Volume 12, Issue 34, September 29, 2020

CDC Science Clips: Volume 12, Issue 34, September 29, 2020

This week, Science Clips is pleased to feature articles on maternal health.

The United States faces high maternal mortality—nearly 700 women die from pregnancy-related causes every year. Two-thirds of these tragic deaths are preventable. In 2018, the U.S. maternal mortality rate was 17.4 per 100,000 live births, more than three times higher than countries of similar income and size. There are striking differences by race and ethnicity, with Black and American Indian/Alaska Native women two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than their White counterparts.

This week marks the release of the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Improve Maternal Health and the Department of Health and Human Services Action Plan to Improve Maternal Health in America. Ensuring the health and well-being of mothers is crucial to a healthy future. CDC undertakes activities to strengthen maternal mortality data and improve quality of care. In addition, CDC implemented the "Hear Her" campaign to shed light on and to spread potentially life-saving messages about urgent maternal warning signs during pregnancy and the postpartum period. The accompanying reading list is intended to build knowledge about maternal morbidity and mortality, as well as broader public health and clinical issues involving maternal health.
  1. Key Scientific Articles in Featured Topic Areas
    • Maternal Mortality
      1. Pregnant? Validity of the pregnancy checkbox on death certificates in four states, and characteristics associated with pregnancy checkbox errorsexternal icon
        Catalano A, Davis NL, Petersen EE, Harrison C, Kieltyka L, You M, Conrey EJ, Ewing AC, Callaghan WM, Goodman DA.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2020 Mar;222(3):269.e1-269.e8.
        BACKGROUND: Maternal mortality rates in the United States appear to be increasing. One potential reason may be increased identification of maternal deaths after the addition of a pregnancy checkbox to the death certificate. In 2016, 4 state health departments (Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, and Ohio) implemented a pregnancy checkbox quality assurance pilot, with technical assistance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The pilot aimed to improve accuracy of the pregnancy checkbox on death certificates and resultant state maternal mortality estimates. OBJECTIVE: To estimate the validity of the pregnancy checkbox on the death certificate, and to describe characteristics associated with errors using 2016 data from a 4-state quality assurance pilot. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Potential pregnancy-associated deaths were identified by linking death certificates with birth or fetal death certificates from within 1 year preceding death or by pregnancy checkbox status. Death certificates that indicated that the decedent was pregnant within 1 year of death via the pregnancy checkbox, but that did not link to a birth or fetal death certificate, were referred for active follow-up to confirm pregnancy status by either death certifier confirmation or medical record review. Descriptive statistics and 95% confidence intervals were used to examine the distributions of demographic characteristics by pregnancy confirmation category (confirmed pregnant, confirmed not pregnant, and unable to confirm). We compared the proportion confirmed pregnant and confirmed not pregnant within age, race/ethnicity, pregnancy checkbox category, and certifier type categories using a Wald test of proportions. Binomial and Poisson regression models were used to estimate prevalence ratios for having an incorrect pregnancy checkbox (false positive, false negative) by age group, race/ethnicity, pregnancy checkbox category, and certifier type. RESULTS: Among 467 potential pregnancy-associated deaths, 335 (72%) were confirmed pregnant via linkage to a birth or fetal death certificate, certifier confirmation, or review of medical records. A total of 97 women (21%) were confirmed not pregnant (false positives) and 35 (7%) were unable to be confirmed. Women confirmed pregnant were significantly younger than women confirmed not pregnant (P < .001). Deaths certified by coroners and medical examiners were more likely to be confirmed pregnant than confirmed not pregnant (P = .04). The association between decedent age category and false-positive status followed a dose-response relationship (P < .001), with increasing prevalence ratios for each increase in age category. Death certificates of non-Hispanic black women were more likely to be false positive, compared with non-Hispanic white women (prevalence ratio, 1.41; 95% confidence interval, 1.01, 1.96). The sensitivity of the pregnancy checkbox among these 4 states in 2016 was 62% and the positive predictive value was 68%. CONCLUSION: We provide a multi-state analysis of the validity of the pregnancy checkbox and highlight a need for more accurate reporting of pregnancy status on death certificates. States and other jurisdictions may increase the accuracy of their data used to calculate maternal mortality rates by implementing quality assurance processes.

      2. Contribution of maternal age and pregnancy checkbox on maternal mortality ratios in the United States, 1978-2012external icon
        Davis NL, Hoyert DL, Goodman DA, Hirai AH, Callaghan WM.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Sep;217(3):352.e1-352.e7.
        BACKGROUND: Maternal mortality ratios (MMR) appear to have increased in the United States over the last decade. Three potential contributing factors are (1) a shifting maternal age distribution, (2) changes in age-specific MMR, and (3) the addition of a checkbox indicating recent pregnancy on the death certificate. OBJECTIVE: To determine the contribution of increasing maternal age on changes in MMR from 1978 to 2012 and estimate the contribution of the pregnancy checkbox on increases in MMR over the last decade. STUDY DESIGN: Kitagawa decomposition analyses were conducted to partition the maternal age contribution to the MMR increase into 2 components: changes due to a shifting maternal age distribution and changes due to greater age-specific mortality ratios. We used National Vital Statistics System natality and mortality data. The following 5-year groupings were used: 1978-1982, 1988-1992, 1998-2002, and 2008-2012. Changes in age-specific MMRs among states that adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox onto their death certificate before 2008 (n = 23) were compared with states that had not adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox on their death certificate by the end of 2012 (n = 11) to estimate the percentage increase in the MMR due to the pregnancy checkbox. RESULTS: Overall US MMRs for 1978-1982, 1988-1992, and 1998-2002 were 9.0, 8.1, and 9.1 deaths per 100,000 live births, respectively. There was a modest increase in the MMR between 1998-2002 and 2008-2012 in the 11 states that had not adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox on their death certificate by the end of 2012 (8.6 and 9.9 deaths per 100,000, respectively). However, the MMR more than doubled between 1998-2002 and 2008-2012 in the 23 states that adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox (9.0-22.4); this dramatic increase was almost entirely attributable to increases in age-specific MMRs (94.9%) as opposed to increases in maternal age (5.1%), with an estimated 90% of the observed change reflecting the change in maternal death identification rather than a real change in age-specific rates alone. Of all age categories, women ages 40 and older in states that adopted the standard pregnancy checkbox had the largest increase in MMR-from 31.9 to 200.5-a relative increase of 528%, which accounted for nearly one third of the overall increase. An estimated 28.8% of the observed change was potentially due to maternal death misclassification among women ≥40 years. CONCLUSION: Increasing age-specific maternal mortality seems to be contributing more heavily than a changing maternal age distribution to recent increases in MMR. In states with the standard pregnancy checkbox, the vast majority of the observed change in MMR over the last decade was estimated to be due to the pregnancy checkbox, with the greatest change in MMR occurring in women ages ≥40 years. The addition of a pregnancy checkbox on state death certificates appears to be increasing case identification but also may be leading to maternal death misclassification, particularly for women ages ≥40 years.

      3. This report describes changes in how the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) will code, publish, and release maternal mortality data and presents official 2018 maternal mortality estimates using a new coding method. Due to the incremental implementation of the pregnancy status checkbox item on the 2003 revised U.S. Standard Certificate of Death, NCHS last published an official estimate of the U.S. maternal mortality rate in 2007. As of 2018, implementation of the revised certificate, including its pregnancy checkbox, is complete for all 50 states (noting that California implemented a different checkbox than that on the U.S. Standard Certificate of Death), allowing NCHS to resume the routine publication of maternal mortality statistics. However, an evaluation of data quality indicated some errors with the reporting of maternal deaths (deaths within 42 days of pregnancy) following adoption of the checkbox, including overreporting of maternal deaths among older women. Therefore, NCHS has adopted a new method (to be called the 2018 method) for coding maternal deaths to mitigate these probable errors. The 2018 method involves further restricting application of the pregnancy checkbox to decedents aged 10-44 years from the previous age group of 10-54. In addition, the 2018 method restricts assignment of maternal codes to the underlying cause alone when the checkbox is the only indication of pregnancy on the death certificate, and such coding would be applied only to decedents aged 10-44 based solely on the checkbox when no other pregnancy information is provided in the cause-of-death statement. Based on the new method, a total of 658 deaths were identified in 2018 as maternal deaths. The maternal mortality rate for 2018 was 17.4 deaths per 100,000 live births, and the rate for non-Hispanic black women (37.1) was 2.5 to 3.1 times the rates for non-Hispanic white (14.7) and Hispanic (11.8) women. Rates also increased with age. Maternal mortality rates calculated without using information obtained from the checkbox are also presented for 2002, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 to provide comparisons over time using a comparable coding approach across all states.

      4. Vital Signs: Pregnancy-related deaths, United States, 2011-2015, and strategies for prevention, 13 states, 2013-2017external icon
        Petersen EE, Davis NL, Goodman D, Cox S, Mayes N, Johnston E, Syverson C, Seed K, Shapiro-Mendoza CK, Callaghan WM, Barfield W.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2019 May 10;68(18):423-429.
        BACKGROUND: Approximately 700 women die from pregnancy-related complications in the United States every year. METHODS: Data from CDC's national Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System (PMSS) for 2011-2015 were analyzed. Pregnancy-related mortality ratios (pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births; PRMRs) were calculated overall and by sociodemographic characteristics. The distribution of pregnancy-related deaths by timing relative to the end of pregnancy and leading causes of death were calculated. Detailed data on pregnancy-related deaths during 2013-2017 from 13 state maternal mortality review committees (MMRCs) were analyzed for preventability, factors that contributed to pregnancy-related deaths, and MMRC-identified prevention strategies to address contributing factors. RESULTS: For 2011-2015, the national PRMR was 17.2 per 100,000 live births. Non-Hispanic black (black) women and American Indian/Alaska Native women had the highest PRMRs (42.8 and 32.5, respectively), 3.3 and 2.5 times as high, respectively, as the PRMR for non-Hispanic white (white) women (13.0). Timing of death was known for 87.7% (2,990) of pregnancy-related deaths. Among these deaths, 31.3% occurred during pregnancy, 16.9% on the day of delivery, 18.6% 1-6 days postpartum, 21.4% 7-42 days postpartum, and 11.7% 43-365 days postpartum. Leading causes of death included cardiovascular conditions, infection, and hemorrhage, and varied by timing. Approximately sixty percent of pregnancy-related deaths from state MMRCs were determined to be preventable and did not differ significantly by race/ethnicity or timing of death. MMRC data indicated that multiple factors contributed to pregnancy-related deaths. Contributing factors and prevention strategies can be categorized at the community, health facility, patient, provider, and system levels and include improving access to, and coordination and delivery of, quality care. CONCLUSIONS: Pregnancy-related deaths occurred during pregnancy, around the time of delivery, and up to 1 year postpartum; leading causes varied by timing of death. Approximately three in five pregnancy-related deaths were preventable. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICE: Strategies to address contributing factors to pregnancy-related deaths can be enacted at the community, health facility, patient, provider, and system levels.

      5. Racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related deaths - United States, 2007-2016external icon
        Petersen EE, Davis NL, Goodman D, Cox S, Syverson C, Seed K, Shapiro-Mendoza C, Callaghan WM, Barfield W.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2019 Sep 6;68(35):762-765.
        Approximately 700 women die in the United States each year as a result of pregnancy or its complications, and significant racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related mortality exist (1). Data from CDC's Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System (PMSS) for 2007-2016 were analyzed. Pregnancy-related mortality ratios (PRMRs) (i.e., pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 live births) were analyzed by demographic characteristics and state PRMR tertiles (i.e., states with lowest, middle, and highest PRMR); cause-specific proportionate mortality by race/ethnicity also was calculated. Over the period analyzed, the U.S. overall PRMR was 16.7 pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 births. Non-Hispanic black (black) and non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women experienced higher PRMRs (40.8 and 29.7, respectively) than did all other racial/ethnic groups. This disparity persisted over time and across age groups. The PRMR for black and AI/AN women aged ≥30 years was approximately four to five times that for their white counterparts. PRMRs for black and AI/AN women with at least some college education were higher than those for all other racial/ethnic groups with less than a high school diploma. Among state PRMR tertiles, the PRMRs for black and AI/AN women were 2.8-3.3 and 1.7-3.3 times as high, respectively, as those for non-Hispanic white (white) women. Significant differences in cause-specific proportionate mortality were observed among racial/ethnic populations. Strategies to address racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related deaths, including improving women's health and access to quality care in the preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum periods, can be implemented through coordination at the community, health facility, patient, provider, and system levels.

    • Maternal Mortality Review Committees
      1. Changing the conversation: applying a health equity framework to maternal mortality reviewsexternal icon
        Kramer MR, Strahan AE, Preslar J, Zaharatos J, St Pierre A, Grant JE, Davis NL, Goodman DA, Callaghan WM.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2019 Dec;221(6):609.e1-609.e9.
        The risk of maternal death in the United States is higher than peer nations and is rising and varies dramatically by the race and place of residence of the woman. Critical efforts to reduce maternal mortality include patient risk stratification and system-level quality improvement efforts targeting specific aspects of clinical care. These efforts are important for addressing the causes of an individual's risk, but research to date suggests that individual risk factors alone do not adequately explain between-group disparities in pregnancy-related death by race, ethnicity, or geography. The holistic review and multidisciplinary makeup of maternal mortality review committees make them well positioned to fill knowledge gaps about the drivers of racial and geographic inequity in maternal death. However, committees may lack the conceptual framework, contextual data, and evidence base needed to identify community-based contributing factors to death and, when appropriate, to make recommendations for future action. By incorporating a multileveled, theory-grounded framework for causes of health inequity, along with indicators of the community vital signs, the social and community context in which women live, work, and seek health care, maternal mortality review committees may identify novel underlying factors at the community level that enhance understanding of racial and geographic inequity in maternal mortality. By considering evidence-informed community and regional resources and policies for addressing these factors, novel prevention recommendations, including recommendations that extend outside the realm of the formal health care system, may emerge.

      2. Challenges and opportunities in identifying, reviewing, and preventing maternal deathsexternal icon
        St Pierre A, Zaharatos J, Goodman D, Callaghan WM.
        Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Jan;131(1):138-142.
        Despite many efforts at the state, city, and national levels over the past 70 years, a nationwide consensus on how best to identify, review, and prevent maternal deaths remains challenging. We present a brief history of maternal death surveillance in the United States and compare the three systems of national surveillance that exist today: the National Vital Statistics System, the Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System, and maternal mortality review committees. We discuss strategies to address the perennial challenges of shared terminology and accurate, comparable data among maternal mortality review committees. Finally, we propose that with the opportunity presented by a systematized shared data system that can accurately account for all maternal deaths, state and local-level maternal mortality review committees could become the gold standard for understanding the true burden of maternal mortality at the national level.

    • Severe Maternal Morbidity
      1. Severe maternal morbidity among delivery and postpartum hospitalizations in the United Statesexternal icon
        Callaghan WM, Creanga AA, Kuklina EV.
        Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Nov;120(5):1029-36.
        OBJECTIVES: To propose a new standard for monitoring severe maternal morbidity, update previous estimates of severe maternal morbidity during both delivery and postpartum hospitalizations, and estimate trends in these events in the United States between 1998 and 2009. METHODS: Delivery and postpartum hospitalizations were identified in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample for the period 1998-2009. International Classification of Diseases, 9 Revision codes indicating severe complications were used to identify hospitalizations with severe maternal morbidity and related in-hospital mortality. Trends were reported using 2-year increments of data. RESULTS: Severe morbidity rates for delivery and postpartum hospitalizations for the 2008-2009 period were 129 and 29, respectively, for every 10,000 delivery hospitalizations. Compared with the 1998-1999 period, severe maternal morbidity increased by 75% and 114% for delivery and postpartum hospitalizations, respectively. We found increasing rates of blood transfusion, acute renal failure, shock, acute myocardial infarction, respiratory distress syndrome, aneurysms, and cardiac surgery during delivery hospitalizations. Moreover, during the study period, rates of postpartum hospitalization with 13 of the 25 severe complications examined more than doubled, and the overall mortality during postpartum hospitalizations increased by 66% (P<.05). CONCLUSIONS: Severe maternal morbidity currently affects approximately 52,000 women during their delivery hospitalizations and, based on current trends, this burden is expected to increase. Clinical review of identified cases of severe maternal morbidity can provide an opportunity to identify points of intervention for quality improvement in maternal care. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III.

