Special Issue "Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Jimmy T. Efird
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Cooperative Studies Program Epidemiology Center, Health Services Research and Development (DVAHCS/Duke Affiliated Center), Durham, NC, USA
Interests: statistical methods; epidemiological study design; risk modeling; cardiovascular disease; cancer
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to announce the Special Issue entitled “Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment”. This is a collection of relevant white papers, topic overviews, tutorials, and seminal work of current interest in the field.   

We hope this topic is of interest to you and invite you to send a tentative title and short abstract to our editorial office ([email protected]) for evaluation before submission. Please note that selected papers are still subject to thorough peer review. Well-prepared papers accepted for this Special Issue will be granted a discounted publication fee or waiver.

We look forward to receiving your excellent work.

Prof. Dr. Jimmy T. Efird, PhD, MSc
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Risk outcomes by geographic region, country or social stratum
  • Public health statistics
  • Epidemiologic methods
  • Seminal public health topics of current interest
  • Meta-analyses and systematic reviews
  • Clinical trial results
  • Disease risk analyses
  • Outbreak studies
  • Environmental health risk assessment

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Antithrombotic Preventive Medication Prescription Redemption and Socioeconomic Status in Hungary in 2016: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6855; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186855 - 19 Sep 2020
Abstract
This work was designed to investigate antithrombotic drug utilization and its link with the socioeconomic characteristics of specific population groups in Hungary by a comparative analysis of data for prescriptions by general practitioners and the redeemed prescriptions for antithrombotic drugs. Risk analysis capabilities [...] Read more.
This work was designed to investigate antithrombotic drug utilization and its link with the socioeconomic characteristics of specific population groups in Hungary by a comparative analysis of data for prescriptions by general practitioners and the redeemed prescriptions for antithrombotic drugs. Risk analysis capabilities were applied to estimate the relationships between socioeconomic status, which was characterized by quintiles of a multidimensional composite indicator (deprivation index), and mortality due to thromboembolic diseases as well as antithrombotic medications for the year 2016 at the district level in Hungary. According to our findings, although deprivation is a significant determinant of mortality due to thromboembolic diseases, clusters can be identified that represent exemptions to this rule: an eastern part of Hungary, consisting of two highly deprived counties, had significantly lower mortality than the country average; by contrast, the least-deprived northwestern part of the country, consisting of five counties, had significantly higher mortality than the country average. The fact that low socioeconomic status in general and poor adherence to antithrombotic drugs irrespective of socioeconomic status were associated with increased mortality indicates the importance of more efficient control of preventive medication and access to healthcare in all districts of the country to reduce mortality due to thromboembolic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Infection Risks among Clients and Staff Who Use Tattooing Services in Poland: An Observational Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6620; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186620 - 11 Sep 2020
Abstract
Across cultures and generations, people have tattooed their bodies. Although blood-borne infections from tattooing have been reduced, certain service aspects remain improperly managed. We assessed the infection risks associated with tattooing by conducting a cross-sectional study (2013–2014) in Poland using an anonymous questionnaire [...] Read more.
Across cultures and generations, people have tattooed their bodies. Although blood-borne infections from tattooing have been reduced, certain service aspects remain improperly managed. We assessed the infection risks associated with tattooing by conducting a cross-sectional study (2013–2014) in Poland using an anonymous questionnaire survey. Scoring procedures for blood-borne infection risks for tattooists and their clients were used. Overall, 255 tattooists were interviewed. A quasi-random selection of tattoo parlors was based on a service register. Knowledge, attitudes, and behavior regarding blood-borne infection risks were assessed using a questionnaire. Simultaneously, tattoo centers were audited. Tattooing had a higher infection risk for tattooists than for clients. Approximately 50% of respondents underwent training on postexposure procedures, which constituted almost one in five of the reported needlestick/cut injuries sustained while working. Furthermore, 25.8% had no knowledge regarding risk from reliable sources, and 2.1% had not broadened their knowledge. Tattooists and their clients are at a risk of infection, and knowledge concerning infection risks remains an underestimated preventative factor. Service quality surveillance and creation of a register for tattoo-related complications may help assess the scale of this public health issue. However, a lack of these records implies the challenges in developing effective organizational and legal protections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle
The Perceived Health Status from Young Adults to Elderly: Results of the MEHM Questionnaire within the CUORE Project Survey 2008–2012
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176160 - 25 Aug 2020
Abstract
Improving healthy life years requires an effective understanding and management of the process of healthy ageing. Assessing the perceived health status and its determinants is a relevant step in this process. This study explored the potentialities of the Minimum European Health Module (MEHM) [...] Read more.
