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1.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(9): e30460, 2021 09 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430621

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The UK National Health Service (NHS) classified 2.2 million people as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) during the first wave of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, advising them to "shield" (to not leave home for any reason). OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to measure the determinants of shielding behavior and associations with well-being in a large NHS patient population for informing future health policy. METHODS: Patients contributing to an ongoing longitudinal participatory epidemiology study (Longitudinal Effects on Wellbeing of the COVID-19 Pandemic [LoC-19], n=42,924) received weekly email invitations to complete questionnaires (17-week shielding period starting April 9, 2020) within their NHS personal electronic health record. Question items focused on well-being. Participants were stratified into four groups by self-reported CEV status (qualifying condition) and adoption of shielding behavior (baselined at week 1 or 2). The distribution of CEV criteria was reported alongside situational variables and univariable and multivariable logistic regression. Longitudinal trends in physical and mental well-being were displayed graphically. Free-text responses reporting variables impacting well-being were semiquantified using natural language processing. In the lead up to a second national lockdown (October 23, 2020), a follow-up questionnaire evaluated subjective concern if further shielding was advised. RESULTS: The study included 7240 participants. In the CEV group (n=2391), 1133 (47.3%) assumed shielding behavior at baseline, compared with 633 (13.0%) in the non-CEV group (n=4849). CEV participants who shielded were more likely to be Asian (odds ratio [OR] 2.02, 95% CI 1.49-2.76), female (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.05-1.45), older (OR per year increase 1.01, 95% CI 1.00-1.02), living in a home with an outdoor space (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.06-1.70) or three to four other inhabitants (three: OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.15-1.94; four: OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.10-2.01), or solid organ transplant recipients (OR 2.85, 95% CI 2.18-3.77), or have severe chronic lung disease (OR 1.63, 95% CI 1.30-2.04). Receipt of a government letter advising shielding was reported in 1115 (46.6%) CEV participants and 180 (3.7%) non-CEV participants, and was associated with adopting shielding behavior (OR 3.34, 95% CI 2.82-3.95 and OR 2.88, 95% CI 2.04-3.99, respectively). In CEV participants, shielding at baseline was associated with a lower rating of mental well-being and physical well-being. Similar results were found for non-CEV participants. Concern for well-being if future shielding was required was most prevalent among CEV participants who had originally shielded. CONCLUSIONS: Future health policy must balance the potential protection from COVID-19 against our findings that shielding negatively impacted well-being and was adopted in many in whom it was not indicated and variably in whom it was indicated. This therefore also requires clearer public health messaging and support for well-being if shielding is to be advised in future pandemic scenarios.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Mental Health/trends , Public Health/trends , Quarantine/psychology , Adult , Female , Health Policy , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Mental Health/legislation & jurisprudence , Middle Aged , Public Health/legislation & jurisprudence , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Kingdom
2.
Mayo Clin Proc ; 96(8): 2081-2094, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1336718

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To rapidly exclude severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection using artificial intelligence applied to the electrocardiogram (ECG). METHODS: A global, volunteer consortium from 4 continents identified patients with ECGs obtained around the time of polymerase chain reaction-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and age- and sex-matched controls from the same sites. Clinical characteristics, polymerase chain reaction results, and raw electrocardiographic data were collected. A convolutional neural network was trained using 26,153 ECGs (33.2% COVID positive), validated with 3826 ECGs (33.3% positive), and tested on 7870 ECGs not included in other sets (32.7% positive). Performance under different prevalence values was tested by adding control ECGs from a single high-volume site. RESULTS: The area under the curve for detection of acute COVID-19 infection in the test group was 0.767 (95% CI, 0.756 to 0.778; sensitivity, 98%; specificity, 10%; positive predictive value, 37%; negative predictive value, 91%). To more accurately reflect a real-world population, 50,905 normal controls were added to adjust the COVID prevalence to approximately 5% (2657/58,555), resulting in an area under the curve of 0.780 (95% CI, 0.771 to 0.790) with a specificity of 12.1% and a negative predictive value of 99.2%. CONCLUSION: Infection with SARS-CoV-2 results in electrocardiographic changes that permit the artificial intelligence-enhanced ECG to be used as a rapid screening test with a high negative predictive value (99.2%). This may permit the development of electrocardiography-based tools to rapidly screen individuals for pandemic control.


