Showing papers in "PLOS ONE in 2020"
TL;DR: There are high prevalence of mental health problems, which positively associated with frequently SME during the COVID-19 outbreak, and the government need pay more attention to mental health issues among general population and combating with “infodemic” while combating during public health emergency.
Abstract: Huge citizens expose to social media during a novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbroke in Wuhan, China. We assess the prevalence of mental health problems and examine their association with social media exposure. A cross-sectional study among Chinese citizens aged≥18 years old was conducted during Jan 31 to Feb 2, 2020. Online survey was used to do rapid assessment. Total of 4872 participants from 31 provinces and autonomous regions were involved in the current study. Besides demographics and social media exposure (SME), depression was assessed by The Chinese version of WHO-Five Well-Being Index (WHO-5) and anxiety was assessed by Chinese version of generalized anxiety disorder scale (GAD-7). multivariable logistic regressions were used to identify associations between social media exposure with mental health problems after controlling for covariates. The prevalence of depression, anxiety and combination of depression and anxiety (CDA) was 48.3% (95%CI: 46.9%-49.7%), 22.6% (95%CI: 21.4%-23.8%) and 19.4% (95%CI: 18.3%-20.6%) during COVID-19 outbroke in Wuhan, China. More than 80% (95%CI:80.9%-83.1%) of participants reported frequently exposed to social media. After controlling for covariates, frequently SME was positively associated with high odds of anxiety (OR = 1.72, 95%CI: 1.31-2.26) and CDA (OR = 1.91, 95%CI: 1.52-2.41) compared with less SME. Our findings show there are high prevalence of mental health problems, which positively associated with frequently SME during the COVID-19 outbreak. These findings implicated the government need pay more attention to mental health problems, especially depression and anxiety among general population and combating with "infodemic" while combating during public health emergency.
TL;DR: The results indicate the importance of considering social contacts in students’ mental health and offer starting points to identify and support students at higher risk of social isolation and negative psychological effects during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abstract: This study investigates students' social networks and mental health before and at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, using longitudinal data collected since 2018. We analyze change on multiple dimensions of social networks (interaction, friendship, social support, co-studying) and mental health indicators (depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness) within two cohorts of Swiss undergraduate students experiencing the crisis (N = 212), and make additional comparisons to an earlier cohort which did not experience the crisis (N = 54). In within-person comparisons we find that interaction and co-studying networks had become sparser, and more students were studying alone. Furthermore, students' levels of stress, anxiety, loneliness, and depressive symptoms got worse, compared to measures before the crisis. Stressors shifted from fears of missing out on social life to worries about health, family, friends, and their future. Exploratory analyses suggest that COVID-19 specific worries, isolation in social networks, lack of interaction and emotional support, and physical isolation were associated with negative mental health trajectories. Female students appeared to have worse mental health trajectories when controlling for different levels of social integration and COVID-19 related stressors. As universities and researchers discuss future strategies on how to combine on-site teaching with online courses, our results indicate the importance of considering social contacts in students' mental health and offer starting points to identify and support students at higher risk of social isolation and negative psychological effects during the COVID-19 pandemic.
TL;DR: Based on the publicly available epidemiological data for Hubei, China from January 11 to February 10, 2020, estimates of the main epidemiological parameters are provided, including an estimation of the case fatality and case recovery ratios, along with their 90% confidence intervals as the outbreak evolves.
Abstract: Since the first suspected case of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) on December 1st, 2019, in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, a total of 40,235 confirmed cases and 909 deaths have been reported in China up to February 10, 2020, evoking fear locally and internationally. Here, based on the publicly available epidemiological data for Hubei, China from January 11 to February 10, 2020, we provide estimates of the main epidemiological parameters. In particular, we provide an estimation of the case fatality and case recovery ratios, along with their 90% confidence intervals as the outbreak evolves. On the basis of a Susceptible-Infectious-Recovered-Dead (SIDR) model, we provide estimations of the basic reproduction number (R0), and the per day infection mortality and recovery rates. By calibrating the parameters of the SIRD model to the reported data, we also attempt to forecast the evolution of the outbreak at the epicenter three weeks ahead, i.e. until February 29. As the number of infected individuals, especially of those with asymptomatic or mild courses, is suspected to be much higher than the official numbers, which can be considered only as a subset of the actual numbers of infected and recovered cases in the total population, we have repeated the calculations under a second scenario that considers twenty times the number of confirmed infected cases and forty times the number of recovered, leaving the number of deaths unchanged. Based on the reported data, the expected value of R0 as computed considering the period from the 11th of January until the 18th of January, using the official counts of confirmed cases was found to be ∼4.6, while the one computed under the second scenario was found to be ∼3.2. Thus, based on the SIRD simulations, the estimated average value of R0 was found to be ∼2.6 based on confirmed cases and ∼2 based on the second scenario. Our forecasting flashes a note of caution for the presently unfolding outbreak in China. Based on the official counts for confirmed cases, the simulations suggest that the cumulative number of infected could reach 180,000 (with a lower bound of 45,000) by February 29. Regarding the number of deaths, simulations forecast that on the basis of the up to the 10th of February reported data, the death toll might exceed 2,700 (as a lower bound) by February 29. Our analysis further reveals a significant decline of the case fatality ratio from January 26 to which various factors may have contributed, such as the severe control measures taken in Hubei, China (e.g. quarantine and hospitalization of infected individuals), but mainly because of the fact that the actual cumulative numbers of infected and recovered cases in the population most likely are much higher than the reported ones. Thus, in a scenario where we have taken twenty times the confirmed number of infected and forty times the confirmed number of recovered cases, the case fatality ratio is around ∼0.15% in the total population. Importantly, based on this scenario, simulations suggest a slow down of the outbreak in Hubei at the end of February.
TL;DR: The method achieves 100% accurate classification of the COVID-19 virus sequences, and discovers the most relevant relationships among over 5000 viral genomes within a few minutes, ab initio, suggesting that this alignment-free whole-genome machine-learning approach can provide a reliable real-time option for taxonomic classification.
