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1.
N Engl J Med ; 385(16): 1474-1484, 2021 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612234

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite the high efficacy of the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), rare breakthrough infections have been reported, including infections among health care workers. Data are needed to characterize these infections and define correlates of breakthrough and infectivity. METHODS: At the largest medical center in Israel, we identified breakthrough infections by performing extensive evaluations of health care workers who were symptomatic (including mild symptoms) or had known infection exposure. These evaluations included epidemiologic investigations, repeat reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) assays, antigen-detecting rapid diagnostic testing (Ag-RDT), serologic assays, and genomic sequencing. Correlates of breakthrough infection were assessed in a case-control analysis. We matched patients with breakthrough infection who had antibody titers obtained within a week before SARS-CoV-2 detection (peri-infection period) with four to five uninfected controls and used generalized estimating equations to predict the geometric mean titers among cases and controls and the ratio between the titers in the two groups. We also assessed the correlation between neutralizing antibody titers and N gene cycle threshold (Ct) values with respect to infectivity. RESULTS: Among 1497 fully vaccinated health care workers for whom RT-PCR data were available, 39 SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections were documented. Neutralizing antibody titers in case patients during the peri-infection period were lower than those in matched uninfected controls (case-to-control ratio, 0.361; 95% confidence interval, 0.165 to 0.787). Higher peri-infection neutralizing antibody titers were associated with lower infectivity (higher Ct values). Most breakthrough cases were mild or asymptomatic, although 19% had persistent symptoms (>6 weeks). The B.1.1.7 (alpha) variant was found in 85% of samples tested. A total of 74% of case patients had a high viral load (Ct value, <30) at some point during their infection; however, of these patients, only 17 (59%) had a positive result on concurrent Ag-RDT. No secondary infections were documented. CONCLUSIONS: Among fully vaccinated health care workers, the occurrence of breakthrough infections with SARS-CoV-2 was correlated with neutralizing antibody titers during the peri-infection period. Most breakthrough infections were mild or asymptomatic, although persistent symptoms did occur.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Asymptomatic Diseases , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Treatment Failure
2.
J Glob Health ; 11: 05026, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1614229

ABSTRACT

Background: The dynamics of acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission and severity of disease among children and young people (CYP) across different settings are of considerable clinical, public health and societal interest. Severe COVID-19 cases, requiring hospitalisations, and deaths have been reported in some CYP suggesting a need to extend vaccinations to these age groups. As part of the ongoing Early Pandemic Evaluation and Enhanced Surveillance of COVID-19 (EAVE II) study, we aim to investigate the uptake, effectiveness and safety of COVID-19 vaccines in children and young people (CYP) aged 0 to 17 years in Scotland. Specifically, we will estimate: (i) uptake of vaccines against COVID-19, (ii) vaccine effectiveness (VE) against the outcomes of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, hospitalisation, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, and death; (iii) VE for first/second dose timing among different age groups and risk groups; and (iv) the safety of vaccines. Methods and analysis: We will conduct an open prospective cohort study classifying exposure as time-varying. We will compare outcomes amongst first dose vaccinated and second dose vaccinated CYP to those not yet vaccinated. A Test Negative Design (TND) case control study will be nested within this national cohort to investigate VE against symptomatic infection. The primary outcomes will be (i) uptake of vaccines against COVID-19, (ii) time to COVID-19 infection, hospitalisation, ICU admissions or death, and (iii) adverse events related to vaccines. Vaccination status (unvaccinated, one dose and two doses) will be defined as a time-varying exposure. Data from multiple sources will be linked using a unique identifier. We will conduct descriptive analyses to explore trends in vaccine uptake, and association between different exposure variables and vaccine uptake will be determined using multivariable logistic regression models. VE will be assessed from time-dependent Cox models or Poisson regression models, adjusted for relevant confounders, including age, sex, socioeconomic status, and comorbidities. We will employ self-controlled study designs to determine the risk of adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination. Ethics and dissemination: Ethics approval was obtained from the National Research Ethics Committee, South East Scotland 02. We will present findings of this study at international conferences, in peer-reviewed journals and to policy-makers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adolescent , Case-Control Studies , Child , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Scotland/epidemiology
3.
BMC Endocr Disord ; 22(1): 13, 2022 Jan 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613234

