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1.
EBioMedicine ; 74: 103722, 2021 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536517

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Numerous publications describe the clinical manifestations of post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC or "long COVID"), but they are difficult to integrate because of heterogeneous methods and the lack of a standard for denoting the many phenotypic manifestations. Patient-led studies are of particular importance for understanding the natural history of COVID-19, but integration is hampered because they often use different terms to describe the same symptom or condition. This significant disparity in patient versus clinical characterization motivated the proposed ontological approach to specifying manifestations, which will improve capture and integration of future long COVID studies. METHODS: The Human Phenotype Ontology (HPO) is a widely used standard for exchange and analysis of phenotypic abnormalities in human disease but has not yet been applied to the analysis of COVID-19. FINDINGS: We identified 303 articles published before April 29, 2021, curated 59 relevant manuscripts that described clinical manifestations in 81 cohorts three weeks or more following acute COVID-19, and mapped 287 unique clinical findings to HPO terms. We present layperson synonyms and definitions that can be used to link patient self-report questionnaires to standard medical terminology. Long COVID clinical manifestations are not assessed consistently across studies, and most manifestations have been reported with a wide range of synonyms by different authors. Across at least 10 cohorts, authors reported 31 unique clinical features corresponding to HPO terms; the most commonly reported feature was Fatigue (median 45.1%) and the least commonly reported was Nausea (median 3.9%), but the reported percentages varied widely between studies. INTERPRETATION: Translating long COVID manifestations into computable HPO terms will improve analysis, data capture, and classification of long COVID patients. If researchers, clinicians, and patients share a common language, then studies can be compared/pooled more effectively. Furthermore, mapping lay terminology to HPO will help patients assist clinicians and researchers in creating phenotypic characterizations that are computationally accessible, thereby improving the stratification, diagnosis, and treatment of long COVID. FUNDING: U24TR002306; UL1TR001439; P30AG024832; GBMF4552; R01HG010067; UL1TR002535; K23HL128909; UL1TR002389; K99GM145411 .

2.
J Med Internet Res ; 23(10): e31400, 2021 10 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463405

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Many countries have experienced 2 predominant waves of COVID-19-related hospitalizations. Comparing the clinical trajectories of patients hospitalized in separate waves of the pandemic enables further understanding of the evolving epidemiology, pathophysiology, and health care dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic. OBJECTIVE: In this retrospective cohort study, we analyzed electronic health record (EHR) data from patients with SARS-CoV-2 infections hospitalized in participating health care systems representing 315 hospitals across 6 countries. We compared hospitalization rates, severe COVID-19 risk, and mean laboratory values between patients hospitalized during the first and second waves of the pandemic. METHODS: Using a federated approach, each participating health care system extracted patient-level clinical data on their first and second wave cohorts and submitted aggregated data to the central site. Data quality control steps were adopted at the central site to correct for implausible values and harmonize units. Statistical analyses were performed by computing individual health care system effect sizes and synthesizing these using random effect meta-analyses to account for heterogeneity. We focused the laboratory analysis on C-reactive protein (CRP), ferritin, fibrinogen, procalcitonin, D-dimer, and creatinine based on their reported associations with severe COVID-19. RESULTS: Data were available for 79,613 patients, of which 32,467 were hospitalized in the first wave and 47,146 in the second wave. The prevalence of male patients and patients aged 50 to 69 years decreased significantly between the first and second waves. Patients hospitalized in the second wave had a 9.9% reduction in the risk of severe COVID-19 compared to patients hospitalized in the first wave (95% CI 8.5%-11.3%). Demographic subgroup analyses indicated that patients aged 26 to 49 years and 50 to 69 years; male and female patients; and black patients had significantly lower risk for severe disease in the second wave than in the first wave. At admission, the mean values of CRP were significantly lower in the second wave than in the first wave. On the seventh hospital day, the mean values of CRP, ferritin, fibrinogen, and procalcitonin were significantly lower in the second wave than in the first wave. In general, countries exhibited variable changes in laboratory testing rates from the first to the second wave. At admission, there was a significantly higher testing rate for D-dimer in France, Germany, and Spain. CONCLUSIONS: Patients hospitalized in the second wave were at significantly lower risk for severe COVID-19. This corresponded to mean laboratory values in the second wave that were more likely to be in typical physiological ranges on the seventh hospital day compared to the first wave. Our federated approach demonstrated the feasibility and power of harmonizing heterogeneous EHR data from multiple international health care systems to rapidly conduct large-scale studies to characterize how COVID-19 clinical trajectories evolve.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Aged , Female , Hospitalization , Hospitals , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Int J Drug Policy ; 99: 103470, 2021 Sep 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415361

