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1.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(7): 579-588, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683800

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound mental health consequences for many people. Concerns have been expressed that, at their most extreme, these consequences could manifest as increased suicide rates. We aimed to assess the early effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates around the world. METHODS: We sourced real-time suicide data from countries or areas within countries through a systematic internet search and recourse to our networks and the published literature. Between Sept 1 and Nov 1, 2020, we searched the official websites of these countries' ministries of health, police agencies, and government-run statistics agencies or equivalents, using the translated search terms "suicide" and "cause of death", before broadening the search in an attempt to identify data through other public sources. Data were included from a given country or area if they came from an official government source and were available at a monthly level from at least Jan 1, 2019, to July 31, 2020. Our internet searches were restricted to countries with more than 3 million residents for pragmatic reasons, but we relaxed this rule for countries identified through the literature and our networks. Areas within countries could also be included with populations of less than 3 million. We used an interrupted time-series analysis to model the trend in monthly suicides before COVID-19 (from at least Jan 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020) in each country or area within a country, comparing the expected number of suicides derived from the model with the observed number of suicides in the early months of the pandemic (from April 1 to July 31, 2020, in the primary analysis). FINDINGS: We sourced data from 21 countries (16 high-income and five upper-middle-income countries), including whole-country data in ten countries and data for various areas in 11 countries). Rate ratios (RRs) and 95% CIs based on the observed versus expected numbers of suicides showed no evidence of a significant increase in risk of suicide since the pandemic began in any country or area. There was statistical evidence of a decrease in suicide compared with the expected number in 12 countries or areas: New South Wales, Australia (RR 0·81 [95% CI 0·72-0·91]); Alberta, Canada (0·80 [0·68-0·93]); British Columbia, Canada (0·76 [0·66-0·87]); Chile (0·85 [0·78-0·94]); Leipzig, Germany (0·49 [0·32-0·74]); Japan (0·94 [0·91-0·96]); New Zealand (0·79 [0·68-0·91]); South Korea (0·94 [0·92-0·97]); California, USA (0·90 [0·85-0·95]); Illinois (Cook County), USA (0·79 [0·67-0·93]); Texas (four counties), USA (0·82 [0·68-0·98]); and Ecuador (0·74 [0·67-0·82]). INTERPRETATION: This is the first study to examine suicides occurring in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple countries. In high-income and upper-middle-income countries, suicide numbers have remained largely unchanged or declined in the early months of the pandemic compared with the expected levels based on the pre-pandemic period. We need to remain vigilant and be poised to respond if the situation changes as the longer-term mental health and economic effects of the pandemic unfold. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Global Health , Models, Statistical , Suicide/statistics & numerical data , Developed Countries/statistics & numerical data , Humans
2.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(33): 1114-1119, 2021 Aug 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365865

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Hispanic or Latino, non-Hispanic Black (Black), non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN), and non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (NH/PI) populations in the United States. These populations have experienced higher rates of infection and mortality compared with the non-Hispanic White (White) population (1-5) and greater excess mortality (i.e., the percentage increase in the number of persons who have died relative to the expected number of deaths for a given place and time) (6). A limitation of existing research on excess mortality among racial/ethnic minority groups has been the lack of adjustment for age and population change over time. This study assessed excess mortality incidence rates (IRs) (e.g., the number of excess deaths per 100,000 person-years) in the United States during December 29, 2019-January 2, 2021, by race/ethnicity and age group using data from the National Vital Statistics System. Among all assessed racial/ethnic groups (non-Hispanic Asian [Asian], AI/AN, Black, Hispanic, NH/PI, and White populations), excess mortality IRs were higher among persons aged ≥65 years (426.4 to 1033.5 excess deaths per 100,000 person-years) than among those aged 25-64 years (30.2 to 221.1) and those aged <25 years (-2.9 to 14.1). Among persons aged <65 years, Black and AI/AN populations had the highest excess mortality IRs. Among adults aged ≥65 years, Black and Hispanic persons experienced the highest excess mortality IRs of >1,000 excess deaths per 100,000 person-years. These findings could help guide more tailored public health messaging and mitigation efforts to reduce disparities in mortality associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States,* by identifying the racial/ethnic groups and age groups with the highest excess mortality rates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Health Status Disparities , Mortality/trends , Adult , Age Distribution , Aged , COVID-19/ethnology , Humans , Middle Aged , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
4.
Lancet Psychiatry ; 8(7): 579-588, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284642

