ABOUT THIS COLLECTION

The vision of the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences (PQHS) is the best health and well-being for all through science, community engagement, and education. Our mission is to advance science and improve population health. This collection showcases journal articles and other publications written by faculty and researchers of the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences.

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Recently Published

  • Examining Pregnant Veterans' Acceptance and Beliefs Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine

    Mattocks, Kristin M.; Kroll-Desrosiers, Aimee R.; Moore Simas, Tiffany A.; Bastian, Lori A; Marteeny, Valerie; Walker, Lorrie; Sheahan, Kate; Elwy, A Rani (2022-08-30)
    Background: Pregnant persons have received mixed messages regarding whether or not to receive COVID-19 vaccines as limited data are available regarding vaccine safety for pregnant and lactating persons and breastfeeding infants. Objective: The aims of this study were to examine pregnant Veteran's acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines, along with perceptions and beliefs regarding vaccine safety and vaccine conspiracy beliefs. Design and participants: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of pregnant Veterans enrolled in VA care who were taking part in an ongoing cohort study at 15 VA medical centers between January and May 2021. Main measures: Pregnant Veterans were asked whether they had been offered the COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy, and whether they chose to accept or refuse it. Additional questions focused on perceptions of COVID-19 vaccine safety and endorsements of vaccine knowledge and conspiracy beliefs. Logistic regression was utilized to examine predictors of acceptance of a vaccine during pregnancy. Key results: Overall, 72 pregnant Veterans were offered a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy; over two-thirds (69%) opted not to receive a vaccine. Reasons for not receiving a vaccine included potential effects on the baby (64%), side effects for oneself (30%), and immunity from a past COVID-19 infection (12%). Those who received a vaccine had significantly greater vaccine knowledge and less belief in vaccine conspiracy theories. Greater knowledge of vaccines in general (aOR: 1.78; 95% CI: 1.2-2.6) and lower beliefs in vaccine conspiracies (aOR: 0.76; 95% CI: 0.6-0.9) were the strongest predictors of acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy. Conclusions: Our study provides important insights regarding pregnant Veterans' decisions to accept the COVID-19 vaccine, and reasons why they may choose not to accept the vaccine. Given the high endorsement of vaccine conspiracy beliefs, trusted healthcare providers should have ongoing, open discussions about vaccine conspiracy beliefs and provide additional information to dispel these beliefs.
  • Vitamin, Mineral, and Multivitamin Supplementation to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

    US Preventive Services Task Force; Mangione, Carol M.; Pbert, Lori (2022-06-21)
    Importance: According to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, 52% of surveyed US adults reported using at least 1 dietary supplement in the prior 30 days and 31% reported using a multivitamin-mineral supplement. The most commonly cited reason for using supplements is for overall health and wellness and to fill nutrient gaps in the diet. Cardiovascular disease and cancer are the 2 leading causes of death and combined account for approximately half of all deaths in the US annually. Inflammation and oxidative stress have been shown to have a role in both cardiovascular disease and cancer, and dietary supplements may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects. Objective: To update its 2014 recommendation, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) commissioned a review of the evidence on the efficacy of supplementation with single nutrients, functionally related nutrient pairs, or multivitamins for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality in the general adult population, as well as the harms of supplementation. Population: Community-dwelling, nonpregnant adults. Evidence Assessment: The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that the harms of beta carotene supplementation outweigh the benefits for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer. The USPSTF also concludes with moderate certainty that there is no net benefit of supplementation with vitamin E for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer. The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient to determine the balance of benefits and harms of supplementation with multivitamins for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer. Evidence is lacking and the balance of benefits and harms cannot be determined. The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient to determine the balance of benefits and harms of supplementation with single or paired nutrients (other than beta carotene and vitamin E) for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer. Evidence is lacking and the balance of benefits and harms cannot be determined. Recommendation: The USPSTF recommends against the use of beta carotene or vitamin E supplements for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer. (D recommendation) The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of the use of multivitamin supplements for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer. (I statement) The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of the use of single- or paired-nutrient supplements (other than beta carotene and vitamin E) for the prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer. (I statement).
  • School Nurse Perspectives on School-Supervised Asthma Therapy: A Qualitative Study

