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1.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0250815, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1833533

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is a respiratory infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, and cardiovascular damage is commonly observed in affected patients. We sought to investigate the effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on cardiac injury and hypertension during the current coronavirus pandemic. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The clinical data of 366 hospitalized COVID-19-confirmed patients were analyzed. The clinical signs and laboratory findings were extracted from electronic medical records. Two independent, experienced clinicians reviewed and analyzed the data. RESULTS: Cardiac injury was found in 11.19% (30/268) of enrolled patients. 93.33% (28/30) of cardiac injury cases were in the severe group. The laboratory findings indicated that white blood cells, neutrophils, procalcitonin, C-reactive protein, lactate, and lactic dehydrogenase were positively associated with cardiac injury marker. Compared with healthy controls, the 190 patients without prior hypertension have higher AngⅡ level, of which 16 (8.42%) patients had a rise in blood pressure to the diagnostic criteria of hypertension during hospitalization, with a significantly increased level of the cTnI, procalcitonin, angiotensin-II (AngⅡ) than those normal blood pressure ones. Multivariate analysis indicated that elevated age, cTnI, the history of hypertension, and diabetes were independent predictors for illness severity. The predictive model, based on the four parameters and gender, has a good ability to identify the clinical severity of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients (area under the curve: 0.932, sensitivity: 98.67%, specificity: 75.68%). CONCLUSION: Hypertension, sometimes accompanied by elevated cTnI, may occur in COVID-19 patients and become a sequela. Enhancing Ang II signaling, driven by SARS-CoV-2 infection, might play an important role in the renin-angiotensin system, and consequently lead to the development of hypertension in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Heart Injuries/epidemiology , Hypertension/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , Comorbidity , Disease Progression , Female , Heart Injuries/virology , Hospitalization , Humans , Hypertension/physiopathology , Hypertension/virology , Male , Medical Records , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
2.
J Immunotoxicol ; 18(1): 23-29, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1593522

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 of 2019 (COVID-19) causes a pandemic that has been diagnosed in more than 70 million people worldwide. Mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms include coughing, fever, myalgia, shortness of breath, and acute inflammatory lung injury (ALI). In contrast, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and respiratory failure occur in patients diagnosed with severe COVID-19. ARDS is mediated, at least in part, by a dysregulated inflammatory response due to excessive levels of circulating cytokines, a condition known as the "cytokine-storm syndrome." Currently, there are FDA-approved therapies that attenuate the dysregulated inflammation that occurs in COVID-19 patients, such as dexamethasone or other corticosteroids and IL-6 inhibitors, including sarilumab, tocilizumab, and siltuximab. However, the efficacy of these treatments have been shown to be inconsistent. Compounds that activate the vagus nerve-mediated cholinergic anti-inflammatory reflex, such as the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, GTS-21, attenuate ARDS/inflammatory lung injury by decreasing the extracellular levels of high mobility group box-1 (HMGB1) in the airways and the circulation. It is possible that HMGB1 may be an important mediator of the "cytokine-storm syndrome." Notably, high plasma levels of HMGB1 have been reported in patients diagnosed with severe COVID-19, and there is a significant negative correlation between HMGB1 plasma levels and clinical outcomes. Nicotine can activate the cholinergic anti-inflammatory reflex, which attenuates the up-regulation and the excessive release of pro-inflammatory cytokines/chemokines. Therefore, we hypothesize that low molecular weight compounds that activate the cholinergic anti-inflammatory reflex, such as nicotine or GTS-21, may represent a potential therapeutic approach to attenuate the dysregulated inflammatory responses in patients with severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Benzylidene Compounds/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cholinergic Agents/pharmacology , Inflammation/drug therapy , Nicotine/metabolism , Pyridines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Tobacco Use Disorder/drug therapy , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , Cigarette Smoking/adverse effects , Dexamethasone/therapeutic use , HMGB1 Protein/blood , Humans , Pandemics , alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor/agonists
3.
Curr Psychol ; 40(12): 6271-6274, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525625

