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To inform strategies aimed at improving blood pressure (BP) control and reducing salt intake, we assessed educational inequalities in high blood pressure (HBP) awareness, treatment and control; physician’s advice on salt reduction; and salt knowledge, perceptions and consumption behaviours in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Data were collected in cross-sectional, population-based nationally representative surveys, using a multi-stage clustered sampling design. Five HBP awareness, treatment and control categories were created from measured BP and hypertension medication use. Education and other variables were self-reported. Weighted multinomial mixed-effects regression models, adjusted for confounders, were used to assess differences across education categories.
Nine Eastern European and Central Asian countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan).
Nationally representative samples of 30 455 adults aged 25–65 years.
HBP awareness, treatment and control varied substantially by education. The coverage of physician’s advice on salt was less frequent among participants with lower education, and those with untreated HBP or unaware of their HBP. The education gradient was evident in salt knowledge and perceptions of salt intake but not in salt consumption behaviours. Improved salt knowledge and perceptions were more prevalent among participants who received physician’s advice on salt reduction.
There is a strong education gradient in HBP awareness, treatment and control as well as salt knowledge and perceived intake. Enhancements in public and patient knowledge and awareness of HBP and its risk factors targeting socio-economically disadvantaged groups are urgently needed to alleviate the growing HBP burden in low- and middle-income countries.
Outpatient antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) is managed by a variety of teams, but primarily through an infectious disease clinic. At our medical center, OPAT monitoring is performed telephonically by pharmacists through a collaborative practice agreement under the supervision of an infectious disease physician. The effect of telephonic monitoring of OPAT by pharmacists on patient outcomes is unknown.
This retrospective cohort study was conducted between July 2017 and July 2018 at a 350-bed academic medical center and included adult patients discharged home on IV antibiotics or oral linezolid. The experimental group comprised patients discharged with a consultation for the OPAT management program, whereas the control group comprised patients discharged home without a consultation. The primary outcome was 30-day readmission.
In total, 399 patients were included: 243 patients in the OPAT management program group and 156 patients in the control group. The 30-day readmission rates were similar in each cohort (20% vs 19%; P = .8193); however, the 30-day readmission rates were lower in the OPAT management program for patients discharged on vancomycin (19.4% vs 39.1%; P = .004).
We did not find a difference in 30-day readmissions between patients receiving pharmacy-driven OPAT management services and those who did not. Patients receiving vancomycin via OPAT had lower 30-day readmissions when included in the pharmacist-driven OPAT management program. Institutions with limited resources may consider reserving OPAT management services for patients receiving antimicrobials that require pharmacokinetic dosing and/or close monitoring.
The WHO recommends that adults consume less than 5 g of salt per day to reduce the risk of CVD. This study aims to examine the average population daily salt intake in the fifty-three Member States of the WHO European Region.
A systematic review was conducted to examine the most up-to-date salt intake data for adults published between 2000 and 2022. Data were obtained from peer-reviewed and grey literature, WHO surveys and studies, as well as from national and global experts.
The fifty-three Member States of the WHO European Region.
People aged 12 years or more.
We identified fifty studies published between 2010 and 2021. Most countries in the WHO European Region (n 52, 98 %) reported salt intake above WHO recommended maximum levels. In almost all countries (n 52, 98 %), men consume more salt than women, ranging between 5·39 and 18·51 g for men and 4·27 and 16·14 g for women. Generally, Western and Northern European countries have the lowest average salt intake, whilst Eastern European and Central Asian countries have the highest average. Forty-two percentage of the fifty-three countries (n 22) measured salt intake using 24 h urinary collection, considered the gold standard method.
This study found that salt intakes in the WHO European Region are significantly above WHO recommended levels. Most Member States of the Region have conducted some form of population salt intake. However, methodologies to estimate salt intake are highly disparate and underestimations are very likely.
To demonstrate the potential impact on population health if policies designed to reduce population trans fatty acid (TFA) intake are successfully implemented in the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in line with the WHO’s guidelines to lower intake of TFA as a percentage of total energy intake to less than 1 %.
A projection exercise was conducted to estimate reductions in CVD-related deaths in countries of the EAEU if TFA policies are implemented in the EAEU. Plausibly causal, annual effects (in %) of Denmark’s TFA policy on the evolution of CVD mortality rates were applied to project the potential effects of recently announced TFA policies in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Federation under three TFA exposure scenarios.
