This collection showcases journal articles, preprints, and other publications and presentations about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and COVID-19 by faculty, students and researchers at UMass Chan Medical School in Worcester, MA, USA.


UMass Chan researchers: Contact us at escholarship@umassmed.edu if you have a COVID-19-related journal article, preprint, or other work accepted for publication, or have a COVID-19 poster, presentation, infographic, or dataset you would like to share publicly in eScholarship@UMassChan.


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Recently Published

  • COVID-19 and the Cardiovascular System: Requiem for a Medical Minotaur

    Koupenova, Milka; Chung, Mina K; Bristow, Michael R (2023-05-11)
    The world has finally emerged from the great medical, economic, and social calamity of 2020 to 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic. This Compendium of 10 articles describes various aspects of the effects of SARS-CoV-2 on the cardiovascular system, focusing on the heart. The Minotaur from Greek mythology is an apt metaphor, because this half bull/half man spike-adorned gain of function mutant slaughtered the innocent was nearly impossible to eradicate in his labyrinthian environs, inspired mass fear of the unknown, and ultimately was eliminated by resourceful, determined collaborators.1 Although SARS-CoV-2 infection has not been eliminated, it has been contained to the point of acquiring the status of a manageable infectious disease.
  • Retracted Covid-19 articles: significantly more cited than other articles within their journal of origin

    Taros, Trenton; Zoppo, Christopher; Yee, Nathan; Hanna, Jack; MacGinnis, Christine (2023-04-12)
    With the expansion of research volume, coinciding with the age of the internet, the retraction of published papers from scientific journals has become crucial to preserving scientific integrity. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, both public and professional interest in scientific literature has grown as people attempt to educate themselves on the virus. The Retraction Watch Database COVID-19 blog was accessed in June and November of 2022 and analyzed to ensure articles met inclusion criteria. Articles were then accessed on Google Scholar and the Scopus database to find number of citations and SJR/CiteScore. The average SJR and CiteScore for a journal that published one of the articles was 1.531 and 7.3 respectively. The retracted articles were cited an average of 44.8 times, which was significantly higher than the average CiteScore (p = 0.01). Between June and November, retracted COVID-19 articles gained a total of 728 new citations, presence of "withdrawn" or "retracted" before article title did not affect citation rates. COPE guidelines for retraction statements were not met for 32% of articles. We believe retracted COVID-19 publications may have been more likely to include bold claims that garnered a disproportionately high amount of attention within the scientific community. Additionally, we found many journals were not forthright with explanations for why articles had been retracted. Retractions could be a tool used to add to the scientific discourse, but currently we are only getting half the data, the what and not the why.
  • Impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination on menstrual bleeding quantity: An observational cohort study

    Darney, Blair G; Boniface, Emily R; Van Lamsweerde, Agathe; Han, Leo; Matteson, Kristen A; Cameron, Sharon; Male, Victoria; Acuna, Juan; Benhar, Eleonora; Pearson, Jack T; et al. (2023-04-10)
    Objective: To assess whether coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination impacts menstrual bleeding quantity. Design: Retrospective cohort. Setting: Five global regions. Population: Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals with regular menstrual cycles using the digital fertility-awareness application Natural Cycles°. Methods: We used prospectively collected menstrual cycle data, multivariable longitudinal Poisson generalised estimating equation (GEE) models and multivariable multinomial logistic regression models to calculate the adjusted difference between vaccination groups. All regression models were adjusted for confounding factors. Main outcome measures: The mean number of heavy bleeding days (fewer, no change or more) and changes in bleeding quantity (less, no change or more) at three time points (first dose, second dose and post-exposure menses). Results: We included 9555 individuals (7401 vaccinated and 2154 unvaccinated). About two-thirds of individuals reported no change in the number of heavy bleeding days, regardless of vaccination status. After adjusting for confounding factors, there were no significant differences in the number of heavy bleeding days by vaccination status. A larger proportion of vaccinated individuals experienced an increase in total bleeding quantity (34.5% unvaccinated, 38.4% vaccinated; adjusted difference 4.0%, 99.2% CI 0.7%-7.2%). This translates to an estimated 40 additional people per 1000 individuals with normal menstrual cycles who experience a greater total bleeding quantity following the first vaccine dose' suffice. Differences resolved in the cycle post-exposure. Conclusions: A small increase in the probability of greater total bleeding quantity occurred following the first COVID-19 vaccine dose, which resolved in the cycle after the post-vaccination cycle. The total number of heavy bleeding days did not differ by vaccination status. Our findings can reassure the public that any changes are small and transient.
  • Challenges in Use of Practice-based Research Networks for a Medical Device Trial to Detect SARS-CoV-2

