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1.
Frontiers in public health ; 10, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1864170

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) delta variant has been hypothesized to decrease the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. Factors associated with infections with SARS-CoV-2 after vaccination are unknown. In this observational cohort study, we examined two groups in Harris County, Texas: (1) individuals with positive Nucleic Acid Amplification test between 12/14/2020 and 9/30/2021 and (2) the subset of individuals fully vaccinated in the same time period. Infected individuals were classified as a breakthrough if their infection occurred 14 days after their vaccination had been completed. Among fully vaccinated individuals, demographic and vaccine factors associated with breakthrough infections were assessed. Of 146,731 positive SARS-CoV-2 tests, 7.5% were breakthrough infections. Correlates of breakthrough infection included young adult age, female, White race, and receiving the Janssen vaccine, after adjustments including the amount of community spread at the time of infection. Vaccines remained effective in decreasing the probability of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. The data indicate that increased vaccine booster uptake would help decrease new infections.

2.
Prev Chronic Dis ; 19: E27, 2022 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1865634

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: US school systems underwent major upheaval, including closures, implementation of virtual and/or hybrid learning, and stringent infection mitigation protocols, during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to examine the association between food insecurity and perceived health, perceived stress, and social determinants of health concerns among elementary schoolteachers serving predominantly low-income children during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Brighter Bites, a nonprofit organization that weekly distributes fresh fruits and vegetables and nutrition education materials to more than 300 schools serving racial and ethnic minority populations with low income, conducts annual surveys of participating teachers to help determine subsequent efforts to support schools and families during the school year. We analyzed self-reported data collected electronically by the Brighter Bites teachers survey in 76 elementary schools during summer 2020. We used generalized linear mixed models to measure the association between food insecurity and health-related concerns. RESULTS: Of 862 teachers who responded to the survey, 685 answered the 2 questions about food insecurity status; of these, 199 (29.1%) reported experiencing food insecurity. Food insecurity was positively associated with poor perceived general health, greater perceived stress, concerns about various social determinants of health, and changes in fruit and vegetable consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrated the high prevalence of food insecurity and highlights its associated factors among elementary schoolteachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. It calls attention to the high correlation of various concerns among elementary schoolteachers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further intervention and policy efforts are needed to relieve food insecurity-related concerns and enhance well-being among teachers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Food Insecurity , Food Supply , Humans , Minority Groups , Pandemics , Vegetables
3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(4)2022 Apr 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1786090

ABSTRACT

Equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine remains a public health priority. This study explores the association between ZIP Code-Tabulation Area level Social Vulnerability Indices (SVI) and COVID-19 vaccine coverage in Texas. A mixed-effects, multivariable, random-intercept negative binomial model was used to explore the association between ZIP Code-Tabulation Area level SVI and COVID-19 vaccination coverage stratified by the availability of a designated vaccine access site. Lower COVID-19 vaccine coverage was observed in ZIP codes with the highest overall SVIs (adjusted mean difference (aMD) = -13, 95% CI, -23.8 to -2.1, p < 0.01), socioeconomic characteristics theme (aMD = -16.6, 95% CI, -27.3 to -5.7, p = 0.01) and housing and transportation theme (aMD = -18.3, 95% CI, -29.6 to -7.1, p < 0.01) compared with the ZIP codes with the lowest SVI scores. The vaccine coverage was lower in ZIP Code-Tabulation Areas with higher median percentages of Hispanics (aMD = -3.3, 95% CI, -6.5 to -0.1, p = 0.04) and Blacks (aMD = -3.7, 95% CI, -6.4 to -1, p = 0.01). SVI negatively impacted COVID-19 vaccine coverage in Texas. Access to vaccine sites did not address disparities related to vaccine coverage among minority populations. These findings are relevant to guide the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in regions with similar demographic and geospatial characteristics.

4.
Workplace Health Saf ; 70(4): 180-187, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785130

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Teaching is a stressful occupation due to high-stake job demands and limited resources, which were exacerbated during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study assessed the prevalence of perceived stress and explored its predictors among elementary school teachers employed at schools serving predominantly low-income populations in five cities in the United States. METHOD: Our study analyzed the data among selected schools that were collected through the Brighter Bites teacher survey which comprised items measuring sociodemographic characteristics, perceived stress, perceived general health, food insecurity, and concerns regarding social determinants of health needs. The predictors of perceived stress were examined using generalized linear mixed models (GLMMs) with schools as the random variable. FINDINGS: A total of 685 teachers were included in the analysis (84.9% female, 38.1% Hispanic, 57.6% <5 years of teaching experience). Most (85.4%) of the teachers stated they were stressed "sometimes"/"often." Results from adjusted GLMM showed that teachers who were food insecure (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 2.33, confidence interval [CI]: [1.63, 3.35]), those who had concerns regarding financial stability (2.68 [1.91, 3.75]), food availability (1.69 [1.15, 2.48]), food affordability (2.27 [1.57, 3.28]), availability/affordability of housing (2.21 [1.33, 3.67]), access to childcare (1.76 [1.06, 2.92]), and access to a clinic/doctor (1.60 [1.10, 2.33]) were at significantly greater odds of reporting perceived stress. CONCLUSION/APPLICATION FOR PRACTICE: Our study demonstrates the heightened impact of COVID-19 on the mental well-being of teachers across a wide range of social needs. Stress management and additional social service programs are suggested to support teachers to mitigate pandemic impact.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , School Teachers , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology
5.
Nutrients ; 13(12)2021 Dec 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622630

