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COVID 19: Original Article

May 30, 2022


Changes in cancer screening before and during COVID‐19: findings from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey 2019 and 2020
Thao Thi Kim Trinh, Yun Yeong Lee, Mina Suh, Jae Kwan Jun, Kui Son Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022051.

Original Article

May 24, 2022


Gender differences in the association between multimorbidity and depression in older Korean adults: an analysis of data from the National Survey of Older Koreans (2011-2017)
SeoYeon Hwang, Jin Young Nam, Jeong Hyun Ahn, Soojin Park
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022049.

Epidemiologic Investigation

May 18, 2022


Investigation of a human brucellosis outbreak in Douz, Tunisia, 2018
Nejib Charaa, Rabaa Ghrab, Aicha Ben Othman, Mohamed Makhlouf, Hejer Ltaief, Nissaf Ben Alaya, Mohamed Chahed
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022048.

Original Article

May 15, 2022


Non-linear association between serum folate concentrations and dyslipidemia: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2016-2018
Taiyue Jin, Eun Young Park, Byungmi Kim, Jin-Kyoung Oh
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022046.

Original Article

May 1, 2022


Spatial analysis of tuberculosis treatment outcomes in Shanghai: implications for tuberculosis control
Jing Zhang, Xin Shen, Chongguang Yang, Yue Chen, Juntao Guo, Decheng Wang, Jun Zhang, Henry Lynn, Yi Hu, Qichao Pan, et al.
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022045.