Improving healthy life years requires an effective understanding and management of the process of healthy ageing. Assessing the perceived health status and its determinants is a relevant step in this process. This study explored the potentialities of the Minimum European Health Module (MEHM) to cope with this critical issue. Investigation was conducted on 4798 Italian residents (49.7% women, aged 35–79 years), participating in the CUORE Project Health Examination Survey 2008–2012. The three MEHM questions—perceived health status, chronic morbidity and activity limitations—were examined also in association with living context, seasonality, marital status and level of education. A higher prevalence of health status negative perception was associated with older age (9% and 24% respectively in men and women aged 35–44 years; 46% and 61% respectively in men and women aged 75–79 years). In women, this negative perception was higher than in men in any age group, and reached 50% in the 65–69 age group, 10 years earlier than in men. For both sexes, the level of education had a strong impact on this negative perception (odds ratio 2.32 and 2.72 in men and women respectively), while “living alone” played a greater impact in women than in men. MEHM activity limitations subscale was as much as 30% higher for questionnaires answered during the hottest months. This study identified potential predictors of perceived health status in adults aged 35–79 years, which can be used to target interventions aimed at improving self-perceived health status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Tendency to Worry and Fear of Mental Health during Italy’s COVID-19 Lockdown
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5928; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165928 - 15 Aug 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Background: We tested whether the tendency to worry could affect psychological responses to quarantine by capitalizing on the opportunity of having collected data before the COVID-19 outbreak on measures of worry, anxiety, and trait mindfulness in a group of university students. Methods: Twenty-five [...] Read more.
Background: We tested whether the tendency to worry could affect psychological responses to quarantine by capitalizing on the opportunity of having collected data before the COVID-19 outbreak on measures of worry, anxiety, and trait mindfulness in a group of university students. Methods: Twenty-five participants completed self-report measures assessing worry (Penn State Worry Questionnaire, PSWQ), anxiety (Anxiety Sensitivity Index, ASI-3), and trait mindfulness (Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, MAAS) at T0 (pre-lockdown, 4 November 2019–17 February 2020) and T1 (at the end of lockdown, 26 April–30 April 2020). We compared assessments at the two time points in the whole sample and in high and low worriers (defined at T0 by scores on PSWQ respectively above and below 1.5 SD from mean of the Italian normative sample). Outcomes: High worriers showed at T1 a significant increase of anxiety sensitivity and fear of mental health in comparison to low worriers. Moreover, in the whole sample, at T1 trait mindfulness was inversely related to worry and fear of mental health. Interpretation: A valuable approach to support individuals experiencing anxiety related to the COVID-19 outbreak could be represented by mindfulness-based interventions improving the ability to focus attention and awareness on the present moment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
Open AccessCommunication
COVID-19 Global Risk: Expectation vs. Reality
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5592; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155592 - 03 Aug 2020
Abstract
Background and Objective: COVID-19 has engulfed the entire world, with many countries struggling to contain the pandemic. In order to understand how each country is impacted by the virus compared with what would have been expected prior to the pandemic and the [...] Read more.
Background and Objective: COVID-19 has engulfed the entire world, with many countries struggling to contain the pandemic. In order to understand how each country is impacted by the virus compared with what would have been expected prior to the pandemic and the mortality risk on a global scale, a multi-factor weighted spatial analysis is presented. Method: A number of key developmental indicators across three main categories of demographics, economy, and health infrastructure were used, supplemented with a range of dynamic indicators associated with COVID-19 as independent variables. Using normalised COVID-19 mortality on 13 May 2020 as a dependent variable, a linear regression (N = 153 countries) was performed to assess the predictive power of the various indicators. Results: The results of the assessment show that when in combination, dynamic and static indicators have higher predictive power to explain risk variation in COVID-19 mortality compared with static indicators alone. Furthermore, as of 13 May 2020 most countries were at a similar or lower risk level than what would have been expected pre-COVID, with only 44/153 countries experiencing a more than 20% increase in mortality risk. The ratio of elderly emerges as a strong predictor but it would be worthwhile to consider it in light of the family makeup of individual countries. Conclusion: In conclusion, future avenues of data acquisition related to COVID-19 are suggested. The paper concludes by discussing the ability of various factors to explain COVID-19 mortality risk. The ratio of elderly in combination with the dynamic variables associated with COVID-19 emerge as more significant risk predictors in comparison to socio-economic and demographic indicators. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Cohort Analysis of Epithelial Cancer Mortality Male-to-Female Sex Ratios in the European Union, USA, and Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5311; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155311 - 23 Jul 2020
Abstract
Objective: To illustrate trends in sex ratios in epithelial cancer mortality in the EU, USA, and Japan, with a focus on age-specific and cohort patterns. Methods: We obtained certified deaths and resident populations from the World Health Organisation for the period of 1970–2014 [...] Read more.