ABSTRACT

Culinary medicine is an evidence-based approach that blends the art of cooking with the science of medicine to inculcate a healthy dietary pattern. Food prescription programs are gaining popularity in the Unites States, as a means to improve access to healthy foods among patient populations. The purpose of this paper is to describe the implementation and preliminary impact of A Prescription for Healthy Living (APHL) culinary medicine curriculum on biometric and diet-related behavioral and psychosocial outcomes among patients with diabetes participating in a clinic-led food prescription (food Rx) program. We used a quasi-experimental design to assess APHL program impact on patient biometric outcome data obtained from electronic health records, including glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), body mass index (BMI), and blood pressure (n = 33 patients in the APHL group, n = 75 patients in the food Rx-only group). Pre-post surveys were administered among those in the APHL group to monitor program impact on psychosocial and behavioral outcomes. Results of the outcome analysis showed significant pre-to-post reduction in HbA1c levels among participants within the APHL group (estimated mean difference = -0.96% (-1.82, -0.10), p = 0.028). Between-group changes showed a greater decrease in HbA1c among those participating in APHL as compared to food Rx-only, albeit these differences were not statistically significant. Participation in APHL demonstrated significant increases in the consumption of fruits and vegetables, fewer participants reported that cooking healthy food is difficult, increased frequency of cooking from scratch, and increased self-efficacy in meal planning and cooking (p < 0.01). In conclusion, the results of our pilot study suggest the potential positive impact of a virtually-implemented culinary medicine approach in improving health outcomes among low-income patients with type 2 diabetes, albeit studies with a larger sample size and a rigorous study design are needed.


Subject(s)
Curriculum , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/diet therapy , Feeding Behavior , Nutritional Sciences , Biometry , COVID-19 , Cooking/methods , Diet Therapy , Diet, Healthy , Health Education , Humans , Pilot Projects , Psychiatric Rehabilitation , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Gut ; 70(11): 2096-2104, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398714

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Poor metabolic health and unhealthy lifestyle factors have been associated with risk and severity of COVID-19, but data for diet are lacking. We aimed to investigate the association of diet quality with risk and severity of COVID-19 and its interaction with socioeconomic deprivation. DESIGN: We used data from 592 571 participants of the smartphone-based COVID-19 Symptom Study. Diet information was collected for the prepandemic period using a short food frequency questionnaire, and diet quality was assessed using a healthful Plant-Based Diet Score, which emphasises healthy plant foods such as fruits or vegetables. Multivariable Cox models were fitted to calculate HRs and 95% CIs for COVID-19 risk and severity defined using a validated symptom-based algorithm or hospitalisation with oxygen support, respectively. RESULTS: Over 3 886 274 person-months of follow-up, 31 815 COVID-19 cases were documented. Compared with individuals in the lowest quartile of the diet score, high diet quality was associated with lower risk of COVID-19 (HR 0.91; 95% CI 0.88 to 0.94) and severe COVID-19 (HR 0.59; 95% CI 0.47 to 0.74). The joint association of low diet quality and increased deprivation on COVID-19 risk was higher than the sum of the risk associated with each factor alone (Pinteraction=0.005). The corresponding absolute excess rate per 10 000 person/months for lowest vs highest quartile of diet score was 22.5 (95% CI 18.8 to 26.3) among persons living in areas with low deprivation and 40.8 (95% CI 31.7 to 49.8) among persons living in areas with high deprivation. CONCLUSIONS: A diet characterised by healthy plant-based foods was associated with lower risk and severity of COVID-19. This association may be particularly evident among individuals living in areas with higher socioeconomic deprivation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Diet/adverse effects , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Diet Surveys , Diet, Healthy , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
7.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(17)2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390611

