1000 resultados para epidemiology


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This review outlines current international patterns in prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates and survival, including recent trends and a discussion of the possible impact of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing on the observed data. Internationally, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed among men (behind lung cancer), and is the sixth most common cause of cancer death among men. Prostate cancer is particularly prevalent in developed countries such as the United States and the Scandinavian countries, with about a six-fold difference between high-incidence and low-incidence countries. Interpretation of trends in incidence and survival are complicated by the increasing impact of PSA testing, particularly in more developed countries. As Western influences become more pronounced in less developed countries, prostate cancer incidence rates in those countries are tending to increase, even though the prevalence of PSA testing is relatively low. Larger proportions of younger men are being diagnosed with prostate cancer and living longer following diagnosis of prostate cancer, which has many implications for health systems. Decreasing mortality rates are becoming widespread among more developed countries, although it is not clear whether this is due to earlier diagnosis (PSA testing), improved treatment, or some combination of these or other factors.

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Substance misuse in individuals with schizophrenia is very common, especially in young men, in communities where use is frequent and in people receiving inpatient treatment. Problematic use occurs at very low intake levels, so that most affected people are not physically dependent (with the exception of nicotine). People with schizophrenia and substance misuse have poorer symptomatic and functional outcomes than those with schizophrenia alone. Unless there is routine screening, substance misuse is often missed in assessments. Service systems tend to be separated, with poor inter-communication, and affected patients are often excluded from services because of their comorbidity. However, effective management of these disorders requires a fully integrated approach because of the close inter-relationship of the disorders. Use of atypical antipsychotics may be especially important in this population because of growing evidence (especially on clozapine and risperidone) that nicotine smoking, alcohol misuse and possibly some other substance misuse is reduced. Several pharmacotherapies for substance misuse can be used safely in people with schizophrenia, but the evidence base is small and guidelines for their use are necessarily derived from experience in the general population.

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Background: Reducing rates of healthcare acquired infection has been identified by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care as a national priority. One of the goals is the prevention of central venous catheter-related bloodstream infection (CR-BSI). At least 3,500 cases of CR-BSI occur annually in Australian hospitals, resulting in unnecessary deaths and costs to the healthcare system between $25.7 and $95.3 million. Two approaches to preventing these infections have been proposed: use of antimicrobial catheters (A-CVCs); or a catheter care and management ‘bundle’. Given finite healthcare budgets, decisions about the optimal infection control policy require consideration of the effectiveness and value for money of each approach. Objectives: The aim of this research is to use a rational economic framework to inform efficient infection control policy relating to the prevention of CR-BSI in the intensive care unit. It addresses three questions relating to decision-making in this area: 1. Is additional investment in activities aimed at preventing CR-BSI an efficient use of healthcare resources? 2. What is the optimal infection control strategy from amongst the two major approaches that have been proposed to prevent CR-BSI? 3. What uncertainty is there in this decision and can a research agenda to improve decision-making in this area be identified? Methods: A decision analytic model-based economic evaluation was undertaken to identify an efficient approach to preventing CR-BSI in Queensland Health intensive care units. A Markov model was developed in conjunction with a panel of clinical experts which described the epidemiology and prognosis of CR-BSI. The model was parameterised using data systematically identified from the published literature and extracted from routine databases. The quality of data used in the model and its validity