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Evidence about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of specific subpopulations, such as university students, is needed as communities prepare for future waves.
To study the association of proximity of COVID-19 with symptoms of anxiety and depression in university students.
This trend study analysed weekly cross-sectional surveys of probabilistic samples of students from the University of British Columbia for 13 weeks, through the first wave of COVID-19. The main variable assessed was propinquity of COVID-19, defined as ‘knowing someone who tested positive for COVID-19’, which was specified at different levels: knowing someone anywhere globally, in Canada, in Vancouver, in their course or at home. Proximity was included in multivariable linear regressions to assess its association with primary outcomes, including 30-day symptoms of anxiety and/or depression.
Of 1388 respondents (adjusted response rate of 50%), 5.6% knew someone with COVID-19 in Vancouver, 0.8% in their course and 0.3% at home. Ten percent were overwhelmed and unable to access help. Knowing someone in Vancouver was associated with an 11-percentage-point increase in the probability of 30-day anxiety symptoms (s.e. 0.05, P ≤ 0.05), moderated by gender, with a significant interaction of the exposure and being female (coefficient −20, s.e. 0.09, P ≤ 0.05). No association was found with depressive symptoms.
Propinquity of COVID-19 cases may increase the likelihood of anxiety symptoms in students, particularly among men. Most students reported coping well, but additional support is needed for an emotionally overwhelmed minority who report being unable to access help.
Trauma patients in the extremes of age may require a specialized approach during a multiple-casualty incident (MCI).
The aim of this study was to examine the type of injuries encountered in children and elderly patients and the implications of these injuries for treatment and organization.
A review of medical record files of patients admitted in MCIs in one Level II trauma center was conducted. Patients were classified according to age: children (≤12 years), adults (between 12-65 years), and elders (≥65 years).
The files of 534 were screened: 31 (5.8%) children and 54 (10.1%) elderly patients. One-third of the elderly patients were either moderately or severely injured, compared to only 6.5% of the children and 11.1% of the adults (P<.001). Elderly patients required more blood transfusions (P=.0001), more computed tomography imaging (P=.0001), and underwent more surgery (P=.0004). Elders were hospitalized longer (P=.0003). There was no mortality among injured children, compared to nine (2.0%) of the adults and seven (13.0%) of the elderly patients (P<.0001). All the adult deaths occurred early and directly related to their injuries, whereas most of the deaths among the elderly patients (four out of seven) occurred late and were due to complications and multiple organ failure.
Injury at an older age confers an increased risk of complications and death in victims of MCIs.
AshkenaziI, EinavS, OlshaO, Turegano-FuentesF, KrauszMM, AlficiR. The Impact of Age upon Contingency Planning for Multiple-casualty Incidents Based on a Single Center’s Experience. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2016;31(5):492–497.
Heroin-assisted treatment has been found to be effective for people with severe opioid dependence who are not interested in or do poorly on methadone maintenance.
To study heroin-assisted treatment in people on methadone who continue intravenous heroin and in those who are heroin dependent but currently not in treatment.
In an open-label multicentre randomised controlled trial, 1015 people with heroin dependence received a variable dose of injectable heroin (n=515) or oral methadone (n=500) for 12 months. Two response criteria, improvement of physical and/or mental health and decrease in illicit drug use, were evaluated in an intent-to-treat analysis.
Retention was higher in the heroin (67.2%) than in the methadone group (40.0%) and the heroin group showed a significantly greater response on both primary outcome measures. More serious adverse events were found in the heroin group, and were mainly associated with intravenous use.
Heroin-assisted treatment is more effective for people with opioid dependence who continue intravenous heroin while on methadone maintenance or who are not enrolled in treatment. Despite a higher risk, it should be considered for treatment resistance under medical supervision.