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To assess the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) reported from 128 acute-care and 132 long-term care Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities.
We compared central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs), ventilator-associated events (VAEs), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Clostridioides difficile infections and rates reported from each facility monthly to a centralized database before the pandemic (February 2019 through January 2020) and during the pandemic (July 2020 through June 2021).
Nationwide VA COVID-19 admissions peaked in January 2021. Significant increases in the rates of CLABSIs, VAEs, and MRSA all-site HAIs (but not MRSA CLABSIs) were observed during the pandemic in acute-care facilities. There was no significant change in CAUTI rates, and C. difficile rates significantly decreased. There were no significant increases in HAIs in long-term care facilities.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a differential impact on HAIs of various types in VA acute care, with many rates increasing. The decrease in CDI HAIs may be due, in part, to evolving diagnostic testing. The minimal impact of COVID-19 in VA long-term facilities may reflect differences in patient numbers and acuity and early recognition of the impact of the pandemic on nursing home residents leading to increased vigilance and optimization of infection prevention and control practices in that setting. These data support the need for building and sustaining conventional infection prevention and control strategies before and during a pandemic.
Children with congenital heart disease (CHD) are at risk for psychological challenges, including internalising (e.g., depression, anxiety) and externalising (e.g., aggression, inattention) problems. The present study aimed to investigate the development of psychological concerns in early childhood by identifying predictors of behavioural and emotional problems in toddlers with CHD.
Children with CHD who were seen for neurodevelopmental (ND) evaluation at 12 ± 3 months of age, who completed the Bayley Scales of Infant Development–III (BSID-III) and whose parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), a standardised measure of emotional/behavioural problems at age 24–36 months, were included in the study (n = 144). CBCL scores were compared to test norms and classified as normal or abnormal. A classification tree was used to assess the association between CBCL scores and demographic and clinical variables.
Multi-variable tree analyses revealed lower BSID-III language composite scores at age 9–15 months predicted clinical CBCL internalising (p < 0.001), externalising (p = 0.004) and total scores (p < 0.001) at age 24–36 months. Lower maternal education levels also predicted clinical CBCL internalising (p < 0.0001), externalising (p < 0.001) and total scores (p < 0.0001).
Lower language abilities and lower maternal education predict increased behavioural and emotional problems in toddlers with CHD. These risk factors should be considered during routine ND evaluations to allow for earlier identification of children with CHD and their families who may benefit from psychological support.
Approximately 25 % of Canadian children aged 4–8 years fail to meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of calcium (Ca). Young children’s food choices are primarily determined by their parents. No interventions have directly targeted parents as a medium through which to increase children’s Ca consumption. This study compared the effectiveness of a Ca-specific intervention targeted towards parents, with generic dietary advice on the Ca consumption of children aged 4–10 years.
A parallel two-arm randomised controlled trial was conducted.
The study was conducted across Canada. Both conditions received information on the RDA of Ca and an index of intake requirements. Material sent to the intervention condition included behavioural strategies to increase dietary Ca consumption, information on the benefits of dietary Ca intake and messages addressing perceived barriers to the consumption of Ca-rich foods.
A total of 239 parents (93 % mothers) of children aged 4–10 years who consumed less than the RDA of Ca were randomly assigned in a 1:1 allocation ratio.
There was a significant increase in total Ca intake and Ca from dairy for children at weeks 8, 34 and 52 (P ≤ 0·001) in both conditions. Parental Ca intake and amount spent on dairy products did not significantly increase following the intervention.
Provision of daily Ca requirements with regular reminders could impact parents’ delivery of Ca-rich foods to their children. This finding is important for public health messaging as it suggests that parents are a potent medium through which to promote Ca intake in children.
To investigate the association between energy drink (ED) use and sleep-related disturbances in a population-based sample of young adults from the Raine Study.
Analysis of cross-sectional data obtained from self-administered questionnaires to assess ED use and sleep disturbance (Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire (FOSQ-10) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Symptoms Questionnaire–Insomnia (PSSQ-I)). Regression modelling was used to estimate the effect of ED use on sleep disturbances. All models adjusted for various potential confounders.
Males and females, aged 22 years, from Raine Study Gen2–22 year follow-up.