    Hoque, Shushmita; Luther, Janki; Mizrahi, Raphael; Gerald, Lynn B.; Phipatanakul, Wanda; Lemon, Stephenie C.; Rosal, Milagros C.; Byatt, Nancy; Pbert, Lori; Trivedi, Michelle K. (2022-06-16)
    Background: School-supervised asthma therapy improves asthma outcomes for children, yet this strategy is not widely utilized. School nurses play a vital role in this intervention, yet their perspectives on school-supervised asthma therapy have not been thoroughly examined. Objectives: To examine the perspectives of school nurses participating in school-supervised asthma therapy and identify key facilitators, barriers, and proposed solutions that will facilitate the uptake of this strategy. Methods: We used purposeful sampling to recruit 12 school nurses participating in Asthma Link, a real-world application of school-supervised asthma therapy, between 2017 and 2019. We performed semistructured interviews with school nurses to elicit their perspectives on the facilitators, barriers, and proposed solutions to barriers to Asthma Link implementation. Interview transcripts were analyzed using qualitative descriptive methodology to identify major themes. Results: School nurses identified facilitators for Asthma Link adoption, including the ease of integrating supervised therapy into school nurse routines, recognition of benefits for families with limited resources, and satisfaction participating in preventive care. School nurses identified barriers, including communication challenges with families and providers, families not reliably bringing medication to school, limited nursing staff in schools, and increased school nurse turnover. School nurses proposed specific solutions to these barriers, including appointing Asthma Link liaisons within pediatric practices, incentivizing families to bring medicine to school, and partnering new school nurses with those experienced in delivering Asthma Link to overcome staffing issues and promote program fidelity. Conclusions: School nurse perspectives on the facilitators, barriers, and solutions to barriers are important for understanding how to promote real-world implementation of school-supervised asthma therapy. The themes identified in this study will be utilized to refine our protocol for Asthma Link to facilitate real-world adoption of this evidence-based strategy.
  • Design and Preliminary Findings of Adherence to the Self-Testing for Our Protection From COVID-19 (STOP COVID-19) Risk-Based Testing Protocol: Prospective Digital Study

    Herbert, Carly; Broach, John P.; Gerber, Ben S.; Fahey, Nisha; Orvek, Elizabeth Aaker; Lazar, Peter; Ferranto, Julia M.; Noorishirazi, Kamran; Valpady, Shivakumar; Shi, Qiming; et al. (2022-06-16)
    BACKGROUND: Serial testing for SARS-CoV-2 is recommended to reduce spread of the virus; however, little is known about adherence to recommended testing schedules and reporting practices to health departments. OBJECTIVE: The Self-Testing for Our Protection from COVID-19 (STOP COVID-19) study aims to examine adherence to a risk-based COVID-19 testing strategy using rapid antigen tests and reporting of test results to health departments. METHODS: STOP COVID-19 is a 12-week digital study, facilitated using a smartphone app for testing assistance and reporting. We are recruiting 20,000 participants throughout the United States. Participants are stratified into high- and low-risk groups based on history of COVID-19 infection and vaccination status. High-risk participants are instructed to perform twice-weekly testing for COVID-19 using rapid antigen tests, while low-risk participants test only in the case of symptoms or exposure to COVID-19. All participants complete COVID-19 surveillance surveys, and rapid antigen results are recorded within the smartphone app. Primary outcomes include participant adherence to a risk-based serial testing protocol and percentage of rapid tests reported to health departments. RESULTS: As of February 2022, 3496 participants have enrolled, including 1083 high-risk participants. Out of 13,730 tests completed, participants have reported 13,480 (98.18%, 95% CI 97.9%-98.4%) results to state public health departments with full personal identifying information or anonymously. Among 622 high-risk participants who finished the study period, 35.9% showed high adherence to the study testing protocol. Participants with high adherence reported a higher percentage of test results to the state health department with full identifying information than those in the moderate- or low-adherence groups (high: 71.7%, 95% CI 70.3%-73.1%; moderate: 68.3%, 95% CI 66.0%-70.5%; low: 63.1%, 59.5%-66.6%). CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary results from the STOP COVID-19 study provide important insights into rapid antigen test reporting and usage, and can thus inform the use of rapid testing interventions for COVID-19 surveillance.
  • Development of a workflow process mapping protocol to inform the implementation of regional patient navigation programs in breast oncology

