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This consensus statement by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA), the Association for Professionals in Epidemiology and Infection Control (APIC), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) recommends that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination should be a condition of employment for all healthcare personnel in facilities in the United States. Exemptions from this policy apply to those with medical contraindications to all COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States and other exemptions as specified by federal or state law. The consensus statement also supports COVID-19 vaccination of nonemployees functioning at a healthcare facility (eg, students, contract workers, volunteers, etc).
While fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) has primarily been thought of as a neurodevelopmental condition, research is beginning to highlight its ‘whole-body’ implications. Accordingly, the current study sought to provide a snapshot of potential health issues. Caregivers of children (median age of 12 years) with an FASD diagnosis were invited to participate in an online survey. Information relating to sample demographics, FASD status of the child and health outcomes were collected. The prevalence of health conditions reported in the FASD sample was compared against national prevalence data. Multiple linear regression utilising a stepwise approach was used to investigate potential predictors of the number of diagnosed health conditions. Survey data were from an international cohort (n = 197), with the majority of respondents based in Australia (40.2%) or the United States (27.7%). The most commonly reported diagnosed health conditions were eye conditions (44.7%), asthma (34.5%), heart conditions (34.0%) and skin conditions (27.4%). Binomial testing indicated the proportion of children diagnosed with these disorders was generally higher in the current FASD population, compared to national prevalence data. Indicators of metabolic dysfunction including diabetes and obesity were not significantly different compared to national prevalence data. Age of FASD diagnosis, existence of comorbid mental health conditions and the primary caregiver being in paid work were identified as being associated with the prevalence of diagnosed health conditions. Overall, the study has provided an up-to-date snapshot of health problems reported in a sample of children with FASD, confirming their increased risk of adverse health outcomes.
Introduction: Telephone Triage Services (TTS) manage phone calls from the public regarding general medical problems and provide telephone advice. This telephone based care can overlap with care provided by Poison Centres. Our objective was to examine the impact of a provincial 811 TTS on the IWK Regional Poison Centre (RPC). Methods: This is a retrospective descriptive study using interrupted time series methodology. We compared monthly IWK RPC call volume in the pre-811 era (January 2007-July 2009) and the post-811 era (September 2009-December 2017). We summarized the characteristics of callers who accessed the IWK RPC in terms of client age, sex, intentionality, time of day, call disposition and outcome. Caller characteristics were compared between the pre- and post-811 eras using chi-square test for categorical variables. We used segmented regression analysis to evaluate changes in slope of call volume in the pre- and post 811 eras. The Durbin-Watson statistic was performed to test for serial correlation and the Dickey-Fuller test to investigate seasonality. Results: The dataset included 82683 calls to the IWK RPC – 27028 pre-811 and 55655 post-811. Overall, 55% of calls were for female clients and the largest age group was children aged 0-5 years (37%). Most calls originated from home (47%), followed by a health care facility (23%). Most calls were managed at home (65%). Less than 3% of calls resulted in major effect or death. The Durbin Watson statistic was not statistically significant (p = 0.94). The Dickey-Fuller test indicated series stationarity (p = 0.001). There was no statistically significant change in call volume to the IWK RPC due to the introduction of 811 (p = 0.39). There was no significant variation by time of day, day of week or month, with most calls occurring in the evening. There were significantly more calls regarding intentional ingestions in the post-811 era (23% vs. 19% pre-811, p < .001). Outcomes in the pre and post 811 eras were as follows: minor/no effect/non-toxic/minimal 80% vs. 78%; moderate 7% vs. 10%; and, major/death 1.7% vs. 2.0%. Conclusion: The introduction of a TTS did not change call volumes at our RPC. The increase in the percentage of calls about intentional ingestions may reflect an increase in call acuity as the 811-TTS likely manages calls about minor/non-toxic ingestions without consulting with the RPC. Our future research will examine the nature of poison related calls to the 811-TTS.
Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood that often persists into adulthood and old age. Yet ADHD is currently underdiagnosed and undertreated in many European countries, leading to chronicity of symptoms and impairment, due to lack of, or ineffective treatment, and higher costs of illness.
Methods The European Network Adult ADHD and the Section for Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan (NDAL) of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), aim to increase awareness and knowledge of adult ADHD in and outside Europe. This Updated European Consensus Statement aims to support clinicians with research evidence and clinical experience from 63 experts of European and other countries in which ADHD in adults is recognized and treated.
