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1.
Aust Health Rev ; 47(3): 362-368, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237810

ABSTRACT

Objectives To project the prevalence of people receiving dialysis in Australia for 2021-30 to inform service planning and health policy. Methods Estimates were based on data from 2011 to 2020 from the Australia & New Zealand Dialysis & Transplant (ANZDATA) Registry and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. We projected dialysis and functioning kidney transplant recipient populations for the years 2021-30. Discrete-time, non-homogenous Markov models were built on probabilities for transition between three mutually exclusive states (Dialysis, Functioning Transplant, Death), for five age groups. Two scenarios were employed - stable transplant rate vs a continued increase - to assess the impact of these scenarios on the projected prevalences. Results Models projected a 22.5-30.4% growth in the dialysis population from 14 554 in 2020 to 17 829 ('transplant growth') - 18 973 ('transplant stable') by 2030. An additional 4983-6484 kidney transplant recipients were also projected by 2030. Dialysis incidence per population increased and dialysis prevalence growth exceeded population ageing in 40-59 and 60-69 year age groups. The greatest dialysis prevalence growth was seen among those aged ≥70 years. Conclusion Modelling of the future prevalence of dialysis use highlights the increasing demand on services expected overall and especially by people aged ≥70 years. Appropriate funding and healthcare planning must meet this demand.


Subject(s)
Kidney Failure, Chronic , Kidney Transplantation , Humans , Australia/epidemiology , Kidney Failure, Chronic/epidemiology , Kidney Failure, Chronic/therapy , New Zealand/epidemiology , Prevalence , Registries , Renal Dialysis
2.
3.
Nutrients ; 15(11)2023 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234576

ABSTRACT

University students have been identified as a population sub-group vulnerable to food insecurity. This vulnerability increased in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aimed to assess factors associated with food insecurity among university students and the differences between students with and without children. A cross-sectional survey of (n = 213) students attending one university in Western Australia measured food insecurity, psychological distress, and socio-demographic characteristics. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify factors associated with food insecurity. Forty-eight percent of students who responded to the survey had experienced food insecurity in 2020. International students who were studying in Australia were nine times more likely to experience food insecurity than domestic students (AOR = 9.13; 95% CI = 2.32-35.97). International students with children were more likely to experience food insecurity than international students without children (p < 0.001) and domestic students with (p < 0.001) or without children (p < 0.001). For each unit increase in depression level, the likelihood of experiencing food insecurity increased (AOR = 1.62; 95% CI = 1.12-2.33). Findings show a higher prevalence of food insecurity among international university students and students with children during the COVID-19 pandemic and that food insecurity was associated with higher levels of psychological distress. These findings highlight the need for targeted interventions to mitigate the risk of food insecurity among Australian university students, particularly among international students, students with children, and those experiencing psychological distress.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Psychological Distress , Child , Humans , Cross-Sectional Studies , Socioeconomic Factors , COVID-19/epidemiology , Western Australia/epidemiology , Universities , Pandemics , Food Supply , Australia/epidemiology , Students/psychology , Food Insecurity
4.
Commun Dis Intell (2018) ; 472023 06 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234433
5.
Clin Toxicol (Phila) ; 61(6): 470-472, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234135

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease COVID-19 rapid antigen tests are a useful tool in detecting infection, and their use has increased in many countries since they became commercially available in late 2021. Some rapid antigen tests contain sodium azide, which can be toxic in small doses. This study aimed to describe the clinical characteristics of exposures to COVID-19 rapid antigen tests. METHODS: This is a prospective study conducted by the New South Wales Poisons Information Centre. From 22 January 2022 to 31 August 2022, rapid antigen test exposures were followed up to obtain outcome information. Data collected included: brand/ingredients, exposure route, demographics, symptoms, and disposition. RESULTS: We recorded 218 exposures in the seven-month study period. Complete follow-up information was available in 75% (n = 164). There were 53 exposures to sodium azide-containing products (35 with follow-up data) and 165 to non-sodium azide-containing products and unknown ingredient exposures (129 with follow-up data). Overall, unintentional exposures predominated (n = 182), and 151 were ingestions. The vast majority (>90%) did not develop symptoms, and all symptoms that developed were mild. Most cases (95%, n = 208) did not require referral to a healthcare facility. CONCLUSIONS: In this prospective series, few patients developed symptoms, regardless of the sodium azide content, likely due to low concentration and low volume within the test kits. However, ongoing toxicovigilance is warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Poisons , Humans , Prospective Studies , Australia/epidemiology , Azides , Poison Control Centers , Sodium Azide
6.
Sci Total Environ ; 893: 164846, 2023 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234062

