Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

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ISSN / EISSN : 0143-005X / 1470-2738
Published by: BMJ (10.1136)
Total articles ≅ 11,586
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Latest articles in this journal

Published: 4 October 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health; https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2022-219645

Abstract:
Background Mortality rates across the UK stopped improving in the early 2010s, largely attributable to UK Government’s ‘austerity’ policies. Such policies are thought to disproportionately affect women in terms of greater financial impact and loss of services. The aim here was to investigate whether the mortality impact of austerity—in terms of when rates changed and the scale of excess deaths—has also been worse for women. Methods All-cause mortality data by sex, age, Great Britain (GB) nation and deprivation quintile were obtained from national agencies. Trends in age-standardised mortality rates were calculated, and segmented regression analyses used to identify break points between 1981 and 2019. Excess deaths were calculated for 2012–2019 based on comparison of observed deaths with numbers predicted by the linear trend for 1981–2011. Results Changes in trends were observed for both men and women, especially for those living in the 20% most deprived areas. In those areas, mortality increased between 2010/2012 and 2017/2019 among women but not men. Break points in trends occurred at similar time points. Approximately 335 000 more deaths occurred between 2012 and 2019 than was expected based on previous trends, with the excess greater among men. Conclusions It remains unclear whether there are sex differences in UK austerity-related health effects. Nonetheless, this study provides further evidence of adverse trends in the UK and the associated scale of excess deaths. There is a clear need for such policies to be reversed, and for policies to be implemented to protect the most vulnerable in society.
, Alekh Thapa, , Annette Guilding, , Alastair Leyland, Frank Popham,
Published: 22 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health; https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2022-219292

Abstract:
Objective: To evaluate the impact of persistent precarious employment (lasting 12+ months) on the health of working age adults, compared with more stable employment. Persistent precarity reflects a shift towards less secure forms of employment and may be particularly important for health.Methods: Nine databases were systematically searched to identify quantitative studies that assessed the relationship between persistent precarious employment and health outcomes. Risk of bias (RoB) was assessed using an adaptation of the Effective Public Health Practice Project tool. Narrative synthesis and random effects meta-analysis were conducted. Certainty of evidence was assessed using the Grades of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.Results: Of 12 940 records screened, 50 studies met the inclusion criteria and 29 were included in meta-analyses. RoB was generally high (n=18). The most reported outcome domain was mental health; with evidence also reported relating to general health, physical health,and health behaviours. Of GRADE assessed outcomes, persistent precarious employment was associated with increased risk of poor self-rated health (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.09 to 2.14, I2=80%) and mental health symptoms (OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.70, I2=65%). The association with all-cause mortality was imprecisely estimated (OR 1.10, 5% CI 0.91 to 1.33, I2=73%). There was very low GRADE certainty across all outcomes.Conclusions: Persistent precarious employment is associated with poorer health, particularly for outcomes with short time lags, though associations are small and causality is highly uncertain. Further research using more robust methods is needed but given potential health harms of persistent precarious employment, exploration of precautionary labour regulations and employment policies is warranted.
, Patricia Li, Kaberi Dasgupta, Elham Rahme
Published: 22 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health; https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2022-219307

Abstract:
Background Systematic loss to follow-up (LFU) creates selection bias and hinders generalisability in longitudinal cohort studies. Little is known about LFU risks in underserved populations including immigrants, those with depressive symptoms and language minorities. We used the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (baseline 2012–2015 and 3-year follow-up 2015–2018) comprehensive and tracking cohorts to examine the association of language with LFU and its effect modification by immigrant status and depressive symptoms among participants from Quebec and those from outside Quebec. Methods Language was English-speaking, French-speaking and Bilingual according to the language participants’ reported being able to converse in. Language minorities were French-speakers outside Quebec and English-speakers inside Quebec. LFU was withdrawal or not providing follow-up data. Logistic regression models assessed the associations of interest. Results Our cohort included 49 179 individuals (mean age 63.0, SD 10.4 years; 51.4% female). Overall, 7808 (15.9%) were immigrants and 7902 (16.1%) had depressive symptoms. Language was 4672 (9.5%) French-speaking, 33 532 (68.2%) English-speaking and 10 976 (22.3%) Bilingual. Immigration ≤20 years (OR 1.84, 95% CI 1.34 to 2.53) or arrival at age >22 years (1.32, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.58) and depressive symptoms (1.23, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.46) had higher LFU risks. Bilingual (vs French-speaking) had lower LFU risk outside (0.45, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.86) and inside Quebec (0.78, 95% CI 0.63 to 0.98). LFU risk was higher in French-speakers (vs English-speakers) outside (2.33, 95% CI 1.19 to 4.55), but not inside Quebec. Female, higher income, higher education and low nutritional risk had lower LFU risks. Conclusion Speaking only French (vs Bilingual), having depressive symptoms and immigrant status increased LFU risks, with the latter not modifying the language effect.
, Kia Gluschkoff, , Sanna Selinheimo, Laura Peutere, Ari Väänänen
Published: 16 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health; https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2022-218941

