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- ItemEmergency Preparedness: Knowledge and Perceptions of Latin American Immigrants(1999) Carter-Pokras, Olivia; Zambrana, Ruth E.; Mora, Sonia E.; Aaby, Katherine A.This paper describes the level of public emergency knowledge and perceptions of risks among Latin American immigrants, and their preferred and actual sources of emergency preparedness information (including warning signals). Five Latino community member focus groups, and one focus group of community health workers, were conducted in a suburban county of Washington D.C. (N51). Participants came from 13 Latin American countries, and 64.7% immigrated during the previous five years. Participants had difficulty defining emergency and reported a wide range of perceived personal emergency risks: immigration problems; crime, personal insecurity, gangs; home/traffic accidents; home fires; environmental problems; and snipers. As in previous studies, few participants had received information on emergency preparedness, and most did not have an emergency plan. Findings regarding key messages and motivating factors can be used to develop clear, prioritized messages for communication regarding emergencies and emergency preparedness for Latin American immigrant communities in the U.S.
- ItemAssessing Health Concerns and Barriers in a Heterogeneous Latino Community(The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006) Martinez, Iveris L.; Carter-Pokras, OliviaIntroduction. Major health issues and barriers to health services for Latino immigrants were identified through community-based participatory research in Baltimore city. Methods. In collaboration with community partners, five focus groups were conducted among Latino adults from 10 countries and health service providers. Findings. Priorities across groups included chronic diseases, HIV/AIDS and STDs, mental health, and the need for ancillary services. Community members and providers did not always agree on what health matters were of primary concern. Participants expected to receive health information at the point of service. Barriers to receiving health services and information span linguistic, financial, logistical, legal, and cultural matters. Conclusions. This formative research illustrates the complexity and interrelatedness of health priorities and barriers created by social issues such as employment, legal status, and related stressors.
- ItemA method for analyzing censored survival phenotype with gene expression data(Springer Nature, 2008-10-06) Wu, Tongtong; Sun, Wei; Yuan, Shinsheng; Chen, Chun-Houh; Li, Ker-ChauSurvival time is an important clinical trait for many disease studies. Previous works have shown certain relationship between patients' gene expression profiles and survival time. However, due to the censoring effects of survival time and the high dimensionality of gene expression data, effective and unbiased selection of a gene expression signature to predict survival probabilities requires further study. We propose a method for an integrated study of survival time and gene expression. This method can be summarized as a two-step procedure: in the first step, a moderate number of genes are pre-selected using correlation or liquid association (LA). Imputation and transformation methods are employed for the correlation/LA calculation. In the second step, the dimension of the predictors is further reduced using the modified sliced inverse regression for censored data (censorSIR). The new method is tested via both simulated and real data. For the real data application, we employed a set of 295 breast cancer patients and found a linear combination of 22 gene expression profiles that are significantly correlated with patients' survival rate. By an appropriate combination of feature selection and dimension reduction, we find a method of identifying gene expression signatures which is effective for survival prediction.
- ItemHepatitis B vaccinations among Koreans: Results from 2005 Korea National Cancer Screening Survey(Springer Nature, 2009-11-25) Juon, Hee-Soon; Choi, Kui Son; Park, Eun-Cheol; Kwak, Min-Son; Lee, SunminLiver cancer is one of most commonly diagnosed cancers among Koreans. Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major risk factor for liver cancer. HBV infection can be prevented by effective screening and vaccination programs. The purpose of this study is to examine the status of HBV infection and the predictors associated with HBV vaccination. The study population was derived from the 2005 Korea National Cancer Screening Survey (KNCSS). The KNCSS is an annual cross-sectional survey that uses a nationally-representative random sampling to investigate cancer screening rates. A total of 1,786 Koreans over 40 years of age participated in this study. Of all the participants, 5.9% reported HBV positive (HBsAg+, HBsAb-), 41.8% were HBV negative but protected (HBsAg-, HBsAb+), and 52.3% were unprotected (HBsAg-, HBsAb-). Among unprotected individuals (n = 934), 23.1% reported to have received the vaccination. About half of those who had vaccinations completed the 3-shot vaccine series. In multiple analyses, education, having private cancer insurance, alcohol use, having regular check-up, and doing regular exercise were associated with completed HBV vaccination. This study result suggests that we need a liver cancer education program to increase HBV awareness and to increase the liver cancer prevention message among low educated populations.