Abstract: The 2019 novel coronavirus (renamed SARS-CoV-2, and generally referred to as the COVID-19 virus) has spread to 184 countries with over 1.5 million confirmed cases. Such major viral outbreaks demand early elucidation of taxonomic classification and origin of the virus genomic sequence, for strategic planning, containment, and treatment. This paper identifies an intrinsic COVID-19 virus genomic signature and uses it together with a machine learning-based alignment-free approach for an ultra-fast, scalable, and highly accurate classification of whole COVID-19 virus genomes. The proposed method combines supervised machine learning with digital signal processing (MLDSP) for genome analyses, augmented by a decision tree approach to the machine learning component, and a Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient analysis for result validation. These tools are used to analyze a large dataset of over 5000 unique viral genomic sequences, totalling 61.8 million bp, including the 29 COVID-19 virus sequences available on January 27, 2020. Our results support a hypothesis of a bat origin and classify the COVID-19 virus as Sarbecovirus, within Betacoronavirus. Our method achieves 100% accurate classification of the COVID-19 virus sequences, and discovers the most relevant relationships among over 5000 viral genomes within a few minutes, ab initio, using raw DNA sequence data alone, and without any specialized biological knowledge, training, gene or genome annotations. This suggests that, for novel viral and pathogen genome sequences, this alignment-free whole-genome machine-learning approach can provide a reliable real-time option for taxonomic classification.
TL;DR: This work describes and validate a simple-to-apply method for assessing and reporting on saturation in the context of inductive thematic analyses and proposes a more flexible approach to reporting saturation.
Abstract: Data saturation is the most commonly employed concept for estimating sample sizes in qualitative research. Over the past 20 years, scholars using both empirical research and mathematical/statistical models have made significant contributions to the question: How many qualitative interviews are enough? This body of work has advanced the evidence base for sample size estimation in qualitative inquiry during the design phase of a study, prior to data collection, but it does not provide qualitative researchers with a simple and reliable way to determine the adequacy of sample sizes during and/or after data collection. Using the principle of saturation as a foundation, we describe and validate a simple-to-apply method for assessing and reporting on saturation in the context of inductive thematic analyses. Following a review of the empirical research on data saturation and sample size estimation in qualitative research, we propose an alternative way to evaluate saturation that overcomes the shortcomings and challenges associated with existing methods identified in our review. Our approach includes three primary elements in its calculation and assessment: Base Size, Run Length, and New Information Threshold. We additionally propose a more flexible approach to reporting saturation. To validate our method, we use a bootstrapping technique on three existing thematically coded qualitative datasets generated from in-depth interviews. Results from this analysis indicate the method we propose to assess and report on saturation is feasible and congruent with findings from earlier studies.
TL;DR: The results highlight the importance of consistent messaging from health authorities and the government as well as the need for tailored health education programs to improve levels of knowledge, attitudes and practices towards COVID-19 among the Malaysian public.
Abstract: In an effort to mitigate the outbreak of COVID-19, many countries have imposed drastic lockdown, movement control or shelter in place orders on their residents. The effectiveness of these mitigation measures is highly dependent on cooperation and compliance of all members of society. The knowledge, attitudes and practices people hold toward the disease play an integral role in determining a society's readiness to accept behavioural change measures from health authorities. The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge levels, attitudes and practices toward COVID-19 among the Malaysian public. A cross-sectional online survey of 4,850 Malaysian residents was conducted between 27th March and 3rd April 2020. The survey instrument consisted of demographic characteristics, 13 items on knowledge, 3 items on attitudes and 3 items on practices, modified from a previously published questionnaire on COVID-19. Descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, t-tests and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were conducted. The overall correct rate of the knowledge questionnaire was 80.5%. Most participants held positive attitudes toward the successful control of COVID-19 (83.1%), the ability of Malaysia to conquer the disease (95.9%) and the way the Malaysian government was handling the crisis (89.9%). Most participants were also taking precautions such as avoiding crowds (83.4%) and practising proper hand hygiene (87.8%) in the week before the movement control order started. However, the wearing of face masks was less common (51.2%). This survey is among the first to assess knowledge, attitudes and practice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia. The results highlight the importance of consistent messaging from health authorities and the government as well as the need for tailored health education programs to improve levels of knowledge, attitudes and practices.
TL;DR: Although COPD prevalence in CO VID-19 cases was low in current reports, COVID-19 infection was associated with substantial severity and mortality rates in COPD, and effective preventive measures are required in patients and current smokers.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an evolving infectious disease that dramatically spread all over the world in the early part of 2020. No studies have yet summarized the potential severity and mortality risks caused by COVID-19 in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and we update information in smokers. METHODS: We systematically searched electronic databases from inception to March 24, 2020. Data were extracted by two independent authors in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Study quality was assessed using a modified version of the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. We synthesized a narrative from eligible studies and conducted a meta-analysis using a random-effects model to calculate pooled prevalence rates and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI). RESULTS: In total, 123 abstracts were screened and 61 full-text manuscripts were reviewed. A total of 15 studies met the inclusion criteria, which included a total of 2473 confirmed COVID-19 patients. All studies were included in the meta-analysis. The crude case fatality rate of COVID-19 was 7.4%. The pooled prevalence rates of COPD patients and smokers in COVID-19 cases were 2% (95% CI, 1%-3%) and 9% (95% CI, 4%-14%) respectively. COPD patients were at a higher risk of more severe disease (risk of severity = 63%, (22/35) compared to patients without COPD 33.4% (409/1224) [calculated RR, 1.88 (95% CI, 1.4-2.4)]. This was associated with higher mortality (60%). Our results showed that 22% (31/139) of current smokers and 46% (13/28) of ex-smokers had severe complications. The calculated RR showed that current smokers were 1.45 times more likely [95% CI: 1.03-2.04] to have severe complications compared to former and never smokers. Current smokers also had a higher mortality rate of 38.5%. CONCLUSION: Although COPD prevalence in COVID-19 cases was low in current reports, COVID-19 infection was associated with substantial severity and mortality rates in COPD. Compared to former and never smokers, current smokers were at greater risk of severe complications and higher mortality rate. Effective preventive measures are required to reduce COVID-19 risk in COPD patients and current smokers.
TL;DR: A significant burden of post-viral fatigue is demonstrated in individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection after the acute phase of COVID-19 illness, highlighting the importance of assessing those recovering from CO VID-19 for symptoms of severe fatigue, irrespective of severity of initial illness, and may identify a group worthy of further study and early intervention.
