Recently Published

  • Complement protein signatures in patients with alcohol-associated hepatitis

    Taiwo, Moyinoluwa T; Huang, Emily; Pathak, Vai; Bellar, Annette; Welch, Nicole; Dasarathy, Jaividhya; Streem, David; McClain, Craig J; Mitchell, Mack C; Barton, Bruce A; et al. (2024-04-04)
    Diagnostic challenges continue to impede development of effective therapies for successful management of alcohol-associated hepatitis (AH), thus creating an unmet need to identify and develop non-invasive biomarkers for AH. In murine models of ethanol-induced liver injury, complement activation contributes to hepatic inflammation and injury. Therefore, we hypothesized that complement proteins could be rational diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers in AH. Here, we performed a comparative analysis of data derived from the human hepatic and serum proteome to identify and characterize complement protein signatures in severe AH (sAH). The quantity of multiple complement proteins was perturbed in liver and serum proteome of patients with sAH. Multiple complement proteins differentiated patients with sAH from those with alcohol cirrhosis (AC), alcohol use disorder (AUD) and healthy controls (HCs). Notably, serum collectin 11 and C1q binding protein were strongly associated with sAH and exhibited good discriminatory performance amongst patients with sAH, AC, AUD, and HCs. Furthermore, complement component receptor 1-like protein (CR1L) was negatively associated with pro-inflammatory cytokines. Additionally, lower serum mannose-binding lectin associated serine protease 1 and coagulation factor II were associated with and independently predicted 90-day mortality. In summary, meta-analysis of proteomic profiles from liver and circulation revealed complement protein signatures of sAH, highlighting a complex perturbation of complement and identifying potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for patients with sAH.
  • Differences in Health Care Utilization for Asthma by Children with Medicaid versus Private Insurance

    Goff, Sarah L; Shieh, Meng-Shiou; Lindenauer, Peter K; Ash, Arlene S.; Krishnan, Jerry A; Geissler, Kimberley H (2024-04-02)
    Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children, disproportionately affects families with lower incomes, and is a leading reason for acute care visits and hospitalizations. This retrospective cohort study used the Massachusetts All Payer Claims Database (2014-2018) to examine differences in acute care utilization and quality of care for asthma between Medicaid- and privately insured children in Massachusetts. Outcomes included acute care use (emergency department [ED] or hospitalization), ED visits with asthma, routine asthma visits, and filled prescriptions for asthma medications. Multivariable logistic regression was used to account for differences in demographics, ZIP codes, health status, and asthma severity. Overall, 10.0% of Medicaid-insured children and 5.6% of privately insured were classified as having asthma. Among 317,596 child-year observations for children with asthma, 64.4% were insured by Medicaid. Medicaid-insured children had higher rates of any acute care use (50.4% vs. 30.0%) and ED visits with an asthma diagnosis (27.2% vs. 13.3%) compared to privately insured children. Only 65.4% of Medicaid enrollees had at least one routine asthma visit compared to 74.3% of privately insured children. Most children received at least one asthma medication (88.6% Medicaid vs. 83.3% privately insured), but a higher percentage of Medicaid-insured children received at least one rescue medication (84.0% vs. 73.7%), and a lower percentage of Medicaid-insured (46.1% vs. 49.2%) received a controller medication. These results suggest that opportunities for improvement in childhood asthma persist, particularly for children insured by Medicaid.
  • Factors Impacting the Implementation of Mobile Integrated Health Programs for the Acute Care of Older Adults

    O'Connor, Laurel; Behar, Stephanie; Refuerzo, Jade; Mele, Xhenifer; Sundling, Elsa; Johnson, Sharon A; Faro, Jamie M; Lindenauer, Peter K; Mattocks, Kristin M (2024-03-28)
    Objective: Emergency services utilization is increasing in older adult populations. Many such encounters may be preventable with better access to acute care in the community. Mobile integrated health (MIH) programs leverage mobile resources to deliver care and services to patients in the out-of-hospital environment and have the potential to improve clinical outcomes and decrease health care costs; however, they have not been widely implemented. We assessed barriers, potential facilitators, and other factors critical to the implementation of MIH programs with key vested partners. Methods: Professional and community-member partners were purposefully recruited to participate in recorded structured interviews. The study team used the Practical Robust Implementation and Sustainability Model (PRISM) framework to develop an interview guide and codebook. Coders employed a combination of deductive and inductive coding strategies to identify common themes across partner groups. Results: The study team interviewed 22 participants (mean age 56, 68% female). A cohort of professional subject matter experts included physicians, paramedics, public health personnel, and hospital administrators. A cohort of lay community partners included patients and caregivers. Coders identified three prominent themes that impact MIH implementation. First, MIH is disruptive to existing clinical workflows. Second, using MIH to improve patients' experience during acute care encounters is key to intervention adoption. Finally, legislative action is needed to augment central financial and regulatory policies to ensure the adoption of MIH programs. Conclusions: Common themes impacting the implementation of MIH programs were identified across vested partner groups. Multilevel strategies are needed to address patient adoption, clinical partners' workflow, and legislative policies to ensure the success of MIH programs.
  • Sex differences in time to initiate NSAIDs or bDMARDs among patients with axial spondyloarthritis