Subject(s)
Artificial Intelligence , COVID-19/diagnosis , Electrocardiography , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Predictive Value of Tests , Sensitivity and Specificity
3.
BMC Endocr Disord ; 21(1): 144, 2021 Jul 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295459

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although obesity, defined by body mass index (BMI), has been associated with a higher risk of hospitalisation and more severe course of illness in Covid-19 positive patients amongst the British population, it is unclear if this translates into increased mortality. Furthermore, given that BMI is an insensitive indicator of adiposity, the effect of adipose volume on Covid-19 outcomes is also unknown. METHODS: We used the UK Biobank repository, which contains clinical and anthropometric data and is linked to Public Health England Covid-19 healthcare records, to address our research question. We performed age- and sex- adjusted logistic regression and Chi-squared test to compute the odds for Covid-19-related mortality as a consequence of increasing BMI, and other more sensitive indices of adiposity such as waist:hip ratio (WHR) and percent body fat, as well as concomitant cardiometabolic illness. RESULTS: 13,502 participants were tested for Covid-19 (mean age 70 ± 8 years, 48.9% male). 1582 tested positive (mean age 68 ± 9 years, 52.8% male), of which 305 died (mean age 75 ± 6 years, 65.5% male). Increasing adiposity was associated with higher odds for Covid-19-related mortality. For every unit increase in BMI, WHR and body fat, the odds of death amongst Covid19-positive participants increased by 1.04 (95% CI 1.01-1.07), 10.71 (95% CI 1.57-73.06) and 1.03 (95% CI 1.01-1.05), respectively (all p < 0.05). Referenced to Covid-19 positive participants with a normal weight (BMI 18.5-25 kg/m2), Covid-19 positive participants with BMI > 35 kg/m2 had significantly higher odds of Covid-19-related death (OR 1.70, 95% CI 1.06-2.74, p < 0.05). Covid-19-positive participants with metabolic (diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidaemia) or cardiovascular morbidity (atrial fibrillation, angina) also had higher odds of death. CONCLUSIONS: Anthropometric indices that are more sensitive to adipose volume and its distribution than BMI, as well as concurrent cardiometabolic illness, are associated with higher odds of Covid-19-related mortality amongst the UK Biobank cohort that tested positive for the infection. These results suggest adipose volume may contribute to adverse Covid-19-related outcomes associated with obesity.


Subject(s)
Adiposity/physiology , COVID-19/mortality , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Metabolic Syndrome/epidemiology , Obesity/epidemiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biological Specimen Banks/statistics & numerical data , Body Mass Index , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Cardiometabolic Risk Factors , Cardiovascular Diseases/complications , Cardiovascular Diseases/mortality , Cohort Studies , Databases, Factual , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/complications , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/mortality , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Male , Metabolic Syndrome/complications , Metabolic Syndrome/mortality , Middle Aged , Morbidity , Mortality , Obesity/complications , Obesity/mortality , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , United Kingdom/epidemiology
4.
JMIR Public Health and Surveillance ; 7(4), 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1209325

ABSTRACT

Background: In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK National Health Service (NHS) extended eligibility for influenza vaccination this season to approximately 32.4 million people (48.8% of the population). Knowing the intended uptake of the vaccine will inform supply and public health messaging to maximize vaccination. Objective: The objective of this study was to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the acceptance of influenza vaccination in the 2020-2021 season, specifically focusing on people who were previously eligible but routinely declined vaccination and newly eligible people. Methods: Intention to receive the influenza vaccine in 2020-2021 was asked of all registrants of the largest electronic personal health record in the NHS by a web-based questionnaire on July 31, 2020. Of those who were either newly or previously eligible but had not previously received an influenza vaccination, multivariable logistic regression and network diagrams were used to examine their reasons to undergo or decline vaccination. Results: Among 6641 respondents, 945 (14.2%) were previously eligible but were not vaccinated;of these, 536 (56.7%) intended to receive an influenza vaccination in 2020-2021, as did 466 (68.6%) of the newly eligible respondents. Intention to receive the influenza vaccine was associated with increased age, index of multiple deprivation quintile, and considering oneself to be at high risk from COVID-19. Among those who were eligible but not intending to be vaccinated in 2020-2021, 164/543 (30.2%) gave reasons based on misinformation. Of the previously unvaccinated health care workers, 47/96 (49%) stated they would decline vaccination in 2020-2021. Conclusions: In this sample, COVID-19 has increased acceptance of influenza vaccination in previously eligible but unvaccinated people and has motivated substantial uptake in newly eligible people. This study is essential for informing resource planning and the need for effective messaging campaigns to address negative misconceptions, which is also necessary for COVID-19 vaccination programs.