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has negatively impacted medical workers' mental health in many countries including Japan. Although research identified poor mental health of medical workers in COVID-19, protective factors for their mental health remain to be appraised. Accordingly, this study aimed to investigate relationships between mental health problems, loneliness, hope and self-compassion among Japanese medical workers, and compare with the general population. Online self-report measures regarding those four constructs were completed by 142 medical workers and 138 individuals in the general population. T-tests and multiple regression analysis were performed. Medical workers had higher levels of mental health problems and loneliness, and lower levels of hope and self-compassion than the general population. Loneliness was the strongest predictor of mental health problems in the medical workers. Findings suggest that Japanese medical workplaces may benefit from targeting workplace loneliness to prevent mental health problems among the medical staff.

4.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 10(4): e1271, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525427

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Emerging evidence of dysregulation of the myeloid cell compartment urges investigations on neutrophil characteristics in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We isolated neutrophils from the blood of COVID-19 patients receiving general ward care and from patients hospitalised at intensive care units (ICUs) to explore the kinetics of circulating neutrophils and factors important for neutrophil migration and activation. METHODS: Multicolour flow cytometry was exploited for the analysis of neutrophil differentiation and activation markers. Multiplex and ELISA technologies were used for the quantification of protease, protease inhibitor, chemokine and cytokine concentrations in plasma. Neutrophil polarisation responses were evaluated microscopically. Gelatinolytic and metalloproteinase activity in plasma was determined using a fluorogenic substrate. Co-culturing healthy donor neutrophils with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) allowed us to investigate viral replication in neutrophils. RESULTS: Upon ICU admission, patients displayed high plasma concentrations of granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and the chemokine CXCL8, accompanied by emergency myelopoiesis as illustrated by high levels of circulating CD10-, immature neutrophils with reduced CXCR2 and C5aR expression. Neutrophil elastase and non-metalloproteinase-derived gelatinolytic activity were increased in plasma from ICU patients. Significantly higher levels of circulating tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1) in patients at ICU admission yielded decreased total MMP proteolytic activity in blood. COVID-19 neutrophils were hyper-responsive to CXCL8 and CXCL12 in shape change assays. Finally, SARS-CoV-2 failed to replicate inside human neutrophils. CONCLUSION: Our study provides detailed insights into the kinetics of neutrophil phenotype and function in severe COVID-19 patients, and supports the concept of an increased neutrophil activation state in the circulation.

5.
Arthritis Rheumatol ; 73(11): 1976-1985, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1432359

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The clinical relevance of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs) in COVID-19 is controversial. This study was undertaken to investigate the prevalence and prognostic value of conventional and nonconventional aPLs in patients with COVID-19. METHODS: This was a multicenter, prospective observational study in a French cohort of patients hospitalized with suspected COVID-19. RESULTS: Two hundred forty-nine patients were hospitalized with suspected COVID-19, in whom COVID-19 was confirmed in 154 and not confirmed in 95. We found a significant increase in lupus anticoagulant (LAC) positivity among patients with COVID-19 compared to patients without COVID-19 (60.9% versus 23.7%; P < 0.001), while prevalence of conventional aPLs (IgG and IgM anti-ß2 -glycoprotein I and IgG and IgM anticardiolipin isotypes) and nonconventional aPLs (IgA isotype of anticardiolipin, IgA isotype of anti-ß2 -glycoprotein I, IgG and IgM isotypes of anti-phosphatidylserine/prothrombin, and IgG and IgM isotypes of antiprothrombin) was low in both groups. Patients with COVID-19 who were positive for LAC, as compared to patients with COVID-19 who were negative for LAC, had higher levels of fibrinogen (median 6.0 gm/liter [interquartile range 5.0-7.0] versus 5.3 gm/liter [interquartile range 4.3-6.4]; P = 0.028) and C-reactive protein (CRP) (median 115.5 mg/liter [interquartile range 66.0-204.8] versus 91.8 mg/liter [interquartile range 27.0-155.1]; P = 0.019). Univariate analysis did not show any association between LAC positivity and higher risks of venous thromboembolism (VTE) (odds ratio 1.02 [95% confidence interval 0.44-2.43], P = 0.95) or in-hospital mortality (odds ratio 1.80 [95% confidence interval 0.70-5.05], P = 0.24). With and without adjustment for CRP level, age, and sex, Kaplan-Meier survival curves according to LAC positivity confirmed the absence of an association with VTE or in-hospital mortality (unadjusted P = 0.64 and P = 0.26, respectively; adjusted hazard ratio 1.13 [95% confidence interval 0.48-2.60] and 1.80 [95% confidence interval 0.67-5.01], respectively). CONCLUSION: Patients with COVID-19 have an increased prevalence of LAC positivity associated with biologic markers of inflammation. However, LAC positivity at the time of hospital admission is not associated with VTE risk and/or in-hospital mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Lupus Coagulation Inhibitor/blood , Venous Thromboembolism/etiology , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/mortality , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , Risk Factors , Survival Rate , Venous Thromboembolism/blood
6.
J Headache Pain ; 22(1): 51, 2021 Jun 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1346199