    Casanova, Nicole L.; LeClair, Amy M.; Xiao, Victoria; Mullikin, Katelyn R.; Lemon, Stephenie C.; Freund, Karen M.; Haas, Jennifer S.; Freedman, Rachel A.; Battaglia, Tracy A. (2022-06-14)
    BACKGROUND: Implementing city-wide patient navigation processes that support patients across the continuum of cancer care is impeded by a lack of standardized tools to integrate workflows and reduce gaps in care. The authors present an actionable workflow process mapping protocol for navigation process planning and improvement based on methods developed for the Translating Research Into Practice study. METHODS: Key stakeholders at each study site were identified through existing community partnerships, and data on each site's navigation processes were collected using mixed methods through a series of team meetings. The authors used Health Quality Ontario's Quality Improvement Guide, service design principles, and key stakeholder input to map the collected data onto a template structured according to the case-management model. RESULTS: Data collection and process mapping exercises resulted in a 10-step protocol that includes: 1) workflow mapping procedures to guide data collection on the series of activities performed by health care personnel that comprise a patient's navigation experience, 2) a site survey to assess program characteristics, 3) a semistructured interview guide to assess care coordination workflows, 4) a site-level swim lane workflow process mapping template, and 5) a regional high-level process mapping template to aggregate data from multiple site-level process maps. CONCLUSIONS: This iterative, participatory approach to data collection and process mapping can be used by improvement teams to streamline care coordination, ultimately improving the design and delivery of an evidence-based navigation model that spans multiple treatment modalities and multiple health systems in a metropolitan area. This protocol is presented as an actionable toolkit so the work may be replicated to support other quality-improvement initiatives and efforts to design truly patient-centered breast cancer treatment experiences. LAY SUMMARY: Evidence-based patient navigation in breast cancer care requires the integration of services through each phase of cancer treatment. The Translating Research Into Practice study aims to implement patient navigation for patients with breast cancer who are at risk for delays and are seeking care across 6 health systems in Boston, Massachusetts. The authors designed a 10-step protocol outlining procedures and tools that support a systematic assessment for health systems that want to implement breast cancer patient navigation services for patients who are at risk for treatment delays.
  • Modifiable Resources and Resilience in Racially and Ethnically Diverse Older Women: Implications for Health Outcomes and Interventions

    Springfield, Sparkle; Qin, Feifei; Hedlin, Haley; Eaton, Charles B.; Rosal, Milagros C.; Taylor, Herman; Staudinger, Ursula M.; Stefanick, Marcia L. (2022-06-09)
    Introduction: Resilience-which we define as the "ability to bounce back from stress"-can foster successful aging among older, racially and ethnically diverse women. This study investigated the association between psychological resilience in the Women's Health Initiative Extension Study (WHI-ES) and three constructs defined by Staudinger's 2015 model of resilience and aging: (1) perceived stress, (2) non-psychological resources, and (3) psychological resources. We further examined whether the relationship between resilience and key resources differed by race/ethnicity. Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis on 77,395 women aged 62+ (4475 Black or African American; 69,448 non-Hispanic White; 1891 Hispanic/Latina; and 1581 Asian or Pacific Islanders) who enrolled in the WHI-ES, which was conducted in the United States. Participants completed a short version of the Brief Resilience Scale one-time in 2011. Guided by Staudinger's model, we used linear regression analysis to examine the relationships between resilience and resources, adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, and stressful life events. To identify the most significant associations, we applied elastic net regularization to our linear regression models. Findings: On average, women who reported higher resilience were younger, had fewer stressful life events, and reported access to more resources. Black or African American women reported the highest resilience, followed by Hispanic/Latina, non-Hispanic White, and Asian or Pacific Islander women. The most important resilience-related resources were psychological, including control of beliefs, energy, personal growth, mild-to-no forgetfulness, and experiencing a sense of purpose. Race/ethnicity significantly modified the relationship between resilience and energy (overall interaction p = 0.0017). Conclusion: Increasing resilience among older women may require culturally informed stress reduction techniques and resource-building strategies, including empowerment to control the important things in life and exercises to boost energy levels.
  • Screening for Impaired Visual Acuity in Older Adults: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

    US Preventive Services Task Force; Mangione, Carol M.; Barry, Michael J.; Nicholson, Wanda K.; Cabana, Michael; Chelmow, David; Coker, Tumaini Rucker; Davis, Esa M.; Donahue, Katrina E.; Epling, John W. Jr; et al. (2022-05-25)
    Importance: Impairment of visual acuity is a serious public health problem in older adults. The number of persons 60 years or older with impaired visual acuity (defined as best corrected visual acuity worse than 20/40 but better than 20/200) was estimated at 2.91 million in 2015, and the number who are blind (defined as best corrected visual acuity of 20/200 or worse) was estimated at 760000. Impaired visual acuity is consistently associated with decreased quality of life in older persons, including reduced ability to perform activities of daily living, work, and drive safely, as well as increased risk of falls and other unintentional injuries. Objective: To update its 2016 recommendation, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) commissioned a systematic review to evaluate the benefits and harms of screening for impaired visual acuity in older adults. Population: Asymptomatic adults 65 years or older who present in primary care without known impaired visual acuity and are not seeking care for vision problems. Evidence Assessment: The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for impaired visual acuity in asymptomatic older adults. The evidence is lacking, and the balance of benefits and harms cannot be determined. More research is needed. Recommendation: The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for impaired visual acuity in older adults. (I statement).
  • Screening for Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