Results Besides reviewing the latest research on prevalence, persistence, genetics and neurobiology of ADHD, three major questions are addressed: (1) What is the clinical picture of ADHD in adults? (2) How should ADHD be properly diagnosed in adults? (3) How should adult ADHDbe effectively treated?
Conclusions ADHD often presents as a lifelong impairing condition. The stigma surrounding ADHD, mainly due to lack of knowledge, increases the suffering of patients. Education on the lifespan perspective, diagnostic assessment, and treatment of ADHD must increase for students of general and mental health, and for psychiatry professionals. Instruments for screening and diagnosis of ADHD in adults are available, as are effective evidence-based treatments for ADHD and its negative outcomes. More research is needed on gender differences, and in older adults with ADHD.
Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) regimes for HIV are associated with raised levels of circulating triglycerides (TGs) in western populations. However, there are limited data on the impact of ART on cardiometabolic risk in sub-Saharan African (SSA) populations.
Pooled analyses of 14 studies comprising 21 023 individuals, on whom relevant cardiometabolic risk factors (including TG), HIV and ART status were assessed between 2003 and 2014, in SSA. The association between ART and raised TG (>2.3 mmol/L) was analysed using regression models.
Among 10 615 individuals, ART was associated with a two-fold higher probability of raised TG (RR 2.05, 95% CI 1.51–2.77, I2 = 45.2%). The associations between ART and raised blood pressure, glucose, HbA1c, and other lipids were inconsistent across studies.
Evidence from this study confirms the association of ART with raised TG in SSA populations. Given the possible causal effect of raised TG on cardiovascular disease (CVD), the evidence highlights the need for prospective studies to clarify the impact of long term ART on CVD outcomes in SSA.
The horticultural industry is an important source of invasive ornamental plant species, which is part of the motivation for an increased emphasis on using native alternatives. We were interested in the possibility that plants marketed in the midwestern United States as the native Celastrus scandens, or American bittersweet, were actually the difficult-to-distinguish invasive Celastrus orbiculatus (oriental bittersweet) or hybrids of the two species. We used nuclear microsatellite DNA loci to compare the genetic identities of 34 plants from 11 vendors with reference plants from wild populations of known species identity. We found that 18 samples (53%) were mislabeled, and 7 of the 11 vendors sold mislabeled plants. Mislabeled plants were more likely to be purchased through Internet or phone order shipments and were significantly less expensive than accurately labeled plants. Vendors marketed mislabeled plants under five different cultivar names, as well as unnamed strains. Additionally, the most common native cultivar, ‘Autumn Revolution,’ displays reproductive characteristics that diverge from the typical C. scandens, which could be of some concern. The lower price and abundance of mislabeled invasive plants introduces incentives for consumers to unknowingly contribute to the spread of C. orbiculatus. Revealing the potential sources of C. orbiculatus is critical for controlling further spread of the invasive vine and limiting its impact on C. scandens populations.
Background: To promote patient-centred care in epilepsy, it is essential to understand the issues most important to patients. Literature on patient perceptions of epilepsy treatments is sparse. One source of data is online patient support groups. Patients turn to social media for support from other patients and often express viewpoints not shared with healthcare providers. Methods: Using a qualitative content analysis approach, we analyzed major online epilepsy patient support groups. We initially selected a month-long discussion text across these forums, and further threads were sampled with maximum variation until theme saturation was reached. For data coding and analysis, we employed a combination of a priori codes and emergent codes, using NVivo 11 for data analysis. Results: In our preliminary analysis, we identified topics and categorized them into themes: 1) differential perceptions and understandings of epilepsy; (2) understanding treatment options; (3) experiences of physiological and psychological treatment side effects; (4) concerns about healthcare providers’ knowledge and communication regarding treatments. Conclusions: Preliminary results indicate a variety of patient perceptions and understandings of epilepsy and its treatments. Our findings also suggest that patient educational needs should be addressed by incorporating their understanding and concerns. Shared-decision making tools informed by patient perceptions could help healthcare providers better communicate treatment options with patients.