Member States of the EAEU: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Federation.
Data used for the projection exercise were based on estimates from natural experimental evidence from Denmark. National CVD mortality rates used were from WHO and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development datasets.
In all countries and in all scenarios, deaths averted were ≤ 5 deaths/100,000 in year 1 and rose in years 2 and 3. The highest projected impacts in the high-exposure scenario were seen in Kyrgyzstan (39 deaths/100 000), with the lowest occurring in Armenia (24 deaths/100 000).
This study demonstrates the potential population health gains that can be derived from effective policies to reduce TFA in line with WHO guidance. Monitoring and surveillance systems are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the TFA reduction policies in a national context.
A terrestrial (lacustrine and fluvial) palaeoclimate record from Hoxne (Suffolk, UK) shows two temperate phases separated by a cold episode, correlated with MIS 11 subdivisions corresponding to isotopic events 11.3 (Hoxnian interglacial period), 11.24 (Stratum C cold interval), and 11.23 (warm interval with evidence of human presence). A robust, reproducible multiproxy consensus approach validates and combines quantitative palaeotemperature reconstructions from three invertebrate groups (beetles, chironomids, and ostracods) and plant indicator taxa with qualitative implications of molluscs and small vertebrates. Compared with the present, interglacial mean monthly air temperatures were similar or up to 4.0°C higher in summer, but similar or as much as 3.0°C lower in winter; the Stratum C cold interval, following prolonged nondeposition or erosion of the lake bed, experienced summers 2.5°C cooler and winters between 5°C and 10°C cooler than at present. Possible reworking of fossils into Stratum C from underlying interglacial assemblages is taken into account. Oxygen and carbon isotopes from ostracod shells indicate evaporatively enriched lake water during Stratum C deposition. Comparative evaluation shows that proxy-based palaeoclimate reconstruction methods are best tested against each other and, if validated, can be used to generate more refined and robust results through multiproxy consensus.
In these regenerative times prompted by the Anthropocene, Aboriginal voices are situated to draw on ancient wisdom for local learning and to share information across the globe as ecological imperative for planetary wellbeing. In this paper, postqualitative research foregrounds the sentient nature of life as ancestral power and brings the vitality of co-becoming as our places into active engagement. It enables coloniality to surface and reveals how it sits in our places and lives, in plain sight but unnoticed because of its so-called common sense. Postqualitative research relates with ancient knowledges in foregrounding Country’s animacy and presence, revealing the essence of time as non-linear, cyclical and perpetual. In this way, we are places, weather and climate, not separate. Postqualitative research also relates with ancient knowledge in illustrating Country as agentic and time as multiple, free of constraint and directly involved in our everyday. Country is active witness in the lives of Aboriginal peoples, here always. This is a strong basis for decolonisation. We all have a responsibility to listen, to help create a new direction for the future in the present time.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the rapid implementation of changes to practice in mental health services, in particular transitions of care. Care transitions pose a particular threat to patient safety.
This study aimed to understand the perspectives of different stakeholders about the impact of temporary changes in practice and policy of mental health transitions as a result of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on perceived healthcare quality and safety.
Thirty-four participants were interviewed about quality and safety in mental health transitions during May and June 2020 (the end of the first UK national lockdown). Semi-structured remote interviews were conducted to generate in-depth information pertaining to various stakeholders (patients, carers, healthcare professionals and key informants). Results were analysed thematically.
The qualitative data highlighted six overarching themes in relation to practice changes: (a) technology-enabled communication; (b) discharge planning and readiness; (c) community support and follow-up; (d) admissions; (e) adapting to new policy and guidelines; (f) health worker safety and well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated some quality and safety concerns such as tensions between teams, reduced support in the community and increased threshold for admissions. Also, several improvement interventions previously recommended in the literature, were implemented locally.
The practice of mental health transitions has transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting quality and safety. National policies concerning mental health transitions should concentrate on converting the mostly local and temporary positive changes into sustainable service quality improvements and applying systematic corrective policies to prevent exacerbations of previous quality and safety concerns.
Close relations with Europe, especially but not only with the United Kingdom, have long been a consensual tenet of Canadian foreign policy, which has supported European integration since the 1970s. The UK's withdrawal from the European Union threatens to upset this consensus. While Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has consistently cast Brexit in a negative light, Conservative leaders Andrew Scheer and Erin O'Toole have commented positively on the UK's leaving the EU. Did their polarized views resonate in the population? To answer this question, this article analyzes the results of an original survey of voting-age Canadians. Findings show a strong degree of correspondence between positions expressed in party discourse and preferences in the Canadian population. This raises the possibility that the difference between two models of transatlantic relations, which we call Eurosphere and Anglosphere, could emerge as a new fault line in Canadian foreign policy.
