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1.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(1): e2145870, 2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1661565

ABSTRACT

Importance: Although the suicide rate in Japan increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, the reasons for suicide have yet to be comprehensively investigated. Objective: To assess which reasons for suicide had rates that exceeded the expected number of suicide deaths for that reason during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: This national, population-based cross-sectional study of data on suicides gathered by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare from January 2020 to May 2021 used a times-series analysis on the numbers of reason-identified suicides. Data of decedents were recorded by the National Police Agency and compiled by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. Exposure: For category analysis, we compared data from January 2020 to May 2021 with data from December 2014 to June 2020. For subcategory analysis, data from January 2020 to May 2021 were compared with data from January 2019 to June 2020. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was the monthly excess suicide rate, ie, the difference between the observed number of monthly suicide deaths and the upper bound of the 1-sided 95% CI for the expected number of suicide deaths in that month. Reasons for suicide were categorized into family, health, economy, work, relationships, school, and others, which were further divided into 52 subcategories. A quasi-Poisson regression model was used to estimate the expected number of monthly suicides. Individual regression models were used for each of the 7 categories, 52 subcategories, men, women, and both genders. Results: From the 29 938 suicides (9984 [33.3%] women; 1093 [3.7%] aged <20 years; 3147 [10.5%] aged >80 years), there were 21 027 reason-identified suicides (7415 [35.3%] women). For both genders, all categories indicated monthly excess suicide rates, except for school in men. October 2020 had the highest excess suicide rates for all cases (observed, 1577; upper bound of 95% CI for expected number of suicides, 1254; 25.8% greater). In men, the highest monthly excess suicide rate was 24.3% for the other category in August 2020 (observed, 87; upper bound of 95% CI for expected number, 70); in women, it was 85.7% for school in August 2020 (observed, 26; upper bound of 95% CI for expected number, 14). Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, observed suicides corresponding to all 7 categories of reasons exceeded the monthly estimates (based on data from before or during the COVID-19 pandemic), except for school-related reasons in men. This study can be used as a basis for developing intervention programs for suicide prevention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suicide/trends , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cross-Sectional Studies , Epidemiologic Research Design , Female , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Regression Analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , Young Adult
3.
Am J Epidemiol ; 190(11): 2262-2274, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517822

ABSTRACT

The prevalence of mental health problems represents a significant burden on school and community health resources as early as preschool. Reducing this burden requires a better understanding of the developmental mechanisms linking children's early vulnerabilities with mental health after the transition to formal schooling. The 3D-Transition Study (2017-2021) follows 939 participants from a pregnancy cohort in the province of Québec, Canada, as they transition to kindergarten and first grade to examine these mechanisms. Biannual assessments include completed questionnaires from 2 parents as well as teachers, parent-child observations, anthropometric measurements, and age-sensitive cognitive assessments. Saliva is also collected on 11 days over a 16-month period in a subsample of 384 participants to examine possible changes in child salivary cortisol levels across the school transition and their role in difficulties observed during the transition. A combination of planned missing-data designs is being implemented to reduce participant burden, where incomplete data are collected without introducing bias after the use of multiple imputation. The 3D-Transition Study will contribute to an evidence-based developmental framework of child mental health from pregnancy to school age. In turn, this framework can help inform prevention programs delivered in health-care settings during pregnancy and in child-care centers, preschools, and schools.


Subject(s)
Epidemiologic Research Design , Mental Health , Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects , Schools , Stress, Psychological , Adverse Childhood Experiences , Child Development , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Hydrocortisone/metabolism , Infant , Life Change Events , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Pregnancy
6.
Eur J Epidemiol ; 36(6): 649-654, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1316304

ABSTRACT

The Rotterdam Study is an ongoing prospective, population-based cohort study that started in 1989 in the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The study aims to unravel etiology, preclinical course, natural history and potential targets for intervention for chronic diseases in mid-life and late-life. It focuses on cardiovascular, endocrine, hepatic, neurological, ophthalmic, psychiatric, dermatological, otolaryngological, locomotor, and respiratory diseases. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a substudy was designed and embedded within the Rotterdam Study. On the 20th of April, 2020, all living non-institutionalized participants of the Rotterdam Study (n = 8732) were invited to participate in this sub-study by filling out a series of questionnaires administered over a period of 8 months. These questionnaires included questions on COVID-19 related symptoms and risk factors, characterization of lifestyle and mental health changes, and determination of health care seeking and health care avoiding behavior during the pandemic. As of May 2021, the questionnaire had been sent out repeatedly for a total of six times with an overall response rate of 76%. This article provides an overview of the rationale, design, and implementation of this sub-study nested within the Rotterdam Study. Finally, initial results on participant characteristics and prevalence of COVID-19 in this community-dwelling population are shown.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiologic Research Design , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology , Pandemics , Population Surveillance , Prevalence , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
8.
J Epidemiol Glob Health ; 11(2): 146-149, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1090435

