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1.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(15)2022 Jul 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1957326

ABSTRACT

The aim of the study was to analyse health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among the Estonian general population and its socio-demographic and behavioural correlates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Longitudinal data on 1781 individuals from an Estonian rapid-assessment survey on COVID-19 were used. HRQoL was assessed with the EQ-5D-3L in June 2020 (baseline) and in May 2021 (follow-up). The HRQoL index score and its socio-demographic and behavioural variations were analysed using paired t-tests and Tobit regression modelling. Statistically significant declines in mean EQ-5D index scores were observed for all socio-demographic and behavioural variables considered. Most of these changes were due to increased reporting of problems in the pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression health domains. Older age, being unemployed or economically non-active and having financial difficulties were significantly associated with lower HRQoL in both baseline and follow-up measurements. In the follow-up data, women had significantly lower HRQoL compared to men, whereas higher education proved to be the only protective factor regarding HRQoL. Unhealthy dietary habits and low physical activity had a negative impact on the HRQoL score in the follow-up data. These results indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on HRQoL in the Estonian population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Quality of Life , COVID-19/epidemiology , Estonia/epidemiology , Female , Health Status , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires
2.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0270192, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1896495

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 pandemic has led to overloading of health systems all over the world. For reliable risk stratification, knowledge on factors predisposing to SARS-CoV-2 infection and to severe COVID-19 disease course is needed for decision-making at the individual, provider, and government levels. Data to identify these factors should be easily obtainable. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Retrospective cohort study of nationwide e-health databases in Estonia. We used longitudinal health records from 66,295 people tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA from 26 February 2020 to 28 February 2021 and 254,958 randomly selected controls from the reference population with no known history of SARS-CoV-2 infection or clinical COVID-19 diagnosis (case to control ratio 1:4) to predict risk factors of infection and severe course of COVID-19. We analysed sociodemographic and health characteristics of study participants. The SARS-CoV-2 infection risk was slightly higher among women, and was higher among those with comorbid conditions or obesity. Dementia (RRR 3.77, 95%CI 3.30⎼4.31), renal disease (RRR 1.88, 95%CI 1.56⎼2.26), and cerebrovascular disease (RRR 1.81, 95%CI 1.64⎼2.00) increased the risk of infection. Of all SARS-CoV-2 infected people, 92% had a non-severe disease course, 4.8% severe disease (requiring hospitalisation), 1.7% critical disease (needing intensive care), and 1.5% died. Male sex, increasing age and comorbid burden contributed significantly to more severe COVID-19, and the strength of association for male sex increased with the increasing severity of COVID-19 outcome. The strongest contributors to critical illness (expressed as RRR with 95% CI) were renal disease (7.71, 4.71⎼12.62), the history of previous myocardial infarction (3.54, 2.49⎼5.02) and obesity (3.56, 2.82⎼4.49). The strongest contributors to a lethal outcome were renal disease (6.48, 3.74⎼11.23), cancer (3.81, 3.06⎼4.75), liver disease (3.51, 1.36⎼9.02) and cerebrovascular disease (3.00, 2.31⎼3.89). CONCLUSIONS: We found divergent effect of age and gender on infection risk and severity of COVID-19. Age and gender did not contribute substantially to infection risk, but did so for the risk of severe disease Co-morbid health conditions, especially those affecting renin-angiotensin system, had an impact on both the risk of infection and severe disease course. Age and male sex had the most significant impact on the risk of severe COVID-19. Taking into account the role of ACE2 receptors in the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as its modulating action on the renin-angiotensin system in cardiovascular and renal diseases, further research is needed to investigate the influence of hormonal status on ACE2 expression in different tissues, which may be the basis for the development of COVID-19 therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Estonia/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Obesity/complications , Obesity/epidemiology , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
3.
Euro Surveill ; 27(7)2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703810

ABSTRACT

Despite high COVID-19 vaccine coverage in the EU/EEA, there are increasing reports of SARS-CoV-2 infections and hospitalisations in vaccinated individuals. Using surveillance data from Estonia, Ireland, Luxembourg and Slovakia (January-November 2021), we estimated risk reduction of severe outcomes in vaccinated cases. Increasing age remains the most important driver of severity, and vaccination significantly reduces risk in all ages for hospitalisation (adjusted relative risk (aRR): 0.32; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.26-0.39) and death (aRR: 0.20; 95% CI: 0.13-0.29).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Estonia/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Luxembourg , Risk Reduction Behavior , SARS-CoV-2 , Slovakia/epidemiology
4.
Public Health ; 205: 150-156, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671068