5.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0249201, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1170003

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: During viral pandemics, filtering facepiece (FFP) masks together with eye protection form the essential components of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. There remain concerns regarding insufficient global supply and imperfect protection offered by currently available PPE strategies. A range of full-face snorkel masks were adapted to accept high grade medical respiratory filters using bespoke-designed 3D-printed connectors. We compared the protection offered by the snorkel to that of standard PPE using a placebo-controlled respirator filtering test as well as a fluorescent droplet deposition experiment. Out of the 56 subjects tested, 42 (75%) passed filtering testing with the snorkel mask compared to 31 (55%) with a FFP3 respirator mask (p = 0.003). Amongst the 43 subjects who were not excluded following a placebo control, 85% passed filtering testing with the snorkel versus to 68% with a FFP3 mask (p = 0.008). Following front and lateral spray of fluorescence liquid particles, the snorkel mask also provided superior protection against droplet deposition within the subject's face, when compared to a standard PPE combination of FFP3 masks and eye protection (3.19x108 versus 6.81x108 fluorescence units, p<0.001). The 3D printable adaptors are available for free download online at https://www.ImperialHackspace.com/COVID-19-Snorkel-Respirator-Project/. CONCLUSION: Full-face snorkel masks adapted as particulate respirators performed better than a standard PPE combination of FFP3 mask and eye protection against aerosol inhalation and droplet deposition. This adaptation is therefore a promising PPE solution for healthcare workers during highly contagious viral outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Health Personnel , Masks , Occupational Exposure , Respiratory Protective Devices , Adult , Female , Humans , Male
6.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(4): e26734, 2021 04 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112568

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK National Health Service (NHS) extended eligibility for influenza vaccination this season to approximately 32.4 million people (48.8% of the population). Knowing the intended uptake of the vaccine will inform supply and public health messaging to maximize vaccination. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the acceptance of influenza vaccination in the 2020-2021 season, specifically focusing on people who were previously eligible but routinely declined vaccination and newly eligible people. METHODS: Intention to receive the influenza vaccine in 2020-2021 was asked of all registrants of the largest electronic personal health record in the NHS by a web-based questionnaire on July 31, 2020. Of those who were either newly or previously eligible but had not previously received an influenza vaccination, multivariable logistic regression and network diagrams were used to examine their reasons to undergo or decline vaccination. RESULTS: Among 6641 respondents, 945 (14.2%) were previously eligible but were not vaccinated; of these, 536 (56.7%) intended to receive an influenza vaccination in 2020-2021, as did 466 (68.6%) of the newly eligible respondents. Intention to receive the influenza vaccine was associated with increased age, index of multiple deprivation quintile, and considering oneself to be at high risk from COVID-19. Among those who were eligible but not intending to be vaccinated in 2020-2021, 164/543 (30.2%) gave reasons based on misinformation. Of the previously unvaccinated health care workers, 47/96 (49%) stated they would decline vaccination in 2020-2021. CONCLUSIONS: In this sample, COVID-19 has increased acceptance of influenza vaccination in previously eligible but unvaccinated people and has motivated substantial uptake in newly eligible people. This study is essential for informing resource planning and the need for effective messaging campaigns to address negative misconceptions, which is also necessary for COVID-19 vaccination programs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Pandemics , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intention , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology , State Medicine , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vaccination/psychology , Young Adult
7.
NPJ Digit Med ; 3(1): 146, 2020 Nov 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939446

