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2022 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Saeed Mastour Alshahrani ◽  
Abdullah F. Alghannam ◽  
Nada Taha ◽  
Shurouq Saeed Alqahtani ◽  
Abrar Al-Mutairi ◽  

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on various health conditions. The objective of this study was to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on body weight and body mass index (BMI) in Saudi Arabia. We used electronic health records obtained from a healthcare system representing five hospitals in three different regions in the Kingdom to examine the change in weight utilizing a longitudinal design. The study included all adults who had visited outpatient clinics in two different time points, pre-2020 (years 2018 and 2019 prior to COVID-19) and post-2020 (the year 2021). Weight and BMI changes in percentages were described. Also, bivariate chi-square test, paired t-test, and multivariable multinomial logistic regression model were used for the analyses. A total of 165,279 individuals were included in the study. On average, a significant weight gain of 0.33 kg (95% CI: 0.29–0.36) was observed in our study. Approximately 10% of the population had shifted to either overweight or obese BMI classes during the study period, as 4.8% of those with normal BMI pre-2020 had shifted to overweight or obese classes at post-2020, and 5.1% of those who were overweight had shifted to obese class. Also, 23.1% of the population had gained 5% or more of their pre-2020 weight, while 17% had lost 5% or more. Young individuals were over three times more likely to gain 5% or more than older individuals (OR: 3.34; 95% CI: 3.12–3.56). Females had 24% higher odds to gain 5% or more of their pre-2020 weight than males (OR: 1.24; 95% CI: 1.21–1.27). Diabetics were 27% more likely to lose 5% or more than non-diabetics (OR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.23–1.31). Our findings provide insights into the impact of COVID-19 on weight and population health. Further investment in interventions for weight management is warranted during similar circumstances such as lockdowns due to infection waves or new variants. Future studies are also needed to explore the modifications that have occurred during the pandemic in the weight-related lifestyle factors such as dietary choices and physical activity levels.

Ayuto Kodama ◽  
Yu Kume ◽  
Sangyoon Lee ◽  
Hyuma Makizako ◽  
Hiroyuki Shimada ◽  

Background: Recent longitudinal studies have reported proportion of frailty transition in older individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study aimed at clarifying the impact of social frailty in community-dwelling older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic and at identifying factors that can predict transition to social frailty. Methods: We performed this study from 2019 (before declaration of the state of emergency over the rising number of COVID-19 cases) to 2020 (after declaration of the emergency). We applied Makizako’s social frail index to our study subjects at the baseline and classified into robust, social prefrailty, and social frailty groups. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed using robust, social prefrailty, or social frailty status as dependent variable. Results: Analysis by the Kruskal–Wallis test revealed significant differences in the score on the GDS-15 among the robust, social prefrailty, and social frailty groups (p < 0.05). Furthermore, multiple regression analysis identified a significant association between the social frailty status and the score on GDS-15 (odds ratio, 1.57; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.15–2.13; p = 0.001). Conclusion: The increase in the rate of transition of elderly individuals to the social frailty group could have been related to the implementation of the stay-at-home order as part of the countermeasures for COVID-19. Furthermore, the increased prevalence of depressive symptoms associated with the stay-at-home order could also have influenced the increase in the prevalence of social frailty during the COVID-19 pandemic.

2022 ◽  
Vol Publish Ahead of Print ◽  
Maral R. Torossian ◽  
Joohyun Chung ◽  
Sara K. Mamo ◽  
Cynthia S. Jacelon

2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
SangNam Ahn ◽  
Seonghoon Kim ◽  
Kanghyock Koh

Abstract Background The COVID–19 pandemic has challenged the capacity of healthcare systems around the world and can potentially compromise healthcare utilization and health outcomes among non-COVID–19 patients. Objectives To examine the associations of the COVID-19 pandemic with healthcare utilization, out-of-pocket medical costs, and perceived health among middle-aged and older individuals in Singapore. Method Utilizing data collected from a monthly panel survey, a difference-in-differences approach was used to characterize monthly changes of healthcare use and spending and estimate the probability of being diagnosed with a chronic condition and self-reported health status before and during the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. Subjects Data were analyzed from 7569 nationally representative individuals from 2019 January and 2020 December. Measures Healthcare utilization and healthcare spending by medical service categories as well as self-reported health status. Results Between January and April 2020 (the first peak period of COVID-19 in Singapore), doctor visits decreased by 30%, and out-of-pocket medical spending decreased by 23%, mostly driven by reductions in inpatient and outpatient care. As a result, the probability of any diagnosis of chronic conditions decreased by 19% in April 2020. The decreased healthcare utilization and spending recovered after lifting the national lockdown in June, 2020 and remained similar to the pre-pandemic level through the rest of 2020. Conclusions Middle-aged and older Singaporeans’ healthcare utilization and the diagnosis of chronic conditions substantially decreased during the first peak period of the COVID-19 outbreak. Further studies to track the longer-term health effect of the pandemic among non-COVID-19 patients are warranted.