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Research regarding the association between severe obesity and in-hospital mortality is inconsistent. We evaluated the impact of body mass index (BMI) levels on mortality in the medical wards. The analysis was performed separately before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We retrospectively retrieved data of adult patients admitted to the medical wards at the Mount Sinai Health System in New York City. The study was conducted between January 1, 2011, to March 23, 2021. Patients were divided into two sub-cohorts: pre-COVID-19 and during-COVID-19. Patients were then clustered into groups based on BMI ranges. A multivariate logistic regression analysis compared the mortality rate among the BMI groups, before and during the pandemic. RESULTS: Overall, 179,288 patients were admitted to the medical wards and had a recorded BMI measurement. 149,098 were admitted before the COVID-19 pandemic and 30,190 during the pandemic. Pre-pandemic, multivariate analysis showed a "J curve" between BMI and mortality. Severe obesity (BMI > 40) had an aOR of 0.8 (95% CI:0.7-1.0, p = 0.018) compared to the normal BMI group. In contrast, during the pandemic, the analysis showed a "U curve" between BMI and mortality. Severe obesity had an aOR of 1.7 (95% CI:1.3-2.4, p < 0.001) compared to the normal BMI group. CONCLUSIONS: Medical ward patients with severe obesity have a lower risk for mortality compared to patients with normal BMI. However, this does not apply during COVID-19, where obesity was a leading risk factor for mortality in the medical wards. It is important for the internal medicine physician to understand the intricacies of the association between obesity and medical ward mortality.


Subject(s)
Body Mass Index , COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality/trends , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Obesity/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , New York City/epidemiology , Prognosis , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Survival Rate
4.
Eur J Neurol ; 28(10): 3426-3436, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605077

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Headache is an important manifestation during SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this study, the aim was to identify factors associated with headache in COVID-19 and headache characteristics. METHODS: This case-control study includes COVID-19 hospitalized patients with pneumonia during March 2020. Controls comprise COVID-19 patients without headache and the cases are COVID-19 patients with headache. Demographic, clinical and laboratory data were obtained from the medical records. Headache characteristics were evaluated by semi-structured telephonic interview after discharge. RESULTS: Of a total of 379 COVID-19 patients, 48 (13%) developed headache. Amongst these, 30 (62%) were men and the median age was 57.9 (47-73) years. Headache was associated with younger age, fewer comorbidities and reduced mortality, as well as with low levels of C-reactive protein, mild acute respiratory distress syndrome and oropharyngeal symptoms. A logistic multiple regression model revealed that headache was directly associated with D-dimer and creatinine levels, the use of high flow nasal cannula and arthromyalgia, whilst urea levels, beta-lactamic treatment and hypertension were negatively associated with headache. COVID-19-associated headache characteristics were available for 23/48 (48%) patients. Headache was the onset symptom in 8/20 (40%) patients, of mild or moderate intensity in 17/20 (85%) patients, with oppressive characteristics in 17/18 (94%) and of holocranial 8/19 (42%) or temporal 7/19 (37%) localization. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that headache is associated with a more benign SARS-CoV-2 infection. COVID-19-associated headache appears as an early symptom and as a novel headache with characteristics of headache attributed to systemic viral infection. Further research addressing the underlying mechanisms to confirm these findings is warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Case-Control Studies , Comorbidity , Headache/epidemiology , Headache/etiology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
5.
Geroscience ; 43(5): 2333-2343, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1603920