Abstract:
Background Mental disorders are a major cause of work disability among the working-age population. Psychotherapy has shown to be an effective treatment for mental disorders, but the evidence is mainly based on small-scale randomised trials with relatively short follow-ups. We used population-based register data to examine the association between statutory rehabilitative psychotherapy and change in depression or anxiety-related work disability. Methods We drew a nationally representative sample of the working-age population (aged 18–55 in 2010). The study group comprised all those who started rehabilitative psychotherapy in 2011–2014. A total of 10 436 participants who were followed from 3 years prior to 4 years after the onset of rehabilitative psychotherapy. This resulted in 83 488 observations. The annual total number of mental health-related work disability months (0 to 12) was calculated from the total number of annual compensated sickness absence and disability pension days. A quasi-experimental interrupted time series analysis was applied. Results The onset of rehabilitative psychotherapy marked a decline in work disability in comparison to the counterfactual trend. Specifically, a 20% decrease in the level (incidence rate ratio, IRR 0.80; 95% CI 0.76 to 0.85) and a 48% decrease in the slope (IRR 0.52; 95% CI 0.50 to 0.54) of work disability were detected in comparison to the counterfactual scenario. No significant gender differences were observed. The decline in work disability was the steepest in the oldest age group. Conclusions This study suggests that statutory psychotherapy may decrease work disability at the population level. However, further evidence of causal inference and the potential heterogeneity of the association is required.
Published: 9 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health; https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2022-219213

Abstract:
Background It is hypothesised that lifelong physical activity behaviours are established in early life, however there is minimal, and contradictory, evidence examining prenatal and postnatal factors in relation to adulthood physical activity. We investigated associations between prospectively ascertained prenatal/postnatal factors and device-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in midlife. Methods Analyses included 5011 participants from the 1970 British Cohort Study, a birth cohort study of individuals born within the same week. At birth, the following factors were ascertained: socioeconomic position (SEP), maternal age, number of previous pregnancies, maternal smoking, maternal diabetes, gestational age, birth weight, breastfeeding status and infant health concerns. MVPA was captured at age 46 with a thigh-worn accelerometer device following a 24-hour protocol over 7 days. Results In sex-adjusted models, lower SEP (−6.7 min/day (95% CI: −9.0 to –4.4) in those with a partly or unskilled paternal occupation), younger maternal age (0.4 min/day (0.2 to 0.5) per additional year of maternal age), maternal smoking during pregnancy (−2.5 min/day (−4.0 to –1.0)) and post-term gestational age (−7.4 min/day (−11.5 to –3.4); boys only) were associated with lower MVPA at age 46. In the mutually adjusted model, associations did not change but there was some evidence that birth weight may also be associated with MVPA levels. Conclusions SEP, maternal age, maternal smoking, post-term birth in boys and birth weight were associated with MVPA in midlife, indicating that midlife physical activity behaviours may be partially established at birth. Early interventions in disadvantaged environments may have a positive impact on physical activity throughout the life course.
Heli Taanila, Anna Reetta Rönkä, Sirkka Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi, Jari Jokelainen, Tanja Nordström, Anja Taanila, Tuula Hurtig
Published: 8 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health; https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2022-219229

