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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.5114/AOMS.2020.95955

"Celebrating old age": an obsolete expression during the COVID-19 pandemic? Medical, social, psychological, and religious consequences of home isolation and loneliness among the elderly

02 Mar 2021-Archives of Medical Science (Termedia Publishing House)-Vol. 17, Iss: 2, pp 285-295
Abstract: Since epidemiological arguments favouring self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic are widely recommended, the consequences of social isolation/loneliness of older people considered to be at higher risk for severe illness are neglected. We identified and described medical, social, psychological, and religious issues, indirectly generated by the COVID-19 lockdown. Mortality induced by SARS-CoV-2 and death from other "neglected" issues were put in balance. Arguments for strict lockdown from most European countries are compared with a relaxed approach, as has been applied in Sweden. Social isolation affects disproportionally the elderly, transforming it into a public health concern. One witnesses openly ageist discourse, while painful decisions to prioritising ventilation for younger patients deepens the sense of hopelessness. Fear has led to anxiety disorders and depression. Various religious practices provide resources for coping with isolation/overcoming loneliness. Higher levels of mortality/morbidity due to "COVID-19 versus non-COVID-19" polarisation oblige the healthcare community to find ways to provide proper care for its elders.

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Topics: Loneliness (62%), Social isolation (59%), Coping (psychology) (50%)
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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3389/FPSYT.2020.585813
Ilona Bidzan-Bluma1, Monika Bidzan2, Paweł Jurek1, Leszek Bidzan2  +3 moreInstitutions (2)
Abstract: Introduction Psychological studies undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic rarely include people in their 60s. In our study, we studied the predictors of the quality of life, wellbeing, sleep and life satisfaction during the pandemic in older people from Germany and Poland, including factors such as risk behaviour, trait anxiety, feeling of threat, sleep quality, optimism, comparing them to three different age groups. Methods 494 adults in four groups: 60+ (N=60), 50-60 (N=139), 36-49 (N=155), <35 (N=140) completed validated self-report questionnaires assessing: socio-demographic data, quality of life, trait anxiety, risk tolerance, coronavirus threat, optimism regarding the pandemic, difficulty relaxing, life satisfaction, wellbeing, sleep quality during the pandemic period. Results Older people rated higher their quality higher of life than younger (mean difference = .74, SE = .19, p < .01) and middle-aged (mean difference = .79, SE = .18, p < .01), life satisfaction than younger (mean difference = 1.23, SE = .31, p < .01) and middle-aged (mean difference = .92, SE = .30, p < .05) as well as wellbeing higher than younger (mean difference = 1.40, SE = .31, p < .01) and middle-aged participants (mean difference = .91, SE = .31, p < .05), but experienced lower levels of trait anxiety and Coronavirus threat (mean difference = -9.19, SE = 1.90, p < .01), compared to younger age groups. They experienced greater risk tolerance (mean difference = 1.38, SE = .33, p < .01), as well as sleep quality (F=1.25; eta2=.01), optimism regarding the pandemic (F=1.96; eta2=.01), and had less difficulty relaxing during the pandemic (F=3.75; eta2=.02) than middle-aged respondents. Conclusions The findings show that the assessed quality of life, life satisfaction and wellbeing during pandemic is affected by the respondent’s age, trait anxiety and the threat of Coronavirus. Older people rated their quality higher of life, life satisfaction and wellbeing during pandemic higher than younger people, but experienced lower levels of trait anxiety and Coronavirus threat compared to younger age groups. They experienced greater risk tolerance, as well as sleep quality, optimism regarding the pandemic, and had less difficulty relaxing during the pandemic than middle-aged respondents.

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Topics: Life satisfaction (55%), Anxiety (52%)