    Shridharmurthy, Divya; Lapane, Kate L; Baek, Jonggyu; Nunes, Anthony P; Weisman, Michael H; Kay, Jonathan; Liu, Shao-Hsien (2024-03-27)
    Objective: We evaluated sex differences in time to initiation of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) or biologic disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) among patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA). Methods: Using the 2013-2018 IBM® MarketScan® Database, we identified 174,632 axSpA patients aged ≥18 years. We evaluated the time between axSpA diagnosis and the first prescription NSAID dispensing (among those with no baseline NSAIDs use) or bDMARDs infusion/procedure claim (among those dispensed ≥ two different prescription NSAIDs in the baseline period). Adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) for time to initiation of NSAIDs or bDMARDs were computed using survival analyses. Cox proportional hazard models estimated associations between sex and predictors of treatment initiation. Results: Average age at diagnosis was 48.2 years, 65.7% were females, and 37.8% had ≥ one NSAIDs dispensing before axSpA diagnosis. Of those without dispensing for ≥ two different prescription NSAIDs before diagnosis, NSAIDs were initiated earlier in females than males (NSAID initiators: Females (32.9%), Males (29.3%); aHR: 1.14, 95% CI: 1.11-1.16). Among those with ≥ two different prescription NSAIDs dispensations in the baseline period, 4.2% initiated a bDMARD while 77.9% continued NSAIDs use after diagnosis. Time to bDMARDs initiation was longer for females than males (aHR:0.61, 95% CI:0.52-0.72), but bDMARDs were initiated sooner among those with NSAIDs use in the baseline period. Conclusion: Prescription NSAID use was more common than initiation of bDMARDs among patients newly diagnosed with axSpA. Females appeared more likely to continue NSAIDs after diagnosis, and the time to initiation of bDMARDs was longer for females than males.
  • Short and medium-term outcomes in individuals hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction and multiple chronic conditions: The Worcester heart attack study

    Zammitti, Christopher; Tisminetzky, Mayra; Mehawej, Jordy; Abu, Hawa O; Miozzo, Ruben; Gore, Joel M; Lessard, Darleen; Bamgbade, Benita A; Yarzebski, Jorge; Gurwitz, Jerry H; et al. (2024-03-27)
    Background: Multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) are common in patients hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). We examined the association of 12 MCCs with the risk of a 30-day hospital readmission and/or dying within one year among those discharged from the hospital after an AMI. We also examined the five most prevalent pairs of chronic conditions in this population and their association with the principal study endpoints. Methods: The study population consisted of 3,294 adults hospitalized with a confirmed AMI at the three major medical centers in central Massachusetts on an approximate biennial basis between 2005 and 2015. Patients were categorized as ≤1, 2-3, and ≥4 chronic conditions. Results: The median age of the study population was 67.9 years, 41.6% were women, and 15% had ≤1, 32% had 2-3, and 53% had ≥4 chronic conditions. Patients with ≥4 conditions tended to be older, had a longer hospital stay, and received fewer cardiac interventional procedures. There was an increased risk for being rehospitalized during the subsequent 30 days according to the presence of MCCs, with the highest risk for those with ≥4 conditions. There was an increased, but attenuated, risk for dying during the next year according to the presence of MCCs. Individuals with diabetes/hypertension and those with heart failure/chronic kidney disease were at particularly high risk for developing the principal study outcomes. Conclusion: Development of guidelines that include complex patients, particularly those with MCCs and those at high risk for adverse short/medium term outcomes, remain needed to inform best treatment practices.
  • Sampling of healthcare professionals' perspective on point-of-care technologies from 2019-2021: A survey of benefits, concerns, and development