      2. Site of delivery contribution to black-white severe maternal morbidity disparityexternal icon
        Howell EA, Egorova NN, Balbierz A, Zeitlin J, Hebert PL.
        Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Aug;215(2):143-52.
        BACKGROUND: The black-white maternal mortality disparity is the largest disparity among all conventional population perinatal health measures, and the mortality gap between black and white women in New York City has nearly doubled in recent years. For every maternal death, 100 women experience severe maternal morbidity, a life-threatening diagnosis, or undergo a life-saving procedure during their delivery hospitalization. Like maternal mortality, severe maternal morbidity is more common among black than white women. A significant portion of maternal morbidity and mortality is preventable, making quality of care in hospitals a critical lever for improving outcomes. Hospital variation in risk-adjusted severe maternal morbidity rates exists. The extent to which variation in hospital performance on severe maternal morbidity rates contributes to black-white disparities in New York City hospitals has not been studied. OBJECTIVE: We examined the extent to which black-white differences in severe maternal morbidity rates in New York City hospitals can be explained by differences in the hospitals in which black and white women deliver. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a population-based study using linked 2011-2013 New York City discharge and birth certificate datasets (n = 353,773 deliveries) to examine black-white differences in severe maternal morbidity rates in New York City hospitals. A mixed-effects logistic regression with a random hospital-specific intercept was used to generate risk-standardized severe maternal morbidity rates for each hospital (n = 40). We then assessed differences in the distributions of black and white deliveries among these hospitals. RESULTS: Severe maternal morbidity occurred in 8882 deliveries (2.5%) and was higher among black than white women (4.2% vs 1.5%, P < .001). After adjustment for patient characteristics and comorbidities, the risk remained elevated for black women (odds ratio, 2.02; 95% confidence interval, 1.89-2.17). Risk-standardized severe maternal morbidity rates among New York City hospitals ranged from 0.8 to 5.7 per 100 deliveries. White deliveries were more likely to be delivered in low-morbidity hospitals: 65% of white vs 23% of black deliveries occurred in hospitals in the lowest tertile for morbidity. We estimated that black-white differences in delivery location may contribute as much as 47.7% of the racial disparity in severe maternal morbidity rates in New York City. CONCLUSION: Black mothers are more likely to deliver at higher risk-standardized severe maternal morbidity hospitals than are white mothers, contributing to black-white disparities. More research is needed to understand the attributes of high-performing hospitals and to share best practices among hospitals.

      3. This chapter reviews the historical development of indicators to identify severe maternal morbidity/maternal near miss (SMM/MNM), and their use for public health surveillance, research, and clinical audit. While there has been progress toward identifying standard definitions for SMM/MNM within countries, there remain inconsistencies in the definition of SMM/MNM indicators and their application between countries. Using these indicators to screen for events that then trigger a clinical audit may both under identify select SMM/MNM (false negative)and over identify select SMM/MNM (false positive). Thus, indicators which support the efficient identification of SMM/MNM for the purpose of facility-based clinical audits are still needed.

    • Improving Quality of Care
      1. State-based perinatal quality collaboratives (SPQC) have become increasingly widespread in the United States. Whereas the first was launched in 1997, today over 40 states have SPQCs that are actively working or are in development. Despite great variability in the structure and function of SPQCs among states, many have seen their efforts lead to significant improvements in the care of mothers and newborns. Clinical topics targeted by SPQCs have included nosocomial infection in newborns, human milk use, neonatal abstinence syndrome, early term deliveries without a medical indication, maternal hemorrhage, and maternal hypertension, among others. While each SPQC uses approaches suited to its own context, several themes are common to the goals of all SPQCs, including developing obstetric and neonatal partnerships; including families as partners; striving for participation by all providers; utilizing rigorous quality improvement science; maintaining close partnerships with public health departments; and seeking population-level improvements in health outcomes.

      2. Quality improvement efforts are an increasingly expanding focus for perinatal care providers across the United States. From successful hospital-level initiatives, there has been a growing effort to use and implement quality improvement work in substantive and meaningful ways. This article summarizes the foundations of maternal-focused, birth-focused, and neonatal-focused quality improvement initiatives to highlight the underpinnings and potential future directions of current state-level perinatal quality care collaboratives.

      3. Levels of maternal care in the United States: An assessment of publicly available state guidelinesexternal icon
        Vladutiu CJ, Minnaert JJ, Sosa S, Menard MK.
        J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2020 Mar;29(3):353-361.
        Background: Recent increases in maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity highlight the need to improve systems for safe maternity care. We sought to identify whether publicly available state perinatal guidelines incorporate levels of maternal care (LoMC) criteria. Materials and Methods: We searched websites for 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. for LoMC guidelines. The Health Resources and Services Administration's Title V Program directors confirmed/updated search results through January 2018. Data abstracted included: (1) definitions of levels; (2) provider types; (3) facility capabilities and services; and (4) programmatic responsibilities as promoted in the 2015 Society for Maternal/Fetal Medicine and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists consensus document on LoMC. Results: LoMC guidelines were identified for 17 states; 12 defined four levels and five defined three levels of care. In Level I, 14/17 states specified obstetric provider availability for every birth and five specified an available surgeon to perform emergency cesareans. Fourteen states specified the availability of blood bank and laboratory services at all times. In the highest level (III or IV), 16/17 state guidelines specified a maternal/fetal medicine specialist; all but two specified anesthesia providers or services. Ten states referenced availability of an onsite intensive care unit in their highest level. All 17 state guidelines specified maternal transport and referral systems. Conclusions: Only one-third of states have publicly available perinatal guidelines incorporating LoMC criteria. Definitions, criteria, and nomenclature varied. Lack of LoMC guidelines with standardized criteria limits monitoring and evaluation of regionalized systems of maternal care.

    • Maternal Health
      1. Disparities in chronic conditions among women hospitalized for delivery in the United States, 2005-2014external icon
        Admon LK, Winkelman TN, Moniz MH, Davis MM, Heisler M, Dalton VK.
        Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Dec;130(6):1319-1326.
        OBJECTIVE: To estimate trends in the prevalence and socioeconomic distribution of chronic conditions among women hospitalized for obstetric delivery in the United States. METHODS: A retrospective, serial cross-sectional analysis was conducted using 2005-2014 data from the National Inpatient Sample. We estimated the prevalence of eight common, chronic conditions, each associated with obstetric morbidity and mortality, among all childbearing women and then across socioeconomic predictors of obstetric outcomes. Differences over time were measured and compared across rural and urban residence, income, and payer subgroups for each condition. RESULTS: We identified 8,193,707 delivery hospitalizations, representing 39,273,417 delivery hospitalizations occurring nationally between 2005 and 2014. Identification of at least one chronic condition increased significantly between 2005-2006 and 2013-2014 (66.9 per 1,000 delivery hospitalizations in 2005-2006 compared with 91.8 per 1,000 delivery hospitalizations in 2013-2014). The prevalence of multiple chronic conditions also increased during the study period, from 4.7 (95% CI 4.2-5.2) to 8.1 (95% CI 7.8-8.4) per 1,000 delivery hospitalizations between 2005-2006 and 2013-2014. Chronic respiratory disease, chronic hypertension, substance use disorders, and pre-existing diabetes were the disorders with the greatest increases in prevalence over time. Increasing disparities over time were identified across all socioeconomic subgroups analyzed including rural compared with urban residence, income, and payer. Key areas of concern include the rate at which substance use disorders rose among rural women and the disproportionate burden of each condition among women from the lowest income communities and among women with Medicaid as their primary payer. CONCLUSION: Between 2005-2006 and 2013-2014, the prevalence of chronic conditions increased across all segments of the childbearing population. Widening disparities were identified over time with key areas of concern including disproportionate, progressive increases in the burden of chronic conditions among women from rural and low-income communities and those with deliveries funded by Medicaid.

      2. Prevalence and changes in preexisting diabetes and gestational diabetes among women who had a live birth - United States, 2012-2016external icon
        Deputy NP, Kim SY, Conrey EJ, Bullard KM.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018 Nov 2;67(43):1201-1207.
        Diabetes during pregnancy increases the risk for adverse maternal and infant health outcomes. Type 1 or type 2 diabetes diagnosed before pregnancy (preexisting diabetes) increases infants' risk for congenital anomalies, stillbirth, and being large for gestational age (1). Diabetes that develops and is diagnosed during the second half of pregnancy (gestational diabetes) increases infants' risk for being large for gestational age (1) and might increase the risk for childhood obesity (2); for mothers, gestational diabetes increases the risk for future type 2 diabetes (3). In the United States, prevalence of both preexisting and gestational diabetes increased from 2000 to 2010 (4,5). Recent state-specific trends have not been reported; therefore, CDC analyzed 2012-2016 National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) birth data. In 2016, the crude national prevalence of preexisting diabetes among women with live births was 0.9%, and prevalence of gestational diabetes was 6.0%. Among 40 jurisdictions with continuously available data from 2012 through 2016, the age- and race/ethnicity-standardized prevalence of preexisting diabetes was stable at 0.8% and increased slightly from 5.2% to 5.6% for gestational diabetes. Preconception care and lifestyle interventions before, during, and after pregnancy might provide opportunities to control, prevent, or mitigate health risks associated with diabetes during pregnancy.

      3. Objective As part of the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA's) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), states are required to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment identifying MCH priorities every 5 years. The most current needs assessment (2015) occurred after a transformation of the program, in which a new performance measurement framework was created. This analysis examined current patterns and trends in state MCH priorities and selected performance measures to identify changing needs and inform technical support. Methods Multiple coders categorized: (1) state priority needs from 2000 to 2015 into focus areas and subcategories for examination of current, diminishing, and emerging needs; and (2) the selection of linked national and state performance measures in 2015 for all 59 states and jurisdictions. Results Between 2000 and 2015, the proportion of states with a need around pre- and inter-conception care increased from 19% to 66%. More states had needs in the breastfeeding subcategory (42%) compared with 20% of states or less in previous years. Fewer states had needs around data capacity than in past years. Emerging needs included supporting families/relationships. The most commonly selected national performance measures (NPMs) were around breastfeeding and well-woman visits. The state performance measures (SPMs) analysis also emphasized assets, with measures around community/context and positive development. Teen births and postpartum depression were areas where multiple states had SPMs. Conclusions for practice Increasing and emerging needs may help to inform technical assistance and future national measures for the Title V program.

      4. A new performance measurement system for maternal and child health in the United Statesexternal icon
        Kogan MD, Dykton C, Hirai AH, Strickland BB, Bethell CD, Naqvi I, Cano CE, Downing-Futrell SL, Lu MC.
        Matern Child Health J. 2015 May;19(5):945-57.
        OBJECTIVE: The Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant is the linchpin for US MCH services. The first national performance measures (NPMs) for MCH were instituted in 1997. Changing trends in MCH risk factors, outcomes, health services, data sources, and advances in scientific knowledge, in conjunction with budgetary constraints led the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) to design a new performance measurement system. METHODS: A workgroup was formed to develop a new system. The following guiding principles were used: (1) Afford States more flexibility and reduce the overall reporting burden; (2) Improve accountability to better document Title V's impact; (3) Develop NPMs that encompass measures in: maternal and women's health, perinatal health, child health, children with special health care needs, adolescent health, and cross-cutting areas. RESULTS: A three-tiered performance measurement system was proposed with national outcome measures (NOMs), NPMs and evidence-based/informed strategy measures (ESMs). NOMs are the ultimate goals that MCHB and States are attempting to achieve. NPMs are measures, generally associated with processes or programs, shown to affect NOMs. ESMs are evidence-based or informed measures that each State Title V program develops to affect the NPMs. There are 15 NPMs from which States select eight, with at least one from each population area. MCHB will provide the data for the NOMs and NPMs, when possible. CONCLUSIONS: The new performance measurement system increases the flexibility and reduces the reporting burden for States by allowing them to choose 8 NPMs to target, and increases accountability by having States develop actionable ESMs. SIGNIFICANCE: The new national performance measure framework for maternal and child health will allow States more flexibility to address their areas of greatest need, reduce their data reporting burden by having the Maternal and Child Health Bureau provide data for the National Outcome and Performance Measures, yet afford States the opportunity to develop measurable strategies to address their selected performance measures.

      5. Association between loss of hospital-based obstetric services and birth outcomes in rural counties in the United Statesexternal icon
        Kozhimannil KB, Hung P, Henning-Smith C, Casey MM, Prasad S.
        Jama. 2018 Mar 27;319(12):1239-1247.
        IMPORTANCE: Hospital-based obstetric services have decreased in rural US counties, but whether this has been associated with changes in birth location and outcomes is unknown. OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between loss of hospital-based obstetric services and location of childbirth and birth outcomes in rural counties. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A retrospective cohort study, using county-level regression models in an annual interrupted time series approach. Births occurring from 2004 to 2014 in rural US counties were identified using birth certificates linked to American Hospital Association Annual Surveys. Participants included 4 941 387 births in all 1086 rural counties with hospital-based obstetric services in 2004. EXPOSURES: Loss of hospital-based obstetric services in the county of maternal residence, stratified by adjacency to urban areas. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Primary outcomes were county rates of (1) out-of-hospital births; (2) births in hospitals without obstetric units; and (3) preterm births (<37 weeks' gestation). RESULTS: Between 2004 and 2014, 179 rural counties lost hospital-based obstetric services. Of the 4 941 387 births studied, the mean (SD) maternal age was 26.2 (5.8) years. A mean (SD) of 75.9% (23.2%) of women who gave birth were non-Hispanic white, and 49.7% (15.6%) were college graduates. Rural counties not adjacent to urban areas that lost hospital-based obstetric services had significant increases in out-of-hospital births (0.70 percentage points [95% CI, 0.30 to 1.10]); births in a hospital without an obstetric unit (3.06 percentage points [95% CI, 2.66 to 3.46]); and preterm births (0.67 percentage points [95% CI, 0.02 to 1.33]), in the year after loss of services, compared with those with continual obstetric services. Rural counties adjacent to urban areas that lost hospital-based obstetric services also had significant increases in births in a hospital without obstetric services (1.80 percentage points [95% CI, 1.55 to 2.05]) in the year after loss of services, compared with those with continual obstetric services, and this was followed by a decreasing trend (-0.19 percentage points per year [95% CI, -0.25 to -0.14]). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In rural US counties not adjacent to urban areas, loss of hospital-based obstetric services, compared with counties with continual services, was associated with increases in out-of-hospital and preterm births and births in hospitals without obstetric units in the following year; the latter also occurred in urban-adjacent counties. These findings may inform planning and policy regarding rural obstetric services.

      6. Emergency care utilization among pregnant Medicaid recipients in North Carolina: An analysis using linked claims and birth recordsexternal icon
        Vladutiu CJ, Stringer EM, Kandasamy V, Ruppenkamp J, Menard MK.
        Matern Child Health J. 2019 Feb;23(2):265-276.
        Objectives To estimate the rate of pregnancy-associated emergency care visits and identify maternal and pregnancy characteristics associated with high utilization of emergency care among pregnant Medicaid recipients in North Carolina. Methods A retrospective cohort study using linked Medicaid hospital claims and birth records of 107,207 pregnant Medicaid recipients who delivered a live-born infant in North Carolina between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. Rates were estimated per 1000 member months of Medicaid coverage. High utilization was defined as ≥ 4 visits. Emergency care visits included encounters in the emergency department or obstetric triage unit during pregnancy that did not result in hospital admission. Results During the study period, 57.5% of pregnant Medicaid recipients sought emergency care at least once during pregnancy. There were 171,909 emergency care visits with an overall rate of 202.3 visits per 1000 member months. Among the subset of pregnant women with Medicaid coverage for the majority of their pregnancy (n = 75,157), 18.1% were high utilizers. High emergency care utilization was associated with young age, black race, lower education, tobacco use, late preterm delivery, multifetal gestation, and having ≥ 1 comorbidity. Threatened labor and abdominal pain were the leading indications for visits. Conclusion Utilization of hospital-based emergency care services was common in this cohort of pregnant Medicaid recipients. Additional research is needed to assess the drivers for accessing care through the emergency department, and to examine differences in pregnancy outcomes and health care costs between high and low utilizers.