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a particularly aggressive disease for the elderly as 86% of deaths related to COVID-19 occur in people over 65 years of age. Despite the urgent need for a preventive treatment, there are currently no serious leads, other than the vaccination. The aim of this retrospective case-control study is to find a pharmacological preventive treatment of COVID-19 in elderly patients. One-hundred-seventy-nine patients had been in contact with other COVID-19 patients at home or in hospital, of whom 89 had tested RT-PCR-positive (COVID-pos) for the virus and 90 had tested RT-PCR-negative (COVID-neg). Treatments within 15 days prior to RT-PCR (including antihypertensive drugs, antipsychotics, antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), oral antidiabetics (OADs), corticosteroids, immunosuppressants), comorbidities, symptoms, laboratory values, and clinical outcome were all collected. COVID-pos patients more frequently had a history of diabetes (P = .016) and alcoholism (P = .023), a lower leukocyte count (P = .014) and a higher mortality rate - 29.2% versus 14.4% - (P = .014) when compared to COVID-neg patients. Patients on PPIs were 2.3 times less likely (odds ratio [OR] = 0.4381, 95% confidence interval [CI] [0.2331, 0.8175], P = .0053) to develop COVID-19 infection, compared to those not on PPIs. No other treatment decreased or increased this risk. COVID-pos patients on antipsychotics (P = .0013) and OADs (P = .0153), particularly metformin (P = .0237), were less likely to die. Thus, patients on treatment with PPI were less likely to develop COVID-19 infection, and those on antipsychotics or metformin had a lower risk of mortality. However, prospective studies, including clinical trials, are needed to confirm or not these findings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Prospective Studies , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
6.
BMJ Open ; 12(1): e053051, 2022 01 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606133

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has become a global health challenge. SARS-CoV-2 can infect host cells via the ACE2 receptor, which is widely expressed in the corpus cavernosum, testis and male reproductive tract, and participates in erection, spermatogenesis and androgen metabolism. Also, the immune response and persistent fever resulting from COVID-19 may lead to damage of the testicular activity, consequently compromising male fertility. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, China Science and Technology Journal database, Chinese Biomedical Databases and Wanfang Data will be systematically searched for observational studies (case-control and cohort) published up to March 2021 in English or in Chinese literature on the impacts of COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 on male reproductive function. This protocol will follow the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols guidelines and Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology. The primary outcome will be semen parameters, and the additional outcomes will include: (a) detection of SARS-COV-2 in semen, (b) male sexual hormones, (c) sperm DNA fragmentation index, (d) erectile function, (e) evaluation of testis and also the male genital tract. Two reviewers will independently extract data from the included studies based on a predesigned data extraction form. The risk of bias of included studies will be evaluated through the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for observational studies. Review Manager software V.5.3 will be used for statistical analysis. Q statistic and I² test will be performed to assess the heterogeneity among studies. Sensitivity analysis will be used to explore the robustness of pooled effects. We will use the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation system to assess the quality of evidence. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval is not required and results will be published in a peer-reviewed journal. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42021245161.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Male , Meta-Analysis as Topic , Observational Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Research Design , SARS-CoV-2 , Systematic Reviews as Topic
7.
Br J Radiol ; 95(1129): 20210290, 2022 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1603309

