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The 2012 Supreme Court decision in National Federation of Independent Business v Sebelius gave states the option to adopt the Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act. Many states, especially those under Republican control, have since grappled with their decision to implement the expansion. We conduct a comparative analysis of how Republican governors framed their stance on the Medicaid expansion. We analyze public statements on the Medicaid expansion published in two major in-state newspapers from all Republican governors from June 2012 through June 2018. In total we collected, coded and analyzed 3277 statements from 66 newspapers. Several key themes emerge from our analysis. While every Republican governor used oppositional framing as part of their rhetorical response to the Medicaid expansion, the policy had a destabilizing effect on the previously unified opposition to health reform. We find that Republican framing split after the results of the 2012 election and that overall Republican governors shifted towards more supportive framing prior to the 2016 presidential election. Republican governors transformed how they framed their stance towards Medicaid expansion after Donald Trump was elected in 2016, with both supportive and oppositional moral-based framing of expansion increasing. These findings inform how policymakers use rhetoric to support their stance on controversial policies in a hyper-partisan and polarized political environment.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating pattern has been shown to reduce blood pressure (BP) in previous clinical trials. In the PREMIER study, an established behavioural intervention, with or without DASH, promoted greater weight loss than an advice-only control group, but effects of the DASH intervention on BP were weaker. In these analyses, PREMIER data were used to evaluate whether change in dairy product or fruit and vegetable (FV) intake during the first six intervention months impacted changes in weight and/or BP. Study participants were classified as having low or high intakes of dairy products (<1·5 v. ≥1·5 servings/d) and FV (<5 v. ≥5 servings/d) at baseline and 6 months. For dairy products, in particular, participants with higher baseline intakes tended to decrease their intakes during the intervention. In these analyses, subjects consuming <1·5 dairy servings/d at baseline whose intake increased during the intervention lost more weight than those whose intake decreased or remained low throughout (10·6 v. 7·0 pounds (4·8 v. 3·2 kg) lost, respectively, P = 0·002). The same was true for FV intake (11·0 v. 5·9 pounds (5·0 v. 2·7 kg) lost, P < 0·001). We also found synergistic effects of dairy products and FV on weight loss and BP reduction. Specifically, subjects who increased their intakes of dairy products and also consumed ≥5 servings of FV/d lost more weight and had greater reductions in BP than other groups; in addition, higher FV intakes had the greatest benefit to BP among those consuming more dairy products. These results provide evidence that the DASH pattern was most beneficial to individuals whose baseline diet was less consistent with DASH.
The Affordable Care Act requires all insurance plans sold on health insurance marketplaces and individual and small-group plans to cover 10 Essential Health Benefits (EHB), including behavioral health services. Instead of applying a uniform EHB plan design, the Department of Health and Human Services let states define their own EHB plan. This approach was seen as the best balance between flexibility and comprehensiveness, and assumed there would be little state-to-state variation. Limited federal oversight runs the risk of variation in EHB coverage definitions and requirements, as well as potential divergence from standardized medical guidelines. We analyzed 112 EHB documents from all states for behavioral health coverage in effect from 2012 to 2017. We find wide variation among states in their EHB plan required-coverage, and divergence between medical-practice guidelines and EHB plans. These results emphasize consideration of federated regulation over health insurance coverage standards. Federal flexibility in states benefit design nods to state-specific policymaking-processes and population needs. However, flexibility becomes problematic if it leads to inadequate coverage that reduces access to critical health care services. The EHBs demonstrate an incomplete effort to establish appropriate minimum standards of coverage for behavioral health services.