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this communication is to describe the Brighter Bites produce voucher program, and its implementation and utilization across Brighter Bites families in four cities in the U.S., during the COVID-19 pandemic. The voucher program was implemented over nine weeks starting April 2020, with up to four USD 25 store-specific produce coupons sent bi-weekly to the homes of each participating Brighter Bites family (USD 100 total/family). Measures included type of produce purchased, amount of voucher that was used, number of vouchers distributed and redeemed by families, and a post-program participant satisfaction survey. Descriptive statistics, including count, frequency, and percent, were computed, both overall and stratified by city. During this time, Brighter Bites distributed a total of over 43,982 vouchers to 12,482 low-income families, with a redemption rate of 60% (at least one voucher redeemed) across all cities. During times of crisis, non-profit-for-profit partnerships, such as the one between Brighter Bites and the grocery retail industry, are feasible, and successful in providing produce to families in need.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Food Insecurity , Fruit , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vegetables
8.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0247235, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256018

ABSTRACT

Understanding sociodemographic, behavioral, clinical, and laboratory risk factors in patients diagnosed with COVID-19 is critically important, and requires building large and diverse COVID-19 cohorts with both retrospective information and prospective follow-up. A large Health Information Exchange (HIE) in Southeast Texas, which assembles and shares electronic health information among providers to facilitate patient care, was leveraged to identify COVID-19 patients, create a cohort, and identify risk factors for both favorable and unfavorable outcomes. The initial sample consists of 8,874 COVID-19 patients ascertained from the pandemic's onset to June 12th, 2020 and was created for the analyses shown here. We gathered demographic, lifestyle, laboratory, and clinical data from patient's encounters across the healthcare system. Tobacco use history was examined as a potential risk factor for COVID-19 fatality along with age, gender, race/ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), and number of comorbidities. Of the 8,874 patients included in the cohort, 475 died from COVID-19. Of the 5,356 patients who had information on history of tobacco use, over 26% were current or former tobacco users. Multivariable logistic regression showed that the odds of COVID-19 fatality increased among those who were older (odds ratio = 1.07, 95% CI 1.06, 1.08), male (1.91, 95% CI 1.58, 2.31), and had a history of tobacco use (2.45, 95% CI 1.93, 3.11). History of tobacco use remained significantly associated (1.65, 95% CI 1.27, 2.13) with COVID-19 fatality after adjusting for age, gender, and race/ethnicity. This effort demonstrates the impact of having an HIE to rapidly identify a cohort, aggregate sociodemographic, behavioral, clinical and laboratory data across disparate healthcare providers electronic health record (HER) systems, and follow the cohort over time. These HIE capabilities enable clinical specialists and epidemiologists to conduct outcomes analyses during the current COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Tobacco use appears to be an important risk factor for COVID-19 related death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Health Information Exchange/statistics & numerical data , Health Information Exchange/trends , Age Factors , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Healthcare Disparities , Hospitalization , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sex Factors , Smoking , Texas
9.
Workplace Health Saf ; 69(4): 154-160, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159537

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Planning occupational health and wellness services and support directed toward low-wage, essential workers in the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a number of challenges across work settings. This article explores the concerns and needs of low-wage essential workers as understood by experts in the field. METHODS: Leading experts in the areas of occupational health and safety, risk management, insurance, and professional education/training were identified and invited to participate in a Round Table discussion. Questions posed to experts were based on literature that addressed COVID-19, essential workers, low-wage workers, infection transmission, education/training, and social justice. FINDINGS: Experts agreed that special considerations must be in place to address the concerns and needs of the low-wage essential worker. These special considerations should address not only the worker's occupational experience but their family and home environment, fears and anxieties, and the economic impact of the COVID-19 restrictions and requirements. CONCLUSION/APPLICATION TO PRACTICE: The occupational health professional is a key resource to employers charged with addressing the concerns and needs of low-wage, essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Income/statistics & numerical data , Occupational Exposure/adverse effects , Workforce/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Occupational Exposure/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data
10.
J Nutr Educ Behav ; 53(1): 75-78, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059744

ABSTRACT

Brighter Bites is a school-based health promotion program that delivers fresh produce and nutrition education to low-income children and their families across 6 locations in the US. This article provides a perspective on how, despite coronavirus disease 2019-related school closures, Brighter Bites pivoted rapidly to collaborate with medical and public health institutions to improve health and food literacy among their families. Through these partnerships, Brighter Bites was able to rapidly provide accurate, evidence-based information related to coronavirus disease 2019 and other social needs, including food, housing, transportation, and access to health care, to help fill a needed gap in vulnerable communities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Food Assistance , Health Education/methods , Health Literacy/methods , Health Promotion/methods , School Health Services , Community Participation/methods , Fruit , Humans , Poverty , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , Vegetables
11.
PLoS One ; 15(10): e0240009, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-810223