32 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.5114/AOMS.2020.98236
Katarzyna Orlewska1, Justyna Klusek2Institutions (2)
Abstract: Introduction: An attempt to assess basic epidemiological data was made two months after confirming the first case of SARS-CoV-2 in Poland (March 4th, 2020). The aim of the study was to examine which indicators related to epidemiology, population characteristics and health care quality affect COVID-19 incidence, mortality and case fatality in Poland. Material and methods: The study was based on national data as of May 4th, 2020. For each voivodeship incidence rates, mortality rates, case fatality rates and daily cumulative index (DCI) were calculated. The correlations were examined using Pearson’s and Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient, with a significance level of p < 0.05 (2-tailed tests). Results: The overall COVID-19 incidence rate was 3.65 per 10,000 population, mortality rate 0.18 per 10,000 population and case fatality rate 5%. All three disease indicators were positively correlated with DCI and negatively correlated with the number of hospital beds in infectious diseases wards per 10,000 population. Both incidence and mortality rates were positively correlated with population density and number of cases per COVID-19 designated hospital. Conclusions: The positive correlation between DCI and both mortality and case fatality suggests that DCI could be considered as an indirect indicator of healthcare burden, compared to incidence rate alone. Our analysis confirms the role of social distancing in reducing viral transmission. The results could be useful for policymakers to plan ahead in order to relieve the risk of healthcare system overload during the current and future epidemics.

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Topics: Population (57%), Incidence (epidemiology) (56%), Epidemiology (52%)

6 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.4172/2167-7182.1000E140
Abstract: Elderly is robustly accompanied with raise prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Prevalence of COPD in subjects aged 65 years and more is estimated at 14.2% (11.0%-18.0%) in contrast with 9.9% (8.2% to 11.8%) in those aged 40 years or more.

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Topics: COPD (57%)

5 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.5114/AOMS.2020.98407
Abstract: Introduction: COVID-19 cases have rarely been reported in children. We sought to analyse the attack rate in paediatric population in Poland, focusing on local variations among the provinces, correlation with the number of tests per capita, and test positivity rate. Material and methods: This cross-sectional study involved the 38.38 million population and detected 17,921 cases (age known in 17,822). Data were collected from publicly available registries and were analysed by age group and province of the country. Results: Children constituted 6.68% of cases (n = 1,191). The attack rate reached 15.49/100,000 children, increasing with age (10.79/100,000 in < 4 y.o. to 21.59/100,000 in 15–19 y.o.). Significant variations in the attack rates were observed: a 9.52-fold ratio between the highest and the lowest attack rates in provinces. The provinces from the first and fourth attack rate quartiles differed in the test positivity rate (4.96% vs. 1.98%, p < 0.05), but not in the number of tests per capita. The lowest quartile provinces showed 1.87to 5.78-fold lower attack rates, compared to the directly neighbouring provinces, without any known population susceptibility differences. The attack rates in children and adults correlated very strongly (rho = 0.81). The attack rate correlated with the test positivity rate (rho = 0.64 in children and rho = 0.71 in adults) but not with the number of tests per capita. Conclusions: COVID-19 burden in children is significant. The local differences highlight various testing strategies, but the awareness of SARS-CoV-2 in children is essential. The correlation between attack rates in children and adults shows that the outbreak in children is parallel to the one observed in adults.

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4 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.5114/AOMS.2020.98364
Pawel Rajwa1, Mikolaj Przydacz2, Wojciech Krajewski3, Blazej Kuffel4  +34 moreInstitutions (8)
Abstract: Introduction: We aimed to examine the change in the number and severity of visits to the emergency departments (EDs) and subsequent admissions for urgent urologic conditions in the early stage of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Poland. Material and methods: We evaluated data from 13 urologic centers in Poland and compared the number of visits to the EDs and subsequent admissions before and after the advent of COVID-19 in 2020, and before and after the escalating national restrictions. Furthermore, data on types of urologic complaints, crucial laboratory parameters, and post-admission procedures were analyzed. Results: In total 1,696 and 2,187 urologic visits (22.45% decrease) and 387 and 439 urologic urgent admissions (11.85% decrease) were reported in given periods in 2020 and 2019, respectively. The year-over-year difference in daily mean visits was clear (36.1 vs. 46.5; p < 0.001). Declines were seen in all complaints but device malfunction. In 2020 daily mean visits and admissions decreased from 40.9 and 9.6 before lockdowns to 30.9 (p < 0.001) and 6.9 (p = 0.001) after severe restrictions, respectively. There was a trend towards more negative laboratory parameter profiles in 2020, with patients who visited the EDs after severe restrictions having twice as high median levels of C-reactive protein (15.39 vs. 7.84, p = 0.03). Conclusions: The observed declines in ED visits and admissions were apparent with the significant effect of national lockdowns. Our results indicate that some of the patients requiring urgent medical help did not appear at the ED or came later than they would have done before the pandemic, presenting with more severe complaints.