to clinical experts and sensitivity to modelling assumptions was assessed. Two separate economic evaluations were conducted. The first evaluation compared all commercially available A-CVCs alongside uncoated catheters to identify which was cost-effective for routine use. The uncertainty in this decision was estimated along with the value of collecting further information to inform the decision. The second evaluation compared the use of A-CVCs to a catheter care bundle. We were unable to estimate the cost of the bundle because it is unclear what the full resource requirements are for its implementation, and what the value of these would be in an Australian context. As such we undertook a threshold analysis to identify the cost and effectiveness thresholds at which a hypothetical bundle would dominate the use of A-CVCs under various clinical scenarios. Results: In the first evaluation of A-CVCs, the findings from the baseline analysis, in which uncertainty is not considered, show that the use of any of the four A-CVCs will result in health gains accompanied by cost-savings. The MR catheters dominate the baseline analysis generating 1.64 QALYs and cost-savings of $130,289 per 1.000 catheters. With uncertainty, and based on current information, the MR catheters remain the optimal decision and return the highest average net monetary benefits ($948 per catheter) relative to all other catheter types. This conclusion was robust to all scenarios tested, however, the probability of error in this conclusion is high, 62% in the baseline scenario. Using a value of $40,000 per QALY, the expected value of perfect information associated with this decision is $7.3 million. An analysis of the expected value of perfect information for individual parameters suggests that it may be worthwhile for future research to focus on providing better estimates of the mortality attributable to CR-BSI and the effectiveness of both SPC and CH/SSD (int/ext) catheters. In the second evaluation of the catheter care bundle relative to A-CVCs, the results which do not consider uncertainty indicate that a bundle must achieve a relative risk of CR-BSI of at least 0.45 to be cost-effective relative to MR catheters. If the bundle can reduce rates of infection from 2.5% to effectively zero, it is cost-effective relative to MR catheters if national implementation costs are less than $2.6 million ($56,610 per ICU). If the bundle can achieve a relative risk of 0.34 (comparable to that reported in the literature) it is cost-effective, relative to MR catheters, if costs over an 18 month period are below $613,795 nationally ($13,343 per ICU). Once uncertainty in the decision is considered, the cost threshold for the bundle increases to $2.2 million. Therefore, if each of the 46 Level III ICUs could implement an 18 month catheter care bundle for less than $47,826 each, this approach would be cost effective relative to A-CVCs. However, the uncertainty is substantial and the probability of error in concluding that the bundle is the cost-effective approach at a cost of $2.2 million is 89%. Conclusions: This work highlights that infection control to prevent CR-BSI is an efficient use of healthcare resources in the Australian context. If there is no further investment in infection control, an opportunity cost is incurred, which is the potential for a more efficient healthcare system. Minocycline/rifampicin catheters are the optimal choice of antimicrobial catheter for routine use in Australian Level III ICUs, however, if a catheter care bundle implemented in Australia was as effective as those used in the large studies in the United States it would be preferred over the catheters if it was able to be implemented for less than $47,826 per Level III ICU. Uncertainty is very high in this decision and arises from multiple sources. There are likely greater costs to this uncertainty for A-CVCs, which may carry hidden costs, than there are for a catheter care bundle, which is more likely to provide indirect benefits to clinical practice and patient safety. Research into the mortality attributable to CR-BSI, the effectiveness of SPC and CH/SSD (int/ext) catheters and the cost and effectiveness of a catheter care bundle in Australia should be prioritised to reduce uncertainty in this decision. This thesis provides the economic evidence to inform one area of infection control, but there are many other infection control decisions for which information about the cost-effectiveness of competing interventions does not exist. This work highlights some of the challenges and benefits to generating and using economic evidence for infection control decision-making and provides support for commissioning more research into the cost-effectiveness of infection control.