Shigellosis causes significant morbidity and mortality in developing and developed countries, mostly among infants and young children. The World Health Organization estimates that more than one million people die from Shigellosis every year. In order to evaluate trends in Shigellosis in Israel in the years 2002–2015, we analysed national notifiable disease reporting data. Shigella sonnei was the most commonly identified Shigella species in Israel. Hospitalisation rates due to Shigella flexenri were higher in comparison with other Shigella species. Shigella morbidity was higher among infants and young children (age 0–5 years old). Incidence of Shigella species differed among various ethnic groups, with significantly high rates of S. flexenri among Muslims, in comparison with Jews, Druze and Christians. In order to improve the current Shigellosis clinical diagnosis, we developed machine learning algorithms to predict the Shigella species and whether a patient will be hospitalised or not, based on available demographic and clinical data. The algorithms’ performances yielded an accuracy of 93.2% (Shigella species) and 94.9% (hospitalisation) and may consequently improve the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
Background: In RRMS patients with inadequate response to prior therapy, 2 alemtuzumab courses (12 mg/day; baseline: 5 days; 12 months later: 3 days) significantly improved outcomes versus SC IFNB-1a over 2 years (CARE-MS II [NCT00548405]). Efficacy remained durable in a 4-year extension (NCT00930553); patients could receive as-needed alemtuzumab retreatment (≥12 months apart) for disease activity, or another disease-modifying therapy (DMT). Through Year 6, 88% remained on study; 50% received neither alemtuzumab retreatment nor another DMT; 16% received ≥4 courses; 3% received ≥5 courses. We evaluated Course 4 (C4) efficacy in patients receiving ≥4 courses. Methods: Annualized relapse rate (ARR); improved/stable Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score (versus baseline); 6-month confirmed disability improvement (CDI). 11% of patients met inclusion criteria: ≥4 courses within 60 months of baseline; no DMT. Those receiving C5 were censored at that time. Results: ARR decreased after C4 (12 months pre-C4 [-12M]: 0.75; 12 months post-C4 [+12M]: 0.19; P<0.0001), remaining low (0.23) at Year 3 post-C4. More patients had stable/improved EDSS scores +12M (67.5%) versus at C4 administration (53.5%). Percentage with CDI increased post-C4 (-12M: 10.0%; +12M: 26.7%). Conclusions: C4 reduced relapses and stabilized/improved disability in patients with disease activity after initial treatment (C1, C2) plus one additional course (C3).
There is a growing concern about the role of the environment in the dissemination of antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARG). In this systematic review, we summarize evidence for increases of ARG in the natural environment associated with potential sources of ARB and ARG such as agricultural facilities and wastewater treatment plants. A total of 5247 citations were identified, including studies that ascertained both ARG and ARB outcomes. All studies were screened for relevance to the question and methodology. This paper summarizes the evidence only for those studies with ARG outcomes (n = 24). Sixteen studies were at high (n = 3) or at unclear (n = 13) risk of bias in the estimation of source effects due to lack of information or failure to control for confounders. Statistical methods were used in nine studies; three studies assessed the effect of multiple sources using modeling approaches, and none reported effect measures. Most studies reported higher ARG concentration downstream/near the source, but heterogeneous findings hindered making any sound conclusions. To quantify increases of ARG in the environment due to specific point sources, there is a need for studies that emphasize analytic or design control of confounding, and that provide effect measure estimates.
After the diagnosis of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID) such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the incidence of psychiatric comorbidity is increased relative to the general population. We aimed to determine whether the incidence of psychiatric disorders is increased in the 5 years before the diagnosis of IMID as compared with the general population.
Using population-based administrative health data from the Canadian province of Manitoba, we identified all persons with incident IBD, MS and RA between 1989 and 2012, and cohorts from the general population matched 5 : 1 on year of birth, sex and region to each disease cohort. We identified members of these groups with at least 5 years of residency before and after the IMID diagnosis date. We applied validated algorithms for depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and any psychiatric disorder to determine the annual incidence of these conditions in the 5-year periods before and after the diagnosis year.
We identified 12 141 incident cases of IMID (3766 IBD, 2190 MS, 6350 RA) and 65 424 matched individuals. As early as 5 years before diagnosis, the incidence of depression [incidence rate ratio (IRR) 1.54; 95% CI 1.30–1.84) and anxiety disorders (IRR 1.30; 95% CI 1.12–1.51) were elevated in the IMID cohort as compared with the matched cohort. Similar results were obtained for each of the IBD, MS and RA cohorts. The incidence of bipolar disorder was elevated beginning 3 years before IMID diagnosis (IRR 1.63; 95% CI 1.10–2.40).
The incidence of psychiatric comorbidity is elevated in the IMID population as compared with a matched population as early as 5 years before diagnosis. Future studies should elucidate whether this reflects shared risk factors for psychiatric disorders and IMID, a shared final common inflammatory pathway or other aetiology.
Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of replacing corn with an increasing concentration of high-purity glycerol (>99%) on growth performance, economical efficiency, blood constituents and nutrient digestibility of growing lambs. In experiment one, 24 male lambs (initial BW=33.6±6.0 kg; age=6.75±0.75 months) were randomly assigned to one of the three experimental treatments containing 0%, 5% or 10% glycerol to replace corn in concentrate. In experiment two, nine lambs (initial BW=44.7±2.2 kg, age=8.84±0.32 months) were used in a digestion trial with three treatments (three lambs per treatment) with glycerol replacing corn at 0%, 5% or 10% in the concentrate. Total dry matter (DM) intake decreased quadratically (P=0.003) with increasing concentration of glycerol in the diet. Lambs fed glycerol diets had greater average daily gain (P=0.005) and better feed efficiency (P=0.002) compared with the control. Feed costs were also reduced with glycerol inclusion. Glycerol supplementation did not affect serum concentrations of total protein, albumin, globulin, total lipid, cholesterol and glucose concentrations. Glycerol supplementation had no effect (P>0.05) on organic matter and CP digestion, but improved DM (P=0.0003), crude fiber (P=0.10), ether extract (P=0.0002) and nitrogen-free extract (P=0.05) digestion. In conclusion, glycerol can replace corn up to 10% of DM in the diets of growing lambs.