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4 Citations


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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1001/JAMA.2020.6775
26 May 2020-JAMA
Abstract: Importance There is limited information describing the presenting characteristics and outcomes of US patients requiring hospitalization for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Objective To describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with COVID-19 hospitalized in a US health care system. Design, Setting, and Participants Case series of patients with COVID-19 admitted to 12 hospitals in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County, New York, within the Northwell Health system. The study included all sequentially hospitalized patients between March 1, 2020, and April 4, 2020, inclusive of these dates. Exposures Confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection by positive result on polymerase chain reaction testing of a nasopharyngeal sample among patients requiring admission. Main Outcomes and Measures Clinical outcomes during hospitalization, such as invasive mechanical ventilation, kidney replacement therapy, and death. Demographics, baseline comorbidities, presenting vital signs, and test results were also collected. Results A total of 5700 patients were included (median age, 63 years [interquartile range {IQR}, 52-75; range, 0-107 years]; 39.7% female). The most common comorbidities were hypertension (3026; 56.6%), obesity (1737; 41.7%), and diabetes (1808; 33.8%). At triage, 30.7% of patients were febrile, 17.3% had a respiratory rate greater than 24 breaths/min, and 27.8% received supplemental oxygen. The rate of respiratory virus co-infection was 2.1%. Outcomes were assessed for 2634 patients who were discharged or had died at the study end point. During hospitalization, 373 patients (14.2%) (median age, 68 years [IQR, 56-78]; 33.5% female) were treated in the intensive care unit care, 320 (12.2%) received invasive mechanical ventilation, 81 (3.2%) were treated with kidney replacement therapy, and 553 (21%) died. As of April 4, 2020, for patients requiring mechanical ventilation (n = 1151, 20.2%), 38 (3.3%) were discharged alive, 282 (24.5%) died, and 831 (72.2%) remained in hospital. The median postdischarge follow-up time was 4.4 days (IQR, 2.2-9.3). A total of 45 patients (2.2%) were readmitted during the study period. The median time to readmission was 3 days (IQR, 1.0-4.5) for readmitted patients. Among the 3066 patients who remained hospitalized at the final study follow-up date (median age, 65 years [IQR, 54-75]), the median follow-up at time of censoring was 4.5 days (IQR, 2.4-8.1). Conclusions and Relevance This case series provides characteristics and early outcomes of sequentially hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19 in the New York City area.

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Topics: Interquartile range (55%), Respiratory virus (51%)

5,140 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1371/JOURNAL.PMED.1000316
27 Jul 2010-PLOS Medicine
Abstract: Background The quality and quantity of individuals' social relationships has been linked not only to mental health but also to both morbidity and mortality. Objectives This meta-analytic review was conducted to determine the extent to which social relationships influence risk for mortality, which aspects of social relationships are most highly predictive, and which factors may moderate the risk. Data Extraction Data were extracted on several participant characteristics, including cause of mortality, initial health status, and pre-existing health conditions, as well as on study characteristics, including length of follow-up and type of assessment of social relationships. Results Across 148 studies (308,849 participants), the random effects weighted average effect size was OR = 1.50 (95% CI 1.42 to 1.59), indicating a 50% increased likelihood of survival for participants with stronger social relationships. This finding remained consistent across age, sex, initial health status, cause of death, and follow-up period. Significant differences were found across the type of social measurement evaluated (p<0.001); the association was strongest for complex measures of social integration (OR = 1.91; 95% CI 1.63 to 2.23) and lowest for binary indicators of residential status (living alone versus with others) (OR = 1.19; 95% CI 0.99 to 1.44). Conclusions The influence of social relationships on risk for mortality is comparable with well-established risk factors for mortality. Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary

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Topics: Social support (57%), Mortality rate (53%), Social integration (52%) ... show more