    Orwig, Taylor; Sutaria, Shiv; Wang, Ziyue; Howard-Wilson, Sakeina; Dunlap, Denise; Lilly, Craig M; Buchholz, Bryan; McManus, David D; Hafer, Nathaniel (2024-03-08)
    Point-of-care technology (POCT) plays a vital role in modern healthcare by providing a fast diagnosis, improving patient management, and extending healthcare access to remote and resource-limited areas. The objective of this study was to understand how healthcare professionals in the United States perceived POCTs during 2019-2021 to assess the decision-making process of implementing these newer technologies into everyday practice. A 5-point Likert scale survey was sent to respondents to evaluate their perceptions of benefits, concerns, characteristics, and development of point-of-care technologies. The 2021 survey was distributed November 1st, 2021- February 15th, 2022, with a total of 168 independent survey responses received. Of the respondents, 59% identified as male, 73% were white, and 48% have been in practice for over 20 years. The results showed that most agreed that POCTs improve patient management (94%) and improve clinician confidence in decision making (92%). Healthcare professionals were most concerned with potentially not being reimbursed for the cost of the POCT (37%). When asked to rank the top 3 important characteristics of POCT, respondents chose accuracy, ease of use, and availability. It is important to note this survey was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. To achieve an even greater representation of healthcare professionals' point of view on POCTs, further work to obtain responses from a larger, more diverse population of providers is needed.
  • Social engagement and cognitive impairment among nursing home residents: The role of sensory impairment

    Xu, Shu; Jesdale, William M; Dubé, Catherine E; Nielsen, Natalia N; McPhillips, Emily A; Lapane, Kate L (2024-03-05)
    Background and objectives: Using US national nursing home data, this cross-sectional study sought to evaluate 1) the association between lack of social engagement and level of cognitive impairment; and 2) the extent to which this association differs by hearing and visual impairment. Research design and methods: Our sample included 793,846 nursing home residents aged ≥ 50 years. The Index of Social Engagement was categorized as none/lower (0, 1, 2) or higher levels (3 through 6). Cognitive Performance Scale was grouped as intact/mild (0, 1, 2), moderate (3, 4), or severe (5, 6). Multinomial models provided adjusted odds ratio (aOR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) between none/lower social engagement and cognitive impairment. We estimated relative excess risk due to interaction (RERI) to quantify the joint effects of social engagement and sensory impairment types. Results: Overall, 12.6 % had lower social engagement, 30.3 % had hearing impairment, and 40.3 % had visual impairment. Compared to residents with high social engagement, those with lower social engagement were more likely to have moderate/severe cognitive impairment (aORmoderate = 2.21, 95 % CI 2.17-2.26; aORsevere = 6.49, 95 % CI 6.24-6.74). The impact of low social engagement on cognitive impairment was more profound among residents with hearing impairment and/or visual impairment (RERIhearing = 3.89, 95 % CI 3.62-4.17; RERIvisual = 25.2, 95 % CI 23.9-26.6)). Discussion and implications: Residents with lower social engagement had higher levels of cognitive impairment. Residents with sensory impairments are potentially more susceptible to the negative impact of lower levels of social engagement on level of cognitive impairment.
  • Adjustment for Renal Function Improves the Prognostic Performance of Urinary Thromboxane Metabolites

    Barton, Bruce A; Kronsberg, Shari S; Hariri, Essa; Vasan, Ramachandran S; Rade, Grace A; Xanthakis, Vanessa; Kickler, Thomas S; Rade, Jeffrey J (2024-02-28)
    Background: Systemic thromboxane A2 generation, assessed by quantifying the concentration of stable thromboxane B2 metabolites (TXB2-M) in the urine adjusted for urinary creatinine, is strongly associated with mortality risk. We sought to define optimal TXB2-M cutpoints for aspirin users and nonusers and determine if adjusting TXB2-M for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in addition to urinary creatinine improved mortality risk assessment. Methods: Urinary TXB2-M were measured by competitive ELISA in 1363 aspirin users and 1681 nonusers participating in the Framingham Heart Study. Cutpoints were determined for TXB2-M and TXB2-M/eGFR using log-rank statistics and used to assess mortality risk by Cox proportional hazard modeling and restricted mean survival time. Multivariable models were compared using the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). A cohort of 105 aspirin users with heart failure was used for external validation. Results: Optimized cutpoints of TXB2-M were 1291 and 5609 pg/mg creatinine and of TXB2-M/eGFR were 16.6 and 62.1 filtered prostanoid units (defined as pg·min/creatinine·mL·1.73 m2), for aspirin users and nonusers, respectively. TXB2-M/eGFR cutpoints provided more robust all-cause mortality risk discrimination than TXB2-M cutpoints, with a larger unadjusted hazard ratio (2.88 vs 2.16, AIC P < 0.0001) and greater differences in restricted mean survival time between exposure groups (1.46 vs 1.10 years), findings that were confirmed in the external validation cohort of aspirin users. TXB2-M/eGFR cutpoints also provided better cardiovascular/stroke mortality risk discrimination than TXB2-M cutpoints (unadjusted hazard ratio 3.31 vs 2.13, AIC P < 0.0001). Conclusion: Adjustment for eGFR strengthens the association of urinary TXB2-M with long-term mortality risk irrespective of aspirin use.
  • Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Use of Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Adults With Chronic Medical Conditions: BRFSS 2012-2020