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The presence of headache during the acute phase of COVID-19 could be associated with the innate response and the cytokine release. We aim to compare the cytokine and interleukin profile in hospitalized COVID-19 patients at the moment of admission with and without headache during the course of the disease. METHODS: An observational analytic study with a case control design was performed. Hospitalized patients from a tertiary hospital with confirmed COVID-19 disease were included. Patients were classified into the headache or the control group depending on whether they presented headache not better accounted for by another headache disorder other than acute headache attributed to systemic viral infection. Several demographic and clinical variables were studies in both groups. We determined the plasmatic levels of 45 different cytokines and interleukins from the first hospitalization plasma extraction in both groups. RESULTS: One hundred and four patients were included in the study, aged 67.4 (12.8), 43.3% female. Among them, 29 (27.9%) had headache. Patients with headache were younger (61.8 vs. 69.5 years, p = 0.005) and had higher frequency of fever (96.6 vs. 78.7%, p = 0.036) and anosmia (48.3% vs. 22.7%, p = 0.016). In the comparison of the crude median values of cytokines, many cytokines were different between both groups. In the comparison of the central and dispersion parameters between the two groups, GROa, IL-10, IL1RA, IL-21, IL-22 remained statistically significant. After adjusting the values for age, sex, baseline situation and COVID-19 severity, IL-10 remained statistically significant (3.3 vs. 2.2 ng/dL, p = 0.042), with a trend towards significance in IL-23 (11.9 vs. 8.6 ng/dL, p = 0.082) and PIGF1 (1621.8 vs. 110.6 ng/dL, p = 0.071). CONCLUSIONS: The higher levels of IL-10 -an anti-inflammatory cytokine- found in our sample in patients with headache may be explained as a counteract of cytokine release, reflecting a more intense immune response in these patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cytokines , Case-Control Studies , Female , Headache/complications , Humans , Interleukins , Male , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 11886, 2021 06 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1341009

ABSTRACT

The cholinergic system has been proposed as a potential regulator of COVID-19-induced hypercytokinemia. We investigated whole-blood expression of cholinergic system members and correlated it with COVID-19 severity. Patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and healthy aged-matched controls were included in this non-interventional study. A whole blood sample was drawn between 9-11 days after symptoms onset, and peripheral leukocyte phenotyping, cytokines measurement, RNA expression and plasma viral load were determined. Additionally, whole-blood expression of native alpha-7 nicotinic subunit and its negative dominant duplicate (CHRFAM7A), choline acetyltransferase and acetylcholine esterase (AchE) were determined. Thirty-seven patients with COVID-19 (10 moderate, 11 severe and 16 with critical disease) and 14 controls were included. Expression of CHRFAM7A was significantly lower in critical COVID-19 patients compared to controls. COVID-19 patients not expressing CHRFAM7A had higher levels of CRP, more extended pulmonary lesions and displayed more pronounced lymphopenia. COVID-19 patients without CHRFAM7A expression also showed increased TNF pathway expression in whole blood. AchE was also expressed in 30 COVID-19 patients and in all controls. COVID-19-induced hypercytokinemia is associated with decreased expression of the pro-inflammatory dominant negative duplicate CHRFAM7A. Expression of this duplicate might be considered before targeting the cholinergic system in COVID-19 with nicotine.


