The latest medical research on Public Health

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about public health gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Fog-based deep learning framework for real-time pandemic screening in smart cities from multi-site tomographies.

COVID 19

The quick proliferation of pandemic diseases has been imposing many concerns on the international health infrastructure. To combat pandemic disease...

Changes in respiratory infection trends during the COVID-19 pandemic in patients with haematologic malignancy.

COVID 19

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has changed respiratory infection patterns globally. However, its impact on community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) in high-risk patients with haematological malignancies (HM) is uncertain. We aimed to examine how community-acquired pneumonia aetiology in patients with haematological malignancies changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was a retrospective study that included 524 patients with haematological malignancies hospitalised with community-acquired pneumonia between March 2018 and February 2022. Patients who underwent bronchoscopy within 24 h of admission to identify community-acquired pneumonia aetiology were included. Data on patient characteristics, laboratory findings, and results of bronchioalveolar lavage fluid cultures and polymerase chain reaction tests were analysed and compared to identify changes and in-hospital mortality risk factors.

Patients were divided into the 'pre-COVID-19 era' (44.5%) and 'COVID-19 era' (55.5%) groups. The incidence of viral community-acquired pneumonia significantly decreased in the COVID-19 era, particularly for influenza A, parainfluenza, adenovirus, and rhinovirus (pre-COVID-19 era vs. COVID-19 era: 3.0% vs. 0.3%, P = 0.036; 6.5% vs. 0.7%, P = 0.001; 5.6% vs. 1.4%, P = 0.015; and 9.5% vs. 1.7%, P < 0.001, respectively), whereas that of bacterial, fungal, and unknown community-acquired pneumonia aetiologies remain unchanged. Higher Sequential Organ Failure Assessment scores and lower platelet counts correlated with in-hospital mortality after adjusting for potential confounding factors.

In the COVID-19 era, the incidence of community-acquired pneumonia with viral aetiologies markedly decreased among patients with haematological malignancies, with no changes in the incidence of bacterial and fungal pneumonia. Further studies are required to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on the prognosis of patients with haematological malignancies and community-acquired pneumonia.

Factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 vaccine hesitancy after stroke: a cross-sectional study.

COVID 19

The vaccination status of post-stroke patients, who are at high risk of severe outcomes from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a significant concern, yet it remains unclear. We aimed to explore the vaccination status, factors associated with vaccine hesitancy, and adverse effects after vaccination among post-stroke patients.

This multi-center observational study enrolled hospitalized post-stroke patients from six Chinese hospitals (Oct 1, 2020 - Mar 31, 2021), examining vaccine uptake and self-reported reasons for vaccine hesitancy, utilizing logistic regression to investigate risk factors for vaccine hesitancy, and recording any adverse reactions post-vaccination.

Of the total 710 post-stroke patients included in the study, 430 (60.6%) had completed the recommended full-3 dose SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, with 176 (24.8%) remaining unvaccinated. The most common reasons for vaccine hesitancy were concerns about vaccine side effects (41.5%) and impaired mobility (33.9%). Logistic regression identified advanced age (aOR = 1.97, 95%CI: 1.36-2.85, P = 0.001), lower Barthel Index score (aOR = 0.88, 95%CI: 0.82-0.93, P = 0.018), higher Modified Rankin Scale score (aOR = 1.85, 95%CI: 1.32-2.56, P = 0.004), and poorer usual activity level of EuroQol 5-Dimension (aOR = 2.82, 95%CI: 1.51-5.28, P = 0.001) as independent risk factors for vaccine hesitancy. Approximately 14.8% reported minor adverse reactions, mainly pain at the injection site.

We found that post-stroke patients have insufficient SARS-CoV-2 vaccination rates, with key risk factors for vaccine hesitancy including concerns about side effects, advanced age, and functional impairments. No severe adverse reactions were observed among the vaccinated population.

Predicting lung exposure of intramuscular niclosamide as an antiviral agent: Power-law based pharmacokinetic modeling.

COVID 19

Niclosamide, a potent anthelmintic agent, has emerged as a candidate against COVID-19 in recent studies. Its formulation has been investigated exte...

Rituximab-to-vaccine interval on SARS-CoV-2 immunogenicity in children: The potential role of prior natural infection.