  2. CDC Authored Publications
    The names of CDC authors are indicated in bold text.
    Articles published in the past 6-8 weeks authored by CDC or ATSDR staff.
    • Chronic Diseases and Conditions
      1. Identification of measurement needs to prevent childhood obesity in high-risk populations and environmentsexternal icon
        Foti KE, Perez CL, Knapp EA, Kharmats AY, Sharfman AS, Arteaga SS, Moore LV, Bennett WL.
        Am J Prev Med. 2020 Sep 4.
        INTRODUCTION: Children at highest obesity risk include those from certain racial/ethnic groups, from low-income families, with disabilities, or living in high-risk communities. However, a 2013 review of the National Collaborative for Childhood Obesity Research Measures Registry identified few measures focused on children at highest obesity risk. The objective is to (1) identify individual and environmental measures of diet and physical activity added to the Measures Registry since 2013 used among high-risk populations or settings and (2) describe methods for their development, adaptation, or validation. METHODS: Investigators screened references in the Measures Registry from January 2013 to September 2017 (n=351) and abstracted information about individual and environmental measures developed for, adapted for, or applied to high-risk populations or settings, including measure type, study population, adaptation and validation methods, and psychometric properties. RESULTS: A total of 38 measures met inclusion criteria. Of these, 30 assessed individual dietary (n=25) or physical activity (n=13) behaviors, and 11 assessed the food (n=8) or physical activity (n=7) environment. Of those, 17 measures were developed for, 9 were applied to (i.e., developed in a general population and used without modification), and 12 were adapted (i.e., modified) for high-risk populations. Few measures were used in certain racial/ethnic groups (i.e., American Indian/Alaska Native, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Asian), children with disabilities, and rural (versus urban) communities. CONCLUSIONS: Since 2013, a total of 38 measures were added to the Measures Registry that were used in high-risk populations. However, many of the previously identified gaps in population coverage remain. Rigorous, community-engaged methodologic research may help researchers better adapt and validate measures for high-risk populations.

      2. Childhood obesity evidence base project: A rationale for taxonomic versus conventional meta-analysisexternal icon
        Hedges LV, Saul JA, Cyr C, Magnus M, Scott-Sheldon LA, Young-Hyman D, Khan LK.
        Child Obes. 2020 Sep;16(S2):S21-s26.
        Introduction: There is a great need for analytic techniques that allow for the synthesis of learning across seemingly idiosyncratic interventions. Objectives: The primary objective of this paper is to introduce taxonomic meta-analysis and explain how it is different from conventional meta-analysis. Results: Conventional meta-analysis has previously been used to examine the effectiveness of childhood obesity prevention interventions. However, these tend to examine narrowly defined sections of obesity prevention initiatives, and as such, do not allow the field to draw conclusions across settings, participants, or subjects. Compared with conventional meta-analysis, taxonomic meta-analysis widens the aperture of what can be examined to synthesize evidence across interventions with diverse topics, goals, research designs, and settings. A component approach is employed to examine interventions at the level of their essential features or activities to identify the concrete aspects of interventions that are used (intervention components), characteristics of the intended populations (target population or intended recipient characteristics), and facets of the environments in which they operate (contextual elements), and the relationship of these components to effect size. In addition, compared with conventional meta-analysis methods, taxonomic meta-analyses can include the results of natural experiments, policy initiatives, program implementation efforts and highly controlled experiments (as examples) regardless of the design of the report being analyzed as long as the intended outcome is the same. It also characterizes the domain of interventions that have been studied. Conclusion: Taxonomic meta-analysis can be a powerful tool for summarizing the evidence that exists and for generating hypotheses that are worthy of more rigorous testing.

      3. Childhood obesity evidence base project: Methods for taxonomy development for application in taxonomic meta-analysisexternal icon
        King H, Magnus M, Hedges LV, Cyr C, Young-Hyman D, Kettel Khan L, Scott-Sheldon LA, Saul JA, Arteaga S, Cawley J, Economos CD, Haire-Joshu D, Hunter CM, Lee BY, Kumanyika SK, Ritchie LD, Robinson TN, Schwartz MB.
        Child Obes. 2020 Sep;16(S2):S27-s220.
        Meta-analysis has been used to examine the effectiveness of childhood obesity prevention efforts, yet traditional conventional meta-analytic methods restrict the kinds of studies included, and either narrowly define mechanisms and agents of change, or examine the effectiveness of whole interventions as opposed to the specific actions that comprise interventions. Taxonomic meta-analytic methods widen the aperture of what can be included in a meta-analysis data set, allowing for inclusion of many types of interventions and study designs. The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research Childhood Obesity Evidence Base (COEB) project focuses on interventions intended to prevent childhood obesity in children 2-5 years old who have an outcome measure of BMI. The COEB created taxonomies, anchored in the Social Ecological Model, which catalog specific outcomes, intervention components, intended recipients, and contexts of policies, initiatives, and interventions conducted at the individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and societal level. Taxonomies were created by discovery from the literature itself using grounded theory. This article describes the process used for a novel taxonomic meta-analysis of childhood obesity prevention studies between the years 2010 and 2019. This method can be applied to other areas of research, including obesity prevention in additional populations.

      4. Associations between household water fluoridation status and plain tap or bottled water consumptionexternal icon
        Lin M, Griffin SO, Park S, Li C, Robison V, Espinoza L.
        JDR Clin Trans Res. 2020 Sep 17.
        INTRODUCTION: The benefits of community water fluoridation for preventing dental caries are attenuated if people do not consume tap water. OBJECTIVES: We examined associations between household water fluoride content and consuming plain tap or bottled water among US youth. METHODS: We used National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data for 2013 to 2016 for 5,193 youth aged 2 to 19 y. Fluoride content in youth's household tap water samples was measured electrometrically with ion-specific electrodes and designated low (<0.6 mg/L) or about optimal (0.6 to 1.2 mg/L). Plain tap and bottled water consumption was obtained from one 24-h dietary recall. We used binomial regression models to estimate adjusted prevalence ratios (APRs) and 95% CIs for consuming plain tap water (including tap only or both tap and bottled) and consuming only bottled water as related to household water fluoride content (low or about optimal) and sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS: On a given day, 52.6% of youth consumed plain tap water (43.8% exclusively and 8.8% both tap and bottled) and 28%, only bottled water. Neither tap water (APR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.84 to 1.10) nor only bottled water (APR, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.86 to 1.22) consumption was associated with household water fluoride content. Non-Hispanic Black youth and Hispanic youth were about 30% relatively less likely to consume tap water and 60% to 80% relatively more likely to consume only bottled water than non-Hispanic Whites. Low income, low parental education, and no past-year dental visit were associated with not consuming tap water. CONCLUSION: Half of youth consumed plain tap water on a given day. Consuming plain tap water was not associated with community water fluoridation status. This study is the first to find that up to 50% of the population served by fluoridated water may not receive its full caries-preventive benefits due to not consuming plain tap water. KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER STATEMENT: Half of US youth consumed plain tap water on a given day. Consuming plain tap water was not associated with community water fluoridation status. This finding suggests that up to 50% of the population served by fluoridated water systems may not receive its full caries-preventive benefits due to not consuming plain tap water. Our findings add support for the need to identify and address barriers to tap water consumption and promote health benefits of fluoridation.

      5. Trends in sickle cell disease-related mortality in the United States, 1979 to 2017external icon
        Payne AB, Mehal JM, Chapman C, Haberling DL, Richardson LC, Bean CJ, Hooper WC.
        Ann Emerg Med. 2020 Sep;76(3s):S28-s36.
        STUDY OBJECTIVE: We provide an updated assessment of trends in sickle cell disease (SCD)-related mortality, a significant source of mortality in the United States among black persons, using 1979 to 2017 US mortality data. METHODS: SCD-related deaths were identified with International Classification of Diseases codes. Because SCD-related death is rare in other races, the analysis focused on black decedents. Age-specific and average annual SCD-related death rates were calculated. Causes of death codes were categorized into 20 groups relevant to SCD outcomes. SCD-related deaths were compared with non-SCD-related deaths after matching on race, sex, age group, and year of death. RESULTS: There were 25,665 SCD-related deaths reported among blacks in the United States from 1979 through 2017. During that period, the annual SCD-related death rate declined in children and increased in adults, and the median age at death increased from 28 to 43 years. Acute causes of death, such as infection and cerebrovascular complications, were more common in younger age groups. Chronic complications were more common in adults. SCD-related deaths were more likely to be related to acute cardiac, pulmonary, and cerebrovascular complications; acute infections; and chronic cardiac and pulmonary complications and renal disorders; and less likely to be related to drug overdose and chronic infections than non-SCD-related deaths. CONCLUSION: These data indicate SCD-related deaths are now more likely to be related to chronic complications of the disease than to acute complications. More research regarding prevention and treatment of chronic complications of SCD is necessary because persons with SCD are living longer.

      6. Trends in office visits during which opioids were prescribed for adults with arthritis: United States, 2006-2015external icon
        Santo L, Schappert SM, Hootman JM, Helmick CG.
        Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2020 Sep 16.
        OBJECTIVE: To analyze trends in opioid prescriptions during visits to office-based physicians made by adults with arthritis in the US from 2006 to 2015. METHODS: We analyzed nationally representative data on patient visits to office-based physicians from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) 2006-2015. Visit percentages for first- and any-listed diagnosis of arthritis by age groups and sex are reported. Time points were grouped into 2-year intervals to increase the reliability of estimates. Annual percentage point change and 95% CI were reported from linear regression models. RESULTS: During 2006-2015, the percentage of visits to office-based physicians by adults with a first-listed diagnosis of arthritis increased from 4.1% (95%CI: 3.5%-4.7%) in 2006-2007 to 5.1% (95% CI: 3.9%-6.6%) in 2014-2015 (p=.033). Among these visits, the percentage of visits with opioids prescribed increased from 16.5% (95%CI: 13.1%-20.5%) in 2006-2007 to 25.6% (95%CI: 17.9%-34.6%) in 2014-2015 (p=.017). The percentage of visits with any-listed diagnosis of arthritis increased from 6.6% (95%CI: 5.9%-7.4%) in 2006-2007 to 8.4% (95%CI: 7.0%-10.0%) in 2014-2015 (p=.001). Among these visits the percentage of visits with opioids prescribed increased from 17.4% (95%CI: 14.6%-20.4%) in 2006-2007 to 25.0% (95%CI: 19.7%-30.8%) in 2014-2015 (p=.004). CONCLUSION: During 2006-2015, the percentage of arthritis visits by adults to office-based physicians increased and the percentage of opioids prescribed at these visits increased as well. NAMCS data will allow continued monitoring of these trends after guidelines were implemented.

      7. Childhood obesity evidence base project: A systematic review and meta-analysis of a new taxonomy of intervention components to improve weight status in children 2-5 years of age, 2005-2019external icon
        Scott-Sheldon LA, Hedges LV, Cyr C, Young-Hyman D, Khan LK, Magnus M, King H, Arteaga S, Cawley J, Economos CD, Haire-Joshu D, Hunter CM, Lee BY, Kumanyika SK, Ritchie LD, Robinson TN, Schwartz MB.
        Child Obes. 2020 Sep;16(S2):S221-s248.
        Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of childhood obesity interventions and conduct a taxonomy of intervention components that are most effective in changing obesity-related health outcomes in children 2-5 years of age. Methods: Comprehensive searches located 51 studies from 18,335 unique records. Eligible studies: (1) assessed children aged 2-5, living in the United States; (2) evaluated an intervention to improve weight status; (3) identified a same-aged comparison group; (4) measured BMI; and (5) were available between January 2005 and August 2019. Coders extracted study, sample, and intervention characteristics. Effect sizes [ESs; and 95% confidence intervals (CIs)] were calculated by using random-effects models. Meta-regression was used to determine which intervention components explain variability in ESs. Results: Included were 51 studies evaluating 58 interventions (N = 29,085; mean age = 4 years; 50% girls). Relative to controls, children receiving an intervention had a lower BMI at the end of the intervention (g = 0.10, 95% CI = 0.02-0.18; k = 55) and at the last follow-up (g = 0.17, 95% CI = 0.04-0.30; k = 14; range = 18-143 weeks). Three intervention components moderated efficacy: engage caregivers in praise/encouragement for positive health-related behavior; provide education about the importance of screen time reduction to caregivers; and engage pediatricians/health care providers. Conclusions: Early childhood obesity interventions are effective in reducing BMI in preschool children. Our findings suggest that facilitating caregiver education about the importance of screen time reduction may be an important strategy in reducing early childhood obesity.

      8. Purpose: The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the need for and utility of using a taxonomic approach for evidence aggregation and meta-analyses, with focus on prevention and reduction of childhood obesity in very young children. As evidence has been generated through heterogeneous efforts, it is important that the field makes use of all available evidence to learn what works, for who, and in what circumstances. Methods: The Childhood Obesity Evidence Base (COEB) project conducted a taxonomic meta-analysis, using Grounded Theory to code elements present in reports of existing studies and initiatives, of diverse design and evaluation approaches, which were then mapped onto the levels of the socio-ecologic model. This article is the fourth in a series that describes the COEB project overall. It discusses both generally and specifically how taxonomies contribute to traditional meta-analytic methods, what questions can and cannot be answered, the method's contribution to translational (implementation) capacity, and ability to inform future efforts. Results: The COEB project illustrates how the taxonomic meta-analytic approach broadens the evidence base, increases translational capacity for effective intervention components, and evaluates the influence of contextual elements to inform future initiatives. How the method is used to establish associations between varying intervention components, contextual elements, and outcomes is discussed. Conclusions: Taxonomies generated through this process can be used for meta-analysis, serving to generate topic-specific questions associated with intervention approaches and outcomes in context, which is adjunctive to traditional meta-analytic methods and can inform public health approaches.

    • Communicable Diseases
      1. Cryptic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Washington stateexternal icon
        Bedford T, Greninger AL, Roychoudhury P, Starita LM, Famulare M, Huang ML, Nalla A, Pepper G, Reinhardt A, Xie H, Shrestha L, Nguyen TN, Adler A, Brandstetter E, Cho S, Giroux D, Han PD, Fay K, Frazar CD, Ilcisin M, Lacombe K, Lee J, Kiavand A, Richardson M, Sibley TR, Truong M, Wolf CR, Nickerson DA, Rieder MJ, Englund JA, Hadfield J, Hodcroft EB, Huddleston J, Moncla LH, Müller NF, Neher RA, Deng X, Gu W, Federman S, Chiu C, Duchin JS, Gautom R, Melly G, Hiatt B, Dykema P, Lindquist S, Queen K, Tao Y, Uehara A, Tong S, MacCannell D, Armstrong GL, Baird GS, Chu HY, Shendure J, Jerome KR.
        Science. 2020 Sep 10.
        Following its emergence in Wuhan, China, in late November or early December 2019, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has rapidly spread globally. Genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 allows reconstruction of its transmission history, although this is contingent on sampling. We have analyzed 453 SARS-CoV-2 genomes collected between 20 February and 15 March 2020 from infected patients in Washington State, USA. We find that most SARS-CoV-2 infections sampled during this time derive from a single introduction in late January or early February 2020 which subsequently spread locally before active community surveillance was implemented.

      2. Public awareness of invasive fungal diseases - United States, 2019external icon
        Benedict K, Molinari NA, Jackson BR.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Sep 25;69(38):1343-1346.
        Fungal diseases range from minor skin and mucous membrane infections to life-threatening disseminated disease. The estimated yearly direct health care costs of fungal diseases exceed $7.2 billion (1). These diseases are likely widely underdiagnosed (1,2), and improved recognition among health care providers and members of the public is essential to reduce delays in diagnoses and treatment. However, information about public awareness of fungal diseases is limited. To guide public health educational efforts, a nationally representative online survey was conducted to assess whether participants had ever heard of six invasive fungal diseases. Awareness was low and varied by disease, from 4.1% for blastomycosis to 24.6% for candidiasis. More than two thirds (68.9%) of respondents had never heard of any of the diseases. Female sex, higher education, and increased number of prescription medications were associated with awareness. These findings can serve as a baseline to compare with future surveys; they also indicate that continued strategies to increase public awareness about fungal diseases are needed.