Subject(s)
Acetylcholine/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Inflammation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/genetics , Down-Regulation , Female , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Male , Middle Aged , alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor/genetics
8.
Lancet ; 397(10286): 1711-1724, 2021 05 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1301056

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has disproportionately affected minority ethnic populations in the UK. Our aim was to quantify ethnic differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 outcomes during the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic in England. METHODS: We conducted an observational cohort study of adults (aged ≥18 years) registered with primary care practices in England for whom electronic health records were available through the OpenSAFELY platform, and who had at least 1 year of continuous registration at the start of each study period (Feb 1 to Aug 3, 2020 [wave 1], and Sept 1 to Dec 31, 2020 [wave 2]). Individual-level primary care data were linked to data from other sources on the outcomes of interest: SARS-CoV-2 testing and positive test results and COVID-19-related hospital admissions, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, and death. The exposure was self-reported ethnicity as captured on the primary care record, grouped into five high-level census categories (White, South Asian, Black, other, and mixed) and 16 subcategories across these five categories, as well as an unknown ethnicity category. We used multivariable Cox regression to examine ethnic differences in the outcomes of interest. Models were adjusted for age, sex, deprivation, clinical factors and comorbidities, and household size, with stratification by geographical region. FINDINGS: Of 17 288 532 adults included in the study (excluding care home residents), 10 877 978 (62·9%) were White, 1 025 319 (5·9%) were South Asian, 340 912 (2·0%) were Black, 170 484 (1·0%) were of mixed ethnicity, 320 788 (1·9%) were of other ethnicity, and 4 553 051 (26·3%) were of unknown ethnicity. In wave 1, the likelihood of being tested for SARS-CoV-2 infection was slightly higher in the South Asian group (adjusted hazard ratio 1·08 [95% CI 1·07-1·09]), Black group (1·08 [1·06-1·09]), and mixed ethnicity group (1·04 [1·02-1·05]) and was decreased in the other ethnicity group (0·77 [0·76-0·78]) relative to the White group. The risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection was higher in the South Asian group (1·99 [1·94-2·04]), Black group (1·69 [1·62-1·77]), mixed ethnicity group (1·49 [1·39-1·59]), and other ethnicity group (1·20 [1·14-1·28]). Compared with the White group, the four remaining high-level ethnic groups had an increased risk of COVID-19-related hospitalisation (South Asian group 1·48 [1·41-1·55], Black group 1·78 [1·67-1·90], mixed ethnicity group 1·63 [1·45-1·83], other ethnicity group 1·54 [1·41-1·69]), COVID-19-related ICU admission (2·18 [1·92-2·48], 3·12 [2·65-3·67], 2·96 [2·26-3·87], 3·18 [2·58-3·93]), and death (1·26 [1·15-1·37], 1·51 [1·31-1·71], 1·41 [1·11-1·81], 1·22 [1·00-1·48]). In wave 2, the risks of hospitalisation, ICU admission, and death relative to the White group were increased in the South Asian group but attenuated for the Black group compared with these risks in wave 1. Disaggregation into 16 ethnicity groups showed important heterogeneity within the five broader categories. INTERPRETATION: Some minority ethnic populations in England have excess risks of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 and of adverse COVID-19 outcomes compared with the White population, even after accounting for differences in sociodemographic, clinical, and household characteristics. Causes are likely to be multifactorial, and delineating the exact mechanisms is crucial. Tackling ethnic inequalities will require action across many fronts, including reducing structural inequalities, addressing barriers to equitable care, and improving uptake of testing and vaccination. FUNDING: Medical Research Council.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/ethnology , Ethnicity/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Patient Admission/statistics & numerical data , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , Cohort Studies , England , Humans , Observational Studies as Topic , Survival Analysis
9.
Int J Clin Pract ; 75(10): e14492, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1297677

