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.
The Government of Bangladesh imposed a movement control order as a mass quarantine strategy to control the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Adherence to the home quarantine may put children at risk by missing routine vaccination. In this study, we investigated the impact of COVID-19 on child routine immunization in a rural area of Bangladesh and consider the broader implications. Data for this study comes from the Chakaria Health and Demographic Surveillance System (HDSS) of icddr,b with a population of 90,000 people residing in 16,000 households in 49 villages in a rural, coastal area of Southeast Bangladesh. We used an explanatory sequential mixed methods design which involved two phases between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020: first, we observed 258 outreach sessions of 86 EPI centers. We calculated the number of Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) outreach sessions suspended and the number of children who missed their routine vaccination due to the COVID-19. We extrapolated the number of Bangladeshi children who missed their routine vaccination using Chakaria HDSS observations. Secondly, we conducted in-depth interviews to explain the quantitative results. The EPI outreach session (EOS) declined to 74.42% (95% CI 63.97–83.22), 10.45% (95% CI 5.00–18.94), and 3.45% (95% CI 1.00–9.75) from 2019 levels in March, April, and May 2020, respectively. By extrapolation, in Bangladesh, between March and May 2020, 3.2 million children missed their scheduled vaccination compared to 2019. Results from in-depth interviews showed that the unwillingness of villagers to hold EOS and the absenteeism of the vaccinators due to social distancing recommendations and lack of personal safety measures were the main reasons for the discontinuation of the EOS. Resuming EPI outreach sessions and introducing a special catch-up program is essential to prevent future outbreaks and deaths due to vaccine-preventable diseases in Bangladesh and the countries where children missed their routine vaccination due to COVID-19. This health system failure should be considered a factor in all future pandemic preparedness plans.
BackgroundThe disability problem has become prominent with the acceleration of the global aging process. Individual disability is associated with economic conditions and contributes to family poverty. As disability will change over a long period of time and may even show distinct dynamic trends, we aimed to focus on activities of daily living (ADL) and classify functional disability trends. Moreover, we aimed to highlight and analyze the association between functional disability trends and economic conditions and explore the influencing factors.Materials and MethodsA total of 11,222 individuals who were 45 years old or older were included in four surveys conducted by the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2018. Samples were analyzed after excluding those with missing key variables. The latent class growth model was used to classify the ADL trends. Two binary logistic regressions were established to observe the association between the ADL trends and follow-up economic conditions or catastrophic health expenditure trends.ResultsADL trends of older adults were classified into improving (25.4%), stabilizing (57.0%), and weakening ADL (17.6%). ADL trend was associated with follow-up poverty (p = 0.002) and catastrophic health expenditure trends (p < 0.001). Compared with the improving ADL trend, the stabilizing ADL may have a negative influence on individuals' economic conditions (OR = 1.175, 95%CI = 1.060–1.303). However, a stabilizing ADL trend was less likely to bring about catastrophic health expenditures (OR = 0.746, 95%CI = 0.678–0.820) compared with an improving ADL trend.ConclusionThe improvement of functional disability would make the medical expense burden heavier but would still be beneficial for the prevention of poverty. A significant association was found between socioeconomic factors and poverty. Preventing the older adults from developing disability and illness, improving the compensation level of medical insurance, and optimizing the long-term care insurance and the primary healthcare system can potentially contribute to the prevention of poverty. Meanwhile, focusing on people who are poor at early stages, women, middle-aged, low-educated, and in rural areas is important.
BackgroundResearch conducted in the United States suggests that two primes (citrus smells and pictures of a person's eyes) can increase hand gel dispenser use on the day they are introduced in hospital. The current study, conducted at a hospital in the United Kingdom, evaluated the effectiveness of these primes, both in isolation and in combination, at the entry way to four separate wards, over a longer duration than the previous work.MethodsA crossover randomized controlled trial was conducted. Four wards were allocated for 6 weeks of observation to each of four conditions, including “control,” “olfactory,” “visual,” or “both” (i.e., “olfactory” and “visual” combined). It was hypothesized that hand hygiene compliance would be greater in all priming conditions relative to the control condition. The primary outcome was whether people used the gel dispenser when they entered the wards. After the trial, a follow up survey of staff at the same hospital assessed the barriers to, and facilitators of, hand hygiene compliance. The trial data were analyzed using regression techniques and the survey data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.ResultsThe total number of individuals observed in the trial was 9,811 (female = 61%), with similar numbers across conditions, including “control” N = 2,582, “olfactory” N = 2,700, “visual” N = 2,488, and “both” N = 2,141. None of the priming conditions consistently increased hand hygiene. The lowest percentage compliance was observed in the “both” condition (7.8%), and the highest was observed in the “visual” condition (12.7%). The survey was completed by 97 staff (female = 81%). “Environmental resources” and “social influences” were the greatest barriers to staff cleaning their hands.ConclusionsTaken together, the current findings suggest that the olfactory and visual priming interventions investigated do not influence hand hygiene consistently. To increase the likelihood of such interventions succeeding, future research should focus on prospectively determined mechanisms of action.