      3. Global seasonal influenza mortality estimates: a comparison of three different approachesexternal icon
        Cozza V, Campbell H, Chang HH, Iuliano AD, Paget J, Patel NN, Reiner RC, Troeger C, Viboud C, Bresee JS, Fitzner J.
        Am J Epidemiol. 2020 Sep 11.
        Prior to updating global influenza-associated mortality estimates, the World Health Organization convened a consultation in July 2017 to understand differences in methodology and implications on results of three influenza mortality projects from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Netherlands Institute for Health Service Research (GLaMOR), and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). The expert panel reviewed estimates and discussed differences in data sources, analysis, and modeling assumptions. We performed a comparison analysis of the estimates. Influenza-associated respiratory death counts were comparable between CDC and GLaMOR; IHME estimate was considerably lower. The greatest country-specific influenza-associated mortality rate fold differences between CDC/IHME and between GLaMOR/IHME estimates were among countries in South-East Asia and Eastern Mediterranean region. The data envelope used for the calculation was one of the major differences (CDC and GLaMOR: all respiratory deaths; IHME: low respiratory infection deaths). With the assumption that there is only one cause of death for each death, IHME estimates a fraction of the full influenza-associated respiratory mortality that is measured by the other two groups. Wide variability of parameters was observed. Continued coordination between groups could assist with better understanding of methodological differences and new approaches to estimating influenza deaths globally.

      4. Characteristics and maternal and birth outcomes of hospitalized pregnant women with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 - COVID-NET, 13 States, March 1-August 22, 2020external icon
        Delahoy MJ, Whitaker M, O'Halloran A, Chai SJ, Kirley PD, Alden N, Kawasaki B, Meek J, Yousey-Hindes K, Anderson EJ, Openo KP, Monroe ML, Ryan PA, Fox K, Kim S, Lynfield R, Siebman S, Davis SS, Sosin DM, Barney G, Muse A, Bennett NM, Felsen CB, Billing LM, Shiltz J, Sutton M, West N, Schaffner W, Talbot HK, George A, Spencer M, Ellington S, Galang RR, Gilboa SM, Tong VT, Piasecki A, Brammer L, Fry AM, Hall AJ, Wortham JM, Kim L, Garg S.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Sep 25;69(38):1347-1354.
        Pregnant women might be at increased risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (1,2). The COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) (3) collects data on hospitalized pregnant women with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19; to date, such data have been limited. During March 1-August 22, 2020, approximately one in four hospitalized women aged 15-49 years with COVID-19 was pregnant. Among 598 hospitalized pregnant women with COVID-19, 54.5% were asymptomatic at admission. Among 272 pregnant women with COVID-19 who were symptomatic at hospital admission, 16.2% were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), and 8.5% required invasive mechanical ventilation. During COVID-19-associated hospitalizations, 448 of 458 (97.8%) completed pregnancies resulted in a live birth and 10 (2.2%) resulted in a pregnancy loss. Testing policies based on the presence of symptoms might miss COVID-19 infections during pregnancy. Surveillance of pregnant women with COVID-19, including those with asymptomatic infections, is important to understand the short- and long-term consequences of COVID-19 for mothers and newborns. Identifying COVID-19 in women during birth hospitalizations is important to guide preventive measures to protect pregnant women, parents, newborns, other patients, and hospital personnel. Pregnant women and health care providers should be made aware of the potential risks for severe COVID-19 illness, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and ways to prevent infection.

      5. BACKGROUND: During 2010-2017, rates of reported chlamydia decreased among young Black women but increased for White women and all men. Since chlamydia case rates can be influenced by changes in prevalence, screening, and other factors, we compared chlamydia prevalence trends in a sentinel population to national case rate trends to understand potential drivers of case rate trends. METHODS: Chlamydia prevalence was calculated annually among 16-24 year old entrants to the National Job Training Program (NJTP) during 2010-2017. An expectation-maximization-based maximum likelihood approach was used to adjust for misclassification due to imperfect test sensitivity and specificity. Models were stratified by sex, age, and race/ethnicity. A statistically significant trend in prevalence was defined as non-overlapping 95% confidence intervals comparing 2010 and 2017. Trends in chlamydia prevalence were compared to trends in case rates using percentage change over time; relative changes ≥10% were considered meaningful. RESULTS: Among NJTP entrants during 2010-2017, chlamydia prevalence was stable for all Black women, while case rates decreased for adolescents (-12%) and were stable for 20-24 year-olds (-4%). Among adolescent White women, prevalence was stable while case rates increased (+30%). For White women aged 20-24 years, prevalence increased +62% and case rates increased +43%. Trends in prevalence differed from trends in case rates for all subgroups of men. CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence trends in this sentinel population differed from national case rate trends for Black women, White women, and men, suggesting potential decreased screening among Black women 16-19, increased prevalence among White women 20-24, and increased screening among men.

      6. Descriptive epidemiology of coronavirus disease 2019 in Nigeria, 27 February-6 June, 2020external icon
        Elimian KO, Ochu CL, Ilori E, Oladejo J, Igumbor E, Steinhardt L, Wagai J, Arinze C, Ukponu W, Obiekea C, Aderinola O, Crawford E, Olayinka A, Dan-Nwafor C, Okwor T, Disu Y, Yinka-Ogunleye A, Kanu NE, Olawepo OA, Aruna O, Michael CA, Dunkwu L, Ipadeola O, Naidoo D, Umeokonkwo CD, Matthias A, Okunromade O, Badaru S, Jinadu A, Ogunbode O, Egwuenu A, Jafiya A, Dalhat M, Saleh F, Ebhodaghe GB, Ahumibe A, Yashe RU, Atteh R, Nwachukwu WE, Ezeokafor C, Olaleye D, Habib Z, Abdus-Salam I, Pembi E, John D, Okhuarobo UJ, Assad H, Gandi Y, Muhammad B, Nwagwogu C, Nwadiuto I, Sulaiman K, Iwuji I, Okeji A, Thliza S, Fagbemi S, Usman R, Mohammed AA, Adeola-Musa O, Ishaka M, Aketemo U, Kamaldeen K, Obagha CE, Akinyode AO, Nguku P, Mba N, Ihekweazu C.
        Epidemiol Infect. 2020 Sep 11:1-42.

      7. Provider adherence to syphilis testing guidelines among stillbirth casesexternal icon
        Ho YA, Allen K, Tao G, Patel CG, Arno JN, Broyles AA, Dixon BE.
        Sex Transm Dis. 2020 Oct;47(10):686-690.
        BACKGROUND: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all women with a stillbirth have a syphilis test after delivery. Our study seeks to evaluate adherence to CDC guidelines for syphilis screening among women with a stillbirth delivery. METHODS: We used data recorded in electronic health records for women who gave birth between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2016. Patients were included if they were 18 to 44 years old and possessed an International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision or Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis of stillbirth. Stillbirth diagnoses were confirmed through a random sample of medical chart reviews. To evaluate syphilis screening, we estimated the proportion of women who received syphilis testing within 300 days before stillbirth, women who received syphilis testing within 30 days after a stillbirth delivery, and women who received syphilis testing both before and after stillbirth delivery. RESULTS: We identified 1111 stillbirths among a population of 865,429 unique women with encounter data available from electronic health records. Among a sample of 127 chart-reviewed cases, only 35 (27.6%) were confirmed stillbirth cases, 45 (35.4%) possible stillbirth cases, 39 (30.7%) cases of miscarriage, and 8 (6.3%) cases of live births. Among confirmed stillbirth cases, 51.4% had any syphilis testing conducted, 31.4% had testing before their stillbirth delivery, 42.9% had testing after the delivery, and only 22.9% had testing before and after delivery. CONCLUSIONS: A majority of women with a stillbirth delivery do not receive syphilis screening adherent to CDC guidelines. Stillbirth International Classification of Diseases codes do not accurately identify cases of stillbirth.

      8. An evaluation of 6-month versus continuous isoniazid preventive therapy for M. tuberculosis in adults living with HIV/AIDS in Malawiexternal icon
        Hsieh YL, Jahn A, Menzies NA, Yaesoubi R, Salomon JA, Girma B, Gunde L, Eaton JW, Auld A, Odo M, Kiyiika CN, Kalua T, Chiwandira B, Mpunga JU, Mbendra K, Corbett L, Hosseinipour MC, Cohen T, Kunkel A.
        J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2020 Sep 9.
        BACKGROUND: To assist the Malawi Ministry of Health to evaluate two competing strategies for scale-up of isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) among HIV-positive adults receiving ART. SETTING: Malawi. METHODS: We used a multi-district, compartmental model of the Malawi TB/HIV epidemic to compare the anticipated health impacts of 6-month versus continuous IPT programs over a 12-year horizon, while respecting a US$10.8 million constraint on drug costs in the first three years. RESULTS: The 6-month IPT program could be implemented nationwide while the continuous IPT alternative could be introduced in 14 (out of 27) districts. By the end of year 12, the continuous IPT strategy was predicted to avert more TB cases than the 6-month alternative, although not statistically significantly (2368 additional cases averted; 95%PI, -1459, 5023). The 6-month strategy required fewer person-years of IPT to avert a case of TB or death than the continuous strategy. For both programs, the mean reductions in TB incidence among PLHIV by year 12 were expected to be <10%, and the cumulative numbers of IPT-related hepatotoxicity to exceed the number of all-cause deaths averted in the first three years. CONCLUSION: With the given budgetary constraint, nationwide implementation of 6-month IPT would be more efficient and yield comparable health benefits than implementing continuous IPT program in fewer districts. The anticipated health effects associated with both IPT strategies suggested a combination of different TB intervention strategies would likely be required to yield greater impact on TB control in settings like Malawi, where ART coverage is relatively high.

      9. Update: Characteristics of health care personnel with COVID-19 - United States, February 12-July 16, 2020external icon
        Hughes MM, Groenewold MR, Lessem SE, Xu K, Ussery EN, Wiegand RE, Qin X, Do T, Thomas D, Tsai S, Davidson A, Latash J, Eckel S, Collins J, Ojo M, McHugh L, Li W, Chen J, Chan J, Wortham JM, Reagan-Steiner S, Lee JT, Reddy SC, Kuhar DT, Burrer SL, Stuckey MJ.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Sep 25;69(38):1364-1368.
        As of September 21, 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic had resulted in 6,786,352 cases and 199,024 deaths in the United States.* Health care personnel (HCP) are essential workers at risk for exposure to patients or infectious materials (1). The impact of COVID-19 on U.S. HCP was first described using national case surveillance data in April 2020 (2). Since then, the number of reported HCP with COVID-19 has increased tenfold. This update describes demographic characteristics, underlying medical conditions, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, stratified by vital status, among 100,570 HCP with COVID-19 reported to CDC during February 12-July 16, 2020. HCP occupation type and job setting are newly reported. HCP status was available for 571,708 (22%) of 2,633,585 cases reported to CDC. Most HCP with COVID-19 were female (79%), aged 16-44 years (57%), not hospitalized (92%), and lacked all 10 underlying medical conditions specified on the case report form(†) (56%). Of HCP with COVID-19, 641 died. Compared with nonfatal COVID-19 HCP cases, a higher percentage of fatal cases occurred in males (38% versus 22%), persons aged ≥65 years (44% versus 4%), non-Hispanic Asians (Asians) (20% versus 9%), non-Hispanic Blacks (Blacks) (32% versus 25%), and persons with any of the 10 underlying medical conditions specified on the case report form (92% versus 41%). From a subset of jurisdictions reporting occupation type or job setting for HCP with COVID-19, nurses were the most frequently identified single occupation type (30%), and nursing and residential care facilities were the most common job setting (67%). Ensuring access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and training, and practices such as universal use of face masks at work, wearing masks in the community, and observing social distancing remain critical strategies to protect HCP and those they serve.

      10. During 2018, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for 69.4% of all diagnoses of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the United States (1). Moreover, in all 42 jurisdictions with complete laboratory reporting of CD4 and viral load results,* percentages of MSM linked to care within 1 month (80.8%) and virally suppressed (viral load <200 copies of HIV RNA/mL or interpreted as undetected) within 6 months (68.3%) of diagnosis were below target during 2018 (2). African American/Black (Black), Hispanic/Latino (Hispanic), and younger MSM disproportionately experience HIV diagnosis, not being linked to care, and not being virally suppressed. To characterize trends in these outcomes, CDC analyzed National HIV Surveillance System(†) data from 2014 to 2018. The number of diagnoses of HIV infection among all MSM decreased 2.3% per year (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.9-2.8). However, diagnoses did not significantly change among either Hispanic MSM or any MSM aged 13-19 years; increased 2.2% (95% CI = 1.0-3.4) and 2.0% (95% CI = 0.6-3.3) per year among Black and Hispanic MSM aged 25-34 years, respectively; and were highest in absolute count among Black MSM. Annual percentages of linkage to care within 1 month and viral suppression within 6 months of diagnosis among all MSM increased (2.9% [95% CI = 2.4-3.5] and 6.8% [95% CI = 6.2-7.4] per year, respectively). These findings, albeit promising, warrant intensified prevention efforts for Black, Hispanic, and younger MSM.

      11. OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate which combinations of HIV prevention and care activities would have the greatest impact towards reaching the US Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) plan goals of HIV incidence reduction. DESIGN: A stochastic network-based HIV transmission model for men who have sex with men (MSM), calibrated to surveillance estimates in the Atlanta area, a focal EHE jurisdiction. METHODS: Model scenarios varied HIV screening rates under different assumptions of how HIV-negative MSM would be linked to PrEP initiation, and rates of HIV care linkage and retention for those screening positive. RESULTS: A 10-fold relative increase in HIV screening rates (to approximately biannual screening for black and Hispanic MSM and quarterly for white MSM) would lead to 43% of infections averted if integrated with PrEP initiation. Improvements focused only on black MSM would achieve nearly the same outcome (37% of infections averted). Improvements to HIV care retention would avert 41% of infections if retention rates were improved 10-fold. If both screening and retention were jointly improved 10-fold, up to 74% of cumulative infections would be averted. Under this scenario, it would take 4 years to meet the 75% EHE goal and 12 years to meet the 90% goal for Atlanta MSM. CONCLUSIONS: Reaching the EHE 75% incidence reduction goals by their target dates will require immediate and substantial improvements in HIV screening, PrEP, and ART care retention. Meeting these EHE goals in target jurisdictions like Atlanta will be possible only by addressing the HIV service needs of black MSM.

      12. High levels of HIV drug resistance among adults failing second-line antiretroviral therapy in Namibiaexternal icon
        Jordan MR, Hamunime N, Bikinesi L, Sawadogo S, Agolory S, Shiningavamwe AN, Negussie T, Fisher-Walker CL, Raizes EG, Mutenda N, Hunter CJ, Dean N, Steegen K, Kana V, Carmona S, Yang C, Tang AM, Parkin N, Hong SY.
        Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 Sep 11;99(37):e21661.
        To support optimal third-line antiretroviral therapy (ART) selection in Namibia, we investigated the prevalence of HIV drug resistance (HIVDR) at time of failure of second-line ART. A cross-sectional study was conducted between August 2016 and February 2017. HIV-infected people ≥15 years of age with confirmed virological failure while receiving ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor (PI/r)-based second-line ART were identified at 15 high-volume ART clinics representing over >70% of the total population receiving second-line ART. HIVDR genotyping of dried blood spots obtained from these individuals was performed using standard population sequencing methods. The Stanford HIVDR algorithm was used to identify sequences with predicted resistance; genotypic susceptibility scores for potential third-line regimens were calculated. Two hundred thirty-eight individuals were enrolled; 57.6% were female. The median age and duration on PI/r-based ART at time of enrolment were 37 years and 3.46 years, respectively. 97.5% received lopinavir/ritonavir-based regimens. The prevalence of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI), non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), and PI/r resistance was 50.6%, 63.1%, and 13.1%, respectively. No significant association was observed between HIVDR prevalence and age or sex. This study demonstrates high levels of NRTI and NNRTI resistance and moderate levels of PI resistance in people receiving PI/r-based second-line ART in Namibia. Findings underscore the need for objective and inexpensive measures of adherence to identify those in need of intensive adherence counselling, routine viral load monitoring to promptly detect virological failure, and HIVDR genotyping to optimize selection of third-line drugs in Namibia.