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Isolation precautions are very important for emergency personnel faced with this high risk. This is cross-sectional study carried out to determine the compliance of emergency healthcare personnel with isolation precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: The study was carried out in the Emergency Services department of Erzurum Atatürk University and Erzurum Regional Training and Research Hospital from May 2020 to June 2020. The study population comprised 184 healthcare professionals working in emergency services, and the sample comprised 138 healthcare professionals who agreed to participate in the study. Data were collected using the "Healthcare Professionals Sociodemographic Form" and the "Compliance with Isolation Precautions Scale". Percentage distribution, t test, variance analysis (ANOVA), Mann-Whitney U test and Kruskal-Wallis test were used to analyse the data. Permission to conduct the study was obtained from the ethics committee and the Ministry of Health. RESULTS: Of the participants, 58.7% were male, 37.7% had worked for 1-5 years, 31.2% were nurses and the mean age was 30.78 ± 7.17. Of the participants, 86.2% wanted to receive training on isolation precautions, 87% knew the type of isolation practiced, 81.2% were able to identify suspected patients and 84.1% knew suspected patients were put into isolation. The emergency healthcare personnel's mean score on the isolation precautions compliance scale was determined as 67.63 ± 4.64. CONCLUSION: It was concluded that the emergency healthcare personnel had high levels of knowledge about the COVID-19 pandemic; however, they had an average level of compliance with isolation precautions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Patient Compliance , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
11.
iScience ; 24(7): 102711, 2021 Jul 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1281437

ABSTRACT

The identification of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 and high risk of severe disease is a challenge in routine care. We performed cell phenotypic, serum, and RNA sequencing gene expression analyses in severe hospitalized patients (n = 61). Relative to healthy donors, results showed abnormalities of 27 cell populations and an elevation of 42 cytokines, neutrophil chemo-attractants, and inflammatory components in patients. Supervised and unsupervised analyses revealed a high abundance of CD177, a specific neutrophil activation marker, contributing to the clustering of severe patients. Gene abundance correlated with high serum levels of CD177 in severe patients. Higher levels were confirmed in a second cohort and in intensive care unit (ICU) than non-ICU patients (P < 0.001). Longitudinal measurements discriminated between patients with the worst prognosis, leading to death, and those who recovered (P = 0.01). These results highlight neutrophil activation as a hallmark of severe disease and CD177 assessment as a reliable prognostic marker for routine care.

12.
Hormones (Athens) ; 20(4): 657-667, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275039

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the pathogen agent causing coronavirus disease (COVID)-19, which was declared a global pandemic in 2020. The spike protein of this virus and the angiotensin-converter enzyme (ACE)-2 in host cells in humans play a vital role in infection and in COVID-19 pathogenesis. Estradiol is known to modulate the actions of immune cells, and, therefore, the antiviral mechanisms of these cells could also be modified by this hormone stimulus. Even though estradiol is not considered a protective factor, evidence shows that women with high levels of this hormone have a lower risk of developing severe symptoms and an even a lower incidence of death. Understanding the mechanism of action of estradiol with regard to viral infections and COVID-19 is essential for the improvement of therapeutic strategies. This review aims to describe the effects that estradiol exerts on immune cells during viral infections and COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Estradiol/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunity , Pandemics
13.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(24): 879-887, 2021 Jun 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278792