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Early detection of peripheral neuropathy is extremely important as leprosy is one of the treatable causes of peripheral neuropathy. The study was undertaken to assess the role of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in ulnar neuropathy in leprosy patients. METHODS: This was a case-control study including 38 patients (72 nerves) and 5 controls (10 nerves) done between January 2017 and June 2019. Skin biopsy proven cases of leprosy, having symptoms of ulnar neuropathy (proven on nerve conduction study) were included. MRI was performed on a 3 T MR system. Mean cross-sectional area, fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of ulnar nerve at cubital tunnel were calculated. Additional ancillary findings and appearance of base sequences were evaluated. RESULTS: Ulnar nerve showed thickening with altered T2W signal in all the affected nerves, having an average cross-sectional area of 0.26 cm2. Low FA with mean of 0.397 ± 0.19 and high ADC with mean of 1.28 ± 0.427 x 10 -3 mm2/s of ulnar nerve in retrocondylar groove was obtained. In the control group, mean cross-sectional area was 0.71cm2 with mean FA and ADC of 0.53 ± 0.088 and 1.03 ± 0.24 x 10 -3 mm2/s respectively. Statistically no significant difference was seen in diseased and control group. Cut-off to detect neuropathy for FA and ADC is 0.4835 and 1.1020 × 10 -3 mm2/s respectively. CONCLUSION: DTI though is challenging in peripheral nerves, however, is proving to be a powerful complementary tool for assessment of peripheral neuropathy. Our study validates its utility in infective neuropathies. ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE: 1. DTI is a potential complementary tool for detection of peripheral neuropathies and can be incorporated in standard MR neurography protocol.2. In leprosy-related ulnar neuropathy, altered signal intensity with thickening or abscess of the nerve is appreciated along with locoregional nodes and secondary denervation changes along with reduction of FA and rise in ADC value.3. Best cut-offs obtained in our study for FA and ADC are 0.4835 and 1.1020 × 10 -3 mm2/s respectively.


Subject(s)
Diffusion Tensor Imaging , Leprosy/complications , Peripheral Nervous System Diseases/diagnostic imaging , Ulnar Nerve/diagnostic imaging , Adult , Case-Control Studies , Early Diagnosis , Female , Humans , Male , Neuroimaging , Peripheral Nervous System Diseases/etiology
8.
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 33(12): 1578-1581, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595632

ABSTRACT

AIM: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a recently encountered disease that was declared a pandemic by WHO in 2020. Obesity and other components of the metabolic syndrome may aggravate the severity of COVID-19. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represents the hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible association between MAFLD and COVID-19 severity. METHODS: We performed a retrospective, case-control study, enrolling 71 consecutive COVID-19 patients who were divided into two groups according to the presence or absence of fatty liver by computed tomography scan. All medical records of eligible patients were reviewed including demographic, clinical, laboratory parameters and data regarding the presence of NAFLD and COVID-19 severity. RESULTS: NAFLD was identified in 22/71 (31%) of the study group. Out of 71, thirteen suffered from severe COVID-19. NAFLD patients had more severe COVID-19 compared with non-NAFLD subjects, 8/22 (36.3%) vs. 5/49(10.2%), (P < 0.005), respectively. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that NAFLD subjects were more likely to have severe COVID-19 disease (odds ratio 3.57, 95% confidence interval: 1.22, 14.48, P = 0.0031). CONCLUSION: NAFLD represents a high risk for severe COVID-19 irrespective to gender, and independent of metabolic syndrome specifically in male gender. Moreover, obesity, hypertension and metabolic syndrome were also significantly associated with severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Metabolic Syndrome , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Male , Metabolic Syndrome/diagnosis , Metabolic Syndrome/epidemiology , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/diagnostic imaging , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
9.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260889, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592578

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Approximately 40-70% of people with Parkinson's disease (PD) fall each year, causing decreased activity levels and quality of life. Current fall-prevention strategies include the use of pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies. To increase the accessibility of this vulnerable population, we developed a multidisciplinary telemedicine program using an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) platform. We hypothesized that the risk for falling in PD would decrease among participants receiving a multidisciplinary telemedicine intervention program added to standard office-based neurological care. OBJECTIVE: To determine the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of a multidisciplinary telemedicine intervention to decrease the incidence of falls in patients with PD. METHODS: Ongoing, longitudinal, randomized, single-blinded, case-control, clinical trial. We will include 76 non-demented patients with idiopathic PD with a high risk of falling and limited access to multidisciplinary care. The intervention group (n = 38) will receive multidisciplinary remote care in addition to standard medical care, and the control group (n = 38) standard medical care only. Nutrition, sarcopenia and frailty status, motor, non-motor symptoms, health-related quality of life, caregiver burden, falls, balance and gait disturbances, direct and non-medical costs will be assessed using validated rating scales. RESULTS: This study will provide a cost-effectiveness assessment of multidisciplinary telemedicine intervention for fall reduction in PD, in addition to standard neurological medical care. CONCLUSION: In this challenging initiative, we will determine whether a multidisciplinary telemedicine intervention program can reduce falls, as an alternative intervention option for PD patients with restricted access to multidisciplinary care. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04694443.