Critical to the development of improved HIV elimination efforts is a greater understanding of how social networks and their dynamics are related to HIV risk and prevention. In this paper, we examine network stability of confidant and sexual networks among young black men who have sex with men (YBMSM). We use data from uConnect (2013–2016), a population-based, longitudinal cohort study. We use an innovative approach to measure both sexual and confidant network stability at three time points, and examine the relationship between each type of stability and HIV risk and prevention behaviors. This approach is consistent with a co-evolutionary perspective in which behavior is not only affected by static properties of an individual's network, but may also be associated with changes in the topology of his or her egocentric network. Our results indicate that although confidant and sexual network stability are moderately correlated, their dynamics are distinct with different predictors and differing associations with behavior. Both types of stability are associated with lower rates of risk behaviors, and both are reduced among those who have spent time in jail. Public health awareness and engagement with both types of networks may provide new opportunities for HIV prevention interventions.
Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infects 95% of the global population and is associated with up to 2% of cancers globally. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody levels to EBV have been shown to be heritable and associated with developing malignancies. We, therefore, performed a pilot genome-wide association analysis of anti-EBV IgG traits in an African population, using a combined approach including array genotyping, whole-genome sequencing and imputation to a panel with African sequence data. In 1562 Ugandans, we identify a variant in human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DQA1, rs9272371 (p = 2.6 × 10−17) associated with anti-EBV nuclear antigen-1 responses. Trans-ancestry meta-analysis and fine-mapping with European-ancestry individuals suggest the presence of distinct HLA class II variants driving associations in Uganda. In addition, we identify four putative, novel, very rare African-specific loci with preliminary evidence for association with anti-viral capsid antigen IgG responses which will require replication for validation. These findings reinforce the need for the expansion of such studies in African populations with relevant datasets to capture genetic diversity.
Many adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain undiagnosed. Specialist assessment clinics enable the detection of these cases, but such services are often overstretched. It has been proposed that unnecessary referrals to these services could be reduced by prioritizing individuals who score highly on the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ), a self-report questionnaire measure of autistic traits. However, the ability of the AQ to predict who will go on to receive a diagnosis of ASD in adults is unclear.
We studied 476 adults, seen consecutively at a national ASD diagnostic referral service for suspected ASD. We tested AQ scores as predictors of ASD diagnosis made by expert clinicians according to International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-10 criteria, informed by the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic (ADOS-G) and Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) assessments.
Of the participants, 73% received a clinical diagnosis of ASD. Self-report AQ scores did not significantly predict receipt of a diagnosis. While AQ scores provided high sensitivity of 0.77 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72–0.82] and positive predictive value of 0.76 (95% CI 0.70–0.80), the specificity of 0.29 (95% CI 0.20–0.38) and negative predictive value of 0.36 (95% CI 0.22–0.40) were low. Thus, 64% of those who scored below the AQ cut-off were ‘false negatives’ who did in fact have ASD. Co-morbidity data revealed that generalized anxiety disorder may ‘mimic’ ASD and inflate AQ scores, leading to false positives.
The AQ's utility for screening referrals was limited in this sample. Recommendations supporting the AQ's role in the assessment of adult ASD, e.g. UK NICE guidelines, may need to be reconsidered.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is overrepresented in prison, making it imperative to identify a screening tool that can be quickly applied to efficiently detect the disorder. We explored the discrimination ability of a widely used ADHD screen, the Barkley Adult ADHD Rating Scale (BAARS-IV), against a clinical diagnostic interview. A brief version of the screen was then developed in order to simplify its use in the prison context, and maximize its diagnostic properties.
A cross-sectional study of 390 male prison inmates was performed in the UK, all participants were screened and interviewed via the Diagnostic Interview for ADHD in Adults 2.0 (DIVA-2).
A total of 47 (12.1%) inmates screened positive for ADHD using the full BAARS-IV, and 96 (24.6%) were clinically diagnosed, for a sensitivity of 37.9 and a specificity of 96.3. Our models identified the six items that most predicted ADHD diagnosis, with adjusted odds ratios ranging from 2.66 to 4.58. Sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were 0.82, 0.84 and 0.84, respectively, for the developed brief scale, and 0.71, 0.85 and 0.81 for its validation. Weighted probability scores produced an area under the curve of 0.89 for development, and 0.82 for validation of the brief scale.
The original BAARS-IV performed poorly at identifying prison inmates with ADHD. Our developed brief scale substantially improved diagnostic accuracy. The brief screening instrument has great potential to be used as an accurate and resource-effective tool to screen young people and adults for likely ADHD in the criminal justice system.