    Castañeda-Avila, Maira A; Tisminetzky, Mayra; Oyinbo, Atinuke G; Lapane, Kate L (2024-02-22)
    Introduction: People with chronic conditions and people with colorectal cancer (CRC) may share common risk factors; thus, CRC screening is important for people with chronic conditions. We examined racial and ethnic differences in the use of CRC screening among people with various numbers of chronic conditions. Methods: We included data on adult respondents aged 50 to 75 years from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2012 through 2020. We categorized counts of 9 conditions as 0, 1, 2, 3, and ≥4. We classified self-reported CRC screening status as up to date or not. We used Poisson models to estimate adjusted prevalence ratios (APRs) among the different counts of chronic conditions in 4 racial and ethnic groups: Hispanic adults with limited English proficiency (LEP), Hispanic adults without LEP, non-Hispanic Black adults, and non-Hispanic White adults. Results: Overall, 66.5% of respondents were up to date with CRC screening. The prevalence of being up to date increased with the number of chronic conditions. We found disparities among racial and ethnic groups. Hispanic respondents with LEP had lower rates than non-Hispanic White adults of being up to date with CRC screening across all counts of chronic conditions (APR for 0 conditions = 0.67; 95% CI, 0.64-0.71; APR for ≥4 conditions = 0.85; 95% CI, 0.79-0.91). Hispanic respondents without LEP with 0, 1, or 2 conditions were less likely than non-Hispanic White respondents to be up to date with CRC screening. We found no significant differences between non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White respondents. Conclusion: We found disparities among Hispanic BRFSS respondents with LEP, who had lower rates than non-Hispanic White respondents of being up to date with CRC screening, regardless of the number of chronic conditions. Tailored interventions are needed to address these disparities and improve screening rates, particularly among Hispanic people.
  • Examining racial/ethnic inequities in treatment participation among perinatal individuals with depression

    Boama-Nyarko, Esther; Flahive, Julie; Zimmermann, Martha; Allison, Jeroan J.; Person, Sharina D.; Moore Simas, Tiffany A; Byatt, Nancy (2024-02-15)
    Objective: A cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) of two interventions for addressing perinatal depression treatment in obstetric settings was conducted. This secondary analysis compared treatment referral and participation among Minoritized perinatal individuals compared to their non-Hispanic white counterparts. Methods: Among perinatal individuals with depression symptoms, we examined rates of treatment 1) referral (i.e., offered medications or referred to mental health clinician), 2) initiation (i.e., attended ≥1 mental health visit or reported prescribed antidepressant medication), and 3) sustainment (i.e., attended >1 mental health visit per study month or prescribed antidepressant medication at time of study interviews). We compared non-Hispanic white (NHW) (n = 149) vs. Minoritized perinatal individuals (Black, Asian, Hispanic/Latina, Pacific Islander, Native American, Multiracial, and white Hispanic/Latina n = 157). We calculated adjusted odds ratios (aOR) for each outcome. Results: Minoritized perinatal individuals across both interventions had significantly lower odds of treatment referral (aOR = 0.48;95% CI = 0.27-0.88) than their NHW counterparts. There were no statistically significant differences in the odds of treatment initiation (aOR = 0.64 95% CI:0.36-1.2) or sustainment (aOR = 0.54;95% CI = 0.28-1.1) by race/ethnicity. Conclusions: Perinatal mental healthcare inequities are associated with disparities in treatment referrals. Interventions focusing on referral disparities across race and ethnicity are needed.
  • Diffusion of excellence: evaluating a system to identify, replicate, and spread promising innovative practices across the Veterans health administration