Abstract: Fatigue is a common symptom in those presenting with symptomatic COVID-19 infection. However, it is unknown if COVID-19 results in persistent fatigue in those recovered from acute infection. We examined the prevalence of fatigue in individuals recovered from the acute phase of COVID-19 illness using the Chalder Fatigue Score (CFQ-11). We further examined potential predictors of fatigue following COVID-19 infection, evaluating indicators of COVID-19 severity, markers of peripheral immune activation and circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines. Of 128 participants (49.5 ± 15 years; 54% female), more than half reported persistent fatigue (67/128; 52.3%) at median of 10 weeks after initial COVID-19 symptoms. There was no association between COVID-19 severity (need for inpatient admission, supplemental oxygen or critical care) and fatigue following COVID-19. Additionally, there was no association between routine laboratory markers of inflammation and cell turnover (leukocyte, neutrophil or lymphocyte counts, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, lactate dehydrogenase, C-reactive protein) or pro-inflammatory molecules (IL-6 or sCD25) and fatigue post COVID-19. Female gender and those with a pre-existing diagnosis of depression/anxiety were over-represented in those with fatigue. Our findings demonstrate a significant burden of post-viral fatigue in individuals with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection after the acute phase of COVID-19 illness. This study highlights the importance of assessing those recovering from COVID-19 for symptoms of severe fatigue, irrespective of severity of initial illness, and may identify a group worthy of further study and early intervention.
TL;DR: Supportive interventions to reduce loneliness should prioritise younger people and those with mental health symptoms, and improving emotion regulation and sleep quality, and increasing social support may be optimal initial targets to reduce the impact of COVID-19 regulations on mental health outcomes.
Abstract: Objectives Loneliness is a significant public health issue. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in lockdown measures limiting social contact. The UK public are worried about the impact of these measures on mental health outcomes. Understanding the prevalence and predictors of loneliness at this time is a priority issue for research. Method The study employed a cross-sectional online survey design. Baseline data collected between March 23rd and April 24th 2020 from UK adults in the COVID-19 Psychological Wellbeing Study were analysed (N = 1964, 18-87 years, M = 37.11, SD = 12.86, 70% female). Logistic regression analysis examined the influence of sociodemographic, social, health and COVID-19 specific factors on loneliness. Results The prevalence of loneliness was 27% (530/1964). Risk factors for loneliness were younger age group (OR: 4.67-5.31), being separated or divorced (OR: 2.29), scores meeting clinical criteria for depression (OR: 1.74), greater emotion regulation difficulties (OR: 1.04), and poor quality sleep due to the COVID-19 crisis (OR: 1.30). Higher levels of social support (OR: 0.92), being married/co-habiting (OR: 0.35) and living with a greater number of adults (OR: 0.87) were protective factors. Conclusions Rates of loneliness during the initial phase of lockdown were high. Risk factors were not specific to the COVID-19 crisis. Findings suggest that supportive interventions to reduce loneliness should prioritise younger people and those with mental health symptoms. Improving emotion regulation and sleep quality, and increasing social support may be optimal initial targets to reduce the impact of COVID-19 regulations on mental health outcomes.
TL;DR: The timeline of a live forecasting exercise with massive potential implications for planning and decision making is described and objective forecasts for the confirmed cases of COVID-19 are provided.
Abstract: What will be the global impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)? Answering this question requires accurate forecasting the spread of confirmed cases as well as analysis of the number of deaths and recoveries. Forecasting, however, requires ample historical data. At the same time, no prediction is certain as the future rarely repeats itself in the same way as the past. Moreover, forecasts are influenced by the reliability of the data, vested interests, and what variables are being predicted. Also, psychological factors play a significant role in how people perceive and react to the danger from the disease and the fear that it may affect them personally. This paper introduces an objective approach to predicting the continuation of the COVID-19 using a simple, but powerful method to do so. Assuming that the data used is reliable and that the future will continue to follow the past pattern of the disease, our forecasts suggest a continuing increase in the confirmed COVID-19 cases with sizable associated uncertainty. The risks are far from symmetric as underestimating its spread like a pandemic and not doing enough to contain it is much more severe than overspending and being over careful when it will not be needed. This paper describes the timeline of a live forecasting exercise with massive potential implications for planning and decision making and provides objective forecasts for the confirmed cases of COVID-19.
TL;DR: The findings reinforce the need for repeated testing in patients with suspicion of SARS-Cov-2 infection given that up to 54% of COVID-19 patients may have an initial false-negative RT-PCR (very low certainty of evidence).
Abstract: Background A false-negative case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is defined as a person with suspected infection and an initial negative result by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, with a positive result on a subsequent test. False-negative cases have important implications for isolation and risk of transmission of infected people and for the management of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We aimed to review and critically appraise evidence about the rate of RT-PCR false-negatives at initial testing for COVID-19. Methods We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, as well as COVID-19 repositories, including the EPPI-Centre living systematic map of evidence about COVID-19 and the Coronavirus Open Access Project living evidence database. Two authors independently screened and selected studies according to the eligibility criteria and collected data from the included studies. The risk of bias was assessed using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2) tool. We calculated the proportion of false-negative test results using a multilevel mixed-effect logistic regression model. The certainty of the evidence about false-negative cases was rated using the GRADE approach for tests and strategies. All information in this article is current up to July 17, 2020. Results We included 34 studies enrolling 12,057 COVID-19 confirmed cases. All studies were affected by several risks of bias and applicability concerns. The pooled estimate of false-negative proportion was highly affected by unexplained heterogeneity (tau-squared = 1.39; 90% prediction interval from 0.02 to 0.54). The certainty of the evidence was judged as very low due to the risk of bias, indirectness, and inconsistency issues. Conclusions There is substantial and largely unexplained heterogeneity in the proportion of false-negative RT-PCR results. The collected evidence has several limitations, including risk of bias issues, high heterogeneity, and concerns about its applicability. Nonetheless, our findings reinforce the need for repeated testing in patients with suspicion of SARS-Cov-2 infection given that up to 54% of COVID-19 patients may have an initial false-negative RT-PCR (very low certainty of evidence). Systematic review registration Protocol available on the OSF website: https://tinyurl.com/vvbgqya.
TL;DR: It is confirmed that fever and cough are the most prevalent symptoms of adults infected by SARS-CoV-2, however, there is a large proportion of infected adults which symptoms-alone do not identify.