    US Preventive Services Task Force; Mangione, Carol M.; Pbert, Lori (2022-05-24)
    Importance: Glaucoma affects an estimated 2.7 million people in the US. It is the second-leading cause of irreversible blindness in the US and the leading cause of blindness in Black and Hispanic/Latino persons. Objective: To update its 2013 recommendation, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) commissioned a systematic review to evaluate the benefits and harms of screening for glaucoma in adults. Population: Adults 40 years or older who present in primary care and do not have signs or symptoms of open-angle glaucoma. Evidence Assessment: The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for glaucoma in adults. The benefits and harms of screening for glaucoma in adults are uncertain. More research is needed. Recommendation: The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for primary open-angle glaucoma in adults. (I statement).
  • Patient navigator team perceptions on the implementation of a citywide breast cancer patient navigation protocol: a qualitative study

    Loo, Stephanie; Mullikin, Katelyn; Robbins, Charlotte; Xiao, Victoria; Battaglia, Tracy A.; Lemon, Stephenie C.; Gunn, Christine (2022-05-21)
    BACKGROUND: In 2018 Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP), an evidence-based patient navigation intervention aimed at addressing breast cancer care disparities, was implemented across six Boston hospitals. This study assesses patient navigator team member perspectives regarding implementation barriers and facilitators one year post-study implementation. METHODS: We conducted in-depth qualitative interviews at the six sites participating in the pragmatic TRIP trial from December 2019 to March 2021. Navigation team members involved with breast cancer care navigation processes at each site were interviewed at least 12 months after intervention implementation. Interview questions were designed to address domains of the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR), focusing on barriers and facilitators to implementing the intervention that included 1) rigorous 11-step guidelines for navigation, 2) a shared patient registry and 3) a social risk screening and referral program. Analysis was structured using deductive codes representing domains and constructs within CFIR. RESULTS: Seventeen interviews were conducted with patient navigators, their supervisors, and designated clinical champions. Participants identified the following benefits provided by the TRIP intervention: 1) increased networking and connections for navigators across clinical sites (Cosmopolitanism), 2) formalization of the patient navigation process (Goals and Purpose, Access to Knowledge and Information, and Relative Advantage), and 3) flexibility within the TRIP intervention that allowed for diversity in implementation and use of TRIP components across sites (Adaptability). Barriers included those related to documentation requirements (Complexity) and the structured patient follow up guidelines that did not always align with the timeline of existing site navigation processes (Relative Priority). CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis provides data using real-world experience from an intervention trial in progress, identifying barriers and facilitators to implementing an evidence-based patient navigation intervention for breast cancer care. We identified core processes that facilitated the navigators' patient-focused tasks and role on the clinical team. Barriers encountered reflect limitations of navigator funding models and high caseload. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical Trial Registration Number NCT03514433 , 5/2/2018.
  • Our Whole Lives for Hypertension and Cardiac Risk Factors-Combining a Teaching Kitchen Group Visit With a Web-Based Platform: Feasibility Trial

    Gardiner, Paula; McGonigal, Lisa; Villa, Ariel; Kovell, Lara C.; Rohela, Pallavi; Cauley, Andrew; Rinker, Diana; Olendzki, Barbara C. (2022-05-16)
    BACKGROUND: Hypertension (HTN) affects millions of Americans. Our Whole Lives: an eHealth toolkit for Hypertension and Cardiac Risk Factors (OWL-H) is an eHealth platform that teaches evidence-based lifestyle strategies, such mindfulness and cooking skills, to improve self-management of HTN. OBJECTIVE: The primary goal of this pilot study was to evaluate the feasibility of OWL-H combined with teaching kitchen medical group visits (TKMGVs) in a low-income population of participants with HTN. METHODS: We conducted a pre-post 8-week study to assess the feasibility of a hybrid program (a web-based 9-module self-management program, which includes mindfulness and Mediterranean and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet) accompanied by 3 in-person TKMGVs among patients with HTN. Data including demographics, platform use, and satisfaction after using OWL-H were examined. Outcome data collected at baseline and 8 weeks included the Mediterranean Diet Questionnaire, Hypertension Self-Care Profile Self-Efficacy Instrument, Blood Pressure Knowledge Questionnaire, and the number of self-reported blood pressure readings. For the statistical analysis, we used descriptive statistics, paired sample t tests (1-tailed), and qualitative methods. RESULTS: Of the 25 enrolled participants, 22 (88%) participants completed the study. Participants' average age was 57 (SD 12.1) years, and 46% (11/24) of them reported a household income < US $30,000 per year. Among the 22 participants who logged in to OWL-H, the average number of mindfulness practices completed was 7 and the average number of module sessions accessed was 4. In all, 73% (16/22) of participants reported that they were "very satisfied" with using OWL-H to help manage their HTN. Participants' blood pressure knowledge significantly increased from baseline (mean 5.58, SD 1.44) to follow-up (mean 6.13, SD 1.23; P=.03). Participants significantly increased their adherence to a Mediterranean diet from baseline (mean 7.65, SD 2.19) to follow-up (mean 9, SD 1.68; P=.004). Participants' self-efficacy in applying heart-healthy habits, as measured by the Hypertension Self-Care Profile Self-Efficacy Instrument, increased from baseline (mean 63.67, SD 9.06) to follow-up (mean 65.54, SD 7.56; P=.14). At the 8-week follow-up, 82% (18/22) of the participants had self-reported their blood pressure on the OWL-H platform at least once during the 8 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: The eHealth platform for HTN self-management, OWL-H, and accompanying in-person TKMGVs have the potential to effectively improve lifestyle management of HTN. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03974334; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03974334.
  • School-supervised Asthma Therapy is Associated with Improved Long-Term Asthma Outcomes for Underrepresented Minority Children