    Daly, Jeanette M; O'Connor, Laurel; Schmidt, Megan E; Ferrara, Laura K; Parang, Kim; Levy, Barcey T (2023-04-02)
    Introduction/objectives: Primary care practice-based research networks (PBRNs) participated in a point of care (POC) device study funded by by the National Institutes of Health and led by the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School (UMass) to speed the development, validation, and commercialization of POC tests to detect SARS-CoV-2. The purposes of this study were to describe the characteristics of participating PBRNs and their respective collaborators in this device trial and describe complications challenging its execution. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with lead personnel from participating PBRNs and UMass. Results: Four PBRNs and UMass were invited to participate and 3 PBRNs and UMass participated. This device trial recruited 321 subjects in 6 months; 65 subjects from PBRNs. Each PBRN and the academic medical center site enrolled and recruited subjects differently. Main challenges identified were having adequate clinic personnel to enroll and aid in consent and questionnaire completion, frequently changing inclusion/exclusion criteria, use of the digital electronic data collection platform, and having access to a -80°C freezer to store supplies. Discussion: This trial involved numerous researchers, primary care clinic leaders and staff, and academic center sponsored program staff and attorneys resulting in a resource-intensive endeavor to enroll 65 subjects in the real-world clinical setting of primary care PBRNs with the academic medical center enrolling the rest. Multiple obstacles to standing up the study were encountered by the PBRNS. Conclusions: Primary care PBRNs rely largely on the goodwill established between academic health centers and participating practices. For future investigations involving device studies, collaborating PBRN leaders should assess whether recruitment criteria may change, obtain detailed lists of equipment needed, and/or know if the study is likely to be halted suddenly to appropriately prepare their member practices.
  • Experience with telemedicine in neuromuscular clinic during COVID-19 pandemic

    Ghasemi, Mehdi; Poulliot, Kristy; Daniello, Kate M; Silver, Brian (2023-03-31)
    Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of telehealth for the care of neuromuscular patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Neuromuscular patients or their caregivers, as well as health care providers (HCPs), who completed a televisit during the pandemic received an online survey, assessing satisfaction with the visit, quality of care, and experience with the televisit interference. Results: Surveys from 46 neuromuscular patients (including 18 with motor neuron disease [MND])/caregivers and 7 HCPs were completed. Several aspects of televisits including good communication, adequate time to discuss concern, provision of equal care, and telemedicine interference were rated favorably among participants. Telehealth was strongly satisfactory in 30 (65.22%) and satisfactory in 15 (32.61%) neuromuscular patients/caregivers. In 18 MND patients, this was 10 (55.56%) and 7 (38.89%), respectively. Moreover, 24 (52.17%) neuromuscular patients/caregivers would strongly agree and 18 (39.13%) would agree to participate again in televisits. This was 10 (55.56%) and 4 (33.33%) for MND cases, respectively. Various medical issues were addressed during the televisits including medication management, ordering tests/referrals, discussion of goals of care, and research. The predictive stepwise logistic model found younger age as a predicting factor for higher satisfaction from, or participation again in, televisits in neuromuscular patients. Limb onset location was also a predicting factor for strong satisfaction from televisits in MND cases. Conclusions: Telemedicine is feasible and highly effective at achieving personalized care that was rated satisfactory by the majority of neuromuscular patients/caregivers and HCPs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Crystal Structures of Inhibitor-Bound Main Protease from Delta- and Gamma-Coronaviruses