Of the 1115 participants, 66 % were never/rare users (i.e. <once/month) of ED, 17·0 % were occasional users (i.e. >once/month to <once/week) and 17 % were frequent users (≥once/week). Compared with females, a greater proportion of males used ED occasionally (19 % v. 15 %) or frequently (24 % v. 11 %). Among females, frequent ED users experienced significantly higher symptoms of daytime sleepiness (FOSQ-10: β = 0·93, 95 % CI 0·32, 1·54, P = 0·003) and were five times more likely to experience insomnia (PSSQ-I: OR = 5·10, 95 % CI 1·81, 14·35, P = 0·002) compared with never/rare users. No significant associations were observed in males for any sleep outcomes.
We found a positive association between ED use and sleep disturbances in young adult females. Given the importance of sleep for overall health, and ever-increasing ED use, intervention strategies are needed to curb ED use in young adults, particularly females. Further research is needed to determine causation and elucidate reasons for gender-specific findings.
Studies suggest that alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders have distinct genetic backgrounds.
We examined whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) for consumption and problem subscales of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C, AUDIT-P) in the UK Biobank (UKB; N = 121 630) correlate with alcohol outcomes in four independent samples: an ascertained cohort, the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA; N = 6850), and population-based cohorts: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC; N = 5911), Generation Scotland (GS; N = 17 461), and an independent subset of UKB (N = 245 947). Regression models and survival analyses tested whether the PRS were associated with the alcohol-related outcomes.
In COGA, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with alcohol dependence, AUD symptom count, maximum drinks (R2 = 0.47–0.68%, p = 2.0 × 10−8–1.0 × 10−10), and increased likelihood of onset of alcohol dependence (hazard ratio = 1.15, p = 4.7 × 10−8); AUDIT-C PRS was not an independent predictor of any phenotype. In ALSPAC, the AUDIT-C PRS was associated with alcohol dependence (R2 = 0.96%, p = 4.8 × 10−6). In GS, AUDIT-C PRS was a better predictor of weekly alcohol use (R2 = 0.27%, p = 5.5 × 10−11), while AUDIT-P PRS was more associated with problem drinking (R2 = 0.40%, p = 9.0 × 10−7). Lastly, AUDIT-P PRS was associated with ICD-based alcohol-related disorders in the UKB subset (R2 = 0.18%, p < 2.0 × 10−16).
AUDIT-P PRS was associated with a range of alcohol-related phenotypes across population-based and ascertained cohorts, while AUDIT-C PRS showed less utility in the ascertained cohort. We show that AUDIT-P is genetically correlated with both use and misuse and demonstrate the influence of ascertainment schemes on PRS analyses.
There is discontent and turnover among faculty at US academic health centers because of the challenges in balancing clinical, research, teaching, and work–life responsibilities in the current healthcare environment. One potential strategy to improve faculty satisfaction and limit turnover is through faculty mentoring programs.
A Mentor Leadership Council was formed to design and implement an institution-wide faculty mentoring program across all colleges at an academic health center. The authors conducted an experimental study of the impact of the mentoring program using pre-intervention (2011) and 6-year (2017) post-intervention faculty surveys that measured the long-term effectiveness of the program.
The percent of faculty who responded to the surveys was 45.9% (656/1428) in 2011 and 40.2% (706/1756) in 2017. For faculty below the rank of full professor, percent of faculty with a mentor (45.3% vs. 67.1%, P < 0.001), familiarity with promotion criteria (81.7% vs. 90.0%, P = 0.001), and satisfaction with department’s support of career (75.6% vs. 84.7%, P = 0.002) improved. The percent of full professors serving as mentors also increased from 50.3% in 2011 to 68.0% in 2017 (P = 0.002). However, the percent of non-retiring faculty considering leaving the institution over the next 2 years increased from 18.8% in 2011 to 24.3% in 2017 (P = 0.02).
Implementation of an institution-wide faculty mentoring program significantly improved metrics of career development and faculty satisfaction but was not associated with a reduction in the percent of faculty considering leaving the institution. This suggests the need for additional efforts to identify and limit factors driving faculty turnover.