- ItemExternalizing behavior in early childhood and body mass index from age 2 to 12 years: longitudinal analyses of a prospective cohort study(2010-07-14) Anderson, Sarah E; He, Xin; Schoppe-Sullivan, Sarah; Must, AvivaBackground: Some evidence suggests that obesity and behavior problems are related in children, but studies have been conflicting and have rarely included children under age 4. An association between behavior problems in early childhood and risk for obesity could suggest that a common set of factors contribute to both. Our research objectives were to determine the extent to which externalizing behavior in early childhood is related to body mass index (BMI) in early childhood and through age 12, and to evaluate whether these associations differ by sex and race. Methods: Data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development were analyzed. Externalizing behaviors at 24 months were assessed by mothers using the Child Behavior Checklist. BMI was calculated from measured height and weight assessed 7 times between age 2 and 12 years. Linear mixed effects models were used to assess associations between 24 month externalizing behavior and BMI from 2 to 12 years, calculate predicted differences in BMI, and evaluate effect modification. Results: Externalizing behavior at 24 months was associated with a higher BMI at 24 months and through age 12. Results from a linear mixed effects model, controlling for confounding variables and internalizing behavior, predicted a difference in BMI of approximately 3/4 of a unit at 24 months of age comparing children with high levels of externalizing behavior to children with low levels of externalizing behavior. There was some evidence of effect modification by race; among white children, the average BMI difference remained stable through age 12, but it doubled to 1.5 BMI units among children who were black or another race. Conclusions: Our analyses suggest that externalizing behaviors in early childhood are associated with children's weight status early in childhood and throughout the elementary school years, though the magnitude of the effect is modest.
- ItemNitric oxide is negatively correlated to pain during acute inflammation(Springer Nature, 2010-09-15) Hamza, May; Wang, Xiao-Min; Wu, Tongtong; Brahim, Jaime S; Rowan, Janet S; Dionne, Raymond AThe role that nitric oxide (NO) plays in modulating pain in the periphery is unclear. We show here, the results of two independent clinical studies (microdialysis and gene expression studies) and a pilot dose finding study (glyceryl trinitrate study), to study the role of NO in the early phase of acute inflammatory pain following oral surgery. The effect of ketorolac on NO production and nitric oxide synthase (NOS) gene expression was also studied. Microdialysis samples showed significantly higher levels of NO at the first 100 min compared to the last 80 minutes in the placebo treated group. In the ketorolac group, on the other hand, NO levels gradually decreased over the first 60 min but were similar to placebo over the later 100-180 min, with no significant change in NO level over time. The levels of NO were negatively correlated to pain intensity scores. Local infusion of the NO donor glyceryl trinitrate at the site of surgery, showed a small analgesic effect that did not reach statistical significance in the sample size used. While the gene expression of iNOS and eNOS were not up-regulated, 3 hours after surgery, nNOS was downregulated in both treatment groups and eNOS gene expression was significantly lower in the ketorolac group compared to the placebo group. Further, there was a positive correlation between the change in gene expression of nNOS and eNOS in the placebo goup but not in the ketorolac group. We suggest that at this early stage of inflammatory pain in man, NO is analgesic in the periphery. Further, ketorolac down-regulates eNOS gene expression.
- ItemRandomized trial of achieving healthy lifestyles in psychiatric rehabilitation: the ACHIEVE trial(Springer Nature, 2010-12-13) Casagrande, Sarah S; Jerome, Gerald J; Dalcin, Arlene T; Dickerson, Faith B; Anderson, Cheryl A; Appel, Lawrence J; Charleston, Jeanne; Crum, Rosa M; Young, Deborah R; Guallar, Eliseo; Frick, Kevin D; Goldberg, Richard W; Oefinger, Meghan; Finkelstein, Joseph; Oladapo Fred-Omojole; Gennusa, Joseph V III; Fred-Omojole, Oladapo; Campbell, Leslie M; Wang, Nae-Yuh; Daumit, Gail LOverweight and obesity are highly prevalent among persons with serious mental illness. These conditions likely contribute to premature cardiovascular disease and a 20 to 30 percent shortened life expectancy in this vulnerable population. Persons with serious mental illness need effective, appropriately tailored behavioral interventions to achieve and maintain weight loss. Psychiatric rehabilitation day programs provide logical intervention settings because mental health consumers often attend regularly and exercise can take place on-site. This paper describes the Randomized Trial of Achieving Healthy Lifestyles in Psychiatric Rehabilitation (ACHIEVE). The goal of the study is to determine the effectiveness of a behavioral weight loss intervention among persons with serious mental illness that attend psychiatric rehabilitation programs. Participants randomized to the intervention arm of the study are hypothesized to have greater weight loss than the control group. A targeted 320 men and women with serious mental illness and overweight or obesity (body mass index ≥ 25.0 kg/m2) will be recruited from 10 psychiatric rehabilitation programs across Maryland. The core design is a randomized, two-arm, parallel, multi-site clinical trial to compare the effectiveness of an 18-month behavioral weight loss intervention to usual care. Active intervention participants receive weight management sessions and physical activity classes on-site led by study interventionists. The intervention incorporates cognitive adaptations for persons with serious mental illness attending psychiatric rehabilitation programs. The initial intensive intervention period is six months, followed by a twelve-month maintenance period in which trained rehabilitation program staff assume responsibility for delivering parts of the intervention. Primary outcomes are weight loss at six and 18 months. Evidence-based approaches to the high burden of obesity and cardiovascular disease risk in person with serious mental illness are urgently needed. The ACHIEVE Trial is tailored to persons with serious mental illness in community settings. This multi-site randomized clinical trial will provide a rigorous evaluation of a practical behavioral intervention designed to accomplish and sustain weight loss in persons with serious mental illness.