Objective: To illustrate trends in sex ratios in epithelial cancer mortality in the EU, USA, and Japan, with a focus on age-specific and cohort patterns. Methods: We obtained certified deaths and resident populations from the World Health Organisation for the period of 1970–2014 for the USA, Japan, and the EU for 12 epithelial cancer sites. From these, we calculated both the age-specific and age-standardised male-to-female mortality sex ratios. We applied an age-period-cohort model to the sex ratios in order to disentangle the effects of age, period of death, and birth cohort. Results: Age-standardised mortality sex ratios were found to be unfavourable to males, apart from thyroid cancer. The highest standardised rates were in laryngeal cancer: 7·7 in the 1970s in the USA, 17·4 in the 1980s in the EU, and 16·8 in the 2000s in Japan. Cohort patterns likely to be due to excess smoking (1890 cohort) and drinking (1940 cohort) in men were identified in the USA, and were present but less defined in the EU and Japan for the oral cavity, oesophagus, liver, pancreas, larynx, lung, bladder, and kidney. Conclusion: Mortality sex ratio patterns are partly explained by the differences in exposure to known and avoidable risk factors. These are mostly tobacco, alcohol, and obesity/overweight, as well as other lifestyle-related factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Post-Stroke Rehabilitation on Body Mass Composition in Relation to Socio-Demographic and Clinical Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(14), 5134; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17145134 - 16 Jul 2020
Abstract
Background and objectives: Stroke is one of the leading causes of morbidity, mortality and long-term adult disability. The aim of this study was to assess the changes in body mass composition in patients after stroke in connection with selected socio-demographic and clinical [...] Read more.
Background and objectives: Stroke is one of the leading causes of morbidity, mortality and long-term adult disability. The aim of this study was to assess the changes in body mass composition in patients after stroke in connection with selected socio-demographic and clinical factors (sex, age, type of stroke and time from the first symptoms) following the rehabilitation process. Materials and Methods: The study group consisted of 100 post-stroke subjects who participated in a comprehensive rehabilitation program for a duration of five weeks. The measurements of body composition by a Tanita MC 780 MA analyser were performed on the day of admission to hospital, on the day of discharge (after 5 weeks) and 12 weeks after discharge from hospital. Results: It was shown that before rehabilitation (Exam I) in the study group there were significant differences in body composition relative to sex, age and time from stroke. The rates of fat mass % and visceral fat level decreased after rehabilitation (Exam II) in both males and females. Exam II, at the end hospital rehabilitation, showed lower levels of fat mass %, visceral fat level, as well as fat-free mass % and higher values of total body water % and muscle mass %. In Exam III, i.e., 12 weeks after discharge, all of the parameters retained their values. Conclusions: The study shows an association between stroke risk factors (primarily age, sex and time from the onset of the first symptoms of stroke) and body mass composition resulting from rehabilitation. The type of stroke and the effects of rehabilitation on body mass components showed no differences. Comprehensive rehabilitation had a positive effect on the body mass components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Statistics and Influencing Factors of the COVID-19 Epidemic at Both Prefecture and County Levels in Hubei Province, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3903; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113903 - 31 May 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic has had a crucial influence on people’s lives and socio-economic development. An understanding of the spatiotemporal patterns and influencing factors of the COVID-19 epidemic on multiple scales could benefit the control of the outbreak. Therefore, we used [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic has had a crucial influence on people’s lives and socio-economic development. An understanding of the spatiotemporal patterns and influencing factors of the COVID-19 epidemic on multiple scales could benefit the control of the outbreak. Therefore, we used spatial autocorrelation and Spearman’s rank correlation methods to investigate these two topics, respectively. The COVID-19 epidemic data reported publicly and relevant open data in Hubei province were analyzed. The results showed that (1) at