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The aim of this chapter is to provide you with a basic understanding of epidemiology, and to introduce you to some of the epidemiological concepts and methods used by researchers and practitioners working in public health. It is hoped that you will recognise how the principles and practice of epidemiology help to provide information and insights that can be used to achieve better health outcomes for all. Epidemiology is fundamental to preventive medicine and public health policy. Rather than examine health and illness on an individual level, as clinicians do, epidemiologists focus on communities and population health issues. The word epidemiology is derived from the Greek epi (on, upon), demos (the people) and logos (the study of). Epidemiology, then, is the study of that which falls upon the people. Its aims are to describe health-related states or events, and through systematic examination of the available information, attempt to determine their causes. The ultimate goal is to contribute to prevention of disease and disability and to delay mortality. The primary question of epidemiology is: why do certain diseases affect particular population groups? Drawing upon statistics, the social and behavioural sciences, the biological sciences and medicine, epidemiologists collect and interpret information to assist in the prevention of new cases of disease, eradicate existing disease and prolong the lives of people who have disease.

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Acute lower respiratory tract infections (ALRTIs) are a common cause of morbidity and mortality among children under 5 years of age and are found worldwide, with pneumonia as the most severe manifestation. Although the incidence of severe disease varies both between individuals and countries, there is still no clear understanding of what causes this variation. Studies of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) have traditionally not focused on viral causes of disease due to a paucity of diagnostic tools. However, with the emergence of molecular techniques, it is now known that viruses outnumber bacteria as the etiological agents of childhood CAP, especially in children under 2 years of age. The main objective of this study was to investigate viruses contributing to disease severity in cases of childhood ALRTI, using a two year cohort study following 2014 infants and children enrolled in Bandung, Indonesia. A total of 352 nasopharyngeal washes collected from 256 paediatric ALRTI patients were used for analysis. A subset of samples was screened using a novel microarray pathogen detection method that identified respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human metapneumovirus (hMPV) and human rhinovirus (HRV) in the samples. Real-time RT-PCR was used both for confirming and quantifying viruses found in the nasopharyngeal samples. Viral copy numbers were determined and normalised to the numbers of human cells collected with the use of 18S rRNA. Molecular epidemiology was performed for RSV A and hMPV using sequences to the glycoprotein gene and nucleoprotein gene respectively, to determine genotypes circulating in this Indonesian paediatric cohort. This study found that HRV (119/352; 33.8%) was the most common virus detected as the cause of respiratory tract infections in this cohort, followed by the viral pathogens RSV A (73/352; 20.7%), hMPV (30/352; 8.5%) and RSV B (12/352; 3.4%). Co-infections of more than two viruses were detected in 31 episodes (defined as an infection which occurred more than two weeks apart), accounting for 8.8% of the 352 samples tested or 15.4% of the 201 episodes with at least one virus detected. RSV A genotypes circulating in this population were predominantly GA2, GA5 and GA7, while hMPV genotypes circulating were mainly A2a (27/30; 90.0%), B2 (2/30; 6.7%) and A1 (1/30; 3.3%). This study found no evidence of disease severity associated either with a specific virus or viral strain, or with viral load. However, this study did find a significant association with co-infection of RSV A and HRV with severe disease (P = 0.006), suggesting that this may be a novel cause of severe disease.

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Many farmers in South and Southeast Asia describe rice tungro disease as a cancer disease because of the severe damage it causes and the difficulty of controlling it (121). As the most important of the 14 rice viral diseases, tungro was first recognized as a leafhopper-transmitted virus disease in 1963 (88). However, tungro, which means “degenerated growth” in a Filipino dialect, has a much longer history. It is almost certain that tungro was responsible for a disease outbreak that occurred in 1859 in Indonesia, which was referred to at the time as mentek (83). In the past, a variety of names has been given to tungro, including accep na pula in the Philippines, penyakit merah in Malaysia, and yelloworange leaf in Thailand (83).

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Modern toxicology investigates a wide array of both old and new health hazards. Priority setting is needed to select agents for research from the plethora of exposure circumstances. The changing societies and a growing fraction of the aged have to be taken into consideration. A precise exposure assessment is of importance for risk estimation and regulation. Toxicology contributes to the exploration of pathomechanisms to specify the exposure metrics for risk estimation. Combined effects of co-existing agents are not yet sufficiently understood. Animal experiments allow a separate administration of agents which can not be disentangled by epidemiological means, but their value is limited for low exposure levels in many of today’s settings. As an experimental science, toxicology has to keep pace with the rapidly growing knowledge about the language of the genome and the changing paradigms in cancer development. During the pioneer era of assembling a working draft of the human genome, toxicogenomics has been developed. Gene and pathway complexity have to be considered when investigating gene–environment interactions. For a best conduct of studies, modern toxicology needs a close liaison with many other disciplines like epidemiology and bioinformatics.

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Exposures to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) can be particularly high in transport microenvironments (i.e. in and around vehicles) despite the short durations typically spent there. There is a mounting body of evidence that suggests that this is especially true for fine (b2.5 μm) and ultrafine (b100 nm, UF) particles. Professional drivers, who spend extended periods of time in transport microenvironments due to their job, may incur exposures markedly higher than already elevated non-occupational exposures. Numerous epidemiological studies have shown a raised incidence of adverse health outcomes among professional drivers, and exposure to TRAP has been suggested as one of the possible causal factors. Despite this, data describing the range and determinants of occupational exposures to fine and UF particles are largely conspicuous in their absence. Such information could strengthen attempts to define the aetiology of professional drivers' illnesses as it relates to traffic combustion-derived particles. In this article, we suggest that the drivers' occupational fine and UF particle exposures are an exemplar case where opportunities exist to better link exposure science and epidemiology in addressing questions of causality. The nature of the hazard is first introduced, followed by an overview of the health effects attributable to exposures typical of transport microenvironments. Basic determinants of exposure and reduction strategies are also described, and finally the state of knowledge is briefly summarised along with an outline of the main unanswered questions in the topic area.

