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1.
Preventive Medicine Reports ; 29:101925, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1956294

ABSTRACT

Detailed description of the prevalence and sources of e-cigarettes among youth is needed to inform effective regulatory policies. We used the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System data (2015–2019) to assess trends in current (past-30-day-use) and frequent (≥10 days in past-30-days) e-cigarette use among United States high schoolers before the COVID-19 pandemic. First, we assessed trends overall and then stratified by participants’ sociodemographic characteristics, use of other tobacco products, and experiences of psychosocial stress. We also evaluated past year quit attempts and the changing sources of e-cigarettes. Our sample size was 41,021 (15,356–2015;12,873–2017;12,792–2019). The prevalence of current e-cigarette use increased from 24.0% (95%CI:21.9%–26.3%) in 2015 to 32.7% (30.4%–35.1%) in 2019. The proportion of current users who reported frequent use also increased significantly from 22.6% (20.4%–24.8%) to 45.4% (42.7%–48.2%). Thus, an increasing proportion of US high school students who use e-cigarettes reported frequent use, indicating greater nicotine dependence. The increase in current and frequent e-cigarette use was more pronounced in youth who reported other substance use and psychosocial stressors such as bullying. Between 2017 and 2019, there was a decline in the proportion of youth who bought e-cigarettes online (6.9% to 3.2%) or from convenience stores (22.0% to 16.6%). Conversely, there was an increase in the proportion who borrowed (34.5% to 40.1%) or purchased e-cigarettes through other people (10.7% to 18.0%), indicating that most youth are evading age-related restrictions by obtaining e-cigarettes from other people. Finally, a considerable proportion of youth tobacco users are making quit attempts;47.6% (45.1%–50.1%) in 2019.

2.
Front Immunol ; 13: 884211, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1834411

ABSTRACT

Stagnating COVID-19 vaccination rates and vaccine hesitancy remain a threat to public health. Improved strategies for real-time tracking and estimation of population-level behavior regarding vaccinations are needed. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether online search trends for COIVD-19 and influenza mirror vaccination rates. State-level weekly fraction of online searches for top vaccination-related search terms and CDC vaccination data were obtained from June 1, 2020, to May 31, 2021. Next, trends in online search and vaccination data for COVID-19 and influenza were analyzed for visual and quantitative correlation patterns using Spearman's rank correlation analysis. Online searches in the US for COVID-19 vaccinations increased 2.71-fold (95% CI: 1.98-3.45) in the 4 weeks after the FDA emergency authorization compared to the precedent 4 weeks. In March-April 2021, US online searches reached a plateau that was followed by a decline of 83.3% (95% CI: 31.2%-135.3%) until May 31, 2021. The timing of peaks in online searches varied across US states. Online searches were strongly correlated with vaccination rates (r=0.71, 95% CI: 0.45 - 0.87), preceding actual reported vaccination rates in 44 of 51 states. Online search trends preceded vaccination trends by a median of 3.0 weeks (95% CI: 2.0-4.0 weeks) across all states. For influenza vaccination searches, seasonal peaks in September-October between 2016-2020 were noted. Influenza search trends highly correlated with the timing of actual vaccinations for the 2019-2020 (r=0.82, 95% CI: 0.64 - 0.93) and 2020-2021 season (r=0.91, 95% CI: 0.78 - 0.97). Search trends and real-world vaccination rates are highly correlated. Temporal alignment and correlation levels were higher for influenza vaccinations; however, only online searches for COVID-19 vaccination preceded vaccination trends. These findings indicate that US online search data can potentially guide public health efforts, including policy changes and identifying geographical areas to expand vaccination campaigns.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza Vaccines , Influenza, Human , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Search Engine , United States/epidemiology , Vaccination
3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306001