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to assess the population prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 and changes in the prevalence in the adult general population in Estonia during the 1st year of COVID-19 epidemic. STUDY DESIGN: This was a population-based nationwide sequential/consecutive cross-sectional study. METHODS: Using standardised methodology (population-based, random stratified sampling), 11 cross-sectional studies were conducted from April 2020 to February 2021. Data from nasopharyngeal testing and questionnaires were used to estimate the SARS-CoV-2 RNA prevalence and factors associated with test positivity. RESULTS: Between April 23, 2020, and February 2, 2021, results were available from 34,915 individuals and 27,870 samples from 11 consecutive studies. The percentage of people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 decreased from 0.27% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.10%-0.59%) in April to 0.04% (95% CI = 0.00%-0.22%) by the end of May and remained very low (0.01%, 95% CI = 0.00%-0.17%) until the end of August, followed by an increase since November (0.37%, 95% CI = 0.18%-0.68%) that escalated to 2.69% (95% CI = 2.08%-2.69%) in January 2021. In addition to substantial change in time, an increasing number of household members (for one additional odds ratio [OR] = 1.15, 95% CI = 1.02-1.29), reporting current symptoms of COVID-19 (OR = 2.21, 95% CI = 1.59-3.09) and completing questionnaire in the Russian language (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.15-2.99) were associated with increased odds for SARS-CoV-2 RNA positivity. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 population prevalence needs to be carefully monitored as vaccine programmes are rolled out to inform containment decisions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Estonia/epidemiology , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
5.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0252972, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598722

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has clearly shown that efficient management of infectious diseases requires a top-down approach which must be complemented with a bottom-up response to be effective. Here we investigate a novel approach to surveillance for transboundary animal diseases using African Swine (ASF) fever as a model. We collected data both at a population level and at the local level on information-seeking behavior respectively through digital data and targeted questionnaire-based surveys to relevant stakeholders such as pig farmers and veterinary authorities. Our study shows how information-seeking behavior and resulting public attention during an epidemic, can be identified through novel data streams from digital platforms such as Wikipedia. Leveraging attention in a critical moment can be key to providing the correct information at the right moment, especially to an interested cohort of people. We also bring evidence on how field surveys aimed at local workers and veterinary authorities remain a crucial tool to assess more in-depth preparedness and awareness among front-line actors. We conclude that these two tools should be used in combination to maximize the outcome of surveillance and prevention activities for selected transboundary animal diseases such as ASF.


Subject(s)
African Swine Fever/epidemiology , Epidemics/prevention & control , Epidemiological Monitoring , Livestock/virology , Animals , Awareness , Estonia/epidemiology , Farmers , Internet , Statistics, Nonparametric , Surveys and Questionnaires , Swine
6.
Health Policy ; 126(5): 438-445, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568709

ABSTRACT

The Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania shared a similar response to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the information available on the COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor platform, this article analyzed measures taken to prevent transmission, ensure capacity, provide essential services, finance the health system, and coordinate their governance approaches. All three countries used a highly centralized approach and implemented restrictive measures relatively early, with a state of emergency declared with fewer than 30 reported cases in each country. Due to initially low COVID-19 incidence, the countries built up their capacities for testing, contact tracing, and infrastructure, without a major stress test to the health system throughout the spring and summer of 2020, yet issues with accessing routine health care services had already started manifesting themselves. The countries in the Baltic region entered the pandemic with a precarious starting point, particularly due to smaller operational budgets and health workforce shortages, which may have contributed to their escalated response aiming to prevent transmission during the first wave. Subsequent waves, however, were much more damaging. This article focuses on early responses to the pandemic in the Baltic states highlighting measures taken to prevent virus transmission in the face of major uncertainties.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Baltic States , Estonia/epidemiology , Humans , Latvia/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control
7.
BMJ Open ; 11(10): e049045, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462957