      13. COVID-19 contact tracing in two counties - North Carolina, June-July 2020external icon
        Lash RR, Donovan CV, Fleischauer AT, Moore ZS, Harris G, Hayes S, Sullivan M, Wilburn A, Ong J, Wright D, Washington R, Pulliam A, Byers B, McLaughlin HP, Dirlikov E, Rose DA, Walke HT, Honein MA, Moonan PK, Oeltmann JE.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Sep 25;69(38):1360-1363.
        Contact tracing is a strategy implemented to minimize the spread of communicable diseases (1,2). Prompt contact tracing, testing, and self-quarantine can reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (3,4). Community engagement is important to encourage participation in and cooperation with SARS-CoV-2 contact tracing (5). Substantial investments have been made to scale up contact tracing for COVID-19 in the United States. During June 1-July 12, 2020, the incidence of COVID-19 cases in North Carolina increased 183%, from seven to 19 per 100,000 persons per day* (6). To assess local COVID-19 contact tracing implementation, data from two counties in North Carolina were analyzed during a period of high incidence. Health department staff members investigated 5,514 (77%) persons with COVID-19 in Mecklenburg County and 584 (99%) in Randolph Counties. No contacts were reported for 48% of cases in Mecklenburg and for 35% in Randolph. Among contacts provided, 25% in Mecklenburg and 48% in Randolph could not be reached by telephone and were classified as nonresponsive after at least one attempt on 3 consecutive days of failed attempts. The median interval from specimen collection from the index patient to notification of identified contacts was 6 days in both counties. Despite aggressive efforts by health department staff members to perform case investigations and contact tracing, many persons with COVID-19 did not report contacts, and many contacts were not reached. These findings indicate that improved timeliness of contact tracing, community engagement, and increased use of community-wide mitigation are needed to interrupt SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

      14. Disparities in COVID-19 incidence, hospitalizations, and testing, by area-level deprivation - Utah, March 3-July 9, 2020external icon
        Lewis NM, Friedrichs M, Wagstaff S, Sage K, LaCross N, Bui D, McCaffrey K, Barbeau B, George A, Rose C, Willardson S, Carter A, Smoot C, Nakashima A, Dunn A.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Sep 25;69(38):1369-1373.
        Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has had a substantial impact on racial and ethnic minority populations and essential workers in the United States, but the role of geographic social and economic inequities (i.e., deprivation) in these disparities has not been examined (1,2). As of July 9, 2020, Utah had reported 27,356 confirmed COVID-19 cases. To better understand how area-level deprivation might reinforce ethnic, racial, and workplace-based COVID-19 inequities (3), the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) analyzed confirmed cases of infection with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), COVID-19 hospitalizations, and SARS-CoV-2 testing rates in relation to deprivation as measured by Utah's Health Improvement Index (HII) (4). Age-weighted odds ratios (weighted ORs) were calculated by weighting rates for four age groups (≤24, 25-44, 45-64, and ≥65 years) to a 2000 U.S. Census age-standardized population. Odds of infection increased with level of deprivation and were two times greater in high-deprivation areas (weighted OR = 2.08; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.99-2.17) and three times greater (weighted OR = 3.11; 95% CI = 2.98-3.24) in very high-deprivation areas, compared with those in very low-deprivation areas. Odds of hospitalization and testing also increased with deprivation, but to a lesser extent. Local jurisdictions should use measures of deprivation and other social determinants of health to enhance transmission reduction strategies (e.g., increasing availability and accessibility of SARS-CoV-2 testing and distributing prevention guidance) to areas with greatest need. These strategies might include increasing availability and accessibility of SARS-CoV-2 testing, contact tracing, isolation options, preventive care, disease management, and prevention guidance to facilities (e.g., clinics, community centers, and businesses) in areas with high levels of deprivation.

      15. HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis medication sharing among HIV-negative men who have sex with menexternal icon
        Mansergh G, Mayer K, Hirshfield S, Stephenson R, Sullivan P.
        JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Sep 1;3(9):e2016256.

      16. BACKGROUND: Diagnoses of HIV infection among male adults and adolescents >13 years with infection attributed to heterosexual contact decreased 2014 through 2018. Racial disparities exist; HIV diagnoses are higher among Black/African American men compared to men of other races/ethnicities. In 2018, Black/African American males accounted for 61% of diagnosed HIV infections attributed to heterosexual contact among males. SETTING: We used national HIV surveillance data from Atlas Plus to obtain the annual case counts of new HIV diagnoses in males with infection attributed to heterosexual contact and population size for years 2014 through 2018 for males (United States excluding territories) by racial/ethnic group. METHODS: We used an adjusted population denominator to calculate rates of diagnoses of HIV infection acquired through heterosexual contact per 100,000 males and twelve absolute and relative measures of disparity to calculate racial/ethnic disparity changes from 2014 to 2018. RESULTS: Results from all disparity measures indicate that disparities decreased in 2018, compared to 2014. The decreases ranged from 18.8% to 34.6% among the four absolute disparity measures and from 5.3% to 22.7% among the eight relative disparity measures. CONCLUSION: Despite the decrease, disparities remain. Tailored, effective strategies and interventions are needed to address the social and structural factors associated with HIV risk among heterosexual Black men and to promote continued progress towards reducing disparities.

      17. SARS-CoV-2 infection among hospitalized pregnant women: Reasons for admission and pregnancy characteristics - eight U.S. health care centers, March 1-May 30, 2020external icon
        Panagiotakopoulos L, Myers TR, Gee J, Lipkind HS, Kharbanda EO, Ryan DS, Williams JT, Naleway AL, Klein NP, Hambidge SJ, Jacobsen SJ, Glanz JM, Jackson LA, Shimabukuro TT, Weintraub ES.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Sep 23;69(38):1355-1359.
        Pregnant women might be at increased risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), possibly related to changes in their immune system and respiratory physiology* (1). Further, adverse birth outcomes, such as preterm delivery and stillbirth, might be more common among pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 (2,3). Information about SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy is rapidly growing; however, data on reasons for hospital admission, pregnancy-specific characteristics, and birth outcomes among pregnant women hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infections are limited. During March 1-May 30, 2020, as part of Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD)(†) surveillance of COVID-19 hospitalizations, 105 hospitalized pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection were identified, including 62 (59%) hospitalized for obstetric reasons (i.e., labor and delivery or another pregnancy-related indication) and 43 (41%) hospitalized for COVID-19 illness without an obstetric reason. Overall, 50 (81%) of 62 pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection who were admitted for obstetric reasons were asymptomatic. Among 43 pregnant women hospitalized for COVID-19, 13 (30%) required intensive care unit (ICU) admission, six (14%) required mechanical ventilation, and one died from COVID-19. Prepregnancy obesity was more common (44%) among pregnant women hospitalized for COVID-19 than that among asymptomatic pregnant women hospitalized for obstetric reasons (31%). Likewise, the rate of gestational diabetes (26%) among pregnant women hospitalized for COVID-19 was higher than it was among women hospitalized for obstetric reasons (8%). Preterm delivery occurred in 15% of pregnancies among 93 women who delivered, and stillbirths (fetal death at ≥20 weeks' gestation) occurred in 3%. Antenatal counseling emphasizing preventive measures (e.g., use of masks, frequent hand washing, and social distancing) might help prevent COVID-19 among pregnant women,(§) especially those with prepregnancy obesity and gestational diabetes, which might reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes.

      18. Coronavirus disease among persons with sickle cell disease, United States, March 20-May 21, 2020external icon
        Panepinto JA, Brandow A, Mucalo L, Yusuf F, Singh A, Taylor B, Woods K, Payne AB, Peacock G, Schieve LA.
        Emerg Infect Dis. 2020 Oct;26(10):2473-2476.
        Sickle cell disease (SCD) disproportionately affects Black or African American persons in the United States and can cause multisystem organ damage and reduced lifespan. Among 178 persons with SCD in the United States who were reported to an SCD-coronavirus disease case registry, 122 (69%) were hospitalized and 13 (7%) died.

      19. Change in antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 over 60 days among health care personnel in Nashville, Tennesseeexternal icon
        Patel MM, Thornburg NJ, Stubblefield WB, Talbot HK, Coughlin MM, Feldstein LR, Self WH.
        Jama. 2020 Sep 17.

      20. Binge drinking, non-injection drug use, and sexual risk behaviors among adolescent sexual minority males, 3 US cities, 2015external icon
        Robbins T, Wejnert C, Balaji AB, Hoots B, Paz-Bailey G, Bradley H.
        J Urban Health. 2020 Sep 11.
        In 2016, more than 90% of HIV diagnoses among young men aged 13-19 years were attributed to male-male sexual contact. Little is known about how binge drinking and non-injection drug use may be associated with risky sexual behavior among adolescent sexual minority males (ASMM). Using data from the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance, we examined how binge drinking and non-injection drug use may be associated with sexual risk among ASMM. ASMM were recruited for interviews in 3 cities: Chicago, New York City, and Philadelphia. Among 16-18-year-olds (N = 488), we evaluated the association between binge drinking (≥ 5 drinks in one sitting in the past 30 days), non-injection drug use (past 12-month use of methamphetamines, powder cocaine, downers, painkillers, ecstasy, poppers, and "other"), and two past 12-month sexual risk outcomes: condomless anal intercourse with a casual partner and having multiple sex partners. We used log-linked Poisson regression models with robust standard errors to estimate prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Overall, 26% of 16-18-year-old ASMM binge drank, and 21% reported non-injection drug use. Among ASMM who binge drank, 34% reported condomless anal intercourse with a casual partner compared with 22% of those who did not (PR: 1.53, 95% CI: 1.04-2.26). Similarly, 84% of ASMM who binge drank reported having multiple partners compared with 61% of those who did not (PR: 1.38, 95% CI: 1.09-1.76). Among ASMM who used non-injection drugs, 37% reported condomless anal intercourse compared with 22% of those who did not (PR: 1.70, 95% CI 1.09-2.50), while 86% of those who used non-injection drugs had multiple partners compared with 62% of those who did not (PR: 1.40, 95% CI: 1.06-1.80). Our findings suggest that the prevalence of substance misuse is high among sexual minority youth and is associated with sexual risk in this population. Our findings highlight the need for high-quality HIV prevention programs for ASMM especially as HIV prevention programs for this population are scarce.

      21. Estimated population-level impact of using a six-week regimen of daily rifapentine to treat latent tuberculosis infection in the United Statesexternal icon
        Shrestha S, Parriott A, Menzies NA, Shete PB, Hill AN, Marks SM, Dowdy DW.
        Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2020 Sep 11.

      22. Serial testing for SARS-CoV-2 and virus whole genome sequencing inform infection risk at two skilled nursing facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks - Minnesota, April-June 2020external icon
        Taylor J, Carter RJ, Lehnertz N, Kazazian L, Sullivan M, Wang X, Garfin J, Diekman S, Plumb M, Bennet ME, Hale T, Vallabhaneni S, Namugenyi S, Carpenter D, Turner-Harper D, Booth M, Coursey EJ, Martin K, McMahon M, Beaudoin A, Lifson A, Holzbauer S, Reddy SC, Jernigan JA, Lynfield R.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Sep 18;69(37):1288-1295.
        SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), can spread rapidly in high-risk congregate settings such as skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) (1). In Minnesota, SNF-associated cases accounted for 3,950 (8%) of 48,711 COVID-19 cases reported through July 21, 2020; 35% of SNF-associated cases involved health care personnel (HCP*), including six deaths. Facility-wide, serial testing in SNFs has been used to identify residents with asymptomatic and presymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection to inform mitigation efforts, including cohorting of residents with positive test results and exclusion of infected HCP from the workplace (2,3). During April-June 2020, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), with CDC assistance, conducted weekly serial testing at two SNFs experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks. Among 259 tested residents, and 341 tested HCP, 64% and 33%, respectively, had positive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) SARS-CoV-2 test results. Continued SARS-CoV-2 transmission was potentially facilitated by lapses in infection prevention and control (IPC) practices, up to 12-day delays in receiving HCP test results (53%) at one facility, and incomplete HCP participation (71%). Genetic sequencing demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes from HCP and resident specimens were clustered by facility, suggesting facility-based transmission. Residents and HCP working in SNFs are at risk for infection with SARS-CoV-2. As part of comprehensive COVID-19 preparation and response, including early identification of cases, SNFs should conduct serial testing of residents and HCP, maximize HCP testing participation, ensure availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), and enhance IPC practices(†) (4-5).

      23. BACKGROUND: Syringe services programs (SSPs) have effectively limited the spread of HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) among people who inject drugs (PWID). Access to SSPs has been shown to reduce injection risk behaviors but the relationship between distance to an SSP and likelihood of sharing injection equipment is not well known. METHODS: We analyzed a sample of 8,392 PWID from 17 U.S. cities recruited through the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance (NHBS) system in 2015. Adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated from log-linked Poisson regression to explore associations between injecting equipment sharing in the past 12 months and distance to the nearest SSP. RESULTS: Regardless of SSP use, respondents who lived in zip codes further than the city-specific mean distance to nearest SSP were more likely to report sharing behavior. Among PWID who had not reported using an SSP in the previous 12 months, distributive sharing (aPR=1.13 95% CI=1.05, 1.21), receptive sharing (aPR=1.15, 95% CI=1.06, 1.24), and injection equipment sharing (aPR=1.08, 95% CI=1.03, 1.13) were more prevalent among residents who resided further than the average distance to the nearest SSP. CONCLUSIONS: Greater distance to an SSP was associated with increased sharing behaviors. Improved access to an SSP and subsequent decreases in sharing behaviors could reduce transmission of HIV and HCV among PWID. Accessibility should be taken into account when planning provision of SSPs.

      24. BACKGROUND: Excellent adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) remains a cornerstone of HIV care. A three-item adherence self-report scale was recently developed and validated, but the scale has not been previously tested in a nationally representative sample. DESIGN: We administered the adherence scale to participants in the CDC's Medical Monitoring Project (MMP), which is a probability sample of U.S. adults with diagnosed HIV. METHODS: We combined sociodemographic and clinical participant data from three consecutive cycles of the Medical Monitoring Project (6/2015-5/2018). We used medical record reviews to determine most recent viral load, and whether viral loads were suppressed at all measurement points in the past 12 months. We describe the relationship between adherence scale score and two measures of viral load suppression (most recent and sustained), and estimate linear regression models using sampling weights to determine independent predictors of ART adherence scores. RESULTS: Of those using ART, the median adherence score was 93 (100 = perfect adherence), and the standardized Cronbach's alpha was 0.83. For both measures of viral load suppression, the relationship with the adherence score was generally linear; there was no "cutoff" point indicating good vs. poor adherence. In the multivariable model, younger age, non-white race, poverty, homelessness, depression, binge-drinking, and both non-injection and injection drug use were independently associated with lower adherence. CONCLUSIONS: The adherence measure had good psychometric qualities and a linear relationship with viral load, supporting its use in both clinical care and research. Adherence interventions should focus on persons with the highest risk of poor adherence.

    • Disease Reservoirs and Vectors
      1. A female Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) aged 11 years and 6 months was examined by veterinarians after caretakers observed lethargy and facial grimacing. Within 72 h the primate had left-sided hemiparesis that worsened over the next week. An MRI revealed a focal right-sided cerebral mass suspected to be a neoplasm. Ten days after onset of clinical signs, the orangutan died. On postmortem exam, the medial right parietal lobe was replaced by a 7 × 4 × 3.5 cm focus of neuromalacia and hemorrhage that displaced the lateral ventricle and abutted the corpus callosum. Histopathology of the cerebral lesion revealed pyogranulomatous meningoencephalitis with intralesional amoeba trophozoites and rare cysts. Fresh parietal lobe was submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab for multiplex free-living amoebae real-time PCR and detected Balamuthia mandrillaris DNA at a high burden. Mitochondrial DNA was sequenced, and a 760-bp locus 19443F/20251R was compared to several human infections of B. mandrillaris and shown to be identical to the isolates from four human cases of encephalitis: 1998 in Australia, 1999 in California, 2000 in New York, and 2010 in Arizona. Indirect immunofluorescent antibody testing of stored serum samples indicated exposure to B. mandrillaris for at least 2 years prior to death. Within 1 week of the orangutan's death, water from the exhibit was analyzed and identified the presence of B. mandrillaris DNA, elucidating a possible source of exposure. B. mandrillaris, first reported in a mandrill in 1986, has since occurred in humans and animals and is now considered an important emerging pathogen.