Abstract: Background To limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, an evidence-based understanding of the symptoms is critical to inform guidelines for quarantining and testing. The most common features are purported to be fever and a new persistent cough, although the global prevalence of these symptoms remains unclear. The aim of this systematic review is to determine the prevalence of symptoms associated with COVID-19 worldwide. Methods We searched PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, AMED, medRxiv and bioRxiv on 5th April 2020 for studies of adults (>16 years) with laboratory test confirmed COVID-19. No language or publication status restrictions were applied. Data were independently extracted by two review authors into standardised forms. All datapoints were independently checked by three other review authors. A random-effects model for pooling of binomial data was applied to estimate the prevalence of symptoms, subgrouping estimates by country. I2 was used to assess inter-study heterogeneity. Results Of 851 unique citations, 148 articles were included which comprised 24,410 adults with confirmed COVID-19 from 9 countries. The most prevalent symptoms were fever (78% [95% CI 75%-81%]; 138 studies, 21,701 patients; I2 94%), a cough (57% [95% CI 54%-60%]; 138 studies, 21,682 patients; I2 94%) and fatigue (31% [95% CI 27%-35%]; 78 studies, 13,385 patients; I2 95%). Overall, 19% of hospitalised patients required non-invasive ventilation (44 studies, 6,513 patients), 17% required intensive care (33 studies, 7504 patients), 9% required invasive ventilation (45 studies, 6933 patients) and 2% required extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (12 studies, 1,486 patients). The mortality rate was 7% (73 studies, 10,402 patients). Conclusions We confirm that fever and cough are the most prevalent symptoms of adults infected by SARS-CoV-2. However, there is a large proportion of infected adults which symptoms-alone do not identify.
TL;DR: In this article, a systematic review is conducted to identify prognostic factors that may be used in decision-making related to the care of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.
Abstract: Background and purpose The objective of our systematic review is to identify prognostic factors that may be used in decision-making related to the care of patients infected with COVID-19. Data sources We conducted highly sensitive searches in PubMed/MEDLINE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) and Embase. The searches covered the period from the inception date of each database until April 28, 2020. No study design, publication status or language restriction were applied. Study selection and data extraction We included studies that assessed patients with confirmed or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infectious disease and examined one or more prognostic factors for mortality or disease severity. Reviewers working in pairs independently screened studies for eligibility, extracted data and assessed the risk of bias. We performed meta-analyses and used GRADE to assess the certainty of the evidence for each prognostic factor and outcome. Results We included 207 studies and found high or moderate certainty that the following 49 variables provide valuable prognostic information on mortality and/or severe disease in patients with COVID-19 infectious disease: Demographic factors (age, male sex, smoking), patient history factors (comorbidities, cerebrovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, cardiac arrhythmia, arterial hypertension, diabetes, dementia, cancer and dyslipidemia), physical examination factors (respiratory failure, low blood pressure, hypoxemia, tachycardia, dyspnea, anorexia, tachypnea, haemoptysis, abdominal pain, fatigue, fever and myalgia or arthralgia), laboratory factors (high blood procalcitonin, myocardial injury markers, high blood White Blood Cell count (WBC), high blood lactate, low blood platelet count, plasma creatinine increase, high blood D-dimer, high blood lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), high blood C-reactive protein (CRP), decrease in lymphocyte count, high blood aspartate aminotransferase (AST), decrease in blood albumin, high blood interleukin-6 (IL-6), high blood neutrophil count, high blood B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), high blood urea nitrogen (BUN), high blood creatine kinase (CK), high blood bilirubin and high erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)), radiological factors (consolidative infiltrate and pleural effusion) and high SOFA score (sequential organ failure assessment score). Conclusion Identified prognostic factors can help clinicians and policy makers in tailoring management strategies for patients with COVID-19 infectious disease while researchers can utilise our findings to develop multivariable prognostic models that could eventually facilitate decision-making and improve patient important outcomes. Systematic review registration Prospero registration number: CRD42020178802. Protocol available at: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.08.20056598v1.
TL;DR: It is evident that students who provided private tuition in the pre-pandemic period had depression and it is expected that both the government and universities could work together to fix the academic delays and financial problems to reduce depression and anxiety among university students.
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of depression and anxiety among Bangladeshi university students during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also aimed at identifying the determinants of depression and anxiety. A total of 476 university students living in Bangladesh participated in this cross-sectional web-based survey. A standardized e-questionnaire was generated using the Google Form, and the link was shared through social media-Facebook. The information was analyzed in three consecutive levels, such as univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analysis. Students were experiencing heightened depression and anxiety. Around 15% of the students reportedly had moderately severe depression, whereas 18.1% were severely suffering from anxiety. The binary logistic regression suggests that older students have greater depression (OR = 2.886, 95% CI = 0.961-8.669). It is also evident that students who provided private tuition in the pre-pandemic period had depression (OR = 1.199, 95% CI = 0.736-1.952). It is expected that both the government and universities could work together to fix the academic delays and financial problems to reduce depression and anxiety among university students.
TL;DR: It is concluded that COVID-19 confinement changed students’ learning strategies to a more continuous habit, improving their efficiency.
Abstract: This study analyzes the effects of COVID-19 confinement on the autonomous learning performance of students in higher education. Using a field experiment with 458 students from three different subjects at Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain), we study the differences in assessments by dividing students into two groups. The first group (control) corresponds to academic years 2017/2018 and 2018/2019. The second group (experimental) corresponds to students from 2019/2020, which is the group of students that had their face-to-face activities interrupted because of the confinement. The results show that there is a significant positive effect of the COVID-19 confinement on students' performance. This effect is also significant in activities that did not change their format when performed after the confinement. We find that this effect is significant both in subjects that increased the number of assessment activities and subjects that did not change the student workload. Additionally, an analysis of students' learning strategies before confinement shows that students did not study on a continuous basis. Based on these results, we conclude that COVID-19 confinement changed students' learning strategies to a more continuous habit, improving their efficiency. For these reasons, better scores in students' assessment are expected due to COVID-19 confinement that can be explained by an improvement in their learning performance.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors evaluated the association of radiologic findings with mortality of patients with 2019-nCoV infected pneumonia (NCIP) and proposed a simple CT scoring method was capable to predict mortality.
Abstract: Radiologic characteristics of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infected pneumonia (NCIP) which had not been fully understood are especially important for diagnosing and predicting prognosis. We retrospective studied 27 consecutive patients who were confirmed NCIP, the clinical characteristics and CT image findings were collected, and the association of radiologic findings with mortality of patients was evaluated. 27 patients included 12 men and 15 women, with median age of 60 years (IQR 47-69). 17 patients discharged in recovered condition and 10 patients died in hospital. The median age of mortality group was higher compared to survival group (68 (IQR 63-73) vs 55 (IQR 35-60), P = 0.003). The comorbidity rate in mortality group was significantly higher than in survival group (80% vs 29%, P = 0.018). The predominant CT characteristics consisted of ground glass opacity (67%), bilateral sides involved (86%), both peripheral and central distribution (74%), and lower zone involvement (96%). The median CT score of mortality group was higher compared to survival group (30 (IQR 7-13) vs 12 (IQR 11-43), P = 0.021), with more frequency of consolidation (40% vs 6%, P = 0.047) and air bronchogram (60% vs 12%, P = 0.025). An optimal cutoff value of a CT score of 24.5 had a sensitivity of 85.6% and a specificity of 84.5% for the prediction of mortality. 2019-nCoV was more likely to infect elderly people with chronic comorbidities. CT findings of NCIP were featured by predominant ground glass opacities mixed with consolidations, mainly peripheral or combined peripheral and central distributions, bilateral and lower lung zones being mostly involved. A simple CT scoring method was capable to predict mortality.