To determine the utility of screening electrocardiograms after severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection among children in detecting myocarditis related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
A retrospective chart review was performed at a large paediatric academic institution to identify patients with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection who received a screening electrocardiogram by their primary care providers and were subsequently referred for outpatient cardiology consultation due to an abnormal electrocardiogram. The outcomes were the results from their cardiology evaluations, including testing and final diagnoses.
Among 46 patients, during their preceding COVID-19 illness, the majority had mild symptoms, 4 were asymptomatic, and 1 had moderate symptoms. The median length of time from positive SARS-CoV-2 test to screening electrocardiogram was 22 days, and many electrocardiogram findings that prompted cardiology consultation were normal variants in asymptomatic adolescent athletes. Patients underwent frequent additional testing at their cardiology appointments: repeat electrocardiogram (72%), echocardiogram (59%), Holter monitor (11%), exercise stress test (7%), and cardiac MRI (2%). Five patients were incidentally diagnosed with CHD or structural cardiac abnormalities, and three patients had conduction abnormalities (pre-mature atrial contractions, pre-mature ventricular contractions, borderline prolonged QTc), although potentially incidental to COVID-19. No patients were diagnosed with myocarditis or ventricular dysfunction.
In a small cohort of children with prior COVID-19, who were primarily either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, subsequent screening electrocardiograms identified various potential abnormalities prompting cardiology consultation, but no patient was diagnosed with myocarditis. Larger multi-centre studies are necessary to confirm these results and to evaluate those with more severe disease.
Dementia is estimated to affect 50 million people worldwide, with around 60% of these cases attributable to Alzheimer's disease (AD). One of the common behavioural and psychological symptoms associated with AD is psychosis. Psychosis, experiencing delusions or hallucinations, can be one of the most distressing ordeals for patients with AD, as well as those around them. Effectively managing these symptoms can lead to a vast improvement in life quality. Currently, there are no medications specifically licensed in the UK for the treatment of psychosis in AD. To help guide clinical practice, we reviewed the evidence underpinning the pharmacological treatment of psychosis in AD. The aim of the study was to positively influence clinical practice and thereby improve the life quality of this patient group.
An advanced PubMed search was used to identify studies which investigated the pharmacological treatments for acute psychosis in people with AD. Papers included were double blind, placebo controlled, randomised controlled trials specifically for AD dementia. Papers must have reported their findings using a specific psychosis subscale (PS); examples being “Behavioural Pathology in AD” (BEHAVE-AD-PS), “Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale” (BPRS-PS), and “Neuropsychiatric Inventory - Nursing Home Version” (NPI-NH-PS). Populations of both outpatients and residential patients were accepted. 14 papers, comprising some 3237 patients, were included and critically analysed in the final review.
Risperidone (BEHAVE-AD-PS: -1.3 [p = 0.004] & -1.9 [p = 0.039]; BPRS-PS: -0.5 [p = 0.08]) and aripiprazole (NPI-NH-PS: -1.0 [p = 0.169] & -1.8 [p = 0.013]) successfully reduced psychosis symptoms in patient populations. However, these medications were associated with a statistical increase in severe adverse events including strokes and cognitive decline. Pimavanserin (NPI-NH-PS: -1.9 [p = 0.045]) also offered a notable reduction in psychosis symptoms, but was associated with increased agitation/aggression. Whilst commonly used in clinical practice, quetiapine, olanzapine, and haloperidol showed negligible therapeutic changes compared to placebo using multiple psychosis subscales. Olanzapine and haloperidol were associated with increased rates of severe adverse events including extrapyramidal symptoms. Quetiapine showed limited side effects.
Risperidone and aripiprazole offer effective means to help AD patients cope with psychosis, but these medications also come with an increased risk of developing life-threatening complications. They should, therefore, be administered judiciously. Pimavanserin shows early promise in treating this group of patients, with no life-threatening adverse effects associated with its use. Further research is required before endorsing the use of pimavanserin. There is little evidence to support the therapeutic use of quetiapine, olanzapine, and haloperidol in this patient population. No financial sponsorship declared.