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Understanding the drivers of health care utilization patterns following disasters can better support health planning. This study characterized all-cause hospitalizations among older Americans after eight large-scale hurricanes.
The objective of this study was to characterize all-cause hospitalizations for any cause among older Americans in the 30 days after eight large-scale hurricanes.
A self-controlled case series study among Medicare beneficiaries (age 65+) exposed to one of eight hurricanes was conducted. The predicted probability of sociodemographic factors associated with hospitalization using logit models was estimated.
Hurricane Sandy (2012) had the highest post-hurricane admission rate, a 23% increase (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 1.23; 95% CI, 1.22-1.24), while Hurricane Irene in 2011 had only a 10% increase (IRR = 1.10; 95% CI, 1.09-1.11). Higher likelihood of hospitalization occurring after hurricanes included being 85 or older (36.8% probability of hospitalization; 95% CI, 34.7-39.0) and being dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid (62.8%; 95% CI, 60.7-64.9).
Planning to address the surge in hospitalization for a longer time period after hurricanes and interventions targeted to support aging Americans are needed.
The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appearance of the brain and spinal cord in humans with neuroangiostrongyliasis (NA) due to Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection has been well reported. Equivalent studies in animals are lacking. This case series describes clinical and MRI findings in 11 dogs with presumptively or definitively diagnosed NA. MRI of the brain and/or spinal cord was performed using high-field (1.5 T) or low-field (0.25 T) scanners using various combinations of transverse, sagittal, dorsal and three-dimensional (3D) T1-weighted (T1W), transverse, sagittal and dorsal T2-weighted (T2W), T2W fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) and T2*-weighted (T2*W) gradient echo (GRE), dorsal T2W short tau inversion recovery (STIR) and post-gadolinium transverse, sagittal, dorsal and 3D T1W and transverse T2W FLAIR sequences. In 4/6 cases where the brain was imaged, changes consistent with diffuse meningoencephalitis were observed. Evidence of meningeal involvement was evident even when not clinically apparent. The spinal cord was imaged in 9 dogs, with evidence of meningitis and myelitis detected in regions consistent with the observed neuroanatomical localization. Pathognomonic changes of neural larva migrans, as described in some human patients with NA, were not detected. NA should be considered in the differential diagnosis of dogs with MRI evidence of focal or diffuse meningitis, myelitis and/or encephalitis, especially in areas where A. cantonensis is endemic. If not precluded by imaging findings suggestive of brain herniation, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collection for cytology, fluid analysis, real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing should be considered mandatory in such cases after the MRI studies.
The principal aim of this study was to optimize the diagnosis of canine neuroangiostrongyliasis (NA). In total, 92 cases were seen between 2010 and 2020. Dogs were aged from 7 weeks to 14 years (median 5 months), with 73/90 (81%) less than 6 months and 1.7 times as many males as females. The disease became more common over the study period. Most cases (86%) were seen between March and July. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was obtained from the cisterna magna in 77 dogs, the lumbar cistern in f5, and both sites in 3. Nucleated cell counts for 84 specimens ranged from 1 to 146 150 cells μL−1 (median 4500). Percentage eosinophils varied from 0 to 98% (median 83%). When both cisternal and lumbar CSF were collected, inflammation was more severe caudally. Seventy-three CSF specimens were subjected to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing for antibodies against A. cantonensis; 61 (84%) tested positive, titres ranging from <100 to ⩾12 800 (median 1600). Sixty-one CSF specimens were subjected to real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) testing using a new protocol targeting a bioinformatically-informed repetitive genetic target; 53/61 samples (87%) tested positive, CT values ranging from 23.4 to 39.5 (median 30.0). For 57 dogs, it was possible to compare CSF ELISA serology and qPCR. ELISA and qPCR were both positive in 40 dogs, in 5 dogs the ELISA was positive while the qPCR was negative, in 9 dogs the qPCR was positive but the ELISA was negative, while in 3 dogs both the ELISA and qPCR were negative. NA is an emerging infectious disease of dogs in Sydney, Australia.
Although the gross and microscopic pathology in rats infected with Angiostrongylus cantonensis has been well described, corresponding changes detected using diagnostic imaging modalities have not been reported. This work describes the cardiopulmonary changes in mature Wistar rats chronically infected with moderate burdens of A. cantonensis using radiology, computed tomography (CT), CT angiography, echocardiography, necropsy and histological examinations. Haematology and coagulation studies were also performed. Thoracic radiography, CT and CT angiography showed moderately severe alveolar pulmonary patterns mainly affecting caudal portions of the caudal lung lobes and associated dilatation of the caudal lobar pulmonary arteries. Presumptive worm profiles could be detected using echocardiography, with worms seen in the right ventricular outflow tract or straddling either the pulmonary and/or the tricuspid valves. Extensive, multifocal, coalescing dark areas and multiple pale foci affecting the caudal lung lobes were observed at necropsy. Histologically, these were composed of numerous large, confluent granulomas and fibrotic nodules. Adult worms were found predominantly in the mid- to distal pulmonary arteries. An inflammatory leukogram, hyperproteinaemia and hyperfibrinogenaemia were found in most rats. These findings provide a comparative model for A. cantonensis in its accidental hosts, such as humans and dogs. In addition, the pathological and imaging changes are comparable to those seen in dogs infected with Angiostrongylus vasorum, suggesting rats infected with A. cantonensis could be a model for dogs with A. vasorum infection.
