, 14C-bicarbonate
assimilation approximated net photosynthesis in N-limited cultures. When
culture conditions were compared, there was linear covariation of the rates
of reductant supply via light absorption and photochemical
charge separation with the rates of reductant demand for CO2
fixation and NO3− reduction.
All insulin-dependent diabetics between the ages of 16 and 25 years attending the diabetic clinic at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, (152 women and 139 men) were asked to complete the EAT, the EDI, and the GHQ, and to provide a control subject (sibling or close friend) of similar age who would do likewise. Marked differences were found between diabetic women (but not men) and their controls in eating attitudes, in many of the psychological characteristics associated with eating disorders, and in GHQ scores. Although some of the women had classic anorexia nervosa or bulimia, others with abnormal eating attitudes did not fulfil the formal criteria. Overall, diabetics were significantly heavier than controls but the differences in eating attitudes were not eliminated by correcting for overweight. Abnormal scores were associated with high HbA, levels and independently with retinopathy. The weight gain and psychological effects of diabetes are identified as probably of aetiological importance in the abnormal eating attitudes of young diabetic women.
Subaerial lavas and intercalated sediments crop out on the islet of Glas Eilean and the Black Rock skerries in the Sound of Islay between Islay and Jura. The visible succession is c. 120 m thick and is traceable c. 2 km along strike (NNW–SSE). The lavas are alkali olivine-basalts containing olivine ± plagioclase and augite phenocrysts. Decreasing Mg, Cr and Ni upwards, coupled with decreasing average flow thickness and increasing amounts of inter-flow sediment, suggest progressively waning volcanic activity marked by decreasing ascent rates and greater degrees of differentiation. K-Ar dating on one sample gave an early Permian age of 285 ± 5 Ma. It is inferred that the lavas erupted from an isolated basalt volcano situated on a NNW–SSE trending fracture, associated with a narrow developing half-graben within the Dalradian metasediments. The tectonism and magmatism is inferred to be related to the ‘Clyde Belt’ of fault-bounded basins extending from Cheshire to the Little Minch.
The Myggbukta Complex is a shallowly dissected central volcano superimposed on the early Tertiary Plateau Basalts of NE Greenland. This, and the Kap Broer Ruys centre, 30 km to the east, appear to be the most northerly central complexes of the North Atlantic Tertiary Province. The Myggbukta Complex comprises a suite of extrusions and minor intrusions ranging from picritic basalt to potassic rhyolite: most of the suite appears related by relatively low pressure (< 10 kbar) crystal fractionation. A small rise in initial 87Sr/86Sr (0.70593) with silica content is attributed to minor contamination through crustal anatexis. A basic dyke-swarm associated with the complex, precedes it and shows more limited differentiation. The basalts of the dyke-swarm and the Myggbukta Complex are genetically intimately related to the lavas forming the upper part of the earlier plateau basalt succession (UPLS). It is proposed that a large shield volcano developed some 100 km west of the developing spreading centre (Mohns/Aegir ridge), of which the UPLS, the dyke-swarm and the Myggbukta Complex represent three successive evolutionary stages. A generalized increase in differentiation through time can be recognized from one stage to the next. The acid intrusions of the Kap Broer Ruys area are probably also largely residues of basalt fractionation like their Myggbukta counterparts. However, higher initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70625–0.71034) imply a greater degree of crustal contamination.