- ItemValidity of self-reported leisure-time sedentary behavior in adolescents(Springer Nature, 2011-02-11) Affuso, Olivia; Stevens, June; Catellier, Diane; McMurray, Robert G; Ward, Dianne S; Lytle, Leslie; Sothern, Melinda S; Sothern, Melinda STo evaluate the concordance between leisure-time sedentary behavior in adolescents assessed by an activity-based questionnaire and accelerometry. A convenience sample of 128 girls and 73 boys, 11-15 years of age (12.6 ± 1.1 years) from six states across the United States examined as part of the feasibility studies for the Trial of Activity in Adolescent Girls (TAAG). Three days of self-reported time spent watching TV/videos, using computers, playing video/computer games, and talking on the phone was assessed using a modified version of the Self-Administered Physical Activity Checklist (SAPAC). Criterion measure of sedentary behavior was via accelerometry over three days using a cut point of < 50 counts · 30 sec-1 epoch. Comparisons between sedentary behavior by the two instruments were made. Adolescents generally underestimated minutes of sedentary behavior compared to accelerometry-measured minutes. The overall correlation between minutes of sedentary behavior by self-report and accelerometry was weak (Spearman r = 0.14; 95% CI 0.05, 0.23). Adjustment of sedentary minutes of behavior for total minutes assessed using either percentages or the residuals method tended to increase correlations slightly. However, regression analyses showed no significant association between self-reported sedentary behavior and minutes of sedentary behavior captured via accelerometry. These findings suggest that the modified 3-day Self-Administered Physical Activity Checklist is not a reliable method for assessing sedentary behavior. It is recommended that until validation studies for self-report instruments of sedentary behavior demonstrate validity, objective measures should be used.
- ItemMicroarray analysis of genes associated with cell surface NIS protein levels in breast cancer(Springer Nature, 2011-10-11) Beyer, Sasha J; Zhang, Xiaoli; Jimenez, Rafael E; Lee, Mei-Ling T; Richardson, Andrea L; Huang, Kun; Jhiang, Sissy MNa+/I- symporter (NIS)-mediated iodide uptake allows radioiodine therapy for thyroid cancer. NIS is also expressed in breast tumors, raising potential for radionuclide therapy of breast cancer. However, NIS expression in most breast cancers is low and may not be sufficient for radionuclide therapy. We aimed to identify biomarkers associated with NIS expression such that mechanisms underlying NIS modulation in human breast tumors may be elucidated. Published oligonucleotide microarray data within the National Center for Biotechnology Information Gene Expression Omnibus database were analyzed to identify gene expression tightly correlated with NIS mRNA level among human breast tumors. NIS immunostaining was performed in a tissue microarray composed of 28 human breast tumors which had corresponding oligonucleotide microarray data available for each tumor such that gene expression associated w ith cell surface NIS protein level could be identified. NIS mRNA levels do not vary among breast tumors or when compared to normal breast tissues when detected by Affymetrix oligonucleotide microarray platforms. Cell surface NIS protein levels are much more variable than their corresponding NIS mRNA levels. Despite a limited number of breast tumors examined, our analysis identified cysteinyl-tRNA synthetase as a biomarker that is highly associated with cell surface NIS protein levels in the ER-positive breast cancer subtype. Further investigation on genes associated with cell surface NIS protein levels within each breast cancer molecular subtype may lead to novel targets for selectively increasing NIS expression/function in a subset of breast cancers patients.