Abstract:
Aim The aim of this study was to explore whether active participation in a longitudinal birth cohort study is associated with study participants’ health behaviour and well-being. Methods The subjects of this study were part of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966. The follow-up data were collected through clinical examinations and questionnaires when the cohort members were 1, 14, 31 and 46 years old. In this study, cohort participation activity was divided into three categories: active, semiactive and least active. Results The total number of study participants who participated in the 46-year follow-up on both the survey and clinical trials was 6392, of which 66.5% (n=4268) participated actively in the cohort study. A total of 67.6% were female (p<0.001). Of the participants, 23.7% (n=1519) were semiactive and 9.5% (n=605) were the least active. Women who participated least actively experienced statistically significantly more depressive symptoms and poorer health, were more dissatisfied with their lives and had more addiction problems. In men, there was not a statistically significant association between participation activity and these well-being variables other than addiction problems and mental health. Conclusions The findings indicate that participation activity is associated with better self-reported health and well-being, especially among women. With this knowledge, people can be encouraged to participate in longitudinal health research and, at the same time, may improve their own health and quality of life.
Published: 6 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health; https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2022-219267

Abstract:
Observational studies aiming to estimate causal effects often rely on conceptual frameworks that are unfamiliar to many researchers and practitioners. We provide a clear, structured overview of key concepts and terms, intended as a starting point for readers unfamiliar with the causal inference literature. First, we introduce theoretical frameworks underlying causal effect estimation methods: the counterfactual theory of causation, the potential outcomes framework, structural equations and directed acyclic graphs. Second, we define the most common causal effect estimands, and the issues of effect measure modification, interaction and mediation (direct and indirect effects). Third, we define the assumptions required to estimate causal effects: exchangeability, positivity, consistency and non-interference. Fourth, we define and explain biases that arise when attempting to estimate causal effects, including confounding, collider bias, selection bias and measurement bias. Finally, we describe common methods and study designs for causal effect estimation, including covariate adjustment, G-methods and natural experiment methods.
, , Thomas Bovagnet, Antonio Di Meglio, Julie Havas, , Elise Martin, Barbara Pistilli, Charles Coutant, Paul Cottu, et al.
Published: 6 September 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health; https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2021-218331

Abstract:
Background We assessed the prevalence of self-reported perceived discrimination in the workplace after the end of treatment among breast cancer (BC) survivors and studied its association with social, health-related and work-related factors. Methods We used data from a French prospective cohort (CANcer TOxicities) including women diagnosed with stage I–III BC. Our analysis included 2130 women who were employed, <57 years old at BC diagnosis and were working 2 years afterwards. We assessed the association between social, health-related and work-related factors and perceived discrimination in the workplace using logistic regression models. Results Overall, 26% of women reported perceived discrimination in the workplace after the end of treatment. Women working for a small company, in the public sector or with better overall health status were less likely to report perceived discrimination. Women who benefited from easing dispositions at their workplace, who did not feel supported by their colleagues and those who returned to work because of fear of job loss were more likely to report perceived discrimination. Conclusions One in four BC survivors perceives discrimination in the workplace. Health and work-related factors are associated with increased likelihood of reporting perceived discrimination. Trial registration number NCT01993498.
Kara Davis, Melissa L Fair, Catie Buckingham, Hannah McKinnon, Laurie Theriot Roley, Kerry Sease
Published: 26 August 2022
by BMJ
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health; https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2022-219270

Abstract:
Background Social determinants of health (SDOHs) impacts on an individual’s health outcomes have become more evident, and clinical providers are vital in helping patients address those needs. Providers are experiencing high-stress levels related to patient care, resulting in a diminished capacity to address these SDOHs. This study examines the impact of a medical-legal partnership (MLP) on the clinical capacity to assist providers with addressing SDOH needs and reducing clinician stress. Methods A 16-question survey was emailed to 532 providers in a local health system. The survey assessed clinicians’ perception of their role in addressing SDOH needs, the MLP’s impact on their clinical capacity and the MLP’s ability to remedy patient SDOH needs. Results Providers who have referred to the MLP indicated higher levels of agreement that SDOH screenings were part of their clinical responsibility and had higher levels of agreement regarding comfort levels for completing SDOH screenings. Geriatric providers reported higher levels of agreement that the MLP reduced clinician stress than paediatric providers. Conclusion MLPs have the potential to reduce clinician stress and burnout by standing in the gap to assist providers in addressing their patient’s SDOH needs.
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