TL;DR: Respiratory failure is the main cause of COVID-19, but the virus itself and cytokine release syndrome-mediated damage to other organs, including cardiac, renal, hepatic, and hemorrhagic damage, should be taken seriously as well.
Abstract: A recently developed pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 bursting in Wuhan, China, has quickly spread across the world. We report the clinical characteristics of 82 cases of death from COVID-19 in a single center. Clinical data on 82 death cases laboratory-confirmed as SARS-CoV-2 infection were obtained from a Wuhan local hospital's electronic medical records according to previously designed standardized data collection forms. All patients were local residents of Wuhan, and a large proportion of them were diagnosed with severe illness when admitted. Due to the overwhelming of our system, a total of 14 patients (17.1%) were treated in the ICU, 83% of deaths never received Critical Care Support, only 40% had mechanical ventilation support despite 100% needing oxygen and the leading cause of death being pulmonary. Most of the patients who died were male (65.9%). More than half of the patients who died were older than 60 years (80.5%), and the median age was 72.5 years. The bulk of the patients who died had comorbidities (76.8%), including hypertension (56.1%), heart disease (20.7%), diabetes (18.3%), cerebrovascular disease (12.2%), and cancer (7.3%). Respiratory failure remained the leading cause of death (69.5%), followed by sepsis/MOF (28.0%), cardiac failure (14.6%), hemorrhage (6.1%), and renal failure (3.7%). Furthermore, respiratory, cardiac, hemorrhagic, hepatic, and renal damage were found in 100%, 89%, 80.5%, 78.0%, and 31.7% of patients, respectively. On admission, lymphopenia (89.2%), neutrophilia (74.3%), and thrombocytopenia (24.3%) were usually observed. Most patients had a high neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio of >5 (94.5%), high systemic immune-inflammation index of >500 (89.2%), and increased C-reactive protein (100%), lactate dehydrogenase (93.2%), and D-dimer (97.1%) levels. A high level of IL-6 (>10 pg/ml) was observed in all detected patients. The median time from initial symptoms to death was 15 days (IQR 11-20), and a significant association between aspartate aminotransferase (p = 0.002), alanine aminotransferase (p = 0.037) and time from initial symptoms to death was remarkably observed. Older males with comorbidities are more likely to develop severe disease and even die from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Respiratory failure is the main cause of COVID-19, but the virus itself and cytokine release syndrome-mediated damage to other organs, including cardiac, renal, hepatic, and hemorrhagic damage, should be taken seriously as well.
TL;DR: An overview of the situation experienced by medical students during the COVID-19 pandemic is provided, and the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of medical students regarding electronic medical education are determined.
Abstract: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused an unprecedented disruption in medical education and healthcare systems worldwide. The disease can cause life-threatening conditions and it presents challenges for medical education, as instructors must deliver lectures safely, while ensuring the integrity and continuity of the medical education process. It is therefore important to assess the usability of online learning methods, and to determine their feasibility and adequacy for medical students. We aimed to provide an overview of the situation experienced by medical students during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to determine the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of medical students regarding electronic medical education. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with medical students from more than 13 medical schools in Libya. A paper-based and online survey was conducted using email and social media. The survey requested demographic and socioeconomic information, as well as information related to medical online learning and electronic devices; medical education status during the COVID-19 pandemic; mental health assessments; and e-learning knowledge, attitudes, and practices. A total of 3,348 valid questionnaires were retrieved. Most respondents (64.7%) disagreed that e-learning could be implemented easily in Libya. While 54.1% of the respondents agreed that interactive discussion is achievable by means of e-learning. However, only 21.1% agreed that e-learning could be used for clinical aspects, as compared with 54.8% who disagreed with this statement and 24% who were neutral. Only 27.7% of the respondents had participated in online medical educational programs during the COVID-19 pandemic, while 65% reported using the internet for participating in study groups and discussions. There is no vaccine for COVID-19 yet. As such, the pandemic will undeniably continue to disrupt medical education and training. As we face the prospect of a second wave of virus transmission, we must take certain measures and make changes to minimize the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on medical education and on the progression of training. The time for change is now, and there should be support and enthusiasm for providing valid solutions to reduce this disruption, such as online training and virtual clinical experience. These measures could then be followed by hands-on experience that is provided in a safe environment.
TL;DR: The results found that women showed more severe anxiety and fear than men, and the nearer a COVID-19 zone is to the participants, the stronger the anxiety and anger.
Abstract: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in December has seen more than 76,000 cases in China, causing more than 3,000 medical staff infections. As the disease is highly contagious, can be fatal in severe cases, and there are no specific medicines, it poses a huge threat to the life and health of nurses, leading to a severe impact on their emotional responses and coping strategies. Therefore, this study will investigate nurses' emotional responses and coping styles, and conduct a comparative study with nursing college students. This study was conducted through the online survey 'questionnaire star' from February 1st to February 20th, 2020 in Anhui Province, using the snowball sampling method to invite subjects. The results found that women showed more severe anxiety and fear than men. Participants from cities exhibited these symptoms more than participants from rural areas, however rural participants experienced more sadness than urban participants. The nearer a COVID-19 zone is to the participants, the stronger the anxiety and anger. The COVID-19 outbreak has placed immense pressure on hospitals and those nurses at the frontline are more seriously affected. Hospitals should focus on providing psychological support to nurses and training in coping strategies.
TL;DR: Patients with COVID-19 with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease and cancer have a greater risk of mortality compared to patients with CO VID-19 without these comorbidities, and tailored infection prevention and treatment strategies targeting this high-risk population might improve survival.