    Shillan, Holly N.; Luther, Janki P.; Ryan, Grace W.; Hoque, Shushmita; Spano, Michelle A.; Lessard, Darleen M.; Gerald, Lynn B.; Pbert, Lori; Phipatanakul, Wanda; Goldberg, Robert J.; et al. (2022-05-14)
    Asthma morbidity disproportionately impacts children from low-income and racial/ethnic minority communities. School-supervised asthma therapy improves asthma outcomes for up to 15 months for underrepresented minority children, but little is known about whether these benefits are sustained over time. We examined the frequency of emergency department (ED) visits and hospital admissions for 83 children enrolled in Asthma Link, a school nurse-supervised asthma therapy program serving predominantly underrepresented minority children. We compared outcomes between the year preceding enrollment and years one-four post-enrollment. Compared with the year prior to enrollment, asthma-related ED visits decreased by 67.9% at one year, 59.5% at two years, 70.2% at three years, and 50% at four years post-enrollment (all p-values < 0.005). There were also significant declines in mean numbers of total ED visits, asthma-related hospital admissions, and total hospital admissions. Our results indicate that school nurse-supervised asthma therapy could potentially mitigate racial/ethnic and socioeconomic inequities in childhood asthma.
  • Screening for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: US Preventive Services Task Force Reaffirmation Recommendation Statement

    Mangione, Carol M.; Pbert, Lori (2022-05-10)
    Importance: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an irreversible reduction of airflow in the lungs. Progression to severe disease can prevent participation in normal activities because of deterioration of lung function. In 2020 it was estimated that approximately 6% of US adults had been diagnosed with COPD. Chronic lower respiratory disease, composed mainly of COPD, is the sixth leading cause of death in the US. Objective: To update its 2016 recommendation, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) commissioned a reaffirmation evidence update that focused on targeted key questions for benefits and harms of screening for COPD in asymptomatic adults and treatment in screen-detected or screen-relevant adults. Population: Asymptomatic adults who do not recognize or report respiratory symptoms. Evidence Assessment: Using a reaffirmation process, the USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that screening for COPD in asymptomatic adults has no net benefit. Recommendation: The USPSTF recommends against screening for COPD in asymptomatic adults. (D recommendation).
  • U.S. medical students personal health behaviors, attitudes and perceived skills towards weight management counseling

    Faro, Jamie M.; Pbert, Lori; Crawford, Sybil L.; Frisard, Christine F.; Pendharkar, Jyothi A.; Sadasivam, Rajani S.; Geller, Alan C.; Mazor, Kathleen M.; Ockene, Judith K. (2022-05-05)
    Physicians' abilities to address obesity in routine care may be affected by their own health behaviors, skills in and attitudes toward weight management counseling (WMC). Gender differences have been noted amongst these factors as well. We examined gender differences in personal health behaviors and predictors of perceived WMC skills and attitudes of medical students enrolled in a WMC trial. Enrollment took place in 2020 and consisted of students from eight U.S. medical schools. Baseline measures included demographics, exercise, and weight management behaviors, WMC attitudes and perceived skills. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and linear mixed models used to assess the effect of personal health behaviors on outcomes of WMC attitudes and perceived skills. Complete data were available for 1145 medical students. More males reported exercising 4 or more days/week (58.6% v. 41.4%), being more likely to monitor their weight (75.6% v. 70.3%) and less likely to intentionally attempt weight loss in the past (50.3% v. 65.3%) compared to females (all p's < 0.05). Exercising 4 or more days per week was positively associated with perceived WMC skills in the adjusted model (beta = 0.10, CI 0.06 to 0.14, p < 0.01). Exercise frequency was positively associated with perceived WMC skills, regardless of gender. WMC curriculum may consider focusing on personal health behaviors such as exercise to increase perceived WMC skills.
  • Home Blood Pressure Monitoring in Women of Child-bearing Age with Hypertension from 2009-2014