ABSTRACT

This manuscript brings attention to inaccurate epidemiological concepts that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. In social media and scientific journals, some wrong references were given to a "normal epidemic curve" and also to a "log-normal curve/distribution". For many years, textbooks and courses of reputable institutions and scientific journals have disseminated misleading concepts. For example, calling histogram to plots of epidemic curves or using epidemic data to introduce the concept of a Gaussian distribution, ignoring its temporal indexing. Although an epidemic curve may look like a Gaussian curve and be eventually modelled by a Gauss function, it is not a normal distribution or a log-normal, as some authors claim. A pandemic produces highly-complex data and to tackle it effectively statistical and mathematical modelling need to go beyond the "one-size-fits-all solution". Classical textbooks need to be updated since pandemics happen and epidemiology needs to provide reliable information to policy recommendations and actions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiologic Research Design , Models, Statistical , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Normal Distribution , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2
10.
J Clin Epidemiol ; 130: 107-116, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065303

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Researchers worldwide are actively engaging in research activities to search for preventive and therapeutic interventions against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Our aim was to describe the planning of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in terms of timing related to the course of the COVID-19 epidemic and research question evaluated. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We performed a living mapping of RCTs registered in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. We systematically search the platform every week for all RCTs evaluating preventive interventions and treatments for COVID-19 and created a publicly available interactive mapping tool at https://covid-nma.com to visualize all trials registered. RESULTS: By August 12, 2020, 1,568 trials for COVID-19 were registered worldwide. Overall, the median ([Q1-Q3]; range) delay between the first case recorded in each country and the first RCT registered was 47 days ([33-67]; 15-163). For the 9 countries with the highest number of trials registered, most trials were registered after the peak of the epidemic (from 100% trials in Italy to 38% in the United States). Most trials evaluated treatments (1,333 trials; 85%); only 223 (14%) evaluated preventive strategies and 12 postacute period intervention. A total of 254 trials were planned to assess different regimens of hydroxychloroquine with an expected sample size of 110,883 patients. CONCLUSION: This living mapping analysis showed that COVID-19 trials have relatively small sample size with certain redundancy in research questions. Most trials were registered when the first peak of the pandemic has passed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Pandemics/prevention & control , COVID-19/prevention & control , Epidemiologic Research Design , Female , Geographic Mapping , Humans , Internet , Italy , Male , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Sample Size , United States
11.
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 51-59, 2020.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068124

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: the Covid-19 pandemic has provoked a huge of clinical and epidemiological research initiatives, especially in the most involved countries. However, this very large effort was characterized by several methodological weaknesses, both in the field of discovering effective treatments (with too many small and uncontrolled trials) and in the field of identifying preventable risks and prognostic factors (with too few large, representative and well-designed cohorts or case-control studies). OBJECTIVES: in response to the fragmented and uncoordinated research production on Covid-19, the   italian Association of Epidemiology (AIE) stimulated the formation of a working group (WG) with the aims of identifying the most important gaps in knowledge and to propose a structured research agenda of clinical and epidemiological studies considered at high priority on Covid-19, including recommendations on the preferable methodology. METHODS: the WG was composed by 25 subjects, mainly epidemiologists, statisticians, and other experts in specific fields, who have voluntarily agreed to the proposal. The agreement on a list of main research questions and on the structure of the specific documents to be produced were defined through few meetings and cycles of document exchanges. RESULTS: twelve main research questions on Covid-19 were identified, covering aetiology, prognosis, interventions, follow-up and impact on general and specific populations (children, pregnant women). For each of them, a two-page form was developed, structured in: background, main topics, methods (with recommendations on preferred study design and warnings for bias prevention) and an essential bibliography. CONCLUSIONS: this research agenda represents an initial contribution to direct clinical and epidemiological research efforts on high priority topics with a focus on methodological aspects. Further development and refinements of this agenda by Public Health Authorities are encouraged.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiologic Research Design , Pandemics , Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/therapy , Child , Epidemiology/organization & administration , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/epidemiology , Prognosis , Societies, Scientific , Therapeutic Equipoise
14.
Trends Mol Med ; 27(2): 97-100, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-927683