Abstract: Background Estimating the risk of pre-existing comorbidities on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mortality may promote the importance of targeting populations at risk to improve survival. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to estimate the association of pre-existing comorbidities with COVID-19 mortality. Methods We searched MEDLINE, SCOPUS, OVID, and Cochrane Library databases, and medrxiv.org from December 1st, 2019, to July 9th, 2020. The outcome of interest was the risk of COVID-19 mortality in patients with and without pre-existing comorbidities. We analyzed 11 comorbidities: cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and HIV/AIDS. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed the risk of bias. All analyses were performed using random-effects models and heterogeneity was quantified. Results Eleven pre-existing comorbidities from 25 studies were included in the meta-analysis (n = 65, 484 patients with COVID-19; mean age; 61 years; 57% male). Overall, the between-study heterogeneity was medium, and studies had low publication bias and high quality. Cardiovascular disease (risk ratio (RR) 2.25, 95% CI = 1.60–3.17, number of studies (n) = 14), hypertension (1.82 [1.43 to 2.32], n = 13), diabetes (1.48 [1.02 to 2.15], n = 16), congestive heart failure (2.03 [1.28 to 3.21], n = 3), chronic kidney disease (3.25 [1.13 to 9.28)], n = 9) and cancer (1.47 [1.01 to 2.14), n = 10) were associated with a significantly greater risk of mortality from COVID-19. Conclusions Patients with COVID-19 with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease and cancer have a greater risk of mortality compared to patients with COVID-19 without these comorbidities. Tailored infection prevention and treatment strategies targeting this high-risk population might improve survival.
TL;DR: The COVID-19 pandemic is making a significant negative impact on mental health of college students and proactive efforts to support the mental health and well-being of students are needed.
Abstract: Objective The COVID-19 pandemic has been a period of upheaval for college students. The objective of this study was to assess the factors associated with the increased levels of mental health burden among a sample of undergraduate college students in Northern New Jersey, the region of the U.S. severely impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19. Methods College students (N = 162) enrolled in an introductory core curriculum course completed a cross-sectional survey. The survey collected information on demographics, knowledge levels and sources of COVID-19 information, behavior changes, academic and everyday difficulties, and mental health measurements (depression, anxiety, somatization, and stress). Multivariable regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with mental health outcomes. Results Descriptive findings indicate that students have a fundamental knowledge of COVID-19 transmission and common symptoms. Students tend to use and trust the official sources and have changed their behaviors in accordance with public health recommendations (i.e., increased hand washing, wearing mask). However, students reported a number of academic and everyday difficulties and high levels of mental health distress. High levels of depression were associated with difficulties in focusing on academic work and with employment losses, while higher levels of anxiety were more likely to be reported by students other than freshmen and those who spend more than one hour per day looking for information on COVID-19. Inability to focus on academic work and an elevated concern with COVID-19 were more likely to be associated with higher levels of somatization, while trusting news sources was associated with lower levels of somatization. Those with higher levels of perceived stress were more likely to be females, unable to focus on academic work, and report difficulties in obtaining medications and cleaning supplies. Conclusions The COVID-19 pandemic is making a significant negative impact on mental health of college students. Proactive efforts to support the mental health and well-being of students are needed.
TL;DR: Assessment of KAP towards COVID-19 immediately after the lock-down measures were implemented and during the rapid rise period of the outbreak found more accurate knowledge was associated with age and residence and more positive attitude factors were associated with female sex, older age, higher education, family income >30,000 BDT, urban area residence, and having more positive attitudes.
Abstract: In Bangladesh, an array of measures have been adopted to control the rapid spread of the COVID-19 epidemic. Such general population control measures could significantly influence perception, knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) towards COVID-19. Here, we assessed KAP towards COVID-19 immediately after the lock-down measures were implemented and during the rapid rise period of the outbreak. Online-based cross-sectional study conducted from March 29 to April 19, 2020, involving Bangladeshi residents aged 12-64 years, recruited via social media. After consenting, participants completed an online survey assessing socio-demographic variables, perception, and KAP towards COVID-19. Of the 2017 survey participants, 59.8% were male, the majority were students (71.2%), aged 21-30 years (57.9%), having a bachelor's degree (61.0%), having family income >30,000 BDT (50.0%), and living in urban areas (69.8). The survey revealed that 48.3% of participants had more accurate knowledge, 62.3% had more positive attitudes, and 55.1% had more frequent practices regarding COVID-19 prevention. Majority (96.7%) of the participants agreed 'COVID-19 is a dangerous disease', almost all (98.7%) participants wore a face mask in crowded places, 98.8% agreed to report a suspected case to health authorities, and 93.8% implemented washing hands with soap and water. In multiple logistic regression analyses, COVID-19 more accurate knowledge was associated with age and residence. Sociodemographic factors such as being older, higher education, employment, monthly family income >30,000 BDT, and having more frequent prevention practices were the more positive attitude factors. More frequent prevention practice factors were associated with female sex, older age, higher education, family income > 30,000 BDT, urban area residence, and having more positive attitudes. To improve KAP of general populations is crucial during the rapid rise period of a pandemic outbreak such as COVID-19. Therefore, development of effective health education programs that incorporate considerations of KAP-modifying factors is needed.
TL;DR: Gender, age, and location factor into whether shoppers in the United States wear a mask or face covering voluntarily, and mask mandates are necessary to increase mask wearing among the public to a level required to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Abstract: Masks are an effective tool in combatting the spread of COVID-19, but some people still resist wearing them and mask-wearing behavior has not been experimentally studied in the United States. To understand the demographics of mask wearers and resistors, and the impact of mandates on mask-wearing behavior, we observed shoppers (n = 9935) entering retail stores during periods of June, July, and August 2020. Approximately 41% of the June sample wore a mask. At that time, the odds of an individual wearing a mask increased significantly with age and was also 1.5x greater for females than males. Additionally, the odds of observing a mask on an urban or suburban shopper were ~4x that for rural areas. Mask mandates enacted in late July and August increased mask-wearing compliance to over 90% in all groups, but a small percentage of resistors remained. Thus, gender, age, and location factor into whether shoppers in the United States wear a mask or face covering voluntarily. Additionally, mask mandates are necessary to increase mask wearing among the public to a level required to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
TL;DR: Results highlight the serious acute impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of respondents, and the need for proactive, accessible digital mental health services to address these mental health needs, particularly for those most vulnerable, including people with prior history of mental health problems.