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: An unproven "nicotine hypothesis" that indicates nicotine's therapeutic potential for COVID-19 has been proposed in recent literature. This study is about Twitter posts that misinterpret this hypothesis to make baseless claims about benefits of smoking and vaping in the context of COVID-19. We quantify the presence of such misinformation and characterize the tweeters who post such messages. METHODS: Twitter premium API was used to download tweets (n = 17,533) that match terms indicating (a) nicotine or vaping themes, (b) a prophylactic or therapeutic effect, and (c) COVID-19 (January-July 2020) as a conjunctive query. A constraint on the length of the span of text containing the terms in the tweets allowed us to focus on those that convey the therapeutic intent. We hand-annotated these filtered tweets and built a classifier that identifies tweets that extrapolate the nicotine hypothesis to smoking/vaping with a positive predictive value of 85%. We analyzed the frequently used terms in author bios, top Web links, and hashtags of such tweets. RESULTS: 21% of our filtered COVID-19 tweets indicate a vaping or smoking-based prevention/treatment narrative. Qualitative analyses show a variety of ways therapeutic claims are being made and tweeter bios reveal pre-existing notions of positive stances toward vaping. CONCLUSION: The social media landscape is a double-edged sword in tobacco communication. Although it increases information reach, consumers can also be subject to confirmation bias when exposed to inadvertent or deliberate framing of scientific discourse that may border on misinformation. This calls for circumspection and additional planning in countering such narratives as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage our world. Our results also serve as a cautionary tale in how social media can be leveraged to spread misleading information about tobacco products in the wake of pandemics.

4.
Am J Speech Lang Pathol ; 30(6): 2561-2571, 2021 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1402138

ABSTRACT

Purpose Telepractice was extensively utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic. Little is known about issues experienced during the wide-scale rollout of a service delivery model that was novel to many. Social media research is a way to unobtrusively analyze public communication, including during a health crisis. We investigated the characteristics of tweets about telepractice through the lens of an established health technology implementation framework. Results can help guide efforts to support and sustain telehealth beyond the pandemic context. Method We retrieved a historical Twitter data set containing tweets about telepractice from the early months of the pandemic. Tweets were analyzed using a concurrent mixed-methods content analysis design informed by the nonadoption, abandonment, scale-up, spread, and sustainability (NASSS) framework. Results Approximately 2,200 Twitter posts were retrieved, and 820 original tweets were analyzed qualitatively. Volume of tweets about telepractice increased in the early months of the pandemic. The largest group of Twitter users tweeting about telepractice was a group of clinical professionals. Tweet content reflected many, but not all, domains of the NASSS framework. Conclusions Twitter posting about telepractice increased during the pandemic. Although many tweets represented topics expected in technology implementation, some represented phenomena were potentially unique to speech-language pathology. Certain technology implementation topics, notably sustainability, were not found in the data. Implications for future telepractice implementation and further research are discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
5.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(7): e2116901, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1306627

ABSTRACT

Importance: The National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) is a centralized, harmonized, high-granularity electronic health record repository that is the largest, most representative COVID-19 cohort to date. This multicenter data set can support robust evidence-based development of predictive and diagnostic tools and inform clinical care and policy. Objectives: To evaluate COVID-19 severity and risk factors over time and assess the use of machine learning to predict clinical severity. Design, Setting, and Participants: In a retrospective cohort study of 1 926 526 US adults with SARS-CoV-2 infection (polymerase chain reaction >99% or antigen <1%) and adult patients without SARS-CoV-2 infection who served as controls from 34 medical centers nationwide between January 1, 2020, and December 7, 2020, patients were stratified using a World Health Organization COVID-19 severity scale and demographic characteristics. Differences between groups over time were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression. Random forest and XGBoost models were used to predict severe clinical course (death, discharge to hospice, invasive ventilatory support, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation). Main Outcomes and Measures: Patient demographic characteristics and COVID-19 severity using the World Health Organization COVID-19 severity scale and differences between groups over time using multivariable logistic regression. Results: The cohort included 174 568 adults who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (mean [SD] age, 44.4 [18.6] years; 53.2% female) and 1 133 848 adult controls who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 (mean [SD] age, 49.5 [19.2] years; 57.1% female). Of the 174 568 adults with SARS-CoV-2, 32 472 (18.6%) were hospitalized, and 6565 (20.2%) of those had a severe clinical course (invasive ventilatory support, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, death, or discharge to hospice). Of the hospitalized patients, mortality was 11.6% overall and decreased from 16.4% in March to April 2020 to 8.6% in September to October 2020 (P = .002 for monthly trend). Using 64 inputs available on the first hospital day, this study predicted a severe clinical course using random forest and XGBoost models (area under the receiver operating curve = 0.87 for both) that were stable over time. The factor most strongly associated with clinical severity was pH; this result was consistent across machine learning methods. In a separate multivariable logistic regression model built for inference, age (odds ratio [OR], 1.03 per year; 95% CI, 1.03-1.04), male sex (OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.51-1.69), liver disease (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.08-1.34), dementia (OR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.13-1.41), African American (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.05-1.20) and Asian (OR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.12-1.57) race, and obesity (OR, 1.36; 95% CI, 1.27-1.46) were independently associated with higher clinical severity. Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study found that COVID-19 mortality decreased over time during 2020 and that patient demographic characteristics and comorbidities were associated with higher clinical severity. The machine learning models accurately predicted ultimate clinical severity using commonly collected clinical data from the first 24 hours of a hospital admission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Databases, Factual , Forecasting , Hospitalization , Models, Biological , Severity of Illness Index , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/mortality , Comorbidity , Ethnic Groups , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation , Female , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Respiration, Artificial , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , Young Adult
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