- ItemValidation of a susceptibility, benefits, and barrier scale for mammography screening among Peruvian women: a cross-sectional study(Springer Nature, 2011-12-07) Huaman, Moises A; Kamimura-Nishimura, Kelly I; Kanamori, Mariano; Siu, Alejandro; Lescano, Andres GPerceived beliefs about breast cancer and breast cancer screening are important predictors for mammography utilization. This study adapted and validated the Champion's scale in Peru. This scale measures perceived susceptibility for breast cancer and perceived benefits and barriers for mammography. A cross-sectional study was conducted among women ages 40 to 65 attending outpatient gynecology services in a public hospital in Peru. A group of experts developed and pre-tested a Spanish version of the Champion's scale to assess its comprehensibility (N = 20). Factor analysis, internal consistency, and test-retest reliability analyses were performed (N = 285). Concurrent validity compared scores from participants who had a mammogram and those who did not have it in the previous 15 months. T-test and multiple regression analysis adjusting for socio-demographic factors, mammography knowledge and other preventive behaviors were performed. The construct validity and reliability were optimal. Cronbach-Alpha coefficients were 0.75 (susceptibility), 0.72 (benefits) and 0.86 (barriers). Concurrent validity analysis showed an association between barriers and mammography screening use in bivariate (22.3 ± 6.7 vs. 30.2 ± 7.6; p < 0.001) and multiple regression analysis (OR = 0.28, 95% CI = 0.18-0.43). Ages 50-60 years (OR = 2.35, 95% CI = 1.19-4.65), history of prior Papanicolaou test (OR = 3.69, 95% CI = 1.84-7.40), and knowledge about breast cancer and mammography (OR = 3.69, 95% CI = 1.84-7.40) were also independently associated with mammography screening use. Concurrent validity analysis showed that the Champion's scale has important limitations for assessing perceived susceptibility for breast cancer and perceived benefits for mammography among Peruvian women. There is still a need for developing valid and reliable instruments for measuring perceived beliefs about breast cancer and mammography screening among Peruvian women.
- ItemLogic minimization and rule extraction for identification of functional sites in molecular sequences(2012-08-16) Cruz-Cano, Raul; Lee, Mei-Ling Ting; Leung, Ming-YingBackground Logic minimization is the application of algebraic axioms to a binary dataset with the purpose of reducing the number of digital variables and/or rules needed to express it. Although logic minimization techniques have been applied to bioinformatics datasets before, they have not been used in classification and rule discovery problems. In this paper, we propose a method based on logic minimization to extract predictive rules for two bioinformatics problems involving the identification of functional sites in molecular sequences: transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) in DNA and O-glycosylation sites in proteins. TFBS are important in various developmental processes and glycosylation is a posttranslational modification critical to protein functions. Methods In the present study, we first transformed the original biological dataset into a suitable binary form. Logic minimization was then applied to generate sets of simple rules to describe the transformed dataset. These rules were used to predict TFBS and O-glycosylation sites. The TFBS dataset is obtained from the TRANSFAC database, while the glycosylation dataset was compiled using information from OGLYCBASE and the Swiss-Prot Database. We performed the same predictions using two standard classification techniques, Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) and Support Vector Machines (SVM), and used their sensitivities and positive predictive values as benchmarks for the performance of our proposed algorithm. SVM were also used to reduce the number of variables included in the logic minimization approach. Results For both TFBS and O-glycosylation sites, the prediction performance of the proposed logic minimization method was generally comparable and, in some cases, superior to the standard ANN and SVM classification methods with the advantage of providing intelligible rules to describe the datasets. In TFBS prediction, logic minimization produced a very small set of simple rules. In glycosylation site prediction, the rules produced were also interpretable and the most popular rules generated appeared to correlate well with recently reported hydrophilic/hydrophobic enhancement values of amino acids around possible O-glycosylation sites. Experiments with Self-Organizing Neural Networks corroborate the practical worth of the logic minimization method for these case studies. Conclusions The proposed logic minimization algorithm provides sets of rules that can be used to predict TFBS and O-glycosylation sites with sensitivity and positive predictive value comparable to those from ANN and SVM. Moreover, the logic minimization method has the additional capability of generating interpretable rules that allow biological scientists to correlate the predictions with other experimental results and to form new hypotheses for further investigation. Additional experiments with alternative rule-extraction techniques demonstrate that the logic minimization method is able to produce accurate rules from datasets with large numbers of variables and limited numbers of positive examples.