Dairy products contain essential nutrients to ensure healthy growth and bone development in children. However, a significant proportion of children in developed countries fail to consume the daily recommended intake of dairy products. Parents are the gatekeepers of familial nutritional intake and represent a potential vehicle through which to increase dairy consumption in children. As such, formative research was conducted to gain insight into parents’ perceived barriers to and benefits of purchasing and consuming dairy products and to develop innovative message content that could be utilized in future public health campaigns.
Seven in-depth group interviews were conducted in two phases between February and May 2015.
Interviews were conducted in local recreational centres and libraries in British Columbia, Canada.
Mothers (n 21, mean age 38 (sd 5) years) and fathers (n 9, mean age 38 (sd 3) years) of children aged 4–10 years.
Parents perceived both positive and negative physical outcomes associated with consuming dairy. Lack of trustworthy information was a frequently discussed barrier theme to purchasing and consuming dairy products. Mothers were concerned about the cost of dairy products. Differences in purchasing and consumption strategies were reported between parents of children who consumed adequate dairy and those who did not. Parents believed the most appropriate communication channel was through print material.
Messages targeting parents, as a means of increasing dairy consumption in children, should address barriers identified by parents. In addition, practical tips should be provided to promote purchasing and consumption of dairy products.
It has been suggested that offspring of parents with bipolar disorder are at increased risk for disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), but the specificity of this association has not been established.
We examined the specificity of DMDD to family history by comparing offspring of parents with (a) bipolar disorder, (b) major depressive disorder and (c) a control group with no mood disorders.
We established lifetime diagnosis of DMDD using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School Aged Children for DSM-5 in 180 youth aged 6–18 years, including 58 offspring of parents with bipolar disorder, 82 offspring of parents with major depressive disorder and 40 control offspring.
Diagnostic criteria for DMDD were met in none of the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder, 6 of the offspring of parents with major depressive disorder and none of the control offspring. DMDD diagnosis was significantly associated with family history of major depressive disorder.
Our results suggest that DMDD is not specifically associated with a family history of bipolar disorder and may be associated with parental depression.
No studies to date have investigated cumulative anticholinergic exposure
and its effects in adults with intellectual disabilities.
To determine the cumulative exposure to anticholinergics and the factors
associated with high exposure.
A modified Anticholinergic Cognitive Burden (ACB) scale score was
calculated for a representative cohort of 736 people over 40 years old
with intellectual disabilities, and associations with demographic and
clinical factors assessed.
Age over 65 years was associated with higher exposure (ACB 1–4 odds ratio
(OR) = 3.28, 95% CI 1.49–7.28, ACB 5+ OR = 3.08, 95% CI 1.20–7.63), as
was a mental health condition (ACB 1–4 OR = 9.79, 95% CI 5.63–17.02, ACB
5+ OR = 23.74, 95% CI 12.29–45.83). Daytime drowsiness was associated
with higher ACB (P<0.001) and chronic constipation
reported more frequently (26.6% ACB 5+ v. 7.5% ACB 0,
Older people with intellectual disabilities and with mental health
conditions were exposed to high anticholinergic burden. This was
associated with daytime dozing and constipation.
The current study examined a stage-based alcohol use trajectory model to test for potential causal effects of earlier drinking milestones on later drinking milestones in a combined sample of two cohorts of Australian monozygotic and same-sex dizygotic twins (N = 7,398, age M = 30.46, SD = 2.61, 61% male, 56% monozygotic twins). Ages of drinking, drunkenness, regular drinking, tolerance, first nontolerance alcohol use disorder symptom, and alcohol use disorder symptom onsets were assessed retrospectively. Ages of milestone attainment (i.e., age-of-onset) and time between milestones (i.e., time-to-event) were examined via frailty models within a multilevel discordant twin design. For age-of-onset models, earlier ages of onset of antecedent drinking milestones increased hazards for earlier ages of onset for more proximal subsequent drinking milestones. For the time-to-event models, however, earlier ages of onset for the “starting” milestone decreased risk for a shorter time period between the starting and the “ending” milestone. Earlier age of onset of intermediate milestones between starting and ending drinking milestones had the opposite effect, increasing risk for a shorter time period between the starting and ending milestones. These results are consistent with a causal effect of an earlier age of drinking milestone onset on temporally proximal subsequent drinking milestones.