ABSTRACT

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on alcohol consumption in Australia remains unclear. High-resolution daily samples from a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) which served one of the largest cities in Australia, Melbourne, were analysed for temporal trends in alcohol consumption under extended periods of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020. Melbourne experienced two major lockdowns in 2020, which divided the year of 2020 into five periods (pre-lockdown, first lockdown, between lockdown, second lockdown and post second-lockdown). In this study, daily sampling identified shifts in alcohol consumption during different periods of restrictions. Alcohol consumption in the first lockdown period, when bars closed and social and sports events ceased, was lower than pre-lockdown period. However, alcohol consumption was higher in the second lockdown period than the previous lockdown period. There were spikes in alcohol consumption at the start and end of each lockdown (except for post lockdown). For most of 2020, the usual weekday-weekend variations in alcohol consumption were less evident but there was a significant difference in alcohol consumption between weekdays and weekends after the second lockdown. This suggests that drinking patterns eventually returned to normal after the end of the second lockdown. This study demonstrates the usefulness of high-resolution wastewater sampling in evaluating the effects on alcohol consumption of social interventions in specific temporal locations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Wastewater , Humans , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Australia/epidemiology
7.
Nat Immunol ; 24(6): 966-978, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20245297

ABSTRACT

High-risk groups, including Indigenous people, are at risk of severe COVID-19. Here we found that Australian First Nations peoples elicit effective immune responses to COVID-19 BNT162b2 vaccination, including neutralizing antibodies, receptor-binding domain (RBD) antibodies, SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific B cells, and CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. In First Nations participants, RBD IgG antibody titers were correlated with body mass index and negatively correlated with age. Reduced RBD antibodies, spike-specific B cells and follicular helper T cells were found in vaccinated participants with chronic conditions (diabetes, renal disease) and were strongly associated with altered glycosylation of IgG and increased interleukin-18 levels in the plasma. These immune perturbations were also found in non-Indigenous people with comorbidities, indicating that they were related to comorbidities rather than ethnicity. However, our study is of a great importance to First Nations peoples who have disproportionate rates of chronic comorbidities and provides evidence of robust immune responses after COVID-19 vaccination in Indigenous people.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Humans , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Australia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Immunoglobulin G , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Immunity , Antibodies, Viral , Vaccination
8.
PLoS One ; 18(6): e0286528, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244334

ABSTRACT

While spillover across equity markets has been extensively investigated, volatility spillover across sectors has largely been under-examined in the current literature. This paper estimates the sectoral volatility using the ARMA-GARCH model and its spillover across Australian sectors on the VAR framework during the 2010-2021 period. We then identify breakpoints in market volatility during the Covid-19 pandemic using a wavelet methodology. We find that volatility spillover across Australian sectors is very significant at 60 per cent from 2010 to 2019, reaching 90 per cent during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The spillover then reverts to its pre-pandemic level in 2021. Consumer Staples and Industrials are the significant risk transmitters, whereas Financials and Real estates are the most significant risk absorbers. Our findings also indicate that Real Estate, Health Care, and Financials record the most significant increase in volatility of more than 300 per cent. Policy implications regarding risk management across Australian sectors have emerged, particularly during extreme events such as the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Health Facilities , Industry
9.
Drug Alcohol Rev ; 42(5): 1041-1053, 2023 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243332

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Initial COVID-19 restrictions forced changes in the contexts (e.g., with who and where) within which individuals consumed alcohol. We aimed to explore different profiles of drinking contexts during initial COVID-19 restrictions and their association with alcohol consumption. METHOD: We used latent class analysis (LCA) to explore subgroups of drinking contexts among 4891 respondents of the Global Drug Survey from the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia who reported drinking alcohol in the month prior to data collection (3 May-21 June 2020). Ten binary LCA indicator variables were generated from a survey question about last month alcohol settings. Negative binomial regression was used to explore the association between the latent classes and respondents' total number of drinks consumed in the last 30 days (i.e., alcohol consumption). RESULTS: The LCA found six distinct classes of individuals who reported drinking in the following contexts: household (36.0%); alone (32.3%); alone and household (17.9%); gatherings and household (9.5%); party (3.2%); and everywhere (1.1%), with the last group associated with the highest probability of increased alcohol consumption during this time. Male respondents and those aged 35 or older were most likely to report increased alcohol consumption. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that drinking contexts, sex and age influenced alcohol consumption during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings highlight a need for improved policy targeting risky drinking in home settings. Further research should explore whether COVID-19-induced shifts in alcohol use persist as restrictions are lifted.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking , COVID-19 , Humans , Male , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Latent Class Analysis , New Zealand/epidemiology , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires , Australia/epidemiology , Ethanol
10.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 23(1): 429, 2023 Jun 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239634