Subject(s)
Accidental Falls/prevention & control , Exercise Therapy/methods , Gait , Parkinson Disease/physiopathology , Patient Care Team/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Young Adult
10.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261529, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599654

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Risk factors for the development of severe COVID-19 disease and death have been widely reported across several studies. Knowledge about the determinants of severe disease and mortality in the Indian context can guide early clinical management. METHODS: We conducted a hospital-based case control study across nine sites in India to identify the determinants of severe and critical COVID-19 disease. FINDINGS: We identified age above 60 years, duration before admission >5 days, chronic kidney disease, leucocytosis, prothrombin time > 14 sec, serum ferritin >250 ng/mL, d-dimer >0.5 ng/mL, pro-calcitonin >0.15 µg/L, fibrin degradation products >5 µg/mL, C-reactive protein >5 mg/L, lactate dehydrogenase >150 U/L, interleukin-6 >25 pg/mL, NLR ≥3, and deranged liver function, renal function and serum electrolytes as significant factors associated with severe COVID-19 disease. INTERPRETATION: We have identified a set of parameters that can help in characterising severe COVID-19 cases in India. These parameters are part of routinely available investigations within Indian hospital settings, both public and private. Study findings have the potential to inform clinical management protocols and identify patients at high risk of severe outcomes at an early stage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Hospitalization , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , C-Reactive Protein/analysis , Case-Control Studies , Female , Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products/analysis , Hospitals , Humans , India/epidemiology , Interleukin-6/blood , L-Lactate Dehydrogenase/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Procalcitonin/blood , Risk Factors , Young Adult
12.
BMJ ; 375: e068848, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583187

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness of the mRNA-1273 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 variants and assess its effectiveness against the delta variant by time since vaccination. DESIGN: Test negative case-control study. SETTING: Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC), an integrated healthcare system. PARTICIPANTS: Adult KPSC members with a SARS-CoV-2 positive test sent for whole genome sequencing or a negative test from 1 March 2021 to 27 July 2021. INTERVENTIONS: Two dose or one dose vaccination with mRNA-1273 (Moderna covid-19 vaccine) ≥14 days before specimen collection versus no covid-19 vaccination. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcomes included infection with SARS-CoV-2 and hospital admission with covid-19. In pre-specified analyses for each variant type, test positive cases were matched 1:5 to test negative controls on age, sex, race/ethnicity, and specimen collection date. Conditional logistic regression was used to compare odds of vaccination among cases versus controls, with adjustment for confounders. Vaccine effectiveness was calculated as (1-odds ratio)×100%. RESULTS: The study included 8153 cases and their matched controls. Two dose vaccine effectiveness was 86.7% (95% confidence interval 84.3% to 88.7%) against infection with the delta variant, 98.4% (96.9% to 99.1%) against alpha, 90.4% (73.9% to 96.5%) against mu, 96-98% against other identified variants, and 79.9% (76.9% to 82.5%) against unidentified variants (that is, specimens that failed sequencing). Vaccine effectiveness against hospital admission with the delta variant was 97.5% (92.7% to 99.2%). Vaccine effectiveness against infection with the delta variant declined from 94.1% (90.5% to 96.3%) 14-60 days after vaccination to 80.0% (70.2% to 86.6%) 151-180 days after vaccination. Waning was less pronounced for non-delta variants. Vaccine effectiveness against delta infection was lower among people aged ≥65 years (75.2%, 59.6% to 84.8%) than those aged 18-64 years (87.9%, 85.5% to 89.9%). One dose vaccine effectiveness was 77.0% (60.7% to 86.5%) against infection with delta. CONCLUSIONS: Two doses of mRNA-1273 were highly effective against all SARS-CoV-2 variants, especially against hospital admission with covid-19. However, vaccine effectiveness against infection with the delta variant moderately declined with increasing time since vaccination.