both prefecture and county levels, the global spatial autocorrelation was extremely significant for the cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases (CCC) in Hubei province from 30 January to 18 February 2020. Further, (2) at both levels, the significant hotspots and cluster/outlier areas were observed solely in Wuhan city and most of its districts/sub-cities from 30 January to 18 February 2020. (3) At the prefecture level in Hubei province, the number of CCC had a positive and extremely significant correlation (p < 0.01) with the registered population (RGP), resident population (RSP), Baidu migration index (BMI), regional gross domestic production (GDP), and total retail sales of consumer goods (TRS), respectively, from 29 January to 18 February 2020 and had a negative and significant correlation (p < 0.05) with minimum elevation (MINE) from 2 February to 18 February 2020, but no association with the land area (LA), population density (PD), maximum elevation (MAXE), mean elevation (MNE), and range of elevation (RAE) from 23 January to 18 February 2020. (4) At the county level, the number of CCC in Hubei province had a positive and extremely significant correlation (p < 0.01) with PD, RGP, RSP, GDP, and TRS, respectively, from 27 January to 18 February 2020, and was negatively associated with MINE, MAXE, MNE, and RAE, respectively, from 26 January to 18 February 2020, and negatively associated with LA from 30 January to 18 February 2020. It suggested that (1) the COVID-19 epidemics at both levels in Hubei province had evident characteristics of significant global spatial autocorrelations and significant centralized high-risk outbreaks. (2) The COVID-19 epidemics were significantly associated with the natural factors, such as LA, MAXE, MNE, and RAE, -only at the county level, not at the prefecture level, from 2 February to 18 February 2020. (3) The COVID-19 epidemics were significantly related to the socioeconomic factors, such as RGP, RSP, TRS, and GDP, at both levels from 26 January to 18 February 2020. It is desired that this study enrich our understanding of the spatiotemporal patterns and influencing factors of the COVID-19 epidemic and benefit classified prevention and control of the COVID-19 epidemic for policymakers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of Computed Tomography Scans on the Risk of Thyroid Disease in Minor Head Injury Patients: A Population-Based Retrospective Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3873; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113873 - 29 May 2020
Abstract
We investigated the association between head computed tomography (CT) scans and the risk of noncancer thyroid diseases in patients with minor head injury in a Taiwanese healthcare setting. For this retrospective population-based cohort study, the 2009–2013 Longitudinal Health Insurance Database was used to [...] Read more.
We investigated the association between head computed tomography (CT) scans and the risk of noncancer thyroid diseases in patients with minor head injury in a Taiwanese healthcare setting. For this retrospective population-based cohort study, the 2009–2013 Longitudinal Health Insurance Database was used to include patients with a minor head injury at admission or emergency visit between 2009 and 2013. Multivariate analysis with a multiple Cox regression model was applied to analyze the data. According to whether a CT scan was conducted within 14 days of admission, patients were divided into a CT scan group (n = 14,041) or a non-CT scan group (n = 34,684). No increased incidence of thyroid diseases was observed in the CT scan group regardless of the number of CT scans performed. The incidence rate ratio for one scan was 1.10 (95% confidence interval: 0.94–1.29) and for two or more scans was 1.09 (95% confidence interval: 0.93–1.28). In conclusion, this population-based cohort study showed that a head CT scan is not associated with increased risk of thyroid disease in patients with minor head injury. The short-term adverse effects on the thyroid could be mild when a regular CT scan is appropriately performed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
The Urban-Rural Disparity in the Status and Risk Factors of Health Literacy: A Cross-Sectional Survey in Central China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3848; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113848 - 29 May 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Health literacy is the ability of individuals to access, process, and understand health information to make decisions regarding treatment and their health on the whole; it is critical to maintain and improve public health. However, the health literacy of urban and rural populations [...] Read more.