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As a COVID-19 risk mitigation measure, Australia closed its international borders for two years with significant socioeconomic disruption including impacting approximately 30% of the Australian population who are migrants. Migrant populations during the peripartum often rely on overseas relatives visiting for social support. High quality social support is known to lead to improved health outcomes with disruption to support a recognised health risk. AIM: To explore women's experience of peripartum social support during the COVID-19 pandemic in a high migrant population. To quantify type and frequency of support to identify characteristics of vulnerable perinatal populations for future pandemic preparedness. METHODS: A mixed methods study with semi-structured interviews and a quantitative survey was conducted from October 2020 to April 2021. A thematic approach was used for analysis. RESULTS: There were 24 participants interviewed both antenatally and postnatally (22 antenatal; 18 postnatal). Fourteen women were migrants and 10 Australian born. Main themes included; 'Significant disruption and loss of peripartum support during the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing impact for migrant women'; 'Husbands/partners filling the support gap' and 'Holding on by a virtual thread'. Half of the participants felt unsupported antenatally. For Australian born women, this dissipated postnatally, but migrants continued to feel unsupported. Migrant women discussed partners stepped into traditional roles and duties of absent mothers and mothers-in-law who were only available virtually. CONCLUSION: This study identified disrupted social support for migrant women during the pandemic, providing further evidence that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted migrant populations. However, the benefits identified in this study included high use of virtual support, which could be leveraged for improving clinical care in the present and in future pandemics. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted most women's peripartum social support with migrant families having ongoing disruption. Gains in the pandemic included greater gender equity for domestic work as husbands/partners increased their contribution to domestic work and childcare.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transients and Migrants , Female , Pregnancy , Humans , Pandemics , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Mothers
11.
Nutrients ; 15(11)2023 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239545

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have higher weight gain and psychological distress compared to those without PCOS. While COVID-19 restrictions led to population level adverse changes in lifestyle, weight gain and psychological distress, their impact on people with PCOS is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact the 2020 COVID-19 restrictions had on weight, physical activity, diet and psychological distress for Australians with PCOS. METHODS: Australian reproductive-aged women participated in an online survey with assessment of weight, physical activity, diet and psychological distress. Multivariable logistic and linear regression were used to examine associations between PCOS and residential location with health outcomes. RESULTS: On adjusted analysis, those with PCOS gained more weight (2.9%; 95% CI; 0.027-3.020; p = 0.046), were less likely to meet physical activity recommendations (OR 0.50; 95% CI; 0.32-0.79; p = 0.003) and had higher sugar-sweetened beverage intake (OR 1.74; 95% CI 1.10-2.75; p = 0.019) but no differences in psychological distress compared to women without PCOS. CONCLUSIONS: People with PCOS were more adversely affected by COVID-19 restrictions, which may worsen their clinical features and disease burden. Additional health care support may be necessary to assist people with PCOS to meet dietary and physical activity recommendations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Polycystic Ovary Syndrome , Psychological Distress , Sedentary Behavior , Humans , Female , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Weight Gain , Exercise , Polycystic Ovary Syndrome/epidemiology , Polycystic Ovary Syndrome/psychology , Diet , Australia/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Surveys and Questionnaires , Pandemics
12.
PLoS One ; 18(6): e0286733, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232611

ABSTRACT

The current study investigated the association between psychological factors and financial behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic in older people. Older people were chosen compared to other age groups because of the relatively greater impact in this age group of suboptimal financial decisions on future financial wellbeing. We hypothesised that the psychological factors facilitating general wellbeing during the COVID-I9 pandemic, i.e., positive mental wellbeing, hope, and positive coping, will have positive effects on financial behaviour. Based on telephone interviews, 1501 older Australians (Men = 750 and Women = 751; 55-64y = 630; > 65y = 871) completed an omnibus questionnaire examining coping, hope, mental wellbeing, and financial behaviour. Data was analysed using logistic regression and an ordinary and two-stage least square frameworks. Analyses revealed that the psychological factors identified as facilitating general wellbeing during the COVID-I9 pandemic also facilitated positive financial behaviour with hope and mental wellbeing emerging as significant determinants. Based on weightings from principal component analysis, one item each from the hope and mental wellbeing scale with eigenvalues > 1 were found to be robust predictors of positive financial behaviours. In conclusion, the findings support the assumption that the psychological factors associated with general wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic are also associated with positive financial behaviour. They further raise the possibility that single hope and positive mental well-being items can also be used to monitor psychological health and predict financial behaviour in older people and, in particular, at times of crisis. The latter may be useful measures for government to monitor psychological and financial wellbeing and inform policy for supporting older people at times of crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Adaptation, Psychological , Australia/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Middle Aged
13.
Commun Dis Intell (2018) ; 472023 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232443
14.
Commun Dis Intell (2018) ; 472023 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2328001