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Worldwide, there are few large-scale epidemiological studies on infertility. In Australia, population-based research on infertility is limited to a few small-scale studies. Therefore, the prevalence of infertility and unmet need for specialist medical advice and treatment cannot be estimated reliably. Women who have used assisted reproductive technologies (ART) are recorded in treatment registries. However, there are many infertile women who are excluded from these clinical populations because they neither seek advice nor use treatment. The thesis was based on a biopsychosocial model of health and used the methods of reproductive epidemiology to address the lack of national data on the prevalence of infertility in Australia. Firstly, numbers of births and pregnancy losses were investigated in two generations of women participating in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH). The ALSWH is a broad-ranging, longitudinal examination of biological, psychological and social factors that impact on women’s health and wellbeing. Women from three age cohorts were randomly sampled from the population using the universal public health insurance (i.e., Medicare) database and ALSWH participants were representative of the female population. However, the studies in the thesis only involved data from two cohorts. The younger cohort were born in 1973-78 and completed up to four mailed surveys between 1996 (when they were aged 18-23 years, n=14247) and 2006 (28-33 years, n=9145). The mid-aged cohort were born in 1946-51 and completed four mailed surveys between 1996 (when they were aged 45-50 years n=13715) and 2004 (53-58 years, n=10905). Compared to other studies that focus on outcomes of single pregnancies, these studies included all pregnancy outcomes by developing comprehensive reproductive histories for each woman. Pregnancy outcomes included birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, termination and ectopic pregnancy. Women in the youngest cohort (born in 1973-78) were only just reaching their peak childbearing years and many (44%) had yet to report their first pregnancy outcome. Women from the mid-aged cohort (born 1946-51) had completed their reproductive lives and 92% were able to report on their lifetime pregnancy outcomes. Pregnancy losses, especially miscarriage, were common for both generations of women. Secondly, the prevalence of infertility, seeking medical advice and using treatment was identified for these two generations of women. For the older generation, the lifetime prevalence of infertility and demand for treatment was investigated in the context of the specialist medical services which became available circa 1980. By this time, however, most of these older women had already been pregnant and completed their families. For women who experienced infertility (11%), their options for advice and treatment were limited and less than half (42%) had used any treatment. More recently for the younger generation of women, who were aged 28-33 years in 2006, specialist advice and treatment were extensively available. Among women who had tried to conceive or had been pregnant (n=5936), 17% had experienced infertility and the majority (72%) were able to access medical advice. However, after seeking advice only half of these infertile women had used treatment with fertility hormones or in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Overall for infertile women aged up to 33 years, only one-third had used these treatments. Thirdly, the barriers to accessing medical advice and using treatment for infertility were identified for women aged less than 34 years. Among a community sample of infertile women aged 28-33 years (ALSWH participants), self-reported depression was found to be a barrier to accessing medical advice. The characteristics of these infertile women in the community who had (n=121) or had not (n=110) used treatment were compared to infertile women aged 27-33 years (n=59) attending four fertility clinics. Compared to infertile women in the community, living in major cities and having private health insurance were associated with early use of treatment for infertility at specialist clinics by women aged <34 years. In contrast to most clinical studies of IVF, the final study reported in the thesis took into account repeated IVF cycles and the impact of women’s individual histories on IVF outcomes. Among 121 infertile women (aged 27-46 years) who had 286 IVF cycles, older age and prolonged use of the oral contraceptive pill were associated with fewer eggs collected. Further, women in particular occupations had lower proportions of eggs fertilised normally than women in other occupational groups. These studies form the first large-scale epidemiological examination of infertility in Australia. The finding that two-thirds of women with infertility had not used treatment indicates that there is an unmet need for specialist treatment in women aged less than 34 years. However, barriers to accessing treatment prevent women using ART at a younger age when there is a higher chance of pregnancy.

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It is more than 10 years since the anthropologist DiGiacomo (1999) answered the question “Can there be a cultural epidemiology?” with disappointment, concluding ethnographic and epidemiological narratives are divergent not complementary. In the same year, the epidemiologist Krieger (1999, p. 1151) asked related questions about the epistemological foundations of epidemiology: “Epidemiology is–or is not—the basic science of public health. Epidemiology is—or is not—an objective science. Science and advocacy are—or are not—distinct and contrary endeavours.” Again in the same year the Indigenous researcher Smith (1999, p. 1) wrote, “From the vantage point of the colonized, a position from which I write, and choose to privilege, the term ‘research’ is inextricably linked to European imperialism and colonialism.” The act of conceptualizing and practicing cultural epidemiology thus brings with it a series of deep epistemological questions about the nature of knowledge production. The Western academy of health research assumes an intellectual and moral privilege to fill gaps in knowledge aimed at yielding improvements in health status. With such privilege comes responsibility, since the power to conceptualize health problems and their solutions deserves considerable critical, historical, and political reflexivity, particularly at the boundaries between dominant and oppressed cultural spaces...