ABSTRACT

Early during the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly two thirds of unpaid caregivers of adults reported adverse mental or behavioral health symptoms, compared with approximately one third of noncaregivers† (1). In addition, 27% of parents of children aged <18 years reported that their mental health had worsened during the pandemic (2). To examine mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic among U.S. adults on the basis of their classification as having a parenting role (i.e., unpaid persons caring for children and adolescents aged <18 years, referred to as children in this report) or being an unpaid caregiver of adults (i.e., persons caring for adults aged ≥18 years),§ CDC analyzed data from cross-sectional surveys that were administered during December 2020 and February-March 2021 for The COVID-19 Outbreak Public Evaluation (COPE) Initiative.¶ Respondents were categorized as parents only, caregivers of adults only, parents-caregivers (persons in both roles), or nonparents/noncaregivers (persons in neither role). Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) for any adverse mental health symptoms, particularly suicidal ideation, were higher among all respondents who were parents, caregivers of adults, or both compared with respondents who were nonparents/noncaregivers and were highest among persons in both roles (parents-caregivers) (any adverse mental health symptoms: aOR = 5.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.1-6.2; serious suicidal ideation: aOR = 8.2, 95% CI = 6.5-10.4). These findings highlight that parents and caregivers, especially those balancing roles both as parents and caregivers, experienced higher levels of adverse mental health symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic than adults without these responsibilities. Caregivers who had someone to rely on for support had lower odds of experiencing any adverse mental health symptoms. Additional measures are needed to improve mental health among parents, caregivers, and parents-caregivers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Caregivers/psychology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Parents/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Caregivers/economics , Caregivers/statistics & numerical data , Female , Health Surveys , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , United States/epidemiology , Young Adult
14.
Front Psychol ; 12: 670824, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273358

ABSTRACT

The present longitudinal survey study explored changes in and effects of foreign language classroom anxiety (FLCA) and listening anxiety (FLLA) on Chinese undergraduate students' English proficiency over a semester in the COVID-19 context. A set of 182 matching questionnaires was collected from first-year undergraduate English as a foreign language learners at two time points of a 16-week semester. Analyses of the data revealed the following major findings: (1) the participants experienced high levels of FLCA and FLLA both at the beginning and end of the semester, neither of which changed significantly during the semester, (2) FLCA and FLLA were highly positively related to each other, (3) FLCA and FLLA significantly predicted students' self-rated proficiency in listening and speaking English, and (4) confidence in using English, efforts and motivation to learn English and interaction with instructors and peers mediated FLCA and FLLA to exert effects on students' self-perceived proficiency in listening and speaking English. These findings indicate that the learning environment is critical in influencing the levels of and changes in FLCA and listening anxiety and that these two types of foreign language anxiety are serious issues in the pandemic foreign language learning context.

15.
J Autoimmun ; 122: 102683, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1267726

ABSTRACT

The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) plays a major role in COVID-19. Severity of several inflammation-related diseases has been associated with autoantibodies against RAS, particularly agonistic autoantibodies for angiotensin type-1 receptors (AA-AT1) and autoantibodies against ACE2 (AA-ACE2). Disease severity of COVID-19 patients was defined as mild, moderate or severe following the WHO Clinical Progression Scale and determined at medical discharge. Serum AA-AT1 and AA-ACE2 were measured in COVID-19 patients (n = 119) and non-infected controls (n = 23) using specific solid-phase, sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Serum LIGHT (TNFSF14; tumor necrosis factor ligand superfamily member 14) levels were measured with the corresponding assay kit. At diagnosis, AA-AT1 and AA-ACE2 levels were significantly higher in the COVID-19 group relative to controls, and we observed significant association between disease outcome and serum AA-AT1 and AA-ACE2 levels. Mild disease patients had significantly lower levels of AA-AT1 (p < 0.01) and AA-ACE2 (p < 0.001) than moderate and severe patients. No significant differences were detected between males and females. The increase in autoantibodies was not related to comorbidities potentially affecting COVID-19 severity. There was significant positive correlation between serum levels of AA-AT1 and LIGHT (TNFSF14; rPearson = 0.70, p < 0.001). Both AA-AT1 (by agonistic stimulation of AT1 receptors) and AA-ACE2 (by reducing conversion of Angiotensin II into Angiotensin 1-7) may lead to increase in AT1 receptor activity, enhance proinflammatory responses and severity of COVID-19 outcome. Patients with high levels of autoantibodies require more cautious control after diagnosis. Additionally, the results encourage further studies on the possible protective treatment with AT1 receptor blockers in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Autoantibodies/blood , Autoantigens/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/immunology , Aged , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/blood , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Renin-Angiotensin System/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
16.
West J Emerg Med ; 22(3): 561-564, 2021 May 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266891