ABSTRACT

Background: Childcare centres can be high-risk settings for SARS-CoV-2 transmission due to age, vaccination status, and infection control challenges. We describe the epidemiology and clinical characteristics of a childcare SARS-CoV-2 Delta outbreak. When the outbreak occurred, little was known about the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 ancestral and Delta strains among children. Vaccinations for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were not mandatory for childcare staff, and children (< 12 years) were ineligible. Methods: A retrospective cohort design of childcare attendees was used to investigate age-cohorts exposure and transmission of SARS-CoV-2. We defined a case as a person who tested positive to SARS-CoV-2; we defined a close contact as a person who attended the childcare during 16-20 August 2021. Childcare centre exposures were defined by three cohorts: younger children (0-< 2.5 years) with designated staff; older children (2.5-5 years) with designated staff; and a staff-only group that moved between both age cohorts. We calculated the number and proportion of SARS-CoV-2 Delta infections, symptom profile and severity in children and adults, secondary attack rates, and relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to compare age-cohort exposures and SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results: There were 38 outbreak cases that tested positive to SARS-CoV-2 Delta infection, comprising one primary case, 11 childcare attendees and 26 household members. Child attendees were in two non-interacting groups, 0-< 2.5 years and 2.5-5 years, with designated staff, separate rooms, and independent ventilation. The greatest risk of infection to childcare attendees was in the < 2.5 years age cohort which had a secondary attack rate of 41% and were five times more likely to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 (RR = 5.73; 95% CI: 1.37-23.86; p ≤ 0.01). No identified transmission (n = 0/21) occurred in the ≥ 2.5 years age cohort. Conclusion: Young children play an important role in SARS-CoV-2 Delta transmission to their peers and staff in childcare settings and to household members. Cohorting may be effective at limiting the propagation of SARS-CoV-2 in childcare settings. These findings highlight a need for multi-layered mitigation strategies and implementation support to manage respiratory infection control challenges at childcares. If prevention measures are not in place, this may facilitate ongoing transmission in these settings and into the broader community.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Child , Humans , Adolescent , Child, Preschool , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Retrospective Studies , Child Care , Australia/epidemiology
15.
BMJ Open ; 13(5): e071003, 2023 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2327081

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an increase in rapidly disseminated scientific evidence and highlighted that traditional evidence synthesis methods, such as time and resource intensive systematic reviews, may not be successful in responding to rapidly evolving policy and practice needs. In New South Wales (NSW) Australia, the Critical Intelligence Unit (CIU) was established early in the pandemic and acted as an intermediary organisation. It brought together clinical, analytical, research, organisational and policy experts to provide timely and considered advice to decision-makers. This paper provides an overview of the functions, challenges and future implications of the CIU, particularly the Evidence Integration Team. Outputs from the Evidence Integration Team included a daily evidence digest, rapid evidence checks and living evidence tables. These products have been widely disseminated and used to inform policy decisions in NSW, making valuable impacts. Changes and innovations to evidence generation, synthesis and dissemination in response to the COVID-19 pandemic provide an opportunity to shift the way evidence is used in future. The experience and methods of the CIU have potential to be adapted and applied to the broader health system nationally and internationally.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , New South Wales/epidemiology , Australia/epidemiology , Intelligence
18.
J Affect Disord ; 335: 473-483, 2023 08 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316485

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There has been widespread interest in the implications of COVID-19 containment measures on the mental health of parents. Most of this research has focused on risk. Much less is known about resilience; yet such studies are key to protecting populations during major crises. Here we map precursors of resilience using life course data spanning three decades. METHODS: The Australian Temperament Project commenced in 1983 and now follows three generations. Parents (N = 574, 59 % mothers) raising young children completed a COVID-19 specific module in the early (May-September 2020) and/or later (October-December, 2021) phases of the pandemic. Decades prior, parents had been assessed across a broad range of individual, relational and contextual risk and promotive factors during childhood (7-8 years to 11-12 years), adolescence (13-14 years to 17-18 years) and young adulthood (19-20 years to 27-28 years). Regressions examined the extent to which these factors predicted mental health resilience, operationalised as lower than expected anxiety and depressive symptoms during the pandemic relative to pre-pandemic symptoms. RESULTS: Parent mental health resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic was consistently predicted by several factors assessed decades before the pandemic. These included lower ratings of internalizing difficulties, less difficult temperament/personality traits and stressful life events, and higher ratings of relational health. LIMITATIONS: The study included 37-39-year-old Australian parents with children age between 1 and 10 years. DISCUSSION: Results identified psychosocial indicators across the early life course that, if replicated, could constitute targets for long-term investment to maximise mental health resilience during future pandemics and crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Child , Humans , Young Adult , Adult , Child, Preschool , Infant , Australia/epidemiology , Life Change Events , Mental Health , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Parents
20.
Med J Aust ; 218(10): 457-458, 2023 06 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316114
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