COVID 19

Treatment with anti-CD20 antibodies (rituximab) is used in both adults and children to treat various autoimmune and oncological diseases. Rituximab depletes B CD20+ cells and, thereby, antibody response to vaccines. This study aimed to examine the antibody response to mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines in children aged 5-18 years undergoing rituximab treatment compared to healthy matched children.

Between 31 January and 18 July 2022, we conducted a prospective observational study at the Geneva University Hospitals, enrolling children aged 5-18 years under rituximab treatment who had received two mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses. Controls were healthy volunteers with no significant medical conditions. Exclusion criteria included a recent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Blood samples were collected at day 60 (±30) and day 270 (±90) after the second vaccination.

The rituximab-treated group exhibited significantly lower levels of antibodies specific to the anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein than healthy controls at 60 (±30) days after the second vaccine dose (geometric mean concentration: 868.3 IU/mL in patients and 11,393 IU/mL in controls; p = .008). However, patients with a rituximab-to-vaccine interval shorter than 6 months and with evidence of a past infection (based on positive anti-N antibody levels) had a high level of anti-RBD antibodies.

A past infection with SARS-CoV-2 may induce anti-RBD-specific memory B cells that can be re-activated by SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, even after rituximab-induced B-cell depletion. This suggests that it is possible to vaccinate earlier than 6 months after rituximab to develop a good antibody response, especially in the case of past SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Pronounced benefits of JAK inhibition with baricitinib in COVID-19 pneumonia in obese but not lean subjects.

COVID 19

Obesity and age are strongly linked to severe COVID-19 pneumonia where immunomodulatory agents including Janus kinase inhibitors have shown benefits but the efficacy of such therapy in viral pneumonia is not well understood. We evaluated the impact of obesity and age on survival following baricitinib therapy for severe COVID-19.

A post hoc analysis of the COV-BARRIER multicentre double-blind randomised study of baricitinib versus placebo (PBO) with an assessment of 28-day mortality was performed. All-cause mortality by day 28 was evaluated in a Cox regression analysis (adjusted to age) in three different groups according to body mass index (BMI) (<25 kg/m2, 25-30 kg/m2 and >30 kg/m2) and age <65 years and ≥65 years.

In the high BMI group (>25 kg/m2), baricitinib therapy showed a significant survival advantage compared with PBO (incidence rate ratio (IRR) for mortality by day 28 0.53 (95% CI 0.32 to 0.87)) and 0.66 (95% CI 0.46 to 0.94) for the respective <65 years and ≥65 years, respectively. The 28-day all-cause-mortality rates for BMI over 30 were 5.62% for baricitinib and 9.22% for PBO (HR=0.6, p<0.05). For BMI under 25 kg/m2, irrespective of age, baricitinib therapy conferred no survival advantage (IRR of 1.89 (95% CI 0.49 to 7.28) and 0.95 (95% CI 0.46 to 1.99) for <65 years and ≥65 years, respectively) ((mortality 6.6% baricitinib vs 8.1 in PBO), p>0.05).

The efficacy of baricitinib in COVID-19 pneumonia is linked to obesity suggesting that immunomodulatory therapy benefit is associated with obesity-associated inflammation.

Non-uptake of COVID-19 vaccines and reasons for non-uptake among healthcare workers in Uganda: a cross-sectional study.

COVID 19

Vaccines play a crucial role in eradicating and containing disease outbreaks. Therefore, understanding the reasons behind vaccine refusal and associated factors is essential for improving vaccine acceptance rates. Our objective was to examine the determinants of COVID-19 vaccine non-uptake and explore the reasons for non-uptake among healthcare workers (HCWs) in Uganda.

Between July and August 2021, we conducted a cross-sectional study among healthcare workers in primary healthcare facilities (private and government) in Entebbe Municipality, Uganda. Participants were recruited using convenience sampling, and consenting individuals received credentials to access an electronic database and complete a structured questionnaire. There were no established HCWs contact registers in the municipality, and the study was conducted during a national lock down, therefore, the HCWs who were on duty at the time of the study were approached. The survey questions were based on the '3Cs' model of vaccine hesitancy and focused on confidence, convenience, and complacency factors. Non-uptake of vaccines was defined as not having received any of the available vaccines in the country. We employed counts, percentages, and simple logit models to summarize the reasons for non-uptake of COVID-19 vaccines and to identify associated factors.