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a reduction in emergency department (ED) visits was seen nationally according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, no data currently exists for the impact of ED transfers to a higher level of care during this same time period. The primary objective of the study was to determine whether the COVID-19 pandemic affected the rate of non-COVID-19 transfers from a rural community ED. METHODS: We completed a retrospective chart review of all ED patients who presented to Kingman Regional Medical Center in Kingman, Arizona, from March 1-June 31, 2019 and March 1-June 31, 2020. To ensure changes were not due to seasonal trends, we examined transfer rates from the same four-month period in 2019 and 2020. Patients were included in the study if they were transferred to an outside facility for a higher level of care not related to COVID-19. RESULTS: Between the time periods studied there was a 25.33% (P = 0.001) reduction in total ED volume and a 21.44% (P = 0.009) reduction in ED transfers to a higher level of care. No statistical difference was noted in ED transfer volume following adjustment for decreased ED volumes. Transfers for gastroenterology (45%; P = 0.021), neurosurgery (29.2%; P = 0.029), neurology (76.3%; P < 0.001), trauma (37.5%; P = 0.039), urology (41.8%; P = 0.012), and surgery (56.3%; P = 0.028) all experienced a decrease in transfer rates during the time period studied. When gender was considered, males exhibited an increased rate of transfers to psychiatric facilities (P = 0.018). CONCLUSION: Significant reductions in both ED volume and transfers have coincided with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Further research is needed to determine how the current pandemic has affected patient care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Patient Transfer/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Arizona/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Rural Population , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Diabetol Metab Syndr ; 13(1): 63, 2021 Jun 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266502

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health emergency, which presents wide-ranging negative impacts on individuals with diabetes. To examine psychosocial well-being and diabetes outcomes in individuals with type 1 diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and investigate how these factors vary in different countries. METHODS: Between April and June 2020 we employed a cross national comparative research study in the United States (US), Brazil, and Iran to collect data from 1788 adults with type 1 diabetes using web-based survey. Study participants answered questions relevant to diabetes distress, diabetes burnout, depressive symptoms, COVID-19 related changes, and socio-demographic characteristics. They also reported their last Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and daily Time-in-Range (TiR) blood glucose. We analyzed data using comparative tests (Chi-square, Kruskal-Wallis and McNemar test), logistic and linear regression adjusted for fixed effects. RESULTS: There were significant changes prior and during the pandemic regarding access to diabetes care, diabetes supplies and medications, healthy food and safe places to exercise in all countries (p < 0.05). Participants in Iran experienced higher levels of diabetes distress (57.1%), diabetes burnout (50%), and depressive symptoms (60.9%), followed by Brazil and US (p < 0.0001). US participants reported better glycemic control (HbA1c = 6.97%, T1R = 69.64%) compared to Brazil (HbA1c = 7.94%, T1R = 51.95%) and Iran (HbA1c = 7.47%, T1R = 51.53%) (p < 0.0001). There were also significant relationships between psychosocial well-being, diabetes outcomes, socio-demographic data, and COVID-19 related challenges in overall sample (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Regardless of differences among US, Brazil, and Iran, our findings revealed that different countries may experience similar challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic which can impact negatively diabetes outcomes and psychosocial well-being in individuals with type 1 diabetes. Countries need to consider modifiable variables associated with poor diabetes outcomes and sub optimal psychosocial well-being and target vulnerable population using significant socio-demographic variables.