      2. Rabies in a dog imported from egypt - Kansas, 2019external icon
        Raybern C, Zaldivar A, Tubach S, Ahmed FS, Moore S, Kintner C, Wallace RM, Mandra AM, Stauffer K, Condori RE, Garrison I.
        MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020 Sep 25;69(38):1374-1377.
        Although canine rabies virus variant (CRVV) was successfully eliminated from the United States after approximately 6 decades of vaccination campaigns, licensing requirements, and stray animal control, dogs remain the principal source of human rabies infections worldwide. A rabies vaccination certificate is required for dogs entering the United States from approximately 100 countries with endemic CRVV, including Egypt (1). On February 25, 2019, rabies was diagnosed in a dog imported from Egypt, representing the third canine rabies case imported from Egypt in 4 years (2,3). This dog and 25 others were imported by a pet rescue organization in the Kansas City metropolitan area on January 29. Upon entry into the United States, all 26 dogs had certificates of veterinary inspection, rabies vaccination certificates, and documentation of serologic conversion from a government-affiliated rabies laboratory in Egypt. CDC confirmed that the dog was infected with a CRVV that circulates in Egypt, underscoring the continued risk for CRVV reintroduction and concern regarding the legitimacy of vaccine documentation of dogs imported from countries considered at high risk for CRVV. Vaccination documentation of dogs imported from these countries should be critically evaluated before entry into the United States is permitted, and public health should be consulted upon suspicion of questionable documents.

    • Environmental Health
      1. Uncovering environmental health needs and opportunitiespdf iconexternal icon
        Byrne MK, Kayleigh Hall S, Dejarnett N, Tariq R, Gustafson M.
        J Environ Health. 2020 ;83(1):34-37.

      2. Maternal urinary concentrations of organophosphate ester metabolites: associations with gestational weight gain, early life anthropometry, and infant eating behaviors among mothers-infant pairs in Rhode Islandexternal icon
        Crawford KA, Hawley N, Calafat AM, Jayatilaka NK, Froehlich RJ, Has P, Gallagher LG, Savitz DA, Braun JM, Werner EF, Romano ME.
        Environ Health. 2020 Sep 11;19(1):97.
        BACKGROUND: Organophosphate esters (OPEs)-used as flame retardants and plasticizers-are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as reduced fecundity and live births and increased preterm delivery. OPEs may interfere with growth and metabolism via endocrine-disruption, but few studies have investigated endocrine-related outcomes. The objective of this pilot study (n = 56 mother-infant pairs) was to evaluate associations of OPEs with gestational weight gain (GWG), gestational age at delivery, infant anthropometry, and infant feeding behaviors. METHODS: We quantified OPE metabolites (bis-2-chloroethyl phosphate [BCEP], bis (1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate [BDCPP], diphenyl phosphate [DPHP]) in pooled maternal spot urine collected throughout pregnancy (~ 12, 28, and 35 weeks' gestation). We obtained maternal sociodemographic characteristics from questionnaires administered at enrollment and perinatal characteristics from medical record abstraction. Trained research assistants measured infant weight, length, head and abdominal circumferences, and skinfold thicknesses at birth and 6 weeks postpartum. Mothers reported infant feeding behavior via the Baby Eating Behavior Questionnaire (BEBQ). Using multiple linear regression, we assessed associations of log(2)-transformed maternal urinary OPE metabolites with GWG, gestational age at delivery, infant anthropometry at birth, weekly growth rate, and BEBQ scores at 6 weeks postpartum. We used linear mixed effects (LME) models to analyze overall infant anthropometry during the first 6 weeks of life. Additionally, we considered effect modification by infant sex. RESULTS: We observed weak positive associations between all OPE metabolites and GWG. In LME models, BDCPP was associated with increased infant length (β = 0.44 cm, 95%CI = 0.01, 0.87) and weight in males (β = 0.14 kg, 95%CI = 0.03, 0.24). BDCPP was also associated with increased food responsiveness (β = 0.23, 95%CI = 0.06, 0.40). DPHP was inversely associated with infant abdominal circumference (β = - 0.50 cm, 95%CI = - 0.86, - 0.14) and female weight (β = - 0.19 kg, 95%CI = - 0.36, - 0.02), but positively associated with weekly growth in iliac skinfold thickness (β = 0.10 mm/wk., 95%CI = 0.02, 0.19). Further, DPHP was weakly associated with increased feeding speed. BCEP was associated with greater infant thigh skinfold thickness (β = 0.34 mm, 95%CI = 0.16, 0.52) and subscapular skinfold thickness in males (β = 0.14 mm, 95%CI = 0.002, 0.28). CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these findings suggest that select OPEs may affect infant anthropometry and feeding behavior, with the most compelling evidence for BDCPP and DPHP.

      3. PURPOSE: This study aimed to assess U.S. adolescents' perceptions and knowledge about air quality and their behaviors aimed to reduce air pollution exposure and whether they vary by demographic characteristics. METHODS: We analyzed data from the Porter Novelli Public Services YouthStyles survey, a nationally representative survey of U.S. adolescents aged 12-17 years. In survey years 2015-2018, a total of 3,547 adolescents self-reported awareness, perceptions, and behaviors related to air pollution. We calculated weighted percentages of respondents reporting each aspect of air quality awareness, perception, and behaviors overall and by categories of age, gender, parental education, metropolitan status, region, and survey year. RESULTS: Overall, an estimated 81% of U.S. adolescents thought outdoor air pollution could impact health, 52% thought there were things they could do to limit their or their family's exposure, 19% were aware of air quality alerts, 46% of those who thought or were informed air quality was bad did something differently, and 19% always or usually avoided busy roads to reduce air pollution exposure; differences were reported by some demographic variables. CONCLUSIONS: Among U.S. adolescents, awareness that air pollution could impact health was relatively high. However, gaps were found in the awareness of the potential impacts and other aspects of awareness and perceptions related to air pollution and the engagement in behaviors to reduce exposure, some of which varied by demographic characteristics. These results can be used to inform interventions that increase awareness and behaviors to reduce air pollution exposures among U.S. adolescents.

    • Epidemiology and Surveillance

      1. Estimating undercoverage bias of internet usersexternal icon
        Hsia J, Zhao G, Town M.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2020 Sep 10;17:E104.
        INTRODUCTION: In the last decade, response rates to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys have been declining. Attention has turned to the possibility of using web surveys to complement or replace BRFSS, but web surveys can introduce coverage bias as a result of excluding noninternet users. The objective of this study was to describe undercoverage bias of internet use. METHODS: We used data from 402,578 respondents who completed BRFSS questions in 2017 on internet use, self-reported health, current smoking, and binge drinking. We examined undercoverage bias of internet use by partitioning it into a product of 2 components: proportion of noninternet use and difference in the prevalences of interest (self-reported health, current smoking, and binge drinking) between internet users and noninternet users. RESULTS: Overall, the weighted proportion of noninternet use overall was 15.0%; the proportion increased with an increase in age and a decrease in education and, by race/ethnicity, was lowest among non-Hispanic white respondents. The overall relative bias was -19.2% for self-reported health, -4.0% for current cigarette smoking, and 8.4% for binge drinking. For all 3 variables of interest, we found large biases and relative biases in some demographic subgroups. CONCLUSION: Undercoverage bias of internet use existed in the 3 studied variables. Both proportion of noninternet users and difference in prevalences of studied variables between internet users and noninternet users contributed to the bias to different degrees. These findings have implications on helping health-related behavioral risk factor surveys transition to more cost-effective survey modes than telephone only.

    • Genetics and Genomics
      1. Implementing cancer genomics in state health agencies: Mapping activities to an implementation science outcome frameworkexternal icon
        Green RF, Kumerow MT, Rodriguez JL, Addie S, Beachy SH, Senier L.
        Public Health Genomics. 2020 Sep 17:1-12.
        OBJECTIVE: To show how state health agencies can plan and evaluate activities to strengthen the evidence base for public health genomics, we mapped state cancer genomics activities to the Doyle et al. [Genet Med. 2018;20(9):995-1003] implementation science outcome framework. METHODS: We identified state health agency activities addressing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and Lynch syndrome by reviewing project narratives from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cancer Genomics Program funding recipients, leading discussions with state health agencies, and conducting an environmental scan. RESULTS: State health agencies' cancer genomics activities included developing or adding to state surveillance systems, developing educational materials, bidirectional reporting, promoting health plan policy change, training providers, and promoting recommendations and standards. To address health disparities, programs have tracked group differences, developed culturally appropriate educational materials, and promoted access to services for underserved populations. CONCLUSION: State health agencies can use the Doyle et al. [Genet Med. 2018;20(9):995-1003] performance objectives and outcome measures to evaluate proposed and ongoing activities. By demonstrating whether activities result in improved outcomes, state health agencies can build the evidence for the implementation of cancer genomics activities.

    • Health Economics
      1. To identify people living with sickle cell disease (SCD) and study their healthcare utilization, researchers can either use clinical records linked to administrative data or use billing diagnosis codes in stand-alone administrative databases. Correct identification of individuals clinically managed for SCD using diagnosis codes in claims databases is limited by the accuracy of billing codes in outpatient encounters. In this critical review, we assess the strengths and limitations of claims-based SCD case-finding algorithms in stand-alone administrative databases that contain both inpatient and outpatient records. Validation studies conducted using clinical records and newborn screening for confirmation of SCD case status have found that algorithms that require three or more nonpharmacy claims or one inpatient claim plus two or more outpatient claims with SCD codes show acceptable accuracy (positive predictive value and sensitivity) in children and adolescents. Future studies might seek to assess the accuracy of case-finding algorithms over the lifespan.

      2. The cost-effectiveness of hypertension management in low-income and middle-income countries: a reviewexternal icon
        Kostova D, Spencer G, Moran AE, Cobb LK, Husain MJ, Datta BK, Matsushita K, Nugent R.
        BMJ Glob Health. 2020 Sep;5(9).
        Hypertension in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) is largely undiagnosed and uncontrolled, representing an untapped opportunity for public health improvement. Implementation of hypertension control strategies in low-resource settings depends in large part on cost considerations. However, evidence on the cost-effectiveness of hypertension interventions in LMICs is varied across geographical, clinical and evaluation contexts. We conducted a comprehensive search for published economic evaluations of hypertension treatment programmes in LMICs. The search identified 71 articles assessing a wide range of hypertension intervention designs and cost components, of which 42 studies across 15 countries reported estimates of cost-effectiveness. Although comparability of results was limited due to heterogeneity in the interventions assessed, populations studied, costs and study quality score, most interventions that reported cost per averted disability-adjusted life-year (DALY) were cost-effective, with costs per averted DALY not exceeding national income thresholds. Programme elements that may reduce cost-effectiveness included screening for hypertension at younger ages, addressing prehypertension, or treating patients at lower cardiovascular disease risk. Cost-effectiveness analysis could provide the evidence base to guide the initiation and development of hypertension programmes.

      3. BACKGROUND: Health economic evaluation studies (e.g., cost-effectiveness analysis) can provide insight into which injury prevention interventions maximize available resources to improve health outcomes. A previous systematic review summarized 48 unintentional injury prevention economic evaluations published during 1998-2009, providing a valuable overview of that evidence for researchers and decisionmakers. The aim of this study was to summarize the content and quality of recent (2010-2019) economic evaluations of unintentional injury prevention interventions and compare to the previous publication period (1998-2009). METHODS: Peer-reviewed English-language journal articles describing public health unintentional injury prevention economic evaluations published January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2019 were identified using index terms in multiple databases. Injury causes, interventions, study methods, and results were summarized. Reporting on key methods elements (e.g., economic perspective, time horizon, discounting, currency year, etc.) was assessed. Reporting quality was compared between the recent and previous publication periods. RESULTS: Sixty-eight recent economic evaluation studies were assessed. Consistent with the systematic review on this topic for the previous publication period, falls and motor vehicle traffic injury prevention were the most common study subjects. Just half of studies from the recent publication period reported all key methods elements, although this represents an improvement compared to the previous publication period (25 %). CONCLUSION: Most economic evaluations of unintentional injury prevention interventions address just two injury causes. Better adherence to health economic evaluation reporting standards may enhance comparability across studies and increase the likelihood that this type of evidence is included in decision-making related to unintentional injury prevention.

    • Healthcare Associated Infections
      1. Proceedings of the AABB blood center executive summitexternal icon
        France C, Marks P, Jones J, Sher G, Bult JM, Winters JL, Mills Barbeau J, Carden B, Mendelsohn Stone L.
        Transfusion. 2020 Sep;60 Suppl 4:S1-s16.
        AABB hosted the Blood Center Executive Summit on 20 October 2019 during the AABB Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The session was sponsored by the Commonwealth Transfusion Foundation, a nonprofit, private foundation whose mission is to inspire and champion research and education that optimizes clinical outcomes in transfusion medicine and ensures a safe and sustainable blood supply for the United States. The Summit focused on the intersection of blood centers and plasma centers. Presenters and attendees explored existing and needed data, regulatory requirements, risks and benefits of different donor models, and future direction of the plasma community and blood centers. The Summit also identified priority issues that warrant further investigation and provide opportunities to drive progress. Introductory remarks provided context for the Summit presentations. Debra BenAvram, FASAE, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, AABB (Bethesda, Maryland), noted that during the past year, she and other AABB staff have had many discussions with blood center executives on key issues and challenges. In these talks, many executives requested that AABB provide programming specifically for this member segment. The Summit is a direct result of those requests, and the AABB supports a fruitful discussion as well as important and actionable next steps. Kevin Belanger, DHS, MS, MT(ASCP)SBB, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Shepeard Community Blood Center (Evans, Georgia), observed that he and his colleagues have seen a decrease in the donor base and, at the same time, an increase in plasma centers. He also noted that the resulting discussions about competition and donor compensation have been muted. The Summit provides a forum for a broad, open discussion that can be the start of something important. As chair of the Summit planning committee, he thanked both panelists and audience members for participating. Bob Carden, Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Transfusion Foundation (Richmond, Virginia), who moderated the Summit, joined BenAvram and Belanger in welcoming participants to the day's presentations. He emphasized the need for data and noted that one outcome of the day would be a list of potential research projects that could be pursued and considered for funding.

      2. Inappropriate empirical antibiotic therapy for bloodstream infections based on discordant in-vitro susceptibilities: a retrospective cohort analysis of prevalence, predictors, and mortality risk in US hospitalsexternal icon
        Kadri SS, Lai YL, Warner S, Strich JR, Babiker A, Ricotta EE, Demirkale CY, Dekker JP, Palmore TN, Rhee C, Klompas M, Hooper DC, Powers JH, Srinivasan A, Danner RL, Adjemian J.
        Lancet Infect Dis. 2020 Sep 8.
        BACKGROUND: The prevalence and effects of inappropriate empirical antibiotic therapy for bloodstream infections are unclear. We aimed to establish the population-level burden, predictors, and mortality risk of in-vitro susceptibility-discordant empirical antibiotic therapy among patients with bloodstream infections. METHODS: Our retrospective cohort analysis of electronic health record data from 131 hospitals in the USA included patients with suspected-and subsequently confirmed-bloodstream infections who were treated empirically with systemic antibiotics between Jan 1, 2005, and Dec 31, 2014. We included all patients with monomicrobial bacteraemia caused by common bloodstream pathogens who received at least one systemic antibiotic either on the day blood cultures were drawn or the day after, and for whom susceptibility data were available. We calculated the prevalence of discordant empirical antibiotic therapy-which was defined as receiving antibiotics on the day blood culture samples were drawn to which the cultured isolate was not susceptible in vitro-overall and by hospital type by using regression tree analysis. We used generalised estimating equations to identify predictors of receiving discordant empirical antibiotic therapy, and used logistic regression to calculate adjusted odds ratios for the relationship between in-hospital mortality and discordant empirical antibiotic therapy. FINDINGS: 21 608 patients with bloodstream infections received empirical antibiotic therapy on the day of first blood culture collection. Of these patients, 4165 (19%) received discordant empirical antibiotic therapy. Discordant empirical antibiotic therapy was independently associated with increased risk of mortality (adjusted odds ratio 1·46 [95% CI, 1·28-1·66]; p<0·0001), a relationship that was unaffected by the presence or absence of resistance or sepsis or septic shock. Infection with antibiotic-resistant species strongly predicted receiving discordant empirical therapy (adjusted odds ratio 9·09 [95% CI 7·68-10·76]; p<0·0001). Most incidences of discordant empirical antibiotic therapy and associated deaths occurred among patients with bloodstream infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus or Enterobacterales. INTERPRETATION: Approximately one in five patients with bloodstream infections in US hospitals received discordant empirical antibiotic therapy, receipt of which was closely associated with infection with antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Receiving discordant empirical antibiotic therapy was associated with increased odds of mortality overall, even in patients without sepsis. Early identification of bloodstream pathogens and resistance will probably improve population-level outcomes. FUNDING: US National Institutes of Health, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

      3. Duration of outpatient antibiotic therapy for common outpatient infections, 2017external icon
        King LM, Hersh AL, Hicks LA, Fleming-Dutra KE.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Sep 16.
        Our objective was to describe the duration of antibiotic therapy for the management of common outpatient conditions. The median duration of antibiotic courses for most common conditions, except acute cystitis, was 10 days, in many cases exceeding guideline-recommended durations.