    Kovell, Lara C.; Maxner, Benjamin; Shankara, Sravya; Lemon, Stephenie C.; Person, Sharina D.; Moore Simas, Tiffany A.; Turkson-Ocran, Ruth-Alma; McManus, David D.; Juraschek, Stephen P. (2022-05-04)
    BACKGROUND: Hypertension (HTN) is a leading cause of maternal mortality, and HTN guidelines recommend home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) to help achieve blood pressure (BP) control. Evidence suggests that HBPM be coupled with a care team to maximize its effectiveness. HBPM use and the prevalence of provider counseling in child-bearing age women with HTN are unknown. METHODS: We used data from 3,614 women in the cross-sectional National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2009-2014 to determine HBPM use and provider counseling for women of child-bearing age (20-50 years) with and without HTN. HBPM use and provider counseling were self-reported. We examined rates of HBPM use by race/ethnicity, poverty-income ratio (PIR), education, and insurance. RESULTS: Among women of child-bearing age with HTN, the mean (SE) age was 37.0 (0.3) years, the mean (SE) BMI was 35.5 (0.6) kg/m 2, and 73% were on BP medication. Of these women with HTN, 49.6% reported HBPM use in the past year and 40.4% received provider counseling. There was no significant difference in HBPM use by race/ethnicity, PIR, or insurance, though higher education was associated with HBPM use. Women with HTN who received provider counseling were more likely to use HBPM (odds ratio = 15.7, 95% confidence interval 9.1-26.9). CONCLUSIONS: Nearly half of child-bearing age women with HTN have adopted HBPM, and provider counseling was strongly associated with HBPM use. This highlights a need and opportunity for providers to improve BP management by supporting a popular and valuable monitoring approach among women of child-bearing age with HTN.
  • Aspirin Use to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

    Davidson, Karina W.; Pbert, Lori (2022-04-26)
    Importance: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality in the US, accounting for more than 1 in 4 deaths. Each year, an estimated 605000 people in the US have a first myocardial infarction and an estimated 610000 experience a first stroke. Objective: To update its 2016 recommendation, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) commissioned a systematic review on the effectiveness of aspirin to reduce the risk of CVD events (myocardial infarction and stroke), cardiovascular mortality, and all-cause mortality in persons without a history of CVD. The systematic review also investigated the effect of aspirin use on colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality in primary CVD prevention populations, as well as the harms (particularly bleeding) associated with aspirin use. The USPSTF also commissioned a microsimulation modeling study to assess the net balance of benefits and harms from aspirin use for primary prevention of CVD and CRC, stratified by age, sex, and CVD risk level. Population: Adults 40 years or older without signs or symptoms of CVD or known CVD (including history of myocardial infarction or stroke) who are not at increased risk for bleeding (eg, no history of gastrointestinal ulcers, recent bleeding, other medical conditions, or use of medications that increase bleeding risk). Evidence Assessment: The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that aspirin use for the primary prevention of CVD events in adults aged 40 to 59 years who have a 10% or greater 10-year CVD risk has a small net benefit. The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that initiating aspirin use for the primary prevention of CVD events in adults 60 years or older has no net benefit. Recommendation: The decision to initiate low-dose aspirin use for the primary prevention of CVD in adults aged 40 to 59 years who have a 10% or greater 10-year CVD risk should be an individual one. Evidence indicates that the net benefit of aspirin use in this group is small. Persons who are not at increased risk for bleeding and are willing to take low-dose aspirin daily are more likely to benefit. (C recommendation) The USPSTF recommends against initiating low-dose aspirin use for the primary prevention of CVD in adults 60 years or older. (D recommendation).
  • Association between poor sleep quality and emotional eating in US Latinx adults and the mediating role of negative emotions