The burden and aetiology of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and its microvascular complications may be influenced by varying behavioural and lifestyle environments as well as by genetic susceptibility. These aspects of the epidemiology of T2D have not been reliably clarified in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), highlighting the need for context-specific epidemiological studies with the statistical resolution to inform potential preventative and therapeutic strategies. Therefore, as part of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative, we designed a multi-site study comprising case collections and population-based surveys at 11 sites in eight countries across SSA. The goal is to recruit up to 6000 T2D participants and 6000 control participants. We will collect questionnaire data, biophysical measurements and biological samples for chronic disease traits, risk factors and genetic data on all study participants. Through integrating epidemiological and genomic techniques, the study provides a framework for assessing the burden, spectrum and environmental and genetic risk factors for T2D and its complications across SSA. With established mechanisms for fieldwork, data and sample collection and management, data-sharing and consent for re-approaching participants, the study will be a resource for future research studies, including longitudinal studies, prospective case ascertainment of incident disease and interventional studies.
With the changing distribution of infectious diseases, and an increase in the burden of non-communicable diseases, low- and middle-income countries, including those in Africa, will need to expand their health care capacities to effectively respond to these epidemiological transitions. The interrelated risk factors for chronic infectious and non-communicable diseases and the need for long-term disease management, argue for combined strategies to understand their underlying causes and to design strategies for effective prevention and long-term care. Through multidisciplinary research and implementation partnerships, we advocate an integrated approach for research and healthcare for chronic diseases in Africa.
The room temperature electronic characteristics of resonant tunneling diodes (RTDs) containing AlAs/InGaAs quantum wells are studied. Differences in the peak current and voltages, associated with device-to-device variations in the structure and width of the quantum well are analyzed. A method to use these differences between devices is introduced and shown to uniquely identify each of the individual devices under test. This investigation shows that quantum confinement in RTDs allows them to operate as physical unclonable functions.
The deterioration of the cholinergic system in aging is hypothesized to contribute to age-related declines in attention. We investigated potential age differences in performance on the Attention Network Test (ANT) and intra-individual variability in speed (RT-IIV) on go/no-go and choice reaction time tasks in young and healthy older adults. We also asked whether short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI), a neurophysiological marker of central cholinergic activity obtained via transcranial magnetic stimulation, might be correlated with performance. Older adults were slower on the ANT and exhibited greater RT-IIV than young adults on the multiple choice RT task, but there were no age differences on the ANT network scores (alerting, orienting, and executive control). SAI was diminished in older adults, but it was not significantly correlated with performance. It may only be in cases of severe cholinergic dysfunction that relations with attention emerge. Other brain mechanisms may also be stronger predictors of functions relating to attention.
Attentional impairment is a core cognitive feature of major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD). However, little is known of the characteristics of response time (RT) distributions from attentional tasks. This is crucial to furthering our understanding of the profile and extent of cognitive intra-individual variability (IIV) in mood disorders.
A computerized sustained attention task was administered to 138 healthy controls and 158 patients with a mood disorder: 86 euthymic BD, 33 depressed BD and 39 medication-free MDD patients. Measures of IIV, including individual standard deviation (iSD) and coefficient of variation (CoV), were derived for each participant. Ex-Gaussian (and Vincentile) analyses were used to characterize the RT distributions into three components: mu and sigma (mean and standard deviation of the Gaussian portion of the distribution) and tau (the ‘slow tail’ of the distribution).
Compared with healthy controls, iSD was increased significantly in all patient samples. Due to minimal changes in average RT, CoV was only increased significantly in BD depressed patients. Ex-Gaussian modelling indicated a significant increase in tau in euthymic BD [Cohen's d = 0.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.09–0.69, p = 0.011], and both sigma (d = 0.57, 95% CI 0.07–1.05, p = 0.025) and tau (d = 1.14, 95% CI 0.60–1.64, p < 0.0001) in depressed BD. The mu parameter did not differ from controls.
Increased cognitive variability may be a core feature of mood disorders. This is the first demonstration of differences in attentional RT distribution parameters between MDD and BD, and BD depression and euthymia. These data highlight the utility of applying measures of IIV to characterize neurocognitive variability and the great potential for future application.