Abstract: The acute and long-term mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are unknown. The current study examined the acute mental health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in 5070 adult participants in Australia, using an online survey administered during the peak of the outbreak in Australia (27th March to 7th April 2020). Self-report questionnaires examined COVID-19 fears and behavioural responses to COVID-19, as well as the severity of psychological distress (depression, anxiety and stress), health anxiety, contamination fears, alcohol use, and physical activity. 78% of respondents reported that their mental health had worsened since the outbreak, one quarter (25.9%) were very or extremely worried about contracting COVID-19, and half (52.7%) were worried about family and friends contracting COVID-19. Uncertainty, loneliness and financial worries (50%) were common. Rates of elevated psychological distress were higher than expected, with 62%, 50%, and 64% of respondents reporting elevated depression, anxiety and stress levels respectively, and one in four reporting elevated health anxiety in the past week. Participants with self-reported history of a mental health diagnosis had significantly higher distress, health anxiety, and COVID-19 fears than those without a prior mental health diagnosis. Demographic (e.g., non-binary or different gender identity; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status), occupational (e.g., being a carer or stay at home parent), and psychological (e.g., perceived risk of contracting COVID-19) factors were associated with distress. Results revealed that precautionary behaviours (e.g., washing hands, using hand sanitiser, avoiding social events) were common, although in contrast to previous research, higher engagement in hygiene behaviours was associated with higher stress and anxiety levels. These results highlight the serious acute impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of respondents, and the need for proactive, accessible digital mental health services to address these mental health needs, particularly for those most vulnerable, including people with prior history of mental health problems. Longitudinal research is needed to explore long-term predictors of poor mental health from the COVID-19 pandemic.
TL;DR: It is revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 receptor was widely spread in specific cell types of maternal-fetal interface and fetal organs, and thus, both the vertical transmission and the placenta dysfunction/abortion caused by Sars-Cov-2 need to be further carefully investigated in clinical practice.
Abstract: The new type of pneumonia caused by the SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) has been declared as a global public health concern by WHO. As of April 3, 2020, more than 1,000,000 human infections have been diagnosed around the world, which exhibited apparent person-to-person transmission characteristics of this virus. The capacity of vertical transmission in SARS-CoV-2 remains controversial recently. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is now confirmed as the receptor of SARS-CoV-2 and plays essential roles in human infection and transmission. In present study, we collected the online available single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) data to evaluate the cell specific expression of ACE2 in maternal-fetal interface as well as in multiple fetal organs. Our results revealed that ACE2 was highly expressed in maternal-fetal interface cells including stromal cells and perivascular cells of decidua, and cytotrophoblast and syncytiotrophoblast in placenta. Meanwhile, ACE2 was also expressed in specific cell types of human fetal heart, liver and lung, but not in kidney. And in a study containing series fetal and post-natal mouse lung, we observed ACE2 was dynamically changed over the time, and ACE2 was extremely high in neonatal mice at post-natal day 1~3. In summary, this study revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 receptor was widely spread in specific cell types of maternal-fetal interface and fetal organs. And thus, both the vertical transmission and the placenta dysfunction/abortion caused by SARS-CoV-2 need to be further carefully investigated in clinical practice.
TL;DR: Current and future burnout among HCPs could be mitigated by actions from healthcare institutions and other governmental and non-governmental stakeholders aimed at potentially modifiable factors, including providing additional training, organizational support, and support for family, PPE, and mental health resources.
Abstract: Background Healthcare professionals (HCPs) on the front lines against COVID-19 may face increased workload and stress. Understanding HCPs’ risk for burnout is critical to supporting HCPs and maintaining the quality of healthcare during the pandemic. Methods To assess exposure, perceptions, workload, and possible burnout of HCPs during the COVID-19 pandemic we conducted a cross-sectional survey. The main outcomes and measures were HCPs’ self-assessment of burnout, indicated by a single item measure of emotional exhaustion, and other experiences and attitudes associated with working during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings A total of 2,707 HCPs from 60 countries participated in this study. Fifty-one percent of HCPs reported burnout. Burnout was associated with work impacting household activities (RR = 1·57, 95% CI = 1·39–1·78, P<0·001), feeling pushed beyond training (RR = 1·32, 95% CI = 1·20–1·47, P<0·001), exposure to COVID-19 patients (RR = 1·18, 95% CI = 1·05–1·32, P = 0·005), and making life prioritizing decisions (RR = 1·16, 95% CI = 1·02–1·31, P = 0·03). Adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) was protective against burnout (RR = 0·88, 95% CI = 0·79–0·97, P = 0·01). Burnout was higher in high-income countries (HICs) compared to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (RR = 1·18; 95% CI = 1·02–1·36, P = 0·018). Interpretation Burnout is present at higher than previously reported rates among HCPs working during the COVID-19 pandemic and is related to high workload, job stress, and time pressure, and limited organizational support. Current and future burnout among HCPs could be mitigated by actions from healthcare institutions and other governmental and non-governmental stakeholders aimed at potentially modifiable factors, including providing additional training, organizational support, and support for family, PPE, and mental health resources.
TL;DR: The large number of persons employed in occupations with frequent exposure to infection and disease underscore the importance of all workplaces developing risk response plans for COVID-19, and serve as an important reminder that the workplace is a key locus for public health interventions, which could protect both workers and the communities they serve.
Abstract: Introduction With the global spread of COVID-19, there is a compelling public health interest in quantifying who is at increased risk of contracting disease. Occupational characteristics, such as interfacing with the public and being in close quarters with other workers, not only put workers at high risk for disease, but also make them a nexus of disease transmission to the community. This can further be exacerbated through presenteeism, the term used to describe the act of coming to work despite being symptomatic for disease. Quantifying the number of workers who are frequently exposed to infection and disease in the workplace, and understanding which occupational groups they represent, can help to prompt public health risk response and management for COVID-19 in the workplace, and subsequent infectious disease outbreaks. Methods To estimate the number of United States workers frequently exposed to infection and disease in the workplace, national employment data (by Standard Occupational Classification) maintained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) was merged with a BLS O*NET survey measure reporting how frequently workers in each occupation are exposed to infection or disease at work. This allowed us to estimate the number of United States workers, across all occupations, exposed to disease or infection at work more than once a month. Results Based on our analyses, approximately 10% (14.4 M) of United States workers are employed in occupations where exposure to disease or infection occurs at least once per week. Approximately 18.4% (26.7 M) of all United States workers are employed in occupations where exposure to disease or infection occurs at least once per month. While the majority of exposed workers are employed in healthcare sectors, other occupational sectors also have high proportions of exposed workers. These include protective service occupations (e.g. police officers, correctional officers, firefighters), office and administrative support occupations (e.g. couriers and messengers, patient service representatives), education occupations (e.g. preschool and daycare teachers), community and social services occupations (community health workers, social workers, counselors), and even construction and extraction occupations (e.g. plumbers, septic tank installers, elevator repair). Conclusions The large number of persons employed in occupations with frequent exposure to infection and disease underscore the importance of all workplaces developing risk response plans for COVID-19. Given the proportion of the United States workforce exposed to disease or infection at work, this analysis also serves as an important reminder that the workplace is a key locus for public health interventions, which could protect both workers and the communities they serve.