Current Issue
Volume 44; 2022
COVID 19: Original Article Changes in cancer screening before and during COVID‐19: findings from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey 2019 and 2020
Thao Thi Kim Trinh, Yun Yeong Lee, Mina Suh, Jae Kwan Jun, et al. Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022051.
  • Abstract
  • View article
  • Korean summary
Original Article Gender differences in the association between multimorbidity and depression in older Korean adults: an analysis of data from the National Survey of Older Koreans (2011-2017)
SeoYeon Hwang, Jin Young Nam, Jeong Hyun Ahn, Soojin Park Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022049.
  • Abstract
  • View article
  • Korean summary
  • Supplementary data
Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has negatively affected every aspect of medical care. However, information regarding the impact of the pandemic on cancer screening is lacking. This study aimed to explore cancer screening changes by geographic region before and during the pandemic in Korea.
METHODS:
Korean National Cancer Screening Survey data for 2019 and 2020 were used. Changes in the screening rate before and during the COVID-19 pandemic were calculated by subtracting the rate in 2020 from the rate in 2019. Multivariate logistic regression analyses examined the differences in screening rates at the national and 16 provincial levels before and after the COVID-19 outbreak.
RESULTS:
The 1-year screening rates for the four types of cancer decreased during the pandemic (stomach cancer: -5.1, colorectal cancer: -3.8, breast cancer: -2.5, cervical cancer: -1.5%p). In metropolitan areas, the odds of undergoing screening tests during the pandemic were significantly lower than before the pandemic for stomach (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56 to 0.76), colorectal (aOR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.79), and breast cancers (aOR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.60 to 0.94). Furthermore, the likelihood of undergoing stomach cancer screening during the pandemic was significantly lower than before the pandemic in non-metropolitan urban areas (aOR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.70 to 0.94), while it was higher in rural areas (aOR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.10 to 2.16).
CONCLUSIONS:
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the cancer screening rate has decreased significantly, especially in large cities. Public health efforts are required to improve cancer screening rates.
Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
Previous studies have shown that people with multimorbidity have a higher risk of depression than those without multimorbidity. However, few studies have examined the association between depression and multimorbidity in men and women separately. Since the rates of depression and multimorbidity are different in men and women, it is necessary to examine whether gender differences affect their association.
METHODS:
This study included 30,138 participants (aged ≥ 65 years) from the National Survey of Older Koreans (2011-2017). Depression was defined using the Korean version of the Geriatric Depression Scale (SGDS-K). Multimorbidity was defined as people who had 2 or more chronic diseases, including arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, pulmonary disease, cancer, stroke, or osteoporosis. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the association between depression and multimorbidity.
RESULTS:
In total, 22.2% and 30.7% of men and women, respectively, had depression. Those with multimorbidity had a higher risk of depression than those without chronic conditions; specifically, the difference in risk among men was greater than that among women. Age was considered a moderator for women. While the effects of pulmonary disease, stroke, and cancer were especially substantial in the integrated analysis, gender differences were observed related to various chronic conditions comorbid with heart disease.
CONCLUSIONS:
There are gender differences in the association between multimorbidity and depression among older Korean adults. Therefore, gender-specific care should be provided to reduce depression in older adults with multimorbidity.
Epidemiologic Investigation Investigation of a human brucellosis outbreak in Douz, Tunisia, 2018
Nejib Charaa, Rabaa Ghrab, Aicha Ben Othman, Mohamed Makhlouf, et al. Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022048.
  • Abstract
  • View article
Original Article Non-linear association between serum folate concentrations and dyslipidemia: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2016-2018
Taiyue Jin, Eun Young Park, Byungmi Kim, Jin-Kyoung Oh Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022046.
  • Abstract
  • View article
  • Korean summary
  • Supplementary data
Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
In 2017, the incidence of human brucellosis in Tunisia was 9.8 per 100,000 population. In the Douz district, 2 cases were reported in March 2018. Prior to that date, the last indigenous cases to be reported in Douz had been in 2015. This study aimed to identify the source of this new contamination and recommend control interventions.
METHODS:
This case-control study included residents of Douz who presented with clinical symptoms of brucellosis and had a subsequent Wright test antibody titer ≥ 1/160. The controls were neighbors of the infected cases who had a negative Rose Bengal test. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to estimate the odds ratios of risk factors. Goats belonging to the cases and controls were actively screened.
RESULTS:
Twenty-five infected cases and 52 uninfected controls were enrolled. All infected cases had consumed goat milk and 92% had purchased it from the same breeder. Consumption of goat milk from this breeder (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 30.78; 95% confidence interval [CI], 6.47 to 235.91) and overall consumption of raw goat milk (aOR, 14.84; 95% CI, 2.04 to 310.44) were independent risk factors for brucellosis. The breeder had 18 goats, 5 of which were smuggled from a neighboring country. Three of those goats were diagnosed with brucellosis.
CONCLUSIONS:
Consumption of raw milk from smuggled sick goats was the main risk factor in this outbreak. The sick goats were slaughtered and an education campaign was conducted. Vaccination, control of cross-border animal movements, and control of goat milk sales must be strengthened to prevent the spread of brucellosis in southwestern Tunisia.
Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
We aimed to evaluate the association between serum folate concentrations and the prevalence of dyslipidemia.
METHODS:
A total of 4,477 adults (2,019 male and 2,458 female) enrolled in the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2016-2018 were included. Serum samples were used to assess folate concentrations and total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol levels. Multivariate logistic regression with sampling weights was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
RESULTS:
Elevated TC, TG, LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol levels were observed in 506 (11.3%), 646 (14.4%), 434 (9.7%), and 767 (17.1%) participants, respectively. We found non-linear trends between serum folate concentrations and the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and hyper-LDL cholesterolemia from the restricted cubic smoothing spline. A higher prevalence of hypercholesterolemia was observed among participants in the first tertile of serum folate concentrations (OR,1.38; 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.79) than among those in the second tertile. However, a higher prevalence of hyper-LDL cholesterolemia was identified for both the first and third serum folate concentration tertiles (OR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.08 to 2.05 and OR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.20 to 2.20, respectively); furthermore, in these tertiles, the prevalence of hyper-LDL cholesterolemia was more pronounced among obese participants.
CONCLUSIONS:
Non-linear associations may exist between serum folate concentrations and the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia and hyper-LDL cholesterolemia in adults. The findings suggest that more accurate recommendations about folate intake and folic acid fortification and supplementation should be provided.
Original Article Spatial analysis of tuberculosis treatment outcomes in Shanghai: implications for tuberculosis control
Jing Zhang, Xin Shen, Chongguang Yang, Yue Chen, et al. Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022045.
  • Abstract
  • View article
  • Supplementary data
COVID 19: Original Article The impact of COVID-19 on cancer care in a tertiary hospital in Korea: possible collateral damage to emergency care
Shin Hye Yoo, Jin-Ah Sim, Jeongmi Shin, Bhumsuk Keam, et al. Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022044.
  • Abstract
  • View article
  • Korean summary
  • Supplementary data
Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
Tuberculosis (TB) treatment outcomes are a key indicator in the assessment of TB control programs. We aimed to identify spatial factors associated with TB treatment outcomes, and to provide additional insights into TB control from a geographical perspective.
METHODS:
We collected data from the electronic TB surveillance system in Shanghai, China and included pulmonary TB patients registered from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2016. We examined the associations of physical accessibility to hospitals, an autoregression term, and random hospital effects with treatment outcomes in logistic regression models after adjusting for demographic, clinical, and treatment factors.
RESULTS:
Of the 53,475 pulmonary TB patients, 49,002 (91.6%) had successful treatment outcomes. The success rate increased from 89.3% in 2009 to 94.4% in 2016. The successful treatment outcome rate varied among hospitals from 78.6% to 97.8%, and there were 12 spatial clusters of poor treatment outcomes during the 8-year study period. The best-fit model incorporated spatial factors. Both the random hospital effects and autoregression terms had significant impacts on TB treatment outcomes, ranking 6th and 10th, respectively, in terms of statistical importance among 14 factors. The number of bus stations around the home was the least important variable in the model.
CONCLUSIONS:
Spatial autocorrelation and hospital effects were associated with TB treatment outcomes in Shanghai. In highly-integrated cities like Shanghai, physical accessibility was not related to treatment outcomes. Governments need to pay more attention to the mobility of patients and different success rates of treatment among hospitals.
Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
We investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care in a tertiary hospital in Korea without specific lockdown measures.
METHODS:
A retrospective cohort of cancer patients from one of the largest tertiary hospitals in Korea was used to compare healthcare utilization in different settings (outpatient cancer clinic, the emergency department [ED], and admissions to the hematology/oncology ward) between January 1 and December 31, 2020 and the same time period in 2019. The percent changes in healthcare utilization between the 2 periods were calculated.
RESULTS:
A total of 448,833 cases from the outpatient cohort, 26,781 cases from the ED cohort, and 14,513 cases from the admission cohort were reviewed for 2019 and 2020. The total number of ED visit cases significantly decreased from 2019 to 2020 by 18.04%, whereas the proportion of cancer patients remained stable. The reduction in ED visits was more prominent in patients with symptoms suspicious for COVID-19, high-acuity cases, and those who lived in non-capital city areas. There were no significant changes in the number of total visits, new cases in the outpatient clinic, or the total number of hospitalizations between the 2 periods.
CONCLUSIONS:
During the pandemic, the number of ED visits significantly decreased, while the use of the outpatient clinic and hospitalizations were not affected. Cancer patients’ ED visits decreased after the COVID-19 outbreak, suggesting the potential for collateral damage outside the hospital if patients cannot reach the ED in a timely manner.

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