4,109 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3390/IJERPH17051729
Cuiyan Wang1, Riyu Pan1, Xiaoyang Wan1, Yilin Tan1  +4 moreInstitutions (3)
Abstract: Background: The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic is a public health emergency of international concern and poses a challenge to psychological resilience. Research data are needed to develop evidence-driven strategies to reduce adverse psychological impacts and psychiatric symptoms during the epidemic. The aim of this study was to survey the general public in China to better understand their levels of psychological impact, anxiety, depression, and stress during the initial stage of the COVID-19 outbreak. The data will be used for future reference. Methods: From 31 January to 2 February 2020, we conducted an online survey using snowball sampling techniques. The online survey collected information on demographic data, physical symptoms in the past 14 days, contact history with COVID-19, knowledge and concerns about COVID-19, precautionary measures against COVID-19, and additional information required with respect to COVID-19. Psychological impact was assessed by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R), and mental health status was assessed by the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). Results: This study included 1210 respondents from 194 cities in China. In total, 53.8% of respondents rated the psychological impact of the outbreak as moderate or severe; 16.5% reported moderate to severe depressive symptoms; 28.8% reported moderate to severe anxiety symptoms; and 8.1% reported moderate to severe stress levels. Most respondents spent 20–24 h per day at home (84.7%); were worried about their family members contracting COVID-19 (75.2%); and were satisfied with the amount of health information available (75.1%). Female gender, student status, specific physical symptoms (e.g., myalgia, dizziness, coryza), and poor self-rated health status were significantly associated with a greater psychological impact of the outbreak and higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression (p < 0.05). Specific up-to-date and accurate health information (e.g., treatment, local outbreak situation) and particular precautionary measures (e.g., hand hygiene, wearing a mask) were associated with a lower psychological impact of the outbreak and lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression (p < 0.05). Conclusions: During the initial phase of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, more than half of the respondents rated the psychological impact as moderate-to-severe, and about one-third reported moderate-to-severe anxiety. Our findings identify factors associated with a lower level of psychological impact and better mental health status that can be used to formulate psychological interventions to improve the mental health of vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 epidemic.

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Topics: Mental health (58%), Anxiety (57%), Psychological intervention (56%) ... show more

4,080 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.3760/CMA.J.ISSN.0254-6450.2020.02.003
Abstract: Objective An outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China has spread quickly nationwide. Here, we report results of a descriptive, exploratory analysis of all cases diagnosed as of February 11, 2020. Methods All COVID-19 cases reported through February 11, 2020 were extracted from China’s Infectious Disease Information System. Analyses included: 1) summary of patient characteristics; 2) examination of age distributions and sex ratios; 3) calculation of case fatality and mortality rates; 4) geo-temporal analysis of viral spread; 5) epidemiological curve construction; and 6) subgroup analysis. Results A total of 72 314 patient records-44 672 (61.8%) confirmed cases, 16 186 (22.4%) suspected cases, 10567 (14.6%) clinical diagnosed cases (Hubei only), and 889 asymptomatic cases (1.2%)-contributed data for the analysis. Among confirmed cases, most were aged 30-79 years (86.6%), diagnosed in Hubei (74.7%), and considered mild/mild pneumonia (80.9%). A total of 1 023 deaths occurred among confirmed cases for an overall case-fatality rate of 2.3%. The COVID-19 spread outward from Hubei sometime after December 2019 and by February 11, 2020, 1 386 counties across all 31 provinces were affected. The epidemic curve of onset of symptoms peaked in January 23-26, then began to decline leading up to February 11. A total of 1 716 health workers have become infected and 5 have died (0.3%). Conclusions The COVID-19 epidemic has spread very quickly. It only took 30 days to expand from Hubei to the rest of Mainland China. With many people returning from a long holiday, China needs to prepare for the possible rebound of the epidemic. Key words: 2019 Novel Coronavirus; Outbreak; Epidemiological characteristics

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Topics: Case fatality rate (53%), Outbreak (51%)

2,691 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1001/JAMA.2020.4683
23 Mar 2020-JAMA
Abstract: Only 3 cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were identified in Italy in the first half of February 2020 and all involved people who had recently traveled to China. On February 20, 2020, a severe case of pneumonia due to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) was diagnosed in northern Italy’s Lombardy region in a man in his 30s who had no history of possible exposure abroad. Within 14 days, many other cases of COVID-19 in the surrounding area were diagnosed, including a substantial number of critically ill patients.1 On the basis of the number of cases and of the advanced stage of the disease it was hypothesized that the virus had been circulating within the population since January. Another cluster of patients with COVID-19 was simultaneously identified in Veneto, which borders Lombardy. Since then, the number of cases identified in Italy has rapidly increased, mainly in northern Italy, but all regions of the country have reported having patients with COVID-19. After China, Italy now has the second largest number of COVID-19 cases2 and also has a very high case-fatality rate.3 This Viewpoint reviews the Italian experience with COVID-19 with an emphasis on fatalities.

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Topics: Case fatality rate (70%)

2,682 Citations


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