Subject(s)
/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2 , /administration & dosage , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , California , Case-Control Studies , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
13.
World J Surg Oncol ; 19(1): 350, 2021 Dec 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582058

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic led to a 2-month lockdown in Europe. Elective surgeries, including skin cancer excisions, were postponed. The purpose of this prospective case-control study was to assess the impact of the treatment delay on patients with non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) or melanoma operated in the first post-lockdown period. METHODS: A comparative study of skin cancer operations performed in a 4-month period either in 2020 or in 2019 was conducted. All data were collected from a prospectively maintained clinic database and the pathological reports. Continuous variables were compared with t test or Mann-Whitney U test according to their distribution. Categorical variables were compared with Fisher exact test. Odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) was used to assess the risk of excising high-risk NMSC in 2020 compared with 2019. RESULTS: Skin cancer excision was performed in 158 cases in 2020 compared to 125 cases in 2019 (26.4% increase). Significantly, more SCC were excised in 2020 (p = 0.024). No significant difference for several clinical parameters regarding BCC, SCC, and melanoma was identified. However, the reconstructive method applied, following NMSC excision, was significantly different, requiring frequently either skin grafting or a flap. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that skin cancer treatment delay, due to COVID-19 pandemic, is related to an increased incidence of SCC and more complicated methods of reconstruction. Considering the relapsing COVID-19 waves, significant skin cancer treatment delays should be avoided. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study adhered to the STROBE statement for case-control studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Carcinoma, Basal Cell , Skin Neoplasms , Carcinoma, Basal Cell/epidemiology , Carcinoma, Basal Cell/surgery , Case-Control Studies , Communicable Disease Control , Humans , Neoplasm Recurrence, Local , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Skin Neoplasms/epidemiology , Skin Neoplasms/surgery , Time-to-Treatment
14.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261113, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581761

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Complement activation contributes to lung dysfunction in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We assessed whether C5 blockade with eculizumab could improve disease outcome. METHODS: In this single-centre, academic, unblinded study two 900 mg eculizumab doses were added-on standard therapy in ten COVID-19 patients admitted from February 2020 to April 2020 and receiving Continuous-Positive-Airway-Pressure (CPAP) ventilator support from ≤24 hours. We compared their outcomes with those of 65 contemporary similar controls. Primary outcome was respiratory rate at one week of ventilator support. Secondary outcomes included the combined endpoint of mortality and discharge with chronic complications. RESULTS: Baseline characteristics of eculizumab-treated patients and controls were similar. At baseline, sC5b-9 levels, ex vivo C5b-9 and thrombi deposition were increased. Ex vivo tests normalised in eculizumab-treated patients, but not in controls. In eculizumab-treated patients respiratory rate decreased from 26.8±7.3 breaths/min at baseline to 20.3±3.8 and 18.0±4.8 breaths/min at one and two weeks, respectively (p<0.05 for both), but did not change in controls. Between-group changes differed significantly at both time-points (p<0.01). Changes in respiratory rate correlated with concomitant changes in ex vivo C5b-9 deposits at one (rs = 0.706, p = 0.010) and two (rs = 0.751, p = 0.032) weeks. Over a median (IQR) period of 47.0 (14.0-121.0) days, four eculizumab-treated patients died or had chronic complications versus 52 controls [HRCrude (95% CI): 0.26 (0.09-0.72), p = 0.010]. Between-group difference was significant even after adjustment for age, sex and baseline serum creatinine [HRAdjusted (95% CI): 0.30 (0.10-0.84), p = 0.023]. Six patients and 13 controls were discharged without complications [HRCrude (95% CI): 2.88 (1.08-7.70), p = 0.035]. Eculizumab was tolerated well. The main study limitations were the relatively small sample size and the non-randomised design. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with severe COVID-19, eculizumab safely improved respiratory dysfunction and decreased the combined endpoint of mortality and discharge with chronic complications. Findings need confirmation in randomised controlled trials.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , Continuous Positive Airway Pressure , Aged , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Case-Control Studies , Complement Membrane Attack Complex/analysis , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Thrombosis/drug therapy , Treatment Outcome
15.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261328, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581752