Many Vietnam War veterans who experienced military trauma still exhibit PTSD symptomatology. Little is known about how new stressful situations, like the COVID-19 pandemic, affect previously traumatized people or whether they will react differently to them. We explore whether military combat experiences in Vietnam affect veterans' perceived abilities to cope with COVID-19 and whether current PTSD symptoms and later-adulthood reengagement with trauma memories are related to coping. We examine the extent that current PTSD symptoms and trauma reengagement relate to preventive practices. Participants were part of a randomly sampled cohort of American Legionnaires who responded to two previous surveys (1984, 1998), were born 1945-1953 and deployed to Vietnam 1963-1973, thus representing an aging veteran population. A survey supplement assessed coping with the pandemic and adherence to public health guidelines. The response rate was 74% (N = 507); 422 (61.6%) completed the COVID-19 supplement. Military experiences were found to affect coping with 41.4% reporting they affected ability to cope with COVID-19. Medium- and high-combat veterans were more likely to report that military experience affected coping than low-combat (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.51–3.96; 2.6, 95% CI 1.41–4.61, respectively). Those with high PTSD scores had 7.7-fold (95% CI 4.3–13.17) increased likelihood of reporting that their coping was affected, compared to low-PTSD scorers. Few adopted social distancing (4%), staying at home (17%), or ceasing usual activities (32%); high-combat veterans were least likely to stay home. Veterans who practiced handwashing, sanitizer use, mask-wearing, and surface disinfection had significantly higher PTSD scores than those who did not. Veterans with higher scores on the LOSS-SF scale associated more reengagement with trauma memories and were more likely to engage in personal preventive strategies. Analysis of open-ended responses supported these findings. We conclude that fifty years after returning from Vietnam, PTSD scores were high for high-combat veterans, suggestive of PTSD diagnosis. Military experiences affected coping with COVID both positively and negatively, and may have helped instill useful personal health behaviors. Veterans, especially those with PTSD symptomatology, may have special needs during stressful times, like the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting compliance with recommended practices, as well as their overall health and well-being.
In the ongoing situation, when the world is dominated by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the development of self-care programs appears to be insufficient, while their role in mental health may be crucial. The aim of the study was to evaluate the associations between self-care activities and depression in the general Slovak population, but also in its individual gender and age categories. This was achieved by validating the self-care screening instrument, assessing differences, and evaluating the associations using quantile regression analysis. The final research sample consisted of 806 participants [males: 314 (39%), females: 492 (61%)] and data were collected through an online questionnaire from February 12, 2021 to February 23, 2021. Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) for depression (α = 0.89) and Self-Care Activities Screening Scale (SASS-14) [health consciousness (HC) (α = 0.82), nutrition and physical activity (NPA) (α = 0.75), sleep quality (SLP) (α = 0.82), and interpersonal and intrapersonal coping strategies (IICS) (α = 0.58)] were used as screening measures. Mild depressive symptoms were found in 229 participants (28.41%), moderate depressive symptoms in 154 participants (19.11%), moderately severe depressive symptoms in 60 participants (7.44%) and severe depressive symptoms in 43 participants (5.33%). The main findings revealed the fact that individual self-care activities were associated with depression. This supported the idea that well-practiced self-care activities should be an immediate part of an individual's life in order to reduce depressive symptoms. Sleep quality played an important role, while HC indicated the need for increased attention. Other dimensions of self-care also showed significant results that should not be overlooked. In terms of depression, females and younger individuals need targeted interventions. The supportive educational intervention developed based on the self-care theory can help manage and maintain mental health during a stressful period, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Health policy leaders should focus on health-promoting preventive self-care interventions, as the demand for them increases even more during the pandemic.