    Zvornicanin, Sarah N; Shaqra, Ala M; Huang, Qiuyu J; Ornelas, Elizabeth; Moghe, Mallika; Knapp, Mark; Moquin, Stephanie; Dovala, Dustin; Schiffer, Celia A; Kurt Yilmaz, Nese (2023-03-18)
    With the spread of SARS-CoV-2 throughout the globe causing the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat of zoonotic transmissions of coronaviruses (CoV) has become even more evident. As human infections have been caused by alpha- and beta-CoVs, structural characterization and inhibitor design mostly focused on these two genera. However, viruses from the delta and gamma genera also infect mammals and pose a potential zoonotic transmission threat. Here, we determined the inhibitor-bound crystal structures of the main protease (Mpro) from the delta-CoV porcine HKU15 and gamma-CoV SW1 from the beluga whale. A comparison with the apo structure of SW1 Mpro, which is also presented here, enabled the identification of structural arrangements upon inhibitor binding at the active site. The cocrystal structures reveal binding modes and interactions of two covalent inhibitors, PF-00835231 (active form of lufotrelvir) bound to HKU15, and GC376 bound to SW1 Mpro. These structures may be leveraged to target diverse coronaviruses and toward the structure-based design of pan-CoV inhibitors.
  • Divalent siRNAs are bioavailable in the lung and efficiently block SARS-CoV-2 infection

    Hariharan, Vignesh N; Shin, Minwook; Chang, Ching-Wen; O'Reilly, Daniel; Biscans, Annabelle; Yamada, Ken; Guo, Zhiru; Somasundaran, Mohan; Tang, Qi; Monopoli, Kathryn; et al. (2023-03-09)
    The continuous evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants complicates efforts to combat the ongoing pandemic, underscoring the need for a dynamic platform for the rapid development of pan-viral variant therapeutics. Oligonucleotide therapeutics are enhancing the treatment of numerous diseases with unprecedented potency, duration of effect, and safety. Through the systematic screening of hundreds of oligonucleotide sequences, we identified fully chemically stabilized siRNAs and ASOs that target regions of the SARS-CoV-2 genome conserved in all variants of concern, including delta and omicron. We successively evaluated candidates in cellular reporter assays, followed by viral inhibition in cell culture, with eventual testing of leads for in vivo antiviral activity in the lung. Previous attempts to deliver therapeutic oligonucleotides to the lung have met with only modest success. Here, we report the development of a platform for identifying and generating potent, chemically modified multimeric siRNAs bioavailable in the lung after local intranasal and intratracheal delivery. The optimized divalent siRNAs showed robust antiviral activity in human cells and mouse models of SARS-CoV-2 infection and represent a new paradigm for antiviral therapeutic development for current and future pandemics.
  • Use of expert consensus to develop a shared list of procedures with potential for aerosol generation during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic

    Pepe, Dana E; Mehrotra, Preeti; Bruno-Murtha, Lou Ann; Colgrove, Robert; Doron, Shira; Duncan, Robert; Ellison, Richard; Haessler, Sarah; Hooper, David C; Klompas, Michael; et al. (2023-03-06)
    The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic highlighted the lack of agreement regarding the definition of aerosol-generating procedures and potential risk to healthcare personnel. We convened a group of Massachusetts healthcare epidemiologists to develop consensus through expert opinion in an area where broader guidance was lacking at the time.
  • Performance of Rapid Antigen Tests Based on Symptom Onset and Close Contact Exposure: A secondary analysis from the Test Us At Home prospective cohort study [preprint]