The study recruited 360 HCWs, 61.7% of whom were female, with an average age of 31 years (SD = 7.9). Among them, 124 (34.4%) healthcare workers did not receive any COVID-19 vaccine. Non-uptake of COVID-19 vaccines was independently associated with several factors, including age [35 + years adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 0.30, 95% CI: 0.13-0.66 compared with 18-24 years], facility ownership [government, aOR = 0.22 (0.10-0.49) compared with private not-for-profit], previous testing for coronavirus [yes, aOR = 0.35 (0.19-0.65)], and previous involvement in COVID-19 vaccine activities [yes, aOR = 0.17 (0.10-0.29)]. The primary reasons cited for non-uptake of COVID-19 vaccines were related to a lack of confidence in the vaccines, such as concerns about side effects (79.8%) and the need for more time to understand the vaccines (89.5%), as well as the importance of weighing benefits and risks (84.7%) before being vaccinated. A smaller proportion, approximately 23%, cited reasons related to complacency and lack of convenience in accessing vaccination services.

The high proportion of non-uptake of COVID-19 vaccines among this population primarily stems from a lack of confidence and trust in the vaccines, coupled with insufficient time allowed for users to make informed decisions. This underscores the urgent need for ongoing monitoring and trend analysis of vaccine non-uptake to guide the development and implementation of strategies aimed at building and sustaining vaccine confidence. Adequate time should be allowed to explain benefits of vaccination to the population to allay fears that might exist before actual vaccination is rolled out.

Prognostic significance of chronic kidney disease and impaired renal function in Japanese patients with COVID-19.

COVID 19

Renal impairment is a predictor of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) severity. No studies have compared COVID-19 outcomes in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and patients with impaired renal function without a prior diagnosis of CKD. This study aimed to identify the impact of pre-existing impaired renal function without CKD on COVID-19 outcomes.

This retrospective study included 3,637 patients with COVID-19 classified into three groups by CKD history and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) on referral: Group 1 (n = 2,460), normal renal function without a CKD history; Group 2 (n = 905), impaired renal function without a CKD history; and Group 3 (n = 272), history of CKD. We compared the clinical characteristics of these groups and assessed the effect of CKD and impaired renal function on critical outcomes (requirement for respiratory support with high-flow oxygen devices, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygen, and death during hospitalization) using multivariable logistic regression.

The prevalence of comorbidities (hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease) and incidence of inflammatory responses (white blood counts, and C-reactive protein, procalcitonin, and D-dimer levels) and complications (bacterial infection and heart failure) were higher in Groups 2 and 3 than that in Group 1. The incidence of critical outcomes was 10.8%, 17.7%, and 26.8% in Groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The mortality rate and the rate of requiring IMV support was lowest in Group 1 and highest in Group 3. Compared with Group 1, the risk of critical outcomes was higher in Group 2 (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 1.32, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.03-1.70, P = 0.030) and Group 3 (aOR: 1.94, 95% CI: 1.36-2.78, P < 0.001). Additionally, the eGFR was significantly associated with critical outcomes in Groups 2 (odds ratio [OR]: 2.89, 95% CI: 1.64-4.98, P < 0.001) and 3 (OR: 1.87, 95% CI: 1.08-3.23, P = 0.025) only.

Clinicians should consider pre-existing CKD and impaired renal function at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis for the management of COVID-19.

Persisting exercise ventilatory inefficiency in subjects recovering from COVID-19. Longitudinal data analysis 34 months post-discharge.

COVID 19

SARS-CoV-2 infection has raised concerns about long-term health repercussions. Exercise ventilatory inefficiency (EVin) has emerged as a notable long-term sequela, potentially impacting respiratory and cardiovascular health. This study aims to assess the long-term presence of EVin after 34 months and its association with cardiorespiratory health in post-COVID patients.

In a longitudinal study on 32 selected post-COVID subjects, we performed two cardiopulmonary exercise tests (CPETs) at 6 months (T0) and 34 months (T1) after hospital discharge. The study sought to explore the long-term persistence of EVin and its correlation with respiratory and cardiovascular responses during exercise. Measurements included also V̇O2peak, end-tidal pressure of CO2 (PETCO2) levels, oxygen uptake efficiency slope (OUES) and other cardiorespiratory parameters, with statistical significance set at p < 0.05. The presence of EVin at both T0 and T1 defines a persisting EVin (pEVin).