18.
J Thorac Imaging ; 36(5): 279-285, 2021 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263732

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) has been shown to affect the myocardium, resulting in a worse clinical outcome. In this registry study, we aimed to identify differences in cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) between COVID-19 and all-cause myocarditis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We examined CMRI of patients with COVID-19 and elevated high-sensitivity serum troponin levels performed between March 31st and May 5th and compared them to CMRI of patients without SARS-CoV-2 infection with suspected myocarditis in the same time period. For this purpose, we evaluated Lake-Louise Criteria for myocarditis by determining nonischemic myocardial injury via T1-mapping, extracellular volume, late gadolinium enhancement, and myocardial edema (ME) by T2-mapping and fat-saturated T2w imaging (T2Q). RESULTS: A total of 15 of 18 (89%) patients with COVID-19 had abnormal findings. The control group consisted of 18 individuals. There were significantly fewer individuals with COVID-19 who had increased T2 (5 vs. 10; P=0.038) and all-cause ME (7 vs. 15; P=0.015); thus, significantly fewer patients with COVID-19 fulfilled Lake-Louise Criteria (6 vs. 17; P<0.001). In contrast, nonischemic myocardial injury was not significantly different. In the COVID-19 group, indexed end-diastolic volume of the left ventricle showed a significant correlation to the extent of abnormal T1 (R2=0.571; P=0.017) and extracellular volume (R2=0.605; P=0.013) and absolute T1, T2, and T2Q (R2=0.644; P=0.005, R2=0.513; P=0.035 and R2=0.629; P=0.038, respectively); in the control group, only extracellular volume showed a weak correlation (R2=0.490; P=0.046). CONCLUSIONS: Cardiac involvement in COVID-19 seems to show less ME than all-cause myocarditis. Abnormal CMRI markers correlated to left ventricle dilation only in the COVID-19 group. Larger comparative studies are needed to verify our findings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine , Myocarditis , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , Contrast Media , Diagnosis, Differential , Gadolinium , Humans , Myocarditis/diagnostic imaging , Myocardium , Predictive Value of Tests
19.
Health Care Women Int ; 41(11-12): 1240-1254, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263595

ABSTRACT

In this study, researchers aimed to determine exercise habits, physical activity (PA) levels and anxiety levels of postmenopausal women (PMw) during the self-quarantine period of the COVID-19 pandemic. 104 PMw (59.00 ± 6.61 years old) participated in the study. It was found that PMw who had exercise habits before the pandemic period had higher PA levels, and the women with high anxiety levels during the pandemic had lower PA levels (p < .05). Anxiety levels and PA were negatively associated with each other. Numbers of grandchildren also affected the PA and anxiety levels of the PMw negatively. Women should be encouraged to initiate or maintain PA levels in all circumstances.


Subject(s)
Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Exercise/psychology , Postmenopause/psychology , Aged , Cyprus/epidemiology , Female , Habits , Humans , Mental Health , Middle Aged , Quarantine , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires
20.
Br J Nutr ; 126(2): 191-198, 2021 07 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261982

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2, exerts far-reaching effects on public health and socio-economic welfare. The majority of infected individuals have mild to moderate symptoms, but a significant proportion develops respiratory failure due to pneumonia. Thrombosis is another frequent manifestation of Covid-19 that contributes to poor outcomes. Vitamin K plays a crucial role in the activation of both pro- and anticlotting factors in the liver and the activation of extrahepatically synthesised protein S which seems to be important in local thrombosis prevention. However, the role of vitamin K extends beyond coagulation. Matrix Gla protein (MGP) is a vitamin K-dependent inhibitor of soft tissue calcification and elastic fibre degradation. Severe extrahepatic vitamin K insufficiency was recently demonstrated in Covid-19 patients, with high inactive MGP levels correlating with elastic fibre degradation rates. This suggests that insufficient vitamin K-dependent MGP activation leaves elastic fibres unprotected against SARS-CoV-2-induced proteolysis. In contrast to MGP, Covid-19 patients have normal levels of activated factor II, in line with previous observations that vitamin K is preferentially transported to the liver for activation of procoagulant factors. We therefore expect that vitamin K-dependent endothelial protein S activation is also compromised, which would be compatible with enhanced thrombogenicity. Taking these data together, we propose a mechanism of pneumonia-induced vitamin K depletion, leading to a decrease in activated MGP and protein S, aggravating pulmonary damage and coagulopathy, respectively. Intervention trials should be conducted to assess whether vitamin K administration plays a role in the prevention and treatment of severe Covid-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Lung/physiopathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Thromboembolism/prevention & control , Thrombosis/prevention & control , Vitamin K Deficiency/metabolism , Vitamin K/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , Calcium-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Extracellular Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Humans , Protein S/metabolism , Thromboembolism/etiology , Thrombosis/etiology , Vitamin K/antagonists & inhibitors , Vitamin K Deficiency/etiology
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