Health literacy is the ability of individuals to access, process, and understand health information to make decisions regarding treatment and their health on the whole; it is critical to maintain and improve public health. However, the health literacy of urban and rural populations in China has been little known. Thus, this study aims to assess the status of health literacy and explore the differences of its possible determinants (e.g., socio-economic factors) among urban and rural populations in Henan, China. A cross-sectional study, 78,646 participants were recruited from a populous province in central China with a multi-stage random sampling design. The Chinese Resident Health Literacy Scale was adopted to measure the health literacy of the respondents. In the participants, the level of health literacy (10.21%) in central China was significantly lower than the national average, and a big gap was identified between urban and rural populations (16.92% vs. 8.09%). A noticeable difference was reported in different aspects and health issues of health literacy between urban and rural populations. The health literacy level was lower in those with lower levels of education, and a significant difference was identified in the level of health literacy among people of different ages and occupations in both urban and rural areas. Note that in rural areas, as long as residents educated, they all had higher odds to exhibit basic health literacy than those uneducated; in rural areas, compared with those aged 15 to 24 years, residents aged 45 to 54 years (OR = 0.846,95% CI (0.730, 0.981)), 55 to 64 years (OR = 0.716,95% CI (0.614, 0.836)) and above 65 years (OR = 0.679, 95% CI (0.567, 0.812)) were 84.6%, 71.6%, and 67.9%, respectively, less likely to exhibit basic health literacy. Considering the lower health literacy among rural residents compared with their urban counterparts, a reorientation of the health policy-making for Chinese rural areas is recommended. This study suggests that urban–rural disparity about health literacy risk factors should be considered when implementing health literacy promotion intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle
The Development of a Screening Tool for Chinese Disordered Gamers: The Chinese Internet Gaming Disorder Checklist (C-IGDC)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3412; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103412 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Despite the increasing research attention being paid to gaming disorder globally, a screening tool developed specifically for the Chinese population is still lacking. This study aims to address this gap by constructing a screening tool to assess Internet gaming disorder (IGD) symptomology, defined [...] Read more.
Despite the increasing research attention being paid to gaming disorder globally, a screening tool developed specifically for the Chinese population is still lacking. This study aims to address this gap by constructing a screening tool to assess Internet gaming disorder (IGD) symptomology, defined by the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), among Chinese gamers. Based on expert interviews and consultations, a focus group of gamers, a background literature review, and the IGD criteria proposed by the DSM-5, we developed the Chinese Internet Gaming Disorder Checklist (C-IGDC). This study evaluated its dimensional structure, reliability, validity, and screening efficacy with 464 Chinese past-year gamers (53% female; mean age = 19.84). The two-level structure of the 27-item C-IGDC showed a satisfactory model fit, acceptable reliability, as well as good validity via expected associations with Internet addiction, gameplay frequency, and depressive symptoms. The optimal screening cutoff score (≥20) was proposed to detect probable IGD cases. The C-IGDC is the first DSM-5-based, multidimensional IGD screening tool designed specifically for Chinese gamers. Further evaluation of the C-IGDC in epidemiological studies and clinical settings is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Elixhauser and Charlson Methods for Discriminative Performance in Mortality Risk in Patients with Schizophrenic Disorders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2450; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072450 - 03 Apr 2020
Abstract
Although Charlson Comorbidity Index scores (CCIS) and Elixhauser comorbidity index scores (ECIS) have been used to assess comorbidity in patients with schizophrenia, only CCIS, not ECIS, have been used to predict mortality in this population. This nationwide retrospective study investigated discriminative performance of [...] Read more.
Although Charlson Comorbidity Index scores (CCIS) and Elixhauser comorbidity index scores (ECIS) have been used to assess comorbidity in patients with schizophrenia, only CCIS, not ECIS, have been used to predict mortality in this population. This nationwide retrospective study investigated discriminative performance of mortality of these two scales in patients with schizophrenia. Exploiting Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database (NHRID), we identified patients diagnosed with schizophrenia discharged from hospitals between Jan 1, 1996 and Dec 31, 2007. They were followed up for subsequent death. Comorbidities presented one year prior to hospital admissions were identified and adapted to the CCIS and ECIS. Discriminatory ability was evaluated using the adjusted hazard ratio and Akaike information criterion (AIC) and Harrell’s C-statistic. We identified 58,771 discharged patients with schizophrenic disorders and followed them for a mean of 10.4 years, 16.6% of whom had died. Both ECIS and CCIS were significantly associated with mortality, but ECIS had superior discriminatory ability by a lower AIC and higher Harrell’s C-statistic (201231 vs. 201400; 0.856 vs. 0.854, respectively). ECIS had better discriminative performance in mortality risk than CCIS in patients with schizophrenic disorders. Its use may be encouraged for risk adjustment in this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle
Prevalence and Risk Factors of Metabolic Associated Fatty Liver Disease in Xinxiang, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1818; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061818 - 11 Mar 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Metabolic associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is recognized as the liver disease component of metabolic syndrome, which is mainly related to insulin resistance and genetic susceptibility. It is the most prevalent chronic liver disease worldwide. With rapid lifestyle transitions, its prevalence worldwide is [...] Read more.