TL;DR: SARS-CoV-2 positivity is strongly and inversely associated with circulating 25(OH)D levels, a relationship that persists across latitudes, races/ethnicities, both sexes, and age ranges.
Abstract: Until treatment and vaccine for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) becomes widely available, other methods of reducing infection rates should be explored. This study used a retrospective, observational analysis of deidentified tests performed at a national clinical laboratory to determine if circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels are associated with severe acute respiratory disease coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) positivity rates. Over 190,000 patients from all 50 states with SARS-CoV-2 results performed mid-March through mid-June, 2020 and matching 25(OH)D results from the preceding 12 months were included. Residential zip code data was required to match with US Census data and perform analyses of race/ethnicity proportions and latitude. A total of 191,779 patients were included (median age, 54 years [interquartile range 40.4-64.7]; 68% female. The SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate was 9.3% (95% C.I. 9.2-9.5%) and the mean seasonally adjusted 25(OH)D was 31.7 (SD 11.7). The SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate was higher in the 39,190 patients with "deficient" 25(OH)D values (<20 ng/mL) (12.5%, 95% C.I. 12.2-12.8%) than in the 27,870 patients with "adequate" values (30-34 ng/mL) (8.1%, 95% C.I. 7.8-8.4%) and the 12,321 patients with values ≥55 ng/mL (5.9%, 95% C.I. 5.5-6.4%). The association between 25(OH)D levels and SARS-CoV-2 positivity was best fitted by the weighted second-order polynomial regression, which indicated strong correlation in the total population (R2 = 0.96) and in analyses stratified by all studied demographic factors. The association between lower SARS-CoV-2 positivity rates and higher circulating 25(OH)D levels remained significant in a multivariable logistic model adjusting for all included demographic factors (adjusted odds ratio 0.984 per ng/mL increment, 95% C.I. 0.983-0.986; p<0.001). SARS-CoV-2 positivity is strongly and inversely associated with circulating 25(OH)D levels, a relationship that persists across latitudes, races/ethnicities, both sexes, and age ranges. Our findings provide impetus to explore the role of vitamin D supplementation in reducing the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease.
TL;DR: The effects of trainee exposure to patients being tested for COVID-19 on their depression, anxiety, stress, burnout and professional fulfillment are investigated and it is found that female trainees are more likely to be stressed and unmarried trainees were more likelyTo address these challenges, wellness programs should focus on sustaining current programs, develop new and targeted mental health resources that are widely accessible and devise strategies for creating awareness regarding these resources.
Abstract: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has put considerable physical and emotional strain on frontline healthcare workers. Among frontline healthcare workers, physician trainees represent a unique group-functioning simultaneously as both learners and caregivers and experiencing considerable challenges during the pandemic. However, we have a limited understanding regarding the emotional effects and vulnerability experienced by trainees during the pandemic. We investigated the effects of trainee exposure to patients being tested for COVID-19 on their depression, anxiety, stress, burnout and professional fulfillment. All physician trainees at an academic medical center (n = 1375) were invited to participate in an online survey. We compared the measures of depression, anxiety, stress, burnout and professional fulfillment among trainees who were exposed to patients being tested for COVID-19 and those that were not, using univariable and multivariable models. We also evaluated perceived life stressors such as childcare, home schooling, personal finances and work-family balance among both groups. 393 trainees completed the survey (29% response rate). Compared to the non-exposed group, the exposed group had a higher prevalence of stress (29.4% vs. 18.9%), and burnout (46.3% vs. 33.7%). The exposed group also experienced moderate to extremely high perceived stress regarding childcare and had a lower work-family balance. Multivariable models indicated that trainees who were exposed to COVID-19 patients reported significantly higher stress (10.96 [95% CI, 9.65 to 12.46] vs 8.44 [95% CI, 7.3 to 9.76]; P = 0.043) and were more likely to be burned out (1.31 [95% CI, 1.21 to1.41] vs 1.07 [95% CI, 0.96 to 1.19]; P = 0.002]. We also found that female trainees were more likely to be stressed (P = 0.043); while unmarried trainees were more likely to be depressed (P = 0.009), and marginally more likely to have anxiety (P = 0.051). To address these challenges, wellness programs should focus on sustaining current programs, develop new and targeted mental health resources that are widely accessible and devise strategies for creating awareness regarding these resources.
TL;DR: The analysis revealed that the detrimental impact of ageism on older persons’ health has been occurring simultaneously at the structural and individual level in five continents, demonstrating the pernicious reach ofAgeism.
Abstract: Objective Although there is anecdotal evidence of ageism occurring at both the structural level (in which societal institutions reinforce systematic bias against older persons) and individual level (in which older persons take in the negative views of aging of their culture), previous systematic reviews have not examined how both levels simultaneously influence health. Thus, the impact of ageism may be underestimated. We hypothesized that a comprehensive systematic review would reveal that these ageism levels adversely impact the health of older persons across geography, health outcomes, and time. Method A literature search was performed using 14 databases with no restrictions on region, language, and publication type. The systematic search yielded 13,691 papers for screening, 638 for full review, and 422 studies for analyses. Sensitivity analyses that adjusted for sample size and study quality were conducted using standardized tools. The study protocol is registered (PROSPERO CRD42018090857). Results Ageism led to significantly worse health outcomes in 95.5% of the studies and 74.0% of the 1,159 ageism-health associations examined. The studies reported ageism effects in all 45 countries, 11 health domains, and 25 years studied, with the prevalence of significant findings increasing over time (p < .0001). A greater prevalence of significant ageism-health findings was found in less-developed countries than more-developed countries (p = .0002). Older persons who were less educated were particularly likely to experience adverse health effects of ageism. Evidence of ageism was found across the age, sex, and race/ethnicity of the targeters (i.e., persons perpetrating ageism). Conclusion The current analysis which included over 7 million participants is the most comprehensive review of health consequences of ageism to date. Considering that the analysis revealed that the detrimental impact of ageism on older persons’ health has been occurring simultaneously at the structural and individual level in five continents, our systematic review demonstrates the pernicious reach of ageism.