    Lopez-Cepero, Andrea; Frisard, Christine F.; Mabry, Guadalupe; Spruill, Tanya; Mattei, Josiemer; Austin, S. Bryn; Lemon, Stephenie C.; Rosal, Milagros C. (2022-04-14)
    INTRODUCTION: Poor sleep quality is associated with negative emotions and may modulate emotional eating (EE). However, this has not been studied among US Latinx adults, a group experiencing sleep disparities. OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between sleep quality and EE in Latinx adults and explore the mediating role of negative emotions. METHODS: This cross-sectional analysis used data from the Latino Health and Well-being Study. Sleep quality was measured with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. EE was measured with the EE subscale of the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire R18-V2 (categorized as no EE, low EE, and high EE). Negative emotions were measured via a composite score that included depression, anxiety, and perceived stress. Poisson regression models with robust variance errors estimated prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Mediation was evaluated with the Karlsson-Holm-Breen method. RESULTS: More individuals with poor (vs. good) sleep quality experienced high EE (39.1% vs. 17.9%). Individuals with poor (vs. good) sleep quality were more likely to experience high EE vs. no EE (total effect = 1.74; 95% CI = 1.34, 2.26). Controlling for negative emotions, the effect of poor sleep on high EE was reduced to 1.23 (95% CI = 0.92, 1.65), leaving an indirect effect of 1.41 (95% CI = 1.25, 1.60); 62.6% of the effect was explained by negative emotions. CONCLUSION: Poor sleep quality was associated with high EE in US Latinx adults and negative emotions partially mediated this relationship. Longitudinal studies are needed. Interventions and clinical programs should concomitantly address sleep quality and negative emotions to help prevent dysfunctional eating behaviors.
  • Association of trends in child undernutrition and implementation of the National Rural Health Mission in India: A nationally representative serial cross-sectional study on data from 1992 to 2015

    Soni, Apurv; Fahey, Nisha; Bhutta, Zulfiqar; Li, Wenjun; Moore Simas, Tiffany A.; Nimbalkar, Somashekhar; Allison, Jeroan J. (2022-04-08)
    BACKGROUND: India launched the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) in 2005 to strengthen its primary healthcare system in high-focus and northeast-focus states. One of the NRHM objectives was to reduce child undernutrition in India. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We used data from 1992, 1998, 2005, and 2015 National Family Health Survey (NFHS) of India to evaluate trends in child undernutrition prevalence before and after NRHM and across different categories of focus states. Stunting, Wasting, and Comprehensive Index of Anthropometric Failure (CIAF) were assessed using the World Health Organization (WHO) growth curves to assess chronic, acute, and overall undernutrition. The study included 187,452 children aged 3 years or under. Survey-weighted and confounder-adjusted average annualized reduction rates (AARRs) and predicted probability ratios were used to assess trends and socioeconomic disparities for child undernutrition, respectively. Nationwide, the prevalence of all types of undernutrition decreased from 1992 to 2015. However, the trends varied before and after NRHM implementation and differentially by focus states. After NRHM, acute undernutrition declined more rapidly among high-focus states (AARR 1.0%) but increased in normal-focus states (AARR -1.9% per year; p-value for the difference < 0.001). In contrast, the prevalence of chronic undernutrition declined more rapidly (AARR 1.6%) in the normal-focus states in comparison to high-focus states (0.3%; p-value for the difference = 0.01). Income and caste-based disparities in acute undernutrition decreased but did not disappear after the implementation of the NRHM. However, similar disparities in prevalence of chronic undernutrition appear to be exacerbated after the implementation of the NRHM. Major limitations of this study include the observational and cross-sectional design, which preclude our ability to draw causal inferences. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggests that NRHM implementation might be associated with improvement in wasting (acute) rather than stunting (chronic) forms of undernutrition. Strategies to combat undernutrition equitably, especially in high-focus states, are needed.
  • Factors Associated with Risk of Perinatal Depressive Symptoms Among Puerto Rican Women with Hyperglycemia

    Moore Simas, Tiffany A.; Leung, Katherine; Nuss, Emily; Marieni, Michelle; Marcus, Bess; Rosal, Milagros C.; Chasan-Taber, Lisa (2022-04-06)
    OBJECTIVES: Rates of perinatal depression and pregnancy hyperglycemia are higher in Hispanic women as compared to non-Hispanic white women. In turn, depressive symptoms may reduce a woman's ability to engage in lifestyle changes that could reduce their subsequent diabetes risk. METHODS: We conducted a secondary analysis using data from Estudio Parto to evaluate sociodemographic, behavioral, psychosocial, and medical factors associated with perinatal depressive symptoms. Estudio Parto was a randomized controlled trial conducted in Western Massachusetts from 2013 to 17. Eligible participants had pregnancy hyperglycemia. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was administered at 24-28 weeks gestation and at 6 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months postpartum. An EPDS cutpoint of 10 or greater defined the presence of depressive symptoms. RESULTS: In this sample of Puerto Rican women with pregnancy hyperglycemia, 32% and 27% showed prenatal and postpartum depressive symptoms, respectively. Among participants, 35.5% were diagnosed with GDM, 44.3% with isolated hyperglycemia, and 20.2% with impaired glucose tolerance. In multivariable models, being unmarried (OR 3.87; 95% CI 1.51-9.94), prenatal substance use (smoking or alcohol consumption; OR 2.96; 95% CI 1.41-6.18), and maternal age (1.11 for each year; 95% CI 1.04-1.18) were associated with higher odds of prenatal depressive symptoms. None of the risk factors were associated with subsequent postpartum depression in adjusted analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Identifying factors associated with prenatal and postpartum depression in Puerto Rican women with pregnancy hyperglycemia can inform targeted lifestyle interventions in this at-risk group, increase the likely adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviors, and thereby work to address health disparities. CLINICALTRIALS: gov NCT01679210; date of registration 08/07/2012.
  • Hypertension and contraceptive use among women of child-bearing age in the United States from 2001 to 2018