Metabolic associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) is recognized as the liver disease component of metabolic syndrome, which is mainly related to insulin resistance and genetic susceptibility. It is the most prevalent chronic liver disease worldwide. With rapid lifestyle transitions, its prevalence worldwide is increasing, and tremendous challenges in controlling this pandemic are arising. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of MAFLD in rural areas of Xinxiang, Henan in 2017. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of rural inhabitants aged 20–79 years in Xinxiang, Henan in 2017, using cluster random sampling (N = 9140). Physical examinations were conducted at local clinics from April to June 2017. After overnight fasting, all participants underwent physical examinations, blood routine tests, biochemical examinations, and liver ultrasound and completed questionnaires. We investigated the crude and age-adjusted MAFLD prevalence and analyzed the characteristics of those with, and without, MAFLD, using logistic regression. Approximately 2868 (31.38%) participants were diagnosed with MAFLD. The overall age-adjusted MAFLD prevalence was 29.85% (men: 35.36%; women: 26.49%). The MAFLD prevalence increased with age, and peaked at the 50–59-year age group, and then began to decline. Higher body mass index, waist circumference, percentage of lymphocytes, levels of hemoglobin, platelet count, triglyceride, fasting plasma glucose, and serum uric acid were independently and positively correlated with MAFLD; In contrary, active physical activity and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were negatively correlated with MAFLD. In summary, the MAFLD prevalence in the study population was 29.85%. Higher body mass index, waist circumference, percentage of lymphocytes, levels of hemoglobin, platelet count, triglyceride, fasting plasma glucose, and serum uric acid were risk factors for MAFLD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Risk and Protective Factors for PTSD in Caregivers of Adult Patients with Severe Medical Illnesses: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5888; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165888 - 13 Aug 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Caregivers of severely ill individuals often struggle to adjust to new responsibilities and roles while experiencing negative psychological outcomes that include depression, anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This systematic review aims to outline potential risk and protective factors for the development of [...] Read more.
Caregivers of severely ill individuals often struggle to adjust to new responsibilities and roles while experiencing negative psychological outcomes that include depression, anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This systematic review aims to outline potential risk and protective factors for the development of PTSD in caregivers of adult subjects affected by severe somatic, potentially life-threatening illnesses. Twenty-nine studies on caregivers of adult patients affected by severe, acute, or chronic somatic diseases have been included. Eligibility criteria included: full-text publications reporting primary, empirical data; PTSD in caregivers of adult subjects affected by severe physical illnesses; risk and/or protective factors related to PTSD; and English language. Specific sociodemographic and socioeconomic characteristics, besides the illness-related distress, familiar relationships, exposure characteristics, coping style, and support, were identified as relevant risk/protective factors for PTSD. The review limitations are the small number of studies; studies on different types of diseases; studies with same samples. It is crucial to consider factors affecting caregivers of severely ill adult patients in order to plan effective intervention strategies aimed at reducing the risk of an adverse mental health outcome and at enhancing the psychological endurance of this population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessReview
Interventions to Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease among Workers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2267; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072267 - 27 Mar 2020
Abstract
This study examined the effect of lifestyle interventions on cardiovascular disease risk factors among workers. The study comprised a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. Relevant controlled trials were searched, with selections based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and [...] Read more.
This study examined the effect of lifestyle interventions on cardiovascular disease risk factors among workers. The study comprised a systematic review and meta-analysis of controlled trials. Relevant controlled trials were searched, with selections based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Risk of bias was assessed using the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN). Of 1174 identified publications, one low-quality study was excluded. Finally, 10 were analyzed. The effect sizes were analyzed for heterogeneity, and random effect models (Hedge’s g) were used. A subgroup analysis was performed on the follow-up point of intervention (≤ 12 months vs. > 12 months). Publication bias was also analyzed. Interventions were effective for systolic (g = 0.66, 95% CI: 0.27-1.60) and diastolic blood pressure (g = 0.63, 95% CI: 0.21–1.06), and BMI (g = 0.71, 95% CI: 0.15-1.11). Interventions were ineffective for weight (g = 0.18, 95% CI: −0.04, 0.40) and LDL-cholesterol (g = 0.46, 95% CI: −0.02, 0.93). There was high heterogeneity between studies (I2 =78.45 to I2 = 94.61). There was no statistically significant publication bias, except for systolic blood pressure. Interventions to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease risk might be effective in improving physical outcomes, but additional high-quality trials are needed in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
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