ABSTRACT

Background: Given the relatively modest benefit of currently available treatments in improving COVID-19 clinical outcomes, there is an urgent need for novel therapeutic strategies, especially in reversing associated lung inflammation. Attention has focused on repurposing existing agents with immune modulatory properties to accelerate their incorporation into clinical practice. Recent evidence has demonstrated that the cholesterol-lowering agents, statins, are associated with reduced mortality in patients with influenza, sepsis, community-acquired pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). We sought to investigate the relationship between statin use and COVID-19 disease severity in hospitalized patients.Methods: A retrospective analysis of COVID-19 patients admitted to the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 was performed. The outcomes of interest were mortality and severe COVID-19 infection, as defined by prolonged hospital stay (≥ 7 days) and/ or invasive mechanical ventilation. Logistic regression, Cox proportional hazards regression and propensity score matching were used to obtain both univariable and multivariable associations between covariates and outcomes in addition to the average treatment effect of statin use.Results: Of the 4,447 patients who met our inclusion criteria, 594 (13.4%) patients were exposed to statins on admission, of which 340 (57.2%) were male. The mean age was higher in statin users compared to non-users [64.9 ± 13.4 vs. 45.5 ± 16.6 years, p <0.001]. The average treatment effect of statin use on COVID-19-related mortality was RR=1.00 (95% CI: 0.99 – 1.01, p= 0.928), while its effect on severe COVID-19 infection was RR=1.18 (95% CI: 1.11 – 1.27, p <0.001).Conclusion: Statin use was not associated with altered mortality, but with an 18% increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection.Funding Statement: The retrospective cohort study was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)/ National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants UH3AI122309 and K24AI143447 to P.C.KDeclaration of Interests: We declare no competing interests. The Johns Hopkins Core for Clinical Research Data Acquisition provided the data for this analysis.Ethics Approval Statement: All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 and Data Research Evaluation (CADRE) Committee. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine IRB reviewed the study protocol and determined that it qualifies as exempt research under the DHHS regulations.

4.
Int J Infect Dis ; 113: 7-11, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415453

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study sought to evaluate the utility of the Global Health Security (GHS) index in predicting the launch of COVID-19 vaccine rollout by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries. METHODS: Country-level data on the preparedness to respond to infectious disease threats through vaccination rollout were collected using the GHS index. OECD member countries were rank-ordered based on the percentage of their populations fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Rank-ordering was conducted from the lowest to the highest, with each country assigned a score ranging from 1 to 33. Spearman's rank correlation between the GHS index and the percentage of the population that is fully vaccinated was also performed. RESULTS: Israel, ranked 34th in the world on the GHS index for pandemic preparedness, had the highest percentage of the population that was fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within 2 months of the global vaccine rollout. The Spearman rank correlation coefficient between GHS index and the percentage of population fully vaccinated was -0.1378, with a p-value of 0.43. CONCLUSION: The findings suggest an absence of correlation between the GHS index rating and the COVID-19 vaccine rollout of OECD countries, indicating that the preparedness of OECD countries for infectious disease threats may not be accurately reflected by the GHS index.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development , COVID-19 Vaccines , Global Health , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
5.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0256899, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403304

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There is an urgent need for novel therapeutic strategies for reversing COVID-19-related lung inflammation. Recent evidence has demonstrated that the cholesterol-lowering agents, statins, are associated with reduced mortality in patients with various respiratory infections. We sought to investigate the relationship between statin use and COVID-19 disease severity in hospitalized patients. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of COVID-19 patients admitted to the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 was performed. The outcomes of interest were mortality and severe COVID-19 infection, as defined by prolonged hospital stay (≥ 7 days) and/ or invasive mechanical ventilation. Logistic regression, Cox proportional hazards regression and propensity score matching were used to obtain both univariable and multivariable associations between covariates and outcomes in addition to the average treatment effect of statin use. RESULTS: Of the 4,447 patients who met our inclusion criteria, 594 (13.4%) patients were exposed to statins on admission, of which 340 (57.2%) were male. The mean age was higher in statin users compared to non-users [64.9 ± 13.4 vs. 45.5 ± 16.6 years, p <0.001]. The average treatment effect of statin use on COVID-19-related mortality was RR = 1.00 (95% CI: 0.99-1.01, p = 0.928), while its effect on severe COVID-19 infection was RR = 1.18 (95% CI: 1.11-1.27, p <0.001). CONCLUSION: Statin use was not associated with altered mortality, but with an 18% increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies
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