ABSTRACT

The striking imbalance between disease incidence and mortality among minorities across health conditions, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) highlights their under-inclusion in research. Here, we propose actions that can be adopted by the biomedical scientific community to address long-standing ethical and scientific barriers to equitable representation of diverse populations in research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiologic Research Design , African Americans , Humans , Incidence , Mortality , Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Justice/trends
15.
Epidemiology ; 31(6): 836-843, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-741959

ABSTRACT

Testing of symptomatic persons for infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 is occurring worldwide. We propose two types of case-control studies that can be carried out jointly in test settings for symptomatic persons. The first, the test-negative case-control design (TND) is the easiest to implement; it only requires collecting information about potential risk factors for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the tested symptomatic persons. The second, standard case-control studies with population controls, requires the collection of data on one or more population controls for each person who is tested in the test facilities, so that test-positives and test-negatives can each be compared with population controls. The TND will detect differences in risk factors between symptomatic persons who have COVID-19 (test-positives) and those who have other respiratory infections (test-negatives). However, risk factors with effect sizes of equal magnitude for both COVID-19 and other respiratory infections will not be identified by the TND. Therefore, we discuss how to add population controls to compare with the test-positives and the test-negatives, yielding two additional case-control studies. We describe two options for population control groups: one composed of accompanying persons to the test facilities, the other drawn from existing country-wide healthcare databases. We also describe other possibilities for population controls. Combining the TND with population controls yields a triangulation approach that distinguishes between exposures that are risk factors for both COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, and exposures that are risk factors for just COVID-19. This combined design can be applied to future epidemics, but also to study causes of nonepidemic disease.


Subject(s)
Case-Control Studies , Control Groups , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Epidemiologic Research Design , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Causality , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
16.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 103(4): 1364-1366, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-727473

ABSTRACT

As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues, unabated and clinical trials demonstrate limited effective pharmaceutical interventions, there is a pressing need to accelerate treatment evaluations. Among options for accelerated development is the evaluation of drug combinations in the absence of prior monotherapy data. This approach is appealing for a number of reasons. First, combining two or more drugs with related or complementary therapeutic effects permits a multipronged approach addressing the variable pathways of the disease. Second, if an individual component of a combination offers a therapeutic effect, then in the absence of antagonism, a trial of combination therapy should still detect individual efficacy. Third, this strategy is time saving. Rather than taking a stepwise approach to evaluating monotherapies, this strategy begins with testing all relevant therapeutic options. Finally, given the severity of the current pandemic and the absence of treatment options, the likelihood of detecting a treatment effect with combination therapy maintains scientific enthusiasm for evaluating repurposed treatments. Antiviral combination selection can be facilitated by insights regarding SARS-CoV-2 pathophysiology and cell cycle dynamics, supported by infectious disease and clinical pharmacology expert advice. We describe a clinical evaluation strategy using adaptive combination platform trials to rapidly test combination therapies to treat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Drug Therapy, Combination/methods , Epidemiologic Research Design , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Clinical Trials as Topic , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Drug Combinations , Drug Repositioning/methods , Humans , Interferon beta-1b/therapeutic use , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Ribavirin/therapeutic use , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 26(9): 1978-1986, 2020 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-599994

ABSTRACT

Serologic studies are crucial for clarifying dynamics of the coronavirus disease pandemic. Past work on serologic studies (e.g., during influenza pandemics) has made relevant contributions, but specific conditions of the current situation require adaptation. Although detection of antibodies to measure exposure, immunity, or both seems straightforward conceptually, numerous challenges exist in terms of sample collection, what the presence of antibodies actually means, and appropriate analysis and interpretation to account for test accuracy and sampling biases. Successful deployment of serologic studies depends on type and performance of serologic tests, population studied, use of adequate study designs, and appropriate analysis and interpretation of data. We highlight key questions that serologic studies can help answer at different times, review strengths and limitations of different assay types and study designs, and discuss methods for rapid sharing and analysis of serologic data to determine global transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Epidemiologic Research Design , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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