    Herbert, Carly; Wang, Biqi; Lin, Honghuang; Hafer, Nathaniel; Pretz, Caitlin; Stamegna, Pamela; Tarrant, Seanan; Hartin, Paul; Ferranto, Julia; Behar, Stephanie; et al. (2023-02-24)
    Background: The performance of rapid antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 (Ag-RDT) in temporal relation to symptom onset or exposure is unknown, as is the impact of vaccination on this relationship. Objective: To evaluate the performance of Ag-RDT compared with RT-PCR based on day after symptom onset or exposure in order to decide on 'when to test'. Design setting and participants: The Test Us at Home study was a longitudinal cohort study that enrolled participants over 2 years old across the United States between October 18, 2021 and February 4, 2022. All participants were asked to conduct Ag-RDT and RT-PCR testing every 48 hours over a 15-day period. Participants with one or more symptoms during the study period were included in the Day Post Symptom Onset (DPSO) analyses, while those who reported a COVID-19 exposure were included in the Day Post Exposure (DPE) analysis. Exposure: Participants were asked to self-report any symptoms or known exposures to SARS-CoV-2 every 48-hours, immediately prior to conducting Ag-RDT and RT-PCR testing. The first day a participant reported one or more symptoms was termed DPSO 0, and the day of exposure was DPE 0. Vaccination status was self-reported. Main outcome and measures: Results of Ag-RDT were self-reported (positive, negative, or invalid) and RT-PCR results were analyzed by a central laboratory. Percent positivity of SARS-CoV-2 and sensitivity of Ag-RDT and RT-PCR by DPSO and DPE were stratified by vaccination status and calculated with 95% confidence intervals. Results: A total of 7,361 participants enrolled in the study. Among them, 2,086 (28.3%) and 546 (7.4%) participants were eligible for the DPSO and DPE analyses, respectively. Unvaccinated participants were nearly twice as likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 than vaccinated participants in event of symptoms (PCR+: 27.6% vs 10.1%) or exposure (PCR+: 43.8% vs. 22.2%). The highest proportion of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals tested positive on DPSO 2 and DPE 5-8. Performance of RT-PCR and Ag-RDT did not differ by vaccination status. Ag-RDT detected 78.0% (95% Confidence Interval: 72.56-82.61) of PCR-confirmed infections by DPSO 4. For exposed participants, Ag-RDT detected 84.9% (95% CI: 75.0-91.4) of PCR-confirmed infections by day five post-exposure (DPE 5). Conclusions and relevance: Performance of Ag-RDT and RT-PCR was highest on DPSO 0-2 and DPE 5 and did not differ by vaccination status. These data suggests that serial testing remains integral to enhancing the performance of Ag-RDT.
  • Changes in Stage at Presentation among Lung and Breast Cancer Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Mallouh, Michael; Linshaw, David; Barton, Bruce; De La Cruz, Gabriel; Dinh, Kate; LaFemina, Jennifer; Vijayaraghavan, Gopal; Larkin, Anne; Whalen, Giles (2023-02-17)
    Background: The COVID-19 pandemic altered access to healthcare by decreasing number of patients able to receive preventative care and cancer screening. We hypothesized that given these changes in access to care, radiologic screening for breast and lung cancer would be decreased, and patients with these cancers would consequently present at later stages of their disease. Design: Retrospective cross-sectional study of 2017-September 2021 UMass Memorial Tumor Registry for adult breast and lung cancer patients. Changes in stage at presentation of breast and lung cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic were measured, defined as prior to and during COVID-19. Results: There were no statistically significant changes in the overall stage of presentation before or during the COVID-19 pandemic for either breast or lung cancer patients. Analysis of case presentation and stage during periods of COVID-19 surges that occurred over the time of this study compared to pre-pandemic data demonstrated a statistically significant decrease in overall presentation of breast cancer patients in the first surge, with no other statistically significant changes in breast cancer presentation. A non-statistically significant decrease in lung cancer presentations was seen during the initial surge of COVID-19. There was also a statistically significant increase in early-stage presentation of lung cancer during the second and third COVID-19 surges. Conclusions: In the two years after the COVID-19 pandemic we were not able to demonstrate stage migration at presentation of breast and lung cancer patients to later stages despite decreases in overall presentation during the initial two years of the COVID pandemic. An increase in early-stage lung cancer during the second and third surges is interesting and could be related to increased chest imaging for COVID pneumonia.
  • Biventricular impella (BiPella) utilization in fulminant COVID-19 myopericarditis-mediated cardiogenic shock during pregnancy