Even though sub-Saharan African women spend millions of person-hours per day fetching water and pounding grain, to date, few studies have rigorously assessed the energy expenditure costs of such domestic activities. As a result, most analyses that consider head-hauling water or hand pounding of grain with a mortar and pestle (pilão use) employ energy expenditure values derived from limited research. The current paper compares estimated energy expenditure values from heart rate monitors v. indirect calorimetry in order to understand some of the limitations with using such monitors to measure domestic activities.
This confirmation study estimates the metabolic equivalent of task (MET) value for head-hauling water and hand-pounding grain using both indirect calorimetry and heart rate monitors under laboratory conditions.
The study was conducted in Nampula, Mozambique.
Forty university students in Nampula city who recurrently engaged in water-fetching activities.
Including all participants, the mean MET value for head hauling 20 litres (20·5 kg, including container) of water (2·7 km/h, 0 % slope) was 4·3 (sd 0·9) and 3·7 (sd 1·2) for pilão use. Estimated energy expenditure predictions from a mixed model were found to correlate with observed energy expenditure (r2 0·68, r 0·82). Re-estimating the model with pilão use data excluded improved the fit substantially (r2 0·83, r 0·91).
The current study finds that heart rate monitors are suitable instruments for providing accurate quantification of energy expenditure for some domestic activities, such as head-hauling water, but are not appropriate for quantifying expenditures of other activities, such as hand-pounding grain.
Engagement of frontline staff, along with senior leadership, in competition-style healthcare-associated infection reduction efforts, combined with electronic clinical decision support tools, appeared to reduce antibiotic regimen initiations for urinary tract infections (P = .01). Mean monthly standardized infection and device utilization ratios also decreased (P < .003 and P < .0001, respectively).
Archaeologists have struggled to combine remotely sensed datasets with preexisting information for landscape-level analyses. In the American Southeast, for example, analyses of lidar data using automated feature extraction algorithms have led to the identification of over 40 potential new pre-European-contact Native American shell ring deposits in Beaufort County, South Carolina. Such datasets are vital for understanding settlement distributions, yet a comprehensive assessment requires remotely sensed and previously surveyed archaeological data. Here, we use legacy data and airborne lidar-derived information to conduct a series of point pattern analyses using spatial models that we designed to assess the factors that best explain the location of shell rings. The results reveal that ring deposit locations are highly clustered and best explained through a combination of environmental conditions such as distance to water and elevation as well as social factors.
This applied experimental research tested the effectiveness of a universal, student-focused intervention (‘Memory Mates’), specifically focused on supporting students to use attention and working memory strategies within academic contexts, unlike computer-based programs. Memory Mates is presented in the form of icons and explanations, with the strategies embedded within the classroom. Analyses compared the impact of the intervention over 8 months in three schools with three control schools, comprising 13 Year 4 primary school classes. The intervention group students showed a significant improvement in mathematics and spelling; however, there was no differential effect on reading comprehension or academic engagement. Based on the present results, it is contended that implementing Memory Mates within classroom contexts demonstrated promising potential as a new approach to supporting academic progress.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the antimicrobial stewardship module in our electronic medical record was reconfigured for the management of COVID-19 patients. This change allowed our subspecialist providers to review charts quickly to optimize potential therapy and management during the patient surge.
UK Biobank is a well-characterised cohort of over 500 000 participants including genetics, environmental data and imaging. An online mental health questionnaire was designed for UK Biobank participants to expand its potential.
Describe the development, implementation and results of this questionnaire.
An expert working group designed the questionnaire, using established measures where possible, and consulting a patient group. Operational criteria were agreed for defining likely disorder and risk states, including lifetime depression, mania/hypomania, generalised anxiety disorder, unusual experiences and self-harm, and current post-traumatic stress and hazardous/harmful alcohol use.
A total of 157 366 completed online questionnaires were available by August 2017. Participants were aged 45–82 (53% were ≥65 years) and 57% women. Comparison of self-reported diagnosed mental disorder with a contemporary study shows a similar prevalence, despite respondents being of higher average socioeconomic status. Lifetime depression was a common finding, with 24% (37 434) of participants meeting criteria and current hazardous/harmful alcohol use criteria were met by 21% (32 602), whereas other criteria were met by less than 8% of the participants. There was extensive comorbidity among the syndromes. Mental disorders were associated with a high neuroticism score, adverse life events and long-term illness; addiction and bipolar affective disorder in particular were associated with measures of deprivation.