- ItemAllostatic load amplifies the effect of blood lead levels on elevated blood pressure among middle-aged U.S. adults: a cross-sectional study(Springer Nature, 2013-08-16) Zota, Ami R; Shenassa, Edmond D; Morello-Frosch, RachelScientists and regulators have sought to understand whether and how physiologic dysregulation due to chronic stress exposure may enhance vulnerability to the adverse health effects of toxicant exposures. We conducted a cross-sectional study to determine whether allostatic load (AL), a composite measure of physiologic response to chronic exposure to stress, amplifies the effect of lead exposure on blood pressure among middle-aged adults. We analyzed associations between blood lead levels and blood pressure in a nationally representative sample of 8,194 U.S. adults (aged 40-65 years) participating in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey, 1999--2008. Outcomes were elevated systolic (≥ 140 mm Hg) and diastolic (≥ 90 mm Hg) blood pressure. AL was defined as the aggregate score of seven components, reflecting dysregulation of the cardiovascular, inflammatory, and endocrine systems. Logistic regression models showed a linear dose-response relationship for quintiles of blood lead and elevated systolic blood pressure in the high AL group (p = 0.03) but not the low AL group (p = 0.24). Similarly, the relationship between lead exposure and elevated diastolic blood pressure was stronger among the high AL group than the low AL group. Within the high AL group, the fourth and fifth quintiles had significantly elevated odds of elevated blood pressure compared to lowest quintile [OR = 1.92, (95% CI, 1.07, 3.47) and OR =2.28 (95% CI, 1.33, 3.91), respectively]. In the low AL group, none of the quintile effects were significantly different than the referent group although there was evidence of a linear trend (p =0.03). The lead by AL interaction term was not statistically significant for either systolic or diastolic blood pressure models. Results suggest that higher AL may amplify the adverse effects of lead on blood pressure. Future research should assess the implications of cumulative exposures to environmental and social stressors for regulatory decision-making.
- ItemSyndemics of syphilis, HCV infection, and methamphetamine use along the east coast of China(Springer Nature, 2014-02-17) Liao, Meizhen; Kang, Dianmin; Tao, Xiaorun; Cox, Catherine; Qian, Yuesheng; Wang, Guoyong; Yang, Cui; Zhu, XiaoYan; Zhang, Na; Bi, Zhenqiang; Jia, YujiangAn upsurge in club drug use has been observed in recent years in some cities of China, especially methamphetamine, which is quickly replacing heroin to become the most widespread drug across the nation. This study investigated the type of drugs used, syphilis and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and the correlates for syphilis, HCV and unprotected commercial sex behavior among drug users in two cities along the east coast of China. A cross-sectional survey conducted in 2010 provided demographics, sexual and drug use behaviors, HIV knowledge and the utilization of intervention services among drug users. Blood samples were tested for HIV, syphilis, and HCV infection. Of 805 eligible participants, 0.2% were infected with HIV, 3.7% with HCV, and 9.6% with syphilis. Of the participants, 96.6% were methamphetamine users, 11.9% reported ever having used ≥2 types of these drugs, and 11.4% reported ever injecting drugs. In the multivariable logistic regression analysis, participants infected with syphilis were more likely to be female (adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=2.8, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.2-6.5), have ever had commercial sex in the past 12 months (AOR=2.0, 95% CI: 1.0-3.9), be infected with HCV (AOR=12.1, 95% CI: 4.1-20.3) and less likely to have ever had sex with regular partners in the past 12 months (AOR=0.2, 95% CI: 0.1-0.6). Participants infected with HCV were more likely to have ever injected drugs (AOR=2.7, 95% CI: 1.1-6.5) and be infected with syphilis (AOR=8.0, 95% CI: 3.5-18.0). Participants who had unprotected sex with commercial sex partners in the last sexual encounter were more likely to be female (AOR=2.9, 95% CI:1.7-4.9), have middle school or lower level education (AOR=3.4, 95% CI:2.0-5.5), never have received intervention in the last year (AOR=2.1, 95%CI:1.2-3.6) and be infected with syphilis (AOR=4.2, 95% CI:2.4-7.4). Methamphetamine is the predominant drug used among the drug users, the prevalence of syphilis and HCV infection are alarmingly high, and unprotected commercial sex was common among this group. The findings highlight the need for effective, multifaceted interventions addressing sexual and drug use-related risky behaviors among this group. Further research is needed to better understand the causal pathway of the syndemics.