    Jackson, George L; Fix, Gemmae M; White, Brandolyn S; Cutrona, Sarah L; Reardon, Caitlin M; Damschroder, Laura J; Burns, Madison; DeLaughter, Kathryn; Opra Widerquist, Marilla A; Arasim, Maria; et al. (2024-02-13)
    Introduction: The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Diffusion of Excellence (DoE) program provides a system to identify, replicate, and spread promising practices across the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States. DoE identifies innovations that have been successfully implemented in the VHA through a Shark Tank style competition. VHA facility and regional directors bid resources needed to replicate promising practices. Winning facilities/regions receive external facilitation to aid in replication/implementation over the course of a year. DoE staff then support diffusion of successful practices across the nationwide VHA. Methods: Organized around the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM) Framework, we summarize results of an ongoing long-term mixed-methods implementation evaluation of DoE. Data sources include: Shark Tank application and bid details, tracking practice adoptions through a Diffusion Marketplace, characteristics of VHA facilities, focus groups with Shark Tank bidders, structured observations of DoE events, surveys of DoE program participants, and semi-structured interviews of national VHA program office leaders, VHA healthcare system/facility executives, practice developers, implementation teams and facilitators. Results: In the first eight Shark Tanks (2016-2022), 3,280 Shark Tank applications were submitted; 88 were designated DoE Promising Practices (i.e., practices receive facilitated replication). DoE has effectively spread practices across the VHA, with 1,440 documented instances of adoption/replication of practices across the VHA. This includes 180 adoptions/replications in facilities located in rural areas. Leadership decisions to adopt innovations are often based on big picture considerations such as constituency support and linkage to organizational goals. DoE Promising Practices that have the greatest national spread have been successfully replicated at new sites during the facilitated replication process, have close partnerships with VHA national program offices, and tend to be less expensive to implement. Two indicators of sustainment indicate that 56 of the 88 Promising Practices are still being diffused across the VHA; 56% of facilities originally replicating the practices have sustained them, even up to 6 years after the first Shark Tank. Conclusion: DoE has developed a sustainable process for the identification, replication, and spread of promising practices as part of a learning health system committed to providing equitable access to high quality care.
  • Examining Race-Based and Gender-Based Discrimination, Trust in Providers, and Mental Well-Being Among Black Women

    Cuffee, Yendelela L; Preston, Portia A Jackson; Akuley, Suzanne; Jaffe, Rachel; Person, Sharina D.; Allison, Jeroan J. (2024-02-12)
    Objectives: To examine experiences of discrimination among Black women, and to determine if experiencing race- and gender-based discrimination is associated with mental well-being and trust. Methods: Data from the TRUST study were used to examine experiences of discrimination among 559 Black women with hypertension receiving healthcare at a safety-net hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. A three-level variable was constructed to combine the race-based and gender-based measures of the Experiences of Discrimination scale. Linear regression was used to examine the association between experiences of discrimination with mental well-being and trust. Results: Women who reported no experiences of race- or gender-based discrimination were older and reported higher mental well-being scores and greater trust. Fifty-three percent of study participants reported experiencing discrimination. Compared to participants who did not experience race- or gender-based discrimination, participants reporting experiences of race- or gender-based discrimination and those reporting experiencing both race- and gender-based discrimination were more likely to report poorer mental health. Conclusion: Reported experiences of gender- and/or race-based discrimination in this study were associated with lower mental health scores and less trust in health care providers. Our findings highlight the importance of examining experiences of discrimination among Black women, and the role of discrimination as a stressor and in reducing trust for providers. Incorporating an understanding and acknowledgement of experiences of discrimination into interventions, programs, and during clinical encounters may foster more trusting relationships between providers and patients.
  • Childhood maltreatment and trajectories of cardiometabolic health across the reproductive life span among individuals with a first birth during the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study

    Stanhope, Kaitlyn K; Gunderson, Erica P; Suglia, Shakira F; Boulet, Sheree L; Jamieson, Denise J; Kiefe, Catarina I; Kershaw, Kiarri N (2024-02-10)
    Objective: Childhood adversity is associated with poor cardiometabolic health in adulthood; little is known about how this relationship evolves through childbearing years for parous individuals. The goal was to estimate differences in cardiometabolic health indicators before, during and after childbearing years by report of childhood maltreatment in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) cohort study. Methods: Including 743 individuals nulliparous at baseline (1985-1986) with one or more pregnancies >20 weeks during follow-up (1986-2022), we fit segmented linear regression models to estimate mean differences between individuals reporting or not reporting childhood maltreatment (physical or emotional) in waist circumference, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fasting glucose, and body mass index (BMI) prior to, during, and following childbearing years using generalized estimating equations, allowing for interaction between maltreatment and time within each segment, and adjusting for total parity, parental education, and race (Black or white, self-reported). Results: Individuals reporting maltreatment (19%; 141) had a greater waist circumference (post-childbearing: +2.9 cm, 95% CI (0.7, 5.0), higher triglycerides [post-childbearing: +8.1 mg/dL, 95% CI (0.7, 15.6)], and lower HDL cholesterol [post-childbearing: -2.1 mg/dL, 95% CI (-4.7, 0.5)] during all stages compared to those not reporting maltreatment. There were not meaningful differences in blood pressure, fasting glucose, or BMI. Individuals who reported maltreatment did not report faster changes over time. Conclusion: Differences in some aspects of cardiometabolic health between individuals reporting versus not reporting childhood maltreatment were sustained across reproductive life stages, suggesting potentially persistent impacts of childhood adversity.
  • Randomized-controlled trial of anakinra plus zinc vs. prednisone for severe alcohol-associated hepatitis