    • Immunity and Immunization
      1. Policies among US pediatricians for dismissing patients for delaying or refusing vaccinationexternal icon
        O'Leary ST, Cataldi JR, Lindley MC, Beaty BL, Hurley LP, Crane LA, Kempe A.
        Jama. 2020 Sep 15;324(11):1105-1107.

    • Informatics
      1. Using informatics to improve cancer surveillanceexternal icon
        Blumenthal W, Alimi TO, Jones SF, Jones DE, Rogers JD, Benard VB, Richardson LC.
        J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2020 Sep 15.
        OBJECTIVES: This review summarizes past and current informatics activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Program of Cancer Registries to inform readers about efforts to improve, standardize, and automate reporting to public health cancer registries. TARGET AUDIENCE: The target audience includes cancer registry experts, informaticians, public health professionals, database specialists, computer scientists, programmers, and system developers who are interested in methods to improve public health surveillance through informatics approaches. SCOPE: This review provides background on central cancer registries and describes the efforts to standardize and automate reporting to these registries. Specific topics include standardized data exchange activities for physician and pathology reporting, software tools for cancer reporting, development of a natural language processing tool for processing unstructured clinical text, and future directions of cancer surveillance informatics.

      2. OBJECTIVE: The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak progressed rapidly from a public health (PH) emergency of international concern (World Health Organization [WHO], 30 January 2020) to a pandemic (WHO, 11 March 2020). The declaration of a national emergency in the United States (13 March 2020) necessitated the addition and modification of terminology related to COVID-19 and development of the disease's case definition. During this period, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and standard development organizations released guidance on data standards for reporting COVID-19 clinical encounters, laboratory results, cause-of-death certifications, and other surveillance processes for COVID-19 PH emergency operations. The CDC COVID-19 Information Management Repository was created to address the need for PH and health-care stakeholders at local and national levels to easily obtain access to comprehensive and up-to-date information management resources. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We introduce the clinical and health-care informatics community to the CDC COVID-19 Information Management Repository: a new, national COVID-19 information management tool. We provide a description of COVID-19 informatics resources, including data requirements for COVID-19 data reporting. RESULTS: We demonstrate the CDC COVID-19 Information Management Repository's categorization and management of critical COVID-19 informatics documentation and standards. We also describe COVID-19 data exchange standards, forms, and specifications. CONCLUSIONS: This information will be valuable to clinical and PH informaticians, epidemiologists, data analysts, standards developers and implementers, and information technology managers involved in the development of COVID-19 situational awareness and response reporting and analytics.

    • Injury and Violence
      1. School-level poverty and persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, suicidality, and experiences with violence victimization among public high school studentsexternal icon
        Jones SE, Michael Underwood J, Pampati S, Le VD, Degue S, Demissie Z, Adkins SH, Barrios LC.
        J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2020 ;31(3):1248-1263.
        Objectives. To examine the association between school-level poverty status and students’ persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, suicidality, and experiences with violence victimization among U.S. high school students. Methods. Public schools captured in the 2015 and 2017 national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys were categorized as high-, mid-, or low-poverty based on the percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals (N=29,448). Results. Students in high-poverty schools were significantly more likely than students in low-poverty schools to experience persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, experience suicidal thoughts and attempts, not go to school because of safety concerns, be threatened or injured with a weapon on school property, be bullied on school property, be physically forced to have sexual intercourse, and be victims of sexual and physical dating violence. Conclusions. School and community approaches to address suicide and violence victimization may be especially important for students living in poverty.

      2. Factors associated with concussion symptom knowledge and attitudes towards concussion care-seeking in a national survey of parents of middle school children in the U.Sexternal icon
        Kerr ZY, Nedimyer AK, Kay MC, Chandran A, Gildner P, Byrd KH, Haarbauer-Krupa JK, Register-Mihalik JK.
        J Sport Health Sci. 2020 Sep 9.
        OBJECTIVE: Developing appropriate concussion prevention and management paradigms in middle school (MS) settings requires understanding parents' general levels of concussion-related knowledge and attitudes. This study examined factors associated with concussion symptom knowledge and care-seeking attitudes among parents of MS children (aged ∼10-15 years). METHODS: A panel of 1224 randomly selected US residents, aged ≥18 years and identifying as parents of MS children, completed an online questionnaire capturing parental and child characteristics. The parents' concussion symptom knowledge was measured using 25 questions, with possible answers being "yes", "maybe", and "no". Correct answers earned 2 points, "maybe" answers earned 1 point, and incorrect answers earned 0 points (range = 0-50; higher scores = better knowledge). Concussion care-seeking attitudes were also collected using five 7-point scale items (range = 5-35; higher scores = more positive attitudes). Multivariable ordinal logistic regression models identified predictors of higher scores. Models met proportional odds assumptions. Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) (excluding 1.00) were deemed statistically significant. RESULTS: Median scores were 39 (interquartile range (IQR) = 32-44) for symptom knowledge and 32 (IQR = 28-35) for care-seeking attitude. In multivariable models, odds of better symptom knowledge were higher in women vs. men (aOR = 2.28; 95%CI: 1.71-3.05), white/non-Hispanics vs. other racial or ethnic groups (aOR = 1.88; 95%CI: 1.42-2.49), higher parental age (10-year-increase aOR = 1.47; 95%CI: 1.26-1.71) and greater competitiveness (10%-scale-increase aOR = 1.24; 95%CI: 1.13-1.36). Odds of more positive care-seeking attitudes were higher in white/non-Hispanics versus other racial or ethnic groups (aOR = 1.45; 95%CI: 1.06-1.99), and higher parental age (10-year-increase aOR = 1.24; 95%CI: 1.05-1.47). CONCLUSION: Characteristics of middle school children's parents (e.g., sex, race or ethnicity, age) are associated with their concussion symptom knowledge and care-seeking attitudes. Parents' variations in concussion knowledge and attitudes warrant tailored concussion education and prevention.

    • Laboratory Sciences
      1. Molecular typing of Rickettsia akariexternal icon
        Eremeeva ME, Sturgeon MM, Willard JK, Karpathy SE, Madan A, Dasch GA.
        Rus J Infect Immun. 2020 ;10(3):497-505.
        Rickettsia akari, an obligately intracellular bacterium, is the causative agent of the cosmopolitan urban disease rickettsialpox. R. akari is an atypical representative of spotted fever group rickettsiae (SFG) as it is associated with rodent mites rather than ticks or fleas; however, only limited information is available about the degree of genetic variability found among isolates of R. akari. We examined 13 isolates of R. akari from humans, rodents and mites in the USA, the former Soviet Union, and the former Yugoslavia made between 1946 and 2003 for diversity in their tandem repeat regions (TR) and intergenic regions (IGR). The 1.23 Mb genome of R. akari strain Hartford CWPP was analyzed using Tandem Repeat Finder software ( and 374 different TRs were identified, with size variation from 1 to 483 bp and with TR copy numbers ranging between 21 and 1.9, respectively. No size polymorphisms were detected among the 11 TR regions examined from 5 open reading frames and 6 IGR. Eighteen non-TR IGR’s were amplified and sequenced for the same isolates comprising a total of 5.995 bp (0.49%) of the Hartford CWPP strain chromosome. Three single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) sites were detected in two IGR’s which permitted separation of the five R. akari isolates from Ukraine SSR from the other eight isolates. In conclusion, this is the first study reporting genetic heterogeneity among R. akari isolates of different geographic origins. Further exploration of this genetic diversity is needed to understand better the geographic distribution of R. akari and the epidemiology of rickettsialpox. The potential of mites as hosts for other rickettsial agents also needs further investigation.

      2. Full molecular typing of Neisseria meningitidis directly from clinical specimens for outbreak investigationexternal icon
        Itsko M, Retchless AC, Joseph SJ, Turner AN, Bazan JA, Sadji AY, Ouédraogo-Traoré R, Wang X.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2020 Sep 16.
        Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis and sepsis worldwide and an occasional cause of meningococcal urethritis. When isolates are unavailable for surveillance or outbreak investigations, molecular characterization of pathogens needs to be performed directly from clinical specimens such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), blood, or urine. However, genome sequencing of specimens is challenging because of low bacterial and high human DNA abundances. We developed selective whole genome amplification (SWGA), an isothermal multiple displacement amplification-based method, to efficiently enrich, sequence and de novo assemble Nm DNA from clinical specimens with low bacterial loads. SWGA was validated with 12 CSF specimens from invasive meningococcal disease cases and 12 urine specimens from meningococcal urethritis cases. SWGA increased the mean proportion of Nm reads by 2-3 orders of magnitude enabling identification of at least 90% of the 1605 Nm core genome loci for 50% of the specimens. The validated method was used to investigate two meningitis outbreaks recently reported in Togo and Burkina Faso. Twenty-seven specimens with low bacterial load were processed by SWGA before sequencing and 12 of 27 were successfully assembled to obtain the full molecular typing and vaccine antigen profile of the Nm pathogen, therefore enabling thorough characterization of outbreaks. This method is particularly important for enhancing molecular surveillance in regions with low culture rate. SWGA produces enough reads for phylogenetic and allelic analysis with a low cost. More importantly, the procedure can be extended to enrich other important human bacterial pathogens.

      3. Human intestinal enteroids to evaluate human norovirus GII.4 inactivation by aged-green teaexternal icon
        Randazzo W, Costantini V, Morantz EK, Vinje J.
        Frontiers in Microbiology. 2020 18 Aug;11.
        Human noroviruses are the leading cause of epidemic and sporadic acute gastroenteritis worldwide and the most common cause of foodborne illness in the United States. Several natural compounds, such as aged-green tea extract (aged-GTE), have been suggested as ingestible antiviral agents against human norovirus based on data using murine norovirus and feline calicivirus as surrogates. However, in vitro data showing their effectiveness against infectious human norovirus are lacking. We tested the activity of aged-GTE to inhibit human norovirus in a human intestinal enteroids (HIEs) model and Tulane virus in LLC-monkey kidney (LLC-MK2) cell culture. HIE monolayers pretreated with aged-GTE at different temperatures showed complete inhibition of human norovirus GII.4 replication at concentrations as low as 1.0 mg/ml for 37degreeC, 1.75 mg/ml for 21degreeC, and 2.5 mg/ml for 7degreeC. In contrast, a moderate decrease in Tulane virus infectivity of 0.85, 0.75, and 0.65 log TCID<inf>50</inf>/ml was observed for 2.5 mg/ml aged-GTE at 37, 21, and 7degreeC, respectively. Our findings demonstrate that GTE could be an effective natural compound against human norovirus GII.4, while only minimally effective against Tulane virus.

      4. Diagnostic laboratory testing and clinical preparedness for dengue outbreaks during the COVID-19 pandemicexternal icon
        Waterman SH, Paz-Bailey G, San Martin JL, Gutierrez G, Castellanos LG, Mendez-Rico JA.
        Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2020 Sep;103(3):1339-1340.

    • Nutritional Sciences
      1. Barriers to and facilitators of iron and folic acid supplementation within a school-based integrated nutrition and health promotion program among Ghanaian adolescent girlsexternal icon
        Gosdin L, Sharma AJ, Tripp K, Amoaful EF, Mahama AB, Selenje L, Jefferds ME, Ramakrishnan U, Martorell R, Addo OY.
        Curr Dev Nutr. 2020 Sep;4(9):nzaa135.
        BACKGROUND: Anemia is a moderate public health problem among adolescent girls in Ghana. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to evaluate the barriers to and facilitators of program fidelity to a school-based anemia reduction program with weekly iron and folic acid (IFA) supplementation. METHODS: Authors analyzed directly observed weekly IFA consumption data collected longitudinally and cross-sectional data from a representative survey of 60 secondary schools and 1387 adolescent girls in the Northern and Volta regions of Ghana after 1 school year (2017-2018) of the intervention (30-36 wk). A bottleneck analysis was used to characterize the levels of IFA coverage and used adjusted generalized linear mixed-effects models to quantify the school and student drivers of IFA intake adherence. RESULTS: Of girls, 90% had ever consumed the tablet, whereas 56% had consumed ≥15 weekly tablets (mean: 16.4, range: 0-36), indicating average intake adherence was about half of the available tablets. Among ever consumers, 88% of girls liked the tablet, and 27% reported undesirable changes (primarily heavy menstrual flow). School-level factors represented 75% of the variance in IFA consumption over the school year. Total IFA tablets consumed was associated with the ability to make up missed IFA distributions (+1.4 tablets; 95% CI: +0.8, +2.0 tablets), junior compared with senior secondary school (+5.8; 95% CI: +0.1, +11.5), educators' participating in a program-related training (+7.6; 95% CI: +2.9, 12.2), and educator perceptions that implementation was difficult (-6.9; 95% CI: -12.1, -1.7) and was an excessive time burden (-4.4; 95% CI: -8.4, -0.4). CONCLUSIONS: Although the program reached Ghanaian schoolgirls, school-level factors were barriers to adherence. Modifications such as expanded training, formalized make-up IFA distributions, sensitization (awareness promotion), and additional support to senior high schools may improve adherence. Spreading the responsibility for IFA distribution to other teachers and streamlining monitoring may reduce the burden at the school level. Strengthening the health education component and improving knowledge of IFA among students may also be beneficial.

    • Occupational Safety and Health
      1. New respirator performance monitor (RePM) for powered air-purifying respiratorsexternal icon
        Grinshpun SA, Corey J, Yermakov M, Wu B, Strickland KT, Bergman M, Zhuang Z.
        J Occup Environ Hyg. 2020 Sep 17:1-8.
        Powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) that offer protection from particulates are deployed in different workplace environments. Usage of PAPRs by healthcare workers is rapidly increasing; these respirators are often considered the best option in healthcare settings, particularly during public health emergency situations, such as outbreaks of pandemic diseases. At the same time, lack of user training and certain vigorous work activities may lead to a decrease in a respirator's performance. There is a critical need for real-time performance monitoring of respiratory protective devices, including PAPRs. In this effort, a new robust and low-cost real-time performance monitor (RePM) capable of evaluating the protection offered by a PAPR against aerosol particles at a workplace was developed. The new device was evaluated on a manikin and on human subjects against a pair of condensation nuclei counters (P-Trak) used as the reference protection measurement system. The outcome was expressed as a manikin-based protection factor (mPF) and a Simulated Workplace Protection Factor (SWPF) determined while testing on subjects. For the manikin-based testing, the data points collected by the two methods were plotted against each other; a near-perfect correlation was observed with a correlation coefficient of 0.997. This high correlation is particularly remarkable since RePM and condensation particle counter (CPC) measure in different particle size ranges. The data variability increased with increasing mPF. The evaluation on human subjects demonstrated that RePM prototype provided an excellent Sensitivity (96.3% measured on human subjects at a response time of 60 sec) and a Specificity of 100%. The device is believed to be the first of its kind to quantitatively monitor PAPR performance while the wearer is working; it is small, lightweight, and does not interfere with job functions.