2022 ◽  
Linda Zhang ◽  
Miguel Calero ◽  
Miguel Medina ◽  
Bryan Strange

The APOE ϵ4 allele is the primary genetic risk factor for late onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). A cardinal problem in determining APOE ϵ4's effect on cognition and brain structure in older individuals is dissociating prodromal changes — linked to increased AD risk — from potential phenotypic differences. To address this, we used cognitive and neuroimaging data from a large cohort of cognitively normal 69-86 year-olds with up to 8 yearly follow-ups to investigate cross-sectional and longitudinal differences between APOE ϵ3/ϵ3 homozygotes and ϵ3/ϵ4 heterozygotes. Although we found a significant age-by-genotype interaction in right hippocampal volume, once our analyses were conditionalised by future diagnosis to account for prodromal mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD, this effect was no longer observed. Likewise, longitudinally, rate of hippocampal atrophy was determined not by genotype, but by future diagnosis. Thus, we provide direct evidence in support of the prodromal hypothesis of APOE ϵ4 on brain structure.

Gerontology ◽  
2022 ◽  
pp. 1-10
Akshaya Srikanth Bhagavathula ◽  
Wubshet Tesfaye ◽  
Kota Vidyasagar ◽  
Daniela Fialova

<b><i>Background and Aim:</i></b> Polypharmacy (concomitant use of 5–9 medicines) and hyperpolypharmacy (concomitant use of over 10 medicines) were observed to be more frequent in older adults (≥65 years) and associated with adverse outcomes. Their prevalence and risk in older patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) remain unknown. We aimed to synthesize the extant evidence on the prevalence and risk of polypharmacy and hyperpolypharmacy in older adults with PD. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> A systematic literature search was performed in PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, and Embase databases to identify pertinent studies published from 2000 to July 2021. Observational studies reporting the prevalence and association with disease of polypharmacy/hyperpolypharmacy in older adults with PD were meta-analyzed. Pooled prevalence and odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. <b><i>Results:</i></b> Out of the total 499 studies identified, 6 fulfilled the inclusion criteria and comprised 7,171 participants. The overall prevalence of polypharmacy and hyperpolypharmacy was 40% (95% CI: 37–44) and 18% (95% CI: 13–23), respectively. A meta-analysis of 4 studies indicated a significant association between polypharmacy (OR: 1.94, 95% CI: 1.26–2.62; <i>p</i> &#x3c; 0.001) and PD. Hyperpolypharmacy was also strongly associated with PD (OR: 3.11, 95% CI: 2.08–4.14; <i>p</i> &#x3c; 0.001). <b><i>Conclusion:</i></b> Polypharmacy (40%) and hyperpolypharmacy (18%) are highly prevalent and eventually increase the risk of drug-related problems in older adults with PD. Therefore, interventions that ensure rational geriatric pharmacotherapy are of critical importance for the older population with neurogenerative disorders.

2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
I. S. Moens ◽  
L. J. van Gerven ◽  
S. M. Debeij ◽  
C. H. Bakker ◽  
M. J. C. Moester ◽  

Abstract Background Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) reached the Netherlands in February 2020. To minimize the spread of the virus, the Dutch government announced an “intelligent lockdown”. Older individuals were urged to socially isolate completely, because they are at risk of a severe disease course. Although isolation reduces the medical impact of the virus, the non-medical impact should also be considered. Aim To investigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictive measures on the six dimensions of Positive Health in community-dwelling older individuals living in the Netherlands, and to identify differences within subgroups. Methods In May/June 2020, community-dwelling older individuals aged ≥ 65 years completed an online survey based on Huber’s model of Positive Health. Positive Health was measured regarding the appreciation of the six dimensions (categorized as poor/satisfactory/excellent) and a comparison with a year before (categorized as decreased/unchanged/increased) using frequencies (%) and a chi-square test. Results 834 older individuals participated (51% women, 38% aged ≥ 76 years, 35% living alone, 16% self-rated poor health). Most respondents assessed their bodily functions, mental well-being and daily functioning as satisfactory, their meaningfulness and quality of life (QoL) as excellent, and their social participation as poor. 12% of the respondents reported a deterioration of 4–6 dimensions and 73% in 1–3 dimensions, compared to the past year. Deterioration was most frequently experienced in the dimension social participation (73%), the dimension mental well-being was most frequently improved (37%) and quality of life was in 71% rated as unchanged. Women more often observed a deterioration of 4–6 dimensions than men (15% vs. 8%, p = 0.001), and individuals with self-rated poor health more often than individuals with self-rated good health (22% vs. 10%, p < 0.001). Older individuals living alone experienced more frequently a decrease in meaningfulness compared to older individuals living together. Conclusion The COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictive measures had a substantial impact on all six dimensions of Positive Health in community-dwelling older individuals, especially in women, respondents living alone and respondents with self-rated poor general health.

