Public Health Reports

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 0033-3549 / 1468-2877
Published by: SAGE Publications (10.1177)
Total articles ≅ 5,892
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Milad Memari, Alixandra Domney, Christin J. Tee, Anna G. Stathopoulos, Chayan Chakraborti
Published: 7 May 2022
This case study examined current trends in the prevalence of vector-borne diseases and the impact of climate change on disease distribution. Our findings indicate that the dynamics of the Anopheles mosquito population in particular has changed dramatically in the past decade and now poses an increasing threat to human populations previously at low risk for malaria transmission. Given their geographic location and propensity for sustaining vector-borne disease outbreaks, southeastern states are particularly vulnerable to climate-induced changes in vector populations. We demonstrate the need to strengthen our hospital and laboratory infrastructure prior to further increases in the incidence of vector-borne diseases by discussing a case of uncomplicated malaria in a patient who arrived in one of our hospitals in Louisiana. This case exemplifies a delay in diagnosis and obtaining appropriate treatment in a timely manner, which suggests that our current health care infrastructure, especially in areas heavily affected by climate change, may not be adequately prepared to protect patients from vector-borne diseases. We conclude our discussion by examining current laboratory protocols in place with suggestions for future actions to combat this increasing threat to public health in the United States.
Sonal Goyal, Jaline Gerardin, Sarah Cobey, Crystal Son, Owen McCarthy, Arielle Dror, Shannon Lightner, Ngozi O. Ezike, Wayne A. Duffus, Amanda C. Bennett
Published: 5 May 2022
Objectives: The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) assessed whether increases in the SARS-CoV-2 test positivity rate among pregnant people at labor and delivery (L&D) could signal increases in SARS-CoV-2 prevalence in the general Illinois population earlier than current state metrics. Materials and Methods: Twenty-six birthing hospitals universally testing for SARS-CoV-2 at L&D voluntarily submitted data from June 21, 2020 through January 23, 2021, to IDPH. Hospitals reported the daily number of people who delivered, SARS-CoV-2 tests, and test results as well as symptom status. We compared the test positivity rate at L&D with the test positivity rate of the general population and the number of hospital admissions for COVID-19–like illness by quantifying correlations in trends and identifying a lead time. Results: Of 26 633 reported pregnant people who delivered, 96.8% (n = 25 772) were tested for SARS-CoV-2. The overall test positivity rate was 2.4% (n = 615); 77.7% (n = 478) were asymptomatic. In Chicago, the only region with a sufficient sample size for analysis, the test positivity rate at L&D (peak of 5% on December 7, 2020) was lower and more stable than the test positivity rate of the general population (peak of 14% on November 13, 2020) and lagged hospital admissions for COVID-19–like illness (peak of 118 on November 15, 2020) and the test positivity rate of the general population by about 10 days (Pearson correlation = 0.73 and 0.75, respectively). Practice Implications: Trends in the test positivity rate at L&D did not provide an earlier signal of increases in Illinois’s SARS-CoV-2 prevalence than current state metrics did. Nonetheless, the role of universal testing protocols in identifying asymptomatic infection is important for clinical decision making and patient education about infection prevention and control.
Amy Wolkin, Sarah Collier, John House, , Alison Motsinger-Reif, Lindsey Duca,
Published: 5 May 2022
Objective: Vulnerability indices use quantitative indicators and geospatial data to examine the level of vulnerability to morbidity in a community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses 3 indices for the COVID-19 response: the CDC Social Vulnerability Index (CDC-SVI), the US COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI), and the Pandemic Vulnerability Index (PVI). The objective of this review was to describe these tools and explain the similarities and differences between them. Methods: We described the 3 indices, outlined the underlying data sources and metrics for each, and discussed their use by CDC for the COVID-19 response. We compared the percentile score for each county for each index by calculating Spearman correlation coefficients (Spearman r). Results: These indices have some, but not all, component metrics in common. The CDC-SVI is a validated metric that estimates social vulnerability, which comprises the underlying population-level characteristics that influence differences in health risk among communities. To address risk specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CCVI and PVI build on the CDC-SVI and include additional variables. The 3 indices were highly correlated. Spearman r for comparisons between the CDC-SVI score and the CCVI and between the CCVI and the PVI score was 0.83. Spearman r for the comparison between the CDC-SVI score and PVI score was 0.73. Conclusion: The indices can empower local and state public health officials with additional information to focus resources and interventions on disproportionately affected populations to combat the ongoing pandemic and plan for future pandemics.
, David Russell, John Taylor
Published: 4 May 2022
Objectives: Public health interventions to prevent financial stressors and reduce chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain (HICP) are important to potentially improve the health of the US population. The objectives of our study were to provide an update on the prevalence of chronic pain and HICP and to examine relationships between financial stressors and pain. Methods: We used data from a cross-sectional sample of adults aged ≥18 years (n = 31 997) collected by the 2019 National Health Interview Survey. We constructed bivariate and multivariate models to examine chronic pain and HICP in relation to financial worries, employment with wages, income, sociodemographic characteristics, number of chronic health conditions, and body mass index. Results: In fully adjusted multivariate regression models, having no employment with wages was strongly associated with increased risk for chronic pain (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.3; 95% CI, 1.2-1.5) and HICP (aOR = 1.6; 95% CI, 1.4-1.9). Worries about paying medical bills was associated with chronic pain (aOR = 1.1; 95% CI, 1.0-1.2) and HICP (aOR = 1.1; 95% CI, 1.0-1.3). Being unable to pay medical bills was associated with chronic pain (aOR = 2.1; 95% CI, 1.9-2.3) and HICP (aOR = 2.3; 95% CI, 2.0-2.6). Compared with having more income, having less income relative to the federal poverty level was associated with increased risk for chronic pain and HICP. Conclusions: We found a strong relationship between financial worries, employment for wages, income, and self-reported chronic pain and HICP independent of poor physical health and body mass index. Interventions to reduce chronic pain and HICP should address economic instability and financial stressors.