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major source of stress for a majority of people that might have negative long-term effects on mental health and well-being. In recent years, video games and their potential positive effects on stress relief have been researched and "relaxation" has been an important keyword in marketing a certain kind of video game. In a quasi-experimental design, this study investigated the increase of average daily player peak (ADPPs) for the COVID period compared to the pre-COVID period and if this increase was significantly larger for relaxing games in contrast to non-relaxing games. Results showed a medium-sized increase of ADPPs over all types of games but no difference between relaxing games and non-relaxing games. These results are discussed in regards to their potential of presenting gaps between the current theoretical models of the influence of video games on mental health and actual observed player behaviour.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Video Games/psychology , Video Games/statistics & numerical data , Case-Control Studies , Databases, Factual , Humans , Relaxation , Stress, Psychological
16.
J Korean Med Sci ; 36(49): e339, 2021 Dec 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581391

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting people at any age and there is limited information about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on quality of life (QoL) in adolescents with asthma. In the present study, it was aimed to assess the attitudes of adolescents with asthma toward the COVID-19 pandemic and determine the effects of the pandemic on their QoL. METHODS: In total, 125 adolescents with asthma and 98 healthy adolescents participated in the present study. The questionnaire form consisted of three parts. In the first part, all the participants were asked whether they complied with the protective measures against COVID-19. The second part included questions for measuring the participants' level of concern about COVID-19, while the third part consisted of EUROHIS-QOL 8. RESULTS: The patient and control groups were similar in terms of the female/male ratio (55/70 and 48/50, respectively) and mean participant age (14.6 ± 2 and 15.1 ± 1.65 years, respectively) (P = 0.459 and P = 0.062, respectively). The prevalence of COVID-19 in the patients (n = 2, 1.6%) was lower than that in the controls (n = 6, 6.1%); however, the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.142). The total EUROHIS-QOL score was significantly lower in the patients (31.2 ± 6.7) than in the controls (33.7 ± 4.4) (P < 0.001). The total QoL scores of asthmatic adolescents without other allergic disease (31.4 ± 6.7) was also lower than those of the controls (33.7 ± 4.4) (P = 0.009). Treatment disruption was significantly more common in patients who received subcutaneous immunotherapy (n = 20, 48.8%) than in those who did not (n = 8, 9.5%) (P < 0.001). Moreover, the patients had lower EUROHIS-QOL scores in the overall QoL, general health, finance, and home domains. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that the mean QoL score of asthmatic adolescents during COVID-19 pandemic is lower than in the healthy population. Disruption in their treatment was most common in patients with asthma who were receiving subcutaneous immunotherapy.