Economically vulnerable voters are expected to hold politicians accountable for their management of the economy because these voters are more likely to be personally affected by economic shocks and less able to cope with the resulting dislocation. Evidence from the informal sector in Argentina, where the lack of formal registration increases income volatility and denies unemployment benefits, is consistent with this hypothesis. Data from Argentina from 2005 to 2006 show that the association between evaluations of the economy and evaluations of President Néstor Kirchner was stronger among those working without formal employment guarantees. The implication is that the electoral support of Latin America's many informal workers may very well be fickle and dependent on economic performance.
The United States’ experience with the Ebola virus in 2014 provides a window into US public health politics. First, the United States provided a case study in the role of suasion and executive action in the management of public health in a fragmented multi-level system. The variable capacity of different parts of the United States to respond to Ebola on the level of hospitals or state governments, and their different approaches, show the limitations of federal influence, the importance of knowledge and executive energy, and the diversity of both powerful actors and sources of power. Second, the politics of Ebola in the United States is a case study in the politics of partisan blame attribution. The outbreak struck in the run-up to an election that was likely to be good for the Republican party, and the election dominated interest in and opinions of Ebola in both the media and public opinion. Democratic voters and media downplayed Ebola while Republican voters and media focused on the outbreak. The media was a key conduit for this strategic politicization, as shown in the quantity, timing and framing of news about Ebola. Neither fragmentation nor partisanship appears to be going away, so understanding the politics of public health crises will remain important.
Herein we describe a protocol for a systematic review of the evidence on whether point sources of anthropogenic effluent are associated with an increase in antibiotic resistance in the adjacent environment. The review question was based on the Population, Exposure, Comparator, Outcome, Study Design (PECOS) framework as follows: Is the prevalence or concentration of antibiotic resistant bacteria or resistance genes (O) in soil, water, air or free-living wildlife (P) higher in close proximity to, or downstream from, known or suspected sources of anthropogenic effluent (E) compared to areas more distant from or upstream from these sources (C)? A comprehensive search strategy was created to capture all relevant, published literature. Criteria for two stages of eligibility screening were developed to exclude publications that were not relevant to the question, and determine if the study used a design that permitted estimation of an association between a source and levels of resistance. A decision matrix was created for assessment of risk of bias to internal validity due to sample selection bias, information bias, and confounding. The goal of this protocol is to provide a method for determining the state of knowledge about the effect of point sources on antibiotic resistance in the environment.
Higher dietary intakes of Mg and Ca, individually, have been associated with a decreased risk for the metabolic syndrome (MetSyn). Experimental studies suggest that a higher intra-cellular ratio of Ca:Mg, which may be induced by a diet high in Ca and low in Mg, may lead to hypertension and insulin resistance. However, no previous epidemiological studies have examined the effects of the combined intake of Mg and Ca on MetSyn. Thus, we evaluated the association between dietary intakes of Ca and Mg (using 24-h recalls), independently and in combination, and MetSyn in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study 2001–2010 data, which included 9148 adults (4549 men and 4599 women), with complete information on relevant nutrient, demographic, anthropometric and biomarker variables. We found an inverse association between the highest (>355 mg/d) v. the lowest (<197 mg/d) quartile of Mg and MetSyn (OR 0·70; 95 % CI 0·57, 0·86). Women who met the RDA for both Mg (310–320 mg/d) and Ca (1000–1200 mg/d) had the greatest reduced odds of MetSyn (OR 0·59; 95 % CI 0·45, 0·76). In men, meeting the RDA for Mg (400–420 mg/d) and Ca (1000–1200 mg/d), individually or in combination, was not associated with MetSyn; however, men with intakes in the highest quartile for Mg (≥386 mg/d) and Ca (≥1224 mg/d) had a lower odds of MetSyn (OR 0·74; 95 % CI 0·59, 0·93). Our results suggest that women who meet the RDA for Mg and Ca have a reduced odds of MetSyn but men may require Ca levels higher than the RDA to be protected against MetSyn.