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Prevalence estimates for specific chronic conditions and multimorbidity (MM) in eastern Europe are scarce. This national study estimates the prevalence of MM by age group and sex in Estonia. DESIGN: A population-based cross-sectional study, using administrative data. SETTING: Data were collected on 55 chronic conditions from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund from 2015 to 2017. MM was defined as the coexistence of two or more conditions. PARTICIPANTS: The Estonian Health Insurance Fund includes data for approximately 95% of the Estonian population receiving public health insurance. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence and 95% CIs for MM stratified by age group and sex. RESULTS: Nearly half (49.1%) of the individuals (95% CI 49.0 to 49.3) had at least 1 chronic condition, and 30.1% (95% CI 30.0 to 30.2) had MM (2 or more chronic conditions). The number of conditions and the prevalence of MM increased with age, ranging from an MM prevalence of 3.5% (3.5%-3.6%) in the youngest (0-24 years) to as high as 80.4% (79.4%-81.3%) in the oldest (≥85 years) age group. Half of all individuals had MM by 60 years of age, and 75% of the population had MM by 75 years of age. Women had a higher prevalence of MM (34.9%, 95% CI 34.7 to 35.0) than men (24.4%, 95% CI 24.3 to 24.5). Hypertension was the most frequent chronic condition (24.5%), followed by chronic pain (12.4%) and arthritis (7.7%). CONCLUSIONS: Hypertension is an important chronic condition amenable to treatment with lifestyle and therapeutic interventions. Given the established correlation between uncontrolled hypertension and exacerbation of other cardiovascular conditions as well as acute illnesses, this most common condition within the context of MM may be suitable for targeted public health interventions.


Subject(s)
Multimorbidity , Adolescent , Adult , Child , Child, Preschool , Chronic Disease , Cross-Sectional Studies , Estonia/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Prevalence , Young Adult
8.
Vaccine ; 39(38): 5376-5384, 2021 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340875

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: In Estonia, during the first wave of COVID-19 total number of cases confirmed by PCR was 13.3/10,000, similar in most regions, including capital Tallinn, but in the hotspot of Estonian epidemic, an island Saaremaa, the cumulative incidence was 166.1/10,000. We aimed to determine the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in these two regions, symptoms associated with infection and factors associated with antibody concentrations. METHODS: Participants were selected using stratified (formed by age decades) random sampling and recruited by general practitioners. IgG or neutralizing antibodies were determined from sera by four assays. Symptoms associated with seropositivity were analyzed by multiple correspondence analysis, antibody concentrations by multiple linear regression. RESULTS: Total of 3608 individual were invited and 1960 recruited from May 8 to July 31, 2020. Seroprevalence was 1.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.9-2.5) and 6.3% (95% CI 5.0-7.9), infection fatality rate 0.1% (95% CI 0.0-0.2) and 1.3% (95% CI 0.4-2.1) in Tallinn and Saaremaa, respectively. Of seropositive subjects 19.2% (14/73) had acute respiratory illness. Fever, diarrhea and the absence of cough and runny nose were associated with seropositivity in individuals aged 50 or more years. IgG, but not neutralizing antibodies concentrations were higher if fever, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain or diarrhea was present, or hospitalization required. CONCLUSION: Similarly to other European countries the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in Estonia was low even in the hotspot region Saaremaa suggesting that majority of population is susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. Focusing only on respiratory symptoms may delay accurate diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Estonia/epidemiology , Humans , Immunoglobulin G , Prevalence , Seroepidemiologic Studies
9.
Front Public Health ; 9: 564706, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1295712

ABSTRACT

Objective: To study the population-level mental health responses during the first wave of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in Estonia and analyze its socio-demographic, behavioral, and health-related variations among general population. Methods: This study used nationally representative data on 4,606 individuals, aged 18-79 years from a rapid-response cross-sectional survey conducted in April 2020. Point prevalence and mutually adjusted prevalence rate ratios for perceived stress from log-binomial regression analysis were presented for socio-demographic, behavioral, and health-related variables. Results: This study found that 52.2% of population aged 18-79 reported elevated stress levels in relation to COVID-19 outbreak. Higher levels of perceived stress were found in women, in younger age groups, in Estonians, and in those with higher self-perceived infection risk, presence of respiratory symptoms, and less than optimal health, according to self-reports. Conclusion: Although, the potential long-term health effects of the current crisis are yet unknown, the alarmingly high stress levels among people indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic might have had a widespread effect on people's mental health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Cross-Sectional Studies , Disease Outbreaks , Estonia/epidemiology , Female , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology
10.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(8)2021 Apr 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194642