Out of the cohort, five subjects (16%) have pEVin at 34 months. Subjects with pEVin, compared to those with ventilatory efficiency (Evef) have lower values of PETCO2 throughout exercise, showing hyperventilation. Evef subjects demonstrated selective improvements in DLCO and oxygen pulse, suggesting a recovery in cardiorespiratory function over time. In contrast, those with pEvin did not exhibit these improvements. Notably, significant correlations were found between hyperventilation (measured by PETCO2), oxygen pulse and OUES, indicating the potential prognostic value of OUES and Evin in post-COVID follow-ups.

The study highlights the clinical importance of long-term follow-up for post-COVID patients, as a significant group exhibit persistent EVin, which correlates with altered and potentially unfavorable cardiovascular responses to exercise. These findings advocate for the continued investigation into the long-term health impacts of COVID-19, especially regarding persistent ventilatory inefficiencies and their implications on patient health outcomes.

Self-study and online interactive case-based discussion to improve knowledge of medical students in the COVID-19 era.

COVID 19

We aimed to determine whether a new online interactive learning method for fifth-year medical students could improve their knowledge of pre- and postoperative care during the COVID-19 era.

A retrospective cohort study was conducted from June 2020 to May 2022 during the pre- and postoperative care course for fifth-year medical students in a university hospital in southern Thailand. Students in the 2020 cohort received only a 60-minute lecture on spinal anesthesia via Zoom while a 3-step online interactive learning method was used for the 2021 cohort. Step 1: students performed self-study comprised of video lectures and case-based discussion one week before the online class with a pre-test submitted via Google forms. Step 2: an online interactive case-based discussion class was performed via Zoom by two experienced anesthesia staff and a post-test was submitted by the students via Google forms. Step 3: a small group discussion of course evaluation between 13 representatives of students and anesthesia staff was performed via Zoom. A comparison of the post-test and pre-test scores containing 20 multiple choice questions as well as the final exam scores before (2020) and after (2021) the new interactive learning was performed using a t-test.

There were 136 and 117 students in the 2020 and 2021 academic years, respectively. The final mean (SD) exam scores for the 2020 and 2021 academic years were 70.3 (8.4) and 72.5 (9.0), respectively with a mean (95% confidence interval (CI)) difference of 2.2 (4.3, -0.02). In 2021, the mean (95% CI) difference between the post-test and pre-test scores was 5.8 (5.1, 6.5). The student representatives were satisfied with the new learning method and gave insightful comments, which were subsequently implemented in the 2022 academic year course.

The new interactive learning method improved the knowledge of fifth-year medical students attending pre- and postoperative care course during the COVID-19 era. The final exam scores may not be suitable to represent the overall outcomes of the new interactive learning method. Using an online two-way communication method can improve the overall satisfaction and course adaptation during the COVID-19 era.

Assessment of the dynamics of inpatient health care delivery in Poland before and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID 19

A situation of emergency involving the whole population introduces changes in the dynamics of the health services that are provided. The magnitude ...

Healthcare visits for new neurodevelopmental problems before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID 19

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted healthcare delivery. We hypothesized that children with neurodevelopmental problems would have reduced healthcare utilization during the pandemic compared to before the pandemic.

We conducted a population-based study of healthcare visits for new neurodevelopmental problems among children ages 0-6 years in Ontario, Canada. Our outcome measure was rate per 1000 children-months for healthcare visits for new neurodevelopmental problems. We compared changes in monthly rates before and during the pandemic using interrupted time series analysis (ITSA).

The rate of new neurodevelopmental problems before the pandemic was 6.31 per 1000 children-months and during the pandemic was 6.58 per 1000 children-months. However, using ITSA, there were no differences in monthly rates of healthcare visits for new neurodevelopmental problems before and during the pandemic. The observed rate during the first 30 days of the pandemic dropped to 3.40 per 1000 children-months.

This study found no significant difference in rates of healthcare visits for new neurodevelopmental problems before and during the pandemic. There was a decrease in the number of visits during the first 30 days of the pandemic compared to all months prior. This study adds information on healthcare access for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid deployment of virtual healthcare delivery in Ontario, Canada may explain the fast recovery of healthcare utilization for children with neurodevelopmental problems.