ObjectivesMost non-metastatic cancer patients can harvest a preferable survival after surgical treatment, however, patients sometimes refuse the recommended cancer-directed surgery. It is necessary to uncover the factors associated with patent's decision in taking cancer surgery and explore racial/ethnic disparities in surgery refusal.MethodsBased on the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-18 program, we extracted data of non-metastatic cancer patients who didn't undergo surgery. Ten common solid cancers were selected. Four racial/ethnic categories were included: White, black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander (API). Primary outcome was patient's refusal of surgery. Multivariable logistic regression models were used, with reported odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI).ResultsAmong 318,318 patients, the incidence of surgery refusal was 3.5%. Advanced age, female patients, earlier cancer stage, uninsured/Medicaid and unmarried patients were significantly associated with higher odds of surgery refusal. Black and API patients were more likely to refuse recommended surgery than white patients in overall cancer (black-white: adjusted OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.11–1.26; API-white: adjusted OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.41–1.72); those racial/ethnic disparities narrowed down after additionally adjusting for insurance type and marital status. In subgroup analysis, API-white disparities in surgery refusal widely existed in prostate, lung/bronchus, liver, and stomach cancers.ConclusionsPatient's socioeconomic conditions reflected by insurance type and marital status may play a key role in racial/ethnic disparities in surgery refusal. Oncological surgeons should fully consider the barriers behind patient's refusal of recommended surgery, thus promoting patient-doctor shared decision-making and guiding patients to the most appropriate therapy.
BackgroundQuality of Life (QoL) and its determinants are significant in all stages of life, including pregnancy. The physical and emotional changes during pregnancy affect the QoL of pregnant women, affecting both maternal and infant health. Hence, assessing the QoL of pregnant women is gaining interest in literature. We, therefore, aimed to describe the QoL of pregnant women during physiological pregnancy and to identify its associated predictors in women attending a public healthcare institute of Quetta city, Pakistan.MethodsA cross-sectional study was conducted at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of Sandeman Provincial Hospital Quetta city, Pakistan. The respondents were asked to answer the Urdu (lingua franca of Pakistan) version of the Quality of Life Questionnaire for Physiological Pregnancy. Data were coded and analyzed by SPPS v 21. The Kolmogorov–Smirnov test was used to establish normality of the data and non-parametric tests were used accordingly. Quality of Life was assessed as proposed by the developers. The Chi-square test was used to identify significant associations and linear regression was used to identify the predictors of QoL. For all analyses, p < 0.05 was taken significantly.ResultsFour hundred and three pregnant women participated in the study with a response rate of 98%. The mean QoL score was 19.85 ± 4.89 indicating very good QoL in the current cohort. The Chi-Square analysis reported a significant association between age, education, occupation, income, marital status, and trimester. Education was reported as a positive predictor for QoL (p = 0.006, β = 2.157). On the other hand, trimester was reported as a negative predictor of QoL (p = 0.013, β = −1.123).ConclusionImproving the QoL among pregnant women requires better identification of their difficulties and guidance. The current study highlighted educational status and trimester as the predictors of QoL in pregnant women. Health care professionals and policymakers should consider the identified factors while designing therapeutic plans and interventions for pregnant women.
ObjectiveThis study aimed to analyze the chain of events and contributing causes associated with COVID-19 adult mortality (30–69 years old), based on qualified data on CoD from three Brazilian capitals cities, Belo Horizonte, Salvador, and Natal, in 2020.MethodsData of all deaths among residents in the three capitals in 2020 were provided by these municipalities' routine Mortality Information System (SIM). Mentions B34.2 with the markers U07.1 and U07.2 in the death certificate identified COVID-19 deaths. We used a multiple-cause-of-death approach better to understand the complexity of the morbid process of COVID-19. Conditions that appeared more frequently in the same line or above the COVID-19 mentions in the death certificate were considered a chain-of-event. Conditions that occurred more often after the codes for COVID-19 were considered as contributing.ResultsIn 2020, 7,029 records from COVID-19 as the underlying cause of death were registered in SIM in the three capitals. Among these, 2,921 (41.6%) were deceased between 30 and 69 years old, representing 17.0% of deaths in this age group. As chain-of-events, the most frequent conditions mentioned were sepsis (33.4%), SARS (32.0%), acute respiratory failure (31.9%), unspecified lower respiratory infections (unspecified pneumonia) (20.1%), and other specified respiratory disorders (14.1%). Hypertension (33.3%), diabetes unspecified type (21.7%), renal failure (12.7%), obesity (9.8%), other chronic kidney diseases (4.9%), and diabetes mellitus type 2 (4.7%) were the most frequent contributing conditions. On average, 3.04 conditions were mentioned in the death certificate besides COVID-19. This average varied according to age, place of death, and capital.ConclusionThe multiple-cause analysis is a powerful tool to better understand the morbid process due to COVID-19 and highlight the importance of chronic non-communicable diseases as contributing conditions.