    Srichawla, Bahadar S; Sekhon, Manraj (2023-02-16)
    We report a unique case of cardiogenic shock secondary to COVID-19 myopericarditis in a pregnant patient managed with implantation of impella 5.0® and impella RP®. The biventricular impella approach allows for concurrent mechanical circulatory support to both a failing right and left ventricle.
  • Differential requirement of neutralizing antibodies and T cells on protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern

    Azevedo, Patrick O; Hojo-Souza, Natália S; Faustino, Lídia P; Fumagalli, Marcílio J; Hirako, Isabella C; Oliveira, Emiliano R; Figueiredo, Maria M; Carvalho, Alex F; Doro, Daniel; Benevides, Luciana; et al. (2023-02-13)
    The current COVID-19 vaccines protect against severe disease, but are not effective in controlling replication of the Variants of Concern (VOCs). Here, we used the existing pre-clinical models of severe and moderate COVID-19 to evaluate the efficacy of a Spike-based DNA vaccine (pCTV-WS) for protection against different VOCs. Immunization of transgenic (K18-hACE2) mice and hamsters induced significant levels of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) to Wuhan and Delta isolates, but not to the Gamma and Omicron variants. Nevertheless, the pCTV-WS vaccine offered significant protection to all VOCs. Consistently, protection against lung pathology and viral load to Wuhan or Delta was mediated by nAbs, whereas in the absence of nAbs, T cells controlled viral replication, disease and lethality in mice infected with either the Gamma or Omicron variants. Hence, considering the conserved nature of CD4 and CD8 T cell epitopes, we corroborate the hypothesis that induction of effector T-cells should be a main goal for new vaccines against the emergent SARS-CoV-2 VOCs.
  • Presence of symptoms 6 weeks after COVID-19 among vaccinated and unvaccinated US healthcare personnel: a prospective cohort study

    Mohr, Nicholas M; Plumb, Ian D; Harland, Kari K; Pilishvili, Tamara; Fleming-Dutra, Katherine E; Krishnadasan, Anusha; Hoth, Karin F; Saydah, Sharon H; Mankoff, Zachary; Haran, John P; et al. (2023-02-02)
    Objectives: Although COVID-19 vaccines offer protection against infection and severe disease, there is limited information on the effect of vaccination on prolonged symptoms following COVID-19. Our objective was to determine differences in prevalence of prolonged symptoms 6 weeks after onset of COVID-19 among healthcare personnel (HCP) by vaccination status, and to assess differences in timing of return to work. Design: Cohort analysis of HCP with COVID-19 enrolled in a multicentre vaccine effectiveness study. HCP with COVID-19 between December 2020 and August 2021 were followed up 6 weeks after illness onset. Setting: Health systems in 12 US states. Participants: HCP participating in a vaccine effectiveness study were eligible for inclusion if they had laboratory-confirmed symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 with mRNA vaccination (symptom onset ≥14 days after two doses) or no prior vaccination. Among 681 eligible participants, 419 (61%) completed a follow-up survey to assess symptoms reported 6 weeks after illness onset. Exposures: Two doses of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine compared with no COVID-19 vaccine. Main outcome measures: Prevalence of symptoms 6 weeks after onset of COVID-19 illness and days to return to work. Results: Among 419 HCP with COVID-19, 298 (71%) reported one or more COVID-like symptoms 6 weeks after illness onset, with a lower prevalence among vaccinated participants compared with unvaccinated participants (60.6% vs 79.1%; adjusted risk ratio 0.70, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.84). Following their illness, vaccinated HCP returned to work a median 2.0 days (95% CI 1.0 to 3.0) sooner than unvaccinated HCP (adjusted HR 1.37, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.79). Conclusions: Receipt of two doses of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine among HCP with COVID-19 illness was associated with decreased prevalence of COVID-like symptoms at 6 weeks and earlier return to work.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on youth mental health: A mixed methods survey