ABSTRACT

Contact tracing and lockdown are health policies being used worldwide to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19). The UK National Health Service (NHS) Track and Trace Service has plans for a nationwide app that notifies the need for self-isolation to those in contact with a person testing positive for COVID-19. To be successful, such an app will require high uptake, the determinants and willingness for which are unclear but essential to understand for effective public health benefit. The objective of this study was to measure the determinants of willingness to participate in an NHS app-based contact-tracing programme using a questionnaire within the Care Information Exchange (CIE)-the largest patient-facing electronic health record in the NHS. Among 47,708 registered NHS users of the CIE, 27% completed a questionnaire asking about willingness to participate in app-based contact tracing, understanding of government advice, mental and physical wellbeing and their healthcare utilisation-related or not to COVID-19. Descriptive statistics are reported alongside univariate and multivariable logistic regression models, with positive or negative responses to a question on app-based contact tracing as the dependent variable. 26.1% of all CIE participants were included in the analysis (N = 12,434, 43.0% male, mean age 55.2). 60.3% of respondents were willing to participate in app-based contact tracing. Out of those who responded 'no', 67.2% stated that this was due to privacy concerns. In univariate analysis, worsening mood, fear and anxiety in relation to changes in government rules around lockdown were associated with lower willingness to participate. Multivariable analysis showed that difficulty understanding government rules was associated with a decreased inclination to download the app, with those scoring 1-2 and 3-4 in their understanding of the new government rules being 45% and 27% less inclined to download the contact-tracing app, respectively; when compared to those who rated their understanding as 5-6/10 (OR for 1-2/10 = 0.57 [CI 0.48-0.67]; OR for 3-4/10 = 0.744 [CI 0.64-0.87]), whereas scores of 7-8 and 9-10 showed a 43% and 31% respective increase. Those reporting an unconfirmed belief of having previously had and recovered from COVID-19 were 27% less likely to be willing to download the app; belief of previous recovery from COVID-19 infection OR 0.727 [0.585-0.908]). In this large UK-wide questionnaire of wellbeing in lockdown, a willingness for app-based contact tracing over an appropriate age range is 60%-close to the estimated 56% population uptake, and substantially less than the smartphone-user uptake considered necessary for an app-based contact tracing to be an effective intervention to help suppress an epidemic. Difficulty comprehending government advice and uncertainty of diagnosis, based on a public health policy of not testing to confirm self-reported COVID-19 infection during lockdown, therefore reduce willingness to adopt a government contact-tracing app to a level below the threshold for effectiveness as a tool to suppress an epidemic.

8.
Sensors (Basel) ; 20(17)2020 Aug 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-740500

ABSTRACT

The non-invasive estimation of blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) by pulse oximetry is of vital importance clinically, from the detection of sleep apnea to the recent ambulatory monitoring of hypoxemia in the delayed post-infective phase of COVID-19. In this proof of concept study, we set out to establish the feasibility of SpO2 measurement from the ear canal as a convenient site for long term monitoring, and perform a comprehensive comparison with the right index finger-the conventional clinical measurement site. During resting blood oxygen saturation estimation, we found a root mean square difference of 1.47% between the two measurement sites, with a mean difference of 0.23% higher SpO2 in the right ear canal. Using breath holds, we observe the known phenomena of time delay between central circulation and peripheral circulation with a mean delay between the ear and finger of 12.4 s across all subjects. Furthermore, we document the lower photoplethysmogram amplitude from the ear canal and suggest ways to mitigate this issue. In conjunction with the well-known robustness to temperature induced vasoconstriction, this makes conclusive evidence for in-ear SpO2 monitoring being both convenient and superior to conventional finger measurement for continuous non-intrusive monitoring in both clinical and everyday-life settings.


Subject(s)
Ear Canal , Hypoxia/diagnosis , Monitoring, Physiologic/instrumentation , Oximetry/instrumentation , Photoplethysmography/instrumentation , Wearable Electronic Devices , Adult , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Equivalence Trials as Topic , Feasibility Studies , Female , Fingers , Humans , Hypoxia/blood , Male , Monitoring, Physiologic/methods , Oximetry/methods , Oxygen/analysis , Oxygen/blood , Pandemics , Photoplethysmography/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
9.
Lancet Digit Health ; 2(8): e391-e392, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-692967
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