ABSTRACT

Background: The postponement and cancellation of the competition season due to COVID-19 could cause significant mental health problems for an elite athlete. The aim of this study was to describe the mental health characteristics of Estonian elite athletes, their training conditions, competition possibilities, and the support they received during COVID-19. Methods: Athletes completed self-reported questionnaires (including Emotional State Questionnaire). The authors applied descriptive statistics, t-test, and χ2 test for comparison of study groups (p < 0.05). Results: Altogether 102 athletes (♂ = 44) were surveyed. The most disturbing issue for athletes was the closing of training centers (57.8%) and cancellation of competitions (50%); 64.7% of athletes reported a negative response from not being able to visit healthcare specialists. Fortunately, athletes could receive virtual coaching. Two-thirds of the athletes had some indication of distress (♀ > ♂): 25% of males and 39.7% of females had symptoms indicating depression; ♀ = 27.6%, ♂ = 13.6% anxiety; ♀ = 56.9%, ♂ = 31.8% fatigue (p = 0.021); ♀ = 55.1%, ♂ = 27.2% insomnia (p = 0.009); 27.5% thought about ending their career (frequency in high distress group compared with low: p = 0.022); and 2.9% were certain they would stop their training completely. Family members were the biggest emotional supporters; 16.7% did not get support from anyone. Conclusion: The Estonian sport community needs to adapt to life in a pandemic environment and help athletes to maintain training and competition activities and in turn, their mental health.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Athletes , Estonia/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Perception , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
12.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 24(15): 8232-8238, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-696260

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global public health crisis with social, psychological and long-lasting economical damages. Weather-related dynamics have an impact on the pattern of human health and disease. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of heat and humidity on daily basis incidence and mortality due to COVID-19 pandemic in ten of the world's hottest countries compared to ten of the coldest ones. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Worldwide, we selected 20 countries; 10 hottest countries with the highest temperatures and 10 coldest countries with the lowest temperature. The selection of the countries was based on the daily basis mean temperature from the date of appearance of the initial cases of COVID-19, Dec 29, 2019 to May 12, 2020. In the world's 10 hottest countries, the mean temperature was (26.31±1.51) and humidity (44.67±4.97). However, in the world's 10 coldest countries the mean temperature was (6.19±1.61) and humidity (57.26±2.35). The data on the global outbreak of COVID-19, daily new cases and deaths were recorded from World Health Organization, and daily information on temperature and humidity was obtained from metrological web "Time and Date". RESULTS: In countries with high temperatures and low humidity, the mean daily cases incidence were (407.12±24.33); cumulative cases (9094.34±708.29); and cumulative deaths (452.84±43.30) were significantly low compared to countries with low temperatures and high humidity: daily cases (1876.72±207.37); cumulative cases (44232.38±5875.11); and cumulative deaths (2008.29±310.13). Moreover, COVID-19 cases and deaths per million population were significantly low in countries with high temperatures (cases 711.23, and deaths 16.27) compared to countries with low temperatures (cases 1685.99; and deaths 86.40). Furthermore, in hottest countries, a 1% increase in humidity reduced number of cases and deaths by (ß = -5.40, p<0.001) and (ß = -0.187, p=0.004) respectively. A similar trend was seen with a 1°C increase in temperature, reducing the number of deaths by (ß = -1.35. p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The results revealed a significant decrease in incidence of daily cases and deaths in countries with high temperatures and low humidity (warmest countries), compared to those countries with low temperatures and high humidity (coldest countries). The findings could be of interest to the policymakers and the health officials on the epidemiological trends of COVID-19 pandemic and weather changes.


Subject(s)
Climate , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Hot Temperature , Humidity , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Algeria/epidemiology , Austria/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Canada/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Estonia/epidemiology , Finland/epidemiology , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , India/epidemiology , Iran/epidemiology , Kazakhstan/epidemiology , Kuwait/epidemiology , Mexico/epidemiology , Mortality , Norway/epidemiology , Oman/epidemiology , Pakistan/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Regression Analysis , Republic of Belarus/epidemiology , Russia/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , Sweden/epidemiology , United Arab Emirates/epidemiology , United States/epidemiology
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