    Bell, Imogen H; Nicholas, Jennifer; Broomhall, Amy; Bailey, Eleanor; Bendall, Sarah; Boland, Alexandra; Robinson, Jo; Adams, Sophie; McGorry, Patrick; Thompson, Andrew (2023-01-28)
    The COVID-19 pandemic has presented profound disruptions to young people at a critical period of psychosocial development. The current study aimed to explore the perceived negative and positive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people's mental health and wellbeing across a spectrum of clinical needs. A cross-sectional online survey including both quantitative and qualitative responses captured positive and negative impacts of COVID-19 across 593 young people with and without mental health care needs. Findings revealed high levels of clinical depression (48%), anxiety (51%), and loneliness in both samples. Approximately 75% of young people in primary mental health care services, and over 80% in the general population, reported a negative impact on work, non-work activities and mental health and wellbeing. Open-ended responses reflected positive impacts in the domains of greater capacity for self-care and reflection due to the decreased pressures of daily life. Negative impacts reflected worsening mental health, disruptions to key developmental milestones regarding relationships with self and others, and limited capacity for self-care. Together, these data highlight the critical need for early intervention support for the psychosocial impacts experienced by young people due to the pandemic, particularly among those with existing mental health care needs.
  • Surveillance of gynecologic cancer patients post-COVID-19 vaccine: Are CA-125 levels reliable?

    Thayer, Elizabeth; Walsh, Lindsay; Leung, Katherine; Korets, Sharmilee (2023-01-21)
    Objective: The COVID-19 vaccine is known to instigate an inflammatory response that impacts cancer testing. We aimed to evaluate carbohydrate antigen 125 (CA-125) trends in gynecologic oncology patients in surveillance following COVID-19 vaccination to inform clinical practice. Methods: This was a single institution retrospective study of patients who received a COVID-19 vaccine while undergoing surveillance of gynecologic cancers with serial serum CA-125 measurements. CA-125 levels from the three months before and after vaccination were included in analysis. Differences between mean and median pre- and post-vaccination CA-125 levels for each patient were calculated. The mean and median of these differences were calculated, as well as the distribution of change. Demographic and cancer-related variables were also recorded. Results: Twenty-six patients who received a COVID-19 vaccine and were followed with surveillance serum CA-125 levels were identified. The mean age was 68.2 years; 92 % received a two-vaccine series. Forty-six percent had endometrial cancer and 54 % had ovarian cancer. The mean change from pre- to post-vaccine mean CA-125 level was 0.16 (±7.17) U/mL and the median change from pre- to post-vaccine median CA-125 level was -0.30 (IQR 3.66) U/mL. The range in change from pre- to post-vaccine mean was -16.50 to 24.00 U/mL, with 73 % of patients between -4 and +4 U/mL. Conclusion: We found no clinically significant change in CA-125 level after patients under surveillance for gynecologic cancers were vaccinated against COVID-19, suggesting that that the vaccine does not impact the utility of CA-125 as a tool to monitor disease in this population.
  • A quantitative and qualitative examination of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on U.S. veterans with self-reported anxiety and alcohol use disorder

    Duarte, Brooke A; Kelly, Megan M; Shirk, Steven D; Chamberlin, Elizabeth S; Reilly, Erin D (2023-01-16)
    Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic generated concerns about rising stress and alcohol use, especially in U.S. veterans who experience high rates of anxiety disorders (ADs), alcohol use disorder (AUD), and dual AD+AUD diagnoses. This study investigated differences among these diagnostic groups in a veteran population related to their concern about COVID-19, impacts of COVID-19 on quality of life, and self-reported changes to urge to drink and drinking frequency. Methods: A nationally administered online survey was given to a sample of U.S. veterans reporting substance use issues during the pandemic. Differences in the level of concern about COVID-19, impacts of COVID-19 on quality of life, and drinking behaviors were examined in those self-reporting AD (n = 98), AUD (n = 46), or AD+AUD (n = 67). Consensual qualitative research was used to analyze an open-ended question about COVID-19's impact on substance use, health, and quality of life. Results: Veterans with AD+AUD experienced significant increases in urge to drink and alcohol consumption compared to veterans with AD only. Greater urge and frequency of drinking were associated with greater negative impacts of COVID-19 on quality of life. There were no differences among groups in global negative impact on quality of life or level of COVID-19 concern. However, respondents described specific COVID-19 worries, with qualitative findings revealing that those with AD+AUD reported a disproportionate psychosocial burden due to the pandemic. Discussion: Special attention in screening and treatment should be given to those with a dual AD+AUD diagnosis who may be experiencing both an increase in alcohol use and psychosocial burden as stress increases due to the pandemic.
  • Investigating demographic differences in patients' decisions to consent to COVID-19 research