Subject(s)
Asthma/epidemiology , Asthma/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Asthma/complications , Attitude to Health , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/psychology , Case-Control Studies , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Prevalence , Quality of Life , Quarantine , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
17.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(1)2021 12 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580837

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to explore the quality and stability of post-acute care for patients with stroke, including their functional outcomes, mental health and medical care in Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this retrospective case-control study-based on propensity score matching-we assessed 11 patients admitted during the pandemic period (in 2021) and 11 patients admitted during the non-pandemic period (in 2020). Functional outcomes, including the scores of the modified Rankin Scale, Barthel Index, EuroQoL-5 Dimension, Lawton-Brody instrumental activities of daily living, Berg Balance Scale, 5-metre walking speed and 6-min walking distance, were determined. Data on the length of acute care, length of post-acute care, destination after discharge and 14-days readmission were used to evaluate the quality of medical care. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare functional performance before and after rehabilitation. The pandemic group showed no significant improvement in the scores of EuroQoL-5 Dimension, a self-reported health status assessment (p = 0.13), with the anxiety or depression dimension showing a negative effect (r = 0.21). Post-acute care programmes can efficiently improve the functional performance of patients with stroke during the COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan. Mental health should therefore be simultaneously maintained while rehabilitating physical function.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Stroke Rehabilitation , Stroke , Activities of Daily Living , Anxiety/epidemiology , Case-Control Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Stroke/epidemiology , Subacute Care
18.
Geriatr Nurs ; 42(5): 1230-1239, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575510

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to systematically examine the association between dementia and mortality among older adults with COVID-19. To do so, we conducted a search of 7 databases for relevant full-text articles. A cohort study and case-control study were included. A meta-analysis was performed to synthesize the pooled odds ratio with a random-effects model. We identified studies that reported mortality among older adults with dementia and non-dementia who have COVID-19. The pooled mortality rates of dementia and non-dementia older adults infected with COVID-19 were 39% (95% CI: 0.23-0.54%, I2 = 83.48%) and 20% (95% CI: 0.16-0.25%, I2 = 83.48%), respectively. Overall, dementia was the main factor influencing poor health outcomes and high rates of mortality in older adults with COVID-19 infection (odds ratio 2.96; 95% CI 2.00-4.38, I2 = 29.7%), respectively. Our results show that older adults with dementia with COVID-19 infection have a higher risk of mortality compared with older adults without dementia. This current study further highlights the need to provide focused care to the older adults with dementia or cognitive impairment who have COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dementia , Aged , Case-Control Studies , Cohort Studies , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Gastroenterology ; 160(3): 925-928.e4, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575253
20.
Ann Transplant ; 26: e933152, 2021 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575127

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND It is unclear whether solid organ transplant (SOT) patients have more severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and worse outcome than the general population. MATERIAL AND METHODS We conducted a case-control study on 32 SOT recipients and 84 non-SOT controls matched for age and sex admitted for confirmed COVID-19. The primary endpoint was in-hospital all-cause mortality rate. Secondary endpoints included severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), use of high-flow oxygen therapy, and length of hospital stay. RESULTS The median (IQR) Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) at admission was significantly higher in SOT recipients (6 (3-8) vs 3 (2-4); P<0.01). Fever was less frequent in SOT recipients (78% vs 94%, P=0.01). SOT recipients had a higher median SaO2/FiO2 at admission (452 [443-462] vs 443 [419-452], P<0.01) and reached the worst SaO2/FiO2 value later during hospitalization 15 (10-21) vs 11 (9-14) days, P=0.01). Both groups had a similar severe ARDS rate during hospitalization (33% vs 28%) (p=0.59). There were no significant differences during hospitalization in terms of highest level of respiratory support needed, or length of hospital stay: 8.5 (5.5-21) vs 11.5 (6.5-16.5) days; P=0.34) in SOT recipients when compared to controls. In-hospital all-cause mortality rates were significantly higher in SOT recipients (21.9% vs 4.7%, P<0.01; OR 1.08; 95% CI 0.10-10.98), but among patients who died, median CCI was similar between groups (8 [6-8] vs 7 [6-8]). CONCLUSIONS In our experience, hospitalized SOT recipients for COVID-19 had higher in-hospital mortality compared to non-SOT patients, probably due to the greater number of underlying comorbidities, and not directly related to chronic immunosuppression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Organ Transplantation , Case-Control Studies , Humans , Organ Transplantation/adverse effects , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Transplant Recipients
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