    Gawrieh, Samer; Dasarathy, Srinivasan; Tu, Wanzhu; Kamath, Patrick S; Chalasani, Naga P; McClain, Craig J; Bataller, Ramon; Szabo, Gyongyi; Tang, Qing; Radaeva, Svetlana; et al. (2024-02-09)
    Background & aims: Severe alcohol-associated hepatitis (SAH) has high 90-day mortality. Glucocorticoid therapy for 28 days improves 30- but not 90-day survival. We assessed the efficacy and safety of a combination of anakinra, an IL-1 antagonist, plus zinc (A+Z) compared to prednisone (PRED) using the Day-7 Lille score as a stopping rule in patients with SAH. Methods: In this phase IIb double-blind randomized trial in adults with SAH and MELD scores 20-35, participants were randomized to receive either anakinra 100 mg subcutaneously daily for 14 days plus zinc sulfate 220 mg orally daily for 90 days or daily prednisone 40 mg orally for 30 days. Prednisone or prednisone placebo was stopped if Day-7 Lille score was >0.45. All study drugs were stopped for uncontrolled infection or ≥ 5 points increase in MELD score. The primary endpoint was overall survival at 90 days compared using a two-sided log-rank test. Results: Seventy-three participants were randomized to PRED and 74 to A+Z. The trial was stopped early after a prespecified interim analysis showed PRED had higher 90-day overall survival (90% vs 70%, HR for death =0.34, 95% CI [0.14, 0.83], P =0.018) and transplant-free survival (88% vs 64%, HR for transplant or death =0.30, 95% CI: [0.13, 0.69], P =0.004) than A+Z. Acute kidney injury was more frequent with A+Z (45%) than PRED (22%) (P = 0.001), but rates of infections were similar (31% in A+Z vs 27% in PRED, P =0.389). Conclusions: Participants with SAH treated with prednisone using the Day-7 Lille score as a stopping rule had significantly higher overall and transplant-free 90-day survival and lower incidence of acute kidney injury than those treated with A+Z. Trial registration: NCT04072822. Impact and implications: There is no approved treatment for severe alcohol-associated hepatitis (SAH). In this double-blind randomized trial, patients with SAH treated with prednisone using the Lille stopping rule on Day-7 had higher 90-day overall and transplant-free survival and lower rate of acute kidney injury compared to patients treated with a combination of anakinra and zinc. The data support continued use of glucocorticoids for patients with SAH, with treatment discontinuation for those with Lille score > 0.45 on Day-7.
  • Participant Perspectives on the Implementation of a School-Linked Text-Message Intervention to Improve Pediatric Asthma Medication Adherence

    Radu, Sonia; Zarinafsar, Sheerin; Ryan, Grace W; Chainani, Sanjay; Becker, Sarah; Arenas, Juliana; Spano, Michelle A; Shillan, Holly N; Hoque, Shushmita; Sadasivam, Rajani; et al. (2024-02-07)
    Background: Poor adherence to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) is a significant challenge in pediatric asthma, contributing to health inequities. Text-message reminders for ICS therapy are an evidence-based approach that improves pediatric asthma medication adherence, yet has not been widely adopted into practice, partly due to lack of (1) participant input on design and implementation and (2) use of sustainable community linkages. Remote Asthma Link™ (RAL) seeks to fill this gap as a school-linked text-message intervention wherein parents of children with poorly controlled asthma received daily, 2-way text-message reminders for preventive inhaler use. Responses were shared with school nurses who conducted remote check-ins with families. Enrolled children, largely from underserved backgrounds, experienced improvements in medication adherence and asthma health outcomes. While initial results were promising, we have yet to elicit participant input to refine the protocol for more widespread implementation. Objective: Examine participant perspectives on barriers and facilitators of RAL implementation. Methods: Semistructured interviews were conducted May-June 2022 with intervention participants: 10 parents, 7 school nurses, and 4 pediatric providers (n = 21) until thematic saturation was reached. Interview transcripts were coded using thematic analysis. Results: Several facilitators for RAL implementation were identified, including ease of use and accessibility, personal connection to the school nurse, and receipt of a visual notification for habit formation. Barriers included challenges with school nurses reaching parents, poor understanding of program expectations, and lack of reimbursement structure. Participant-proposed solutions to barriers included utilizing alternate communication methods (eg, social media), educational sessions, and meeting with payors to consider reimbursement models. Conclusion: RAL is a school-linked text-message intervention demonstrating promise in improving outcomes and equity in asthma care. Key implementation facilitators, barriers, and proposed solutions will inform protocol adaptations to promote successful implementation of this and other text-message interventions into clinical practice.
  • The impact of a lifestyle intervention on postpartum weight retention among US Hispanic women with overweight and obesity