    Robertson, Kelly; Reimold, Kimberly; Moormann, Ann M; Binder, Raquel; Matteson, Kristen A; Leftwich, Heidi K (2023-01-04)
    One hundred and fifty-eight pregnant patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection were approached for CARES study participation. Eighty-nine patients consented to study participation, while 69 declined study participation. A retrospective chart review was conducted on all 158 patients. Patients who identified as Black race or non-White race were more likely to decline participation (23.2%, p = .031, 68.1%, p = .026), compared to patients who identified as White (31.9%) (Table 1). Patients with public insurance were also more likely to decline study participation (72.5%, p = .049) compared to those with private insurance (27.5%). There was no significant difference between primary language spoken or ethnicity in patients who participated or declined. There was no difference in study participation between patients who identified as Asian race or Other race, compared to patients who identified as White race.
  • Sample average treatment effect on the treated analysis using counterfactual explanation identifies BMT and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination as protective risk factors associated with COVID-19 severity and survival in patients with multiple myeloma [preprint]

    Mitra, Amit Kumar; Mukherjee, Ujjal Kumar; Mazumder, Suman; Madhira, Vithal; Bergquist, Timothy; Shao, Yu Raymond; Liu, Feifan; Song, Qianqian; Su, Jing; Kumar, Shaji; et al. (2022-12-08)
    Patients with multiple myeloma (MM), an age-dependent neoplasm of antibody-producing plasma cells, have compromised immune systems and might be at increased risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes. This study characterizes risk factors associated with clinical indicators of COVID-19 severity and all-cause mortality in myeloma patients utilizing NCATS’ National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) database. The N3C consortium is a large, centralized data resource representing the largest multi-center cohort of COVID-19 cases and controls nationwide (>16 million total patients, and >6 million confirmed COVID-19+ cases to date). Our cohort included myeloma patients (both inpatients and outpatients) within the N3C consortium who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 based on positive PCR or antigen tests or ICD-10-CM diagnosis code. The outcomes of interest include all-cause mortality (including discharge to hospice) during the index encounter and clinical indicators of severity (i.e., hospitalization/emergency department/ED visit, use of mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)). Finally, causal inference analysis was performed using the propensity score matching (PSM) method. As of 05/16/2022, the N3C consortium included 1,061,748 cancer patients, out of which 26,064 were MM patients (8,588 were COVID-19 positive). The mean age at COVID-19 diagnosis was 65.89 years, 46.8% were females, and 20.2% were of black race. 4.47% of patients died within 30 days of COVID-19 hospitalization. Overall, the survival probability was 90.7% across the course of the study. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed histories of pulmonary and renal disease, dexamethasone, proteasome inhibitor/PI, immunomodulatory/IMiD therapies, and severe Charlson Comorbidity Index/CCI were significantly associated with higher risks of severe COVID-19 outcomes. Protective associations were observed with blood-or-marrow transplant/BMT and COVID-19 vaccination. Further, multivariate cox proportional hazard analysis showed that high and moderate CCI levels, International Staging System (ISS) moderate or severe stage, and PI therapy were associated with worse survival, while BMT and COVID-19 vaccination were associated with lower risk of death. Finally, matched sample average treatment effect on the treated (SATT) confirmed the causal effect of BMT and vaccination status as top protective factors associated with COVID-19 risk among US patients suffering from multiple myeloma. To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest nationwide study on myeloma patients with COVID-19.
  • Mental health and self-management in glaucoma patients during the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study in China

