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1.
Drug Alcohol Rev ; 2022 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2266352

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic may have led to an increase in the alcohol-specific mortality. Against this backdrop, the aim of this report is to explore alcohol-specific mortality trends in Germany of the years 2010 to 2020. METHOD: Alcohol-specific mortality data aggregated by sex, 5-year age groups and state were collected from the annual cause-of-death statistics and analysed descriptively by visual inspection. RESULTS: The overall alcohol-specific mortality rate (age-standardised) has mainly decreased between 2010 and 2020. However, increased alcohol-specific mortality rates for the year 2020 compared to 2019 were found for both, women (+4.8%) and men (+5.5%), particularly in age groups between 40 and 69 years. Changes in alcohol-specific mortality rates differed between federated states, with steeper increases in East Germany. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Different mechanisms related to the increase in alcohol consumption, particularly among high-risk drinkers, and reduced resources in health care may have led to an increase in alcohol-specific mortality in Germany in 2020. Despite the recent decline in the alcohol-specific mortality in Germany, an increase in the death toll was observed in 2020.

2.
J Glob Health ; 12: 05002, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1771700

ABSTRACT

Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase of heavy alcohol use has been reported in several high-income countries. We examined changes in alcohol use during the pandemic among primary health care (PHC) patients in two middle income countries, Colombia and Mexico. Methods: Data were collected during routine consultations in 34 PHC centres as part of a large-scale implementation study. Providers measured patients' alcohol consumption with the three item 'Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test' (AUDIT-C). Generalized linear mixed models were performed to examine changes in two dependent variables over time (pre-pandemic and during pandemic): 1) the AUDIT-C score and 2) the proportion of heavy drinking patients (8+ on AUDIT-C). Results: Over a period of more than 600 days, data from N = 17 273 patients were collected. During the pandemic, the number of patients with their alcohol consumption measured decreased in Colombia and Mexico. Each month into the pandemic was associated with a 1.5% and 1.9% reduction in the mean AUDIT-C score in Colombia and Mexico, respectively. The proportion of heavy drinking patients declined during the pandemic in Colombia (pre-pandemic: 5.4%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 4.8% to 6.0%; during the pandemic: 0.8%, 95% CI = 0.6% to 1.1%) but did not change in Mexico. Conclusions: Average consumption levels declined and the prevalence of heavy drinking patterns did not increase. In addition to reduced opportunities for social drinking during the pandemic, changes in the population seeking PHC and restrictions in alcohol availability and affordability are likely drivers for lower levels of alcohol use by patients in this study.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Alcoholism/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Colombia/epidemiology , Humans , Mexico/epidemiology , Pandemics , Primary Health Care
3.
BMJ Open ; 11(11): e052969, 2021 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515303

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Causal methods have been adopted and adapted across health disciplines, particularly for the analysis of single studies. However, the sample sizes necessary to best inform decision-making are often not attainable with single studies, making pooled individual-level data analysis invaluable for public health efforts. Researchers commonly implement causal methods prevailing in their home disciplines, and how these are selected, evaluated, implemented and reported may vary widely. To our knowledge, no article has yet evaluated trends in the implementation and reporting of causal methods in studies leveraging individual-level data pooled from several studies. We undertake this review to uncover patterns in the implementation and reporting of causal methods used across disciplines in research focused on health outcomes. We will investigate variations in methods to infer causality used across disciplines, time and geography and identify gaps in reporting of methods to inform the development of reporting standards and the conversation required to effect change. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will search four databases (EBSCO, Embase, PubMed, Web of Science) using a search strategy developed with librarians from three universities (Heidelberg University, Harvard University, and University of California, San Francisco). The search strategy includes terms such as 'pool*', 'harmoniz*', 'cohort*', 'observational', variations on 'individual-level data'. Four reviewers will independently screen articles using Covidence and extract data from included articles. The extracted data will be analysed descriptively in tables and graphically to reveal the pattern in methods implementation and reporting. This protocol has been registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020143148). ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: No ethical approval was required as only publicly available data were used. The results will be submitted as a manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal, disseminated in conferences if relevant, and published as part of doctoral dissertations in Global Health at the Heidelberg University Hospital.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care , Research Design , Causality , Humans , San Francisco , Systematic Reviews as Topic
4.
Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy ; 16(1): 36, 2021 04 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388784

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 reached Europe in early 2020 and disrupted the private and public life of its citizens, with potential implications for substance use. The objective of this study was to describe possible changes in substance use in the first months of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Europe. METHODS: Data were obtained from a cross-sectional online survey of 36,538 adult substance users from 21 European countries conducted between April 24 and July 22 of 2020. Self-perceived changes in substance use were measured by asking respondents whether their use had decreased (slightly or substantially), increased (slightly or substantially), or not changed during the past month. The survey covered alcohol (frequency, quantity, and heavy episodic drinking occasions), tobacco, cannabis, and other illicit drug use. Sample weighted data were descriptively analysed and compared across substances. RESULTS: Across all countries, use of all substances remained unchanged for around half of the respondents, while the remainder reported either a decrease or increase in their substance use. For alcohol use, overall, a larger proportion of respondents indicated a decrease than those reporting an increase. In contrast, more respondents reported increases in their tobacco and cannabis use during the previous month compared to those reporting decreased use. No distinct direction of change was reported for other substance use. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest changes in use of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis during the initial months of the pandemic in several European countries. This study offers initial insights into changes in substance use. Other data sources, such as sales statistics, should be used to corroborate these preliminary findings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Marijuana Abuse/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Young Adult
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