, Blair Harrison, , Ashley A. Meehan, Joshua Leopold, Lindsey Barranco, Lauren Schwerzler, Andrea E. Carmichael, Kristie E.N. Clarke, Jay C. Butler
Published: 29 April 2022
, Nathaniel P. Morris
Published: 25 April 2022
Objectives: Limited information exists about violent deaths among people experiencing homelessness (PEH) across the United States. Using data from a national reporting system, we describe characteristics of suicides, homicides, and other deaths classified as violent among PEH in the United States. Methods: We obtained data on demographic characteristics, mechanisms of injury, and circumstances surrounding violent deaths from January 1, 2016, through December 31, 2018, in 31 states from the National Violent Death Reporting System. Results: Of 122 113 violent deaths in 31 states during 2016-2018, 1757 (1.4%) occurred among PEH and 3952 (3.2%) occurred among people for whom homelessness status was unknown or missing. Of all violent deaths among PEH, 878 were suicides (1.1% of all suicides), 458 were homicides (1.6% of all homicides), 352 were of undetermined intent (2.8% of all deaths of undetermined intent), and 59 were the result of legal interventions (3.8% of all deaths due to legal interventions). Hanging/suffocation/strangulation was the most common mechanism of suicide among PEH (44.4%), followed by deaths due to firearms (21.6%). Firearms were the most common mechanism of homicide deaths among PEH (48.0%). Black PEH were more likely to die by homicide than by suicide, and White PEH were more likely to die by suicide than by homicide. Among the 843 suicide victims for whom additional information was known, 345 (40.9%) had a history of suicidal thoughts or plans, 245 (29.1%) had disclosed intent to die by suicide, and 183 (21.7%) were receiving treatment for a mental health condition. Conclusions: Efforts to reduce mortality and improve health outcomes among PEH should consider the high rates of violent deaths in this population.
, Kristina L. Greenwood, Mawj Al-Ani, Sandro Galea, Raed Al-Naser
Published: 25 April 2022
Objective: Little is known about risk factors associated with COVID-19 infection among Arab American people. We aimed to understand the predictors of receiving a positive COVID-19 test result and being admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 among Arab American adults using data from a hospital near an Arab ethnic enclave. Methods: We used electronic medical record data for Arab American adults aged ≥18 years from March 1, 2020, through January 31, 2021, at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, California. The primary outcomes were receiving a positive COVID-19 test result and being admitted to the hospital for COVID-19. We ran logistic regression models with individual- and population-level risk factors to determine the odds of each primary outcome. Results: A total of 2744 Arab American adults were tested for COVID-19, of whom 783 (28.5%) had a positive test result. In the fully adjusted model, women had lower odds of receiving a positive test result than men (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.77; 95% CI, 0.64-0.92), and adults living in high-poverty areas had higher odds of receiving a positive test result than adults in lower-poverty areas (aOR = 1.25; 95% CI, 1.04-1.51). Of the 783 Arab American adults with data on admission, 131 (16.7%) were admitted. For every 1-unit increase in the Charlson Comorbidity Index, the odds of admission increased by 66% (aOR = 1.66; 95% CI, 1.36-2.04). Conclusion: The risk of receiving a positive test result for COVID-19 was higher among Arab American adults living in high-poverty areas than in lower-poverty areas. The risk of admission was directly related to overall health status. Future work should aim to understand the barriers to prevention and testing in this population.
, Shannon Irvine, Mei Chung, Holly Yue, Cordelia Sheetoh, Kenneth Chui, Jennifer D. Allen
Published: 9 April 2022
Objective: As COVID-19 vaccines become more accessible to all people in the United States, more employees are returning to the workforce or switching to in-person work. However, limited information is available on vaccination coverage and intent among the US workforce. Methods: We used data from the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, fielded during April 14–May 24, 2021 (N = 218 787), to examine the prevalence of previous COVID-19 infection, vaccination receipt, and intent to vaccinate by essential worker status and employment type. In addition, we analyzed factors associated with vaccination receipt and reasons for not getting vaccinated. Results: More than 15% of the US workforce had a previous diagnosis of COVID-19, and 73.6% received ≥1 dose of COVID-19 vaccine; however, 12.4% reported that they probably will not or definitely will not get vaccinated. Vaccination coverage (range, 63.8%-78.3%) was lowest and non-intent to get vaccinated (12.9%-21.7%) was highest among self-employed adults across all essential and nonessential worker groups. Factors associated with receipt of vaccination were age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, educational attainment, annual household income, health insurance status, and previous COVID-19 diagnosis. The main reasons for not getting vaccinated were concerns about possible side effects and waiting and seeing if the vaccine is safe. Conclusion: Identifying and addressing disparities in COVID-19 vaccination coverage in the US workforce can protect groups with low vaccine coverage and increase understanding of reasons for vaccine hesitancy. Educating employees about the vaccine and its potential side effects, promoting a culture of health and safety in the workplace, and building social norms around vaccination can help create a safe work environment for all employees and their families.
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