2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Chichen Zhang ◽  
Shujuan Xiao ◽  
Huang Lin ◽  
Lei Shi ◽  
Xiao Zheng ◽  

Abstract Background Previous research has found a link between sleep quality and psychological distress. However, the underlying mechanisms of this connection have still not been well explored. The aim of this study was to examine the roles of activities of daily living (ADL), physical activity, and perceived social support in the link between sleep quality and psychological distress among older adults. Methods Three thousand two hundred fifty valid individuals (aged 60 years or above) participated in face-to-face questionnaire-based surveys. Older individuals were assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Barthel Index, International Physical Activity Questionnaire, Perceived Social Support Scale, and Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21. The PROCESS macro developed by Hayes was used to conduct moderated mediation analysis. Results In older adults, sleep quality had a substantial direct influence on psychological distress. ADL mediated the association between sleep quality and psychological distress. Physical activity significantly reduced ADL’s mediating influence on the relationship between sleep quality and psychological distress. Furthermore, perceived social support moderated the direct relationship between sleep quality and psychological distress, as well as the second half of the mediating effect of the ADL. Moreover, physical activity and perceived social support were preventive factors that might successfully mitigate the detrimental effects of poor sleep quality on ADL and psychological distress. Conclusions The findings contribute to existing understanding by clarifying the fundamental mechanisms that link sleep quality and psychological distress. These results may provide a valuable reference to the Chinese government for improving mental health in older individuals.

Gabriel Damasco ◽  
Mandy Anhalt ◽  
Ricardo O. Perdiz ◽  
Florian Wittmann ◽  
Rafael L. de Assis ◽  

AbstractThe harvesting of açaí berries (palm fruits from the genus Euterpe) in Amazonia has increased over the last 20 years due to a high local and global market demand and triggered by their widely acclaimed health benefits as a ‘superfood’. Although such increase represents a financial boom for local communities, unregulated extraction in Amazonia risks negative environmental effects including biodiversity loss through açai intensification and deforestation. Alternatively, the introduction of certified sustainable agroforestry production programs of açaí has been strategically applied to reduce the exploitation of Amazonian forests. Local açaí producers are required to follow principles of defined sustainable management practices, environmental guidelines, and social behaviors, paying specific attention to fair trade and human rights. In this study we investigate whether sustainable agroforestry and certification effectively promotes biodiversity conservation in Amazonia. To address this question, we conducted a forestry inventory in two hectares of long-term certified açai harvesting areas to gain further knowledge on the plant diversity and forest structure in açaí managed forests and to understand the contribution of certification towards sustainable forest management. On average, we found that certified managed forests harbor 50% more tree species than non-certified açaí groves. Trees in certified areas also have significantly higher mean basal area, meaning larger and hence older individuals are more likely to be protected. Certified harvesting sites also harbor dense populations of threatened species as classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (e.g. Virola surinamensis, classified as ‘endangered’). Besides increasing the knowledge of plant diversity in açaí managed areas, we present baseline information for monitoring the impact of harvesting activities in natural ecosystems in Amazonia.

PLoS ONE ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 17 (1) ◽  
pp. e0261354
Mattias Ekberg ◽  
Josefine Andin ◽  
Stefan Stenfelt ◽  
Örjan Dahlström

Previous research has shown deficits in vocal emotion recognition in sub-populations of individuals with hearing loss, making this a high priority research topic. However, previous research has only examined vocal emotion recognition using verbal material, in which emotions are expressed through emotional prosody. There is evidence that older individuals with hearing loss suffer from deficits in general prosody recognition, not specific to emotional prosody. No study has examined the recognition of non-verbal vocalization, which constitutes another important source for the vocal communication of emotions. It might be the case that individuals with hearing loss have specific difficulties in recognizing emotions expressed through prosody in speech, but not non-verbal vocalizations. We aim to examine whether vocal emotion recognition difficulties in middle- aged-to older individuals with sensorineural mild-moderate hearing loss are better explained by deficits in vocal emotion recognition specifically, or deficits in prosody recognition generally by including both sentences and non-verbal expressions. Furthermore a, some of the studies which have concluded that individuals with mild-moderate hearing loss have deficits in vocal emotion recognition ability have also found that the use of hearing aids does not improve recognition accuracy in this group. We aim to examine the effects of linear amplification and audibility on the recognition of different emotions expressed both verbally and non-verbally. Besides examining accuracy for different emotions we will also look at patterns of confusion (which specific emotions are mistaken for other specific emotion and at which rates) during both amplified and non-amplified listening, and we will analyze all material acoustically and relate the acoustic content to performance. Together these analyses will provide clues to effects of amplification on the perception of different emotions. For these purposes, a total of 70 middle-aged-older individuals, half with mild-moderate hearing loss and half with normal hearing will perform a computerized forced-choice vocal emotion recognition task with and without amplification.

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