- ItemAssociation between cigarette smoking and the vaginal microbiota: a pilot study(Springer Nature, 2014-08-28) Brotman, Rebecca M; He, Xin; Gajer, Pawel; Fadrosh, Doug; Sharma, Eva; Mongodin, Emmanuel F; Ravel, Jacques; Glover, Elbert D; Rath, Jessica MSmoking has been identified in observational studies as a risk factor for bacterial vaginosis (BV), a condition defined in part by decimation of Lactobacillus spp. The anti-estrogenic effect of smoking and trace amounts of benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide (BPDE) may predispose women to BV. BPDE increases bacteriophage induction in Lactobacillus spp. and is found in the vaginal secretions of smokers. We compared the vaginal microbiota between smokers and non-smokers and followed microbiota changes in a smoking cessation pilot study. In 2010–2011, 20 smokers and 20 non-smokers were recruited to a cross-sectional study (Phase A) and 9 smokers were enrolled and followed for a 12-week smoking cessation program (Phase B). Phase B included weekly behavioral counseling and nicotine patches to encourage smoking cessation. In both phases, participants self-collected mid-vaginal swabs (daily, Phase B) and completed behavioral surveys. Vaginal bacterial composition was characterized by pyrosequencing of barcoded 16S rRNA genes (V1-V3 regions). Vaginal smears were assigned Nugent Gram stain scores. Smoking status was evaluated (weekly, Phase B) using the semi-quantitative NicAlert® saliva cotinine test and carbon monoxide (CO) exhalation. In phase A, there was a significant trend for increasing saliva cotinine and CO exhalation with elevated Nugent scores (P value <0.005). Vaginal microbiota clustered into three community state types (CSTs); two dominated by Lactobacillus (L. iners, L. crispatus), and one lacking significant numbers of Lactobacillus spp. and characterized by anaerobes (termed CST-IV). Women who were observed in the low-Lactobacillus CST-IV state were 25-fold more likely to be smokers than those dominated by L. crispatus (aOR: 25.61, 95 % CI: 1.03-636.61). Four women completed Phase B. One of three who entered smoking cessation with high Nugent scores demonstrated a switch from CST-IV to a L.iners-dominated profile with a concomitant drop in Nugent scores which coincided with completion of nicotine patches. The other two women fluctuated between CST-IV and L. iners-dominated CSTs. The fourth woman had low Nugent scores with L. crispatus-dominated CSTs throughout. Smokers had a lower proportion of vaginal Lactobacillus spp. compared to non-smokers. Smoking cessation should be investigated as an adjunct to reducing recurrent BV. Larger studies are needed to confirm these findings.
- ItemOverweight status of the primary caregivers of orphan and vulnerable children in 3 Southern African countries: a cross sectional study(BioMed Central, 2015) Kanamori, Mariano; Carter-Pokras, Olivia; Madhavan, Sangeetha; Feldman, Robert; He, Xin; Lee, SunminBackground: Africa is facing a nutritional transition where underweight and overweight coexist. Although the majority of programs for orphan and vulnerable children (OVC) focus on undernourishment, the association between OVC primary caregiving and the caregivers’ overweight status remains unclear. We investigated the association between OVC primary caregiving status with women’s overweight status in Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia. Methods: Demographic Health Survey (DHS) cross-sectional data collected during 2006–2007 were analyzed using weighted marginal means and logistic regressions. We analyzed data from 20–49 year old women in Namibia (N 6638), Swaziland (N 2875), and Zambia (N 4497.) Results: The overweight prevalence of the primary caregivers of OVC ranged from 27.0 % (Namibia) to 61.3 % (Swaziland). In Namibia, OVC primary caregivers were just as likely or even less likely to be overweight than other primary caregivers. In Swaziland and Zambia, OVC primary caregivers were just as likely or more likely to be overweight than other primary caregivers. In Swaziland and Zambia, OVC primary caregivers were more likely to be overweight than non-primary caregivers living with OVC (Swaziland AOR = 1.56, Zambia AOR = 2.62) and non-primary caregivers not living with OVC (Swaziland AOR = 1.92, Zambia AOR = 1.94). Namibian OVC caregivers were less likely to be overweight than non-caregivers not living with an OVC only in certain age groups (21–29 and 41–49 years old). Conclusions: African public health systems/OVC programs may face an overweight epidemic alongside existing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics. Future studies/interventions to curb overweight should consider OVC caregiving status and address country-level differences.