The UK Biobank questionnaire represents a very large mental health survey in itself, and the results presented here show high face validity, although caution is needed because of selection bias. Built into UK Biobank, these data intersect with other health data to offer unparalleled potential for crosscutting biomedical research involving mental health.
The ability to make inferences is essential for effective language comprehension. While inferencing training benefits reading comprehension in school-aged children (see Elleman, 2017, for a review), we do not yet know whether it is beneficial to support the development of these skills prior to school entry. In a pre-registered randomised controlled trial, we evaluated the efficacy of a parent-delivered intervention intended to promote four-year-olds’ oral inferencing skills during shared book-reading. One hundred children from socioeconomically diverse backgrounds were randomly assigned to inferencing training or an active control condition of daily maths activities. The training was found to have no effect on inferencing. However, inferencing measures were highly correlated with children's baseline language ability. This suggests that a more effective approach to scaffolding inferencing in the preschool years might be to focus on promoting vocabulary to develop richer and stronger semantic networks.
Four percent of ST-elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMIs) are complicated by an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Research has shown that shorter time to initial defibrillation in patients with ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia (VF/VT) arrests increases favourable neurologic survival. The purpose of this study is to determine whether routine application of defibrillation pads in patients with prehospital STEMI decreases the time to initial defibrillation in those who suffer OHCA.
This was a health records review for adult patients diagnosed with STEMI in the prehospital setting from January 2012 to July 2016. Patients were included if they had a 12 lead ECG indicative of STEMI and subsequently suffered VF/VT OHCA while in paramedic care. This study was designed to evaluate the effects of the “pads-on” protocol in a pre (Jan 2012-May 2014) /post implementation fashion (Jun 2014- Jul 2016). Records were reviewed for relevant patient and event features. T-test was used to measure the difference between mean times to defibrillation.
446 patients were diagnosed with prehospital STEMI. 11 suffered OHCA while in paramedic care. The mean (SD) age was 66.0 (9.3) and 55% were female. In the 4 patients treated with the “pads-on” protocol, the mean time to initial defibrillation was 17.7 seconds, compared to 72.7 seconds in patients who had pads applied following arrest (Δ 55.0 sec [95% CI 22.7–87.2 s]).
Routine application of defibrillation pads in STEMI patients who suffer OHCA decreases time to initial defibrillation, which has previously been demonstrated to increase favourable neurologic survival.
Extant research has established an empirical relationship between fatigue and safety-related outcomes. It is not clear if these findings are relevant to Canadian paramedicine. The purpose of this study was to determine if fatigue and shiftwork variables were related to safety outcomes in Canadian paramedics.
A survey was conducted with ten paramedic services in Ontario with a 40.5% response rate (n = 717). Respondents reported levels of fatigue, safety outcomes (injury, safety compromising behaviours, and medical errors/adverse events), work patterns (types of shifts, hours worked weekly) and demographic characteristics. Univariate and logistic regression analyses were used to assess for significant differences.
In this sample, 55% of paramedics reported being fatigued at work. Fatigued paramedics were over twice as likely to report injuries, three times as likely to report safety compromising behaviors, and 1.5 times more likely to report errors/adverse outcomes. When controlling for fatigue, shift length variables did not consistently influence safety outcomes.
These results create preliminary evidence of a relationship between fatigue and safety outcomes in Canadian paramedicine. While more research is needed, these findings point to the influence fatigue has on safety outcomes and provide an indication that fatigue mitigation efforts may be worthwhile.
Depression is a heterogeneous disorder with multiple aetiological pathways and multiple therapeutic targets. This study aims to determine whether atypical depression (AD) characterized by reversed neurovegetative symptoms is associated with a more pernicious course and a different sociodemographic, lifestyle, and comorbidity profile than nonatypical depression (nonAD).
Among 157 366 adults who completed the UK Biobank Mental Health Questionnaire (MHQ), N = 37 434 (24%) met the DSM-5 criteria for probable lifetime major depressive disorder (MDD) based on the Composite International Diagnostic Interview Short Form. Participants reporting both hypersomnia and weight gain were classified as AD cases (N = 2305), and the others as nonAD cases (N = 35 129). Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine differences between AD and nonAD in depression features, sociodemographic and lifestyle factors, lifetime adversities, psychiatric and physical comorbidities.
Persons with AD experienced an earlier age of depression onset, longer, more severe and recurrent episodes, and higher help-seeking rates than nonAD persons. AD was associated with female gender, unhealthy behaviours (smoking, social isolation, low physical activity), more lifetime deprivation and adversity, higher rates of comorbid psychiatric disorders, obesity, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and metabolic syndrome. Sensitivity analyses comparing AD persons with those having typical neurovegetative symptoms (hyposomnia and weight loss) revealed similar results.
These findings highlight the clinical and public health significance of AD as a chronic form of depression, associated with high comorbidity and lifetime adversity. Our findings have implications for predicting depression course and comorbidities, guiding research on aetiological mechanisms, planning service use and informing therapeutic approaches.