    Kovell, Lara C.; Meyerovitz, Claire V.; Skaritanov, Ekaterina; Ayturk, M. Didem; Person, Sharina D.; Kumaraswami, Tara; Juraschek, Stephen P.; Moore Simas, Tiffany A. (2022-04-01)
    BACKGROUND: Hypertension (HTN) in pregnancy is a leading cause of maternal mortality in the United States. Contraception is widely used, and estrogen-based combined hormonal forms are known to increase blood pressure (BP). With nearly half of pregnancies unplanned and many antihypertensive medications teratogenic, appropriate contraception is critical in child-bearing age women with HTN. METHODS: Using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) from 2001 to 2018, we evaluated contraception and antihypertensive medication use in women of child-bearing age (20-50 years). Women who had undergone sterilization or menopause were excluded. HTN was defined based on a self-reported provider diagnosis and BP > /=130/80 mm Hg or antihypertensive medication use. Contraception included non-barrier methods (pills/patch/ring, injections, long-acting reversible contraceptives) or consistent condom use. Multivariable logistic regression was used to model the odds of contraception use. Temporal trends in contraception use were reported. RESULTS: Of the 8726 women, 12.4% had HTN with mean age (standard error) 36.0 (0.3) years. In women with HTN, 9.2% used non-barrier contraception and 10.4% used condoms only. Over half (52.7%) of women with HTN on antihypertensive medications were taking medications contraindicated in pregnancy, with no difference seen by contraceptive status. In logistic regression models, contraceptive use was lower in the older-aged women. In women with HTN on non-barrier contraception, combined hormonal contraceptive use declined, from 100% (2001-2006) to 81.4% (2013-2018, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Many women with self-reported HTN are not using adequate contraception. Of the small proportion on non-barrier contraceptives, the majority are using estrogen-based, BP-raising methods.
  • The disease burden of axial spondyloarthritis: through a gendered lens

    Khan, Sara K.; Shridharmurthy, Divya; Lapane, Kate L.; Dube, Catherine E.; Kay, Jonathan; Yi, Esther; Liu, Shao-Hsien (2022-04-01)
    INTRODUCTION: Axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) affects patients' health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Prior studies have documented gender differences in axSpA across the disease spectrum. Our study aims to assess gender differences on the effects of axSpA on patients' HRQoL. METHOD: A secondary qualitative thematic analysis was conducted using data from in-depth interviews (n = 24) of patients with a rheumatologist-confirmed axSpA diagnosis. This analysis focused on gender and HRQoL themes including activity, occupation, sleep, healthcare system, mental health, medication usage, and relationships. RESULTS: While men on average waited a year longer than women to tell healthcare providers about symptoms (2.5 years men versus 1.6 years women), the interval between first report of symptoms to diagnosis was ~ 2 years longer for women relative to men (7.5 women versus 9.3 years men). Women and men with axSpA shared more similarities than differences regarding the impact of disease on HRQoL including (1) physical health, (2) limited mobility, (3) occupation, (4) sleep, (5) healthcare system obstacles, (6) mental health, (7) medication usage, and (8) relationships. Some women reported being dismissed by doctors due to their gender, and some described the pain experienced during pregnancy and complications during birth. CONCLUSIONS: axSpA adversely impacts HRQoL regardless of gender, but women seeking care for axSpA may experience greater challenges reaching a diagnosis. It is essential that providers recognize impaired HRQoL among men and women with axSpA. Future studies with larger sample sizes are needed to identify aspects of HRQoL to adequately address people with axSpA. Key Points * While men waited on average a year longer to tell their healthcare provider about their symptoms, the diagnostic delay is 2 years longer for women. * Women and men with axSpA have similar experiences regarding impacts on their health-related quality of life. * Some women describe difficulty during pregnancy and being dismissed by doctors due to their gender.

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