- ItemAssociation between an Internet-Based Measure of Area Racism and Black Mortality(PLOS (Public Library of Science), 2015-04-24) Chae, David H.; Clouston, Sean; Hatzenbuehler, Mark L.; Kramer, Michael R.; Cooper, Hannah L. F.; Wilson, Sacoby M.; Stephens-Davidowitz, Seth I.; Gold, Robert S.; Link, Bruce G.Racial disparities in health are well-documented and represent a significant public health concern in the US. Racism-related factors contribute to poorer health and higher mortality rates among Blacks compared to other racial groups. However, methods to measure racism and monitor its associations with health at the population-level have remained elusive. In this study, we investigated the utility of a previously developed Internet search-based proxy of area racism as a predictor of Black mortality rates. Area racism was the proportion of Google searches containing the “N-word” in 196 designated market areas (DMAs). Negative binomial regression models were specified taking into account individual age, sex, year of death, and Census region and adjusted to the 2000 US standard population to examine the association between area racism and Black mortality rates, which were derived from death certificates and mid-year population counts collated by the National Center for Health Statistics (2004–2009). DMAs characterized by a one standard deviation greater level of area racism were associated with an 8.2% increase in the all-cause Black mortality rate, equivalent to over 30,000 deaths annually. The magnitude of this effect was attenuated to 5.7% after adjustment for DMA-level demographic and Black socioeconomic covariates. A model controlling for the White mortality rate was used to further adjust for unmeasured confounders that influence mortality overall in a geographic area, and to examine Black-White disparities in the mortality rate. Area racism remained significantly associated with the all-cause Black mortality rate (mortality rate ratio = 1.036; 95% confidence interval = 1.015, 1.057; p = 0.001). Models further examining cause-specific Black mortality rates revealed significant associations with heart disease, cancer, and stroke. These findings are congruent with studies documenting the deleterious impact of racism on health among Blacks. Our study contributes to evidence that racism shapes patterns in mortality and generates racial disparities in health.
- ItemExposure to extreme heat and precipitation events associated with increased risk of hospitalization for asthma in Maryland, U.S.A.(Springer Nature, 2016-04-27) Soneja, Sutyajeet; Jiang, Chengsheng; Fisher, Jared; Upperman, Crystal Romeo; Mitchell, Clifford; Sapkota, AmirSeveral studies have investigated the association between asthma exacerbations and exposures to ambient temperature and precipitation. However, limited data exists regarding how extreme events, projected to grow in frequency, intensity, and duration in the future in response to our changing climate, will impact the risk of hospitalization for asthma. The objective of our study was to quantify the association between frequency of extreme heat and precipitation events and increased risk of hospitalization for asthma in Maryland between 2000 and 2012. We used a time-stratified case-crossover design to examine the association between exposure to extreme heat and precipitation events and risk of hospitalization for asthma (ICD-9 code 493, n = 115,923). Occurrence of extreme heat events in Maryland increased the risk of same day hospitalization for asthma (lag 0) by 3 % (Odds Ratio (OR): 1.03, 95 % Confidence Interval (CI): 1.00, 1.07), with a considerably higher risk observed for extreme heat events that occur during summer months (OR: 1.23, 95 % CI: 1.15, 1.33). Likewise, summertime extreme precipitation events increased the risk of hospitalization for asthma by 11 % in Maryland (OR: 1.11, 95 % CI: 1.06, 1.17). Across age groups, increase in risk for asthma hospitalization from exposure to extreme heat event during the summer months was most pronounced among youth and adults, while those related to extreme precipitation event was highest among ≤4 year olds. Exposure to extreme heat and extreme precipitation events, particularly during summertime, is associated with increased risk of hospitalization for asthma in Maryland. Our results suggest that projected increases in frequency of extreme heat and precipitation event will have significant impact on public health.