      2. Biological effects of inhaled hydraulic fracturing sand dust. VI. Cardiovascular effectsexternal icon
        Krajnak K, Kan H, Russ KA, McKinney W, Waugh S, Zheng W, Kashon ML, Johnson C, Cumpston J, Fedan JS.
        Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2020 Sep 12:115242.
        Hydraulic fracturing is used to access oil and natural gas reserves. This process involves the high-pressure injection of fluid to fracture shale. Fracking fluid contains approximately 95% water, chemicals and 4.5% fracking sand. Workers may be exposed to fracking sand dust (FSD) during the manipulation of the sand, and negative health consequences could occur if FSD is inhaled. In the absence of any information about its potential toxicity, a comprehensive rat animal model study (see Fedan, J.S., Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 000, 000-000, 2020) was designed to investigate the bioactivities of several FSDs in comparison to MIN-U-SIL® 5, a respirable α-quartz reference dust used in previous animal models of silicosis, in several organ systems. The goal of this study was to assess the effects of inhalation of one FSD, i.e., FSD 8, on factors and tissues that affect cardiovascular function. Male rats were exposed to 10 or 30 mg/m(3) FSD (6 h/d for 4 d) by whole body inhalation, with measurements made 1, 7 or 27 d post-exposure. One day following exposure to 10 mg/m(3) FSD the sensitivity to phenylephrine-induced vasoconstriction in tail arteries in vitro was increased. FSD exposure at both doses resulted in decreases in heart rate (HR), HR variability, and blood pressure in vivo. FSD induced changes in hydrogen peroxide concentrations and transcript levels for pro-inflammatory factors in heart tissues. In kidney, expression of proteins indicative of injury and remodeling was reduced after FSD exposure. When analyzed using regression analysis, changes in proteins involved in repair and remodeling were correlated. Thus, it appears that inhalation of FSD does have some prolonged effects on cardiovascular, and, possibly, renal function. The findings also provide information regarding potential mechanisms that may lead to these changes, and biomarkers that could be examined to monitor physiological changes that could be indicative of impending cardiovascular dysfunction.

      3. Pre-pregnancy handling of antineoplastic drugs and risk of miscarriage in female nursesexternal icon
        Nassan FL, Chavarro JE, Johnson CY, Boiano JM, Rocheleau CM, Rich-Edwards JW, Lawson CC.
        Ann Epidemiol. 2020 Sep 10.
        OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between handling of antineoplastic drugs (AD), use of exposure controls, and risk of miscarriage. METHODS: Women in the Nurses' Health Study 3 self-reported AD administration and use of engineering controls (EC) and personal protective equipment (PPE) at baseline. Nurses who reported pregnancies after baseline were included in this analysis. We estimated the Hazard Ratio (HR) of miscarriage in relation to baseline AD handling using multivariable Cox proportional regression modified for discrete time data. RESULTS: 2,440 nurses reported 3,327 pregnancies within a median of 3 years after baseline (range:1-8 years), of which 550 (17%) ended as miscarriages. Mean (standard deviation) age at baseline was 29.7 years (4.3). At baseline, 12% of the nurses self-reported currently handling AD and 28% previously handling. Compared to nurses who never handled AD, nurses who handled AD at baseline had a HR of miscarriage of 1.26 (95% CI: 0.97, 1.64) after adjusting for age, body mass index, and smoking. This association was stronger for losses after 12 weeks gestation (HR=2.39 [95% CI: 1.13, 5.07]), and among nurses who did not always use EC and PPE. Nurses who did not always use gloves had a HR of 1.51 (95% CI:0.91, 2.51) compared to 1.19 (95% CI:0.89, 1.60) for those always using gloves; nurses who did not always use gowns had a HR of 1.32 (95% CI:0.95, 1.83) compared to 1.19 (95% CI:0.81, 1.75) for nurses always using gowns. AD handling prior to baseline was unrelated to risk of miscarriage. CONCLUSION(S): We observed a suggestive positive association between AD handling and miscarriage, particularly among nurses who did not consistently use PPE and EC. These associations appeared to be more evident among second trimester losses.

      4. Envisioning the future of work to safeguard the safety, health, and well-being of the workforce: A perspective from the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Healthexternal icon
        Tamers SL, Streit J, Pana-Cryan R, Ray T, Syron L, Flynn MA, Castillo D, Roth G, Geraci C, Guerin R, Schulte P, Henn S, Chang CC, Felknor S, Howard J.
        Am J Ind Med. 2020 Sep 14.
        The future of work embodies changes to the workplace, work, and workforce, which require additional occupational safety and health (OSH) stakeholder attention. Examples include workplace developments in organizational design, technological job displacement, and work arrangements; work advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, and technologies; and workforce changes in demographics, economic security, and skills. This paper presents the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Future of Work Initiative; suggests an integrated approach to address worker safety, health, and well-being; introduces priority topics and subtopics that confer a framework for upcoming future of work research directions and resultant practical applications; and discusses preliminary next steps. All future of work issues impact one another. Future of work transformations are contingent upon each of the standalone factors discussed in this paper and their combined effects. Occupational safety and health stakeholders are becoming more aware of the significance and necessity of these factors for the workplace, work, and workforce to flourish, merely survive, or disappear altogether as the future evolves. The future of work offers numerous opportunities, while also presenting critical but not clearly understood difficulties, exposures, and hazards. It is the responsibility of OSH researchers and other partners to understand the implications of future of work scenarios to translate effective interventions into practice for employers safeguarding the safety, health, and well-being of their workers.

    • Occupational Safety and Health - Mining
      1. BACKGROUND: Pneumoconiosis can occur in surface coal miners. The Coal Workers' Health Surveillance Program (CWHSP) has only included surface coal miners as part of its regular disease surveillance since 2014. This analysis identifies the prevalence of pneumoconiosis among working surface coal miners participating in the CWHSP since their initial inclusion, through 2019. METHODS: Working surface coal miners who had chest radiographs through the CWHSP from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2019 were included in this analysis. Demographic information, mining tenure and occupation, and radiographic classifications according to the International Labour Office system were included from each miner's most recent encounter with the CWHSP. Prevalence ratios were calculated comparing the prevalence of the disease by region and occupation by log-binomial regression. RESULTS: Pneumoconiosis was present in 109 (1.6%) surface coal miners, including 12 miners with progressive massive fibrosis, the most severe form of the disease. After taking surface mining tenure into account, surface miners in Central Appalachia (prevalence ratio [PR], 3.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.2-4.7) and surface miners who worked as a driller or blaster (PR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.3-3.5) were at increased risk of pneumoconiosis. CONCLUSION: The occurrence of pneumoconiosis in surface coal miners supports including them within a systematic respiratory health surveillance program. The current surveillance findings are consistent with past findings of pneumoconiosis, particularly silicosis, in surface mining occupations such as drilling and blasting.

      2. BACKGROUND: Coal miners with totally disabling pneumoconiosis are eligible for benefits through the Federal Black Lung Benefits Program (FBLP). We identify the causes of death among Medicare beneficiaries with a claim for which the FBLP was the primary payer and compare these causes of death to all deceased Medicare beneficiaries to better understand elevated death and disease among miners with occupational respiratory exposures. METHODS: From 1999 to 2016 Medicare data, we extracted beneficiary and National Death Index data for 28,003 beneficiaries with an FBLP primary payer claim. We summarized the International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification 10th revision-coded underlying causes of death and entity-axis multiple causes of death for 22,242 deceased Medicare beneficiaries with an FBLP primary payer Medicare claim and compared their causes of death to the deceased Medicare beneficiary population. RESULTS: Among deceased FBLP beneficiaries, the three leading underlying causes of death were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, unspecified (J44.9, 10.1%), atherosclerotic heart disease (I25.1, 9.3%), and coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP) (J60, 9.2%). All diseases of the respiratory system combined (J00-J99) were the underlying cause of death for 29.1% of all beneficiaries, with pneumoconioses (J60-J64) as the underlying cause for 11.0% of all beneficiaries. CONCLUSIONS: Coal miners enrolled in Medicare with an FBLP primary payer claim were more likely to have specific respiratory and cardiovascular diseases listed as a cause of death than deceased Medicare beneficiaries overall, and were also more likely to die from CWP or any pneumoconioses.

    • Parasitic Diseases
      1. Assessment of health service delivery parameters in Kano and Zamfara States, Nigeriaexternal icon
        Bala U, Ajumobi O, Umar A, Adewole A, Waziri N, Gidado S, Mohammed AB, Uhomoibhi P, Muhammad B, Ismail M, Kachur SP, Cash S, Asamoa K.
        BMC Health Serv Res. 2020 Sep 15;20(1):874.
        BACKGROUND: In 2013, the Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health established a Master Health Facility List (MHFL) as recommended by WHO. Since then, some health facilities (HFs) have ceased functioning and new facilities were established. We updated the MHFL and assessed service delivery parameters in the Malaria Frontline Project implementing areas in Kano and Zamfara States. METHODS: We assessed all HFs in each of the 34 project local government areas (LGAs) between July and September 2017. Project staff administered a semi-structured questionnaire developed for this assessment to heads of HFs about the type of facility, category and number of staff working at the facility and to record geo-coordinates of facility. RESULTS: In the Kano State project area, 726 HFs were identified and geo-located: 31 were new facilities, 608 (84%), 116 (16%) and two (0.3%) were Primary Health Care (PHC), secondary and tertiary facilities respectively. Using the national definition, there were 710 (98%) functional facilities and 644 (91%) of these reported to the national health information platform, District Health Information System, version 2 (DHIS2). The Zamfara project area had 739 HFs: eight were new, 715 (97%), 22 (3.0%) and two (0.2%) PHCs, secondary and tertiary facilities respectively. There were 695 (94%) functional facilities with 656 (94%) of these reporting to DHIS2. Using national criteria for primary health care designation, only 95 (9%) of all PHCs in the two States met the minimum human resource requirements. CONCLUSION: Most HFs were functional and reported to DHIS2. A comprehensive MHFL having all the important parameters that should be established and updated regularly by authorities to make it more useful for health services administration and management. Most functional facilities are understaffed.

    • Public Health Leadership and Management
      1. Teaching public and population health in medical education: An evaluation frameworkexternal icon
        Johnson SB, Fair MA, Howley LD, Prunuske J, Cashman SB, Carney JK, Jarris YS, Deyton LR, Blumenthal D, Krane NK, Fiebach NH, Strelnick AH, Morton-Eggleston E, Nickens C, Ortega L.
        Acad Med. 2020 Sep 8.
        Curriculum models and training activities in medical education have been markedly enhanced to prepare physicians to address the health needs of diverse populations and to advance health equity. While different teaching and experiential learning activities in the public health and population health sciences have been implemented, there is no existing framework to measure the effectiveness of public and population health (PPH) education in medical education programs. In 2015, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) established the Expert Panel on Public and Population Health in Medical Education, which convened 20 U.S. medical faculty members whose goal was to develop an evaluation framework adapted from the New World Kirkpatrick Model. Institutional leaders can use this framework to assess the effectiveness of PPH curricula for learners, faculty, and community partners. It may also assist institutions with identifying opportunities to improve the integration of PPH content into medical education programs. In this article, the authors present outcomes metrics and practical curricular or institutional illustrations at each Kirkpatrick training evaluation level to assist institutions with the measurement of (1) reaction to the PPH education content, (2) learning accomplished, (3) application of knowledge and skills to practice, and (4) outcomes achieved as a result of PPH education and practice. A fifth level was added to measure the benefit of PPH curricula on the health system and population health. The framework may assist with developing a locally relevant evaluation to further integrate and support PPH education at U.S. medical schools and teaching hospitals.

    • Substance Use and Abuse
      1. The association between opioid discontinuation and heroin use: A nested case-control studyexternal icon
        Binswanger IA, Glanz JM, Faul M, Shoup JA, Quintana LM, Lyden J, Xu S, Narwaney KJ.
        Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020 Aug 27;217:108248.
        BACKGROUND: Opioid prescribing guidelines recommend reducing or discontinuing opioids for chronic pain if harms of opioid treatment outweigh benefits. As opioid discontinuation becomes more prevalent, it is important to understand whether opioid discontinuation is associated with heroin use. In this study, we sought to assess the association between opioid discontinuation and heroin use documented in the medical record. METHODS: A matched nested case-control study was conducted in an integrated health plan and delivery system in Colorado. Patients receiving opioid therapy in the study period (January 2006-June 2018) were included. Opioid discontinuation was defined as ≥45 days with no opioids dispensed after initiating opioid therapy. The heroin use onset date represented the index date. Case patients were matched to up to 20 randomly selected patients without heroin use (control patients) by age, sex, calendar time, and time between initiating opioid therapy and the index date. Conditional logistic regression models estimated matched odds ratios (mOR) for the association between an opioid discontinuation prior to the index date and heroin use. RESULTS: Among 22,962 patients prescribed opioid therapy, 125 patients (0.54%) used heroin after initiating opioid therapy, of which 74 met criteria for inclusion in the analysis. The odds of opioid discontinuation were approximately two times higher in case patients (n = 74) than control patients (n = 1045; mOR = 2.19; 95% CI 1.27-3.78). CONCLUSIONS: Among patients prescribed chronic opioid therapy, the observed increased risk for heroin use associated with opioid discontinuation should be balanced with potential benefits.

      2. Exposure to secondhand smoke in homes and vehicles among US youths, United States, 2011-2019external icon
        Walton K, Gentzke AS, Murphy-Hoefer R, Kenemer B, Neff LJ.
        Prev Chronic Dis. 2020 Sep 10;17:E103.
        In this study, we report the prevalence of self-reported secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure in homes and vehicles among US middle and high school students in 2019 and changes in SHS exposure over time. Data were from 7 years of the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS; 2011, 2013, and 2015-2019). In 2019, 25.3% (an estimated 6.7 million) of students reported home SHS exposure and 23.3% (6.1 million) reported vehicle SHS exposure. Home and vehicle SHS exposure significantly declined during 2011 through 2018, except for home exposure among non-Hispanic black students. Implementation of smoke-free policies in public and private settings can reduce SHS exposure.

    • Zoonotic and Vectorborne Diseases
      1. Defining new pathways to manage the ongoing emergence of bat rabies in Latin Americaexternal icon
        Benavides JA, Valderrama W, Recuenco S, Uieda W, Suzán G, Avila-Flores R, Velasco-Villa A, Almeida M, Andrade FA, Molina-Flores B, Vigilato MA, Pompei JC, Tizzani P, Carrera JE, Ibanez D, Streicker DG.
        Viruses. 2020 Sep 8;12(9).
        Rabies transmitted by common vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus) has been known since the early 1900s but continues to expand geographically and in the range of species and environments affected. In this review, we present current knowledge of the epidemiology and management of rabies in D. rotundus and argue that it can be reasonably considered an emerging public health threat. We identify knowledge gaps related to the landscape determinants of the bat reservoir, reduction in bites on humans and livestock, and social barriers to prevention. We discuss how new technologies including autonomously-spreading vaccines and reproductive suppressants targeting bats might manage both rabies and undesirable growth of D. rotundus populations. Finally, we highlight widespread under-reporting of human and animal mortality and the scarcity of studies that quantify the efficacy of control measures such as bat culling. Collaborations between researchers and managers will be crucial to implement the next generation of rabies management in Latin America.

Back to Top

CDC Science Clips Production Staff

  • Takudzwa Sayi, Editor
  • Gail Bang, MLIS, Librarian
  • Kathy Tucker, Librarian
  • William (Bill) Thomas, MLIS, Librarian
  • Jarvis Sims, MIT, MLIS, Librarian


DISCLAIMER: Articles listed in the CDC Science Clips are selected by the Stephen B. Thacker CDC Library to provide current awareness of the public health literature. An article's inclusion does not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor does it imply endorsement of the article's methods or findings. CDC and DHHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or DHHS. Opinion, findings and conclusions expressed by the original authors of items included in the Clips, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or DHHS. References to publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or DHHS.

Page last reviewed: September 30, 2020, 12:00 AM