    Wagner, Kathryn A; Whitcomb, Brian W; Marcus, Bess; Pekow, Penelope; Rosal, Milagros C; Leidy Sievert, Lynnette; Tucker, Katherine L; Manson, JoAnn E; Chasan-Taber, Lisa (2024-01-28)
    Introduction: To evaluate the effect of a culturally-modified, motivationally-targeted, individually-tailored lifestyle intervention on postpartum weight retention among Hispanic women with overweight/obesity. Materials and methods: Proyecto Mamá was a randomized controlled trial conducted in western Massachusetts (2014-2020). Hispanic women with overweight/obese pre-pregnancy BMI (n = 148) were randomized in early pregnancy to a Lifestyle Intervention (LI) or a Health & Wellness (HW) comparison arm. The LI was based upon theoretical concepts, used a low-cost, high-reach strategy, and focused on healthy exercise and diet with follow-up through 12-months postpartum. The primary outcome of change in weight was calculated as the difference between pre-pregnancy weight and 6-week, 6-month, and 12-month postpartum weight. The secondary outcome was achievement of 5 % weight reduction from pre-pregnancy weight. Retention was 68.2 % in the overall postpartum period and 31.0 % at 12-months. Results: In intent-to-treat analyses, compared to the HW arm, there was no difference in postpartum weight retention at 6-weeks (0.0 kg, 95 % CI: -3.4, 3.5), 6-months (-1.8 kg, 95 % CI: -5.6, 2.0), or 12-months (-2.0 kg, 95 % CI: -7.0, 3.1). In a secondary complete case analysis, compared to the HW arm, the LI arm had 5.5 times higher odds of meeting the postpartum weight reduction goal (aOR = 5.5, 95 % CI: 1.7, 17.9) adjusting for pre-pregnancy weight. Conclusions: A lifestyle intervention among at-risk Hispanic women with overweight/obesity had no overall impact on postpartum weight, but a beneficial impact among those who completed the trial. Future studies should focus on increasing the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention in this at-risk population.
  • Association of spatial proximity to fixed-site syringe services programs with HCV serostatus and injection equipment sharing practices among people who inject drugs in rural New England, United States

    Romo, Eric; Stopka, Thomas J; Jesdale, Bill M; Wang, Bo; Mazor, Kathleen M; Friedmann, Peter D (2024-01-28)
    Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) disproportionately affects rural communities, where health services are geographically dispersed. It remains unknown whether proximity to a syringe services program (SSP) is associated with HCV infection among rural people who inject drugs (PWID). Methods: Data are from a cross-sectional sample of adults who reported injecting drugs in the past 30 days recruited from rural counties in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts (2018-2019). We calculated the road network distance between each participant's address and the nearest fixed-site SSP, categorized as ≤ 1 mile, 1-3 miles, 3-10 miles, and > 10 miles. Staff performed HCV antibody tests and a survey assessed past 30-day injection equipment sharing practices: borrowing used syringes, borrowing other used injection equipment, and backloading. Mixed effects modified Poisson regression estimated prevalence ratios (aPR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Analyses were also stratified by means of transportation. Results: Among 330 PWID, 25% lived ≤ 1 mile of the nearest SSP, 17% lived 1-3 miles of an SSP, 12% lived 3-10 miles of an SSP, and 46% lived > 10 miles from an SSP. In multivariable models, compared to PWID who lived within 1 mile of an SSP, those who lived 3 to 10 miles away had a higher prevalence of HCV seropositivity (aPR: 1.25, 95% CI 1.06-1.46), borrowing other used injection equipment (aPR: 1.23, 95% CI 1.04-1.46), and backloading (aPR: 1.48, 95% CI 1.17-1.88). Similar results were observed for PWID living > 10 miles from an SSP: aPR [HCV]: 1.19, 95% CI 1.01-1.40; aPR [borrowing other used equipment]:1.45, 95% CI 1.29-1.63; and aPR [backloading]: 1.59, 95% CI 1.13-2.24. Associations between living 1 to 3 miles of an SSP and each outcome did not reach statistical significance. When stratified by means of transportation, associations between distance to SSP and each outcome (except borrowing other used injection equipment) were only observed among PWID who traveled by other means (versus traveled by automobile). Conclusions: Among PWID in rural New England, living farther from a fixed-site SSP was associated with a higher prevalence of HCV seropositivity, borrowing other used injection equipment, and backloading, reinforcing the need to increase SSP accessibility in rural areas. Means of transportation may modify this relationship.
  • Health-Related Quality of Life among Older Adults with Dementia Living in Vietnamese Nursing Homes