    Zhou, Wenzhe; Lin, Haishuang; Ren, Yanhan; Lin, Hao; Liang, Youping; Chen, Yanyan; Zhang, Shaodan (2022-12-06)
    Purpose: To investigate mental health and self-management in glaucoma patients during the COVID-19 pandemic in China and to describe the correlation between anxiety, depression, glaucoma, and self-management. Methods: This cross-sectional study included glaucoma patients who enrolled in the case management platform and completed an online survey. The survey included the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7), Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), and Glaucoma Self-Management Questionnaire (GSMQ). Results: Among 109 glaucoma patients enrolled in this study, the proportions of patients suffering from depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic were 26.6% and 20.2%, respectively. A statistical association was found between depression and self-management behaviour in these glaucoma patients (r = -0.247, P = 0.010). The self-management scores in patients less than 35 years were lower than those in patients aged 35-60 years (P = 0.046). The scores of body function promotion in men were lower than those in women (P = 0.048). Patients with primary school education and below had lower scores in the medical management of disease than those with either middle school education (P = 0.032) or community college education or higher (P = 0.022). Conclusion: A high proportion of anxiety and depression was found in glaucoma patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Better self-management behaviour was associated with stronger mental health regulation. It is important to help glaucoma patients improve their self-management behaviours, especially for young men with low educational levels.
  • COVID-19 Pandemic Experiences and Symptoms of Pandemic-Associated Traumatic Stress Among Mothers in the US

    Bastain, Theresa M; Knapp, Emily A; Law, Andrew; Algermissen, Molly; Avalos, Lyndsay A; Birnhak, Zoe; Blackwell, Courtney; Breton, Carrie V; Duarte, Cristiane; Frazier, Jean; et al. (2022-12-01)
    Importance: The primary outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of women with children remain largely unknown. Objectives: To identify and describe clusters of mothers of children participating in the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program that characterize pandemic-associated hardships, coping mechanisms, and behaviors, and to evaluate associations between pandemic-associated hardships, coping strategies, and behavior changes with pandemic-associated traumatic stress symptoms. Design, setting, and participants: This multicenter cohort study investigated experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic between April 2020 and August 2021 among maternal caregivers of children participating in the ECHO Program. Data from self-identified mothers of ECHO-enrolled children from 62 US cohorts were included in analyses. Data were analyzed from November 2021 to July 2022. Exposures: The primary exposures were pandemic-associated changes in mothers' health, health care utilization, work and finances, coping strategies, and health-associated behaviors. Exposures were assessed via a self-reported questionnaire designed by ECHO investigators. Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome was the total symptoms score of pandemic-associated traumatic stress (PTS), defined as the number of items endorsed at least sometimes or more frequently, from a 10-item self-report measure. Results: The study surveyed 11 473 mothers (mean [SD] age, 37.8 [7.4] years; 342 American Indian [2.98%], 378 Asian [3.29%], 1701 Black [14.83%], and 7195 White [62.71%]; 2184 with Hispanic/Latina ethnicity [19.04%]) and identified 2 clusters that best characterized their COVID-19 pandemic experiences-one characterized by higher life disruptions (eg, to work and health care), higher social isolation, more coping behaviors to mitigate the outcomes of the pandemic, and more changes to their health behavior routines (high change [1031 mothers]) and the other characterized by lower changes (low change [3061 mothers]). The high change cluster was more socioeconomically advantaged and reported higher PTS (mean [SD] number of symptoms, 3.72 [2.44] vs 2.51 [2.47]). Across both clusters, higher pandemic-associated hardships, coping mechanisms, and behavior changes were associated with higher PTS, and these associations were greater in the low change cluster. Conclusions and relevance: In this study of more than 11 000 US mothers, associations between socioeconomic factors, stressful life events, and mental health sequelae were complex. Accordingly, programs, policies, and practices targeting mental health during public health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic should consider the range and configuration of hardships in designing the most effective interventions to mitigate long-term outcomes.

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