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Brighter Bites is a school-based health promotion program that delivers fresh produce and nutrition education to low-income children and families. Due to COVID-19-related school closures, states were under "shelter in place" orders, and Brighter Bites administered a rapid assessment survey to identify social needs among their families. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the methodology used to identify those with greatest social needs during this time ("high risk"), and to describe the response of Brighter Bites to these "high risk" families. METHODS: The rapid assessment survey was collected in April 2020 across Houston, Dallas, Washington DC, and Southwest Florida. The survey consisted of items on disruption of employment status, financial hardship, food insecurity, perceived health status and sociodemographics. The open-ended question "Please share your greatest concern at this time, or any other thoughts you would like to share with us." was asked at the end of each survey to triage "high risk" families. Responses were then used to articulate a response to meet the needs of these high risk families. RESULTS: A total of 1048 families completed the COVID-19 rapid response survey, of which 71 families were triaged and classified as "high risk" (6.8% of survey respondents). During this time, 100% of the "high risk" participants reported being food insecure, 85% were concerned about their financial stability, 82% concerned about the availability of food, and 65% concerned about the affordability of food. A qualitative analysis of the high-risk group revealed four major themes: fear of contracting COVID19, disruption of employment status, financial hardship, and exacerbated food insecurity. In response, Brighter Bites pivoted, created, and deployed a framework to immediately address a variety of social needs among those in the "high risk" category. Administering a rapid response survey to identify the immediate needs of their families can help social service providers tailor their services to meet the needs of the most vulnerable.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Family Characteristics , Needs Assessment , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Poverty , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , District of Columbia , Employment , Florida , Food/economics , Food Supply , Health Promotion , Humans , Income , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Work , Surveys and Questionnaires , Texas
12.
Prev Chronic Dis ; 17: E119, 2020 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-809751

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Little is known about the social needs of low-income households with children during the coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Our objective was to conduct a cross-sectional quantitative and qualitative descriptive analysis of a rapid-response survey among low-income households with children on social needs, COVID-19-related concerns, and diet-related behaviors. METHODS: We distributed an electronic survey in April 2020 to 16,435 families in 4 geographic areas, and 1,048 responded. The survey asked families enrolled in a coordinated school-based nutrition program about their social needs, COVID-19-related concerns, food insecurity, and diet-related behaviors during the pandemic. An open-ended question asked about their greatest concern. We calculated descriptive statistics stratified by location and race/ethnicity. We used thematic analysis and an inductive approach to examine the open-ended comments. RESULTS: More than 80% of survey respondents were familiar with COVID-19 and were concerned about infection. Overall, 76.3% reported concerns about financial stability, 42.5% about employment, 69.4% about food availability, 31.0% about housing stability, and 35.9% about health care access. Overall, 93.5% of respondents reported being food insecure, a 22-percentage-point increase since fall 2019. Also, 41.4% reported a decrease in fruit and vegetable intake because of COVID-19. Frequency of grocery shopping decreased and food pantry usage increased. Qualitative assessment identified 4 main themes: 1) fear of contracting COVID-19, 2) disruption of employment status, 3) financial hardship, and 4) exacerbated food insecurity. CONCLUSION: Our study highlights the compounding effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on households with children across the spectrum of social needs.


Subject(s)
Economics/statistics & numerical data , Food Supply , Needs Assessment , Poverty , Social Determinants of Health , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Child , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Diet Surveys , Employment/statistics & numerical data , Family Characteristics , Female , Food Supply/methods , Food Supply/standards , Humans , Male , Pandemics/economics , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Poverty/economics , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , School Health Services/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology
13.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev ; 29(7): 1283-1289, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-219604

ABSTRACT

The rapid pace of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19) pandemic presents challenges to the real-time collection of population-scale data to inform near-term public health needs as well as future investigations. We established the COronavirus Pandemic Epidemiology (COPE) consortium to address this unprecedented crisis on behalf of the epidemiology research community. As a central component of this initiative, we have developed a COVID Symptom Study (previously known as the COVID Symptom Tracker) mobile application as a common data collection tool for epidemiologic cohort studies with active study participants. This mobile application collects information on risk factors, daily symptoms, and outcomes through a user-friendly interface that minimizes participant burden. Combined with our efforts within the general population, data collected from nearly 3 million participants in the United States and United Kingdom are being used to address critical needs in the emergency response, including identifying potential hot spots of disease and clinically actionable risk factors. The linkage of symptom data collected in the app with information and biospecimens already collected in epidemiology cohorts will position us to address key questions related to diet, lifestyle, environmental, and socioeconomic factors on susceptibility to COVID-19, clinical outcomes related to infection, and long-term physical, mental health, and financial sequalae. We call upon additional epidemiology cohorts to join this collective effort to strengthen our impact on the current health crisis and generate a new model for a collaborative and nimble research infrastructure that will lead to more rapid translation of our work for the betterment of public health.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Data Collection/methods , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Software , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Models, Biological , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Smartphone , United Kingdom/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology
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