    Nguyen, Thanh Xuan; Nguyen, Anh Huynh Phuong; Nguyen, Huong Thi Thu; Nguyen, Thu Thi Hoai; Nguyen, Hoa L; Goldberg, Robert J; Thillainadesan, Janani; Naganathan, Vasi; Vu, Huyen Thi Thanh; Tran, Luc Viet; et al. (2024-01-25)
    Better understanding of the quality of life among nursing home residents with dementia is important for developing interventions. The objectives of this cross-sectional study were to examine factors associated with poor health-related quality of life in older people with dementia living in nursing homes in Hanoi, Vietnam. In-person interviews were conducted with 140 adults who were 60 years and older with dementia, and information about their quality of life was obtained using the Quality of Life in Alzheimer's Disease (QOL-AD) scale. The sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with poor health-related quality of life (lowest quartile) were assessed through the results of physical tests, interviews with nursing home staff, and review of medical records. The average age of the study sample was 78.3 years, 65% were women, and their average QOL-AD total score was 27.3 (SD = 4.4). Malnutrition, total dependence in activities of daily living, and urinary incontinence were associated with poor quality of life after controlling for multiple potentially confounding factors. Our findings show that Vietnamese nursing home residents with dementia have a moderate total quality of life score, and interventions based on comprehensive geriatric assessment remain needed to modify risk factors related to poor health-related quality of life.
  • Strengthening Quality Measurement to Predict Success for Total Knee Arthroplasty: Results from a Nationally Representative Total Knee Arthroplasty Cohort

    Zheng, Hua; Ash, Arlene S.; Yang, Wenyun; Liu, Shao-Hsien; Allison, Jeroan J.; Ayers, David C (2024-01-25)
    Background: When performed well on appropriate patients, total knee arthroplasty (TKA) can dramatically improve quality of life. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are increasingly used to measure outcome following TKA. Accurate prediction of improvement in PROMs after TKA potentially plays an important role in judging the surgical quality of the health-care institutions as well as informing preoperative shared decision-making. Starting in 2027, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin mandating PROM reporting to assess the quality of TKAs. Methods: Using data from a national cohort of patients undergoing primary unilateral TKA, we developed an original model that closely followed a CMS-proposed measure to predict success, defined as achieving substantial clinical benefit, specifically at least a 20-point improvement on the Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score, Joint Arthroplasty (KOOS, JR) at 1 year, and an enhanced model with just 1 additional predictor: the baseline KOOS, JR. We evaluated each model's performance using the area under the receiver operator characteristic curve (AUC) and the ratio of observed to expected (model-predicted) outcomes (O:E ratio). Results: We studied 5,958 patients with a mean age of 67 years; 63% were women, 93% were White, and 87% were overweight or obese. Adding the baseline KOOS, JR improved the AUC from 0.58 to 0.73. Ninety-four percent of those in the top decile of predicted probability of success under the enhanced model achieved success, compared with 34% in its bottom decile. Analogous numbers for the original model were less discriminating: 77% compared with 57%. Only the enhanced model predicted success accurately across the spectrum of baseline scores. The findings were virtually identical when we replicated these analyses on only patients ≥65 years of age. Conclusions: Adding a baseline knee-specific PROM score to a quality measurement model in a nationally representative cohort dramatically improved its predictive power, eliminating ceiling and floor effects and mispredictions for readily identifiable patient subgroups. The enhanced model neither favors nor discourages care for those with greater knee dysfunction and requires no new data collection. Level of evidence: Prognostic Level II. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
  • Microaggressions and resiliency during residency: creating more inclusive environments based on a true experience during residency

    Biggers, Alana; Binder, Ashley; Gerber, Ben S (2024-01-25)
    Microaggressions are ubiquitous in residency programs. Microaggressions are “brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership.” Though race/ethnicity is often considered the target of microaggressions, they can also be aimed at a person’s gender, sexual orientation, religion, or other marginalized status. All microaggressions are particularly harmful in medicine and can interfere with patient care and the professional interactions and development of resident physicians.

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