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound mental health consequences for many people. Concerns have been expressed that, at their most extreme, these consequences could manifest as increased suicide rates. We aimed to assess the early effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on suicide rates around the world. METHODS: We sourced real-time suicide data from countries or areas within countries through a systematic internet search and recourse to our networks and the published literature. Between Sept 1 and Nov 1, 2020, we searched the official websites of these countries' ministries of health, police agencies, and government-run statistics agencies or equivalents, using the translated search terms "suicide" and "cause of death", before broadening the search in an attempt to identify data through other public sources. Data were included from a given country or area if they came from an official government source and were available at a monthly level from at least Jan 1, 2019, to July 31, 2020. Our internet searches were restricted to countries with more than 3 million residents for pragmatic reasons, but we relaxed this rule for countries identified through the literature and our networks. Areas within countries could also be included with populations of less than 3 million. We used an interrupted time-series analysis to model the trend in monthly suicides before COVID-19 (from at least Jan 1, 2019, to March 31, 2020) in each country or area within a country, comparing the expected number of suicides derived from the model with the observed number of suicides in the early months of the pandemic (from April 1 to July 31, 2020, in the primary analysis). FINDINGS: We sourced data from 21 countries (16 high-income and five upper-middle-income countries), including whole-country data in ten countries and data for various areas in 11 countries). Rate ratios (RRs) and 95% CIs based on the observed versus expected numbers of suicides showed no evidence of a significant increase in risk of suicide since the pandemic began in any country or area. There was statistical evidence of a decrease in suicide compared with the expected number in 12 countries or areas: New South Wales, Australia (RR 0·81 [95% CI 0·72-0·91]); Alberta, Canada (0·80 [0·68-0·93]); British Columbia, Canada (0·76 [0·66-0·87]); Chile (0·85 [0·78-0·94]); Leipzig, Germany (0·49 [0·32-0·74]); Japan (0·94 [0·91-0·96]); New Zealand (0·79 [0·68-0·91]); South Korea (0·94 [0·92-0·97]); California, USA (0·90 [0·85-0·95]); Illinois (Cook County), USA (0·79 [0·67-0·93]); Texas (four counties), USA (0·82 [0·68-0·98]); and Ecuador (0·74 [0·67-0·82]). INTERPRETATION: This is the first study to examine suicides occurring in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple countries. In high-income and upper-middle-income countries, suicide numbers have remained largely unchanged or declined in the early months of the pandemic compared with the expected levels based on the pre-pandemic period. We need to remain vigilant and be poised to respond if the situation changes as the longer-term mental health and economic effects of the pandemic unfold. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Global Health , Models, Statistical , Suicide/statistics & numerical data , Developed Countries/statistics & numerical data , Humans
5.
Am J Med ; 134(6): 812-816.e2, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1131046

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Infection fatality rate and infection hospitalization rate, defined as the proportion of deaths and hospitalizations, respectively, of the total infected individuals, can estimate the actual toll of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on a community, as the denominator is ideally based on a representative sample of a population, which captures the full spectrum of illness, including asymptomatic and untested individuals. OBJECTIVE: To determine the COVID-19 infection hospitalization rate and infection fatality rate among the non-congregate population in Connecticut between March 1 and June 1, 2020. METHODS: The infection hospitalization rate and infection fatality rate were calculated for adults residing in non-congregate settings in Connecticut prior to June 2020. Individuals with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies were estimated using the seroprevalence estimates from the recently conducted Post-Infection Prevalence study. Information on total hospitalizations and deaths was obtained from the Connecticut Hospital Association and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, respectively. RESULTS: Prior to June 1, 2020, nearly 113,515 (90% confidence interval [CI] 56,758-170,273) individuals were estimated to have SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, and there were 7792 hospitalizations and 1079 deaths among the non-congregate population. The overall COVID-19 infection hospitalization rate and infection fatality rate were estimated to be 6.86% (90% CI, 4.58%-13.72%) and 0.95% (90% CI, 0.63%-1.90%), respectively, and there was variation in these rate estimates across subgroups; older people, men, non-Hispanic Black people, and those belonging to 2 of the counties had a higher burden of adverse outcomes, although the differences between most subgroups were not statistically significant. CONCLUSIONS: Using representative seroprevalence estimates, the overall COVID-19 infection hospitalization rate and infection fatality rate were estimated to be 6.86% and 0.95%, respectively, among community residents in Connecticut.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Disease Transmission, Infectious , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19 Serological Testing/statistics & numerical data , Carrier State/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Connecticut/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Risk Assessment/methods , Risk Assessment/statistics & numerical data , Seroepidemiologic Studies
6.
J Med Internet Res ; 22(7): e20469, 2020 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-710419

ABSTRACT

Physicians, nurses, and other health care providers initiated the #GetMePPE movement on Twitter to spread awareness of the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Dwindling supplies, such as face masks, gowns and goggles, and inadequate production to meet increasing demand have placed health care workers and patients at risk. The momentum of the #GetMePPE Twitter hashtag resulted in the creation of a petition to urge public officials to address the PPE shortage through increased funding and production. Simultaneously, the GetUsPPE.org website was launched through the collaboration of physicians and software engineers to develop a digital platform for the donation, request, and distribution of multi-modal sources of PPE. GetUsPPE.org and #GetMePPE were merged in an attempt to combine public engagement and advocacy on social media with the coordination of PPE donation and distribution. Within 10 days, over 1800 hospitals and PPE suppliers were registered in a database that enabled the rapid coordination and distribution of scarce and in-demand materials. One month after its launch, the organization had distributed hundreds of thousands of PPE items and had built a database of over 6000 PPE requesters. The call for action on social media and the rapid development of this digital tool created a productive channel for the public to contribute to the health care response to COVID-19 in meaningful ways. #GetMePPE and GetUsPPE.org were able to mobilize individuals and organizations outside of the health care system to address the unmet needs of the medical community. The success of GetUsPPE.org demonstrates the potential of digital tools as a platform for larger health care institutions to rapidly address urgent issues in health care. In this paper, we outline this process and discuss key factors determining success.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care , Health Personnel , Humans , Personal Protective Equipment , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Media
7.
J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open ; 2020 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-632682
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