- ItemAssociation between community socioeconomic factors, animal feeding operations, and campylobacteriosis incidence rates: Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), 2004–2010(Springer Nature, 2016-07-22) Rosenberg Goldstein, Rachel E.; Cruz-Cano, Raul; Jiang, Chengsheng; Palmer, Amanda; Blythe, David; Ryan, Patricia; Hogan, Brenna; White, Benjamin; Dunn, John R.; Libby, Tanya; Tobin-D’Angelo, Melissa; Huang, Jennifer Y.; McGuire, Suzanne; Scherzinger, Karen; Ting Lee, Mei-Ling; Sapkota, Amy R.Campylobacter is a leading cause of foodborne illness in the United States. Campylobacter infections have been associated with individual risk factors, such as the consumption of poultry and raw milk. Recently, a Maryland-based study identified community socioeconomic and environmental factors that are also associated with campylobacteriosis rates. However, no previous studies have evaluated the association between community risk factors and campylobacteriosis rates across multiple U.S. states. We obtained Campylobacter case data (2004–2010; n = 40,768) from the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) and socioeconomic and environmental data from the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, the 2011 American Community Survey, and the 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture. We linked data by zip code and derived incidence rate ratios using negative binomial regression models. Community socioeconomic and environmental factors were associated with both lower and higher campylobacteriosis rates. Zip codes with higher percentages of African Americans had lower rates of campylobacteriosis (incidence rate ratio [IRR]) = 0.972; 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 0.970,0.974). In Georgia, Maryland, and Tennessee, three leading broiler chicken producing states, zip codes with broiler operations had incidence rates that were 22 % (IRR = 1.22; 95 % CI = 1.03,1.43), 16 % (IRR = 1.16; 95 % CI = 0.99,1.37), and 35 % (IRR = 1.35; 95 % CI = 1.18,1.53) higher, respectively, than those of zip codes without broiler operations. In Minnesota and New York FoodNet counties, two top dairy producing areas, zip codes with dairy operations had significantly higher campylobacteriosis incidence rates (IRR = 1.37; 95 % CI = 1.22, 1.55; IRR = 1.19; 95 % CI = 1.04,1.36). Community socioeconomic and environmental factors are important to consider when evaluating the relationship between possible risk factors and Campylobacter infection.
- ItemAssociation of Types of Life Events with Depressive Symptoms among Puerto Rican Youth(PLoS (Public Library of Science), 2016-10-27) Jaschek, Graciela; Carter-Pokras, Olivia D.; He, Xin; Lee, Sunmin; Canino, GlorisaThe main objective of this study was to examine the association between four types of adverse life events (family environment, separation, social adversity, and death) and the development of depressive symptoms among Puerto Rican youth. This was a secondary analysis using three waves (2000-2004) of interview data from the Boricua Youth Study of 10-13 year old Puerto Rican youth residing in New York and Puerto Rico with no depressive symptoms at baseline (n = 977). Depressive symptoms increased with an increase in social adversity, separation, death, and death events. Youth support from parents was a significant protective factor for all adverse events and parent coping was a protective factor in social adversity events. Relying on standard diagnostic tools is ideal to identify youth meeting the criteria for a diagnosis of depression but not useful to detect youth who present with subclinical levels of depression. Youth with sub-clinical levels of depression will not get treated and are at increased risk of developing depression later in life. Adverse life events are potentially relevant to use in conjunction with other screening tools to identify Puerto Rican youth who have subclinical depression and are at risk of developing depression in later adolescence.
- ItemThe Impact of Excluding Trials from Network Meta-Analyses - An Empirical Study(PLoS (Public Library of Science), 2016-12-07) Zhang, Jing; Yuan, Yiping; Chu, HaitaoNetwork meta-analysis (NMA) expands the scope of a conventional pairwise meta-analysis to simultaneously compare multiple treatments, which has an inherent appeal for clinicians, patients, and policy decision makers. Two recent reports have shown that the impact of excluding a treatment on NMAs can be substantial. However, no one has assessed the impact of excluding a trial from NMAs, which is important because many NMAs selectively include trials in the analysis. This article empirically examines the impact of trial exclusion using both the arm-based (AB) and contrast-based (CB) approaches, by reanalyzing 20 published NMAs involving 725 randomized controlled trials and 449,325 patients. For the population-averaged absolute risk estimates using the AB approach, the average fold changes across all networks ranged from 1.004 (with standard deviation 0.004) to 1.072 (with standard deviation 0.184); while the maximal fold changes ranged from 1.032 to 2.349. In 12 out of 20 NMAs, a 1.20-fold or larger change is observed in at least one of the population- averaged absolute risk estimates. In addition, while excluding a trial can substantially change the estimated relative effects (e.g., log odds ratios), there is no systematic difference in terms of changes between the two approaches. Changes in treatment rankings are observed in 7 networks and changes in inconsistency are observed in 3 networks. We do not observe correlations between changes in treatment effects, treatment rankings and inconsistency. Finally, we recommend rigorous inclusion and exclusion criteria, logical study selection process, and reasonable network geometry to ensure robustness and generalizability of the results of NMAs.